- "What am I, an I.S lackey?"
- —Mapes, when asked for help getting into the ATC network.
Norton Mapes is a geeky engineer employed by Armacham Technology Corporation. He is one of the few survivors following the attack by Replica forces on the Armacham Technology Corporation Headquarters. Mapes is voiced by Greg Baldwin in F.E.A.R First Encounter Assault Recon. His voice actor in F.E.A.R. Extraction Point is unknown.
When the Point Man first encounters him upon infiltrating ATC headquarters, he can witness Norton Mapes moving unusually fast towards a room and closes the door after entering. However, the door is locked, preventing the Point man from opening it.
After moving deeper into the offices and dispatching some Replica Assassins, Mapes falls out of the ceiling. He requests assistance in disabling Armacham Technology Corporation's security system in exchange for his help in resetting the network server hub, despite Mapes warning Rodney Betters that the security feed is on a different network from the security system. Not too far from that position is his office, which is littered with soda cans and Cheezee Pooz bags.
However, shortly after the system is disabled, Mapes reneges on his promise and as seen in a security camera, he waves his butt as a taunt to the Point Man before leaving. Later, it is learned that he is wanted alive and unharmed by the Replica forces (as he may knowledge on the location of the Vault), and they comment he can't be far away, as the elevators in the area are inoperable. Humorously, he is encountered again by trying to "hide" under a small cactus, and Mapes asks for the Point Man's help again. Predictably, when the Point Man trys to rendezvous with Mapes, he is already in an elevator, flipping him off and saying "Sayonara sucker" as the doors close.
It then becomes clear that Mapes is actively trying to sabotage and impede the Point Man's progress, primarily by unleashing the building's defense turrets and probably turning on the fire alarm when Aldus Bishop is being rescued. At some point in the game, he is observed in an escape attempt by trying to crawl into a ventilation shaft, though he is too obese to fit through the opening. If the Point Man tries to intercept him, he will notice that the door to the room is damaged, and somehow, Mapes has disappeared.
For unknown reasons, Mapes is extremely loyal to Genevieve Aristide. Near the end of F.E.A.R., at Genevieve's behest, he is seen attempting to destroy all classified information regarding Armacham Technology Corporation's activities with the Perseus and Origin projects in the Origin Facility. Harlan Wade is seen on a screen inside the Vault complex, asking Mapes what he hopes to accomplish by getting rid of all the evidence. He also says that Genevieve "dug her own grave," but that Mapes doesn't have to be "a fucking lapdog and jump in after her." He even tries to wipe out the Origin Facility entirely under orders from Genevieve, but is stopped short by Harlan, who shoots him just as he is about to enter the Vault. Fearful that Harlan will release the powerful psionic Alma, Mapes finally decides to help the Point Man by telling him how to get into the Vault and destroy it.
The Point Man learns through a voice mail that Alice Wade was about to submit a sexual harassment report against Mapes. Apparently, he was using too much sexual innuendo around her; Mapes was warned by Iain Hives about this, noting that they were working on a top-secret project and a sexual harassment case would bring it too much outside attention. It is likely because of this that Harlan Wade abhors him and shoots Mapes with no regret.
Because Mapes was shot in the stomach and left unable to move, and was inside the Origin Facility just moments before it exploded, it can be assumed that he did not survive the events of the first game. Like Harlan Wade, it's not known how he evaded the Replica Forces for so long, though it is hinted he uses unconventional means of escape, and is protected by ATC's security guards.
Mapes reappears in F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, in which he is hiding from Replica forces in the subway system by staying out of sight in a news stand. His Hawaiian T-shirt still has the bloodstain from where Harlan Wade shot him in the stomach. It is unknown how Mapes was able to escape the Origin Facility, but he claims that the F.E.A.R. Point Man owes him a debt, probably referring to him telling the Point Man how to destroy the Origin Facility. Mapes opens a locked door for the Point Man, demanding that the Point Man take him along to escape the city, but is quickly scared off by flickering lights and a ghostly howl, fleeing back into the news stand and locking himself in.
It is suggested that Mapes is also at Auburn Hospital, as the Point Man encounters a patient room filled with empty Cheezee Pooz bags.
Although it is unclear how Mapes managed to survive the destruction of the Origin Facility, he does not demonstrate the ghostly characteristics shown by Spencer Jankowski's or Bill Moody's phantoms (such as vanishing in plain sight or appearing only during hallucinations), and, thus, there is no evidence to suggest that he is a ghost. Moreover, he is seen opening doors, which phantoms cannot do.
Mapes also appears in a few Easter Eggs in Auburn Hospital:
In Malignancy, if the Point Man shoots several times at the air vent above the painting of the waterfall in room 56B, the wall in the room will open up, leading to a secret area with Mapes doing a bizarre dance in front of a weird picture. The Point Man can then shoot Mapes to kill him.
In Dark Heart, after Alma Wade's two halves reunite, a secret room can be found in the storage room by entering the vent system above a stack of white crates, then smashing the spinning fan inside to get past. Norton Mapes's ragdoll body will be dancing in a multicolored room with the theme music from Shogo: Mobile Armor Division playing in the background.
At the beginning of the game, Michael Becket can find a message from Mapes that was sent to Genevieve Aristide while he was in the Vault. He believes that Harlan Wade is planning to release Alma, and will implement "Plan B" as she requested.
- Although Mapes never actually physically harms the Point Man, he does make several clear attempts to kill him via ATC's security measures and assets.
- Mapes is the only known obese character in the entire series.
- When cornered by an angry Harlan Wade near the end of the game, Norton Mapes states "Look, I'm just doin' my job!" This could indicate that his actions are committed out of loyalty to ATC. It could also mean that he sees quelling the threat posed by Alma as something that must be done.
- Mapes uses ventilation ducts to avoid the Point Man and Replica forces often, although in one occasion he is stuck while doing so.
- He seems dismissive of ATC Security Guards, at one point sarcastically referring to one of them as a "minimum-wage commando."
- Norton's exasperation at his ATC escort's inability to kill the Point Man mirrors Colonel Vanek's reaction to Sergeant Becket's survival in F.E.A.R. 2.
- Despite repeatedly being present in risky situations, Mapes never carries a firearm, perhaps because he isn't trained to use one.
- Norton Mapes has a complex role in the game. He starts as an antagonist, under orders to keep F.E.A.R. from learning the truth. He uses the Point Man to accomplish parts of his mission, tries to stop the F.E.A.R operative numerous times with whatever assets are available, and destroys evidence of ATC's guilt. However, near the end of the game, Mapes redeems himself by disobeying ATC's orders, helping the Point Man enter the Vault and destroy the Origin Facility.
- Norton's motives for helping the Point Man are a bit unclear. He was ordered by ATC President Aristide to destroy the Origin Facility, so it's possible that he used the Point Man to accomplish that mission. However, he expresses a great fear of Alma, and begs the Point Man to prevent her release, so it can be assumed that Mapes assists the F.E.A.R. Operative because he is his only hope of stopping Alma.
- Genevieve Aristide states in the ATC Field Guide that assisting the Point Man could result in penalties for Mapes if he is found alive. This is odd, considering that the Point Man ended up destroying the facility, as she'd intended.
- The ultimate fate of Norton Mapes remains unclear. It is possible, however unlikely, that he may have survived.
- He is seen alive in Vivendi timeline, however, in the Monolith timeline, which is considered officially canon, he is last seen while the Point Man entered the vault. Considering that he suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was unable to move, it is possible he was killed with the explosion of the Origin Facility in the Monolith timeline.