- "They deserve to die. They all deserve to die."
- —Paxton Fettel speaking about those who experimented on Alma.
Paxton Fettel is the main antagonist of F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon and plays a key role in both the Monolith and Vivendi Timelines, as well as appearing as a deuteragonist in F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn. He returns in F.E.A.R. 3, this time as a protagonist and as a playable character working alongside the Point Man. He is voiced by Peter Lurie.
Paxton Fettel was born sometime in late 1995 or early 1996 to a powerful psionic named Alma Wade when she was 16 years old as part of a secretive experiment known as Project Origin. Fettel's unnatural powers were noticed immediately by the staff at Armacham Technology Corporation, the corporation running the experiment, and he was put on the fast track to become a psychic commander. By the age of 6, Fettel's Paragon scores, while not as strong as Alma's, outstripped all other Paragon subjects. Because of Fettel's success, Armacham ceased using Alma as a breeder, though they kept her alive, in case something should happen to Fettel.
When Fettel was still young, Alma began reaching out to him, slowly gaining his sympathy and confidence. At the age of 10, Fettel synchronized with Alma in a Synchronicity Event by merging with her consciousness. As a result of this, he turned violent. Seven Origin staffers were killed when Fettel went rogue, due to his enhanced strength and mental acumen. This was ended when Armacham contained Fettel and killed Alma by removing her life support, leaving her to die trapped in the Origin Facility. The death of Alma caused Fettel to revert to a more normal personality, and he claimed to not remember his actions during the Synchronicity Event.
At the age of 14, Fettel was permanently assigned to Project Perseus, an Armacham experiment designed to synchronize cloned soldiers with a single psychic commander. However, it was another 8 years before the first Replica Forces came online. By the age of 24, a successful link was made between Fettel and the Replica Forces. At some point, Fettel began dreaming of killing and cannibalizing people, though Armacham could find no evidence that these dreams were linked to Alma.
In 2025, a second Synchronicity Event occurred, due to Alma being awakened by the reopening of the Origin Facility. Fettel suffered a complete psychotic break and turned homicidal.
F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon
- "A war is coming, I've seen it in my dreams. Fires sweeping over the Earth, bodies in the streets, cities turned to dust... retaliation."
- —Paxton Fettel, speaking of Alma's revenge.
Paxton Fettel is the main antagonist of F.E.A.R., having gone rogue after synchronizing with Alma for a second time. He commands an entire battalion of highly-trained, heavily-armed cloned supersoldiers, as well as other Replica Forces that take orders directly from him telepathically. However, they are able to act fairly independently within the confines of Fettel's mind control, relying on military jargon to communicate amongst themselves. Fettel is first seen kneeling in a cell at the Perseus Compound, before being released by the mysterious Alma Wade. Early in F.E.A.R., it is learned that Alma fused minds with Fettel in a Synchronicity Event, showing him the "pains" that Armacham Technology Corporation caused her and who was directly responsible for them. He keeps muttering that "they" deserve to die, "they" later being revealed to be everyone directly involved in Project Origin. He often appears to the F.E.A.R. Point Man for brief moments of time before dissolving into ash.
It is revealed near the end of the game that Alma is his mother, as well as the Point Man being his brother. It is also revealed that leading his battalion of Replica Forces into rebellion during F.E.A.R. was an effort to locate the facility where Alma's body was being stored, free her and get revenge on Armacham Technology Corporation. Fettel tracks down and cannibalizes specific ATC employees, culminating in the death of his aunt, Alice Wade. He is killed by the Point Man with a gunshot at point-blank range near the end of F.E.A.R., shutting down the Replica forces in the process. His physical body is then destroyed when the Point Man blows up the Origin Facility minutes later.
Paxton Fettel does not appear in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, however, a painting of his death can be seen in a classroom in Wade Elementary School. He is also mentioned in an intel report stating that Michael Becket's psychic powers may surpass those of Fettel's with the proper training. He also spoke in the opening of the games demo.
F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn
- "I am... reborn."
- —Paxton Fettel takes over a new body.
In the F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn trailer and demo, Paxton Fettel is seen kneeling in his room in the Perseus Compound. Whether the Perseus Compound seen is physical or a hallucination is unknown. Fettel refers to the war he mentioned in F.E.A.R., and says that all he has now are dreams of "her." Fettel now refers to a Replica Soldier, Foxtrot 813, as being the key to his rebirth. He plays a deuteragonististic role rather than an antagonistic one, as he realizes that Alma does not care about him and merely used him to set herself free. Foxtrot 813 goes into a hallucination at a Replica command post and then gains the ability of Slow-Mo. Fettel "commands" 813 into set him free in which in order to stop Alma. After he goes rogue, 813 goes to ground zero to release Fettel from his cell, and it is revealed that 813's face is almost identical to Fettel's. Fettel then dissolves and takes over the mind of 813 and declares, "I am... reborn." He then starts his mission to find his brother, in order to witness the birth of Alma's third child and become a godlike entity.
- "Say hello to mother."
- —Paxton Fettel to his brother.
In F.E.A.R. 3, Paxton Fettel returns, this time as a playable character. Fettel works mostly alongside his older brother, the Point Man, wanting to "come together" and "witness the birth of a new member of the family," which the Point Man tries to stop. Due to this, the final moments are a battle between the Point Man and Fettel.Ironically, Fettel bears several similarities to his grandfather, Harlan Wade, whom he hates and fears. He is an elitist, seeing little value in the lives of those who aren't enhanced as his family is. He shows no remorse for any of his crimes and killings, and blames Harlan for making him a "monster." Both Fettel and Harlan want to bring together the family to be "gods among men" but unfortunately for Harlan, Fettel doesn't see him as part of the family. The only person that Fettel seems to care about at all is his brother, who he saves several times throughout the game, and who he regrets possessing in his ending.
- "I know, it doesn't make sense. Not much does anymore. You killed me. I didn't like that."
- —Paxton Fettel to his brother.
Fettel reappears in F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point after Alma revives him and reactivates his Replica Forces. He tells the Point Man, "I know, it doesn't make sense. Not much does anymore. You killed me. I didn't like that." He reappears throughout the game, usually alone, but sometimes with a squadron of Replica soldiers. At the end of Extraction Point, Fettel destroys the UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter that attempts to rescue the Point Man at Auburn Hospital's roof, and claims that the Point Man has only delayed their doom. He then reiterates his claim from F.E.A.R. that "a war is coming."explosion of the Origin Facility, communicating with the F.E.A.R. Sergeant on several occasions, as well as making threatening remarks to the Nightcrawlers. Finally, near the Clone Facility's vault, Fettel warns the Sergeant not to "interfere," and summons a few Nightmares in attempt to stop him. After the credits roll, a Nightcrawler Elite is seen approaching the mysterious Senator, bringing him a sample of Fettel's DNA.
Paxton displayed psychic and psionic abilities from the earliest stages of childhood. Like his brother, he inherited these abilities from his mother, Alma Wade, suggesting a genetic link as an explanation for Alma's psychic powers.
As a child, Fettel displayed the ability to destroy objects at the molecular level through telekinesis. This ability ranged from levitating a toy gun to causing grown mens' heads to violently explode. He would also telekinetically levitate, move and shake his bed during nightmares.
As an adult and after his death, Fettel's psionic abilities extended to the spiritual level, allowing his soul to return as a ghost and suggesting a spiritual connection for their powers. After being "reborn," Fettel's abilities as a ghost allowed him to walk through walls, possess the bodies of living humans and fire blasts of psychic energy from his hands. He gains access to his hosts' memories while possessing them. He could use his power of possession as an offensive ability, allowing him to "burn out" the bodies of his hosts by causing them to explode at the molecular level. He could only stay in a body for a limited time, as the body would eventually explode unless he could sustain it by collecting the souls of his victims.
His abilities of telekinesis also increased as a ghost, allowing him to suspend enemies in the air and create a "thunderclap" of energy powerful enough to kill whole groups of enemies. Like his brother, Fettel can establish psychic links with certain corpses.
- Main article: Paxton Fettel/Quotes
- In the original F.E.A.R. game, even if the Point Man shoots Fettel at any part of his body, no gunshot wound will appear on Fettel's body once the hallucination ends.
- The Point Man can alternatively kill Fettel with a melee attack. However, canonically the Point Man uses an AT-14 Pistol to shoot a bullet into Fettel's forehead.
- Fettel was originally one of two main villains in F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon, the other being Conrad Krieg. Conrad was removed from the final version of the game, and Fettel was given his outfit.
- ATC and F.E.A.R. used Hannibal-3 spy satellite to track Fettel's movement in the first game (as ATC implanted a tracker on him, mentioned by Rodney Betters), however this is proved to be ineffective because the satellite suffered from interferences throughout the game.
- In F.E.A.R. 3 cutscenes, no one but the Point Man ever acknowledges Fettel's presence, despite his running commentary and enemies attacking him in game mode.
- In some F.E.A.R. 3 trailers and the opening cinematic, Fettel's gunshot wound is seen to bleed, however, this does not happen in-game.
- In F.E.A.R 3, while playing as Fettel, players can only see the souls of fallen enemies if Fettel is possessing a host. Once the host dies, the souls disappear.
- In F.E.A.R. 3's opening cinematic, Fettel is seen walking through a wall to get inside the Point Man's cell, however, the player cannot walk through walls in-game.
- Although Fettel is a ghost, and was seen to be immune to gunfire and a grenade explosions in the live-action trailers for F.E.A.R. 3, he can be critically injured and killed in-game, despite being already dead.
- Fettel has a combat knife like the Point Man but he never uses it. Instead, he relies on psionic-type melee attacks.
- The Hammer was Fettel's sidearm originally, though he "lost" it when he was killed by his brother. The pistol is included in F.E.A.R. 3 as a pre-order bonus for the multiplayer modes.
- In F.E.A.R. 3, Fettel can possess Phase Casters or Commanders, but is unable to use their phasing powers, as there is a defense protocol designed to ward off the full effect of possession.
- In F.E.A.R. 3, if Fettel fires twelve stun blasts in quick succession, he will clench his hands in what appears to be pain and black mist will emanate from them. This is only visible to the player using Fettel, not to the other player using Point Man if in co-op mode.
- In F.E.A.R. 3, in solo mode, Fettel's running animation is completely different than the one seen by the player using Point Man in co-op mode.
- He is one of the only characters in the series to never curse.
- In F.E.A.R. 3, in co-op mode, if Fettel possesses an enemy, the player using Point Man will see the possessed enemy wreathed in red "smoke," such as Fettel is enveloped in when not possessing enemies. However, when possessing enemies in solo mode, the player's arms are not wreathed in said aura. This may have been implemented to prevent the player using Point Man from accidentally shooting Fettel in the heat of combat.
- Even when playing solo as Point Man, the player can see the red aura while Fettel possessed Becket. The aura disappeared after Becket resisted the possession.
- Main article: Paxton Fettel/Gallery