"Bracket. I know the name but not the man. Heard he got out of town a while back." -- Unknown
Royce Bracket is a character in Transistor. He is a member of The Camerata along with Asher Kendrell, Grant Kendrell, and Sybil Reisz. He is the "architect" of the group, responsible for the study and control of the Process through the Transistor, an artifact that he himself discovered.
Royce is voiced by Sunkrish Bala, an actor whose on-screen work includes AMC's The Walking Dead and Notes From The Underbelly.
Once there was a great engineer. Arithmetic was his medium and a city was his canvas. He planned the roads, buildings, and byways. His work could not be more precise. Like everyone in Cloudbank, he served at the pleasure of the city's people. The city changed quickly and often, reconfiguring to best suit the contemporary sensibility. Thus the engineer's work was ephemeral. He loved his craft, but could not let himself become attached to the product of his effort.
Because the engineer's work was never done, it stayed fresh. With new whims came new challenges. Bridges. Gardens. Towers. Ports. None of it lasted very long. The nature of his work led him to notice certain patterns over time. The will of the people changed in cycles. Bridges would come down in favor of railways. Railways would give way to parks. New bridges would then be build upon the parks, and so on. Recognizing this, the engineer started fashioning avant garde structures and designs he believed would persist beyond the immediate urges of the population. Yet, these ideas proved much less popular, and before much longer he became obscure, and left his job to pursue personal interests on his own. It was then that he discovered a formula visualizing exactly how the structures of Cloudbank formed.
He studied this formula closely for it filled him with a deep sense of wonder and even deeper sense of dread. He developed predictive algorithms to determine where and when the visualization would take form, and began drawing it out with his own architectural plans, until one day he found it in its natural state. He saw beyond the confines of the city into something more, and there before him was something extraordinary. He took it, and realized the things he saw now stood at his call.
The encounter with Royce that takes place beyond the "cradle" is the game's final boss fight.
Once Royce finishes his opening dialogue ("Who gets to go first? ... How about ... me.") he immediately starts a Turn of his own, establishing the rules of the fight. This first Turn is automatic; the player can do nothing to stop it.
Royce's Turn operates almost identically to Red's Turn - like her, he has a fixed amount of Turn time to use and must recharge after he finishes it. He has access to most of the Transistor's functions, but not all. He most frequently uses Breach, Bounce, Crash, and Flood. Notably, he does not appear to have Get or Cull at his command, which means that getting distance from him is a very good way to stay alive. Unfortunately this arena is relatively small, and Mask does not fool Royce, so speed might be preferable to defense.
Like Red, Royce's Transistor will overload when he takes too much damage, depriving him of one of its powers. This is the chief way to finish him off - kill him in the same way the Process can kill you. This makes the battle a damage race, essentially - do more damage than Royce does in the same amount of time, and you can win. To that end, Cull, Purge, Void, Flood, and possibly Get are all excellent choices. Tap will also be a great help in staying alive.
However, it is very likely that Royce will be able to deplete Red's health at least once, and you will lose at least one function. To this end, make sure that you have at least two (preferably three) different ways of damaging him, because a single repeated attack will not be enough.
- Apart from the Transistor itself, Royce has the most spoken dialogue in the game.
- Royce speaks in an unusually calm, detached manner, befitting of a scientist. His distant home in Fairview and his very short list of friends seems to indicate that he is socially unskilled. He is inclined to wordplay, stresses his own genius and infallibility, and shows no remorse for his actions or sense of responsibility for the fate of those living in Cloudbank. His quiet voice and awkward repetitions have been likened by some fans those of Jeff Goldblum, Andy Warhol, or Nicolas Cage.
- Despite being the one with the most knowledge of the Transistor, Royce admits that even he doesn't know what it is or what its true purpose might be. He did not invent it, claiming he either "found it on a lark" or it found him, while adding that lots of math was involved. He understands that Traces of people can be stored inside, but is unable to see or hear them, and describes the inside of the device as "like staring at the sky."
- As early as 08-21-66, Royce encouraged the other members of the Camerata to choose potential murder victims, posting a sample list of four "subjects of a certain status, whose utter disappearance could be explained away." Listing Niola Chein, Wave Tennegan, Maximilias Darzi, and Shomar Shasberg, he urged the other members to use their imaginations and "live a little" by committing their selections to writing in their secured channel.
- The soundtrack that plays when fighting against Royce is called Impossible. When the player first enters his secret lab, an alternate version of the track can be heard in the background, which has only a bass guitar. When it is Royce's Turn, the soundtrack replaces Red's humming with his bass guitar.
- Royce Bracket's Trace Bank is the rightmost unit on the top row, numbered 109. Unlike Red's, which is labeled "CURRENT_USER", Bracket's Trace Bank is marked only with his name, like the Transistor's other victims.