No biggie. We can always tweak the rules a bit...
Higgs Monaghan, also known as the "Man in the Golden Mask", was a porter and a close associate of Fragile Express, until he met and was seduced by Amelie. Higgs acted as the figurehead of the militant separatist group known as the Homo Demens to maintain the independence of Edge Knot City on Amelie's behest.
Story[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Higgs was raised by his uncle early in his life after both of his parents died. He grew up thinking the shelter was the entire world, and his uncle would beat him whenever he asked about the outside world or tried to leave the shelter. Higgs would eventually kill his uncle in self-defense with a knife and witness the body going necro. Higgs took the corpse out and felt the Beached Things slowly approaching, unknowingly gaining his DOOMS in the process. In time, he would find out that his powers were triggered by death.
Higgs became a porter, being the only job he could do to survive. One time, he delivered medicine to a prepper living close to him only to find that he had died. It was too late to take the body to an incinerator. Instead, he took it to BT territory, where he started feeling the BTs reacting to the corpse and began having visions of the Beach, leaving Higgs to wonder if he had DOOMS.
With time, Higgs came to enjoy helping people, being an essential part of a community, defying his dad's teachings about caring only about oneself. However, when he was unable to help one of his porter partners that was calling for help lost in the mountains, Higgs began to question his powers to detect BTs, feeling them dwindle. Also at this time, Higgs began reading a book called Wisdom of the Egyptians, about how the ancient Egyptians' concepts of life and death seemed to predict the changes brought on by the Death Stranding. Borrowing from the old pharaohs' wisdom, he began to wear a golden death mask, "but one for living—for ruling".
Leading his own crew of porters, Higgs decided to join up with Fragile Express, attracted by their leader Fragile, who also had DOOMS powers. Together they planned to consolidate their operations through out the whole continent, like the UCA planed. Higgs thought he was the only one suited for leading the people.
Higgs eventually met Amelie, and he was seduced by her powers. Believing her to be the only one capable of uniting America, he became her herald. Amelie gave him a fake Bridge baby that would serve him to enter Amelie's beach and detect BTs, and then taught him part of the truth of the Death Stranding. Seeing that the end was inevitable, Higgs shared her goal of bringing about the Last Stranding earlier than intended. At the end of the first expedition, Higgs used his new powers granted by Amelie to create the tar belt to isolate Edge Knot City, giving Amelie an excuse not to return to the Bridges HQ.
Growing impatient of waiting for Amelie's plan to come to fruition, Higgs unified and became the leader of the Homo Demens, terrorists, most of them infected with Chiralium contamination, seeking the destruction of the UCA. Higgs introduced many of his Homo Demens to the Fragile Express, and began trafficking arms and bombs to the whole middle region of the country. They even got a hold of thermonuclear bombs. Higgs tricked Fragile into delivering the nuke to Middle Knot City, which was completely obliterated, though Fragile managed to survive by using her Beach.
After numerous terrorist attacks, Higgs then tried to do the same with South Knot City, but Fragile stopped the nuke midway. Higgs anticipated her knowing about his plan, and caught her with the nuke in her hands. He then gave Fragile the choice to either use her Beach and escape, leaving South Knot City to be destroyed, or running naked through Timefall to take the nuke to the Crater Lake, where it wouldn't affect anyone. Fragile managed to get the nuke to the Crater Lake in time.
Concerned by Amelie's obsession with her adoptive brother Sam, who was supposed to lead the second expedition to unite America, Higgs decided to confront Sam and his Bridges companions, causing a voidout that blew out the entirety of Central Knot City and the second expedition, minus Sam, who was a repatriate.
At this point, Higgs learns the truth of the Death Stranding. Amelie confesses to being an Extinction Entity, rather than a DOOMS sufferer. While confronting Sam in Port Knot City, Higgs reveals to him his understanding of the truth of the Death Stranding and hints at Amelie being an Extinction Entity, then he uses his powers to summon a BT that would defeat Sam and cause another voidout that would destroy the city. However, Sam manages to defeat the BT.
Later on, Higgs, disguised as a Bridges operative, tries to trick Sam into delivering a nuke to South Knot City, though Sam realizes his plan midway and Fragile helps him to dispose of the nuke once again in the Crater Lake. Despite being part of Amelie's plan, he questions her commitment to the Last Stranding, and is left to wonder the meaning of events like the supercells by himself.
With Sam nearing the tar belt, Higgs visits Amelie's beach and takes her quipu, possibly so that she can't communicate with Sam through their dreams. After leaving Mama's Lab, Higgs appears once again before Sam and manifests a large, four-legged BT, issuing the deliveryman a challenge: avoid being eaten.
Higgs and Sam have their final confrontation on the beach. After Sam defeats Higgs, Fragile gives Higgs the choice of suicide or being stranded on the beach.
Whilst in Fragile's captivity Higgs confessed that Amelie was one who gave Higgs his powers and that she was the true leader of Homo Demens, and that the terrorist unit always served under her not him.
Higgs later wrote about his defeat in his journal, before writing about his childhood.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Highly meticulous and malicious, Higgs has no qualms nor moral boundaries when orchestrating ruthless acts of slaughter and gleefully participates out of fun and personal enjoyment. Holding an aura of unshakable confidence, charisma, and sarcasm, he rarely loses his cool and consistently maintains a composed and collected personality. He has no hesitation when engineering voidouts killing thousands to instill fear in the cities guided and united under the UCA Alliance, and to facilitate the extinction of humanity.
Higgs has a layer of dark humor when confronting Sam and Fragile as well as overall. Musing about death and destruction of the last POTUS, and noting that Amelie wasn't cut out for a similar role. Having no restraint over his men and sees them as infallible and loyal. Highly egotistical and arrogant, Higgs views himself as greater than humanity, yet also has accepted the inevitability of the sixth extinction event. In his dealings with other humans, especially Sam Bridges, he uses his chiralium control as demonstrations of his superior nature.
Higgs has also been shown to have a bit of a perverted side and makes no attempts to hide it nor is he above using it to intimidate his enemies. In particular, he is shown to be attracted to Fragile, licking her face and forcing her to strip down to her underwear before having her run out into the rain. It should also be noted that in an encounter with Sam, in which he removes his mask for the first time, he does much the same. Whether this insinuates a similar attraction towards Sam or if licking his enemies is just a weird intimidation tactic is left unclear. Later, after beating Sam in a gunfight, as he's carrying off Amelie he noticeably gropes her butt likely as a way to further taunt Sam.
Despite his violent behavior, Higgs demonstrates a very high intellect and understanding of various concepts prior to Sam and Fragile. Higgs displays his worst traits through an affable exterior that hides his more evil intentions. He once believed in the preservation of the UCA and actively supported their cause.
Due to him meeting Amelie, he finds out the truth about everything and becomes a hyper-fatalist hellbent on bringing about a mass extinction of humanity, the Sixth Extinction. He implores Sam to realize his apparent inevitable destruction. His philosophy is heavily influenced by his realization of extinction entities and their purpose. As noted above, he accepts this fate without pause, and even manipulates Sam into helping the acceleration of the 6th Extinction Event.
Physical description[edit | edit source]
Higgs wears a black gas mask that covers the entirety of his head. Over that, he wears a golden skeleton mask that covers the lower portion of his face as well as a black hooded cloak pulled up onto his head. As for his torso, he wears a black bullet proof vest on top of a dim greenish-yellow suit. Attached to his front is his BB as well as 3 smoke grenades. Higgs has a flower-shaped odradek attached to his back. His forearms have long black gloves covering them along with his hands having gold gloves. He also wears black boots and dark colored pants held up by a black belt with many pockets on it. He keeps Amelie's necklace on him as well.
At the end of chapter 3 he also dresses as a Bridges employee, complete with a bridges Hat, headphones, gloves, and uniform.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
With his golden mask, Higgs is able to summon Hunter BTs in the form of chiralium, and subsequently a Catcher BT to attack Sam. Furthermore, he is shown to be able to control the weather in the form of timefalls; Higgs points his hand upwards to the sky in the shape of a gun, and fires off a blast into the clouds, triggering the timefall almost immediately afterwards.
Highly Advanced Chiralium Control: Higgs has the greatest control of Chiralium of any individual within the entirety of the storyline save Amelie herself, who granted him the ability. There is no apparent limit to his power, and he can subsequently create any object he desires out of Chiralium, as well as amplify his weaponry and attacks. Creating monstrous beasts and a variety of specialized creatures each with their own design and capabilities to attack Sam, he displays total control over any and all forms of BTs, wielding them with absolute ease while maintaining perfect and total control over said BTs.
Tar Manipulation: Tar is a viscous black liquid that manifests along with aggressive BTs, Higgs has shown the ability to create tar from apparently no where and creating tar-like strings.
Weather Manipulation: Due to the complexity and capabilities that Higgs has bestowed upon him by Amelie, he is shown to create Timefall whenever and wherever he pleases. He also chooses and can freely manipulate what will and what won't be affected, as well as the intensity of the rain and time to take effect. Due to his mastery, he is unaffected by the effects of Timefall and may wear armor solely to stay connected to his BB.
Telekinesis: Higgs was able to levitate displaying an ability for telekinetic flight, as well as telekinetically lift several boulders while standing on one of them, pull Fragile's umbrella out of her hand from a distance, and telekinetically lift move Amelie.
Clairvoyance Senses: Higgs has demonstrated limited clairvoyance, since only "smelling" directly to Sam could tell that Bridget was dead and that Amelie would take over as President. However, it isn't know know if it's really is a power of Higgs, or he already knew this information cause of being controlled by Amelie.
Precognition: Wrote about his defeat and loss of power in his journal and a mail he sent to Sam before it happened. While he appeared spiteful and self-deprecating in the journal, he was resigned in the mail indicating he accepted what is going to happen.
Teleportation: Higgs has the ability to teleport anywhere he wants as many times he wants to. This may be due to his direct connection to Amelie and her beach.
Nigh Immortality: It is heavily implied by Higgs that he may be a repatriate like Sam, when he says that if either of them die on the beach, they won't be able to go back. That it'll be the end for one of them.
Episode Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Prologue: Porter
- Episode 2: Amelie
- Episode 3: Fragile
- Episode 5: Mama
- Episode 8: Heartman
- Episode 9: Higgs
Notes[edit | edit source]
In-universe[edit | edit source]
- Higgs carries a portable tank with a fetus-shaped figure inside. Rather than emitting an orange-yellow glow when activated, as the bridge baby's pod does, his portable pod emits a red one. The bottom casing of Higgs' pod is also green, rather than orange like the bridge baby's.
- Underneath his golden mask, Higgs wears another black mask.
- Both he and Sam began as porters. Higgs' successes and admiration from the communities inflated his ego but made him susceptible to a fall to madness after he met Amelie. Sam managed to remain humble and remember the purpose of helping connect others and chose to carry on living even after learning of Amelie's true nature.
- He mails Sam under the pseudonym Peter Englert. Each mail is about delivering a pizza, claiming to be Sam's greatest fan, and pleasing a (non-existent) relative.
- Based on the stacks of pizza boxes and scrawlings of "Hot Pizza Forever! Cold pizza is for the dogs!" in his hideout, Higgs seems to have strong opinions on pizza.
- Right before his final battle against Sam, we can see Higgs kneeling in front of Amelie, showing respect to the Extinction Entity. When Sam sees this Higgs quickly attacks her to cover up the situation.
Out-of-universe[edit | edit source]
- Higgs first appeared in the TGA 2017 teaser trailer, pointing out to Sam and the Corpse Disposal Team 6 operatives the presence of BTs. He again appeared in a short TGS 2018 trailer. His name was officially revealed in the 2019 release date reveal trailer.
- Both Troy Baker and Satoshi Mikami previously voiced Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain; however, according to Kojima, their voicing the same character again was merely a coincidence.
- Higgs is fully modeled after the likeness of Troy Baker, whose credited roles rarely have him portraying characters with his likeness.
- Higgs shares his name with one of the equations of Sam's necklace, namely the Higgs field equation.
- "The Particle of God" is a nickname often given to the Higgs boson in popular media outside the scientific community.
- The final mail message from Peter Englert, signed "I have the honor to be your obedient servant," references a song from the play Hamilton, in which the titular character's foil, Aaron Burr, begins a chain of antagonistic letters with falsely polite final lines, precipitating their final duel.
- One of his diary entries paraphrases a section from Act 5, Scene 5 of Macbeth.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Characters and groups in Death Stranding
|Bridges||Sam • Die-Hardman • Deadman • Mama • Heartman • Lou • Igor Frank • Nick Easton • George Baton • Benjamin Hancock • Jake Wind • Viktor Frank • William Lake • Thomas Southerland • Owen Southwick • Alex Weatherstone • Charles Khan • Phillip North • Aaron Hill|
|Homo Demens||Higgs Monaghan|
|United Cities of America||Amelie • Bridget Strand|
|Preppers||Chiral Artist's Mother • Collector • Cosplayer • Craftsman • Doctor • Elder • Engineer • Evo-devo Biologist • Film Director • First Prepper • Geologist • Junk Dealer • Ludens Fan • Mountaineer • Musician • Novelist's Son • Paleontologist • Peter Englert • Photographer • Roboticist • Spiritualist • Timefall Farmers • Veteran Porter • Wandering MC|
|Other characters||Cliff Unger • Lockne • Lucy Strand • Lisa Bridges • Bridge babies • MULEs • Stillmothers|
|Entities||Beached things • Extinction entity|
|Manufacturers||Cicada • Solstice • StrandWolf • WellMax|