Agent Michael Thorton is the playable character in the game Alpha Protocol. He plays a major role in the world crisis following the crash of a commercial airliner. While he is inexperienced in the field, Thorton shows promising skill. When Thorton finds himself cut off from his contacts, he must rely on every weapon in his arsenal in order to keep the peace.
Thorton can actually be customized to the player's liking to a certain degree. His default appearance without any customization is shown in the profile box to the right.
Notable Quotes Edit
- "If you're caught-" (Mina Tang)
"I know. Execution, imprisonment, possibly another lecture from Westridge."
- "You ever been a pushy woman in the heart of Saudi Arabia?" (Scarlet Lake)
"Once. Lost a bet."
- "We're done here. You can fuck off now."
- — Michael Thorton talking to Conrad Marburg in their first meeting
Classes determine Michael Thorton's pre-service history. The player's choice determines Thorton's history, previous training, and reason for recruitment. These are chosen from one of six different backgrounds: Soldier, Tech Specialist, Field Agent, Freelancer, Recruit, and Veteran. Each character background is described in background and specialties in both the game manual and the game's selection menu. An in-game email can found on a laptop in the Greybox just outside the three orientation test rooms, sent by Yancy Westridge to Alpha Protocol employees, also describes Michael's experience and previous career accomplishments. The class chosen gives Michael Thorton a backstory as well as some interactions or dialogues unique to certain backgrounds.
A decorated member of an elite Special Operations Force, your prowess with weaponary is unmatched. As a Soldier you understand that not all negotiations need to be said with words. You excel at using firearms, and can also take quite a beating, but stealthy infiltrations have never been you strength.
Decorated for services in the armed forces, your commanding officer felt that general infantry was a waste of your potential. You're natural language talent and quick wit caught the attention of a recruiter for an agency that doesn't officially exist.
"Mike comes to us by way of the armed forces. His CO recommended that he be taken out of the desert since he's, quote, 'too smart for catching bullets in Baghdad.' He's a college graduate, speaks five languages, and he's been awarded 3 Purple Hearts, yet scored higher on the physical exam than any of you layabouts."
An intelligence specialist, you know your way around a pistol and you excel in both stealth and infiltration. Charismatic and quick witted, you can be the life of the party one moment, and then vanish into the shadows the next. As a Field Agent, you use stealth to extract information in generally non-lethal ways.
No stranger to covert operations, you've spent the last several years working for the US State Department on overseas assignments. Capable of being a charismatic presence one moment, and an inconspicious shadow the next, you're always the agent on location, never the one hiding behind a desk.
"Thorton's a former CIA operative. We're glad to have him leave the waterboarding desk jockeys and start running with the folks who really protect the free world. Mike's speciality is old fashioned field-work - eavesdropping, breaking and entering, burglary - the classic stuff we can't report to the tax payers. He's something of a brainiac - fluent in Farsi, Arabic, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese."
With a PhD and mastery over computers and electronics, your skills center on sabotage and technical aptitude. Cripple an enemy's fortress nothing more than a computer terminal or hack into security systems and create clearance for yourself to reach your objectives.
Having made a mockery of every aptitude test sent your way, it was no surprise that you finished your first PhD before you were legally allowed to buy alcohol. While the CIA initially hired you to design cutting edged electronics, being cloistered in a lab proved unsatisfactory and your superiors granted you a transfer to clandestine services. When your handler was asked to recommend an agent for a top secret reassignment, your remarkable field work and your natural grasp of technology made you the obvious choice.
"Mr. Thorton is most recently from DoJ's National Security Division. He has dual Ph.D's in Linguistics and Computer Science, speaks nearly a dozen languages, and is generally considered too intelligent for civil service. The director at the DoJ recommended him for transfer on account of his physical aptitude and the fact that he was bored out of his mind hiding behind a desk all day. He made a mockery of all our pre-screening exams, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll add to our team."
An independent contractor who has always chosen his own way.
Fearless from birth, the only thought that ever gave you an ounce of panic was the thought of a 9-to-5 job. After a remarkable college career, you vanished off the radar of the known world to make your fortune. According to your dossier, you've been a mercenary in Africa, a bodyguard to the Sultan of Brunei, the on-again off-again paramour of a European princess, and the holder of three patents in Great Britian. While the truth is somewhere in the middle, one thing is clear: your skills caught the attention of some very important people in the espionage world.
"Mike's joining the agency after several years of being a 'contractor' for the US government. Which is a polite way of saying, he's been all over the world working on missions the US can't publicly acknowledge. I think he'll fit right at home with us."
There are also two special agent histories/classes available for selection. The recruit history is available from the beginning and results in Michael starting off with no skill points available for allocation. Completing the game on any difficulty playing as the recruit will unlock the veteran background/class. The veteran class gives Michael more points to allocate into each skill.
Though you've barely logged three months working for the Department of Justice, your ambition, drive and aptitude caught the eye of a clandestine government agency. Your path will be difficult-with little experience or formal training, you'll have to rely on your wits while you learn your lessons in the field.
"We're taking a bit of a chance on Thorton, he's pretty much a raw recruit in the CIA - only six months of field work to his name, We'd normally expect more field experience from an applicant, but his intelligence and aptitude are off the charts. He's a natural marksman, learned conversational Farsi after only eight days on assignment in Iran, and (according to his handler) broke a terrorist cipher in his spare time. Needless to say, the kid's talents are going to waste at the CIA."
You are the Leonardo da Vinci of clandestine warfare: a gifted marksman, a master of stealth, and a tech savvy engineer rolled into one. Alpha Protocol didn't go looking for you, you went looking for them. Having saved the world once, why not save it again?
"Mike is no stranger to our line of work - he's a veteran member of an off-the-books organization similar to our own. He actually found out about our organization and contacted me directly to come aboard. You know my policy - no one around here gets special treatment (except for me, since I'm your king) but don't forget that he's seen and done more than anyone on this team."
Specialization determines what kind of agent Michael will be, what skills he will focus on, and how he will operate in the field. Specialization allows the player to advance the selected skills past the maximum level of ten to fifteen.
Good spies are stuff of literature, but great spies don't let themselves become the subject of folklore. A Spy specializes in evasion and killing from the shadows.
Knowledge is power - especially when it's knowledge of explosive compounds and sophisticated electronics. An Engineer specializes in devices of high impact and low subtlety.
Few things are as dependable and solution-oriented as violence. Commandos train for situations where they're outnumbered and outgunned - specializing in automatic weapons and physical conditioning.
The dangerous and morally suspect world of espionage weeds out the rigidly minded. Most agents find their own way through life and specialize in an unorthodox variety of skills.
- If playing as a Tech Specialist, Michael will advise Mina Tang on how to handle Brayko's security.
- If playing as a Tech Specialist, Michael will say that he reads and rewrites tech user manuals.
- If playing as a Soldier, Michael will have a special dialogue option with the Moscow US Embassy guard marked "Soldier" to convince him to allow Michael entry.
- No matter what background is chosen, Michael is always described as an intelligent operative with skills to offer.
- Steven Heck claims to have found Michael's full name in one of his emails, stating that it is "Michael F. Thorton."
| Greybox Michael Thorton, Yancy Westridge, Mina Tang, Sean Darcy, Alan Parker, Henry Leland|
|Greybox Factions Alpha Protocol, U.S. Military Alpha Protocol, Halbech Corporation|
|Saudi Arabia Omar Nasri, Ali Shaheed, Scarlet Lake|
|Saudi Arabia Factions Al-Samad|
|Rome Jibril Al-Bara, Gelateria Nico Proprietor, Conrad Marburg, Madison Saint James|
|Rome Factions CIA, Deus Vult|
|Moscow Grigori Pazinhov, Sis, SIE, Albatross, Sergei Surkov, Championchik, Konstantin Brayko|
|Moscow Factions Russian Mafia, G22, VCI, Surkov's Guards|
|Taipei Steven Heck, Hong Shi, Omen Deng, Ronald Sung|
|Taipei Factions NSB, White Oak Mountain Triad, Chinese Secret Police|