République Profile | Fred Cooper
Everybody loves Fred Cooper, Metamorphosis’s resident IT expert and Hope’s accomplice. We receive a lot of questions about his character background and behind-the-scenes development, and République writer Brendan Murphy answers the most frequently asked questions about Cooper.
Q: How did Cooper’s character grow over the course of development?
Murphy: Cooper evolved during the development of République. We knew from the start that he would be a sympathetic figure. Many Prizrak in Metamorphosis are just doing their jobs, but Cooper was picked on his entire life. He became a rebel because he couldn’t continue to abide the mistreatment he saw Hope and the other Pre-Cals experiencing.
Q: Why is his name spelled “Copper” in the Second Runner-Up plaque in his office?
Murphy: Cooper is the Rodney Dangerfield of Metamorphosis: he gets no respect. Even when receiving an award, he’s slighted.
Q: Derringer let Cooper keep contraband (posters, games, comics, etc.) in plain sight—do they have a gentleman’s agreement to let Cooper bend the rules?
Murphy: Derringer harasses Cooper for his contraband but is willing to make a few exceptions because he’s the only qualified IT person in Metamorphosis.
Q: At one point, Cooper lifts a copy of SWERY’s Dark Dreams Don’t Die comic from another Prizrak. Does Cooper have Hope’s pickpocket skills?
Murphy: Nobody can pickpocket like Hope. By the end of the game, she’s easily stolen her weight in pepper spray and batteries. Cooper is just obsessed with comic books. Also, the comic he steals from his fellow Prizrak is contraband, so he knows that Prizrak won’t raise a stink to Derringer or anyone else about it.
Q: Did the team plan Cooper’s disappearance at the end of Episode 3 ahead of time, or did the idea come up during that episode’s development?
Murphy: We planned Cooper’s disappearance, but it wasn’t from the very beginning. Sometime during the development of Episode 2, we knew we wanted Cooper to be an unintended victim of our attempts to help Hope escape. If we had it to do all over again, we would have focused more on righting that wrong by rescuing Cooper in a later episode. During development, though, we ran too short on time and money to pursue this idea.
Q: Where did Derringer take Cooper at the end of Episode 3? How did Cooper escape?
Murphy: Derringer takes Cooper to a prison cell to await a horrible fate, and that’s all I can say for now…
Q: Cooper is conspicuously absent from the final scene on Metamorphosis’s deck. Where did he go when Hope jumped overboard?
Murphy: Ryan won’t let me answer this question.
Q: Most residents of Metamorphosis have a checkered past, but Cooper seems innocent. Is he as straight-laced as he seems?
Murphy: In regular society, yes, Cooper would be considered straight-laced and morally upstanding. In Metamorphosis, though, the gravest crime is disloyalty to the Overseer. When Cooper sneaks the phone to Hope, he commits treason.
Q: Why do you think Cooper is so widely loved among fans?
Murphy: I think fans of République love Cooper for what he does, right from the beginning. He’s the first character in the story to help Hope, even before us. And he’s a die-hard gamer!