Cole MacGrath lived a pretty average life. He had a girlfriend named Trish, and they roomed with his best friend Zeke. His hobbies were Parkour Training and Urban Exploration. He had a steady job in all three districts of as a bicycle delivery man. This simple life changed when, at the request of a mysterious customer, Cole delivered a package to the Historic District, only to have it violently explode in his hands. A mile-wide crater was created, demolishing the buildings and killing dozens of people.
Cole awoke from the explosion, burnt and scarred, but alive. He worked his way through the rubble and into the Neon District, rejoining Trish and Zeke. He immediately collapsed from exhaustion, and was taken to the hospital, surprisingly, after a week, all of his wounds were totally healed. Even more, when he awoke, his body started unconsciously generating electricity. Over time, he learned how to control the discharges, even using it to his advantage. In Empire City, though, things were steadily getting worse.
With the detonation of the mysterious package, citizens had started going crazy. Riots, murders, and crime escalated without control. The U.S. Government quickly quarantined the entire city to prevent the unknown madness from escaping, but soon after, all of Empire City sank into destitution. Different groups of armed militia gained control of the three districts and worked the civilians into servitude. Empire City had become its own dog-eat-dog world.
Living in the Neon District, Cole and Zeke went to attend a rally moving against the quarantine. After an incursion with the Police, Cole was separated from Zeke and captured by a mysterious woman named Moya. She claims to be an F.B.I. agent and explains what happened to him. The package contained an object called the Ray Sphere. This was an electronic device containing an unknown energy source. Unbeknownst to Cole, he was what was referred to as a Conduit, a life-form with the potential to develop super-human powers. The Ray Sphere was designed to accelerate the powers in a Conduit, making them manifest much earlier on in their lives. It did this by siphoning out the bio-energy from nearby Humans, and funneling it all into nearby Conduits. Moya’s husband John was looking for the Ray Sphere, but disappeared. She promises Cole that she can get him out of if he finds John and the Sphere for her.
Cole starts his investigation by restoring blacked-out sections of the Districts, coming in contact with large amounts of electricity and learning new powers along the way. He ends up fighting against the Reapers, the hooded gang members in control of the Neon. Their leader, a Conduit named Sasha, has acquired mind-control powers from the Ray Sphere, and can secrete a black tar-like substance that makes people go crazy. This is what caused the madness that prompted the quarantine. After defeating Sasha in combat, Cole witnesses her get whisked away by the First Sons, a privately owned and organized militia. Their leader, a man named Kessler, encounters Cole and telepathically shows him visions of the future; countries in flames, millions killed, and Kessler being directly involved. Cole vows to track down the First Sons and put a stop to their plans of global conquest.
Cole travels to the Warren, and unravels a plot by another Conduit, an elderly man named Alden, who possesses tremendously strong telekinetic abilities. Alden is leader of the Dust Men, armed fighters adorned in trash bags and cardboard boxes, and is fighting against the First Sons. He possesses the Ray Sphere, and believes its powers will ensure him victory over their leader, Kessler. Cole and Zeke try to wrest the Sphere from Alden’s control, but when they have it, Zeke betrays Cole and tries to use it and gain powers himself. For reasons unknown, it fails to operate. Kessler appears and whisks Zeke away, promising him the power he wants. Alden goes berserk after losing the Sphere, and goes on a rampage through the Warren and the bridge leading to the Historic District. Cole stands up to him and destroys the Conduit’s giant trash-golems, but Alden escapes final capture. With the way cleared, Cole works his way back into the Historic District.
The First Sons have taken over the Historic District, monitoring every building and trying to hunt down Cole whenever they get a chance. Kessler takes Trish hostage and taunts Cole with her, daring him to save her from falling off a high-rise building. Cole sadly fails, and comes to grips with just how alone he is. John comes out of hiding and reveals he was working undercover with the First Sons for the N.S.A. He was following Cole the day of the blast, but could not stop him from activating the Ray Sphere. He also reveals he’s never heard of anyone named Moya, and so the question lingers as to who that woman really was. Eventually, Moya reveals that she lied to Cole about being John's wife in order to gain his sympathy and that her goal was to retrieve the Ray Sphere; not John. Angered by the deception, Cole terminates his partnership with her, and Moya assures him that he will regret that decision.
Cole and John team up to reclaim the Ray Sphere as it’s being moved. In the resulting turmoil, something goes wrong and it detonates, consuming John completely. Kessler calls Cole and challenges him to a fight where the Sphere was activated by him. The two battle, both possessing incredible powers. But Cole is the victor, as Kessler’s age works against him. With his dying act, he sends images of his own past to Cole. It turns out that Kessler is actually an aged version of Cole, from the future. In his timeline, he married Trish and had two children. When the First Sons finally used the Ray Sphere, a Conduit, called the beast, emerged with such powers that it was uncontrollably insane and destructive. It very nearly destroyed the modern world. Cole knew that he could have stopped the Beast in the beginning but instead of fighting, he fled with his family. However, the Beast eventually caught up to him and killed Trish and their twin daughters.
When his family was killed by the Beast, he decided to attempt time travel and set things right. He went back to the beginning of the First Sons, in Victorian times. Taking the alias “Kessler”, he usurped command and hastened the development of the Ray Sphere, making it usable much more early on. He was the one who commissioned his past self to deliver the package and subsequently activate the Sphere, and it was he who tried to goad Cole into being powerful and triumphant in all his trials. As Kessler died, Cole fought back the bitter truth that lay under all the lies. He also made a vow that when the Beast appears, he will be ready to fight it.
A month after the events of inFamous, an N.S.A agent named Lucy Kuo shows up. She tells Cole she wants to help him defeat the Beast, somehow knowing all about it. She tells Cole her friend Dr. Sebastian Wolfe was working for Kessler, building the prototype Ray Sphere. Cole, knowing he is the only one capable of defeating the Beast agrees with her to travel to New Marais and amplify his powers ( it is revealed in one of the dead drops that Kuo had intended on seducing Cole in to traveling with her to New Marais, but decided not to because she realized that he was still mourning the loss of his girlfriend, Trish). Yet, due to Kessler's meddling in the timeline, the Beast arrived in Empire City much earlier than expected, devastating the city and forcing Cole to fight it unprepared. Overpowered and beaten, Cole was forced to flee and travelled to New Marais with Kuo and Zeke, to escape from the Beast and gain stronger powers. Here, Cole hoped to acquire the information on how to defeat the Beast from Wolfe before the Beast followed him there. It turns out New Marais had been infected with some type of virus, corrupting the local pepole, mutating them to feral beasts. As Cole arrives, New Marais is controlled by a group called The Militia, led by a potential dictator, a wealthy industrialist called Bertrand. The Miltia's official goal, is to hunt down conduits and exterminate them, claiming they are not only freaks but also a threat to the human race.
Upon learning of Cole's arrival, aware of his abilites, using his considerable influence Joseph Bertrand conducts a propaganda campaign against him in hopes of rallying the city to his agenda. Cole's first point of action is to visit Wolfe in an attempt to understand how he can increase his power level. Unfortunately, before the meeting occurs, Wolfe's lab is destroyed which consequently spreads Blast Cores all around the city. Wolfe survives, appearing unharmed amidst the debris, and begins explaining how Cole can absorb each Blast Core to increase his powers, and will eventually, after absorbing all of them, have reached a sufficient power level enabling him to activate a device known as the RFI (Ray Field Inhibitor) allowing him to deafeat the Beast. Soon after this meeting, the Milita capture Wolfe and Cole gives chase in a bid to save his life, however events unfold in a manner detrimental to their cause as the rescue attempt fails when Cole, Kuo and Wolfe experience a Miltia induced car accident, which kills Wolfe and gives them the opportunity to capture Kuo. Following this, Cole and Zeke realise they need more allies, quickly gaining two in Laroche, leader of an anti-militia resistance faction, and Nix , a swamp dwelling conduit. Together they locate Kuo in a facility which has her endure a painful process rendering her a Forced Conduit with ice-based abilities. She is saved by Cole and either Nix or Zeke, depending on the players choice. While Cole frees her he also inadvertently releases an army of mercenaries imbued with similar ice abilities.
Constantly disrupting Bertrand's operations, the group of allies eventually learn from Cole, having witnessed first hand, that Bertrand is ironically the one thing he despises most, a conduit, able to transform into a giant monster and corrupt humans to become monstrocities, which accounts for all the creatures running loose within the city. It is revealed he used a Ray Sphere to gain powers, believing himself divinely blessed by being destined for greatness. The blast radius was such that many were killed, including Nix's family, but large enough also to grant Nix her abilities. Having become disgusted with his attributes, and now switching to a polar opposite belief that all conduits are intrinsically evil his machinations are based on inciting a conduit genocide, with help from the altered mercenaries, to instill fear amongst the general populace. Coincidentally he uses his created abominations to justify the Militia's presence in New Marais. Cole coaxes Bertrand into transforming once more through loss of self control, while he and his allies have a planned for the encounter, and take him down, with Cole halting his plans once and for all by killing him.
Preoccupied with bringing an end to the tyrannical rule of Bertrand, the Beast arrives in New Marais, unbeknownst to Cole initially. During a recon mission Cole encounters John White, an NSA agent whom Cole thought had perished in a Ray Sphere explosion in Empire City. Through a series of tasks, John reveals himself to be the Beast. He displays to Cole, evidence that a plague has arisen from the primary explosion of the Ray Sphere in Emprie City, that which gifted Cole with his powers, and has been slowly spreading across the nation. In a crule twist of fate, the plague is shown to be killing humans, save for those bestown with the latent conduit gene, who are immune, and John has been seeking out these potential conduits and converting them at the cost of countless innocent human lives, every time the process is administered. Rather than lose all human life John implores Cole to aid him in finding these conduits, so as to assuage the cataclysmic effects of the plague.
Having absorbed every Blast Core, Cole prepares to activate the RFI but hesitates upon learning that it will not only weaken the Beast, but will also kill every conduit on the planet, effectively ending thousands of lives instantly, and if that predicament weren't complicated enough, the RFI blast also has the potential to cure every human on earth from the devastating plague by nullifying Ray Spere radiation.
From this point on, the story diverges dependant on the player's choice: Cole can activate the RFI and save humanity including Zeke who has now contracted the affliction, sacrificing himself along with every conduit or ally with his prophesized nemesis, the Beast, to save all conduits.
If Cole chooses to be the hero and save millions of humans, Kuo swiftly departs to join the Beast, furious that he would kill thousands without certainty that the RFI can successfully destroy the plague. The Beast attacks Cole while he and Zeke try to fully charge the RFI to truly activate it. Laroche and many of his men die in battle, as Cole faces off with Kuo. Nix sacrifices herself in order to weaken the Beast and bide Cole more time. Kuo comes to the realisation that her rebellion was foolish, she apologizes to Cole for her rash actions, admittedly joining the Beast for fear of dying, to comfort her Cole admits he too is afraid and he activates the RFI. The aftermath reveals the plague to be completely wiped out, but all those with the conduit gene, even in latent form, have died. Aware of their saviour the people of the city revere him as "The Patron Saint of New Marais." Zeke postualtes that there is no difference between conduits and humans as no one had more humanity than Cole. He takes his body offshore, to say his personal goodbyes. The scene fades out, as the boat is struck by a single lightening bolt.
If Cole chooses what can be assumed to be the more devious of the two options, Nix is the one abandons Cole, vowing to fight him to the end. She steals the RFI and vanishes. Kuo chases after her, while a power enhanced Cole and the Beast rampage through New Marais in pursuit. Selfishly, Nix doesn't want everyone the ascension of more conduits as that would make her less special, she attempts to activate the RFI, this warrants Cole's wrath upon her, and she is killed. In a heart-wrenching sequence Cole is forced to kill Zeke, defiant to the end, he then destroys the RFI, the one thing the Beast still fears. The Beast explains he has grown tired of killing, and does not wish to continue his quest. An angered Cole doesn't want everything to have been in vain, but John transfers his power to Cole, and passes on, disappearing. The aftermath shows Cole and Kuo travelling and activating latent conduits at the expense of human life, just as the Beast had. Cole muses at how he was granted power to challenge the one thing he had now become, the Beast.
At one point, Cole may choose to transfer either Nix' or Kuo's power to him, making him capable of using pyrokinesis or cryokinesis, respectively.
Cole Macgrath's powers were born in the large explosion that was dubbed "The Blast" in the center of the historic district in Empire City. Cole was a conduit and he gain electrokinesis as his primary power. Cole's bode acts like a battery storing vast amounts of power that Cole can discharge when he wants. Cole can only store a certain amount of power which comes from outside sources such as power lines or cars and cannot generate his own power, though he may have learned to do so by InFamous 2 since Cole did not need to absorb power during his battles with The Beast in Empire City and New Marais. Cole is able to charge handheld objects to increase their striking power as well. Due to the electricity in his body Cole's internal systems process damage quicker giving him a healing factor. He can take multiple rounds of automatic gunfire, fall from great heights, and survive attacks from other Conduits. Cole is able to read a recently dead persons brain patterns to glimpse their last moments and can track people by the electromangentic aura they leave behind allowing him to trail people after an event has occurred. Cole cannot be submerged in water. Any body of water larger than a lake will kill Cole instantly and waist deep water will continually shock Cole and cause damage. Cole can stand water to drink and bathe. During his time in New Marais Cole would gain either cryokinetic abilities from the NSA Agent Lucy Kuo or Napalm like pyrokinesis the swamp dweller Nix adding to his power. During Festival of Blood Cole is bitten by a vampire and gains for that night only a set of vampiric powers alongside his usual ones.
- Arc Lightning
- Arc Restraint
- Bio Leech
- Electric Drain
- Gigawatt Blades
- Induction Grind
- Karmic Overload
- Lightning Bolt
- Lightning Storm
- Megawatt Hammer
- Overload Burst
- Polarity Wall
- Psychic Vision
- Pulse Heal
- Radar Pulse
- Shock Grenade
- Static Thrusters
- Thunder Drop
InFamous 2 Powers
- Arc Restraint
- Bio Leech
- Firebird Strike
- Frost Shield
- Ice Launch
- Induction Grind
- Induction Launch
- Ionic Drain
- Ionic Freeze
- Ionic Storm
- Ionic Vortex
- Kinetic Pulse
- Lightning Tether
- Pulse Heal
- Radar Pulse
- Static Thrusters
- Summon Spikers
- Tesla Missile
- Thunder Drop
InFamous 2: Festival of Blood Powers
- Shadow Stake
- Shadow Swarm
- Vampire Vision
Cole wears a leather jacket and pants with a stripe on the right leg, forming a small union jack design on his knee, and a sling bag with his phone attached to the single strap. This sling bag has a Sly Cooper logo and the numbers 1 and 3 designed onto it. Depending on the version of inFamous you are playing, Cole's outfit will either have a yellow-and-black colour scheme or a blue-and-white one. He has a shaved head with a light stubble beard, and speaks in a gravelly voice. Cole shows a high form of intelligence, and is able to logically deduce the outcomes of any actions he might take.
Depending on Cole's choices, his appearance (and powers) will change drastically.
- Good or Neutral: Cole retains most his appearance, though he looks cleaner and neater. The electricity that comes out of his body is a light blue, due to his good nature.
- Evil: Cole gains a much more paler skin, and gets paler to the point of dark gray if he continues to do evil deeds. His clothes deter to gray and black, and jet-black markings that resemble a lightning current start to show around his body, and get more noticeable and darker as he continues his evil deeds. The electricity coming out of him turns to a light red, due to his evil nature. If Cole chose to absorb Ray Sphere for his self benefit, the electricity turns from light red to jet-black, with a deep red hue that surrounds it.
After recovering from his wounds, Cole's attire has been changed to a simple black and yellow t-shirt, paired with black cargo pants that has a white Union Jack design on its right leg, this time spanning his entire leg. Cole's sling bag has also been changed to a simple brown/orange where his new melee weapon (the Amp) is being kept on a strap attached to his bag. Cole also has tattoos on his arms, that change corresponding to his Karmic state. Cole also gained a scar on the right side of his face some time after dealing with Kessler, and now wears sports shoes ('tabi boots') specifically for parkour.
Like in the first installment, Cole's appearance also changes depending on his choices, though unlike before, the changes appear right after ascending a Karmic rank, and will show a brief cutscene, depicting how the changes are implemented. After the changes have been applied, Cole lets out an electric burst.
- Guardian: Cole's skin is unchanged, remaining a light tan. His lightning turns to a light blue.
- Champion: The scar on his face will start to heal. The inner portion of Cole's shirt is changed to white, with the black areas changing to a very dark, navy blue, and he is given several tattoos akin to stars and wings, representing his good motives. His bag also changes colors to a very light olive drab, and his pants will appear smoother.
- Hero: The black portion of Cole's shirt is changed to a light gray, and his lower apparel is changed to track pants. His scar will appear nearly healed completely, and Cole's melee weapon will appear cleaner and shinier.
- Thug: Cole's skin and overall appearance will start to turn noticeably pale, appearing a sickly gray. His lightning turns into a light orange red.
- Outlaw: The inner portion of Cole's shirt will appear red, and also the Union Jack design on his pants turn to a dark red. His bag changes to a dark olive drab, and is given several tattoos that imply negativity (downward arrowheads and fire motifs, among others). Also, his veins will start to appear, and his scar will start to worsen.
- Infamous: Cole's veins will become more noticeable, appearing all over him. His scar will worsen further, and his t-shirt's colors will turn darker, and several rips and holes will appear on them. His pants will also have rips, along with the addition of a darkred belt. The Amp will also appear rustic and dark, with some subtle darkred indents.
While inFamous was still under the code name "True Hero", the design for Cole started with something more urban looking, and athletic. The design featured Cole's face differently, with thick brown hair, and a leather jacket with a light hooded sweater and black undershirt. He wore some gloves and shin guards, and some light beige pants with a holster. He also had a shotgun with him, and wore boots.
The designer commented that this stylized design was somewhat reminiscent to the Sly Cooper series. The design was later revised.
Another early design was made for Cole, nicknamed "Gear Wolf". The concept showed Cole with, again, a full wad of hair. He also wore some aviator-style shades, and wore a red and white vest with a sling bag. He would wear bandages on his forearm, and some motorcycle gloves. He also wore shin guards, cargo shorts, and brown cleats.
The designer admitted that the base idea for the concept was Cole's job as a bike messenger, explaining that pinpointing the facet of the character as a major breakthrough. The design was then later revised.
Several concept art of Cole was made under the name of "Chance". There, Cole wore a sling bag and jacket similar to his inFamous render. Also, Cole wore black track pants with Japanese characters and the letter "Z" on the right side, with a yellow stripe. Cole also raised the left side of his pants a bit, showing bandages on his leg. He was also bald, and wore a scarf to cover the entirety of his face. He also had a gun kept on his bag's sash.
An early render of this design can be seen at several websites, albeit modified. Cole's sling bag design was more detailed, rendering it a purple/violet and white one with a tribal design at the back. The design on his jacket was also brought into more detail, as the material appeared to be leather padding. He also lost his face scarf. This design was later changed.
An interesting element of this design involved the developers deciding to remove the gun, and come up with a mechanism to render it obsolete, thus giving them the impetus to develop Cole's latter electrical powers, as well as the decision to remove his hair, as baldness was easier to render.
inFamous 2 Cole
The first ever image of Cole during inFamous 2 was released to the public, which showed concept art of Cole with thicker hair, and a thicker, more noticeable beard. He wore a simple black T-Shirt, and a black sling bag. Cole wore black track pants with a white Union Jack design by the side, and also used sports shoes specifically designed for parkour. Cole's accessories included bandages, some rope necklaces, and tattoos with designs different from his current tattoos. This design was then rendered in 3D, and was seen in the E3 Gameplay and Debut trailer of inFamous 2. Several other screenshots render Cole with even thicker hair, and also minor changes to his design.
This design was scrapped after a majority of negative fan reactions, due to Cole looking like an entirely different person, barely resembling his original look.
In an alternate timeline, Kessler/Cole's original world, Cole was married to Trish and had Zeke as his best man on their wedding day. The couple had two daughters, and lived in an unnamed city (most likely Empire City). During the said timeline, Cole had his powers, and his world was being ravaged by an entity known as "The Beast". Instead of fighting, he fled from the Beast, even though he had the power to stop him. After years, the Beast had destroyed most of the world, and Kessler was too late to save his family, or anyone else. In an attempt to rewrite history, Kessler goes back in time.
In a different scenario, Cole chose to side with Kuo and destroy humanity, his fate being different. After murdering Nix and his best friend Zeke Dunbar, Cole destroyed the Ray Field Inhibitor with the Amp, so that no one may threaten them. Then, John admitted that he can no longer continue the plan, stating that he cannot fathom the killings any longer. John then decided to transfer his powers to Cole, believing he can carry out the plan. After giving his powers to Cole, the latter began to work immediately, causing a blast to New Marais, wiping out everybody without the Conduit gene.
Cole then continued to walk the world, with his Conduit followers, creating new Conduits and raising them up as he passed through state by state. With no one equaling his powers, Cole continues his plan to speed up the inevitable jump from human to Conduit, as he comes to realize that he had become the very thing he swore to destroy; The Beast.
Festival of Blood
After mentioning his connection to Cole MacGrath to a woman in a bar, Zeke tells a story of Cole as part of his attempts to impress the woman.
Cole investigates a nearby church after hearing screams of several civilians.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Cole appears as DLC in the PS3 Heroes Skin Pack where both the good and evil versions of Cole are playable.
Street Fighter x Tekken - Cole appears in the fighting game as a guest character on the PS3 and Vita versions of the game. He has no preferred partner.
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal - Cole appears in the fighting game as one of the first party sony characters alongside Parrapa the Rappa, Fat Princess and Sly Cooper.