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The pills by itself won't make you feel better. You'll have to do more than that.
— Purnell explaning that Simon's problems can't be solved by medication alone

Doctor Purnell also known simply as The Doctor is a main antagonist in Cry of Fear.

He is voiced by Lasse "BerZerK89" Holmen from ModDB.

Overview

In reality, he is a psychiatrist, he is the doctor seen in some of the flashbacks that Simon has during the game. His malicious and sadistic behavior is a mirror of Simon's potential view of Purnell as a strange, untrustworthy man.

Story

Following Simon's accident that confined him to a wheelchair, Purnell was hired as Simon's counselor to keep track of his mental progress due to the trauma he endured. Purnell notes that Simon is loath to speak of his personal life, refusing to comment on topics regarding his home or school life. Due to a lack of success in their sessions, he recommends Simon try a form of cognitive therapy by writing a book to express his thoughts and emotions, to get them out of his head.

This suggestion leads to the events of the game, a depiction of Simon's mental struggle against his inner demons. A twisted, deranged, and sinister version of Purnell in a gasmask is seen in this world, dropping false hints to Simon about a possible biological outbreak - the Doctor expressing belief that Simon isn't even real, and that everyone else around him is psychotic despite the fact he murders two individuals in cold blood.

Simon comes to believe that the Doctor is responsible for all of this and chases him to a mental asylum located deep in the forest, the Doctor eventually making contact with Simon and offering to open a gate for him in exchange for Simon handing over a pistol located in the asylum's bowling alley. 

The player's choice decides what ending is unlocked - if the player gives Purnell the Ruger P345, he thanks Simon for his trust and gives him the key to the gate before loading the pistol and shooting him in the shoulder. If Simon refuses to give him the gun he expresses disappointment in Simon before tossing him the key anyways, shortly after still shooting him with his snub-nose revolver.

After the encounter by the gate, Simon pursues Purnell up to the attic of the asylum and engages him in a gunfight. The battle eventually ends in Simon's victory, the Doctor laying wounded on the ground before Simon approaches him and finishes him off by stomping on his face multiple times, crushing his skull in and destroying his mask.

His fate

The outcome of his fate depends on if Simon trusts him with the gun or not, if Simon does not trust Purnell with the gun he gets killed by Simon, if Simon trusts Purnell with the gun he gets spared.

Ending 1/3: If Simon chose to not trust him with the gun, either Ending 1 or Ending 3 is unlocked - in which Simon murders Purnell in his apartment, regarding his attempts at helping him either to be done out of spite or simply to be useless.

Ending 2: If Simon trusts him with the gun, Ending 2 or Ending 4 are unlocked. In Ending 2 Simon commits suicide following his murder of Sophie and he openly states his apologies to Purnell in the final notes of his book, stating that not everyone can be saved.

Ending 4: In Ending 4 Simon does not kill himself and is instead convicted to a mental hospital following a psychotic break that causes him to accidentally shoot two police officers. Purnell then becomes Simon's official mentor in the asylum, working to bring Simon back to mental health, something that Simon is grateful for.

Doctorstoryending

Simon's book burning

Doctor's Story: Completing the game with any ending will unlock Doctor's story. You play as Doctor Purnell, armed with the Taurus Revolver and equipped with a nightvision built-in gasmask. He will have to battle through armies of monsters created by Simon's mind in order to get into the apartment which Simon lives in, to destroy the book Simon has written.

Relevance to Simon

It is highly possible that Doctor Purnell shooting book Simon in the game is a metaphor for the potential real world damage Purnell's treatment could have on Simon. Trusting the doctor and giving him the gun results in the loss of a larger chunk of health than refusing to trust him and give him the gun, which is likely to be a metaphor for how this decision would play out in real life.

Trusting the doctor and opening up to him would in the short term cause Simon great pain (hence the larger injury), but potentially have much larger payoff in the end (Simon is able to stop himself committing suicide if he also fights Carcass) whereas not opening up to the doctor is easier on Simon psychologically in the short term as he doesn't have to risk getting his hopes up only to crash from a depressive relapse. However in the long term not opening up to the doctor would make it harder for Simon to get over his issues, resulting in one of the suicidal endings.

Doctor Purnell wearing a gasmask may represent Simon's incapability to trust him, finding him mysterious and dangerous. Purnell killing others in some cutscenes may also represent how Simon thinks that he will damage him further "like how he did to others".

Gallery

Trivia

  • In Manhunt according to a note in the asylum his phone number is "543-214".
    • The note explains that Purnell stopped working at the hospital, and that he now has his own office at his own home, not too far away from the hospital.
Characters
Main Simon HenrikssonDoctor PurnellSophie
Side Unknown CallerThe CopsThe Apartment Predator
Monsters
Enemies BabyChildrenCitalopramCrawlerCrazyrunnerCroucherDreamerDrownedFacelessFasterFlygareHangerHangmanHuman FlowerPsychoSawcrazySawrunnerSewmoSlowerSpitterStrangerSuiciderTallerThe FaceUpperWatros
Bosses SawerMaceDoctor PurnellCarcassSick SimonBook SimonCraig
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