|“||Agent Francis York Morgan. But please, call me York. That's what everyone calls me.
-York's usual introduction.
Francis York Morgan is the main protagonist of Deadly Premonition. York is an FBI special agent, renowned for his use of criminal profiling to solve the cases of various murders and catching the criminals responsible. York is also known for his eccentric tendencies and odd mannerisms, doing such odd things as looking for messages in his morning coffee. However, despite his oddities, York is portrayed as a competent FBI agent with a real talent for criminal profiling. As the story begins, York is en route to the small town of Greenvale, Washington, to investigate the murder of a young woman, whose death may be linked to many other murder investigations York had been a part of in the past. He talks to and consults an entity known as Zach, whose existence is, initially, mysterious to everyone including York himself. Despite this, York follows Zach's advice almost without question.
Upon being introduced to a new person, he invariably insists they call him York, because "everyone does."
Zach was raised by his parents, Brian Xander and Valentine Morgan, in a normal environment, save for the fact that his father was a top FBI agent and criminal profiler. His father was a tad tough on him, but his parents nonetheless loved him. However, one day, his father murdered his mother with his gun, while the young Zach looked on in horror. Before killing himself, Xander said, "Sometimes we must purge something from this world because it should not exist, even if it means destroying the ones you love." It was then that Zach's alternate personality and imaginary friend, York, came to him for support, becoming close and lifelong friends. Something during that time also gave him a huge scar across his eye and scalp, a scar which York seemingly doesn't even know exists anymore.
York, admittedly, thinks he blocked out much of the information due to trauma. As he moved on in life he became a model student, despite his growing interest in punk rock in his teenage years. However, he cleaned up his image and decided to follow in his father's footsteps, becoming an FBI agent and specializing in criminal profiling, partly in an attempt to understand what his father's motives were. He quickly got much attention due to his sensitivity to the paranormal. In a relatively short amount of time, he got promoted to Special Agent for solving many bizarre murder cases.
Eventually, however, a string of murders he was sent to investigate turned out a similar description. Young women found dead, with strange red seeds found in or near their bodies. This became the primary bulk of York's career, as the seeds decidedly also had a bizarre, otherworldly nature to them that defied modern explanation, which causes some people to go berserk, including a woman who laced her fingernails with razor blades, giving York several small scars beneath his cheek. It's this bizarre and unnatural occurrence which sat these cases right in the jurisdiction of the FBI Special Agents.
Events of the Game
The story begins with Francis York Morgan en route to his latest investigation, the murder of Anna Graham in the small lumber town of Greenvale. However, on his way, a strange hooded figure in the road, clothed in a red raincoat, causes York to swerve out of the way, crashing in the nearby forest. He survives without injury, but finds himself in the Other World where, for the first time, the Shadows actually attack him. After fighting his way through the Wood Path and encountering the Raincoat Killer for the first time, York completes his journey by walking the five hundred feet to the town of Greenvale and meets Emily Wyatt and George Woodman, the former who berates him for being late and the latter who is apparently searching for York.
The next morning York woke up in the Great Deer Yard Hotel, where after waking up he had coffee with the owner, Polly Oxford. Looking at the coffee, he sees the initials "F K" in it. After leaving the hotel, he found a police car with a Master Key for every police vehicle in Greenvale and a note from George telling him to come to the police station.
York then goes to the Greenvale Sheriff's Department, where he meets and helps Thomas MacLaine for the first time, who had lost the keys to the cabinet. After looking for the keys, York travels with George and Emily to the Greenvale General Hospital, where they meet with the mischievous but intelligent doctor Ushah Johnson to go over Anna's autopsy report. There, York deduces that Anna was killed indoors during the storm and then moved to the tree where she was found when the rain stopped. Also, along with her bitten-off tongue, York finds another red seed in her mouth, prompting him to take control of the investigation by putting it into FBI jurisdiction, which George grudgingly accepts.
After leaving the hospital (but not before another encounter with the Shadows and his first meeting with the enigmatic Harry Stewart) they move on to the murder site where Anna was found. Upon arriving, York finds that the murderer has a tattoo of a "reversed peace sign" on his back, and had a female accomplice. York also deduces that the murder took place at the defunct Lumbermill before her body was moved to the forest. Despite the skepticism of the police, they go along anyway. York once again finds himself in the Other World where he once again encounters the Raincoat Killer. After finding more evidence, York escapes, as well as finally crossing George and Emily off his suspects list as they reveal that they have no tattoos on their backs.
The next course of action York takes is to call a meeting at the town center, where he is able to meet all of the notable town's residents, including Thomas' sister Carol MacLaine. There, he warns the town of the dangers at hand and expresses his concern about the "Raincoat Killer" myth he learned from George. After the meeting, Thomas, Emily, George and York go out for dinner at the A & G Diner, the four of them finally on friendly terms. Afterwards, York goes back to his hotel room, but not before discovering the emotional devastation Anna's murder has caused the population.
On the Trail
The next morning York meets Forrest Kaysen, which strikes his interest immediately as the previous day he had found the message "FK" in his coffee. After receiving a sapling from Kaysen, York decides to head off and meet with the officers again. He finds that Diane Ames, the owner of the Muses Gallery, is back in town. They decide to go meet with her, as she is a prime suspect as the female accomplice, frequently wearing shoes that match the stiletto heel prints found at the murder sight.
Once there he finds Olivia Cormack, who quickly flees after a short conversation. After discovering the combination for the security lock, he finds Carol quickly leaving, having apparently been in an argument with Diane, who he meets shortly thereafter. Finding her to be promiscuous but otherwise unsuspicious, York leaves, only to spot Kaysen in the window of the art gallery. He then goes to talk to Olivia behind their diner, where she laments that Nick is spending a lot of time with Diane. York doesn't have much time to think on the matter, however, before he receives a distressed call from Thomas, saying that Anna's best friend, Becky Ames, is in serious trouble.
When York arrives on the scene, he finds Thomas trying to console Becky's boyfriend, Quint Dunn, who is having a mental breakdown from sheer trauma, babbling nonsensically to himself. York decides to investigate by himself, only to be once again attacked by Shadows and the Raincoat Killer once again. In the end, he finds Becky, heavily injured and strung up in her bathtub with wire.
The other officers make the scene only to find Becky still barely alive, with wounds similar to Anna's. George, in an attempt to save her and despite York's warnings, cuts one of the wires, which springs a trap that finally strangles her to death. York finds a key and yet more red seeds in her mouth. Using the key, he finds a diary which explains that Becky was the accomplice that accompanied the killer to Anna's murder site. The diary also reveals that she had given a round necklace to her older sister, Diane, which York figures Carol took back from Diane.
York decides to track Nick and Diane, but George reveals that Diane hadn't left the gallery. They followed Nick and met up with George, where York snuck into the basement of the gallery, fighting through the Other World yet again. Upon finding Diane back in the real world, he found her bound and hanging above the jagged, sharp, tree-shaped objet d'art, ready to impale her. They also find Nick unconscious and nearby. York manages to save Diane by intercepting her during her fall, but they find her spitting red seeds out without her tongue. Nick wakes however and, in a scuffle with George, causes the statue to fall, killing Diane and nearly killing Emily if it were not for York's timely rescue.
A New Guide
York finds himself at a loss, until Harry Stewart reveals that he may have information regarding his case. After traveling to Harry's Mansion and solving a simple riddle, he is able to talk to the mysterious man. Harry gives York another riddle, leading him to the Albireo Graveyard. There, York finds a small grove of red trees, all producing red seeds in large quantities. York decides to bring his finding back to Harry, who obviously knows more about what's going on. Harry asks him to find a series of reports hidden in the Greenvale Sheriff's Department's records, information hidden even from the FBI.
When York finds where the data is supposed to be, he finds himself in the Other World again and the information gone. Somewhat disheartened, he returned to the rest of the police to mull over the case. Thomas ends up missing and, as George points out, is the primary suspect of the missing records. However, inspiration strikes when York receives some (according to him, disgusting) coffee in a mug with a picture of the Velvet Falls on it. Remembering the water stains at the scene of the missing files, he travels there in the hopes of fishing out the case that the files are contained in. Happily, he lands a bite and remarks about how this had never been done in any report he's read before he heads off to talk to Harry once again.
Once there, York once again fights through the Other World, finally making it to Harry's secret basement, where countless logs of data are contained, even classified information. Harry explains that there was a cover up of a weapons testing in Greenvale during the 60's, creating a purple gas that made everyone in the town become violently psychotic and attack each other. He also explains that the original Raincoat Killer was none other than Harry's own father, who was particularly effective and brutal during the assault, and his attack against his own son was what confined him to his wheelchair. Harry also wears the mask in the belief that the gas is still in the topsoil in small quantities.
With the origin of the Raincoat Killer legend learned, York gets a call from George and Emily, who have apparently tracked Thomas down to his apartment. York instantly travels there (remarking how much this is like a cop TV show in the city), and breaks in, finding Thomas gone. He does, however, find that Thomas had been there recently and is in fact associated with the New Raincoat Killer. George and Emily take off in search of Thomas, but York stays behind, having seen a vision of Anna's spirit once again leading him elsewhere. Chasing her spirit through the rain, she eventually stops at Carol's bar, the Galaxy of Terror. Reasoning that Thomas is likely to be there, he investigates.
Inside, York once again fights his way out of the Other World, finding a conspicuous ice pick that goes to a nearby deer head. Using this odd key, he finds a hidden bondage dungeon, where he also finds the reversed peace sign pendant that had been such a vital clue. However, Thomas, dressed in drag, knocks York unconscious, bringing him to the clock tower under an undisclosed person's orders.
End of the Raincoat Killer
York finds himself bound and blindfolded (although the cloth's thin enough to see through) in a hidden room. Thomas comes to talk to him a few times, where York offers to let Thomas run away with his sister, since York knows he's not a violent person in himself, or the culprit responsible. Thomas denies these suggestions however, instead owing his allegiance to the mysterious and cruel "him," who Thomas loves unconditionally. Meanwhile, Emily, with the help of Kaysen, is on the trail to find York, using his dog "Deputy" Willie as a guide. They finally make it to the clock tower to rescue York, who meanwhile is contemplating his love of Emily (and laments that he'll have to deal with her cooking).
Emily climbs the clock tower, hoping to rescue York, somehow finding herself confronted by the horrific Shadows. Further up, she is forced to shoot and kill Thomas, with Willie's help, who attacks her with berserk hysteria brought on by a mixture of unrequited love, jealousy, and the demonic influence of the red seeds. Willie frees York who heard the fight in the other room, and is greeted by Emily and Kaysen. He also reveals that he finally pieced together who the Raincoat Killer is. The man who Thomas is devoted to and tattooed his first initial to his body: George.
Emily and York go to the sheriff's department, where George, after being told Thomas' fate via radio, had holed up. York once again having to fight through the Other World, finally discovers George's secret shrine, hidden in one of the department's holding cells. He finds Carol injured and bleeding to death, but still alive. Emily tries to help her but Carol rages about how George loves Emily over her or her brother, and proceeds to use her death throes to jam a handful of red seeds into Emily's mouth. She dies, leaving Emily stunned and nearly catatonic from such a huge dose of the seeds. York flees the department and tells Kaysen to get her to the hospital while he deals with George.
York chases George through the Other World and finally catches up to him on the dark version of the sheriff's department's roof, taken on the form of a grand battle arena. There, George reveals his final goals, using a horrific legend detailing a secret of immortality for his own purposes. Claiming that he is the "Chosen One" he killed four women in a rainstorm after they had ingested the red seeds, and rendered them unable to speak and "break the spell" as they died. George claims to have obtained their souls and made himself unbeatable, and proceeds to ingest a series of red seeds, increasing his strength and power.
York defeats George once by shooting the glowing scars on his back, which makes him ingest even MORE seeds, transforming him into a huge ogre-like creature. Using the same method, York defeats George, who is rapidly going more and more insane and desperate. Finally, George hurls his woodcutting axe at York, who shoots it, sending it flying back and lodging itself in his chest. George laments his apparent mortality as a lightning bolt hits the haft of his axe again and again, electrocuting him until he is nothing more than a charred corpse on the roof. York collapses from his injuries, exhausted. He dreams of his congratulations for solving the case, but is confronted with another vision, of Harry and Emily, who tell him it's not over yet...
The Case Is Not Over
York wakes up with Ushah Johnson at his side, offering him another game of chess. York learns that Emily was never taken to the hospital, and Kaysen had left him a crude map. Following the map and feeling the horrific feeling of despair over what might be happening, York travels to George's house. Inside, he finds the place filled with barricades and signs of madness, obsession with Emily, and obsession with his divinity. He also finds the corpse of George's mother, mummified and housing a sprouting red tree. He finds a picture of Kaysen and George together as well. To York's horror, he finds that it was in fact Kaysen that made George go mad, and filled his mind with the stories and legends of the red seeds.
York remembers Harry's story, of the horrible gas that was pumped from the clock tower, the very same gas that was starting to appear again. Having hallucinations and flashbacks of the original Raincoat Killer making his way to the clock tower, York does the same, fighting through hordes of the berserk residents without actually hurting them. Inside the community center attached to the clock tower, York confronts Kaysen, who reveals himself to in fact be a psychopathic madman, and Emily, who may have been drugged and raped, sitting nearby.
York tries to help her only to find that, to his horror, Emily had a red tree sapling growing out of her belly, guaranteeing her slow, painful death. Kaysen, finding this all too amusing, reveals that this is the secret of growing the red trees. Finally, all the holes in York's memory starts coming together. It was Kaysen who was there when his parents were killed. His mother had been implanted with a red tree, and his father, unable to put her out of her misery, killed himself. Kaysen, who hadn't aged a day since, attacked York but left him alive and leaves him a huge scar over his left eye.
Also to his shock, it was Zach, not York, that witnessed this terrible incident. Zach was the one that created York to cope with the stress. York was the imaginary friend, who in order to help Zach recover, took over "piloting" their body for him while Zach retreated into a deep, mental retreat, the famous Red Room that recurs in his dreams. Zach had finally escaped the Red Room with this realization, going through the White Room, or the room of realization, to come back to reality.
Zach, now sporting bleached white hair, a leftover from Kaysen's attack on him during his childhood, confronts Kaysen, now with York supporting and encouraging him. Zach is still unable to kill Emily, but Emily shows her fortitude by yanking the red tree from her body, causing fatal damage. Zach comforts her as she dies, leaving him alone with Kaysen, still angry over the death of one of his saplings. Kaysen then reveals his knowledge about Zach's mental retreat, and also that he was the military leader that spread the gas during the 60's. Kaysen wasn't a human at all, in fact, but a demon related to the red trees, bent on tormenting mankind.
Zach has no other choice but to fight Kaysen and all his demonic powers, with York rooting for him the entire time in his mind. Finally, after being able to defeat Kaysen once and for all, Zach returns to the real world and visits Harry again. Harry reveals that it was in fact he who was George's father, and he also helped Zach escape from his mental retreat. As Zach wraps up his unfinished business in Greenvale, York says its time to finally bid his final farewells.
York leaves Zach's consciousness as his own spiritual being, in order to be with Emily who he loved so dearly. Zach and York have their last words together, and leave each other on good terms, with Zach promising to come to Greenvale to see them now and again. After Zach leaves, the game ends with the scene of York and Emily's spirits sharing a meal at the diner, with the spirits of all those who had perished accompanying them.
Several years later, the now elderly Zach enters the same alternate reality that York, Emily, and all the victims inhabit, where he is warmly greeted by them. York tells Zach that's he glad to see him again, lamenting how long it's been since they last spoke, but reassuring Zach that he was there every step of the way, "even if you couldn't see me." York then proceeds to tell Zach about a new case that's caught his interest: an outbreak of illness in New Orleans that attacks the victim's nervous system. York asks Zach what he thinks about the case, offering the player three dialogue responses. Regardless of what the player answers, York responds that he "knew you'd say that" and tells Zach "it's time to wake up."
Events of Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing In Disguise
York has a generally stoic and level-headed personality, regardless of the situation he is faced with. His unwavering calm stays within him regardless of what he is doing, be it having dinner with his friends or going over a horrific crime scene or autopsy, or even facing supernatural terrors trying to take his life. His apparent cheerfulness while discussing gruesome details often makes others very uncomfortable. York's seemingly mild demeanor, however, also makes it easy to obtain cooperation and get along with others fairly well. His confidence and know-it-all attitude, however, often cause aggravation with others, as York never second-guesses himself and is not hesitant to shoot down others' theories or give his brutally honest opinions.
The other most evident character trait of York is his sheer eccentricity, coupled with his cleverness and high reasoning ability. York has many unusual habits, including gesturing broadly when prompted, snapping his fingers when he figures something out, and tapping his chest when he is thinking. His other notable habits include his heavy chain smoking (and he doesn't give much regard to others when he does so) and obsession with coffee. In fact, he insists that he cannot complete an investigation without either of them.
Despite his brilliance and self-confidence, York is quite shy about women, even admitting so on a few occasions. His social awkwardness persists even when he finds himself in love with Emily, though he never actually admits his feelings to anyone besides Zach. This also stems from his fear of growing attached to other people he may lose, having lost his family previously.
York is also very passionate about his interests and hobbies, particularly those relating to movies and music. He will often ramble on with Zach about movie trivia, particularly older movies, and can talk at great length about any film he may have seen. He also has a fondness for punk rock music, particularly the Ramones, a product of his interest in the musical genre from his youth. York also has a huge fondness for food and is rather picky about that subject, though if push comes to shove, he will eat just about anything.
York's primary talents take the form of his perception and cleverness. York is able to piece together entire scenarios and situations perfectly by just examining the surrounding area, using criminal profiling to catch countless criminals. Along with this, York is able to think from strange viewpoints, being able to reject conventional logic to further understand a murderer's illogical motives.
York's other dominant trait is his apparent psychic sensitivity to the paranormal. York's ability to see and interact with the Shadows while others are obviously unaware of the horrific presence of these spirits. Even further, York has a tendency to find himself in the strange Other World, completely departed from normal reality while others are unaware of its presence or his absence.
York is also quite a capable combatant, able to use both melee weapons and firearms effectively. He is strong enough to swing large objects around with ease, and his accuracy with his pistol is pin-point, able to hit buttons from quite a distance with his bullets. However, it is somewhat hinted that his combat skill is directly obtained from Zach rather than his own talent.
- "Did you see that, Zach? Clear as a crisp spring morning. FK...in the coffee!"
- "Do you feel it, Zach? My coffee warned me about it."
- "The balance of milk and butter you've achieved here... oh my..."
- "Now that is a good biscuit. I've never tasted a biscuit this delicious."
- "George, which do you prefer? Mustard or hot sauce?"
- "She'll think you're a psycho. Don't want that, do we Zach?"
- "Please, call me York. Everyone does."
- "I can't believe it! This is... fantastic! It's really good."
- York's favorite food is a turkey sandwich, admiring its ability to be tasty and moist while not ruining the bread. The game dedicates a trading card to this particular food and it also happens to fill the highest amount of hunger of any item.
- York also loves Harry's lunch, a turkey, strawberry jam and cereal sandwich.
- York also really likes sushi, visits a sushi bar almost every day when he's in New York. His favourite sushi is lobster.
- When it rains, York will Wear a grey Poncho, emblazoned with "FBI" in yellow letters. Oddly he never puts the hood up.
- York laments the fact that all the cases he is involved with are the extremely bizarre 1% of murders that occur.
- In the Director's Cut version of the game, during the cutscene where York is in his car driving to Greenvale, he brings a lighter up that has a "No Smoking" sign on it.
- In the opening of the game were York is introduced while driving his car, it can be seen that York is smoking ''Police'' brand cigarettes.
- Although York has a habit of smoking, he rarely ever finishes a cigarette. More often than not he takes a few drags before tapping it out on the carton and putting it back with the others.
- York has a similar relationship with coffee. Despite York's love for the beverage, on several occasions he leaves a mostly-full mug behind before he leaves.
- York has a strange habit of finding fortune in his coffee. This shows that, despite being an FBI agent, he is superstitious and believes in the paranormal. He takes these unconfirmed premonitions as if they were solid facts.
- York drives a black Ford Mustang car with white racing stripes down the center. His license plate reads "YZ1DRFL" (York and Zach: Wonderful).
- York's first case involved a psychotic professor at a med school who killed girls and put extra organs into them because an alien "told him to do it." Other cases included a senator who killed his own daughter and several other girls, a man who used the skulls of his victims to drink from and urinate into (the case he was working on until last month), and a serial rapist law student with over 800 victims.
- While driving, York often talks at length and in great detail about B-movies from the 80's, demonstrating a dedicated knowledge by quoting directors, actors and soundtrack artists.
- When he was younger, York liked the more twisted punk rock bands, such as the Damned, Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop and Joy Division.
- York's most dominant facial feature is the long scar across his left eyebrow and temple; however, when you look closely, there is no evidence of a scar. It simply looks like hair will not grow there. This is possibly a reference to the fact that it's not his scar but Zach's.
- When the player reverts to Zach, the main scar is much more prominent, being discolored compared to the rest of his skin. It stretches from his left temple to the bump of his nose.
- York Has two smaller scars under his left eye, which he seems to believe is the scar everyone refers to in conversation. He apparently received it from a "Problematic Woman."
- York will grow a beard if the player doesn't shave. It will carry over to Zach, but it will not change color.
- York has a Pulse Meter, which will rise gradually as he runs and even more so while sleep deprived. However, while Emily also has a Pulse Meter, it never rises no matter how much she runs. The story-wise reason for this difference being: York is a heavy smoker, while Emily doesn't smoke.