Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero

141 ratings
KRZ Character Guide
By eli
A collection of the characters, and their stories, encountered in Kentucky Route Zero.
"Kentucky Route Zero is a magical realist adventure game about a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky, and the mysterious folks who travel it."

This is a comprehensive guide to the characters in the world of Kentucky Route Zero written during my many playings of the game so far. I'd greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions, especially if you feel there are characters or important details I've missed, including good quotations that would be helpful (or just nice) to include. I want for this guide to be a community resource and a way to experience the story of Kentucky Route Zero through its characters and their stories, and I'd appreciate help or any suggestions to make it better.

Thanks to Voider, shawn·m, mendel, Suigetsushin, live_allosaurus, Cheeseness, The vintage feeling, magnus, VioletSkye, ivgin, and many others for their helpful insights across multiple forum threads and articles, and of course to Jake, Tamas + Ben as well!

Spoilers through Act IV follow!
Main Cast
Conway – An older man who works as an antique deliveryman for Lysette’s Antiques, previously as a roofer for Ira. The main character, debatably. Purportedly grew up in the cabin in the Museum of Dwellings. Feels responsible for Charlie's death. Has a brother, but says he doesn't even know how to get ahold of him these days. Conway is likely named after John Conway, a famous mathematician known for Conway's Game of Life.
"Do you have any debts?" "I owe some people some apologies."
"Do you think she blames you?" "No, but … It's awful to say, but: sometimes, I kind of wish she would."

Blue/Homer – Conway’s dog.
"An old hound in a straw hat. Both have seen better days."

Shannon Márquez – A TV repair woman and Weaver's cousin, helping Conway with his delivery. She owns a workshop in the back of a bait and tackle shop up north by Lake Nolin, where Wax and Peonia Road meet. Collected feathers as a child, but in the way "a clump of dust collects more dust by static electricity." She is named after the mathematician Claude Elwood Shannon, "the father of information theory," and author Gabriel García Márquez.
"We all lost people down here. Well, not all of us. But most of us."
"This is weird, but … do you think we're inside or outside right now?" "Both."

Ezra – A boy living in the Museum of Dwellings with his brother Julian, who flies to the Forest with Julian and the people living in the museum houses every night. Searching for his family of eagles. The Forest's parallax scrolling is, according to the developers, a "bit of an homage" to René Magritte's "Le Blanc-Seing[]." (A quote from the developers on the concept of parallax can be found in the Kentucky Fried Zero: Act II article, linked in the Recommended Reading section at the end.) Often plays in the woods behind his house, alone. Likes card games. Possibly named after Ezra Pound, an Imagist poet – previous work by the developers, such as A House in California, was in part inspired by Imagist poetry.
"You have to follow the Green river way out east, and then hop over Lake Cumberland! The roads don’t go there."
"I bet you were wild when you were younger. When I'm old like you, I'll still be wild."
"You want to see the beginning after the ending?" "Maybe it's better that way."
"I don't like music, but I do like sounds."

Julian – Ezra's brother. Giant eagle.

Johnny and Junebug – Musicians, motorcyclists, and potential lovers—or perhaps just two who share a common origin. Androids—robots—who used to work as miners until their escape. Junebug used to be completely gray colored, altering her appearance by dying her hair blue to reject the uniformity and appear unique… to appear 'specific.' In Act IV, her hair is orange. Johnny and Junebug performed Lysette's song "Too Late to Love You" together in the Lower Depths tavern. ("She sang about someone she wanted once to have loved.") Used to own a pet frog or toad. To Johnny, Junebug is "ma'am"; to Junebug, Johnny is "cricket." Junebug is heavily based on Loretta Lynn (down to the extravagant blue gown she dons in her performance—see here[]), a country singer-songwriter known for the song "Coal Miner's Daughter." Loretta Lynn's husband is named Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn, sharing a name with Lem Doolittle of The Entertainment. More here.
"I came off the assembly line about a half-foot shorter, and all gray. No eyes."
"Johnny found some gear—an old tape player. We hid away in an underground cave and listened to it over and over, and we knew we weren't miners …"
"We are not saints, but we've kept our appointment. How many people can boast as much?" (Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett)
"Which star is your favorite?" "That little one in the corner."
Act I: Other Characters
Joseph Wheattree – The owner of Equus Oils. Joseph has gray hair and wears glasses, and is blind, or so Lula says. He created the XANADU software with Lula and Donald, and has also adapted two of Lem’s plays for The Entertainment. According to the Rust Archives, he owns a 1974 VAM Station Wagon (Mexico City) and created a kinetic sculptural art piece (Elizabethtown) in 1968. Created the game "If I Had My Way, I’d Tear the Building Down" shown in the (text) museum near the Márquez farmhouse. Has a niece who works at the hospital. Named after the computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum ('Weizenbaum' is German for 'wheat tree') who created ELIZA (named after the play Pygmalion's Eliza Doolittle), a computer program that took on the persona of a psychotherapist (like the "Psychotherapist" game found on Joseph's computer); this program had a large influence on the development of text-adventures.
"Seems … down here, we're all strangers. Permanently strange."

Emily, Ben, and Bob – The Bedquilt Ramblers; the basement people and Museum visitors; main (player) characters in "Limits and Demonstrations." They have been seen playing a game underground in the start of the first act, and seen singing songs throughout—according to the developers, they are "like a chorus in Greek or Elizabethan theatre" or "kind of like the choir in a play – they kind of suggest to the audience how to feel, sometimes."
"Strange things happen underground. Especially in the dark …"

Donald(see "Act III: Hall of the Mountain King")

James B. Carrington – Friend of Joseph’s from College and friend of Lula’s. Walks around with a pair of antlers slung over his shoulder. Carrington is initially looking for an outdoor venue to perform his play, an experimental adaptation of Robert Frost's "The Death of the Hired Man," and is also director of the play in "The Entertainment." References many plays in his conversation with Shannon at the Self Storage in Act III: Oresteia, Faust, Iceman, The Glass Menagerie, and Death of the Hired Man.
"Maybe they should feel lost, Joseph: just as lost then as we are always already lost. Just like poor, itinerant Silas, wandering the road, looking for a home."

Weaver Márquez – Shannon's cousin. Mysterious. Likes reading. Has a residence at 100 Macondo Lane (a reference to Gabriel García Márquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude), a house in front of a barn at the base of the mountain. Weaver left her family after learning of their massive debt. Used to be an intern at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces, and previously worked at WEVP, but left on "kind of weird terms." At WEVP, Weaver handled the archives, and had a "head for signals," according to Dashiell. A gifted mathematician; she also speaks Spanish often performed translation work in the past. She was also one of Donald's research assistants in the XANADU project and studied mathematics in University. Presumably the mathematician inventor of The Formula, used at the Strangers' whiskey factory. In Act I, she asks Conway, "Which of your parents was it who wouldn't allow you to watch television?", a nearly-direct quote from Peter Shaffer's play Equus. Weaver is named after scientist and mathematician Warren Weaver and author Gabriel García Márquez.
"She was just there, and all you could do was accept her. Like magnetism, or gravity."
"That's my father’s brother’s daughter, Shannon. We’re about the same age. Well, we used to be. She’s older now."

Lula Chamberlain – A college friend of Joseph and Donald, all of whom were involved in a complicated love polygon. Lula helped to build XANADU, but grew apart from the two after living in Mexico for three years without contacting them. Her installation-based artwork is featured in a museum shown in "Limits and Demonstrations." She is the set designer for The Entertainment and a senior Clerk at the Bureau. Used to own a dog. Lula was born in Elizabethtown but frequented, and loved, Mexico City. She is based on or a reference to William Chamberlain, the author of "The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed," the first book written by a computer and quoted by one of the pieces in "Limits & Demonstrations."
"[It was] something like a tragic love triangle, but much more complex. Some kind of tangled, painfully concave love polygon."

Lysette – Antique shop owner. Ira's widow. Conway's employer and former schoolmate. Likely has Alzheimer's, or is losing her memory. Has a sister in Nashville. Originally sang Too Late to Love You.
"It wasn't anyone's fault, Conway. That's what we mean when we say it's …"
"She sang about someone she wanted once to have loved."

Ira – Lysette’s deceased husband. Owned a roofing company. Described as wiry, irritable.
"[Joseph] reminds me a bit of your old man Ira. He was a good man. A good boss."

Shannon’s parents – Miners working in Elkhorn Mine along with Weaver’s parents, who were archivists. Presumably died in the flooding of the mine.
“Hey, if you see [Weaver] again … tell her I’m sorry about her aunt and uncle."

Remedios Márquez – Shannon's aunt who lives in Knoxville. From Colombia. Married to J. Márquez. Weaver's parents; worked at the University, then later in Elkhorn Mine. At some, she point traveled to Colombia. Her name (just like her cousin Weaver's address) is one of many references to One Hundred Years of Solitude in which two characters are named Remedios.
Act II: Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces
Mary Ann – Receptionist in the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. One of Donald's research assistants in the XANADU project. Studied fine art in University. Rents a space in the Self Storage facility as a place to paint with oils.

Rick – Ingestion clerk at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. One of Donald's research assistants in the XANADU project. Studied library sciences in University. He owns a pet goldfish.

Wanda – Ingestion clerk at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces.

Rebecca Metzstein – Assigns case numbers and requisition forms at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. Her name is a reference to Isi Metzstein, an architect part of the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia firm who built St Bride's Church in East Kilbride, one of the churches on which the Bureau (a "reclaimed" church) was based.

Ellen MacMillan – Documents czar at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. Her name is a reference to Andy MacMillan, an architect part of the Gillespie, Kidd & Coia firm who built St Bride's Church in East Kilbride, one of the churches on which the Bureau (a "reclaimed" church) was based.

Ed Böhm – A clerk who assigns ingestion cards at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. Checked in the document "Failing antique shops," according to the logbook on the fourth floor. His name is a reference to Gottfried Böhm, the architect of the Pilgrimage Church in Neviges, Germany, one of the churches on which the Bureau (a "reclaimed" church) was based.

Greg – Works in Diagrams & Drafts at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. An interior spatial analyst. One of Donald's research assistants in the XANADU project.
(Greg fixes some math with some weirder math.)
Act II: Other Characters
Dr. Truman – A doctor who fixed up Conway's leg and diagnosed Lula with arthritis. Dr. Truman used to live in a small neighborhood on the east edge of Bowling Green, but now in the Forest. Used to be in debt—and perhaps still is—due to medical school expenses. Possibly a reference to the U.S. President Harry S. Truman.

Dr. Karl Stone-Norden – Architect at Gaston Trust for Imagined Architecture. Replied to Lula’s application. His firm is a reference to French philosopher Gaston Bachelard and his work 1958 work The Poetics of Space, where the philosopher argues abandoning the strict separation between inside and outside. (see: Shannon, on the Bureau: "Is this place inside or outside?")

Robert – Mailman. Mentioned in the letter of rejection Lula receives. Loves her work.

Charlie – Ira and Lysette's deceased son. His story is revealed through Conway's thoughts: at the Mineral Springs (while exploring the Zero), while dreaming of talking with Lysette after his leg surgery, and at the Hard Times distillery. Charlie, with Conway hung over and unable to complete a big roofing job with Ira, was assigned to the task instead. Died during the job by falling off of the roof, something which weighs heavily on Conway. At the time, he was back home from college visiting his parents. Dated Mimi in college up until his death. Studied astronomy and aviation; liked experimental music ("weird, noisy, computer music") and hummingbirds.
"Gone, but not forgotten." "No, not forgotten. You're right."

Brandon(see "Act IV: A Phone")

Flora – A young girl, about Ezra's age, who lives in the Museum of Dwellings with her mother, Annie, and father, George. Describes herself as a romantic. She has a crush on Ezra, and is good at chess. Seen exploring the Echo River Central Exchange. Her paper boat can be seen throughout the game. Her town was "flattened" to make way for the Museum of Dwellings, or so the open-air gallery art exhibit on the Echo seems to imply, which houses a picture of her playing near a puddle, folding her paper boat.
"I'm a romantic." "Really? What does that mean to you?" "It means I like poems and rivers and mysteries."
"Right now, they're exhibiting some intimate photographs of small-town life. There's one of a small girl playing in a puddle. She's got her back to the camera and she's fussing with something, looking at her hands. Maybe she's stuffing a message in a bottle, or folding a paper boat."

Thomas, Fred, James, Diane, Walker, Sadie, Ivy, Pearl, Burt, George, Annie, Hudson – Workers or residents in the houses in the Museum of Dwellings, a place that also references Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space by putting houses inside a museum, again playing with the concepts of inside versus outside. James' name is a reference to James Agee, while Walker references Walker Evans, the photographer for Agee's book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. All other museum dwellers' names are references to this book. One house in the museum resembles a Dymaxion house, build by the architect Buckminster Fuller, whose Dymaxion cars are also seen in the game (in the car graveyard on the Zero). For more on Pearl (in another context), see Pearl Slade in "Characters from Bonus Content" section.

Cora – A woman mentioned by Lysette in Conway's dream after his leg surgery. The plan was for her to pick something up from Lysette at her house.
"Cora should be here soon. Will you wait with me?"

Didi & Gogo – Fellow musicians. Friends with Johnny and Junebug, and acquaintances of Patch. Their names are references to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
Act III: Hall of the Mountain King
Donald – Friend of Joseph’s and Lula’s from college times who, together with them, created the XANADU software. This is a reference to Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu, the first hypertext project, which itself is a reference to Samuel Coleridge's Kubla Khan, a story famous for its creation rather than its content. More here. His email to Joseph in Act I about Xanadu has the subject line "fragments dim of lovely forms," another reference to the play. Published explanations of its data structures in "Literary Multitudes: Hypertextural Narrative as Poststructural Witness." In the past, jealous of Lula's relationship with Joseph. Named after Don Woods, a programmer involved with the first-ever text adventure game Colossal Cave Adventure.
"There’s a whole world here, and we need your help to unmask it . . . Maybe you’ve found your own 'Xanadu.' Well, so have I!"
"The chalky bones of a beautiful dream. But you can see what it once was, can't you? Can't you?"
"We are too late. Always too late …"
(JOSEPH says something clever, and LULA leans on his shoulder. You wish that, instead, she had taken your hand, or that there were any other option.)
"I still have a bit of mold in my pipe, and a few dreams left."

Roberta – Works for Donald. Studied fairy tales as an independent scholar. Likely named after Roberta Williams, a video game designer working in the field of graphic adventure games.
"The kingdom is in peril."

Amy – Published 11 novels total, including "The Billionaire's Bidding" and "Fields of Longing" while living in Lexington. One of Donald's research assistants in XANADU, helping with debugging. Her name is a possible reference to Amy Briggs, a computer programmer working with interactive fiction and text adventures. Used to live in a studio apartment in Lexington.

Andrew – Started working with Donald on his project in graduate school as a research assistant. Wears glasses. Studied statistics at University. His name is a reference to Andrew Plotkin, a central figure in the interactive fiction community.
"That was my job: describe the cave."
"I only dream of caves …"
Act III: Where the Strangers Come From
The Strangers – The Hard Times boys. Appear as skeletons. Donald sees them as "Intruders!" who disturb XANADU; in reality, coming to scrape the black mold from the computer to turn into whiskey. Stories of specific distillery workers listed below.
"I just get this awful feeling whenever I see them. Like I knew them once but not anymore ... like when they make up a dead person to look like an old photograph of themselves." "Sort of familiar, sort of strange."
"Back there, that tunnel. Push back the vines. Crawl out into the darkness. Watch your step. After a while, you'll feel the terrain change beneath your hands and knees. From rock, to crystal, and then to mud. Then you'll be out. That's where the strangers come from."
"All they want is debt! They feed on it! They put it in the whiskey!"

Lem Doolittle – One of the Strangers who acts as Shannon and Joseph's "guide" at the Hard Times distillery—in the overworld, located far to the northwest of the 65, right off the Green River (and, in the "real world," based on the work of set designer Ken Adam). Lem appears as a skeleton, glowing like Conway's new leg. He works as a copywrighter at the distillery. In "The Entertainment," he is the writer of A Reckoning and A Bar-fly, plays which were adapted by Joseph for simultaneous performance as The Entertainment. A Reckoning is based on playwright Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, featuring a similar story and characters. This play, in turn, is thought of as inspired by Maxim Gorky's The Lower Depths, after which the tavern is seemingly named. His play A Bar-fly is based on Samuel Beckett's Act Without Words, a playwright whose play Waiting for Godot is quoted/referenced multiple times in the story. His name is a reference to Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn, the husband of Loretta Lynn (on whom Junebug was based), and possibly to Hilda "H.D." Doolittle, an American Imagist poet.

Earl – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Works in logistics. Used to be a beekeeper, until his interest on borrowed casks led him to fall into debt to the distillery.

Zeke – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Recruiter. In debt to the distillery.

Connie – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Lover of animals. Her property extended into the distillery's, leading to a civil suit and debt to the distillery.

Danny – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Works on a daily art project, but can't afford the lease at the site. In debt to the distillery.

Ted – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Tunes, replaces, and upgrades equipment as his debt to the distillery.

Dennis – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. His family worked as a logging company. Working to repay his family's debt to the distillery.

Leah – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Used to own a magazine until she fell into debt, owing the distillery.

Jermaine – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. A bicycle courier who misplaced money orders and was held liable. When the distillery bought his company, his debt came along with it.

Ruben – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. A past, serial entrepreneur, 'creative bookkeeping caught up with him, and he had to borrow against some empty promises to keep his licenses intact. Now he's here, in shipping.'

Raul – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Future master distiller. Has a degree in chemistry. The distillery paid for his college, and in exchange is serving out an apprenticeship for many years.

Pamela – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Purchased a case of Hard Times whiskey for a friend's birthday via check which was cashed at an inopportune time, putting her in debt to the distillery.

Vincent – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Damaged the distillery's water pump boating down a river, and working to repay the damages.

Heather – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Previously a psychotherapist, now in debt to the distillery.

Marge – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. An avid vinyl collector, borrowed cash from a distillery employee to purchase a rare record, now in debt.

Cliff – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. Owes a debt to the distillery who bailed him out of jail. 'Now he's working it off while his case hovers in bureaucratic limbo.'

Davey – Stranger, skeleton, distillery worker. A skilled card player who couldn't cover his unlucky losses in a game against Jane, the floor manager for the brewery—so she offered him a job.

Stephen Bishop – Started the Hard Times whiskey factory/distillery. Known as "Mr. Bishop."

Miguel – Truck driver for the Hard Times whiskey factory/distillery. Died in a car accident. Thankfully, he had no next of kin: no debt to be passed on. The first line of dialogue in Act I, spoken by Joseph, recounted the crash: 'Damn! Did you hear that wreck? Truck full of bottles … I dunno, beer bottles? Whiskey? Lost a tire or something, and spilled booze and glass all over the interstate!'
Act III: Other Characters

Harry Esperanza – Owner of The Lower Depths tavern and widower to his late wife Bess. Tells Conway and Shannon how to reach the Zero: by tuning the radio to a familiar channel, driving for a while, then turning around when it cuts out (and, before ending up on the Zero, horses appear in the road.) Bartender in "The Entertainment," where he is played by Edgar Foy. 'Esperanza' is the Spanish word for hope; Harry Hope is the name of the bartender in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh who hasn't left the bar in years since his wife Bessie died. Serves "brick sandwiches" to satisfy the minimal food requirement set in place by the Raines Law regarding the serving of alcohol in hotel restaurants, the setting of both "The Entertainment" and The Iceman Cometh. In "The Entertainment," tells of his supposed vacation to New Orleans, although in reality hardly ever leaves the town, much less the bar, according to Evelyn.
"And it's even stranger for being so close to familiar. Something like that. You'll know it when you hear it."

Graveyard headstones – The unfortunate; deceased. Randomly engraved with the names of KRZ Kickstarter backers.

Linda – An older woman Conway meets and picks up at the bus stop. Worked in Knoxville. Lives off of the 65, by the factory, with her daughter and her son-in-law.

Keith – A man Conway meets and picks up at the bus stop. An auto claims adjuster who went to the University of Indianapolis. He has a degree in mathematics and a minor in sports marketing.

Patty – A younger woman Conway meets and picks up at the bus stop.
Act IV: The Mucky Mammoth
Cate – Tugboat captain who helps operate and pilot the Mucky Mammoth. Tea-lover and mushroom hunter. Grows many natural plants on board. Also works as a birth doula—helped deliver both of Poppy's nieces. Started collecting and identifying mushrooms on hikes before joining the Lexington Mycological Society to study the medicinal uses of fungi. While mushroom hunting with Ezra, talks about the Iron Pariah, an old Civil War-era battleship overrun with cats. Tells Ezra about Duck Island, The Lighthouse, and The Story Cliff, all along the Echo River.

Will – A tugboat operator who works on the Mucky Mammoth along with Cate. Has been traveling the Echo River for half his life—the Echo's "premier anecdotalist." Has a gray beard, and wears green and orange shorts. A classically trained organist, who was seen playing in the Bureau in Act II. On the tugboat, commonly works in the map room and updates the charts, along with delivering mail. Has a minor in French Literature. Taught theatre at a university until a funding cut left him mopping floors—though still listened to lectures through the ventilation system. Operated the soundboard at the student theatre and left his shoes at the university. Loves lottery scratch tickets. While asleep on the tugboat, listens to an old university lecture titled "History of the Philosophy of Death," during which a student named James asks a question—possibly a young Carrington.
"A story, well ... I like to listen to them, I like to tell them, but I don't have one of my own." "I listen to the river's stories, and my own stories get fainter and fainter."
"I personally believe a story gets more true as it's tossed around from brain to brain and the whole community brings their insight to bear on the brittle facts of experience."
"Everybody thinks they're inside, just because they can't see the sky — but it's a microclimate down here, and it surely does rain.

Clara – A musician and friend to Johnny and Junebug who plays the theremin. From Lithuania, which is where her sister currently resides. On tour, heading to Nashville, then Atlanta, then the coast. Her name is a likely reference to Clara Rockmore, a famous theremin performer.

Valkyrie – Cate's dog, a rescue, whom she calls Val. Wears a green bandana and has a keen sense of smell.

Coconut – A white cat who joined the group on the Mucky Mammoth after they stopped at the Radvansky Center. Nocturnal. Followed Shannon, Conway, Ezra, and Clara off at the Silo of Late Reflections.

Black cat – Came on board the tugboat at the Bureau. Followed Shannon, Conway, Ezra, and Clara off at the Silo of Late Reflections.
Act IV: A Gas Station & The Rum Colony
A Gas Station
Attendant – Works at the floating gas station, which is referred to as "LL" in Mucky Mammoth Log Entry #1. Believes he has a forgettable face. Used to live in Cleveland, Ohio. Aloof, but strangely chatty, according to Johnny.
"There's dignity in being forgotten, letting the crowd flow around you unspoiled."
"I live behind this counter, anonymous, invisible, but I live with dignity."

Norm Locke(see "Act IV: Along the Echo (Other Characters)")

Al – A man who Johnny meets in the floating gas station out on the Echo River five years back in search of an ice floe.

The Rum Colony
Cyrano Cole – Musician; a friend to Johnny and Junebug. Often performs at The Rum Colony. According to Johnny, a "wizard of the lap steel guitar."

Luis – Works at the Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces. Seen by the main cast at The Rum Colony on the Echo, celebrating a "milestone" along with Ed Böhm, Rebecca Metzstein, and Rick (see Act II: Bureau of Reclaimed Spaces).

Sonny and Dawn – Bar-goers at The Rum Colony. Presumably married. Sonny's overly-concerned about melting polar ice caps, toxic runoff, and the world; Dawn seemingly regrets her marriage, tired out by Sonny's pessimism.

Patch – Bartender, general manager, and "creative director" at The Rum Colony. Has run the bar for the last seven years, but doesn't own it—instead, it's owned by a dead man named Vernon, who owed a debt to the power company. Kind, trustworthy, and can make a vast number of drinks, many including curaçao and rum.
Act IV: A Phone & The Radvansky Center
A Phone
Brandon – Janitor at the Self Storage facility, which was previously known as the Saint Thomas Church. The group meets him at the Echo River phone, where he's stranded after missing his ride after a long card game.

Summer – A client of Cate's who she calls at the Echo River phone. Pregnant. Married, presumably, to a man Eric.

Nadia – Clara's older sister, who she calls at the Echo River phone. Lives in an apartment with a balcony. Her uncle Andrius who she visits in hospice care regularly is terminally ill.

Andrius – Clara and Nadia's elderly uncle. A collector of sounds. Clara didn't know him as a child, but became close with him recently. Andrius often traveled and recorded sounds, which he then sold to movie studios and private collectors.

The Radvansky Center
Mimi – Works at the Radvansky Center along with Jenn, where the two processed the group's questionnaires and referenced them against security footage. Used to make video art using university property and research equipment which used to be shown on WEVP-TV, the same university where Will, who she calls "Wise Will," used to work. As an undergrad, she claims to have majored in "Fire." Took time off before grad school, in contrast to Jenn who "barreled through school." Mimi's boyfriend as a college undergrad was Charlie, Ira and Lysette's son, who died suddenly her last year at school.

Jenn – Works at the Radvansky Center along with Mimi. Has a cat named Baggs. The Radvansky Center, a project of the university that "pays cash upon completion of small, non-invasive tests," is a reference to psychologist Gabriel Radvansky, who believes walking through doorways causes people to forget things due to the doors serving as an "event boundary" which affects memory. This sense of forgetfulness is also tied to the river Lethe in Greek mythology, after which Lake Lethe is named.

Darryl – An employee at the Radvansky Center mentioned by Mimi and Jenn. Found old video tapes of the group's stop at the Center during their trip down the Echo.

Act IV: Echo River Central Exchange & Sam & Ida's
Echo River Central Exchange

Dashiell Morse – A friend of Cate & Will's. Works (sort of) at the Exchange, and used to volunteer for the local community TV station WEVP wiring up electronics. Wears glasses and has a long, white beard. Used to visit the Exchange as a child with his grandmother, although it used to be a train station back then. His wife is a collector of telephones, and the seller of the pink WE 2500[] phone. She signs her name as "your dot," a reference to the "dash" part of Dashiell's name; his last name is a reference to morse code. States he knows everyone who works at WEVP, including Ralph, Sherry, Weaver, and Dave.
I was for many years a devoted collector of telephones, but since my Dashiell passed I find the tomatoes and goats demand my full attention. -Your Dot

Poppy – Works in the Exchange delivering packages—or, as it's formally known, "Consolidated Auxiliary Switch Number 30," as it was renamed after the power company took over. Tells Shannon her story of the history of the exchange and of the twelve original operators.

Loretta, Edna, Meg, Cara, Marie, Lois, Liz, Hester, Angie, Wilma, Connie – Along with Poppy, made up the twelve original operators who worked at the Exchange. Connie was hired at the same time as Poppy; Marie stopped working at the Exchange after finishing college; Hester was fired for snapping at a rude caller—Beryl, Jana, and Sachiko were hired as replacements. Edna, Meg, Cara, and Lois were eventually let go after Consolidated Power Co. bought the Exchange, and Beryl quickly found work as a private branch exchange. Jana and Liz were asked to stop routing calls and write a "best practices" document instead. Connie was reassigned to check residential meters, while Sachiko and Wilma were moved into energy sales, leaving only Loretta, Angie, and Poppy.

Sam & Ida's
Ida – A cook who runs Sam & Ida's with her husband, a restaurant on the Echo River. Taught Will many of her recipes, minus the secret ingredients.

Sam – Ida's husband and restaurant-owner. A diver, who catches the food which Ida puts on the menu at Sam & Ida's. Follows the diving routes in Lake Lethe which he memorized from two divers fifteen years ago.
Act IV: Along the Echo (Other Characters)

Elise – Resident artist at the taxidermy shop "Trapper, Stalker & Sportsman," a small brick building on the Echo that used to be an upholstery shop with a name that has been "lost to time and weather." The shop is either owned by Ida, her aunt, or a old and reclusive ex-convict named Judah.

Greta Luck, Norm Locke – High school sweethearts. Married at the petrified oak stump near the rocky protrusions along the Echo. Norm's family ran a printing press or animal storage company, while Greta's managed a fleet of bicycle couriers or a nut company. Together, they started a paper, known as the Echo River Evening Record. Norm is a visitor to the floating gas station where he describes how his now-ex wife left him, but he couldn't blame her. Used to work in textiles at one point, but is now retired, and spends most of his time sailing the Echo River. Believes Junebug to be Loretta, who he tried to meet for a date online. Has two grown children that live far away—his son is a schoolteacher and his daughter owns a printing press.

Cassie and Paula – Twin sisters who ran Gemini Canoe & Firewood or Gemini School of Beauty on the Echo River. Used to rent out canoes to campers, tourists, pilgrims, etc. Their names are a reference to the stars and twins Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini, meaning "twins" in Latin.

Carl – Sells flowers on the Echo River. Worked at a shop named The Sweater Shoppe or The Balloon Barn until it went out of business. A friend of Patch's.

Violet Ratliff – The previous owner of Ratliff Monuments, a shop along the Echo that sells headstones. Never married, but had six children: Earl, Kelly, Barb, Ron, Young Earl, and Beauty. Earl had a passion for cars; Beauty preferred less-goulish duties; Barb read scripts in a call center. After Violet died at age eighty-two, Young Earl took over running the shop, although it was damaged by a flood several years ago.

Alejandra, Mark – Friends of Shannon who she tells Conway she was on the phone with while in the Elkhorn Mine.

Edgar Duck – A "nasty old hermit" who put a claim on Duck Island (on the Echo) and built a house there, purportedly with a large fence but no bed or kitchen. Supposedly blasted an air horn if anyone got too close.

Gloria B. – Deceased resident of Munfordville; mentioned on one of the video tapes Shannon watches aboard the Mucky Mammoth. Survived by her children Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Bobby.

Eddie, Sadie, Christopher, Carla – Mentioned on one of the video tapes Shannon watches aboard the Mucky Mammoth. Eddie sells eggs while Sadie sells Shells; Christopher is looking for a scrub plane; Carla is looking to trade her typing services for calligraphy services or vice versa.

Characters from Intermission Episodes

Limits & Demonstrations
Emily, Ben, and Bob(see "Act I: Other Characters")

The Entertainment
Lem Doolittle, Harry Esperanza(see "Act III: Other Characters")

Edgar Foy, Allen Vogel, Sydney Mueller, Paula Graves – Actors in "The Entertainment"—according to the developers, the play is "Doolittle's take on the sort of barroom tragedy made popular by O'Neill, Gorky, etc." See below for character descriptions.

Evelyn Hickman – Talks to Harry in "The Entertainment" where she is played by Paula Graves. She is afraid her husband Ted (short for Theodore) will philander due to his travel. Final character in The Reckoning. In O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, Theodore Hickman is a central character, a hardware salesman with a late wife named Evelyn and known to bar-flies as as a philanderer. Her (and others') speech is often described as "sardonic," an uncommon word used liberally in The Iceman Cometh. At one point she says "Don't be a fool. Buy me a drink," a reference to the line "Don't be a fool! Buy me a trink!" in The Iceman Cometh. In Act III, she is seen with Lawrence and Rosa in the distillery.
"You ever see … one of them? The boys from Hard Times? I heard they're … strange."

Ted – Evelyn's husband in "The Entertainment." Works as a salesman at Quality Hammers.

Bess – Harry's late wife in "The Entertainment.". Talked about by Harry and Evelyn. Described as a good Christian woman.

Pearl Slade – Played by Sarah Wakefield in "The Entertainment." She is friends with Harry and Evelyn, and works at Ace Jewelry & Loan, a pawn shop owned by Joe Hardin. Her parents are in debt. While Pearl is a minor character in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, a central character in this play is named Larry Slade (see: Lawrence Slade, below). She quotes Shakespeare's Hamlet while talking to Harry and Evelyn.

Lawrence Slade – Played by Allen Vogel in "The Entertainment." Married to Rosa. In Act III, he is seen with Evelyn and Rosa in the distillery. His glasses and shoes, taken off earlier per distillery procedure, are found in the dumpster outside the Lower Depths.

Rosa Slade – Played by Sydney Mueller in "The Entertainment." She is married to Lawrence and works at a supermarket managed by a man named O'Neill, the surname of the playwright of The Iceman Cometh. She shares her first name with Rosa Parritt, a character in The Iceman Cometh who was a one-time lover of the character Larry (Lawrence) Slade. In Act III, she is seen with Evelyn and Lawrence in the distillery.

Bar-fly – Played by an uncredited actor in "The Entertainment."

Here And There Along The Echo
Will(see "Act IV: The Mucky Mammoth")

Emily, Ben, and Bob(see "Act I: Other Characters")

Un Pueblo De Nada
To update… (Emily, Rita, Maya, Ben, Bob, Nikki, Ron, Ralph, Sherry, Elmo, Mimi, Geoff, Slow Moe Crow, Cyrano Cole, Weaver.)
Recommended Reading
I'd deeply appreciate it if you'd check out my in-depth article about choice, connection, and discovering meaning in the world of Kentucky Route Zero:
KRZ wiki:
The following articles and forum threads continue to delve deep into the story and meaning of Kentucky Route Zero.
Other articles, talks, and KRZ-related interviews:
< >
XBL Laberbacke May 23, 2017 @ 1:06pm 
Blue? There is no Blue, just Homer! Funny how such a small thing can change a game.
eli  [author] May 23, 2017 @ 1:04pm 
@XBL Laberbacke Nah, I don't think are any wrong choices, only different ones (and they're all good, imo!) I also liked watching Blue sleep on the boat – and, personally, I stayed on the boat the entire time, my first time through. :) Act IV more than any other act benefits from replaying it to see the different scenes, though!
XBL Laberbacke May 21, 2017 @ 7:13pm 
Reading this, it seems I made the "wrong" dialogue choices and went to the wrong/boring places when prompted. Eh, that's life. Seeing the dogs sleep on the tugboat was totally worth it.
live_allosaurus Aug 2, 2016 @ 11:41am 
Surely Patch and Carl are more than just friends? Junebug asks Patch how it's going and Patch's answer (or at least, his answer the time I went to the Rum Colony) is: "Aw, know. Carl had that gig for a minute at The Sweater Shoppe, but they went out of business. If our numbers were better here, he could just work on his record and it'd be fine, know how it is."
eli  [author] Jul 21, 2016 @ 5:16pm 
live_allosaurus, I noticed that line too! Recognized the name. You have a very keen eye, and a good memory. I'll be sure to include his first name, now, when I update the guide for Act IV over the next few days. I'll let you know when I update it (have tons of text, and still some lingering questions, at the moment – need to sort & revise it), and will chat you about some of the changes—see if there's anything else you've noticed or interpreted differently, etc. :)
live_allosaurus Jul 21, 2016 @ 4:19pm 
We now have, I assume, a first name for the elusive Mr. Bishop: :tvhead:
eli  [author] Jul 21, 2016 @ 11:18am 
Hey wllppr,
Thanks for your comment. I have not, but I have been to it before. It seemed a bit out-of-date last time I found my way there, and most of my explorations of the game I've found a way to work into this guide… I'm also not a big fan of Wikia itself, unfortunately—independent wikis all the way! But I'll definitely help out if I pass by. :)
wllppr Jul 21, 2016 @ 8:23am 
Great guide! Have you contributed to the Wikia at all? A game like this sorely needs a quality wiki, and you seem commited :)
eli  [author] Feb 27, 2016 @ 6:13pm 
Saw your comment in one of the threads in the forums – "Interesting name on Mr. Bishop, btw. More churches and cathedrals everywhere." Definitely worth noting, I think!
live_allosaurus Feb 27, 2016 @ 3:07pm 
I wondered if Mr. Bishop's name had any meaning besides the obvious continued churchy motif, and I found that there was a mathematician named Bishop --

(I don't know enough about math to understand what he did or how influential it was...)