Dollmaker, train conductor
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|“|| The train is coming with its shiny cars. With comfy seats and wheels of stars. So hush my little ones have no fear. The man in the moon is the engineer.
The Dollmaker was the Wonderland incarnation of Dr. Angus Bumby. He was the mastermind behind the Infernal Train and Wonderland's corruption. Following his defeat and his real world counterpart's death, Alice Liddell was once again able to save herself and her memories. The Dollmaker is the main antagonist (sharing this role with his counterpart Bumby) and final boss of the second game.
Alice's stay at Houndsditch
The Dollmaker presumably appeared in Wonderland following Alice's first therapy session with Angus Bumby. Taking advantage of Wonderland's weakened state following the Queen of Hearts' defeat, he began spreading Ruin all over the realm in order to corrupt Wonderland and ultimately destroy it. As his grip over Wonderland tightened, he started to abduct Insane Children, transforming them into murderous, mindless dolls which would serve as his minions.
At some point prior to Alice's return in Wonderland, he took over the Dollhouse, remaking it into a nightmarish factory patrolled by Ruin monsters and killer dolls. He also either manipulated the March Hare and the Dormouse into constructing the Infernal Train, or took control of it shortly after it was unleashed. Either way, the train ended up in his control and he used it to tear Wonderland asunder by setting its schedule and itinerary.
Alice: Madness Returns
The Dollmaker attempted to eliminate Alice countless times by sending his ruin monsters after her to no avail. When she reached the Dollhouse, he unleashed his army of killer dolls, but they were unable to stop Alice and she managed to reach his lair.
When Alice met the Dollmaker, she quickly realized that it was Dr. Bumby, who she had come to recognize as the murderer of her family. Bumby, as the Dollmaker, was destroying whatever was left of Alice's mind, thus in turn destroying Wonderland, as well as tormenting the other children who were as insane as she was and turning them into submissive "dolls." The Dollmaker claimed he was "performing a service," just as Bumby did at Moorgate Station, where he explained to Alice his belief that he was doing a favor for the public by selling children as sex slaves, and remarked that Alice could have forgotten and been 'cured'.
Alice declared that she will stop the train if it was the last thing she did, and the Dollmaker confidently claimed that it will be. He proceeded to grab her, turned her into a doll, and dropped her into the train with the other children that he turned into dolls. However, Alice got one last burst of inner strength, enabling her to break free from her doll form and return to her human form in the Classic dress, which allowed her to make her way to the locomotive's engine room, where the Dollmaker served as the engineer and conductor of the train.
During the final showdown at the head of the train, the Dollmaker taunted Alice and tried to stop her from succeeding in defeating him. His form had become even more twisted, with a snakelike body composed of Ruin, disembodied and mutilated hands held to his body with strings and a disgusting tongue composed of Ruin and doll heads. He used his hands to taunt Alice by performing gestures he pictured children doing. His giant hands would also grope Alice and shake her body, likely referencing his desire to turn her into a sex slave.
It was only when she defeated the Dollmaker that his evil influence toward Alice, Wonderland, and other innocent people had been diminished for good and Wonderland was "restored" once more. Simultaneously in the real world, Alice pushed the real Dr. Bumby in front of an oncoming train to kill him. By doing so, she had avenged her family and the victims of Bumby's memory erasure, ensuring that he would never hurt anyone ever again.
The Dollmaker was a twisted reflection of Dr. Bumby, being gigantic, corpse-like, hunchbacked, and somewhat disproportionate compared to his human counterpart. His outfit was similar to Bumby's, but with several drawers down the front of the vest. The Dollmaker does possess legs but they are hidden during the encounter under his giant "desk". His face has cuts with staples. His teeth are sharp and thin, resembling nails.
His face was hollow and eyeless with one eye socket dwarfing the other. Black Ruin oozes out of his orifices (mouth, nostrils, eye sockets) including his ears. The Ruin drips down the Dollmaker's chin, forming a 'beard' similar to Bumby's own facial hair. The Ruins is likely due to Alice's opinion that Bumby is an "oozing sore of depravity".
The Dollmaker's large, emaciated hands appeared sewn together, being covered in stitches, staples and nails. Each hand had a large doll head embedded in its back and different colored fingernails, the left hand having black and the right hand having red. The doll head in the left hand is more masculine while the doll head on the right is more feminine. He wears a black ring on his left thumb. He also has a coke nail, suggesting Bumby may have been a drug addict or user. It could also be indicative of Bumby using psychoactive drugs in order to facilitate his corruption and erasure of the children's minds, making them more compliant to his orders. He may have also been using them on Alice, as at the beginning of the game he sends her to pick up medication.
In his final battle with Alice, the Dollmaker became even more monstrous and distorted. His lower body was replaced by a massive, serpentine column of Ruin, and his hands had grown even larger.
His arms disappeared, but a pair of smaller arms with three fingers have sprouted from his shoulder blades, holding puppet strings that controlled his disembodied hands. The doll heads on his hands occasionally become corrupted by black Ruin; when defeated, the doll heads disappear leaving an indent. His right ring finger appears to be chopped off.
He also had a long, grotesque tongue made of Ruin and doll heads, which served as his main weak point.
|“|| I provide a service, in the great and awful metropolis, appetites of all sorts must be gratified.
The Dollmaker's personality mirrored that of his real-world counterpart, feeling no remorse whatsoever for his horrible actions. He did not see the pain he caused and on several occasions attempted to justify the matter with educated statements. His educated, fairly polite demeanor was only a cover for a horrifically sadistic mind that sees his victims as toys – much as how Dr. Bumby saw the children he turned into sex slaves as nothing more than "products" which he sold to interested buyers.
Similar to the Jabberwock, he attempted to make Alice feel remorse for the deaths of her family and also tried to put the pressure of guilt over her, stating "they are dead, and you should be too." He also attempted to show more of his manipulative sides by putting guilt of the child prostitution onto her.
Unlike Bumby, the Dollmaker's motivations and psychological tactics were more openly malicious and focused around inflicting fear in his victims, as opposed to putting up a facade of trying to help them while secretly destroying their minds.
Powers and abilities
The Dollmaker himself was not particularly suited to combat as his primary function was to turn young children into "toys," and to direct the Infernal Train in its destruction of Wonderland. However, due to his size, ability to control Ruin, and the damaged state of Alice's mindscape, he proved to be a challenging enemy for Alice to encounter.
- Grab – The hand will attempt to grasp Alice and crush her between its fingers. It can be avoided by running and dodging.
- Nail Scrape – The hand will dig its claws into the glass beneath Alice and drag it across the surface, making a loud and high-pitched noise as it does so. The attack will last for around ten seconds and can be avoided by abusing the dodge button and navigating Alice around the two pillars on the battle ground. This attack will also leave the hand vulnerable to damage after it completes the attack.
- Pinch – The hand will attempt to pinch Alice provocatively in order to injure her. Similar to the grab, it is avoided through dodging and running.
- Residue – The hand will carve a fine line into the glass below and blow the chemical residue into Alice. It can be avoided by jumping, dodging away from it or using the umbrella. The hand will usually use this attack three times in a row, becoming vulnerable after the third attack.
- Smash – The Dollmaker will form his hand into the shape of a fist and hit the ground powerfully, attempting to crush Alice in the process. Dodging will evade this as time slows down for a second to alert the player. Once the hand has hit the floor, it will not remove itself for another few seconds, making it vulnerable to Alice's attacks (particularly if she uses the Vorpal Blade).
- Splat – The hand will raise itself up above Alice and quickly throw itself back down in a swatting motion to squish Alice. It will do this three times before running out of energy, allowing Alice to attack it once more. It can be avoided by dodging.
- Swat – The hand will raise itself up slightly and swat Alice across the ground. It will do this once and will not leave it open for attack, but can be avoided by dodging.
- Sweep – The hand will sweep itself across the surface of the battle area as if to sweep Alice away, slightly disabling her in the process. Similarly to the smash, it can be avoided by dodging, however, it will not leave the hand vulnerable to attack.
- Flamethrower – The hand will attach to one of the pillars and breathe fire at Alice. It can be avoided by staying away from it.
- Summon – The Dollmaker can summon Insidious Ruin, Menacing Ruin and Drifting Ruin.
- Spit - Both hands will attach to the pillars. The Dollmaker will lean forward and attempt to spit Ruin at Alice. His tongue is vulnerable so Alice should strafe left and right. The Pepper Grinder works well here.
The boss comes in three stages. The first stage is the black-fingernailed hand. The second stage is the red-fingernailed hand. The third stage is both of them.
The tactics mainly come in knowing how to dodge each of its individual attacks, as described above. Many attacks are telegraphed by the sound of a bell. The Dollmaker's openings are often telegraphed by him making "taunting" hand gestures and showing off, as well as the doll head being white instead of black. When there is an opening, the Teapot Cannon is useful to knock down the hand. Once the hand is knocked down, the player should use the Vorpal Blade and Cannon relentlessly. The pillars are very important for two reasons; if Alice is angled behind them, a lot of the attacks will miss, and if she is being chased, she can do circles around the pillars.
If an Insidious Ruin is summoned, don't bother attacking it as it will distract you from watching the hand, and some of the Dollmaker's attacks can kill the Ruin. You can throw a Clockwork Bomb in the center of the arena to make this more likely to happen. Only attack them if you are desperate for health. If a Menacing Ruin or Drifting Ruin is summoned, you should take care of it immediately.
After enough damage is dealt, the third stage begins where the Dollmaker will begin using two hands. Fortunately, the Dollmaker alternates attacks between each hand. There is no point in attacking the hands anymore so simply dodge. After enough dodging, the Dollmaker will begin to show his true health, represented by the doll heads on his tongue, so each time it appears, it is imperative Alice attacks it, preferably with the Cannon as highest priority. Alice can also get a head start on charging the Cannon because he will talk before he shows his tongue. Even if the tongue is not lowered at the bottom of the stage, Alice can keep attacking it when his head is raised, so watch his head. Note that if the tongue is lowered very close to the arena, the Cannon is a better choice. However, if it is raised above the arena a bit, the Pepper Grinder is superior because the Cannon will probably miss. Be prepared to use the Umbrella to rebound his occasional spit.
- His battle quotes include:
- "Hide in your shell!"
- "The past must be paid for."
- "Insignificant ant!"
- "The cost of forgetting is high."
- "Frightened of your shadow?"
- "Make-believe avenger!"
- "Cowardly worm!"
- "Could you kill a fly?"
- "Ineffectual twit!"
- "Absurd pugilist!"
- Killing the Dollmaker with no damage received results in the achievement/trophy called Pulling (His) Strings.
- The Dollmaker is the only true boss fight in Alice: Madness Returns.
- During the fight, a symbol (⚳) can be seen on the floor. The Art of Alice: Otherlands confirms this represents Ceres, the Roman goddess and ruler of the harvest (harvesting children for lustful purposes). In astrology, Ceres represents nurturing, therefore its presence may be a signal of how the Dollmaker is perversely "nurturing" Alice and the children in his care.
- There are actually several strong hints throughout the game signifying the Dollmaker and Dr. Angus Bumby's dark intentions. In the first level, a memory references Bumby referring to the Looking Glass Railway as inefficient and that a Mock-Turtle as Conductor would not do. During Alice's hallucination of the asylum, Bumby flat-out states that Alice should respect him as much as the Queen of Hearts, and to 'trade the tentacles for the train. It's all together a better ride'. Considering that the Queen was attempting to show Alice who would benefit from her madness, not to mention that in the previous burning door cutscene the player could clearly see that the arsonist was wearing Bumby's glasses, this may be intentional.
- As the Dollmaker appears to be the source of the Ruin that plagues Wonderland, the various creatures formed from it are likely acting on his orders, rather than on the mindless impulse to destroy.
- After Alice exits the Orphanage, a girl can be found apart from some other children playing, facing a wall. She recites, "The Sandman is coming in his train of cars, with moonbeam windows and wheels of stars. So hush you little ones, and have no fear. The man in the moon, he is the engineer." This poem was taken from "Hush! Here Comes the Dream Man" and it gives more clues of the Dollmaker.
- The colors of the Dollmaker's fingernails might have been based on the two colors of a deck of cards.
- It could be possible that another end that the Dollmaker could have sought in his plans was to build a new Wonderland after destroying the old one (albeit a dark, twisted and perverted one in his favor). This was proven at the very start of the game in the opening sequence when Alice witnessed Wonderland being corrupted by Ruin. Dr. Bumby told Alice to let the "new Wonderland" emerge, although this could be just Bumby trying to manipulate Alice's mind as usual.
- The name "Dollmaker" may be a reference to the Deep Web, where evidence of child prostitution was found and the criminals were named "Doll Makers." These people bear resemblance to Bumby through his malicious acts on the orphans.
- The slabs of meat used as flooring in some parts of the Dollmaker's Lair might be a play on his real-world counterpart's first name: Angus (a type of beef).
- The corrupted underworld where the Dollmaker resides in Wonderland could be a reflection of Bumby's view of children. The deterioration of the Dollhouse and its underworld's presence in Alice's mind could show how much Bumby was altering her views to match his own: to him, children were simply objects for dispassionate study, violent use and display, with no identity of their own beyond Bumby's own warped perceptions.
- ↑ Alice: Madness Returns. Retrieved on July 22, 2014.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: The End. Level: Chapter 6: Infernal Train.
- ↑ Throughout Alice: Madness Returns
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dollmaker's Workshop. Level: Chapter 5: The Dollhouse.
- ↑ Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Whitechapel. Level: Chapter 6: Infernal Train.
- ↑ Spicy Horse (2011-06-17). Alice: Madness Returns. (Electronic Arts). Scene: Dollmaker Part 2. Level: Chapter 6: Infernal Train.