|“||Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssss-I am the pirate signal-let me in. Hiya Chuck. Pleased to meet you. I'm the message. I'm John. Nothing fancy. I want to get to know you-you-you.||„|
|~ The Black Signal|
The Black Signal is a major antagonist in the 2012 MMORPG The Secret World. First introduced in Issue #9 of the downloadable expansion packs, he serves as the voice of the Dreamers on Earth and a powerful manifestation of the Filth: he is essentially a villainous counterpart to the Bees that serve as Gaia's voice - even communicating with the players through similar lore entries, though for some reason, he insists on calling the players "Chuck." Through initially uninvolved in the players' affairs beyond the lore entries, the Black Signal grows steadily more integral to the plot - until Issue #10 brings him into direct contact with the player.
Unknown to most of the Secret World, the Black Signal actually started life as a troubled young man by the name of John Copley: his early life is largely a mystery, but files retrieved in the mission "Obstructive Persons" suggest that he was born in South Africa. According to the Black Signal's archived memories, he was deeply neurotic and socially awkward, never picked in school sports and often excluded by his fellow students. His mother had died, leaving him in the company of his cold and distant father; it was this dysfunctional home life that eventually drove him to leave and seek out friendship - which he eventually found in Tokyo, courtesy of the Fear Nothing Foundation.
A branch of the Morninglight masquerading as a counselling service and social club for troubled youths, the Fear Nothing Foundation preached a message of triumphing over the fear taught by society - a notion that John obviously found appealing, despite the fact that he was almost too scared to enter their downtown offices. However, he quickly grew to enjoy the FNF, for not only did he find new friends among the members and counselors, but he even found a girlfriend there: Naonomi Tanaka, the most beautiful woman John had ever met. He worshiped her, and would have done anything for her - which he eventually did, exactly as she intended. In reality, the friendship and romance was all an act specifically designed to gain his loyalty: Naonomi had already seduced several other lonely young men into the cult, and John was just the latest in the long line.
At some point during his early days at the FNF, John was introduced to Che Garcia Hansson, the Morninglight's "demon hippie," and told to chaperone him on a wild night on the town. However, the reverse was more accurate: Che was in Tokyo solely to help mould the young recruit into a faithful servant of the Morninglight, and for that, he needed to be taught confidence. So, John found himself taken on a drunken tour of Kaidan district's bars and clubs, and along the way, Che picked fights with literally everyone: the two of them got into a fist-fight with Akashi at the Jingu Clan's noodle house, got thrown out of the bathhouse by the House In Exile, and even managed to get shot at by the Korinto Kai. Despite his horror at Che's behavior, John secretly enjoyed the violence and the chaos, and found himself growing more confident as the night wore on and the beers slowly gave way to hard drugs.
Eventually, the duo made their way to the Dream Palace Love Hotel in the company of two prostitutes: while Che enjoyed a threesome in the Palace's A/V room, John found himself sitting on the carpet in a hallucinogenic daze, watching the wallpaper patterns becoming "sleepy mouths devouring planets" - John's first glimpse of the Dreamers. It was then that he knew that this was where he needed to be; John left the Dream Palace a changed man - not merely a devoted servant of the Fear Nothing Foundation, but a Morninglight true believer and a willing pawn of the Dreamers.
Some time after this, John was called to a meeting with Philip Marquard, the head of the Morninglight: awed and more than a little nervous at the prospect of meeting the cult's messiah, he listened eagerly as Marquard told him of his mission - and of the the entity known as Lilith.
Currently operating under the name of Lily Engel, Chairwoman of the Orochi Group's Board of Directors, Lilith had been trying to harness the power of the Dreamers for untold centuries; having hit upon the Gaia Engines as the perfect means of enslaving these primordial beings, she had created the Morninglight in order to serve as her unwitting dupes in her attempts to find and utilize the Engines. However, the Dreamers were able to convert Phillip Marquard to the cause of releasing them: for the last few years, Marquard had been spreading the Gospel of the Filth to the Morninglight, undermining Lilith's control over the cult.
Now it was time to ensure that Lilith would never be able to reclaim her cult or stop the Dreamers: a relic of the Third Age had been smuggled into Tokyo and modified to serve as a Filth bomb, ready to be deployed in the first decisive move against Lilith and the Orochi Group - known in Morninglight parlance as "The Great Message." To that end, John was declared the Messenger, a suicide bomber for the cult.
He was to deliver the bomb to Orochi Tower by train and detonate it, infecting the corporate headquarters with the liquid voice of the Dreamers and killing Lilith - or so it was hoped. For good measure, Marquard warned John of Lilith's power, even telling him a few of Lilith's dreaded names and what those names could do to him if Lilith ever discovered what they were planning. Unfortunately, Marquard may have provided a little too much information: not only did John throw up in the bathroom shortly afterwards, but spent that night almost sleepless with fear - of the bomb, of disappointing his friends, and most of all, of Lilith.The next morning, John set off aboard a train to Orochi Tower with the bomb in tow. Ostensibly, everything had been planned for: the Morninglight had called in hits on any disruptive rail staff and ensured that the rail network's surveillance cameras remained unmanned for good measure. However, they hadn't counted on more mundane security: their Messenger was stopped by a guard, apparently suspicious about the sports bag he was carrying. Suddenly consumed with fear over what Lilith would do to him, John panicked and detonated the bomb a few stops early.
Orochi Tower was safe from the Filth and Lilith survived the assassination attempt unharmed. However, the Filth spread rapidly through the Tokyo subways, infecting thousands of people and killing thousands more, necessitating a massive quarantine of Kaidan District and the surrounding harbor; concrete slabs were hastily helicoptered into place in order to prevent the spread of the infection, and any survivors attempting to escape were shot on sight.
Flesh Made Of Dream
John did not die when he detonated the bomb. Exposed to purest Filth at the very center of the explosion, he "drank the liquid dreams of the Sleepers" and transformed - not into another corporeal Filth infectee, but into something entirely new: transcending physical existence altogether, he became the Black Signal, an intangible essence of the Filth travelling across radio waves and electrical currents. As he grew accustomed to his new self, he also learned that he also had the power to command Filth creatures and see through their eyes; disliking the sensation of moving through "meatspace," he developed a preference for his other notable power - the technopathic ability to manipulate electrical systems, telecommunications networks and other machinery.
Reveling in his new powers, the Black Signal quickly ran rampant across Kaidan district, joining the other forms of the Filth in wreaking havoc: his technopathic powers allowed him to seize control of Orochi's drone army and disable their tanks, driving the remaining human operators insane with his disorienting stimuli - some tank drivers going so far as to gouge out their eyes and puncture their eardrums rather than experience the signal again. Soon, the streets of Kaidan were littered with motionless tanks, while squadrons of corrupted androids patrolled the regions closest to the quarantine wall. With homicidal robots joining the hordes of Filth infectees, Oni, ghosts and other supernatural threats invading Tokyo, soon the surviving citizens were too scared to leave their homes at all.
However, the Black Signal found himself unable to leave Tokyo: past obligations held him back, subconsciously chaining him to Kaidan: Lilith was still alive, and her assassination would need to be completed if he was ever to be free. But, despite the seemingly bottomless reserve of confidence his powers had given him, John was still afraid of her, knowing full well that the Mother of Monsters might be able to kill him even in his new abstract state. So, he decided to ensure that the sealed entrance to Orochi Tower remained that way, keeping it forced shut until he could figure out what to do next.
After this, John took to procrastinating, wasting time in any way imaginable. Some of his methods were more pleasant that others: he revisited old friends like Kaoru of the Dream Palace and Naonomi Tanaka, and even struck up a surprisingly personable online friendship with Harumi. However, the Black Signal also indulged his sadistic streak by emotionally tormenting the citizens of Kaidan - now a captive audience to his whims. In once case, he infiltrated the speaker system at the Morninglight's underground clubhouse, and gleefully informed the trapped kids how their families were suffering and dying outside. One tormented young cultist was so distressed by this news that he stabbed himself to death with a corkscrew in a desperate attempt to escape the Black Signal's voice - amusing John to no end.
The rest of the Morninglight - those too indoctrinated to see the disaster as anything other than a blessing - regarded John with awe, calling him "The Boiling Meme," and hailing him as a messenger of the Lucid Dreamers, a messiah to the cult and a harbinger of the Immaculate Slime. Indeed, the few half-sane cultists left in the Clubhouse are still worshipping him even after all their compatriots are either dead or incapable of rational thought.
Outside Kaidan, the events of the Tokyo Incident - as the bombing is referred to - are ultimately what kickstarts the players' introduction to the Secret World and their recruitment by one of the Big Three factions. From there, the player is brought into direct contact with the Filth, the Dreamers, and even Lilith herself - eventually resulting in missions to Tokyo being planned by all three factions.However, the Dragon find their predictive models behaving oddly: for some reason, the name "John" keeps cropping up. In turn, the other two factions find the name turning up in their files as well: though the Black Signal can't leave Tokyo, he can send messages over the Internet, and somehow, these messages even manage to penetrate the virtual reality chambers of the Sunken Library and the servers at the Illuminati Labyrinth - the latter of which are guarded with firewalls that can keep out demigods. As such, Issue #9 begins with the confused faction heads sending the players to Kaidan in order to investigate the events behind the Tokyo Incident - and, of course, the identity of the mystery spammer.
After dealing with subterfuge in Venice and being rudely deposited in the Filth-infested subways under Tokyo, players eventually emerge onto the streets of Kaidan just in time to witness an emergency public address on one of the giant screens overlooking the plaza: here, Masao Tanaka (Naonomi's father) appeals to the citizens of Kaidan to remain calm, stay in their homes and abide by a new set of rules to which "compliance is mandatory." It is at this point that the Black Signal makes his first true "appearance" in the game as a disembodied voice superimposed over the address, commenting "compliance is deadly." Over the course of the broadcast, he deliberately undermines any attempt to calm the viewers by splicing in horrific footage of growing Filth and infected corpses, and when the beleaguered official calls for infected individuals to surrender to the guard towers on the wall, John gleefully adds footage of "infected" citizens being gunned down by security forces.
Soon after, the Black Signal contacts the players through lore entries, hijacking the normal means of communication that allow the Bees to provide lore. Calling the players "Chuck" regardless of chosen gender, John presents himself as a friend, actually introducing himself with his human name for good measure; throughout his lore entries, he does his best to portray Gaia and the Bees as untrustworthy and unworthy of loyalty, or undermine the players' faith in their local allies - though he may have a point in this case. He even occasionally makes offers of power in much the same way as Dreamers do in the earlier story missions, explaining that the players can become "a voracious abstract" like him if they're willing to learn. However, John doesn't bother to hide his more unpleasant traits from his audience, openly torturing Ricky Pagan with the knowledge of how his friends died while the players look on in shock.
Once they've finished bargaining with the Jingu Clan and the House In Exile, the players eventually meet up with Daimon Kiyota and are pointed in the direction of the long-abandoned Fear Nothing Foundation, where the search for answers truly begins: following the trail of clues to Harumi and her brother Yuichi (another one of Naonomi's old flames among the FNF), players are led through the quarantine wall and into Kaidan's harbor.
Nightmares In The Dream Palace
The trail of clues eventually leads the players to the safehouse of Naonomi Tanaka: having been drinking heavily in preparation for her inevitable assassination at the hands of Uta Bloody Valentine, Naonomi readily confesses to seducing John and the role she played in the Morninglight's plans, though she is still careful to make it look as though the Orochi Group was pulling their strings. She gives the player John and Che's invitation to the Dream Palace - right before Uta arrives and shoots her dead.
Upon arriving at the Dream Palace, the player is directed to the A/V room - though Black Signal lore entries found in the building during this issue strongly advise the player not to approach. Because the room is filled with televisions and other entertainment systems, John is able to make immediate contact as soon as the player enters, politely asking them to leave. When the player refuses to budge, John gets increasingly aggressive - until a massive geyser of Filth explodes from one of the TV sets, flooding the room and sending the player plummeting into the void.
It eventually becomes apparent that John's memories have been imprinted on the room due to the intensity of his experience, allowing the player to experience his life prior to becoming the Black Signal: his introduction to the FNF, his wild night on the town, his nightmares of Lilith, and the moment he detonated the Bomb - though the vague and surreal nature of the memories hides the reason for the attack itself, making it seem as though Lilith herself ordered it.
Unfortunately, John is not happy with having his memories invaded, and the Black Signal unleashes a vicious mental attack on the players, sending them on a grueling journey through their memories. First subjecting them to a recreation of the game's prologue, he makes it seem as though the player has been touched by the Dreamers instead of the Bees; then, he proceeds to fast-forward through almost every single cutscene in the game, making the player fight the final bosses of each story arc all over again, all while hammering them with mocking lectures. Fortunately, when he stumbles onto the memory of Issue #7 and the encounter with Lilith, John responds with instinctual panic and releases the player.
As he observes the memory playing on, however, John is astonished and impressed at the fact that the players chose to follow Lilith to Kaidan in spite of what she did to them on their last meeting. Suddenly inspired by this show of bravery, the Black Signal forges an alliance with the player: with Lilith now framed as the mastermind behind the Tokyo Incident, he vows to open the gates to Orochi Tower and allow the player a chance to kill her.
Reaping The WhirlwindJohn successfully opens the gates at the beginning of Issue #11, signalling the player by writing the words "COME ON IN, CHUCK" on the side of Orochi Tower with illuminated windows. With the message clearly visible to most of Kaidan, the allied factions join the player in a massive assault on the Tower, with the Jingu Clan, the House In Exile and the Korinto-Kai briefly uniting to fight their way through the few uncorrupted Orochi drones and hold the line at the foyer.
Ascending the tower, the player faces numerous obstacles on their way to Lilith, including her husband Samael, the elite Mitsubachi and Uta Bloody Valentine. Eventually, though the player is able to fight their way past them and reach the penthouse balcony, where Lilith is waiting for them; at the last minute, however, the player hesitates, allowing Lilith to explain herself and reveal that she - for once - is innocent.
Unfortunately, John is watching and not at all pleased: having opened the way into the Tower solely so that the player could kill Lilith for him, he takes a dim view of the player's apparent dereliction of duty; so, finally overcoming his fear, he summons all the bodies at his disposal for an all-out attack on Lilith and the player. First sending in Bird of the Zero -Point Pathogen to dive-bomb the penthouse, he then calls Lilith's phone and transmits a mass of Filth onto the balcony, eventually resolving into an army of Filth Shades. As the player defeats each one, the army upgrades from Shades to Bestial Filth, then to Filth Hulks, before finally resolving into a giant Shade Stalker.
After finally defeating it, Lilith is halfway through explaining how the Morninglight will pay for trying to kill her, when the Black Signal - now speaking through one of the partially-destroyed Shades - interrupts and mocks her for trying to control the Dreamers. After hearing that "the shy pervert" has apparently learned courage from the player, Lilith sneeringly asks if John can actually kill her: he admits that he can't... but he doesn't have to.
Somehow, perhaps through John's efforts, the Nephilim have been alerted to Lilith's attempts to seize control of the Dreamers: though they share goals, the rebel angels refuse to tolerate the "talking ape" as either a partner or a competitor. All John has to do is keep Lilith occupied until the Nephilim arrive - which they do scant moments later. Though Lilith tries to resist, she is quickly suppressed, bound and carried away.
With his target now a prisoner of the Nephilim with no chance of ever escaping, John has ended any chance of Lilith becoming a threat to the cult, effectively completing his mission. Now free to leave Kaidan and plague the world at his leisure, John provides the player with one last lore entry thanking them for all the help, before departing victoriously.
To The Dark Tower Below
However, John may have been a bit premature in declaring victory: some time after Lilith's binding and capture, the Black Signal becomes aware that someone has entered Orochi Tower's subterranean Manufactory, and is now using one of the machines there - and to John's shock and anger, the device actually hurts him. Immediately descending into the Manufactory, he seeks out the intruder and the machine responsible with murder in mind. Soon after, following directions from Daimon Kiyota, the players also enter the Manufactory: John immediately lambastes them for abandoning the plan in the previous issue - and for saving "her" and letting her hurt him. Seizing control of the newly-manufactured drones and other mechanical organisms of the Manufactory, he turns them on the players one by one.
Eventually, it becomes clear that the intruder is actually Emma, the Gaia-touched girl rescued from Lilith in Issue #7, while the machine is a Gaia Engine recovered in the field and brought back to the Tower: with the Engines designed to cleanse the Filth and keep the Dreamers imprisoned, John finds the immediate effects of the device agonizing.
Enraged at Emma's interference, John tries to kill her by seizing control of an Orochi scorpion mech and sending it after her, even making some headway into cutting through the blast doors that protect her; after a lengthy boss battle, however, the mech is disabled by the player. John tries again in the follow-up dungeon, the Manufactory Breached, this time commandeering some of the Orochi Group's more exotic creations against the players and Emma, but is once again defeated.
Shortly afterwards, Emma reports that she can no longer sense "Bad John" in the Manufactory, indicating that he has fled - for now. Though she is not yet skilled enough to harness the Gaia Engine's true powers (which would eventually allow her to cleanse the Filth from Tokyo) she promises to continue practicing.
Prior to his transformation, John appeared to be a perfectly normal human being, all surreal elements aside: in "A Nightmare In The Dream Palace," his memories depict him as an average looking young man with messy black hair, dressed in a bright yellow FNF jacket and blue jeans; however, these distorted memories also leave him effectively faceless - with only a smooth, blank expanse where his facial features should be. The preview comic for Issue #9 provides a slightly different depiction of John, this time showing him at the very moment he prepares to detonate the Filth bomb: his face is visible this time, presenting a somewhat weak chin, protuberant ears, and a large pair of opaque glasses that completely obscure his eyes.
Following his transformation, John has no physical appearance to speak of: in all likelihood, he doesn't even possess a body anymore - though "Confrontations And Revelations" prove that he's more than capable of conjuring one of pure Filth. Even when taking control of TV sets, he only presents himself as a disembodied voice echoing from the speakers. However, the preview comic to Issue #10 shows that he can recreate his old appearance on TV screens across Kaidan: most prominently, he presents his eyes - more specifically, his glasses, staring out at the world behind lines of static.
On the face of things, the Black Signal is enigmatic, otherworldly, deceptive, mischievous and entirely without remorse: serving as a Hermes-like messenger of the Dreamers, he spends most of his time trying to seduce the player to the worship of the Dreamers, encouraging them to distrust Gaia and the Bees, continuously dismissing morality as an outmoded human construct. When not dealing with the player, he amuses himself by emotionally torturing innocent people: along with his sabotage of Masao Tanaka's emergency address and the suicide-inducing torment of the clubhouse kids, he also assaults Ricky Pagan with the knowledge that his friends are dead, forcing him to briefly acknowledge his real name (Ryuichi Sagawa) and insisting that the Gaia Ricky worshiped is just a hallucination - a hallucination that led his friends to their deaths. Even when Ricky recovers and dismisses John's claims, the Black Signal only laughs: getting the target to break down just once was victory enough.
For all his Lovecraftian power and knowledge, however, John is very much a manchild: quite apart from fearing Lilith as the monster under the bed and gleefully tormenting innocent citizens like a kid frying ants with a magnifying glass, he also gloats over the Orochi drones he now controls much like a child collecting toys. People who show even the slightest sign of kindness or friendship towards him earn his immediate loyalty, a fact that Naonomi gladly exploited; Kaoru and Harumi also earn protection from John - one for the kindness she showed to him in his mortal days, the other for sharing interests in computer systems. Even his choice of cultural references seems to highlight his immaturity - at one point encouraging the player to "shed your shadow and fly to never-never-land," unwittingly portraying himself as a boy that never grew up. And of course, his childish ego and self-assurance shows in the increasingly fanciful array of titles he's given himself.
As time goes on, however, it becomes clear that this self-assurance is something of a facade: John is really just as insecure as he was as a human, and the only reason why he appears so unshakably confident is because his abstract nature puts him beyond the reach of anyone who could threaten him. Indeed, when he realizes that Lilith could hurt and even kill him, he is reduced to blind panic. When encountering the players' memories of her, John resorts to pleading with the player to leave, fearing that even the memory of Lilith could somehow hurt him. He's so frightened that the possibility of fighting back hasn't seemed to occur to him, leaving him impressed and more than a little humbled by the player's bravery in pursuing Lilith to Tokyo.
Furthermore, the friendly demeanor he displays in his lore entries isn't entirely an act: as time goes on, he seems to genuinely like the players, admiring their bravery and later claiming that "Chuck gave me courage" during his standoff with Lilith. He seems to want the players to like him in return, and even seems a little hurt during the confrontation in the Manufactory dungeon, seeming honestly disappointed that the players would not only disregard the plan but bring Emma into the building. Furthermore, though he does mislead the player through omission, he rarely tells actual lies: for example, in the lore entries on the Jingu Clan and Korinto-Kai, his attempts to undermine the player's faith in the groups are based on facts later proven true - the Korinto-Kai are one of the parties responsible for the bombing, and the Jingu have managed to get innocent people killed during their hunts for Oni.
However, for all his redeeming qualities and childlike aspects, John is still a driven servant of the Dreamers and the Morninglight, and will not hesitate to kill in pursuit of his goals: should the players fail to stop him in time, he will gladly murder Emma in cold blood without a hint of remorse.
Powers and Abilities
The Black Signal can travel across Tokyo in a matter of seconds, transmitting himself through phones, through tv aerials and local internet connections. He can also transmit Filth through these connections, allowing him to create an army of Filth-bodies to inhabit if he so chooses. As the finale of "Confrontations And Revelations" prove, he can not only send in Filth Birds and summon Filth Shades out of pooling Filth, but he can also escalate to the most powerful forms of the Filth available to him. However, John doesn't much like controlling the Filth, finding their organic nature "like mucking through a bog."
To that end, he prefers tech: his first scene alone features him splicing unwanted footage into the emergency address; in later scenes, he torments Ricky through boombox, communicates with the player by disrupting the signals from the techno-organic Bees, sabotages the Dream Palace's A/V room so that the player can't use any of its functions, and turns every single drone, tank and mech against the player during the attack on the Manufactory. During the Anniversary Events, he also creates a massive golem of technological junk known as the Patchwork Horror in an attempt to copy the other golems released during the event. Furthermore, his lore entries claim that he was "talking" to the components of the Horror - a vengeful television set and a serial-murdering traffic sign - as if they possessed actual personalities.
Like many offshoots of the Filth, John's presence can have unpleasant effects on beings who haven't been imbued with Anima: after hearing his voice over the radio, Kurt Kuszczak was driven half-insane by the stimuli, while his gunner tore out his eyes in an attempt to see the enemy clearly. In the mission "The Patchwork Horror," the faction handlers recount similar effects resulting from John's attempts at communication: hearing the Black Signal whispering through a smartphone, one of Richard Sonnac's cats burned itself alive in the fireplace; after receiving a number of unpleasant spam images from John, Kirsten Geary suffered a nosebleed - while her tech support promptly went mad and tried to cave in his skull.
|“||Want to talk about dreams and dreamers? Sensory input gives the illusion of consciousness. You are all just dreams made of flesh. I used to be too. Now I'm flesh made of dream. You can too, Chuck. You can too.||„|
|~ One of John's first messages.|
|“||The problem with ghost stories is they empower the old and long gone. I say THEY have been playing games with you for too long, Chuck. Buzz off! I say move on. Get on with it. This world doesn't belong to the ancient dead anymore. It belongs to us. Stop telling ghost stories. Become your own ghost story. I can show you how, Chuck. I can show you how to be a voracious abstract.||„|
|~ John's "lore" on Kaidan.|
|“||You're changing, Chuck. And Change is beautiful. Change makes art. It blasts ash shadows on post-atomic walls. It freezes children's shadows on the lonely floor. But you'll see all that soon.||„|
|~ John approves of alliances with the House In Exile.|
|“||Today I watched raccoons destroy an ancient temple. Everyone in Japan wanted a pet raccoon in the 80s. Those adorable scamps. Those mischievous ro-ro-rogues. Always cute, but never tame. People just let them go. Clever, they can survive anywhere. Invasive, they infected the land like a plaque. They infest temples, temples monks have protected for thousands of years. The monks are powerless! No matter what they try, the masked rats destroy the edifice of their cosmic belief with scratching and gnawing and urine and feces. A monk sheds a tear and, with a sniffer full of hit-funk, understands the futility of all his beliefs. He gets the joke. "Knock-knock." "Who's there?" "The inevitable heat death of the universe."||„|
|~ John takes a rather roundabout means of discussing Daimon Kiyota.|
|“||Ryuchi Sagawa, you have no power. This is just a park. A pile of sod and shrubs. Amaterasu is something you ate or something you smoked. Or a hard black tumor in your soft brain-in your brain-in your brain. Your friends died following a lunatic. I saw them suffer-suffer-suffer-suffer...||„|
|~ John tormenting Ricky Pagan.|
|“||The buzzing voices, they only see you as a ghost drowning in meat. That's the one thing I agree with them on. But I'm here to tell you, it gets better. There's a level above. All you have to do - listen, Chuck - all you have to do, is hatch. Shed your shadow, and you can fly to Never-Never Land.||„|
|~ Black Signal lore on the FNF.|
|“||Hiya, Chuck. I know you're watching. A quarter in the slot for a peek. Dirty voyeur-voyeur-voyeur. Enjoy the show? Guess it's my turn. Eh, Chuck? Don't struggle. Fair is fair. What's a little mutual violation between friends? Hush now, Chuck. I'm just going to stare into your slot.||„|
|~ John really does not like being spied on.|
|“||...further developments in Tokyo, where the military is maintaining a heavily guarded perimeter around the site of last month's terrorist attack. The Japanese government has stated that a totally benevolent cult has released the Blackworm Jism into the Tokyo subway, ushering in the Dreaming Ones who will tear down the wet tissue walls of our sanity. Although the area has been evacuated, there have been eyewitness reports of the military systematically killing off civilians. Authorities have denied everything, plucked out their own jellied eyes and begun feasting on the corpses of the innocent.||„|
|~ John parodying the news broadcast from the game's intro.|
|“||I am the pirate signal. Let me in. I am the word virus. Let me in. I am the ear worm. Let me in. I am the brain pathogen grammar. I am the Dreamers' dream. I Am What I Am. Let me in. Let me in. Let me in. Let me in. LET ME IN.||„|
|~ The Black Signal launches an all-out-attack on Lilith.|
|“||Maybe it's time to let go. Past mistakes. Past obligations. Past fears. They are a prison. They handcuffed me to Tokyo. Now... now I'm free. There is a whole world out there of joys and dandies and how-do-you-do's. I'm free to get out there now. Thanks to you. Thanks for everything. See you, Chuck...||„|
|~ A farewell from John.|
- Just as the Dreamers have been influenced by the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, John also appears to play a part in the Lovecraftian homage: if the Dreamers can be compared to the cosmic and nearly-unknowable likes of Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, the Black Signal seems to fill the role of Nyarlathotep, being frequently described as a messenger of the Dreamers in much the same way that Nyarlathotep is a messenger of Azathoth. Furthermore, he exhibits similar mental traits, being able to communicate with humans and think on their level, and even demonstrates a similarly mischievous sense of humor and an attachment to technology. He even possesses an ability to appear in different forms.
- John was extremely fond of Bingo soda when still human, one mission has the Filth Actually morph in order to get a hold of cans of Bingo, implying even in his current state, John's propencities affect the very nature of Kaidan's Filth.