|“||Have you ever thought about the future? What will happen to this world if humans continue to breed? Don't you see? Humans have set themselves upon the path to inevitable destruction.||„|
|~ Caleb Goldman|
Caleb Goldman (referred to simply as Goldman in the games) is one of two main antagonists of The House of the Dead game series, the other being Dr. Roy Curien. He is revealed as the true mastermind behind Dr. Curien's inhuman experiment, as well as the zombie-infestation in the 2000 Venice Incident, where he sought to "revert humanity to its natural state" as a means to "restore the balance of nature".
He is the unseen Bigger Bad in House of the Dead, the main antagonist of House of the Dead 2, mentioned in House of the Dead 3, and the main antagonist in House of the Dead 4.
Goldman is the head of the DBR Corporation and is known as the brains behind the zombie infestations during the 1998 Curien Mansion Case as well as the 2000 Venice Outbreak, where he sought to "revert humanity to its natural state" as a means to "restore the balance of nature". He is also responsible for the events in The House of the Dead 4 and possibly The House of the Dead 3.
Although Goldman does not appear during the main storyline of the first House of the Dead game, it is revealed that he hired a scientist named Dr. Roy Curien to assist him in achieving his goals (and secretly to act as a decoy, to mask who is really responsible for the zombie outbreaks). After two AMS agents named Thomas Rogan and G are dispatched to deal with the mad scientist at his mansion, Curien is killed and Goldman stumbles across his corpse before taking all of his research.
The House of the Dead 2
Two years after the events of the Curien Mansion incident, with the research of Dr. Curien in his hands, Goldman unleashes a wave of zombies upon Venice, Italy. Upon hearing of the arrival of AMS agents James and Gary, he leaves a message on one of the agents' cellphones, taunting them and inviting them to come to the coliseum. When the agents eventually reach the coliseum, Goldman appears to them on a large screen and claims that in time they will see who is right, before releasing an enormous chainsaw-wielding assassin to deal with them. Afterwards, Goldman directs his attention to his master creation, the Emperor (a being designed to watch over and hate mankind, and prevent them from causing any more destruction to the world). When everything is set in place, Goldman simply waits for the AMS agents to come to him at his headquarters. Once James and Gary arrive, Goldman explains the reasoning for his actions, and uses the life cycle as a basis for this. After explaining himself, Goldman unleashes the Emperor. The two AMS agents engage in battle with the Emperor and eventually destroy it. Upon the Emperor's defeat, Goldman serenely claims that his ultimate scheme is not over yet, and that in time a successor will come. Following these words, Goldman calmly commits suicide by throwing himself off the roof of his headquarters, plunging to what James and Gary presumed would be his apparent demise. However, even after his death, the threat of Caleb Goldman and his dark agenda was far from over.
The House of the Dead 4
Goldman appears once again as the main antagonist in The House of the Dead 4, although in this game, he is only shown through recordings and flashback scenes in which he reveals his true feelings about humanity. Before his demise, however, Goldman had arranged a backup plan that allowed a second outbreak to be carried out in 2003, three years after the events of the original infestation in Venice. A third outbreak was also successful, as seen in The House of the Dead III. Throughout this game, AMS agents Kate and James battle countless zombies without any knowledge of who is actually behind the outbreak, though James has an ongoing suspicion that the events from 2000 hadn't ended as they thought. After finding Venice completely in ruins, James suddenly receives an email from Goldman, with a recorded message which states that "everything's set" and that they have only one hour until a nuclear missile launch. The two set course for Goldman's headquarters, eventually reaching Goldman's office, where they are greeted with another recorded message left by Goldman. Here, he claims that his goal was not to destroy all humans with the nuclear missiles, but rather to revert them to their natural state. He then reveals that Pandora's Box has been opened just as his master creation, The World, appears from within the courtyard in front of the building. Kate and James battle The World, but realizing that it cannot be defeated with gunfire alone, James sacrifices himself in order to prevent Pandora's Box from opening, destroying The World and finally putting an end to Goldman's plan.
Goldman is known by THOTD superfans to be the final boss of The House Of The Dead 4. (Just in human form) In the secret "A" or "B" ranking of The House Of The Dead 4, (alike the "standard" ending) Goldman is making the final quote of the game in his office. This time, Goldman takes off his glasses during the message and bears a resemblance to Albert Wesker because of Goldman's glowing red eyes.
- Goldman is parodied in The Typing of the Dead, still going under the name of "Goldman".
- Since Dr. Roy Curien is resurrected as the Wheel of Fate after being killed in The House of the Dead, it is possible that Goldman is resurrected as The World in The House of the Dead 4.
- In the "bad" ending of The House of the Dead 2, the player will confront a zombified Goldman after leaving his headquarters. A similar scene occurs during the bad ending of The House of the Dead 4, in which the camera focuses on Goldman's face on his computer, which suddenly becomes zombie-like.
- A Goldman costume, for use in Original Mode, can be acquired in the home versions of The House of the Dead 2, including The House of the Dead: 2 & 3 Return.
- Goldman bears certain similarities to Albert Wesker, the main antagonist of the Resident Evil series, in terms of appearance, goals, and tone of voice. Also, both had tried to destroy the human race and replace it with a human race tailor altered to their own preferences through violent, destructive methods. As well as this, in the "bad" ending of The House of the Dead 4 when Goldman transforms into a zombie, his eyes glow red, which strongly resembles the red eyes of Wesker when he transforms into a superhuman.
- In the live-action sequel film House of the Dead 2, Goldman is briefly mentioned by one of the commandos who was thinking of selling the first generation blood to "Goldman Pharmaceuticals".
- In the Sega and Bizarre Creations game The Club, the character known as "The Secretary" has an appearance that looks quite similar to Goldman.
- The surname "Goldman" implies that he is possibly from a Jewish family background. Due to his Jewish name and possible Ashkenazi/German/Polish Jewish ancestry and lineage, many believe that Goldman's hatred towards the human condition may have been caused by being exposed to stories and records of the Holocaust. He might feel hatred to all those who committed the great crime against his people, the fact that they managed to get away with it, and the fact that humanity is interfering with nature may have all caused him to believe that that if humans continued to evolve, they would put both themselves and the world in danger.
- Interestingly, if this behaviour is true, then Goldman could very well may have been inspired by Magneto, as both are Jewish and share a hatred towards humanity. The only difference is that Goldman does not hate all humanity and desires to revert the human population to its "natural state", while Magneto wants to protect other mutants, who to him are the "New Humans" and "Homo Superior" and the rightful rulers of the Earth, and that other humans are beneath them. Another difference is that unlike Goldman, who may have been inspired to hate the human condition based on being exposed to stories and records of the Holocaust (this theory is still unconfirmed, but is still an interesting one), Magneto is an actual and true victim and survivor of the Holocaust.
- A theory as to why Goldman commits suicide so calmly is that he is a human being like any other. He created the Emperor to hate all humans, and Goldman himself counts, so it is therefore quite possible that, had the Emperor killed James and Gary, he would have killed Goldman as well. Goldman would have known this, and possibly considered that he would die one way or another. With the Emperor gone, the creature couldn't then kill Goldman so Goldman did it himself.
- In The House of the Dead 4, it is entirely improbable that Goldman would have actually launched the nuclear missiles. The holographic globe seen in AMS headquarters in Chapter 2 shows that it was a worldwide nuclear launch, and even one successful detonation would disturb the life cycle of the target zone greatly (which goes against Goldman's goals). Goldman was most likely testing Kate and James to see how willing they were to fight through Venice to stop the launch, and would have been unlikely to launch the missiles had the timer run out. Goldman even states in the game that nuclear apocalypse was not part of his plan.