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Fall Brandon, down into the darkness and the grave that suits you so well.
~ Harry MacDowell

Harry MacDowell is the main antagonist of Gungrave. He was once a friend of Brandon Heat who later become his enemy. His ambition and desire for freedom led him to betray and kill Brandon in his quest to become boss of the criminal organization, Millennion. As the head of the organization, he consolidates his power through ruthless and unethical tactics.

Harry's sins and new responsibilities as the boss of Millennion seem to take a toll on his health, as thirteen years after he becomes the boss, though still very capable, he appears as an old man with gray hair, despite only approaching forty.

Personality

From childhood, Harry McDowell has desired freedom above all else. He's extremely charismatic and clever but also impatient and prone to taking shortcuts in order to get ahead. While initially satisfied with the free life that being a street thug afforded him, the tragic losses of Jolice, Kenny, and Nathan would prompt Harry to seek to get ahead by any means necessary, to defend his freedom with power. In Harry's own words, he wanted the power "to give as [he wants] and to take as [he wants]".

Harry's ruthlessness is also exemplified by his usage of his gun. When presented with a target, Harry shoots the target multiple times even after the target has already fallen or died.

In the game, the younger Harry exhibits a cooler personality, but just as short a temper: killing Brandon in the elevator for punching him and elaborately telling his corpse to "fall, down into the darkness which suits [his] grave so well". After his strongest units are defeated, Harry graciously allows Brandon to kill him without putting up any resistance.

Ambition and lust for power aside, Harry holds a place in his heart for his best friend Brandon, even after Harry's betrayal and their subsequent conflict. When Maria thanked him for saving her from rapists, the otherwise consistently womanizing Harry directed her affections to Brandon instead, and has supported their relationship ever since he detected that Brandon had fallen for her. From their street gang days to their tenure as members of Big Daddy's Family, Harry frequently gives the otherwise silent Brandon advice, such as advising him to go get a job through Maria's uncle Jester to leave their impoverished life and to reach a more respectable position in Millennion so that he can approach Maria on a more even level. Upon realizing that Maria and Big Daddy were a couple, the annoyed Harry initially suggested that he and Sherry set Brandon up with another woman, before later suggesting that they kill Big Daddy and Brandon take Maria for himself, a suggestion that initially backfires on Harry. Soon after he kills Brandon, and shortly after he kills a restaurant owner for beating the boy working under him, Harry is reminded of his role in Brandon's death and cries over the loss of his best friend. Throughout Grave's rampage against his operations, Harry would refer to the necrolized Brandon as "Beyond the Grave", in part due to Brandon's name bringing back memories he would rather not have associated with his necrolized corpse. Harry would only resume referring to Grave as Brandon once he runs into Grave while on the run from his executives, and upon hearing Brandon explain how he couldn't bear to shoot Harry no matter what, breaks down and apologizes to Brandon in tears.

Harry is also close with his wife Sherry, though does not disclose the less savory nature of his business to her. Initially dismissing the affections of the girl as a childlike crush, Harry recognizes her strength in dealing with family friend Cid Gallarde's death and three years later, reciprocates her affections. Sherry is always seen close to him at parties in Harry's tenure as boss. After Sherry was killed in a botched assassination on his own life, Harry cries openly over his wife's death and heads into a church to bury her alone before resuming his escape from his executives.

Harry also holds a soft spot for his old orphanage, as despite being known for his cruelty as "Bloody Harry", he frequently visits the orphanage and brings the children toys, with the children welcoming him with open arms.

History

Early Life

Harry McDowell and Brandon Heat were orphans put in the care of an abusive man both of them hated. The two became best friends a day after Brandon's arrival at the orphanage and eventually began a street gang with their friends Jolice, Kenny, and Nathan, Jolice providing the group with free meals.

At some point after Nathan stole Harry's money and blew it betting on horses, Harry and Brandon encounter Maria being assaulted by three thugs. Harry tries to convince Brandon not to get involved, reasoning that people have to learn to defend themselves. Brandon initially agrees, but disregards Harry's advice and beats the thugs anyway while Harry watches on in sheepish embarrassment. Maria initially thanks Harry, but Harry directs her to thank Brandon instead, sparking the couple's romantic relationship. The remaining four gangsters tail the couple on their first date, later laughing at Brandon's awkwardness during the date.

One day, after the gang fights with Deed's, Kenny is kidnapped after stealing jewelry from the wife of a well connected crime lord. Harry, Brandon, and Nathan manage to retrieve Kenny but return to find Jolice dead -- murdered by Deed's older brother, Mad Dog Ladd.

Gungrave friends

Harry McDowell, leader of his street gang.

Mad Dog sends the gang on the run and ends up killing Kenny and Nathan after the other two gather together to protect Harry and Brandon, but meets his end in a shootout against Bear Walken, who throws his gun to Harry and Brandon to finish off Mad Dog. Seeing Harry and Brandon hesitant to take the gun, Mad Dog rushes to grab it but is quickly killed with one of Bear's spare guns. Bear expresses disgust at the pair's inaction, calling them a "bunch of stupid brats". Realizing the gravity of Bear's words, Harry takes the gun and invades Deed's hideout with Brandon. Deed begs for his life and claims innocence, but Harry tells Deed that he had taken away a lot of lives from the pair and was not innocent before shooting him in the head, much to Brandon's shock.

Harry and Brandon are then considered the most dangerous men in the city, and soon beat up Scott the Snitch for informing on them earlier. When Harry and Brandon are attacked by thugs in the same graveyard where Big Daddy is mourning Jester, Randy is sent to their rescue. Randy intimidates the thugs with thinly veiled threats regarding what happens to those who oppose the Millenion organization. Harry, impressed by the respect and fear Randy wields, asks to join Millenion. He and Brandon rob the localized gang of all their money and return to Randy, who approves of their entry.

Millennion

Harry MacDowell

Harry McDowell as a member of "The Family".

Harry quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a member of "The Family", Big Daddy's inner circle, and eventually a top executive of the Millennion organization. At the dinner party where he and Brandon are inducted as members of the Family, he meets Sherry Walken, Bear's daughter. Harry has Bob Poundmax investigate members of The Family, suspecting a traitor among them, and catches onto Cid Gallarde, whose son Eddie had unwittingly killed Bear's guest from Alzeria while conducting a robbery, though Cid had helped him escape. Harry delivers the information to Big Daddy, who makes the difficult decision to have Cid executed by his best friend Bear. Harry himself laments the incident as a tragedy, but praises Sherry's inner strength in dealing with Cid's death.

Later catching onto the small gang Lightning amassing numbers, Harry volunteers to take the lead in investigating Lightning, Bear warning him that underestimating Blood War, who had defected from another gang Volcano to Lightning, would mean death. Harry meets Blood War and Cannon Vulcan at a bar and brings up the issue with them. War draws his gun on Harry, but stops abruptly, observing that Brandon, who was sitting at the bar from a distance, secretly had his gun pointed at him.

Harry later deduces that Balladbird Lee betrayed Millennion for Lightning and confronts him in a park. Lee critically wounds Harry in the ensuing standoff, but Harry shows Lee that he had hitmen positioned behind the trees in the park all along, revealing that he could have killed Lee any time he wanted but refused because he wanted to ascend to the top of the organization with his friend. He later accompanies Lee to his meeting with Cannon Vulcan, killing Vulcan when Lee is unable to do so.

Harry later arrives with Lee to aid Brandon and Bunji against the necrolized Blood War, but the two fail to cause War any significant damage. Harry later witnesses Bear Walken's Overkill arrive to put down War and Brandon finish him off.

Rise to Power

Harry not yet a boss

Harry, shortly before his rise to the top.

Three years later, after discovering the research that led to the necrolization process, Harry begins investing his undisclosed earnings into furthering the project. When his former mentor Randy investigates his embezzlement, Harry has Bob Poundmax wire the money to Randy's account to set him up as a traitor and Balladbird Lee sends Bunji to kill him. By the time he's twenty six, Harry McDowell controls 80% of Millenion's operations and is expected to succeed Big Daddy as the boss of the organization. Wary of Harry's penchant for secrets, Big Daddy instead chose Alzack Tino.

Harry discreetly kills Tino and begins to plot Big Daddy's demise. He reveals his plan to Brandon while riding on an elevator, offering Maria as a reward. Enraged by Harry's proposal, Brandon punches him and pulls a gun on Harry to execute him but is unable to fire. Realizing his open opportunity, Harry shoots Brandon multiple times, killing him with a final shot to the eye and Brandon falls to his death. Harry brands Brandon a traitor, but Big Daddy concludes otherwise and deduces foul play on Harry's part. Still, Harry's power in Millennion is too much even for Big Daddy to control and Harry coerces Big Daddy into making him head of Millennion.

Later, Harry, Bob, and Lee witness the prototype Orgmen ravage Dr. Tokioka's research lab. The Orgmen are put down by the necolized Brandon without any of the three witnessing it, and after the destruction, Harry meets with Laguna Glock, who offers to further develop Dr. Tokioka's research on living people, and accepts his offer, detecting from Glock's eyes that "he would sell his soul to Satan for the knowledge he seeks".

After discovering that Brandon chose to be necrolized, Big Daddy confronts Harry with the intention of killing him, but is quickly disarmed by Bunji Kugashira. Harry suggests he retire somewhere, but Big Daddy tells him that Brandon knew about his schemes all along. The news shocks Harry, who angrily blames Brandon's death on Big Daddy and shoots Big Daddy to death, afterwards resolving to erase every trace of Big Daddy from the world.

Leading Millennion

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Harry with his Big Four, confronting Grave.

Thirteen years pass and Harry's version of Millennion is a cruel but undeniable force in global affairs. The necrolization research has led to mass scale production of Orgmen (400 daily), obedient programmable soldiers capable of shape-shifting, great feats of strength, and nearly impervious to damage. The Millennion organization makes billions of dollars shipping Orgmen to conflict zones in the Middle East. Harry McDowell also makes use of Orgmen as assassins to consolidate Millennion's influence in the criminal underworld as well the political sphere. Harry's force of Orgmen are stronger than most military forces in the world.

His inner circle consists of a group of top Millennion executives known colloquially as the "Big Four." Its members run Millennion's daily operations, legal and otherwise. Bob Poundmax is in charge of public relations for Millennion and also runs their intelligence network, allowing him to control the stock market and even what rumors are heard on the street. Bear Walken acts as Harry's advisor and head of Millennion's "Overkill" sweeper unit, defending Millennion from external and internal threats. While Bear Walken objects to Millennion's new direction and believes necrolization is "the devil's work", he continues to defend the organization because his daughter Sherry's future is tied to Harry McDowell's. Balladbird Lee handles Millennion's illegal activities behind the scenes. Lee is sadistic and loyal to no one except his best friend Bob Poundmax and Harry McDowell. He is the only person that knows the full extent of Harry's ambitions. Bunji Kugashira is a sweeper trained by Brandon Heat, a misanthropic loner that kills indiscriminately.

Downfall

Game

Gameharry

Harry, as he appears in the game.

Brandon's return as Beyond the Grave drives a wrench into Harry's operations. Grave goes into a local slaughterhouse to eliminate the nearest gang that was after Mika Asagi's life, and then disables the factory that was producing the largest amount of Seed, attracting Harry's attention. Harry and Grave meet for the first time in thirteen years as Grave crashes onto the airship in which a party honoring Millennion's top executives is being held, Grave having slaughtered the executives. Harry casts a glance to Bear as Bob proclaims his desire to fight Grave and leaves with the rest of the Big Four, allowing Bob to fight Grave. Bob is put down by Grave, later followed by the other three members of his Big Four.

Harry's final meeting with Grave would be at the top of the Millennion Tower, where he greets Grave from behind a screen that Grave shoots but is unable to penetrate. Harry then has Grave meet the necrolized Big Daddy. Grave kills the necrolized Big Daddy and the Alien Head it mutates into afterwards. With all his strongest units destroyed by Grave, Harry allows Brandon to kill him and is executed with a final gunshot.

Anime

Harry hears about the destruction of the local Orgmen and hearing this, discusses with the Big Four in a meeting. Lee considers the possibility that Brandon Heat was necrolized, which the other three members of the Big Four are quick to dismiss. However, the photo of Brandon and Big Daddy found in Maria's home confirms Harry's suspicions that Mika was indeed sent to a necrolized Brandon Heat, and that it was him who had put a stop to the prototype Orgmen destroying Dr. Tokioka's lab thirteen years ago.

Harry then has Bob set an information leak that Harry would hold a party at a mansion of his choice, and succeeds in luring Grave to the location, meeting him with the rest of the Big Four. Harry approves of Bob to test his Superior powers on Grave before leaving. Hearing that Bob died in the fight against Grave, Harry decides to report his death as "death from stroke", and calms Lee down when Lee threatens to kill the subordinate who reported being unable to find Grave. Harry realizes that his control over information was severely compromised by Bob's death.

When Lee kidnaps Mika, the girl confronts Harry about her mother's death. Harry further confirms that he also killed her father. Harry then quiets Mika's subsequent outburst, informing her that he could have her killed anytime he wanted, but revealing that she is being used to lure Grave out of hiding.

Lee's death leaves Bear as Harry's remaining active subordinate, and the other executives of Millennion take the opportunity to call an emergency meeting, with Harry declaring that he will choose replacements for the Big Four among the executives. Many suggest that it would be prudent for the good of Millennion for Harry to face Brandon himself rather than involve the rest of the organization, with at least six expressing their rebellion against Harry's tyrannical rule. In response to this open rebellion, Harry brings in an Orgman to gun down the rebels and declares that he will tell Biscoe who he has chosen to occupy the vacant seats of the Big Four.

Harry is then seen on a dinner date with Sherry and Bear, revealing that he has been attempting to father children with Sherry, although presumably without success.

After Bear Walken's death, Harry has frozen all operations of the city and prepares to arm himself against the inevitable betrayal by his executives. His butler then attempts to assassinate him, but is quickly taken out by members of the Overkills, who pledge themselves to Harry in order to protect him and Sherry. The Overkills then personally guard the two as they plan to escape, but are quickly cut off by two vans of assassins, who fire on and kill the Overkills before chasing after Harry.

Arriving at a hotel, Harry asks for Sherry to wait there while he deals with the traitors to the organization. Sherry begs him not to go, but Harry professes a need to consolidate Millennion's power and fulfill the Code of Iron. The two proclaim their love for each other shortly before a lone vengeful gunman fires at Harry, killing his chauffeur. Harry kills the gunman but finds to his shock that one of the gunman's bullets had hit Sherry's heart. Sherry calls out to him shortly before she dies from the wound and Harry buries her alone at a church nearby.

With his secret bank accounts seized and his mansion searched, Harry unleashes the last of his Orgmen in one final defense. However, in his escape, he finds a lone Orgman defeated and destroyed with the anti-Orgmen bullets developed by his former scientists, forcing him to escape them again. Harry reflects on his life, wondering where he went wrong. In the midst of this reflection, he swerves to avoid hitting a cat and crashes his car, falling unconscious as he dreams of his past life. Upon waking up, he initially sees a young teenaged Brandon before his vision clears and he looks upon the vengeful, decaying Grave instead. Harry steps out of his car and awaits Grave's bullet. As in life, Grave hesitates at first, but this time finally pulls the trigger, only for a click to ensue due to the magazine having been emptied before. Both men share a laugh at this turn of events.

The two then meet up in their dilapidated hideout in Desolation Alley, Harry finally calling Grave Brandon and discussing their past, and Harry's rise and fall. Hunted, with nothing left, and only a shadow of his former self, Harry presents Brandon with his old pistol as a sweeper and Harry's own pistol that he used to kill Brandon. The two draw their guns on each other to see who kills the other in a sitting exchange, but are interrupted by Millennion agents, who have come to kill Harry. However, in an interesting turn of events, Harry finds himself protected by Brandon, although in the process suffers several gunshot wounds to his torso, the first gunshot wounds he has ever suffered in his life.

Harry demands Brandon kill him so that he doesn't have to go on living in shame, but is interrupted by a grenade, which destroys their building, but finds himself still protected by Brandon. With Brandon crippled with anti-necrolyze shots, Harry tosses him his gun, but leaves himself exposed and suffers mortal gunshot wounds from other hitmen.

Harry again asks why Brandon decided to protect him and is met with Brandon's tearful answer: that no matter what he did, he kept choosing Harry over Millennion. Harry breaks down in tears and apologizes to his old friend. Brandon suggests they return to their old freedom by shooting one another, pointing Harry's gun at him. Harry mutters Brandon's name and Brandon Harry's before the two pull the triggers to their guns.

Gallery

Trivia

Harry is hardly seen without his characteristic white suit. It is also worthy to note that Harry's dress shirt and tie are the same color as Big Daddy's while he was in the Family. In this manner, he can be seen as the antithesis to Big Daddy. Shortly before becoming the boss of Millennion, he wears a white suit with a black dress shirt and white tie, a color inversion of the standard black suit. The older Harry is seen with a white suit and tie and a red shirt, a formal version of the outfit he wore as a street gangster and an indication of his "Bloody Harry" monicker.