Caleb Goldman (カレッブ・ゴールドマン) is the main antagonist of The House of the Dead 2 and The House of the Dead 4. The wealthy financier of Dr. Roy Curien's research, Goldman detested humanity and sought reverting it to its "natural state", thus "[restoring] the balance of nature."
Goldman took interest in Dr. Curien's "Bio-Reactor" project, which was to remove the barrier between life and death and cure the scientist's terminally-ill son, Daniel. Funding Curien's work, he established the DBR Corporation and hired Curien as its research director to avoid public suspicion.
With a team of researchers, Curien continued his inhumane experiments within a mansion. The departure of several personnel and his obsession with curing Daniel drove Curien insane, resulting in him unleashing his creations upon researchers on December 18th, 1998. AMS agents Thomas Rogan and "G" repelled the threat, with Curien dying at the hands of his magnum opus, the Magician.
Sometime after the incident, Goldman visited the abandoned mansion and took all that remained of Curien's research. He spent the next two years continuing the doctor's work with his own resources.
On February 26th, 2000, Goldman unleashed waves of zombies upon Venice, Italy. AMS agents James Taylor and Gary Stewart protected the populace, killing Goldman's Judgment, Hierophant, and Tower creations. Upon hearing of the AMS' arrival, Goldman left a message on agent Amy Crystal's phone, civilly inviting her, James, Gary, and Harry Harris to meet him at the Coliseum. The four split up, but the undead Strength captured Amy and Harry; the latter was injured. Goldman appeared on a giant screen and taunted the group, claiming that he was looking forward to meeting them again.By the following morning, February 27th, Goldman had returned to his headquarters, where he simply awaited the AMS agents' arrival while tending to his most powerful creation, the Emperor. After defeating a revived Magician, James and Gary confronted Goldman, who calmly used the life cycle as reasoning for his actions. He unleashed the Emperor, a being intended to rule over mankind, which was destroyed by the agents.
Serenely claiming that a "successor" will eventually come, Goldman committed suicide by leaning backwards over the top of his headquarters, falling to his presumed death. However, his plans had only begun. It was not known if the successor Goldman was referring to was either to himself (which ended up being the previously unknown Mystery Man, who was revealed to be another former colleague of his in Thornheart, in The House Of The Dead: Scarlet Dawn), or to the Emperor, who was The World in The House Of The Dead 4.
While Goldman does not appear in the game, he is mentioned in a flashback to The House of the Dead 2.
Goldman is the posthumous antagonist of The House of the Dead 4, appearing largely through recordings and flashbacks.
In 2003, James and newcomer Kate Green fought a new outbreak of zombies. Both were unsure who was responsible, although James suspected that the events from 2000 hadn't ended as they thought. In a Classified Information Room, they discovered an impending nuclear missile launch. Finding Venice in ruins, James received an e-mail on his PDA from Goldman, who stated that "everything's set" and began an hour-long countdown to the launch.
Racing to Goldman's headquarters, James and Kate defeated the Star in "a test of strength" as Goldman's "parting wish". Although James was injured, the two reached Goldman's office. They halted the missile launch, but found a recorded message from Goldman, who claimed that the launch was to merely revert humans to their "natural state". He then noted that since Pandora's Box had been opened, he could not stop it.
Following the message, an insect-like humanoid, The World, emerged from below the courtyard of Goldman's headquarters. James and Kate fought the World, which continuously evolved and resurrected itself. James set his PDA to self-destruct, sacrificing himself in the resulting explosion to destroy the World and finally close Pandora's Box.
In the game's "normal" ending, the camera cuts back to Goldman's office computer. In a recording, Goldman says "Ah yes, there is one thing I forgot. The human race has not been eliminated. Travel north... Hope is such a splendid thing." In the "bad" ending, the camera focuses on Goldman's face, which morphs into a zombie-like visage, indicating that Goldman was resurrected as a zombie.
Another ending involves a mysterious man chastising Goldman for being "soft" and that humans "have no need of hope." He states that the "true end" will soon begin, and that there is more than one Pandora's Box.
Goldman and Curien are revealed to have worked with a man named Thornheart (the mystery man), whose ancestors had founded the DBR corporation. The pair of them are seen alongside Thornheart in a photograph taken years before the first game's events. Goldman and Curien's graves are later seen.
As the game serves as a parody of The House of the Dead 2, the plot and dialogue are largely unchanged, aside from one notable exception: the game's ending. Depending on the answers chosen during the final phase of the Emperor battle, one of three endings are seen after Goldman bids farewell to the agents. Given the comical tone of the game, none of these endings are canon and are immediately followed by the credits.
- Goldman leans back and falls off of the building, just like in the original game. Goldman's fall is now accompanied by an appropriate cartoon sound effect, and the entire fall is seen. The impact results in a large fiery explosion, leaving the agents speechless and dumbfounded.
- Goldman leans back and falls off the building, but a bungee cord is tied to his legs. He is sprung back up, lands on the edge of the building, and burps.
- Instead of leaning back to fall, Goldman raises his hands and farts as he flies straight into the sky. The agents look on, speechless and dumbfounded.
Goldman is an extremely stoic, cold, and calculating human being who has extensive knowledge of the Genome theory. He harbors a deep contempt regarding what the human race might become due to their self-destructive nature, disruption of nature, and their excessive "breeding".
Goldman also possesses calm, unshakeable confidence that his vision of a world free of the destruction wrought by man will indeed come to pass. At most, a defeat is simply a momentary delay of the inevitable. It is not an issue of 'if he will succeed' to him, it is simply a matter of 'when'. Even when confronted directly by those who wish to thwart him, Goldman is surprisingly civil and polite, and even addresses his enemies as "friends". His voice never rises above a serene, but stern tone, even after defeat. The closest he ever came to displaying anger was describing how man had committed a sin, but even then, Goldman's tone was still very reserved and controlled.
This same ironclad faith is probably why he stepped off his building with such serenity. As he had told the agents upon the Emperor's defeat, everything was far from over, and he had already made arrangements for the Emperor's successor in the form of Pandora's Box. He was absolutely certain his plans would come into fruition even after his death.
The House of the Dead 2Edit
"Dogs of the AMS... time they made a move."
"It's been a while hasn't it? My friends from the AMS. It's me Goldman."
"Everything's set. All we need to do is wait..."
"[Laughs] People of the AMS, I am Goldman. I don't care if you people try to get in my way, or not. In time, you'll find out who's right. [Laughs] This is a present from me, to you."
"Our Emperor shall awaken, soon... Hurry, friends."
"At last you've come... friends. The door of fate shall open..."
"I'm fully aware of what I'm doing. Can't you see? Man committed a sin... disturbing the life cycle of nature... The original sin that man is responsible to... To protect the life cycle. I have made a creature to rule over mankind... [Stands up] This is the final battle. Show yourself! Our new ruler the Emperor!"
"In time... a successor will come. Farewell friends"
The House of the Dead 4Edit
"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."
"Increasing wars and famine, diseases of unknown origin, increasingly frequent natural disasters. Don't you find it odd? A bit coincidental? Has anyone even noticed? Must we simply sit and wait for it all to end?"
"At some point in time, humans broke the natural harmony of the world. They came to know greed like no other species. They gave no thought to what their rampant breeding would do to the world."
"Earth has evolved in a way so that it naturally regulates the population of any given species. [Punches desk] Humans were once subject to this system, regardless of whether or not they knew it. [Grins as the agents draw their guns] Pandora's Box is opening [Interrupted by James]."
"To my dear AMS agents... Everything is set."
"First off, I just wanted to congratulate you. Do not worry, it was not my wish to destroy the world with nuclear missiles. I do not wish to kill all humans. I merely wish to revert them to their natural state. However, Pandora's Box has been opened. There is nothing I can do to stop it. If you were able to make it this far, there is yet still hope."
"Ah yes, there is one thing I forgot. The human race has not been eliminated. Travel north... Hope is such a splendid thing."
- In the "bad" ending of The House of the Dead 2, the player will confront a zombified Goldman after leaving his headquarters.
- Due to Goldman's presence in later games, it can be argued that both the "Good" and "Bad" endings of The House of the Dead 2 could be considered canonical.
- A Goldman costume, for use in Original Mode, can be acquired in the home versions of the game, including The House of the Dead: 2 & 3 Return.
- In the live-action sequel film House of the Dead 2, Goldman was briefly mentioned by one of the commandos who was thinking of selling the first generation blood to "Goldman Pharmaceuticals".
- In the unmade sequel House of the Dead 3, Goldman was going to appear as the main antagonist.
- 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 family name "Goldman" implies a possible 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 destroying nature and Earth may have all caused him to believe that that if humans continued to evolve, they would put themselves and the world in danger.
- Interestingly, if this behavior is true, then Goldman bears a notable similarity to the X-Men's 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 other humans who 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 it is still an interesting one), Magneto is an actual and true victim and survivor of the Holocaust.
- Another possible reason that Goldman committed suicide so calmly is that he is a human as well. He created the Emperor to hate ALL humans, and Goldman himself counts. It is 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 kill Goldman, so Goldman did it himself. And he knew his own biotechnology could revive him as the type of person he thinks should inherit the Earth.
- In 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. Goldman was most likely just testing if James and Kate were willing to fight through Venice to stop the launch. He most likely would not have launched any missile had the timer run out. He even states in the game that a nuclear apocalypse was not his plan.
- It is also impossible how a civilian would obtain nuclear missiles, let alone launch one and obtain access. A country's nuclear arsenal needs the proper authority from the executive branches of the government as well as strict security from the military. Nuclear missiles are launched from ground-based silos, submarines, and bombers. Goldman may have been bluffing after all to test the resolve of Kate and James.