James Taylor (1965 - 2003) was a special agent of the American government organization AMS. During his career, he investigated two incidents masterminded by businessman Caleb Goldman involving biologically-engineered creatures; he ultimately sacrificed himself to defeat Goldman's final creation, The World. He was the brother of Ryan Taylor.
On February 26, 2000, an outbreak of zombies hit Venice, Italy; James and his partner, Gary Stewart, were sent by the AMS to neutralize the threat. After defeating the enormous Judgment and fish-like Hierophant, they met up with fellow AMS agents Harry Harris and Amy Crystal.
The group learned that the perpetrator was Caleb Goldman, the wealthy financier of Dr. Roy Curien's research that resulted in the "Curien Mansion incident" four years prior; after Curien's death, Goldman used his work to organize the Venice attack. He left the agents a phone message, inviting them to a meeting at the city's Roman Coliseum.
Fearing a trap, the group split up; James and Gary ventured underground, defeating the large multi-headed, snake-like beast Tower. They arrived to find Goldman taunting them on a screen, with Amy and an injured Harry trapped by Strength, an undead chainsaw-wielding beast. After defeating Strength, Harry gave the agents the key to a car so they can travel to Goldman's headquarters.
On the drive there, James and Gary encountered Judgment and Hierophant again. Arriving at Goldman's headquarters, the agents fought a revived Magician. They finally confronted Goldman, who calmly explained his actions and unleashed his greatest creation: The Emperor, a being meant to rule over humanity. James and Gary managed to defeat The Emperor after a long fight.
Telling the agents that "in time, a successor will come," Goldman commited suicide by jumping off the roof of the building. When asked by Gary if they did the right thing, James was unsure, declaring that they must "find the answer by [themselves]". He bid Goldman farewell and left the building.Kate Green were trapped in fifth basement floor of the agency's European office branch following a sudden earthquake. James, still thinking about the "2000 Goldman Case", believed that the ordeal had not yet ended.
While waiting for backup to arrive, James' PDA went off, and swarms of undead appeared on the security cameras. The pair gathered all the weaponry they could find and escaped. Travelling to the sewers, they battled the four-armed Justice and a pair of mutant tarantulas known as The Lovers.
In a Classified Information Room, James and Kate uncovered a plot to fire nuclear missiles worldwide within 24 hours' time. Taking the subway to an underground shopping district, they defeated a double-ended chainsaw-wielding assassin, The Empress. Arriving at the surface, they battled the obese, nearly impervious Temperance.
James and Kate found Venice completely obliterated. The former received a PDA message from Goldman, who was responsible for the resurgence of undead; the nuclear missile launch was to occur in one hour. The agents set out for the abandoned Goldman Building. James was wounded after a battle with The Star, a levitating humanoid, but he and Kate managed to halt the missile launch.
In a prerecorded message, Goldman claimed his intention of reverting humankind to its "original state" in order to prevent them from harming the planet any father. As such, his final legacy, The World, was released in the opening of "Pandora's Box" to fulfill its role as the successor to his original Emperor project in 2000, having developed underground since his death. Noticing that The World continued getting larger and stronger each time it died, James set his PDA to self-destruct; telling Kate not to give up hope, he sacrificed himself, destroying The World in the following explosion at the cost of his life.
In The House of the Dead 2, James has short black hair in a brown shade. He wears a light gray formal suit jacket and pants, a white long-sleeved button shirt, a gray-silver neck tie, and black shoes. In the spinoff Typing of the Dead, James gains a laptop with a large yellow travel backpack; he kills zombies by typing words beneath them.
In The House of the Dead 4, James' hair is pale brown, cut shorter, and spiked. He wears a long gray trenchcoat with a large collar and matching pants, a black long-sleeved collared shirt in an extended collar, and brown shoes.
During a flashback to the second game, James wears his classic grey formal suit. His hair is dark brown with a half fringe on the left side.
|"Only man himself can control its fate. You're nothing!"|
|"It's finally over. Goldman... I don't care if a successor comes or not. I'll go on fighting. As long as we have the will to live... [Walks away] Good-bye, Goldman."|
|"It's all happening again, but it's much worse this time..."|
|(After killing Justice) "This is exactly how it happened three years ago. The battle is starting again."|
|(After killing the Lovers) "I kinda like being an action hero."|
|(After killing the Empress) "Looks like you missed your stop!"|
|(After killing Temperance) "Temper this, buddy!"|
|(Confronting Goldman in a flashback) "Is that all you have to say, Goldman?!"|
|(Before fighting The World) "Kate, this is it. Give it all you've got!"|
|(Last words) "This is our last hope. This is will stop it. Kate, don't... give up hope..."|
- James is named after the real-life American singer James Taylor.
- He is the agent shown in the Training mode for The House of the Dead 2.
- James' death was foretold by Goldman in The House of the Dead 4's intro, with Goldman saying "There is no way to avoid your fate, James."
- He was mentioned by Kate before and after the final boss fight against The Magician in The House of the Dead 4: Special. (the latter will trigger if the player plays as Kate (2P) in single player, or the 2P player delivers the killing blow on The Magician, during co-op play.)
- If the player plays a 2-player game in The House of the Dead 2, the ending is different. After James said that the crisis is over, Gary asks James if they did the right thing. James replied that he doesn't know, and they must find the answer themselves, for as long as they try to keep on living.
- James' HOTD2 appearance bears a slight resemblance to actor Harrison Ford from the 1988 Thriller film Frantic.
- James may be an ambitious man or a man with high expectations on himself, as when the player plays as him in The House of the Dead 4 and earns a C or lower rating, he'll complain that he loses his touch, even considering his retirement if the player recieved a E rating.