Otto Octavius, also known by his media nickname Doctor Octopus, is the main antagonist of Marvel's Spider-Man. A highly intelligent scientist, Otto co-founded the mega-corporation Oscorp with his close friend Norman Osborn. He left the company after Norman committed several safety and ethical violations, later founding his own organization Octavius Industries.
Otto is a friend and mentor of Peter Parker and secretly aware of his activities as Spider-Man. Peter serves as his lab assistant at Octavius Industries, which relies on grants. There, he and Peter are on the verge of perfecting advanced prosthetic limb technology, motivated by a neurological disorder Otto is developing.
After their grant funding is shut down by Norman exploiting his position as Mayor, Otto is inspired to seek revenge on him. Working on a set of mechanical appendages, Otto gradually loses control due to a defect with the neural implants affecting his mind and personality, and eventually transforms into the villainous Doctor Octopus. As Doctor Octopus, he then forms the Sinister Six as part of his violent master plan to destroy Norman and his empire.
Born approximately in the year 1955 in Schenectady, New York, Otto Octavius met his future business partner Norman Osborn while in college. The two went on to found the company Oscorp and hoped to change the world together. According to Otto, the name "Oscorp" was a reference to the two "O's" in his and Norman's last names (Osborn and Octavius).
In 1986, a boy named Martin Li came to Oscorp to have a consultation for an unknown, chronic medical condition. Unknown to Otto, Norman had the boy injected with an early version of the experimental GR-27 ("Devil's Breath") serum. The treatment triggered a reaction that resulted in the death of Li's parents and Li receiving superhuman powers. Disgusted with Norman's recklessness and unethical behavior, Otto filed a lawsuit and ended up leaving Oscorp in exchange for a settlement, ending his friendship with Norman in the process.
Otto would go on to found his own company, Octavius Industries. However, he was unable to reach the same level of success that he had at Oscorp, and was forced to rely on grants for finance.
Otto serves as Peter Parker's employer and mentor figure as a scientist. At the beginning of the game, he and Peter are working on highly advanced prostheses/prosthetics, in the hopes of providing replacement limbs that could interface with a human being's nervous system just like any natural limb does.
While Peter is regularly late for work, Otto doesn't seem to resent him for it, instead being in silent awe of Peter's knack for what he terms "guerrilla science". It is revealed that Octavius Industries relies exclusively on grants for income, and when, later in the game, their current grant(s) is revoked by Mayor Osborn, Otto advises Peter to start looking for a new job.
As the game progresses, Otto is revealed to have accepted support from the A.I.M. organization, which, according to Peter, has a shady reputation, in order to continue his work on prostheses. He gets frustrated by the lack of compatibility in the design and Peter has to calm him down. Even later in the game, Otto reveals that he is suffering from a degenerative neurological disorder, probably caused by exposure to toxic chemicals during his youth; without a breakthrough in his research on prostheses and on how to directly have them interface with the brain, he will eventually lose nearly all motor functions.
Eventually, thanks to both his and Peter's efforts in their research, Otto manages to build highly advanced mechanical, retractable arms that work in conjunction with a neural interface directly implanted at the base of the skull, that interfaces with the basal ganglia. Peter figures that the interface presents risks of altering the user's mood and personality drastically if left unchecked, and manages to convince Otto to keep working on the prototype.
However, as Peter departs, Otto stumbles upon a TV news report mentioning Osborn's responsibility in the Devil's Breath debacle. Otto finally snaps, and reactivates the faulty neural interface, along with the arms, and shifts from the gentle Otto Octavius to the vengeful Doctor Octopus.
As Doctor Octopus, one of his first actions is to research the backgrounds of all the major supervillains locked inside the Raft so that he can offer them deals in order to work for him. After breaking them out, he forms the Sinister Six and puts his plan into motion: attack all of Osborn's holdings within the city, unleash the Devil's Breath on the populace, and make Osborn admit to his secrets.
Spider-Man foils most of this, though is powerless to stop the release of the Devil's Breath. Doctor Octopus fights him atop Oscorp Tower after Osborn is saved. During this final confrontation, Otto reveals to Peter that he knew Peter was Spider-Man all along, and Peter eventually realizes the Otto he knew does not exist any longer. Spider-Man ultimately defeats Doctor Octopus and acquires the antiserum, leaving Otto to be taken by the authorities. Otto's artificial limbs are removed and he is sent to the Raft. Following his imprisonment, Octavius Industries is completely shut down.
While he doesn't physically appear due to his imprisonment, he appears in the flashback prior to the first game’s event, where he and Peter Parker indirectly met Miles Morales and Phin Mason at the Oscorp Science Center.
Otto is a dark-haired, balding, bespectacled individual with green eyes. While not sporting a beard, he does seem to sport a five o'clock shadow, seemingly due to all the time he spends working in the lab. While heavier than most people his size, Otto hardly appears fat – he is at best chubby, which would be expected of an older man not engaging in regular exercise. He is generally seen wearing a green turtleneck sweater, often under a white lab coat. In his youth, Otto had a full beard and long hair.
As Doctor Octopus, Otto wears a dark green bodysuit lined with a black polymer, along with round welding goggles. From the center of his lower back are four long mechanical arms, comprised of a black polymer. At the end of each claw are two sets of four sharp claws, the larger of which are tipped yellow.
Otto is initially an optimistic, forgiving man focused on making the world a better place. While his work doesn't progress as well or as quickly as he had hoped, he stays his course and seems to take everything in stride. Otto displays a gentle personality overall, not scolding Peter for his tardiness any more than he feels he has to.
Otto possesses an extremely high intellect, enough so that Peter admires him for it, yet maintains a humble demeanor, admiring Peter's knack for impromptu science and describing the boy as a genius in his own right.
However, as the game progresses, Otto begins acting frantically. His patience dwindles when he feels close to reaching his goals, and as the mini-games reveal, Otto's designs have some overlooked flaws that Peter regularly has to address and correct. Additionally, Otto's frustrations with his deteriorating human body and years of oppression by Norman increasingly rise to the surface, culminating in his transformation into Doctor Octopus.
As Doctor Octopus, Otto's personality shifts towards a vengeful, calculating individual with sociopathic tendencies. He displays little care towards the lives he endangers, justifying it as a necessary evil. Ock acts on years of frustration and repressed anger towards Norman Osborn. The shift is exasperated by Otto's implantation of the imperfect neural interface, causing limbic deterioration that erodes his emotional reasoning and self-control.
As his mental state continues to deteriorate, Otto becomes increasingly aggressive, arrogant, prone to mood swings, paranoid and self-righteous in his crusade against Norman.
Otto possesses a genius-level intellect, showing a great array of knowledge in engineering, physics, robotics, and biomechanics. He is one of the leading authorities in prosthetics and neurotechnology, devising groundbreaking artificial appendages and concocting advanced upgrades for the Sinister Six. With his talents, Otto is also able to design advanced technological gadgets for Spider-Man, as well as easily deduce the latter's secret identity and masterfully deceive him into believing that he, Otto, still remained oblivious to that fact. It may be argued that Otto's intelligence surpasses the prodigious genius of Peter Parker. He is, however, often haphazard with his creations, overlooking critical flaws.
Otto is a superb strategist and a charismatic leader. His planning as the devious Doctor Octopus involves numerous fail-safes, with Otto often having numerous back-up plans to his back-up plans, accounting for numerous possible scenarios with efficient contingencies, making him extraordinarily versatile and unpredictable and often keeping him one step ahead of Spider-Man during his crusade against the city. Following the Raft prison breakout that he single-handedly orchestrates, Otto discreetly manipulates each and every member of the Sinister Six as his unwilling pawns, to execute his meticulously crafted plans, with them notably heeding his explicit instructions to not kill Spider-Man.
With Peter's aid, Otto creates four mechanical arms, which he attaches to his lower back via a harness. At the end of each arm are two sets of claws: a larger set of four claws used for general purposes, and a smaller set used for more precision-intensive actions. These arms, which are connected to his nervous system via an intracranial neural network, are capable of neural transmission speeds faster than 1 nanosecond, faster than any signals that can travel inside the human brain. As a result, these arms function as if they were part of Otto himself. These arms possess superhuman strength and durability, rapid movement, omnidirectional motion, and allow Otto to scale almost any surface.
Otto hired Peter Parker as an intern, both out of recognition of the boy's talent and due to the recommendation of Peter's Aunt May. During the two years Peter worked for Octavius Industries, Otto came to see Peter as a son and close friend. He admires his innate ability and altruism but is often irritated with his chronic lateness. Together, they are working on advanced prosthetic limbs for his government financiers. Deducing Peter's identity as Spider-Man when he stumbles upon Peter repairing his suit, Otto pretends to misinterpret it as Peter being Spider-Man's assistant, promising to keep it a secret and even helping him by providing additional designs.
When Mayor Osborn moves to shut down Octavius Industries, Peter remains with Otto, helping him perfect the neural network. During this time, Otto confides with Peter his history with Norman and his impending loss of motor control. Otto keeps his impending plans against Norman a secret, including the weaponization of their artificial limb technology.
Drunk on success upon the completion of the neural network, Otto is initially dismissive, then resentful of Peter's concerns of the network's obvious flaws. However, with the limbic degradation not having taken hold yet, Otto pretends to listen to Peter's warning and agree to fix the bugs. While his emotional reasoning continues to deteriorate, Otto still values his friendship with Peter, and orders the Sinister Six not to kill Spider-Man during the breakout. In a recording found in his lab, Otto leaves a message for Peter, admitting his pain in potentially losing Peter's friendship but affirming that he believes his actions are just.
The gradual change in Otto's personality due to the influence of the neural interface eventually skews all of his previous world views, essentially embracing the exact opposite of what he originally stood for. This change extends to Peter, whom he wrongly believes conspired with Norman to steal his ideas.
When the inevitable battle between the two comes, Otto is deaf to Peter's pleas to stop his madness, and casts aside their friendship for the sake of his crusade, even impaling Peter with his mechanical appendages. After he is defeated by Peter, Otto initially curses Peter for turning on him before begging one last time for Peter's help, claiming that his actions were the result of the neural interface affecting his mind. Otto makes his final mistake by telling Peter that with his help he can fix the neural interface and the arms while "keeping his secret identity", implying blackmail. Realizing that the Otto Octavius he knew is gone, Peter reluctantly leaves him to the authorities, ending their partnership for good with a broken heart.
Otto and Norman Osborn met as lab partners in college. Becoming good friends, the two went on to found Oscorp together. However, their friendship became strained as Norman grew increasingly obsessed with genetics. Otto opposed Project GR-27 due to the ethical implications but was unable to stop Norman from continuing the project.
It is implied that the incident with Martin Li, which Norman was directly responsible for, was the catalyst for Otto leaving Oscorp and terminating his friendship with Norman. Otto came to view Norman with contempt not only for stealing credit for his work, but for shamelessly profiting from the suffering of others.
Due to his financial difficulties, Otto was forced to take a grant from the Mayor's Office to fund his research. During the story, Norman uses a malfunction as an excuse to revoke the grant, and has Octavius Industries shut down for safety violations. Otto recognizes it as Norman's thinly veiled attempt to force Otto to return to Oscorp. This incident reignites Otto's hatred for Norman, leading him to see his former partner as a cancer on the world, and triggering his transformation into Doctor Octopus.
Otto met Martin Li when the latter was a child. Based on the recording retrieved from Norman Osborn's secret room, Otto was unaware of Li's injection with GR-27 until it was too late.
When Li begins attacking Oscorp properties, Otto is initially shocked and saddened at the turn he has taken. However, as his hatred for Osborn increases during the course of the game, Otto comes to see Li's actions as inspiration. It is revealed that Otto has supplied Li with medication to help him control his powers for years, indicating that the two are on amicable terms at the very least. This would explain why Li seems keen on following his orders to not kill Spider-Man at the Raft breakout.
Behind the scenes
Doctor Octopus's inclusion in the game was leaked during a live stream of a game by Chris Jai Alex, the motion-capture actor for Rhino, commenting on the size difference while doing motion capture between Rhino and Doctor Octopus; he was quick to stop talking, however, and speculation about this leak lingered until the game released.
- Marvel's Spider-Man, character bio
- Marvel's Spider-Man, credits
- Voice Actor Accidentally Reveals Mystery ‘Spider-Man’ Video Game Villain. Variety. Accessed October 3, 2018.