- "It's become clear that Simon is not progressing mentally like I initially had hoped. I suggested that Simon should keep a book to write down the feelings and anxieties whenever he needed to. This seems to have gone out of control, however, and during the therapy sessions, it has become clear that the book only has had a negative and terrifying effect. I cannot help Simon anymore. There is no treatment I can supply to alter his mind. I can only hope to stop his mental disorder before he does any damage to himself, or the ones around him. I have to find the book. I need to destroy it."
BioEditPurnell is the main antagonist in the Cry Of Fear, and a protagonist in the real life of the event. Following Simon's accident that confined him to a wheelchair, Purnell was hired as Simon's counselor to keep track of his mental progress due to the trauma he endured. The police took Simon to him right after he got hit by the car (As seen in Chapter 4's flashback), where Purnell later reported the diagnosis of Simon's condition to one of the officers. After noting Simon's history of psychological issues, he resolves to make it his mission to help Simon come to terms with his new life, and overcome the griefs of his past.
Purnell notes that Simon loathes to speak of his personal affairs, refusing to comment on topics regarding his home or school life. Due to little success in their sessions, he recommends Simon try a form of cognitive therapy by writing a book to express his thoughts and emotions, to get them out of his head. This suggestion leads to the events of the game, a depiction of Simon's mental struggle against his inner demons and a representation of how well the therapy ultimately works. A twisted version of Purnell in a Russian GP-5 gas mask is seen in this world, dropping false hints to Simon about a possible biological outbreak - the doctor expressing belief that Simon isn't even real, and that everyone else around him is psychotic despite the fact he murders two individuals in cold blood. The Doctor Purnell witnessed during the events of the game was just a mere depiction of him in Simon's mind - his malicious and sadistic behavior mirroring Simon's potential view of Purnell as being a strange and untrustworthy man. Simon comes to believe that the doctor is responsible for all of this.
Chapter 2 RoleEditPurnell in Simon's mind is first seen in Chapter 2. After Simon passed out in his battle against the Sawer, he awoke at the foot of the apartment elevator to find that he merely passed out, Purnell standing nearby and observing him. Suspicious and uncertain of one another, Purnell refuses to explain who he is to Simon before expressing his belief that Simon may not even be real. He proceeds to leave the room and lock the exit behind him, forcing Simon to take an alternative path.
Doctor Purnell is next found in a partially flooded room in the city sewers near the end of the chapter, where he was apparently torturing a man for the location of a key to the nearby exit. Having not gotten the answer he desired, Simon enters the room just in time to see Purnell brutally decapitating the man with a saw. He is surprised by the entrance of Simon, and quickly leaves and locks the door behind him. Doctor Purnell then starts to make his journey into the city, leaving Simon behind in the room to fight Mace.
Chapter 4 RoleEdit
Doctor Purnell appears once more midway through Chapter 4 when Simon has successfully navigated the subway tunnels from the Saxon Avenue station and arrived at the Hanson Square station. Purnell was present at the station as Simon was exiting one of the subway tunnels, and was apparently being approached by another survivor. He supposedly did not listen to Purnell when he told him not to come closer, and thus the Doctor shot the man in the head with his revolver, killing him.
Purnell muses over the body that the man was clearly psychotic and likely would have ultimately killed himself anyways before moving further into the station towards another train line. Simon decides to follow him, only to find that the Doctor locked the electric door behind him and that it requires two fuses to operate. By time Simon acquires the fuses and passes through, Purnell is long gone- possibly by train. As one final insult, he appears to have also disabled the function of the rail line before leaving, causing Simon to place more fuses before being able to get the trains working again.
Chapter 6 RoleEditPurnell is seen entering the front gates of the asylum. Choosing to pursue, Simon follows him inside. Once inside, Simon descends down into the asylum's basement in order to activate the generator to release the shutters obstructing Simon from reaching full access of the building. Eventually, Simon encounters and converses with the doctor on the second floor. Purnell is found to be safe, seperated from the dangers of the asylum behind a barred door. In desperation of ending his current situation, Simon requests the barred door's respective key in order to continue. The doctor refuses, but instead proposes a trade. He tells Simon to acquire a gun from the bowling alley that he claims is his, and he will in turn give Simon the key.
If successful in achieving the gun, which turns out to be a Ruger P345 with no ammunition, the player is given a choice of giving the doctor the gun or not. If the player gives Purnell the gun, he thanks Simon for his trust and gives him the key to the gate before loading the pistol and shooting him in the shoulder. If the player refuses to give him the gun, the doctor expresses disappointment in Simon before tossing him the key anyways, promptly shooting him in the shoulder with his revolver anyways. Regardless of what choice is made, Purnell exits through another door before Simon can unlock the barred door.Angered by the doctor's choice to shoot him, Simon pursues Purnell up to the attic of the asylum and engages him in a gunfight. Once shot down by Simon, a flashback shows the real Simon hunched over in his wheelchair, conversing with Purnell in his office. During the conversation, Purnell suggests a sort of therapy to Simon known as "cognitive therapy". During the session of this therapy, Simon is to write a book on his feelings and thoughts. Agreeing to do so, the flashback ends and the events of the current story continues. Grasping for life on the ground, Purnell is confronted by an enraged Simon, who ignores his pleas and proceeds to repeatedly stomp on his face, caving in his skull and killing him, putting an end to his role in the story.
The "Real" Purnell's fate is decided on Simon's decision of giving him the gun or not, the act deciding whether or not Simon can find it within himself to trust Purnell and the advise that he offers to him.
If the player chooses not to give him the gun, Simon will murder him in his apartment in the real world. This is seen in ending 1 and ending 3.
If the player chooses to give Purnell the gun, he will state that he is glad because Simon can trust him and he is shown alive in endings 2 and 4. In the second ending, Simon still ultimately kills himself, but writes an apology to Purnell in the final chapter of his book- stating that he was the only person who ever truly tried to help him and that ultimately, not everyone can be saved.
In ending 4 Simon survives the ordeal and is placed into a mental hospital for what is forseeable to be the rest of his life. Simon makes note in the final chapter of his book that Purnell is continuing to mentor him and closely monitor his progress, Simon coming to believe that he is lucky to have him as his counselor.
In Doctor Mode, the real Purnell decides to get into Simon's mind in order to save him, coming to believe that the book he instructed Simon to write is ultimately doing more harm than good and thus must be destroyed.
Armed with a gas mask and a revolver, he makes his way through familiar places in the city Simon previously visits during the single player campaign, stretching from the start of the third chapter back to the apartments in chapter 1, besieged by the demons of Simon's book the entire way in an effort to prevent him from destroying them. Fighting his way to Simon's apartment located in the complex, the doctor burns Simon's book and the demons in it, completing his objective. Upon completion, the player is rewarded with the use of the doctor's gas mask during single player.
- Purnell was voiced by Lasse "BerZerK89" Holmen from ModDB.
- In doctor mode, it is strange that Purnell does not encounter his twisted self in Simon's world when he enters it.