|Gregory M. Wilson|
The Mysterious Man
|Voice actor||Christopher Fairbank|
|“||Once upon a time, there was a precious little girl...||”|
He is a very mysterious figure seen lurking around the airship. During the game, he occasionally meets Jennifer and hands her one of his homemade storybooks, which usually contain dark and sadistic plots. For some reason, he addresses her by the name "Joshua".
In actuality, he is responsible for murdering the orphans of Rose Garden Orphanage (approximately 24 children), with the sole exception of Jennifer. As Stray Dog, he is the final boss.
Gregory M. Wilson lived in the "Gingerbread House" in the rural countryside somewhere near Cardington. Gregory's appearance is very simple and disheveled, reflecting his life as a poor pea farmer. According to the manual, he would give children treats, presumably candy, akin to the Stray Dog legend. It is unknown if this is a simple act of kindness, or intention to lure with malice.
Any information on Gregory's partner, such as even if he had one, is unknown. Gregory had a son named Joshua, although it is unknown if Joshua is his biological son or another adopted child like Jennifer was. Gregory loved Joshua dearly. He tried his best to give Joshua a wonderful life despite living in poverty, and he did his best to stay close to his son, as well as attempt to get Joshua out the house, either to go and play, or work on the farm with him. But when Joshua was too sick to leave his bed, Gregory would simply do his best to take care of him. During the time that Joshua was ill and bedridden, Gregory would often make him storybooks and read from them. Joshua liked the stories his father told him.
After Joshua either went missing, was kidnapped or died from an illness (it is unknown what happened to Joshua), Gregory was absolutely heartbroken and began drinking and smoking heavily. He kept a gun in the house and would often contemplate suicide, and so desperately seemed to want to use it on himself.
Gregory found a young amnesiac Jennifer, who was the sole survivor of an airship crash. He took good care of her for months, and as Jennifer states, he was very nice. However, he treated her as if she were Joshua, and it is implied he had her dress in Joshua's clothing and cut her hair. Gregory also read her the storybooks he wrote for Joshua. With the help of Wendy, who found her through a window in a basement room, Jennifer fled Gregory, deepening his grief. Wendy also went into Gregory's study and took his gun in a bag.
Gregory's sanity deteriorated and he was under influence of alcohol. Wendy came to Gregory and she may have disguised herself as Joshua, although much of Gregory's and Wendy's interactions are unseen. Gregory was turned into Stray Dog by Wendy, a tool for the seething orphan. Martha Carol saw Wendy dog-training Gregory, describing it looked like "dog training gone wrong" and reported it to the police in a letter. However, it was too late.
On one rainy December night, Wendy brought Gregory to the orphanage in order to get revenge on the orphans, although she simply wanted to scare them and prove she was not a liar, not kill them. His noose implies Wendy found him just before he was about to kill himself. He has numerous red scratches, injuries, and rope-like burn markings all over his body, implying self-harm or abuse from Wendy. Wendy may have manipulated Gregory by telling him she (or he, in her disguise) was abducted, bullied and abused by the orphans.
Upon arriving at the orphanage, the girls (except Jennifer who was hiding) found Gregory and Wendy outside. However, he was apparently provoked by them and went on a murder spree, killing the orphans relentlessly. Gregory also killed Wendy after she took off her Joshua disguise, likely angered he was manipulated by a fake Joshua.
Little Jennifer found Gregory outside. It is possible they may have fought each other. He may have eventually accepted Jennifer was never truly Joshua or a replacement for him, as she was not in disguise, and he chose to spare her life. He said, "I'm sorry, Joshua", and it is unknown if he meant Jennifer or his son. Immediately afterward, he completes suicide using his gun, perhaps in hopes of being with his son again in the afterlife, or to atone for his actions, or both.
Rule of Rose
Jennifer encounters Gregory a few times throughout the game, although he usually gives Jennifer a storybook and quietly walks away. Because Rule of Rose is assumed to be set in Jennifer's mind, she is recovering her memories of who he is, as he is already deceased. As such, he is akin to a dream character, although from a real world perspective, there is a theory that posits figures in dreams are the true selves of the deceased, and it is unknown if the game's writers had this theory in mind.
After the three chapters for the three Aristrocrat girls, Gregory abducts Jennifer in the Club Room. He brings her to a memory of his house where she remembers living with him and leaves her in the rose garden. Throughout the chapter, entitled "The Gingerbread House", Jennifer can remember many figments of living with him, such as his addictions and suicidal ideations. After encountering him in the basement, he stops his suicide attempt and locks Jennifer in Joshua's bedroom, calling her Joshua. After Wendy comes to Jennifer's rescue, the player must avoid him or he will capture her, lock her in Joshua's room, and the process will repeat.
In the "Stray Dog and the Lying Princess" chapter, Gregory comes to the orphanage and kills everyone. He is the game's final boss. It is recommended the Lumberjack Axe be used against him.
In the Good Ending, Jennifer helps Gregory kill himself with his gun by giving it to him when he says, "I'm sorry, Joshua" which unlocks the way to the rest of her childhood memories. However, in the Bad Ending, Jennifer simply kills him and the game abruptly ends.
In the Good Ending route, "Gregory" appears in the "Once Upon a Time" chapter at the bus stop, writing "The Little Princess" storybook. It is unclear if this is a recreation of a real memory that happened, perhaps showing the first time Jennifer met Gregory, or if this never happened. Gregory comes up with the idea of creating a storybook about Jennifer.
If Jennifer talks to him enough, he will eventually have a conversation with her. He comes as very misanthropic during this conversation, saying humanity will always lie, betray and hurt each other, and that relationships are only about people trying to get others to serve their desires, and "everlasting love" isn't real. This could be considered a rather inappropriate, cynical and awfully pessimistic thing to say to a child. While it is true to a degree, an optimist would argue that humans are more complex than Gregory thinks. After the conversation, Gregory apologizes for coming off as too preachy.
Possible murdering, kidnapping and cannibalism
If one looks only at Gregory's Diary, they would come to the natural conclusion that Gregory was a kind, earnest man. However, if the player talks to the Bucket Knight after obtaining Gregory's Gun, it says that Jennifer has taken his "instrument of justice." This implies that Gregory is guilty of something so terrible that he deserves death.
It is rumored that Stray Dog kidnaps and eats children by the orphans. This could be an allegory for Gregory. Following this logic, Gregory could easily be the kidnapper mentioned in a Daily Flamingo Newspaper article found in Gregory's house.
In the "Stray Dog Will Have His Peas" it is commonly theorized that Gregory is Stray Dog and the "peas" are children.
- Stray Dog walks the streets each day
- Collecting peas as he walks to and fro
- Big peas, small peas, every which kind of pea
- Come Monday, he finds a pea
- Come Tuesday, he bags the pea
- Come Wednesday, he shows the pea to his son
- Come Thursday, the pea kicks and screams
- Come Friday, he grinds up the pea
- Come Saturday, he buries the pea outside: the pea is in the ground
- And by Sunday, it can't be found
- Good night, young pea
- Good night, young pea
His diary also mentions making hot pea soup. This can either be taken literally or as further evidence of cannibalism. It is also important to note that Gregory's house is called the "Gingerbread House", and is depicted as such by Wendy. The story of Hansel and Gretel involved a cannibalistic witch in a gingerbread house who lured children with candy and ate them. It is said that Stray Dog gives children treats.
An unused cutscene found in the game's files suggests a possible game over, or another way of ending the Gingerbread House chapter if Jennifer goes back to Gregory instead of escaping with Wendy. The cutscene also implies that Jennifer hasn't moved on from Gregory's massacre and deep down, still fears him. Gregory seems to be dropping a bloody child's shirt in a dug hole in his backyard.
It is truly unknown what happened at Gregory's House. What the player sees could simply be the result of Jennifer's subconsciousness twisting her memories to suit the story of the Hansel and Gretel story or Stray Dog legend.
Gregory is the English form of Latin Gregorius, which was from the late Greek name Γρηγοριος (Gregorios), derived from γρηγορος (Gregoros) meaning "watchful, alert." This could refer to the dog-like traits he possessed, the attention and doting Gregory gave Joshua while he was alive, or it could ironically refer to his late inability to tell other children from his son in his grieving state.
- "Clear skies. Today, I weeded the fields. Work went well."
- "Rainy. Weeding again. Tomorrow morning, I'll go into town to sell peas, so tonight I must make preparations. It is a busy day indeed."
- "Clear skies. I went to market and sold peas and carrots. I had hoped to be able to feed Joshua something nutritious, but sales were not good, so I was not able to buy much."
- "Cloudy. Weeding the fields again. It was chilly today. I'll have to give Joshua a blanket so he won't catch a cold."
- "Cloudy. Joshua is under the weather. He has a slight fever, so I fed him some hot pea soup."
- "Rainy. I spent the day in my room drawing a picture book for Joshua. I'm sure he’ll enjoy this one."
- "Cloudy. Today, I cleaned out the barn. Joshua told me he liked my latest story. Nothing pleases me more that to see my son happy."
- "Joshua told me he liked my latest story. There’s nothing I love more than seeing his beaming, happy face."
- "I'm sorry, Joshua..."
- "People will always lie, betray each other, and forget about the past... They only really want to get others to do as they wish... There's no such thing as everlasting love..."
- "It wasn't right of me to preach to you like that. Forgive me."
- "If I may, please let me write a story about you..."
- There is an unused animation of Gregory comforting a sad Wendy/Joshua.
- In the introduction of the game, the voice saying "Once upon a time..." is Gregory's, as well as the voice that says "...and everyone lived happily ever after..." during a game over.
- It can be theorized that Gregory is the game's unseen narrator. However, it is also possible that it is the Bucket Knight, or the narrator isn't intended to be a character.
- Gregory is one of four characters in Rule of Rose to have his full name revealed; the other three include his son, Joshua, Martha Carol and Anthony Dolittle.
- There are several mysterious faces carved around Gregory's house. These could possibly represent Gregory's longing for his son, or possibly a representation of the children he may have kidnapped.
- Gregory can be easily compared to "The Beast" from Lord of the Flies, although the developers said it was not an influence.