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Murdoch Byrnes is one of the love interests in The Smoke Room. He is a photographer and a salesman at his parents' general store. He is the son of Alfred and Gretchen Byrnes and the brother of Holly, Dahlia, and Seamus.

Character[]

Murdoch is a red fox with orange and white fur, brown paws, and green eyes. He wears a gray vest with a white striped dress shirt underneath, black slacks, and a black tie.

Murdoch typically carries a small black camera around his neck, though it is occasionally removed when he is working.

Personality[]

Murdoch initially presents himself as flirty and charismatic, yet aloof. He is revealed to be highly altruistic, offering Samuel a job when he discovers that the mountain lion is low on cash and even takes a bullet on Cliff's behalf; this is in fact something of a character flaw in regards to his family, to whom he is willing to devote himself at the expense of his well being. Murdoch tends to work himself to the point of exhaustion, and he often wordlessly takes on the brunt of his parents' verbal abuse. Murdoch also has great passions for photography and the paranormal, often going on long tangents on these subjects. He is desperate to uncover the truth behind Echo's seemingly paranormal activity, and he seems to simultaneously possess a deep fear and burning curiosity regarding the truth behind the town's otherworldly circumstances.

Story[]

Early Life[]

Murdoch is a third-generation Echo resident. He was born on June 6th, 1889[2] to Alfred and Gretchen Byrnes, owners of Red's General Store. Growing up, he shared a room with his sisters, Holly and Dahlia. Murdoch also mentions having a brother, though he seems to have passed away by the time of the game. He currently works at his parents' general store, and is training for a managing position, although, there is no guarantee that he'll actually inherit the store after his father passes it on.

Murdoch is a photographer, and has been working in the dark room since he was six years old.

Prologue[]

Murdoch is first seen talking with William after Samuel consoles Cliff in the alley beside the Hip. Once the coyote leaves, Murdoch offers to help Samuel make "connections" before excusing himself. Samuel meets him again later that evening at the saloon with William, and the three enter the powder room. Samuel and Murdoch encounter Cynthia, and the two attempt to goad the fox into making an appointment. Instead, Murdoch offers a bet—five times Samuel's hourly wage to whoever has the best time.

Murdoch's Route[]

Samuel accepts Murdoch's bet and takes him to The Smoke Room (his bedroom), in which the two engage in a competition—they each have three opportunities to stimulate the other before the other player has their turn, and it repeats until one of them loses. It ends with Samuel having full-on sex with Murdoch, and he loses to the fox's wit of angering Sam so he would expend all of his energy and climax first.

Murdoch spends the night with Sam, and in the morning, offers him an opportunity to work at Red's General Goods for some extra money. Sam accepts the offer, and goes to the store, only to be greeted by Murdoch, Red, and Ralph, the store's pharmacist. Immediately, Samuel takes a rash disliking to Ralph, but aids Murdoch in his work nonetheless, which mainly includes helping him develop photographs.

Cliff's Route[]

At one point in Cliff's route, prior to the stoat, Samuel, Murdoch, and Jebediah setting off to travel to the Meseta settlement, Samuel states that he can smell Murdoch's scent on Cliff's couch rather strongly, to which he claims may mean that they had sex.

Murdoch accompanies Cliff and his troupe up in their journey to the Meseta settlement, mostly to document Cliff's escapades with his camera. Samuel has an option to whether he can say he wants Murdoch to join the group or not, but in the end, his opinion is ignored. However, if the player says no, Samuel will - later on - try to push Murdoch off of a cliffside, only for the fox to notice and for Sam's plan to be foiled without Murdoch catching on.

William's Route[]

After Samuel's sudden outburst, Murdoch apologizes for putting stress on him. When William dismisses everyone from the powder room, Murdoch brushes off the girls' advances and lounges on one of the couches as Samuel and William leave.

Despite his initial reluctance, Murdoch puts on a cheery disposition as he joins William, Samuel, and Nikolai as they venture into the mines. He follows William and Samuel into the hollow, and photographs the bags of rocks. Outside the mines, Murdoch takes a moment to comfort Samuel before heading home.

The following evening, Murdoch and Cliff arrive at the sheriff's office for a poker game, the fox neglecting to tell William who he was bringing.

During the poker game, Murdoch continues to stare absentmindedly out of the corner of his eye, and later on, a shootout occurs in the sheriff's office which leads to Murdoch getting shot in the shoulder after taking a bullet to protect Cliff, who was the supposed target of the shootout. It is revealed that Murdoch knew about the shooter following him to the office, though it is not said if he knew the shootout would begin or not. He is later bandaged up by Nikolai, and while explaining the shooter to William, is carted off by both Nikolai and Cliff to go home and rest, after almost fainting in the jail block of the office.

Nikolai's Route[]

Samuel turns down his bet, and after teasing Cliff, he walks off towards where William went.

Relationships[]

Samuel[]

Ralph[]

Cliff[]

William[]

As the town photographer, Murdoch often works with William to take crime scene photos. The two have a professional working relationship, although Murdoch teases him on occasion. William also invites Murdoch to poker nights.

Nikolai[]

Todd[]

Murdoch and Todd are friendly with each other, and often play poker together.

Family[]

Murdoch has an exceptionally toxic relationship with his family. Both his parents constantly belittle him and make demands of him, taking full advantage of his devotion to them. His sister Holly further exploits him by making him sleep with her fiancé Jim in order to secure his marriage to her. Only his other sister Dahlia seems to treat him with kindness, and even then both have seldomly interacted.

Trivia[]

  • Murdoch's favorite book is The Time Machine.[3]

References[]

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