- "You're going to stay down there and push until your feeble fucking arms shove Sera off its axis and send us spiraling into the fucking sun, killing us all!"
- — Victor Hoffman telling Kim to do pushups
Major Victor Hoffman or "VHMkI " is a male synthetic humanoid from Tyrus in his "thirties" constructed after the GoW canon character Colonel Hoffman. He is in charge of Delta Squad, who later on becomes more of a dynamic character leading to the end of his arc in 2.0. He is the main protagonist in a potential spin-off series The Hoffman Show. He is voiced by AT&T Labs Text-To-Voice "Mike".
Personal Background (2.0)
Hoffman was the only non-human in 2.0 outside of the Locust Horde and JACK . He was a prototype of a series of androids created by Adam Fenix to be used as tools against war, Hoffman being a byproduct of failed tests. He was modeled after Colonel Victor Hoffman (who only made a short appearance in the ending of 2.0), and with the right programming he became a very high ranked soldier rather than a machine. Him being an android was kept on the down low, and only his creator and Chairman Prescott knew. Hoffman answers to Prescott only, for his higher ranking in Coalition of Ordered Governments. Being a true military man, he does not work well with others who aren't serious with their work in contempt of this being hypocritical in some ways.
He had recently had a short relationship with Bernadette Mitaki, but was forced to break up with her due to training. He then began a relationship with a lawyer named Margaret , where he eventually had plans to marry her. However, he has shown strong feelings for his counterpart yet possible ex-boyfriend LT Anderson , but denies it and hides it well enough for Anderson to not notice. He was apparently stationed at Anvil Gate before being moved back to the main base, where Prescott had ordered Anderson to assign him to lead Delta without his consent. Hoffman wants nothing to do with the project, as he dislikes children, but is forced to deal with Delta otherwise.
After Delta's arrival (2.0)
After Delta arrives and Davis and Helena bring the squad to him, Hoffman shows nothing but disdain toward the children. After realizing that looking after Delta may be too much to handle (as he has a severe dislike for kids), he later asks for assistance where LT Anderson comes in, creating a great deal of tension between the two when it comes to responsibility.
In the beginning Hoffman severely dislikes the children, Kim notably being the first. He ultimately takes a liking to the children slowly whilst still being gruff and serious about their tasks. However, he often continues to insult them, and insist that certain incidents are their fault. He believes Marcus will one day be a war hero. He eventually starts to warm up to the children, starting with when he shows concern to Anderson that he's worried that the platoon might die during combat if they're not prepared. Victor once again shows compassion for Marcus when Elain dies, and once more when confronting Dom about Carlos' death.
It is evident that Hoffman is bisexual, and becomes more and more captivated by Anderson daily where the two of them are often having deep heartfelt conversations about relationship advice and other personal issues. It is clear Hoffman wishes for a relationship with Anderson, where he's crying over him at night, and even at one point he climbs into bed to sleep beside him later on. Sadly he feels that Anderson is still too defeated and occupied over Mrs. Anderson and his son's deaths. It can also be suggested that Hoffman and Anderson were previously in a relationship, as Anya briefly mentions that "Hoffman was nicer when he and Anderson were together". Hoffman is very conflicted about his feelings, and his entire existence that he contemplates self harm at one point, but is interrupted by Anderson's orders.
After E-Day happens, Victor is pulled into a meeting with Prescott, where he is asked to show him his activation key for the satellite weapon Hammer of Dawn. Afterwards Prescott tells them he wants to keep the hammer strike a secret until the official announcement, where Hoffman then loses faith in him.
A few hours before the strike, Hoffman takes Anderson and Delta with him to the Plateau for safety. On their way, Anderson is strategically shot in the chest by a Locust sniper on the nearby grounds below, where he tells Hoffman to take care of the children and that he is sorry. He the jumps off the King Raven, falling to his death into the water beneath them. After they reach the Jacinto Plateau, Prescott met with the others in the ops room. After encountering Colonel Hoffman and Adam questions how Anderson and Margaret are, Hoffman becomes overwhelmed and "shuts down", having a series of flashbacks to the beginning of his life. He then realizes and becomes aware he is an android and an indirect clone of Colonel Hoffman. Once recovered, he is then inquired for his activation key where he then inserts it into the console. Anderson's Embry Star was given to Hoffman later on.
VHMkIHoffman's technical identity or serial number is VHMkI (Victor Hoffman Mark I). The goal was to make him "as human as possible" without anyone noticing by using a stealth command activated by code that generates him to appear more human. It may also be inferred that Hoffman was prototype (technically rendering Hoffman as the prophet of his kind) of an Android line that had multiple design flaws, one of them which was becoming sentient (which explains his emotional outbreaks causing blue light to flow through his body). He explains this was why Hoffman was regularly given jobs nobody else wished to do (Delta for example), and that he probably wouldn't be sufficient enough for combat because of his disadvantages.
During Hoffman's mental assault before he enters the activation key, flashbacks are revealed that Hoffman was the first of many of his kind, and that he underwent several rounds of testing which can be interpreted abusive. One of the most intensive tests shown was a "Damage Threshold" test, where VHMkI is hit in the head several times, exposing circuitry and cloaking.
Considering Hoffman was a prototype of a line of Androids, there are many clones that remain. It is unknown how many exactly, but there are implications there are several still existing but being unused shown in his flashbacks. By virtue of Hoffman being the first of his "species", it can be signified that he is an indirect prophet or leader.
The cloning of VHMkI was a likely concept to be used for an alternate ending, disclosing more information about Hoffman's past. This was changed, and to be added in a flashback in the first alternate ending. It's also been discussed that Hoffman briefly recognizes Colonel Hoffman, triggering the mental assault scene.
Ideas speculate that the clones would each have severe to minor imperfections, some being disturbing, theorizing that vigorous testing was done to the clones post-humanization of Hoffman as a way to try and improve him.
Hoffman is almost always serious being a military man at the core, but is easily identifiable as one of the most humorous characters in the film. Regularly making jokes about the children and insulting them, as well as the banter with LT Anderson. He is known for his sarcastic dialogue and irritability. Hoffman has a soft side occasionally, but rarely expresses it openly due to fighting off sentiment.
His sense of humor tends to be scathing and hurtful to others, a few occasions where he's mistakenly mocked Anderson's personal issues including his son's death. Hoffman has an unusual way of sometimes showing care for his Gears by structuring his kindness into orders, which may be in accord to him being synthetic. He has a strong distaste of Chairman Prescott, due to his habits of restricting information, which Hoffman believes should be shared.
Hoffman is a white male standing about 6'0", and at an average build. He has hazel-greyish eyes, jagged sharp teeth, and dark brown shaggy hair. He wears a black and grey uniform, white shirt, black tie, as well as a black combat hat with a silver star on the front. The only times he's ever been shown without his hat is when he's in his pajamas.
Infrequently there will be a short moment of blue glimmer in his eyes, face, and entire body indicating he's inhuman. These don't occur until part three. It is uncertain what the blue sparks and strips of light actually are part of, but a common conjecture could be either his wiring or actual coding running through his vessel; taken into consideration that these moments occur seldom, it could be pinpointed that they happen during moments of severe stress and highly negative emotion.
VHMkI has several changes in appearance once activated. His brown hair changes to a silver-white color (foreshadowing Hoffman's old appearance in Gear Babies), eyes become red, his skin becomes a pale white color, and red circuitry is exposed as well as previously hidden internal weapons. When VHMkI is not hostile, anything red is a cyan color similar to most technology in the COG.
In the original film, he has silver hair and blue eyes.
The Hoffman Show
In an alternative universe on planet Earth, Hoffman is a human single father with three kids: Heather, Daniel, and Atlas who move to Bethesda, Maryland in hopes of starting a new life after the passing of his previous wife.
- Hoffman being a canon character is debatable. Canonically in 2.0, he is an android modeled after the Gears of War canon character with the same name, who does not make an appearance with the film. He shares very little with Colonel Hoffman's actual backstory, including previously dating Bernie and Margaret. Technically Victor is an original character in 2.0, but is more specifically described as a modified canon character.
- Victor Hoffman made a debut in the original Children of War beta trailer, which ended up being used at the end of the original film.
- Hoffman was supposed to have a voice actor like everyone else in the original film, but time ran short so a Text-To-Voice engine would suffice. This same TTV was used in 2.0 mostly for comical relief and nostalgia, as Hoffman's artificial voice became popular during the original airing of Gear Babies, rendering him as one of the most favorable characters. Later development improvised a backstory on Hoffman's fake voice, there are subtle hints that reveal him to be an android. Arin Lister mentioned the possibility of Hoffman having a legitimate voice later on in the film where he himself would take on the role, but it was scrapped for preserving the run time.
- Hoffman is one of the only characters to undergo major character redesign for 2.0, as well as Anthony Carmine. He also has one of the more developed back stories.
- He drives a black Humvee which has a license plate labeled as "THEH0FF". An expiration sticker of the year abbreviated "77" is arguable, as there's no actual date or year shown on Sera.
- Hoffman's uniform is unique compared to what the other assigned Gears wear. The uniform is actually modeled after the Nazi uniform.
- Twins "run in Hoffman's family", as he states several of his relatives had twin children. An explanation for memory of family could possibly be a result of who he was modeled after, or other similar androids in captivity, where twins usually look the same.
- It is also implied Hoffman may be sexually active.
- Hoffman at one point mentions that he needs a cigarette, implying he's a smoker.
- One of Hoffman's favorite songs is "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire.
- It is unknown what Hoffman's programmed age is, but it is assumed to be close to Anderson's. It is also unknown how old he physically is.
- "Come on, Carmine! How were you the fastest sperm!?"
- "What I've always been saying: Let's make a fuckin' deal."
- "Ba-de-ya. Something to remember. Ba-de-ya. Something in September. Ba-de-ya. Never was a cloudy day. Doe-de-doe."
- "Jiminy Christmas. Their parents were definitely on something to give them such names. Kind of disgusting."
- "I'm sorry, I love you. I never wanted it to be like this, and you know that."
- "What if I shoot twins, Anderson?"
- "Ding, you should be part of the donut brigade if you're that slow."
- "You asshole! Stop sounding like you're trying to wrap things up!"
- "I can't just pretend everything is all right with what we have to do, and what has happened..."
- "...Why... What have I done to any of you? Who am I?..."
- "Which one of us is the machine?"
- "Hello. Who can I help you kill today?"
- "What will you do?... Shoot me? Your best friend?."
- "This proves my point, you heathen!"