The Man in the Wall (also known as "The Lidless Eye" by the Red Veil and "The Indifference" by both the Veil and Quinn) is a mysterious enigmatic being associated with the Void, often taking the form of whom they appear before (most often as the player's Operator). First appearing during The War Within, they have a more prominent appearance during Chains of Harrow, revealing them to be a potential threat that few anticipated, and even fewer prepared for.
A mystery even to the Lotus, Rell purportedly became aware of the Man in the Wall during the Zariman Ten Zero incident. The true nature of the Man in the Wall is disputed, with both Rell and Palladino claiming it to be a personification of the Void's power that existed well before the Zariman arrived, while the Lotus (and Margulis before her) insists that it is a gestalt entity created by the Operators' experiences during the incident (a theory debunked by Albrecht Entrati's story, which proves the Man in the Wall already existed when the Void was first explored).
Regardless, the Man in the Wall treats the Operators with some degree of familiarity, nicknaming them "Kiddo" during direct encounters. It was also mentioned during The War Within that the Operator's father referred to them the same way. The Man in the Wall also referred to Albrecht Entrati as "Little Bengel", a nickname given to him by his mother.
Albrecht Entrati's Story
The first recorded encounter with the Man in the Wall in Warframe's history can be found in Albrecht's memories of his first expedition into the Void, at the beginning of the Orokin Era. He recounts how after his Seriglass Bell shattered and he fell unprotected into the portal, he found himself back on the floor of his laboratory surrounded by shattered shards. Initially believing his experiment was a failure, he looked up with shame towards approaching footsteps believing them to be his daughter's, but what he saw was a copy of himself.
Taken aback, Albrecht looked at his surroundings, an endless inverted cosmos; the Void itself. He and his doppelgänger were standing on a portion of the laboratory floor, seemingly broken away from his world. The entity then said "Little Bengel"; the nickname his mother had given Albrecht centuries ago. As the entity reached towards him, offering his hand, Albrecht ran back to the open portal.
When Albrecht returned from the Void he ordered his daughter to close the portal, while his doppelgänger was following behind. The portal collapsed and severs the entity's fingers, which would later be studied by Orokin scientists to harness the Void's powers. The entity was never seen by any other Orokin researchers, which made Albrecht question if he truly escaped from the Void, or if his doppelgänger did. As a result, Albrecht refused to paticipate in Continuity to prevent his doppelgänger wreaking havoc on the off chance it did escape.
While the Operators do not encounter the entity directly at first, the Man in the Wall would periodically talk through the Operators as they confronted their past, particularly in regards on how they dealt with their parents, who were driven insane by the Void, and how they viewed their Void-borne powers, some of which were sealed away by Margulis for the Operators' safety. As the Operators learn to unlock said powers, Teshin comments that the Void is a world that "watches and dreams".
The entity's true colors, however, show themselves when the Operator chooses what to do with the Elder Queen's ; choosing to dispose of the attached Kuva flask or giving the flask to Teshin for safekeeping will result in the Man in the Wall admonishing the Operator's decision, while consuming and embracing the Kuva's effects will make the Man in the Wall congratulate the Operator.
As the Operator learns of Rell, a Tenno who was cast out by both his fellow Operators and Margulis herself, they discover of how he came into contact with the Man in the Wall and with the help of the Red Veil's predecessors, found a means to keep it at bay. Rell, who had been denied the cryosleep that would preserve the other Tenno, ultimately chose to transfer his spirit directly into his Warframe, in order to keep the Man in the Wall from attacking the Tenno.
Though it succeeded for quite some time, both the strain of being stuck in a "Transference Loop" and the growing strength of the Man in the Wall (strongly implied to be a direct result of the Operators unlocking their sealed potential during The War Within) slowly drove Rell insane, with a portion of the Red Veil following suit. Realizing that Rell would continue to suffer no matter what the Tenno did, Palladino, who was serving as Rell's only means of communication with the rest of the Veil, mournfully requested the Tenno to destroy Rell's vessel so that he could finally rest, passing the burden of holding the Man in the Wall at bay to the Operators that once shunned him.
After ending Rell's ordeal, a doppelgänger of the Operator, strongly implied to be the Man in the Wall themselves, starts appearing on the Orbiter, (sitting on the Market, Codex console, behind walls, hanging on the cords, etc) greeting the player, saying "Hey, Kiddo" when they focus their camera on them, then vanishing after a short time. The doppelgänger will continue to make sporadic appearances throughout the Orbiter any time the player enters it (either by logging into the game or returning from a mission), behaving just as they did the first time.
While not involved in the Quest itself, if the player encounters the Man in the Wall after completing The Sacrifice, they will ask the Operator if they are feeling better, as the Operator had witnessed 's memories during the Quest and believes that they killed Umbra's son Isaah. After confirming the Operator's memory, the Man in the Wall simply says "Good" and vanishes from the player's sight. All future appearances of the Man in the Wall will exit in a similar fashion, though they can still disappear as soon as they leave the player's sight.
The Man in the Wall is found wearing the Lotus's headgear in the Orbiter's Personal Quarters with a sinister laugh before vanishing. When the Operator interacts with the helmet, they are taken to Lua. The figure, still donning the headgear, mocks the Tenno while guiding them towards the Reservoir. Throughout the mission, the Man in the Wall will send three waves of shadowy figures of the Man in the Wall to attack the Tenno. Once all three waves have been defeated, the Man in the Wall takes the Tenno to the Lotus's chamber, where they first encountered Ballas during the Apostasy Prologue. The Man in the Wall invites the Operator to enter a portal that appears at the end of the chamber.
After Tenno complete the construction of a Railjack in the Rising Tide Quest, Cephalon Cy guides them to find a Reliquary Key on Lua in order to power the Railjack's Reliquary Drive. When the Reliquary Key is inserted, the Void energies inside the Drive dissipate to reveal what appears to be a large, mummified finger, about the size of a grown man, plugged inside the Drive, harking back to Albrecht's experiments severing his doppelgänger's fingers and subsequently using them for Void experiments.
If the player has completed The War Within before recovering the Key, the Tenno are then addressed by the Man in the Wall sitting on top of the Drive, waving at them with its right index finger bent. It then says, "Took you long enough." Otherwise, the Man in the Wall will not appear. Players who have compeleted The War Within may also hear dialogue from the Man in the Wall any time they get close to the Reliquary Drive.
In a flashback to the Zariman Ten Zero's fateful Void jump, the future Operator encounters The Man in the Wall while barricaded in a classroom along with the Operator's fellow classmates, and The Man in the Wall tempts the Operator into accepting their "gift" to help protect the survivors. The Operator ultimately agrees to the deal, not only establishing their control over the Void but perhaps also allowing the Drifter, an alternate counterpart of the Operator who was never rescued and hence remained trapped on board the Zariman, to eventually harness the Void as well, even though it is speculated that they never accepted the deal. This ultimately allows both Operators to meet on board the derelict Zariman, allowing them to discuss their next move against Ballas before one of them returns to the present.
The Man in the Wall appears again towards the end of the Quest, where it suddenly appears in Ballas's throne room shortly after the Lotus kills Ballas, taking the form of a humanoid, eyeless figure with four arms and four legs embedded in a white, ornate wall, with the index finger on their upper right hand missing. The Operator's doppelgänger sits atop the figure's head, wearing the Lotus's helmet. As it approaches the now-reconstituted Lotus and the Operator/Drifter, with the Lotus trying to keep the being at bay, it bellows in a heavily distorted voice before vanishing just as abruptly as it arrived, grinning the entire time;
As the Operator/Drifter carries the Lotus back to her Chamber on Lua, they ask if she saw anything regarding the Man in the Wall's sudden appearance. The Lotus claims she saw nothing, but her tone of voice suggests that she did see the Man in the Wall and is simply reassuring the Operator/Drifter that "nothing" happened. The Man in the Wall's appearances in the Orbiter after completing this quest remain unchanged.
- The Man in the Wall's voice is dependent on which voice type is used by the Operator, and usually speaks with an unsettling, loud, echoing tone, most likely to spook the player.
- The description of the Requiem Mod Oull, "Through endless faces, countless forms, a multitude unfolds.", could be related to / talk about The Man in the Wall. It could however, also refer to the multitude of realities that exists under eternalism.
- The Man in the Wall does not seem to be affiliated with any faction.
- It is unknown if the Man in the Wall is an ally or enemy. They seemed to have caused great distress to both Albrecht Entrati and Rell and tried to ambush the player multiple times, but also guided them to Ballas during the Chimera Prologue. As such, The Man in the Wall's motives remains unknown for the time being.
- One fan theory around the motives of the Man in the Wall is that he is an actual living entity who has been trapped in the depths of the Void for some time. When the Zariman Ten Zero made its initial pivotal flight, the Man saw an opportunity for his escape; he is responsible for driving most of the adults on the ship mad, and then offering a deal of power to the children so they could defend themselves from those adults; those that accepted became the Tenno. However, the Void powers of the Tenno are fueled by a connection to the same energies that maintain the barriers, or restraints, that are keeping the Man trapped in the Void so as the Tenno use their powers over time the restraints get weakened, and the Man gets closer to breaking free. Rell recognized the Man for who he actually was and what he was doing, and spent his life reinforcing those barriers instead. But with Rell's death in Chains of Harrow, the process of the Man breaking free gets accelerated, including a first true glimpse of him in The New War.
- A further part of the above theory, the Man in the Wall would not want there to be peace within the Solar System. The more conflict there is between the factions in the system, the more the Tenno get deployed into combat and the more they use their powers to bleed energy off of the restraints holding the Man captive. There has been no evidence to prove that the Man is only focusing his efforts on the Tenno; there is a strong possibility he has also been influencing key members of all of the other factions to drive them towards more conflict, and therefore more deployments of the Tenno to encourage more use of their powers to weaken his restraints.
- During the transmission leading up to the Ropalolyst, Natah reveals that she is aware of the Man in the Wall's existence, claiming to have heard the Void's voice herself.
- During Chains of Harrow, the Lotus initially said that she believes that the Man in the Wall is just a myth or a delusion of those who were exposed to the Void.
- "He Who Waits Behind the Wall" was the answer to one of the Solaris United ARG questions, implying a possible connection. This question was asked twice (once during the introductory stage and once on the 6th of November, as a call and response form of authentication); the answer was the same both times. This may imply a connection between either Vox Solaris as a whole and the Man in the Wall or between The Business and the Man in the Wall.
- Through the story of Albrecht Entrati it is confirmed that the Man in the Wall mimics the person they are confronting in appearance, suggesting that they might not have a true appearance at all, or that they do not have a human-sized form, meaning that mimicry is sometimes more appropriate than the Wall form first seen in The New War. The Man in the Wall also seemingly likes referring to the one they take the semblance of with nicknames from their past, such as "Little Bengel" for Albrecht and "Kiddo" for the Operator. It is currently unknown how they are capable of having such knowledge.
- It is also speculated that the finger in the Reliquary Drive that powers the Railjack is actually the finger of the Man in the Wall themselves, which was accidentally cut off and studied by Orokin scientists in Albrecht's story.
- The Tenno in the flashback scene during the Erra quest have the same eyes as the Man in the Wall, implying that they secretly aided the Lotus, or is simply part of every Operator's power.
- The Man in the Wall's physical appearance appears to be based on the Vitruvian Man drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci.
- The missing index finger is most likely the one housed in the Reliquary Drive in a player's Railjack.
- Upon reaching Rank 5 with the Holdfasts, a cutscene will play in which Quinn states that “The Indifference has awoken.”
- The distorted speech at the end of The New War is theorized among the community to be "Oull - Ris - Xata - Vome. Khra - Lohk", referencing the Requiem Mods. However, this was later confirmed during TennoCon 2022's "Sounds of the System" panel to be incorrect, and the actual message is yet to be deciphered.
- Alluded in Rell (Webcomic)
- "This will stop the voices from taking hold. You will have to dream, my angel..." - Margulis during The Second Dream
- "You exist on the fold between two worlds. The world we know, of blood and steel, and the world that watches and dreams, the Void. Charge across the fold as you once did." - Teshin during The War Within
- Lotus: "How could Rell have lived this long? Without the long dream?"
Palladino: "In a way, he didn't. He knew his mortality would undo his purpose, so he gave up his humanity, forever. He committed his soul to the undying vessel-"
Lotus: "His Warframe."
- Dialogue during Chains of Harrow
- "Margulis lied to you, a lie of omission. She did not cure the Zariman children - she erased them. My only hope is that truth still lingers inside you, buried within your mind. The power and the misery... of the Void." - Teshin during The War Within
- "If Rell's been caught in a Transference loop for this long... the psychological effects could have been catastrophic. This 'Man in the Wall', these delusions, symptoms of the Void exposure all Tenno experienced. I hope that Palladino can find peace for Rell so this never happens again." - Lotus during Chains of Harrow
- Palladino: "By sacred shadow and righteous blood - Blessed Rell! Your aged Vessel is dust and your chains are broken. Be free!"
Rell: "Mmm. But the Man in the Wall. Who will... ?"
Palladino: "They will have to. All of them. They owe you this. We all do."
- Dialogue during Chains of Harrow
- Man in the Wall: "Feelin' better, kiddo?"
Operator: "I killed him... Isaah."
Man in the Wall: "Did you now? Is that how you remember it?"
Man in the Wall: "Good."
- Dialogue after The Sacrifice
- "I have seen the wall's other face, too. I have heard the voice." - Natah after Ropalolyst fight