|“|| It is the way of men to make monsters... and it is the nature of monsters to destroy their makers.
Harlan Wade is an elderly scientist who has worked at Armacham Technology Corporation for decades. He pioneered the Origin project, and was also the one that initiated the shutdown of that very same project. He is the main antagonist in F.E.A.R. 3. Harlan is voiced by Grant Goodeve.
In 1979, Harlan's wife gave birth to a daughter, Alma Wade. Almost immediately, Alma began to show signs of being mentally unstable; including suffering fits of hysteria, delusions, and vivid nightmares. Harlan mentioned the problem to his coworker at ATC, Marshall Disler, who theorized that Alma may be telepathic. Upon learning this, Harlan allowed ATC to begin experimentation on Alma. Some of the tests were more mundane, such as testing to see what abilities she naturally had. Others, such as electroshock, were far more horrific. Alma became so frightened of her father that she cowered from him whenever he grew angry, suggesting that he may have also abused her.
When Alma began to use her powers to fight back against the people experimenting on her, Harlan ignored her desires and pushed on with the experimentation. Eventually, Harlan came to the understanding that Alma was becoming too dangerous to control, leading to the founding of Project Origin. Harlan and his coworkers used Alma's DNA to create a prototype fetus, whom they hoped would grow into a powerful telepathic commander in psychic warfare. However, Harlan was not satisfied with this. He argued that the prototype would be much more likely to be telepathic if it were also to be carried in the womb of a telepath. ATC agreed, but Alma was still only 7 years old, not yet old enough to carry a child.
It is unclear who came up with the idea of putting Alma into an induced coma until she reached puberty, but Harlan can be heard arguing against it in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, until the person is able to convince him. Harlan allowed ATC to lock Alma away in an induced coma, which she remained in until she reached 14 years of age. Alma was then removed by Harlan and his fellow scientists, and was impregnated with the first prototype. She was removed again when she was 15, to give birth to the baby through induced labor. During the birth, Alma awoke and began to scream, much to everyones' horror. Despite this, Harlan ignored her screams and pleas, and removed the child from the room as soon as it was born, leaving the other scientists to put her back into the coma again. When the first prototype proved to be unsatisfactory, Harlan had Alma impregnated a second time.
10 years later, when the second prototype suddenly went rogue, Harlan was the one who personally cut off Alma's life support, leaving her to die over the course of 6 days. For years afterwards, Harlan would rue his decision to allow Alma to be tortured and killed, which would eventually lead to his death at Alma's hands.
Harlan Wade is first seen in a dream sequence at the very beginning of F.E.A.R., in which he states, "You will be a god among men", referring to the F.E.A.R. Point Man, the first "prototype" produced by Project Origin.
In 2025, ATC president Genevieve Aristide decides to reopen the original location of the Origin Facility after two decades of lockdown, a move which enrages Harlan. Harlan argues that even though Alma is dead, "tendrils" of her power may still remain in the facility, making its reopening far too dangerous. When Aristide ignores his warnings, Harlan is shocked to discover that more than just tendrils of Alma's power remain, a discovery which he later theorizes was caused by Alma's strong hatred at the time of her death.
Upon realizing that Alma's spirit has been awakened by the reopening of the Origin Facility, Harlan argues tirelessly that Project Perseus be shut down, believing that Alma may attempt a second Synchronicity Event with her youngest son. In voicemails, Harlan sides with Charles Habegger in his recommendation to suspend the Perseus project, saying in one message to an employee that they should listen to the "expert advice" they're being given. As before, Harlan's concerns are ignored, and several ATC employees are killed when Paxton Fettel unites with Alma, causing him to go rogue, taking with him a battalion of cloned supersoldiers. Harlan then calls his youngest daughter, Alice Wade, at her office at Armacham Technology Corporation Headquarters and begs her to leave the building, knowing that Alma and Fettel will likely attack ATC's headquarters as revenge for the mistreatment Alma suffered at ATC's bidding.
Harlan goes to the Origin Facility, where he shoots Norton Mapes when the younger man attempts to stop him from entering the Vault, the part of the facility in which Alma's body is housed. After hearing of the plans of Mapes and Aristide to destroy the Origin Facility outright, Harlan decides to release Alma, remarking to the Point Man, "She has suffered enough, don't you think?". Harlan is immediately and gruesomely killed by Alma upon the opening of the Vault. He seems to have no intention of avoiding this, however, stating earlier in a recorded video that, "It is the way of men to make monsters... and it is the nature of monsters to destroy their makers."
It is revealed at the end of F.E.A.R. that Harlan is Alma's father, making him the Point Man's and Paxton Fettel's grandfather.
In the live-action video Alma Interviews, a man with glasses can be seen watching as Alma attacks ATC scientist Dr. Green. Though it has never been confirmed, this man is likely Harlan Wade.
Harlan is featured in flashbacks about Alma's early life and heard early in the game by Michael Becket, hinting at Alma's situation and the atrocities she would commit later during the game. Intel suggests that Harlan had quite the temper, and Alma would become almost catatonic with fear in his presence during these episodes. His death at Alma's hands is seen on a screen in Genevieve Aristide's safe room.
Harlan plays an integral part of the game's story, and the collective memories of Alma and her sons combine to create a monster called the Creep - a creature that attempts to kill the Point Man and Fettel, and which even Alma fears. The Creep is the only memory of Harlan left. Despite the monstrous nature of the Creep, Harlan remains a complex figure, as the true intentions of his abusive and cruel methods can not be fully discerned.
In F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, he can be seen sitting in a corner of a cell during a hallucination at Auburn Hospital. An apparition pops up in front of the cell window if the Point Man looks at Harlan for too long, closing the window.
- Alma can be heard screaming, "I hate you, Daddy!" in an Easter egg in the initial stage of the first game.
- According to the Armacham Field Guide, Harlan donated genetic material to Alma's pregnancies, making him both the father and grandfather of the Point Man and Paxton Fettel. Genevieve Aristide comments on this in the Field Guide, calling it "disgusting".
- In the first game, Harlan leaves a voicemail for his daughter Alice, asking her to go to the Origin Facility. His intentions in leaving this message are unclear, as he would have known how dangerous the facility was. It would appear that he intended to reveal to Alice the truth about Alma, and may even have planned to allow Alma to kill both himself and Alice.
- In F.E.A.R. 2, Alma mistakes Delta Force operative James Fox for Harlan. While Fox is attacking Michael Becket in a hallway, Alma can be heard whispering "He's back! Harlan Wade is back!" She then throws Fox against a wall, tearing his flesh from his body. During this, she screams repeatedly "I hate you!"
- Wade Elementary School and Wade Hospital are both likely named after Harlan, and concept art of one of the school's classrooms shows a portrait of Harlan hanging on the wall.