|This article is about the Video Game character. You may be looking for the season one Fear character or the actor.|
- "There was seven of us. I didn't have any family there or nothing, there were all at my gram's down at Statsboro. There was a dad who had a daughter 'bout my age. One guy said he used to be a cop but nobody really believed him, then a teacher and his wife. Leader was this guy, Steve. Steve was a bad dude, but everybody was with him y'know, he said seven was the magic number."
- —Russell to Nate.[src]
Almost nothing is known about Russell's life prior to or as the outbreak began, except that he graduated from high school and has grandparents who live in Statesboro.
In Georgia, Russell was formerly part of a group of seven people. A dad with a daughter about Russell's age, a man who said he was a cop that no one believed, a teacher with his wife and a leader named Steve who kept them alive by killing any other humans they came across and stealing their supplies. Unable to stand the brutality, Russell secretly leaves and starts to walk to Statesboro in the hopes of reaching his grandparent's house. With 63 miles left to trek, Russell notices a passing truck. He has the option to either hide in the bushes or stand his ground to confront the driver. If he hides in the bushes, he will lay down next to the corpse of either Carley or Doug from Season 1, depending on who you saved in the first episode. Either way, the truck slows to a halt and the driver, Nate, will converse with Russell and eventually offer him a ride.
After getting in the truck and some dialogue, Nate gets a bit crazy and stops the car so a female walker can come at Russell's side of the vehicle. Nate asks Russell to "rate" the walker's looks from one to ten. He then rolls down the window so Russell can get a better look. After Nate has his fun, he pulls out a gun and tries to shoot the walker, but has no ammo. Then, Nate speeds off to get the zombie off the truck.
Their next stop is the truck stop where Nate suggests to grab supplies when he gets interrupted by a gunshot. Russell gets out of the truck and ducks down to a gas pump, though Nate urges him to come back while he covers. As Russell runs back to hide behind the truck, he is being fired at by the person in the gas station building, and notices Nate is not shooting back. Nate suggests moving to the red car across the station; giving Russell the option to go first or cover Nate. After they get to the second car, Russell will have to run to another car while Nate covers him. Shots still actively fire at Russell as he hurries along. Though he trips and falls, Nate saves his life.
Once they reach the back of the building, Russell will see a cop walker, who previously appeared in Vince's story. He has the choice to kill it or walk away. Allowing it to live will allow the walker to show up in Bonnie's story.
Russell can choose to sneak up on the shooter or run up on him, which has no direct impact on what occurs next. It is revealed the attacker is an elderly man, who was protecting his injured wife. Vehemently, he accuses Nate of having shot at them earlier while wearing a mask. The man thinks he is here to finish the job and steal their food. Nate denies being the masked assailant, and instead finds reason to suggest to Russell that they kill the couple and take their food. Russell has the choice to stay with Nate or walk away. No matter which decision is picked, Nate will shoot the couple. The bloodstains from their deaths make a cameo in Shel's story.
Near Gil's Pitstop, Russell joins with Bonnie, Vince, Wyatt, Shel and Becca to set up a campsite. When they are approached by Tavia, he will only go with her if Tavia says to him that he might find someone whom he knows, like his family or friends, at the camp.
Russell accepts Tavia's offer (Alive): If Russell decides to join Tavia's community, he will appear in Season 2 along with Tavia and Bonnie.
Russell stays at camp (Unknown): If Russell stays at camp, he will not appear in Season 2, leaving his status unknown.
Russell appears in this episode only if he decided to join Tavia's community. He appears guarding the area as Clementine is running off and he tells her she should get on with what she has to. It is unknown what happens to him after the walker herd attacks Howe's Hardware.
This list shows the victims Russell has killed:
If Russell fails to do certain tasks, it is possible for him to die. These deaths are considered non-canon and will result in a game over. Russell will then re-spawn and be allowed to try again. Below is a pictorial list of when Russell can die.
- "Women? Ha, okay. Let me see if I can answer your question. Because... because the hunger a man's got for a woman, is all we got left now. No laws, no jobs, ain't nothing that make us men. But they ain't eaten all the women yet."
- —Nate to Russell about women.[src]
From the beginning, Russell is suspicious of Nate; displaying a heavy distrust of the man. Even so, he shares information about his former group to Nate. When Russell refuses to comply with the man's questioning about a woman in his former group, Nate allows a female walker to nearly bite him until the latter gives a rating of the attractiveness she might have been before becoming a zombie. Amused by Russell's frantic answer, Nate pulls out his pistol to shoot the walker, but realizes that he forgot to reload the gun. To get away from the walker, Nate speeds off in the car. They end up at a gas station stop where Russell dodges a bullet from an unknown shooter. In fear, Russell runs out of the car to hide behind one of the gas pump machines, though Nate urges him to hurry back to the truck while he covers him. Though Russell follows his instructions, he gets angry upon making it back behind the truck while being fired at because Nate did not in fact cover him. Russell will complain that he shouldn't have come with him, but Nate points its too late and tells him it's no big deal and they got this and Russell complies. They cover each other back to back towards the cars and they reach the diner.
Russell, if given the pistol by Nate, has the option to pull it on him rather than cover him as he runs towards another car. Eventually, Nate wants to corner their attacker by sneaking into the building. They discover the shooter was an elderly man defending his injured wife, and claims Nate tried to harm them earlier while donning a mask. Nate takes offense when the man calls Russell a "spook" and refuses the accusation he was the masked assailant who attacked them. Instead, he proposes to Russell that they kill the couple and take their food for survival. Based on Nate's facial expressions, he is upset if Russell disagrees with him, and reacts similarly if Russell decides to have no part in the killing and simply leaves. Whether Russell agrees to the plan or not, Nate still murders the couple in cold blood.
- "What?! That guy was an asshole! You should be happy he got killed before Shel and Becca joined us. (Determinant)'"
- —Russell to Vince about Danny.[src]
If Vince in his story decides to shoot Justin's foot, it can be assumed at some point Russell joins up with both Vince and Danny. From Vince's choice, a determinant epilogue dialogue will follow in which Russell expresses disgust at the mention of Danny. Based on what Russell says, he is aware Danny was sentenced to jail time for sexual assault. He comments with great relief that Danny died before Shel and Becca arrived to camp.
Russell seems to have a good relationship with Vince and seems to view him as the leader of their group, or at least a reliable friend who did the bulk of the watch duty. This is shown when Russell tells Vince to deal with Tavia when she approaches them.
- "I don't like this guys. We should just walk away. I don't trust her."
- —Russell to the group about Tavia.[src]
Due to what he experienced with Nate, Russell is extremely hostile of Tavia from the beginning and doesn't trust her. He will refuse to go with Tavia regardless of his decisions in his story. If Tavia mentions about finding family or friends down there, Russell will go with Tavia, but tells her "if you try anything, you're gonna regret it".
- "Of course you don't, Russell. You don't trust anyone."
- —Bonnie to Russell.[src]
In the epilogue, Russell and Bonnie disagree with each other when Bonnie expresses interest in Tavia's offer of joining her survivor's group, and Russell refuses to trust her, with Bonnie pointing out that he doesn't trust anyone. If Bonnie left Leland behind, she will say how they have food, medicine, which the latter Russell taunts her for, much to Bonnie's anger.
- "Roman's not a problem. It's following her that'll get you killed."
- —Russell to Becca about her decision to join Tavia. (Determinant)[src]
Becca seems to have a good friendship with Russell, as they have survived with each other at the group's campsite for a period of time. If Vince chooses to shoot off Justin's foot, Russell will say that he is glad that Danny is dead so that he cannot hurt Becca. Russell shows concern for Becca when she agrees to join Tavia, and says that she shouldn't do so because he believes that Tavia and her community are bad people.
- "Steve was a bad dude, but everybody was with him, you know? He said seven was the magic number, so we didn't add nobody to the group. If we found survivors it was the same every time. He... he.. Just, "we gonna kill theses folks and take their stuffs or what" and then bang, they'd be dead. Anyway, I couldn't handle that. After weeks of it, I packed my shit up and figured I can make for Gran's alone and try to find my family. I slipped outta there. I couldn't live like that."
- —Russell explaining how Steve was to Nate.[src]
Steve was the leader of a tiny group, and he didn't allow anyone else into the group as he believed seven was the "magic number". As mentioned by Russell, Steve was merciless when it came to killing other living humans he came across, and slaughtered them to take their supplies for his own group. Russell couldn't stand him any longer, so he packed his stuff and secretly left his group to head to Statesboro and find his grandmother's house.
- "In Harm's Way" (Determinant)
- Russell, along with Bonnie, Vince, Wyatt, and Shel, was introduced via Vines from the Telltale Games official Twitter account in early June 2013.
- Russell is the youngest playable protagonist of the "400 Days" DLC.
- If the player chooses to hide rather than stand their ground in Russell's opening sequence, the corpse of either Carley or Doug (depending on who the player saved in "A New Day") will be found where Russell tries to hide. This is one of the "cameos" of Season One's characters mentioned by Telltale when teasers for "400 Days" were being released. Doing this also unlocks the achievement 'Reunited'.
- Of all the five stories of "400 Days", Russell is the only playable character not in a group when introduced.
- Russell will refuse to go with Tavia regardless of the decisions leading up to the ending unless the player chooses for Tavia to state that the survivors "may run into friends or family". This is likely because Russell has not abandoned his desire to find his family despite being scarred by his post-apocalypse life.
- He has the most non-canon deaths in "400 Days" with seven possible. This is quite ironic, seeing as Steve told Russell that seven was the "magic number".