–Coach Oleander's speech; the opening line of Psychonauts
Coach Morceau "Morry" Oleander is a Psychonaut and the Head Coach of Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. He serves as the secondary antagonist in Psychonauts and a mentor to Raz in Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin and Psychonauts 2.
Morceau Oleander is a very short, bald man with orange-colored skin. His nose and eyebags are red. His ears are small and placed low on his head, which takes up half his body size. He has very short legs, skinny arms, and slightly yellow teeth. He has a brown handlebar mustache, goatee, and curly eyebrows. His right eye is a blue and made of glass, while his remaining left eye is brown. He has a long scar running down the right side of his face. He wears military boots, an ammo carrier sling, black leather gloves, and a honey colored coat with various (likely self-made) medals of honor clipped on. He has four fingers on each hand. Morceau wears a pickelhaube with a wine bottle stopper pushed onto the spike to soften it. He additionally sports a skull brooch.
Morceau Oleander acts tough on the outside. He puts up a front of a seasoned army man, even though he was never actually in the military. Although he acts like a boot-camp general around the campers, he seems to genuinely care about them as students, as many of their drawings can be found proudly hung up around his treehouse classroom. Morceau is very emotionally unstable and often tries to hide it. He is susceptible to intense outbursts, especially when in proximity to psychoactive minerals. He loves rabbits and upbeat pop music.
–Character blurb from the original Psychonauts website
Morceau loved rabbits as a child, having a field full of rabbit hutches. However, he was the son of a butcher who believed that animals were good for nothing but food, and reinforced this by seizing and butchering a rabbit right in front of him. This experience proved to be incredibly traumatic for Morceau and has haunted him ever since.
As he grew older, Morceau grew a desire to join the military to protect his country, but he was rejected from every branch due to not being tall enough. Morceau's already scarred mental state was damaged further, and he grew a strong hatred for tall people. Eventually he joined the Psychonauts, claiming he was a former soldier. To reinforce this falsehood, he fabricates a warzone-like Mental World and a Memory Vault titled "Oleander's Pride." He eventually was assigned as one of the coaches of Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, alongside Sasha Nein and Milla Vodello, which he designed the advertisement pamphlet for. Oleander was in charge of training the children in the basics of their psychic powers in his "Basic Braining" course within his fabricated mental warzone.
Eventually his unresolved mental issues caused him to devise a plan for global domination. He employed mad scientist Dr. Caligosto Loboto at the nearby abandoned mental asylum to build an army of Brain Tanks. To accomplish this, Loboto mutated and brainwashed a lungfish into becoming a hulking monstrosity that would kidnap the Whispering Rock PSI Cadets' for him, in order to remove their brains to find ones capable of powering the tanks. Oleander controlled the lungfish by through the superhuman persona "Kochamara."
Oleander also conditioned a sleeper agent persona within asylum inmate Boyd Cooper. Boyd was to burn down the asylum when Oleander gave the signal to awaken the persona, and was assigned to be the guard of the asylum gate.
The Li-Po backstory document offers extra backstory information on some characters in Psychonauts. It has not been stated canon by DoubleFine Productions.
|Moceau was born into the Oleander family last and least. "Morry" was the youngest of three boys, and even for a baby he was strangely small. He was so tiny, he once got lost in his bassinet. Morry took an interest in drama from a young age, but dropped out because the parts he got were mice, midgets, dwarves, ottomans, stuff like that. He tried sports, but it was too dangerous as he was often mistaken for the ball. Surprisingly, he didn't seem to mind his small status. He seemed blithely unaware of it, in fact. In his mind, he was just as big as his giant brothers, Eagle and Rock.
(His mother, Midge Oleander, picked the name Morceau from a short story she read in Reader's Digest. She had been hoping for a girl, but after three boys she just gave up and raised Morry to be a bit of a mamma's boy.)
His father was "Butch" Oleander, so named because he was the town's butcher. His nickname for Morry was "Short Link." He was a stern ex-marine, who never smiled, and always seemed to have a bloody cleaver in his hand. Butch raised and slaughtered his own animals. Pigs, Sheep, and Rabbits. Morry never saw this take place until one fateful spring day…
Morry was hanging out by the rabbit hutches in the meadow behind his house. There was a new litter of bunnies, and the tiniest one of them all was just so God damned cute that Morry couldn't help it—he had to take it out and hold it. He sat down with it and pet it for half an hour. Then he felt something very new and strange. He swore that he could feel what the bunny was feeling, and looking in the bunny's eyes, it seemed that the animal shared this empathy.
Then Morry found himself wishing that the rabbit would run around him in a circle. No sooner had he wished it than the bunny complied, circling him happily in the grass. Then Morry wished it to stand up on it's hind legs, and it did that trick too. He wished it to do back flips and roll over and play dead, and the bunny did it all, like a trained court jester.
Then a dark shadow cast over them and the fun came to an abrupt stop. Morry looked up to see his dad standing over them. The boy was terrified that he was in trouble, but Butch explained it was all right.
"Just don't get to attached to that little guy," he advised.
"But Daddy! He's a special bunny! He can do tricks and--"
"He can't do nothin' but suck up feed. He's a runt!"
"Smallest of the litter." He picked the little bunny up by the ears and walked him over to a little shelf on the fence. He pet the bunny's ears down, but the bunny didn't seem soothed.
"Can't sell ‘em for meat. Can't sell ‘em for fur. No good for nothing, and that's why nobody wants a runt."
"So, what do you do with them, Daddy?"
Butch picked up his cleaver. "What do you think? We feed ‘em to the pigs!"
And with that he lifted up his cleaver and showed Morry how you turn a bunny into hog feed. Morry didn't make a sound. He just sat and watched and quietly changed forever.
Morry began to make himself extra-useful around the house after that. He did three times the chores of his brothers. He got up an hour before them. He did twice the studying. He insisted on doing the dishes every night, even though he needed to stand on a ladder to reach the sink.
He never told anyone of his special connection with the doomed bunny. He continued to have moments of psychic linking with animals, but he tried to avoid it. He was sure that somehow, what had happened with the bunny had lead to its slaughter.
At school, Morry drove himself with an unheard of discipline for a young boy. He scheduled his time with a complicated charting system. He asked the teacher for extra credit work. He did every extra-curricular activity that was available. He started clubs, he organized guest speakers, he ran for class president AND treasurer. He graduated top of his class, and could have gone to the college of his choice.
But, so driven was he to please his father, his only goal was to be a Marine, just like Butch. So he went down town to the recruiting office. He aced the written, oral, and medical exams, but in the end, he was denied entrance. They only gave one reason:
Not tall enough.
"What???" he exclaimed, "You think I'm short? You're crazy! I'm not short! You better get your eyes checked buddy, because you're seeing things!"
He tried again at a different recruitment office with the same result. Then he tired one in a different town. He finally tried other branches of the military. But they all said the same thing. Not big enough. Can't drive a tank. Can't jump out of a fox hole. Can't do nothing but suck down rations.
But there was one organization who did want them. And they were almost military in nature. Although they didn't fight with weapons, or even their hands, they still wore uniforms, and they still served their country. And best of all, there was no talk about his physical size. The Psychonauts were interested in his way with animals.
Oleander went along with them for a while, but he couldn't wait to get out in the field. "When we gonna get out and fight?" he'd always ask. He couldn't go home and tell his dad he was an animal psychic. They don't even give those people infomercials.
The Psychonauts felt, as time went by, his aggressive tendencies were not a good addition to their mission. They eventually sidelined him. They let him stay in the organization, but assigned him to the training facility at Whispering Rock. The theory was that maybe if he were completely surrounded by children, especially short ones, it would trigger his agro tendencies a little less.
They were right. He became the camp's head coach. He seemed to be great with the kids. But then he received word of his parents death in a terrible meat grinder malfunction back home. His father would never see him in his uniform. He would never be a success in his eyes. He fell into a deep malaise.
To make maters worse, the camp retained two superstar Psychonauts in an attempt to drive up attendance. Sasha Nein and Milla Vodello made things worse because they were so very tall. They were tall people. And the coach had to practically break his neck just to look them in the eye.
His nature became erratic. He acted welcoming to the two celebs, but occasionally broke loose with a burst of hostile behavior. He quickly contained these quirks, and you might actually think all is well with the staff of whispering Rock. But when he is alone, the coach thinks too much. He thinks about the world that shunned him. The military he loved so, that had turned it's back on him. Why? What was wrong with him? Nothing! They would see. They would all see some day.To Coach Oleander says that being a Psychonaut is all about warfare and fighting for freedom of thought. But deep down, to him, it's really about power.
Coach Oleander is first seen in the intro cinematic, delivering his open monologue to the campers around a fire. He was interrupted by Razputin Aquato, who had snuck into the camp, fell out of a tree. Oleander was unable to read Raz's mind, but he allowed Raz to stay after hearing his recital of the recruitment pamphlet. Oleander then ordered the children to report early the next morning for Basic Braining.
Coach Oleander is first seen in the intro cinematic, delivering his open monologue to the campers around a fire. He was interupted by Razputin Aquato, who had snuck into the camp, fell out of a tree. Oleander was unable to read Raz's mind, but he allowed Raz to stay after hearing his recital of the recruitment pamphlet. Oleander then ordered the children to report early the next morning for Basic Braining.
Oleander pulls the campers into his mental warzone, believing his obstacles to be impassible. To his surprise, Raz made it to the end of the course and found the secret place where Oleander had kept his plans for the Brain Tanks and world domination. He pulled Raz out before he could see the plans and rewarded him with his Basic Braining merit badge.
Oleander then falls asleep for a substantial portion of the game and can be heard grumbling in his sleep from the intercoms around the camp, blasting his mental waves all over camp, and causing campers to have distorted dreams about his plans. Later, he tricked Sahsa and Milla into coming to the abandoned mental asylum on Psychonauts business. After ambushing them with Brain Sneezing Powder,he gives their brains to Loboto.
When Raz enters Linda's mind, he fights Oleander, under his Kochamara persona, and defeats him in order to free the lungfish from Oleander's control.
Nearing the end of the game, Oleander arrives at the tower of the mental asylum and finds that Raz has defeated Loboto and rescued all the campers' and both instructor's brains. Sasha and Milla levitate Lili and Raz away so they can apprehend Oleander alone. During the fight, Ford Cruller (outfitted with some Psitanium to keep his mind in check) arrives and blows a handful of the sneezing power into the Coach's face, leading to his brain being removed.
After the tower's collapse, Oleander's brain found its way into a Psychoblaster Death Tank and blasts Raz's party unconscious, leaving only Raz to fight him. After the tank is destroyed, Raz attempts to extract Coach's brain from the tank, which sprays sneezing powder and causes Raz to sneeze out his own brain. Raz's brain uses Telekinesis to throw itself into the tank with the Coach's brain, causing their consciousnesses to merge, resulting in the Meat Circus, formed from Raz's memories of his circus and Oleander's memories of his dad's butcher shop. After Raz defeats their representations of both his and Oleander's father, Oleander's mental scars are healed.
At some point afterwards, Oleander gathers the children to the reception area stage, explaining that he has been cleared of the insanity that caused his actions and apologizing to the campers for stealing their brains and attempting to take over the world. He then credits and invites Raz onto the stage, for which everyone applauds. When it's revealed that Truman Zanotto, the Head of the Psychonauts and Lili's father, has been kidnapped, Oleander insists on his innocence (as he'd been clearly present with the others), and joins Raz and the others on their mission to find and save Truman.
Psychonauts: In the Rhombus of Ruin
–Coach Oleander to Raz after they escape from the Rhombus of Ruin
Oleander appears in Psychonauts: In Rhombus of Ruin under probation from the Psychonauts organization, traveling with the others in the jet to find Truman Zanotto. He is stranded inside a sunken cruise ship after the jet crashes. He is found singing music on a stage from his favorite band, All Paul. Raz must burn down the stage using pyrokinesis to free him from the hallucination induced by the psylirium. Oleander then acquires a fake mermaid tail to help him swim through the ocean (as he is unable to swim). He gives Raz a psycho portal to enter Dr. Loboto's mind before he can operate on Raz.
After Raz helps Loboto regain his moral compass, he absentmindedly sets the lab to explode. Raz is able to help everyone escape to the jet, including the Coach who was stuck in the mermaid tail. They all make a mad dash for the jet, managing to recover Truman and Raz (whose mind had been projecting itself across the lab via Clairvoyance) in the process.
Coach Oleander, Sasha, Milla, Raz and Lili probe Loboto's mind to investigate the identity of the person who hired Loboto to kidnap Truman Zanotto, as the mad doctor still refuses to reveal any information due to mental conditioning. Although the mission goes awry due to Dr. Loboto becoming aware of their plans, Raz is able to learn that the true culprit is a mole in the Psychonauts organization and seeks to revive Maligula, the greatest threat the Psychonauts have ever faced, although their identity remain a mystery.
Upon returning to the Motherlobe, Oleander finds himself demoted for his actions at the camp, with his office now being a mere broom closet. He works on his new "battle bot" to try to rebuild his reputation within the Psychonauts, but it never gets funded. He is also the internship mentor of Sam Boole, the older sister of Dogen Boole. He has Sam make pancakes to act as heat shields for his planned "peace-keeping device", which he intends to use to defend the Motherlobe in case Maligula returns. He also bitterly expresses his frustration with the budgetary limitations he's forced to work with.
Oleander is later seen towards the end of the game, after Sasha figures out the identity of the mole, and after Milla learns that Maligula has awakened. Sasha, Milla and Hollis Forsythe arrive to Green Needle Gulch to find Raz and Lili seemingly leaving the mind of Truman Zanotto. Before Raz is able to fully explain the situation, he is pulled away by Lili as Lucrecia Mux reawakens her Maligula persona. Oleander and the others are caught in Maligula's maelstrom, forcing Raz to stop her with the help of the other interns.
After Raz pacifies Maligula, Oleander is seen at a meeting with the other major Psychonauts expressing his disbelief over how Lucrecia is allowed to live in peace with Ford Cruller as long as she promises to never kill again. Sasha, Milla, and Hollis are unimpressed, as Oleander had pulled a similarly maniacal stunt not too long ago. Upon realizing that he has no leg to stand on, Coach Oleander acquiesces, and reluctantly agrees that Lucrecia deserves a second chance.
After Raz and the other interns are promoted to Junior Psychonauts, he is seen in the hallway near his office. He offers to let Raz use his mermaid tail, but Raz politely declines, as he wants to learn how to swim properly first. According to Augustus Aquato, The Coach has apparently offered to teach the other Aquatos how to swim, even though Oleander himself does not how to swim (without the aid of the mermaid tail).
- Main article: Coach Oleander's Basic Braining
Oleander's mind is a battlefield, where he trains the campers. His warzone of a mind is full of bombs, land mines, and cannons. All of it is fabricated because Oleander has never actually been to war.
- Main article: Meat Circus
When Razputin's and Morceau's minds are mixed together, Razputin's childhood memories of the circus where he grew up mixed with Morceau's memories of his father's butcher shop, creating the Meat Circus. Oleander reverts to his childhood state, Oly. Raz must then protect Oly from the mutant rabbits, and eventually defeat a monstrous version of Oly's father.
- Telekinesis: He levitated Raz in the intro cutscene and can levitate boulders during the Brain Tank battle.
- Shield: Used it in the fight against the other camp staff. When the player obtains Shield in Lungfishopolis, it is stated that it was stolen from Kochamara, meaning it might have been Oleander's power.
- Marksmanship: His Psi Blast color is normally green, however it is light blue (Kochamara) in Lungfishopolis.
- Telepathy: Oleander accidentally communicates his world domination plan to Raz through misuse of the camp broadcasting system. He can also talk to animals using his mind, as he is shown communicating with his pet rabbit as a child. Oleander can also telepathically talk to Raz in Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin.
- Zoolingualism: Coach Oleander can talk to animals according to the Li-Po backstory document. He used to talk to Mr. Bun as a child.
- PSI-Punch: Oleander has a small obstacle course in his mind specifically to teach campers how to use PSI-Punch.
- Psychic Defense: Oleander has considerable psychic defenses that are difficult to penetrate even by powerful Psychics.
- PSI-energy transfer: Coach is able to temporarily transfer his psychic energy to Raz in Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin.
- Levitation: Coach uses levitation to get inside his jeep.
- Astral Projection: Coach can astral project into minds using a psycho portal or a brain tumbler.
Butch was Coach's father, manifesting in Oleander's mind as the figure of the psychological abuse he committed while raising his son. After Raz destroyed The Butcher, Oleander was cured of his megalomania.
Mr. Bun was Coach's pet rabbit as a child. He loved his pet rabbit very much, and his death was a major source of trauma for the Coach.
Linda is a lungfish that was forcefully mutated into a monster by Coach and Dr. Loboto. Coach had also mentally conditioned Linda to be obediant to him and kidnap children from the camp, before Raz destroyed it. It is currently unknown of what Coach and Linda think of each other.
Coach Oleander and Sheegor briefly worked together with Dr. Loboto on their attempt for world domination. Not much else is known about their relationship.
Sasha and Coach are Psychonaut colleagues. They were brief enemies during Psychonauts, but are on good terms now. Oleander adamantly believes Sasha is the mole until the true identity is revealed.
Ford and Coach are Psychonaut colleagues. They were brief enemies during Psychonauts, but are on good terms now.
Milla and Coach are Psychonaut colleagues. They were brief enemies during Psychonauts, but are on good terms now. She is also one of the few people to refer to him by his first name as opposed to a nickname or last name.
It is unknown how Loboto and Morceau came to meet. Loboto's skills were utilized by Oleander in his plot for world domination. They worked together to kidnap The Campers using a mutated Lungfish. Loboto aided Morceau in designing the Brain Tank powered by The Camper's extracted brains. Their association came to an end when Morry overcame his personal demons with help from Raz and rejoined the Psychonauts. Oleander still acts friendly towards Loboto even after they went their separate ways, but this sentiment is unreciprocated by the other party.
Not much is know of the Coach and Hollis' relationship, as they are not shown to interact much, but it can be inferred that Hollis distrusts the Coach after his attempt at world domination. After Coach's actions at Whispering Rock, Coach is demoted (presumably by Hollis as Truman had been absent), with his office now a mere broom closet, and his war machine budget cut. When the Coach expresses his disbelief over how Lucrecia Mux is allowed to walk free despite her actions (despite his similar actions at Whispering Rock), Hollis sternly and silently shuts him down.
Coach is Raz's mentor turned enemy, then turned friend again after his redemption. Morceau frequently refers to Raz as "soldier". Raz is shown to be rather sympathetic towards the Coach after he reforms, but is still nervous around him and often checks to see if he's shown any signs of reverting.
The campers are Coach's students at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. He initially see them as raw resources to use for his death tanks, but after he is cured of his megalomania, he is shown to be very, very apologetic for his actions.
Coach is Sam's internship instructor. He is shown to be rather indifferent to her and is very inattentive in training her, only having her make pancakes to use in one of his machines. Sam seems generally unaware or indifferent to this fact.
- He can't swim because of his stumpy legs, and in Rhombus of Ruin, is so overjoyed to receive the fish tail that allowed him to float that Sasha chose not to remove it when returning him to the ship.
- Coach drives a jeep. Raz wonders how he gets inside.
- Oleander is voiced by Nick Jameson, who also provides the voices for Kochamara, Dr. Loboto and Mr. Pokeylope.
- If Oleander is hit with a confusion grenade early on in the game (acquired by cheating), he will say: "Mr. Bun? Where are you going?" foreshadowing the meat circus level.
- In Oleander's first mind vault, "Oleander's Pride", he depicts himself as much taller than he really is. In the second vault, "Oleander's Shame", it is revealed that he was not drafted at all solely because of his height. Both vaults, as well as both of in instances you fight him (as Kochamara, he is gigantic, and the Brain Tank is much bigger than Raz) reinforce his jealousy of tall people.
- "Morceau" is a French word that refers to a morsel of meat. It can also mean "a short literary or musical composition", which could be a subtle reference to his height.
- Coach Oleander wears a spiked helmet that of Otto Von Bismarck, a German statesman who believed in strong military and a single powerful ruler.
- "Oleander" may be in reference to Nerium oleander, a common garden plant with pink flowers. It is toxic in all its parts. Ingestion of this plant can affect the gastrointestinal system, the heart, and the central nervous system.
- According to Dr. Caligosto Loboto, he has halitosis.
- Both Sheegor and Dr. Caligosto Loboto call him "Little Army Man".
- Oleander's height on his ID card is (purposefully) erroneously shown to be 6'2.
- In Psychonauts 2, there was originally a headline from the Psychonaut digital newspaper, The Daily Brain, titled "Oleander Not Crazy". This holographic did not make it into the final game.
- Oleander's parents were supposedly accidentally killed in an industrial meat grinder according to the Li-Po Backstory Document, causing him to relapse into depression sometime before Psychonauts.
- Drawings made by the fish guards depict Coach Oleander with a crush on Paul L. and Paul M. of his favorite band, All Paul, though nothing indicates whether or not this is true or just the fish guards fooling around (possibly as a reference to shipping within fandom).
- In Psychonauts 2, Coach Oleander can be found at Astral Lanes Bowling Alley, drinking alone. He starts talking to himself while looking at a plan, saying that he and "someone else" could have been an amazing couple. The fact that he talks to Raz about the weapon Hollis cut from the budget coupled with the fact that he's staring at the blueprints for it seems to indicate that he's talking about his machine.
- Oleander is the character with the most amount of mental worlds he's been in/a part of as shown in the games. He's associated with 5 counting Kochamara. The list of mental worlds are Basic Braining, Brain Tumbler Experiment, Lungfishopolis, Meat Circus, and Loboto's Labyrinth.