The WAU is reaching out to every machine, every life form, to manipulate, to control. It's trying to help, save its creators from all this, just like the protocol demands. But, really, what is good enough?
Where is the line drawn for what is human and what is not? Would walking corpses do? Would a group of machines thinking they're human be acceptable? We can't trust a machine to know, to understand what it means to be.
―Dr. Johan Ross, on the WAU's intelligence and methods.[src]
Johan Ross
Johan Ross
Aliases: Jonathan Ross
Gender: Male
Nationality: English
Career: Alpha A.I. Psychologist
Status: Unknown
Signature: Johan Ross - Signature

Actor: Anthony Howell

Dr. Johan Ross is a Carthage Industries employed PATHOS-II A.I. Psychologist stationed at Tau. In SOMA, he was the sole worker at the covert Alpha as the overseer and operator of the WAU.


The only time Dr. Ross is seen as a human is a photo found on the terminal in the Tau infirmary room showing an English man in a Power Suit, who matches no other character at Tau. According to the photo, Dr. Ross has short light brown hair along with facial beard and dark blue eyes.

In his mutated form, Dr. Ross is a gaunt, top heavy creature with a jaunting gait and thin tentacles pouring from his mouth. His behavior is unusual for a WAU-affected being; he is not hostile to Simon, and appears to retain his character and a semblance of human sanity.

Dr. Ross is seen as being completely obsessed with destroying the WAU to the point of violence, as seen when he attempts to kill Simon Jarrett so the WAU couldn't take advantage of Simon's immunity to the poisoned structure gel used to neuter it.


Work at Site Alpha and Site Tau

Having been involved in the development of the WAU, Dr. Ross witnessed its mutations and came to the conclusion that the WAU needed to be terminated. In addition to the fact that it was causing pipes to burst Structure Gel all throughout PATHOS-II, he stated that the WAU was incapable of discerning the difference between something that is human and something that isn't, making it a bigger threat in actuality than anticipated.

After the Impact Event, Dr. Ross joined his colleagues at Tau. He remained there until Vic Auclair ordered the staff of Tau to evacuate and move up the Abyss Climber Rig to Omicron.

During the evacuation, the Tau staff were attacked by structure gel-mutated marine life, resulting in loss of radio contact with Omicron. After failing to reach the Climber and losing a number of colleagues, the remaining members of Tau - Dr. Ross, Steve Glasser, Neil Tsiolkovsky, Antjie Coetzee, and Vic Auclair - returned to the facility and were left stranded there.

Death and reanimation

On December 27th, 2103, Dr. Ross and Glasser decided to take the Climber to Omicron to warn them of the critical situation with the WAU at Alpha. Later, Dr. Ross was found brain-dead in the Climber by Omicron staff.

His body was kept in a comatose state in a glass observation room in the midsection of the Omicron facility in full view of the laboratory. The staff soon began to notice anomalous phenomena around the containment room, such as system failures and blackbox interference. Although it was not known to the Omicron employees, this interference was caused by the WAU's manipulation of electromagnetic fields in order to communicate with the structure gel within Dr. Ross's body to instruct it to "repair" his corpse.

While this was happening, Dr. Ross had attempted to make contact with Omicron employee Raleigh Herber, apparently with the intent of fulfilling his plan to destroy the heart of the WAU at Alpha. The WAU either reacted to this threat by overcharging Omicron employees' blackboxes or merely manipulating electromagnetic fields to such extent, to resurrect Dr. Ross, that they exploded thus decapitated their heads.


Attempts to communicate

While Simon is attempting to fix Herber's Power Suit, Dr. Ross sometimes appears and tries to contact him throughout the entirety of Omicron. Dr. Ross will often appear briefly in front of Simon, standing motionless and staring at him. In addition, while Simon is reading various computer monitors, the sentences "We have to stop it-- Stop the WAU," "Take the gel," "Get the virus," "An eternal nightmare," "We suffer," can appear on the monitor briefly, accompanying the same distortion of the screen when in Dr. Ross' physical presence.

During Simon's descent into the Abyss, the Climber begins to malfunction and Dr. Ross appears in front of Simon. He expresses joy at Simon's progress towards Tau, and states that he will make preparations for his arrival. Dr. Ross will then jump off and disappear into the Abyss as the Climber will continue to descend into the Abyss. When Simon questions Dr. Catherine Chun about the event, she states that Dr. Ross merely stared at Simon for a few moments and did not speak at all. This indicates that he communicates with Simon telepathically, most likely possible due to them both being creatures infused with structure gel.

Trek to Site Alpha

While inside the Abyss, Dr. Ross ventures to guide Simon to Alpha, a secret base located inside the Abyss which houses the heart of the WAU.

Along the way, Dr. Ross reveals that the structure gel used by Simon to fix the power suit was actually a modified variant of the substance, created by Herber with the intent of using it to kill the WAU. This means that Simon is capable of carrying out Dr. Ross' initial plan to destroy the WAU once and for all.

Simon is lead to the WAU's heart located at the center of Alpha. Dr. Ross then pleads with him to kill the WAU, to which Simon can either refuse or accept by sacrificing most of his left forearm to the heart, a rudimentary solution to inject the modified structure gel into the heart. Should Simon succeed in destroying the WAU's heart, Dr. Ross will attempt to kill him in order to prevent the WAU from adapting to the modified structure gel through Simon's immunity. Should Simon opt not to destroy the WAU, Dr. Ross will attempt to force him to do it.

In both scenarios, the Leviathan will spontaneously emerge from the floor and consume Dr. Ross before he can kill Simon.


  • His signature seems to indicate that his name was originally, or his full name is, Jonathan Ross.
  • As there is no confirmation that Dr. Ross is dead, he is possibly the last Carthage Industries employee alive on PATHOS-II, if not out of the entire company; Intelligence Analyst Mark Sarang committed suicide via cyanide-laced gum, while Medical Professional Julia Dahl and Project Manger Paula Lansky died when the blackboxes of the Omicron personnel were overcharged.


Concept art