Justine as an adult
|Location||Cabinet of Perturbation|
- "I bid you welcome to my Cabinet of Perturbation. It is my study of the human psyche — specifically yours."
- ― Justine Florbelle
Mlle. Justine Florbelle is the main character and anti-heroine of Amnesia: Justine.
Born of French aristocracy, Justine was born with an unspecified mental illness and the child only had one friend growing up, Clarice. Clarice was a girl of similar age from the servants quarters, and was often scolded by the maids for merely playing with Justine. This was common, as nobility around this time period had very obvious minimal contact with those living downstairs.
Her father, Monsieur Florbelle, was an acclaimed psychotherapist. Justine's mother died when she was very young, and as such she cannot even remember what her mother looked like.
Monsieur Florbelle, who was secretly quite mad, was interested in studying the human psyche, so he isolated his daughter for a series of psychiatric tests. This limited contact with Clarice even, so from the age of eight onward Justine's childhood was a completely lonely one.
Justine would often ask questions about what her mother looked like, as it saddened her to have no memory of her. Her father told Justine that her deceased mother's beauty was "blinding" and to recall any memory of her would be too much of a burden for anyone who loved her to bear.
However, little Justine started to develop an inferiority complex for wanting to be as attractive as her mother. To worsen matters, as a result of the constant testing, Justine came to view the results as an important way of judging both herself and her father.
This disparity, and never once pleasing her father with the results of his tests caused a huge rift to grow between them. After four years of isolation which robbed her of a healthy, natural upbringing and development, Justine had become increasingly unstable. She began to show the basic characteristics of being a narcissist and a complete psychopath.
She often tried to gain control of situations in regards to her father's tests, upsetting the chambermaids, and often provoking her father simply to get a reaction out of him.
What happened next can only be interpreted. It would appear that either she, or her father, attempted something sexually indecent and perverted upon the other. Monsieur Florbelle severely scolded her, and also told her not to be "ashamed" as she was only "filling the void left by mother", but Justine was enraged.
Her father could no longer justify his research. Writing to Herbert, he confessed it had done nothing to help him understand Justine's mental illness. He was going to abandon the tests to mend his relationship with his daughter. He never had the chance.
Justine murdered her father with the family's star-shaped soapstone. She buried her father's corpse under the mansion in the family crypt. As the sole heir, she eventually took over the Florbelle estate, though how she was never caught, or what happened for the next twenty-odd years, is all a mystery.
Mademoiselle Florbelle took over her father's research and study rooms underneath the estate, but instead of furthering the knowledge of the human psyche to treat mental disabilities, turned it into her own personal torture chamber, called the "Cabinet of Perturbation", for her own sadistic pleasure.
Justine began to demonstrate that she, even more so than her father, was a complete monster. She revelled in the suffering she caused to others, and even subjected herself to that same cruelty by performing pre-arranged tests upon herself after short bouts of self-induced amnesia to see how well she fared without knowledge of who she was or what was happening to her.
Justine hated, and continues to hate, the notion of being held accountable to the law for her actions, and is very elitist, believing the aristocracy does not need to know right from wrong, as "they are always right".
She later began a relationship with Aloïs Racine, the son of a nobleman named Lucien Racine. In addition, it appears that she also had ongoing relationships with Basile Giroux and Malo de Vigny at the same time. Much to her delight, this caused a lot of friction between them. All three men were sincerely in love with Justine, at one point or another, but the same could never be said for Justine herself, as she loved no one, not even herself, and was just using the men to amuse herself.
She pitted the men against one another, eventually leading to their downward spiral into madness and destruction. Her inferiority complex, wanting to be as attractive as her mother, only worsened as time went by; these feelings intensified to the point where she actually blinded the Suitors because she wanted to believe her beauty was quite literally "blinding".
Aloïs was easy to control, he already had a self-destructive fixation on her to begin with. Poor Malo had already gone insane thanks to her deeds. Basile, however, was troublesome and no longer infatuated with her, growing quickly tired of her "games". With assistance from Aloïs, she managed to drug and blind Basile, too, to prevent him from leaving.
Aloïs, Basile, and Malo had unwittingly become her newest test subjects in the Cabinet of Perturbation, where she drugged them with absinthe, tortured them, mutilated their bodies, and finally made them part of the tests on herself during her self-induced fits of amnesia. The three men are now known as the Suitors - serving as the enemies in Amnesia: Justine.
Despite all her cunning and control over the police chief in Calais, after these events, Lucien Racine, Aloïs' father, had become very suspicious of Justine's actions and suspected foul play when she stole his son away. He enlisted the help of Inspector Felix Marot, Dr. Victor Fournier and Father Hector David to find a legal way to reveal her madness and incarcerate her. She abducted these three men as well, and they become the hostages encountered in the Cabinet of Perturbation.
Not even concerned that her dark machinations were nearly discovered by the public, Justine invited other members of the French aristocracy over to her mansion for a banquet. She had devised a test for herself, "the best one yet", to see if she had any trace of humanity left in her. She decided she would be unarmed and completely vulnerable to any threat. Justine also orchestrated several hostage situations to see how she would react.
She moved her prisoners into the manor's torture chambers and created various obstacles throughout the rooms. Then, she prerecorded audio messages onto multiple phonographs to set the scene. Justine then released the Suitors from their cells to roam the Cabinet blindly, but not before locating a secure prison cell so she can voluntarily drug herself. As in all of her other self-tests, the fast-acting concoction she ingests resulted in her having complete, but temporary amnesia as a side effect.
The woman wakes up, lost and confused. She can remember nothing, not even her own name. After freeing herself from her cell, she wanders around the dungeon-like complex, guided by the sadistic voice of a mysterious woman named Justine. The woman quickly finds out she is not truly alone, as she stumbles upon several people calling out to her for help, and several monstrous, shambling madmen hunting her down, apparently having confused her for Justine.
If she survives the facility and its many challenges and dangers, the woman collapses from the stress and madness of the place, or perhaps a side effect of the drug she drank. She then regains consciousness - and also, her memories and true personality. An evil, sadistic monster once again, Justine Florbelle compliments herself on constructing the best and most elaborate test yet.
With the final test complete, Justine bolts the door to her Cabinet shut, once and for all (regardless of whether the people on the other side of the door are the Suitors threatening to kill her, or the hostages begging for help). As Justine walks back upstairs, Clarice, now her housemaid, calls down from the kitchen, asking if everything is all right. Justine laughs off her concern and assures her that she is quite alright, asking if everything is ready for the evening banquet.
Depending on whether she has found all the letters addressed to her late father in the basement or not, Clarice will either ask if Justine heard voices from downstairs, which they both write off as Clarice being "silly", or Justine will give her servant instructions to post replies to the recovered mail, wanting them to know, she's still alive.
- A loading screen trivia tidbit notes that Justine once overdosed herself with Lithium. The wording seems to imply that the overdose is what led to her current memory loss, though the retrograde amnesia that she exhibits is not a symptom of Lithium overdose.
- An interpretation of a page in Justine's journal may lead one to believe that Justine may have been sexually abused by her father, as she states "I was the one kneeling" (which is an apparent reference to one of the slides collected) and "I could not look my father in the eyes, but he told me not to feel ashamed, as I was merely filling the void left by my mother", which would also explain why she murdered him.
- Conversely, the loading screen can also be interpreted that Justine herself was the one who performed the sexually indecent acts. She may have tried to make advancements on her own father to get a response out of him as she enjoyed seeing his angry reactions. However, she had gone too far, her father was utterly repulsed by her attempts to provoke him and scolded her severely and was on the verge of abandoning the research. Justine was feeling humiliated, and not wanting the tests to stop, murdered him.
- In the Crypt if Justine touches her father's grave, memories of Monsieur Florbelle are displayed, stating that he was able to forgive the cosmos for taking away his beloved wife, because she died while giving birth to his son. This could either mean that Justine has a younger brother, or that "Justine" is actually a crossdressing man.
- She was born in the year 1828. Her exact date of birth is unknown.
- Justine is around thirty years of age by the events of the game.
- Her mother and father's full names are never revealed.
- Justine's behaviour bears some resemblance to Daniel's, as both have captured and tortured people, although Daniel was manipulated into doing these things reluctantly, and felt heavy regret afterwards, whereas it was Justine's idea to torture people in the first place, and she enjoyed herself thoroughly.
- It may be that the character Justine is a tribute to the monstrous Marquis de Sade, her first name Justine being based on one of his books, titled Justine, in which a virtuous woman is plunged into vice against her will. Her last name, Florbelle, may come from the title of a de Sade book never published, Les Journées de Florbelle.
- Justine discovered the letter from Daniel written to her late father asking for help some nineteen years after it was received.
- It would appear that Clarice, Justine's childhood friend and later chambermaid, while oblivious to the insidious activities that go on under the Florbelle estate, is well aware that her mistress is mad.
- As the game warns the player from the beginning, death for Justine is final. If killed by the suitors, It's game over. Daniel, however is repeatedly resurrected should anything befall him. Whether this is a storyline element unique specifically to Amnesia: The Dark Descent (The Shadow/The orbs) or simply a gameplay aspect of the former's expansion pack is not clear.
|Main characters||Justine Florbelle|
|Antagonists||Aloïs Racine • Basile Giroux • Malo de Vigny|
|Side characters||Victor Fournier • Hector David • Felix Marot • Clarice • Monsieur Florbelle • Madame Florbelle • Herbert • Daniel|