I bid you welcome to my Cabinet of Perturbation. It is my study of the human psyche - specifically yours.
Justine Florbelle, also known as "Mademoiselle Florbelle", is the main character and anti-heroine of Amnesia: Justine.
Born of French aristocracy, Justine was born with a 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 had already died when she was very young and as such she cannot even remember what her mother looked like.
Monsieur Florbelle 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, 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 father from the results of the tests caused a huge rift to grow between them. After four years of isolation which robbed her of a healthier, 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. 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 not caught, or what happened immediately afterwards, or for the next twenty-some years, is all a mystery.
Mademoiselle Florbelle takes 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, turns it into her "Cabinet of Perturbation", a dungeon, for her own sadistic pleasure.
Justine begins to demonstrate she has become a complete monster. She revels in the suffering she causes to others, and even subjects her own self to that same cruelty by performing tests upon herself after self-induced amnesia to see how well her "results" were.
The woman hates 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, 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. Much to her delight this caused a lot of friction between them. All three men were sincerely romantically involved with Justine, at one point or another, however the same could never be said for Justine herself. She used their attraction for her to her advantage.
She pitted the men against one another, that eventually led to their downward spiral into madness and destruction. The suitors had unwittingly become her new test subjects in her "Cabinet of Perturbation" when she drugged them with absinthe, abacinated them, and made them part of the tests on her personality after drugging herself.
Her inferiority complex for wanting to be as attractive as her mother worsened, these feelings intensified to the point where she actually blinds the Suitors because she has begun to believe her beauty is 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 bind Basile to prevent him from leaving.
She eventually tortured, mutilated and imprisoned Aloïs, Basile and Malo in her Cabinet of Perturbation. These three former love interests are also known as the Suitors - serving as the main and only enemies in Amnesia: Justine.
Despite all her cunning and control over the police chief in Calais, by 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 en-listened 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 in Amnesia: Justine.
Not even concerned that her dark machinations were nearly discovered by the public, Justine invites other members of the French aristocracy over to her mansion for a banquet. She devises a test for herself, "the best one yet", to see if she has any trace of humanity left in her. She decides she will be unarmed, and completely vulnerable to any threat. Justine also orchestrates several hostage-situations to see how she will perform.
She moves her prisoners into the manor's torture chambers and creates various obstacles throughout the rooms. The woman prerecords messages onto multiple phonographs to set the scene. Justine then releases the Suitors from their cells to roam the Cabinet blindly for her, but not before locating a secure prison cell so she can voluntarily drug herself. The fast-acting concoction she ingests results in her having temporary amnesia as a side-effect.
The woman wakes up and wanders around the dungeon-like complex, lost and confused. She can remember nothing, not even her own name. She quickly finds out she is not truly alone, as she stumbles upon several people calling out to her for help, and several monstrous shambling mad men hunting her down.
If she survives the facility, its challenges and dangers, she collapses from the stress and madness of this place. She then regains consciousness, and also, her memories and personality in the Cabinet of Perturbation. She compliments herself that she constructed the best and most elaborate test yet.
Bolting the door to her Cabinet shut, regardless of whether it is the suitors threatening to kill her, or the hostages crying for help, on the other side. As Justine walks back upstairs, Clarice, her housemaid calls down from the kitchen asking if everything is all right. Justine laughs off her concern and assures 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 she heard voices from downstairs, to which they both dismiss as her being "silly", or Justine will give her servant instructions to post replies to the recovered mail, wanting them to know, she's still alive.
- As revealed in a loading screen, Justine overdosed herself with Lithium. This bit of trivia seems to imply that the overdose led to temporary amnesia, though the retrograde amnesia that she exhibits is not a symptom of lithium overdose.
- An interpretation of a loading screen 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 the player collects) 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 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 means Justine has a younger brother, though who he is and whether or not he's still alive by the events of Amnesia: Justine are all unknown.
- Justine is around thirty years of age by the events of the game.
- She was born in the year 1828. Her exact date of birth is unknown.
- Her mother and father's full names are never revealed.
- Justine's behavior bears some resemblance to Daniel's. As both have captured and tortured people, although Daniel was manipulated into doing these things and felt heavy regret afterward.
- It may be that the character Justine is a tribute to the Marquis de Sade, her first name Justine being based on one of his books, titled Justine, in which a woman who attempts to be virtuous is plunged into vice against her will. Her last name, Florbelle, may come from the title of a book never published, also written by the Marquis de Sade, Les Journées de Florbelle.
- Justine discovered the letter from Daniel written to her late-father asking for help some 19 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 its game over. Daniel however is repeatedly resurrected should anything befall him. Whether this is a story-line 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.