Mr. Peterson is the main antagonist in Hello Neighbor. His family's surname was revealed in the teaser for the upcoming novel titled Hello Neighbor: The Missing Pieces, though he has yet to receive a first name.
Mr. Peterson is a tall, well-built, cartoonishly-styled man. The Neighbor has brown hair, and has eyebrows slanted towards his noticeably reddish nose. The Neighbor also has a curly waxed mustache, and green eyes. The Neighbor's chin has a spiral marking on it. The Neighbor wears a yellow shirt with rolled-up sleeves and a collar. The shirt is partially opened, revealing some of the Neighbor's chest hair. On top of the shirt is a blue and light blue sleeveless sweater vest with a diamond pattern. The Neighbor also wears long, black rubber gardening gloves. He also wears red/orange striped pants. There are no buttons, zippers, or laces on said pants. He also wears black shoes with white caps and shoelaces. Strangely, the letter "W" can be seen on the bottom of each shoe's sole.
Personality and abilities
The Neighbor is shown to have a hostile personality, and also seems to be insane. He is a very private man, going after Nicky Roth if the latter so much as steps onto his property. He also seems to be incredibly smart, as he is able to figure out how the player broke into his house and will set up some sort of trap in that area, making it harder for Nicky to break in. He also appears to match or surpass Nicky in athleticism and strength, as he has the ability to jump over obstacles, climb ladders with ease and bash doors to clear any objects blocking them and force the door open. This is likely a result of his calisthenics. During the calisthenics, he will stand up straight, put a hand on his hip and use the other to stretch sideways in the direction of his resting hand, swapping hands and direction after each movement. He will then jog on the spot for a few seconds, and will repeat these two exercises a couple of times. In the first Alpha, he was able to knock a door off its hinges entirely, though any removed doors would be replaced upon the protagonist being caught. This feature was likely removed for being rather awkward and poorly implemented. Additionally, unlike Nicky Roth, Mr. Peterson seems to suffer no ill effects from large heights, as he can jump off of a balcony and continue chasing Nicky without being affected in any way, athough he usually attempts to pathfind his way downward instead. He appears to have very good hearing, as breaking a window (and ringing the doorbell in versions prior to Alpha 3) will immediately attract his attention and cause him to investigate the source of the noise, and respond by either boarding up the window or setting a bear trap in front of it to deter future attempts to enter through that window Other loud sounds will interrupt this, however, meaning that breaking multiple windows allows for more than one point of entry, with only a single window being heavily fortified at a time . However, boards block the entire window and not just singular panes of the glass, if it has two or three panes.
In the final build, it is revealed that the Neighbor was the head of a family named the Petersons, and he was once a much friendlier man. The Missing Pieces expands upon this, as he is shown to allow the young Nicky to meet and befriend his son, allowing him to frequently visit them. During the third act, if Nicky enters the room which contained a mannequin and an Unreal Engine Error teleport in the previous builds, a photograph can be seen of Mr. Peterson with his arms around a woman and young girl, with a young boy next to them. This is confirmed to be a family photo of the Petersons. The sequences that Nicky can trigger after being caught a few times in the first and second acts heavily imply that Mrs. Peterson died and that their children went missing, said events causing Mr. Peterson to become withdrawn and hostile. The events that Nicky can witness are:
- Mr Peterson letting his wife (who cannot be seen but her voice can be heard) into his car and then driving off. A car crash will then occur nearby that causes a wheel to fly through the window. Outside this window, Mr. Peterson can be seen limping over to the wrecked car, looking inside its window and gasping in horror, before sobbing profusely. The player can walk through the nearby door to end the sequence.
- Mr. Peterson's shadow can be seen on a wall, where he appears to be using a shovel to bury something that is unseen (likely his wife). The player can then walk through to the next room where the now-giant man is seen wandering angrily through his living room. After walking past, he'll approach the table that Nicky is under and reach for him, ending the sequence.
- A sequence where the player ends up at a fairground and rides a rollercoaster through a variety of large rooms. The Peterson family can be heard laughing together in the dining room, and in the next room, only Mr. Peterson is heard, sobbing bitterly, followed by a child growling and another screaming. The final room contains a drop where a loud wailing sound is heard and then a jumpscare ends the sequence.
- A hospital sequence with a hospital bed and a heart rate monitor. The nearby heart monitor will begin beeping rapidly and then flatline, likely meaning that the patient has died. The player can walk through the nearby door to see Mr. Peterson in the hospital waiting room, a worried look on his face. He will peridocally stand up, wander back and forth and then sit back down, covering his face and groaning in pain. He will repeat this behaviour even when the heart rate monitor flatlines. Walking through the next door will end the sequence.
Mr. Peterson takes every measure he can in order to defend his basement, which is very heavily secured. The man seems to take several precautions with the basement door in particular, indicating he's hiding something. In the Pre-Alpha, the protagonist needed to collect a key/lockpick, hammer/crowbar, and even a passcode using a blacklight which could be found in either the Neighbor's room or the bathroom. In Alpha 1, all that was needed was a key/lock-pick, and a hammer/crowbar. In Alpha 2, a crowbar and a keycard were needed. As the builds progressed, the required items remained the same, but have become progressively harder to find.
In the Pre-Alpha, the Neighbor mostly either patrolled his house and yard, or sat in the living room and watched TV. Throwing objects in his vincinity would attract his attention, implying he could hear the object hitting the floor, though only in this build. Throwing tomatoes would also attract his attention from anywhere, and have him carry a bucket to the splatter location and clean up the tomato, allowing a brief distraction. In Alpha 2, he would roam around his home, performing standard household tasks, such as sleeping, drinking milk, watching TV and bathing. He will also do this during Act 1 of the final game, though the milk-drinking behaviour appears to be unused. In Alpha 2, the Neighbor was also given smoother animations and a voice, and would yawn, laugh or hum while in his home. He also had sounds used during a chase, where he would gasp upon noticing the player, grunt when looking around for them, and yelp in pain when hit by an object. He was given more gasps, grunts and groans from Alpha 3 onwards. This was also the first build where he was actually seen setting up bear traps and cameras, rather than them just appearing. When nearby, the player's screen would now become darker and shake violently. In Alpha 2, outrunning him was unlikely, as he was much faster than the player. However, from Alpha 3 onwards, the player is slightly faster than him. The player can hide from him using beds, closets, or their Invisibility power, as long as they are not within his line of sight. He'll look around a few times, before walking off. The Neighbor threw bear traps and tomatoes at the player during the Pre-Alpha and Alpha 1, and between Alpha 3 and Beta 3, he instead threw jars of glue at them. The final build has him throwing both tomatoes and jars of glue in order to inhibit Nicky in his goals.
In the Pre-Alpha build of the game, the player was able to open the basement door after collecting the appropriate things in order to do so, but doing such proved to be fruitless, given that there was no basement. In Alpha 1, it was also pointless since not long after, The Neighbor would appear in order to stop the player. In the Alpha 2 build, however, the player is finally able to walk downstairs without being stopped by the Neighbor, and down there are lit candles scattered about, along with a teddy bear, a mattress, a mannequin, and a crib. There is a slightly opened door past these items, but attempting to go through it results in an end-screen, which ends the game. This can be avoided, however, by using in-game commands and turning on ghost mode, allowing the player to explore the insanely huge basement. This area was actually the one used in the trailer showcasing the basement. In Alpha 3, going through the basement door no longer leads to a basement. Instead, it leads to what seems to be a flashblack. The Neighbor's house is normal looking, the lighting is bright, and the car outside is no longer crashed. The only non-peaceful thing is the Neighbor sobbing into his hands nonstop for unknown reasons.
In the Alpha 4 build of the game, the Neighbor acted the same as he did in the Alpha 3 build. Upon entering the basement, it lead the player to a large room, which required the double jump ability and the fighting back ability to jump to large platforms and to avoid getting caught by the Neighbor. The protagonist needed to complete two different Fear Levels to get the abilities. Upon reaching the last of the doors, a Shadow Man would be visible. Approaching it caused it to disappear.
In the Beta 1 and 2 builds, the basement was not accessible. Upon attempting to enter the basement, the protagonist would be kicked out.
In the Pre-Alpha, there was a giant version of the Neighbor that appeared only during a nightmare sequence in which the player is trapped in the house. The Neighbor looked in through the window and then attempted to grab the player, first by reaching through the front door and then by smashing the front window.
He returned in Beta 3 onwards in which he is a boss and is much, much larger. The opening sequence for the encounter also plays similarly, except he looks in the window for longer, screams with a childish scream (which is lowered in pitch in the final build) and smashes the room with his hand instead of attempting to grab the player through the window. He then looks around for a bit before frustratedly standing up straight. There is also a house on his back which the player must reach by making the giant Mr. Peterson unable to stand up properly. This can be achieved by using some of the giant objects in the area, such as hitting his face with a firework to stun him and using baseballs, a cola bottle and a bow and sucker-tipped arrow to hit him in the legs.
- While the Neighbor had been given a voice from Alpha 2 onwards, he was originally planned to have a different voice, and would yell out as the protagonist got his attention. This could be seen in the announcement trailer. However, his lines were incredibly vulgar, and thus were removed.
- In Alpha 2, a lot of Neighbor voice clips could be found in the files, some of which were used from Alpha 3 onwards, and some which were never used in any future build. The unused clips include an evil laugh, whistling, the Neighbor saying "Hello" in 2 different tones, and the Neighbor yelling "BOOYAH!"
- When the Neighbor buried the protagonist in the prototype, his physical appearance could not be seen. He could, however, be seen dropping the coffin cover in Alpha 1.
- In Alpha 2, there was a cut-scene after the protagonist woke up. In this cut-scene, he hears a child-like screaming coming from the Neighbor's house, and the view zooms in on the window. The Neighbor seems to yell "Quiet!" to whoever is screaming. It was shown though, that what was screaming was actually a mannequin, which runs past him, knocking the Neighbor over for a moment. This may just have been a placeholder for a person, however.
- The Neighbor's running speed has gone through several revisions. In the Pre-Alpha he ran quite slowly, in Alpha 1 he ran at a speed closer to the protagonist's, and in Alpha 2 he ran slightly faster than the protagonist. In the following builds, the protagonist is slightly faster than him, which is balanced by Mr. Peterson's ability to throw jars of glue and tomatoes to slow down and blind Nicky.
- The Neighbor had a 666 on the bottom of both his shoes, which was changed in Alpha 3 to a "W". The meaning of this letter is unknown, but is likely either the brand logo or the first letter of his first name.
- In the Alpha 2 update, instead of the protagonist being put back in their own house after the Neighbor caught them, he simply kicked the protagonist out and slammed the door behind him.
- Additionally, in Alpha 3, the Neighbor sent them to the protagonist's own front yard instead of inside his house.
- The mannequins in Alpha 2 may have been used as placeholders for actual people, though from Alpha 4 onwards, the Fear levels have Mannequins as hostile characters.
- There are several theories revolving around this game. A popular theory is that the 14:14 mailbox refers to a Bible verse, which is believed to be II Kings 14:14, speaking about stealing many things from a palace, and even saving hostages, which leads to the theory of the Neighbor holding people hostage in his basement; this seems to be true at least for the Alpha 2 build.
- Mr. Peterson is nicknamed by some YouTubers. He is called "Mart" by FGTeeV, "Mr. Wilson" by jacksepticeye,"Neighborino" by Markiplier, and "Ned" by captainsauce, the latter two being references to Ned Flanders, a character from the popular sitcom The Simpsons. The Neighbor's internal name is "Sosed", which is Russian/Slovenian for "neighbor".
- Hello Neighbor in Russian is "ПРИВЕТ СОСЕД" (Privet Sosed).
- In the first few builds, a certain painting was seen at least once per build in his house. This painting has two people on it, one looking to be a younger version of The Neighbor himself, and the other has an unknown identity. It appears to be based off of a painting where Judas is kissing Jesus.
- On the official website, one of the images seen shows a different neighbor with a green shirt and a different face (except the pants, which are the same).
- In the Pre-Alpha and first Alpha, the Neighbor had two music cues when close; one for him being in Idle mode, another when he was hunting the player. These were replaced in Alpha 2 with ambient sounds of organs and other instruments.