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|"Nicholas Michael Roth"|
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Nicky Roth is the protagonist of Hello Neighbor who sneaks into his neighbor's house and then sets about finding the secrets hidden in the scary neighbor's basement. His name was revealed in the teaser for the novel titled Hello Neighbor: Missing Pieces.
Throughout the game, Nicky's appearance remains mostly the same, but his age and attire alters as the story progresses. During Act 1, Nicky is a 12-year-old child. He appears to have a slim build, and has brown eyes and a long, pointy nose. He has brown hair covered by a green and navy blue baseball cap, and wears a blue t-shirt with what appears to feature a Sharkotron design, brown shorts with a golden apple design, white socks and orange and blue sneakers. He also appears to wear a neon green watch around his left wrist.
During Act 2, his appearance is mostly unchanged, except his cap is missing, revealing his spiky hairstyle. His clothes are also tattered and torn, one sneaker is missing and there are various cuts and grazes on his body. Bandages are wrapped around his right arm and hand, and around his uncovered foot.one half of his shirt is gone revealing his side
During Act 3, Nicky appears to have aged up into an adult. He now wears a white shirt with red sleeves, a beige plaid jacket and blue jeans with rolled-up legs and red high-top converse shoes. He still wears a wrist watch, but wears a more traditional-looking brown one. He also appears to have facial hair in the form of a five o' clock shadow. His figure is still slim, and he now appears to be slightly taller than Mr. Peterson, although the latter has a slightly hunched figure, meaning Mr. Peterson's real height probably surpasses his own.
During The Finale, Nicky's appearance is never showed. However, his shadow appears to become taller and taller, eventually becoming enormous.
Personality and Abilities
Nicky Roth is shown to be a relatively normal, selfless, and somewhat independent boy, since although his parents are never seen, this does not seem to have any adverse effects on him, and he is content in playing soccer by himself. However, Hello Neighbor: Missing Pieces describes him as lonely, and the strong implication of being an only-child means this is likely what led him to befriending the Peterson boy Aaron. The novel also shows him as sympathetic, given that he is concerned for the wellbeing of the Peterson family when they are shown to have very bad luck, though Aaron insists they have moved on. It is implied that Nicky is dyslexic, as all the text in the game is scrambled (e.g. "MILK" instead reads "KILM"), though this property was not present in any version before the first Beta. His room has many toys and pictures, showing that he is very close to his parents, a bond possibly strengthened by his only-child status. Nicky has a strong sense of determination, as he is willing to do whatever it takes to uncover the secret of the Peterson family, even if it is of great personal cost or affects his enemies adversely. He also appears to have a sense of justice, as hearing screaming and seeing Mr. Peterson struggle are what motivate him to check out his neighbor's house and attempt to rescue whoever may be locked away. He also has a sense of self-preservation, since being thrown out of the Peterson house and even being kidnapped and locked away are not enough to deter him in his goals. He's shown to be very intelligent too, as he can make good use of items he finds and further his progress in creative ways, such as stacking boxes to create a staircase where a jump or double jump will not suffice. Missing Pieces expands on this aspect of his backstory too and shows him capable of setting up intricate gadgets and pranks with the help of his childhood friend, Aaron Peterson.
Nicky is shown to be quite athletic, as he is able to sprint indefinitely, jump a fair distance, climb ladders and crouch under low obstacles at a fairly reasonable pace. He also has the ability to interact with doors in many ways, such as closing them to slow Mr. Peterson down, or even using a Chair to prop it shut and further stall him. How stealthy Nicky's methods to get into the Basement are depends on how the player desires to play the game, but Nicky appears to have a natural stealthiness, as he is often shown hiding behind a fence or other obstacle when watching Mr. Peterson from outside the latter's house during cutscenes, and he can also hide in closets and under beds to evade his neighbor. Nicky is also deceptively strong for his size, as he has the ability to throw objects, including larger ones such as armchairs, and if the player holds the throw button for longer than normal, objects can be thrown with enough force to knock Mr. Peterson down, he also has the power to jump super far including the aformentioned heavier objects. Upon completing the Fear levels, he also gains an invisibility power to further accentuate his stealthiness, which is activated by crouching without moving and allows him to avoid being caught by Mr. Peterson unless he does it in Mr. Peterson's line of sight. He also unlocks a double jump to further increase his athleticism, and can obtain the ability to push Mr. Peterson over once per chase if he catches up to Nicky, improving both his strength and survival instincts. His house also has a bicycle at the side, although it is not known if it belongs to him, or one of his parents.
However, Nicky is not without his weaknesses. For one, he cannot survive long falls, as if he drops from too high a height, he can be heard gasping in fright before the screen cuts to black and a crunching sound is heard, where he then wakes up back in his own house. An umbrella or well-timed double jump can prevent this from happening, however. He can also be hurt if the Train runs into him, which will cause him to yelp in fright and the screen to turn black, and then waking up in his house, like after a long fall. For whatever reason, this yelp of pain is sometimes a Wilhelm scream instead. He is also too curious at times, which leads to Mr. Peterson attacking him by breaking through his own front window. His athleticism is also matched, and at times surpassed, by that of Mr. Peterson, who is not only able to climb ladders like Nicky, but can jump over relatively tall obstacles a fair distance, and is completely unaffected by long falls.
In the novel Hello Neighbor: Missing Pieces several things are revealed about Nicky that cannot be discerned through the game. As an 8th grader he is quite intelligent. He can craft gadgets out of junk for pranks which he and Aaron go around pulling on various people who have done bad things like Mr. Quinn who walks his dog across the Petersons' front lawn and never picks up the dog's poop or Mrs. Tillman, a store owner who is too haughty for her own good which the latter gets them into big trouble. At the start of the novel it was made prevalent that he recently took up the hobby of picking locks which was what initially brought Nicky and Aaron to become friends. Mentioned several times throughout the story, Nicky and his family are Jewish, but he believes that a superior alien race is their overlord and is even set on convincing rabbis of this idea. Aaron mistakes his alien obsession as it actually being part of Judaism until Nicky clarifies.
- The only known appearance of the protagonist in prerelease material was his shadow as seen in the Announcement Trailer and Pre-Alpha. Its internal name is "player_shadow.uasset" and appears to have an earlier head design attached to an untextured version of Mr. Peterson's model. In Alpha 1, the model was omitted entirely. Alpha 2 gave him a finalized design, although his model was noticeably larger in this version, being about a head taller than Mr. Peterson. Due to the eyeline height being preserved for future versions (which was about the height of his neck), this was likely an error or oversight.
- Additionally, the protagonist did not have visible arms and legs until Alpha 2, as the Pre-Alpha kept the protagonist's appearance ambiguous (because it was a placeholder model) and the first Alpha lacked a player model altogether, meaning that Dynamic Pixels was finalising his appearance.
- In the Alpha 2 update, the protagonist's physical appearance could be seen without using cheats. It was visible during a cutscene where he is seen running past Mr. Peterson's living room before the latter chases him.
- The ability to super-throw was originally to be unlocked through the Fear Factory mini-game, but the mini-game was removed, and the power-up thus became a default ability for Nicky.
- Although it is assumed that Nicky is dyslexic in the game, in the novel nothing is implied that he is and can read and write quickly through hectic situations.
- The scrambled words in game might be a localization trick to avoid re-texturing anything with words to the correct language.
- It is revealed through the novel that Nicky has moved several times as a kid due to his parents' jobs.