Dr. Neil Watts is one of the two main playable characters in the series alongside Dr. Eva Rosalene. He is Eva's partner at Sigmund Corporation. His official title at the company is Technician Specialist.
Not much is known about Neil's early life, save for a few references of his childhood and adolescence mentioned in his conversations with Eva.
As a child, he used to go stargazing every year with his grandfather, outside the city where he lived. He starts his caffeine addiction to hide his sleeplessness from his disapproving mother.
He and Eva seem to have known each other since high school. He may have dated someone at that time, although it was brief.
Work at Sigmund Corporation
He has worked for the company for several years prior to the events of To the Moon. Contrary to Eva, who works at Sigmund because the job seems respectable, Neil apparently works there for the money. Despite this, he grows fond of his patients, as noted in To the Moon and in the Sigmund Minisodes; perhaps even more so than Eva. He also seems to frequently find trouble in his job, though Eva has always (unwillingly) got him covered.
In To the Moon, Neil is revealed to be taking strong painkillers. If Eva discovers the painkillers while rummaging the car to sample the roadkill scent, he lies to her that he takes them because he walked into a concrete wall; otherwise, he tells her he's going to the car to feed his virtual pet. He takes them again at the post-credits scene.
He still takes them in Finding Paradise; this time, the player directly takes him to the car to get them instead of witnessing it through Eva's perspective. Again, he lies to Eva about what he's doing.
Neil is a young, Caucasian man wearing rectangular glasses and short, neat brown hair parted in the middle. He wears a double-breasted white coat with peaked lapels and four black buttons. His coat has a pocket on each side. He also dons a pair of brown shoes.
He is humorous and somewhat cynical, in contrast to Eva's character, and often makes jokes and various pop-culture references to lighten the mood throughout the games. Although often perceived as silly and childish, Neil can be serious when situations call for it. While not as perceptive of detail as Eva, he is still considerably intelligent and possesses enough problem-solving skills to usually help out whenever they have trouble advancing through memories.
In the job, he often appears careless and incompetent. He also likes to make insensitive remarks in front of his clients. This is emphasized in Finding Paradise, where he blatantly tells Colin's family that he didn't care for paperwork. On the technical side, his colleague, Roxanne Winters, notices issues in his maintenance with the machine, and fixes it for him. This is in line with the likelihood that he cheated through the company's entrance exams. Despite this, he is still a pretty good programmer.
He has a secretive disposition, especially when it comes to his projects and personal life. One interesting example is when Sarah and Tommy show Eva to Johnny's "funny room" at the beginning of To the Moon, where Eva suggests that many rooms and/or cabinets in Neil's house are off-limits for visitors. His reluctance to share sometimes makes him come off as rude towards his co-workers; however, he is not unfriendly and gets along fairly well with all his acquaintances (with the exception of Robert Lin).
Despite having a callous attitude towards Johnny and River's lives early on and insisting on finishing the job and getting paid, he later becomes attached to them; he ends up vehemently opposing Eva's efforts to apparently remove River from most of Johnny's memories, insisting that the point of the wish is lost in her method of achieving it.
He seems to have a mild resentment towards children, particularly those who are immature or stupid. In To the Moon, he harasses Johnny's teenage self when he is about to ask River out, as well as at the theatre. At the beginning of Finding Paradise, when the player chooses Neil to help with Potato and Amber's situation, he picks up Amber's doll and throws it into the pond, making Amber cry and cheering Potato up. Inside Colin's memory, when Colin keeps failing to throw his paper plane towards Faye, he comments that Colin has no respect for the laws of physics.
Dr. Eva Rosalene
Eva is Neil's partner at Sigmund Corporation. They seem to have known each other for a long time, at least since high school, as shown at the start of To the Moon. If the player chooses Neil to explore Johnny's house, he says he played Sherlock Holmes at a high school musical, but Eva says she remembers him playing Watson.
It is hinted that he cares deeply for Eva and may be romantically interested in her. At the launching scene, Watts slides closer to Eva and attempts to put his hand on her shoulder, but she pushes his arm away and he steps back, perhaps due to embarrassment. He also expresses anger when Eva tells him to leave during the destabilization of the system, refusing to leave her behind to get hurt or killed on her own, and calling her a moron for playing "hero". He later sheepishly takes it back after the danger has passed.
It also suggested that Eva has frequently gotten him out of trouble. During their argument in Johnny's unstable memory, Eva admits to helping Neil cheat through some entrance exams (presumably for either college, or more likely, employment at Sigmund Corp). Also, in Sigmund Minisode 1, she tells him she has saved him from getting fired more often than she had liked. Neil acknowledges she did a good job with that.
Neil appears to have problems with his parent(s), as evidenced in Sigmund Minisode 2. He attempts to call them twice, but keeps hanging up, unable to speak. When Eva asks if this is because of something they did, Neil replies it is not them - potentially implying that he feels he is the source of the problem. The parent on the other side also doesn't seem to recognize him at first, which likely means he hasn't been in touch with them for a while.
Meanwhile, the fact that he used to spend his childhood stargazing with his grandfather could mean that he had a good relationship with him back then, although not much is known about his grandfather's life at the present time.
In Sigmund Minisode 2, Neil is shown to be in possession of a prototype memory machine that seems to be designed for self-use. He appears to be extremely careful not to let anyone know about it. He hides it behind his cabinet when he goes out of his office to restore the power, in spite of knowing nobody else is supposed to be inside the building. It has less physical features than the original machine, and is operated through Neil's computer. He seems to have been working on it for some time. It is hinted that at some point, Eva finds out about the machine. She is seen using it at the post-credits scene, presumably inside her own house.
In Finding Paradise, Roxanne Winters discovers that the machine Neil brought to the job is unauthorized. It is plausible that this machine is the same one shown in the minisode, although there is no indication of it. The new machine looks more like the one used in To the Moon, the only difference being the patient's helmet, whose casing has been removed. When Eva asks Neil about this, he gives no answer. During the traversal, Eva notices that the machine didn't correct inconsistencies in the memories' environment. When inspecting the machine, Roxanne finds some technical issues, including the fact that Neil has removed the machine's stabilizer. She notes that it can cause things to happen with patients like Colin, whose imaginary friend, Faye, is very sentient. Perhaps with the stabilizer removed, the user has more control over the environment inside the memories, although the purpose of which isn't certain.
- He has green eyes, as very briefly shown in Kan Gao's To the Moon 2 joke trailer.
- In the same trailer, he is shown to keep his glasses in his pyjama's chest pocket while sleeping.
- Several of Neil's likes and dislikes are referenced in To the Moon:
- In Johnny's memory of River folding the paper rabbits and cutting her hair, he says that he likes long hair.
- He mentions he hates pickled olives when he sees it inside Johnny's memory.
- He is suggested to have acrophobia, an irrational fear of heights, when they teleport on top of the lighthouse. In Finding Paradise, he reveals that it doesn't apply inside a plane.
- He is shown to have a vast knowledge about moon facts.
- In Finding Paradise, when Roxanne confronts him about his machine, he falls silent until Rob appears and Roxanne reminds Neil he was about to check on Colin. This shows how cornered he feels when somebody else discovers his secret.
- His mobile phone is blue in color. However, at the beginning of Sigmund Minisode 1, he is seen using what might be his office telephone, which is light brown.
- Niel's ringtone is the opening theme song from Quintessence: The Blighted Venom, another game from Freebird Games.