You know, you turning up here is probably the second best thing to happen to me since I've been down here – I'm reserving first place for when we get out.
~ Amabel SwansonPhone LeftRecieve (file info)
Dr. Amabel Swanson
Amabel by dbagasch-d488lxu
biographical information
Nature: Human
Sex: Female
Age: Unknown
Status: Deceased
Voice actor: Emma Adam

Dr. Amabel Swanson is a supporting character in Penumbra: Black Plague. She was a female chemist and high-ranking member stationed at The Shelter.

Story Edit

Video chat Edit

Before meeting her in person, Philip speaks with Amabel several times over a video chat - though while she can see his face, he cannot see hers. Through speaking with Amabel it's made explicit that Philip is infected:

I think one of the Inuit workers made it, but others were taken, some panicked and got lost. I ran - when I stopped, I was on my own. Oh, and another symptom is déjà vu.[...]

Watch out for signs of infection. [...] Look, the symptoms we know about are paranoia and aural distortion. Oh, and another symptom is déjà vu.

Philip is already experiencing some of these symptoms:

  • Philip hears her describe déjà vu twice - the same voice sample plays both times.
  • Clarence has already begun speaking to Philip by this time.

Finding Amabel Edit

Upon reaching the room where she's hiding from the infected, Amabel promises Philip a cure for his infection, but explains that she's locked herself in and can only be reached with a Key Card.

Tragedy Edit

When Philip returns with the key card, he enters but does not find Amabel. After looking through her lab, he is attacked by a Tuurngait infected, which he dispatches by dropping a heavy weight onto its head.

Philip hears Amabel's shriek and discovers that Clarence utilized his ability to manipulate Philip's perceptions to fool him into seeing Amabel as an infected attacking him, thus tricking him into killing her. It's unknown what actions Amabel was truly taking - the Infected that Philip perceives blatantly attacks him (and can kill him), but walks after him much more slowly than previously encountered enemies. The intent to harm may have been also projected by Clarence.

Cure Edit

Philip fortunately finds that, apparently foreseeing her possible death, Amabel had left notes on her PC instructing Philip in producing the necessary formula to cure himself of the infection, indirectly resulting in the "death" of Clarence and the beginning of Requiem.

Trivia Edit

  • A common fan theory is that Amabel really was infected, but Penumbra lead writer Tom Jubert refutes this.[1]
    • Other evidence, such as the presence of a similar infected tissue as the one tossed out of Dr. Richard Eminiss's window just before he attacks Philip, can be excused by the fact she was obviously studying infected material to devise a cure.
  • Amabel Swanson shares her name with another character, Amabel Carlito, the Sous Chef of The Shelter. This was unintentional, and occurred due to writer Tom Jubert liking the name Amabel.[2]


See: Quotes in Penumbra: Black Plague#Dr. Amabel Swanson



  1. [1] [...] The idea, of course, was to have the player murder his only ally in the game, as a result of the alien infection that’s rotting his brain. [...] She’s the same person the moment she dies as she is when she meets the player, and that’s because she’s not really a character in the traditional sense – she’s more of a narrative tool. God, she’d hate me for saying that.
  2. [2] Incidentally, if you noticed there was another character called Amabel in the game – yes, I screwed up. I like the name, OK?!