Razputin was born and raised in the Aquato family circus. He showed signs of psychic powers at a young age, but his father insisted that he practice difficult acrobatics constantly in an attempt to distract him from those powers. The acrobatic training was so grueling, Raz became convinced that his father hates psychics and therefor him for having psychic abilities, even though Raz suspects his father is a psychic as well. He believes this hatred stems from a curse. As it turns out Raz's father truly loved his son and did not hate his powers, but this was unknown to Raz.
For reasons unknown, a family of psychics from a rival circus cursed Razputin's family to always die in water. Consequently, whenever Raz enters water deeper than a few inches, a supernatural liquid hand attempts to grab him and pull him beneath the surface. The Psychonauts manual refers to this eerie hand as the Hand of Galochio, which is named after the family that imposed the curse.
When Raz was ten years old, an audience member handed him a pamphlet about Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, a secret government camp designed to train psychic children into becoming agents known as Psychonauts. His disapproving father tore up the pamphlet, but it was too late. Raz was completely captivated by the idea of mastering his powers and becoming a Psychonaut, so he stealthily ran away from the circus on the World's Smallest Pony, eventually meeting a friendly lumberjack willing to take him to the camp gates.
Behind the Scenes Edit
According to an interview with creator Tim Schafer , "Raz" was the nickname of one of the game's animators, Razmig Mavlian. Schafer "stole" the name, and expanded it to "Rasputin", which was later changed to "Razputin" so that it could be trademarked. The name Dart (short for D'Artagan) was also considered, however the original Dart's character design was very different from Raz's, with an outfit including a long stocking cap and a thick winter jacket. This design was carried out until the character was computer animated, when the animators abandoned the image because they felt that the long hat would end up looking like a ponytail, and would cause gamers to think Raz was a girl. The cap was also very hard to animate.
Psychic powers Edit
Raz starts the game with the ability to strike nearby objects with a large psychic hand and to perform a double jump using a bubble of mental energy. While it is not a playable power, Raz also has some degree of telepathic ability which he demonstrates by reading Lili's mind during a cutscene. He also has considerable psychic defenses that not even the professional Psychonauts can penetrate, despite his young age and lack of formal training.
During his stay at Whispering Rock, Raz also learns the following psychic abilities:
- Clairvoyance: The ability to see others' perspectives through their own eyes, which often shows Raz how others perceive him. Raz gains this badge in the Milkman Conspiracy, after taking it from Boyd's refrigerator.
- Confusion: The ability to cloud others' minds with mental grenades, often leading them to attack other nearby beings. Raz gains this badge in Black Velvetopia, from Dingo Inflagrante.
- Invisibility: The ability to become invisible to other creatures. Raz learns this at rank 30.
- Levitation: The ability to levitate on a psychic ball that allows Raz to move more quickly, Bubble Bounce in the air, and PSI Float during a fall. Raz learns this early on from Milla Vodello.
- Marksmanship: The ability to channel large amounts of aggression into a damaging psi-blast of focused energy. Raz learns this early on from Sasha Nein.
- Pyrokinesis: The ability to focus psychic power so that objects or creatures burst into flame. Raz learns this at rank 10.
- Shield: The ability to project a mental shield that temporarily protects Raz from damage and, when upgraded, reflects it back to the attacker. Raz gains this badge in Lungfishopolis from a Lungfish Zealot.
- Telekinesis: The ability to mentally move an object with enough force to inflict significant damage if it strikes another object. Raz learns this when he reaches rank 20.
- Raz is one of the characters in Psychonauts who has five fingers on each hand whilst most other characters in the game have only four (another is his father, Augustus). This is because in Japan, having four fingers is associated with how the Yakuza will occasionally cut off the finger of a rival or someone who owes them money.
- Raz was given his fifth finger last minute as a request from Majesco so it could be sold in Japan, which it never was. Because of this, Raz's fifth finger mirrors the fourth in movement and almost looks like they're merged together.
- Richard Steven Horvitz, Razputin's voice actor, is known for voicing the titular character of Invader Zim. He's also voiced Billy in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Aviarius in Kim Possible, and Sublimino in Ben 10.
- In the beginning of the game when Oleander attempts to probe Razputin's mind and fails, he states that Razputin's name "starts with a D", referring to D'artagan, an early version of the protagonist scrapped in production.
- In Razputin's Memory Vault, it's revealed that he escaped the circus by riding on the back of the "World's Smallest Pony".
- Raz is the only major character in Psychonauts whose surname is not mentioned (many minor characters' last names are given as well), but the last level features a poster depicting the name "Aquato" and a group of acrobats, one of whom resembles Raz's father, and one of whom wears goggles like Raz himself, leading many fans to believe that this is Razputin's last name.
- His surname is confirmed by his Steam Trading Card.
- The fact that his family's last name is AQUAto is also a play on the "water" curse or vice-versa.
- In Alice: Madness Returns, the sequel to American McGee's Alice, a cavern holds the skeletal remains of Raz sitting in an armchair.
- Raz is referenced twice in Brütal Legend, a later title by Tim Shafer. In the intro, the guitarist of the "heavy metal" band Kabbage Boy is seen doing his victory dance, and later in the game Eddie Riggs meets a headbanger named Jack the Lift-Op, who's wearing Raz's goggles. These two characters are also voiced by Steven Horvitz.
- Raz is referenced again in the Hammer of Infinite Fate map pack, where the player can chisel his head into Mount Rockmore. Doing this four times will unlock an achievement/trophy.
- Razputin is a playable character in Bit Trip Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, as part of the 'Good Friends Character Bundle' DLC. The game apparently uses his original model from Psychonauts.
- Raz is shown to have the power to read minds or telepathy, mostly with animals, although it is also demonstrated several times when Lili wants Raz to kiss her.
- Raz stole his signature taunt from Bobby Zilch, who showed it off after he kicked Raz off a platform in Basic Braining.
- In the game's audio files, Raz can be heard introducing himself as "Angus", "Dare", and "Finn". It is unknown if these were other potential names for the protagonist or if there were merely added for humor purposes.
- Raz has four siblings, two brothers and two sisters. According to a tweet from Tim Schafer, their names are Dion, Frazie, Mirtala and Queepie.
- This would mean that including his parents and himself, there are officially seven people in Raz's Family. However the Aquato Poster seen in the final level depicts eight people on trapeze. Who the extra person is and their relation to Raz is unknown.
- Raz and his family are heavily implied to be of gypsy/roma ethnicity. This is most strongly hinted when Raz identifies the wagon he was born in as an "old gypsy caravan."
- In Rhombus of Ruin, according to Loboto, some mysterious individual is after Raz' brain, along with being behind Truman's kidnapping.