The Longest JourneyEdit

"He's real life, seen-it-all, been-there-done-that smart....Ask him about, music, movies, books -- he's current on most topics, which scares me, because it seems he's always just, I dunno, hanging around doing nothing. He rarely goes anywhere. It's almost like he's waiting for something. Or someone."
Emma de Vrijer[src]

Cortez is an old but athletic Latin American man with long hair in a ponytail. At the beginning of the game, April observes that Cortez spends most of his time on the bench outside the Border House, reading and watching the world go by, and that he actually scares her a little. However, Cortez is the only one who understands what is happening in Venice, and he soon becomes April's friend and mentor. He oversees April's first Shift and outlines what must be done to save the Balance. Finally, he is revealed to actually be the Red of the Kin, and falls from the MTI Building defending April from Jacob McAllen. Given his ongoing involvement with the Sentinel, it is assumed that he was the Kin who founded the order.

The Green and the Red of the Kin

Cortez and McAllen fight in their dragon forms.

As 'Manny Chavez', Cortez was a friend of Brian Westhouse in 1930s India, and actually saved Brian's life by pulling him out of a snowdrift in Tibet, in 1934. Brian seems to have fond memories of him, including that 'Chavez' used to "smoke like a chimney". The last time Brian saw 'Chavez', he was given a pocket watch. 'Chavez' told him that "when his heart started beating again, he would know". April managed to start the watch ticking again, but when Cortez fell from the MTI Building, it stopped. The significance of this is not clear, but obviously the implication is that he is now dead. It must be remembered, however, that when Westhouse gave it to her it was not yet ticking again.

Cortez is a mysterious character who often talks in riddles. He has a mischievous sense of humour but takes his guidance of April very seriously. He has an interest in art and literature, and frequently visits the Mercury Theatre to watch old black-and-white movies. He seems to have friends all over the city including Warren Hughes, a young artist who lives on Hope Street whose artwork he shows April at the Roma Gallery. Although not a Shifter, Cortez is somehow able to use April's own abilities to open a Shift for her, and when she meets Vestrum Tobias the priest appears to know who Cortez is. Cortez then tells April he has not seen Tobias since he was a young Istrum, and is pleased - although unsurprised - to hear that he has become Vestrum.

Cortez arrest

Cortez is arrested.

Cortez bound

Cortez in McAllen's prison.

Just before she accidentally Shifts to Arcadia (in her underwear), April has a dream where Cortez is captured by Gordon Halloway, and later has another dream where she sees him imprisoned in some sort of enormous machine. When she is finally reunited with Cortez, she discovers this actually happened: Cortez says Halloway captured him using a "small army". April's vision of Charlie in the Spirit Dig also mentions how "Cortez the Red" is watching out for her.

His relationship with his brother, Jacob McAllen, the Green Kin, is a bitter one. Cortez scorns the life McAllen has chosen, even mocking his attempts to convince Cortez to join him by saying he talks like a badly written play. He is desperate to keep April away from McAllen, to the extent of challenging his brother to a battle and possibly even at the cost of his own life.


"Prophecies can never unravel the will of a single human."

Cortez in Dreamfall, in Tibet

The question of whether Cortez is still alive does, to an extent, linger in Dreamfall: April tells the reborn White Dragon that "the two dragons in Stark are gone", but 'gone' does not necessarily mean 'dead'.

After the credits, there is a short cutscene titled "Tibet, 1933" where Brian Westhouse, struggling along a snowy mountain path - presumably on his way to the monastery - collapses into the snow. He is then rescued by 'Manny Chavez'. Brian appears surprised to see him, addressing him as "old friend", and asks what he's doing there.
Wati dragon

Red dragon insignia inside WATI HQ.

'Chavez' replies: "Time is a circle, and you are needed", before helping him up and leading him along the path. This incident - Chavez saving Brian from dying in the snow - is mentioned by Brian in TLJ.

Interestingly, dragon motifs are prevalent in Dreamfall; there is a large red dragon design in WATI's reception area.

Future gamesEdit

Following Dreamfall, it is ambiguous to what extend Cortez will appear in future instalments of series. Ragnar Tørnquist has however stated that Cortez's role in the story is not completely played out yet, and has confirmed that he will "definitely" return in either Dreamfall Chapters or The Longest Journey Home.[1] He has also stated that Cortez is "a huge part of the saga, and a big part of the Dreamer Cycle".[2]


  1. Reddit AMA Cortez will be back eventually
  2. Reddit AMA More on Cortez
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