William Joyce
Will joyce
Biographical information
Alias Will[1]
Age 38[2]
Born March 4th 1978[2]
Status Alive
Relatives Anthony Joyce (father, deceased)[3],
Kathryn Joyce (mother, deceased)[3],
Jack Joyce (brother)
Occupation(s) Consulting physicist for Project Promenade (formerly)[1]
Affiliation(s) Riverport University (formerly)[1]
Resides Riverport, Massachusetts
Physical description
Gender Male
Nationality American
Height 5'9"
Hair color Brown
Eye color Blue
Game information
First Appearance Act 1, Part 1: Riverport University Experiment
Last Appearance Act 5, Part 3: Final Moments
Actor Dominic Monaghan
Face Model Dominic Monaghan
Mocap Actor Dominic Monaghan

"Explosion make time go bad. If time is an egg, then that egg is fucking broken. The time egg is fucked!"
—William to Jack[4]

Doctor William Joyce is the older brother of Jack Joyce and a physicist. Working with Elton Meyer, William posited the existence of Chronon particles and began working on the creation of the time machine.[5] While successful, his machine facilitated a string of events that led to the End of Time with the creation of a fracture in the Meyer-Joyce field.[1] Forewarned of the upcoming events by Beth Wilder, a woman who rescued him from a future Paul Serene[6], William created a Countermeasure that could theoretically fix the inevitable fracture in time.[4] After the countermeasure was stolen by Monarch Solutions in 2010, William's technology and theories were used by Monarch in an effort to outlast the End of Time with the Lifeboat Protocol.[7] During the events of October 2016, William attempted to prevent Paul from creating the fracture in time himself and was reunited with his brother, Jack.[1] His presumed death at Paul's hand set his young brother on a path of vengeance as he set off to discover how William was responsible for the time machine's creation.[8][5] Unbeknownst to his brother, William had been saved by another version of Jack from the future[9], who William helped postponing the End of Time with his Countermeasure.[10]


Early Life

William Joyce was born March 1978 to Anthony and Kathryn Joyce, in Riverport, Massachusetts. He is the elder brother of Jack Joyce. During his time in college studying quantum physics, William worked on a research paper with Elton Meyer on proving the existence of Chronon energy, a type of radiation that permeated the very fabric of time itself.[11]

When their research papers were able to prove the existence of Chronon energy, their work put them in the center of the public eye and the scientific community.[12] William was eventually made a member of the Riverport University physics division.

Creating the time Machine

During the summer of 1998, William began to work on a prototype of the time machine, using his pet rat Schrodinger as a test subject. While the initial test with Schrodinger and the prototype was unsuccessful, William was eventually able to prove that time travel was possible using Chronon energy he harvested from the Industrial Area where he established his workshop.[5][3]

William established a design for the time machine that utilized a clockwise and counterclockwise design. Eventually, he began dedicating all of his time to create a full-size time machine, sinking all the money taken from his research grants into the success of the machine.[5] His family members believed he wasted his grant and did not agree with how he chose to conduct his time. William spent an undetermined time researching and designing the time machine until its completion.[5]

Meeting Beth Wilder

William's first attempt at time traveling occurred on February 24, 1999. With the machine completed and functional, it was his intention to travel into the future as he could not travel any further into the past than the activation date of the machine. However, once the machine was activated, William was shot in the arm by a man he did not recognize and was subsequently saved by a woman who followed his assailant out of the machine.

When Will believed she would harm him, the woman discarded her gun and introduced herself as Beth Wilder. Immediately afterward, she began to explain that she was from the future and foretold what would take place in the next seventeen years. Rattled, Will obliged Beth's request to create a Countermeasure that she explained would be completed in the future of 2010. Beth worked with William to relocate the time machine to the Bradbury Swimming Hall, and insisted Will work on the countermeasure there. He refused, stating that the industrial area had an unusual relationship with the chronon field that would help with the device's construction.[13]

Building the Countermeasure

William kept in contact with Beth as he began working on the construction of the Countermeasure and Monarch began to monitor the industrial area. Troubled by things yet come to pass, William became obsessed with his task in building the countermeasure. Little by little, his life and relationship with his family began to falter.

December 22nd, 1999, his parents were killed in car accident that, unbeknownst to him, Beth wilder caused in an attempt to prevent it from happening.[13][14] In the wake of their death, William was made the legal guardian of Jack. William continued to work on the Countermeasure, unaware that he and his brother were being watched by Monarch.

While their contact was minimal, William was able to explain to Beth how the Countermeasure would work.[13] By 2010, William required more money to continue on the construction of the Countermeasure and sold the Joyce family home.[15] When Jack learned about what he did, he confronted his brother about selling their home without his consent. The two argued and it escalated to the point where William blamed Jack for the death of their parents.[15] Shortly after their fight, Jack, with the help of a present day Paul Serene, decided to leave Riverport.[16][17] Regretting his actions, William attempted to contact his brother in hopes of making amends, but received no response.[7]

July 4th, 2010, William completed the construction of the Countermeasure. He contacted Beth through email and Beth requested Will to leave his workshop.[18] While he trusted Beth, he secured the Countermeasure in an electronically sealed room inside a safe.[7] He left his workshop, and when he returned hours later, he found the workshop wrecked and the Countermeasure stolen. He recorded a video for Beth, unaware of her death, demanding to know if she had it.[19] William spent most of July, and later, November attempting to reach Beth by email with no success.[20]

Project Promenade

William continued sporadic attempts to contact Beth with her email for the next three years.[20] When Henry Kim was said to have died, February 12, 2016, William was approached by Riverport University's Project Promenade to act as a consultant for the remainder of the project.[1][21]

Wanting to monitor their work[17], William agreed to take on the position and worked with the project team members who constructed the second time machine. October 4th, 2016, William attempted to contact Beth one last time and still received no answer.[20] As the project approaches completion, William discovered miscalculations in the time machine's design. He then panicked and sabotaged the university's funding with the claims.[1][22] October 7th, 2016 William's security clearance in the Meyer Physics Research Center was revoked afterwards, but the investors began backing out of supporting the project.[22][23]

Events of Quantum Break

Act 1

William arrived at the university minutes before the fracture in time occurred. Armed with a gun, he managed to get inside the Project Promenade Lab just as Paul entered the university time machine. Startled by his brother's appearance, William attempted to force his way over to the time machine console. Despite Will's warning that time was about to end, Jack refused to listen to him and stopped him. The core of the time machine failed and triggered an explosion that created the fracture in time. William was caught in zero state until Jack, now Chronon active, pulled him out of it.[1]

They were forced to escape when Monarch Security began to converge on the lab, leaving Paul --- who decided to travel through the machine to escape. Using the University Maintenance Tunnels, Jack and William were able to get ahead of Monarch Security and escape immediate detection, aided by the appearance of another person attacking the security details that infiltrated the university.[4]

William tried to explain that the accident had created a fracture that would lead to the end of time with poorly thought-out egg metaphors, which only served to further confuse Jack, who believed Paul was pushed to desperation because of William's inability to cooperate with him. William accused Paul's project team of ignorance, claiming their miscalculations were what caused the accident.[8]

As they tried to escape, Jack and William were confused as to why Monarch Solutions security detail was attacking the university. When Jack tried to free a university student from a stutter and failed, William speculated that she couldn't be freed on account of the lack of chronon exposure. Inside another building of the university, Jack demanded more answers about what William knew about the fracture. William explained briefly that Beth Wilder was the one who warned him about everything that would happen.[8]

When William realized that his briefcase, containing the key to his time machine, was on the verge of discovery due to the security teams searching around the parking lot, Jack volunteered to retrieve his car from the parking lot. In his absence, William was apprehended and taken to the Riverport Library by Monarch.[8]

While Jack was able to rescue him, they were taken off-guard by the appearance of an older Paul Serene, as he attacked Jack and trapped William inside of a stutter. While Jack was unconscious, Paul attempted to convince William that his efforts to stop the fracture would be in vain. William realized that Paul was the man that tried to kill him in 1999. Paul ordered the library destroyed and William was believed to have been killed by falling debris in the destruction of the building by Jack and Monarch Solutions.[8]

Act 5

Jack of October 10th, 2016 used the university time machine, now stored in Monarch Tower, to return to October 9th, 2016 to save his brother.[24] He arrived moments after the fracture in time occurred and was one step behind his past self and William.[9] When he finally reached the library, Jack was able to use his chronon abilities to save William from being crushed by debris and escape the building before the explosion could kill them.

With little time to act, Jack gave William the countermeasure and explained that Monarch had stolen it back in 2010. When Jack tried to get his brother to use the device to fix the fracture in this time, William believed trying to fix the fracture here would always result in failure because the fracture still existed in Jack's future.

William believed that whatever Jack endured during the time he thought he was dead was necessary to bring him back here and that the possibility of fixing the fracture in his present could create an even worse situation. Reluctantly, Jack agreed his with brother's idea to return to the future. Using Nick Marsters's taxi, the two return to the swimming hall. William set his time machine to a few moments after Jack's departure from October 10th, 2016 and entered the time machine for the first time.[10]

When he exited, Will was trapped in a stutter. He was unaware of his brother's fight with a shifting Paul Serene until after he was pulled from the stutter and spotted Paul's dead body stuck in zero-state. Approaching towards the core, William explained that the Countermeasure would need a boost of chronon energy to energize it in order for it to universally rejuvenate the Meyer-Joyce field. William worked on stabilizing the Countermeasure while Jack used his abilities to charge the device. When Paul was revived as a shifter, he attacked the Joyce brothers as the Countermeasure resets the Meyer-Joyce field.[10]

When William and Jack regained consciousness from the blast of Chronon energy, in celebration of a successful disaster aversion, William wondered what happened to Paul in the explosion. Jack dismissed his question, believing Paul was likely dead and had been proven wrong by the mere fact that they succeeded in fixing time. Uncertain, William inspected the Countermeasure and realized it had burned out. While he believed the Meyer-Joyce field was stabilized, it didn't mean the fracture was over. As he inspected the Countermeasure, William was unaware of his brother starting to suffer the beginning of Chronon Syndrome.[10]



William Joyce was, by reputation, a brilliant physicist. At nineteen, William was already doing groundbreaking work with his research partner, Elton Meyer. Their discovery of the universal Chronon field being the fabric of time itself rocketed them to fame, thus made it easy for William to secure grants for further research. However, the assumption that William would go on to accomplish great things within his community didn't peak and instead suffered a fall from grace.

The dedication William demonstrated to the creation of the first time machine was meant to bring positive change. Instead, he was shot by a Paul Serene from the future. While the consequence was enough to convince him that he made a grave error, what he would learn from Beth Wilder made the extent of his mistake clear. Devoting eleven years creating the Countermeasure, William exiled himself from his loved ones, taken over by the all-consuming obsession; the financial and emotional drain that was creating the device to fix time itself.

Since meeting Beth, William's difficulties with communicating with others became more apparent, his erratic behavior more prominent. His lack of patience for others made him difficult to be around. Even among family, William required objects to communicate with to level with. He often spoke his only surviving family member, Jack, through Jack's stuffed giraffe.[25] Given William's absentmindedness and emotional unavailability, Jack often attempted to provide them both emotion and finical stability before his departure in 2010.

His own mind tends to wander into tangents, and while the suspicion of undiagnosed schizophreniform disorder[2] made it clear of his lack of interest in social understanding, it didn't necessarily mean that he couldn’t understand how social interactions work. The theft of his Countermeasure in 2010, following its completion, sent him deeper into his self-imposed isolation. With his scientific career over and his relationships gone, William continued to operate on the theory that he could prevent the fracture without Beth's help or the Countermeasure. He was proven wrong by the discovery of dangerous miscalculations in the university time machine and the passing of the fracture in time.

Because the time machine was his creation, William felt a responsibility for the disaster his work directly led to. As the only person with the knowledge of stopping the fracture, William was willing to sacrifice everything in his life, if it meant the people he was no longer close to him would survive and his mistakes could be corrected.


Much of the technologies used by Monarch Solutions, including its time machine, were engineered or based on the works of William Joyce. William's understanding of the Meyer-Joyce field and chronon energy itself gave him the advantage of constructing a time machine without facilitating the slightest miscalculation. He was able to catch the miscalculations within the equations that were used to create the university's time machine and led to the fracture in time.

William's knowledge of quantum physics made him a threat to Paul Serene's plans to use William's Countermeasure for the Lifeboat Protocol, as his determination to repair the fracture with his creation was a higher priority than trying to solve what was considered an inevitable end of the fracture, which ultimately allow it to persist.

Behind the Scenes

William Joyce was one of the four characters described in the early production and announcement articles of Quantum Break. The character was used as a means of establishing the inciting incident of the story that would create the conflict between Jack Joyce, Beth Wilder (who at the time was described as a playable character) and Paul Serene.[26][27]

Early scenarios of the story had William die during the time traveling experiment or murdered by Paul Serene, who wanted to use the time machine technology, then created by Sofia Amaral[28], for his own personal gain. His actor, Dominic Monaghan, was initially seen during a motion capture session with Shawn Ashmore.[29] Neither actor's roles in the games were made explicit until the 2015 Gamescom event that officially announced the cast of the game in August of 2015.[30][31]


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William Joyce

Known Inconsistencies

  • Quantum Break asserts throughout its story that William is the elder brother of Jack Joyce, born in 1978. However, Jack's Dossier states Jack was born in 1976. The latter is a likely oversight on the part of the developers.
  • According to William's Dossier, William stands at 183cm (6'0").[2] However, Jack (who's dossier also lists as 6'0") is visibly taller than William. His actor, Dominic Monaghan, only stands at 5'7".



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Quantum Break: Act 1, Part 1: Riverport University Experiment
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 William Joyce Dossier
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Quantum Break: Act 2, Part 3: Bradbury Swimming Pool
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Quantum Break: Act 1, Part 2: Campus Escape
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Quantum Break: Act 2, Part 2: Ground Zero
  6. Quantum Break: Act 4, Part 3: Swimming Pool 2010
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Quantum Break: Act 4, Part 4: Will's Workshop 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Quantum Break: Act 1, Part 3: Library Chase
  9. 9.0 9.1 Quantum Break: Act 5, Part 2: Return to the University
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Quantum Break: Act 5, Part 3: Final Moments
  11. Paul Serene Focus Article
  12. Physicist on the Rise Article
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Beth's Journal
  14. Parents Killed in Riverport Car Crash Article
  15. 15.0 15.1 William's Journal
  16. Jack Joyce Dossier
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jack Joyce Diary
  18. RE: The Countermeasure
  19. Will Joyce Diary
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 RE: Where are you?
  24. Act 5, Part 1: Monarch HQ
  25. Quantum Break: Act 4, Part 2: Preparing the Time Machine
  26. If You're Wondering What The Hell Quantum Break Is, Here You Go
  27. ‘Quantum Break’ carries Remedy’s narrative aspirations into the next-generation
  28. Quantum Break Trailer E3 2013 Xbox One (E3M13)
  29. Quantum Break cast includes Lost, X-Men stars
  30. Quantum Break Cast Announcement Trailer Shows the Stars Behind Characters
  31. Shawn Ashmore And Sam Lake Give Us Hope For Quantum Break's Live-Action Segments

Start a Discussion Discussions about William Joyce

  • Music in Act 4: Will's Workshop

    2 messages
    • Does anyone know what the music is called, or where I can get it, that plays when Jack leaves Will's workshop to confront the Mona...
    • If it's not n the soundtrack, then I don't believe it actually has a title. There's a lot of music I heard in the game I don...