|“|| I'm gonna survive. No matter what it takes... no matter the cost!
Rooney Simpson is one of three playable characters in NightCry, the other two being Monica Flores and Leonard Cosgrove. Rooney is only playable in the third and final scenario, but the third scenario is the longest in the game.
Rooney is an ordinary woman who suffers from depression and suicidal tendencies, and has lost the will to live.
Her parents divorced when she was still young. It is implied that Rooney had emotionally abusive parents who would lock her in a closet at night. Neither of her parents accepted her, so she lived with her distant relative Leonard.
Rooney is one of the students that takes Leonard's course. She's introverted, quiet (especially in crowds, but less-so in smaller groups), gloomy, serious to a fault, and dislikes standing out. Her grades are relatively high, implying she is intelligent.
She has largely lost the will to live after being possessed by suicidal ideations following a traumatic incident in her past in which she ended up "killing" a little girl named Connie who had tried to shove her in from behind while she was trying to retrieve her hat. It is implied that Connie and Rooney were childhood friends.
Some of Rooney's schoolmates trivialize her mental health and depression to absurd levels and make fun of her, calling her glum, stale and nickname her "Deathwish Diva". Harry says she is "boring as hell". Kelly Butler calls her an "emo nutcase". Rooney gets the sense that she doesn't belong in the group.
It is implied Rooney is lonely and has no friends, except for Monica in one possible ending. Rooney does not get along with Monica, likely because they are polar opposites and because of how Rooney is introverted and shy and Monica is outgoing and extroverted, but this changes during the course of the game.
Rooney is only playable in the third and final scenario. Scenario Three begins with Rooney mingling at the same party as Monica and follows through to the rest of night. While watching the ocean, Rooney has a suicidal urge to fall in and drown herself (Connie's voice is heard saying that there's "delicious candy" at on the ocean floor moments before). Rooney's suicide attempt is prevented by Jerome Theuriau who empathizes with her and tells her about suicidal ideations. Jerome persuades her to meet her in his room.
There, Rooney and Jerome talk about what's real and existence. Jerome decides to go get some food, but suddenly Scissorwalker emerges from the bathroom and begins stalking Rooney. Rooney successfully hides from Scissorwalker and finds a group of survivors in a room. She also encounters Jerome on a staircase.
In the storage area, Rooney finds a wounded Monica hiding in a storage container, who somehow became trapped in after something locked her in from behind. If Monica received John's wedding ring from Chapter One, she will pass it onto Rooney. Elsewhere in the storage area, Eric tells Rooney that she can climb through the air ducts to escape. Eric provides Rooney with some antibiotics and in the true ending, both Rooney and Monica take them. While climbing through the air ducts, Rooney witnesses Maria Ortiz, who is implied to be one of Rooney's professors at her college, being killed by Scissorwalker.
Rooney later finds Leonard in a tub of liquid in the infirmary room and discovers that his body had been flayed from the neck down. He has been kept alive, but is trapped in agonizing pain, to the extent that he can only beg for death. Rooney ultimately heeds his request by shutting off his life support machine. Connie appears, exclaiming happily that Rooney had killed him. She then asked her how it feels to kill someone. However, when Rooney ignored her and started to leave, she tried to call her out by pointing out how Leonard was like a father to her. This prompted Rooney to stand up to her and reveal what happened on the day Connie died, stunning her. Connie angrily threw a tantrum and accused her of lying. Rooney then told her that she didn't intend for her to forgive her and declared that she will go on with her life. Rooney then left the room, leaving an angry and stunned Connie behind.
Later, Rooney finds Angie Brown hiding in a clothes store and Rooney gives her John's wedding ring. In response, she gives her a billiard ball which is a clue to enter the VIP area. In the VIP area, Rooney enters Vigo Boradsov's room and finds a childhood photo of Jerome, a diary revealing the truth of Scissorwalker, and obtains the Eye of the Kassites.
Rooney enters the dance hall and sees the stringed corpses of the passengers. Vigo applauds Rooney for surviving this far, and a masked Jerome subdues Rooney. Fortunately, Monica bashes Jerome in the head, knocking him unconscious. Rooney tears out her own eye and replaces it with the Eye of the Kassites, allowing her to command the Scissorwalker to take revenge "on the man who turned you into a monster". The Scissorwalker kills Vigo, then disappears, and the two are rescued by helicopter.
- Trap Party: Triggered if Rooney does not read Vigo's diary or see Jerome's past photo. Rather than encountering Vigo, Rooney is surrounded by the Faithful and wakes up in a hospital bed (possibly the one in the medical bay she went through), with Jerome standing nearby. He tells her she is in a hospital bed in Miami, they have been rescued, and it's all over. The ending fades ominously as he says "You have nothing to worry about..."
- Purgatory: Triggered if Rooney fails to take the antibiotic Eric gives her (and thus to give it to Monica). Rooney collapses inside the ship's hospital. She is later walking down the corridors of the Oceanus, bloodied and emotionless, passing the old lady from the elevator as well as Monica. She stops in front of Connie, who says "Now we can play together forever..." as she raises her hat.
- Pre-established harmony: Triggered if the wedding ring is not found and given to Angie. When Rooney approaches the Billard Puzzle door, Vigo is standing outside the door, and blasts her with sleeping gas. The same sequence as Purgatory plays, but with a brief view of the Scissorwalker seen at the end.
- The lone survivor: Triggered if Rooney fails to use the Eye of the Kassites (or doesn't have it). Rooney and Monica are killed by the Scissorwalker. Similar to Two Survivors, but instead of Rooney and Monica standing on deck there is now Eric.
- Seduced by the snake: Triggered if Rooney refuses to turn off the life-support machine. Rooney enters the staff elevator after crossing the partially destroyed corridor, only to see something slithering around her. Leonard's head appears, and he coils around Rooney, telling her they will be together forever.
- Rooney's concept art bears a striking resemblance to Jennifer Simpson, the main protagonist of Clock Tower: The First Fear and Clock Tower. The two also share a last name. However, in the final version of the game, her hair is much shorter.
- A possible explanation for this is that she was meant to be Jennifer, but due to legal issues, she couldn't be incorporated fully.
- Life Is Strange was released during the development of NightCry, and it can be theorized that the developers wanted Rooney to look less like Jennifer and more like Max Caulfield.
- Some of Rooney's outfits in concept art greatly resemble some of the outfits originally designed for Jennifer in Clock Tower that weren't used.
- Rooney once had a pet turtle.