- "You are Miles Upshur, an investigative reporter whose ambition is about to earn him an intimate tour of hell on earth. Always willing to risk digging into the stories no other journalist would dare investigate, you will seek out the dark secret at the heart of Mount Massive Asylum."
- ―Outlast Prologue
Miles Upshur is an investigative reporter and the unseen protagonist of Outlast and a secondary character in Outlast: Whistleblower. He arrives to investigate Mount Massive Asylum based on a lead he receives from an anonymous source.
According to the beta version of the Whistleblower document, Miles originally worked as a regular journalist for an unknown company before being fired, as a result of posting unacceptable material regarding the situation in Afghanistan. Since then, Miles has been self-employed as an investigative journalist.
Miles is capable of surprising athletic feats, from climbing to leaping across ledges, and is able to escape even the fastest enemies. While not physically weak, he is no match against the psychotic prisoners known as the Variants. Instead of fighting them head on, he chooses not to engage them directly and relies on his speed and agility to escape harm and hide from them. The only exception to this is certain scripted events, like when he fights off patients or Variants who attempt to strangle him, or when Richard Trager pursues him into the elevator. He will often hide in lockers, under beds or simply blend in with the darkness to avoid pursuing Variants. He brings along with him a notepad to write down his thoughts and a handheld camcorder to record the happenings in the asylum. Its night vision feature allows him to navigate through the darkness.
Miles heads out to Mount Massive Asylum after receiving an email from an anonymous source about the suspicious activity that is going on at the asylum. After finding a way in, he is greeted with a grim discovery: the dead bodies of staff, security guards and tactical operators—one of who warns him about the imminent dangers that lurk in the asylum before dying.
Miles observes some patients moving around the asylum before he is grabbed by Chris Walker. Chris exclaims, "Little pig..." and throws him a floor down through a window. Upon regaining consciousness, Father Martin finds him and, after seeing his video camera, calls him an "apostle" to the deeds being done at Mount Massive Asylum. Miles attempts to unlock the main doors using the Security Controls but is thwarted by Father Martin after turning off the power, with Walker tracking him down in the security room.
After Miles restarts the generator in the basement of the Administration Block and returns to the Security Control room to open the main doors, Father Martin overwhelms him and injects him with a sedative. He says that he cannot allow Miles to leave just yet. He shows Miles security footage of soldiers being slaughtered by an entity called The Walrider, and that he has to accept the gospel so all doors before him will open. Miles then blacks out and is transported by Father Martin to the holding cells in the Prison Block.
Miles wakes up in Father Martin's cell, with the phrase "Rest in Peace" written in blood on the wall. As Miles leaves the cell, he encounters The Twins. They discuss killing Miles and taking his tongue and liver, but eventually decides not to do so yet, as it would be impolite towards Father Martin, who told them not to touch Miles. After traversing the Prison Block, Miles enters the Sewer through a hole in the shower room where he has to drain the water in order to continue.
After going through the Sewer to reach the Male Ward, Miles is chased by a few patients. During the chase, Miles escapes in a dumbwaiter and meets Doctor Trager, who ambushes him and takes him captive. Trager then tortures him by cutting off two of his fingers with a pair of large bone scissors, but Miles manages to escape when Trager leaves the room. Miles eventually finds the key to the elevator. Trager opens the gate when the elevator passes him, but Miles is able to hold him back. Trager is crushed by the elevator, killing him.
Miles then meets up with Father Martin, who tells him to meet him outside. Miles encounters The Walrider from here onward as he progresses through the Courtyard. Father Martin is next seen inside the Female Ward, where he shouts down at Miles from the upper floors, telling him how to reach him. Miles has to open the laundry chute by collecting three fuses from the nearby rooms to get the key which unlocks the stairwell to the upper floors. During a jump, Miles loses his camcorder as it falls down through a gap, and he is forced to descend into the darkness without his night vision to get it back.
Miles then returns to the Administration Block, where he gains access to the Chapel by getting the key from the Theater to unlock the stairwell. There he witnesses the crucifixion of Father Martin, who asks him to record his death. Afterwards, Miles enters the Underground Lab using the elevator; however, he is chased by The Walrider through a long corridor and gets ambushed by Chris Walker. The Walrider, in turn, ambushes Walker and brutally murders him. Miles continues ahead and meets Dr. Wernicke, who explains how the entire event started in the first place, including what they intended to do with the patients. Wernicke instructs Miles on how to stop The Walrider: by killing its host, William "Billy" Hope, by disabling his life support system.
After Miles terminates Billy's life support and seemingly kills him, The Walrider, now without a host, attacks Miles and fuses itself into his body. Severely wounded, Miles limps towards the exit, only to find Dr. Wernicke and several soldiers waiting for him. The soldiers shoot him, but as he falls to the ground, Wernicke realizes Miles has become The Walrider's new host. As the screen fades to black, The Walrider can be heard killing the soldiers as they scream in agony.
When Waylon Park reaches and enters Miles' red jeep, he notices through the windshield a dark cloud hovering in front of the asylum. Waylon then picks up the camcorder to look more closely, noticing Miles standing in the midst of it, limping towards the exit. Before having to think twice, he struggles with the gear and attempts to turn the vehicle around. As the car gets surrounded by the nano swarm, Waylon accelerates and rams through the asylum's main gates, driving off with enough evidence to bring down the Murkoff Corporation.
Outlast: The Murkoff Account
Sometime after the Mount Massive Asylum Incident, The Pauls traveled to Upshur's residence in Washington, D.C. in hopes of finding some connection between Waylon Park and Simon Peacock. The two asked one of Miles' neighbors about his whereabouts, to which the woman replied that he came home the previous night after being gone for some time, noting how the man in question riled up her dogs who were usually fond of him, but the Pauls expressed their disbelief.
Even with the Walrider controlling Miles, his status stays unknown and it is debated whether or not Miles is either alive or deceased. In The Murkoff Account, Paul Marion noted to both, Pauline Glick and Simon Peacock, that Upshur was "neutralized" by Murkoff at Mount Massive facility without going into detail. Despite this information, it cannot be said for certain if Miles is technically dead or not, as this instance is from a perspective of a person who had no knowledge of Upshur's status. On top of all of this, Billy Hope was taken off life support and bled to death, yet still came back as a nano-infused Walrider vessel and Peacock himself is a walking corpse, produced as a result of Murkoff's experimentation. Given all of the above, it's safe to assume that regular means of death no longer apply to Walrider's hosts.
For a time, Red Barrels even addressed the situation confirming that Miles was dead via Twitter, but, the tweet having been hastily deleted, it is not yet known what is the correct hypothesis.
Miles is a cynical man; he can be seen heavily swearing and he uses rough insults towards his enemies in writing, which is a large contrast to Waylon's gentle and reserved personality. He cracks dark jokes towards certain situations, such as calling Trager a "white collar business school douchebag", and tells another joke after killing Trager; he is very vengeful after Richard sliced off his fingers, demanding reprisal. Despite his sharp nature, Upshur's ethics are that of a selfless, albeit stubborn individual who's willing to risk his life to stop the Walrider and expose Murkoff for their violation of basic human rights.
Furthermore, due to the intensive injuries he can endure and his sheer determination, Miles is likely a strongly willful man. Throughout the game, Miles slowly loses his sanity due to his witnessing of the horrors in the asylum and being exposed to the Morphogenic Engine, though his implied sanity decay doesn't show too much in his notes. An interesting note is that he is very sympathetic to Walker's death, who has ironically caused him the most trauma throughout the chaos.
Miles, like most characters, appears as a well-built adult man with fair skin. His face is never seen, but his shadow reveals he has short hair. His attire includes a brown work jacket unzipped to reveal a white dress shirt tucked into his blue jeans and a black belt. He also wears brown work boots. His left ring finger and right index finger are cut off after his run-in with Trager, splattering his hands and sleeves in blood. After fusing with The Walrider and becoming its new host, his entire body has been submerged within an aura of darkness.
- Miles means "Soldier" in Latin. This could possibly allude to his ordeals within the asylum.
- His entire name is a reference to the term "miles up shore without a paddle", meaning that he is in too deep to return.
- Miles' last name is misspelled in one of the games' updates as "Upsher". This can be seen in the end credits.
- Miles' email address is email@example.com, as revealed in a document that he acquires at the beginning of the game.
- Miles drives a red 1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ.
- The radio frequency Miles listens to at the beginning of the game is FM 107.9. In real life, this station corresponds to the KLEV-LP radio station in Leadville, as it is FM 107.9's closest radio station to Mount Massive.
- Even if the player doesn't pick up a single document in the game, Miles will still include some of the data from them in his notes.
- The beta version of the game had Miles login to his email account via computer and view Waylon's email, instead of bringing the file along with him to the asylum.
- In the original version of the game, Miles pushed an assaulting Variant over the railing in Prison Block. After the game was updated and all of the quick time events were replaced with cutscenes, the outcome changes as another Variant assists Miles by pushing the assaulting Variant over the railing.
- Red Barrels originally intended to include a female character who would assist Miles over the asylum's intercoms. This idea was later scrapped as the developers felt that aiding the player would take away too much focus from the solitude and helplessness.
- It was originally planned for Miles to have been sexually assaulted at some point in the game. This was later scrapped by the developers as they've considered the scene to be excessive.
- Miles' head doesn't have a texture. Instead, there is a sliced bloody neck. It can be seen in the cutscene that appears when Miles' head gets ripped off by Walker or when decapitated by Trager. One has been built, albeit invisible in-game, in order for his shadow to appear normal. In Whistleblower, the head model has been fused with Miles' texture in order to create a full body appearance while enveloped by the nano swarm.