|“||Boy, have we got a vacation for you...||”|
–a slogan from the Westworld (1973) movie poster
|“||Boy have we got a show for you!||”|
Delos Destinations, Inc. is the subsidiary that runs the Westworld operations.
CompanyDelos Inc. is a corporation in the near-future Westworld universe that was founded and run by James Delos. It has an apparent market cap in the hundreds of billions, using 2017 dollars. Delos appears to be a diversified conglomerate of which Delos Destinations is only a substantial part. By the end of Season 1, Delos and its subsidiaries have controlled Westworld more or less successfully for thirty years, initially saving it from financial trouble with a capital infusion, and then again at William's suggestion.
It seems likely that the Argos Initiative was the sole equity holder of Westworld in the early day, but the exact sequence of events remains unclear. What is clear however, is that the park was acquired by Delos after Logan had the hosts demonstrated to him. Later on, after William had visited the park and met Dolores he convinced James to further invest in the park.
Delos Destinations, a subsidiary of Delos, operates Westworld (sometimes referred to in corporate communications as Park 1) and five other host-driven historical theme parks like it, such as Shogunworld (Park 2) and The Raj (Park 6) . All human employees at Westworld, including Robert Ford, are all officially Delos employees. William is a major Delos shareholder and board member. It is revealed in the Season Two that one of James's motivations for investing in the park was to transfer his mind into a host in order to achieve immortality, as well as collect information on park guests, perhaps for similar purposes.
It isn't known how long Delos has been active, but its investment in Westworld spans at least three decades and it appeared to already be a substantial company before then.
Delos Destinations, Inc.Delos Destinations, Inc. is the Delos subsidiary that oversees Westworld, including the hosts and the park. It is unclear whether the host IP is held by Delos Destinations, Delos Inc., or a third Delos entity. The corporation runs its theme parks from highly advanced control rooms and maintenance facilities, making sure everything is in accordance with a guest's needs. Their theme parks are populated with Synthetic (formerly Robotic) characters called hosts, all of which are programmed and bound to follow their set narratives in their current personalities, completely unaware that the world around them, including their own lives, is an elaborate fiction created by Delos Destinations.
Thirty years prior to the events of the first season, the park was largely failing and losing revenue every year. It was feared by many that the increase in costs, and without the generated money to settle these costs, that the corporation would soon file for bankruptcy and be closed, including all of its attractions. Westworld was saved by William, after spending time in Westworld, and after becoming emotionally involved with a female host (Dolores Abernathy). William successfully convinces the head of Delos Inc, James Delos, to invest in and take ownership of the park. In exchange, William was put on the Board of Directors and made one of the managing directors of the park, thus saving Westword from financial catastrophe.
As of Season 2, Delos Destinations comprises six known host-driven parks which are designated as follows:
- Park 1: Westworld — "Old West" narrative
- Park 2: Shogunworld — "Feudal Japan" narrative
- Park 3: Not identified
- Park 4: Not identified
- Park 5: Not identified
- Park 6: The Raj — "Colonial India" narrative
In the first episode of Season 2, the territory upon which Westworld is situated was revealed to be a self-contained terraformed island whose location is not specified. The presence of Chinese naval officers in this episode (identified by the insignia on their caps and spoken language) implies the island was ostensibly purchased from China, and we learn that Delos was granted full authority over the island — at least temporarily — following Season 1's host uprising.
The storyline of Season One took place exclusively in Westworld. Prior to Season Two, the existence of Shogunworld was gradually revealed in trailers and interviews with showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. The existence of the other parks was divulged through the Delos Destinations website, on a slideshow gallery page which originally had placeholder slides for "Park 3" through "Park 6."
The narrative themes of four of the six parks are presently known (to greater or lesser degrees), although the newest park narrative ("Klondike," see note below) does not yet have a name or park number associated with it.
In Season 2 Episode 1, Park 6 is mentioned in a scene in which a dead Bengal tiger has washed ashore, and Westworld security chief Ashley Stubbs remarks, "We've got Bengals in Park 6, but we've never had a stray cross park borders."
This comment provides some information as to the structure of the parks: 1) The parks would appear to be geographically adjacent to one another, or inhabit a common geographical region, and 2) Bengal tigers are native to the Indian subcontinent (but are found across other parts of greater Asia) so a speculative general theme for Park 6 might be based on an Indian or possibly Southeast Asian narrative.
One possible name for Park 6 had been proffered as being "Rajworld" — "raj" being a term defining the period of British sovereign rule in India, perhaps during the ascent and dominance of the British East India Company as a governing power around the turn of 18th century (i.e., circa 1800) — but according to an update on Delos Destinations' website, Park 6 is known as "The Raj."
In Season 2 Episode 3, Lee Sizemore mentions a "Klondike narrative" as he guides Maeve's posse through the northern edge of a park territory whose environment consists of freezing temperatures and falling snow. There is no other information given for the narrative in this setting, but the group does come across a severed Samurai warrior's head, and Maeve is rushed by a very live Samurai as the episode cuts to black at the end.
As Samurai did not reside in the Klondike, this is the first mention of what would be the fourth known park, and the Samurai are yet another example of hosts that have crossed park borders.
Season 2 Episode 3 also shows that at least some of the border perimeters are cordoned off by laser detectors which trigger an audible recorded warning when breached.
Attractions operated by Delos Destinations, Inc.
Westworld is Delos Destinations' primary vacation site, and its largest generator of revenue. For $40,000 a day, people can come and free themselves of any obligations or moral choices. Every year, the rich and elite will flock to a large fictional playground built to resemble the Old West in the late 19th Century, and populated with synthetic characters called "hosts" as well as synthetic animals of the Old West. These hosts are made to look like humans that would have appeared during that period of time.
All Hosts are programmed to be unable to harm humans, and to follow a set narrative which plays out during the day but can be altered at any time by a human guest. Unless a guest's interaction has diverted their narrative, Hosts will reset every day with no memory of the previous day's events, and will carry on the same story over and over in a non-stop loop.
To this end, Guests can choose exactly what they want to do in this world, as there are no real consequences. Guests can choose to either go White Hat (which symbolizes that they want to play the "good guy" and engage in the adventures that Westworld has to offer) or Black Hat (which symbolizes the Guest would like to play a "bad guy" and let themselves indulge in the many vices and evils of humanity, such as murder, rape, alcoholism and robbery). The only rule is that you cannot harm another human, as a Host's programming prevents you from doing any real harm to a person.
The existence of another park was teased during a brief scene in the final episode of Season 1, where hosts appear to be dressed as Japanese samurai warriors. Only the initials "SW" are seen on the wall of the Mesa Hub in that scene, and until the prelude to Season 2 the prevailing name of this park was speculated to be Samurai World. Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have since disclosed that the official name of this park is "Shōgunworld."
Shōgunworld is an immersive environment similar to Westworld. According to delosdestinations.com, Shōgunworld is modeled after Japan's Edo Period (1603-1868), and promises "a landscape of highest beauty and darkest horror."
Shōgunworld's main village — despite being Japanese in design and mise-en-scène — shares many physical similarities to Sweetwater, down to the street layout and building placements. A geisha tea house acts as the village's version of Sweetwater's Mariposa Saloon.
While the Shōgunworld hosts speak in the native Japanese appropriate to the Edo Period, they too have been designed with narratives that closely parallel their Westworld counterparts — so close, in fact, that Lee Sizemore refers to them as "doppelbots" (doppelganger robots). Sizemore blames this on the schedule pressure of having to develop the narratives for the hosts within a three-week deadline.
The park has apparently been active concurrently with Westworld, but nobody mentions its existence until it is discovered by Maeve in Season 1's final Episode "The Bicameral Mind." Trailers for Season 2 provided glimpses of the Shōgunworld environment, with Maeve walking within it dressed in a kimono.
In an interview with SciFiNow magazine, Nolan said that it would simply be good business for Delos to create parks that appeal to international guests, since the Old West is a uniquely American experience. He also mused that Westworld "might not even be the most popular park."
The Shōgunworld experience is targeted toward guests for whom Westworld's gunfights, saloon brawls and Cowboys-and-Indians motifs are too tame. Shōgunworld offers a much darker, more violent experience than Westworld, catering to the "true connoisseur of gore" who wishes to "indulge their fantasies with the slash of a katana," according to the park's description.
The scenes of Shōgunworld in Season 2 Episode 5 bear this out; there is epic bloodshed from katana battles, and the grisly aftermath of one such battle shows the corpses of disemboweled warriors strewn along the trail. The violence in Shōgunworld is fast, intimate, often graceful ... and always brutal.
The parallels between the Old West and Feudal Japan have been explored before — Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai  was the inspiration for John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven , for instance (and Yul Brynner's character in that film was the model for the Gunslinger robot in Westworld ) — and samurai sword fights and geisha maidens provide plenty of opportunity for interactive narrative drama despite a thoroughly foreign environment with respect to place, time and culture.
In the SciFiNow interview, Nolan admitted he and Lisa Joy chose a Samurai-themed park because he is "obsessed with Akira Kurosawa and specifically the interplay between Kurosawa's films and the westerns that were made in homage or a direct translation into the western genre."
Learn more about Shōgunworld at discovershogunworld.com.
After Season 2 Episode 3, Delos Destinations' website was updated to reveal Park 6 as "The Raj" (https://www.discovertheraj.com), the first of the known parks to forego the "-world" suffix in its name. The third episode had some establishing scenes shot in the park, which involved an Imperial-Britain-in-India narrative, taking place in an unspecified time period.
From the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century, the "company raj" describes a time period in which Imperial Britain's commerce and trade reach — in the form of the British East India Company — was both a dominant global commercial force as well as the de-facto governing power in India, supporting (like Delos, nearly two centuries later) its own private maritime military force, which was larger than England's own national navy.
From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, the "British raj" describes the period in which the British government reasserted its self-appointed sovereign authority as the governing power in India.
Which of these time periods is represented by The Raj narrative is not made known, although the clothing and props have a similar look to period pieces set in the initial years of the 20th century.
The slide for The Raj on the website has a caption in Hindi which translates roughly to, "Come and experience, the grandeur and love of a place lost in time." The English description goes on to say, "If being pampered by our world-class spa isn’t your cup of Darjeeling Tea, the park's jungles and mountains are your only chance to glimpse magnificent beasts long vanished from your world."
The Raj as seen in Season 2 Episode 3 depicts privileged guests — predominantly Caucasian — being attended to by deferential Indian servants.
The landing page for the park itself currently consists only of a glitchy park logo overlaid on a single background image of a contemporaneous location — the image contains electric lights and what appear to be aerial antennas affixed to some of the taller structures. This choice of background is similar to the early Shogunworld scenery which appeared to show a view of traditional old-Japan rooftop architecture against a contemporary backdrop.
The scenes in the park in Season 2 Episode 3 take place at the onset of the host uprising, where we witness an Indian guide shooting one guest, and a Bengal tiger pouncing upon another guest at the brink of the park's cliff, above the water. This is presumably the same tiger that was found washed ashore in Season 2 Episode 1.
Other corporate activity
Aside from operating the theme parks, Delos, Inc. is powerful enough to deploy its own maritime military or paramilitary force, as evidenced by the presence of an angular vessel resembling a stealth naval destroyer moored off of Westworld's coastline in the first episode of Season 2. This vessel displays the Delos logo on its side. Troops and equipment are shuttled onshore via smaller landing craft.
While the troops have the uniforms and disciplined movements of conventional military personnel, the non-regulation hairstyles some of them sport could indicate the use of some mercenary talent, or merely a corporate waiver of grooming regulations in the interests of fulfilling mission objectives expediently. In the field, the troops are apparently under the direction of Delos' civilian-clothed head of operations, Karl Strand.
Data mining activities
In Season 2 Episode 1, Bernard Lowe witnesses a drone host downloading data from a deactivated park host's cranial control unit, and Bernard realizes that the datastream contains not only a complete record of a guest's experiences with the host, but also the guest's DNA.
When he questions Charlotte Hale about the data intrusion, Hale dismissively replies, "We're not having that conversation, Bernard." This dialogue implies that Hale is aware of the violation of privacy the downloaded datastream represents.
The groundwork for the widespread data and identity theft of Westworld's guests appears to have been initially proposed by William, during the time Delos was considering acquiring a controlling interest in the park (Season 2 Episode 2). During a walkthrough of Sweetwater, William attempts to persuade James Delos that the hosts represent a means to radically upend the traditional predictive analytics used by marketing, saying, "Half of your marketing budget goes to trying to figure out what people want."
William proposes that the park provides a means to strip away the guesswork. "Nobody's watching. Nobody's judging. At least that's what we tell them," William says to Delos, with a conspiratorial twitch of his eyebrows. "This is the only place in the world where you get to see people for who they really are."
Space47 is speculated to be an entity related to Delos, Inc.
Signage for Space47 appears in front of a building in Season 2 Episode 2, in a flashback scene in which Arnold is escorting an early-model Dolores on a tour of the city in which he intends to bring his family. Arnold states he is doing so in order to have his family "at least within reach" of his work, where he spends much of his time.
The signage contains a mixture of simplified Chinese (translating to "space") and English Roman characters. Whether this indicates that Arnold and Dolores are somewhere in China or Hong Kong, or if they are in a different Asian city in which Space47 operates, is unknown.
Role of Delos in Westworld (1973)The role of Delos in the original 1973 film is largely left unexplored, although we are offered a quick glance at corporate decision-making. In the film, Delos operates three different parks as opposed to six: the eponymous Westworld, with the other two being Roman World and Medieval World.
One substantial difference between the Delos of the original movie and the HBO series is that the movie refers to Delos only as the parent resort for a system of three geographically-adjacent theme parks, but the actual corporate entity behind the resort is never explicitly named, so it is only assumed that Delos the resort is also Delos the company.
The resort in the movie was named after the Greek island of Delos, which served as an important cultural, mythological and trade hub for the ancient Greeks — whereas the provenance of the Delos name in HBO's Westworld was revealed prior to Season 2 as being the eponymous corporation of founder James Delos .
All that is known of the corporate entity Delos in the original movie is that it seems to be run exclusively by engineers, scientists and technicians. A central command-and-control facility operates and maintains all the park worlds and their robotic inhabitants, in a similar manner to its television counterpart.
The film begins with a commercial for Delos, which shows numerous guests being interviewed about their trips to the parks, and enthusiastically agreeing how it's worth $1,000 a day (about $5,500 in 2017 dollars). The commercial ends as the interviewer turns to the camera and proclaims, "Boy, do we have a vacation for you!"
Guests arrive at a central terminal at Delos via the resort's exclusive jet hovercraft. Upon arrival, guests are guided to the color-coded park world that they have chosen. Roman World allows a release of stress through relaxing days of doing nothing, and is built to cater to those who want to simply kick back and enjoy themselves in any method (including sexual). Medieval World and Westworld meanwhile are built to serve those who wish for a more thrilling experience, opting for gunfights and swordplay over lavish relaxation.
As the plot develops, a mysterious pattern of malfunctions begins to affect various robots throughout the park system. At first, the malfunctions are minor, such as robots losing their balance or exhibiting other mildly unstable behaviors. The malfunctions become more serious when a rattlesnake robot bites a guest in Westworld, and a sex robot refuses a guest's advances in Medieval World — actions contrary to the robots' programming.
We're given a peek into corporate governance at Delos in a scene where six men wearing white lab coats are seated around a conference table discussing the malfunctions. The men speak in the patois of scientists or engineers as opposed to corporate executives, but it's clear they have the authority to make decisions affecting operations for the entire resort. "The directors," as they are referred to in a later scene, have decided not to close the parks while they investigate the robot malfunctions, so as not to alarm the guests.
However, things at Delos take a sinister turn when the robots begin systematically slaughtering people. Everyone in Roman world is massacred, and a guest in Medieval World is murdered by a Robot dressed as a Black Knight. The control room staff manage to shut down most of the Robots, but are then trapped inside the facility themselves.
In Westworld, a lone Robot, The Gunslinger, goes on a brutal rampage, killing one guest and a Delos maintenance worker before relentlessly pursuing the sole surviving human. He makes it to Roman World and into the Delos underground HQ, where he sees that the security system has locked everyone in the control room and that they have all suffocated in the air-tight environment. He eventually defeats the malfunctioning Gunslinger by luring him into a trap and setting him on fire, where he breaks down and deactivates. The guest sits down in exhaustion as the film ends and the slogan of Delos: "Boy, do we have a vacation for you..." echoes over the final shot.
Some fans have speculated that the final episode of the Westworld (TV Series) is where the story connects with the 1973 film. The scenes, in the TV show, where the staff are locked inside the control center when the power fails are reminiscent of the similar situation in the 1973 film, where the staff all suffocate inside the air-tight control room. Also, near immediately after, in the TV show, the Hosts appear and begin slaughtering the guests, a scene which is also reminiscent of the third half of the 1973 movie when the Robots malfunction and start murdering people.
Role of Delos in Futureworld (1976)The 1973 Westworld movie was followed in 1976 by a sequel, Futureworld, which departed from the original with a weak story line and bargain-basement production values, and was poorly-received by audiences. Michael Crichton, the creative mind behind the original Westworld story, was not involved in the sequel.
Whereas Westworld was produced by MGM, Futureworld was produced by American International Pictures, a studio known for its low-budget B-movies.
The events of Futureworld take place two years after the robot rebellion in Westworld.
In the sequel, Delos is given a corporate face for the first time in the polished and dapper spokesperson known only as “Duffy,” played by Arthur Hill. Duffy explains to a group of journalists that following the robot uprising, Delos has invested $1.5 billion (about $6.5 billion in 2017 dollars) to rebuild its facilities and replace “every circuit, every program and every robot” at the resort, but that attendance at Delos is lagging behind expectations. He offers journalists — played by Blythe Danner and Peter Fonda — exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the park in an effort to boost PR.
The configuration of parks in the new Delos has changed. Westworld, while it still exists, has too negative a connotation in the public’s mind to be reopened. Medievalworld and Romanworld from the original Delos are still open, and two new parks have been added: Spaworld (where a drug-assisted form of augmented reality allows guests to interact with hosts, unaffected by their real-world frailties and infirmities), and Futureworld (a simulated journey into space).
In the underground infrastructure of this new Delos we are first introduced to the samurai characters that are now being glimpsed in the HBO series. A "host generation chamber" forms a few samurai hosts that appear ready to run their swords through the journalists who have wandered upon it, until a park technician deactivates them in the nick of time.
The thin plot of Futureworld involves the journalists uncovering evidence of a corporate scheme by Delos to replace human influencers (political leaders, media stars, religious leaders) with host duplicates in order to gain control of human governments and society.
The design of the hosts has become much more advanced since Westworld closed, as they are now indistinguishable from the humans they are replacing. Duffy says that “even those of us who create them can’t tell you apart.” (Contrast this to the original Westworld, where the hosts suffered from a minor flaw in their hands that gave them away.)
Duffy himself is revealed to be a host, and he explains to the journalists (as a prelude to killing them) that the new generation of hosts believes that humans will destroy the planet before the end of the decade, owing to their violent and irrational nature.
Duffy pointedly observes, “We do not intend to be destroyed by your mistakes.” Hence, carefully-targeted humans will be replaced by hosts who are programmed to “think first of the welfare of Delos,” and, one is led to assume, the safe management of the planet.
This otherwise forgettable film is notable only for the fact that this stretch of exposition — not the robot uprising of Westworld — is where the notion of host autonomy and self-determination is first mentioned in the Westworld universe with any specificity.
The uprising in the original Westworld was not attributed to hosts gaining any higher-level consciousness or desire for self-determination; instead, their defiance and murderous rampage was ascribed to a malfunction — the very first mention of a computer “virus” — that caused them to behave contrary to their programming.
So despite its low-budget scripting and production values, Futureworld arguably provides a more direct conceptual bridge to the HBO series' notion of host self-determination (and the hosts' desire to have dominion over their environment) than does the virus-triggered rebellion in the original movie, and is noted here for that reason.
[Note: Dialog in this section was quoted from the novelization of the film Futureworld, published by Ballantine Books, 1976.]
Notable Staff (In Westworld)
- James Delos - Deceased
- William, Man in Black - majority share holder of Westworld; board member (Delos Destinations, Inc.)
- Charlotte Hale - Executive Director of the board of directors (Delos Destinations, Inc.)
- Bernard Lowe - Head of Behavior & Diagnostics Division
- Lee Sizemore - Head of Narrative & Design Division
- Karl Strand - Head of Operations
- Elsie Hughes - Behavior Technician (programmer/coder)
- Felix Lutz - Body Shop Technician in Livestock Management
- Sylvester - Body Shop Technician in Livestock Management
- Henry - Behavior Technician
- Futterman - QA Technician
- Antoine Costa - Field Technician
- Roland - Body Shop Technician in Livestock Management
- Hawking - Controll Room Technician
- Dr. Robert Ford - Park Director, Co-creator of Westworld - Deceased (Consciousness inside Bernard Lowe)
- Arnold Weber - Co-creator of Westworld - Deceased
- Jacobson - QA Secuirty Member - Deceased
- Benson - QA Security Member - Deceased
- Limpert - QA Security Member - Deceased
- Coughlin - Delta Team Leader - Deceased
- Engels - Delta Team Member - Deceased
- Goldberg - Delta Team Member - Deceased
- Theresa Cullen - Head of Quality Assurance Division - Deceased
- Destin - Body Shop Technician in Livestock Management - Deceased
- Gitlitz - Body Shop Technician in Livestock Management - Deceased
- Phil - Body Shop Technician at the Sector 19 Remote Refurbishment Facility - Deceased
- Angela - A greeter for newly arrived guests to Westworld
Map of Westworld Mesa Hub
- Emails - some archived company emails from a security panel on the Delos Incorporated website .
- Westworld Mesa Hub - headquarters
- Discover Westworld - promotional website (for guests)
- Delos Incorporated - company website (for investors)
- Delos Destinations Corporate Intranet - company website (for employees)