|“|| Can you really deny that you are involved in this case because you wanted to be involved? Maybe you, too, are attracted by the vast darkness.
Barton is very interested in the Clock Tower case, even having a replica of the giant scissors Bobby Barrows used to murder his victims sitting on his desk. He does seem to become obsessed with the case at some points, as seen by interactions with Jennifer and Helen Maxwell throughout the game, but he is very interested in getting to the bottom of the story. By tending to Jennifer and Edward, he hopes to do just that.
In the novelization, it is mentioned Barton fancies himself as a genius and hates being told what to do by other people. He does not want his assistants to interfere with his work, so he tends to shut down every single one of their proposals at their very start. This points to him being a megalomaniac.
While those who do not know him very well respect him due to his contributions in the field of psychological research, those who have to deal with him on a closer basis like Helen find him rather condescending and annoying to deal with. It is implied Barton is a rather lonely man who finds it hard to connect with people. Barton's seeming difficult with connecting to people may be the reason he is a psychologist in the first place: to try to comprehend humans. He once got intimate with Helen, despite that she is about 22 years younger than him, which resulted in eventual failure. A notable except from the novel:
|“||Barton had a reputation among the aides as a psychoanalyst with no understanding of the human heart. To him, hearts were akin to the bacteria cultivated in the agar of a Petri dish. Test subjects to be observed and analyzed, nothing capable of "emotion." Or love. Helen learned that in the short time she was with him. When she came to understand that his idea of a wife was "a cross between a maid and a whore," she made up her mind to leave him.||”|
Despite being a psychologist, as well as an intelligent man himself, he was very mentally ill himself. His innocence depends on the route the player does. If the player does the Helen route, Barton is Scissorman. As such, he hides a rather demented and dark personality who seems to be fascinated by the occult underneath his professional guise, although the game never really explains much behind this beyond being attracted by the darkness.
The novelization explains his motives more. He discovered Edward was Scissorman, viewing Edward as a research subject, but eventually fell under Edward's sway, and the two began to collaborate.
Barton had studied hypnotherapy at Stanford University in the United States and was the youngest to graduate with a diploma in a hypnosis major. He also served as director of the National Association for the Study of Hypnosis.
Helen's relationship with Barton seems to be one of faint antagonism, which is revealed in detail in Helen's Adventure Novel. Apparently around eight years ago, Helen had slept with Barton in the past and regretted it ever since, not that Rose would ever let her live it down either.
Barton serves as the playable character for the tutorial and prologue of the game in which the player has the option to send the Demon Idol to either Rick or Sullivan. The player's actions through him also determine what scenario will be played: Jennifer or Helen's. As the story progresses, he helps organize the group to go to the Barrows Castle in England.
Barton has a very minor role in Jennifer's scenario, despite his fate being decided by the player. If the player goes to the castle garden first, Barton will be found alive, slumped against a tree. Upon interacting with him, Barton can translate the Door Spell for Jennifer.
If the player has Helen translate the Door Spell, upon entering the castle garden, the player finds Barton dead, hanging from a noose on a tree. Inspecting his corpse triggers a Scissorman attack.
Barton serves as a dupe Scissorman in the Barrows Castle, having been drawn into the true Scissorman's dark soul. Upon entering the chapel, Helen encounters this Scissorman about to kill an unconscious cross-bounded Jennifer. The player may choose to save Jennifer or let her die:
- If Helen shoots him with a pistol to save Jennifer (leading to Endings A or D), the wounded Scissorman staggers into the torture chamber. Helen enters the torture chamber to find and confront a wounded Barton, who had taken off his Scissorman disguise. Having been deeply involved into the Scissorman case, he admits having been drawn into Scissorman's dark soul. Before he succumbs to his wound, Barton asks Helen if she will fall into the same path he faced, to which Helen defiantly rejects.
- If Helen doesn't save Jennifer (leading to Endings B or C), Barton kills Jennifer.
- If the requirements for Ending C are met, after going under the fountain, Helen finds Professor Barton. He tells her that he has found something behind him that helps solve the case, but after Helen walks past him, he stabs her in the back.
- Some parts of the instruction manual misspelled his surname as "Burton" as opposed to "Barton." As he is called "Barton" throughout the entire game, this is most likely a typo or mistranslation.
- Barton's alternate outfit turns his suit brown.
- Barton is the only antagonist to be playable in the series.
- Barton is the first playable male character in the Clock Tower series, albeit only in a short prologue.