Alice Liddell is the main protagonist of American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns. She is based on the original Alice from Lewis Carroll's popular children's books,Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, after the course of which these games take place.
A casebook is provided with the first game to give all of Alice's background between her second and third visit to Wonderland. She is 18 years old in the first Alice and 19 years old in Madness Returns.
In both games, Alice is a young, English woman with pale skin, a slim figure, dark hair, a long oval-shaped face and green eyes, although her appearance - with both her bodily features and in the way she dresses - differs between the two titles.
In the original Alice, she has straight, dark auburn hair, cut just past the shoulder, which has a center parting and no fringe. Her eyes are large and are a shade of emerald-green. She wears a navy blue dress with short puffy sleeves, and a fanned-out skirt that is cut to about mid-leg. To complete the outfit, Alice wears a simple white apron over the dress, black-and-white stockings underneath, and black knee-high boots which are secured with silver buckles. Her outfit also sports astronomical and Greek symbols: ♆, the symbol of Neptune, and ♃, the symbol of Jupiter, can be seen on the pockets of her apron, and Ω, the Greek letter Omega, appears as a pendent on her silver necklace. Blood can also been seen splattered over her apron and skirt. However, it should be noted that her actual in-game appearance does not match her promotional renders or CGI model; in the game, the Neptune and Jupiter symbols have been replaced with a six-pointed star, and a unknown symbol that looks similar to a crossover between the symbols of Jupiter and Venus. In addition, her boots are lacking buckles as well as being only ankle length with black stockings, and her omega pendent is much bigger and is on a smaller chain.
In Madness Returns, Alice's appearance in London is sickly pale with disheveled shoulder-length black hair, and round, pale green eyes with darkened skin around them, giving the impression that she is tired or has been crying. When she returns to Wonderland, she changes slightly to a more "beautiful" form: she has a healthier complexion, straighter and longer hair that has a reddish tinge and appears to be wearing make-up in the form of peach lipstick and black eyeliner with dark pink eye shadow. The sudden change in her physical appearance could reflect how Alice sees herself, or wishes to be, and she changes due to her mental state when she enters Wonderland, a place where her inner thoughts, desires, and psyche becomes reality. Despite already being an adult, she is significantly shorter than most humans (both in London and in Wonderland) - even other women. Alice's outfits change often in Madness Returns, although she is always in a dress, normally with a apron. In London, she wears a black-and-white dress with a striped, long-sleeved top and black skirt, complete with black stockings, ankle-high boots, and a white apron. When she first returns to Wonderland, she returns to her old blue dress (but this time the symbol of Neptune has been replaced with ♅, the symbol of Uranus.) As she explores Wonderland, Alice gains new dresses that match the current location she is in; for example, in Hatter's Domain she wears a steampunk-inspired dress.
Alice is a clever and quick-witted young woman, with a curious nature, a sharp tongue and a direct way of approaching things — she is not afraid to speak her mind. Alice is shown to be very ruthless and cynical towards others. Despite her cynicism and morbidness shown in the game, Alice truly wants to set her mind free and restore peace to Wonderland and her own mind. She has been described as stubborn, and becomes enraged when someone says something she hates, disagrees with, or when she is talked down to, and will attack back verbally or physically. Although often showing a brave face during times of danger, and quick to debunk bullying and harsh words from others, Alice is constantly haunted by the memories of the fire which claimed the lives of her parents and her sister, and is shown to suffer from survivor's guilt as a result, which can manifest into extreme self-loathing and suicidal tendencies. She has shown to have understanding, or maybe sympathy towards the Orphans and Insane Children who have experienced a history similar to hers. She is fond of animals, particularly cats and rabbits.
The name "Alice" is from the Old French name Aalis, a short form of Adelais, itself a short form of the Germanic name Adalheidis, which means "noble type". This is fitting, as Alice can be seen as the hero of Wonderland. Her last name, "Liddell" is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means "Hlyde valley". The character Alice Liddell actually takes her name from a real life person, Alice Pleasance Liddell (4 May 1852 – 16 November 1934), who inspired Charles Dodgson to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Unlike most interpretations of Alice, who have blonde hair and blue eyes, the American McGee's Alice has brown hair and green eyes. This might be a reference to the real-life Alice Liddell, who has dark hair and was the inspiration of the original Alice character.
- Alice's necklace is the Omega symbol, which is commonly used to represent the end of something. It's possible that it's supposed to represent that Alice is fighting to end her insanity.
- Unused text in Madness Returns suggests that if Alice were to die in the game, an obituary would be shown for her. Some of these include burning to death in the Mangled Mermaid while attempting to save a cat inside, being found frozen to death in Billingsgate, being found dead in an opium den, jumping from a bridge, dying during an "experimental lobotomy", and falling onto train-tracks and being hit by a train which Bumby claims was a "suicide."
- Alice has nearly 6000 individual voiceover recordings in American McGee's Alice alone, far exceeding any character, with only the Cheshire Cat coming anywhere close to a thousand.
- In American McGee's Alice, Alice is shown lying in bed with what appears to be bandages on both her wrists (note that Alice's appearance in Wonderland does not necessarily reflect her appearance in reality). In addition, blood can be seen on her wrists in the main menu. This may suggest that Alice used to be a cutter, and that her time in Rudledge helped grew her out of it and healed her scars. This idea isn't too far-fetched considering the extremely dark nature of the series, her depressed mental state, as well as the fact that her signature weapon happens to be a kitchen knife.