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(09-12-2013, 07:34 PM)bluel0bster Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-12-2013, 05:23 PM)JPTS Wrote: [ -> ]Now I have the impression that Mandus' body was in the machine and, to fix it, he sent his consciousness to one of the pigs. But that wouldn't explain how he destroyed the machine in the end.

There's no direct evidence that I see to support that theory. Twisting things to fit a theory isn't evidence, just compensation.

You are right.

The pigs could see themselves as humans. Having a human hand doesn't prove Mandus is human, just like seeing dead children doesn't mean they are not dead. BUT there is no evidence of Mandus being a pig, so there is no point twisting.

I did say it was just an idea.
Did anybody recognize this picture in the mansion? Is this Oswald + family? But why three children?

Spoiler below!
[Image: 12B9D2441CC0627C351E0C0DF667A3F406BCE491]
Do we know what the different monsters names are yet?
(09-12-2013, 08:02 PM)Tiger Wrote: [ -> ]Do we know what the different monsters names are yet?

Somewhere I read one of them is named "BigChild".
(09-12-2013, 08:01 PM)droog Wrote: [ -> ]Did anybody recognize this picture in the mansion? Is this Oswald + family? But why three children?

Spoiler below!
[Image: 12B9D2441CC0627C351E0C0DF667A3F406BCE491]

It's a post-mortem photo. Doubt, it's Mandus'.
(09-12-2013, 08:04 PM)droog Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-12-2013, 08:02 PM)Tiger Wrote: [ -> ]Do we know what the different monsters names are yet?

Somewhere I read one of them is named "BigChild".

I searched it up and apparently their "names" are(In the order you see them in the game): Wretch, Engineer and Tesla.
(09-12-2013, 07:35 PM)frictionalfan Wrote: [ -> ]I'm skeptical about the professor character's involvement. There were a couple dialogue sequences where he and Mandus were discussing the machine's purpose and he sounded more fanatical than Mandus did. He must have been in on it somehow. Could he have been the body we saw at the end?

I've actually been thinking something similar. Perhaps after Mandus killed the Professor, he was able to use his body as a vessel for the half of his conscienceness that he left in the machine (the professor and the engineer share a voice actor, after all). Why he was keeping the corpse in an iron lung, as if it were alive, I'm unsure of.
A few of you guys have expressed interest in more the thoughts behind the making of this game. I have some downtime soon and was hoping to put some thoughts of the sound onto "paper". Is there anything specific you guys would like to learn about?
(09-12-2013, 08:10 PM)TheBik Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-12-2013, 07:35 PM)frictionalfan Wrote: [ -> ]I'm skeptical about the professor character's involvement. There were a couple dialogue sequences where he and Mandus were discussing the machine's purpose and he sounded more fanatical than Mandus did. He must have been in on it somehow. Could he have been the body we saw at the end?

I've actually been thinking something similar. Perhaps after Mandus killed the Professor, he was able to use his body as a vessel for the half of his conscienceness that he left in the machine (the professor and the engineer share a voice actor, after all). Why he was keeping the corpse in an iron lung, as if it were alive, I'm unsure of.

That's a good idea... after all i feel like the heart we saw all hooked up might be Mandus' since the machine says over and over how connected they are

So maybe Mandus isn't even "alive" in the sense of having a physical body... the plot summary says the story focusses on Mandus' story anyway, not that you play as him... although he talks as if he were Mandus himself, confusing :\
All right, I'll probably be killed for such a long post. Also, forgive me all the errors I've done here (linguistic mostly) - I've written it only for myself (a consolidation of loose thoughts), but thought, I could share it with you, guys. Hope you’ll like it. It follows the scraps of trails of the presented game backstory.

Spoiler below!
We don’t know, when Lilibeth actually died. Well, we know it was during Enoch’s birth, but the exact date of the twins’ birthday is and will probably remain an unknown. Lily managed to see her first son – Edwin. Before dying, she had Oswald promise her, that „he will take care of the children”. By the time we reach the church, he will have acknowledged that, in fact, he had hated the twins; he had seen them as „piglets covered in their mother’s blood”. Seeing that had also been the very first moment his soul started cracking into two pieces: one still loved his children and the other one made him perceive people as pigs, the latter one prevailed had begun to prevail at first.

As referenced by further notes, it can be safely assumed, that Mandus’ grief had also touched his company (he only had a local butchery, though had been wealthy mostly thanks to his father). It wasn’t that he simply had lost an interest in his business, oh no!, he actually had „drowned” in it. Oswald had needed something that would, as wrong, as it may sound, replace his wife, in a sense of something to care about, beside the children, of course. He had a local business establishment, and had wanted to (”What? That I was to remain a local butcher?”) use it as best, as he could had, to spread probably across the city, maybe country, maybe more. The first thing, he had needed to do, was the efficiency improvement of his butchery: a local butcher couldn’t just spread his sales, he also had to gain more suppliers, spend money on more premises and investments, among other, boring stuff.

So, he had built (remember, he was an innovative designer) a great net of machineries, there were skinning and boiling devices, there were also quite humanitarian methods of killing the livestock, by first stunning it unconscious. He’d spent a lot of money on that, a sum that had made other people say he had squandered everything („They say I have squandered my fortune, that my investment in these latest machines has ruined the family name”). The same note also hints that the bank hadn’t been accepting his applications for credit, yet another example of him calling people „pigs” – „arogant swines”. I’m not sure, but I’d also say that due to the bank’s decision, Mandus had done what’s described in the very same note („without pay, without tire, by adapting the mechanisms we find in the looms and the mills”), it would be the universe’s reason for the steam-punk setting of some of his mechanisms: a low budget. Premises? Use something no one needs (or, in this case, knows about): the deep undergrounds of London. It had been a success gaining him an entry card to the gentlemen’s club, where he had met some interesting people (e.g. Jack the Ripper). But he still had to find a way to get more livestock; even the professor from the club had, at some point, said: „there’s surely not enough pigs in the whole of London to feed the appetite of such a machine”; Mandus had needed to meet the expenses of his machinery. It all had come from his own wallet and he had been processing only as many pigs, as London had to offer.

Let’s now focus on Mandus’ more personal consequences of losing his beloved wife. One of his re-collected memories describes as he and other mourners had in the church; he recalled the mourning, prayers and personal hatred towards God. He had been calling God „a pig who robbed him of his wife”, so after spurning Him, Mandus had decided to create a new one „for us all”. He had been struck by the vision of a „heaven on Earth”. Reading old books of his Great Uncle, who had described many archeological sites, he had learnt of „the Temple of the Stone Moon”, which, should be explored, contains something, that can feed everyone in the world. Thinking of great treasures and looking for a way to cover the expenses and get richer, he had immediately launched an expedition along with his sons.

„The shabby fellow” – a guide, he had met in Mexico – had led the expedition into the ruins. It’s worth of noting, that the trip pilot had been interested, in how Oswald had learnt of the ruins. So, full of enthusiasm, when the expedition had finally reached the old Aztec settlement, he had told the children about the morbid practices of Aztec priests; again, note, that he had been far from calling them savages and close to admiring them. He had said, that one of Aztec’s rituals involved a sacrifice that would stop the heavens from falling on their heads. I’ve been wondering on why would this expedition by classified as a „disastrous”. He hadn’t lost his children yet and his wife had already been dead for a long time. And now, I’m pretty sure I know. Unfortunately, the temple had been nothing but a maze of emptied and plundered corridors and rooms; the treasure was no more. But there was something else... the cold-stone of the ritual altar and orbs. After receiving a vision from the orbs, he had somehow distracted his children and murdered the others from the expedition, he had used the cactus fruit to open up their chests and eat/dispose of their hearts; he had performed the ritual – symbolically stopped the heavens from falling down on his head (had discovered, how to increase the efficiency of his works , and in the result: finally overcome the expenses). This feeling of a success combined with „duality of persona” disorder and the orbs’ vision had diminished the „better half of Mandus” and made him seek a way to fulfill the vision. His soul had split. Perhaps the ritual itself had affected him, because the upcoming vision of cleansing the society is, in my opinion, a way too monstrous and not well-thought from human perspective... The vision had shown the future tragedies caused by people (e.g. the wars), his children were to die in the trenches. It had shaken him and taken over his mind, just as if some power (if not only Mandus’ own mental disorder) had wanted to deceive Oswald into this perception of the society in order to make him destroy it. Now he had a clear purpose: use the machine for all kinds of pigs; stop the tragedies from happening. Children had probably found him in the temple among the other bodies and had alerted someone. Law enforcement having found blood-covered bodies without their hearts in the middle of an Aztec temple probably had just launched „ill-fated” Mandus and his children home. Calling them superstitious, I mean no offense to any Mexican, because I understand that the circumstances of the murders had called then not for thorough investigations, which could anger... whatever killed those men, but rather for getting rid of someone who could be its catalyst.

Mandus had returned home (probably with the orbs). Sickness, both physical and mental, being a mark of a changing man – as someone, who had been „helping” cure Mandus, had stated, while giving him some sort of a potion „it'll help the running of the fever, because not us all can take the change”. Now, the question is, how many symbols does this note represent? The beast under the blanket, I think of it as of the ill piece of Mandus’ soul, which had been gaining power along. The man talking of the change – just as if he had known what happened to Mandus, even though he had distanced himself from the club, and thus it’s highly unlikely that he would share the story with someone. I’m actually sure, that he hadn’t. The professor from the gents’ club had been constantly asking Mandus of how is he in the light of that tragedy. Well, yes, it might had been just a play of words, but then the professor wouldn’t care about Mandus may still have grieve. There were only two persons, who had known, what exactly happened in the temple: Oswald Mandus and Oswald Mandus. The potion I find to be some sort of light amnesia-inducing mixture, so he, or rather his caring self „could take the change”. The „fever” had in fact periodically been strapping him to his bed, but only as an excuse of his better part of himself to allow the other one beat Mandus’ heart.

Again, using his contacts from the club, he had started powering the vision-given machine with all sorts of people, he had seen as pigs: orphans, bums, prostitutes, people who had, for any other reasons, done things he considered as swine’s. The Machine had finally started working as it should had from the very beginning. It processed them along with ordinary pigs and prepared them to be consumed by other swines (as perceived by Mandus, not me!) – children from orphanages, bums, higher layers of society – virtually everyone. The pigline had been circled and pigs had been eating pigs. God-like machine had been feeding poor, Mandus had been perceived as a good man who cares about poor and literally feeds the London. But that was not enough. The vision from Mexico still hadn’t been put into life: the swine-like society wouldn’t change for the better.

Mandus had received a package containing one of the Alexander’s monstrous servants. The question, stalking most of us, is „who’s the person, Mandus refers to as an uncle?”. Whether Alexander’s plan had succesfully played out in the universe, or not, he had no longer been in this world. Mandus could, of course, refer to someone already gone, as to an uncle, but Alexander had kept to himself and most people he had trusted with the secrets of his plans; he had been paranoid to the point of killing Willhelm. Would he have an agenda in sharing secrets with people, he could only informally treat as a family? I don’t think so. I think the package had been sent by Daniel. Whether he’s still alive by 1899 is an unknown, but it is possible. He was the only survivor, who had seen the gatherers, and who might had taken one, after Brennenburg had fallen into ruin. How would Mandus know about the deeds of Daniel’s? From the notes and diaries taken by Daniel? Had Daniel ever confessed? The package itself could had been sent by anyone related to the archeologist. But then, there’s this mention of „experimenting”. Alexander certainly had been experimenting, but had Daniel? He had only followed „grounded” instructions. I guess it’s up to us, players, to build a headcanon.

Nevermind. On with the story.

The crate’s content had helped Oswald understand that it is possible to re-shape a body, but as he had the vision of re-shaping entire society, he had needed the creatures to be „loyal, clever, strong, easily sated”. He had decided that his experiments would focus on combining animals with humans. And what animals would be associated with those people? Exactly. The machine had just been given yet another purpose: to create manpigs to both kidnapp humans and to create the society anew, a society ironically free of wars and swine-like behaviors of people. That might also had been a way to brand pigs – an Oswald’s way to say: „You really are a swine! Look at yourself!”. Oswald had also, at some point, been pushed by an idea of evolutionary acceleration, seeing swines as a new civilization.

Mandus had then started developing methodologies of human-pig bonding. Using the knowledge, probably passed onto him by this „uncle, he had created the Compound X; its main purpose had been to facilitate bonding of different groups of tissues after activation with Schumman lamp’s light, thus the interesting reaction of light when monsters are nearby, the compound is simply reactive to it.

Then, there’s a mention of some „older forms”. Tesla pigs, probably being one of the Oswald’s first tries in re-shaping, are alternating themselves between two worlds – the universe’s and another, unknown one. As suggested by the note, this alternation had driven the monsters mad. Probably, also had allowed Kaernks to pass through (they are covered in sparks, as if they have come in contact with Tesla pigs) to the closed area, where the „the older forms” had been contained.

Seeing that the world had become more and more „wrong” and acknowledging his knowledge in revival through Compound X injection, Mandus had regretted, that his wife had died too long ago, to be revived. However, he had been aware (as written in the note from August 19th, 1899) that should his children die, he’d be able to bring them back. He had also started to treat manpigs as his own children and to consider himself their father. I find the moment when his creations had become more important to him than his own, human children, to be a new chapter in his life. Everything seems to point at the mysterious architect, who had told Mandus about an iron egg in the middle of Earth (Earth’s inner core is a solid metal), I believe it is also the infamous Engineer – an image of wise man with ambitious plans. What that means, is that the cracks in Mandus’ heart had then become more and more visible; his ill self had slowly been taking control over the other half: he had been „gaining” technical knowledge from himself (or a force making him destroy the human civilization – should that be an actual point).

Mandus had organized many catches. His strategy had been to target entire communities. Improving the machine’s efficiency, he had been pulling himself deeper and deeper to his own delusions of the cleansing vision. When had been referring to pigs, he meant both humans and pigs. The border had been long lost. His hatred had been targeted mostly at poor, but his vision later had encompassed entire civilization – what can be seen, when pigs spread onto the streets of London and massacre all the people they find.
But then, fortunately , Mandus had realized, he’s no better than those, he had killed or made into pigs; he’s been the evil one all that time. An evil man trying to restore the world, and that would, of course, mean making the world as he sees fit: making the world evil. Stricken with fury, grief for his children and remorse for himself, Mandus had begun to sabotage the Machine: he had flooded it with water and compromised all the entrances to the Machine. Then he had consumed an amnesia-inducing potion in order to forget all he’s done. He had laid to bed and fallen asleep; at least his better half had. This is where the game begins.

This is the moment when, in my opinion, Mandus makes his soul whole again by deciding to use only the better part of it. The worse part never ceased to exist, it lived because it belonged to Mandus, and it was drawn (by orbs which controlled the machine) to its purpose – changing the civilization.

The man speaking on the phone is the ill self of Mandus. Manipulating him into rescuing his sons, it tries to make him restore the Machine, then to persuade Oswald into welcoming it back – resuming his works. After engaging the great engines once again, the ill self of Mandus launches the final phase of his plans: killing and/or kidnapping all the people of London – and perhaps even further. After realizing the plans are in motion and furious Mandus will do everything in his power to compromise the Machine, his ill self knew that it doesn’t need to be autonomous anymore, because the Machine became alive once again. It decides, Mandus can’t live up to destroying the Machine. When it fails and machine is compromised again, it re-attempts to persuade Mandus into restorations. Mandus’ decision is to kill himself using the dental-like chair (it was used for re-shaping humans and pigs into one being), probably in order to redeem himself through pain. The fact, there’s no one to re-shape him (pigs are said to die after machine ultimately fails) and inject Compound X into his body, means only, he dies along with his ill self.

About the guy in the iron lung, the beating heart , Mandus’ children and teleportation: I believe the first two are to be taken more symbolically rather than literally. The Machine, as said in many notes, had been the reason that kept (ill) Mandus’ heart beating. Mandus knew, in his last moments, that he has to make his heart whole again, and to do that, he’ll have to take the „madman” (ill self) back to himself and forgive him, for it was because of him, why its heart started beating at all. The suspended heart is a symbol of the Machine being alive.

The guy in the iron lung is a symbol of the second part of Oswald’s soul. The part has been put to rest; it hasn’t died, but it was the Machine’s heart that was beating.

Mandus children had been killed by him in order to save them from the horrors the ill self had shown to him. It is unknown when and where exactly it happended, but the Machine says „you killed them on the temple’s steps”, what would sound like this happended during the expedition to Mexico. However, it probably isn’t the case, because the expedition took place in February, 1899, while the diaries of children, that we find in the mansion, are from October 1899. Unless Mandus travelled to Mexico one more time, I believe, the Machine’s core may be treated like the temple. Steps would suggest some place beyond it... like the mansion itself, that would fit another note stating that their bones had been buried in the garden.

Teleportation is, in my opinion, nothing more than symbolic perception of ending everything where it began. In this case, Mandus feels the teleportation to be a vengeful journey to the core of the machine (also the core of himself), to the temple, where he sacrificed his men and cracked open his very self.

Sorry for the messy construction and linguistic errors, I’ve written it only for myself, so I could understand the story as best, as I can. Of course, I do not claim, that this is the only possible interpretation, or even a true one. It’s just mine Smile.