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Spoiler Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*
Alardem Offline
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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*

Emblemparade's theory sounds nice, but it doesn't jive with the chronology - "the first drops of blood came from Mandus' hands", and I'm pretty sure the tragedy in Mexico is him killing his children there. Wink

That being said, there is no giant Aztec temple underneath London. There is a horrific supernatural machine (with a 'tesla tower'), but the entire last level is more of a dying hallucination than something to take literally. The Machine IS a 'temple', of sorts.
03-15-2014, 06:02 PM
General Consensus Offline
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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*

This seems to be necro posting but whatever. I always assumed that at the end Mandus didn't cut out his heart, rather he took it back. December 28th " Is the only path to redemption to join us together again, to make myself whole, to close the great circle and take that madman into my heart once more - and forgive him, and myself as well."

I guess the end signifies that Mandus takes responsibility for all his mistakes rather than blaming them on the poor, the rich, his children and the Machine as he had all along.

But then again, Mandus is a bad person but everyone was pretty awful back then. As Dan Pinchbeck says in this interview (https://soundcloud.com/the-weaving-knigh...inese-room) "Mandus is awful but there's two levels to it. One because he's had this appalling trauma that he's never recovered from, he's shattered into pieces by the death of his wife, but before this he might have been a kind of thug entrepreneur and that was the mentality of this class of people at the time. If you hate Mandus then you hate the people who gave you Steam Power and Penicillin."
03-21-2014, 02:17 PM
fountainhead Offline
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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*

Just finished the game and I liked it! Better than a lot of the reviews had me believe. But I have one question. I know Mandus isn't supposed to be completely sane, but how exactly is killing his children sparing them from a horrible fate in the First World War? Likewise, how does unleashing the pigs spare humanity from the horrors of the 20th century? Weren't they just going to cull the population of the world if allowed to continue? It just brings the horror forward to 1899! Is there some hidden logic to Mandus' solution that I'm missing or is it really just that crazy of a plan?

And a second quick question. How was Mandus able to construct such a huge facility that was ahead of its time without the help of a large workforce? Was it the pigs helping him build the Machine?
(This post was last modified: 02-17-2015, 01:54 AM by fountainhead.)
02-17-2015, 01:25 AM
i3670 Offline
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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*

He was going to spare the future generations from the events of the 20th century by killing everyone before they happened. Keep in mind that this meant killing around 2 billion people (if he actually wants to kill everyone) in contrast to the 7 billion there are today. Kind of like pulling your teeth out so that you won't get holes in them.

Either he built it with the help of the pigs or they're just hallucinations.

"What you think is irrelevant" - A character of our time

A Christmas Hunt
02-17-2015, 02:04 AM
Peci Offline

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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*


I haven't read every single post in this thread and I'm sorry if someone has already mentioned this.

I stumbled today across a couple of articles that I think can draw some parallel lines with the story or atleast
have worked as inspiration for it.

On the Origin of the "Influencing Machine" in Schizophrenia - written by psychoanalyst Viktor Tausk (1933)

The paper describes Tausk's observations and psychoanalytic interpretation of a type of paranoid delusion that occurs in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The delusion often involves their being influenced by a 'diabolical machine', just outside the technical understanding of the victim, that influences them from afar.

It was typically believed to be operated by a group of people who were persecuting the individual, whom Tausk suggested were "to the best of my knowledge, almost exclusively of the male sex" and the persecutors, "predominantly physicians by whom the patient has been treated".

And just as a reminder:
"The English term schizophrenia comes from two Greek words that mean "split mind." It was observed around 1908, by a Swiss doctor named Eugen Bleuler, to describe the splitting apart of mental functions that he regarded as the central characteristic of schizophrenia."

And as an example of this "diabolical influencing machine" I found an articel of James Tilly Mathews

Mike Jay recounts the tragic story of James Tilly Matthews, a former peace activist of the Napoleonic Wars who was confined to London’s notorious Bedlam asylum in 1797 for believing that his mind was under the control of the “Air Loom” – a terrifying machine whose mesmeric rays and mysterious gases were brainwashing politicians and plunging Europe into revolution, terror, and war.

06-25-2015, 01:10 PM
PathOS Offline

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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*

Necro-bumping this because I just finished the game again and it's fun to discuss the plot.

I always liken Oswald Mandus to Daniel Plainview from There will be Blood. Plainview is a very troubled man, he has a deep hatred for people and a competition within him that demands no one else can succeed above himself. But there's also something within him that can come out to care for his "son", albeit brief and short-lived it is.

Mandus from what I can piece together did start out rather "decent" by I suppose the standards of the industrial age. Like any entrepreneur of that period (or any) he had his vices and ambitions, but seemed well off and happy from what we know of his time while his beloved Lily was alive. After she died he clearly was no longer the same man, and something dark began festering within him, but he was able to pay it no mind while he had his boys. Still he seemed to have let his ambition get the better of him nonetheless, spending his family's fortunes trying to automate his meat plant to provide even greater output for the city to match how other industries were slowly becoming autonomous. But clearly his financial burdens were straining an already stressed soul to the brink with the thought of losing everything for himself and his sons. Obviously everything became undone once he discovered the secrets of Brennenberg and made his fateful sojourn to Mexico.

It's certainly an interesting take on coming into contact with an Orb. Displacement of space-time was certainly something Daniel experienced as he mentioned feeling only minutes had passed where hours had, so Mandus having "visions" of the future seems plausible. The divergence is in him not being haunted by "The Shadow" as Daniel was, unless you subscribe to the theory that the entity that became "The Engineer" was spawned in part from The Shadow, for it certainly acts like it, becoming a harbinger of death to all around him and is only satiated by the sacrifice of lives to it. But suffice to say, Mandus was no longer the same man after retrieving the Orb, and if you infer from the cut journals, it's possible his personality was overtaken by the new one to the point where it "fell asleep" and unaware of the atrocities that would be committed in his name.

Regardless, Mandus' love for his children had become twisted to the point where he felt it better to kill them as a sacrifice than let them live for their supposed fate in The Great War. Rationalizing this as salvation, he at first seem to began trying to justify his upcoming actions as saving humanity. Though if one reads his journals one can see that the hate and rage within him was building to a point where deep down he knew no one truly deserved to be saved. His contempt for everyone was clear, from the poor who he thought were unclean and worthless, to the wealthy who he loathed even more for their slovenly ways and how they were the real "pigs" of humanity. He threw lavish parties for the rich to trap them in their beds and feed them to the machine. Even children weren't spared as he used them for labor in the plant and had no issues with them being killed in accidents or being fed to the other pigs. Apparently at some point the "Product" became people instead of pigs, and the meat the plant was outputting was just that, though it seemed no one was the wiser, as many complimented Mandus on the quality of his product, becoming an industrious Hannibal Lecter.

At some point he felt he should create better workers using the methods began by Alexander in the creation of Gatherers. He created Compound X made from Vitae and other components which could reanimate the dead and fuse organs from different bodies and species. He would begin by force-feeding the compound to the subjects, causing them to hemorrhage internally and vomit/excrete their blood and internal organs and sneeze out their teeth. Then move on to grafting parts and pieces of pigs onto them.

Eventually somehow Mandus, at least by Christmas Day ironically, somehow comes to his senses and realizes just what Horrors he has unleashed and the Hell his creation is likely to bring to the world. At first he seems to try to kill himself, but it doesn't work, and he sets to sabotaging the Machine as best as he could do before eventually winding up back in his bed (perhaps having been carried there by one of his workers) suffering short-term Amnesia of all that happened since he encountered the Orb, believing that the Fever had kept him bedridden. And well, we all know the rest.

I guess the big unanswered questions involve whether the whole thing was real. Was Mandus dreaming it all in death? Was he already dead having used his own Heart to power the machine? One theory is somewhat SOMA-ish in that maybe Mandus really is that body wired to the Machine and he's just a ghostly spectre traversing the plant, or that maybe he's possessing a manpig. What did his final act actually do?

I suppose TheChineseRoom will probably not answer those and likely leave ambiguity on the story to stand. Still fun to think about.
08-17-2015, 06:00 AM
Adi Offline
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RE: Plot Discussion Thread *Spoiler Alert*

Necro-bumping this again, because it's fun to discuss the plot. ;-)

I completely agree with you PathOS! I just finished up my own interpretation and posted it to a new thread (because it is darn long).


> winding up back in his bed

It is not his bed, but a trap bed for the rich, see F8, F9, and O1.

> I guess the big unanswered questions involve whether the whole thing was real. Was Mandus dreaming it all in death?

I do think it is real. It is a very realistic game! Also see R numbers.

> Was he already dead having used his own Heart to power the machine?

Who would the player be controlling then? It is not a ghost, he has a hand. ;-) Okay, manpig would be a possibility, but nah. I think the creators of the game took a realistic approach, also see the Kill Screen interview with Dan Pinchbeck.
The Orb is the power source. And probably the only one.

> What did his final act actually do?

He has mercy with himself. He not simply commits suicide, but self-sacrifice, see O10.
01-12-2016, 04:10 AM

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