The Machine's reactor
- "This world is a machine! A Machine for Pigs! Fit only for the slaughtering of pigs!"
- ― The Machine
The Machine was created to harvest people and automate human sacrifice on an industrial scale, in the hope that it might prevent the horrific events of the 20th century. It was envisioned by Mandus after the disastrous trip to the sacrificial steps of the temple in Mexico, when he came in to contact with the Orb.
The physical part of the Machine is enormous, stretching far and wide beneath London. The Machine is powered by Compound X, which in turn provides steam for the various machinery. It also produces large amounts of waste which needs to be discharged by a vast system of pumps.
Although designed with offices, catwalks, operation consoles, and panels, the Machine seems to be able to run mostly on its own, requiring manpigs for menial labour or small repairs. It also communicates with Mandus via a set of telephones and loudspeakers all throughout the system, further driving the realisation of its intelligence and cleverness.
Interestingly the Machine seems to be integrated with the hearts of Mandus' sons. When Oswald's soul is fragmented into two as well (seemingly by the fractured Orb when it 'sucked out the fever' that he had contracted in Mexico,) the Machine gains sentience as another form of Oswald himself (aka, The Engineer). The true antagonist is Oswald's own conscience, operating the Machine. It also refers to itself as the jaguar faced man and a feathered serpent, attributes of an Aztec God, Quatzecoatl, who in Aztec myth fled across the Atlantic after his removal from the sun throne, causing an apocalypse.
The machine is both intelligent and cunning as evidenced by tricking and manipulating Mandus to repair it. It also displays utter contempt for humans, at first. This contempt seems to be replaced near the end for some horrid form of sympathy, as The Machine sees fit to process and use humans to work and operate it as mercy compared to the coming wars and slaughters.
Whether it truly is capable of sympathy, or put on a façade, is unsure. Before it begins begging for mercy, it ruthlessly risks and uses Mandus to make it fully operational again. However, as Mandus progresses deeper into the machine for revenge, it calls him its "father", and pleads with him to spare it and let it save humanity.
During his expedition in Mexico, Oswald gained visions of horrors which will occur in the coming century and also the death of his sons in Somme during World War I. He sacrifices them on the steps of a temple in Mexico, and it is believed that he might have intended to revive them sometime later with the use of Compound X and other components of Alexander's experiments.
Driven mad by these revelations and bent on stopping this ghastly future, he set about constructing the machine as a form of god in the hopes of saving mankind from future suffering via industrial, mechanised, mass human sacrifice. Using the hearts of his sons as an integral part of the machine, he starts working on constructing the machine. At some point Oswald's soul ruptures and integrates itself with the machine as The Engineer, giving it sentience.
- "And you came then to London and you set me upon a mantelpiece and then you went into the house and gathered the servants and we set, you and I, on re-crafting them and then you went into the garden and buried those tiny shattered skulls. Alone."
- "I am the jaguar-faceed man, I am the feathered serpent. This priesthood is mine."
- "For your children Mandus, to spare them the world you have created. For us all."
- "Quickly, quickly the air is thin. Their little faces turn blue Mandus. They suffocate! They suffocate!"
- "Now Mandus. Set them free. Set them all free!"
- "I live! I breathe again! I rise, I will rise to bleach the sky and still the water! I will spin the world wheel and set the future upon the path of redemption!"
- "My time is come! More pig! More pig!"
- "Why do you ask Mandus? You know the answer well enough."
- "What are you doing little piggy? Do you think I will allow you to sabotage me again?"
- "This is your doing, Mandus, this is what you dreamt into being."
- "You are too late. It begins. My work has begun. Kill them, my piggies, kill them all!"
- "Mandus! I know you are out here! I own this city, I am this city!"
- "Redeem yourselves! Redemption is at hand! Enter the cleansing and set your souls free! For you are born into filth and will die as pigs. Only through my redemption can you ascend to the skies and claim the heavens as your kingdom. Fall on your knees! Ashes, ashes, bones and ashes. For the pile will reach critical and we can have such a burning that this city will shine as a beacon of redemption for the world!"
- "Do you hear me Mandus? This is what you planned! This world is a machine! A Machine for Pigs! Fit only for the slaughtering of pigs! Whores, beggars, orphans, filthy degenerates. Pigs all. But I will purify the streets, cleanse this city, set the great industry free. I will clean the world, make it pure."
- "You are too late Mandus, my great works are almost begun."
- "Hear me Mandus. My gears are adjust, my steam is built. Soon I will spill that blue water and split the egg, the atom, my soul and there will be a very great burning that we might make the world clean. Be proud for this is your doing. Until you steeped me in the blood of your own I was nothing but rotten architecture. You have made me and I will make the world anew."
- "I? Mandus? Of all the blood we have spilt together. The first drops fell from your hands alone."
- "Mandus. Put aside your misguided crusade and let me save them. You may hate me Mandus, but I have seen the future, your twentieth century and let me tell you this: a far greater slaughter awaits you there. I seek to save the world by blood now, before millions fall beneath history, pushed under by blade, bullet and gas."
- "Stop him! Stop him! Kill him!"
- "Mandus, listen to your heart, you know you are with me. You created me to save the world. I am your friend."
- "Mandus, please. I am no more evil than you. We sought the same thing, to save humanity, ridding them of their painful, stupid, pointless lives."
- "Mandus, stop. Think about what you are doing. For your children, Mandus. I did not kill your children, Mandus. You sacrificed them on the temple steps knowing what the coming century would do to them. Your sons will drown, lungs full of mud and sharpnel, on the banks of the Somme. You wanted to save them from the horror to come. That is the vision we shared. Everything we have built to avert this coming nightmare. You and I are one. We are the same, our souls are entangled. We deserve to make them free!"
- "I have stood knee deep in mud and bone and filled my lungs with mustard gas. I have seen two brothers fall. I have lain with holy wars and copulated with the autumnal fallout. I have dug trenches for the refugees; I have murdered dissidents where the ground never thaws and starved the masses into faith. A child's shadow burnt into the brickwork. A house of skulls in the jungle. The innocent, the innocent, Mandus, trod and bled and gassed and starved and beaten and murdered and enslaved. This is your coming century! They will eat them Mandus, they will make pigs of you all and they will bury their snouts into your ribs and they will eat your hearts!"
- "I am begging you. You made me. You are my Creator, my Father. You cannot destroy me!"
- "Please Mandus no, for your children!"
- "Daddy, Daddy, please don't kill me."
- Throughout the game, there is a mention of a stone egg. This seems to be a reference to the Orb that Mandus discovered in the temple in Mexico, and which is found at the end of the game split in two above the sacrificial altar at the heart of the Machine, where Mandus sacrifices himself; it could also, however, be an analogy to the atom. Next, The Machine mentions further how there is a metal egg in the center of the world. The part where things become interesting is when The Machine begins to say how it will crack the egg and bleach the world. The machine's goal isn't the 'salvation' of London/England alone but the whole of humanity in general. These conjectures appear to suggest that The Machine is ultimately planing to somehow use nuclear energy, or even exploding the core of the planet itself once it has reached godhood. Supporting this are the unused voice files found in the game directory.
During The Machine's last pleading to Mandus, he talks about the horrors of the 20th century; the First and Second World Wars, bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the death of Mandus' sons (two brothers who would fall in the war), the Stalinist regime in Russia, the Holocaust, etc. Whether this was intended as an actual reference to the same events that took place in the real world, or simply poetic pleading is unknown.
|Characters (A Machine for Pigs)|
|Main characters||Oswald Mandus • Enoch Mandus • Edwin Mandus|
|Antagonists||Failed Experiments • Wretch • Engineer • Tesla • The Engineer • The Machine|
|Side characters||Lily Mandus • The Professor • Father Jeremiah|