The Machine is the malevolent antagonist of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It was created by Oswald Mandus in 1899, and gained sentience after part of his soul was inserted into it. It's sentience is referred to as The Engineer.
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 an Aztec temple in Mexico when he came into 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 that 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 manual labour or small repairs. It also communicates with Mandus via a set of telephones and loudspeakers all throughout the system, further driving the realization 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). Thus, 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 the Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl, 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 just puts on a façade, is unknown. 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.
Oswald was desperate to renovate his old butcher's business by making the entire system automated with machinery. The bank would not give him loans to make this possible, so instead Oswald looked into his great uncle's work with the Orbs, tracing one to Mexico. If he could retrieve it and sell it for a large sum of currency, he'd have enough to fund his new factory.
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 The Battle of 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.
The factory was changed from one designed to butcher pigs to instead butcher humans. Oswald set about constructing the machine as a form of god in the hopes of saving mankind from future suffering via industrial, mechanized, mass human sacrifice. At some point, the angry half of Oswald's soul integrated itself with the machine as The Engineer, giving it sentience.
Events of Amnesia: A Machine For PigsEdit
The amnesiac Oswald Mandus awakes from a sleep. The Engineer calls him via the telephone, hiding its true identity, and tells him to reactivate the sabotaged machine to save his children from danger. After Mandus reaches the Reactor and reactivates the Machine, it reveals its true intentions and releases every Manpig in London to destroy humanity and prevent future wars.
Oswald realizes that he has been tricked and, unwilling to take responsibility for humanity's demise, vows to stop it once and for all. As he progresses through many dangerous areas, he manages to reach the core of the Machine within the final hours of the 19th century. Wanting to redeem himself for the murder of his children, end the chaos of the Machine, and escape the tragedies of the 20th century, he sacrifices himself by ripping his heart out alive. As the world silently enters the new century, both Oswald and The Machine die together.
- "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." - Reactor
- "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!" - Reactor
- "Mandus! I know you are out here! I own this city, I am this city!" - Streets
- See Quotes: The Engineer for a full list.
- 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. It could additionally 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 split the egg, the atom, and "there will be a great burning" to make the world "clean." The machine's goal isn't the 'salvation' of London/Britain alone but the whole of humanity in general. These conjectures appear to suggest that The Machine is ultimately planning 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 Cambodian Genocide, the death of Mandus' sons (two brothers who would fall in the war), the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist regime in Russia, possibly the Ukraine Famine or more likely the Great Leap Forward in China ("starved the masses into faith"), 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 and Edwin|
|Antagonists||Failed Experiments • Wretch • Engineer • Tesla • The Engineer • The Machine|
|Side characters||Lily Mandus • The Professor • Father Jeremiah • Tabitha Stepwood|