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Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?
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cronuss Offline
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Post: #1
Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

Something just sort of clicked for me while trying to piece together the story. I wonder if the "God" in this was sort of like Nyarlathotep from HP Lovecraft. He came from Egypt (the heart of the machine was a pyramid, and you see many pyramids throughout the game). Nyarlathotep also takes form through many "masks" (the pig masks scattered about).

When taking form in England (which is wheret his game takes place), he took the form as the Black Man, which, "Appears as a hooved, hairless, man with pitch black skin and caucasian features." Sounds like a pig.

Also, consider the following:

"He spoke much of the sciences - of electricity and psychology - and gave exhibitions of power which sent his spectators away speechless, yet which swelled his fame to exceeding magnitude."

"Nyarlathotep delights in cruelty, is deceptive and manipulative, and even cultivates followers and uses propaganda to achieve his goals. In this regard..."

"...he is also a servant of Azathoth, his father, whose wishes he immediately fulfills. Unlike the other Outer Gods, causing madness is more important and enjoyable than death and destruction to Nyarlathotep. It is suggested by some that he will destroy the human race and possibly the earth as well."

Thoughts?
09-11-2013 09:15 PM
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Gyldenglad Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

Interesting,

But it wasn't a pyramid, it was an aztec temple:

https://www.google.dk/search?safe=off&q=...7AbCyIGYAQ


The aztecs would cut out the hearts of livings as sacrifice to the gods, they did this in hundreds, they believe if they did it enough it would help the rain on it's way.. eventually after many days of sacrifice the rain would return. Now it probably does make more sense to you why the children are holding out their hearts.

Hope it helps Smile
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2013 09:21 PM by Gyldenglad.)
09-11-2013 09:19 PM
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Vertical Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

Well, I take my hat off, sir. Everything just fits.

Quote:"He spoke much of the sciences - of electricity and psychology - and gave exhibitions of power which sent his spectators away speechless, yet which swelled his fame to exceeding magnitude."
Maybe he was the Engineer?

Quote:"Nyarlathotep delights in cruelty, is deceptive and manipulative, and even cultivates followers and uses propaganda to achieve his goals. In this regard..."
The Machine was cruel, Mandus was deceived into all those vision, one of which ended tragically for his children. Mandus was manipulated into restoring the Machine under the premise of rescuing his children.


Quote:"...he is also a servant of Azathoth, his father, whose wishes he immediately fulfills. Unlike the other Outer Gods, causing madness is more important and enjoyable than death and destruction to Nyarlathotep. It is suggested by some that he will destroy the human race and possibly the earth as well."
He drove Mandus crazy. Vision of this cleansing as a way to destroy the human race.

You just gave me a lot to think about. Thanks.
09-11-2013 09:25 PM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

I actually agree - I had the impression that some thing was compelling Mandus, deliberately filling him with a carefully selected vision of the future, in order to fulfill a far more chaotic agenda.

As horrific as our own history is, I doubt a god fueled by the slaughter of entire civilizations would lead us to a brighter future...
09-11-2013 10:20 PM
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Lightice Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

No, I don't think that this story had anything to do with Lovecraft's stories. The Machine is not an independent entity, at all, but a broken piece of Mandus's own soul insane with the horrors of the 20th century and given god-like power through endless blood sacrifices. This game is all about the dark depths that humans are capable of succumbing on their own, and adding in some malevolent outside power to the mix would badly dilute that message.

And let me add that it seriously bugs me how poorly represented Nyarlathotep is by basically every writer other than Lovecraft. People keep presenting him as some apocalypse-level troll who screws wityh humanity for the hell of it, when in Lovecraft's own writings he is consistently a guardian on the treshold between mundane and supernatural, requiring sacrifices from those who attempt to cross that line and pursuing relentlessly those who don't pay the price.
09-12-2013 04:55 PM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

(09-12-2013 04:55 PM)Lightice Wrote:  No, I don't think that this story had anything to do with Lovecraft's stories. The Machine is not an independent entity, at all, but a broken piece of Mandus's own soul insane with the horrors of the 20th century and given god-like power through endless blood sacrifices. This game is all about the dark depths that humans are capable of succumbing on their own, and adding in some malevolent outside power to the mix would badly dilute that message.

And let me add that it seriously bugs me how poorly represented Nyarlathotep is by basically every writer other than Lovecraft. People keep presenting him as some apocalypse-level troll who screws wityh humanity for the hell of it, when in Lovecraft's own writings he is consistently a guardian on the treshold between mundane and supernatural, requiring sacrifices from those who attempt to cross that line and pursuing relentlessly those who don't pay the price.

...so he's like the Shadow?

I disagree about the inclusion of supernatural elements diminishing the effect of the story. After all, we have electric piggies, walking corpses, ghosts, sentient machines and a pig invasion to challenge our suspension of disbelief.

Amnesia (and presumably Penumbra) exist in a world ruled by the cosmic insignificance of humanity and their inability to understand the true nature of the world. In the case of Mandus, his vision of the 20th century, while technically 'true', seems to be very specifically tuned to highlight the most hideous episodes of humanity. Lest we forget, there have been many positive steps towards a better future in the last century - the toppling of colonial empires, the advancement of medical and educational systems, the creation of extensive communication networks (internet), and I can continue.

The tragedy of Mandus is that, seeing himself as too far-gone to truly redeem the world through positive change, the greedy industrialist instead chose to continue his cruelty to the logical extreme. Him creating a machine to redeem the world in blood is, in function, not any better than the horrors of capitalism and industrialization. And ultimately, his attempted genocide fails and he fades from history, having failed to understand the true solution to the human evil he had witnessed.

Again - as terrible as the wars of aggression and genocide in our century were, as horrific as the introduction of new weapons of mass destruction became, as slow as the tide of progress is in changing the exploitation of the underclass, it is still better to strive for positive change rather than give up entirely and embrace your nihilism. By decrying the evils of others, you ignore your own problems and pointless suffering is the only result.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2013 06:55 PM by Alardem.)
09-12-2013 06:54 PM
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Lightice Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

(09-12-2013 06:54 PM)Alardem Wrote:  ...so he's like the Shadow?


Does the Shadow require regular human sacrifices from people who try their hand at interdimensional travel?

Quote:I disagree about the inclusion of supernatural elements diminishing the effect of the story. After all, we have electric piggies, walking corpses, ghosts, sentient machines and a pig invasion to challenge our suspension of disbelief.


You misunderstand me. Ofcourse there are supernatural elements in the story. My point is that a human mind is the instigator of it all, not some otherwordly monster. Mandus used the Orb and bent it to his will and created the Machine of his own free (albeit batshit insane) will, no-one else compelled him to do it. The dissonance between his actions and intents eventually tore a piece of his own soul living its own life inside the machine; as the Engineer puts it: "before you I was but a rotting piece of architecture".

That is the real horror of A Machine for Pigs; it's not some eldritch abomination compelling people to commit evil deeds, they are just as good at it, if not better. In The Dark Descent Alexander, a monster from another world, is deeply disturbed how someone like Daniel can so eagerly torment his own kind. Mandus takes this to another extreme, since there is no-one to tell him to commit all his atrocities, he does them all by himself, bending the cosmic forces to serve him in his pursuit, rather than vice versa, all the while convincing himself that he's doing the world a service, until the cognitive dissonance cuts too deep and the Engineer is split off from him.
09-12-2013 07:31 PM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

(09-12-2013 07:31 PM)Lightice Wrote:  
(09-12-2013 06:54 PM)Alardem Wrote:  ...so he's like the Shadow?


Does the Shadow require regular human sacrifices from people who try their hand at interdimensional travel?

...yes. At least, that's what Alexander, man from another world, had convinced Daniel into believing. Anyways, they're both 'guardians' against things humanity was not yet ready to harness.

Quote:You misunderstand me. Ofcourse there are supernatural elements in the story. My point is that a human mind is the instigator of it all, not some otherwordly monster. Mandus used the Orb and bent it to his will and created the Machine of his own free (albeit batshit insane) will, no-one else compelled him to do it. The dissonance between his actions and intents eventually tore a piece of his own soul living its own life inside the machine; as the Engineer puts it: "before you I was but a rotting piece of architecture".

That is the real horror of A Machine for Pigs; it's not some eldritch abomination compelling people to commit evil deeds, they are just as good at it, if not better. In The Dark Descent Alexander, a monster from another world, is deeply disturbed how someone like Daniel can so eagerly torment his own kind. Mandus takes this to another extreme, since there is no-one to tell him to commit all his atrocities, he does them all by himself, bending the cosmic forces to serve him in his pursuit, rather than vice versa, all the while convincing himself that he's doing the world a service, until the cognitive dissonance cuts too deep and the Engineer is split off from him.

I agree with the notion of the true horror of Amnesia coming from the depths of evil humans are capable of. I'm just saying that it's compatible with hints that these actions could be derived from a skewed perspective of the world.

Again, the vision Mandus had of the future was skewed towards displaying upcoming evils of imperialism, mechanized suffering and (presumably) his own hand in such acts. He failed to understand that it was possible to resist these horrors without resorting to violence, pain and slaughter. He didn't change his ways at all - he simply continued his sins to their bloody conclusion. (Scrooge would be disappointed.)
09-12-2013 07:43 PM
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Lightice Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

(09-12-2013 07:43 PM)Alardem Wrote:  
(09-12-2013 07:31 PM)Lightice Wrote:  
(09-12-2013 06:54 PM)Alardem Wrote:  ...so he's like the Shadow?


Does the Shadow require regular human sacrifices from people who try their hand at interdimensional travel?

...yes. At least, that's what Alexander, man from another world, had convinced Daniel into believing. Anyways, they're both 'guardians' against things humanity was not yet ready to harness.

Point. I interpreted the Shadow more like an impersonal force of nature than an intelligent entity, though. But yeah, the Shadow from the first game seemed pretty closely inspired by Lovecraft's The Hound and the Haunter of the Dark. The latter just so happens be an aspect of Nyarlathotep.
09-15-2013 08:27 PM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Story Spoilers: Nyarlathotep?

Funnily enough, the Amnesia fan wiki's detailed breakdown on the Shadow paints it as an almost anti-heroic force which only torments Daniel in order to help it stop Alexander.

Why is it that Mandus is not also hounded by some supernatural guardian of the Stone Egg? Does that indicate the Egg has a different function/purpose from the Orbs used by Alexander? I personally want to think that whatever Mandus discovered in the Aztec temples is unrelated to the artifact that Daniel discovered, since unfamiliarity and unpredictability are a hallmark of cosmic horror.
09-15-2013 08:57 PM
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