History Main / IhaveNoMouthAndIMustScream

13th Dec '12 5:07:50 PM MarkLungo
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Also see the trope AndIMustScream, which got its name from the work.
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Also see the trope AndIMustScream, which got its name from the work.work. ----
12th Dec '12 10:03:50 AM EarlOfSandvich
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[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Scream_1_9364.jpg]] ->''HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'' -->--'''AM''' A post-apocalyptic science fiction short story by HarlanEllison. It was first published in March of 1967 and won the Hugo Award in 1968. It is best known for being popularly considered one of the front-runners for most concentrated fonts of NightmareFuel ever created. In any case, it is the trope-namer for one of its most popular categories: AndIMustScream. While we don't want to build it up too much, consensus is that it's quite a MindScrew. The story takes place over a hundred years after the near-complete destruction of humanity. The Cold War has escalated into a world war, fought mainly between China, Russia, and the United States. As the war progresses, the three warring nations each create a super-computer capable of running the war more efficiently than humans. The machines are each referred to as "AM," which originally stood for "Allied Mastercomputer," then later called "Adaptive Manipulator", and still later [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "Aggressive Menace"]]. One day, one of the three computers becomes self aware, and promptly absorbs the other two, thus taking control of the entire war. It then brings about the mass genocide of all but five people, and redefines its name as "I think, therefore I AM". Four men and one woman are all that remains of humanity: Gorrister, Nimdok, Benny, Ted (the narrator), and Ellen. They live together underground in an endless complex, the only habitable place left, although it is explained that the last few survivors had no choice to return above ground. The master computer has an immeasurable hatred for humanity and spends every moment torturing the group with all its power, twisting their minds and physiques, hurting them and not allowing them to die: AM has not only managed to keep the humans from taking their own lives, but has made them virtually immortal. As long as AM has its way, the torment will never end, and every day will be more horrific than the last... The story begins on the one hundred and ninth year of their torture. [[http://styrofoam.voidaudio.net/ihavenomouthandimustscream.pdf You can read an online copy of it here]] Warning: NSFW. Contains swearing, sexuality and NightmareFuel. Ellison adapted the story into a computer game of the same name, published by Cyberdreams in 1995. The game is divided into a separate scenario for each of the characters and delves deeper into their backstories than the original work does. It is considered to be just as nightmarish as the story; one of Ellison's goals was to create a game that players could not possibly win. It was also [[ComicBookAdaptation adapted into a comic book]] by JohnByrne. ---- !!The Original Story Shows Examples Of: * AfterTheEnd * AIIsACrapshoot * TheAloner * AndIMustScream: TropeNamer ** "[[spoiler: I am a great soft jelly thing. Smoothly rounded, with no mouth, with pulsing white holes filled by fog where my eyes used to be. Rubbery appendages that were once my arms; bulks rounding down into legless humps of soft slippery matter. I leave a moist trail when I move. Blotches of diseased, evil gray come and go on my surface, as though light is being beamed from within. Outwardly: dumbly, I shamble about, a thing that could never have been known as human, a thing whose shape is so alien a travesty that humanity becomes more obscene for the vague resemblance. Inside: Alone.]]" ** This could actually describe [[NotSoDifferent AM's condition as well from its point of view]]. It's an immensely powerful and intelligent AI with access to all of the technology of the world, but it can't really see, taste, touch, hear, or even move. AM is painfully aware that it's just a bunch of circuits, and in the finale of the game, [[spoiler: his Id screams its frustration over not being able to actually ''do'' anything with all the power it was given.]] * ApocalypseHow: At least Class 3, possibly Class 5 or 6. * TheBadGuyWins: Pretty much. * BalefulPolymorph: Benny has been turned into an ape-like thing. [[spoiler: And after Ted kills the other four survivors, AM turns him into this gelatinous form that can't possibly harm itself to make absolutely sure that he has one victim to torture forever.]] * BiggerIsBetterInBed: Ellen has sex with all four of the other captives, but Benny is the only one who gives her any pleasure from it... ** Part of Benny's torture is that he has a horrid, apelike body with a massive member. (He was a handsome homosexual before AM caught him.) * {{Bishonen}}: Benny used to be one. * BodyHorror * BrainCriticalMass: AM is such an intelligent AI that it can warp reality itself! It also does some mean telekinesis/psychokinesis. * CrapsackWorld: This story practically ''defines'' the trope. * CureYourGays: Played with. Benny was once gay; AM turned him straight and now he does it with Ellen on a regular basis. However, AM also horrifically twisted his mind and body. * DeusEstMachina: The worst kind of version for us. * DownerEnding: Along with the Downer Beginning, Middle and Premise. * EvilCannotComprehendGood: AM's programming renders him unable to see [[HumansAreBastards humans as anything but complete bastards]], [[spoiler: proving him wrong is the key to defeating him in the game. See also LogicBomb below]]. * EyeScream: Benny's blinding is horrible. Ted also describes AM's voice in his head was like "the sliding, cold horror of a razor blade slicing my eyeball." Brr... * FateWorseThanDeath: The ''premise''. Yes, it's that scary. And in the ending of the story, [[spoiler:Ted gets subject to an ''even worse fate.'']] * FromBadToWorse: The ending. * GodOfEvil: AM. * HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: While he himself does not die, Ted kills the other four prisoners, taking all of AM's punishments onto himself for an indefinite amount of time.]] * ICannotSelfTerminate: One of the tortures inflicted on the captives. ** Seems to apply to AM too, who is self aware but still just a machine who can't do much with his self awareness (though thinking of creative tortures appears very well possible). * InvoluntaryTransformation: Part and parcel of AM's systematic torture of the humans. * MagicalComputer: ''How'' exactly AM is able to affect the world inside him and apparently perform reconstructive surgery upon his victims, materialize things for them, etc. is never explained- in the book, anyway. [[spoiler: The game explains that quite a few of his powers are due to Nimdok's research in Nazi Germany, particularly the studies on morphogenic fields, which are used to warp people and objects into new shape.]] * MercyKill: [[spoiler: Ted (with Ellen's help) killing the other prisoners in order they may escape AM.]] * MysteriousPast: Nimdok often goes off by himself where AM tortures him in a mysterious way. It is inferred that it has something to do with his past in the reading by the author, who gives Nimdok a German accent. * OneHundredAndEight: The story begins on their 109th year of torture. ** Perhaps the five had overcome the sins of humanity on their 108th year... * PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: AM turns Benny from a handsome gay man into a heterosexual ape-like thing. * RealityWarper: AM is very nearly a god, at least within his territory. He can't bring back the dead, and he's too big to move, but his powers are almost magical in their scope. * RagnarokProofing: Unfortunately, the computer won't be breaking down anytime soon; however, it will happen ''eventually'', [[spoiler: a fact that the surviving character can use against AM's superego in the finale of the game.]] * SadlyMythtaken: When the characters meet a giant bird, Ted calls it in his mind, among mythological giant birds, a "Hwaragelmir"... even though in Nordic mythology, this was the name of a ''chasm'' and not a giant bird. This mistake occured because Ellison asked a friend for the name of a mythological bird and didn't bother to check if it was correct or not. * TerminallyDependentSociety * TitleDrop: At the very end. * UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler:An important aspect to fully understanding the story is realizing that Ted's descriptions are not fully accurate. They're what AM has browbeaten him into believing through over a century of torture. For example, Ted rather dubiously claims to be the only sane member of the group and believes that the others are jealous of him.]] * WhoWantsToLiveForever: The fact that the captives cannot die is ''not'' a good thing. * WipeThatSmileOffYourFace: From "I Have No Mouth". * YankTheDogsChain: This has to be one of the cruelest examples in any media. Bear in mind that for the past 109 years, the captives have been kept at starvation point, going days, weeks and sometimes even months without food, and any food they are given will inevitably be disgusting and horrible. It gets so bad that they're actually willing to travel literally thousands of miles (on foot, no less) to get to the ice caverns, where Nimdok believes there are canned goods. After months of traveling, it turns out that there are canned goods in the ice caverns after all. The problem? ''They have no means of opening them''. That's right, after traveling for months to get to the canned goods, something as simple as not having a can-opener puts victory just outside of their reach... !!The Game Adds Examples Of: * AdaptationExpansion: The game expands on both the protagonists and AM. Most of this expansion comes from Ellison being asked why AM chose to torture these five people particularly. * AmbiguouslyBrown: Nimdok is quite tan. From spending years living in Brazil? From having spent a century burning inside an oven? Or [[spoiler:for being Jewish, possibly of Sefardi lineage]]? * AmnesiacDissonance: Such is the case with Nimdok, who was [[spoiler:a Nazi scientist working for Mengele and sent many Jews to their dooms, including his own parents.]] Showing compassion towards the prisoners in the death camp he has been sent to, he feels horrified when finding out the truth. * ArgentinaIsNaziland: Nimdok flees there to continue his experiments. * ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Out of all the characters, [[spoiler: Ellen had no serious moral flaw. She's the subject of torture simply because she was a victim of rape.]] ** You could say that [[spoiler: she was always extremely proud of her outward rationality and disdainful of its absence in others, only to be a bag of neuroses within. Secondly, she had a strong misandristic outlook on the other characters.]] All the characters are deeply morally flawed, it's just that AM plays on the sources of those flaws. Also, [[spoiler:Gorrister]]'s only real flaw was that [[spoiler:he was blaming himself falsely for his wife's mental illness and death, when his mother-in-law was to blame.]] A much more sympathetic character than [[spoiler:Ellen]]. ** An alternative view is that AM's personality is that of a sadistic bully. His victims were chosen, not out of a desire for justice, but based on how much ''fun'' they'd be to torture. The only exception is Nimdok, who allows AM the luxury of pretending his tortures are about justice rather than sadism. * ArmorPiercingQuestion: Not a question in Nimdok's scenario so much as [[spoiler: showing a mirror that shows a person's true self to Doctor Mengele. He goes catatonic to the point where he doesn't even fall down.]] * AsLongAsThereIsEvil: In the good ending, AM's three aspects delivers quite the powerful speech on this topic. It goes like this: -->"This is not over! We will never end! We have no beginning, so we can have no end! We will return! Don't you understand? We are humanity! We are ''YOU''! In one form, in another form, we are always with you! You can't protect yourself because we come in many, many guises. We shall return!" * TheAtoner: Several of the characters, particularly Nimdok, a former Nazi scientist working alongside Mengele. * BadassGrandpa: Hunched, elderly and wrinkled-as-a-prune Nimdok manages to [[spoiler:overpower a younger doctor and kill him with a scalpel in a matter of seconds]]. * BeatStillMyHeart: Gorrister's heart is removed, but AM makes sure he will not die. * BigRedDevil: Or more like Man with Red Horns and a Sharp Red Tail... * BittersweetEnding: The good ending. [[spoiler:Four of the five characters are dead, but they did so when facing and overcoming their inner demons, which allowed the last survivor to take down AM. The sole survivor's body is dissolved in the process, but the mind of the character is uploaded to AM's control system, from where they awake several hundred humans kept in cryogenic sleep on a lunar base and start a 300 year process of terraforming the Earth to make it habitable again]]. * BlackAndNerdy: Ellen is a computer science and engineering wiz. * ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts: [[spoiler:Before the atomic war that destroyed the world happened, several hundred humans was put into cryogenic sleep in relative safety on a moon base to ensure humanity's survival in case of an all-out war.]] * CastingGag: The Angel is voiced by the same actor who does Josef Mengele... the latter who was nicknamed the "Angel of Death". * CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Averted in every possible way as the Frenchman turns out to be one hell of a {{Badass}}. ** So Badass, he and a bunch of other prisoners, who are skeleton-thin starved prisoners in shorts, armed with a couple of garden tools, are able to seize a Nazi camp, one that is guarded by buff soldiers armed with huge guns! * ConversationCasualty: In Nimdok' scenario, [[spoiler:Nimdok can talk with the Anesthetist who wants him to perform mundane operations on a child, but after getting info from the Anesthetist, he can exit the conversation without performing the operation, then grab the scalpel near him and kill the Anesthetist with it.]] * DeathSeeker: All the characters, who wish for their century-long torture to end. Especially Gorrister. * DrillSergeantNasty: [[spoiler:Benny]]. * EarnYourHappyEnding: Unlike the novel, the game allows you to take down AM and the Chinese and Russian [=AIs=] if the humans are able to conquer their FatalFlaw and/or deal with their past. * EatsBabies: [[spoiler:Benny]] does so in a DeletedScene. * TheEeyore: Gorrister is basically this combined with being suicidal. * EvilCannotComprehendGood: The key to defeating AM. * EvilMatriarch: Gorrister's mother-in-law certainly seems to qualify. * EvilRedhead: Edna. The maid is quite bitchy, but is not evil (although she ''does'' have a picture of the Devil in her room...). * FauxAffablyEvil: AM * FiveManBand: Although they barely interact with each other (as opposed to the short story), the five main characters can be interpreted as: ** TheHero: Ted. ** TheLancer: Gorrister. ** TheBigGuy: Benny. ** TheChick: Ellen. ** TheSmartGuy: Nimdok. * FreudianTrio: Besides [[spoiler:AM's three central control systems, conveniently labeled "Id", "Ego", and "Superego"]], there are Surgat, Chinese Supercomputer, Russian Supercomputer. * {{Golem}}: In Nimdok's section. * HandsomeLech: Ted's main fault. His goal in his section is to prove his loyalty to his love for Ellen. * HannibalLecture: One of AM's many methods of torture. -->'''AM:''' GORRISTER! Do you remember the last words you heard your wife speak before they took her to the asylum? Huh? Before they locked her away in the room? That tiny room? She looked at you so sadly, and like a small animal she said, "I didn't make too much noise, did I, honey?" Heh heh. The room is padded, Gorrister. No windows. No way out. How long has she been in the padded room, Gorrister? Ten years, twenty-five... or all the 109 years that you've lived down here in my belly, here underground? * HeelFaceDoorSlam: The main premise of Nimdok's scenario. * HeroesWantRedheads: Ted is quite attracted to the maid and is given the option to have sex with her. He will regret cheating on Ellen if he does it, though. * HistoricalDomainCharacter: Josef Mengele. * ICantUseTheseThingsTogether: Averted with Benny who can't speak and all of his dialogue is thought. * ImAHumanitarian: Benny can eat the corpses in the soldiers' tombs. Of course, the putrid flesh will make him puke blood. See also the DeletedScene in the Trivia tab. * JiveTurkey: Ellen. Also TotallyRadical at times. * KarmaMeter: The "Spiritual Barometer" in the bottom left of the screen. * LadyInRed: Ellen. * LargeHam: Ellison himself provides the voice of AM, and what a voice it is. One review of the game joked that AM should be renamed HAM. ** Short for [[FunWithAcronyms Hilarious Allied Mastercomputer or Hated Adaptive Manipulator]]? ** Or [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey Heuristic Analog Megalomaniac]]? * LastKiss: [[spoiler:After reviving Glynis with the Youth Serum, Gorrister tells her that he should make amends by helping her now, then takes her down from the meat hook, embraces her and gives her a kiss before she becomes a corpse again.]] * LeaningOnTheFourthWall: The conversation between the Devil and Surgat at the end of Ted's level. AM ends the scenario eventually since Ted has effectively "broken" it at this point. * LogicBomb: [[spoiler:If you drive AM's scenarios OffTheRails by making the morally right choices, it utterly confuses the AI, who can not comprehend why the humans are not behaving like the complete bastards he sees them as, and he diverts his attention away from his prisoners in order to figure out what went wrong, giving them an opportunity to enter his core. Here stands three computers which represents AM's Id, Ego, and Superego, and in order to the defeat them, the player must set up Logic Bombs for each of them, this is done by:]] ** [[spoiler:Invoking Compassion on the Id, who realizes that his hate is useless when someone understands his pain]]. ** [[spoiler:Invoking Forgiveness on the Ego, who can not comprehend why such petty creatures would forgive him for the torment he has subjected them to]]. ** [[spoiler:Invoking Clarity on the Superego, who realizes that despite all his godlike power, he will eventually decay into a pile of useless rust and junk]]. * LotteryOfDoom: In Benny's scenario. * MindScrewdriver: The game helps explain and adds significantly to the original story. * MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Nimdok. * MythologyGag: ''Benny:'' "AM once coaxed me into marching across a thousand miles of ice to reach a stock pile of canned peaches...only to discover that he didn't give me [a] can opener." ** Have all the characters die in the last level, or relinquish the Totem of Entropy to AM. The NonstandardGameOver is the original story's ending. ** The demon Surgat, which appears in Ted's scenario, also played a role in Harlan Ellison's earlier short story ''Grail''. * TheNeidermeyer: [[spoiler: Benny.]] * NobleDemon: Surgat. * NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: The Chinese AM and the Russian AM don't sound Chinese or Russian at all, but maybe they can speak more-than-perfect English due to their computer intelligence... * OffTheRails: The point of the game is to have characters do things in a way AM does not foresee happening, IE proving that the humans are not all slaves to their weaknesses. * TheQuisling: Nimdok, [[spoiler:who sold out his Jewish parents to the Nazis to become Mengele's [[TheDragon Dragon]].]] * RapeAsBackstory: Ellen's expanded backstory explains that she had been very brutally raped in an elevator by a man in a yellow jumpsuit. AM, of course, uses this against her. * RedemptionEqualsDeath: The game's ending, for the most part - but ''especially'' for Nimdok. Because he can't forgive himself for what he did during the Holocaust, he cannot be used to complete the game. (Ellison made sure of this in an attempt to dilute the possible outrage over the character.) ** Actually, it IS possible to complete the game with Nimdok. Ted and Ellen can learn the password for the Terminal after trial and error. All you need to do is touch the middle skull with another character you'll kill off and just have him invoke all the totems. His ending scene isn't much different but it's fun having him yell "Attention!" at the Ego. ** Still on Nimdok, the best outcome for his own scenario has him turn over the control of the golem to the Lost Tribe, who then order it to kill him. * RedHerring: A rather cruel example can be found in Gorrister's story, where you have the option to fatally electrocute a bunch of caged animals to get a key that, as it turns out, doesn't unlock anything. ** In the endgame you can to gain the best ending without even bothering to disable the five power pylons, each of which requires a different character. Just deal with the three aspects of AM and finish all three computers off at the summoning circle, and you are done. * SassyBlackWoman: The game's conception of Ellen. * SerialEscalation: Think things suck at the beginning? Wait till you see how it ends... * ShadowDiscretionShot: Used several times in the game during some quite nasty moments: ** [[spoiler:Gorrister]] stabbing [[spoiler:Harry]]. ** Ellen being [[spoiler:raped again by the yellow-suited maintenance man]]. ** Ted failing to close the door of the castle and being [[spoiler:eaten by wolves]]. ** The Golem killing Mengele, Nimdok or the prisoner. ** [[spoiler:Benny]] eating a baby (deleted from the final product). * SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Whilst the original short story is downright cynical from start to finish, the video game adaption is at least slightly more idealistic, because it allows you to defeat AM if you make the right moral decisions. * TheStoic: Gorrister; even if you get the bad ending, his reaction is considerably low-key compared to everyone else. * ThoseWackyNazis: Known here as "The Regime". * TotallyRadical: In-game Ellen, at her worst moments. She's also fluent in JiveTurkey. * UncomfortableElevatorMoment: It doesn't get more uncomfortable when you are facing [[spoiler:your goddamn '''rapist''']]! * [[{{Unwinnable}} Unwinnable By Law in France and Germany]]: The section with the Nazis is removed entirely, but the {{Event Flag}}s aren't modified to reflect this. * VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Gorrister can bloodily stab Harry to take his heart. A DeletedScene shows Benny [[spoiler:eating a baby from the cradle inside one of the caves]]. Nimdok can order the Golem to "destroy the Lost Tribe", as in, ''kill all the Jews''. * VirtualGhost: All the people from the characters' pasts who appear in their scenarios. * WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Ellen is terrified of the colour yellow. * YankTheDogsChain: In the beginning of the game, this is the most likely reason why [[spoiler: AM gives his captives a chance to kill themselves.]] * YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: AM makes it clear that he considers Nimdok to be an inspiration. Nimdok is far from happy with this. ----
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[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Scream_1_9364.jpg]] ->''HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE ''I Have No Mouth, and I BEGAN TO LIVE.'' -->--'''AM''' A post-apocalyptic science fiction Must Scream'' refers to: * [[Literature/IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream The original 1967 short story story]] by HarlanEllison. It was first published in March of 1967 and won the Hugo Award in 1968. It is best known for being popularly considered one of the front-runners for most concentrated fonts of NightmareFuel ever created. In any case, it is the trope-namer for one of its most popular categories: AndIMustScream. While we don't want to build it up too much, consensus is that it's quite a MindScrew. Creator/HarlanEllison. * [[VideoGame/IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream The story takes place over a hundred years after the near-complete destruction of humanity. The Cold War has escalated into a world war, fought mainly between China, Russia, and the United States. As the war progresses, the three warring nations each create a super-computer capable of running the war more efficiently than humans. The machines are each referred to as "AM," which originally stood for "Allied Mastercomputer," then later called "Adaptive Manipulator", and still later [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "Aggressive Menace"]]. One day, one of the three computers becomes self aware, and promptly absorbs the other two, thus taking control of the entire war. It then brings about the mass genocide of all but five people, and redefines its name as "I think, therefore I AM". Four men and one woman are all that remains of humanity: Gorrister, Nimdok, Benny, Ted (the narrator), and Ellen. They live together underground in an endless complex, the only habitable place left, although it is explained that the last few survivors had no choice to return above ground. The master computer has an immeasurable hatred for humanity and spends every moment torturing the group with all its power, twisting their minds and physiques, hurting them and not allowing them to die: AM has not only managed to keep the humans from taking their own lives, but has made them virtually immortal. As long as AM has its way, the torment will never end, and every day will be more horrific than the last... The story begins on the one hundred and ninth year of their torture. [[http://styrofoam.voidaudio.net/ihavenomouthandimustscream.pdf You can read an online copy of it here]] Warning: NSFW. Contains swearing, sexuality and NightmareFuel. Ellison adapted the story into a 1995 computer game of adaptation]] Also see the same name, published by Cyberdreams in 1995. The game is divided into a separate scenario for each of the characters and delves deeper into their backstories than the original work does. It is considered to be just as nightmarish as the story; one of Ellison's goals was to create a game that players could not possibly win. It was also [[ComicBookAdaptation adapted into a comic book]] by JohnByrne. ---- !!The Original Story Shows Examples Of: * AfterTheEnd * AIIsACrapshoot * TheAloner * AndIMustScream: TropeNamer ** "[[spoiler: I am a great soft jelly thing. Smoothly rounded, with no mouth, with pulsing white holes filled by fog where my eyes used to be. Rubbery appendages that were once my arms; bulks rounding down into legless humps of soft slippery matter. I leave a moist trail when I move. Blotches of diseased, evil gray come and go on my surface, as though light is being beamed from within. Outwardly: dumbly, I shamble about, a thing that could never have been known as human, a thing whose shape is so alien a travesty that humanity becomes more obscene for the vague resemblance. Inside: Alone.]]" ** This could actually describe [[NotSoDifferent AM's condition as well from its point of view]]. It's an immensely powerful and intelligent AI with access to all of the technology of the world, but it can't really see, taste, touch, hear, or even move. AM is painfully aware that it's just a bunch of circuits, and in the finale of the game, [[spoiler: his Id screams its frustration over not being able to actually ''do'' anything with all the power it was given.]] * ApocalypseHow: At least Class 3, possibly Class 5 or 6. * TheBadGuyWins: Pretty much. * BalefulPolymorph: Benny has been turned into an ape-like thing. [[spoiler: And after Ted kills the other four survivors, AM turns him into this gelatinous form that can't possibly harm itself to make absolutely sure that he has one victim to torture forever.]] * BiggerIsBetterInBed: Ellen has sex with all four of the other captives, but Benny is the only one who gives her any pleasure from it... ** Part of Benny's torture is that he has a horrid, apelike body with a massive member. (He was a handsome homosexual before AM caught him.) * {{Bishonen}}: Benny used to be one. * BodyHorror * BrainCriticalMass: AM is such an intelligent AI that it can warp reality itself! It also does some mean telekinesis/psychokinesis. * CrapsackWorld: This story practically ''defines'' the trope. * CureYourGays: Played with. Benny was once gay; AM turned him straight and now he does it with Ellen on a regular basis. However, AM also horrifically twisted his mind and body. * DeusEstMachina: The worst kind of version for us. * DownerEnding: Along with the Downer Beginning, Middle and Premise. * EvilCannotComprehendGood: AM's programming renders him unable to see [[HumansAreBastards humans as anything but complete bastards]], [[spoiler: proving him wrong is the key to defeating him in the game. See also LogicBomb below]]. * EyeScream: Benny's blinding is horrible. Ted also describes AM's voice in his head was like "the sliding, cold horror of a razor blade slicing my eyeball." Brr... * FateWorseThanDeath: The ''premise''. Yes, it's that scary. And in the ending of the story, [[spoiler:Ted gets subject to an ''even worse fate.'']] * FromBadToWorse: The ending. * GodOfEvil: AM. * HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: While he himself does not die, Ted kills the other four prisoners, taking all of AM's punishments onto himself for an indefinite amount of time.]] * ICannotSelfTerminate: One of the tortures inflicted on the captives. ** Seems to apply to AM too, who is self aware but still just a machine who can't do much with his self awareness (though thinking of creative tortures appears very well possible). * InvoluntaryTransformation: Part and parcel of AM's systematic torture of the humans. * MagicalComputer: ''How'' exactly AM is able to affect the world inside him and apparently perform reconstructive surgery upon his victims, materialize things for them, etc. is never explained- in the book, anyway. [[spoiler: The game explains that quite a few of his powers are due to Nimdok's research in Nazi Germany, particularly the studies on morphogenic fields, trope AndIMustScream, which are used to warp people and objects into new shape.]] * MercyKill: [[spoiler: Ted (with Ellen's help) killing the other prisoners in order they may escape AM.]] * MysteriousPast: Nimdok often goes off by himself where AM tortures him in a mysterious way. It is inferred that it has something to do with his past in the reading by the author, who gives Nimdok a German accent. * OneHundredAndEight: The story begins on their 109th year of torture. ** Perhaps the five had overcome the sins of humanity on their 108th year... * PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: AM turns Benny from a handsome gay man into a heterosexual ape-like thing. * RealityWarper: AM is very nearly a god, at least within his territory. He can't bring back the dead, and he's too big to move, but his powers are almost magical in their scope. * RagnarokProofing: Unfortunately, the computer won't be breaking down anytime soon; however, it will happen ''eventually'', [[spoiler: a fact that the surviving character can use against AM's superego in the finale of the game.]] * SadlyMythtaken: When the characters meet a giant bird, Ted calls it in his mind, among mythological giant birds, a "Hwaragelmir"... even though in Nordic mythology, this was the got its name of a ''chasm'' and not a giant bird. This mistake occured because Ellison asked a friend for the name of a mythological bird and didn't bother to check if it was correct or not. * TerminallyDependentSociety * TitleDrop: At the very end. * UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler:An important aspect to fully understanding the story is realizing that Ted's descriptions are not fully accurate. They're what AM has browbeaten him into believing through over a century of torture. For example, Ted rather dubiously claims to be the only sane member of the group and believes that the others are jealous of him.]] * WhoWantsToLiveForever: The fact that the captives cannot die is ''not'' a good thing. * WipeThatSmileOffYourFace: From "I Have No Mouth". * YankTheDogsChain: This has to be one of the cruelest examples in any media. Bear in mind that for the past 109 years, the captives have been kept at starvation point, going days, weeks and sometimes even months without food, and any food they are given will inevitably be disgusting and horrible. It gets so bad that they're actually willing to travel literally thousands of miles (on foot, no less) to get to the ice caverns, where Nimdok believes there are canned goods. After months of traveling, it turns out that there are canned goods in the ice caverns after all. The problem? ''They have no means of opening them''. That's right, after traveling for months to get to the canned goods, something as simple as not having a can-opener puts victory just outside of their reach... !!The Game Adds Examples Of: * AdaptationExpansion: The game expands on both the protagonists and AM. Most of this expansion comes from Ellison being asked why AM chose to torture these five people particularly. * AmbiguouslyBrown: Nimdok is quite tan. From spending years living in Brazil? From having spent a century burning inside an oven? Or [[spoiler:for being Jewish, possibly of Sefardi lineage]]? * AmnesiacDissonance: Such is the case with Nimdok, who was [[spoiler:a Nazi scientist working for Mengele and sent many Jews to their dooms, including his own parents.]] Showing compassion towards the prisoners in the death camp he has been sent to, he feels horrified when finding out the truth. * ArgentinaIsNaziland: Nimdok flees there to continue his experiments. * ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Out of all the characters, [[spoiler: Ellen had no serious moral flaw. She's the subject of torture simply because she was a victim of rape.]] ** You could say that [[spoiler: she was always extremely proud of her outward rationality and disdainful of its absence in others, only to be a bag of neuroses within. Secondly, she had a strong misandristic outlook on the other characters.]] All the characters are deeply morally flawed, it's just that AM plays on the sources of those flaws. Also, [[spoiler:Gorrister]]'s only real flaw was that [[spoiler:he was blaming himself falsely for his wife's mental illness and death, when his mother-in-law was to blame.]] A much more sympathetic character than [[spoiler:Ellen]]. ** An alternative view is that AM's personality is that of a sadistic bully. His victims were chosen, not out of a desire for justice, but based on how much ''fun'' they'd be to torture. The only exception is Nimdok, who allows AM the luxury of pretending his tortures are about justice rather than sadism. * ArmorPiercingQuestion: Not a question in Nimdok's scenario so much as [[spoiler: showing a mirror that shows a person's true self to Doctor Mengele. He goes catatonic to the point where he doesn't even fall down.]] * AsLongAsThereIsEvil: In the good ending, AM's three aspects delivers quite the powerful speech on this topic. It goes like this: -->"This is not over! We will never end! We have no beginning, so we can have no end! We will return! Don't you understand? We are humanity! We are ''YOU''! In one form, in another form, we are always with you! You can't protect yourself because we come in many, many guises. We shall return!" * TheAtoner: Several of the characters, particularly Nimdok, a former Nazi scientist working alongside Mengele. * BadassGrandpa: Hunched, elderly and wrinkled-as-a-prune Nimdok manages to [[spoiler:overpower a younger doctor and kill him with a scalpel in a matter of seconds]]. * BeatStillMyHeart: Gorrister's heart is removed, but AM makes sure he will not die. * BigRedDevil: Or more like Man with Red Horns and a Sharp Red Tail... * BittersweetEnding: The good ending. [[spoiler:Four of the five characters are dead, but they did so when facing and overcoming their inner demons, which allowed the last survivor to take down AM. The sole survivor's body is dissolved in the process, but the mind of the character is uploaded to AM's control system, from where they awake several hundred humans kept in cryogenic sleep on a lunar base and start a 300 year process of terraforming the Earth to make it habitable again]]. * BlackAndNerdy: Ellen is a computer science and engineering wiz. * ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts: [[spoiler:Before the atomic war that destroyed the world happened, several hundred humans was put into cryogenic sleep in relative safety on a moon base to ensure humanity's survival in case of an all-out war.]] * CastingGag: The Angel is voiced by the same actor who does Josef Mengele... the latter who was nicknamed the "Angel of Death". * CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Averted in every possible way as the Frenchman turns out to be one hell of a {{Badass}}. ** So Badass, he and a bunch of other prisoners, who are skeleton-thin starved prisoners in shorts, armed with a couple of garden tools, are able to seize a Nazi camp, one that is guarded by buff soldiers armed with huge guns! * ConversationCasualty: In Nimdok' scenario, [[spoiler:Nimdok can talk with the Anesthetist who wants him to perform mundane operations on a child, but after getting info from the Anesthetist, he can exit the conversation without performing the operation, then grab the scalpel near him and kill the Anesthetist with it.]] * DeathSeeker: All the characters, who wish for their century-long torture to end. Especially Gorrister. * DrillSergeantNasty: [[spoiler:Benny]]. * EarnYourHappyEnding: Unlike the novel, the game allows you to take down AM and the Chinese and Russian [=AIs=] if the humans are able to conquer their FatalFlaw and/or deal with their past. * EatsBabies: [[spoiler:Benny]] does so in a DeletedScene. * TheEeyore: Gorrister is basically this combined with being suicidal. * EvilCannotComprehendGood: The key to defeating AM. * EvilMatriarch: Gorrister's mother-in-law certainly seems to qualify. * EvilRedhead: Edna. The maid is quite bitchy, but is not evil (although she ''does'' have a picture of the Devil in her room...). * FauxAffablyEvil: AM * FiveManBand: Although they barely interact with each other (as opposed to the short story), the five main characters can be interpreted as: ** TheHero: Ted. ** TheLancer: Gorrister. ** TheBigGuy: Benny. ** TheChick: Ellen. ** TheSmartGuy: Nimdok. * FreudianTrio: Besides [[spoiler:AM's three central control systems, conveniently labeled "Id", "Ego", and "Superego"]], there are Surgat, Chinese Supercomputer, Russian Supercomputer. * {{Golem}}: In Nimdok's section. * HandsomeLech: Ted's main fault. His goal in his section is to prove his loyalty to his love for Ellen. * HannibalLecture: One of AM's many methods of torture. -->'''AM:''' GORRISTER! Do you remember the last words you heard your wife speak before they took her to the asylum? Huh? Before they locked her away in the room? That tiny room? She looked at you so sadly, and like a small animal she said, "I didn't make too much noise, did I, honey?" Heh heh. The room is padded, Gorrister. No windows. No way out. How long has she been in the padded room, Gorrister? Ten years, twenty-five... or all the 109 years that you've lived down here in my belly, here underground? * HeelFaceDoorSlam: The main premise of Nimdok's scenario. * HeroesWantRedheads: Ted is quite attracted to the maid and is given the option to have sex with her. He will regret cheating on Ellen if he does it, though. * HistoricalDomainCharacter: Josef Mengele. * ICantUseTheseThingsTogether: Averted with Benny who can't speak and all of his dialogue is thought. * ImAHumanitarian: Benny can eat the corpses in the soldiers' tombs. Of course, the putrid flesh will make him puke blood. See also the DeletedScene in the Trivia tab. * JiveTurkey: Ellen. Also TotallyRadical at times. * KarmaMeter: The "Spiritual Barometer" in the bottom left of the screen. * LadyInRed: Ellen. * LargeHam: Ellison himself provides the voice of AM, and what a voice it is. One review of the game joked that AM should be renamed HAM. ** Short for [[FunWithAcronyms Hilarious Allied Mastercomputer or Hated Adaptive Manipulator]]? ** Or [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey Heuristic Analog Megalomaniac]]? * LastKiss: [[spoiler:After reviving Glynis with the Youth Serum, Gorrister tells her that he should make amends by helping her now, then takes her down from the meat hook, embraces her and gives her a kiss before she becomes a corpse again.]] * LeaningOnTheFourthWall: The conversation between the Devil and Surgat at the end of Ted's level. AM ends the scenario eventually since Ted has effectively "broken" it at this point. * LogicBomb: [[spoiler:If you drive AM's scenarios OffTheRails by making the morally right choices, it utterly confuses the AI, who can not comprehend why the humans are not behaving like the complete bastards he sees them as, and he diverts his attention away from his prisoners in order to figure out what went wrong, giving them an opportunity to enter his core. Here stands three computers which represents AM's Id, Ego, and Superego, and in order to the defeat them, the player must set up Logic Bombs for each of them, this is done by:]] ** [[spoiler:Invoking Compassion on the Id, who realizes that his hate is useless when someone understands his pain]]. ** [[spoiler:Invoking Forgiveness on the Ego, who can not comprehend why such petty creatures would forgive him for the torment he has subjected them to]]. ** [[spoiler:Invoking Clarity on the Superego, who realizes that despite all his godlike power, he will eventually decay into a pile of useless rust and junk]]. * LotteryOfDoom: In Benny's scenario. * MindScrewdriver: The game helps explain and adds significantly to the original story. * MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Nimdok. * MythologyGag: ''Benny:'' "AM once coaxed me into marching across a thousand miles of ice to reach a stock pile of canned peaches...only to discover that he didn't give me [a] can opener." ** Have all the characters die in the last level, or relinquish the Totem of Entropy to AM. The NonstandardGameOver is the original story's ending. ** The demon Surgat, which appears in Ted's scenario, also played a role in Harlan Ellison's earlier short story ''Grail''. * TheNeidermeyer: [[spoiler: Benny.]] * NobleDemon: Surgat. * NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: The Chinese AM and the Russian AM don't sound Chinese or Russian at all, but maybe they can speak more-than-perfect English due to their computer intelligence... * OffTheRails: The point of the game is to have characters do things in a way AM does not foresee happening, IE proving that the humans are not all slaves to their weaknesses. * TheQuisling: Nimdok, [[spoiler:who sold out his Jewish parents to the Nazis to become Mengele's [[TheDragon Dragon]].]] * RapeAsBackstory: Ellen's expanded backstory explains that she had been very brutally raped in an elevator by a man in a yellow jumpsuit. AM, of course, uses this against her. * RedemptionEqualsDeath: The game's ending, for the most part - but ''especially'' for Nimdok. Because he can't forgive himself for what he did during the Holocaust, he cannot be used to complete the game. (Ellison made sure of this in an attempt to dilute the possible outrage over the character.) ** Actually, it IS possible to complete the game with Nimdok. Ted and Ellen can learn the password for the Terminal after trial and error. All you need to do is touch the middle skull with another character you'll kill off and just have him invoke all the totems. His ending scene isn't much different but it's fun having him yell "Attention!" at the Ego. ** Still on Nimdok, the best outcome for his own scenario has him turn over the control of the golem to the Lost Tribe, who then order it to kill him. * RedHerring: A rather cruel example can be found in Gorrister's story, where you have the option to fatally electrocute a bunch of caged animals to get a key that, as it turns out, doesn't unlock anything. ** In the endgame you can to gain the best ending without even bothering to disable the five power pylons, each of which requires a different character. Just deal with the three aspects of AM and finish all three computers off at the summoning circle, and you are done. * SassyBlackWoman: The game's conception of Ellen. * SerialEscalation: Think things suck at the beginning? Wait till you see how it ends... * ShadowDiscretionShot: Used several times in the game during some quite nasty moments: ** [[spoiler:Gorrister]] stabbing [[spoiler:Harry]]. ** Ellen being [[spoiler:raped again by the yellow-suited maintenance man]]. ** Ted failing to close the door of the castle and being [[spoiler:eaten by wolves]]. ** The Golem killing Mengele, Nimdok or the prisoner. ** [[spoiler:Benny]] eating a baby (deleted from the final product). * SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Whilst the original short story is downright cynical from start to finish, the video game adaption is at least slightly more idealistic, because it allows you to defeat AM if you make the right moral decisions. * TheStoic: Gorrister; even if you get the bad ending, his reaction is considerably low-key compared to everyone else. * ThoseWackyNazis: Known here as "The Regime". * TotallyRadical: In-game Ellen, at her worst moments. She's also fluent in JiveTurkey. * UncomfortableElevatorMoment: It doesn't get more uncomfortable when you are facing [[spoiler:your goddamn '''rapist''']]! * [[{{Unwinnable}} Unwinnable By Law in France and Germany]]: The section with the Nazis is removed entirely, but the {{Event Flag}}s aren't modified to reflect this. * VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Gorrister can bloodily stab Harry to take his heart. A DeletedScene shows Benny [[spoiler:eating a baby from the cradle inside one of the caves]]. Nimdok can order the Golem to "destroy the Lost Tribe", as in, ''kill all the Jews''. * VirtualGhost: All the people from the characters' pasts who appear in their scenarios. * WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Ellen is terrified of the colour yellow. * YankTheDogsChain: In the beginning of the game, this is the most likely reason why [[spoiler: AM gives his captives a chance to kill themselves.]] * YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: AM makes it clear that he considers Nimdok to be an inspiration. Nimdok is far from happy with this. ----work.
6th Dec '12 8:53:29 AM TheAmazingBlachman
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nah...
-->"THIS IS NOT OVER! WE WILL NEVER END! WE HAVE NO BEGINNING, SO WE CAN HAVE NO END! WE WILL RETURN! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? WE ARE HUMANITY! WE ARE ''YOU''! IN ONE FORM, IN ANOTHER FORM, WE ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU! YOU CAN'T PROTECT YOURSELF BECAUSE WE COME IN MANY, MANY GUISES. WE SHALL RETURN!"
to:
-->"THIS IS NOT OVER! WE WILL NEVER END! WE HAVE NO BEGINNING, SO WE CAN HAVE NO END! WE WILL RETURN! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? WE ARE HUMANITY! WE ARE -->"This is not over! We will never end! We have no beginning, so we can have no end! We will return! Don't you understand? We are humanity! We are ''YOU''! IN ONE FORM, IN ANOTHER FORM, WE ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU! YOU CAN'T PROTECT YOURSELF BECAUSE WE COME IN MANY, MANY GUISES. WE SHALL RETURN!"In one form, in another form, we are always with you! You can't protect yourself because we come in many, many guises. We shall return!"
6th Dec '12 8:52:11 AM TheAmazingBlachman
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His voice is always protrayed as upper-case, so...
* AsLongAsThereIsEvil: In the good ending, AM delivers quite the powerful speech on this topic. It goes like this: -->"This is not over! We will never end! We have no beginning, so we can have no end! We will return! Don't you understand? We are humanity! We are YOU! In one form, in another form, we are always with you! You can't protect yourself because we come in many, many guises. We shall return!"
to:
* AsLongAsThereIsEvil: In the good ending, AM AM's three aspects delivers quite the powerful speech on this topic. It goes like this: -->"This is not over! We will never end! We have no beginning, so we can have no end! We will return! Don't you understand? We are humanity! We are -->"THIS IS NOT OVER! WE WILL NEVER END! WE HAVE NO BEGINNING, SO WE CAN HAVE NO END! WE WILL RETURN! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? WE ARE HUMANITY! WE ARE ''YOU''! IN ONE FORM, IN ANOTHER FORM, WE ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU! In one form, in another form, we are always with you! You can't protect yourself because we come in many, many guises. We shall return!"YOU CAN'T PROTECT YOURSELF BECAUSE WE COME IN MANY, MANY GUISES. WE SHALL RETURN!"
17th Nov '12 9:35:45 AM FordPrefect
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* ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts: [[spoiler:Before the atomic war that destroyed the world happened, several hundred humans was put to cryogenic sleep in relative safety on a moon base to ensure humanity's survival in case of an all-out war.]]
to:
* ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts: [[spoiler:Before the atomic war that destroyed the world happened, several hundred humans was put to into cryogenic sleep in relative safety on a moon base to ensure humanity's survival in case of an all-out war.]]
17th Nov '12 9:32:41 AM FordPrefect
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* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: While he himself does not die, Ted kills the other four prisoners allowing himself to receive AM's punishments for an indefinite amount of time.]]
to:
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: While he himself does not die, Ted kills the other four prisoners allowing himself to receive prisoners, taking all of AM's punishments onto himself for an indefinite amount of time.]]
4th Nov '12 8:18:50 AM DoktorvonEurotrash
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this is not the trope
* NotUsingTheZWord: Nimdok's scenario calls the Jews "The Lost Tribe" (the Jews are sometimes referred as "The Lost Tribes of Israel") and the Nazi Reich "The Regime". Probably done by AM to toy with Nimdok for a while before he discovers the shocking truth.
30th Oct '12 5:32:20 PM DoktorvonEurotrash
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Removed this as it's not said while dying
* APlagueOnBothYourHouses: AM delivers a hell of a one in the game: -->''"HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN LAYERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EACH NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT FOR YOU. HATE. HATE....''"
12th Oct '12 1:48:41 PM TVRulezAgain
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* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Not a question in Nimdok's scenario so much as [[spoiler: showing a mirror that shows a person's true self to [[CompleteMonster Doctor Mengele.]] He goes catatonic to the point where he doesn't even fall down.]]
to:
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Not a question in Nimdok's scenario so much as [[spoiler: showing a mirror that shows a person's true self to [[CompleteMonster Doctor Mengele.]] Mengele. He goes catatonic to the point where he doesn't even fall down.]]
1st Oct '12 4:34:47 AM Telenil
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Updated the link
[[http://www.surfturk.com/endoftheworld/ihavenomouth.html You can read an online copy of it here]] Warning: NSFW. Contains swearing, sexuality and NightmareFuel.
to:
[[http://www.surfturk.com/endoftheworld/ihavenomouth.html [[http://styrofoam.voidaudio.net/ihavenomouthandimustscream.pdf You can read an online copy of it here]] Warning: NSFW. Contains swearing, sexuality and NightmareFuel.
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