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Voiced by: Toby Longworth
But we can save them, we can set them free, we can replace a rotten old world, with a clean new one.A wealthy industrialist and butcher who is implied to be the great grand-nephew of Daniel, the protagonist of The Dark Descent. Upon the beginning of the game, Mandus awakens from a fever that has unknowingly lasted for several months, after returning from a "disastrous" expedition to explore Aztec ruins in Mexico. Unable to find his sons and haunted by their voices, Mandus decides to explore the strange complex under his house in hopes of finding them.
- Action Survivor
- Amnesiac Hero: In keeping with the series' Meaningful Name. The main character, Oswald Mandus, cannot remember the last few months of his life, and is driven to rediscover what happened to him, what went on during his trip to Mexico, and how he is connected to the Industrialized Evil around him.
- Anti-Hero: Mandus killed his sons, sent orphans to clean pipes that'll burn them alive if they stick around too long, fed the surviving orphan cleaners to the pigs, created a Mad God from his soul who murdered thousands, and performed horrifying experiments on humans and animals. After he gets amnesia, though, he regrets everything he did and sets out to fight the real villain, The Engineer.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Though far, far less so than Alexander.
- The Atoner: To an even greater extent than Daniel from the previous game.
- Badass Beard: According to the Frictional Games, this picture◊ of a Victorian gentleman is an approximation of what Mandus looks like. Combined with Mandus' extreme Papa Wolf tendencies and sheer determination, he is indeed quite badass.
- Badass Boast: When endeavoring to destroy the Engineer, he refers to himself as an 'Angel of Vengeance'. And then there's this:I have you now, creature. I will destroy you.
- Determinator: To an almost comical extent, initially born out of his fierce love for his sons, and then by a sense of personal responsibility.
- Evilutionary Biologist
- Gadgeteer Genius: Implied as part of his success as an industrialist. Even the recording and playback devices, though not an original concept, are his own design.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Mandus seeing the future drove him nuts enough to murder thousands to try and stop it, including his own children.
- Heel Realization: When he realizes the Machine's intentions to stop the horrors of the 20th century.
- Heroic Mime: Averted. Even though Mandus doesn't speak a lot, he still talks in the present unlike Daniel.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Doubles into Heroic Suicide, as he knew he would die when he goes back to destroy the Machine, but does it anyway.
- Humans Are Bastards: His rants are often littered with misanthropy, and he has utter contempt both for the "filthy and brainless" lower class and the rich and "enlightened" upper class who happily allow the suffering of those "beneath" them to continue. However it was his visions of the far more horrifying atrocities humans would commit in the 20th century all over the world that caused him to snap and create a machine to "make pigs of them all"
- Hypocrite: He holds vehement disdain over the industrialization of the 20th century, yet he practices in Industrialized Evil himself. In fairness to him, there are some hints to imply he may have been mostly manipulated by the Engineer into doing so.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The last few months of his life are missing. He himself erased them, hoping to remake himself into a person that could set right the evil that he unleashed.
- Love Makes You Evil: Mandus murdered his own children to spare them an even more grisly death at the Battle of Somme years later. In a more subtle example, Mandus writes in a journal entry that he believes the "split in his soul" that led to the birth of the Engineer in fact existed long before he found the Orb, caused by the love and hatred he felt for his sons at their birth.
- Meaningful Name:
- Oswald Mandus is a play on Ozymandias, referencing his obsession with making his factory the "great work of the industrial age". Eventually, with his insanity, fell into the lines of the poem of the same name. Look upon his works, ye mighty, and despair.
- He also shares the motive and loose methodology — causing one atrocity in order to prevent a worse one — of Watchmen's Adrian Veidt, whose former superhero name was... Ozymandias.
- Mercy Kill: Prior to the events of the game, he killed his children in order to spare them the horrors of the 20th century.
- Misanthrope Supreme: His journal entries are littered with disgust for humans, and the human condition, wavering between hatred, sympathy and sadness.
- My God, What Have I Done?/I Hate Past Me: Only after regaining memory does he realize how much of an asshole he really is.Mandus: When did I say that? That is not me. That is not me!
- Non-Action Guy
- Offing the Offspring: After seeing his children would die horrifically in the war, Mandus cut out their hearts as a ritual sacrifice in hopes of creating a god who could save the world from the slaughters of the 20th century.
- Papa Wolf: Despite being scared out of his wits and hunted by an army of nightmarish Human/Pig abominations he still willingly dives headfirst into the madness and terror of the machine in order to save his children. He is fiercely devoted to them as well, as evident in one journal entry where he outright states he would die and kill for them. However, this trope is also tragically deconstructed as he killed his sons before the game started in order to save them them from dying far more horrible deaths in World War I. The revelation of doing so drives him to the brink."I want my children, you UNHOLY BASTARD!!!"
- Redemption Equals Death: To protect all of London from becoming sacrifices to the Engineer, Mandus re-merges with his creation, killing them both.
- Start X to Stop X: His Fatal Flaw, arguably. He has no other way to combat what he hates other than to use what he hates to combat what he hates. This is also the logic he used in creating the Machine, though he's decidedly more lucid after his Laser-Guided Amnesia.
- The Killer in Me: When Mandus touches an orb he found in South America, it shatters into two, the result is a malevolent split personality, "The Engineer", is created. It dominates Oswald's decisions and character there-after, until it eventually abandons him in favor of a more powerful mechanical body.
- Touched by Vorlons: His interactions with the Orbs, combined with the lost of his wife, started his descent into madness and creation of The Engineer, "inspiring" him to create The Machine.
- Tranquil Fury: When he finds out what happened to the children in the tubes, he stops talking, focusing only in killing the Engineer (and ultimately, himself).
- Voice of the Legion: The Engineer's voice has a noticeable echo, making his final gloating ever so dramatic.
- Walking Spoiler: Considering this guy is the protagonist... that is quite the achievement.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Initially, flashbacks of what appear to be earlier stages of his "collaborations" with the Engineer show Mandus as being uncomfortable with the monstrous actions he eventually convinces him to undertake. Later on, he seems to truly believe what he was doing was necessary and ultimately positive. And yet, when he beholds the Machine's motives in full for the first time...Oswald Mandus: (near weeping) Oh God, oh no. What have I done? No! This is not what I meant! This is not what I meant at all!
The Engineer aka The Machine
Voiced by: Mark Roper
This is your doing, Mandus. This is what you dreamt into being.A strange entity who claims to know the location of Mandus' missing sons. Remaining unseen, he guides Mandus around by talking to him over telephones throughout the complex. It turns out The Engineer is the malevolent split personality of Oswald which has uploaded itself into the Machine, leaving Mandus for dead.
- A God Am I: Due to the Orb's power and the countless sacrificed to it, as well as his "mission" to prevent the horrors of the 20th century, it considers itself a god.
- Ambiguous Innocence: It is quite childlike in a lot of ways, for both good and bad.
- Antagonist Title: It is the "Machine for Pigs".
- Ax-Crazy: After finally tricking Mandus into reactivating the machine, all trace of friendliness and sanity slip away replaced by a cackling megalomaniac.
- Big Bad
- Deus Est Machina: The constant sacrifices are meant to turn it and the piece of Mandus' soul it contains into a bloody god.
- Eldritch Abomination/Eldritch Location: Due to the abruptly shifting, warping, and maddening nature and layout of the machine it qualifies as the latter, which coupled with its unfathomable power qualify it as the former.
- Enemy Without: He is a Soul Fragment extracted from from Mandus and inserted into the Machine to give it life.
- The Engineer: Though "the Engine" is probably more accurate.
- Evil Is Hammy: Fittingly for an entity that commands legions of manpigs, the Engineer is about as hammy as it gets.
- Genius Loci
- Haunted Technology
- Knight Templar: Plans to save humanity from the nightmare of the 20th century by exterminating and enslaving them itself.
- Mad God
- Mad Oracle
- Misanthrope Supreme
- Motive Rant: His speech at the end of the game, which describes what happens in the 20th century is magnificent.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Its decision instead of the horrors of the 20th century.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Has twisted countless people into the tortured manpigs and plans to use them to slaughter the entirety of humanity by feeding them to the machine. Also his quotes about "splitting the egg and the atom" heavily hint that his plans are to annihilate the entire planet with the power gained from the slaughter of London's population. This is basically confirmed by cut dialogue in the game files.
- Psychopathic Manchild: For all its' crimes and follies, the Engineer is almost like a bitter child happy to wish away all the problems of the world and humanity. Right up to begging "Daddy" Mandus to not kill it at the start of the game.
- Straw Nihilist
- Villainous Breakdown: As Mandus begins to destroy the Machine for good, he progressively becomes increasingly frantic, such as repeating "stophimstophimstophim" on the broadcast system for workers, and culminating in his Motive Rant.
- The Voice: A Justified Trope, as he's the machine itself, meaning you're inside him for much of the game.
- Walking Spoiler
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite his despicable crimes and plans, he genuinely wants to "save" humanity and to stop the countless wars and genocides that will come with the 20th century.
Edwin and Enoch Mandus
Voiced by: Zak CraigMandus' sons, who have gone missing.
- Creepy Children
- Creepy Twins
- Dead All Along: Were killed before the game starts by Mandus both as a sacrifice to the Machine and to save from from dying in the Somme.
- Infant Immortality: Averted as their deaths play a pivotal role in the story.
- Harmful to Minors: Implied throughout the game, and ultimately confirmed, as well as the fact that it is Oswald's fault.
- Offing the Offspring: Both were killed by Oswald to prevent them from dying horrible deaths in World War I.
- Walking Spoiler: Not quite to the degree of the above, but certainly not nonexistant!
Lillibeth "Lily" Mandus
Oswald's wife, whom he seemed to have loved very much. She apparently died giving birth to Enoch and Edwin. The only time when she is mentioned is through Oswald's journal entries, which are received through the course of the whole game.
Voiced by:' Mark RoperAn unknown guest who was sent to Mandus' factory by the ministry. He is never seen in-game, but is referenced in Mandus' documents and can be heard having conversations with Mandus on various phonographs scattered around the game.
Deformed and twisted swine-like monstrosities that patrol the depths of the complex beneath Mandus' estate. The main enemies encountered in the game. They come in three varieties: Wretches, Engineers, and Tesla.
- Body Horror: Let's just say they're exactly what they sound like.
- The Brutes
- Fantastic Racism: The different varieties seem to have some issues with each other. At one point, you can see an Engineer violently beating a Wretch for no apparent reason.
- Fat Bastards
- The Grotesque
- I'm a Humanitarian
- Lightning Bruisers
- Pig Men: Of course.
- Psychopathic Manchild: They can sometimes be seen playing with children's toys. They are also violent psychopathic murderers.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: From the torso down, they look a lot like Servant Grunts from the last game. Which makes sense since Mandus was able to acquire the corpse of one and use it as a study.
- Teleport Spam: The Tesla Manpigs are particularly affected by the Compound X, resulting in their bodies emitting an electrical charge and flickering in and out of existence. Luckily, light makes them explode.
- Were Once Human