You are The Nameless One. You wake up in a massive mortuary, lacking any memories, and with only a few tattoos to give you a clue of your past. With the aid of a sarcastic talking skull by the name of Morte you escape from the building, but as you explore Sigil, the "city of doors"; a town of portals that lies at the center of the multiverse, regaining your past becomes an increasingly complex proposition.Released in 1999 by Black Isle Studios and set in the Dungeons & Dragons setting Planescape in the Outer Planes, the Role-Playing GamePlanescape: Torment was applauded for its storyline and script. What starts off looking like a stereotypical amnesia tale drops you and your hero into a very strange world with interlocking plotlines about your past, complete with a series of helpers who may or may not know more than they're letting on. It's like Memento in computer game form.It's also well-known for being heavy on the personal interactions and puzzles, while relatively light on the combat — so much so that it's more a highly interactive novel than a game. In many situations, your allies are more useful for the advice they can bring and the clues they can decipher than any capacity as "another warm body to throw at the enemy" (although some of them are pretty hot indeed). For a complete gaming experience, creating a character with high intelligence, charisma, and wisdom gives the best dialogue options.The game makes an effort to subvert or avoid as many RPG tropes and cliches as possible. Instead of Saving the World, the player character is interested only in discovering the truth about himself. Instead of a Cool Sword, you have "equippable" tattoos, earrings and even eyes. Your statistics matter a great deal, and the game plays dramatically differently depending on what you decide to emphasize.The main character's Healing Factor allows you, among other things, to wield your own arm as a club and wear your own intestines as an armlet. You can bite your fingers off and pluck your eyeballs out in order to replace them with something better. Death is usually just a minor annoyance that can be often turned to your advantage.Bottom line: this game is strange. And very highlyacclaimed.The game has two novelizations: one in 1999, which went the way of the Baldur's Gate novelizations and was ripe with Canon Discontinuity, and the second in 2000, which was a fan-made compilation of the game's script as it might look during one particular playthrough, with extra text to make the writing seem more natural for a book.Thanks to Kickstarter, Planescape: Torment has two upcoming Spiritual Successors: Pillars of Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment (due for release in 2014), and Torment: Tides of Numenera by inXile Entertainment (due for release in 2015).
This game provides examples of:
Absurdly High Level Cap: Reaching the level cap under normal circumstances is at the very least highly time-consuming. Depending on the player's choices, the party's levels at the end of the game can vary wildly, not only from player to player, but from character to character as well.
Fall-From-Grace's wings are never used, nor do any of the abishai fly.
In an amusing inversion, Trias, the angel with the destroyed wings, shouldn't be able to fly but does. Of course, he's a spellcaster and Fly spells are low level.
Adult Fear: Runs on nearly every dark trope ever, and this one is no exception. Listing every character that plays on an adult fear would take a page of its own, so sticking to party members:
In a very long fantasy metaphor for abusive personalities, the Nameless One destroys everything he touches and hurts everyone he cares about. No matter how much some of his incarnations might want to, he will never be able to stop. He finally does stop...by committing suicide.
Dak'kon has sworn a vow of absolute obedience to someone who is frequently a complete monster, resulting in plentiful on-screen psychological abuse if the player has the stomach for it. And that's not even touching on lost faith or having lived through a genocide. Ignus and Vhailor have lost their basic humanity to traumatic experiences and zealotry. Annah's relationship with her father figure isn't exactly a healthy one, and she promptly finds herself drawn towards an equally unhealthy relationship with a much (much, much) older man. Fall-From-Grace was sold into slavery by her mother. Morte was physically abused but stuck around out of the conviction that it was somehow his fault and he deserved it, and Nordom is the very picture of childlike innocence lost.
Deionarra is a literal Love Martyr, but what sends this into Adult Fear territory is that her relationship isn't some Fantastic Aesop — she's simply so enthralled with romance she doesn't realize her lover's true nature until it's too late... rather like many real world people in abusive relationships.
Alas, Poor Villain: Ravel Puzzlewell is a horrible being, practically an incarnation of evil. The stories of her cruelties are legendary, and people are still afraid to talk about her, centuries after she disappeared for good. And yet... three times she tried to do an act of kindness, and each time it backfired terribly on her. Then there's the fragments of herself that she's left around, like poor old Mebbeth, a kind healer who helps you a great deal, should you ask for it. After Ravel's death, Mebbeth slowly fades away, filled with regret. Ravel's incarnations in the Icewind Dale games are also a far cry from the bogeyman described in this game, being instead very human—if eccentric—characters.
All for Nothing: In addition to getting the helpful tattoos put on your back, the Practical Incarnation writes an extensive journal which keeps tracks of everything he learned in his journey to find your true identity. When the Paranoid Incarnation emerges, one of the first things he does is to destroy the journal.
Amnesia Danger: As the Nameless One levels up, he actually remembers old skills rather than learns new ones. Without his amnesia, the Nameless One would pretty much be a Physical God.
Amnesiacs Are Innocent: The Nameless One, to begin with, at least. His previous incarnations have done a lot of damage, however, and it is common for him to encounter the consequences of his past incarnations' misdeeds, which might cause memories to resurface. Given that his entire personality can shift dramatically after dying, swapping randomly from whichever side of the Balance Between Good and Evil he's on, one could possibly argue that he actually is innocent of the sins of his past selves.
All There in the Manual: In this case the official strategy guide; the reason why the Nameless One can't become a priest (he can become every other class) is because every god had forsaken him long ago.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have six members of your party. There is no in-game explanation for why this is so. If you wish to recruit someone else, you will have to leave one of the people you brought with you behind. Infamously, the two secret characters are both in very inconvenient spots, and veteran players will either use a mod to remedy this or plan around it.
Arc Number: The Rule of Three, a staple of the Planescape setting. Used subtly for the most part, however. An early discussion about this makes the point that the rule is self-reinforcing for cosmological reasons and that obsessing about it just means seeing it where it's not relevant, real or not.
Armor Is Useless: The game features only a dozen suits and each of them can only be worn by a specific character. Morte, Nordom and Ignus can't wear any armor at all. The Nameless One, Annah and Fall-From-Grace can only wear clothes; the only clothes the Nameless One can wear are a disguise which became useless outside the Morgue. Dak'kon and Vailhor wears real armor (leather for the first, steel for the second) but they can't change and their armor don't give them any specific bonus.
Armor-Piercing Question: When The Nameless One once asked Ravel the Arc Words question, it drove her insane (well, moreso than baseline for a night hag) trying to puzzle it out.
The Atoner: One of the game's major themes is regret. As such, there are several examples of characters who are motivated by a need to atone:
One speaker at the Civic Festhall once fought in the Blood War. He uses his lectures to teach other people not to follow in his footprints, because the things he did during his stint has condemned his soul to the Lower Planes (and thus to keep fighting in it post-mortem, forever).
Amongst your party members, Morte has attached himself to The Nameless One to atone for a misdeed he's not even sure he did in the first place — lying to the original incarnation in such a way that it got the original killed.
The First Incarnation initially sought out Ravel Puzzlewell to grant him immortality so that he might atone for the sins he had committed during his lifetime and avoid an afterlife in the Blood War. Unfortunately, he realised too late that the weight of his sins would never be something he could balance, and that turning himself immortal was in itself an act that could never be atoned for; ever since, the remnants of his psyche have been trying to steer all the incarnations that came after away from evil.
Back from the Dead: The Nameless One is exceedingly difficult to kill off permanently, as he will regenerate his wounds and come back to life within a few hours of dying. The primary motivation of the story is finding out why this is happening, and what to do about it. It is also an important part of the gameplay, as it means the player doesn't have to be as careful as usual in a video game, and puzzles can be designed with this power in mind. An insistent player can limit the number of deaths to about half a dozen on-screen deaths, however, with three or so coming from the same puzzle and the rest coming from sidequest cutscenes.
Badass Boast: When Fall-From-Grace is confronted by The Transcendent One near the end of the game, he tells her, "I can forge planes with my power. I can unmake you."
Balancing Death's Books: Every time the Nameless One resurrects, someone else dies in his place. Their ghosts become the shades that periodically attack the party. When the final dungeon is reached, the number of Greater Shadows encountered is based on how many times The Nameless One died throughout the game.
Beast and Beauty: Zig-Zagged via the Nameless One's romantic possibilities, Annah-of-the-Shadows and Fall-From-Grace, who are, respectively, a tiefling (demon-blooded mortal) and a succubus. Both of them are far more attractive looking than the heavily scarred Nameless One, but at the same time, they can be seen as the "beasts" due to their demonic nature — Grace, in particular, was once a soul-stealing heartless killer before her metaphysical redemption.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Invoked by Morte, who at one point tells the "that was your first wish" joke as a serious story. A memory crystal in the sensorium indicates that this actually happened, and that it happened to The Nameless One.
Betty and Veronica: The Nameless One's romantic interests are a fiery-tempered redhead and an even-tempered blond. Chris Avellone even said in an interview with GameSpot that Archie Comics was an inspiration for the characters.
When Fall-From-Grace asks Morte what he is, he replies, "Me? I'm le petite Morte." "The little death" is a French euphemism for an orgasm.
Fall-From-Grace's spellcasting chants are Japanese words enunciated in slow English.
Bittersweet Ending: The Nameless One regains his mortality and uses his new found unlimited power to bring all his companions back to life. However, as he is now mortal, he is dragged into the Lower Planes as his long-overdue death finally claims him. Although he was finally caught by what he was trying to escape all along, an eternity in hell, he is at last at peace with himself, and accepts that he wrought his own fate.
Bonus Boss: If the Morridor's Box quest is resolved by way of Linked List Clue Methodology — following each lead as they appear rather than open the box — the fiend inside will transform into an extremely powerful monster that can be found in the ruins of Curst at a much later juncture.
Bonus Dungeon: Undersigil, the Rubikon Dungeon Construct and the Player's Maze are all dungeons that lie outside the beaten path and have little immediate connection to the story otherwise.
Bottomless Bladder: The Nameless One and his crew never need to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, or (as long as the healing charms hold out) sleep. Your allies do complain about getting tired, though.
Broken Bridge: It is impossible to leave The Hive until the Bronze Orb has been found. When asked about it, Hive dwellers mutter something about "the streets being rearranged again." Justified because Sigil's nature as a literal living city is very much part of Planescape lore.
Cessation of Existence: In two of the endings, The Nameless One kills himself with the Blade of the Immortal or wills himself out of existence. The end video only shows The Transcendent One disintegrating and then nothing, as The Nameless One has removed himself from existence altogether. Considering that the alternative is going to Hell, this may qualify as the best choice... assuming you're okay with your party being callously left behind with no hope at all for rescue and avoiding the consequences for your past monstrosities.
Chekhov's Armoury: If you are prompted, either in dialogue or in narration, to pick up an item, do not lose that item. No, not even the prybar you were prompted to get to pull out the bolts on the skeleton. You will need it later. There will be a test. Above all, for the love of all that is good and holy, do NOT just leave the bronze sphere lying with Pharod's corpse. It is not as useless as it seems. Go back, pick it up and keep it until the bitter end.
Chivalrous Pervert: Morte is a floating skull. He suggests hitting on female zombies, flirts with every female character around, and buying him some time with a prostitute buffs his taunt skill. He's also the only party member who is actually Good aligned.
Nordom: "Attention; Morte. I have a question. Do you have a destiny? A purpose?"
If you tell enough people that your name is "Adahn," a real person named Adahn will be brought into existence. He will be very confused about just where he came from (although he *knows* the Nameless One has been looking for him), and if told how he was created, he'll wink back out of existence.
In a memory of the Nameless One, a previous incarnation successfully argues that someone does not exist, and that someone immediately ceases to do so. The audience watching your debate bursts into applause. Hilariously, the person you're arguing with is a member of the Sign Of One, a faction who routinely try disbelieve their enemies out of existence. In other words, you beat him at his own game.
One of the ways in which you talk the Big Bad to death is to believe so hard that the two of you don't exist that it happens.
Class Change Level Reset: The hero could become a warrior, wizard or thief. He starts as a warrior, and when he changes classes, he resets. Progression in the other classes are frozen until he changes back to them, though.
Climax Boss: Two, Ravel and Trias. They are two of a handful of fights you can't talk your way out of or run away from.
Sigil is called "the City of Doors" for a reason: every single arch or similarly limited passageway may be a portal to somewhere—provided you hold the proper key. A key in turn can be anything a person might be carrying or doing while passing through an arch, such as hum a melody.
Deconstructed with one NPC, Ingress. She is deathly afraid of this, and with good reason. She's been desperately searching for the portal back home for decades, but the portals she found led to dangerous places, and she suffered dearly for it. Now she refuses to walk through anything that could be a portal, for fear she'll activate it and be sent to some horrible place. You can have a planeswalker guide her home.
Couldn't Find a Pen: Or parchment to write it on, for that matter. In the Player's Maze, you find a journal made out of human bones and skin. It is the Nameless One's own bones and skin from a previous incarnation when he was trapped in there for an untold amount of time.
Cute Monster Girl: Annah-of-the-Shadows is a very pretty woman, even despite the rat-like tail. In the novelisation, which apparently could have been the look she ended up with, she was still attractive despite lacking ears, having jumbled fangs for teeth, six fingered hands and beige skin.
Dark and Troubled Past: All of the party members. Suffice to say that Annah, an orphaned tiefling who was forced to become a petty thief to survive, has the least troubled background. Did we mention she's a petty thief in a slum where devils and sapient, psychic rats walk the streets, and she earns her living by finding corpses to sell to a death cult? In several cases you are directly responsible for the dark and troubled pasts of your allies.
Death Is Not Permanent: Resurrection spells aside, the game is about The Nameless One trying to figure out why he can't stay dead when he dies.
Death Is the Only Option: The Nameless One has quite a few chances to use his death to his advantage, being immortal. One example is allowing himself to be "killed" by some thugs so he can hear their plans.
The Planescape setting itself is a deconstruction of roleplaying game worlds, specifically D&D, specifically AD&D 2nd Edition. It takes what are arguably the worst aspects of the edition, such as the somewhat skewed take on the struggle between order and chaos in Moorcock'sElric novels, follows them to their natural conclusions, and thereby constructs a remarkably interesting world that provides superb backdrop for stories like that of Torment.
Also a deconstruction of CRPG death — mostly Death Is a Slap on the Wrist. In so many games, you die, you come back. Here, the entire game is an investigation into that mechanic.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The game's three bosses are a nigh-omnipotent demon witch, an angel, and a creature that, through thousands of years of accumulated experience, has basically become a Physical God. By the end of the game, you will have defeated at least one of them in combat, and will have the option of talking the other two into submission.
Double Meaning: Ravel drops a particular bit of foreshadowing about Trias when asked where to find him, but you are almost assured to overlook it in a first playthrough given how indistinguishable it is from the rest of her idiosyncratic speech patterns.
Ravel Puzzlewell: He lies, lies beyond my keeping, in another cage (...) note If you still don't get it, the word "lies" is repeated twice because both possible meanings are at play. Trias both is in a cage, and is also a tremendous liar.
Downer Ending: All the endings, to some degree. If you fail against the Big Bad, there's no special game over, but the implicit ending is bad enough that perhaps it should be included: The Transcendent One kills all your friends, and points out he has already killed everyone who can help you to find your way back to him. You are left trapped in the cycle of death and resurrection, never remembering who you are, explicitly becoming less and less of a man with every death, but unable to stop existing, forever.
The Dreaded: The Lady of Pain, the god-like ruler of Sigil, is spoken of only in hushed whispers, as drawing her attention is equivalent to having angered her. The player may draw her attention exactly once and survive — the second time, she kills The Nameless One out of hand, causing one of the game's few game overs.
One of the methods of escaping the Mortuary is to disguise The Nameless One as a zombie — with the downside of reducing movement to one-quarter speed. If the player takes this option, settle in for long stretches of watching The Nameless One sloooowly lurch across the screen.
The player can dress up The Nameless One in Dustman robes to get around the third floor undetected, but only if he has a high enough Dexterity stat to kill the Dustman they belonged to without setting off the alarm.
Driving Question: The search for the identity and history of the Nameless One drives most of the story.
Dump Stat: While highly physical "action runs" are possible, it is generally not considered to be the ideal way of playing the game. As a result, any of the three physical stats, namely Strength, Dexterity and Constitution, are likely to be neglected due to their marginal utility in dialogue. The exact dump stat varies depending on the player's preferred character class, but Strength and Dexterity are, respectively, generally only of interest to Fighters and Thieves (and uninteresting to Mages), while Constitution is usually kept either at the lowest level where regeneration can occur, or at the lowest level where the game's handful of Constitution checks can be passed.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Fall-From-Grace manages to hurt The Transcendent One before being killed. Your other party members are no slouches, either.
Dak'kon: I may fall in battle, but I shall never be defeated.
Dysfunction Junction: Every character you can recruit has psychological issues, be they serious or no. Sometimes you helped make them that way. Justified by the fact that your character wears a magic symbol on his body that attracts tormented people. And also, yeah, often you helped make them that way.
Dak'kon's karach blade, which is tied to his mental state (and ceases to exist if he lets go of it).
Ingress' Teeth, an equippable weapon for Morte. Although the implication is there to begin with, the content making it explicit was Dummied Out for Gameplay and Story Segregation reasons. The restored version most commonly used was expanded by the modder to about double its original length, and has Morte apologizing to the Teeth for insulting them.
Nordom's gear spirits.
Equipment Spoiler: You can find oculars "usable by Modrons" in Vrishka's shop and Modron Maze, which hints at the existence of Nordom. The item "Nordom's Ocular," also found as an occasional drop in the Modron Maze, is more explicit about it.
Evil Sounds Deep: The main villain of the game, The Transcendent One, has a very deep voice, and is absolutely ruthless in pursuing his goals.
Evil Sounds Raspy: Ravel Puzzlewell's voice is described as if it's "trying to force itself through a thick layer of dust". She is known for her exceptional cruelty, and is one of the most feared characters of the Planes.
Eye Scream: The Nameless One has an "Eye" equipment slot; replacing the eye with another one causes him to take damage, and the swap is accompanied by a squishing sound. Certain events also involve him hurting one of his eyes in some way.
False Reassurance: Ah, dialogue options. The game is famous for letting you pick your intention when choosing a lot of them. The same line might be repeated two or three times, one of them sincere, the others marked with [Lie] or [Bluff] or other modifiers. This generally does not affect the dialogue, but it affects your alignment.
Fetch Quest: Optional and... otherwise. Being a '90s CRPG, this is ubiquitous, and often involves a lot of backtracking.
Fighter, Mage, Thief: These are the three character classes the Nameless One can become. He starts as a Fighter, however, and needs to find teachers for the other two classes from there.
Final Boss Preview: After leaving Ravel's Maze, a cutscene is shown where The Transcendent One kills Ravel.
Food Porn: Go ahead, try reading through the description of the food merchant's specialities or the Smoldering Corpse's drinks without feeling at least peckish.
Foreign Queasine: Ratsies, cranium rats on a stick. Comes in several varieties, and if you eat one, the experience is described in detail and some are described as tasting surprisingly good.
A Friend in Need: In the Fortress of Regrets, the party is scattered upon arrival, forcing The Nameless One to go on alone. As the player progresses, cutscenes are periodically shown that depict a lone party member encountering The Transcendent One and choosing to fight him out of loyalty, dying in the process. Morte, Vhailor and Ignus do not get such a scene, however: Morte is later shown to be playing dead because his courage failed him — subverting the trope, as he has been the most loyal character up to this point, while either Ignus or Vhailor will be talked into siding against The Nameless One if his alignment is not True Neutral. In the event that he is, they are implied to have died out of loyalty as well.
Future Slang: Though most of the slang isn't fictional so much as obscurely and obscenely British.
"Berk," which in-game is a synonym for fool, is short for "Berkeley Hunt," which is rhyming slang for... Cats.
More specifically, the vernacular used is heavily based on Canting, a mid-18th Century slang used amongst beggars and thieves. The words that aren't directly lifted from Canting are designed to fit feel of the dialect. It's even referred to in-universe as "the Cant".
Gameplay and Story Integration: The Healing Factor of The Nameless One comes into play a lot in dialogue and is a very important part of the story. Physical stats often have uses in dialogue as well, instead of just contributing to combat, although not to the same degree as mental stats.
Gateless Ghetto: You are not allowed to visit any portion of Sigil other than the Hive at first. This is somewhat justified, in that the city of Sigil is literally alive (or at least parts of it), and the streets keep rearranging themselves spontaneously.
Genius Loci: Several. The Alley of Lingering Sighs is the most obvious place—it is a sentient, pregnant alleyway that communicates by manipulating the materials (wood creaking, metal spikes scraping, cobbles grinding, and so on) in the area to mimic spoken sounds.
Get A Load Of That Square: A group of thugs in Clerk's Ward can be called out on their poor grasp of Sigil's slang. Annah, a born and raised street urchin, finds them especially amusing.
Give Me Back My Wallet: There are a number of pickpockets scattered around Sigil. It is possible to increase your own skill by observing them while they steal from you, and with a high enough Dexterity you can steal from them instead. Calling them out is optional.
Gorn: Text only (mercifully enough), but what else do you call dialogue options that explain, in loving detail, the act of pulling your own eyeball out of your head and surviving?
Go-to Alias: The Nameless One has the option of using the moniker Adahn when talking to people. Use it enough times and a very confused Adahn will eventually be found in one of the bars.
G-Rated Sex: Harlots refer to sex with euphemisms, and the most romantic thing that can be done with a Love Interest is kissing. It is also possible to buy prostitutes for Morte, which leads to some rather creative solutions from their side, considering he is a floating skull.
Healing Factor: The characteristic power of the protagonist. Go high enough and you will almost regenerate faster than you can be hurt. Your party members can get in on this too, if you raise their constitution beyond 18.
Heel Realization: Happens over and over again... Your past lives were a mixed bag of morality, but it's clear that the malevolent incarnations left a more noticeable impression on the Planes than your benevolent ones.
Hell Invades Heaven: Trias the Betrayer was planning to organize an army of fiends to do this to get the gods to wake up and deal with the Blood War, which led to his incarceration under Curst.
Hell Is War: Sinners are sent to fight in the Blood War, the eternal war between Devils and Demons taking place on the Lower Planes, when they die.
The Hero Dies: The game ends with The Nameless One ending his immortality in some way or other. He can unmake himself and his mortality, destroy his mortality, or fuse with it. The last two cause him to become mortal briefly and then be transported to the Blood War, the setting's version of hell, to pay for his sins.
Heroes Prefer Swords: Subverted; a total number of three swords appear in the game, and only one can be used by the protagonist as such. One is exclusive to supporting character Dak'kon, the second must be transformed into a different kind of weapon before the main character can wield it, and the third — Celestial Fire — is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, although the requirements for obtaining and wielding it are very specific. The Nameless One must make do with knuckledusters, daggers, clubs, axes and very big warhammers for most of the game even if he can wield Celestial Fire.
Hidden Villain: There are about three different characters who might qualify as antagonists in Torment, with one receiving a passing mention once or twice early in the game from minor NPCs, and none of them being painted as villains of your quest until past the halfway point of the game.
High-Class Call Girl: Getting a prostitute in Clerk's Ward is probably one of the most expensive fades to black in an RPG.
Hijacked by Jesus: Played with. While there are several equivalents of Heaven and Hell in the setting, the various religions and mythologies mostly concentrate in their own planes of existence and none have overarching dominance.
Hitchhiker Heroes: Justified; all party members are bound to the Nameless One in some way, even if it's just by the fact that the Symbol of Torment tattoo attracts people who are "tormented".
Hive Mind: Cranium rats are normal rats with abnormally big brains; they can communicate telepathically with others of their kind, and they grow smarter the more of them are around, as they form a hive mind. Individuals are no smarter than normal rats, but their threat level scales exponentially with group size, as they grow more coordinated and attain sentience and the ability to cast spells at high concentrations. Many-as-One is a colony of cranium rats that has achieved incredible intelligence and powers due to the sheer number of rats collected at one point.
Horny Devils: Fall-from-Grace is an inversion of this trope. She is a succubus who wears a chastity bodice and runs a sex-free brothel. Normal succubi are mentioned here and there, however.
Hurting Hero: All of the protagonists are drawn together under the "Symbol of Torment", the tattoo on The Nameless One's arm, by their respective personal failures and anguish.
Immortality Immorality: The eventual reveal of how the Nameless One is immortal proves to be this. When the Nameless One is resurrected, doing so is fuelled by the sudden, violent extraction of Life Force from someone elsewhere in The Multiverse. The shadows that are hunting the Nameless One are the tormented, undead vestiges of those whose lives were consumed to restore the Nameless One — in a nice bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, the more times you have died during the game, the more Greater Shadows you will encounter during the final dungeon. It's even mentioned in said dungeon that, since it exists in a closed-off bubble of the Negative Energy Plane, and there are no other living beings in the place, death here will be permanent for the Nameless One, as he won't be able to absorb life from anywhere to restore himself.
Immortal Life Is Cheap: You can have the Nameless One kill himself to win an argument, to sneak past guards, to escape from traps, or to make money from a bored noble looking to experience a murder. Overdoing this will come back to haunt you later, however.
Immortality Seeker: The Nameless One's First Incarnation had a good reason for not wanting to die: he had committed an atrocity so horrible that a single mortal lifespan would not be enough to atone for it, and so he sought immortality to be capable of trying to make amends for his sin and avoid being cast into the Blood War.
Immune to Fate: In the Hive Marketplace, the local gambler refuses to play dice with your character after the first go, because you "have no fortune." Later, in the Clerk's Ward, if the player pays a fortune teller to tell his future, she will tell him that he is one of those rare individuals who have no predetermined fates, and can do as they will. She then gives him a refund.
You can equip yourself with such improbable weapons as a fingernail, a sharpened set of antlers, or a severed arm. Your own severed arm!
Fall-from-Grace's mere touch can inflict scratch damage while her kiss does a little better.
Nordom has two spirits that have conveniently taken up the shape of crossbows.
Morte can not only masticate foes to death, but also summon mobs of skulls to bulldoze them later in the game. You can find magical teeth for Morte, too. Living magical teeth that can evolve and, if the scene is restored with a mod, be talked to.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Pharod's men did a really lousy job looting the Weeping Stone Catacombs. For that matter, there seem to be an awful lot of treasure chests scattered around the Dead Nations and the Warrens of Thought, where no one has any use for them.
Informed Equipment: Putting a new outfit on Annah or Fall-from-Grace will not change their appearances. Also, it seems that using your intestines as an arm band is completely unnoticeable.
In-Game Novel: The Circle of Zerthimon, a cleverly designed mechanical stone ring which tells a different story depending on how the rings are aligned. It contains the holy teachings of the Githzerai, and a Player Character with sufficient intelligence can read all of it.
In-Game TV: The Sensory Stones, in-universe. They store a single sensation which can be re-experienced at a later point by anyone who knows what they're holding. This can be anything from a momentary sense of joy to a complex memory that evokes a particular mix of emotions.
Interface Spoiler: Potential party members that aren't immediately obvious as recruitable (specifically Annah and Ignus) will still show up in the PC section of the journal.
Irrelevant Sidequest: Played With. Many sidequests touch tangentially on your condition as memories are triggered or people recognize you. Even if it truly is an irrelevant sidequest, it still helps you define your identity.
It's All My Fault: Although it's actually up to the player how upset the Nameless One is over it, the torment of every party member except Fall-From-Grace and Nordom was caused by him, and a Lawful Good Nameless One will often want to make things right.
You find at the end of the game that the portal to the final area is located in the place that you woke up in at the start of the game, and that you had the means to get there from the start, just not the knowledge.
The bronze sphere you find for Pharod is a container of the memories of your first life.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Infamously, the plot of Planescape: Torment revolves around trying to find all the pieces of the Nameless One's history and piece them together in order to figure out who he is, where he came, and how he came to be.
Karma Meter: Your alignment changes depending on your actions. It uses the Dungeons & Dragons system of a two-dimensional grid with law, neutral and chaotic on one axis, and good, neutral and evil on the other one.
Kleptomaniac Hero: Just as you'd expect, the Nameless One's quest of identity is an excellent opportunity to collect all sorts of things. Several quests involve simply having the right thing in your inventory to solve.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Type 1... sorta. Basically, the Nameless One "starts a new game" with the player.
Leitmotif: All the important characters and several of the locations have their own themes. Though with the exception of Deionarra's, Annah's, and Fall-from-Grace's, you probably won't even notice most of them because they either don't play in many circumstances, don't get played for long enough when they are played until they get overridden by something else, or don't even appear outside the game's soundtrack. Restoration mods make the theme songs more prominent, though this causes some problems of its own when, say, the player is in the Smoldering Corpse bar and Ignus's theme suddenly overrides the area music, which is bound to be at least somewhat confusing the first time.
The Transcendent One's theme is a Dark Reprise of The Nameless One's.
Logic Bomb: If your charisma is high enough, you can convince Vhailor to finally pass on with one of these. It's also one of the many ways you can defeat the Transcendent One.
Lord British Postulate: Defied. You can't kill the Lady of Pain because A) she has no stats and B) she never appears outside of FMV cutscenes (this follows with the tabletop game's attempts to avert this trope when it comes to her.)
Loss of Identity: Up until the point where the player takes over, The Nameless One loses his identity every time he dies. Trying to recover just who it is you 'are' through the multitudes of former yous who have existed across time is a cornerstone of the entire game.
Every area after and including Ravel's maze cannot be revisited, so any quests you don't complete or items you don't pick up (including an Infinity+1 Sword) are gone forever.
Before leaving an area, make absolutely sure you didn't leave anything important in an item pile, because item piles permanently disappear once you do. One of the biggest problems with this is that when party members die, they drop every item that isn't strictly vital to progressing in the plot. This includes the many seemingly-unimportant Chekhovs Guns and any unique equipment they may have been wearing.
Luck Stat: There is one, but it's hidden from the player. You'd have to get the strategy guide to know that you have one, let alone how it works.
Mad Oracle: In the Hive, you meet a babbling lunatic who is the local representative of the Xaositects, a faction dedicated to utter chaos. If you question him, all of his answers will be (mostly) nonsense, unless you ask him about your journal. He will then have some sort of a fit and tell that you have multiple journals, and give you accurate descriptions of where they are.
Made from Real Girl Scouts: Baby oil — made from real babies! — is sold in the Curiosity Shop in the Lower Ward. The shop mainly specializes in Lower Plane curiosities, so the baby oil is not a surprising item.
Manual Leader, AI Party: The game gives the player the option of letting their party be controlled by AI (although micromanaging them is a better option during boss fights).
Match Maker Quest: The Nameless One can help a Harmonium guard get together with a girl he has big crush on.
The Maze: Three of them, although two are Bonus Dungeons. They are: Ravel's Maze (the mandatory-for-the-plot-to-proceed one), the Rubikon Dungeon Construct (which can only be accessed by purchasing the Modron Cube Toy from the Curiosity Shoppe and unlocking it), and the Player's Maze (to which the Nameless One will be sentenced if he pisses off the Lady of Pain once too often).
Meaningful Name: Almost every character (especially NPCs) in the game. Many characters either have names that allude to their most prominent characteristic (e.g., Morte [who's undead] and Ignus [who's on fire]) or have names that are more like their job descriptions (e.g. Mourns-for-Trees and Death-of-Names).
Money for Nothing: Not to the extent of the other games on the Infinity Engine, but you will be able to end up with more money than you need fairly quickly. Unless you really want to buy all the expensive high-level spells (and note that you're unlikely to ever become high level enough to actually cast them).
Monster Town: The Dead Nations, which is populated by... well, take a guess. Everywhere else, too, to a lesser extent.
The Mole: The Anarchists infiltrate pretty much every organization with more than three members. Whether anything comes of this is entirely up to the player.
Monster Compendium: One function of the journal is to provide descriptions of encountered monsters.
Moral Event Horizon: The game actually has an in-universe example that's mentioned explicitly: Whatever it was the first Incarnation did, it damned him so terribly that The Multiverse itself basically went "This Is Unforgivable" and condemned him to the Lower Planes upon death no matter what else he did. He tried to become immortal just to give himself enough time to atone for it (mull on that for a moment), which only ended up making things worse. The Nameless One, although completely non-complicit in his crimes, still has to pay for it in the end.
Mortality Ensues: One of your implied goals, as you are an immortal being who has lived well past the point where the property is fun or useful any longer.
Multiple Endings: None of them are happy, but the finality the "best" ending gives you is very satisfying.
My Brain Is Big: The aptly named "Cranium Rats" have large brains partly sticking out of their skulls. They also form psychic networks when near each other. One of the sort-of Big Bads of the game is a colony of THOUSANDS of these rats, aptly named "Many as One".
Nay-Theist: The Lady of Pain, who regularly deals with Physical Gods and is more powerful than them by far, bans worship of herself, on pain of mazing or death. The Lady allows temples to the gods and their servants, but the gods themselves are banned from the city.
The Necrocracy: The Dead Nations, which is populated by skeletons, zombies and ghouls.
All those people who were slaughtered when Curst slid into Carceri? Your fault. Say, maybe you should have asked yourself why the angel with his wings burned off was magically imprisoned beneath a town populated entirely by traitors.
When you had Ravel turn you immortal in order to gain time to atone for your previous crimes, and it turns out that (1) you will lose your memories every time you die, (2) somebody else dies for you every time you die, and (3) your mortality takes on a malevolent sentience. Most of the game is spent trying to fix this. Now, consider how you abused this ability during the game.
No Fair Cheating: Parodied—though you aren't punished in any way by using the Tome o' Cheats (except through a significant drop in maximum HP when it's purchased), its description and dialogue will mock you relentlessly.
"The Tome hums with the power of...well...of cheating. Blatant cheating."
Non-Combat EXP: The game became a cult classic largely because of this trope. Whereas most CRPGs at the time were heavily into hack'n'slash, Torment gave the best rewards (including experience) for dialog-based solutions to problems.
No Name Given: Literally. You play as The Nameless One, and although you can lie and say your name's Adahn, it's not your True Name.
Non-Standard Game Over: Since you're immortal and can't get a "standard" game over, there are only a few ways to screw up:
Become permanently bound to one place.
Piss off someone very powerful: "You've tested your immortality against the wrong creature."
Die in a place where your resurrection doesn't work. There's only one such place in the game and it's instantly recognizable.
Have one of the few necessary NPCs die before they can tell you crucial information.
Noob Cave: The Mortuary. Averted in that, if you work at it, you can get out without killing anyone (at least, anyone who isn't already dead). And, all that business with portals and keys aside, you can walk straight out the front door just by speaking civilly to a few people.
Noodle Incident: The first incarnation's crime. It's never revealed what it is, but a lifetime of saintly penance wouldn't make up for it. That's why he sought immortality so he coulld have several lifetimes of penance. The problem is that this made him lose his memory, so he didn't spend his immortal life in penance - far from it.
Nominal Importance: You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of characters with a name who have no impact on either the main plot or any side quests.
Note to Self: In the format of a tattoo, an elaborate journal made of your own skin and bone, an even more elaborate dodecahedron-shaped puzzle filled with deadly traps that unfolds into a journal written in a secret language, an entire tomb full of writings by previous incarnations, memories that float to the surface under certain conditions, and instructions scrawled on various surfaces in the Fortress of Regrets.
One-Letter Name: O. As a member of the Divine Alphabet, his name is actually quite important. Through dialogue, The Nameless One can see his true face, gaining a permanent bonus to Wisdom.
One Stat to Rule Them All: Assuming the player wishes to experience as much of the story as possible, the single most important stat in the game is Wisdom, a stat that, in any other AD&D context where the player could choose to be one of a Fighter, Thief or Mage, would have been a Dump Stat. Keeping it high gives a bonus to experience points earned, allows access to more story in the form of flashbacks, and gives additional experience for getting the flashbacks.
Optional Party Member: All of them are technically optional, but Ignus, Vhailor, and Nordom are the most standard examples of this.
Organ Drops: During the course of the game, the Nameless One can "produce" two full sets of intestines and several eyes.
Marta: "Gotta pulls the stitchies out, the teethies, yes. And the thingies inside..."
Pacifist Run: There are exactly two characters in the game that you have to kill, and each playthrough requires you to fight at least four times, with three of those enemies being constant and the last being one of two, depending on your alignment.
Party Scattering: This happens to your party once you enter the Fortress of Regrets. Unlike other examples of this trope, in this case your companions inevitably die one by one while you're looking for them (except for one, who betrays and attacks you). You get a chance to resurrect them all after getting to the end, though.
Platonic Prostitution: Parodied by Fall-from-Grace's brothel, where no sex is offered under any circumstances. Only intellectual stimulation allowed on the premises, please.
Point-and-Click Map: The map of the game world becomes available fairly late, at which point it is shown each time you move across zone boundaries. However, only the locations in Sigil remain open; other locations are added to the map, but serve no purpose and are unselectable as they are only used during linear portions of the game.
Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Nameless One is immortal because every time he dies and returns to life, someone else dies instead and becomes an undead shadow.
Power Equals Rarity: All of the most powerful weapons in the game are unique, and many are made specially for your character.
The Power of Love: The Practical Incarnation deliberately invoked this when he let Deionarra die, *knowing* that her love for him would bind her as a ghost and allow him to use her as a spy on the Negative Material Plane.
Power Tattoo: Armor is for sissies. Real men protect themselves with ink.
Practical Taunt: Morte's "Litany of Curses." If it works, it enrages the opponent into chasing down Morte and trying to melee him, even if the opponent in question is a mage. Unusually for this trope, Morte levels it by example; angering various characters causes them to launch into swearing tirades, which Morte files away for future reference.
A novel whose writers appeared to have not played the game, nor even had a particularly in-depth discussion with the game's makers about its content, other than the basic plot and a list of major character names. Annah, for instance, changed from a fiery, red-headed embodiment of withering sarcasm to a big-breasted bouncy blonde. She lost her distinctive accent, too.
Puff of Logic: A flashback reveals The Nameless One once debated a Signer out of existence by proving he didn't exist. With a high enough WIS score, The Nameless One can do this to himself inside the Fortress of Regrets.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your party. You can potentially recruit, in addition to the amnesiac immortal you start with: a floating snarky skull who doubles as Mr. Exposition, an old githzerai zerth with a sword shaped by thought, a brash tiefling thief, an agnostic celibate succubus cleric, a fire sorcerer whose body is a gateway to the Elemental Plane of Fire, a cubic robot gone rogue, and a suit of armor possessed by the restless spirit of a dead Knight Templar.
Randomly Generated Levels: The Modron maze is notably the only example of a randomly generated dungeon in an Infinity Engine game. The dungeon is generated by having a number of square rooms connect via different exits at random.
Reality Warper: Nemelle and Aelwyn are two minor NPCs in the Clerk Ward who speak by "narrating" their lives. Whatever they narrate comes true; if The Nameless One bothers them enough, they will simply say that he no longer wishes to speak with them, and he will find that this is indeed the case. Attempting to attack them produces similar results.
Recurring Riff: Several of the game's songs use the same basic melody.
Redemption Equals Death: By the end of the game, the Nameless One. Possibly, that is. You don't have to redeem anything...
Relationship Upgrade: If the player chooses to pursue that particular path, Annah-of-the-Shadows and The Nameless One eventually become lovers, although the plotline doesn't go further than them kissing.
Relationship Values: Everyone in The Nameless One's party has an adjustable opinion of him. For some characters, it doesn't have much effect on the gameplay, whereas for others, it makes or breaks them; for example, Dak'kon's blade changes forms as he levels, and the form it takes is based on his opinion of The Nameless One, with a either a very good or very bad opinion being best.
Resurrection Sickness: Although dying in the game usually means simply being moved to the nearest safe area with no other direct consequences, prior to the story beginning, The Nameless One dying usually meant having his memory wiped and his personality reset. The exact mechanics are unclear, and it is uncertain why the current incarnation can die without having his memory wiped.
A box found in the Hive which everyone is trying to get rid of. Opening it pits you against a fairly weak demon, while completing the quest properly opens up a Bonus Boss much later in the game, and gets you an item that can be used for another quest.
The throne of the Silent King. Whoever sits on the throne is bound to serve as the Silent King for the rest of their (un)life; the subjects would prefer it if the Silent King were undead, but if you play your cards right, you will get offered the job. Considering you're immortal, this is really not a good idea.
An aversion of Talk to Everyone serves as this. You can see devils walking about the streets of Sigil. Clever players can control and farm them for XP. Dumb players might try to have a nice chat with them only for the beast to snarl with rage and attack. Really dumb players will try to have a chat with them while Grace, a member of their hated enemies, is in the party.
Actually doing the things that attract the Lady of Pain's attention, in spite of multiple characters' explicit warnings. All of Sigil is terrified of her for good reason. Doing this once ends you in a Maze; doing it twice kills you. Pissing off the Lady of Pain is possible by becoming a believer of Aoskar, the dead god of portals, slaughtering large numbers of townsfolk, murdering Dabus, the servants of the Lady, or worshipping and/or making fun of the Lady dozens of times.
Trias is a male example, wearing only a loincloth.
Talking the Monster to Death: Several of the major bosses can be talked into surrendering or committing suicide. Getting the best ending requires that the player persuades The Transcendent One to merge with The Nameless One; fighting him gives a slightly worse ending. Inverted with "Adahn," who is talked into existence by lying about The Nameless One's name enough times.
Talk to Everyone: Lampshaded by numerous characters; by the time you get to the other wards of Sigil, most people *know* that you're going around asking everyone questions, and are exasperated when you start asking them.
Thanatos Gambit: The Practical Incarnation specifically designed the empty tomb so that only an immortal could get through it. How? Several of the rooms can only be exited by getting struck by lightning and dying.
Instead of pretty lights, those spells use long and impressive cutscenes which explain where the meteor storm or a giant ray of fiery death comes from and why it should completely obliterate your enemy.
The Celestial Host spell takes almost a minute and a half to resolve, and invokes the help of an angel in heaven, a phoenix, a Solar and a golden dragon.
Title Drop: The word "torment" appears pretty frequently.
Token Evil Teammate: Officially, an evil Nameless One is the only evil member of the party. Ignus functionally fulfills this role in the sense that he really only cares for burning the crap out of everything and you really need to reign him in, even if it doesn't say he's evil in his stat description (he'll be a designated boss fight for a future Good Nameless One, if that's any indication).
Trauma Inn: Played straight with the Nameless One with enough Constitution (he still heals quite a bit, however), but other characters are only healed a certain amount based on the quality of the resting place.
Treasure Chest Cavity: The Nameless One. There is also a reanimated skeleton that was altered by one of your earlier incarnations to include a small pocket dimension in its chest cavity for some emergency supplies.
Trust Password: The dead language of Uyo functions as this at a certain point. It lets you decipher a journal written by a particularly paranoid incarnation of yours. When you meet the Paranoid Incarnation later you can speak to him in this language to convince him to trust you, as only the two of you could possibly understand what is being said.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The Nameless One and Deionarra. The former is a walking mass of scar tissue who has been described as zombie-like; the latter is a beautiful young woman.
The Un Reveal: If the player is brings a certain object to the final dungeon and picks the right conversation options, The Nameless One will be able to recover his name with the help of The Good Incarnation, but the player never finds out what it is.
Vendor Trash: Sometimes literal trash, like rags. Several portals are activated by carrying around otherwise pointless objects, including one item that is simply labelled as "junk".
Mourns-For-Trees is a particularly notable one. He wants you to care about his trees. Not do anything with them, just be generally interested in their well-being. Persuade enough of your party to go along with it, and the trees will flourish. You get no reward besides some XP and a warm fuzzy feeling.
If you need to dismiss Nordom from your party, you don't need to strand him in a cruel world. You can use the Modron box to send him home - if you have a mod installed.
Videogame Cruelty Potential: One of the most epic examples in gaming. No random violence played for laughs here, this game will let you be cruel, Elaborately-Torture-The-Dog style. Some of the genuinely horrible things you can do to people just through dialogue are guaranteed to make you hate yourself. Unless you're just as Evil, of course. Special mention goes to the ability to squeeze every last drop of soul-crushing goodness out of a situation set up long before the game even started: The Practical Incarnation engineered a sequence of events that ultimately led to a githzerai swearing a life debt to him - only to have the gith find out later that The Nameless One is immortal, and he's pretty much signed himself into slavery of his own free will (essentially a living hell for a githzerai). You're free to remind him of this every chance you get.
Warrior Therapist: A Nameless One with sufficiently high stats in Wisdom and Intelligence. If you concentrate on leveling up those two stats, by the game's midpoint, you can teach Dak'kon a thing or two about the religious relic he's been studying for decades. Keep leveling, and by the end of the game, you can Breaking Speech the Big Bad into giving up without a fight.
Wax On, Wax Off: The training required to become a mage. Lampshaded: your mentor is bemused when part of your aptitude from previous lives returns, as she was looking forward to having someone to do menial tasks for her for months. She's lying, though, considering how she's an aspect of Ravel.
We Buy Anything: Mostly played straight. There are certain merchants who only buy and sell one sort of thing (for example, spices, fish, or dishware). They are, of course, important to various sidequests.
Where It All Began: One of the three universal rules of Planescape is the Unity of Rings — the principle that everything tends to be circular, be it literally or figuratively. Usually, this means that when an event draws to a close, it will almost invariably focus back on where it began. The entrance to the final dungeon is found in the very room The Nameless One wakes up in at the beginning of the game. This can be Lampshaded by the player by having The Nameless One complain about how all the running around the Planes was ultimately pointless, and both Morte and Dak'kon can be chewed out for not telling him about the entrance to his goal.
Wisdom from the Gutter: Most of the game takes place in slums or working class areas of cities, and as such, most of the wisdom The Nameless One hears comes from rather unlikely sources. Notable teachers include Mebbeth, a midwife who dabbles in the Art (magic); Dhall, the cataloguer in charge of keeping track of the bodies brought to the Mortuary; Stale Mary, a motherly, caring zombie; Morte, the wisecracking skull following The Nameless One around and who has seen quite a bit of the Planes; and Annah, a young Tiefling raised in the Hive — the slums of Sigil — and another companion of The Nameless One.
Words Can Break My Bones: You can un-petrify a wizard whose stone-form is kept in a museum at the Festhall District. Doing so allows him to finally unleash a torrent of curses so profane they kill the Nameless One instantly. This is one way of amping up Morte's special Litany of Curses ability — and while he's encountered a lot of foul and inventive mouths in the game, this one is bad enough even he is startled:
Morte:By the Lady's bladed teats!
World of Buxom: Sigil, City of Doors and Giant, Shapely, Voluptuous Breasts. All of the female character models are impossibly proportioned, although this is only really obvious in the codex part of the journal, where pre-rendered images of most inhabitants of the world are shown.
"World of Cardboard" Speech: You get a few of these opened up to you if you confront the Transcendent One with the right stats or under the right circumstances, some of them very satisfying and all of them leading to the enemy being talked to death in some form or another.
The Nameless One:If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear - whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can. I've seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from belief. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me.
Curst, so wretched that the whole city gets dragged into Carceri, a hellish prison plane. You then have the chance to make things a little better.
The Hive, the part of Sigil where you start. While not as bad as Curst, it's still pretty wretched.
You Are Worth Hell: The Nameless One goes to Hell even if you get the best ending, but in that case, there is one small upside: Fall-From-Grace promises to search the Lower Planes until she finds him. (Of course, she is a demon, so she probably doesn't find it as bad.)
You Didn't Ask: If the player asks Morte or Dak'kon why they never told the player character where the entrance to the Fortress of Regrets was, they'll reply that he didn't ask, and that they didn't know the significance of the place.