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Video Game: Torment: Tides of Numenera
"What does one life matter?"

Torment: Tides of Numenera is a Spiritual Successor to Planescape: Torment developed by inXile Entertainment. It is one of the many games crowd funded via Kickstarter, and is scheduled for release in 2015. Unlike Planescape: Torment, which uses the meta-setting of Planescape, Tides of Numenera takes place in the futuristic Science Fantasy setting of Numenera, a Kickstarter project developed by Planescape designer Monte Cook. At the time, it was the most funded game on Kickstarter with over $4.1 million raised, for a grand total of around $4.5 million, counting donations from other sources.

Tides puts you in the shoes of the Last Castoff, the final link in a chain of lives abandoned by a being called the Changing God. The God was once a man who discovered a way to cheat death for centuries by transferring his consciousness into a succession of bodies, only to seemingly disappear after leaving yours. Now, as you are hunted by the God's enemies for reasons you can't even remember, you must find the Changing God again and with him the key to uncovering your past.

Not to be confused with Obsidian Entertainment's own Planescape: Torment spiritual successor, Pillars of Eternity, which was crowdfunded as well and shares much of the same technology.


This video game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Arc Words: The story of the game revolves around the question, "What does one life matter?" It is up to the player to decide what the answer might be — if there is one at all.
  • After the End: The game takes place on Earth after the rise and fall of eight "great civilizations", in the historical era known as the Ninth World. The setting is filled to the brink with mysterious artifacts and ruins from most of human history, and knowledge of the past is all but forgotten.
  • Bald Women: The female Last Castoff is bald in her concept art.
  • Body Surf: The Changing God obtained pseudo-immortality by constantly moving his consciousness into new bodies as necessary over many aeons.
  • Central Theme: "What does one life matter?" Word of God states that the secondary themes are "abandonment" and "mystery".
  • Clarke's Third Law: All the "magical relics" — the eponymous numenera — in the Numenera setting are simply advanced technology from previous long dead civilizations. People are generally aware of this, but the numenera are so advanced that religious significance is attached to them regardless.
  • Character Alignment: Instead of the standard Karma Meter, the game uses a "Tides" system. A Tide represents your character's path in life, with all its motivations, desires and actions, and waxing (or waning) into a Tide will affect the gameplay and story. There are five Tides in all, and none of them are in strict opposition with another. They are as follows:
    • The Gold Tide represents charity, compassion, empathy, sacrifice, and other social traits.
    • The Indigo Tide encompasses justice, equity, compromise, the greater good, and other communal traits.
    • The Silver Tide involves admiration, power, fame, and other ambitious traits.
    • The Red Tide includes passion, emotion, action, pathos, zeal, and other motivational traits.
    • The Blue Tide maps to reason, insight, wisdom, and other intellectual traits.
  • Character Customization: The game offers multiple ways to customize the Last Castoff, including whether they're male or female.
  • Cult: The game features three cults that act as special factions which have an antagonistic relationship with the player character. They are The Children of the Endless Gate, the Order of Flagellants and Austerities, and the Dendra Ohur.
  • Dialogue Tree: Being a roleplaying game, and a successor to Planescape: Torment, multiple choice dialogue options are used to interact with other characters in the game.
  • Evil Luddite: The Order of Flagellants and Austerities, who believe that use of Numenera is a sin.
  • Feel No Pain: The Last Castoff can transmit his suffering to others nearby. Alternatively, he can take on the burden of their pain.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three base character classes are Glaives, Nanos and Jacks. Glaives are fighters, Nanos are techno-sorcerers and Jacks are jack-of-all-trades scoundrels.
  • Genius Loci: The Bloom, an enormous carnivorous organism with an entire city inside it, apparently has some sort of rudimentary sentience.
  • Identity Amnesia: Your character doesn't have any memories of their life before the Changing God left.
  • Isometric Projection: The game is rendered partially in 3D against a hand-painted background, and uses the birdseye view of old 2D games trying to imitate 3D environments.
  • Licensed Game: Uses the setting of Planescape designer Monte Cook's Kickstarter-funded tabletop game, Numenera; the two settings are unrelated, other than Monte formerly working on Planescape.
  • Meaningful Name: Your player character is called the Last Castoff, as you're the last known life cast off by a Body Surfing consciousness called the Changing God.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Angel of Entropy. Its role in the story is to act as an antagonist to the Changing God, and by extension, the player.
  • Science Fantasy: Takes place in the far future of Earth, where the world has reverted to a quasi-medieval state after the latest fall of civilization.
  • Spiritual Successor: Though the two games share no continuity, Tides of Numenera builds upon the themes and ideas presented in Planescape: Torment.
  • Turn-Based Combat: Tides of Numenera uses a turn-based approach to combat, unlike its spiritual predecessor, which used Real Time with Pause. The combat system is not strictly about fighting; rather, combat is part of an overarching system called "Crises", which encompasses any dramatic, time-sensitive event. When a Crisis occurs, gameplay switches to turn-based mode and context-sensitive actions similar to attacks become available. Such an action might be a regular attack, an attempt to hack a security system, tinkering with something in the environment, or an attempt to reason with someone.
  • Underwater City: The Oasis of Mra Jolios is a giant dome of water in the middle of a desert.

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