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"A cleansing fire always burns little Mandus, but it purifies and it makes anew."
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They are called Gatherers as they seem to follow some ambition to steal living creatures. It is their prey which can be heard struggling inside damp burlap sacks dragged behind them which reveal their presence. What dark scheme do they follow?

Part of a note found in the Archives.
Gatherers group

The Gatherers are Alexander of Brennenburg's servants. They are the primary enemies in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. There are two different Gatherers: the Grunt and the Brute. They patrol various parts of Brennenburg Castle, attacking Daniel when he is spotted. As Daniel is unarmed, they cannot be killed and therefore must be avoided by running, hiding in wardrobes or hiding behind objects to avoid being seen.

Information[]

Encounters[]

The Gatherers first appear in the Archives and Wine Cellar, although those are purely cinematic encounters—the player is in no danger there. In the Archives, after witnessing an actual Gatherer, Daniel could hallucinate that one was chasing him if he ran up to some rubble at the leftmost part of the window gallery, but it would disappear before it gets too close. In the Refinery, it was possible to have your first dangerous run-in with a Gatherer, although it is very easy to avoid as the monster would disappear very quickly, and was easy to hide from. The first truly dangerous encounters with Gatherers would occur in either Storage or the Guest Room, depending on which place the player decided to visit first upon reaching the Back Hall. The Gatherer in the Guest Room would only spawn when Daniel stepped in front of the open wardrobe in the side room to the right of the entrance and could be avoided entirely by keeping away from the open wardrobe. If the monster does spawn, the open wardrobe is intended as an obvious, introductory hiding place to teach the player about evading future encounters. Gatherers in the Storage and Prison blocks posed a much greater threat. Hiding when alerted of a Gatherer's presence is always the safest option, but sometimes they are inescapable.

Their loyalty to Alexander of Brennenburg was made known later in the game when Alexander explicitly ordered them to stop Daniel from continuing forward in his mission, leading the Gatherers to intercept Daniel in the Chancel and lock him up in the Cells.[citation needed][When? What did he say?] Other references to Alexander's connection with the Gatherers could be heard when Daniel's location is unknown to Alexander. At certain points in the game, Daniel would hear Alexander furiously ask the Gatherers questions like "Where is he now?" and make commands such as "Find him".[1][citation needed][Need to know when Alexander said "Find him."]

Behavior[]

The Gatherers will always alert the player of their presence with an audible growl when entering Daniel's immediate area.

Strategy[]

When Daniel sees these monsters, his sanity decreases. It is, therefore, best to avoid direct eye contact with them. The Gatherers generally do not remain for long periods of time and are usually unthorough in their investigations, providing Daniel ample space to hide.

Description[]

Physical appearance[]

The Gatherers broadly appear as shambling humanoid figures with noticably inhuman features, with small human aspects—namely body parts, like eyes and teeth—poorly attached. They walk with an awkward gait, something like a waddle and something like a limp.

Intelligence[]

The overall intelligence of the Gatherers is unknown and questionable. As previously mentioned, they do not usually notice Daniel if he has a prop over his head. He can also repeatedly hide the prop in front of him and take it away to let the Gatherer notice him and place it back to hide again like a game. They are also easy to avoid overall by either retreating, closing doors, or hiding in deep dark corners as they do not wander very far when searching for Daniel. A Brute in the sewer is easily tricked by throwing a rock to distract it and won't move from where the rock lands, though it does seem to notice Daniel as he attempts to escape the sewer. They also will not venture into different areas, even when chasing Daniel (though Frictional Games most likely made it that way to make the game easier). In addition, they cannot climb ladders (though the Brutes are likely impaired by the replacement of one arm by a blade). They are even sometimes seen to go the opposite direction that Daniel runs in after searching for him; however, the Grunt was able to capture Daniel in the Chancel.


Origins[]

A note found in the castle hints at the origin of the servants:

This story reaches all the way back to the time of the Thirty Years' War. It is said that soldiers who abandoned their duty got lost in the cold, dark woods and were forever damned to roam the grounds. Their bodies wrought by their tainted souls have left them disfigured and empty of essence. Many have sighted them over the years and describe them as horrid revenants. They move silently through the woods, shying away from any beholder. They are called Gatherers as they seem to follow some ambition to steal living creatures. It is their prey which can be heard struggling inside damp burlap sacks dragged behind them which reveal their presence. What dark scheme do they follow?

Local Folklore, a note in the Archives


Types[]

Servant Grunt[]

The Servant Grunt is the weaker, more commonly encountered of the two Gatherers in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. While not as powerful as the Brutes, it is still a considerable threat in any appearance.

Servant Brute[]

The Servant Brutes are the rarer, more dangerous type of the Gatherers in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. They deal much more damage than a Servant Grunt, and they are able to kill Daniel in one hit, even at full health, making survival harder.

Sound[]

Vocals[]

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Music[]


The Grunt and the Brute have their own set of music; both enemies having three states of music for themselves making a total of six. The three samples of music correlate with the actions of both enemies:

  • Danger: The monsters wander around without knowing of Daniel's whereabouts. (Not heard in Hard Mode.)
  • Search: A monster has seen Daniel, but lost sight of him. They will try to find Daniel for a short time.
  • Attack: The monster(s) see Daniel and give chase.

There are also extracts of music that play when these enemies appear, but don't play as redundantly as the three samples mentioned above, as they are used for the cutscene itself, and not just the Gatherer alone. This same format of music is also used for Suitors.

It's worth noting that the Attack state for each monster is not particularly audible, because the Terror Meter blares over it. You can, however, listen to the Attack state when you press TAB to go to the interface menu.

Design[]

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Speculation[]

  • As revealed by this note, these creatures were originally soldiers who deserted their stations and got lost in the woods, presumably near Castle Brennenburg. It is strongly implied that their disfigurement is a consequence of drinking Alexander's poisoned wine, which causes the drinker to violently rupture from the inside, as we see in the room in the wine cellar where Wilhelm leaves his note. Audio from a flashback, when one of Wilhelm's men mentions that his chest is about to burst and another pleads for Alexander to let them go, are titled "Transformation" in the game's files. Their lack of essence may hint at the fact that they have been drained of vitae; however, since they are still wandering around and not dead like the rest of Alexander's experiments, this can't be known for certain. Assuming that Alexander was behind their transformation from men into monsters, these creatures may have been his servants since the early 17th century CE, capturing live humans for Alexander's experiments.
  • The process for turning a human into a Gatherer is only hinted. The only evidence is given by the note that describes the fate of Wilhelm and his men, who had their bodies deformed after drinking tainted wine, offered by Alexander. Probably just drinking the "wine" is not sufficient and more steps must be taken, like binding them to Alexander's will and grafting the metal pieces into their limbs to keep the bones in place.
  • It is speculated that Alexander turns only strong-willed and robust subjects into Gatherers, like the soldiers and Wilhelm and his men. These men could be used to pain due to their military training and experience, thus making them inadequate subjects for vitae extraction, but effective for the Gatherer's role thanks to their strong build.
  • The Gatherers might be the one and the same servants encountered by both Daniel and Gabriel. This theory can be supported by the fact that Daniel finds a wide collection of white clothes inside the Castle rooms that the monsters may have used to hide their true horrid appearance.
  • Ghouls might have been the inspiration for Alexander to create Gatherers.[speculation] Their purposes are the same (harvesting Vitae from victims) and their transformations are very similar (drinking a "contaminated" liquid).
  • In the Sewer, Daniel will find the torn-apart body of a Servant Grunt. Seconds after leaving the room where it is found, a Servant Brute will break down the metal bars that block Daniel from proceeding in the level. This string of events led to a creation of a bizarre and outright ridiculous fan speculation which mandates that it was a wandering Brute that slew the servant. A plethora of facts, however, easily shut down this 'theory': the entire dead body now sports an orangish colour, has multiple spots of protruding dead skin and multiple smears of blood coming randomly from various spots on uncut parts, as well as from behind the distended jaw. The torso's head is missing the lumps of hair on its back, as well as lacking eyes, which appear to have been boiled off or fallen out. All of the listed factors perfectly match the description of the Shadow's victims' bodies appearing boiled up (instead of the body retaining its pale skin, hair and eyes, assuming it was killed by another servant). Brutes were shown to be able to only swing diagonally and, due to the way their blades are grafted and positioned on them, horizontal swings would be near-impossible or extremely awkward to pull off, aside from not having any meaningful strike force to perfectly split the grunt in two in one clean move, or simply because the blades are far too up to be able to reach the grunt's middle in such a way. The final part is that the corpse's legs are resting in an awkward position on top of a mound of Shadow's residue (instead of being buried under the said residue if one is to suggest that the murder took place before the Shadow consumed the room). Even if the killing took place after the Shadow's invasion, it would then mean that the Grunt was standing on top of the red sludge and facing the wall while being dismembered, the chances of which are less than abysmal. (That, instead, can draw a picture of the servant being held by the cosmic force before being torn apart piece-by-piece, with the limbs being randomly thrown around the room before the legs are then simply dropped down).

Trivia[]

  • Throughout the castle, there are several rooms that Daniel cannot access, such as in Storage or the Prison. The doors to these rooms often have bloodstains and, sometimes, human remains around them. If a Gatherer killed Daniel, they sometimes spawn in these rooms and snarl if he tries to open them; however, like Daniel, they are unable to open them as well. After the first Grunt in the Storage de-spawns, some decals indicating that he walked to the locked door become visible on the floor. These rooms may be the living quarters of where the Gatherers reside.
  • If the player holds certain props (crates, drawers, etc.) up to their face so the Gatherer cannot see Daniel's head, they will often pass by as if he isn't there (unless he is making noise). This seems to be a bug or could be due to the lack of intelligence displayed by the Gatherers.
  • One can look directly at the Servant Grunt which spawns behind the second door in the food storage area of Storage without affecting Daniel's vision.
  • The Gatherers have many bugs (or signs of stupor), such as wrong smashes, becoming stuck due to an immoveable crate or rock, or just not noticing you if you're holding props in the way of their vision.
  • In the Choir, by jumping onto a pillar across a chasm and alerting the Servant Brute, it can be tricked into rushing off the edge and falling down. The same goes in the Chancel, although this is a bit tricky, as it requires jumping on top of the Brute's head and jumping off of it just as it falls off the edge.
  • It is possible that after Daniel escapes from the Cells, the Gatherers may not have actually intended to kill him. They may only have wanted to recapture him to sacrifice him to the Shadow so that Alexander can complete his ritual.
  • The Brute can run faster than Daniel, and charges if Daniel is a far enough distance away.
  • The Brute has a harder time trying to communicate compared to the Grunt, mainly because its face is split into an almost floral shape.
  • Oswald Mandus manages to procure a Gatherer's body for his experiments from the area around Brennenburg 60 years after the events of The Dark Descent.
  • In one of the notes found in A Machine for Pigs, Mandus wrote that the body of a Gatherer sent to him from Brennenburg has "the smell of the Orb upon him" and suspected the body was his "Great Uncle's work."
  • The Gatherers can apparently still understand human speech. This is evidenced by the fact that they obey Alexander when he directly commands them to find Daniel. They may also be able to hear Daniel's rambling on low sanity, which may be the reason why Daniel can be detected more easily when his sanity is low.
  • Interestingly, if one watches a Gatherer for long enough, it may become startled by a noise, holding its hands to its mouth and looking around as if in fright; it may also put its face in its hands and appear to sob. Whether this means they have any semblance of humanity left in them is a mystery.

Gallery[]

Video[]

References[]

  1. Dialogue (TDD) – Alexander: "He escaped!? Where is he now?"

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