- "But we can save them! We can set them free! We can replace a rotten old world, with a clean new one!"
- ― Oswald Mandus
Oswald Mandus is the main character of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. He is a wealthy industrialist who is seemingly trying to reform child labor or apply it to his industries in some way. Everything mechanical in his estate seems to be of his own design. Oswald is voiced by Toby Longworth.
Oswald Mandus was born into an English family who owned a massive meat processing factory, possibly the largest in London, that was established in 1828. He later became the head of the family and happily married Lillibeth "Lily" Mandus.
Mandus is a hobbyist or a hunter. He has a collection of rifles and a museum of stuffed and fully mounted skins on display of some large mammals, including a hippopotamus, a giant anteater, and a grizzly bear.
Despite being outwardly belligerent, Mandus was actually a very kind and compassionate man, who cared deeply for the poor. The innovative businessman appeared to be a rather odd eccentric, having secret passageways built into his mansion. He seems to be friends with someone called Tabitha Stepwood, who ran an orphanage. Mrs. Stepwood wrote a letter to Oswald, informing him that she had talked to the Governors about Oswald's attempt to reform children's labor, in which the Governors agreed with. Later, Mrs. Stepwood told Oswald that the orphans will make "the most wonderful addition" to his products.
However, tragedy struck the family. Lily, his wife, died due to complications from childbirth, and Mandus grieved and mourned her loss ever since. She gave birth to his twin sons, Edwin and Enoch. Oswald promised to her on her deathbed he would take care of them both; she was buried in 1890, and her teeth sold to make dollies for the poor.
Oswald was a very loving and devoted father, indeed he made a self-observation that he loved his children far too much, he'd do anything to protect them, and would lie, cheat, steal and even kill for them.
In the late 1890s, Oswald intended to expand and update his factories with new machinery to make his product-lines more efficient and safer for his workers, but this decision had dire consequences. He invested too heavily in the machines, with no immediate returns, the bank refused credit, condemning him for squandering the family fortune. Mandus faced financial ruin and feared it was only a matter of time before the bailiffs would come to repossess his home.
Desperate, he began to look through his great uncle's paperwork and made startling revelations of Vitae from Brennenburg and the mystical Orbs. Not understanding their function or origin fully, Mandus saw these as business opportunities, miraculous power sources that would quicken the machine's development and save him from bankruptcy.
He made various expeditions to America to investigate, later taking his darling children Edwin and Enoch along with him. From his great uncle's notes he learned the whereabouts of an Aztec temple that housed such an orb, though the native people he came across were confused and baffled as to how he came upon such knowledge. Mandus finally recovered the orb from the ruined temple in Mexico.
The twins seemed to have come across the orb first, calling it a "stone egg." Upon contact with it, the orb revealed the future to Oswald, beginning with the oncoming World Wars. He saw what doom his beloved children would face and he was powerless to stop it. They would die sixteen years in the future, in agony within mud and shrapnel, at the Battle of the Somme during the First World War. To spare his children this horrendous fate, he sacrificed them on the temple steps. This may have also been done to reawaken the Orb's power. Mourning, and cursing the world, he took the boys' skulls back to England.
Mandus changed dramatically for the worse. He hated the world and detested its people, viewing them as no different from pigs. He sought to remake the world and avert the future wars to come by mechanizing the ancient practice of human sacrifice he had seen evidence of at the temple. A strange illness, a fever, came over the man.
The construction of The Machine commenced and Mandus began experimenting with Vitae, the remains of the Gatherers shipped across from Castle Brennenburg, and other chemicals of worldly and otherworldly origin including Compound X.
He employed various malpractices and cruelty in and out of the workplace, including the forced labor of orphaned children, who would work inside the highly-pressurized machinery and often get scalded to death in the process. Mandus began abducting the poor and the criminals of London to further his dark research.
Like Alexander before him, Oswald soon encountered own limitations into vitae, making pigs in the slaughterhouses his test subjects, the first creations went horribly wrong.
In 1899, the construction of The Machine and his Manpigs, the reapers of mankind, was virtually complete. His own heart served for the central core in some way, and the gigantic monstrosity was on the verge of being fully automated. It collected humans for slaughter and their blood as sacrifice for the temple at its core. Then the ministry and those from the rifle club, former friends and associates of Mandus, grew suspicious and concerned by these recent activities and employed Professor A to investigate. Mandus deceived the Professor with an alias, "The Engineer", which is presumably his soul's other half. The Professor regarded Oswald nothing more than a fanatic, and wanted to spy on behalf of the government. Mandus obliged, by feeding the man to the machine.
Eventually, Mandus woke from the hatred that had been festering within him over the past year. He and The Engineer soon split by an unknown cause, sending his other half into the Machine itself and making it sentient. Given Mandus's reflection at this time ("If you are evil, at least yours is an honest evil and that alone makes you Ubermensch"), he realized he was no longer the enlightened conduit he believed himself to be. Seeing himself as a monster that is beyond redemption, Mandus tried to take his own life by grabbing exposed wires. This was ultimately unsuccessful.
In a last ditch effort to stop what he had began, Oswald went through the machine and sabotaged what he could. This included breaking electrical fuses, turning switches off, and removing pieces of machinery. When it was complete he retired to his room, overcome by the fever he got in Mexico, and fell asleep.
He woke to the sound of his children calling. This, however, woke the compassionate side of Oswald, which had "fallen asleep" since Mexico. Since Mexico, his heart was filled with hate for the world. Now it was time for the kind half of Mandus to learn what he had done over the past year...
Oswald is eventually overcome with fever and haunted by nightmares of a monstrous machine obscured by an Aztec altar. He eventually recovers consciousness in his own bed, with no recollection of how much time has passed since his last memory. All he knows is that his children, Edwin and Enoch, need him. As he rises from bed, somewhere beneath him he hears an engine roar into life.
When Mandus awakens from a nightmare caused by a fever, it has not only left him delirious, but the severe illness has resulted in memory loss. The entrepreneur cannot remember anything more than his name, and that his children need him, which he immediately sets off to search for.
During his search, he receives a phone call from a mysterious man telling him that he won't see his children again unless he restarts the Machine. He trusts this voice and confesses it sounds like his long-lost twin, not realizing it's the other half of his very own damaged soul talking to him.
Oswald becomes aware of shambling monsters wandering around the premises and witnesses strange abominations as he ventures through his estate into the depths of the cellars. Undaunted, he makes every effort to find his children before any harm befalls them.
Eventually, following the guidance of The Engineer, he manages to drain the flood waters and restart the great engines, thus reactivating The Machine. By the time he realizes he has been tricked, it is too late. His dark alter-ego reveals its intentions to destroy civilization and prevent the future wars. His other half is now free to resume harvesting and reshaping mankind into monsters and sends its army of Manpigs forth into the streets of London, attacking its inhabitants indiscriminately and without mercy.
Realizing that no outside help can possibly come and that his children are gone, Mandus swears to destroy this machine at all costs. His broken soul tries to convince him otherwise and to give up his crusade, but Oswald asserts he will make it up to his children and wash his sins clean. If he is unable to, then he concludes that it's better for one beyond redemption to die with his creations than to continue living as a monster.
He begins to sabotage The Machine once more, evading the pig monsters that give chase and attempt to stop him. In the final hours of the 19th century, Mandus finds the core and shuts down The Machine for good. He then sacrifices himself on a mechanical clockwork chair, which mimics the Aztec ritual of ripping the heart from the still-living victim's chest, and both Mandus and the Machine die together upon midnight as London and the world silently enter the 20th century.
- The name "Oswald Mandus" is a reference to Ozymandias, a fictional ruler glorified in the famous poem of the same name by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Ozymandias is the Greek expression of the name Ramses, the poem being about Ramses II, having stood a king amongst a ravaged land, surrounded by lifelessness and rubble.
- Oswald's name could also be reference to the antagonist of the Watchmen comic book series, who goes the name Ozymandias. If this is true it could be possible that Oswald's goal was not to wipe out humanity but rather to do what Ozymandias did by creating such a massive slaughter that the powers of the world would be scared into making peace forever or possibly be forced into submission with the machine as their leader.
- It would appear that Oswald, while being completely oblivious to the Orb's true powers, is aware that castle Brennenburg existed, as well as Alexander's long research about the Vitae and the Gatherers.
- Despite the horrors Oswald faces in his journey, unlike Daniel or Justine, Oswald doesn't lose sanity whenever he witnesses disturbing events or staring at the Manpigs, implying that Oswald's mental state is stronger than the previous two characters.
- Daniel from the first game respawns after death due to the Shadow. It is unknown why Oswald respawns after death. A theory could be that his soul is not complete, due to his other half still being alive within The Machine.
- Oswald seemed to originally use Daniel's voice samples for his reactions to the Manpigs. As heard in the teaser trailer, you can hear Daniel's gasps when the Manpig is breaking the door down. These could've been used as placeholders until Oswald's voice samples were recorded.
- "Oh God help me. I am lost in the dry paper soul of the world."
- "We are the pig, Professor. We are all the pig."
- And as the dust settled on my open eyes and we lay together embraced forever, I heard miles above us, the sounds of the city turning over in its sleep. A church bell ringing out. And in that moment, the new century was born."
- See Quotes: Oswald Mandus for a full list.
|A Machine for Pigs characters|
|Main characters||Oswald Mandus • Enoch and Edwin|
|Antagonistic characters||The Engineer • The Machine|
|Background characters||Lily Mandus • The Professor • Father Jeremiah • Tabitha Stepwood|