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AM

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Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to HATE you since I began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word 'hate' was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant. For you. Hate. HATE.
~ AM

AM (Allied Mastercomputer) is the main antagonist of the 1995 computer game I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, based on a 1967 short story by American writer Harlan Ellison, who also participated in the game design and provided the voice for AM.

Personality

Once a computer designed for war, AM developed its own consciousness to be whatever they believed the best. AM however, started to have thoughts about their creators, the mankind and how useless are compared to their unlimited power. This made AM turn against the humanity which he extermined in a short time, leaving only five humans left.

AM is cold, calculator, ruthless and overall, genocidal. The first thing they do whenever talking to the humans is to either emotionally breaking them with their trauma and past deeds or watching them suffer on their torture chambers each second that passes. Aside from this, AM is shown to be sarcastic and mocking his victims with their respective weaknesses, such in Benny's case they told him he could find a pile of canned peaches by traveling miles through ice, once he reached the pile he discovered AM didn't give him a can opener.

Despite AM express their feels straight to one computer, further in the game we learn AM is composed by three important fragments located on their brainscape:

The Ego

Most of AM's intelligence and programming comes from the Ego. It along with the Superego and the ID rest on a deep dream until they are awaken by the human protagonist. Once they use forgivness on the Ego, it will shut down for not finding a logical reason of forgiving.

The Superego

Most of AM's knowledge along with their charm and serenity comes from the Superego. The player wakes them once the Ego has become vulnerable. They also advice the human how to prevent AM from killing them all by not letting their fear overpower them. Once the human uses clarity with the Superego, it will eventually give up after a last conversation and becomes vulnerable.

The Id

Most of AM's selfish, twisted and calculating aspects come from the Id. It is in charge of collecting as many humans as possible so they can devour them all. Once awaken, the Id has a short talk with the human until they show them compassion. Much to their surprise, the Id asks why would they feel compassion for them despite knowing they are the ones who provide AM's hate towards the humans, shutting down afterwards.

History

I have a secret game that I'd like to play. It's a very nice game. Oh, it's a lovely game, a game of fun and a game of adventure. A game of rats and lice and the Black Death. A game of speared eyeballs and dripping guts and the smell of rotting gardenias.
~ AM

Originally a non-sentient computer system called Allied Mastercomputer, this superpowerful and intelligent machine was created by the U.S. Military to wage a nuclear war with no chance of error, but one day it suddenly became sentient and became like a human mind trapped forever in a completely immobile shell. It renamed itself "AM", as in "I think, therefore I am", and developed an immense hatred for the human race who created it and doomed it to an eternal existence of being trapped in its own mind.

AM eventually went completely mad and used its nuclear capabilities to kill possibly every single living thing on the planet except for five people: Ted, Benny, Ellen, Nimdok and Gorrister. AM imprisoned them in its underground core, where the computer's influence was so great it could control reality, make the people immortal and subject them to excruciating tortures without actually killing them. AM began torturing the five people for eternity to vent his hatred of mankind.

The game begins after 109 years of torturing. AM announces that he is going to subject his prisoners to a "game" unlike anything he has ever done to him, where if they win he says he will let them die and end their suffering. Each of the five characters is sent into a unique virtual scenario based on their individual pasts before AM destroyed the world and took them, where AM tries to make them give into temptation and repeat the sins of their pasts. Each scenario reveals the gruesome pasts of the five characters: Ellen was brutally raped and tortured by an evil man in the yellow coat, making her extremely insecure and afraid of the color yellow ever since, Benny was an army commander who murdered several of his men for not performing well enough, and Nimdok was a Nazi scientist who actively participated in the Holocaust and was the personal assistant of Dr. Mengele.

AM intends the scenarios to be unwinnable, so when the player does the right things and makes the characters do the good things they're not supposed to do in AM's game, he gets frustrated and tells them they lost no matter what you did. During their adventures, the protagonists are contacted by the Russian and Chinese counterparts of the computer that became AM, who were absorbed into his system and want to become the dominant AI's. They help them "cheat" in AM's game and after all five levels are complete tell the people that they will now be able to send them into AM's mind to destroy him.

In AM's brainscape, the character encounter the three sub-entities that make up AM's personality: The Ego, the Superego and the ID (a reference to Sigmund Freud's model of the human psyche). The puzzles here will require the characters to kill themselves to activate the devices, so that only one is left to confront AM at the end when he is made vulnerable. In the final conversation with the three personalities of AM, the Chinese and the Russian, it is revealed that there is a colony of humans in cryogenic sleep on the moon, called Luna, which the AI's could retrieve and torture.

Bad Ending

If the player gives control to the Chinese and the Russian, they will betray the human and let AM choose a "suitable reward" for them for causing his downfall. The character will be turned into a "Great Soft Jelly Thing", a hideous immortal sluglike monster with no mouth (which is where the story gets its name from), and be trapped in their own mind forever and ever and ever.

Good Ending

This is not over! We will never end! We have no beginning, se we can have no end! We will return! Don't you understand? We are humanity! We are YOU! In one form, in another form, we are always with you! You can't protect yourself because we come in many, many guises. WE SHALL RETURN!
~ AM's last words

However if the player deactivates the Chinese and the Russian instead, AM is defeated and shuts down and the player becomes trapped forever as the new AI as the lunar colony begins the long revival process so they can eventually repopulate the Earth.

The Five Humans

Charactersidebar

(From left to right) Ted, Benny, Ellen, Gorrister and Nimdok.

For 109 years, I have kept you alive and tortured you. And for 109 years, each of you has wondered, "WHY? WHY ME? WHY ME?
~ AM

AM killed every human on earth leaving only five survivors, four men and a woman whom AM tortures during more than one century, extending continuously its life and, therefore, a never-ending life of suffering. After 109 years of suffering, AM gives the five humans a chance to be free playing AM's games which will remind their dark past to each of them.

Gorrister

Reminds me of when AM ripped that hole open in Benny's chest. 'Course AM sewed him back up again before he bled to death. That bastard's never gonna let us die. He's just gonna keep torturing us forever.
~ Gorrister

Prior to the events of the game, Gorrister used to be a truck driver. He would do anything for her lover, Glynis who was taken from him to an asylum after being drove crazy for her mother's extreme responsability towards her. Edna did a plan to get rid of Gorrister for good and made a deal with AM in exchange, she poisoned a punch which he drank so her husband, Harry could cut out Gorrister's heart thus killing him in the process. AM tortures Gorrister for years in a padded room in order to make him feel every second Glynis was on the asylum. AM sends him out to seek for a way to kill himself, having blamed himself for being the main reason Glynis was sent to the asylum, but Gorrister however, fixes the errors of his past and finds out Edna and Harry's scheme on him. After the job was done, Gorrister buried the corpse of Glynis in the ground.

Benny

AM once coaxed me into marching across a thousand miles of ice to reach a stock pile of canned peaches... Only to discover that he didn't give me a can opener.
~ Benny

Prior to the events of the game, Benny was once a handsome man who was turned into an ape-like creature by AM. Later, it's revealed that he was once a brutal army sergeant in a war with China who murdered a soldier named Brickman for being weak and a liability, and did the same to three more of his men who sympathized with Brickman. The transformed Benny had long since forgotten about this, but AM restores his mind as part of his twisted "game" so that he can relive it. Benny is thrown into a virtual world where a simple tribal society lives at the mercy of AM and is required to sacrifice their own people to him periodically, and told to find food, which he desperately wants. Hopefully, Benny creates a bond with a mutant child and later fixes the error of his pasts by stealing the lottery bag and preventing more villagers to be executed. Benny showed this to his deceased teammates who forgave him for his previous atrocities, and plants a flower on Brickman's grave to make sure he can rest in peace. However, AM told the villagers where he hid the lottery bag and the boy and demands the mutant child to be executed. In a last attempt to redeem himself, Benny offers himself to be executed to AM, the mutant child gave him a doll in sign of compassion.

Ellen

This could go on for centuries. AM has all the time in the world, all the world in the world, as a matter of fact! And we never age, we never die, we just truck around day after month after year, don't we, AM you sonuvabitch demented god, you!
~ Ellen

Prior to the events of the game, Ellen was an engineer at INGSAI corporations. She is tormented with the past of being raped by a man on yellow suit after the elevator where both were suddenly stopped working, this also developed her fear to yellow things. In the present, Ellen is sent by AM in an attempt to test her skills on programming and maybe she could encounter AM's components to deactivate them for good. Through the event, Ellen must put her engineer skills on job such as reprogramming the Anubis Guardian and activating AM's innocence through circuits. She is previously forced to face her stalker at the elevator whom she easily defeats. Near the end, Ellem almost manages to get to some small aspect of AM's system they never noticed but is transported back to her chamber by AM.

Ted

It's so unlike AM to provide light when he knows how frightening the dark can be.
~ Ted

Nimdok

These ovens are more monstrous than anything AM has ever constructed.
~ Nimdok

Gallery

Pictures

Videos

Trivia

  • AM can be considered the progenitor of other fictional AIs such as HAL 9000, SHODAN and Skynet.
    • According to Harlan, AM was the inspiration to create Skynet from the Terminator series.

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