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Pyramid

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Pyramid is the antagonist of the 2010 video game Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Throughout the story, protagonists Monkey, Trip and Pigsy believe "Pyramid" to be a manner of organization, but it is revealed at the end of the game that it is actually one man who has himself become a supercomputer. Unlike most primary antagonists in video games, Pyramid is not fought as a boss battle, but is instead encountered only during the final cutscene. When communicating, he is portrayed on a video screen (in live action) by Andy Serkis, who also voiced and provided the motion capture for Monkey.

Role in Enslaved

Background

Pyramid is the cause of all the game's events, but is not himself seen or heard from until the epilogue. Prior to the events of the game, a major world war ca. 2020-2030 has completely devastated the Earth, which is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The cause of the war is never made clear, but is implied to have something to do with "Mechs," robots that were initially designed to help humans but later became violent; whether Pyramid built the Mechs to begin with or merely later gained control of them is also left ambiguous.

Approximately a hundred and fifty years later, player character Monkey and secondary protagonist Tripitaka (who goes by "Trip") are abducted by one of Pyramid's slave ships, for the purpose of being made into slaves; noncompliance and resistance is met with death. Trip, an expert hacker, manages to damage the ship from the inside out, and the physically powerful Monkey is also able to break free before the ship crashes in an abandoned New York City. Following their escape, Trip hacks a slave headband to instead respond to her commands, and fits it on Monkey in order to get him to help her get back to her community, which is three hundred miles away. Monkey is initially furious, but Trip informs him that the headband is programmed to kill him if she dies, and she will only remove it upon returning home. After recovering Monkey's motorcycle at the crash site and leaving the overgrown New York, Trip reaches her destination, only to find that Pyramid's Slavers and Mechs have killed everyone in her town, including its leader, her father. Swearing vengeance, Trip breaks her promise and informs Monkey she will now remove the headband only when she kills those responsible.

Monkey and Trip travel to an abandoned Mech factory, which is the home of Pigsy, a friend of her father's. Upon convincing him to let them use his flying machine to follow a slave ship to Pyramid's base, Pigsy decides to join the protagonists on their quest entirely, and reports to them what Pyramid has been secretly building: a Mega-Mech known as the Leviathan, capable of causing immense destruction. Eventually, the trio reach the facility housing the Leviathan and succeed in stealing it, driving it forward to the west to Pyramid's real headquarters. When they arrive, they discover that Pyramid had its own Mega-Mechs in reserve: five giant scorpion-like machines outfitted with massive cannons. Although Pigsy is able to shoot four of them, one eventually climbs on top of the Leviathan and disables its cannon. Monkey is able to destroy the Mech after a long struggle, but upon returning to his friends in celebration, they inform him of terrible news: there are five more Mega-Mechs coming at them. With its cannon destroyed and shields almost obliterated, Pigsy decides the only way to defeat the remaining Mechs would be to overload the Leviathan's power core, effectively blowing it up and killing himself in the process. Trip frantically tries to dissuade him, but under Pigsy's orders, Monkey takes Trip and escapes; less than a minute later, with all of Pyramid's last defenses aboard, the Leviathan explodes.

True motives and death

At last standing in front of the giant, shining structure which has become the symbol of the game's strife, Monkey and Trip enter the Pyramid, discovering that it is filled with hundreds of thousands of slaves. At the center of it all is an old, half-Mech man hooked up to the entire building, wildly working on the console in front of him. As the protagonists approach, a much younger-looking man appears on a large video screen above them. The man reveals that he himself is Pyramid: the memory and deteriorating body of a lone man who lived before the war. He informs them that the slaves are actually living in an alternate reality he has created, replicating the days of peace he once knew. Monkey realizes that the many strange images the headband allowed him to see throughout his journey, those of a still-thriving world, were actually bits and pieces of Pyramid's reconstruction. Pyramid's rationale for doing this is that the world as it is now is nothing but a wasteland in which humans must fight to survive, while the world he offers is a peaceful one of happiness. The protagonists remain unconvinced, but Pyramid requests that they take a look at his world before destroying it, offering the mask he wears to provide a glimpse. Monkey removes Pyramid's mask and puts it on, and after initially remaining silent for several moments, exclaims in awe that "it's beautiful." However, Trip rushes to Pyramid and violently begins disconnecting the pipes and tubes from his body, effectively killing him in the process. Still not satisfied after he stops moving, Monkey intervenes and comforts the distraught Trip. As Pyramid's remaining power begins to fade, all of the slave headbands begin to deactivate, including Monkey's. Still wrapped in Monkey's arms, Trip asks him, "Did I do the right thing?"

Criticism

While Enslaved was the recipient of near-unanimously positive reviews and several year-end awards from gaming journalists, the game's ending was heavily criticized. Many felt that the plot twist didn't make much sense, and furthermore that it was nothing but a poorly-executed rip-off of The Matrix. The romantic tension that was constructed between Monkey and Trip, often highlighted as one of the game's strongest features, was abruptly left unresolved in part due to the unexpected ending, among other plot threads.

Although a sequel was initally planned in 2013, most likely to explain what happened to Monkey and Trip after the game and probably would've explain some plot-holes, it was cancelled due to the game's poor sales.

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