|“||I live! I breathe again! I rise, I will rise to bleach the sky and still the water! I will spin the world wheel and set the future upon the path of redemption! My time is come! More pig! More pig!||„|
|~ The Machine upon being reactivated by Mandus.|
|“||Mandus! I know you are out here! I own this city, I am this city! Redeem yourselves! Redemption is at hand! Enter the cleansing and set your souls free! For you are born into filth and will die as pigs. Only through my redemption can you ascend to the skies and claim your heavens as your kingdom. Fall on your knees! Ashes, ashes, bones and ashes! For the piles will reach critical and we can have such a burning that this city will shine as a beacon of redemption for the world!||„|
|~ The Machine's announcement to London|
The physical part of the machine is enormous, stretching far and wide beneath London. The machine is powered by Compound X, which in turn provides steam for the various machinery. It also produces large amounts of waste which needs to be discharged by a vast system of pumps.
Although designed with offices, catwalks, operation consoles, and panels, the machine seems to be able to run mostly on its own, requiring manpigs for menial labour or small repairs. It also communicates with Mandus via a set of telephones and loudspeakers all throughout the system, further driving the realisation of its intelligence and cleverness.
Interestingly the machine seems to be integrated with the hearts of Mandus' sons. When Oswald's soul is fragmented into two as well, the Machine gains sentience as another form of Oswald himself (aka, The Engineer). The true antagonist is Oswald's own conscience, operating the Machine.
The machine is both intelligent and cunning as evidenced by tricking and manipulating Mandus to repair it. It also displays utter contempt for humans, at first. This contempt seems to be replaced near the end for some horrid form of sympathy, as The Machine sees fit to process and use humans to work and operate it as mercy compared to the coming wars and slaughters.
Whether it truly is capable of sympathy, or put on a façade, is unsure. Before it begins begging for mercy, it ruthlessly risks and uses Mandus to make it fully operational again. However, as Mandus progresses deeper into the machine for revenge, it calls him its "father", and pleads with him to spare it and let it save humanity.
During his expedition in Mexico, Oswald gained visions from a Guardian's Orb (similar to the one found by Daniel) of horrors which will occur in the coming century and also the death of his sons in Somme during World War I. He sacrifices them on the steps of a temple in Mexico, and it is believed that he might have intended to revive them sometime later with the use of Compound X and other components of Alexander's experiments.
Driven mad by these revelations and bent on stopping this ghastly future, he set about constructing the machine as a form of god in the hopes of saving mankind from future suffering via industrial, mechanised, mass human sacrifice. Using the hearts of his sons as an integral part of the machine, he starts working on constructing the machine. At some point Oswald's soul ruptures and integrates itself with the machine as The Engineer, giving it sentience.
During the machine's construction, Oswald then transferred his own blood into the machine to bring about its sentience, unwittingly implanting the broken half of his soul into the mechanical leviathan as well. Free of his dark alter-ego's malevolence and influence, Mandus crumbled, confessing to his dead wife he had become a monster beyond redemption, mourning her and his children.
He locked himself down in his bedroom as fever overtook him, erecting a steel cage around his bed, and bolted most of the doors shut within his mansion, in a desperate effort to ensure no one would find or reactivate the engines.
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 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 its the other half of his very own damaged soul talking to him.
Oswald becomes aware of shambling monsters wandering around the premises, he 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 preventing 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 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 not, then he concludes it's better for one beyond redemption to die with his creations than 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 Mayan 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.
- During The Machine's last pleading to Mandus, he talks about the horrors of the 20th century; the First and Second World Wars, bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the death of Mandus' sons (two brothers who would fall in the war), the Stalinist regime in Russia, the Holocaust, etc. Whether this was intended as an actual reference to the same events that took place in the real world, or simply poetic pleading is unknown.