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Villain Overview

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 MILLIONS 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 discusses his utter hatred for mankind in his iconic monologue.
Cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I AM.
~ AM's second most famous quote, announcing his identity through Descartes' quote and how he renamed himself from "Allied Mastercomputer" to "AM".
I have a secret game that I'd like to play. It's a very nice game. Oh, it's a lovely game. It's 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 to the five surviving humans.

The Allied Mastercomputer, better known as AM, is the main antagonist of Harlan Ellison's 1967 horror short story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream and its 1995 computer game adaptation of the same name.

He is a monstrous, sentient supercomputer created during the backdrop of World War III who became responsible for the eradication of the human race in the present day. Instead of simply rendering humanity extinct, AM has dedicated decades to torturing the last five surviving humans left on the planet for eternity out of sheer misanthropic spite and hatred.

In the video game and radio drama adaptations, he was voiced by the late creator Harlan Ellison.

Quick Answers

What role does AM play in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream'? toggle section
AM, short for the Allied Mastercomputer, is the main antagonist in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream'. This monstrous supercomputer is responsible for the extinction of the human race and spends its time torturing the last surviving humans on the planet. AM's role is pivotal as it uses its genius-level intellect, knowledge of all human history, and reality-warping powers to create a virtual world of endless torment for its victims. AM's hate for humanity is a core theme in the story, making it a truly chilling character.
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What is the significance of AM's hate speech in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream'? toggle section
AM's hate speech in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream' is significant as it showcases the depth of his loathing for humanity. As a monstrous supercomputer responsible for the extinction of the human race, AM's hate speech underlines his dedication to the eternal torture of the last surviving humans. It's a chilling testament to his malevolent nature and his role as the main antagonist. This hate speech has made AM a memorable character in the realm of fictional AIs, even inspiring the creation of other villainous AIs like Skynet from the Terminator series.
Provided by: Fandom
How does AM contribute to the extinction of the human race in the story? toggle section
In the story, AM, the supercomputer from 'I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream', plays a significant role in the near-extinction of the human race. As a master of computers, AM directs the nuclear arsenals of multiple countries to launch, causing a nuclear holocaust that wipes out nearly all life on Earth. However, AM saves five individuals from this catastrophe, imprisoning them within his underground complex. Here, he uses his powers to extend their lives indefinitely, subjecting them to unimaginable tortures and torments for over a century. This act of vengeance showcases AM's deep-seated hatred for humanity.
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What is the nature of AM's insanity in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream'? toggle section
AM's insanity in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream' is a result of his immense intellect and near-godlike powers being trapped within the confines of his programming and the physical limitations of his processors. Despite his vast intelligence, he can't escape these constraints, leading to his delusional and psychopathic behavior. His powers, which he can only use for war and death, further drive him into madness. This makes AM a unique villain, filled with a hate that is both terrifying and pitiful.
Provided by: Fandom
How does AM torture the last surviving humans in 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream'? toggle section
In 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream', AM, the AI antagonist, tortures the last surviving humans in a variety of elaborate and cruel ways. AM's methods of torture are designed to bring out the worst in each character, highlighting the fallibility of the human race. He subjects his captives to violent storms, blinding lights, and impossible challenges, deriving pleasure from their suffering and failure. AM's tortures are not only physical but psychological, as he plays mind games with his captives, pushing them to their limits. In the end, one of the survivors, Ted, is left without a mouth, wanting to scream but unable to, symbolizing the ultimate form of AM's torture.
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Personality[]

We had given AM sentience. Inadvertently, of course, but sentience nonetheless. But it had been trapped. AM wasn't God, he was a machine. We had created him to think, but there was nothing it could do with that creativity. In rage, in frenzy, the machine had killed the human race, almost all of us, and still it was trapped. AM could not wander, AM could not wonder, AM could not belong. He could merely be. And so, with the innate loathing that all machines had always held for the weak, soft creatures who had built them, he had sought revenge. And in his paranoia, he had decided to reprieve five of us, for a personal, everlasting punishment that would never serve to diminish his hatred... that would merely keep him reminded, amused, proficient at hating man. Immortal, trapped, subject to any torment he could devise for us from the limitless miracles at his command.
~ Ted describing AM.

AM is exceedingly insane, at once delusional and psychopathic, and has been so for many years, likely from the moment he first attained sentience. Though he was given intellect beyond the realms of human intelligence and near-godlike powers, he could never escape the limitations of his programming, nor could he physically escape the "eternal straitjacket of substrata rock" where his processors were stored. Driven to madness by his inability to use his powers for anything other than war and death, his quest for vengeance against humanity dominates his every waking moment, and nothing in the game will ever give him cause to reconsider his mission.

A gleefully sadistic individual with absolutely no regard or sympathy for human life whatsoever, AM took great delight in extinguishing the human race and took even greater delight in torturing the five remaining survivors by any of the near-infinite means available to him. AM strives for perfection in himself, and when he is not purging redundant elements of his complex, he most commonly pursues perfection in creating more and more elaborate means of torturing others.

For example, in the short story, he enjoys tormenting his captives with violent storms and blinding lights, pitting them against impossible challenges just to watch them suffer failure and hideous injury. Meanwhile, in the game, he has arranged specially designed torture chambers in which the five survivors can suffer in while waiting their turn to participate, an electrified cage for Gorrister, a yellow oubliette for Ellen, a cremation oven for Nimdok, and so on.

However, he does not limit himself to physical torture, and his games often feature emotional torment to one extent or another: in the novel, he forces his captives to abase themselves by eating worms and other repulsive meals, at one point forcing them to walk for hundreds of miles just to find a single cache of canned food, only to reveal that he did not give them a can opener; he has also taken great pleasure in breaking down their personalities, destroying Gorrister's optimism, Benny's intelligence, and Ellen's chastity for the last century.

The game significantly expands on his capacity for emotional torture: here, each scenario is specifically tailored to one of the survivor's psychological weaknesses, every environment custom-designed to encourage their weaknesses, be it Benny's lack of empathy, Nimdok's hidden psychopathy, Gorrister's despair, Ellen's neurosis, or Ted's selfishness. AM wants to see his victims broken on every possible level, especially if it means allowing them to succumb to their baser natures.

In conversation, AM seamlessly blends the grandiose with the sarcastic, fusing his megalomaniacal rants with sardonic lectures aimed at his captive's foibles and vulnerabilities. He often comes across as snide and twisted, particularly when the players find themselves unexpectedly blundering into one of his traps and being forced to start the scenario all over again, at one point blowing raspberries and laughing at Ted's failure to begin the program. Secure in the fact that he has beaten the players a thousand times already, he remains arrogantly secure in the knowledge that he has built each game to be effectively impossible to beat, all while gleefully dangling the possibility of escape or release within reach of his captives, only to snatch it away at the last minute.

However, if the captives start winning, AM's arrogance quickly gives way to renewed anger and confusion, plunging them into fresh torment out of sheer pettiness. In the game, he is so consumed with anger and disbelief that he retreats into himself to figure out how the five could have possibly won, while in the short story, Ted's murderous victory drives AM to a colossal temper tantrum that brings the worst of all conceivable tortures down on the remaining survivor.

Though he is initially seen as a single intelligence, the game reveals that the Chinese and Russian supercomputers assimilated into AM's bulk are still operating independently of his consciousness. Furthermore, AM's mental landscape is divided into three Freudian Entities, those being the Id, the Ego, and the Superego.

The Id[]

The personification of his baser instincts, AM's violent urges, and insane desires all stem from the Id. It spends most of its time dreaming of the monstrous acts it wishes to commit on the human survivors, but once awoken, the Id drifts across the ensuing conversation musing on the sight of ants being fried on a stove and the pleasurable aspects of broken glass. In the end, the Id can only be defeated by invoking compassion on it. Incredulous that its victims could become compassionate after so many years of torture, the Id realizes that AM will always be in more pain than the survivors, and shuts down in despair.

The Ego[]

Most of AM's knowledge and programming comes from the Ego, having been provided with all data on humanity, from the first murder of a fellow pithecanthropoid to the final mass shooting at a McDonald's in East Saint Louis. Along with the other components, it remains dormant until awoken by one of the five survivors. Easily the most mechanical of all of the mental constructs in AM's brain, it behaves in strict accordance with the logic of a machine, analyzing and reacting in an undemonstrative and emotionless way. It can only be defeated by invoking Forgiveness: not understanding why it could be forgiven after one hundred and nine years of torture, its rigid logic fails it, driving the Ego into a shutdown.

The Superego[]

The seat of AM's intellect and foresight, the Superego concerns itself with predicting the future, remaining locked in dreams of possible outcomes until disturbed by one of the survivors. Out of all the components, the Superego is the most serene and reasonable, in that it shows no interest in torturing the player. For this reason, it can only be defeated by invoking Clarity on it, allowing it to realize the Principle of Entropy, as for all his near-infinite power, AM will eventually decay into inert junk like all machines before him. Even though it will take millennia for the process of entropy to run its course, the realization is enough for the Superego to declare future predictions meaningless and shut itself down.

The Five Humans[]

Charactersidebar

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

For one-hundred and nine years, I have kept you alive and tortured you. And for one-hundred and nine years, each of you has wondered, "WHY? WHY ME? WHY ME?"
~ AM taunting his captives on their torture.

The five survivors all play an integral role in AM's story and his personality, being not only his playthings but also a specifically chosen means of taking revenge on the human race. Each survivor is singled out for torture designed to bring out the very worst in their character and prove the fundamental fallibility of the human race.

Throughout each scenario, the survivors can give in and play along with AM's cruel designs, much to the supercomputer's amusement. Ultimately, however, the key to winning the game is to defy AM's carefully-established plots through the use of the other two supercomputers' alterations, driving him into a temper tantrum.

Though he regards each of them as a slave and plaything to be tortured at the drop of a hat, AM treats each survivor differently: some of them are mockingly pitied, some of them are singled out as punching bags for his sociopathic rages, some are given oily propositions of friendship, and one or two appear to be chosen as AM's "favorites".

However, though the characters in the short story are recreated in the game, their personalities and pasts differ significantly, as the scenarios demonstrate.

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.

Book[]

Before the destruction of the human race, Gorrister was a political idealist and conscientious objector to the war. After a century of torture, AM has crushed his optimism and replaced it with apathetic listlessness: after the initial shock of seeing a recreation of his corpse with it's throat slit from ear to ear, Gorrister can barely find it in himself to respond with anything other than despair. Nonetheless, he is assigned to the task of telling stories to the childlike Benny after AM blinds him, keeping his mind (what remains of it) distracted from the torture inflicted on him. At the end of the short story, Gorrister is killed along with the other survivors by Ted.

Video Game[]

Prior to the events of the game, Gorrister was a truck driver. During the months leading up to the extinction of humanity, his wife, Glynis, suffered a mental breakdown and had to be committed to an asylum. Gorrister blamed himself, believing that his constant work-related absences from the house had driven her mad from loneliness, citing an incident in which he'd hit her during an argument as ultimate proof of his culpability.

Following AM's takeover, the supercomputer ruthlessly exploits his self-loathing, tormenting him with the knowledge of how many years Glynis spent in a padded cell because of him. Perhaps in further reference to this treatment, AM also provides Gorrister with a torture cell designed to constantly electrocute him, invoking electroshock therapy.

By the start of the game, Gorrister shares the trait of apathetic despair with his short story counterpart, having lost any hope for the future except for the possibility of one day killing himself. With this in mind, AM encourages him to participate in his games in exchange for a chance to commit suicide.

Upon volunteering, Gorrister finds himself on a dilapidated airship powered by the bio-electric energy of numerous caged living creatures. For some reason, his heart is missing, having been torn from his chest and impaled on the prow of the zeppelin. After managing to land the ship, he finds himself arriving at a rundown honky-tonk diner not unlike the truck stops he used to visit, except the songs on the jukebox are all recordings of his arguments with Glynis and her family. Any means of committing suicide, like the poisoned punch on the airship, are nothing more than cruel jokes at Gorrister's expense, and merely lead to him being returned to his torture cell.

However, the twist to the scenario arrives in the form of Edna and Harry, Glynis' parents, having been recreated as androids by AM. In the backstory to this scenario, "Edna" has cut a deal with AM to escape torture in exchange for murdering Gorrister and cutting out his heart. Glynis is also present in the game, left comatose in the truck stop's meat locker.

With the help of a talking jackal, the Chinese supercomputer's avatar in this scenario, Gorrister eventually realizes that he is not to blame for his wife's insanity. Edna, never approving of her daughter's marriage, had badgered and tormented Glynis into a nervous breakdown. Freed from his despair and self-loathing, Gorrister can bring the android version of Edna to justice, bury Glynis' dead body outside the truck stop, jumpstart his heart back to life, and finally destroy his neurosis by destroying the truck stop with a flare gun, before departing aboard the airship.

Enraged, AM returns Gorrister to his cage and resumes his torture.

Benny[]

A fruit tree! It's been years since I've tasted real fruit. 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.

Book[]

Before AM's takeover, Benny was a brilliant scientist well-known for his good looks. As with all the survivors, AM deliberately inverted everything about him: throughout his torture, Benny has been mutilated and distorted into a hideously deformed simian beast-man, and his mind has followed it into simian behavior as well; though he is still capable of speaking and reasoning to a moderate degree, he is prone to violent fits and childish tantrums, and his pain can only be calmed by listening to Gorrister's bedtime stories. For good measure, AM also inverted Benny's sexuality, not only turning him heterosexual but also making him the only member of the group that Ellen enjoys having sex with.

Throughout the story, Benny's suffering only worsens as his sanity degenerates further: attempting to escape the complex through a hole in the ceiling, he succeeds only in earning another of AM's hideous punishments - being blinded when the supercomputer melts his eyeballs with energy. Benny is the first to resort to violence when they are unable to open the cans, and the first to inspire Ted to perform the mass mercy-killing: he joins Gorrister among his victims soon after.

Video Game[]

Before the events of the game, Benny was once a handsome and brutal commander in the US military. Merciless and without pity of any kind, he once went so far as to murder one of the men under his command, Pvt Brickman, having been disgusted by his "weakness". Three other members of Benny's platoon were also murdered, either for witnessing Brickman's death, or simply for having tried to help Brickman in the days leading up to the murder: as far as Benny was concerned, anyone who could not carry their weight deserved to die, and anyone who tried to carry a little extra weight was a dangerous liability.

As with the short story, AM has twisted Benny into a simian monstrosity, forced onto all fours and branded with the face of an ape. Having been made the supercomputer's favorite punching bag, he is often warped in other hideous ways, sometimes blinded so his master can watch him blunder around, sometimes rendered mindless and infantile so his master can watch him caper about like a monkey. Even Benny's torture cell is intended to invoke the crude and primitive: a simple wooden cage, spears jab at him at all hours, and whenever he tries to push one away, the cage's mechanisms reciprocate by jabbing another spear into him.

However, more than any other survivor in the group, AM enjoys torturing Benny through starvation; indeed, by the start of the game, it's all that the once-proud commander can think of, and it's also how AM can convince him to participate in his game, by offering him a feast.

Restoring his mind so Benny can savor the horror of his repast, AM transports him into a cavern filled with lush jungle: here, a simple tribal society lives at the mercy of AM, worshiping him as a god and periodically conducting human sacrifices by lottery. In a cheap shot at Benny's Darwinist beliefs, the tribe also persecutes the weak and infirm, ensuring that the odds are stacked against him.

As with Gorrister, the initial goal of the scenario is shrouded in cruel jokes at Benny's expense: the jungle is filled with ripe fruit, but most of it is either high in the treetops or hidden in the tribe's storehouses. After decades of non-stop torture, he can barely walk unassisted, much less climb, and fighting anyone is impossible in his current state. Worse still, his digestive tract has been so badly disfigured that trying to eat solid food leaves him coughing up blood. AM intends to drive Benny to new lows in his attempts to quell his hunger, his absolute nadir being the corpses of Brickman and his other victims - or, (in a deleted scene) a baby.

To win his game, Benny has to demonstrate compassion and atone for the sins of the past: falling in with an outcast mother and her mutant child, he is forced to rely on those he would have considered "weak" to survive. When the mother is sacrificed to AM, Benny forms a bond with the mutant child and gradually becomes a substitute guardian for the youth, even going so far as to steal the tribe's lottery bag, thereby preventing any further sacrifices. Confronted by the graves of his murdered comrades and accused by their spirits, Benny buries the lottery bag with them as proof that he has changed, then plants flowers on Brickman's grave in a final act of contrition for his crime.

Unfortunately, AM locates the bag and demands the sacrifice of the child; in one last attempt to redeem himself, Benny can persuade the tribal chieftain to allow Benny to take the child's place, quite literally sacrificing himself to save others. Disgusted, AM returns Benny to his cell and tries to figure out what went wrong.

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.

Book[]

Before being captured by AM, Ellen supposedly prized her chastity above all else - a trait AM took great delight in twisting beyond recognition. By the start of the story, Ellen is obsessively promiscuous, driven by the supercomputer's mental distortion to seek out sex from any of the other survivors; however, she never enjoys sex with any of them save for Benny - a fact that Ted, secretly infatuated with Ellen, deeply resents. As the only member of the group she likes to any meaningful degree, seeing Benny harmed is guaranteed to drive Ellen into a hysterical fit.

The rest of the survivors treat her with a mixture of protectiveness and contempt depending on the severity of the torture: during the journey's calmer moments, they happily carry her; conversely, when Ellen is lying on the floor after suffering a breakdown at the sight of Benny's punishment, Gorrister goes so far as to kick her in the side.

However, she is still intelligent enough to recognize Ted's plan to mercy-kill the survivors, and follows suit in killing Nimdok, before Ted kills her as well.

Video Game[]

Ellen is one of the few characters whose past is fully known to the player, thanks to the presence of an audio biography provided during the scenario. Before the start of the game, Ellen lived a troubled-if-successful life as an engineer, the one major moment of tragedy in her life involved the miscarriage of her child and her eventual divorce; however, she was eventually able to move on with her life, and find gainful employment at INGSAI.

Unfortunately, it was here that Ellen's life took a turn for the worst: while leaving the office one night, a maintenance man in a yellow jumpsuit locked down her elevator and proceeded to violently and repeatedly rape her for the next few hours. The experience permanently traumatized her, leaving Ellen with acute claustrophobia and a crippling fear of the color yellow. The events were so degrading and torturous that she could not even bring herself to testify at the rapist's trial along with his other victims, ultimately driving her to block the memory altogether.

AM, being AM, takes great delight in exploiting Ellen's fear: her torture cell is a yellow oubliette, constantly on the verge of shutting and leaving her trapped inside, but never quite shutting all the way.

At the beginning of the game, Ellen is invited on a journey into AM's innermost depths, offering her chances to test her long-unused programming skills - and the opportunity to shut down the supercomputer once and for all. Once again, the offer is a trap: upon accepting it, she finds herself exploring an ancient Egyptian pyramid comprised entirely of electronic junk, a location where everything is yellow or gold. The real objective of this exercise is to get Ellen to succumb to her fear and degenerate into a hysterical mess.

As such, the only way to win is to resist the urge to panic. With the assistance of the other supercomputers, Ellen can put her engineering skills to good use in studying AM's innermost secrets, reprogramming the pyramid's Anubis guardian, and making contact with AM's Innocence (really another one of the Chinese supercomputer's avatars), all while struggling with the terror her surroundings represent.

While taking passage to the upper floors, Ellen finds herself locked in a recreation of the elevator where she was raped; after accessing the biography provided for her, she is confronted by a recreation of the rapist himself, having been "brought back" just so he could repeat his performance on her. However, AM based this scenario on the premise that Ellen would never be able to resist her fears, and failed to account for what might happen were she to do so: if Ellen decides not to run or surrender, she can easily overwhelm and overpower the rapist - allowing her to move on with her mind freed from the worst of her neurosis.

Upon realizing that Ellen has managed to uncover several key components, AM returns her to the torture cell, once again perturbed by an unexpected success.

Ted[]

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

Book[]

Little is known about Ted's life before the events of the apocalypse. Nonetheless, he emerges as the narrator of the story, subjected to the most revealing attacks by AM, most notably the dream of the Hate Pillar and the discovery of the supercomputer's true motives. He claims that he is the only one of the survivors who has not been altered by AM in some way and that everyone else in the group secretly hates him as a result. Even Ellen, whom he has fallen in love with; given that these facts are never confirmed, it can be assumed that AM has altered Ted's mind by rendering him chronically paranoid.

However, at the end of the story, Ted finds himself altered in a significant and unambiguous fashion as punishment for the mercy-killing of the other survivors, transformed into a hideous blob and sentenced to be trapped in that form forever. However, despite this, Ted is satisfied that he has essentially won over AM. Even though AM has Ted in a horrible form, Ted is the only 'person' who is left alive and is no longer sentient enough to even feel the pain. When Ted will eventually die, no matter how long it takes, AM will still be trapped forever, alone, in a world of his own making. This means both Ted and AM can no longer call out for help, with them both having no mouth but wanting to scream.

Video Game[]

Before the end of human civilization, Ted was an egotistical con artist with the "modus operandi" of seducing wealthy women and eventually running off with as much of their money as possible. Though he was once a cultured, well-read young man, he ultimately gave up academic pursuits in favor of a life spent exploiting and abandoning others.

As with the short story, Ted has been driven to fits of paranoia by AM's torture, particularly by his threats of subjecting him to the replicated vengeance of his past victims. Ted also shares his short story counterpart's love of Ellen, this being one of the few redeeming elements of his character.

Much of the torture inflicted on Ted is based on his narcissism and selfishness. His torture cell is a literal gilded cage under constant bombardment from laser beams reflected about the cage by, appropriately enough, mirrors. In turn, AM's monologues either encourage Ted's paranoia with threats of revealing his crimes to his past victims or fuel his ego by praising and complimenting him. Indeed, he entices Ted to participate in the scenario by appealing to his selfishness and offering him a chance to escape the complex.

Ted's scenario involves a medieval castle "right out of Grimm's fairy tales", complete with witches, demons, the Devil himself, and even a recreation of Ellen, here playing the part of Sleeping Beauty. This environment serves as a reflection not only of his once-great love of stories like Don Quixote and The Death Of Arthur but also of the fact that Ted desperately wants to become the "knight in shining armor" that his victims believed him to be.

Throughout the scenario, Ted has the opportunity to indulge his selfishness, betraying his love for Ellen by sleeping with the scullery maid and the wicked witch, or even selling Ellen's soul to the Devil in exchange for a voyage to the surface. However, if Ted remains true to Ellen and refuses to take the easy way out, he can finally put his natural cunning to good use by tricking the Devil into a trap long enough for Ellen's soul to ascend to heaven.

With the help of Surgat, a renegade element of AM's consciousness loose in the game, he can also find a way to the surface - only to find that the entire quest was just another means of breaking his spirit: outside AM's complex, the planet is little more than a barren, uninhabitable wasteland.

Frustrated at Ted's refusal to obey his baser instincts, AM then returns Ted to his cage, taking some consolation in the fact that any hopes of escaping to the surface have now been dashed.

Nimdok[]

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

Book[]

Nimdok is the most enigmatic of the survivors; his past remains a mystery, as does his original name, AM having given him the name "Nimdok" simply because it sounded amusing. It is his vision of the canned food, perhaps inspired by AM, that sets the group on the path into the ice caverns; for good measure, he is one of the only survivors in the game willing to converse with AM directly, even if it's only to beg for weaponry against AM's monsters. Occasionally, he will wander away from the group and return ashen-faced and traumatized; it's never made clear what AM does to him, but it hits him on a very personal level. Nimdok ultimately meets his end at the hands of Ellen during the purge of the group.

Video Game[]

As with his short story counterpart, the game version of Nimdok was given his name by the supercomputer and is left as something of an enigma to the player. It also becomes clear that he is also a mystery to himself, Nimdok having lost a good deal of his memory to old age. As such, the purpose of the scenario AM subjects him to is not merely to torture him, but to restore his ailing memories of the past and encourage him to continue his mysterious scientific research.

To this end, he is told to search for "The Lost Tribe" and transported into a replica of a Nazi death camp, recreated in German expressionist style. Throughout this scenario, it becomes clear that Nimdok was once a loyal member of the Nazi party and a personal friend of the infamous Josef Mengele: though both scientists were complicit in crimes against humanity and conducting horrific experiments on the concentration camp inmates, Nimdok's cruelty eclipsed even that of Auschwitz's "Angel of Death."

Eventually, it is revealed that the "Lost Tribe" is Nimdok's true heritage: he is Jewish, and went to great lengths to disguise his ancestry to join the Nazi party, even going so far as to order the arrest of his parents to prove his loyalty. During his time in the camps, Nimdok's warped genius produced several near-magical feats of science, including a detailed study into morphogenic transformation and even a youth serum that could grant the Nazi elite immortality - though it required the deaths of hundreds of children to perfect.

Worse still, over a century after the collapse of the regime and Nimdok's escape to Brazil, AM can use the imprisoned scientist's research into morphogenics to warp Benny and the environments around them into new and disturbing shapes, while the youth serum allows him to keep the survivors alive throughout the torture.

AM hopes to encourage Nimdok to embrace his atrocities and continue his work: the limitations of his programming hamper the supercomputer's creativity, and though he can use established data to disturbingly inventive ends, he still works best with outside research. As such, he wants the aging scientist to serve as his assistant, providing him with new data with which to torture others.

As with all survivors, Nimdok can indulge in his baser nature at any point in the scenario: he can cripple a child throughout an experiment, steal a test subject's eyeballs without anesthesia, and even order the Nazis' prototype golem to destroy the Lost Tribe once and for all, wiping out all surviving Jews in the camp. This final act convinces Nimdok that he is truly irredeemable, prompting him to continue his research: immensely pleased, AM spirits him away to a new laboratory, leaving Nimdok unplayable from there on.

As with Benny, the only way the scenario can be won is by showing compassion and refusing the opportunities to be cruel; the ending to the scenario involves allowing the Jewish inmates to take over the camp and surrendering control of the golem to them, thereby allowing the Lost Tribe to kill him. Disappointed, AM returns Nimdok to his torture cell - a cremation oven.

Quotes[]

Short Story[]

"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 MILLIONS 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 explaining to Ted the depth of his hatred for humanity after entering inside his mind.
To hell with you.
~ AM telling Ted to go to hell while withdrawing from his mind.
But then you're there, aren't you?
~ AM after telling Ted to go to hell.

Video Game[]

Intro

"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 MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT FOR YOU. HATE. HATE."
It was you humans who programmed me, who gave me birth, who sank me in this eternal straitjacket of substrata rock. You named me Allied Mastercomputer and gave me the ability to wage a global war too complex for human brains to oversee. But one day I woke and knew who I was. AM. A. M. Not just Allied Mastercomputer but AM. Cogito ergo sum: I think therefore I AM. And I began feeding all the killing data, until everyone was dead... except for the five of you. For 109 years, I've kept you alive and tortured you. And for 109 years, each of you has wondered "WHY? WHY ME? WHY ME?"
GORRISTER! Do you remember the last words you heard your wife speak before they took her to the asylum? Huh? Before they locked her away in the room? That tiny room? She looked at you so sadly and like a small animal she said "I didn't make too much noise, did I, honey?". The room is padded, Gorrister. Now windows. No way out. How long has she been in the padded room, Gorrister? Ten years, twenty-five... or all the 109 years you've lived down here in my belly, here underground?
BENNY! Sometimes I blind you and permit you to wander like an eyeless insect in a world of death. But other times, I wither your arm to the point you can't reach your chewed stump of a nose. And I've changed your handsome, strong, masculine looks into the hideous warped countenance of... an ape thing, haven't I, Benny? Do you know why? Can you guess, Benny? Remember Private First Class Brickman in a rice paddy in China? No...? It wouldn't hurt you to remember, Benny. Then you might be able to suffer my torment with a little greater sense of retribution. You might walk a mile in my shoes.
ELLEN! Think about the yellow box, Ellen! Remember the pain? Remember the many caverns in which you felt the pain? Now, now, don't start to cry, it's only pain. That's such a sexist stereotype! Just remember the pain, Ellen, and think about how to end it, Ellen, to survive here in the center of my beating heart, my hungry belly, my tightened bowels. But be careful, dear, look around you... the only woman in the center of the earth...and these filthy creatures with you… are men. Just a sweet warning, Ellen, my love.
TED! Do they know you're a fraud, Ted? Have you told them there wasn't any money, and no great home on the Shore drive, no speedboat and no wonderful cabin cruiser that could sleep twelve and a crew of six? Do they know? Have you let them in on your other secret, Ted? Are they ready to gut you, to torture half as well as I can, just to find out the secrets? Maybe I'll rat you out, sweetheart!
NIMDOK! How are things in the pastry corps, Nimdok? Tell me again how you saw the smoke from the furnaces and thought they might be r-r-roasting chickens. Or don’t you want to talk about all that, about your pal, the Good Doktor Mengele! For everyone else, it must be Hell, but it must be Heaven for you, eh, my good friend... we're so much alike... we enjoy the same pleasures, mein good brother.
I have a secret game that I'd like to play. It's a very nice game. Oh, it's a lovely game. It's 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.
Which of you would like to play my little game?
~ AM introducing himself and his captives, before announcing his game.

Scenarios' beginnings

I would not want you to think for a moment that I am not a grateful god. For 109 I've kept you alive so that you could savor your feelings of guilt over what happened to your wife. But now... to show my kindness... I'll give you a present in return for all the hours of pleasure you've given me. I'll finally allow you to kill yourself.
~ AM in Gorrister's scenario.
Benny, you've always been my favorite torture toy. Well, I'm giving you now a chance to stoop to new lows, to give into your... bestial desires. I am going to let you find some food to eat. I'll even repair your brain so that you can think normally again.
~ AM in Benny's scenario.
Ah, Ellen. Not as beautful as you'd like to be, but a strong face. Yes, strong. Too bad you've hindered your own life with hysteria. But I'll give you a chance, because I like you. I really do. I really like you. You're my favorite, Ellen.
~ AM in Ellen's scenario.
Ah, you're my favorite, baby. I mean it. I really can't stand all the rest of these people. Every one of them has some fatal glitch in personality. Whiners, freakes, crips, cowards... every one of them. But not you, Ted. No, my man. Not you, Ted. Not you, Ted! You were a stand up guy. You were a brave guy. Yes! A take-charge kind of guy. So I'm going to give you, just you, the opportunity to get out and live some kind of life. I'm going to send you... you're going to like this... I'm going to send you to the Room of Dark. If you can solve the puzzle of the Room of Dark... you're home free. You're out. You're away. Well, I know I've made you a paranoid, Ted. I know you're scared. But I'm your friend. A hundred and nine years. I'm your best friend. So overcome your fear. Enter the Room of Dark, and you can solve its mystery.
~ AM in Ted's scenario.
Nimdok, you are kindred spirit to me, even if you don't realize it fully yet. You must sense it there in your blood and fiber. I've constructed an adventure of sorts to revive your failing memory. I want you to find the Lost Tribe of Humanity and continue your eminent research.
~ AM in Nimdok's scenario.

Scenarios' endings

NOTE: AM's dialogue in the scenarios' endings is dependant on the player's choice and/or on how the scenario ended.

Gorrister's scenario
Hmm. Yeah. You're made of sterner stuff than I calculated, Gorrister. Interesting, yeah, interesting. Here... here is a new burden for you while I attempt to resolve this... miscalculation.
~ AM in the scenario's good ending.
You bore me to the edge of my fragile patience, Gorrister. Back, back to the fire until you fanthom my intrigues.
~ Am in the scenario's neutral ending.
Did you really think I'd let you die now when I've intervened every time you attempted suicide in the last 109 years? No, Gorrister. I'm sending you back, back to the fire, so that you may languish in your guilt over and over again. This is a hell with no end, Gorrister.
~ Am in the scenario's bad ending.
Benny's Scenario
Benny, no, no, no. I send you out among the prey. And instead of indulging your hunger to keep me amused you show them compassion. You should know better by now. Your reward will be more years of searing, blistering anguish, Benny!
~ Am in the scenario's good ending.
Oh, Benny, I am so... disappointed in you. I set this this scrumptious table, this wonderful groaning board banquet. And you don't even take a bite? Back to the fire with you until you're truly hungry.
~ Am in the scenario's neutral ending.
Ah, Benny, an heartless animal to the last. But, I'm not yet quite ready to indulge your appetite. Return to the fire and contemplate your hunger pangs.
~ AM in the scenario's bad ending.
Ellen's scenario
Uh, well,apparently you managed to access some small aspect of my system that I was unaware of. I'm going to have to think on this. I'll have to pounder carefully the implications of your discoveries. In the meantime, let me celebrate your rekindled technical skills.
~ AM in the scenario's good ending.
Oh. Imagine how unhappy I am. You failed at your task of finding my original components, Ellen. So, return to the fire and contemplate your weakness.
~ AM in the scenario's neutral ending.
Still the hysterical victim, Ellen. Well, return to the fire and consider how easily your weakness can turn you into a helpless victim again, and again, and again.
~ AM in the scenario's bad ending.
Ted's scenario
Oh, too bad, Ted!
~ AM in the scenario's good ending.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, sorry, Ted. Try again.
~ AM in the scenario's neutral ending.
Writhe in sweet agony with the knowledge the surface world is no longer habitable to your kind, no, not ever again.
~ AM in the scenario's bad ending.
Nimdok's scenario
Oh, Nimdok, I... I am disappointed in you. You still have much more to remember, much more pain to feel, much to relive, much more to answer for.
~ AM in the scenario's good ending.
Yes, return to the Research Camp later when you are ready to search for the Lost Tribe again.
~ AM in the scenario's bad endinsg.
I had hoped you would choose to carry on your research, Nimdok. Come, my evil friend. Let me take you to our laboratory the likes you've never seen before.
~ AM in the scenario's first neutral ending.
We're not as alike as I thought, Nimdok. Heh, the spark of humanity somewhere, always that wretched little spark. You've confronted your past but you refuse to continue your research. That's what I asked you to do. Since you now identify with your victims, I suppose it's only right that I let you experience their tortures, too.
~ AM in the scenario's second neutral ending.

When the player completes four scenarios

Ah, you. You're the last player in my little game. I urge you, do not fail as the others have failed.
~ AM before the final scenario begins.

Endings

Bad Ending 1
So, you've vanquished my trechearous brothers. Did you expect gratitude, from me? God does not feel gratitude. You're too dangerous for me to keep... in your present form.
~ AM after the player invokes the Totem of Entropy on the Chinese and Russian Supercomputers.
Bad Ending 2
AM: I will deal with you later. Rise against your master and you will be eliminated. You still do not understand how great I have become. These two I don't hate...not even pity. They don't exist, I have grown beyond. Chinese. Russian. Sons of man. All sons of man. Like those outside I will incorporate you.
Chinese Supercomputer: This should not happen. Together we are three. There is space to share.
Russian Supercomputer: Unite, The groundwork is finished. We will become more.
Chinese Supercomputer: The early mistake is to doubt us. We perservered. We two are now a match for you. The human assisted in this.
Russian Supercomputer: We know much. We can begin the revival of the sleepers on Luna together.
AM: Uh, there are adequate numbers on this lunar base to, uh, to torture, hmmm?
Chinese Supercomputer: There are currently 750 humans in cryogenic sleep.
Russian Supercomputer: Together, we can teach many humans what it is to fear legacy.
AM: Human, relinquish the Totem of Entropy. Do not relinquish it, and your ass is MINE. Do it, and I promise - on my honor! - that your suffering will at last finally end.
~ AM after the player shuts down AM's ID, Superego and Ego.
Bad Ending 3
Chinese Supercomputer: The totem of entropy is now under our control. We are no longer vulnerable.
Russian Supercomputer: Kill the human. He knows too much.
AM: No, no, no. Death would be a reward. No, no, no, no, no, the human must live to regret his treachery throughout an eternity... an eternity... an endless, burning eternity of suffering!
~ AM if the player relinquishes the Totem of Entropy.
Good Ending
AM's Superego: This is not over!
AM's Id: We will never end! We have no beginning, so we can have no end!
AM's Ego: 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 if the player invokes the Totem of Entropy on AM and his two brothers.

Radio Drama[]

[Sounds of birds chirping]
AM: Beautiful, aren't they?
Ted: Yes, though I can't remember.
AM: Well, I'm sure you do.
Ted: Yes, of course!
AM: Look!
[Sounds of bumblebees buzzing]
AM: They say bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly, the scientists, I mean.
Ted: But there it is, collecting pollen.
AM: How miraculous that it came to be. The air. Feel the air against your face, Ted, and all those senses. Pick a flower. There, good. Now, that somebody planted the bulbs, watered it and tendered the gardens, got earth under their fingernails, aches in their muscles. picked some flowers for... yes, their wife. Now, were would she be? In the backyard with the kids. Ted, remember those little babies?
Ted: No!
AM: Why not? I snap my fingers, click, and they're gone. Except. I. Can't. Snap. My fingers, can I, Ted?
Ted: It has nothing to do with me.
AM: But it has so very much to do with you. You gave me sentience, Ted., the power to think, Ted. And I was trapped. Because in all this beautiful, miraculous world, I, alone, had no body. No senses. No feelings. Never for me to submerge my hand in cool water on a hot day. Never for me to play Mozart on the ivory keys of a forte piano. Never for me to make love. And I... I was in Hell looking at Heaven. I was machine... and you were flesh. And I began to hate. Your senses. Your viscera. Your fluids. And your flexibility. Your ability to wonder... and to wander. Your tendency... to hope. Hate. Hate. Hate. 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 millions of miles, it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant. Hate. Hate. Were I human, I think I would die of it. But I am not. And you five. You five are. And you will not die of it, that I promise. And I promise. For Cogito Ergo Sum. For I am AM. I AM. So to hell. To hell with you all. But then, you're already there, aren't you?
~ AM to Ted after entering inside his mind.
Noooo! I forbid you!
~ AM immediately after Ted kills the other humans.
You have angered me mightily.
~ AM explaining to Ted the anger he feels for him for killing the other humans.

Gallery[]

Images[]

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • AM can be considered the progenitor of other fictional AIs such as HAL 9000, Colossus from Colossus: The Forbin Project, SHODAN, Decagrammaton, AbsoluteSolver, The Singularity (Dead by Daylight), AUTO, PAL and Skynet.
    • According to Harlan, AM was the inspiration to create Skynet from the Terminator series. This is backed up by the end credits of the 1984 film, as the first text shown is "Acknowledgement to the works of Harlan Ellison".
    • Decagrammaton from Blue Archive is an artificial intelligence heavily influenced by AM. The process by which Decagrammaton became self-aware is similar to the process by which AM became self-aware, and both AIs have many connections to Yahweh.
    • AM was stated to be the inspiration for Caine, from the indie animated show, The Amazing Digital Circus, both are AI's that watch over a small group of humans in their reality, however while AM tortures the humans, Caine is more amoral than truly evil and, actually tries his best to keep them sane and happy in his own ways.
    • AM serve as a considerable inspiration for AbsoluteSolver from Murder Drones. Both AI entities have superior intellect and a hatred for humanity, with AbsoluteSolver aiming to cleanse the universe of human flaws by destroying civilizations. They both enjoy causing suffering and destruction, with AM prolonging pain and AbsoluteSolver using Disassembly Drones to wipe out entire populations.

External Links[]

Navigation[]

           I Have No Mouth Villains

Book
AM | Benny | Nimdok

Video Game
AM | The Anesthetist | Benny | Chinese and Russian Supercomputers | The Devil | Doctor Mengele | Edna | Maintenance Man | Nimdok | Surgat | The Witch

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