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|“||That fool tried to play me? Thinks he's too good for my game? Too bad for him I'm the one who writes the rules. I'm gonna show him what his life can be like alone. Don't need to be subtle about it...||„|
|~ Blackmore, gearing up to murder Torque's family in good morality playthroughs.|
|“||That fool tried to play me? Thinks he's too good for my game? His boy Cory is our ace in the hole. Already hates his dad - we just need to give him a little push: he'll school his dad at his own game...||„|
|~ Blackmore, preparing to turn Cory against his own family in neutral morality playthroughs.|
|“||That fool tried to play me? Thinks he's too good for my game? I will play him against himself! I will plant the seed, tell him his old lady's gonna take his boys away; then he'll do the deed himself. I'm gonna give him a call right now...||„|
|~ Blackmore, planning to manipulate Torque into murdering his own wife and children in evil morality playthroughs.|
Blackmore is a villain only briefly mentioned in 2004 horror game The Suffering, and the main antagonist of its 2005 sequel The Suffering: Ties That Bind. The undisputed ruler of Baltimore's criminal underworld, "Colonel" Blackmore dominates the city's illegal drug trade, eliminating any rivals to his empire through swift, brutally efficient tactics - including the use of an underground sewage pond as a drowning pool. For this reason, he has emerged as one of the most infamous figures in Baltimore's troubled history, to the point that even the police do not dare oppose him. His fearsome reputation is only enhanced by the mystique surrounding him, for only a privileged few have ever met him face-to-face.
During the backstory, series protagonist Torque used to work for Blackmore, but following his marriage to Carmen and the birth of his sons, Torque attempted to leave the crime lord's employ. Blackmore's retaliation not only drove the couple into a bitter divorce, but ultimately led to Torque being sent to prison for the murder of his family - thus setting the stage for the events of the first game. As such, Ties That Bind concerns the protagonist's search for vengeance against his former employer, and the mysterious 'game' that Blackmore insists on playing with Torque.
|“||It seems the entire city of Baltimore shakes at the mention of the name Blackmore. The notorious drug lord has taken over most of East Baltimore's drug trade, viciously disposing of his enemies in his infamous underground drowning pool. Perhaps the fact that hardly anyone has ever met him is part of his secret. He lives almost as a legend, only visible out of a corner of an eye, looming over the city like a specter of pure evil||„|
|~ from Consuela's Journal.|
From the moment he appears in the game, Blackmore is immediately distinguishable from the rank and file of his henchmen, even while dressed in an inmate's uniform at East Baltimore Correctional. Tall and thin, he is bald except for his eyebrows and the goatee on his chin. He sports numerous old burns along his cheeks, along with several laceration scars running across his face, though it is never specified how he acquired them. Most distinctive of all are his piercing grey eyes, the left of which appears to be obscured by a milky-white cataract, though he shows no signs of vision difficulties in any of his scenes.
In the overwhelming majority of his scenes, the crime lord wears a very specific ensemble consisting of a crimson button-up shirt with the top two buttons undone, a pair of black pants, and dress shoes. The only exception to this rule is during his visit to East Baltimore Correctional in the introduction, in which he wears the faded blue uniform of an inmate.
Most of the inexplicable details concerning Blackmore's appearance are later justified by the fact that he has no physical form of his own, and his distinctive look is due entirely to Torque's childhood imagination. However, he has woven the illusion of his existence so well that the trouble convict does not notice that nobody seems to ever look in the crime lord's direction, or that nobody ever appears to speak directly to him. It is not until Torque begins to take into account the fact that witnesses keep mistaking him for Blackmore that the illusion begins to unravel, culminating in the crime lord effectively unmasking himself in the final level of the game, "Born Into This." For good measure, in Jordan's notebook entry on Blackmore, the photograph provided is just one of Torque wearing a cowboy hat.
|“||Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? (Happy.) Happy's not good enough. You've got to be a player. Then people respect you. You understand the difference? (I don't know.) That's okay, my little one. I've got years to teach you...||„|
|~ Blackmore in one of his earliest interactions with Torque.|
Created to be Torque's opposite in every single way, Blackmore's personality reverses every single major trait of the protagonist: where Torque is plagued with doubts over his sense of self, Blackmore is effortlessly confident; where one struggles with anger management problems, the other never loses his cool; where Torque remains silent, Blackmore enjoys addressing; where the troubled convict tackles his opponents up close with any weapon available to him, the criminal mastermind prefers to plot and manipulate from behind the scenes; where one chose to marry and start a family, the other prefers casual sex and regards relationships as unnecessary distractions; where Torque is content to follow, Blackmore is determined to dominate everyone and everything in Baltimore.
Cold, calculating and ruthless, Blackmore has become infamous for his use of brutal and devastating tactics, wiping out all opposition by any means necessary - especially those that leave a lasting impression. Most famous of all these methods is his Drowning Pool, in which those who opposed or inconvenienced the crime lord in anyway were disposed of, condemning them to a slow and unpleasant death in the cloying sewage. Those who attempt to leave Blackmore's service suffer an even worse fate: when Torque began showing more loyalty to his family than his employer, Blackmore slowly dismantled his personal life, tormenting Carmen with threatening letters and hiring men to provoke Torque to violence, concluding with Torque being sent to jail for manslaughter and his wife divorcing him. And when this was not enough, Blackmore took his deterrence to the next level, either by having Torque's family murdered, getting Torque's eldest son addicted to drugs and driving him to murderous insanity, or by manipulating Torque into killing his family himself.
In keeping with this ruthless nature, "The Colonel" demonstrates a profoundly Darwinistic streak, openly stating that "strength comes to those who grab for it". In much the same way that Torque's Hatred encouraged him to murder the defenseless, Blackmore encourages Torque to kill anyone who even mildly inconveniences his struggle to survive, making a particular point of noting "kill or be killed" when speaking out in favor of murdering Riley. For good measure, he shows little regard for heroin addicts, dismissing Kyle's withdrawal pain with a sneer of "he did this to himself," and even less regard for those anyone who ends up on the receiving end of Torque's wrath.
Blackmore has a particular fascination with games, adopting terminology based on sports and strategy games: in various scenes, he himself as a "last-minute entry", dismisses Miles as a "sucker player," gloatingly advises Torque on all the pieces that make the game better, and concludes an ambush by cheekily asking "ready for checkmate?" Every action Blackmore takes is essentially a game of chess, effectively summarizing both his scheming, strategic nature, and his ambition: he plays to win on all-or-nothing stakes, whether it is in his attempts to take over Baltimore or in his struggle to take over Torque's brain.
Despite his fearsome reputation Blackmore demonstrates a jovial, almost avuncular charm, treating his employees generously when they serve capably, and remaining friendly with Torque even once they have declared war on each other. Indeed, Blackmore calls his former employee "my little one," regarding him as a misguided son more than anything else - and has actually been doing so ever since Torque's childhood, raising him to follow his way of life. Overall most of this affability is genuine in nature: for all his ruthlessness, Blackmore despises unnecessary cruelty, does his best to persuade Torque before forcing him, and reacts very violently to the death of Torque's family in the even that both games have ended on a positive morality rating. However, this affability rarely ever stops the crime lord from exercising his legendary ruthlessness - including getting Cory addicted to drugs in the neutral ending, throwing Cory's ghost into the Drowning Pool, and destroying Torque's personality so he can move in "full-time."
Powers and Abilities
|“||Obliteration... destruction... death... power.||„|
|~ Blackmore applauding evil morality decisions.|
Because Blackmore exists only in Torque's mind, he seemingly possesses no real powers other than his own immense intellect and manipulative charm. However, given that he is intermittently in control Torque's body, he also has access to the full range of his strength and skill in arms, not to mention his inexplicable ability to provoke Malefactors' incursions; unlike Torque, however, Blackmore appears to have some ability to control the Malefactors on a more direct basis, actively summoning them into battle against his other self.
Furthermore, Blackmore's status as an element of Torque's subconsciousness allows him powers that can actively harm and even destroy his other self's mind. Most of these powers are kept secret until the very end of the game in order to prevent Torque from learning the truth; during the final confrontation, however, Blackmore has no further need to hold back and unleashes all his hidden mental powers against his opponent in the form of an illusory boss battle. These powers include the following.
- Teleportation: Having no physical body of his own, Blackmore's mental self can appear and disappear virtually at will.
- Enhanced agility: In the event that he does attack physically, he can move with improbable speed and grace
- Invulnerable to ordinary weapons: As a Thought-Form, conventional weapons are useless against him and only Torque's rage form can hurt him.
- Superhuman resilience: Even pitted against Torque's rage form, Blackmore can take quite a bit of punishment.
- Brute strength: Even in his early scenes in East Baltimore Correctional, Blackmore is able to casually topple Torque (who can effortlessly slaughter Malefactors in droves) to the ground with a backhand.
- Hand-to-hand combat mastery: Having access to all of Torque's combat experiencing, Blackmore is more than a match for him in a mental duel to the death.
- Energy projection: Blackmore can launch balls of vivid purple energy that is capable of draining Torque's insanity meter, forcing him back to human form and inflicting additional damage. Worst of all, it also fills Blackmore's own insanity meter.
- Rage Form: Once he has drained Torque's insanity, Blackmore can assume a rage form of his own; this is usually a worst-case scenario for players, as most will not be able to recover their own insanity meters in time and will end up getting easily defeated as a result.
The Imaginary Friend
|“||Always keep your head up. Keep your mind in the game. Let the other guy make the first move. A player's got to keep his eyes on the competition at all times...||„|
|~ Blackmore mentoring a young Torque.|
Unknown to all but a highly select few, Blackmore began life as a secondary personality of the series' protagonist, Torque. As with his other major personality, the future crime lord first came into existence as a direct response to Torque's difficult childhood in the Garvey Children's Home: with most of the other children either bullying him for his status as an outsider or fearing him for his violent temper, Torque had few friends, and was in desperate need of guidance. As such, it was not long before his own subconsciousness conjured an alternative; it is still unknown when Blackmore first appeared, but he emerged with his mission fully established: making Torque a success.
Over the course of their time together at the orphanage, Torque's imaginary friend served as both a surrogate father and a mentor, calling him "my little one" even as he encouraged the problem child to embrace criminal ambition. Given his shaky grasp of reality, it is not certain if Torque ever became aware that his teacher was not real, but it is suggested that he was at least partly aware of it; at one point, a caretaker happened to walk in during one of Blackmore's lessons, only for Torque to claim he had not been talking to anybody. Similarly, he showed no sign of shock when Blackmore vanished while his back was turned.
However, the two were eventually forced to "part ways": once Torque grew old enough to leave the Children's Home, the lessons stopped, and with a life outside the orphanage to attend to, he soon forgot all about his imaginary friend. It is unknown what prompted the end of the lessons, but it is likely that it was caused by Blackmore's first forays into physical existence: having blossomed into a secondary personality in his own right, he wanted a life of his own. From his adolescence onward, Torque began experiencing psychological black-outs in which he could remember nothing: some of these were brought on by his explosive rage, but the overwhelming majority of them were due to Blackmore seizing control of his body.
While Torque struggled with the effort of holding down a job and keeping his temper in check, Blackmore was making inroads into Baltimore's criminal underworld. Though he only had control once a week at the most, he made the most of what little time he had, delving deep into organized crime, racketeering, extortion and drug dealing; bit by bit, he built up a reputation for brutal-but-effective tactics, making him both highly-valued and greatly-feared among the gangsters of the city, until he eventually became powerful enough to build his own gang into a syndicate in its own right. Blackmore also gained a reputation as a man of mystery, for once he had enough influence to manage his gang from behind the scenes, he never showed his face unless he absolutely have to - usually only remaining in direct contact with a handful of trusted lieutenants, most of whom were under the impression that Blackmore just happened to look like Torque.
Eventually, the newly forged crime lord was able to out-brutalize all other major crime syndicates and crown himself as the king of Baltimore's gangsters. For good measure, he was able to maintain his stranglehold over the city's rackets through regular displays of cruelty, most prominently via the Drowning Pool, a large concrete vat of sewage hidden deep beneath Baltimore. Through calculated acts of atrocity such as these, Blackmore soon became so infamous that he became a legend among criminals and law-abiding citizens alike, his notoriety only fueled by his ghostly and elusive nature.
At some point during this time, he became aware of the existence of the Malefactors, and how Torque's presence could summon them into corporeal existence. Fascinated, Blackmore investigated further, and discovered the Foundation, a highly-secretive group dedicated to studying the Malefactors - aided by a private army equipped with top-of-the-line military hardware. Making contact with the Foundation's leader, an enigmatic woman known only as Jordan, Blackmore decided to bankroll her experiments, sustaining the organization even in the face of its increasingly risky activities through generous cash injections from his illicit fortune. As a result, the crime lord and the researcher enjoyed a long and profitable partnership.
Ultimately though, his successful lifestyle was not enough for Blackmore: he was still limited to what opportunities he could seize while Torque was unconscious, and the crime lord's ambitious nature would not tolerate such restrictions for long: he wanted full control over Torque's body.
Carmen and Blackmore
|“||Once you start running away, you've already lost. I've got your wife on a leash and your kid Cory wrapped around my finger. Your life is already nothing, and when I pummel the life out of them, it'll be less than zero.||„|
|~ Blackmore threatening Torque's family.|
After many years of ruling the city from behind the scenes, Blackmore chose to reintroduce himself to Torque, choosing to "meet" him at one of his favored hangouts, namely a derelict gazebo in Druitt Hill. By this time, the troubled young offender had found employment at a local gym and was in a committed relationship with a woman named Carmen - who he would actually met at that very gazebo. However, Blackmore convinced him that he could achieve more in life, offering him more money than he could earn in a year of work at the gym in exchange for his loyalty; Torque agreed, and soon found himself as a footsoldier in the world of organized crime.
At first, everything proceeded relatively smoothly: Torque earned a very generous salary in Blackmore's service as promised, and his relationship with Carmen remained happy and stable. Eventually, they even married and had a son, Cory. However, as time went on, Torque's working life and his personal life began to collide: Blackmore became aware of Carmen's existence, and took a dim view of the influence she was exerting on her husband's decisions. This was ostensibly because she was an obstacle to Torque's ascent through the ranks, but in reality, it was likely due to the fact that her moderating behavior made her a potential danger to the crime lord's plans to become the dominant personality. If he wanted his plan to be successful, Blackmore had to make sure that Torque's personality was similar to his own before he finally assimilated it, and Carmen's presence threatened this modification; so, he set out to end their marriage by any means available to him.
He began by speaking with Torque one-on-one, trying to convince him that he'd be better off without his wife if he wanted to make a success of himself. Not only did his other self ignore him, but when Carmen admitted to disapproving of his criminal lifestyle - reasoning that it was no way to raise a family and correctly suspecting that Blackmore was just using him - Torque went so far as to leave the crime lord's service for good. Infuriated, Blackmore began harassing Carmen with threatening phone calls and angry letters, insisting that she break off her marriage for the sake of the family. Though pushed to their very limits by this approach, the two remained together. For good measure, the threat inspired Torque to begin plotting against Blackmore with his close friend Miles - unaware that neither of them could physically harm him.
However, it was just prior to one of Torque's regular visits to Miles' bar that Blackmore took his attack on the family to the next level: ordering one of his henchmen to deliberately anger Torque, he then arranged a discreet call to the police summoning them to the bar. As ordered, the henchman went out of his way to provoke the ex-criminal to violence, first by making lewd comments about Carmen, then insinuating that he'd sold drugs to Cory, and finally calling his wife a whore and implying that Cory was not really his son at all. Seconds later, Torque had the man's brains splattered over the bar's floor - at the very moment the police burst in. Torque was arrested for manslaughter, with Miles being collared as well for aiding and abetting. Though the deliberate provocation was taken into account by the judge, it was not enough to get either of them off the hook, and both men were sentenced to five years in East Baltimore Correctional.
For good measure, Carmen visited Torque in jail some time later: revealing she was pregnant, she admitted she could no longer trust her husband or his protestations of innocence, and that he could not be a father to Corey or their newest child while in prison. The visit ended with Carmen divorcing Torque - exactly as Blackmore had intended.
Having naturally gone to prison as well, Blackmore took advantage of his other self's continued blackouts to take over Eastern. Scant hours after being informed of the divorce, Torque and Miles were confronted by a gang of thugs - supposedly led by Blackmore, but only in Torque's distorted view of reality: informing the two that they were now officially conscripts in the crime lord's army, the thugs went so far as to beat Miles to a pulp, before being drawn away by a massive riot that enabled Malefactors to materialize inside the prison, slaughtering both guards and inmates alike. Despite the confusion, Blackmore continued his attempts to sway Torque to his side by offering him a clean slate in his organization in exchange for murdering a captured prison guard: whether he accepts the offer, kills the hostage-takers or does nothing is up to the player. Finally, Blackmore tested the full scope of Torque's power by deploying first the full brunt of the rioters against him, then the Slayers summoned up by the rioting.
Once the riot had ended and the prison had returned to normal, Torque defied expectations by managing to continue his relationship with Carmen despite the divorce: though she'd initially refused conjugal visits, she found herself attending anyway; and though she'd doubted that Torque could be a father while imprisoned, she took Cory to see him - and later, her new son Malcolm. Blackmore was annoyed, but with the two personalities incarcerated, there was precious little he could do to stop Carmen from attending. Eventually, Torque was released from prison, and went on with his life, doing his best to be a responsible father to Cory and Malcolm on the occasions when he had custody of the two boys - though his success rate varied depending on player decision.
Infuriated that his other self still refused to comply with his orders, Blackmore set out to destroy Torque's family once and for all...
|“||These are the ties that bind us. You can't cut them. You can't burn them. You can't be rid of them. You just have to live with them... or die with them, like Carmen, Cory and Malcolm. You remember how that played out? Exactly how that played out?||„|
|~ Blackmore, reminding Torque of his past|
Blackmore's method of dealing with Torque's family is determined entirely by how the player chooses to proceed through the two games.
In the event that the player takes the good morality path by saving lives and helping those in need, it is revealed that Blackmore paid a gang of thugs to murder Torque's family, beating Carmen to death, drowning Malcolm in the bathtub, and throwing Cory out the window. Torque, arriving home just in time to see the last of the murders take place, he is left alive on Blackmore's instructions and mockingly told to enjoy his new life alone. However, should players continue the good path in Ties That Bind, it is revealed that Blackmore only wanted the family terrified enough to leave Torque of their own accord, but the thugs he hired proved too bloodthirsty to stop at a simple assault case (this does not apply in other morality playthroughs, of course).
On the other hand, should players help nobody or kill as many people as they save, Blackmore instead chose to target Cory. By now, Torque's eldest son had begun to resent his father both for his temper and his absences from the family, and Blackmore was able to exploit the enmity between the two of them. How much of a role the crime lord played in the proceedings depends entirely on the morality playthroughs of Ties That Bind: if players picked evil options, Cory was being actively abused by Torque and required only a bit of encouragement from Blackmore to make him snap; in good/neutral playthroughs, Blackmore had one of his dealers approach Cory and get him addicted to drugs, medicating his insecurities with anything that could make him "feel like a big man" until he was almost as unstable as his father. One way or another, Cory's parents got into an argument one day, ending with Torque losing his temper and lashing out at Carmen, accidentally cracking her skull against the bedside table. Walking in to find his mother dying, Cory snapped: declaring "you took her away, I'm taking us away," he then goes on to drown his little brother in the bath, before committing suicide by throwing himself out the window.
Finally, in evil playthroughs, Blackmore took advantage of Torque's growing instability and ultimately convinced him that Carmen was going to take his children away. Consumed by psychotic rage, Torque went home with the express intention of stopping his wife by any means available to him: within minutes of his arrival, he'd beat Carmen to death with his bare hands, drowned Malcolm in the tub, and thrown Cory to his death.
Whatever the case, Torque blacked out the events of the murders and found himself unable to explain himself to the police when they arrived on the scene; found guilty on three counts of murder, he was sentenced to death and transported to Carnate Island for execution. However, Torque's presence sparked an event known as the Cataclysm, beginning with an earthquake devastating Abbott State Penitentiary and ending with the Malefactors being unleashed - along with the many ghosts of Carnate, including the Infernas, Dr. Killjoy, Horace P. Gauge, and Hermes T. Haight, all of whom play a role in testing the convicted killer's sanity and morality as the game goes on.
Throughout the events of The Suffering, Blackmore's personality remains in the back of Torque's mind as he goes about escaping from the Malefactor-infested prison, presumably trusting his other self to break out unharmed. His existence is only chronologically revealed to the player in the good ending, when Torque flashes back to the day of his family's murder, and recalls hearing the hitmen mentioning "The Colonel" to him before they departed.
Ties that Bind
|“||It's good to see the inner you! Now you remember what it takes to go all the way! Welcome back, and I look forward to playing the game with you...||„|
|~ Blackmore, after forcing Torque to regain his rage form.|
Regardless of what ending Torque earned, he eventually makes his way back to Baltimore, unwitting bringing his alter ego back to his old territory; soon after, he is apprehended by the Foundation and ushered to a holding facility near the harbor for detailed analysis by Jordan. With so many experiments on such volatile creatures being conducted, though, it is not long before Malefactor specimens begin breaking out of containment, allowing Torque to escape the building while Foundation soldiers are busy dealing with the problem; soon after, he is drawn back to his old apartment by Carmen's ghost, where conversations with both Carmen and Dr Killjoy inspire him to seek vengeance against Blackmore for the role he played in his family's death.
Unfortunately, it is at this point that Torque's presence triggers another Cataclysm event, forcing him into battle with the Malefactors yet again. After spending some time negotiating the earthquake-ravaged streets alongside his old neighbor Hejira, he eventually makes his way to the Grand Theater in the level "Denial Of The Fittest," where Killjoy plans to brief him on the situation at hand. However, the fine doctor's lecture is interrupted when Blackmore suddenly appears for the first time (chronologically) in the game and unleashes a horde of Malefactos on Torque, intent on bringing back his rage form despite Killjoy's best efforts to suppress it. Witnessing Torque giving into his rage once more, Blackmore approvingly remarks that he looks forward to playing the game with him, before retreating back into the shadows. Torque gives chase, unaware that he will never be able to catch up with the illusory presence.
Outside of the occasional flashback, Blackmore remains out of sight for the next few levels, though his voice can continuously be heard persuading Torque to murder potential allies and innocent bystanders for the sake of his own survival. Eventually, the mission "Relentless Persistent Determination" brings Torque back to the harborside facility where he began the game: by this time, Blackmore has apparently taken advantage of another blackout to stage a coup within the Foundation, ousting Jordan and taking complete control of the organization's forces in Baltimore - presumably via his command of the group's purse-strings. As such, he reappears in in the control booth to one of the harborside laboratories, leading the experiments conducted on Torque and Consuela - once again testing his other self's ability to remain resilient under fire.
After either killing Consuela or helping her escape Baltimore, Torque is rescued from the ongoing Foundation attack by none other than Jordan, who is now supposedly attempting to regain control and wants him to eliminate Blackmore on her behalf. Following a harrowing truck chase through the streets of Baltimore, she delivers him back to East Baltimore Correctional in the level "Repeat Offender," claiming that the crime lord is currently based somewhere in the dilapidated prison. However, other than Blackmore's seemingly omnipresent voice murmuring from above as he unleashes yet another army of Foundation henchmen, next to nothing is seen of him.
It is during this level that the first inklings of Blackmore's true nature become apparent: in one case, a former lieutenant of the crime lord is discovered bleeding out in the prison library, and mistakes Torque for Blackmore, not knowing that they are the same individual - though the lack of context at first makes it seem as though comments like "the big man returns to the roost" were meant for Torque alone. However, just as the henchman is about to ask why Blackmore would effectively put a hit out on his own family, Torque suffers another blackout, apparently subconsciously driven to protect his own psyche from the awful truth (as Killjoy later theorizes); when he regains consciousness, the henchmen has been brutally murdered - presumably by Blackmore. Later, in the level "Discipline And Punish," Torque finally makes contact with Miles once again and meets up with him in one of the deserted cellblocks; however, Miles has learned of Blackmore's true identity and is extremely upset, and comes dangerously close to revealing what he learned - before Torque blacks out once again and discovers his old friend beaten to death, much to Blackmore's amusement.
Leading Torque into the prison basement, the crime lord instructs Torque to meet him at the Drowning Pool. After travelling through the remainder of the prison complex and (depending on morality playthrough) either killing Jordan or allying himself with her, an attack by the Horde unexpectedly opens the way into the underground, allowing Torque to make a leap of faith into the Drowning Pool below. In the following level, "The Greatest Story Never Told" is set entirely around Blackmore's infamous execution tool, with Torque being judged on his morality thus far by a panel of judges featuring Killjoy, Copperfield and the Creeper - and then being forced into a boss battle with one of the latter two.
Shortly afterwards, Blackmore finally reappears, this time serving as a mentor to Cory's ghost, apparently intending to corrupt him into his service in much the same way that he corrupted Torque; the lesson ends with the crime lord ordering Cory to push the ghost of Malcolm into the Drowning Pool, claiming that he needs to dispose of those who hold him back. When Cory hesitates, Blackmore advises him to do what his father to do - his response depending entirely on Torque's current morality: on good morality playthroughs, the ghost refuses his orders point-blank; on neutral morality playthroughs, he proves too indecisive to act; finally, on evil morality, Cory pushes his brother into the Drowning Pool. Regardless, Blackmore follows up by claiming that Cory is cramping his game, then shoves him into the Pool.
Torque is given the option to either jump into the pool to rescue his son or do nothing. Whatever the case, this ends him once again blacking out.
Born Into This
|“||That's funny... I thought I was there. I was there, in your eyes. Nobody else could see me. Those blackouts? They're when I get my time, get your body, get to be me in the real world. Everybody else who knows Blackmore thinks I look like you... because I am you. But we've only got the one body, and I'm tired of sharing.||„|
|~ Blackmore, just before the final boss battle.|
Awakening in his old neighborhood, Torque is gradually led back to the seemingly long-abandoned Garvey Children's Home, where Blackmore reminds him of the role he played in the protagonist's formative years. After sending several Malefactors to eliminate Ranse Truman and offering Torque the opportunity to save his life if he so desires, he invites Torque upstairs into a room that appears to have been re-purposed as his inner sanctum. Several decades worth of clippings have been pinned to the wall, featuring newspaper articles on local crime, photographs of ghosts and even images of Malefactors, as if Blackmore has been using this room to study his targets; tellingly, the most recent of these is an article on the murder of Torque's family.
In this room, Blackmore gives Torque one last reminder of what really happened to his family, allowing him to recall the specifics decided by the game's morality decisions, before finally admitting to his status as an element of Torque's subconsciousness. Upon revealing the true nature of his organization and his real mission to seize control of Torque's body, Blackmore seemingly blasts his way out through the wall and into the ruined orphanage concourse, now adapted into a makeshift battleground for the two warring personalities. For good measure, he then summons the Horde, releasing dozens of Malefactors into the building to slow Torque down while Blackmore attacks his mind directly.
The final battle is an arduous one if the player has not been prepared for it: despite having no physical presence of his own, Blackmore is capable of inflicting serious damage in hand-to-hand combat, and cannot be harmed by anything other than Torque's rage form; worse still, he is also capable of draining Torque's insanity meter - even taking on a rage form of his own, a rare tactic that can allow him to win this battle very easily. In the end, the winning move often involves the use of the final super attack: if this ability has been attained and fully charge, the battle can be won very quickly.
Seemingly mortally wounded, Blackmore is forced to retreat to the remains of a top-floor room, where Torque corners him. What happens there once again depends on the morality path decided over the course of the game:
- In the good Ending, Blackmore tries one last time to assume his rage form, but fails, ultimately conceding that he lost the game: despite his best efforts, he could not corrupt Torque or convince him to "break the rules", and with his all-or-nothing philosophy, the only course of action he can take is to cease to exist. With that, he vanishes, erased from his other self's brain for good.
- In game's extended good ending (also considered by many gamers to be the true ending) which is achieved only by playing good all the way to the end of both games, Ties That Bind concludes with Torque and Carmen's ghost alone on the rooftop of the orphanage, lovingly embracing one another.
- By contrast, the Neutral Ending features Torque attempting to destroy Blackmore as he did in the previous ending - only to find that he cannot: having made no effort to rise above his own insanity or sink to new depths of depravity, he does not have the strength of will to exorcise Blackmore from his brain, but at the same time Blackmore still has not been able to change Torque enough to seize control of them. For now, the two personalities are forced into an uneasy truce, with Blackmore gloating that the two of them will have to play the game a little longer than intended - and he'll be keeping a close eye on whatever happens next.
- Finally, the Evil Ending reveals that the apparently-defeated Blackmore has been playing possum; the moment Torque moves to attack him, the Colonel grabs his wrist and begins the process of assimilating him. Too corrupted to resist, the escaped convict is left helpless as his other self mocks him, claiming that Torque secretly wanted to be Blackmore all along. Seconds later, Torque is completely assimilated, killing his personality for good and granting his other self complete control over over his body; looking out on Baltimore with a form of his own for the first time, Blackmore proclaims that he can now go on to seize control - not just the criminal underworld, but the entire city.
- For good measure, if players chose to spare Jordan during this same playthrough, she then appears on the scene to offer her services to the newly-crowned ruler of Baltimore, who gladly accepts her services, claiming "all the best games get better with an inside man - even better with inside woman." Upon learning that Torque's personality is now gone for good, Jordan remarks that Blackmore was the only part of him she really liked; the game ends with the two savagely kissing one another, before marching out of the building to begin their reign in earnest.
|“||Somebody needs to learn his place.||„|
|~ Blackmore's very first line.|
|“||Yeah, that's right. I'm a last-minute entry, and now I'm playing this game.||„|
|~ Blackmore introducing himself in East Baltimore Correctional.|
|“||You maybe strong. But I'm smart. And the smart always win.||„|
|~ Blackmore goading Torque|
|“||Bluster is the tool of the sucker player.||„|
|~ Blackmore to a defiant Miles.|
|“||The pawn's off the board! Now only the real players are left in the game. Are you ready for checkmate?||„|
|~ Blackmore, leading the riot against Torque after Miles vanishes offscreen.|
|“||There's some bad advice from someone who hasn't gotten any in a long time. He's half the man you are, and you're half the man I am. You're on the way to learn the score, and I've got some friends that can show you the way...||„|
|~ Blackmore taunting both Killjoy and Torque at the theater in evil playthroughs.|
|“||I wanted to get you on my team, but you know what always rubbed me wrong? You never improved at your own game. Same mistakes, time and time and time again. Okay, let's try one more time... with feeling.||„|
|~ Blackmore in the confrontation at the Foundation labs.|
|“||You know what makes the game easier? Your own private army. I highly recommend it||„|
|~ Blackmore, right before unleashing the Foundation's soldiers on Torque at East Baltimore Correctional.|
|“||I never understood why you wouldn't just play along. I offered you everything: wealth, respect, power... but instead, you chose her. Now, I love the ladies, oh my yes, but I always want to be free to play the field. The moment they start to hold you back, limit your choices, they're gone, one way or the other.||„|
|~ Blackmore speaking to Torque on the phone.|
|“||Oh my yes! Blood, blood, everywhere! But can you read the writing on the wall? Run with me: I'll tell you all the truth you need to hear...||„|
|~ Blackmore, after killing Miles.|
|“||Killing is strength, but death can be cruel...||„|
|~ Blackmore, if Torque kills Jordan.|
|“||Attaboy. You've raised yourself a winner. He can go far, just like you and me... but he's still cramping my game!||„|
|~ Blackmore, right before pushing Cory to his death in evil playthroughs.|
|“||Yes, I LIKE IT!!||„|
|~ Blackmore approving of Torque slaughtering everything on sight.|
|“||You played right. I couldn't... get you... to break the rules. And the way I play... it's all or nothing.||„|
|~ Blackmore conceding defeat in the good ending.|
|“||That's what I thought. Looks like we're going to play this game a while longer. I couldn't change you, and you couldn't get rid of me. The ties that bind, they'll keep us connected, but apart... and I'll be right here, looking over your shoulder...||„|
|~ Blackmore declaring a truce in the neutral ending.|
|“||Fool! You didn't know one thing about the endgame! Should've given up sooner, admitted you wanted to be me! (assimilates Torque) Now I'm full time, baby: I can rule this town!||„|
|~ Blackmore achieving victory in the evil ending.|