Planescape: Torment

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Released in 1999 by Black Isle Studios and set in the Dungeons & Dragons setting Planescape in the Outer Planes, the Role-Playing Game Planescape: Torment was applauded for its storyline and script. What starts off looking like a stereotypical amnesia tale drops you and your hero into a very strange world with interlocking plotlines about your past, complete with a series of helpers who may or may not know more than they're letting on. It's like Memento in computer game form.

It's also well-known for being heavy on the personal interactions and puzzles, while relatively light on the combat -- so much so that it's more a highly interactive novel than a game. In many situations, your allies are more useful for the advice they can bring and the clues they can decipher than any capacity as "another warm body to throw at the enemy" (although some of them are pretty hot indeed). For a complete gaming experience, creating a character with high intelligence gives the best dialogue options.

The game makes an effort to subvert or avoid as many RPG tropes and cliches as possible. Instead of Saving the World, the player character is interested only in discovering the truth about himself. Instead of a Cool Sword, you have "equippable" tattoos, earrings and even eyes. Your statistics matter a great deal, and the game plays dramatically differently depending on what you decide to emphasize.

The main character's Healing Factor allows you, among other things, to wield your own arm as a club and wear your own intestines as an armlet. You can bite your fingers off and pluck your eyeballs out in order to replace them with something better. Death is usually just a minor annoyance that can be often turned to your advantage.

Bottom line: this game is strange. And very highly acclaimed.

Tropes used in Planescape: Torment include:


  • Acrophobic Bird: Fall-From-Grace's wings are never used, nor do any of the abishai fly.
    • In an amusing inversion, Trias, the angel with the destroyed wings, shouldn't be able to fly but does.
  • Adult Fear: Where to start?
    • Dakkon, Fell, and The Silent King all play up inner struggle with religious conviction.
    • Annah faces the death of a parent figure she realizes is abusive.
    • The Nameless One and Deionnara's "love" is chilling. You can later confront her father.
    • Dak'kon's slavery to The Nameless One.
  • An Adventurer Is You
  • Affectionate Parody: The entire Modron Maze is one giant parody of ultra cliche dungeon crawlings. At least until you meet the "Evil Wizard Construct".
  • Amnesia Danger: As the Nameless One levels up, he actually remembers old skills rather than learns new ones. Without his amnesia, the Nameless One would pretty much be a Physical God.
  • All There in the Manual: In this case the official strategy guide; the reason why the Nameless One can't become a priest (he can become every other class) is because every god had forsaken him long ago.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can only have six members of your party. There is no in-game explanation for why this is so. If you wish to recruit someone else, you will have to leave one of the people you brought with you behind.
  • Arc Words: "What can change the nature of a man?"
  • Anticlimax Boss: After reaching the Fortress of Regrets, opening the Bronze Sphere, and discovering both your true name and the source of your torment, thereby achieving emotional catharsis, you get to fight the Big Bad. While you can defeat him with words if you have high enough wisdom, intelligence, or charisma, or if you get the Blade of the Immortal, he isn't all that impressive of an enemy in physical combat either, except if you're really high level. Also, resurrecting Vhailor and telling him the truth of your identity will make him an unbeatable killing machine that drops the boss with relatively few hits.
  • Arc Number: The Rule of Three.
  • Armor Is Useless: The game features only a dozen armors and each of them can only be worn by a specific character. Morte, Nordom and Ignus can't wear any armor at all. The Nameless One, Annah and Fall-From-Grace can only wear clothes; the only clothes the Nameless One can wear are a disguise which became useless outside the Morgue. Dak'kon and Vailhor wears real armor (leather for the first, steel for the second) but they can't change and their armor don't give them any specific bonus.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The Arc Words.
  • Back from the Dead: Constantly.
  • Badass Boast: Many, including those delivered by the player. The crown may go to the Big Bad, who taunts Fall-From-Grace with, "I can forge planes with my power. I can unmake you."
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Usually played straight, sometimes subverted.
  • Balancing Death's Books: Every time the Nameless One resurrects, someone else dies in his place. Their ghosts become the shades that periodically attack the party.
  • Battle Royale With Cheese
  • Beast and Beauty: Played with via the Nameless One's romantic possibilities, who are, respectively, a tiefling (demon-blooded) and a succubus.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Morte tells the story of one of the Nameless One's incarnations who plays out the "that was your first wish" joke.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Nameless One's romantic interests are a fiery-tempered redhead and an even-tempered blond. Chris Avellone even said in an interview with GameSpot that Archie Comics was an inspiration for the characters.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When facing the Transcendent One at the end of the game, The Nameless One can normally resurrect ONE of his dead companions to fight at his side, at which point the Transcendent One attacks. However, if the player was attentive while moving through the Fortress, he or she can realize that TTO intentionally keeps the Shadows penned up. If you tell him that they've been let free, he'll momentarily leave to check on the situation. At which point, you can resurrect your entire party, all of whom will be ready for battle when The Transcendent One returns. Ass-kicking ensues.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • When Fall-From-Grace asks Morte what he is, "Me? I'm le petite Morte." "The little death" is a French euphemism for an orgasm.
    • Fall-From-Grace's spellcasting chants are Japanese words enunciated in slow English.
  • Bittersweet Ending: And that's the good one. In most cases your party will be dead. In all cases you will be dead. In cases where the party is resurrected there are broken hearts and lost causes.
  • Bonus Boss: If you resolve the Morridor's Box quest by getting a priest to banish the fiend inside it, the fiend will somehow transform into an extremely powerful monster that can be fought in the ruins of Curst.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Several. There's the Warrens of Thought, Undersigil, the Rubikon Dungeon Construct, and the Player's Maze.
  • Bottomless Bladder: The Nameless One and his crew never need to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, or (as long as the healing charms hold out) sleep. Your allies do complain about getting tired, though.
  • Breaking Speech:
    • Delivered by Ravel Puzzlewell... and in some cases, you.
    • Guilt-tripping people (cough Deionarra cough) into helping you even when they have every rational reason to hate you is just one of the many fun features of this lovely game.
  • Broken Bridge: You can't get out of the Hive until a specific event. When asked about it, Hive dwellers mutter something about "the streets being rearranged again."
  • Brutal Honesty: Ah, dialogue options.
  • Cessation of Existence: In two of the endings, where the Nameless One kills himself with the Blade of the Immortal or wills himself out of existence. The end video only shows the Transcendent One disintegrating and then nothing, as the Nameless One has removed himself from existence altogether. Considering that all other endings end up with the Nameless One going to Hell, this may qualify as the best ending.
  • Character Alignment: Being that this is based on Dungeons & Dragons, it's not surprising.
    • True Neutral: As a blank slate, your character starts off this way and will have this adjusted based on player actions. Thankfully in this case the concept of alignment-change penalties was ignored. Certain items are only usable by certain alignments, of course.
    • Because your party members need to be able to stay with you regardless of what alignment you choose, all of them are varying shades of neutral (except for Morte). None of them are True Neutral either, which leads to some awkward shoehorning, such as labelling someone who delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to a Lawful Neutral Knight Templar as Lawful Neutral herself.
  • Character Class System: Of the variant that allows the main character to switch classes during the game.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: If you are prompted, either in dialogue or in narration, to pick up an item, do not lose that item. No, not even the prybar you were prompted to get to pull out the bolts on the skeleton. You will need it later. There will be a test. Above all, for the love of all that is good and holy, do NOT just leave the bronze sphere lying with Pharod's corpse. It is not as useless as it seems. Go back, pick it up and keep it until the bitter end.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Morte is a floating skull. He suggests hitting on female zombies, flirts with every female character around, and buying him some time with a prostitute buffs his taunt skill. He's also the only party member who is actually Good aligned.

Nordom: Attention; Morte. I have a question. Do you have a destiny? A purpose?
Morte: Is Annah still wearing clothes?
Nordom: Affirmatory.
Morte: Then the answer is yes.

  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The fundamental law of physics on the Planes.
    • If you tell enough people that your name is "Adahn," a real person named Adahn will be brought into existence. He will be very confused about just where he came from (although he *knows* the Nameless One has been looking for him), and if told how he was created, he'll wink back out of existence.
    • In a memory of the Nameless One, a previous incarnation successfully argues that someone does not exist, and that someone immediately ceases to do so.
    • One of the ways in which you talk the Big Bad to death is to believe so hard that the two of you don't exist that it happens.
  • Climax Boss: Two, Ravel and Trias. They're some of the few fights you can't talk your way out of.
  • Cool Gate:
    • Sigil is called "the City of Doors" for a reason - every single arch or similarly limited passageway is a portal to somewhere - provided you hold the proper key. A key in turn can be anything a person might be carrying or doing while passing through an arch, such as hum a melody.
    • Deconstructed with one NPC, Ingress. She is deathly afraid of this, and with good reason. She's been desperately searching for the portal back home for decades, but the portals she found led to dangerous places, and she suffered dearly for it. Now she refuses to walk through anything that could be a portal, for fear she'll activate it and be sent to some horrible place. You can have a planeswalker guide her home.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Or parchment to write it on, for that matter. In the Player's Maze, you find a journal made out of human bones and skin. It is the Nameless One's own bones and skin from a previous incarnation when he was trapped in there for an untold amount of time.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: How Morte gets captured in the Lower Ward.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of the party members. Suffice to say that Annah, an orphaned tiefling who was forced to become a petty thief to survive, has the least troubled background. Did we mention she's a petty thief in a slum where devils and sapient, psychic rats walk the streets, and she earns her living by finding corpses to sell to a death cult? In several cases you are directly responsible for the dark and troubled pasts of your allies.
  • Deader Than Dead: The Nameless One's eventual goal is to achieve this state.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Resurrection spells aside, the game is about The Nameless One trying to figure out why he can't stay dead when he dies.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Dialogue is in many cases intentionally more dangerous than combat in this game. If you die during combat, you'll just wake up again and regenerate, but some dialogues can lead to Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Many RPG tropes are turned on their head.
    • The Planescape setting itself is a deconstruction of roleplaying game worlds, specifically D&D, specifically AD&D 2nd Edition. It takes what are arguably the worst aspects of the edition, such as the somewhat skewed take on the struggle between order and chaos in Moorcock's Elric novels, follows them to their natural conclusions, and thereby constructs a remarkably interesting world that provides superb backdrop for stories like that of Torment.
    • Also a deconstruction of CRPG death - mostly Death Is a Slap on The Wrist. In so many games, you die, you come back. Here, the entire game is an investigation into that mechanic.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The game's three bosses are a nigh-omnipotent demon witch, an angel, and a creature that, through thousands of years of accumulated experience, has basically become a Physical God. By the end of the game, you will have defeated at least two of them in combat, and will have the option of talking the third into submission.
  • Damsel in Distress: Outside Sigil, you have to rescue Jasilya from slavers and thugs respectively, but both quests are optionals. On the second rescue, she gives you a kiss if you allow her.
  • Downer Ending: All the endings, to some degree. If you fail against the Big Bad, there's no special game over, but the implicit ending is bad enough that perhaps it should be included: The Transcendent One kills all your friends, and points out he has already killed everyone who can help you to find your way back to him. You are left trapped in the cycle of death and resurrection, never remembering who you are, explicitly becoming less and less of a man with every death, but unable to stop existing, forever.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • One of the methods of escaping the mortuary is to disguise as a zombie--with the downside of reducing your movement to one-quarter speed. If you take this option, settle in for long stretches of watching the Nameless One slo-o-o-o-wly lurch across the screen.
    • You can also dress up in Dustman robes to get around the third floor undetected, but only if you have a high enough Dexterity stat to kill the Dustman they belonged to without setting off the alarm.
  • Driving Question: The identity and history of the Nameless One. Also the aforementioned Arc Words.
  • Dungeon Punk
  • Dysfunction Junction: Every character you can recruit has psychological issues, be they serious or no. Sometimes you helped make them that way. Justified by the fact that your character wears a magic symbol on his body that attracts tormented people. And also, yeah, often you helped make them that way.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Getting the best ending is not easy, but is oh so worth it.
  • Eat the Dog: According to the merchant who sells you one, Lim-Lims make pretty good eating in a pinch.
  • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Symbol of Torment.
    • Finding out the use for the Bronze Egg will grant you an insane amount of power right before facing the Big Bad.
  • Elite Tweak
  • Empathic Weapon:
    • Dak'kon's karach blade, which is tied to his mental state.
    • Ingress' Teeth, an equippable weapon for Morte. Some Dummied Out dialogue (restored with a mod) adds an extra 'dialogue' with them when you first get them, in which they force their way into Morte's mouth and start tormenting his jaws until he apologizes to them.
    • Nordom's gear spirits.
  • Epiphanic Prison: The Nameless One's inability to die.
  • Equipment Spoiler: You can find oculars "usable by Modrons" in Vrishka's shop and Modron Maze, which hints at the existence of Nordom. The item "Nordom's Ocular," also found as an occasional drop in the Modron Maze, is more explicit about it.
  • Eternal Equinox: Justified, in that Sigil has no sun, moon, or stars, and night becomes day and back again literally by magic.
  • Eternal Love: the Nameless One's ghost girlfriend Deionarra, for him. Completely not mutual, though.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Most zombies are non-hostile and some are even communicative.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Played totally straight throughout, and even has a little Fridge Brilliance attached. After all, who has the deepest voice in the game? The Nameless One himself.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Fortress of Regrets.
  • Eye Scream (and Fingore): Voluntary (the Nameless one even has an "Eye" equipment slot)... most of the time.
  • Eye Lights Out
  • False Reassurance: Ah, dialogue options.
  • Fetch Quest: Optional and... otherwise.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: These are the three character classes the Nameless One can become.
  • Final Boss Preview: The Transcendent One obliterating Ravel.
  • Foreign Queasine: Ratsies, cranium rats on a stick. Comes in several varieties, and if you eat one, the experience is described in detail and some are described as tasting surprisingly good.
  • A Friend in Need: In the Fortress of Regrets, each party member will fight against the Transcendent One. Except for Ignus or Vhailor (who become Sixth Ranger Traitors), depending upon alignment.
  • Future Slang: Though most of the slang isn't fictional so much as obscurely and obscenely British.
    • "Berk," a fairly common term of address, is short for "Berkshire Hunt," which is rhyming slang for... Cats.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Inverted. As mentioned, the Healing Factor of The Nameless One comes into play a lot in dialogue and is a very important part of the story. Physical stats often have uses in dialogue as well, instead of just contributing to combat.
  • Gateless Ghetto: You are not allowed to visit any portion of Sigil other than the Hive at first. This is somewhat justified, in that the city of Sigil is literally alive, and the streets keep rearranging themselves spontaneously.
  • Genius Loci: Several.
  • Get a Load of That Square: A group of thugs in Clerk's Ward can be called out on their poor grasp of Sigil's slang.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: Possible with a high enough dexterity.
  • Global Currency: Commons are accepted across multiple planes of existence.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: It's mentioned that gods have been killed simply by people forgetting about them.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Many, many instances. At one point, you can even have someone dig out your internal organs and cut them open to look for hidden thingies.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Most fiends have the standard bat wings fare. In Trias' case it's subverted, as he is, well, an angel. His charred, skeletal wings are explained as mutilation done by the prison guards ...and then it turns out to be a Double Subversion and he really is a Fallen Angel.
  • Gorn: Text only (mercifully enough), but what else do you call dialogue options that explain, in loving detail, the act of pulling your own eyeball out of your head and surviving?
  • Go-To Alias: The Nameless One has the option of using the moniker Adahn when talking to people.
  • G-Rated Sex: Harlots refer to sex with euphemisms, and the most romantic thing that can be done with a Love Interest is kissing.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • You get two clubs that are preserved severed arms, one of which used to belong to you.
    • If you anger the Paranoid Incarnation rather than talking him down, he will tear off his own arm and beat you with it.
  • Guide Dang It: The degree to which your statistics affect your dialogue options, even early on in the game.
  • Healing Factor: The characteristic power of the protagonist.
    • if you level up his Constitution stat to the max. You practically regenerate health faster than enemies deal damage to you.
    • Your other party members can get in on this too, if you raise their constitution beyond 18.
  • Heel Realization: Happens over and over again...
  • Hell Is War: Sinners are sent to fight in the Blood War when they die.
  • The Hero Dies: In this case, several times.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: An extreme aversion. A total number of two swords appear in the game, and neither can be used by the protagonist as such. One is exclusive to supporting character Dak'kon, the other must be transformed into a different kind of weapon before the main character can wield it. The Nameless One must make do with knuckledusters, daggers, clubs, axes and very Freudian warhammers.
  • Heroic BSOD: The Nameless One, regardless of alignment, upon recalling how the Practical Incarnation caused Deionnara's death.
  • Hidden Villain
  • High-Class Call Girl: Getting a prostitute in Clerk's Ward is probably one of the most expensive fades to black in an RPG.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Played with. While there are several equivalents of Heaven and Hell in the setting, the various religions and mythologies mostly concentrate in their own planes of existence and none have overarching dominance.
  • Hitchhiker Heroes: Justified, all party members are bound to the Nameless One in some way.
  • Hive Mind: Many-as-One, a colony of cranium rats.
  • Horny Devils: Fall-from-Grace is about as much of an aversion of this trope as one gets.
  • Hurting Hero: All of the protagonists are drawn together under "the Symbol of Torment" by their respective personal failures and anguish.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal:
    • Just how exactly is Morte able to carry anything at all?
    • Then there's Ignus, carrying around scrolls and other flammable items despite being constantly enveloped in searing flames.
  • Hypocritical Humor: There's a female NPC in one of the upper class areas who considers the Nameless One's outfit indecent, she shows as much skin as he does, and one of the dialogue options allows you to call her out on it.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: A gith in the lower ward who is suffering requests to be put out of her misery.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Fortress of Regrets. In keeping with the setting, the name is literal: the place is actually built from the regrets of all the Nameless One's past incarnations.
  • Identity Amnesia: The Nameless One.
  • Immortality: A toss up between Types III and IV - you sort of "fall into darkness," but then get better.
  • Immortality Immorality: The Nameless One had a good reason for not wanting to die: his first incarnation had committed a horrible atrocity and sought immortality to avoid going to hell.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: You can have the Nameless One kill himself to win an argument, to sneak past guards, to escape from traps, or to make money from a bored noble looking to experience a murder. This will come back to haunt you later.
  • Immune to Fate: In the Hive Marketplace, the local gambler refuses to play dice with your character after the first go, because you "have no fortune." Later, in the Clerk's Ward, if the player pays a fortune teller to tell his future, she will tell him that he is one of those rare individuals who have no predetermined fates, and can do as they will. She then gives him a refund.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: A sensory stone tells of a wine that people would do literally anything for.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • You can equip yourself with such improbable weapons as a fingernail, a sharpened set of antlers, or a severed arm. Your own severed arm!
    • Fall-from-Grace's mere touch can inflict scratch damage while her kiss does a little better.
    • Nordom has two spirits that have conveniently taken up the shape of crossbows.
    • Morte can not only masticate foes to death, but also summon mobs of skulls to bulldoze them later in the game. You can find magical teeth for Morte, too. Living magical teeth that can evolve and be talked to.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Pharod's men did a really lousy job looting the Weeping Stone Catacombs. For that matter, there seem to be an awful lot of treasure chests scattered around the Dead Nations and the Warrens of Thought, where no one has any use for them.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Celestial Fire for Lawful Good characters, the Entropic Blade for everyone else.
  • Informal Eulogy: Party members give these when another party member dies.
  • Informed Equipment: Putting a new outfit on Annah or Fall-from-Grace will not change their appearances. Also, it seems that using your intestines as an arm band is completely unnoticeable.
  • In-Game Novel: The Circle of Zerthimon.
  • Interface Spoiler: Potential party members that aren't immediately obvious as recruitable (specifically Annah and Ignus) will still show up in the PC section of the journal.
  • Irrelevant Sidequest
  • It's All My Fault: Although it's actually up to the player how upset the Nameless One is over it, the torment of every party member except Fall-From-Grace and Nordom was caused by him, and a Lawful Good Nameless One will often want to make things right.
  • It Was with You All Along: In several ways. For example:
    • You find at the end of the game that the portal to the final area is located in the place that you woke up in at the start of the game, and that you had the means to get there from the start, just not the knowledge.
    • The bronze sphere you find for Pharod is a container of the memories of your first life.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • Karma Meter: Your alignment changes depending on your actions.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • A favorite hobby of the Practical Incarnation.
    • An evil-aligned Nameless One can do things so awful many players can't stand to play him that way.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Just as you'd expect, the Nameless One's quest of identity is an excellent opportunity to collect all sorts of things. Several quests involve simply having the right thing in your inventory to solve.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Type 1... sorta. Basically, the Nameless One "starts a new game" with the player.
  • Leitmotif: All the important characters and several of the locations have their own themes. Though with the exception of Deionarra's, Annah's, and Fall-from-Grace's, you probably won't even notice most of them because they either don't play in many circumstances, don't get played for long enough when they are played until they get overridden by something else, or don't even appear outside the game's soundtrack. Restoration mods make the theme songs more prominent, though this causes some problems of its own when, say, the player is in the Smoldering Corpse bar and Ignus's theme suddenly overrides the area music, which is bound to be at least somewhat confusing the first time.
    • The Transcendent One's theme is a Dark Reprise of The Nameless One's.
  • Let's Play: One's finally been made of this game by Shadow Catboy.
  • Level Up At Intimacy 5: Kissing Annah gives her some minor fire resistance.
  • Light Is Not Good: If a hugely powerful Lawful Good character is found trapped underground outside the gate town of a prison plane, there may be a good reason why they were put there.
  • Living Legend: The Nameless One has earned and deserved every reputation available. Then there's the Gray Sisters, Queen of Blades, the fallen angel...
  • Living Shadow: You're stalked by them through the entire game. They turn out to be the spirits of people who died in your place.
  • Logic Bomb: If your charisma is high enough, you can convince Vhailor to finally pass on with one of these. It's also one of the many ways you can defeat the Transcendent One.
  • Loss of Identity
  • Lost Forever:
    • Every area after and including Ravel's maze cannot be revisited, so any quests you don't complete or items you don't pick up (including an Infinity+1 Sword) are gone forever.
    • Also, before leaving an area, make absolutely sure you didn't leave anything important in an item pile, because item piles permanently disappear once you do. One of the biggest problems with this is that when party members die, they drop every item that isn't strictly vital to progressing in the plot. This includes the many seemingly-unimportant Chekhovs Guns and any unique equipment they may have been wearing.
  • Love Martyr: Deionarra. Also, in the end, Annah.
  • Luck Stat: Which is hidden from the player. You'd have to get the strategy guide to know that you have one, let alone how it works.
  • MacGuffin: The bronze sphere seems like this. Make sure you get it back as soon as you can and hold onto it, though.
  • Mad Oracle: In the Hive, you meet a babbling lunatic who is the local representative of the Xaositects, a faction dedicated to utter chaos. If you question him, all of his answers will be (mostly) nonsense, unless you ask him about your journal. He will then have some sort of a fit and tell that you have multiple journals, and give you accurate descriptions of where they are.
  • Made From Real Girl Scouts: Baby oil, made from real babies.
  • Magikarp Power: The Missile of Patience is a puny first level spell that deals minimal damage to a single enemy. Then, as your mage reaches level 11, it summons a Glowing Repeating Ballista of Doom. The Blade of the Immortal also works in a similar, but plot-related manner.
  • Match Maker Quest: The Nameless One can help a Harmonium guard get together with a girl he has big crush on.
  • The Maze: Three of them, although two are Bonus Dungeons. They are: Ravel's Maze (the mandatory-for-the-plot-to-proceed one), the Rubikon Dungeon Construct (which can only be accessed by purchasing the Modron Cube Toy from the Curiosity Shoppe and unlocking it), and the Player's Maze (to which the Nameless One will be sentenced if he pisses off the Lady of Pain once too often).
  • Meaningful Name: Almost every character (especially NPCs) in the game. Many characters either have names that allude to their most prominent characteristic (e.g., Morte [who's undead] and Ignus [who's on fire]) or have names that are more like their job descriptions (e.g. Mourns-for-Trees and Death-of-Names).
  • Mind Screw: Suffered by the characters, and possibly by you.
  • Mobile Maze: According to the sourcebooks, Sigil is one of these. In the game you get treated to just one, prominent manifestation of it. The Player's Maze is a lesser, but more straightforward example.
  • Money for Nothing: Not to the extent of the other games on the Infinity Engine, but you will be able to end up with more money than you need fairly quickly. Unless you really want to buy all the expensive high-level spells (and note that you're unlikely to ever become high level enough to actually cast them).
  • Monster Town: The Dead Nations. And everywhere else, to a lesser extent.
  • Mood Whiplash: Up to the time you enter the Curst Underground, the game functions as almost a satire of the traditional RPG, and is nonlinear and heavily dependent on dialogue and nonviolent conflict resolution for its entertainment. After that point, however, expect to spend lots of time experiencing Everything Trying to Kill You as you walk from right to left across a given map.
  • The Mole: The Anarchists love this trope.
  • Monster Compendium: One function of the journal.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The game actually has an in-universe example that's mentioned explicitly: Whatever it was the first Incarnation did, it damned him so terribly that The Multiverse itself basically went "This Is Unforgivable!" and condemned him to the Lower Planes upon death no matter what else he did. He tried to become immortal just to give himself enough time to atone for it (mull on that for a moment), which only ended up making things worse. The Nameless One, although completely non-complicit in his crimes, still has to pay for it in the end.
  • Mortality Ensues: One of your goals.
  • Multiple Endings: Really, none of them are happy, but the finality the "best" ending gives you is very satisfying.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Lady of Pain.
  • Nay Theist:
    • The Lady of Pain, who regularly deals with Physical Gods and is more powerful than them by far, bans all worship of gods in her city. Worshiping the Lady herself is an even worse idea. The Lady allows temples to the gods and their servants, but not the gods themselves.
    • The Athar from the Planescape setting are outright naytheists who believe the gods hide the true divinity, but did not make it into the game
  • The Necrocracy: The Dead Nations.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: All those people who were slaughtered when Curst slid into Carceri? Your fault. Say, maybe you should have asked yourself why the angel with his wings burned off was magically imprisoned beneath a town populated entirely by traitors.
    • Or worse, when you had Ravel turn you immortal, and it turns out that (1) you will lose your memories every time you die, (2) somebody else dies for you every time you die, and (3) your mortality takes on a malevolent sentience. Most of the game is spent trying to fix this.
  • No Fair Cheating: Parodied -- though you aren't punished in any way by using the Tome o' Cheats (except through a significant drop in maximum HP when it's purchased), its description and dialogue will mock you relentlessly.

"The Tome hums with the power of...well...of cheating. Blatant cheating."

  • Non-Human Sidekick: None of them is fully human, except Ignus (and considering his current state, he possibly doesn't count).
    • Morte is a mimir, a sentient lexicon. He's lying: Technically he's a petitioner of the Nine Hells, and what he was while alive is anyone's guess.
    • Annah is a tiefling, a human with fiend blood in the family tree.
    • Nordom is a rogue Modron.
    • Dak'kon is a Githzerai.
    • Fall-From-Grace is a succubus, ultimately a Tanar'ri.
    • Vhailor is a restless spirit inhabiting his old suit of armour.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Were you a good guy? Sorry, but you still have to burn in hell for all eternity. Thanks, First Incarnation!
    • This happens to Ravel, as well, and is lampshaded by her. A hag's kindness leaves things worse than her cruelty.
  • No Man of Woman Born: The subject of one of Yves' tales.
  • No Name Given: Literally.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Since you're immortal and can't get a "standard" game over, there are only a few ways to screw up:
    • Become permanently bound to one place.
    • Piss off someone very powerful: "You've tested your immortality against the wrong creature."
    • Die in a place where your resurrection doesn't work. There's only one such place in the game and it's instantly recognizable.
    • Have one of the few necessary NPCs die before they can tell you crucial information.
  • Noob Cave: The Mortuary. Averted in that, if you work at it, you can get out without killing anyone (at least, anyone who isn't already dead). And, all that business with portals and keys aside, you can walk straight out the front door just by speaking civilly to a few people.
  • Noodle Incident: The first incarnation's crime. It's never revealed what it is, but a thousand lifetimes of saintly penance wouldn't even begin to make up for it.
  • Nominal Importance: Almost always played dead straight. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of characters with a name who have no impact on either the main plot or any side quests.
  • Note to Self:: In the format of a tattoo, an elaborate journal made of your own skin and bone, an even more elaborate dodecahedron-shaped puzzle filled with deadly traps that unfolds into a journal written in a secret language, an entire tomb full of writings by previous incarnations, memories that float to the surface under certain conditions, and instructions scrawled on various surfaces in the Fortress of Regrets.
  • One-Letter Name: O. As a member of the Divine Alphabet though, his name is actually quite important. Through dialogue, you can see his true face.
  • One-Scene Wonder: This game has more than a few, among them the following: Ravel Puzzlewell, meeting the incarnations, and, of course, the Transcendent One.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Wisdom is God. Almost literally.
  • Optional Party Member: All of them are technically optional, but Ignus, Vhailor, and Nordom are the most standard examples of this.
  • Organ Drops: During the course of the game, the Nameless One can "produce" two full sets of intestines and several eyes.

Marta: "Gotta pulls the stitchies out, the teethies, yes. And the thingies inside..."

  • Outright Lie: Ah, dialogue options.
  • Overly-Long Fighting Animation: Some of the spell animations take more than a minute to finish.
  • Pacifist Run: There are exactly two characters in the game that you have to kill (technically, you defeat them but both are killed by someone else). Good luck finding them!
  • Party Scattering: This happens to your party once you enter the Fortress of Regrets. Unlike other examples of this trope, in this case your companions inevitably die one by one while you're looking for them (except for one, who betrays and attacks you). You get a chance to resurrect them all after getting to the end, though.
  • Path of Inspiration: Dak'kon suspects that the teachings of Zerthimon are this. Until you set him straight, that is.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Parodied by Fall-from-Grace's brothel, where no sex is offered under any circumstances. Only intellectual stimulation allowed on the premises, please.
  • Player Punch: When navigating the Fortress of Regrets, you have to watch as each of your scattered party members are approached by the Transcendent One. They all die. And there's nothing you can do to stop it.
  • Point and Click Map
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Nameless One is immortal because every time he dies and returns to life, someone else dies instead and becomes an undead shadow.
  • Power Equals Rarity: All of the most powerful weapons in the game are unique, and many are made specially for your character.
  • The Power of Love: The Practical Incarnation deliberately invoked this when he let Deionnara die, *knowing* that her love for him would bind her as a ghost and allow him to use her as a spy on the Negative Material Plane.
  • Power Tattoo: Armor is for sissies. Real men protect themselves with ink.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: If you deal with the Practical Incarnation by mentally overpowering him, you get to say one:

The Nameless One: "This is the last time we shall ever speak. Return to death, where you belong."

    • The Big Bad gives multiple examples.

The Transcendent One: "I can forge planes with my power. I can unmake you."

  • Preorder Bonus: Pre-orders from Interplay came with the novel for free.
  • Puff of Logic: A flashback reveals The Nameless One once debated a Signer out of existence by proving he didn't exist. With a high enough WIS score, The Nameless One can do this to himself inside the Fortress of Regrets.
  • Quest for Identity
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Your party. You can potentially recruit, in addition to the amnesiac immortal you start with: a floating snarky skull who doubles as Mr. Exposition, an old githzerai zerth with a sword shaped by thought, a brash tiefling thief, an agnostic celibate succubus cleric, a fire sorcerer whose body is a gateway to the Elemental Plane of Fire, a cubic robot gone rogue, and a suit of armor possessed by the restless spirit of a dead Knight Templar.
    • And every one of them is considered a freak even in the highly imaginative Planescape multiverse.
  • Randomly Drops: Two of the most powerful rings in the game are only dropped rarely by the strongest non-boss enemy in the game, which only appears in one instance at a time in Under-Sigil, once in a blue moon. It also only appears during the endgame, right before you enter The Very Definitely Final Dungeon (though you can use a mod to change this).
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The Modron maze is notably the only example in an Infinity Engine game.
  • Real Time with Pause
  • Recurring Riff: Several of the game's songs use the same basic melody.
  • Redemption Equals Death: By the end of the game, the Nameless One. Possibly, that is. You don't have to redeem anything...
  • Relationship Upgrade: Almost literally (see below).
  • Relationship Values: Everyone on your team has an adjustable opinion of you. It does affect some things; for example, Dak'kon's blade changes forms as he levels, and the form it takes is based on this.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Amnesia, most notably.
  • The Reveal: Sometimes coupled with Wham Episodes. The game uses The Reveal often and well.
  • Ring Menu: The main way of selecting actions.
  • Romance Sidequest: It's not really a sidequest; any female party member who sticks with the Nameless One will fall in love with him by the end. Not that they'll really act on it.
  • RPGs Equal Combat: For a game with so much emphasis on dialogue, some areas are filled with trash mobs.
  • Rule of Three: As valid as physical laws in the Planes.
  • Scars Are Forever: The Nameless One's regeneration doesn't prevent scarring, and he's literally covered in scars by the start of the game.
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • A box found in the Hive and the throne of the Silent King.
    • An aversion of Talk to Everyone serves as this. You can see devils walking about the streets of Sigil. Clever players can control and farm them for XP. Dumb players might try to have a nice chat with them only for the beast to snarl with rage and attack. Really dumb players will try to have a chat with them while Grace, a member of their hated enemies, is in the party.
    • Actually doing the things that attract the Lady of Pain's attention, in spite of multiple characters' explicit warnings. All of Sigil is terrified of her for good reason. Pissing off the Lady of Pain is possible by:
      • Becoming a believer of Aoskar, the dead god of portals (only one chance to do and it's very hidden but worth doing).
      • Mass killings of harmless civilians (which will end in your own death).
      • Mass killing of Dabus' (same as before).
      • Worshipping and/or making fun of the Lady dozens of times (again, deadly).
  • Schrödinger's Gun: The Nameless One's entire personality. Justified, in that he suffers from Laser-Guided Amnesia, and literally has no personality until you give him one.
  • The Scottish Trope: Few people are willing to mention the Lady of Pain.
  • Secret Character: Three. Nordom and Vhailor are hard to find. Ignus is hard to get.
  • Shadow Dictator: The Silent King.
  • Shaming the Mob: The best way to handle the situation in Carceri.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Silliness Switch: Easter Egg Morte and Leprechaun Annah.
  • Skippable Boss: Most of them, including the final boss. Ah, dialogue options...
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Fairly cynical (for fantasy, at least), with a few idealistic streaks here and there.
    • In addition, where on the sliding scale this game falls is strongly dependent on how you act; it's possible to play as The Messiah, and do very well, in game terms; it's also possible to be a Villain Protagonist, and do just as well.
  • Snowball Lie: Adahn.
  • Solo Character Run: It can be done, though it deprives the game of many of its best parts.
  • Statistically Speaking: Exception.
  • Stealth Run: It's possible, though the Thief Character Class is usually the least played.
  • Stock Lateral Thinking Puzzle: The "three words ending in -gry" one. How you can answer depends on the Nameless One's stats.
  • Stop Poking Me

Morte: "You know, if I could click you, you wouldn't know a moment's peace."

  • Stripperiffic:
    • Annah's outfit. Weakly justified as her infernal heritage giving her increased body heat.
    • Annah looks downright Puritan compared to the clothing worn by female Upper-Class Townspeople. Oh, and the Lower-Class ones too.
    • Trias is a male example, wearing only a loincloth.
  • Stuck Items
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: Averted.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Several times, including the Big Bad. Inverted with "Adahn," whom you can talk into existence by lying about your name.
  • Talk to Everyone: Played straight.
    • Lampshaded by numerous characters; by the time you get to the other wards of Sigil, most people *know* that you're going around asking everyone questions, and are exasperated when you start asking them.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The Practical Incarnation specifically designed the empty tomb so that only an immortal could get through it. How? Several of the rooms can only be exited by getting struck by lightning and dying.
  • Third Person Person:
    • Ignus.
    • Nemelle is an interesting case; she speaks as if she's narrating her life, and according to her sister, she can warp reality according to what she says.
  • There Is Another: The Practical Incarnation led another team into the Fortress of Regrets, consisting of Morte, Dak'kon, Deionarra and Xachariah. Since the Nameless One has had the Symbol of Torment for a very long time, it's quite possible they weren't the first either.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Most high-level spells.
    • Instead of pretty lights, those spells use long and impressive cutscenes which explain where the meteor storm or a giant ray of fiery death comes from and why it should completely obliterate your enemy.
    • The Celestial Host spell takes almost a minute and a half to resolve, and invokes the help of an angel in heaven, a phoenix, a Solar and a golden dragon.
    • The Symbol of Torment spell is incredibly badass.
  • Title Drop: The word "torment" appears pretty frequently.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Officially, an evil Nameless One is the only evil member of the party.
  • Totem Pole Trench: the bestiary entry on the Lady of Pain includes a rumor that she is actually six giant squirrels with a headdress, a robe and a ring of levitation.
  • Trauma Inn: Played straight with the Nameless One, but other characters are only healed a certain amount based on the quality of the resting place.
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: The Nameless One.
  • Trust Password: The language of Uyo functions as this at a certain point.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The Nameless One and Deionarra.
  • The Un-Reveal: The character finds out his name; you don't.
  • Vendor Trash: Sometimes literal trash, like rags.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Fortress of Regrets.
  • Victory Pose: Striking one with the cheat item "Sword of Wh'ynn" actually causes victory, advancing you to the end of the game.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The Nameless One's party, and other NPCs in the gameworld if you do Sidequests.
    • Cares-For-Trees is a particularily notable one. He wants you to care about his trees. Not do anything with them, just be generally interested in their well-being. Persuade enough of your party to go along with it, and the trees will flourish. You get no reward besides some XP and a warm fuzzy feeling.
    • If you need to dismiss Nordom from your party, you don't need to strand him in a cruel world. You can use the Modron box to send him home.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: One of the most epic examples in gaming. No random violence played for laughs here, this game will make you be cruel, Elaborately-Torture-The-Dog style. Some of the genuinely horrible things you can do to people just through dialogue are guaranteed to make you hate yourself. Unless you're just as Evil, of course. Special mention goes to the ability to squeeze every last drop of soul-crushing goodness out of a situation set up long before the game even started: The Practical Incarnation engineered a sequence of events that ultimately led to a githzerai swearing a life debt to him - only to have the gith find out later that The Nameless One is immortal, and he's pretty much signed himself into slavery of his own free will (essentially a living hell for a githzerai). You're free to remind him of this every chance you get.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Averted, only a small number of fights are completely unavoidable.
  • Visual Novel: Although not in the traditional sense of the genre, the vast amount of dialogue (describing the look and feel of the place) and the fact that it is heavily on the storytelling side of the Gameplay and Story Segregation makes this one of the most brain-wreaking fantasy novels of the nineties that just happened to be released as a computer game.
  • Waking Up At the Morgue: Frequently, especially if you're not a good player.
  • Warrior Therapist: A Nameless One with sufficiently high stats in Wisdom and Intelligence. If you concentrate on leveling up those two stats, by the game's midpoint, you can teach Dak'kon a thing or two about the religious relic he's been studying for decades. Keep leveling, and by the end of the game, you can Breaking Speech the Big Bad into giving up without a fight.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Mechanus Cannon. There truly is no kill like overkill, particularly when it involves a giant laser in a parallel dimension opening a portal into yours and annihilating the enemy.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: The training required to become a mage. Lampshaded: your mentor is bemused when part of your aptitude from previous lives returns, as she was looking forward to having someone to do menial tasks for her for months. She's lying, though, considering how she's an aspect of Ravel.
  • We Buy Anything: Mostly played straight. There are certain merchants who only buy and sell one sort of thing (for example, spices, fish, or dishware). They are, of course, important to various sidequests.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Thanks a lot, Paranoid Incarnation. Also, the portal to the Fortress of Regrets is right where you wake up, and Morte and Dak'kon both *knew* that. They don't *know* the key, though, nor what exactly you're supposed to do there. At least you can complain about it to your companions and the Planes in general.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some of the anarchists in the Lower Ward. Also Ravel, in her own twisted way: she wanted to free the Lady of Pain by unlocking her Cage which is the city of Sigil.
  • Where It All Began: ...is also where you have to return to make it all end.
  • What Could Have Been: Looking at the pitches and design documents for Last Rites (the game's original name) and seeing just how much stuff didn't make it into the final product can be downright depressing.
    • Lustmord had originally been approached to work on the game's soundtrack, but was dropped from the project after a new producer took over.
  • World of Buxom: Sigil, City of Doors and Giant, Shapely, Voluptuous Breasts.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: You get a few of these opened up to you if you confront the Transcendent One with the right stats or under the right circumstances, some of them very satisfying and all of them leading to the enemy being talked to death in some form or another.

The Nameless One:If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear - whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can. I've seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from belief. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me.

  • Wretched Hive:
    • Curst, so wretched that the whole city gets dragged into Carceri, a hellish prison plane. You then have the chance to make things a little better.
    • The Hive, the part of Sigil where you start. While not as bad as Curst, it's still pretty wretched.