Torment: Tides of Numenera introduces interesting mechanics called Tides. In a nutshell, these can be described as the hero's personality; however there is a number of distinctive differences. Decisions, the hero's alignment, and consequences of his actions result in ascribing him to one of the Tides. It's a major milestone, as each Tide generates new possibilities (including new dialogues), interactions, and has a serious influence over the final part of the game. We could say that a Tide chosen by the player is his destiny, resulting in certain legacy. In Torment: Tides of Numenera, the Tides are far more important than alignments, found in famous RPGs such as Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale. Remember that you are the one who shapes the alignment, not the other way around.
The game contains the following Tides, each with its unique color:
- Blue Tide - the Tide linked to reason, wisdom, enlightenment, and mysticism. People influenced by this tide seek to expand their consciousness and spirit forces, acquire great knowledge, and have an in-depth insight about the world around them.
- Red Tide - represents passion, emotion, action, pathos, and zeal. It's a path for people who want to live their life to the fullest, and base their worldview on their own feelings. Such characters always strive to be free, and follow the voice of their hearts.
- Indigo - represents justice, equity, compromise, and the greater good. People following this path can ultimately sacrifice themselves and their companions if this will serve the "greater good".
- Gold - is the Tide linked to empathy, charity, compassion, and sacrifice. People following this path are keen on helping others, often sacrificing their well-being for the happiness of others. Such heroes always strive for a dovish and empathetic solution.
- Silver - is the Tide linked to admiration, power and fame. This tide follows people that want to make a mark upon the world, and influence or control others.
To have a better understanding of each Tide, make sure to get acquainted with the table below. It shows the typical answers of the representatives of each path:
What does one life matter?
Life is an opportunity to acquire knowledge and wisdom, and to pass it on to the next generation.
Life is meant to be lived, experienced. Following your passions is what matters.
An individual life only matters in as much as it can serve all life as a whole.
One life is not more important than another. Your life matters in as much as it can help others live better.
The goal of life is to be remembered, to change people, and live on in the memories of others.
"Loss of life is a tragedy, but WHY is it a tragedy?"
Death is only tragic if the person's knowledge and wisdom are lost with them.
Death is not inherently tragic. A life lived in drudgery and boredom is truly tragic, regardless of how long or short that life is. Everyone dies. Not everyone really lives.
A sacrifice made for the greater good is tragic, but far less tragic than the alternative.
Death brings pain to those they leave behind. It leaves a hole in their hearts that is difficult to fill.
A life cut short before it has a chance to reach its full potential is a disaster.
"What is the greatest tragedy of the prior worlds?"
Their wisdom is lost. Everything they knew has to be studied again.
They lived, loved, created. They seemed to have followed their passions as well as anyone. The only tragedy is that we can never meet them.
Those civilizations that died off - or worse, killed each other - are the most tragic.
Those that fought and killed each other, seeking only their own good, are the most tragic.
They disappeared nameless, leaving only their debris to remember them by.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave for others?
I want to learn as much as I can, and pass on what I have learned. I want to be remembered for how well I taught, but it is not my name that matters.
I want to be remembered as a person full of passion and life, an example to be followed.
I want to leave the Earth better, more organized, more just than it was when I had arrived. By creating a structure of order, the world turns inevitably towards good.
I hope they follow my example and continue to serve each other. My legacy is love for my fellow man, a memory of sacrifice for the greater good.
I want to be remembered forever. Whether for good or for bad, the impact I make in the lives of others is important because their memories are how I attain immortality.
In the game itself, most of the encountered characters are unaware of tides, and you won't be able to determine their motives. However, there are some NPCs that act by following a certain tide. You can interact with such characters in different ways - interestingly enough, there may be some "discords" resulting from different views on life, or quite the opposite - you may come to an understanding.