My assumption while playing the first game was that the phalanx formation was the result of my players being chained together before thrown to their doom (my players so yes... doom). Now that i am playing the sequel, it still seems to be the case. In neither case, however, do i remember this being explicitly shown or stated. Was this assumption correct?
This question seems to have been answered only in comments; let's fix that.
It's definitely explicitly shown and stated in the first one. I haven't played the sequel yet so I can't speak for that. From the intro of the first one:
– Golden Dragon Sep 14 '15 at 20:52