Dishonored EP6: You’re a Chicken Now!

By Shamus Posted Friday Mar 8, 2013

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 106 comments

Link (YouTube)

This is the first time I’ve ever felt the impotent frustration of being a viewer. When Josh walked away from Campbell I found myself shouting, “The book, Josh! Pick up the book!” at my monitor. Spoiler warning: It didn’t help.

Josh is actually incorrect when he says that the demonstrated path is the only way to reveal yourself to Curnow without having to fight him. However, I can’t really blame Josh. There are many ways for this to play out, and his method was completely new to me.

Since I wasn’t around for this recording, let me do all the nitpicking I’d planned to do for this quest.

The non-lethal path for dealing with the High Overseer is ludicrous. You zonk him, strap him to a chair, and brand him, marking him as a heretic. And everyone just accepts this?

Vatican Guard Allen: Hey Bob, did you hear the Pope was excommunicated?

Vatican Guard Bob: For what?

Allen: I dunno. There was just this letter on the Pope’s desk that said “The Pope is excommunicated.” So we grabbed him and kicked him out of the Vatican.

Bob: Harsh. So who excommunicated him?

Allen: I have no idea. The letter didn’t say. I mean, I came in this morning and found every single guard in the building had been knocked out and stacked in the kitchen, and all the valuables had been stolen. Once I woke everybody up, we went upstairs and found the letter.

Bob: Sounds legit. I guess he deserved it, then.

I understand that these guys are NOT the Catholic Church, but I hope you can see the absurd logic gap here. The most powerful man in the organization is branded in the middle of the night, without being accused or having any accusers, and without anyone in the organization performing the brand. And all of this took place on the night of violence, theft, and possibly murder. There is no way all of them could be this stupid.

And I don’t want to hear about some letter or audio log that tries to justify this. Explanations for world-shattering stupidity on the part of large groups of people need to be offered just as obviously as the stupidity itself.

Having said all this, I agree with the rest of the cast: This is a really great section of the game, gameplay-wise. There are lots and lots of different paths in and out of the place, lots of side-activities, plenty of vertical transitions to keep things from feeling too flat, rich and varied visuals between the dirty streets and the opulent Overseer’s Office, lots of little side-areas to explore, and a solid mission that gives us a worthy short-term goal while also advancing the long term goal. There are lots of different ways of dealing with Campbell and lots of ways of dealing with Curnow, and the two options are interconnected in ways that give diverging dialog and different levels of challenge in helping Curnow to escape. (Or not.)

It’s an excellent mission, and probably the closest the game comes to evoking the “Thief” feel that I’m so fond of.


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106 thoughts on “Dishonored EP6: You’re a Chicken Now!

  1. Supahewok says:

    “There is no way all of them could be this stupid.” Well, I haven’t played the game, but it does strike me that if the guy was a very, very unpopular leader, higher-ups in the organization may capitalize upon any excuse to get rid of him. Being knocked unconscious and finding all of his subordinates in the immediate vicinity to be dead or unconscious wouldn’t help matters.

    Of course, for something like that to be justifiable there must be some sort of set-up to demonstrate the guy’s incompetence/unpopularity/ambition-of-a-particular-member-of-his-organization. I have no way of knowing if it is, since like I said I haven’t played the game. But Shamus’ comments seem to point to “no.”

    1. Eric says:

      I don’t remember off hand but I am almost positive that this is indeed stated in the game itself at one point. And if you think about it:

      1) Campbell was NOT popular and as has been said it was well known he basically forced his way into his position using unscrupulous means. People would use any excuse they could to get rid of him and fill the power vacuum (since in the Dishonored world it’s pretty clear that the religion is less about faith and more about power over the people).

      2) Regardless of whether the brand was legitimate or not, they’d otherwise be stuck with a holy leader who is branded, period. To go back to the Pope example, it’s a bit like if the Pope suddenly woke up with a brand of a pentagram, or “Satan Rules!” carved into his forehead, or whatever. Regardless of the circumstances, you can’t keep that person as Pope.

    2. Eric says:

      1) I’m pretty sure the game actually says as much – that people are more concerned with getting rid of him than the questions surrounding the branding itself.

      2) It’s like having a major in the army who’s implicated in war crimes, and allowing him/her to continue serving. Chances are you’re going to get rid of him/her regardless of innocence, because it’s a black mark against your organization whether it’s true or not. In the case of the High Overseer, you’re looking at a religious leader who is literally tattooed with a heretical marking – whether or not the reasons for the branding are suspect, you’d have little choice but to retire him from office.

  2. Jarenth says:

    As far as I remember, the game does try to make the brand a little more plausible than you put it right there. The Abbey of the Everyman is implied to be incredibly ingrained in the lives of ‘normal’ citizens, to the point where they just follow the scripture blidnly. And the mark of the heretic basically states ‘you’re not to talk to, listen to, or in any way interact with anyone wearing this mark’.

    Sure, the High Overseer is basically the Pope. I didn’t say it was very plausible. But in a culture where everyone would just assume someone else branded him and they just hadn’t heard about it yet, the urge to just go along and shun the heretic might be quite strong.

    Plus, did anyone really like that guy? Might be they just had a convenient excuse to give him the silent treatment now.

    1. Cupcaeks says:

      You find out later on that he got into that position through an undisclosed amount of blackmail, so my thinking was that nobody really cared how the branding happened, they were just happy to be rid of him.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        This was my impression. The High Overseer was blackmailing so many people that once he was branded, people capitalized on the chance to be rid of him and left him to his fall from grace.

      2. Asimech says:

        “Later” is too late. The player should learn the reasoning when they’re choosing their course of action, so they won’t feel like they’re controlling a randomly acting fool who keeps getting lucky.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      The “they just hadn’t heard about it yet” could work if you then dropped him in another part of the country, people really respected the brand so nobody would give him help and Martin was able to take over and was very effective about it before Campbell was able to get back on his own two feet but here? That you could just brand even the High Overseer without any sort of pomp or procedure, without dozens if not hundreds people within even just the building knowing about it basically implies that ANYONE who could get their hands on the brand, or create a good enough replica, could just go about branding their overseer colleagues for what they perceives as ” great wrong in failing to abide by the Seven Strictures” (from the wiki) and I’m even only talking about someone being overzealous not someone abusing this system (which I think would happen sooner rather than later). If this is how checks and balances work in the Abbey there should be not a single person of integrity in the organization, the whole place should be torn apart by scheming factions and generally a lair of backstabbing, treacherous vipers maintaining only a semblance of morality…


    3. MrGuy says:

      I took it more as a cautionary morality tale than anything else. Build your power based on fear and mysticism, and that very fear and mysticism will be your undoing. You got what you deserved!

      There’s a vague undercurrent of that sentiment woven through the whole plot. Run an empire based on whale oil, and the whale god will destroy your empire.

      If it were handled better, it could be an interesting theme. Corvo as the bringer of ironic punishment. The righter of wrongs. Hoping each time that the next leap will be the leap home.

    4. Kavonde says:

      I justified the whole thing to myself by just leaving the door to the High Overseer’s secret sexy-time room open. I figured someone would launch an investigation into how someone broke in and systematically murdered every living creature in the building, save the now-branded guy in charge. Once they noticed the secret passage at the bottom of the stairs, well, that’s that.

      1. Cupcaeks says:

        It’s also interesting to note that if you go up to that grate in the High Overseer’s secret chamber from the outside, you can actually look in on a conversation between two other overseers that are already snooping around the place, so it seems the ‘secret’ chamber wasn’t really all that secret to begin with.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This clip from futurama should explain to you how this branding thing can actually work.Pay close attention to 30th second.

    1. Eric says:

      I don’t think the people of Dishonored’s world are that ignorant, but it’s a good point; when have an already subservient populace, fear and oppression can create a culture where the idea of questioning leaders doesn’t even arise.

  4. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Personally I think I preferred the brothel a bit more because it had a less fortressy feel to it. It gave me more of that “I’m sneaking around this place and nobody can see me. Just go about your business people” thing that I wanted in my stealth playthrough.

    Also, the brand tried my patience more than just a little for exactly the reasons you describe.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      This mission was up there on my list of my favorites, but I liked Lady Boyle’s Last Party more. It’s not a very long mission, but it’s really interesting and fun to play.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I was pretty excited for that one too but I sort of wish that there was more of it. Actually now that I think about it I think both the party and the brothel have this aspect that I really liked where they don’t feel like infiltrating a military installation bot more like invading an actual inhabited space, figuring it out, outsmarting the people in there… which was great and we need more of it in stealth games.

      2. Jokerman says:

        That mission is basically just Hitman, which is fine by me…love that series.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          That’s exactly why I love it so much. :)

    2. X2-Eliah says:

      Hm. I didn’t much like the brothel, because it was rather cramped inside – not good when you are skulking in the corners. Plus, if you go the nonlethal route, then you spend a lot more time in the city district outside the cat-zone than in the golden cat itself… And most of your objectives are outside of the cat, too.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why use doors when you can just toss the thing you need in a random direction,and then pick it up later?

    That at 6:17 looked really painful.Not as painful as the one that fell through the skylight though.

    Also,check out the damaging influence Josh has on the next generation of lets players.His idea of “stealth” is corrupting our youth.

    1. anaphysik says:

      Are you trying to imply that shotguns aren’t the proper tools of a ninja?

      1. anaphysik says:

        (Also, on that vid I’d like to note that EMPing a chain-link fence is still better than being unable to get past one at all.)

        1. SougoXIII says:

          Yeah, I somehow managed to overlook that part. ‘Wait… did he just use an EMP on a normal lock? Nah, can’t be that stupid.’

      2. Alex says:

        That’s how I play VtM: Bloodlines. Max stealth, a polearm and an automatic shotgun.

        *sneak sneak sneak BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG*

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      What is this “Stealth” you’re referring to?

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        It’s Stealthmus, the owner of this here blog.

    3. Eric says:

      This is why I have such “high” hopes for Thief 4. If we’re lucky it’ll have JUST a quest compass, “mash X to win” takedowns, and *may* take light and shadow into account some of the time.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Despite my better judgment,Ive searched for some info about the new thief.Well,at least its not thiaf anymore,so thats a plus.

        But Im not sure how I feel about this new reboot trend.On one hand xcom was decent,and tomb raider was surprisingly good.On the other hand,the thing was bad,and total recall was worse.So I guess its marginally better than the sequelitis.

  6. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Watching this makes me feel like I played this all wrong.

    I hid under the table, and I could swear Campbell pulled a gun on the Captain, so I leapt out and tranqed him. But maybe I just mistook his evil banter for actual evil and jumped the crossbow.

    Which made branding him much easier, because it was just down the hall. Of course, then the place locked down and I had to fight my way… no I didn’t. Most of the guards were already out cold.

    I also got lost and had actually cleared out the back yard long before I found my way to the conference room -and I kept trying to find rafters, but I couldn’t see them. Maybe I should turn my brightness up.

    Oh, and in the back -in one of the barracks 2 overseers are preparing to gank a third for… some reason. I came in and got totaly confused -I thought they’d seen me. And then they shot the guy right in front of me.

    I was pretending I was playing Iron Man, so I rushed in and killed both overseers rather than reloading. But I felt bad that I’d been confused and not managed to intervene earlier in my “Corvo is Batman” way.

    And I wish I had Josh’s fluidity Blink. Maybe it’s easier on the computer than the console.

    1. Cupcaeks says:

      The two overseers are accusing the third’s sister of being a witch. If you stop the two, the third gives you the combination to a safe in the barracks. That bit and Martin’s background always confused me a little, because my understanding from in-game books was that overseers were taken as children and pretty much cut off from their families, but maybe I missed something.

      1. ZeroReactivity says:

        Huh, that’s interesting. On my playthrough the third overseer was sick with the plague, and asked the other to shoot him while the second turned his back.

        1. Cupcaeks says:

          Oh, wait, I think I’m just remembering things wrong now. The two in the barracks are killing the third because of the plague, but if you go straight into the backyard area from the front of the building, there’s two in an alleyway in a confrontation with a third and his sister that you can choose to intervene in. The game had a couple of moments like that which I really enjoyed, and now I’m wondering if there’s any that I missed.

        2. X2-Eliah says:

          Fun fact: if you start that mission in high chaos, then the third overseer tries to hide his plague-ness and the other two confront him and kill him against his will (as opposed to begging for a quick death in low chaos).

          1. Eric says:

            Yeah, there are a TON of small details about Dishonored that change like this. Too bad they start to disappear past the halfway point of the game.

  7. TheAngryMongoose says:

    Funny story; started playing last week, got to the end of the mission and wondered “Why the fuck isn’t the boatman here…?”
    Turns out I left it took… which just makes this more painful to watch.

    It somehow ended up in the hall in a corner. Was only able to find it again by turning on the direction hints (Showing once again that they are not optional…)

  8. Paul Spooner says:

    So, the game play here was good, but the story was nonsense. In other places the story was good, but the game-play was uninteresting. Sounds like a case of Ludo-Narrative-Dissonance to me!
    (Yes, I realize that isn’t what LND means, but I had to beat Chris to it)

    1. Tony Kebell says:

      Anyone else feeling L.N.D is becoming as popular, round here, as gamma/beta/background/foreground/blah radiation, is in Star Trek scripts.

      1. Thomas says:

        ‘Sir, the kinaesthetics are too much for us to handle we need to ludonarratively dissonate the shandification!’

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          So, If soemone developed a strictly linear game connected to a free form non-linear story, would it exhibit ludo-shandified-narrative dissonance?

          1. Dave B. says:

            Does Dear Esther count? There are multiple paths through each area, but the overall route from the dock to the radio tower is set. On the other hand, the story functions in a similar way. Some of the major plot points are always revealed in the same order and at the same locations in the game, but others are randomized. So in answer to my own question, no. The story and gameplay exhibit similar amounts of shandification.

            1. Thomas says:

              I like the idea of a story being non-linear because it moves in story space(Dear Esther tells different versions of the story with the protagonist in different roles) instead of the normal story experienced in different orders

  9. LunaticFringe says:

    “There is no way all of them could be this stupid.”

    Not to get into the religious element of it (nor am I implying that people who follow specific or any religious beliefs are stupid) but this is an element of their faith. There’s a fundamental difference between the perceptions of a 21st century person raised in a secular environment who determined their own religious beliefs and a person who was kidnapped at a young age, psychologically broken and then indoctrinated in a society dominated by religious control. Suddenly it’s a lot harder to ask about the brand when it’s contextualized in the fact that these guys believe it to be a major sin. Hell, on a night where murder and robbery took place (while there were also sightings of a figure with a demonic face using magical powers) I could easily see a group of fanatics interpreting this as a divine punishment (with Campbell’s brand showing them the source of their corruption). Their zealotry is pretty well established, what with the whole ‘women who learn math or sing off-key are clearly witches’ thing.

    I mean, I can look at 18th century fertility rituals (such as drinking from a spring blessed by a priest) used by European peasants and say they’re all stupid for falling for it. But that fails to contextualize the ritual in regards to their own beliefs and the cultural reinforcement of said beliefs. And I’ll totally admit that Dishonoured does not provide enough information to accurately analyze these influences, so you do have a point. But I don’t really see their actions being out of character for a band of corrupt, psychologically scarred religious fanatics. Absurd logic gap? Yes. But so was burning Math Witches.

  10. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’d like to add that this is my favourite opening graphics so far.

  11. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I didn’t want to reveal myself to the optional guy since I figured he would attack me no matter what because you know, armed intruder in a skull mask. So I stopped time and tranquillised both him and the Overseer, then I had to haul the optional guy to the dumpster outside of the building. I actually didn’t know you could reveal Campbell’s murderous intent and yourself for a long time after I was done with the game.

    1. ZeroReactivity says:

      Yeah, I waited up till the moment before the overseer attacked (he drew his gun I believe) then tranqed him. The Captain just turned and walked out; didn’t seem alarmed or notice me. It was a little weird, but I liked it the best after having tried the poisoning or attacking upstairs.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I tranqued them both upstairs, not in the secret room. Just to let you know ;)

    2. X2-Eliah says:

      Yeah, that’s my main method of dealing with it.. Freeze time, tranq both, then carry both of them outside and put them on the ledge so nobody else finds them. Then just get the both nonlethal objecties done.

  12. CTrees says:

    For those of us not likely to play any time soon… what was in the book!?!

    Spoiler tags should probably be used…

  13. newdarkcloud says:

    When I went through this, I did it the stupid way. When Campbell an Curnow (who’s Calista’s UNCLE, Chris) came out and closed the door. I had tranqed Campbell first, then really quickly did the same to Curnow. (That took a lot of save-scumming to perfect. Had I known about Campbell’s secret room at the time of my first playthrough, I would have done it that way.) I hide Campbell’s body on those pipes around the top of the room and left with Curnow’s body before the guards barged in. I hid Curnow in the dumpster and then went to give Campbell a face tattoo.

    Then I left without a trace.

  14. anaphysik says:

    grrrr, Shamus, the site is still not keeping my entry details, and seems to be showing me older versions of pages now too… D:

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Yeah, every time I visit the site I have to re-enter my comment information. I assume that’s what you’re referring to? Kind of annoying, but not really a game breaker.

      1. Newbie says:

        It does kill immersion though.

        1. anaphysik says:


          1. Newbie says:

            I’m totally confused by that sentence. That narrative is at odds with the play of this conversation. Perhaps we could say it shows signs of ludonarrative dissonance.

            Also I didn’t have your problem the first time I posted, yet now I do. I seem to have caught the “Blank Fields” Virus.

            1. MrGuy says:

              Please. It’s not a virus or a mistake. It’s a blogplay mechanic that the developers put here for a reason.

              If you can’t deal with it, fine, but I demand that you only evaluate it within the scope of the author’s intent. They’re trying to tell a story here, and these are the comment mechnics they chose to use to accomplish it.

              Go play some other lets if you hate it so bad.

              1. Newbie says:

                It’s people like you that ruin the blog industry. When blog developers make a mistake they have to know we aren’t going to roll over and take it.

                When most of the commenting becomes moving from field to field (stopping to fire some letter at each field before moving on) instead of the fluid single field mechanics we are used to, surely we have a right to complain? Especially when all it does is turn the once enjoyable commenting exercise into a tedious step by step process.

                (I’m hoping so much that this looks enough like the cover based shooting argument).

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        It is when you forget about it and write a huge comment,only to have it disappear forever and leave just some cuss words behind.

        1. Thomas says:

          If you press back and reply to the comment again you don’t get your text back? Might be a browser thing I guess

  15. Jnosh says:

    I always feel like stealth games are among those that would really profit from having a better alternative to save scumming. Since you are already kinda encouraged to do it it would be really nice to make this as painless as possible for your players… In many games it makes sense to discourage it somewhat by forcing you to do the whole save-and-reload dance but when you “need” to do it it just gets annoying…

    For example something like a Prince of Persia reverse time ability could work really well I think. Might not be easy to implement but it would cut down on a lot of frustration, immersion breaking and redoing parts you already did. Even better if there was an in-game explanation for it but I think it would work just as well as a pure game mechanic like savegames. Saving and loading is at least as game-y and unjustified…

    I don’t know how well it would work for hybrid games like Deus Ex or Dishonored though since it might break combat but in that case you could easily force players to rewind at least until before the last fight started. (Completely OT but “until” feels really weird when used this way… Is this just me? Is there a better way to do this in english?)

    1. SyrusRayne says:

      “…but in that case you could easily force players to rewind at least until before the last fight started.”

      To answer your last question, I’d rewrite it as “but in that case you could easily force players to rewind to at least before the last fight started.” or “…rewind to a point that is at least before…”

      1. Thomas says:

        I’d make it cost man and then it becomes a vital tool for stealth and a fun thing to play around with in combat without breaking it completely.

        Seems like a good idea to me, save/reloading is an important part of stealth play and this seems like a better way to do it (I’m sort of more in favour of checkpoints for stealth than save anywhere, but either system could be complemented nicely by a rewind)

        1. StashAugustine says:

          Yeah. On one hand, it’s nice to play a game where you can’t reload if you screw up and have to play things out organically. On the other, stealth games are largely about experimentation.

          1. Thomas says:

            One of the things I’m really liking about MGS: Peace Walker at the moment is the lack of saves and even checkpoints means that I’m actually trying to deal with alerts and rehide myself for the first time in MGS history.

            If the rewind(and you can only rewind a short way) is mana limited with checkpoints it might be a nice mix of the two, there’s a safety net so you don’t restart the level completely and you can feel safe winging it, but you’ve also got incentive to deal with it if something goes wrong (either to save mana or because you’re out)

          2. Dragomok says:

            Stealth roguelike sounds as a really interesting concept. (Or maybe that’s because anything roguelike sounds interesting to me lately.)

    2. Tom says:

      I think Dishonored already did something brilliant to strike a blow against save-scummed stealth: the blink mechanic. The problem with Thief was that sneaking was an inherently slow, tedious, painstaking process (unless you count speed-runs, which are totally against the spirit of the game and only work anyway by exploiting limitations in the engine), which was tense and challenging, but also meant, especially in conjunction with the never-get-caught or never-kill requirements of the higher difficulty levels, that a single error could set you back a *LONG* way if you weren’t save scumming, or often end the mission outright. We’re talking hours of replay, in some cases. I think the genius of blink is that it speeds up stealth enormously whilst sacrificing remarkably little of the skill involved – you still need to judge guard patterns, fields of view, shadows, etc, to make a good job of it, but if you screw up utterly then replaying from a much more distant save point is more palatable, since you can potentially whiz through it all quite quickly.

  16. Psuedocrat says:

    Does it drive anyone else crazy how Josh keeps wasting his mana by casting spells before his limited natural regeneration kicks in?

    As someone who usually gets through the game only using one or two blue potions the whole game, blinking past every single obstacle, it just knaws on me when I see Josh use several potions just blinking around a few rooms.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I was very careful with my mana too on my playthrough, I usually am pretty conservative with any kind of limited resource in games, which typically leaves me with a something like hundreds of stimpacks/potions/special ammo/whatever in my inventory at the end of the game.

      But I think here it’s a matter of a more fluid video, I mean from what we’ve seen overall Josh’s playstyle is normally more calculated. In this season he still occasionally waits for guards to pass or turn around and waiting for mana to regenerate every time after blinking wouldn’t help the dynamic of the show.

      1. Josh says:

        Yeah, when I play games normally, I’m very conservative with resources and don’t like to waste them if I don’t need to (of which, using spells before the mana recharges is an excellent example). But mana in this game is more plentiful than it initially seems, and nobody wants to watch a let’s play where I sit atop a chandelier waiting for my mana to recharge before I blink to the next one.

        1. Wedge says:

          Yeah, I was going to say this too. In my playthrough I was very careful about letting my mana recharge, but then I realized I was leaving mana potions lying around EVERYWHERE. There is more than enough of them in this game.

          1. Entropy says:

            Also with a couple of Bone Charms you can turn all taps into infinite health and mana fountains.

        2. Shamus says:

          This is one of the reasons I’d be shy of ever being the pilot on Spoiler Warning. I’m naturally a hoarder / conservationist. It takes discipline to “waste” resources like this. You have to take more damage than you need to, waste manna, pass over good loot, blow your cover, and waste ammo in the name of keeping the game flowing. I mean, it’s very easy to spend double the time Josh spends on these levels. In a commentary-based show, we’d run out of things to say in a hurry.

          Just imagine if our Mass Effect 3 season was 50% LONGER. *shudder*

  17. StashAugustine says:

    I totally switched the poison in the glasses. That’s the best way to kill him. You just sit in the shadows and laugh.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, I need to see what happens if you possess Curnow. Does the conversation continue? If you timed it right, you’d end up with jumping out right when Campbell looks away and stab him before he sees you.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Can you even get Possession 2 by this point?

  18. X2-Eliah says:

    So, I didn’t even know that the two targets would actually go down to the basement like that.. I had assumed that this would be the room where one dies, if Corvo doesn’t intervene.. This is a bit of a surprise, to see more and more new stuff even after 4 playthroughs (and a 5th in progress right now).

    About that valve for unlocking a puzzle door – heh. I wonder if you will bother to unlock it, Josh. It leads into that locked-in overseer and the bone charm, that you can easily get to by breaking the boards on the back window. Carrying the valve is quite a pain, tbh (I didn’t want to throw it because I thought you’d lose it, so on one playthrough I went and incapacitated nearly all overseers in the level, just so I could walk with the valve undisturbed). It’s nice that Arkane didn’t put a ‘nope, you can only get the charm via this convoluted puzzle’ thing in there, and opted for ‘well, you can do it the hard way or the easy way’.

    1. Pete says:

      If Im not mistaken, theres also this tiny ramp into the room that you can slip in through when possesing a rat.

    2. Dragomok says:

      It leads into that locked-in overseer and the bone charm, that you can easily get to by breaking the boards on the back window.

      I could swear he has already broken boards on a window leading to a room with a rune and a dead overseer in this very episode.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        He did, yes, and afterwards he went back into the workshop and threw the valve out. I do hope that in the next episode Josh won’t be fruitlessly spending time on trying to open that door.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Isnt the valve used to open another door,in a building Josh wasnt in.

          1. Cupcaeks says:

            I’m pretty sure that valve just opens the big door to the room with the dead overseer. I’m glad there was more than way to get into that room, because I lost that valve on my stealth playthrough trying to throw it through a skylight (which worked a little too well) onto the roof of the workshop, all the while thinking how clever and sneaky I was being.

          2. X2-Eliah says:

            Nope. The valve door and the dead overseer room belong to one and the same.

  19. Viktor says:

    Rutskarn, “Bunch of stealthy people murder each other” is the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer. I recommend trying it out, it’s a very tense game if you’re playing it well.

    1. Pete says:

      In an ideal world, yes. Unfortunately in my experience, most AC multiplayer games tend to devolve into Smokebombs: the game.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I love the AC3 MP, but smoke bombs are roofers can get annoying.

        I don’t mind Smoke Bombs so much. That’s fair. But roofers are extremely irritating. You can have this tense game of cat and mouse, and then this random asshole who runs on the roof becomes the target.
        *whips out Pistol*

  20. MrGuy says:

    He he he he HE he he!
    Now you are a CHICken

  21. Re: “You’re a chicken!”

    I don’t suppose that’s a subconscious reference to the comic book “The Authority,” is it?

    1. Dragomok says:

      *invokes the power of the Google*
      That’s… that’s just wrong.

      1. LunaticFringe says:

        The Authority is just general insanity all the way through. People getting punched so hard their heads explode, dimension jumping British aliens invade, one character goes back in time to knee Hitler in the groin, then there’s the time Tokyo turned into a giant city-robot and fought a sentient Kansas City from the 36th century, and oh yeah, they killed God. And funny enough, it’s actually pretty tame compared to Warren Ellis’ other work (though I think that the Seth storyline might have been after he left the series).

        1. The heads exploding thing really ought to happen more often. Superheroes are popping up all the time that can put their fists through an engine block, but they all seem to have just enough control to keep from even giving a bad guy whiplash.

          Not that I’m advocating more violence, just noticing what would most likely happen.

          1. LunaticFringe says:

            I liked that in Arkham Asylum/City criminals would complain about how Batman broke all their fingers or left them in a body cast for several months. Some of his moves clearly break bones and it was nice to see them show that there are lasting consequences after facing Batman.

  22. Jokerman says:

    I loved how that guy fell through the skylight and died. I can just imagine myself playing a no kill playthrough and that shit happening, i would swear then just start laughing at how much i suck…

    1. MrGuy says:

      So, that makes me curious how the game keeps score. Is everyone who dies automatically added to your tally, or does it only count the ones you explicitly stab/shoot/etc.? And is it smart enough to realize that, while this guy dies in a fall, it was your fault he fell?

      For example, in Fallout my recollection was certain actions that would cause someone’s death (like forcing a target to go rogue and shoot everything that moves) didn’t “count” against your body count, reputation, etc.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        Everyone who you kill, and everyone who is made unconscious by you and then somehow dies. Also, everything killed by stuff that you have rewired.

        Edit: in fact, this is relevant:

        1. cadrys says:

          As well, a “choose between 2 npcs” near the end of the game will give you a “silent kill”, even if you choke the “loser” out. No clean gloves achievement for you! *grumble*

      2. Wedge says:

        Yeah, I eventually gave up on doing a no-kill run because people kept dying after I knocked them out without me realizing it. It can be very unclear when this happens.

        For example, if you’re carrying someone and you drop them in the wrong way, they can end up dying. And you get NO indication of this until you get to the end of the level and it says “people killed: 1” so you have to do the entire 1-2 hour mission over again.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Thats why you always stash them in bins and such.They will be safe forever,and no one will detect them.

          1. RTBones says:

            Oddly enough, I’ve just run through this section in my own ‘follow along at home’ play through. I am a little ahead of what SW has published so far.

            The secondary objective guy – you can actually choke him instead of letting him run on his own. What I did was spill the drinks and hide under the table – and oh, by the way, pickpocketed the journal I needed while I was under the table. As the two get ready to leave the room, choke the secondary guy (he trails behind the High Overseer as they leave) and ‘store’ him on a ledge outside a window to the right of the door they exit. Followed the HO to his room and choke him out. He doesn’t seem to mind that the guy he’s trying to murder hadn’t followed him immediately. Took HO to the interrogation room and brand him, then go back to the room where I spilled the wine. Climb out on the ledge and pick up Mr. Secondary. Follow the ledge all the way around to the right. You will eventually get a marker for a ‘Safe Place’ that is a dumpster on the ground. Avoid or dispose of two patrolling guards on the ground and drop down. Deposit Mr. Secondary into the dumpster and the objective is complete.

        2. ChoppazAndDakka says:

          I had a similar problem on one mission, except I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I went through the entire game killing nobody, but then every time I beat The Flooded Districts it said I had killed 1 person. I played the mission like 4 times. I killed nobody. After the first try I barely even touched anyone out of paranoia. I only knocked out a few people, and it was never in a place with a bunch of rats. I never even fought Daud, I picked his pocket and then got away without him knowing I was there. I heard it was a bug involving the encounter in the sewers with Granny Rags and Slackjaw, which is frustrating as no matter how I resolved it I ended up with a kill on my name, the only one in the whole game which prevents me from getting the achievement. I can't be assed to try it again.

  23. Paul Spooner says:

    RE: Surrealist Punishments
    It’s amazing to think that computer games are uniquely situated to implement this kind of game play, but have (AFAIK) completely failed to do so. There are so many ways we could go with this! And yet the medium is stuck in “killin’ dudes”. Sad.

    1. Phantom Hoover says:

      I’d say tabletop games would be far better-suited.

    2. Otters34 says:

      I think that’s largely because killing dudes is more serious, and games want to be taken seriously, which requires certain standards. That and it might be more tricky to do that than how things are done usually, where events are relatively grounded. Not a programmer, so obviously I welcome correction.

      But yeah, stuff like that is what’s needed more of in video games! Killing dudes or…NOT killing dudes gets so blasted old after a while.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        Relevant and topical:
        Campster’s take on violence

        TUN’s take on violence:

        1. Dragomok says:

          Oh gosh darn, why do I always have to hear about new episodes of Errant Signal/TUN from this very blog?
          I have had them in bookmarks for months, and now I’m subscribed to both! How do I keep missing them?!

  24. anaphysik says:

    Surrealist Punishment: “You’re a chicken now!” version

    That happens in a Samurai Jack episode…

    Incidentally, that episode is awesome, and has awesome music:
    And a cover of the tune:

  25. decius says:

    Also reference the plague: It is explicitly stated that the rats carry the plague; how is the plague transmitted to humans? Via bite, or via contamination, or via fleas? If via fleas, why not by normal rats?

    1. Asimech says:

      A pre-release story video (I don’t have the link) implied strongly that it was by bite.

  26. WJS says:

    Yeah, the branding sounds stupid when you put it like that, but I don’t recall if it’s explicitly stated that that’s how it plays out. I mean first off, a brand to the face is wholly dissimilar to a random letter, that’s far more relevant than them not being catholic. Even if everybody realises it’s obviously dodgy, and even if nobody else powerful in the organisation takes advantage to usurp Campbell, it seems unlikely that he could carry on being High Overseer, either pragmatically or emotionally. Indeed, when you next meet him, he’s still wearing the High Overseer uniform IIRC, which (to me) suggests that he ran off into exile himself (I would think they’d have stripped him of that if he was banished).

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