Dishonored EP13: Bath Assaults

By Shamus
on Apr 11, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

96 comments


Link (YouTube)

It’s like the designers just wanted to establish that Piero was a creep, and it didn’t occur to them that the players would want to respond in some way. Once you catch him spying on Callista in the bath, you’re forced into a conversation with him. But you can’t really do anything.

You can’t blackmail him, even though he has something you need. You can’t wait until later and tell Callista that she ought to watch out for this sort of thing. (I talked to her later and didn’t get the option. I don’t know what your dialog options are if you barge into the bathroom.) You can’t even tell anyone else about the situation.

Even if you didn’t want to script a branching sidequest where the player might blackmail Piero and also might optionally betray him later once they get what they want, there’s still so much you can do with this setup. Just letting the player ineffectually tell people would make for interesting character development. Maybe Pendleton would think it’s just the most delicious gossip that such a brilliant man is taken to such base behavior. Maybe Havelock doesn’t like it because it shows Piero lacks discipline. Martin would be offended by the immorality of it and see it as a religious problem. Maybe all of them would urge you against taking action now, suggesting that they’ll deal with Piero once you kill the bad guy. There: A tiny sip of characterization, the illusion of player choice, and a foreshadowing of the coming twist.

Like the torture, like your alleged fatherhood of Emily, and like your supposed relationship with the late Empress, this is an interesting set-up with no delivery. This is why the game often felt so detached and emotionally vacant to me. The gameplay is fun, but even the characters themselves don’t seem to care about what’s going on.

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  1. Irridium says:

    If you enter the bathroom right after you catch Pierro, you can tell her he was spying. Why the only way to tell her he was spying is to barge in on her while she’s in the tub, I have no idea.

    For those curious, the dialog choices when you barge in on her is to tell her about Pierro, and to ask if you can join her in the tub.

    • IFS says:

      You actually have to talk to her twice to tell her that as well I think. I might be wrong about that but thats how I remember it. So that makes even less sense.

    • Cupcaeks says:

      On top of having to barge in on her first in order to say anything, telling her is completely inconsequential. The entire sequence strikes me as completely superfluous. Regardless of what you do or say, everyone just goes about like its business as usual. It really makes me wonder what the devs had in mind when they decided to include it. This section and the upcoming mission, especially the non-lethal way of dealing with Lady Boyle, gave me that creepy, misogynistic vibe moreso than anything else in the game.

      • Someone says:

        I know it sounds like a bit of a stretch, but could the bathtub sequence possibly be a vague reference to the Ladies’ Room from Deus Ex? They had the 0451 code, maybe this was another nod to DX.

    • “That guy was spying on you while you were bathing. What a creep.”

      -He said, standing over her while she’s still in the tub.

      • Tizzy says:

        Not to mention:

        “-That guy was spying on you while you were bathing. What a creep.”
        “-How interesting! How did you find out?”

        • WJS says:

          That is kind of a good point; if you don’t go in there, how do you know who he’s peeping on? He doesn’t say. So it’s not just a line of dialogue for her, they’d pretty much have to have conversation options for everyone about it. In a comprehensively voiced game. Of course, this doesn’t excuse not being able to blackmail him for the booze for Sokolov, since that would be just the one line.

          • Stijn says:

            On the off-chance this is read 3 years after the article was posted: Emily tells you Callista is bathing if you talk to her before you encounter Piero.

  2. Gruhunchously says:

    Best duel ever.

  3. Thomas says:

    I love the way everyone keeps on playing up the mask as an advantage; it’s a masked party, and _you_ have a murdering assassins mask! I think there must be a real shortage of being able to cover your face in Dunwall and having a mask is like superpower to them. It’s probably why they were so proud about giving you one in the first place

    • IFS says:

      I actually really liked the idea of this mission, doing the sort of spy stealth instead of the thief stealth, and the mission is really fun, they just do a bad job of justifying it.

      • Thomas says:

        I’m not critiquing the mission at all. It’s a couple of lines of dialogue and an art asset from being irrelevant, I just enjoy how silly the dialogue here was.

        It’s a masked ball, lucky you have a mask eh Corvo? They all talk as though it would be impossible to acquire a mask if Corvo didn’t happen to have a murdery mask lying around :P

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      But it is an advantage.It allows you to zoom in.Even when you take it off.Thats one powerful mask.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I think this segment is significantly better than Carnival from Assassin’s Creed 2, I do feel like it’s still a bit silly.

      I’d be interesting if they at least gave you an optional objective to find a different mask to wear for the party. If you didn’t find the mask, then you could still blend in with the party guests, but you’d attract more attention and would be under harsher scrutiny.

      If you get the mask, then people are more lenient with you.

      • Thomas says:

        Masks aren’t a rare thing! They could say ‘hey we want you to go to a masked party. Here’s a mask’ And no-one would bat an eyelid. I think I’d prefer that to some protracted sidequest to find the one true mask for party entry. If they’re going to give you one, there’s no real reason to go to the effort to have the choice to confuse. It’d put too much focus on something that doesn’t deserve that much focus. Here Corvo, take the mask I wore to my last party.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          Actually, why wouldn’t Piero be able to make you a mask really quickly for the purpose of a Masquerade ball. Seems easy enough to do.

          • Thomas says:

            And the good thing about that is you can just reskin the current mask and it would make sense.
            Besides the Pendletons are high ups, they’ll have gone to masked balls before. They’ll have masks lying around.

            This is how it should work
            ‘Corvo we need you to go to a masked ball.’ *looks at you. ‘I’ll fix you up with something a bit more appropriate (sneery voice)’ Then cut to the animation of Corvo putting on his mask, but don’t do the bit where he shows the front side first.

            Done, dusted. That is the maximum length of time the game should spend caring about your mask. And then you don’t need to have all the stupid NPC dialogue lampshading the situation that they have now

            • WJS says:

              Why not show the front side? It would be the best way to make sure that everybody realises that you aren’t just strolling up to the fancy house in your kill-murder-death-mask. The cost of making an alternative mask model for that scene borders on the trivial, I would think.

          • Adam says:

            Not even that. Just paint the current mask pink, that’s it.

  4. The fact that Callista doesn’t die from the grenade should be obvious to players of Minecraft: Water prevents explosive damage.

  5. X2-Eliah says:

    Yeeah that bath scene is …not great. Especially since *now*, of all times, you genuinely need something from Pierro, and this is such an obvious set-up for a “give me thatthingie and I won’t rat you out” – but #nope. (Edit – and, yeah, you mention that in the vid. Gaaaaaah redundant comment jksgfskds)

    Sigh. Ah well. The more I think about Dishonored’s characters, the less I like them. Pendleton, Pierro, Callista.. So many wasted opportunities. And yet, the gameplay/levels are so great.

    Edit: the “why not just kill all in the party, which you do anyway” – well, the thing is, Sokolov is the one who tells the conspiracy about the party at all – it seems that nobody planned for that beforehand.

    Edit – About the mask. If you do a completely ‘no kills, no alarms’ playthrough, then your mask never ever even shows up on wanted posters up till now, because nobody even knows you did all that stuff – there are just posters about “xyz missing, have you seen them?”. And if you do a kill-the-targets-and-no-alarms, then you have just a silhouette with a big question mark on your wanted posters.. So, depending on how you play, your mask is not necessarily the ‘assassin identity’. … I don’t quite remember if it is recognized by the guests or if they are all scripted to take that mask as the assassin mask…

    • Yeah, the massive discrepencies between the quality of the story and the gameplay is quite jarring and frustrating.
      Also, on the not showing up on wanted posters thing – I didn’t even know there were wanted posters until my high chaos playthrough.
      In the party, they still say that you are “scandolous” in a “no kills, no alarms” playthrough, but I think that’s more a reference to what the mask looks like than anything else.

      • WJS says:

        Nope. One says something like “It looks just like on the posters”. At which point I concluded that someone must have put a black bag with a question mark on my head and I hadn’t noticed until now.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      So what youre saying is that the mask,and with it the story,were built up from the perspective of a low chaos playthrough.And the gameplay(always having your sword up,half the powers,majority of gadgets)was built up from the perspective of a high chaos playthrough.Thats the recipe for ludonarrative dissonance right there.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        No, the opposite in fact. In the party, *everyone* knows that you have the mask of that mysterious assassin. What doesn’t make sense is that even in low chaos / ultimate stealth playthroughs, people in the party know that ‘your mask is that assassin’s mask’ even when absolutely nobody has seen that mask in an assassination (nobody even knows anything about any assassinations).

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I think this segment is significantly better than Carnival from Assassin’s Creed 2, I do feel like it’s still a bit silly.

      I’d be interesting if they at least gave you an optional objective to find a different mask to wear for the party. If you didn’t find the mask, then you could still blend in with the party guests, but you’d attract more attention and would be under harsher scrutiny.

      If you get the mask, then people are more lenient with you.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I hope Arkane are taking note of all the criticisms people have of Dishonored, because they seem like the kind of dev team who will respond well and try to make changes in order to improve the inevitable sequel.

      And please ignore my other post of this thread. That was me being a block-head. X_X

  6. I’m just curious about how many people were surprised that they let you burst into the room after catching Piero. First time I played I caught him, went to the door and tried to enter fully expecting it to be locked. Expected the conversation to be a lot more awkward to.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well I was surprised by how dumb it played out.And how nonchalant she was while talking to you.”Oh.Corvo.Its you.I was just talking a bath.You shouldnt barge in on people like that.But if you do it after the war Ill consider you joining me.”.No outrage,no flirting,no emotions at all.Its even worse than piero outside.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I didn’t even know you could until Chris did it in his Errant Signal video. Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepyyyyyyyyyyyy!

      • StashAugustine says:

        I did it entirely to trigger the “conspiracy has dissolved” gameover you get for pissing people off. Possessing them gets the same response.

  7. X2-Eliah says:

    Also, this whole bath-sequence, and indeed all the character-interaction sequences, just further cement my belief that this game would have been way more awesome if it was just you as the royal assassin doing assassination/cleanup/spying missions for the Empress, with the castle as the home base. You can still have chaos, and the good/bad effects on Emily, and all that. Just, tone it down, no daft conspiracy/revenge, but you doing your work and getting missions (the game is so mission-oriented, it even makes more sense and would allow for more expansions about corvo doing stuff). Heck, the plot – if you really need an overarching goal – could have been “find out how to cure the plague”, with it culminating at, say, a more grandiose confrontation with granny rags that leads you onto the inquisitor’s trail.

    • Xakura says:

      Wouldn’t that basically be Deus Ex: HR?

      (I’m not complaining, mind you, I feel like too few games have you working for the establishment, and that betrayal twist is so overused it’s boring.)

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Kinda, yes. With you working for the empress, you’d be a bit higher in the hierarchy than just hired-muscle, though (and also you wouldn’t even have to have any stupid betrayal twists… Maybe ave it so that the plague is granny rags’ work)

    • False Prophet says:

      I read Tom Bissell’s take on Dishonored last night, and now am in complete agreement with you. Bissell also suggests Dishonored would benefit from the Hitman approach: “Here’s some target(s), here’s an open environment with multiple paths they’re operating in, here’s a bunch of tools and powers, deal how you see fit.”

      • Thomas says:

        Although he also writes ‘but despite sharp dialogue and an unusually strong voice-over cast’ which is wrong for the former and the latter is ignoring the fact it’s an unusually strong voice over cast that speaks in a monotone for the entire game

  8. HiEv says:

    Minor typo: “she ought to watch out for this sort of this.” Second “this” should be “thing”.

    Also, anyone else having problems with the comments section forgetting who they are after 30 minutes? The site used to store my name and email address in a cookie for quite a while, but now the cookies are set to expire after about a half an hour. Is this on purpose?

    • X2-Eliah says:

      It’s due to the new caching/performanceoptimization plugin Shamus put on the site to solve the laggy slowness of few weeks ago. Nothin’ to be done, I’m afraid.

      • HiEv says:

        Huh? Caching and performance optimization should have nothing to do with how the timeouts are set on the cookies.

        I manually modified the cookie for this site to expire in a month instead of 30 min and it worked just fine. There should be some setting somewhere so Shamus can choose how long it is until your cookies expire. (Note I said “should be”, if there isn’t then, well, that’s stupid. :-P )

        • HiEv says:

          Bah.

          It worked fine until I posted something, then it reset the cookie timeout to 30 min. :-P

        • Shamus says:

          There are, I kid you not, 15 pages of options for this caching plugin. I’ve messed with all the settings specifically labeled cookies, and they didn’t do anything. I’d experiment with the other settings, but sometimes when I change something the plugin freaks out, “OH MY GOSH YOU CHANGED A SETTING LET ME DUMP ALL CACHE AND START OVER!”. Then my website goes down for 15 minutes while it does that.

          And yes, this is the best plugin I’ve found so far.

          And experimenting with alternatives is a monumental time-sink and ALSO a risk for making the site go down for long periods of time.

          It’s basically a gigantic soul-sucking waste of time no matter what I do, all because this stupid plugin messes with cookie timeout when there is never any reason for it to do so. So the problem lingers.

          And then people get irritated, complain about it, and I have to explain why it’s broken.

          And then I have to explain why I can’t fix it.

          And then a few days later, someone else, who didn’t see my earlier explanation, makes the same complaint.

          • HiEv says:

            What’s the name of your caching plugin and any other plugins that might be messing with cookies? I have some spare time so I wouldn’t mind taking a crack at it.

            At least I’m attempting constructive criticism now. ;-)

            • Shamus says:

              W3 Total Cache

              http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/

              And good luck. I am dumbfounded by this problem.

              • HiEv says:

                What version are you running? I see that “Added control for comment cookie lifetime” was added in version 0.9.2.6 here (current version is 0.9.2.8).

                I found this page which shows some sample code for how to set the comment cookie lifetime, but it indicates that using existing cookies may disable the caching. However, the evidence for this is a bug report that’s over two years old, so this may have been fixed/changed.

                Also, I note that your bb2_screener_ cookie doesn’t expire at all, so hypothetically this can be worked around/isn’t a problem.

                The problem appears to be that the page can’t be cached with the user’s information filled in server side, so you may need to either fill that in client side using JavaScript or by using a non-cached part of the page. Either that, or just not worry about caching for users that post comments (probably a bad idea).

                Anyways, that’s just what I found in roughly an hour of looking at the problem. If that doesn’t help, let me know what you found and I’ll take another whack at it.

              • HiEv says:

                Dammit. I spent an hour looking into this, wrote up a whole long comment with information and links, and the damn spam filter ate my comment. >:-(

                Trying this again with the links obscured…

                You have the latest version of W3 Total Cache, right? Version 0.9.2.6 added “Added control for comment cookie lifetime”. The current version is 0.9.2.8.

                I found this page:
                shibashake[dot]com/wordpress-theme/w3-total-cache-cookie-is-rejected
                It shows some code for how to set the comment cookie lifetime, though it indicates that the cookie will prevent the page from being cached. This appears to be because the page gets modified server side with the name, email, and website fields filled in, thus making the page unique to that user therefore not worth caching.

                If it does prevent the page from being cached, this suggests two possible workarounds. Have the page fill in the fields client side using JavaScript, thus allowing the page to be cached and identical for all users. Or, put the code that fills in the fields in a non-cached part of the page.

                This page shows how to exclude content from the W3TC cache:
                wordpress[dot]stackexchange[dot]com/questions/61838/exclude-content-from-w3-total-cache

                I think I had some other comment, but I forget what it was, besides noting that the bb2_screener_ cookie for your site currently never expires.

                Anyways, let me know if this helps solve the problem, if not I’ll take another whack at it.

                • Shamus says:

                  Wow. This system is… odd.

                  The old caching solution I used was smart enough to just ignore people who left comments, rather than trying to save versions of the page with their info filled in. People who leave comments represent less than 1% of the visitors, so there’s no reason to muck about caching stuff for them. Seems easy enough to just exclude them from caching.

                  Thanks for looking into it. I’ll see if your links lead me anywhere.

                  • HiEv says:

                    Well, in that case I think you could use a third option of just setting the cookie lifetime up using the trick in the first link, and not worry about caching for people who post comments. I almost suggested that option above, but I thought that you probably wouldn’t want to leave caching off for people who post stuff.

                    I should note though, that the thing about cookies preventing caching is just what that first link claims will happen, and its evidence appears to be a two year old bug report. You should probably test to see if that’s actually true or not.

  9. Adalore says:

    The longer I watch this series, the more if feels like dishonored to the Yang to the Ying of Bioshock : Infinite.

    Bad story, Good story.
    Good gameplay, Bad gameplay.

    yaaayyy…

  10. Grudgeal says:

    I loved this mission, or rather, I loved my unintentionally hilarious outcome of it.

    After sneaking my way into the mansion undetected and infiltrating it through the front door (doing the duel non-lethally on the way) as a party guest and getting the clue of the right Boyle from mr. Creepy Stalker, I made my way into the basement after choking the back stairs guard and plunked him down in a chair in a remote corner of the kitchen that made it look exactly like he was sleeping in it (completely intentionally, I swear!), and discovered to my delight that none of the maids down there reacted to him at all. I watched them titter about there, completely non-panicked, for about a minute and thought he must have been in a distant corner too dark or something, and I couldn’t move him again without arraying suspicion anyway.

    I then went into the third floor and went on a massive choking spree in the best Thief tradition, isolating the guards, taking them down one by one, dumping them in remote corners and stealing everything not nailed down. At which point, prepared as I was to do this perfectly discreet, I discovered the entire party was in a panic. Apparently, the maids were programmed to respond to the knocked-out guard in the chair, none of them had simply come arbitrarily close enough to him during my minute-long observation of them walking around the kitchen and now the entire mansion was on high alert due to one man found sleeping on the job. My last non-auto save was somewhere during the last mission.

    In the end, I was forced to re-enter the party, now on high alert, and in full view of all the panicking nobles fought several armed guards (non-lethally), crossbowed lady Boyle (with a stun bolt) and carried her off into the basement to an unknown fate she never returned from. Oh, and I picked a few of the paralyzed-with-fear nobles’ pockets on my way through the non-lethal slaughter and wrote my name in the guest list. I then escaped through the sewers.

    Final end result: Low chaos. One has to wonder what usually goes on at those parties…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      It is an eyes wide shut style of party after all.

    • Fleaman says:

      “That was the most exciting party ever!”

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I didn’t realize you could go in the front door. I spent an hour or two trying to find a place where I could get over the wall. Finally did, but it took several tries to stick the jump. I landed in the garden, did the duel (paused, and then one-shot the moron). I was annoyed I couldn’t bring this up with Pendleton later.

      No, my problem was that, after all my sneaking and surreptitious choking, I lured a guard up the stairs and tranqed him. And he fell back down the stairs and collapsed in a heap.

      In front of two other guards.

      Cue panic.

      I just shot Lady Boyle. Low Chaos run or no, I thought it just the civilized thing to do.

  11. To be fair, when you enter the party, the man says ‘sick bastard’, so they just think you are pretending to be a murdering a-hole for the lulz.

  12. Piflik says:

    The thing with Corvo is that the designers obviously were unable to decide if they want an Avatar or Character for the protagonist (probably because Gordon Freeman was also like this…never liked him either…). He has some distinct properties of a character (fixed name, background) but is not fleshed out enough. Now he is neither Avatar nor Character, but some strange quantum superposition of both…

    Regarding this level: I really liked the design in the mansion. This open display of decadence (with the ingenious confetti-whales and the giant buffet) while right next to the hosue the city falls apart. There is a house full of Weepers that can be reached by simply jumping from the guardhouse window…

    In my High Chaos playthrough this mission was a real treat…I didn’t simply kill anything that moved in this playthrough, but made it a bit more challanging: kill every guard/weeper while not sounding any alarm…when I was done in the mansion, there were no guards remaining at all, but the party was not spoiled…the civilians continued with their mindless fun…

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Definitely my favorite of the first 5 levels. The next one was such a letdown that, erm, I still haven’t finished it 5 months later.

  13. kenup says:

    Damn, the Outsider sounds like he just came out of an Emo poetry club. No offence.

    Can you actually kill anyone important outside of objectives/missions in this game? Especially from your allies(at least when the plot doesn’t need them anymore)?

  14. RTBones says:

    The bathtub scene…I played through that a couple times trying to figure out how I could blackmail the living daylights out of Piero. Not so much. I did notice that if you go into the bathroom and talk to Calista twice, you *can* tell her about Piero. I think the only effect is that he doesnt give you a couple free sleep darts (you find them up in your room later – they are his thank you for not telling on him.)

    The duel…I just turned around and tranq’d the dude. I was expecting to have to tranq the other two as well, but they just reacted like he was dead – at which point I promptly and properly robbed the guy blind and went into the party.

    And if you think the bathtub scene is uncomfortable, the non-violent way to deal with Lady Boyle is downright creepy.

    EDIT: Oh, I also discovered that you really dont need an invite to get into the party. You can hop/blink up and over the wall out near where the duel takes place. On a ‘what does this do’ run, I got in at the corner by the streetlight, just before you go into the Neutral Area.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamoose,its not the difficulty,its just that you sucked at shooting.I too had a one shot kill.Then I reloaded and did a one tranq knock down.

    • Shamus says:

      The fact that you one-shotted him with a completely different weapon doesn’t really change what I said about the pistol.

      I did it multiple times, playing around with the situation. (I might have tried the crossbow eventually, but I got sick of that stupid countdown.) I wanted to beat him in a proper duel: Pistols, no potions, no powers. As far as my tests went, he took three shots to go down but can kill the player in two. It wasn’t a question of marksmanship or player skill. I shot his face. The cursor was on his nose. I KNOW it was. The dude wouldn’t go down to the pistol.

      Having said that, I have no idea if there’s “spread” on the pistol. This was the only point in the game where I used it.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Always been a one-shot-kill, pistols or otherwise. Are you certain you didn’t miss? And yes, there is a spread on the pistol. You can even see it in this video, when Josh shoots at the wall above Emily – the impact is multiple shards.

        • IFS says:

          I’ve played this mission on normal and hard, with a pistol with no upgrades on normal, shooting at his chest, it was still a one hit kill. On hard I had some upgrades but again shot for the chest and got a one hit kill.

        • Shamus says:

          Ah. I’ll bet it was the spread. I was aiming for a headshot. Should have been aiming for center-mass. I even used slow time to line it up, and he still doesn’t die of a single headshot. I’d shoot him once, then let time go back to normal instead of getting more hits in.

          • Elijs Dima says:

            Might be, aye. One of the pistol upgrades is specifically a mod that reduces spread (also makes the pistol’s target reticule much tighter than default) – if you had literally no mods, then your spread probably was quite high.

            I’m betting on the spread becuase there’s literally no upgrade for bullet damage – but there’s upgrades for accuracy etc. (http://dishonored.wikia.com/wiki/City_Watch_Pistol#Upgrades)

            • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

              I seem to remember one-shotting him in the face with an unmodded pistol (I put all my mods into the crossbow). But I did stop time and I did zoom in with the monocle to shoot him.

              So Spread seems like a pretty likely culprit.

          • WJS says:

            Shamus. You shot a guy in the face who’s wearing a metal mask. You have to shoot masked enemies in the body or the back of the head. Yeah, it makes no sense for a decorative mask to be that strong (or for a helmet to not provide any protection), but it was made fairly clear in the first mission (or at least I thought it was).
            EDIT: Also, am I the only one to have a problem with how that duel went? He just keeps on shooting! In a duel, you’re supposed to shoot one shot each. If you both live, that’s a perfectly acceptable outcome! Often, men wouldn’t even try to hit each other, just going through the ritual was enough to “satisfy honour”. (I guess that guy really hates Pendleton, but why try to kill Corvo?)

            • Mike S. says:

              Both the widely-used Irish Code Duello and the 19th Century “Code of Honor” used in the American South do allow for more than one shot. In the Irish code, from the days of single-shot pistols: “In slight cases, the second hands his principal but one pistol; but in gross cases, two, holding another case ready charged in reserve.”

              The South Carolina version: “If the insult be of a serious character, it will be the duty of the second of the challenger, to say, in reply to the second of the challengee: “We have been deeply wronged, and if you are not disposed to repair the injury, the contest must continue.” And if the challengee offers nothing by way of reparation, the fight continues until one or the other of the principals is hit.”

              But both do involve the intercession of the seconds, not just blasting away.

              The Code Duello also forbade intentionally missing:

              “”Rule 13.—No dumb-shooting, or firing in the air, admissible in any case. The challenger ought not to have challenged without receiving offence; and the challenged ought, if he gave offence, to have made an apology before he came on the ground: therefore, children’s play must be dishonorable on one side or the other, and is accordingly prohibited.”

              People did it anyway, either as an expression of gallantry, or of contempt (“You won’t hit me, and you’re not fearsome enough to be worth killing”), or of being willing to prove their own honor by being part of the duel but not willing to kill someone over it.

      • Keeshhound says:

        Either way, it’s kind of ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but I think after the first shot hit me I wouldn’t be in any kind of condition to aim straight. Corvo’s got the whole “awesome magic assassin” thing to explain it away, but this guy’s a nobleman. How often does he get shot? Or is he just wearing a steampunk bulletproof vest?

        • Jokerman says:

          Heh, just about every game where you can shoot a dude (in real time) has this. I can only really think of the new Fallouts where shooting someone can affect there aim.

        • guy says:

          Actually, shooting people has a surprisingly low effect on their ability to do things until they collapse from blood loss.

          • Raygereio says:

            I’m not sure if my sarcasm meter is on the fritz, but in reality people aren’t fine as long as they’ve got more then 0 hitpoints.

            Getting shot does damage. Depending on the specifics it can do quite of lot of damage even when it does not kill you.
            If I shoot you in the arm, you’re not going to be setting any new weightlifting records until you heal from the wound you just got.

            • silver Harloe says:

              Well, it wasn’t a gun shot, but I once took a two-inch-deep one-inch-wide gut wound from a knife. It literally didn’t feel like any thing at all until the endorphins wore off. THEN it hurt.

              I think he was wrong about “collapse from blood loss,” I think you’d be impaired sooner than that, but I don’t think he was being sarcastic. The body responds to traumatic injury with self-medication that will keep you going at full steam or higher (thanks adrenaline) for a minute or two. Followed by intense suffering.

              Though, yes, a shot in your aiming arm would throw off your aim, from kinetics alone – but, assuming your muscles are still attached, they’ll probably let you re-aim and fire before sounding the full scale red alert. Of course, with modern weaponry, your opponent has all that time to make a second and third shot while you’re doing that.

            • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

              I suspect this is a “Critical Existence Failure” joke as well, but there is something to the idea of “stopping power” as distinct from the bullet itself. Entire books have been written on calculating how big and fast the bullet needs to be to put a man down and keep him there.

              I recall a story, perhaps merely a joke that mutated, that the US Army was originally hesitant to use the 5.56mm on the grounds that the bullet was tiny. Then they realized that the purpose of the 5.56mm is not to kill the enemy but to keep him in place while you call in the air strike.

          • Aitch says:

            For flesh wounds and the like, if nothing vital is hit, yes. But gunshot wounds can be extremely unpredictable.

            There’s the story of a shootout between an obese man and a cop – the cop shot him 4 times in the torso with a .357 magnum and the guy was still able to fire off a shot from his own .22 miniature revolver with enough accuracy to hit the officer. The obese guy lived through it. The cop wasn’t as lucky. Even though he was wearing body armor, the little .22 hit an unarmored spot below his shoulder, passed into his chest where it nicked an artery, and he was unconscious within a few seconds.

            As for a person’s ability to do things after being shot, of course I gotta say it varies wildly.

            Like when a bullet passes through soft tissue and clean out the other side without damaging any major blood vessels or organs, sure you might have a little while to get something done before shock sets in – that is ya know, ignoring the immediate psychological stress of “holy crackers, i’ve been shot”.

            But if it hits bone and manages to transfer its force, that’s a decent amount of kinetic oomph being spread over a very small area.

            For a general equivalence take a one pound metal cube being dropped from a height of about 12 feet, and having it land on a pointy corner. Or something like a baseball going about 200 miles per hour. Not enough to blow a guy out a window ala hollywood, but certainly enough to hurt tremendously.

            Then there’s the whole problem of shattered bone splinters being ejected every which way along with the bullet fragments tearing their way into whatever they can. Also cavitation from the pressure wave of the impact basically gelatinizing all the delicate things around it in a large cone behind the bullet’s path. Something as squishy as brain tissue doesn’t stand a chance if it’s anywhere in the vicinity.

            So I wouldn’t say “low effect” unless it’s some kinda –scarface-esque that just buried his face in a mountain of cocaine– type of guy. Then again I haven’t seen that many people get shot.

  16. rrgg says:

    Another weird thing about that scene is that it isn’t even some sort of off to the side, Easter egg thing, the game actively funnels you there. It tells you to go find Piero and if you go straight to his workshop it will be closed with a note on the door that says “Hey Corvo, if you need me I’ll be on the second floor, outside the bathroom.”

    • Maybe his fetish isn’t peeping on girls.

      Maybe his fetish is being caught! :O

    • Thomas says:

      Who would ever describe their position like that?

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Seriously!? WHAT THE FUCK!?

      Why would you tell someone that you’re in the second floor when you’re there TO PLAY PEEPING TOM!!!???

      It’s already bad enough since the staff walk through there regularly, but seriously it’s like everyone except Callista herself already knew that Piero was a peeping tom.

      • Thomas says:

        It’s so official to. It’s not something he’s doing on the spur of the moment or will indulge in for a bit and go away. He practically wrote it into his diary

        Monday lunchtime 12-12:30 Eat. 12:30-13:00 stand in corridor looking through keyhole. 13:00 ….

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Why?Just,why?Its like they thought of a joke,and then decided that the player must see their brilliance.Only the joke is not funny.Catching someone peeping through a keyhole is not inherently funny.His lines about it are not funny.His delivery is not funny.Her reaction to the news is not funny.The only fun thing is how stupid you can make it by jumping in the bath with her,or by tossing grenades in there.

  17. burningdragoon says:

    I wonder if it’s possible at this point in the game to upgrade Time Bend and Possession high enough to make the guy in the duel murder himself.

  18. newdarkcloud says:

    Josh, once again you forgot to purchase the Rune from Piero. It’s only 500 coins. It’s not like you need the money for anything else.

  19. Whoa! I didn’t realize there was a thing with an invitation. I just went around from the right and walked right on in. Huh.

    Yay multiple approaches.

    I also did the duel, but reloaded the save and just didn’t talk to the guy. Pendelton later just said, “So I guess you didn’t talk to so-and-so. Well, sorry, I won’t bother you with that stuff again.”

  20. Tony Kebell says:

    In reference to Rutskarns mention L.A Noire, I’d like to see that games Warns Spoilered…

  21. WJS says:

    I think the mission to kill Lady Boyle represents a huge failure on the part of the writers. We’re killing her why, exactly? Something about her using her wealth to help shore up the military, who are stretched thin dealing with the crisis? What does that have to do with the conspiracy? If we learned that she was the one who hired Daud, for example, I’d have no problem introducing her to a sharp piece of steel, but I don’t remember that. Was she even with the Lord Regent six months ago, let alone in on the assassination? Without a good reason, I’d much prefer that the mission be optional. If you choose to remove her, it makes the watch significantly weaker, which in turn contributes significantly to chaos. Of course, the logical conclusion of this is to introduce several other allies the Lord Regent has made since taking over (he’s had plenty of time), and you have to decide who lives and who dies, setting the stage for the infiltration of Dunwall Tower in various ways. Making a bunch more missions would be expensive of course, and I can understand why they might not want to do so, but if a mission is going to be mandatory, there should be a damn good reason for doing it.

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