Dishonored EP15: The Dudeless Way

By Shamus
on Apr 15, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

100 comments


Link (YouTube)

Re-reading the note at the start of this episode, I’m pretty sure we misinterpreted it. I assumed it was the reward for the non-lethal option. But now I think it’s just a reward for not killing all three of the Boyle sisters. It’s not a bug, it’s just confusing and really odd.

How did this woman get you this message? She’s an associate of the current regime. There should not be lines of communication going from there to here. Moreover, how did she even know that the conspiracy exists? And if you did the non-lethal option, then Lady Boyle vanished in the care of Mr. Creepy. He could have kidnapped her on his own. The point is, there’s no reason for her to know where her sister went, who was responsible, that they worked for the conspiracy, or how to contact them.

All of that aside, you killed or kidnapped her sister. And so she sends a gift saying, “Thanks for not pointlessly murdering the rest of us”. I can understand why the game designers want to pat you on the head for making the effort and not just shanking everyone, but the entire premise of this letter leaves a lot of goofy holes in logic and characterization. She shouldn’t be able to send this message and she shouldn’t want to.

In honor of Josh becoming a fish, I’ve composed the following cheat sheet for those of you scheduled to take your astronavigation exam this week:

I AM A FISH x 500

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!A hundred comments! Everybody wins!

From the Archives:

  1. TouToTheHouYo says:

    Smeg.

    • Nimas says:

      Was anyone else impressed with how well he quoted that?

      • Tony Kebell says:

        NO, his scouse accent was bad, not horrible, but not good either. Oh well at least he apologised for it.

      • GragSmash says:

        I’m going to preface that this is from memory. To prove what a nerd I am:

        You what? You wrote “I am a fish” FIVE HOONDRED TIMES, did a funny little dance and fainted!

        That’s a total lie.

        No it’s not, Petersen told me.

        No it’s not Petersen told me Lister if you must know, I wrote a discourse on porous circuits. It was just too radical, too unconventional, too mold-breaking for the examiners to accept!

        Yeah, you said you were a fish.

        Dry off, Lister.

    • Grudgeal says:

      “That’s one hundred and twenty three counts of insulting a superior technician, thirty nine counts of dereliction of duty, eighty four counts of general insubordination and one count of mutiny?”
      “Yes, Sir.”
      “Mutiny, Lister?”
      “I stood on his toe!”
      “Maliciously, and with intent to wound!”

  2. Tomas says:

    According to the http://dishonored.wikia.com, you get the reward if you let at least one sister survive.

    That note only made me feel like a horrible person. I would have preferred a vow for revenge and some profanities.

  3. X2-Eliah says:

    Also, you get that note/reward even if you do the non-lethal non-detected route. As in, nobody ever knew you were even there and did anything – still get message delivered straight home. wtf.

    Edit: about the outsider… yeeah, they really messed him up in the game. Frex, the version of outsider glanced from the prequal/promo animated videos of the game (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoUvh0xNuhs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-l71WsK4Bs ), the outsider could have been so so so much better. Sigh.

    • Vagrant says:

      Those are actually creepy. They make me like Dishonored just a little bit less having them as a comparison to the finished product.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Heh. I agree – the style and ambience of those videos is somehow more intriguing than the game. Granted, it’s easier to make an atmospheric 2min video than a 10hr game, but still – this just shows that the concept/world of Dishonored would have allowed for something more impressive than was produced.

        • qwksndmonster says:

          If only the Outsider never talked in the game!

          Seriously, it wouldn’t have even been that hard to make him creepy. Just have him speak about a fourth as much, have the encounters with him be unexpected, and of course have him actually emote. Instead of the shrines you could have dark corridors that slip seamlessly into the Outsider’s dimension. That would have been unsettling.

          Basically the game would have been better served by more trippiness.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          Same. I was actively disappointed when they showed me the Outsider’s face and he was just a pretty boy who would be at home with the vampire family in Twilight.

          It would’ve been so much better if he was this voice in your head. Even if you left the Outsider dialogue the same (which you shouldn’t), giving him a face immediately defanged him for me.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Even better, give him a different face each time you see him, to drive home that his form isn’t actually him.

            Though really, if they really just had some inflection in his voice it would do wonders. He sounds more boring than bored.

    • Humanoid says:

      On reflection, I can totally believe that Josh’s interpretation of Corvo not only signed the guestbook with his name, but also left his home address, telephone number, and social security number in it.

  4. Corpital says:

    I, too, would see the betrayal coming, if I had spend my time breaking every bottle in the house on the conspirators heads and wasted all my grenades by throwing them in the bathing maids tub.

    Speaking of cleaning: Is the safe with the mindboggingly stupid record really the only thing worth looting in the Lord Regents Quarters? I’m surprised, because years of gaming lead me to expect the rooms of a demented ruler to be filled with gold, gems and art.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Iirc there’s a potion, two books, and one or two pearls to get. Oh, and some painting – though not in regent’s room as such.
      There is a ‘treasury’ of sorts on the second floor behind the (2nd-3rd floor) staircase, a bunch of stuff behind glass enclosures. Guard patrols are nearby, so breaking glass will cause an alert. There’s a similar treasure under the regent’s “panic room” – but it’s nearby patrolled by a tallboy, which is very very hard to dispatch with nolethally (can you even tranqdart them? I don’t remember).

      But as for super-large loot and such – no, not really. This whole place is big enough that collectively, the loot is pretty neat, but there really isn’t a big saferoom with piles of coin anywhere in this level (game).

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I also saw the betrayal coming a mile away. I think the worst part of that twist is that they never foreshadow it aside from some audio logs and journal entries, yet the fact that the game is so short and what was happening in the scene made it so painfully obvious.

      • I have to be honest and say that I didn’t see it coming until they gave me the alcohol.
        But that was probably because I didn’t listen to the audio logs (they were just too tedius and boring).
        And also because I heard somebody complain that Dishonored was too short the day before.
        But in retrospect it was so ludicrously obvious.

  5. Klay F. says:

    I hate that in modern stealth games, characters always seem to know who you are, where you’ve been, your actions, etc…

    The only modern game I can think of that did this even CLOSE to correctly was Alpha Protocol, and even then it didn’t really get it right, just less wrong.

    If you are making a stealth game, then you need to account for players who want to be a ghost. Just some handwaving would make this whole “the Boyle sisters know that it was you who dispatched their sister, and also know how to contact you” much more palatable.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I had the same thoughts when I went through the mission. Perhaps in that instance you can make the claim that his mask looks scary and THAT’S what they’re reacting to, not the fact that it’s the killer’s mask.

      Even still, it would have been nice to see some different lines for those who (like I did in my first playthrough) got to that point completely undetected.

  6. I don’t know if you seriously were wondering how you encounter more bugs via Josh’s playthrough, but I have a theory: It’s because he’s playing the game in a way the devs didn’t intend, exactly. He’s doing the automotive equivalent of taking a vehicle for a spin in a parking lot, the highway, into and out of a ditch, along a gravel road, through a pasture, over a median, and then seeing how fast it can go in second gear.

    If you think this isn’t an apt analogy, think about this: How many times have you taken your car in for a specific complaint (a “bug,” if you will), yet no amount of driving with the mechanic present will reproduce it?

    Also, Josh’s computer is probably under far more stress than most, with all the Fraps-ing and the streaming and the punning, so anything that could be triggered by a lack of resources is more likely to happen.

    • drlemaster says:

      Exactly this. A former employer had me doing some QA work (which I am in no way quailified for). We could run the standard test scripts for hours, and never find any problems. But when we tried stupid crap no one should actually do, we’d get system errors galore in about 5 minutes. Josh likes to do weird stuff the designers never thought anyone would try, so he finds all the glitches no one bothered to test for.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        See, that’s bad system design though.

        Really, it’s a usability problem – it should handle errors gracefully, tell the user what happened, and let them recorrect.

        Or, if this is the script crashing because of strings where numbers should be, then it should be error checked in the code. Never assume what you’re getting is what you should be getting.

        Ideally, QA should be able to figure out not just that there is a bug, but also be able to pinpoint exactly what causes it. So that the programmer can then take a look at the code that is involved in that part, and fix it.

        And considering Arkane in their promotional material said “We saw people do unexpected things, so we let the game allow you to do this weird things intentionally”, the whole “Unexpected behavior” excuse really falls flat.

        And as for the car analogy, that’s more about stress testing the game.

        Which brings me to my understanding of the problem – FRAPS.

        So far as I can tell, bugs become much more often when you’re streaming the game. The Disclosure Alert guys have the same problem.

        • I think everyone has that problem – almost every lengthy recording or stream of a game I’ve seen has a higher ratio of glitches than when playing normally.
          I can’t really see why that would be a problem though – you’ve got three programs accessing and writing to the same data, but most of that is audio/video, so I don’t know what’s happening.

          • guy says:

            For multithreaded games, I could see it knocking the timing of the different threads out of whack. Theoretically the different threads should wait for others to catch up, but that doesn’t always happen.

        • Wedge says:

          This is not how software works. It is not physically possible to find all the bugs in *any* non-trivial software, let alone something as complex as a modern video game. Some bugs are incredibly difficult to find and reproduce, especially if it involves timings of different threads as others have suggested. And it’s not possible to “handle errors gracefully” when you can’t find and reproduce those errors.

  7. qwksndmonster says:

    I completely missed all of the interactions with the little girl (already forgot her name, almost typed “Elizabeth”) at the Pub.

    Chris begrudgingly bringing up Bioshock again made me compare my experience of playing the two games directly. I agree that the gameplay in Dishonered is better than the gameplay in Bioshock (in pacing and options of play styles and because yay stealth), but the combat is not. I like the gameplay in Bioshock a heck of a lot more than Chris does, though, that’s for sure.

    I enjoyed Bioshock more than Dishonored because it actually had an emotional effect on me, which is why I actually finished that game and still haven’t gotten around to beating Dishonored, in which I never felt integrated into the story one bit.

    And instead of going through the game high and low chaos, I did a lethal stealth run. I’d randomly toss grenades about while I was sneaking and pick random times to wig out and go on a murder spree. It was so fun to be able to shift gears on my own accord like that. If only Dishonored had Bioshock’s interesting plot and characters and Bioshock had Dishonored’s incredibly fun emergent gameplay, we could’ve had two incredibly similar beautiful games.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      It’s interesting to compare them with regards to female companions because Bioshock: Infinite blows Dishonored out of the water in that regards. The interactions with Elizabeth made her really feel like a character.

      Emily, on the other hand, feels like a plot device and method by which the developers render judgement on your actions.

  8. Artur CalDazar says:

    “One good thing about this level is no outsider shrine” says Shamus when Josh picks up the note telling you where the outsider shrine is. Nice timing.

    That shrine however is so far out of the way that I only bothered to go there in my most recent playthrough. And my god did he reck my shit, I finally lucked out when I tranqued his dog, and he checked the body inexplicably facing away from me as he did so. I didn’t even know NPC’s checked bodies like that.

    Anyway as to the Outsider his line of “How will you deal with him, by blood or by truth?”. Thats actually a good setup for the non-lethal way to take down the regent, hinting that you can expose him and what he has done. That one and the end line of him expecting a good show are really all that was needed, the rest doesn’t go anywhere or do anything.

    The non-lethal option for the Regent really is the best out of any of them. There is zero downside to exposing him, he will be executed for his crimes so its not like he even gets to live. Happy to hear that Josh will be going for that.

    Hmm, I wonder, does the game take notice if you play his confession and then do your murder thing?

    • Thomas says:

      There is no downside to this non-lethal option. They even kill him anyway!

      (I’m not making a point btw)

      • Humanoid says:

        And killing has no negative repercussions whatsoever as long as you delegate it!

        • False Prophet says:

          But it’s done in a non-chaotic way, yadda-yadda.

          This is actually a good illustration of low chaos vs. high chaos.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          The idea about setting him up to be kiled anyways being good:

          1.) You’re not letting your anger at the character who framed you get in the way.

          2.) You’ve proven you didn’t kill the Empress because you didn’t kill (At least some) of the people involved.

          3.) You’ve let lawful forces prevail on the situation.

          Basically Lawful Good vs. Chaotic Good.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I agree. This particular non-lethal was the best in the entire game except maybe for Daud.

      It’s the thing you would WANT to do. Player’s would WANT to expose him for what he is and let the people decide his fate. With a lot of the other targets, I didn’t feel like the non-lethal option was the option I’d want to go about it except maybe the High Overseer.

      I wanted to either find some way to remove the Pendletons from Parliament through either a political scandal or draining their resources and diverting them either to me or the other Pendleton.

      I wanted to not give Lady Boyle to the rapist and perhaps convince her to fund our side instead of the Regent’s.

      Maybe the next game in the franchise could have multiple scripted non-lethals as well. Hitman has tons of scripted kills, but also tons of potential to create your own kills. Dishonored could easily embody this design principal.

      • Abnaxis says:

        Talking about this made me wonder: why is everyone looking for the non-lethal option to be the “better” one?

        I mean yeah, there’s the whole Chaos system passing judgement yadda yadda, but even beyond that there seems to be this implicit assumption that the nonlethal option should be “better.”

        That got me to thinking more, that maybe it’s expecting rewards to vary by how much work you do? Take the High Overseer, for example–You have to drag his body around and get him branded. Harder to pull off, and gets you a “better,” if somewhat nonsensical, result. By contrast, take Lady Boyle. By all accounts, the non-lethal option is worse than the lethal one, but it’s also easier. After you identify her, all you have to do is talk to her, as opposed to getting her to a secluded place to kill her.

        Of course, not all of the assassinations follow this pattern, but it gives me an interesting idea. What if a game actually did thematically tie its story outcomes to how much effort the player put in? And I don’t just mean “get 100% woobies saved and you unlock the special ending,” I mean…well…I guess the way Dishonored tries to do it, only right. In a way, the “chaos” system is more of a “how much time are you going to spend to complete your objectives in a constructive way” measure, it’s just implemented poorly. On paper, it seems like it could be really awesome if it was done right.

        • Thomas says:

          Well here I think by better most people mean ‘nicer’ and the reason they’d expect that is it’s in contrast to, you know, killing someone and gets you whats clearly a good (as in opposite of evil) ending.

          If there’s an expectation it should be better gameplay wise it’s because incapacitating someone non-lethally is harder and so has to be more elaborate when designed anyway.

          Mass Effect had a ‘time=better ending system’. Chris was complaining about it

        • newdarkcloud says:

          Simple: If the “non-lethal” options aren’t better, or at least could be reasonably believed to be better than the lethal alternative by a rational human being, what is the point of taking it?

          And there is also the Chaos system. The fact that Low Chaos offers a much more stable, prosperous Dunwall implies that the Non-lethal options are better. When they aren’t, that causes a disconnect.

          It would be interesting if they offered multiple different non-lethals that had there own chaos ratings, some low chaos and some high chaos, along with a sliding chaos scale for the lethal kills as well. (As an example, killing the High Overseer when he goes to kill Curnow should be less chaotic than lunging at him in full view of everyone.)
          I know why they wouldn’t do this. It’s hard to implement and provides its own set of potential problems, but allotting multiple options both lethal and non-lethal, plus the emergent gameplay possibilities, allows for tons of variance.

    • Irregular says:

      Would you say that the Torturer was harder to beat than Daud?

  9. AJax says:

    “The Outsider is a douche”. Huh, For a second, I thought that piece of wall scribbling was actually part of the world. It would make the developers far more self-aware of their own plot. :P

  10. Thomas says:

    I think a Mr Lord Regent has been watching too much Mitchell and Webb

  11. AyeGill says:

    The “keep writing the story after it’s over” idea also appears in Gödel, Escher, Bach, although I couldn’t tell you if it originated there.

  12. rrgg says:

    It’s the best non-lethal option in the game, but it still shouldn’t count. Those two guards you see arresting him take the Lord Regent out back and decide to straight-up murder him.

    • TheGloriousBeardOfOdin says:

      What happens if you incapacitate them before they have the chance?

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Wait, really? I never even knew that. You mean, the entire sequence of the guards killing him and such is animated and all? Wow.

      • guy says:

        I could have sworn I later heard that he was imprisoned and awaiting trial and execution. But I think I took out the guards because I somehow mistook the Lord Regent for the guy running the announcement system.

        Wiki says it’s influenced by Chaos, but I was running pretty high-chaos.

  13. Hitchmeister says:

    Josh is the Anti-Lebowski. He forsakes the Path of Dudeness and travels the The Dudeless Way.

    (Sorry)

    “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.” Is the highest praise and encouragement you can ever give a punster. Just so you know.

    Classic Josh: I don’t have any grenades for this mission. I used them all on the naked woman in the bath tub. That said, developers really should send him a release candidate to see how much he can break it and try to fix those things before going gold. (Even though the glitch that prompted that conversation wasn’t, Josh finds far too many that are glitches.)

    • Humanoid says:

      Chris is usually so calm and measured even in expressing disapproval (“I boo that”) that this outburst came as a genuine surprise. First time Ruts has been able to crack that façade as far as I can remember.

      And yeah, to add to the grenade thing, it also comes after Josh spent all the monies in a shopping spree that didn’t include a single grenade.

  14. Irridium says:

    I like to think they knew it was Josh playing. That way them sending a thank-you note for not wantonly murdering everybody makes sense. You may still ask “but how did they know where the Resistance is?” And my response is “They knew Josh was playing, so shush.”

  15. Eric says:

    The Lord Regent must be a board member of the Umbrella Corporation. Maybe he went to business school with Albert Wesker.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I think it is actually somewhat explained why he has a complete confession lying around, in the form that he is on the verge of a mental breakdown due to his plan falling apart and increasingly-OCD tendencies, as he needs to have everything in “order”. As things are crumbling around him he’s getting increasingly unstable, thus leading him to do things like record his entire evil plan to try and maintain his sanity.

      • Irridium says:

        Which you can then broadcast to the entire city.

        Easily the best non-lethal option in the game. Daud’s was also pretty nice, but since I cared pretty much nothing for Corvo, his life, the Empress, or Emily… it didn’t have as big an impact as it could have.

  16. Sneeky says:

    60 pages of unrelated text after the real ending of a book? Sounds like the final third of Bioshock :P

    • Abnaxis says:

      I think I’m the only person who actually liked most of the endgame of Bioshock (though the boss battle was BS).

      I keep hoping they’ll reshow the Bioshock SW season so I can talk about it. I missed out on the first showing.

  17. kenup says:

    Yeah, the betrayal was pretty obvious.

    Although, I was hoping the twist would be Corvo being the one behind the Empress’s assassination. I was disappointed when I reached the tower and the clues told otherwise(especially the contents of the Regent’s safe).

  18. River Birch says:

    *claps my hands over and over again* Shamus, you are the best man ever. You have made my Monday with that.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow,listening to you guys in plastic stereo instead of wooden surround really does you a disservice.Especially to Josh.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow,that jailer kicked your ass.Josh,were you drunk again?

    As for red dwarf,Rutskarn is forgiven for not recognizing that,since he is a minor.But Chris?Shame on you,you smEE-Hee.

  21. impassiveimperfect says:

    What’s the ‘That awkward moment…’ tag line thing for Chris in the credits a reference to?

    Was it something I missed, or is it his…uhh…reputation-destroying secret?

  22. newdarkcloud says:

    On a happy note, JOSH FINALLY BOUGHT THE GODDAMN RUNE!!!!

  23. Concerning Chris’s comment about the High Overseer nonlethal option, I was thinking how hilariously awesome it would be if the game allowed you to knock out as many Overseers as you wanted, then brand them all. They could all wake up later then think, “Wait WHAT?”

  24. somniorum says:

    The Outsider rather confuses me…

    From the way he talks, he’s *clearly* one of the Tranquil who left the Circle. However, he still uses magic…

    Maybe being made Tranquil affects whales differently than humanoids.

  25. guy says:

    Yeah, the torturer is the second or third hardest fight in the game, behind Daud and Granny Rags. Granny Rags implies he’s her son in dialogue somewhere, although I have no idea if they’re actually related or it’s just her being crazy and thinking of all Outsider cultists as one big happy family.

  26. RTBones says:

    That was an interesting take on the torturer. Me, I tranq’d the dog. When the torturer gets done his business, he comes out, looks at the dog, then walks out to the stairs to take a look. After a second or two, he goes back. I crept behind him and choked him out as he did so.

    EDIT: Also, Josh skipped an awful lot of what I went through just to get inside, and I spent almost the entire level going high, not on the ground.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I transqued the dog, ran away real quickly, and then choked the Torturer out during my Low Chaos/Non-Lethal/Ghost playthrough.

      I felt pretty awesome.

      Honestly, I didn’t know he had powers until Josh fought him.

      • RTBones says:

        Once I had choked the Torturer out, gotten the rune, etc, I went back to an earlier save just to see how the fight would go, which is where I figured out he had powers. I also realized that the key for my fight style was to take the dog out first. It didnt dawn on me to use my old Fallout 3/NV fight style of backup and drop mines similar to Josh.

  27. guy says:

    You know, I actually really liked using the rewire tools. Sure, usually you can just shut down the system, but turning an Arc Pylon on the guards is really handy on lethal playthroughs, and luring them into charging through a Wall Of Light is good fun. I actually used Dark Vision just to trace cables.

  28. MrGuy says:

    Hooray for emancipation from hideous strip-ed pants.

    BEEEEEEEEES!

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