Dishonored DLC – Knife of Dunwall EP5: Statue of Limitations

By Shamus
on Mar 9, 2017
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I know everyone is going to want to talk about the emergent bugs that Josh discovers, but I’m content to let that stand on its own. Instead let’s talk about the Outsider. The Outsider says to Daud after a low chaos mission, “Surprisingly clean work for a man with so much blood on his hands. Did the Empress change you? Or do you think this will help you dodge what’s coming? You’d better hurry. You’re running out of rope.”

You know, that’s actually pretty good. Those are interesting questions. Why is this career assassin suddenly working so hard to spare lives? Like the question of “Are you the Nerevarine?” in Morrowind, it’s something the player needs to decide for themselves. It’s an introspective sort of roleplaying. I don’t know that this kind of fill-in-the-blanks-yourself approach to character could carry an entire game, but they do make for interesting little moments.

Too bad these questions came from the mouth of the God of Boring. I guess you can’t really fix that in the DLC.

Or can you? It might have been interesting to make it so the Outsider has a different face and personality to each person. Daud sees a little mischief urchin, Emily sees a crafty old woman, and Corvo sees Mr. Boring. I don’t know if that idea would “click” for the audience, or if people would just assume they were dealing with a different god.

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From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wonder,is that plant thing an homage to the nature goddess in thief?

    • baseless_research says:

      In general the dishonored universe seems to be aping the Thief universe but with slightly less colorful language. The Overseers are pretty much hammerites without the thine’s and thou’s -though they are also slightly less focused on tech with the exception of music boxes- and the witches are pagans without the weirdsy wrongsy languagesy.

      What we’re missing is keepers.

    • Ledel says:

      There’s the plant/art goddess of flora and there’s the (boring) angry whale bone god of fauna. It could be a whole dichotomy thing going on! Only I’m guessing they don’t explore anything like that at all in Dishonored 2.

  2. Andy_Panthro says:

    Perhaps it might have been better if they’d used a few more of those dream-like sequences, where you’re in the void, with fragments of locations with various people of note present. That way, when the outsider is talking about someone or someplace, you can actually wander about and see what he’s talking about.

    Being monologued at by a mysterious bloke with no interesting or noticeable character traits isn’t a great way to get your player to invest and engage with the exposition dump.

    As to the episode itself, I really did like the big house you can explore. Multiple levels, multiple entrances and exits, and a lot of people. It’s a great place to explore, with lots of places to hide. I also loved the note Josh found near the end (18:35) where it says “Lockpicks? A fable”, a little nod that this game may share a lot of things with Thief, but that isn’t one of them.

  3. thejcube says:

    It might have been interesting to make it so the Outsider has a different face and personality to each person. Daud sees a little mischief urchin, Emily sees a crafty old woman, and Corvo sees Mr. Boring. I don’t know if that idea would “click” for the audience, or if people would just assume they were dealing with a different god.

    Maybe a different person each time, who just happens to resemble the level’s populace? Corvo’s sneaking about, runs into a guard, then said guard starts talking and it’s the Outsider.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Actually, this might make the whole “boring voice, no emotion” thing work. The player would know they’re talking to the same god, because of the same delivery and voice actor. The different-bodies thing would reinforce that the Outsider is an being, who’s been through everything, and doesn’t care about one particular person at any given time. Plus, having them in a different body would excuse the bland voice delivery, since it could be assumed that this god is constantly shifting bodies, and might not even truly know/remember, how a human normally acts or emotes. :)

      • thejcube says:

        Semi-related: in Dishonored II we learn more about the Outsider: Turns out he’s just some kid who was sacrificed and sent to the Void, where he managed to seize godlike power. The Big Bad Delilah Copperspoon canonically survives Doud’s attack and then tries to do the same thing.

        Which, I think is a mistake to learn that much about the Outsider. One of the few things that the Outsider had going for him was that he’s an all-powerful being who likes to toy with bugs because he’s bored; we can understand his motives but not him.

  4. Peter H Coffin says:

    Honestly, I think making The Outsider appear differently to each person would just end up confusing a lot of gamers and there would be wails and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Which would prompt the game companies to decide they HAD TO lore-justify why each one looked like they did, which would end up ruining the otherworldliness of the whole thing.

  5. Christopher says:

    How is Billie Link and not like, a Shy Guy? Or a Snifit.

    Edit: At this rate I’m expecting Delilah to be underneath Billie’s mask.

  6. Somniorum says:

    The last episode, when people kept talking about what The Outsider looked like, made me suddenly realise…

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/10/10/1412963003059/17a1c8eb-76fd-4abc-97d4-db0d7c20a29d-2060×1236.jpeg

    He’s basically Ian Curtis.

    Or, well… Ian Curtis, if nothing was interesting about Ian Curtis.

  7. Tizzy says:

    […] and Corvo sees Mr. Boring

    Justified in that case because Corvo himself is Mr. Boring.

    Back at the beginning of this season, the question came up: “Why was Corvo made into a silent protagonist?” My guess is so that players could decide for themselves what Corvo’s exact motivation was. Leaving the motivation up to the players would seem necessary given the wide range of player expression in the game, from invisible ghost to ominicidal maniac.

    But in the end, it doesn’t work, does it? Better to give the protagonist a vague enough motivation and a voice, and let the player reconcile their play style with it.

  8. Warclam says:

    I agree, I too was struck by the Outsider actually delivering some good lines.

    Wow, I love that portrait of Delilah at 3:00 ish.

    • Ringwraith says:

      There’s the one time he almost briefly expresses surprise if Corvo’s gotten through most of the game with little chaos, of all the possible outcomes he’s seen of Corvo being empowered to exact revenge, he didn’t actually expect that particular path to be walked.

  9. Nick-B says:

    One of the biggest issues with doing stealth gameplay in this first game is that it mostly requires you to use a very specific rune that greatly improves things. Strong Arms let’s you choke someone out in like 1/5 the time it usually takes. But since the runes you find are completely randomized each play, it is very possible to not get that rune until the very last level. From what I recall of my playthroughs, it usually DOES come in the later half of the game.

    It’s very frustrating that 90% of the powers and runes support lethal play. Daud’s pause time for blink is handy, but not really a stealth-only item.

  10. guy says:

    I have to admit, I didn’t find Emily’s new nonlethal powers all that amazing. The link power is brilliant and wonderful in concept, but the range and the distance between linked characters is so low I almost never was able to link even two, much less three or four, characters without alerting them. It was incredibly cool using it in combat, though, and led to one of two hilarious accidental suicides; I linked two people, and the one in the back shot at me, missed, and killed the one in the front. That’s competing with the guy who shattered a display case full of bloodflies and the inevitable occurred.

    • Rack says:

      On the flip side I was impressed by Emily’s non lethal powers. Since I mess up the stealth all the time Link was amazing for smoothing those edges over. Get caught, link everyone together then sleep them all for one dart. Game changing.

      • guy says:

        Usually if I messed up and got spotted, it meant I had dug myself into a hole too deep to link my way out of; by the time I got everyone in the area linked reinforcements would arrive.

    • DeathbyDysentery says:

      There are plenty of ways to play around with the full spread of mechanics to achieve a pacifist run. I’m pretty sure that’s what Chris meant: in Dishonored 1, pacifists were basically limited to sleep darts and a couple stealthy powers, and all the other mechanics were useless to them. In Dishonored 2, most of Emily’s powers have some nonlethal application, there are a wide variety of nonlethal items, and the runecrafting system can be used to support a pacifist build just as much as a lethal build. In addition, the moveset supports nonlethal combat with alerted guards. Because of this, even nonlethal gameplay can be dynamic, creative, and improvisational.

      But anyway, who even needs powers or items to be nonlethal in Dishonored 2? After all, the best new addition to the game was the ability to instantly CHOKESLAM anyone into unconsciousness for free after a well-timed slide tackle. It’s kind of a specialty skill, but it’s entirely possible to alert an entire compound and then knock them all out in open combat with the power of WRESTLING.

    • Isaac says:

      There are a bunch of different ways to take dudes out nonlethally in Dishonored 2:
      – Using Far Reach to yank guards towards you
      – Using Domino
      – Shooting guards in the leg or foot with a crossbow bolt to make ’em fall down so you can knock em out
      – Knocking them out from above
      – Sliding into or successfully countering them & putting them into a chokehold
      – Using Mesmerize, Shadow Walk and Possession

      There are also a bunch of nonlethal tools you can use as well: Sleep darts, howling bolts, stinging bolts and stun mines.

      • PoignardAzur says:

        “Knock out from above” is ridiculously overpowered, especially once you get Agility (the double jump). You basically become Batman; you can alert an entire room of people, and stun them one by one by double jumping then crashing on them. You don’t even have to spend mana, and it’s way faster than knowing them out.

        I was frustrated watching Spoiler Warning, because I kept thinking “Why is he stomping that guy? Oh right, he can’t, it’s lethal in this game”.

  11. guy says:

    I don’t think that when they made the DLC they were planning to have it lead into Dishonored 2 like it did. Mostly because of how it ends; after what happens Delilah just showing back up in the opening cutscene is incredibly jarring. I think the story was meant to be self-contained or at least stay on the back burner for a while, but they had trouble coming up with a compelling new villain who could carry the entire game and decided to pull Delilah back in ahead of schedule.

    As for changing the Outsider in the DLC, I think if you went with keeping the midnight-black eyes as a touchstone people would get the idea. Toss in a book owned by an overseer talking about how heretic descriptions of the Outsider are inconsistant, with the only constant being his empty black eyes in appropriately flowerly language just to make sure.

    Oh, and the supercontinent is named Pandyssia, which is greek for “Every bad thing”.

    • PoignardAzur says:

      You know, I was pretty sure that “heretic descriptions of the Outsider are inconsistent” was actually canon, so I was kind of jarred that everyone saw exactly the same Outsider.

      It could have been an interesting to have two Outsiders models in Dishonored 2, depending on which character you picked; they could even have kept the same voice actor between the two, just with a different appearance.

  12. el_b says:

    theres a map of the empire of the isles in the collectors edition. if you flip it vertically it looks a bit like a fatter japan.

  13. Darren says:

    If there’s one thing about Dishonored 2 that I really disliked, it’s that they doubled-down on the boring nature of the Outsider and gave him some backstory to smother any interesting possible explanation for what’s going on with him.

    • Volvagia says:

      I get that probably wasn’t the best decision, but they’d made their choice with the general look and delivery style. And I’d say: Within the limited frame work of this kind of interpretation, Robin Lord Taylor (wasted on Gotham, possibly the DUMBEST show to make it past two seasons) is an improvement on Billy Lush.

  14. Benjamin Hilton says:

    Everyone seems to debate about the stealth and fighting mechanics, but for my money the best mechanics in the game are all traversal. When Josh realized he had forgotten something, he was three buildings away in under 30 seconds. This is both because of the implementation of blink, as well as the design and placing of the buildings themselves. It really makes you feel powerful being able to move across a map like that compared to everyone else. One of the biggest mistakes with the mechanics of Assassin’s Creed was that everyone could just climb up onto the roofs after you.

  15. Ultrapotassium says:

    Josh – you know you you can stop time in midair with blink, right? The blink time stop works whenever you let go of the movement keys (and jump key), regardless of your current velocity. It really helps in not missing your blinks.

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