Dishonored DLC – Knife of Dunwall EP3: Surprise Skydiving

By Shamus Posted Friday Mar 3, 2017

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 53 comments

Link (YouTube)

Like we mentioned in earlier episodes: The game keeps making callbacks to the original assassination scene. We revisit here in Knife of Dunwall, and (according to the rest of the cast) we get another look at it in Dishonored 2. That’s good, inasmuch as it makes it feel like that one event continues reverberate through the world. History is most interesting as a chain of cascading cause and effect, rather than as a list of isolated events.

But it also means the entire series is kind of hobbled by the rushed and shallow opening of the first game. The story is making callbacks to a moment that had almost no emotional punch. We’re betrayed by people we’ve never heard of, blamed for the death of someone we just met, and lose the honor and prestige of a job we never got to do. Yes, I realize that this is a big moment for Corvo. But that’s my point: The story didn’t give us time to connect with the protagonist and his life before it pulled the rug out from under him. Magnifying the importance of the assassination also magnifies this shortcoming in the story. It’s like if the KOTOR universe turned on the death of short-lived tutorial buddy Trask.

Actually, it’s even worse than that. I mean, we spent a good ten minutes with Trask before he hilariously failed to defeat a Sith. But the empress dies in the same conversation where she’s introduced.

If they’d just spent a little more time on that opening, it would be paying dividends now.


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53 thoughts on “Dishonored DLC – Knife of Dunwall EP3: Surprise Skydiving

  1. Turtlebear says:

    I know I have played too many Bioware games when I looked at those options and thought “locking Rothwild in a shipping crate isn’t a paragon option!”

  2. Hal says:

    I always felt like Deus Ex did a good job establishing normal for the player before yanking the rug out from under you. The only criticism I’d level at it is that it didn’t do much to establish the change before you’re suddenly working against your employer.

  3. NoneCallMeTim says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I am waiting for the ‘Fork of Dunwall’ to come out.

    1. Andy says:

      The Spork of Dunwall. It’s actually a VR flensing simulator. Them whales ain’t gonna process themseves, yanno.

    2. Is that the steampunk cousin of the Fork of Horripilation?

    3. Syal says:

      Stick a fork in it, it’s Dunwall.

  4. Schottlander says:

    Hey Josh, you can jump and Blinks stop time ability mid air.

  5. Teddy says:

    I’ve definitely toyed with the idea of doing a long-form Dishonored deconstruction inspired by your Mass Effect series. Such a fun game, with such a dumb story.

  6. MichaelGC says:

    Josh and the Heavy Dude That Needs to Be Over There.

  7. Thomas says:

    14:48 is a thing of beauty. Josh blinks _half_ way down a 20m drop with a heavy guy over his shoulder, breaks both his legs on impact with the other half of that 20m drop, shrugs it off and then haphazardly throws the guy against an open shipping crate.

  8. Benjamin Hilton says:

    *gasp* How DARE you Shamus. Trask Is my favorite character!

    But seriously, I do always like to ponder on how these “Jenkins” characters would fit in to the rest of the group if games didn’t always follow this trope.

    1. Viktor says:

      DA actually fleshed out your 2 Grey Wannabe companions. They had backstories, distinct personalities, and actual motivations. Bland ones, but it was a nice thing to see if you talked to them.

      1. Christopher says:

        The only thing goving away their imminent death was that nobody on the internet ever mentioned their names in conversation.

        1. SharpeRifle says:

          Well that and Janeway almost outright telling you so.

          1. Christopher says:


            1. ehlijen says:

              Flemeth and Cpt Janeway form ST Voyager have the same voice actor.

              1. Christopher says:


              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                same voice actor

                I knew it!Janeway was dubbed in post.The lip syncing was so obviously off./Silly joke

        2. ehlijen says:

          Also, they had no xp bar.

          1. Ringwraith says:

            Or affection bar either.
            They’ve since gotten a bit better about this.
            A later game gives some doomed characters the full interface treatment so there’s nothing to distinguish them from the others.

            1. ehlijen says:

              They haven’t pulled the Bethesda trick of hiring Patrick Stewart to voice the intro-death character yet, to my knowledge.

              Trask, the DA:O crew…they were all visibly simpler in character design and audibly different in voice actor quality than the more notable permanent companions.

        3. Grudgeal says:

          And the redhead being stabbed to death in an explosion of gore was featured prominently in the game’s trailer.

          1. Christopher says:

            Hahah, I remember that trailer being fucking crazy compared to the final game, but I forget the individual bits of it.

            1. Christopher says:

              Ah, you were perhaps thinking of something different, I meant this thing.


              The “fucking crazy” part was in comparison to the actual gameplay.


      2. Merlin says:

        I don’t remember either of their names, but I do remember liking them more than all of the companions in the game proper. :/

        Edit: Well, that’s not entirely true. There was the dog.

    2. Mike S. says:

      Bioware’s kind of gotten away from the sacrificial starting companion, hasn’t it? They had it in KoTOR, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, the DA:O Awakening expansion, and DA2. But not in Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, or Dragon Age Inquisition.

      1. Benjamin Hilton says:

        It’s more than just not sacrificing a character. I’d like to see that character be there… and then survive.

      2. Christopher says:

        I really liked that Dragon Age Inquisition starts with a full party of two people you know from Dragon Age 2 and then this one bald stranger who just showed up because he was in the area and isn’t at all suspicious.

      3. 4ier says:

        …Mass Effect 2 has Wilson, the guy that teaches you how to use medigel. Just because he’s forgettable doesn’t mean he’s not a dead tutorial character. :P
        Mass Effect 3 has Anderson, who doesn’t DIE after the tutorial, but is no longer part of your squad. It also has the Virmire survivor, who gets incapacitated for half (?) of the game at the end of the first real mission.
        I haven’t played the DA series, but are you REALLY sure your assessment is correct? :)

        1. galacticplumber says:

          Yeah, and he wasn’t even the only sacrifice. They also killed the writing quality…. Oh and shep.

        2. Thomas says:

          There’s something wrong with me – this makes me want to boot up a Bioware game.

          1. galacticplumber says:

            Go with Jade Empire. Alternatively Mass Effect 1, but I’d recommend Jade Empire.

  9. Christopher says:

    This season is really fun so far. I’ve started watching the Dishonored 1 season, and this stuff is way more entertaining. It helps so much that Daud has a personality and talks, as well as a friend to talk with.

  10. Leipävelho says:

    This has actually convinced me to buy Dishonored

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I saw the light blocking the entrance as I neared the shipyard
    I saw the flickering shadows of my assassins scouting the pier
    There was the ship
    As the guards were patrolling around I knocked them unconscious
    My,my,my delilah

    I could see the whale bloody and tortured
    And I was lost with voices telling me to end it
    At break of the day for the guard shifts to change,I was waiting
    I cross the beam to the interrogation room and I shoot my dart

    I could see that the ship was sailing away
    And I was lost like a sailor that no longer can sail
    At break of day when that daud drove away,I was waiting
    I cross the peer to where it was moored and it sounded the horn
    He fell asleep
    I brandished the knife in my hand and the woman greeted me
    My,my,my delilah

    So before they come to search this room
    Tell me where the ship called delilah is,so it can go boom

    1. Galad says:

      *slow clap* :)

  12. Sharnuo says:

    I will quit watching the show if Ruts doesn’t make a “Hey there Delillah” joke when they finally meet her.

    Some people will probably quit watching if he does.

  13. Sharnuo says:

    Does… Does Doud have an UNDERMOUNTED wrist crossbow? Can you even imagine how easy it would be to impale your own palm with that?

    1. Never put anything sharp on the insides of the wrists. I might speak from painful experience involving a cable needle (sharp at both ends and easy to loose) and thinking that the underside of the ace I had wrapped around that wrist was a good place to stick it in between uses. Nothing like impaling part of the base of the thumb to teach that lesson.

    2. Philadelphus says:

      Surely it would be just as easy to impale the back of your hand if it were overmounted, no?

      That’s…probably why such devices are typically found only in fiction, come to think of it.

      1. Jabrwock says:

        Some versions I’ve seen mount the front of the support plate to the back/front of the hand, so when your hand goes up or down it pushes the front of the crossbow away from the hand.

        But that would be awkward on the inside of the wrist, so most designs that use this put it on the outside of the wrist.

        You could however, add a safety bar that would engage the safety when the hand is pushed down, which would reduce the number of “bolt through hand” injuries.

      2. Sharnuo says:

        True but with gravity being the way it is your hand is going to hang down more often than not. But yeah definitely can see why wrist crossbows aren’t really a thing.

  14. Ranneko says:

    Ouch, so a lot of what slowed Josh down towards the end, and contributed to all the falls, is that you cannot ledge-grab while carrying someone.

    If he had dropped the weeper he would have had a significantly easier time because all the close blinks could have got him up to where he wanted to go.

  15. chiefnewo says:

    The opening of Dishonored lost me from the very start when they told me Corvo was sent to ask other nations for aid against the plague. The bodyguard. I’m sure he was a very good bodyguard but shouldn’t an “Empress” have a whole shitload of diplomats she could send who would be better at it? She says to him “You were the only one I could trust” but that just means she probably should lose her throne because she’s rubbish at her job.

  16. Mike says:

    This is literally whole Game Over menu at the end of the video:

    – “Resume from Last Save”
    – “Load Game”
    – “Exit the Mission”
    – “Exit the Knife of Dunwall”
    – “Back to Windows”

    Feels like it has 1 load and 2 exit options too many to me.
    UI quirks aside, guess I’ll have to stop watching and play the thing sometime as well, it looks great.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      All of those are actually useful menu options.It may seem bloated,but thats actually a good menu.

      If you want to see what a bad menu looks like,then let me remind you of the glory that is assassins creed 1:

      1. Mike says:

        There’s a middle ground between these extremes though, and imo more common “Last save? Yes/No”, or binary choice to similar effect, or even just implicit “yes” on any key, is a decent non-ridiculous option.

        I mean, you have “main menu” with “load” and “exit” options, as well as everything else, laid-out in a consistent fashion already, why present random (rephrased, obfuscated, displaced, redundant, bloated, etc) selections at odd places instead of just dropping player back there on “retry=nope”.

        And again, don’t mean some even more ridiculous stuff like AssCreed games – guess it was that famed “creative process” of Ubisoft at work (aka “truckload of cocaine”).

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          They arent random.You have the option to reload last save at the top,which is the one usually picked upon death,and it cuts the unnecessary going through the load menu when you dont need it.Then you have the load option for when your last save was not the best one,removing a needless trip to the main menu for this choice.Then there is the rage quit option for when you are just fed up with the game and just want to quit.And the other two are options for when you want to try a different mission/different difficulty/whatever(the main menu option),and the option to go back to the base game without the need to go through windows or the main menu first.

          This is the minimum number of options* to have that you dont need to jump through extra hoops.The binary “last save yes/no” you describe would make loading a different save,quitting to windows and quitting to the base game take you through two menus instead of giving you just this single one.

          *For a dlc.In the base game youd have only two exits instead of three.

          1. Mike says:

            The binary “last save yes/no” you describe would make … take you through two menus instead of giving you just this single one.

            Indeed it will, and we clearly disagree on whether it’s an acceptable trade-off for having single menu instead of multiple different ones.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              For stuff that you should do once or twice,like adjusting the graphics and sounds,its not a big deal to have multiple menus(though you shouldnt go overboard and have every setting in a separate menu,obviously).But for stuff that happens somewhat regularly,like the death screen(depending on the difficulty,of course),you should keep menus and pages to the minimum.Here,functionality and convenience comes before aesthetics.

      2. Zekiel says:

        The Assassin’s Creed menu was a glorious thing. I still have nightmares about it.

    2. Zekiel says:

      I can’t recall the exact details, but I remember that this structure was very annoying with the “Dunwall City Trials” DLC. If you wanted to change between one trial and another you had to do more loading that really seemed like it should be necessary.

  17. MrGuy says:

    But the empress dies in the same conversation where she's introduced.
    If they'd just spent a little more time on that opening, it would be paying dividends now.

    This has always bugged me about the game. They were in such a rush to get to you being “dishonored” that they never bothered to have you be “honored” first.

    It would have been awesome if the tutorial (instead of waiting until AFTER you were tried and imprisoned) had been first, where maybe you work on a sensitive mission to save the empress from some embarassment by a minor conspirator who’s trying to hurt her. They could have established the relationship, the types of things she trusts you with, and what worries her.

    It wasn’t a terribly hard stage to set…

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