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Disco Elysium spoilery thread

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Prime Junta, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
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    I feel like there its a difficult balance between scripted and allowing for personal interpretation and LARPING. As the finale showed us, clearly quite a few people think the game went too far in the former direction at the end there.

    Personally I found my own Keitel's Bad Lieutenant Sociopath Cop's arc to be pretty profound, and I never even triggered the juicy latter dream sequences. The kind of frantic tone shift between remorse and absolution my character experienced can't really be captured solely through scripted events. On the other hand, had the game forced me to go through a more conclusive and less ambiguous personal journey, I could very well have been dissatisfied by its heavy-handedness. Maybe I'm just too much of a dirtbag larper, though? But I feel like the game's entire skill system begets larping.

    Whether Harry finds a new perspective is kind of up to you - you've got your political and aesthetic copotypes, after all. He can also very much sink into oblivion if you get kicked out of the force and face the phasmid alone (with no one there, Harry will actually think that he is hallucinating, especially since the Deserter is adamant he can't see the creature).
     
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  2. tripedal Learned

    tripedal
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    You get it from crab dude. I never got the good crowbar but I got into the computer systems.
     
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  3. Popiel Magister Patron

    Popiel
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    You did good my tagging me Lithium Flower. I’ll just shamelessly spoil everything now, so new players, please get the fuck out if you want to enjoy Disco Elysium.

    Identifying me as one of the biggest detractors of the second act of Disco Elysium isn’t farfetched. I do think that game is flawed at structural level, i.e. its narrative is designed badly from the ground up. Your text, while insightful, hadn’t changed my mind ‘bout that, more so, I believe we agree on a lot of things and final assessment of the plot as a whole differs us.

    I do agree that there’s reactivity in the whole sequence which starts with finding Ruby (which, by the way, I internally interpret as start of the “second act” – after confrontation with her game changes when it comes to structure quite heavily), or, to be exact, in each of these sequences. Game checks you very thoroughly both during the shootout, and during conversation with the Deserter, and during final talk with your task force. These are all good things and it’s superb that game takes into account everything Harry did. That’s not a problem.

    What’s a problem is visible and jarring break in construction of the narrative. I’ll explain like this, best (and fastest) I can. Up until confrontation with Ruby you, as a player, have relative freedom of choice when it comes to proceeding with the case. Day 3 whole map is unlocked (bar the island of course) and Harry can go and do whatever he wants. You can play roleplaying game all day, read ‘bout man from Hjelmdall all day, run ‘round and waste your time. You have freedom of choice, relative obviously, just as the game is only semi-open, not truly open (which is a good thing mind you).

    After the conversation you’re heavily railroaded. Suddenly. You can’t prevent the shootout. People will always die. You will always get shot dead for two days. You will always fail to obtain a boat which would get you to the island before the shootout. All of this would be fine if not for obvious ways in which Harry could initiate actions that could lead to different outcomes. Game takes narrative tools away to build tension and drama, worse, game takes away simple logic – fact you not mentioned but implied yourself. A decision to try to reach the island is a logical one and simple to make (you got three possible locations of the sniper, two of them are not the correct places, you decide to check the third one – it’s Int -10 solution, if not for hoboHarry then for Kim certainly). Devs chose to present player with a pure parody of a choice, you cannot dodge this fuckin’ second bullet even if you’re Neo and this is Kansas no more.

    This is jarring. I’m not against taking away player freedom. I’m for it. But it must be smart. Best games establish clear boundaries, and one of the most impressive modern classics, New Vegas, does that by bending the engine and design philosophy of the game it's based on and company it took the licence from. And it’s good, ‘cause good story can exist only within boundaries. If the game had an option to try to go to the island and fail – I would be fine with it. If the game had an option to go to the island, take the Deserter and prevent the shootout – I would be even better. I agree that there are narrative reasons not to do these things. I just abhor the idea that I’m implicitily told by the devs that No, you won’t do that, not in this tight, beautifully crafted story we made, fuck off.

    It’s arbitrary, it’s against what’s established in the first act, and it’s just bad game design. As I wrote in other places: when story needs to make you stupid to establish themes or atmosphere then the story is shit, all tension goes to fuck itself (‘cause when you know that the storymaker can nullify rules when he wants to what’s the reason to care anymore? anything can happen), all reason to play (for me) is heavily diminished.

    That’s what I have to say ‘bout that. Thank you for your message of course.

    EDIT: Abovementioned structural flaws don’t apply to the ending alone if I might add just as a side note. I already wrote that, but this message will serve as a sort of summary, I guess, so I can repeat myself. Game wasn’t play tested enough or by correct people outside of the dev office. Players everywhere, even on fuckin’ Steam, come up with similar questions and offer interesting answers. Why can’t Harry try to sleep on the bench? In the boiler room? Why can’t he make artsy Skulls girl go away, or convince her to let him sleep there? Simple question, and yet people figure this out. Game praises itself for its freedom of choice (relative). Yet it lacks some obvious, simple options.

    EDIT2: I love that I tend to get tagged with Sawyer for my opinions 'bout DE. Truly an age in which you either go for extremes or be deemed a balancian.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  4. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
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    How to meet Dolores Dei (ex-girl) in sleep (?). I saw screenshots and in video, but i didnt find her in game.
     
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  5. Prime Junta Arcane Patron

    Prime Junta
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    Rest in the bunker on the island.
     
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  6. Popiel Magister Patron

    Popiel
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    'Bout Dolores Dei. Do we get a hint 'bout her glowing body parts besides some obvious pale connections?
     
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  7. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
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    Hey, I never intended that to be a vitriolic assessment. Like I said, I understand why some people don't like the ending sequences, and I appreciate your reasons - even if I don't share your opinion.
     
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  8. Prime Junta Arcane Patron

    Prime Junta
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    Achievement unlocked.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
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    You better believe it, baby.
     
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  10. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    i thought it was some secrety secret I opened by reading and calling and praying and-

    ugh, Kingmaker and anime visual novels do this better
     
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  11. Popiel Magister Patron

    Popiel
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    Yeah, well, I agree. I thought the same. At least phasmid encounter isn't like that as far as I've heard...?
     
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  12. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    I am seriously not sure you can miss it Her, aside maybe from some checks during the talk

    Phasmid was better waifu than your ex.
     
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  13. Popiel Magister Patron

    Popiel
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    Some folks claimed that phasmid didn't spawn for them.

    You see, that's the problem. Encounter with the phasmid is superb. Encounter with Dolores Dei/ex-wife-whore-abortionist-murderer is very good. But player is given it, doesn't need to earn it. Devs are all like Look comrade, what a beautiful things we did, consume them without a choice and effort on your part.

    Yes, I know that player gets most out of these situations after skillchecks. My point stands.
     
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  14. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Probably ignored quest with 4 traps.
     
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  15. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
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    I think it shows up for everyone, but its entirely possible to fail to communicate with it or miss out on the photo (which in turn means that its encounter doesn't count for deciding whether or not the other coppos let you back into the party precinct)
     
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  16. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    happens with developers who are enamoured with their writing. narcissists.

    this game somewhat gets a pass from me because for once writing is not bad.

    it is a dead end when it comes designing RPGs however, in my opinion.
     
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  17. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
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    Same question.
     
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  18. toro Arcane

    toro
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    In disco girl's balcony there is a Visual Calculus skill check which gives you the potential places from which the shoot could come. C&C proper implementation would be to allow the player to investigate all the places in any order he wants while Disco Elysium implementation was to railroad the player into find out about Ruby, go explore the peninsula, confront Ruby, do the trial, get the final hint from disco girl and only then "be allowed" to explore the tiny island. How do you break this sequence?

    Great deduction ... which is actually part of the dialogue with Titus.

    It doesn't matter. The game tells you about the island but then refuses to give you the option to explore it.

    Kyl's argument is correct because this resolution of the story is unfulfilling and it renders the entire investigation pointless. You are missing the point.

    The Deserter is a character which is introduced during the last hour of the game (1) on which you had no prior information and (2) with which you don't have an emotional connection.

    There was no reason for me as a player to care about the Deserter's motivation or his communist backstory. He lived 43 years in seclusion and sometimes he watches people fuck through a peep-hole!? It's a mess.

    Also his dialogue is pointless in itself because he admits to the crime in like the first lines of dialogues therefore everything else is irrelevant. You don't need a confession to arrest a crime suspect.

    The story could have been much better if it would let you build a friendly relationship with him and then pull the rug from under you.

    I had not problem with the tribunal. Except that there were multiple times when the game mentioned 3 mercs, one died and then you still fight 3 mercs (!?).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  19. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

    Kyl Von Kull
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    I mean, the phasmid encounters plays very differently if you’re there with detective Cuno and he can’t see it so you think you’re losing your mind. You do need to earn it to an extent. If you save Kim and you don’t do anything stupid once you see the Phasmid, you get a truly sublime scene. But if you fail to save Kim the endgame becomes almost a horror sequence.

    Lithium Flower I figured out how to make the Molotov. I put on the horrific necktie and talked to the guy who sells the medicinal spirits after Ruby. I buy the spirits. Tie immediately tells me “now’s the time, brottan. Put me in the bottle, shit’s about to get real.”

    Edit: “Your spirit guide to the party scene, the horrific necktie, is floating serenely in the blue medicinal spirit. As it is still 98.7% alcohol the necktie cocktail is extremely flammable and should be kept far away from an open flame.”
     
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  20. HanoverF Arcane Patron

    HanoverF
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    MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    You can ask the sword woman about using her skiff earlier than the Tribunal and she shoots you down.
     
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  21. Parabalus Arcane

    Parabalus
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    Where's the saber used?
     
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  22. toro Arcane

    toro
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  23. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I was there with Cuno and he saw it, but he couldn't talk to it. He thought it was the most awesome thing ever from what I remember.
     
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  24. Anthedon Arcane Patron

    Anthedon
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The lore about the geography of Elysium is pretty dope. It makes a lot of things more ambiguous going forward if the world is made up of shards with the growing pale in between. Speaking of which, is there a clear hint if that is what's happening in the church? From the descriptions you get it certainly would make sense that a very small slice of the pale is present there somehow (people going nuts, equipment going haywire, Mexican spider-man, etc.).
     
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  25. Parabalus Arcane

    Parabalus
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    That's the conclusion you make from doing the quest and beating all the checks.
     
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