is raw intellectual power. If you want to analyze the living daylights out of the case, take Logic. Formulate theories about what happened, or detect inconsistencies in the statements people make to you. It’s useful for not getting bamboozled. Logic lovesbeing right, however. To a fault. It’s a brilliant lie detector until faced with intellectual flattery. Then it starts tooting its own horn. Your Drama skill might interfere: people are pretending, manipulating you, while Logic – blinded by its own brilliance – yammers on about how infallible it is. In heroic difficulty rolls, Logic can induce near-transcendence-like pleasure from performing raw operations on events and numbers. (It also does maths for you.) And it states the obvious. Logic loves an easy challenge, whatever it’s claims.
is your capacity for original thought. Make fresh associations, really delve into the concepts of the world – from Jan Kaarp’s postmodernist karperie, to Revachol’s arabesque architectural style dideridada, or even the concept of hardcore as deployed by the burgeoning dance music scene – then add your own contribution to these works! It’s your general purpose cultural theorist, used for both criticism and creation. Okay, I’ll level with you. Conceptualization makes you into an Art Cop. You get extra lines of description in scenes, and you get to come up with stuff like poems, one-liners and a cool nom de guerrefor yourself. An artist’s name, if you will. Conceptualization is the difference between hanging yourself and jumping into a live volcano. (No literal live volcanos are present in No Truce With The Furies for the time being.)
is your unfiltered emotions, dreams, and forebodings. Basically, Inland Empire has a lot of interesting (read: wrong) ideas about the world. It lets you know when there might be something mysterious or spooky going on. Why would you want to be just a regular old cop when you could be a para-natural detective, groping your way through invisible dimensions of reality? it asks you. (Inland Empire is, after all, the Lynchian skill.) Inland Empire can also offer helpful hints via gut reactions – though you can never be sure when and to what extent to trust its enigmatic messages. Of all the skills in the game, Inland Empire has been one of the wildest to write, since it also represents your uncontrollable imagination. When Conceptualization under Intellect is an art critic, Inland Empire is an unwitting creator. It turns inanimate objects animate and lets you have conversations with your gun, the corpse of the deceased – maybe even one of your items of clothing. The information it provides may prove right… in retrospect.
is your ability to pick up on subtle cues that indicate that something is happening beneath the surface of other characters. Not that they’re lying to you, exactly — Drama (under Intellect) is your go-to for picking up on lies. Rather, Empathy lets you know when there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Perhaps a hidden sadness that a good detective should be able to coax out of the people he’s questioning. Or hidden resentment toward the detective himself. Have too little of Empathy and you turn into an ungainly beast who is unable to read basic social circumstances and may or may not be forced to become a virulent… well, let’s just say, you may not have as much control over some of your politics as you’d like. Empathy is not all honesty and feelings, it’s also a basic social survival skill that makes you come off as caring and emotionally intelligent. (Even if you’re not!)
lets you shake off that heart attack I mentioned, like it was nothing – a pin prick. It’s your get out of jail free card for physical damage – it’s what makes you crawl forward, bloodied, ready for revenge. Pain Threshold also doubles as your inner masochist. You like this stuff. Please, can I have some more? And not only physical pain, but also psychological. Pain Threshold seeks it out and enjoys it. Painful memories? Nice. Excuse me, bookstore woman, what’s the most excruciatingly sad book about human relations you have? I want one where they love each other but it really doesn’t work out. High Pain Threshold turns you into a pretty unhealthy person, paradoxically.
is the strangest one out there and it’s proven to be a favourite for many people who’ve had the chance to play the game for longer. You know those hair follicles you have on your arm, on the back of your neck? Notice how they stand up sometimes? Accompanied by a cold sensation? Shivers controls that – your shiver response. It’s a residual leftover from hundreds of thousands of years ago, when you had a use for it… What it does now, in the city of Revachol, in the early fifties, I can’t tell you. It’s a secret. This skill has its own storyline. The signals your shiver response relays to you seem to come from somewhere. The sensations want to tell you something. All I can tell you is – Shivers connects you to the atmosphere of the city of Revachol. To the side alleys and the burnt down city blocks far away. It’s the sound of the streets, the ghost that rises old newspapers from the cobblestones. It turns you into a lightning rod for sudden temperature shifts, barometrics and changes in weather. Shivers even reacts to the weather our randomly generated climate system summons. If it’s raining Shivers tells you one thing, if it’s snowing, it’ll tell you another. Ultimately, a high Shivers lets you hear and feel the city of Revachol. It is the only clearly supra-natural ability you have in the game. Figuring out what it all means and who speaks to you through those rising hair follicles, is a mystery for you to solve. I suspect it will take quite a few playthroughs, though. This game really has a crazy amount of little things hidden in the way the skill system reacts to the things you see and do in Revachol.
is your poker face. The Motorics firewall for your inner turmoil. And also its reverse – your ability to read other people’s body language and tells – to see beneath their facade. Composure and Perception go well together, making for an ultra-vigilant cop. Composure and the Psyche skill Volition are a good combination for a man of steel who never cracks under pressure. And you’ll be under a lot of pressure in Disco Elysium. Or, if you want to be the expert in reading people, combining Composure with another Psyche skill, Empathy, gives you X-Ray vision into people’s mental states. If Savoir Faire sexes you up in a slightly douchey way, Composure does the stomach-in, shoulders-back type thing. A trustworthy sexiness. Great posture. The big twist here is that very high Composure becomes your fashion sense. First of all, it criticises other people’s sartorial choices – not only are they sweating and obviously hiding something, they also have a lamefloral shirt. Second, it lets you push your fashion sense on them. Make your partner wear a stupid orange pilot cap. You look too cool for others to not trust your advice.
is the final piece of the puzzle as your fine motor skills. Digital dexterity. Fingerworks. Oh boy, does this one do a lot of things — it basically does all the rest: takes notes and helps with handwriting analysis; interprets electrical circuitry; instructs you on how to use a simple blue button; runs your hands across the gear shaft of a motor-carriage; disentangles a Stereo 8 tape from a hawthorn tree, patches it up, and plays it at night on your short stint as a tape-jockey; runs diagnostics on a motor lorry; picks locks; does a great massage; finds microscopic tears in body cavities… In some extreme cases (very high Interfacing needed), you can even perform what we call a phenomenological transfer: put your hands on the steering levers (motor-cars in Elysium do not use wheels) of a Coupris Kineema and know precisely what its mileage is, how it was treated by its last owner, and what road it was last driven on. Interfacing is one of those rare skills in the Metric system that sometimes borders on the extraphysical. Extraphysical is what we call the realistically supernatural. The real deal. Reality-breaking. Interfacing’s extraphysical effects are much, much more subtle than those of the Physique skill Shivers, which puts you in touch you with the city of Revachol, but they’re there, connecting you to machinery, electrical circuits, and, most curiously, radiowaves. You see, in Disco Elysium you can circuit-bend into radiocomputers. These machines have on-air processing. Large prime number stations criss-cross the air. Advanced tape computers use arrays of antennas to sieve through their calculations to perform advanced calculus on site: to run programmes and communicate between the remote corners of the world. There’s a Ream A24 Prefect console somewhere down there, in a hidden basement – or a church, who can say? – that you can use to circuit-bend into remote units. Access personal information, read love letters, learn ancient secrets. Tape computation has existed in this world for hundreds of years. Who knows what you’ll find… Oh, what’s that, mom? What am I doing? I’m playing a seventies-style cop with a handlebar moustache who frequency-hacks into ancient radio stations. It’s not basic dungeons and dragons.
I disagree. My time with the game was miserable. Combat was indecipherable so I re-rolled a diplomat for a non-combat run. I don't even understand the ending, as the game ended when I was talking to some sort of alien god?The Age of Decadence is fantastic though.
Disco Elysium is a very good game. It’s frequently brilliant, in fact. I’ll almost certainly replay it at least once more again. But the flaws are there enough that I’m not ready to tear out my beating heart and lay it, reverently, at Disco Elysium’s feet. Others will though. Diamonds can have flaws, after all. It will be beloved — absolutely beloved — by many because it scratches a particular itch that has been left to prickle for years, and does it very well and with undeniable style.
I don't have much experience with RPG, but I think it is funnier to role-play as a specialized character than as a jack of all trades.Enjoying it so far but not sure what skills I should level up, to put points on lower skills or higher ones I have a higher cap at...
Even if you fail a skill check you might open a new path. Failure isn't a game over here in most cases (unless you get a heart attack, for instance, no coming back from that).I tried to go for traits that I think I have, or at least want to improve about myself. That makes roleplaying more natural, in that if there is a choice to be made I usually go with what feels like the right choice to me.
Haha holy shit, I got a "bad ending" only two hours into the game.XD
I think I'm stuck, there is only one thing for me to do and it has a skill check that's impossible.
Yeah I failed a skillcheck and the game ended with me living under a bridge throwing shit at people.XD I love that the game doesn't feel "safe" and that there is some excitement to skillchecks.Even if you fail a skill check you might open a new path. Failure isn't a game over here in most cases (unless you get a heart attack, for instance, no coming back from that).
People go to sleep at 2AM so you don't really have a choice but to sleep because the time won't progress without dialogues.Are there any penalties associated with not getting sleep, other than not recovering health and morale? If not, I guess there is no point in sleeping (other than for role-playing purposes) if you have not lost any health or morale?