The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 14: Disco Elysium (In Progress)

Timespike wrote:

Hey, I can actually contribute for once! I finished a 4-4-2-2 playthrough over the weekend and started a 4-2-2-4 one on Monday. In both cases, I've been shooting for a "Harry cleans up his act" story, and I researched some early Thought Cabinet picks to help make my character level up a little faster.

It's a really fantastic and very unique game. I'm glad I finally made the time to play it through to the end.

Nice work finishing and getting your first level in the CRPG Game Club! Woot! I'm impressed that you're starting right up again, too. Of all the games we've played so far as a club, I feel like this one and Tyranny are the two I'd most like to play a second time.

I don't think I've ever played an RPG twice. Well, I did play Skyrim about 700 times to Level 20 (with one main quest completion).

I hit the very-clearly-signaled point of no return tonight, so of course — like any true detective would — I immediately turned back to finish up any outstanding side quests. More details to come tomorrow!

LastSurprise wrote:

I hit the very-clearly-signaled point of no return tonight, so of course — like any true detective would — I immediately turned back to finish up any outstanding side quests. More details to come tomorrow!

Most excellent! I'm super curious to hear ...

Spoiler:

...what happened during your Showdown. :)

No showdown yet. Spent the morning tying up loose ends: got into the locked door in the Whirling, advised some residents of the Doomed Commercial Area about what I ... ahem ... found in the Church. And tried -- and spectacularly failed -- to take on le responsibilité.

Spoiler:

I managed to set up the communications rig, climb the tower (because I had teleported once in the past) and fix the antenna, but I had a bit of a breakdown when it actually came to speaking with the Coalition Warship Archer. I may reload and see what happens if I do.

So, although I have a few quests in my journal, I think it's time to press on.

Oh, oops! My apologies, I thought...

Spoiler:

... you'd be past the showdown already. I hope it didn't spoil anything.

And that's interesting. I never came across any quest to set up a communications rig. I wonder how many quests I totally missed.

No worries! You were vague, and I know something big is coming.

That rig I’m referring to is

Spoiler:

from the tail end of the moralist vision quest. I think you said you tried that one but never completed it? We installed an antenna on the statue of the old king, and contacted the zeppelin, but ultimately couldn’t talk my way past the person who answered the radio. Insisting on speaking with her manager did NOT work.

Moralist quest spoiler/hint:

Spoiler:

I don't remember the details, but I recall there was an empathy check I had to pass. I also found if I asked too many questions I'd lose reception before getting to ask to speak with the Committee. I wonder if I had gotten a better transmitter I could have asked more.

I think I told her there were some mercenaries about to run loose and destabilize the area. She took some interest in this, but what really got her attention was mentioning the anomaly in the church. I'm not sure how the quest chain works, but if the church chain isn't finished, maybe you can't fully finish the Moralist chain?

Ah, yes, I didn't get that far in the moralist quest.

What a fun, intricate game!

gewy wrote:

Moralist quest spoiler/hint:

Spoiler:

I don't remember the details, but I recall there was an empathy check I had to pass. I also found if I asked too many questions I'd lose reception before getting to ask to speak with the Committee. I wonder if I had gotten a better transmitter I could have asked more.

I think I told her there were some mercenaries about to run loose and destabilize the area. She took some interest in this, but what really got her attention was mentioning the anomaly in the church. I'm not sure how the quest chain works, but if the church chain isn't finished, maybe you can't fully finish the Moralist chain?

I'm pretty sure that check is the one I failed. I did find two transmitters, though ...

Spoiler:

One in Ruby's cab and one for sale in the pawn shop. The one in the pawn shop was a higher-end model, which is why I chose to use it, but the game also suggested that the one from the cab may have been tricked out for drug trafficking.

I'm about to dive in to the endgame. And I'm going to put two burning questions here, just a couple of pieces of intuition that have been bouncing around my head:

Spoiler:

What if Ruby is the ex-wife who ruined me?
What if Elysium isn't a "real" world, but instead is purgatory, or some part of the afterlife for *our* world?

LastSurprise wrote:

I’m pretty sure that check is the one I failed. I did find two transmitters, though ...

Spoiler:

One in Ruby's cab and one for sale in the pawn shop. The one in the pawn shop was a higher-end model, which is why I chose to use it, but the game also suggested that the one from the cab may have been tricked out for drug trafficking.

There’s a third one that I found and Kim made sure to give me a hard time about it not being as good as the one in his Coupris. For some reason finding the cab was never an option for me. I think I skipped over something that triggered it.

Just from the fact that Kim gave you a hard time, I'm guessing the third might be:

Spoiler:

The one in my own, crashed car? That would track, as Kim would be proud his car is better than mine was. Also, FWIW, I could only get the radio out of Ruby's car after progressing the quest to the point where I was explicitly looking for a radio. The game wouldn't let me take it for some unspecified later use.

This morning, I finished the game! I powered through most of it last night, then the last 30 minutes and the credit roll this morning. Man, what a ride, and what a wild -- but impactful ending. Disco Elysium was truly an experience.

I think I need some time to process and unpack my thoughts; I'll be back for more later. But for now, after a ton of games started and abandoned, I've finally hit level 3!*

[Edit: I originally wrote Level 2, forgetting that I recently finished The Banner Saga as well!]

Congrats on finishing and hitting Level 3! I can relate to the "whew" feeling at the end. It's a game that's really stuck with me for a lot of reasons. I'm still thinking about it and I finished a few weeks ago.

Finished just now. Missed some things/quests I got to last time. Instead I got to do the new centrist quest.

Shadout wrote:

Finished just now. Missed some things/quests I got to last time. Instead I got to do the new centrist quest.

Congrats! Welcome to Level 5!

How was the second run's enjoyment compared to the first? You may have mentioned this earlier, but did you use a different build each time?

I think I was 5/3/2/2 (or 4/4/2/2) the first time. 2/4/2/4 this time. It definitely changed some things in the inner dialogue and how you could approach things. Though mostly in the details.
Still enjoyed it immensely. Lots of great characters, and the world really grew on me. The whole Pale concept is interesting. Would love to see other games in the same world.

Of course, nothing can really beat the joy of exploring everything fresh the first time around, and it is not like the there much gameplay to experiment with.

I did the opposite of what was mentioned earlier in the thread. Not a single drink throughout the game! Sadly it didn't really matter much except for one line at the very end. Cant remember what was said in the first playthrough at that moment.

So, my favorite two scenes from the game. Second is:

Spoiler:

The showdown. It was so brilliantly tense. I thought anyone could have died.

I got in the middle and tried to pick dialogue choices to either calm the merc leader down or throw him off his game. Some of the choices seemed to piss him off more and I found it a bit novel- intentionally skipping over some dialogue options instead of just systematically going through each argument from top to bottom.

Eventually it seemed clear that time was up, so I decided to take the first shot. This decision was a lot easier because a day or two earlier he seemed to relish giving me a detailed account of one of his unit's past war crimes. He deserved to die. I killed him but he hit me in my leg with his dying act. The Hardie Boys rushed in and three of them died. Kim heroically took out the other two mercenaries and saved my life.

Six people dead. I guess it could have been a lot worse. Most of the dice checks had favorable percentages and they all landed my way. Not sure if there's a way to get through it with less casualties or even defuse the situation.

My favorite scene was:

Spoiler:

Helping the wayward youths set up a dance club in the abandoned church. They appreciated my help even though I nixed their drug lab idea. And since I was "art cop" they were also impressed by my critique of their music. They hadn't created the future of music like they claimed, it was merely "proto" I remember saying. They were bummed out, but I found some material for them to further refine it until they got there. Then I showed up their lame dancing with some truly sick moves. I badgered Kim into joining in which was hilarious. At that triumphant moment, the future of dance music was born!

At the height of my dancing, I zoned out into a shivers-induced communication with the City of Revachol herself. In an abrupt change of tone, she revealed that she's scared, because in 22 years she fears an atomic device will detonate, destroying her, and she needs me, as a member of the RCM, to be vigilant so maybe it can be prevented. Damn. She painted this picture of herself as a huge organism and everything in the city is a part of her that she senses and feels. I imagine the RCM are bit like white blood cells, fighting off infections, so she seemed to take particular interest in us.

Then I came to. From that point on the youths referred to me as "hard cop" with respect.

Later Kim put two and two together when we found out about my past as a gym teacher. My dance moves apparently did look a lot like an exercise routine to him. I now imagine I was doing something idiotic like incorporating jumping jacks and that's how young people are going to be dancing in Revachol in a few years.

I dont think you can avoid

Spoiler:

all deaths. Even on 'your side' some will always die afaik

Most interesting, and I haven't tried it, since I am not a monster,

Spoiler:

Kim can die

gewy wrote:
Spoiler:

At the height of my dancing, I zoned out into a shivers-induced communication with the City of Revachol herself. In an abrupt change of tone, she revealed that she's scared, because in 22 years she fears an atomic device will detonate, destroying her, and she needs me, as a member of the RCM to be vigilant so maybe it can be prevented. Damn. She painted this picture of herself as a huge organism and everything in the city is a part of her that she senses and feels. I imagine the RCM are bit like white blood cells, fighting off infections, so she seemed to take particular interest in us.

That is cool.

Gewy, I think that the showdown went down exactly the same way for me. As for the dance party, it was very similar, except:

Spoiler:

Despite a very high chance of success, I failed the check to dance even harder; it might have been a critical failure. Instead of communing with the church I basically passed out from over-exertion. Kim and the youths were sympathetic.

I just started up my playthrough this evening, after playing a bunch of other stuff in April. Rolling with 3-4-2-3, with Suggestion as the tagged skill since that seems like it might be useful. I've gotten a few Inland Empire pop ups so far though, and that seems cool. I've pretty much just collected my shoes and left the hostel with Kim, so it's right at the beginning. All the voices and stuff that pops up is seriously cracking me up so far. I don't know how/if I'm going to roleplay this; not going sorry cop yet, but not throwing my authority around yet, either.

I've been keeping tabs on the thread so far, and there's a bunch of stuff I want to go back and read later once I'm further into this thing.

Sundown wrote:

I just started up my playthrough this evening, after playing a bunch of other stuff in April. Rolling with 3-4-2-3, with Suggestion as the tagged skill since that seems like it might be useful. I've gotten a few Inland Empire pop ups so far though, and that seems cool. I've pretty much just collected my shoes and left the hostel with Kim, so it's right at the beginning. All the voices and stuff that pops up is seriously cracking me up so far. I don't know how/if I'm going to roleplay this; not going sorry cop yet, but not throwing my authority around yet, either.

I've been keeping tabs on the thread so far, and there's a bunch of stuff I want to go back and read later once I'm further into this thing.

I did that same build, 3-4-2-3, but with Inland Empire tagged. I'm on to Tuesday now, and so far I've only been murdered by one innocuous-seeming inanimate object. Still relishing every time I get to have a chat with my reptilian brain and limbic system, though really pretty much all the dialogue is fantastic.

It's just now occurring to me that I've maybe used one skill point on actual skills, and a couple more on thought cabinet slots. Maybe I should go boost a couple things, if only for those passive skill checks.

By the end I had all the Thought Cabinet slots filled and a lot of upgrades on skills. Getting a thought that increases XP for common mini-events was a game-changer for me.

I'm jumping in. I played Tyranny but I think I'm a little fantasy RPG fatigued right now. I am almost finished with Deus Ex MD and loved it. Not sure why I can't seem to finish a fantasy RPG lately. I am interested in a detective story though!

blackanchor wrote:

I'm jumping in. I played Tyranny but I think I'm a little fantasy RPG fatigued right now. I am almost finished with Deus Ex MD and loved it. Not sure why I can't seem to finish a fantasy RPG lately. I am interested in a detective story though!

Awesome! Welcome! It's sooooo unique and clever.

Finished my replay last week.

Things I did this time that I didn't do in my first playthrough:

Spoiler:

Beat up Measurehead, then had him take the body down. (I shot it down the first time.)

Refrigerated the body and found the real cause of death. (The first time, it was so late at night that I had no time to go looking for a freezer, even though my skills were practically shouting that we'd missed something.)

Finished Evrart's tasks and got my gun back. (I ghosted him the first time.)

Caught that damn flower in the breeze on Klaasje's rooftop!

Arrested Klaasje, even though it probably meant her death. (I was a little irked when she disappeared in my first playthrough, especially after Ruby said faking a lynching was Klaasje's idea.)

Let Ruby go. (I have my own gun now; I don't need yours.)

Decided I was a committed Moralist and did the Moralist vision quest. The committee sent me a ride and I disappeared from Revachol. Hopefully we'll get this alarming hole in reality taken care of. Or at least commission a subcommittee to draft a plan.

Earned Kuno's trust and stole the speed from his father.

Smoked a few cigarettes and used that speed once (just for the skill bonus going into the showdown; it's medicinal!)

Didn't recruit Kim.

That being said, I don't know if my playthrough was as different as I thought it might be. I still wanted to pull myself together and be a better cop. I still wanted nothing at all to do with alcohol. If you're drinking to forget and you've forgotten everything, at least you know you it's time to stop. Even though my skills were polar opposites, I accomplished many of the same things by virtue of knowing where to look and accumulating bonuses. My high physique, high psyche build was forgiving in that I had enough hit points to practically ignore any setback. But I'm still glad I was a Thinker for my first playthrough; Encyclopedia was invaluable to tell me what's going on.

Agathos wrote:

That being said, I don't know if my playthrough was as different as I thought it might be. I still wanted to pull myself together and be a better cop. I still wanted nothing at all to do with alcohol. If you're drinking to forget and you've forgotten everything, at least you know you it's time to stop. Even though my skills were polar opposites, I accomplished many of the same things by virtue of knowing where to look and accumulating bonuses. My high physique, high psyche build was forgiving in that I had enough hit points to practically ignore any setback. But I'm still glad I was a Thinker for my first playthrough; Encyclopedia was invaluable to tell me what's going on.

Congrats on finishing, Agathos! That's interesting about a second time through the game. If I were going to do a second game, my thoughts would bet the same. Go physical this time. I'd probably throw caution to the wind and embrace the wild side a bit more too, just to see how crazy some of the things might get.

Sang my sad karaoke song last night and this morning it has sunk into my bones, making gravity a bit stronger.

Spoiler:

I reloaded to see the success version after canonically "failing" the first time, only to find that aside from some of the dramatic bad singing flourishes, the limbic system version is far superior IMHO.

Also, I got hit with a major spoiler just from search results while innocently looking for covers of said song, and it's bumming me out a bit to have that knowledge floating in the back of my mind the rest of the way through. Still eager to press on, although I've crossed over from anticipating finishing to not wanting this to end.

I’ve made it a little ways into day 2. I still love the writing; sometimes it’s ponderous to the point of feeling pointless, but most of the time it seems sharp and is often hilarious. I’m also interested in how it is a game about politics, since it seems to be all about all the ideas that are jammed into a single location through accidents of fate. Most characters have their own ideas which the game explores, but many of those ideas could be picked apart and indeed are picked apart by the game itself (although sometimes in the idea cabinet instead of dialogue choices). Like I said, I’m interested to see how that goes later on down the line.

Anyway, here’s some bullet points for stuff I’ve done up to this point.

Spoiler:

Day 1
-I failed to get the body down, and so wandered off to do other things.
-Met with the business negotiator lady, who told me about the mercenaries after I found out about the drug trade for her, and also gave me the lowdown on reality for a lot of experience points. Very helpful.
-Met with Evert, who is trying to get me to open a door for him, and otherwise he seemed to be running circles around us. Not planning to help him too much. Also, I shouldn't have sat in the chair, since it made everything worse.
-Internalized some gym thought which gives me +2 Physical Instrument if I don’t have a shirt (and I had an undershirt that gives me +1, so did I need that extra point? No idea!. Is it useful? Also no idea, but now I'm running around with a jacket and no shirt everywhere!)
-Sold some spinners to keep a room at the hotel. The game does seem to be making sure we don’t fail just yet, although even after collecting a bunch of tare, I have no idea how I would have gotten 120 real up to this point.
-And it looks like I’m a filthy centrist, since I’m not really jumping on board with any of the other ideologies
-I didn’t try to examine the body because my endurance was too low and I didn’t press the issue on day 1, but I talked to a ton of people and have fleshed out the big characters and what’s going on. Felt pretty good for a day of “work.” And I think I can try to go punch Measurehead now that I have the gym concept internalized, just need to figure out what options to pick to do it. I didn’t punch him the first time I talked to him, so I don’t know if the opportunity is gone now.

-Day 2
-Started off hot with the Hardie boys. I also spent a point in Composure in conversation to determine that Angus was the weak link. Glad I got the advice somewhere to save the points until you need them, since that went from like a 45% red check to 58%, and I hit it. I didn’t try to arrest the leader, since I didn’t think it would accomplish anything.
-Then I inspected the body and threw up. Went and got ammonia and tried again, and threw up again. Then went and got my sh*t together with a new thought, and was able to inspect the body, talked with it and recognized the voice from my dream the night before, and then shot it down after dumping two whole points into hand-eye coordination.
-And now I have the autopsy next time I fire it up.
-I also have a smoker to talk to at 21:00, who may have seen something. This seems like something that will be important; even though I talked to him on day 1 the first time, I can’t find out what he knows until day 2. Like the game is dragging some of the reveals out over time, maybe.

I went back to Disco Elysium earlier this morning after being sidetracked by Returnal. Things are unravelling in the murder case. I've also sang a sad karaoke song at night in the Whirling In Rags. I was wondering if

Spoiler:

we were actually going to hear Harry's voice & to my surprise the Reptilian Brain voice boomed, it was strangely alluring. I'm now questioning if this is his actual voice but I suppose the fact that you could thank the Reptilian Brain suggests not. I dedicated the performance to Kim, what a partner!

I'm in deep on the

Spoiler:

Hardie's now, finding out that they never actually mobbed & murdered the hanged man. It seems Klaasje or should I say Katarzine is in the business of espionage, specifically industrial espionage. Her big job taking down or damaging the Loosduin County Savings bank cost normal people their jobs, one guy committing suicide, her voice sounds heavy with regret. She's now a loose end after finishing up this job, plus this bank was part of the greater Looskap conglomerate, which in turn had ties to the Moralintern, which effectively runs the RCM. If her name goes in database she is effectively a dead woman. She's on the run in Revachol, embroiled in this murder case. She seems very intelligent so there could be another level of manipulation going on here. The deceased, apparently shot dead through her balcony window while they were both doing the act, I still think she's more in the know on who the shooter was than she's letting on.

Absolutely stellar main line story, can't wait to see what happens next.

Nice work, Spikeout! I'm really glad we picked this game. Such a fun change of pace for us.

I keep forgetting to mention I started this! Nearing the end of day one. I rolled a Thinker build, and had several game overs early on due to the low Morale. One level up and an internalized thought later, i've got some decent Morale now. The Visual Calculus skill is a lot of fun, and the Encyclopedia lore dumps are interesting, though my character is often desperate to lord his knowledge over everyone else. I'm excited to see how differently things play out compared to my playthrough last year.