Monday, December 03, 2012

Dishonored endings - how they could have been

I'll be discussing the endings of Dishonored here and how they could have been better woven into the gameplay; therefore spoilers duh!

There are only two endings to this game - Good (Low Chaos) and Bad (High Chaos) both told through cutscenes. In the good ending you stay as the Empress' protector, but also her advisor; the plague is cured and everyone lives happily ever after. In the bad ending violence is ever present and things descend to chaos.

Oh how drab; how so much more could have been done with this.

The basic deciding factor within the game is how many people you kill, but the game is much more than that. As a player magic is gifted to you, yet use of such goes against the state religion; so how it is wielded should make a difference.

Consider too what you as the player have done. You've eliminated the High Overseer in his own offices; eliminated two aristocrats and rescued a girl in a high trafficked brothel; kidnapped the state's top scientist from his own highly guarded laboratory; eliminated an aristocrat during her own party; eliminated the Regent in the palace; eliminated the Empress' assassin in his own lair; and eliminated yet another Regent.

All these are whispered about between the guards and the populace during the missions - you are the bogeyman or the protector depending on which side they take.

With that in mind what could have been done:

No to low kills; minor magic upgrades. This is essentially the same as the current good ending, but a minor dark tweak can show the Overseers gaining power. Although you're still feared you're also respected and the new Empress has a long and good reign.

No to low kills, majority magic upgrades. A new ending. The Empress realises that magic isn't bad by itself; it's how it's used. The current state religion is relaxed and loses power. You're still feared, but also respected as before. But the dark twist is that without the religion's oversight darker magics start to seep in to the underbelly of the city.

High kills, minor magic upgrades. A modification of the existing bad ending. The new Empress uses you as her attack dog and becomes a dictator. The state region clamps down on magic and becomes a militant arm of the Empress.

High kills, majority magic upgrades. You are feared by all. The Empress uses you as an attack dog and the state religion stamps down on anyone else who uses magic leaving the monopoly with you. One night Overseers sneak in while you're asleep and dismember you out of fear. The Empress announces you've 'retired' to an island to maintain your presence as a threat to her enemies.

Just two additional endings easy to track for determination purposes and I think more of a close fit to the actual game; making more sense of the player's action - making them mean something. Also in theory the two 'good' endings open up the option of a sequel.