Zodi Plays: Dishonored (Stealth Dad Simulator)

The beginning of the Video Game Dad Renaissance.

Released in 2012 for all non-Nintendo options, Dishonored is a FPS stealth game by Arkane Studios, published by Bethesda. This is basically my limit of knowledge on the game (barring one more thing I’ll wait to talk about on the off chance someone watching is blinder than I am on it) because I have basically not played this game! That’s right folks, it’s time for a BLIND video series from yours truly. With that in mind, please note the rules; do not talk about spoilers! I won’t give an absolute blanket “no spoilers at all” policy, just don’t let it consume the thread. Focus on the here and now. Additionally, I do not know if I will be going for 100% clear because, as I’ve never played this game before, I don’t exactly know what that would mean! We’ll see once we get to that bridge. And finally, don’t… don’t expect my typical level of quality when it comes to play. I know in Momodora IV I was really good at it even though it was blind, but that’s because that’s a game type I play on purpose and am good at.

I am not good at stealth games.

With that all being said, I’ll cut to the chase. It’s time… for Dishonored!

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [1] Homecoming

Video Length: 27:55

In this episode, we’re introduced a bit to plot, and shown essentially most of our mechanics in this game. This post will go over both of those thins, in that order.

Plot wise, we’re Corvo Attano, the head bodyguard of Empress Jessamine, ruler of Dunwall and presumably a bunch of other vaguely British places I don’t know how big an Empress’s reach would be. We’re just back from asking foreign lands help with dealing with the plague of rats, a duel sided sickness/rodent infestation. We don’t have anything good to report, but unfortunateley the Empress is attacked by steam-punk (I’m sorry, whale-punk) ninjas, who we make quick work of up until we don’t due to strange magicks. Bad things happen, Corvo gets imprisoned, thus the title. We had an honor, it has now been dis’ed.

Mechanics wise… this is a stealth FPS game. I say FPS because you are in a first person view, regardless of the fact that it’s pretty clear this is more of a slashy than a shooty. The stealth mechanics feel… a little tricky to get a hang of, since it feels like the game is pulling one or two “gotcha” moments on me. I’m sure part of it is just my inexperience, but it’s a little frustrating. Nothing game breaking of course. What’s a little weird (though it makes sense) is that your side arm is in your left hand, but uses the right mouse button, and vice versa for your sword. I think they should have been visually switched. There’s also minor parkour, and it actually feels really fluid and intuitive so kudos for that game.

Finally, in it’s own seperate section since it’s technically both mechanics AND story… we have chaos. Chaos is how messed up and bloody the world is. We get high chaos from killing people, and we get… I guess low chaos from not? This feels like a system where any mistake is a permanent scar but any progress is just kinda impermeable and nothing. I don’t mind having alternate endings based on killing, and like I say in video I’m gonna make an honest to god try at not killing absolutely everyone in my path, but given my inexperience plus a couple other factors we’ll see Later, we’ll see how long that is viable. I’m going to do my ABSOLUTE best not to kill everyone, but I’m also JUST going to do my best. I’m not going to rise above myself in any capacity here.

Sometimes you need to cut the knot. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed! I’ll see you all next time for the next episode.

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A continuation of prison escape, and more!

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [2] Sewer Adventure

Video Lenth: 31:27

This one ended up being a little longer than I care to do. Could I have cut video 1 off at a different point? Maybe. Did I though? No, I did not. So this is what you have to deal with. I’ll be better about timing in later videos, this one was just a case of start of LP weirdness.

In this episode, we start to see examples of WHY we should try to keep our kill count down. Anyone who is smart about this game; does people dying without any fault of our own count as a kill by our hand or not? It’s a bit unclear, and needs to be brought up because of how the sewer escape goes.

Also introduced this level; environmental puzzles that I’m too stupid to solve! I have no idea where the solution is to that safe is, and I feel like I’m going to be hurting from missing that probably expected 500 extra pounds.

That all being said, this is a pretty good episode. We make our way out of the prison and into the sewer system, after which we cut our way out of the sewer and into the slum, where we’re finally safe. For the most part. I’ve played a BIT after this in my first time trying out the game, but we’re more or less at the end of where my foreknowledge can carry me. From essentially this point onward, I’m COMPLETELY blind. I hope you’re ready, because I’m gonna be even more bumbling than currently! I realize that’s a hard to believe thing, but it’s probably true.

But yeah, that’s it for today. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time. The next episode is going to be… interesting.

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Oh hey new episode time. Just a heads up, I tried to make the audio quality better by doing some noise removal and stuff. I… believe this is more of a side grade than anything else, however. Please tell me your own thoughts on it, so that the next recording session (video 5 and 6, most likely) can have the better of the two audio options. I’ll also be doing my part in hunting down a good microphone, it’s hard to get one up here. Anyway, on with the video.

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [3] Dog Water Days

Video Length: 27:08

In this episode, we explore the Hound Pits Pub and it’s general surroundings, for the most part. We meet the man who makes our tools, and learn a bit about HOW they’re made. Mainly with a giant, whale-oil powered lathe and some so-called tech wizardry. I actually kinda like this system, though it does implicitly require the mechanic to be around when you want to upgrade things, and I think he can just wander off to do stuff leaving you out to dry.

There’s also a LOT of reading this episode. Reading and listening, but mostly reading. This game is pretty lore heavy, as is to be expected for a game like this. A game that’s chasing the tail of things like Deus Ex and Thief, which I believe it does well. The quote-unquote lore is a nice mix of in universe explanations for game mechanics, fictional and semifictional stories in universe that probably contain more hints then the game is letting on, and just general in universe non-fiction to further build up this whale-punk world. It’s all pretty cool, and Friday I’ll compile all the actual lore and stuff into pictures so you can read it all at your leisure, if pausing the video is out of your taste for some reason.

Finally, I do do a silly thing in this video. I’ll leave it to you guys to figure out what, however. I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time!

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This’ll be the last video with unacceptable audio. Every LP of mine has a few rocky moments at the start, so consider this growing pains. Do enjoy today’s video, because Monday’s will sound good!

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [4] Heart to Heart

Video Length: 32:01

In this episode, we finally take a nap. Something I imagine a lot of people would enjoy right about now. Less enjoyable, at least from an in character perspective, is that our nap is… let’s say interrupted by our waking up in a strange, mysterious void full of floating debris and whale songs. It doesn’t take us long to find the person responsible for our suddenly being inside a hellscape, and with that the game finally reveals it’s true nature.

We meet The Outsider, a horrifying eldritch figure, seemingly acting as a bridge between humanity and whatever odd cthulhu-ish being he is connected to. He’s mysterious, surprisingly shirtless, and will grant us gifts in exchange for… seemingly nothing. Oh boy! With The Outsider’s mark upon our hand, we can now Blink, a short range teleport that will be incredibly useful in the coming sneaking missions we’ll have to accomplish. After encountering some lovely pseudo-real images while practicing with Blink, he then gives us his second gift… The Heart Of A Living Thing.

The Heart is probably my favorite aspect of this game, that I know of currently. It is this somehow still living, beating heart, outfitted with strange, likely magicked machinery. It’s overtly obvious that this is the Empress’s heart in my opinion, and that just makes it so much creepier… and then you get into what it actually does; it beats rapidly as you approach the runes you can use to buy and upgrade our eldritch powers, but it’s true main purpose in my opinion is that if we push the button associated with The Heart, it will whisper secrets into our ears. And I do mean ears, if you’re wearing headphones prepare to be menaced. The Heart can tell you many interesting, depressing, and outright ominous secrets about the locations and NPCs in the game, with the caveat that if they’re not directly plot important they get a random option from their “class”, so like the maid and butler in the pub get generic, randomized responses based on their status as maid/butler. Still though, the unique things she says are PRETTY cool, sometimes dipping into melodramatic, and are always worth wasting my time listening to.

With that all being said, it’s time to progress with the actual plot. Havelock’s got our first mission for us; assassinate the High Overseer. Looks like we’re going for the big bad boss right off the bat! But as we approach our boat, a new face appears to ask us to spare her uncle, the captain of the guard, at the very least. We’ll see what we can do.

And that’s it for today! I hope you all enjoyed. I for one am excited to see how this goes, since this is the cut off point. This is directly where I stopped playing when I first played this all those years ago, so now we’re all 100% blind. Wish me luck in the future, and as a reminder next time, we’re going to have actually good audio from yours truly!

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So, while the audio quality is vastly improved, it seems like my computer has SOME minor difficulty recording it at 60 frames per second. We’ll see about fixing that too… anyway, new video today! We actually start the game!

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [5] Rags to Runes

Video Length: 31:35

With heart in hand and mission on our mind, it’s time to head into the city of Dunwall so we can slink our way down to the High Overseer’s office and introduce him to the sharp end of a rather pointy looking sword. But before that, we need to get acclimatized to how playing this game for real actually works. There’s runes and special bonus objects called Bone Charms strewn about the level, which we’re going to be doing our best to find. There’s sidequests to do for completely and totally trustworthy blind servants of an elder being, and there’s just a bunch of guys hanging around that we’re gonna need to sneak past.

Our first actual Objective is to get past the Wall of Light, a rather cool security system powered by Whale Oil, that fries anything that isn’t authorized. There are many ways through, so many in fact that the optional objective to sneak past using one specific one doesn’t seem to trigger properly and also doesn’t get us anything it’s just a suggestion by the game, which is cool. I’ll be honest I didn’t expect this game to be so free and open, and didn’t expect it to actually have side quests within the levels, at least to this degree. It’s really cool, and now that I’m playing the actual game I can say definitively that I’m really liking this… even if I do mess up some things a little bit, as you’ll see.

The most important milestone this episode is that we get enough runes to increase our jump height, and while it does take some getting used to it seems like one of if not the best possible upgrades we could have ever gotten. It is so immediately useful, especially given the parkor system of “you can do pull ups”. It’s fantastic. The high jump, plus our ability to actually parkour, plus Blink, is probably one of the best FPS movement tool suites I’ve seen in a long time. It’s really telling that the only FPS that even though to introduce “the ability to climb up things using your big beef man arms” is Doom (2016), which came out four dang years after this. No other imitators, even though there has been a lot of FPS’s with exploration in them. It’s weird.

Anyway, that’s it for today! I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time!

I do like the idea that, in-universe, Corvo keeps killing people and apologizes for accidentally using his knifin’ arm.

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Oops somehow I didn’t notice this comment, my bad.

And yeah, same. “oh gosh no sorry it was a mistake!”

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It’s time to face any stealth game’s greatest enemy: the lack of impulse control of the lunatic playing the game.

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [6] Cop Percent Run

Video Length: 26:06

Granny Rags has asked us to go find her some rat guts so we can poison some mobsters making counterfeit elixir. Given that their stuff evidentely works, that’s actually kinda impressive, but I have to imagine these guys are running some serious racketteering and probably cutting drugs into it or something, so we’re gonna help out and put a stop to them. But first we need to actually GET to Doctor Galvani’s house. That will take some doing, partly because it’s basically right outside the exit of this area, and partly because I am easily distracted by random noises, strange looking things, and just in general due to my own mind wandering away without a care in the world.

Somewhat related to this, we encounter the first of what I hope is not many instances where my baser nature takes over and I act on pure raw impulse. A bunch of guards beating up… presumably rats I’m not actually sure, all grouped together in the same spot. I have incendiary bolts. How could I not fire at them? Given the fact that these bolts are used as traps clearly the bolts are EXPLOSIVE, right? Right???.. no, they’re not, they’re not explosive. They’re also far shorter a range than expected. Now, if I had known there is a non-lethal drop down assassination move (which there apparently is) I might have been able to recover from this with less bloodshed. However, I stand by my decision, no matter how recklessly stupid and pointless it is. It’s better to learn how the bolts work now than in some other time where it’ll cause Problems.

That all said and done we make our way over to Galvani’s house pretty easily, and that’s where we end it off today. I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time for a video that definitely won’t involve me sneaking through an entire area only to futz it up at the last guy, erasing all the good I did. Take care!

A little later than normal because someone was playing Fire Emblem Three Houses all day and night for the past three days.

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [7] Dr Galvani’s Cabinet

Video Length: 32:12

In this episode, we explore Dr Galvani’s offices, sneaking around very cool and successfully to avoid the guards while looting and reading everything we come across in search of rat guts. All so we can do the very good and definitely not evil task of poisoning a bunch of criminals.

I think I might be a bad guy but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I also get hella lost afterward just trying to navigate around the place and find the last rune I have to find (which I have been informed how to get by someone I specifically asked) and getting to the Distillery where the crime boys actually are. I then proceed to sneaky sneak past them fairly effectively I think.

One of the weird things about this game is that there’s very little for me to talk about post-script wise. I do a sneaking, I maybe murder some people, I prepare to commit bio terrorism on the local mob. All in a day’s work. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time.

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I can pry myself away from Three Houses to post a video, but can I do so to record one? We’ll see.

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [8] Crime for Crime

Video Length: 21:49

In this episode, we continue onwards into the Bottle Street Gang’s distillery, proving definitively that I might, MIGHT actually be able to do this game stealthy. We also load up on health potions and then proceed to infect their still, which I’m sure will have no truly lasting consequences against us at all and won’t lead to hundreds of people dying because they ARE a gang, and it’s not like they’re giving the stuff away for free. I’m suuure the only impact of this will be that one less gang roams the street. I’m a good cop politically charged assassin.

After that, we… um… spend a good amount of time trying to find the last remaining rune in the area, which I am completely baffled by, and get to experience a special sort of hell. It’s fun and funny and I hope you all enjoy, and don’t worry I do have one of my advisor’s along to tell me where I’m supposed to ACTUALLY go to get there. I won’t be making use of said advisor often, but I felt given how much time I spent on it it was fine a decision.

Rounding us off tonight, we meet up with our contact inside the Overseer’s office building, who was being tortured so that’s fun, and get to learn a bit about him and what we’re gonna have to do here. He had the wonderful decision in direct Samuel the Boatman to be somewhere else once we finish the mission, inconveniencing me immensely, and he lowkey tells me to take advantage of the fact that the Overseer wants to kill one of his best men for political reasons to ensure I kill him. We’ll see how that works out next time.

Hope you all enjoyed!

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Today, it’s time to learn a new Zodi-Emotion.

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [9] Musophobia

Video Length: 26:37

In this exciting episode, we go back to get that final rune I missed in Granny Rag’s house, thanks to the prompted assistance of a friend. I’m still playing this blind, just know that I will ask if I need help and then you can help me. It’s appreciated. However, going back to get the rune also… provides us with a moment that at the time I did not find very funny at all, but now find hilarious. I truly hope you enjoy what happens here. And never suggest me to play a straight up horror game please.

That aside, we return to Holgar Square where the Overseer Building is, and begin infiltration. Sneaking up along the rafters, through the window, and into the High Overseer’s seat of power. We learn that there is a way to get rid of Cambell non lethally; we need to horrifically brand him with a mark of shame. With that information stored in our back pocket, we explore the archive room/library a bit to learn how to do said facial scarring, as well as go hunting for the brand itself. Not a difficult search by any means, but given the number of Overseer guards around, it can be tricky. The thing about them is that their masks do protect them from headshots from the front (at least from sleep darts), and this is not a thing I knew going into this. It’s a surprising trick to pull on a person though.

With brand in hand and fresh, night air in our lungs, we prepare to actually see High Overseer Cambell himself. This’ll be tricky, since we need to both stop him AND save Curnow, but I think we’ll be able to do it. However, that’ll have to wait till next time. I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all then.

Petition to make “we’re the rats” play every time a large group of rats chases you.

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Torn between my desire to reference a meme I’ve never actually seen, and my decision to let my sheer unfiltered terror at massive swarms of rats stand alone.

I’ll think about it.

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Youtube’s forced update into it’s new beta layout caused me to have to delete all my cookies and now I’m pissed. Here’s a video.

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [10] High Alert

Video Length: 40:14

Yes that time signature is real. I got… distracted. Anyway, the video!

In this one, we deal with Cambell while doing our best to avoid killing Curnow. I, with some amount of panic, do succeed in saving Curnow from death. I also, however, do not succeed in stopping Curnow from signaling the alarm that proceeds to make almost this entire video possibly unwatchable for those who get irritated by loud noises. It certainly made it hard to me to exist in the game world! There really should be a way to turn that shit off because hoo boy, this is unpleasant for a variety of reasons. That all being said, we do actually get rid of Curnow without killing him, proving how humane and good we are as an assassin.

I then proceed to spend far, far too much time wandering around trying to find Cambell’s secret cultist rec-room, thus the inflated time because even with editing, I do take a bit to get things done. Adding to that, I also explore two new areas! The kennel’s, where they keep all their guard dogs (which you cannot strangle and I learn the hard way. Dogs better not count for my kill counter…) and the boatyard, where we will eventually meet up with Sam the Boatman after we faff around for a bit trying to find collectables, only to find exactly one charm, but it’s the charm that I wanted more than anything else so it’s fine. I can replay this later if need be to collect everything… presumably, anyway.

So yeah, that’s the end of our first actual mission as a political assassin in service to the loyalists. We did PRETTY well. I have no idea who the civilian casualty is, though I have my suspicions. It’s either the Survivor I strangled by mistake who died during a loading transition, or… that razor wire bomb I set down in my mad haste to escape Granny Rag’s birdies went off when she left her trance and killed her. I hope it’s not the latter because something about her character makes me think she’ll show up again. Knowing my luck it’s probably true.

Ah well. We’ll cross that bridge when we burn it. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time for the aftermath of our mission!

I’ll lift myself up from this puddle of vomit and post a video and then maybe see if I can go to work today. It’s Dishonored time!

Zodi Plays: Dishonored [11] Weepers

Video Length: 26:13

In this episode, not a lot happens but what does happen is kinda important? We report back that Campbell has been removed, with no real care given to whether he was killed or exiled. Not surprising, but still a little sad. I doubt the difference will matter that much in the grand scheme of thing since the ending is reliant on our total chaos and not specific actions we perform, but I’d have stilled liked to receive a bit of words towards “Hey you didn’t actually kill him and are trusting that the Overseer’s will look at Campbell and, even though it’s clearly not an official branding, still exile him” which is a thought I had a few days ago. It’s not that big a deal, it’s explainable as to why Campbell is 100% ousted because of our overt actions, I just kinda wanted TO explain it.

After that, Admiral Havelock asks us to contend with some Weepers in the sewers. It doesn’t come off unless you’re wearing headphones but the combination of music and their weird spooky alive-zombie noises really freaked me out, and I don’t regret taking care of them the way I did. Weeper’s are still people and I’m pretty sure they still count towards chaos if killed, so I still need to treat them with a steady hand. I do wish the music would maybe stop running a knife up my back every time I do something vaguely stealthy though.

Finally, after some collecting of items and reading/listening to updates from the rest of the characters in this area, we go to meet up with Martin, our Overseer compatriot, and Havelock to figure out what we do next. And next, is infiltrate the Golden Cat to learn information on where Emily is being held. At least that’s what I thought, I don’t actually recall how they specfically say it and if they say Emily is in the Golden Cat and I just completely wiffed that comprehension role than oops on my part. But yeah, that’s out next destination; the best little whore house in Dunwall, where we’ll also have an opportunity to deal with Lord Pendleton’s twin brothers. If we get rid of him, that secures us some pretty strong votes in Parliament, which’ll allow us to stem any legal decisions our enemies are making. They’ll have to resort to just enforcing their decisions illegally, since they’ve shown they have no compunction about killing to get their way forward.

And that’s it for today. Not a very meaty episode, as said, but what we do deal with is important. I hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you all next time!

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