Godlike being who doesn't need to be worshipped but it doesn't bother him that he is; has Blue and Orange Morality
; and is more amused and intrigued when someone uses his gifts in non-traditional ways. The "Dishonored" World is a human-life compatible "bubble" he maintains (via whale lifeforce) like an antfarm in his plane of Oblivion (the Void); which he pokes and prods by giving various humans "blessings" to see how they react. The Pandyssian Continent is actually the "border" of the bubble (It only looks like a continent from the outside because of spacial warping); and going deeper in takes one into Oblivion itself.
- He's really Jyggalag; who was "corrupted" and demoted by the main character from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion becoming Sheogorath; his old identity. Since he can't be pure "Order" anymore, and Madness is taken; he's trying to figure out what is in-between. Given his delight at what people do when he gives them powers and then stands back; his new portfolio may be "Free Will."
- Sounds like he may be reverting back to the Sheogorath persona after all, considering that free will is part of the Prince of Madness' portfolio.
Corvo was blessed by the Outsider to mess with Daud's head
- Daud's journal indicates that he found it very disturbing when he met Corvo, a Serkonan bodyguard who reminded him of himself. He reminisces about what he might have been if he had taken a different path and seems ready to repent his life as an assassin. The Outsider saw this and thought it would be hilarious if he turned Corvo Attano, a symbol of redemption and hope in Daud's eyes, into another bloodthirsty killer bound to the Void.
- Doesn't really fit with The Outsider's established traits. He doesn't encourage corruption, he just expects it. In fact he's more interested in those that resist it. Plus in the Daud DLC The Outsider seems, at least to start with, rather dismissive of Daud. Frankly the impression I got was that Daud has become rather boring to him and Corvo looks much more interesting.
The game takes place in the Lovecraftian universe.
- For starters, it's a Crapsack World, the Outsider has an outer-god vibe to him (I would say Nyarathotep) and the whales are Cthulhuian in design. Throw in a bit more horror and madness and the entire thing would fit into the verse without a problem.
- The problem here is the Low Chaos ending. A nation is cured of most of it's ills because a man took the gifts of an outer-god and used them for good in large part due to his fatherly love for a ten year old girl. It's a hands down happy ending. Not very Lovecraftian.
- It could still fit the theory if squeezed into the expanded Mythos(i.e. taking other authors' creations, particularly Derleth's, into account). The Outsider could then be part of the Elder God "pantheon": not as powerful as the Outer Gods, certainly, but more powerful than almost any Great Old One and definitely powerful enough to exert influence of Reality Warper proportions in a localized part of the multiverse, namely, the dimension/subdimension that is Dishonored's reality. Simultaneously, he wouldn't neccessarily be malevolent (or what humans would perceive as such) as the Outer Gods and GO Os would be, and neither neccessarily helpful: cool detachment with a certain interest in remarkable individuals would fit the Elder God pattern well - Nodens, who is also an Elder God, follows a somewhat similar pattern, while having a wholly different personality. As for the "happy ending" part, actually, even in a few of HPL's stories (the early ones) there is a somewhat happy ending as humans overcome Mythos entities even without supernatural help ("The Dunwich Horror" or "The Call of Cthulhu" itself, for instance). It's definitely not the tone he is most known for, but the precedent's there.
The Heart is the Empress' heart.
- She comments strangely on the Lord Regent that she doesn't want to forgive him and hesitates around her former palace.
- Practically confirmed, they have the same voice actress.
- Not only that, Granny Rags makes an interesing comment when The Heart is used around her "Nothing's been the same since her death! Poor child! Her spirit lives on – trapped – misused – and for what purpose?"
- Also, using it on Daud makes the Heart remark "Why have you brought me here? Am I to forgive this man for what he has done to me?"
- Arkane Studios says that the Heart indeed belongs to the Empress.
Corvo is the Empress' lover.
- The way she addresses him feels like it to me.
- Most likely confirmed, if Pendleton's comments in the High Chaos version of "The Light at the End" is anything to go by.
- And then there's Emily's drawing of Corvo with a big "DADDY" (no, not the ones from BioShock) written above his head.
- To add to this theory, the Empress Jessamine has blue eyes and straight blue-black hair. Emily's facial features are almost identical (though more rounded and childish), but she has brown eyes and more flyaway dark brown hair. Guess who else has similar eyes and hair under his mask?
- Confirmed: right at the prologue, Emily says something along the lines of "Corvo, if you won't marry my mother, will you marry me?". Probably this means that, even though they are lovers, it wouldn't be good for the queen to marry her bodyguard. (...Or any commoner for that matter. Corvo's not exactly high-born according to his backstory.)
The Symbol from the end of "The Hand that Feeds" is the mark of the plague.
- At the end of Tales of Dunwall 2 (linked below) the boy's body starts bleeding and then fades into a bright red symbol. As the boy is the first canonical victim of the plague, it only makes sense that the mark signifies the plague, the Outsider (who is strongly implied to have started the plague by giving the mark to the boy), or both.
- If you mean the red, triangular painted symbol, then it's confirmed. It's painted on the doors of quarantined houses and the body bags for plague victims are marked with it as well.
- The Outsider didn't start the plague, Hiram Burrows did. He admits as much.
- Hiram Burrows started Dunwall plague outbreak by importing Pandyssian plague rats, yes. But who caused the Pandyssian outbreak? It could be the Outsider, why not?
- It certainly fits with being The Omniscient and "driving forward the fate of the world."
- The Outsider rarely (if ever) acts directly, preferring subtle influence usually attributed by people to prophetic dreams, intuition, 'Eureka!' moments etc. And suggesting such mad scheme fits the personality of The Outsider perfectly. So he might have some input in the course of things, but in the end, it was the lack of strong will and imagination (did you really expect everyone following orders in a city that has an important crime problem?) that led Royal Spymaster to putting this insane plan in motion.
The Outsider is responsible for the murder of the Empress as well as the plague
- If the Abbey of the Everyman wants to keep things like him out killing her and spreading chaos everywhere might somehow weaken them enough for him to enter. It's entirely possible that the dark ending mentioned from going on killing sprees means that Corvo's murders increased the chaos so much that the Outsider can invade. It might even be that technically Corvo did kill the Empress because the Outsider was possessing him.
- Based on this Tales of Dunwall video the Outsider definitely seems responsible for the plague even though the rest is uncertain.
- Based on the E3 announcement trailer the Empress' assassin seemed to have been given a Mark (he visibly dissolves in plain view of the camera) but this could be a tainted flashback; another shot of the same event visibly lacks the red filter present in the "dissolving" shot.
- Confirmed that the assassins do indeed have the teleportation ability in the playable intro.
- Jossed. According to his confession, Burrows brought the rats over from the Pandyssian Continent to Kill the Poor. Also, the assassins get their powers from Daud, who probably got his own set from the Outsider the same way as Corvo, without any strings attached.
- I never figured that the Outsider "started" anything, it's just that humans in the Dishonored world seem to have a tendency to make bad decisions, hence why the Outsider is so interested in Corvo's good ones. The plague was started in Pandyssia by a bullied boy. The Outsider gave him the power to summon rats, which he used for revenge on the bullies. In the process however, the rats made him the first plague victim. That technically makes you correct. I still don't think so about the Empress's death though.
Going one step further than the theory above...
- ... The Outsider is responsible not only for the plague and the Empress's death, but the creation (or at least weaponization) of Trans technology and the madness-induced creation of Corvo's mask.
- The "trans-batteries" used in the guns could easily have been inspired by a dream (with the implication that the Outsider is pulling the strings), just as Corvo's mask was.
- Again, the Outsider did not start the plague, the Lord Regent did.
- True, but is is not a common trope that the gods use mere mortals as their pawns?
- Yes, but the Outsider shows no signs of doing so. He grants mortals powers, yes, but Word of God is that he does nothing to influence their subsequent actions. Plus Burrows is not among the characters with any indications of a link to ol' Black Eyes.
The dark high-chaos ending is the only real good ending
- The Outsider said that if the whales were hunted to extinction the world would be devoured by the void. In all other endings the whaling continues but with the Isles gone, and most of their technology locked behind rat infested walls. The whales now have a chance too repopulate, and the End of the World as We Know It is averted.
- Barely worth saving a world like that.
The Outsider is trying to save the world - in his way
- The Outsider is giving his "blessings" left and right - but mainly to those who could use those newfound powers to kill and wreak havoc, and he is quite surprised if Corvo doesn't do the same. As noted in previous post, once whales are extinct, the world is devoured by the Void So, by giving those powers to the people who kill and thus enclose the end of the Dunwall, he makes sure the world survives.
- Even if one takes the extinction of the whales as an inevitable result of the Empire's survival (which, the case could be made that a Low Chaos Corvo and Emily, armed with the knowledge of whales' importance and no longer in such desparate need of oil for security might scale back the hunting) this is rather Jossed by the Daud DLC, where The Outsider sets Daud on the path to preserve the Empire when otherwise Daud wouldn't have known to do so.
The Empress is still alive
- Mostly because it's the sort of twist that gets used.
- She looks pretty dead in the trailers, considering you see her being brutally stabbed and slammed onto her knees, and the next shot is of her lying on the ground in a massive pool of blood. Of course, trailers aren't always honest, so...
- Nope, she's Killed Off for Real. Officially Jossed.
- Besides, you're kind of using her heart as an artifact detector. Probably.
The Lord Regent did everything to try to keep the Outsider away
- The Lord Regent realized that the Empress was in league with the Outsider and decided to use a scapegoat to take the blame for killing a popular ruler while he keeps the power and works to get rid of the Outsider.
- Jossed. The guy's an ass who just wants to enact a Final Solution on the poor.
The Imperial Regime under the Lord Regent is going to be treated as Necessarily Evil
- While I'd bet that the Lord Regent and his close allies will not be so kindly treated, the regime itself and particularly the Chaos stat seem to imply there's value in keeping the totalitarian system running for now in order to stave off the plague. In practice, this will lead to a heavy-handed series of penalties for actually killing people like guards, even if the situation might otherwise call for it. No strategically breaking the chains of oppression and inspiring a democratic revolt here! Nope! Not without letting the Plague in.
- Jossed. According to his confession, Burrows brought the rats over from the Pandyssian Continent to Kill the Poor.
- How do you mean? While the LR himself and his close allies are shown to be really bad, I did specifically include that possibility, but was mainly talking about the grunt-level mooks of said totalitarian government. Considering the Chaos system and the endings, and the fact that you somehow gain Chaos for killing "Weepers*, it's hard to say that they don't go outta their way to paint violence = bad or at least less satisfying.
- Except for the fact the the Chaos stat and the plague have nothing to do with the regime. If anything the regime is worsening and prolonging the plague. The Chaos stat just measures how many people you kill, which adds to the number of plague rats, which increases panic, it's nothing political or anarchistic, heck, in the low Chaos ending, the new golden age only came about by Emily decreasing the role of government and business in Dunwall and the Empire.
- The regime's leadership certainly is gleeful about the plague reacting a Final Solution for the poor, but the rest of the grunts aren't necessarily in the know while they're upholding the quarantine and counter-plague measures even outside the wealthy areas. And furthermore, even the head honchos that are happy siccing the plague on the poor certainly do try and keep *very* strong measures to prevent it from spreading into the wealthy areas. Also, it raises the issue of why killing Weepers- carriers of the plague- would raise public panic when it's impairing the spread of the plague?
- Because although they may be plague carriers, they're still being murdered. The public is going to panic if an entire house full of people turn up with their throats slit or ripped apart by grenades whether they're sick or healthy.
- Also, more dead bodies means the rats eat more, which means they breed more resulting in more rats, which results in more weepers which results in more chaos.
- And in the very best ending the Weepers can be cured.
- Please research the definition of "murdered" in the premodern world, what plague carriers are and how they factor into the law and the environment, and the like. The imperial government- even under the Lord Regent- is portrayed as something of a necessary evil as per the original intent of this WMG, and they kill Weepers left and right with that getting very low play on anybody's worries compared to the other atrocities they commit.
The Kaldwin family has a history of oppressing the country. Jessamine is an exception.
- In the first Tales of Dunwall video, it was shown that Edmond Roseburrow's inventions with Sokolov were used to oppress the people. We know it wasn't Lord Regent Burrows who first used them to oppress people as he had not yet taken power. It seems like someone before the Lord Regent would have had to be the one who started the oppressive regime with the newly developed weapons, yet it seems very unlikely Jessamine began it since she is loved by her people. Trans was shown to be invented before the events of the game since the "Tales of Dunwall" takes place before the game begins. Either it was Jessamine's predecessor who utilized Roseburrow's inventions to oppress the people or title of Emperor/Empress just makes you a powerless figurehead. (Of course, I could be wrong in that Jessamine's assassination takes place after the game begins and Roseburrow makes said weapons with Sokolov during the time Corvo is in jail).
- Actually an in-game books explains that the Kaldwins are new to the throne; Jessamine's father was the first Kaldwin Emperor, who inherited the throne due to being the closest relative of the previous ruler when he died. The same book also describes him as well regarded and his reign as a time of peace and prosperity. It could be progaganda of course, but it could also be that the guy before him was the one who misused Roseburrow's inventions.
The Outsider is G-Man.
- He appears randomly to people he finds interesting. He is always watching, He has a Blue and Orange Morality system going on, and most of all, he uses very similar twists of language (uses a "wrong man in the right place" type statement once.)
- Coinciding with the theory there may be multiple Outsiders, it's possible that G-Man is not The Outsider in Dishonored, but another Outsider from a different time, or one with access to a different world.
The Outsider was once Human.
- Sure, he's usually/often cloaked in shadows or even weirder stuff, but when you get a good look at him he looks more human than some of the humans in-game. His boredom stems form the fact that he's done basically all there is to do at least a couple centuries ago and no human body or mind is ready to deal with *that* kind of rut.
- Makes sense. It was revealed that one can bestow their own power on others (It was told in-conversation that he Whalers/Assassins got their blink power from Daud.), so it's not impossible that the Outsider was once a man who managed to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and is now acting as a trickster god in order to relieve his boredom.
- As a corollary to this...
The Outsider isn't even the first Outsider, he's just the strongest, and may have killed other gods to get that way.
- He has a decidedly human aspect and, even though he can grant powers, so can others (Daud comes to mind). Corvo, Daud and Granny Rags are unusually skilled with them compared to, say, the Torturer and Daud's assassins. The Outsider is only worshipped as a god because he's mastered so much void magic he's become ageless and basically unkillable (he maxed out Vitality, in other words). It's possible there were Outsiders before him, and a previous Outsider may have granted him his original powers, but the Outsider killed his benefactors in a god-duel and is now the sole 'deity,' abandoning his human name to the ages. He's not evil incarnate, just petty and bored; he's as happy to help the heroes as the villains as long as they continue to amuse him. This of course means that any of the following could kill him in turn and/or become a new Outsider, possibly in Dishonored II, assuming they lived:
- Corvo: Becomes either a watchful (but not omnipotent) protector or a ruthless slayer of even minor wrongdoers in the vein of Light Yagami.
- Daud: Becomes a morally ambiguous bastard like the current Outsider, with a few soft spots that'll be ironed out over the course of the years-to-centuries.
- Granny Rags: Becomes basically evil incarnate or close to it, even worse than current Outsider.
The Plague has been around for far longer than just the infection in the Isles.
According to his confession, Burrows brought the rats over from the Pandyssian Continent to Kill the Poor.
If you use the Heart in some areas, it will say "The Doom of Pandyssia is upon the city." The Outsider may have given people the option to summon plague rats (if that is what they wished to use his gift of power to them)
but who is to say they are not drawn from Pandyssia. All the in-game fluff about that continent is that there WERE civilizations there but they are all gone now. Granted they also say that there are monsters there but whose to say these civilization tear themselves apart with The Outsider's gifts?
Dishonored is the closest thing gamers will ever get to a Half-Life 3
Because Valve is too focused on making War-themed Hat Simulators
and Zombie Franchises
. Mysterious force subtling observing the protagonist as he makes his way through the game? Check. Strange place outside of the normal reality which the protagonists use to their advantage? Check Void here, Xen in Half-Life because of their teleports
The protagonist semi-single handed unraveling a totalitarian Regime? Check. Things still not entirely okay even if you save the day? Check. hey even the low chaos ending has the subtle idea that the whales dying makes the void devour the world.
The Empress conceived Emily, with Corvo, during the Fugue Feast
A period of sanctioned anarchy "outside of time" where societal norms are thrown to the wind, oaths can broken and there's no legal ramification for any of your actions? Sounds like the perfect opportunity for an unmarried Empress to conceive a child by her Lord Protector. What's more, the first rule of the Fugue Feast is that no-one talks about the Fugue Feast (it "never happened"), thus the question of Emily's paternity — and, by extension, legitimacy — is taboo to polite society and forever off the table. Throw in the fact that the book describing the Fugue Feast is found in Emily's room and, well, what else are we to think? ;)
- The book on the Fugue Feast can also found in Delilah's studio... right by her portraits of Emily.
The Outsider is Q
He's an omnipotent being that likes to mess with people for reasons that we can't fully understand, appears human but acts nothing like one, shows up on a whim and is interested in how you act, again for reasons beyond us. He might not the Q we know and love, but he's part of the continuum, taking the moniker of "The Outsider" for whatever reason.
- If he didn't introduce himself, they would've had to call him something. The Outsider seems as good a name as any.
- Maybe The Outsider isn't Q, but Q's son ("Q2" from Star Trek: Voyager), learning how to use his Q powers and leaning just how amusing mortals are to toy with...
The Outsider had Piero's help when making The Heart.
One of Piero's Audiograph logs talks about does the soul dwell in the heart and is so, if he runs current through it to keep it beating will he have trapped a soul. The end of the log has him cursing the fact that he only comes to these theories when he is asleep. The Outsider visits Piero in his dream and either use his talents to help him construct the heart or is trying to see if Piero can make one himself...
The World of Dishonored is Earth hundreds of years after a Nuclear War.
First, It's established that the city of Dunwall is built on top of a much more ancient city. This could possibly be a pre-war city, where-as Dunwall is a post-war city.
Second, all the firearms in the game appear to look like wheel-lock firearms, but they all use self-contained cartridges. It's entirely possible that whoever in Dishonored that invented firearms discovered prewar documents showing how to make cartridges, but not schematics for the guns themselves.
Third, Trans is extremely powerful, way more powerful than real whale oil is, and at the same time, the "whales" in the ocean appear to resemble Earth's whales but with tentacles and tons of extra flippers. Under this theory, the bombs from the war contaminated the ocean with nuclear fallout, and the whales are the mutated result of it. The resulting radiation of the water caused them to be irradiated, and thus provide the glowing extremely powerful fuel source that is Whale Oil in Dishonored (This is going off the Fallout method of radiation of course, but when has any video game done differently)
I know the magic is rather unexplained, but hey, Magic could exist in real life too right?
- This troper would like to point out that The Outsider never called his gift magic, he said to humans it LOOKED like magic, Maybe The Outsider is the sole survivor of a human civilization that harnessed the power of The Void and made some sort of Super Nukes and wiped themselves out. that would explain why there seems to be only the Isles and that rather small continent Pandyssia left as well as the bizarrely different animals. why humans did not get irradiated into misshapen sub-human things as well raises some questions though...
- Any surviving humans would likely have had to have waited it out in bunkers, so they'd be more or less the same when they got out. The whales were totally screwed, though
- The humans don't exactly look normal anyway, except for the Outsider. They're all either twisted skinny goblin creatures (the aristocrats) or knuckle-dragging gorillamen (the working class). Either some radiation or some serious inbreeding got into those fallout shelters.
- Does that mean that Dishonored is set in...Fallout 3's future?
- It doesn't seem remotely likely - as this troper recalls, there's a globe of the world in Dr. Galvani's office, and it clearly shows Pandyssia as a supercontinent, similar to Pangaea of Earth history. Humanity may as well not exist by the time a new one comes around (soonest estimates are 50 million years, while Hominidae only took about 20 million to emerge and turn into us), so the possibility of it being Earth any time in the future (nuclear war or no) is nil.
Corvo was part of a travelling circus before the Empress picked him up
This explains why he can tightrope-walk, and also why he's a Kleptomaniac Hero
who will eat pretty much anything he finds lying around; he had
to scrounge around to stay fed when he was young, and never really broke the habit.
He also spent the first eight years of his life constantly juggling lions. Because badass non-sequiturs.
The Outsider chose Piero over Sokolov because Sokolov is Lawful, while Piero is Chaotic or Neutral.
The Outsider is implied to draw power from Chaos if the Chaos ending is anything to go by.
The Outsider can inspire natural philosophers with visions, as he did for Piero, but it's possible that Sokolov is too orderly for The Outsider to work with. That's why he said that Sokolov should "be more interesting" if he wants him to visit him. Sokolov has achieved most of what he wants in life, tends to cooperate with the "legitimate" government, and is more rigorously scientific, while Piero is the underdog, driven by jealousy and his inferiority complex; this makes his actions more feverish and unexpected. This is why Sokolov's inventions, while brilliant, are technically mundane; Piero's are inspired by the Outsider and thus seem magical in nature.
- Plus some DLC material makes it plain to see that Piero is a few watts short of a light bulb. Whether he is the way he is because The Outsider paid him a visit, or The Outsider decided to visit him because he was so off kilter, that's the real question.
The Dunwall City Trials...
...are the result of the Outsider being bored and looking for further entertainment from Corvo.
- Or possibly are an actual in-setting method of training available to those bearing the Outsider's Mark. This, of course, is not mutually exclusive with the former. :)
- Possible, although the fact that Corvo ends up drop-assassinating Empress Jessamine right in front of Emily's horrified face with absolutely zero way to see who his target is beforehand makes me think that the Outsider's just screwing with Corvo for no apparent reason other than to be a dick.
Corvo has a feminine voice, or at least has a mild enough voice to fake a good one.
Because how else could a blindfolded Bunting mistake Corvo for a dominatrix?
- Maybe the mask also functions to disguise one's voice? ...Okay, I've got nothing.
- Corvo doesn't actually speak until past the point where Bunting thinks he's still the dominatrix.
- However, if you leave him conscious he will say to you, "I'll have you whipped, you bitch!" 'Bitch' is kind of a strange insult for a man.
- Telling Corvo that he'll have him whipped also implies that Bunting still thinks Corvo is one of the Cat's girls, as Bunting made the same threat when Corvo first walked in.
- Evidently Bunting is able to read onscreen text boxes ...through his blindfold...
- The grunts and groans Corvo makes while dying seem manly enough...
Why is the final level a raging storm only in High Chaos?
The Outsider did it
. And why? Because the Outsider knows that Corvo — who is most likely an Ax-Crazy Sociopathic Hero
at this point — is likely to go on another Roaring Rampage of Revenge
, and a potential Battle in the Rain
is so much more fun
than one that takes place in boring, calm weather. Why isn't the storm there in Low Chaos? Because Corvo's been sneaky and has acted with discretion. There likely won't be any battles, so there's no need to change the set.
- Expanding on this: Final battle in storm, an army against unstoppable killing machine is much more dramatic. In contrast, sneaky assassins breaking into heavily guarded fortress, in clear daylight without being seen, is much more interesting to watch. Outsider looks what Corvo does and adjust weather to give him (most likely) the most dramatic ending.
The Empress had some kind of connection to The Outsider.
And so does Emily. You find a Bone Charm in Jessamine's secret room, and Sokolov tells Corvo that the Empress was a strange one — stranger than Corvo ever knew. Sokolov also says that Emily is a strange one, too. And in Jessamine's audiograph to Emily, she tells Emily to "only share [her] power with those [she] truly trusts". While this could
mean the power that comes with being an Empress, the wording seems very vague, as if Jessamine is alluding to something else. It's also implied that the Outsider visits Emily's dreams (or nightmares) and
Emily finds a Rune on the beach that was most certainly not there the last time Corvo was at the Hounds Pit.
In the Thief
games, the Trickster is portrayed as a force of nature, an embodiment of the will of the elements and a counterpart to modernisation and technology, and it is implied that his power was much greater in the days before civilisation when men toiled around in the wilderness. The Outsider shares some characteristics with him, and besides from the fact that he has apparently retained his powers even after the evident industrialisation of the world around him, his hailing from an earlier time when he obviously had a bigger, more well-viewed presence among the people and his later being persecuted by a church of zealots mostly dedicated to turning technology against him and his followers are certainly strong similarities. Besides, seeing how examining some maps in the Thief
games implies that the games take place on a parallel Earth, a similar explanation would fit the setting of Dishonored
, and seeing how the Outsider seems capable of visiting multiple dimensions...
- Maybe Dishonored is set hundreds of years in the future of Thief?
- This seems valid at the first glance but Outsider and Trickster have little in common. While Trickster was a force of nature, opposed to civilization and supporting primitive or even primordial paganism, The Outsider is amoral chaos impersonated. He has absolutely nothing against civilization and industrialization, as it is often mentioned that it was his influence that allowed the most brilliant minds (including Sokolov and Joplin) to create the new world. Sure, people worship The Outsider in pretty old-fashioned way, but he seems to be most interested in curious or unpredictable people regardless of their intents or affiliation. He also doesn't care whether the change he incurs is beneficial or detrimental, as long as it changes the status quo. The Outsider could be Tzeentch's best friend.
Hiram Burrows was used as a Guinea Pig for the experiments conducted in finding a cure for the Rat Plague
If you opted to put his confession into the loudspeakers and kept the chaos down, then it would only be fitting
that he is forcefully given the very same plague he brought to Dunwall. Especially when it's done as a means to help find a cure that had otherwise eluded his regime.
The Outsider is none other than AM
Both possess godlike powers, both have a history of manipulating events for their own twisted entertainment, both select specific individuals as pawns because they find them interesting or potentially amusing, and there's a good chance that- when you meet them- that you're not actually seeing their true form. For good measure, they are both taken aback when their players start acting against expectations.
Quite simply, the Outsider was once AM- specifically the short story version, given that the game version was defeated; after losing half his players in the climax of the original story, AM eventually gave up on earth altogether and decided to project himself into a different dimension - eventually projecting his consciousness and power into the world of Dishonored.
However, after living through the results of one nuclear holocaust, AM wasn't interested in killing literally everyone in the isles for revenge against humanity; instead, he decided to operate slower and subtler than before- if only to assuage his own boredom- carefully selecting people that might amuse him in some way or another and implanting them with his reality-warping technology to see what they'd do with it.
The Outsider is the Last Leviathan.
The whales are nothing more than a Red Herring. When the heart says "When the last leviathan is gone, darkness will fall", she isn't referring to the Whales. She's referring to The Outsider, also known as The Leviathan. He's actually the Last Leviathan, the last living outsider, keeping the void locked away and stopping it from devouring reality. When something or someone destroys The Outsider, he won't be able to keep it held back and the void will devour reality. Heck, his giving of magical powers could be seen as a way of releasing some pressure, letting small parts of void sink through but contained and with function, to make holding it back easier for him.
Martin was offered powers like Daud and Corvo, but refused.
The heart mentions that Martin is one of the few men brave enough to laugh in the Outsider's face, which suggests that he has done so, since it is an otherwise peculiar standard for courage. He also appears to be aware of what Corvo is capable of, based on his comments, though that might just be his background as an Overseer.
- I rather doubt it. For a start "laughing in the face of the Devil" is a term for courage that has been used in the real world and the Abbey treats The Outsider like the Devil. So it probably is just a euphemism fo "very brave." More to the point Martin is, frankly, not that special. The Outsider picks the truely extraordinary and Martin, while brave, is just an ambitious priest. Also there's no evidence suggesting one can refuse The Outsider's gifts. Corvo wasn't offered a choice and said yes, The Outsider branded him and said "You've got magic powers now, deal with it."
- There's no solid evidence suggesting one can't refuse the Outsider's gifts either. Corvo's apparent lack of choice could be Gameplay and Story Segregation (because if he didn't choose to take the offer there would be no game). In all other cases the Outsider seems more amused with giving people choices and seeing what they do with it. Outright forcing someone to take the Mark seems out of character for him.
Dishonored is part of the Bioshock Multiverse
Normally I hate crossover WMG, but this is too apparent to pass up:
Dunwall is one of the multi-versal cities along with Columbia and Rapture. There's a lighthouse (Kingsparrow Island), a city (Dunwall), a man (Hiram Burrows), and a girl (Emily). There's also a civil war (Loyalists vs the Lord Regent's conspiracy), cybernetically altered mooks (the Tallboys), supernatural powers (thanks to the Outsider), a dystopia, the ending of a great age, and a protector (Corvo). From this, we might be able to infer that the Outsider is the source of ADAM in Bioshock 1
, and Vigors in Bioshock Infinite
- For what it's worth, there seems to be some crossover in terms of the Dishonored development team and the original System Shock development team.
During The Knife of Dunwall story, Delilah empowers Billie Lurk
Daud can share his powers with his subordinants if he chooses to with the Arcane Bond ability. However in the High Chaos run when he fights Billie she uses some powers that Daud does not have. It is likely that Delilah, or possibly another Brigmore Witch, has their own version of Arcane Bond and decided to share their powers with Billie. Especially with Billie intending to kill Daud, since it would make little sense to kill off the source of your supernatural powers.
- Given that the Brigmore Witches use similar attacks when you fight them in the sequel DLC, this seems highly likely.
The Brigmore Witches will open with Daud paying a visit to the Academy of Natural Philosophy
"Eminent Domain" and "The Surge" seem to take place shortly after "House of Pleasure". In "Eminent Domain", the broadcaster won't shut up about the Lord Regent raising the price on info on Emily's whereabouts, implying that he no longer knows where she is. The next mission in the main game, "The Royal Physician", has Corvo abduct Sokolov.
Although Daud knows that Delilah can be found in Brigmore, he's Genre Savvy
enough to understand that trying to take on a powerful witch
without all the intel he can get on her is a bad idea. One of the few things known about Delilah is that she used to work with Sokolov, so Daud's next step should be to find out what Sokolov knows. But since Sokolov goes missing shortly after The Knife of Dunwall
, that's not an option. Daud will have to settle for looking into one of Sokolov's colleagues at the Academy.
- One problem with this timing: Lady Boyle's picture in Daud's office (in "The Surge") already has the circle and X he uses to denote defunct targets, implying that she's dead or missing. Furthermore, that circle-X is already there by the time Daud returns from "Eminent Domain", implying that he heard about her disappearance between "A Captain of Industry" and "Eminent Domain". However, this introduces some continuity errors of its own ("The Flooded District" is at least a night after "Lady Boyle's Last Party", which leaves Daud with only the hours before noon at the latest to perform the entirety of The Brigmore Witches and be home in time for Corvo) and is easily handwaved by one of the Assassins making that mark before the Overseers came in. Not to mention the Doylist justification of simply reusing the assets for Daud's office from the vanilla game.
- That's not true; Corvo goes after Burrows the night after the party, and is poisoned the following day, with an undisclosed amount of time en route to the Flooded District. The window of time is still razor-thin, ("The Surge" and "Return to the Tower" occur simultaneously, Daud leaving for the first Brigmore Witches mission immediately after the invasion is dealt with) but Daud still has time to go on one or two missions before the confrontation with Corvo. Of course, they can play fast and loose with the time Corvo spent passed out in that pit/escaping from the Whalers/retrieving his gear/etc. to give Daud the time he needs to take care of Delilah and meet Corvo on his way in.
- Daud never visits the Academy, but he does get to meet another one of its Natural Philosophers. As a side note, Lady Boyle's portrait being crossed out in "The Surge" is an error. The second mission of The Brigmore Witches takes place around the same time as "Lady Boyle's Last Party".
- Well, we never actually know how long or short Daud's shuteye is. Besides, "Lady Boyle's Last Party" is a nighttime mission, whereas "The Dead Eels" and "Delilah's Masterwork" are midmorning and midafternoon, respectively. I'd say that "Stay of Execution" and "Lady Boyle's Last Party" are either simultaneous or a day apart, the former giving Daud one day to complete his mission (a perfect fit), the latter giving Daud two days before Corvo drifts into his territory.
The powers granted by the Outsider evolve over time with repeated and heavy use.
It just needed to be said. We see a lot of this in-game too: Corvo only has Blink before applying upgrades, but can eventually stop time, create gusts of wind strong enough to deflect grenades, and/or cause people to dissolve into ash when he kills them. Daud's powers show an obvious melding and advancement of Corvo's powers: Blink stops time if used while not moving, Void Gaze acts like the Heart as well as like Dark Vision, and Arcane Bond allows him to empower his assassins with copies of his powers (In that vein, the Tethering might be an advanced form of Windblast). Granny Rags, however, shows the greatest amount of "evolution"; her Vitality power has advanced to Immortality, she casts Devouring Swarm and Blink simultaneously whenever she's attacked, and refers to "the sight."
People with the Outsider's mark aren't actually using supernatural powers.
You think you're teleporting from place to place and summoning up swarms of rats to devour people, but that's really the Outsider himself doing it for you—shifting you from one location to another, stopping time for you, etc. That's why you can hear his whispering when you use certain powers.
Dishonored takes place in the same universe as Bioshock
spoilers: Or rather, in the same multiverse. As Elizabeth said, "There's always a man, a lighthouse and a city". Corvo's first appearance is even via boat, approaching the aforementioned lighthouse.
Burrows was manipulated into starting the plague via prophetic dreams
The DLC book reveals Burrows was tormented by recurring dreams of rising waters and things crawling over the city. He could have been granted visions of the Flooded District and the Rat Plague to feed his obsessive desire for order and allow or cause those things to pass. Did the Outsider manipulate him with a Self Fulfilling Prophesy
- Entirely within The Outsider's power but not really his style. He doesn't seem to be in the habit of making people do anything, just giving them the ability to do more. The closest he comes is dropping Deliah's name to Daud and even then he leaves it up to him how to take it.
Delilah is Jessamine's bastard older sister
Delilah grew up in Dunwall Tower and was allowed to become close friends with the future Empress. That doesn't seem like a luxury given to most serving girls. Delilah doesn't seem to care that Daud killed Jessamine, which would imply that the two of them had a falling out, possibly over Jessamine inheriting a throne that would have been Delilah's had she been a legitimate child. During her final confrontation with Daud, Delilah starts talking as if the throne is rightfully hers. If Daud defeats Delilah in combat, her last words are "She took my life." The only woman who would be relevant in this circumstance would be Emily. While Emily most likely never even knew that Delilah existed, she still inherited a throne that Delilah believes to rightfully be hers.
- This works so well with Delilah's narrative that it's almost a wonder it was never outright stated.
Alternatively, Delilah is an illegitimate scion of the previous ruling dynasty.
Jessamine's father was the first Kaldwin Emperor, and only succeeded to the throne because "the previous ruling dynasty provided no heirs".
Delilah's final plan was insulting to the Outsider's sensibilities.
The Outsider likes conflict, open and direct, or tense and subtle. Any form of it is fine, as long as it's interesting. Delilah's plan was quiet, subtle, and unobtrusive. She would have caused all that change with almost no risk to herself at all. The Outsider disliked that his gift was to be used in such a way, so he put Daud on the scent of her. Intentionally giving him the most difficult path to follow to get to her, so he could both deal with one who 'misused' his gift, and also be entertained.
- Another, similar option; she offended his artistic sensibilities by screwing up Corvo's story. Corvo saves Emily or fails to, good story. Corvo unknowningly puts Delilah on the throne, nowhere near as interesting to him. He gave Corvo his powers so his choices would matter, not so his choices would just feed Delilah's story.
The Outsider wins either way.
- If Emily Dies and Dunwall collapses or if the plague just decimates the Empire, whaling slows or even stops. If Emily becomes a good and proper empress, then she puts a curtail on the whaling. Either way, the whales survive.
- Which is also why the Outsider put Daud on Delilah's trail. If Delilah's the empress, then she'd not stop the killing at all.
Lizzy Stride is Mortimer Hat's daughter
If Daud chooses to fulfill Hat's dying wish in TBW, it becomes clear they have a connection, and Lizzy herself has a strong reaction when she learns he's dead
. Hat was a clothing merchant, and Lizzy's biography mentions that she was rumoured to be the daughter of a seamstress and a "traveling cloth merchant". Seems to fit.
Canonically, Corvo "spares
" his targets, while Daud kills his.
Both characters have different abilities. There doesn't seem to be any real explanation for this, but it just might be because the Outsider's mark grants powers that are related to the bearer's personality. Corvo, for instance, has abilities that favor a more subtle approach. With Possession, he can get into normally restricted areas or separate groups of enemies so he can deal with them one at a time. And with Swarm of Rats, he can summons rats to provide a distraction, kill enemies without leaving any evidence that he was there, or provide more fodder for Possession. If spells are related to personality, then we can neatly assume that while Corvo is a talented swordsman, he prefers to use guile and manipulation, and would thus be more likely to find more creative solutions to getting his revenge. Meanwhile, Daud's spells are largely offensive in nature and are better in a direct fight. He can either summon an assassin to help him out in a jam, empower said assassin, or pull a target to him and kill them more easily. Daud is more direct and likely wouldn't waste time dilly-dallying with his targets. He's just going to kill them, as he always has.
- The problem here is that at the end of Brigmore Witches Daud is killed if High Chaos and only spared if not. Now of course it's quite possible to be Low Chaos and still kill all targets but the things you're suggesting as reasons Daud would kill his targets tends to favour a more violent, "kill all before me" approach. It looks more to me like Corvo and Daud's decisions mirror each other; if one is merciful, the other is, if one is violent the other is.
Dishonored takes place in the Warhammer
Partly because of the ongoing Order vs Chaos theme, partly because the Outsider seems to have a lot in common with Tzeentch.
- Slight problem, Tzeentch is the god of 'Just As Planned', while the Outsider seems to be more the entity of 'Let's see what happens'. One plans elaborate schemes and gambits laid out to a T, the other just watches and occasionally changes things up to see how they work out, not really caring what happens.