The many faces of Revachol West, here for your viewing pleasure. As the game is primarily a murder mystery, some spoilers may be unmarked. Tread carefully.
Revachol Citizens' Militia (RCM)
The Detectives - You, Kim Kitsuragi, Your Brain
Due to the length of the character profiles, they have been moved to a separate page.
Satellite-Officer Jean Vicquemare, Patrol Officer Judit Minot and Special Consultant Trant Heidelstam
The Major Crimes Unit police team that was sent to investigate the Martinaise hanging. You, as their commanding officer, abandoned them at the beginning of your memory-obliterating bender, and they have been keeping their distance ever since.
- Affectionate Nickname: Downplayed. While Jean has a whole slew of nicknames for you, ranging from casual mockery to plainspoken insults, one stands out: '(our) shitkid.' Your Conceptualization will remark that it certainly is an interesting moniker.
- Ambiguous Disorder: It's never outright stated, but it seems like Trant might be on the spectrum given his spaciness and his tendency to ramble at length about his personal interests.
- Badass Arm-Fold: Jean's default pose when speaking to you.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Trant is an uptight and pedantic square who comes across as a little oblivious at times. He's also a skilled and intelligent consultant who provides a wide array of valuable services to Precinct 41. It's possible he's able to psychoanalyze Harry with surprising accuracy because they're both fundamentally odd guys and thus operate on a similar wavelength despite Harry being a filthy party animal and Trant being clean-cut and upstanding. Both of them struggled with addiction if Trant's cryptic comment about pyrholidon is to be believed. It's worth noting that pyrholidon enhances your PSY skills, including Inland Empire, so it's possible Trant specializes in that or some other PSY skills in addition to Encyclopedia.
- Cool Shades: When Jean first arrives in the Whirling-In-Rags, he's wearing a huge pair of aviators and an obvious wig. Your addled brain can only recognize your Station 41 partner as "Man with Sunglasses".
- Cowboy Cop: Subverted in that under regular circumstances gruff, foul-mouthed, and passionate Jean would be this, but in comparison to you he's a total straight shooter.
- Dramatic Irony: The player is likely to realize who they are long before the player character does, but he can't because something in his subconscious is blocking it. Even high Esprit de Corps skill only sort-of lets the detective recognize them.
- Embarrassing Nickname: You are only able to recognize Judit as "Horse-faced Woman" to begin with, a deeply unfair nickname Suggestion wonders how you even came up with. Speaking your mind on the subject is a good way to turn the one person on your squad who's still on your side against you.Suggestion: This is the Horse-Faced Woman. I don't know *why* you named her that, but it was beyond idiotic. You should *never* address her using those words again.
- The Eeyore: You can call Jean out on being a real downer on multiple occasions, but he's not just being a Jerkass for no reason — he's clinically depressed and has to deal with having you for a partner. There is also the fact, that he had to see his best friend (you) fall into a slow self-destructive spiral for years, and, despite his best efforts, being powerless to stop it.
- Family Man: You will first encounter Trant with his young boy, out on the coast. Not actually a police officer, he's decided this is as good a time as any to teach his son about the Feld computer company. If you ask Judit if she's working-class, she'll say yes, if that means she's supporting two kids and "half a husband" on a patrol officer's wages.
- Final Boss: Jean is the closest you can get to one in DE: upon returning to the mainland, you must convince him to let you remain with the force by proving you're a competent detective who's, at the very least, trying to quit drinking and who can work side by side with a partner. As anticipated, if your arguments aren't enough, he'll indirectly as you're still his de jure superior sack you on the spot.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Played straight and lampshaded. You and Jean were this for, at the very least, two years (as Empathy estimates), and this trope is mocked ad nauseam by your co-workers from the 41st particularly Mack Torson and Chester McLaine.
- Hidden Depths:
- By the end, Jean's hostility towards the player is revealed born from the depression of watching his best friend and colleague drive everyone away from himself and destroy his life and career. Should you prove your aptitude by solving the investigation, Empathy can note that he eases up a bit and has some hope in you actually getting better, even if he won't admit it himself.
- Trant Heidelstam possibly falls under this trope. Many players initially interpret him as a moralist, presumably due to his academic persona and backpedalling. However, there are several sections of dialogue that would suggest Trant at least sympathises with communism, even if he subscribes to a less extreme left-wing ideology.
- Trant describes the March Decree — the legislative foundation of the Commune of Revachol — as "beautiful", and attempted to get his son to memorize the text.
- Trant recognises Cindy's graffito as a reference to a piece of media about communism, then comments that this was a "good choice."
- Trant suggests that critical theory should not be off the table when considering the causes of Harry's amnesia.
- Trant's descriptions of the revolutionaries are more sympathetic than one would expect from a moralist. When Harry asks why the revolutionaries destroyed the FELD Playback Experiment, Trant suggests it was an accident or they didn't want the technology falling into the wrong hands. Trant also notes he understands the socio-economic causes of the Revolution.
- Trant's knowledgeable on left-wing political history. For example, he recommends a text on criminal profiling in former socialist states, and is familiar with Revolutionary matronym customs. However, Trant is knowledgeable on a broad range of topics.
- As of The Final Cut update, Trant's persitent smile will falter if you ask him which politcal system he thinks describes moralist Harry's or the Coalition's innermost character, and he ultimately dodges the question.
- There are some in-game reasons to believe Trant isn't left-leaning. The first is his desire not to partake in anything Union-related for the sake of political neutrality; this is a moralist stance, though it could also be an excuse not to work against the communist aligned Union. Another reason is that when his coworkers refer to him as a "lefty dink", Trant declares "Well, actually — I don't consider myself a classical leftist at all. Not in the Mazovian sense at least." Whether this implies he holds another leftist position or is a moralist is up to player interpretation. A final reason is some Esprit De Corps dialogue reveals that Captain Pryce and Doctor Nix don't wish to involve Trant, and only Trant, in the plans for the RCM's eventual uprising. One possible explanation for this is they don't believe Trant is a revolutionary — however there are other explanations, and this wouldn't preclude Trant from being a leftist.
- Trant also comes across as a boring and strait-laced academic for the most, but the enthusiasm with which he discusses the discovery of the Phasmid with Harry and his familiarity with cryptozoology terms suggests he might have a personal interest in cryptids. An Electrochemistry check also reveals that Trant has a history of pyrholidon addiction, and practices Lo Manthang stick-fighting for 4 hours a day..
- Informed Deformity: It's not abundantly clear why Harry internally refers to Judit as the "horse-faced woman," given that she's perfectly normal-looking and doesn't resemble a horse in the slightest bit.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Jean is mean-spirited and snarky and seems to be actively obstructing your Quest for Identity and the investigation as a whole, but from his perspective it's justified — you threw him off the case and have been all but deliberately sabotaging the task force you put together, and this latest bout of Alcohol-Induced Idiocy and the supposed amnesia is only adding insult to injury.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: It's ultimately shown that Jean cares about Harry as a friend and a partner. He wants the best for him even though he's exacerbated by his drunken antics.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: The treatment Judit and Jean give to you, respectively, when they interrogate you at the end of the game, but it comes from a natural place: Jean is disgusted and angry with you, Judit pities you.
- Meaningful Echo: The phrase '[fuck off,] you're cramping my style' gets repeated many times by your partner. As he clarifies, these were the exact words you'd told him and the words that had caused him to abandon you to your demons at the beginning of the story. But much to Jean's frustration, your amnesia effectively prevents the "Meaningful" part from coming across.
- Mr. Exposition: If you have a high Encyclopedia skill, it recognizes the same quality in Trant, who is only too happy to bring you in to the lecture on the history of the Feld company and the coast he's giving to his son, along with a series of rambling digressions on various tangential topics.
- Obfuscating Disability: Not them, but Jean clearly thinks your amnesia is some kind of pathetic act at first, just the latest in a long line of similar antics. Not that he's happy to have it confirmed that you're actually suffering from mental issues.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: When they show up at the Whirling, you can only identify them as Man In Sunglasses and Horse-Faced Woman. Part of you seems to recognize them but is being blocked out by another part of your subconscious.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: On day 3, Jean and Judit show up at the Whirling-In-Rags in wigs to keep an eye on you. They're so obvious (they're wearing police uniforms) that Jean is exasperated you still can't recognize them. With a high enough Encyclopedia during the final conversation, you can figure out that Jean was disguising himself as Guillaume Bevy, a moderately famous Intrepid Reporter who was also assigned to your squad, and one of the last people you managed to drive off. He had long, blonde hair, and he was the one with a penchant for Cool Shades, not Jean. It was supposed to be a joke, which you spoiled by acting even crazier than usual.
- The Profiler: Trant's job is a special consultant for the RCM, who assists in profiling Harry. It is not known whether his primary role with the RCM is profiling or not.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Exaggerated as you find yourself on the receiving end of this trope throughout the entire ending/debriefing scene, but justified to boot as you were a monumental prick before the game's events. You can defend yourself and snap back as your Volition and Authority advise but that approach would, naturally, evokes even more hostility from Jean.
- Satellite Character: In-Universe, Jean has the rank of Satellite-Officer. As Kim reveals, this is a rank only given to officers by merit of their partner being promoted ahead of them, to ensure they retained a similar degree of authority. That partner would be you.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Justified. This is the reason behind the Major Crimes Unit's absence at the beginning of the story: you, in a bout of temper, dismissed them by telling your partner to fuck off. Jean took your command to heart.
- Self-Deprecation: Trant semi-jokingly refers to himself as a loser at one point. Your skills quickly note that the opposite is true given that he's been quite useful to the team despite his tendency to run his mouth (they observe that he probably wishes he could genuinely call himself that out of a desire to be seen as cool and rebellious).
- The Shrink: While Trant does have quite a bit of incidental/hobbyist knowledge of neuroscience, he tries to make it clear to Jean that this does not make him qualified to actually diagnose your condition. Jean doesn't care — an educated layman's perspective is enough for what he needs.
- The Smart Guy: Trant's trivia tirades can be annoying, but they show that he's genuinely quite intelligent and knowledgeable. His dialogue shows that he's intimately-acquainted with a wide array of subjects, which include history, computer engineering, abstract art, law, international geopolitics, physics, psychiatry, and even cryptozoology.
- The Stoic: Judit is the calm voice of reason who reels in Jean's smoldering bitterness and sarcasm.
- Undying Loyalty: Deconstructed. While this can apply to the entire Major Crimes Unit, Jean gets it the most. His loyalty to you was so strong he remained your partner even as your behavior, lack of judgment, and the constant need to rationalize your childish antics in front of your superiors twisted him into the bitter, righteously angry man. It's not known why he stood by you for so many years, but he did and that took a toll on his own mental health.
- We Used to Be Friends: Jean was your steadfast partner — until your heavy substance abuse caused your department to lose faith in you and hollowed it out, until only him and Judit remained.
- Your interactions with Jean gradually makes it clear that he still cares very much about you as a friend and a colleague, and obviously does so in spite of himself. But, if anything, that is also the reason why he is so angry at you; he knows just how good of a cop you can be if you put your mind to it, and it saddens him to see you screw up and alienate everyone around you time and time again instead.
- What Were You Thinking?: The end of the game is basically Jean asking this question to you, over and over and over again. Why did you abandon them? Why did you obliterate yourself with drink? Why did you crash your car? Why did you do everything you possibly could to fuck up? You might have good excuses or at least good results to answer him with. Or you might not.
- Working-Class Hero: Judit is a mild-mannered beat cop who stays with Harry's squad despite his volatility so she can provide for her family.
- Hero of Another Story: They are quite active in the field, and you can even get to see occasional glimpses of their various adventures through the Esprit de Corps.
- Noodle Incident: If you call Dr. Gottlieb, Mack will also be present in the lazareth, awaiting treatment for getting superglue into his eyes. Gottlieb's annoyed reaction makes it clear that it isn't the first time it has happened.
- Those Two Guys: They're steadfast work partners, and can be heard in the background egging each other on in making fun of you as you agonizingly are forced to admit your screw-ups over the radio.
The Rest of Precinct 41
Your remaining co-workers from Precinct 41. As a general rule, you'll learn more about them through Esprit De Corps passive rolls, a snippet at a time here and there.
- Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Communications Officer Jules Pidieu is under orders from Jean to act in this manner, because he thinks whatever you are trying to with the strange requests you are suddenly making is just yet another weird and self-destructive act of yours. As such, Jules will apologically, but firmly deny to your requests for reinforcements, financial aid, and gaining access to your personal records.
- The Conspiracy: Seconds before the credits roll, having a high score in Esprit de Corps will show you an odd conversation between Harry's unseen boss, captain Pryce, and the precinct doctor, Nix Gottlieb. They're planning to recruit Harry (as well as others) for some kind of uprising against the Moralintern. It's not clear what this will entail but it could very well be related to "the Return" alluded to by Klaasje, which by all accounts is a second communist revolution though this explanation would make the most sense given the RCM's communist origins. Does this mean the RCM was complicit in the Union's plans for revolution all along? Have they been secretly coordinating their respective revolutionary activities? We never get definite answers.
- It's not clear what role Kim and Cuno will play in all this should either of them join Harry in Precinct 41, although Kim is implied to have latent leftist sympathies so he could very well be recruited as well.
- Dr. Jerk: Dr. Nix Gottlieb, the Precinct 41, is quite caustic and dismissive toward you. It is made quite clear why, though; he is a very busy man, and he has essentially written you off as a lost cause who will kneel over dead from one of your multiple substances abuses very soon. If you manage to quit drinking and then tell him about it, he softens up a bit and earnestly tells you to come by his office whenever you have the time so he can do a health check and see how bad the damage is.
Communications Officer Alice DeMettrie
- Communications Officer: Right there in her title. Amongst other things, she patches you through to your home precinct and any witnesses not in Martinaise.
- Foil: To your own station's Communications Officer Jules Pidieu. While Jules is basically acting under orders to Be as Unhelpful as Possible thanks to you alienating your task force before the game began, Alice is happy and eager to help you and Kim out with the investigation however she can.
- Mission Control: Somewhat one-sided. As a police dispatcher, she supplies information you cannot get otherwise in the field, but as the detectives lack any kind of handset walkie-talkies, she can only be contacted from Kim's Kineema and doesn't relay orders; you're mostly on your own.
Miss Oranje Disco Dancer, the only other guest at the hotel when the game begins.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Failing the Suggestion check with her in the beginning causes Klassje to burst into laughter at your horribly bungled and incoherent pick-up line.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She was drawn to Lely because he was a violent asshole, and loved it when he got rough with her.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She's the first other character you meet in the game, then turns out to be a key witness who was in the middle of sex with Lely at the moment of his death. You ultimately discover that the murder was at least partly the result of a twisted Love Triangle, that she wasn't even aware existed, with her at the center.
- Consummate Liar: She's seemingly very candid and fast on her feet, but you'll eventually realize that you have no idea whether or not anything she's telling you is the truth. With high enough Volition, you can realize that you're compromised by your attraction to her. Protest though they will, none of your other skills are immune and none of the information they give you over the course of your conversations with her is completely accurate. Ironically, not even Volition's: it's protective of you over this to the point of overcompensation — it's very eager to pin the murder on Klaasje despite the lack of evidence, simply because it is seriously ticked off by the fact she was trying to trick you.
- Corporate Samurai: Downplayed — she never completely shows her hand, but aside from what she tells you about her work as a corporate spy, she plays a mean game of Xanatos Speed Chess, creating elaborate plans in minutes while still high, moments after a man she might have had feelings for died in her arms. Physical Instrument can also pick up on self-defense training in how she carries herself.
- Crying Wolf: Catching her in enough lies just makes it that much harder to know if she's telling you the truth about anything.
- Death Seeker: Heavily implied. You can come to the realization that she had figured out the location and direction where the shot that killed Lely came from. When she comes to the roof to smoke every night, she is actually placing herself with her back towards the direction where the shot came from, making herself a highly visible target, as if she is hoping that the killer will one night fire a second shot.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Aside from getting Lely, the murderer, Titus and possibly you to all fall for her, Ruby's deep jealousy of Lely is the reason she orchestrated the cover up.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: She is a pretty blonde woman, who has everybody falling for her left and right, including you. The fact that Dora was also a blonde might mean that it is even more personal for you.
- Eyes Never Lie: Her eyes are her only real tells. Volition realizes she's lying to you when you look into them; the only time she really loses her composure, she shoots you a dangerous look. Downplayed in the end: the tell is so minor that you can only tell she's lying to you in general, but not about anything specific.
- Femme Fatale: Sultry, manipulative, infuriatingly vague, and completely unpredictable, beholden to no one. Also a Femme Fatale Spy, recruited for industrial espionage.
- Functional Addict: She consumes copious amounts of drugs — her medicine cabinet impresses even you. This is actually a minor plot point. Her tolerance is so high that she's able to keep a clear enough head to plan a meticulous cover up when coked out of her mind, right after her lover was murdered while he was penetrating her.
- Future Spandex: Maybe not so much future per se, but the silver jumpsuit she wears certainly invokes the idea of it.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: Her attempts to lie and manipulate the player can backfire on her spectacularly. Should the player figure out that what she is doing and that nothing she says can be trusted, they can respond by arresting her on the spot, which is the situation she was trying to avoid in the first place.
- Interface Screw: If you pass a difficult Volition check whilst interrogating her, Volition will tell you that all your other skills are compromised by your attraction to her, and that you can't trust anything they tell you about her. Notably, Volition itself is also compromised - whilst it's correct that your other skills are hopelessly infatuated with her and overly trusting as a result, it's very keen to pin the murder on her, when in reality she's innocent of that particular crime.
- Must Have Nicotine: She spends most of the story in the process of smoking one cigarette after another. When you interview her, you catch a look of her ashtray, which you quickly likens to a porcupine.
- Mysterious Past: How much of what she tells you is true? You're never really given an answer.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: You only know her as Miss Oranje Disco Dancer until you uncover her connection to the case. After which you discover that Klaasje isn't her real name. Then you find out both Annouk Meijer-Smit and Katarzine Alaczije aren't either.
- Pet the Dog: For all her lies and manipulations, Klaasje was genuinely in love with Lely and wants his killer to be brought to justice. She was the one who called the RCM in the first place, simply because she just couldn't stand to see his body just hanging in the tree and suffer prolonged exposure to the elements. If you don't arrest her, she covertly makes her escape just before the Tribunal, but not before leaving a hint to the true killer's location.
- Revealing Cover Up: A interesting twist on the trope. She actually didn't kill Levy, but as the only direct witness to his death, she is afraid that she will be taken into official custody for questioning, and thereby allow her enemies in the Moralintern to get their hands on her. She is so afraid in fact, that she tries her level best to lead the RCM investitation away from her, but ironically, the fact that you and Kim eventually manage to see through her deception, can be the one thing that provides the emotional push for you to arrest her and have her taken into custody, leading to the outcome she was trying so hard to avoid in the first place.
- Real Name as an Alias: Subverted. Klaasje Amandou isn't her real name, but rather an alias based on the name on her passport, Katarzine Alaczije... which is another fake name. The name she says is on her passport, Annouk Meijer-Smit, isn't real either.
- She Knows Too Much: Choosing to arrest her, and having at least some points in Shivers, leads to you recieving a vision that very heavily implies that she is going to be assassinated while in custody, presumably by people sent either by her former employees, or some other powerful enemy she made in her past line of work, that wants their secrets to go to the grave with her.
- Walking Spoiler: It's difficult to sort fact from fiction with Klaasje, and knowing which is which inevitably comes with spoilers for the game's central mystery.
- Wild Card: She's the one who called the RCM and ultimately torpedoes the Hardy Boys' attempt to re-stage the hanged man's death as a lynching, despite the fact that the whole effort was organized for her benefit, since the Hanged Man died in her room. She seems torn between genuinely wanting to help the investigation and protecting a mysterious agenda of her own. Despite which she really is an odd victim of circumstance — regardless of how you feel about her purported reasons for being on the run, the murder actually had nothing to do with her Mysterious Past, and at least based on one Shivers flash-sideways during the ending, she really is risking her life just by telling you as much as she has...
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Her spy training has conditioned her to keep her head cool in stressed situations and therefore able to string elaborate schemes together on the spot and also being capable of adjusting them on the fly. Ruby was left shocked by how quickly and calmly she was able to put together a plan to get a freshly killed body out of her bedroom in such a way it diverted attention away from herself.
Cuno / Kuuno de Ruyter
A twelve-year-old drug-dealing local hellion. You first meet him and his "sister" while he's throwing rocks at the victim's suspended corpse.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: In the event you have managed to befriend him, and Kim gets put out of commission due to being shot and wounded during the Tribunal, Cuno offers to step in for him and act as your temporary sidekick for the final portion of the story.
- Abusive Parents: If you pass a Physical Instrument check and punch him, he mostly shrugs it off and implies his father hits him as well. It also makes him respect you a bit more, all but confirming it.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Cuno provides one of these if he accompanies you to the sea fortress at the end of the game.You: Don't worry kid. I'm a good guy with a gun.
Cuno: Are you?
He squints at you — squints into your soul.
Cuno: *Are you?*
- Big Brother Instinct: Much of his bravado is about looking out for Cunoesse, forcing people to take him seriously, and making her feel safe — it's just that what makes her feel safe is acting like a thieving, thuggish fuck-the-police gangster.
- Big Damn Heroes: If Cuno is present for when your squad chews you out, he comes to your aid by going on an impassioned tirade attesting to your strong moral character. Your skills point this out to you.Esprit de Corps: That's it. The cavalry has arrived.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: From his perspective at least. The way he sees it, he keeps the scary and violent Cunoesse from getting in trouble with the law and going off-rails.
- Delinquent: As you might expect, Cuno is anti-social, doesn't go to school, and uses a lot of drugs.
- Embarrassing First Name: Him and C thought his real name, Kuuno de Ruyter, sounded weak, so they changed it.
- Hidden Depths: His rowdy, aggressive behavior is actually pushed by Cunoesse, who has more serious problems; if you can talk to him alone it's possible to get through to him and befriend him. He has an imaginative, artistic streak, coming up with a whole society for the locusts he steals from the cryptozoologists' traps (called Night City, the City of Rage) — and if Kim gets wounded during the Tribunal, Cuno can take his place (at least while you investigate the Whirling, speak up on your behalf in front of your squad, and even be tapped for training as a future RCM detective.Cuno: Cuno likes this brain-shit. Thinking-shit.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Keeps insulting Kim if he gets shot at the Tribunal, but defends him if you join in. Cuno can make fun of the binoclard, but you doing it to someone who took a bullet helping you is just cold.
- Informed Attribute: The game describes Cuno as almost resembling a gremlin, whereas his portrait shows him as rather plain looking, not appearing much worse than the other portraits. On the other hand, his character model is somewhat less realistically proportioned than other kids in the game.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Well, perhaps dented silver, but it's there. He cares for Cunoesse quite a bit, and is surprisingly open to you if you pass the Empathy check to better understand him and treat him respectfully. He's also a lot more aware of social norms than one might think — if Kim is shot and Cuno wakes up the player, he'll make a crack about Kim going down for you. If you make one too, Cuno angrily admonishes you for spitting on Kim's sacrifice. He has no need to be thankful for Kim, but you do; showing that sacrifice a lack of respect seems to genuinely upset Cuno.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even though characters in this game don't mind cursing, Cuno uses the words "fuck" and "shit" in nearly every sentence he says. It's done to play up how immature and insecure he is.
- Third-Person Person: Cuno refers to himself as Cuno, to the point where him saying "I" is called out in-game as seriously out of character.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: By the tender age of twelve, Cuno is already hooked on speed, deals drugs to local lowlives, has dropped out of school, and entertains himself throwing rocks at a corpse the way a normal child would skipping stones, even as he openly picks fights with the police. Being encouraged by someone like Cunoesse, who is far worse, will do that to you.
- Wisdom from the Gutter: Empathy manages early on to pick up on the fact that Cuno is actually much more clever and socially aware than he appears. Managing to win his trust proves that this is indeed the case. At the end, if he became your sidekick, and after he testifies on your behalf in front of your squad, Rhetoric admits that the profanity-ridden speech he made in defense of you was actually pretty good, if a bit on the long side.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Can dole out a lot of this, depending on the character you're playing, as you perform the field autopsy in front of him. Averted at the end if you managed to get through to him and brought him onboard your investigation, though; he can testify on your behalf in front of your squad, and by that point his approval is much more valuable.
Cuno's sort-of-foster sister.
- Cop Killer: So she says. Your skill checks can say that there's no possible way she could have overpowered a cop. If she's killed anyone, it's probably another child.
- Creepy Child: Even moreso than Cuno. She seems to welcome the idea of death, since if you point at a gun at her, she'll tell you to shoot. She's also just as confrontational and needlessly aggressive.
- Death Seeker: Responds with worrying glee to any perceived threat towards her from the protagonist detective's direction. She'll even shout "Do it, pig! SET ME FREE!" if you choose to point a gun at her. This extends all the way to a Suicide by Cop if the protagonist succeeds in the skillcheck to shoot her, even though it gets a Non Standard Game Over.
- Distaff Counterpart: In-universe. Shes only called Cunoesse because she has the same red hair as Cuno and no one knows what her real name is.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: She pretty much looks like Cuno. The first time she speaks, Reaction Speed's first thought is "So it's a girl... Interesting."
- Mysterious Past: She just showed up in the hall outside the de Ruyters' apartment one day, soaking wet and shivering. Cuno took her in. His dad didn't notice, mostly just assuming she was Cuno.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: You're never told what her actual name is, only Cunoesse or "C". Turns out that nobody actually knows what her real name is. That includes Cuno, possibly even Cunoesse herself. Her given name in her obituary is "Cunoesse Vittulainen", which would essentially mean "Fuck's [little (daughter)] Cunoesse" in Finnish (-nen indicating a patronymic name).
- Poirot Speak: Occasionally peppers her dialog with bits of a foreign language (real-life Finnish). Cuno and Kim don't recognize it at all, but having a high Encyclopedia will tell you it's called Suruese in-universe, meaning she hails from the remote isola of Katla and probably lived in Revachol's small Suruese community before winding up in Martinaise.
- Toxic Friend Influence: She's this to Cuno. Getting to know Cuno will reveal his Hidden Depths and that he's much smarter and empathetic than he may first appear. Cunoesse is constantly egging on the worst of his behavior, though. The only way to really bring out what little good side Cuno has is by separating him from Cunoesse.
- Would Hurt a Child: Passing some skill checks with Cuno will have him reveal that she's killed someone in the past. She brags it was a cop, but the skills can say that there's no way a child could have overpowered a police officer and it was most like another child she killed.
Lena, The Cryptozoologist's Wife
A kindly wheelchair-bound old lady, waiting for her husband Morell to return home from a field expedition to find a possibly imaginary stick-insect.
- Cool Old Lady: She's pretty much the nicest person in all of Martinaise. She will give you her pin to pawn when you need money, and will happily spend her time telling you about cryptids.
- Crash-Into Hello: Your first potential interaction with Lena after getting down into the Whirling-In-Rags' bar area is crashing into her, back-first, if you fail the Savoir Faire check to "sneak" away from Garte in mid-conversation. This does you more harm than her (it only dings up her wheelchair and apparently doesn't knock her down), and she remains cordial with you regardless.
- Crisis of Faith: Her and her husbands repeated failure to find solid proof of the Insulindian Phasmid has given her doubts about whether her sighting of it years ago really was anything other than the overactive imagination of a young child. More tragically, she worries that her husband may have only been interested in her to begin with because of her story, and that if she shares her doubts with him he might lose interest in her entirely.
- Eloquent in My Native Tongue: A variant: she's a quiet, pleasant old lady until you broach the subject of her husband's field of cryptozoology, at which point she lights up and speaks quickly and with great confidence. Her husband acknowledges she's the better speaker between the two of them; he knows his subject, but doesn't enjoy teaching himself.
- Handicapped Badass: Played with. You can try and recruit her to help with the investigation, but, while flattered, she points out Revachol is not exactly handicap accessible and shed slow you down. Though an Empathy check implies she would have been more receptive if she were younger.
- Odd Friendship: Her and her husband are friends with Gary, an ill-concealed cryptofascist.
- Racist Grandma: Just a little bit — when she gives you the Kind Green Ape pen, she apparently sees nothing offensive in comparing Seolites like Kim to a separate species of hominid. More highly evolved in some ways, she says, apparently meaning it as an awkward compliment. It goes at least part of the way to explaining how she and Morell are friends with Gary.
Morell, The Cryptozoologist
An elderly field researcher out searching for proof of an elusive local stick insect.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Downplayed. While eccentric and absorbed in a field most people believe is based on chasing myths, Morell is a gruff, serious-minded man and a rigorous scientist.Morell: I'm less interested in mammalian concerns, to be honest...
- Grumpy Old Man: Repeatedly described as gruff, he's defensive of his life's work, and not big on small talk. Leary of being mocked or starting arguments, he prefers to keep to himself.
- Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: His field of expertise: the study of creatures most people don't believe exist. While most establishment scientists look down on his efforts, he does attempt to maintain credibility as a serious researcher rather than a wide-eyed enthusiast.You: So no one's ever found one?
Morell: Not *yet*. That's what makes it a *cryptid*.
- They Called Me Mad!: Downplayed again. He's made an entire life and career searching for animals most people don't believe exist. He's also never found any concrete proof of a single one himself — apart from what he says is a meticulously vetted sighting, albeit one reported by his own wife (before she met him, but still). He does not make a distinction between more exciting, glamourous cryptids and plausible but boring ones such as a possibly extinct species of phasmid. You can end up vindicating his efforts if you manage to return from the sea island with an actual photograph of a certain creature.
Gary, The Cryptofascist
Morell's friend and research assistant. Delivers topping pies in his off-hours.
- Bad Liar: It doesn't take a lot of prodding to get him to admit that he stole the Hanged Man's breastplate and is wearing it under his shirt.
- Butt-Monkey: He's rightfully taken to task by the detectives for meddling in the crime scene and generally acting like an insolent weenie towards them. Morell chews him out after overhearing this interaction.
- Dirty Coward: He's easily cowed by anyone with an iota of power, whether it's you, with a badge that makes your other glaring faults completely invisible to him, or Evrart Claire doing nothing more than unlocking his door serving as a deadly warning not to publish even whatever minor criticisms of the Union Gary had planned.
- Evil Reactionary: He's obsessed with the supposed glory and nobility of the Revacholian monarchy, so much so that he has the royal flag hung on the wall in his apartment. His authoritarian sympathies also make him a xenophobe and racist.
- Hidden Depths: When Gary apologizes for interfering with the crime scene and insulting Kim, your skills will note that his remorse is sincere even though he's being slightly histrionic about it. When he notes that the suzerain's Seolan admirals heroically fought at his side until the bitter end, he seems to be expressing genuine admiration for them even if it's tainted by his racism. It even seems like something of a minor Heel Realization for him.
- Jerkass: He's not exactly evil, but he's a jerk and a blowhard.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He was planning to write an op-ed article criticizing the Claire brothers for their dictatorial rule over Martainaise and their tendency to suppress free speech. While it's hypocritical coming from him given that he'd be fine with their unethical behavior if they were right-wing authoritarians instead, the points he raises are hard to argue against (especially considering Claire wanted to intimidate him into silence over this).
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Gary thinks he's more intelligent and sophisticated than he actually is.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's not really a "villain" but he's about as open-minded as you'd expect someone the game describes as a "crypto-fascist" to be.Gary the Cryptofascist: THEY'RE JUST ON A DIFFERENT RUNG OF THE LADDER MORELL! I HAD NO *PROBLEM* WITH THEM! [...] THEY'RE A *NASCENT CULTURE*!
- Sophisticated as Hell: Even though he strains himself to appear cultured and erudite, he owns a bunch of mugs with crude, low-brow racist caricatures on them. He even openly, seemingly reflexively refers to Kim (a high-ranking detective) as "yellow man" to his face. This goes about as well as you'd expect. Even Gary seems mortified, suddenly confronted with a conflict between his racism and his general worship of authority figures.
The cafeteria manager at the Whirling-In-Rags. Understandably, he has a bit of a grudge against the detective who wrecked one of the rooms upstairs.
- Badass Bystander: By this game's standards at least. He doesn't perform any heroic feats, but your skills agree — confronting the thugs verbally and sticking around to witness the Tribunal without running for cover outside of the Whirling took a lot of courage.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's extremely sarcastic, sometimes going into extended pantomimes, like shaking a nonexistent martini shaker or asking what you want in the drink he's not going to make you.Garte: Money doesn't make you happy but it lets you be *un*happy for a while longer.
- Defrosting Ice King: Garte noticeably softens up on the detective after you find him a replacement for the taxidermy skua you wrecked, and even more so after you take a bullet to protect the Whirling-in-Rags and its patrons.
- Insistent Terminology: He is not a bartender, he is a cafeteria manager. He also keeps reminding you that the Whirling-in-Rags is only one of the many, many (ie. three) cafeterias he manages.
- Only Sane Man: You're his worst problem, but the neighbourhood's gone to shit, the strike's about to explode, the Hardie Boys are only getting more and more rowdy, his hostess has left, and, of course, there's a dead body behind the hostel.
- Stubborn Hair: He can't grow a proper beard, so he's stuck with thin, patchy Perma-Stubble. Cuno calls him baby-beard. But he's trying.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As rude and stuck up as he is to the player, during your three-day bender you did wreck one the rooms, drive away the hostess, scare the customers, and break a taxidermy bird for no apparent reason. All he wants is for you to pay for the damage you caused and the drinks you drank, and at the point when you meet him, it doesn't seem like you're even going to investigate the murder the hostel called you about in the first place.
"Bird's Nest" Roy
The owner of the local pawn shop in Martinaise.
- Do You Want to Haggle?: Roy is not immune to this. Amongst other things, he can be talked into giving you the Man from Hjelmdall t-shirt for free, and a discount on a boombox once it becomes necessary for the investigation to have a machine to play tapes on. But notably, he absolutely refuses to budge on the sawed-off street light.
- Honest John's Dealership: Some of the things in his store are less than legit, most obviously the sawed-off street-light he stores in the corner of the shop (which he is only willing to part with for the outragous price of 700 réal). There is also the matter that he was not only willing to buy a police-issued gun off a drunken officer (you), he was also just as willing to sell it to a civilian that showed overt signs of insanity.
- The Night Owl: Roy's shop is open both remarkably early in the morning and remarkably late at night. It is actually a clue to his pyrholidon addiction, as insomina is a side-effect of the drug.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: He still wears his old worker's west from his time in the Emergency Relief Brigade that helped cleaning up a malfunctioning cheap nuclear reactor knows as "The People's Pile". As he talks about the disaster, it is obvious that his feelings about his old uniform are rather mixed to say the least. On one hand, he admits that he and his fellow brigade-members' efforts were mostly in vain and didn't do that much difference and is somewhat bitter about it, but he is also still a bit proud that he did something proactive to help out, even if it didn't amount to very much.
- The Stoner: He is a frequent user of the psychedelic anti-radiation drug pyrholidon, and you can even fairly easily talk him to share some of his supply with you.
- Sunglasses at Night: He always wears a pair of shades, even in the dim light of his shop. He does it to hide his eyes, which are bloodshot and yellow; the most overt signs of his pyrholidon addiction.
- We Buy Anything: Downplayed. Roy is pretty happy to buy all of the random trinkets you're carrying around, but he is not interested in buying your clothes, and he will emphatically reject buying any armor pieces off of you. He especially rejects the latter because he realizes that it simply too big a risk to have something that a PMC might want back some day lying around. That said, he still a bit of a gambler by nature, which is why he was willing to buy your gun off you when you offered it him.
Siileng / "Humanitarian Aid Guy"
A street vendor who has set up shop at the Jam.
- Fell Off the Back of a Truck: Essentially how he excuses the humanitarian aid packages and the FALN wear he is selling. You can put two and two together, and realize that Tommy Le Homme is most likely one of his suppliers.
- Honest John's Dealership: Even more so than Roy. He is not bothering particularly hard to hide the fact that he is selling humanitarian packages that was meant to be distributed for free.Siileng: No need for discounts at Siileng's, officer. Everything's already on sale.
- Lovable Rogue: He's an amicable and laid-back hustler.
- Who's on First?: When examining the FALN sneakers he has on display on top of a set of speakers, you can get into an extended argument with him over you wanting to buy the speakers, rather than the sneakers. Eventually, he will realize what you're talking about, and inform you that you will have to buy the sneakers before he will sell you the speakers.
The nervous, superstitious proprietor of Crime, Romances, and Biographies of Famous People.
- Abusive Parents: She ends up being this to Annette, although not on purpose. Plaisance's own mother used to berate her for being unimaginative and somewhat dim.
- Awful Wedded Life: Her and her husband are distant and don't see much of one another. Part of why Plaisance is so stressed out is that she's more or less raising Annette by herself and struggling to provide for both of them in a bad part of town.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She has some... peculiar beliefs about the supernatural.
- Control Freak: The crux of Plaisance's fixation on the supernatural and ultraliberalism is that she wants to believe there are clearly-defined rules for how the world works. The thought that her and her daughter are alone in a chaotic universe where nothing is certain or easily-explained is too stressful for her to grapple with. As such, she places her faith in two ineffable entities that she thinks are in control of the world: the various supernatural beings/spirits/deities that supposedly watch over the Doomed Commercial District and the "free market." She wants for something to be directing everything that goes on in the world, because otherwise she'd have to live with the troubling reality that the well-being of her business and her family is (at least partially) out of her hands. These beliefs make her feel like she has some leverage over the currents that shape her and her daughter's lives, hence why she hopes that her sigils and charms will prevent her store from failing like all the others in the DCD.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's shrill and superstitious but she genuinely cares about her daughter and wants the best for her. She's just not very good at figuring out what that is.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She has this reaction when she realizes she's been working her daughter Annette so hard that the girl has started biting her nails. Empathy notes that this struck a chord with her because she's accustomed to being treated similarly by her husband.
- Nervous Wreck: She's constantly on edge about threats to her business, whether they're downturns in the market or hostile spirits that supposedly haunt the building.
- Tough Love: How she views making Annette help out with the store, as she wants for her to be tough and self-sufficient so she's prepared to handle the challenges of adulthood. Point out that having Annette skip school to work at the family's struggling bookstore is likely to add further challenges and she'll change her mind.
Plaisance's plucky young daughter, hard at work trying to bring in business to the suffering shop.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: If you intercede on Annette's behalf to her mom, she gives you a detective hat she found that gives you a boost to your Encyclopedia stat.
- Nervous Wreck: Like her mom, Annette has problems with anxiety. This can be deduced by noticing that she chews her nails.
- Nice Girl: She's a sweet kid who's nothing but courteous to the detectives.
An old army veteran and a hardcore royalist, still dreaming of the good old days when king Frissel the First was still in charge.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Even though René is a tremendous jerk, his death is quite poignant. Gaston is devastated by it despite their adversarial relationship.
- Betty and Veronica: The courageous but abrasive Veronica to gentle Gaston's Betty. Both men were in love with the same woman, Jeanne-Marie Beaulieu, until her death two years ago of pneumonia.
- Grumpy Old Man: That are very few things about society that he isn't bitter and resentful about.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Evrart gave him a job as security for the harbour, built him his own shack on the wall and everything. It's mostly a symbolic position ("purely decorative," as Gaston puts it) — when René had to take some medical leave, they don't bother to replace him, and Evrart still seems to know everything that happens in Martinaise regardless. René keeps doing it mostly out of pure stubbornness, which later leads to tragedy when the exertion of going back to his post causes him to suffer a fatal heart attack.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Although it's colored by his reactionary political views and his disdain for women, he's right in pointing out that Moralintern rule has not been good for Revachol.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Don't mention the war, or politics, or screw up his game of petanque, or talk to him at all if you can help it. He's an angry man just looking for an excuse to blow his fuse. He'll hold a grudge for days if you 'succeed' on the check to play pétanque — which has you lob the boule straight out to sea, shotput-style.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: Had to take some time off to see a doctor about some heart trouble. It eventually catches up with him, and on the morning of Day 5 of the investigation, you can find out from Gaston that he died in the night.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He's so loyal to the country that he'll even defend the drug-addled, cowardly, dandified kings and princes of the monarchy's final days.
- Odd Friendship: With Gaston. They've known each other all their lives and been rivals for most of it, but both loving the same woman for all those years has made them closer to each other than anyone else. René basically doesn't have any other friends. On an even stranger, purely one-sided note, the Deserter has spent so long hating René, ruminating on killing him as the last surviving symbol of the monarchy, that if you inform the old communard that René died of a heart attack, he experiences a moment of bitter grief mixed with regret at having left it too long.
- Retired Badass: He once carried a wounded prince across an open battlefield for two straight days. He's undeniably brave, even if the cause he fought for was... questionable.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: It's implied that René is haunted by his wartime experiences but he's too macho, stubborn, and old-fashioned to find the words to express these feelings. There are hints of regret and sadness at certain points in his dialogue that imply he's not as tough as he'd like you to think. He's noticeably despondent about his and the other carabiners' failure to protect king Frissell from being thrown beneath the wheels of an oncoming streetcar by an angry mob, with the implication being that he feels personally responsible for the king's death.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: René's bitter sarcasm belies how depressed he is by his traumatic life experiences and his home country's present-day poverty. His intense displeasure with what he feels is wrong with contemporary Revachol could be read as him feeling personally responsible (as a former soldier of the suzerain) for allowing the misfortunes that befell the country to occur. When he halfheartedly defends the nobility despite knowing on some level that they were useless and abhorrent, that could likewise be read as him placing the blame for the suzerainty's downfall on himself and other ordinary men who served the crown rather than the nobles who caused the revolution to happen with their negligence and misrule.
- Stay in the Kitchen: He is very skeptical about the idea of women serving in the RCM.
- Still Wearing the Old Colors: He still wears his old army uniform — canary-yellow and sky-blue with orange trousers. Hardly camo, as Kim notes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Gaston. He constantly hurls insults at him, but you get the sense that he cares deeply about him in his own slightly twisted way, and Gaston just takes René's crabby attitude in stride.
René's pétanque partner, a jolly old man who makes a mean sandwich.
- Betty and Veronica: The mild-mannered, kind-hearted Betty to the fiery René's Veronica. Their neighbour Jeanne-Marie Beaulieu spent her whole life trying to decide between the two of them, but in the end, she never did.
- The Ditherer: Not unlike his beloved Jeanne-Marie, but about politics rather than romance. Gaston is the empathetic fence-sitter to René's diehard royalist, which is one of the things René hates most about him: better even one of the hated communists than someone with no ideology whatsoever.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Taught human studies to the Claire Brothers and Easy Leo, and is rather proud of the former two.
- Nice Guy: He's friendly, polite, and more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt than most Martinaise locals. Just don't get weird about his sandwich.
- Odd Friendship: Gaston, Jeanne-Marie, and René lived on the same street their whole lives, and a lifetime of Jeanne-Marie going back and forth between them has bonded the two men to the point where they come out to the old broken square and play pétanque nearly every day. After all, if someone as wonderful as Jeanne-Marie saw something in that cranky old soldier, there must be something worthwhile in him. He takes the loss of René hard — in some strange way, he loved that "utter cunt."
The Smoker on the Balcony
A good listener and a possible witness to the crime.
- Absolute Cleavage: Wears his shirt open nearly to the waist.
- Camp Gay: He looks the part, but his mannerisms are more mild-mannered than flamboyant. It sows enough doubt in you that you do not immediately make the connection that he is quite possibly a member of the "Homo-sexual Underground".
- Catchphrase: When he approves of any minor thing, sometimes ironically: "Beautiful."
- The Confidant: He complains out loud that everyone seem to treat him like this, saying that he is basically an unpaid therapist to most people.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Sort of downplayed. He is more androgynous in his appearance than actually feminine.
- Even the Guys Want Him: You are drawn to him for reasons you cannot explain, even though you've just met him. He is just so *different* and compelling. It is implied that his flowing blonde hair and willowy appearance subconsciously reminds you of Dora, and this is the reason why you are both so strangely fond of him and become extremely distressed whenever he turns to leave.
- Friends with Benefits: His relationship with his "Sunday Friend" begins and ends in the Smoker's bedroom.You: What does it mean — a Sunday friend?
Smoker on the Balcony: That he won't be there when times get tough, I guess.
You: Is that even a friend?
Smoker on the Balcony: It is — on Sundays.
- No Name Given: You never get to know him as anything else but "the Smoker on the Balcony", other than his Mr. Smith alias "Martin Martinaise".
- Transparent Closet: Technically, if only because Revachol's laws mean he has to be at least somewhat discreet. He's not really trying to hide it and if you ask him he'll answer honestly, but he's careful not to say anything "incriminating" before you do. After that, however...The Smoker on the Balcony: Some say we *engineered* disco to spread our vision of a vertiginous, ever-changing society, where all there is is a razzle-dazzle of gold!
The Sunday Friend
A Moralintern bureaucrat who witnessed the hanging. He can be found keeping a low profile in the Smoker on the Balcony's apartment after 22:00 on Day 2.
- Affably Evil: He's perfectly friendly, and happily divulges whatever you want to know. It's just everything he has to say beyond the hanging is either useless or sounds distinctly ominous.Sunday Friend: The Coalition is only looking out for *ze price stabilitié*. Inflation is a killer, like a heart disease blocking the normal circulation of the economy — it must be controlled...
- Friends with Benefits: He seems to treat the Smoker as something like a mistress (the male equivalent, somewhat rare in fiction), giving him gifts and visiting him in Martinaise before returning to his 'real' life back in the city proper.
- Funetik Aksent: He has a sort of Swiss French/German accent, and pronounces his th- sounds as z's.
- Given Name Reveal: You will only know him as the Smoker on the Balcony's "Sunday Friend" to begin with, since that's what he is to the Smoker. He'll introduce himself by his real name — Charles Villedrouin — once you arrive in the apartment.
- Government Agency of Fiction: He works for EPIS, a Moralintern supra-organization which began as a market customs system but now busies itself with much, much more.
- Lampshade Hanging: A chat with the Sunday Friend will make it more than obvious that the Moralintern is a send-up of the EU.
- Non-Answer: The man speaks almost entirely in neoliberal technobabble, and as such it's almost impossible to get any sort of straight answers out of him.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Not as far as the case is concerned, since you're part of the RCM and thus part of the bureaucracy, but he's completely incapable of giving a straight answer about the Coalition or Moralintern and every Non-Answer he gives indicates that the progress they plan to bring to the second and third world is decades away if it comes at all — but incremental change is better than any upheaval or violence, surely.Smoker on the Balcony: (later) And how did you like him?
You: You were right, he was magical. Magically bureaucratic.
- Transparent Closet: Played with. The Smoker and his Sunday Friend are clearly hooking up, but since homosexuality is purportedly illegal in Revachol neither of them will actually say as much.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He is this, in a way; he's absolutely convinced the market reforms EPIS are imposing on Revachol are going to transform it, despite all evidence to the contrary. He's only an Obstructive Bureaucrat because that's what the city needs.
- Windbag Politician: He preaches the virtues of Moralism through extremely long strings of meaningless jargon, and deflects any other questions about himself, the murder, or what he's doing in Martinaise.
Cindy the Skull
A local vandal and ranking member of one of Revachol's more notable gangs.
- Blood Knight: Downplayed. In her soft-spoken, ironic way, she's fond of talking up the possibility of eating the rich as the streets of Revachol 'run red with blood'. She doesn't actually do anything worse than vandalism, however, and she seems to almost pity the Cop in particular.
- Calling Card: Spends most of the game debating what she should paint on Martinaise. The tribunal ends up giving her the inspiration she needs, painting "Un jour je serai de retour près de toi" ("One day I shall return to your side") across the square where the shooting took place, incorporating the blood of those who died with fuel oil... thus allowing you to set it on fire, making it visible from high above the ground. After finishing her mural, she vanishes from the neighbourhood (and the game).
- Cop Hater: Subverted. She calls you a pig (and an ungulate, and an animal) more than any other character in the game, but it can come to border on an Insult of Endearment by the later game.
- Gang Banger: As the name says, she's a member of the Skulls, a local street gang. Kim notes that she's somewhat out of her territory. Cindy says she can sense the coming chaos in Martinaise.
- Hidden Depths: She has a soft spot for kids and animals. And you qualify as both. She's also sympathetic to communism in spite of herself.
- Mad Artist: She isn't all that mad, but she'd like you to think she is. Dressed in old lady's clothes with her face painted black and white and standing defiantly in front of a wall she's defaced with red paint (actually government fuel oil, dyed bright red and thus blatantly stolen), musing over bringing mayhem to the district as well as what image or slogan she can leave on Martinaise as her 'masterpiece'.
Tommy Le Homme
One of the long-haul camionneurs stuck in the Jam. A family man, still hoping to be discovered for the rhymes he composes out on the road.
- Despair Event Horizon: He doesn't take it well if you tell him that Ruby committed suicide. He's deeply rattled by the revelation and, if you pushed him to inform on Ruby, he thereafter refuses to talk to you, partly because he's angry at himself for telling you about her whereabouts.
- Mellow Fellow: He's a cool, easygoing Nice Guy who'll welcome you to Martinaise and the Jam and tell you what he knows without putting up a fuss.
- Mr. Exposition: A minor one, but he's your first source of information on the Jam and, as an outsider, a lot more forthcoming than most of the locals about the Union and Martinaise as a whole. Subverted when he sends you on a runaround to get someone else to point you at the lady driver, even when he knew her better than any of them and knew full well she was probably the one you were looking for and had already gone on the run.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He has this reaction if you tell him that Ruby killed herself, especially if you pushed him into informing on her, as he feels personally culpable for what happened to her.
- Nice Guy: He's a kindhearted poet and one of the first people you'll meet on the streets of Martinaise who actually wants to help you. Even when he's trying to throw you off the lady driver's trail, it's because he's worried about her and what being processed by the RCM would do to someone who's already had a hard life.
- Stage Names: Tommy Le Homme just sounded better than his real name — Jerry Lafitte — and Tommy L'Homme, while grammatically more correct, was taken.
- Waiting for a Break: He's working as a lorry driver to support his family while working on his poetry. Conceptualization seems to think he's got a shot.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Tommy's job takes him a long way from his home in Deora for weeks at a time. Under his mellow surface, he misses his wife and kids and hopes he's doing the right thing to support them.
Racist Lorry Driver
A racist lorry driver.
- Boisterous Weakling: He's not as formidable or imposing as he makes himself out to be.
- The Bully: Apropos of nothing, he feels compelled to hassle Kim (a random person he's never met before) while he passes by on the sidewalk. Like all bullies, he shuts up real quick the moment you and Kim seriously challenge him (especially if you pass the Half Light check to intimidate him).
- Dirty Coward: When he's challenged by the detectives for telling Kim "Welcome to Revachol," he starts obfuscating about his intentions and acting like he wasn't trying to say anything racist. He doesn't have the stones to be up-front about his convictions to this random person he's picking on.
- If you successfully intimidate him with the Half-Light check while questioning him about the drug trade, he drops his tough guy facade and sheepishly rats out who the trafficker is.
- Establishing Character Moment: True to his name, the very first thing he says to the detectives is a racist slogan.
- He also provides one of these for you in terms of where you stand on issues of race and what your relationship with Kim will be like. He'll likely be one of the very first people you meet after exiting the Whirling, so how you respond to his mean-spirited drivel will say a lot about your political views. You can either wholeheartedly agree with his dubious race realism (which saddens Kim and makes him uncomfortable) or you can tell him to go fuck himself. This can possibly be the start of a fire-forged friendship where you and Kim always have each other's backs when facing down prejudiced idiots.
- Evil Is Petty: He rats out Siileng not because he's engaged in criminal activities but because he's a non-white person.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He is indeed a racist and a lorry driver.
- Fat Bastard: He's more than a little portly, in contrast to the muscular white master race he envisions in his tirades.
- He-Man Woman Hater: He doesn't have much respect for the tomboyish Ruby, partly because she's a women but also because she's gay.
- Hypocrite: He mocks other people for their "inferior" physical characteristics even though he's a balding, out-of-shape greaseball.
- Even though he has a hatred for drug use and "degeneracy," he knew about the ongoing drug trade and didn't say anything about it to the authorities.
- Jerkass: He yells a racist slogan at Kim after seeing him walk down the street. He initially plays dumb about his intentions and insists he didn't mean anything by it, but his subsequent interactions show that he's exactly as despicable and unpleasant as he appears at a glance.
- No Name Given: As far as the game is concerned, he's a racist lorry driver and that's all you need to know.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's happy to make trouble for Kim or Siileng purely because they're non-Occidental. After all, the murder victim was only a lousy foreigner anyway. At one point, you can even spot him shouting "Welcome to Revachol", at a random redhead who happens to walk by him. He apparently thinks they all must be foreigners too.
- Smug Snake: He acts very snide towards you if you take Kim's side, but as soon as you apply just a little pressure to him he immediately folds like a cheap suit.
- The Stool Pigeon: He cravenly tells you about the local drug trafficking route to save his own skin, given that he was complicit in it by not reporting it earlier.
A distracted old woman. Actually a veteran lorry driver from Mesque and one of the few brave or mad enough to drive the routes that pass through the pale.
- Big Badass Rig: Her lorry is specially modified to travel through the pale, allowing it to be mounted into the cargo holds of the airships that travel between the isolas.
- Bored with Insanity: She's well-acquainted with how the pale has affected her mind and is mostly capable of not letting it get in the way of her work.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's perfectly competent at her job despite having been touched by the pale.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Played for Drama. Her views of the passage of time and the sanctity of life are skewed by spending so much time reliving other people's memories. She mentions that through her long sojourns in the pale, she's lost so much of her past self that people who once knew her now barely recognize her.
- Cowboy: She's something of a boiadero herself, roaming the last wild frontier, intentionally cut off from the rest of humanity.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has a penchant for sarcasm.
- Dreaming of Times Gone By: Her long-term exposure to the pale has left her with other people's memories rattling around in her head. One of her favourite pastimes is entering a sort of meditative state in which she relives those bygone days — for instance the golden age of Mesque, which coincided with the beginnings of the revolution in Revachol.
- Foil: Like you, she's forgotten most of who she once was. Unlike you, she remembers a great deal — of other people's lives. You can theorize yourself that your own amnesia has its source in the pale.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Subverted. At first glance, she seems like she's tripping on some intense hallucinogens. In fact it's a side-effect of long-term exposure to the pale.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's not abundantly clear at first if her affliction is supernatural or if she's just on drugs or suffering from a neurodegenerative disorder. This trope is averted when it's decisively established that the reason she's like this is that she's genuinely able to remember other people's memories.
- No Name Given: 'The Paledriver' is just your name for her, based on her job. She never mentions her real name. Given how much she's forgotten about her past life, it doesn't seem like she'd care.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Mostly incidental. She's not really going out of her way to appear insane or conceal anything. She's just far beyond caring how others see her. As it turns out, she's lucid for the most part and is perfectly aware of the effects her pale exposure has.
- Space Trucker: Of sorts. Being a paledriver means she's one of the few insane enough to be willing to brave the pale on an ongoing basis, knowing full well what that much exposure can do to a human being. She doesn't actually navigate through the pale herself, but taking the voyage over and over means enduring the nothingness and negation — even while insulated aboard the palegoing airships — and accumulating trace amounts of other people's memories, and eventually losing one's own.The Paledriver: (reciting the lyrics to a popular song) In the middle of this town there's a ghostly motorway — it takes all the people where they want to stay... They say I've been away on a kind of holiday.
Isobel, The Washerwoman
Married name Sadie, an old Samaran washer-woman who came to live on the coast with her husband, and remembers when the village was a bustling fish-market.
- Cool Old Lady: She's nothing but helpful and kind to the detectives, although she lies to them about Ruby's whereabouts. Granted, she was doing this out of concern for the young woman's well-being, so it wasn't driven by malice.
- Mrs. Exposition: From her washrack in the middle of the street she sees all the little village's comings and goings, and she can tell you a significant amount about both current events and the history of the coast — possibly more than she first lets on.
- Properly Paranoid: She correctly surmises that Evrart's youth center project is a way to drive her and Lilienne out of the village. Even if you convince her to give you her signature, she's still glumly aware that it's going to end bad for the fishing village.
- Wasteland Elder: Martinaise is already poor, but the nameless fishing village on the coast is 'pornographically poor,' according to Joyce and your own Conceptualization skill. Isobel is something of a local wise woman and unspoken leader for the few remaining residents. She takes pity on the Detective, much as she took pity on Ruby, and offers you a shack to stay in, free of charge, after Day 3 of the investigation.
- Women Are Wiser: Than the husbands who went off and got themselves killed, in the war or at sea or by drinking themselves to death, certainly. She'll tell you you can probably find forgotten caches of cash on the coast, left behind by men who though they could hide it from their wives. She'll also see through Evrart's plans for the youth centre straight away, even if you haven't: the construction will drag on and on, forcing the current residents out of the village so that the Claire Brothers can buy it up for a pittance.
Lilienne, The Net-Picker
Lilienne Carter is a middle-aged widow who lives in the small fishing village on the eastern outskirts of Martinaise. She is of independent nature and carries a sword.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Lilienne is a middle-aged version. She is calm and collected, though not cold towards you, and if you go on a date with her, you two can hit it off pretty well, even if everything seems to indicate that any potential future relationship between you will be a slow burn, and will probably depend on your ability to stay sober.
- Cool Sword: Subverted. While it is the only sword wielded by any character in this particular fantasy RPG, it is expressly not cool or unique in any way — Lilienne describes it as simply a tool, like a shovel, mass-manufactured and strictly utilitarian. She gives it to you if you manage to go on a date with her.You: Nice sword. Does it come with a story?
Lilienne: Unfortunately the factory sold this one with a 3-year warranty instead of a story.
- Struggling Single Mother: Feeds her family of four by selling fish to high-end restaurants and occasionally renting out her boat. The cabin is one of the cozier locations in the game, but it's still her, the twins, and Little Lily all in a single room.
- Weapon for Intimidation: She doesn't really know her way around that sword too well, but just carrying it is ample deterrent.
Lilienne's two boys, who can be found playing outside of her home.
- Always Identical Twins: They look and sound exactly alike.
- Buffy Speak: They're older than little Lily, but not as well-spoken.
- Chekhov's Gunman: They've been out to the island and have actually seen the Deserter there, providing a few minor clues which can nonetheless be helpful when you question the old man during the endgame.
- Flat Character: They're shy of newcomers, and perhaps not the most imaginative.
- No Name Given: In their shared dialogue, they're just called Lilienne's Twin and Lilienne's Other Twin.
Lilienne's young daughter, who shares her name.
- Cheerful Child: A sweet little girl playing with her beloved stuffed toy in a cozy little house by the sea.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Has a stuffed toy sheep named Lamby.
- Grail in the Garbage: She found the Hanged Man's stolen gauntlets. She played with them for a while, but they didn't fit, so she buried them under a sandcastle. You can have them if you want.
- Security Blanket: Her somewhat threadbare stuffed sheep Lamby. Letting her make Lamby give you a 'hug' will heal a point of Morale.
Rosemary, Idiot Doom Spiral, and Don't Call Abigail / The Union of Moribund Alcoholics
Three homeless drunks living in an abandoned pile of construction material south of the fishing village on the coast.
- Affectionate Nickname: To them, you're the one and only Tequila Sunset. Despite appearances, however, they didn't come up with it. Esprit de Corps' visions show that your fellow officers from the 41st are already familiar with it from before your latest bout of binge drinking.Rosemary: The legend returns.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: A case study of long-term substance abuse, Played for Laughs. They also bore witness to the midpoint of your own booze- and speed-fueled bender, where you crashed your motor carriage into the sea and spent the rest of the night getting high and drinking with them.
- Crazy Homeless People: Don't Call Abigail in particular is locked into some kind of neverending, unwaking nightmare. The other two are mostly lucid, but Idiot Doom Spiral seems to have a weird blind spot when it comes to doing anything to actually fix his past mistakes. None of them have any interest in anything but drinking.
- Flat Character: Idiot Doom Spiral is by far the most developed, and even Don't Call Abigail is imbued with a certain amount of pathos implied by his name. Rosemary, by comparison, doesn't have much of a story to tell — he was a science teacher before he got hooked on speed — and is mostly just there to sell you drugs.
- Gender-Blender Name: Rosemary and Abigail are usually women's names. Of course, those aren't their actual names.
- Hidden Depths: All Alcohol-Induced Idiocy, Buffy Speak, and pretensions of 'high concept' thinking aside, Idiot Doom Spiral does occasionally show signs of the Conceptualization skills that presumably led to his founding a billion-reál tech company in the first place.Idiot Doom Spiral: The wind picks up, a sky already dark now blackens. Water starts falling from above, the first cold rain of the seasons...
- Meaningful Name: Real name George, Idiot Doom Spiral is a tech billionaire turned hobo. His life spiraled hopelessly out of control thanks to a series of dumb, seemingly minor and easily rectifiable mistakes... at which point he apparently just gave up and sank into homelessness.
- Missing Steps Plan: Played With — you can point out that it seems like there's a gap between getting locked out of his apartment, getting locked out of his office, and ending up living on the street years later, but Spiral just brushes it off.
- The Pig-Pen: Even the other homeless men are disgusted by Spiral's shit-encrusted tracksuit.
- Pokémon Speak: Don't Call Abigail can't or won't say anything other than begging people not to call Abigail, so that's what the other men call him. That or 'Abs'.
- Riches to Rags: Spiral was once the well-off founder of a successful tech company, but then he lost the keys to his apartment, then his girlfriend, then his company, and then his wealth all in a single baffling chain of events.
- The Storyteller: Spiral enjoys retelling his own fall from grace and various Urban Legends in exchange for booze. Rosemary seems to base his business, selling beer, wine, and speed, on his proximity to Spiral.
Andre, Noid, Egg Head and Acele Berger
Four young people intent on turning Martinaise's abandoned church into a night club.
- Aura Vision: Invoked. Noid will only talk to you if you can 'sync your sines'. Really he just seems to want some proof that they can trust you.
- Catchphrase: For Egg Head: "Hard core! So hard core! HAAAAAARRRRRD CORE!" (also "Hard core to the mega!"), enough that it accompanies turning on Hardcore Mode in the in-game options.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Egg Head is the game's most triumphant example. Finding out how to communicate through the maze of emcee gibberish that forms his initial dialogue tree in is a puzzle unto itself.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority:
- Lampshaded:You: Is it important for you? To be an individual?
Andre: Of course it is, otherwise I'd just be another poor guy with no education and no money. General-issue, man. Now I'm all that — *and* I have radical spikes.
- Parodied by Egg Head, who starts out yelling generic Communist slogans but whose politics are so shallow you can reprogram him with equally generic Fascist, Ultraliberal or Moralist slogans in two seconds if you've adopted one of those ideologies.Moralist Egg Head: Incremental progress! Yeaaaaaah!
- Death Seeker: Egg Head is a subtle and understated example of this. During Soona's experiment where she amplifies the "sound" of the pale, he's worryingly enthusiastic about the possibility of the church imploding and killing everyone. Although he ultimately pulls the plug on the speakers after it gets "too hard core" for his liking, he seems to find the possibility tantalizing on some level.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: Andre is of the opinion that the only way their night club is going to be a success is if they first build a speed lab to fund it. Acele is also pretty much permanently bombed.
- Freudian Trio: Hardcore, all-about-the-music emcee Egg Head is the id, political and philosophical Noid the superego, and practical, diplomatic leader Andre the ego. Oh, and Acele.
- Guttural Growler: Noid's voice is on the higher, younger side for this trope, but gruff and raspy.
- Hidden Depths:
- Noid, guttural and taciturn with pierced ears and goth clothes, is a trained carpenter and well-read in history, philosophy, and architecture.Noid: It's a miracle of carpentry. Dead bodies carved into *total* shapes. Now it can be something more.
- Acele is highly intelligent and a skilled liar, but it takes an eclectic combination of skills, including Drama, Empathy, and Electrochemistry, to crack her laconic surface and get her talking.
- Noid, guttural and taciturn with pierced ears and goth clothes, is a trained carpenter and well-read in history, philosophy, and architecture.
- It Will Never Catch On: Despite living in a tent on the sea ice outside one of the poorest parts of the city and having practically no experience in organizing music venues, the kids are basically in the process of inventing modern dance music in the setting. The Cop can put a stop to it — or get really into it and predict that this is absolutely going to be the next biggest thing since disco itself.Andre: Do you see a way out of this jam — and into a laser-lit future of dance and unity?
- Meaningful Name: Egg Head has a big head. Noid is short for "Paranoid". Egg Head actually comes from the fact that Germaine is a huge Fanboy of world-famous emcee Arno van Eyck — he's an Eyck Head.
- No Indoor Voice: Egg Head, constantly spouting slogans at the top of his lungs.
- No Social Skills: Invoked. Noid says he "sucks at socializing" himself, and apart from Andre going out of his way to be diplomatic, they're all outsiders to one degree or another — part of the youth infraculture, taking drugs and going to raves — who know they don't fit in to the adult world that lies ahead of them. Acele is quiet but actually has a lot to say if you can connect with her, Noid is angry and paranoid, and Egg Head is more interested in slogans and chants than actual conversation.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The group seem naive and faintly cretinous when you first encounter them, not least because they've planted their tent on sea ice. However they're perfectly capable of hoodwinking a police officer, if you don't cotton to what they're actually up to.
- Progressive Instrumentation: Actually a plot point — figuring out what their dance track needs and then providing it makes their in-universe Electronic Dance Music theme progressively heavier, louder, and bassier.
- The Quiet One: Acele is off on her own, recording her sounds. The drugs help. Subverted in that she's quiet because you're a cop, and she's the daughter of a fairly major underworld figure. The drug lab was actually her idea — or rather, she didn't think they should go through with it, but she is the one who came up with the concept. Drug labs are actually the major reason why her dad got killed by rival gang members. Part of why she's off on her own is because she's trying to come to terms with her sense of guilt over continuing the cycle.
- The Smart Guy: They're all pretty technical, but Noid, also a trained carpenter, is a well-read intellectual.
- The Smurfette Principle: Acele is the only girl of the group. You will find her in the cold outside the tent initially, because there's only room for three inside.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Egg Head speaks by yelling dancefloor slogans. Finding a way through the 'maze' of his dialogue tree is an in-game quest, after which he'll talk to you more normally.
- Spiky Hair: Andre frosts his tips and styles his hair into spikes to conceal the fact that he's going Prematurely Bald.
- Sucks at Dancing: Andre is a terrible dancer, with just the one move, a sort of hopping running man. You can try and teach him your own moves, if you're up to it.
- Stepford Smiler: If Egg Head's ominous chanting during Soona's experiment is anything to go by (during which he keeps calling for the "mother of mega" to "come down to us"), he might be a Death Seeker beneath his cheery exterior.
- The Unintelligible: Egg Head communicates almost entirely in dancefloor gibberish. It transpires after talking to the others that nobody fully understands what he's going on about, or even where he came from. You can get some idea yourself if you manage to navigate a nonsense conversation with him.
- Up to Eleven: More or less how Egg Head reacts to everything. However, even he recognizes feeding the sound of the Swallow through club speakers is maybe a little *too* hardcore.
- Waxing Lyrical: A lot of the things that Egg Head says are lyrics taken from songs by Gernman happy hardcore/techno band Scooter.
Soona Luukanen-Kilde, The Lead Programmer
A computer engineer attempting to research a strange sound anomaly in the old church on the coast. She and the dance club are mutually opposed to the other's presence in the church.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She's extremely grateful if you help her with her research, even if she still has trouble showing it on the outside. She even warms up to the "discomen" (the Anodic Dance Kids) after their sound equipment turns out to be vital to identifying the 2mm hole in reality.
- Foil: To the chaotic, affable Anodic Dance Kids, who also want to use the church. They claim she's some kind of monster. She wants them to turn that wretched music off. You can reconcile them by getting them to use each other's tech, or favor one over the other.
- Lampshade Hanging: The radio-based RPG she and her friends from the Fortress Accident studio were devising is a pastiche of Disco Elysium's own tortured development."My God... " The lieutenant leans forward, tracing the maddening rhizome. "It's like the less money they had, the more ambitious their project became."
- The Misophonic: She needs complete silence in order to study the Swallow. She has unsurprisingly developed an uncharitable view of the tent outside pumping dance music non-stop.
- Machine Empathy: She has a lot more time for her mainframes than she does for any human, and gets very angry when you mess around with them. A high enough Interfacing skill will empathize (and drive you to do said messing).
- No Social Skills: Soona would very much like to be left alone with her roleplaying games and research, and she makes no secret of that fact. Her saying she doesn't entirely mind you being around is the highest compliment she's capable of giving.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: She's gone from programming computer games to researching a radio/audio anomaly inside an abandoned church.
- Portent of Doom: The Swallow is actually a fresh patch of the pale developing. In due course, it will envelope all of Revachol.
Tiago, The "Crab Man"
The terrifying "Crab Man" the dance kids locked in the church. A reformed gang-banger who found religion and is now living as a squatter, to be closer to his goddess.
- Ambiguously Human: His way of moving is deeply uncanny and disturbing, even when he isn't literally climbing the walls, and you never see him out of shadow. It's never clearly established whether his agility and indifference to the cold are just raw physical strength born of madness, Heroic Resolve, or if something else is at play, but it's implied that he's actually been living in the church since it was shot up in an RCM raid some years earlier.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He's definitely weird and sinister, but he doesn't seem like a bad guy. He's perfectly amenable to the kids building a night club in the church (possibly because the Swallow would prevent their music from bothering him) and he doesn't interfere with their activities at any point.
- HeelFaith Turn: He apparently found religion in the form of something he calls the Mother of Silence — not Dolores Dei, but something else entirely. Which may be either a poetic description of the 2mm hole in the world or an eldritch-sounding entity on the other side of the Swallow.Tiago: She is one who can't be painted or sculpted. She is a cavity, in the dark, beyond sense. She saved me... but I couldn't describe her to you. No one can, homes, and no one ever will.
- Gangbangers: He was a Mesque Banger — his abandoned red brogues and Scarf of Asskicking are described as such in your inventory — until he found religion.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite his condescending tone, he's correct in pointing out that your drinking problem has ruined your life and will eventually kill you.
- Poirot Speak: He's something like a SoCal banger, and freely switches between English and Spanish, or their in-universe equivalents.
- Smug Straight Edge: Zigzagged. He claims to have given up his own vices since finding the Mother, but Kim suspects he's high on something other than religious ecstasy. The very first thing he says to you is that drinking has made you a scared little pussy — but then, with apparently genuine compassion, he encourages you to open yourself up to the Mother, or whatever it takes to break the cycle of addiction before it kills you.Tiago: Necesitas parar, homie.note
- That Man Is Dead: He barely remembers his old name, Tiago. Finding the Mother has made him something more, and he has no desire to return to his old life, or indeed anything resembling normality.
- Uncanny Valley: In-universe, both Acele and your skills find something about his crablike movements deeply disturbing, with one dialogue option being to just turn around and nope right out of the church the moment you spot him.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He's barefoot and shirtless despite the winter chill, the better to move freely as he climbs.
- Wall Crawl: He's an incredible climber, effortlessly scaling the walls of the church and swinging between the uppermost rafters. Acele first caught sight of him climbing down the wall behind Soona face-first in complete silence.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's not specified what comes of the Crab Man after you get his approval for the night club plan. He climbs back up into the rafters and he's not seen again during the subsequent scenes in the church. It can be inferred that he went back to minding his own business while basking in the Swallow.
Some people are so rich that the law doesn't apply to them any more. This man, found in a shipping container as an Easter Egg, is so rich that the laws of physics don't apply to him any more, his absurd net worth creating a singularity that warps light itself around him.
- The Faceless: As you might expect, the light bending around him means you never get a good look at his face. Even just trying to figure out the path light takes requires very high Visual Calculus check.
- Fiction 500: He is so rich that light itself bends around him.
- Interface Screw: Standing close to him causes the money counter on the HUD to completely freak out.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Despite the fact that the Light-Bending Guy himself has heard of the light-bending effect and in fact knows the theory behind it, neither he nor Kim can actually see it. Kim thinks you're just imagining things.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: It is subtle, but there are several hints that he is at least partially based on the Estonian businessman Margus Linnamäe, the guy who was Disco Elysium's biggest corporate sponsor. Most prominently in that he mentions to previously have been an investor in the Fortress Accident game developer, who are ZA/UM's self-deprecating stand-in.
Commissar Iosef Lilianovich Dros
A troubled old man, and one of the few surviving original communists from the Revolution, if not the last. Significant spoilers follow.
- Alas, Poor Villain: As awful of a person as Iosef is, there's a strong feeling of melancholy looming over the conversation with him.
- Anti-Villain: While definitely not a good person, his story is explicitly framed as a tragedy. You coming to arrest him feels like putting a once noble animal out of its misery.
- Child Soldiers: He joined the Communist militia at the tender age of 16, straight out of political school.
- Cold Sniper: A deadly shot with an antique rifle, who's spent the last forty years on his own, plotting his revenge on the bourgeoisie, the foreign occupiers, and the working class traitors who've allowed the Revolution's legacy to die.
- Dented Iron: He's still an exceptionally deadly marksman, as his killing of Lely proves, but decades of rough living have taken its toll on him. Him surrendering to you is at least partially motivated by him acknowledging that he's too old and sick to keep going, and probably won't survive the year. The Phasmid leaving knocks whatever wind he had left out of him and reduces him to a vegetative state.
- Final Boss: Technically the final showdown of the game — but his gun isn't loaded and he actually wants to surrender to you. The only real challenge is piecing together his motive and connecting the few remaining dots of the mystery. If the player was diligent enough then they can still arrest him even if they fail to extract a confession and motive from him, as there is more than enough circumstantial evidence pointing to him being the culprit to justify doing so.
- Foreshadowing: An interesting case. Hints of his existence pops up at several points during the investigation, but they are hidden behind several different and often relatively hard skill checks. It makes it very challenging to find most, let alone all the clues in just a single playthrough.
- Foil: To a Harry that resolves to put his past behind him. He's a look at Harry's own old age if Harry cannot give up the past, doomed to live as an outsider who hates the world for being able to move on from a tragedy he personally couldn't.
- Hates Everyone Equally: Hates everyone, and hates them all quite a lot. He doesn't even care if you claim to be a communist yourself, saying that you're just a wishy-washy liberal wannabe-communist.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Played With. Yes, really. The spitefulness, the obsession with sex and women's bodies, the jealousy, the possessiveness, the utter refusal to compromise his own ideals in the face of overwhelming reality, the utter inability to acknowledge his own frailty. The Phasmid pheromones completely messed with his hormones, trapping him in a hellish, twisted version of his teenage mindset. Or in Harry's own (potential) words he's rather "randy" for a senior citizen. The moment the Phasmid leaves, he starts to act his age and then some, going from holdout firebrand to bitter yet senile old man in a matter of minutes.
- Hypocrite: Call him honorable and he will rebuke you, saying that honor is nothing but a useless feudal atavism. A few lines later, he will casually mention that he understands himself as a kind of 'knight-errant'.
- He loves to bring up the deviancy and degeneracy of others during his bitter screeds, yet by his own admission he'd been spending most of his time prior to shooting Lely spying on Klaasje both from his sniper's nest and from a peep hole he made in an unused storage area adjacent to her hotel room.
- Last of His Kind: Very possibly the last survivor from the original communists, having stayed alive due to a combination of an act of cowardice and the effects of exposure to the Insulindian Phasmid.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Over the decades of stewing in the memories of his desertion and the wreckage of his ideology, he's nursed a violent hatred of absolutely everyone of every ideological stripe, to the point where much of his dialogue consists of bitter screeds against the people he's spied on during his exile. It's strongly suggested that Lely is far from the first man he's shot from his sniper nest.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: While his killing of Lely was partly motivated due to the fact that he saw him as a tool of the corrupt system he spend his life fighting against, it was also very much spurred on by anger and jealousy against him for sleeping with Klaasje.
- Murderer P.O.V.: It turns out that the Start Screen is actually a subtle example of this. It is the view of Revachol from his perspective from the island he is hiding on.
- My Greatest Failure: Sees his desertion of the Communists in a fit of terror as such, to the point where he still continues to live on the run despite admitting himself that the revolution is dead and nobody's even looking for him anymore.
- Doubly so in that he was the setting's equivalent of a Soviet commissar. He was supposed to lead by example and be willing to die for the revolution he was telling others to die for. Instead the opposite happened. His men were more worthy of his title than he was.
- Not So Different:
- Neither one of you can get over the great lost love of your youth — the ex-something in your case, communism (or 'Girl Child Revolution') in the Deserter's. Both of you now sit at the sidelines of your own lives, resenting others for living, laughing, being happy, moving on.Dros: The historic opportunity for a revolution has passed. It will not come back any more. However hard I try, whatever I do.
- Also to René. Their different political beliefs aside, they both are bitter old men, fuming in impotent rage at having sacrificed so much for their respective ideologies, only to realize that these sacrifices were made in vain as society at large has since moved on and left them behind as living relics of the past.
- Neither one of you can get over the great lost love of your youth — the ex-something in your case, communism (or 'Girl Child Revolution') in the Deserter's. Both of you now sit at the sidelines of your own lives, resenting others for living, laughing, being happy, moving on.
- Old Soldier: Appears to be in his seventies or eighties, and looks even older once deprived of the invigorating, narcotic effect of the phasmid's pheromones. Based on the numbers he gives you, you can work out that he's actually only in his mid-sixties.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He holds this attitude against René, planning to shoot him "one of these days", but never going through with it as he clearly wants it to be one of the last things he does in his life. Learning that he will never get to do it, as René has succumbed to bad health, takes quite a lot of the wind out of him.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: During the "burning years" following the Coalition landing, Revachol was plagued by a long period of lawlessness. Coalition troops freely terrorized and murdered any natives who were perceived as resisting the occupation government, often while tuned up on amphetamines and combat drugs. Dros mentions that he took advantage of the chaos to assassinate the worst of these soldiers to stop them from committing more war crimes. It's possible his hatred of Lely, who is himself a foreign soldier, partly stems from his lingering traumatic memories of what he saw during this period.Dros: I would take shots at them, *end* them. The worst ones. If I had a bullet to spare.
- The Political Officer: His role in the Communist militia. Even decades after the collapse of the Communists, he maintains fanatical viewpoints.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Speaks disgustedly of sexual "degenerates" and "deviants", describes René as a "race traitor" and calls rock & roll "reactionary mental illness music". So-called "disco whores" in particular make him so angry that he can't even articulate what he thinks is wrong with them.
- Pretender Diss: He is not particularly impressed by you as a political actor, no matter what ideology you claim to be a follower of. If you claim to be a communist, he waves you off as a weak-willed liberal that only pretends to be a communist, while accusing you, as a police officer, of acting as an enabler for the fascist cause. Even if you proclaim to actually be a card-carrying fascist, he still thinks you're full of it:Dros: You're not. You're part of the meatshield surrounding the *real* fascists, while they rape children. That's what *you* are.
- The Remnant: He still calls himself by his old rank, and part of him still wholeheartedly believes in the old Communist cause, even though he admits that he fully well knows that the Revolution was, and remains, lost. It was by preying on his loyalty to communism and hatred of its ideological enemies that the Claire Brothers were able to recruit him as an occasional hitman for the Union.
- The Resenter: While he's eager to voice his hatred of Revachol and the world in general for its perceived degeneracy and deviancy, it's pretty clear he also hates them simply because they were able to move on after the failure of the revolution while he wasn't.
- Serial Killer: By his own admission he has shot quite a few people in the Martainaise area over the years. Mostly particularily brutal soldiers and mercenaries working for the Moralintern and the Coalition. It is clear that he might have been behind a good number of the unsolved murders around the district.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: It quickly becomes apparent from talking to Dros that his experiences during the Revolution have left him deeply disturbed. The extreme guilt he feels over having panicked and ran away from the front-line has ruined his life. He has never been able to move past the bad things that happened to him as a teenage soldier. When he talks about seeing Coalition shells rain down on Martainaise, it's hardly surprising that he was so badly rattled by the war.
- Shadow Archetype: Essentially what he is to René. Once idealistic young soldiers fighting on opposite sides of a war for humanity's future, both are now bitter, cynical, and disillusioned old men, trapped in the past even as the rest of the world moved on. But where René's defining moment of the war was an act of great bravery, Dros' defining moment was an act of shameful cowardice. Where René reluctantly accepted the resulting peace and retired from combat, as his hope of restoring the monarchy of old ultimately didn't come to pass, Dros kept vehemently fighting a war he knew was lost. And where René has by-and-large lived a comfortable life in the decades since the war and struts around in public in his old colorful uniform, Dros has spent that time living a meager survivalist lifestyle on the edge of the city, still wearing his old dark and worn fatigues and hiding in the shadows.
- Stranger Behind the Mask: You can find evidence of his presence and notice inconsistencies in the various theories you and Kim come up with, but you can't actually meet the man until the closing hour of the game, after the mercenary tribunal has turned the case into something far more significant than a mere murder investigation.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: He totally didn't kill the previous head of the Dockworker's Union under orders from the Claire Brothers. Someone else did that, and besides, his memory is so spotty you really shouldn't be listening to his incredibly detailed description of their death.
- Tragic Villain: He's not exactly sympathetic, but he comes across as sad and pitiful more than anything else. He's a decrepit old man who wasted his life fighting a war that was already over when he was drafted into it.
- Unknown Rival: Is one for René, a similarly old, bitter and angry holdout for a bygone era, though a royalist instead of a communist. If the player tells him that René has passed away, Iosef comes close to something like grief.
- Villain Has a Point: Dros is right about pretty much everything he says about the Moralintern and the Coalition. They committed terrible war crimes while invading Revachol and they've mismanaged the country for decades until it became an impoverished chattel colony to various international corporations. It's hard to begrudge him for being angry about this, especially given that the Coalition killed all his friends who served with him during the war.
- Your Days Are Numbered: By the time you meet him he's visibly in poor health and is most likely terminally ill from years of hard living. He knows he doesn't have much time left, which is one of the reasons why he gives himself up with little complaint.
The Dockworkers' Union
Evrart and Edgar Claire
Current Union boss Evrart, along with his unseen brother Edgar. After seizing control of the Débardeurs' Union twenty years ago, the brothers have molded it into the only authority in Martinaise, their criminal ties, popularity with workers, and ruthless politicking making them a force to be reckoned with.
- Anti-Villain: Despite their sketchy behavior, Evrart and Edgar could be viewed as this. They genuinely want to free Revachol from the control of foreign corporations and the deeply-corrupt Moralintern. Their end goal is commendable even if their methods of reaching it are morally dubious.
- Always Identical Twins: Evrart and Edgar are apparently identical in every way including weight, apart from Evrart's lazy eye.
- The Bad Guy Wins: If "the Return" alluded to by Klaasje and Shivers is indeed the Union starting a second communist revolution and declaring independence, it's implied that it commences not long after the game's conclusion. Of course, seeing how Revachol has been mistreated by Moralintern, and will probably continue to be mistreated if nothing is done, it is at the very least somewhat ambigous if they can truly be considered "the bad guys".
- Batman Gambit: Evrart openly shares his and his brother's plan to perform a forcible takeover of the habor with you, including the fact that the Union is refusing to back down, no matter how much violent force Wild Pines is going to bring down upon them if they try to do this. What Evrart doesn't tell you, however, is that he is actually banking on you to still be a good cop at heart, despite all your personal defects and problems, and that you therefore are going to be appropriately horrified of the idea of how many lives could be lost in a bloody confrontation, so that you will be motivated to warn Joyce about it. Joyce, in turn, is a by-and-large Honest Corporate Executive and overall Reasonable Authority Figure and will therefore be similarly unwilling to throw a lot of lives away over profit, leading her to decide to cut her losses and backing down without a fight, thereby leaving the Union to take over the habor without firing a shot. Ultimately though, it is unknown whether or not Evrart had accounted for the Krenel Mercenaries to go rogue and instigate violence on their own. You never get a chance to ask him, because the harbor goes on lockdown after the Tribunal.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Evrart has the entirety of Martinaise bugged, tapped, and under surveillance. Anyone and everyone is potentially feeding him information. That includes Joyce's yacht. After the Tribunal he'll even scramble all your attempts to report the shootout to your HQ, not wanting the RCM to intrude on his attempt to consolidate power.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: Platonic example with the former negotiator, if you read between the lines. Evrart actually did like the guy, who had been nothing but reasonable in previous negotiations (to the point Joyce dismissively thinks he was too soft) but the issue was the Claire Brothers didn't want a reasonable, successful negotiation with Wild Pines this time. They wanted a shitstorm, possibly including civilian deaths, and Evrart knew that the blame would be laid at the feet of whoever was in charge of negotiations. By so cruelly and arbitrarily betraying the guy, he made sure his friend would go down as that poor guy who Evrart betrayed, rather than that idiot who lost the dockyard. The blame could instead then go towards a replacement he had no such respect for, like Joyce.
- Bully Hunter: Easy Leo recounts a tale back from his school days, where Evrart and Edgar ganged up on the local school bully Noel Becker and gave him a beating, after which Noel never bothered anyone again. Depending on when Leo tells this story, it can be your first serious hint of Evrart and Edgar's morally grey Modus Operandi; namely, they are sincerely dedicated to protecting the weak against those who would prey on them, but they are also not afraid to use both violent force and dirty methods to accomplish this.
- The Chessmaster: It's possibly to discover that the situation in the harbor is playing out exactly as Evrart hoped: he wants a war with Wild Pines, knowing the bad publicity it will garner the company. It goes even deeper than that — if you solve the Secret Task to break the deadlock by relaying information back and forth between Evrart and Joyce since Evrart won't meet her in person, it turns out that this too is exactly what Evrart truly wanted: for Joyce to give in of her own accord, thus avoiding a bloody war while still forcing the company to retreat with their tails between their legs, with the Union keeping all the gains they'd made over the course of the strike.
- Chummy Commies: The Claires are eager to build themselves up this way, and inspire seemingly genuine loyalty among the Union.
- Corrupt Hick: Played with in that they aren't exactly country hicks, but they do live on the outskirts of the city and employ Good Ol' Boy Titus Hardie and his men as their muscle.
- Dirty Communists: A common perspective on the Claire Brothers and the Union as a whole is that they're simply using communism as a prop and are actually closer to a crime syndicate. A closer examination of Evrart, and by extension Edgar's motivations, seems to indicate that he genuinely does hold at least some socialist ideals, especially when it comes to harboring a massive grudge against the wealthy liberal elite for what they did to Revachol and its people.
- Fat Bastard: Both brothers are incredibly fat and entirely corrupt.You: Why *are* you so fat?
Evrart: I'm glad you asked. I've got Type 2 diabetes because sugar and fat was all my mother had to give me and my brother Edgar when we were kids.
- The Ghost: Edgar is never seen in the game, only mentioned. He was apparently the one who first convinced the Deserter to do the Union's dirty work.
- Good All Along: As it turns out, the brothers aren't cynical opportunists but rather devoted leftists who want the best for Revachol. "Good" isn't exactly the right word for it because they're still very morally sketchy, but they're sincerely committed to their socialist ideals even if they sometimes do unethical things in pursuit of their goals.
- Hidden Depths: Evrart's own cynical motives turn out toe be a double bluff; he sincerely believes in the communist ideal, and he throws up the Straw Hypocrite act as a cover.
- "Just Joking" Justification: One of Evrart's go-to moves: confirm what you're already thinking about his motives and crimes, then claim he's only kidding.
- Karma Houdini: Depending on how they do things, the player can be completely hoodwinked in to convincing Wild Pines to concede to the Union's terms and get the brothers all they wanted with minimal resistance, with the player not being able to do anything about it. You can possibly subvert this by gaining Iosef's full testimony, as it turns out that he has quite a lot of dirt on the brothers.
- Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Evrart wants the citizens of Martainaise to view the Union as this despite their their morally-sketchy behavior. For what it's worth, the Claires genuinely have done a lot of good work on Martainaise's behalf. They've bargained for better wages and benefits for the local workers, they established a community watch in the form of the Hardie Boys to make up for the RCM's decades-long absence, and they have big plans to renovate the poorer parts of town (although they're willing to expel people in the the fishing village to make this happen). Even their involvement in the drug trade has had a net positive effect on Martainaise, as they ensured that it stays regulated and that its destructive excesses are kept in check.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Evrart doesn't present himself as stupid, but he's a cynical manipulator with the subtlety of a truck. About the only true part of that is the "manipulator" part; the cynicism is him being subtle and careful, so he doesn't come off as an actual revolutionary.
- Only in It for the Money: It's very obvious that Evrart's concerns are less about the welfare of the Union workers or social democracy as a political project, and more about keeping his pockets lined. Subverted in that this is exactly what Evrart wants you to think, as being underestimated both in terms of his ambitions and intelligence are key to what he and Edgar are trying to build — he's actually a diehard communist who would be only too happy to draw the blood of the bourgeoisie, and more importantly, he and his brother actually cares about Martinaise and genuinely wants to lift the neighborhood out of poverty, even if they are willing screw over some of its inhabitants in the process.
- Pet the Dog: If you manage to quit drinking, Claire, in a rare moment of sincerity, commends you for having the strength of character to overcome your alcoholism.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Evrart will call you an ableist slur if you claim to be a moralist, and also allegedly called the negotiator prior to Joyce a "midget".
- Red Right Hand: Evrart's lazy eye adds to his inscrutable and unsettling demeanor.
- Refuge in Audacity: He's happy to speak at length about all the illegal activities he and the Union are engaged in — purely hypothetically, of course. He'll only tell you the truth once he's sure he's won, when you're in as deep as he is. Interestingly, the motives he conceals are far more selfless than the shallow greed he displays when you first meet. You would likely be far more suspicious if you thought he was a true believer rather than a simple opportunist.
- Self-Deprecation: If you directly ask Evrart if he ordered the death of the Hanged Man in any way, he replies that if he had actually wanted someone dead, he would have done them in himself, and adds that since he is obviously too fat to be physically capable of hanging someone on his own, he had nothing to do with it.
- Shame If Something Happened: Whenever he speaks with the protagonist, Evrart makes a point of mentioning how unfortunate it is that his gun has gone missing, and that perhaps he could use some help finding it. Subverted in that Evrart really is having his men track down your gun in exchange for a few errands, and isn't holding it hostage at the time you first speak. It's also totally your fault it's missing in the first place; he had nothing to do with it.
- The Shut-In: Evrart apparently never leaves the two fused cargo containers which make up his office, and which are shuffled around as needed by the harbour cranes.
- Smug Snake: It's hard to believe anyone could be taken in by a Fat Bastard as smarmy and blatantly disingenuous as Evrart. The act is for the RCM — you never actually get to see Evrart alone with his men, but it's quite possible that the entirety of his crude, money-grubbing persona was concocted for you and Kim.
- Straw Hypocrite: If you say that communism is meaningless and that only the pursuit of power matters, Evrart will come right out and agree with you. Subverted if you follow through the hidden task to basically carry Joyce and Evrart's negotiation back and forth between them, as it turns out that while Evrart very much understands the allure of power, he also genuinely hates the wealthy ultraliberal elite and wants to give Revachol, starting with the harbor, back to her people. Preferably while having his revenge on the upper class along the way.
- The Teetotaler: Evrart is quite proud of the fact that he doesn't drink alcohol, broasting that it is what really allows him to run in mental circles around the "wine-sipping" upper class. If you decide to quit drinking yourself, he will express some genuine admiration for you managing to beat the bottle.
- Visionary Villain: He's an avowed socialist who has big ambitions for the union, which seem to be a smoke-screen for his greed and lust for power. This of course turns out not to be the case: Evrart and Edgar's plans are far bigger in scope than finding ways to line their own pockets. "The Return" alluded to by various characters is implied to be the union starting a second revolution to drive out the corporations and the Moralintern, thus turning Martinaise (and perhaps the rest of Revachol later on) into a independent socialist republic.
- Walking Spoiler: Evrart is stringing you along, liberally mixing truth and lies, making it hard to discuss his plans in any detail without giving away the brothers' true agenda.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At first glance, Evrart appears to be completely cynical and self-serving. It initially seems like his talk of uplifting Martinaise out of poverty is just that: empty words he uses to disguise his amoral behavior. But as the story progresses, it turns out that he really does care about what he's saying. He and Edgar want to found a socialist democracy run by and for Martinaise's citizens while expelling the ultraliberal elites who've let the city fall into ruin.
- Xanatos Gambit: Even if you fail to play your part in the brothers' Batman Gambit to convince Joyce to give up and withdraw without a fight, the two of them have made sure that the cards are ultimately still heavily stacked in the Union's favor. Wild Pines would likely still have decided to eventually give up the harbor at some point to avoid having a PR nightmare on their hands, perhaps only taking slightly longer without your unwitting cooperation. No matter what you do, the aforementioned PR clusterfuck inevitably comes to pass in the form of the Tribunal.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Everything indicates that Evrart and Edgar were caught as much off guard by the sudden murder of Lely as anyone. Nevertheless, they quickly managed to recalibrate their plans to accommodate the hanging, taking advantage of the likelihood that his mentally unstable squadmates would avenge their commander's death in blood to engineer the PR nightmare (for Wild Pines) the brothers had been waiting for — thus giving the Union the excuse to take control of the harbor. Of course, your own drunken three-day bender, where you did pretty much everything but trying to solve the case, gave them an ample headstart on gathering intel, and even more time to move things along without the RCM's interference.
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Beaufort, "The Gardener"
A young woman who had her law degree paid for by the Claire brothers, and now acts as the Union lawyer. The very fact she has a law degree at all is something that is guarded, though not heavily, from outsiders, and so she spends much of her time disguised as a gardener.
- Amoral Attorney: Zigzagged. She had her education paid for by the Union, which many people believe is a crime syndicate, and she has no respect for local law enforcement. On the other hand, the RCM does operate in a legal grey area, only possesses whatever nominal authority the Moralintern and citizens of Revachol see fit to grant it. Lizzie is, from her own perspective, deeply principled, and she doesn't believe the RCM are an actual police force. It's certainly undeniable that the RCM hasn't bothered to police Martinaise in years, not until a corporate mercenary was killed in the district.
- Crusading Lawyer: She is not impartial at all. She's completely devoted to the vision that the Claire Brothers have, and is just using her law degree to help make it come true.
- Hello, Attorney!: Her portrait is noticeably less distorted and abstract than other characters, making her look like a downright cute twentysomething. Of course, it's probably just a way to get people to lower their guard.
- Jerkass Has a Point: She's totally right when she accuses the RCM of being corrupt lapdogs for the equally-corrupt Moralintern, neither of whom have done anything to uplift Martainaise from its poverty.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: She pretends to be a worn out, spacey gardener so she can keep tabs on outsiders.
- Omnidisciplinary Lawyer: What she's trying to be, considering she's taken on defending suspects in a murder while her day job is the very different discipline of managing union legal affairs.
- Only Law Firm in Town: There apparently weren't any other lawyers in the neighborhood, Edgar and Evrart basically created one out of whole cloth through her and so she's the only one who factors into the story.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Though not to the same degree as Titus, who was trying to fight them, she still thinks she's clever and persuasive enough that she can talk down the Krenel Mercenaries despite all evidence to the contrary. Her condescending attempts to deescalate the situation result in her being the first person Kortenear will try to shoot should the player make the wrong dialogue choices, though he winds up missing.
- This might be averted given that there's not much else she could have done under those circumstances. She's unarmed and the mercs have their guns trained on her should she try to make a break for it. All she can really do is stay calm and try to deescalate the situation using the skills that are available to her, namely her logic and legal expertise. It may not be a case of overconfidence as much as that being the only realistic move she can make even if the odds of it paying off are slim. She presumably thought it was worth a shot as long as it had even a small chance of delaying the firefight.
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Downplayed. While certainly given special treatment by the Claire Brothers, she's not a Spoiled Brat and earned her place through her intelligence. She does, however, manage to keep the physically much larger Titus and the other Hardies in check, sometimes with a single word. Even Evrart claims to be intimidated by her zeal.
Call Me Mañana
The lookout posted on the outer harbour wall.
- Cowboy: A self-proclaimed boiadero, he wears cowboy boots and embraces an individualist philosophy of wandering through life — metaphorically or otherwise.
- Lazy Mexican: Deliberately playing on the stereotype. Call Me Mañana means "Call me tomorrow," and Mañana never moves from his post throughout the entire game. Subverted in that watching, waiting, and not moving from his post is his job, and he seems to be well-liked among his fellow Union members — and Evrart seems to put some trust his insights and observations.
- Mellow Fellow: He's quietly easygoing, providing the Union with a friendly face on the wall. The only thing that seems to upset him at all are the scabs.
- Mr. Exposition: He loves to talk, and while he's under orders to keep quiet until you've spoken to Evrart, he's your first direct source of information about the Union and the only one to remain (other than the Hardie Boys) after the tribunal.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Call Me Mañana, or just Mañana for short.
- Shout-Out: "Call Me Mañana" is a song by Scooter, an early reference before you encounter the anodic dance kids out on the ice.
A musclebound tattooed Semenese supremacist, currently standing watch over the gates, and between you and Evrart Claire. He won't let you into the harbour unless you either internalize his elaborate 'advanced racial theory' to the point you can parrot it back at him or best him in a fight.
- Bald of Evil: It serves to underline his obsession with his own masculinity, and show that even his head is covered in tattoos.
- Bigot with a Crush: One of Measurehead's "babes", and seemingly the one he's closest to, is of Kojko descent. Measurehead shrugs it off — the heart wants what it wants ("THE HEART THAT PUMPS THE HAEMOGLOBIN IS MYSTERIOUS, AND SO IS ITS DARK WILL."). Believing he's superior to other races doesn't have to mean he hates them personally, apparently.
- Boomerang Bigot: A complicated and bizarre case. He's a black man who believes in ludicrous "scientific racism" theories that he himself admits were invented by white supremacists, but through the power of Insane Troll Logic he's convinced himself that this psuedoscience actually proves that black people are the Master Race.
- The Brute: Even more than the Hardies, Measurehead is muscle for the Union, a giant of a man and so tough that even hardened mercenaries hesitate to take him on one-on-one. Which makes it all the more impressive if you can fight him and win by knocking him out with a spinning kick to the head.
- Chick Magnet: He has his own trio of fawning fangirls.
- Cold Ham: Even though Measurehead is calm and measured when he speaks, he has a penchant for poetic and grandiose language.
- The Dragon: Explicitly identified as Evrart's dragon by Easy Leo (the little old man painting cargo containers), though at the point you meet him Jean-Luc is little more than a glorified door guard.
- Elite Mook: Invoked — Measurehead says himself that the Hardie Boys are merely the Union's first line of defense. He is the last.
- Genius Bruiser: One of the many paradoxes of Measurehead's character is that he's clearly not a dumb guy despite his idiotic views. He's obviously well-read and well-spoken, but then he also espouses nonsensical, easily-disproven theories about 'scientific' racism.
- Giant Mook: The largest character in the game other than Fat Bastard Evrart, able to essentially hold off an entire crowd of scabs unarmed and without any backup.
- Heroic Build: He's incredibly muscular and almost impossibly strong.
- Incoming Ham: Measurehead first greets you by dramatically proclaiming that "YOUR BODY BETRAYS YOUR DEGENERACY."
- Insane Troll Logic: To say that his understanding of history and culture is very jumbled and the way that he uses it to "support" his theories has several gaps in it is a massive understatement. Then there is the complicated mental gymnastics he does to justify stuff like being a mook for the Claire Brothers, despite him believing his race to be superior to theirs. Poking holes in his logic will actually count as a positive modifier for taking him on physically.Measurehead: PINKNESS IS A RACIAL QUALITY THAT HAS TO BE EARNED THROUGH CENTURIES OF BALLISTIC WARFARE AND CULTURAL DOMINATION THAT THE GRAAD PEOPLE HAVE UNDERGONE FOR DRINKING AL GUL AND SMOKING THE DEGENERATE *TABAC* HERB... AND FOR EATING *POTATO*...
- Insistent Terminology: AL GUL (alcohol) is at the root of the decline of the HAM SANDWICH RACE (white people). Measurehead himself is the pinnacle of HAPLOGROUP A4A (people from the Semenine Isles), who will replace them as the master race... according to him, anyway.Measurehead: THERE ARE THREE CATEGORIES OF RACE: TYPE A — THE HEROIC RACES — TYPE B — THE SERVILE RACES — AND THE VILE C-F RACE CAULDRON OF PEDERASTY.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He's correct in pointing out that alcohol has made you a less effective detective and is slowly destroying your life. To Measurehead's credit, he's one of out two characters who gives you access to the "Wasteland of Reality" thought that lets you quit drinking.
- Meaningful Name: His name is a reference to the discredited science of phrenology (which his tattoos reference as well), indicating his fixation on "scientific" racism.
- No Indoor Voice: All his dialogue is rendered in CAPS LOCK, to communicate his booming monotone.
- No-Sell: Failing the checks to fight him results in punching him in the stomach and hurting your own hand, and him grabbing your fist in mid-punch and crushing it.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's a black supremacist. Played for Laughs in that his description of various races sound more like races you'd read about in a fantasy novel (and are based on both real-world slurs and various arguments commonly espoused by white supremacists, like phrenology, the idea of a master race, etc.).
- Scary Black Man: Leans into the stereotype as a huge, bald, musclebound, heavily tattooed tough guy working as muscle for what amounts to the local crime syndicate.
- Smug Snake: Measurehead has a tendency to underestimate people from the "lesser" haplogroups, which can lead to you besting him in a physical fight.
- Straight Edge Evil: Doesn't pollute his body with drugs, tobacco, or "AL GUL" (alcohol - a play off the older Arabic word for the substance, 'al-khul', 'body-eating spirit', which shares a root with the English 'ghoul'), although he does have lots of sex with his women.
- Tattooed Crook: His whole body is tattooed, including his head being covered in phrenological diagrams (hence 'Measurehead').
- Testosterone Poisoning: In addition to being a huge racist, he's also a Stay in the Kitchen chauvinist who sees any man who isn't a musclebound hulk as a puny weakling.
- Übermensch: By his own definition, he is the perfect specimen of the master race, and their eventual ascendance is inevitable.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Wears pants and that's all, rain or snow, even in the tail end of winter.
- Warrior Poet: It seems like he puts a lot of thought into the florid language he uses to articulate his philosophy of race realism.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: The Claire Brothers have won him over with their vision, despite being white, and despite Measurehead viewing communism as a failed ideology. If you best him physically, he will begrudgingly admit that while he still views you as a prime example of your race's decay, you have at least managed to temporarily stop your personal decline.
Titus Hardie and the Hardie Boys
Seven harbour workers — Titus Hardie, Theo, Glen, Alain, "Shanky" (Dennis), Eugene, and Fat Angus — that were spotted by multiple witnesses lynching a mercenary, kicking off the plot of the game.
- Affectionate Nickname: Starts out a calling you with those as part of him warming up to you. At first, when you just met him, he'll call you and Kim clowns and equivalents. Uncover their lie about the lynching and he'll start just calling you "cop". Prove you didn't get your reputation as a "human can-opener cop" for nothing, and he'll actually start calling you things like "The Coppernado", or "Copperman", which are spoke in a friendly, sincere voice.
- Anti-Villain: For all of their rowdy behavior, the Hardie Boys serve an important role as Martainaise's de facto police force. They're a community-organized citizen's watch who maintain a degree of order in the city (despite their involvement in certain illegal activities). Given that the RCM has allowed the community to go unpoliced for years, it's hard to fault the Union for founding their own paramilitary force.
- Armored Closet Gay: Glen. Your initial evaluation of him makes note of how hard he works to project a working-class macho image, and (depending upon how much attention you pay to his dialog) your first clue that he's actually gay may come from Titus' eulogy for him. Technically he might be a case of "Armored Closet Bi," given that he has a crush on Ruby (which could just be platonic, although it's not clarified one way or the other).
- The Captain: Titus is a natural born leader and this is the rank sewn onto his vest. Subverted, as with enough Perception you can actually see that it says captain of the rowing team. The game doesn't go into whether that means Titus went to university or just picked it up secondhand.
- Dirty Coward: Keep the mercenary tribunal talking long enough and Shanky gets antsy and runs off. The survivors swear to track him down and Make An Example Of Him.
- Family Theme Naming: Titus's brother is named Tibbs... short for Tiberius. Titus and Tiberius were both Roman emperors in the real world; it's not clear what the significance would be in-universe. Encyclopedia jokes that they might have a sister named Lucretia, the woman whose rape fired the rebellion that overthrew the last Roman king and led to the founding of the Republic.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Should Titus survive the Tribunal, he goes from begrudgingly respecting you and Kim to consider you true comrades, grateful for the back-up you provided to him and his men against the mercenaries.
- A Fool for a Client: If you play it right then Titus conversationally overpowers his own lawyer only for him and his boys to promptly dig their own grave.
- Good Ol' Boy: Have aspects of this, though Martinaise is just an outlying part of the city, not actually the country. But Titus has a somewhat rural accent, the hostility to a couple of city cops, and his ball cap and the puffy vest he wears as part of his Union uniform fit the look.
- Genius Bruiser: Despite his insecurities and asthma, Fat Angus is easily the biggest, strongest, and most technically savvy of the Hardies, acting as both The Big Guy and The Smart Guy.
- Hidden Depths: Titus is smarter than he pretends, went over a lot of the same suspicions you will end up having before you and can poke holes in your arguments just fine, is a natural leader, and picks his men very carefully. The Union actually have a much more professional security outfit than they want you to think. Angus in particular is quite tech-savvy, in addition to being enormously strong and tough in spite of his apparent asthma. The game also remarks that Titus has what it takes to be an excellent cop, and if you bring that up to him after the tribunal, he says he'll sincerely consider it.
- Jurisdiction Friction: The Hardies are all the security Martinaise needs, thank you very much. They didn't need the RCM before, and you're not welcome now. Titus considers himself the local sheriff, which puts you in the position of the big city/FBI interlopers. You can eventually make peace if you can convince Titus that Klaasje has been playing all of you this whole time, and earn his grudging respect.
- Not So Different: He and the boys are very similar to the average squad of cops in their group dynamic, which The Cop can use to relate to them and start getting answers from them. Telling them you remind them of the very archetype of cops they hate, not taking victims seriously and dicking around is a possible argument you can use, and it does hit home.
- Number Two: Esprit de Corps gets the distinct impression that Alain is Titus's second-in-command, the quickest to chime in and the least likely to give the RCM anything to work with.
- Titus does rely on every member of his Five-Man Band in their specific area of expertise, and they function as his number two in that respective area (Angus is considered to be the security expert, Eugene backs up Titus when doing detective work, etc) with the exception of Shanky.
- Old Soldier: Old Theo used to run the group before Titus took over, and has stayed on in something of a support role.
- Pastimes Prove Personality: Eugene is relatively laidback and easygoing. He wears a guitar pick (also known as a plectrum) on a string around his neck, and your skills dub him 'the musician.'
- Recruiting the Criminal: Alain is an ex-con turned Hardie Boy.
- Scary Black Man: Theo falls into this role. He rarely speaks, but your skills can clue in that Theo is feared by the rest of the group sans Titus, and that he is the most dangerous and willing to kill of the bunch.
- Shaming the Mob: They've already done the lynching, but the hanged man was already dead, and accusing the Hardies of being the kind of lazy, corrupt cops they think you are is one way you can get through to them and start to convince them you're on the same side.
- The Sheriff: Never stated and his official rank is Captain of the rowing team, but Titus's role as local law enforcement and his territorial reaction to the RCM muscling in on his jurisdiction place him firmly within the trope.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: They seriously do not appreciate how much shit they've gotten themselves in by openly boasting about lynching the hanged man, even if you spell out to them that a team of sociopathic, highly armed and armored mercenaries are now preparing to murder them and anyone else they deem even remotely responsible for his death. In the end, the only way they can survive the ensuing confrontation is through your intervention.
- To Absent Friends: Will always get together to drink and remember the fallen after the Tribunal. The way you handle said event will determine whether they are drinking in a suicidal funk or remembering the fallen while optimistically hoping their sacrifice meant something.
- Torches and Pitchforks: They're downright proud to tell you how they lynched the hanged man after he raped Klaasje, and even prouder to say they all acted as one man, so there's no single killer for the RCM to arrest. Except they didn't kill him, and he didn't rape her, and the whole thing has been elaborately staged to draw attention away from the fact that he was shot in the head by an unknown party, to protect Klaasje from being processed by the RCM which would expose her to her pursuers from back in Oranje.
Leonard Bellec / "Easy Leo"
Leo is a nice old man who works at the harbor, but he clearly is not all there mentally. He seems to be something of a personal assistant to the Claire Brothers.
- Captain Oblivious: Leo has no real understanding of what the strike is about, what a scab is, that the Hardie Boys are openly boasting about killing a man, or how anyone could see the Claire Brothers as anything other than the kindly benefactors they've always been to him — even when they've got him repainting Wild Pines cargo containers Union red. He seems to struggle to even grasp the concept if you point out that this is theft on a grand scale.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Was in the same class as the Claire Brothers in school, and all three were in Gaston Martin's history and human studies classes together.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: His clear blue eyes are noted to give him an extremely friendly look and it underscores his Manchild-like nature.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: He is a very friendly and excitable guy who wouldn't hurt a fly, almost childlike in his naivete and more than a little spacey.
- Motor Mouth: When he first gets going, it is rather hard to stop from speaking again.
- Musical Chores: Sings silly little made-up songs as he works. The songs don't necessarily rhyme or follow any particular tune but are oddly catchy all the same.Easy Leo: (singing) Evrart, Evrart, Evrart! He looks after everyone.
- Oireland: True to stereotype, a plucky immigrant who came over from the Fantasy Counterpart Culture equivalent of Ireland as a little boy and never lost his accent.
- Saying Too Much: His mouth tends to run away with him. His employers are quite aware of it.Easy Leo: Mr. Evrart doesn't tell me all the big things. Says I go and tell them to everyone.
- Scotireland: Comes from the in-universe equivalent of Ireland, but speaks with something closer to a Scottish accent.
Ruby, The Instigator
A mysterious lorry driver. While not a dockworker or part of the Union, she's close enough with the Hardie Boys that they're considering her for membership.
- Alas, Poor Villain: She's a career criminal who has no compunctions about blasting you senseless with a radio-based pale/sound weapon, but what she ultimately is is a lonely and scared woman with a hard life who wanted to help the person she loves. Failing to stop her suicide feels really bad — in-game it causes Morale damage.
- Ate His Gun: If you fail to talk her out of it, Ruby commits suicide by shooting herself in the mouth.
- The Bad Guys Are Cops: Absolutely convinced you are working for major gang leader La Puta Madre, hence her going into panic mode the very moment you arrive on the scene.Ruby: One corrupt motherfucker with the disco pants and the funny tie.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Her hatred of cops, fear of you in particular, and the feeling that everyone she cared about and trusted has turned on her can lead her to shoot herself rather than be arrested or killed by you, if you can't persuade her to walk away instead.
- Brown Note: The high-frequency pale emitter she manages to construct in her hideout, configured to blast you with sound/radio/pale emissions. She ambushes you with it the second you enter its range, and it's painful to the point of being completely debilitating, and potentially lethal.
- Bruiser With A Soft Centre: She's tough enough that Klaasje seems to assume she is the real leader of the Hardie Boys, rather than Titus. The old washerwoman in the fishing village calls her a good girl, however, and when you finally track her down, she takes the reveal that Hardie, Klaasje, and her fellow lorry drivers all sold her out particularly hard. She seems to have a long history of losing friends and being betrayed, which she compensates for by acting as tough as she can. Telling her that the people you questioned didn't betray her makes it easier to talk her down from suicide. She will also turn down the pale emitter because she feels sorry for you, which can be her undoing.
- Butch Lesbian: Enough that she's One of the Boys with the manly-man Hardie Boys. She has a boyish haircut, wears man's clothes, and is a truck driver for a living. She's also nursing a crush on Klaasje. All of the Hardies (except Glen, who has a crush on Ruby in turn) seem to know it. Klaasje, for her part, is willing to fool around with her, but she's not looking for anything deeper.
- Chekhov's Gun: Her interest in radio signals doesn't seem all that important at first... then she finds a way to weaponize it, giving her the chance to interrogate you when you finally find her hiding place under the Feld building.
- The Chessmaster: She's the ringleader of a fairly major drug smuggling operation, running the whole thing through the radio in her lorry cab. Subverted within the game itself, however: at first it appears that she devised the plan to lynch Lely's corpse to Titus suspiciously quickly, but it's actually Klaasje who came up with it in the spur of the moment.
- Driven to Suicide: Should you manage to break her radio-wave machine, she says "fuck it" and puts her gun in her mouth. If you fail to talk her out of it, Ruby shoots herself through the brain and dies instantly.
- Fiery Redhead: She's a tough, hot-headed lorry driver and career criminal.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Klaasje claims this must have been her motive for killing Lely. Subverted in that while Ruby was moderately jealous and felt a little led on, she didn't kill Lely and her motive for helping with the cover up seems to be as much loyalty to the Hardies and fear of the Killer Cop who just breezed into town as anything.
- Improperly Paranoid: She's gone to ground and devised an elaborate trap for you because she's convinced you're some sort of murder-cop. She heard the nickname "human can-opener" and thought it was literal rather than referring to your ability to crack cases and stubborn witnesses. She also thinks all her buddies must have betrayed her and/or been killed by you by now. Apparently she didn't hear the part about how you went on a three-day alcoholic bender howling at the moon and trashing your car instead of investigating the case. If she had, things might have gone different.
- Irony: The primary reason Ruby is so terrified of the player is that she's convinced that he and his squad are actually part of a police hit squad under the control of crime lord La Puta Madre. Even if the player does play the game as a corrupt cop, your squad will tell you in the ending that you are definitely not a Killer Cop, if only because you're too crazy to be used in that way.
- Lampshade Hanging: Ruby the redhead hiding on the coast is... a red herring.
- One of the Boys: She is a very good friend of the Hardie Boys, and she often both helps them out in their work and hangs out and drinks with them in their free time. As a result, they see her as the unofficial eighth "Boy" of the group and have even considered making her a full member.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: At first, your code for this person is "Odd-Sole," if you've got good enough visual calculus to examine all the footprints at the crime scene. The last one has one shoe with a flat foot, indicating someone who uses that one shoe repetitively, like a lorry driver.
- Punny Name: A ruby is a red jewel. Ruby, in turn, is a Red Herring.
- Red Herring: She isn't the killer. She isn't even the one who organized the fake lynching. She's purely Klaasje's last-ditch attempt to draw the detectives out of town so she can make her escape. But Klaasje really isn't involved in the killing either, it's just that any involvement with the RCM is going to blow her cover and likely get her killed.
- Uncertain Doom: It's not specified what comes of her if you convince her not shoot herself. Where she goes isn't specified. Kim notes that she'll be living a difficult fugitive's life from now on, so it's possible she'll eventually die on the road (perhaps her own hand if the loneliness gets to her). It's possible she'll eventually return to Martainaise once the heat dies down, especially if "the Return" (IE, the Union successfully taking over the city) succeeds, as she'd presumably no longer be wanted.
- Walking Spoiler: Realizing there even was an eighth person at the lynching or a drug smuggling operation in the harbour can be a major reveal, and the fact that she's a Red Herring inevitably spoils a major portion of the investigation.
The Wild Pines Group
Joyce L. Messier
The second representative of Wild Pines sent to negotiate with the Union.
- Affably Evil: Whether Joyce is evil or not depends on your personal perspective, but she's friendly and accommodating in all your interactions with her.
- All for Nothing: She's just this side of believing that the ultraliberal upper class (of which she is a part) can still do something to make Revachol a better place, but she freely admits that the past fifty years have been an almost complete wash in terms of digging themselves out of the hole the previous kings and the fascist and communist governments which succeeded the monarchy have put the country in.
- The Beautiful Elite: Very much part of the wealthy, glamorous ultraliberal upper class, and a well-educated party girl with fond memories of Slumming It in Martinaise when she was younger.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Openly says that being a member of a wealthy Ultraliberal society makes her part of "the vilest of the vile". Although getting to know her reveals that she's actually abnormally ethical for her kind, making this possibly more of a bitter, disappointed critique of her fellows.
- Cool Old Lady: Highly knowledgeable, cooperative, friendly, compassionate, sailboat-racing Honest Corporate Executive. Also a disco holdover (like yourself) with a nostalgic, romantic streak.
- Embarrassing First Name: It's actually Rejoyce. She says it's simply inefficient and leaves it at that, but given her general openness and willingness to talk about other subjects at length, there's probably more to it than that.
- Frontline General: Joyce turns out to be a non-military example of this trope, as she's directly taking part in the strike negotiations while also being one of the owners of Wild Pines.
- Honest Corporate Executive: By the standards of the setting, anyway. She genuinely wants to make things right and will be as helpful as she can if you approach her properly.
- The Insomniac: If you speak to Joyce at night, you can point out that she is still up fairly late. Doing so can make her reveal that her prolonged exposure to the pale has somehow robbed her of the ability and need to sleep.
- King Incognito: Wild Pines aren't her 'employers', she's one of their senior partners, and the only one who cares enough to go down to Martinaise and try and do something about it herself rather than relying solely on intermediaries. Given that the company's layers of bureaucracy are how they wound up sending Krenel and the reason they can't call them off, she has a point.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: She ultimately decides that fighting to keep the harbor doesn't pass the cost-benefit test, so she concedes to the union's demands and lets them have it without a struggle.
- Mask of Sanity: Joyce's prolonged willing exposure to the pale has irreparably damaged her psyche, and she's perfectly aware of that. She keeps herself stable and functional through a very strict mental regimen.
- The Maiden Name Debate: The L stands for Leyton, her maiden name.
- Mrs. Exposition: Joyce has an encyclopedic amount of knowledge of the world, making her a perfect candidate to give you a "reality lowdown" on the strange new world you wake up in.
- Not So Above It All: When giving you a lowdown on all of reality, she'll call the death of two million people a "kerfuffle", mentions regretting being born too late for the best part of the century, and isn't afraid to call herself an ultraliberal — but when she learns Evrart is purposefully trying to start a war with the Wild Pines Group, she'll eventually decide retaking the harbor isn't worth the cost in human lives it'll cost to both sides.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: Her Leitmotif is a synth-laden choral piece called "The Insulindian Miracle", somewhere between the ominous and the Cherubic, both beautiful and terrifying. It gives a sense of Joyce's own underlying power, as well as fitting the strange majesty and gritty misery of the game world as she describes the pale and history of Revachol.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She doesn't hide that she is putting her and her company's interests first, but she is genuinely trying her damnedest from keeping the tension between Wild Pines and the Union to boil over into open violence, and is happy to help any way she can, while cross-referencing your decidedly unreliable info with her own sources.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If the player completes the secret task of relaying information on the strike between Evrart and Joyce, she will eventually decide to cut her losses and leave the harbor to the Union. Rationalizing that retaking the port by force isn't worth the cost in human lives. It turns out that Evrart and Edgar actually banked on this happening.
- Self-Deprecation: She's rarely harsh except when it comes to Evrart and herself. When she repeats the litany of insults leveled at the ultraliberal upper class, it comes across as only partly ironic:Joyce: I am the vilest of the vile. A traitor, a devourer of nations and infants... I am an Ultra.
You: Cool. I liberate pretty hard myself.
Joyce: (shakes head) No. Not like me. I am the nether creature of the forbidden swamp, who pushed the king under a *shitwagon* and betrayed the Revolution...
- Slumming It: Part of the reason she accepted the job in Martinaise was because of her fond memories of the place back in the Twenties (when she was in her twenties). Even now she wistfully dreams of rebuilding the fishing village where she met one of her early loves.
- Snark Knight: Joyce doesn't hold a very high of an opinion on anything, least of all herself, and often speaks holds forth with a certain world-weary wit on both current events and ancient history, yet underneath it all there's still a kernel of idealism in her that wants to believe she and her fellow ultraliberals could have done better, rather than that it was All for Nothing.
Scab Leader / Major Raul "Korty" Kortenaer
One of the mercenaries sent by Wild Pines to protect Joyce and deal with the striking dockworkers. He spends most of the game undercover as a scab agitator, though he isn't fooling anyone.
- Blood Knight: It's clear that he enjoys hurting people for a living.
- Boisterous Weakling: Although he talks a big talk about being a hardened, ruthless mercenary, the Tribunal shows that he really isn't as competent as he thinks he is. All the combat stories he gloats about consist of him murdering defenseless civilians in third world countries, and he's clearly a vastly inferior commanding officer compared to Lely. In the present-day, the main threat he poses comes him being so heavily-armed and armored in an environment where no one else has access to the same firepower. Sure enough, the stand-off can easily end with the detectives using their superior wits and quick-thinking to take him down.
- Break Him By Talking: A milder example than most, but during the Tribunal by choosing dialog options that throw him off his guard this all adds to the Skill Check to shoot/throw a molotov at him and makes your actual confrontation with him much easier.
- The Brute: Like all of the mercenaries he is a large, imposing presence, bred for violence.
- Climax Boss: Inasmuch as you ever fight anyone in the game, he's still a "boss" in that you have to overcome him with a combination of wits and, hopefully, having done your homework in the past, which gives you an edge with striking first. There's still more game after the Tribunal, but this is where the shit hits the fan the most and everything after is falling action.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He is preoccupied with avenging the death of his foster brother.
- Hate Sink: As if him being a bloodthirsty war criminal isn't enough, he's also a vulgar and boorish racist. Even before you find that out, he comes across as an obnoxious jerk who's lying to your face about who he really is. He's an all-around detestable scumbag and him getting shot in the face or set on fire during the tribunal is richly deserved.
- Karmic Death: He thinks he's dealing with some defenseless natives and that he can get away with murdering them, only for him to get capped in the head instead. It also counts as an Ironic Death if you blow him up using the necktie Molotov cocktail, as he proudly mentions that his squad used to bomb civilians using a mortar.
- Last Breath Bullet: If you manage to mortally wound him during the confrontation during the Tribunal, his last act before he expires will be shooting and wounding you in turn in a spiteful act of revenge.
- Man on Fire: A potential way you can kill him doing the Tribunal via the Spirit Bomb.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: His clothes don't fit and he's roughly three times the size of any of the other scabs in the crowd he's riling up.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Barring the fact that he casually hisses racial slurs like "kipt" and "loincloth," he takes great pride in having murdered countless innocent black people during his tour in the Semenese islands.
- Psycho for Hire: Possibly the only character in the game without any sympathetic qualities, Kortenaer is a violent psychopath through and through, and he reminisces on the war crimes he and the squad committed with what can only be described as an extremely warped kind of nostalgia. The only thing that humanizes him even sightly is the fact that the hanged man was his brother, and he feels compelled to avenge his death. If you can stomach it (various skills beg you not to) you can listen to him brag about the ghastly things his team did to other natives who happened to get in the way of corporate interests.
- Rabble Rouser: At the start of the game he's posing as a scab leader, trying to break the dockworkers' strike.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: If you show him the photo of the Hanged Man's tattoos, he'll start reminiscing about a fond memory he has of a tour they were both on. Physical Endurance quickly senses that something is amiss based on his eerily dreamy tone and strongly urges you not to listen to his story. What follows is a graphic description of him and a squad-mate raping a Semenese woman to death before slicing pieces of her corpse off to keep as trophies. His calmness as he describes this is nothing short of bloodcurdling.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What he intends to do at Whirling-in-Rags, at the climactic scene of the game. It's up to you, a disheveled drunk who talks to his own necktie, to stop him from massacring the hotel's patrons.
- Smug Snake: He views the inhabitants of Martinaise as drooling savages he can freely take advantage of without consequences. This first comes up when you meet him at the picket line, as it's glaringly obvious he's acting in bad faith but he doesn't think anyone is intelligent enough to see through his disguise. He also doesn't take you or Kim seriously when you attempt to deescalate the tribunal, which can end very poorly for him.
- Sociopathic Soldier: He's a sadistic Blood Knight who thinks he's above the laws of a backwater country like Moralintern-occupied Revachol, and more interested in making a nasty example out of the Hardie Boys than in finding out who actually killed the Hanged Man.
- Straight for the Commander: You are encouraged by Kim to do this to him during the Tribunal, as the confusion it would create could allow you to catch his two subordinates by surprise. It works... until he manages to fire a Last Breath Bullet at you.
- Vocal Dissonance: The game notes that he has an oddly high, scratchy voice for such a large man. Voice acting also gives him a slight lisp.
Lely / Colonel Ellis Kortenaer
"Lely", short for Lelystad, colonel in command of the mercenary squad sent by Wild Pines. One week ago, he was murdered and strung up naked in a tree behind the Whirling-in-Rags, and you were sent to investigate. Depending on how overactive your imagination is, you may wind up having a conversation with his corpse.
- Abusive Parents: At several points. Not only was he abandoned as an infant by his real parents, by his foster brother's admission, his foster father beat the crap out of both brothers on several occasions.
- All Girls Want Bad Guys: Klaasje is pretty frank that the fact that he was a killer excited her.
- Anti-Villain: He is definitely portrayed tragically for such a bad dude. The psychopathic bravado you see on display in the "Doorgunner Megamix" that earned him the undying hatred of the locals was mostly an act so his squad wouldn't see him as soft, plus it was his warped idea of a joke. While he was unquestionably a terrible person who would do terrible things without much thought, he didn't actually seem to revel in it the way his squad did. It's heavily hinted in your Inland Empire conversations with him/his corpse that underneath everything he's still just the scared little boy who was left in a leaf compactor by his birth family and beaten by his stepdad. This is in sharp contrast to the rest of his squad, who also act in the way shown by the "Doorgunner Megamix" except it's very, very real and they are definitely not tragic figures.
- Asshole Victim: Zigzagged. He didn't rape Klaasje, but that was part of the fantasy they shared, and he did get up and sing a paratrooper song (about taking and holding foreign soil) in front of the crowd at the Whirling. But on the whole, for someone who was ostensibly "just" a thug for hire, his character is surprisingly humanized throughout the course of the investigation. You gradually learn that his life on the whole was rather tragic and that while he unquestionably still was a violent war criminal like the rest of his squad, he was probably also the most morally upstanding one of them (which admittedly isn't saying much), surprisingly in spite of how much life had kicked the ever-loving crap out of him.
- Boom, Headshot!: How he actually died. You won't discover it unless you thoroughly examine his corpse, because it was a Pretty Little Headshot that hit him in the mouth, there was no exit wound, and the entry wound ended up being hidden by his hair and the post-mortem swelling. Much to the disappointment of the true culprit, who had hoped to make his death much more gory.The Killer: Now that I think of it, I wasn't aiming for his mouth. I wanted his brains to spill out on her... but... (shrugs) you can't have everything.
- Covered with Scars: One of the things both you and Kim notice during the autopsy, and the most striking sign of the extremely rough and violent life he had led.
- Expy: Like Planescape: Torment's Nameless One, he's a nameless (in his case Only Known By His Nickname), heavily scarred, heavily tattooed war veteran with a softer side, and along with the Deserter, serves as a Not So Different, road-not-taken Foil for the Player Character, much like the Nameless One's past lives. Of course, while the Nameless One's corpse-like appearance didn't stop him from being quite the successful lady's man, he was never quite as far-gone as the Hanged Man — left to rot for seven days at the point when you meet him. And much as the Nameless One's spoke with the dead and recovered Repressed Memories, the Cop can carry out a conversation with the colonel's corpse — albeit only through the power of your imagination, courtesy of your Inland Empire and Empathy skills.
- The Face: Oddly enough, given the way he looks, he was actually the charismatic leader of his group. He may have chosen to intimidate and harass the locals, but he was also the one most likely to gather intelligence and choose the peaceful solution.
- Face of a Thug: Thanks to his facial injury, he really nails the "evil mercenary" look. And while he was definitely a bad dude with plenty of blood on his hands, he was also the most personable and reasonable member of his squad.
- Given Name Reveal: He exclusively went by his nickname "Lely", short for Lelystad, the name of the town he grew up in. He refused to reveal his full name to anyone all his life, even Klaasje, saying that it was his alone to know. You are finally able to uncover said name, Colonel Ellis Kortenaer, after asking Alice to look up his records after giving her the serial number for his armor. Having this knowledge also allows you to piece together his familial connection to Major Kortenaer, giving you a psychological edge against him during the Tribunal.
- Hookers and Blow: He went really off the rails at Whirling-in-Rags, in a way which got all the locals' backs up. Remind you of anyone?
- Human Notepad: He's covered in a pattern of strange grid-like tattoos. They're based on the riverways of Oranje, which medieval mercenaries would tattoo on their bodies to show where they'd fought — so that they would , symbolically, always know how to find their way home.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Despite of his generally scary outward appearance and all-around bad attitude, Klaasje noticed how his baby blue eyes somehow still managed to give him a strangely sympathetic quality.You: He had blue eyes, didn't he — your brother.
The Big Man: Baby blue, yeah... Like someone fucked up and put a baby's eyes on a grown man. It was creepy, but bitches... bitches like that shit, I guess.
- Kavorka Man: It's tempting to think of him this way, since your only interactions with the guy who completely swept Klaasje off her feet is a bloated, disgusting corpse. Even she admits that his scarred face was pretty frightening — but he had an amazing body.
- The Leader: Of the mercenary squad hired by Wild Pines. What is surprising is that, despite his intimidating size and looks, he was actually not a particularly headstrong leader, but actually leaned more towards being both the levelheaded and charismatic type.
- Male Gaze: You — or, at least, Inland Empire — are drawn to his penis. There's a reason for this.
- Moses in the Bulrushes: One of the few explicit details you learn about his past is that his real parents are unknown as he was found as an infant, left to die inside a leaf compactor.
- Not Blood Siblings: He's Raul Kortenaer's foster brother.
- Not So Different: Your subconscious directly compares him to you multiple times, and the more you find out about Lely the more you realize you had in common. Both he and the detective were extremely decorated agents of their respective fields, both have a history of being good at solving problems by through talking, both had a tendency for alcohol and drugs, and both of you were done in by love — him more directly, and the detective emotionally. Your first dream is of yourself hanging in his place (with disco ball lights, of course) directly comparing his bloated corpse with your alcohol-bloated pre-corpse.
- Out with a Bang: A dramatic version. He was assassinated right as he was in mid-coitus with Klaasje. Probably as a result of this, Inland Empire will tell you that he enjoyed himself in his moment of death and has a minor, but notable obsession with his genitalia during the field autopsy.
- Pragmatic Evil: Later conversations with his mercenary team paint him as the brains and conscience of the operation. While still a ruthless and murderous mercenary, he definitely would not have supported going rogue and massacring a bunch of local civilians.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: This is the reason the Hardies give for lynching him, but it's a lie. He and Klaasje both liked rough sex, and everything between them was consensual.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: His extensive life of violence and combat did not only manifest in a collection of scars on his body. There are several hints that his psyche had their fair share of some really deep ones too.
- Talking to the Dead: Obviously you can't actually talk to him, but Inland Empire allows you to imagine you are.
Phillis de Paule and Ruud "The Killer" Hoenkloewen
The two other members of the squad send by the Wild Pines company to protect Joyce and put hard against hard if need be in the negotiations with the Union. Unfortunately, the death of their leading officer, who happens to be the Hanged Man, has caused the squad to go rogue, and they are laying in low as they plan their revenge.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Applies to all of them during the during the climactic Tribunal scene, where their anger and all-around Trigger Happiness is greatly exacerbated by the fact that they're drunk off their asses and high on combat drugs. Hoenkloewen in particular is so out of it that his mumblings are barely intelligible, almost inaudible, and he has to support himself against a wall, waving his BFG in every direction. His drunkenness may in fact be the only thing that saves you.
- BFG: Hoenkloewen comes in armed with a rifle that fires six-round bursts and is designed to take out light vehicles. The fact that he's too drunk to be effective is the main thing that saves Harry after your first shot at Korty. If you fail to dodge and aren't wearing the mercenary breastplate, Harry takes a grazing wound in the shoulder from something that could have turned him into red mist.
- Breast Plate: It's not easy to see in full detail, but de Paule's armor is form-fitting in a way that emphasizes her physique. Since she usually has her back to the camera, it's rather easy to notice one detail.
- Creepy Monotone: One of the main thing you notice about de Paule is that, despite the fact that she appears as intoxicated the rest of her comrades, she speaks in a chillingly emotionless and flat voice for most of the Tribunal, as opposed to Korty and Hoenkloewen who are shouting angrily most of the time.
- Communications Officer: de Paule is the squad's radio operator.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Invoked, as the three mercs are battle-hardened professional soldiers geared up in military-grade arms and armor, and are up against what amounts to two detectives, a civilian security team, and a civilian who's way out of her depth. In the mercs' most impressive iteration of the tribunal, de Paule was implied to have killed Theo, Shanky, and Angus and managed to injure the rest including Kim while you blacked out. She might have gotten some help from Ruud, since he survived Kim's shot, but that's only speculative. It was still down to six Hardie Boys and Kim versus one merc, and they still only narrowly won.
- Dark Action Girl: De Paule is the only woman on the squad and, despite being uncomfortable in the frontlines, she will take down at least three of the Hardie Boys (as well as potentially severely injure Kim if you fail to warn him) before going down in the better outcomes.
- Eye Scream: Once the Tribunal fire fight goes off, Kim manages to pull off an almost impossible shot by nailing Hoenkloewen in one of the only weak spots in his face-concealing helmet. Namely, the right eye slot. (Un)Luckily for him, he actually survived that shot and was easy pickings for the surviving Hardies if they won that fight, or he gets recovered by Kortenaer if he was still alive.
- Fish out of Water:
- These mercs are used to operating out in the field in wartorn, third-world countries where they can pretty much do what they want with impunity. This mindset is on full display at the mercenary tribunal, where Korty, de Paul, and Hoenkloewen think of the people of Martinaise as "loincloths", and believing they can commit a mass murder in the street without consequences, in a city that's effectively run by the equivalent of the UN.
- Before you even meet them, Joyce notes that they've effectively gone rogue without their leader, since they have absolutely no idea how to conduct themselves outside of a war zone. The hanged man was savvy enough to slowly deescalate the situation by making some noise without actually hurting anybody, and had the social awareness to maneuver around this society with reasonable competence. Without him, the mercs act like a bunch of thugs without any awareness of concepts such as "law" and "decency." Joyce predicts that after the mercenary tribunal, no matter the outcome, Krenel is going to have to work around the clock for PR and yet another rebranding.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Their standard armour includes face-concealing ceramic helmets with filter nozzles, though Hoenkloewen is the only one you actually see wearing his in-game.
- Karma Houdini: The mercs become this in the event that some or all of them escape with their lives. It's stated in no uncertain terms that the surviving mercs won't face justice for their actions because they're shielded by Krenel's money and prestige. Then again, it's likely there will still be serious repercussions for what they did (see Pyrrhic Victory for further details).
- Kill Tally: Hoenkloewen has a tally of his kills as stick figures edged into the brim of his helmet. With high enough Perception, you notice that they are different colors and count about fifty black ones and two white ones at the end.Kortenaer: (about Hoenkloewen) What do you think he does?
You: Kills black people — almost exclusively?
- Light Is Not Good: The futuristic, bright white design of their armor is what really makes them stand out among the ruined streets and faded buildings of Martinaise, and is ultimately used to underscore the savage menace beneath the shiny surface.
- Meaningful Rename: Krenel used to be Downwell, and before that Somatosensor, each time rebranding after an on-the-job atrocity irreversibly tainted the previous iteration of the PMC.note
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: A blatant, straightforward example with Hoenkloewen's nickname: "the Killer".
- Politically Incorrect Villain: They liberally pepper their angry ranting and raving with a lot of racial slurs during the Tribunal and openly boast about their numerous war crimes, which mainly was committed against the indigenous Semenese people.
- Psycho for Hire: They are a squad of unstable mercs who have decided to go rogue to gun down the locals.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Even if some or all of the mercs don't leave Martainaise in body bags, it's likely the survivor(s) will be in a tough spot because of their actions. They won't be tried for the murders they committed (or the attempted murder of two police officers), but they'll have to explain to their employers why they got drunk and murdered a bunch of Moralintern citizens in broad daylight. This will be especially bad if de Paule is the only survivor, as she'll likely take the fall for the deaths of her squadmates so soon after losing their high-ranking commander (and presumably their expensive, high-tech equipment as well if their bodies weren't recovered in time). Keep in mind that Krenel is said to only have about 1,000 soldiers on their payroll, so losing even a few of these seasoned, highly-paid veterans in such a short span of time is not an insignifcant loss. The Union's huge reserves of manpower means that the deaths of a few Hardie Boys isn't anywhere as significant given they can be cheaply replaced.
- It's even worse if the player broke the deadlock between Wild Pines and the Union (although it's implied that will eventually happen anyway even without the player's intervention). The mercs were sent to Martainaise in the first place to protect Wild Pines' property, support the scabs in breaking the strike, and intimidate the striking dockworkers into surrendering. Not only did they fail to accomplish these tasks, but their abortive pogrom ends up being completely pointless when Wild Pines decides to let the Union have the harbor without a fight. Even if Wild Pines sent an expedition force to occupy Martainaise, it would never be able to win an asymmetrical guerrilla war with the Union's vast paramilitary army, especially now that the martyring of the Hardie Boys has made the locals hate Wild Pines even more. Besides causing what will likely be another embarrassing PR scandal for Krenel that will call their effectiveness as security contractors into question (after it's already renamed itself many times for similar incidents), the tribunal directly played into the Union's schemes. No one is going to be happy with what the surviving mercs did... except for maybe the Claire brothers.
- The Psycho Rangers: Four armed outsiders, three men and a woman, enter Martinaise. Their leader goes off the rails at the Whirling-In-Rags. One of the others stays out in the open and obfuscates who they are; the other two lie low and wait. The Station 41 team, or the mercenaries? The themes for both the mercenary tribunal and the moment when your squad questions your actions in order to determine your fitness to continue on as a detective even share a similar melody.Joyce: As your investigation reaches a climax, so does theirs. They are your shadow. Arm yourselves. Armour yourselves...
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: They did this disturbingly often while out in the field. While their Colonel was complicit in this behavior, he was also the only one who kept them from going completely off the rails with it.
- The Rich Have White Stuff: Being murderous Hired Guns on the payroll of various megacorps means they are quite well-funded, and as such have access to high-tech white armour which would be futuristic even in our world. The ceramic plates look like thin porcelain and are lighter than plastic, but virtually impervious to bullets. The sophistication of their gleaming armour is in stark contrast to their crudeness and brutality.
- Smug Snake: While it's true that they have a firepower advantage over the Hardie Boys and the detectives, they severely underestimate how capable their foes are of fighting back despite only having muzzle-loaders. The best outcome has them all getting wiped despite their bluster, no doubt because they allowed the detectives their wits to outwit them.
- Sociopathic Soldier: The mercs are sort of a deconstruction of this trope. They're so violent and maniacal that it hinders their effectiveness as operators. They have a fondness for debauchery and excessive violence for its own sake, which leads to them making breathtakingly bad decisions. After getting thoroughly hammered, they initiate a firefight with the Hardie Boys in broad daylight with dozens of potential witnesses nearby. While it's true that the Hardie Boys are an informally-trained paramilitary group, they still have weapons and are capable of fighting back even if they're at a disadvantage. This also leads them to think they can get away with threatening two high-ranking detectives and face no repercussions for it. Talking to Korty reveals that he barely put any thought into the operation beforehand and has virtually no experience as a commander. Hoenkloewen is so drunk that he's barely able to stand upright or keep his rifle from flailing around, which in real life would raise the risk of him accidentally shooting one of his squad-mates. They're definitely dangerous, but they're also incompetent and arrogant in a lot of ways, and the only reason why they have lasted so long in the business is that all of their prior experience was in brutalizing poorly armed natives in third world countries. That may be why you and Kim can potentially nail all three of them in quick succession despite having inferior weaponry and training.
- Support Party Member: Downplayed with de Paule, who is normally the squad's radio operator. During the Tribunal, she is still a clear threat as a combatant, being heavily armored and a good shot, but you will notice that she is clearly uncomfortable in her armor, and is obviously trying to hurry things along because she doesn't like being on the frontlines.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Defied Trope. Once the Tribunal begins, they are all angry, drunk, and out for bloody revenge, and all state with absolutely no ambiguity that they will not step down until they have executed all the Hardie Boys and anyone else they think are even remotely responsible, and they will reject any and all of your pleas for them to stop what they are doing and see reason. Exhausting your dialogue options with them will result in them starting their massacre and forcing you to kill them. Ultimately, the only way to steer the situation into anything remotely resembling a sane outcome is by picking your dialogue choices carefully to distract Kortenar and get him on the backfoot, and then taking the first shot and hoping for the best.
- Trigger Happy: Both Hoenkloewen and de Paule falls heavily into this. During the entire opening of the Tribunal, they are both clearly chomping at the bit to open fire on the Hardie Boys, and though they have discipline enough to wait for Kortenaer giving his go-ahead to do so, they are constantly begging him to give it to them.
- Unobtanium: Their bullet-resistant ceramic exoskeletons are made of uncommon materials. Hunting down a complete set of your own will take the entire game.
The Insulindian Phasmid
As it turns out, the cryptid Lena and her husband were searching for was Real After All. You not only get to see this massive stick insect, you can talk to it — after a fashion.
- Ambiguous Situation: How much of what the Phasmid tells you are things you already knew but never pieced together, and how much is it stuff you are somehow sensing via its strange effect on humans? Heck, is it even intelligent, or are you just imagining it like so much else?
- Benevolent Monsters: Shy, herbivorous and empathetic, the Phasmid is a very unusual giant video game insect. It mostly expresses deep pity and admiration for your ability to not go completely insane with the brain you have. As a parting gift, it gives you the evidence you need to solve your case: the murdered man's helmet and the sniper scope for the murder weapon.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: It's a three-meter-tall stick insect. Rather than a monstrous foe, however, it's a skittish, curious animal of a species which has managed to go almost entirely unnoticed during three-hundred years of human settlement in Insulinde.
- Book-Ends: One of the only things you know about your pre-amnesia freakout is that you screamed "I don't want to be this kind of animal anymore!" Upon discovering the Phasmid, you can declare that it is exactly the kind of animal you wished you were.
- The End of the World as We Know It: What the Phasmid predicts humans are bringing — the pale is somehow a byproduct of human intelligence. At least that's what your imagination tells you.
- He Was Right There All Along: It's definitely already watching you when you're on the Deserter's island, but it may have also been around when you were laying lures for it. A background detail in the description of you checking the traps is that there's just some reeds blowing in the wind nearby. Reeds which the Phasmid can imitate with its natural camouflage.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: The Phasmid, along with most other forms of life, are terrified of humans thanks to their seeming ability to create the pale.Insulindian Phasmid: You are a violent and irrepressible miracle. The vacuum of cosmos and the stars burning in it are afraid of you. Given enough time you would wipe us all out and replace us with nothing — just by accident.
- Ignorance Is Bliss: The Phasmid has a brain too tiny for more than a few concepts at a time, and it considers having the mind of a human the highest hell imaginable. It has a point, in your case.
- Left the Background Music On: The game describes the sounds the Phasmid makes when you get close to it as strongly reminiscent of the click and hiss of a tape recording — the sound of which is audible throughout the game, particularly whenever you save or load. So was that sound just part of the game's interface? Or was it an in-universe hint that the Phasmid, or at least a phasmid, was lurking somewhere nearby in reeds that can be found in town and up and down the coast all through your sojourn in Martinaise? The game itself has nothing more to say on the subject.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The Deserter can't see it. It's also had some kind of degenerative neurological effect on him, over the many years they've shared the island together. Trying to directly point the creature out to him has him go catatonic, as if his brain's short-circuiting.
- Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: It's a 10-foot whiskered stick insect that can fold itself up to resemble a reed. As a species it's managed to stay out of sight from humans through the 300 years since Insulinde was first colonized, with this specific individual implied to have been living alongside the Deserter for decades.
- Playing The Heartstrings: Its theme is a lush, sweeping string piece, bittersweet and sad yet full of hope and wonder, suggesting that despite all the hardship and violence behind you — and still ahead — somehow it's all going to be okay. It makes for a distinct counterpoint to the anticlimax of finding the actual murderer, as if that was the side-story and this is the solution to the real mystery.
- Perception Filter: Its pheromones, no longer useful as the species reproduces parthenogenically, have evolved to have psychoactive effects on humans which cause them to forget having seen it and ignore it when it's there — but you (and Electrochemistry) theorize that it must take time to work, meaning it must also rely on its natural camouflage until the memory stuff kicks in. It may have inadvertently allowed the Deserter to survive hidden on his island for around 43 years because of this ability extending to its surroundings; he accidentally found the perfect hideout where nobody ever looks, almost directly on top of the creature's nest.
- Thieving Magpie: The Phasmid feathers its nest with a few treasures discovered along the coast: Klaasje's missing passport, the scope for the Deserter's rifle, and the Hanged Man's helmet, which Cuno kicked into the sea.
- Truly Single Parent: Its species has evolved to reproduce through parthenogenesis and have no need of a partner to fertilize their eggs — which means all extant Insulindian phasmids are clones, genetically speaking.
Kras MazovThe father of scientific communism, the Premier of the Communist Party of Shest and Graad during the Antecentennial Revolution, the head of the Eleven Day Government, and the figurehead of the communist movement, even to this day.
- Badass Beard: His most distinctive physical characteristic.
- Color Motif: Both he and his ideology are heavily associated with white, it being the official color of communism in Disco Elysium's world rather than red.
- Glorious Leader: He was this to the communards.
- Never Suicide: His death is widely believed to have been a suicide. Once you resolve the "The Suicide of Kras Mazov" thought, however, you can begin to question this. Although it is left ambiguous whether you are actually asking good questions about the more unclear circumstances surrounding Mazov's demise and that the current government might have a vested interest in obscuring these, or just inventing baseless conspiracy theories because the idea of your ideological hero killing himself in a fit of depression is an uncomfortable thought to carry around.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: As the founder of communism in-universe, he's clearly meant to be a stand-in for Karl Marx, right down to his name, initials, and even his appearance: full beard, balding in the front, hair longer in the back. His life was admittedly quite a bit more dramatic than Marx's, however, incorporating something of Vladimir Lenin by leading his own Communist revolution rather than merely theorizing about it. His popularity among modern youth culture also evokes Che Guevara, while his ignominious bunker suicide on the eve of the Revolution's defeat resembles the death of Adolf Hitler.
Ignus NielsonA Vaasan Communist who was one of the major figures of the Antecentennial Revolution.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: The Communist vision quest makes it pretty clear he's one for Che Guevara, travelling the globe inciting revolutions both successful and failed only to meet a premature end.
Her Innocence of interisolary travel and the connected world, one of the principle figures behind Moralism. She was the principle adviser to Irene La Navigateur, Queen of Suresne, 300 years prior to the events of the game.
- Angelic Beauty: Described as being "insultingly beautiful", just seeing her on a stained glass window in the church transfixes you in a way that your Skills try to warn you away from, though it's later revealed this is due to her name and appearance subconsciously reminding you of your ex-fiance, Dora.
- Ambiguously Human: Beyond her supposedly glowing lungs and her almost divine beauty, the secret serviceman who assassinated her claimed that she was unnaturally warm to the touch (like a furnace) and that he observed her forgetting to breath for up to ten minutes at a time. Whether or not any of this is true or just a mix of allegory taken literally and the ramblings of an insane man is left ambiguous.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: She eventually faced her end at the hands of a member of her own secret service. The young man in question apparently killed her because he feared she was a Humanoid Abomination; though most historians write him off as insane, some wonder if there wasn't some truth to his words...
- Bold Explorer: The Patron Saint of exploration, as the means by which travel across the pale to other isolas could occur was discovered during her reign, leading to the Columbus-like discovery of the New New World of Insulinde, an isola apparently entirely empty of human life until that time.
- Cherubic Choir: The theme that plays in the abandoned church, under the gaze of the broken stained-glass window of Dolores Dei consists of a sweet-voiced choir singing over a low, discordant Drone of Dread, seemingly hinting at the link between the saintly and beautiful Innocence with the pale which was first explored during her reign. As well as the link between her church and the 2mm hole of nascent pale in the world.
- Disposable Love Interest: In-universe. She's mentioned as first appearing on the scene as the wife of an influential Marchese man, but your Encyclopedia skill will note that next-to-nothing is actually known about the man himself and that he vanished from records shortly after, as though his only role in life was to introduce her to the court.
- The Fundamentalist: Her critics accuse her as being one. She waged several wars against the Mesque State for trying to move away from the Innocentic church in response to their growing secularism, violently suppressed dissent with a personal force called the Army of Humanity, and spearheaded mandatory education and colonisation programmes to spread her message. Even Kim, a staunch Moralist, does not try to downplay her actions as being any less than troubling.
- Heart Symbol: Not quite, but it's because of her and her reputedly glowing lungs that the heart symbol is replaced by a set of lungs as the symbol of love and faith in the Real Belt, where Revachol is located.
- High Priest: As Innocence she was something akin to The Pope of her day, the spiritual and political leader of the world — almost a prophet, a once-in-a-lifetime divinely inspired leader of the Moralist church.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: A mysterious woman who appeared at court, led the church to war and triumph, and was struck down by one of her own followers for being something other than human.
- Meaningful Name: Dolores Dei is Latin for "sorrows of God."
- Messianic Archetype: A Christ-like saviour figure considered 'the greatest Innocence,' not the founder of the Crystal Dragon Jesus Moralist church but central to its reform, but subverted by her Joan of Arc-like crusade against less devout nations. Following her death the church renamed itself to Dolorianism in her honour.
Dora Ingerlund; The Ex-Something, The Apricot-Scented One, The White Shadow
Your ex-fiancée. The very existence of *her* constitutes a majority of your past and present actions.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's never firmly established if Dora left Harry because she was cold and heartless (as Jean claims), if she genuinely loved him but was driven away over the years by his toxic behavior, or if she simply stopped loving him and moved on. Harry's dream of her ultimately doesn't provide any clear answers either, because the version of Dora he interacts with is so distorted and warped by a combination of Harry's extreme self-hatred and guilt from believing that he failed her, the anger he feels towards her for leaving him, and, not least, his MadonnaWhore Complex, that she barely resembles the actual woman any more.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her relationship with you can be seen as a deconstruction of the trope. She initially fell in love with you because she was attracted to your raw energy and devil-may-care attitude. But your mental instability and self-destructive behavior made the relationship turn increasingly sour over the years and eventually it drove her away. Maybe.
- Alpha Bitch: Jean's dismissive opinion of her. She was a well-off middle class woman who was always out of your league. Incredible in bed, though.
- The Dreaded: In your mind — your skills are terrified of her, or rather, you remembering her. Inland Empire in particular will take every opportunity it can to distract or otherwise warn you away from clues that remind you of her.Ancient Reptilian Brain: We're trying to help you. All these processes — these tortures, voices and tremors — are just *distractions*. Flares and countermeasures. To keep you from the *last dream*. The worst of them all.
- Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Invoked In-Universe. Your brain pictures her as Dolores Dei and steeps everything surrounding her in heavy-handed symbolism, to the point where it's impossible to tell what actually happened and what's just you searching desperately for meaning in her leaving you.
- Final Boss: Or Post-Final Boss — inasmuch as a game like this has either — depending on how you view the tribunal and whether or not you rest in the sea fort before or after tracking down the Deserter. Subverted in that while in many ways the final confrontation of the mystery of who you are, The Reveal your Quest for Identity has been building toward all game, you meet her in an easily missable dream sequence, you can't fight her, and there are no dialogue checks that will work on her. You can't defeat her, convince her to stay, talk her away, or gain any kind of real closure, other than the knowledge that maybe someday (perhaps twenty years from now), the pain of her leaving won't hurt quite as badly. Until then she'll still be part of you, in your dreams every other night.Dolores Dei/Dora: No, Harry. No. I don't want a *massive epic showdown*. I want to go to the aerodrome.
- I Have Many Names: In your mind, she's the *ex-something*, or the Apricot-Scented One, or the Shadow. Anything that will let you distance yourself from the pain of actually remembering her.
- Light Is Not Good: One of the forms she takes in your mind is that of a white shadow.
- Love at First Sight: It happened mutually between the two of you. You met by chance at a bus stop on Wayfarer Road; she thought you were one of the "coolest" people she had ever met, and you found her incredibly beautiful, and you instantly made a connection.
- Love Hurts: And how! Your mind tries its hardest to block the memory of her. And seeing how you react to rediscovering her existence by having a blackout from the sheer emotional stress that washes in over you when you do, can you really blame it?
- Recurring Dreams: You were dreaming of the day she left you up to three-to-four times a week before the investigation, which is heavily implied to have been the primary factor in your mental breakdown. Your Reptilian Brain and Limbic system later reveal that they've been making sleep almost impossible for you in an effort to stop this happening again.
- The One That Got Away: No matter how you play, the loss of her weighs extremely heavily on you. Most tellingly, when you wind up reflexively calling her on the phone, the choices in your dialogue tree are conspicuously limited — you can only react with extreme sadness, confusion and distress over hearing her voice, made worse by your amnesia making it so that you don't understand why you're reacting like that.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: There are indications that a big hurdle in your relationship was her status as a Uptown Girl. Though more on your part, than on hers. While all objective evidence, such as her letter, appears to insinuate that she loved dearly you despite your financial status, you were extremely self-conscious about the fact that you were poorer than her and was plagued by the fear that you weren't good enough for her, and nursed fears that she would leave you over this. Becoming a part of the RCM was originally a bid to impress her, but it turned out you actually excelled in the field. The stress of being a detective did, however, also worsen your metal state and lead you down a path of intense substance abuse and depressive episodes, which played a big part in souring and eventually entirely dissolving your relationship.
- Sexy Scandinavian: As her name implies, she has roots in Vaasa, Elysium's equivalent of Scandinavia. If you pass a Encyclopedia check upon being told this, you will remember that Vaasa has a bit of a reputation as being the home land of impossibly beautiful blonde people.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Apricot-flavored chewing gum. It is unknown how much Dora saw it as a part of her identity, but you cannot help but associate her with it.
- Trauma Button: Of a sort, for The Detective, considering that the space she took in your head instigated your blackout, and that the paper of hers you find hidden in your clipboard facilitated a second blackout. Even subconscious reminders of her are enough to deeply upset you.
- Unreliable Narrator: The dream you have of her leaving you in the guise of Dolores Dei, who states that she's been so warped by your own memories, nostalgia, self-loathing, and insanity that she barely resembles the original woman. Her dialogue with you swings between her sadly but gently trying to let you down, coldly and hurtfully outlining your personal issues as justification for it, and venomously dismissing you as a poverty-stricken failure. Some of her dialogue also implies that you are subconsciously aware of the fact that your perception of her is quite divorced from reality, as she more than once pleads with you to stop seeing her as an godly icon, and instead accept that she was merely a human being with all the flaws that entails.
- Uptown Girl: She was a young upper-class socialite and you were a high-school gym teacher when you met. There are several implications that her rich background made you feel inadequate, and both motivated your entry into law enforcement, in a bid to impress her, as well as started that rift that eventually drove the two of you apart (though the latter is possibly just said feelings of inadequacy speaking).