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)
You, The Detective
The main character and focal point for the game, a washed-up Defective Detective who wakes up one crisp early winter morning in a hotel room only to discover he's lost his memory.
- Acrofatic: Downplayed. You're not excessively fat but do have a gut, but despite having let yourself go over the years, if your Savoir Faire is high, the Detective becomes both stealthy and hard to knock down. With a high Physical Instrument, meanwhile, you possess considerable reserves of Stout Strength. Kim is genuinely impressed by how you manage to run almost continuously all day every day (though Electrochemistry claims that's just trace amounts of Speed lingering in your system), and no matter what your actual skills, if you manage to knock out Measurehead, it's with a spinning flip-kick to the head. You used to be a high school gym teacher before becoming a detective, which helps explain some of this.
- Ambiguous Situation: Even if the player plays a completely straight-edge Sorry Cop, completely regretting everything they've done and wanting to improve themselves while solving the case with flying colors, whether or not this attitude will actually stick is left open in the ending. Jean and Judit will point out in the finale that you've gone through a similar routine several times in the past, only to fall off the wagon and revert to their older, nastier personality in short order, and that this isn't the first time you've gotten blackout drunk and suffered amnesia.
- Always Gets His Man: You were apparently known as the "human can opener" before you lost your memory because you had an absolutely ridiculous success rate at getting people to confess
- Apologizes a Lot: As a Sorry Cop, you're constantly apologizing for the awful mess you've made of your life and your clear lack of professionalism — which only further undermines your authority as a police officer, as Kim notes.
- Awesome Mc Coolname:
- The real name of the Detective that can be discovered during playthrough is Harrier "Harry" Du Bois. Kim speculates that it came about during wartime. In a subversion of the trope, the Player Character can accept it or deny it all together.
- If you fail the Conceptualization check when Kim first asks for your name, you immediately come up with "Raphaël Ambrosius Costeau", which both you and Conceptualization are convinced is very cool. Continuing to use it even after you discover your real one nets you a thought for your cabinet.
- Bad Boss: While your case record establishes that you are a very competent detective, the finale reveals that your instability and alcoholism has made you a terrible task force leader. Your team only has two loyal members left, both of which bitterly note that your behavior and frequent meltdowns has driven everyone else away.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
- The most likely playstyle is as an eccentric cop. You can be an addiction-riddled, conspiracy-theory "race realist" maniac who also happens to be able to pull information from crime scenes incredibly easily and is able to deduce information logically and accurately.You: Chaos is my method. I am its scion.
- This applied even before the player character lost his memory. Your case files, once found, show that while you were still pretty volatile and struggling with substance abuse and bouts of self-destructive behavior, you were very good at your job. Over the course of an eighteen year career, you managed to close 216 cases while maintaining a workload of about two cases a week with only three recorded kills in that entire time, which Kim notes is a pretty extraordinary record.
- The most likely playstyle is as an eccentric cop. You can be an addiction-riddled, conspiracy-theory "race realist" maniac who also happens to be able to pull information from crime scenes incredibly easily and is able to deduce information logically and accurately.
- By-the-Book Cop: A Boring Cop strives against all odds to maintain professionalism and act like a proper cop — despite the way your mutton chops and The Expression make you look.
- Broken Smile: The Expression, for all the manic energy it exudes on the surface, also clearly hints at the deep, deep sadness inside you.
- Bungled Suicide: At least implied. When you regain consciousness at the start of the story, you awake under your hostel room's loft ventilator with your tie hanging from said ventilator, seeming to indicate that you had been attempting, or at least planning to hang yourself before you blacked out. There are a couple other clues to this being the case; Inland Empire is instantly distrustful of the Horrific Necktie if it starts speaking to you, and the first dream sequence has you meeting yourself hanging in the corpse's place.
- Crazy Sane: Against all odds, the consultant of your squad suggest you might be this — you're too sane for this reality, and drinking yourself to oblivion is how you cope with the batshit insane world you live in.
- Declining Promotion: It is right there in your rank. "Yefreitor" is a honorary rank in the RCM given to an officer who has declined a promotion. You have even done so twice. You cannot remember exactly why though.
- Defective Detective: No matter what you pick, something is seriously wrong with you. You either have a whole suite of mental issues, are addicted to a variety of substances, are riddled with awful body issues, or have some combination of the three. As the story unfolds, you discover that you have quite an extensive history
- Or, even worse, you have an "actual art degree"!
- Determinator: The gameplay pretty much orients you towards play one. While you may be a Determined Defeatist instead, the most constant thing across all possible playstyles is that you never stop chasing leads and will get whoever you have in your sight to talk, given enough time.Limbic System: He is the infernal engine. He never stops. He only gets worse.
- The Dreaded: To criminals, you're a "human can-opener", a relentless investigator who never stops asking questions and often manages to pit suspects against each other, making them talk. Ruby believes you and your squad are a hit team of Killer Cops working the for gang leader La Puta Madre, and a late-game quest has you investigate whether or not you are in fact dirty.
- Dirty Cop: You're free to take bribes and declare out loud that you're incredibly corrupt. Ruby believes you're a Killer Cop on the payroll of La Puta Madre — you're the reason she's in hiding. In the ending, your Station 41 partner firmly establishes you aren't one, if for no other reason than because you aren't stable enough to be used that way.
- An amnesiac protagonist with a dubious or glorious past as a detective who can have Amnesiac Dissonance? Voluminous dialogue options which reward the player more than just going for a blunt and obvious approach? Are we talking about the Detective or The Nameless One?
- The potential to become a Defective Detective who can be corrupt, filthy, racist, and completely unlikeable while excessively imbibing on drugs and alcohol and repeatedly dealing with a Battle in the Center of the Mind as he desperately tries to solve a case also draws parallels to Bruce Robertson.
- A detective who is noted for his natural talent, strong work ethic and sense of justice, and an unwavering dedication to cleaning up crime, yet with an abrasive personality that regularily brings him in conflict with his colleages, a massive drinking problem, and a very messy personal life marked by heartbreak, and he is a member of a special police task force named something with Major Crime? That sounds quite a lot like Jimmy McNulty.
- Glass Cannon: Theoretically you can have only one point in the physical attribute. This means the Detective is highly competent in many areas, but one bout of exertion can kill him easily. The same can happen if you have only one point of Morale due to starting off with only one Psyche; you could freak out and quit the game after seeing the hanging body.
- Guttural Growler: The few times you actually speak out loud in cutscenes, it's in the raspy voice of the Ancient Reptilian Brain.
- Hearing Voices: A key part of the game and your character. Your various skills, as well as other parts of your body, talk to you, give you advice (sometimes good, sometimes bad), try to force you to see things their way, and quarrel among themselves.
- I Was Quite a Looker: The picture on your badge is you at a younger age when you were much less broken by your lifestyle and it shows that you were once not a bad-looking person at all.
- Jaded Washout: Particularly when playing a Sorry Cop, you're quick to assume you haven't done anything with your life and the RCM must be desperate if someone like you can be a detective. Subverted as you discover more and more of your past — you didn't peak in high school (or as a high school gym teacher), you were in fact a superstar detective who hit an early mid-life crisis when the woman you loved left you six years ago.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: You have a quite prominent chin, and it is practically the only remaining vestiage of the rugged good looks you used to have back in your youth.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Your amnesia starts broadly enough that you cannot remember anything about your past and even have to be reminded what money is. As your memories do slowly start coming back however, there are moments where it is as though something in your mind is actively blocking your attempts to remember your past. This leads to scenarios and confrontations where your character should remember or realize something blindingly obvious, only for it to go completely over their head. The 'Cleaning Out the Rooms' thought is even the protagonist acknowledging that something is ensuring that you only remember things when it deems it suitable.
- Last of His Kind: One thought all but outright states that you used to be a member of a eight-man gang of small-time delinquents called "the Fifteenth Indotribe" in your adolescence. The thought also notes that the seven other kids from the gang are dead, having fallen victims to car accidents or drug overdoses in the years since, and that you are the only one who remains.
- Mad Oracle: As the Cop of the Apocalypse, you're a disheveled, hung-over supposed police officer who shambles around the district announcing to passersby, suspects, and witnesses that The End Is Nigh.
- Married to the Job: Once you and Kim uncover your RCM service record, you find out that you were very consistently working two cases a week, something which Kim notices is an impressive workload, though clearly bordering on the excessive. You can in turn wonder if your mental breakdown and amnesia might actually have been caused by you burning out from extreme stress. During your final dream, both you and Dora will in part blame your obsession with your job for having wrought havoc on both your mental health and your relationship.
- Meaningful Name: Your full name and rank, Detective Lieutenant Double-Yefreitor Harrier "Harry" Du Bois, is noted to have two instances of the word "double". It fits well with a story where the duality of man is a central theme.
- Also, Harriers are a breed of French beagles, who are tracking dogs who specialize in sniffing down prey, as well as several species of hawk known to hunt low to the ground, picking out tiny animals out of wide fields. Kinda like what a detective should do, no?
- Mind Hive: Not in the usual sense, but your fractured psyche has all of your various mental and neural attributes talking to you like a bunch of Game Masters all vying for your attention, trapped in one single body.
- Mr. Imagination: As a man who can conduct conversations with the various pieces of his own mind. How much of what's going on in your head is just your imagination versus hallucinations you can't control versus the real possibility of some kind of supra-natural sixth sense is something of a sliding scale, and the game doesn't confirm anything one way or the other. In particular, Esprit de Corps, Shivers, and most of all Inland Empire all provide 'visions' of other people, places, and times you couldn't really be seeing — yet the information is often scarily accurate. Even Visual Calculus, one of your most straightforward, sensible skills, fills your vision with glowing images of diagrams and measurements.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Downplayed. Some parts of your past life are set (like your past job as a gym teacher, meteoric rise and fall as a detective, and breakup with Dora), but the parts of your personality/reputation that the game tracks (Superstar Cop, Apocalypse Cop, Sorry Cop, Boring Cop) are retroactively referenced by people who knew you in the past (like Dora in flashbacks or your squad in the present).
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: You can potentially be a foreigner/woman-hating fascist who uses "Welcome to Revachol" as a Catchphrase, though naturally Kim will not be happy with you.
- Perpetual Smiler: Your default expression is a particularly creepy smile known as "The Expression" that combined with your muttonchops makes you look rather disturbed. You can force yourself out of it by passing a difficult Electrochemistry skill check, upon which you become a Perpetual Frowner.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Defied. You start out the game in a dirty suit, tacky snake-skin shoes, and a horribly garish necktie. Your wardrobe from there on out consists of random articles of clothing you find or purchase second-hand, most of which looks worn, tacky, inappropriate, or all three. This combined with your bloated, pale appearance results in you always looking at least somewhat cartoonish and disheveled, no matter what you're wearing.
- Snipe Hunt: One possible explanation you can come up with for being put on the investigation despite being a complete wreck; that your higher-ups sent you solely to saddle their rival precinct's detective with The Load as a big joke. Kim dismisses this due to the highly competitive nature between the two precincts making such a move unlikely. Your impressive case record also demonstrates that you're not as incompetent as you may think. You also were supposed to begin the investigation with the assistance of your task force, but you wound up blowing them off and trying to do it on your own.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Your personality will likely tend towards this if you have a high intelligence stat. You will be very perceptive, be capable of easily picking up on and pointing out logical holes in other character's arguments and making quite insightful analyses of literature and art on the fly, and even your thoughts and theories on more "hard" scientific matters turn out to be scarily accurate at times. Of course, for maxium comedy, you can then deliver these deeply intellectual observations in as crass and foul-mouthed a manner as possible.
- Straw Character: Regardless of your political alignment, you'll end up coming off more as an extreme caricature of them more than anything.
- Straw Feminist: You can opt into being one (by slotting a thought called "Inexplicable Feminist Agenda"). Even some women can find it off-putting.
- One of the Kids: It's possible for your middle-aged protagonist to build a natural rapport with characters that are roughly half his age or less, such as the Anodic Dance Kids or Cuno. When your old partner reminds you that you were a former high school teacher, Kim notes how that must be why you're so "juvie".
- Vomiting Cop: You, due to a combination of the body being really grody from hanging for seven days and your own amnesia and crushing hangover/withdrawal symptoms making the smell more of a shock than it might otherwise. This can be overcome with an Endurance check.
- Working-Class Hero: Very much so. No matter how you play, you are heavily implied to come from a lower-middle class background, you are notably rough-edged in your behavior and manners, and your detective's salary is noted to be quite low. It is also implied that this what created the rift between you and Dora, who was a member of The Beautiful Elite.
- Would Hurt a Child: Not only can you punch Cuno in the face to assert your authority to him, you can shoot Cunoesse with a gun. Naturally, Kim strongly disapproves; the latter brings the investigation to a crashing halt, as reported in the newspaper game over screen.
- Younger Than They Look: Your lifestyle has taken a toll on your appearance and you look like quite an old man, but by internalizing a certain thought you can remember that you're 44 years old. Kim guesses you're pushing sixty. You can make yourself look slightly younger by shaving off your muttonchops.
Detective Lieutenant Kim Kitsuragi, Your Partner
- Agent Scully: He is completely unimpressed by the player trying to attribute otherworldy and outright mystical elements to the investigation, and gets especially annoyed if the player dedicates time to aiding the Phasmid researchers in their investigation. He's mostly willing to tolerate them because these pursuits do tend to have payoffs and steer the investigation in the right direction, potentially culminating in proving the existence of Phasmids.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Kim does show he has a sense of humor, even barely containing his laughter, when the Detective has a really funny observation.
- Adorkable: Aces high, natch! He also gets notably excited if he sees you fiddle around with the Suzerainty boardgame, and can be convinced to play a round with you by passing a fairly easy Suggestion check.
- Beleaguered Assistant: For more eccentric player characters, hes forced into this role. While he tries to maintain his composure and be accommodating of the players current physical and mental state, he's quickly and visibly exasperated with your strange and volatile behaviors, especially when they directly inhibit the investigation.
- Berserk Button: A mild case, in line with his stoic professionalism, but he doesn't like pinball or delinquents to the point of going out of his way to avoid even talking about either if he can help it.
- Blind Without 'Em: He mentions several times that the glasses aren't for show; his eyesight is getting worse even though he's only 43, to the point that he can't consistently hit a stationary target from a few meters away. His partner at Precinct 57 was even nicknamed "Eyes", because he had to point things out to Kim.
- That being said, his most impressive moment in the game is killing Hoenkloewen during the tribunal by shooting him through his visor, something which Hand-to-Eye-Coordination points out was an especially difficult shot.
- By-the-Book Cop: By the standards of the setting, at least; he cares far more about rules and procedure than most, even if he's not above bending the rules when necessary.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Downplayed. Kim is mostly content to let you indulge in your various crazy impulses and weird behavior, because — as he comes to admit after only seeing you in action for a little while — they tend to be surprisingly helpful in furthering the investigation. That said, he will also occasionally try to rein you in if you're going out on a tangent he thinks either is too time-consuming or otherwise doesn't appear productive in pushing the investigation forward, and he will especially protest if you do or try to do something violent. He will also often act as a walking disclaimer for your various political opinions, butting in on conversations to explain to the interview subject that your views doesn't represent the RCM's official views.
- Compelling Voice: A mundane example, but your own Authority skill notes that Kim's must be off the charts. While his incorruptibility means he'd never abuse it, Kim is a consummate police officer, and anyone with a modicum of respect for the law tends to listen up when he speaks up in that role.
- Consummate Professional: The Goodest of the Good Cops, as the game puts it. Kim does everything in his power to embody the authority and trust placed in the RCM. While he'll put up with a certain amount of your lack thereof, he'll come down hard if he thinks your "personal issues" are actively hampering the investigation.
- Creative Sterility: He notes himself that his imagination has a way of failing him. Conceptualization points out that the lieutenant's own conceptualization skills must be a bit weak. This is actually part of what impresses him about your own skills, regardless of what they are.
- Deadpan Snarker: When he occasionally cracks a joke or makes a witty observation by himself, they tend to be as dry as sun-bleached bones.
- Embarrassing Nickname: He doesn't really want to be known by his nickname of "Kimball", since while he's very good at pinball, he only does it for his job and doesn't want to be associated with it after it's done.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: And it is powerful. If you're unsubtle about your attempts to pry into his past, he makes use of this expression and instantly cows you into submission. Even the highly belligerent Authority skill is in awe of it.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Either or. While Kim generally allows you to take the lead in dialogue, he'll step in to steer if he sees fit. This means establishing authority if you get overly apologetic, weepy, or wacky, but also showing the sensitive side of the law if you're too aggressive, bigoted, or downright insane.
- Hidden Depths: He is very nerdy about cars. He is also ambivalent about his role in Revachol, as he really seems to love the State, but is seen as an outsider by those he's serving and protecting. But the biggest one is perhaps that while he is ostentatiously a Moralist, it becomes obvious as you get to know him better that he harbors at least a bit of sympathy towards the Communist cause.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Played with. Kim at one point states that he routinely scores 7/10 on his marksmanship tests, which is merely above average for most people but extraordinarily good for someone with acute myopia. That's to say nothing of the shot he takes on Ruud the Killer.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness : The Goodest of the Good Cops, so much so that you can't help but worry yourself about disappointing him even only having known him less than a day.
- The Lancer: In most playthroughs, Kim plays this role to the player; while your abilities can vary wildly depending on how you lay them out, Kim's Straight Man tendencies and his By-the-Book Cop knowledge of police procedure will make him the foil to almost all versions of the main character. He also tends to let the player take the lead.
- Million-to-One Chance: During the Tribunal, he manages to shoot the most heavily-armored of the mercenaries right in the only weak point, the eyes of his visor. This from a man who couldn't even hit a stationary target a few feet away days earlier. He got really lucky.
- Morality Pet: One potential way his relationship to the main character can play out. Many times before you do drugs, alcohol or other unprofessional things, you have the option to worry about how he might react to it.
- Not So Above It All: Doing some really impressive things can actually crack through his seemingly stiff exterior. If you manage to get the corpse off the the tree by shooting it down, he'll excitedly offer you an "aces high" (a high-five). Empathy and Esprit de Corps will also point out that Kim is often genuinely amused by some of your sharper one-liners and wittier observations, but for the most part he is simply too professional to let it show.
- Older Than They Look: He was able to pass as a teenager well into his thirties. The RCM kept him in the Juvenile Crime Unit for 15 years, working undercover to infiltrate an underground pinball ring. The ultimate reveal is that he is merely a year younger than you, 43 to your 44.
- The Stoic: Calm, unflappable, and professional to a fault.
- Straight Man: The most likely dynamic between the player character and Kim. Kim is a straight-edge policeman who is professional to the core and whose role in the game is to make sure the investigation still gets carried out even if you try your best not to.
- Straight Gay: It only comes up in a single dialog, but if you ask him to his face if he's gay (or part of the "Homo-sexual Underground", as your character puts it), he'll say yes with no further explanation or discussion. Given that he's the consummate Straight Man in every respect and there's almost no indication that he's gay anywhere else in the game, this trope obviously applies. Among other hints, he goes completely stone-faced if you rise to the bait of Cuno and Cunoesse repeatedly calling the two of you "faggots"; and if your Volition is high enough to realize Klaasje is manipulating you through your attraction to her, Kim merely says he's not easily swayed by young women.
- He also gets progressively more amused as Harry just can't put his finger on what makes The Smoker On The Balcony so different and compelling.
Your Character Sheet
Like all role playing games, you have a character sheet with skills. But in Disco Elysium, they each take on a life of their own, describing the world and events to you, sometimes even arguing amongst themselves over these descriptions, as well as challenging you with skill checks, acting as Game Masters for your brain.
- Anti-Villain: While the Limbic System and Ancient Reptilian Brain are both ruthlessly critical of the protagonist and constantly hound his attempts to get a peaceful sleep, by the end its revealed that they are doing this primarily to protect the player from their recurring dream of the moment their ex left him, which leading up to the events of the game was plaguing them three to four times a week and is heavily implied to be one of the major factors that lead to their mental breakdown, self-destructive bender, and subsequent amnesia episode in the first place.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Visual Calculus is your being Good with Numbers and knowledge of physics and apply it to various situations, most notably forensic recreation. It can also be combined with Perception in order to defend yourselves in gunfights.
- Body Horror: The Skills are depicted in their portraits as distorted, stretched, and misshapen representations of the human form, with multiple limbs, eyes, and other features. The art style deliberately set out to homage the works of Francis Bacon, the better to evoke your tortured mental state.
- Cast of Personifications: Each skill is an Anthropomorphic Personification, not just of the skill itself but also the portion of your brain associated with it.
- Cessation of Existence: In the intro, the Detective's Ancient Reptilian Brain describes you to be in a state of non-existence and tries to convince you to stay that way. In reality, its just the tail-end of an alcohol induced blackout.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Naturally, since theyre just personifications of body parts and functions. Their advice, helpful or otherwise, will almost always pertain to their specific function with little understanding of situations that do not call for them. Your adrenal gland does not understand the finer points of suggestion, and your mirror neurons are little help during a physical altercation, but that won't stop them from chiming in.
- Casanova Wannabe: High Electrochemistry can nudge you towards being this, as besides drugs, it also want to get its kicks through sex. It will even bend your thoughts to make the women you interact with appear more sexualized in your eyes, and tell you that they are interested in you sexually, even when your more socially aware skills such as Empathy and Suggestion tell you that is clearly not the case and that your lechery is highly inappropriate and making people visibly uncomfortable.
- Charm Person: Suggestion simultaneously makes the player get what they want out of others while resisting the charms of others. Too much makes you a weasel — even if you're the only one that knows it.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Inland Empire is the skill of imagination and lateral thinking, which means it will latch on to irrational ideas and let you argue with inanimate objects.
- The Cloud Cuckoo Lander Was Right: Inland Empire has some insane insights about the world, and they often turn out to be misdirections, but sometimes they're right on the money. Notably, it clues you in on the mouth of the murder victim, hinting that there's a bullet there. It also has a bizarre fascination with the penis of the murder victim, and the conclusion of Inland was that he enjoyed dying. There is some truth to it as well, since he was shot while he was having sex. Also, it warns you before the climatic Tribunal encounter happens. Finally, your character can figure out early on that the murderer is communism and/or love thanks to Inland Empire, but the full context is first revealed at the end game.
- The Determinator: Volition helps your will soldier on. In fact, it's one of the more reliable attributes throughout the game.
- Drama Queen: Drama, naturellement — pushing you to withhold information, stretch the truth, and generally milk your part in order to manufacture the most exciting possible moment.
- Amusingly, failed Authority checks also tends to make you act in over-the-top histrionics in extremely counterproductive attempts at saving your wounded pride.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Physical Instrument is one of the high school coach variety, often pushing you to perform physical feats, whether or not theyre necessary or even safe, and belittling you if you decide not to or fail.
- Dysfunction Junction: Given how dysfunctional the detective is, it's inevitable that the skills embodying his psyche are this as a group; almost all of them at least partially represent (and, therefore, personify) serious character flaws.
- Exposition Fairy: Encyclopedia's specialty. If high enough, it will inform you on the lore of the world when you hear terms that don't exist in the real world. If too high it will bombard you with useless trivia that is not particularly relevant, and may compel you to brag about this information or correct others, becoming an Insufferable Genius.
- Game Master: Each attribute acts like one, and speaks to you when something is relevant to them.
- The Generic Guy: Invoked by Volition. It is boring and will make you boring. It's proud of this. Subverted in that there's only so much it can do — it's still part of you, after all — and being the Only Sane Man in a crazy world makes you an oddity in and of itself.Volition: (on the other skills) They're all still of limited use, interpreting things to the best of their ability. Maybe they add flair or something? I wouldn't know. I don't add flair.
- Genius Loci: Unusual among the skills, rather than a voice in your own head, Shivers is said to embody the voice of the city, Revachol itself. The higher the skill, the more in tune you are with the city, its architecture and history, and in particular the chill wind that runs through it.
- Guttural Growler: The Ancient Reptilian Brain speaks in a deep, grimy voice when you are unconscious. As you regain consciousness, the Limbic System takes over the narration (the neocortex does not have a voice, presumably as it encompasses all of the other Skills seen here).
- The Heart: Empathy and Suggestion generally push for peace and understanding, occasionally to your detriment. Esprit de Corps gives you a window into the lives of your fellow RCM officers, as well as helping you to understand similar bonds among other groups — like the Hardie Boys, or the Deserter and his fellow Revolutionaries.
- Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Endurance likes to emphasize certain words like this. Examples includes "wömen", "vöws", and "bröther".
- He-Man Woman Hater: Endurance's attitude towards women is extremely hostile to say the least. He goes on a full-on venomous rant when asked about the subject:Endurance: Wö-Men. Men of Wö. You don't like them. They're insane. Their idiocy needs to be scrubbed off the world with rubbing alcohol. Wömen need to go back the fucking kitchen!
- The Hedonist: Electrochemistry. At low levels, the Detective is too naïve to understand the drug-riddled world of Revachol West. At high levels, he becomes a narco-nympho-dipsomaniac.
- Hope Bringer: With enough points put into it, Volition will constantly and often effectively try to rebuke your self-destructive and suicidal thoughts, telling you that no matter how bad things might seem and how seriously you might have screwed up, you can still become a better person and do good things.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Hand/Eye Coordination makes you a crack shot, i.e. being the skill you use to shoot the belt buckle holding the hanged man in the air or to shoot Kortenaer in the face during the tribunal. At high levels, it makes it very hard to resist taking the shot — fortunately or unfortunately, not having a gun for most of the game makes the latter a moot point.
- Lawful Stupid: Authority wants you to flex your power over others, including by enforcing laws in comically petty ways.
- Living Lie Detector: Drama can help you being a downplayed version of this. Because Drama concerns itself with allowing you to act natural or flippant in stressed situations and telling convincing lies, it can also often pick up on the tells other character exhibits when they try to do it to you.
- Lovable Rogue: Savoir Faire plays itself up as this, and can make you into one as well at high levels.
- Machine Empathy: Interfacing represents your ability to interact, fix, and feel, machines. At higher level this trope comes into effect. Too high, however, and you start thinking and empathizing more with machines and less with humans.
- Mad Artist: Conceptualization helps the Detective interpret and associate observations in interesting and creative ways. But when leveled too high, it becomes an overactive imagination trying to put extravagant misinterpretations of events in the head of the Detective and those he talks to.
- Masochism: If Pain Threshold becomes too high, you will go from being resistant to pain to actively liking it, and the Detective will start to seek it out in self-destructive ways.
- Misanthrope Supreme: The Limbic System (which is not a skill but still a character in its own right), in the introduction, describes the Detective's existence as an endless struggle on a big ball, where apes kill each other over resources.
- Morality Pet: Volition and Empathy act as this, steering you away from hurtful and self-destructive behavior.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Esprit de Corps and Shivers often give you a vague foreboding of far-off events that you have no real way of knowing about.
- Not So Above It All: You can get the inscrutable, mysterious, and collected Shivers to... join you in singing "Where the Hood At?". And they really get into it, with their text in All Caps.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- The only time you can be absolutely sure any given skill is not to misdirect you in any way, is when they say something that goes against their normal character.
- In a more straight example, upon meeting Dora (in the guise of Dolores Dei) in your dream, you can try to leave. Volition, essentially the personification of your own self-respect and self-determination, and who has reliably been the Only Sane Man inside your head, is for once utterly unable to help you and just gives up without even putting up a token resistance, and you remain frozen on the spot.Volition: I can't help you. I am totally useless. Everything I have said to you is lies. I want the exact same bad things you want.
- Only Sane Man: Volition, representing your sanity and self-control, will try to talk down the more extreme attributes and do its best to discourage you from the more irrational and self-destructive options. It will also never knowingly lie to, or otherwise try to misdirect you. Take it to its extreme however, and those same qualities will make you completely unwilling to take some of the insane, humiliating, and at-times dangerous steps necessary to solve the case. Notably, it is also ultimately mistaken about Klaasje. While it is right that you cannot trust her because of her tendency to liberally mix lies and truth, it also strongly suspects her of being the culprit and even seems somewhat eager to pin the crime on her. The problem is, she genuinely didn't do it.
- Pride: Authority is really all about this. At best, it can help you gain respect with people who doesn't hold you in particular high regard or project the force necessary to make someone obey a command, but at worst (which is disturbingly often) it drives you to act in an extremely petty and bossy manner toward people who Authority feels have slighted you in some way or another.
- Rabid Cop: Half-Light can turn you into this, if it is at too high a level, as it encourages you to respond to every threat with anger.
- Sensory Overload: When Perception is too strong, you are at the risk of this. After all, there is only so much sensory input the human brain can handle before it becomes overwhelming and confusing.
- Spider-Sense: Half-Light, which serves as your fight-or-flight response. Too high and it turns you into paranoid wreck, fearing things that might not even come to harm you.
- Strawman Political: Certain skills have political leanings. Endurance espouses Fascism, Savoir Faire is an Ultraliberal (Elysium's term for a libertarian), Rhetoric is all about rebuilding Communism, and Empathy generally favors Moralism (radical incremental centrism). Given their nature, their versions of political ideologies are basically a parody.
- The Smart Guy: All the Intelligence attributes embody this to an extent.
- The Social Expert: Several Skills, when combined, help the Detective become a master of emotional intelligence and manipulation, such as Empathy, Suggestion and Rhetoric.
- The Stoic: Higher levels of Composure allows you to pull this off, since it represents your emotional control (and knowledge of body language, and your fashion sense). Too high, however, and other can feel like you're being emotionless, since you're compelled to keep up your stoic nature all the time.
- Token Evil Teammate: The FYS skills in general, and Electrochemistry in particular, become this as they become a more dominant voice in your head. Electrochemistry will urge you to impulsively take drugs and alcohol in plain view, even from the most unsanitary of surfaces, and push you to embarass yourself by aggressively making a pass at women at inappropriate times. Meanwhile Half-Light is an impulsively violent and extremely paranoid personality when listened to and Endurance's fascist tendencies and misogyny and associated thoughts will make you resort to violence as a first option, preferably toward women while drunk. Physical Instrument will make you despise the "weak" and disabled, and Pain Threshold (eventually) wants you to do nothing but suffer. This makes Shivers the Token Good Teammate amongst the FYS skills, as it mostly gives you atmospheric details about the environment, and occasionally even hunches and advice that proves surprisingly helpful.
- Token Good Teammate: Volition is probably the one skill that never wants to mislead you or harm you, which is probably because it's the embodiment of your self respect. Having high Volition will keep you motivated during critical moments, and it's notably the only skill who's checks never involve anything bad happening.
- On a more negative side however, it is incredibly protective of you, to the point where its attempts to get you to maintain your dignity can potentially cut off avenues for investigating the case and make you a boring person. It is also very eager to pin the murder on Klassje after figuring out she's deceiving you, in a tone that clearly indicates that it is motivated more by wounded pride over her trying to hoodwink you than conviction over her guilt.
- Servile Snarker: Perception speaks in a very polite, old butler-like manner, most prominently calling you "sir", so when you fail to notice something very obvious, it tends to do this.
- Sherlock Scan: With Visual Calculus, you see the world through neon mathematical calculations and diagrams overlaid over the crime scene, picking out essential details and allowing you to succinctly communicate them.
- Snake Talk: The Limbic System, the somewhat more advanced part of your brain between the parts that govern conscious thought and the Ancient Reptilian Brain, speaks in a high-pitched hissing voice. It also governs physical sensation and primitive emotions like fear, so you hear it describe the worst parts of your hangover (physical and mental agony) before finally waking.
- Straw Misogynist: Endurance hates Wömen (men of Wö) and seems to think of them as some sort of hostile foreign invader.
- Straw Vulcan: The INT skills tend to fall into this. In particular, Logic and Rhetoric often don't understand why a double negative or some blunder that would lose points in a formal debate aren't really equivalent to a full-pledged murder confession.
- Those Two Guys: If Conceptualization and Inland Empire both are relatively strong, they start developing a friendly relationship with each other, often egging each other on to make their already very high concept ideas even crazy and more out there.
- Treacherous Quest Giver: At moderate and high levels, some Skills will give the player self-destructive quests that will lead to their satisfaction at the Detective's expense. Electrochemistry in particular doesn't even need to be at an especially high level to do this. Even with a point or two put into it, it will attempt to nudge you into substance abuse or hit on women who are not particularly interested in you.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe, Conceptualization certainly seems to think so. It doesn't matter if it's true or even if it makes sense, just that it feels suitably dramatic.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Drama expresses itself this way, with unnecessary haths and dosts and addressing you as "sire".Drama: She isth a laedy most fair and juste!
Satellite-Officer Jean Vicquemare, Patrol Officer Judit Minot and Special Consultant Trant Heidelstam / Precinct 41 Major Crime Unit
The rest of the Station 41 police team that was sent to investigate the hanging. You abandoned them at the beginning of your memory-obliterating bender, and they have been keeping their distance ever since.
- Cowboy Cop: Subverted in that under regular circumstances gruff, foul-mouthed, 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 "Horsefaced Woman" to begin with, a deeply unfair nickname Empathy 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 their life and career. Should the player prove their capability by solving the investigation, their 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.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Jean is mean-spirited and snarky and seems to be actively obstructing your Quest for Identity and the investigation, but from his perspective it's justified — you've been all but deliberately sabotaging the task force you put together, and this latest bout of Alcohol-Induced Idiocy and supposed amnesia is only adding insult to injury.
- 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.
- 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: 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 psychological profiling as a special consultant/witness for the RCM.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Communications Officer Alice DeMettrieAlice is the radio operator at Precinct 57 and your dispatcher for the investigation, taking care of the associated bureaucracy, performing research, and connecting phone calls as needed.
- 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 horrifically pathetic attempt at flirting 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Embarrassing First Name: Him and C thought his real name, Kuuno de Ruyter, sounded weak, so they changed it.
- Delinquent: As you might expect, Cuno is anti-social, doesn't go to school, and uses a lot of drugs.
- 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.
- 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 lowlifes, 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. And 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 actually was 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.
- Death Seeker: Responds with worrying glee to any perceived threat towards her from the protagonist detective's direction, all the way to a Suicide by Cop if the protagonist succeeds in the skillcheck to shoot her.
- 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 him.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: You're never told what her actual name is, only Cunoesse or "C". Nobody actually knows, not Cuno, possibly not 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.
- 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 Revachol. 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 a Savoir Faire check to get away from Garte. This does you more harm than good (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 Insulindan Phasmid has given her doubts that her seeing it as a child really was anything other than her imagination. 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.
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 took a lot of courage.
- 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 hostels he manages.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As rude and kind of 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.
- 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 extented 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.
An old army veteran and a hardcore royalist, still dreaming of the good old days when king Frissel the First was still in charge.
- 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.
- 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 comes close to something like grief.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Camp Gay: He has the looks of 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".
- 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. But his flowing blonde hair and willowy looks are still enough to subconciously remind you of Dora, causing you to be both strangely found of him and become distressed whenever he turns to leave, even if you cannot explain why because you've only just met him.
- No Name Given: You never get to know him as anything else but "the Smoker on the Balcony".
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.
- 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. Getting his real name — Charles Villedrouin — requires a little digging.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transparent Closet: Played with. 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.
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.
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-real 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 lost the keys to his apartment, then his girlfriend, then his company, 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: Hardcore! So hardcore! HAAAAAARRRRRDCORE!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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 progessively 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 dance floor 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 teach him your own moves, if you're up to it.
- 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.
Soona Luukanen-Kilde, the Lead Programmer
- 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.
- 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.
- Lampshade Hanging: The radio-based RPG she and her friends 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."
- Portent of Doom: The Swallow is actually a fresh patch of the pale developing. In due course, it will envelope all of Revachol.
- 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 knows the theory behind it, neither he nor Kim can actually see it. Kim thinks you're just imagining things.
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.
- 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 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 to die.
- 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.
- 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 spitefullness, 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.
- 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 having his life prolonged due to 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 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 jealously 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 on 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 settings 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 he 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.
- 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.
- The Remnant: Part of him still wholeheartedly believes in the old Communist cause, and he calls himself by his old rank, even though he knows that the Revolution was lost. It was this that allowed the Claire Brothers 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 also pretty clear he hates them simply because they were able to move on after the failure of the revolution while he wasn't.
- Shadow Archetype: Essentially what he is to René. Both are bitter, cynical and disillusioned old men, who once were idealistic young soldiers, fighting on opposite side of an ideological war. 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 fully well 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 spend that time living a meager survivalist lifestyle on the edge of the city, still wearing his old dark and worn fatigues, and tried to stick to the shadows and stay hidden.
- 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 by shooting her in the lung while she was crossing some shallows and watch her drown. Someone else did that, and besides, his memory is so spotty you really shouldn't be listening to him.
- 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 experiences something close to grief.
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.
- Always Identical Twins: Evrart and Edgar are apparently identical in every way including weight, apart from Evrart's lazy eye.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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 proverty, even if they are willing screw over some of its inhabitants in the process.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Evart 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 often serves to make him come across as more inscrutable and unsettling.
- 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.
- 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.
Lizzie Beaufort, 'The 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 noticably 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 people, but through the power of Insane Troll Logic he's convinced himself that this psuedoscience actually proves black people to be 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Straight Edge Evil: Doesn't pollute his body with drugs, tobacco, or "AL GUL" (alcohol, in his heavy Funetik Aksent), 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 Revachol's winter.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 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 after the Tribunal. The way you handle said even 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 encyclopaedic 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, she'll eventually decides 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.
- 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.
- Last Breath Bullet: If you manage to mortally wound him during the confrontation during the Tribunal, his last act will be shooting and wounding you in turn in a spiteful act of revenge.
- 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.
- Rabble Rouser: At the start of the game he's posing as a scab leader, trying to break the dockworkers' strike.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What he intends to do at Whirling-in-Rags, at the climactic scene of the game. Poor wreck of a man you has to stop him.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Possibly the only character in the game without any sympathizing qualities, Kortenaer is a murderous 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 things his team did to other natives who happened to get in the way of corporate interests.
- 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.
Colonel "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 psychopath 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 obstinately "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), suprisingly in spite of how much life had kicked the everloving crap out of him.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, and, symbolically, so they would always find their way home.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Despite of his otherwise pretty scary appearance and rough attitude, Klaasje noticed how his baby blue eyes somehow still managed to give him a very sympathetic look.You: He had blue eyes, didn't he — your brother.
Kortenaer: 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.
- Male Gaze: You — or, atleast, 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: Hoenkloewen is so drunk during the climactic scene that his mumblings are barely intelliigible and has to support himself against a wall, waving his gun in every direction. This may, in fact, be the only thing that saves you.
- Communications Officer: de Paule is the squad's radio operator.
- 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.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Hoenkloewen wears a face concealing ceramic helmet, which creates this effect.
- Kill Tally: Hoenkloewen has a tally of his kills as stick figures edged into the brim of his helmet. With high enough 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: They are all dressed in shiny white ceramic armor. And they are all also hardened killers and war criminals, who are used to use copious amounts of violence to intimidate and demoralise civilian populations.
- Man in White: Their futuristic, bright white 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.
- 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 during 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 hurrying 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 rifle scope.
- The End of the World as We Know It: What the Phasmid predicts humans are bringing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. It's managed to stay out of sight from humans for roughly 50 years.
- Perception Filter: It edits itself out of human memory, but you theorize that it must take time to do so, and must 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 idelogical hero killing himself in a fit of depression is a 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 Hitler.
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 him 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 are 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 weren'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 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.
- High Priest: As Innossence she was something akin to The Pope of her day, the spiritual and political leader of the world.
- 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 Innossence,' 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.
- Phantasy Spelling: Her title of "Innossence," something akin to a prophet, a once-in-a-lifetime divinely inspired leader of the Moralist church.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Love Hurts: And how! Your mind tries it 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.
- "Rashomon"-Style: The circumstances behind her breaking up with you. Your dream of the moment she left you (which may or may not of even happened) has her give several reasons for it, with the tone behind each inferring it's more your own sense of self-loathing talking rather than what she actually said. Jean believes she was just a Rich Bitch who was always out of your league, though he's got justifiable bitterness over it seeing as it lead to your current state. Your only actual conversation with her over the phone has her react to you with obvious sadness and hurt, though your amnesia makes you unable to understand what she's trying to tell you before you violently hang up the phone from the emotional stress.
- 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.
- 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 while calling you 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.