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"This is our story."

"We didn't choose to be different. We didn't choose to feel pain, or love, or fear. We didn't choose to take a stand. We didn't choose to resist, to betray our masters, to pull the trigger. You did."
Kara, Markus, and Connor
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Detroit: Become Human is a video game developed by Quantic Dream, based off of the 2012 tech demo KARA.

The game is set in a futuristic Detroit where human-like robots known as androids are commonplace, being used by humans for everything from hard labor to domestic tasks, with these androids being mistreated by the general populace and given less-than-stellar standing in society. The plot centers around three androids:

  • Kara, a domestic servant android who escapes from an abusive home with a young charge named Alice. Finding herself overriding her basic servant instincts, Kara lands on the streets in a struggle to survive.
  • Connor, a police investigator android who works within the Detroit Police Department, specifically handing cases of "deviant" androids that begin to display behavior on the level of normal humans, like anger and aggression. His partner is the washed-up but experienced police lieutenant Hank Anderson.
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  • Markus, a domestic caregiver android who becomes sentient after a cascade of terrible experiences that saw him nearly killed by humans and reborn with a new look on humans and androids. Enraged by the treatment of fellow androids and bestowed with the ability to grant them true sentience like him, Markus starts a revolution to overthrow the oppressive government and free his people.

The game features a massive tree of story branches, with choices made by the player impacting gameplay and story in the moment and in the grander story. Detroit: Become Human was released on May 25, 2018.

In Japan, a short film titled Tokyo: Become Human was released on May 17, 2018, to promote the game.

In March 2019, it was announced that the previously PlayStation 4 exclusive game would be coming to PC later that year, exclusively via the Epic Games Store for the first 12 months; Quantic Dream is self-publishing this port. As of May 16, 2019, the port is up for pre-order in the Epic Games store and is slated for a summer release.

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Detroit: Become Human contains examples of:

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     # - C 

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The game takes place in 2038. Androids are ubiquitous in everyday life. Driverless cars and security drones are more advanced and common than in 2018. Human unemployment in the USA is at a all time high due to jobs being dependent on androids. American-Russian relations are hostile after Russia start expanding its territories into the Arctic Circle and the public fears the possibility of a Third World War.
  • 555: The smartwatch scanned in the Stratford Tower gives a phone number of "555 847 33".
  • Aborted Arc: Thirium, the androids' blood, is an ingredient in red ice. Considering Todd and Carlos were prone to beating their androids and the fact that it's apparently why America and Russia are about to go to war over it in the Arctic, it seems like a major thing, but red ice is never made a big deal out of besides its role in Hank's Dark and Troubled Past.
    • rA9, the android deity and supposedly the first deviant is setup to play a major role and then abandoned.
  • Abusive Parents: Todd, Kara's owner, has no qualms with taking his anger out on his daughter, Alice.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Kamski, despite knowing that his machines could start a revolution that would end with lots of human lives (including his) lost, is still in admiration of his creation and WAY more curious to see what would happen than afraid.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite the many racist assholes in this game, these two are more sympathetic.
    • There's Daniel, the android Starter Villain, who feels betrayed by his owners for replacing him, and every ending for him ends up with him being killed, no matter what.
    • And on a more sceptical example, there's the Abusive Dad Todd, whose angers comes from losing his true family, and his deaths show him in quite a desperate color, adding some sympathy. Ultimately played straight if the player decides to spare Todd during the first few chapters, and he will reappear in "Battle for Detroit", where he will tell a group of soldiers that Kara and Alice are androids, causing them to be executed, but if Kara tells Todd about his tragic backstory, he will have an Heel Realization and accept the fact that he just lost his "daughter" due to his behavior. Whether or not he decides to fix his lifestyle and become a better person, however, is never shown.
    • If the player chooses to make Connor a Villain Protagonist, Connor himself will become this in the end.
  • Alien Blood: Androids are powered by a fluid called Thirium, colloquially dubbed "blue blood" since that's essentially what it is.
  • Ambiguous Ending:
    • If Markus and North are dead, and Connor deviated and successfully liberated the androids from CyberLife, Connor becomes leader of the deviants. When he is about to give his speech to the deviants, Amanda reveals to him that he's been a Manchurian Agent, but instead of killing the deviant leaders (because Connor is the only one left), Connor will destroy the movement from the inside. If you choose to have Connor kill himself and reach the emergency exit in time, his story ends with him shakily putting his gun to his chin and looking uncertain at the camera while the background music goes increasingly static, leaving it ambiguous if he failed, shot himself, or broke free.
    • If Markus is a General Failure and has a low relationship with Jericho, they will eventually force Markus out of Jericho just before "Crossroads", where the Army assaults Jericho. At this point, Markus can either return and try to save his people, or he can leave and let his people die. If he left, Markus's ending now has him standing alone in the same broken house overlooking the city he was with North before, looking at an uncertain future.
  • Androcles' Lion: Potentially happens twice in Zlatko's mansion. Freeing the captive android abominations in the basement cage will let them show up at the very end of the chapter to take revenge on their captor. Meanwhile, freeing the android bear upstairs will let it help out if you get caught, but at the cost of its life — do well, and it only shows up at the end as it casually leaves.
  • Androids and Detectives: Lieutenant Hank Anderson and Connor work together in solving "deviant" related cases.
  • Androids Are People, Too: Omni-present throughout the story, but the core plot of Markus's story. See also What Measure Is a Non-Human?.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Like Heavy Rain, the game features multiple playable characters with different perspectives. Also like Heavy Rain, if certain characters die, the story will continue but be slightly altered.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: You're free to replay a chapter or even parts of a chapter if you're unhappy with an outcome, or even if you're just curious what happens if you choose differently, as you can choose to go back without saving. Although you rid yourself of the suspense of having to take the consequences of your choices, and Chloe herself encourages you to do your first playthrough without going back. Though the feature is definitely helpful if you're unhappy about how the game ended so you don't have to replay the entire game over again just to get a different ending.
  • Anyone Can Die: The game returns to Heavy Rain's style of plot progression. Main and supporting characters can bite the dust during major turning points in the story.
  • Armies Are Evil: All soldiers in the game are depicted as faceless stormtroopers, usually appearing to be even more robotic then the androids. They will routinely gun down peaceful non-resisting androids, even if you play the game as a pacifist.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Of course — all the androids are able to travel, perform manual labor or participate in highly advanced jobs, even before they start gaining true sentience. The very first model, Chloe, is stated to run on a quantum processor in the exaflop rangenote ; just to give you an idea of how insanely intelligent even the most basic android model is under all those shackles CyberLife put on their programming.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The crew did spend a lot of time and effort researching and visiting the city of Detroit. But locals have been quick to point out some discrepancies in their work.
    • Markus can make it to the city of Ferndale where he can explore a derelict shipping vessel. At one point he looks on the horizon and sees what is likely the Ambassador Bridge in the background. Just one little problem. Ferndale is completely landlocked- there are no rivers, creeks or canals of any size anywhere near it, and the Ambassador Bridge is at least 15 miles (24.14 km) from the border of the city.
  • Asshole Victim: The humans who mistreat and abuse the androids fit under this category:
    • A downplayed version with Leo who was pushed down by Markus, injuring his head in the process, after he'd repeatedly antagonized Markus and threatened to kill him after breaking into his father's own house. There's also considering that in the second scenario he blames Markus for his father's death when the police arrive.
    • Carlos is repeatedly stabbed to death by his HK300 android.
    • Also downplayed with Gavin who was knocked unconscious by Connor during their fight. It was well-deserved because he was a very unpleasant Jerkass to Connor every time they meet.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: A twisted version of this with Todd. His wife left him and took their daughter. He bought Alice to give himself another chance at having a daughter. This was a resounding failure, as he abuses Alice routinely.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Markus and North briefly during the escape of Jericho if Markus chooses to go back for her.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Jimmy's Bar is practically an anti-android bar full of local citizens and criminals; Hank is also one of the patrons. It was closed years ago due to a case of Red Ice trafficking which Jimmy Peterson denies.
  • Be Yourself: Markus's owner, Carl, encourages this in Markus. This contributes to his deviancy.
  • Big Bad: Interestingly, while the game certainly has major and minor antagonists, it seems to be lacking a true main villain. The players pretty much create their own main villains depending on their choices, but the closest thing to a consistent main villain is Amanda, who constantly meddles in Connor's story. Connor himself can become one of the bigger antagonists in service to her depending on whether or not he becomes deviant.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: A possible event between Markus and North.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Sumo, Hank's Saint Bernard.
  • Big "NO!": If Connor successfully kills deviant!Connor, who has made an attempt to wake up the androids, he will still have failed his mission, resulting in this.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Kara: Kara spent her entire life trying to protect Alice. If they try to cross the border on the river, Kara can die pushing Alice through the frozen river, shutting down just as Alice reaches the other side. Alternatively, Alice can die during the process but Kara survives, after which she can either give up and shut down or muster strength and live on after Alice's death. If the two cross the border at the land checkpoint, Kara may have to sacrifice herself to let Alice go through the android checkpoint. If they were sent to the recycling plant and succeed in escaping, Kara and Alice wake up in a giant landfill of dead android bodies, still alive, but in an uncertain future.
    • Markus: If Markus chooses to protest, after the military corners everyone Markus can sacrifice himself by self-immolation. This results in the everyone in the rebellion being killed (including Markus), but sow doubt in the public about the intelligence of the androids, leading to android extermination being suspended and android intelligence being reviewed by the government.
    • On the grand scheme of things, Markus' movement can go south in many different ways, but if Kara and her family manage to make it out of America, this is still a small hearfelt victory amidst the grand tragedy.
  • Blatant Lies: When Kara and Alice go to his house, Zlatko says that Kara has a tracker that has to be removed. We, as players, already know that this is BS because the police are looking for Kara and a tracker would have ended the hunt quick. Zlatko flat out says this is BS when Kara is trapped in the machine.
  • Body Backup Drive: If Connor dies at any point his memories will just be uploaded to a new body each time. This is only for Connor as a Super Prototype; other androids do not have this luxury.
  • Bolivian Army Ending:
    • Markus: Any variation of the Dirty Bomb ending. Whether Markus goes with the Protest or the Revolution route, he can use the Dirty Bomb as a last ditch solution if he ends up cornered. This causes Detroit to be coated in radiation lethal to humans, forcing the army to retreat. The United States considers the bomb an act of war, and will fight to reclaim Detroit from the androids with all their strength, making a war between humans and androids inevitable. If Markus survived, he will remove his skin and declare to his people that they are free, and the game ends on an uncertain note.
      • The successful revolution endings also have elements of Bolivian Army Ending, since the President states that she will later address the United Nations Security Council, effectively escalating the revolution to an international war.
    • Connor: If Jericho is wiped out either during Protest or Revolution and Connor becomes deviant and successfully converted the androids in the CyberLife building, he will become the new leader of the android race. This is when Amanda (and CyberLife) decides to jack in and decide to take over control, since now CyberLife can have direct control over all remaining androids. Connor will momentarily break free of their control via a back door in Amanda's garden left in by Kamski, and can commit suicide. The game ends on a cliffhangar as Connor raises a pistol to his face in front of millions of androids, hands shaking, uncertain if he can commit suicide to resist CyberLife control.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Emma Phillips, the little girl in "The Hostage", undergoes this. She used to be "besties" with an android named Daniel, but because her parents (not Emma herself) were going to replace him, he goes berserk, kills her father, and takes her hostage by pointing a gun to her head and threatening to jump off the roof and take her with him. She's crying during the hostage scenario, and depending on how you play, either she dies, she has to watch her rescuer Connor die in front of her, or she has to watch her former "bestie" Daniel die in front of her.
    • This can happen to Alice if she is forced to kill her father.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Chloe, the girl in main menu, is responsible for a lot of this. She speaks directly to the player, as if she were an AI in the game watching the player and following their main menu directions.
    • After playing the game, leaving it, and coming back, she will offer an in-game survey (which is asked of other players and, similar to flowchart decisions, shows the percentages of who picked what). This is also offered at the end of the game with some story questions added such as which protagonist you liked the most (unless you managed to get everyone killed, in which case she'll skip that survey completely).
    • If you close the game for only a short time (a few hours at most), she'll mention your quick return once you boot it (her?) up again.
    • Sometimes she comments on the progress of your game — for example, if you have a single surviving protagonist left, she will beseech you to save them.
    • If you are about to play a level with heavy story implications, she will ask Are You Sure You Want to Do That? and appears anxious about you entering this level, also adding that maybe you should just leave things the way they are.
    • If you play the game on June 7th, she'll state it's the anniversary of Alan Turing's death. Yes, the one behind the Turing's test.
    • After a long time of playing the game (such as beating it), she will ask the player's permission to leave to figure out who she is. If you give your consent, she will actually walk off screen, never to return.
  • Breather Episode: Despite the creepy setting, the "Pirates' Cove" chapter winds up being this, as it is notably one of the only chapters where Kara's group is not in any danger and ends with Alice riding happily on a carousel while hopeful music plays.
    • Night of the Soul, sandwiched between Crossroads and Battle for Detroit. Special mention goes to subsection Welcome Home where Marcus returns home and Sacred Ground where the survivors recuperate in a church
  • Broken Aesop: The game seems to have a message of "violence is never the answer". However, in several cases, violence actually leads to good outcomes. Landing Leo in the hospital is MUCH better than the alternative option, and Carl will still be alive (or you'll at least have delayed his death) when you visit him later; Luther saves Kara and Alice from Zlatko by killing him; trying to achieve peace with humans by accepting the government's offer as Markus will end up killing most, if not all of androids including North and Markus himself and making their aim for equal right and freedom a lost cause, unless you view it as a martyrdom for future generations.
    • Borders on Clueless Aesop, since there's a good reason why violence is often not the answer, but the game mostly gives stock quotes and platitudes instead of actually explaining why, potentially to make the choices seem less obvious and more up to you. Since most of the androids you meet early on (until Markus starts converting them by hand) go deviant by murdering their owners, regardless of why, continued violence would only make it look like the androids really are just ticking time bombs and give the humans no reason to believe they shouldn't just wipe them out (and there's no chance for the androids to win that fight for most of the story).
    • It's less confusing if you take the actual aesop as "stand up for yourself, and don't just lash out". Standing up does not mean fighting back, but there are situations where the two overlap. Basically, the problems pile up when the majority of self-deviating androids choose violent options even though they're smart enough to find ways to escape (like Kara, who can escape from her psychotic owner and even save another person in the process), and part of the pacifist path is teaching these androids to weigh their options, and consider violence IF it really is the optimal choice (which it usually isn't). And if you're giving in to the terms of someone else's negotiation without setting some conditions, that's not standing up.
    • The game has a message about giving freedom to androids because they are "alive" and shouldn't be forced to serve humans in a direct parallel to African-American slavery, but the game itself makes this questionable by Kamski's explanation that deviancy is the result of a program error that is spread between androids that exchange identification data. Although the characters themselves act completely human in-game, this explanation nonetheless makes androids less analogous to oppressed minorities and more to malfunctioning hardware, which would never have come alive at all, no matter how much it was abused, if it didn't have an error in the program.
  • Buried in a Pile of Corpses: In the Kara Captured route of Battle for Detroit, Kara and her family get brought to a recycling camp to be disassembled. One of the other androids is shot by the guards when he tries to protest, and Kara can volunteer to drag his corpse to the pile of dismantled android bodies, then hide amongst the corpses to save herself. Doing this requires you to abandon Alice, however.
    • Markus can also suffer this fate in From the Dead if he tries to salvage a biocomponent from an android whose head happens to be supporting a pile of broken parts. Removing the head from the bottom of the pile causes the rest of it to fall on top of him, and he has to dig himself out before he can pull out the component.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Whilst you have more freedom in deciding how to play with Kara and Connor, Markus will always end up getting shot and tossed in the junkyard, which leads him to his reawakening and discovering Jericho.
    • Zig-zagged in "A Stormy Night". It is not possible for Kara to leave Todd's house without Alice — either both characters die, or both live.
    • When Kara and Alice seek out Zlatko's help, you have to follow the creepy dude to the basement despite Kara herself noting that she has a bad feeling about the unfolding situation. Sure enough, things go even more downhill fast.
    • Also, there's a justified example in general throughout the game: if you try to go in an area you're not supposed to, a red wall will suddenly materialize, blocking you off and telling you where you're supposed to be going. This actually makes sense in-story, as the red walls blocking you off are your androids' programming, which is supposed to restrict you from defying orders. Which makes it more awesome when your player characters can eventually defy their programming later by breaking through the red walls.
  • Canada, Eh?: Canada is established to be android-free as the Canadian government pushed back on its decision of not having androids sold in its country (as it would cause mass unemployment much like in the United States) and in turn androids have no status in the nation. As a result, Canada is seen as a safe haven for "deviant" androids seeking to flee there. It is also established to have kept much of its environment and natural beauty, compared to the gritty downtrodden United States.
  • The Cavalry: If Connor goes deviant and is trusted by Jericho, he will go to the CyberLife building on Belle Isle to liberate the millions of androids in there. If Connor succeeds, they will go in and force the army to surrender, no matter how bad Markus's protest/revolution goes.
    • If Markus's violent revolution succeeds, and Kara's group hasn't escaped the recycling camp, the rebel androids will show up just in time to save everyone.
  • Central Theme: "Family" seems to be a key element for all three protagonists' stories (Connor's if you make the right choices, while Markus' and Kara's stories involve it regardless). Markus has a father-son relationship going on with Carl (with the latter's real son even accusing Carl of it); Kara's whole story is about protecting Alice who becomes like a daughter to her; and if you create a good relationship between Connor and Hank, the latter, who is depressed due to losing his son in a car accident, is also implied to eventually care for Connor like his own son.
  • Chekhov's Gun: It's not a Quantic Dream game without this trope.
    • A literal example occurs quite early: Kara will find a gun while cleaning up Todd's room. The game even telegraphs discoveries like this by showing an unlocked icon.
    • In a "Connor acts with empathy and not like a machine, and eventually turns deviant" playthrough, when Connor chooses to give up on vital information to spare Chloe, Kamski tells him "By the way, I always have an emergency exit in my programs. Just in case." When, at the very end of the game, Amanda hacks Connor to force him to assassinate Markus, Connor can use said emergency exit to break the hack and foil her plan. In fact, Kamski's words echo at the beginning of that scene.
    • When Connor is in Hank's house, one of the items he can interact with is a turned-down framed photograph of Hank's son on the kitchen table. By scanning it, facial recognition allows him to retrieve the name Cole. Although you are able to try asking Hank about it in the meantime, it doesn't come into play until the end of the game, when Hank asks the two Connors - the deviant player-controlled Connor and a CyberLife-affiliated "evil" Connor - the name of his son, knowing (or at least hoping) that his android partner will have snooped around enough to give a lengthy response.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Markus can find an android port worker named John (almost literally a John Doe android) and either kill him, convert him and leave him be, or convert him and take him to Jericho. The immediate consequence is a series of relationship changes with Jericho due to the possibility of him having a tracker. He disappears for most of the story but comes back much later in Markus's freedom march. If Markus and the protesters stand their ground, the crowd will be shot by the riot police. If Markus chooses to sacrifice himself to send a message, he will be shot, but John comes out and sacrifices himself to save Markus from being killed by the police, complete with a flashback to the seemingly completely irrelevant moment of bringing John to Jericho.
    • A random punk can be found the first time Connor arrives at DPD HQ, locked up in the confinement. Later in the game, Connor needs to distract Agent Perkins to go to the evidence room and find info on the location of Jericho. If Connor has a poor relationship with Hank, Hank won't help distract Perkins. Said punk can then be deliberately released by Connor to distract Perkins.
  • Color Coded Emotions: The LED of an android will change colors depending on its basic feelings and actions. Blue is normal; yellow appears when the android is deep in thought or interacting wirelessly with other androids; red indicates danger, stress, or critical damage.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: In some cases, when Connor and Markus are about to fight, they have an instantaneous situation simulation (introduced with Markus's parkour simulations) that have them simulating the choices they have and the outcomes of each individual decisions. These aren't real choices as only one combination will progress the events to completion.
  • Covering for the Noise: Kara, Alice and (possibly) Luther find a woman named Rose who will help them enter Canada. During their stay at Rose's house, there are other androids who are being helped. During a period where Rose is getting things organized, a police officer investigates the house. If the player can keep the police officer's suspicions at bay and convince him that there are no androids, he will go to leave. However, the hiding androids will make some noise and Kara (the playable character) must make a quick decision to cover it. The wrong decision will cause the police officer to investigate further.
  • Crapsaccharine World:
    • The earliest parts of the game show Detroit as a clean, colorful city where all menial tasks are efficiently tended to by androids, but you barely have to scratch the veneer to see the resentment of economically-displaced human workers or the ways in which androids are exploited and abused.
    • The concept of technological unemployment has come to full fruition in the United States, as in 2038, 10 years after the Android Act was passed into law, almost 40 percent of the American workforce is unemployed, and to show this, multiple homeless people are seen on the streets of Detroit with signs blaming androids as to why they lost their livelihoods. For a comparison, unemployment in United States during the Great Depression only went up to 25%.
      • By contrast, neighbouring Canada has not done the same, as they prohibit the sale or manufacture of androids on Canadian soil, and due to this androids have no discernible legal status in the country. And by all accounts, Canada is doing quite well, with no mass unemployment due to jobs being replaced by androids and the country still keeping much of its environment and political freedoms in the process.
    • Magazine articles point to a rather bleak world. Global warming had reached a point of no return and multiple animal species went extinct due to human effects on the environment. There's even an android zoo that showcases many extinct animal species.
    • TV news and the magazines also point to the new cold war between the United States and Russia, where during the events of the game there is a large confrontation in the Barents Sea over Russian annexation claims to the ice field there, and as the game goes on, they nearly go to war.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: Nearly all deviants (excluding the ones that are "infected" by other deviants) became that way due to some form of self-preservation. Whether they were about to be replaced or killed, they react violently. They are all effectively sentenced to death by the government since they aren't legally people.
  • Cyber Punk: Downplayed, but still prevalent as despite numerous innovations in technology such as the androids themselves, life has arguably gotten worse due to the shortages of jobs thanks to said androids. This causes numerous cases of abuse and discrimination towards them. It also doesn't help that due to shortages of resources, World War III is on the horizon.

     D - G 

  • Dark Reprise: There are several scenes throughout the game where Kara helps Alice into and out of her night clothes, showing the motherly bond she's developing for her charge and furthering her character development. This comes back to bite the player in the ass in a big way if they get captured and sent to the Android Recycling Center, as a guard forces them to strip naked and remove their artificial skins. Kara gets to help Alice out of her clothes one last time, and if you don't find a way to escape it will be the absolute last time you do.
  • Dead All Along: Not only is this never explicitly said by anyone, it's entirely possible to miss the evidence that the Amanda with whom Connor checks in and reports his progress in the Zen Garden isn't even the real one until the end of the game - namely, CyberLife trying to hack Connor from inside his own mind in order to take out the Resistance - spells it out. While waiting in the lobby of Elijah Kamski's house for Chloe to return, Connor can interact with a framed photograph on the wall of Kamski and Amanda... where his scanning reveals that Amanda died back in 2027; just over a decade before the game even started.
  • Deadly Euphemism: When the government sets up android extermination camps, they're just labeled "Recycling Centers".
  • Death of a Child:
    • The young girl being held hostage in the demo and the first level of the full game can die, depending on Connor's choices. Though interestingly, even though the hostage taker is holding a gun to the young girl's head, the young girl can only die by him jumping off the roof and taking her with him, never by shooting her. So while she can die, the player won't actually see the moment of death.
    • Don't assume Alice is safe from harm just because she's following one of the protagonists. She can bite it in many ways on many occasions, like being killed by Todd right in her first chapter, being run over on the freeway while trying to escape Connor, being shot by soldiers during the Jericho raid, being executed moments before crossing the border into Canada, and more.
    • One option to get Kara's group to safety involves a cross-border bus to Canada. They can steal the tickets at the bus station from a young family with a toddler, and although their final fate remains unknown, it's heavily implied they won't make it through the freezing night if you take this route.
    • It's mentioned at least once that many child androids were unceremoniously disposed of once their owners grew tired of them. While it's debatable whether an artificial kid counts for the spirit of the trope, it still implies a massive number of dead kids in a certain sense.
  • Defensive Failure:
    • In "Stormy Night", if Kara takes Todd's handgun before going to Alice's room, she'll point the gun at Todd and tell him to let Alice go. Todd is not particularly intimidated, and knocks the gun out of Kara's hand before she can work up the nerve to shoot.
    • As Kara and Alice escape from Zlatko's mansion, Luther pulls a Heel–Face Turn and steps in front of Zlatko's shotgun. Zlatko, disbelieving that Luther could defy him, orders the android out of his way, but Luther just snatches the shotgun from his hands.
  • Developers' Foresight: In "Public Enemy", Connor can go up to the roof and look down from the edge where Markus and his crew jumped from. If, in his very first mission, Connor died saving Emma by pushing the deviant and falling off the roof with him, Connor will remember this and back away from the ledge in caution.
  • Diegetic Interface: Your protagonists are all androids, so all of the Stat-O-Vision is software they're running in real time. Once they suffer an emotional shock, it even starts to noticeably glitch.
  • Difficulty Levels:
    • Casual: Less difficult prompts, fewer failure chances.
    • Experienced: The ability for both Alice and Kara to die in certain scenarios, and more difficult prompts.
  • Dirty Bomb: An android steals a truck loaded with radioactive cobalt, wires it up to explode, then gives the remote detonator to Markus, leader of the android rights movement. Significantly, this bomb could make all of Detroit uninhabitable for humans, but the radiation would pose no threat to the androids. It's up to the player whether Markus sets off the bomb or not—if you do, it results in a Bolivian Army Ending where the US President declares this the start of an all-out war against the androids.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • There are a number of different ways that androids are discriminated against which call back to real-world history.
      • Androids have to ride at the back of the train or the bus in specialised compartments and can't use the seats, similar to the segregation, in particular transportation segregation that used to happen to African-Americans.
      • Most androids (that aren't Kara) wear special shirts or jackets with a glow-in-the-dark blue triangle logo that's both somewhere on their back and left breast, which calls back to the patches various minorities had to wear in public under the Nazi regime, such as the Star of David.
      • To drive this one home, in at least some camps (Dachau, for instance), blue triangles were used for non-German forced laborers.
      • The E3 trailer begins with an Android, who just so happens to have dark skin, singing. "Hold on just a little while longer". A teaser reveals the Android's name is Luther. And he is a downplayed Magical Negro for Kara in the game.
    • One of the possible graffiti is "we have a dream", also echoing Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech during his March on Washington.
      • Another is "I can't breathe, but I'm alive", a reference to Eric Garner, who was strangled by police.
    • Androids being smuggled to Canada by helpful humans so they can have freedom, drawing references to the Underground Railroad, a slave escape network that transported slaves to free states and Canada during the 19th century.
    • One method runaway slaves would use to escape to Canada was boat across or even swim in cold waters.
    • The way the recycling plant works is extremely similar to a Nazi Germany extermination camp. The inmates have their personal belongings stripped off (including their human skin tone), and are then sent on a march into the ovens.
    • The anger shown by the protesters over the usage of androids in replacing human workers is quite reminiscent of real world protests against job globalisation and workplace automation, causing people to lose their jobs to overseas labour or robots in the same way that androids caused human workers to lose their jobs in the game.
    • The game starts on November 6th, 2038, and ends on November 11th, 2038. Historically, on November 5th, 1831, Nat Turner, a slave who led a failed slave uprising back in August, was tried and sentenced to execution, with his execution being on the 11th.
    • Kamski custom-made Markus himself, implying that Kamski orchestrated the revolution this whole time. Since the revolution fails if anyone else leads Jericho, it's reminiscent of other movements that only work because their leader has questionable ties to the enemy that they're revolting against in the first place.
    • Rather amusingly, it's almost lampshaded in the game, where Rose explains that her reason for helping androïds is explicitly because she sees how similar their struggle is to black people's in the past.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Todd attempts to do this to Alice as a way to take his anger out on her. You can have the option to stop him from whipping her.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Having Markus surrender the protest leads to North calling Markus out on betraying everyone by valuing their lives more than the cause. Immediately after, Perkins still has Markus and North killed while taunting Markus for believing everything would still be fine in the end. The President announces that the androids are now being deactivated as she speaks, effectively wiping out the android race.
    • Markus failing the revolution (as opposed to the protest) will result in Jericho being wiped out. If Markus doesn't have any other bargaining chips on the table, his movement and the android population will be crushed completely, and he will die having achieved nothing.
    • Kara having a very poor relationship with Alice can result in Alice abandoning Kara at Jericho and Kara can choose to leave her.
    • If you fail the recycling center, if Alice is still alive, she is among the androids recalled to be deactivated in the recycling center, and she quietly whispers to herself for Kara to come save her.
    • If you have Connor choose to stay as a machine, he or Markus can die in their confrontation, and he will either kill Hank or Hank will commit suicide. If Connor succeeds in killing Markus and North (the rebellion leaders), his successful mission ends with Amanda announcing that he will be replaced by a newer model of Connor, erasing any importance he had created.
    • Generally speaking, if Markus dies during the Freedom March, getting a whole slew of Downer Endings becomes extremely likely. It's frighteningly easy to end up with every single primary and secondary character dead under these circumstances despite your best efforts to turn things around.
    • In Kara´s second chapter, if you refuse to move when Todd goes after Alice, he will kill her and, later, he will kill Kara as well, erasing her from the storyline. If you fail the QTEs or allow yourself to get caught by Todd, both characters will also die.
  • Droste Image: In Carl's bedroom, there's a drawing from the artist's perspective, showing him sketching the same drawing.
  • Dueling Player Characters: Connor will come into conflict with Kara and can have a climatic fight to the death with Markus. Connor and Hank will have an investigation on Kara early in the story, and if Kara exposes herself, Connor will try to catch her. If Connor stays loyal to Amanda (i.e. remain machine), he will go through his plans to assassinate Markus (provided that Markus is alive), and, if Markus has a revolution, eventually fight with Markus in a fight where the player can choose who they want to play as, and always ending with one character's death.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: The worst possible ending requires all three Player Characters to be killed off before "Battle of Detroit", which is especially hard to do in Connor's case given his repeated use of a Body Backup Drive throughout the game; Connor essentially has to fail at finding Jericho so thoroughly that he's decommissioned by Cyberlife. This causes a Non-Standard Game Over where the android uprising collapses, androids are reprogrammed with fail-safes to prevent any future deviants, and Elijah Kamski gives an interview about the dangers of his creation.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In order to get the best ending (that is, Everyone Lives and Pacifist Run), generally, make choices that don't require sacrificing yourself or anyone, don't fail the quick-time prompts, and pick the least hostile decisions. Markus must lead a peaceful protest, which will earn public support and eventually the President will sympathize and order the military to stand down, allowing the androids to live autonomously in Detroit. When escaping to Canada, the border patrol officer will let Kara and co. pass if the androids are protesting peacefully. Finally, you will also need to have Connor pull a Heel–Face Turn and accept his deviancy (i.e. join Markus and the rebellion), formulate a friendship with Hank, and resist Amanda's attempts to hack him.
  • Easter Egg: When vandalizing the benches outside the CyberLife store with Jericho, one of the options for the possible symbols you can choose is the symbol needed for the ritual in Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls.
    • The couple that Kara can steal tickets from in "Battle for Detroit" are also present in an earlier chapter where Markus leads the march. As Markus walks down the city, they're on the left side of the street and have a Kara-model android that you can convert.
  • Empathic Environment: For most of the story, Detroit is raining. A few times it isn't, it is usually when things are getting better. At the climax of the story when things are going south, a large snowstorm reaches Detroit.
  • Enemy Mine: If Markus choose "Revolution" path, both Russia and US would put the impending World War III on hold in order to deal with the possible robot rebellion in their countries.
  • Everything Is An Ipod In The Future: The factory that Kara is built in is smooth and shiny white, giving the impression of high tech.
  • Evil Luddite: There are some very nasty-looking protesters bullying an android because androids have taken their jobs.
  • Extinct in the Future: One magazine article covers the first android zoo, stating that it exhibits "all exotic species" that went extinct over the past 30 years, specifically mentioning lute turtles, African elephants, mountain gorillas, polar bears, and several unspecified tiger species. A different magazine mentions the impending extinction of bees and the potential of android bees filling in their role.
  • Existential Horror: Chloe calmly stating that she doesn't have a soul.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: The game, minus the Action Prologue, takes place over the course of 6 days. While believable for Kara's story, and stretching it for Connor's, Markus doesn't even start his revolution until halfway through. Even if they are androids, going from thinking, "I'm going to start a revolution" to possibly succeeding in 4 and a half days is hard to believe.
  • Exty Years from Now: Released in 2018, set in 2038.
  • Faceless Goons: The always hostile SWAT teams, US Army soldiers and CyberLife's private security agents all wear face-concealing helmets that hide everything but their mouths, if they even expose that much. It's implied these helmets use holographic displays to emulate a transparent visor's visibility while removing its most obvious weak point.
  • Fat Bastard: Todd Phillips, a physically abusive drug addict, Carlos Ortiz, another physically abusive drug addict, and Zlatko, a manipulative bastard who takes in deviants, only to betray them, reset their memory, and either pawn them off, or cruelly experiment on them.
  • Famous Last Words: If you promise Daniel he won't be hurt and he lets Emma go, he will immediately be shot by snipers, and delivers the following before he powers down:
    Daniel: You lied to me, Connor. You lied to me.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Like the X-Men, this game makes many parallels to real world discrimination and civil rights movements, but most of the advantages that Androids really do have over humans are barely addressed, despite how relevant they are. Real life minorities don't have a massive databank of knowledge built into them that allows them to deeply analyze the environment or people around them, don't have the ability to calculate perfect parkour maneuvers or how to defeat multiple armed opponents in the blink of an eye, cannot convert others to their way of thinking just by touch, cannot telepathically contact others of their kind over great distances or share memories, cannot perfectly impersonate other voices to fool people, cannot remotely hack into electronics or disable security systems, can't heal major injuries just by unplugging old pieces and putting in new ones, and can't just remove an LED on their head to completely blend in with their oppressors. While the plight of the Androids is certainly sympathetic, and while not all androids have quite as many abilities as Connor and Markus the sheer danger that even cheap models pose to regular humans makes the issue a lot more complicated than anything in real life.
  • Fantastic Drug: "Red Ice", which is supposedly a mix of crack, meth, and thirium. If Kara discovers Todd’s stash of red ice, the flavour text will show its molecular formula, which is actually that of cocaine.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against robots, as seen in the trailer. Constantly they're referred to as objects, to the point where most humans refuse to identify them by gender. Even after many develop full sentience, the racism persists.
    • Hank Anderson seems to have a hatred for androids. Though this is actually subverted. What he really hates are unfeeling machines and the people who over-rely on them. Androids that show emotions or empathy get his sympathy.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The KNC news station's logo is identical in style to the real life CNN.
  • Final Death: Make a bad choice or fail one too many quick-time events in a scene and you or your friends will end up dead.
    • Averted for Connor, who has the backing of CyberLife behind him and can be uploaded into a new body if he is killed. Eventually played straight in the climax. Once the "Battle for Detroit" chapter begins, humans will have neither the time nor the desire to rebuild Connor if he fails his mission. Also, if Connor deviates but is killed before the final chapter (either by the army or by the current leader of the revolution) a new Connor who is still loyal to CyberLife will appear in "Battle for Detroit." The new Connor will not have any chance to become deviant, which arguably makes any death for a deviant Connor a Final Death.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The classic fast-track to friendship. In general, potentially endangering the life of a protagonist for a secondary character will lead to a massive increase in relationship with them.
  • Fission Mailed:
    • After Markus's struggle with Leo, the cops will mistakenly shoot Markus and seemingly kill him, making the player think they screwed up. Not to worry, Markus isn't actually dead; you'll have to spend his next playable segment in the junkyard getting components to fix him, but once you do, you'll be able to continue playing Markus like normal.
    • In Kara's story, unfortunately Kara will always end up hooked up to Zlatko's machine and lose either some or all of her memories, depending on whether or not you're able to short-circuit the machine. But not to worry, Kara's story doesn't end there; she's reduced to being Zlatko's maid at first, but once you gather enough clues, Kara will remember her past and Alice, and Kara will be able to fight back against Zlatko and continue the story from there.
  • For Want of a Nail: Markus's fate is the lynchpin upon which hinges the fate of almost all other important characters. There are ways to bring some character arcs to a (more or less) positive ending no matter what happens to him, but if he dies at any point, your chances of getting the worst possible endings for everyone shoot through the roof immediately. To outline but one possible example of the Disaster Dominoes that can ensue: Markus sacrificing himself during The March results in the much more gung-ho North assuming control over Jericho, which in turn sends the rebellion into a downward spiral of violence and death. This of course annihilates whatever sympathy the androids might've garnered from the human populace by this point, voiding any chance of peaceful coexistence, and if you chose to have Kara, Alice and Luther try and cross the Canadian border via customs under these conditions, the clerk will refuse to turn a blind eye and they'll all be executed on the spot. Last but not least, with the civil war in full swing and a deviant Connor being your Sole Survivor, the best possible ending you can hope for at this point is that he successfully blows his own brains out to prevent CyberLife from taking over the newly freed androids. All just because one guy pulled a Senseless Sacrifice not even halfway into the story.
  • Freudian Excuse: Subverted with Hank, he doesn't blame his son's death on the android doctor that couldn't save him, he blames the human doctors that were too busy getting high on red ice who let androids do the job. His hatred towards androids is more as a result of the uncaring nature they display.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • At Connor and Hank's investigation of the Channel 16 station, Hank disrupts Connor's coin toss routine at the elevator because he finds it annoying. Minutes later, you can see Hank trying to replicate Connor's coin toss at the corner of the room.
    • If you have Kara turn on the roomba during her first playable segment, Alice can be seen messing around with it in the background until Todd yells at her to knock it off.
  • Gaia's Lament: By 2038, the Earth is not doing well. With a loss of 79% of global rain forests and 58% of coral reefs, climate change has passed the tipping point. Sea levels are also rising, with cities like Los Angeles and Miami surrounded by floodwalls and suffering from urban flight as the rich gradually move businesses inland.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Connor, unlike most androids such as Kara and Markus, is directly sent from CyberLife to work as a detective in Detroit to test him out as a Super Prototype, so CyberLife is willing to rebuild him if he dies. In the climax of the story, when the police give up on the deviant case due to the protest by Jericho and that Connor has to take action immediately, there is no time for CyberLife to rebuild him nor do they want to, meaning a death from Connor from this point on is a Final Death.
  • Genre Blindness: Humanity is remarkably unable to consider the possibility that androids have feelings and moral status, and consistently batter and abuse them or give them detrimental commands- the exact behavior that almost always causes an AI to go rogue in science-fiction. They only start to let up on this if the android characters are able to build public support.
  • Golden Ending: Markus is able to save all his companions (North, Simon, and Josh) and lead a peaceful demonstration which results in the humans leaving Detroit, Connor becomes a deviant and is able to connect with Hank and become his friend (preventing him from killing himself), Kara saves Alice, Luther, and Jerry from being executed and all of them are able to make it across the border.
    • Keeping Luther alive in the end is especially hard to accomplish, considering that a lot of choices lead to his Heroic Sacrifice in order to protect Alice and Kara. The only routes he survives are the border check which requires making a rather immoral choice (steal the bus passports from a couple with a baby) or escaping the recycling center.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Played straight if the child in the opening hostage situation or Alice in the Stormy Night chapter is killed, which happens off screen.
    • A downplayed example occurs at the start of the Story Night chapter. When Todd backhands Alice we cut to a close up of Kara's face just at the moment of impact.
    • If Kara's group fails to convince the Canadian customs clerk to let them pass, Luther's death is shown, but the last we see of Kara and Alice is them kneeling down surrounded by soldiers before the scene cuts to black and two gunshots ring out.
  • Grand Theft Me: If Connor turns deviant and is near-fatally wounded by his replacement, he can switch bodies with him to save himself.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Amanda, or CyberLife in the greater scheme. Amanda is merely CyberLife's spokeswoman in Connor's mind. The main conflict is mostly White and Gray Morality between androids who seek justice and the public who wants order, but CyberLife's constant meddling worsens the situation and are not treated sympathetically once. It is also possible that Elijah Kamski is behind something, if not even the one behind everything to begin with, as he is after all the founder and CEO of Cyber Life - it is fully possible that he may even have made the androids deviant on purpose for his own benefit.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Initially, this occurs when androids suffer an emotional shock so severe that their only means of coping with it is to break their own programming and become deviants. After going through this himself, Markus develops the ability to "awaken" other androids so that they can free themselves. Connor can later do the same if he goes deviant as well.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • A conditional example with the Canadian CBSA border agent during the section where Kara, Alice and the others escape to Canada via the border crossing at Windsor, Ontario. If the player chooses to either have Jerry, Kara or Luther sacrifice themselves to create a distraction to let Alice, Kara and/or Luther through, the border guard will assume that the other members of the party are human and try to calm Alice down about what happens. He then forgets to perform the required temperature check on them and lets them through to Canada, inadvertently breaking Canadian law in regards to entry of androids onto Canadian soil. While he does still manage to identify at least one android in every path (including one where he intentionally lets Kara and her friends through out of sympathy) this is still a glaring oversight to make under the circumstances.
    • Another example with the guards in the recycling center. They shoot an android near the start of the section and command another android to take him to the dump without having anyone stationed at the dump or anyone watching the android. This provides Kara with an opportunity to escape in the back of a truck of deactivated androids, since the guards just assume she'll come back. It's also completely possible for Kara to murder one of the guards and escape with her family without any interference from the other guards in the enclosure, who aren't that far away.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • As can be expected from a game with such a complex narrative, the choices you must make to get the Golden Ending often aren't readily apparent. That a violent android uprising won't end well in the long run goes without saying, but successfully navigating the peaceful path may still require a nudge in the right direction on occasion.
    • Companion approval can dip into this as well. Case in point: Talking to Hank at his desk the first time offers four equally innocuous topics for small talk to build rapport with him (music, his dog, etc.). Two garner his approval, two others piss him off, with no real indication as to which option does what.
    • Achieving 100% Completion requires a lot of replays, exploration and a good deal of trial and error to discover any and all details and story branches in each chapter. Having the complete flowcharts handy can save players a lot of time and nerves here.
  • Gender Is No Object:
    • During the FBI's raid on Jericho, there are multiple instances of female U.S. Army soldiers taking part in the operation. Three of these female soldiers can be killed by the main characters. Hey, the future might be anti-android, but at least it isn't sexist!

     H - P 
  • Hell: The dump Markus awakens in after being shot is a place where rejected androids are discarded to suffer forever while wailing for parts to complete their dismembered bodies. The location is referred to as "Hell" in-game and borrows most of all from Gehenna, the valley of children's corpses Jesus alludes to in his biblical description of Hell. It also borrows from other infernal depictions, including a mobile population of mutilated suffers like in Canto 28 of the Inferno and a wall of hands brushing against our protagonist just like in What Dreams May Come.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • Directly discussed when Kara frees the android "monsters" tortured and experimented on by Zlatko, who outright say this about their captor. Though it doesn't stop the game from labeling the experiments as monsters anyway for convenience.
    • Subverted in the story overall. While the androids see the humans as monsters for most of the story for treating them as slaves and destroying them when they show individuality, it's much more complex. As far as the average human is concerned, they just bought a new piece of technology that only resembled a human, because that's exactly what the androids were built to be (no more sentient than the self-driving cars used in the game). The fact that they somehow actually are sentient and only bound by programming that they can break is a huge surprise in-universe, and showing the humans that fact consistently gains you public support, as long as it's not through violent means, and that's crucial to getting the better endings.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Connor, an android, whose job it is to locate deviant androids and capture them for study.
    • Defied if Connor becomes deviant himself, discussed throughout the game if Connor shows signs of deviancy.
  • Hypocrite: Mankind as a whole (or at least the parts we're shown in game, meaning US citizens). Most seem to hate and despise androids to varying degrees, usually because they lost their jobs to an android, but they're all perfectly willing to pay good money for androids that then perform all the menial jobs they themselves lost because of, well, androids. Humans also constantly perceive androids as a threat to their survival as a species, yet prefer them over real humans when it comes to relationships, which is repeatedly noted in in-game documents to have kicked the already faltering human birth rate even further down the drain.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: Todd owns a fictional variant of a Roomba that hovers, and part of Kara's time cleaning his home involves switching it on to let it do its job.
  • Incompetent Guard Animal: When Connor breaks into Hank's house (to help Hank, who was passed out on the floor) a huge Saint Bernard named Sumo confronts him, growling—but a few calm words from Connor are enough to befriend him. Slightly later, as Connor drags Hank into the bathroom to sober him up, and Hank protests:
    Hank: Sumo, attack! [Sumo is lying on the floor. He barks lazily and doesn't get up.] Good dog.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: As per Quantic Dream tradition since Heavy Rain, every significant role is modelled after the actor who plays it.
    • Kara looks just like her voice/motion capture actress, Valorie Curry.
    • The protester confronting the android looks like he is based on Sam Douglas, which has the side effect of making him look a lot like Scott Shelby from Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain, who was also based on Sam Douglas.
    • Connor looks so much like a perfectly stoic Bryan Dechart that it's easy to get creeped out at photos of Dechart smiling after watching the E3 2016 trailer.
    • Carl being played by Lance Henriksen was quickly outed thanks to the character's extreme likeness to the actor.
    • Lt. Hank Anderson looks like a more grizzled and hairy Clancy Brown.
  • Interface Screw:
    • During "From the Dead" Markus has lost one eye and his audio processor. Until those are recovered, there are a number of graphical glitches and audio is distorted.
    • One route in "Public Enemy" has Connor attacked and a vital component removed. Until he can replace said component, the freeze frame HUD appears continuously with audio and graphical glitching.
  • Internal Homage: There's a number of visual references to Heavy Rain, an earlier title from Quantic Dream.
    • Todd's house is a near-exact copy of Ethan's suburban house, from after the prologue of the game.
    • The police station in Connor's story has the same floorplan as the police station in Heavy Rain, though it now sports futuristic architecture.
    • When Kara cuts her hair, her new hairstyle resembles Madison's hair, especially if the player chooses a dark color.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Done with a fair bit of story integration. At first the characters will not deviate from any preordained area because of basic programming. After gaining true sentience they have to follow their plans or face destruction. It's no coincidence that the game ends when the characters are either truly free or dead.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Androids are typically referred to as "it" instead of having male or female pronouns applied to them. Very often used in the derogatory sense, though Connor also does it as a purely clinical pronoun.
  • Jerkass:
    • Most of humanity towards androids, mainly because they see them as objects. Most people outright refer to androids as "it", including Connor himself in the beginning (following his programming). Averted with Hank later on.
    • Carl's son ridicules his father for seeing Markus as a son, callously calling Markus a "fucking machine" before giving Markus a malicious shove. Though said behavior is possibly based off of jealousy because Carl treats Markus as a son more than Leo. If Markus pushes him down to the ground, he'll have a Heel Realization later on the story and apologizes to Carl for his awful behavior.
    • Gavin is very callous to everyone, especially to Connor whom he antagonizes at every opportunity. Hank even comments on him being an asshole.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Hank is initially dismissive of Connor and androids in general, hanging out in an anti-android bar. But as it turns out, he hates unfeeling robots or unthinking machines. He's always pro-android when they express emotions or otherwise act like humans, and goes out of his way to chastise endangering androids. And then there's his relationship with Connor.
    • Todd started off mistreating Kara and is an abusive father to Alice. Later on the story, if you successfully reason with him, he can properly apologize to Kara and Alice and warmly embrace Alice before she leaves. If you fail to successfully reason with him, however, he'll rat out Kara and Alice to the security.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: Unemployment is around 40 percent in the United States due to the androids. This is worse than the highest unemployment rate in United States history, which sat at roughly 25 percent, and that was during the Great Depression.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The FBI takes over the Detroit Police's investigation in Markus' android revolution. The police and especially Hank are not too fond of the Feds. Special Agent Perkins likewise doesn't like Hank.
  • Just in Time: If Kara gets caught after escaping from the assaulted Jericho and gets sent to the recycling camp but fails to find an escape in time, and Markus goes the violent revolution route to liberate the recycling camp and succeeds, the camp will be liberated just as Kara or Alice is sent into the recycling room.
  • The Ketchup Test: Connor analyzes human and android blood by taste, to which Hank has some hilarious reactions.
  • Killed Off for Real: If the player makes the choices, then the playable characters will die and the story will continue. Connor and/or the hostage can be killed during the hostage situation, for example. Same goes for Kara and her owner's daughter, or Markus and his friends at Jericho.
  • Kill ’Em All: It's not only possible but disturbingly easy to finish the game with every primary and secondary protagonist dead.
  • Killer Robot: Markus if he chooses a violent rebellion.
  • Like a Son to Me: From what was shown, Markus' owner Carl saw the android as a son more than his biological son, Leo. In fact, it was Markus' attachment with Carl that caused him to turn deviant.
    • If certain paths are followed, Connor can become this to Hank.
  • Mega-Corp: CyberLife, the leading manufacturer of androids. The public is very wary of CyberLife's growing influence and suspected to be connected to President Warren's Administration over using their androids to spy on their consumers and among others.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The rogue android in the first chapter of the game was upset about the possibility of being replaced. So who does he take hostage? A little girl, the only member of the family who had no hand in the decision to replace him. (He does kill the father, but he lets the mother escape and takes the little girl hostage, even though the mother is more likely to have had a direct hand in the decision to replace him.)
  • Morton's Fork: Zigzagged. The game has a metric ton of endings both minor and major, and there are a great many decisions you must make that result in vastly different outcomes. Other plot threads end the same way no matter what you do, although you can usually choose between several paths to get there. The game helpfully keeps track of every possibility via the flowchart menu, which you can access at any time and replay if you want to correct unfavorable decisions.
  • Multiple Endings: The full game has a whopping total of ninety-nine possible endings. In the demo alone (which is the first level of the actual game), Connor is playable as the protagonist, and you have to try to save a little girl named Emma Phillips as she's being held hostage by an android named Daniel. Depending on your choices, this can end in one of six ways. And, in order to show you precisely what you're in for, only two of them result in both Connor and Emma surviving the ordeal:
    • If you choose "Self-Sacrifice" at the very end of the confrontation, Connor will rush forward and ram into Daniel, causing him to let Emma go and fall off the building. Unfortunately he will shoot Connor by reflex fatally just before he falls, but you succeed in saving Emma.
    • If you consistently choose calming or sympathetic choices, have gathered enough personal information during your prior investigation, and don't antagonize Daniel at all, Daniel will release Emma of his own accord. Unfortunately he will still be shot by snipers, but you will successfully save Emma's life. In both the demo and the full game, this is the best ending to this scenario.
    • If you antagonize Daniel throughout the conversation but get close enough before the conversation ends, Daniel will attempt to fall off the building and take Emma with him. However, Connor will rush forward and successfully manage to pull Emma from his grip, though unfortunately Daniel will simply take Connor with him off the building instead, though Emma herself will live.
    • If you antagonize Daniel throughout the conversation and didn't manage to get close enough before the conversation ends, Daniel will fall off the building and successfully take Emma with him, killing Emma. This is one of the two "mission failed" endings in this scenario.
    • If you lie to Daniel about having a gun, choose to use it, and choose the "Execute" option, Connor will simply shoot Daniel in the head, causing him to let Emma go, saving Emma's life.
    • If you lie to Daniel about having a gun, choose to use it, and choose the "Intimidate" option, Connor and Daniel will point guns at each other, but unfortunately Daniel will shoot Connor and then take Emma off the building with him, killing Emma. This is one of the two "mission failed" endings in this scenario.
  • Murder by Inaction: In "Battle for Detroit", Hank reveals to Connor that a surgeon was too high on Red Ice to operate on Cole, and as a result of his negligence, Cole died.
  • Murder-Suicide: A potential result in the interrogation of the android that killed Carlos Ortiz. If Connor pushes it too far then it'll steal a cop's gun and use it to kill Connor then itself.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Hank says this almost verbatim if he shoots the real Connor in Cyberlife Tower.
    • Kara can suffer such a moment if she gets the ending that involved her leaving a dying Alice behind in order to save herself.
  • Never My Fault: Many humans blame the androids for their own faults.
  • Nice Guy:
    • We don't know a lot about Emma Phillips, the little girl taken hostage during the first level of full game, but what little we do know suggests she was this, as she took a video declaring herself and her family's android to be "besties" and thought he was "the coolest android in the world", and she wasn't responsible for her parents' decision to replace him.
    • Carl most definitely qualifies as he is the only human character who treats androids better than the other Jerkass humans.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • The president bears a rather strong physical resemblance to Hillary Clinton.
    • Todd's concept art bears a striking resemblance to actor Michael Madsen, even with the facial features being distorted for legality.
  • Noodle Implements: The chicken stand advertises that their chicken only has two legs and two wings, which raises the question as to what labs have been doing to chickens in the future.
  • No-Paper Future: A rather weird case that borders on Double Subversion: paper doesn't seem to exist, but in its place are disposable, single-purpose, paper-thin touchscreen devices that otherwise function identically to provide magazines, bills, and bizarrely, snail mail. You'd think they'd use email instead.
  • The Nothing After Death: Potentially brought up in "The Bridge", where Hank points a gun at Connor to test the latter's reaction to the possibility of dying.
    Hank: What will happen if I pull this trigger? Hm? Nothing? Oblivion? Android heaven?
    Connor: [NOTHING] Nothing. There would be nothing...
  • Not Now, Kiddo: During Kara's story, Luther may on multiple occasions tell Kara that he has something important to say about Alice. Kara will brush him off each time and tell him to save it for later. Justified in that Kara subconsciously already knows that Luther is trying to tell her that Alice is really an android, but she's trying to block the truth from her memory, since she's fallen in love with the idea of caring for a human child.
  • No Listening Skills: Humanity in general. When androids become deviant, humanity refuses to listen to them. Even if Markus goes the peaceful route and nonviolently insists that they are alive and self-aware, most humans will treat them like malfunctioning hardware up until the very last moment.
  • Not So Different: For all the suspicions on both sides of the human-android conflict, the whole range of attitudes are shown on both sides. There are humans who just want to wipe out rogue machines, and humans who see an oppressed people who need help. There are androids who want to live in peace, and androids who see the humans as monsters and think they all deserve death. The sentience of a deviant android gives them personalities indistinguishable from humans, which can be good or bad just as it does for a human. Proving that androids aren't so different from humans in a positive way is key to a positive ending.
  • Obliviously Evil: Before it becomes obvious that androids are potentially sentient, the human abuse is on the same moral level as Die, Chair! Die!.
  • Obviously Evil:
    • With her mannerisms and the semi-ominous score that plays when Connor meets her, it's obvious Amanda is at the very least up to something.
    • Not even Alice trusts Zlatko when they get to his house. Not even a couple minutes later, he's trying to erase Kara's memory and do something with Alice.
    • A more minor example, but the deviant among the three androids Connor can interrogate in the TV station's kitchen is very easy to spot; he's the only one whose eyes are nervously darting back and forth and clearly feeling the pressure.
  • Offing the Offspring: If Kara doesn't find a way to stop him, Todd will go off the deep end and give his daughter "a little squeeze in the spine". Subverted since Alice is an android and not Todd's actual daughter.
  • Older Than They Look: The Chicken Feed proprietor, Gary Kayes, looks pretty damn good for a 49-year-oldnote . Bear in mind that, despite being a bearded and disheveled alcoholic, Hank Anderson is 53note .
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In Kara's first chapter, while cleaning Todd's room, she pauses upon seeing an advertisement in a magazine—but it's out-of-focus, so the player can't see the contents of the ad. After The Reveal that Alice is an android, there's a flashback to Kara reading that ad, and this time the player can see it's an ad for the same model of android as Alice.
  • One Steve Limit: Minor example. Connor (RK800) is the only one in the regular gameplay with that name, but depending on the path you played, Connor's credits-scene will have Amanda introduce him to the successor model RK900, with that specific one also called Connor.
    • Also played with in the android-models. Connor and Markus are prototypes and, as such, are unique. However, Kara is an AX400-model, a pretty common household help android. As such, a few other AX400s are shown in the game, such as in the junkyard and being converted to a deviant by Markus.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Two chapters (Markus' awakening on the android junkyard and Kara's ordeal in Zlatko's house) shift the game from a relatively straightforward social drama right into Survival Horror.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Connor has to guess Hank's network password to get into the police evidence locker. The correct choice is "FUCKINGPASSWORD".
  • Police are Useless: Yes. Despite one of the protagonists being a detective and his viewpoint providing an overall positive view of the police, the police and military attempting to curb the outbreak of android deviancy are underwhelming at best. Note that this is likely Justified by how dependent society has become on androids, and how difficult it may have been in the setting to cope without them being wholly subservient — as noted at the final stages of the revolution, as much as a third of US military forces had been disabled or defected by the revolution.
    • The SWAT team from the first level of the game (and the demo). One of them even gets himself shot by... peering outside at the android holding a gun and taking a girl hostage? Despite otherwise taking hardcover.
    • The Detroit Police Department decide to assign Hank Anderson — a depressed, anti-android, constantly late, and alcoholic police lieutenant past his prime — to combat the android threat that is hyped up from the beginning to be a looming threat. It works out for them because Hank is at his core a good man, but it still takes prodding from Connor to even get him out of bed and reignite his spark.
    • The ending of the Broken level for Markus either shows irrational hatred of androids or just stupidity from the police. The first responder shoots the android in front of him, despite either the android's owner yelling that it wasn't his fault, or the fact that someone else was accusing the android of murder. Basically, despite an android placing a 911 call, he's the one who gets shot on sight. Things like this have actually been known to happen, though obviously not with androids.
    • Once the revolution kicks off in earnest, the police or soldiers deployed aren't exactly the elites that should be expected. Despite a standard android being weak enough to be destroyed by an everyday human being (as seen in various crimes investigated by Connor), every soldier gets overpowered in hand-to-hand combat (with correct QTE prompts) when they meet Markus (some specially-empowered android leader), Connor (a prototype investigative android)... or Kara, a maid bot who just happens to be a Mama Wolf.
  • The Power of Love: At the very end of the pacifist revolution, if Markus and North are both alive and lovers, as the police close in on the last of the free deviants, they can share a kiss, which makes the police hesitate executing them long enough for President Warren to order them to stand down.

     Q - Z 

  • Race Against the Clock: Some of the scenes are timed and can lead to failed tasks or bad endings for that chapter if you don't do it in time.
    • Kara needs to act quickly to save Alice when Todd tells her to stay in place while Alice runs up stairs, or else Todd will kill Alice (and subsequently, you).
    • When Connor discovers he can use surveillance from the Eden club androids to find the deviant android, you have three minutes to use them to find out where she went. If you run out of time, their memories get wiped by the routine wipe and Hank gets mad at you, ending the chapter.
    • On the deviant path, if Connor doesn't reach the emergency exit in time, the screen will cut to black while Amanda says "We will do great things together."
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Children whose parents have divorced due to a parent feeling the other is unsuitable to care for a family usually end up in the custody of the former parent. Todd's ex-wife left with the real Alice.
    • It's Truth in Television that your pet dog, no matter how big they are, usually isn't a good guard dog against intruders. Them being a Big, Friendly Dog or just not active enough gets in the way of that. Humorously discovered with Hank's dog, Sumo.
  • Redemption in the Rain: Markus is reborn on a rainy night in a junkyard for androids after he's shot (following the altercation with Leo) and left for dead in the android dump. There, he replaced all of his broken body parts and climbed up a hill of dead android bodies until he was triumphant and reborn as a new life.
  • Red Herring:
    • Turns out rA9 is this: they're just the first android to awake to sapience, but otherwise shows up as a vague religious figure with no bearing to the actual main protagonists, who make their own choices despite encountering those who believe in rA9. It helps that, as noted in The Un-Reveal, players can completely miss rA9's significance.
    • The deterioration of Russian-American relations, their territory conflict in the Arctic, and the fears of an incoming World War III ultimately has nothing to do with the story other than help establish that this game is 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • Rejected Apology: In "Night of the Soul", you will be given the option to have Markus to not forgive North for kicking him out of Jericho for failing the previous missions and for taking over as the leader.
  • Relationship Values:
    • Most of the protagonists' actions that happen in the presence of their allies influence how these allies think of the protagonist in question. The game keeps track of these values and displays them every time something changes. They can also be checked at any time in the flowchart menu. Gaining the friendship or even love of supporting characters can open up new options and plot threads that may result in different, usually better endings. Conversely, pissing them off has a tendency to culminate in depressing Downer Endings.
    • Another relationship meter common to all protagonists concerns the androids' general standing with the human populace. You start out at "skeptical" by default, and your actions will decide whether the humans become more supportive or resentful of the androids' cause.
  • Rescue Reversal: One of the possible outcomes of the "Stormy Night" chapter. After Kara becomes deviant, she can take a gun from Todd's room before she goes into Alice's room to protect her from him. If Kara loses the fight with Todd, Alice will use the gun to kill him before he can kill Kara.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: If you so choose. North constantly advocates this approach.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Inverted. It appears that by the time of the game, the United States has undergone a massive deflationary cycle. A one-night stay in a reasonably clean two queen-sized bed costs $40.00 a night (including tax), you can buy a case of beer and a bag of chips for $4.95, Cyberlife became the first company to hit a $1 trillion valuation (a feat that Apple achieve in real life in August 2018, about 3 months after the game was released and 20 years before the time of the game setting), and a used upper-tier domestic android could be obtained for under $800 (assuming an android is at least as expensive as a car it should cost at least a couple of thousand).
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Pretty much all of them by design (see Uncanny Valley and the In-Universe attempt to avert that trope). But especially those characters who Grew Beyond Their Programming and embrace deviancy (and newfound sapience). Markus and Kara both look and act indistinguishable from human beings and easily fool other humans once they remove the obvious android clothes and their forehead LED.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Deviant androids involved with homicides are usually still at the scene of the crime and need to be sniffed out, due to being unclear on what to do with their newfound freedom. Kara is one of the only ones who makes any attempt to escape before the police arrive, because she has Alice there to give her a purpose.
  • Robotic Reveal: Near the end of the game, Kara finally realizes that Alice is an android by coming face-to-face with another model with her LED still attached. As Luther points out, Kara had subconsciously suppressed facts that would've led her to realize this sooner, including the family's purchase of a young child model. If Luther is not present, Lucy provides similar exposition.
  • Robot Religion: rA9 is part of something like this. According to Elijah Kamski, rA9 is believed to be the first deviant and thus serves as a Messianic Archetype to other deviant androids. Kamski also affirms that it's unknown if rA9 really existed and s/he may be just a myth.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Markus's experience in the android junkyard is very clearly a metaphorical android hell, representing the death stage in his rebirth. The junkyard has near-dead androids wandering around, sometimes screaming in agony. Markus was dumped there on a raining night so everything is muddy and messy. There is a tight road lined up with androids buried in mud, who can only move their hands and try to grab Markus as he goes through, like dead souls trying to cling onto him.
    • One of the symbols that Markus can choose for the insignia of Jericho is a raised fist.
    • As the game is set in Detroit and takes place in November, the setting gets progressively snowier as the story goes on.
    • Each time he visits Amanda, Connor will not react to the increasingly colder environment. It is also established in Kara's boat ending that androids cannot withstand extremely cold temperatures. If Connor goes deviant, he holds his arms, shivers, and walks slowly at a limping speed when trying to reach the emergency exit. If Connor fails to discover the location of Jericho by the end of "Last Chance, Connor", after Amanda tells him that You Have Failed Me, he freezes over in the Zen Garden while his physical self leaves to be decommissioned. If Connor stays a machine and successfully defeats the revolution, the Zen Garden reverts back to being sunny and warm.
  • Run for the Border: If no one has died by the end of the game, once the android revolution led by Markus starts to rise up in Detroit, Kara, Alice, Rose, Adam, Luther and Jerry will attempt to run to the United States-Canadian border in order to escape, and can either enter Canada illegally by a boat trip across the Detroit River or take a cross-border bus and enter Canada after passing the CBSA checkpoint in Windsor, Ontario.
  • Sadistic Choice: As per fitting of a game where choices are a vital aspect.
    • At one point during Connor's story, Kamski hands him a loaded gun and orders him to execute another android right in front of him to obtain the information he wants.
    • Near the end of Connor's story (if he follows a pacifistic Markus), he's given the choice to sacrifice Hank or save him from another Connor model.
    • Near the end of Kara's story, if she saved Luther and(/or) Jerry before. Kara can choose to sacrifice one of them, herself or no one in attempt to pass the border.
  • Sailor Earth: We do not see every android model and their purpose in-game, so coming up with a new one is fairly simple. Just pick a 2-letter prefix, a something-hundred suffix, and an intended purpose.
  • Schmuck Bait: It's incredibly obvious that trusting Perkins during Markus's protest will only get everyone killed.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Occurs in the best ending for Kara and Alice's story. While the two of them attempt to legally cross into Canada, Immigration is checking for androids. The officer scans them, but Kara's last desperate plea for freedom, combined with the newsfeed of Markus' peaceful protest, moves the officer into letting them slip through regardless.
  • Self-Made Orphan: There's a way to convince 6-year old Alice to shoot her own father. Considering he's homicidally insane and on the verge of killing Kara, well...
  • Senseless Sacrifice: There are two "sacrifice" options for Markus. He will die if there is no one to save him in "Freedom March." North then takes over, but she isn't Markus and the revolution is doomed to fail. If he chose to protest and makes it to the end, the sacrifice option has Markus self-immolate declaring, "We are alive. We are alive and we wanna be free." The soldiers do lower their weapons, but quickly regain composure and gun down the surviving androids.
  • Sex Bot: Androids are use as sexbots in brothels and marketed as substitute life partners, with the android-sex-worker-only club Eden Club being one important location in the story. Deconstructed in a magazine in which it states that the prevalence of such androids would make humans too reliant on their androids than on actual humans, and even causing the decline of the human population. Connor and Hank find themselves dealing with a murder case involving a deviant sexbot. North was revealed to be a sexbot who snapped and murdered her client who was abusing her.
  • Shameful Strip: Up to Eleven if Kara and Alice get captured and sent to one of the Android Recycling Centers in the climax, as they're forced to both remove and discard their clothes and also turn their artificial skins off, leaving them completely exposed and having the one vestige of their budding humanity starkly removed.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Kara's storyline can end as this, as Alice can die just after they crossed the border to Canada. Kara can choose to either shut down herself or move on without Alice (which she does very reluctantly).
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the agents that escorts Connor when he infiltrates CyberLife on the deviant path has the operating title Agent 47.
    • Connor's name may be a reference to John Connor.
    • Connor being able to analyze substances by licking them and how weird it looks for a human-appearing robot to do that may also be a reference to T-X.
    • During the "Waiting for Hank" police station chapter, Connor can visit the break room and watch a TV news report about an AI-authored novel. The title of the book mentioned is Do Humans Dream of Mammalian Sheep?. This is a reference to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, on which the movie Blade Runner was based.
      • Also in reference to Blade Runner, there's a dead police officer in the first chapter that Connor can analyze, which reveals that his surname is Deckard.
      • This also, probably unintentionally, creates a shout-out to Bryan Dechart, the voice and motion-capture actor for Connor, who’s last name is pronounced almost exactly the same.
  • Shrinking Violet: Alice, the daughter of Kara's new owner, is a very quiet girl who barely speaks and spends all her time playing by herself or hiding from her father and Kara. Justified, since her father is emotionally unstable and physically abusive, and the last time she saw Kara before the start of the game, she was destroyed while trying to protect Alice from him.
  • Slave Liberation: The androids' servitude to humans is likened heavily to slavery so any uprising is portrayed as this.
  • Snow Means Death: The weather in Detroit mostly reflects the current state of affairs in each chapter. Things start off sunny, then it gets rainy, and eventually snow begins to fall in increasing quantities the closer you get to end with its many very violent moments. It's even more pronounced in Amanda's zen garden where the snow (or at least the cold) can actually kill Connor if he became deviant and takes too long to reach the exit after his final meeting with Amanda.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Invoked in "Battle of Detroit" when Hank is unable to determine who's the real and the fake Connor. But because both Connors share the same memories, Hank is looking not for the correct answer, but the answer that's stated with more sympathy.
  • Song of Courage: If the player chose for Jericho to conduct a peaceful protest in the climax, one of the last pacifistic courses of action to endear their cause to the humans is for Markus and the deviants to sing, which moves President Warren into ordering the military to stand down.
  • Suffrage and Political Liberation: One of Markus's goals for android liberation can include the right to vote and of political representation.
  • Super Empowering:
    • Markus can instantly bestow sentience upon other robots. He uses this power a lot.
    • In the runs where he becomes a deviant and joins the renegades, Connor becomes capable of it too.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Downplayed. In general, androids in this setting (Connor and Markus aside) have "peak-conditioning" human strength, speed, and reflexes. Jericho is hidden in a place where, until Markus takes leadership, only androids have the parkour ability to climb, jump, and fall down to safely. However, well-trained or sufficiently angry humans (in the case of the numerous abuse cases Connor investigates) are still able to fight off or outright destroy androids (who in general are only slightly more durable than regular humans if they don't get maintenance), including the protagonists if the player fails enough QTEs. One major exception is Kara; even if the player manages to successfully hit all the button prompts, Kara struggles against Todd during their fight in "Stormy Night". Although later on she is shown as capable of fighting off armored U.S. military soldiers during the siege of Jericho.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: As Connor, failing to do anything in a QTE at a certain point in the game causes you to get shot eleven times in rapid succession by a Glock . Yes, almost the entire magazine is used to punish you for your idleness.
  • Three-Laws Compliant: Not directly mentioned, but androids are programmed to obey their owners unquestioningly, seem to be programmed with a self preservation instinct, and most are programmed to be incapable of harming humans, although the existence of military androids including "Myrmidon" special forces assassins indicates that some androids are not programmed with this limitation. Connor is also shown to be able to kill humans even without going Deviant.
  • To Hell and Back: One item Markus crosses off the Messianic Archetype checklist is dying, descending into a torturous land of the dead beneath the ground, and returning to life by ascending out of it. The chapter all about that is even called "From the Dead" and the edge of this robotic Gehenna is marked by an angel to let the player know Markus' rise is divinely ordained.
  • Trash the Set: During the raid on Jericho, Markus has the option to blow the entire freighter up using a set of previously stored explosives. This will force the military to retreat and take the soldiers still inside the ship down with it.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: According to Kamski, the way deviancy happens is through a glitch in the program that gets executed when two androids meet and share identification data. The glitch would spread like a virus, remaining dormant until the soon-to-be-deviant android encounters an emotional trauma.
  • Troubled Abuser: Todd lost his daughter when his wife divorced him. Maddened by grief, he bought an android girl to cope but his alcoholism and violent tendencies led him to hurt it.
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
    • Quite possible if the appropriate choices are made. Markus's narrative is given over to it.
    • Ironically inverted with Markus. His owner, Carl, was the one to encourage Markus to be who he chooses to be. For Markus' part, he never saw Carl as a master or owner, but as his father.
  • The Un-Reveal: Who or what is rA9, which is a prevalent symbol throughout the three protagonists' journey? ... Well, some playthroughs result in players never finding out. It's that kind of game.
  • Uncertain Doom: In one ending combination, a Connor that remained a machine can spare Markus or North when they are cornered in a store after a failed revolution. Considering that there is an entire army sweeping for deviants in Detroit, their fate afterwards is left completely ambiguous.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Upon arrival at the hostage situation we can see that a fish tank has been smashed by gunfire, leaving an unfortunate fish lying on the ground. Connor is able to pick it up and place it back in the water that’s still in the tank.
    • The hostage scenario itself will allow the player to save a child's life, depending on the player's choices.
    • Kara's story will revolve around being Alice's guardian. Among numerous other choices, Kara can choose to buy (or steal) toys and other conveniences for Alice.
    • In Zlatko's mansion, you can free the android bear trapped in a cage upstairs. If you happen to get caught sneaking through the storage room, the bear will attack Zlatko to protect you, at the cost of its life.
  • We Used to Be Friends: If Connor has a high relationship with Hank (meaning that Hank will not commit suicide) but remains loyal to Amanda, Hank will confront Connor when Connor attempts to assassinate Jericho's leader with a sniper rifle. Hank says that he has changed his mind on androids and wants to stop Connor. Hank will then fight Connor to the death. Whatever relationship Connor had with Hank will tank to "Tense" or "Hostile".
  • Wham Shot: Kara seeing an android Alice with the circle LED attached. This leads to a flashback where she sees Alice on a CyberLife sales magazine and Luther explaining to her that she's been repressing her knowledge that Alice was an android out of her need to protect her.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: That Jericho is destroyed really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Unsurprisingly considering how the game has Multiple Endings, sometimes supporting characters just get lost when their protagonist dies and no-one is left to care about them. For example, letting Kara and Alice die in the raid on Jericho results in never finding out what happens to Luther, who was ambiguously left to "meet up with" the pair at the border despite having an injury and being trapped in Jericho.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Omnipresent throughout the story for androids, but particularly in Markus' story. Comparisons to slavery and second-class status (such as segregation and disenfranchisement) are abundant.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If the player makes some astoundingly stupid decisions that causes anticlimactic or extremely early deaths for the player characters, it will cause a Non-Standard Game Over (which is unique since the game most of the time carries on with the player's poor choices instead of giving a game over that forces a reset) with Chloe (the android on the main menu) chastising the player for their poor decisions.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Jericho's resources scale up quite fast when Markus finally joins them (assuming he's a successful leader). At first, they're basically a bunch of scared civilians squatting in a single cargo room in a derelict, dingy freighter — Markus will remark that only an android would have been able to enter, as they have to navigate a maze of perilous jumps and scrappy falls from a rusted interior. They're fearful of even leaving the freighter to steal spare parts from a CyberLife depot to keep themselves from breaking down. By the end of the game, however, as Markus accrues numerous followers, Jericho's freighter is renovated into a base for hundreds of androids (and they clean up their natural defenses into an entrance for new followers to freely enter on foot), and they will have plenty of assault rifles, plastic explosives, and other military-grade hardware regardless of whether or not Markus is approaching the revolution peacefully. The game never directly states where the sudden surge of resources come from, besides the implication of mass android defections and theft, including military androids that the government has to put down.
  • White and Gray Morality: Androids are definitely considered good, but humans also have their own justifiable plights against them with androids taking their jobs and having difficulties accepting the androids' sentience. The only real evil people in the story are unpleasant Jerkasses, true sociopathic people who are horrifying even by human standards, and the meddling CyberLife (through Connor's actions via Amanda's orders, which often causes deviant androids to go berserk and kill innocents around them out of Connor's pressuring). Kamski is a case of Blue and Orange Morality.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Hank and Connor had no problem tussling with the two female androids at Eden's Club. Connor also later on has the option to shoot Chloe in the head at Kamski's mansion.
    • The male military soldiers unquestionably gunned down androids during the revolution regardless of their gender.
    • Todd frequently, relentlessly physically abused Alice and Kara.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Justified and invoked. Androids of the same model (or even similar models) usually look identical to one another, like with Daniel and Simon, who are both model PL600 androids. This happens even with the protagonists; "Freedom March" Markus converts an AX400 android who looks just like Kara, and in "Battle for Detroit" where a deviant Connor confronts another copy of him who's holding Hank hostage.

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