Disco Elysium is a RPG with no combat. It’s like Fallout I & 2 or Arcanum but without combat. Imagine if you did all of the town exploration in Arcanum with a Phoenix Wright style exploration mechanic. You basically click on things, talk to folks and explore a world while customizing your character for how you want him to be.
One of the biggest helps in understanding the game is that choices seriously matter. There are choices that will open or close various side quests and decisions have permanence. The game tracks most actions in the game and NPCs will treat you based on your current state.
Understanding the Writing
One of the things about Disco Elysium is that it’s not just written in a sort of artistic way. It’s written from the point of view and perspective of an amnesiac alcoholic cop on a planet that isn’t Earth. Many of the terms and words used within the game are from not only another planet and entirely different culture, but also in consideration a lot of the dialog is internal thoughts as well. You speaking to yourself, sort of ordeal.
Understanding that, the dialog in the game becomes a lot easier to “get.”
A lot of the logic fields provide a lot of the inner dialog and a lot of the psyche line exposes your thoughts about the people you interact with. Setting your signature skill here for a intellect or psyche based cop can give you a better boost to roll success on those thoughts. That can expose a lot more dialog in the game.
Tips for Dealing with Failure
- You can save and then make a choice and see if you pass or fail. To avoid the auto-save, alt-F4 immediately on fail to close the game.
- Failing makes the game more fun, because it forces you to try other ways or just doesn’t have your ongoing story have that path in it.
- Embrace failure and try replaying again, focused on getting the parts you didn’t get before.
- The game is more fun the more random you are. Take risks. Save often.
- The only hard lock in the game is if you don’t secure a place to sleep by the time the way to secure that place is still active.
- Random actions can cause health damage, without spoilers, they can involve almost any time you click but are VERY few and far between. Protect yourself by making sure your health is always full.
Tips for Making Money
- There is a bag that you can collect near the center area of where you start in the game. It’s yellow. Once collected, you can collect tare.
- You can pawn items. That always makes cash.
- Try asking NPCs for money. They sometimes give it. Rich NPCs give more.
- Certain areas are ripe for looting. That backroom in the book store looks interesting.
Tips for Advancing the Story
- Talk to everyone. In true RPG fashion, sometimes you have to come back and talk to them later to open dialog options.
- Half the map is closed until day 3.
- You have until 2 a.m. to go to bed and then “time stops” and everyone is basically asleep by then. There is no penalty for continuing to explore. This is a great time to do tasks that would normally move time forward (time moves when there is dialog).
- Remember, that the main story is the events that occurred behind the hostel and that the game will warn you when you’re at the “point of no return.” The rest of the game is a side quest that you can choose to do or not to do it.
- Things that sound silly or outlandish aren’t. Feel free to click whatever response you want, if you want to.
- If you’re stuck, avoid looking up spoilers for the section unless you absolutely have to. The game’s fun is exploring and find out the world and failing. Spoiling it can take away that fun. Unless you want to, but the game will be less “exciting.”
Tips for Leveling Up
- Click every thought bubble.
- Explore every dialog option that you should explore (obviously avoid “bad” ones for your playthrough).
- Examine every object. TAB to see clickable objects.
- Talk to everyone.
- Do side-quests.
- Save skill points for when you’re at a serious chance roll and you want to help the odds for it.