Mercy and Revenge in Dishonored

Dishonored is a stealth game where the main character is an assassin/bodyguard named Corvo Attano. After Corvo is framed for killing the queen, he embarks on a mission to find and rescue her daughter. During this quest, the player can choose to kill several targets (High Chaos) or find other means to incapacitate and evade enemies (Low Chaos). These choices affect the difficulty level and ending of the game; High Chaos causes more guards, rat swarms, and plague victims (zombies) to appear in areas. As well as that, non-hostile NPCs tend to become more openly hostile or nihilistic.

However, many of the merciful quest options include ruthless endings for Corvo’s targets, even when he is ultimately sparing their lives. The targets are often subjected to more suffering, though the result is a less imbalanced world. Analyze how Dishonored explores the concepts of mercy and revenge with its Chaos system. What do the environmental consequences and brutal depictions of mercy say about Dishonored’s world and the notion of vengeance?

  • It certainly is an interesting topic. I thought it was rather ironic that mercy actually led to more horrific fates for Corvo's enemies, and perhaps death might not the ultimate punishment. – idleric 8 years ago
  • I am not much into gaming but an article on this topic would certainly interest me in getting more involved because of the way the topic is being framed. The ideas or theme of mercy, revenge or in the above mentioned topic of gender identities being applied to this format may be a way to get people who are not necessarily into gaming, reading about it. – Munjeera 8 years ago

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