There is something amiss about the ending of Dishonored. After being double (double?) crossed, you stealth up to face those that wronged you, ready for a battle, only to find that Havelock has killed everyone involved with the conspiracy. There was no final battle, no last hurrah, nothing. Just resignation from Havelock for his actions echoing the ending of Macbeth.
Before I reached the final room, knowing that the end of the game was near, I skirted up and around the conservatory and found another building. It looked like an area where you would retreat to following the last battle, overwhelmed by loyalist soldiers with only a platform left to make a last stand. I imagined that Corvo and Emily would make some last pact and leap to their fates, with the thought that Samuel might be able to fish them out – would have made a nice last scene, Samuel rowing and reaching into the water.
Anyway, back to the true ending, it really seemed like a missed opportunity. Throughout the game I’d chosen the non-lethal option for each of the targets. At one point when you have to get your gear back, you find Campbell consumed by the plague left to rot in a basement. Here I thought the game was giving me a choice, one last chance to assassinate him. It was at this point, that the game was testing me – did I really want to let this guy live, the originator of Corvo’s current circumstance.
It was here that I thought another twist was afoot. The rather obvious twist that Havelock/Pendleton/Martin would betray you was clear as day from miles out. But here I thought the writers were readying another plot twist that would have made an interesting alternate ending. Since these loyalists were the only ones that told you who to kill, there was no way of confirming Campbell and co.’s guilt. Thus if you let the supposed bad guys live through non-lethal mission completion , at the very end of the game they would all return and assist you in establishing a new régime.
I realise this would mean that Havelock would have had to have enlisted Daud to assassinate the Empress but it could have worked. As it was, the fact that you can simply pick up a key from a table and open a door to end the game was disappointing.
The world the developers created was brilliant, I love the way that each mission had a myriad of solutions, the whole backstory about whaling, the harsh society in which they live, the plague and the authoritarian landscape. The mysticism was also great, though those bizarre husks that shoot acid at you make no sense, and neither really did Granny Rags.
I wonder if we’ll ever find out about whether any alternate endings were developed as the one offered just wasn’t powerful enough. Given you’re this supremely powerful assassin, surely you should be the one to exact vengeance to all involved, not just Havelock. Plus, once you have Emily, you’re still locked on an island where everyone is on the lookout for you – it was like a freeze frame movie ending… dull.
— turns out this is the low chaos ending, and that area mentioned above was in use for the higher versions. guess i’ll have to play through again! —