Dishonored 2: Everyone Who Died In The First Mission Of My Non-Lethal Playthrough

I see you!

Ah, Dishonored 2 [official site]. A chance to right the wrongs with my approach to stealth in the original Dishonored. A clean slate where no-one has yet been massacred and no guards have been panic-killed and the guy in the chair in that room didn’t get accidentally stabbed because of a previous stabbing session which left me with a bit of a hair-trigger stab-finger. It was thus reassured that I have embarked on my non-lethal playthrough of Dishonored 2.

Six people have died so far.

I can definitely explain…

I’ve tried to keep the following spoiler-free but you might still want to leave reading it until you’ve played that first mission if you’re worried about accidental environmental spoilers?

That first guy

The first one was maybe slightly more my fault than the rest. He was a guard doing a circuit of a room as I waited in the hall to pick my moment for a sneaky choke hold. It actually worked out and there he was, lying on the floor asleep. Unfortunately the waiting and the positioning had taken a while and I’d forgotten whether these people could regain consciousness after a period of time.

Everyone was fine at the time of this screenshot

The idea of waiting in that room to potentially deal with the next room’s inhabitants and having the guy wake up and kill me suddenly loomed large. Was this going to just be a domino rally of choking and sleeping? So I sort of stabbed him to make sure that didn’t happen and his arm fell off.

I carried the arm around for a while but I’m not sure what the plan was there. In retrospect I maybe could have used it to distract the guards in the next room but I think I left it in a fruit bowl.

The two blokes in the next room

In this room I had the option of killing or not killing a key target en route to accomplishing my goals, but there were also two other guards wandering about. I decided to choke one out from behind a flower pot while the others were facing away. I think I fumbled the choke because I find the key bindings a bit peculiar for Dishonored 2 and just sort of stood behind him faffing a bit. I did start the choke but at that point one of the others was like “THAT’S EMILY KALDWIN”. Shut up, dude!

God, this was such a disaster.

My choke felt like a bit of an empty gesture at that point given at least one person was getting a stabbing so I just flailed at the two guards one after another until they fell over. The key target had been spooked to the point that he had rushed into the previous room. I wondered whether he would maybe calm down in there and forget about my interruption but for that to happen I should probably have hidden the rest of the first guard’s body and not just, for example, moved his arm to the fruit bowl.

That key target guy

So he was already freaked out but I was hoping he would be facing away from me and I could get in a bit of stealth, just in case I’d need him alive later on. I hid round a corner and tried to assess the situation.

He was not only NOT facing the other direction but was, in fact, walking towards me. It was at that point that I realised I wasn’t actually hidden behind anything. I was just standing in a corner and hoping he wouldn’t notice me. He noticed me and the next few seconds got a bit stabby.


The two guys who noticed me choke a guy out on a staircase

I think the title probably explains a lot about this situation, but in my defence I thought the hedge or wall or whatever that I was choking the guard out on was taller and thus I wouldn’t be spotted. LESSONS WERE LEARNED. Possibly not by me, but maybe more generally somehow?

Trying again with the stealthy approach

One of the deaths was a guy I was really proud to have sneaked behind without him detecting me so I feel a bit like maybe he should have just ignored me for a bit longer and everything would have been fine. Really this is mostly his fault not mine. He could literally see I was being stealthy. He saw me knock someone unconscious and definitely not stab them. I honestly don’t know what these people’s problem is.

The other one just ran over because the first guy got involved and wouldn’t calm down. So I calmed him down. Permanently.

It was just a misunderstanding, mate

I mean, I definitely wouldn’t say that Dishonored makes me a good person. Especially now I come to write this stuff down. It all felt so reasonable at the time.

Other deaths which aren’t canon

So, the next bit was really hard to do stealth in and several people died multiple times, including me. But the successful version of that mission didn’t involve their demise so I figure I don’t need to count those. Especially because if I did it then pushes the non-lethal playthrough body count up into double digits. Also, if we’re being strict about mentioning deaths I’d have to admit to falling off a window ledge for no good reason and accidentally shooting someone while eavesdropping from a rooftop.

But in the interests of explaining how the stealthy playthrough fell apart this is how the remainder of the mission unfolded:

I threw a distraction bottle to clear the way for me to sneak past. Instead of arcing to the other side of the street I managed to throw it at my foot and thus the guards came over because… yeah, that’s reasonable. There was a fight and two people died. I would have probably acquiesced to that but the game was less keen as one of the deaths was Emily Kaldwin.

This was an error.

This happened a few times in various forms. Not the bottle, but the discovery and deaths bits. In the end I just booked it to the end of the mission, sprinting through the streets with a… herd? of angry guards trampling behind me as I prayed they wouldn’t remember they have pistols or whatever. In the end I plunged into the sea and paddled around until the guards forgot I had ever existed, then boarded the ship. JOB DONE.

I am water invisible right now

Oh, and in case people are going to quibble the “non-lethal” business, here is the game’s official end-of-mission stance on the matter. IN YOUR FACT, “FACTS”.



  1. Robomonk says:

    Sounds like a tough journey (especially with people waking up after making them unconscious). I think maybe aim for non lethal, rather than both non lethal and complete no detection stealth, because doing one does take quite a bit of patience. Generally, they both go hand in hand, but sometimes you just have to run away and hide if you want to avoid non lethal conflicts.

    I’m playing the first game (very slowly) with non lethal methods in mind. My runes go into the sneaky powers. Though, I’m not playing it “properly”, since I do an excessive amount of saving and reloading. Just about every guard I rendered unconscious, I would save the game. The first mission took about an hour and a half.

  2. Ergates_Antius says:

    ” I should probably have hidden the rest of the first guard’s body and not just, for example, moved his arm to the fruit bowl.”
    …and in the game, etc.

    • Premium User Badge

      Philippa Warr says:

      Fun fact: I just checked the fruit bowl IRL and there are bananas, apples, and a small plush figure of Grover from Sesame Street.

  3. zsd says:

    I’m fascinated by nonlethal assault as a possible outcome. Is it possible to just bust up in there and punch dudes unconscious? Throw busts at them or something?

    • Mi-24 says:

      yes! you now have the option to “combat choke” an enemy, you have to put them off balance with a block and then choke them, but there are also lots of other variations (press block key on stunned enemy will kick / hit them) and there are non lethal versions of the death / uncomfortable sleep from above

    • Jaykera says:

      I had the same thought when I saw the first mission summary. This will definitely be one of my later playthrough. :)

    • zind says:

      My little finishing mark for the first mission was crammed ALL THE WAY to the bottom right. I had no deaths (reloaded once, because I accidentally splinched the unconscious main target in a secret door) but was noticed by almost everyone in the streets.

      Calling it an “assault” approach seems a bit of a misnomer though – it was definitely not stealthy, but that’s because after I was first noticed while sneaking my way toward the docks I just took off in a mad dash. Everyone saw me, nobody could catch me, and once I dove into the bay I was safe and didn’t have to fight any of them.

  4. KwisatzHaderach says:

    In fact it is! At least in Dis1 there was a skill unlock that made sleep darts effective even during open combat.

  5. Mi-24 says:

    Really enjoying dishono(u)red 2 so far. My playthrough has mostly been defined by pannicy / stabby murdersprees and whilst I swear I’m still treating it as a stealth game my graph thingy (technical term) puts me as lethal assault. Whats great so far is that if there’s something it looks like you can do, you probably can. Slidekicking people off roofs is extremely satisfying as is knocking them unconscious and dumping them into a room full of bloodflies to be eaten alive.
    I’m a lovely person really, I promise

  6. racccoon says:

    So far a little annoyed at the reward system, lol I never allowed any npc to survive at all, no one all gone, but I ended up reward less with lots of red X’s, shame on that.
    The game itself is really great to play apart from that weird MAD MAX like outer scene! “wtf” which I feel is kind of daft!
    I had to apply a few awkward keys/tweaks and bring mouse settings down a little as they were way to speedy & keys where all over the place…Its about compaction, not spreading..we ain’t spiders.

  7. April March says:

    Finally, someone as bad at stealth games as me.

  8. sneetch says:

    Don’t worry Philippa, I learned lessons (nothing to do with gaming but inspired by your actions… maybe, probably, possibly).

  9. yogibbear says:

    My only problem (is my own brain fart problem) is that until you get powers that I can set to stop me doing it is I instinctively press right click to stab and then end up shooting my pistol alerting everyone :'( So yeah opening mission turned into a bloodbath. Once I got powers I went back to proper stealth.

  10. Unsheep says:

    If I would play this game I’d do a 100% kill run, to see what cool – but ultimate brutal – things you could do to the enemy. However every Let’s Player I’ve seen follows the stealth-until-it-fails approach. Surely the game would also cater to budding Trevors like myself ?!

    • Harlander says:

      The lethality chart goes all the way to the left, so you oughta be catered for.

      Choking people out all the time probably should lie in the middle anyway. That’s a really effective way of giving people brain damage.

      • shde2e says:

        As is knocking people unconcious, giving them heart-attacks by shouting “BOO” into their ears, and stabbing them with various bits of metal.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      “Stealth until it fails” is pretty much how I play every game like this.
      In my head I come up with a fantastic plan that will ghost around all of the guards, getting me to my target and out again without anyone so much as looking up.
      Then about ten seconds in I accidentally wander right in front of a whole squad of guards and it turns into stabby murder time. I just don’t have the patience to keep practising not being an idiot and staying stealthy.

  11. StevieW says:

    I decided to choke one out from behind a flower pot

    Best thing I’ve read all week, thank you :)

  12. Pogs says:

    I’ve been playing Dishonored again in preparation for buying this. Pip – your exquisite stealthiness would seem to perfectly mirror my own ability to meld in to the background and pass unnoticed. Want to join my assassins guild? I’m sure we’ll go far.

    I would offer you the secret handshake of assassins but I may accidentally cut your arm off or shoot you in the face. So we’ll settle for the secret assassins nod? Apologies in advance if you die in the process of me making the subtle head movement.

  13. Wowbagger says:

    The new ‘not death from above’ animation is the only thing I’ve seen so far that made me wince. Despite a fair amount of accidental decapitation…

  14. Cara Ellison says:

    I am Cara and I enjoyed this post

  15. sagredo1632 says:

    “… accidentally shooting someone while eavesdropping…” I mean, who hasn’t done this, really?

  16. Nixitur says:

    I thought this was going to be about how when you try to go through non-lethally, your actions might nonetheless get people killed indirectly, thus calling the morality of a non-lethal playthrough in question.
    The truth is somehow way less exciting.

  17. gbrading says:

    Stealth is definitely harder than it looks, partly because the enemies are more perceptive than they were in Dishonored 1. Yesterday I finished the Edge of the World map (Karnaca Docks) and discovered I’d accidentally killed 1 person, so I had to replay the whole thing (which honestly I didn’t mind as I’d missed some things). And that map is incredibly dense and multi-layered, a really fantastic setting.

    I’m glad there are more non-lethal options though, like the Stun Mine and non-lethal drop assassinations. Makes playing non-lethal less repetitive than simply choking and sleep darting everyone.

  18. Xander77 says: