View Full Version : Talion sidequest, how did you decide? *possible spoilers*

3rd Nov 2011, 14:56
I'm at the Talion sidequest (Hengha part 2) talking to a rogue merc Zelazny that I'm supposed to either kill or let go. But I can't decide.

On one hand he was used in very likely an illegal actions killing people. Now he makes his revenge. But on the other hand that guy is running around killing people on his list. What if there are innocent people on his list?

On one hand I sympathize with him but on the other I don't want him kill any more people.

How did you decide on this and why?

3rd Nov 2011, 15:11
I decided to stop him. He may have been used but he has options other than "kill 'em all" but he refuses to change his course of action. Maybe a Casie aug would have helped but I never had one and I couldn't change his mind so I knocked them all out (reflex booster + stealth augs + some luck and pain pills) and then went back to the doc and told them where he could find him.

If I'd been playing a more "fatal" playthrough I may have agreed with his revenge motives and let him be.

3rd Nov 2011, 15:17
To me the game is very much an exercise in futility (though an enjoyable one), insofar as Jensen is constantly being manipulated and the conspiracy is always one step ahead. Zelazny can do what Jensen can not: get at all the people who've been pulling his strings. Even though I avoid killing wherever possible in the game, I identify so strongly with Jensen's frustration that I can't help but turn him loose.

3rd Nov 2011, 15:53
My first playthrough I based all "social" decisions on what I felt I would do in Jensen's position. I did NOT view his actions as revenge, but rather as a mechanism to protect both future targets chosen by corrupt govt officials, and dissuade Belltower from using the neural memory control feature on other personnel. Since talking and the CASIE aug are ineffective to persuade Zelazny to abandon his hunt and seek legal means of stopping his manipulators (not to mention they'd likely be untouchable in a broken justice system) that left me with the use of force as my other option.

I was NOT going to unlawfully kill Zelazny and his men to save the corrupt politicians who had used him as a murder weapon. The other option was to KO them all, but that would likely only be a temporary pause to Zelazny's hunt even though DX:HR does not expound on it. Or if Zelazny was taken into custody while unconscious, the same govt officials and military contractors that put him in this position would likely remove him from the equation, permanently. So I opted for the utilitarian way out and let Zelazny go after the men using augmentation to create assassins and convinced Dr. Wing that my actions had merit.

On my next playthrough I simply used the method that awarded the maximum XP, non-lethal double takedowns. I brought a trash can down into the sewers, lured away one guard, boxed him in, lured away a second, took them both down together out of sight from Z. I went back to Zelazny, lured the final guard away (to get him to stand) and then when he walked back to Z I took them both out. Nobody ever saw me or went hostile, which is the way I like it.

Belltower will continue to outfit human weapons with neural memory control devices, political targets will be injured or killed, and I will savor my sweet 250 XP for knocking out and turning in the man who wanted to stop them.

3rd Nov 2011, 16:18
After reading junco577's post I got curious: is there anybody who does not look to maximize XP in every situation on 2nd or subsequent playthroughs? I understand that on 1st playthrough there are story consideration involved, the desire to role-play or act in character... but being put in the same situation again, could someone possibly care for the narrative? Or does it all boil to "gaming the system"?

3rd Nov 2011, 16:29
I don't try to maximise XP.
If it's fun then I do it. If not then I don't if I don't have to.
This includes hacking. Even when I have highly aug'ed hacking if I'm in a rush or I don't feel like hacking and I have a password then I'll just use the password. I miss some XP and possible viruses / cash, but sometimes I just don't feel like hacking.
Likewise: if I don't feel like carefully stalking and abducting gaurds when I can sneak past then I generally sneak past. They're potential XP but I don't find it fun to maximise XP. If that's your thing then cool, enjoy, but I'm quite happy to skip things every now and then.

3rd Nov 2011, 17:15
I let him loose. I was as conflicted about this decision as any other one in the game. In the end, I figured it was (rough) justice for the some bad people.

I never play to maximize XP, even during subsequent playthroughs. I have style of play in mind, and that's what I do. I know that "maximize XP" is a style of play, but it's one I never use.

3rd Nov 2011, 18:23
Does the definition of playstyle include role-playing or is it a "mechanistic" style, like "kill everyone" or "stealthy pacifist"? Because, even though I like DXHR a lot, I replay it only for the variety of approaches to each situation, for the AI responses, to explore the game world or to toy around with physics. But not for the narrative (dialogue, e-mails, etc.) — it has barely held my attention the first time. So I'm a bit puzzled by threads like this one.

What interests me is whether others find the same depth in game's plot or variety of characters' responses — and what exactly do you like in them? Or, put another way: can the story alone be a sufficient motivation for replaying the game?

3rd Nov 2011, 19:28
can the story alone be a sufficient motivation for replaying the game?

Sure. I re-read books and watch movies more than once (if they're good). If someone put a gun to my head and said "if you want to play DX:HR again, you have to play the same type of character", I would still play the game again. It's better, of course, to add some variety by doing things differently. But even if I did things the same, it would still be worth it, to be back in that world again, wandering the streets of Hengsha, figuring out how to approach a mission, living the story again.

3rd Nov 2011, 21:55

Having played video games for around two decades, I would have have to say my answer to your question is VERY infrequently. Out of somewhere around 1000 games (I play about 4 a month average, 1 RPG or otherwise absorbing type and 2-5 less immersive titles such as Bastion, Monkey Island 2 SE, League of Legends, and Gemini Rue for last month's examples) I have only replayed about 20 to any significant degree. And most of those replays were for games over a decade old. These days there is such a variety of worthwhile titles that have a fair amount of play-time to be logged that a game has to truly be very extraordinary to warrant not moving on to a new experience. I have my own individual reasons as well, since after finishing college and being in a relationship there's simply less free time in general.

Most of my replays are RPGs, and for me a replay is usually about maximizing or "gaming the system" as you put it. Max stats, leave no stone unturned or chest unopened, etc. I've already learned the plot, the game-play, and most items and locations the first time around, so it shifts from the joy of discovery (1st play) to the satisfaction of achievement (2nd play). It's not about the story for me to specifically answer your question. I'm the same way when it comes to movies and novels, rarely returning to them after a first viewing/reading since my memory of plot elements is fairly comprehensive.

You did get me thinking though, trying to remember games I'd actually replayed to any significant degree. It was a fun exercise looking back and reminiscing. So very many fun games... it almost makes me wish I'd replayed more of them. I actually even made a quick list (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/44595097/gamereplays.txt) for myself, which I plan to add to if I remember others. Interestingly enough, Deus Ex is NOT one of the games I gave a second spin despite being a favorite (though I now wish I had). Much less DX:IW.

Thanks for the thought prompt! :scratch:

4th Nov 2011, 09:51
I must be happy to replay for the story. I'm replaying DX1 for the fourth time at the moment and have actually managed to do things differently this time - usually I play mostly non-lethal (exceptions tend to be enemies with flamethrowers and the MJ12 commandos) and save Paul. This time Paul died and I'm avenging his death - which is loads more fun than I thought it would be :D I'm still not killing indiscriminately though, I can't seem to be a completely cold blooded murderer.

So three playthroughs basically the same, I've done the same with IW and no doubt when I get into replaying DX:HR properly I'll do everything in that the same as the first time.

I also tend to watch the same films and read the same books multiple times, to the point where it's a running joke between me & my husband that I don't like anything I haven't already seen.

4th Nov 2011, 10:33
The first time I didn't really understood who he was and I really didn't care since I wanted to test my typhoon on them (they were standing in a nice little ring around me). Second time around I actually stopped and thought for a second and was thinking like sadmachine, a couple of post above, and let Zelazny loose to take care of possible threats for Adam.
Most likely there will be new enemies or Zelazny and his crew will be butchered before they get the chanse to complete their list, but what the heck. As long as it ain't me. :^)

5th Nov 2011, 02:01
I was playing the good guy, and so I decided that he had a point and let him go. But really it's hard to take him down without the Typhoon. Unless you want to skip the whole conversation and just start shooting as soon as you see him.

5th Nov 2011, 02:47
My first time through I kill nobody. In the case of Zelazny if I let him go I would be allowing others to be killed...which in my opinion is unacceptable regardless of their crimes. So, my choice was to knock them all out and let the police sort it out...hopefully Zelazny would give them the entire story and the police would round up all the villains...in a perfect world that would happen.

On my second play through I decided to make use of all the available arms...Zelazny and his crew were easy pickings...not really worth an achievement in my opinion. My third play through I let him go...there's a reward for it...though I don't think it's worth it tbh.

5th Nov 2011, 10:13
Thanks for the input to all of you guys.

I decided to let him go. Even thought I agree that the end does not justify the means, I felt it's not right to kill him for it and most importantly it's not my place to make that decision. Which is actually something that Adam tells him himself.

As for the subsequent playthroughs... I guess you have to be that kind of guy who likes going through the game more than once because otherwise there is not a single reason why should anyone repeat a game.
You can do pretty much everything in the single go - maximize XP, listen to story, crawl through all possible places and make all kinds of decisions by use of save/load feature to see which one works best for you...

Besides, listening to the same story again, knowing what would happen, killing/going around the same enemies I already worked around before and crawling through the same spaces again... just to see if I can decide here and there something differently... Naaah, it's boring. But that's my personal opinion I guess.

Imp of the Perverse
7th Nov 2011, 17:13
I had to let him go. After thinking about it, he's basically doing the same thing you are, but with the benefit of inside information to guide him. Even if you're doing a non-lethal playthrough, you still end up killing the higher-ups that you come across, letting the possibly innocent underlings live, which is what his goal seems to be.

Olgerth Heidern
15th Nov 2011, 22:12
I killed him. Quite frankly, he came off as way too unhinged to just let him walk. When he mentioned that he wanted to be tormented, haunted and taunted for the rest of his life by what he did, I realized that he probably won't stop at just killing the corrupt officials. He'll go off the deep end one day and mow down innocents to feed his insane desire for self-flagellation.

Had he been a cold, Batman-like vigilante, it would be one thing. But from his constant Bible spouting and past trauma I could only surmise that he was a few chips short of a mainframe.

Knocking him out and turning him in would've been entirely too cruel. If I couldn't talk him down, I gave him the most merciful option, a swift death.

20th Nov 2011, 22:31
I let Zelazny go. He regretted killing innocent people, and was aiming for only the head honchos, so I trusted him to not go on a murdering rampage.

And then he told me how glad he was that he wouldn't have to kill me. What, no hesitation at all? In a heartbeat? I lied to Wing so he wouldn't go after him.