Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Daud, one of the main antagonists of “Dishonored.”
“Dishonored” follows the story of the once royal guard turned assassin Corvo. The queen has been killed by the assassin Daud, and Corvo has been framed for it. In order to try and clear his name and save the princess, Corvo turns into a assassin and takes vengeance upon the people who schemed against him. During the time that Corvo is off exacting revenge, Daud is doing his own little mission until finally he meets with Corvo again for their final battle.
Daud originally was not a character you saw much of, but the release of the DLC let you play as Daud and added much more to his character. I’ll start by talking about his role before the DLC and then bring us into the DLC. After Daud kills the queen in the beginning of the game, as Corvo you get thrown into jail. You, of course, eventually break out where you then meet The Outsider. The Outsider then bestows super natural powers upon you. While this is happening, Daud is nowhere to be seen. Eventually you begin to fight Daud’s minions and see that they appear to have some teleporting ability. You make it your mission to go after Daud and defeat him. Finally, you make it to fighting Daud. This is when you realize that he too has the power of The Outsider. You do battle and defeat him, and then you get the choice to let him live or kill him. After that, you see no more of Daud. You have exacted your revenge on the man who killed your queen and you move on to finish up your work. If this were all that there was, Daud would be a pretty bad character. There just wasn’t much to him. However, I think they realized there was room to add to Daud. So the DLC they created did just that; you get to play as Daud during the time Corvo is doing all his work.
The DLC starts off showing a flashback of when Daud killed the queen. The events themselves start off six months later. Corvo at this point is off on his adventure of revenge. Daud is told by The Outsider that he must find Delilah. The Outsider also mentions that Daud “his story will end soon”, referring to Corvo killing him. Daud takes this whole heartedly and sets out to find this Delilah because he knows that The Outsider is an all seeing being. Throughout the time of playing as Daud, you learn he really did not want to kill the queen. He simply doesn’t enjoy being an assassin. He is used like a weapon to take out important people. He never really says what he was before or why he ended up being an assassin. It is sort of a missing point in his story. I would have liked some history on Daud, but you don’t really get anything. You feel sort of bad and understand that he didn’t want to kill the queen, but it doesn’t go very far. You feel like there is something missing. You want to know some more to Daud and yet you can’t because they only tell you so much. Eventually you find Delilah and events lead you toward the Brigmore witches.
Delilah ends up being the leader of the these Brigmore witches and has a master plan to control the empire that the late queen left behind. Delilah plans to possess the princess and control the empire with her body. Daud, to try and he has done wrong, goes to stop Delilah. Okay, so you kinda feel bad for Daud and he is trying to make up for things. That’s all well and good, but it’s still kinda threadbare. You get what they are going for, but it’s kinda lacking. You don’t know enough about Daud to feel bad for him, and after having played the main game as Corvo, you know that Daud stops Delilah. It is cool to see the two sides but there is little crossover. It makes you feel a little worse if you chose to kill Daud as Corvo, but not that much. Daud is really cool, no doubt about that, but that doesn’t make him super interesting. He is a wicked assassin with superpowers and beats a lot of people and does some impressive killing, but he feels like some piece is missing. Maybe that was intentional, it’s kinda hard to say. I felt like I didn’t understand why he cared. Why was he bothering to save the empire? I think this was a result of trying to make a character more, but not planning ahead super well.
Now Daud’s verdict. Daud gets What The? I don’t totally hate him and I think he has some interesting aspects, but I think he is a missed opportunity. Throw in some backstory and a little more emotion and he would fill his character a lot better. To be fair, the world of “Dishonored” is very gritty and dark, so there is some intentional writing there. The characters all feel kind of soulless because of the world the game is built in, but if you are gonna make DLC about one character in particular, throw on some more meat. In the end, though, “Dishonored” is an amazing game; I highly recommend it and the DLC is very good.