Detroit: Become Human

I accidentally started a violent revolution because I thought North handed me a canister of paint – first playthrough thoughts and character analysis on Connor, Kara and Markus

DetroitBecomeHuman9 - I accidentally started a violent revolution because I thought North handed me a canister of paint - first playthrough thoughts and character analysis on Connor, Kara and Markus

My Playthrough

Yes, during the vandalism mission I was fully committed to a pacifist Markus then he freaking burned the gazebo. I thought North handed me a canister of paint! Never trust that woman damn. I thought 30% violent will still result to pacifist but I was wrong. By the time I processed what's happening I'm too lazy to restart the chapter.

Heck yeah I don't regret it. It was a wild climax. To summarize my first playthrough:

  • Kara shot Todd
  • Carl dies
  • The android in the interrogation room killed Connor and commits suicide
  • Connor becomes friends with Hank throughout the story and chose humanizing options (not shooting Traci and Chloe, saving Hank over and over etc.)
  • I left Simon in the media tower but Connor dies without making it to the rooftop
  • In the protest, Markus held on his ground, then ran away
  • Markus is 100% pacifist until he burned the damn gazebo
  • Connor didn't shoot Chloe and yes he became deviant
  • Luthor dies, Kara and Alice got captured and put to the extermination camp but survives.
  • Markus wins the revolution but Simon and Josh dies. North is his girlfriend but I didn't really care.
  • Connor freed Cyberlife androids, saved Hank from clone.
  • Androids took over Detroit and president says "we have to accept we share the planet with a new intelligent species."

Character Thoughts

There are already plenty of discussions on this. Yes, my favorite is also Connor and I think he is the best written. But I'll still give my input and I hope you guys can discuss with me. I love this game and I regret not being in the fandom earlier.

Connor has the most solid writing and most engaging to me personally because of these factors:

  • The wide spectrum of his characterization that all made sense. Pure machine, full deviant or conflicted are all good dimensions of him. Machine Connor makes sense because you want him to be competent and solve the problem of deviancy, Deviant Connor makes sense because it develops him into an autonomous person. He can also settle in the middle.
  • He is character-focused but plot-important, a good case of "show not tell" and in world-building. Basically Connor isn't dealing with social justice issues, his story continually asks if machines are alive or sentient. He explains that deviants are possibly are malfunctioning because of external stimuli or infected with an ra9 "virus". He has rational explanations but his interactions with Hank can humanize him so much that it's already answering our questions about deviancy.
  • Connor interacts and makes choices with a diverse set of humans and androids where there is no "sides." The very first Connor scene shows that androids ARE dangerous to helpless humans like that little girl. While these androids could be victims of abuse, does it justify their murder? Does it make it less justified than humans murdering other humans? He has a well-developed arc with Hank, funny rivalry with Gavin, but also interacts with interesting characters like Amanda and Kaminski. None of them are straight-up good, and if they have hints of evil, they are not blatantly dangerous.
  • Overall on Connor, if he was a human detective, his whole story will be more straightforward. It's another rookie cop and older, jaded cop partnership story. Connor being an android is a huge factor on why his story stands out from normal buddy cop tropes, as being an android makes it more complex.

Kara at first was my least favorite because she is the most character-focused among the three, but I've learned to appreciate her purpose in the game which is to provide a "civilian" POV and she won over Markus. I feel conflicted about her story but overall she has a lot of emotional and memorable scenes. That extermination camp scene raised my stakes to win the war and an essential POV for me to get engaged. Some of my thoughts and why I have conflicted feelings on her:

  • Kara from the very start already embraced her mother role and all about Alice's survival. She has a clear goal and her choices are just about how to accomplish that goal. She is either just a warm, peaceful mother, or a cold, violent mother – but the motivation remains the same. The choices where she abandons Alice makes no sense because Kara never displayed selfish self-preservation beforehand.
  • Regarding the first point, a lot of the humans they interacted with early in the game are obviously dangerous: Todd and Zlatko. Choosing pacifist or violent options doesn't change our perception of Kara and androids in general because you're already set on protecting Alice from these human jerks. Choices such as stealing money and clothes may be "wrong" but they're far more excusable than murder which humans are willing to go for.
  • Unlike Connor, Kara's supporting cast has obvious moral alignments. Alice is a cute, sad child and that's it. Your investment in Alice depends on how much child characters affect you. Alice revealed as android doesn't change how I feel. Luther is a kind android enslaved… just like a lot of other androids. Humans are complete assholes or completely good like the mother and son android smuggler.
  • Overall on Kara, I felt her arc wouldn't be too different if she was a human faced with the same conflict. She would still be a kidnapping/murder suspect. I know Kara has some conflicted scenes at the Canadian border choices, but would it be really different if she was human? Humans do everything to protect their children. Being a cold, pragmatic android doesn't distinguish her from a cold, pragmatic human mother.

Markus is… a very handsome man with a messy story. He is mostly a walking plot changer and the least character-focused story and his origins makes little sense for the rest of his arc. There is already a lot of write-ups but some of my thoughts:

  • Markus was treated so well and considered Carl as his father then later in Jericho he quickly switched to android messiah. It hamfisted civil rights from a character that was actually privileged and got victimized like once, accidentally. Markus deals with huge, world-changing decisions from a character that has the least involvement with the "world." Why does he want to be free if he used to be perfectly happy?
  • Regarding the first point, his supporting cast androids don't help him develop at all or result into an inner turmoil. It's all one-dimensional point system with no plot bearing consequences. Simon, Josh and North are all different but we've been spoiled by Connor+Hank and Kara+Alice that these other relationships with Markus felt flat. It would have been better if Jericho's unity is threatened by your biases, like not fostering friendship with North might result in a split, terrorist faction.
  • It would make more sense if Markus is actually a strong pro-human android who is biased with his experience, that "humans are mostly good" but after debating with other abused androids he could change. It would be a contrast to Kara's, "human are mostly jerks and we have to survive" and contrast to Connor's "humans and androids are both good and jerks, and we have to be pragmatic." Markus could have been something like "humans are mostly good and we can live in harmony, but do I make it work or make sacrifices?"

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