Detroit: Become Human

Murderous Kara and Dictator Markus – potential that wasn’t explored

DetroitBecomeHuman9 - Murderous Kara and Dictator Markus - potential that wasn't explored
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I don't think we have to discuss Connor as his storyline is praised by the majority as the best written with a wide spectrum. Unlike Connor, Kara and Markus are obligated to deviate and that eliminates the internal conflict that we experienced with Connor. I believe the other leads could have had more dimensions if they have better-supporting characters (like Hank), more dialogue or consequences, and more "evil" choices.

Kara's spectrum in canon

I'm not a fan of Kara and Alice's relationship at all (consider me more lukewarm than apathetic), and Kara has no choice but to be a mother 99% of the game. I do get emotionally invested in some scenarios, but I wished she was something more. Here are the things Kara is allowed to be in the game:

  • Deviant (no choice, unlike Connor)
  • Mother (no choice)
  • Peaceful, risk-averse
  • Bold and violent
  • Peaceful, risk-averse but may sacrifice other androids
  • Violent but cares about other androids
  • Violent and will sacrifice other androids for Alice
  • Yearns approval from Alice
  • Doesn't care about what Alice thinks

Kara's potential

Note that these suggestions might cause the game to expand a lot longer, but it would have been possible in the story in the first place if it didn't make filler chapters like Zlatko and Pirate's Cove. Any mother-daughter talk could have taken place elsewhere and Luthor can be encountered at other points of the game. Kara's storyline doesn't affect the main plot anyway. Here are some of the dimensions that I would have wanted to see:

  • Non-maternal survivalist Kara that aims to survive even if Alice dies early in the game. She would still want to go to Canada because she wants to live. This is a possible option in canon in the recycling camp but it makes no sense to her characterization.
  • Selfish/Apathetic survivor – Similar to the one above, in Jericho Kara should be offered by Markus to join their cause and have dialogue options. She can be scared but she can be allowed to be completely apathetic/pessimistic. Imagine if Markus and Kara can argue on how futile it can be. Markus can call Kara out on not supporting androids, while Kara can tell Markus he's just gonna get everyone killed.
  • Human hater/murderous Kara – Give Kara options to kill people unnecessarily, and not because of survival. Allow her to shoot guards/soldiers not as self-defense. Give her dialogue options when Alice or Luthor calls her out. Kara can either justify it as a pre-emptive strike or have zero remorse.
  • Selfish mother – would have been possible if Alice was human. Allow Kara to have an option to drop Alice to a relative/social services, but Kara is selfish or thinks she is the best parent that can care for Alice.

Markus' spectrum in canon

To be honest, the first five chapters Markus was my favorite. While his revolution is exciting, action packed and engaging, I felt Markus became less of a character but more of the projection of the player on what they wanted to do in the story. Markus' dimensions are the least among the leads in my opinion. A lot of them are made for consequences that affect the plot rather develop his character:

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  • Deviant (no choices)
  • Incompetent leader (fail missions, make bad choices)
  • Democratic/Teamplayer Markus (if he isn't incompetent, at least one of his team will always agree with his method and they will end up loyal anyway).
  • Peaceful
  • Violent (to humans)
  • Pragmatic – killing Simon, not risking life to save friends. The only time Markus executes an android is when a Deviant Connor is in the church (which is actually not a smart decision if they know Connor can be replaced by a new machine).
  • Peaceful turned violent
  • Violent turned peaceful
  • Quitter – if he accepts Perkin's deal

Markus

Improving his story doesn't need to branch out of his peaceful vs violent spectrum, but would require more dialogue options with his supporting characters more autonomous with conditional loyalties. Most specifically, North should have been developed more than a love interest/replacement to Markus.

  • Coward Markus – Markus is given an option to do absolutely nothing because he's scared, or has an option to run away back to Carl (if he's still alive) as his ending. As a result, you will skip Stratford Tower quest but North will finish it the most violent way possible, the protest wouldn't take place. North burns and vandalizes Detroit and violently leads the revolution. This option is available in canon via Perkin's deal, but not explored much.
  • Dictator Markus – When Markus "frees" some androids, some of them should be allowed to remain with their human owners. The game made this impossible by making all freed androids willing to follow Markus. What if some won't? What if some androids prefer being machines? Markus can either bully these androids to his cause or allow them to return to their masters, earning approval/disapproval.
  • Dictator Markus V2 – If Markus and North clashed too much, but he is still considered leader of Jericho, North can rebel and make a split extremist faction. Markus will have the option to settle things peacefully, leave her alone, imprison her or execute. Markus can choose a speech that calls for unity or threaten other androids to submission.
  • If your approach is too peaceful with North she will take over your leadership violently
  • If she is imprisoned you can optionally save her in Crossroads and you will regain her loyalty.
  • If North is left alone to do what she pleases the consequence can be a simple lower public opinion.
  • If you execute her, there are many possibilities like losing the option to Sing in a peaceful protest.
  • Machine Markus – Similar to Dictator, Markus can pick more efficient but sacrificial methods (similar to Connor's reconstructions) and have dialogue options to justify it rather than approval ratings. While these options are already present (killing/not killing the guard in Stratford tower, Simon or Deviant Connor for example) there is little dialogue to call out Markus for his end-justifies-the-means method. It would have been a good contrast to Deviant Connor if Machine Markus is a thing.
  • Human Hater Markus – Similar to murderous Kara. Markus could kill people in cold blood while freeing androids and should have dialogue options showing apathy or hatred.

Share your thoughts on other dimensions that could have been explored.

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