The Political Alignment System

(If you’d like to learn more about how Chapo Trap House came to do voice over work for Disco Elysium, we spoke to USgamer about it!)

Did you know Disco Elysium also has an alignment system? Mmmhm. Ours is a modernist setting, so our alignments are ideologies. More precisely, political ideologies: communism, fascism, moralism and ultraliberalism. Today we take a look at how the Big Four are used in the game. Expect tips, clarifications and encyclopedic tidbits. I will also list the Thought Cabinet projects associated with each, and even expose the characters who best represent these ideologies in the game. So you know who to get chummy with.

1. Ideologies are developed over the course of the game, not picked at character creation. Disco Elysium is, in many ways, a personality test. There are always little integers in the background, counting everything you say. Hit a certain threshold and one of your skills pops up, suggesting you make it official. Mark yourself. This marking is done by gaining a thought for your Thought Cabinet. We call these pop-ups “initiation dialogues”. For political initiations, it is always possible to course-correct by saying: no. You have misunderstood. I do not wish to build communism. Go away.

2. Four is the threshold you need to reach, if you want to get initiated. Say four communist things and your Encyclopedia skill will fire up the Big Communism Builder. Same goes for “the strong stuff”, “the weak stuff” and “the grind-hustler” (more on those later). In dialogues, the opportunity to espouse your agenda usually comes in the form of “political forks”, that is: dialogue choices usually consisting of four political options. Try to remain impartial and you will drift toward moralism (Elysium’s centrism).

3. You are not limited by your choice of ideology. There are sub-ideologies, conflicting beliefs and countless personality quirks to develop in Disco Elysium. The Big Four are only four of the game’s 52 thoughts. They have some pretty nice content, but they are by no means all there is. They are, however, nearly unavoidable. The air is criss-crossed by radio stations spewing divisive, feverish political rhetoric. For the poor people of Revachol, ideology is a blood sport. Everyone must suffer.

4. You can mix and match ideologies. You can be a purebred “traditionalist” and never once taint the “strongness” of your “stuff” with hysterics; or you can mix in some communism too, for that Unholy Union vibe. Or maybe you’re a moralist? Why not just admit it – you don’t only believe in nothing, you also believe in money. You’re a hustler. All these incendiary mixes are yours to dabble in. I’ve even seen one player who had all four. The game knows you’re doing this too. You might even get called out for it.

5. Your political beliefs have mechanical implications. They’re not just for role playing. As said, each is a thought, which you can develop in your Thought Cabinet, revealing some rather dramatic effects. Ultraliberals earn money by saying that stuff. “Traditionalists” get double the bonus from the most traditional drug of all: alcohol. Thus, ideologies strongly affect the way you play the game.

Let’s take a look.


Thought Cabinet project: Mazovian Socio-Economics
Supporting projects: The Suicide of Kras Mazov
Representatives: Cindy the Skull, Evrart Claire, The Gardener, The D******* (spoiler redacted)
Organizations: The Commune of Revachol, The Insulindian Citizen’s Militia
Colour: white
Symbol: inverted star wreathed by antlers.

No one wants to be associated with communism by the time you get there. The party is over. They’d rather call themselves socialists and social democrats. No wonder – commies got their asses handed to them 50 years ago. Their little commune got wiped off the face of the Earth. Even worse, the civil war gave foreign powers a casus belli to invade Revachol and now look at the shit we’re in. Also, Kras Mazov, the father of scientific communism killed himself.

Don’t pick this ideology. It’s a swamp of melancholy and would-have-beens. Also, they, like, killed a lot of people. There’s a smart centrist man who once calculated that communism has killed 100 billion people in total.




Thought Cabinet project: Revacholian Nationhood
Supporting projects: Advanced Race Theory
Representatives: Rene Arnaux, Racist Lorry Driver, Measurehead, Gary the Cryptofascist
Organizations: Revachol the Suzerain
Colour: brown? I’m gonna go with brown.
Symbol: sticks of wood tied together with an axe. Something dumb like that.

This is the baddest of all the ideologies, so no one admits they’re a fascist. Rather, they’re “traditionalists”. Or “nationalists”, a term they get really angry if you associate with fascism. (No one wants leprosy on their brand.)

The emotional draw here is, of course, that pretty girl who didn’t want to sleep with you. The other ideologies don’t explain why that happened. Fascism does. Because the commies pushed the king under a street car and now nothing in the world is holy or beautiful. During your stay in Revachol plenty of women will tell you no, so, naturally, most people will pick this one. I mean, who doesn’t want “absolutely giant fascist” in their Steam achievements? Also, it goes really well with alcoholism.




Thought Cabinet project: Kingdom of Conscience
Supporting projects: Opioid Receptor Antagonist
Representatives: Kim Kitsuragi, The Sunday Friend, Trant Heidelstam
Organizations: The Moralintern, Revacholian Citizen’s Militia, EPIS, ICP
Colour: signal blue
Symbol: a forget-me-not

Finally! Something normal. Enough of those ramblings – in this world there is also a sensible ideology for people who simply want to do good by everyone. How? By looking at the options on the table and saying: no. I don’t want any of those associated with me. I just want to play a regular, inconsequential, doesn’t-really-believe-in-anything type of detective.

Well, you’re in luck! After the commies and the fascas tag teamed Revachol, sensible foreign nations with moderately deadly artillery came and levelled the city, put all the commies against a neutral wall and turned Revachol into a debt colony / financial buffer zone / whatever the hell they want it to be. They rule the world. And also the RCM, the law enforcement agency you’re part of, so really – it’s a no brainer.

Take this one, it would be weird to take any of the others.




Thought Cabinet project: Indirect Modes of Taxation
Supporting projects: The 15th Indotribe; Bankruptcy Sequence
Representatives: Joyce Messier, Siileng, Mega Rich Light Bending Guy
Organizations: The Wild Pines Group, Frittte, Coupris, FALN
Colour: yellow / gold
Symbol: the Franconigerian sun crown

Do you “grind” and “hustle?” Sure you do. You’re a money engineer. A money scientist. You move money on a level inconceivable to the ordinary citizen. What is money, anyway? Money is trust.

There is no ideology being an ultra doesn’t compliment. Fascist moneyman? Sehr logisch. Money-commie? Vie sexy! Money and moralism? Peanut butter und jelly! Money’s not jealous. Money’s like light, love and friendship. It plays well with everything. During the Revolution the ultras banded up with the commies to dispose of the king. Then they made a deal with the moralists to profit from the ensuing occupation.

Also, this literally gives you money in the game. With money you can buy books, which have content! Board games too! Clothes, which cost real money to model. Without money you might end up as some kind of impoverished hobocop.

And that’s that.

Until the next time.
Bobby and the Zaumonauts.



The Golden Joysticks – Vote for Disco Elysium!

Hey everyone,

We’ve absolutely delighted to announce we have been shortlisted for The Golden Joysticks ‘Ultimate Game of The Year!’

Ultimate Game of the Year has a dedicated one-week only voting window. Voting is open NOW at and will close at 5pm GMT, Friday 1st November.

It’s been a little over a week since we released Disco Elysium into the wild and we have been already been blown away by the reception the game has received. Thank you to everyone who has supported us!





Disco Elysium – Substances and You

Now that Disco Elysium is out – and people seem to be diggin’ it – let’s talk about all the drugs you can do in it. Let’s talk about Pyrholidon, The Lightning, Al Gul and the sumptuous Tabac herb. Think of this as a little designer-tutorial on how to get the best out of those bad boys. Or how to make due without them, because…

1. First, your detective doesn’t have to do drugs. A straight edge run is a great way to play the game. (One favoured by our writers, for example). It makes the game more challenging and adds some extra role playing tension – in the form of temptation. After all, there is no temptation without abstinence.

2. Drugs kill. If you do go down that route, know this: drugs give flat bonuses to your main Stats. But they also damage your Health and Morale. Which can lead to heart attacks and giving up. This means you should at least aim to heal any damage immediately after taking a hit. Hands shaking from the Lightning? Smooth it over with some magnesium. Smoking got you groggy? Nosaphed will clean those sinuses!

3. Number one trick – drugs also raise the learning caps of your Skills. In Disco Elysium, your initial Stats decide how many points you can put in the Skills under them. Because drugs (temporarily) raise your main Stat, they also raise your learning caps. When the effect wears off, you get to keep the point you put into your Skill. (Fun fact: this started out as a bug, but we kept it because testers liked it.)

4. Most drugs have sub-types, or “brands”. (Cigarettes, for example, can be Astra or Tioumoutiri.) These are cosmetic. Just like in real life, brands do nothing. They’re just random fetishism – speed is speed, nicotine is nicotine, wine doesn’t kill you any less if it’s expensive.

5. Drugs have charges. Electrochemistry gives you extra charges. The base amount of charges for all drugs is 3. If you have 4+ Electrochemistry at the time of first acquiring the drug, you get 4 charges instead; 7+ Electrochemistry gives you 5 charges.

6. You might wanna top up. One charge lasts 1 hour of in game time. Most big scenes take longer than that to complete. So if you blast your drug of choice before going in – in preparation, as you would a spell before combat – you’ll run out half way through the ordeal. Amend this by further blasting in the thick of it! Bring that brewskie, that ciggy, or that anti-radiation drug to the lion’s den by keeping it your held slot. Then keep an eye on the clock and take a preventive hit.

7. Containers with legal drugs (smokes and alcohol) are visible for all – while containers with illegal drugs (pyrholidon and speed) become visible only after first using the drug. There might be some surprises waiting in, say, Cindy’s coal room. Or the fish market. But only for the initiated. If you’re innocent you won’t know what to look for.

8. There is one drug for each of the four main Stats in the game. You can use this to “fix” a weakness in your character build. Low Intellect detectives might find themselves smoking a lot, while low Psyche detectives have more to gain from doing Pyrholidon. Low Physiqe detectives are prone to sucking on a bottle. Even a low Motorics detective is stupid enough to try that jump when they’re on the Lightning Rail.

Here is a summary on all the drugs in the game, where to find them and how they interact with your thoughts.


Bonus: +1 Intellect.
Damages: -1 Health (-1 Endurance)
Healed by: Nosaphed, Drouamine.
Get it from: Frittte, Rosemary, containers on the map
Brands: Astra, Tiomoutiri
Thoughts: “Boiadeiro” from passing Manana’s Conceptualization check amplifies smokes.
Did you know: tracking the “Tioumoutiri” brand of smokes can lead to revelations in your main investigation.


Bonus: +1 Psyche
Damages: -1 Health (-1 Endurance)
Healed by: Nosaphed, Drouamine
Get it from: Roy, after passing an Electrochemistry white check.
Brands: none
Thoughts. “Cop of the Apocalypse” doubles Pyrholidon’s effect.
Did you know: Pyrholidon is an anti-radiation drug. Using anti-radiation drugs recreationally was a beloved pastime of Soviet hippies and punk-rockers. (Tareen was one such drug.)


Bonus: +1 Physique
Damages: -1 Morale (-1 Volition)
Healed by: Magnesium, Hypnogamma
Get it from: Fritte, Rosemary, from containers on the map
Brands: Commodore Red, Potent Pilsner, Pale-Aged Vodka
Thoughts: “Revacholian Nationhood” unlocks the full heroic power of alcohol. “Waste Land of Reality” does… the opposite.
Did you know: Disco Elysium is produced by reformed alkies who quit “the Ghoul”; turns out it’s not possible to get a 60+ hour RPG and a drink on simultaneously.


Bonus: +1 Motorics
Damages: -1 Morale (-1 Volition)
Healed by: Magnesium, Hypnogamma
Get it from: Klaasje’s medicine cabinet, a quest after passing Cuno’s Empathy check.
Brands: Preptide, trucker speed with a straw in it
Thoughts: “Lonesome Long Way Home” makes speed also give +1 Psyche too.
Did you know: The logos you see for drugs, including the one for amphetamine, are their actual molecules. (Or, in Pyrholidon’s case, their fictitious molecules). We enrolled the help of a chemist to make sure they make sense. Thanks, chemist!

So that’s it. Drugs are a multi-tool offering more flexibility and role playing options. But, on the other hand, they distort your personality and are completely incompatible with staying alive after you’re 30 (trust us). And it’s quite possible to make do without them. If there were a character sheet in Disco Elysium, the last field would be: Drug of Choice. The strongest DoC is the fifth, hidden drug we like to call Life and Your Mother’s Love.

True bad asses get high on that 🙂

Until next time,
Roberto Kurvitzo, maker of RPG’s; reformed Narcomaniac.

PS. Thank you for playing and sharing your stories in forums and media. It’s you who make it all worthwhile.