After Kyle Hinckley wowed the world by beating Fallout 4 as a pacifist — an achievement that nearly busted his game in the process — the intrepid adventurer is back with a new feat. This time, he’s tested the limits of peace in The Outer Worlds, an RPG by Obsidian that has repeatedly boasted about the sheer amount of choice provided to the player.
We know, for instance, that you can kill everyone in your path and still complete the game. But what happens when you avoid violence altogether? And what if you’re trying to do that on Supernova, the toughest difficulty available?
As Hinckley found out late last month, The Outer Worlds does indeed afford pacifists plenty of room to breathe. Most major quests can be completed without murdering anyone — and the ones that are left can still be done, if you’re creative enough.
At one point during his challenge, Hinckley was tasked with using a computer to finish his quest. The problem was that you can’t log onto a PC unless you’re out of combat, and the computer is right between two enemies. Worse, while he finds a place to hide nearby, the two caterpillars somehow sense him the moment he tries using the computer. Eventually, he figures out that he can do it by activating tactical time dilation, which slows down the game while the enemies aren’t hostile. Crisis averted.
The other big issue during this run happened near the end, when Hinckley has to enter a room with an important character. But every single time he entered the area, the game would just crash. There was no way around this part of the game — he needed to trigger it in order to move the story forward with a cutscene. So instead, Hinckley stood outside the door used a mind control ray against the character, causing them to attack their own bodyguards. Once in combat, the game decided it was no longer going to play the cutscene and Hinckley could go forward with the next portion of the game without trouble. He beat it shortly afterwards.
In this case, Hinckley approached the endeavor with a character that had high charm and temperament, which helped with talking his way out of problems. But he also just ended up running away from a lot of conflict as well.
“Doing a challenge that does away with one of the two sources of experience (combat, quests) leaves your character pretty under-leveled,” Hinckley remarked. “In this case, no experience could come from combat, so it all came from quests that could be completed without engaging in violence, and smaller things like lockpicking, speech checks, and hacking.”
But the challenge wasn’t limited to his character. Hinckley also made sure that his companions didn’t hurt anyone, either, by setting them to passive mode. There are times during the run when he uses science weapons for their side effects, like mind control, but he never outright kills anyone with those tools.
“It’s a masterpiece of in-game story writing, and very accommodating for pacifists and genocidists alike,” Hinckley told Polygon in an email.
You can watch the entirety of his 50-part run on YouTube here.
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