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Disco Elysium players are teaming up to hunt down one last mystery

What is the Palerunner?

Standing in a bar with several people in Disco Elysium Image: ZA/UM via Polygon
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Disco Elysium takes place in a mysterious world that doesn’t quite work like our own. One of the most pressing questions that players are trying to unravel takes place outside of the game proper: It’s an achievement, and even though one person has claimed it, Steam shows that 0% of the population has unlocked it. The achievement, named Palerunner, offers no hints besides that name and a simple icon.

Making things more complicated is the fact that Disco Elysium is a game that allows for a lot of silly behavior. Wild, synchronized dance routines? Sure. Punching a kid in the face? Go for it. If you want to gaze out at the setting sun and undergo a chilling revelation about the nature of the supernatural forces roiling at the edge of the world, you can do that too. Disco Elysium allows you to be an absolute mess of a human being, much to the game’s credit, and that makes deciphering the Palerunner achievement a little tougher than expected.

Luckily, there’s been a major break in the case from one player who got the achievement. Or this may be an unlucky development, depending on your point of view, because he got the achievement by accident while playing other games. He’s since surrendered his save file, and players are poring through it for clues, as well as digging into the game’s code itself.

It’s a fascinating mystery to read through, and players are attempting everything from talking to the foul-mouthed Cuno and cycling through the same conversation options based off an achievement description from a third-party website, to hunting down in-game cryptids and shaking them down for clues.

It’s a wonderfully chaotic, strange mystery — much like Disco Elysium itself. I have a feeling even Kim Kitsuragi would tip his hat to these investigators as they hunt down the Palerunner.

The next level of puzzles.

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