Dishonored 2's story begins, amid various cutscenes setting the stage, with a choice between playing as Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin. Each character comes with some unique supernatural powers (and a distinct crossbow design), but the larger story is unaffected. You earn an achievement for completing the game with each, so ¿porque no los dos?
Table of contents
Escaping the Royal Quarters
Well, either your father/daughter has been turned to stone on the anniversary of your mother/wife's murder, and you've gotten yourself locked up in your own house, so your day isn't off to the best start. The silver lining is that you've got a quiet room in which to familiarize yourself with the basics of the controls. Take a couple seconds to wander around.
This room does a great job of introducing you to the way to approach Dishonored 2. You can peak through the keyhole to spy on the guards outside. Along the same wall as the door, you'll find some fruit to eat to get your health back up to full. There are a couple notes on the desk for you to read. The far left window is open while the other windows are all closed. All of these are themes that will continue throughout the game — check your surroundings, pick up everything, read the notes and look for subtle visual hints. While the open window doesn't do you any good, it does tell you that there's a ledge outside. Maybe one of the other windows will help.
Head to the rightmost window and open it. Climb out onto the ledge, turn right, then climb back inside through the next window. Inside, you'll start getting familiar with another habit you'll pick up — pocketing everything that's not nailed down. Open every drawer and cabinet you come across and pick up the coins, pouches and items you find inside (things like bath salts, er, bathing salts are worth 15 coins and that adds up quick).
Approach Captain Alexi Mayhew to get more information on your mission and to retrieve your folding sword. After a respectful pause, continue down the hallway on your right. There's a closet with more bathings salts on your left and a bathroom at the end of the hall with some loose change (don't you keep yours in a bathroom cabinet?), bathing salts and an audiograph — another story texture-adding device you'll encounter throughout the game.
Crouching and pickpocketing
When you're ready, head back to Captain Mayhew's body and turn left to go outside into the hall. This is another chance to pick up a couple more good habits — crouching and pickpocketing.
Crouching makes you harder to see and quieter, allowing you to sneak up on or past enemies more easily. Crouching also allows you to pickpocket oblivious enemies or civilians. You can do that here to get the Royal Chambers key from the guard.
You can use the key to unlock the room where you were initially imprisoned — this isn't strictly necessary, but it does provide a good hiding place if you need it later.
This guard is pretty focused on that pile of books on the floor and won't be patrolling. The only time he'll be an issue is if he catches a glimpse of you passing below him — that railing on the right overlooks the room below and you'll be going through it in a minute. You don't have to do anything to him right now, just be aware of his presence.
We should also note that if you unlock the chamber door and leave it open, someone will eventually notice that you're no longer inside and put everyone on alert. So now's a good time to get in the habit of closing doors behind you.
From the guard, turn left. Take the stairs down. The room at the bottom of the stairs is safe — and make sure to check all of the cabinets — but there's a guard patrolling the adjoining room you'll have to watch for.
He'll get pretty preoccupied with various things around the room, so he's easy to avoid. In the far left corner, you'll find the door to the Throne Room where you'll find the betrayer Ramsey having a rant at a couple lackeys.
Mortimer Ramsey and the Signet Ring
You have a few options here. Your first choice is to act here, or to allow Ramsey to leave and follow him back to the Royal Chambers or the Safe Room. Your next choice is whether or not to kill him — you can loot your Signet Ring from his corpse or from his unconscious body regardless of where he falls. Your final choice is hinted at in the dialog captured in the image above.
There's a sort of ironic justice in trapping him in the Safe Room, giving him exactly what he wanted, but with a satisfying twist. To pull off this optional ending, you have to leave him alive and his unconscious body has to end up in the Safe Room. If you choose the Throne Room option below, this means you have to carry him to the Safe Room. If you choose to Follow The Leader below, he does most of the work for you.
The Throne Room
When he's done complaining, Ramsey will pause in the Throne Room before leaving. If you're careful, you can knock him out or kill him right there while the two guards' backs are turned. Alternately, you can just walk out and pick a fight with all three at once. When facing multiple enemies, though, it's much easier and safer to block-and-kill (a last-second block followed by an attack when the enemy is off-balance) than it is to find the time to choke them out one at a time.
Once Ramsey is incapacitated, either by a lack of oxygen or blood, loot his body for the Signet Ring he stole from you and make your way back to the Royal Chambers, backtracking along the way you took to get here and avoiding the same guards.
Follow the leader
If you don't want to fight here, you can just wait. True to his word, after he's done talking, Ramsey will leave the Throne Room and make his way to the Royal Chambers to find the Safe Room. He's slow and deliberate while he walks, but he never looks behind him. You can take him out lethally or non-lethally at any point you'd like along this journey when you're out of the view of any guards you left standing. Just make sure to loot your Signet Ring from him when you do.
If you let him walk all the way, he will actually open the Safe Room for you. If you've already taken him out, you're looking for the wall next to the fireplace around the corner from Alexi's body.
First, if you haven't incapacitated Ramsey yet, do so now. There's no reason to keep him conscious (or alive, if that's how you roll) any longer. The Safe Room is full of goodies. Check every room, shelf and safe to make sure you're well equipped.
The obvious items you don't want to miss are in the gun case at the end of the workbench on your left. As Corvo, you'll find a pistol and your mask. As Emily, you'll find a pistol and a telescope.
Behind you, there's a small bedroom. Grab the carved wooden boat off the shelf over the bed to start yourself down the path to the Souvenirs achievement. (We'll point out any of these souvenirs we're aware of over the course of this guide, but to be honest, we haven't found them all yet either. We'll update this guide if and when we find them.)
If you're committed to the optional ending where you trap Ramsey in the safe room, you can complete that now (assuming he's still alive). Get his unconscious body into the Safe Room and head back up the stairs. There's another lock on the inside of the hidden door that you can trigger to reseal the Safe Room from the inside. Now that you've got your ring back, Ramsey's got no way to escape.
If you've already "accidentally" killed him or you just don't care, go ahead and jump down to the next section.
Exiting the Safe Room
When you're ready, head to the door in the corner. There's another Sokolov lock in the middle of the door for you to trigger allowing you to escape the tower.
You'll exit the tower through a hallway. There's more to loot along the hall, but you'll also encounter your first painting (more on these in our complete collectibles guide here).
Once you're outside, turn right and start dropping down the pipes and the roofs toward street level. You'll eventually come to a small courtyard with a single guard. This is an obvious and convenient place to practice drop takedowns. If you're looking to avoid the guard altogether, keep to the left and use the handrail and tree to circumvent the area altogether.
Just past there, you'll come to a place where you can drop onto a guard shack. Do so and open the hatch to drop inside. Make sure you're crouching to avoid the attention of the nearby guards.
When the coast is clear, head outside and turn left. Hop over the railing and into the courtyard. To your left is Galvani's apartment from the collectible guide. Keep sneaking forward, watching for the guard on your right.
When his back is turned, keep heading left, then keep to the left side of the street. At about the point where you'll pass another guard, hop over the lefthand railing. There's a secondary path below the main street level that will let you ttravel unnoticed. You'll eventually come to a set of stairs. This is right before the Dunwall Courier building. We're going to take you on a bit of a detour here to pick up some good deed points (and an achievement). If you're not interested, keep pressing forward along the street to the guard checkpoint. We'll meet you there.
From the street, you have two choices to enter the Dunwall Courier building. You can go in the front door, but you're almost sure to be noticed. It's much easier to head down the alley on the left side of the building. You may encounter a civilian here, but he won't bother you. At the end of the alley, turn right and go into the building.
Pause here between the lockers to allow the guard to pass. Make sure to grab the health elixir while you're waiting. After he passes and starts climbing the stairs, it's easy to sneak up behind him and take him out. With him handled, you can head back down to the front office and rob the place blind.
When you're done downstairs, continue up to the third floor. You'll walk in on a city guardsman planting false stories in the local newspaper. The editor of the paper disagrees with this approach to reporting. As the conversation degenerates into physical threats, you can step in and save the editor's life. Have a conversation with him to set the record straight and to start clearing your name.
Your good deed done, head out onto the balcony and turn left. Hop along the balconies until you're just past the guard checkpoint. Use the pipes to drop the rest of the way down to the street.
After the checkpoint
When you first come up to the checkpoint, the guards will be arguing with a woman. Sneak up and grab the health elixir while they're distracted, then cut to the right side of the road. There's another low path — basically a gutter — off the side that will let you avoid a lot of attention.
Stay crouched and follow it to the end. There's a guard relaxing here that you have to avoid. Turn right at that guard and head until the alley turns left. Take the turn and then climb the boxes to the roof. While you're heading this way, watch for a guard approaching from the left. If you're quick, you can avoid him, it's just best not to get caught unaware since he's got a lot of backup in the area.
From here, your goal is to get across the street and into the water. There's a conveniently placed pile of boxes in the middle of the street you can hide behind. Take your time and wait for the guards to turn around.
You can run out along the pier, but there are several guards waiting for you at the end, so it's much easier to just swim out to the ship.
Climb on board and talk to the captain, Meagan Foster, whose name you might recognize from that note by Alexi's body.