Video Game Tarot

Dishonored: Tallboys: Empress


Continuing on the series looking at the Empress (Tallboys), it is not an easy one to decipher how it might be the Empress and to think about what else The Tallboys might work well as.

Other than being nothing short of nightmare fuel Tallboys are a form of guard to the empire (though later on in “possible positions” the wording may sound as if they are in charge, they are very much a guard unit).

Not going to lie, being III (The Empress) this initially looks like nothing further from the traditional card. However, I love a challenge if nothing else. As they are a minor character group, speculation comes a lot into their character/background which may well give the creative licence needed to explain their position.

You can see in this card that they are armoured to the teeth and heavily defended.

Tallboy “man on stilts”

They are on massive stilts that allow them to tower high above crowds. Armed, heavily defended and with resistance to shocks, sleep darts and some attacks, they can be entirely formidable. They strike fear into the hearts of all those who see them.

There is almost something spider-like in their movements. With a very grungy, mechanical-steampunk feel to them. It is revealed in a book found in the game that tallboys are drugged which give them no sense of empathy and numb their sense of pain – so not only is their height and aggression terrifying but they are entirely “soulless” and without remorse in their approach, without pain being a hindrance. There is something almost inhumane to their qualities. What they are though, is ready for anything. They can avoid a huge array of attacks, immune to some and can enter blockades in the game that no one else can. They can see above everyone and into dark shadowy corners in the streets. They are efficient and they are a deterrent by their presence alone. Potentially loyal, it is hard to know if these guardians willingly signed up to be a tallboy and take these emotion-stunting drugs but on the surface, at least, they appear to be fiercely loyal to the law.

Violent but strangely nurturing

Terror Striking

The Empress – As a “mother” figure, her traits are often gentle, abundant and love. Peeling back the clearly grotesque side to the Stiltwalkers (Tallboys), we can argue that they hold these qualities. They are abundant in their ability to prepare and react, they are protecting and guarding their streets (their young) and they show their love to their kingdom by vowing to protect it, even at the expense of their health and own sense of humanity. It’s about the sacrifice they make that perhaps give them the most gentle of outlooks.

The Emperor – controlling, order, loving in a way which teaches war and protection more than cuddles and love. They do their duties for their kingdom and expect their “subjects” to do the same.

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