Punching Cuno In The Face Represents The Best Of Disco Elysium

The Disco Elysium patches are coming thick and fast, and that means I’ll finally be able to play enough of the game on console to complete our review for it. I’ve slowed my progress to allow for patches to fix bugs, and some of the glitches can be distracting. I’m currently not sure if my inability to progress on certain paths is due to my (or Harry’s) ineptitude, because I’m trying to do something out of order, or because the game just isn’t working correctly. For that reason, I’m not entirely sold on The Final Cut yet, although it’s still early on – once the patches have nailed everything down, I’ll likely just start all over again anyway. I have absolutely no idea what score I’m going to give it yet, but I do know that I’ve already found my favourite activity: punching Cuno in the face.

Cuno is a young kid who stands around near the body of the hanged man you’re there to investigate, launching rocks at the suspended corpse while you examine the scene and succumb to vomiting. I could give you a long, hate-filled description of just how slimy, irritating, and generally rotten Cuno is, but all I’ll say is swap the ‘o’ in his name for a ‘t’.

Cuno and his mate, Cunoesse, take glee in defacing the hanged body and winding you and your partner Kim Kitsuragi up whenever you’re around. For a description of Kim, swap ‘Kim Kitsuragi’ for ‘the absolute legend’ and you’ve got the picture there, too. Cuno is an absolutely horrible character, and that’s exactly what makes him great.

He and Cunoesse loudly and repeatedly suggest that you and Kim are paedophiles, and while you don’t need to punch him, the fact that the game gives you the option speaks to its genius and endless options that unfortunate bugs are currently getting in the way of. You can punch Cuno, but it’s possible to fail and miss, which means you’ll need to buy him cigarettes just to get back on speaking terms. If you do hit him though, you’ll earn his respect – this is a kid who only sees the world in terms of the strong dominating the weak, after all.

Once you punch him, you gain his trust, which makes him tell you about his abusive dad… which makes you feel like shit. You, a fully grown man, have just punched a child in the face for being annoying, and he starts telling you about how his dad beats him. You’re the only Cuno with a t around here, mate.

I haven’t been able to explore beyond the start of Disco Elysium yet, but it’s this interaction that encapsulates the praise I’ve heard so many other people shower on the game. The only way to progress with Cuno is to punch him in the face, and the only progress on offer at all is hearing about his abusive father. There’s no right way to go about the situation, and that’s the point. Punching him is not only oh-so-satisfying after all the shit he’s been talking about you, it’s also the only choice you have. You can elect to not punch him, but there’s no reward there. He just stays there, being Cuno, getting in the way and shouting obscenities. I’m sure there are deeper mysteries and much more impactful dilemmas I’ll face later on, but I doubt any will be as simple as punching Cuno in the face.

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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey

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