Man of Medan: Prologue
Your dialogue choices here do not change anything in the long-run.
Achievement: This is a tutorial mini-game to learn Man of Medan‘s basic controls. It’s as easy as any quick-time event (QTE) sequence. If you beat the mechanical carnival puppet after a fairly lengthy QTE sequence, you’ll unlock an achievement.
Examine the objects in your room once you wake up. Check the locker for a surprise and pick up the key. Find Charlie in the brig and continue exploring the lower decks.
Keep Calm: Time the button presses correctly (“A” for the gamepad and “S” for the keyboard) in-tune with the heartbeat or icons. Think of it like a rhythm-based mini-game. This short instance will have a sergeant running amok with his firearm while you’re hiding.
You’ll learn, fairly early on, that you’ll want to interact with numerous objects in Man of Medan. They usually have a shiny/sparkling glow highlighting if you can examine them.
Eventually, you’ll reach the workshop, which has a number of crates and vehicles. Heading through the doorway will trigger a cinematic. You can shoot the thing that’s out to get you.
Man of Medan: Act I – The Duke of Milan
Brad can drink beer with Conrad and feel a bit tipsy. Poor fella.
Major Decision: Brad can tell Alex to “go with his gut” when the latter opens up about major life decisions. Talking to Alex this way will make your older brother propose to Julia while the two are underwater.
Your dialogue with Fliss can change your relationship.
Premonition: You can check the portrait below deck to see a Premonition related to Brad remaining hidden.
Picking up the bangstick first will have Julia ask if the two of you can take a selfie. The bangstick is used to open the cockpit of the wrecked plane.
You can choose to have a beer and flirt with Conrad. Choosing some playful and romantic dialogue options will lead to the two of them having some cozy time alone.
Premonition: Go below deck and check the bathroom. The portrait will show you a Premonition. This time, it’s about Conrad’s escape from villains.
Fliss can examine her diving instructor’s ID, allowing her to hide it in a drawer.
Check out the radio (next to the tablet) so Fliss can attempt to contact Alex and Julia. Speak to Conrad again to start a cutscene.
The fishermen arrive and Conrad’s douchebaggery is out of your hands.
Press the correct button to avoid getting injured by the sharp metal that’s protruding from the plane. If you miss this prompt, Julia’s leg will get injured and she’ll have a bandage on her wound for the rest of the game.
Premonition: Swim forward a bit and you’ll spot a portrait with another Premonition. This one shows Julia suffering from decompression sickness (the bends).
Investigate the small pipe and Julia will see a document that she can grab if she tells Alex to “live a little.” This is one of the 50 secret clues in Man of Medan that’ll help you piece together the game’s narrative. Press the correct button once prompted to get a hold of the clue.
Once the scene’s done, swim forward through the narrow corridor. There’s a secret to your right (a bullet) and another to your left (life rafts).
Interact with the skeletal remains of the crewman. After that, if you have the bangstick, you’ll be able to open the cockpit’s door.
Major Decision: After the cringeworthy “Come at me, shark!” moment, Alex will propose to Julia (if Brad told him to “go with his gut” earlier). Julia can choose to accept the proposal or hold off for the moment. Since I’m a romantic at heart, I had Julia agree.
Major Decision: There’s a bit of panic going on while the couple is about to surface. Alex tells Julia to decompress first. You’re presented with two sets of dialogue choices. Choose to be “cautious” then “reluctant” so Julia doesn’t suffer from decompression sickness later on which leads to her death.
If you said “yes” to the proposal, the two will have an additional lovey-dovey dialogue.
You’ll then spot Fliss and Conrad making out if the two flirted earlier.
Check your room below deck to find the coordinates of the so-called “Manchurian Gold.”
The gang will then talk about horror stories (not really Man of Medan-related, but you can see the tropes from B-movie horror flicks) and finding “Manchurian Gold.” Julia can be apologetic to Fliss if she gets angry. She can also pester Brad and Conrad while the two are talking.
The three fishermen from earlier are revealed to be dabbling in piracy and are looking to steal from the group. The three are Danny, Junior, and Olson (the leader of the group).
The dastardly trio will take the distributor cap, the device which allows the Duke of Milan to run. This is an important part of Man of Medan‘s story.
Junior will head to the bedrooms. Pressing the correct buttons during the QTE sequence will allow Conrad to fight back to no avail.
Conrad can choose to ungag Fliss first and then Alex. Alex will then remove Julia’s gag.
Conrad can try to get himself and Alex freed without success.
Major Decision: You’ll then be taken to the group’s leader, Olson, and you can choose to screw around with him first. If you beg for your life, you’re taken back to your pals. If you antagonize him, he cuts off part of Conrad’s ear.
When Conrad’s taken back below deck, tell Junior to “get off me” and you’ll get pulled down. You’ll spot Brad hiding under the bed.
Julia will later mention that the fishermen took her engagement ring. You can get this back during Man of Medan‘s final act if you play your cards right.
Achievement: Listen to the crack of thunder (seven seconds) when you break the window. If you’re able to do so without being heard, you’ll unlock an achievement.
Keep Calm: Conrad will be shimmying off the side of the speedboat. Press the button to time it with the heartbeats/rhythm game.
Major Decision: This is one of the biggest decisions you can make in Man of Medan. You can choose to have Conrad escape (and miss out on most of the adventure and horror), or you can have him stay. I chose to stay with the other characters as this will lead to a more complete experience (and the best ending in Man of Medan). In any case, I’ll note the following incidents that can happen.
If you choose to escape:
- You’ll have a few buttons to press during the QTE sequence as Conrad is jumping here and there. Conrad will start the boat’s engine and Olson will aim his gun. You’ll have to press another button (Y) quickly. If you’re unable to do so, Conrad will get shot through the eye.
- If you succeed in this QTE sequence, Conrad successfully escapes using the fishermen’s boat. He won’t be back until the ending. His fate will depend on a couple of choices and actions you make with your remaining characters.
If you grab the knife:
- There will be a button that you need to press quickly here. Conrad then takes Junior hostage, and you’ll also see Alex who’s got Danny captured. A tense standoff with Olson occurs.
- You’ll be presented with more choices here: (1) escape, (2) take the gun, (3) do nothing/let time expire.
These are the following results for the standoff:
- If you pick “Escape” this time around, then the aforementioned QTE sequence (with Conrad leaving using the fishermen’s boat and Olson attempting to shoot him), will start. Success or failure is up to you.
- If you pick “Take,” then Conrad gets duped. Olson drops the gun which allows Junior to smack Conrad. You can then choose to surrender because the situation is hopeless, and the group will get dragged back down below deck. Otherwise, you can choose to be more arrogant by insulting Olson’s crew. This will lead to a scuffle and Julia’s head will get grazed by a bullet. This does not seem to have any long-term repercussions, at least compared to a major decision you made earlier during “Dive.”
- If you do nothing or let the timer expire, Conrad’s leg will get shot. Again, this does not have game-changing repercussions, except that Conrad will be walking with a limp for the rest of the game.
When the commotion’s done (regardless of Conrad’s predicament), Alex will rattle off a conspiracy theory. Fliss can reply to Alex’s accusations.
Olson will ask Fliss to speak to the Coast Guard. She can comply and tell them everything’s okay, or she can panic and tell them what’s really going on, and she gets whomped by Olson.
A huge wave will rock the Duke of Milan. Press the correct buttons during the QTE so Fliss can grip the handles for her safety. Failure to do so will throw her overboard, but Olson will grab her hand to save her.
The lower deck will start flooding and Fliss can help Julia get out of there.
Major Decision: This is another big moment in Man of Medan. The group will start talking about Brad (who’s still hiding).
- If you say that Brad might drown, Alex will panic and Brad will come out of hiding. He’ll end up as part of your entourage, which can lead to dire consequences.
- Alternatively, Fliss can play it cool and mention that Brad can help them later. Brad will remain hidden aboard the Duke of Milan, opening up new possibilities. I chose to have Brad remain hidden.
Watch the cutscene and you’ll see Man of Medan‘s heroes and villains reach an abandoned freighter in the middle of the Pacific.
If you need help with Man of Medan‘s second act where you explore the freighter, just head over here.