Cuno enrages me. Between him defiling my victim with rocks, besting me in a fight, and calling me homophobic slurs, the rabid, speed-addled 12-year-old is viler than the actual perpetrators of the murder.
And yet, despite all the foul language and frustrating actions, it’s hard not to grow attached to the little monster by the end of our investigation. Even if we lose Kim Kitsuragi and fail to sober up, Cuno saves our life and helps us back into our old unit, to the chagrin of Jean Vicquemare and every rational person in Precinct 41.
In this Disco Elysium Cuno guide, I’ll review how to gain Cuno’s respect and complete his secret quest for drugs and Real. As a bonus, I’ll detail how to recruit Detective Kuuno de Ruyter as a companion so we can solve the case of the Hanged Man and arrest the Deserter with an extra wacky sidekick!
Bottom Line Up Front
After continually interacting, punching, and bribing Cuno, we can complete a quest for him involving stealing drugs from his Dad in the Capeside Apartments to gain his trust. After sharing the drugs with Cuno and losing Kim in the Mercenary Tribunal, we can recruit Cuno, who appears after we regain consciousness in the Whirling-In-Rags for an assured good ending.
- Quest Locations: Behind the Whirling-in-Rags, Capeside Apartments
- Quest Giver: Cuno
- Requirements: The Man from Hjelmdall books or Abandoned Lorry Keys
- Length of Quest: 30 minutes
- Difficulty: Medium
Cuno: Revanchol’s Most Annoying Nightmare
An abandoned, speed-addled 12-year-old with a dying father and absent mother, Kuuno de Ruyter (who we know as Cuno) is a troubled foul-mouthed youth who we can find pelting stones at the Hanged Man. However, though Cuno may seem like a jerk with no redeemable qualities, a closer inspection reveals that he has a poor home life with a dying father and a dangerously toxic friend destroying his life.
And yet, rather than give in to misery, Cuno fronts a macho, nihilistic facade to mask his adoration for the RCM and hopelessness for his future. Luckily, we can restore Cuno’s hope by doing a quest for him involving stealing his father’s stash of Speed and later recruiting the spunky youth as a companion after the Mercenary Tribunal.
Equipment and Rewards
- FALN “Modular” Track Pants ( +1 Savoir Faire, +1 Physical Instrument) – A sleek set of high-tech sweatpants, Cuno sells the FALN “Modular” Track Pants at a discount if we’ve passed his legendary Empathy Check. I highly recommend these pants for fighting Measurehead and jumping atop Cuno’s shack if we haven’t attempted those checks yet.
- Capeside Apartment – A miserable set of apartments filled with widowed wives, dying fathers, and hopeless communists, the Capeside Apartments offer a vast wealth of items and areas for us to peruse. After Cuno asks us to steal his father’s stash of Speed, we can access these apartments and his father’s room for a large helping of Real and Speed.
- Cuno’s Shack – Whether we’re looking for an alternative access point to see Evvart and bypass Measurehead or an additional area filled with Real, Cuno’s shack offers a hidden treasure trove of loot and XP. While Cuno will tell us the location of his shack (to the right of the Hanged Man) after passing a legendary Empathy white check, we can also access this area beforehand with a moderate Perception white check.
- Saint-Batiste ‘PREPTIDE!’ Speed Bottle – A rare drug that we can use to increase our Motorics stats, Speed increases the level and skill cap of every associated skill, namely Hand/Eye Coordination, and Perception. We can only find Speed twice in the game, from plundering Cuno’s Dad’s stash in his quest or from Klaasje’s medical cupboard in her room.
- +200 XP – Used to increase our skills, internalize new Thoughts, increase the size of our Thought Cabinet, and forget unnecessary Thoughts, XP is vital for nearly every check in the game. We can get around 200 XP or more after completing Cuno’s quest from active and passive checks.
- Detective Kuuno de Ruyter – Our backup detective, in case Kim Kitsuragi gets hospitalized, Cuno serves as a comedic backdrop for the seriousness of our investigation. From pretending that he has a gun to pacify the Deserter to giving a lengthy monologue defending us in front of our old Precinct, Cuno is a hilarious partner to have along. Besides the humor, Cuno offers an assured good ending if we’ve reached the end of the game and failed to sober up.
Whether we’re in it for the drugs or want to gain Cuno as a partner for an assured good ending, we can complete a short quest for Cuno involving raiding his Dad for drugs. While this quest makes Kim unhappy, we can please Kim with a few other detective tasks, like breaking into the Peephole in Klaasje’s room or properly autopsying the Hanged Man.
Step 1: Punch Cuno in the Face
For our first step, we’ll have to fight Cuno to gain his respect for an Empathy check. To find him, head to the back of the Whirling-in-Rags, where we can discover Cuno slinging rocks at the Hanged Man.
However, before interacting with the foul-mouthed youth, equip any clothing that increases our Physical Instrument, like the White Tank Top we can find in a crate next to the Pale driver or the Man From Hjelmdall T-Shirt, and consume alcohol to boost the specific Physique stat. We’ll soon face ourselves with a Red check for Physical Instrument that will save us a hassle if we pass it.
As we begin talking with Cuno and discovering his violently apathetic outlook on life, we can continually ask Cuno questions about the crime scene and his backstory. While none of our questions yield fruitful answers, Cunoesse, the small girl behind the fence, eventually accuses us of trying to rape Cuno.
After Cuno joins in on the fun and begins to insult us, a red check for Physical Instrument check shows up to punch Cuno in the face. While succeeding in the check briefly knocks Cuno out, failing causes us to slip and take 1 point of health damage.
Step 2: Gaining Cuno’s Respect
** If we successfully punched Cuno in the face, skip to step 3; we don’t have to make peace with Cuno as he already respects us.
After our slip-up, we’ll have to make a peace offering to show Cuno we’re serious about making amends. From here, we have two options, give him the Man From Hjelmdall T-Shirt or the keys to a lorry car.
Option A: Man From Hjelmdall T-Shirt
- Difficulty: Easy
- Cost: 2 Real
- Time: 3 minutes
The easier of the two options, we can purchase the Man From Hjelmdall T-shirt for two Real after entering the shop with +4 Perception. I advise equipping Perception boosting gear like the Franconigerian Cavalry Boots or the Amphibian Sports Visor if we’re a point or two short of the check.
After purchasing the racist, sexist shirt from Bird’s Nest Roy’s pawnshop near the water lock, head back to Cuno and offer the shirt to regain the disaffected youth’s good graces.
Option B: Lorry Keys
- Difficulty: Medium
- Cost: None
- Time 20 minutes
If we’re drastically short in Perception, this might be the better option for our detective. We’ll have to start the Jam Mystery quest involving Lorry drivers smuggling drugs to access the Lorry Keys.
We can start the quest with Joyce Messier, who offers information in exchange for us investigating Lorry Drivers. After talking to the racist Lorry Driver, then Siileng, we can chat with Tommy Le Homme and pressure him for keys to the abandoned Lorry.
Whether we want to investigate the Lorry or not, we can now offer the keys to Cuno to win back his trust. Be warned that Kim prevents us from giving back the keys, so we’ll have to make the trade at night or another time when Kim isn’t around (i.e. when Kim’s delivering the body to the morgue).
Step 3: Empathize with Cuno
Upon regaining Cuno’s trust, we can pass a Legendary Empathy check to understand that Cunoesse, not Cuno, is the root of Cuno’s wild behavior. I advise spending any extra skill points on Empathy and investigating our Ledger in the nearby dumpster if we’re still low on XP.
We can also observe the pig head in Cuno’s shack and make a witty comment to Cuno regarding the head with a Conceptualization of 4 or more to give ourselves a slight buff. Upon passing the check, say that you want to speak to Cuno alone without Cunoesse, and he’ll confide a few secrets. Namely that he’s scared of Cunoesse, a runaway child suspected of multiple homicides, and that neither had anything to do with the Hanging.
Step 4: Breaking and Entering
Following our success in the Empathy check, Cuno offers us a job to break and enter his Dad’s apartment in the Capeside Apartments and steal his stash of Speed. To begin, head to Cunoesse’s side of the fence and look for a door to the Capside Apartments.
If the rock with the key to the door isn’t highlighted, zoom out and look for the smoker on the Balcony. After a short discussion with him, we’ll face a Suggestion red check for him telling us the location of the key to the nearby door. Cuno already said the location of the key so we can turn over a rock regardless of the check to find the key to gain entry.
Upon entry, look for the second door to the right and enter to find a messy room with various cartons scattered around. From here, we can steal the stash of drugs in a drawer in front of us and chat with Cuno’s comatose Dad to our right.
After grabbing the drugs, we can let Cuno’s comatose father know that we stole his drugs to our sadistic merriment, then return to Cuno with the contraband in tow.
Step 5: Split the Drugs
After all that strenuous effort, we can return to Cuno with the drugs in tow to make good on our end for extra XP and Speed. While we may be tempted to withhold the drugs from Cuno for responsible or selfish reasons, we’ll have to hand over half the drugs if we want to gain him as a backup partner.
Recruiting Cuno as A Partner
If we took the time to get to know Cuno and get him drugs, we can recruit him as a companion if we lost Kim in the Mercenary Tribunal (i.e. we failed an Authority red check causing Kim to get shot). Upon waking up in the Whirling In Rags, we’ll find Cuno beside us, giving us a juvenile rundown on what’s transpired since we woke up.
After letting us know that he’s parted ways with Cunoesse, he demands to become our sidekick, allowing us to recruit Cuno as a companion for the remainder of our investigation. Even if his foul-mouthed dialogue’s somewhat tiring, I advise recruiting him; he’ll get us the good ending regardless of our success in the case.
Cuno’s Best Moments
Unlike having Kim along or going it alone, Cuno leads to exciting interactions if we have him along for the ride. I advise looking out for these moments to take in the hilarity of our wacky sidekick.
The Triple Head Nod
After talking to Garte after the Mercenary tribunal, he comments that he held down the Whirling-In-Rags “like a bada**.” Rather than say anything, we can stoically nod, causing Garte to nod back silently. Cuno then joins in on the head nod, leaving the three guys to silently nod at each other for a ridiculous amount of time.
Arresting the Deserter
Instead of Kim quietly and firmly telling the perpetrator that he’s under arrest, Cuno violently states our victory over the Deserter with many curses to punctuate his statement. It’s juvenile, overdone, and highly cathartic to witness after everything we’ve gone through to find the killer.
Cuno’s Version of Events
After our previous precinct considers not taking us back, Cuno delivers a valiant, poorly worded account of the game’s events, including our fight with the Mercenaries, solving the case of the Hanged Man, arresting the Deserter, and Cuno becoming a detective. This rambling monologue drastically differs from Kim’s reserved frank account of us and offers a humorous end to our wacky journey.
If we have Cuno with us for the end of the game, we can recruit him, leading to a unique cutscene of Cuno running to the Coupris Kineema and waving everyone onwards. Cuno is then promptly shoved by Jean Vicquemare into the car and helps us into the vehicle, ending the game.
Cuno’s Quest Rewards
- [discounted] FALN “Modular” Track Pants ( +1 Savoir Faire, +1 Physical Instrument)
- Capeside Apartments
- Cuno’s Shack
- Saint-Batiste ‘PREPTIDE!’ Speed Bottle
- +200 XP
- Detective Kuuno de Ruyter
Cuno’s Dad (Estranged Father)
A comatose husk of his former self, Cuno’s Dad had an abusive relationship with Cuno, failing to keep him in school and take care care of him. While we can’t have any meaningful interaction with him, Cuno’s account suggests Cuno’s Dad was a cruel, violent man and a poor parent.
We can find Cuno’s father in a near-death state in the Capeside Apartments while we’re stealing his Speed. While the father can barely speak, we can make out that he’s calling us pigs and that his hateful vernacular towards the police likely rubbed off on Cuno.
Cunoesse (Girlfriend/Ex-Best Friend)
A violent 10-year-old suspected of homicide and on the run from her mysterious past life, we can find Cunoesse encouraging Cuno to pelt rocks at the Hanged Man and commit other crimes. While Cuno claims that she is his “girl,” he’s actually terrified of her, suspecting that she’s murdered other children and cops, and has only taken her in out of pity, finding her sopping wet in the rain outside his apartment.
After the Mercenary Tribunal, Cuno cuts ties with his toxic friend to befriend us instead.
Harry Du Bois (Surrogate Father Figure)
Our player character for the entirety of Disco Elysium, Harry Du Bois, can have a rough but essentially good-natured relationship with Cuno throughout our playthrough. While our interactions primarily consist of us punching the kid in the face and him calling us slurs, Cuno looks up to us, seeing us as his ticket out of the slums to a fast-paced life of cop action.
At the game’s end, we can recruit Cuno as a junior officer, mentoring him and giving him a chance at a decent life.
- Catch Phrase: “Cuno doesn’t care.”
- Gaslighting Us: “PIGS ARE HURTING CUNO! SOMEBODY *PLEASE!!!*”
- Opinion on Cunoesse: “She’s not crazy, she’s insane. Dangerous. She smoked a man. She’s done people in, probably even pigs…”
- Cuno’s Master Plan: “Cuno’s gonna move underground. Le Royaume s***, ancient s***. Cuno’s gonna live in a f****** catacomb.”
- Becomes a Detective: “Cuno steps up. Cuno f****** FILLS those shoes. Big boy shoes — Detective Cuno.”
- Has our back: “We’re all pigs here.”
Question: Who is Cuno?
Answer: Real name Kuuno de Ruyter, Cuno is an aggressive, drugged-up 12-year-old we can find pelting the Hanged Man with stones. Despite his violent behavior and aggression, Cuno idolizes the RCM and even joins if we offer him the position.
Question: How Do I Complete Cuno’s Quest?
Answer: After punching Cuno or failing to punch Cuno and regaining his trust, Cuno tasks us with stealing drugs from his Dad. After entering the Capside Apartments and finding Cuno’s apartment, look for a desk in the living room. After returning to Cuno and splitting the drugs, we can enjoy some speed, XP, and a backup partner if we lose Kim.
Question: How to Recruit Cuno?
Answer: After completing Cuno’s quest and losing Kim in the Mercenary Tribunal, we find the 12-year-old waiting beside us in the Whirling-in-Rags. After briefly chatting we Cuno, we can recruit him to join the rest of our investigation. Even if we’re not sober, reaching the end with Cuno gives us an assured good ending with our old Precinct.
Despite his foul mouth, Cuno grew on me. Getting a ridiculous take on events without compromising our good ending led to exciting interactions with surprisingly successful results.
Even if Kim’s still in the hospital and we willingly gave 12-year-old drugs (that sounds worse now that I think about it), we saved Cuno from his miserable life and gave the RCM a spunky new junior detective! Though he may still be addicted to Speed and deprived of a normal childhood, Cuno’s getting to live his dream of joining the RCM.
Now, with a foul-mouthed junior detective at our side, we can rest assured that Martinaise’s law enforcement has become a wackier unit ready to confront crime with utmost vigilance and inappropriate words. All criminals shall fear the pig detective and his underage junior sidekick!