The Hanged Man is ruining our life. After personally failing this corpse in every way possible, including accidentally shooting him in the chest, caving his skull while unsuccessfully retrieving evidence, and having Measurehead mangle his body beyond recognition, I can attest to the sheer challenge this rotting corpse poses.
Luckily, in typical Disco Elysium fashion, we have various other options for dealing with this corpse, like refrigerating it and having a lengthy conversation, which allowed me a much more dignified approach on subsequent playthroughs.
Getting to earn Kim’s respect on later playthroughs turned this decayed man from a symbol of my greatest failure into a success I could throw in Garte’s face while he demanded I pay for my property damages!
In this Disco Elysium Hanged Man guide, I’ll review how to get the Hanged Man down and autopsy him to regain our detective street cred. As a bonus, I’ll detail how to get secret clues out of the dead man, like his name and actual cause of death, and how to steal his power-armored boots.
Bottom Line Up Front: Increase our Endurance stat with the FRITTTE Plastic Rain Coat and Sh** Compressor thought to approach the body, then invest in hand-eye coordination to shoot it down or ask Evvart Sinclair to have Measurehead get the body down for us.
After lowering the body and performing the autopsy, return to the body at night without Kim for their boots and keep the body in a fridge if we’re having trouble passing the crucial perception check before sending him away.
- Quest Locations: Whirling-in-Rags
- Quest Giver: Kim Kitsuragi
- Hand Eye Coordination
- Conceptualization or Physical Instrument
- Ledger – Found in a nearby dumpster
- Gardening Gloves – Acquired from Elizabeth (the Gardener)
- Length of Quest: 1 – 2 Hours
- Difficulty: Medium
The Hanged Man: An Exquisite Corpse
A giant, bloated corpse of a violent mercenary, the Hanged Man, Colonel Ellis “Lely” Kortenaer, is the chief cause for our stay in Martinaise and the catalyst for our amnesic episode.
While the Hanged Man’s lack of ID deters an immediate reveal of his identity, we can gradually piece together that he was a mercenary sent to quell the union strike. Even if I could not recover my name, badge, and gun, I could rest assured with a full biography of the victim’s past.
Spoiler Warning: Who Killed the Hanged Man
Rather than being lynched by a mob, a communist deserter on the faraway island spying on Lely and Klasseje having sex shot the mercenary in a jealous rage. Unfortunately, this scene incriminated Klasseje leading her to convince the Hardie boys to frame his death as a mob lynching.
The Hardie boys, along with Ruby, carried the already dead Lely into the back of the Whirling in Rags, disposed of his armor, and strung up his corpse. We unravel this cover-up and retrieve his other missing armor pieces throughout our investigation in Martinaise.
Equipment and Rewards: Clothing
Fairweather T-500 Greaves (+2 Authority, -1 Composure)
A set of ceramic boots made for military use, the Fairweather T-500 Greaves are great for Authority checks, like the mercenary tribunal, and surviving gunfire.
Wearing the entire Fairweather T-500 set grants us near immunity to gunshots, completes the Find All Armor Pieces task, and earns us the related achievement. We can acquire the greaves after returning to the Hanged body at night after Kim leaves, squeezing them off, then taking a warm bubbly bath with them.
Essential for having the upper hand with the Hardie boys, this evidence proves that the Hanged Man was shot instead of lynched. Although we don’t need this evidence to persuade the Hardie Boys to tell us the truth, it’s a helpful clue and offers a buff to our relationship with Kim if we decide to give it to him.
We can acquire the bullet after performing the autopsy and passing a challenging perception check; we can put the body in a fridge and then come back to it later if we’re struggling with the check.
Photo of The Victim’s Tattoos
Great for coaxing information out of the Scab leader and Joyce, this tattoo details the Hanged Man’s violent military past across the continent. Kim offers us the photo after we finish inspecting the body.
Greaves Serial Number
A serial number found on the Hanged Man’s boots, this set of numbers reveals the victim’s identity as Colonel Ellis “Lely” Kortenaer, an ex-military colonel turned private contractor.
To make sense of his serial number, we’ll have to examine the boots after getting him down and mention the number to radio officer Alice DeMettrie over the Radio in Kim’s Coupris Kineema. We can leverage the information Alice reveals in the violent mercenary tribunal to increase the odds in our favor.
Volumetric Sh** Compressor (Endurance Cap +4, Endurance White Checks, Examining Body without Vomiting)
A vulgar thought that helps us keep “it” together, the Volumetric Sh** Compressor drastically increases our chances to examine the Hanged Man without throwing up. I advise internalizing this thought if we’re still struggling to approach the Hanged Man or have two or less Endurance.
We can obtain this thought after throwing up in front of Kim for the second time when examing the Hanged Man after he tells us to “get our sh** together.”
Ace’s High/Ace’s Low (+1-2 Empathy Towards Kim, +1 Esprit de Corps)
A historical thought memorializing the Insulindian Civil War fought with dogfighting airplanes, Ace’s High and Ace’s Low are mediocre thoughts earned for high-fiving Kim. We can only get one of the two thoughts after shooting the corpse down, and I advise the Ace’s Low for the extra point of Empathy towards Kim.
Fairweather T-500 (+2 Hand/Eye Coordination Against Enemies in FT-500 Armor)
A singular thought useful against foes in power armor, this thought comes in handy in the dangerous mercenary tribunal but is practically useless afterward. Given the lack of clothing and thoughts for increasing our Hand/Eye Coordination, this thought is great for giving us an extra edge in the decisive fight.
We can acquire the thought after obsessing over the Fairweather T-500 equipment like the hanged Man’s greaves or Gary the Cryptofacist’s shirt.
Used to increases skill points and internalize and remove thoughts, Experience points are vital for passing tough checks in nearly every part of our investigation. We get over 400 points (4 level ups) for investigating the Hanged Man.
Dealing with the Hanged Man
Dealing with the Hanged Man is one of the most demanding challenges in Disco Elysium. The checks required to approach the rotting corpse, get him down, and perform a proper autopsy can take days if we don’t know what we’re doing. Luckily there are a few thoughts we can exploit if we want to finish our investigation in record time.
Part 1 Approaching the Corpse
To begin our investigation into the Hanged Man’s identity, we can start by approaching the hung corpse through a wooden picket fence behind the Whirling-in-Rags.
Unfortunately, the Endurance check required to maintain a stare with the Hanged Man is ridiculously high, so we’ll likely fail and grossly puke onto nearby grass. I advise letting us fail this check over spending points or save scumming; the chance of approaching them without vomiting the first time is usually less than 10%.
While most checks usually require us to spend more points on the associated skill, we can retry this task by performing a few errands. Firstly, Kim recommends we head to the Fritte to grab some ammonia to alleviate the smell, allowing us to retry the check and giving us two points of Endurance for the approach.
If we throw up a second time, Kim tells us to get our act together, giving us the Volumetric Sh** Compressor thought we need to succeed the check. I recommend internalizing this thought, as spending points in Endurance is generally a waste, then approaching the corpse again to finally start the case.
Chatting it up with the Dead
After approaching the Hanged Man without throwing up, we can start our investigation with a preliminary examination of the victim. From here, we can piece together the victim’s origins and cause of death from their boots, tattoos, and body decomposition.
Better yet, we can also talk to the Hanged Man if we have enough points in Inland Empire to gain more information about who he is and who killed him. While this conversation is entirely speculative, we only imagine him talking; we also learn more about ourselves, like our name is Harry, and that we’ll likely end up like him if we don’t stop drinking soon.
The Hanged Man Gets Profiled
If we’re interested in learning about the Hanged Man’s identity, we can perform an odd set of to spend a little more time with everyone’s favorite rotting corpse. To begin, I advise grabbing the crowbar from Kim’s car.
While this seems like a strange train of logic, this tool prompts a Conceptualization check (we need four Conceptualization) of us tapping on the boots, revealing their serial number. With this number in tow, we can talk to Radio Officer Alice DeMettrie over the radio in Kim’s car, who uses the number to find the identity of the Hanged Man.
Returning to Alice later reveals that the Hanged Man is Colonel Ellis “Lely” Kortenaer, an Oranjese mercenary and ex-military veteran sent to quell the Union Strike.
While Alice tells us extraneous info about the character, like that he was found in a leaf compactor and served as a member of the Lelystad County Neonatal Unit, the chief takeaway is the character’s name and connection to other mercenaries in Martinaise.
Part 2 Get them Down
Once we finish our preliminary examination, we can focus on getting the Hanged Man down for a proper autopsy. Unfortunately, the knot holding the corpse up is industrial strength, and we’re short a ladder, so we have two options to get the bloated corpse down.
Option A Shoot them Down
- Requirements: High Hand-Eye Coordination
- Difficulty: Hard
- Time: 2 minutes
The quickest and most challenging way to get the corpse down is a red check, so we only have one chance to shoot the industrial knot. Before we begin, I advise equipping Perception-enhancing gear, like FALN Ultra Series Sneakers, and consuming Amphetamine for the added boost to our odds.
To start this process, approach the hanged body and tell Kim we’re ready to get the body down. Next, suggest that Kim shoots the body down. While Kim will always fail this shot, we can ask if we can try shooting him down after Kim fails.
I advise ignoring the taunting children to avoid a debuff to our check and then going forth with our shot. If we’re successful, the body falls to its knees, time freezes, giving us one chance to ask who killed him: “COMMUNISM.” Afterward, the cryptic message, the body collapses to the Earth.
After giving Kim an Ace’s Low high five, the stat rewards are better than an Ace’s High; we can get ready to begin the autopsy.
Option B Ask Evvart for Help
- Requirements: Interfacing/Perception & Savoir Faire/ Physical Instrument/Conceptualization
- Difficulty: Medium
- Time: 20-30 minutes
If we fail to shoot the body down, we can get Measurehead, the big hulking racist, to get the body down for us. However, to convince the giant Man, we’ll have to speak with the Union Leader Evvart, blocked by a locked door.
While all the checks involved in opening the door are rather tricky, we have four options to reach Evvart:
Path 1 Steal Union Keycard
One of the easiest and more hidden methods for reaching Evvart is stealing a Union Keycard from the Sleeping Dockworker with a high enough interfacing check.
Simply interact with the sleeping Dockworker in the Whirling-in-Rags, and a prompt will come up to steal the card. Also, I don’t advise mentioning or giving the card to Call Me Mañana unless we want the “honour points” for the game’s most challenging and useless achievement.
Path 2 Cuno’s Jump
To the east of the backyard beside the Hanged Man lies Cuno’s shack, a ridiculous little hideout with a ladder that leads to a jump to Evvart’s lair. If we approach the asbestos-covered entrance to the shed, we can deduce that the wall hides a secret passage to a new area.
Upon succeeding in the Perception check, entering the small room, and ascending the ladder, look for our RCM coat hanging on the railing. We can perform a medium Savoir Faire leap to reach our distant jacket, but it’s a red check and forces us to confront Evvart before leaving, so ensure we’re ready to proceed; we only have one chance to make this jump.
Path 3 Knockout a Racist
If we’ve failed the previous few checks and are looking to take out our anger, Measurehead offers an excellent outlet for all our violent needs. To start this check, interact with Measurehead on our way to the button and start threatening to get past.
Eventually, a physical instrument prompt comes up, giving a chance to knock this jerk down a size. I advise equipping physical instrument-enhancing gear and doing related activities beforehand (ie weightlifting and kicking mailboxes) to increase our odds.
After succeeding in the check and choosing to perform a 360 kick, we can walk past the unconscious racists to push the button and head toward Evvart.
Path 4 Subscribe to Critical Race Theory
The longest, most boring torturous path, we can convince Measurehead to let us pass if we subscribe to his racist ideology. Convincing the racist requires listening to a prolonged speech on race and history, conceptualizing Measurehead’s beliefs into a thought, internalizing the Advanced Race Theory thought, then agreeing with Measurehead’s philosophy.
Overall, the process is tedious, humiliating, and alienates us from Kim, so I advise going with the other paths for a more rewarding entry to Evvart. Regardless of our choices, we’ll be able to talk with Evvart, who has Measurehead get the body down for us.
Part 3 Autopsy
Preparation for Autopsy
After getting the body down, we finally get on with an autopsy of the Hanged Man. Before we start, however, we need our ledger, which we can find in the locked dumpster southwest of the Hanged Man.
After interacting with the locked dumpster, we can talk to Garte in the Whirling-in-Rags to get the keys or use the prybar in Kim’s Coupris Kineema to open the dumpster. Once open, searching the food waste in the dumpster yields a functional, if a disgusting, version of our ledger.
We’ll also need gloves for examining the body, so be sure to chat with Elizabeth outside the Whirling in Rags for her yellow gardening gloves.
With the body down and our ledger and gloves in tow, we’re ready to figure out what really killed the Hanged Man. First, approach the dead body and review the victim’s vitals.
While most of this is pure flavor text and has little bearing on the success or failure of our investigation, we can establish that the victim was consuming drugs and having sex before the time of death. We can also uncover that there was no struggle while the victim was being lynched.
Whatever the case of our results, we can now conclude our autopsy of the hanged Man and send them off for processing. However, I advise putting off that task if we want to uncover who really killed the Hanged Man and nab ourselves some power-armored boots!
Part 4 Post Autopsy
Before sending him off, there are a a couple of optional tasks we can take care off to aid in our investigation.
Upon inspecting the Hanged Man a second time, we’ll notice a strange perception check regarding the corpse’s head. While this is an optional check, it yields a fascinating clue regarding the Hanged Man’s actual cause of death.
To succeed in this challenging check, we can gather more clues about the Hanged Man around town and investigate every aspect of the dead Man’s body. Even if we lack the perception to pass this check, we can put it off by preserving the body in a bear-themed refrigerator in the Doomed Commercial Area.
Once we gather enough Perception to pass the check, either with clothing like the Amphibian Sports Visor or thoughts like the Col Do Ma Ma Daqua, we trigger a visceral scene of us investigating the Hanged Man’s head.
This is an extremally visceral and gross scene that nearly made me feel nauseous the first time through, so I advise going into this check with a level head and an empty stomach.
Eventually, our fingers uncover the Fractured bullet, evidence proving the Hanged Man was killed with gunfire and that the dockworkers staged the hanging rather than publicly execute our victim. While we still can’t ascertain why the Dockworkers hanged a corpse, we now have a crucial clue to help us uncover the true killer.
Theft of the Power-Armored Boots
After getting that special bullet, we can acquire his boots if we’re interested in the Fairweather achievement or want to trigger some unique end-game dialogue with a complete set. Unfortunately, Kim disproves stealing the boots, though he has no issues with us wearing them, and stops us if we try to remove the apparel.
Luckily, we can remedy the situation by approaching the corpse while Kim is asleep. First, head to our bedroom at night and wait a few seconds for Kim to go to his room. Next, we can leave our room without worrying about Kim chastising us for our immature, immoral behavior.
After approaching the corpse, we can squeeze the boots off, take them back to the Whirling-in-Rag’s Kitchen, and sterilize them in the giant metal pot with soap and vinegar.
While we still have three more pieces to gather if we haven’t started, we can now work towards gathering the remaining three armor pieces to turn our disgraced excuse for a detective into a dystopian super soldier!
All criminals shall fear the neoliberal-hustling communist cop that stalks the night while dancing groovy disco moves!
Part 5 Emotional Farewell
After we’ve said our goodbyes and stolen his boots, we’re ready to send the Hanged Man off with Kim. Beware that once we send him off, Kim will be unavailable for the rest of the day, so take to send him off towards night when we don’t need Kim.
While our interactions mainly consisted of us vomiting and the Hanged Man decomposing, it was an eccentric meeting that helped us regain a shred of our dignity and old life. I’ll always treasure our imaginary conversations with the vulgar, strange figure who told us our real name and called us a “copporooni Roonie.”
Hanged Man Quest Rewards
- Fairweather T-500 Greaves
- Fractured Bullet
- Photo of The victim’s tattoos
- Greaves Serial Number
- Volumetric Sh** Compressor (Endurance cap +4, Endurance white checks, examining body without vomiting)
- Fairweather T-500 (+2 Hand/Eye Coordination against enemies in FT-500 armor)
- Ace’s High/Ace’s Low
*Note: The Hanged Man isn’t actually speaking; this is just our imagination projecting our voice onto his. We can access this inciteful hidden dialogue after passing an Inland Empire Check.
Who was he: “A killer. A motherf***** and a killer.”
When Profiled: “Well I’m not from Messina, am I? My hair is too light a shade of brown. Trust your inner racist.”
Getting Profiled Back: “Between you and me, your name is probably Harry.”
Excited about the Investigation: “Comin’ right up, copporooni Roonie. This is getting up-beat now!”
Bonding: “We’re birds of a feather, you and I! Soon you will be just like me, just keep on drinkin’ and havin’ a good time. It’s a matter of weeks!”
Who killed him: “Love did me in brother Coppo. It was love all along…”
Who killed him (After Shooting down): “Communism.”
Mercenary Squad (Comrades in Arms)
A violent set of well-armored thugs that we fight during the mercenary tribunal, the mercenaries were led by Lely before he was hanged.. While the Hanged Man, “Lely,” was considered the more diplomatic of the four, without their leader, the violent team of mercenaries is looking to exact their vengeance on the dockworkers.
Dialogue from the mercenaries during the tribunal suggests they loved their commander and wanted to kill the dockworkers for violent retribution rather than ideological or monetary gain.
A runaway corporate espionage agent hiding in Martinaise in fear of her employer, Klaasje had a brief romantic fling with the Hanged Man just before his murder.
While their relationship seemed more surface-level, primarily fueled by drugs and partying, she is happy enough that we took the Hanged Man down. We can talk to Klaasje on Day 2 after the Hardie boys tell us she is involved.
After Lely was shot through the window while the two made love, Klaasje was left incriminated, exposed to her dangerous employer, and a suspect for a crime she didn’t commit.
Instead of dealing with the police and risking her life, Klaasje played the role of a weak and helpless girl, manipulating Ruby and the Hardie boys into staging the death as a public execution. We can get this confession out of Klaasje after threatening to reveal her identity to her employer.
Hardie Boys (Bitter Enemies)
A group of Union dockworkers upholding order in Martinaise, the Hardie Boys are bitter enemies of the mercenaries, like the Hanged Man.
While they appear as a chauvinistic mess of macho men intent on deterring our investigation, they’re, in fact, the de facto authorities of Martinaise, determined to protect the neighborhood and its people from mercenary intrusion and unlawful arrest.
After confronting Ruby, we can help protect the Hardie from the Hanged Man’s compatriots.
An older woman with an upper-class affectation, Joyce serves as the lead negotiator for Wild Pines, a major logistics conglomerate, attempting to cease the union’s strike and make its workers resume work.
While we never witness any direct contact between Joyce and her mercenaries, we can infer from Joyce and the Scab leader that she is the one in charge of the mercenaries.
However, we also witness that she is unable or unwilling to stop the mercenaries from exacting vengeance during the mercenary tribunal and that they mainly act independently of her will. Whether Joyce intended for them to massacre the dockworkers or is evading the mercenaries who blame her for Lely’s death remains unknown.
Question: How Do I Approach the Hanged Man without Throwing Up?
Answer: Throwing up twice in front of the Hanged Man with Kim gives us the Volumetric Sh** Compressor thought, which drastically increases our chance of succeeding in the check. I also advise equipping Endurance-boosting gear like the FRITTTE Plastic Rain Coat and consuming alcohol to boost our Physique stat.
Question: How Do I Get the Hanged Man Down?
Answer: We can either shoot the Hanged Man down or ask Evvart to have Measurehead get them down. Shooting the Hanged Man down is a challenging red check that requires a significant Hand-Eye Coordination investment.
Meanwhile, asking Evvart can be accomplished by confronting or sneaking past Measurehead to push a button, opening the door, and speaking with the large Union Boss.
Question: Who is the Hanged Man?
Answer: The Hanged Man is a 42-year-old military colonel turned private contractor tasked by Joyce from Wild Pines with ending the strike in Martinaise. Their real name is Colonel Ellis “Lely” Kortenaer; they led a small squad of mercenaries and had a short relationship with Klasseje before their death.
Question: Who Killed the Hanged Man?
Answer: A communist deserter living on the nearby island shot Lely while the mercenary made love to Klasseje. While the communist suffered from a neurological disease due to the nearby cryptid and severe PTSD, the communist murdered Lely more out of jealous rage than ideological differences.
Well done, detective! We’ve successfully lowered the Hanged Man, learning more about his tragic past and stealing his expensive boots to reward our hard work.
While we’re no closer to apprehending the killer, we’ve uncovered that the Hanged Man died from gunfire instead of hanged asphyxiation and that the dockworkers are hiding something. With this evidence at our disposal, the case stands no chance in the face of true detective prowess.
So let’s confront those dockworkers with our stylish pair of power-armored boots and uncover the villain behind this nefarious scheme. Martinaise’s greatest detective has arrived, and he’s ready to party!