A piece of concept art for Disco Elysium showing the triumphant horse statue in the center of the town square.

Inland Empire in Disco Elysium, Explained

This Psyche attribute can help you see the invisible and talk to the inanimate.

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Carley is a professional JP-EN translator and writer currently based in Des Moines, Iowa. She has written hundreds of articles for popular sites such as Siliconera, Gameranx, and Otaquest, and has been playing games nonstop since 1996.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

Inland Empire is a skill in Disco Elysium. By increasing its level, you become more imaginative and attuned to your gut feelings and hunches. At higher levels, Inland Empire can even allow you to have conversations with inanimate objects.

You’ll want to level up the skills you deem most beneficial for your character as you progress. When approaching the 24 unique skills, Inland Empire in Disco Elysium is one of the most bizarre. This Psyche skill helps Harry hone his gut instincts and see things others cannot.

Table Of Contents

    About Skills in Disco Elysium

    The main mechanic in Disco Elysium was inspired by traditional pen-and-paper RPGs. Rather than leveling up to increase your overall strength or HP, the game tasks you instead with managing Harry’s skills. These determine your thoughts and abilities as you explore the world.

    There are 24 skills in total, ranging from familiar items like Logic and Empathy to more obscure stats like Shivers and Savoir Faire. These skills are separated into four distinct categories: Intellect, Psyche, Physique, and Motorics.

    The complete list of skills available to the player in Disco Elysium.

    Players are encouraged to put points into any skill they like. There is no right or wrong way to build your character, and each playthrough can become wildly different depending on which skills you choose to focus on.

    Leveling up particular skills can unlock the game’s more bizarre dialogue options or make Harry more mentally unstable. Additionally, to successfully complete certain actions, you’ll need to have enough points in the relevant skill. Each time you level up, you’ll be able to place another point into a skill of your choice or internalize one of the many thoughts you come across as you explore.

    Doing drugs is a quick and easy way to boost skills temporarily, but, like in real life, this can negatively impact your health. Smoking a cigarette will boost Intellect skills, drinking alcohol will boost Physique skills, doing Speed will boost Motorics skills, and taking pyrholidon will boost Psyche skills.

    Your skills can also be influenced by the clothes you wear. Wearing clothing you find or purchase can boost a particular skill, but be warned—some articles of clothing can also reduce the effectiveness of another skill simultaneously. Before attempting a skill check, be sure that what you’re wearing will help you and not hinder you.

    What Is Inland Empire?

    Found in the Psyche category, Inland Empire is a skill that impacts Harry’s imagination. The more points you have in this skill, the more often Harry will take the time to ponder his gut feelings and hunches. Even without evidence or facts, you’ll be able to sense when something is wrong.

    Inland Empire in Disco Elysium also allows you to converse with inanimate objects and perceive things that other people cannot. Putting points into this somewhat supernatural skill will let you see beneath the surface of the city of Martainaise.

    From having conversations with your clothing to conversing with dead bodies and chatting with cryptids, Inland Empire is worth boosting if you want your Disco Elysium experience to be more on the strange side.

    Harry talking to the Hanged Man in Disco Elysium.

    What Does ‘Inland Empire’ Even Mean?

    The name actually comes from David Lynch’s film, Inland Empire, which was released in 2006. Known for its bizarre imagery and thought-provoking plot, the creepy film blurs the line between fantasy and reality, with critic Mark Fisher describing it as a “direct feed from the unconscious.”

    How to Boost Your Inland Empire Skill

    There are many ways to increase your Inland Empire skill beyond leveling up. Wearing certain items of clothing and internalizing select thoughts can help make this strange skill more powerful.

    Thoughts That Boost the Inland Empire Skill

    Clearing Out the Room – This thought can be accessed after meeting Soona at the Church after Day 3. You’ll need to pass a difficult Logic check while speaking with her after investigating the strange void of sound inside the building.

    Internalizing this thought will permanently grant you +1 Suggestion, +1 Inland Empire, and +1 Rhetoric.

    Motorway South – Speak to Joyce on her boat at the docks. Eventually, you’ll be able to ask her about the pale. Do so, then speak to the elderly Paledriver near the statue in town to ask for more details on the phenomenon. This unlocks the Motorway South thought.

    Completing this thought will also unlock all intellect White Checks. It also permanently grants you +1 Inland Empire.

    Clothing That Boosts the Inland Empire Skill

    Horrific Necktie – You’ll find this hideous tie hanging from the ceiling fan in your room at the Whirling-in-Rags at the very start of the game. Wearing it will give you +1 Inland Empire.

    By passing a medium Inland Empire check when inspecting the ceiling fan in your room—and passing an easy Inland Empire check when speaking to Garte in the lobby of the Whirling-in-Rags—the tie will be granted a voice of its own. Humorously, this gaudy necktie is the most vocal piece of clothing in the game, often giving Harry terrible advice.

    Harry's Horrific Necktie in Disco Elysium.

    Eight-Eyed Teratorn Tie – After inspecting the traps for Morell, he’ll return to the Whirling-in-Rags. Lena will give you the Eight-Eyed Teratorn Tie as a reward for your hard work.

    Wearing the item will allow you to ask Lena about another cryptid. It will also give you +1 Inland Empire and +1 Volition.

    Sunglasses Sub-Insulindic Rendezvous – These dark shades aren’t easy to see through, but they’ll improve your Psyche. Find Siileng near the traffic jam and look through his box of glasses. You’ll get these funky glasses by passing a Conceptualization check.

    While these sunglasses grant you +1 Inland Empire, they’ll also reduce your Perception skill by 1.

    Disco Elysium has incredible replay value. By focusing on different skills, you’re bound to have a completely different experience each time. Increasing the Inland Empire skill adds a touch of supernatural surrealism to your adventure in Revechol, while neglecting it makes your playthrough less wacky and more realistic. Explore the world thoroughly by fast traveling to find the most fascinating features. If you want to see Harry slowly descend into madness, Inland Empire is a skill you should prioritize from the start.