It is obvious for a game with Pinocchio as a protagonist to have some kind of lying mechanic. However, in Lies of P, lying seems to play a crucial role in the progression of the story which is ambiguously explained throughout the playthrough. It has been patently clear from the start that lying is a huge part of the gameplay but it is understandable if most of you are yet to uncover what effect it actually has on the game.
How to Lie in Lies of P?
To start off, Lies of P is a game that relies on dialogue just as much as combat. As explained in our previous explainer on the subject at the time of the demo, lying is something that is unique to the protagonist Pinocchio. In a world filled with countless puppets good and evil alike, it is only Geppeto’s creation that is gifted with the ability to lie.
Naturally, the lying mechanic is embedded within the dialogue throughout the game and presents itself whenever there are crucial NPC interactions, especially ones that revolve around the main story. There isn’t any particular challenge associated with lying; it is a choice and you decide whether to lie or not. While some NPCs may call you out on the lie, most will simply go along with it as if it were the truth.
What Effect Does Lying Have in Lies of P?
Every time you lie in Lies of P, the game issues a notification that the ‘Your Ergo is Whispering/Rising’ or ‘Your Springs are Reacting’ implying that something within Pinocchio has been altered. This ambiguous notification is the only thing that you get in the game relating to the effect of lying. The consequences of this are not at all explained at the moment.
This warning is intentionally made vague and is aimed at building up to the game’s endings. This game is in essence a retelling of the original story of Pinocchio. Naturally, the act of lying here is the most human thing our protagonist is capable of doing. Every time Pinocchio lies, he is getting closer and closer to becoming a human.
There are several physical representations of this which have no real consequences on the gameplay. Apart from Pinocchio’s appearance itself, the biggest telltale sign of the extent of your lies can be seen in the portrait of a boy in Geppeto’s office. The boy’s nose gets longer the more you lie.
There is also some foreshadowing from NPCs which becomes apparent enough after a certain point in the playthrough as dialogues become more intrinsic to the topic. All this however revolves around a hidden game mechanic that has been masked with good reason. Pinocchio’s lies are interlinked with something known as humanity points. It is this hidden mechanic that determines how human Pinocchio is.
Lies of P Humanity Points
Humanity points in Lies of P decide how human Pinocchio is at any given time. This point system depends entirely on the web of lies that Pinocchio is able to spin in the game. The more the character lies, the more humanity points he gains. This is a crucial mechanic that is easily overlooked and influences everything in the game from enemy spawns to dialogue options.
Now Neowiz games could have added a more transparent way to help you get an indication of where you are in the human/puppet evolutionary line and what your humanity points are, but that would simply beat the purpose of the story. You, the player, are the puppeteer here, in a story that you are not yet aware of. This brilliant yet clandestine use of the lying mechanic in Lies of P is what makes the build-up to the ending and its eventual execution so satisfying.
But you are not in the blind regarding the humanity points though. There is a brilliant little system hidden in plain sight from the very start of the game that will help you measure this in a very traditional way. This mechanic is called Spring and it is a cat that is very hostile towards you when you first encounter it at Hotel Krat. Spring’s reactions towards you are the best way to measure how human you are. As you gain more humanity points, Spring goes from hissing at the sight of you to becoming your best companion in Krat City.
Should You Choose the Path of Lies in Lies of P?
While this choice is entirely up to you, which ending you get depends entirely on this aspect of Lies of P. Apart from some trivial events such as losing an NPC weapons merchant, there aren’t any real penalties for lying that could hinder your progress in any substantial manner. Furthermore, lying is the only way to get one particular ending which due to this article being in a spoiler-free zone we will not delve into.
Potential outcomes aside, it is worth emphasizing again that this is your individual playthrough. So, you can choose whichever option seems morally right to you at the moment without worrying too much about all the consequences. You will not be shunned away from Krat City for following an entirely honest playthrough either. The immersive experience that you get from following your heart in Lies of P actually succeeds at mimicking Pinocchio’s mentality in Carlo Collodi’s classic.
However, from what we have experienced, lying in Lies of P much like in real life makes everything momentarily easier, especially when you consider the fact that you get much greater rewards. Essentially a huge part of the game is targeted at motivating to be deceitful at every turn. So, there is always an incentive to lie, if just to make gameplay a little more exciting. There is also a huge contingent of revolutionary puppets that will insist that they are indeed human with values, at times, greater than most humans in the game.
Ultimately, Lies of P’s tagline ‘Lie or Die’ is not meant to be taken at face value. You like Carlo Collido’s Pinocchio have the choice to either continue as a puppet or become as real a boy as possible.