- "One of our members risked her life to obtain an internal report from the government, which we will be printing and sharing soon, called "The Exquisite Tallboy," extolling the virtues of this newest member of the City Watch."
- —The Exquisite Tallboy.
Tallboys are an elite guard unit who use a suit that is an amalgamation of spindle-legged armatures, which keeps them out of reach of the rats that swarm Dunwall. Accompanying this, each tallboy has heavy armor plating, which protects them during confrontations.
Tallboys are first encountered at the beginning of? Lady Boyle’s Last Party, with at least one appearing in each subsequent level.
Although their offensive power is significant, their movement capacity is limited; a circle-strafe is an effective way to create an opening that allows a few shots to be undertaken.
Each tallboy uses a compound bow and has a spotlight attached to its suit, which it can use to peer into shadows. Tallboys will also react to alerts aired via loudspeaker if they are near enough to hear them, and they can pass through walls of light unharmed.
Tallboys also have extra shielding in the form of collapsible wooden shields attached to their armor, which protect them from shockwaves.
Following this, due to their leg armatures, tallboys are unaffected by the Devouring Swarm power, and their heavy armor completely protects them against sleeping darts and choke-holds. The only opportunity to take a tallboy down non-lethally is with the special Arc Pylon during mission The Loyalists - players attempting a "clean run" are advised to avoid them altogether.
There are several ways to effectively kill a Tallboy:
- Using Blink to quickly get behind or face to face a tallboy and stab them is an effective way to strike it down with a single hit.
- Explosive bullets or a well placed sticky grenade can kill a tallboy with one hit.
- Shoot the three whale oil tanks on their back.
- Use a large amount of ammo to shoot it until it dies.
- According to commentary by art director Sebastien Mitton, the idea for the Tallboys came after watching a man on stilts cleaning a building facade. Originally they were designed as a type of town crier (which was replaced by loudspeakers) but they slowly evolved into the heavily armed guard that they are now.
- Given that Dishonored's visual designer is Viktor Antonov, the same man who directed Half-Life 2's style, this evolution may mean the current form of the Tallboy is based on Half-Life 2's Striders, which are extremely tall tripod enemies that help to keep order, and are generally difficult to take down.
- It is rumored that the Tallboys are heavily drugged in order to blot out the horrors of the world around them. It is not certain whether the Tallboys' resulting decrease in empathy is part of the drug's intended effects, or merely a side effect.
Enemies in Dishonored