Capitaine René Arnoux is a character in Disco Elysium.
RENÉ ARNOUX – "The Suzerain is the King. Has everyone forgotten already?" He then slowly nods and says to himself: "They've forgotten already."
Fanatical royalist, ex-army, decorated vet, on and off lover of the beautiful Jeanne-Marie (now deceased) and a lifelong rival of his neighbor, Gaston Martin. Now at almost eighty years of age spends most of his days playing pétanque with his former arch-nemesis and competitor Gaston, reminiscing about the good old times when king Frissel the First was still in charge. He has things to reminisce about: René is a decorated fascist soldier, who participated in the ill-fated attempt to quell the Revolution in Revachol. He was part of the strike force dispatched by King Frissel to quell the uprising in Grand Couron, marching in formation behind Prince Drysant, heir to Frissel. His unit was called Épées de la Couronne—Swords of the Crown. Arnoux is not keen on those days, as the attempt to rout the revolutionaries was a disaster.
The princeling decided to lead his troops dressed in a gown of velvet and gown, with a gold-plated rifle in hand. The far better prepared revolutionaries set up an ambush and opened fire on troops marching single file from almost point-blank range. The slaughter was brief, but intense, claiming the lives of 282 Royal Carabineers, and the Prince was shot off his red stallion, losing his jaw and suffering numerous flesh wounds. It happened that he fell next to Arnoux, who promptly took him and crawled for over seven kilometers and 48 hours to bring him back to friendly lines, where they were picked up by the 59th Cavalry. For his deeds, he was awarded the Croix de Bravoure (Cross of Bravery) by the "jawless freak," as René took to calling Drysant, and 13 months later, the Setting Sun, for his counter-insurgency efforts.
René had little cause for joy, as the Suzerain he served collapsed around him, the Revolution prevailed, and he was forced into the life of a guerrilla, boiling cats for meat, drinking piss for hydration, and skulking around in the mountains surrounding Revachol, killing the odd communist here and there. Even the Coalition intervention did not cheer him up, as his friend, Gaston Martin, took Jeanne-Marie away from him, ruining the taste of victory over communism (at the cost of thousands of ordinary Revacholian lives due to the artillery shelling of the city in preparation for the landing), and adding another note to the caustic tinge of everyday life under the occupation of foreign nations.
By '51, he was a bitter, old man, given a spot as a night watchman in the Dockworkers' Union on behalf of Titus Hardie. His anger and overuse of coffee caused his heart to slowly fail, until he died of a heart attack in the guard booth on Day Five of the investigation. He didn't witness the murder, as he was on a two week medical leave at behest of Evrart Claire. The harbour didn't suffer, as Claire only offered René a job as a watchman to ensure the local Carabineer wasn't collecting tare and reminding everyone of just how bad things are at Revachol.
- René offers background lore on the Revacholian branch of the Antecentennial Revolution.
- You can also obtain Medal The Setting Sun from him by first passing a legendary Composure 14 check, which will allow you to learn that he's carrying two special medals: Croix de Bravoure, cross of valor, the highest battlefield decoration, and the Setting Sun, distinguishing seasoned combat veterans serving the King against the Revolution. The check unlocks the ability to learn about his service and the whole situation with the princeling. This will also reveal that Gaston DOES have a bit of respect for his friend.
- Following this investigation with a red legendary Drama check, you can get the aforementioned medal. It's red because, well, old soldiers have a knack for detecting bullshit. If succeeded, you will be able to tell him the story of your epic hangover and reaching beyond THE VEIL. He will offer it to you - sincerely, despite your body declaring he's being sarcastic. Refusing it counts as a Very Honorable Thing.
- René will die of heart failure on day 5, and the Royal Carabineer Pants as well as the Royal Carabineer Jacket will be available for pilfering from his post over at the harbor, near the Capeside apartments.
- On your first encounter with René and Gaston, you can grab their pétanque boule and throw it (Red Hand-Eye Coordination Medium 10 check). Succeeding will cause them some grief - and also unlock the task to replace their lost boule.
- During the task to Turn back the wheels of time, it is possible to learn that René was once in love with Gaston, but decided not to confront or share those feelings, repressing them instead. He feels regret over it.
Concept art from Kaspar Tamsalu's artstation