Starfield: Should You Eliminate Malai Liskova or Betray Simon in Top Secrets?


Simon Dialogue Options in Top Secrets mission of Starfield

Kill vs. Persuade Malai Liskova – In the “Top Secrets” mission in Starfield, you’re directed toward Simon Ryczek, an informant for Ryujin Industries, to obtain vital intel on a project being pursued by the rival corporation, Infinite LTD. If you’d rather not part with a hefty sum of Credits to access the information, you have the option to undertake Simon’s side gig, which offers a way to obtain the intel for free!

This side gig involves tracking down and eliminating Malai Liskova, a bounty hunter who is allegedly after Simon’s life. However, since Liskova is open to negotiation, you also have the less violent approach of convincing her to collaborate with you and betray Simon. In this article, we’ll delve into each choice’s consequences and discuss the best path to take in Starfield: Top Secrets!

What Happens If You Eliminate Malai Liskova in Starfield?

Eliminate Malai Liskova in Top Secrets mission of Starfield

Simon will provide information about Malai’s ship, the Datura, in orbit around Saturn. When you approach her ship, you can hail her, initiating a conversation over the comms. During this encounter, you have two options:

  1. End the Transmission Abruptly: Choose to open fire on her ship, eliminating her without further discussion.
  2. Persuade Her to Invite You Aboard: Convince her to invite you onto her ship by revealing Simon’s plan and offering to help her.
    • If you choose the second option and board the Datura, you can engage in a conversation with Malai in the ship’s cockpit.
    • She confesses that she had no intention of honoring her ‘no harm’ agreement, and by selecting the [Attack] dialogue option, you can swiftly eliminate her.
    • After she’s down, you can loot her body to obtain proof of her death, her pistol – Ember, and return to Simon, having executed his request just like he wanted you to. Before you leave, make sure to also loot the Captain’s Locker for some extra Credits and gear!

Simon will express some sadness but ultimately relief that he no longer has to watch his back. He’ll also request that you keep Ember, as he has decided to “leave the past behind.”

Datura Ship Captain's Locker Loot in Top Secrets mission of Starfield

What Happens If You Spare Malai Liskova and Betray Simon in Starfield?

If you opt for the morally upright route of sparing Malai:

  • Have her invite you aboard the Datura and board her ship as before.
  • I highly recommend saving your game upon entering the Datura in case you need to retry the persuasion check.
  • During your conversation with her this time, select the [Persuade] dialogue option to initiate the Persuasion mini-game.
  • Your task is to use your persuasive skills to convince her to hand over her pistol, Ember, and disappear, allowing you to return to Simon and claim that she has been taken care of.

If you succeed in persuading Malai, she will forfeit Ember and pledge to retire from her life as a bounty hunter. You can then return to Simon and continue with the rest of the mission, having resolved everything without resorting to violence!

Take Out Malai Liskova or Betray Simon: Which is the Better Choice?

I’ve outlined the consequences associated with each of the two paths you can take in this mission when accepting Simon’s side gig. Both options ultimately lead to obtaining the information you seek from Simon, so choose the one that suits your Starfield character!

In my opinion, sparing Malai and persuading her to work with you is the better choice between the two. This way, you achieve your objective, Simon is relieved, and Malai, who promises to retire from her current line of work, gets to keep her life. Additionally, your ship’s crew will approve of this decision if you choose this route in Starfield.

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That’s everything you need to know about whether you should take out Malai Liskova or spare her and betray Simon during the Top Secrets mission in Starfield!

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