The autopsy is the main mechanism by which you can change the skull rating of a corpse. To get the most out of your autopsies, you need to understand that each part that you can remove has a different effect on the skull rating. This can help you to plan out your autopsy strategy. These effects are as follows:
-Blood and fat will each remove one red skull and add one white skull when they are removed. Every corpse you autopsy should have blood and fat removed. It will always add the white skull, even if there is no red skull to remove.
-Skulls will add one skull to the total skull rating when removed. This will always start out as a red skull, though, so you need to have a method in place to deal with it.
-Skin will convert a white skull to a red skull when removed. You don’t want to do this unless you plan on dumping the body.
-Bones and flesh will decrease the total number of skulls on your meter when removed, starting with white skulls. Sometimes you can remove one of these without changing the number of skulls, but you can inadvertently lower your meter for a corpse that you are wanting to prepare for burial if you remove any of these.
-Hearts, brains, and intestines are a gamble. These will remove 2 skulls from the meter, but it is possible for hearts, brains, and intestines to remove white OR red skulls from the meter when removed. There are three possible results from removing one of these: remove 2 white, remove 1 red and 1 white, or remove 2 red. The result of removing the heart, brain, or intestines seems to be determined on generation of the corpse, so SAVE before cutting into your corpse! If you don’t get a good result, you can load your game and try removing a different part. With three parts and three possible results, there is one part assigned at random to each result, meaning that you can always get the desired result from removing something else.
Note: There is a sort of fourth result to removing these parts when your corpse is low on its skull meter. It may occasionally result in removing one red skull and converting another one to white. However, this does not normally happen with an intact corpse. If you get this result, then chances are that you have already messed things up.