Fallout 3 EP11:
Did You Just Punch Out Jingwei?

By Shamus Posted Monday Feb 4, 2013

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 87 comments

And so at last we reach the end of Operation: Anchorage. Something interesting I learned while watching this episode two and a half years after recording it: Apparently, I played through this DLC twice? Why did I do that? I have no idea. That was not a wise use of time.

On the upside, I’m sure I’ll never play it again. I can never imagine a scenario where I’d be willing to put up with the horror of Games for Windows Live, which is required to use this DLC. Heck, I wouldn’t put up with that crap for a good game.

Link (YouTube)

Why is Jingwei’s sword here in this vault, attached to a training simulator? Why do all the buildings, computers, equipment, and furniture in the simulator look identical to the same crap as it exists 200 years later?

Why were the Brotherhood willing to chop the arm off a wastelander to open the door, and then willing to let you take everything? Can you imagine bank robbers pointing their guns at a teller’s head, “OPEN THE VAULT NOW OR YOU’RE DEAD!” And then once the vault is open they let the teller take as much as they want? This is particularly egregious when we’re talking about pre-war tech, which the Brotherhood thinks they should own by default. Their entire mission is to look for new tech and reverse-engineer it, and they’re letting you walk off with it even though they (correctly) think you’re a savage that’s just going to drag the equipment into battle.

On top of all this, that final exchange between the Brotherhood guys was so cliche it could be mistaken for satire in a smarter context.

It’s just… this is so lazy it hurts. Even if we ignore the mechanical problems with Anchorage, the bugs, the shallow gameplay, the repetitive combat, the narrow weapon selection, and the sloppy visuals, this is just shamefully childish. You could make massive improvements to this entire script in under an hour. This is a half-assed first draft with nothing to say and nothing to add to the game except toys. And that would be fine if this was just some random shooter, but this is supposedly Fallout. Stupid, vapid, tone-deaf stories here is like having crappy platforming mechanics in a Mario game. It’s weak in exactly the way that the series is expected to be strong.

So I’m glad it’s over, is what I’m saying.


From The Archives:

87 thoughts on “Fallout 3 EP11:
Did You Just Punch Out Jingwei?

  1. Tohron says:

    The decision to give you the equipment was probably based purely on the desire to let you keep the stuff you played with in the simulator, rather than letting you get a taste of it and then never let you use it again. Story evidently came second.

    On a different note, I’m left wondering whether the Anchorage episodes alone would be enough to kill someone via drinking game…

    1. Andrew says:

      No, but you would be in a stupor at 33 drinks for episode 10 alone. The highest combination of both Josh’s Rage and Bug powers are in full swing each pumping out 11 reasons to drink each. Please take a gander at this chart for more metrics as we follow along the continued path of Reginald Cuftbert’s antics. We have charts and everything.

      1. Factoid says:

        What are you defining as a “drink” in this context? A shot? A swallow of beer? There’s no way 33 swallows of beer puts anyone in a stupor. And 33 shots would put you in the hospital.

        1. Andrew says:

          The drink type is shown at the bottom, the drink is a shot(half-nip) of 37% proof. The website is also there for you to input your own metrics for calculating BAC.

        2. Tse says:

          It’s less than half a liter. It’s not that much…

      2. Hitchmeister says:

        I hadn’t noticed that until reading the spreadsheet notes. The “simulated” psycho wears off after the battle with the Brotherhood outside the simulation. Good Job, Bethesda.

    2. Adam says:

      To be fair, a bunch of the F:NV DLC did this, too. Dead Money does what Operation Anchorage teased with the Gauss Rifle, but way better, with the Holorifle. You get what might be the coolest DLC gun in the game in the first five minutes, and then you get to go HUNTING.

      Also, Honest Hearts literally sets you down with a chest full of copies of all the unique NPC gear, should you want it. What I’m aiming for here is, that’s not necessarily a bad approach to take.

      1. Cupcaeks says:

        I think the real problem here isn’t that you’re getting all this unique loot, but rather the context in which you get it. In Fallout:NV it seems that they had started with the story and then designed the mechanics, loot and all, to support that story. The Fallout 3 approach, on the other hand, seems to have started with designing the loot and then phoning in the rest of the DLC as some half-baked loot delivery system.

        It really makes me kind of sad with all this talk of Fallout 4, because I don’t think that mentality has changed at all from what I’ve seen of Skyrim.

        1. Indy says:

          Honestly, the loot delivery in Anchorage, Broken Steel and Mothership Zeta seemed far more believable than “a chest at the end of the DLC”. At least in these DLC’s, the stuff is on a shelf or in a box where they wouldn’t have been taken from yet. Of course, that’s only really an argument against one DLC out of four so…

          1. Cupcaeks says:

            Yeah, there’s no doubting that was a wacky way of doing things, but what I’m getting at is the loot in Fallout:NV tended to have a lot more character. There was Joshsua Graham’s pistol, or The Survivalist’s Rifle, or the sonic emitter invented by the crazies at Big MT. For me at least, I remember those pieces of loot for the characters associated with them or the roles they played in the DLC stories. I’m sure Fallout 3 has its own examples of that, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. The only characteristics I remember about a lot of Fallout 3’s stuff is better stats and maybe a unique look.

            That’s not to say Fallout:NV was perfect in that regard. I can’t recall anything in particular about Lonesome Road’s unique loot, for example (which is a minor quibble compared to all the other problems I had with that DLC). But overall, Fallout:NV did a lot better job of incorporating interesting lore into what you find than Fallout 3 did in my opinion.

            1. StashAugustine says:

              Lonesome Road had the Courier Duster, which wasn’t particularly useful but it did look awesome at Hoover Dam.

            2. Ithilanor says:

              Speaking of Lonesome Road, what other problems did you have, and what was your overall opinion? And for others, what was the general reception like?

              1. Ithilanor says:

                Disregard this, saw the Lonesome Road conversation further down.
                (Can’t edit for some reason, so putting this in a reply)

              2. Cupcaeks says:

                I know you said to disregard this, but I figured I’d reply here and give my opinion anyway, since the conversation further down seems more focused on how the DLC’s tied in with each other and everything else.

                The DLC is fairly linear, which isn’t a problem in and of itself, but when combined with the seemingly heavy focus on combat, it got annoying at times (especially for my non-combat oriented character; probably didn’t help that I was playing on very hard either). The combat is really my main gripe here. There are a few encounters that are simply unavoidable, even with judicious use of stealth (and Stealthboys). I recall a few a situations where enemies wouldn’t spawn until after you’d entered an ambush zone, so there really wasn’t much opportunity for stealth or planning. I suspect a lot of that had to do with my level at the time. I’m pretty sure enemies level with you, and being in the early 40’s at the time, it kind of nullified my maxed out stealth skill, simply because everything’s perception was so high.

                I also had a few problems with some of the mechanics in relation to the story being told, but it might just be a personal nitpick. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but there are points in the story where you’ll have to detonate some nuclear warheads in order to clear a path to move through. This doesn’t sound so bad, but Lonesome Road’s story (if not the Fallout universe as a whole) heavily emphasizes how terrible and devastating these things are, and yet they’ve basically been trivialized into what amounts to glorified door openers. I personally found the disconnect between the narrative and the mechanics somewhat jarring, but YMMV.

                My last real (and very minor) problem was with how they handled your character’s past. Not sure if this is a spoiler or not, but the Courier has some history with the area you’re exploring, but I honestly wasn’t really feeling it. The thing is, I don’t know what else they could’ve done to give that more weight. I guess it just is what it is, and once you accept it you can get on with enjoying the story being told.

                I don’t want to make it sound like this is a bad DLC, because it isn’t by any means. Aside from the quibbles I mentioned above, the narrative in Lonesome Road is probably the strongest out of all the DLCs, and the themes being presented wrap up quite nicely with Ulysses and ED-E (not the same ED-E form the main game).

                Speaking of Ulysses, he’s probably worth the price of admission alone. I don’t think he quite lived up to the hype being built for him previously (honestly, there’s probably no way he ever could), but damned if he isn’t a well-written character. Very rarely do you encounter such a truly gray character in a video game, and I found picking at his brain to be a joy.

                The atmosphere of the Divide is also very much a positive here, and pretty much trumps anything you’ll encounter anywhere else in Fallout:NV, main game or DLC. The ruined cityscape is absolutely, hauntingly gorgeous, so much so that I really wish Lonesome Road was a bit more open, if only to get a better look at everything. You really get a sense for nuclear destruction when you look at it, as opposed to Fallout 3’s DC, which really only looked conventionally bombed out at best. Some of the things they do with enemies outside of combat encounters also really adds to the sense of oppression, and you’ll definitely be feeling the ‘Lonesome’ in ‘Lonesome Road’.

                This has been going way longer than I intended, so I’ll wrap with this: combat was a bit of a slog, but pretty much everything else makes up for it, character and atmosphere being the big two. I’d definitely recommend playing through it if you get the chance.

                1. StashAugustine says:

                  “Combat was a bit of a slog, but pretty much everything else makes up for it, character and atmosphere being the big two. I'd definitely recommend playing through it if you get the chance.”

                  Copy/paste for every New Vegas DLC.

                  1. Ithilanor says:

                    Copy/paste for every Obsidian game. :P

                2. Ithilanor says:

                  Thanks for your thoughts and recommendations! I’m glad to hear it’s so good; I was worried that it’d be disappointingly bad compared to the quality of the other New Vegas DLCs.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      Easy fix, have weapon racks held behind windows that the player couldn’t access. That way, it would allow you to take all of the stuff while making it seem like the Outcasts still have a reason to stay at the bunker without killing you for rampant thievery.

      1. MrGuy says:

        And then we’d wonder how the heck the Outcasts can access those racks and we can’t. I mean, if us winning the video game opened all the doors, shouldn’t everything be accessible (at least, if we’re willing to steal from or assassinate the Outcasts)? There would be no good reason for those “other” racks of stuff to be inaccessible, and we’d complain about that.

        Personally, I’l like it more if the Outcast leader started a speech to the effect of “Great! You did it! As we agreed, you can pick a share of the loot. You can take any two weapons you want, and open any two ammo boxes. The rest belongs to the Outc….” And this is the point where his own men turn on him and shoot him, thus rendering the deal null and void while he’s explaining it. Oh, and also, if there was more loot in this place, so it would actually feel worth while to have spent 3 hours to open the door…

    4. Chamomile says:

      According to Shamus’ suggested method of assuming the drinker has died every 0.5% BAC and replacing them with a new one…Yes, Operation Anchorage is worth exactly one drinker kill with about 0.05% BAC in change. Operation Anchorage is also worth more cumulative BAC as every episode that came before it combined.

  2. SpiritBearr says:

    For Jingwei’s sword I would guess that so many people wanted a katana to play with that wasn’t on fire.

    Storywise they wrote it off as a replica they used for the simulator like the rest of the vault load of crap you get is written off as.

    1. MrGuy says:

      I’m not bothered by the sword being here. Even the original sword and not a replica.

      In universe, General Jingwei was a historical person, who (possibly) really had such a sword, and was really killed at the Battle of Anchorage. General Chase was a historical person who lead the army that defeated him. It seems perfectly reasonable that the sword was presented to General Chase as a trophy of the victory.

      And if General Chase had the real sword, what better place would there be for him to put it than locked in a room that could only be opened by someone “worthy” to win the Battle of Anchorage? A room Chase himself designed.

      Heck, you could argue the entire “room locked by the simulation” was created SPECIFICALLY to house the sword. That actually makes some sense (which, for this DLC, means it’s almost certainly not canon…)

    2. WJS says:

      Is it overly pedantic to point out that Jingwei’s sword is in no way a katana?

  3. MrGuy says:

    Regarding “why do you get all the stuff?”, as I recall it, they offered you a share, not the whole cache. But then, the moment you open the door, Sibley starts his crazy mutiny and all the Outcasts start killing each other off, which means there’s no one left to stop you from taking 100% instead of the 10% they offered you..

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      The guy says take whatever you want because “if our scans are right, there should be more than enough for all of us.” If he and the scribe survive, they’ll thank you for saving there hides and go one to scan the stuff in the vault.

      Presumably, there is more stuff in there we can’t see. It would be great if we COULD see all the stuff they are referring to.

      1. MrGuy says:

        Or, they could make it explicit that their scans are wrong – we could have rooms full of empty weapon racks designed to hold laser rifles, with only one or two actually with rifles in them. Or racks of “training” weapons that are actually useless. Or boxes of a junk items like “Depleted Microfusion cells” or “Dummy Mini-Nuke.” Maybe even throw in a terminal entry or a log file that tells us all the “real” weapons were signed out for a unit that went off to battle somewhere.

        1. Chamomile says:

          That would give the Outcasts a very good reason not to give you all or any of the toys.

  4. Completely off topic but you might like this Shamus http://timothylottes.blogspot.no/2013/01/atomontage-tube.html
    (Timothy’s blog is interesting as well, but the youtube video he’s linking to is really interesting.)

    Ever since the old Blade Runner game (by Westwood Studios http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner_%281997_video_game%29 ) I’ve loved voxels.

    And watching this video made me a tad giddy, just look at how “3D” things look, it actually feels like things have mass or volume. But the most impressive is how fast that engine looks.
    (PS! For those that do not know. a voxel is a volume pixel and a voxel can be as large/small as desired, shape algos can easily take away the blockyness).

    1. Lalaland says:

      Voxel/’Point Cloud’ engines do geometry very well but are quite poor at interactivity as animating a point cloud object means having manual vectors for every single voxel. To animate polygons you only need to transform vertices and everything attached to the vertex gets moved for ‘free’. A lot of older games such as the ‘Comanche’ series & Outlander got around this by using polygons for world objects and voxels for terrain geometry but that leads to a weird disconnect between the two (for example you can’t project shadows from polygons to voxels or vice versa.)

      Voxels are also incredibly hard on the cpu, MRI and CAT scans produce point cloud data to visualise your insides and to manipulate that data in real time requires a massive dual socket Xeon workstation w/8-16 core and ~16GB RAM. Now MRI/CAT scans produce a lot of data, more than any game scene would possibly ever need, but even if we trim that requirement we’re loading the CPU with tasks that for years now have been handled by the GPU. This leaves much less time for AI, physics and all the other tasks that go into a modern game.

      The return of voxels is something that has been heralded a few times but the problem of a ‘hockey stick’ power requirement as data sets increase and the entrenched advantage that h/w accelerated polygons have right now has always doomed them beyond art projects and curios. It’s the same for Ray Tracing, it works but it takes too long and doesn’t look as good as cheaper, faster Raster based techniques.

      Still I’d love a chance to play with that demo!

      1. Lalaland says:

        Bbugger edit button seems to have been eaten so I’ll leave this here, my first sentence I should have said ‘do terrain geometry very well’. Hopefully I seem less like I’m contradicting myself only a few sentences later now (Note to Self: Review posts before posting)

      2. Point of order: When among fellow nerds, the so-called “hockey stick” representation of diminishing returns should be referred to as “approaching Warp Factor 10.”


  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Jingwey trying to kill himself by repeatedly stabbing himself reminds me of this.Video game characters have such a hard time killing themselves.

  6. I think you can avoid the whole Games for Windows Live thing by purchasing the Fallout 3 GOTY edition on Steam when it shows up (as it usually does) for about $5 during one of their sales (assuming you want it, presumably to play some favorite scenario mods).

    I only did so because I hadn’t purchased all the DLC with my actual CD-ROM version which didn’t survive an altercation with a sharp-cornered object at some point in its life, making it unusable. Ironically, it was still of greater value than the Pip-Boy clock I had which ate its 3 AAA batteries in the span of a week. This is rather amazing when you consider all the clock did was display the time and (I think) keep track of the date. I guess it was made in the same part of China that made the game’s Chinese pistol.

    1. Adam says:


    2. X2-Eliah says:

      I’ve heard that it still has gfwl on it, though.

      1. Nope. Not a sign of it. If it’s running as a background process, it somehow knows my old login/pass and doesn’t give me the old splash screens and come-ons for other games.

        1. Eruanno says:

          Wait, what? I have Fallout 3 GOTY on Steam and I still have to log into GFWL to be able to save my game. Did they change this recently? (You didn’t have to muck around with GFWL to install the DLC, though. It did that part automagically.)

          1. I did a little searching, and it looks like if you have GFWL installed, it’ll muck about with your Steam version of Fallout 3. Since I got rid of the “service” long ago, I didn’t run into the problem. I read the following solution on this forum thread:

            GFWL does not manage all Fallout 3 saves (this is a myth I keep seeing pop up in threads). If GFWL is enabled (and logged in) then it will ride on top of Fallout 3’s save system and redirect it to look in My Documents/My Games/Fallout 3/Saves/[GFWL Profile Name].

            Save games are not stored online. GFWL is not needed in order to play Fallout 3 or save games. (I play with it disabled to use more advanced mods).

            Since the OP is now running Fallout 3 w/ GFWL installed and (apparently) logging in, the save games need to be copied from the default save location to the location that GFWL expects them to be [in other words, they have to be copied from My Documents/My Games/Fallout 3/Saves to My Documents/My Games/Fallout 3/Saves/[GFWL Profile Name]]

            Sounds like GFWL just wants to remind everyone that it’s still there and wants to get in the way of anything you want to do. :(

            1. StashAugustine says:

              Hmm. I reinstalled FO3 the other day (to look something up in the gameworld, left instantly once I realized I’d lost my saves) and GFWL wasn’t running. Come to thing of it, that’s probably where my saves went.

    3. CTrees says:

      You are correct. I bought the GOTY version this last Steam sale, because it had been a few years since I played, I had never played the DLC, and Spoiler Warning was making me want to play. No GFWL needed, and I’m on the fourth of five DLC.

      On that note, DLC impressions:
      Operation Anchorage – about what you see in Spoiler Warning (it’s terrible)
      Point Lookout – awesome environment/atmosphere, terrible plot, terrible to actually play through
      The Pitt – another cool environment, another terrible story, felt way too rushed, and the whole maze aspect was annoying (I got fed up and no-clipped up to the end)
      Mothership Zeta – midway through playing, pretty meh so far (especially since I’m mentally comparing it to the excellent Old World Blues)
      Broken Steel – haven’t gotten tot it yet

      So… yeah. *sigh* not. really. worth it.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        Mothership Zeta is my least favorite of the DLC with Anchorage a close second. Make of that what you will.

        1. ehlijen says:

          For me Zeta won out over anchorage by a smidgen because of the space battle. But both were pretty boring to play through.

        2. Eruanno says:

          Mothership Zeta was my least favorite because the game bugged out and refused to open a door that was meant to open plot-wise. I opened it with the command console, and then it turns out the NPC I needed to talk to in order to progress was stuck inbetween the walls to open the door for me. Fuck.

          1. Little girls. You can’t trust them.

            And yeah, she did that to me on my first play-through as well.

            1. Gruhunchously says:

              …unless they happen to be Clementine.

              1. ehlijen says:

                While she is more likeable, I’m not sure she is trustworthy. When you tell her to stay with Ben, she follows you and she lies to you about her walkie being broken/doesn’t mention the guy she talks to on it.

                She may not mean evil, but she’s not being reliable.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Looking at the door got me into thinking how the central story could make some sense.Mind you I havent played anchorage,so maybe this is how the real story is.Im going simply by what the crew said about it(I didnt bother with the dialogue,it seemed too boring to me).

    So we have this vault,with a bunch of protections on it,so if someone tries to hack in/force the lock,all the contents of the vault will be obliterated.The brotherhood is trying to find a way around the lock,but that is taking too much time.Meanwhile,they found out that the designer of the lock was fond of this game,and he left a clue for the password at the end credits of it.We could try hacking the game,but that also takes time.In comes you,and they chuck you in to get to the end and watch the end credits,while the brotherhood will still try to find ways around the lock,in case you fail.There,a logical reason why youd want to play a game just so you could open a door,and it took me a minute to think of it.

    1. Even says:

      This is what annoys me the most about your average Bethesda writing. Anyone who’s heard at least a couple good stories and is capable of being creative could come up with better reasons why you can’t open the door. Whoever is in charge of their writing QA and/or direction should be fired or obligated to raise their standards.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        This is becoming a theme of the games that Spoiler Warning plays. All of them have plots that could have worked, but fail in the most basic ways to explain away the things that would take only a moment to make sense.

        Mass Effect 2/3, Fallout 3, and Assassin’s Creed 2 all had this problem.

        1. zob says:

          And The Walking Dead.

      2. StashAugustine says:

        It’s too bad about this DLC in particular. If it had a good plot, I’d dust off FO3 and play through it despite the gameplay. Hello there, Dead Money! The Anchorage campaign and the Resource Wars are something I’d really like to know more about.

  8. Clint Olson says:

    I feel somehow obligated to point out that the title of the video appears to be referencing the amusing TV Trope, Did You Just Punch Out Cthulu? (WARNING, TV TROPES LINK)

    1. Vagrant says:

      those warnings should come before the link! You’ve doomed countless denizens of the internet!

  9. modus0 says:

    To be fair, many of the Outcasts really didn’t want you to have anything out of that vault, hence the mutiny.

    Their leader was being uncharacteristically nice in letting you grab something (or everything in some cases).

    And there is a mod that removes the need for GfWL. It’s really nice since once you’ve gotten all the achievements you don’t have any reason to use the abandoned, red-headed, gimp-suited stepchild of Xbox Live.

  10. Raygereio says:

    I can never imagine a scenario where I'd be willing to put up with the horror of Games for Windows Live, which is required to use this DLC.

    Three’s no DRM on the DLC. They work just the same as any mod. So once you’ve purchased them, you wouldn’t have had to look at GFWL ever again seeing as FOSE disables it without fuss.

    Also after every episode of Operation Anchorage and after every “plot” session of Fallout 3, I’ve watched this trailer:
    And then I hug myself and rock back and forth for a couple of minutes, while muttering “At least it isn’t Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel”.

    1. KremlinLaptop says:

      Oh jesus, that brings up so many bad memories. Like seriously BAD memories.

      I remember being sort of excited for this. It was the first Fallout game in a long time and then… then I saw THAT trailer. My reaction was nothing but confused anger and then curling up denying what I’d see. Like looking into the face of an Elder God I was unable to accept what my eyes beheld.

      By comparison Fallout 3 is pretty fuckin’ stellar.

    2. Wow. A lot of those costumes look like ones from the seedier portions of the New Vegas Nexus mod collection. If those (especially the leather thong gun-bunny at the end) were supposed to be the player, then the game still needed work.

  11. Jokerman says:

    Fallout 3 was such a mixed bag with its DLC, i really enjoyed Point Lookout, Broken Steel and The Pit while Anchorage and Mothership Zeta were garbage…

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      That’s because Anchorage and Zeta threw you into linear corridors, which makes no sense since the open-world is so important to Fallout 3 and Bethesda games in general.

      1. I’d also say they forgot to have a compelling story to go with those corridors. Mothership Zeta almost got me interested when it pulled soldiers from the war out of stasis, but it never really went anywhere with that. Anchorage was not only substituting shooting for story, it acknowledged that this was a simulation messed with by colonel flat-top, which means it wasn’t even canonical to whichever Fallout history you think is the real one.

        Now, New Vegas had a linear DLC, “Lonesome Road,” but it had several things going for it. For one, the linear part was made up of several small but open areas. Secondly, there was build-up in the other DLCs regarding the final scene. Third, if you wanted to, you could leave the DLC area at any time and never come back if you so chose. And fourth, your final decision had lasting impact on your faction reputation, if not on several parts of the Mojave.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          I agree. I absolutely adored Lonesome Road, especially when compared to Anchorage and Zeta. Of course, by that point I was fascinated by the DLCs antagonist, Ulysses, so my opinion may be skewed.

          1. StashAugustine says:

            New Vegas also had more weapon and enemy variety, which went a long way to making the shooter portions more enjoyable.

        2. Even says:

          Only thing they skewered was the logic the game uses to determine who you’re sided with. I felt pretty flabbergasted when even after murdering House and having extinguished all possibility to end the game for either NCR and Legion, the game decided that I was a faithful citizen of NCR through and through with not even a single dialogue option to let me try and convince Ulysses otherwise. I mean really, whoever thought it made sense to make the check based on your reputation instead of your actual quest progression? It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just Ulysses’ impression of you based on your reputation, but the game strictly refuses to let you convince him otherwise.

          It’s a blessing the game’s as moddable as it is.


        3. MrGuy says:

          I think the difference here is the genesis of the DLC.

          Lonesome Road is pretty explicitly something that was in the original plan for the game. Apparently it was even PART of the original New Vegas – there’s a bunch of developer blog info about how they had to do work to REMOVE the Lonesome Road material from the original game (Ulysses was a recruitable companion at one point).

          The reason it ties in so much better to the “main” game is that, well, it was part of the main game. There are a bunch of references/foreshadowing left in that make it feel “natural” to the game’s story.

          Contrast to ALL of the FO3 DLC’s, which were pretty clearly written after the main game, and all of which feel “tacked on” to various degrees. (Broken Steel foreshadowed ME3’s “oh, you didn’t like the ending? Let’s make a DLC that gives you a different one!” decision) The BEST here were Point Lookout (I really like the tie-in with the Dunwich Building in the “main” world) and The Pitt (which was tied in story-wise in a few places at least, notably Rockopolis).

          Whether removing “main game” material to create a DLC (which definitely happed with Lonesome Road) is a “good thing” is probably debatable, but it clearly makes for a better DLC than something that was “tacked on” at the end.

          And even if not “cut out” from the original game, all the FO:NV DLC’s feel PLANNED in exactly the way FO3’s don’t.

          1. X2-Eliah says:

            Broken Steel foreshadowed ME3″²s “oh, you didn't like the ending? Let's make a DLC that gives you a different one!” decision

            I can’t even begin to think where to start on pointing out that your assertion makes no sense whatsoever.

            1. I think he’s referring to complaints about how F3 just ended at the water purifier with your apparent sacrifice, and it was the only way to end the game, whether or not that was in keeping with your character.

              I do recall some saying Broken Steel was an attempt to change the ending and/or let you continue to play that came of player outcry, but I couldn’t find a specific reference for that in the Vault Wiki.

              1. Thomas says:

                This interview has some fun little snipperts about the DLCs to read in hindsight

                ” we were always intrigued by the Battle of Anchorage. It’s a very compelling bit of Fallout lore, and we figured we could really do it justice.”


                1. Thomas says:

                  Sorry didn’t mean to post it here, comments system messing up a little :(

                  Also I stumbled across the right quote for you in an IGN interview
                  “Gardiner: Based on a lot of feedback, we’re going to allow the player to continue on after the main quest ends in the Broken Steel DLC. ”

                  Thats not as extreme sounding, but it definitely came from the fans

              2. ehlijen says:

                There was one other option (send in paladin lady instead), but the outcry was that several options that should have been weren’t (at least one of the companions has been established to be immune to this very danger but can’t be made to fix the gizmo).

                Other than the fact that the ending was changed, there is nothing in common with the ME3 ending disaster in FO3. FO3’s ending was clear if not good, somewhat in keeping with the theme (several characters at points make sacfices for their team or refuse when they probably should). The McGuffin was badly done, but at least it taunted you with details of its badness from early on. And when it was changed, it was changed in an intersting way that alleviated player concerns (they got to keep playing and didn’t have to die/go evil just because the mutant wouldn’t push the for him harmless button).

                Meanwhile in ME3 the ending refused to explain whether you blew up the galaxy or not, didn’t fit in thematically with the rest of the plots and was a complete deus ex arsica. And then they ‘fixed’ the ending, they refused to admit that the ending was crap and rewrote it to be differently crap in mostly the same way.

          2. Even says:

            The thing about Ulysses is that he was supposed to play a part in being a Pro-Legion companion, as part of all the other content that would fleshed the faction out a lot, but which sadly got cut out of the game. It would have included stuff like Legion settlements on the east side of the Colorado, where you’d have been able to meet some of the more “regular” citizens who live at least in some limited form of freedom under the Legion banner. Currently I think the only one you ever get to meet is the trader near the gates of The Fort.

            Ulysses’ position as a disillusioned ex-Legionnaire yearning for a place that’d be worthy of fighting for and call a home plus some themes involved in his planned companion quest are about the only stuff I’d see as a safe bet to have been ported straight over.

            Reading on what could have been, I really wish we could have at least gotten those settlements, if not the companion.

          3. Thomas says:

            “Eurogamer: Did you have a sense of what you’d do with the DLC during development of Fallout 3? Or did you sit down at the end and go, “Right, what the hell are we doing?”

            Jeff Gardiner: “What the hell are we doing?” is much closer to the mark. We opened up to ideas from the whole development team, and Operation: Anchorage is just one of several that rose to the top.”

            Looks like you have it spot on

            1. Rose to the top, eh? And they said floaters weren’t in this game…

              1. Keeshhound says:

                I laughed. It’s somewhat disheartening to realize that my sense of humor is still that of a 5 year old.

          4. Chauzuvoy says:

            It’s also worth noting that even their other DLC was hinted at somewhat, either in earlier DLCs or in the base game. Elijah from Dead Money was hinted at in Veronica’s backstory, There was some graffiti patched in with Honest Hearts hinting at the Burned Man (and I seem to remember there being some conversation with some legion dude somewhere about him, but that may have been patched in too), Old World Blues was hinted at within Dead Money, and had a lot of things in the DLC tying it to the larger world.

            The big problem with the FO3 DLCs isn’t just that they weren’t planned ahead, but that there’s nothing within the DLCs tying them to the main world at all. Each DLC area or story isn’t hinted at in the larger world, nor do they really hint at the larger world. Anchorage and Mothership Zeta especially are completely disconnected.

            You know, I feel like when Obsidian was writing, they just threw out threads like Elijah, New Canaan, and the like without entirely knowing how they were going to use them. Admittedly they took a lot of that from Van Buren (the project that was going to become FO3 before Bethesda got their hands on it), but I feel like they just threw out 3 or 4 possible hooks that they weren’t going to exploit in the base game, and then went back and wrote their DLCs to hang off of them. I think it works pretty well, because (done competently), even if you don’t actually hang anything on them, it still gives the sense that the world is bigger than the stretch of wasteland you get to run around in.

            1. OWB also tied into Dead Money. Big MT was where the magic “make anything” machines came from, and part of the deal was that the scientists were allowed to test some experimental materials at the Sierra Madre. Those materials led to the poison cloud and the ghost people (who were basically a new flavor of ghoul).

              I know this violates Spoiler Warning’s rule of “if it was explained by other sources it’s still bad writing” or what have you, but when you think about it, the vending machines are probably the least mad science-y thing that could come out of Big MT.

              I also liked the tie-in to the main Mojave Wasteland in Honest Hearts which explains how, ah, “invasive foliage” made it to Utah.

      2. Jokerman says:

        True, just dont know why they wouldn’t stick to what they know….one mistake – fine. But then to do it again with your last piece of DLC, kind of inexcusable.

  12. Guvnorium says:

    Maybe the dev team purposefully made Operation Anchorage terrible so that they would never be asked to make first-person-shootery DLC ever again. It would explain a lot.

    1. McNutcase says:

      That argument is fatally undermined by the existence of Mothership Zeta, which is Operation Anchorage only WORSE – and with an annoying child to “help” you. I’m glad they never did Mothership Zeta; the drinking game players would have been dying at 5-minute intervals.

      1. Guvnorium says:

        Oh dear god. I never played it, so I didn’t know. I’m sorry for your pain.

  13. GragSmash says:

    So I notice that psycho wore off after you were out of the sim – does that mean the chair has a stock of drugs to inject the trainee with to “enrich” their experience? presumably it also dopes you with varying chemicals to simulate injuries and recovery? TAKE IT APART. IT HAS DRUGS IN IT.

  14. Jan says:

    It’s probably been pointed out already (multiple times most likely), but:

    Re: the whole the discussion about the whole absurdity of the simulation (punching out Jingwei, the sword, the ridiculous battle plan) was lampshaded by the writers. There were some notes (or hacked terminals, I don’t quite remember) that have the simulation developers ranting about the various “enhancements” that general Chase wants to add. Basically, it turns out the whole simulation is just general Chase wanting to have Call of Duty 100: Operation Anchorage done, with him the glorious savior of the Americans, instead of an accurate simulation of what really happened.

    It’s rather implied, but that’s that what I made of all the absurdity (still makes a bad game though, no excuses there)
    Some background

    1. Not to mention that it undermines the player desire to even see/experience the simulation. The history of the Great War is something that those who like Fallout would want to know more about, but if we can’t even trust what we’re seeing, it renders many of the reasons for doing it moot.

      As with all of the bad ideas that went into this, they missed a chance at comedy. Making the simulation play it straight with Fallout Lore could still have been achieved by making any “enhancements” (by General Chase, or more likely, any developers who wanted more stupid action) look “fakey” or “pasted in,” like a bad split-screen or blue screen effect. This would have been amusing as well as a commentary on the overbearing and/or insane military types that were running things as the apocalypse approached. It’d be like having a WWII movie that was changed into a cold war movie at the last minute where “commie” was poorly dubbed in over every use of “nazi.”

  15. Jace911 says:

    Explaining that something was intentionally made terrible does not mean it ceases to be terrible.

    1. Ciennas says:

      No, but a nudge and a wink ease a lot of stinging nettles.

      For example, go watch the film Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. There’s a scene late in the film where somebody enters our hero’s lab- except he’s morbidly obese, and the only entrance is a teeny tiny elevator- there’s no way
      e could have entered the lab.

      Our hero encounters this oddity and asks how he could have gotten in the lab at all.

      And immediately, the little nitpicking gremlin who lives in my head was silent. Yes, it was a silly movie, but acknowledging the silliness helped make it even better.

      For a video game example, check the first few test chambers in Portal 2’s third act; they were designed badly on purpose, and they were still easy on my patience because of good writing.

  16. wheals says:

    I was rewatching this (a great drain on my sanity) and I’m wondering whether anybody else realized that Protector McGraw has the same hair as General Chase (well, different color)…

    Apparently, the BoS continued the US Army standard issue of 1 quart of hair grease per montth.

  17. WJS says:

    “He died of you shooting him in the sword”
    Well, that is one of the more likely outcomes of trying to shoot something out of someone’s hand…

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