Fallout 4 EP11: Brotherhood of Steal Stuff

By Shamus
on Jun 23, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

154 comments


Link (YouTube)

To complete the thought I started to make in this episode before getting distracted:

Both Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4 begin with a personal story: Benny shoots you in the head vs. the Institute steals your baby. Both use that to drag you into a larger conflict: Which faction should control Hoover Dam vs. which faction should murder the others? On a conceptual level, the segue in Fallout 4 makes more sense than the one in New Vegas. You don’t necessarily have a stake in the fight over Hoover Dam, but you continue to have a stake in the Institute because Shaun is still involved. Unfortunately, this transition from personal to large-scale happens right at the point where the whole world really starts to unravel. It’s a bit like the Mass Effect 3 ending problem: Up until now you could – if you’re feeling generous – assume that stuff will fall into place as a result of a later reveal. That somewhere down the line, all this nonsense will start to pay off and fit together.

But once we meet the Institute the game is out of places to hide the writer’s shenanigans. Once we know the Institute plans and motivations and their reasons for kidnapping Shaun, all of the cards are on the table and we can see the writer has been bluffing us the whole time.

Here in ArcJet Systems, Danse goes back and forth from interesting to incoherent:

“I’ll tag this location for sweep and retrieve.”

Oh that’s cool. We learn a little about how the Brotherhood works.

“Synths are abominations.”

This idea would be okay, but we need to hear their reasoning. Characterize them!

“Those evil corporations before the war exploited technology for their own gain!”

Dude. Isn’t that like, your entire mission statement?

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  1. Mersadeon says:

    I think the only way I could play Fallout 4 would be to wait until an alternate start mod comes out, deactivate the main quest and just be a scavenger/collector. That’s really the only way I was able to squeeze content out of Fallout 3 after I went through the story once, but back then I had a better stomach for bad writing/worldbuilding.

  2. Couscous says:

    It would take like five seconds for them to make something up like the Brotherhood of Steel wants the synths destroyed because the synths are seen by the Brotherhood as tools like the turrets they use, the synths refuse to be tools of the Brotherhood of Steel, and so the Brotherhood wants to destroy the synths as a bunch of malfunctioning pieces of technology they need to destroy like the malfunctioning robots they normally meet all over the wasteland.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      I can’t remember where it happens but I’m pretty sure they get into this somewhere if you press them on it. Something about synths taking over I think. I think Danse specifically compares them to the atom bomb. Just the general idea about technology running amok.

      • Danny White says:

        I’ve always understood the Brotherhood as being opposed to technology that they consider dangerous. After all, it was advanced technology that caused the apocalypse in the first place, so they try and prevent the use of any technology that could finish what the atom bombs started. Given that, I can see the Brotherhood classifying Synths as a technology with the potential to destroy humanity, and something that has to be prevented at all costs.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          They arent opposed to dangerous tech.They are opposed to someone other than them having dangerous tech.They would sooner get control over the synths than destroy them.

      • Groboclown says:

        Isn’t Danse actually a synth? That is, when you kill him, isn’t there synth-specific parts that are loot-able?

  3. Henson says:

    I would be one of those people who thought New Vegas’ story lost some steam as soon as you get back at Benny. Part of my problem is that I don’t think the game gives you enough justification that choosing a faction has now become the main story; it feels like a thematic sidequest. If the game emphasized the inevitable conflict between these factions and what exactly is at stake far enough ahead and within the ‘chase Benny’ story, I think it would have felt like a much more natural change of focus. As it is, you’re aware of the different factions and what they’re like, but any impending struggle between them is spoken of in hypotheticals, not concretely; it’s a conflict that could be, rather than will be.

    I think it would also help to have a sort of guiding neutral party to comment on the change of situation, to frame how the story is now something else. Perhaps Doc Mitchell (assuming he’s not dead) or even Victor (assuming he was not 100% loyal to Mr. House anymore).

    Or perhaps my problem is in expecting a main story at all. Maybe it should be enough for me to follow a hook to get to New Vegas, and then decide to drop the plot like a sock full of rocks. To just go exploring.

    • tmtvl says:

      Between Nipton and Boulder City I think you get enough of a push to take a look into the various clown troupes running around the wasteland.

      Though it kinda seems like you’d be more appreciative of the main quest if Benny had escaped to the fort, which really thrusts you into the main conflict.

      • Unless you kill him in The Tops, he DOES escape to The Fort, where he gets captured by Caesar, who after doing whatever in House’s bunker, he lets you take out Benny however you want.

        Personally, I prefer stealing his pistol and shooting him with it, which not only doesn’t make the surrounding guards hostile, but mostly they compliment the kill.

        • Coming_Second says:

          Getting his pistol and shooting him in the head is the obvious thing to do (particularly as doing it once probably won’t kill him!) However, I don’t think there’s any beating this method.

          • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

            Actually you can decline to execute him in the tent at which point the Legion will crucify him.

            So many different ways you can kill him.


            1) Shoot him on sight on the ground floor at the Tops.
            2) Talk to him, then shoot him on sight on the ground floor at the Tops.
            3) Find evidence of Benny’s double dealing, show it to Swank, who will help you have a private meeting with Benny. Shoot him then.
            4) Talk Benny into a private meeting. Shoot him then.
            5) Seduce Benny into a private meeting. Shoot him then.
            6) Follow through with the seduction from step 5, smother him with a pillow in his sleep.
            -) Accept Benny’s offer of a private meeting. Benny will send his goons up instead. Which leads to.
            7) Catch up with him at the Legion Camp, shoot him when offered the chance.
            8) Set him free in the Legion Camp, let him be gunned down while you fight your way out.
            9) Decline to shoot him, allow him to be crucified.
            10) Shoot him on the cross.

            You can also show him a ridiculous amount of forgiveness by setting him free and getting him out of the camp. Keep in mind that by this point, he’s tried to kill you twice unless you went the seduction route and you’re having to sneak and grab weapons.

            Though there seems to be no dummied out content for it, there’s even a dialog option for him coming back to help you enact your plans for an independent Vegas. He runs off but I’m guessing if they’d had more time, they would have actually scripted this out. Of all the options Benny partnering with you makes the most sense to drop.

            One can only imagine the game we would have gotten if Obsidian had another year or so.

        • Grudgeal says:

          I just wish the developers had had the foresight for your character to ask Caesar to end it like that so you wouldn’t have to steal the gun. Considering Caesar’s personality I think it would be perfectly in-line for him to agree that you get to do to Benny what he did to you.

      • Henson says:

        That DOES sound better.

    • Thomas says:

      Ive always found the Benny side of the equation to be the weakest. I don’t think I’ve ever really cared about meeting up with him again and sometimes I forget that’s what I’m meant to be doing. My very first playthrough ignored the Benny angle, went through the Deathclaw quarry and met up with house.

      Go to New Vegas -> Be in New Vegas is the strongest hook of that game.

      I think in other games Obsidian have done a better job at overlapping a clear character need with their character motivation. In Alpha Protocol you might want to get revenge, or you might want to do good for the world, but also the only way you can have a safe life is to follow plot. Similarly in KOTOR2 you might want to get revenge, or you might want to do good for the world but also the only way you can stay safe as the PC is to follow the plot. In Planescape: Torment and Pillars of Eternity you might want to get revenge, or you might want to do good for the world, but also the only way you can stay safe is to follow the plot.

      With Benny it’s kind of tenuous that there’s any reason to chase after him except revenge. (Oh also curiosity I guess. Planescape: Torment and Pillars of Eternity do that too. KOTOR2 does it in a small way)

      • Henson says:

        I guess that ‘get to New Vegas, be in New Vegas’ hook didn’t work as well for me because I found the rest of the Mojave more interesting than New Vegas itself.

        I had similar main plot problems in KOTOR 2 as well, mostly because the whole ‘find the Jedi Masters’ didn’t seem nearly as important as figuring out what kind of person I was and what my place is in such a scared, fragile world. All the intricate conversations with Kreia (and Atris) seemed to hold more weight than the uncertain promise of answers to a vague recording from the past.

        Both great games, of course, but still.

        • Bespectacled Gentleman says:

          If one goes dark side, one also has the motivation of “kill those stupid jedi and absorb their force power”. Which, for me, was pretty solid. But I would agree, talking with Kreia and Atris and a lot of the companions were the strongest parts of the game.

        • Humanoid says:

          Well the tiny little zones that made up New Vegas proper (and the loading screens between them) made navigating the city an annoying chore. The only time I’ve ever dipped my toe into Bethesda engine modding was to make a personal mod adding quick travel points everywhere.

          But yeah, most of my New Vegas runs end with killing Benny in whatever way feels appropriate. I’ve only finished the game once, and progressed past the initial revenge motive a few times, so a fair chunk of my hundreds of hours played would be simply hunting down and killing Benny over and over again.

          • Thomas Lines says:

            By ‘be in New Vegas’ I kind of meant get involved in all the story arcs it sites off (and likewise go to new Vegas = get caught up in all the little places in the way) but it sounds like your playthroughs don’t tend to end up doing that either

            • Humanoid says:

              Yeah, I’m not much of an explorer in open world games, and only go places if there is a specific in-character reason to do so. Likewise, I don’t tend volunteer to help people out unless they specifically request my assistance. As a result, I tend to do very little optional content.

              One of my last playthroughs was just getting the incinerator, beelining to The Tops, confronting Benny and just gunning (flaming?) him down right then and there. Of course, it also turned into a complete massacre of the whole casino, and I’m not sure what my options for continuing would have been if I had chosen to do so. It was a very short game, but satisfying.

              There was also refusing to give the chip to House (and consequently being forced to kill him on the very first meeting), though I’ve also frequently used the option to just finish business then and there any refuse any subsequent work. Thing is, continuing most of those playthroughs would have simply meant ending up with the Yes Man ending, realistically, so it’s not like they’d have offered me anything new.

              I wished they’d retained the original designed option to go back to the NCR via the Mojave Outpost at any time, to formally end your game whenever you liked. It’d have been interesting to see the ending slides handle it.

              • Decius says:

                “Despite none of the sides wanting it, the Hoover Dam was destroyed in the ensuing battle. The floods downstream killed hundreds, and the loss of the region’s water supply killed millions more. Live in the Mojave changed forever, but War, War Never Changes.

    • Sunshine says:

      I think you get enough picture of the factions on the road to Vegas (the Legion, the NCR, people’s views on them, the Khans etc.) once you sort your business in Vegas, House, the NCR and the Legion all tap you to support them and Yes Man offers you your own path.

      “I think it would also help to have a sort of guiding neutral party to comment on the change of situation, to frame how the story is now something else.”

      You could say that this was Yes Man’s job.

      • Henson says:

        I don’t think Yes Man works for that function, since a) he represents a faction of his own (i.e. the courier), and b) he has no meaningful commentary your dilemma beyond his cheerful acquiescence.

        It’s less about knowing what factions exist that I find a problem with. It’s how the plot takes a sharp right turn into ‘choose a faction’ without enough warmup after ‘find Benny’. I know who these people are, I just need a little more time to see why it’s important that I join their cause at this particular time.

        • Matt Downie says:

          It’s heavily dependent on how you play. If you go directly to Benny, you won’t have become involved in the wider conflict. If you’ve postponed your vengeance and spent your time doing sidequests for the NCR, befriending victims of the Legion, and so on, you might have picked a side and want to get involved. Or you might just be role-playing as a power-hungry megalomaniac, in which case the possibility of taking control of an army of robots will give you all the motivation you need.

    • Incunabulum says:

      I don’t know.

      From my playthroughs, by the time I can get to Benny the first time, I’ve met House and heard his offer, gotten friendly and known with the NCR and gotten a glimpse of a future where I could be a mover-and-shaker in the Mojave if I play my cards right.

      By the time I get to the point where I can take my revenge – revenge has become irrelevant. I’ve made significant progress climbing the ladder in one or more factions, and Yes Man has shown me a way to gain more power and wealth than I could have imagined.

      By that point I am fully vested in playing the ‘Game of Thrones’ and can’t walk away now. I need to secure my position (whatever it might be) and that leads inexorably to Hoover Dam.

      As an aside – I always spare Benny. By that point I know why he did what he did and realize that he and I are not so different. I would have done the same thing in his position, the rewards for winning are so great. And he’s otherwise out of play – not a threat or obstacle to my ambitions.

      I think the pacing of the story works amazingly well to drive you down the main quest. Unless you’re playing as a genuinely ‘live-and-let-live, I forgive everyone’ type of character, you’re going to amble on down to Vegas, if only to find out *why*, and the rest comes naturally.

  4. tmtvl says:

    The past episodes I was feeling kinda dreary, as this game is an abominable mess, but then Josh made it fun for me.

    So yeah, thank goodness we have Josh to blow some life into the party by doing something as silly as putting on an evening dress and an ushanka.

  5. Tizzy says:

    One of the reasons New Vegas worked so well is that it established early on the importance of the Dam and the inevitability of a showdown.

    once that’s given, your character can ignore it for as long as they want. ultimately, I feel like getting involved is the logical thing as your character becomes this ridiculous powerhouse. at the same time, i was able to put it off until i’d completed all the DLC without feeling like i was avoiding my duty.

    • Sunshine says:

      Except for Honest Hearts: Old World Blues and Dead Money both have you abducted to another place where you have to climb the story to get back to the Mojave. In Honest Hearts, you just join a caravan and bunk off to Utah for a month, even on the eve of war.

      But I do agree with your point. In Fallout 3, I simply let the quest for Dad hang while I did everything else and the Wasteland remained static. In New Vegas, I really did the same thing, but there was the impression that the NCR and Legion were heading towards a clash and it was looming over everyone, more than rumours and Malcolm McDowell on the radio.

      • Microwaviblerabbit says:

        It also helps that the DLC consistently references the Battle of Hover Dam as the end point for the player character, and ties itself into the NCR – Legion war. Characters talk about to you about it, share their opinions on it, and reveal backstory about the conflict. The final DLC even lets you “influence” it with missiles.

        Fallout 4 tries to build the same kind of atmosphere, but fails since the conflict is artificial. In New Vegas the factions were at war over a tangible piece of land and resources. They had ideological differences, had histories fighting each over, and the battle was literally 4 years in the making. After the battle you got to see how different factions ruled over Vegas. There are no discussions of ideology, or conflict over resources in Fallout 4. The factions just are at war with each other. There is a war, but no why behind it.

        • Bespectacled Gentleman says:

          New Vegas has quite possibly my favorite DLC ever. Each of them has its own specific flavor, and it can be a nice break from the mojave’s orange. Like Dead Money, which is super red! Or Lonesome Road, which is… Even more orange!

          I jest, but the stories each of them tell all are good, with specific themes and tones that nonetheless tie back into the main story (and each other) handily. Ulysses even had a kind of Kreia-ish tone to him, in that he’s mostly there as a philosophical foe/foil, which I suppose obsidian is well known for. He helps to throw into sharper perspective the ideologies and flaws of each ofthe factions while also testing the courier.

          So, what I’m saying here is New Vegas is awesome and its DLC is awesome and anyone who doesn’t have it needs to get it.

          • Lachlan the Mad says:

            Don’t forget that Old World Blues is basically a Fallout-themed version of a Girl Genius short story.

          • While I appreciated Lonesome Road, I did have some problems with it:

            1. It’s so very, very linear.
            2. It relies upon events that were huge, but had no hint of having an effect on the Mojave. An entire successful settlement getting nuked would kind of make a splash, I would think.
            3. The way they included ED-E was kind of convoluted. He’s a copy? Maybe? So you can get his dialog/recordings and sacrifice him in the end, but not kill the original? I think? It just kind of stank to me.
            4. The slanted rooms everywhere got old after a while.

            • Yeah, I can see people having problems with the linear thing. Still, there was enough side passage exploration and caches – mostly searching everywhere for all the awesome Ulysses Logs – that I felt satisfied. Especially since you could turn around whenever you wanted, and the substituted interesting physical choices with interesting dialogue choices, between Ulysses and ED-E.

              Part of the thing is that, with the story as written, there’s really no way to make it less linear. You start with the clear goal of finding Ulysses, Ulysses goads you on to it, he wants you to come find him, and when you do find him, that’s his endgame. I’m not sure how you could “open that up” without creating a lot of tedious backtracking and plot doors, especially since it can’t be a MYSTERY how to find him. It’s in Ulysses’ best interest to ring you up and go “Uh, hey, buddy, you took a wrong turn back there. Yeah, you want to hang a right at the old commissary, then head three exits up the shattered skyway, you can’t miss it.”

              Plus, they use the linear setup to deliver some of the most visually arresting images in the franchise, like the canyon with the rubble caving in from the sides, or when you enter an area occupied by marked men, and you can see them sending up flares to sound the attack.

            • Sunshine says:

              I agree with you, except for point 4, it didn’t bug me. What did bug me was shops that were self-powered matter replicators (one of them was on the back of a truck!), that I didn’t get hooked into the story enough to really care, and that Ulysses’ broken sentence structure and grave voice sounded like a parody of a gruff action hero. I didn’t think his story made sense, and wondered if he was mistaking the Courier for someone else, or just basing the whole thing on his delusions.

              Another thing I wondered was that if you were a roleplayer who had a whole background for your character, would it be upsetting to have tell you “No, this is the real story.”

          • Grudgeal says:

            I think my best memory of Lonesome Road was the time I decided I wanted to do that first for min-max reasons. So once I hit Primm I just straight on went right into Lonesome Road at level 5. I was using the JSawyer mod too (for those who haven’t tried it it’s essentially hardcore mode+).

            It made a complete mock-up of the story, of course, but it was funny as heck to do gameplay-wise even if the DLC clearly wasn’t balanced for any lunatics to actually try to do it at that point. I died on average every 5 minutes, and spent most of the 4 minutes in-between running for my life.

  6. el-b says:

    i can only imagine the look on danses face as reginald climbs out of a destroyed bus in a sequined dress and starts stuffing his bra with fresh and bloody dog meat.

  7. What Do They Eat? says:

    In the omnipresent theme of how this game should be more like New Vegas, I feel a lot of Fallout 4’s problems could be solved by replacing Sanctuary (and the rest of the settlements) with Diamond City. Essentially building off the premise of the Wild Card Ending, instead of being the nominal figurehead of 30+ minor settlements and their nameless, faceless worker-drones, you become the leader of Diamond City. The nameless settlers replaced with the somewhat more fleshed out residents of Diamond City and tying most of the side quests to dealing with either the internal squabbling of the residents, the defense of the city from various raider gangs, and the acquisition of food and clean water from outside of the walls. The completion of which not only provides the standard quest rewards but leaves some permanent mark on the city’s landscape. After dealing with the “SHAUN!” portion of the game, the narrative transitions into how Diamond City falls into the three way power struggle between the Institute, the Brotherhood, and the Railroad as each of them sizes up the city as an potential ally or a potential threat in their bids for control of the Commonwealth.

    • Munkki says:

      And then (what looks like) the upcoming Raider Apocalypse DLC would involve turning the whole place into a battle arena for your own amusement. Three-way free-for-all cage fights between Valentine, Piper and Now-Ex-Mayor every Tuesday. Bring your friends! Ticket price 50 caps, a human scalp, or bartered goods of equal or greater value. Misbehaving patrons will be fed to the resident Yao Guai. No refunds, exchanges, or outside beverages.

  8. Jsor says:

    I have to say, as a transgirl this episode was kinda awkward. (Even though I don’t even wear dresses) :/

    I know Reginald isn’t trans, so it’s not the same thing. And going into battle with a razor baseball bat and a dress is a dumb idea and so is kind of funny even if this was Regina Cuftbert, but it was all just a little hard to watch.

    (To be clear, I’m not mad or horribly offended or anything. Hell, putting him in a tux was done and joked about too, it’s probably just my personal insecurities more than anything.)

    • James Porter says:

      You know, I was thinking that too. It felt in poor taste.

      Its something I would need to think a lot more on, since I actually like that male characters can wear dresses and women can wear suits in this game. But the dresses on men do inherently seem to be more of a joke rather than being progressive.

      I would really wish it not seem like that, the idea of roleplaying a trans character sounds really great!

      • Incunabulum says:

        See, this is kind of a no-win scenario.

        The gender-agnostic romances, the ability to cross-dress – these things were added in because of the, current, huge push for transgender acceptance. People were uncomfortable that their own particular identity wasn’t available as a character option.

        But now that they’re in we have people who are made uncomfortable by it. And its not the conservatives – its the very people that this stuff was added in to cater to.

        We need to step back here – sometimes a dude just wants to put on a dress because its funny and sometimes because it makes him feel pretty. But that’s not allowed – because someone doesn’t think you’re ‘authentic’ enough.

        This isn’t a dig at transgenderism or transvestism – its a dig at SJWism. Please recognize that we all have the right to dress and present ourselves as we feel – and a guy dressing up as a woman who doesn’t think he’s a woman is not an attack on guys who do.

        And having written that last sentence – we’re going to need a pronoun overhaul to seperate sex from gender. Its like trying to write about time travel.

    • Josh says:

      Yeah, I realized this after the fact and was worried it might come off as a bit insensitive. It wasn’t at all intended as a jab at transsexualism or anything of the sort, but intentions rarely matter when contrasted against actions. So I apologize for any discomfort it may have caused.

      I actually really dig that you can wear dresses as a male character in this game. In Fallout 3 and New Vegas, dresses would turn into suits when you put them on as a male character (and often vice versa with male-gendered formalware). A part of me does want to just say “fuck it” and have Reginald wear the dress the whole game, as a sort of “hey this idiot crazy person can look cool and be awesome wearing whatever the fuck he wants” (and also because THERE IS NO FUCKING SUMMER BONNET), but I’m not at all certain if framing it like that would come off as any less tone-deaf or insensitive than the “ha ha, manly mutton-chops dude is wearing a dress” joke that we played in this episode. My own experience in these matters is woefully lacking.

      • Bespectacled Gentleman says:

        Can I just give a high-five to the community on this site? This is super mature way of airing one’s greivances by internet standards. Good on you all.

        And the ridiculous hats are quite enough “hey this idiot crazy person can look cool and be awesome wearing whatever the fuck he wants”, in my estimation. Long live the merciful Ushanka and Chef Hat!

      • Lachlan the Mad says:

        Someone needs to mod a summer bonnet into this game, so that Reginald can wear it.

        • Humanoid says:

          Then people would start blaming all the game’s bugs on the fact that they modded in the bonnet. Punched a deathclaw into the sun? Bonnet.

          • Lachlan the Mad says:

            I don’t see a problem with that. The bonnet is the source of Reginald’s power.

            • Andy_Panthro says:

              In that case I vote for the bonnet to give such huge amounts of defence stats that Reg can wear whatever he likes without having to think about finding the “best” armour or clunking about in power armour (or wasting time upgrading, when this will be a long enough series!).

          • galacticplumber says:

            You say blame like more hilarious bugs wouldn’t improve the experience? I know I find the crazy bullshit josh just randomly falls into the highlight of gameplay.

      • Tizzy says:

        Overall, the game seems to have gone out of its way to not restrict what players want their characters to do, moreso than its predecessors even. And it goes beyond the cosmetic: yes, your male character can wear dresses. But also, Jim Sterling made quite a big deal of the fact that you are not limited to romancing a single person.

      • You can make it up to us by getting the Mascot Head from the DB Technical High School. It’s not the bonnet, but it is hilarious.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        To me,the humor doesnt come from “a man is wearing a dress”.Drag was never inherently funny to me.But looking just how ill fitting it is,and how out of place it is(just like the chefs hat),thats hilarious.

        • Lachlan the Mad says:

          Drag is funny when you use it as the start of the joke, and one of the standard drag jokes is “this incredibly masculine man is insisting that he’s a woman while doing very masculine things”. I don’t think that this joke is that offensive to trans people if you do it right either, since it isn’t generally used to make fun of anything other than the drag character. A classic Aussie example is an old TV comedy called The Aunty Jack Show, where Aunty Jack signed off each episode with “You’d better tune in again next week, or I’ll bite your bloody legs off.” Basically exactly what Reginald’s TV show would look like…

      • Joe Leigh says:

        Fun fact: once you unlock it, you can totally add Ballistic Weave to the sequin dress, making it a seriously decent suit of armor w/+2 charisma.

        • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

          Hearing them talk, I was wondering if they actually knew about the Ballistic Weave. Shamus said he’d only done the Institute ending. Rutskarn hasn’t finished the game.

          Now it doesn’t really solve the problem as far as replacing armor, IMO. Sure its tough but part of whats nice about the armor pieces is that they allow you to apply an assortment of other adjustments to your abilities.

        • I’d love it if NPCs not only commented on my outfit beyond “oh, you’re wearing power armor,” but did so based on my stats and situation.

          It would’ve been interesting if Danse could “look” at your armor stats and suggest you find something that protects you better, or if some costume combinations triggered other dialog.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Although what we’d probably get is something along the lines of:

            You’ve never done an honest day’s work in your life for all those caps you’re carrying.

      • Jsor says:

        Yeah, it’s nice that they can, regardless of their motivation behind the addition. I do think spending the entire game in the dress would probably be a bit awkward, (or at least, it would be hard to avoid all the accidental jokes) but the sentiment is nice.

        I’ll grant that a summer bonnet would make this pretty funny, though. Especially if there was a shepherd’s cane. Reginald Bo Peep (looking for Shaun the Sheep) Plays Fallout sounds pretty great.

    • Jace911 says:

      Fallout 4 is kind of weird about things like this.

      On the one hand, every romance-able companion is basically pansexual and it’s never commented on, it’s just sort of accepted (More out of laziness I suspect than any actual statement).

      On the other hand, the cynical side of me suspects that Bethesda allowed male characters to wear female clothing because “lol crossdressing is wacky and slapstick! That’s Fallout right?”

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Nah.They did it simply because its easier to code than “These clothes go only on this gender”.

        • Jace911 says:

          I would bet it’s an intersection of the two.

        • Gruhunchously says:

          But they would also double the artist’s work load by having to create versions of each clothing item for male and female body types.

          Bethesda seems really hands-off with regards to gender roles in their games, with mixed gender groups of almost every profession and no comments about it from any characters. I’d almost call it progressive, but since 98.9% of their NPCs are generic nobodies with few interactions beyond killing, trading, or exposition dumping, it doesn’t feel as such.

          (The other 1% are profoundly irritating and/or wasted opportunities and the remaining .2% is Cait and Nick Valentine [I’m biased, hit me])

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Have you seen how that dress looks on reginald?That is not how youd make a dress that fits on a male body type.

          • Decius says:

            They need to model one suit per body per armor. If there’s two types of “formal wear” that are two suits on men and two cocktail dresses on women, that’s the same work as a “cocktail dress” and a “suit” that don’t change based on the body of who is wearing it.

            I also like that everybody who you can romance is totally cool if you’re transgender, and that they use your preferred pronouns as long as they “match” your gender.

            I would prefer if your partner wasn’t forced to be a different gender, or if more than two were available, or if someone ever acknowledged that a PC was transgender, but those would all require losing the ability to pretend.

        • Sunshine says:

          I thought it would be easier to have the gendered outfits, where you have to make a female model for dresses and a male model for suits. This was probably a fix to the silliness of magically transforming outfits.

      • Bloodsquirrel says:

        Bethesda is generally pretty libertine when it comes to what they allow the player to do, unless it’s something that involves a lot of work to allow (sadly, good dialog choices seem to fall into the latter). I don’t think there is a reason *why* they allowed men to cross-dress, I think they just allowed it because it was relatively easy (it’s an extra art asset, but not a tremendously difficult one).

        The downside, in general, is that Bethesda rarely does any of these things *well*, because there is no major focus to their development time. Romances are a good example- I “romanced” someone in the game (Kait, I think her name was), and it was awful. Her character and dialog were fine, taken in isolation, but it never felt like I was having a conversation with her. It felt like two people who have never been in the same room as each other before each reading from a script where they’ve only ever read their half. Probably because that’s exactly how it was recorded, and because the writing had to be very generic and accommodatable. It’s another area where not having voice acting would have helped- letting the player set the line reading in his head can fill in a lot of the cracks.

        This is a price I’m willing to pay most of the time for Bethesda not turning into Bioware and trying to make linear action games, but Fallout 4 screwed it up in a lot of ways.

      • Tuskin says:

        -On the other hand, the cynical side of me suspects that Bethesda allowed male characters to wear female clothing because “lol crossdressing is wacky and slapstick! That’s Fallout right?”-

        Well it was used as joke in one of the first trailers. Male character was wearing a dress in the clothing montage and dogmeat cocked his head like he was looking at him weirdly.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Given how well-spoken the crew is in this episode, and the previous episodes in this series, I would not read too deeply into the actions of somebody who acts randomly and weird. My immediate reaction was that it’s messing around for laughs, not some kind of statement on sex, gender, or gender identity. If/when the crew wants to make statements on topics like that, they just talk about them in an open, honest way. They’ve done it in the past, and I suspect will continue to do so in the future.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah, as someone in the same situation, it was mildly discomforting. Nothing huge, just a minor thing. Then again, I always interpreted the change in Spoiler Warning’s Shepard from Conan to Regina as her having figured out she was trans. Granted, that’s just my interpretation. . . where was I even going with this?

      I would also mention, as I’ve seen this a number of times on the site, mentioned by a few people (the first time that comes to mind is Shamus’s blog post about having to made human models for ActiveWorlds), that they use the term transsexual, which, while not wrong technically speaking, is generally not preferred, and I know some people who do take offense to it. I’m sure, as Josh said, this isn’t being done out of spite for people, and I do appreciate the mature thought that is going into it. I just thought I would bring that up, in case you guys didn’t know.

      • Josh says:

        Ah, is “transgender” the more acceptable term? I’ll admit, I wasn’t aware there was a significant distinction between the two terms, but even a cursory wikipedia search suggests there is. Again, I apologize if I sound ignorant, my own knowledge about these topics is very limited. Perhaps that’s something I should change.

        • Alex says:

          There’s no need to apologize, there’s always a lot that people have to get used to. It actually means a lot knowing that you took the time to go and research (even if it was just checking Wikipedia) and actually thinking about acting on that. But like I said, there are going to be things that people don’t know, and it isn’t their fault, so I–and I’d like to think most people–do our darnedest to educate them.
          While I don’t want to start clogging a video game forum with gender politics (especially considering Shamus’ wise politics ban), I would offer that if anyone has questions about transgender individuals, they can ask me either here or via email (areecemckenzie@yahoo.com). I know a lot of information can be looked up online, but that doesn’t always have necessary contextual information to get the full picture.

        • Jsor says:

          It’s not really offensive, just kind of outdated. It still sees use in scientific studies and technical contexts (because, in super technical land, “transsexual” specifically refers to people who have medically changed their gender while “transgender” is an umbrella word), but as far as casual conversation goes “transgender” (not “transgendered” as some people accidentally say/write) and especially just “trans” or “transpeople” are preferred.

          I’d echo that what’s the most comforting is that you cared enough to look it up, though!

  9. CoyoteSans says:

    “So close to ‘getting it’, but failing” really does sum up the game, including the ending. I’ll wait for the end, obviously, but the way the final cutscene is written makes it feel like at least one of the writers almost grasped classic Fallout’s other theme (Let go of your nostalgia for the past so you can focus on making the future better), but fumbled at the end. Especially considering the Blank-ish Slate nature of your character means the sentiment rings hollow since there is pretty much no character development building up to it.

    Then again, given the Bethesda developers’ own apparent obsession with 1950’s Americana, perhaps it’s a moral they themselves don’t comprehend.

    • Hector says:

      Well, that’s really more of the overall theme of New Vegas, and isn’t that strong inF1 or F2/ But it’s also unfortunate that Bethesda didn’t try to consciously counter that point in some way, which would have been a very interesting take on it: that your character might consciously try to rebuild society rather than build broken junkshacks and some yahoos calling themselves Minutemen. In this angle, you could very easily see the protagonist deciding what kind of society to emphasize and build up, strongly influenced by some aspect of Boston’s past.

      After all, we’ve only go the past to guide us, so there’d be a very interesting way of player (or character) expression. Do you got back to pre-European life patterns? Restart society from a settler perspective? Rebuild Boston as a burgeoning early Industrial power? Go for a future dominated by the self-idealized scientific research? And naturally, that would play very well into the faction system.

      • I felt like Fallout 2, at least, had a fair amount of the “Leave the Past Behind” thing going on. The main villains were obsessed with destroying the entirety of the human race that didn’t fit with the way things used to be, and were so wrapped up in the notion of “pure” American values and genetics that their president was inbred albino royalty.

        There are a couple of other places. In Broken Hills, the outwardly peaceful settlement is being torn apart because the people there can’t quite let go of their old animosity toward mutants. In Arroyo, they’ve so mythologized the past that they can no longer properly contextualize the present. In vault city, their rigorous adherence to the Vault-Tec company policy has created a fascist police state built on the backs of slaves.

        The NCR and New Reno are the two successful “New” societies, which, uh… Okay, New Reno isn’t exactly a shining example of equitable society planning.

        Fallout 1 didn’t have a huge amount of it going on, except inasmuch as mostly American players bring a certain amount of expectation to the table about how a fifties-future America would act. We’d tend to assume wholesome, simple, baby-boomer/greatest generation can-do-it-iveness, but instead we discover the sickening things that the American Goverment did for the sake of its jingoistic pride. The whole mutant crisis comes about because of pre-war science, and the goodest guys, the Brotherhood of Steel, are descendants of a military group that seceded from the Union, rejecting patriotism and sentimental pride in their nation’s history in the interest of their consciences.

        Huh. That’s more in Fallout 1 than I thought when I started this comment.

  10. It would have been awesome if Fallout 4’s main story had began with You get out of the vault, go searching for your son, find the institute, meet synth Shaun, but the character does not know this (thinking it’s their real son), and you end up doing jobs for the institute (“Shaun” doesn’t know you and calls “Father” their father). Father is acting nice and hires you (since you killed the guy that took Shaun they now need a guy to handle things on the surface for them, i.e. the player is their lackey now).

    At that point the player can meet the Brotherhood, Minutemen, get a mysterious message from the Railroad and so on.

    Such a start could be very simple, it could even start as simple as “Father” standing in your ruined house waiting for the player. “We need to talk” trope.

    The start could be as short as an hour. The institute fiddling with the commonwealth would make sense and a good excuse for the player to go all over (and thus end up working with the minutemen).
    Teleporting could be restricted at first (due to power reasons or whatever excuses works) thus making normal travel (and even vertibird travel) make sense..

    Later the player get a chance to dig deeper into the institute (maybe helped by the railroad or synths in the institute) and find out that “Shaun” is a synth and that “Father” is their son.

    One thing that annoy me about the female start is the lawyer thing. But one can image that she was a JAG/or in the millitary but had to be a mom/wanted to be a mom so a lawyer made more sense. This would explain mom’s combat abilities.

    Although Bethesda could have let you choose from a list of a dozen or so occupations, each occupation boosting a different base stat, and giving the odd comment in dialogs here and there.

    • Echo Tango says:

      “giving the odd comment in dialogs here and there”
      Whoah, slow down there! We can’t go around demanding that we have actual choice in our dialog options – then there wouldn’t be enough railroading! :P

  11. Aitch says:

    “You don’t necessarily have a stake in the fight over Hoover Dam, but you continue to have a stake in the Institute because Shaun is still involved.”

    Except it’s 200 years since Shaun was abducted, and the only reason the character has to believe he’s somehow still alive are the vague drug addled premonitions of a senile woman. That’s what’s supposed to make us unreservedly involve ourselves with the Institute?

    How in the crap is this the main plot hook, and yet simultaneously glossed over without a second thought?

    You decide to kill Benny, or at least find out what the big deal was over the chip, and that leads you into the main plot, and you know the Hoover Dam actually exists and has an in-world purpose. Great, it works. But looking for a child that’s had to have been dead for at least a hundred years as a lead in to the story? What?

    I never played 4, so maybe I’m missing something here?

    • Henson says:

      I’m fairly sure you are. The 200 years is the time between when the bombs fell and today, roughly. For most of this duration, you, your spouse, and your baby were all under cryo-freeze. The time between when Shaun was kidnapped and today has not yet been specified, though the main character seems to think Shaun must still be a baby.

      • ehlijen says:

        Correct.

        The character assumes that Shaun was abducted very recently because apparently from their point of view, the freezing is an instant time skip (see also the disbelief when the robot butler mentions how long it’s been). And that’s fair enough, to begin with.

        Unfortunately, the game insists that you don’t figure out that Shaun could have been taken at any point in the past 200 years well past where it’s pretty obvious that that’s going to be the twist.
        You can even come to the conclusion in the interview with the PI-bot, but the game/PI-bot practically calls you dumb for realising that and insists that you must be looking for a baby, all indications to the contrary notwithstanding.
        It’s not until you meet Cornflakes that the game admits that you may have figured it out at that point. (Protip, don’t make the minor villain the only NPC who respects the player’s deductive capability!)

        • Bloodsquirrel says:

          Well, Kellog being the exact same age as when he abducted Shaun kind of justifies that belief. And is kind of handwaved away with him being given eternal youth, apparently, but I guess he’s the only one? They had a magic de-aging pill but they only gave it to the muscle who they don’t even like that much, and not the leader of the institute who is now old and dying?

          This might be a shocking sentiment, but I think that maybe the whole “Shaun was abducted 60 years ago” plot twist may not have been thought through.

          • Henson says:

            Or perhaps if Kellogg were replaced by a Synth.

          • ehlijen says:

            Sort of. He’s an old man in both encounters, and they are (likely) quite far apart in game time. And if shaun is now a young boy, Cornflakes looking still samish was possible. I was happy to chalk Cornflakes not looking older up to game asset reuse and/or my memory being fuzzy. It’s not like the shaun theft scene was all that impressive and memorable.

      • Aitch says:

        Ohh, ok. For some reason I’d thought the stasis interrupt for the abduction happened some time during or recently after the first freeze, like right at the end of the process someone hit the pause button on the cryochambers, then you were out for 200 years.

        But it sounds like it happened something like 140 years post-nukes? Even so, the main character has no idea when it was either way. I guess that uncertainty is enough to justify trying to look for the kid. Pretty slim odds it happened at a time where he’d still be alive, but still.

        Shame there wasn’t more of an emphasis on being compelled to look for evidence of when the stasis was interrupted. Even if they were red herrings, just to have the character be curious about it – I mean, I’d be wondering about that more than anything else. Even just a corrupted timestamp log file on the terminal next to the pods or something. A traceroute for the Remote Overrides, information on when or why the vault was abandoned, anything.

        As it stands though, you end up with a person that lacks any curiosity or personality, just a strange instinctual drive to find their son. I guess that’s just another problem of making you play a pre-established person, but having to leave it as blank a slate as possible to maintain the illusion of being able to role play.

        Anyway, thanks for the clarifications, everyone. The whole sequence was so flat and emotionless and over so quickly that I totally missed the timing implication.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But put yourself in the characters* shoes:The freezing process looked really short both times.Its only after you reach codsworth that you find out that its been 200 years.But even then you dont know how much time passed between the two unfreezings.

          *And Im using “character” pretty loosely here.

          • ehlijen says:

            Absolutely. But when you hear that the guy who took your baby has been seen with a young boy he’s obviously not related to, and know it’s been 200 years in the ice box, and the dialogue offers you a ‘That must be Shaun!’ the game comes across as a little insulting when it has Nick tell you that you’re getting your story wrong and you should focus, only to have the conclusion you came to be right later.

            You don’t keep a mystery going by suggesting the correct answer only to discount it and later repeal that discounting. That’s called incoherence, not suspense.

  12. The Brotherhood’s ethos comes across as weirdly quasi-religious in this game. They don’t seem to grasp the *purpose* of technology, which is to make life better for people. It seems like they regard technology as a thing that exists for its own sake and people shouldn’t meddle with it, as if technology is some kind of ecosystem all of its own. The Brotherhood are some weird variety of techno-environmentalists, basically.

    Which would have been kind of an interesting idea if they’d DONE anything with it. But, of course, they did not, they only suggested it.

    • Jace911 says:

      I think it was Chris who said that the game goes halfway towards presenting a bunch of interesting ideas and then utterly fails to explore any of them, and I think this was one of them. Having the Brotherhood change from a vaguely atheistic techno-cult into some kind of religious zealots would have been interesting with about 400% the effort Bethesda put into it, but like so many other things in this game they just didn’t bother.

      Like, I honestly barked out a laugh when Maxson started lecturing me on how synths were evil because they weren’t “born in the womb of a loving mother”, because in that one sentence he had apparently turned into one of the old folks protesting abortion or whatever on my college campus. It was just an absurd leap in thinking because there was no setup for it.

    • Deadpool says:

      And Inkinda disagree with Josh that they were cult-ish in Fallout. Sure, the people of the Hub refer to them as a weird cult. And as cannibals. And as robot monsters…

      It was just a function of them being powerful and extremely isolationist. When you get in they have this tight structure which is a function of their militaristic routes.

      • Mm, kinda? There were elements of them that were still kinda cult-y. Rhombus refers to Power Armor as “holy,” and the map of the brotherhood base is done in an “illuminated manuscript” form.

        This makes sense, because they’re a pretty clear reference to the Abbey of the Beatus Liebowitz from “A Canticle for Liebowitz.” Chris Avellone even mentions the book as inspiration in the Fallout Bible.

        (If anyone likes Fallout and hasn’t read “Canticle,” you need to grab it from the library ASAP, it’s so good.)

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      In my homebrew Fallout tabletop campaign setting (which I should really run in the forum’s play-by-post section one of these days), I dealt with the Brotherhood by having two separate Brotherhood factions being extremely edgy with each other. It was set in Louisiana, which was facing an invasion of gatormen and voodoo guys from Florida. The Louisiana Brotherhood had turned into stealthy guerrilla jungle fighters who were very effective at fighting the gators, but then the extremely traditionalist Texas Brotherhood crashed into their fight on the basis of “re-establishing their fraternal ties”. It would probably have been possible for the player characters to start an open war between the Brotherhood factions.

      • Supah Ewok says:

        “which I should really run in the forum’s play-by-post section one of these days”

        Sure, somebody needs to give that section some purpose again.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      The thing about technology is that any advanced technology requires a certain kind and level of infrastructure to sustain it, anything used in this setting is potentially being used up permanently. It’s far easier to reverse engineer something that still works, so stopping the use of it until that continuity is established has some ethical basis, in that a full collapse of the supply of prewar tech would be disastrous for future generations.

      • Decius says:

        The Gun Runners got a machine shop up and running, giving them the ability to make guns and gun parts at the cost of having to maintain machine tools and not be very mobile. The BoS has more of all that.

  13. Jace911 says:

    At some point in the episode Shamus mentions that the Institute has no reason for sending armies of synths up to murder and terrorize people on the surface, and I just wanted to point out that he’s only half right. Well, more like 99% right. Later Nick actually mentions that the Institute is sending them up there to “strip whole towns bare for salvage” and if you visit University Point you can kind of see this happening (In that a depopulated settlement is now full of synths), so it’s implied that the Institute has some kind of resource shortage.

    Except then you get down to the Institute and they live in a gleaming utopian atrium where they manufacture their own energy weapons, power cells, clothing, construction equipment and building materials, grow their own food, and can mass-produce gen-3 synths at a rate of something like one per minute. The game kind of half-heartedly tells you the Institute is starving and cannibalizing the surface to survive, and then not only fails to reinforce this when you peek behind the curtain but instead shows you the complete opposite. And it’s even a major plot point that the Institute wants to cut all interaction with the surface and let everyone up there die off because there’s nothing they need!

    So Shamus is 99% right because it’s still completely stupid. It’s just fractally stupid.

    • Disc says:

      University Point actually has it’s own mini-story as to what happened that you can discover if you explore it thoroughly. The short version of it is that the Institute had heard of a young woman finding some technological information (something about “reactor research” that you can actually discover for yourself) they were interested in. Kellogg comes up and demands they hand “it” over, and the community leaders being in the dark about the whole thing, fail to deliver and as a result he has the whole town massacred and never manages to recover anything.

      Them chasing after a potential “reactor research” does loosely tie with the main storyline in a way that makes (some) sense, but I think you can only become aware of it if you actually explore the place and bother to play fairly long into the Institute quest line. Prolly worth of only faint praise in the long run, if even that, but it’s there.

      Presumably the synths are still there searching there for it…after 6 or so years.

      • Jace911 says:

        “Kellogg comes up and demands they hand “it” over, and the community leaders being in the dark about the whole thing, fail to deliver and as a result he has the whole town massacred and never manages to recover anything.”

        Like I said, fractally stupid.

        “Okay, hand it over.”
        “Hand what over?”
        “You know. The thing.”
        “I don’t know, what thing?”
        “THE THING.”

  14. Sicod says:

    Reminder to all, Good Robot on sale on steam. Just bought my copy.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Spread the word! Get all your friends to buy a copy! It’s the best hat simulation (with optional robot-killing) game! :P

      • Humanoid says:

        Still waiting for DRM-free. :(

        • Ninety-Three says:

          Good Robot on Steam is DRM-free, I believe you can run the executable without Steam authentication. I mean you need Steam to download it, but if that’s DRM then only shareware is DRM-free.

          • Humanoid says:

            Yeah, I bought a gift copy on launch to help out with the initial sales figures, but I don’t want my personal copy to be a Steam copy. While I don’t have a hard stance on Steam as such, I typically only relent for things I really want to play and for which there is no realistic likelihood of it appearing on more open sales platforms.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why do the npcs do that?Why are they walking at a speed between your walk and your run so that you have to constantly alternate?Especially during escort missions.Hasnt it been enough time so that the devs know how annoying it is?

    • Ninety-Three says:

      They can’t run at exactly your run speed, or you stopping for a second would give them a permanent lead, and after a few seconds it would add up to them getting unreasonably far ahead. Can’t have the NPC talking at you from fifty feet away.

      Bethesda could have solved that problem by programming the NPC to not run too far ahead, but that sounds like work.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Id buy that if not for the fact that all the npcs you are traveling with stop once they are a certain distance from you.

        • Humanoid says:

          I’d love it if all games featured an adjustable walk speed. Leave run speed at the maximum allowable speed, then just let the player freely adjust the walk speed to be anything between zero and the run speed.

          I’m still playing The Witcher 3 and am disappointed that there’s no walk toggle for the gamepad, and there’s a far-too-sudden boundary between firmly walking and breaking into an outright run when using the analogue stick. There’s a walk toggle for the keyboard, but it’s automatically disabled the moment you touch a control on the gamepad.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Dont console games already have adjustable walk speeds because of movement being tied to an analog stick?I thought thats a default for controllers.

            • Humanoid says:

              Well yeah, but it’s a pain to use, literally so at times. Tilting the stick down half-throw is uncomfortable to do for extended periods, and unless I go *really* slow, I end up crossing into a run every dozen steps or so. All I want to do is get from one side of town to the other without looking like an unco clown.

              Yes, I’m that type of player who will slow walk across the width of Novigrad instead of running around like a hyperactive child.

    • acronix says:

      Characters are slower when they have their guns out. This applies to both the PC and the NPCs. If you want to keep at their speed, you have to take your own gun out (or hide it if they don’t have one).

      • Echo Tango says:

        This is the case in New Vegas too. Found it out when I was outpaced by Sunny during the tutorial, chasing down geckos. :)

      • James Porter says:

        Oh, also because Danse is in Power Armor. When I did that mission I was in my suit, and I matched speeds with him just fine.

        Sometimes I wish controllers could have more buttons on them, since this whole issue is fixed by using a stick instead of wasd.

        • Decius says:

          Well, it would be solved if control sticks were made correctly- with just enough spring that you could feel where they were but still hold a halfway position comfortably.

          • James Porter says:

            I have to admit I’ve never had that issue with any of the controllers I have used. To me its trading power and good hotkeys for convenience

  16. Echo Tango says:

    Is anyone else bothered by the apparent absence of any type of motor or piston on the power armor? The closest they come is having big hinges for the knees, but they definitely don’t look like motors. Compare the big actuators on this prototype, with the power armor frame shown in the game. There’s no goddamn power in this power armor! I would have been a lot happier, if the armor looked like the armor of the fat demolitions soldier in Edge of Tomorrow, instead of just blindly recreating the look of the original game. :)

    • ehlijen says:

      That’s a stylistic choice that’s been in place since FO1 and several iterations of Game Workshop Space Marines before that.

      • Echo Tango says:

        Is that an actual stylistic choice, or are they just blindly putting it into the game because it’s from previous games? The motors and machines shown elsewhere in the game look fairly realistic. For example, the cars in this game have big chunky motors to power them, and fit in the vague 50s-era tech that the game is set in. Stuff like the power armor and Mr Handy just look ridiculous and out of place, given the otherwise realistic aesthetic and graphical fidelity shown in the game.

        • ehlijen says:

          Mr Handy’s are based on a massively chunkier robot type in FO1/2.

          But the power armour always looked like a slightly teched up suit of full plate. I don’t know about deliberate, but I can say for sure that GW space marines had never had pistons anywhere on their power armour. In fact, a character from one of the early books (Inquisitor Obi-wan Sherlock Clouseau) was described as wearing ‘skin tight’ power armour.

          Maybe they use artificial muscles, like Battletech’s myomer fibres in its mechas?

          That said, I never thought the armour didn’t look unfitting in Fallout. Tech was always more concerned with looking vaguely right than looking like it should work (plasma rifle with prongs? radio tubes on handheld computers?), and the power armour looked both clunky enough to fit and full platy enough to evoke the knight look the Brotherhood of Steel needed.

    • Decius says:

      Not to mention that the fusion core stabs you through the back like a reverse Iron Man.

      • I’ve heard the stabbing thing brought up. What do you mean? Isn’t the fusion core small enough to just fit inside the housing of that wheely thing on the back? I know there’s a weird hole that runs all the way to the front chesplate, but why does that mean the fusion core takes up all that space?

        • Ninety-Three says:

          A fusion core is a long skinny thing a bit taller than a bobblehead, and it stabs into the back of the armour. That said, the armour has a bit of a backpack going on so it shouldn’t touch the wearer.

    • el-b says:

      it looks and feels a hell of a lot more like powered armour than it did in 3 and nv. it looked and felt like platemail before. now it has the size, weight, sound and big positive effects like being able to breathe underwater and jump off of buildings….it even a fuel source that fits with the setting. im okay with having the moving parts inside the armour, these people built a 50 foot tall nuke throwing robot im sure theyre better at making this stuff than us. also im sure their prototypes were bulky as well. look at the first mobile phone, you could beat someone to death with it.

      • Echo Tango says:

        The problem isn’t that the actuators are on the inside of the armor, it’s that there’s nothing there at all. No small motors, no tiny pistons, nothing. They could have nanotechnology, but then that’s a different game.

        • Bloodsquirrel says:

          I’ve tried drawing “realistic” power armor before.

          It’s a fundamentally flawed concept if you’re trying to make it look like actual armor. The problem is that you just can’t put a multiple-inch thick covering over somebody’s body without limiting their ability to move. We’re just not put together that way- our bodies move in all sorts of weird ways that don’t work with a hard, inflexible outer skin, let alone one that’s thicker than a few millimeters. That’s why if you look at real plate armor you’ll see that it’s made of overlapping plates on outer curves, and doesn’t cover inner joints.

          Our arms, for example, need to be able to get too close to our sides in order to move right. Put your fist right up under your armpit and imagine trying to gracefully swing around a sword like a skilled fencer with it there. Look at those shoulder pads on 40k space marines and try to figure out how they lift their arms above their heads.

          If you look at the examples you posted, you’ll notice that they leave most of the user’s body exposed. They’d be an active hindrance on the battlefield, since they’d limit the person’s ability to get down into cover.

      • ehlijen says:

        Originally it was meant to be high tech full plate. In FO1, only BoS ‘Knights’ got to wear it, and they were clearly meant to invoke some templar order themes, in addition to power armour in the wasteland being about as rare, potent and valuable as a suit of platemail was to a knight in feudal times.

        If you made it look too much like the Aliens power lifter, that knight look wouldn’t have been strong enough, I think.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus,did you change something on the site?Or has wordpress done so?Because hitting reply used to put the cursor in the comment box,but now it puts the cursor in the name box.

    • Shamus says:

      Yep/. Upgraded to new version of WordPress. It’s driving me CRAZY. A few things got moved in the comment moderation feed and now I keep getting lost and confused. Also, the interface now wastes a bunch of screen space. Grrr.

  18. Darren says:

    Isn’t arrogant hypocrisy kind of baked into the Brotherhood of Steel? They seemed pretty on-point in this game; I mean, Synths–sentient technology that, taken to its logical conclusion, can’t be controlled by humans–really do seem like something they’d hate even as they hoard and fetishize other tech.

    • Mmmmmaybe, except I don’t think we’ve ever seen them having a problem with AI before – though, come to think of it, I can’t think when they would have run into it. They never found the ZAX supercomputer in the Glow, and they only found out Eden was a robot after he was dead. Or, at least out of the picture.

      Oh, wait, The Brotherhood had a base in San Fran, right? Which was ruled by their computerized emperor. Though the brotherhood rep you meet never specifically mentions this, he seems fairly knowledgeable about the Shi power structure when he asks you to copy Vertibird plans for him.

      Wasn’t there an AI in Vault Zero? I never got past the first level of Tactics.

      But, even accepting that the Brotherhood is opposed to machines with self determination, they still hat Gen 1 and 2 synths just as much, and don’t just shut down the Institute’s robot making factory, they NUKE IT ALL without attempting to salvage, say, their energy weapon research, their botanical marvels, their personal fusion reactor, their god damn teleporter, their advanced armor and material science, or any of the other unseen technologies that let them construct their Roddenberrian utopia.

  19. Mailbox says:

    Did you know that one of the quest rewards for the Railroad faction gives you access to an armor mod called Ballistic Weave? It allows you to improve a lot of full body armors. Rank IV gives you 110 energy and ballistic damage resistance.

  20. Silke says:

    The whole Far harbour quest line with the philosophical aspects of questioning an identity you were given and finding who you are, being who you are can be construed as one big metaphor for transsexualism.
    Particularly any lines about not hiding who you are from Dima about the Railroad, about the proof being in what you feel and about driving yourself forward in order to be yourself.
    I’m surprised many more people haven’t caught onto it with all the discussions about LGBT in Fallout going on online, maybe it’s because I’m transsexual but I’ve never seen a clearer metaphor for it.

  21. George Monet says:

    “Those evil corporations before the war exploited technology for their own gain!”

    Because Arcjet is totally gaining from developing technology that the US government will use to send humans to Mars! Totally! Does Danse not see how bad life is in the Commonwealth? That is a result of lack of technology. If the Brotherhood really wanted to help people, they’d offer free education.

  22. George Monet says:

    The Minutemen are the only real faction with an actual purpose and goal. They want to protect the people of the Commonwealth and restore civilization. Since the Institute’s kidnapping and producing a huge army is one of the greatest threats to the Commonwealth, and the Railroad’s idiocy the second greatest threat, with the Brotherhood of Steal’s campaign to steal all the good salvage third, the Minutemen have a perfectly good reason to kill all of the other 3 factions. The Minutemen have a clearly definable goal for the future, a plan to bring it about, and actually work towards accomplishing this goal, a goal that allows the player to measure and watch the visible progress.

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