Fallout 4 EP30: The Silver Sidekick

By Shamus
on Aug 12, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I want to run into Bethesda studios dressed like the Silver Shroud and start shouting, “At last, villain, you will be punished for your villainous acts of over-written dialog, which have gone unpunished for far too long, and so I am finally here to punish you for your villainy!”

And I’d just keep doing that until the police dragged me out of the building.

And just to be clear, at the end of the show I’m pretty sure that after killing a bunch of murderers around Good Neighbor, both Nick Valentine and Hancock decided to kill Josh for taking an empty beer bottle. That’s… really something.

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  1. Orillion says:

    Remember when Morrowind justified Bethesda’s simplistic crime and punishment system by stating outright that the entire island had a very skewed perception of criminals, lumping petty thieves in with murderers? Remember when Oblivion kept the same exact system, only didn’t bother trying to justify it?

    Modern Bethesda games are the worst of both worlds: You can pick up all of the miscellaneous trash around the world, but most of it is worthless and it mainly exists as set dressing that, behind the curtains, makes the games a lot less resource-efficient; but also the game world ends up even less real because every authority figure in the region will chase you across town trying to murder you for picking up (not pocketing) a bottlecap.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I guess Skyrim brought a bit of granularity to proceedings with the sliding bounty scale. But originally you could also be grassed up to the guards by the chickens. Sort of one step forward, and then one failed flailing leap sideways.

      • Gothic, circa 2001, actually had a much better theft system that felt a LOT more organic, largely because people didn’t leave their valuables sitting out in the open–you had to pickpocket them or get into their chests to steal stuff. And they’d get upset when you went inside their house (which didn’t involve a loading screen, so you couldn’t make them oblivious by waiting until they went outside).

        • Orillion says:

          Never played Gothic, but I did play Risen which I think was build on the same engine. It is a much more organic system, again made possible by simply not making the random clutter lootable. As long as it makes sense or you can DO something with it, it’s a fine thing, but you can’t really decorate houses in Skyrim. The only use I’ve seen for clutter is that immersion-breaking basket trick.

          • Bryan says:

            Risen was a very similar engine to Gothic 3 (at least visually) — Gothic 1 was completely different. (Much more brown, for one, and a lot lower polygon count for two.) Though the rules around stealing stuff were pretty similar all the way through.

            I still wish Risen 3 wasn’t 64-bit-only by the time it made it to GOG, because 64-bit wine crashes every time I start up the actual gameplay. :-/ Unless it’s gotten better in the last few months…

        • Blunderbuss09 says:

          That’s such an obvious solution it’s gobsmacking. There’s jet strewn in every corner of the Statehouse, including empty rooms with trash, but taking one is a crime. If they hate that so much why keep it out everywhere?

          It gets even worse in a world like Fallout where you need to be extra protective of your stuff but only your important stuff, not a fucking empty beer bottle. Why waste bullets on that nonsense? You can’t use ‘it’s a lawless world’ as an excuse but then forget the obvious limitations.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I get why Chris didnt like the quest.Sure,you get some great lines from your character,and the background for it is nice.But the majority of it is just you going around shooting dudes and looting their corpses,which is the same exact boring thing you do for 99% of this game.

    • Fists says:

      I’m with Chris too, more like the Silver Shrug!

      I think the quest gets over hyped a bit, I only went and bothered doing after hearing people call it “The best quest in Fallout 4” and yeah, it’s just more loot-murder with some lines that some people might find funny. It might be funny when you stumble into it but it doesn’t really stand up to any hype.

      To be fair though, I shouldn’t have actually been expecting “The best quest in Fallout 4” to actually be good, that’d be a stretch.

      • IFS says:

        I’m also with Chris, the special dialogue was a nice touch I guess but that was about it. The radio didn’t really help things as its both hard to hear with everyone talking, and what I did catch of it either made me actively annoyed (it referencing the Mechanist) or just made me wonder how they somehow did something worse than in FO3, as the pulpy radio adventure stories in FO3 were actually genuinely entertaining whereas this was just meh.

        That said I’m glad the rest of the cast enjoyed it so much, and I agree that having the silver shroud dialogue option for the rest of the game would be neat.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        Except of course the best quest in Fallout 4 is the “USS Constitution” one.

        (again though, it’s a very low bar)

        • Fists says:

          Yeah, that’s the other one people tend to favour but both of them are only considered good because of the dialogue, the only thing they would lose by being published as a comic book or a telltale game is they’d no longer be compared to the rest of Bethesda’s work.

          Railroad questline spoilers ahead, if anyone cares.
          For me the only thing I can think of being a ‘best’ quest moment is the attack on the BoS when siding with the Railroad because you actually get the opportunity to use stealth and/or guile to complete the mission by wearing a BoS uniform so you don’t have to get your hands dirty.
          This is still only good by comparison and would be taken for granted in many other games but at least there was a choice in the encounter.

    • Wide And Nerdy® says:

      I have to admit that took me out of it immediately. I found it kind of hilarious that the heroic Shroud just murders dudes.

      They could have saved it by having some Gee Shucks kid marveling at Shroud’s murderous ‘heroics.’

      “Help Mr Shroud, the mean man stole my Dino Toy”
      ***MURDER***
      “Wow! Thanks Mr Shroud.”
      “All in a day’s work.”

      • The Silver Shroud from the RADIO SHOW just murders dudes. This is Alternate History Super-Facist 1950’s, remember. He wields a submachine gun, after all. It’s kinda hard to shoot people a little.

        • MichaelGC says:

          No indeed – unless you use VATS! :D

          Automatics & VATS in this game: ugh. Plink. Plink. Plink. Right, that’s it, you’re done. No, I don’t care about your maxed out Agility: you’re done. Suck on a Nuka-Cola Quantum and return here for additional fully-automatic disappointment if you will.

          I guess they were making sure autos in VATS weren’t brokenly OP. Sure pulled that one off, at least. Was it the same in Fallout 3 & NV?

          • galacticplumber says:

            In fallout 3 all damage reduction was percentage based. Therefore full auto stuff tended to have the most comfortable feel outside vats and plentiful ammo. Full auto was FINE in that game. In NV damage reduction was flat which favored non-auto for armored enemies. That said there were special ammo types, weapon mods, and armored enemies not being common to fight mandatory until endgame. And most importantly the game encouraged you to keep more than one weapon. Sometimes you’d be stymied by going into a casino and be limited to the best you could sneak in, or the enemy was positioned such that melee was annoying to manage. There were still dominant strategies, but the game was much more diverse outside the highest levels of optimization.

            • Personally, having spent more time than you’d believe playing New Vegas and having written a guide for it, I still say that sniping trashed the hell out of melee in terms of effectiveness. Getting up close and personal with a Super Sledge can never beat headshotting someone with an Anti-Materiel Rifle from the next town over.

              • galacticplumber says:

                That’s because you don’t use melee weapons to melee. You use unarmed. Seriously. It gets the better deal of the two by a wide margin. A well built unarmed character past a certain point is essentially: anything that comes within melee range immediately dies. No muss. No fuss. Just walk up to people and vats them.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Yup,melee is the best.Especially if you play with ammo weight.Sure,AM rifle can kill something from far away,but it will cost you a lot,and it will weigh you down a lot.With melee,you get to murder everything just as easily from close range,but you wont have to wory about being over encumbered once you loot the corpse,nor whether it was worth it to spend expensive ammo on them.

                  • galacticplumber says:

                    Favorite unarmed weapon? I’m all over industrial hand and superheated saturnite fist. I mean before DLC ballistic fist obviously, but by some miracle we got better since then.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Favorite as in best looking?Orr?I prefer the look of the ballistic fist,but of course saturnite super heated has higher dps.Also fire.

                    • Ciennas says:

                      I always liked the displacer glove. Come to think of it, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it at all in F4.

                    • galacticplumber says:

                      I mean…. The ballistic fist has a nice aesthetic, but there’s just something about punching people with a fist that glows with such heat they set on fire that feels so satisfying.

                  • You’re not familiar with how I play, then, since carry weight is usually a problem anyway…though not because of what Josh is doing with the not using Molotovs and stuff. :P

        • Hector says:

          Well, not exactly. Remember that this is almost a direct copy of The Shadow and other 20’s serials (not 50’s stuff at all). And some of those were actually pretty violent, with plenty of gunplay involved.

          • topazwolf says:

            I loved the Shadow and this quest was completely on point for me. And yeah, straight up killing people isn’t against such a serial.

            Also worth noting that his signature item is a sub-machine gun. What else does he do with it? And Grognak being a reference to Conan probably kills people left and right.

          • Peter H. Coffin says:

            ITYM 30’s. The Shadow started as pulp stories in magazines in 1930, and didn’t get on radio until 1937. The alterna-1950s setting certainly meshes perfectly with the highest heyday of radio (and moviehouse) serials; individual ownership of radio sets didn’t even start taking off until the mid 1930s when the Depression waned enough that people started having money to spend on non-essentials again.

          • Nixitur says:

            And The Shadow’s real name is Kent which is actually a nice reference. And one of his enemies was “The Silver Skull” although that might have been unintentional.

  3. Christopher says:

    This is a cute quest. I like how everyone except for the other weirdo in a costume thinks you’re stupid.

  4. Gruhunchously says:

    Now that Josh’s chair has been set up like that, there has to be a moment where it collapses while Josh is recording the show, with much hilarity ensuing.

    I don’t care if this show isn’t scripted, or that it involves real people, it just has to happen.

    • Yeah, you can’t tease Chekov’s Chair and then not use it.

    • McNutcase says:

      I’m just hoping that it’s not a gas lift chair, because if that collapses under him, Josh is in for serious bodily harm. Even if the cylinder doesn’t let go, that’s his bodyweight dropping onto a none too large pedestal which will do plenty of damage.

      If your swivel chair is getting sketchy, get rid of it (unless it’s an Aeron, in which case get the parts and overhaul it). When those things die, they go out violently.

      • Dirigible says:

        As someone who’s had three gas lift chairs go from beneath me… not neccessarily – the gas lift going is super dangerous, sure, but it’s also almost always the most sturdy part of the chair. Mostly I’ve had the seat snap off the frame which winds up with an intact gas lift on wheels, and a chair on the floor. And once, just the back of the chair fall off, which gave me a backless gaslift stool.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        As Dirigible pointed out,your chances of impaling yourself are pretty slim.You will most likely fall with the chair to the side,or to the back.Of course,you can hit your head pretty hard this way,so thats the real danger of such chairs falling apart.

  5. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    This sort of highlights that dichotomy with how they treat drugs. Its like you can buy chems from doctors. You can buy them from a guy who has a shop set up in Diamond City and he doesn’t try to pretend he’s selling anything else.

    But sometimes drug dealers are portrayed as seedy or evil and then there’s Cait who’s quest is basically an after school special.

    And after you get her clean, you proceed with merrily consuming large quantities of drugs with no consequences.

    • Heck, not just consuming: DEALING!

      I had nothing else to do with the metric tons of buffout, jet, Med-X, and so on in my inventory, and somehow I magically knew how to go all Heisenberg at the cooking stations, so I just chem-bined them for loads of XP. I never use chems, so I just sold them.

      A mechanic where some kind of lawful good outfit or NPC group starts harassing you for flooding the streets with drugs seems like it would’ve been easily justified, assuming there were enough people left that weren’t stoned out of their minds just by passing nearby my inventory. It also shows how while bottlecaps are an easy limiter on commerce, there should be some kind of “top 5 things the player has unloaded on every merchant” variable that lowers prices if you’ve moved tens of thousands of caps in Buffjet.

      • Are we talking full supply-and-demand mechanics like Fable TLC or something like the price reduction in Dragon Quest VIII?

        • Echo Tango says:

          I think having a simple system like Fable (but not broken) would work well enough. i.e. Have the price a merchant pays you for an item, be affected by the number of them you sell to them, and how many they have in their inventory. Hell, to keep it non-cheesable (like in Fable), just make the transaction happen as if you’d sold a stack of the same item one at a time, so you can’t sell a million at the price of them having zero (“rare” / high price) and buy them back at the price of a million (bulk / low price). :)

      • Writiosity says:

        I talked about something similar in my own Fallout 3 series. Basically, upon meeting a certain character, you can start working with him to flood the wastes with chems which would give various faction benefits/disadvantages. Bear in mind my whole series is talking about how to fix Bethesda’s mess, so my own version of the world HAS factions and quests that tie into the larger world.

        “Remember that ghoul fella living in Northwest Seneca Station? Murphy? The one who wants to improve Jet and make a shitload of caps getting ghouls addicted because regular Jet doesn’t really have the same effect for them? Yeah, him. Let’s improve him and turn that quest into something a little more helpful (or the reverse depending how you decide to play it!).

        Depending on the type of character you’re playing, Murphy’s general goals can have a number of effects on the Wasteland. You can help him improve the recipe using your own scientific knowledge, giving him an even better type of Jet than he had managed to so far create. This would then lead to something like the Khans quest in New Vegas where you can help create/improve a bunch of other recipes (Buffout, Psycho, etc.).

        At this point you can help him establish more of a covert presence in the wastes, supplying improved chems to various factions, including especially the raiders, for profit. This would make the raiders themselves substantially more dangerous as they’d be off their faces on superior chems during combat. But if you’re siding with them, that’s actually beneficial to you.

        Alternatively, you can collude with him to cut various nasty items into the chems (Abraxo Cleaner and similar) in order to make more profit at the expense of an obscenely high morbidity rate for anyone using the chems. Again, this would affect the raiders and potentially make them stronger because they’re on chems.

        There’d also be, say, a 25% chance of them keeling over from a nasty reaction to the other chemicals in these drugs. So once again, you end up with a beneficial situation depending on how you’re playing. Yes, they’re probably doing more damage, can take more hits, and may even have increased health and possibly the ability to breathe fire… but there’s also a one in four chance they’ll simply drop dead.

        We could always say that the player needs to have met the Dish Runners before they can distribute these new super chems to the raiders in general, but either way they’d find their way into the hands of the raiders, for good or ill. And finally, Murphy could also be persuaded to change his ways and use his scientific knowledge for good, sending him over to join the ghouls at the Wight House. Or even have him supply the ghouls. Or both.

        That’s our basics sorted. Now for some additional details. First, why does Jet even exist on the east coast? Well, if we go way back in time to ancient China, we find something called The Silk Road, a massive trade route across vast swathes of Asia. Since my world is considerably more lively and logical, we could say there exists a similar trade route across the US, running back and forth maybe four times a year in huge trade caravans.

        We could say that Jet is a relatively new thing and it was actually Murphy who brought it across from the west. Maybe he managed to steal the recipe, or paid someone else to do so. Either way, it gives us a slightly more plausible reason for that particular drug existing over the other side of the country.

        Murphy was an amateur chemist even before the war and he’s been tinkering ever since, so let’s have him be pretty good at this point; maybe he’s picked up new recipes on his trip across the country, perhaps he can be persuaded via a speech or barter check to tell a couple of stories (like Chief Hanlon) of his adventures, and additionally he’s created a bunch of new recipes of his own.

        First, we can enlist his help with the Oasis quests. Making use of the beneficial sap from the Gestalt to create new, more potent healing items, for example. Next, he can provide a few quests to the player, maybe have them find particular facilities or laboratories in order to retrieve recipes or research he can use to create more chems.

        And finally, he wants to expand his operations. He currently operates out of Seneca Station, which isn’t far north of Vault 106. If you remember when I talked about the Vaults, I mentioned having this Vault be an experiment based around free use of drugs. If you go to the Vault you’ll find the atmosphere is contaminated (like vanilla, only our version will be accidental via malfunctioning equipment or similar).

        To clear the Vault you’ll need a radiation suit or power armour (or other similar item) equipped to avoid inhaling the noxious substances in the air. If your intelligence or perception are super low, we could also say you don’t even notice until it’s too late, at which point you start hallucinating like fuck. Kind of like it is in the base game, just totally off the wall crazy instead.

        Upon clearing the Vault – via a terminal to activate some sort of air cycling system, or mechanical skill used to jury-rig whatever’s broken, something like that – you can head back to Murphy and escort him across. Also, since Brahmin crap is a required component of Jet, there’s a handy location right near this area that happens to have about a dozen Brahmin wandering around. Perfect, we’ll be bringing those across later.

        At this point he’ll have access to a Vault that was dedicated to the production and supply of drugs, and… the rest will be history. Either you help the Wasteland by producing stimpacks etc., or you supply the raiders and others of their ilk, making life worse for everyone but you. Plus some nice lore, a few stories, and a tie-in to current events on the west coast.”

        • PeteTimesSix says:

          Ah yes, the classic solution to the problem of a quest with dumb writing caused in part by a huge, densely populated with quests world that you need an army of writers to even come close to making: make the quest into what could very well be a secondary plotline in any other game and have it interact with half the locations across the whole game world, keeping in mind, of course, that one of the things players of Bethesda games like doing most is running off in a random direction, walking into a random building, and going to town.

          Presumably you’d like similar threatment for the rest of the quests too? Its not like interlocking quests into other quests depending on your progress between them leads to explosive complexity and would probably take months of testing just to make sure the chain doesnt break on any sensible order of quest completion the player might follow, not to speak of the sort of thing sequence-break happy people get up to.

          …that is probably coming across as needlessly hostile. Sorry about that. Im not saying Bethesda writing is good or anything (and not just because in this comment section that’d probably get me bludgeoned by a Goldun Riter trophy or something), but… that just doesnt seem realistically possible to me, you’d end up trying to make a dozen games in one.

          • galacticplumber says:

            Ah but see here’s the thing. So long as those are all side quests completely non-mandatory to the main quest you get to employ a very simple solution to the idea of quests becoming unavailable. Let them. Give a note when someone important is killed for those people who wanna experience more quests. Maybe even include a route that makes most of them doable in a single character play, but if you miss some you’re more than welcome to start a new character or load a save. That’s right. I hold that one of beth’s core design philosophies is simply wrong. *GASP* Maybe if we let go of that idea we could start getting games that look like they had actual writers instead of dart boards with plot beats on them again.

            • Gethsemani says:

              That’s an intended problem though, and one that can actually be chalked up to game design. The bigger problem is what happened a lot in New Vegas: Quests break because of the loads of scripting that’s being done, resulting in players being stuck in several quest lines because one quest interacted with a few others in an unpredictable or buggy way. It might be “immersive” to realize you can’t do “Shoot Quest: Shoot Bad Guy” because you did “Shoot Quest: Shoot Good Guy” first and killed the quest giver. It is not immersive to realize you can’t do either because you first talked to an NPC that is relevant in both, which set of a flag that rendered all “Shoot Quest”-lines unfinishable AND caused one of your companion quests to default and break because you asked said NPC about the weather. Especially not if you realize the problem some 5-6 hours later when you have to look up why Companion is not continuing their conversation about how they used to shoot people.

              Sprawling, interlocking quest lines are cool, but they’re coding nightmares. That’s why a bunch of simple, stand alone quests are easier to do and provide much more pay off for the player, because it gives more engaged playtime and provides incentive to explore more of the game world. You are more likely to remember those cool, sprawling quests that affect each other, but they are almost exponentially harder to do.

              • galacticplumber says:

                Bugs were only an issue in new vegas because the game was shoved out the door before it was ready. Game improved vastly after release when actual patch work was done.

    • Blunderbuss09 says:

      Yeah, especially when you realize that all of these drugs are 100% legal in all of the settlements and they’re easy to make. Most of them also have only minor drawbacks so there’s no real equivalent to PCP or such. So creating these dangerous gangs that finance themselves on the drug trade is goddamn absurd.

      Now that I think about it, having an illegal trade in a lawless world is nearly impossible. Most of the biggest criminal trades in our world are irrelevant to Fallout; drugs, guns, counterfeiting, poaching, diamonds, art, and gold are useless. Apart from slavery, assassinations, protection rackets or thieving I have no idea what they’d actually do.

      • Hypatia says:

        Why would they even run some two bit criminal operation when they could have a settlement and raid rival territories like a city state or old fashioned tribe? None of the settlements appear big enough where stealing for more than a minor crime of opportunity makes sense.

        Even with slavery, there would probably be plenty of ways to do that legally in the eyes of whatever authority exists in the Commonwealth currently.

  6. Phantos says:

    I think the lady voice actor doing the OVERDRAMATIC SILVER SHROUD voice works better, just because it’s not the way it’s “supposed” to be, because the character is a dude. Like the awkwardness of the… tonal… dissonance…?

    I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it. But it worked for me.

    Although I wonder if the quest is actually good, or if every other quest is just so boring that this one seems better when I think back on it.

    • For me, the best part of the quest is the amount of effort I had to go to to save Kent at the end. It is NOT EASY, but that’s what I wanted to do.

      It was one of the few instances in the game where I wanted to do something specific and the game made it quite hard but possible to do.

      • Yes, this.

        People may not like VATS, but for that scene, I was glad I had the bonuses and several hefty single-target weapons (like Kellogg’s pistol). Even then, I had to re-load a few times.

        • acronix says:

          It’s a bit dissapointing because the ghoul boss is a bullet sponge. How many bullets to the head can a person sustain in this universe?

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          I had to reload a bunch of times and take a bunch of chems to be able to finish the quest with Kent saved. Worth it though!

          • Ciennas says:

            Fun fact: I played through this part with a suit of Power Armor at points- I’d basically have it as an armored transport to spots because I had enough batteries to do that, and then hop out to talk with people, or fight them as the Silver Shroud.

            So…. I cleared Sinjin’s gang in the upper floors of his base, and road the elevator wearing the suit. Since the conversation starts immediately outside the elevator (which is too small to exit the suit,) I walked in and tried to hop out while chatting.

            This short circuits them straight into fight mode. I don’t know why leaving your impregnable minitank is considered a fighting move, but it is. I didn’t even have a weapon drawn.

            Since I had saved in the elevator and didn’t feel like reclearing the upper floor of the base, I missed the Silver Shroud options for Sinjin.

            Also I had to reload a bunch because I wanted to save Kent.

            So there you have it: exiting your Power Armor is considered a hostile act. Go figure.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        If you pass all the speech checks you can make them attack you instead of Kent, but you have to break character as the Shroud to do it.

      • Phantos says:

        There is no part of the game I save-scummed harder. Especially trying out different weapons and drugs that would effectively kill Singin but not Kent.

        The best strategy I’ve found is a switchblade and 4 of the 5 melee damage increasing perks. And even then sometimes Kent just explodes. Because Bethesda.

  7. MichaelGC says:

    There are actually three Mechanists in the Falloutverse. There’s the Silver Shroud one, one inspired by the Silver Shroud one, and one not inspired by the Silver Shroud one who actually came years before the Silver Shroud except in the in-universe timeline when they would have come well after the Silver Shroud, but still without having anything to do with the Silver Shroud.

    And then there’s also the AntAgonizer who was the antagonist of the Mechanist but hasn’t expressed a preference Silver Shroudwise.

    Hope that helps! :D

  8. Neko says:

    The radio is probably really nice for ambience when you’re playing the game, but for SW it was about 5x too much dialog to focus on =\

    • Fists says:

      Even in the game it’s a distraction because if you walk past an NPC they’ll talk over it and it pauses through loading screen making it disjointed. If you really want to actually get anything out of it you’ve got to just sit in your inventory while it plays. Not sure if you can play the pip-boy games with the radio on, that might work better.

    • topazwolf says:

      Yeah. Please don’t keep the radio on all the time. It’s very annoying. I can’t help but listen to both and lose track here and there.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Even without the radio it’s sometimes difficult for me to follow what people are saying, but in this episode when they were talking to Whitechapel Charlie it was particularly bad. I kinda wish they were playing with the voice acting turned off or something.

  9. Daniel England says:

    Having played through the Silver Shroud quest myself, I consider it the best written, even if it eventually just becomes more shooty-time dungeon crawls. Considering that I was bored to tears (not literally, but close) by literally every other quest in the game (even the main questline,) that’s not saying much.

    I turned off hardcore on my character to go check out the Silver Shroud quest after the SW crew mentioned it. And I thought it was great and charming and I even laughed at some of the dialogue. In a game that mostly me feel bored and disappointed, this was actually quite nice! But it felt so wrong for my character to so gleefully initiate combat, even when a hostage had a gun to their head. I wanted even more from this quest than I got. It was quite literally better than any other quest in Fallout 4, but it still couldn’t escape Bethesda situating its normal gameplay around it. Playing through this quest should have felt like a I was a character in a comic book.

  10. Benjamin Hilton says:

    OK. I will state right up front that this a petty gripe, but couldn’t Bethesda be arsed to make the unique Thompson actually look like the “classic” tommy gun with the fore grip? I looked at this outfit and thought it was a really cool look. I probably would’ve worn it even if there wasn’t a quest and they were common clothes you could find laying around. All it needed to be perfect was the “classic” tommy gun. I mean even the vault boy image holding that gun has the “classic” design, so I know Bethesda knows what it looks like….. As I said, it’s petty, but it just bugged me. It’s another example of them almost doing something perfectly cool, but not having either the time or inclination to put on the finishing touches.

    • Henson says:

      My guess is that it’s because the classic tommy gun is closely associated with criminality, and the Silver Shroud is supposed to be a do-gooder. It makes sense to go with a period style, but more straightlaced.

    • Lachlan the Mad says:

      As a person who genuinely has no idea what you’re talking about, can you explain a bit further what the difference between the different types of SMG is?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Have you seen the rest of the game?They couldnt be asrsed to make that good,so why would they spend effort on this minor detail?

      • Henson says:

        You don’t think the game has nice visual design? It seems to me that Bethesda’s artists and modelers are their greatest strength.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I wasnt talking about the looks of the game,so I probably shouldve said “played” instead of “seen”.Graphically,this game looks fine.Most of the time.I could nitpick a bunch about the visuals,sure,but seeing how bad everything else is,it would be really silly to nitpick the best element of it.

          • Henson says:

            Then I guess I’m confused. Since the comment by Benjamin Hilton was about the visual design of the silver shroud’s gun, why does your comment about Bethesda doing things badly refer to an element that isn’t visual design?

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              His comment was about bethesda not being arsed to add one unique thing to complete the feeling.But if you look elsewhere,youll see a bunch of uninhabited houses while people are all living in shacks,a bunch of generic legendary enemies that dont even have proper names,and a bunch of other things that were mentioned during this spoiler warning.And in any of those situations just a bit more effort wouldve vastly improved the end result.But no one cared.

              • Benjamin Hilton says:

                Yeah, this is why I said another example. They are all over the place, this is just the one that irked me the most.

              • Henson says:

                I guess my difficulty is that you seem to be treating Bethesda as a monolith rather than a series of departments. The elements of half-effort you mentioned are in different groups, from people who populate the world, create the story, program movement scripting, etc, whereas the people who create assets and handle visual design seem to be much more on-point. It’s not surprising when Bethesda comes up short in all these other ways, but when they miss on visual design (which I actually disagree with Benjamin Hilton in this case), I can’t see it as a case of ‘oh well, that’s Bethesda for you, they don’t care about details’, because the artists do seem to care.

                • Benjamin Hilton says:

                  I really think that our different views on this particular design are purely that: views.

                  You associate that style of weapon with criminality, which given its role in pop culture I completely understand. I don’t see it the same way because I spend (probably to much) time researching the history of weapons. The fore grip design I’m arguing for was actually the original model used by everyone, Police and gangsters alike. The version in game was only made later when the U.S. Government commissioned the weapons for WWII. So for me it’s partly for aesthetic reasons and partly for the same reason Josh is irked when a game refers to a large Japanese sword as a Dai-Katana.

                  • Henson says:

                    Oh, I totally understand where you’re coming from, and I wouldn’t dare to refute the idea that this design was used across the board for this period rather than only by the mob. I just think that Bethesda’s design of this gun is less about a lack of knowledge than it is a conscious decision to avoid common genre associations.

    • Raygereio says:

      It’s another example of them almost doing something perfectly cool, but not having either the time or inclination to put on the finishing touches.

      The problem is resources. Making a gun with a foregrip like that would require making an unique animation set for one single weapon. Which costs a lot of time & money.

      It might have been neat, but if you’re going to prioritize stuff then a single, unique weapon model will be one of the first that gets cut.

  11. Mintskittle says:

    What could have made the Silver Shroud questline better is if after completing it, it added a speak as Shroud option to all dialogue options afterwards. I just want to see the PC have his showdown with Kelogg or Father while using the Shroud persona.

  12. Writiosity says:

    FYI, Shamus, Deacon ain’t a synth, he’s a regular human. He just lies about being a synth, one of his many stories and fabrications.

  13. Syal says:

    One of these days a supervillain is going to spare the children and burn down the Old Folks Orphanage instead.

  14. SlothfulCobra says:

    You know, there was a radio drama in Fallout 3 that not a lot of people talk about. There’s no associated quests, just a couple of details around the world of the adventures described in the radio drama.

    It was pretty weird, nobody made any music since the bombs dropped, but there’s this little production from this adventurer and his ghoul sidekick. I thought it was some kind of mod I installed without knowing when I first ran into it.

    • galacticplumber says:

      Nope. Base game. Dude was essentially retired at tenpenny tower. Separated from his sidekick he wants you to find him and offers the contents of a safe as reward in an unmarked quest. If you’re lucky enough to find the location which I think was west of the nuka quantum obsessed’s house you learn he was… less fortunate. Safe has some nice supplies and a bottlecap mines recipe.

      • It was west of nearly everything. Iirc, the closest major landmark was the garage that leads to Vault Dad.

        • galacticplumber says:

          No. I mean my way of finding the place was going to that landmark, hitting compass west, and walking. That wasn’t general orientation. It was directions.

          • MrGuy says:

            Right. Rockopolis.

            I really liked Rockopolis, mostly because it felt very “fallout” to have a location tied to a backstory that wasn’t waved in your face. If you found it organically, it felt like discovery.

            The elements of Rockopolis are presented (IMO) better than anything else in FO3.

            There’s the radio play featuring Herbert Dashwood and his servant Argyle. The episodes play occasionally on the radio, and originally seem just like flavor. There are multiple adventures presented, not just the one with an in-game location tied to it. When you hear it, there’s no reason to believe it’s anything but a pre-recorded radio program.

            Then you can meet Herbert Dashwood in Tenpenny Tower and you realize that the radio program is real (or, at least, based on real events – it’s not entirely clear), and that Argyle was a real person, and his final sacrifice in that was real.

            What I like is that there’s NOT a marked quest to find Argyle. Dashwood just tells you he’s sad he doesn’t know what happened to Argyle. It’s up to you to decide to find him. If you do, you get a reward from the safe and a little environmental storytelling.

            It’s disappointing they never really followed up on the woman (Penelope Chase) – you find her body, but none of the slavers in Paradise Falls so much as mention her, or really mention the crazy guy who took over after he was killed (I think he’s mentioned in passing on the current leader’s computer).

  15. Pax says:

    So Josh knows that’s he’s hauling around like 12 pounds of grenades and 34 pounds of molotov cocktails, right? And that all the food and junk and dead animal meat he’s carrying around is helping constantly push him over into over encumbrance, right? I mean, he has to be aware that the reason he can never find where to go is because he has like 3 unfinished quests all active, with markers, in his quest log at the same time, right? He’s just doing this to troll his friends and all of us viewers, right? Right?

  16. Lachlan the Mad says:

    One thing that I did really enjoy about this episode was that the voice acting and animation actually help to characterise the protagonist for a change. Reginald is obviously having tremendous fun being the Silver Shroud — his voice actor is sitting right on the edge of corpsing, and his face has this constant subtle smile. It’s about the only genuine emotion that the protagonist has produced.

  17. The Rocketeer says:

    What’s wrong with you, Chris? Embrace it! Embrace this C- quest in this D- game like it’s manna from Heaven! Praise Bethesda for nearly achieving basic competence like a child tying his finger into his shoelace knot! Overplay this mediocrity right to the hilt, so future players can be even more disappointed by the dismal reality!

  18. SL128 says:

    I think part of why the quest come across so lamely in the episode is because you’re presenting it so straightforwardly. Ultimately, picking the Shroud lines is probably the most fun experience, but picking them immediately and not discussing them is a disservice here, because it’s one of the few quests where the dialogue decisions are interesting in their juxtaposition to eachother, and each become more valuable due to that juxtaposition. Broadly, you have three approaches to playing the Shroud:

    1. You’re just some person doing what you’re told, and killing tons of people as normal, but you aren’t playing into Kent’s fantasies by speaking as him. This is how the game is normally played.

    2. You roleplay as the Shroud, which is only meaningful and great because it’s in contrast with the vanilla style. If it was the only choice presented (as you’re currently doing in this series), it would just feel like lame Bethesda writing since it would lack the juxtaposition, and you wouldn’t be actively deciding to play along.

    3. You decide to tell Kent you’re doing the superhero thing, but really behind his back, you’re just a sleazeball taking bribes, and letting the bad guys go; visiting the target is just a routine chore so you can get some caps while giving the constantly-earnest Kent the sense that he’s living his dreams. But even if you pick all the Shroud or normal options, it’s fun to know you have the option to do this. Beyond that, this style also helps make it clear that Bethesda is 100% in on the joke, and not just getting carried away with the goofiness like normal.

    • Poncho says:

      Yes, playing it is completely different than watching it, too, because you aren’t in on the joke until after the first couple of dialogue cues. You’re thinking to yourself, “Ok, am I going to be sarcastic, the nice guy, start a fight, bribe this dude, or…. wait what? Speak as Silver Shroud? Sure, sounds interesting.” Then you suddenly realize what’s going on in this quest and it’s a genuinely fun moment of the game.

    • Henson says:

      Option #3 sounds pretty neat. You approach evildoers as the silver shroud, paragon of justice, and as soon as bribe money is offered, you fold like a paper crane. And you do the same for every one. It’s quite the racket, pretending to be a dangerous delusional gunman in order to get caps.

    • James Porter says:

      I think this quest quest pushing you to roleplay is exactly what makes it so good, you hit the nail on the head. I did this quest for the first time not too long ago, and probably my favorite moment is the final confrontation. (Kinda Spoilers below!)

      So I was playing in survival mode, and I sneak a lot since I can’t take any hits, but roleplaying as the shroud requires you to say something dramatic before gunning people down. Once I make it to Kent’s kidnappers. At this point I have only talked as the Shroud. The henchmen will get too scared and run away if you keep the act up, but Kent will most likely be targeted first. So at the end of the conversation, I choose the speech check to have all of the guys go aggro on me.

      So this moment is very special to me, and may be my favorite use of the voice acting. Choosing that speech check has your character drop the character, and it felt like instead of just pretending to be the Shroud, I was deciding to actually be heroic. Nick is at a loss for words of how selfless and courageous that is, and then everyone starts shooting at me. I died a bunch here, but eventually I won out by taking every drug I had on me, and basically playing the game like Doom 2016, running around this tight area with my shotgun.

      I don’t think any game has made me feel like that big of a hero, saying something symbolic, winning a fight with all the odds stacked against me, saving someone so pure and innocent as Kent. My detective sidekick afterwards sparks a conversation about how much he trusts me, and asks if I could help him solve a case that has haunted him for a while.

      Maybe it’s luck all of these things came together like that, but none of it would have happened if this quest didn’t want you to get into your character’s head and roleplay. It makes me want to get that Robot DLC, since the quest lets you do a little more Silver Shrouding.

  19. McNutcase says:

    A fun thing that they could have done with this would be to have the initial conversation set a flag that determines your PC’s level of fannishness regarding the Silver Shroud (total obsessive, tried not to miss episodes, occasionally listened, never really cared, hated it) and have that flag alter the “Speak as Shroud” lines so that a total fanboy is much better at ad-libbing as the Shroud, while someone who didn’t care sort of mumbles and stumbles through uninspired dialogue. There’s so much potential for behind-the-scenes trickery like that when you’re using a dialogue system that doesn’t show the actual line, and I get the feeling Bethesda didn’t make any use whatsoever of that potential. I mean, yes, it calls for far more work for the voice actor, but it’s a cool way to enrich the game.

    • Blunderbuss09 says:

      Or even better your delivery depended on your charisma score so could do more with that stat than goddamn semi-randomized speech-checks.

      • Henson says:

        Whoa, whoa, this sounds way too complicated to implement, surely. Let’s not go overboard.

        Clearly, the solution is to get rid of Charisma as a stat. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of stats entirely.

  20. Blunderbuss09 says:

    This quest really shows how awesome Hancock is as a character; he’s cunning enough to want to know who this new guy on his block is but absolutely loves it when you’re another costumed weirdo like him. (But still makes the point not to push his tolerance of you.)

    And personally I liked the idea of the FO3 superhero quest; there’s something darkly funny and tragic about a person who’s hit rock bottom so hard that they went into a crazy escapist fantasy to both empower themselves and disassociate from their terrible life. Bethesda of course dropped the ball on the writing but hey, that’s what they do.

  21. Warclam says:

    I don’t know what’s going on exactly, but YouTube has been messing with you guys lately. This episode and the last will periodically freeze on static and say a problem occurred, and reloading won’t fix it, I have to advance to just past the “error”.

    Also I was re-watching Hitman Absolution, and around the middle (15 and 16?) there was this weird thing where the audio ran fine but the video kept lagging way behind.

    It’s only your channel where these things are happening, for some reason.

  22. MichaelGC says:

    Campster’s point about whether crimefighting is possible parallels the one he made about the initiate from the forge, who didn’t want to kill that hostage who was from a nearby settlement.

    But neither morality nor a sense of community are dependent on the existence of a properly constituted governmental authority. You could argue that there can be no actual crimes if there is no actual law, but that’d solely be a discussion about the meanings of the words.

    • Henson says:

      I think Chris’ point was that the ‘crimefighting’ genre trope is dependent on the existence of a large institution of law and order which is unable to maintain either, and so lone vigilantes rise up to plug the holes. His comparison of Fallout 4 to the Western genre highlights how these stories often don’t feature such overarching institutions in ordinary society, and so individuals are the only law around, whereas the crimefighter operates either in tandem or outside of the law. In both cases, the bad guys are breaking the law, but the relation of the heroes to the law differs.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Is anything at issue other than whether or not we use the words ‘crime’ and ‘crimefighting’, though?

        You have people doing something and other people wanting them to stop. Then you have an individual not directly involved, and so not directly motivated to intervene, who nevertheless takes it upon themselves to intervene based purely on the character of the ‘something’, which is a something they have decided to take general exception to. None of this is dependent on any overarching institution.

        Sure, it’s incorrect – albeit a useful shorthand – to describe the above interventions as ‘crimefighting’ if there is no law. But does the argument go past the vocabulary level? Is it saying that the above fact pattern itself makes no sense? Or is it just saying if we’re strict about language we should be careful how we describe what the Shroud gets up to?

        • MichaelGC says:

          PS I’m not saying there’s zero value in an argument purely about language, but such would certainly have significantly fewer teeth than the more-substantive one.

        • Henson says:

          You bring an interesting point about the similarities in structure between the two different ‘hero fights evil’ situations, but I still feel like there are substantive differences in genre conventions. I mean, you could boil down most genres down to common story beats, but that doesn’t mean that these genres don’t have many other things that distinguish them from each other.

          If we’re roleplaying a Crimefighter in the vein of radio serials, I think the role of the world around us is not an insignificant concern. Whether it makes or breaks the illusion, I don’t know, but I do think the concern is about more than just which words we use.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Interesting – I certainly didn’t have genre conventions at the front of my mind, but if we are to bring those to the fore, then actually, getting the language just right does become pretty important! I agree that if we start off with ‘crimefighter’ and aren’t just using it as shorthand (for ‘the type of character who would be a crimefighter in our world’), then certain things must be true of the setting, and here, they are not.

            (Unless Hancock counts as enough of a legal authority! :D I guess not – I don’t know the character well, but he doesn’t strike me as someone with a strong leaning towards legislation…)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      But both morality and the sense of community changes when resources are scarce.Killing someone who steals a bottle of water may seem like a huge overkill today,but what if 99,99% of the water is toxic?That will be the worst offense.And in times of scarcity,that town over the hill may as well be our enemies.

      And tied to what Chris said,in times of scarcity,you dont really have dedicated crime fighters.If your job isnt to make/find resources for the community,you arent really useful.And if someone does something wrong,they are judged by the whole community,rather than a person whose job is only to do that.On the other hand,we see bartenders in this world,so resources arent that scarce.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Aye right – I agree with all of that! Actually, I think what you say – and I hope I’m not twisting your words at all – could be taken as backing up my main point, which is that there’s no need for a central authority in the two cases where Chris seemed to be suggesting there must be one in order for certain things to make sense.

        I may have partially argued myself out of the point as regards crime, but leaving the genre-focus to one side again: the community as you describe it can certainly exist without there being any real government, and that community can ‘decide for itself’, as it were, what things it will treat as useful and what things it’ll treat as wrong without any need for codification or centralisation. Put another way, without needing to formalise things in any way. (Hence ‘as it were’ – no actual decision need be taken at all.) The same phenomena exist whether or not there’s an overarching authority, and whilst the presence of an overarching authority might allow us to say additional things about a particular action, those’ll tend to be tangential to the action itself.

        Er, that last sentence was pretty horrible – what I mean is that with an authority we’d be able to do things like use a proper name for the particular community we’re talking about, and distinguish it easily from other communities where the rules or mores might be slightly different. But – and I think this aligns with your comments – the community itself, and the rightness & wrongness of actions within it, do not existentially depend on an identifiable central authority in any way.

  23. Jabrwock says:

    I’m surprised Josh didn’t try to get Nick to wear the Grognack costume.

  24. Syster says:

    ̵ ͨ͐͛ ̩̦͓̥̼ ̳̇̿̔̉̓ ̯͈̉͢ ̭̳͕͡ ̰̣̃̆̊̿̃ͪ ͤ͗ͩ͆̇͂ͫ ̡͉͙̬ͣ͐̐͐̾ͫͪ ̛̽͛̓ͤ͑ͨ̚ ̡̥̞̬͉̑ͭ̀ͬ ̘̥̮̻̥͒́ͥ͆̚ ̯̲͉͋͒̏͆ͮ̄ ̂ͭ̈́̊͛̽ ̸͍̰̒̾̍ͧ̽̅ͨ ͉͇̮̉ ̤̥̪͕͕̣͐ͮ̑͋͘ ͚̯̥̳̲̟ ̝̻̼͓̦ͮ̒́ ̭͈̮̳̈́͌ͪ͟ ̥̝̖̖̪͈̇͋ͧ̑ͤ̔͞
    ͇̲̥̗ ̧̫ͤ͐ ͚͟ ̺̾͊̕ ̡̬͖̿̌̀͑ ͓͔̫̃͐ ͈͍͔̰̔̒̾́ ̥̠̃͐ͤ̈̅̈̃ ̭͆ͩ͢ ͥ̏̂̀ ̘̞̦̻ ͔̹̗̳̘͎̍̓̋̚ ̺̌̀ͨ̃͞ ̨͎͕͚̠͖̋ ͔͚̣͙͝ ̐ͫ͘ ̦̒ͮ ͙̈́ͩ̓̈́͐ͧ ̎̐̀̍ͦ ̨͎͙͍̠͓̲ͧ͒͂̄̚ ͕̭̥͌̀̒̆͐̍͡ ̵̘̭̙͉̍
    ͕̃̋͜Bͪ̈ͪ͛̑͏̝̬̪̹̜͈̘Ẹ͖̦̲̜̻T̢͙̜̩͈͕͌̇̉́̏H̩̹̖̬̻͉ͧ͊͋̾ͮḘ͉̱̺̮̠̻ͣ̂ͭ͜S̖̩̈̑̆̃̚D̴̤̦̹̞̪ͅÁ̸̱̥̹̠̯ͤ̾
    ͏̮̟̬̯ͅ ̅ͫͨ̇͒ͧ̓҉͉͙̥̭ ̹͍͍̺̬̺ͮ̽̾ͧͣ̇ͫ ̛͓̭̖͖͎̱͇̂̽̎̈́ͬ͛ ̿͌ͬ̓ͤ͋̈ ̤̪̺̖̥̥͠ ̈́ͣ ̿̈ͥ̽͑ ̠͍̬͎̞͉̼̓͛ ̰̹̼̥ͣ̿ ͈̘̹͕̾̈ͪ͆̌̋͊ ̣̳̣̮̱̣̐ͪ̂͂̉̆͠ͅ ̺͓ ̐ ̬̘̇͊̂ ̴̹̩͇ͦͭ̇͋ ͖͋̌̇ͦ ̪͙̬̳̠͔͎ͦͪ͗̏̎̒̋ ͩ͆̓͒̉ͮ̎͏̜̠̠̝ ̪̩̻̼ͨͦͬ̑͐̓̈́͜ ̹̤͇
    ̶̣̦̙̥̔̿ͣ͊͗ͧ ͧͪ̈́̂̃̆̽͏̠̦͍̝̝̺ ̖̗̞̱ͅ ̖̭ͧͅ ̡̠̥̰̺̽ ̶͉̘̳͇̓̊̾̓̽̅ ̖̼̬̠͓̔͗ ͍̱̰̺̭̑͂ ͮ̽ͭ́ ͚̗͕͉ͩ͟ͅ ̤̍ͧͪ̚ ̧̯̳̥̔̀͑ ̠̟̦͈̳̺͓͐̂̎̌̈́ͣ̚ ͍͍̯̬̥̈́ ̯̞͇͓͍̌̈ͩͩ ̗̿̌͗͊͊ ̮̗͖̞̞̹͙͊̐̓̐ͭ̇̿ ̊ͦͨ͌̀҉̘ ̺͈̥̉́̂̏̊͒̒ ̛̯̞̦̰͎̺͙̑̒̌ͧͫ̚ ̜͔̘̲̲̻̐̽ ̶̀̊

    I think I don’t like ’em anymore.

  25. Nixitur says:

    I’ll be frank, this episode was awful for me as a non-native English speaker. It’s hard enough to follow the normal in-game dialogue and you four talking, but it gets even worse when the radio is constantly blabbering as well and talking about as loud as Rutskarn and the normal dialogue. I really wish you had just turned off the radio when it wasn’t necessary.

    • Philadelphus says:

      Yeah, I had a lot of trouble with it too, and I’m a native English speaker. I suspect that during recording the game audio was a lot quieter than the people talking so they didn’t notice, but the mix in editing brought all the dialog volume levels a lot closer together.

      I have trouble distinguishing two or more people talking at once, and while there’s always a bit of talking over game dialog or each other during the course of most episodes it’s not too bad (subtitles are very much appreciated, by the way). This one though required a lot of concentration to make out anything from the sea of voices for most of the episode.

  26. Bloodsquirrel says:

    You know what I love about this quest? The way people react to you playing as the Silver Shroud is the only time in the entire game where they actually react to something happening in a way that reflects the situation, rather than everyone just reading from the same BS script where they all know how it ends and don’t even pay attention to what the person they’re reading lines with is saying.

    The guys you show up to kill show obvious confusion at what they’re seeing. Their treatment of you as a joke until you open fire makes sense. They’re actually functioning as straight men to the absurdity. It’s the one time in the game when the ridiculousness seems to have an intentional contrast to the otherwise serious tone.

  27. MrGuy says:

    If I’m seeing it correctly, the last 2 minutes of this video seem like they’re an interesting emergent gameplay outcome. As I see the sequence of events:
    * Reginald steals a bottle.
    * Because they’re psychic, the town watch notices you have stolen, and turn hostile.
    * Nick recognizes the town watch went hostile to you, and since he’s in the party, your enemies are his enemies, which causes Nick to attack the town watch.
    * Nick appears to successfully kill a member of the town watch before Reginald does.
    * Nick recognizes that a civilian has been killed. Because he’s in the party, this means the party killed a civilian. And because Reginald is the leader of the party, Nick holds Reginald responsible for the death of the civilian. The civilian he (Nick) actually killed.
    * Because Nick has an extreme dislike for killing civilians, he immediately leaves the party.
    * Nick is now a neutral NPC.
    * As a neutral NPC, Nick recognizes that Reginald is hostile to the town watch. Because Nick is on the “law and order” side of things, he sides with the town watch and also becomes hostile to Reginald.

    Effectively, Nick tries to kill you because he’s angry about the murder he committed on your behalf, which he blames you for. That’s….actually kind of awesome – “look what you made me do, you MONSTER! I’ll KILL YOU!!!”

  28. Eigil says:

    This may have been posted already, but I found it pretty interesting.

  29. Kelerak says:

    You know, watching this episode made me realize that the “best” quest in a given Bethesda game is still mediocre in general. I used to tout Whodunnit from Oblivion as the marker for a fantastic quest, when it was really just “kill these guys without being seen” with the addition of special dialogue for the NPCs as to who they think the killer is.

    I guess “best of the worst” would be a more apt title.

  30. Nixorbo says:

    “What does it mean to be a superhero in the post-apocalypse?”

    That is a very astute and interesting question both to ask and to consider and I wish that Bethesda had also asked it.

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