Fallout 4 EP37: Be My Valentine

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Sep 7, 2016

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 133 comments

Link (YouTube)

Today’s lack of accompanying text commentary is brought to you by the fine people at Josh Uploaded The Episode Late.

Please talk among yourselves. I’m sure you can find something to say about this part of the game.


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133 thoughts on “Fallout 4 EP37: Be My Valentine

  1. anaphysik says:

    Today's lack of accompanying text commentary is brought to you by the fine people at Josh Uploaded The Episode Late.

    Well, better late than never, Josh. …Wait. Wait a second, where are the battleplans; the screenshots; the pedantic historical notes. This isn’t a proper Shogun post at all.

    1. lurkey says:

      Hey look who fell off his time machine!

  2. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    Its funny how you talk about being the idiot (on the Sarcastic option).

    Fallout, of course, has a long tradition of allowing you to play the idiot if you want to. But this game took that option away and replaced it with randomly deciding when you have to play the idiot (with no warning thanks to the dialog* system)

    *Its efficient spelling like this that put America ahead of the rest of the world until we switched from print to electronic media. And we still have a “U” surplus.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Since the world isn’t really reacting to which dialogue option you take it would at least be amusing if the sarcastic options depended on character stats. Like if at low Int were real stupid* or at low Cha were really cringeworthy (sort of like they are now) but got better if your stats were better. Of course the problem is that it would require writing additional lines (I’m going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt about whether they could write actual cool/smart lines) and, probably most importantly, recording them, which probably dramatically increases the costs.

      *Disclaimer: I know they did the “stupid dialogue” thing in the original Fallout.

      1. Incunabulum says:

        Well, there are a lot of redundant lines recorded to fill the ‘always 4 options even through the choices are never more complicated than ‘Yes’ or ‘I’ll do this later’. You’d think they could have left some of those lines out for better stat based comebacks.

  3. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    It would have been much better if the Railroad had a stronger password like.

    And eventually they just came out and confronted you because you’re pounding the wall in frustration.

    In all seriousness, their base is behind a false wall in the catacombs below the ghoul infested ruins of an abandoned church. If you’ve reached the point where you’re entering the password on their dial mechanism, its safe to say you know the Railroad is there.

    Side note: The thing that aggravated me about that dial is that the arrow is never quite pointing at the letter and if your attention slips, you can’t quite be sure which of the two letters the arrow is pointing at.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      You do to them what you should have done to the Brotherhood in Fallout 3. Stand outside the door of their hideout and shout ‘Does this bug you?” over and over again until they respond. There’s a 50/50 shot that they’ll open the door in order to come out and forcibly remove you from the premises, giving you an opportunity to blast your way in.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      But what if you only accidentally stumbled upon this dungeon, because you’re exploring the world, and randomly poking everything? You gotta have a password, man!

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        But even in that scenario, once you start operating the dial and catch a glimpse of the wire connected to it, you know something is up.

        1. Andy_Panthro says:

          There really should have been an option to bypass the door by doing something with that big wire. If only the game had a “Science” or “Repair” skill to use…

    3. Ninety-Three says:

      behind a false wall in the catacombs below the ghoul infested ruins of an abandoned church.

      Ths always bothered me. How do they get in? There are a bunch of kill-on-sight ghouls literally at their doorstep, yet their members magically manage to come and go without disturbing them.

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        They actually do have another way out. I forget exactly where it leads.

        1. Jokerman says:

          A loading screen tip, and a few members always tell you to use that exit…. But i never did, since you can just fast travel right out of the HQ anyway…

          1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

            That must be what they do.

        2. acronix says:

          It leads to a sewer, then to a short set of stairs that drop you on the second floor of a building from where you can jump down to a street. There is no way to climb up normally unless you have a jetpack.

          Guess the Commonwealth had some really weird urbanism designs before the war!

          1. Kremlinlaptop says:

            I’m guessing there is some impossible to lock-pick door that only unlocks only once you enter through the church for the first time, but I’d love to think if you jetpack up there you could just sneak into the Railroad HQ and be like, “So, are you guys the Railroad?”

            1. MichaelGC says:

              Spot on – there’s a terminal on the other side with the single option to unlock the door. And if you try and get there Kitty Pryde-style using tcl, you just end up in the Twilight Zone.

      2. potatoejenkins says:

        I just noticed what an idiotic place for the RR HQ that place is.

        Infested with feral ghouls.

        “The Brotherhood will never find us here!”

    4. When I first did the trail thing, I didn’t realize the game would confirm the letters for you by clicking on them, and I mis-read the one for “R” as being “F,” so I first thought the password was a humorous bon mot, “FAILROAD.”

      I also wasn’t expecting to actually find the Railroad faction behind that door. I thought I was finding a treasure cache with maybe a hook for the rest of the quest chain, which would’ve been a little less silly. I mean, if anyone can find the password to your HQ, you’re not going to have it for long. I would’ve preferred it to be a drop location the Railroad used: Maybe a sensor alerts them to the fact that they have a new potential recruit and the secret chamber contains a message they swap out on occasion directing the reader to a neutral location for a meet-up.

      But that would make sense…

  4. Echo Tango says:

    My favourite way to break Morrowind I only discovered when I was re-playing the game in university. Forget level-grinding, or enchanting super-powerful armor or clothing with a constant effect. The most expedient way to break the game is to find a shop early-ish in the game, where you can cheaply buy ingredients for making +INT potions. Then you quaff some of your crappy 0.5-second potions and immediately craft more potions, because the game is technically paused. Since INT is used for chemistry, your potions are now slightly stronger. Lather, rinse, repeat, and don’t forget to stop the recursion at some point, otherwise the potions you make for other things (like jumping) will be too strong to use in the game. e.g. You cannot effectively travel in the game when you’ve got an agility of 50k, because your movement speed and jumping is too high to accurately move anywhere… :P

    1. Also, at that point +Str potions shouldn’t be used, since while you’d hurt what you hit, your weapon would break after 3 attacks, hit OR miss. :P

      1. McNutcase says:

        Not that that matters, since you have the ability to carry a semi-infinite number of broken weapons, and every dude you kill is likely to have one on him. Doesn’t matter if it’s a halberd or a toothpick, 50k strength means it knocks ’em dead.

        1. Syal says:

          Also Bound weapons never fully break and repair instantly with a recast.

          1. Echo Tango says:

            With 8 jillion strength, you can just use your fists, guys. ;)

            1. Just hope you’ve got a way to enchant those fists with a Damage Fatigue effect. :P

    2. IFS says:

      I mean if you want to see the most expedient way to break Morrowind you should check out the All Main Quests Speedrun of the game. It turns out that you can kill anything instantly with a lockpick in that game.

      1. mechaninja says:

        Does he strafe like that the whole time? NNNNnnnnnngrrrrrrrrargh.

        1. Will says:

          That’s very common in games of that vintage. Walking forward gives you a forward velocity of 1, strafing sideways gives you a sideways velocity of 1, doing both at the same time just adds those two vectors, giving you an off-at-an-angle velocity of about 1.4.

          Actually normalizing the movement vector is pretty cheap and essentially de rigueur in modern games, but that’s a surprisingly recent development.

    3. Henson says:

      Josh did pretty much the same thing in one of their Spoiler Warning episodes for Skyrim. Markarth was never the same again.

    4. Fizban says:

      People always mention enchanting constant effects, but I don’t even see why, way too much effort.

      Meanwhile, you can make a level 1 character that just ignores all the combat mechanics of the game. Max or near-max your enchanting, swipe/fill a couple common soul gems, and just make rings that blast better spells than an actual mage can cast. ( about 1/4 or 1/3 chance, quickload till it works), 30-40 damage per shot no save no accuracy no casting time. Then mash left click until everything is dead: the only limit is how long they take to recharge (but most people seem perfectly fine will sleeping for a month to sell loot), and that atronachs have spell reflection so you have to spam your heal ring in between damage rings.

  5. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    At least in Far Harbor, they finally acknowledged the problem with the Railroad’s ultimate plan.

    When the Railroad destroys the Institute, it destroys the only means the synth have of reproducing (I think its DiMa that mentions this).

    Which is yet another reason it bugs the crap out of me that you can never try to take over the Institute facility or the Prydwen. No. You HAVE to destroy them. Nevermind that these things could be of immense benefit to the Commonwealth or even just extremely useful to the faction you’re siding with.

    I’m pretty sure the Railroad or the Minutemen could find a use for a mobile airborn base of operations that can dispatch smaller aircraft for rapid response to emergency situations. Or for a facility filled with medical and biological resources that comes complete with a frickin teleporter. You better believe Raiders are going to stop raiding protected settlements when they learn that minutemen will be on the scene within actual minutes.

    At least they let you manufacture an endless supply of robots to protect your settlements.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      When the Railroad destroys the Institute, it destroys the only means the synth have of reproducing.

      Wait, Synths are sterile? So there’s yet another quantifiable difference between synths and humans, but still no character has ever proposed a mechanism for differentiating them?

      1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

        I don’t know, this stuff is very ambiguous. They’re so lifelike that no reliable medical test has been developed to detect them and yet somehow their creators believe they’re not sapient. That suggests their brains, that look like real brains, have simulated personality software in them instead of a human mind, somehow. Or the brain matter is just an inert organic casing for a robot brain chip. I don’t think they thought this through. Someone wanted to do “invasion of the body snatchers” red scare paranoia and someone else wanted to do a person as property allegory.

        But people are sterile plenty often (I imagine its even more common in Fallout) and considering how long it takes for a pregnancy to reach the point where you can detect it, its not the most useful means available. I suppose Diamond City could have an internment camp you have to stay in until you either become pregnant or a baby matches your DNA in a paternity test. And even then, the parent could be replaced after reproductive capability is established.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Does anyone else think its bullshit how they jumped from metalic/plastic terminator looking robots to a fully cloned organic humans so quickly?What even is the point of labeling it a synth when its just a brainwashed human?

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            It’s always a problem with these android bodydoubles stories that try to make it more of a worldwide thing. Once the cat is out of the bag it should be relatively easy to create some kind of verification system.

            Binary Domain’s intro demonstrates how there are these androids that may or may not be infiltrating the society but once you get under the skin wrapper they are all terminatory skeletobots. Cue endgame where the villain gloats about how he made a new kind of android that is completely indistinguishable from a human on any level and can even have babies the “old fashoned” way. So… basically they built a human?

          2. Blunderbuss09 says:

            Yeah, I think so too; that is such a huge leap that it’s not funny. If the gen-3 synths were like the Terminators, looking human on the outside but with metal parts inside, that’s both make more sense and make the ‘are they machines or people’ more complicated.

      2. Vect says:

        I don’t think it’s ever discussed in-game whether Gen 3 Synths can breed. I assume not if only because I’d assume the Institute would consider that a massive potential risk.

        I am however reminded of Binary Domain, where the Synth equivalents being able to breed and make hybrid robot children is a big plot point. Kinda funny that a Gears of War clone made by the devs of Yakuza dealt with robot issues slightly better than Fallout 4.

        1. Josh says:

          Of course they can’t, this is Bethesda! There’s no sex in Fallout! Humans reproduce by having babies flown in by a Stork Delivery Service. The Synths just can’t get the cash to charter one.

        2. That explains why that game felt a little like Gears of War ate a bit of FFXIII.

          Also, surprised someone else even knows that damned game exists. :O

          1. Lachlan the Mad says:

            I know that it exists because I saw it in EB for $20 a couple of weeks ago and thought, “I’ve never heard of that, what is it?” and looked it up.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Considering part of the Railroad’s MO seems to be creating false identity by replacing a synth’s memories in a way that makes them not remember they are a synth* I don’t think it was ever their goal to create sustainable “synthkind” living next to mankind. If the game was smarter it could even make for an interesting subfactioning within the Railroad between people who just want to free the enslaved individuals but don’t think more synths should be made, and the people who’d want to give synths control over the creation of their own kind.

      *Which always bugged me. The RR operate on the ethos that synths are people… if you’re completely replacing a synth’s mind you’re kinda… killing that person a way?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Wait,they encounter a slave race of brainwashed people,and their solution for freeing them is to brainwash them again “in the good way”??

        1. Sunshine says:

          In a sense, it’s like a witness protection program, but you’re even hiding your identity from yourself.

          1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

            It would be if the old identity was merely suppressed or there was simply a removal of key bits of memory while leaving the personality and other memories intact.

            In this game its more like if someone protected a witness by making the bad guy think the witness is already dead, which they do by killing the witness.

            1. Some Kid/Starchild says:

              Sounds like a plan.

            2. acronix says:

              Bethesda’s logic in a nutshell, to be honest.

            3. Pax says:

              It’s like whoever wrote the story has this weird conviction that you’re still the same person with the same personality with, without, or with someone else’s memories.

        2. JakeyKakey says:

          Synths already have their memories wiped upon escaping from the Institute so what’s another wiping on top of that?

      2. The Rocketeer says:

        That, and synths don’t age. They don’t seem to be able to alter their weight, either; synths are said to be fond of junk food, since they can’t get fat by glutting themselves on snack cakes. Meanwhile, Mayor McDonough was created to be fat, and can never become thinner.

        This also points to some rather fundamental differences between synths and humans that should be detectable through biopsy. But more importantly, as far as the Railroad’s mission is concerned, they are seeding the Commonwealth (and beyond) with unknowing synths who are not aware that they will never age, nor why. I won’t even bother pointing out what a myopic plan that is. Moreover, I have a hazy inference that the number of synths seeded by the Railroad must significantly outnumber those seeded by the Institute as part of their inscrutable experiments. The Railroad may therefore be causing the better part of the Commonwealth’s paranoia, totally in opposition to their own goals. This modus operandi also hinges on the assumption that, because there is currently no method for confirming living synths, that one would not develop and spread. What happens to these scattered, unknowing synths a few years down the line when they willingly submit themselves to be scanned by the easy, painless*, handheld NoBots!â„¢ scanner?

        That the Railroad does these things, oblivious to their consequences, would characterize the faction in a better game. In Fallout 4, I’m more convinced that it characterizes the writers.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Total sidenote to what you’re saying, but Commonwealth paranoia is another thing which doesn’t require there to be a local government and/or a police force in order to exist. I’d be fairly confident in the ability of even small groups to self-organise for persecution! This might understandably be followed by other groups organising in opposition. I’m not suggesting anything about the Railroad makes a great deal of sense, but that’s not due to the absence of a properly constituted authority.

          Anyway, Rocketeer: you had an asterisk after ‘painless’, there, so please elaborate unless you decided against it!

          1. The Rocketeer says:

            The asterisk implies a product disclaimer that the scan actually hurts like a motherfucker, which I considered including under the body of the post before reasoning that readers were smart enough to intuit the joke, and that the joke was funnier without spelling it out, as all jokes are. But here we are, deep within the “misleading advertising disclaimer gag” sausage-making plant.

            1. MichaelGC says:

              A-ha. Well, I don’t speak for any others but you certainly gave this reader too much credit.

        2. potatoejenkins says:

          “That the Railroad does these things, oblivious to their consequences, would characterize the faction in a better game. In Fallout 4, I'm more convinced that it characterizes the writers.”

          (I am very sorry, I forgot how quoting works.)

          While playing through the first half of the RR questline they always mention how desperate they are, how cornered they feel and how the RR HQ is one of the last, if not the last operating cell.
          They wanted to go somewhere with the RR, there are hints and little titbits to be found. The RR want to be the good guys, maybe they were the good guys once. But after being hunted for so long they changed, went “off the rails”. Deacon doesn’t seem too happy with them either (he doesn’t like Glory very much).

          Then the second half of the faction questline begins (Mass Fusion) and everything is … dropped? Father even tells you they never really saw the RR as a threat and did not bother with them until now. Which, of course contradicts everything you’ve learned from the RR.

          It’s like they changed the writer/ writing team midway through the game. It wasn’t brilliant before, but right at the “Mass Fusion” quest there is this odd cut. As if the new author didn’t read the notes from the previous one(s).

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            I feel I need to point out that the same Institute also firmly believes that RR are misguided because synths do not have personalities and would never want to run away on their own.

            1. potatoejenkins says:

              First meeting with Father: “Would you ever be able to love this synth like a son?” (He is quite disappointed should the player indicate “no”.)

              One quest later: “Synth are not people.”

              Alright then.

              1. Coming_Second says:

                Christ, watching this series and reading the comment sections is reminding just how eye-crossingly schizophrenic this game was.

                It was impossible to hold onto any set of facts or coherent train of thought when dealing with the Railroad and the Institute. They’d say something with complete conviction in one conversation, and then in the very next they’d tell you something different. You were desparate for clearer information and they’d keep implicitly promising you it… but only after you completed their latest grindingly dull kill-all-the-dudes mission. They treated you like a complete chump, and you know it wasn’t because the writers wanted to convey that, but because the whole story was a few grand but meaningless set-pieces held together by spit and glue.

      3. potatoejenkins says:

        Yeah. Well, I believe the RR does not want more synth to be made and just “free” the ones already built. But you can never really talk in depth about the motivations of any of the factions. So there is that.

        The brainwashing is the biggest problem with this faction. The other one would be all the agents suddenly popping up out of nowhere post ending. Suddenly the RR is a bloody army.

        Otherwise it is the least disappointing and infuriating choice for a playthrough. I suppose. Still trying my best to finish the damn thing to move on (and to play Far Harbor).

      4. Artur CalDazar says:

        They have it as an option, a lot take it because the Railroad tells them (perhaps even correctly) that it means vastly greater safety for them and feel as if they are losing little when they don’t have many happy memories.

        Never really got why the lack of new Synth production was seen by some people as an issue with the Railroads plans. They don’t want synths to be slaves, they are not trying to sustain a new species, just have it be free.
        Although I do get the impression they really do not like thinking about how synths are made.

        1. potatoejenkins says:

          Letting them delete bad memories voluntarily is one thing. Deleting the knowledge of beeing a synth is another.

          One: It doesn’t keep them safe. They are and will always be synths. A Courser tracking down a synth does not stop because the target says: “Nu-uh, I’m human.” Not knowing does not keep them safe and only endangeres the ones around them, because:

          Two: Synth stand out. Not immediately mind you, but how do you explain to your neighbours you are not aging? How do you explain it to yourself? Not acting …uh … synth-y…ish might keep you safe for a few years. But outliving everyone/never getting sick gets someones attention sooner or later.

          Three: These synth only know the Institute. They have no other memories. Deleting those and the knowledge of being a synth means erasing everything and replacing it with something completely different. The person that was or could’ve been will be no more. Furthermore: Any good experience these synth had with humans or other synth will be gone as well. Meaning they will very likely fall to the “OhmygoodSynthAreEatingOurChildren!” paranoia as well, making it even harder for other synth to be left in peace.

          The RR using these uhm …. ironic (?) method would’ve been a great way to characterize the group. Let them defend their method, let them explain why they do it/ why they came to do it this way. “Its voluntary.” is neither an explanation nor an excuse.

          Don’t want this kind of story in your game? Don’t bother telling people about it in the first place.

    3. Blunderbuss09 says:

      Yep, I’m already dreaming up fantasies of taking over the Institute by force and ruling it as the sole leader until long-term changes are made.

      In a better game this would be morally gray option that would only be available if you planned things just right. It could be a dark reflection of your Sole Survivor’s own past; the Institute is the last slice of the glory of pre-war America, filled with people who have been protected from the cruelty of the wasteland, and you’ll utterly destroy their little bubble by introducing bloodshed and tyranny. Even if you’re as benevolent as possible you’ve proven that no one is safe from the wasteland.

  6. Hector says:

    For some reason, I love trying to climb up and down everything in Bethesda games. It’s something about the weird way the gam handles cliffs and such, but it’s a lot of fun, oddly enough.

    1. Jokerman says:

      I rememeber a lot of the time in Fallout 3 they just stuck a bunch of invisible walls everywhere, so the fun of climbing stuff you are not supposed to is ripped pretty harshly away when you get to the top and bump you face against it.

      1. potatoejenkins says:

        They are still there. At the edges. This time they are polite enough to tell you that “You can not go that way.”.

        Does this mean the invisible walls have become sapient … ?

        Come on! Another great story opportunity missed, Bethesda!

  7. Also, Rutskarn, you mean .38 ammo, not .308. :P

    1. Wide And Nerdy® says:

      I’m going to assume this is the least fulfilling victory you’ve ever had.

      1. Nah, it’s a bit more satisfying than getting away from the idiots playing Path of Exile by exiting the game. :S

    2. Echo Tango says:

      I was going to post this, but then I got distracted! XD

      1. I paused to make sure I remembered. :P

    3. MichaelGC says:

      Just realised that I have 7,788 .38 rounds. Don’t reckon I’ve shot one, yet.

  8. Warclam says:

    If you want a villain who’s a smartass who’s in it for himself without being wacky, my mind turns to Roman Torchwick in RWBY.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      “Cousin! It is your cousin!!”

      … I may be mixing up my Romans.

  9. IFS says:

    “This guy is kind of a big deal”

    I know Rutskarn was focused on the sarcastic line earlier but I think this line here and the context its in really sums up everything about Bethesda’s current design ethos. They have NPCs who talk up the player at every turn to pander to a power fantasy for the player. These same NPCs are also the only ones in the story making anything resembling meaningful decisions, the sole exception being that the player gets to pick which group of idiots he wants to win in the end. Right here with that sentence we have an NPC praising the player while also defusing a supposedly tense situation, because god forbid the player get the chance to try and exercise some speech skills or the like. There are a dozen different directions you could go with making the player attempt to reason, bluff, or intimidate their way through the encounter but instead its all a waste of your time with a line or two thrown in to make sure the player doesn’t forget how cool and important they are. At least the game has the decency to let you kill all these people whenever you want, that’s more than FO3 or Skyrim would have allowed.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      More importantly because god forbid the player get the chance to try and exercise some speech skills or the like and fail. It’s really such a step backwards for the open world roleplaying type of game that we are no longer allowed to fail things in a way other than completely insignificant “gib me 2x monies, fail, I gib u 1x monies” or “game over, reload”.

      The original Fallout had an intended path for the player to take but was fine if they ignored or failed it, Morrowind had that “the threads of prophecy have been severed” line but it didn’t boot the player out of the game, and there was the backdoor to plot victory (which admittedly required foreknowledge and I always felt was more of an oversight than a planned feature).

    2. Blunderbuss09 says:

      I can’t believe I’m going to say this … but this is pretty justified. No matter what actions you take you’re going to get a lot of attention, and the idea that one faction has been secretly following you and scoping you out is actually pretty cool. It feels like you’re actually making an impact on the world and it’s reacting in a realistic way.

      I do however agree that this doesn’t mean that you should get automatic praise or have Deacon fix the situation for you. If anything they should have a leg-up on you and can instantly call you out if you lie or bullshit because they’ve done their homework. It’d be nice to see other NPCs have the advantage in a non-combat situation that requires your skills to overcome.

      1. potatoejenkins says:

        Well, I hear if you haven’t done anything in the Commonwealth before “walking the Freedom Trail”, Deacon says you are some kind of “unknown factor” or something. He has nothing on you. And then they let you in anyway.

        1. IFS says:

          That sounds like another missed opportunity, if these guys are suspicious of you as an ‘unknown factor’ why would they let you in and give you a chance to screw up their entire operation? They could give you some kind of test at least, the Brotherhood in NV managed to do as much.

          1. potatoejenkins says:

            Funny you mention the BoS. If you are in the BoS Deacon will point that out as well and say something along the lines of “can be a great asset or a dangerous enemy”. And then they let you in anyway. Again.

            1. Blunderbuss09 says:

              To be slightly fair, the Railroad is a hidden faction you can sometimes find after joining the BOS, so to have some alternate way to join so you’re not screwed out of an ending is a good thing.

              Just letting you in is not that thing.

              ‘Do some quests so NPCs trust you’ is one of the oldest tropes in RPGs so why not just do some jobs for them to earn their trust? Or give you the chance to be a double-agent in the BOS?

              1. potatoejenkins says:

                I should have worded that better.

                I agree, there should have been a test. Especially for a member of the BoS.
                I always thought letting a BoS member join the RR and being called an asset by Deacon was because they want you as double agent. Of course, I was wrong.

                I don’t know if they let a member of the Institute in their HQ. I might remember wrong, but I think thats the only time they refuse to work with you.

                1. Pax says:

                  Yeah, if you haven’t done their introductory mission by the time you enter the Institute, they lock you out forever.

                  1. Ninety-Three says:

                    How do they know you’re with the Institute? Are they reading from the script or does the dialogue railroad you into admitting it?

                    1. potatoejenkins says:

                      Their future-telling robot told them.

                      (I believe.)

                      Edit: I like that they lock you out at that point. Makes more sense than beeing locked out from the BoS ending because you defended the Castle.

                    2. MichaelGC says:

                      Desdemona says: “We’ve heard some very disturbing things about you. That you’ve been to the Institute. That you’re actually working with those monsters.”

                      From there it goes as you might expect.

                    3. Ninety-Three says:

                      We've heard some very disturbing things about you. That you've been to the Institute. That you're actually working with those monsters.

                      If you wander into their base without touching the Institute, they’ve never heard of you before, but if you take a trip to the institute (who did they hear it from?) then they’ve been keeping close enough tabs on you to both know what you’re doing and recognize your face?

                      I thought I couldn’t bring myself to be angry at FO4 any more, but I was wrong.

                    4. potatoejenkins says:


                      If you wander into their base without touching the Institute, they've never heard of you before, but if you take a trip to the institute (who did they hear it from?) then they've been keeping close enough tabs on you to both know what you're doing and recognize your face?


      2. IFS says:

        I’d be much more accepting of Deacon showing up and defusing the situation if the player had a chance to try to themselves first, and then if they fail he’s a failsafe to make sure they aren’t screwed out of a faction. Letting them know about the player is fine as well, same with letting them use that to call you on trying to bullshit your way past them (say if you fail a speech check or pick a wrong dialogue choice). Also of all the factions to be secretly monitoring you the Railroad makes the least sense to me, the Institute with their high technology and hidden synths everywhere makes much more sense for that purpose (though if they tied the railroad knowing about you to the Synth Josh was able to rescue after fighting the courser that would be pretty neat).

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The password being so stupid is not a problem.The password couldve been “trail”,and still the place would be as secure as ever.Because in order to enter the password you have to find a hidden lock on the wall that opens a hidden door in another wall.Thats where the real security of the place comes from.And unless you know that this mural that looks like any other mural anywhere can be interacted with*,you will never find your way in.

    The problem for me is in that they are waiting for you to go in.Fully equipped.Why?You could say that they knew you were coming,so why is then only this one person even aware of who you are?This means that their hidden base is constantly being entered by various random people,which means that someone is spreading the secret of a hidden lock and a hidden door all around this wasteland.

    *Im talking about in game here,because as a player you always get a prompt when you face an interactable object.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Eh, this could be lampshaded in any number of ways. Probably the easiest would be that they have some kind of detection system in the church/catacombs and when they know someone is approaching from that direction (since all members in good standing know of the other way) they prepare a welcoming committee in the time it takes the guest to deal with the ghouls and the password. That said I don’t think this is ever lampshaded in any way in the game and I doubt the writers even thought of that since at this point they clearly threw all logic away and are just okay writing a playercentric world without any justification.

  11. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Fine Shamus, I’ll give Deacon a chance on my next Fo4 playthrough, which will probably be in a year or two at the earliest. Though I was planning that to be an Institute run* and I doubt he’ll appreciate that.

    *I’m usually a very agreeable player on my first playthrough, willing to be all goodie two shoes and following the plot breadcrumbs the devs left for me. The second playthrough I go chaotic-stupid-evil which is usually rather liberating.

    1. PlasmaPony says:

      Actually it’s entirely possible to stay on his good terms a while in an Institute run. Just go back and talk to the Railroad about your dealings with the Institute. The Railroad playthrough is the exact same as Institute since they tell you to work with the Institute as a double agent. Doing this you can keep Deacon around until you finally need to drop the hammer on the Railroad

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        The dropping hammer part is precisely what I meant.

  12. Blunderbuss09 says:

    Oh Jesus Criminy you weren’t kidding about the bad sarcasm options. WOW. It’s like reading bad fanfiction or YA novels when they want the ‘spunky’ female lead to be oh-so-clever by dropping witty one-liners everywhere.

    My courier in Fallout New Vegas (drink!) was a smartass but that’s because the options were actually funny and satisfying. Saying ‘How about I ask these robots to fuck you and your entire battalion with a rocket barrage?’ to one of the most powerful men of the wasteland is a highlight of my gaming career.

    It’s hard to be funny, true, but it’s easier to be funnier than this drivel. Lemme try —

    Amari: They’re called the Railroad.
    Sole Survivor: Is it because they actually live in a train station? The way people name their settlements around here is so stupid I’m surprised there’s not a place called ‘Townsville’.

    Amari: You need a code phrase in order to find them. “Follow the Freedom Trail.” Good luck.
    Sole Survivor: (pfft) You sure I don’t have to knock on a door three times and give the guard a secret handshake?

    1. Yurika Grant says:

      And then you end up at the wrong secret society.

      “Oh, you want the RAILroad. Three doors down.”
      “Who are you, then?”
      “The Realroad. Not like those pansies and their silly synths. We help REAL robots!”
      “Oh… well thank you. You’ve been… very helpful. Yes.”

    2. MichaelGC says:

      There are NPCs with better sarcasm lines, although that’s not a high bar to hurdle. If you tell Virgil you’ve come from the Railroad he’ll say:

      Oh god, those kooks? I would’ve expected they’d be too busy trying to liberate vending machines, or setting computer terminals free, or…

      1. Keep in mind that even Mutant Virgil is still probably the smartest character in the entire game, so sarcasm works for him because he is LITERALLY superior to anyone else in the setting, even though he’s pretty much there for exposition and bugging out when you’re using a tracking helmet.

  13. So given that a significant chunk of this episode was devoted to not plummeting to one’s death, are we going to skip the Fallout tradition of doing some of the DLC?

    I haven’t played them myself, but I hear that Far Harbor is the best (this is “least painful way to die” territory, here) of the lot, but perhaps Nuka-World might be better for the rage-inducing reviews I’m reading. Apparently, it forces you to be evil if you follow the design of the DLC, having to boot settlers out of three of the settlements you’ve built. It also sets up a nice big spat between you and companions like Preston, who take issue with you putting raiders where settlers used to be.

  14. Ninety-Three says:

    Another complaint about the “entering the railroad” scene. When they ask you “Why are you here?”, if you have heard about the Railroad at all, from any NPC anywhere, you’re forced to give up your source. If you stumble in there blind your only option is to say “Yeah, I lucked out” but if you so much as heard a random NPC say “Follow the Freedom Trail” they’ll keep pressing you on “I lucked out” until your only dialog option is “Actually I heard about you from a guy in Diamond City”.

    It’s even worse than being forced to tell Nick about SHAWN!

    1. MichaelGC says:

      For completeness: if you’re totally off yer face on Gwinnett Stout and Grape Mentats, they’ll accept the blather Reginald attempted about helping Karl out of a jam. (The red speechcheck.) Desdemona will just say they’ll look into it, and you can all have seven three one guess as to whether that’s ever followed up on.

      I wonder: is ‘Karl’ a reference to anything, or is that just a complete asspull? And is ‘Desdemona’ a reference to Othello? Actually, don’t answer that; I don’t want to know…

      1. potatoejenkins says:

        So like the “I didn’t know X was a synth!” conversation.

        “Tell me about how X is a synth! You must’ve known!”

        [red] – I did not.


        [orange] – I didn’t.

        [orange no.2] – But … uh … I didn’t! Honest!


        [yellow] – I totally did not know, totally honest great leader man!


        [Regular answer appearing after all four coloured options have failed] – Mabye he did not know himself?

        “You make a good point. I believe you!”

  15. potatoejenkins says:

    Can I say something good about the base game?

    All faction leaders are mortal.

    Well done Beth, well done.

    1. Blunderbuss09 says:

      Close, but nope. You’re the general of the Minutemen but technically Preston is the guy you report to for their quests. Not only is he immortal but there is no crime too great to get you fired. The Minutemen are the lazy back-up option so you can win the game no matter what.

      1. potatoejenkins says:

        I was waiting for this. :D

        Yes, you report to Preston, but you are faction “leader”. And you are mortal. :P

        Preston will complain a bit when going full Raider with Nuka World. You will always be General though. No matter what you do. And no other faction or companion has a problem with you going Raider. Noone even mentions it.

        Oh, Nuka World …. if the crew plays a DLC I really, really hope it will be this one. It is so awful and lazy (aside from the new assets) it hurts. And it fits Reginald perfectly.

        1. Blunderbuss09 says:

          Oh now that’s just hair-splitting. :P

          And yeah I’ve heard so much about the bullshit binary ‘moral choice’ in that DLC that I’m almost too afraid to watch a playthrough of it. I thought you’d learned from Far Harbor, Bethesda! Why!?

          1. potatoejenkins says:

            Look, this one time I’m trying to be nice. I need to say something nice about this game. Otherwise I’d just be a entitled, ever whining New Vegas lover. That’s what youtube taught me. :P

            Oh, Nuka World has one of the best dungeons in the entire game (minus Far Harbor, not played that one yet), Nuka World itself looks great, there are nice little things and stories to find, cool people to meet (in comparison to the main game) and the raiders have somewhat of a personality.

            And then the “writer” or whoever was in charge of that quest bull… took their sweet time, looked at all the hard work, the care that was put in it and said: “LOL dis gonna be fun EVILLOLZ!!!” And added “evil” settlement building. And radiant quests (“evil” ones).

            They implemented holotapes and small stories to set a great stage for something like “Beyond the beef”. And then … nothing.

            Small story spoilers:
            We also learn that ghouls need to eat after all, everyone has FEV now and the BoS doesn’t care.
            Noone aside from Preston cares. I hear Strong has two new lines as well (yay?). No other companion says anything at all about that big weird amusement park full of raiders. Not even when seeing it for the first time.

            One of the coolest new enemies, the Bloodworm, uses Molerat soundfiles and animations (in a weird way, because its still a worm). Companions, even the Nuka World companion, react to them as if they were actual Molerats. Why bother with new soundfiles for a new enemy, right?

            I recommend watching a playthrough. It’s, at the very least, nice to look at.

            1. Blunderbuss09 says:

              My friend I am an unapologetic New Vegas lover and I am proud of it so don’t hold back on my account.

              Time to spoiler-block everything!

              Yeah the whole ‘evil settlements’ thing galled me. People complained that you couldn’t really be evil in FO4 and they’re right; apart from siding with the Institute you can’t do horrible things like enslave people or blow up towns for money.

              So, a DLC where you can do that? Sure. A DLC where you apparently must do that to fully explore the place? And it’s an all-or-nothing choice where you must support all the raiders or none of them? Uuuhhh …

              And the fucking ‘new creatures’. What, you mean that mesh tweak to deathclaws to make them crocodiles? Or the ‘gazelle’ or ‘wilderbeest’? The bloodworm looks like a cool homage to Tremors but the fact that they reuse molerat noises hurts me. Far Harbor came up with such cool, unique and terrifying enemies but these are just modded reskins.

              Please tell me how everyone has FEV. How is that possible. The answer will hurt me but I want to know.

              1. potatoejenkins says:

                And this is the moment for me to confess I have never played New Vegas on my own. I will at one point (when I have forgotten enough about it to experience it for myself), but before that I fear I need Seargent Dornan in my life.

                Bring it on!

                The biggest problem with that is the unexplained personality shift of the Sole Survivor. The Sole Survivor is good. Period. You can not play them as evil or mad or anything besides at least having “good intentions”. That includes the Institute. You side with them “for the good of mankind”.

                In Nuka World you are … evil. Suddenly. Because … you hit your head. Maybe. The new companion Gage will ask you why you are doing what you are doing. This solely depends on his affinity, not your actions as Overboss: Pick some locks and he will love you (My character is “good” and has Vodka on hotkey, Gage dislikes helping and drug/alcohol (ab)use, yet he still loved me after an hour.)
                You can tell him you are mad at the world or want to watch it all burn indicating the Sole Survivor kind of snapped after all.
                The problem here is this: You can not finish the game with the raiders. To finish the game/ getting to play any main content you need to be the good guy and team up with one of the factions again. There is no way around it and no way around the omnipresent goody-goody dialogue options.
                You will always be “SHAAAAAWN!!!!?!”. Be it until you reach level 30 and can start the DLC or after finishing the DLC.

                It makes no sense whatsoever no matter how you play your character. Unless you do it like Campster recommended: Just have fun. Do what you – the player – would like to do. Not what your character would do. Go sniping with a rocket launcher.

                Just don’t roleplay.

                If you insist on roleplaying you can kill all the raiders. The end. No, thats it. They are dead now. They were the questgivers. If you are lucky the slaves might decide to let go of the collars after some time has passed. Though I hear they will stop wearing clothes altogether. Freedom!

                The bloodworms really seem like a Tremors homage. Yet when they burst out of the ground they use the Molerat soundfiles. And the way they mostly lay around when not underground tells me the animations weren’t solely made for that creature. I could be wrong on the animations and they are simply … not good. However, when you fight them with Gage he tells you how much he hates Molerats. Not bloodworms.
                (Sidenote: The person who designed the bloodworm dungeon definitely liked Alien as well. Loved it.)

                I did not have a problem with the reskins. Its something Bethesda seems to be really good at.

                The origin of the reskin creatures is very interesting as well: They were built by a Vault Tec/Military creature-cloning-machine-doohickey (It uses the same model as the machine that lets you build the unique power armor chestpiece. That’s a not-so-nice reskin, but of little annoyance in comparison.).
                This doohickey machine seems to work like the Institue synth doohickey. Except it kind of clones/replicates/mixes DNA/creatures in … a not-synth way. Maybe. They did not bother to explain. Lots of evil experiments to preserve different species and such. Evil for the greater good. And money.

                Long story short, when the bombs fell one of the scientists survived, albeit ghoulified. He needs food (!) and protection so he starts to replicate animals for the former and starts experiments for the latter. For some reason he has some FEV laying around (because evil and *something something* military) so he mixes it with some Aligator DNA and: Tadaa! Gatorclaw!

                You can’t tell anyone about this. Not the wondermachine. Not the FEV. It’s just there. Danse doesn’t care. No, not even a “like” for stopping the machine (you can only turn it on or off, not detroy it). Nothing. BoS? FEV?… Whats a Paladin?

                I haven’t finished the “Find the Cappies!” sidequest yet. I hear it lets you discover some kind of truth behind Nuka World. I am sure I will find all the answers there. Almost.

                1. Sleeping Dragon says:

                  I… I’m just… wow… I don’t even…

                  I remember before the DLC actually launched people were looking at the promotional material and most believed that this will be the wacky DLC, the Old World Blues of FO4, bringing the not-treating-itself-too-seriously fun after the SHAAAAWN! drama. What I find surprising is that, from your description, the DLC is not only stupid narratively but also really, really lazy on the technical front.

                  1. Somebody says:

                    It really was a mixed beg. But it’s has pretty enjoyable quests and characters here and there.

                  2. potatoejenkins says:

                    As Somebody said: Very enjoyable quests and characters here and there.

                    It’s like the whole game: Nice as long as you avoid the main quest. Sadly everything ties into the main quest.

      2. Wait, you can’t kill Preston even if you disgust him so much that he turns on you? That sucks.

        1. IFS says:

          I think what he meant was that it is impossible to make Preston mad enough to turn on you.

          1. Pax says:

            You can certainly make him mad enough to attack you, but he gets over it.

            And you can just do stuff he doesn’t like, same as any companion. Why, just last night, while playing Nuka-World, I got the messages up in the corner: “Preston hated that.” and “Preston hates you.” I wasn’t anywhere near him at the time, of course. Mama Murphy must’ve ratted me out.

            1. potatoejenkins says:

              Be careful, Mama Murphy talks to that Old Guns woman as well. And that one will hate and hunt you foerever, afaik.

              You’ll still be General though.


              And ever.

              1. Pax says:

                Oh really? I hadn’t heard and/or noticed that about Old Guns Lady (I can’t remember her name either). My plan was to play all the way through all the raider stuff, and then once I had all the perks/achievements to wipe all the raiders out and restore order. Making all of the Minutemen’s “important” people permanently hostile to me might encourage me to just reload beforehand to wipe them out instead.

                1. potatoejenkins says:

                  Hmmm. Maybe she will like you again after that. Or maybe it is a lingering crime script that aggros her when you kill innocents/Minutemen.

                  In that case leaving and returning to the castle after about 5 days should make her like you again as well.

                  Time heals any wounds. Except Prestons. He will hate you forever I think.

                  I will kill them all before “Home sweet Home”.

                  Nuka World companion spoiler:
                  Too bad Gage turns hostile without a word that way. A little angry shouting or dialogue would’ve been nice. Alas.

  16. LCF says:

    Let’s try to make it better:

    Officially, the Institute is the remnants of the MIT. They have a respectable public face. They buy food-stuff and bio-products and scavenged materials, they sell human and animal health services and mecanical repair and so on.
    They otherwise try to keep to themselves but hey, techies and scientists in ivory tower, right? These shy intellectual-scared-by-the-wasteland they.
    Deep down, however, they maintain secret bunkers, arsenals, various high-tech facilities and labs, and maaaaybee a teleporter (teleporter is optional, really). They are absolutely part of the Enclave, as such an important organisation as the MIT was wont to be.
    They do secretely craft and release first then second generation synths in small remote communities (giving the “everybody but you is weird and a godless commie” vibe) to take them over, and in the most populated places (“some of the leaders seem different, weird, and also godless commie, recently”) to sway the local politics of the most important places in subtle way. The more they have their way, the less remote the small communities taken over, and the larger the conspiracies in big towns, hence the more clues available and the more risks they are taking of being exposed. Also, the more Enclave influence in the region.
    The goal is to wipe the wasteland of the scum surviving in it, control it and have most of the work done by obediant Enclave machine-slaves, as per the Enclave doctrine.
    For the Railroad, I don’t know. Should we even keep it? Maybe let it emerge and federate during the story, as a result of discovering that whole spooky robots business?

    1. Yurika Grant says:

      Ugh, please no, not the Enclave AGAIN. Beth already recycles old factions ad-infinitum (the Hubologists are back in Nuka World for… reasons, mostly laziness I suspect). I much prefer Spoiler Warning’s suggestion of them actually being Vault-Tec, least that’d be a new and interesting twist on an existing faction we’ve never really directly seen (unlike the Enclave and BoS).

      1. LCF says:

        Vault-Tech is also an option.
        That would mean the Enclave is not in the region/has enough manpower to repopulate. Vault-Tech would lead the Institute thanks to pre-war economic agreement and take-over and need the extra bodies, as the original number of member would be relatively small.
        Do we keep the xenophobic undertone toward the wasteland population?

        1. Yurika Grant says:

          A xenophobic tone would fix Vault-Tec perfectly, yes. Think about it, their contact with people generally involves highly controlled experiments. The idea of a completely random wasteland full of crazies would likely terrify them and make them turn even MORE in on themselves.

          Making synths would tie pretty well into this as well, a new breed of people they don’t need to be scared of… except it isn’t going as planned and the synths have free will beyond what they want, so they’re having to keep experimenting and trying to find the perfect servile class with enough automation to require minimal upkeep, but not so much that they desire freedom… or something like that.

          They’d likely also still harbour distinct feelings of superiority to the Up Worlders so that would feed into their generally messed up mental states as well. In a better game, the reveal that this is actually Vault-Tec could’ve been one hell of a whammy moment. Instead, we get Bethesda’s nonsensical idiocy *sigh*

      2. Pax says:

        Plus if the villain were Vault-Tec, that would rather tie in to the beginning of the game where Vault-Tec screws you over by freezing you for inadequately explained reasons. My angry Sole Survivor tracked down the Vault-Tec HQ in Boston to find some answers, but there’s nothing there but nonsense and leveled loot, as I should’ve expected.

        1. potatoejenkins says:

          Mine did, too. And every Vault. Of course there was nothing.

          How would they explain another Fallout game if we’d already faced the evil Vault Tec … man?

          Oh and BoS is the Enclave now. Because Maxson learned how great they were from that Lyons woman. And … imperialism. Reasons goddammit! We need Power Armor! Power Armor wearing … dudes … to fight!

          And Super Mutants.

        2. Blunderbuss09 says:

          It’d be also be nice to see Vault-Tec actually working on what the vaults where made for in the first place; to move humanity to the space so they can rebuild (American) civilization. That’s such a cool idea that I’m disappointed that none of the games have done anything with it.

          1. Yurika Grant says:

            Amazingly enough they do actually cover this in Nuka World, there’s a Vault there that’s basically a test for colonising other worlds.

            1. potatoejenkins says:

              And to run experiments on the ones running experiments on the visitors.

              Loved that. Stupid evil well done, imo.

  17. Christopher says:

    Superior Dick is my favorite Superior Spider-Man tie-in.

  18. skeeto says:

    The NPCs talk about Coursers like they’re the agents from The Matrix, but when you fight them they’re actually a lot more like the agents from The Matrix 2.

    1. Pax says:

      If nothing else, cribbing the “They could be anyone” element (because someone could have been replaced by a courser) would’ve been better than “That dude in all-black, brand-new leather coat with sunglasses obviously works for the Institute.”

      1. Yurika Grant says:

        So basically how Deacon operates.

  19. tmtvl says:

    Warning for anyone playing the drinking game: Josh basically comits suicide four times in short succession early in the video.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      And next episode: some more suicidal plummeting as well as a discussion of the relative merits of Fallouts 1 & 2. Game over, man, game over.

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