A few comments on the glitches in this episode:
- Where DID that wild mongrel come from? I’ve seen a lot of glitches in this game and I’ve done this quest many times, but I’ve never seen anything like that. Wild mongrels are not present in any part of this building. You could say it came from outside, but it clearly came from the dead-end nook holding the computer terminal.
- At 2:00, There’s some sort of animation freak-out on nick, while at the same time it seems like the two companions are fighting over the dialog wheel.
- At 7:45, Josh uses VATS to attack a synth. The attack seems to miss, but then we see it actually connected with a different synth that was on the ground. That’s a double fault. VATS hit the wrong foe, and it let us hit someone that wasn’t in view and wasn’t anywhere near the attack. More importantly, I’ve never seen anything like that before.
- The various pathing problems show that this area can barely support a single companion, and having two is just inviting chaos.
- What’s with Nick and Deacon not setting off mines and tripwires? Is that part of a recent patch? I know Deacon has trolled me in the past by blundering into security systems that I was immune to.
- What’s with Deacon not changing outfits? He does this CONSTANTLY in my game.
- What’s with the car that blows up without dealing any damage? Twice.
In conclusion, I think this game might be a little buggy.
From The Archives:
Crysis 2 has basically the same plot as Half-Life 2. So why is one a classic and the other simply obnoxious and tiresome?
A Telltale Autopsy
What lessons can we learn from the abrupt demise of this once-impressive games studio?
Two minutes of fun at the expense of a badly-run theme park.
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?
Shamus Plays LOTRO
As someone who loves Tolkein lore and despises silly MMO quests, this game left me deeply conflicted.
109 thoughts on “Fallout 4 EP39: Candy Inhaler”
I’m pretty sure Deacon’ll start changing outfits once he becomes available as a companion, which isn’t until after this mission. (If not then, well, this is Josh we’re talking about. Josh could generate bugs in ‘Hello World!’ written in BASIC.)
I think this is the case. I’ve done this quest and taken Deacon as a companion 3-4 times and I think every time he only started changing outfits after I completed this quest.
Also, the 7:45 VATS issue was not a bug. Josh actually split his attacks to one against the synth on the ground, and one against the synth standing. For whatever reason, the camera decided not to show the attack against the synth on the ground from third person, where you would actually see what’s happening.
That’s not to say this game isn’t buggy. We’ve seen plenty of flying deathclaws, after all.
I believe that strictly speaking when in comes to companions, there are two objects (two characters with the same appearance), one for the character when they’re just an npc like any other, and one for the character when they’re a recruitable companion, I think its to simplify the behavior scripts (i.e. to prevent them from behaving according to player loyalty before they’re a companion and vice versa).
That could explain Deacon. They may have simply not attached the outfit rotating function to the NPC Deacon Object, so he only changes outfit in specific scripted sequences.
Though I’m not sure if this explains Cait. I once brought her to Vault 81 and then dismissed her, at which point she immediately started attacking everyone in the Vault. Its as if her faction loyalty reasserted itself and whatever faction she was a part of was hostile to Vault 81.
Nope. There’s only one of them.
With how the game’s internal system works, what you describe would actually make scripting things for companions harder, not simpler.
“Harder” in a sense of “more complicated” or “time-consuming (The usual and tedious copy-past work to get all records from one object to another for example.)”?
Neither would’ve been tolerable for the developer, of course. Just curious.
Mostly more time-consuming. It’s perfectly doable: The alias system introduced with Skyrim really simplified handling dialogue for multiple NPCs and you could add checks in scripts for which copy of the companion is “active”.
It’s just that it would be pointless busywork. The “behaviour scripts” that Wide And Nerdy mentioned are simply handled through a little script that runs on the hire/fire event and adds/removes the companion to the appropriate factions, activates the follow-player AI package, etc.
And since Skyim most of that can be handled by simply puting the follower alias hat on the companion.
Oh, I remember! Wow, I never really started digging into files and mechanics until Fallout 4, but I do know how conviniently easy it was to turn a NPC into a follower in Skyrim.
And being able to set conditions via script also means one could set/change specific conditions for companion dialogue/idle chatter. Nice.
Thanks for the insight. :)
I know what I was confused about now. KOTOR handles companions the way I was talking about.
In the recent GDQ speedrun, they were able to have Revan unmask to reveal that he’s nothing.
BTW, relistening to episode 38 and yes, the presence of Deacon throughout the Commonwealth prior to meeting him is intentional. This is indeed him spying/scouting and its how he knows about you. Fans have confirmed it by checking the reference aliases or whatever. Its him. Though his name will change if you check him in console so as not to spoil it for anyone who isn’t really digging.
Thats right, Deacon is so cool, he can actually partially fool the console.
And when he gets high, he likes to shout “THE DEACONS OF MINAS TIRITH! THE DEACONS ARE LIT!”
My theory is that the first car didn’t hurt Josh because he briefly went into cover behind the wall, just at the right moment.
But then with the second car he … briefly went into cover behind the second car? So he was protected from the explosion by the thing that was exploding? Errr… still working on this part of the theory.
I’m guessing he somehow managed to both FIND the bug that negates explosive damage that’s been in these since Fallout 3, then accidently managed to proc it.
Cars sometimes kill me when I walk by them. If I find out how Josh did it, it would save me several hours of gameplay.
I’m reminded of those times in Overwatch when you escape D.Va’s ultimate by hiding behind a lamp-post.
Yeah, the game is fine; Josh is buggy.
You are forgetting a factor Shamus. “Josh” is playing a Bethesda game, that’s like diving into a swimming pool of gasoline wearing a flaming suit.
I think the Bethesda game is playing him.
There are a few annoying sound effects in Fallout 4.
One type is the retard noises.
The other is the XP catching noise(!).
There are also some perks that are visually annoying.
The perk that make enemies exploded in to giblet (forgot what is was called).
And the perk that makes caps burst out of enemies you kill.
Stuff like that should have been toggleable in the options somewhere.
There’s a reason why there are several mods to change or mute the Idiot Savant sound.
Said it before, but I’ll say it again: that perk is amazingly offensive. I know that it’s a video game set in a sci-fi 50’s post apocalyptic setting, but still.
I have no idea how that perk made it past the design board. The name alone should’ve been enough to halt it, let alone combined with the sound.
Offensive as it is, I get morbidly amused when Rutskarn groans about it. Not entirely sure why, to be honest.
Regarding those “death notes” people leave in quite a few games (usually with the last line trailing off or interupted).
I wonder how many of those are under duress?
This explains so much.
“The Castle of Aaaauuuggghhhh”
He must have died while carving it.
Oh come on!
Well, that’s what it says.
Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t have bothered to carve ‘Aaaauuuggghhhh’. He’d just say it.
Maybe he was dictating it.
Oh shut up!
Shamus trolling Rutskarn is the only thing that makes that crappy skill tolerable.
Famous last words: “Am I immortal?!”
That really made me chuckle.
It would have been perfect if it had been: “Am I immortal? I’m imort…”
My favorite is whoever came up with the idea for the epitaph “No. This cannot be. I AM INVINCIBLE!!”
“You win this round.”
Would there be any liquid nitrogen around there? :P
Glad to see I wasn’t the only one. :3
Imagine if that was the random graffiti you found next to dead wastelanders.
Nick has an interesting conflict he touches on in this episode. He has the memories of a pre-war person, but they’re not really his. So how much of him is these foreign memories and how much of him is just him. Does he like being a detective or is he the slave of the desires of the man his mind was originally copied from? You could even say that this need to answer that question, combined with the detective fandom led him to be a detective so that he’d be in the practice of searching for answers to mysteries.
Of course they don’t do much with it.
This is a gripe I often have with summer blockbusters, especially when applied to fiction that was originally more thought provoking. Like in the first two reboot Star Trek movies, they’d raise an interesting idea that would normally be the basis of a good thought provoking Star Trek episode, then they’d toss that idea aside, give us ninety minutes of phasers, Kirk-chokings, zippy sound effects, then at the end, that idea they discarded will have been resolved off screen.
I used to fall for it too. A movie would raise an idea like that, I’d start thinking about how cool that idea was and how that applied to the movie, and I’d fail to notice that the movie itself wasn’t doing anything with it.
Fallout 4 does this quite a bit. It would work better if you had more options for player expression so that at least you could explore the idea but they threw that out.
That conversation also touches on another interesting (but much more obvious) idea for Fallout 4 in general. Nick has a connection to the world before the war, and has the opportunity to talk about the way things used to be compared to how they are now. There are other connections to the past, too, like the Silver Shroud stories and that one guy with a fascination with Baseball. So as I see it, the story could have focused on your character’s role in the new world, as compared to his role in the old one. It could be about how the world has changed, about the loss of innocence, about the melancholy of things past, about the possibility of a fresh start, whatever you want. But from what I’ve seen, the game doesn’t really give you much opportunity to give your character an opinion on the world before the war; as far as I can tell, the only thing that mattered before the bombs fell was Shaun.
Am I mistaken? Does Fallout 4 have options for roleplaying your pre-war self?
You are very far from mistaken. Mistaken is just a dot to you. Even on a clear day you can only just make mistaken out. “Actually, is that even mistaken,” you wonder as you shield your eyes from the glare, “or might I be mistaken?”
Yeah pretty much. You can reference the past outside of the main quest thrice to my knowledge. The baseball guy, the silver shroud quest, and once in far harbor.
I think you can also talk to the lady gouhl who runs the hotel in Goodneighbor about it. She doesn’t entirely believe you.
And of course there’s the Piper interview, but that’s canonically main quest even if you can avoid it without trying to hard.
There is also the Vault Tec sales guy who has been living in the Commonwealth as a ghoul all this time and who you run into in Goodneighbor if you poke around enough.
There’s the criminal from Nick Valentine’s personal quest. The Sole Survivor will recall the criminal’s notoriety.
The Graygarden project (the all robot farm) was set up before the war and the Sole Survivor can recall hearing about the project and being familiar with who its creator was.
Nuka World gets the occasional nostalgic reaction. The SS can indicate that he’d hoped to take Shaun there when he was big enough.
There’s a military robot guarding an installation who will identify a male Sole Survivor as a retired member of the armed forces.
So they ended up making a bunch of little nods to the back story but its main use is in how it enables the twists in the main mission.
You can’t escape Shaun. You can try. Hope. To no avail.
Useless information time: The female voice actor has recorded lines for all the same situations. She has a military record, will tell people she was in the military and will be recognized by the military robot from the U.S.S. Constitution as a soldier, not lawyer.
They just decided to block these lines. :D/
Obligatory mod link! http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/16817/?
It does seem like Bethesda was unsure what to do with the Female PC.
Yes! That’s how I know. Whenever I try to link something here, it doesn’t work and/or gets flagged as spam.
It also means the “Fallout 4 was made for a male PC only” rumor is wrong. Or they changed their mind about it. Either way, blocking these lines is a strange decision and the reasoning behind it would really interest me.
Maybe they thought it wouldn’t fit with the male narration in the intro? Maybe they couldn’t make a female voice-over for the intro because the small cutscene was made beforehand?
I was thinking about how the same intro, with the same cutscene would feel with the female PC as the narrator. Just instead of saying how afraid she is for her family while we see the man holding the picture, she says “I know you are afraid for us. I know you love us and I know you don’t want to leave/ you don’t want me to leave. But we will get through this. Together.”
I’m sure a (good) writer could’ve fit the “War never changes.” line for a female PC in there as well.
Well, you can’t choose the gender of the SS
before the cutscene.
I think what happened is they started with the usual idea where it’s just one character and you pick the gender and then decided to have both genders be a canonical couple later with the new creation system.
It’s also possible that they always had a married couple and decided to make both genders canonical to dodge the issue of having to either choose your spouse’s gender for you or giving you that choice which would spark some controversy either way. Either from the Fox crowd or progressive game jpurnalists.
@Wide and Nerdy
Personally I would’ve chosen an awkward “choose your gender” window before the intro over a mysteriously capable desperate housewife any day, but yeah … I can see why they didn’t do that. (I’ll just pretend someone tried, at least.)
Oh dear, a possibility of same-sex marriage. The horror. Well, at least we got polygamie and maybe or maybe not incest. That’s progress right there.
The writing doesn’t support it, but it also draws attention to that: both Nick and Piper interview the Survivor and say “Tell me everything, don’t spare the details” and you can ask the ghoul Daisy about her pre-war memories and say you have time to listen for longwindedness, but then it’s just a few sentences.
Yeah, I’m definitely thinking that this ‘remember the past’ thing could be a much bigger, overarching theme of a hypothetical Fallout 4, much bigger than these few things.
Could? It should have been. What’s the point of making a pre-war character and taking them to the post-war wasteland if not to investigate those themes?
Well, yes and no. True, it’s kind of a waste of the pre-war background of the main character. But this theme of a ‘connection to the world before the bombs fell’ also has nothing to do with the Institute and the rest of the main plot; to have both would result in an unfocused game with a split identity, not knowing what it’s supposed to be about. So you have to ask, which is more important? The connection to the pre-war era, or the story about Synths and the Institute?
But the Institute is a connection to the pre-war era; apart from the Enclave it’s the only Fallout faction that existed as-is from before the war. There’s a few tidbits here and there (mostly dialogue from X6-88) mentioning how the Institute rejects what it sees as the flaws of the pre-war world. And apart from your character they’d have the best idea of what the pre-war was like with the technology and records they have.
So if you pushed this idea into the Institute wanting to recreate pre-war glory with their technology, but at terrible cost, and with your character the only person who really understands what that means, then it all ties together.
I stand corrected!
Except, you can have both! Tie in some of the Institute’s goals to the overall theme:
Are they making synths so that they can eventually recreate an idealized version of the prewar world; an idealized version that Shaun was raised with by people who thought it was great? Are they making synths so they can wipe out the last remnants of the past, so they can have a clean slate to build the future upon?
This’d fill in some questions as to the Institute’s goals, AND sort of make the confrontation with them be related to something thematic in the game. How you’ve responded to various people and events can play into your decision on whether or not attempting to reclaim that ideal prewar past your character remembers is worth it, or if your character has realized that everything was pretty awful and thus not worth trying to recreate.
Thing is, even if you wanted to roleplay as your pre-war self, the prologue locks you down into such a narrow pigeonhole that you barely have any wiggle room anyway.
Considering that you live in an idyllic 50s retrofuture neighborhood with a new baby while there’s food riots, an incurable viral pandemic, and brutal martial law under a oligarchical government while nuclear war is inevitable, you’re apparently either a selfish idiot or totally bought into the propaganda the previous games were trying to satire.
So even if the game gave you multiple options of what you thought of the pre-war world only a few of them would make sense with the prologue. If your character said they thought the world was ending or that democracy was dead way before the bombs dropped then why in the hell are they living in Boston instead of a bunker somewhere?
Even having that prologue could have worked if your character had the chance to realize what a fool they’d been or get angry at how they’d been lied to, but nope.
Covenant is the place Shamus liked because they’ve actually done some tidying up sometime in the last couple of centuries. (It’s easily missable – I’ve still not been there and I’m level 70 or something stupid.)
Speaking of tidying up – I’m also not a fan of the companion system. (Stay with me.) I recently decided to forego all of my Lone Wanderer perks for a bit and travel around with Piper. We went somewhere less-tidy than Covenant, and she piped up with:
My Lone Wanderer perks were restored immediately after.
Your tolerance level for Fallout 4 companions is far too low.
Lone Wanderer is a perfect perk investment in your case. (You could give Codsworth a try though. He is endearingly psychotic.)
Indeed. Plus with Mechanist he can be turned into a BEAST with huge amounts of HP and twin gatling lasers plus one of those head blasters Robobrains use.
I’m writing a silly parody thing dramatising a playthrough of Fallout 4, and I have Codsworth as a Blood God devotee who enjoys collecting skulls. Works remarkably well, lol
For a domestic robot he really enjoys going on these random murder sprees a little too much.
In one of my favourite short stories – The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick – the defining characteristic for being a person is the ability to do integral calculus. And you could be ‘aborted’ until then.
Good thing that isn’t the real world, since otherwise most of the people living anywhere could be “aborted” without issue. :/
Hey, maybe the world would be better that way, try and be pragmatic here.
I’m very good at integral and differential calculus!
Well, I know the scientific names of beings animalculous but you don’t hear me bragging about it.
Just put me down as “undecided” — every major’s terrible!
For the 7:45 one, Josh actually targeted the one on the ground with his first swing, so that’s working correctly. Weird how it didn’t show it properly though. Might have something to do with him waiting in VATS-time for enough AP to target the standing one?
EDIT: wait, I took another look. Josh targeted the fallen one, and then while he was looking at the standing one the little red bar vanished and got replaced by a fresh one against the standing enemy. I really don’t know what was going on, this is a complex bouquet of wrong.
Deacon suggested getting in via the secret tunnel would be safer, but you still have to fight your way through dozens of synths and then you leave by the front entrance anyway!
Also, when you mention that all the Gen-2 Synths that you’ve met are all murderbots… aren’t you forgetting about Nick?
Nick’s one of the good ones.
He’s pretty lethal with that axe! But yes, I guess it’s murder-optional in his case, as opposed to it being a raison d’àªathray.
There’s one in the Institute that may or may not have been doing something, or something, and one of the Coursers is giving them a hard time about it.
It doesn’t go anywhere.
This is even worse than you think, it’s actually a false choice and if you choose frontal assault you just get stuck when you get to the exit elevator and have to go back out and through the tunnel. Just means you don’t have to fight the synths in close quarters when you’re leaving.
Why is the answer to anything related to this game “Actually it’s worse than you think”?
I think it throws back to one of Shamus’ earlier posts about how the Bethesdaverse is “Fractally Stupid”. Every time you try and crack open the nugget of logic at the centre of a big pile of stupid you realise that the nugget itself is mostly stupid, but there’s this kernel at the heart of it so you try and analyse that…
If you want to be super pedantic, Nick is a beta of the Gen 3 synth, putting the Gen 3 brain technology into a Gen 2 body.
Somebody should mod the Idiot Savant sound into Adam Jensen’s death grunts from Human Revolution.
I personally would replace it with airhorns.
With the wild doggie – could there be some object chain of dependencies where you drag Deacon into the new area, but he’s just started fighting so the dog also gets dragged into the new area, and rather than stuff it halfway into a wall and crash the game looks around for some empty space to dump it into? If you watch the radar just before it appears there’s a red enemy dot which tracks across (invisibly as far as the actual view is concerned), so that might be it warping in.
Of course, I think the main reason it’s there is so that Nick, whilst spinning around like a record upon its burning corpse and interrupting the NPC who was trying to give the next stage of the quest could ask if this were, to paraphrase, “a good time to talk.” No, Nick, not a great time, actually. Perhaps you could pick a quieter time like, for example, the next time I’m blown twenty feet into the air by an explosion because I wanted to test out my potential immortality.
On the topic of things being less 50s and more 60s, I think that ties into how expended the setting is at this point, both aesthetically and thematically.
The original Fallout is very postapocalyptic. Your 50s aesthetic influences are definitely there, you have your greasers and your Cadillacs, but the era is felt more strongly in an echo of McCarthyism and Cold War atmosphere than the occasional robot looking like a Hoover, I think. It introduces and describes the setting, but hardly employs it to make more than some cursory commentary, as the main questline is more concerned with presenting a fun, functional, pulpy plot.
Fallout 2 revs up the satire engine and pushes more on exaggeration, drawing more from pop culture both contemporary and from the period. But it also presents some beefier themes: the Enclave fails because players like their characters to save the world, yes, but also because it is an institution built on ruins of a past long gone and ultimately unrecoverable.
Fallout 3 moves to first person and thus has to make things more visually captivating, doing so by drawing more from the visuals of the 50s. So now you have even more cars, buildings, clothes, appliances and designer furniture than ever, as well as a radio stocked full of period-appropriate songs. Of course it is also written by a troop of baboons dancing a gig on a keyboard, so superficial callbacks are all there is to it.
New Vegas is where things culminate, more specifically in its DLC’s. The Sierra Madre, Big Mt. and the Divide (pre-nuking) are all places that still live in the past like the Enclave; so does the Zion Canyon, but in a more bon savage way that’s not too fitting with the rest of the lot.
New Vegas as a whole is, ultimately, a story of old versus new. All factions are presented as historical descendants of old institutions and cultures and the player’s role is to straighten out the resulting mess. Ulysses (very verbosely) insists a lot on this, on weighing the future against the past in finding a new identity for post-post-war America. And, beyond offering the chance of narrating stories of survival, reflecting on where we come from and where we’re headed collectively is the point of postapocalyptic settings. In this, Lonesome Road is the peak of Fallout and has wholly exhausted it as a setting.
This point of view, by the way, seems to be held by people critical to the franchise, as Avellone left Obsidian after the DLC’s and Sawyer himself, IIRC, has stated in an interview that he considers his story of Fallout to have been told to satisfaction.
So what about Fallout 4? Well, the Institute has absolutely nothing to do with the setting, both aesthetically and thematically, and only serves to dilute it and make it into narrative oatmeal. It seems Bethesda bought Fallout never really understanding it or knowing what to do with it. But perhaps that’s inevitable, because there is nothing left to do with it, there are no more stories to be told in Fallout that require to be told in Fallout and would not be possible elsewhere. It’s a franchise that peaked and should be left to rest, maybe.
Or you could just clumsily try to force some Asimov over your Walter Miller Jr, with fashionable glasses too, if it helps.
Maybe no new stories, but reboots, reinterprations and new directions with new themes might be possible.
Fallout is, after all a setting as much as a story now. I think a good writer could still find a lot to do with it that way, even if it doesn’t fit into the original story themes anymore.
Of course, what Bethesda delivers isn’t good writing, isn’t trying to be as far as I can tell.
There’s so much they could do with the setting, but it faces some problems. Some angles would be new locations, but other than the midwest (which nobody cares about, right?), they’re running out of places to inhabit with people to the point that you start to wonder why anyone was worried about nuclear war killing off humanity in the first place.
And given what we’ve seen them do with other cultures, I don’t think they could pull off a Fallout: London or Fallout: Tokyo without offending a lot of people.
Regardless of quality of writing, would it make sense to take an interest in other countries in the context of Fallout? Americana is pretty much a of a sine qua non for it.
There’s tons of people who keep going on about Fallout elsewhere. I keep saying that the core aesthetic elements of Fallout are pretty unique to the US and required a fairly deep familiarity to incorporate into the first two games without going full ‘That’s Fallout!’ (like BGS did for 3 and 4) that pretty much no American company could do a foreign set Fallout justice.
While no foreign company could do *Fallout*. Not that you can’t get really good settings – things like Metro or The Witcher are so popular *here* because they tap into mechanics and myths and pop-culture cliches (in Poland or Russia) that are fresh and new here. No American RPG has ever had the potion mechanic of The Witcher – its just not the way its done here.
I mean, how do you satirize populism, rabid nationalism, authoritarian government in the Soviet Union – or even post-war Great Britain.
And considering the ‘tact’ and ‘understanding’ of cultures as mundane as Hillbillies – well, you saw how gracefully they handled that in point Lookout.
What irked me even more about Point Lookout wasn’t the idea of tribal cults and what have you (it’s not like they have a lock on that in the Fallout ‘verse), it’s that they all looked exactly the same, down to their clothing. I thought we’d left that stuff behind in the days of “Redneck Rampage,” where that was lampshaded by all of the mobs being clones (which copies outfits, of course). After seeing raiders and NPCs where features were randomized, having foes with the same overalls, the same flannel shirts, etc. was really jarring.
You know, I was playing through the nuka world dlc, and I realized a perfect venue for them.
And I know I’m on the record of hating the aliens, but it would be a fun place to take it. I imagine that the US wasn’t the only one to have a space program.
Maybe I have a weakness for space colonies. And… and it would fit. Space travel has always been present in some form throughout most of the games.
Old World Blues?
More Fallout Alpha Centauri or wherever the hell the Nuka World Vault Tec display was talking about. It was way too specific to not be an idea they have in mind.
I would want that so so so much. The Enclave’s original plan was to use the data from the vault experiments so they can move humanity to the stars and I really want to see what became of that.
So you’d have the prologue of opening the iconic vault door and … look up at the pock-marked earth because you’re on the moon.
Plus the game Van Buren, the original Fallout 3, involved a satellite with nukes on it. That’d be fun to work with.
Dear God – you’re asking for them to have
NazisCommies on the Moon.
There were plans for a space station to be in Fallout 3 when it was called “Van Buren.” It was the Ballistic Orbital Missile Base_001.
What I’d like to see, I think, is an RPG based on the first-edition Gamma World setting. Radiation is magic, mutations let animals talk, etc. Whatever they do, they shouldn’t go beyond the original TSR setting premises, as it gets really silly to the point where you lose the “this was kind of our world but ruined” vibe and hit the “this is a sci-fi concept-dump that might as well be on Planet Mongo.”
Anyway, what made me think of Gamma World was the old adventure that came with the DM screen for that game where you could board a space station infested with things that were kind of like ghouls (they were former people that were now shambling piles of goo for a reason I can’t recall at the moment), malfunctioning robots, etc. It was a fun little sidequest for GW.
An idea I had was to move to Europe. In some of the materials (the Fallout Bible especially) there is mention of the Mediterranean Sea being drained, so I came up with a new name for it (The Dry Sea) and set a new game in the region with oil resources available because they were beneath the sea and inaccessible originally, but now they can be got to.
Incidentally, the idea is that with a global nuclear exchange of this magnitude, a lot of tectonic movement and the ground erupting etc would be expected, so that’s why the sea was drained; the entire geography of the region had changed as a result of all the bombs dropping around Europe and the Middle East.
I know I’ve said this again, but you have to remember what Fallout was made as a reference to (movies like Mad Max, RPGs like Gamma World) and when it was released, which was 1997. A post-apocalypse setting from that era would have a “retro” feel to it, especially given that such tech was seen as that which would survive a nuclear apocalypse. Also, it played into the Atom-punk and 1960’s Popular Mechanics vibe they went with, which allowed for “super SCIENCE” without having to explain how it worked. Computers and radiation were magical, so it “made sense” to have energy weapons alongside vacuum-tube robots.
Once that was established, it’s hard to have technology advance except in small, protected spaces (like the Institute or the original BoS). Having LCD monitors would make less sense than the stuff they have now. Cell phones? Nope. If it didn’t fit into the “super SCIENCE!” category, it’d stick out like a sore thumb in this setting. It’s the problem when your apocalypse gives you a “nuked by” date, as it were.
Bethesda has made the problem worse, of course, by going with the 200-years thing. Granted, it could still work, but they don’t make an effort to sell it. If an area was heavily irradiated, filled with mutants and raiders, constant warfare, etc., I’d have little trouble believing that everything was still in ruins, pretty much. It’d also explain how some buildings stayed standing, if they were constantly being repaired after the place was hit by whatever marauding group was passing through.
If they were better storytellers, a Fallout 5 game could have an interesting clash of cultures, where the NCR-led West meets the largely lawless and monster-filled East. It almost makes me think a game that spans several large areas as you “push” towards a military goal might be kind of cool, a sort of retelling of the (actual) railroad being built across America.
But again, Bethsoft can’t do that. Or at least, they can’t do it well.
I think New Vegas already explored and resolved the clash of cultures angle. Fair enough, it’s not like nothing at all is left to be done but I feel it would require pushing the setting a bit outside of its current boundaries (which New Vegas itself marginally did with its silly Romans).
And that, like you’re saying, is hard to do productively, because Fallout is very tight, very focused. I personally like that, it gives way to good storytelling (or at least thematic) economy. I’d like that tightness to be preserved, other ideas being explored in other, more appropriate contexts.
If they were better story tellers the setting would have been the East Coast, 20 years after the war, not 200.
I only made it any distance into Fallout 3 by headcanoning that it was only 10-20 years after the war and everybody was just having me on with the “200 years” thing.
My headcanon inverts yours. DC took all the nukes, so I figure it became roughly livable more recently. Within the last twenty years, but it’s still been two centuries.
Though the way radiation works, cities in Fallout could be radioactive for hundreds of years.
Most radiation from bombs is consumed in the detonation. After a few months, the fallout is largely dissipated or otherwise not as immediate a problem.
Stuff that’s radioactive and allowed to sit (unexploded bombs, reactor cores, waste barrels, etc.) gives off radiation for a long, long time. So if the Fallout ‘verse has those things everywhere (like in cars), then a city could be uninhabitable if after a nuclear war that stuff was damaged and allowed to “fester,” like the reactor core in Chernobyl.
“the NCR-led West meets the largely lawless and monster-filled East”
“There are countless stories to be told in the Fallout universe. By the player.”
Imagine a story spanning two, three or four games: Over 50 to 80 years, the NCR takes the wasteland back. They get all “Manifest Destiny” toward the East shores.
The player decides how the reconquest is managed, which political alliances are made, what ideas and ideologies are fostered, what kind of laws are passed, what military operations are lead, and so on.
Do you assert the northern border, with a strict control of the Pacific Coast all the way from Alaska to Baja California? Do you push South along the Rio Grande? Trying to secure the Midwest with a network of client settlements and friendly towns? Do you shift to an authoritarian and/or nationalist government? Do you crank up the propaganda? How do you rebuild the economy?
Could be FPS with bits of RPG. Could be any kind of Strategy or Tactical games.
Anyway, there still is a lot to tell, especially if it’s well-written*.
*Terms and conditions may apply.
There are countless stories to be told in the Fallout universe. By the player. Should Bethesda start to understand that at some point they will be able to milk this golden cow for decades to come.
Ya know… I kinda feel like they shortchanged us for Fallout 3 callbacks.
How does DC look? What became of Vault 101 and Amata? What about 3dog? (Especially wierd because his VA hinted he’d be making a return in F4 in some form.)
What became of Megaton and Underworld? Some of those would have to be implied. Say, did Vault 101 become a trading settlement? Did raiders smoosh it?
They hint at all these potential stories and were then very mum about them.
We know the Nuka lady survived, and Princess did not. And that somehow DC still sucks in spite of all our efforts. As well as the Lyons and presumably Star Cross.
Man, Fawkes was an interesting character from F3. Where the hell did he wander off to?
Wish you could ask Macready a little bit more about his home. He just gets cagey instead.
Shamus, you might be mis-remembering Deacon in a way I wasn’t previously aware of. If you know where to look, he does show up in a ton of disguises just as a background dude. He’s apparently one of the guards when the mayor is yelling at Piper, and he’s a caravan guard at Bunker Hill. He shows up in the Memory Den and a lot of other places, often with unique dialog. If you’d played through before, perhaps you just saw him and your brain registered that Deacon was in a new outfit, but you hadn’t recruited him.
I just loved the image of Nick, on fire… staring right through you “have you got time to talk now??”
A pox upon Rutskarn,
and years-old hip hoppin’;
he referenced it in passing,
and now my brain keeps stoppin.
I don’t know about Legendary items, as they’re always generated in Legendary enemy inventories, but Unique items can certainly be picked up directly. The Junk Jet, Cryolator, and Grognak’s Axe are some of those. While on this subject, I find it’s kind of funny when I reach levels in the 70s or 80s and have whole chests just to hold the clutter of Legendary armor and weapons I’ve accumulated.
If you artificially add a legendary prefix to an item on the ground via the amod console command, you’ll get the full screen pop-up when you pick it up, even if the item has previously been in your inventory.
I kind of want to switch Nick Valentine and the SOMA protagonist. A synth following you like a lost puppy going, “I don’t understand!” and “I’m glad the REAL me survived.”
Meanwhile under the ocean, Nick is attempting to construct a fedora out of structure gel and TV dinners.
Up til this point of the game it asks you to believe that the Institute, who have infiltrator machines and spy birds, can’t find the Railroad even though they have a literal red line leading to their base. Stupid, but whatever.
But then this quest shows you their previous base, which was ingeniously hidden and was technologically advanced and the Institute still found it. If they could find this then how in the hell can’t they find the church!? This game just keeps shooting itself in the foot!
One of the culprits might be the timeframe in which the story of the game seems to take place. The game itself can’t decide on it. A few weeks? A few month? I doubt more than a year.
A lot of things only make sense if its weeks (the Institute not finding the new, seemingly provisory, RR HQ) other things feel horribly contrived* if the PC did not at least spend a few months in the Commonwealth (rising through the BoS ranks*).
*I know … it’s Bethesda.
Ugh, let’s not go NEAR companions. Jeez, Louise, they are so broken. I’ve had them vanish without trace for several hours, only to randomly turn up upon transitioning to some random building (it still counts them as present even though they’ve vanished).
They get lost regularly.
One time Codsworth went down in combat on Survival mode while I was doing the Mechanist’s lair… where you need your robot companion to be opening doors for you, and I didn’t reach him in time to repair.
So his scripts clearly thought he was meant to be going back to base in a huff because I didn’t repair him (only happens in Survival mode), but that conflicts with the scripts that say he MUST be here at all times for the quest in order to open those special doors. He refused to move at all from that point on unless I specifically ordered him to a particular spot.
Apparently the scripts were conflicting and he couldn’t do anything without my input. He’d teleport over to open the doors, but beyond that? Nope, wouldn’t move an inch under his own steam.
They frequently fall off tall buildings to their ‘death’, and on Survival that is beyond irritating because you then have to backtrack down to heal/repair them if you don’t want them running back to base.
On several occasions I’ve had companions hate me for killing enemies WHO INITIATED COMBAT WITH ME. Why? God knows.
The list goes on and on and on.
Meanwhile, in New Vegas the companions almost NEVER screw up. I can think of ‘maybe’ three occasions in all my various play-throughs and some 1000+ hours played. Bethesda shown up by another studio working on a shoestring budget and limited time IN THEIR OWN ENGINE. Again.
I was really disappointed we didn’t get to hear Chris’ observation on not liking companions, tbh.
Re: Reginald’s current bonnet
Just leaving this here.
One of these days Chris will be able to finish a sentence without someone immediately talking over him. Today is not that day.
(Which is rather unfortunate, because every time he starts something it sounds interesting. Which then goes nowhere, either due to being talked over or no one responding, since they’re too busy making their own jokes. ._. )
Yeah, Chris’s insights are typically my favorite parts of Spoiler Warning, especially when that is met with a discussion from the others. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen all that often, as I assume Chris is naturally introverted in regards to group conversations (correct me if I’m wrong about that, don’t like passing judgements on people that aren’t all that true).
At least we have Errant Signal to fill that void, right?
Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say YES!
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