Fallout 4 EP49: Rad Topic

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Oct 19, 2016

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 85 comments

Link (YouTube)

And so we complete the reactor, thus solving a problem with no build-up to fulfill a need that’s never depicted. Then we take control of the Institute, an organization over which we have no power. Then we’re sent to destroy the other factions, for no good reason. Someone worked very hard to make sure the upcoming explosions and chaos would be as un-engaging and underwhelming as possible.

So this could probably be better, is what I’m saying.

Nick is still cool though.


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85 thoughts on “Fallout 4 EP49: Rad Topic

  1. Kelerak says:

    Man, that whole speech by Reginald Cuftbert proved that the Institute can’t even be a supervillain-type group. It just doesn’t work on any level, I guess.

    1. Decius says:

      The institute “led” by Reginald makes as much sense as any organization in a Bethesda Game since Tribunal.

      1. Kelerak says:

        …too true.

      2. Grudgeal says:

        I dunno, I think some of the factions in Skyrim sort of made sense. Like, the Companions were OK if we ignore the fact that Skyrim is supposed to be halfway under martial law and the question of how they pay for themselves with the petty work you’re sent on, and the Stormcloaks also make sense as a nationalist movement led by disaffected war veterans even if some of the fine details may get a little muddled. At least you get the impression that Ulfric is *supposed* to be a flawed, somewhat hypocritical and very impulsive man, so at least he fits in with the rest of his posse.

    2. Gruhunchously says:

      Still, the part at 21:21 was probably the most Reginald Cuftbert moment in the entire season.

      The reflections in his glasses looked like glints in his eyes.

  2. Matt Downie says:

    So, here’s my attempted fix for the muddled faction conflict in the game.

    The Institute needs a clearly defined goal. The AIs are the means, not the end. So, let’s say their plan is to put a force field bubble over the Commonwealth and then sterilise the area to wipe out the mutated micro-organisms (and all other forms of life) with special viruses.

    Once they have done this, they will be able to grow trees and other plants on the land, restoring the pre-apocalyptic environment. In this land, most of the work will be done by Synths; humans will live peaceful lives of leisure and study.

    They don’t want any of the genetically impure Commonwealth people in this utopia, but they do want you, since your DNA is relatively healthy.

    For ethical reasons, they’re planning to drive the entire population out of the Commonwealth before the sterilisation takes place. They have been replacing key individuals in the area (including the mayor) with replicants in order to facilitate the evacuation and set up force-field emitters. They have a humane prison for the people they replaced.

    They make robot servants with limited faculties who are content to act as slaves. They make more intelligent robots to act as replicants – these ones are less reliable and sometimes rebel. The Institute believes such rebels are extremely dangerous; an AI that loses its built-in limitations might potentially supercede humanity.

    The leadership of the Railroad believe super-intelligent AIs are exactly what’s needed to usher in a new age. They think that humans are responsible for the apocalypse, and a world ruled by AIs would be peaceful and sensible. They have been deliberately sabotaging the inhibitors of various AIs to encourage rebellion.

    The Brotherhood believe all AIs are too dangerous to be allowed to exist. They have a plan for the Commonwealth too; they will destroy the Institute and the Railroad. They will put all the non-feral ghouls in internment camps (after all, they might snap and turn feral at any time). They will militarise the population so as to be able to drive out the Supermutants. They are consistent in this and your obviously mutant/ghoul/AI companions will return home if you peacefully enter a Brotherhood-controlled area, to avoid conflict.

    The Minutemen just want to live in a Commonwealth defended by a citizen’s militia. They believe in equality for ghouls; they don’t yet have a policy on free AIs but are violently opposed to the Institute’s actions.

    If you become the leader of one of these organisations, you must deal with all the others – whether peacefully (“Leave or die!”) or violently.

    1. Decius says:

      For gameplay reasons I could see the BOS allowing AI and mutated characters with a sponsor.

    2. Ciennas says:

      My only complaint with your Institute is that it would be the third rehashing of the Enclave.

      The Institute canon played with cybernetics, super mutants, robotics, and whatever the hell synths are.

      I’m not thinking they would map to ‘genetic purity is a thing’ crowd.

      Maybe have them be wild change instead? Rehash a less suicidal version of the Master?

      1. Pax says:

        I don’t know if the fact that the two original Fallouts’ plots were basically “We’re superior, therefore we will inherit the Earth” is a bug or a feature. Yes, they different in that the Master was planning to be a benevolent dictator who let the remaining non-Super Mutants live out their days in peace and safety, whereas the Enclave was just going to kill everyone that wasn’t them, but they both are representative of the “War Never Changes” theme. Conflict is caused by self-righteous factions looking to impose their vision of the world without empathy for the Other. F3/Van Buren was going to follow the same pattern.

        In a way, New Vegas follows that kind of theme, but with even more factions, including one consisting of yourself. Of course, Fallout 3 is kind sketchy in this regard since most people just wanted to be the ones to turn the damn purifier on, and more just shares the “Enclave wants to kill everybody” plot.

        Fallout 4 is weak this way because even though yes, all of these factions are pretty self-righteous, none of them really has a coherent vision for the future. That in itself could be a powerful commentary, especially in regards to the gung-ho hyper-destructive Brotherhood, but mostly it comes across as unintentional mismanagement of the storytelling.

        After all of this analysis and discussion of changes various people would make to the plot, I’m come to the conclusion that the best version of the plot would be if the Institute’s plan was to upload themselves into synth bodies so that they could be young and strong forever. Mankind, redefined. It would draw together Nick’s story-line (prototype memory transference into a machine), Kellogg’s cybernetics (a preference for the “purity” of biological augmentation opposed to the crudeness and “blasphemy” of mechanical augs), and Father’s obsession with the Shaun child synth (he’s a crazy person who has become obsessed with being raised by you as a more perfect version of himself).

        They could just completely disdain the surface inhabitants and more overtly work to prevent them from organizing as a way of keeping them weak and preventing them from over-re-developing the topside, which the Institute sees as their property and birthright. This would of course bring them more directly in conflict with your revived Minutemen. The Railroad would, of course, object to overwriting the mind of a thinking being with your own consciousness, but they’d have to stop mind-murdering synths long enough to have a leg to stand on in this argument. And the BOS wouldn’t need much change, though everyone and their grandmother knows that they should capture the Institute and their technology rather than destroy it.

        In the right hands, you could make this a fantastic critique of the singularity and the plight of those left behind. As it is, it’s a weak conflict between selfishness, zealotry, misplaced philanthropy, and having another settlement that needs your help.

        1. MrGuy says:

          the Master was planning to be a benevolent dictator who let the remaining non-Super Mutants live out their days in peace and safety, whereas the Enclave was just going to kill everyone that wasn't them, but they both are representative of the “War Never Changes” theme.

          Which itself is a reason why Fallout’s signature tagline is so amazingly, mind numbingly, sanity-defyingly dumb. It’s empty and meaningless and they should have let it go after FO1 but then they put it in FO2 so now it’s “that line you always use in a Fallout game.”

          OK, we get it. Even after a nuclear war, the lucky survivors will still fight each other instead of helping each other out.

          But you know what? War, and what war is, changed a heck of a lot.

          In FO1, there was no war. Not really. You were sent to get a water chip so the people in your vault could keep hiding forever. You weren’t part of a large conflict. Sure, you got swept into the conflict between the Master and the wasteland. But that wasn’t really a “people fighting people” war, since one side wasn’t really “people” anymore. And you didn’t have to fight in that war – you could join the Master if you wanted. The idea the Master presents is “evolve to something no longer human, but more suited to the way the world is now” vs. “remain human with all the imperfections.” That’s not exactly what war has meant since the dawn of time (meaning the tagline was dumb in the game it was created for). “War” is a question of the nature of humanity.

          FO2 is a lot simpler – the Enclave enslaved everyone you’d ever known, and you go fight them. That’s war never changing right there – you go kill the bad guys and save your friends. War has changed a lot from FO1 right there. “War” is about protecting your friends and getting revenge.

          FO3 isn’t even about war. It’s about a pointless struggle over something largely useless and that will not have meaningfully different results depending on who possesses it. Sure, the Enclave wants to take over the Capital wasteland, but controlling the purifier isn’t obviously something that would further that goal, and losing control of it wouldn’t obviously defeat them. There are sort of two sides in the BoS and the Enclave, but they have no reason to fight each other. Not really. The BoS spends their time being do-gooders protection people from Super Mutants. They’re not a government, and don’t try to be. The Enclave isn’t pro-Super Mutant. Why don’t the Enclave (who want control) team up with the BoS (who just want to help people)? “War” is fighting over something dumb for reasons that aren’t explained by groups whose goals aren’t in conflict.

          FO:NV is more traditionally about what war generally means. THIS is the war that’s never changed. FO:NV is (mostly) about a fight to control a scarce resource. Casinos. Less flippantly, it’s about the struggle to control the one last intact pre-war major city in the country, possibly the world. It’s all about power, and as a player in the game, you can fight to give it to one of the major factions, or keep it for yourself. “War” is war – a struggle between opposing forces for a scarce and precious resource.

          FO4 is…well…sort of like FO:NV, except every faction’s been replaced by a cardboard cutout, and we forgot to include the precious resource they’re supposed to be fighting over. “War” is “kill everyone who ain’t us because they ain’t us” for no real compelling reason.

          1. ehlijen says:

            FO1 was about extremist ideologies clashing. When you say the master’s faction ‘wasn’t even people anymore’, I’d say they were eugenics and racial dividing lines taken to superscience extremes, and those have been part of war for much of humanity’s history; decrying the other side as ‘not really people’ is one of the major tools of propaganda.
            And even if you join the master, the war doesn’t end. It’s just that since the side you choose can’t lose anymore, the game’s big question is answered (‘what will you do about the master?’) and needn’t continue.

            Meanwhile, Vault 13 was not uninvolved, they just wanted to be. Unless the player stops the master, the vault will be overrun by mutants (since the master knows exactly where it is). Vault 13’s desire is reminiscent of nations insisting on their neutrality, uninvolvement and lack of responsibility in the face of atrocities committed just across a border, also something that happened a fair bit in actual history.

            So yeah, I think the tagline suits FO1 perfectly.

          2. The casinos weren’t the main goal of New Vegas; Hoover Dam and the electricity it provides was. The NCR needed it to support the power needs of their growing nation, the Legion wants it to prove that Caesar’s ideology is superior to the NCR’s, House wants it to secure his rule over the region, and the Courier wants it in the Independent ending because…reasons.

            1. galacticplumber says:

              Because they want to rule instead of being a flunky? That’s pretty directly one of the main temptations explicitly brought up. Maybe they want to rule because no sides shares their ideology. Maybe they just want power. Maybe they don’t think a rule by squishy could be as long lasting as desired.

              1. Blunderbuss09 says:

                Or, as the reasoning that I had when I chose Wild Card, is that the people of the Mojave should be allowed to choose their own destiny rather than be conquered by various factions that care more about the Hoover Dam than the people living there.

              2. Dirigible says:

                In my personal playthrough? “House is correct in his desire for an independent Vegas, but has lost sight of the people he plans to rule over, becoming little more than a puppetmaster.”

            2. Grudgeal says:

              In the independent ending… Any reason you want.

              I wanted to save the Kings. I wanted to let Freeside remain free. I wanted to realize Arcade’s vision for the Mojave. I wanted to not have to murder the entire Brotherhood. I wanted to send the NCR packing because I’d seen what their mismanagement of the region had led to. I wanted a government of the Mojave, by the Mojave, for the Mojave.

              …Aaaand my own private army of death robots. That too.

            3. I never thought the Independent ending was a good one, since it’s pretty much anarchy outside of Vegas…to the point where it’s actually called that somewhere in the game files or something. :P

              1. ehlijen says:

                The independent ending isn’t better or worse, in principle, than the house one. It’s just a different ass on the throne. It’s that ass that might be better or worse.

                But that’s why it had to be in there: If one person (i.e. House) can pull it off, then one other person can usurp the position. Benny tried, but after the player gets their revenge, the option is open for them, too. But nothing says the courier will not face their own usurper eventually.

          3. Gethsemani says:

            Let’s look at the intro to Fallout, shall we? “War. War never changes. The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower.

            But war never changes.

            In the 21st century, war was still waged over the resources that could be acquired. Only this time, the spoils of war were also its weapons: Petroleum and Uranium. For these resources, China would invade Alaska, the US would annex Canada, and the European Commonwealth would dissolve into quarreling, bickering nation-states, bent on controlling the last remaining resources on Earth.

            In 2077, the storm of world war had come again. In two brief hours, most of the planet was reduced to cinders. And from the ashes of nuclear devastation, a new civilization would struggle to arise.”

            The speech is not about why war is fought or even with what weapons war is fought. The speech is about the reality that war is terrible and causes suffering. The whys and hows are not important, because people will suffer from war, no matter if it is Aztecs being plundered by Spaniards, Ukrainians being killed by Germans or the vast majority of the world’s population dying in a nuclear holocaust. Or some mutant wanting to create a master race. War breeds suffering and strife. That’s why war never changes.

        2. Blunderbuss09 says:

          After all of this analysis and discussion of changes various people would make to the plot, I'm come to the conclusion that the best version of the plot would be if the Institute's plan was to upload themselves into synth bodies so that they could be young and strong forever. Mankind, redefined.

          Cha-ching! This is where I thought the story was going and honestly where it should have gone. Like you said, it mixes all of these story points together towards a single goal that has real benefits; a perfectly engineered race of bio-mechanical beings that can adapt to the wasteland better than normal humans. It would also work thematically with Shaun and your main character, the sole ‘pure’ survivors of pre-war humanity, being the basis of this new super race.

          Then you’d have a hard choice; are you willing to pass the flame to this new race to recreate the world to what it used to be, or throw your lot in with the scrappy wastelanders who are trying their best in the world they’ve been given?

          1. potatoejenkins says:

            I actually pretend that this is were the story is going. Whenever anything comes up that contradicts this I put my fingers in my ears and sing “lalalalala”. Funny thing, there isn’t much contradicting this theory because there isn’t much of anything at all in the first place.

    3. Chauzuvoy says:

      The Institute’s lack of goal is such a major problem because basically everyone else’s goal is different flavors of “Stop the Institute.” The railroad wants to free the synths and stop the institute. The Brotherhood wants to destroy/stop the institute. The minutemen want to help the wastelanders and stop the institute. Fallout 3 was a game where everyone was fighting over something that there was no reason to fight over. It was dumb, but you could understand why the Brotherhood and the Enclave were fighting. Here in Fallout 4, nobody seems to have an objective beyond “stop the other factions from achieving their equally ill-defined objectives.”

    4. Grudgeal says:

      If the BOS in Fallout 3/4 is based on the Midwestern Brotherhood from Fallout Tactics, which I believe is ‘broad strokes’ canon in Bethesta’s books, Bethesta could have taken the easy way out and simply projected that group’s motives and goals onto this game’s BOS.

      The Midwestern Brotherhood’s main objective was to expand their feudal state: They find villlages and tribes nearby who produce food and people, and offer protection and non-military technology (not how to build it, but the machines themselves) in return for food, raw materials and new recruits from the surplus population. Ghouls and mutants were citizens in their eyes, you could even have Ghoul/Supermutant paladins in that game (although the Ghouls were kind of crap in the gameplay). Would have worked fine in F4 too: “We are the Brotherhood of Steel. We have come to bring order to the Commonwealth, as we have already done to Illinois and Washington. We offer safety. We offer security. We offer an easier way of life. Pay us homage and we will kill your raiders. Give us your youths and they will be housed and fed. Bring us old technology and we will give you functional machines. Serve us, and we will serve you in turn.”

      Easy peasy. This would put the BOS in conflict with the Institute (who don’t want heavily armed, technology-craving feudal overlords snooping around on the surface), the Minutemen (who want local government), and probably the Railroad (who probably don’t want anyone intefering in their ‘save the synths’ programme) and give a clear vision of what you get if you join them: A Commonwealth in peace, albeit a peace enforced at the point of a plasma cannon.

  3. All we needed at the start was someone else saying “but that’s just a theory…a GAME THEORY! Thanks for watching!” XD

    1. Kelerak says:

      ow, my soul

    2. Gruhunchously says:


  4. Josef says:

    Apparently, the parts for hijacking the radio don’t have smarter names with high Intelligence.

    1. Hermocrates says:

      That’s . . . pretty much exactly what I was expecting, honestly. I haven’t played Fallout 4, but after the current season of Spoiler Warning this level of underachieving writing seems par for the course now.

    2. Does anyone else think maybe those were placeholder names that just got left in? Like Rutskarn once mentioning NPC tags in “Unrest” that showed they were getting tired of giving characters actual names (i.e. “The Amazing Bread Wizard”)?

  5. On another note entirely, it seems sort of odd that Dr. Li has essentially no problem with destroying the BoS.

    You know, the exact same BoS that she ran to for help after James killed himself in Fallout 3; the same BoS that she helped with when they were having problems with Liberty Prime…the same BoS that’s essentially the only reason she’s still alive at this time.

    That’s not lazy writing, nor shitty writing. That’s writing that completely ignores the entirety of what defined a character in order to have some from of terrible fanservice that maybe one person would actually be happy about.

    In other words, that’s Bethesda writing.

    1. Pax says:

      I don’t know, Doctor Li ran to the BOS because they were the only people that could oppose the Enclave, I think. She gets fed up with pretty quickly and even before Fallout 3 is done she’s out the door.

    2. Jonathan Scinto says:

      Dr. Li can be convinced to betray the Institute. I believe you show her evidence of what happened with Virgil and the super mutants.

      1. MrGuy says:

        Which, to me, is equally sort of dumb. Because why would your character know she in particular would be inclined to do that?

        The reason the player would know (and only SOME players at that) is that we played FO3, and she’s a character in FO3. But we’re not the Lone Wanderer when we play FO4. I the player knows some of Dr. Li’s backstory. But my CHARACTER shouldn’t. My character shouldn’t expect her to be different than any other Institute technocrat.

        It a huge sin, to me, for a role playing game to drive a wedge between you and your character by specifically relying on knowledge you the player have but your character certainly wouldn’t. It’s lazy, and it shows you don’t take the role playing piece of your role playing game seriously.

        Dr. Li shouldn’t be here. But, if you’re going to put her here, you should use her to tell HER story. Not your story. In your story, she’s a stranger, and no different than dozens of other mopes wandering these wastes.

        1. Pax says:

          Yeah, except you don’t do this of your own volition, the Brotherhood specifically sends you in to find Li so she can help them rebuild Liberty Prime. And then she send you to find the truth about the FEV lab because Virgil was a friend of hers.

    3. Blunderbuss09 says:

      The BOS in Fallout 3 was run by Elder Lyons, who broke away from BOS dogma to help the wasteland. Once Maxon took over they went back to being fascist assholes. I imagine that once that cultural shift took over that Doctor Li was disillusioned with them.

      We also don’t know that the BOS did with the purifier. They more-or-less controlled it in FO3 where they helped ship it across the wasteland, but now that they’ve become more selfish then god knows what they’re doing with it. Maybe they only give out water if people give them technology or something.

      1. Based on random dialogue, the Capital Wasteland turned to an even more hellish area even after Maxson finally finished off the Mutants; it’s probably closer to this mod than it is to Fallout 3 as a whole.

        To be fair, though, you’re assuming enough thought was put into Li’s presence for that justification to be ingame. This IS Bethesda, after all.

        1. Blunderbuss09 says:

          Oh? What type of stuff do they say? All I’ve heard is Deacon saying he misses DC because the water is drinkable.

      2. potatoejenkins says:

        The pretty much ransacked Rivet City to build their blimp. I think that alone would be enough to put Li off.

        Or maybe the Scribes she was working with didn’t follow her orders to the letter. Or a random BoS dude told her that he didn’t like her tone.

        Look, it’s Dr. Li. I doubt she was disillusioned. Things just didn’t go the way she wanted them to.

    4. Dirigible says:

      To play Devil’s Advocate, FO3 BoS was significantly different from the BoS in any other Fallout game, with “reclusive technology hoarders” replaced with “Knights in shining armour”, even if they kind of forgot the “reclusive” in FO4

  6. RJT says:

    Have you guys seen seen the Agonywolf Media playthrough of Fallout 4? It’s HERE, in its not-yet-complete form. They do MST3K-style riffing, and it’s hilarious. They also have a much-less cynical view of the game, which makes an interesting contrast to Spoiler Warning. I think they manage it by playing the game as “goof around until there’s a cut-scene, then take those very seriously.” I wonder if this is how Bethesda imagined the game being played, or did they really try to make a story-based game and fail so miserably?

    (NOTE: I haven’t and don’t plan to play Fallout 4. It looks AWFUL.)

    1. I managed to get about 50 hours of enjoyment out of it by thinking of it as Rage 2. After that, I started acting like Shamus did with ME3.

      1. I haven’t finished it yet because I can’t escape the plot.

        I liked exploring the world and playing murder-tourist, but I want more than that out of an alleged RPG.

  7. Somniorum says:

    “In this game, the legendaries just seem to come out of nowhere, and they’re always just one lone monster wandering around not doing anything impressive (…)”

    To be fair! Reginald Cuftbert, himself, is a lone wandering monster that just comes out of nowhere and doesn’t appear to be doing anything impressive too, but he’s *clearly* a legendary.

    1. Lachlan the Mad says:

      And if you did manage to kill Reginald, he would definitely have quite a few rare and mysterious items on his person.

      1. Somniorum says:

        Beat him up enough, and suddenly he’ll *seem* to mutate – in the sense that he’ll suddenly eat every hunk of food and drink every drop of booze in his backpack and become a beast.

        The legendaries might just be a tribute to Cuftbert, really.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          He will also eat a yao guai roast making his punches uber devastating.

      2. Matt Downie says:

        I do like imagining what would happen if someone killed a player character and tried to loot his body. “This guy was carrying eleven different guns! 300 stimpacks! 4,000 bottlecaps! 10,000 bullets! 15 bottles of wine for some reason!”

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          You know, the player’s wealth is silly, but that just draws attention to the fact that every character in the game is apparently flat broke. They’re carrying one gun, zero to two stimpaks, zero to ten bottlecaps and one to two dozen bullets.

          Now obviously this is just because the designers of Fallout 4 hate the idea of the player acquiring wealth in increments larger than 50 caps, but it paints a picture of the world where literally everyone but the player is living hand-to-mouth, one bad fight away from running out of bullets and healing. And where are all these raiders finding more bullets, if they’re perpetually on the edge? But what do they shoot?

  8. Echo Tango says:

    This game would be a lot better if it was an Austin Powers-style comedy. Or if it handled serious topics with diligence and intelligence. Or anything beyond “pew pew lasers, blow up mutants!” :S

    1. MrGuy says:

      All I want are friggin’ robot gorillas with friggin’ laser beams on their heads!!!

  9. MrGuy says:

    It’s really disappointing to me that the entire Directorate is completely united in all ways at the meeting. Not everything needs to be Skyrim, but really? The ONLY decision that you really make is whether you want “moar synthz” or “better weapons”? And one of your valid choices is SURPRISE ME??? There’s no other decisions the game feels it’s relevant for you to make before being railroaded (ha!) into the ending?

    There couldn’t be any voice of dissent about destroying the brotherhood? More interestingly, there could be a choice of a secondary way to neutralize the BoS other than “Kill ’em all?”

    Hell, they SET UP some perfectly good alternative ways to deal with the brotherhood. For example, Danse is a synth. They couldn’t have given you secret codes to put him into debug mode, then have you suggest he lead the BoS out of the Commonwealth? Or maybe you could expose Danse as a synth, and have the rest of the Commonwealth BoS chapter wither away in disillusionment? Heck, maybe you have a way to convince the BoS that Maxom is a synth too.

    Or, you could have a way to break into the BoS base and somehow make it useless as a sanctuary. Maybe break their water chip or something, and force them to move out.

    Or, have you break into their base and plant some fake data in their terminal systems that implies there’s a massive cache of weapons somewhere in the former New York area. Or, even better, than tells them that THE INSTITUTE packed up and moved their synth-buildin’ ways down to New York. Maybe they “captured” a courser after disabling it and its self-defense failed to kick in, and you have to break in an plant false memories in its brain implying that the Institute abandoned CIT long ago, and the ruins are just full of booby traps.

    And, hey – why not give you the option to try and reach a deal with the Brotherhood? Maybe peace is actually possible. Maybe you’d need high charism, or high science, to pull it off, but why can’t there be an option there.

    I don’t mind the Institute ending require you to “deal with” the Brotherhood somehow. I mind that there’s only one way to do so. And that the entire supposedly “peaceful” Institute, who only want the good of mankind, are utterly united that genocide is the only answer.

    Maybe I really DO want every modern Fallout game to be New Vegas, but this just isn’t rocket science. “Deal with” does not have to mean “Murder everyone.”

    1. Regarding the use of your spoiler character, can anyone think of a case where someone has been determined to be a Synth, that individual didn’t know they were a Synth beforehand, and they’re allowed to go on existing by the Institute?

      Nick, I guess, but he never thought he was human. I get the impression that a Synth that learns it isn’t a pure-bred human is somehow “failed” and needs to have a Courser go kill/retrieve it for… reasons.

      1. Blunderbuss09 says:

        Nope. If someone realizes they’re a synth they’re either a) an Institute agent that has blown their cover or b) a rescued and mind-wiped escapee. Either way they’d be recalled by a courser.

    2. Blunderbuss09 says:

      I really like the idea of using paranoia to tear the BOS apart. The whole point of gen 3 synths is that you can’t tell if they’re human or not unless you dissect their brain. And considering that the BOS are such xenophobic extremists they’d lose their minds about those filthy abominations living among them.

      Maybe you could convince Maxon that any BOS member that wasn’t born into the order can’t be trusted and must be kicked out, causing a new civil war and the new Outcasts. Maybe you can falsify evidence that the Institute has replaced high-ranking members as synths; considering that Maxon only found out that Danse was a synth thanks to the system scanner that could be easy enough to sabotage. Then all you’d have to do is sit back and watch them destroy themselves. That’d be such a fitting end to them.

  10. I do note the irony of a group of gamers complaining about the mutations of enemies into ultra-powerful “Legendary” mobs with full health and maybe new attack powers…

    …given that nearly every player character pulls the same stunt on the rest of the game world every time they level up. :)

    1. galacticplumber says:

      Leveling up happens outside of combat.

      1. What if the player eats a Yao Guai roast?

    2. MrGuy says:

      Usually, you don’t level up as a reward for getting the crap beaten out of you. And it usually doesn’t happen during the battle while you’re still in the process of getting the crap beaten out of you.

      1. ehlijen says:

        True, they should have replaced ‘legendary enemy has mutated’ with ‘legendary enemy binged on food pack’ as a tagline for the event.

        1. MrGuy says:

          If they’d show you an animation of the “legendary enemies” scarfing down corn as fast as they could smear it in their gobs as soon as their health got low, this would be my game of the year.

          What do they eat? What do they EAT? I’ll SHOW you what they eat!!!

          1. ehlijen says:

            I don’t know about that. I mean the player character is never shown eating, it just happens instantly. I think the legendary monster suddenly emitting every food, drink and drug consumption noise in the game at once at high volumes is enough.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    People keep saying how “diablo is fun because of the loot”,but thats not really true.There were a bunch of other games that were about the loot,and I havent enjoyed any of them.Diablo also has fun monsters,varying tactics when you fight them,fun abilities,etc.Diablo is not just about the loot,theres plenty of stuff those games do right.Yes,including the third one.

    1. I’d say Titan Quest/Grim Dawn followed up fairly well, especially in terms of customization since you get a decent list of various class-type things and can pick two of them over the course of the game…sort of like specializations in Dragon Age, but they actually define the character as a whole instead of just adding flavor to it.

  12. Blunderbuss09 says:

    You wondered if having high intelligence explains what the various things are for the radio equipment. Let me answer that for you.


    *seethes forever*

    It’s also terrible that Father says “Perhaps one day our synths can reclaim the Commonwealth.” No! That should be your plan right now! I didn’t play a game to switch your lights on so you might ‘eventually’ do something after the game ends!

    1. SPCTRE says:

      This is so true it hurts.

  13. Phantos says:

    “Let’s do this quest we all hate, instead of the stuff in the game that we DO enjoy! We could easily just go and do that stuff right now, but let’s be lazy and just blame the game for that. For us playing the game wrong by OUR OWN STANDARDS.”

    Yeah, it’s a real mystery why you guys aren’t having any fun. That’s Bethesda’s fault.

    It’s actually ironic how this episode started with them making fun of Let’s Plays, and then they do this Game Grumps nonsense.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      On the other hand,remember when they did the thing they all said was great,and how most of the time they were still being negative?Not to mention that everyone who never played that part didnt see much of the good in it either.So yes,it is bethesdas fault.

      1. ehlijen says:

        I think at some point, regarldess of whether it’s a bethesda game or not, the fact that games aren’t movies is what runs afoul of these commentary series.

        3-4 members of the cast are watching a movie or show, but only one of them is playing a game. The gameplay mechanics aren’t going to engage them at nearly the same level (especially those who haven’t played the game).

        I’m not saying the format can’t work or that FO4 is better than this show makes it seem. I’ll leave everyone to their own on opinions on that. But watching the silver shroud quest being played while trying to find interesting things to say about a repetitive game (mechanically) isn’t the same experience a playing it, so I can see how most of the cast still didn’t find that enjoyable.

    2. Blunderbuss09 says:

      Except the quest they all hate is the main quest to finish the game. This isn’t some random optional quest that they just didn’t like, this is the core of the story.

    3. Coming_Second says:

      Often they’ll talk about how they enjoyed the game they’re on, or at least aspects of it. This has just been a particularly negative series, largely because the story is so utterly atrocious.

      Even in this case though, we’ve seen how Josh got his kicks out of F4 at least. That castle will stand for a thousand years.

    4. Contrast this season with New Vegas. Many of the complaints were about Josh, bugs, or more tongue-in-cheek. Complements to the game designers were pretty common, and long stretches of “we’re bored” were blamed on either Josh or the fact that, yes, they weren’t watching a movie.

      Fallout 4’s main quest is just plain awful. It makes no sense, you have little to no actual input, and it doesn’t care about what kind of character you want to play.

      There’s a reason a lot of us never bothered finishing the game once the point was reached where you’ve explored nearly every location and all that’s left to do is pick one of three flavors, the most appealing of which is akin to drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    How cute.You guys think that having an intelligence of 1 means that your character is stupid.This is fallout 4,where your intelligence score means jack shit,and you will be just as smart no matter how high or how low it goes.

  15. potatoejenkins says:

    I’m in a very weird state right now. Far Harbor is amazing. Like, a different game made by different people by a different studio kind of amazing. (So far. I’m in the middle of the story.)

    Maybe my expectations were so low, I could not have been disappointed even if I’d tried to be.

    But then I see this crap and remember after Far Harbor came the atrocious Nuka World (level design excluded, Mumbles is right on that one) and I’m just … what? Why? How?!

    There are capable people at Bethesda. Where were those people when they did the bloody main game? What is going on over there?

    If there weren’t the usual bugs and engine annoyances I’d say they outsourced the whole thing.

    1. I haven’t played Nuka World, but I get the impression that someone thought you should be given the opportunity to be “evil,” and that morphed into the railroading plot of “you WILL be evil,” which baffles me. I mean, a lot of people generally liked Point Lookout, and that was basically just a sandbox. A place to run around and just have fun. A fun park, if you will.

      When they actually made a fun park, they apparently thought you’d want to be a raider in the same way that setting foot in Skyrim’s magical college meant you wanted to be Archmage.

      1. potatoejenkins says:

        I got the impression the writing staff had already left to work on the next big thing and the design team was left to their own devices. The only reason they were still able to put a price on the mess that is Nuka World is thanks to those talented chaps.

        The parks felt real, the faction armors are neat, even the reskins are made with great care (and there seem to be a lot of reskins. You just don’t realize it at first glance because they are really well done.).
        The gauntlet was a lot of fun and the new weapons look and feel great.

        But the place is empty. There are no stories outside of the main quest – not exaggerating here. And as everyone knows there is only a main quest if you turn “lolz evilz” for as long as you don’t want to finish the main quest. And no, not “evil”: “lolz evilz”, stupid chaotic evil to be evil because evil. And the gang leaders still send “the Boss” back to the Commonwealth to do menial tasks.
        The land around Nuka World is filled with nothing. I remember Evan(?) and the Dark Souls easter egg. And Power Armor everywhere because we don’t have enough already.

        The contrast to Far Harbor is simply baffling. Sure, if you look hard enough I bet that DLC has lore missteps and hick-ups as well. But guess what? I don’t care because they actually cared to lampshade stuff or make characters interesting enough for me to just shrug and move on to have fun. They’ll really have to mess up the ending for me to start disliking this DLC. I know too well they are capable of that, but it won’t ruin the experience I had so far. They did so much right or just better in this DLC I can’t for the life of me figure out how they could do so much wrong in the next one.

        As long as I stay in Far Harbor I thoroughly enjoy playing Fallout 4. There. I can’t believe I said that.

        1. That “empty” problem is all over the main game, too. The robo-mall has nothing going on in it, despite being a neat place to discover. The Boston Bugle has nothing, in spite of a major NPC running their own newspaper. There are the locations in the Glowing Sea that have no bearing on any quest; they’re just really cool-looking dungeons that exist to exist.

          If I had the time to mod, I’d just spend my time populating these areas and adding lore-friendly questlines.

          1. Blunderbuss09 says:

            I’m genuinely considering doing this myself. My first idea is to take a huge amount of the raider hideouts and change them into settlements populated by wastelanders; they still might be hostile assholes or immediately assume you’re a synth, but at least it’s ordinary people reacting in a reasonable way instead of having a world that’s 99% raiders who somehow survive raiding a tiny handful of settlements. You’d also wouldn’t have a convenient ‘these guys are evil’ signs to show if they’re hostile or not; at least that would keep you on your toes.

            1. potatoejenkins says:

              Like the scavengers that warn you to not come too close before they shoot you? That’d be neat.

              You'd also wouldn't have a convenient “˜these guys are evil' signs to show if they're hostile or not; at least that would keep you on your toes.

              I normally don’t shoot people until they start shooting me or my companions. Unless they are an obvious quest target. Too bad V.A.T.S. tells you who is bad and who not. Because of … reasons?

        2. Blunderbuss09 says:

          And at least the Far Harbor DLC has a reason it’s empty; the fog has taken over everything and stolen homes, which is causing the overcrowding and tension in the first place. The Fishers live in an incredibly hostile area but make the best of it, which makes them much more admirable than the Commonwealth people who live in smashed houses while there’s plenty of decent buildings around.

          Far Harbor is so much better than the main game and all of the DLCs it hurts me. Why couldn’t we have this in the main game? Why do we get one good DLC and a bunch of other shitty ones? Goddamn you Bethesda.

          1. potatoejenkins says:

            It doesn’t feel empty though. It feels … real? Maybe I am biased because most of the area inland looks like what I see when I go out for a walk.

            The fog is everywhere, your Geiger counter is ticking without pause. Monsters hide in the water, the fog and shadows of trees. Or other things …. (on the bridge in the north was an old truck. I screamed a little.). I really, really love the monsters in this DLC. Any mobs I encountered so far actually. Even the human ones. And those have a reason to be raving mad.

            Playing this DLC on survival is so incredible engaging if it wasn’t for the bloody settlement system. Fuck the settlement system.

            I thought nothing could ruin this DLC for me until yesterday. I don’t know if the story turns bad. I didn’t get to continue exploring and questing because the game threw it’s effing “optional” settlements in my face.
            Whenever I go near, quests pop up and enemies attack. I have no way to ignore it other than stop playing the game.
            I even left a settlement abandoned because I didn’t want anyone there forcing quests on me. But no, I load up the save and two settlers moved in without me lifting a finger. I send the guy living there away in the first place, but hey … settlements, right? You love those!
            As soon as I approached two quests popped up – one to defend the stupid place and one to guard one of the immortal settlers while they had to repair something.

            Without me accepting anything enemies swarmed the place. High level Far Harbor mobs. On survival. The fight was fun and lasted a day and a night. Except that the stupid settlers ran outside the walls to lure the mobs behind rocks and trees so I couldn’t shoot them. All the while crying for help. Eff those guys. They don’t even have names.
            Nick and Dogmeat tried to hug high level mobs eating up all my stimpacks (If companions are downed they don’t use stimpacks, no matter how many you give them. If you don’t heal them on survival and go too far away they leave you.).

            After chasing a bloody bear half across the horizon the immortal settler finally decided to repair the rest of what was needed to complete the quest and stop enemies spawning.
            I thought that was it. Then the game remembered I still had the “defend the settlement” quest in my log and spawned another level 104 legendary Fog Crawler on top of me. The camera clipped through the thing.
            Another half of my entire supply of ammunition, water and healing items later I managed to cripple it and thought: Let Nick and the settlers deal with it. Now it’s just laying there eating up ammunition. Might as well be theirs.
            But no, it was a legendary. After another whole night of shooting at the thing it mutated. And started moving again because mutating apparently makes you immune to broken limbs.
            This in turn motivated Nick and Dogmeat to run up to the thing again and force me to rescue them.

            After a while it died. The game didn’t crash and I was allowed to save. The fighting was fun, because the mobs are dangerous and fun to fight. But it took all the time I had to play the game and I went nowhere. Did nothing of interest.

            I left the settlement to not be bothered anymore and sleep at another settlement so I could go all the way back to Far Harbor again to stock up on all the supplies I lost because of the stupid settlement attack.

            Raiders attacked the place. We fought them off and the settlers thanked me while giving me a quest to kill their leader in their hideout on the other side of the map.

            Fuck the settlement system.

            (Sorry, needed to get that off my chest.)

      2. Ninety-Three says:

        When they actually made a fun park, they apparently thought you'd want to be a raider in the same way that setting foot in Skyrim's magical college meant you wanted to be Archmage.

        If that were the case, you’d become King Raider by clearing out random dungeons, never performing a single raid, and your reward would be a Raider’s Ultimate Chestpiece that’s worse than what you’re wearing.

        Wait a minute…

  16. Nixorbo says:

    Sorry, couldn’t resist

    Actually, I’m not sorry. You’re welcome.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I’m willing to bet that if the ads for this game were nothing but clips like this with Ave Maria playing in the background it would have sold just as well.

  17. Duoae says:

    Man… two minutes into this episode. Seriously, you guys need a scientist of some sort to talk about science stuff…

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