Fallout 4 EP10: Romance the Danse

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 22, 2016

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 132 comments

Link (YouTube)

Fallout 4 is a mess on a story level, but I do like to give it credit when it gets things right. While the sides don’t have properly explored motivations, they’re certainly more coherent than the Brotherhood and Enclave in Fallout 3. (And Fallout 4 lets you choose from FOUR different groups of idiots to work with!) The nonsense railroading of Fallout 4 is bad, but it’s less infuriating than Fallout 3.

And when it comes to companions it’s no contest. Fallout 4 has some genuinely good companions to take with you, and Fallout 3 has… what? That idiot mutant who wouldn’t help you out at the end of the game? I guess?

So this series is going to be negative, but peppered with awkward, backhanded compliments congratulating Bethesda for not repeating ALL of the mistakes of the past. It’s all part of the Spoiler Warning™ service. You’re welcome.

Also, I think Josh’s playtesting has proven conclusively that gravity works in this game. So that’s nice.


From The Archives:

132 thoughts on “Fallout 4 EP10: Romance the Danse

  1. Ledel says:

    Speaking of romance, during my first playthrough of the game, I played female, and romanced every person I could. I was RPing it as a woman who had lost almost all connection to the world. She was out of her time, her husband is dead, and her child taken away. She was looking for any kind of connection she could find.

    I romanced Piper, Hancock, Curie, the singer in Goodneighbor, and a few others. Eventually, I bit the bullet and went around with Garvey. I built up trust, or relationship points, or whatever they’re called, to the point where romance is an option. I tell him, “Hey let’s be romantically involved.” His response, “Oh, wow, um…but…you like me? But what of your dead husband? I mean…are you sure?” At this point he has seen me with other romantic interests, so his reaction threw me for a loop. It stopped all momentum I had built up, and I let him down with a (in my mind, talking down to tone) “You know what, you’re right. Let’s not get involved.”

    1. James Porter says:

      That is a great bit of roleplaying there. That is probably the most awkward bit of dialog ive seen out of him. Makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it!

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Romance” is one of the worst euphemisms for video game sex.

      1. Jokerman says:

        I hope you are not playing down my beautiful romance with Juliet in GTA 5.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          I’m still waiting for a Codsworth romance. Especially now that you can upgrade him to a spiked tank murderbot. Or give him the shapely figure of an Assaultron. Meow.

          1. Dev Null says:

            Oh yeah “Assaultron”. That chasis was totally built for “assault”. Honest.

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              There is “ass” in “assault”…

              And also in “assimilate”, which explains a lot of what they did with the Borg later on…

            1. James Porter says:

              Hold on guys, I gotta go get some DLC…

      2. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

        To be fair, its not a necessary feature of Fallout 4. This has to be the only game I know where romance can be completely chaste. And they don’t show it.

        1. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

          I guess the KOTORs were like that as well. And Mario and Zelda but those don’t really count.

        2. Are you including the “Lover’s Embrace” perk in that definition of “chaste?”

          In a way, it fits with the 1950’s vibe, as that’s about all you got in most studio movies as well…

          1. Wide And Nerdy says:

            No I was pointing out you can have the romance without the sex. You don’t have to sleep with your mate.

            You could say the mechanical incentive is suggestive but true chastity is a choice to resist a temptation. So the option is well simulated for those who want to take that route.

      3. Sunshine says:

        I see how it’s difficult to systemise a relationship in games without just being “quest completion/correct dialogue choices means sex” but FO4 makes a good effort to have you spend time together doing things that your interest approves of, which isn’t quite so obviously mechanical.

        Not as funny as “romances” in Saints Row 4, mind.

        1. James Porter says:

          It is kind of surprising how well the romance system in 4 worked out, considering Obsidian specifically stated that it didn’t even want to try and make it work, since they were afraid of taking their rounded and interesting characters and turning them into dispensers of praise for the player.

          Also being polyamorous is a pretty sweet conclusion to bethesda’s “they player needs to be able to do everything” since its actually a pretty forward looking mechanic

          1. Ninety-Three says:

            Bethesda: Innovation through laziness

      4. Ledel says:

        I never claimed any of these relationships were healthy. It was just my RPing of how I felt my character was dealing with her situation.

        1. Sunshine says:

          I thought you did that very well.

  2. Tuskin says:

    You can order Dogmeat and other companions to disarm mines when you’re sneaking as well.

    I’m not sure if they’ve fixed it since launch, but only one companion in the game doesn’t set off mines mines and alert enemies while sneaking. Cait

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      Is that a bug, or do they have the Light Step-equivalent perk?

      1. Tuskin says:

        Ah, good question. Yeah that might be it

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          It might be, but Vault wiki, at least, doesn’t list any perks on her page. This might mean she doesn’t have any perks, Light Step (or whatever) included. Or it might just mean no one’s bothered to list her perks.

          I can’t imagine companions don’t have any perks; you’d think they’d at least have to have the weapon damage perks to differentiate their skill sets against one another, and to keep them at least somewhat competitive in battle; from what I’ve seen, the companions in Fallout 4 have fuck horrible accuracy; the one hit in ten that they score isn’t going to do any damage at all with no ranks in a weapon damage perk.

          Which might totally be the case. Just because it’s the only thing that makes sense doesn’t necessarily mean it is so. :p

          1. Incunabulum says:

            Well, in Skyrim 99% of the companions you could take were classed as ‘warriors’ with one (IIRC) ‘Bard’.

            So, again, if you wanted to sneak around you were SOL.

            1. Humanoid says:

              A bard is just a warrior who has successfully cleared a dungeon.

              1. Dev Null says:

                A warrior is just a bard who starts the bar fights on purpose.

          2. Tuskin says:

            I know with the console and geck you can change their stats, but I wonder if it actually effects them? If I gave them 100 strength would they be better at melee?

          3. Jeff says:

            A number of companions don’t even have the necessary hidden perk to benefit from Live & Love companion bonuses, or your own Inspirational Leader perk.

            It’s not easy to tell the difference between what’s intended but overlooked, and what’s actually not intended.

  3. Gruhunchously says:

    The reason the Brotherhood is in Boston makes sense, sure, but Josh showing up just in time to help them is nothing but a contrived coinci-danse.

    1. MrGuy says:

      Agreed. This should have been a Two Step quest, at the very least.

  4. James Porter says:

    I actually really like this Brotherhood. I still think New Vegas is my favorite, and did did a great job at showing it as a broken, corrupt, and useless faction, but having Veronica made them sympathetic. But here in Fallout 4, I feel they represent pretty well the militaristic side of your characters backstory well, and their dehumanization and coldness felt pretty military for me.

    I actually see them designed to shock fans of Fallout 3. That the good guys of that game could turn into a pretty mean and cold faction could be shocking to people who are not familiar with the previous Fallout games. Also since the companions in this game actually have believable and understandable personalities, its great to see them disprove of helping them out.

    I had taken Piper with me, and she gave me this big amount of infamy for asking to sign up. Later she even asked if I was going undercover to get dirt or something, thats great!

    Oh and you can romance Danse, tumblr is pretty full of shirtless Danse and Elder Maxson.

    1. Jace911 says:

      The most charitable thing I can say about Bethesda’s writing in Fallout 4 is that the Brotherhood is a pretty good example of how people can accept facism and institutionalized (hah) racism. I forget how the old quote goes, but it’s something like “facism doesn’t start with death camps and barcode tattoos, facism starts with cleaning up your neighborhood and creating jobs”. The Brotherhood has a decent spread of characters who, for a Bethesda game, are pretty interesting and likable. You join up, you feel like hey, I’m part of something good and noble, and then the edges start to tear as you realize just to what extent the Brotherhood has morphed into actual Nazis since Lyons’ days.

      1. ehlijen says:

        YMMV, but I had them pegged as the bad guys the second I checked out the shop guy and he told me in so many pretty words to go help out in the Brotherhood’s protection racket of the villages.

        Of course, I also suspected out that ‘cleansing the commonwealth’ would absolutely involve going to war with the non-feral ghouls and the railroad the moment Maxwell gave me the welcoming speech, so I was on my toes the whole time.

        So I never got the ‘noble intentions’ feeling you describe. They were pretty clearly the faction for uncompromising militarists with no empathy.

        1. James Porter says:

          I haven’t gotten that far in their quest yet, but I really think there could have been more parallel between the Military background of the main character and the naked militarism of the Brotherhood in this game. Mainly because the pre war america wasn’t a good place, so it could be a great intersection of your character deciding if the pre war was right or not.

          I imagine that it doesn’t do this though, Fallout 4 kinda seemed to miss the detail about pre war America not being that happy or nice of a place.

      2. Trix2000 says:

        There was a reason my initial decision to go with the Brotherhood ultimately changed as I played through more of the game. At first they seemed like a reasonable option, but as time went by it was clear I couldn’t support what it is they were doing.

        So I ended up with the Railroad, which was okay but not really all that exciting in the end, I think.

  5. Jace911 says:

    Danse is in that weird place for me where his story represents probably some of the most interesting ideas in the entire game, but they’re presented by a voice actor who is ME1 Mark Meer level terrible. Later in the game when you unlock his “twist” backstory I was actually really intrigued by the implications of waking up one day and learning that everyone and everything in your past was imaginary, but his tone of voice as he delivered this shattering personal information was exactly the same as every. other. conversation. ever.

    1. James Porter says:

      I need to get further along with his character to experience it, but his dry bland voice acting and devout personality does kinda fit with his big twist. I kinda like how dumb and flat he says everything.

      1. Jace911 says:

        Eh, it had the opposite effect for me. If he was bland and stoic up till that point and then allowed emotion to leak through the cracks it really would’ve sold the moment for me, but the fact that he was speaking in the same robotic tones while supposedly undergoing this world-shattering revelation just robbed the scene of all weight.

        Like, if he can’t be bothered to show even a twinge of emotion then why should I be expected to?

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          It isn’t helped much by the outcome of his personal quest, which really suffers for the mismatched, underplayed contributions of both participants.

          *flat voice Danse* “With every fiber of my being, I know I need to be put down.”
          *even-tone PC* “That’s not true.”
          *flat voice Danse* “My God, you’re right. I was so blind.”

          Yeah, that’s a dismissive paraphrase. But I quicksaved to test out the different conversation paths. In every case, Danse does a complete 180-turn in response to a very brief, empty platitude, and maintains his absolute stoicism despite that sudden, presumably-traumatic epiphany. I like Danse’s overall portrayal, but this moment needed either a much better, deeper counterargument from the player-character to counteract his abrupt but cold spin on his philosophical heels, or a much more impassioned reaction from Danse to compensate for the insubstantiality of the PC’s contribution. Preferably both, but having neither really doesn’t work.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Aye – I wouldn’t say you’re being overly dismissive; I’d say that’s about right, actually! He goes from fervent x to fervent not-x in maybe 2 seconds.

            At a minimum what it needed is multiple speech checks – like with the Courier seducing Benny in New Vegas. It reminds me a little of Shamus’ comments about the start of the game (er, this game, that is, not New Vegas) where there seems to be this peculiar rush to get through things for some reason.

            1. Couscous says:

              I think it is more of a Bethesda thing. I remember that being a thing in Fallout 3 as well. The dialogue when convincing President Eden and some other characters was amazingly stupid.

              Player with the only speech check: “This has to end, Eden. You need to destroy yourself and your base”
              Eden: “And why would I do that, when I am clearly the best hope for the people of the Wasteland?”
              Player: “You can’t just decide to take over, and force everyone to follow you.”
              Eden: “What alternative would you suggest? Without the Enclave, what would the world do?”
              Player: “If you don’t stop it now, where will it end? It’s up to you to do what’s right.”
              Eden: “Yes, I suppose it is. Very well, you shall have your wish. Once you have left, I will put an end to the Enclave.”

              It is like a third grader’s attempt at doing the conversation with the Master in Fallout 1. Given that was at a very important part of the game every player going through the main story would get, I am not surprised if convincing a less important character is even more perfunctory.

            2. The Rocketeer says:

              I was thinking the same thing, but really, multiple speech checks won’t make a difference if they’re all this empty. It would just be like the end of Mass Effect 3, with Shepard and Anderson insisting, “You’re indoctrinated!” at TIM until he breaks.

              What the options needed first was depth. That’s a bigger, more pressing problem than structuring it more nicely.

            3. James Porter says:

              The multiple speech check is probably my favorite part of conversation in New Vegas. The best one is with Lanius, where you are given an increasing number of speech checks until you hit 100, and then you have multiple 100 checks. And this is more proof that New Vegas’s fixed point system is way better than a percentage, since you are guaranteed to get all those speech checks, but the game can include them to make it seem like its a difficult conversation.

              Bethesda’s use of dice roles in speech are a real bummer.

              1. IFS says:

                Plus the fixed point system lets them put in different dialogue for you to say that isn’t successful at persuading them (some of which is hilarious in some cases), thus making it more clear that your skills are being reflected by the conversation. Compared to the dice rolling approach where the same line can on a coin flip either do nothing or change someones entire worldview, which just makes the characters seem inconsistent at best and completely breaks the illusion of them being characters/people at worst.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          If the guy in a cheesy 90s movie can pull the twist better than you,you are doing something wrong.

  6. JackDaDipper says:

    The Fallout 2 Brotherhood stuff is kind of weird, since they’re supposedly underground and hiding from the Enclave but in Fallout New Vegas they apparently fought a huge war against the NCR in the aftermath of that game, and New Vegas was very much written in line with the first two Fallout games.

    Then again, late game Fallout 2 in general got really weird and didn’t jive all that well with New Vegas. I mean, I love the it and the original Fallout but if you played New Vegas first the NCR’s force field barriers, heavily armed street cops and the entirety of San Francisco will seem really strange.

    1. Yummychickenblue says:

      Well it would make sense that the Mojave wouldn’t have all the resources available to the more secure parts of the NCR since they were expanding into it and weren’t very well established.

    2. Coming_Second says:

      Bethesda basically ignore everything that happened in NV and concentrate on building their own canon on the east coast, which is probably a wise move. As much as it irks me that nothing from the best Fallout game will ever be mentioned or used again, it’s better than Todd ‘n co mutilating it and souring the memory with their cack-handed approach to story-writing.

      As far as the NCR are concerned, they’re an occupying force in the Mojave, one that’s stretched pretty thin. It’s not surprising they don’t have all the gadgetry and perks of civilization you see in F2.

    3. Chris Davies says:

      It wasn’t really a war, just a handful of heavily armed paladins against a regiment of NCR troops with predictable results.

      I think New Vegas gels quite well with the arc of the Brotherhood in the first two games. In Fallout 2 the Brotherhood is nearing extinction, and in New Vegas we basically get to see its last gasp. Veronica’s companion quest is basically about how the Brotherhood needs to radically change its purpose or it’ll continue to stagnate and die.

      Of course the Brotherhood in Fallout 3 & 4 doesn’t really follow the plot, and seems to take more cues from Fallout Tactics than the original RPGs. It would have been much better if they had come up with their own idea for faction and left the Brotherhood on the west coast where they belonged.

    4. Jeff says:

      I always got the impression in FO2 that we were just seeing one of their most far-flung, undermanned outposts.

  7. Dragmire says:

    Really looking forward to these episodes, especially based on Cuftbert’s attire in the credits.

    Man, I’ve been impatiently refreshing the site all week looking for the next episode. Is there a set schedule for uploads? I remember that the recording sessions are on weekends but it’s been a while since I’ve watched episodes as they come out. I usually binge when the season ends but I can’t with this one, I’ve been looking forward to this so so much.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      The normal schedule is Wednesday-Thursday-Friday night, somewhere between 6 and 10 PM EST, whenever Shamus gets around to posting them.

      1. Supah Ewok says:

        I think Josh is in charge of uploading the vid; if you subscribe to their channel, you can usually watch the episode an hour or two before Shamus links to it on the site.

    2. James Porter says:

      Alright, I have gone too long without figuring this out. Am I suppose to get emails about replies in this comment section? It asks me to put in my email account, but I have never gotten an email.

      Just throwing this in for general how does the site work questions

      1. Supah Ewok says:

        Nope. The e-mail is mainly to link with Gravatar for avatars, I believe. It might also serve as some unique id thing server side for Shamus, and as a deterrent to spam. But you shouldn’t ever receive e-mail from Twentysided, unless I guess Shamus wants to get in touch with you personally for some reason. It’s only the forums that’ll e-mail you about replies.

        1. James Porter says:

          Fair enough! I figured as much but its good to hear for sure. Thanks!

      2. James Porter says:

        Its just an ID thing, so that two people who use the same name could be differentiated.

        1. James Porter says:

          Makes sense. Could get confusing otherwise.

          1. James Porter says:

            Uhhh Whats going on here?

            1. Spartacus says:

              I AM JAMES PORTER!

              1. Spartacus says:

                No, you’re Spartacus!

                1. Toweleeeie says:

                  You’re a towel!

                  1. MrGuy says:

                    I AM AN FBI AGENT!!

              2. James Porter says:

                Alright I just woke up, thats pretty funny :3

                Thanks guys I needed that laugh!

              3. Jame Sporter says:

                I’m not Jame Sporter, but i play him on TV.

  8. The Rocketeer says:

    The opening of this episode makes me think of Reginald literally sitting on this couch for a solid week, staring blankly at the tube, then suddenly rousing from his trance and explaining, “Fuck me, this TV’s not even on! C’mon, Dogmeat, let’s get the fuck out of here!” *is blown up by Fat Man*

    Shamus let slip that the Fat Man guy has infinite ammo, but I think the Fat Man and the Missile Launcher are two weapons in the game that track NPC ammo consumption; I know that they have a special tag that causes settlers, at least, to consume ammo when equipped with them; any other weapon can be fired infinitely by settlers so long as they have one unit of ammunition for them.

    Anecdotally, I’ve observed that enemies with Fat Mans (Fat Men?) and Missile Launchers will switch to a more conventional weapon after a few shots, and when I loot them after they’ve switched, I won’t find any ammo for the heavy weapons on them. This seems to corroborate my conjecture above. But I’d believe anyone who said they looked in the guts and saw it was different.

    I should add that, thanks to Shamus, I never stopped referring to the paladin as “Danse Danse Revolution.” It put me in mind of wondering how difficult, how resource and time intensive it would be to repair or reconstruct the world’s only functioning DDR machine. And then destroy it in fifteen seconds trying to play in a suit of T-60b power armor.

    1. acronix says:

      Fat men and misile launchers consume ammo from the enemy inventory. The problem is that they ussually carry about 5 of them and they deal so much damage that even being hit by one is fatal unless you are wearing power armor.

      On the other hand, throwable explosives ARE infinite. If an enemy has a grenade, he will never stop lobbing them at you. And those are fairly darn fatal, too.

    2. Andy says:

      And when you figure out his “secret” – it’s a DANSE DANSE REVELATION!

  9. lostclause says:

    My favourite moment in this episode is when Danse shouts “Remember the Citadel!” to Reginald Cuftbert!

    “Remember the Citadel… say, you look familiar…”

    1. The Rocketeer says:

      How long until the Commonwealth catches on that Reginald ambushed and savagely beat the sole survivor of Vault 111 as he emerged into the daylight, then stole his jumpsuit?

  10. Hitch says:

    Gotta watch out for the hair trigger on those baseball bats.

  11. I like to think that “Raider Scum” was so willing to nuke anything that moves because he’d just been handed the Fat Man without any explanation how it works apart from where the trigger is and which end the bomb comes out.

  12. Incunabulum says:

    The funny thing about Dogmeat sneaking – he, like the other companions, will do the appropriate animation, but *none* of them can actually sneak. So if you take any companion with you they will break stealth because the enemy will see them and throw grenades at them.

    And they’ll be standing right by you when it happens.

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      Do you mean that the companions literally can’t sneak, or just that they have three agility and zero ranks in sneak, so they get spotted nearly instantly?

  13. Grimwear says:

    So essentially that nuke raider is the new frost troll. Guess Bethesda always has to have one.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I know we covered this back in f3,but it still bugs me:Since when does the brotherhood not need mercenaries?Since when are they “above” paying people for doing their dirty work?I mean,the way you get your power armor in f1 is precisely as payment for doing shit for them.

    1. ehlijen says:

      It’s possible that while the brotherhood isn’t above paying mercenaries, Danse doesn’t like them. Compare Empire Strikes back, where a bridge officer says ‘we don’t need that scum’ right as Vader is recruiting a bunch of bounty hunters. Not everyone speaks fully for their faction.

      But also, given how the brotherhood has grown since the previous games, they might really be past the point where they hire outsiders for their work.
      In FO1, the brotherhood hires you because they have limited numbers and don’t want to attract too much attention. Neither is true for the FO4 brotherhood cruising around in its air troopship and loudhailing the whole commonwealth about their intentions.

      1. James Porter says:

        Oh, and to be fair, Danse says right after that he is low on supplies and manpower, so I imagine he isn’t to keen on giving away stuff for just the promise of help.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          To be nitpicky, the Sole Survivor shows up during the ghoul attack, doesn’t even need to help (seriously, you can stand back and just watch Danse laser a hundred ghouls until the event ends, Danse wins the fight easily), and Danse immediately says “Thanks for helping, feel free to come inside our police station base and take literally all of our supplies”. I’m paraphrasing of course, but he does invite you to resupply from their base, and you can grab as much of their loot as you can carry (it’s not marked as owned). Before you even agree to help them with anything in particular.

  15. JackTheStripper says:

    “This entire sequence is just a middle finger to anybody coming through this part of the game. It is such a dick move on the part of the designers.” – Shamus

    The entire game is, Shamus. The entire game is.

  16. Huw Jones says:

    I still remain amazed that anyone uses Stimpacks in FO4. They have an interruptable animation and seem to hardly heal anything without perk investment.

    And at the same time the game throws animals full of juicy meat to be cooked at you with temporary bonuses on top, that are quicker to use what is presumably meant to be a fast acting life-saver.

    1. Mokap says:

      I kind of agree, although cooking meat gets tedious and you can cheese the animation by using stimpaks while reloading.

    2. Axe Armor says:

      While the point about the interruptible animation is a very good one, food is heavy and doesn’t mend limbs. More importantly, it only heals a set amount of health as opposed to a percentage, so at high levels when you’re a big ball of health, a stimpack and a level in Medic (which also unlocks clinics for settlements) can go a long way.

  17. MichaelGC says:

    I’m an inveterate re-starter of this type of game, and must have done the run to Diamond City 20 to 30 times, taking various routes. I’ve never met Mr. Fat Man and his ghoul pals! I wonder if he levels?

    I like how the Protectrons sound somewhat incredulous. “Protect and Serve?!?”

    1. JackTheStripper says:

      He’s always at that one place, but there’s a few other power armored raiders with fatmans in other areas, but they’re all random “boss” appearances at raider settlements rather than this fixed one.

    2. Ninety-Three says:

      At low levels, Mr. Fat Man is just Mr. Missile Launcher. Of course, at the levels low enough to make that happen, a missile launcher kills you just as dead.

      1. At hiAxe Armor says:

        At high levels, there’s also a behemoth in the square below the bridge.

    3. MichaelGC says:

      Thanks all! – I’ll give it another 10 levels or so and then go and see if I can track him down…

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Wow. The thing Shamus was talking about where all the ghouls stand up? That’s really incredibly annoying, isn’t it?

  18. Schottlander says:

    The “roaming Army” Status of the Brotherhood in FO4 makes sense if Bethesda views the Fallout Tactics game as Canon. In wich Elder Maxon led a Conquest across the Wasteland for Supremecy. Still this Brotherhood is much better than the soft and cuddly Brotherhood in Fallout 3.


  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Not really into Crashlands,

    Aww,thats a shame.Because its really fun,and the writing is good.Its the only craft+survive game Ive played for more than a few minutes.And yes,poaching eggs from the enemy,hatching it,then sicking it to fight its former family is bundles of joy.Plus,you can transfer your save from pc to phone and then play it on the toilet while you are in the car sailing on a boat.

  20. Sunshine says:

    “Spoiler Warningâ„¢: Not always complaining.”

  21. Bloodsquirrel says:

    True story: I got to Diamond City by going all the way south down the west side of the map, then back north again. So I didn’t see that guy, but I made plenty of other friends on the way.

    “We’ve gone nowhere in four episodes”

    That’s called Fallout 4. It’s going to last a lot longer than four episodes.

  22. Artur CalDazar says:

    Shamus has mentioned before he doesn’t think the railroad has a good reason to do what they do, and I hope he goes into that further at some point because I don’t get what he means. I could understand having questions as to how the organisation formed, but the reasons seem pretty clear and relatable, Deacon’s backstory is all about his reasons for being with them.

    I like the changes to the Brotherhood because while going back to being more like they were in the originals they are not retconning out how they acted, so all the smarter parts of Lyons leadership, accepting recruits and being super in favour of intervention stick around and mean they have a reason to be doing something more than slowing dying in a hole. There’s a continuity to them that I really like, and that Bethesda generally lacks.

    1. ehlijen says:

      If they’re trying to escape the institute, why are they building false identities in the commonwealth? They should be much more focused on shoving every new arrival out of the region as quickly as they can.

      Between the institute hunting them, the institute experimenting in the area, the locals being paranoid about synth infiltration and there not even being an official ID system or borders, just walking away should be the default plan, especially after the BoS shows up and starts randomly shooting things.

      I mean, we’re not told of any range limit on the tellyporta, but the institute activities do appear mostly focused on the commonwealth.

      1. MrGuy says:

        If we’re feeling generous, we saw in FO3 that they do send hunters after escaped synths.

        That said, it would be nigh on impossible to do so if most synths were spread over a large amount of territory, rather than having them all stay close to home.

        My biggest beef with The Railroad still comes from FO3 as well, where they make a cameo (and also nerf a highly rewarding quest of you help them). In FO3, you get to ask “why help synths when there are real human slaves?” And are told “there are other people helping human slaves, but synths have only us!” That’s s motivation designed to sound profound, but is IMO really dumb. An organization dedicated to saving the molerats could say the same thing.

        1. Dev Null says:

          To be fair, you’ll hear the same argument from most of the single-breed dog rescue groups in the real world. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with saving labradors, and no dog rescue group can rescue _all_ the dogs, so you have to pick a subset _somehow_, but those groups still always make me feel like “breedist” should have similar connotations to “racist”…

          But then, I’m a muttist, so what do I know.

          1. Axe Armor says:

            Well, I guess it makes sense if saving Labradors requires some kind of specialization. I don’t know about dog breeds, but synths probably have some special needs. Anyway, the Railroad is based in the Commonwealth, where I guess there is no human trafficking? If synth slavery is the only slavery around, then sure, whatever, go rescue synths.

          2. Most of the “pure breeds” have specific health issues, that while not limited to that breed, are far more likely to show up in them. Like skin problems for one of the wrinkly dog breeds, or heart problems for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, to name a couple. So it does kinda make sense to specialize to a certain extent.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Its a dumb question to begin with.Just because sapient A has problems does not mean everyone should stop trying to help sapient B.You deal with the problem you think you can solve the best,not the one someone else thinks is more pressing.

          1. They could argue that synths, being immune to radiation, might be a valuable ally for humanity to have in the wasteland.

            You know what would’ve made for a REALLY interesting twist on the Synths? Them trying to reproduce, or possibly liberate other robots. Imagine finding a factory with Master-like hybrids of machine, man, and whatever almost-human Synths are.

            They could even have poked at Mass Effect 3, referring to this as the best option: Synthesis.

            1. Axe Armor says:

              Damn, that would actually be a cool direction to go… Something about how AIs have no barriers between them the way humans do, so hypothetically (that is, in goofy sci fi Fallout land) every AI in the world could be fused together into a single hyper-intelligent monolith given the proper hardware, and it argues that it is what all human interaction aspires to be, but like there are robots who aren’t part of it who are against it, and factions like the Brotherhood want to either make it work for them or destroy it, and so on.

              What the hell, that could have been the whole point of either the Institute (having been taken over from the inside at some point) or the Railroad (whose secret purpose is really to steal more synths for the monolith to assimilate).

      2. Artur CalDazar says:

        The majority of synths seem to end up outside the commonwealth, I think one of Desdemona’s generic lines as you start talking to her is about the backlog of synths waiting to leave.

    2. Coming_Second says:

      The base problem with the Railroad is that they have a single motivation, and nothing beyond it. They would be absolutely fine if they were a minor faction, like the Boomers or FotA. But they aren’t – they are one of the Big Four whom you can pledge your allegiance to, and solve the Commonwealth’s problems with. That makes them unbelievably frustrating for all sorts of reasons. What are your plans for the future? What do you think a post-Institute CW should look like? What will you do with all these collected resources once the synth situation is resolved? No idea, but Tinker Tom wants you to stick another box on a roof for him. All of the four have this problem to a certain extent, but the Railroad are probably the worst because it’s so obvious they shouldn’t be major players – you can at least tax your imagination and fill in the blanks yourself for the others.

      This problem gets increasingly marked the further you go along their path. They shouldn’t be able to go toe-to-toe with the Brotherhood, but that’s exactly what they do. If you complete the game with them, they bizarrely throw up pickets everywhere. They are rubber-bandy as fuck and completely one-dimensional. A shame, because their route also contains a lot of good moments and characters.

      1. Microwaviblerabbit says:

        If you complete the game with them, (having freed all the synths), they then send you on missions to kill raiders who somehow specifically target synths. They explicitly do not care about humans. One of their top members even refers to you as an inferior being since you aren’t a synth.

        They should have been folded in with the Minutemen in terms of the main quest. The railroad has the tech and knowledge, the Minutemen have the manpower. Aggravatingly the game does this if you fail one of their quests, so the idea is there and implemented, just as a failure state.

        1. George Monet says:

          The Railroad are ideologically opposed to every other Faction and therefore could not be folded into any other faction. The Railroad believe that every synth life is superior to and more valuable than every human life and all humans should be willing to give up their lives to save synth lives even though a synth life isn’t precious since Synths are being manufactured by the hundreds on an assembly line and all Synths in a production run are identical machines. The Railroad is by far the most stupid faction in Fallout 4 as they have no reason to exist, they are doing nothing to help the Commonwealth, have no plans for the future, and they kill or brainwash the very machines they claim to be helping. And Desdemona insults you when you first meet her. It took me two games before I was able to listen to her bullshit without immediately placing a bullet between her eyes.

          The only people who can think that the Railroad isn’t completely stupid are people who drank the Railroad coolaid and were fooled into believing that the synths aren’t machines even though the game flat out tells you they are machines. You get to see them being built, you get to read the consoles which tell you how the synths are just computers in organic bodies running machine code written by humans that references stolen human memories. The synths can be shut down with a code, their minds can be easily erased, rewritten, reprogrammed, have the operating system upgraded. Anything you can do to a computer you can do to a synth.

      2. Does anyone in the Railroad ever address the Institute kidnapping and replacing people? If so, then that at least adds SOME humanitarian leanings to their faction’s goals.

        It would be nice if they wanted to take over the Institute as well, allowing Synths to be “born” free, or to use the tech to help both humans and Synths.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          Is the Institute actually kidnapping people though?

          I realize that’s an insane question, because obviously they are, but Fallout 4 is an insanely badly-written story. Is it actually present in the text that the Institute kidnaps people?

          Because we have one concrete counter-example, in the middle of nowhere, you meet a dude and his Synth who are all “He’s the Synth, shoot him, no he’s the Synth, shoot him“. Clearly that guy didn’t get kidnapped. The people who get replaced by Synths must be going somewhere, but does the game ever confirm that the Institute has more of a role than simply releasing Synths into the Wasteland?

          1. Coming_Second says:

            Yeah, you can find data logs discussing the experiments they run on the people they “replace”. This ties in to where CW Super Mutants come from: they ran FEV on a lot of the captives. It’s completely implausible but the reason for why they exist is there.

      3. Artur CalDazar says:

        Ah this makes much more sense. I was thinking in terms of them as a faction and their core goals/methods, not the end results of siding with them and the conflict with the brotherhood.

        Honestly I’m usually distracted when I see their ‘checkpoints’ thinking “The Railroad uses railguns and railroad rifles? Really bethesda?”.

        1. Axe Armor says:

          What can you expect from people whose password is “RAILROAD”?

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Aye right. I mean, at least make it: “[email protected],” or something.

  23. Bloodsquirrel says:

    “We need allies, not opportunistic mercenaries”

    Funny thing about allies: you still need to offer them something in return for their help. The entire point of an alliance is that you help each other, and that you both gain from it. Danse isn’t offering you any reason to be your ally here, he’s just asking for free help.

    1. MrGuy says:

      I’d argue that this is the least Brotherhood thing he could say.

      If we ignore the Capitol Wasteland BOS, the canonical attitude of the brotherhood to outsiders is suspicion and disdain. They’re always suspicious, always want you to prove yourself. They never welcome you with open arms.

      They’ve set this up where the BOS opportunistically needs your help. There are two “Brotherhood” ways to approach this. One is to offer to pay you, because you’re NOT “one of them”. The other is to offer to reward you after the quest (possibly with a threat of violence if you don’t help).

      But “allies?” Never. The BOS doesn’t team up with every passing stranger. And they’re not naive enough to expect people to help them out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re pragmatists.

    2. Ninety-Three says:

      Danse isn't offering you any reason to be your ally here, he's just asking for free help.

      The funny thing is, he will pay you. Almost every “negotiating for pay” speech check in the game is worded as though you’re negotiating from no payment to reasonable payment, but you’re usually negotiating the difference between a 100 cap completion reward, and a 125 cap reward.

      If you fail the speech checks, this can look really wonky, especially if you can complete the quest immediately, with the failed check fresh in your mind. Paraphrasing:
      “Hey Sole Survivor, bring me a bloatfly gland!”
      “I do a job, I get paid.”
      [Persuasion failed]
      “No! You should do this for the love of science!”
      “Fine. Here’s the bloatfly gland you wanted.”
      [Received 100 caps]

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        Okay, now I kinda* want to see this in a game. Something like if you have low willpower or charisma you’re actually forced to do stupid sidequests, and for no pay, before progressing. You go talk to this random farmer who tells you something like “I always wanted a pair of dragon’s testicles to put on my mantlepiece” and if you can’t “resist” you can’t move to the next main quest area because your character says something along the lines of “I need to get some dragon testicles for farmer Bob, he said he really wants them!”

        *Not really, but I still find the idea hilarious for some reason.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sounds like a quest from a saints row game.

        2. A game where NPC’s speech check YOU does sound hilarious in an awful kind of way.

  24. Christopher says:

    The ending sequence this week is especially great.

  25. baseless_research says:

    @josh – you do know that you can pickpocket* power cores out of npcs in power armor and it will force them to abandon the armor? Also the armor can be used but will forever be tagged as stolen which is really annoying with Preston and Codworth and other idiot companions who dislike thieving.

    *default success rate is something like 5% so you need 1/2 pointss in pickpocket unless you really like savescumming.

    1. James Porter says:

      You can also shoot out fusion cores, which is how I beat the forged guys. While they were talking about sacrificing that guy to the forge, I would just nod along and walk around to the back with Slag, and then just shoot him in the back.

      Skyrim and Fallout 4 do a lot of things wrong with dialogue, but I have to admit I love how you can jump in and out of it pretty seemlessly.

      1. Axe Armor says:

        I think the jumping in and out causes a lot of problems, like NPCs will walk away from you while giving you quest text and then just stop and never finish, bugging that quest forever. On the other hand, Slag doesn’t wear a helmet and I shot his brain right out of his head while his mouth was still speaking.

        My favorite moment in the game was actually one of those. Silver Shroud sort-of spoilers:

        SINJIN: And you, Shroud! Don’t take another step, unless you want to see the inside of Kent’s hea
        [Critical Strike on Sinjin]
        [Critical Strike on Sinjin]
        [Critical Strike on Sinjin]
        [Hancock loved that]

    2. George Monet says:

      How does anyone even know it was stolen? The only people who can know a thing was stolen are the people who saw you do it. And when it comes to taking Power Armor from Raiders, there is no difference between “stealing it” and taking it as both involve the same activity. Bethesda is really asinine and hypocritical when they add a “Stolen” label to items. A guard in Winterhold can not possibly know that I am carrying 8,000 stolen coins. Hell, a guard in Markarth cannot possibly know that this vase in my hand, identical to the vase in nearly every other home in the city, was stolen from one of those homes and isn’t simply one of my possessions. But let’s talk about pickpocketing thieves. It cannot happen. In order for the item to “Stolen” the person I am taking it from would have to have legal possession of the item in the first place, something that thieves and raiders cannot have. And taking an from a dead body is no different from stealing.

  26. Jeff R says:

    I love the fact that after spending half of the previous episode talking about how much you need the experience from doing the minuteman quest you didn’t actually go to Preston to pick up that XP then and still haven’t apparently.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Classic Josh.

      1. Andy_Panthro says:

        The very same man who gained three levels during the Corvega Raider quest, but didn’t actually upgrade for what felt like an eternity.

  27. 4th Dimension says:

    Funny thing about Mr Fat Man. I’m playing Fallout 4 for the first time and he never attacked me with Fat Mans. I was clearing out some ghouls on the other side of the square when I suddenly heard a nuclear explosion then another. Only later after I have killed him (with my Sniper rifle) I found out he was the cause of those explosions. What was he shooting I have NO idea.

  28. mechaninja says:

    re: problems with the limb damage system

    “instead of fixing it they just went eehhhh, screw it “….

    But that was the entire premise of the Elder Scrolls writeup, wasn’t it? Bethesda trims stuff they don’t care about every iteration. This is the most pure Bethesda Solution.

    edit: don’t try to make comments mid-watch. I knew that, yet I did it anyway.

  29. guy says:

    I’m pretty sure that Fat Man raiders can run out of ammo; I’ve seen another power armored raider with a fat man who closed for fisticuffs.

  30. guy says:

    Um, I distinctly recall that you can’t do melee limb targeting in Fallout 3 or New Vegas, and you can do ranged limb targeting in Fallout 4. They haven’t changed that part of the system one bit. I don’t remember with confidence for Fallout 3 because I mostly use ranged, but in New Vegas there’s quite definitely no melee limb targeting.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You could target individual body parts with melee weapons in the original fallout*drink*.

  31. George Monet says:

    I always Romance the Danse.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *