By TonyBlue87 72 Comments
[This post details world-changing quest lines towards what I assume must be the end of the main quest line in Fallout 4.]
I thought I was outsmarting everyone. I thought I was working towards peace. Then the writers decided that peace in a game about war is apparently impossible, and the game somehow funneled me into a quest holding a bomb that would undo everything that I had been working so hard to accomplish. No warning, no dialogue box saying, "Yo, this is gonna mess up EVERYTHING," nothing.
Throughout the course of my 30 hours with Fallout 4 I took careful steps to ensure I always had an "out" or peaceful solution to any problem involving the multiple factions in the world. The only group I didn't care about was the Brotherhood, because the Brotherhood are dicks and always turn out to be the bad guys. Instead, I found myself mostly balancing between the Minutemen and the Railroad. This wasn't particularly difficult, of course, as they don't really seem opposed to each other (at least until towards the end).
Then the twist comes, and you learn all about the Institute. I won't bother going into the minutiae of their whole deal, but I took one look around and said, "Well this is obviously the best hope for a future for the human race. Better side with them. I should also get around to everybody topside and tell them the truth." Upon returning to Sanctuary, my guy even told another character, "Remember, the Institute isn't our enemy." Awesome, I'm gonna bring peace to the Wasteland.
Unfortunately, the Institute and the Railroad are diametrically opposed. OK, no problem, I'll just have to walk on eggshells and be super careful about how I tackle each mission. As I worked my way through Father's quests, I was careful to pick responses and take actions that avoided as much conflict as possible. And hey, lucky me, there are some clues that I'm actually gonna pull this off:
- I reclaimed a group of synths by letting the BoS, Institute, and Railroad shoot at each other like idiots.
- I talked a scientist into going to the Institute without firing a single bullet at a Minuteman.
- I started the Institute's reactor, being sure to note that it was a resource for EVERYBODY.
- I changed the words to Father's "Institute Announcement" to be a message of peace and comfort.
Huh, that's funny. It doesn't look like the announcement triggered anything. Oh well, maybe later... what's that? We're having a meeting? What about? Oh, you want to go to war with the BoS? Just like that?! Ok, well maybe I can-- oh, nope, no dialogue option that says, "What the hell is the matter with you idiots?" Um... build more synths, I guess... cause weapon development is probably a bad start to peace...
Well, glad that meeting's over. Hey, Father, I just got back a-- you what now? I'm sorry, you want me to kill the leader of the Railroad?! Just like that?! Look maybe if we-- Um. Where's the option that says, "Hey, I know these people. What if I brought them down here and we talked about what's really going on? Also, what the hell is the matter with you, you idiot?" I... don't see it... Well, I'm not gonna kill her. Guess I'll go warn her.
Hey, Desdemona. First thing: why are you an Othello reference unless you plan to marry a synth? Also, the Institute wants to kill you. What if instead I brought them up here and we talked it ov-- oh... nope that second part isn't an option. Oh, the only way to progress this dialogue is if I say I'll side with you. Well, yeah, of course, I'm not gonna murder anyone because of a misunderstanding. Anyway... oh, you want to rescue the synths from the Institute? Um... ok, but what if we first got this whole thing sorted ou-- no? Meet a contact at the Institute...? Ok, back I go.
Hey, guys, is anyone here trying to save syn-- oh hey! Listen, I know you want to help the synths. Now personally I think this whole thing is a little misguided, but if it maybe opens the door to a dialogue perhaps we sh-- start an uprising you say? Two things: Isn't that gonna get a bunch of innocent people killed, and also, why are you an idiot? How can I stop this fr-- I can't...
Hey, Desdemona, I guess we're starting a robot uprising? Listen, this is all really getting out of hand. What if we used the inside contact and my position to bridge the ga--OH SHIT WE'RE BEING ATTACKED BY THE BROTHERHOOD FOR SOME REASON! Better kill all of them! Well shit, I guess war was inevitable with the BoS. At least that was a cool explosion. Anyway, back to the Institute.
Hey, man- er, synth, things are getting super messed up. What if we reconsi-- ...kill everyone in the room...? I'm sorry, you literally told me to kill everyone in this ro-- Yeah, there it is as my objective: "Kill everyone in the room." Does that include the innocent, unarmed people who keep complimenting my success on that last mission? It does. So I'm a murderer now.
Ok, they're all dead. Oh hey, Railroad guys. Alright, so I'm thinking we sneak in, get the synths out undercover, and try to use the synths as leverage to make the Institute listen and we can work for pea-- what the hell did you just hand me? A bomb?! For what? THE REACTOR?! The reactor that I helped build an hour ago that could provide a near limitless supply of energy to the entire Commonwealth?! That's your solution?! You idiots didn't even know this place existed! And now you want to-- no. No, no, no.
And with that, I quit the game. I don't even know if I'll go back and finish it. I don't even know if there's a save far back enough that can undo the damage without having to redo hours upon hours of quests. I spent so much time making decisions that I was certain would end up leading to all these faction leaders sitting in a room together saying, "Oh man, we are all idiots." I took my power armor helmet off and put on a stupid hat just to make me more charismatic so you might listen to me.
But my character is an idiot, because despite being the most important person on the planet in this story, he never once said, "HEY! I can fix all of this because I'm basically in charge of all of you." How depressing it is that peace can't be an option in a game world plagued by war.
But I suppose we have the game's tagline to explain away any chance of that happening.
An Update - A Second Chance to Be Disappointed
I load up that *NEW SAVE* I made right before murdering a bunch of innocent people. I have to know.
This time, I teleport back to the Railroad HQ and accidentally drop one of my grenades in the center of the room at Desdemona's feet. I try to knock it away from her by shooting it, but instead that makes it explode. Weird. Then my gun accidentally discharges in the direction of a Railroad worker. Then I accidentally implant 5 railway spikes directly into Tinker Tom's face. Oh boy, I've really made a mess of things, haven't I? Where's the dialogue option that says, "Sorry I killed all of you but I come from the future and know that your actions are going to doom the human race for the sake of not-actually-humans?" Oh, I guess I wouldn't see it; I killed everyone I could have talked to. Well, I guess I'll go back to the Institute, since now everything is totally going to work out for everybo--
Hey, so I guess you're dying now. Like right now. Yeah yeah, I know you talked about this, but holy shit, it's just happening without any fanfare at all. Anyway, son of mine who's a psychopath, I killed all those people who were just doing what they thought was right.
Well, at least there's a future for the human race now, right? Seeing as how the only threat to the Institute was a group of ragtag rebels whose numbers were dwindling because they couldn't protect their own safehouses and also didn't know where this place actually was (we'll ignore the part where they already had someone working on the inside). So what's the last thing? That last BIG quest that's gonna make good on this tragedy. Is it get the minutemen down here to spread the word that were not gon-- there's nothing...? What? Wait, what were we working towards that made me kill ev--
Soooo... when do we get to the part where we fix the Commonwea--
The screen fades back up, I get a new perk, and... it's done. I really made a difference, guys. What's that? Some dumb argument in the Bio Lab? SURE! I'll go fix that! Let me put on my charisma hat and pass the dice roll! I mean, I could go into a huge diatribe about the illusion of choice and why this is maybe the most disappointing thing to happen in a story ever, but the last guy already taught me the perfect attitude to not even bother.
Actually, now that I think about it, there is one way I could have prevented all of these needless deaths. Let me find that old save again...