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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some spoilers for the Boston Bugle office and the content of the settler recruitment beacon

Butch:

This game, man.

Even when you don’t get sucked into settlements, you play and play and play and….what?

I decided, just because, to follow the freedom trail. That’s been on the list a while. Get some Boston in. So follow I did. There’s stuff to find, a couple of (real) locations to scout around. Walked right past the way to Good Neighbor because I didn’t want to get distracted, then got to Fanieul hall, which, as I mentioned, I had a quest about, so I poked around there, got to the thing I had to find and called it a day.

Note: I did not complete the “follow the freedom trail” bit.

Nor did I complete the fanieul hall quest bit.

I did not, in fact, complete anything.

This in over an hour of playing.

I mean, it was fun. But you play and….what?

I did however blow through like three bits of Grim Fandango in 45 minutes cuz Manny just flies around when you hit the run button.

Feminina:

I hear you. I wanted to take Curie to that doctor last night, but–of course–I can’t find her. (Curie, not the doctor.) Went to Graygarden, which is where I told her to go when we split up last time (I figured she’d enjoy hanging out with other robots), and there was no sign of her. Which was difficult to be sure of, given all the other robots there that look just like her (perhaps I didn’t think that plan through), but no, I walked all around clicking on every robot, and she was nowhere to be seen.

I am pretty much cursed to lose companions. It’s the only explanation.

Anyway, that having failed I decided to try to follow up on the next bit of the story, because hey, it was right at the top of my quest list, and so I trekked off into the middle of the wastes. Enjoyed the sight of a deathclaw fighting two radscorpions: I hung back, threw a few grenades into the mix, and then picked off the victor with my wounding shotgun and looted everything. My kind of battle.

Stumbled across a military supply cache and had to check that out. Ran out of time.

So, yeah, I played for about an hour and got some stuff done, but nothing actually significant. It’s so easy to do that!

I’m glad you’re working that sprint button for old Manny, though.

Butch:

Dude! What is WITH you?

Curie, at least, responds to the bell. Ring bells. Then wait until you hear her complaining.

Hey, don’t charge too far ahead on the main story. It’s not endless. Is it?

And here I was blaming settlements for slowing me down! It’s not just the settlements. I didn’t do any settlement anything last night. It’s just….locations…..

Now I’m being so nuts about finding magazines and shit I will run around in circles looking even when it becomes very clear there is NOTHING to find. This game has made me nuts.

Manny is really, really fast.

Don’t know what you’re missing.

Feminina:

Yeah, I need to build more bells. Also, I should probably just pick one settlement and send everyone there, instead of trying to pick a place where they’ll feel most at home. Because screw their feelings if they can’t be bothered to show up when I come looking!

But it’s not just me! I’m reading this whole thread on Facebook right now about how companions disappear or show up in weird places like on top of roofs. Apparently they wander. But people recommend the bell method, so I’ll work on that.

True, I don’t want to wear out the main story too fast. I’m sure it’s not endless (although the side missions to clear raiders out of the Corvega plant may be). I’m also a little anxious about having brought Nick Valentine along on this. I may back off and go do some settlements and side quests next time.

Siiiiiiigh…yeah, yeah…I’ll just sit here thinking of speeding Manny and all the glory I missed by not looking at the options. Sniffle.

Butch:

Oh dude! That’s what Sanctuary is FOR. They need to guard my armor and magazines!

I have everyone in Sanctuary, I ring the bell, I pick my companion. Except the dog, who does his own shit. Sometimes he’s there, sometimes not, he’s a dog. What can you do?

Have you done anything at all with the railroad? I’m curious about these dudes.

There’s like four billion side quests. Do those. Where the themes are at anyway. There and the radio towers.

Grim Fandango is a very good game, you know.

Feminina:

I kind of wanted to spread the companions around to protect more of the settlements (plus I currently have suits of power armor in three different locations…make that four, but one of them is pretty untouchable), but yeah, at this point the inconvenience is getting to be too annoying. Everybody in one place! Line up when I ring the bell!

I do want to follow up on the Railroad some more. I was on my way to do that the other day, in fact, and then got distracted by something or other, as one does. I THINK the Railroad is supposed to be kind of a major player in the Commonwealth, along the lines of the Institute and the BoS, but given I don’t know anything about them because I can’t follow their damn trail more than two steps before wandering off track, I don’t know for sure.

Yeah, I’m sure Grim Fandango is great. There were things I liked about it. I got pretty burnt out on everything taking so long to do, and that’s going to be a hard mental block to get past even if I know intellectually that it doesn’t have to take quite so long, but who knows…perhaps one day.

Butch:

The bell is the only way.

Oh, and I day played cuz baby napped! So I figured out supply lines! Supply lines are great. “Hey! The robots have food! Go get it!”

Funny you should say that about the Railroad cuz….

I was GOING to do the Freedom Trail. I was. But then I had to finish the Fanieul hall bit, and that led me to the Boston Bugle (which was funny but there wasn’t much else, poor, poor Red Sox), and to Cabot House…. have you found Cabot House? Cuz….Cabot House……

And have you listened to your own recruitment beacon yet? I meant to talk on that.

Feminina:

Oh man, I keep meaning to figure out supply lines. Because the robots do have a LOT of food. And being robots, half the population of that settlement doesn’t even eat, although I did set up a beacon to lure in some humans so I’d have someone to man guard posts…with all that food, they need a lot of defending.

Speaking of which, I did listen to the beacon, some time ago, and then kept forgetting to mention it. It’s…rousing. Interesting choice of music there. “Make America Great Again!” is basically what we’re saying, huh?

Yeah, the Boston Bugle office…poor, poor Red Sox. “Only the complete obliteration of civilization could keep them from finally winning the World Series on October 23rd!” Funny how the losing streak of the Red Sox is such a historical force that it can still have weight in the game even though in our world they HAVE actually won a few times since 1918.

I have not been to Cabot House. I have a quest for it, but I haven’t been there. Just one among many places I need to go investigate.

Butch:

I am all about the heavy turrets. And when I get laser turrets, it’s on.

There is an irony that they have all the food. And I still haven’t figured out how the beds work. When you screw Curie, figure it out.

Re: beacon, well, the music was interesting. Especially as it followed up a very “bring me your tired, your poor” plea that was very reminiscent of old pleas from America (which, considering how we treat immigrants, may well be bullshit). She (we) seems so sincere. “We will help you, prosperity lives here.” Followed by rousing patriotism.

Which…..well…..

See, here I am again on about FO3’s perverted American dream. In that game, these weird little flying “eyebots” would occasionally be seen toodling around the wastes playing a rousing message from the President* that was very similar to Jessica’s, followed by EXACTLY the same music. Note, in 3, the President* turned out to be a computer programmed to be a bland, placating, brainwashing President/AI/algorithm. So the similarity is striking.

The Red Sox having won since 1918 in our world is why I don’t weep.

More from the past: That whole “the president is nowhere to be found?” Well, that oil rig was the grand finale of 2. You find the president (who only spouts actual Dan Quayle quotes) on the rig, and destroy it, him, yourself, and the head of the enclave at the end of 2. The computer pres was there to “replace” the real one.

Feminina:

It seemed implausible that robots would need beds, but I didn’t want to risk the settlement getting unhappy, so I built a bunch. I think if they get larger, though, I’ll just wait and see if I get an alert message about it before I make them anymore. Who knows, maybe the robots want beds just for the status: “We’re not going to be the only residents without the personal space of a bare mattress in a leaky barracks!”

Oh, yeah, the missing president stories. I lacked the background on that…hm. It is a very interesting choice of music for the beacon, and interesting that the wording and content of the message was not optional, or even approved by us in advance. It’s like, we as the PC may, consciously, be sincerely trying to do some good in the world: I just want to give people a safe place to live and some irradiated gourds to eat! And yet, without our meaning it to, it turned into an overtly political statement that might as well be an election campaign. A place in one of my settlements is a vote for me and my patriotic vision for a reborn United States (apparently)!

Are we REALLY doing any good in the world, or are we just replicating the system that got us here in the first place? And are WE really even doing this, or are we being used for our good intentions and established as an inspirational figurehead by some other organization?

I’m Frances the Vault-Dweller, and I didn’t actually approve that message…? Although I do continue to allow it to be broadcast, so I’m at least complicit in whatever’s going on (and since that’s the PC’s voice, presumably I recorded it at some point).

Butch:

Probably yeah…beds as a status symbol.

Are we less? Do we not matter? Here we are making 29 food. All we want is a token of respect!

And definitely yeah. I was actually rather surprised to hear Jessica’s voice. I expected a canned message, and got a “Wait…I said that? And I picked that music? What?”

But remember: There’s shit we aren’t privy to. I KNOW it. Well, I don’t KNOW it but I very much suspect it!

The message isn’t us, it’s our SuperPAC.

Feminina:

Yeah, there’s definitely something going on that we’re not privy to. That whole “take Shaun, kill spouse, but leave PC alive” thing (given no one else in that vault seems to have survived, only you) feels like Big Overarching Nefarious Plot. Something is up. I don’t know what, but making us the figurehead for some new government could easily be part of it.

Thanks for faking my voice and picking me out some nice music for my beacon, Super PAC!

Butch:

Which implies something Skyrim didn’t have: an ending. So pace yourself.

Cabot house gonna be interesting.

But gotta do the railroad. And garveys thing. And the brotherhood. And find good neighbor. And help curie. And Cait. Especially Cait. I like Cait.

Feminina:

True, true. I’m sure most of the quests will still be there after you finish the main story, and I’m more likely than you are to play through a few of them, but a game does lose something once the main story is done.

There’s a sense of overall purpose that no longer applies…however vague and non-urgent that purpose may be, it does serve as a framework for the experience of the game: “I’m doing a lot of things, but the backbone of it all is that I’m working towards X.”

Butch:

Maybe not though. Fallout three ended. Boom. End. You died. Want to do the quests you skipped? Load a save.

So we can’t assume.

Feminina:

True, true. No assumptions. We can’t know until we get there!

Or we could ask the internet. Which I did. But I won’t spoil it.

Butch:

You know the end????

Dude.

What’d you do that for?

Feminina:

Not what HAPPENS at the end. I only asked the internet if you could keep PLAYING after the end.

I’m not completely mad.

Butch:

Oh good. Cuz I’ve spent much effort not spoiling.

I guess the days of hard endings in pow world games are gone. Sad really.

Feminina:

Hey, I carefully didn’t spoil that for you!–I didn’t say what the internet SAID when I asked if you could keep playing.

Maybe it said yes…maybe it said no. Maybe it muttered to itself about Preston Garvey and his endless missions.

Butch:

As long as u don’t know ends of plots we’re good. Plots. Plural.

Feminina:

No, I don’t know the end of any storylines. I was careful to only read very specific links.

Butch:

Playing with fire man. Some shit can’t be unseen.

Feminina:

It’s true, it’s a dangerous game. I have closed the Browser Windows of Augury and seek to learn no more at this time.

Butch:

As you should. As you should.

Especially cuz if you knew you would eventually blab.

Feminina:

Hey, I’m wounded. I might drop maddeningly vague hints, but what have I ever seriously spoiled? If you’re not a certain friend talking about Harry Potter, and I apologized for that.