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Minor spoilers about the Vault-Tec dude and Goodneighbor

Butch:

Did some, not much.

Went and got Cait, FOUND the shroud armor, went back to Good Neighbor, explored the hotel and the bar, met the Vault-Tec guy (that was a surprise), met McCready, not sure what you see in him, hired him, or something, flirted up the bar singer cuz I was drunk (Cait likes drinking), went and retrieved a beer robot that tells great jokes, decided to keep him, sent him to Sanctuary, if THAT doesn’t get me 100% happiness what will, called it a night.

I did, however, get at least a hypothesis as to where companions go (not bad for a day where our post is “More Lost Companions.” I decided to run with McCready for at least a little bit to see what was what, if I could get him to talk, etc., and so I sent Cait back to Sanctuary. I leave Good Neighbor, I hear fighting, and then, far away, Cait saying “Ah they got me shoulder!” So I run around trying to find and help Cait, and couldn’t. She eventually did show up in Sanctuary, but I guess when they’re all “going to wherever” they have the same trials and tribulations we do, and it might slow them down.

How’s it with you?

Feminina:

You kept the beer robot! Nice. Tell me how that turns out. I just took it back to the guy who hired me to find it, being the honest and teetotalling sort I am. (I drink once in a while to boost my charisma before talking to people, and that’s about it. Not enough benefits.)

You met a Vault-Tec guy? Hm. Doesn’t ring a bell. I should probably go back. I might have been too busy talking to the guy who wants me to pay a thousand caps for messing up his drug deal (thanks, Trish, way to repay me for not killing you).

I like your hypothesis about companions. I was thinking something along the same lines, because I sent Cait to a settlement when I started traveling with Deacon, and then I fast-traveled to said settlement myself and she wasn’t there. I was kind of annoyed because I’d intended to unload all the loot she was carrying so I could build the settlers…something, I don’t remember, but then I figured well, we set out at roughly the same time and maybe she just got distracted along the way or something. Which goodness knows I do all the time. She’ll probably be there next time I go.

Me…I did the dead drop with Deacon, and then went back to headquarters and got another dead drop mission from Dr. Carrington (henceforth the Preston Garvey of the Railroad). I talked to P.A.M…I’m not sure she actually knows who we are, specifically.

I said “that’s a strange greeting” about her “your arrival is not predicted” comment, and she talked about how all predictions involving humans have a degree of unreliability due to humans being basically insane, but she also said “you are unknown” and asked for my “point of origin,” which suggests that she doesn’t so much know me and think I should be somewhere else, as she doesn’t know me and didn’t see me coming.

I told her I’d been in Vault 111 and she said something like “the cryosleep experiment: shutting down conversation to incorporate this data into the model,” and then wouldn’t talk to me anymore. But maybe we’ll talk again next time I go back to get a dead drop mission from Carrington. So she definitely knows stuff about Vault-Tec and their nefarious business, but I’m not sure she knows me personally.

Butch:

The jokes alone make the beerbot worth it.

It wasn’t so much the beer, though Cait does like drinking with me. More the “if I’m going to plat this game I need %100 happiness SOMEWHERE” and what better to make people happy than a joking beer dispenser. The arrow IS going up now. As it damn well should be. And I still have the option to sell the thing, so if I change my mind, all set. Though keeping it doesn’t end the quest, so it’ll clutter up the already cluttered list.

Oh Trish. Kill everyone! Better that way.

Not A Vault-Tec guy THE vault-tec guy that sold us our spot WAY back in the tutorial character design phase. Remember him? Yeah. Him.

I did the dead drop, too. Forgot. Interesting to contrast the attitudes of the newly freed synth and the newly synth Curie. One filled with wonder, one with both wonder and fear.

Carrington really IS the Garvey, isn’t he? But safe houses are limited. I think.

Though…..

That second one he gives you…..

Remember WAAAAAAAAY back a while when I said I found a hospital that was a fucking maze and I went through the maze only to find a deathclaw that I couldn’t kill and had to go way the fuck back OUT of the maze?

Without spoiling too too much, be ready to kill a deathclaw.

Ah, right. “You are not predicted,” Vault Tec, etc. I remembered there was something that didn’t sit right.

So why are we unknown? She didn’t say “You are behaving erratically,” she said I was unknown. She knows fucking EVERYTHING. And remember, we’ve talked on how people we don’t know seem to know us. “Ah yes, the one from Vault 111,” and here’s the all seeing all knowing thing NOT knowing us. It doesn’t jive.

That terminal she’s got. I want to see into that terminal she’s got. But it’s red and she’s looking.

Feminina:

I do remember that guy! I last saw him complaining about not being allowed into the vault, as the bombs were falling in the distance, because “I WORK for Vault-Tec!” At the time it was a sort of telling example of how arbitrary survival was at that point: are you on the list, or not? But apparently he got in after all!

I have definitely not seen him again since then. I must return to Goodneighbor and poke about further.

Deathclaw in Augusta safehouse: check. Time to retrieve some power armor!

Yeah, I want at P.A.M.’s terminal too. But don’t want to annoy anyone among my new friends. She DOES have an Assaultron body, after all. Those things are nasty. Perhaps in time to come we’ll get to know her better and get a chance to see it.

It was interesting to talk to H2, the newly freed synth. Wonder and confusion…and then we learned that all he did was tunnel maintenance, forever, which is interesting because it implies that the Institute has gotten so good at making humanoid synths (H2 LOOKED perfectly human) that they don’t even bother to employ them in the type of positions where that would be an advantage: say, infiltrating human society. Instead, they have enough of them hanging around that they can assign them to tunnel maintenance, which seems like the kind of task that could easily be performed by less specialized earlier models.

Why design super high-tech, human-looking, potentially human-fooling machines and then just put them on maintenance duties? Either you have so many it doesn’t really matter what they do, or…what? Every tidbit we learn about the Institute just makes them seem weirder.

Do they have a vast army of humanoid synths doing menial tasks, but potentially ready to be reprogrammed as ruthless killing machines? Or are they genuinely just trying to recreate humans, and part of that is making humanoid synths that are stuck in boring jobs their entire lives?

And the same question we always have to ask: did H2 ESCAPE the Institute, or was he allowed to leave, possibly with the intention of gathering more data (on how humans respond to humanoid synths that have been stuck in boring jobs their entire lives? Who knows?).

Also, what’s your take on Deacon? Synth, or lying human? He’s an interesting case of someone straddling the border of Us/Other in a way we haven’t seen before.

Butch:

Nope, he didn’t get in. He’s a ghoul. And a rather upsetting one.

I was going to type more about him, but… He’s an interesting character. Upsetting. I won’t spoil.

I figured, play nice with the Railroad. Maybe they’ll let me into PAM’s terminal. Or she will. We can get to know each other.

Yeah, that about the humanoid synth doing menial tasks did stand out. Hell, they seem to let the less specialized ones out. We’re killing weird silver robots. Why not let weird silver robots maintain tunnels? Are they worried that the humanlike ones will escape? Are THEY conducting some large experiment on human emotions like Vault Tec? ARE they Vault Tec?

Because there has to be something to the idea of giving them emotions. If all you want is a tunnel maintainer, then why bother? There’s robots doing all sorts of other stuff mindlessly. They could make some protectron do it.

Or, for that matter, was this synth stolen? I mean, the Railroad seems to have their hearts in the right place, but with his fear and confusion….he wasn’t exactly all “Hooray! I’m going to get drunk now!” Is the railroad going in and convincing these tunnel cleaners “hey, no, you DO want out?” I mean, sure, cleaning tunnels must suck, but it’s no picnic out here for a synth. Sometimes even well meaning zealots lose sight of what’s best. Certainly, H2 seemed to have mixed feelings.

I haven’t run with Deacon enough to say. I didn’t take him to see H2, though I wish I had. I’ll take him to deathclaw hospital and we’ll see. But I think an initial take is that it doesn’t matter what he is. He’s on the border of Us/Other, and it’s everyone ELSE trying to find out “what” he is. Sorta like the daughter: “If she thinks she’s human, that’s good enough.” If Deacon doesn’t care if he’s “us or them,” should we?

Feminina:

Ah, a ghoul. The other possibility. In fact, the much more likely possibility, considering me and Shaun seem to be the only survivors of 111. If he’d made it in, he’d presumably be dead with all the rest of the inhabitants.

All right, no spoilers…I’ll find him at some point.

I agree: I don’t really care if Deacon is a synth or not. He’s just one of the companions. And sure, maybe he’ll turn on me because he has some ultimate obedience to the Institute (the “kill all humans switch” theory), but then, maybe Danse will turn on me when he finds out I’m helping the hated Railroad. Maybe Cait will turn on me because I spend too much time helping settlers. Maybe the dog will turn on me because I never built him a nice enough doghouse. As you pointed out recently, we’re more likely to be killed by the people closest to us than by strangers. Everyone I get to know is a danger! The synth- or non-synthness of any one of them is a minor factor.

And speaking of the possibly-synth daughter, given that Old Man Stockton was the one ‘holding the package’ of H2, I wonder how this would have played out if we’d sided with Covenant and let them kill his daughter? Is there a whole different story branch that involves trying to take down the Railroad as opposed to working with it? We shall never know. Unless we bother to look it up, but not right now.

Butch:

Yup. One always forgets the poor, poor ghouls.

He’s in the Hotel Rexford. Upstairs.

I finally DID have one companion comment on not liking someone at Sanctuary last night. Which was interesting. Didn’t get a dislike for myself, but still.

I HAVE to figure that eventually there will be a GREAT GAME CHOICE and we’ll have to pick a side with someone or other. Indeed, we were afraid of having that be early. Even if it wasn’t early, I have to think it’s inevitable.

Stockton MUST have had a reaction if you had sided with Covenant. I mean, what’s he going to do? “Hey, a synth hater who killed my kid. Here’s H2!” Unlikely. But this IS Bethesda, so you never know.

Feminina:

Poor ghouls. They’ve endured so much for so long, and yet they get no respect…just hanging out in the background, occasionally going feral.

Or maybe, considering Deacon knows so much about you when you first get to the end of the Freedom trail, he tells Desdemona and the others “this person is an enemy, shoot!” and your experience with the Railroad ends in a battle. I mean, the scene does open with them all pointing guns at you, and they kind of set it up so that Deacon showing up to vouch for you was what tipped the scales and convinced them to allow you to join. Considering his knowledge of your activities (he knew I’d joined the Brotherhood and was working with the Minutement), he would probably also be aware if you’d sided with Covenant and would be able to tell them so, and that might be something they couldn’t forgive.

In fact…maybe following the Freedom Trail and finding and wiping out the RR headquarters would be a mission that gained you points with Covenant. I can easily imagine two parallel branches here.

Butch:

Poor ghouls. No noses.

Did you overhear the conversation in the bar with the female ghoul worrying about whether her new boyfriend will eventually tire of dating a ghoul? And the human man giving her advice? Funny and disgusting, all at the same time.

I wonder if we were supposed to find/do Covenant so early. Meeting the daughter before Old Man Stockton, not getting any quests that have referenced it, etc. Though the second one doesn’t matter so much, as some of the best set peices in FO3 had no quests attached. At least for me, no one has mentioned Covenant at all, positively or negatively. Which is kinda weird, considering a) it’s a major settlement if load screens that mention places with doctors are major settlements and b) the OTHER major settlements seem to acknowledge each other. Weird.

Maybe it figured more in an earlier draft of the story. Or we haven’t heard the last of it. Either or.

Feminina:

It’s hard to get people to take you seriously when you don’t have a nose. You’d think there’s be a thriving business in false noses, but I guess they’ve decided they need to be honest about who they are. Which I applaud.

And yeah, we may hear more from Covenant later. Although I saw several people on forums saying they’d killed everyone there, so that must be possible even though we didn’t do it, and the fact that it’s possible suggests Covenant is not critical to the later story. Which doesn’t mean it could feature in the story for people who DIDN’T wipe out the entire town, of course.

Butch:

I’m sure ghouls bust out with “I am what I am” every time the Third Rail does karaoke.

Could be one of those “Hey did you….you did. Here’s caps.” moment. Maybe.

Oh, I forgot! I feel the need to make you more neurotic! So yesterday, I was looking for an inevitable magazine and found one: In the hand of a mannequin. In it’s HAND! It was standing there HOLDING a magazine! Standing ON A TABLE holding a magazine! So now it’s not enough to look on tables and all! They’re hiding in THREE DIMENSIONS!

What. The. Fuck. Game.

Feminina:

Seriously?! Noooooooo!!!! You cannot hide magazines in three dimensions, that is unfair!!!!

Sigh. Time to go back to everywhere I’ve ever been…

Just kidding. I will not go back (although I will suspiciously eye mannequins in future). I’m comfortable with the fact that I’m not finding all the magazines. Later, when he’s trying for platinum and needs all of them, Mr. O’ can cheat and look them up online. Obviously there’s a page for that.

Although there is one issue of Grognak that I have twice. I don’t know if it gave me a bonus both times, but I bet it only counts once towards the “find all magazines” trophy, and it does suggest that even if you miss an issue of something in one place, you might still find it somewhere else.

Butch:

It so was unfair. And it was one of those “Total Hack” ones that’s white, and blended in. Evil. I found it completely by accident.

Thankfully, the only trophy there is for magazines is “read 20,” which I got long, long ago. You get that one, really, just playing. Now there IS one for “find 10” AND “find 20” bobbleheads, and I don’t even have the ten one yet. That one is going to necessitate a wiki, I think.

Now if they hid one under one of those fucking cymbal monkeys, that would be plain evil. I hate cymbal monkeys.

Feminina:

I regularly shoot the cymbal monkeys. Partly because they sometimes go off and alert enemies, but mostly just because they creep me out. Hiding a magazine under one would be diabolical.

Yeah, I don’t have that many bobbleheads either. I might have…I don’t know, 6?

That’s a relief that you don’t have to find every magazine, though.

Butch:

I always feel, when I pick up a bobblehead, that a trophy will pop, but not so. Of course, I haven’t found one in a long while.

I gotta start shooting cymbal monkeys. I hate them in real life, too.

See, I don’t have to find every magazine, but I am not YOU.

Feminina:

I am me, and I am definitely not going to find every magazine. You heard it here first.

Butch:

I’m more into the ladies that aren’t BEBHBBs and you’re not getting every magazine. Who are we anyway? Am I my resume? That is a picture of a person I don’t know.

(Two show tunes in a day!)

Though I did “visit” Piper yesterday. Still cute.

Feminina:

I really only get obsessed with getting every one of something if there’s a map for it. Like, I tracked down all the shards and Animus fragments because I could see where they were and that there was ONE OUT THERE that I was missing. It’s basically an obsession with clearing the map.

But I didn’t track down all the Wines of Thedas or whatever those bottles were, because…who the hell knows where they are? There’s no map with little icons to haunt me, and I can’t go looking in every spot at random.

Assuming we never get an in-game treasure map for bobbleheads or magazines, I’m not going to feel compelled to find them all.

Butch:

This is an interesting revelation about you. I feel we’ve made a breakthrough.

You do know that in this game locations can be marked cleared then get uncleared. So relax about that.

Feminina:

Yes, and some locations never get cleared because they didn’t contain monsters, or whatever. I have no compulsions around cleared status for location icons.

In this game, my map compulsion will be having to at some point make sure I get to every location that’s marked on the map. Because I can’t just leave some spot on there but unvisited. Obviously.

I was actually trying to get to one last night that’s right near Faneuil Hall, and that I can walk around and around but can’t seem to actually reach. I eventually wandered off, figuring maybe a quest will bring me back sometime.

Butch:

Ooo I think I did the same! Is the icon like a bridge or something cryptic?

Feminina:

It’s a sort of cryptic broken-building looking shape. I think maybe it’s up, like part of a bridge or something. Or down. Who the hell knows. Anyway, I hope someone at some point tells me how to get in, because otherwise it’s going to haunt me.

Butch:

If it’s like some weird long pagoda, I’m pretty sure it’s up. Is it right by postal square? Cuz I ran around there forever until I noticed a bridge like thing way up.

Feminina:

No, that’s the Fallen Skybridge or something, and I’ve actually been up there. I think maybe this other thing connects to that, somehow?…must explore further. In some of my unlimited game time.

Butch:

Every time I’m on one of you is playing. You’re probably 27 story missions ahead.

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