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Some spoilers for Danse’s background and the Brotherhood distress signal quest

Butch:

Ok, so went to the bunker with Danse. Have you been to the bunker with Danse? Cuz, if not, I shan’t spoil. He admires me now, and I got a bunch of the backstory of his childhood and how he joined the brotherhood. Did you get that? Cuz, if so, there’s stuff you didn’t get that’s important (aren’t you glad I played FO3 for you?) Then I grabbed Cait and went and shot up a bunch of warehouses in Good Neighbor just because I felt like it and it was a Misc objective and Danse gave me enough to talk about already. Magnolia a) started a new song that’s funny and b) her old song is now on Diamond City Radio, which is pretty cool.

And I found this rail car with nothing but a spot light and a LOT of mannequins that creeped the shit out of me. And a radio tower that gave me a few signals, and I followed one to a boat and got very little loot save for a whole mess of mirelurk meat, if you know what I mean. Though it was kinda cool cuz obviously the boat was at sea when the bombs hit, and the confusion of the captain was well done. Trying to stay calm, even as it dawns on him something is horribly wrong. Which is, really, a twist on theme. Watching what is “us” change, slip away.

Feminina:

The bunker with the super mutants and all the nukes? Yeah, I was there. And yeah, he told me the bit about his backstory and joining the Brotherhood. Then I flirted with him, because…XP. Even though it rarely seems quite appropriate, you know? Someone’s telling you their sad history and you’re like “Aww, that sucks, but…flirt.” But that’s where they give you the chance to try it.

I didn’t get to play last night, though. Sleepless child. Mr. O’ was on all evening…he’s some number of story missions ahead, although maybe not many, but not me.

Butch:

One out of two. Remember how I said I went to that satellite array a ways back thinking it would end the quest with the long line of dead paladins with the transmitters and it didn’t? This is the bunker that ends that bit. Phew. We’ll talk. Later.

But ok, you got the bit with him joining the brotherhood. (He rejected my flirting. Bastard. You can have him.)

So…..

He mentioned he grew up in Rivet City, which, if you played FO3, instantly made you pay attention. Rivet City was, as he says, a settlement built in an aircraft carrier in the Capital Wasteland that figured heavily in 3 (he didn’t say that last bit, but it did). There were a lot of quests there, but one was the one I told you about about the runaway synth that doesn’t know he’s a synth, who’s being chased by the old guy from the Institute. Rivet City was also overseen by a scientist who wasn’t working on synths or AIs per se, but old guy came looking for her first, as if they knew each other.

So…..

Of all the places Danse could have been from, he’s from a place where we know that a synth, railroad agents, and an old man from the Institute all were, that was being “run” by another scientist.

That is an interesting choice, making him from there. Enough of one that I think I actually said “Wait, what?” out loud.

Feminina:

IN-teresting. So Danse potentially has a long history with synths/railroad, etc.

Maybe HE’S a synth! OMG! Ha.

But oh, OK–I haven’t been to the bunker at the end of the “find BoS distress signals/bodies” quests. I think I might still have a signal to follow up on. So much to do, so little time.

He could probably sense that your heart wasn’t in the flirting. You need to work on that charm if you want your seduction/infiltration attempts to succeed!

Butch:

Maybe he’s a synth, maybe not. Remember, the synth in question had no idea he WAS a synth. I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember if he or this Cutler he mentioned was actually IN three, but I can’t, and I don’t want to wiki cuz spoilers. But it’s very possible that a resident of Rivet City was completely oblivious to synths or anything. Or not.

Maybe we’re ALL synths.

I’ve also been wondering if the time line fits. Three took place ten years before four, so does that overlap with young Danse do you think?

I don’t know what on earth could be turning him off. I mean, besides my wedding ring and lesbian lover. Leave it do Danse to be all judgy judgerton.

Feminina:

That’s probably the twist ending: we’re ALL synths. Except possibly the PC. And ghouls. And maybe the surviving Vault folks, since they’ve been there since before the war.

See, outside the vaults only early model synths (clearly a top-secret project at the time) survived the bomb, some already programmed to think they were human, and they’ve been building progressively better versions of themselves ever since. In an attempt to continue ‘human’ society, to which they have an unexplained dedication (Captain Ironsides’ ongoing dedication to ‘America’ is a precursor to this twist), most of them still believe they’re human and go through their entire lives operating under this belief. (Technically, I suppose, they’re cyborgs, as we know Kellogg was–biological material with synthetic components–since they must have some human material in order to grow and age believably.)

Occasionally actual humans stumble out of vaults and are incorporated into the system, probably being sampled for useful genetic material and what-not to be used in the fleshy parts of the cyborgs, but for the most part never needing to be informed about this aspect of the world.

The Institute is just the overseeing body that produces more ‘humans’ in its ongoing quest to make sure society doesn’t fail completely, and while most of them fully believe they’re human and go about their business with their implanted memories as they’re supposed to, a few malfunction in various ways–realizing that they’re synths, killing people at noodle stands, etc.–and this has contributed to the rumors of the Institute as a terrifying bogeyman and led to attempts to destroy it and synths in general.

The widespread fear and hatred of synths is therefore not only a common human fear of the Other, it’s an existential fear of the Self. Because in the end, the Self is Other and the Other is Us. Heavy, man.

Shaun is important because he’s the one remaining actual human with pre-bomb DNA who’s young enough to…something something nefarious plot, build better ‘humans,’ blah blah. They didn’t really care about keeping his parents as backup because our stem cells are too old or whatever (something something science), but figured they might be able to get something useful out of one of them if Shaun were to turn into a super mutant or something, so left the PC alive just in case. (Or, alternatively, killed the PC when they took Shaun, and replaced him/her with a synth programmed with all the appropriate memories. For some unknown reason, but that could be the FINAL final plot twist.)

Boom, done. Now we know the whole story. No need to even play the rest of this game.

Butch:

Why not the PC? Why not the ghouls? We’re all in memory pods!

Please tell me you just made all that shit up and you know nothing about the rest of the game.

Bravo on the making shit up front, though. Nicely done.

Self is Other and Other is Us? You’re proud of that one, aren’t you. The capital letters make it.

Feminina:

We could! We could all be in memory pods! The end is basically “and it turned out it was all a dream…from within a memory pod.”

I totally just made all that up. Any similarity to actual plot events, previous or upcoming, is purely coincidental. Not bad for a lazy afternoon, though, right? Wild speculation passes the time when you haven’t actually played.

Butch:

Mr. O’ sure played. I mean, EVERY time I’m on someone at your place is. O’Jr., maybe.

Feminina:

We tend to take turns, so it could really be either one of us. Last night, definitely him.

Butch:

What’s he up to? The clock’s gonna give up on days and start in on months soon.

Feminina:

I haven’t even checked lately. Something huge, for sure.

And yet he only just got to Vault 81 last night, and I think he’s only about one move ahead of us in the main story (he’s been to the Glowing Sea to look for Virgil). All that settlement maintenance…

Butch:

Dude. Remind him he has Minecraft for that shit.

There must be no resources left in the whole Northwest corner of his map.

Feminina:

To be fair, he’s also covered a lot of ground in terms of exploration side quests and checking out locations on the map, but yeah, I think settlement maintenance is a big part of it.

Butch:

I did build more power and a jukebox in sanctuary. And a bar, and assigned the Vault Tec ghoul to tend it. He’s chilling there with beer bot. I fucking swear, what do these people WANT to be 100% happy? Maybe I should feed that Marcy chick who does nothing but complain to Strong. That would make everyone happy.

Feminina:

They have a bar and they’re still not happy? Jerks. Definitely time to start feeding complainers to Strong.

I should try giving them bars. Maybe if they drink enough they’ll at least pass out and stop complaining.

Although if they get too drunk to tend the gourds, they’ll starve, and then complain more. It’s a vicious cycle. We should just play Sims.

Butch:

Well, to be sure, the arrow IS pointing up. They just need to get a few drinks in, turn on the jukebox (which I put right under the disco ball) and get funky. I bet Strong’s a hoot drunk. As is Curie. They’ll love it.

Gourds are hearty plants. They can take a night off. And there are more turrets around than you can shake a stick at. They’ll be fine. I hope.

Feminina:

Up arrow is good! Give them some time to get a good buzz going, start dancing, who knows what could happen? I don’t know about a drunken Strong, though. If his inhibitions get too low, he might forget himself and start eating people. Really puts a damper on a party, that.

Butch:

Especially the way he eyes Piper. Lay. Off. Piper.

Everyone wants Piper, though. You know how they quip when you switch them? Cait’s all “How about we make it a threesome?” and MacCready’s all “When are you going to grant me that one on one interview?” Least they have taste.

Feminina:

I should probably spend some time with Piper. Companion quests, that’s another thing Mr. O’s spent more time on than I have.

But mainly settlements.

Butch:

And she’s very, very cute. Gotta get that “lover’s embrace” perk.

Only other quests I have are Garvey (blarg) and Cait, who’s quest is WAY down south. Only one lady for me, so far.

Feminina:

I HAVE NO LOVER, what is wrong with me?! I flirt with everyone, but haven’t traveled with anyone long enough to take the relationship to the next level.

Butch:

Dude you need a lover! Lovers, plural. Not only is Piper’s pillow talk cute (I’m sure everyone elses’ is, too, except Garvey who probably talks dirty about settlements), you get a MAD bonus to XP after you…um….sleep near to your lover, AND you get a permanent perk because they inspire you. For each lover! It’s unique! Get out there and slut it up, dude!

Feminina:

I’m trying, I’m trying! My fickle nature is getting in the way. I keep hopping from companion to companion, not sticking with any of them long enough to get truly close.

It’s fear of commitment, is what it is. I lost my spouse so recently, and I’m afraid of being hurt again…what if I declared my love, and then something happened to him/her? Could I bear to lose another lover to this brutal world?

I have to move on, though. I know it’s true. My husband would want me to seek what joy I can in the rest of my short and violent life. He would be especially impressed if I managed to seduce a robot, a guy in an exoskeleton, a hard-bitten reporter, a fiery drug-addict, a cannibalistic super mutant, AND a tough-as-nails mercenary.

Although I’m not sure Strong or MacCready are on the table.

As long as I stay away from the dog, though, I think I have my husband’s blessing. It’s all about the joy. And the perks.

Butch:

C’mon, man, Piper’s easy. I don’t even think she has a quest. Pick a bunch of locks! Talk about her sister! Boom!

Cait all you have to do is drink and run around naked with her. Just like college!

And you don’t HAVE to commit! This isn’t some silly bioware game! Morals are sketchy in the wasteland!

When you say it like that, it IS an impressive list. Let’s hope Strong’s not an option. MacCready MUST be.

Ya never know about the dog. He’s loyal, at least.

Feminina:

I have not been back to Diamond City since the time I had to talk to Nick and Piper about the end of ‘Reunions.’ After I killed Kellogg. So…yeah, I should go back and talk to Piper.

Butch:

Ah, see, Piper chills in Sanctuary. In my old house. With a bed in it. Purely for the bonuses. Yeah.

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