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Spoilers for the Underground Undercover and Synth Retention quests

Butch:

I, once again, have nothing because sick.

But I feel spry today and my body seems to be ok with letting me drink coffee, so that bodes well. I’m going straight to Underground Undercover. I gotta make progress.

Let’s hope we can find something else to spring off on. We managed to salvage yesterday, after all.

Of COURSE things slow down when I get a new game. Three new games. They mock me.

Feminina:

New games. They do mock you. “Hahahahaha!!!!!” they say. “You thought you would get to actually play us? Sucker.”

I played a little bit, until I ran into another choice point and was like “damn it, I don’t want to make these decisions! And anyway I really have to pay some bills!”

Butch:

ANOTHER choice? You mean the choice I’m gonna make to do Underground ISN’T the big “this is the endgame” choice? I’m STILL not at the endgame?

Shit. I can’t decide if that motivates me or not.

This game might be too much of a good thing. I felt TW3, which was long, was just right for what it did. This….might be overstaying its welcome. Some. A bit.

Feminina:

Oh man, you haven’t even angered one of the Brotherhood/Institute pair yet, right? I’m now at a “pick RR/Institute” point. (Though it’s possible those two choices could have come in a different order, like I might have had to pick the RR/Institute first…)

And at this rate I probably have to get down to one ally and then fight everyone else in the endgame.

So no. You’re not there yet. Sorry, man. But if you don’t try to drag things out to win Institute companion approval, you can probably move through the choices faster than I have been…just figure out who you want to end up with and make a point of making everyone else as angry as possible.

Good luck! Use that charisma for evil! Ha.

Butch:

Nope. Haven’t alienated anyone. Not a one. They all are cool with me.

Fuck it. I don’t need companion approval. There are no more hotties. I’m good. Time to move forward. You’re getting close, I’m getting tired of it.

Time to piss people off. For justice!

Feminina:

For justice! And the end of the game!

Go to hell, everyone!

Butch:

So I just played some! Told the synth we’re gonna free them all, completely unsubtly killed some guards, got them their stuff, now I’m told “continue working with father” so I took on this “synth retention” quest that made me hate the Institute even more cuz it involves getting on a boat which took forever. Now I have to make kid dinner. Sigh. And there was a dude with a fat man I couldn’t find.

But interesting bit:

Talking to Z1, I hit a persuade check when he’s telling me that not every synth may fight. I say “Everyone wants to be free” and I fail the check, and he just up and disagrees and says “You’re wrong. They don’t.”

Hmm. Whatchu make of that? You probably passed that test.

Feminina:

Interesting! I did pass that persuade check, and Z1 said something like “if the Railroad could inspire everyone the way you do, we’d be all set.” So he didn’t exactly agree with me that everyone wants to be free (which is fine, I don’t know that I would necessarily agree with me either, I just couldn’t resist the persuade check), but he was bowled over by the force of my awesome conviction. As he should be.

But Z1 raises a very good point. I feel quite iffy on this ‘free all the synths’ quest, because it’s making a decision for a whole lot of people/beings, and not all of them are going to be happy with it. I mean, Z1 had 13 lined up that he knew really WANTED out. We know, thanks to your slightly-less-awesome-than-mine-charisma, that he believes some of the other synths don’t actually want to get out at all, though others may seize the chance if offered.

And yet we’re just deciding for them all that the time for revolution and mass escape has come. Throw off the chains of your oppressors! Whether you want to or not!

Which is more of that do-gooder thing we’ve talked about before, feeling that we know better than the actual people in a situation. And…maybe we do. The synths are slaves and slavery is wrong.

But…the synths are machines. Their minds don’t work the way mine does. If some of them are perfectly content with their lot, is it my business to decide they need an uprising? If Z1 hadn’t gotten on board, I would have just cancelled the whole thing, but the fact that he came around (and then got ahead of me with the whole “you’ll have to kill the guards” thing) gave the plan at least some legitimacy. Although even now, we’re allowing one discontented synth to speak for every synth in the Institute, which is troubling.

But you’ve got to do something, and I can’t really get behind the Institute, however much they tempt me with power and comfort, and however much I’ve gone along with several of their plans already. I’m pretty sure I’m going to turn on them and wind up with the Railroad. Even though the RR has their own issues, as I’ve just been pondering.

Or the Minutemen, if it comes to that, but they haven’t asked me to make any big choices so far.

Butch:

You are pretty awesome. I’m still pissed I’m less charismatic in my totally awesome silver shroud stuff than I am in my weird destroyer helmet, but whatever.

And it was the response to the (very well voice acted) wide eyed optimism of Jessica. She was all “But people WANT to be free!” I wish I could remember at this point if she phrased it as a question “Doesn’t eveyone want to be free?” or as a statement “Everyone wants to be free,” but she certainly sounded like a true believer either way, only to be shot down.

Indeed, it’s interesting the game did that as a persuasion check at all. Most games give you the heroic dialog choice. You say “Everyone wants FREEDOM!” and people just believe you, what you being the hero and all. There’s nothing to persuade. Not here.

It would certainly appear that slavery is wrong.

But then, did you do synth retention? Cuz that’s interesting, too.

Z1 did come around for me, too, but only because he accepted that more than his 13 wanted out. He is not cool with the others, and he is not cool with the violence, though he sees it as necessary.

The minutemen are almost too chill. As long as they have their gourds. But watch it; soon they’ll run out of places to settle that make sense (Hangman’s Alley is already kinda scraping the bottom of possibility) and they’ll be all “There’s this dumpster in the glowing sea we could probably cram a couple sleeping bags into, go check it out” and they won’t give you a shred of peace.

Feminina:

I could totally see the Minutemen being like “OK, we’re out of good settlement locations, time to WIPE OUT EVERYONE ELSE AND TAKE THEIR SPACE” and then all of a sudden we’re attacking Diamond City.

They’re just biding their time, there among the gourds.

“Synth retention” was the synth who’d turned into a ruthless raider, right? Libertalia?

That WAS interesting. And in that case, I was like “yeah, this one needed to be stopped.”

But it’s also interesting that when you think about it, he wasn’t doing anything in particular that (presumed) human raider leaders haven’t done. So no doubt he’s a problem, but is he a problem because he’s a rogue synth who needs reprogramming, or is he a problem because he’s a terrible person, just like plenty of humans?

It’s efficient, I guess, that we could shut him down and take him back to the Institute to be rehabilitated or whatever: he may still be of some use in (Institute) society, whereas if he were human we would have just killed him.

But is it significantly different? And is the inarguable fact that this one synth went bad and became a murderous raider sufficient evidence that no synth should be allowed their freedom because any one of them might do the same? I think we would agree that it’s not (since we’re both helping Z1 here)…but it does show that the question is complicated.

Butch:

I haven’t finished that quest, so I’ll let you know, but the twist was when I GOT the quest (and the little picture thing that comes with it) my first reaction was “fuck no, I’m not bringing in some poor synth for this bureau of assholes.” I mean, there’s the little cartoon guy dragging someone in. I didn’t even want to TALK to father about it. Then I did, expecting him to say “This guy has a wife and three kids and a nice gourd farm, but bring him in anyway” so imagine my surprise when I was all “Oh….well…..yeah…. I suppose killing raiders is kinda my thing…… “

We’ve been worried about synth kill switches the whole game. Or Piper has.

Feminina:

Ah, damn it. Sorry, didn’t mean to spoil the whole thing. But yeah, it was interesting that the image is the guy dragging someone by the collar, and you totally think “no way!” and then the details are…much more like the kind of thing we do all the time.

That’s how Father sucks you in! The first quest is all about doing stuff you do all the time anyway, being helpful and serving the greater good, and then before you know it you’re…whatever. I won’t spoil anything else.

Butch:

S’okay. I totally don’t trust him anyway. Even if he does look like the most interesting man in the world.

Feminina:

Ha! He does kind of, doesn’t he?

“I don’t always lead my recently thawed parent on a long trek across the post-nuclear wasteland in search of me…but when I do, it’s because of [mumble mumble very good reasons].”

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