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Significant spoilers as we approach the end, specifically for the Pinned quest, for what happens if you side with the Institute against the Brotherhood of Steel, and for Danse’s backstory. And for Egret Tours Marina, although that was spoiled a while ago.

Butch:

Well. That all happened.

So…..

Did Mass Fusion, had the Institute guy barricade himself in that place, decided I didn’t care, did Pinned, which was a toughie. I wanted to talk the Institute guy into leaving, but no. So I reloaded, and decided to storm the place, which got me all sorts of failed quests, quest lines, etc., including Underground Undercover, so I said “Fuck it. One life for the lives of synths” and went in and talked him into going to the institute. Then I activated the reactor. Then, as soon as I did that, the synth rebellion got going, and I ran off to warn Desdemona, and hell broke loose, and now I’m trying to find Glory who is likely dead. Fun.

And……I……killed an NPC. A friend. Have you done that? (Given the course of my story you can figure out who.) We can talk on that.

You’re done, aren’t you? We must be close and you’re ahead of me.

Feminina:

Yes…that all happened.

I finished it–well, the main storyline, anyway. There are still ‘settlement-in-trouble’-style quests I could keep doing perhaps indefinitely (spoiler: I survived! I didn’t destroy the entire Commonwealth!), but…I’m unlikely to pursue that for long.

I feel…not awesome about the ending, but in a way that makes sense, you know? Very sort of morally ambiguous, was-that-the-right-choice…

But yeah, Pinned, I recall…I also talked the guy into joining the Institute because it seemed like the best way of concluding that without getting into a big fight with the Minutemen, which I didn’t want to do (’cause they’re my people!), or alienating the Institute, which I didn’t want to do yet (’cause I might STILL learn some more about how exactly they want their big plan to work!).

Which NPC did you kill? I killed…kind of a lot of them. Sigh. Moral ambiguity.

Butch:

Figured. It feels like it’s heading to the finish. Add to that the fact I am completely done with magpieing. I’m ready for this to be over. I’m not going to pursue any settlement whatnot when I’m done. I mean, that’s it. Especially as I now know that I’d have to redo A LOT to platinum it. I will admire yours. When the credits roll, I will ponder, than load up Uncharted.

I’ll probably be to the end this week, yes? We’ll talk. Later.

Ah, see, I didn’t want to alienate the institute cuz synth rebellion. Gotta keep them on the hook. Though I did feel kind of bad in that I talked this guy into going into what may well be radioactive death, as, shit, there’s a REACTOR there, and I know from MANY fallout experiences of days of yore that reactors generally mean a) deaths of parents and b) deaths of PCs. Nothing good EVER happens in a FO game when there’s a reactor. Ever. I kinda wanted to say that to Father. “Dude, you know this is a FALLOUT game, right?”

I killed Danse. And I didn’t like it. But not because I minded killing Danse, but I minded that it was ham handed.

I mean, I went back to Sanctuary and he starts shooting right away (and I was guns down), like he’s a raider. Just boom. Fight, die, Ad Victoriam, sister (the sister to twist the knife), but that was it. Over. And that was cheap. I have been defending the writing of this game from the nasty, nasty internet, but this was a cop out and a missed opportunity. No conversation? No nothing? Just he turns red, shoots, that’s it? That was a great time to extend the metaphor, get some emotion in, end a character’s story arc, and they just dropped the damn ball. It took ALL the emotion out of what should have been wrenching.

I really am getting afraid that this game is suffering from a terrible case of bioshock syndrome. That game worked up to such a great reveal, then….didn’t know what to do…..so it….you know….wrapped shit up….somehow. This game is feeling that way. It’s like a really good night at a really cool bar and then, all of a sudden, the lights come on cuz it’s 2AM and the bartender is saying “ok, out, don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here,” and we’re all being herded unceremoniously to the exits. They got us to the Institute, nice, metaphors, and now I just feel like it’s going “CHOOSE! CHOOSE NOW! OK, that meant HE DIED NOW CHOOSE! And….credits.” That’s not good writing, I’m afraid.

It’s too bad, really. This was a great game. We had so very much to talk about. And yet, here I am, at what OUGHT to be the culmination of a whole lot of really good set up, and I feel like I’m going through the motions, all “yeah, yeah, ok….can I play Uncharted now?”

Feminina:

Ah, Danse. I didn’t actually kill him, I just fled Red Rocket when he started shooting at me, and now I can never go back. (Finally, an advantage to not keeping all your companions in the same place!) I was like “I refuse to kill you! We were friends!”

In my head, maybe someday he’ll forgive me. According to the workshop stats, he hasn’t killed everyone there, and they’re not even more miserable than usual, so at least he’s not taking out his rage on the settlers.

But I agree, it felt like a waste to not have him SAY something to you. Not even that I think you should have been able to talk him out of it or anything, I respect that he’s devoted to the Brotherhood and he’s not going to forgive you for destroying the Prydwen and killing everyone he knows, but it could have meant more if he’d actually said that.

“This betrayal cuts me to the quick, how could you do that to the Brotherhood, how can you live with yourself after you turned your back on our friendship,” something. I mean, I already felt pretty bad about it. Killing all those knights and scribes that I’ve cheerfully worked with for months wasn’t much fun. I guess I just felt that the game could have rubbed it in a little and I would have deserved it…having Danse just start shooting as soon as he sees you, boom, done, felt more like the game almost letting me off the hook (see! they all hate you! Kill kill kill!).

Switch flipped! (Speaking of switches…since he’s dead and you’re not going to redo it either, Mr. O’ said if you play the BoS story through it turns out Danse is a synth. Twist!)

Sigh.

Butch:

Yeah, Danse didn’t seem to care much about the settlers. Even Strong and Valentine. What?

“You betrayed me! You care about synths and mutants! Now I shall kill you! While ignoring these synths and this mutant that you have obviously cared about for months!”

And Yes! It did feel like it was letting you off the hook!

Wait…..destroyed the Prydwen? What? All I did was have the audacity to teleport to Mass Fusion. I haven’t destroyed a thing. Yes, killed those scribes, but they were, in my defense, shooting at me.

Him being a synth makes a bit of sense. After killing Danse, I looted (as one does, especially when the dude is carrying so much of your stuff) and he had something called “synth component” which I KNOW I did not give him.

I wonder what that would have been about. Ask Mr. O’.

Cuz I ain’t gonna redo it.

Feminina:

Oops…sorry. My bad. Forget I said anything about destroying anything. Getting ahead of myself there.

Ah, so I would have found a synth component if I’d bothered to kill him.

And darn it, based on the wiki summary (no spoilers except for his storyline), I wonder if we couldn’t have found that out somehow earlier, and managed to hang onto him:

However, after the Survivor breaches The Institute’s mainframe, it is revealed that Paladin Danse himself is actually an escaped synth. Danse, or unit designation M7-97, goes AWOL shortly thereafter. Elder Maxson orders the Sole Survivor to find and execute their former mentor, saying the existence of a such a creature cannot be allowed.

When found at Listening Post Bravo Danse will swear that he did not know he was a synth. The disgraced paladin then encourages the Survivor to carry out their orders to kill him, insisting an example should be made and that he “must be the example, not the exception.” The Survivor must then choose to either execute Danse or convince him to flee the Commonwealth. If Danse survives the events of Blind Betrayal he will thank the Survivor and, with Maxson’s promise not to have him hunted down, remains in the Commonwealth to aid the Survivor in their mission.

It sounds as if we could have done this whole storyline before making the fateful choice to teleport to that building. Did I not breach the mainframe? Was there some terminal I was supposed to read that I missed? COULD I HAVE HAD SEVEN LOVERS????!!!!!

Damn it, I didn’t think to play that holotape before I gave it to Sturges–was that it?

Siiiiigh. I will never forgive myself for missing out on a romance. Not that I’m going to go back and redo anything, because I’m not.

Butch:

S’okay. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m pretty much gonna have to kill everyone.

Ok, nice twist, but…..

How exactly did he become a knight if he was a synth? Because one of two things is true, either a) the memories of his childhood in Rivet City are false and….what? or b) synths grow up. Do synths grow up?

I guess it would be ‘a’.

You’d think the BoS would’ve figured it out.

So he wants to be killed. That isn’t unlike Virgil, really. Finding out you’re the other and hating it. Much like people on that PBS show who trace their history. Southern Belles finding out they have black ancestors and not liking it. Hating the other so much you hate yourself.

Feminina:

Yeah, I guess all his childhood memories must be false (we haven’t seen any child synths other than Shaun, who seems to be a special project, so I assume that Danse didn’t escape as a child and then actually grow up in Rivet City).

Sloppy work with the background checks there, BoS.

He’s also an interesting contrast to what we saw with Phyllis, the woman at the Egret Tours Marina who killed her grandson and now believes she’s a synth (I suppose we could kill her and see if she has a ‘synth component’ on her body to make sure).

In her case, it seems as if she thinks/realizes she’s evil, so concludes that therefore she must be a synth. In his case, it’s more that he realizes he’s a synth, and concludes that therefore he must be evil. (Even though presumably he’s still the same person he was, with all his devoted Brotherhood-advancing deeds to his credit.) They’re coming at the question from opposite sides, but still are totally convinced that synth=evil, and that belief drives their responses.

Heck, we don’t actually need to PLAY these parts to talk about them. Next time, let’s just pick a random game, read the wiki, and discourse about it.

Butch:

Sloppy background checks, which, considering they know EVERYTHING WE DO was quite the oversight. Of course, they didn’t care when Curie or Valentine came aboard, so maybe they’re selectively zealous.

Yeah, really. Playing games. What a waste of time.

But, you know, that’s us. Verbose even when we don’t play. Or talking about something we’ll never play.

Feminina:

To be fair, EVERYONE seems to know everything we do, so maybe we shouldn’t hold it against them that their dossier on Danse was incomplete. It’s probably murder getting records from the Rivet City RMV these days.

I never actually took Valentine or Curie onto the Prydwen. I figured no one would do anything, but I also thought “in character, I would avoid doing this,” so I never did. I DID take Hancock aboard, even though they hate ghouls, because by then I was nearing the end of the game and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought anymore.

There were some nasty remarks about him as I passed, which believe me I took note of and used as partial justification for why I didn’t side with the BoS, but no one said anything to me.

Once I had Valentine with me while I was escorting a squire (all those squires! Dead! Probably. Mercifully, I didn’t actually see them die–I guess killing children is still beyond the pale), and one of his throwaway remarks was “I can’t believe you travel with that…thing,” but again, it wasn’t a direct confrontation, just background dialogue.

Butch:

No one will miss the squires.

Ironsides had the DMV records! and Rivet City was advanced. No excuses.

Feminina:

The squires probably survived. They were probably all in class in the bunker under the airport or something, where they’ll form a colony of feral children ruling themselves according to mangled BoS doctrine and hating our guts. We’ll run into them later as a powerful faction in FO5 that has allied themselves with the Pillars of the Community to scam everyone out of everything.

Mark my words.

Butch:

You jest, but that would be kinda awesome.

Feminina:

Of course, that could only happen in games where the vault dweller didn’t side with the Brotherhood in the endgame. Maybe in BoS-supportive games, the feral children could be from the Institute, which must have some kids even though we don’t see them.

Butch:

Sure, why not? They’ve got to have them.

It’s also interesting that now we know this game abandoned two big factions that were so big in the first three: the NCR and the Enclave. They’ve got to come up at done point in the future of the franchise.

Look at us. Speculating on five when I haven’t finished four.

Feminina:

It’s what we do. Speculate wildly.

Well, that and loot. And flirt.

Butch:

Aren’t we supposed to play first before speculating? I mean, that’s in the name of the blog. I mean calling the thing “talking about shit” wouldn’t have the same cachet.

Though it would get points for accuracy.

Feminina:

Loot first. Talk later.

Words to live by.

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