Video Game: Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
"There are three simple rules to follow with Brotherhood equipment: if you damage your weapon, you will spend a week in the box. If you damage your armor, you will spend a week in the box. If you Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
lose either, I'll kill you myself. And one more thing, ladies... Welcome to the Brotherhood of Steel."
is the third installment in the Fallout
series, and the first spinoff. Released by Interplay Entertainment
in 2001, it was developed by Micro Forte and published by Interplay. The game took a departure from the first two games settings-wise and gameplay-wise. While, at its core, still an RPG,note
the focus is now on tactical squad-based combat. The game is a Contested Sequel
with some liking it for its solid tactical combat while others dislike it for percieved continuity errors and departing from many of the elements that made the first two games so good. The official stance on the game from the current IP owners Bethesda
is that it's Broad Strokes
canon.The Mid-western wasteland around the ruins of Chicago is an okay place to live.
Sure, there's monsters everywhere that can tear your head off easier than you could swat a fly, almost all the water is irradiated, there are large groups of Super-Mutants who escaped the destruction of The Master's army
that want to Kill All Humans
, and... Actually, the Wasteland is a horrible place to live. But it's not like you have a choice.
And then everything changed. A huge storm caused gigantic airships to crash-land nearby, and soldiers in huge suits of technologically advanced armor marched out of them, setting up bases. They are the Brotherhood of Steel, and they are not happy to be here. They are the descendants of the United States military, surviving the Great War in a secret military base, and their stated duty is to protect the technology of the past, so that the future may benefit from it.
The Brotherhood is at a loss, however, for their carefully built airships have been destroyed before they could return to their home base, and they now have no way back. They will not be missed, however, because they've been exiled from the Main Brotherhood, due to an argument which has lasted years: Should the Brotherhood remain a closed faction, secret and pure, dwindling as the decades go by
, or let in the clueless Wastelanders that may misuse the gifts
of the Brotherhood? The survivors of the crash were the ones who decided upon the latter choice.
And now they are forced to stand by in their decision, because the majority of this new Brotherhood are now dead and buried under the rubble of the airships, and they've got to replace them fast, or the Wasteland might just swallow them up. And that's where you come in. You were one of the ones they chose, among others, to join the Brotherhood, and as a test, you will be leading a bunch of other initiates to disperse the nearby Raiders that are causing trouble. If you succeed, you will be fully incorporated into the Brotherhood; If you fail, you can just go back to the Wasteland.
You sure as hell aren't gonna fail.
Tropes that apply to this game shall follow. This is law.
- Actionized Spin-Off: Though it uses the same interface and much of the same elements, Tactics is a lot more combat-oriented and linear than the two games before it.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Maximum six initiates in your squad, one of which is you and cannot be replaced. Them's the rules.
- Artificial Stupidity:
- Supermutants tend to do things like getting stuck in one place, charging at a vehicle with a melee weapon or shooting their own team members. And all enemies routinely fail spot checks regarding mines.
- AI pathfinding leaves something to be desired. Your team tend to march in a straight line, which can cause problems when you tell them to run but a unit that is winded or has a crippled leg is ahead of the rest of the team.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: While most of your gear can be scavenged off enemies, the real good stuff can only be found from your bunker quartermasters. And you need to rise in the ranks before they'll start selling the good stuff.
- Which makes sense - much of this technology (like energy weapons) ins't exactly easy to use, and the player ins't the only one who needs it. Not to mention the last thing the brotherhood wants is for someone to run off with the Power Armor or something.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The player finds an APC in one of the missions. Slow, but well-armoured and carries a lot of gear.
- Awesome but Impractical: Most non-human squadmates fall under this category.
- Ghouls recruits. Unless you focused your recruits towards specific skills only, then they will most likely have the highest skill percentages in several categories. However they cannot use lower to mid tier human armor, which is the only kind you'll have for a long time. The only armor they can use are rare or only available in the late game. They also cannot use weapons that use a specific sprite animation (heavy weapons). Due to a technical issue with the game engine, they are not immune to radiation. They also don't get perks as fast as humans. Finally several of them start with the "Glowing One" trait, which grants them small bonuses with the penalty of irradiating the rest of your squad, including other ghouls without the "Glowing One" trait.
- Deathclaw recruits. They are fast. They are strong. They are tough. They tear through metal armour and supermutant skin like tissue paper. Their blows have a knockdown effect that stunlocks anyone they hit. They have no weapons or armour whatsoever, require a lot of micromanaging, does not gain perks as fast, and show up just in time for the point where Big Guns become the alpha and omega.
- Dog recruits. Very similar to deathclaws, minus their durability, plus a higher perk rate and only available in multiplayer.
- Robot recruits. High damage resistance and can use any weapon effectively. However they have low health, do not receive any perks, and there's only one of them in single player.
- Awesome Yet Practical: The Browning M2. Requires 9 strength (doable with Power Armour or for a super mutant), dish out lots of damage, and can use depleted uranium ammunition.
- The Rocket launcher: high firepower, and lots of different amunition, including EMP rockets.
- Supermutant squad members. Similar to the ghouls they can only wear rare race specific armor, but unlike them they can't use late game human armor. They can't use any weapons that use a certain sprite animation (rifles). Several of them is tagged for and have a high energy weapons skill, which is all but useless to them due to most energy weapons using the rifle sprite animation. Some even start with a trait that gives the rest of the squad a penalty to Perception. Finally they have a lower perk rate than humans. However a combination of high durability, high skills, and ability to use the biggest weapons means their pros far outweigh their cons
- Badass Cape: All the late game armor comes with a snazzy side cape. Reaver bandings come with a traditional, if short, variant on the back.
- The Beastmaster: Beastlords, who use their psychic powers to control all manner of creature from giant cockroaches, to wasps, to dogs, to wolves. Except deathclaws, they control them by holding their matriarch hostage.
- Boring but Practical: Human recruits. Most don't really have anything special about them. What they do have is variety - variety of recruits to choose, variety of weapons they can use, variety of armor they can wear, variety of perks, and so on. It's telling how the player character can only be a human and the vast majority of recruits are human as well.
- Brain in a Jar: The Big Bad, the calculator, is an amalgam of around a dozen of these. Potentially you or Barnaky as well, in the ending.
- Broad Strokes: There are some minor inconsistencies with previous games here and there, but the main events are still canon.
- Rule of Thumb: If the events don't clash with canon of the main games, it's canon.
- Crouch and Prone: An important feature. Crouching and going prone slows you down but increases your stealth and accuracy.
- Chained by Fashion: Oddly enough power armor has a chain wrapped around the left shoulder. Why? Because it's looks cool.
- Depleted Uranium Shells: The Browning M2 can be equipped with these.
- Disc One Nuke: Several
- You can get an FN FAL as well as EMP shotgun shells if you get the merchant random encounter, the EMP shells let you bust the turrets in Preoria mission very easily.
- If you encounter the Brotherhood prison random encounter, you can kill the two paladins using poison or drug overdose and take their miniguns.
- If you encounter another merchant, his guards can be killed using drug overdose, and they carry Jackhammers, which let you make short work on deathclaws.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Paladin Rychek.
- Easy Amnesia: Horribly, horribly averted. The leader of the super mutants is one of the leaders of the Brotherhood who sustained a horrible head injury and started to forget who he was. He also becomes schizophrenic, eternally violent, and gains various other signs of a serious concussion gone untreated.
- Enemy Mine: As things progress From Bad to Worse, the Mid-Western Brotherhood expands their membership to former raiders, Ghouls, Super-Mutants (which are still on the Holy Genocide List back west), intelligent deathclaws, and even a robot not controlled by Calculator.
- Especially prominent with the Super-Mutants. The Brotherhood have never actively searched out ghouls to kill (they just have a nasty tendency to shoot first when they see them), and allying with deathclaws was never an option (what with them being non-sapient) before. Tracking down the remnants' of the Master's Army, on the other hand, was the official reason for the Brotherhood's expedition east in the first place.
- Flechette Storm: Flechette rounds are available for shotguns. Quite effective against unarmoured opponents, but most late-game enemies just shrug them off.
- Gatling Good: The Gauss Minigun. One of the most powerful weapons ever.
- Good Is Not Nice: The Mid-West Brotherhood in a nutshell, even dips into Designated Hero at times. Sure, they'll bring peace to the wasteland and protect your communities. And sure, they'll very willing to accept surrenders and offers of truce. But they'll still demand conscripts for their services, muscle their way into your territory, and even have labor camps for captured enemies and mutants in the Barnaky ending. In one instance they even force captured raiders and Beastlords to transport a radioactive nuke to a irradiated tunnel for safekeeping, but refuse to provide Rad-X or Radaway due to short supply.
- Grenade Launcher: Not the most effective weapon around, but it gives Small Guns parties some explosive goodness. Also handy for equipping anyone without good small guns skills, like medics.
- Guest Fighter: Riddick of The Chronicles of Riddick film series, who is found in the "Pitch Black" special encounter.
- I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Namuk, a raider prisoner, said to have been repeatedly tortured and his "little tribal" couldn't take it anymore.
- Infinity Plus One Machinegun: Either the Browning M2 due to armor reduction on target (with depleted uranium shells), or the Gauss Minigun.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Beastlords have degenerated to the point of taking up cannibalism. But then again they don't consider themselves human to begin with.
- Immune to Bullets: All kinds and types of mechanical enemies are made of and covered with reinforced steel and other materials of equal durability. Unless anti-tank or EMP weapons are fielded, your attacks will be literally reduced to scratching.
- Joke Item: The chauchat, a French WW1 light machine gun whose frequent jams have been flanderized to epic proportions. It can be found in a hidden cache, but it's not even usable as a melee weapon!
- To clarify, literally the only thing a character with it equipped can do is reload it, you won't even get any cash for selling it!
- Lethal Joke Item: The 'Mutate' perk. Worthless in Fallout and Fallout 2 where you pick your traits at the beginning of the game. In this game however, it can be used to make all your squad members Gifted retroactively, and is well worth the perk slot.
- Luck-Based Mission: Springfield. One squad of brotherhood soldiers, multiple hostage-taking situations each with enough enemies and hostages to outnumber your squad 2-to-1. And the hostage takers are all linked up by radio, so once you start shooting all hell breaks loose all over the map. Oh, and you have to save everyone. Good luck.
- Machine Worship: The Reaver Movement, which makes the Brotherhood look positively secular by comparison.
- Midquel: Takes place between the first two games.
- Mildly Military: The East BoS is considerably more lax than the West one. It not only comes from fielding New Meat and using locals as replacements, but also things like drug stimulation during combat are not a breach in protocol - they are norm.
- Multiple Endings Depending on your alignment and how you choose to answer the calculator's request. Every ending is morally gray except the one where you convince Barnaky to join with the machine. That is very much a Downer Ending. The canon ending, however, is the one where you destroy the calculator.
- One-Hit Kill: The bazooka is this on low armor targets. A critical burst can do the trick too.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Potentially your squad, but certainly the Mid-West Brotherhood by necessity. After being cut off from the main branch back west the Brotherhood had to start conscripting local tribals to bolster their numbers. After that they start including friendly ghouls. Then they ally with intelligent deathclaws. Then they form an alliance with Super Mutants. Then form an uneasy truce with the Reaver Movement, a bunch of technology worshipping raiders. Finally they include salvaged humanoid robots.
- RPGs Equal Combat: Zig-Zagged. Sure, the game is basically a tactical shooter with very linear plot, but it's not trying to convince anyone it's something more. On the other hand, combat by itself grants almost no experience points - they are earned for different, often optional, mission objectives.
- Save Game Limits: Enabling "Tough Guy" mode at the start of the game limits saves to in-between missions ala Fire Emblem, but gives bonus XP in return.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: General Barnaky. If he wasn't already, the events of the game does this to him.
- Shrouded in Myth: In-universe. The whole game is a transcript from Brotherhood archives about achievements of the Warrior, your character.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: You start out fighting rag-tag bands of outlaws and raiders. You then move on to the more organized beastmen, who have freaky mutation powers and deathclaw allies. Then you meet the remnants of The Master's army. They last just long enough to let you come into contact with the Reaver Movement, who are replaced by the Calculator and its robotic forces who were already hitting the Mutants and Reavers hard.
- Sssssnake Talk: Beastlords and Deathclaws talk like this.
- Tank Goodness: Yes, you get to drive a tank. However, it only holds five passengers (less than a full squad) and there is very little ammo for the gun.
- Too Awesome to Use: The mentioned all around .50 cal shells made of depleted uranium. You can get only few belts of it and only in very complex way, thus conserving them for the rest of the game. On the other hand, by the tail end of the game, you won't even hesitate for a second to load them.
- Useless Useful Stealth: Stealth has only three uses in this game: getting to a tactical position, getting the first strike on the enemy and getting the mines planted on the paths of enemy patrols. When enemies start using rocket launchers, you start to understand how useful it is.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Macomb. Until this point, you could just move forward and shoot everything hostile in sight. If you try this on macomb, all raiders will get a first strike at you. Halfway through the mission, one of them is equipped with a rocket laucher (One-Hit Kill on low level armor like the ones you will likely be wearing at that point). To make things worse, there is another one near the end. Hope you put some point into sneak skill to sneak two guys behind him and shoot a burst.
- Quincy too, when earlier you can just go in guns blazing, this is the first time you encounter Deathclaws. That is, unless you are lucky enough and managed to get Auto Shotguns or Miniguns early.
- Telepathy: Brotherhood Scribes conclude this to the reason for Beastlord's control over animals and insects. Unfortunately the cause of the mutation is unique to a single place and too impractical to acquire so the Brotherhood abandons the idea.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: You can have a squad of up to six recruits. If any of them dies you can replace them with one of the dozens of replacements. But if the player character dies it's game over. Them's the rules.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Midwestern Brotherhood is still a quasi-fascist militant organization with the goal of monopolising all technology like its parent organization on the West Coast. Unlike the original BoS they allow outsiders into their organization, operate similarly to the NCR in that they provide protection and aid to nearby tribes in return for manpower and supplies, and aim to share the technology they possess to their protectorates for the common good. In all of the endings they eventually transform the Mid-West into a stable, secure place to live and share non-military technology with their protectorates, though they are still non-democratic.
- Zeerust: A bit inconsistent with the rest of the series, but the game still maintains a retro-futuristic look.