Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Fallout 4

Go To

New entries at the bottom.

    open/close all folders 

    Timeline and New Vegas 
  • Have I heard it wrong? Does Fallout 4 take place in 2077, before the events of Fallout: New Vegas?
    • The main game itself will very, very likely take place after New Vegas, but the idea of seeing or visiting 2077 is not out of the question yet.
    • I think this is just cutscene-material. We will be playing after the war.
    • There's some speculation over in the official Fallout 4 forum that the guy wearing the 111 suit was actually a pre-War citizen that was frozen in stasis and only awoke 200 years after the world ended.
    • There's no reaåson why the game can't be set before New Vegas. The plots of the two games are unlikely to intersect, and setting it before actually frees up Caesar's Legion to have a possible role in the plot (Caesar tried to scout east after his failure at the First Battle of Hoover Dam).
    • Truth is, we have yet to find out what year it'll be set. For all we know, we either jump forward a hundred years to 2380, or we're back in 2277.
    • The Dweller's Robo-butler (who, like most other Mr. Handy's, survived the blasts) tells him it's been "200" years since he was put into stasis, placing this game in 2277, the same year as 3. However, it's unknown if this is accurate, or simply an approximation. It could easily be something like 205 years, which would place the game a year after the events of New Vegas.
    • I believe I read somewhere that Bethesda have some internal decree that says that a new installment in a franchise must advance the timeline. There was something about Fallout 3 was meant to take place quite early in the Fallout timeline, but this was changed because of the decree.
    • Not sure why this hasn't been updated with the E3 info, but here we go: The game starts in 2077 for character creation and the first bits of introduction to the new game mechanics. Then you find out that this is the day the bombs fall, you rush to the Vault...cut to two centuries (ish) later, you wake up (presumably from some sort of suspended animation) and find out you're the sole survivor of Vault 111.
    • Personally I think that Codsworth saying you're 200 years late for dinner probably means it has been 200 years. I feel the Robot would specify if it had been 205 years. Honestly, if they didn't have to account for the game being free roam and the possibility of you taking your sweet time getting to Codsworth, I could picture him narrowing it down to the month and day as part of the joke.
    • He actually clarifies it, after.
    • Due to the leaks, we know the game takes place in 2287, after both Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

    Boston's survival 
  • A lame question that will probably be answered in the game, but why does Boston look so... Good? I mean, compared to DC, it looks practically undamaged. While it will be explained, why does Boston, one of the key cities of the world, look so good? Heck, even Los Angeles is a city of bones, and it's as important as Boston.
    • Boston is on the other side of the continent, it would be easy to have China to cause a lot more damage to the west coast than the east coast.
    • Washington STATE is on the west coast, but Washington DC (Where Fallout 3 was set) is on the east coast, not particularly far from Massachusetts. As for the question? The Commonwealth is supposedly a technological juggernaut, so they may have done some rebuilding.
    • Bear in mind though, only the Institute is described in 3 as being technologically advanced. The Commonwealth IS described in 3 as being largely a bombed-out hellhole.
    • Boston is over 400 miles from Washington, actually. This might not make that big a difference in real life as far as actual fallout goes, but it does in this universe.
    • The game takes place over a hundred years after the bombs hit and people are beginning to rebuild.
    • Fallout 4 is likely to be set in late 23rd or early 24th century, so that's a lot of time to rebuild everything from scratch.
    • Furthermore, considering the tech at The Institute, it wouldn't be surprising if they had something similar to what House had in Vegas. It makes sense that Bethesda would go the extra mile to not make Boston microscopic, due to the sheer amount of rage that the size of New Vegas caused.
    • Another in-universe justification: D.C. was targeted by far more bombs than anywhere else in the country, what with being the capital and all, which is why even after two centuries it was still a collapsed and broken mess. Boston could have been hit extremely hard (and it's mentioned that more bombs hit the East Coast in general, because higher population), but nowhere took it as hard as Washington.
    • It's important to remember that the divergence in timelines means that Washington, in addition to looking different in style and layout, was probably built with stronger, more resistant architectural materials. Look at the Washington Monument; its got a steel skeleton, and stone seems to the prevalent material throughout the city. In addition, the city seems to have an underground nuclear reactor, as power still works after 200 years. Its incredibly likely that in the Fallout universe, the US government tried to nuke-proof Washington as much as possible, which may (rather shakily I admit) explain why its intact after getting absolutely carpet bombed with nukes.
    • Washington, DC got absolutely obliterated because it was the capital city, its likely New York City was hit just as hard, but Boston was mostly spared on account of it (at least in whoever launched the strike's eyes) not being a critical city and thus only got hit with a few missiles.
    • According to the Fallout Bible, Fallout 3 should not have been possible to even do. Washington DC wasn't just nuked to Hell. It was nuked to oblivion. The Chinese knew that DC was the capital, and focused more nukes on it alone than any other city or region. We're talking the entire region being turned to scorched earth, and then that scorched earth was turned into scorched earth. For many fans, Fallout 3 shouldn't be canon to the source material. But it is, and the Fallout Bible has been partially Retconned out. My point is to reiterate that Boston wasn't as important a target as DC was.
    • Boston was only targeted by one nuke, which hit somewhere on the coast and mostly missed the city itself.
    • Boston is also nowhere near as big of a city as Los Angeles. At time of writing, LA is the US's second most populated city with close to 4 MILLION residents. Boston, on the other hand, ranks at 24 with only 655 thousand residents.
    • The epicenter of the blast was a ways to the southwest of downtown Boston, in what is now the Glowing Sea. That place is now a nightmarishly irradiated wasteland. The city got hit with shock and heat, but not enough to level everything in downtown.

    Female Veteran? 
  • So apparently the player character is a veteran even if she's a woman. However, i didn't see anything indicating that there were female soldier in Pre-War's America. Plus, considering that Pre-War America had all the value of 50's America, how is it possible a woman was admitted in the military?
    • While it is historically unlikely the female performed in a combat role, woman have been admitted as nurses throughout American military history.
    • Operation: Anchorage had female soldiers as part of your squad. Also its an alternate timeline where America has been fighting a war against China for years on end. If they're low enough on manpower, there's no reason they couldn't send women to fight.
    • It's probably fair to assume that certain elements of society advanced beyond 1950s sensibilities, in regards to racial and gender equality. For instance, you can make the protagonists an interracial couple, married and living together in a well off suburban neighborhood; that wouldn't have flown in the 1950s.
    • There's a trope for that.
    • Considering that more traditional racism has been seemingly entirely replaced with the Fantastic Racism against ghouls and mutants in the Fallout universe, it seems likely that pre-apocalypse society was probably pretty socially egalitarian (if not fiscally so).
    • Further underscoring this is the way contemporary people refer to the Chinese. Whenever they speak ill of them, they only refer to them as Dirty Communists, and never once bring any obvious Yellow Peril tropes into it.
    • Slightly subverted by Liberty Prime's constant references to the threat of the "Red Chinese." To be fair, there were probably still other types of Chinese, but...
    • Still focused on the communism, though, so it's not so much racism as jingoism.
    • The Trailers show a dude, so canonically it's probably a dude, but with Androids it doesn't matter. Its all just data and machine parts. During WWII Women were part of the Homefront focusing on Manufacturing, and industry. But in the Cold War we've had countries train women in the use of arms. If things got bad enough Women could be training for service.
    • There's never been a canonical gender for any Fallout protagonist but the first, I believe. Also, it's not been confirmed that the protag is an android.
    • To answer the question: Because she applied for it.
    • Only Nate is a veteran, Nora's a lawyer. (She could maybe have been a JAG officer I guess)
    • There's several answers for this question. The first one I can think of, is that at no point is it directly said that Nora is EXCLUSIVELY a lawyer. In fact, the holotape given to her by Nate specifically says "dusting off the law degree". Which means she hasn't been a practicing lawyer for some time. Which means for the last several years she's been doing something else. What that something else may be, your guess is as good as mine, but given her proficiency with firearms, power armor, and such, a military background isn't out of the question. The other possible answer is the other way around. She served in the military or law enforcement when she was younger, but then got a law's degree and retired to be a practicing civilian.
    • In New Vegas, 3, and 4, you can find propaganda posters depicting an integrated workforce with women and Africa-Americans working alongside others. Additionally, the pre-war world had many women in positions of authority, and as one user said, Anchorage proved that women served in combat roles. There's even an interracial lesbian couple living on your street that you encounter when you run for the Vault at the beginning of this game! So yes, it's correct to assume that the prewar US is pretty socially liberal, if a little facist and nationalistic/war-mongering.

    "Power armor is limited now?" 
  • Power armor is supposed to last hundreds of years if not more. Why does the power armor's fusion core run out so quickly all of a sudden?
    • Maybe it's not the core itself, but the support systems? I mean, preventing it from exploding or releasing radiation is a bit more important, from an engineering perspective, than keeping it in peak working condition. Also, possibly easier and cheaper.
    • Seems a bit odd for the difference to be so drastic. They must be really crappy at designing the support system if the fusion cores went from lasting hundreds of years to lasting a few minutes.
    • The power armor in this game is the T-60 power armor, almost certainly some form of prototype since canonically the last mass produced power armor model before the war was the T-51b (the one on the cover of Fallout 1). The T-60 seems to be the War Machine design to the T-51b's Iron Man and its possible they simple didn't fix the power issues before the bombs fell.
    • Fusion cells that last for hundreds of years clearly still exist in the setting due to the implausibly active technology, generators and your very own robot butler (Though the latter is particularly baffling due to needing fuel for his jet propulsion system - you can even find the canister.) Maybe the real issue is the protagonist being unable to use the armor properly? Remember that previous games in the setting always locked the ability to use powered armor behind a perk obtained towards the end of the main plot.
    • But why would not being able to use the power armor properly affect the core at all? The training has more to do with moving properly in it, as well as putting it on and taking it off. If anything a lack of training would result in dislocating your arm because you underestimated the amount of force the motor assist puts out, or tripping in it. It wouldn't result in the fuel efficiency going down.
    • Well the Doylist reason is to keep Power Armor from being broken. In Fallout 1 and 2 it turned you into walking tank that let you be basically radiation, laser, and bullet proof and steamroll entire towns without taking a scratch. Fallout 3 and New Vegas nerfed it into just really good armor with a few nice stat bonuses. Here it's more like the original games, but I'm assuming the limited power supply is to keep you from breaking the game. Chalk it up to poor balancing on Bethesda's part.
    • Power armor using fusion cores makes a lot of sense, and its not a huge handicap. By exploring everwhere, its not uncommon to have upwards of 25 cores by level 28. They're incredibly common, most buildings have them in their power systems, usually in the basement. Traders sell them (with the right perks) for around 270 caps.
    • Also, with the advent of the Automatron DLC, many of the hostile robots you encounter drop fusion cores when defeated.
    • Canonically, the most-advanced Pre-War Power Armor, the T-51b, had fusion cores that were supposed to last for 100 years, not 200. It makes sense, then, that they drain so fast comparatively: the fusion cores were "on their last legs" as it was! (
    • I think that the fusion cores make much more sense than the 100 year power pack that the previous power armours were meant to have due to the fact that the whole point of the war was that they were facing an energy crisis. Fusion cores that last a day of in-game time makes sense. A power pack that lasts a hundred years perfectly fine does not. That's not an energy crisis - that's a minor inconvenience at best. And that has always been something that makes no sense in Fallout. A world with depleted resources to the point that America and China went to war that still has 200 year old robots and computer terminals that are powered up perfectly fine.

    The Brotherhood of Steel are evil, now? 
  • It'd been bugging me since the Release trailer dropped: Is the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel now bad guys after being the Big Good of sorts of the third game? Or could the Brotherhood we see in the trailers be the Outcasts?
    • my best bet would be those are another Branch of The Brotherhood Of Steel. In case you don't know, they have 3 (known) branches: The West Coast branch, The Midwestern branch (perhaps non-canon, but they are mentioned in New Vegas) and the East Coast Branch. The last branch has rebelled and broken off from the rest and is practically a different faction of its own, and Fallout 4 is set 4 years before the event of Fallout New Vegas, before The Western branch was beaten into little more than a husk of it former self, so it's not impossible that The Brotherhood Of Steel we see in the game is the "True" one trying to destroy its Rebellious eastern cousin, or The Midwestern Branch making their move in the East. It is not however possible that they could be the Brotherhood Outcasts, since they are so undermanned that they have to use Robots as a large chunk of their troops and they so poorly-equipped that they have to get help from a complete stranger to open the Armory to get some more weapons, they barely hold their own in Capital Wasteland, let alone expanding into The Commonwealth. However, we shouldn't rule out the possibility that The Brotherhood Of Steel is our allies early on the game and turn on us later, or Vice Versa. Mostly because Bethesda has learned their mistake of portraying The East Coast Brotherhood as complete White Knights in a cynical Nuclear-desolated world. there must be more Grey areas in Fallout 4, making The East Coast Brotherhood more morally questionable would be grand.
    • Some sharp eyed folks have spotted the symbol of the Midwestern branch on objects related to just group, along with the fact that they've been previously shown to have airships like the one pictured. The Midwestern branch for the record is generally sympathetic, but much more fascist and imperialist than any of the other branches.
    • I wouldn't say evil, just morally gray. The Institute seems to be the primary antagonistic force in the game, and all the main factions hate them. It likely boils down to this (all speculation, of course) — the Brotherhood has the tech and manpower to civilize the Commonwealth and eradicate the Institute, but has fallen back on their old Knight Templar ways from their West Coast days and persecutes mutants and synths. The Railroad has high-minded ideals of equality, peace, and freedom, but lacks the manpower to make much of a difference and is likely seen as naive. The Minutemen are a middle-of-the-road "live and let live" group that's more focused on helping people survive the wastes and doling out frontier justice to those who deserve it.
    • Going from their appearance in Fallout Tactic, the Midwestern branch is unusually tolerant of mutants (and even recruits super-mutants) but governs by military dictatorship and forcefully 'extends their protection' to settlements that have resources to offer. Choosing them would keep the area safe and orderly, but would result in limited freedoms and handing more power over to a militaristic cult.
    • IIRC, the Brotherhood/NCR war took place more than 4 years prior to the start of NV, so the West Coast Brotherhood could still be embroiled in conflict during this time or outright destroyed. I don't feel like the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood would be all that tolerant of a more fascistic splinter of the Brotherhood expanding into their territory. While the Outcasts were very weak in FO3, perhaps they were able to reestablish contact with the West Coast and thus got the reinforcements needed to turn themselves into a major power? The CW Brotherhood suddenly going full-fascist while Lyons is in charge (seeing as 4 apparently takes place a single year after the end of 3). Edit: So after reading the Main Page, I remembered that 2287 is ten years after the end of FO3. However, apparently both Elder Lyons and Sarah Lyons are dead!? Owyn dying makes sense, but Sarah was barely in her 20s during 3! How in the hell did she die in the intervening years? Plus, apparently Arthur Maxson, who was being brought up as Lyons' ward, has now gone full-jerkass despite being raised by the third game's Big Good!?
    • Going Doylist? IT's, essentially, a character check. The brotherhood was NEVER supposed to be the Big Good. Making them so was a blatant mistake, and is why the Brotherhood in New Vegas was liked better by hardcore fans. So, they're bringing the Brotherhood back to what they were meant to be. (Even if it requires fiddling with things).
    • The answer is in the game: Elder Maxson took over after Elder Lyons and has reverted the organization to its traditionalist roots. He's The Fundamentalist and his attitude isn't really going over well with his largely recruited rather than born troops. In real-life, conservatives tend to take power after periods of great liberalization so this is nothing remotely surprising unless you assumed Sarah Lyons or the Lone Wanderer would take over.
    • Sarah and her father both were in favor of extending their support across the wasteland, the support of a military organization who weren't individually ever particularly polite to you nor sympathetic to civilians. They were always a little naive in thinking that a 'benevolent' martial government was ever going to be viable long term, it's all too easy to corrupt.
    • Also even in Fallout 3, the Brotherhood were still mostly dicks to you until you started working with them about halfway through. The Citadel gate guard treated you with scorn and wouldn't even give you a chance to apply to join. Their patrols wouldn't give you the time of day. Even Sarah Lyons and her squad treated you much like a dirty hobo they picked up when they met you outside Galaxy News Radio. I mean they were nicer than the West Coast Brotherhood...but not by much.
    • Not to mention, if Sarah is dead Maxson would have taken it badly. If you read his diary entries in 3 his awe and affection for her is pretty obvious.
    • which begs the question: why would he essentially destroy everything She and her Father Fought for if he cared/looked up to her so much,and does anyone else wish there was a character present who KNEW the Lyons to Call him on this?
    • Blaming the person who is dead for character flaws that you feel GOT them dead is a fairly common symptom of grief.
    • They aren't evil as much as "almost exactly like the Midwest chapter; wich had a "either you agree to serve us, provide us with men and supplies, and we protect you, or we kill you and take your stuff" policy.
    • It could be argued that while the Brotherhood may be blunt (to say the least), they're not entirely without a point. Supermutants, feral ghouls, and synths are dangerous. Playing Devil's Advocate for a moment, the actual factors that make a ghoul feral aren't fully understood and the majority of supermutants tend to be violently unstable. And synths? While it can be argued that synths do have a right to a free existence, they were all created and programmed by the Institute. The Railroad may be able to help liberate synths from their programming, but can we really be sure that there aren't hidden programs or subroutines that could turn that sweetheart of a liberated courser back into a cold-blooded killing machine? The Brotherhood's policy of 'shoot synths first/ask questions never' may seem cold-blooded, but given the Institute's tactic of infiltration and assassination can they be completely blamed for it? Simply put, the Brotherhood's stated goal is the protection of humanity. While their definition of humanity is arguably limited, it's hard to argue against them when you take stock and realize that (companions and a few npc individuals and communities notwithstanding) every single ghoul/supermutant/synth is actively trying to kill you
    • That's hardly fair. Every human you meet while exploring is trying to kill you too. In fact, I'm pretty sure you'll kill more humans wondering around the Commonwealth than you will super mutants, ghouls, or synths. And it's the same deal in the last games too.
    • It's not that they're evil per se, it's just that they're not entirely good. Which, really, is par for course in this game - as none of the main factions are entirely good, or truly know what's best for the Commonwealth. They all believe they know - but it entirely boils down to which faction's beliefs mesh best with the player's beliefs, that makes said faction "the good guys" in the eyes of the player.

    Brotherhood not trusting strangers 
  • Why? One (the if not counting Liberty Prime) of their most useful soldiers is/was one and helped them gain control of the entire Capital Wasteland. Shouldn't they be nicer to Wastelanders? Especially considering that the Lone Wanderer may have been friend with/was looked upon by their current Elder.
    • It's been ten years since the events of Fallout 3. Who knows what happened to the Lone Wanderer. And just because one dude/dudette turned out to be the best thing that could've happened to them doesn't mean every single Wastelander is. It could be that Lone Wanderer was just the one in a million. It also helps that the BoS had a history with his/her father, James.
    • Elder Maxson is The Fundamentalist and is trying to turn the East Coast Brotherhood into the West Coast Brotherhood, perhaps because that organization is all but extinct now. That presumably means he's trying to limit recruiting from the outside and consolidate his control over the existing forces.
    • Extreme xenophobia is the Brotherhood's hat. Although they have the occasional progressive member, overall they are extremely suspicious of outside recruits and are only willing to accept any under exceptional circumstances.
    • The scary thing? They actually ARE much friendlier to strangers this time around, even compared to Fallout 3. You get invited to join the Brotherhood of Steel much earlier and after the relatively modest display of fighting off a horde of robots.
    • It probably helps that he's a Pre-war military veteran.
    • This also somewhat accounts for the possibility of a canon evil karma Vault Dweller; if they were good, and destroyed AAF, then it's just part of Maxson distancing himself from Lyons' leadership policy, but if the VD decided to destroy the Citadel instead, it's entirely reasonable that Maxson happened to not be on site, rallied the remnants of the East Coast Brotherhood together with the Outcasts, and possibly even the now massacred Enclave, and reinstituted complete isolationism and technology hoarding. On the one hand, regular BoS fervor, on the other, absolutely traumatic loss of everything he loved solely because of the one person they opened the gate for.

    Super Mutants 
  • In simple terms, where the hell did these guys come from? Are they the ones from the Capital Wasteland or is there yet another source of FEV we haven't noticed? I know Rule of Cool and all that but that got expended almost entirely in Fallout 3.
    • They're almost certainly ones from the Capital Wasteland that just migrated to the Commonwealth.
    • Like the above said, many of them are probably Capital Wasteland migrants. As mentioned on the WMG page, if you talk to Deacon at the Freedom Trail, he mentions "FEV experiments" as some of the Institute's many crimes, which suggests that they may have created a significant number of the Super Mutants you encounter.
    • Or people assumed they have. Hey, if you saw a giant mutant beast created with FEV, wouldn't you immediately think 'Institute'?
    • Virgil's Lab in the Institute is filled with tanks of muties, and he turned himself into a mutant as a way of surviving the Glowing Sea to escape their ire. So experimenting with FEV is definitely a thing the Institute has done.
    • Here's a question I'd have loved to see answered. What in God's green earth was the Institute thinking? Why experiment with FEV in the first place? The stuff seems to be pretty well understood and leads to exactly nothing good for anyone but Super Mutants. There's no real experimental data to mine beyond the apparent success at cross-breeding the Mariposa and Vault 87 strains, which, again, has no real use to anyone besides Super Mutants. I know Virgil started asking these exact questions and led him to resign his post with the Institute, so it's doubly frustrating that I can't track down Father and demand to know what this project was ever supposed to accomplish. So...what's the point?
    • The Institute doesn't seem to have an endgame beyond, "Keep doing research that furthers scientific understanding." They don't need a reason to do something beyond that it seems interesting. Above that, in the past major scientific advances have been kickstarted by unfocused research driven by happenstance and tinkering. Someone gets curious about a perceived inconsistency in experimental data, starts designing new experiments to examine the inconsistency, and ends up with a groundbreaking theory with fantastic new practical applications.
    • Biological weapons seems like a pretty simple answer. Maybe a route to see if they could make Super Mutant Synths. I do wish there was an ingame reason that you could find.
    • Virgil's research notes mention repeated FEV experimentation despite continuous null results, each application generating the usual brutish Super Mutant types we see in the game. Such an exhaustive generation of null results suggests a search for anomalies. This leads me to wonder if the Institute was eager to replicate the FEV anomaly of the Master's mental abilities, housed in synth bodies and minds the Institute could control.
    • That makes sense when you think about it. It would mean that the Institute was experimenting with FEV not just to create super mutants but to try and find other mutations like the Master. That could mean that Father might have been trying to recreate the Master, possibly under the delusion that if he made the new Master from a Synth then it and its super mutant army would be under his control. In his mind this would probably eliminate the need to watch and manipulate settlements on the surface that might be a threat to the Institute since the commonwealth would be dominated by this new slave race.
    • Thinking about it, it always bugged me how the Capital Wasteland was infested with super mutants, who all came from this one small Vault. Now I'm wondering if many of those super mutants didn't venture forth from the commonwealth instead, and the reason behind all the different types of super mutants was that they were of different origins.
    • It's also possible that the Institute is trying to perfect the process and create super mutants who don't lack for intelligence, aren't psychotically violent, and aren't sterile. If those hurtles can be overcome, then objectively speaking, Super Mutants are simply better suited for the rigors of life in the Wasteland. They're stronger, tougher, and immune to radiation - which doesn't appear to be going away any time soon. They do appear to be failing at this as so far their batch is the only one that, as far as we can see, hasn't created an intelligent, non-psychotic super mutant, but it still may well be the goal.
    • Virgil's notes suggest that they were a parallel/alternative project to the Synths, I thought. In his reasons why they should stop the experiments, he mentions how well the Synth projects are doing, in comparison.
    • Also, super-mutant idle comments mention "the green stuff," so they may originate from the Institute, but the new ones are coming from the mutants themselves.
    • I'm sorry but I am in disagreement that any of these super mutants are Capital Wasteland migrants for a very simple reason: Vault 87 super mutants are universally yellow, whereas the Mariposa, Mojave and Boston super mutants are universally green.

    Like The West chapter? 
  • Why is the BoS compared to the West chapter when they have more similarities with the Midwest one?
    • Because the West Chapter from the first game is the iconic iteration of the "asshole Brotherhood" model in most fans' eyes. To say nothing of the fact that it was the original chapter of the Brotherhood.
    • Also, Fallout: Tactics is Broad Strokes canon since the Midwestern Brotherhood of Steel is mentioned as a small chapter by the Brotherhood Scribe in Fallout 3 when you ask about it. Their massive empire is absent.

    Why does the BoS hate Ghouls? 
  • I can understand why the BoS hate Super Mutants (mostly evil except for the rare sane members) and Synths (spys for The Institute), but why do they hate sane ghouls? Its not like they are going to go feral at any second.
    • The Brotherhood are, essentially, high-tech Tribals at heart. Elder Lyons managed to blunt a lot of their Fantastic Racism against Wastelanders but he didn't get anywhere with nonhumans of other stripes and Elder Maxson doubled-down on it. The Brotherhood of Steel hates ghouls because they're "not people" (ugly, undead, and radioactive) rather than because of the many who have gone Feral. It helps from a Doylist perspective to remember the Brotherhood hated ghouls before Feral Ghouls existed in Fallout 1. In short, the reason they hate sane ghouls is because they're bigots.
    • It also should be noted that Elder Maxson's Rousing Speech is basically scapegoating and designed around giving his soldiers something to focus their rage on. "Destroy all non-humans" is a pretty good way to get his men to rally around him as well as give them a common cause.
    • Maxson's pretty much a Bigoted Prick who's subtly implied to be a pawn of the elders of the chapter I forget the one, I think the one that TRIED to fight the NCR?) who may have completely fabricated his combat record (because, come on, Single-handedly killing a Deathclaw in your (Pre)Teens?), who's taking advantage of his Reputation and the Hero-worship common in the troops under his command to push an agenda.ironically, not unlike a dark mirror of the Lyons Family trying to Lead the Brotherhood away from their self-destructive path.
    • They hate ghouls for the same reason the Institute had ghouls ejected from Diamond City. Ghouls are almost to a person, all survivors of pre-war America. The Institute threw them out because it didn't want their historical Pre-war culture and philosophies permeating into the general population. The Brotherhood thinks Pre-war Technology is bad, and wants to keep that technology away from the Wastelanders. Ghouls are the best shot a Wastelander has to gleam info about Pre-war Technology, so by eliminating them, the Brotherhood deny the Wastelanders access to old tech.
    • The Brotherhood has no issues with sane ghouls. Their issue is with ferals, who attack any human they encounter on-sight.
      • Except that bringing Hancock on their airship will have the occasional BoS soldier badmouth him for being a Ghoul. Even your other companion, Danse, will call him a filthy Ghoul when swapping companions. They may not shoot regular Ghouls on sight, but they're really not fond of them as a whole and are probably hoping they go Feral so they can gun them down for a valid reason.
    • Imagine for a moment that you're watching the Fallout universe from the outside - you see humans struggling to survive in a wasteland brought to ruin due to people misusing technology. You also see monstrosities, horrors and mutations that were never supposed to exist in the first place. It doesn't take much to realize how wrong they are. You never have the opportunity (or desire) to mingle with the population - so you never have to wrestle with the fact that (non-feral) ghouls and even some Super Mutants are still every bit as human as they once appeared. It's just easier to wipe out the "monsters", to return humanity to what it once was. This is essentially the view of the Brotherhood of Steel - they see themselves as protectors on-high, saving humanity from monsters, and itself, for the greater good. Even in Fallout 3 they weren't that far removed from these beliefs, if anything, they were merely a bit more "hands on" with the local population. They still freely took pot shots at the (non-feral) ghouls outside of the Museum of History. It's just that their enemy was far more black & white, compared to the shades of grey that populate the Commonwealth.

    Is there a joint Minutemen/Railroad ending? 

  • Haven't heard anyone mention this as a possibility, but it seems like the Minutemen and Railroad endings go together pretty well in terms of goals, and its very easy for the minutemen to basically control all the settlements outside of Diamond City anyway if the Railroad wins.
    • To be fair, the Railroad and Minutemen don't have any real reason to get in each other's way so either of them winning helps the other. The Minutemen as Lawful Good Reasonable Authority Figure types contrast to the Railroad's Chaotic Good Rebellious Rebel business but neither have anything against the other. So if either wins, the other wins. At least in theory.
    • Yes, there's a joint Minute Men/Railroad ending.
    • How do you get them to talk to each other? It seems like it never comes up beyond me being general of the Minutemen.
    • You basically just don't have to destroy either with the other, is my understanding. So they both keep operating, regardless of which one you actually "pick".
    • If you infiltrate the Institute as a member of the Railroad but then get banished from the Institute, the leader of the Railroad specifically asks for the help of the Minutemen.

    How has Kellogg lived so long? 
  • He kidnapped Shaun roughly 60 years before the Sole Survivor leaves the Vault. Shaun is now an old man, yet Kellogg is still alive and kicking while being at least 80 years old? He's not a ghoul, so did institute tech including his cybernetics keep his body from aging at a normal rate?
    • Yes. It is pretty obviously stated that Kellogg is practically immortal due to his cybernetic implants. Shaun's terminal explains that Kellogg could live to be 200 years old.
    • I wouldn't be that surprised if he wasn't a human brain in a mostly synth body. And we know human brains can be kept alive artificially for centuries.

    Where the hell are all the Robobrains? 
  • I haven't encountered a single one after playing roughly 65 hours and being over level 40. Were they omitted for some reason?
    • It appears so, replaced by the new robots. As a canon explanation for their lack of presence in the commonwealth... everything they can do, the Assaultron can do better. Maybe Mr House chose the commonwealth as a testbed for marketing his design as an alternative to General Atomics'.
    • A terminal at the Robotics Disposal Ground makes mention of several defective Robobrains being delivered shortly before the war, so they are at least acknowledged in the game. Their absence is likely purely Doylist in nature: there are already so many robotic enemies which serve the same gameplay functions as the Robobrain that there was little point in including them.
    • Protectrons, Mr Handy, Assaultrons and Sentry Bots dominate the Commonwealth; they are far more durable and deadly, and its likely the Robobrain never found a market there.
    • It looks like they are going to be part of the DLC that will be released in March. If you really miss the Robobrains, you will be able to find them again in the Automatron DLC.
    • The Robobrains are back with the Automatron expansion and you'll wish they weren't. It turns out there was a R&D facility producing them to be shipped around the country but none were ever released into the Commonwealth, which explains their absence... until now. The Mechanist has found the facility and has started the program up all over again, The Robobrains are back and commanding legions of robots to help the people of the Commonwealth... except that the Robobrains interpret "helping" as "ending suffering through the quickest, most efficient means available".

    Laser Muskets? 
  • So, I am having a bit of trouble understanding just what the "point" of the laser musket is. Ballistics weapons, even the most crude of "pipe" weapons, are arguably as effective, and the Minutemen (from what I have seen), have no way to "reload" spent Microfusion cells. Meaning, they have to be dependent on an outside source of Mictofusion cells to be effective in combat. If they piss off that group, or so on and so forth, they have no access to ammunition. Poor logistics at its finest.
    • If they want to stick to the whole "Revolutionary War" shtick so bad, why don't they just make and use actual blackpowder firearms? Arguably, blackpowder is the most "sustainable" of propellants for firearms (nitre, or saltpeter, could be scraped from the walls of the cellars in The Castle, charcoal is self-evident, and sulfur isn't exactly required. There are recipes for blackpowder that call for powdered rust in place of sulfur). Everything they need is right in The Castle. Barrels can be made from scrap pipes (aka just like the "pipe guns"), bullets can be made from scrap lead from cars. Blackpowder firearms could even serve as a "baby's first gun", being low-range (aka 100m or less), relatively inaccurate, but hard-hitting when they do connect. Hell, the Minutemen could make muskets by the dozens and sell them cheap for extra money!
    • The Laser Musket is a victim of heavy Gameplay and Story Segregation. In-universe, the weapon serves a very important "point": it's a way to have laser weapons without relying on microfusion cells. The whole idea of the hand crank is to charge up the laser capacitor enough so that it can fire a single shot—a task normally accomplished many times over by microfusion cells—thus giving the Minutemen access to firepower normally reserved for much higher-tech and better-supplied forces. You'll note that the weapon's in-game model contains no microfusion cell, and indeed, lacks any sort of port for one. The reason why it does require ammunition in actual gameplay is simple: the developers didn't want to give the player an infinite-ammo weapon.
    • Considering how there were infinite-ammo (that recharged on its own, actually) energy weapons in Fallout: New Vegas, and they weren't gamebreakers, that rationale seems rather... lame. Just make the Laser Musket cranking-process actually take a decent amount of time (30 seconds or so?), and it won't be gamebreaking
    • The infinite-ammo weapons in New Vegas were also relatively weak. The Laser Musket is designed as a sniper weapon and by necessity needs to be able to deliver a lot of firepower per shot. Making a weapon able to one-shot most enemies when cranked up and infinite ammo would indeed be gamebreaking in a game where scavenging for ammunition is an important gameplay element.
    • Ok, this is going to be a bit of a wild theory, but this is a theory - since the Laser Musket is designed to be a high-damage weapon (to the point it can One-Hit Kill most enemies when properly upgraded), it's likely meant that the Laser Musket is basically meant to be a Laser Sniper Rifle. The reason for the "hand crank to charge" is to condense the beam to give it more power - if standard Laser Pistols and Laser Rifles are handguns and assault rifles, the laser musket is a sniper rifle in that it's high-damage, high-range, but considerably lower capacity.
    • A possible reason could be the existence of the BADTFL - Bureau of Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, Firearms and Lasers. The second amendment to the US constitution forbids the government from outright banning weapon ownership by private citizens, and it is conceivable that sufficient political pressure forced the government to concede ownership of basic laser weapons. However, just like the National Firearms Act of 1937 banned private ownership of automatic weapons without a difficult to get license, BADTFL most likely enforces similar legislation for laser weapons. Thus, the musket, which can in no way be modded to Make it automatic (although ones that hold 20 shots can be found with an "automatic" legendary effect from time to time in-game, allowing it to fire like a crude crank-fired gatling gun) is the only weapon authorized for usage by "civilian militias", which ultimately became the Minutemen.
    • The most likely reason for ammo consumption is the lack of weapon degradation; unlike the recharger guns which needed constant repairs balance out their unlimited ammo, the laser musket has/can have almost nightmarishly high damage - which could potentially be made even more devastating with legendary effects like Assassin or Instigating - but no degradation to counter it like it would have in the older games (I imagine this gun would break constantly in older games because it could deal so much damage and have free ammo,) necessitating ammo use to balance that damage out somewhat.

    What the hell is up with the Institute? 
  • I honestly cannot recall what the Institute is even trying to DO. They claim that they once "tried to help" the people on the surface, and it "backfired." Fine. Thus, they are now wholly dismissive of the Commonwealth and claim its denizens cannot be "salvaged." For the sake of argument, also fine. But then if they can't be bothered, why are they spending their precious resources harassing the citizens above, kidnapping them, and generally terrorizing them? Surely they'd have to realize the more they meddle, the more they endanger their own little enclave. Infiltration is one thing, since they apparently need to divert power, but they never really explain what in the world these "experiments" that they're conducting are or what they are meant to accomplish. The most confusing thing of all is that their slogan is "Mankind, redefined," leading one to believe that they aim to create "superior" humans who can rebuild the world through selective breeding and cyborgisation/whatever biomechanical chicanery is used to construct type III synths. But then...they consider the synths tools, non-sapient (despite this being demonstrably false), completely non-human, and inferior. If ever you try to even lightly suggest this is in error, NPCs (Father included) will argue you down to the bitter end. So what the hell is the point of creating the synths exactly? Just because? Butlers? If so, they wouldn't need "pristine" genes and biological bases. But if they really do think of synths as expendable toasters, then that just means all the headache and chaos brought upon the Institute (past and future and present) was not only of their own making, but also completely pointless because they apparently went around creating mortal enemies of the surface for no reason other than "because." For a research collective that functions as a society completely populated by geniuses, they certainly act in idiotic manners.
    • Okay, you have a complex question which deserves a complex answer. I'll break it up for readability. The short version is the best way to think of the Institute is take a step back from its role as a Faction and think of it as two things: 1. A Nation and 2. A University. It's descended from the Commonwealth Institute of Technology (because Massachusetts and the other states didn't exist in Fallout's Alternate Timeline—just much larger states) and, essentially, functions as a gigantic university campus to this day. All humans inside the Institute are trained as scientists, engineers, Doctors, and medical programmers. In short, it's Tomorrowland or (less charitably) Rapture with the role of "Who scrubs the toilets?" fulfilled by Synths.
    • Point of order: the states did exist in Fallout's timeline. They just had larger Commonwealths layered over them and taking over many of the responsibilities that would otherwise fall under state authority (note how Mr. House's obituary in New Vegas says he attended the prestigious Institute in Massachusetts).
    • As such, the Institute spends 90% of its efforts in research and science despite the fact it's not really doing anything with this knowledge. They have no great Transhumanist agenda nor any real goals of fixing the world outside (though they pay lip service to the idea—they've looked to themselves since the events which did so). This results in a lot of experiments which they need test subjects for — which involves kidnapping people from the surface like Shaun or the husband of the Diamond City clothing merchant.
    • The Synths are humanlike because they want to make agents who can infiltrate the Commonwealth covertly. Nick Valentine is their attempt to create a Synthetic infiltrator (ala Terminator) but failed both because he was a Lawful Good Cowboy Cop and they wanted The Heartless Sociopathic Hero covert operatives like X6-88. Also, because he didn't look very human. So, they needed someone with radiation-free skin so they could clone unlimited amounts of tissue without mutation for their Synths. As for what they needed Synths for, it was to prevent the surface from ever becoming a threat to the Institute (destroying the NCR-like Commonwealth of Allied Settlements) as well as help them kidnap people for their experiments. It seems strange so much effort is made on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers plot and people don't really seem to notice the Institute's replacing people so they don't know they're gone plot is, itself, the end game. Also, controlling society through robot dopplegangers. It's not a complex plot, really. Synths are advanced and Ridiculously Human Robot types because they need people who can pass for human beings but are under their thumb.
    • They basically want to be an Illuminati type organization, the masters behind the curtain represented by infiltrators at all levels of society. They then use these infiltrators to spread disinformation, stop the people from forming organizations that might be a threat to them, capture test subjects and eliminate defectors and other enemies. They're really not the type of people who wish to do these things themselves or trust mercenaries, so Synths are the way to go (in addition to a general For Science! aim). Whether they really want to help the wasteland, or if they're just motivated by science for it's own ends... well that's a matter of opinion.
    • This is a good way of looking at it, thanks. Still, the fact that the Institute is evidently willing to endanger themselves For Science! just makes them seem like morons rather than geniuses. It's one thing to take preventative measures and make contingency plans, but the very acts of their terrorism are what excites/excited animosity towards them to begin with. It is far and away unlikely that the surface would have ever discovered them if they just stuck to siphoning power and monitoring instead of doing what's essentially the mass social equivalent of griefing. They were so very close to being self-sufficient, and there is plenty of research to concern themselves with that doesn't require them to engage in risky behaviours (they apparently aren't that great at stealth), especially when they *claim* not to be concerned with the affairs of the upper world, despite wanting to control it for some reason. Even if they WERE discovered, it's even less likely that—even if they wanted to— the citizens of the Commonwealth would be able to take CIT by force, being that they are hilariously technologically outclassed. The only reason the Sole Survivor is able to is because she is a determinator looking for her baby, and said (asshole) baby was feeling sentimental and therefore didn't vapourise her on the spot. It's a completely absurd ouroboros situation. Which I guess makes sense, since you describe it as a nation, and imperial/superpowers clinging to the sort of Kissingerist/Cheney-esque existentialism of "pre-emptive" invasion and occupation, which in turn destabilises the target region and creates enemies and animosity, is a very real phenomenon and is exactly as idiotic in real life as it is in the game.
    • For a more recent example, the beginnings of ISIS were formed by the disbanded Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein, and the power vacuum created by their being disbanded (and the slow process of their replacement)
    • I figured the whole 'control the commonwealth' thing was a snowballing issue. First they thought of the wasteland as a great place for live testing of their tech, which surprise surprise ended up going wrong and killing a whole lot of people. Then they send in a clean up crew to kill all witnesses... and hey, why not send our latest war droid to do the job and test that too? But of course you can't cover everything up, so people start to realize you exist and organizing a resistance... remember these guys are great scientists, not great strategists or necessarily blessed with common sense. Not to mention one of their primary assets is Kellog, who's while professional enough not exactly subtle.
    • I can see the snowballing, but whatever the inciting incident was (and we just don't know), it means that since their inception and until now, they don't *really* prioritise self-preservation. There is no way with their technology that they couldn't figure out a way to surveil or even run tech tests undetected. Drones, nanomachines, bugs...they're all technology we have now, let alone in a hyper-advanced fission future. Even they absolutely HAD to deploy their current technology, could they not but in destruction failsafes rather than just mindwipes that let their subjects wander around waiting to be detected? And no matter how you look at it, the infiltration tasks don't follow a whole lot of logic. They didn't really NEED to invent synths. And they certainly don't really value them. Creating a species of sapient, cybernetic bioroidal humans and then sending them up to the surface, only to send up purposely conspicuous literal TERMINATORS to slaughter everyone should something go wrong is like...the Rube Goldberg machine of surveillance strategies. Or not even that, because Rube Goldbergs are supposed to at least work. The people of the Commonwealth not only know they exist, but know a lot of their MO and know them by name. I mean, good grief. The more you think about it, the more the Institute come off as extremely incompetent and chaotic stupid rather than people who are even intelligent enough to be properly evil.
    • I don't think you've quite got the genre. If you take a look at Richard Moreau, Dr. Schreber, Myron, Dr Lesko or any of the Think Tank you'll see that Fallout scientists in general are short sighted, amoral and adore unnecessary complexity. It's part of the fallout setting. Along with that, as 1960 sci-fi they can't miniaturize for crap. They're still using vacuum tubes. Nanomachines and effective bugs (rather than big boxes with a honking blinking light on the front) are right out, as is an effective drone smaller than a protectron. Humanoid robots though got their big start in the 1960's, the ones in the game are in fact very much like those in "The Creation of the Humanoids" (complete with exploration of slavery and exploitation).
    • An important Sidenote: Transistors/Integrated Circuits DO/DID exist in the Fallout Universe, but the first successful designs came about either in the mid-late 2060's or early 2070's, were extremely expensive as a immature technology, were still large/bulky compared to RL Timeline modern IC's, and importantly for the settings, are far more vulnerable to EMP damage then Tubes.
    • Many people compare the Institute to the Think Tank without Mobius to keep them in check: a whole bunch of geniuses with a lot of free time and resources on their hands, nobody to stop them and a boner the size of Boston For Science! Think about it: the Big MT was made of the greatest pre-War minds, created the most potent chemical weapon in history (the Cloud), made spontaneous cration of materials/common nanotechnology a reality (the Sierra Madre vending machines) and accidentaly created nigh-immortal life that could thrive in said chemical weapon (the Ghost People) because it was their job, but also because it was fun for them. Borous created the Cazadores with nothing more than a "I was bored" reason. The Institute is made of the greatest post-War minds... Do the math. Save for a thin justification of saving the Commonwealth perhaps due to Shaun still loving his surviving parent for their actions, they do what they do just because they can. You ask "Why", they answer "Why not" then shove their quantum harmonizer into your resonation photonic chamber just to see if it will cause a parabolic destabilization of the fission singularity, turn you into a Pop-Tart or kill you, then move on to something else.
    • If they had been using pure stealth from the start, no one would have ever known they were there, but they introduced themselves first. A loading screen mentions that the Institute initially tried to work with the wastelanders, but "mutual mistrust ended that quickly." It seems they came up, offered to trade technology and such, maybe showed off their Gen 1's, and then that prototype infiltrator went crazy in Diamond City. The wastelanders turned against the Institute and started forming the Commonwealth Provisional Government. The Institute responded by killing all the potential leaders, likely worrying about the CPG uniting the whole Commonwealth against them.
    • The Automatron DLC provides a perspective on why the Institute turtles underground and operate in shadowy ways - the DLC showed us the incredible amount of damage an entire gaggle of malfunctioning robots can do, and how some people can naively believe that nothing is wrong and it was not their fault that things went bad. Once the first few synth plants malfunctioned, the seeds of distrust were sown, and just like the Mechanist, instead of owning up to it and facing the consequences, decided to double down. When the Commonwealth Provisional Government collapsed, people blamed the institute because the Institute hadn't earned the people's trust. They instead became paranoid - paranoid about a world topside that was out to get them, and paranoid about malfunctioning synths. That is why the Coursers control synths' lives so much - the Institute wants to avoid a Robobrain like situation in which their synth infiltrators creatively reinterpret directives and do more harm than good.

    Father and the Boy *SPOILERS* 
  • Also in the same vein, I cannot for the life of me figure out why Father reprograms the Shaun synth to think he's human and the Sole Survivor is his parent. Considering this is a guy who does some exceedingly cruel and downright sociopathic things (even to the PC) in the name of "experimentation," the answer could just be "for the hell of it." But then he claims that Synth!Shaun "deserves" better and should get to see the future of the Commonwealth, and such sentiments make zero sense in the context of everything Father has said and done up to that point. At no point does he ever relent on his ideas of personhood and sapience.
    • Father is a Hypocrite. Also, as the Institute ending shows, he's dying. As such, he's gotten sentimental in his old age and if you side with them you discover a number of goals in life's trying to take care of as his Last Request. One of these is revenge on Kellog, which he accomplishes by releasing you. Second is he wants to see what his life would be like if he hadn't been raised by the Institute so he created a Synth version of himself away from it. Third, seeing his father and Synth Shaun as well as how much the former loved him makes him sentimental. It's not the first time an enormous bigot has fond feelings (or even love for members of that group). France had a huge time dealing with the fact slave plantation owners often doted on and adored their black children (see Assassin's Creed III: Liberation).
    • He's committed to his worldview by that point, and he's not about to compromise his integrity by altering his course now. He is able to conceive of the possibility that he might be wrong though, and can sympathize with your plight. He also isn't so much devoted to the idea that Synths can't be people as cognizant of the fact that admitting they are would cause the institute to collapse.
    • Talking to Shaun I got the impression he had a lot of strong regrets he puts behind the mask of being The Father. He years for approval and acceptance from his surviving parent and is clearly disappointed and hurt if you reject him. For whatever reason he doesn't express it but he wishes he could have had a life with his parents. Giving the Shaun Synth to his surviving parent to raise is a sort of chance to start over and for someone exceedingly like him to get that life he wanted. And I do think he's at least a little aware that as much as he denies it, the synths are people.

    Lasers with recoil 
  • It's been a staple of Fallout games since Fallout 3 for laser guns to have recoil, but it makes zero sense. There are solid arguments that a laser gun should have no noticeable recoil, so why do they in the Fallout universe?
    • The guns disintegrate their targets whenever they make a Critical Hit. While Gameplay and Story Segregation abound, I think it's safe to say they're not purely lasers but some sort of explosive nuclear beam.
    • I've seen other sci fi works justify recoil on lasers on the grounds of the displacement of air from the heat, which considering these lasers are capable of lighting people on fire and disintegrating them I feel like it could work. But I'm also not a scientist and ionizing air might work totally differently.
    • It could be something in device suddenly back after the trigger was pulled. For example, one experimental cooling device for real world laser evacuates the laser medium then pushes it back in less than a second. Maybe something similar is happening here.
    • Science in Fallout is based on Cold War-punk, and the pop culture of the time period was recoiling lasers. The same question applies to the logic of jet-powered flotation and advanced, mass produced robotics, so it's not like this kind of thing is new to the series.
    • There are moving parts for the laser guns, at least some of the mods. For the automatic laser gun there's a large, mechanical, rotating chamber that seems to operate on a similar principle to the Gatling laser. I imagine that is what's causing a fair deal of the recoil, and there may be other moving parts within the gun that you can't see on other mods that still contribute.
    • Maybe they originally didn't have recoil, but people couldn't get used to the lack, so they added it artificially? Or maybe it's so you can't fire as fast, so it has a chance to cool down?
    • I like this the best, actually. If it had no recoil at all, some lunkhead who failed weapons safety could hold down the trigger and maybe not notice spewing lasery death all over the landscape. Or wonder 'is this thing working?'. Lasers (especially later ones) seem to be relatively new, and perhaps users just wanted to feel a little something to let them know they'd actually done a thing.

  • What kind of spelling is that? I've never seen that before. I'm used to it being spelled Sean.
    • It's pretty common actually. It's just another example of Americans simplifying and streamlining their language. Unless you were aware of Irish pronunciation rules you would never know from first glance that Sean should be pronounced Shawn.
    • Well, if people were aware of Irish pronunciation rules they'd know "Sean" is pronounced shan and means "old". It's ''Seán", diacritical marks change the word entirely. Shaun and Shawn are the common Anglicisations.
    • In Heavy Rain, for one.
    • It's just how we Americans pronounce the name. Sean/Shaun/Shawn, we pronounce them the same. Differences in languages, I guess. <shrugs> No biggie.
    • I will stipulate that while I have seen all three spellings, Shaun seems to be the rarest. I've seen Sean and Shawn a lot more often than Shaun.
    • In a world where you can name yourself Cock Shaun is what stands out as unusual?

    Shaun's Fouled-up Logic 
  • Help me with this: Shaun spent his entire 60 years in the Institute and eventually became its leader. Cool. What I don't understand is that when you meet Shaun, he states that he released you in the hopes you'd find him, that you'd exact vengeance against Kellogg. Few problems:
    How in the blazes would he assume that we, a pre-War citizen with nary any training at all, would survive the Wasteland? If he really wanted to meet us, wanted us to join him, why didn't he just meet us at the Vault door and recruit us in? In fact, why did he wait until the literal last few months/weeks of his life? He's likely been the leader of the Institute for a VERY long time, so why any time when he was the leader?
    In conjunction with the above, if he really wanted revenge against Kellogg for basically screwing up his life, why didn't he, at any time as leader of the Institute, simply assign Kellogg on what amounted to a suicide mission of which there was no hope of survival? Or frame him for a crime for which the punishment was death? Seems like he pushed all his chips onto the table by assuming that his pre-War parent would be able to both survive the Wasteland and kill Kellogg for him. I just don't get his logic...
    • Shaun admits he didn't expect you to survive the quest into the Wasteland, let alone get your revenge on Kellog. It seems to have been something he did out of an odd sense of romanticism rather than actual logic. Shaun is doing a lot of stuff related to his family in his old age like cloning himself into a Synth child, recruiting you as Director, freeing you, and hoping you kill Kellog. It should be noted he DOES send Kellogg on a suicide mission as he puts Kellogg and Synth Shaun in Diamond City so you can easily find him—it's the single most obvious place to look. Later, he sends Kellogg into the Glowing Sea or plans to. There's also all the people trying to kill Kellogg you encounter on your trip to fight him at the military base. Shaun is just BAD at assassination. Still, it's all motivated by the fact Shaun is dying and wants to settle his relationship with his parents before he dies.
    • If he didn't expect it, why did he go on and do it anyway? Wouldn't it have been much easier for him to just arrange for Kellogg to die somehow and personally go to Vault 111 to free you and attempt to recruit you? Seems to me if he wanted to bond with his mom/dad, he's doing it in the most roundabout, complicated, and dangerously risky way humanely possible.
    • In his own words, he did it as "an experiment." Yeah, Shaun's really not all there.
    • Heck, if he Could have Released you at literally ANY time, instead of leaving you in a decaying hole in the ground where your life support system could fail literally at ANY moment, why not at ANY time in the last 20-40 years after he was old enough to hold a position of power, or at least respect/influence, in the institute? by that metric, why not have Kellogg assassinated at ANY point in the Timeskip, as mentioned above?
    • OP here: I've come to think that the reason Shaun never did any of these seemingly logical things was because he was raised to put the Institute in the first and foremost priority. He may have been too busy/didn't have the opportunity or the justification (to himself anyway) of releasing you. Remember, you were the "backup" so he probably spent most of his life assuming that no matter what, they'd still have you, the backup, in case things went awry. Of course, towards the end of his life, as he was dying of cancer, he probably felt more and more sentimental for the parent he never knew and wanted that chance to see you one more time so he released you. As to why he didn't off Kellogg? Simple. The man was too useful. When the sentimental urges took control, I imagine Shaun figured that not only did he want to see you again, but he wanted to offer you a chance of revenge. Imagine if you had gone up to him and he said, “Oh, I killed that old merc decades ago.” He wanted to give you closure by killing the man yourself. Does it make logical sense to us? Probably not, but it made all the sense in the world for him. Also keep in mind that, if you play Nate at least, you had military experience so he just assumed you would recall your military training to help you survive the Commonwealth Wasteland.

    Whence Cometh T-60? 
  • So, is it ever stated where the T-60 model of power armor originates from? What its development history was like? How it manages to be superior to the T-51 which, up to this point, was canonically stated to be the "pinnacle" of infantry combat armor before the Great War? Along the same lines, where did the Brotherhood get so many suits of T-60, when they were only shown to possess the T-45 model in any significant quantity? Is everything concerning the T-60 dependent on retcon?
    • I Believe the T-60 technically does pre-date the bombs dropping, but it was literally JUST beginning to make it into service, either in full deployment, or for combat testing,the very WEEK/DAY the bombs started dropping. the brotherhood now possessing suits in bulk could be due to them recovering a large quantity of intact units and/or the complete Design specs and blueprints/schematic diagrams from the enclaves stockpiles after destroying/crippling the mobile base crawler,and while the X-01/APA series or the Hellfire suits may be more effective per-unit, the slightly older, but still superior to anything ELSE in the wasteland design may have been more practical to run, build and maintain (from memory, aside from the internals the APA mk 1 heavily utilised composite Metal-Ceramic armour, and the Mk2 was almost entirely ceramics aside from the internals, which are fare less redly available then the alloys making up the plating of the models up to the T-51 and likely the T-60. out of universe, maybe they just wanted to add a new series/ give them something other then T-51 without having the BoS go fully to enclave-designed suits?
    • additionally, The T-60 is described as being a design that Maximised Sheer protection at the cost of presenting a significantly larger target to hostile fire then the T-51, so maybe its a Directive/Varient?
    • I'm thinking the T-60 is indeed the latest design, and as a result was mostly deployed overseas. The T-51 was still the most common, especially in garrison forces, and the T-45's had been mostly retired and placed in storage. As for where the Brotherhood got them... I wonder if it was the same place he found the Prydwen?
    • The Prydwen was apparently built, so that can't be it. It is possible that the Brotherhood found some depot in the last ten years, but still, this doesn't explain how the T-60 suddenly exists without relying on simple retcon.
    • The way I see it, the T-60 was designed as a sort of "lessons learned", incorporating the advanced servo design of the T-51, but incorporating it into the more practical, reliable and durable T-45 design. The T-60 was likely deployed in a trial capacity alongside the T-51b among U.S. Army units, especially in the Commonwealth, with the intent to slowly phase out the T-51 completely, but the Great War prevented mass deployment. The T-51 is a great suit, but its expensive and uses exotic materials. It makes sense that a suit combining the best attributes of the T-45 and T-51 would be designed.
    • Personally, I just assumed that T-60 was simply T-45 upgraded with parts scraped from the advanced Mark II. After the war with the Enclave the East coast did have a lot of spare armor what with the spoils of war going on. So maybe Scribe Peabody scraped the more advanced parts from the mark II and integrated it into the T-45 armor, and then said "Hey look every one I invented a new suit of power armor." Than the upgrade would pas to all of the other T-45 armors the brotherhood had, and then Ta-da the T-60 was born.
    • Nope. The T-60 existed before the Great War. You can see the soldiers outside Vault 111 are wearing the suits when you flee there with your spouse, and a loading screen blurb makes mention of soldiers across the country using the suits in their attempts to maintain order on the day the bombs fell.
    • Ok, but why? If it was an experimental model that they decided hey the worlds ending why not? It would most likely have been deployed in Alaska, or California. Due to Pre-War USA was worried that china was planing to invade the west coast. That is why all of the T-51 is everywhere there and the BoS has so much. Also the West-Tec Powered Combat Research Facility is located, northern California, So why would it be in the East Coast at all? Also Pre-war verti-birds what is up with that?
    • The West-Tec PCRF was actually located in Southern California, but that's mostly just me getting anxious over nothing. Now, if you want my two cents on this whole thing, the T-60 Power Armor was simply a new design. One that hadn't made it into service yet, and with a very limited number of suits deployed in what would become known as the Commonwealth as a test run- to see how efficient they were at protecting soldiers and using fuel. These few suits would mostly go on to outlive their wearers and the designs would be very quickly lost to time until the Brotherhood found them laying around in a government building somewhere in the Capital Wasteland, just waiting for approval.
    • My thought is, the T-60 was likely designed to phase out the T-51B armor that was standard issue, as it used exotic materials, was expensive and completely different from the preceding T-45. The T-45 was a good design; cheap, robust and produced in large numbers. Updating that to be more durable, using elements from the T-51 as well while still maintaining a similar cost per unit to the T-45 and compatibility meant the US could produce more T-60s, which meant more could be deployed to the offensive in China. So they trialed it domestically and in Alaska, with full scale production likely scheduled for later in 2077, when the world ended. If the design ultimately proved successful, it would have become the US military's standard power armor, while sharing some parts with the T-45 and simplifying logistics. Think of it as T-45 Mk2, combined with the T-51.
    • Personally, I think that the game designers missed a great opportunity to have the T-60 look like the Enclave's power armor models from Fallout 3. It would've tied things together a little more.
    • Another possibility is that they actually acquired the suits in Massachusetts - Since CIT had a facility working on improving the coating for power armor, it's not unreasonable to assume perhaps its engineering specialists were hired to improve the easier-to-produce T45 Armor, with factories either in Massachusetts, or another part of New England being tasked with building the resultant product once it was cleared for mass production, with Massachusetts simply being a sort of layover until deployment either domestically or on foreign soil.
      The reason for none being seen in the older games from a lore standpoint could very well be the suits the Brotherhood has and that you find are the first few production runs (that is, the T60b series,) with few quirks in their functionality, with the bases in Mass having these beasts in storage waiting to head for China when the bombs hit; T60-equipped troops elsewhere had the earlier T60a series trial models, which without readily available soldiers or engineers who worked with them or parts to fix the things, have long since been lost to time by the time the first game even began, leaving the T60b series (the less janky ones,) the BoS find sitting practically mothballed in the bases in west Massachusetts - the direction they arrive from. The seeming unfamiliarity with the suits some show seems to hint at them being recent acquisitions as well, while their T45s and few T51s were instead put into storage as back-ups for the campaign, should the war in the commonwealth be far more devastating to their forces than they expect.
    • Additionally, like the laser musket taking fusion cells to balance the removal of weapon degradation that balanced the recharger guns, models besides the actual T45d and both T51b and T60b may very well be gameplay related so you can field your favorite power armor at later levels.

    The Brotherhood: Under Lyon's leadership  
  • Something that is Confusing me, is so far ( due to getting severely distracted by hoarding/settlement building im only a little into the main storyline), ive heard several Brotherhood characters talking about the leadership of the Lyons family somewhat disparagingly, claiming they were essentially not focused enough on hoarding technology, and too philanthropic/prone to white Knighting ( and Example being one of Danse's lines about Fort Independence when its under Minuteman control),when under their leadership, not only did they completely crush an opponent who had handed them humiliatingly severe defeats in the past (assuming the bunker Frank Horrigan raided during FO2 wasn't the only facility the Enclave compromised), but they acquired the largest single Cache of advanced Technology, materials and knowledge the Brotherhood had ever acquired in its entire HISTORY since their original members Deserted the US army. Not to mention a massive increase in manpower and support, almost entirely due TO their now-mocked beliefs/policies. im..just curious about the level of Mental Gymnastics involved in rationalising all that away as being "too soft".
    • The Brotherhood didn't win quite as massively as you might think, as it's acknowledged several times that they've taken massive casualties, and expanded huge amounts of resources. They LOST Liberty Prime, and have only just got him working again. I think many of the rank and file take issue with the fact that Lyons put the Brotherhood on the front line, yet never asked for anything in return from the surrounding settlements.
    • OP here, and..well...not really, no. as of the present they literally OWN DC, again, have access to a huge amount of Tech and materials formerly belonging to the enclave. they suffered heavy Casualties, sure, and Liberty prime's been in pieces scattered around the citidel for years, agreed- but the brotherhood has literally NEVER been in a stronger position in the main series games, all due to Lyon's Splinter faction, whilst the Outcasts were cowering in hiding and essentially starting to backslide into tech-obsessed raiders. they are in such a strong position now, both militantly and economically, that they're launching full-on military expeditions far across the country, as opposed to relatively small, infrequent patrols.all thanks to the "weak old man" and his Daughter.
    • Could be related to Maxson bringing the outcasts back into the fold again too, they were never going to look fondly on Lyons' style.
    • One of the things any authoritarian regime must do when coming into power is to denounce the previous system of government. Maxson's whole shtick is about taking the Brotherhood back to its founding ideals in order to increase solidarity in the face of their new challenges. He's directed the Brotherhood into a warrior-centric ideology, and—purposefully or not—built himself into a sort of ubermensch in the eyes of his followers. And, like any true believers, his followers are all too eager to repeat his rhetoric.

    Why are Vertibirds so weak now? 
  • In Fallout 3, Vertibirds were so incredibly durable that I initially wondered if they even could be killed. In Fallout 4, Brotherhood Vertibirds have a worrying habit of falling out of the sky and onto my head because a Mister Gutsy with one limb took five potshots at them. Why the huge reduction in armor, and more to the point, why is the Brotherhood willing to trust valuable lives and power armor to these flying death-traps?
    • As Maxson said, "this war will be costly." But in all seriousness, recall that in Fallout 3 the Vertibirds' only role as enemies was to land, discharge a bunch of dudes, and then take to the air again. They were never actually fought. In Fallout 4, they can do all of that as well as attack the player directly. It's likely Bethesda found that having super-durable airborne enemies who can continually blast away at the player as well as deny them any valuable cover was not fun. Given they're a severe annoyance even as-is should you make enemies of the Brotherhood, that's probably for the best. To offer a Holmesian explanation, though, it could be that the Brotherhood's Vertibirds are victims of increasingly strained logistics, and because the scribes are having to continually repair them without the proper means, the aircraft in general are more prone to catastrophic failure. But, the Brotherhood need their air superiority, so they keep getting sent out.
    • They have pretty terrible AI. Maybe it's the pilots that are lacking.
    • I personally would like to know how they defy physics. I regularly see Vertibirds clip through buildings, perform 180 degree turns while flying crooked, go into hover and then back into flight and then hover again without stalling and so forth. Its quite impressive.
    • The Vertibird in FO4 seems to be a prototype, as it looks remarkably different from FO3s version, or this specific model is specially built to be launched from the flight deck arms of the Prydwen. To keep weight down, it likely has less armor and thus gets shot down on a constant basis.
    • The real answer is thus: The Vertibird itself is still incredibly durable, they can suck up several missiles easily. The pilot however is not. From what I've seen of them most vertibird pilot Non Player Characters don't even wear any armor, so they die easily. All the NPCs in the game will always shoot the pilot of a vertibird first and foremost. If the pilot dies the whole thing comes crashing down and the resulting explosion will generally kill everyone else on board.

    Why did the Institute junk Nick? 
  • The Institute shit-canning Nick makes no sense in the context of the story. The Institute is shown time and again to be highly proprietary with their knowledge and their technology. Even though Nick was a failure he still was still built with Institute technology that someone could backwards engineer. Why not scrap him for parts and destroy the last bit of the cop Nick Valentine's memories? Or keep him for psychological study purposes? Why just toss him out with only the bare minimum of his memories erased, free to wander the world for more than 60 years where anyone could get their hands on him or where he could become a potential adversary, which is exactly what happens?
    • I wonder if they were studying him, looking to see how he, and the wasteland around him, reacted. Or maybe the scientist who built him was ordered to destroy him, but couldn't do so and decided to 'give him a chance'. I can think of lots of potential reasons, but it's sad we never get a definite answer.
    • They might have simply believed they wouldn't be able to control him. Nick is not truly an Institute synth, but rather pre-war experimental AI on synth chassis. He has shown capacity for moral evaluation and acting independently by his own reasoning, not only logical, but emotional as well. While even 3rd generation Institute synths are usually as capable of independent thought as T-800 in "read-only" mode.
    • It's possible that Nick is an prototype Courser, but the Institute threw him out when he didn't meet their expectations. I mean, he finds missing people and brings them home, like the current Coursers find runaway synths and bring them back to the Institute.
    • As of Far Harbor, it turns out they didn't. One of the other prototype synths freed him from the institute.

    Abbey of the Road 
  • So as a Christian player one of the many things that excited me for Fallout 4 was the Abbey of the Road, a Christian monastery, (from Fallout 3's Point Lookout DLC) was located in the Commonwealth however I can't find any references to it in 4. Did the Institute wipe them out?
    • The Abbey is west of the Commonwealth, likely New York.

    Nobody assumes that an institute-loyal Sole Survivor is a synth? 
  • Look at the start of an Institute-aligned play through from the perspective of, say, Sturges. The Sole Survivor goes to the Insitute ready to spill some blood and demand some answers, then comes back quite late, suddenly arguing that maybe, just maybe, they aren't the enemy. Then they start working with the Institute they were once hellbent on destroying. Why does nobody start arguing that the Sole Survivor may have been replaced with a synth? They'd be wrong, but from their available information, it's a perfectly valid and reasonable theory, completely fitting to the Institute's modus operandi.
    • Good question. Surely questions would've been raised among them as to why you are suddenly defending the Institute and everything it stood for after spending half of the first game making it clear you're going to destroy it. The only explanation I can come up with for why no one assumes you're a synth is because it probably takers a while (more than what we see in-game) to study and replicate a person's thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a synthetic body. Other than that, you've got a good point. If I were Piper, I'd definitely want to know why Blue (her nickname for Sole Survivor) is suddenly working for the infamous boogieman Institute.
    • All the minutemen and companions know the Sole Survivor; whether he or she is a charismatic Magnificent Bastard or a righteous justice machine, or visa versa, they know that, for one, the Survivor is too much of a Memetic Badass to be disagreed with, and two, the Institute is too smart and careful to send out one of their tin cans to try to improve PR. To someone who only knows the Institute as a scary ghost, the Sole Survivor (and, by extension, something meant to act like them) is always right, or too dangerous to let them know they're not. To someone who has experience with the Institute or thinks about it for long enough, there's no way the Survivor is a synth: defer to the previous sentence.

    On The Subject of The Sole Survivor Being a Synth... 
  • When put against the information spelled out in the game, why is this pet theory even a thing? Father explains quite clearly that his surviving parent was thawed out specifically to provide a backup that shares his pre-War genetic template. The Institute would have had no sane reason to replace him/her with a synth before Father could meet them, and even if they were crazy enough to secretly do that against Father's wishes, they wouldn't have been stupid enough to give the Sole Survivor's synth copy enough autonomy to be able to reject their methods and philosophy at all. Kind of like the "Ferris Bueller is Cameron's delusion" and "The monsters are actually innocent people" theories, this seems to be another one that gets traction for being such a mind-blower, but makes zero sense when you think it through.
    • When has fan theories ever made sense? The general idea is that Father lied to you and he knows about it. He does, after all, make a synth child of himself for no other reason than sentimental feelings, it wouldn't be an exaggeration of his character to do the same thing for his lost parent. Given that he can make adult synths with whatever memories he wants already, it would be much easier anyway. If he intended this synth parent to be a replacement for him as leader of the Institute, putting the SS far away and not brainwashing him would be the best way to do that so nobody else in the institute knew he was a synth (who they would never accept as leader). The Synths arn't programmable machines, their loyalty has to be brainwashed in. Said brainwashing would destroy whatever illusion of being his parent that he had, and he didn't seem to brainwash Synth Shawn much. The only part that wouldn't make sense in story is that Father never uses the "kill code" on you, or tells someone who could use it. The two times he sees you he doesn't really want you dead, which could explain why he never used it personally. Is it what the writers intended? Certainly not, but you could force it in if you tried.
    • Seeing how the primary objections remain unaddressed, I'm going with my original conclusion that the theory is due to some fans simply having a tendency to overthink and underthink these kinds of things at the same time. Carry on.
  • On the other hand, DiMA makes some uncomfortable observations along this line when you first meet him, and one of the terminals in the Institute has some reasearch notes on a synth upgrade that sounds remarkably like VATS. So it's not totally unreasonable to figure that the person who came out of that cryo-pod may not be the same one who first went in. In that light, it could well be an intentional Riddle for the Ages.

    Lone Wanderer not mentioned 
  • How comes the LW is not even mentioned by the BoS? I understand the need to keep things vague if bethesda doesn't want to impose a certain canon, but with how the BoS is acting, it feels almost like the Lone wanderer never even existed.
    • Proof of how arrogant the new BoS has become. Why reference some guy who just came in, and saved them from the death of the Enclave? Maxson probably tells the new recruits of how the Paladins bravely defeated the Enclave... Withhelpfromsomerandomguywho'sdadsavedthewasteland. They probably downplayed everything about him, to sound more impressive then they really were. I'm surprised they haven't told stories of how they 'defeated' Paradise falls.
    • On the other hand there is a mention of another Sentinel in the Capital Wasteland that might be him/her, so they could of been promoted.
    • The simplest answer is that the Lone Wanderer is seen by Maxson and his followers as a Lyon loyalist, thus a persona non grata that they simply don't acknowledge. He worked closely with the elder Lyons and (probably) fought many battles shoulder to shoulder with Sarah. The notion that the Lone Wanderer hewed closely to their interpretation of the Brotherhood is highly likely. For the Elders of Lost Hills, discrediting the Lone Wanderer would have been a high priority and frankly not that hard given his/her relatively short time in the Brotherhood. Maxson himself might have reason to resent the Lone Wanderer. Perhaps the Lone Wanderer was a lover of Sarah Lyons earning his jealousy or worse, Sarah was fighting alongside the Lone Wanderer when she was killed. Grief is hardly rational after all, Elder Maxson might have seen the Lone Wanderer as a Broken Pedestal when the seemingly invincible warrior let Sarah get killed.
    • On a somewhat similar note does anyone get "Lone Wanderer Callback" vibes from Mama Murphy when she mentions the guy getting into trouble all the time? Or is that just me?
  • Maybe Bethesda wants to forget that fallout 3 existed
    • Unlikely given just how many Fallout 3 models this game is still using such as that of the laser rifle.

    The BoS' new attitude 
  • So, Maxson was instructed by the West Coast/decided that pursuing Lyons' ideals wasn't going to happened. How does that translate to "killing everything that isn't human"? Why don't they just go around confiscating everything more advanced than a laser pistol?
    • Well look at it from the the BoS's point of view. Super Mutants are 99.9% of the time evil and have killed many of their members and innocent people. As for killing the few sane ones, that could be argued that its doing a Mercy Kill for the original human personality before the change. Despite being sympathetic Synths are dangerous technology and as many, many examples of fiction show this kind of thing usually ends up resulting in a Robot War. Plus they have been used to kill and replace people by the Institute which will drive anyone into paranoia. Then you have the controversial stuff like do they really count as alive and if so do they possess souls? As for Ghouls the only thing I could come up with is that they are ticking time bombs. No one knows for sure what causes the change into a feral and to them its better to be safe than sorry. Finally although Lyons' ideals didn't fully stick it did change the Eastern Branch. They are now trying to set up a Feudal government across the wasteland which is a lot better than no government, actively help people against raiders and the like if they happen upon them and recruit openly which as shown in the Mojave Wasteland is something the western branch would never do.
    • Ironically I think that is his idea of what continuing the ideals of Elder Lyons means rather than something fed to him by the Lost Hills Elders. He's likely a puppet of Lost Hills, but they don't necessarily direct every aspect of his policy. The Brotherhood frames their aggression towards Mutants and Synths as "protecting humanity", and I don't doubt their honestly believing that. Often times throughout history the job of a puppet master is more to set boundaries and general goals rather than make all decisions.
    • Super Mutants eat people, Synths are tools of the Institute, and Ghouls go feral. Best to shoot first, ask questions later. This is true to how they were in Fallout 3 as well, where the Ghouls of Underworld report that they fire warning shots whenever they get too close. Intelligent Ghouls likely still get a pass, providing they don't make any sudden moves, anything else would almost certainly need to have a Vault Dweller vouching for them not to get shot on sight.
    • WARNING shots yes, shooting first, second, third, fourth, fifth and then some more no.
    • Well we never see the Brotherhood make any violent moves towards Ghouls, despite the reteroic. They obviously don't like them, but nothing indicates that they've moved beyond their stance in Fallout 3. They DON'T like synths, but that's somewhat understandable considering they're at war with the institute, and synths directly conflict with their goals. Even then they're only slightly rude about Curie and Nick.

    Medical Exam 
  • On the main page, under Does This Remind You of Anything?, it compares the medical exam you take when joining the Brotherhood to the whole A Nazi by Any Other Name thing. Why? The radiation exposure during childhood is a medical issue (The entry on the main page doesn't mention that the question is specifically about exposure during childhood, hence the whole 'There wasn't a lot of radiation before the war option'), and the sex with a nonhuman is all but stated to be more along the lines of dealing with things like Brahmin rather than things like ghouls (If you check his records, he is treating a scribe for an STD they got from a ghoul, so it isn't enough to get kicked out).
    • No, he meant ghouls. That same terminal entry also says that he reported them. It's at least enough to earn a reprimand, so on your entrance medical exam, it might prevent you from being allowed to join.
    • My best guess? Hitler Ate Sugar. It doesn't take a genius to realize that, if any childhood exposure to radiation is grounds for denial, then having sex with one of the wastelands radiation warped or currently radioactive creatures (such as ghouls, given that they irradiate you when they melee) would at best be of serious concern. It helps to remember that the Brotherhood is an army, an entire one in fact cooped up into the same amount of space as Sanctuary Hills, and if any even slightly contagious condition is brought on board without their knowledge, they might as well just go back to D.C. because they aren't going to be able to fight a war on the Institute with half the soldiers sick or dying in bed.

    Status of the West Coast Brotherhood 
  • Okay, bear with me on this one. Throughout Fallout 3, with both Lyons' BoS faction and the Outcasts, it was said that nobody has been able to get in contact with the Elders back west, ostensibly for years. Then, New Vegas gives us the Mojave chapter around 4 years later, and again, they're completely cut off from the leadership - granted, they were on lockdown, with radio silence enforced, but even after lifting it, this particular faction continue operating independently. The overwhelming implication is, due to the Brotherhood at large being belligerent about technology and outsiders, that the majority of the original Brotherhood has been wiped out (people speculated that the Mojave faction may well have been the last). But then Fallout 4 came along, and that terminal on the Prydwen detailing Maxson's rise to the Brotherhood leadership casually mentions that they'd been in contact with the Elders back west as if nothing had ever happened, around the time they decided to elect Maxson as the East Coast elder. What happened? Unless that terminal entry is propaganda designed to show favour to Maxson, the implied ease with which they're suddenly communicating seems at odds with what has been shown up to now.
    • It could be that the NCR/Brotherhood peace ending from New Vegas is canon and eventually lead to a permanent peace between the NCR and the Brotherhood back in California, during which they re-established communication with the East Coast branch and appointed Maxson as their leader. It's been six years, after all. A lot can change.
    • During New Vegas it's mentioned that the Brotherhood still holds some territory in California, but it seems despite still being in a formal state of war both sides have pretty much stopped fighting (the NCR has better things to do than assault heavily defended bunkers, and the Brotherhood is decimated). The only reason the NCR goes after the Mojave chapter is because Colonel Moore hates them specifically. The radio silence, lockdown order is most likely designed to hide chapters outside Brotherhood controlled areas, giving them unexpected reinforcements which the council can call upon if needed. With this in mind the Elders have more reason than ever to call upon the East Coast Brotherhood, being a a possible relief force that the NCR can do nothing about. Building them up, installing a sympathetic elder, and having them amass an empire would be helpful in any number of ways.
    • Lost Hills and the NCR probably came to some kind of ceasefire. Given the war with Caesars Legion, and the fallout from that. Burning out every Brotherhood bunker was probably just too much for them. Better to just let them exist with the understanding that aggression will lead to their last bunkers being overrun.
    • Fallout 4 explicitly takes place some five years before New Vegas and Arthur was appointed Elder at age 18, two years prior to the start of the game. It could be that Maxson reestablished contact and was appointed either before or during the Brotherhood/NCR war. Lyons' lack of contact with the West Coast was due to the fact that he'd mutinied against the major policies of the Brotherhood of Steel, which led to the Elders back west refusing to send further reinforcements and supplies and also severing contact, even though Lyons and the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood were nominally acknowledged as part of the Brotherhood proper.
    • I think you mean six years after. Fallout 3 was 2277, New Vegas was 2281 , and 4 is 2287-2288 (starts late in the year).

    Status of the Midwest Brotherhood 
  • What happend to them? Were they wiped out? Did they even ever exist?
    • They exist according to Fallout 3 but besides that only God knows.
    • But why and how do we have absolutly nothing about them? I mean, caravans are able to bring news of the Mojave yet have nothing about the huge empire/reammanants with a few territories/the guys that tried to start something but failed in the Midwest.
    • For the same reason we haven't heard about the state of any of the major locations in the Midwest: there hasn't been a mainstream Fallout game set there yet.

    What Was Happening With Cait? 
  • In her quest to get her clean, you take her to Vault 95. At the cleaning section, she sits down in a chair that...looks weird. From what I could tell, it binds her hands and there are these two spinning things that apparently causes her pain as they press into her neck. It looks more like a torture chair than a chair to clean up drug addicts. What in the world was going on there??
    • It's definitely a reference to electro-convulsive therapy in the 1950s as a popular cure-all for psychological problems. The machine itself also appeared to be sucking out the built-up toxins in Cait's blood through her neck. What the procedure doesn't take into account is the reality that the cravings that come with addiction never go away even after the physical body is clean. The addict is always considered an addict, and must practice a lifetime of abstinence through psychological therapy and exercise of willpower.
    • That's actually how the game displayed it in story, the procedure cleaned people up, but the Vault logs show that the Vault experiment involved testing to see if they would go back if the drugs were available again. After which the Vault collapsed. So it's pretty clear it doesn't so much solve the addiction as solve the issue of lethal withdrawl. The rest of Cait's being "cured" can be justified largely on her own actions. Even her statement about not wanting it can easily be read more as her own personal growth rather than the machine.
    • Further reinforced by her comments if the Sole Survivor uses drugs in front of her. She's not amused, because she's still fighting the urge.

    Lorenzo Cabot and his Mysterious Serum 
  • Why the hell was this completely independent of any other plotlines? Why couldn't it be used to cure Austin in Vault 81? Why couldn't it be handed to Shaun and the Institute for study and replication, and to save his life? Sure Lorenzo makes you promise not to throw it away or sell it, but what's wrong with using it to cure others? Heck, what's wrong with just plain lying to him if he has a problem with it? A high intelligence and charisma score should allow you to block his mind and pass speech checks. It seems like They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot.
    • The serum only prevents aging, as Jack says. It's not a panacea. Besides, Lorenzo is insane and powerful as hell due to the artifact. He might see using the serum for the greater good as just using him, like his family did. Or alternatively, look at the quest events: only the Cabot family and their mercs knew about the serum, yet it attracted a Raider warlord to them. If the serum goes public, there is a good chance that the Commonwealth falls into total war in order to get their hands on eternal life.
    • That might explain why it could be a bad idea to give it to a relatively weakly protected place like Vault 81. It does NOT explain why you can't give it to the Institute. And even if it doesn't save Shaun's life, surely CIT could do SOMETHING with it. And it's not like Lorenzo Cabot can't be subdued. Actually, if anyone can find a way to re-capture him and continue to use his blood, it's the Institute.

    Nick Valentine's Quote 
  • When the Brotherhood of Steel arrives in the Commonwealth, Nick Valentine quotes... something. I can't remember what it was or where it was from, but it's definitely there if Nick's your companion. My question is, does anyone know what the quote was? Thank you!
    • He quotes Edgar Allen Poe. Specifically this line from The Raven: "Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing."

    What's with the Glowing Sea? 
  • It strikes me that the Glowing Sea, while memorable and beautiful in its own way, is nonetheless inconsistent with previous portrayals of nuclear devastation in the series. We've been told that only one bomb was dropped on Boston, and yet apparently this one explosion was enough to completely pulverize nearly all trace of civilization within its reach and to irradiate the terrain so intensely that the entire region is deadly even after 210 years. Las Vegas was struck with several bombs despite Mr. House's countermeasures, and was still relatively intact and far less irradiated; Washington, D.C. was far less scarred despite being targeted (and apparently successfully hit with) many more bombs than anywhere else. Even the Divide, which comes closest to resembling the Glowing Sea's hellscape, was the product of several nuclear warheads. How and why is the Glowing Sea so uniquely inhospitable despite all precedent pointing to a milder outcome?
    • Point Lookout is a shitty place and not a single bomb dropped there. It mayalso be that the Glowing is an area with very little wind so the radiations linger.
    • One location with a similar character (if not appearence, given engine limitations) that comes to mind is The Glow in the original Fallout: And that was a very significant military base/bunker complex that was hit by one of the biggest, nastiest warheads the Chinese can scrounge up because it was one of the main research centers from which FEV and Power Armors came out (and probably a Chinese spy got wind of that). Maybe the Boston nuke that created the Glowing Sea is similar to the one that created the Glow, this time aimed at CIT, but somehow missed.
    • Realistically Fallout just likes to take an artistic license to the nuclear physics for the sake of gameplay. It's why there's still radiation 200 years later in Fallout 3 and why the plants are still dead and stunted in New Vegas. Also most of Boston (like New Vegas) fell apart simply due to poor upkeep. It's been around 220 years and with no real organization dedicated to actually trying to preserve society most of the buildings and such have rotted due to the salt air and other elements.
    • Looks like someone didn't properly read the Headscratcher. The question isn't about Fallout's flippant playing with nuclear physics, but why the Glowing Sea stands in contrast to nearly everything else presented in the series with regards to nuclear devastation. That said, it seems the theory that Boston was hit with a similar payload to West Tek seems plausible.
    • You can meet the man who launched the nukes at Boston, he's a ghoul living in an old Chinese sub in one of the harbors and he claimed to have launched all but one the sub's nukes, so it's likely that more than one hit the the area.
    • Nope. Word of God has stated that only one nuke struck the Commonwealth. Further, we see evidence of only one blast in the game itself—a single crater in the middle of the Glowing Sea.
    • Sounds like someone hasn't been to Sentinel Site Prescott yet. When you eventually get there be sure to listen to Captain Dunleavy's Holotape, it's a firsthand account of what happened with the nukes. He mentions multiple incoming nukes, as well as nukes splitting up into even more nukes. Which is consistent with Captain Zao admitting he fired all but one of his nukes at Boston, but then I already pointed that out. So yes, more than one nuke hit the Glowing Sea.
    • Captan Dunleavy's Holotape.
    • It's entirely possible that the Glowing Sea is the result of a ground-burst nuke, which detonates after tunnelling into the ground and will tear apart the landscape and send millions of tons of radioactive dirt, stone and other particles into the atmosphere and leaves a whopping huge-ass crater. Just like the crater in Glowing Sea. The nukes that hit DC, Vegas, etc may have been air-burst nukes. They would detonate once they descended to a kilometer above the ground and the blast would still be enough to devastate surface buildings, but they would throw up far less irradiated material into the air and leave no crater behind, like in the Capital Wasteland and Vegas.
    • Combining the above theory with Dunleavy's observation, Sentinel Site has at least 17 nukes inside the area you explore without finding the weapons for Liberty Prime. There's also a decayed nuclear reactor near the Crater of Atom. Not unreasonable to assume it was hit, given the damage to the Reactor Site...hence the ungodly amounts of radiation two centuries later.
    • To the North West of the Creator of Atom, the creator created by the bomb that hit Boston, is the decaying ruins of a nuclear power plant. Now while a nuclear detonation will create radiation that lasts at most 50 years, a nuclear meltdown will create radiation that lasts for hundreds or even thousands of years. And having a bomb detonate only a few miles away is probably enough to cause a meltdown sever enough to create the glowing sea.

    What's with the Children of Atom? 
  • Seriously, no explanation is given for how they are able to survive at ground zero of a nuclear detonation, where the very air coruscates with all the radiation? Even when the Sole Survivor asks, they are given a vague sermon rather than anything concrete, and frustratingly do not press for any further information. The Children aren't synths, as they do not drop synth components when killed, and they don't appear to be ghouls in the traditional sense, so how are they capable of living in their camp without their faces melting off? Further, where are they getting the manpower and resources to mount annoying raids into far-reaching areas of the Commonwealth?
    • I think whatever happens to the protagonist when they get the Ghoulish trait probably happened to them. Maybe it's the first step of becoming a Ghoul that radiation doesn't hurt you anymore but before the whole "flesh rotting" thing sets in. And as to their manpower? My guess is that they get a lot of members from Ghoul sympathizers from the Capital Wasteland, given how I doubt underworld is doing particularly well under the new genocidal regime. The congregation from Megaton might also have wholly packed up shop and headed to the Glowing Sea due to Brotherhood persecution. We necessarily don't see as much of the population of the Wastelands because of engine reasons and it just not mattering, but I think there were probably a lot of them in the Capital Wasteland.
    • I'm a big fan of the 'pro-ghoul' interpretation, and that the Brotherhood's discrimination led to them jumping off the sanity pole. (Not that they were ever that high up)

    Mass Effect Comparison 
  • Why does everyone compare the dialogue tree in this game to the one in Mass Effect? It's similar in that it's a system optimized for console over the PC, but really it's far more restrictive than the Mass Effect trees ever were. The nature of it being four pointed means that it can have at maximum four choices, rather than the circular system from Mass Effect which could give you many many more options on what to say should the developers ever feel it reasonable to put it in there. The only work around offered by the game is to my knowledge one scene where you can pick your code name for the Railroad, where it gives nine options by surrendering one option to "more" several times. Basically, it's not so much a Mass Effect style dialogue system, which is based on the idea the choices will be made by moving the sticks, it's based on a d-pad and only gives as many choices as exist on a d-pad.
    • Because Mass Effect is an enormously popular series and its the first thing people think of when they think of the Bioware-style dialogue system.
    • Really, it's more like Telltale's standard four-point dialogue system, but without the far-reaching consequences to the dialogue. As the above poster noted, however, Mass Effect is the more recognizable, and did pioneer the whole "wheel" method in the first place, so it gets first billing.
    • My point is more that it doesn't actually use the wheel. (in this case the different configuration really matters, the wheel doesn't set hard limits on options in the way this does).
    • There is similarity in both system if you consider only the right side of th wheel in Mass Effect, as the left side almost never cause the conversation to go forward, it's instead there to learn more about the world. In a way, Fallout 4 only has the right side of the wheel, which make learning about the world much harder than it should be. Really, I think Mass Effect actually has the most restrictive system of the two as far as carrying conversion goes. I think the true problem is not the sheer quantity of possible answers, but the fact that the conversation system is essentially a leap of faith each time you choose an answer. Fallout 4 only give the barest hint of what your character is going to say, while Mass effect at least give you more often than not a full sentence.

    Patriot's Last Message 
  • So, in the Railroad post-ending, you can get one last message from Patriot. It mentions you told him about losing you son. Except, by the time you actually meet him, you've FOUND Shaun, and I don't recall any actual option to tell him about losing the kid! Did I miss something, or is this an oversight?
    • The letter as a whole has a pretty strange tone which seems like it implies far more contact with Patriot and the Sole Survivor than happened in my game. I think I only really talked to him twice before he introduced me to Z1-14 who ended up becoming the main contact.

    Irish Names 
  • Yeah, I'm calling them out on it. Sure it's Boston so Irish Americans are the stereotype but who thought it was reasonable to give just about everyone an Irish surname? It's especially odd as the part of Boston that contains the historic landmarks that Bethesda insured needed to be in their game are part of Boston's North End neighborhood known for its Italian American population.
    • There's not a lot of characters with last names. There's plenty of plain old waspy names too (I'm looking at you Piper Wright), and a smattering of Italians (immediately jumping to mind are the Savoldi's in Bunker Hill).

    Follow the Freedom Trail 
  • The Railroad is an organization trying to keep themselves hidden, as we know. However, the code that leads right to their headquarters - Follow the Freedom Trail - is known by some random wastelander you pass in Diamond City when looking for Nick Valentine. It's not that much of a stretch to imagine that other interested parties in the Commonwealth (like, for instance, The Institute) could find out about that code phrase pretty easily. For someone like me who doesn't actually live in or around the Boston area, that was an effective deterrent to finding them until I looked for the solution online. But later, I talked to several of my friends who actually live near Boston about that quest, and they figured out what "Follow the Freedom Trail" meant immediately. The Institute isn't exactly made up of idiots, and they monitor the surface with spies and Coursers and who knows what else enough that they could be called locals. Why would the Railroad make it so easy for their enemies to find them if they don't actually want to be found?
    • As they explain when you first find them, they do keep tabs on people following the clues. Presumably they'd clear out if they caught someone suspicious following the trail.
    • The above poster has it. The Freedom Trail is simply a time-sink for anyone moving in on Railroad HQ, which allows the Railroad to observe and assess the potential threat or value of whoever is drawing near. By providing a genuine, but still circuitous, lead as to their location, they control the terms of engagement for anyone who dares approach them.
    • It also goes through some pretty dangerous areas, with Raiders, Super Mutants, and Swan. Railroad NPCs are rather audibly impressed you made the trip.
    • IT's also mentioned they JUST moved into the Church (Like mere days or weeks prior to you going there). And Tinker Tom's MILA devices are equipped with cameras to monitor the freedom trail (Among other places). It's likely you got there before they could set up their security network, and that before the fall of the Switchboard forced them to relocate, the Old Church was just a point to "intercept" anyone looking for the Railroad.

    Brotherhood "Betrayal" 
  • So after the destruction of the Institute in the Brotherhood ending, Dr. Li says something about this being the second time that the Brotherhood betrayed her. Admittedly, they didn't inform her that Liberty Prime was going to be used to annihilate the Institute, and may have mislead her about Prime's intended use. But... when was the first betrayal? There wasn't anything in Fallout 3 that seemed to indicate her expecting the Brotherhood to do anything with Liberty Prime except for annihilate the Enclave, and there's no reason to believe that the Enclave didn't deserve it, especially not from her point of view. They'd just lead James to kill himself in an attempt to slow or prevent the Enclave from taking the Jackson Memorial (and with it, Project Purity), then they went ahead and took the Purifier for there own nefarious purposes anyway. How does using the giant war-bot (that you're helping restore to working order!) to destroy the Enclave (the evilest guys in the Capital Wasteland, save perhaps the Slavers of Paradise Falls) qualify as "betrayal"?
    • I think this event occurred in between the ten-year span of Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. As I understand it, Li thought that Project Purity was going to be use solely to provide the citizens of the Capital Wasteland with clean, non-irradiated water, but then the Brotherhood began to use it for their own personal gains, much like the Enclave was trying to do in the climax of Fallout 3. In short, she felt the Brotherhood had betrayed not only her, but everything she and James had fought for and suffered to get Project Purity to work by acting like the Enclave, so she just left.
    • Didn't she leave the Capital Wasteland for the Commonwealth during the Lone Wanderer's coma, though? Hard to believe that the Brotherhood had started and stopped using the Purifier for their own gain inside of two weeks.
    • When did they ever stop? Broken Steel makes it clear that the Brotherhood was entirely keen on maintaining absolute control over Project Purity and its product. Sure, it was still doing a service to the people of the Capital Wasteland, but nonetheless every bottle of water being shipped from Project Purity was going to build the Brotherhood's new empire instead of uplifting the people as a whole, and that's what Li took issue with.
    • The problem is that Li wouldn't have any way to hear about the Brotherhood's (potential) abuse of the Purifier. She'd already left the Capital Wasteland for the Commonwealth by the time Broken Steel started, under the pretense of getting away from all the chaos that was present. No mention of the Brotherhood stabbing her in the back, no mention of her worrying about the Brotherhood abusing Liberty Prime's power to dominate the East Coast, nothing. She just left, and the next time we see her, she's in the Institute and presumably has been since she got to the Commonwealth.
    • Li doesn't say anything about the betrayal being the reason for her leaving. Maybe she learned about what Brotherhood did afterwards after she reached the Institute and considers that their first betrayal?
    • I see what you're saying there, I really do, but I'm just finding that really hard to believe. Yes, she could've gained a sudden distrust of the Brotherhood of Steel after finding out about their actions post-Broken Steel, but the is that she doesn't state what the first betrayal was, and she never tells us how she found out about it after leaving the Capital Wasteland and working underground for the better part of a decade. Institute leadership hardly comes across as the sort that would tell people critical info like that unless it was relevant to their research.
    • Recall that in Fallout 3, Doctor Li knows Elder Lyons before you ever make it to the Citadel. It's entirely possible that she was referring to something before the Lone Wanderer met her, or even before he was born, possibly some foul business involving James' exit but before the project was fully abandoned.
  • The first betrayal was the Brotherhood's withdrawal from project purity after they failed to get results just before the Lone Wanderer was born.

    Vault 81 Scientist 
  • So when the Vault 81 scientists were sealed inside their secret section of the Vault, and the Overseer sabotaged the nozzles and stop answering their communications... why didn't they walk out of their section of the Vault? They complain about being left there to die. But the exit from their section of the Vault (The one you use after finding Curie) is locked from the INSIDE. With a terminal that's not even password protected. They literally at any time could've walked to the exit and left. Yet their journal entries and the messages to the Overseer treat this as if they are stuck in their section of the Vault with no way out. Sure, it'd have been awkward as all hell to explain what they were doing, but seeing as they were treating being left there as a fate worse than death...
    • The door may have been initially locked from the other side, and Curie might have found a way to hack it in the two intervening centuries after the scientists were all dead. How else could she expect to report her research findings once complete?

    Institute's gone but still dealing with Coursers 
  • Even after destroying the Institute I'm noticing that PAM calls me in to deal with the Coursers appearing in the Commonwealth. Which seems odd given how the teleport relay is destroyed and the Synths are all being processed.
    • After destroying the Institute, Desdemona mentions that there will be institute remnants, made of scientists doing field work and Coursers who either were away from the Institute on missions or who managed to escape. Those would be the ones.
    • Elder Maxson makes mention of the same thing- remnants of the Institute to watch out for and eliminate on sight, Coursers included.

    Is Glory a Courser? 
  • What it says on the tin. It would make sense given how badass she is. And how no matter what she can take out many Brotherhood Knights and other obviously powerful enemies. And she's stated to have worked surface detail for the institute, which is why she was never mind wiped by the Railroad. But the whole thing is never confirmed or stated outright.
    • Possibly, but if you talk to Dez after taking down the Courser to get it's chip, she mentions that doubts even Glory would be able to take down a Courser one on one. If she were a Courser, one would imagine she'd have at least a 50/50 shot.

    "At least we still have the Backup" 
  • Biggest headscratcher in the game for me actually comes at the start when the Institute has Kellogg re-freeze you as a backup in-case they need another sample of pre-War genetic material. There is some level of logic to the decision, but it overlooks a far simpler, and indeed more logical approach of just retrieving you, your spouse and Shaun at the same time and bring you all back to the Institute. Families exist within the Institute, we meet them on being given free access to the facility ourselves, and most people within the Institute are genuinely affable individuals (ethics aside). The benefits to the PC and their family are obvious, unity and safety in a post-War, post-scarcity environment and the opportunity to create a new life, while for the Institute they not only have their genetic sample, and their planned back-up but potentially even more as the PC and their spouse continue to have more children. Your spouse's death is referred to by Shaun as "collateral damage" and therefore was unintended, but it still seems an inherent odd choice of direction by the Institute, especially given they're scientists and would care about having access to viable samples.
    • There's no guarantee that they'd go for it though. The Institute is a fascist group who basically enslave robots and engage in sabotage and assassinations to maintain their power. There's no way they could guarantee that they'd put up with that and agree with them.
    • That's a fairly shallow interpretation of their ideology though. And you're looking at their actions without the (in their minds) justifying intent behind them. As a collective of scientists the Institute (then) should've logically cared about the viability of pre-War genetic samples for their human synth project and yet not only do their allow one sample to be actively killed by Kellogg but proceed to kill every other cryogenically-frozen survivor bar you. It makes absolutely no sense from an experimental point of view. Should anything happen to both you and Shaun (which was entirely within the realm of possibility), the Institute would've lost access to all pre-War genetic material.
    • For all the sapience/sentience Codsworth/Mr Handy-type or other mechanical robots demonstrate there's no consideration of personhood with them by Society at large either before the war or after it. Codsworth likewise never asks you to consider him a person and therefore not an object you own. The Institute states definitively that although their synths look and can pass for human they don't consider them any more human than a Mr Handy, and therefore they cannot be enslaved by traditional interpretation. FWIW I think Synths, and any other non-humans who display human-level sapience/sentience should be granted person-status but that's neither here nor there.
    • Perhaps it's not that the Institute didn't consider that, but Kellogg? He was stated to be unstable and a little too fond of collateral damage, so maybe he just decided to complete the mission in a way that would lead to maximum body count and a pissed-off Sole Survivor gunning for him? He WAS awfully quick to threaten and kill the spouse rather than even attempt to talk them down or appeal to logic. Would "It's okay, we're survivors here to take you Vault Dwellers to a safe haven of surviving civilization, but we need to examine you and your child first" really have been so hard to try rather than jumping right to "Let the kid go right now or I shoot"?
    • Which makes it all the more ridiculous and pointless. The Director knew Kellogg was a crazy SOB who shot everything that moved if it completed the objective. Sending him down there to a Vault full of pre-War citizens frozen in time was just asking for a disaster to happen. Wouldn't it have been more sensible, as the troper above me said, to simply send Institute scientists who weren't trigger happy to do the job? As the troper three entries above me said, if anything had happened to Shaun and Sole Survivor, that mission would've been a colossal waste of time and resources.
    • It's possible that it was the Institute's original plan to bring the whole family in, but it got derailed by Kellogg being a trigger-happy dickhole.
    • Unfortunately Kellogg acting entirely on his own volition doesn't entirely make sense either. Shaun specifically states that your spouse's death was "collateral damage". Even excusing the detachment from not knowing his own deceased parent (by his own assertion), it's never made to sound like anything other than an unexpected and unfortunate occurrence as against Kellogg destroying an important and highly desired genetic back-up for Shaun. You, specifically, are the only one referred to as the back-up by Kellogg himself and if your spouse was one you'd think one of the scientists would've said something at the time.
    • The only argument in defence of that course of action I can think of is that if they had thawed the whole family at the same time, they'd have risked all of them dying within one generation (from age or other causes), while unfreezing them individually means that they can perhaps come back for preserved survivors even centuries later. Still, very weak defence. Kellogg shooting the person holding Shaun can be explained by him being trigger-happy and short-tempered, but there was no justification for not properly refreezing everyone else in the Vault. Kellogg wasn't kill-everything-on-sight crazy, he safely delivered Shaun and left the Survivor alive deliberately. Unless we'll find out at a later point that there was something more going on in the background, I'll have to put this down as "contrived way to start the plot".
    • The reason why Kellogg wasn't dealt with after causing collateral damage, is because Institute members as a whole are horrible with people. They burrowed underground so all they'd have is an echo chamber of like minded socially awkward scientists. Although they recruited Kellogg because he'd be a formidable enemy to them otherwise, they don't know the right people skills to keep him in check. The reason why Shaun finally cut Kellogg loose and thawed out his surviving parent to wreak revenge on Kellogg, is because he does feel a little bit of remorse for what happened to his dead parent. This is also why, he is eager to appoint the Sole Survivor as the new director - he wants to reform the Institute, but feels that only a charismatic outsider could do that.

    Variable sanity of Mr. Handy robots 
  • What determines how coherent a given Mr. Handy or variant thereof is? The majority of the ones you meet seem to be following whatever orders they were given blindly. They display slightly more coherence than a modern chatbot, not understanding that the world has fundamentally changed by way of atomic warfare. Others have managed to Grow Beyond Their Programming and achieve clear sentience, self-awareness, and an understanding that the world simply no longer is as it once was — Codsworth and Curie are definite examples, and Whitechapel Charlie seems pretty coherent as well.
    • Curie's AI is specifically a unique case - she was heavily customized by one of the doctors she was locked with, and he explicitly left her to develop beyond her programming once he was done tinkering with her initially, and encouraged her growth by making his team treat her as a person, and disregarding her protests to the contrary - even giving her possessions to own. As for Codsworth, while he's more advanced than most Mr. Handy, he does pale compared to her (he's still often spouting marketing lines from General Atomics, is constantly wrestling against his cleanliness programming) he does have a sense of morality and empathy most Mr. Handy lack. Ultimately the answer could be which firmware the otherwise identical robots run on, or simple quirks of time. Maybe true self-consciousness is a bug, with some machines encountering that bug, running nonstop for 200 years, while most do not. It could also be the circumstances of the way the robot was left: Codsworth was basically left behind to do his own thing, and chose to stick around your house - he wasn't ordered to, while other less advanced Mr. Handy have been left do follow a specific direction for 200 years "Guard this spot" "Run this store" "Fix this thing". Others are slaved to terminals. It's perhaps the fact that Codsworth was "free" to do what he wants with his time that let him advance - we know that for a while he explored around Sanctuary and Concord. Perhaps the ability to basically do whatever he wants gave his AI a chance to develop, test its limit and expand. While other robots slaved to terminals or made to follow extremely precise, specific orders for 200 years don't have enough freedom for their AI to develop the way he did.
    • It might be worth considering their situation as some form of robot trauma. They've been isolated for two centuries without a check up in a hostile environment, their circuits degenerating, and their programming running into situation after situation they were not made for. Codsworth's pre-bombs line asking the player to watch the news report and his breakdown in front of your house post-bombs made this troper think of deep-seated denial. Many of these robots know the situation they're in but can't cope with it so they end up with borderline personality disorders.

    Danse and the Institute *SPOILERS* 
  • Danse is a Synth... But, when was he created ? He says he grown up in the Capital, but it seems way too far to send Synths there since it's more than 700 kilometers. And, for that matter, if he is a Synth, why didn't the Institute program him to stay in the Capital Wasteland to spy on the Brotherhood there? Since Synth children are an extremely new thing, the Institute can't have sent him in DC as a child but the Brotherhood knows of Cutler.
    • In all likelihood he wasn't sent by the Institute but by the Railroad, who as part of the process of freeing synths give them a new set of manufactured memories, and often send them to the Capital Wasteland because it's mostly outside the Institute's sphere of influence. This makes his hatred of the Railroad a little amusing.
    • But what about Cutler then ?
    • Reddit noticed that the Brotherhood has evidence that Danse's backstory is more than just fake memories so there was a real Danse. He was probably replaced when he went to the Commonwealth.
    • The Railroad routinely sends Synths to the Capital Wasteland. We first met the Railroad and Institute both in Fallout 3. As for Danse's past being real, that's because he actually did live in Rivet City before joining the BoS.
    • Danse is also clearly identified as being a missing Synth, so if he lived out a portion of his life in Rivet City, then he did so after he was liberated from the Institute. As a side-note, I feel like it would be amusing if anyone from the Railroad actually recognized Danse, given how he was almost certainly processed by them.
    • Not likely, considering facial reconstruction.
    • Given he was in the Capital Wasteland, it's possible he was processed by Horace Pinkerton. That would explain why the Railroad are ignorant of him.

    Institute's colossal scientific breakthroughs 
  • This one has been bugging me since FO3. How is the institute even able to produce the synths? Seeing as one of the underlying pillars of the Fallout lore is that the transistor wasn't developed until just before the great war, such sophisticated androids seem really out of place. Even with the institute's brains behind all this, it doesn't seem plausible at all, creations similar to what could be found at Big Mountain would seem more logical. Then again, this wouldn't be the first time that Bethesda just didn't bother checking up on the lore before writing up a whole game.
    • As you said, transistors were invented just before the war. Obviously CIT would've been studying them. And the Institute has had 210 years to perfect them. We've not had transistors IRL for even a century yet. Also, the Gen 3 Synths are partially biological, which matches stuff like the Robobrains and other robots based on actual human brains. Gen 1s and 2s are barely more advanced than Protectrons or Sentry Bots. Lastly this is a world where pre-war machines with sentience exist, like the ZAX series.

    Shaun, remember? *SPOILERS* 
  • Why does it seem you can't tell your companions (or anybody else other than a one-sentence conversation with Desdemona) that Shaun is the leader of the Institute? It might help with people understanding why you would wanna work with him.
    • Would they still trust you, then?
    • Your companions typically know everything that happens without you telling them, because that would get annoying. Out of the four factions, the Minutemen are led by you (who would presumably know already) and a companion (who, as above, would know), the BoS are led by someone who wishes to exterminate all synths and thus doesn't care why you would work for them (thus telling him would do nothing), and the Institute has this as common knowledge. The Railroad is the only faction who wouldn't know and would be plausibly willing to work with the Institute if they change their ways.

    The Rarity of Certain Materials 
  • It seems a bit odd that of all things, plastic is extremely common as a material in the Commonwealth, when you realize that not only were oil shortages a humongous problem before 2077, but also that Plastic decomposes faster than things like Aluminum.
    • You find intact blood packs and cola and TV dinners. Since when has decomposition ever been a factor in these games? Also plastic is not nearly a common as it seems when you think about it. Toy cars are steel and wood. Toy rockets are aluminum. Giddyup Buttercup toys are all metal. Patio furniture is all steel. Even alarm clocks are all metal. A lot of items you'd expect to be plastic in fact do not contain any - because of the aforementioned oil shortage. Even gas cans are still aluminum, despite plastic being safer. Plastic is most seen in energy weapons, where they are presumably needed to lower the weight of the weapons to match regular guns despite all the electronic components.
    • That's a good point. Institute weapons are a good source of plastic. They're a high-tech faction, so it makes sense that they have access to otherwise scarce materials.
    • it's also likely that the unrealistic amount of plastic is due to its use in settlement building, which is near nonexistent when compared to wood & steel, making plastic seem a lot more common.
    • About the TV dinners, I always understood that also as a snide comment as to how this food isn't really organic anymore, or whatever you would like to call it.
    • Plastic that can decompose is plastic that can also be broken down and recycled. On the other hand, the type of plastic that doesn't chemically break down easily is the plastic that ends up in landfills, and is dependent on oil to be made. The plastic you are using is the rare decomposing plastic.
    • Oil isn't the only source of plastic. Plastic can be made from oils produced by certain plants, and if there's one thing that the US has in enormous abundance, it's farmland. Even in a resource shortfall, the US would still be able to easily grow enough food that they could devote huge tracts of land to growing biopolymer plastics.

    Institute/Railroad Surveillance? 
  • It's clear that the Institute is aware of your actions at certain points in the game. For example, they would know for sure that you had arrived in Diamond City. But in one of the Robotics terminal entries, Father says that you came into contact with the Railroad like it's a fact. How did he find that out? Is the Railroad compromised?
    • Well you become a full Railroad member by wiping out the switchboard of Synths and opening its vault (as in bank vault, not Vault-vault) and emptying it of the prototype it contained. So at the very least several Synths likely saw you doing that with Deacon (And a courser could've retrieved dead synth memory data when the switchboard went dark). Seeing that, and that the door that was voice print-locked in the former Railroad HQ would make it fairly obvious to them what happened who you've been chumming with - you wouldn't have been able to otherwise open the vault door the Institute itself couldn't open. Alternatively, Old Man Stockton (A major railroad agent in Bunker Hill)'s grand-daughter [[spoiler;is a synth. Assuming he didn't adopt a runaway Synth after the memory wipe]], it's possible she's an Institute plant. Furthermore, the BoS is capable of figuring out where the Railroad is based out of, so it seems not that much more unlikely the Institute can figure out some basic facts.

    Maxson's Questionable Choice for Danse 
  • In the mission where you learn that Danse is a Synth, and Maxon orders his death, he sends you, the one person who's been around him the longest, the one person who may have developed a close friendship, to go to that man and execute him. I know it's because he expects you to put the Brotherhood above personal feelings, but don't you think he could've avoided any potential incident like, say, you deciding that Danse should live instead by simply sending down someone who has no possible attachment to Danse?
    • He needed to find him. If you perform the execution yourself, that's great, but Maxson followed you to Danse's hiding place, and would have handled it himself if you hadn't talked him down.
    • Haylen apparently knew where he was, and Rhys probably had some info on where to look, too. He also pretty explicitly sends you to kill him, rather than simply go out and look for him so that Maxson can do the job himself.
    • Exactly. It's a loyalty test. He wants to see if the Sole Survivor is willing to put the ideals of the Brotherhood above personal attachments. Whether he does or not, Danse will have to die regardless; this is just two birds with one stone.
    • On another note, I don't think finding "someone who has no possible attachment to Danse" is that easy. By all accounts he was one of the most senior and respected Paladins in the Brotherhood. Everybody seemed more shocked by the revelation itself than the potential for betrayal. Reading between the lines, even Maxson didn't want to kill him - he's willing to accept some pretty weak arguments to back down.

     Synth!Shaun's future 
  • It was bugging me for weeks ever since I overheard scientists in the Institute discussing synth!Shaun, particularly the fact that he (as well as all other synths) does not age.
    • Firstly, just how long does everybody expect this hoax to last in this case? It is presumably easier for aware and unaware adult synths to spend years living among people without raising any suspicion about not changing a bit, but in case of synth kids (which explains a lot as to why the Institute does not produce them for replacement), the question will pop up in less than five years. Never mind everybody else, what are the chances synth!Shaun will NOT realise something is wrong when five years pass and he's still a ten year old kid? Does it mean his memory has to be altered every two years or so in order to uphold his story, or the Sole Survivor has to break the news to him when the time comes?
    • And secondly, just why did synth!Shaun have to be created in the first place? This starts to look like the A.I. movie dilemma: the Survivor is stuck with a kid who will never grow up, and the time will certainly come when s/he gets tired of that. What then? What did real-Shaun expect to happen, for his parent to make up for the lost years forever or suddenly switch to the Institute way of thinking and simply dispose of the synth (methods may vary) and replace him with an older version of himself? And that is assuming that the Survivor chose to side with the Institute and therefore has more options. The time for doing something will come eventually and I get the feel that Shaun in his late sentimental years might not have thought this one out through, or I am missing something?
    • Maybe the creation of synth-Shaun was a counter-measure against the Sole Survivor venturing too far into the commonwealth in search of their child &getting eviscerated by Deathclaws, Ghouls, Raiders etc,in the belief that vengeance for the spouse & getting their child back would appease the Sole Survivor. also, the lack of aging might be true for Gen 1-2 synths , Nick & the Diamond City Butcher, but gen-3 synths are more reminiscent of clones, as the laboratory where the synths are created shows them being made of pure biological material. Is the jump between generations large enough that gen-3 & beyond are capable of growth if they were "programmed" as children?
    • In the conversation of the ones who created Shaun, it was explicitly stated that he won't age. Therefore they were wondering what's the whole point and I'm joining them on that one.
    • I believe the entire point was for Father to, in his mind, make it up to the Sole Survivor for what he lost, even though he himself wasn't responsible. If you talk to him when you first meet him he flat out tells you he deliberately released you and put Kellogg in your path as a sort of penance because he's getting emotional in his old age and staring death in the face. The entire point of the synth, therefore, was to give the Sole Survivor the son he or she was robbed of in the best way he possibly could. It's not perfect, but they pour enormous resources into synth!Shaun to make it as human as possible.
    • You all also have to remember that, technically, Synth!Shaun is actually Nate/Nora's grandson. I'm sure that that factors an emotional connection to him. As for the concern of him living much longer than Nate/Nora, we can't forget about the makeshift family that comes in the form of the companions. While some of them are normal humans, others aren't: Shaun will always have Danse, Curie, Codsworth, X6, Hancock, Ada, Nick, and Strong to look after him.
    • The intention may have been to simply transfer his mind into more physically mature bodies as time went on. Even with an ending where The Institute is destroyed, it's probably still possible to do the inverse of what happens in Curie's companion quest and, for his 16th birthday (16th Fabricationday?), upload him into some Walking Apocalypse you slapped together in the Robot Workbench

    Why people in this game are still miserable? 
  • I hope I'm not the only one who has big trouble believing in the setting of this particular game, when Boston looks HELLA GOOD for a city that got nuked to paste, it's been 210 years and people still live like beggars. I'm guessing the main reasoning for this is just upkeeping the post-apocalyptic spirit, although it becomes less and less believable with time passing, but in this case, am I just not getting something or the people there are really this stupid? I am not very familiar with the previous games, but the first two were set when not so much time has passed after the War, plus the setting was so devastated all the questions about rapid re-building were dropped by themselves as soon as you look around. And when there were good places, like the Vault City, they looked good ever by the standards of our world - clean, well-presented, heavily guarded, the places you really have to work hard to get into. NV was set in a location that had little to it from the beginning, and yet when people saw potential in re-opening casinos, again these were the places I myself would like to visit someday. Life started changing, people started working for a better future and it all made sense.
    Yet in the fourth game, almost a half of the map is full of locations that have most of the pre-war structures perfectly intact (!), with the centre of Boston where it's way too easy to have a peaceful walk around without bumping into enemies (hell I haven't even met a single deathclaw there), with a painful number of locations that were never looted in 210 years (!!). Vehicles are scattered around (in the second game you had a working one), buildings are mostly habitable and do have raiders living in there while the "good folk" locked themselves up in a trashcan looking baseball pitch and brag about their cool lives. Many, many items from the pre-War times were preserved, from forks to actually working TVs and cameras that only need people to set everything up for usage. They've got people there that show you your memories through a TV screen, goddammit!
    Do people in this game really don't want to live good? What exactly was THIS problematic to stop them from re-inhabiting existing, fully furnished and preserved houses instead of building rotten cardboard shacks (looking at you Diamond City)? What stopped all those people from kicking out disorganised bandit gangs that have so many lines of dialogue about wanting to have a normal life? If they were afraid of super-mutants, for example, why not gang up on those? Those potential citizens were fighting for a better life in a better place, who the hell in their situation would go "Oh we'd rather stay under our improvised roofs here, much better than those properly built houses full of goods, so not worth kicking out two mutants and one dog for that"? In the centre of Boston specifically the entire "bad" population might not even be the standard number of enemies for a regular quest. The entire place looks like it's been bombed around 10 years ago at max, and the only indication that it's an actual nuclear apocalypse is monsters and poorly constructed shacks, that look poor even if you assemble them using freshly made items taken from the Institute. Just why people in this game want to stay miserable this much?
    • Do you have any idea how many caps it'd take to have these people gang up on well-armed raiders and Super Mutants and conquer the whole of the Commonwealth for themselves? How many soldiers? It's easy for us because we're playing a war vet, or someone with enough war experience to be able to fire a pistol. The same can't be said for the average Commonwealth citizen.
    • Mot only this, but they've tried at least twice to do exactly what you've described. They tried to set up an NCR-like coalition of settlements but the Institute killed all the delegates, thus making them too paranoid to work together again. Then there was the Minutemen, which chased out raiders and acted as roaming guards for settlements before they fell to corruption and laziness.
    • Firstly, pre-Industrial Agriculture is HARD. Like, REALLY HARD. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow crops without machines or petroleum-based fertilizers, and it doesn't tend to give you a high surplus. So, realistically, the majority of the Commonwealth Wastelands population will be working in the fields so they DON'T STARVE. Which is .... basically what happens in 99% of the settlements in-game. Most of the settlers need be working on food, and that is if you want to "break even". That doesn't leave a lot of time for scavenging, building up luxurious houses, or going out and preemptively attacking Raiders.
    • The United States took less than 200 years to go from 'empty land filled with bears and these inconvenient natives' to modern life. Even after the one bomb that hit near Boston, there's a lot of technology left laying around, and as the OP pointed out, loads of near intact buildings to use for shelter. There's no reason Boston should be such a craphole after all this time...
    • Other than the fact that being near water causes radiation, and all of the food people grow is full of radiation, there are regular radiation storms and the landscape is surrounded by giant monsters like deathclaws and flying bugs. So with that sort of motivation, they would never leave their home. Especially since they don't have the luxury of fast travel. They just have to walk the entire length of boston's wasteland. And any attempt to set up a civilization is defeated by the raider or super mutant attacks (or in fighting for power). America had much less problems to deal with, especially in the radiation, and radioactive monster department. Frankly, it's a miracle that regular humans are still alive at all.
    • The United States in those two hundred years benefited from a single government, intact industry, a large unified population that grew from a combination of a high fertility rate, constant immigration, and a relatively strong military that didn't face a peer power. Post-war United States has a tiny fraction of the population, has little to no intact industry, much of the country is an irradiated wasteland, there is no unified government, destructive elements (raiders, super mutants, and irradiated beasts) are everywhere, and the strongest armies are pale shadows of anything the pre-War US could assemble. Meanwhile agrarian societies tend to rely heavily on having children well in-excess of replacement rate. With Everything Trying to Kill You simply having children at replacement rate would be damn difficult. If anything the denizens of the wasteland seem to be doing pretty good to have relatively stable / gradually growing populations at all rather than skidding closer and closer to extinction.
    • Generally-speaking, the main reason why things are bad in the Commonwealth, like with everywhere else in Fallout, is because any attempt to build civilization gets shat on by dangerous monsters, beasts, raiders, and mutants who come along and smash things to pieces. People attempt to build a new nation, unify into something stronger, and make something of their environment, but typically something nasty happens to their coalition or alliance or new nation and everything falls apart. As a result, the places with "civilization" tend to only be geographic locations that are highly defensible, but these locations have difficulty trying to push out and secure their surroundings because of the sheer prevalence of surrounding threats. Diamond City, for example, can't really take the surrounding blocks beyond the stadium because to do so would cost them too much in manpower to both take and to hold. That and it would be boring to play in an area where the cities are cleaned up, the raiders are driven out, and people live relatively normal lives.

  • Alright, I haven't gotten the chance to actually play the game so my logic may be flawed, but where did the behemoths in this game come from? Last I heard, they're exclusive to the Vault 87 mutants, yet here they seem to pop up all over the place. Aren't the Commonwealth mutants mainly a result of the Institute? I'm sure there are some mutants who've wandered over from the Capital Wasteland. However, these mutants look more like the Mariposa mutants, so why do they still act like 3's and grow into behemoths?
    • The simplest answer is that Behemoths are not exclusive to the Vault 87 strain and that the Commonwealth strain also produces behemoths. Commonwealth mutants are very distinctive from either the west coast strain or the Vault 87 strain, being less bulky, with sloping shoulders instead of broad shoulders, lacking the over-sized lips that require a strap to hold up to allow for speech of the west coast batch, and also the rictus snarl of the DC batch. It's possible that the Vault 87 strain was used as a baseline for these mutants, but it's also possible that this batch of FEV was completely the Institute's creation and that it also produced behemoths - who definitely resemble the other Commonwealth mutants far more so than the DC mutants - was simply a coincidence.

    Hancock disliked that? 
  • Why does Hancock dislike it when you give the Vault-Tec rep a new home in Sanctuary? You'd think he'd be pleased by the Sole Survivor offering one of his own a chance at a new life in a new settlement. He won't elaborate on it if I recall correctly. Why would someone who's motto is "by the people, for the people" dislike you helping him out?
    • Could it be that Hancock assumes that you think the guy never had any opportunities in Goodneighbor, and thus you give him a new home since he's so miserable and still out of place in where Hancock thinks everything is great?
    • It's not that he dislikes you being nice. He dislikes the rep (or Steve, as I like to call him), and what you imply by supporting him. He spends his time sitting in a hotel room, feeling sorry for himself for being a Ghoul, and totally unjustly directing his aggression at the player. Hancock hasn't been a Ghoul for that long, but while he admits the drawbacks he also realizes that there are upsides. And he is close with Daisy, who is also a pre-war Ghoul and who has a much more upbeat outlook on life, and who actually works for Goodneighbor instead of just moaning how horrible everything is now. And now you arrive, and reward the rep's whining with a place in your pre-war-relic Sanctuary. In Hancock's eyes you are not helping him. You are enabling him to pretend he can live in the past again.
    • Except that offering the rep a home in Sanctuary gives the guy hope, a new sense of purpose, and helps him to get over his bitter feelings, all of which you'd think Hancock would be totally on board with. Seeing how, in another instance, Valentine bafflingly disliked it when I spoke up in defense of Synths in a conversation at Bunker Hill, it could just be another weird quirk caused by developer oversight. This is a Bethesda game, after all.

    Only one follower at a time 
  • Knowing that the game actually has followers talk to each other when you trade them in for one another and you can move them to any settlement you wish (unless a glitch prevents them from doing so), why is it that Bethesda can't give the player the option to have multiple people follow them at once? Does Bethesda have something against working in teams? This is especially absurd when you consider the Survivor can potentially become the leader of a local defense force that does operate in groups to patrol the Wastelands. Some might say "Three's a crowd!", but I say "There's power in numbers!". Really, other than Artificial Stupidity induced NPC Roadblocks and potential kill-stealing, what could be so bad about having multiple followers at once? And don't say it would be a Game-Breaker, since this game's Nintendo Hard as it is.
    • After a long story of headbanging with multiple followers mods, we may speculate that the primary reason was technical and it is to do with follower slots and maybe Bethesda's laziness. Hypothetically, there are several follower slots that can be created by mods, but in-game there's only one, and thus that's the only one that works properly. In previous Bethesda games, followers never had any personal quests and actual dialogue participation or reaction from the world, their interaction with you was limited to their dialogue options screen and that's what made it very easy to create multiple followers mods. In this game, if you install such a mod and take up a follower in any other slot than the first one, that follower will not exist anywhere besides your console menu: no dialogue participation, no progress with personal quests or affinity, the game just does not see him or her because it cannot make two followers to be this kind of active at the same time, one after the other. Even the classic dialogue options menu is buggy, even though it's the only thing that still kind of works. Was it so hard to program more than one follower at once? Who knows, but if it wasn't, Bethesda then never bothered.
    • Well, of course those mods don't work properly. They're programmed by people outside of Bethesda's jurisdiction, are often amateur at best, and can cause all sorts of interference with the game's default coding. I'm talking about why Bethesda can't be bothered to actually make that a feature from the beginning, without needing to use a mod at all. We have temporary followers in the game that can accompany the player for the duration of a quest, without ever having to replace a follower you already have. Plus, this is supposed to be a game made for a next-gen console, so I highly doubt that the game would be incapable of supporting a large party at once.
    • Realistically? It's just a Bethesda thing. All of their games that have companions, from Morrowind to Oblivion to Skyrim to Fallout 3, cap it at one human companion and one non-human companion, like a dog. For some reason that's they way they like it and they don't feel like changing it.
    • And yet in Fallout 4, it's been reduced to "One companion. Period." Seriously, compare Final Fantasy, Knights of the Old Republic, or...hell, any RPG that actually lets you have a full party. What does Bethesda have against working in teams?
    • That's just Bethesda doing its own thing, making itself distinct from the pack. Their games are first and foremost about the setting they take place in, but secondly about the player character traveling through that setting. You are a lone badass, a one-person army carving a path of destruction through whatever given setting the game takes place in. It's not about a plucky group of adventurers who learn the true meaning of friendship despite their entertaining mismatch of personalities; it's about you. Your journeys, your destiny, your struggle, your choices. Your companions, however deep and interesting and compelling they may be, are ultimately just there to provide support in a fire fight and to carry your excess gear.
    • Rigorous scientific study has proven that three is, in fact, a crowd. Bethesda has likely read recent research on the subject, limiting you a 'company' of two.
    • Except this isn't just a matter of not wanting a "third wheel". In a realistic situation, even if you're the most badass soldier in the Army, you're still gonna want a full squad backing you up in case something goes wrong. The only time where you wouldn't want a full squad following you around in hostile territory is if you were doing subtle, like reconnaissance or sniping. The male Survivor was in the Military before the Great War, so he should be able to understand the benefits of working in a group. Same for Paladin Danse, who already works with a squad by the time when you meet him.
    • Yes, in a realistic situation you would want as many guns on your side as you could. Realistic situations also generally involve people who are roughly equally as dangerous as you, no save points, and are often done for reasons other than "for fun". Even if you don't think having more companions would be too easy (which I greatly disagree with), you have to admit having 7 buddies running around the wasteland with you completely changes the type of game it is. It is part of the genre, and has been since DOOM. Single player FPS generally only allow the player to have one or two companions, even when they should logically have more (think Half Life 2, Mass Effect, etc). They are made to entertain one person, having realistic squad numbers (aside from pushing the poor machines to their limits) takes out a lot of player involvement, handing it to Non Player Characters instead. Having one or two lets the player get most of the action, while still feeling like they have someone watching their back. Having more than that is more like sitting back and watching someone else play the game for you, with occasional prompts for participation. They could have probably gotten away with letting you take two companions, or the Fallout standard "One Human, one pet", but they had decided it would be more fun with only one.
    • If they were worried that you wouldn't have any fun, then they could just not give you any followers at all. In fact, you can play the whole game without anything backing you up at all. But getting the option of having a bunch of guys following you around would also be nice. If you wanna be a loner or a squad leader, you should be able to choose to be either in the game.
    • Oh, and why is that? They have no obligation to give you the option to have an army follow you. A squad, in military terminology, is 8-14 people. If you could take that around with you, you would outnumber most of your enemies with immortal soldiers who are more than a match for their opponents in one-on-one combat. That would be absolutely boring. If they kicked up the difficulty to compensate, then going it alone would become completely invalid as a play-style. Something that is a legitimate threat against 3-7 people is something that is basically impossible for a lone person. The single-player FPS genre is based off of (basically) one-man armies shooting up their opponents. Having a single follower doesn't get in the way of that. Having two doesn't really get in the way of that. Having more that that does. In addition, while AI has improved since games where first created, the companions' tactics begin and end at "walking toward the bad guys and shooting them, maybe using cover sometimes". One of the major advantages of sending more than one guy in real life is that it allows for more advanced tactics, while in this game it would be "exactly the same thing, but with more guns shooting the bad guys". It boils down to the game being about the SS. Having a single companion doesn't get in the way of that. Having a squad makes the game about the squad. This is what they want their game to be about, and they have no reason to give you the option to change it any more than they "should" give you the option of turning it into a puzzle game.
    • The Survivor would still be the main focus even if the entire Commonwealth was following him/her around. And there's already a bunch of enemies in this game that could single-handedly wipe out a settlement the size of Diamond City, so it would just level the playing field anyway. You can boost your stats, sure, but your companions can't. It could get to the point where you could kill a whole bunch of people before any of your buddies even get a chance to fire their guns. Besides, some people don't think difficulty overlaps with fun. Sometimes just being able to go places and do stuff would be enough fun in itself. This is an RPG, not a first-person shooter action game. Having more than one follower would not ruin anything Bethesda's trying to do. They strive to let people play any kinds of characters they want. Why do you think they axed the Level Cap from the previous games? So if you want to be alone or have an entourage, that should be okay if the player thinks it is. You don't want those extra guys? Don't use them, then.
    • The thing is, the playing field is already leveled. Diamond City is full of weakly armored fighters with pipe guns, they are essentially an early-game raider dungeon in terms of power, a dedicated early game player could wipe them out if they felt the need to. Using that as a bases for how powerful something is is pure folly. Your companions' health increases with player level, and the S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats really don't do enough for them to make a difference (Strength can be brought up to 10 with power armor, which they don't use Fusion Cores for, they don't use VATS so Perception is useless, Endurance is useless as health scales on a set level, Charisma and Intelligence only effect player things, Agility only effects action points which Non Player Characters don't use, and Luck fills the critical meter that NPCs don't use). The only advantage a leveling Player would have over an NPC is the Perks, which can get up to double the damage (aside from stealth), something that two similarly armed NPCs could accomplish by firing at the same target (roughly, given how armor works.). Its possible to kill a bunch of targets before your buddies get a shot off...when there is only one buddy shooting at a fairly small amount of raiders. When you have two "squads" clash, you aren't going to see a lot of action unless you really rush for it (which completely defeats the point of having a squad in the first place). I'm not saying the game has to be hard to be fun, I'm saying it has to have something to do to be fun. You literally wouldn't be able to do anything with an entire squad following you, leaving you with only the "go places" part. You walk somewhere, see something, and it gets torn to bits by all your friends before you can actually play the game. Its certainly possible to find that fun, but most people will *probably* find an actual game to be more fun than a hiking simulator with friends. It is *technically* an ARPG, but it leans heavily toward the "shooter" end of that spectrum (seeing as how you spend most the time shooting things in first person, its fair to call it a FPS). They got rid of the level cap because they are doing a completely different system than previous games. And you keep acting like this would be a small feature, rather than the absolute game changer it would be. Despite what you say, having a ton of characters makes the game about a ton of characters. If the SS has an army following him, the army is the focus, not him. Fallout games are meant for small parties (they don't call him the "Lone Wanderer" because he has an army following him), and they work best like that. There is no reason to let you have more then one or two, and plenty of reasons not to.
    • What part of "you don't need to have all of them if you don't want to" do you not understand? Nobody's forcing you to have an army following you around. Are you one of those people that think that Fast Travel hurts the exploration theme of these kind of games? And even then, they don't need to have all the followers be available at once. They could just cap it off at three or four. Just having one guy follow you in a game where you become the general of an entire army is totally moronic. Bethesda could at least let us be able to recruit generic Minutemen/Synths/whatever to follow us around (flare guns and Synth relay grenades don't count!) in addition to the one permanent follower. That way, one can have their squad, and not worry about having an invincible army steal their kills and break the game.
    • I gotta say it is incredibly weird how Bethesda insists on this one party member thing when the goal is to "explore the world." Half the background information/fun stuff in games like Dragon Age:Origins comes from companions interacting with the world and each other. Really it just feels outdated, like they don't want to commit to creating a proper RPG.
    • Actually, if you look at the Fallout 4 wikia entries for companions you'll see that a lot them are coded to like it when you stimpak Dogmeat. Given that this is something their being able to witness this should only rarely happen with a one-companion system, and the fact that the Lone Wanderer Perk has an exception for Dogmeat, it's very obvious that at some point Bethesda planned on having AT LEAST a seperate slot for Dogmeat. As for my opinion goes, it's a survival RPG. Feeling isolated and outnumbered in the wasteland helps to the atmosphere.
    • Interesting concept...except that it's ruined by the fact that you can have an entire army of people (plus robots, in the add-ons) with military-grade firepower patrolling the Commonwealth in convoys. Hell, you actually become the leader of an entire militia group with smoke signals, artillery support, and everything. It's so inconsistent whether they want us to be able to get help or not. Either give us another slot for followers, or don't give us the option of leading the Minutemen.
    • This idea falls flat in some ways, but perhaps it can be justified with some of the companions not liking each others company much. Cait clearly has a disdain for Dogmeat and is very willing to pick a fistfight with the men, Strong is put off by the 'metal men' and the supposedly weak and puny humans (with some exceptions), Danse has massive prejudice against 6 of the companions and is unflattering with his military sternness and contemptuous attitude to the others (essentially making him The Friend Nobody Likes, X6 falls in the same category, only he's representing the Institute), and general bad blood between most of the Companions, most commonly with their preferred factions conflicting ideals. From the looks of it, only Codsworth, Curie, Nick, Piper and Dogmeat (the clear cut Nice Guys and a dog) are completely willing to work with the others with no problem, but Cait, Danse, X6, Maccready, Deacon, Hancock, Preston and Strong can barely tolerate living in the same settlement/accept that the Sole Survivor has friends other than them. Realistically, if you were to travel with the whole gang, there'd be trouble when it comes to teamwork against common threats thanks to the frustration of working with ones sworn enemy, and at worst there could be Unfriendly Fire as an excuse for 'accidentally' shooting an ally they'd have problems with. The only reason why some of them haven't shot each other dead or beaten each other up could just be because they share a common friend they don't want to turn off from their factions potential goals.

    Created items that still look bad 
  • Obviously a lazy textures/models issue, but why does any object you create from any materials look like it survived the Great War regardless of what those materials actually were? I can build a shack made completely out of new shiny items I just looted from the Institute, and yet this shack will still look dirty, old and miserable. Not even the fact that the Survivor surely isn't an architect resolves the issue for me, because even with that in mind the shack would be at least not dirty and rusty.
    • Because you're using the RAW MATERIAL from those objects, not the objects themselves. So of course it's not gonna look very good. If you peel the skin off an orange, and then put it around an orange that's already had its skin peeled off, would it be the same thing as an orange that was never peeled to begin with? No, it wouldn't.

    How do robots communicate? 
  • Specifically how do they communicate with each other? We know that they talk to humans in English, or potentially other languages, but robot to robot communication seems to share some... oddities. For example:
    1. Codsworth can get way more then one sentence worth of information from Takahashi, he says the same thing but Codsworth is able to get his name, what's wrong with him, some general sentiments of frustration, etc. It's not like he could know Takahashi like Piper or Deacon could, so for him to even get the Protectron's name means they must have to be communicating somehow.
    2. Nick also might or might not understand Takahashi this way given he talks seriously to him, unlike Deacon, Piper, Macready, or Cait who all either joke about having long informative conversations with him or get annoyed at his inability to speak English.
    3. Other robots seem utterly isolated in some way or another unable to take in new information while some seem totally up to date on what's going on even forming there own opinions and goals like Ironsides or K-L-E-O. So what makes the difference and how do they talk among themselves?
    • Alrighty, in order:
      1. I'm assuming the robots have some sort of RF link to communicate in a nonverbal way (inefficient for a machine anyway) so they could coordinate domestic tasks/battlefield tactics/patrol routes. Realistically there would be no reason for Codsworth to verbalize the conversation, but then the player wouldn't get the gag.
      2. I can't say for sure whether Nick understands him, but to me it seems like he doesn't. After all, he's a failed prototype Gen 3 synth and the Institute designed them to be "more human than human" even with normal human weaknesses so its possible he simply doesn't have the RF transponder or whatever.
      3. It seems to go on a case by case basis. Some, like the Mr. Handy at the McClaren family house from 3 seem to go mad the moment the encounter an error in their programmed routine. Others, like Codsworth and Curie, manage to go 210 years and actually gain sentience. It seems like the ones programmed to go out and learn or constantly do things are the ones that stay sane vs the ones trapped inside a factory or home.

    Diamond City Radio 
  • ...Or as I like to call it, "Galaxy News Radio 2.0" I'm all for respecting the classics, but why did Bethesda need to reuse nearly all the GNR songs from Fallout 3 for this totally unrelated station? I can understand if they used one or two songs, but if they're going to copy and paste almost the entire tracklist, why didn't they just feature GNR as a radio station in the game? Surely their signal could be upgraded to be heard from the Capital Wasteland to the Commonwealth. Yes, I know Diamond City Radio has different songs, too, but they're few and far between. There's nostalgic value, and then there's pure laziness.
    • If by few different songs you mean they nearly doubled the playlist, maybe. As far as the common songs... In-universe, Boston and DC are 400 miles away which is way out of the range of AM and FM radio stations. Note that GNR isn't a single station like modern cable but a network of affiliates a la CBS, and remember this is a universe that didn't figure out the transistor until 2050 or so. That kind of range is likely simply not possible. Not to mention that they are using surviving recordings, so it's very possible that those are all that the kid running the station could find. He's no combatant either so he might have even bought or commissioned someone to get the tapes. In a meta sense, real life radio stations of the same genres will play similar hits, some even have their playlist set by their parent company. It's not lazy at all, just realistic. If anything, if GNR and Three-Dog were listenable let alone reported on Commonwealth, you could fill an entire headscratchers page on /just that alone/
    • Yeah, it's realistic. But it also has to be a hell of a coincidence that this one station 400 miles away has almost all the songs that GNR has in its library, and then some, in a post-apocalyptic environment like that one. And from a meta perspective, it seems very dull recycling most of the music from a previous game, especially when there's a lot of other songs that they could've filled the station's library with instead. reusing a couple of songs is understandable, but when you have to wait potentially twenty minutes to hear a song that you didn't hear already hear in Fallout 3, that's when you can tell they can tell they got carried away.
    • Licensing music can be incredibly expensive. "Dull recycling" is pretty important to keep your budget down to any reasonable degree.
    • I figured that (in-universe, at least. Not sure about real life.) one company happened to own all of those songs, and they just had the most durable tapes. Something like that, anyway.

    Abundance of dummies/mannequins 
  • Why are there so many store mannequins all over the Commonwealth? I can understand if they're in clothing stores or museums, but then there are ones that are not only smack-dab in the middle of nowhere, but don't even make sense. Like the Redcoat mannequin near Outpost Zimonja. Who the hell lugged that thing all the way out there from the Museum of Freedom?
    • As to who lugged it out there? Not sure. But it's possible they've been moved around by settlers, Raiders or Gunners to use for target practice.
    • There's also genuine war precedent for soldiers using dummies in the perimeter of their locations, so that opposing soldiers might shoot them (whether because they can't see it properly, or they're suddenly surprised), thus giving away their location and providing a warning. How players times has a player accidentally shot a mannequin because they thought they were an enemy?

    The "Museum" of Witchcraft 
  • How can anyone even call that place a museum? Sure, on the outside it seems convincing: Big building with Gothic architecture, a terminal for visitors, and the world map even marks it with a witch's hat. But when you get inside, what do we get? What is basically an oversized house with lots of rooms, no exhibits (well, there are, but they're very few and so bland and featureless that you wouldn't even notice them if it weren't for the wallpaper), mannequins with modern clothing, a pool table (who the hell puts a pool table inside of a museum, let alone one about witchcraft?!), and a very pissed-off Deathclaw. Did the designers Bethesda forget that they were supposed to be designing a museum, and not some bizarre mansion/schoolhouse/sports bar hybrid? Where's the terminals with data about the Salem witch trials, or the mannequins of people dressed in colonial-era outfits? Or the obtainable witch costumes/hats?
    • Raiders/Gunners/whatever have obviously taken the time to hole up in there at some point in the past 210 years. It is, after all, a very strong, defensible building in a secluded part of the Commonwealth. That's why we have a pool table and modern clothing and almost nothing else; they got rid of it because to them it had no value.
    • But why do the mannequins have modern clothing on them? Did one of the Gunners/Raiders decide to be a neat freak and just slap waistcoats and suits on all of them? And where did the original outfits go? Come to think of it, the tattered clothing that most of the Feral Ghouls wear look an awful lot like witch costumes. Did they all decide to loot the museum for clothes or something?
    • Presumably SOMEONE has by this point. I mean, didn't you do exactly that? I imagine the raiders or whatever dressed up the mannequins and set up scenes cheap entertainment; much like why they put teddy bears in amusing poses and graffiti the walls.
    • The Museum of Witchcraft is probably based, at least in part, on the Salem Witch House, which basically is just a large house which has been converted into a museum, and filled mainly with 'exhibits' that are mainly just preserved period trappings. Not every museum is the New York Metropolitan Museum of Natural History; a large number of them essentially are just historical buildings which have been preserved and which are open to the public. As for why most of the exhibits are gone, in 200 years since the bombs dropped, the various people who took it over just got rid of it all so they could use the building for their own purposes. It's not like the Raiders or Gunners or most of the other factions wandering around the Commonwealth exactly demonstrate much interest in preservation of local history.
    • The Fallout world exists in an alternate universe stuck in the 1950s. The Salem Witch Trials were not as popularly known then, and subsequently Salem never became a witchy tourist hotspot. With far less tourist money coming in, the museum would have had much lower priority to the Pre-War government when it came to renovating and updating the exhibits.
    • I've seen far worse called a museum in real life, without them simply being a historic building with some displays.

    How Does Dogmeat Climb Ladders? 
  • There are a number of locations where you have to access the roof of a building by climbing up a ladder. The question came to me one day: How the hell did Dogmeat get up on the roof with me? He's 75-80 pounds of dog. It's not really that easy to carry him over one shoulder, while climbing, especially since I'm already loaded with an entirely unfeasible amount of gear and weapons as it is. I can't imagine even the best-behaved dog holding still for that kind of trip. Not by any means an important headscratcher, but one which made this troper chuckle when it hit me. Does anyone have any ideas how you get a dog up and down a ladder?
    • Dogs, German Shepherds especially, can actually go up a ladder pretty well. Getting them to go down might require training, but they'll figure out how to climb up one on their own. And, since we know Dogmeat is pretty well trained (minefield and trap evasion notwithstanding), it's not a stretch to assume someone put the time in to teach him.
    • But also rule of fun/gameplay and story segregation. As you say, you're already carrying a huge amount of stuff ebcause of how boring it would be if you could only carry a realistic amount. It would be equally boring if dogmeat couldn't climb ladders.

  • How do Vadim and Yefim still have accents? Their entry suggests they may be descended from either defectors or diplomats, but people tend to lose most, if not all, of their accent if they live among people with a different accent, and that would be especially true if you're dealing with multiple generations living among non-Russians.
    • Maybe Bethesda thought that players might not make the connection that they were Russian descendants if they didn't have Russian accents.
    • Maybe they're from a community that is entirely made up of descendants of Russian defectors or diplomats.
    • While it is a push, remember that after the war, people have much less ability to communicate with, and certainly to visit others. So children probably pick up a lot more from their families than they do in modern day.
    • Considering Dukov in Fallout 3 and Carrington and Amari having Indian accents, I'm guessing that the simple answer is that someone at Bethesda just likes accents even when there's no real explanation/reason.
    • While traveling over the ocean would be difficult, it would not be impossible; people did do it before modern technology, after all. Moriarty and Tenpenny from 3 are both mentioned as coming from overseas (Ireland and England, respectively), explaining their accents, so it's not unheard in the post-Great War era for the odd person from another continent to make it to America.
    • In 2014, a 67-year-old Polish adventurer named Aleksander 'Olek' Doba managed to paddle a small kayak 6000 miles across the Atlantic ocean from Portugal to Florida. He did have to stop along the way at Bermuda for repairs after a bad storm, but the point is that even an extremely rudimentary craft can make it across the ocean with an experienced crew, enough supplies, and a smattering of good luck. And whilst it doesn't apply in this instance, the Fallout world does still have working aircraft they're just rare.

    An Infant Knowing and loving Charades 
  • When you meet Codsworth again after the Pre-War tutorial, he makes a mention of playing Charades (where a player guesses what the word is from a variety of clues) and that Shaun “so does love that game”. OK, given the appearance of the infant Shaun and our character stating that he's “less than a year old”, we can deduce that Shaun was, at most, perhaps six months old when the Great War happened. So how in the blazes would he even know what Charades was, much less love it?
    • Well, he's a baby. Babies are pretty easily entertained. My guess is that he just loved watching his parents making silly faces and gestures.

    Why is Travis the one in charge of the radio? 
  • Before the events in his quest, Travis is grossly unsuited for his job as the radio DJ. So why is that his job? Who looked at the whimpering young man who can barely give one full sentence without stumbling over his words, and said: "Yes, this man is the perfect radio host!" The alternative is that no one appointed him, and Travis simply took the job himself. Why? He's self-aware enough to know he's bad at his job, and it doesn't really seem like he even enjoys it. So why is he still choosing to operate DCR?
    • He's hardly the first guy to get a job he's vastly unqualified for yet stick with it anyway because he needs the money.
    • My guess had always been that Vadim kept pushing him to be more social and this was the only way he could with out directly interacting with people, so he is still nervous but he seems more confident on the radio then the few times you talk to him in person.
    • I always assumed he made the radio himself, given that the radio station appears to double as his house. As for why he would do that; He loves music, but hates himself. I'm pretty sure there are millions who would fit that description.

    Robobrains from RobCo? (Automatron Spoilers) 
  • Why is the Pre-War facility making Robobrains hidden in a RobCo facility when the Robobrain is a General Atomics design (as mentioned in the first game) - thus built by RobCo's competitors?
    • Likely a mistake, but I can think of many corporate shenanigans that could explain it.
    • The facility was under the control and supervision of the U.S. military. It's possible that the government took over the facility and re-purposed it for General Atomics scientists to work in secret underneath the building of a rival company where spies wouldn't think to look. It would be one more piece of evidence that would explain why Mr. House was not a fan of governments or authorities outside of his own in general.
    • As I recall, there was also prototype Mr. Handy in the RobCo gallery in New Vegas. Also, they collaborated on Liberty Prime, so they likely weren't that competitive.
    • The Fallout US government has a long history of seizing things by eminent domain. Presumably they took/bought the RobCo underground lab since what they were doing was illegal, immoral, and kept from the public (according to old lore, officially the Robobrain only used chimpanzee brain, not humans). They then converted it into making Robobrains, since it already had all or most of what they needed to do so and it was nicely underground away from John Q. Public's prying eyes.
    • Interestingly the loading screen info for Robobrains does explicitly say they're a General Atomics design, so that wasn't entirely forgotten.
    • Major wars were going on. Try researching products like the Colt 1911, which were made by sewing-machine and typewriter companies in addition to their primary manufacturers during WW2 so as to meet demand. If the pre-war government believed it would need large numbers of Robobrains its entirely likely that licensing was foisted on the developers.

    Why are settlement locations so dumb? 
  • There are so many places that are poor choices for settlements, it seems. Rather than colonizing this area of Concord with many mostly intact buildings... lets settle in this tiny area with one small shack and a 'house' that if you added all the remaining walls together wouldn't come up with one full wall. In addition it's right next to a factory filled with fire obsessed aggressive drug addicts. If you could remove the wreckage, it wouldn't be quite so bad, giving yo more room to work, but a lot of the settlements just seem like really stupid ideas. And not using some (like Vault 111; clear out the corpses and defunct cryo gear, and you have a huge underground easily defended area with clean water and power. Build a farm on the roof, and boom. Or College Point, which is already built up as a settlement) areas that should be available but aren't just seems ridiculously arbitrary.
    • The people who live in the Commonwealth aren't educated, or trained, or anything. They found a spot where their plants would grow, and they set up shop there. You can come in later and help out with defenses and amenities, but they picked the spot, for most of them. And when the Sole Survivor does start a settlement from scratch, that's on you if you don't decide to fix it up to a more reasonable standard of safety before inviting people to live there.
    • Well, for the SS, all Settlements need to have a Workshop. Presumably this is where all the tools you use to put up walls, plant plants, and make turrets are stored (It isn't like those are things you can do by hand!) making places without them difficult to modify to the point they would be livable. Vault 111 doesn't have clean water (I think? Never really checked :-/) and doesn't have an obvious generator like the other Vaults have, in addition to having no tools to modify it. Clearing out cryo-tubes isn't something the SS can do with his bare hands, and the farmers wouldn't even be able to keep/maintain the crops on the surface without a workbench. They *tried* to settle in Concord, which is why they are there when you first meet the Minutemen. Turns out raiders live there, and they do re-spawn. University Point should really be a Settlement spot though.
    • (OP) Yes, 111 does have clean water. The water fountains are all drinkable and no radiation. Messed me up the first time I ran into a fountain outside and it nuked me... And there's a huge generator in the bottom floor of the Vault, throwing lightning bolts around and frying roaches. What can and can't be recycled is extremely arbitrary; there's no reason the cryo pods couldn't be scrapped like the houses in Sanctuary. And there are huge areas of open land above the Vault. There's only one way in or out and it heavily depends on power, so that would be a severe drawback, but build some farms and fence them in, as many players do with their settlements (I tend to use 'lots and lots and lots and lots of missile launchers' as a 'fence') and Bob's yer uncle. Safe from radiation storms, safe water, safe places to sleep. Borrow the hydroponics from Graygarden or Vault 81, (or use the new Automatron garden plots) and you don't even need to go outside for food. As to not having a workshop... there are loads of cranes, forklifts, bulldozers, front loaders and pickup trucks around.
    • The one that gets me is that people will decide to settle in a landlocked location with no access to water. There are a few adjustments that are dependent on pumps for water because they don't have access to any nearby water. This isn't a thing that humans have ever done, and you can forget about growing crops there.
    • Agriculture, dear boy! All settlement locations have fertile soil on which crops can be grown, and clean water accessed (water pumps tap into underground water). You live in a building, and you are dependent on trade as the only way to keep from starving. So that highly defensible Vault 111 or Corvega plant needs to be opened up for traders to pass through. And if traders can get in, raiders eventually will too.

    Why are automatic weapons of all kinds so gawdawful? 
  • Why does making a gun shoot faster cut its damage by 3/4 or more? A standard 10mm shoots for 18 points; use a higher level 'more powerful' automatic receiver and now it does 10-12 per (the exact same) bullet. Auto lasers, plasma, etc all suffer from this. The same ammunition does much less damage. And the minigun and laser gatling are even worse, only 8 points per shot, take a week to wind up to where they're actually firing and are so inaccurate that the deathclaw you run into in Concord was more commonly dodging into my shots than away from them. It felt like what should have been one of the most powerful weapons in the game was nearly as effective as angrily throwing cotton balls.
    • Balance. If automatic weapons did "full" damage, there'd be no reason to use anything else. Also, since NPCs get effectively unlimited ammo with small arms, they'd be unstoppable. And then they'd have to overhaul the whole combat system.
    • Also, maybe, when you replace the receiver, you're also setting up different cartridges for your ammunition of that size, so it's not actually the same ammunition. Might also explain why it's just called .44, not .44 magnum, for instance. It's literally just describing diameter, not powder load, or anything.
    • With many automatic weapons, part of the pressure generated by the cartridge firing is used to cycle the action, basically reloading the next round. This is why break-action and user-cycled firearms (pump, repeaters, etc), tend to be "more powerful" than automatic equivalents firing the same cartridge: ALL of the power generated by the round is used to fire it down the barrel, as opposed to only most. Plus, 5mm is a REALLY small bullet, and is basically an armor-piercing round. AP rounds tend to zip right through "soft" (as in, fleshy) targets without causing much damage. A power-armor-carried minigun is basically "intended" for use on armored targets, which Deathclaws (while large and gribbley) are not. The 5mm are zipping right through the flesh and leaving small holes.
    • The problem with that logic is that it is the opposite of what is observed in game, miniguns are better on unarmored targets while horrible on heavily armored ones, due to how armor works in the game. 5mm is only slightly smaller than the 5.56mm ammunition used in many rifles today, and those guns hardly leave tiny ineffective holes in things. Its obviously for game balance, of course. If you want an IC explanation, maybe they are meant to be abstract representations of what the guns would do randomly. That is to say, with a single-shot gun you are more accurate, thus hit the vital organs such as the heart/lungs more often doing more damage per bullet, while with automatic ones you are hitting less vital targets more often than vital ones simply by the nature of the beast.
    • (OP) The pressure thing sounds almost plausible. I'm sure it's for balance, but it's mainly just annoying.
    • Doesn't really explain why .50 caliber is not as good as it should be. In my game, my .50 rifles are regularly outclassed by my rifles that shoot .308 and .45 in terms of damage against the same enemy. .50 needs a serious buff in damage if its getting beaten by cartridges half its size.
    • That...simply isn't true. The only two guns that are currently .50 are modified hunting rifles and modified pipe-bolt action guns. The hunting rifle does 62 damage base as a .50, and a .50 bolt action pipe gun does 59. The highest damage you can get out of a combat rifle is 47 (with .308 mod), and the highest non-.50 damage for the hunting rifle is 55, and the BAPG is 51. The only reason it feels so underwhelming is that it is made as a sniper-type rifle, so the little bit of extra damage shoots up with all the modifiers to be able to one-hit kill things better. Most .45 weapons are meant for direct combat, meaning they have a much higher rate of fire than the bolt-action weapons, thus a much more impressive DPS.

    Sex with nonhumans 
  • During your entrance medical exam for the Brotherhood of Steel, when Cade asks if you've ever had sex with anything non human, the PC's dialog options are always "no", even if you're in a romance with Curie (synth) or John Hancock (ghoul). Would telling the truth get you kicked out of the Brotherhood or something?
    • Maybe romancing them inherently means the PC counts them as "human"? There would be weird implications otherwise. Otherwise, no, they wouldn't get kicked out. A terminal entry mentioned that a Brotherhood Scribe was treated for "sexually-transmitted disease from Ghoul species" apparently without getting expelled. Likely it was just because they didn't want to make multiple lines for everything, in the same way the "have you ever been sick" question is unchanged by survival mode or the Vault 81 disease.
    • Most likely the question about sex with a nonhuman means that a potential Brotherhood recruit would get flagged for additional medical screening afterward to deal with any diseases. The Brotherhood is likely more concerned that a nonhuman tryst would render the recruit or any other Brotherhood member less effective, and so would want any diseases picked up in that manner to be treated.

    Codsworth Sleeping on the Job 
  • 50-60 years before you're woken up, Kellogg comes through with the Institute and kills your spouse and snatches your kid. The rest of the staff are long dead; the other survivors were left to die in their cryo pods. So in 210 years, you've had one visitor. Despite being within line-of-sight of the Vault, Codsworth said nothing, did nothing. They didn't teleport in; you can't blind teleport to a place you haven't been. No vertibirds either; they would have had to walk in...straight through Sanctuary.
    • Codsworth mentions that he tried leaving Sanctuary to find some new friends a couple of times. It's a stretch, but maybe Kellogg and the Institute goons just happened to arrive in Sanctuary while Codsworth was away and left before he came back?
    • You don't have to go through Sanctuary to reach Vault 111. There's a road leading southwards that comes out nearer the Ranger cabin, and an enormous field to the north and east that would be easy to cross if it weren't the edge of the map. What's more you can teleport to a place you can't see, such as the beginning of "Mass Fusion" or the many times synths appear from nowhere. If you're feeling charitable and say that the institute didn't know the terrain in the Vault 111 area at the time, you could presume that Kellogg scouted the entrance and the rest teleported in. They don't even need to teleport into the Vault itself, just to the entrance.
    • Furthermore, Kellogg would have good reason to avoid Sanctuary. Buildings tend to attract people, either settlers or raiders, as well as feral ghouls, so he would have picked a route that went around the buildings and wouldn't attract attention.
    • Even if he met the group, Codsworth probably isn't going to want to antagonize a man who looks like he's seconds away from dismembering the sap wasting his time.
      • The common robots in the Fallout universe are not true AI. Any other time with any other enemy these robots run into battle against anything they deem to be a hostile with reckless abandon.
    • "Can't teleport to a place you haven't been?" Are you under the impression that the Fast Travel Mechanic Involves the Sole Survivor utilizing actual teleportation? It's not, it's just the "cut to" button. The SS is physically walking to the destination either way, but you're taking the option to skip the stuff in between. That's why the time of day changes.

    Brotherhood of Steel on Homosexuality (Spoilers) 
  • So it's no secret that in New Vegas, the Brotherhood dislikes homosexual relations, seen from Veronica's backstory. So why is it an option to Romance Danse as a male? People have often argued that Danse is no longer a member of the brotherhood when you can romance him, but you can very well reach a level of like and admiration from Danse before he is exiled, where you can flirt with him and receive ambiguous/positive responses. With how strict Danse is with the Brotherhood, and how romance has probably never been a top concern of his, why would he throw away the rules before and after his time in the Brotherhood, despite being fiercely loyal to their ideals? Are there any places in the lore where the Brotherhood changes their ideals? Maybe different branches have different ideals?
    • The Brotherhood's homophobia was never tied to ideology. In the case of Veronica no one cared if she was in a lesbian relationship... provided once the time came she mothered a few children. It was always about maintaining a stable population. The East Coast Brotherhood doesn't have that shortage since they still recruit from local populations so it's unlikely they'd care about long term homosexual relationships.
    • Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there very well were people who disliked Veronica's relationship. Either way, I understand the whole population thing, which is probably what's going on. I can't figure out if they didn't mention it in 4 because they were lazy, realized it too late in development, or just wanted people to figure it out themselves. I was looking at Veronica's wiki page and it does state "Because the Brotherhood is not open to outsiders, many of its members felt that it was their duty to procreate and frowned upon same-sex relationships". Nothing in her dialog really states that their relationship was frowned upon, but the procreation point is mentioned.
    • The main person who Veronica points to as being particularly homophobic is Elijah, who's both a prick and mentioned as wishing people would be more like machines. From his point of view homosexuality would be pointless, and from a ruthlessly pragmatic point of view (which would appeal to the Brotherhood) he's right. Elder Lyons and Maxson on the other hand recruit from the wasteland and view the world in far more emotional terms, bar irrational prejudice there's little reason for them to discriminate.

    Wasteland Workshop 
  • A great add-on, but tell me: What's the point in having the option to build buses if they can't be used for transportation? Even if it was just for extra housing, there's plenty of much cheaper and more practical methods of providing shelter for your settlement.
    • For the people who want to be artistic with the settlement building. Much like Minecraft, it seems there are a lot of people who play largely to build elaborate settlements. (Me, everywhere gets the same square 3 story building and missile launchers.)
    • Yeah, but it still seems weird that the Survivor would go to the trouble of assembling an entire vehicle that looks like it came fresh off the assembly line, yet not bother giving it mobility. I know that the Commonwealth's terrain isn't exactly the most vehicle-friendly, but they could've given the buses some sort of purpose beyond being eye-candy.
    • That isn't a new development. In the vanilla game you can build that protoype teleporter but never repair it despite such a device's potential to make life and travel throughout The Commonwealth safer. And not just for the player character. It'd be invaluable for any faction (save the Institute) that you choose to align yourself with or open up all sorts of economic possibilities for traders. Chalk it to it not being the kind of game Bethesda wanted to make.
    • If it's not what they wanted you to do, then why have it there at all? What a tease!
    • Why? Well they already had it in the game for normal atmospheric purposes, it was easy to add to to the workshop. The same reason they added decorative meat bags, most the parts where there so it only took a little work to make viable.
    • But buses are really not something that you'd expect someone to build from scratch, especially if they can't be bothered to have it be drivable. If the buses weren't included in the add-on, would anyone be confused? Not at all. If they're going to add anything resembling a modern vehicle, they should've added Vertibirds that you could have settlers pilot to move you around without needing the Brotherhood's support.
    • That was the OOC answer. For an IC answer, the cars of Fallout use nuclear engines (including the buses). This is why they explode if you shoot them. Even if you play your SS as a former nuclear physicist with a 10+ intelligence, they can't make a nuclear engine in a cave with a box of scraps. They make the bus because they like how it looked, or they wanted a wall that they can easily walk on and shoot from. The same reason they can make all the other pointless decorative items. They didn't want to add a modern vehicle, they wanted to add a pretty bus they already used to decorate the wasteland. Virtibirds are even more complicated and impossible to build. Why don't they just make gas engines then? The world is out of gasoline, it is one of the things that led to the Great War. So everything that needs energy has to be nuclear. Finally, you don't need to be in the Brotherhood to use Vertibirds, the Minutemen get them if you use them to beat the brotherhood. Everyone gets them if they kill the brotherhood with their faction, except for the Institute. Your complaint seems really silly.
    • Doesn't this same game have another add-on where you get to build squads of robots with adjustable AI out of a box of scraps? Oh, and the same add-on that makes buses also allows the Survivor to build fusion generators. Compared to that, building a working vehicle should be a cakewalk.
    • No, it has an add on where a robot workbench makes robots for them. Essentially it turns their role into a factory worker, which is much simpler than making things from scratch. Any moron can put resources where they are needed and push a couple of buttons, and they need specific blueprints to make this workshop in the first place. The only engine they would be capable of making is a fusion engine, with no other engines being viable. A fusion generator is still simpler than a fusion engine, especially considering how small it would have to be compared to that generator.
    • Yeah, while the resource wars ate up all of Earth's fossil fuels, there are still tons of solar panels still active (somehow) throughout the Fallout series. And you can build windmills in the vanilla game. An electric motor really shouldn't be outside the Sole Survivor's ability.
    • The Resource War didn't "eat up" all the fossil fuels, the wars where fought because all the fossil fuels where depleted. In any case, transistor where never invented in the Fallout world, at least not until very near the point where the bombs dropped. Electric motors would be impossible to build without transistors, making them even more difficult to build than nuclear engines.
    • Then just build a nuclear engine for the bus to run on. You can use nuclear material for modding weapons and armor and build all sorts of complex machinery, so making a new engine shouldn't be that hard.
    • Painting a weapon-sight with some tritium paint is FAR FAR different from assembling a working reactor.
    • The fact that nuclear engines exist at all show that someone made them. That means someone else can make them, too.
    • Well for starters, having a working bus or car might just be too impractical for the Sole Survivor to use. Presumably it would consume an amount of energy comparable to Power Armor, and Fusion Cores are rare enough to begin with, and nuclear vehicles in the Fallout universe have a tendency to explode violently when shot. But even if you could get over those limitations and build a souped-up armored battlewagon that could hold its own against raiders, you'd need to contend with the fact that the roads are in such desperate need of repair that it would be hard to drive on them. And yes you could probably make an all-terrain vehicle of some sort, but I'm pretty sure that would be a pretty complex endeavor in of itself.

    No working land vehicles 
  • This is something of a follow-up to the Wasteland Workshop headscratcher: I know this has been something of a tradition with the series, but I still have to ask...why can't anyone be bothered to fix up a car? I know that most cars we've seen have either blown up or been damaged to the point where they could blow up if you tampered with them, but if some random grease monkeys could soup-up 200-year-old military power armor like it was nobody's business, I don't see why the Survivor can't be able to ride around the Wasteland on a friggin' motorbike, or at least some mutated animal that could be used like a horse.
    • Bethesda really aren't about the game's protagonist fixing or improving things beyond "slightly less horrific hellscape". Why do you think caravans are still moving around with pack brahmin on the west coast despite the west coast supposedly being 90% "civilized"? It's a dungeon crawler and things like repurposing the armored vehicles around the Commonwealth would shift it into a different genre. Power Armor, cyborgs, those things still work since they're really just sciencey versions of fantasy tropes.
    • The Elder Scrolls games had ridable horses and carriages in them. Even Morrowind had public transportation. Riding on a motorcycle in Fallout 4 would be no different than riding a horse in Skyrim. I know that a lot of the secrets of the past are mostly forgotten by your typical wastelander, but they can't be that clueless.
    • You do have a land vehicle. It's called Power Armor. Otherwise, Skyrim is a setting with well kept roads. The Commonwealth's roads are in a state of disrepair, and are no longer suitable for wheeled vehicles. Its different in a ton of other ways too, for example Skyrim has dozens of cities, while Fallout 4 is mostly "Diamond City Surrounded by Dungeons" (plus your faction HQ) in terms of heavily populated areas. Skyrim as a lot of empty space, which horse travel cuts down on, while this game is much denser without much empty space to skip. In short, they are apples and oranges. The flying vehicles you get with any faction are basically equivalent to Skyrim's horses, allowing you to fly over the dense world without getting shot at every five feet.
    • Actually, there's still plenty of open space in Fallout 4, too. And there are lots of other settlements besides Diamond City, even if you don't count the ones you can found yourself. Furthermore, the game developers could've simply established that some organization (like the Institute or the Minutemen) cleared the roads in the intervening 200+ years that passed since the Great War, thus making it easier and more practical for automobiles to be used. The Commonwealth has rain, cats, and androids (all of which were considered a rarity in the rest of the series). Why not working cars and motorcycles, too? Or if they thought it would've looked like a GTA clone or something, they could've included giant mutated animals that you could ride on like a horse.
    • The settlements have, at most, two people (aside from Covenant). They really don't count. Story wise, the Minutemen have never been strong enough to clear the roads. If you win with them, they set up at the check points and start doing so effectively. The Institute explicitly avoids interacting with the Surface World when they can, and can teleport themselves, thus have no reason to clear the road. Heck, the places you go to haven't even been looted in 200+ years, what makes you think anyone has the time and resources needed to clear the road? The androids are part of a faction that has teleportation (where they are going, they don't need roads), rain and cats are hardly a sign of technological advancement. Of all the giant mutated animals, the only ones who have actually been tamed are the Bramin. Everything else would kill you if you tried to ride it, and Bramin walk slower that a human can run making them poor mounts.
    • Bethesda could've still introduced a species of mutated animal that can be used as a mount. They already established cats still exist in the Wasteland. Why not horses (or their mutated equivalents), too? And even if they were only using what they already introduced in the series, they could've given the Animal Friend perk another rank that would allow you to ride animals that you tamed.
    • A bit unrelated but, the roads in Fallout 4 aren't that bad. Even at their worse a decent truck or off road vehicle would be able to maneuver without trouble. But this goes back to Bethesda not wanting this to be that kinda game. Can you really picture a jeep or dirt bike in a Fallout game? It would stick out like a sore thumb
    • I think it was done for development reasons. If you could just drive around everywhere, you could easily escape anything while wandering the wasteland. I do feel like it should be an option after finishing the main storyline, or reaching a certain level, or other arbitrary thing to stop it happening too early. I'd personally prefer a mut-horse to suit the neo-western vibe.
    • They could balance that out by having Gunners and/or Raiders use land vehicles, too. I can buy that they could get a couple trucks or motorcycles running, and use them for attacking caravans or settlements. And the Brotherhood of Steel used land vehicles in Tactics, so they could probably use them here, too.
    • While vehicles like this would open up some interesting gameplay ideas (factions using IEDs against the player for one) let's all remember Bethesda barely got the game we did get out the door and working. Not to mention that what we've been getting for DLC looks like ideas that had to be pushed aside to release the game on time.
    • Horses have gone extinct as per Fallout Canon, or ar at best very rare. Personally, I'd have loved to see the return of the Highwayman, but if Bethesda didn't want to go that route, alright. But with the Automatron DLC, wouldn't it be nice to mod a chair onto your home-built robot? Just tell it to go anywhere you've already discovered, and then sit down and snipe at anything and anyone that stands in your way!
      • No vehicles is partially engine-related. Bethesda doesn't want the player moving too quickly between cells and not giving them time to load everything. Vertibirds get away with it because they fly high enough up that it's hard to notice objects and textures not loading properly because they're passing overhead quickly.
    • Some modders have created working vehicles for the game. Big surprise: they are incredibly buggy and unreliable due to issues with the game engine.

    Can't name both parents? 
  • A really minor detail, but how come you can't name your spouse the way you can name the Survivor? I know that they wanted to give a story-driven excuse for you to give the Survivor's name with the Vault-Tec representative, but considering that either one is playable, it seems odd that you couldn't choose your spouse's name, too. How often does the game even acknowledge the spouse's name (Nate/Nora) anyway? I know that it's pointless since the spouse is only in the game for all of five minutes, but it'd still be nice to have had the option.
    • I dunno about you, but when I met my special someone, she already had her own name. While I have 'pet names' for her, they're not exactly her name. The only people you get to choose permanent names for are your kids, generally.
    • And yet, you can't choose the kid's name, either.
    • 'You' and your spouse had already named the kid before the game started. No reason to suddenly change that. "Honey, let's change Shaun's name to 'Poopfountain'!"
    • Yet you can rename yourself. "Dear, from today on I want you to call me 'Mr. Boobies', I already reprogrammed the robot to do so."
    • You're not renaming yourself, you're telling the Vault-Tec rep your name, which is Mr Boobies. (Heh. They put something like a thousand names into the game for Codsworth to say, including several variations of 'Fuck', like 'Fuckface'. They know the internet...) Your spouse already had their own name, the two of you (pre-game) decided to name Popfountain 'Shaun'. That way they don't have to call Father 'the boy' whenever he's talked about. Similar to how World of Warcraft always uses your name in text, but calls you 'champion' or 'hero' in the voice acting. You never tell your spouse your name, and aside from filling out the form it's never used by anyone but Codsworth, if it happens to be one of the thousand or so he can say. Otherwise, you're Sir or Mum, depending.

    Diamond City Radio in Far Harbor? 
  • So.... GNR had issues broadcasting across DC, but Diamond City Radio can broadcast ~250 miles away to real-life Bar Harbor, Maine?
    • GNR had issues because its relay dish was shot to bits, repairing it allowed it to transmit as normal across the area easily. Additionally, the SS has a more advanced Pip-Boy, a model 3000 Mark IV vs the 3000A the Lone Wanderer had. Its possible it is just better at picking up radio signals.
    • The radio tower at the center of the island is relaying the signal from DCR. You can find a note there detailing one guy's project to be able to tune in.

    No flashlight weapon mods? 
  • I'm aware that the Pip-Boy doubles as a light source all its own, but considering there are alternate sources of light in this game (Mining helmets and power armor helmets) for all the people in the Commonwealth and especially the Island that don't have Pip-Boys that have to deal with all the dark areas of the Wasteland, wouldn't it be logical for a flashlight attachment to be available for certain firearms (combat rifles, combat shotguns, and other guns that would also have an option for bayonets)?

    Construction areas are too small! 
  • Is there a particular reason why some settlement areas have a ridiculously small area where you can build stuff? Hangman's Alley is probably the worst offender. It's so tight and claustrophobic that you can barely get anything built in there. Meanwhile, there's a perfectly good park a few blocks away that could work perfectly as the site of a settlement. Too bad it doesn't have a workshop! And then there are settlement areas that don't utilize the full area. The Mechanist's Lair is in the middle of a vast underground complex, yet only one room can be used by the player. The only settlement area that actually utilizes the whole area is Spectacle Island.
    • The real reason is to prevent you from building so much in one area that it devours all the available memory and causes lag, bugs, or even crashes your console.
    • That's what the size limit at the top of the screen is obviously for, but why do the borders have to be so close to the workshop, instead of letting me make room? Most of the settlements barely give you enough open space to build one house, let alone a fully-furnished and decorated one for every two settlers. It seems like they should've merged some of the settlement areas together (like Sanctuary Hills/Red Rocket Truck Stop, or The Slog/Saugus Ironworks/Finch Farm) and/or at least placed some of the workshop locations in separate cells from the rest of the Commonwealth.
    • Hangman's Alley is doubly stupid. It's a horrible case of "Hey, here are these two perfectly intact apartment buildings that appear to have power! Let's board up the windows and doors and build an entire settlement in this two car garage sized area!" It's already tiny, and it's bugged so that the settlers won't go past the end of the L shape where the back chained door and alley is. Bethesda would have benefited from rule 12 of the Evil Overlord List . "One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation."
    • OP here. I'd also like to mention the Mechanist's Lair from Automatron. You have a whole underground complex that's been emptied out by the Survivor, and you can only use one room out of the whole place? And it's even more pathetic in hindsight, since the new Vault-Tec Workshop add-on lets you use an entire underground area that's more or less the same size as the complete Mechanist's Lair to do with as you please.
    • These are obviously technical limitations of the engine. Hangman's Alley is notable as being one of the only settlements inside the Boston urban area, and the urban environment is already eating up a lot of available memory, both from environmental objects and the fact that encounter zones in the urban parts of Boston are much closer together. You either get a single small outpost in the heart of Boston, or you get a big, relatively dead zone in the middle of the dense city. Pick one.
    • Also regarding engine issues, Red Rocket and Sanctuary Hills physically cannot be one settlement. You can only have one settlement per cell in the game engine, and the two are too far apart for them to be in a single cell, so they have to be split apart into separate settlements even though, logically, they would be part of the same settlement.

    Radio Freedom's selection 
  • So how come Radio Freedom (a major station that you can craft dedicated radios) has only plays two (three tops!) tracks of fiddle/violin music, yet the Sole Survivor's Recruitment beacon (a minor station that can only be listened to on your Pip-boy) has a full patriotic soundtrack? Since Radio Freedom is broadcasted from Minutemen HQ, while the Recruitment beacon was a small signal that was thrown together in a few minutes by the Survivor, wouldn't it make more sense if the playlists were swapped (Patriotic soundtrack for Radio Freedom, limited amount of fiddle music for Recruitment beacon)?
    • Radio Freedom has 11 songs, Recruitment Beacons have 8. The Recruitment Beacon reuses the playlist from Enclave Radio from Fallout 3, which was probably easier to add to something nobody is expected to listen to for a long period of time.
    • But Enclave Radio/Recruitment Beacon's playlist consists of traditional American music. Wouldn't it make more sense if they added that music to Radio Freedom's playlist, in addition to the fiddle/violin music? The Recruitment Beacon could simply be the Survivor's message on loop. That's how a lot of signals are in the Fallout series.

    No Enclave/Hellfire Armor for Brotherhood? 
  • Since the Brotherhood of Steel in this game is the same one from Fallout 3 and this game takes place ten years after it, wouldn't they be using the Enclave's models of power armor in addition to their Vertibirds? Yes, I know that the X-01 model is based on the Enclave's original model of advanced power armor seen in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, but the Brotherhood doesn't use it in the Commonwealth and we never saw it get used by the Enclave in Fallout 3.
  • I think an easy explanation for why the Brotherhood doesn't use Enclave armor is because they have a habit of outright destroying technology not made by them, such as using the Enclave's Kill Sat to bomb Adams Air Force Base back to the stone age during Broken Steel, and demolishing The Institute's base without bothering to grab any schematics or tech on the way out (with many dialogue with Brotherhood members confirming they'd see the tech destroyed rather than used by anybody else).
    • Uh, the Brotherhood always collects technology not made by them. It's what they do. The Institute is somewhat understandable, but the Enclave? I'm pretty sure all the stuff they had left would've been looted and collected by now. They've had 10 years to do it. It's not like the Brotherhood would be afraid of being mistaken for the Enclave, since they use their Vertibirds, and their Midwestern counterparts already wear power armor similar to that worn by the Enclave.

    Easy way of checking for synths 
  • In Far Harbor during the first conversation with DiMA, he mentions there is no non-fatal test to determine if someone is a synth. But couldn't you simply anesthetize someone, perform surgery and dig around inside them until you find wiring or synthetic components, then stitch them back up with no harm done?
    • That would be a colossal use of personnel, medical resources and long term medical problems from "pointless", and incredibly invasive, surgery.
    • I'm not saying it's practical or doesn't require a great amount of medical knowledge, but it is a way to check for someone being a synth, which contradicts DiMA's claim.
    • No. Everyone who should know says it is impossible. Presumably, the "synth component" is the only non-organic part of the body, probably covered by the otherwise organic brain in a way that can't be examined even with Fallout's medical technology.
    • Cutting someone open and rooting around in their body for some vague mechanical component that could be anywhere inside is insanely dangerous and potentially lethal, even in cutting edge, sterile operating rooms with trained, certified doctors. Even moreso if the synth component is hidden inside some essential organ like the heart or brain.

    Why is Eddie Winter so sane? 
  • In the mission Long Time Coming you help Nick Valentine track down the code to Eddie Winter's Vault and kill him. Winter is still like himself (except being an immortal ghoul) despite the fact it's been implied that he's been in there for 200 years. Supposing he had enough food and water to last him during that time, why is he still sane? Being alone for 200 years even with entertainment surely would have had to done something to his psyche after being trapped in there for centuries?
    • He started as a murderous psychopath. What would change? He abandoned his girlfriend with a holotape booty call, more or less. (He says on the tape, (paraphrased) 'come in for one last fling but be prepared, I look a lot different after the treatment. Shame you're going to die soon.')
    • Also, ghouls don't need food and water, they're immortal regardless (to the best of my knowledge anyway, ghoul science is kinda cloudy).
    • Especially since the writers keep changing it depending on what joke they want to tell
    • Ghouls can live off of radiation (which is how the Ferals aren't all starved to death, and how Billy survived the fridge). In any case, he has food on the table when you meet him, suggesting he either has enough of a supply to feed himself for this long, or he has been going outside to find more.
    • Ghouls most certainly need water. Please note in Fallout the ghoul town of Necropolis dies of dehydration if you steal their water chip without fixing their water pump.
    • Nectropolis dies of dehydration, though it doesn't explicitly say the ghouls within did so. Its possible that they needed the water to make food, or otherwise survive without necessarily ingesting it. That is an incredibly stretched reading of the ending, however. In any case, its not really relevant, given that Winter does have both food and water available to him.
    • It's both concise and explicit in Fallout 1: "The ghouls of Necropolis learn firsthand the final meaning of dehydration, as their city succumbs to the desert sands and the water runs out. Without their water purifying control chip, they do not survive."

    Minutemen Strongholds and Patrols 
  • First off, I fully admit this may all just be a game issue but, why don't the Minutemen ever try to consolidate and centralize power? Yes they are a militia but given the Sole Survivor's background (as either an Army officer or a lawyer) administrative reforms would be right up their alley. Instead the SS allows the Minutement to continue without checkpoints and leave highly strategic locations for Raiders and Super Mutants to reoccupy. The most egregious examples being the ironworks and the Federal Ration stockpiles, the former an almost fully functioning ironworks and the latter (as every war minded companion points out) the perfect location for a forward operating base. Minutemen quests reflect this issue. You will either defend a remote location, rescue a hostage from a raider stronghold, or go clear out nearby super mutants/raiders/ghouls. You are entirely reactive taking no proactive steps to prevent the problem before it starts. No quests to establish patrol lines and secure better equipment for Minutemen or to plunder pre war locations for valuable resources. The General himself/herself might dig through an old factory to carry off several hundred aluminum, but the Minutemen don't. Every other faction knows how valuable old world technology is (even the Railroad which frequently sends you off to secure caches). This is especially odd when playing as a male sole survivor. Speaking from my own military experience, it's inconceivable to me that a former soldier wouldn't want the aboslute best for those serving under him. Or that he'd be comfortable with others (potentially hostile others) getting it first. Was there some point in the story that justified this and I just kept mashing X through it?
    • For most the game, they are simply too weak to do these things. Their administrative abilities are pretty much zero at the start (remember, Preston is basically the only surviving member), with their old HQ getting taken out and most the higher ups either getting killed or otherwise leaving the group. Notably, after you take out the Institute with them, they do start doing many of these things. They set up checkpoints at the old military checkpoints (A pretty logical move), with high-level minutemen who have decent gear. Presumably, they can handle low-level scavenging themselves, and all the logistics/patrols are handled off-screen by Non Player Characters (aside from what you do with settlements). For the quests, most of them are handling the kinds of things a local militia like the MM needs to handle. Preston does-sometimes-suggest clearing out locations for new settlements, at least. The Ironworks/FRS are probably simply too difficult/dangerous for them to hold in their weakened state, as they are prime real estate for raiders.
    • That's exactly my point. Since the Minutemen are so weak it's the perfect time to start restructuring them. To pick new recruits to fill the roles you'll need and establish procedures, demands, and training for future Minutemen. Instead they remain a loose collection of local militias with no actual training or command structure. It doesn't make any sense unless you just assume the SS doesn't care about them and the MM are just background noise.
    • Part of the issue could be that the Sole Survivor needs to learn to be an administrator instead of a tactical commander. Judging from the age of the Sole Survivor, the male would have been either an O-3 captain or an E-7 Sergeant First Class upon their discharge. At that rank, you're just not exposed to enough command staff level work to gain such experience. The female lawyer is probably too young to have made Partner, and therefore also doesn't have administrative experience. That is why during this game, the Sole Survivor has to be in the forefront of every battle. He or she just hasn't learnt to select good field commanders and be an armchair general yet.
    • It does make sense that you don't go through the process of administrating the Minutemen as an army, for the simple reason that Fallout is not a game where you sit behind a desk and type up memos, draw up plans, and calculate logistics. That's not the genre, so you're not going to be going through the paperwork and administration of assembling an army.
    • The Minutemen aren't an army simply because its members don't want to be one. Aside from a small handful of full-time professionals (Sole Survivor, Preston, Ronnie, Radio Freedom guy presumably) they have 'day jobs' working at their settlements; farming, building, ranching and the families/communities they live with. Being Minutemen is an unfortunate necessity of life being so shit in the Commonwealth.
    • The Minutemen don't organize or behave like an army because they aren't an army. They're a civilian militia designed to respond quickly to local threats. Don't think of the Minutemen as being a military the same way the Brotherhood is, because the Minutemen are a group of allied settlements with an armed militia that responds to local threats very quickly. They don't really need or want to organize into a real military force because they don't project force beyond the immediate vicinity of each settlement, and don't have the manpower to clear out the raiders and mutants from the more dangerous areas. The level of organization we see in the Minutemen is about what you'd expect from a group of isolated, distant settlements in very hostile territory whose main military force is armed militia.

    Inconsistency between add-ons 
  • There's a couple of things in the Automatron add-on that seem pretty jarring compared to other add-ons. First off, the Robobrains featured there are about the same size as humans, if not slightly taller. Then the Far Harbor add-on comes along, and has its own Robobrains that look just like the ones from the former, but are considerably smaller in size. Next, the Mechanist's Lair from Automatron only lets you use a single (although still pretty spacious) room out of the whole damn complex for your settlement, and then comes Vault-Tec Workshop, which lets you use a massive underground interior that is roughly the same size as the entire Mechanist's Lair for you to do with as you please. Were these add-ons even supervised to make sure they fit with each other's continuity properly?
    • The Far Harbor Robobrains were custom designed ones so the Vault inhabitants could live forever, not the military models from Automatron.
    • Perhaps so, but it seems strange that the game designers would forget to scale them properly with the other Robobrains that we've seen in the series, custom or otherwise.
    • I thought they had intentionally make them smaller to make it easier to navigate the Vault.
    • They're definitely deliberately smaller.

    Why can't you change the other Vaults? 
  • You can improve Vault 88, so why not Vaults 75, 81, 95, 111, 114, and 118?
    • For the same reason you can't build in every location. The developers decided that only certain locations could be used to craft structures so that's what we get. You can disagree with that decision or think it's too limiting but it is what it is.
    • Only Vault 88 has Vault-Tec workshops (along with control boards). The other Vaults presumably had their workshops removed once they were completed.

    Vault-Tec Workshop 
  • So how come I can build security desks, barber shops, etc., but I can't build stores that consist of a simple counter, ala Bunker Hill? It's neat that you get to craft clean, Pre-War quality furniture and decorations, but you're still forced to build shabby wooden stands that barely even fit into a typical room just to get a little revenue into Vault 88.
    • This issue is especially glaring since they added security desks with the add-on. Bethesda was aware that an indoor prewar style location needed prewar indoor style resources. But for whatever reason they didn't feel shops warranted an update. Perhaps they figured you'd rather assign settlers to drinking fountains than junk shops?
    • When update 1.7 hits we will be able to build shops that are just counters instead of the outdoor shack.

    Everybody Evacuate! 
  • So you set off the evacuation alarm when raiding the Institute and all the residents run to where exactly? The only exits are currently occupied by the invading force.
    • Presumably there are redundant systems in place that would allow people to teleport out. Realistically though, even assuming the fantastical science of Fallout, most everyone died except for a lucky few. Which I guess is more ethical than condemning every Institute scientist, Synth, and child to die in a nuclear a explosion?
    • Outside the Brotherhood of Steel, I sincerely doubt the Minuteman or the Railroad would do anything other than help the clearly innocent people trying to get the hell out of there. Especially the Minutemen, as they care more about the people, not about faction or faction loyalty.
    • "Clearly innocent people"? Someone has clearly forgotten the reason why the Commonwealth is so paranoid about synths. Let's say you let an "innocent" scientist near the exit, whoops it's actually a courser and he just dropped a pocketful of grenades at your feet. Now you've lost the molecular relay and now can't escape, the end.
    • In all but one of the end-game scenarios, you find a different way to get in, thus don't *need* the molecular relay to escape. The Minutemen find a tunnel they can go through and the Brotherhood blasts an entrance hole using Liberty Prime, only the Railroad actually uses the relay to get in. On the other hand, the civilians *do* need to relay to enter and exit, during an emergency scenario like this it is unlikely that the Coursers would blow up the one way in and out of the Institute, leaving everyone trapped with their enemies. If anything, the Coursers would fight, or retreat while they can.
    • The Brotherhood doesn't care about civilian casualties, so they won't let anybody near the relay anyway. The Minutemen can't use the tunnel you enter through due to the high radiation levels, they can't supply an entire army with rad-x. Besides which, the secondary entry points are right next to the molecular relay, capture on and you capture the other. And yes, the coursers wouldn't destroy the relay, but they would kill everybody in the room.
    • The Brotherhood does care about civilian casualties. Danse explictly says that the Brotherhood does not target unarmed civilians and noncombatants. That would almost certainly extend to Institute non-combatants. The Brotherhood likely captured the civilians during the fighting, and questioned and then released them afterward, but wouldn't have gunned them down.

    Nuka-World gas station settlement 
  • Isn't it strange that of all the locations in Nuka-World, that the only place where you can found a settlement is in a tiny gas station that can only be used once you clear the add-on's questline? You'd think that since you're supposed to be the Overboss, that you'd be able to do stuff with Nuka-Town and the areas you clear for Raider outposts.
    • Keeping with the spirit of the DLC. Raiders don't build, they take and occupy space. So the developers probably figured that if you were going to play a raider and loot settlements it would be silly to give you more space to build settlements.
      • But the Survivor's gonna be more experienced than any Raider. By the time that the player is qualified to even enter Nuka-World, they probably would've already started up a dozen settlements in the Commonwealth and built all sorts of houses, etc. Besides, what if the player decided to just gun down all the Raiders in Nuka-World, and wanted to re-populate with a more decent demographic?

    Restarting the power 
  • Why do I need to restart the power just to use the Nuka-World Red Rocket station anyway? I can make my own power sources just fine in other locations.
    • Serious Answer: Because this goes against the spirit of being a raider. A raider isn't self sufficient or skilled and the things they make are spliced together junk. More Honest Answer: Because it was a poorly thought out DLC.
    Head in a Jar 
  • After completing the Cappy in a Haystack quest we find the creator of Nuka-Cola is a head in a jar trapped underneath his old office. Like most people he's gone a bit loopy and suicidal from years of solitude and the prospect that Sierra Petrovita will be the only person he will ever get to talk to. I am a bit confused as to why you can't just offer to turn him into a Robobrain. While the system keeping him alive depends on the room's power, there's no reason why you can't build or bring in a secondary power source. And, once that's done, transfer his brain into the more mobile Robobrain chassis. Was there an explanation for why this wasn't an option and I just missed it?
    • No, there's no explanation (unless I missed it too) but if I had to theorise then I would say that the system that keeps the head alive is, by design, a prison: completely tamper-proof, with the exception of the power switch that kills the system's prisoner if switched off. The system itself turned out to have been a petty act of punishment on the creator of Nuka-Cola, at the hands of a particularly war hawkish general. If I were that general, I would have made sure that the person I'm punishing doesn't get free of his prison so easily without dying, even with help.
    Post-War Armor in a Pre-War Park 
  • Alright, let's call X-01 Power Armor for what it really is: The Enclave's Advanced Power Armor. Which, as understood, was developed some time in the early 23rd century. Is there an in-universe reason why a post-war suit of armor would be found inside the display case of a pre-war amusement park, or has Bethesda broken the lore?
    • I'm unsure. The fallout wiki page says two things that contradict. "The X-01 power armor is a set of power armor created shortly before the bombs fell. It was later taken on by the remnants of the U.S. military after the Great War. It improves upon older suits by offering superior protective abilities. The power armor bears considerable resemblance to the advanced power armor seen in previous Fallout games, but the armors are not the same." and "The X-01 series of Power Armor was specially engineered and employed by remnants of the U.S. military after the Great War, and offers increased protection over the older, pre-war models." — VDSG Catalogue No.9528. Both of these directly contradict each other on if it's supposed to be a 'developed just before the war' model that the Enclave expanded upon, or the actual Enclave's armor.
    • It's definitely a retcon. X-01 was not supposed to exist before the bombs falling. Hell, the fact the Enclave could manufacture and develop their own power armor was meant to show off how powerful a faction they were and make them a unique threat.
    • I don't think it's a retcon. Otherwise, why would the loading screen in the game clearly state that the armor was engineered after the war?
    • It was never outright confirmed that it was actually the Advanced Power Armor.
    • True, but how many "remnants of the U.S. military" are there out in post-war America that are capable of developing their own power armor after the bombs fell?
    • It seems that X-1 is a pre-war model, but the advanced power armor used by the Enclave is post-war. It is not entirely impossible that the Enclave salvaged some X-1 models and finished them up, eventually developing what we call Advanced Power Armor, then started to mass produce them.
    • Is anybody else seeing the resemblance between this argument and Fallout 3's "jet" problem?
    • It doesn't seem to be a retcon, as the loading screen agrees with canon - rather it's an in-game break in reality to cater to game mechanics. A downside of the new Power Armor mechanics - needing different styles, mixed with the level based spawning of upgrades "forced" its inclusion, and well, commonness.
    • It's definitely a retcon, there's even an entry talking about how the US military gave Nuka-World that specific X-01 suit as a gift. With 76 now straight up having X-01 obtainable in the early 2100s, we can be pretty sure Bethesda considers it a pre-War power armor. What's particularly egregious is Bethesda retconned this within their own game. The best we can put together is that like a poster above stated, the actual designs for the Power Armor were kept under wraps and the suit itself was never actually widely deployed, with only a prototype making it to a theme park and few pretty terrible designed suits available in government bunkers. The Enclave then found these plans and actually deployed the power armor into common (well, relatively) usage. Fallout 76 sort of confirms this. Still, the loading screen citing it as post-War still very much writes in a way as to make X-01, and hell that designation even, completely post-War.
    Are the Pack cannibals? 
  • In their base at Bradberton Amphitheatre there can be found some food items which according to their game files suggest are made from human meat. Of course, the Pack do keep a lot of carnivorous animals and may be feeding them meat cut from their prisoners, however, given that the flesh takes the form of bacon and jerky (which suggests that someone has been preparing it specifically) and not simply cuts of meat it does beg the question: what kind of animal is this bacon and jerky for? The four-legged kind or the two-legged kind?
    Soviet weapons in Nuka-World 
  • I'm referring to the "Handmade rifle". Why exactly are the Raider groups in Nuka-World using what appear to be Soviet-made 7.62mm firearms? Was the amusement park selling "Build Your Own AK" kits before the bombs fell? Did they all raid a Chinese spy base?
    • They are based off the Chinese Assault rifle that was all over Fallout 3, and the cut-content assault rifle. As for the answer, its kinda in the name....The hand made rifle is *hand made*. They built them. If they had found them, the rifle wouldn't be hand made. Presumably they are basically zip guns built by someone who knows what they are doing, basing it off the relatively simple and rugged AK design, probably having these weapons before settling down in Nuka World. Think of it like an upgrade to the pipe guns.
    • The handmade assault rifle is probably an allusion to the famous "Shit Shovel AK", which comes complete with a shovel handle stock.
    • The AK-47 is pretty easy to assemble in relatively low tech conditions. It wouldn't be that hard to build them en masse here.
      • But why would the handmade rifles need to so closely resemble a specific model of actual prewar gun any more than the pipe guns do? And even if the raiders do have some reason to only churn out guns that closely mimic existing prewar models, why only soviet AKs?

    Nuka-World disrupting the Main Quest 
  • So if you decide to continue working with the Raiders, Preston will hate you and the Minutemen (who are supposed to be your very own faction, no less) will turn on you. And the Minutemen are also supposed to be your back-up plan for finishing the Main Quest, in case you become an enemy of the Railroad, Brotherhood, and Institute. If the Raiders are going to effectively derail the Minutemen's overall role, couldn't Bethesda at least include a possible fifth ending where the Pack/Operators/Disciples help the Survivor destroy the Institute? Or if that would've been too complicated, then why not allow you to try and work around the Raider-Minuteman hostility (Convince both factions to work together, tell Raiders to play nice, or fire Preston and replace him with a less biased Minuteman)? Or if any of that would've been too complicated, why not just lie and tell Preston: "No, that isn't me raiding our settlements! The Institute must be using a synth duplicate of me to infiltrate our ranks and destroy us!"?
    • If you made it to level 30 without completing the main quest (and *with* annoying most of the game's factions), you probably don't care about the main quest enough to finish it. Its not like completing the main quest is a huge deal, in the end its just a mission that doesn't change the game by a massive margin. Telling him that a synth duplicate is going around pretending to be you is crazy (especially since your other companions would be there), and he only becomes hostile if you keep teaming up with the Raiders after talking to him. Firing Preston and replacing him with a new NPC is a lot of work for what amounts to one quest, and IC none are both willing and capable of filling his position (and more likely to follow Garvey than you anyway, especially since you likely killed MM in your raids). In the end, its just a lot of work for a little gain, and its easy to walk around if you have any interest at all in the main quest.

    I survived Armageddon and all I got was this crummy Pipboy 2000 
  • Has there ever been an explanation for which Vaults receive which model of Pipboy? It seems to be arbitrary as to whether you receive a 2000, 3000 or 4000 even though each model was made on or before 2077. Why would they ever issue you something like the 2000 series when the 4000 series is objectively better in every way? What makes this especially strange is that the rest of Vault Tec's equipment is very standardized.
    • There isn't a Pipboy 4000. In any case, it looks like geographical area is the deciding factor on who gets what. The people of Boston get the 3000 MK 4, South California gets 2000 pluses, and the Vaults of Vegas and DC get 3000As. There isn't a lot of practical difference between them-the 3000 series basically adds a grieger counter, radio, and flashlight. While they are incredibly useful for a Fallout protagonist (especially given the switch to FPS), Vault Tech never really intended for anyone to actually leave the Vaults (for the most part), making the features unnecessary. After ally-why bother giving the best equipment available to your lab rats?
    • I just assumed this one was called the Pipboy 4000 as each new model of Pipboy normally coincides with the sequel number and I don't recall it ever being named in-game (although with a game this big it is easy to miss little things like that). Makes sense that this one would still be a 3000 though as Butch in Fallout 3 mocks the Lone Wanderer for his rather primitive Pipboy after first receiving it.
    • The Vaults were a really ramshackle project, throw together with junk bonds and funding from the Enclave and weren't meant to save anyone. They weren't really made to hold together for much longer than it'd take for the experiment to take place (read: everyone die terribly). If you look at the Vault list terminal in 3, they all got wildly varying basic equipment. Presumably, the PIP-Boy distribution was random, since it wouldn't really matter in the long run.

    Something screwy about the date the Castle fell to the 'Lurks 
  • According to a load screen, the Castle fell in 2240, 47 years before the Sole Survivor was thawed out. However, that does not mesh up with ages with two particular Minutemen: Preston Garvey and Ronnie Shaw. Preston looks to be mid thirties at the most, yet he states he's glad to hear the thunder of Minutemen artillery again, as if he had heard it before. Radio Freedom, with its transmitter tower at the Castle, is needed to coordinate that, so he was at least a fresh green Minuteman at the time, say, 18 years old. Ronnie Shaw was at least a bit seasoned, say 30 or so, as she knew enough about the politics in the organization to leave in disgust after General Bekker died and the infighting started. She was also familiar enough with the Artillery to reveal the schematic location and instruct in its use. That puts Preston at 65 (or 55 if you want to stretch and say he was wowed by seeing the thunder called down as a kid), and Shaw at maybe 87. The Castle falling in 2240 just doesn't add up.
    • General Bekker died in 2282, five years before the events of the game, so your assumptions about Shaw are incredibly off. The general who died in the Castle was General McGann, a completely different character. As for Preston, presumably the Minutemen had artillery placed in their other settlements the same way you do. I don't think Radio Freedom is strictly necessary for the flares to work. You can turn it off and still use the artillery and, from a logical perspective, the gunners can shoot towards smoke without needing radio confirmation. Without the schematics, the guns would be impossible to repair and would break down in time, likely leading the settlers to scrap them for parts, but its possible at least one would exist long enough for Preston to have heard it in his lifetime.
    • A much simpler answer: Preston grew up idolizing the Minutemen, who even deprived of artillery support and coordination were still around for a while. There definitely would be stories about the firepower and glory of the artillery. He may not have seen it personally, but his dialogue only remarks that he never thought he'd see the Minutemen have their artillery support again.

    Nuka World: Why can't we make them all happy? 
  • In Nuka World you have to give settlements to the three raider settlements. But if you give them to them 1 at a time, by the time you get to 8 one of them turns on you. Why can't you just say to them "chill out, I'll go take you a new settlement now"?
    • Herding raiders is worse than herding cats. None of the leaders like or respect you that much, let alone how they feel about one another. Its basic raider politics, the group that you give the least amount to is the Overboss's least favorite and feels like they are getting the raw end of the deal. They arn't crazy about having to share at all, and a raider's core philosophy is "take what you want by force!". Thus they try to take leadership for themselves.

    Why do the other factions want to destroy the Institute HQ instead of capturing it? 
  • The Institute HQ is filled with technological marvels that would be a massive boon to anyone who takes it over. So why do the other factions destroy it at the end of the campaign? Wouldn't they want to take it over and use the technology to their advantage? Especially in the case of the Brotherhood of Steel. The BoS is a technology hoarding organization. Seeking out new tech and taking it over is basically their entire reason for existing. The notion that they would destroy such a massive technology cache rather then take it over defies explanation. I could understand if they were losing the battle inside the building and they were left with no choice but to destroy it in order to win, but that's not how it plays out in the game. By the time you reach the self destruct device, you've already wiped out just about everyone and everything that can fight back against you. So there really isn't any reason whatsoever to blow the place up instead of capturing it.
    • The whole point of the Brotherhood's invasion of the Institute is that they hate the technology of the Institute with a burning passion unrivaled by nuclear explosions that cleansed the place. Part of their modern ideology is to preserve technology for the future. Another part is to keep it out of the hands of the undeserving. They think the Institute's main scientific advancement, the Synths, shouldn't be in anyone's hands. Its made very clear through the game how much they hate the Synths and everything involved with them, and the Institute has little to offer aside from that.
      • Little to offer besides the Synths? Really? You don't think the Institute teleportation technology is something the Brotherhood might be interested in? After all, it's only a totally revolutionary method of transportation that would more radically change society even more then the invention of the automobile. Not to mention all the other crazy super-advanced Sci-Fi stuff we see in the Institute. Capturing that facility would have BoS scientists working around the clock for years on new developments.
      • If they are interested in the teleporter (which may or may not have been stolen from the Aliens), then they have a verity of ways to learn more about it even with the Institute as a crater. They took one of the Institute's top scientists to help make Liberty Prime in their ending, Virgil is probably still alive, and they have notes and a one-way relay assuming you stuck with them the whole time. That is really the beginning and end of the advanced science in the Institute. In their minds, destroying the Institute completely was the only way to stomp out all traces of Synths and the process that made them. Taking over the base and trying to destroy all traces of Synth technology risks that something leaks, which is simply unacceptable to them. If even a trace survived, it would not could destroy humanity. This is also the East Coast Brotherhood, Elder Lyons' ideals were not completely buried with him. They value protecting people over preserving technology, and see the Synths as a threat. Its not like they preserve all technology always-one of the first things the original BoS did was kill a bunch of scientists working on the F.E.V.

    The Reason for Kidnapping Shaun 
  • It is explained that the Institute took Shaun to get access to DNA that hasn't been affected by radiation remaining from the war. But this opens up a whole load of questions regarding how they handled the rest of Vault 111's population. Why kill everyone else except for one parent? Wouldn't the other Vault inhabitants provide loads of further pure genetic samples that would help with their research? Kellogg makes vague mention of "not leaving any loose ends". Okay, how would these constitute loose ends? Also, the reason the player character is left alive because as a parent he/she had similar DNA to Shaun and their DNA could be used to complete the research if something went wrong with Shaun. Okay, then why do they so casually kill the parent holding the child when that justification applies just as well there? They were in a position where they could easily just overpower and pacify him/her non-lethally.
    • Their field agent Kellog is a psychopath on a loose leash. He kills pretty much everyone he can get away with, the only time he doesn't murder everyone in his path is when he is explicitly told to leave someone alive. He isn't a scientist and doesn't care about the Institute's goals in the least bit.
    • Soo...why couldn't they send someone less trigger-happy to Vault 111. They knew where it was, presumably had the tech to zap there directly. This is an extremely delicate operation after all, so why send Mr. "I-Kill-Everything-And-Everyone-Between-Myself-And-My-Objective" Kellogg to lead the field operation?
      • He was their only real field agent, everyone else was a scientist or a robot. The Coursers, the only other field agents they had, logically couldn't be created until well after Shaun was secured. It looks like Kellogg had to actually find Vault 111 before they could teleport into it, which is something nobody else in the institute was capable of doing. Best case scenario they could probably place people on top of the Vault after Kellogg found it, but even then they would have to fight through anything that decided to hole up in it. Vaults have a nasty habit of turning into Dungeons, it was only luck that meant 111 only had a roach problem. Finally, for all his problems Kellogg has never failed a mission. Sending him meant they would get the samples they asked for. The Institute was shown to have the "Ivory Tower" problem and was pretty incompetent at everything that isn't research, including gathering samples out of the wasteland and deciding who to send to collect those samples.

    How is Codsworth Still Running? 
  • I can totally buy Codsworth still being alert and aware after 200 years (presuming he's got some kind of internal nuclear fuel supply like a fusion core) but how the heck is his jet still going? We see a small tank of Mr. Handy fuel in the house (which is still full but hey, gameplay/story) implying that at least their jet needs refueling presumably a heck of a lot more regularly. Given the rack of fuel canisters outside the supermarket in Lexington, a canister can't last THAT long under near-constant use.
    • The same way the other Mr.Handies are still running. They are capable of refueling themselves, and their jet engine is connected to a small nuclear reactor-presumably using something like NEPA to keep them up. With Fallout's advanced fusion technology, it presumably can go basically forever on a single tank.
    • Between this and those vending machines in the Sierre Madre that can make anything out of casino chips, how were they ever in the midst of an energy crisis so severe that the whole world went to war over it? They have access to portable fuel sources capable of lasting centuries and devices capable of producing as much food, clothing, medical supplies and weapons as they could possibly need. The Fallout universe on paper sounds like it should be a land of plenty.
      • The vending machines in Sierra Madre where the creation of Big M.T, and could have solved the crises if they had been created a bit earlier. As it stands they only got the early prototypes, right before the bombs fell and it was too late to use anything. Keep in mind that the casino chips do take a significant amount of resources to make (you can craft them for a fission battery and two pieces of scrap metal for 50 chips), and thus wasn't viable as a food source for billions of people.

    Why destroy the Institute at all? 
  • The characterization of the Institute is that it is amoral rather than immoral. They are scientists with the detachment of performing an experiment rather than doing things mostly out of cruelty. As bad as the Institute is, there is a solid foundation for a like-minded Sole Survivor to reform the Institute from within. Father named you his heir and he is terminally ill. Given a few months and the Sole Survivor will take over the Institute anyway where they can leverage their authority and influence to good ends. Why then invite another faction to simply murder everybody when Father Time will time out on Father in the very near future? If you really have to blow up the place, become the Director and then sound the evacuation order together with the self-destruct codes. I could understand if the disgruntled directors lead a coup d'etat against you so you turn to your allies for some military muscle. This results in the Institute being conquered but not destroyed. Why waste the rare technology they have?
    • "Elder Maxson, I have managed to gain a command position in the Institute's hierarchy. When you give the signal, I will lock all the Coursers in the SRB and order all other Synths to stand down. Brotherhood Paladins will then be teleported to seize control of the Institute and their holdings. It will be a great coup, all that advanced technology falling into the hands of the Brotherhood where it belongs."
    • "Desdemona I have good news and best news. I have successfully infiltrated the Institute. And now their boss has named me his successor. The Railroad now has a double agent slated to head the Institute."
    • "Why" do it comes down to your own beliefs and the way the game works (since you need to pick sides to make it to the end game). To start with, Father isn't the problem with the Institute. He was the result of its kidnapping a baby and massacring a Vault, and there is no sign that you will be his successor unless you actually go along with the Institute's goals for a decent time. You could certainly take it over and try to reform it- but the other Factions would never agree to this (barring the Minutemen). The Brotherhood wants to eliminate all Synths and destroy any possibility of them ever being created again, believing that they are even more damaging than the bombs that made the world the way it is. The Railroad wants the synths freed right now, and arn't going to sit on their hands just because you promised to reform them. Its made pretty clear that you arn't an absolute dictator-there are plenty of other authority figures who all oppose you if you go the Institute route. They don't have a "Self destruct" button (because who puts that on their house?), all the other Factions sabotage the reactor to make it explode. They will actively fight any of the reforms the SS would try, making that a slow process that might be undone the second he dies all while the Commonwealth suffers. Finally, the two plans you listed require the metaknowledge that "Father will make me his successor". To actually get that knowledge in game, you have to complete the Battle of Bunker hill quest, and keep in the Institutes good graces afterwords. Neither of the Institute Hostile factions are interested in actually taking the technology-the Brotherhood see it as a target and the Railroad would probably like to have a way to make new Synths but doesn't seem to hold it as very important. Its pretty clear that you couldn't just tell *everyone* to stand down and let one of the other Factions conquer the place, the Coursers are directed by someone else and the Synth shut down button only works on the most outdated models.
      TLDR: The BoS/RR don't *want* to conquer the place, and putting you in a position of nominal power wouldn't help their goals much.
    • Just because you are appointed head of the Institute, does not mean your authority is absolute. Yes, everyone listens to Shaun, but Shaun was raised in the Institute from the time he was an infant. You, on the other hand, are an outsider. They will accept you as Director because Shaun asked them to, but you are still beholden to the Directorate, and if they don't like the way you are running things, they will refuse to follow you. If you go against the Institute too much, they won't continue to recognize your authority. In the long term, you'd be unable to change the Institute much, if at all.

    Where is the VATS Targeting System Located? 
  • Most people tend to assume that it must be part of the Pipboy, something that could never be disproven due to the fact that in every previous game you have always gained access to the Pipboy before you fire your first shot. But in this game the Sole Survivor straight out of a cryo chamber that he got into immediately after fleeing his pre-war house has full access to it long before he puts one on for the first time. So where is it? For it to work as it is portrayed, then it would have to speed up the frames per second that your brain is capable of processing and increase your reflexes to match (thus giving the impression of slowing down time) and it must have some means of near-instantaneously calculating and relaying to you the percentage variables of hitting any designated body part on your target (it seems unlikely to be a genuine HUD unless contact lenses are involved). My only guess is some kind of cerebral implant - which whilst former soldier Nate and any genuine Vault Dweller could logically have one, it seems to me very far reaching that civilian Nora would buy one, and even less likely that the Courier would have access to the surgeon or autodoc required.
    • The answer is probably "Its in the Pipboy and the developers didn't feel like removing it from the short tutorial". The time slow effect isn't real (any more than the time stop effects were before), it just lets you choose were to aim without you getting shot to death on a meta level.
    • VATS is non-diegetic. It a gameplay mechanic, and doesn't get a more detailed explanation that that. So, just like your HUD or your crosshair, it isn't actually "located" anywhere.

    Can synths reproduce? 
  • I know that this is all kinds of squick with potentially horrific implications, but if they can't, couldn't you work out who the male synths were very easily by taking a sperm sample? If there isn't any actual sperm there, he isn't human is he? And false positives from sterile men would be a lot rarer than you'd at first think because they generally have at least some sperm present even if it is very little. Obviously this would be a lot harder with women unless you have a lot of time on your hands to wait for her to get pregnant, but hey, at least you would know for sure that the majority of men in your employ are human. If they can reproduce on the other hand, then that adds a huge layer of Fridge Horror as that means that the synths really could have replaced the entire human race, it would have just taken longer. What form a half-human half-synth child would take is another scary thought.
    • Well in an irradiated wasteland, infertility would theoretically be fairly common. In any cases, there are no confirmed cases of Synth reproduction and any children they have wouldn't have the all-important Synth component. The two cases would be 1. The child is human due to the human DNA, or 2. The child is a Synth, and can't age like all Synths making it a baby forever. In either case, they won't overtake humanity by normal reproduction. Presumably their reproductive systems are in order, considering that Synths often don't realize anything is wrong with them, and the partners of replaced synths don't seem to notice the change.

    No Refrigeration? 
  • It seems a little weird that in spite of all the pre-war tech that has been salvaged and made functional, the Cryolator and Drinking Buddy are apparently the only things in the entire Commonwealth capable of generating cold. It's understandable that automotive transportation, manufacturing, or public utilities like water and power can't be achieved on a large scale with the available technology, but if the Sole Survivor is capable of building mechanical generators from miscellaneous junk, there's no reason they couldn't also restore things like fridges and A/C units to working order. It's not like they'd require anything that can't possibly be produced with the resources on hand, either. Cooling systems don't run on magical cold juice; they use motors to compress fluid and then turn it into vapor, and anything capable of going from gas to liquid and back again can theoretically work inside one. Heck, one of the most commonly-used refrigerants is ammonia, and there'd still be plenty of ways to obtain that in the post-war world.
    • It may well be that no one bothers trying to refrigerate anything because all of the food is imperishable, even the vegetables that survived the war.

    Why Is No-One Suspicious After You Leave the Institute? 
  • During the main quest, you end up building the Molecular Relay and teleporting to the Institute, then teleporting back once you've done all you need there. However, after you get back, why don't any of your allies ever suspect that you might have been replaced by a synth? I mean, think about how it looks from your allies' perspective: they send you, alone, to the Institute, the sole source of all synths in the world, the one place capable of producing perfect replicas of other people (down to their clothes) to be used as spies, and all the while you're there, they have no way of contacting you. After a good long while you come back, totally unharmed, mission accomplished. Wouldn't you be just a little bit suspicious?
    • Were you anyone else, suspicion might be valid. But you're the Sole Survivor. They're entirely valid to assume you're fine, because any attempt by the Institute to replace you would likely result in failure and massive carnage. That you returned not covered in blood and burn marks is proof enough that everything went fine.
    Institute doesn’t reclaim Nick Valentine 
  • In the base game, this was explained away by suggesting that Nick was junked. However, Far Harbor shows that Nick wasn’t junked, he was liberated by DiMA who also escaped. And that it was DiMA who threw Nick in a dumpster after knocking him unconscious. Now, the Institute will reclaim all synths in Acadia, if you inform them of its existence, including DiMA. So why didn’t the Institute ever try to recapture Nick? It isn’t like he’s hiding. He has a prominent office right there in Diamond City - where Kellogg briefly lived, and Coursers visited in the past. Why leave him alone?
    • Simply put, he's outdated tech. Nick has a lot of friends in and around Diamond City, and it's not worth fighting through them to retrieve an outdated synth.

    How Synth DNA is created 
  • Do all Synths actually have Shaun's DNA (and therefore yours)? The way I understood it, I thought that his undamaged human DNA was used a blueprint to map out and engineer each synth's DNA, therefore making each one as genetically unique as a real human, rather than actually being cloned from him. If they all had Shaun's actual DNA, wouldn't someone have figured out how to detect a synth with a DNA test?
    • Well, no — and for two reasons:
    #1- The average Wastelander won't have access to the highly sophisticated DNA testing equipment, much less know how to run one.
    #2- I don't think every Synth has Shaun's literal DNA. If that were the case then they all would've looked exactly like Shaun, but they clearly don't. My thinking is that the Institute used the blueprint and just sort of put it in a machine that randomized the DBA so the Synths don't come out as Shaun's clones.

    The disciples as an Amazon Brigade 
  • Is an explanation ever offered for exactly why the Disciples have an Improbably Female Cast? Is it related to Mensturation and their love of blood? Is Nisha just a she woman man hater? Red Eye has dialogue acknowledging the sex imbalance if you give Kiddie Kingdom to them, so it isn't a glitch. What gives?


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: