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Still think legion civilian territory being in the games would have helped a lot.
People find it impossible to fathom that folks can be happy under dictators but it's demonstrably clear from all of human history that it's possible. Lots of focus in here on how women suffer under the Legion but I've been reading some intriguing books about the history of right wing women movements. There were women who supported Hitler and the book I'm reading right now says General Pinochet's biggest support came from women, even after he was deposed and arrested.
People will support anything if the person pitching the idea does it well enough. That's House's great flaw; h has no charisma and so every subordinate he has betrays him. Caesar's force of personality built and maintained the Legion and it's easy enough to believe that same force of personality would attract followers of all sexes, genders or backgrounds.
I was relistening to his bit about founding the Legion and I do have to wonder if he is omitting details. No doubt he won't admit to how terrified he might have been given he was kidnapped but he's so matter of fact about the stuff he taught his first tribe and it makes me wonder if he was always this way or if he was once a better man and just has forgotten or hides it. The account is just so quick and simple and few things in life are that quick and simple, let alone a captive managing to take control of their captors.
People learning to live and be comfortable under a horrific dictatorship doesn't make the dictatorship any more grey or less heinous, it just shows the human mind's incredible ability to adapt to a terrible situation.
And sometimes they get defensive when the terrible situation is taken away, because they've gotten used to it and are more comfortable with it. You see it in victims of abuse a lot. Sometimes they go back to their abusers because regular bouts of various types of torment feel safer than the complete unknown.
I don't know much about the specific examples cited, though, so those could be something different. There are a whole bunch of psychological self-defense mechanisms that can result in people acting to maintain a system they know is terrible.
And say all you want about how House is too boring and lacks charisma, but one has to at least admit that life under House would be preferable to life under the Legion. Especially for women.
"People learning to live and be comfortable under a horrific dictatorship doesn't make the dictatorship any more grey or less heinous"
The keyword in this statement is "horrific", not "dictatorship. Again, case in point, God-Emperor Lee Kuan Yew, peace be upon him.
The dictatorship by far needs not be horrific, nor must its horrors be necessarily rooted in opposition to the Western liberal democratic tradition. Executing drug dealers, for example, is completely accepted in most East Asian democracies. Just dial up the cruelty of the execution method, and hey, you have a ready-made "dark" aspect to the Legion that isn't some trite rape camp "I am a bad guy" flag.
I notice that there has not been any actual answers to "in what way would removing the rape camps hurt the narrative?"
Because it establishes the Legion as evil. As I said above, rape is very much a logical result of their philosophy.
I mean they want people fast, so in a disturbing Goblin way it makes sense.
All autocracies devolve into the horrific kind, always.
That's the point of the Legion, there is no safety to be found in strongmen.
The tendency to fall for the illusion that strongmen present is something that has plagued human civilization since its beginning. We have far too many examples to choose from in history to see where following that road ends, but we still keep falling for it.
War never changes.
Edited by M84 on Mar 5th 2019 at 2:44:26 AM
I don't see that it's really incumbent upon the franchise to show a "good" version of a dictatorial state. Yes, you could have a benevolent dictator, or monarch, or N.G.O. Superpower, symbiotic hive-mind implanted at puberty, or anarchosyndicalist commune. But the writers weren't going for that. Insofar as each faction in FNV is written around a message, a big part of what the Legion is there for is to be the bad faction, and to show how things could be worse. You keep asking if the rape camps need to be there — I think the rape camps are more important than the actual means of dictatorship, really, in terms of what's being said. The structure and ideology of Caesar's Legion are less important, to Caesar, than his own power. It could just as easily be set up as Mega-Corp, straw democracy, religious cult, or gigantic pro football league, because the real point isn't the apparent, superficial structure of the nation, but what the people under it will allow. There are no checks on Caesar's power, and he is corrupt. The rulers of the NCR are also corrupt, but they don't wield absolute power. That distinction is more significant, I think — the fact that to the people on the ground, the two sides don't look that different is a point Obsidian keeps coming back to.
Of course it's not "incumbent" on the franchise to show a "good side" of dictatorship (although they did in the form of House), just as it's not incumbent on them to create a faction comprised of cargo cult warriors who dress up as fluffy purple Tyrannosaurs. But purple fluffy Tyrannosaurs are not particularly compelling villains, and neither are cartoonishly evil cosplayers in football gear, despite how fun it might be to shoot them in the face.
Things could always be worse than the Legion. We could still have raiders, you know. Even the game itself, stripped of as many positive aspects of the Legion as it is, makes this point. If the narrative's message is we get the kind of government the people will allow...well, "everyone sucks equally" as a theme does not mesh well with a game where you do get to improve things for plenty of people. As it is, the NCR is better than the Legion in almost every way by virtue of the fact that the NCR's problems are all matters of mismanagement, while the Legion's problems are intrinsic to the way it is set up.
Meanwhile, "of course autocracy is always evil so of course the Legion has to be the evil faction, ergo rape camps" is sophomoric child logic. We have just as many examples of failed democracies, too, as well as successful democracies who absolutely needed an autocratic/authoritarian phase before the transition. If we're going down that road, the only sane trail of thought is to abandon any pretense that any political system is innately morally superior to another.
Which suits me just fine, supporter of sterile metric-driven technocracy that I am.
The House always wins.
Your first two paragraphs are kind of what I just said. But, well, yeah, any ideology can be hollow and corrupt. The earnest intentions of the people within it are always going to be more important than the -ism or -ocracy in itself. The Legion, the Enclave, Rapture, Columbia — evil takes many forms, even when it starts with the best of intentions. And meanwhile, if you want a more positive autocracy in Fallout, you've already got House and the Brotherhood of Steel. Trying to file the nastier edges off of the Legion seems like a waste of effort.
Edited by Unsung on Mar 7th 2019 at 4:16:16 AM
I think that removing the rape camps also just turns the Legion into aforementioned large raider band with no "distinctive" features. I find people who want to support the legion and file off the "nastier" aspects are doing a form of Putting on the Reich because they want to like the evil faction and need to explain away / headcannon out the negative bits.
Part of the Legions "character" is entirely that it is a complete structure built around an autocrats ego - it is the mirror to House in many respects - Caesar has built the Legion in his image of what a "perfect" society would be - red in tooth and claw. House wants his society to mirror him - austere, progressive but cold.
And the NCR are just the people caught in the middle, having essentially stepped between two wannabe gods.
Removing the camps changes things because then, as you have both said, you end up with cargo cult raiders. Just a lot more of them. But the camps cement the core idea that the Legion is not just an autocracy - it is a CULT of personality, the fingers of Sallow's authority everywhere, no real independent thought, every individual bent to serve the Legion as a whole.
Now, seeing the territory under the Legion could have softened that view, given the alternative perspective; but that would have probably just reduced the Legion to being yet another corny faction. By only showing the military and Caesar himself, the Legion become a Nemesis - a unified, many headed monster for the player. Not every villain needs a "compelling" reason to make them an anti-hero. Some empires are just cruel and terrible. And the chosen character for this game was a cruel and terrible empire.
A mirror to House's autocracy and ego; but also a mirror to the NCR and their upholding of individual freedoms. Showing how the Legion is more successful in many ways but at a terrible price. And whether we as the player are willing to pay that price for "security" or "stability".
I can understand the assertion that a more multi-dimensional Legion might have been more interesting Ö That being said, I found there was a lot more gray areas and nuance among the factions in this story in general (Legion aside) than in some other Bethesda games Iíve played. The very fact we can have pretty much endless discussion about them kind of pays testament to that.
You tend to get better writing when it's Obsidian, rather than Bethesda, that's certainly true.
Fallout New Vegas is overall grayer than the games that preceded it in large part because the Enclave isn't the Big Bad in it unlike in the past games.
Even the Legion pales in comparison to the Enclave in terms of evil. The Legion are expansionist imperialist rapist slavers, but the Enclave wants to commit outright genocide. To them, everyone who is a "mutant" needs to die...and they consider everyone in the Wasteland who isn't them to be a mutant.
The character that best embodies the true nature of the Enclave is Frank Horrigan from Fallout 2. He's notably the one Final Boss in the series who cannot be talked down and must be killed.
Edited by M84 on Mar 11th 2019 at 2:19:55 AM
Far Harbor gives Obsidian a good run for their money
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