Day 36 with Fallout 4: The Ending (or Least One of the Them)

My heroic "Hopeful" pose.

My heroic “Hopeful” pose.

I continue my play diary of Fallout 4 on the PlayStation 4. This is it: the end of the game. Or, in true Fallout-style, at the least the end of this version of the main story. I can’t say that I’m pleased with the outcome, but I did enjoy the ride.

With all of the massive experience dumps of the final missions, I earned three levels. Playing on Very Hard difficulty has its tense moments, so I took the second rank of “Toughness”, which is essentially free armor. I’ve also been getting crippled fairly regularly. To address this I bumped my Endurance up to seven allowing me to take the first rank of “Adamantium Skeleton”, which reduces limb damage.

Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead!

What Comes Next

There are still more endings to see. I’m planning to revert to a save made just before building the teleporter and go through all of the available alliances. I’m not sure if I need to go back that far, but has the first real choice between factions, it seems the safest bet.

The patch didn't do any for this issue.

The patch didn’t do a thing for for my half-dog issue.

Now that the story is over, I feel justified in indulging in spoilers and finally digging into the massive amount of material built up around the game. I’ll use guides to find the rest of the magazines and the handful of bobbleheads I missed and catch up on all of the “Lets Play” videos I missed.

I may also start really digging into the building system. Some (but not nearly all) of the most irksome bugs seem to have been addressed by the most recent patch and I believe I may still have issues of “Picket Fences” magazines to find with additional options.

My Story so Far

I'm still not feeling great about slaughtering the Brotherhood.

I’m still not feeling great about slaughtering the Brotherhood.

I left off last time with my son, Father, demanding that I kill all my friends at the Railroad. He was kind of a dick about it. His reasoning was flimsy and fanatical. I decided to stick with the Railroad. I felt sure that a peace could be worked out between the Institute and the Railroad once I took over or, lacking that, that the synth rebellion would make the point moot. Things didn’t work out as logically as I’d hoped.

After my meeting with Father, my friends in the brewing rebellion informed me of a planned Brotherhood attack on Railroad Headquarters. The enmity between these groups already felt forced and this didn’t help. I rushed to Railroad HQ to a) inform them that I wasn’t going to kill them and b) defend them from the Brotherhood. I was successful on both counts.

Fallout 4_20160214203441

Well, killing Rhys’s smug face, wasn’t so bad.

This sent the Railroad off the deep-end. Instead of taking the obvious course of action and continuing to focus on the Institute, they decided to launch an all-out assault on the Brotherhood of Steel. By “all-out assault” they meant, of course, “send me to kill everybody”. The plan was for me, questionably supported by Deacon and Tinker Tom, to steal a Vertibird from the Cambridge Police Station and use it to infiltrate, then blow-up the Prydwin.

I had to kill everybody at the station, of course, including my friend Scribe Haylen and my frenemy Knight Rhys. I found a Guns and Bullets magazine in the safe there. I don’t think I’d ever found a magazine in a safe before. We appropriated the vertibird successfully, although we had to take a second down to do it (how many of those things did they bring?!) Tom wasn’t the best pilot, but he did get us to the Prydwin in our original pieces.

The plan was to sneak into the Prydwin, set explosive charges and sneak away. I tried to follow the plan, honest! I’m not sure if I was dealing with a bug or just poor luck but I couldn’t sneak past anybody, despite my fully upgrade sneak perk and a stealth boy. They always saw me! The new plan became: take a lot of drugs, and run through the whole mess in 30 seconds while mainlining stimpaks and listening to Yackety Sax. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.

The Boston Airport changed completely as a result of the crash and I lost the allegiance of the settlement there. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to ever gain their trust again, but I’m glad I didn’t do more of the Brotherhood settlement quests.

Translation: "MORE DEATH!"

Translation: “MORE DEATH!”

The Railroad was so pleased with my needlessly murdering an entire community that they decided to immediately do it again. The plan was to spark the synth rebellion, take over the relay control room and bring in the Railroad forces. This all went well, if vastly more violently than needed since I needed to kill everybody, even those cowering in fear. Instead of taking the same path I’d been using, we were redirected to the former robotics labs, now opened, before storming the Institute proper.

I fought my way to Father’s quarters. He wasn’t doing well. We had a good moment.  I was able to convince him to give me the codes needed to disable the older synths and begin evacuation proceedings.

That was it: we had won! The Institute was ours! I looked forward to using its vast resources to finally truly help the people of the Commonwealth, synths and humans alike. Such a facility, powered by the new reactor, could easily be turned into the greatest hospital and center of learning that the Commonwealth, or perhaps the world, had ever seen!

He better be happy with that crib I've been saving.

He better be happy with that crib I’ve been saving.

I never got the chance to try. Literally the only way to move forward was to blow it up. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, GAME?! The game offered no reasonable argument for destroying the facility – beyond Desdemona telling me too – at all. The utter stupidity of it soured the entire experience for me.

Wanting to get it over with, I charged into the reactor, set the dumbass bomb and ran out. In the relay room I found the robo-Shaun who had been reprogrammed to adore me. I’m all for people adoring me, so I agreed to take him along with us when we left.

Tinker Tom teleported us up to the balcony of the Mass Fusion Building where my only option was to push the stupidest button that I’ve ever pushed.

I don’t think that I’ve ever felt more betrayed by a game. Even the terrible ending of Mass Effect was at least logical in the framework they had constructed. This made absolutely no sense.

The site of the former Institute is now an irradiated pit poisoning the entire Charles river.

The site of the former Institute is now an irradiated pit poisoning the entire Charles river.

There were any number of reasons that could have been given to make this more palatable. Story elements that might have provided the player with some drive or need to make this distasteful task a sad necessity. Perhaps the Institute was harboring an army of synths moments from rampaging across the Commonwealth? Perhaps they were readying some kind of biological weapon? SOMETHING?!

Even the end game sequence was dull and soulless. Unlike Fallout: New Vegas, which provided an extended epilogue tailored to my choices and companions, this gave me a canned movie and a generic speech.

There are other endings to explore, but I’m pessimistic any of them will feel less forced and illogical than this.

Fallout 4_20160215010407

Fallout 4_20160215010407

I visited the Railroad to wrap up conversations and found new Shaun there. I sent him to my house at the Red Rocket Station. Between myself, Curie, Cait and Piper I think we can piece together enough of a mother for a robot boy.

He immediately started asking me to bring him various trinkets; telephones, microscopes and so forth. All of which I already had. He turned most of these into various weapon mods, but on the third visit he gave me the Wazer Wifle, a decent laser with unlimited ammo capacity.

That I do, kid. That I do.

That I do, kid. That I do.

Having little Robo-shaun around is actually kind of nice, even if he is a one-trick pony. I’d like to think that something more will be done with him in the upcoming DLC. Perhaps even a gentler adventure where you could play as Shaun. I doubt this will be the case. As impressive as Fallout 4 has been in so many ways – scope, mechanics, graphics – it’s sadly lacking in the quality of its story.

Of course this hasn’t stopped me from playing for well over 200 hours, so you might take my opinion with a grain of salt.

A Depressed Press SeriesPrevious:
Day 35 with Fallout 4: I become a Company Woman and the Confusion of Bunker Hill 


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  1. I stumbled upon your blog (?), but at day 17. Still, I’ve played through the game a few times (still an Elder Scrolls fan boy, Fallout feels like a second rare futuristic depressing knock off), and honestly this was fantastic! I love the thoughts and mindsets! I’ve been doing a similar blog for Skyrim (not posted yet), but now I need to go pick up Fo4 again! I’m going to search for some more of you work, keep it up! (ALSO, FOR THE RECORD, to hell with the Institute AND the railroad! BOS makes the most sense to me, as I don’t particularly trust the rowbits..)

    1. Thanks! Let me know when the Skyrim diary is up!

      I waver between “Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout”, mostly based on what I’m playing at the moment. The Elder Scrolls games definitely hold up better over time, in my opinion and, as good as “New Vegas” is, generally get the nod in story as well. Also there IS something to be said for shooting fire from your fingertips…

  2. I found the base game of Fallout pretty awful, and it took a bit of digging to find out why. The reason is to do with the voice acting.

    While that is great for creating quick involvement with characters, it also limits greatly what you can do. You can only pay for so many hours of voice acting, but text is huge, text is cheap, and text can be added to at any time.

    So it was a big deal for Far Harbour to give Valentine more depth, but they didn’t do so for any other characters, nor will they ever make a better ending, and modding a better ending is nigh impossible.

    In the end, you just have to shoot good. That’s it. You maxed out charisma? You can talk the legs off a donkey? Doesn’t matter. How are you at killing things? Not good? Come back when you are better!

    It should be possible to talk the various organisations into peace, even if that means no movie as a pay off, but i guess they figured most players just wanna xploshunnnn!

    I hope they are wrong, and that as a group we are a little better than that, but sadly, I doubt it.

    1. I tend to agree, with caveats… the fact that the endings sucked were all about the writing, not the voice acting – they could have had better endings or, minimally, better reasons for the endings they did have. Everything that happened felt forced and summary – that’s all the fault of the writing.

      I look at something like “The Witcher 3” and see a game with full voice acting, but one that’s infinitely more polished than “Fallout 4”. Truly, it puts it to shame.

      Full voice acting (especially when you bring dual sexes into play) is, absolutely, a huge drain on the budget. If not directly, then at least indirectly, it leads to cutting corners simply to make the numbers. That said, we’re really not that far from synthetic voice generation being a real possibility for these kinds of games.

      You might still hire an actor to do major lines, speeches and “jargon”. They’d also spend time to record basic phenemes from which ANYTHING else could be generated. Then you get the best of both worlds – full professional voice acting with tons (and tons) of content. Not insignificantly, you’d also open truly original stories up to the modding community.

      The technology isn’t _quite_ there yet, but it’s damn close. The delay it likely to be more legal than technological…

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