I hate "War Never Changes".

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Herr Mike, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    Indeed I do.

    It was fine in the original Fallout intro. But it was a very poor choice to make it a recurring trope.

    For one, the game is not about the war. Who cares about the war? It's a plot device.

    Second, war sure as shit does change, as evidenced by the freaking wasteland we see in the games telling us it never changes.

    And wars can now be ended by a goon in a blue and yellow jumpsuit, something that could never have happened before.
  2. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    it's about motivations and suffering for me.

    so no, "war never changes"...
  3. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    I guess "some things about war never change" doesn't have the same ring to it.
  4. Lepidus

    Lepidus First time out of the vault

    Jun 22, 2008
    Indeed. You should also look at the outcome of war, and the ebb and flow of victories. With my limited knowledge of the history of the world, I would say that all wars are caused because one group desires something another group has. Then, both sides win and lose battles until one group takes it too far and destroys the majority of the other's land/belongs/people or whatever else they might have. Ultimately, both sides grieve over the losses of many people... whom both sides wishes they could bring back after the war, and then both groups usually feel poorly about the whole affair. So in a larger scale, War never changes... and I believe that is the idea for which Interplay went when their writers crafted that statement. Perhaps that's it. I know somebody is going to yell at me and tell me that I am completely wrong, but still...
  5. NFSreloaded

    NFSreloaded Still Mildly Glowing

    May 5, 2009
    It was fine in the first two Fallout's, because it was only said once in Perlman's narration. Fallout 3 used it too much and made the franchise's tagline cheesy.

  6. RPGenius

    RPGenius Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 10, 2005
    As has been said, War is about suffering, cruelty and greed. These things never change, and it is this, along with humanity's hubris that has scarred the world.

    And having it as a constant, as something that also "never changes" is a nice move, thematically.
  7. Noodlemac

    Noodlemac First time out of the vault

    Jul 3, 2009
    I agree with Lepidus.

    In a smaller perspective the game is about the struggle for life. The people who try to survive, and the ones who try to rebuild and make good of the land. But of course there are always rebels or someone with a 'better' plan, and this creates conflict which is the cause of war.
  8. archont

    archont It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 20, 2008
    Fallout 1, 2 and even the tactics intro focused on history, - the how and why while having a different tone - not pseudo-philosophy.

    "Blood has been spilled in the name of everything, from God to justice to simple psychotic rage"

    That's an actual quote, yes.

    The famous "War never changes" quote was in tone with rest of the intro in the original games - bleak, depressing, harsh, dry and apathetic. The narrator is objective.

    Bethesda took a different approach - first of all, the most obvious thing is the music. Much more dynamic, american action movie-like. The text doesn't tell much information, but is much more descriptive and subjective, simpler and more personal. The language itself is also more colorful and direct.

    The line "War never changes" fits well with F1/2's style, but for F3 it should probably sound like "No matter how much blood spilled, humanity doesn't learn" or something like that.
  9. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
  10. NFSreloaded

    NFSreloaded Still Mildly Glowing

    May 5, 2009
    Oh, I don't remember that. :oops:
    Well, that probably means that it was too obvious in FO3's intro, since I only heard that once and I did recall that.
  11. UncleSlappy

    UncleSlappy First time out of the vault

    Jun 2, 2009
    It was great in Fallout 1 because the Master's utopian vision boiled down into the same bloody thing as all conflicts in history, one group beating the crap out of others in pursuit of something illusory.

    To a lesser extent it worked in Fallout 2, because too many people not enough resources addition to that speech was tied into the Enclave. Their goal was essentially to eradicate the mainland population so they could take control of post-apocalyptic California and its resources for their population.

    Maybe I just read too much into those though.
  12. Axess+

    Axess+ First time out of the vault

    Apr 25, 2009
    I thought it was nice because it really gave more drama into it.
  13. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    I think it's safe to say it made perfect sense in the true Fallout games, but it was completely stupid in Fallout 3, like pretty much everything!
  14. Alphadrop

    Alphadrop A right proper chap.

    Aug 21, 2008
    I dunno it is sort of relevant, nothing really changes in Fallout 3. Nothing changed before you turned up and nothing really changed afterwards despite what you did.
  15. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    That's life I guess.
  16. dirtbag

    dirtbag It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 11, 2004
    Yes it did because in the end there was a super über mega metal turbo action fucking hero man dude who could kill everybody with VATS
  17. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 15, 2008
    The intro to Fallout 3 does a lot of stuff wrong, not just artistically but also in what an intro ought to achieve.

    First of all, it creates the idea that the apocalypse has basically just ended, whereas we're already 200 years onwards from the war. This should've been told by the intro. But I guess they weren't too keen on making it clear that 200 years passed.

    Secondly, the second snippet from the intro:
    In the year 2077, after millennia of armed conflict, the destructive nature of man could sustain itself no longer. The world was plunged into an abyss of nuclear fire and radiation. But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world. Instead, the apocalypse was simply the prologue to another bloody chapter of human history. For man had succeeded in destroying the world - but war, war never changes.
    raises the idea that war is still ongoing, but this is not explained. From the perspective of the vault dweller and considering what he and the player knows, I guess this is alright. But, whereas the first 'war never changes' raises the idea that the nature of war, the reasons for war to spring up, never change, this second time the phrase is used, it hovers in mid air without context. The logical connection of 'but war never changes' with the rest of the paragraph can only be explained if the audience fills in the idea that a kind of war is still raging and that the nature of this war is still the same, even after the apocalypse. For an introduction, something which zips by pretty fast, this leaves too much open.

    Thirdly: Because, in Vault 101: no one ever enters and no one ever leaves.
    This is just plain old bad writing. It's the kind of catchphrase you'd use for a cheesy horror-house movie. Just wrong.

    Fourth, the intro in Fallout 3 fails to create a bleak image of society. Yes, the world is in shambles. But society is not even mentioned. Fallout 1 wonderfully starts with a US soldier executing what looks like a non-combatant, than waving to the camera, to switch over to a soldier in armor with the American flag behind him. This immediately sets the tone and can, perhaps, be seen as criticizing and sarcastic. Fallout 2 creates this kind of criticism by having an enclave soldier eradicate a newly opened fault. Fallout 3...well, it does nothing really with regard to the depravity that humanity ought to have become according to 'war never changes'. But I guess for a game which is aiming to sell to the masses such self-criticism of society would be unwanted.

    In fact, I would like to argue that Fallout 3 once again puts America in a victim role and returns to a Vietnam era style patriotism. This might be a bit far fetched though, and I don't really have the time to put too much thought into this.
  18. Panker_u_sakou_starom

    Panker_u_sakou_starom It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 16, 2009
    The quote is not about war at all, because it isn't the war that never changes - because it does - the tools, means and rules of warfare are...evolving throughout our history at an exponential rate; this line is about us, humans.

    For me it describes the very essence of humanity: no matter what we do, no matter where or when we are, we never learn; we just keep making the same old mistakes over and over again. And the most vanquishing fact is that we continue to do so - intentionally. At that point the motives became quite irrelevant.


    I wonder: was there ever a concept or some idea for "war-never-changes" monologue for VB that leaked to the public? Sure would want to hear that one.
  19. Julius

    Julius First time out of the vault

    Jul 11, 2009
    I agree to an extent with archont.

    "War, War never changes" appeals to me with its aesthetic rather than its intellectual substance. The phrase is not meant to provoke solemn thought on the nature of war, but rather evoke a feeling of the evil of war and the foolishness of man, a grey apathetic ambience of the all-consuming nuclear war and the wasteland that followed.
    This part of the narration in particular betrays its excellence, and how it is an actual narration, and not just a written text read aloud.

    The phrase is a microcosm, in just a few words it substantiates the emotion and ambience of the entire narration. Alone it doesn't have much, but together with the narration it becomes a deeply profound phrase, when uttered out of context one can immediately recall the feeling of the narration as a whole. Like when you meet meet old friends, just a single word can bring you back and make you laugh while others around you stare confused without understanding, so does "War, War never changes" evoke the grey apathy and desolateness of the narration and perhaps fallout itself.

    By this property the narration holds antecedents to the greatest narrations of Western culture.
    Let's take the Iliad, which was probably a narrative for generations before being written down.
    The Iliad begins:
    "Anger, goddess sing, which caught the Peleid Achilleus and in thousandfold torments the Achaians wrought."

    Already the first word encapsulates the entire narration, Anger, more specifically the anger of Achilleus, is the central theme. His anger against Agamemnon, his anger at the death of Patrocles. The technique of opening narration with a microcosm of it is something researchers think have played a central role in remembering the narration itself. By having a strong opening microcosm that stands out in the brain, the details and emotions of the rest of the story are anchored in it.
    Furthermore, imagine the power of such an opening when given around the bonfire, already from the onset seizing the audience and blossoming the story up for them.

    If narrated correctly, already the depth of emotions and tragedies of the story will lie in the voice and mimic of the narrator as he recollects it. This it what makes the opening microcosm a technique that truly flourishes only with narration. And it is why "War, War never changes" is so brilliant.
  20. Herr Mike

    Herr Mike Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 28, 2008
    Hell yes. That's what I'm talking about.

    Then the second most brilliant moment of the series is when an outhouse explodes and throws shit everywhere in Fallout 2. It's a wonderful metaphor on the human condition and very Oedipean or something.