Is Elder Lyons a sneering Imperialist?

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by CT Phipps, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I was just going over my old "The Moral Ambiguity of Fallout 3" essay and thought I'd share it with you guys.

    http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-morality-ambiguity-of-brotherhood.html

    The Moral Ambiguity of Fallout 3

    I'm a huge fan of Fallout 3 and consider it five or six on my favorite video games of all time. It's not the game doesn't have flaws, it's just that I love the hybrid shooter-RPG's atmosphere and world-building. Nothing is more interesting than traveling around the wasteland, exploring, and shooting Deathclaws or Enclave.

    However, one of the things which has always bugged me is the criticism of the game which focuses on the black and white conflict between the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel. They claim the latter is treated as a group of white knights and heroes when they were previously a more ambiguous faction. I actually think the faction is a lot more nuanced than that or, if they were written as heroes, they're actually of a very dubious sort.

    The Brotherhood of Steel has been Fallout's signature organization since way back in Wasteland, Fallout's predecessor game. The Brotherhood of Steel, excepting Fallout: Tactics and the much less well-received Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, has never been the focus of the series. It's more like Wolverine from the X-men. Wolverine appears in virtually everything related to the X-men because he's, by far, their most popular member. This is toned down in Fallout: New Vegas where they're only side characters, much like in the original two Fallout games, but is in full-force during Fallout 3.


    Fallout's version of Gandalf or is it Saruman?

    What is the Brotherhood of Steel, you ask? Well if you don't know, you're probably not a fan of Fallout. Imagine a group of guys dressed up like Iron Man who can't fly but carry huge plasma rifles and wander through the Wasteland, killing monsters. Virtually every game has the player character either as a member of the organization or possessing the option for joining them. Only Fallout 2, I believe, has its main character never become a member. Instead, the Brotherhood just sort of watchs his actions and cryptically comments on them.

    The Brotherhood of Steel was never meant to be the good-guy faction of Fallout. They're actually a collection of morally ambiguous isolationists who, aside from the player character, don't associate with outsiders and don't do anything constructive. Far from going out into the Wasteland to right wrongs or fight mutants, the Brotherhood is supposed to have the mission of gathering technology from the Pre-War era. The Brotherhood, then, sits on it. They don't attempt to use it to rebuild humanity or anything constructive, they're only supposed to keep it from the hands of 'savages.'

    I.e anyone not them.

    This changed in Fallout: Tactics where the Mid-Western Brotherhood (to differentiate it from the one in California) had the option of becoming the pioneers of a new civilization in the Chicago area. We'll ignore Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel because of the circumstances of its publication and ill-reception have resulted in Bethesda declaring it non-canon but that game continued the trend of the Brothers ignoring their mission in order to bring order to the Wasteland.

    Then there was Fallout 3.


    Conquest of the Midwest.

    Fallout 3 is the most controversial game in the franchise with fans disagreeing violently over whether it was the best thing ever or the worst. Personally, I think it rescued the franchise from dying a slow-death and allowed the even-better Fallout: New Vegas to be created. One of the controversial elements to the game, however, was the use of the Brotherhood of Steel as the Ultimate Goods-GuysTM of the setting.

    In the game, your player ends up more or less conscripted into the Brotherhood of Steel towards the end. The character of Elder Lyons is depicted as a saintly Obi-Wan Kenobi type who leads the player characters to smash the evil Nazi-like Enclave and deliver fresh-water to the impoverished people of the Capital Wasteland. You can betray his trust and annihilate the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel towards the end but there's no reason to do this other than your character is a massive [censored]. Heck, the Broken Steel DLC implies his cute warrior-girl daughter has a crush on you if male.

    Compared to the more nuanced depiction of the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout: New Vegas, a lot of people have complained about the East Coast Brotherhood's depiction. They claim they are goody-two-shoes inappropriate to the Wasteland or traitors to the original concept. Fans have even gone so far as to state their preference for the Brotherhood's rivals in the Brotherhood Outcasts, a group of ex-Brotherhood members who seem to only exist for the purpose of insulting your character when encountered.


    They didn't sign up for being cannon fodder in Elder Lyon's war against the natives.

    In truth, I think Fallout 3 nicely re-introduces a lot of the controversies of the original Brotherhood of Steel while laying the groundwork for the organization's implied eventual collapse in Fallout: New Vegas to have meaning. I also think Elder Lyons and the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood have a great deal more moral ambiguity than fans might realize. The touches are small but deliberate, highlighting the group isn't quite such a paragon of virtue as might be thought.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Bethesda meant for the Brotherhood of Steel to be a positive organization in Fallout 3 but I think its depiction is deliberately tragic. They invoke Arthurian imagery all over the place, including Elder Lyons serving as a Merlin-like figure for the boy Arthur Maxson, who is heir to the Brotherhood of Steel's founder. The Brotherhood has abandoned strict interpretation of their code for a more humanitarian one, believing they should protect the innocent and allow volunteers to join their society instead of isolating themselves.

    This sounds all well and good but by the time you actually encounter Elder Lyons and his crew, they're a crumbling remnant of their former selves. Half of the organization has abandoned Elder Lyons, becoming the Brotherhood Outcasts, while an unknown number of its members have perished in a lengthy war against the Capital Wasteland's Super Mutants. The Brotherhood is still alive but only because of the recruits they 'acquired' in one of the more questionable actions in the series. In short, Bethesda has the protagonist of the game join a Camelot on its last legs.


    Madison Li and James built the Purifier. The Brotherhood of Steel, however, takes it as their own.

    This isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, bad leadership does not mean moral ambiguity. Besides, everything can potentially work out for the Brotherhood in the end depending on the actions of the player character. You can defeat the Enclave, destroy the Super-Mutants, get the Brotherhood an Air Force base full of Pre-War technology, and even give them access to a Holy Grail of life-giving clean water in the radioactive desert that the Capital Wasteland has become. All's well that ends well.

    Or is it?

    One of the most delightfully subversive elements of Fallout 3 is its awareness of symbolism and the dangers of nostalgia. Fallout has always mocked 1950s utopianism, treating it as the racist fear-mongering time it was. However, Fallout 3 took this ball and ran with it. Everywhere in the Capital Wasteland are reminders of how backwards thinking and stasis resulted in the human race destroying itself.


    Sarah Lyons never stops to question her father's policies and encourages you to do the same.

    Yet, at the end of the game, you've given the Brotherhood of Steel effective control over the Capital Wasteland. The ending of the main part of the campaign was a conflict over, not whether the water purifier Maguffin of the game would be used, but who would control it. Both sides intend to use the resulting water as a form of bribery, trading it and military protection for fealty. The Brotherhood of Steel is just more nice about it. In short, your great accomplishment is re-introducing feudalism to the heart of America.

    The Brotherhood of Steel's ownership of the Purifier and plan to use it to "help" the Wastelanders is something the Lone Wanderer supports in a good karma ending but even in the game, it is questionable if it is a good thing. Madison Li, a far more intelligent woman than most wastelanders, strongly dislikes the Brotherhood's unilateral control over the device. If the Enclave had approached her with an offer to "protect" her as the Brotherhood did, the ending of the game could very well have been a reversal of events with no changes.


    Not happy with the Brotherhood of Steel.

    Indeed, the Brotherhood of Steel and Enclave are mirror images of each other in Fallout 3. Both want to rule the Capital Wasteland in order to "protect" its citizens. At least the Enclave forces under Colonel Autumn, who make a poor showing of convincing the Lone Wanderer and James to support them. Had Colonel Autumn better people skills then he might have actually been able to come to an accommodation with the family from Vault 101.

    The DLC known as The Pitt can take this one step further. Your character can discover Elder Lyons "scoured" a city of degenerates clean of virtually all-life and one of his paladins stayed behind to keep order. Said paladin became infatuated with the idea of restoring civilization and reintroduces slavery in order to rebuild the city of Pittsburgh. You have the option of overthrowing him and taking his place, making yourself a King in the Wasteland.


    Elder Lyons believes he is of a superior culture and this justifies killing or ruling less "civilized" beings.

    Indeed, Elder Lyons has a history of serving as a somewhat condescending imperialist to the Capital Wasteland. Not only does he unilaterally seize control over the most precious resource in the Commonwealth (the Purifer) but he also proceeds to dictate how it is distributed to the public. When he encountered the Pitt, Elder Lyons slaughtered the entirety of the population there out of a sense of disgust for their mutated savage ways. The "cleansing" of the Pitt reminds me, in retrospect of Mister House doing the same to Freeside.

    Given the Brotherhood of Steel under Elder Lyons self-righteously destroyed the people of the Pitt for their offensive morality (one brought about due to circumstances beyond their control due to the toxins the environment), kidnapped their children (except for the mutated ones), and has his men take pot-shots at ghouls for their deformities - they're not really nearly as nice a bunch as they might initially appear. Worse, they're people who believe their actions are absolutely justified. There's nothing more dangerous than a self-righteous crusader IMHO.

    Food for thought.
     
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  2. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    203
    Sep 29, 2015
    Dude . There's no gain from conquering the capital wasteland . Imperialists invade places mainly to steal raw resources or goods that the locals are producing by farms on factories etc . Sometimes , they invade places to eliminate foes that would threaten them in the future . They do not invade because they are the bad guys .
    The capital wasteland is a desert . The fact that the Enclave wants to conquer it by army and mainly by propaganda ( radio messages , fixing the water purifier presumely to make people follow the enclave ) makes no sense at all and is one of major plot holes of Fallout 3 . Why would coloner autumn want to conquer a desert ?
    You wrote that the game has been critisized for being "black and white" . Being black and white isn't fallout 3 main flaw , its main flaw is that its story doesn't doesn't add up . The enclave wanting to "conquer" the wastes ( what's there to conquer anyway ) is just bad writing .
    The same would be said about elder lyons if he wanted to conquer the wastes . Thankfully , he just wants to help random wastelanders , which may be black and white but at least makes some sense for a change ( not many things in the game do ) .
    Think about it . And by all means do reply , if you think i'm wrong .



    PS : I love exploring the wasteland , killing raiders and sleeping in empty houses . I love creating a character , picking up skills and i love choice and consequence when it's available . I especially love random spawns .
    Which is i have a good time playing fallout 3 . But there's just no arguing that the writing of the main plot is far from being " morally ambiguous " . It simply doesn't make sense .
    It is copying themes from older fallout games as well as other stuff , and ports them into a new universe which can only exist as an alibi to keep on playing , and falls apart if you think about it even a little bit . There's more logic in the flintstones universe than there is in fallout 3 :)
    You don't have to dislike fallout 3 or like the older fallout games to see what i'm saying .
     
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Eh, the thing is the entire WORLD is like the Capital Wasteland or worse according to Fallout 3. Moriarty flat out sys that he fled Great Britain to come to the Capital Wasteland because it was a better life than the one he was living. There's no green zones in the world left, it's all rubble and radiation barring NCR.

    The Enclave wants to conquer this because it has the POTENTIAL to be a green verdant paradise thanks to James' research.

    As for Elder Lyons, why NOT build your kindgom here? It's better than the Pitt.
     
  4. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    Well, we're off to a bad start already.
    Top Bants.
    That's a funny way of spelling "A super-technologically advanced group of isolationists, who collect technology in hopes of preserving it."
    Except that New Vegas presented the brotherhood as a tiny organisation, on the verge of extinction. Fallout 3 presented them as powerful enough to start expanding to the other side of the world.
    No, your greatest accomplishment is purifying water.

    Nobody really needs the water, as most cities have there own source of water anyway. All you've effectively done is let the Brotherhood of Steel start there own business.
    Because she wanted to work alone without getting involved with wasteland politics maybe?

    And if she hates the Brotherhood so much, why does she immediately go crying to them for help when the Enclave shows up.
    Except for every place portrayed in 1, 2, New Vegas, as well as heavily implied Caesar's Legion's lands.

    This "The entire world is barren" is a crappy Bethesda meme.
    That's not proof of your point, that's just proof that the DLC writing team is 100X better than Emil.

    Were it not for the Pitt, the Brotherhood would be 100X goody two shoes.
     
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  5. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I sincerely doubt the NCR-Brotherhood War had begun by the time Elder Lyons and his Chapter were dispatched. Even so, a single chapter is still pretty damn huge. The one in the Mojave was almost annihilated and still a threat to the other factions.

    Also, purified water to drink is a different monkey than purified water to farm.
     
  6. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    Not exactly. IIRC, they mostly amounted to being a nuisance to whatever factions exist rather than a legitimate threat which is why every faction gives the Courier the option to kill them (with the NCR being the only ones that can keep them in line).
     
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  7. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    Please post the "Moral ambiguity of Fallout 4" and "Moral Ambiguity of Nuka World" posts here next for shits 'n giggles.
    Very few people in the wasteland actually need that water. Rivet City gets on fine without it, Megaton gets on fine without it.

    The only people who actually need water are the water hobos outside Rivet City, and even they don't get it in the end.

    The Brotherhood is in no position to set up feudalism.
     
  8. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    Not option. ORDERS to kill them because they're a threat.

    Remember what just a small number of Power Armored soldiers did with the Enclave Remnant.

    As for what the Purifier is doing, if you check the Purifier in Broken Steel, it's killing the Mirelurks in the basin and also causing the sides to bloom. The whole point of the purifier isn't just purified water to drink but the fact that it will heal the entire Tidal Basin.
     
  9. mithrap

    mithrap Ring a ding-ding, baby

    425
    May 17, 2016
    Long and interesting text. A good read and thoughts.

    Yet, Matthias names you as "choosen one" and recognize that you'll be the doom of the Enclave, based on nothing. Which is actually very interesting, as it shows that even the brotherhood can fall back to tribalism, local legends etc. A subtle way to show their decadence and their fall, in my mind. As if even them cannot escape the degenerescence of their surroundings, after all these years trying to isolate themselves from it.

    Despite being a very humble title, Tactics was the one which built up the most morally complex brotherhood of the entire franchise, in my mind. Way more than in Fallout 3 or 4. Until the conflict escalates to the calculator, the brotherhood is basically a bunch of raiders who simply had the chance to start off with better equipment. You spend missions threatening tribes so that they give away their prime males, their meals etc, in exchange of your "protection". And there's a mission when you have to evacuate a hummer out of a city which didn't pay their due, and you shoot the hungry people on sight as they approach the vehicle full of food.
    Yet, there's ground for something else. Something bigger. And you see a band of raiders becoming a force. Either a fascist faction with actual extermination camps, or an actual advanced civilization. It's very interesting to me, because it shows the roots of despotism/enlightement, rather than just despotism/enlightement. The paradox of a golden age started with pitty feudalism, or how sneaky a dictatorship can be at its first years.

    Which is interesting, considering New Vegas' thematics with the Legion. Rather than imitating the old America, let's go far, far behind, into a very ancient past, and let's adapt it to the new world. That fits the general Fallout theme, which seems to be "how to deal with the errors of the past" ?
    The brotherhood you present is a bit different, because unlike Caesar, who is aware of the Roman Empire's history, Lyons probably doesn't know shit about feudal Europe, medieval knights and crusaders. He just hops on the very ancient past by accident.
    And that's interesting. Isolated, with no contact, and in hostile environment, does a group of people automatically repeat the systems of their ancestors, even against their will? That would be quite a pessimistic approach on humanity, and do you think that Fallout 3 aims to take this one? As far as I'm concerned, Fallout 3 had a lot of messianic, religious undertones, and ultimately provided a positive view on the individual.
    Maybe the idea is that the individual can redeem himself from the past, while groups will always be wrong. But then, there's EDEN who contradicts it. So, I really don't know.
     
  10. Tiny Tim

    Tiny Tim Still Mildly Glowing

    203
    Sep 29, 2015
    What you're saying is that the capital wasteland ( which is not anything close to a state or a community, it doesn't have borders or government but rather a bunch of hills and rocks and ruins and very few people scattered around it) , is somehow currently the best place in the world
    [ a world where, like in the capital wasteland, nothing really grows anywhere and people have somehow survived by scavenging endless 200 year-old supplies ] ( obviously we're talking about a different lore than the classic fallout lore here but let's say we are on a different universe made by bethesda to see if it makes sense )
    and draws two major armies to fight over who gets to rule it because it has the potential to have a water purifier somewhere in it. Also , because why not ? I mean it's better than the Pitt .
    I'm deliberately trying to make it sound silly to make conversation but this is what we're saying , right ?
    Now , add what jo said . The people of the wasteland already seem to have water . Megaton for instance has a small water purifier . Robots make purified water ( like your butler ) . It's not like people are dying of thirst , in fact some of them are quite old and remember we're talking about 200 years after the war . What james is going to do is probably give them more and better quality water . Which is very nice but doesn't seem that important .

    It's really not good enough reasoning, is it ? At best , this plot is not very good . At worst , it doesn't make sense . Personally , i can't see this brotherhood-enclave war on who gets to turn on the water purifier and control the random settlements around it ( in fact quite far away from it) having a reasonable explanation .


    Your reasoning , and the probably the games , would make sense if the capital wasteland was some sort of important and profitable state . In fact , i think bethesda generally paints the fallout universe like it's pre-war great america after a crisis . Your post is very interesting , but i think you fail to see the major plot holes of the game which, in my opinion, makes you overestimate its story .
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
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  11. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    The "already has water" argument is one which people keep making but doesn't really hold water. It's based on the idea that people actually can survive in a desert. Which is, bluntly, something which happens in the world and has happened not with modern technology but for thousands of years. It's also something which can easily fall apart and result in extinction of communities. In Sudan, for example, loss of drinking water is something which can and does kill people whenever sources run out.

    Critics try and paint the idea that because there's technology in Megaton and Rivet City to allow the people to survive that they don't "need" the Purifier. This is, of course, bullshit. For one, the game makes it clear Megaton's Purifier is old and breaking down so they're all going to die pretty soon. You manage to help the thing keep chugging along but it's falling apart and the only man who can repair it is really really old. Rivet City can probably keep theirs going indefinitely but they're trapped in a battleship because the environment outside of the community is a radioactive hellhole.

    The essence of Project: Purity is that it is a machine which will result in the removal of the permanent or at least centuries-long radiation which is concentrated in the water around the Capital Wasteland and allow the environment to heal. This will allow an abundance of drinking water which can be used for crops and also water to drink that will not have to be rationaed or sold. The idea of having a valuable resource which is no longer scarce but in abundance being a minor issue is pretty silly. It's like saying, "Mad Max can scavenge gasoline so why does he need the help of the Riggers in the Road Warriors."

    I also comment on the fact that we don't see crops outside of Rivet City's hydroponics garden because the game is an extrapolation. There's not literally just 20 people in Megaton or Rivet City but probably hundreds if not a couple of thousand. Game-engine limitations mean that we're seeing a smaller more compact world and the environments are not literally true. It's why Fallout 3 doesn't take as long to walk as the actual Washington D.C. Suspension of disbelief and all that.

    Still, while I think there's other places in Fallout 3 better than the Capital Wasteland, the reason the Enclave wants to conquer the region also might include they live there. You conquer what you're nearby. I just think the Fallout world of Fallout 3 is representative that the world is an anarchic hellhole, not the weird fanon B.S. that it's mostly rebuilt. That's trying to enforce the noncanon fanon desire for a rebuilt world 200 years later which Bethesda keeps hammering home is not true.

    Except, the BoS in Fallout 4 are a bunch of assholes. :)
     
  12. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    Fair enough. Though Yes Man's orders were more suggestions, Moore's orders were driven by her grudge against them, and the Courier is still free to ignore those orders.

    The way those orders were given by some of the factions sounded more like the Brotherhood was merely a loose end to be tied up rather than a severe problem (like with Moore).

    As for the Remnants, they do have the best Power Armor in the Fallout world and they do have pristine Energy Weapons. The intimidation factors is there plus they still retained their skills and discipline so there's that to consider. Lastly, they have better adapted to the new status quo a lot better than the Brotherhood did (IIRC the NCR-Brotherhood War started because the Brotherhood got scared by the sudden increase of power the NCR got and wanted to restore the older status quo while retrieving tech the NCR was using). So, the Remnants would be a lot better than the Brotherhood in New Vegas (better tech, better training and more adaptable).
     
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  13. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    In the case of Moore, you actually have to go to NCR's ambassador and get her overruled in order to be able to spare the Brotherhood of Steel and get a treaty with them due to the fact NCR is still technically at war with them. It also costs the ambassador his career because, well, they're such a dire and hated threat. Remember, the whole point of your mission for the Mojave Elder is also about showing him NCR is weak and not a threat to THEM.

    Why he can open up the Bunker again.

    I think the Brotherhood of Steel is overrated, personally, but I think it's important to treat Power-Armored soldiers with energy weapons as every bit as dangerous as the equivalent of throwing a bunch of tanks in the middle of the battle. The BoS Paladins are also not a bunch of old men either.

    The BoS lost the war against NCR but I imagine it was a bloody and nasty fight. Remember, they said their primary advantage was numbers, which means the BOS probably inflicted horrific causalties. Another reason why I'm sympathetic to Colonel Moore.
     
  14. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    This, I can definitely agree with you. The way Bethesda's Fallouts tout them, it makes them seem like the best hope for the Wasteland and that they are the icons of the series when in reality, the original incarnations from 1 had problems too (though better controlled and not having the years of isolation and misinterpretation guiding them) and that they faded into the background as time went on (like how they barely do anything in 2).

    New Vegas's incarnation was how I foresaw the Brotherhood becoming after years of continuing their behavior without concessions. They still have the armor, the energy weapons and the training. What's different is the world around them and how little they have adapted (though I wish we could have seen their devolution from 1/2 to New Vegas a lot more).
     
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  15. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
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  16. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I think he is just a poorly written character.
     
  17. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I think it's more interesting to discuss why a character is well-written or poorly written and how they feel than blanket statements like that.
     
  18. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I rather not try to draw a lake from an arid bunch of litter sand in a pot.

    Bethesda has never made any honest attempt at putting any effort in writting for Fallout. They saw an organization whose higher rankign members wore power armor and jumped at the opportunity of turning them into Knights of the round table led by a "wise" old man with a beard, that's like barebones conceptualizing, they even went as far as having them say stupid crap like "Steel be with you" and made the Old man a genericly nice guy who you are supposed to see Gandalf/Dumbledore/Merlin/etc on and hatch on that to feel anything for it.
     
  19. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    The effort to put down Fallout 3 always strikes me as ennobling rather than demeaning because it basically shuts down honest discourse. Star Wars is one of the most simplistic stories of modern media but it is massively good, nevertheless, because of how it uses it. Bethesda's efforts in Fallout 3 was also impressive with massive levels of attention to detail including positioning skeletons and Med-X to know how they died and other causal bits of storytelling.

    Just causally waving your hand and saying, "they sucked" just doens't work for me. Especially since I roll my eyes at the whole, "The BOS was a bunch of shining knights" since that's not the story in the game. The story being Elder Lyons and the Lyosn Pryde are while half of the group are deserters. You also have how their philosophy can go horribly wrong with Ashur.
     
  20. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Star Wars is only decently fun, not "massively good", and even then only the first 3 movies are decently fun. Pop cultural success doesn't equate to quality, and this goes double for anything bethesda squeezes out.
    The story isn't that the BOS was a bunch of Knights in Shining armor? they are presented as nothing but a generically shallow "good faction" whose members spout corny shit like "Steel be with you" because they are trying to ape the Jedi knights too while they are at it. The deserter faction is so small and insignificant to the story that they are barely even worth mentioning. All they do is heap praise on your dadee and then you have no other path in game than joining them with a big smile on their face.