The most interesting and balanced choices of the Franchise

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by naossano, May 31, 2014.

  1. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    To be honest, one of the selling point of the franchise always been the ability to make choices and deal with the consequences.
    Some of these choices are there to define your character, if you are greedy, altruistic, pacifist, bound to a code of honor.
    Many of them include options that are better than others for the people involved. Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to achieve a greater good.

    But there are moment in the franchise you just can't really be sure of what would be the best option for everyone.
    Sometimes, you just never end to weight the cons & pros of a decision. Sometimes you are haunted forever by the same question "Did i made the right call ?"

    In short, this is the thread about the decisions in which this could be hard or even impossible to be certain you made the right call.
    This is also about decisions about things you care about, that make you really scratch your brain about it, even months/years after you played the game. Not unconsequential choices like dying or not in the Jefferson Memorial.

    There is no need to select only one.


    Personnally, i recall a handfull of them.

    The two main outcomes of Honest Hearts.
    I initially thought that the obvious solution was to kick the white legs out, so the sorrows and the dead horses keep their territories.
    But if you do this, it weaken the relationship between the two tribes and cause Daniel to lose hope.
    If you choose to flee instead of attack the white legs, it strenghten the relationship between the two tribes, and their relationship with the new canaans.
    But somehow some characters are haunted by a feeling of regret. Also, the Zion area on itself will remain hostile for a long time.
    So, even if i feel that evacuating is a little better, i cannot be certain of it.

    About Dog/God in Dead Money, i get that two of the four option allow the shell to live, while not being slave to Dog hunger.
    It seems that the fuse allows the being to be complete and in peace, but on the other hand, it feels like God was trapped for so long inside Dog, that i feel unfair to not release him.

    There is also the four endings of FoT.
    If we had to sum it up, there are two "good" and two "bad" endings.
    Amongs the two "good", there is the option to destroy the Calculator and the option to fuse with it.
    Contrary to the Fo3 end choices that have next to no consequences, choosing to fuse with or destroy the Calculator produce large consequences in the whole midwest area.
    By fusing with the Calculator, you are fusing the BOS army with the robots army, creating a super power that would know no competition.
    Choosing to strenghten them so much or not essentially depends on if you support the BOS codex as a whole. Contrary to Lyons crew, this BOS is clearly in the grey area.
    Sure, if you are there, you are able to guide them toward the best outcome you think of, but still, you break the balance of the Wasteland.
    On the other hand, considering the alternatives in the games, you might think that it is better to drive off those raiders, beastlords and other racists. But creating your own monster make me feel uneasy about it.
    (not even mentionning the two other outcomes that could be a disaster for the area)

    On same path of these FoT four endings, there are the question of the leadership of Redding (New Reno/NCR/Vault City/Indie) or New Vegas (NCR/Legion/House/Indie) in which all the factions involved have pros & cons.
    Also, the flaws of the NCR that FoNV help to highlight turn the choices about them in Fo2, in a different light. I was more inclined to support them initially, for the control of Redding. Now, the decision seems harder than it was.

    There are three decision that i would like to highlight, even if i feel they could have been better.

    The option of joining the Unity in Fallout 1. Considering it lead to a non-standard ending, it breaks the balance in my opinion.
    If you had the opportunity to actually join the unity, become a big green and help to Master to discover new vaults, to go deeper into its teachings, and see actual improvements in societies led by super-mutants (like Broken Hills), it would have made that choice an actual one.
    Currently if feel like something you consider in theory, not a choice you scratch your brain about, basically because you don't actually have that choice. (or don't have enough content to balance it with the other option)

    I also liked the choices provided at the end of the Pitt. The problem is that the consequences of these choices fall flat.
    There is almost no changes in NPC dialogs, there is no slideshows at the end, nothing about short-terms or long-terms consequences.
    It really feels like the workd is half done (or quarter done).
    On the other hand, it gives a tiny hope in the ability of the Fo3 dev to handle proper RPG.
    You have given reasons to care about both groups, enough knowledge of the virus, or the cure to make a call.
    And the other hand, regardless the choice you make, you can't make everyone happy, or leave with your hands clean.

    The Original Junktown set of ending. It wasn't kept for the release, so it can't actually count.
    But basically, the city thrives under the mobster and don't under the honest guy.
    It wasn't going beyond that even initially, but i liked the idea of it, and hope it will happen properly in some city in upcoming Fo.
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  2. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    For me, the toughest choices were undoubtedly provided by FONV, but FOT and FO2 offered some good headscratchers as well.

    You basically covered that the endings to FOT were all mixed bags, but so was helping the 3 major factions in FO2. Even ignoring what the NCR turns into as of FONV, it's clear from the outset that while they appear the best choice for Redding and Vault City, much of the communities see the NCR as an oppressive expansionist power, and they rightfully want nothing to do with that. If I helped the town break free from the Mordino's stranglehold on them because of their Jet dependency, I'd doom them to slavery under the whims of the oppressive Vault City. If I guided them to sign up with the NCR, the community would retain its autonomy but essentially get exploited by its new benefactors, and they would still be bled dry by their reliance on Jet supplies coming from New Reno. If I helped Redding make an alliance with the Mordinos of New Reno, it would be independent, but fall into disarray worse than The Den. None of these choices were the clear winner, and I loved that EVERY time I played the game it would always leave me pondering over what was best to do.

    While a rather small decision, choosing the new Sheriff for Primm was another tough choice every time I played the game. Frontier Justice, Annexation, or ineffectual autonomy? Especially with respect to which faction would take over the area, the choice for who would bring the law back to Primm was a very tricky one to make.
  3. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Gyro Captain

    Dec 11, 2013
    I thought it was great that this was an option in FO1, and I really wish they had kept the option of becoming a member of the Think Tank in Old World Blues. For the same reason I am glad there is the option to team up with Elijah in Dead Money.

    To me these types of endings are not a question of balance, because if there are going to be sequels that reference previous games, than ultimately one ending is going to be chosen as "canon" and the others discarded. And clearly endings that involve the assimilation into a mutant collective consciousness, or the outright destruction of the entire world are most likely not going to be chosen as canon endings, since they either severely limit the options of the series going forward or else push the series toward the limits of the post-apocalyptic genre.

    That said, a huge part of the fun of any Fallout game is seeing the range of endings (and doing multiple play throughs to see these different endings); regardless of what becomes canon, it's interesting to see alternative histories based upon your choices, including ones where the "villains" succeed.

    To me there's an interesting thematic dynamic between the theme of "war never changes" and the spectrum of future possibilities that each game presents; while on the one hand there is something permanent about human nature, nevertheless the choices humans make still matter and have consequences down the line for human communities.
  4. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I am not complaining of the fact that the Unity ending wasn't canon, but the fact there is not enough content related to it.
    I mean, there is a video of your crew destroying kidnapping or killing the vault citizens, just like there is a final speech with the Overseer if you killed the Master.
    But there should have been slideshows for each city, not only depicting the invasion of super-mutants, but how the super-mutants handled those cities.
    It is different than, for instance, FOT in which all the four ending are treated equally, with the same lenght of narration and long-term consequences.
    Also, considering that if you don't join the unity, you have two full HQ to destroy, there should have been at least one quest for the unity, to balance the two option.
    This why i think it is unbalanced, while remaining interesting.
  5. FOvet

    FOvet Wandering the Wastelands

    Aug 26, 2012
    I agree with everything you have said about The Pitt addon Naosano. Sadly I can't speak for Fallout Tactics (I haven't had any time to play it though I have downloaded it from GoG a while back), nor can I speak for the downloadable content from New Vegas because I only have vanilla. What you said about The Pitt though, spot on in my opinion. I remember as I was playing through, trying to figure out just who the hell was the best side to ally with. It was a tough choice. Sure, the guys in charge are acting like slavers and raiders to a point--but they have a good goal in mind, to reunify the Pitt, and bring it into a REAL civilization, not just some scraggly group of survivors. It seems to me they want something not unlike the NCR or New Vegas--a settlement where people can be safe, and one that can defend themselves from invaders.

    On the other hand, they are willing to do some pretty unjust crap in order to achieve these goals. Slavery, making one group of people live in conditions that make the worst slum ghetto look like royalty by comparison--and their almost gladitorial games, which give just enough hope to prevent all out rebellion and strike fear into the hearts of the oppressed (at least for awhile). What I found interesting was the Pitt Raiders actually had some good points about them. For one, the woman (I forgot her name, the scientist woman married to the ex BoS guy), actually cared for the child who had *the cure* for the disease spreading through the Pitt. VERY ironically, the guy who started the uprising and wanted you to help him, he only cares for her in that she's a cure, nothing more. Certainly, it's clear where the child might be better off growing up...and yet, you are forced to ask yourself--is the life of one little girl worth that of THOUSANDS of others? Would the Pitt Raiders really share the cure once they found it, or keep it amongst their own elitist group, letting the slaves who work beneath them suffer?

    The Pitt leader certainly says he'd share it, but I have a hard time believing him. Part of me *wants* too, because some of the things he says makes a modicum of sense. He seems to be, in a way, a "tough love" kind of person. At very least, I believe HE believes he's doing what's best for the Pitt. But would he decide it's 'best' to share his cure once it is found--and we have no reason to believe it won't be. This little girl, immune to the disease poisoning the pitt, will eventually lead to a cure no doubt. She'd grow up with parents who truly love her...but at the same time, what would become of the people?

    The Pitt is single-handedly one of the best plot-lines of Fallout 3, I think--if not THE best.

    Another series of decisions I liked was trying to decide whether or not to ally with House or the NCR in Fallout New Vegas. Both have their merits, both seem very capable of making the Mohave a much better environment. it's really difficult, from a moral standpoint, to choose which one would be the best leader, at least to me. For me, what it ends up boiling down to, is flat not trusting someone who is far more machine than human now. And one day he *will* die. and when he does? What becomes of all those protectrons? What happens if there is some wierd glitch in Yes Man's programming that makes him go friggin' Skynet? But purely looking at the morality of things, and what's best for the is a very difficult decision, House or NCR, because both could really do a lot of good.

    I wish I could think of some examples from Fallout 1 and 2 but I haven't played through Fallout 1 in years and for Fallout 2...I really hate to say it, but all the choices you could make seemed pretty damn black and white to me, not ever really challenging the morally grey areas. Whether or not one likes the console versions or the earlier Fallout games better, I think it's pretty hard to deny that the consoles did a better job of delving into the morally grey area and challenging ethics with the players decision making.
  6. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    While I agree, all of that gets undone completely by the karma system and the epilogue which treats the choices are absolutely black and white. Raiders bad. Slave abolition good. I saw all of that rich moral ambiguity, and then some (a slave uprising costing far more lives than any amount of their continued oppression), but all of that layered and confusing narrative was denied its existence by the story appending itself, and restricted solely to the corners of the imagination, where far better tales could be woven and envisioned than what Bethesda could ever give us. It speaks volumes to their creativity that something of theirs was far better than the rest by sheer ACCIDENT, and had they stuck to their guns more it would have just been more of the same black and white nonsense.

    Are you forgetting the power struggle, one of the biggest series of choices present in FO2? Fixing the Gecko power plant without getting the Gecko ghouls slaughtered/enslaved yet appeasing Vault City is pretty tricky, and the solution to the problem is none too obvious. But other than that, choices which determine the outcomes and political influence in the region of Vault City, New Reno, and NCR are tough calls and morally grey decisions that recur throughout the entire game, the Gecko situations being the easier one to deal with.

    Deciding which of the Four Families takes power in New Reno seems almost comically obvious, with the Wrights appearing to stand alone amongst the rest as the nicest of the bunch. Yet following the Wright questline to full completion WITHOUT giving them power through simply destroying the other 3 leads them to a violent armed takeover of the city, held under the absolute rule of an iron fist that rewrites its own history. Not to mention siding with the Wrights- the "good guys" of the Four Families -destroys the long-term best interests of the NCR who had actively taken a stance and allied with the Bishops in order to pressure the stubborn Vault City into welcoming annexation. Because of his connections, it would seem like Bishop is the best pragmatic decision for New Reno (that it's the canonical one notwithstanding), yet meeting him you're introduced to a vile sociopath with a hair trigger and a penchant for violent blackmail whose tasks involve political assassinations and not a whole lot of thanks once you're through with it. He seems like a clearly bad choice, and yet his is the only Family that isn't somehow drowning New Reno in some way, and has bigger goals than simply bleeding tourists dry.

    Choosing which of the The Big Three that Redding sides with will determine the outcome for the town, but on top of that what power each of those 3 are left with by the end of the story. Do you side with Marge for NCR control, Dan for New Reno control, or Johnson for Vault City control? Each one has its merits and its drawbacks, and none of them are easy choices to make. Joining the NCR means a large degree of autonomy but the town remains in the clutches of dependency on Jet from the Mordinos, perpetually bleeding them dry. Allying with New Reno means the greatest independence for the town, but it devolves into little better than The Den in terms of anarchy and degradation. Choosing Vault City means that the plague of Jet addition gets solved, yet the townspeople become enslaved in the end, exploited by their supposed "saviors". None of those are clearly better choices than the others.

    The major choices in FO2 that are a matter of determining what sides of major conflicts get power (many of which involve NCR) are riddled with grey areas, and I love them for that. I have yet to complete any single playthrough of FO2 feeling totally satisfied with all of my choices through the endings the endings. Most of this lingering lack of complete satisfaction and the drive to "try again" (replay value! =D) was tied to those major conflicts, and none of their outcomes being the clear "best choice". So naturally, I gotta disagree with you that FO2 didn't have any great, tough, not-black-and-white choices to make. At least, unlike with Junktown in FO1, none of the major choices in FO2 got dumbed down from morally ambiguous into the model of cartoonish virtuosity.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2014
  7. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    There is no doubt that New Vegas was the pinnacle of choices and consequences. I could explain why, but most people on this thread have already played through the game.
  8. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    It is the best plot-line, out of all of the nonsense and stupidity that I experienced playing Fallout 3, this one puts all the other DLCs to shame. That is not to say the Pitt was anything great, but it was fairly good compare to the rest of the game, with the exception of Point Lookout (being a very close second to the Pitt).
  9. Languorous_Maiar

    Languorous_Maiar A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 25, 2011
    SnapSlav, but few endings can happen at sime times.
    FNV established that both jet cure and Redding (being fee from addicts) joining to NCR are canon.

    Same for New Reno.
    Mordinos and Salvatores falls apart, with both Bishops and Wrights prospering.

    Shame that Obsidian didn't followed with Vault City Empire (Vault City - alive and not enslaved Ghouls from Gecko - Redding + Modoc) for FNV, instead creating ugly western blob in California. : /

    At least we don't know what happened to San Francisco.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  10. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    Maybe there could be a Vault City Empire mod for Fallout 2 or New Vegas. Or maybe, if there will be anymore Fallout games set in California, there will be a Vault City Empire in future games.
  11. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I recall mentions of Vault City in FoNV but i am not sure it was confirmed that they are part of the NCR.

    Also, this is the Van Graff and the wrights that control Reno. Bishop is not mentioned to own more than his casino.
  12. Languorous_Maiar

    Languorous_Maiar A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 25, 2011
    In the past Bishop was in control, at least according to :

    And we can treat it as canon. He lost power over town but still is kinda badass (Isaac story).

    As for details about NR families:
    Probably Mordino was in semi control of NR for few years after destruction of Enclave, until jet cure spread in California and they fell apart beucase of that and Myron death.

    They're. Entire California is.
    Just look at some Cass slide when she refers to West (NCR) and Vault City being part of it. Or Vault City citzens called pacifists. And so on.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  13. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    So? What a later title establishes as canon doesn't change the choices available to you AT THE TIME of the game. I can still opt to face the leader of the Khans in the ring and knock him out to win Tandi's freedom in FO1, even though FO2 firmly establishes that my character brutally massacred everyone there. Yes, canonicaly this or that happened. But in FO2, your ACTUAL choices were grey with give and take. There was no "everyone wins" ending at the time for The Big Three.
  14. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    It don't take the slideshow into account for the Bishop. If the slideshow was canon, the Van Graff/Wright wouldn't have took over.
    I think FONV used some slideshow straight and mixed others like the New Reno one. They took part of the Bishop ending, part of the Wright ending and added the Van Graff. IMO, it would be safer to only take into account what you hear from FONV npc.

    For Vault City, what you collected doesn't necessary mean that they invaded Vault City or San Francisco. Some enclaves (not the faction) could still exist inside the California, if the NCR government consider too risky to attack neutral, but well equipped other parties. The NCR official & citizens wouldn't come into the Mojave to say "Yeah, we got the California, but not that village here, that city here, etc..." It isn't relevant for an outsider. They got most of it.

    On the other hand, many NCR citizens that you meet outright say that they were born or raised in city X or city Y, which means that those cities are part of NCR. If the guy isn't an NCR citizen, like Isaac or some guys from Freeside, you cannot be sure the city they came from was part of NCR. (unless they say so)
    There is no one from Vault City in the Mojave, which fit with their isolationism, and isolationism that they might have lost if they were conquered. (still, i don't say they can't have been conquered. Just that it wasn't confirmed ingame. (don't care about wiki speculations))