Van Buren main plot and the missing doc #13

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Ausir, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    I always thought it would make more sense that Presper and his cronies were infected by accident with the virus, ODYSSEUS becomes aware of this and locks up them up as its instructions demand.
  2. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    Pretty much only the BOMB doc refers to them as infected. And them being infected by Presper is only introduced in that doc so that you could persuade them that it wasn't a lighter strain but the real thing and that Presper is only using them and intends to get rid of them.

    I think it would work better if Presper just gave them what he said is a vaccine to the virus, while simply infecting them with the virus itself.

    Them being locked in Tibbets too doesn't make sense because otherwise they'd be on the list of prisoners that the PC has to retrieve.
  3. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    But it would still leave the question open of why to infect them with the virus?
    Presper might have caught it unaware at the Boulder science dome but to infect himself and the ex NCR soldiers on purpose?
  4. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    All scientists who accidentally infected themselves with the virus at Boulder walk in environmental suits all the time not to infect other people while there is no mention of Presper being infected or being brought to the prison than the BOMB doc, so I'm just going to disregard it (especially that it contradicts the stuff about people you have to retreive to the prison).
  5. Kan-Kerai

    Kan-Kerai Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 16, 2005
    Viruses can free-float in any fluid. We also know that at least one strain of Limit-115 seems to be able to travel through the air (the Boulder document mentions different strains, by the way). Blackjack wouldn't have needed to come into contact with a person's blood at all. The most likely explanation is that he inhaled it when Presper initially released the virus.

    Sounds like aerial transmission to me... Unless you'd rather believe Presper and his small group of soldiers traveled around and gave everyone an injection.

    Either way, it explains how the virus could get into Blackjack in the first place. Aerial transmission also explains why the scientists at the Boulder Dome were wearing quarantine suits, and it explains why ULYSSES is desperately trying to round up the escaped prisoners before they infect everyone.

    It explains why Presper and co. use Nutrient Paste, and why you have to as well. The paste puts the disease into complete dormancy, where it isn't communicable and manifests no symptoms.

    If you don't use Nutrient Paste throughout the game, it causes ULYSSES to flip the fuck out because you're infecting far more than the amount of people Tibbets can hold faster than they can be gathered, so he has to accelerate the planned launches from BOMB-001. Thus if the player is negligent in managing his plague symptoms, they have to shut down or destroy ULYSSES before it nukes the shit out of everything in a panic. (Thus screwing up Presper's plan as well, as he wished to at least leave some infrastructure intact- e.g. The Nursery and Boulder Dome)

    Anyone near Blackjack could be infected just by breathing the same air as him, let alone drinking the same water, etc.

    The copies of the virus inside him wouldn't die, as without the receptacles in his DNA for the Plague to latch on to in the first place, the virus goes inactive. That is, until he passes it on at which time the virions effectively "re-activate" and attempt to infect the new host.

    The point is that the virus wouldn't try to infect his cells at all, as his cells simply don't have the receptacles that the New Plague latches on to. There is no cell repair process involved because he isn't infected in the first place.

    Thus Blackjack is a carrier, "someone whose cells are infected but who suffers no ill effects while he infects other people with it".

    Really, there's no plot hole. Honestly.
  6. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    I got this from Jeff Husges who designed Mesa Verde:

    And since there are 2 contradictory versions (the BOMB doc one and the Sawyer one) about Presper's men being infected or not, I'll just arbitrarily choose one of them for my campaign - the "not" one, since it doesn't really make sense for them to intentionally infect themselves to get into Tibbets and then get freed by their friends along with other prisoners if they could just free the prisoners themselves and avoid all the risks (which they did in MCA's original campaign) and the BOMB version doesn't explain why they aren't on the list of people the Prisoner must retrieve.


    I still wouldn't call him a carrier, since he isn't really infected if the viruses aren't using his body do multiply (they do so in carriers even if the carrier doesn't suffer ill effects). Even if they're in his body, they're just dormant.

    At most, he could be called a vector:

    (I know Wikipedia isn't exactly a very reliable source, but then again, we're just talking about fictional viruses in a fictional universe, so it'll do).

    Or at least the player might be led to believe so, because in reality there were no time limits in the game.

  7. Kan-Kerai

    Kan-Kerai Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 16, 2005
    Yep, I should've said Blackjack was a vector. That's what I meant, but I was stuck on the term "carrier". And really, you're right again- whatever works, it's just a minor plotpoint anyway.

    And yeah, I was looking at the ULYSSES bit from the player's point of view. Not really from the technical perspective. Kind of similar to how in Oblivion the main plotline is about the Daedric invasion (oh my god they're going to destroy everything), when in reality there's no time limit to it and other than scripted events, there are never any attacks.

    Anyway: I managed to piece together a skeletal framework of Presper's plan, including an explanation for the "why weren't they on the list problem". (note- I'm actually working on a campaign of my own, which is why I'm so enthusiastic about it)

    It's a definite work in progress- I didn't bother putting in explanations about some of the parts of his plan that happened before the game began, even though I referenced them in passing. Some of it's probably wrong. ZAX's calculation for Presper being a vector calculation/targeting solution stands out, that's admittedly just a guess. Though it would explain why Presper deletes it- the deletion implies it's not related to the Plague cure.

    In any case, here it is. Take it or leave it.

    Presper's grand plan

    Presper infects himself and a few elite NCR soldiers with the New Plague during his initial release of it. This is so ARGOS gathers them up with the other prisoners, thus granting them access to the Tibbets Facility.

    After they're brought in, the rest of the NCR soldiers (who aren't infected) aligned with Presper attack Tibbets, blowing a hole in the walls and letting all the prisoners out. This starts the "timer" on BOMB-001 firing its missiles, and initiates the quarantine controls on ULYSSES.

    Interjection: I'm not sure what's up here.

    My thought is that perhaps Sawyer had the idea that Presper does something to ULYSSES during the confusion of the attack, maybe has something to do with the "split" in ULYSSES' core. Maybe he needed to screw up ULYSSES in order to carry out his plan, as ULYSSES could override most of what Presper plans to do. After all, ULYSSES could control ZAX, Diana, and BOMB. Presper would've had to do something.

    This could also explain why the soldiers attacked and damaged ARGOS, as otherwise ULYSSES could direct it to hunt down and capture Presper and co. fairly quickly.

    My best guess is perhaps Presper infects Coleridge and co. for insurance. He needs them early on, but after his plan is complete, he doesn't have any more use for them. He's able to convince them to let him infect them as well because he'll need their help in the escape from the prison, which is entirely plausible.

    He also needs them throughout the game for various reasons (attacking the NCR senate, defending the BOMB-002 wreck and the Bloomfield launch platform, protecting him from the PC and BOMB-001's defenses).

    However, he can then prevent them from killing him after they've realized he's betrayed them by holding the fact that he's the only chance they have for a cure over them.

    That's my best analysis of the changes Sawyer made, at least with the limited info I have. My luck J.E. can probably find a way to use Occam's Razor against me and shoot it down in one sentence.

    /end Interjection

    ULYSSES plans to use ARGOS to round up the prisoners, but ARGOS is (presumably) damaged in the attack. Thus ULYSSES can't tell ARGOS what to do, so ARGOS is running around randomly trying to pick up the escapees.

    ULYSSES then strikes a deal with you to have you round up the prisoners. What you don't know is that when 90% of them are brought in, BOMB-001 will fire and destroy Tibbets and everywhere else as well, effectively purging the plague.

    There's no conflict in not having to bring Presper and co. in, as you only need to bring in 90% of the escapees- not all of them.

    Presper and co. head to the Boulder Dome, priming the cryogenic chambers of his "Army of the Sleepers", former NCR scientists and young women he's been sending to the Dome for the last few years to put into cold sleep. He finds out that some of them didn't arrive, but he forges on. He locks the computers controlling their cryogenic capsules down, trying to prevent interference from you or the people at the Dome.

    He uses ZAX to calculate plague dispersion vectors, and then deletes the data once ZAX is done the calculations. He uses that information to create his targeting data for BOMB-001. He also brings a datacan so ZAX won't have to cannibalize its memory- ZAX has been attempting to derive/calculate a cure for the New Plague, which has been taking up massive amounts of memory. Unfortunately, Presper's datacan is the wrong type and he has to trust that the PC or the Boulder scientists will find a way to stave off ZAX having to overwrite test data.

    Presper knows about the Nursery as well, which is also a major part of his plan. He plans to use DIANA and the nursery to "regrow" the wastes, after Limit-115 is purged. He hopes that along with DIANA and ZAX, they'll be able to devise a permanent cure to the New Plague as well. This is something the player can do, using ZAX's test data, Diana's knowledge of the New Plague and the genetic information of Harold's tree.

    Presper was able to get General Coleridge and co. to come along because he told them the Boulder Dome would be a safehouse when they went to war with NCR. Presper has told Coleridge the whole purpose of the exercise is to overthrow Governor Dodge at Hoover Dam, and to "rebuild" the NCR, when in reality the whole point is to purge the entire wasteland and start over. This leads into you being able to expose Presper's deception in the endgame.

    Presper and co. then travel to Bloomfield, where they override the security at the launch pad so they can hop on Hermes-13 and travel up to BOMB-001, where they wait for ULYSSES to send the transmission for BOMB to fire. Presper manages to override the launch codes, and injects the targeting solutions ZAX calculated instead.

    Then you either fight him, convince Coleridge and his soldiers of Presper's deception, etc. Then you find out you can only prevent up to 2/3 of the missiles from firing, and have to make the decision which places will be nuked.
  8. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    I think you got it wrong a bit. Sawyer is actually the one who said that in his version (and MCA's original version), Presper and his men weren't infected and they were part of the group that attacked Tibbets. It was in Foletto's BOMB design that says that Presper infected himself and his people in order to get into Tibbets (which isn't properly explained except for it being a key to convincing Coleridge to join you).

    According to Sawyer, ULYSSES/ODYSSEUS is impossible to hack even by Presper, and even if Presper wanted to do something to it during the confusion of the attack, he could do it as one of the attackers, without the need to infect himself, Coleridge and co.



    The design docs were from different periods, not everything is properly explained in them, and they contradict each other quite a bit, so you just have to choose between different devs' versions. Personally, I'll just go with the version where Presper and his men weren't infected.

    Tibbets is not destroyed by a nuke from BOMB, but by ULYSSES melting its core and exploding.

    Anyway, here's a summary of the main plot I got from someone who got it from one of the devs:

  9. Kan-Kerai

    Kan-Kerai Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 16, 2005
    My previous post was an attempt at reconciling the different explanations of events. You're right, I got mixed up in the process.

    The only thing Foletto's version adds is a way for Presper to prevent Coleridge and co. from killing him after they realize he's betrayed them, and of course a way for you to exploit it.

    The problem is that adding that makes one hell of a mess of everything else in the plot. There's also the problem of whether adding the plague to the Coleridge/Presper dynamic is really needed. After all, exposing the fact that Presper's betraying their "plans" for NCR to Coleridge and co. should be enough on its own.

    So yeah, you're right. Ignoring the infection idea is much cleaner and makes more sense.
  10. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    If you haven't noticed, I added lots of stuff to my post above in my last edit :).
  11. Kan-Kerai

    Kan-Kerai Still Mildly Glowing

    Sep 16, 2005
    Wow, thanks for the plot summary. Clears a lot of things up! :clap:

    Edit: Noticed it while editing my last post. :mrgreen:
  12. ratsnack

    ratsnack Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 27, 2005
    i want to visit bomb-001! great thread and thank you for the wiki
  13. Jesterka

    Jesterka Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Mar 16, 2006
    And who wouldn´t, honey? :wiggle:

    Personally, if I could choose one place to play, I would pick Burham Springs or Boulder or Hoover Dam. It´s a pity that no ingame screens of eg. Burham Springs slipped away... (OK, on the assumption that there was something completed to show)

    Ausir, great work with the plot summary (again). I´ll buy you a big carton of Gamma beer when I go to Poland. :)
  14. Black

    Black Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 21, 2007
    That's some great story, I'd totally like to nuke Vault City! But, of course, for great justice ;d.
  15. edahl

    edahl First time out of the vault

    Jun 27, 2007
    Fallout: Van Buren documents you say? Where may I venture upon such desirable assets? Enlighten me!

    In other words: Do want!
  16. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
  17. edahl

    edahl First time out of the vault

    Jun 27, 2007
    Exactly those. Thank you!
  18. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
  19. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    I got some more from other devs:

    New Plague:


    Fort Abandon:

  20. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    Hah, I just got confirmation from John Deiley who designed Nursery - I was right, Harold's tree was the source of the cure (and I rock for figuring it out from incomplete sources).