Was there any point to your character being from pre-war times?

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by Bekuta, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. Bekuta

    Bekuta First time out of the vault

    Jan 23, 2018
    It's been a while since I played through Fallout 4's story, and this is something that's been bugging me for a little bit now. Was there any point to your character being from before the Great War? I can't remember it coming into play in any major way throughout the story.
    The only time I remember it really coming up was when Piper is interviewing you, and she has no real reaction to it. She's just like, "Oh that's cool, what was that like?"
    You'd think for such major character trait, this would be a pretty big driving point for the plot. You're a veteran/lawyer from before the world was nuked into oblivion, if anyone found out about that, surely they'd want to have you on their side for your knowledge or military expertise.
    Am I missing something, or was there a bigger reason for your character being from pre-Great War? Because it feels like Bethesda was just looking for an excuse to do even more 50's stuff.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  2. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Slippy sloppy, The

    Sep 11, 2010
    Nu-fans have been clamoring for pre-war first hand experience and Bethesda wanted to appeal the masses. That's really all there is to it. That's why it doesn't really matter afterwards because that would require depth in terms of the writing. People would either find you crazy, mystical or dangerous. Most people would have some form of agenda for how to exploit your knowledge. Be it for some innocent information prodding out of curiosity or straight up trying to manipulate you into giving them information that they can abuse and exploit their fellows wastelanders.

    But, like I said, that would require depth. Being a pre-war popsicle should mean something. And as usual, In a Bethesda game, it really doesn't. Hell, whenever it is brought up it almost feels like an afterthought. Like the writer is like "oh shit, that's right, she's supposed to be pre-war! Uh, I better throw in a line here or there about it!"

    So no, the only reason that they did it was for some ""cool"" opening and to appease the fans who wanted to play through the pre-war part. There's no deeper thought behind it. Never ever expect anything remotely touching with a hundred foot pole close to even an inch of depth when it comes to Bethesda.

    They really need to get new writers. The ones they got have shown they are not competent and that the veterans refuse to improve their writing style, hell, it's even gotten sloppier as times goes on. So they need to be let go and they need to hunt for actual talent. Until then, expect surface level fluff.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 5
  3. Norzan

    Norzan So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 7, 2017
    I swear it was literally only to have Shaun be born before the bombs fell and then have it be revealed later that he was your son and that he's older than you due to not being frozen. Bethesda thought it was such a cool plot twist and not something you can see from a mile away and also pretty stupid. Specially because he becomes the boss of the Institute, probably the most retarded faction in Fallout history.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  4. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Among other reasons, they needed an excuse to cement the notion that Fallout = the 1950s, instead of being about a hundred years after a roughly 1950s vision of the future was laid waste to by an apocalypse. They wanted to show another nuke going off. For some reason it's a fetish of theirs. Gotta put that in somewhere and this time you barely survive, oOoOOooOoh...sigh.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4
  5. Bekuta

    Bekuta First time out of the vault

    Jan 23, 2018
    The Institute is proof that Bethesda's writers have no idea how to do gray morality. Instead of making the Institute sort of like The Master, giving them a goal that most would see as heinous, they just gave them no clear goal at all
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  6. Norzan

    Norzan So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 7, 2017
    What makes the Institute even worse is that it's something new that completely fails. Some people are clearly tired of Bethesda reusing the same factions over and over to the point people start clamoring for new things. So they finally introduce something new and it's completely stupid.

    There's really no winning with Bethesda. They reuse or create something, the result is always the same.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  7. Bekuta

    Bekuta First time out of the vault

    Jan 23, 2018
    They're bad writers. They reused so many beats from Fallout 3's plot that I'd rather just play FO3; it's not great but I'd argue it's vastly better than FO4
  8. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Fossil

    Jun 7, 2015
    Just to build on this - the reason that fans clamored for this were, IMO, a lot of Bethesda's design decisions in Fo3 emphasized the pre-War. It's understandable why they did this; if one were pressed to describe the Fallout games briefly, they'd probably say something to the effect of "Mad Max with a 50's Retro-Future flair."

    Of course, when you over simplify that much, you lose just exactly what 'flair' means here. If someone accidentally skipped the cinematic in their first playthrough of Fallout 1, they could almost be forgiven for missing that 50s flair. It's effectively limited to two omains: one, pre-war remnants. First place this becomes clear (well, beyond the PIP-Boy and the Vault boy icons) is in Junktown, wheere yo ucan see all the retro-styled cars that make up the wall. Throughout the rest of the game, you see little smatterings here and there in the style of a few scattered but relatively rare remnants of the pre-war world - buildings, cars, energy weapons. The other place is that the main story is largely an extension of a classic sort of pulp 50s premise, but taken to its extreme. But in both cases, these things are played straight. People act just as they would if the apocalypse had happened in the 90s. No greaser gangs or anything, just vague remnants of the concept that largely played a thematic role.

    Bethesda ended up overemphasizing how important the 50s aspect was to something that actively worked upon people in Fo3, and generally increased the number of terminals full of whacky comedy from the pre-war. The end result is that new fans end up gettin mislead as to the importance of the retrofuture aspect, which in turn leads to an ever increasing demand to actually see the pre war world.

    It also helps that being from the pre-war is a very simplistic and "epic" concept.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  9. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    "Finally! Someone else who sees!"

  10. cruddas

    cruddas First time out of the vault

    Jul 5, 2013
    I saw fallout 4's intro up to the first deathclaw fight as something that was originally made for an E3 demo, and a poor decision was "Well, we made this much, would be a shame to waste it, lets just tack it onto the start of the game and call it a day."

    That's all i can see it as, a short demo pushed into the game to serve as a starting point, that's exactly what it feels like should you play it.
  11. There wasn't; though honestly how could they expand on it anyway? Would it had been better just to be post-war all-out? Doesn't save the game much.

    Honestly they should had done a bit more. You should had had a (skippable) Boston prologue. Seeing the city in the grip of Martial Law. The hubby is the one enforcing. The wife is dealing with some odd legalese bullshit, such as a Adultery case or some odd morality case. There's unrest everywhere and a stupid cattle middle class doing their best stepford smile impression, such as you are. Then the nukes can fall and you can have a few pre-war quests left dangling. They shoved in that stupid Vault Seller and he didn't do shit - not even change his damn clothes! - but hang around sanctuary.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2020
  12. SilverStarApple/Epsilon7

    SilverStarApple/Epsilon7 Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 27, 2017
    Not really. America was a mess before the war, a place where the Think Tank seemed like a good idea. But Bethesda thinks Fallout is about the 60s getting nuked and staying in a 60s themed apocalypse, rather than a deconstruction of Retrofuturism in which "Cool mutating nuclear power" and "Giant scorpions" are played for horror.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  13. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Well as I have mentioned before in other threads about this subject, Bethesda has pretty "flanderized" the Fallout world.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  14. ResetRPG

    ResetRPG Algebraic Geometry and Dandelion Soup

    Dec 16, 2018
    I think it was the only way for your son to become father, that would've made some sense at least.
  15. Risewild

    Risewild Antediluvian as Feck
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    It would have worked as good or even better if the Sole Survivor was a vault resident being born after the war.

    All the residents of the vault would be pure human descendants. So they would have pure human DNA and work perfectly for the Institute goal. Then for some reason your vault would have some problems (malfunctions, shortage of supplies, some disease outbreak, etc.) and the overseer would order or ask for volunteers to get into suspended animation until the problems are solved. Having a small baby would give a reason for the Sole Survivor to volunteer, since it didn't want to risk Shawn being caught by whatever problems the vault was having.

    The intro would be pretty similar to FO4's one. But instead of being in a house, it would be inside the vault (this has the added bonus of the player be able to see the contrast between the vault before and after the Sole Survivor suspended animation). The parents talk about how they met each other, how they got together, what they do for fun, about Shawn, etc. the Mr Handy would be there too.
    It could have a nice touch of letting the Sole Survivor explore the vault a bit before being frozen too, for example, replace the Vault Tec guy with a annual check up in the Vault infirmary, where the Sole Survivor has to do all kinds of tests so it would assign the SPECIAL, name the character, etc. (now that I think about it, kinda like FNV's Doc Mitchell's part).

    After all, Fallout 4 happens 210 years after the bombs fell, that's more than enough time to have the Sole Survivor being born in the vault, grow up, marry, have Shawn, being frozen, wake up and Shawn being the Father.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  16. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    Bethesda dropped the ball on the kind of roleplaying possibilities one could have with a pre-war character. Instead of just randomly making pre-war references like how baseball is played or an old TV show, the main character could have experienced the essence of how war truly never changed from his/her time 'till 210 years later. But that's probably asking too much from a studio like them that thinks the original Fallout is too dark to appease to the crowd. They're probably right about the kind of profit loss they would have, but they're dead wrong about what the Fallout franchise was about.

    But I digress. Back to the point, the MC could have flashbacks to his own time, when war was abundant and people were killing each other anyway, not that different from 2287. 2287 merely turned the horrors of war up to eleven. The ending should've been bleak as f*** to show that nothing has changed, so the MC might as well kill everyone and set the world on fire anyway if humanity's not gonna learn. That would've been a more meaningful experience. Then, and only then, the game could end with Nate/Nora concluding the game, in a bitter and remorseful voice, "War never changes." That would've at least made Fallout 4 an important chapter of the franchise instead of something resembling an amusement park.
  17. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    I will forever find this choice to be the funniest, most retarded thing ever. From the perspective of your character in what amounts to be around little over an hour, they've seen the end of the world as they know it, locked in ice, waking up to watch their spouse be murdered and their child kidnapped while they looked on helpless, freed from an icy prison to only find out it is hundreds of years later.

    But that is all ok because they can make a tree fort with their robot butler.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  18. Orius

    Orius First time out of the vault

    Jul 23, 2018
    For what it's worth,
    you could shoot Father in the face right as you destroy the Institute if you feel like your character just wants to kill everyone because of how bitter she has become after experience so much trauma and madness. The problem is that the game never address that decision in an ample and satisfying way, shooting your own son because you've been driven mad. The NPCs would whine a bit about leaving Synth Shaun behind, but that's basically the extent of your roleplaying.
    Sigh. I still think that there should've been an alternate ending where the MC is so embittered by her experience that she uses the Nuka World raiders to basically kill everyone, or something to that effect that shows the kind of pain and resentment she has towards what the world has done to her. As it is, the game playing the story straight (instead of parodying the apocalypse like in the first two games), expecting the players to treat the character development seriously, Bethesda shot themselves in the foot by having a nonsensical character development that plays like a parody in a straight world.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  19. PsychoSniper

    PsychoSniper So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 27, 2003
    The prewar mechanic could have been fucking awesome.

    You visit a prewar landmark, a companion says something, and you get the dialouge option to explain the history from Nate or Noras perspective, leading down the rabit hole of good writing.

    Sadly, good writing aint been seen in Fallout since New Vegas.
  20. Canaris

    Canaris First time out of the vault

    Mar 29, 2009
    That would be the Railroad.
    Tute at least knows how to hide and keep secret.

    No there wasnt, apart from Shaun being not irridated and having "pure dna" which can easily be changed into "nth generation Vaulter who never left the Vault".