Super Rant: Fallout 4's Institute Ending

Uzuki

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So I recently got around to actually finishing 100%ing Fallout 4 and the last ending I got to was the institute one. From here on out I'm going to be talking about the ending and stuff that happens throughout the game so spoiler warning and all that jazz.


So from what I understand, the Institute's main goal is to drain the commonwealth for it's resources so they can continue to make headway in the field of SCIENCE! and synth technology. Now granted it seems like several scientists show that they would prefer to use the SCIENCE! to better the Commonwealth, but for the most part everyone agrees on just staying underground and continue experimenting. Now this sounds like a really selfish thing, but if that's what floats their boats who am I to argue? But what cheeses my onions is HOW they plan to accomplish this goal: Synths. And that's where their entire story arc falls apart. We know that the Institute kidnaps people and replaces them with these androids to run above ground experiments, but that's pretty much it. If they were replacing bigshots like the Mayor in Diamond City (Who I suspect they did due to some clues and dialogue pieces, but the game never brings it up.) then I could see what they're getting at, but they just replace farmers and merchants and don't do anything until you interact with them. At least the Brotherhood are stumping out the raiders and Super Mutants. I might not agree with the whole super military state thing they've always had, but I can respect what they're trying to do even if I don't agree with the method. Heck even if i barely see them, the Minutemen are still doing their part. Even if groups of 3-4 people get gunned down by Raiders and Super Mutants at least they're trying. The Institute? Sends out squads of B1 Battle Droids and Terminators to fight a bunch of "Resistance Fighters" and hold down locations....for...reasons...


Wow guys, way to push your agendas forward. You guys are making such headway on getting those resources. Man our iron fist rule of the Commonwealth will make our progress on SCINECE! so much stronger when I tell them that the Institute is just going to continue to kidnap, experiment, and just generally be dicks when we take out the Brotherhood and Railroad. I understand Fallout 4 is not a perfect game. And I understand that story sorta took a backseat to settlement building and gunplay, but when you have nuggets of genius like the Kellogg and Valentine questlines and dialogues it just irks me because I know you can do better.


What were your thoughts on the endings? What factions did you pick by the end?
 
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AwesomeCool

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I never finished Fallout 4.  I really should  (I have to get over the fact that it is more of a Far Cry then Fallout 3 game and treat it like such).


Although I found the story in general with Fallout 4 disappointing (so many choices that didn't matter and tons of false choices).
 
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Alexander Amnell

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Honestly, and in full disclaimer... I never beat Fallout 4 and probably never will. There are just far to many plotholes in the game with so little choice, realizing that virtually all quests are radiant quests with only two real choices, whether to perform the quest or not(with like one or two quests with a singular added option of killing your target or betraying your employer, I know they exist but they are shallow, unimportant and vanish from the plot the moment you make your 'choice). I miss the cool quests with 6+ options, all of which are a valid means of completing said quest that we've had from wasteland all the way to fallout 3 and even had to a lesser extent in New Vegas although they tried to make everything interconnected and ended up with a jumble. 4 did the shooting elements really well, and if they had also kept the rpg elements strong that would have excited me but as it is I just knit-pick everything wrong with the story that they clearly haven't thought through in the slightest in favor of streamlining the game to be as inviting as possible for new players, but it just made me bored with the game before it ended (though I've played all previous fallouts over a dozen times probably). 


Uzuki has already covered it, but if you haven't played particularly far in the game and want to experience all for yourself don't read any further (though the story is such a trainwreak that avoiding spoilers is really quite pointless).


   Let's just look at the institute for a moment, and the railroad that's resisting them. It's apparent that the institute doesn't just create weird cloned humans with a singular synthetic part that can only be detected after murdering them (a fact that's never really explained as far as I know, just is) but as you say they have them kill the bearer of their original dna. This, in a way, renders what the railroad does as misguided at best, and makes them accomplices to genocide rather than saviors of the downtrodden when you really think it all the way through. Add to that, the fact that a single little phrase can wipe away every thought in their brain and render them a loyal sleeper agent for the institutes cause and you can't escape the fact that the railroad is actually and truly working with the institute to ensure that humanity is properly monitored and controlled around the commonwealth. Underneath all of their mantras and calls of freedom are a chilling reality that these beings are technological in design rather than sentient. Even the sentient synths who are just trying to live a normal life are by and large beings who have been rewired to think in the terms of 'a normal life' by way of the memory den rather than actual sentient individuals and even if that weren't the case, all it takes is for them to be found and they can instantly be wiped clean and turned once more into an unfeeling machine, everything that we're supposed to see as 'human' wiped away permanently. As such the railroad as a faction is a farce, offering their own form of subjugation in the form of implanted memories to free the synths from the institutes shackles...temporarily...until they are found, rewired and likely set up to observe in the very lives they've been given as shelter. All it should take to end the railroad is for an agent to find Glory, speak her little code and order her to walk into the hq and turn her minigun on her comrades. She'd do it to, having had all of her 'memories' and the ideas that make her unique and make her fight wiped from her mind as simply as erasing data from a computer by wiping the harddrive.


   I think that the institute's incompetence that you speak of is not an oversight so much as it is needed in the story to explain why the institute doesn't just overshadow the world with their apparent power. Their incompetency in ignoring the world around them becomes the answer to that question, and allows them their amazing power without having to draw on the more controversial themes that they touch at shallowly yet never actually delve into, just to much wasted potential. Granted the institute has it's own level of inconsistencies like what purpose Shawn has for lying to you, going through the trouble of making a ten year old clone-robot of himself and having Kellog live with him in diamond city 60+ flaming years after kellog abducted Shawn just to bait the pc into killing Kellog (or for no reason at all, maybe?) yet kellog doesn't realize this? Knowing what kellog knows (what you learn after killing him) the setup is so glaringly obvious, how the hell did such an unsubtle idiot as kellog, unable to connect the dots within his OWN DAMN MIND become such a long-living badass in the first place? It's so out of place with what he is supposed to be as to draw questions on whether he were really anything more than a tech raider in the first place if not for the existence of Shawn and the Shawn robot. And to play devil's advocate, if Kellog did know that he was being set up, then why was he still loyal to the "New Old Man" to the end, and why wasn't that information in his brain chip thing for when you go into the memory den. Seems to me like it would be the strongest thing on the man's mind as you killed him at the old man/Shawn's behest, and thus the most likely memory you'd find at the memory den would be that knowledge, and not the time he spent in Diamond City with the synthetic clone of an infant he'd kidnapped six decades prior.


   The only faction I could support in Fallout 4 would have to be the Brotherhood of Steel (I like the minutemen, but I didn't really care for Real Time Settler when it was a fallout 3/NV mod and I don't really care for it now, and the idea that they can jump from black powder artillery as their scientific staple to designing a machine that allows you to teleport yourself around the map at will once provided with the blueprints is far to laughable, I had to go BOS because I couldn't take the minutemen seriously as an option right then) Which bothers me on so many levels as I disagree wholeheartedly with militant totalitarianism...yet militant totalitarianism is the absolute best choice you can make given the information that the game grants you this time around, it's also the only choice that even tries to deal with the uneven keel under which the other factions operate through use of Paladin Danse who upon discovering that he was a synth himself (presumably a rewired railroad traveler since he so fully embraces the brotherhood) understands what that means in conflict with his ideals, and accepts that no matter how fervent he might be, betrayal is just a simple little code phrase away.


   Maybe a few of these things are tied up in the end game but for me Shawn being an old man in light of how convoluted and nonsensical that made the entire pursuit of Kellog was the last straw for me, having grown tired of the radiant shoot em up gameplay dozens of hours prior and though I've tried playing since then all I can think at the time is 'this is all the same no matter what I do' and it cannot hold my interest long enough to finish it. It'll probably sit on my game shelf as a headstone marking the death of Fallout for me, I know it's the way of things but as Final Fantasy was for a lot of people here Wasteland was pretty much my introduction to gaming(that and Zelda), and seeing it *******ized into a post-apocalyptic Farcry (Thank you Awesomecool for that poignant yet accurate comparison) where gameplay is everything and the story really just barely exists as a framing devise to sustain the gameplay just isn't fun for me in the slightest, I'm to busy gritting my teeth at the fact that it isn't Fallout to enjoy the ride like I'm supposed to and to busy looking for tough choices and a morally gray morality to accept that the story is subservient to the gameplay this time around. It's not that 4 is a bad game, but it shouldn't be Fallout, it would have likely been a better game for me if it weren't Fallout, since it forsakes so much of what made Fallout and Wasteland such cult classics as they are.
 

AwesomeCool

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@Alexander Amnell - Do you know of any good mods that bring the rpg mechanics back in to Fallout 4?


...I really, really dislike how little the rpg part matters (which is fine if someone prefers just shooting instead of number crunching and the like, but I really dislike the change).
 

Alexander Amnell

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@AwesomeCool Unfortunately not yet (though those mods often take years to appear in a non-gamebreakingly buggy form), though I'll be keeping an eye out for the next Wanderer Edition/Project Nevada/Perkus Maximus to pop up and try to bring the games back to wasteland/fallout 1,2 levels of character uniqueness and customization and away from the increasing trend of 'one man army' gameplay that's been infecting the games more and more with each new rendition as well as mods that match New Vegas Bounties/Rigmor of Bruma in providing alternate canon that makes more sense and falls more in line with how the games everyone loved told a story than this new fad where gameplay is everything and anything else can be forgiven it's mediocrity. I hope that there will be mods like that for 4 that can at least get me through finishing the game once but right now I can't make myself play the game, every time I try I give up on it in minutes, it just leave to bitter a taste for me to swallow that seems to grow with each attempted play session.
 
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AwesomeCool

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@Alexander Amnell - I didn't find Fallout 4's gameplay all that spectacular though (I thought is was below average in gunplay).  I think it was forgiven for it was a Bethesda game (read: brand loyalty).  Heck, reviewers and fans defend the bugs in the game as if a Bethesda games is suppose to be buggy (even if other games would get slammed for the same bugs).


I just find it sad that I cannot enjoy it.  It has such an amazing crafting system and many sweet things to do, but it just feels empty to me with the core being so badly cracked.
 

Uzuki

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@Alexander Amnell That's why I couldn't agree with the Railroad either. Although their hearts were in the right place, essentially what they were doing caused more trouble then what it was worth. Yes the Synths could be classified as "sentient" in the sense that they can think and to an certain extent feel, they were pretty much robots with more gooey bits. The only reason they have personalities is because the Railroad implanted them inside their brains. And as you pointed out they could easily be reprogrammed, which you do in several quests, to be sleeper agents or just dragged back to the Institute the entire process is meaningless. I understand where they were going with the whole "What separates humans from machines? If they can think and feel like us, why should they be treated like slaves?" angle, but it's never presented in a clear enough fashion to make you think about it like that. They just presented it as people are building robot people and this other group believes that the robot people should be treated equally. End of discussion.


From the way I saw the Kellogg thing was yes he knew it was a setup. As its shown through his memories he's tired of living. Everyone he loves is dead and with the help of the Institute he became a cyborg (which would have been a MUCH cooler setup instead of androids) he's basically a immortal and has grown tired from life. Shaun offers him a way out in return for a favor and Kellogg takes it. It's shown that Kellogg is a super badass and because your the hero, your badass can counteract his. Even with the memory scene it's shown that Kellogg is still conscious and is cherry picking memories that help the player find Shaun. Especially with the next scene with Valentine and Kellogg answers you back. AWWWWW I was so pissed when that didn't lead to anything. Even if it was little stuff like very rarely he might say something super bloodthirsty in combat or he might say a snide remark to remind you he was still there.


As for where the series stands and the direction it's going, I don't care for it either. I wish they just took the mechanics from NV and just upped the gunplay and just added the weapon customazation and settlement building(Minus the bugs and lackluster AI of course). Hopefully they pull a XCOM at this point and when they announce the next game they'll say they have another team working on a updated back to basics versions from another. That or Obsidian get's their hands on the license and just completely revamp it like they did with New Vegas.
 
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AwesomeCool

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@Uzuki - I do not know if Obsidian is going to go back to them.


They are currently focusing on old school rpgs really, really hard (making one about being a villain with manipulation and stuff).


Thus, they no longer need to depend on other companies to give them crappy budgets to make a game (SW: kotor 2 and FMV, sad that both of these games would of been so much better with less restrictions).
 

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