Fallout 3: Side Quest Rant

When I reviewed Fallout 3, I did some complaining about the writing. Not all quests in the game are bad though. I wanted to take a closer look at two selected side quests: one that annoyed me, and one that I really liked and compare them. Needless to say, this article will contain major spoilers for some of the aforementioned side quests. It will however not spoil the main quest for you.

Tenpenny Towers Terrorist

Tenpenny Tower is one of the few remaining buildings in the wasteland that is still standing. Alistar Tenpenny, it’s owner managed to clean it up very well and the place is surprisingly free of trash, rubble and dirt. It is a lovely place to live, and unsurprisingly it is also very exclusive gated community populated by rich snobs. How do you become a rich snob in a post apocalyptic wasteland? I don’t know, and the game doesn’t tell you.

You can find out that one of the residents is a former slaver from Paradise Falls who swindled out her compatriots out of a huge sum of money. Another is famous adventurer Daring Dashwood who actually has his own radio play on GNR. Others are somehow rich by default. One of the golden rules of this community is “no Ghouls allowed”. Presumably because Ghouls are scary, they smell bad (no, they do) and etc… The game goes out of the way to portray the inhabitants of the tower as bunch of bigoted racists.

That rule was put into effect because a group of local Ghouls wanted to buy their way into the community. They apparently had the money to afford to live there, but were turned away. Their leader, Roy Philips gets really fired up about this and threatens to take the tower by force if he is not allowed in.

The Tenpenny residents take this threat very seriously, and the local security wants to hire someone to make sure Roy is out of the picture. This is where you come in. Your mission is to take out Philips and his gang before they can organize and do something reckless.

When you find Roy, you can talk to him and his accomplices about the situation. The Ghouls that follow him are actually nice and reasonable people. They are however taken in by Roy’s strength of Character and his charisma and are willing to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure their survival.

Philips himself however seems unstable. He is a violent man with a chip on his shoulder. It’s clear that he harbors some deeply seethed grudge against humans, and never misses a chance to insult one. When he is done mocking you, he will ask you to help him infiltrate the tower bu unlocking the underground passages. He plans to let the feral ghouls into the building and simply sit back and watch them butcher the defenseless residents.

We have a name for people like him – Roy Philips is a terrorist. He has no qualms about butchering all these innocent people. Yes, they are racist bigots but that does not necessarily mean they need to die.

At that point you can take three paths:

  1. You can side with Tenpenny residents and kill Roy and his friends
  2. You can side with Roy and help him attack the tower
  3. You can go back to Mr. Tenpenny and negotiate on behalf of Roy

There are no other alternatives. Since I was playing a good character siding with Roy was out of the question for obvious reasons. Killing him also seemed iffy. While I wouldn’t have a problem killing Roy by himself, the quest demanded that I also take out his two accomplices. I couldn’t do that – they were nothing but nice to me. If you do take this path, however the game will award you bad karma.

Therefore I picked the nonviolent route, even though I knew it was not the best idea. The people there did not like Ghouls, and Roy Philips did not like “smootskins”. I knew he would be a problem, but nevertheless I got him inside in exchange for good Karma. I hoped that the tight security in the tower would keep him in check. I was wrong.

As soon as you leave the tower, Roy Philips takes out Alister Tenpenny and then kills all human residents out of the tower. Note that the people who got slaughtered are the same people who agreed to accept the Ghouls into their midst. They were not Ghoul haters – they were far from it. I convinced all the truly prejudiced residents to move out as part of the quest. So Roy slaughtered the same people who have shown him acceptance and hospitality. His friends are just as guilty for allowing him to go through with it (or actively helping him to accomplish the slaughter).

This quest is purposefully set up to result in death of innocent people. No matter which path you take, someone nice will end up dead. In retrospect I realized that killing Philips and his friends would be the lesser evil – at least compared to the mass slaughter of the innocent residents. I especially felt bad for poof old Dashwood who was a genuinely nice guy. But the game punishes you for taking that path, and rewards you for enabling Roys genocidal tendencies.

I don’t know… I just felt like the writers specifically went out of their way to confuse and annoy me on this. What was the message they were trying to get across here? That you are a chump and a pussy for trying to resolve the situation in a non-violent matter?

I think what happened here is that they tried to shoehorn this quest into the good vs evil template a little bit to hard. There is really no karma neutral option here – you either help Roy against your better judgment like a good boy scout would, or you take him out like a hardened mercenary with no heart.

The Oasis

The Oasis is a secluded valley surrounded by high cliffs close to the North edge of the map. It can be difficult to find, which is a pity considering the fact it is actually a good quest. This hidden Valley is actually a lush green paradise with growing trees, green grass and blooming flowers. It exists because of a special Ghoul named Harold. At some point in his life, he entered some sort of symbiosis with a small tree that started growing out of his head. Initially it didn’t bother him so he just kept it there. In the end however, the tree outgrew him and Harold became rooted to the spot and unable to move. As the tree matured however it started creating strange seed pods which gave the start to the Oasis. Each seed would grow into a tree, a bush or a flower even though the soil was arid and devoid of nutrients. Eventually people found the little Oasis that grew around Harold and started worshiping him as a living god (even though he asked them not to).

When you reach the Oasis, Harold will ask you to kill him as he is tired and frustrated of being rooted into the ground and unable to do anything. It is a mercy killing, and he really makes a good case to justify it. However if you talk to his worshipers you will quickly realize it is not as simple as that. For example, a little girl who was born in the Oasis tells you that Harold is her best friend, and that when she has a bad dream she goes to visit him and sleeps between his roots. If you can mercy-kill Halrold after that your heart must be made out of stone.

Fortunately you are given an alternative. There seems to be a schism among the worshipers. Some think that the Oasis should be kept a secret forever and that the growth of the seed pods must be inhibited. Other group thinks that the Oasis is a gift for all of humanity, and the growth of the seed pods should be accelerated so that the lush garden overgrows it’s borders and spreads into the wasteland quicker.

Harold will allow you access to his heart which is located in the underground cavern system below the Oasis. Once you reach it, you will be able to either destroy it (killing Harold), apply special inhibiting sap to it (stopping the production of seed pods) or apply the special liniment (to speed up their production). Strangely enough, you can only do one of these things. For example, if you apply the sap, you won’t be able to destroy the heart anymore.

This is an interesting moral dilemma because unlike the Roy Phillips case (where each choice is wrong) each choice has both positive and negative ramifications. Harold is slowly going insane, and it is not difficult to imagine his suffering. Killing him would be an act of mercy. But it would also negatively affect his worshipers who rely on his guidance. It will probably also deeply affect the little girl who treats Harold not as a God but as a close friend.

Inhibiting the growth of the seed pods will keep the Oasis safe from intruders – or at least safer than before. But it means that the miracle of it’s creation will remain contained locally. And who knows if without constant re-seeding the oasis won’t dry up and be reclaimed by the wasteland.

On the other hand accelerating their growth will expose Harold and his group to outsiders who will follow the traces of green down to the source. Who knows what will happen to them when raiders or super mutants decide to pay them a visit. Or what if someone like Alister Tenpenny finds it and decides to exploit it for profit?

Then again, is it right to contain the Oasis? After all Harold’s strange mutation might one day help to make the wasteland green again. Harold’s condition should be studied to see if it can be replicated. If it would be possible to create more such trees (preferably without a ghoul bonded to them) it would be a great alternative to the illusive GECK technology.

I chose to accelerate the seed growth, and was able to convince Harold to stick around for the good of his worshipers. The quarrel amongst the Treeminders ended an both sides accepted my decision knowing that the Oasis won’t outgrow it’s borders overnight. This resulted in good karma.

I played with other alternatives, and the only time I was punished with a karma penalty was when I set Harold on fire after learning that it was one of his biggest fears. And let’s face it – that was kind of a jerk move.

This quest works because it offers you a tough choice between several alternatives, none of each is clearly good or evil. The writers did not try to shoehorn it into the good/evil template and left it open ended. It is up to you to decide what is best for Harold, the Oasis and the Capital Wasteland itself.

Why couldn’t the Tenpenny Towers quest be structured this way? Why couldn’t we have an extra option to talk Roy out of his crazy idea of living in Tenpenny tower and escorting him to Underworld which is probably the only place a human hater like Roy could live without getting into trouble. We could make that to be the good karma option, and make the other peaceful resolution to be karma neutral. In that context, the death of innocent people wouldn’t cause a bewildering shock and a feeling that the game just pulled a fast one on you. I mean, yeah – it would still be surprising and shocking. But not so much out of place. After all, it would be your fault – you have misjudged Roy’s character and his ability to leave peacefully among humans.

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12 Responses to Fallout 3: Side Quest Rant

  1. Mackattack UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    Yeah, I had the same beef with Tenpenny quest, though you and Shamus have already said all that needs to be said. The “racism” of the Tenpenny residents is more an illusion, though, since Gustavo claims all ghouls turn feral eventually – And since the outside of underworld, in the Muesuem Subbasement, is absolutely crawling with ferals, it’s very plausible, so it’s not “racism” seeing as this is a valid concern.

    After completing the game once, I took a different approach – One that failed due to the mechanics of the game as well as the writing. I killed Roy the moment I encountered him, after he’d finished his little “you’ll get yours!” speech, what with him being a dangerous lunatic and all. Problem solved. However, when I accepted the quest, after wasting him, completion demanded I top off his followers as well. Bizarrely, killing him outside of the quest has no effect on Karma. I assume the same would apply for his followers.

    When I encountered his followers during the quest, they had turned hostile to me, knowing through the magic of videogame logic. Or at least the guy toting the assault rifle had. Roys squeeze, the girl, is Non-Hostile at first (I found her whilst she was asleep, so that may have been why). Talking to her enters a conversation tree, and although I had the bad luck to end with turning her into a hostile, I assume a peaceful outcome with her is possible.

    By exploiting the programming errors, the most ethically sound solution is probably to kill Roy and his machinegun weilding buddy outside of the quest and recieve no karma reward/punishment, and see what outcome can be reached with the girl – I don’t know if it’s possible to get her into tenpenny tower, having convinced the most bigoted residents to leave.

    ********************************************************

    On another note, having completed the game, ( SPOILERSSS ) I have major beef with the ending of the main quest and how that is written.

    WARNING: SPOILERS

    THE CHOICE

    In the final activation of the purifier, using the GECK, Player has a choice whether to infect the Purifiers water with a “modified FEV (Forced Evolution Virus) given to him by the “Sinister” (thank you, Ron Perlman) President Henry Eden.

    President Eden of the Enclave informs the player that doing so will mean the deaths of anyone who is mutated at all who comes into contact with the Purifiers water Ghouls (Who claim to be Non-human, thank you very much Underworld doctor) and Super Mutants. Fair enough.

    THE SUPER MUTANT THREAT

    The game takes great pains, over and over and over again, to describe how the Super Mutants are kidnapping and eating people (One quest is the rescue of a character “Shorty” from the supermutants Kitchen). The Brotherhood of Steel complain they are barely able to contain, let alone eradicate, the Supermutant threat, and how the Brotherhood Wasteland faction led by Lyons is struggling to stop the Super mutans “overrunning every blasted settlement out there”.

    To counterpoint this, the game introduces a character called Fawkes – The one “good” super mutant I’ve discovered so far, an eloquent and tortured character who helps you retrieve the GECK. His excellent voice acting is at total contrast to the Permanent Rage expression of his super mutant model, but that’s another thing. Either way, Fawkes is probably the best written character in the game, and is instantly likeable – However, there is only ONE of him. All his Supermutant brethren are violent psychopaths set on the destruction of the “Old” humanity, repeatedly claiming “WE ARE THE FUTURE!”. The game reveals that the Super Mutants are the results of the original Forced Evolutionary Virus.

    THE GHOULS

    The ghouls are conundrum, morally. On one hand, the majority of them are peaceful, human – like characters (Whether they are human anymore is a subject for debate, the Underworld doctor claims otherwise, and the majority of ghouls refer to everyone else as “human” as well as “smoothskin”, but that’s probably irrelevent) who are innocent and don’t deserve to die, far from it. However, the game posits the idea that all ghouls turn feral in the end, and become mindless psychos. Even “Ghouls are people too!” Three Dog, your friendly neighborhood Spider Man, sorry, Disc Jockey, asks people to “Kill as many as you damn well please” about Feral ghouls. It’s probably a good assumption that ghouls don’t reproduce, and an equally good one they’re all doomed to turn feral.

    THE DILEMNA

    The dilemna here echoes that of Watchmen – Rationalism Vs Intregrity, Justice, Ideology.

    The idealogical, Rorschachian answer is to NOT infect the water, because murder of Fawkes/ghousl would be wrong, no matter what. Supermutants live, ghouls live, everybody lives. But this is not a morally pure choice – It is very plausible that the Supermutants could quite easily wipe the old humanity off the face of the planet, after it’s fledgling start at rebuilding from the vaults. Thousands of lives would be condemned to die at Super mutant hands. Any ghouls would be fine, having mutated into something seemingly beyond human. This “Everybody lives” answer simply enables the war between Humans and the FEV produced centaurs and supermutants to continue, at presumably great expense in human life.

    The rationalist, save-the-many-at-the-expense-of-the-few, Ozymandian answer is to infect the water with the magic modified FEV virus, killing off Fawkes, your friend who came to rescue you, the ghouls in underworld and the ones who go schlepping about the wasteland who thank you for not killing them, and the hordes of Supermutants who infest DC. Once again, a morally gray answer. It ends the supermutant/oldschoolhuman war, and kills off all the feral ghouls and glowing ones who tear apart anyone who gets too close.

    There is no morally superior option here – Both have the deaths of innocents wrought inseperably from the consequences. Considering this a good/bad moral dilemna is not only an oxymoron (Good/bad choices are between being moral and temptation, ie, blowing up megaton for shits and giggles or doing the right thing – Moral dilemnas are between two equally moral choices).

    FALLOUT 3’S REACTION

    This is where the game falls down. As mentioned, moral dilemnas are between two equally moral choices. Fallout 3’s karma system is based on the idea of moral temptation – You get good Karma for helping people, and bad for killing and stealing, which are temptations, not Moral Choices.

    The problem generally is that Fallout 3 swings wildly between having more depth and complexity than this Good/bad system can cope with, (ie, Killing a slaver who has welcomed you into his home, given you his trust as well as material gifts, by shooting him in the back, is a morally gray choice at best, even though he/she is a slaver), like the final moral choice, and assuming deep and complex reasons for good/bad choices that don’t actaully exist (Tenpenny being a capitalist, nothing in Fallout3 has been in production for 200 years, so the Rich Capitalists Vs Poor Working Class Ghouls falls apart).

    This FEV/purifier choice is the former – A moral complex moral dilemna, NOT a moral temptation.

    The offshoot of this blatant misunderstanding of how morality works is that the game calls rationalists who side with Ozymandias, in so many words, Fucking Nazis. Ron Perlman pontificates over the end credits how “Only those who were deemed worthy” were carried into the future by the GECK, and how “The once thriving capital wasteland became a graveyard.” The game takes, again, great pains to rub it in the players face how much a nazi they are, by showing ghouls and fawkes, your innocent friend, dead in a ditch.

    So the game fails on many, many levels – First at trying to turn a moral choice into a moral temptation – And where is the temptation in killing off Fawkes? What could possibly be bad about ending a war between people who want to live in peace and cannibal, huge green psychos? Did the game assume it was a temptation because game players like to kill things for shits and giggles? I don’t know.

    And secondly, by drawing racist parellels that don’t exist. The “only those who were deemed worthy” line is horribly pretentious. It’s the equivelent of calling the player Hitler or Mao, of saying, you killed huge swathes of innocents because they didn’t live up to your Aryan standards – When in the actaulity of the game, Supermutants ARE mindless cannibals who need to be killed so humanity can survive. The ghouls AREN’T victims of racism – It is a very valid concern that they could turn feral and start munching on Alistair Tenpennys esteemed skull.

    IN CONCLUSION..

    Bioshock was criticised for having a too Hitler/Jesus, shallow “Moral choice” *cough temptation cough* system. Fallout 3 has it even worse because it DOES have moral choices, and applies a Hitler/Jesus, black Vs white, moral system over the top. The result is utterly bizarre statements (See Narrator Perlmans “Deemed worthy” line) and insulting the player.

    Fallout 3 misunderstands moral choices, and misunderstands its own gameworld. Game players go on mindless rampages in videogames when the characters who are the victims are not well characterised, because there’s no guilt involved. In contrast, Fallout3 has very good characterisation – And any game death of Fawkes, or random friendly scavengers, is normally accompanied (Depending on your level of videogame/book/movie character empathy) by some level of guilt.

    The offshoot of this is that Fallout 3, by carrying the assumption over that Killing Random Dudes is a valid moral temptation “Because it’s a videogame” over from GTA, or at least, implying it’s a moral temptation due to how the main quest ending is Karma- Hitler Jesus based – into a game world where the characterisation is very GOOD, creates the possibility that Bethesda’s writers and game programmers believe, that videogamers as a social group, are inherently bad/evil.

    Let me run that by you again. By assuming killing innocents is a valid moral temptation in Fallout 3, (As in, players will WANT to do this), Bethesda is assuming that people, specifically people who play videogames, are inherently evil at heart (Presumably, because they play videogames), and would do horribly evil things if there weren’t any consequences.

    I have to hand it to Bethesda – They’ve pioneered fresh ground in alienating their customers.

    Tl;Dr: Fallout 3 thinks you are a nazi and should kill yourself.

    Mack Mackenzie

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  2. Chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Luke, how do you feel about mods? there are buckets of great mods that add to the gameplay as well as putting things in that should’ve already been there. If you’re curious, Fallout 3 Nexus is the place i use.

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  3. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I also liked the Oasis subquest, too bad mirelurks were the enemies in the caves below the tree. I hate these steel armored crabs that takes no less that 3 shots from the most powerful weapon in the head to die in a shimmering pile of green goo. Shooting them down with a simple combat shotgun was a major pain, and it spoiled all the fun and excitement I had during the initial exposition.

    I think I read somewhere that an option is present to send Roy and his followers to Underworld somewhere along the Tenpenny quest, but I don’t know whether it’s truly possible or not. I also went the peaceful way and found out days later (I didn’t stick around) that he slaughtered everyone. I went back to him and killed him in retaliation, and I received bad karma (I think). Great…

    @ Mackattack: I’m more of a rationalist than an idealist so it’s no surprise I went with the infection of the water on my first playthrough, even though I was playing the “good guy”. But something in the epilogue (don’t know what exactly, probably the graveyard part) made me realize I had misunderstood the whole exposition on the F.E.V virus’s effect. I doesn’t only kill ghouls and supermutants. It kills every slightly mutated living soul. Including but not limited to : people living in the wasteland for a few years, exposed to small but sufficient amounts of radiation to induce benign mutation. Infecting the water means the complete annihilation of the population of Megaton, Rivet City, Tenpenny Tower, Bigtown, Brat Land and other “opened” settlements. The only surviving people will have to be 100% pure, from a recently opened vault (i.e. not yours, which has either been tainted or closed off for good) or sheltered away from the radiation in an enclave base. This is not at all the “save-the-many-at-the-expense-of-the-few” approach, quite the opposite actually. In this light, the choice is pretty clear and the karma impacts understandable.

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Mackattack: See, I gave the FEV capsule to Lyons in the Citadel so I didn’t even have that option.

    I also told Eden to fuck himself when he proposed this idea (literally, I told him to self destruct). I mean, just because it was an Enclave plan, I was like – hell no! I’d rather have super mutants and ghouls running around than Pres. Eden and his Tesla Armor wearing buddies coming in and thinking they own the place.

    I mean, I was fine dealing with the super mutants and ghouls. They were a nuisance but I considered the Enclave to be a much bigger threat to the people of the Capital Wasteland than the mutants.

    The “evil” ending was never even an option for me.

    I asked Fawkes to help me start the generator in the final scene. I did it, because I knew he is immune to radiation – and by doing this, he could become a hero. Instead of hating him, people of Capital Wasteland would instead look up to him. He would be accepted in normal society!

    I have Broken Steel, so I woke up weeks later and everyone was treating me like the hero while Fawkes was just standing there. There was no dialog option to say “dude, see that big green guy – yeah, he is the hero. You should all thank him cause he was the one that saved us all”. But no… No such option. That pissed me off too.

    @ Chris: I’ve been pretty much playing it, plain vanilla sans the mod that removes the level cap.

    Any suggestions for good mods?

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  5. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Zel: Actually once I found the Alien Blaster (and later the Plasma Rifle that has a steady supply of ammo) mirelurks ceased to be a problem for me. I would crouch, let them get close and then shoot their face in VATS. I could usually kill them with 2/3 shots of plasma, or one shot of the alien blaster.

    I also sometimes was able to pick them off with 4-5 face shots from a hunting rifle or Lincoln Repeater from a distance.

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  6. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Luke Maciak: I guess Broken Steel has changed the ending, because Fawkes when asked to go and make use of his innate radiation immunity to save the day normally responds something alike “This is your destiny, not mine. Do it on your own or let the chick die, but someone has to die!”. This would explain why noone considers him a hero : for the majority of players continuing a previous savegame, he let you take all the risks while standing by even though his life would not be in any danger.

    Mirelurks took no less that 3 shots of the A3-25 Plasma Rifle to defeat in my game, and the larger ones like kings almost a full clip or a dozen of Nuka Grenades… Maybe monster resilience has been adjusted in a patch since I played as well.

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Zel: Yeah, I patched the game up all the way. I also had the better criticals perk (and I think some other damage increasing perk), my luck was 7 (base 5, +1 from the lucky 8’ball, +1 from the bobblehead) and my perception was maxed out.

    That could explain it. :) Maybe it took more shots – all I know is that most of them went down in a single VATS sequence unless I missed a few times.

    The alien blaster however can take them out in 1-2 VATS shots – I’m pretty sure of that.

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  8. copperfish Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    I ended up at a point where I couldn’t finish Tenpenney Tower – something broke with Roy and Gustavo dead. They irritated me and I felt that removing the obviously antagonistic parties would clear the problem up. It just left the quest unfinishable. I ended up loading a saved game and following the “save-the-humans” route because it involved fewer deaths. I agree that the choice was crappy.

    Busy with Point Lookout but the ramp up in difficulty is nasty.

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  9. Chris UNITED STATES Safari Mac OS says:

    Plenty. Some highlights are FWE, FOOK, WMK, and MMM. All of which change the game so much, vanilla can’t compare.

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  10. Mackattack UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    Hrm. I had no idea that going down Eden’s route meant the deaths of pretty much everyone, I thought it was SM and ghoul exclusive. I can understand it, but I never picked up on it in the game. So I guess my whole arguement is bunk.

    I’ll re watch the end credits of youtube

    Either way, I’m not one to hate on the Enclave. They’re continually called evil, but they game never actaully presents a decent answer as to why. They’re just arbitarily painted evil because they have nazi uniforms and power armour. President Eden genuinely DOES want to rebuild america, and the impression I got from the game (whilst playing, not credits) is that he wanted to kill off the supermutants and ghouls to allow oldschool humanity a chance.

    I’m probably going to get Broken Steel and The Pitt on disc (Xbox live can go screw itself, I like holding tangible copies of things) so I don’t have to have the YOU MUST DIEEEE to bring closure to the game ending.

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  11. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Mackattack wrote:

    Either way, I’m not one to hate on the Enclave. They’re continually called evil, but they game never actaully presents a decent answer as to why. They’re just arbitarily painted evil because they have nazi uniforms and power armour.

    I don’t know. They were pretty shady to me. I mean, they take over Project Purity and cause my father’s death. They lock up poor Nathan from Megaton (the old guy who is all Pro-Enclave) – you can find him in one of the cells in Raver Rock. Eden wants to eliminate all mutants from the face of the earth. They seemed pretty evil to me.

    Not only that, but their government seemed to be more of a totalitarian dictatorship. Eden might want to rebuild America but I don’t think I would like to live in a totalitarian United States of Eden. :P

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  12. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I remember Eden mentioning holding democratic elections as soon as the mutant threat is eliminated, so their rule wouldn’t be the United States of Eden but more of a return to the old ways (that brought the war, but still).

    Actually, the Enclave is quite more complicated than the basic evil government agency trying to rule the world. If you listen to Enclave Radio, and pay attention to all that happens once you meet them, you can notice there are in fact two factions among the Enclave with very different objectives.

    On one hand, Eden wants to use the purifier to restore the world as it was before the war (without mutants and with a clean water supply), and then rebuild society from there. Problem is, everyone’s a mutant now so his plan involves massive amounts of deaths. On the other hand, Colonel Autumn wants to use the purifier as a means to control the population and therefore consolidate the Enclave’s power in the region. He doesn’t want the mutants eliminated, either because they would serve their purpose as *the* enemy, uniting the people without fear of rebellion or because as a human he can’t follow Eden’s plan. Which is why after great efforts to capture you unharmed, and without the purifier’s code, he still tries to get you killed by countermanding an order from his president.

    So in the end, the Enclave is either genocidal (Eden) or totalitarian (Autumn). Both are evil, but it’s nice to see the two viewpoints. F3’s Enclave doesn’t fit with Fallout 2’s at all, but is at least much more interesting than the Brotherhood of Steel being reduced to an order of paladins. I wish they had been more detailed, maybe there’s more in Broken Steel ?

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