essay, video games

For the Brotherhood

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been spending most of my time playing Fallout: New Vegas. Since that post though I’ve tried to figure out a way to save The Brotherhood of Steel, one of the many factions in the game. As per my last post, I thought the only way was to follow whatever Mr. House wanted me to do. Turns out, yeah, that’s also not going to work either. That was my penultimate option. Before that, I tried several others.

At first, I sided with the Legion. Not because I actually like their ideals — they are slavers and I’m not a fan of that — but because I thought my character might think that siding with the largest army that I could see would be a good idea. After all, to this character, force and violence were preferred to anything else. So, siding with the Legion looked like a good idea. And I followed that route for awhile. Then Caesar wanted me to kill off The Brotherhood of Steel. I wasn’t going to do that as I said in the last post. So, back to the NCR.

I mentioned not being a fan of authority and my character, as was increasingly a reflection of myself, didn’t like the military people either, but I was getting tired of playing the game at this point and just wanted an in-game in-character ending. That brought me to the NCR and their quest to talk to every other faction in the game. By the time I had made it to this quest for the NCR, I had already done most of the side quests and contacted nearly all the other factions. Through conversations options, it was narrowed done who I had to contact to just one group: The Great Khans.

They, The Great Khans, are sort of stand in for the trials of the Native Americans and the troubles visited on them by the United States military in the past. Kicked out by the warring factions coming in their land, they were rounded up  and then, through the plotting of one faction against another, left to face a massacre by the NCR. Basically, they have been knocked down and kicked around. All the wanted to do by the time my character gets to them was to get vengeance on the NCR, via an alliance with the Legion, and then be left alone. They, like all the other factions, had people who would, give the right incentives, side with whatever I tell them too. The NCR wanted them removed as a threat and I went about trying to do that. I tracked down all the vocal opponents against the NCR and give and say all the right things. All except one person. I couldn’t remember, having played the game before, how to reach a certain place in the game to talk to the last vocal person, Melissa of the Great Khans.

I kept dying over and over trying to reach this one little site. Surrounding the area are Deathclaws, the toughest enemy in Fallout: New Vegas. I would try climbing up one series of hills only to run into one or even several Deathclaws at the same time. Sometimes I would survive one attack before falling to another although often I would die outright before even taking one of them down. Then I would try another path. Again and again, my character would be killed in trying to this person and her camp. After about a half-dozen attempts, I gave up and went back to the NCR. Were there any other options here? Turns out that there was: the NCR wanted me to kill their chief. Which I did. And the Great Khans didn’t like. But the NCR let me continue in the quest line. The next part was to kill off The Brotherhood of Steel — wait. What?

At this point, having reached a section of the quest I did not like, I considered my options. Again. I had tried the Legion and they wanted me to kill off the The Brotherhood of Steel. Having rejected that idea, I went to the NCR and followed their quests. Then they wanted me to kill off The Brotherhood too. Who was left? Mr. House was the only options. As I pointed out in the last post, I had the feeling I was going to have to side with a combination of him and NCR. But the NCR wanted me to kill people I didn’t want to, so I was against them too. I was back to what I feared I may of had to do and how I started this post. I had to side with Mr. House.

He had his own set of quests to go and contact every tribe in the Mojave, which I had already done. The last step was to give him the platinum chip — the maguffin for most of the game — and super-size his army. In my way of doing that was Cesar and his army. So, after about an hour of running around in his fort getting chased by warriors, I managed to kill off everyone in his encampment and get back the chip, go in the bunker and then report back to Mr. House. Finally, I was ready to end the game. Or so I thought. Mr. House had one finally missions for me. I was to kill off The Brotherhood of Steel.

I’d had enough. I went to Yes Man, the robot Benny had programmed to take over once Mr. House was disabled or killed, and told him I was ready. Then I killed Mr. House. I was tired of this game trying to make me kill off people I thought were cool and it was time to end this constant running around. I put Yes Man into the computer and took control of New Vegas for myself. All that was left was to give over control of Hoover Dam to Yes Man and fight in the last battle.

Both turned out to be pretty easy. With the securtrons, two companions — Dog and Veronica — the soldiers of both sides were no match for me. I marched through the place, flipped the override and then walked over to the Legate’s Camp. After hearing about this great fighter from many Legion in the alternative reality where I helped them, I would have expected a great battle. And, in the first time I played the game, it was. It had taken my several tries that first time. This time however, I knew the secret. With a 100 Speech statistic, you can talk him out of fighting you and he will walk away. I’d had that for several hours. I talked him out of fighting, told the NCR to leave the Mojave and took my place as ruler of the New Vegas area.

I did all that, took on all those alternatives, all because I thought The Brotherhood of Steel should not have to wiped out. In an ironic shift, I ended up playing a role. In all the complaining about slipping from the role I had started with, the role I was trying to keep up, I ended up playing a variation of it that was naturally to the world. Despite worrying that my character was becoming more and more me, it was more an amalgamation and than anything else. Both my character and myself were changed. We both ended up on a side where we fought for the rights of one group against all the others.