Fallout 4 – The loyalty dilemma

I thought that I had just about written as much as I could about Fallout 4, short of my inevitable “final thoughts”, but I’ve been somewhat inspired to mention a something that I’ve not really experienced in a Fallout game, or any game in recent memory.

What’s the issue?

There’s no “issue” per se.  It’s more a question of how the game has been able to build companions, all of whom I want to take out with me into the Commonwealth, but I feel genuine pangs of guilt when it comes to prospect of changing companion.

At first, I couldn’t let go of Dogmeat, he had been with me from the beginning, he’d saved my arse more times than I can count, and I’d stim-packed him after finding him whimpering after getting the brunt of some enemies, somewhere, all whilst trying to protect me.  Add in the goggles and collar I gave him, and he was my road-buddy.

Alas, I felt I had to bring Nick Valentine along on the main quest, and I had to let Dogmeat go, (not before building him his how dog house at Red Rocket!).

I’ve met other people (they’re not just characters/NPCs at this point….) that have offered to travel with me, and I’m tempted to take Paladin Danse with me, or perhaps see what all the fuss is about Piper.  But I just can’t let Nick go now, he’s started to confide in me, he’s been through some heavy stuff with me, and I don’t want to just cast him aside.

What’s the cause?

I guess, it’s mainly the fact that I’m too soft at heart?  I mean, there’s no dialogue or conversation to be had with Dogmeat, so it’s not like his character is developed in any way, apart from in my mind.  Presumably, my love of dogs, finding him abandoned and sharing my journey with him has given me this emotional attachment?

What about Nick though?  That dude understands my journey, he wants to help, and he’s now trusted me with his personal quest.  We’re friends, we’ve been through the worst of it together.  How could I ever abandon him at this stage?

It’s obviously some weird emotional connection I’ve made, myself, but surely some of it comes down to the writing, to voice acting, the story arcs and how they become involved.  It can’t just be me, because I’ve never felt this kind of guilt or allegiance to companions in this series, or in the Elder Scrolls games.  Does that excellent, moody score that highlights the eerie Commonwealth play a part?  I think so.

What can I do?

Well, the reverse of this loyalty, is the guilt that I also feel for not letting the other companions have a shot, to fulfill their role in the story in a more meaningful way.  I’ve all but ignored Danse and Piper after my initial interactions, so now I feel like I’ve let them down, too!

I can’t recall any game that’s made me want to invest time in all the incidental extra co-stars.  I don’t have the time to give them all a fair run, so I’m going to have to be selfish and stick with Nick………for now.

I know there are others out there, that I haven’t even encountered yet, destined to increase my guilt, but that’s ok, because I’m invested in this world and this game, so surely it’s only a good thing?

How many games can you think of that have made you feel genuine guilt for not letting companions come with you?

Sure, moral decisions have been a key to this iteration of the series, do you blow Megaton up? Do you join this faction? Do you join that faction? Will you accept the consequences? I get that, and those decisions haven’t really weighed me down like this guilt I have for these people.

Although I am worried that maybe the Brotherhood of Steel may not have been my best choice………

Well done Bethesda, you’ve somehow developed an emotional connection between me and some NPCs, some of which I’ve barely spoken to.  One of which can’t speak!

Catch my Fallout 4 streams over at www.mixer.com/ninjarefinery

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