The Sole Survivor should have been a Synth

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by CT Phipps, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    It's weird but I thought I'd hate the idea. However, it occurs to me that it actually would make a lot of the story work so much better. Your character has no personal connection to the whole business of the Synth Revolution and the creepy child robot fails miserably to be engaging.

    However, if you WERE a Synth and the meeting with Shaun was, "Yes, I basically created you to be my substitute parent and none of the memories you have of the Old World are real." It would solve, if not anywhere NEAR the number of problems the game had then at least a good 5% of them without needing rewrites.

    * The idealized 50s America
    * Seeing the nuclear mushroom cloud
    * The fact you are alive and everyone else is dead
    * Why Shaun left you in the freezer - so you could track down the man who killed his mother/father (and you for that matter)
    Basically, you being his enormous revenge fantasy.

    You could also have Shaun 2.0 revealed to be a clone of Father and that hsi crazy ass fantasy would be that you would raise them.

    If you want to be a ripoff you could also have Shaun throw in this dialogue, "Did you never wonder why you were able to slaughter whole bands of enemies and stand toe-to-toe with a Courser which no normal human, at least one without Power Armor, could do? You are the strongest Synth ever built but ultimately limited by the parameters I've given you."

    That would be a better story for Paladin Danse too, to have him choose between his loyalty to the brotherhood and you depending on relationship values.

    The only problem is it would be a grossly telegraphed and obvious twist akin to Senator Palpatine being Darth Sidious.
     
  2. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Haven't we gone over this already? Regardless, smells like you've had abit too much fun watching Blade Runmer 2049 :P
    "Not being able to say no MWAHAHAHAAHAA"

    And again, we've had page long ellaborations on how could it be. Most share that it'd need to restructure or overhaul the main narrative thread of the game. And well, open world sandboxes have a bit of a pickle with deep character drama.
     
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    There's no narrative to speak of so that isn't actually that difficult

    However, in the blank space of Fallout's massive EMPTINESS of plot, you can imagine whatever you want.

    I do think keeping with what few themes and worldbuilding we see, it's a good idea, though.
     
  4. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Maybe, if synths were still machines with fleshy bits rather than artificial humans, a synth player character might work.

    But let's face it, this is Bethesda we're talking about. They could never write SOMA-level stuff regarding this kind of topic.
     
  5. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Fuck, not even SOMA. That's unfair! Even just down to setting up the dillema a bit better for players to think about istead of just saying "oh yeah synthethic humans give it some thought will ya bud"

    Admittedly it doesn't SEEM to try and go for the "2 Deep 4 Me" deal that is common in AAA when adressing even somewhat thought inducing themes, so props to them for that. Or maybe they tried and that's another thing they failed at, we'll never know.
     
  6. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    I agree. There should have been way more synth-confusion and existential crisis.
    Well, no there shouldn't have been because it was written by a certain incompetent hack.
     
  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    There's a great moment in the Railroad plot which would have been interesting. Basically, when you talk with one of the Synths in the Institute and he reveals only a minority of them want to leave.

    Which, of course, why would they?

    They can be janitors in a safe and secure environment or they can die horribly in the shitholes of the Commonwealth. That was the brieflest flash of something much deeper and more interesting.

    Of course, you CAN'T talk with them.
     
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  8. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Because it was written and made by lazy hacks. Yes. We've been there.
     
  9. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Aside from justifying being able to kill Coursers and do things NPCs cannot, what does being a synth actually give to the game though?
     
  10. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    Off the top of my head and speaking as a writer? I think on a basic level, it gives you some skin in the game.

    The original Replicated Man quest is one which works because you DON'T have any skin in the game. You can side with Chief Harkness or the Institute rep because Harkness is an asshole and you're getting paid to do it. You're an outsider to the story and its resolution is really just a reflection of your beliefs regarding a robot you have no need to believe is more. That kind of philosophical conundrum is fine for a sidequest.

    HOWEVER, it's a major point of the actual game and yet you don't have much of a connection to the issue.

    By making you Shaun's personal Synth Replacement Goldfish, you now have your foot in both worlds. On one hand, you have the Institute wanting you to be their new leader and all the potential power which comes from that role but on the other hand you have the fact it comes from standing on the labor of your "people."

    It also gives the Sole Survivor some actual existential angst that could be explored with the fact he's not actually the Sole Survivor of Pre-War America but a guy who was made to think he was and programmed with all these memories of things that never happened from a scientist's idea of what the world was like.

    Throw in some ending slides and you can actually make the choice between factions meaningful. Like the Good Karma Female Courier who sides with the Legion, the Synth Survivor who sides with the BOS is a guy who destroys his own race.
     
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  11. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    You really need to play SOMA don't you

    It's getting an XB1 release soon methinks so I guess it's not far from your reach.
     
  12. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    Watched the game as I sometimes do with stories I like.

    It's weird but I didn't think someone could do a darker and edgier game which was too dark and depressing for me, especially inspired by System Shock but SOMA succeeded.

    Mind you, I think my pure undiluted hate for the idiot protagonist helped.

    Speaking very slowly: "You are a reproduction of the guy you think you are. No, you are not in your old male body. You are not going to the satellite, a copy of you is. Because that is fucking how programming works!"
     
  13. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    :|

    Captura.PNG

    Captura.PNG

    Wow it's almost like it's best experienced hands on as the piece of interactive of entertainment that it is. And maybe such a thing can make a FPP protagonist not need to be treated like a soccer player on TV but like a relatable human being in a situation of extreme stress!
     
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  14. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    I plan to replay it on Xbox One.

    I admit you're correct. I stopped watching Dex because I realized, "I want to play this."
     
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  15. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    It would work better as the overarcing personal narrative (save my vault, save my tribe, save the BoS, find big daddy Neeson), instead of 'where is mah bay-bay that I interacted with for all of 20 seconds?' There would be a lot of tie-ins to different quests, which would build up the story quite a bit. Definitely needs an acid trip scene, or some kind of questionable memory pod malfunction to really cement the question. Having to live a double life not strictly because of allegiances could make for some interesting dialogue, where people get close to finding out. Your companions could question it too, and may need to be convinced that you're a 'good person' (relative to their standards obviously), or I suppose 'a real person'. Being an outsider that doesn't really belong anywhere, as someone not part of the Institute, but who would be presumed as such has some narrative weight to it.

    Would be cool if you could change your identity. I mean, why make synth infiltrators that can't shape shift? Fringe was a great show dammit! (Despite promoting faith as a virtue in later seasons...). Or if you had other synth specific abilities. Your super hacking powers would be more immersive that way, and we could skip all the bloody hacking sequences that just get tedious. In that case they should be able to top the previous player characters (fat chance). Whose superhuman feats I chalk up to mutation, along with the other damn-near unkillable badasses (Ulysses, Joshua Graham, I guess those two max SPECIAL wankers in the LR bomb zones). Ideally through the introduction of new game mechanics. Say jumping ten feet in the air, or having super strength outside of exaggerated crit-kill animations.

    ...but then they would have to actually address the question of sentience, determinism vs free will, and other meaty concepts instead of just bringing it up and dropping the mic like that's an original idea. I mean, if it was that would still be pretty shite but then at least we could say 'look at this cool idea we've never encountered before'.
     
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  16. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    I admit, I'm tempted to fire up Fallout 4 again for a second run.

    However, it would be a "Synth" run and I'd have to fill in the holes myself.

    I'd also ignore Settlements completely and mod them away. Ditto the Minutemen quests.
     
  17. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    I guess by pretending that it's an entirely different game, Fallout 4 can get its 8/10 or better score back.
     
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  18. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Half-way Through My Half-life

    Sep 17, 2016
    Well I'd do the game's best parts and ignore the rest. Probably won't.

    Still, there might be some mods to make it decent.

    I really like the Companion Mod which restores the quest where you rebuild your Spouse as a companion.

    http://falloutmods.wikia.com/wiki/Synthetic_Love

    https://www.reddit.com/r/fo4/commen..._companion_cut_quest/?st=jai8pmd1&sh=a91d8e6f

     
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  19. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
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  20. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Gotta have some waifu-factor in there.
    When I first read "I really like the Companion Mod which restores the quest where you rebuild your Spouse as a companion."
    I thought "Nice, finally we get some exploration of the grief-struck SS after he or she barely emotes anything about his or her spouse. How will this be, will you try and hack into the synth-making-machine at the Institute and then smuggle your spouse out of the Institute?"
    But no, it just adds Nora into the game and you need to convince her that she's a synth.
    Meh.
     
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