Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Fallout 4 and the Institute: "know them by what they do"

The Institute talks a good talk but if you look at the terminals, you get the real story.

Take Warwick Farm. The Institute likes the look of it's soils.

So does it try to buy the farm? Find somewhere similar? Trade for use of the fields?

Nope.

Stage 1:
Using genetic manipulation, we will develop a unique breed of Cucurbitaceae with similar characteristics to those commonly farmed in the Commonwealth.

Stage 2:
Acquire Roger Warwick, patriarch of Warwick Homestead, and conduct a series of intensive interrogation sessions to learn all we can about his life and family.

Stage 3:
With the intelligence gathered in Stage 2, create a synth replica of Roger Warwick and embed the unit on-site at Warwick Homestead to oversee the operation directly. SRB will handle logistics of this aspect of the initiative.

Stage 4:
Begin covert deliveries of prototype seed batches for planting.

Stage 5:
Collect observational data from embedded unit.

Stage 6:
When sufficient data has been collected, retrieve synth unit and specimens for lab study. Purge all surface evidence of the initiative.


It captures the father of the household and tortures them for everything they need to make a replacement - then kills him or turns him into a supermutant.

Then they send out the fake to share the bed of the widow.

The fake will do the experiments, then help murder everyone who lives there.

All because they wanted to do an agricultural experiment.

Clayton, talking about the people of Warwick Farm,
who will be murdered soon under the instructions of 'Father'.

There are members of the Institute who question the system,
but they are isolated,
and terrified.

Rightly so.

When you walk around the Institute, they constantly tell you "the Synths aren't human! they just aren't human" with a weird desperate need to be believed. They never present evidence for the case that Synths can't feel, and will talk about them feeling emotions, then deny they have any.

The dirtier areas of the Institute
- morally as well as literally
- are hidden from view.

Most living there do not acknowledge their existence,
any more than they acknowledge
that they steal power from the Commonwealth.
I think it's the same with the peoples outside the Institute. They don't see them as real. To be fair, they don't interact with them, for the most part. Their sterile little world - and it is tiny - is all most have ever known. The dirtier parts of it are kept hidden away. And anyone who asks questions, well... the coursers walk around constantly as a threat. In fact, the head of the coursers looks likely to take power in a coup. What's to stop the one person who has command over the coursers from killing everyone in his way?

And the coursers? Are cut-down emotionally, stunted to remove compassion, but with their toughness otherwise far beyond human.

The Institute says that it must recover any Synths that flee,
because they are property
and expensive to make.

Yet the recovery costs them money and resources.
It also makes them enemies.
  If they let Synths leave if they desired,
the Railroad wouldn't exist.

Yet they have the resources
to build fake gorillas that do nothing,
that have no purpose.

They are not part of an ecosystem.
They are not weapons or spies.

They are made because...

We are never told.

It seems that a lot of things are just
done.


I can easily imagine the FRB ruling with an iron grip - only for the next generation of coursers; smarter, even more ruthless - figuring out how to overcome their own safeguards, and deciding, as the Institute's example taught - that the humans, aren't, well, human - and eliminating them is important to the Institute's survival.

Do as you would be done by. How does the Institute treat others?

I do regret that there is no way to simply assume control of it. You can sneak in, turn off the defenses, shutdown the synths, let in an army to take prisoners... but no, the game won't let you do that. The game requires that you blow it up, because ... voice acting... cut-scenes... railroaded... ugh.

Perhaps one day, modders will be able to alter that side of such games, but as it stands, there's very little they can do. Fallout 4 and similar games end up being very rigid except in minor ways, like furniture or outfits. Changing the 'endings'? Nope!

And that's a shame in my book, because none of these endings are any good, and modders could do so much better in terms of writing, if not visual effects or voice acting.

One of the earliest reasons I chose never to help the Institute
was that they lied about the FEV project.

They turned the people they kidnapped into monsters, and fed them cats.

Cats.

Yep, I know it's crazy but that was the last straw.

You kill my Mittens?

You die.


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