Fallout 4: The Winter of our Nick-Content, Part I

“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid…”
.. not me, of course; I wet myself with terror at the sight of naked mole rats.  But my good buddy Nick Valentine:

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“What I had was a coat, a hat, and a gun.  I put them on and went out of the room.”

head of Valentine’s Detective Agency in Diamond City.  I love Nick, ’cause he looks like he just walked out of a Raymond Chandler novel:

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Part man, part machine, all noir.

I’ve been running around the Wasteland with Nick, trying to build my reputation up to the point that I get his perk.  I don’t even know what it is, actually, but I learned the hard way from New Vegas that you have to switch up your companions if you wanna have a decent cutscene at the end.

I think I’ve got a pretty good profile on Nick:
Nick Valentine
Age: world-weary
Race: synthetic humanoid
Likes:
Long walks through the Wasteland
Solving mysteries
Helping the less fortunate
Down & right arrow conversation prompts
Hacking terminals

Dislikes:
Loud talkers
Theft
Random murder
Right and up arrow conversation prompts

And I knew I was on the right track when we left a building and I got the patented Fallout camera pan – you know what I’m talking about – where they cough to get your attention, then ask if you’ve got a moment, and then the camera pans over to them and you can’t move.

He says he’s been worried about his memories, and that’s when I started to get worried – is he about to have a robot freakout here?  I like to think I’m an open-minded person, but I have to admit that whenever I’m around a robot, I always have that little bit of concern in the back of my mind that it might have a “kill all humans” moment.  I don’t like it, I feel guilty about it, but I watched the 70’s version of Battlestar Galactica, and things were … different back then.

It’s okay, though.  It turns out Nick was based on an actual pre-War detective named Nick Valentine, and he still has those memories.

“So you know where we could get some awesome Power Armor,” I’m thinking, when I realize –

Eddie Winter.

Earlier in the game, I found some holotapes in a police station that were about a mobster named Eddie Winter.  I’d wondered why they’d put that level of detail in the game; it seemed different than the usual visual jokes, or I guess you could say it didn’t feel complete.  Most of the pre-War backstory stuff you find, like the Boston Bugle stories, are little one-off snippets.  This didn’t feel like that.

Sure enough, Nick says he was the cop who was trying to take down Eddie Winters.  You know how that had to end – although I haven’t finished the quest line yet, I’m willing to bet even money Nick was long dead before the first bomb fell.

Back in 2075, Nick the Cylon … I mean, Synth, tells me that Eddie Winter is still alive.

Which – you know, at this point, I’m really starting to wonder if anyone here in Boston was actually born after the War.

Being the forward-thinking criminal mastermind he is, Eddie had himself turned into a ghoul.  Since this was before the whole atomic-radiation-will-melt-your-nose-and-give-you-eternal-life thing, he apparently either found a different technique or just hung around a lot of nuclear test sites.  Maybe that’s a thing now, I dunno.  Anyway, that means he’s a prototype ghoul, and we all know how that works in science fiction – the prototype is the biggest, meanest, toughest, most armed and armored killing machine in the Wasteland.  And that’s just the prototype coffee makers.  Actual monsters – well, I’m guessing Eddie probably has one of those red skulls next to his name.

Ouch

But in order to experience the cornucopia of pain that is Eddie Winter, we need to get the access codes to his saferoom, which is fiendishly hidden inside a deli.

?? Okay, just go with it.

The access codes are on ten different holotapes located at various police departments … you know where this is going: this is a tour-guide quest, where the game wants to make sure you’ve been around the map and seen all the wonderful ways to die, and encountered all the different monsters and found the wonderful ways they have to kill you, and met all the different factions and seen all the wonderful ways they have to murder you.

Like the Brotherhood of Steel.  I freakin’ HATE the Brotherhood of Steel, and they’re everywhere, like power-armored cockroaches.  And they parked that giant blimp out on the horizon, and it’s driving me crazy.  I wonder if I could hit it with a nuclear missile – screw the next apocalypse, stop messing with my schizophernia!

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The lights in the sky!  The lights in the sky!

Also, then they’ll stop sending these damn helicopters – ok, they’re vertibirds, but really, they’re helicopters – and I freakin’ hate helicopters – well, to be more exact, I hate helicopters in games, for the same reason I like them in reality,  which is cause it means something is happening – especially up here in cattle country, where helicopters are rarer than UFOs.

But a helicopter in the sky means events are unfolding, and that’s always fun to watch – but in this case, what they’re doing is dropping Brotherhood knights everywhere, and I don’t know why and I’m worried that I need to go somewhere and do something about it.  Hopefully there’s not a time limit to that, but I think there is because they’re everywhere.  It seems like they’re mostly attacking super mutant fortifications, which of course are also everywhere, but once they also got shot down by some other faction, which didn’t help my schizophrenia when I saw glowing lights in the sky and came upon this:

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But it does always cheer me up when the mutants shoot one of them down, even though the pilots have apparently been specifically trained to crash on top of me.  I was running around a shopping center when not one but two helivertibird were shot down by some Super Mutants and blew up ten feet away from me.  Naturally, this left me in need of sum Bactine, so I went back to Sanctuary to sleep it off (I prefer to think of it as hunkering down in a Motel 6 watching the Rockford Files while sucking on cheap whiskey and smoking Senecas out of a soft pack, but whatever) and when I go back, I see two Raiders get taken out by lasery death.  I’m thinking it’s probably the Brotherhood again, but then I see these guys:

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They don’t look jerky enough to be Brotherhood

I go up to one of them, and she says “This is Minuteman Business. Stay out.”

Huh?

I mean, thanks for the lasery death and all, but shouldn’t I have ordered you here or something?  Why are you just running around places?  And how come I’ve never met any of you before?  And also, “stay out”?!?  Stay out?!?  In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m the General of the Minutemen, lady!

 

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