Ever since Fallout 4, and nowadays obviously Fallout 76 I see a steady stream of what I like to call "RPG protagonists" that get shocked and appalled that BoS are treating people like a shit stain on their boots, that Arthur Maxson exhibits extreme views and is skirting the line of "good" and "evil". Now followed by Appalachian BoS.
Now let's roll time back to 2008 and Fallout 3's release, a genuinely well received game that revived a franchise that Interplay's blunders buried six feet under. One of the >main< complaints from us fossils that actually played the previous installments was how cheesy, one-dimensional and grating the Lyon's BoS division was. This good samaritan, mother Teresa detachment was the aberration and stuck out like a sore thumb, infact the asshole Outcasts you seen in there are pretty much the BoS loyalists. NONE of the other games feature a squeaky clean white Brotherhood, because that isn't them.
On the other hand, just because they don't feed every single wastelander dieing in a ditch somewhere, or go around individually asking super mutants – who are by far in vast majority bloodthirsty butchers and monsters – if perhaps Nancy the super mutant is a one in a hundred "nice" exception, it doesn't make them "villains" or "antagonists". They are infact pretty much the anti-heroes of the setting, a bleak setting (something that Bethesda forgot apparently), where not being a cannibal or a throat slitting junkie is already a start of a good day. You know what the good samaritans did back in Fallout 1? They sent people asking for help to their deaths. And they had a good chuckle about it. Yes, the area of the Glow is littered with skeletons of naive people who got sent on their merry way on a suicide mission, thinking the Brotherhood will help them and they'll gain access to their Lost Hills bunker. They don't bother informing Wastelanders that it's a death trap – they just want you gone and out of their faces. From the first moment you encounter the imposing paladins guarding the entrance, to the moments when you're walking among them as a one-of-a-kind outsider to join their ranks, you are constantly ridiculed, insulted and looked down upon as waste trash.
Now back then they were envisioned as isolationists, basically monks in their monastery (coincidentally, even their music in the OST is titled "Metallic Monks") – you mind your business and they mind theirs. Only in later installments did they start being expansionists when they realized they are pretty much dieing out by sticking to their old ways, and here they clash with the NCR with whom they were once allied with – and get the short end of the stick by NCR brutalizing them in the end to the point where BoS stopped being a major player on the West Coast. So, why are they so beloved and where's the "hero" part? Well, just so happens that despite their selfishness, single-minded motivation and gigantic dicks attitude – they can be negotiated with, and somehow they unintentionally make things better for everyone else by taking out every other much bigger and more sinister dicks that the Wasteland conjured up over the years. The Master, the Enclave, the Calculator, the Institute, the list goes on. So every single good deed the BoS ever done wasn't out of the kindness of their bleeding hearts, but rather because some mook or moustache twirling villain was in their way, and they just happened to have a common goal with the protagonist. They are essentially the polar opposite of the Enclave. Good things happen because of their selfish end goals, while calamity and mass murder happen because of Enclave's fanatical beliefs in the "greater good" (they are pretty much a nazi germany proxy).
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© Post "Dear BoS white knights" for game Fallout.
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