Fallout

The Wasted Potential of Far Harbor’s Confrontation Ending

fallout 4 - The Wasted Potential of Far Harbor's Confrontation Ending
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I am talking specifically in a playthough where the SS sides with the Railroad/Minutemen, doesn't sell out Acadia to the Institute/BOS/CoA/Far Harbor and chooses to confront DiMA diplomatically. Nick Valentine should have had a bigger role in the confrontation ending and I'll explain why.

In the base game, our understanding of Nick's backstory is that is was a pre-war cop who had his personality downloaded after his human self when through "PTSD treatment" after his spouse was murdered. The town that was the first contact he had after he is "tossed" from the Institute is destroyed by Raiders, he runs a business focused to finding the missing people taken by others. This context is perfect: all of the notable events in his backstory are focused on him having people he loved murdered or being kidnapped. When visiting Vault 111, he sympathises with the SS over the loss of their partner and he likes when the SS empathises in dialogue with her loss at one point. Nick dislikes nearly every incidence of choosing to kill/betray non-hostile characters (such as Trish in the quest Diamond City Blues). This is two fold when the Institute is involved, as shown by his dedication to finding Shaun.

In Far Harbor, when you find out DiMA murdered Avery and replaced her with a Synth. In the context of the base game, this should be a pivotal point in their relationship – DiMA did the exact same thing as the Institute – Nick shouldn't be able to trust him. The scene when you confront DiMA is perfect up until the point where you are given the choice to either make DiMA confess or replace Tekus – thus committing the same crime twice.

Nick's only reaction is getting passive aggressive, saying something about how this isn't justice and never mentions it again. If you choose to return to Acadia with DiMA alive, they will have banter regardless of the fact he hid the murder and/or murdered another innocent person.

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What wasted potential. The majority of Nick's life is lived as a detective, most players doing this route are doing the highest karma options as possible. Why couldn't we have had a dialogue option with Valentine about asking his opinion or had an exchange between the two – why is the Sole Survivor the one to decide whether or not to keep it a secret? I wish there was an option to have Valentine decide what should have happened, moreover give more agency to the player in having a three-way peace treaty. In New Vegas, the player can ally with as many factions as they liked and have a overarching allegiance in order to get a "peaceful" ending. I would have preferred if the player could choose to do as little or as much as they wanted after learning the truth – as it is it feels too binary and character-breaking for anyone roleplaying as a peacemaker w/o having to act as an utilitarian or murder if their charisma is too low.

What if the player and/or Nick could take over Acadia and have DiMA step down? He confesses to what he did and suffers the consequences without having to get killed. Nick Valentine does not trust DiMA after this point because it doesn't make sense for his backstory. This could also work if the player wishes to betray Acadia, become the leader then sell it out to a 3rd party. Perks of being the leader of Acadia could include unique perks (e.g. "The Synth Peacemaker" – Increased chance to pacify Synths), traders or a new companion. Nick becoming the leader of the Synth would be a bit lorebreaking but if the player persuades them, it could lead into a quest where he forms a taskforce dedicating to hunting down missing people across the Commonwealth using the abilities of the Synth or forming an alliance with Diamond City due to his leverage with the Mayor. There are so many options, I think having a Yes-Man ending for Far Harbor instead of having to side unconditionally with a singular party would be 10x better.

TL;DR Confronting DiMA needed more choice for good karma players

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