I loved Fallout 4, until I got the end. I never actually finished the play through as I couldn’t find a way to get the ending I wanted. (And then I cheated and looked it up. Sure enough, no way to get it). But one thing that I did uncover before knowing better was the absolutely awful ending for my absolute favorite Fallout follower.
Don’t get me wrong, I did the quest chain for each of my followers. Diligently killing off Gunners and getting medicine for a sick child for McCready, helping dry Cait out even though it meant going through another psycho Vault, helping Curie get a synth body. Whatever they needed, even though no one ever asked my character how her search for her infant son went . . .
But Danse was my favorite from the very beginning, and when Bethesda gave him such a raw deal . . . I was mad. Mad enough that after months of stewing about it, I wrote him a different ending. A happy ending. If you’ve been readint his week, you know the ending I gave him, while still trying to stay true to canon.
In the process of writing that, here’s there things I learned.
- It’s hard to write someone else’s character. Sure, I had spent countless hours traveling with him and learning how he talks, how he thinks, etc. but it’s not the same as him being my character. Many of my characters have elaborate back stories and experiences you’ll never see on the page. But their my character. I know it about them. I understand why some characters on TV shows feel off sometimes. I can’t imagine writing an entire show week after week, with different groups of writers, none of whom “own” a character.
- I need a happy ending. Even in a post-apocalyptic game about nuclear war. I needed it enough I stewed over it and eventually created an ending so Danse’s story ends on a better note. Damn Bethesda for not letting me get my happy ending. I read the news. Yep, I know what a mess the world is. Particularly in Syria right now. But, dammit, my fantasy life can be better than that.
- So, I won’t finish the game and left it a stalemate. My son is still alive though dying of cancer. Danse is still alive, as happy as Danse ever gets, and still traveling with me (reloading an old save, I knew better than to give the data I hacked from the Institute to the Brotherhood). The Brotherhood is still out there making the world safer by knocking down ghouls and super mutants. They may hate the Institute, but they can’t get to them without me. Minute Men are setting up settlements and protecting the people.
- Bite me, Bethesda.
- I would have rather had the Institute clean up its act and maybe start helping the Commonwealth. As, you know, I am now in charge of it. Would’ve liked the Brotherhood to be like it was under Lyons and actually become the warrior class that protects the people even if it demands “tribute”. But I’ll take what I can get. A stalemate is better than never ending war among factions with the power and resources to actually make life better for the Wastelanders.
- It’s easy to let your writing game slip. After reading a handful of fan fiction works to get an idea for how fan fiction works, I started writing. And I found myself being less strict with my own work, writing in a similar vein as to what I’d read. While I didn’t rewrite, revise and edit like I do for stories I am hoping to publish, I also discovered how easy it can be to toss something on the page and leave it. I did tidy it up a little, but I suppose a sloppy happy ending is better than no happy ending at all.