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Father, Shaun, and the Institute

father shaun institute story theory

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#11
CaarosKingOfChaos

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Interesting how you view Kellogg's thoughts as inconsistencies. . .


Edited by CaarosKingOfChaos, 14 December 2015 - 01:24 AM.


#12
charwo

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Not so much interesting as it is considering Bethesda's writing "Talents." Fallout's technological applications are very, very low end of what raygun gothic can do. Bethesda looks at the TV playing in black and white and says "By golly, they never invented color TV." I said "By golly, that TV's either been damaged or black and white was the free, non-subscription version of TV, like how pay channels used faze their settings so people had to see their erotica at full price." New Vegas fully explores and explains Fallout's technology: REPLICATORS, ROBOBRAIN FLUID FOR IMMORTALITY, RECHARGER GUNS

Bethesda never looks at the tech they make and say "Hey, what else could people do with this technology? Let's think honestly what human beings could do with it." Instead, they made 50s plus select technologies rather than being honest about the Jetson like setting would actually intail....like NON-EXPLODING CARS, COLOR TV'S. FOOD REPLICATORS.

 

Their storytelling isn't any better, including their world building. Radiation should be a distant memory everywhere in DC and the Glowing Sea would have recovered within years. Fallout has to have radiation in it so the water in Boston has to have 10 rads a second despite not being hit by a single bomb. Let's not forget the big project of Fallout 3 was a water filter, which you can do by SOAKING IT THROUGH SOIL, a technique they knew about in the 50s. Bethesda is why I give NO ONE a pass in the name of Artistic License: They are LAZY storytellers, they don't think ideas through and instead of building a world that makes sense, they make a world they thinks sounds COOL..



#13
Omnimmotus

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More than anything, I was looking for contradictions. I didn't really find any; everything seemed to support what he was saying, though never in a way to eliminate all doubt.

Look at the inconsistencies I described earlier.

 

Those inconsistencies are more story-telling and logical inconsistencies. Out of what is available in the Institute, I don't believe any of it directly contradicts what he has told you. The inconsistencies that exist seem to be from poor writing rather than the story itself being broken. (In my opinion.) None of them are direct contradictions.

 

The biggest inconsistency might just be Father dying when they kept Kellogg alive. Sure there might be some difference between their problems, but is there really no solution? Not even giving him a new body? But I don't think this is because they are tricking you, it is simply because this was poorly thought out.  :laugh: (Then again, maybe I'm not giving them enough credit.)

 

My general guess is that Father had an illness that they couldn't cure and Kellogg never did. That doesn't explain why they have no other solutions whatsoever even though they are masters of artificial human biology, but that's more a general fail than an inconsistency. The Institute seemed to have internal conflict, especially over the idea of you replacing Father, so I think someone would have said something if there was any possible solution. (Again, this could all be an elaborate act, but that's hard to believe. As charwo mentioned, Occam's Razor suggests poor writing rather than insanely good acting.)

 

I'm sure some won't agree with me, and that's alright.  :smile:



#14
jcdenton2012

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Personally, regarding Father dying, I favor the belief that it is an honest simple desire simply to no longer live. He's lived long enough to grow into a soulless husk of a human being with an empire at his fingertips, but no desire to see his power wielded either for the good or bad of humanity. Then he tries to kill his only living parent in an experiment (which he likely lives to regret), while committing genocide against all of his enemies. Stuff like that weighs on people... and as he does it, he is constantly reminded by you that you love him still, despite it all. Something like that will break the human spirit, so I think when given the option to keep on living or let the cancer take him... he decides it's best to die rather than living in torment with the ghosts of the things he's done... including you... always there... always saying you love him... despite the blood on his hands. 



#15
Moraelin

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Personally I don't find it curious at all that Father wouldn't transfer his mind into a synth, considering that the Institute is the same as the BOS in thinking that a synth is not human, and just as much a machine to be used as a toaster is. There is no way he'd stay the head of the Institute as a synth, any more than you could come back as a black dude and keep being the grand wizard of the KKK. Best he could come anywhere near a research lab is cleaning the test tubes or being experimented on, like the gen 3 you see being given shots to see if he gets sick earlier.

 

He MAY (or may not) have considered doing that and fleeing the institute, given that in the talk on the roof he suddenly expressed a deep disappointment in the world above and giving up on it, and that comes kinda out of nowhere. But, yeah, he gave up on any hope in the world above.

 

Kellogg WAS indeed kept alive, and my guess is that basically Kellogg was a cyborg in more than one way after the first encounter with the institute, given that all his memories are on a chip in his brain. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a lot of his being rebuilt as a gen 3. BUT the crucial distinction is that Kellogg was also treated as just an asset to be ordered around. He was basically just a glorified courser, or at least treated as such, if not actually manufactured. Also not exactly a dignified position, and quite the fall from grace, if Father were to become like that. Plus, it's doubtful that he'd have the skills to be used like that.

 

So my guess is that he simply chose to die with some amount of dignity, rather than go from revered Father to slave.

 

What I'm suspecting, though, is that he IS going for some other form of survival. Consider his weird request about synth Shaun, and how it would otherwise not be of any benefit to him OR fit his beliefs about synths OR his sociopathic personality anyway. He doesn't care if his parent dies, but he cares if a failed experimental child synth gets a good childhood? Enough for it to be his only request? He doesn't ask you to stop, he doesn't ask you to carry out any of his life work that would at least keep he remembered, but he wants you to take care of specifically one failed synth experiment? WTH? Also, why is that child a clone of him at 10 years old, anyway? Hmm?

 

So I'm suspecting that he's actually going for an alternate history, so to speak. That he didn't as much "program" the child synth, but basically took an older backup of his memories at 10 years old and downloaded them into the child. It's pretty much the only half-way dignified way to give himself another life as a synth, that might not involve being treated as a Roomba and ordered around to sweep floors by every intern.

 

It would also IMHO explain why he unexpectedly goes from not giving a flip about even whether you live or die, to wanting you to be head of the institute. It's the only way to ensure someone powerful enough taking care of his synth version. If whoever is taking care of that synth isn't emotionally attached AND at the top, to veto it, then whoever is in charge could just order the experiment terminated.



#16
Omnimmotus

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Personally I don't find it curious at all that Father wouldn't transfer his mind into a synth, considering that the Institute is the same as the BOS in thinking that a synth is not human, and just as much a machine to be used as a toaster is. (Post snipped to save space.)

That's actually a very interesting point. Though if they don't believe synths are human, why would the child synth be any different? Besides that, that's one of the best potential explanations I've run into. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!  :laugh:



#17
Moraelin

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Well, that's precisely my point. Unless he actually transferred himself into the child synth, why would he care more about that one than about any other synth? Hell, why does he care more about that one synth than about any human?

 

Essentially what I'm thinking is that HE probably doesn't view living in a synth as worse than death, but the rest of the institute, including everyone on the board of directors still would regard him as nothing more than a Roomba on legs. Hence, why he needs someone at the top and emotionally attached to his synth. It's pretty much his only chance to be anything else than a slave.

 

EDIT: actually, here's an even more disturbing thought: what if he transferred his current, 60 year old mind into the child? We're talking a 10 year old who didn't even go to school much, what with being with Kellog outside the institute, yet can jurry-rig a legendary high-tech modification for a laser weapon. Considering the game's perk system and without mods, that's higher than level 4 Science knowledge. AND he can do it in a cave, with scrap, so to speak, like Tony Stark. I was a bit of a prodigy myself as a kid, but THAT is waay outside the scope of what a 10 year old can possibly know. And given that he's a manipulative sociopath, it would be no problem for him to play you with some "oh mommy, never leave me, bla bla bla".



#18
charwo

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It's important to understand Shaun ISN'T a psychopath. There's no fixing that, and synth Shaun would be one as well. Shaun's thoroughly AMORAL, but it's not because he lacks empathy, but because he actively suppresses it. For the "Greater Good." It's why he's so weary. Shaun doesn't want to live again, he wants to atone, he wants to be free of the lies and deceit he's been trained to view as absolute necessity in his line of work. He's not as ruthless as his actions seem to be. He's a romantic; he wouldn't have reactivate you otherwise, he wouldn't have left you to your own devices otherwise, he wouldn't wonder what could have been. Synth Shaun is his GIFT to you. The only way you could ever have your child returned to you. Shaun is evil by deed, but not by heart. His existence is the greatest reason why the Institute should be destroyed: a moral crime so great it's basically the Institute's original sin.



#19
Moraelin

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Again, he actually tells you on the roof after Bunker Hill why he let you out. You don't have to take guesses. He explicitly states that it's just that they didn't need a backup any more, and he was curious how long until you'd get killed in the unfamiliar world. He explicitly states that it was just an experiment. He's even just reacting with just some mild amazement if you say you still love him.

 

Look, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt as much as I would any spawn of mine, but it has to be based on stuff IN THE GAME, not just personal flights of fantasy about how I'd like it to be. There is exactly zero in the actual game to support the idea that he has any kind of empathy at all. On the other hand, there's the above and a LOT of other stuff to support the idea that he really doesn't have any empathy. He refers to the murder of his other parent as just collateral damage. His only reaction to your fighting a courser is to ask how you did it, so he can fix that mistake in their programming. He obviously didn't expect you to survive that, but doesn't seem to have a problem with that. He deliberately led you to encounter Kellogg, although that one was considered deadlier than a courser, and there was no reason to expect you'd survive.

 

There was no greater good of science in any of that. And look at his face, for crying out loud. There's not a single muscle twitching or any sign of emotion when talking about any of that.

 

Even in the non-parent categories, he's not any better. He lets his Gen 1 synths attack settlements and kill everyone in their path just to get some scrap. He insists on experimenting on humans, even after being told there's nothing more to learn there. He orders the murder of not just outsiders, but even any scientist defecting. He kept using Kellogg to do countless murders, and his only rationalization is, basically, 'well, it was better than to let him loose on the Commonwealth on his own.' (Well, no, if you want to do something good, you take him out or give him another job. Using him as your personal hitman for decades doesn't count as doing some good.)

 

That's not something most people could possibly suppress if they have any empathy.

 

But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. If he can suppress all empathy to the point where he functions exactly like a psychopath, well, does it matter any more? If day after day, someone can not just do evil deed after evil deed, but have the intent too, I don't see how they have a good heart.

 

I mean, to take a RL example, imagine that Ted Bundy wasn't really a psychopath, and just suppressed all emotion in the name of some experiment in which he killed all those tens of women. Maybe he regretted it. So what? Would you say that someone who did that was a good guy or had a good heart? Because I sure as heck wouldn't.



#20
charwo

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I didn't say he's good. He is definitely the worst of all the faction leaders, even worse than Primarch Maxon (F&^% the God Emperor), but just letting you go is stupid, but thoroughly romantic, because well, romanticism is stupid. If he was without empathy, he'd a just killed you like the rest, tied up the last loose end. Unfortunately in the game of survival, everyone is to some degree, a loose end. Survival requires a certain amount of ruthlessness and viciousness to pull off. Do we agree Shaun has WAY too much of both? Absolutely. I made that point to say there's nothing shady about synth Shaun, he's not planning to live again, not himself.

And I'm arguing from the voice acting. The player character is the only flat voice acting in the entire game, the rest of the performances are great, certainly by Bethesda's standards. Bad directing led to those flat performances because Bethesda wants their character to be your character and not a well developed, hysterical parent they tried halfheartedly tried to pull off.

Shaun is tired, weary. He's a guy whose been ground down by his "Great Responsibilities." Yes, he's a bigot, but even that FEV experiment, the one he's been told there's no further use for IIRC, has the potential to make everyone immortal, disease free and radiation proof, if only they can peel back the utterly horrendous side effects. It would also have saved his life. But it didn't pan out. He's tired and doesn't want to fight anymore, that is not something a sociopathic person does. Also, he wouldn't give a rat's ass about saving the people of the Institute as he's dying, no speech check and convince a man to help his enemies save civies he doesn't care about.

The problem with Shaun, and the Institute is that the Institute is their entire moral universe. That's bigotry, it's wrong, it's also human nature at it's most primal. Tribe and tribe alone is the natural human response without a greater moral teaching or code to aspire to. I doubt anyone in the Institute is religious and humanism is a joke or an insulting dishonesty in a materialist conception of the universe.







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