It’s no surprise nor argument that Fallout 4, by all rights, could be considered one of the most immersive titles that could ever be created by its creator companies Bethesda, Havoc, have ever done. Incorporating all the most loved elements of the previous titles (collecting TOYS HELLOOOOO), it has also improved many of the common issues and bugs that plagued the rest of the series. Including but is not limited to:
Losing followers who seemed to either vanish or become stuck, unable to be recovered unless one delved into the dregs of the Fallout forums to find a loophole correction, such as fixing the elevator in Vault 22 in Fallout New Vegas. Once you travel downstairs in it, any missing follower will inexplicably end up by your side again regardless of what location you lost them in.
Falling into the graphics was a never-ending frustration if you play like I do and test a game’s “free-range” to its limits. I will often avoid the road more traveled for the road that is way out of my way and quite unnecessary, requiring me to climb mountains, jump cliffs, etc. It was not at all uncommon to be crossing a mountainside and hit an invisible hole in the graphics, leaving you able to still see but unable to escape your current position even with fast travel. Since the game would register you as still falling, it would not allow the travel option.
Invisible guns or, even worse, the sticky gun. One stuck in the holster and your character never manages to remove it.
Among other improvements were general graphic correction, better night and day transitions, character speech, name recognition as long as it’s not too complicated, and several other major fixes. However, none of this impressed me as much as the reoccurrence of characters from prior games. Like little treats for the dedicated player, they scattered several names from previous titles throughout missions, raider camps, and texts. It has been a lot of fun trying to find these characters in my travels throughout the Commonwealth. A decade after Fallout 3 and New Vegas, many characters used that time to travel Eastward. To put the timeline in perspective, the initial Fallout was supposed to have occurred during the war of 2077. Fallout 2 & 3 are supposed to occur 200 years later when the vaults were automatically set to open in 2277 when it would be safe enough to handle the radiation, though some chose to remain sealed past that time, such as 101 in Fallout 3. Fallout New Vegas is set between 2080 and 2081, approximately 6-7 years before the character’s waking in Fallout 4 in the cryogenic freeze. So let’s take a moment to introduce some of these easy-to-miss but impossible to forget characters and their previous roles.
Somah: First appearing in Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta, this character was a strong black woman you met directly after being abducted. She warns you to hide before the aliens pull their next test subjects from the cells, telling you after a dramatic scene with a screaming human being swooshed over your head in a robotic claw that you all must escape if you don’t want the same fate. A former slaver, she seems confident and unafraid of her current predicament. During a slave raid from the slaver encampment Paradise Falls, she was captured with some of her companions. She tells you a distraction is needed, something to force the aliens to open the cell and split you all up. She recommends a fistfight, and it proves a brilliant plan. Throughout the Mothership Zeta DLC, she will be your occasional companion as needed and one of the only characters to provide 100% repair on items. Upon completing the DLC, when asked what she will do next, she tells you she will return to Earth and has no plan from there. Well, it turns out she ended up traveling to the Commonwealth and hooking up with a raider party! You can briefly see her, and sadly kill her because she is a fully hostile raider-based NPC with no dialogue options. It takes a keen eye to catch her, so keep a lookout!
Sierra Petrovita: Any real series fan will recall this quirky character and her strange Nuka-based obsession. Living in the small (literary population of 2) town of Girdershade. Sierra claims to be the biggest Nuka-Cola fan alive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland and requests the player bring 30 Nuka-Cola Quantums to her to finish her current object of desire for her collection. Her desperate male neighbor approaches you threatening you better not be trying to steal her affections, giving you a delightful options list to choose from. In which most times, you end up leading the poor boy to his death among the MireLurk-infested Nuka-Cola ruins and having to do the mission yourself anyway. Fast forward a decade, during Fallout 4 Nuka-World DLC, players meet this little ball of energy and caffeine searching the Nuka-World amusement park, trying to finish the Cappy In a Haystack contest that had been underway when the war occurred, so the prize was never claimed. She is an all-positive karma quest and a nice happy face to see among the gang-run streets of the amusement park.
Dogmeat: It seems only fair to include this furbaby in the mix. Born in the wasteland and originally introduced in Fallout, the series’ original release title. In every game since he has been a loyal companion who will fight and die for you if needed without hesitation. Though the type of dog and appearance has changed from title to title, Dogmeat is still an important and expected companion of the series. Relentless, known to run off after mole rats, he is a strong emotional factor for many players, such as myself, who leave him in my settlement instead of taking him out into the waste and risking being killed. He has a dog house in my house and every major settlement I choose to stay in. This time he is joined by such options as a Junkyard Dog, Mishka( a wolf), Duke (standard dog), and Gracie (mutant hound), among many other random dogs living among the waste and able to be met by the character. You also, through the use of online credits, can change Dogmeat’s breed with over 15 options available. So glad to see this staple character still in the series.
MacCready: Met in Fallout 4 in a struggle with a local merc gang known as the Gunners; you come in like a Knight in shining armor. Saving him from his fate and helping him fight off the gunners he was arguing with (or talking them out of it pending your charisma), then he offers to accompany you as he has nowhere else to go and no plans of what to do next. As you raise his disposition with your character, he will come to open up about his past. It is worth noting every companion has a story they will tell you if they feel they can trust you enough, often with a quest to complete that will quickly raise your reputation with that person. Upon raising MacCready’s relationship with you, he will tell you a story of when he was a boy. You come to find (if you played the FALLOUT 3 title) you have met this young man before in the Capital Wasteland cave town of Little Lamplight! Mayor MacCready, the trash mouth, gun-toting, gate guarding child you meet upon entering the Lamplight Cave, would grow to become your merc turned soft soul companion. Leaving Lamplight at 16 (per the rules about no adults), he would set out to find his way among the wasteland, meeting a woman named Lucy who would bear him a son and then die shortly after by feral ghoul attack. He swore to become a better man for his son Duncan, who you find has become ill, and seeking the cure is how you came to cross paths in the Commonwealth. *Sob* So sweet!
THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER: Another frequent flier in the series, the Mysterious Stranger, is back to assist the unsuspecting player in their time of need. A long-standing perk of the series, this unknown hero using his Mysterious .44 Magnum swoops in with a critical kill that makes it impossible for anything to survive. Whether super mutant or death claw, he gets the job done. As the name implies, very little is ever really clarified about this strange man who becomes the angel of death to the player’s enemies when they hit a critical while using the VATS system of their pip-boy. A small glimpse of his past life is seen in New Vegas when the player meets the Mysterious Guitar player. When asking after the NPC, he explains he was out hoping to one day meet his father, who left when he was just a boy. His mother only told him he was very mysterious. Later, during a quest for the TOPS Casino, where the player is asked to find acts for the upstairs club, the player can offer the Mysterious Guitar Player a spot on the roster. He will accept offering the player his father’s gun as he has accepted he must make his own way and stop wasting his life on his search. The gun is none other than the Mysterious Magnum. One can only hope he adds “Papa was a rolling stone” to his guitar playing repertoire. In Fallout 4, he serves his age-old calling, saving lives in VATS modes across the wasteland one bullet at a time! The guitar music sounds, and the bullet flies, and then he is gone until he is needed again!
Dr. Madison LI: We first meet the good doctor in Fallout 3 when she is part of Project Purity. Along with the player’s father, they create a plan to purify drinking water for the entire wasteland. She lives in the shipwrecked ruins of Rivet City, where she can be found in her lab up until the player delves into the mission on a more dedicated level. In Fallout 4, she will be reintroduced as a member of the Institute. Pending what choices the player makes, the doc can be convinced to leave the Institute (alliance with Brotherhood of Steel), or she becomes a regular quest giver if the player should align with her current faction.
These are just some of the characters we have met several times throughout the running series, with many more showing up in every playthrough. Feel free to comment on any you have seen not mentioned here! I’d love to hunt them out! Feel free to comment or suggest any games past, present, or future releases you would like to see covered one day! Please browse through our other amazing content. There is something for everyone!!!
*Stares at everyone backing out of the room slowly until gone*