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 [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"

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Corvo

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PostSubject: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:47 pm

After playing through this game countless times and taking every opinion of Synths each time, I have determined that the Railroad ending is the ending that Bethesda thought of as a "Good Karma" ending. I have played through all endings debating the sentience of synths and have come to a fair conclusion on why the Institute is evil, and why the Brotherhood is deluded. I have no real conclusion on the Minutemen other than they are a blank slate for the player to control.

First of all, the Railroad is one of the two mandatory factions in the game. You can go through the game without joining the Brotherhood or the Minutemen, but the only two factions you must meet are the Institute (for obvious reasons) and the Railroad (because they are the only ones that can decode the courser chip). The Institute have good intentions, but they are on the road to hell metaphorically. They are one step away from a synth revolution and can collapse pretty quickly unless they come to their senses about synths. They rely on synths for everything, but what if, those synths stopped doing their bidding? They would go down hilariously fast, and the race they created, would destroy them. They value their own intentions rather than human life by replacing real people with undercover synths, so they could control them. Not to mention, if you side with them, the whole Commonwealth hates you, and for good reason.

Second of all, we have the Brotherhood, who used to be good, until Maxson took over and reintegrated the outcasts. Now the Brotherhood hate their Lyons Pride roots and have gone back to the old Brotherhood mentality. "Recover tech and don't ask questions". They kill innocent synths, super mutants, ghouls and commit mass genocide on anything they deem "not-human" or a symbol of science going too far! They have become the Enclave, ironically. They even lose all honour for their high-ranking brothers after they are found out to be a synth. Danse helped the Brotherhood and they kill him without a second thought. After all, he has such loyalty to the BoS, that he would die for their bigoted ideologies. Leaving no legacy behind, to them, he is just a tool. If they did that to Danse, imagine what they would do to the SS if they found out his/her son was the Director of the Institute? Luckily for me, you don't have to meet them before you destroy them.

Thirdly, the Minutemen are a blank slate, controlled by the player. In older game terms, I believe this would be regarded as the "Neutral Karma" ending, as the Minutemen, by canon, are good, but because they are made up of Commonwealth settlers, residents and citizens, some of them are quite racist towards synths. Sure their ending might seem good, but really all you're doing is forming a truce, not eliminating the threat. It kinda reminds me of the ""Season Unending" ending in Skyrim, where the Imperials and Stormcloaks truce. Also, you can choose not to meet them. They're not vital to the story and therefore you can leave poor old Preston at Concord to fight off raiders while you search for Shaun.

Lastly, in "The Replicated Man" quest in FO3, you meet Victoria Watts, a Railroad member who tells you to hand a fake android component to Zimmer, an Institute Scientist looking for a runaway Courser. By faking his death and obeying the Railroad, you gain karma, otherwise, you gain bad karma turning him in to the Institute. Hell, Deacon even stalked the Sole Survivor for all of the storyline up until you meet the Railroad, where he claims you'll be an asset. Imagine being in the Sole Survivor's boots, being offered to join this myth of a faction, no more than a legend among Commonwealth citizens, and then you slaughter each and every one of them in two of the four endings in the game? Sorry, that just seems kind of strange imo for the SS to do.

Idk I guess I'm not trying to say this is set in stone, but I feel as if this was Bethesda's favourite ending in the game. Just how they did it make the Railroad seem like the good guys, to me at least.

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PostSubject: Re: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:01 pm

Cool write up. I gave you an upvote because you brought up some interesting points I hadn't thought of.

Just mytwo cents, but I always figured the Minutemen were the "good ending".

The Minutemen being the faction that destroys the Institute is also the most sensible narrative-wise. The Minutemen are the weakest faction in the game at the start of it, with the Railroad a close second. But the Minutemen also represent the will of the people, and that by the Minutemen destroying The Institute, it is a metaphor for the people of the Commonwealth choosing to destroy The Institute. It also makes sense in the "Revolutionary War" era theme of this game. The American Revolution is a thinly veiled themed in the game. The Minutemen are an analogue for the Continental Army (and the Minutemen, of course) and the American People, sick of British occupation. The Institute and in part the Brotherhood of Steel are both analogues for the British during the American Revolution. The British controlled the 13 colonies from a distance without any say from the American people. Although they didn't kidnap people in the night, they still oppressed the colonies with heavy taxation, quartering, tariffs and amongst other things. The Institute and the BOS share this analogue as the BOS enacts Feudalism on the Commonwealth forcing Settlers for "donations" AKA Taxes and the Institute forms the part of controlling the Commonwealth without any say from the people of the Commonwealth. Like the real Minutemen and the American militia they started off weak compared to one of the finest armies of the world (The British) and like in FO4 the Minutemen start off the weakest but it makes for a great narrative that they rise against all expectations and defeat the strongest faction. Much like how the Continental Army defeated the British in the American Revolution (Though they had some help from Curie's people) .

Meanwhile the Railroad, while not controlling per se, has no plans to improve the conditions of the Commonwealth and are concerned with helping Synths only. The Minutemen on the other hand, opposes all 3 factions core ideology as they represent the people of the Commonwealth taking charge of their own fates and lives, gaining the freedom to choose.

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PostSubject: Re: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:39 pm

While I do understand where you are coming from, I do not think that Bethesda were leaning towards the Minutemen. Sure the Minutemen is the "best ending" in terms of the American Revolutionary war and of moral compass, but they had so little detail when compared to the Railroad, BoS and the Institute. Hell even the gunners were more detailed than the Minutemen. The Minutemen have little to no personality and are practically yes men to everything you do. The only thing that will get you exiled or hated by them is if you join the raiders, for obvious reasons. Preston, unlike nearly all the other companions in the game, has no personality. He has likes and dislikes but having him as a companion just reveals how he is no more than a settlement-bot 3000. Only there to give you radiant quests, no real character. Ada from automatron has more personality.

Also, the Minutemen ending just seems so bland. The Minutemen ending is essentially a Call Of Duty ending with no real depth. "The Institute had to be destroyed, now let me mark this settlement on your map." The Minutemen rely on one person, you. What will happen after you die or retire from the Minutemen? What will they do then?

Although I understand what you are saying, I do think that Bethesda did not think of the Minutemen first when they made the endings for this game. To me it seems like the Minutemen ending was just put in the game for those who couldn't make up their mind, which really annoys me.

I just dont really understand why Bethesda's "canon" ending is the worst-written and least detailed out of all of them. Maybe there might be two good karma endings idk, but Beth always make their canon endings good karma and if they make the Minutemen ending canon all they are doing is digging themselves a deeper grave.

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PostSubject: Re: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:40 pm

@Corvo Take it back! Preston has plenty of personality. He... uh, really likes maps. And helping settlements. So there!

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PostSubject: Re: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:08 pm

Preston has less personality than any synth.

That is the last reason why the Railroad ending is best.

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PostSubject: Re: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:12 pm

@Corvo lol I haven't actually played through Nuka World yet but I do look forward to pissing him off out of spite.

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PostSubject: Re: [spoilers] Why the Railroad ending is "good karma"   Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:50 pm

@"momuse88" To bad you can't plug his head with a bullet afterwards, and he just mopes around knowing he's still under your command.

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