Game Alignments: Fallout 3

Ever curious how your favorite characters from a game might fit into the D&D restricted alignment? Debates are often started on the subject on whether or not the extremes of the opposite corners can fit for anyone’s favorite character. With Game Alignments, I aim to do exactly that with a weekly feature into a video game with an unlikely cast of folks who just happen to feat nice and neat into one of D&D’s nine alignment groups. So grab the popcorn while you ponder over these selections from Fallout 3.

Fawkes :::: Lawful Good

This is perhaps the easiest placement in an otherwise unlawful game world. We meet Fawkes in our journey to find the G.E.C.K., where he is trapped in a containment cell after being put through the FEV experiments that turned him into an it (or, in this case, a mutie). However, unlike his other mean and green friends who have watched one too many Hulk reruns, Fawkes is well-mannered and civilized—quite the unlikely combination for a super mutant. While we all had our first doubts when releasing Fawkes from his containment chamber after his promises to help you, it became quite clear that from the moment you meet him he is an unlikely sort in an otherwise dreary and dead wasteland of a world. Fawkes helps you out of kindness, and as a means to repay his debt from freeing him, to retrieve the G.E.C.K. from a highly irradiated room that would out-right killed you if you got a wrong whiff of it (cue the number of people who tried to run through it anyways and then had the misfortune to actually activate the case). He fights super mutants along the way, screaming obscenities that amount to Shakespeare on death metal.

The story does not end here, however. Once you escape from the Enclave facility from your untimely capture, Fawkes treks through the entire wasteland tracking you, ready to come and break you out of your bonds with a laser Gatling gun. And why, pray tell, did the well-mannered green guy do this? Because he was worried about you. Worried about you! All he did was retrieve a briefcase for you while risking his neck amongst his own kind and he travels miles to a remote facility to cut Enclave to shreds because he was wondering about your well-being. Plus, to top off the typical Paladin archetype of Lawful Good, Fawkes will even be able to use his Sense Alignment skill and will outright refuse to join your party if you have bad karma. For these reasons does Fawkes earn his rightful spot at the top right of the alignment food chain.

Elder Lyons :::: Neutral Good

Leading the broken-off segment of the Brotherhood in the Capital Wasteland, Elder Lyons represents everything the original Brotherhood is not. His vision of compassion and generosity led him to defy the rules of his order and chose instead to attempt to help the people of the Wasteland. Up before Fallout 3 the Brotherhood were known for helping no one but their selves, siding with the idea that they must first rebuild the government with technologies gathered to then overthrow the Enclave before the “smaller picture” of helping out the wastelanders could come into play. Elder Lyons, on the other hand, has selfishly turned the troops under his command to a morale dilemma where the welfare of the people is his number one concern.

This is later revealed in full harmony in the end stages of the game, where he orders his science team to launch Liberty Prime, a combat robot that was being worked on to help them in their fight against the Enclave, against the Enclave in their fortified position at the Jefferson Memorial where Project Purity is underway. He also commands the resources of his daughter’s elite guard to perform a surgical strike upon the facility, not only putting his own blood in harm’s way for the good of humanity, but also potentially throwing away his one shot at defeating the Enclave with Liberty Prime not being completely finished for launch. And, after the fight is done, he even goes as far as to be the Wasteland’s water boy, taking control of the Project Purity facility to distribute purified water to the Wasteland. While Elder Lyons is reserved enough in the sense that he won’t outright violate the ways of the Brotherhood by giving technology to the people, he skirts enough on the edge to loosely play with the rules to earn him the spot as Neutral Good.

Three Dog :::: Chaotic Good

Everyone knows the voice of the Capital Wasteland coming to you live from GNR studios; it’s Three Dog! And with Three Dog, you know that he’s not afraid to say what ever the hell is on his mind. Three Dog claims to be “fighting the good fight” with his voice to combat the “eeeevil Enclave.” Three Dog’s defining quality on the radio, in fact, is how he is always in touch with the current events, either commending you for a job well done or chiding you if something went down that he wasn’t too happy about.

We meet Three Dog in an unlikely situation of trying to find your father. Three Dog starts off saying that he knows where he went from his place when he last visited, but will outright refuse to tell you before doing him a little favor. And when I say a little favor, I say it in jest, considering he wants you to romp through the ruins of the Mall, which has become a complete warzone full of chaingun-toting super mutants. And what does he want? A satellite dish so everyone in the Capital Wasteland can hear him chat about proper Ghoul face-shooting etiquette or describing the texture and size of the last dump he took. We may all like Three Dog, but the dude’s a total douche for pretty much sending you on a suicide mission when all you wanted to do was find your father…but he claims it’s all in the name of the “good fight.” Three Dog’s ethical dilemma of exploiting your skills just to meet his ends of the bargain reek of chaotic pursuits, but his intentions remain good considering he’s probably the second guy on a short hit list the Enclave has out.

Mayor MacCready :::: Lawful Neutral

The Lawful Neutral alignment was difficult to peg, considering the little lawfulness presented in the game. However, once you remember the very reason why you searched for a mod that allowed you to kill the children in this game, you will then soon reminisce about Mayor MacCready, self-proclaimed mayor of Little Lamplight. While you might think a town populated only by children might be chaotic, you will find that a kid with an assault rifle can calm things down a bit. However, there’s really only one rule in Little Lamplight, and that rule is no mungos allowed. Which means you.

MacCready is the front gate keeper of Little Lamplight and will shoot all adults on sight if they attempt to enter their encampment. It doesn’t matter if they’re starving or if they’re simply looking for trade—MacCready takes no chances, as provided as proof for you with the scattered skeletons around the entrance. All of your forward attempts to enter the town are shut down by MacCready unless you are able to prove your worth to him in some way. Aside from the obvious, we also observe a moment when entering the town that a resident who has matured enough to an age to be considered a mungo be thrown out of the town with MacCready on the side ready to pump him full of lead if he doesn’t comply with the orders. In this respect MacCready simply follows the one law of Little Lamplight to ensure its protection while having no reservation or wills about the good or evil about its residents, earning him the spot as our Lawful Neutral character.

Brotherhood Outcasts :::: True Neutral

The Brotherhood is an organization whose sole goal is to gather technologies for preservation and study to further their goals to establish a dominion over the wasteland that was the United States and to destroy the Enclave. In fact, the very beginnings of the Brotherhood started off from an Enclave shoot-out, or rather from the nation’s surviving military forces that did not see eye to eye on how to handle the situation of the world going to shit. The Brotherhood won’t hunt down wastelanders for sport, but they sure as hell will shoot them on sight if they trespass for what ever reason they deem fit.

We experience this in numerous dealings with the Brotherhood Outcasts—our first meetings dealing with guns and turrets being pointed at your face (and being shot at outright if you simply continue to walk past their encampment and make for the front door). The only reason why they haven’t decorated the wasteland with your brains? It’s because they find that you can be useful for them in their endeavors to be the “true” Brotherhood they once were before Elder Lyons turned them away from the path. You hand them over nice technologies and they’ll pay you for it, but don’t expect anything like a favor or a place to stay. The Outcasts are just as demanding and teeter-tottering to shoot you if you even try anything funny, especially when one of their commanders offers you some technology for helping them out in Operation Anchorage, where Outcast soldiers stage a coup just to preserve the code of the Brotherhood. It’s not difficult to see why these guys earn the spot as True Neutral, where everything and nothing takes precedence over their priorities and duties.

Vance :::: Chaotic Neutral

This one might be too obscure for some folks, but it was something that caused a bit of stir when the game first came out. Following one of the most weird quest lines in Fallout 3, we come to Vance and his Family, or better known as the polite cannibal society that likes to pretend that they are vampires. Vance is the leader of the Family, and he truly believes the rhetoric he spits out about how there’s nothing quite wrong with extorting a town for food (in this case, the townspeople ARE the food) in exchange for protection against raiders.

Vance and his Family welcome you first to his lair, explaining the philosophy of being a polite cannibal while trying to convince you he is the new generation of vampirism. He’s certainly no Lestat (or should I say Edward for all of you Twilight nutters?), but he likes to think as much. Either way, Vance is caught in a dilemma with the people of Arefu. You see, Vance “took in” one of the residents—not to feed upon, but because he was actually a cannibal (and ended up murdering and eating someone in the town). The town’s inhabitants want you to return the man to the town, but attempting to do so will be seen as an affront to the Family and will earn you to be Vance’s sworn enemy. Aside from the obvious, Vance continues to extort the town of Arefu for “blood donors” in exchange for protection, all at the behest of proclaiming it is done for his Family. For this Vance earns his stripes as a chaotic individual that leans neither on the good or evil of things, largely keeping to his own as a Chaotic Neutral.

President Eden :::: Lawful Evil

This one was quite easy. Our beloved President Eden, leader of the Enclave and protector of the innocent, is the textbook definition of everyone’s favorite alignment. Manufactured in rural Kentucky, President Eden runs more as a figure head for the Enclave as being an element created out of an image of the world’s “greatest leaders” (or, in this case, a combination of Hitler and Stalin). President Eden claims that the Enclave means to do one thing when they really mean to enact a Final Solution on everyone who has been tainted by radiation, which would pretty much mean everyone. But worry not, America, because this somehow works out in the end!

As a computer, President Eden is programmed only under a certain amount of factors that it is allowed to follow and compute, making him the complete textbook case of a lawful entity. After all, it’s in its programming to follow orders and protocol. However, there is a variable function within Eden that gives it its full alignment, and it is that of its personality. You see, Eden doesn’t entrust its second-in-command to the task of injecting the water supply at Project Purity with the FEV virus—oh no, instead it gives you the option to do so. This provides a foreboding element in the story that not even Eden trusts his own officers and that is more than proven when Colonel Autumn rebels against him, giving him the defining element that even it wants to see the very things that preserve it destroyed with the FEV virus. With a logic bomb ending that involves even making it obey its own process of not being able to exist, President Eden more than bottoms out as the Lawful Evil entity of Fallout 3.

Colonel Autumn :::: Neutral Evil

We first encounter Colonel Autumn in a standoff between your father in the trapped chambers of Project Purity. He demands the facility to be turned over to him and for the access codes to activate the project are handed over. Your father instead tries to talk him down, stating that what they’re doing with Project Purity is something everyone can benefit from. Autumn’s not listening at this point, however, and removes his pistol from his holster to put a round in a scientist that was standing next to him as a means to show your father what he is capable of.

Right from the start we are exposed to evil nature of Autumn, and, up until the point of your capture, we believe him to be the loyal guppy that follows orders. That is, of course, until President Eden has you released from your bonds (that is, if Autumn doesn’t execute you when you give him the access codes to Project Purity), at which point Autumn stages a coup simply because you were allowed to hop and skip around the facility in your own merry way.We are never revealed as to the exact reasons as to why Autumn turns on his beloved president—only that even after the destruction of Eden and the facility, Autumn follows through with the plan to activate Project Purity. Not because of his orders, mind you, but with the sole goal to usurp power and gain control of the Enclave in full by having the means for the people of the wasteland to bow before him. In this regard Autumn follows a more neutral path, disobeying orders he was sworn to upheld to meet his own evil personal goals.

Roy Phillips :::: Chaotic Evil

Yet another fan favorite involving a quest line everyone loves to knock on, we now finish off with everyone’s favorite ghoul, Roy Phillips. Roy is a fair kind of guy who likes to spout obscenities and make open threats against humans simply because he can. We first come across Roy when he is attempting to gain access to Tenpenny Tower, a fortified hotel where apparently people life it up on high. Roy is turned away under ghoul prejudices, being told “no zombies allowed.” He trudges off, swearing that he’ll show the people of Tenpenny Tower what a real feral ghoul is like.

At first Roy seems well enough the victim of a simple prejudice and you can’t help feel sorry for the guy—I mean, his face is falling apart, after all. And you can even eventually convince the Tenpenny residents to allow Roy and his other ghoul pals in to live in harmony. After a couple of weeks, however, that turns to shit when you return to find the place in ruins and feral ghouls roaming the place with nary a human to be found. Roy jokes when you greet him, saying that there was a “disagreement in management.” Also, if you have not blown up Megaton up at this point, you may also be able to eavesdrop on a conversation between him and Mr. Burke once Roy has taken over Tenpenny tower—a conversation in which Roy is all for the bombing of “that smooth-skin shit water hole,” adding the final cherry to the chaotic evil pie that is Roy.

And there you have it, folks. Nine representatives for nine alignments with nine explanations. Turn it upside down for all of your demonic pleasure needs for double the fun! Maybe you have a different opinion on a character? Or perhaps you disagree with a few of the classifications? Don’t be shy to speak up!

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About Agamemnon
Started blogging back in 2007 amidst that whole Hellgate: London fiasco on a blog known as flagshipped.com. Eventually moved on to do my own thing in December 2008 at gameriot.com and started Caveat Emptor there. Wrote there for six months, gained some notoriety, and then left. Now I'm back.

8 Responses to Game Alignments: Fallout 3

  1. Heretica says:

    Ohhh this is going to be a fun read every week! I wish I knew more about Fallout 3 so I could relate to this one more. Boo.

    P.S. Hi Ag! ^_^

    • Agamemnon says:

      Hey Heretica! Don’t worry, I already have a few others lined up for the coming weeks (Oblivion, Mass Effect 1 & 2, and Dragon Age so far in the queue) that I’m sure you’ve played. Although I think I’m just going to limit them to one paragraph…18 paragraphs seems too lengthy for something that was supposed to be a light read. :S

  2. Lonethar says:

    I liked this alot. I guess I never thought about the residents in terms such as these. Very interesting. And I have to admit I am glad to hear something from you! I had strange thoughts that you had dropped off the face of the Earth or something. And I have a question for you. Are you a FWE guy of more a FOOK2 sort of guy? I haven’t shaken my horrible Fallout 3 addiction yet, and am investigating new mods for my 4th (?) playthrough.

    • Agamemnon says:

      Sorry about that. I’ve gotten a job now where I’m sitting at a computer doing content writing, churning out 8,000 words in a work day. When I get home I don’t even want to type responses in E-Mail, let alone even want to touch my computer. 😛

      I’m definitely an FWE guy. I really don’t like the number of changes the FOOK2 team makes. At least with FWE they provide you the in-game UI to change the settings at will (and with a number of variables). You need to shake this FO3 habit though. Even I get burned out and don’t come back for another six months (usually my grace period to waltz back into the modding scene to see what has been accomplished since then). I hear the community isn’t reacting all that well to Fallout: New Vegas though, considering virtually zero has been changed since the first game. There’s talk of the splitting of the mod community and all that jazz. Frankly I’m actually thankful Bethesda has taken their sweet time getting around to TESV–it’s allowed the TESIV so much time to undertake massive mod projects.

  3. Lonethar says:

    I am going to have to get a new and Im hoping BETTER game soon. The truth is that aside from Civ 5, there is actually nothing that has struck my fancy. At all. I tried Risen but found it way to linear. And nothing out there has drawn my attention. Even picked up The Beatles Rock Band ma-jigger. It was fun for 5 minutes.

    Does this mean that I am going to have to install Oblivion and actually apply some MODS to it? In truth, I was kind of curious about doing this quite awhile ago when you first brought it to my attention. I will have to see if this is going to do it for me. Maybe I will look at some mods and see if it can spark something. In all honesty, my time spent gaming lately has been rather BLEH and boring. Can you suggest any NEW titles that you are playing and enjoying?

    Glad to hear about the work adventure and I hope you like it. Ill be tuning in here to see the latest and greatest you come up with!

    • Agamemnon says:

      I’ve also been out of it as far as new titles go. The only things on the horizon I’m interested in are Starcraft II and Civilization 5. Steam has a sale of games going on–right now GTA IV is on sale for $5, so I finally picked that up. Of course it only took me about two hours of boxing with it just to ensure all the DRM that comes with it finally let me play the game without automatically crashing to the desktop. It’s very graphics intensive though, so I’d only recommend it if you have the rig to handle it.

  4. Lonethar says:

    Psst…can you direct me to your Top 50 Must Have Mods for Oblivion?

    Im currently giving that game another go.

    And how was GTA IV?

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