In a previous post, I discussed my dilemma with Pickman, an NPC that led me to wonder what choice to make regarding his existence. Today, I want to look into another dilemma the game created for my character that is trying to be roughly moral. Spoilers ahead! Again, I shall avoid main plot spoilers, but this one is a series of quests. While I won’t give everything away, I can’t really discuss it without spoilers.
Shortly after entering the ghoul-run town of Good Neighbor, one of its denizens asked me to reclaim some props from an attempt to televise an old radio program called “The Silver Shroud”. The Shroud seems to be based on a very old radio character from the real world (i.e. our world, which is not necessarily more real than Fallout, but that’s another topic!) called The Shadow. I used to listen to audiotapes of The Shadow on trips with my grandparents, who apparently grew up listening to the show. I can still hear the echoes of its main tagline: “The Shadow Knows!”
Anyway, the Silver Shroud is a pulp hero more than a superhero. Think of characters like the Phantom or Dick Tracy; he’s a vigilante with a silver submachine gun and trench coat with a scarf (maybe it’s an ascot!) and a hat. He fights villains like the Mechanists, whom you may remember from Fallout Vegas. It’s really terrible stuff, but perfectly captures how these old serials tended to work.
Once you bring back the costume props, the ghoul that idolizes the Shroud asks you to don the costume and bring justice back to the Wasteland…you know, give people hope that there are heroes out there. So what should I do? Do I lie and pretend to be a superhero? Or do I say no?
Honestly, I had to see this quest play out, so I didn’t care what the moral choice was. But here’s how I justified it for my character after the fact!
First, there’s no way that anyone but the crazy guy who hired me would believe in the Shroud. The bad guys I took out were certainly unconvinced by my horrible imitation of the Shroud. Seriously, though, you must do this quest and you must speak as the Shroud. It’s hilarious. But I don’t feel like I’m lying to these people by pretending to be the Shroud. I feel like I’m cosplaying.
Second, these are bad people I’m taking out. I get to find out the bad things they’ve done first, which means they deserve to be murdered in the streets by a fake hero…right???
Third, maybe knowing that a vigilante is out there taking down the bad guys is enough to give some people hope. I mean they might not believe in the shroud, but surely they believe that less bad guys in the world is a good thing.
Fourth, aww, who am I kidding? I did it all for the lulz.