From the journal of Nick Valentine, synth private eye:
I was hanging out with all the loose companions at the Red Rocket Truck Stop like I always do, when my buddy the Sole Survivor hit me up for some business. Seems my secretary put the word out to track down a missing girl and the Sole Survivor needed a partner to help with the search. All of us poor neglected companions shuffled uneasily as the Sole Survivor decided who to take. Eeny meeny miny moe. The job came down to me or the dog, but I have better dialog. Sorry, Dogmeat.
After the jump, Nick Valentine is on the case in Far Harbor.
This dame, Kasumi Nakano, was missing and the parents were looking for her in the new expansion for Fallout 4. Coincidentally, I worked with the father on a job before. Small world, I guess, made even smaller by the Sole Survivor magically transporting us close to Kasumi’s house via a nearby Commonwealth landmark. That guy is the bee’s knees. Sure, we could’ve walked there from the truck stop, but why bother? We weren’t in survival mode.
If you don’t know about the new survival mode, you might want to get on that boat. It was added recently for free and the “hardcore” mode is the better deal because it changes the game big time. The restrictions on fast travel and the deadliness of encounters makes the resource hogging matter. The Sole Survivor says it makes settlements actually worthwhile because you can only save in friendly beds. Survival mode fixes a lot of what was missing from the regular game. But you’re not here to read about survival mode, so let’s get back to the new stuff.
When we arrived at the Nakano home, some conveniently laid out evidence and some casual conversation pointed us on our way to Far Harbor. Funny how no one ever talked about this place before. The Nakanos should’ve pieced this together on their own, but then the Sole Survivor and I would be out of a job. In a better case, I might be suspicious of how easy it was to track the missing gal, but we’d been through this type of thing before. People just seem to be aching to tell the Sole Survivor everything he needs to know when he hits X or B during conversations regardless of what he says. It’s good that he’s got the mojo for talking because he spent most of his time stealing everything in the Nakano house that wasn’t nailed down. Sometimes, my partner can be a real ass.
A quick animation later, and we were in Far Harbor, which looks a lot like the Commonwealth except with a lot more fog and giant enemy crabs. People there drink Vim instead of Nuka Cola and the bad guys wear lobster traps on their heads. It’s Innsmouth by way of comic atomic disaster. Turns out the fog in Far Harbor is radioactive, presumably to make the Sole Survivor constantly spam RadAway or wear a rad suit all the time. People hold back the fog by using what looks like bug zappers on poles.
Despite the deadly weather, folks were keen to get back out into the wilderness to build more settlements. If only some dick and his pal would come along and foolishly beat back the wildlife and cannibal hordes. The Sole Survivor was okay with this as usual.
Before you could say “VATS attack” we were stuck in a three-way mess between the folks of Far Harbor, a colony of synths like me, and a bunch of religious zealots who worship radiation. Everyone explained their reasons for the what for, but the Sole Survivor was busy vacuuming up every spare bottle of wonder glue and all the alarm clocks laying around to listen. When I asked him why, he just shrugged and muttered something about getting crafting materials for the new harpoon gun or lever-action rifle. That guy kills me.
The sticky pickle was that each of the three factions had a grievance against the others. Sheesh! Here too? It was like the Commonwealth’s Institute versus the Railroad versus the Brotherhood versus the Minutemen all over again. In between it all, people kept hitting us up to help them retrieve stuff that was a couple minute’s walk away, or kill some ghouls in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, yeah. We all got problems, pal.
I got the surprise of my synth life when we found out that one of the major players in Far Harbor had some history with old Nick Valentine. It was a good thing the Sole Survivor hadn’t opted for the dog companion after all! I thought it was odd that the case revolved so much around me, but the Sole Survivor just shrugged and went back to cobbling together a hut out in the middle of a swamp. He says there’s always time to build a ramshackle house for SETTLER somewhere.
There were some new tasks to do like jumping into the virtual world and playing a goofy tower defense puzzle game, but the Sole Survivor said it was just as clumsy and frustrating as building a house in the settlement interface. Then he spent about two hours doing it anyway. What a pip, boy.
Just like the Commonwealth, there was some idiot with a gun shooting at us every few feet. You’d think these guys would spread out a bit, but you’d be wrong. I guess building your Trapper hut near the molerat den just a few yards from the super mutant stronghold makes some kind of crazy sense when the default answer to any question is to shoot it. I’m not complaining. The random encounters kept us from getting too bogged down in the plot.
Frankly, I was ready to toss the towel in, and let all three factions destroy each other when the Sole Survivor made his choice. It was quicker and easier than I expected. Another few simple and obvious dialog choices later, and everyone was letting bygones be bygones. Somehow everyone kind of got what they wanted. What was the fight about again? The only loose thread was my own story, but the Sole Survivor said he was too busy assigning SETTLERs to run supply routes to care.
At any rate, the Sole Survivor had made a few new friends, cleared out some settlements, and collected a boatload of junk to haul back to the Commonwealth. That made Preston shut up for about two minutes before he hit us with another settlement request. Good times. At least Far Harbor was better than fighting the robots of the Automatron DLC.
As for the missing girl? Whatever. Fallout 4 never changes.