Seriously though, what interpretation of your character makes him think joining the Institute is a good idea? You get out of the vault, head to Diamond City, where you learn about Synths, “Holy♥♥♥♥♥♥they kidnap people and then replace them with robots!” Well alright, maybe that’s just speculation because they don’t know much about the group itself. Give them the benefit of the doubt. And let’s go ahead and just assume that you have had little or no contact with the Brotherhood or the Railroad. Even though by the time the choice came up, I had already done a couple missions for both. So no bias from that side.
You find Nick, who is a Synth that was abandoned by the Institute, and he seems…pretty darn sentient for a robot. Well I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about there, let’s find Shaun. Oh, there was a time gap of 10 years between when he was kidnapped and when I got out? Well…alright, he’s still my son. I have to find him. Track down Kellog, and interrogate him about Shaun and the institute. Well…didn’t really get that much out of him, except these cybernetic implants. Go take a walk in Kellog’s memories, get a couple hints about Father and how the Institute operates. Hunt down…the supermutant guy. I’ve honestly completely forgot his name. I never actually spoke to him again after he told me what I needed to make the device. Well, in any case, you learn from him that they’ve been messing around with F.E.V. which is hilariously suspicious. Hunt down a Courser, the robots dedicated to hunting down escaping Synths. Wait, then why isn’t Valentine being hunted? It’s not like he’s a secret. Meh…probably not important.
At this point, I think you have to take the chip to the railroad to get it analyzed, so you learn a bit more from the Railroad’s point of view. After that you get to choose between the Brotherhood or the Minuteman to help you build the device. I just laughed at the thought of the minutemen helping you do that. Between the faction that is literally just a better organized militia, and the one who’s whole bit is that they preserve technology…really how is that even an option. So I have them build it, they give me the network scanner, I get in my Brotherhood suit of Power Armor, packed full of weapons, and I teleport in. There isn’t anyone waiting for me when I get there. That’s suspicious.
Someone starts talking to me over the intercom, as if they’d been expecting me. That is even more suspicious. You take the little guided tour of the facility till you get to “Shaun,” who is trapped in this little room. Pretty much no matter how you tell your player to react, he gets pretty emotional about it. It doesn’t really help that “Shaun” keeps yelling for his Father. Then Father comes in and shuts off the kid with a code. And then introduces himself as your son. What. WHAT. THIS is how you introduce yourself to your last living blood-relative? Holy♥♥♥♥♥♥ What is wrong with you? I’m not even sure where to begin with where you went wrong.
Why show me the version of child-you moments before I meet you? Why shut it down right after that, making it clear that yes, you do create robots of children, and no, these are still nothing more than tools for you to use. What kind of message do you think that sends? And then you tell me that you were raised to take over the Institute, being one of the only “Pure” humans left. Me being one of the other ones. And you just left me in “storage?” Not only that, but rather than simply getting someone to come and get me out of the vault, or just leaving me in storage, you left this breadcrumb trail for me to follow. With the information that the kid Kellog was living with in Diamond city was actually just a synth, that means that whoooooole interaction with them that you found in his memories was a setup. Meaning Shaun actually expected you to kill a mercenary with over a hundred years of experience (you can find a reference to Kellog’s longevity on Shaun’s terminal just upstairs), and then track down and kill one of their “Super killing machine” synths.
Getting back to the child robot. Why do you have a child robot? Why is that the first thing you wanted me to see about the Institute, is that they make child robots? Why does your Institute emphasize that the Synths are only tools, yet make something like this? Ok, ok…calm down. Maybe it’ll make more sense once I look around here a bit more. I mean, if they’re going to give me a free tour of the place and try to explain their motives, I should give them the chance. Maybe they really do have a point to doing all this. And I can look for that serum in the meantime. Apparently the F.E.V. department is shut down at the moment. Hm. Looking at pretty much any of the terminals lets you know that they’ve been told to welcome you, but keep you in the dark. That is not reassuring. Talking to the people, most of them seem to view the rest of the Commonwealth as either worthless, or that they should be pitied for their plight, but not actually helped. That’s…well, they’re just looking out for themselves, which is what most of the Commonwealth does anyway. Even if they do have the technology to help, and have made attempts in the past, that doesn’t mean they have to keep trying.
Keep investigating around…ah, this agriculture research looks interesting enough. Wait, what’s this? “We’ll have to capture target X and extract the necessary information so that we can have a synth convincingly pose as him. Do a few experiments with the crops and then…once the experiment is concluded, wipe out all evidence of the operation.
Does that include all the people involved. What am I saying, of course it does. Why even bother asking that question. I don’t see the person making this log having any misgivings about that kind of operating procedure either. They make it sound like the standard. That is extremely worrying. This is probably one of the things that they were supposed to keep hidden that slipped through the cracks. Kind wonder what else they’re hiding. Oh, the mayor of Diamond City is a synth. Turns out that paper was actually right. That does explain why the security force there weren’t doing anything to investigate the kidnappings. Makes me wonder if that rumor about the Institute wiping out a town was true too. Maybe I should ask.
After meeting all the heads of the different research sections, you head back to Father. Who pretty much immediately tries to send you on a mission to recapture a synth. I say tries, because at this point, I couldn’t keep pretending to give them the benefit of the doubt, and just killed everyone in the facility, minus Dr. Lee (who I already convinced to rejoin the Brotherhood) the two kids, and the gorillas behind the glass. Do you seriously expect me to do your work when I’ve just spent the last hour becoming increasingly suspicious of how your faction works? I’m not even allowed to ask a couple of questions about that? Not even about the F.E.V. section? Even if I’ve been to University point, seen the destroyed town, and listened to the logs? Not so much as a passing query? Or anything about the mayor being a Synth? Or the kidnappings that I by this point know are actually taking place? Nothing? No. That is not acceptable.
I’d like to know though, who joined the Institute on their playthrough, and why? Other then just sheer morbid curiosity about what happens when you do. Was there anyone who really thought their character would actually go “Seems legit. Point me in the right direction boss!”
Original Link – Continuation of discussion