Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition

Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition

midnite rule Sep 6, 2014 @ 1:50pm
Disarming/Detonating The Megaton Bomb: Anatomy of Bad Quest Design
First of all let me state that I do like this game. Back in the day Fallout 2 popped my RPG cherry, and ever since I’ve been addicted to RPGs. But Bethesda taking on The Fallout License had me worried at first, because (even though I spent countless hours playing Morrowind) I hated Oblivion with a passion.

So I didn’t think I would like Fallout 3, but it surprised me, it’s a good game; not as good as the first two or New Vegas, but a solid game nonetheless.

However, having recently replayed both possible outcomes of The Megaton Bomb quest, I feel I must vent my frustration; it is a stunningly bad quest, and I will explain why in detail.

Disarming The Bomb

Disarming the Bomb requires a whopping 25 points in your explosives skill and no tools of any kind. If it’s that easy to disarm the bomb why haven’t someone done it already, I mean it’s only been there for 200 years. When you disarm it even says it would take a person highly skilled in explosives to do it.

It’s like the developers realized late in development that since this is the quest which gains you a house, they wanted every player to be able to complete it.

Disarming the Bomb should have required a character of very high skill in Science and/or Explosives; or some sort of specialized tool that you have to go find.

Detonating The Bomb

First of all, why does Burke reveal his evil scheme to the first yahoo who walks into town; according to Tenpenny, he is supposed to be very competent at his job, talk about Informed Ability[tvtropes.org].

You shouldn’t have been able to get the blow up Megaton quest until your Karma was very bad; then you can have Burke show up saying he’s a fan of your work and has a proposition for you.

I mean, if you’re playing as an evil character, the most evil thing you will have been able to do at this point is call Amata fat; you go from schoolyard bully to génocidaire in about half an hour.

But what bothers me most is Tenpenny’s and Burke’s motivation in wanting to blow up Megaton? They don’t seem to have one; other than for The Evulz[tvtropes.org].

They could have made it a moral dilemma for the Player: what if Megaton was a town of ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s, who constantly harassed another nearby settlement, and this settlement was feed up and wanted retribution in the most extreme way possible. Make it interesting; after all, people are still debating to this day the morality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Last edited by midnite rule; Sep 6, 2014 @ 1:53pm
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GetBeaned Sep 6, 2014 @ 3:17pm 
I understand your frustration over the disarming the bomb part of the quest. It doesnt make sense why they specifically say that only someone with a high explosive skill will be able to disarm the bomb, but throw that all away by sticking a low 25 skill rating to do so.

The detonating the bomb part i disagree with. It fits in with the personalities of the people that live in Tenpenny Tower. They are a rich bunch that live a life that suits their preferences, and one of those in the scenery. Tenpenny wants Megaton gone because it looks like a pile of scrap, and because he has the money to do it, he can get rid of it
R5CYA Sep 6, 2014 @ 3:27pm 
i disarmed it at level one with a rusty fork.
casual Sep 6, 2014 @ 5:32pm 
I just want to say off topic that a metric ton of people would disagree with you and say that fallout 3 is better then new vegas and the first 2 (not sure on that second part but i beleve alot of people say fallout 3 is the best in the series) but evrey one is entitled to there opinion, as for me i havent played the others
Last edited by casual; Sep 6, 2014 @ 5:33pm
GetBeaned Sep 6, 2014 @ 5:39pm 
Originally posted by DragonMaster2962:
I just want to say off topic that a metric ton of people would disagree with you and say that fallout 3 is better then new vegas and the first 2 (not sure on that second part but i beleve alot of people say fallout 3 is the best in the series) but evrey one is entitled to there opinion, as for me i havent played the others

Ive played Fallout 2, 3 and NV and 3 is by long distance by favourite. Oblivion is probably my fav Bethesda game (and game ever) but i'd blame that on me having so many good memories of it when i was a kid
R5CYA Sep 6, 2014 @ 6:45pm 
i tried to play the first two after 3 and new vegas. no chance. it was like going back and playing pong. not as great as you remember.
So disarming the bomb first: I feel that the idea of Megaton being the first area to visit has been made for a majority of developement (correct me if I'm wrong if you have sources). I don't think the first optional quest the player has is to have a 50-100 science/explosive pre-requisite. Remember that Megaton -being the first area outside- is going to set the overall tone of the outside world for the player. If the first optional quest you have forces you to grind levels up first before completing it, it would give you a good impression on what's next to come.

Instead, it gives you options to actually talk to the other people around Megaton to eventually find out Leo Stahl has Mentats that can boost your Explosives up to the 25 marker in case you can't do it (if it still doesnt work, you only need a single level up at most which is easily obtained at the nearby School). It makes you have to use some ingenuity to figure out how to approach the situation since you dont absolutely need the explosive skill, just the mentats, but how you obtain them is up to you and how you play the game-- that sets the tone for Fallout in my opinion, and it does it well.

Although I will say Moira's reasoning is a bit of a cop out. But her and the pump guy (forgot name obv.) are the only people -I'm... sure of it- in and around Megaton with mechanical knowledge (Not sure if he's good with explosives anyways), while everyone else are just technically incompetant to deal with the bomb or feel sympathetic towards the Confessor and "Children of Atom".

Originally posted by himynameiswill:
The detonating the bomb part i disagree with. It fits in with the personalities of the people that live in Tenpenny Tower. They are a rich bunch that live a life that suits their preferences, and one of those in the scenery. Tenpenny wants Megaton gone because it looks like a pile of scrap, and because he has the money to do it, he can get rid of it

I've always thought this was the reason, so I agree with everything here. Adding on to why Burke talks about his scheme with the Wanderer is because he already is aware of him being from the vault (Everyone from town talked about him and news apparently travels fast). Burke knows that this person doesn't fully understand how things work in the outside world (Simply look at Megaton and a vault and compare the two and think about the lifestyle differences), so he simply takes a gamble to see if the player will run with the scheme. If not, he has a backup plan which is to kill the Sheriff while he's looking away (no-one does a thing about his death, but he's apparently hidden and using a Silent weapon, so game-mechanics wise, it works?), or send mercenaries after the Lone wanderer (or both).

TL:DR: Only thing wrong is Moira.
Last edited by ✠Scorch Sunfire✠; Sep 6, 2014 @ 9:09pm
midnite rule Sep 7, 2014 @ 3:28am 
Originally posted by himynameiswill:
The detonating the bomb part i disagree with. It fits in with the personalities of the people that live in Tenpenny Tower. They are a rich bunch that live a life that suits their preferences, and one of those in the scenery. Tenpenny wants Megaton gone because it looks like a pile of scrap, and because he has the money to do it, he can get rid of it
Fair enough, it’s just a little too much cartoon evil for me.


Originally posted by DragonMaster2962:
I just want to say off topic that a metric ton of people would disagree with you and say that fallout 3 is better then new vegas and the first 2 (not sure on that second part but i beleve alot of people say fallout 3 is the best in the series) but evrey one is entitled to there opinion, as for me i havent played the others
I never said it was anything other then my opinion.


Originally posted by Sassy Rabbit:
So disarming the bomb first: I feel that the idea of Megaton being the first area to visit has been made for a majority of developement (correct me if I'm wrong if you have sources). I don't think the first optional quest the player has is to have a 50-100 science/explosive pre-requisite. Remember that Megaton -being the first area outside- is going to set the overall tone of the outside world for the player. If the first optional quest you have forces you to grind levels up first before completing it, it would give you a good impression on what's next to come.
Not every quest has to be accomplishable by every character build, that's what replaying the game is for. Besides going on a quest to find a tool wouldn't be grinding, it would just take some extra time.

Originally posted by Sassy Rabbit:
Although I will say Moira's reasoning is a bit of a cop out. But her and the pump guy (forgot name obv.) are the only people -I'm... sure of it- in and around Megaton with mechanical knowledge (Not sure if he's good with explosives anyways), while everyone else are just technically incompetant to deal with the bomb or feel sympathetic towards the Confessor and "Children of Atom".
It's not just the people who live in the town that could have disarmed it, like I said: it's been there for 200 years; nobody who passed by in all that time had the meager knowledge of explosives required to disarm the bomb, nobody from the Brootherhood of Steel with their vast knowledge and new messianic mission bothered to look into it?
Last edited by midnite rule; Sep 7, 2014 @ 3:34am
GetBeaned Sep 7, 2014 @ 4:06am 
In my opinion, they should have explored The Children of Atom's views on the bomb and why their beliefs are the reason no one has disarmed it. I mean, religious artifacts and landmarks are protected because of beliefs people have. From how many people you see, its seems like a good amount of Megaton believes that this bomb is what created their universe (dont quote me on that, its something along those lines). It just seems like that whole faction could have been the reason why no one ever disarmed it, but its never even touched on
Last edited by GetBeaned; Sep 7, 2014 @ 11:56am
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Date Posted: Sep 6, 2014 @ 1:50pm
Posts: 8