Why "Blind Betrayal" Is The Best Quest In Fallout 4
The best achievement any game can have to its credit is making its characters so multi-dimensional, that you--beyond just being the player--actually care for them. Such is the case with Bethesda's fourth entry in the Fallout series, where players set out into the Commonwealth of former Massachusetts in search of their son.
Quickly though, players meet a cast of wonderful characters in the Wasteland who want to help you, who need help themselves, or just want to plain murder you. All of them, little and large have an effect on your version of the Wanderer and share in your memories of playing through the game. One such character is the companion from the Brotherhood of Steel, Knight-Paladin Danse.
***SPOILERS FOR FALLOUT FOR AND THE "BLIND BETRAYAL" QUEST BEGIN HERE***
If you'd rather not know how this quest plays out, don't read any further.
Okay, now that everyone who doesn't want to know is gone, "Blind Betrayal" is the absolute best quest in Fallout 4 because it hits you right in the gut and puts some of the toughest choices in the game on your shoulders.
When Elder Arthur Maxson, leader of the Commonwealth Brotherhood of Steel calls you to the bridge of the Prydwen and tells you your old pal Knight-Paladin Danse--the man responsible for your membership into the Brotherhood--is actually a synth programmed to believe he's the real Danse, it's a hard blow.
The Brotherhood are sworn to eradicate all synthetic life and the Institute at large, and Elder Maxson is firm: Danse must die.
Other members of the Brotherhood plead for you to find another way, such as Scribe Haylen, his old number two, but the choice is left to the Wanderer. Do you let Danse, your friend and mentor die at your hand, or find a better solution while defying a direct order from Brotherhood command?
When you finally locate Danse at a communications outpost in the far North of the Commonwealth, he knows the gravity of the situation all too well.
He begs you to end his life, despite all the good he's done and the fact that he still believes in the principles of the Brotherhood, even after realizing he's now one of the enemy. You can kill him, as he asks, and return to Maxson with his tags, and live with the deed forever...
...you can convince Danse that he needs to make Maxson see reason, that a good man who still wants to fight for the cause shouldn't have to die because of what he is. If you choose this option, Elder Maxson lands in front of Danse's hideout, and all three of you--Maxson, Danse, and the Wanderer--try to make each other see their side of things.
The dialogue between the two former comrades is heartbreaking.
Maxson is not receptive and stubborn: Danse is an abomination and has to die, or the Brotherhood has failed in its mission.
Danse pleads with him, as an old friend, calling him "Arthur", asking how he can really be the enemy when he still wants to fight for the Brotherhood.
The Wanderer must choose. If you convince Maxson to let Danse live, he concedes, but not without stripping Danse of his rank and home, condemning the former Paladin to a life in exile. The Elder also warns the Wanderer that he will lie, and in the eyes of the Brotherhood, Danse died there in that field at his hand.
From there the player can choose to let Danse leave the Commonwealth as he was ordered, to live as he sees fit, or stay behind as a companion, living in secret, in permanent isolation from the Brotherhood.
Either way, the gravity and consequences of the choices in this quest are among the most impactful and difficult in Fallout 4, and the characters truly shine through, becoming more real with every fraught, honest word they speak. Because of this, "Blind Betrayal" stands out as one of the most memorable, well-written opportunities for real, heartfelt gameplay in the Commonwealth.
Watch the part I'm discussing in the video below: