Fallout 4's secret boss: where to find Swan and how to kill him
Minor spoilers ahead. If you don't want to know where this boss is, turn back now.
There are some scary things out in the post-apocalyptic Wasteland of Fallout 4, but this guy definitely takes the cake. You might have come across him accidentally pretty early on in the game, activating VATS in his pond and wondering why something so strangely named was just resting out there in the water.
Of course, if you got near or shot it, you received a nasty surprise:
At lower levels, especially if you're unprepared, this Super Mutant Behemoth will absolutely destroy you. At higher levels, he still does enough damage to put a massive dent in your health bar.
Finding Swan in Swan's Pond
You might think "Swan's Pond" is an innocent place. An old pond with some broken swan boats lying around. Of course, once you meet the real Swan, you know that isn't the case.
Swan's Pond is right next to the Boston Common. It's hard to miss, since you'll see the old swan boats lying around in ruin. Just don't do any swimming yet. Not only is the water irradiated, but a quick check in VATS will reveal that the strange shape in the middle of one of the ponds is none other than Swan.
Get close or take a shot only when you're ready for the fight to begin, because he'll come out swinging.
Swan's location on the VATS map
You might be wondering why you should bother finding this guy in the first place. And there are two answers:
The simple one? The challenge. Swan is big, scary, and has a lot of hit points. Why not try and kill him?
The second matters more for a character who likes to melee. Swan offers an amazing fist weapon: the Furious Power Fist.
Armor-piercing and capable of dealing tons of damage from the get-go, turn on VATS with this thing and utterly destroy any target.
However, to get this weapon, you'll have to kill Swan, and that's definitely easier said than done. He's quick and brutal. He'll hurl rocks, cause severe radiation damage, and bum-rush you with surprising speed for a guy three times your size.
How to Fight and Kill Swan
1. Power Armor
As with all difficult fights in Fallout 4, a lot of the challenge can be mitigated just by slapping on some power armor. No matter your plan of attack, this is one of your best bets for keeping yourself alive.
Keep in mind, even in armor, you're going to be eating some heavy hits, so don't go in too reliant on your bolstered defenses. The higher the difficulty, the less effective this armor will be. But remember, every little bit will help in this battle.
2. Chems and Healing
If you want to be able to tank through Swan, gather up some chems and healing items. Psycho is spectacular here, since the damage reduction lets you actually consider surviving his hits. On any difficulty except survival, it's also reasonable to stock up on healing items.
If you take a single hit and you look a little low, spam-activate a handful of food or stimpaks. Remember: they stack, so by the time Swan's next blow is landing, enough healing items can hopefully put you back where you were. This is a pretty resource-heavy strategy, though.
Any companion can eat a few hits, and you'll need a few hits taken on this fight. Let them start the fight off for you, and try to get some distance between yourself and Swan in the meantime.
4. Bring out the big guns.
In addition to opening up with your companions, once you've gotten Swan out of the water, if you have any heavy artillery you've been meaning to use, why not spend it on this guy? A Fat Man nuke should put a pretty hefty dent in his health (though it won't be as big as you expect).
If you want to go in guns-blazing against Swan, you better make sure the fight ends fast.
A tried-and-true Fallout 4 technique, but kiting Swan isn't nearly as easy when compared with some melee-heavy enemies. Swan is not only armed with an endless supply of boulders that he can hurl at you, but he can shake the ground and produce a temporary slow, meaning that getting away from Swan can be a difficult feat.
Or, as is the case with almost every enemy in a Bethesda game, if you can't take him in a fair fight...
6. Cheese it - use a narrow alley
There's an excellent choke point that makes this fight a cake walk.
Directly across from where Swan is sleeping, you should see this alleyway right next to a rusted old car. Unfortunately for Swan, he can't fit inside.
This means that he'll resort to hurling rocks at you instead of crushing you to death with his immense weapon. Luckily, the rocks are easy to avoid, and you'll be able to heal up if you eat too much damage without fear of him bearing down on you.
He might lose interest in your cheap tricks from time to time, but Swan is a very aggressive enemy, so if you pop out of the alley and lay a few ranged hits on him, he'll come right back.
Once he's dead, rejoice! You just killed one of the nastiest things lurking in the Commonwealth, and got a powerful weapon to boot.