Large games can and will have massive amounts of lore to support them. The two concepts are inherently linked. The larger you make a game, the more “things” you have to explain. Introduce a new mechanic? Gotta explain it. Travel to a new location? Gotta explain it. New character pop up in the story? Gotta explain them, their backstory, and their personality. While you are at it, could you do us all a solid and link everything together to create a unique and immersive world? That would be great.
While the majority of my gaming has had solid writing, there are the occasions in which a chunk of the story was left out, not explained, or the player was supposed to “just go with it.” In the case of RPGs, it usually chalks up to, “Shut Up, it’s MAGIC!” Other times it could just be that idea was dropped during the course of the franchise’s development, as with Dark Energy in Mass Effect. These ideas might even be great, but sometimes the creative process starts spinning out of control or the writers just can’t fully develop it. It happens.
But then there are the rare instances where looking back, you just think to yourself, “Huh? Wait, what ever happened to (what’s-his-name)?” Someone or something is referenced during the game, and then….nothing.
What Happened in Fallout 4
Below is a video from Enzo Gaultier, in which companion Nick Valentine tweaks out on us momentarily and gives us quite the scare:
So once again, here’s what Nick Valentine/Kellog said,
“Hope you got what your were looking for inside my head. Heh, I was right. Should’ve killed you when you were on ice.”
How Did This Happen?
For a little background on what you just witnessed, here is a quick rundown of the events that lead up to this little quirk. On your quest to find Shaun, you are directed to meeting with a Private Detective named Nick Valentine. With his help, you figure out that the guy who busted into your Vault, kidnapped your kid, and shot your wife is a merc named Kellogg.
Once you finally come face to face with this guy, you are able to get SOME information out of him, but it ends the way we all knew it would — with a bullet to Kellogg’s face. Or, a few bullets. OK, a lot of bullets.
While you are pilfering the spoils of your conquest, you also pick up a Cybernetic Brain Augmenter off of Kellogg which you use back at the Memory Den to access his memories. You end up using Nick Valentine as a kind of “conduit” to explore Kellogg’s memories and you walk around in a state reminiscent of Legion’s “Virtual Reality of Geth Consensus” mission in Mass Effect 3. Admittedly, it is an interesting trip through the man’s history as you get to learn his backstory and how he came to be, as seen in this video from Overlord Actual:
The conversation in question between the Kellogg and Valentine comes after everyone has disconnected from the machinery and you are on your way out. That is when we suddenly find out that there is a little bit of Kellogg left in Valentine, and it is kinda creepy. As you progress through the story line….
NOTHING EVER HAPPENS AND IT IS NEVER REFERENCED AGAIN!
Poking around in a few forums I have found that Kellogg may or may not surface again while your are in the Glowing Sea, but there is nothing after that. I have no shame in admitting that the initial exchange left me creeped out, yet I was anxiously waiting to see if Kellogg would resurface at an inopportune time, but….nothing. Kellogg never resurfaced, never caused a ruckus in any capacity, just…nothing.
Hole To Be Filled?
This hole is way too large to remain. Bethesda, while jokingly known for releasing glitchy games, keeps tight control of their content. Two of my personally favorite franchises are Elder Scrolls and Fallout, and both have extremely deep lore reserves and never, in my years of playing, has there ever been a plot hole this insultingly obvious. Further more, I have never experienced a plot hole like this in ANY game. This kind of misstep in writing just does not happen.
Which leads me to believe that this hole will soon be filled. Bethesda has recently announced that the first round of DLC will soon be released over the course of this year. One of the DLC packs in particular, Far Harbor, even goes so far as to mention Nick Valentine by name in its description. Granted, it could only be because we are picking up a cold case from Valentine Detective Agency, but at least it is a start. There is also talk of additional content yet to be disclosed in the initial DLC announcement.
Perhaps there will be a continuation of this scene in one of the DLC packs? Maybe even its own DLC in which Valentine is compelled to resolve some of Kellogg’s unfinished business? All we can do for now is wait for their release!