Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I obtain the Red Ryder BB Gun?
A: The Red Ryder BB Gun is awarded to you by the Wasteland Stranger for saving all possible Carbon townspeople during the Raider invasion in Chapter One. There are a total of 39 townspeople, but two of them are burned with flamethrowers regardless of what you do. Therefore, there are a total of 37 townspeople that can be saved. If you reach this number, the Wasteland Stranger will hand over the (very nice) weapon when you speak to him in the Warehouse.
Q: How do I obtain the Meat Cannon?
A: Who would have thought a meat-launching weapon with infinite ammunition would be the best weapon in the game? You can grab this weapon from a footlocker on the secret island area of Bridge East during Chapter Two. To reach the island, you must leap into the dark void just to the east of the savegame terminal near the level's exit. You won't fall as expected, but will instead be able to run across an invisible bridge to a previously unreachable section of ground. Kill all resistance and loot the footlocker toward the back of the island.
Q: How do I obtain the Slugger?
A: This powerful melee weapon is dropped by the secret Glowing Ghoul boss in the city of Los during Chapter Two. When you reach the Docks Shipyard, check all of the alleyways until you find a couple of toxic ghouls standing behind an unscalable fence. They cannot be reached by standard weapons, but you can hit them with explosives (including the Meat Cannon above). Kill these ghouls and the Glowing Ghoul will spawn just outside the alley's entrance. Kill the boss and he'll drop the Slugger.
The following questions and answers are from Interplay's official Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel website, when it existed.
Q: Have you considered a deathmatch mode (4 player) for those of us looking to destroy our friends in a mindless post-apoc rage?
A: Four-player mode will not be in this version of Brotherhood of Steel. Should there be a sequel, we will definitely put it on the wish list. It might be fun to have four players all armed with Sledgehammers knocking the snot out of each other and bouncing each other off the walls. I can see it now - Pinball 2150: Fallout Style!
Q: Since you can mix and match pieces of armour (if I understand correctly), will there also be armour incompatibilities? Stuff like a Tesla helmet not fitting due to the way the metal body armour protects the neck? Or is it a detail not worth worrying about?
A: Restricting the player's capability to mix and match armor types might be frustrating. Perhaps if we had three times as many armor types it might make a little more sense to have these restrictions, but since this edition of Fallout is limited to about six types, it probably isn't worth worrying about it. Again, another great suggestion for the hopeful sequel.
Q: How much will stance and/or movement effect your accuracy? Will there be targetted shots, or will we just be blasting body armour into oblivion?
A: Movement, as well as many other factors, will affect accuracy. Improving skills such as Eagle Eye and your basic gun skills will help improve the chances that your bullets will find their intended target and inflict more damage. But conversely, if you are moving, the enemy will have a harder time striking you too! Targeted shots (Called Shots) are still be tested by the team. It may become a skill that would increase the chance for a critical hit but would come at a sacrifice of accuracy chances.
Q: How will character death be handled in two player games? Will there be checkpoints as in Dark Alliance that the other player can respawn in, or will a player that's taken out of the game be taken out permanently?
A: The character death in two player games will be handled exactly the same as in Dark Alliance. Once the surviving player has reached or retreated to a save point, before that player can save, the less fortunate player will reanimate to join the quest once more. Of course if you playing partner is selfish, then you could be waiting for quite some time. Be aware, there is at least one "Bonus Area" that requires both players to activate. You may not want to be too selfish.
Q: Why does the chick from the trailer say "I was born after the bombs fell"? That would make her over 80! I hope you'll get rid of factual errors like this one.
A: Actually the trailer says "I was born just after the bombs fell..." and you are right, that would make Nadia over 80 years old. We made a mistake. Not in our timeline, but in the recording of the line. By the time we caught it, it was too late to fix. We will do our best to make sure these kinds of errors do not happen again. She should have said, "I was born after the bombs fell..."
Q: Why was the BoS logo changed?
A: Do you mean 'Why was the dual gun logo changed to the present caution sign look?' The present graphic of the caution sign was designed to foster a new look and therefore a new approach to the Fallout world for this game.
Do you mean 'Why was the BoS logo changed from the sword and gears to the dual pistols?' The early version that was used when the game was announced, was conceptualize as possible logo for this version of the Brotherhood of Steel. With the desire to create an action oriented game, we experimented with changing the logo to reflect this desire. (I.E. guns vs. swords). Happily, we have decided to stay with the sword and gears for the game.
Q: In regards to armor, is head gear separate from body armor like it is in "Dark Alliance"? Or does all armor come with some sort of head protection?
A: Armor is found and equipped in pieces, as in DA. The player can find better quality pieces as he/she progresses through the game, and mix and match what his/her player character wears in order to have the best possible protection.
Q: Will there be any differences between the Xbox and PS2 versions?
A: No major differences between the two versions - simultaneous release. The Xbox's increased memory and graphical capabilities will yield some improvement in visuals, but for the most part the games are identical on both platforms.
Q: How many characters are available from the beginning and how many do you plan to make unlockable?
A: Three characters are available to play from the beginning. The number of unlockable characters is somewhat in flux at this point (all things that qualify as "easter eggs" being non-critical to finishing the game), but I'll give a safe estimate of 3 unlockable characters in addition to the 3 originals.
Q: Will the soundtrack have a retro feel?
A: The soundtrack is a mix of retro music and more contemporary pieces. Much of what we use to fill in the ambient background - menus, safe areas, etc. - will use retro musical pieces. These vary in "intensity" from old-time jazz playing on scratchy records to the extremely subtle ambience, echoing the ambient music of the first Fallout games. At certain points in the game the player will be engaged in battle with major story-related enemies. For these events, the music is much more intense and contemporary - ranging from hardcore metal to more techno.
Q: I see that the characters will be "customizable", will that be to the extent of the original Fallouts, or is that used in the sense that you can change them through in game decisions?
A: The player chooses from pre-generated characters at the beginning of the game, but you can customize their skills and equipment over the course of the game. So you begin by choosing from some very loose "template" characters, but through your decisions in game, you can mold them into whatever type of character you wish.
Q: Will Power Armor mk2 be in the game (cause that would look cool as hell in 3d)?
A: Sorry, no Power Armor mk2. Power Armor will be cool enough :-) .
Q: Will there be Action Points?
A: No action points. The game occurs in real time, so the turn-based systems such as initiative and action points are replaced by a creature's speed and the player's skill with the controller.
Q: I'm most curious about gameplay - what feel will it have? Floating follow cam like Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid, or fixed cam à la Metal Gear Solid 2 and Syphon Filter? Or something completely different?
A: More isometric 3rd person cam - high overhead, but with some angle on the action (Metal Gear had some areas that used this cam, but Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance uses it exclusively). The player can control camera rotation and pitch (to a certain extent).
Q: Is SPECIAL implemented in any way? (Not that I can see much use for Charisma in an action game).
A: Yes, we are using a modified version of the character development in Fallout. Stat modifiers (strength, agility, etc.) are fixed to the different characters, but the player can modify skill levels as he/she goes up in experience. Lots of familiar skills to the Fallout player - First Aid, Bartering, Melee Weapon Skill, etc. Not all skills from Fallout are included (Speech, Repair, etc.), but additional skills have been added to give the player more abilities to develop. Ex. You can develop a special skill for use with energy weapons, letting you fire a charged shot - charged shots take more time to build up, but do more damage when they hit.
Q: How much NPC interactivity options will there be? I've read the interview where the quote mentions pissing off the mayor and sleeping with the professional lady, but are those arbitrary happenings, or can the result be modified by the player, and if so, to what degree?
A: The dialog options mentioned above are side options that the player can choose to enter or not. There are a number of these for each character that you can interact with in the game. There are about 15 characters for the player to interact with, some are brief (trying to get information out of an enemy before a fight), some are more involved (getting the history of a locale and its residents from an NPC). Most NPC's have some side quest to offer the player, and several side paths in dialog that can have consequences. For instance, when talking to the prostitute, you have the option of soliciting her. Later on you'll find her upset because something's been stolen from her. If you try to solicit her at this point, she'll be furious. If you then return the stolen item, your reward will be different than if you hadn't solicited her while upset.
Q: You are using a tweaked version of Snowblind's Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance engine right? What have you changed- that is to say what new possibilities for play mechanics are in Brotherhood of Steel that weren't in Dark Alliance?
A: Lots. Lots and lots of features have changed from what BGDA included. Character development is entirely skill-based. Weapons are much more diverse - guns, melee weapons, explosives. Game play is more situation-driven - levels are organized as locales where events take place rather than simply populated with bad guys. Even small changes make a big difference. Ducking, for instance. Enemies can duck behind cover, then pop up and shoot you through open windows in ruined buildings. Likewise, you can duck behind cover and avoid getting hit. Another use for ducking - frag grenades. When a frag grenade goes off, anyone in the open is liable to get hit by shrapnel. So if you're throwing a frag grenade in a small space, you'd be wise to leave that space before the grenade goes off or duck behind a low object for cover. And ducking is just a small addition to the game.
Q: How will you handle ranged combat? By using Autoaim? A similar lock-on mechanism? Like 'Dark Alliance? Or in a completely new way?
A: Ranged combat is much more prevalent in F:BoS than in BGDA, so we went with a much more user-friendly targeting system. The player can lock on to targets to aim at them, but locking on isn't a guaranteed hit (targets move, guns kick back, etc.). Likewise, locking on has its limitations - you can't simply lock on to targets automatically, but need to be pointed in their general direction and be within range of the target (you can improve these ranges by augmenting one of your skills). While locked on, your movement is also limited - you're slowing down to take aim. Note that you can still fire weapons without locking on, it's just a trade off of maneuverability for improved targeting.
Q: How will you differentiate the gameplay (obviously the setting, rules a style will be very different) from Dark Alliance II or Alien Breed 2k4 both of which your game shares significant ground with?
A: I see some similarities with Alien Breed 2k4 as well, but they're much more sci-fi - can't say much about the game because little has been released. There are, of course, similarities between F:BoS and BGDA in the character development, some of the core systems (the camera angles, the visual quality, etc.). The main things that differentiate F:BoS from BGDA are the stronger emphasis on ranged weapons, the targeting system, and the event-driven level designs.
Q: What's more important graphics or framerate? And what framerate (minimum) are you going for?
A: The standard answer is "Both". But I'll elaborate. The game is pretty clearly divided between combat areas and non-combat. Frame rate is most important where it impacts game play, specifically in areas where the player needs quick responsiveness and fluid motion (i.e. combat, timing puzzles, etc.). We're going for 60 fps, and for the majority of the game we'll tailor the graphics to match that frame rate goal. At the same time, there's a lot of imagery and effects that we want to make special - in most cases, we ensure that these are located in places where we can push more graphics without negatively affecting frame rate and, more importantly, game play.
Q: How many on-screen characters can you engine handle at once?
A: Depends what else is going on. We did early tests with really empty levels and had insane amounts of characters piling on - think it was close to 100. Of course, realistically, nothing else was happening - no audio, no effects, etc. And there was barely enough room for the player character to stand. In a relatively simple area of the final game, the game still runs smoothly with up to 20 creatures on screen. In general, we try to keep things a little more sane so that the player has more space to maneuver and a bit more time to develop skills and strategies against various opponents.
Q: How long will the game last (ballpark figure)?
A: Ah, the ballpark figure. 20 - 25 hours.
Q: How do you plan to encourage replay?
A: Additional player characters (each with different skills and strengths), difficulty levels (play the same character a second time through on a harder difficulty level), unlockable content and easter eggs, and, of course, cooperative multiplayer.
Q: Again referencing the Bible and Fallout 1, it has been noted that the BOS is a very insular group. How will the team explain it's almost Eastern Brotherhood influence?
A: Mentioned above. In many ways, the events that take place only highlight that insularity, and how the Brotherhood remains aloof from problems outside their walls while individuals are forced to struggle and suffer in the wasteland.
Q: How much of the Fallout bibles have your team used while crafting the story line of the game?
A: We've read the Fallout bible and updates, worked with people in BIS on the concept, and determined that we'd stay within the guidelines of the Fallout universe but at the same time presume that this is a different type of game for a different audience. Fallout: BOS has its own setting, characters, and events that fit within the larger Fallout world. Nothing in this game contradicts the events that occur in Fallout or Fallout 2.
Q: The 50's retro "feel" was a huge part of the original fallouts, how have you portrayed this in FO:BoS?
A: Despite popular opinion, we really did use the original Fallout and 50's images to shape the aesthetic in this game. The world of Fallout isn't the 50's - the bombs dropped over 100 years after the 50's. The aesthetic is clearly heavily influenced by the 50's, and we use that in the hairstyles, the clothing, the architecture and signage, etc. At the same time, one would expect those 50's influences to be a bit evolved and, in a post-nuclear environment, corrupted.
Q: What have to done to avoid cliched characters and plot devices in FO:BoS? anything you think is particularly clever?
A: How does anyone do it in games, movies, fiction? Try to make interesting characters and have those characters interact. If we give away our clever characters and plot devices, you won't be pleasantly surprised when you play the game ;-).
Q: One of the major concerns from the fallout fanbase is the more action oriented brotherhood of steel portrayed by the interplay site, are these fears justified or did I'ply marketing overblow it? if it is justified, does the plot explain the action slant and then the return to a less "active" role by fallout 2, timeline-wise?
A: The Brotherhood's reclusiveness and inertia is a key point in the story. As in Fallout, the player character is sent out on a mission to prove himself/herself (remember the Glow?). As in Fallout, the Brotherhood is probably underestimating the dangers surrounding them ... or using the mission as a way to dispose of unwanted recruits ... or both. We put some twists into the story to show how all of this plays out, but it's very true to the Brotherhood's policies circa Fallout 1.
Q: Just because it has been beat to death, is the thong gone for good?
A: Not to my knowledge. Here's the story ... The now-notorious character with the thong was based on photos of Betty Page, a 50's pinup girl who was notorious due to photo shoots of her that featured black leather, bondage, and (believe it or not) skimpy clothing. We thought that a sadistic female character might pattern herself after Betty Page at her seediest. So the character's attire was based upon some research into 50's pop culture.
Q: Is there any way you could include a character generator? Even if it only allowed the ability to customize the appearance of the pre-made characters it would allow for greater player emersion.
A: We opted not to do a character generator because we wanted distinct visuals for each character and didn't want to get into a huge art vortex, creating lots of different player characters to match each player's preferences. Distinct characters are practically law in console action-adventure titles.
Q: How are you handling ammo? Is it unlimited (hope not) or does the player have to find/barter for it. Will different guns take different types?
A: Ammo is not unlimited - the player has to find it, buy it, steal it off corpses, etc. Different guns take different types of ammo, but it's a somewhat forgiving system. We didn't want to get into a huge number of different ammunition types, so we take some liberties - a handgun uses the same ammo as a hunting rifle which uses the same ammo as a light machine gun. There are other types of ammo as well - heavy caliber bullets, shotgun shells, flammable fuel, energy cells, rockets, etc. all with uses in multiple weapons.
Q: Will player be able to trade with each other in co/op or will they have to drop items they wish to give to friends (annoying).
A: The BGDA system our game is based upon did the drop-to-trade in cooperative mode (yes, annoying). We're currently looking at the option to have cooperative players trade items without having to drop them.
Q: Would it be possible to have player decisions effect the game even if it is only in a slight way?
A: The primary goals from beginning to end are pretty solid (with some flexibility in how the player chooses to achieve those goals), but along the way the player's decisions will affect how things pan out. For instance, if you get into a shouting match with the town's unpopular mayor, you'll get a discount at the local store. There's stuff like this all over the game, and a good number of side objectives whose conclusion may be different depending upon your actions.