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Thread: Oasis

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton

    Oasis

    If you haven't reached the Oasis quest yet, better stop reading now, unless you don't enjoy surprises.



    I spent an hour and a half tonight to do this quest start-to-finish; here are some thoughts:

    Harold is a brilliant character, in no small part to Stephen Russell's wonderful voice (at a few points it slips tellingly close to ol' Benny). But apart from the excitement of exploring a different looking area (ironically, a look that Oblivion was criticised for overusing), the best part of Oasis is the choice presented to the player. For the first time in this game the morality of the situation is not entirely clear: do I allow this monster to live, against his will, because he could potentially save the wasteland? (if this aspect somehow factors into the ending would you kindly not spoil it for me!). Or do I save him solely for the villagers, who clearly couldn't function without him? Or do I follow his wishes, condemning the wasteland and the villagers in order to give him respite?

    Well what I actually did was take out my fire sword and burn him down. And the results were horrifying, the sun was setting and I watched him writhe until he locked into an agonizing death-pose (and when I investigated I received the creepy message "Harold can no longer speak with you"). I actually felt bad; Nicely done, Fallout.

    But of course I must maintain my role as the Patron Saint of The Wasteland, so I reloaded and opened a further dialogue with Harold. And he told me that if he tried hard, he could somehow see through each of his leaves; that's how he anticipated my arrival. So I reasoned that if I can propagate him across the Wasteland, I'll be doing everyone a favour -- he won't feel stuck in place, and the Wasteland, well, it won't be itself anymore. But the game never makes this reasoning entirely clear, even after I've chosen. It simply drops the hints and leaves the decisions (and to an extent, the consequences) up to me. Finally the game presents me with an actual moral dilemma, with results that aren't cut-and-dry, regardless of the path I take (again, if this somehow factors into the ending, please keep it in blue tags, or to yourself).

    Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the fifty-odd hours spent in the Wasteland so far. But had Fallout 3 stuck more to the moral and character (not to mention theatrical) aspects of Oasis, it could've been a masterpiece.

  2. #2
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Charlie Adler made Harold sound much much better, humorous and lively, though I can understand that by now Harold isn't in the best condition to joke around.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    You surprise me, BRnumbers! wait, no... what is the exact opposite of surprise?

  4. #4
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Impress.

    No really, judge for yourself : http://video.aol.com/video-detail/fa...cko/3027206669

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Thanks, I couldn't find a sample on Youtube. But I wouldn't agree that Adler's rendition is "much much better". It's practically the same, only Russell's version is more tormented (and rightly so, as you point out). Seems like a natural progression. Russell mimics his predecessor well, and adds a nice touch with his own personalised inflections. Plus, he does that angry growl really well (experience from SS2, I guess).

  6. #6
    jtr7
    Guest
    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthrea...81#post1805381



    BR#s doesn't like Stephen Russell's Harold, but likes to be indirect in stating his opinion. I'm not sure what the intent is, here.

  7. #7
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    I think it was somebody's review at Duck and Cover forums where the person said that Harold doesn't sound like he used to and now after I've been to Oasis I must agree. I'm not saying Russell's voice acting is bad, afterall he's one helluva voice actor, but this time he's emulating somebody specific and it's only about 50% success.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: UK
    It was good a enough imitation for me, I recognized the voice right off the bat.

    One of the very, very few memorable characters in Fallout 3. Great quest.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The overall "good" moral path seemed pretty clear to me. While it was one of those "do the needs of the many outweight the needs of the one?" type questions, to me the thought of him being stuck as a tree / forest for all of eternity seemed like hell when you really think it through. So I followed his wishes and went into the cave and destroyed his heart. The druids completely were fine with it afterwards as well.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Yeah, well after I made my choice, Harold accepted that it was probably for the best. So maybe it's not so clear. The druids were fine with my decision a well. I think it's a bit more complex than the needs-of-the-many scenario, since he wouldn't actually be dying, and we're uncertain as to the kind of existence he actually has.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    Now that I think back to it, you're right, it certainly was a step up from what Fallout 3 usually throws at you as "moral dilemmas". In the end, I picked to fulfill Harold's death wish, as the way I envisioned my character seemed conducive to this choice - selfish and jaded enough to not give a toss about "saving" the Wasteland, but still humane enough to feel pity for Harold's terrible plight.

    Since we're on about good, ambiguous moral choices, I think I should also mention the whole Android quest, "The Replicated Man". Without giving anything away, I can say that I've gotten to the final point in the quest, where I have to make a decision, and I've been putting it off as it's actually making me wonder what would be the "right" choice for my character. It's nothing spectacular or unpredictable, but it does make me think it over.

  12. #12
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    I couldn't resist the robe... the hood and unique power armor is fine but I'm not a thief neither a heavy trooper.

  13. #13
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    I think there's a way to have a "good" outcome no matter what. I opted to put the Gro-Juice stuff on his heart, and then I had a word with him afterwards wherein the conversation options lead to me convincing Harold that -- nutters or not -- the Branchminders really needed him and that everything was going to be alright, and he just kinda said "I never thought of it that way" and everything was happy.

  14. #14
    jtr7
    Guest
    Nice!

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I think the only way to get a "bad" outcome is to set him on fire.

  16. #16
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    (sings) I don't want to set Harold on fire...

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    hehe

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    I just want to spill a liniment on his heart...

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