Defending Legate Lanius

EDIT: A brilliant commenter pointed out a mistake, should've said "whom"

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of criticism levied towards Legate Lanius. Saying that the last conversation with him didn't make sense, as the build up and characterisation for him up to this point made him out to a psychotic maniac, and that the idea that he can be reasoned with is ridiculous.

I disagree.


I will be responding to this video's specific criticisms of him.

Without further ado…

First, he criticises the fact that Legate is mostly "show don't tell."

One of my favourite movies is Se7en; in the movie, there are 7 murders. Aside from one, the rest are never shown. Only the aftermath, and what people have to say about it. One of these murders was a man killing a woman by having sex with a bladed strap on. This, again, is never shown. However, we're told it. By the man who was forced by gunpoint to do it; he's traumatised by what he had done, mortified and scarred for life. He tells us how he did it with this tone and despite the fact that we're never shown it, it gives us a feeling of disgust and fear over what happened. Who would do this? What monster must this person be?

My point is, telling can be a great storytelling technique. It can build up to something, like the above scene did. By using other's experiences and what the characters tell us, we can get an image and almost be fearful of this monstrous man. Telling can be good and in this case, it is. Caesar, who's done horrible horrible acts considers Lanius "savage". Everyone fears him for what he does to commanders who fail. He's the Legion materialised; brutal, unforgiving and psychopathic.

Next, he says Legate's characterisation is inconsistent by using examples. But, that's the point; he's a force of nature, he's unknown; nobody really knows who or what he is. This makes his appearance all the more mystifying and challenging.

"At least when Autumn surrendered, it vaguely made sense: Lanius? A man, who according to his own slightly dubious backstory was so obsessed with fighting that he turned on his own tribe and started attacking to the point of mutilation? A man who Caesar says specifically has no love for the Legion, and is just a butcher personally loyal to Caesar alone? He is going to back down when faced with the arguement that California is a bit big and that it would stretch the Legion out? Yeah, I don't think he's the type of guy to get convinced to play it safe in risk of conquering too much"

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He also makes the point that "Lanius doesn't require both charisma and speech, therefore it doesn't work as well", which… Doesn't make that much sense, considering you don't have to be charismatic to make intelligent and well rounded points.

On that, let's defend this: this is the most commonly argument against Lanius, how can he be convinced to leave?

Well, in order to convince him, you need to have 100 barter/speech. If you need to be perfect at talking and knowing about bartering in order to get through to someone, do you think they're a reasonable person? If you need the absolute best of the best to even TALK to this person without getting murdered, does that show sanity? Does it show he's willing to listen? Or that he's so psychotic, that you need to be the best talker of all time to tell him to slow down?

Not even Ulysses needed 100 speech. That shows how stubborn and unwilling Lanius is to listen. In fact, he threatens to kill about three times into the conversation. His whole plan was to murder you until you brought out an inarguable point?

He also brings up the backstory of him murdering his tribe; for one, we don't know the circumstance behind the surrender, so it's pointless to use it as a comparison point. If Lanius was so hesitant and against surrendering at Hoover Dam because he thought he would win, albeit convinced at the end, wouldn't it be safe to assume this is the case for that tribes surrender? That he simply thought he couldn't lose? Furthermore, that entire backstory is meant to be build him up as a threat. Why do you think he needed 100 speech to convince? Because it's been acknowledged he isn't the listening type, it's supposed to be the greatest test of your wit, your ability to convince someone. That's why the 100 speech check is there, because he is that person. He is the final boss to test your every ability, whether it be combat or dialogue.

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Also, consider this:

Both ways you can convince Lanius are either:

A. The battle is lost and he can't win it.


B. Even if he wins, the Legion will be destroyed eventually.

To use two points again:

  1. This YouTuber acknowledged Ulysses in his rant about Lanius, so weirdly enough, he left out Ulysses' explanation of Lanius' weakness; if he knows he can't win, he won't risk it. Now, I know the response to this already but the tribe thing doesn't work either, because all we know is that the tribe decided they would surrender, not Lanius, so we don't know why he didn't want to surrender. If the last conversation with him and Ulysses' explanation of him are indicative of anything, he only surrenders if he knows he will lose. This is because he doesn't want to risk losing his reputation as the monster of the East.

Going off of this, you can explain to him that, either way, he will destroy the Legion and himself.

Now, why would he care for the Legion? Well, he doesn't, as MATN points out. Do you know whom he does care for? Caesar. The only reason he carries out the battle of Hoover Dam when Caesar's dead is because he believes it to be Caesar's will. Even in death, he follows Caesar, meaning he obviously wants to lead the Legion and have it survive. If he tries this hard with taking Hoover Dam when Caesar's dead because he believes it to be what he wants, don't you think he might want the Legion to live?

This makes it even more the case when Caesar's alive when you try to take over Hoover Dam.

And secondly…

Lanius loves war. Loves it. He's a genius when it comes to it. If you convince him that he'll lose if he keeps fighting, don't you think, as a war genius, he might realize "hey, it might be smarter if I wait a bit to strengthen my army so I have a chance?" And don't you think if he loves war, he might want to have a chance to continue the Legion's war path?

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Speaking of which, you don't even convince him to surrender, at least not in the technical sense. At the end of each speech checks, he says "I will come back, stronger." He isn't surrendering, he's living to fight to another day. You don't convince him to leave forever, you don't convince him that Hoover Dam isn't worth fighting for at all, you convince him that it would be smarter if he waits to strengthen his army so he has a chance.

So basically…. You convince a war hungry psychopath that if he waits a bit, he will have the strength to continue being a war hungry psychopath. How….. Doesn't that make sense?

Anyway that's it bye

Source: reddit.com

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