Content of the article: "Nate and Nora: Self inserts, or Unique Characters?"
So, I've been doing a lot of thinking as I pass my 900 hour mark in Fallout 4 with nearly 40+ different characters. Namely about the character you play as for your first, or nth time in your 10 maybe 20 hour campaign.
Fallout 4 is the first fallout game to feature voiced PCs and complete customization of both spouses to be as horrible or pretty as you want them to be.
Now being a writer, I tend to look at things much differently. What tone is the story going for, what information is conveyed to me or a player and what does it tell about the world. Is this particular set of dialogue, or encounter foreshadowing events of the future, etc.
Today, I wanna take a look at the Characters of Nate and Nora (Though more specifically Nora as I play her a lot more then Nate) and see what they are all about. Now most of this will be based off some speculation and my interpretations of dialogue and events, so feel free to disagree with me. I will try to keep any major/minor plot spoilers to an absolute minimum.
Let's start off with what exactly do we know about Nate and Nora?
Well, for starters, they are probably both smokers, as when you interact with the cigarettes on the cabinet both Nate and Nora say "Now who left those there?"
They both like to drink as evident by the wine and bourbon on top of the cabinet.
I would say we can also reasonably assume they've been married for at least 10 years. Considering I put their ages at about late twenties if not early thirties. And since Nate is a decorated war hero (more on that later) I think it would make sense that they were married sometime before Sino-American war and not right after it.
So let's talk early life.
Now, there is no real big context to where they both originated from but I think it might be a safe assumption to think they both grew up in Massachusetts (again feel free to disagree as this is mostly speculation). So let's fast forward a little bit to when their both 18. Now, I think it's a reasonable that when they turned 18, they more or less knew what they wanted to do.
Nate Joined the Army, and Nora went to College.
From what it is implied when Nora looks at her law degree she says "it took a lot of late nights, and studying, but I finally got it." So we can assume she worked her ass off to get her law degree. Now since we don't really know what type of law degree it is, let's assume it's a bachelor's degree (If it isn't please feel free to correct me).
So that put's Nora's age at roughly 22 at the time she got her law degree.
For Nate, you can argue whether or not he went to college to at least get an associates degree, but he at least served in the army for a few years, but at some point, they met, probably sometime within the last year of Nora's College years.
They dated for a while, when Nate popped the question and they got married. Shortly after getting married, Nate was deployed to fight in the Sino-American War, and was discharged sometime in either February or March of 2077. We can confirm this because it's reasonable to assume that since Shaun is a new born baby (If not maybe a month or two older) he must have been discharged around this time frame because it's unlikely, he met Nora, Married her, and then had a kid with her, nine months before the bombs fell.
We know that he had to have been deployed at sometime between 2066 and 2077, because when you inspect the american flag next to her law degree, she says "I'm so proud of him." with emotion in her voice. Also, given the intro cutscene of Nate being deployed, and the photo he shows, they have to been married for at least some time before the Sino-American war. Not to mention, Nate was a part of the 108th infantry regiment that we can also probably assume had to deal with the liberation of Anchorage.
So any way we look at it, Nate and Nora have been married for awhile and after he was discharged they decided to have a quiet, ideal nuclear family, in the sunny paradise cul-de-sac of Sanctuary Hills.
Now on to the meat and potatoes of these characters; Their personality traits.
We'll start off with Nora.
Now, as we know, Nora is a Lawyer, and has been practicing law for at least as long as she's been married to Nate, if not a little longer. I also believe she is an accomplished Lawyer, as some of the Cut Content for the game, has a terminal in the home and in Nora's files, she mentions a number cases that's she's dealing with, and one of them she'd be willing to work for "Pro Bono." (Which means for free).
By this alone, we can interpret she's likely a defense lawyer. Or the very least works defense cases.
From the 900 hours I have in the game, and from one of the mods that I run, "Journal of the Sole Survivor" (Mod link –> https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/13462 ) I would often sit down, and write out what exactly my character would be thinking, or at least how I would see/write Nora thinking at any given time. So given that, I think I have a pretty good understanding (or at least interpretation) of Nora's character.
I see Nora as someone who holds justice, and fair trial above all else. When a law is broken, or someone has been wronged, she wants to see them brought to justice, or if someone is innocent, defend them and prove it. I see her as someone who would condemn killing someone of any kind (even when justified), and would rather everyone come out alive if all possible.
However, at the same time, I also think she understands that sometimes motivations are not always black and white, and with her being a lawyer, I'd say she'd know that even if a client may have committed the crime there was a reason for it.
Because of her Lawyer background, I think she'd Lean more heavy on Charisma, Intelligence, and Perception, preferring to talk her way out of a confrontation if she can. However, I do think she's not afraid of some underhanded tactics to sway things in her favor. Whether it's turning some raiders on themselves, or maybe setting up a logical trap to get someone on her side.
When it comes to weapons, I think Nora would have a basic understanding of how to shoot, and handle firearms, part of her lawyer background (as well as good knowledge to have), and also perhaps some kind of basic shooting time at a range with Nate before he shipped off. Pistols, Knives, and hunting rifles would probably be her preferred weapons as she's no soldier, but at least knows how to hold her own. Though I think she'd resort primarily to stealth first, rather then an open gun battle.
However, I also think she has a much more dangerous side that she revels in. She's a massive risk taker, and perhaps that comes part of her job as a Lawyer, but I think she enjoys risky situations, and maybe not as innocent as she may seem. When you reply sarcastically to Nate's comment about going to the park you say "The park? With you? Sounds great…so I can get pregnant again."
Humorous, yes, and while she may be sarcastic I don't this comment was by accident. I mean just by that sentence alone, it tells quite a lot about Nora (and Nate perhaps) if it's true. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks having sex in park when no one is looking is super risky. And I also think that ties well into Nora's wild side.
I would say in the much grander scheme of things, she's got a good moral compass, and is largely a good person, but she's not against undercutting the competition to get an edge. I think she'd also lean a bit towards mercenary work due to her lawyer background as she wouldn't do everything for free, but she wouldn't throw her morals away for a couple hundred caps.
Companion wise, I think Nick, or Hancock would be the best suited ones for her character. Nick would be a near perfect copy as they share many similarities and ideas of justice, but also understand that things aren't always clear cut. Hancock, while she'd be a bit reluctant traveling with cuz he's a bit of a chem-head, ultimately he has a good heart and also shares a similar philosophy with Nora. Though I don't think she'd Romance Hancock if you do reach max affinity with him. I think it would be unlikely for Nora to romance any of the available companions, aside from maybe MacCready (Personal opinion mostly).
Ultimately, I think she'd side with the Railroad, as that suits her character much more then The BOS, Minutemen, or Institute. In terms of the main story.
Now for Nate.
Nate I see as a good natured soldier, who did his best to serve his country in his time of need. Patriotic, Proud, and a bit of a goofball. He would likely be willing to help anyone he came across who needed it.
He's a bit naive and I think he never really outgrew his childhood. He's definitely not the smartest person, but he is a damn good soldier. In a sense, I see him as almost two other people. When he's around other people, he smiles, maybe cracks a joke here and there, and has the best interests of people in mind, but in combat, he's deadly, cold, and is able to think on his feet rather well. He's not invincible, but I definitely see him favoring power armor whenever he's out and about.
Now since we don't really know of his exploits in the army, aside from him be a decorated war hero, We can probably assume he served during the liberation of Anchorage. With him being a soldier He'd definitely know how to handle any firearm, and explosive, with perhaps a basic understanding of Energy Weapons. He's definitely a gun nut, and knows how to at least maintain his gear, unlike Nora.
I can see him having a higher strength, and fairly competent with melee weapons. He'd have a decent perception, as he's likely an okay shot, but nothing spectacular. Charisma would be on the lower end, and his Endurance would likely be high. I can see him being either a melee tank, commando build, or semi-auto rifleman. Pretty much if it's combat related, Nate would excel at it.
Nate I think ultimately would be distraught at his wife dying, taking it really hard, seeing as how he just got home from war, has a brand newborn son, only to have it all taken away before he even has the chance to enjoy it. But with time, I think he would eventually get better.
For companions, I can definitely see Piper, and Curie being good choices for him. Piper shares many of his qualities with him. She ultimately wants to know the truth, and is a good person in the greater scheme of things. Curie would also be a great choice because she too is concerned with making the Commonwealth a better place for everyone, and also has a good head on her shoulders. I also think that it would be likely that Nate Romances either of them, especially Piper as she shares some aspects with Nora and kinda reminds him of her.
I think in the end, Nate would likely Side with the Minutemen, or BOS, as both of them would likely peak his interest in the early game, and seem most suited for his soldier background. I think he'd primarily lean towards the Minutemen since they seem to be for the better of the commonwealth, But the case can be made for BOS if you think Nate would want much more order to the wasteland.
So what do you think? Any of this stuff seem plausible about both of their characters? I'm sure there's some stuff I missed, and please feel free to correct me if so. Sorry for the long post.
- Fallout 4, realizing Nora as a very playable character.
- What We NEED In Fallout 5
- Degradation of series, or a fresh look?
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