Content of the article: "Why it bothers me when people compare Legate Lanius to Colonel Autumn"
So there's this video by Many A True Nerd called Fallout 3 is Better Than You Think that in reality should be called Why I Prefer Fallout 3 Over Fallout: New Vegas because he spends a considerable amount of time just critiquing F:NV instead of defending FO3 and one such instance is when instead of defending Colonel Autumn's encounter in the purifier, he critiques Legate Lanius' encounter in Hoover Dam. His points are:
- Lanius doesn't appear before in the game;
- Your character has no reason to personally dislike Lanius;
- Lanius doesn't have a reason to back down.
I have seen these criticisms be echoed by people in the community too, so I think it's valid to respond to them. Criticism number 1 seems to be unaware of the deconstruction that happens with Lanius. He's hyped throughout the game as the "Monster of the East", a butcher in the battlefield. When you finally see him, he's inhumanly large (for FO standards). But when you talk to him, he's the most eloquent character in the entire game. This sort of deconstruction is something Obsidian likes to do, for more examples, see KotOR II.
Criticism number 2 is a fundamental misunderstanding of Lanius' purpose. It's funny how MATN brings up how Caesar's and Lucius' story of Lanius doesn't match and how Ulysses thinks it's not the same person under the mask, and he brings that up as a negative, when that's the point. When you face Lanius, you're not standing against an individual, you're stranding against an ideology. F:NV is entirely about ideologies, not a personal journey like I'd argue FO3 is. That's why your character have no reason to personally dislike Lanius. What he does have, is a reason to dislike what Lanius represents: the Legion, and their ideology.
Criticism number 3 especially bothers me because it's like people don't read the dialogue choices they're picking and it's about how pointing out that the Legion would be spreading itself too thin to hold Nevada as well as Arizona shouldn't be enough to convince Lanius. Except it's exactly what's happening with the NCR: they're trying to hold California as well as Nevada, and they're spread too thin. In fact, that's exactly what made it possible for the Legion to attack in the first place. It has already been established that Lanius is fanatical, but he isn't irrational, so showing him an example that's right in his face is perfectly reasonable to convince him. Caesar condemns the NCR for repeating the mistakes of pre-war American government, and yet here he is repeating the mistakes of the NCR, it's almost poetic. And continuing in this vain of poetry and repeating the mistakes of the government you're imitating, I always assumed the Legion spreading itself too thin was a nod to Ancient Rome itself. You could cite a thousand reasons that contributed in one way or another to the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and one of them would be how the gigantic size of Empire became a problem to govern efficiently. Anyway, I'm staying too far from the discussion.
This all of text isn't to criticize or attack FO3 or the people who enjoy it, nor do that to MATN. He's a passionate guy about a franchise he loves and that's great. I just wanted to do my best to respond to some criticisms of Lanius I perceive as incorrect. Thanks for reading
- Even if you’re a fan of New Vegas, even you have to admit Legion writing/content was flawed.
- Fallout 3 and 4 made me realize why Caesar would never be able to expand east. Odds are, neither would the NCR.
- A Theory I have about the pack, which includes a connection to New Vegas
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