Work with Dr. Volkert to save Father and recruit him as a companion after the main storyline is over.
Work with Dr. Volkert to save Father and recruit him as a companion after the main storyline is over.
WARNING! There will be end-game spoilers below for Fallout 4! Continue reading this only if you've finished the game or you don't mind being spoiled.
Quick Alert: If you downloaded versions 1.0 or 1.1 or 1.2, delete these, please re-download with the latest patch and start a new game and/or reload a save before the mod was activated. These versions contain a rather major bug and exploits. It should be fixed now, but report any issues and I'll look into them. The versions after (1.3+) are stable and suitable for playing.
Quick Note On What Is New In Patch 2.0:
- Major Dialog Revamps, Text-To-Speech Removed+Replaced
- New Quest "Coursing Venom"
This mod adds a side quest to Fallout 4 that will allow you to obtain the character known as "Father" as a companion after the end of the game. For more information read below. If you'd rather find out all this information for yourself, stop reading and go download the mod now, but bear in mind I won't be replying to comments or e-mails asking for information that is already explained below. Feel free to ask other players though.
Section A: The Background Story (skip to section B if you'd rather find this out for yourself by playing the mod)
He was dying and there was nothing you could do about it. Have you ever wanted to save Father? Shaun? Now you can. Lorewise, it's certainly possible and unfortunately the vanilla game did not explore those options. What if you used the Cabot family's "Mysterious Serum"? What about the Institute's own "Forced Evolutionary Virus" or FEV? Was there something more to Vault 81, perhaps hidden medical research that could help him? Other unanswered questions include: Why couldn't the Institute just enhance Shaun as they did with Kellogg to halt aging? Why couldn't the Sole Survivor just use the Vault 81 Cure?
And perhaps an even more pressing issue is, if given the chance to destroy the Institute but save Shaun (the real Shaun), would you take it? Do you, from a role-playing perspective, truly believe the Institute is the way forward for mankind or did you only side with it because going against it meant going against your son? What other faction would you pick if this wasn't an issue any longer?
All these questions the mod will try to explore to the best of my abilities.
Section B: Getting Started (skip to section C if you'd rather find this out for yourself by playing the mod)
From the time Shaun reveals he's dying from cancer at the Directorate meeting till the end of the main quest, you will get the opportunity to work with Institute scientist and medic Dr. Dean Volkert to find a treatment for the cancer. Dr. Volkert can be found during work hours in the Institute's infirmary or in his quarters at other times.
There are two ways to go about it:
Option 1: Give Dr. Volkert the Cabot family's Mysterious Serum + medical research from Vault 81. The medical research is a new item, a scientific medical journal that can be found in 3 copies inside the hidden section of Vault 81. Both items are needed to cure Shaun. Once you give him both items, he will create an experimental treatment. There will also be some revelations into how exactly the Cabot serum works.
Option 2: Convince/intimidate Dr. Volkert into giving you a sample of the FEV instead. This can also cure Shaun of cancer and doesn't require gathering any items, but comes at the cost of turning Shaun into a super mutant. Note that you cannot use the FEV to become a super mutant yourself, instead the FEV will kill you if used on yourself.
For reasons that will be explained in the game, you have to administer the cure yourself, Dr. Volkert will not do it for you, and you can only do that at the very end of the game when Shaun is on his deathbed.
Section C: The Impact of Faction Choice (skip to section D if you'd rather find this out for yourself by playing the mod)
The mod allows you to save Shaun and get him as a companion even if you go to war with the Institute. You only need to keep in mind three things:
1. You still need to work with Dr. Volkert for the cure. So if you choose to be hostile with the Institute from the very beginning, you will be locked out of this quest. Feel free to betray the Institute, after you get the cure.
2. Recruiting Shaun as a companion requires a hard speech check if you destroy the Institute.
3. Killing Shaun at any point in the game, even accidentally, instantly fails the cure quest. (Duh!)
Section D: Finding and Recruiting Father Post-Ending (skip to section E if you'd rather find this out for yourself by playing the mod)
If you've done everything right, obtained a cure, administered the cure on his deathbed and kept him alive, Shaun will disappear for a while after the end of the game. If you sided against the Institute and blew it up, he escapes, this is done off-screen and an evacuation order isn't necessary. If you side with the Institute, he fakes his death, allowing you to still become Director. (This also avoids having to do a painful overhaul of the game on my part that will simply serve no purpose other than creating 100 compatibility issues with other mods.)
You can later find him in Vault 111. He will also send a courier for you and the courier will give you instructions on where to go. Note, this doesn't happen instantly. His journey to Vault 111 begins shortly after the ending and his starting point is the Third Rail in Goodneighbor. If by chance you encounter him on the road, simply follow him to Vault 111.
If you sided against the Institute, a hard speech check is required to successfully recruit him and you only get once chance.
Section E: Companion Mechanics (skip to section F if you'd rather find this out for yourself by playing the mod)
Companion mechanics for Father will differ slightly from other companions. Here are the differences:
1. He doesn't override other companions. This means you can have Father + other companions following and fighting for you at the same time. Wanna install Nora Companion and do a family outing to the Glowing Sea? Go for it.
2. Unlike other vanilla companions, Father doesn't have a true affinity system. There is one thing and one thing only that he hates, being shot at by you, but he will "forgive" your abuse after a while. Otherwise, you can engage in whatever degenerate crimes you want with him around.
3. Assigning him to a settlement works slightly different. Once assigned, you can only reassign him using the workshop interface directly. You cannot reassign him through dialog.
4. (Human) Shaun will always wear an indestructible custom-built Institute power armor. You cannot order him to get out (not without the cheat anyway).
5. (Super Mutant) Shaun can only equip stuff that Super Mutants can. Basic rule is, if Strong can use it, so can he.
6. There is no romance option.
1. Can be commanded to do specific things like stay in a post, walk to a spot, inspect stuff, loot stuff etc.
2. Can become a settler.
3. Can trade items with.
4. Can dismiss.
5. Has a lot of idle chit chat dialog and you'll get a chance to find out a bit more about his past.
More Unique Abilities:
1. His companion perk provides 1% bonus to all experience. This is available if you have cured and recruited him and remains up even if you dismiss him. He doesn't have a true affinity system. You can get the perk even if you sided against the Institute.
2. His genius level IQ allows him to hack any terminal. (Note, sometimes he might get stuck walking to the terminal, but you can talk to him to unstuck him.)
3. His power armor will provide audio warnings about his HP levels/radiation, parodying Half-Life 1 and 2. (Disclaimer: No audio from Half-life 1 or 2 is used.)
4. He will scavenge stuff (usually tech items but not exclusively) and share them with you once a day if you talk with him.
Section F: Other Mods, Compatibility, Recommended Mods (highly recommended for reading, no spoilers)
The mod is compatible with most mods that do similar stuff.
No vanilla IDs are edited, I prefer to add new things and use new scripts rather than modify old ones.
Mods that you might want to consider using along with this mod:
Nora Spouse Companion - if playing male
Dual Survivors - Nate Companion Mod - if playing female
Marked For Termination - A Terminator-Inspired Manhunt in the Commonwealth
Super Mutant Milk Armor
If you'd like to see more mods here, let me know.
A saved game to use to skip most quests and get to Father faster:
Fallout 4 Vanilla 99-Percent Completed Savegame
Section G: Project Valkyrie Ending (kinda spoilery, skip to section H if you'd rather find this out for yourself by playing the mod)
The Project Valkyrie mod provides an alternate ending itself to the vanilla choices.
If you have Project Valkyrie installed alongside this mod, there will be an alternate path to obtaining and curing Father. In this ending, you do not need to work with Dr. Volkert either and there is no Super Mutant option. You will still need the Mysterious Serum + Vault 81 Research.
Section H: Known Issues and Common Questions (may contain spoilers)
Q: I ordered Father to hack a terminal, he stopped moving. What do I do?
A: Father may bug out on some terminals, if this happens, you can talk to him and either force him to try an alternate path to the terminal or abandon hacking. The hacking also cancels automatically if you leave the area, making Father follow you again.
Q: I sent Father to a settlement. How do I reassign him to another?
A: Reassignment is only possible using the workshop interface.
Q: Will Father follow me back to the Institute?
A: No. As Father fakes his death for the Institute ending, he will not be returning.
Q: I already completed the main quest. Can I still get Father as a companion?
A: No. Activating the mod after the completion of the main quest will pretty much offer almost nothing, however if you have updated to patch 1.4 or higher, a fix to a vanilla bug will be in place allowing Dr. Volkert to heal you again if you're injured, irradiated or both. You can also go collect the Vault 81 Medical Research, but it has no practical use apart from extra caps.
Q: Do I need to have any DLC/mod/etc. installed?
A: No, this works on a vanilla Fallout 4 with no DLCs, no Creation Club content and no mods. That said, you should have it up to date. Updates to the vanilla game are free and automatic on Steam.
Q: Will Dr. Volkert still heal me?
A: Because this mod adds new dialog to Volkert and I can't be bothered to be blamed for a vanilla bug, I decided to add a Volkert cure fix into this mod. If you're injured or irradiated, Volkert should now ALWAYS offer you free healthcare. He won't cure addictions, but he never did, not even in vanilla. You're welcome.
Q: Who voices Dr. Volkert and Nora?
A: Nora is voiced by the original voice actress. As of 2.0 all of Nora's dialog consists of recycled vanilla audio and surprisingly it fits. While this may not be the perfect solution for every line, there is an update planned for this with a new voice actress. For now at least, all text-to-speech dialog has been removed. Dr. Volkert's text-to-speech dialog was also removed several patches back and he is now voice by real people.
Q: But saving Father ruins the game!
A: That's not really a question, but keep in mind that even if you have the mod installed, you are not forced to cure Father and even if you cure Father you can still disown him and reject him as a potential traveling companion. You can also just exile him to a settlement to do hard labor as punishment. The possibilities are endless.
Q: I saved Father but nothing happened. He still died. Why?
A: As I explained many times, if you do the Institute ending he fakes his death. Revamping the entire game's ending so that he's still the leader and having to create a third ending cinematic (and two version of it for both Nate and Nora) to account for Shaun surviving just isn't feasible on the budget that I'm working on. (Which FYI is 0$.) But even more importantly, that kind of revamp would make the mod incompatible with way too many other mods. Hundreds of dialog lines would need to be edited so Institute scientists don't talk about Shaun as if he were dead, ending quests would need a massive revamp. Again, not feasible. Shaun faking his death also fits in extremely well if you go with the FEV option. His pride wouldn't allow him to be seen as a monster by his fellow scientists and perhaps they wouldn't even respect a super mutant Institute director. Leaving is the most likely choice for him.
Q: Why won't the mod work for me?
A: Some of the more common issues were fixed in patch 1.3 and a few minor issues in patch 1.4. If you're still having problems, best way to be sure something isn't totally broken is to type:
1. "sqs zzCure" (this quest is also required for the vanilla bug fix that prevented Dr. Volkert from healing you when damaged or irradiated)
2. "sqs zzCure02"
3. "sqs zzFatherDialog"
4. "sqs zzBackground"
5. "sqs zzFatherRadsWarning"
You will see some numbers (stages of hidden background quests) as well as whether or not these quests are running, scroll up with your mouse if the list is too long. These are background quests that must be running at all times. If you see any of these quests listed as "Stopped" something is wrong.
Using a corrupted save to start the mod may result in the quest "zzCure" and others not being run properly, showing as "Stopped".
Section J: Changes (patch history)
Version 1.0: First upload.
Version 1.1: Fixed an issue where starting a new game would cause both human and super mutant Shaun to spawn. If you've experienced this,
please start a new game again.
Version 1.2: Fixed a game breaking bug caused by patch 1.1. All should be working fine now. If you download patches 1.0 or 1.1 (which was only up for an hour), please start a new game or reload a save before the mod was activated. Any other concerns, mail me.
Version 1.3: Fixed an exploit allowing players to obtain both human and super mutant Shaun. You can only get one now. Please update and reload an older save or start fresh with a new game.
Version 1.4: Fixed a few very minor issues caused when attempting to activate the mod for the first time on a save with the main quest completed.
Version 1.5: Improved interaction with mods like Full Dialogue Interface. It should now be more clear which dialog options must be used to cure Father.
Version 1.6: Desdemona will now react negatively to bringing Father to Railroad HQ. This won't cause the Railroad to become hostile however.
Version 1.7: In addition to Desdemona's reactions, other faction leaders (Maxson, Kells if the Brotherhood survives and Preston in Minutemen ending only) now also react negatively if Father is your companion. They will not attack you however. This can be resolved by dismissing him.
Version 1.8: This minor update ensures improved compatibility with the upcoming update for the mod Marked For Termination, version 2.5!
1) X6-88 has some new commentary if he sees Father alive after the ending.
2) Some of Father's lines were relatively loud and have had their volume lowered to be line with the rest of his dialog.
3) A few new dialog options added for the anti-Institute endings.
4) Added compatibility with my female Preston Garvey mod and the upcoming Super Mutant Preston Garvey mod.
Version 1.10: Dr. Dean Volkert will now be voiced by Ken Johnson. Text-to-speech removed. Currently only Nora's role remains to be filled.
1) Dialog massively revamped:
- expanded dialog options with Father, for example you can now talk about your pre-war life with him
- Virgil reacts to seeing Father
- retuned Nate's custom voice so it sounds even closer to the original Nate
- added a new voice actor option for Dr. Volkert
- text-to-speech has been removed with proper voice acting for all living NPCs, text-to-speech will now only be used for Father's power armor AI
2) Added a new non-repeatable quest/event "Coursing Venom" available if you destroy the Institute and recruit Father. This quest also requires that Dr. Volkert survives the Institute's destruction.
3) Xbox users and other people who don't have the mod Project Valkyrie can still trigger the follow-up quest "Father Figure" using a free craftable holotape in order to experience that particular conclusion to Shaun's story. Note: The holotape breaks the 4th wall so don't craft or use it if you want an immersive lore consistent playthrough and without the paradox of having 2 Shauns.
4) Another new craftable holotape can be used to switch between the two Dr. Volkert voice actors. Brett Keane is the default voice actor now. To switch to Ken Johnson you must use the holotape.
5) These holotapes are unique, don't have a sell price or carry weight, don't require materials to craft and give no experience when crafted.
It is highly recommended to update and restart with a new save or new game if you are still playing versions 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2 as these contain major bugs and are unsuitable to play. Versions 1.3 and higher are stable.