A creator of a popular Fallout: New Vegas quest mod has written a post comparing their mod to a quest that appeared in Fallout 4's Far Harbor expansion a few weeks after the mod's publication. The similarities are striking.
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The mod, called Autumn Leaves, is based around a murder mystery in a vault where the player has to figure out which of the NPC robots did the dirty deed. Far Harbor's quest, Brain Dead, shares this exact setting, but the similarities run much deeper. Spoilers, obviously.
The author of Autumn Leaves, BaronVonChateau, was contacted by a player who pointed out how much Autumn Leaves shared with Brain Dead. BaronVonChateau took to YouTube to see Brain Dead for himself and compared to two.
"First off, both quests begins with a discussion through an interphone with the caretaker of the Vault, a headwaiter robot with a rather distinguished persona. The big mandatory Vault Door opens, leaving the player up for the exploration of said vault," explains the mod creator.
As he notes, this could be purely coincidental, as vaults are common in Fallout's mythology and many quests delve into their depths.
Then as you walk in, the quest in Far Harbor takes you into a room that almost looks like a remaster of the mod's location. You're standing on a balcony overlooking a large room below. Here are the two shots from both games:
The main quest also has you investigating the murder by checking the crime scene, and speaking to every robot in the Vault. Here are the image comparisons:
In both cases, this is followed by the mysterious death of the prime financier of the Vault, who worked alongside Vault-Tec to build the place. There's also an importance to voice modulators in both plots, the mystery revolving around distinguishing between these mechanical characters.
There's even a bizarre exchange after that where the main character has a sexual encounter with a robot.
And finally, there's the chat with a robot towards the end about some paintings on the wall:
"I honestly thought Bethesda’s staff played Autumn Leaves, had a blast with it (I hope) took some things out of it and made their own thing for Far Harbor," says BaronVonChateau in the ModDB post. "And I seriously think this is perfectly okay. After all, Autumn Leaves’ inspirations are countless (Asimov’s, Cluedo, Planescape : Torment, Arcanum, older Fallouts, etc.) and being influenced is a natural part of the writing process.
"Of course, it raises some questions : should modders get some recognition from the industry, compensation? How could those two dynamics - paid content and free creation - should be managed? What kind of acknowledgement should a big publisher give to small creators? What is the kind of acknowledgement they can afford?"
It certainly would have been nice for the mod creator to get some kind of recognition from Bethesda for this, if the quest is indeed influenced by the mod as it seems. We've reached out to Bethesda for comment and will update if we hear back.
For now, check out Autumn Leaves if you have Fallout: New Vegas. After all, the mod's creator is only hoping their post brings a little bit more visibility to the hard work they've done.