Joker Ending Scene and End Credit Scene Breakdown


welcome back everyone it’s Charlie this
is going to be my breakdown of the Joker movie ending hopefully you’ve had a
chance to see the movie we’re doing a giveaway for tickets all you have to do
to enter is just be a subscriber and leave your favorite Joker moment on the
video please do use spoiler tags at least till we get through the weekend
just to give everyone a chance to see the movie and if you have not seen it
just blanket spoiler warning because we will be talking about everything that
happens at the end of the movie most of the questions that I’ve seen you guys
commenting on my Joker movie review video it’s just a question of what is
real and what is fake because the Joker is an unreliable narrator as is his
mother or at least were led to believe that she’s an unreliable narrator because
there are a lot of questions about that picture that she carried around of her
signed by Thomas Wayne with a special message so as seen some fantastic
theories that you guys have had about this but really when we talk about the
ending that starts when he learns that he’s secretly been adopted while he’s at
Arkham Asylum getting his files on his mother she had previously worked for the
Wayne’s about 30 years ago and believed that she had a relationship with Thomas
Wayne at least that’s what she thinks she keeps writing him letters eventually
Arthur reads one of the letters and in it she tells Thomas Wayne that Arthur is
his son so Arthur believes that he’s the son of
Thomas Wayne but because a lot of the events in Arthur’s life he made up and
then you later learned things did not happen the way that he thought that they
happened you’re led to believe that that might be fake he’s not really the son of
Thomas Wayne and his mother was lying the whole time because as Thomas Wayne
says she was institutionalized there are even adoption papers for Arthur inside
her file we learned that the affliction that causes him to laugh the reason
behind his crazy laugh is because of the head trauma he received when he was
as a child so his world starts to unravel he goes
suffocates his mother then begins to just completely fly off the
chain starts painting himself up in Joker makeup his former friend seemingly
that sold him the gun earlier in the film and then ratted him out comes to
visit him because of the police to make sure that he doesn’t tell them the wrong
thing that will get him in trouble he winds up him before he goes on
Murray Franklin’s TV show in full Joker makeup lets his smaller friend go you
were the only one that was nice to me so at this point you’re starting to
question what’s real and what’s fake because he climbs into a roof
and a lot of people think that he actually died in the refrigerator and
the rest of the movie is imagined but the reason why I don’t think that’s the
case is because too much of the movie happens in that last 15 minutes for him
to have all experienced it within his mind while he was inside a
refrigerator so I think the takeaway from the refrigerator is that it’s him
just slowly transforming metaphorically into the Joker character like he goes
into a chrysalis inside the refrigerator then he merges more the Joker than he’s
ever been before the basketball game music swells up as he rolls out of his
apartment in full Joker costume and makeup dancing down the stairs and the
montage that they put in all the trailers but the cops that have been
after him the whole movie chase him into the subway he uses the clown rise up
move it to stop them inadvertently starts a riot in the subway later claims
that he has nothing to do with that movement and Thomas Wayne himself is
also partially responsible for all these people wearing clown masks that I’ll
explain in a second you get the scene of him waiting in the greenroom on the
Murray Franklin show that we’ve seen in all the trailers where he talks to
Maria’s assistant producer played by Marc Maron one thing when you introduce
me can you introduce me as Joker sure thing bud sounds great him being on the
TV show is meant to be a mirror of the dream sequence from earlier in the film
it’s exactly how I imagined it he says so he dances on is this wonderful
introduction he’s charming everyone he kisses the old lady doctor then sits
down and gives his big speech about how society is just as bad as villains how
the rich doesn’t care about the poor there’s this big class war going on
during the movie no one cares about him because rich man Thomas Wayne isn’t
talking about him on live TV the way he was talking about the three
that he earlier on the subway he freely admits to them
and it’s almost like he’s taking this weight off of his shoulders like I’m
tired of pretending that it’s not funny it’s funny comedy is subjective he
claims that he didn’t them to start a movement he’s not political I’m not
trying to start any kind of thing I them because they were terrible
then he calls out Murray Franklin for being just as terrible and he has his
iconic line what do you get when you cross a mentally deranged loner with a
society that treats him like crap you get what you freaking deserve then
Robert De Niro’s character Murray Franklin on live TV
remember this is taking place in the late 70s early 80s so there was no time
to they built into the broadcast system
everybody that was watching Marie Franklin saw that happen the clown
movement that’s happening in the streets during the last 15 minutes of the movie
just boils over everyone just riding everywhere in the streets their fires
cars turned over the Joker throws all this gasoline on that fire with his
presentation he looks into the camera and starts speaking just as the station
cuts him off then things get really subjective this is where you’re really
getting inside his head as he’s being driven away in the back of a cop car
you’re meant to believe that he was arrested by the police and he maybe gave
himself up he’s smiling as they’re driving through
all the riots but then a couple of his admirers wearing clown masks crash an
ambulance into the cop car that has him freeing him then he wakes up on the hood
of the cop car starts dancing basking in the adulation of all these rioting
people wearing clown masks and draws the iconic Joker smile on his face with his
own all this happening while Martha and Thomas Wayne are walking out
of the Excalibur theater getting their Batman origin story where they’re
down by one of Joker’s admirers wearing a clown mask
we’ll call him Joe Chill for the purposes of this video just for
continuities sake he says you get what you deserve guns
them down and Bruce Wayne is standing there over their dead bodies very iconic
Batman moment a lot of people wondered if this was gonna happen because we saw
this shot in one of the trailers this is where it starts to throw you for a bit
of a loop when it comes to false narration what’s real what’s fake
because the camera cuts to him inside Arkham Asylum in this white cell being
interviewed by a psychiatrist he starts laughing and when the woman asks him
what the joke is he calmly replies you wouldn’t get it as the camera cuts back
to Bruce Wayne standing near his parents dead bodies in the alleyway he starts
singing a song and then the camera cuts again to him walking down the hallway
leaving footprints of behind him on the white floor dancing his way out
so because they’re always revealing things that weren’t happening the way
they seemed that they were happening a lot of this is happening in Joker’s mind
you’re meant to wonder what’s real in this final scene and what’s fake here’s
what was real and here’s what’s fake remember the Joker is always imagining
things in his head like he imagines himself on Murray Franklin show when
he’s watching it at the beginning of the film I think everything is real he
really did Murray Franklin on live TV he did surrender to the police but
then they took him straight to Arkham in the scene of him dancing on the cop
hood is probably him just imagining that him inside the Arkham cell that’s real
but when he’s walking away leaving the footprints of blood that’s meant to
imply that he that woman the psychiatrist he was talking to and in
the process of escaping Arkham Asylum this kind of explains why there’s such a
quick seeming time jump from him dancing on the cop car hood to appearing in the
Arkham cell is that the dancing did not happen that’s all in his head
but I do think that Joe Chill Thomas and Martha Wayne giving Batman
his origin story that was real so I know there’s gonna be a ton of theories after
this weekend about them doing a new Batman film with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker
something completely different outside the DC Universe the reason why
I’m not so sure that that’s gonna happen is because of the new Matt Reeves Batman
trilogy Warner Brothers probably isn’t gonna greenlight a couple different
versions of live-action Batman at the same time based on the age of young
Bruce Wayne here you could say that this is close to being Ben Affleck’s Batman
because Ben Affleck is playing a late 40-something Batman
during his Batman movies but a lot of people have wondered what the joke he
was referring to was when he tells the psychiatrist you wouldn’t understand the
joke I think that was a reference to him finally being lauded as a hero at least
in his mind despite all the terrible things that he did the past few weeks
like I’m the hero and Thomas Wayne is the villain the added level of irony the
Thomas Wayne was partially responsible for his own death because he called all
these deranged people clowns that’s why they were wearing clown masks to begin
with then the meta aspect of both the Joker in Thomas Wayne inevitably
creating their own worst villain so for Thomas Wayne he was creating that Joe
Chill person wearing the clown mask that wound up killing him but the more meta
aspect is as the Joker was inadvertently indirectly creating the Batman by doing
all this – so that’s why he’s saying that the psychiatrist would not
understand it because it’s such a complex but beautiful meta joke Joaquin
Phoenix was actually asked in an interview recently what his character
would do if he were suddenly confronted with someone dressed up like a bat
flying around Gotham fighting crime and his answer was is that his character the
Joker would be incredibly happy at the site he would laugh genuinely ironically
happy but delighted by how his nihilistic view of the world was
seemingly confirmed by this crazy person dressing up like a bat or someone that
he thought was just as crazy as him that gets into more
joke Easter eggs you’re one bad day away from being me the Joker trying to tell
Batman that they’re the exact same person a lot of you are also asking
about the picture of Joker’s mother signed by Thomas Wayne with a really
intimate message on it making it seem like maybe she was telling the truth
about her relationship with Thomas Wayne is if maybe there’s a small chance that
Arthur could be Thomas Wayne’s son but I think that’s mostly just to throw you
for a bit of a loop I do think that she had mental problems I do think that she
imagined her relationship with Thomas Wayne and even if he was maybe kind of
amorous with her they probably never had a child together Arthur really is
adopted because can you imagine what comic book fandom would do if they tried
to say that the Joker was Thomas Wayne’s son the only version of the Joker that
his Thomas Wayne’s son is the Batman who laughs and they have not done him in the
movies yet so just remember that parts of those final 15 minutes of the movie
the ending are fake and imagined in his head some of them are real if there’s
any other big questions that you have about the ending of the movie though
just let me know in the comments below but this does give you a point of origin
for this version of Batman whatever you want him to look like Todd Phillips made
it seem like they’re not planning on doing any sequels but Joaquin Phoenix
might be lured back if the film makes enough money they might find a way to
get him back in a couple years but I think it’s more likely that they would
just do other DC Black Label films with other Batman villains like a really
hardcore r-rated film about the Riddler that would be amazing but the Riddler is
going to be a character during Matt Reeves Batman films so if you have any
other big questions about plot points in the movie or the ending just let me know
in the comments and I’ll try to address that in my other Easter egg videos this
weekend congratulations carbo you’re the giveaway winner from my last big DC
video please email me on the about page of my channel so I can get your details
everybody click here for my Joker movie review and click here for that brand new
flash season 6 crisis on Infinite Earths trailer thank you so much for watching
everybody put on a happy face I’ll see you guys tonight

Complying with CFIUS and FIRRMA


>>Hi all, welcome. My name is Elizabeth
Shaffer I’m the director of investment research
with Select U.S.A and it is my great
pleasure to be able to introduce this distinguished
panel which is complying with CFIU.S. and FIRRMA. I will introduce them in
mere moments but just to go over some admin, hopefully
everybody’s properly caffeinated to enjoy this, this
panel coming up.>>They aren’t going to need, they won’t need caffeine
for this one Laura.>>It’s, okay we’re good>>This is a naturally
caffeinated panel.>>I’m excited to be
energized by this.>>Alright.>>We’re looking forward to it. So our distinguished
guests will speak and there won’t be any
Q&A for this session. But just to give you a heads
up we are very grateful for all of the private and
public information we were about to receive so if it’s
okay I will go in order and introducing our
distinguished guests. So our moderator, our emcee
today is general counsel of the U.S. Department of
Commerce Peter Davidson. He brings a plethora of
experience in gosh every version of public service that
you can basically have. So in addition to his experience
serving as general counsel for the U.S. Department
of Commerce, he was the senior vice president
for federal government relations at Verizon, and he was the
general counsel assisting the United States Trade
Representative. He worked in negotiating and
implementing trade agreements at the WTO he also
served as general counsel and policy director
for the majority leader of the U.S. House of
Representatives Dick Armey, and he clerked for
Judge John Portfolio on the 10th Circuit Court of
Appeals in Denver Colorado. He has even more
experience, but I know we want to actually cover
some information about the topic today,
so we are very grateful to have general counsel
Davidson’s stewardship in this discussion today. To Peter’s left you’re
right we were very fortunate to be joined by Laura Black. Laura is the director of
investment security policy, and international
relations for cifia, CFIUS at the U.S.
Department of Treasury. She, her responsibilities there
include leading the rulemaking process to implement the
Foreign Investment risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 and spearheading
international engagement on investment security issues. Since joining Treasury in 2007, Laura has had quite
a diverse portfolio; she was senior advisor
to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s general
counsel, senior advisor to the assistant secretary
for international markets and development and
did a super cool detail to the U.S. Executive
Eirector’s office at the Inter-American
Development Bank where she represented
the U.S. interests on the bank’s board
of directors. She also is bringing experience
from the private sector. She was a senior associate in DC
and Brussels offices of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton
LLP where her practice focused on cross-border M&A;
so we’re very grateful to have Laura joining us. To Laura’s left, your
right, we are very fortunate to be joined by Ender Sing. Ender leads a team in the UK and is executive vice
president and CFO of ARM. for those not familiar with ARM
it’s a foundational technology company that produces
a suite of products. Everything from micro-processors
to IOT. I mean the the scope of stuff that ARM provides is
mind-boggling; I encourage you to check out the website
if you are curious. Prior to joining ARM under
served as CFO for UNISYS. He helped accelerate organic
growth and profitability but while also leading strategy
and M&A functions there. And he also served in an
advisory role on projects for the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security for 15 years providing them
with insights on current and future technologies
in the context of M&A. And Ender, I have to confess
I have a fun fact on you that I kind of snuck in there. So he grew up on four continents
speaking five languages>>Oh my gosh.>>So Ender, yeah, we can
thank you in many languages. So thank you for
joining us today. And finally to Enders left,
your right, is Kevin Wolf. Kevin is a partner at Akin,
Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, with their international
trade practice that’s based in Washington DC. Prior to joining Akin Gump,
Mr. wolf served for seven years as assistant secretary
of commerce for the export administration
and the Bureau of Industry and Analysis otherwise
known as BIS in the U.S. Department
of Commerce. He was also a Commerce
Department representative to the Committee on
foreign investment for the United States CFIU.S.. And his active participation in CFIUS decision-making
processes included reviewing over 1,000 CFIUS filings
and being a key participant in the committee’s resolution of national security
risks associated with more complex cases. So, as a numbers person
I think we’ve got more than a thousand cases,
more than five languages, and between the two of these
guys I don’t know how many years of public service, so we’re
really grateful for all of your expertise that
you’re willing to share today and I very happily turn it over
to our distinguished moderator, General Counsel Davidson.>>Great Liz thank you very
much it’s a great introduction. Thank you. And I also want to thank Liz for pulling this panel
together she did a lot of work on the logistics of getting this
together so terrific job Liz. So, we got a great
panel as you can see, and I want to keep
this kind of lively and moving I am really
excited about CFIUS and I think you’ll find the
rest of the panelists are as well it is a very
interesting time to be working on CFIUS issues and
we’ve been talking about preparing for this panel. We have kind of the advances in
technology and we have advances in terms of interactions between
companies of all nations going on at the same time as we’re
dealing with national security and new and advancing national
security threats as well. So, you have this really
interesting formation of an environment that
leads to difficult questions and sometimes an evolving
process, and we had Congress, and we’ll talk a little
bit about this in a minute, was very active in the last
session of Congress in terms of revising both of our
export control laws as well as our CFIUS laws under
FIRRMA which is the acronym that I can’t remember
what it means, but Liz already read it off,
so we don’t have to go there. So, let me do this because I
know that in the audience here, okay on a scale of one to
ten how many of you think that you are, and ten being like
the most knowledgeable expert in the world, how many
of you think you are one to five raise your hand. One to five of in terms
of knowledge of CFIUS. So, if you’re you’re like me
you’re one to five okay I don’t, you know, I’m not an
expert all right so how many of you would say that
you’re five to ten in terms of knowledge of the
CFIU.S. process? Okay, so it’s a mix so that’ll
help us dial a little bit about where we’re we’re going to
go in terms of how weedy we get on some of the topics. So, what I want to do so
that I can learn something to start with. I’m going to ask Laura to give
us a little bit of a CFIUS 101, so we can all start from
kind of the same foundation and then we’ll get weedier
as the panel goes on. So Laura would you do
that for us please?>>Great, sure, I’m
very happy to be here. I want to start out first by
underscoring the importance of foreign direct investment to
the United States as of the end of last year the stock of
foreign direct investment stood at a healthy 8.6 trillion. Numerous studies have shown
the benefits of this investment with respect to innovation, job
growth, and economic growth. So, while the United
States strongly supports and welcomes foreign
investment, we also recognize that not all foreign
investment is benign, and that’s where CFIUS steps in. So, CFIUS is an interagency
committee led by the Department of Treasury that reviews certain
foreign direct investment for national security concerns. As Peter just mentioned we had
some landmark legislation they passed with overwhelming
bipartisan support and was signed into law
in August of last year. It’s the Foreign Investment
Risk Review Modernization Act.>>That’s it.>>Or FIRRMA.>>That’s it, yeah.>>Yes. So, CFIUS has been in
existence for over three decades and this is the first expansion
of our jurisdiction during that time and I think later
we’ll talk about the reasons for some of that expansion. But I wanted to first mention
a few key elements of CFIUS that will not change
under the legislation. First CFIUS is focused
exclusively on national security and not broader economic
or foreign policy issues. CFIUS reviews are robust and
analytically rigorous and made on a case-by-case basis. So, for each transaction we
look at the particular acquire and the particular
U.S. business to try to determine if there’s a risk. So, we really go through it with a scalpel rather
than a broad brush. And that helps us again focus on addressing any
national security risks and allowing benign
investments to go forward. Third CFIUS is proportional in its approach to
addressing risks. CFIUS is an authority
of last resort if we do find a risk posed by a
transaction we would first look to see if other authorities were
sufficient to address that risk, such as export controls. If CFIUS finds that there
aren’t other authorities that are sufficient we
would then look to try to mitigate any risks,
so we would try to negotiate conditions
with the parties. In the vast majority of cases
we’re able either able to clear or clear with mitigation. In rare cases when we can’t
mitigate the risk we would refer a matter to the President for
the President to take action, because only the President
can block a transaction. Forth, CFIUS is efficient
and accountable. We operate under strict
statutory deadlines and then that gives information
to the businesses that have filed the transactions
with us when they should expect to receive a decision. And CFIUS is also accountable
to high political level for each transaction the
initial analysis is performed by subject matter experts and
generally the career staff and final decisions have to
be certified at a high level, so it’s a protection
built into the system. And then finally, CFIUS
is confidential subject to very limited exceptions. So, any business
confidential information or even the existence of a
transaction is kept confidential under criminal penalties. And this is to give
businesses confidence when they share information
with us it won’t become public. So, those are a few
of the elements of CFIUS that won’t change. I also wanted to just briefly
highlight so we’re all starting from the same base how CFIUS
has traditionally operated and then we can talk
about some of the changes. So, historically CFIUS
has had the authority to review transactions that
could result in control by a foreign person
over a U.S. business. Control is a facts
and circumstances test for us looking at the
ability to direct determine or decide important matters. Unlike some jurisdictions
we don’t have a particulars shareholding cutoff or value
the transaction cut off, although we would
look at shareholding and other special rights
in making that decision. And another thing to
note, our jurisdiction is over all U.S. businesses. Of course in some
sectors there’re, you know businesses may be
more likely to pose risk but it’s not a sector-by-sector
approach we do have jurisdiction over all U.S. businesses. Historically CFIUS has
been a voluntary process so there haven’t been
mandatory filings, although that’s changing
a bit with FIRRMA. But what that means is
parties decide to file with us, but the parties that do
file once we’ve cleared a transaction, unless they’ve
provided us materially inaccurate information we
can’t go back and reopen that transaction, they
get a safe harbor. So that’s the benefit of filing. As I said it’s mostly voluntary,
however we do have the authority of parties don’t file
with us to later go back and bring those parties in and
possibly to impose conditions or in the worst-case scenario
to propose [inaudible]. The general timeline, and
this will change a little bit under FIRRMA with something
called declarations, but the general timeline
is a 45-day review and if more time is needed
a 45-day investigation. For each case all the CFIUS
member agencies review the information provided
by the parties as well as information provided
by other agencies, and we look at as I
was saying that threat. So, the intent and the
capability of the foreign person to has caused harm to national
security and the vulnerability of the U.S. business and
there we look at the nature of the business and the
relationship of that business to any system or assets
that could cause harm to national security and
look at the consequences of those two together. If we don’t find a risk, we
would clear a transaction without any conditions. As I mentioned if we do
find some risk we would try to mitigate it in
the vast majority of transactions we are able to
find conditions, and as I said in the case where
we can’t find a way to mitigate it we could
refer that to the President. So, that was a brief
overview of the process.>>That was a great overview. Yeah, very good and
I should also mention that I helped coordinate
the CFIU.S. activities within Department
of Commerce as well. So, I can can attest
to what Laura says about the thoroughness of the
review at multiple layers. So, it’s a, it’s a very
labor-intensive process, fact-specific process, and people take it
extremely seriously. I spend a good part of my
time dealing on CFIU.S. issues at the Department of Commerce. So, Laura mentioned FIRRMA
and some of the changes that we’re going to be seeing
to the way CFIU.S. is operated in the past, so I’m going to ask
Kevin if you would just walk us through some of the major
changes that Congress enacted and the President
signed in FIRRMA.>>Sure. And first
by the way thank you for having me back gets terrific to be helping the
Commerce Department mission and select U.S.A again.>>Can never leave.>>Excuse me?>>You can never.>>I never leave. No, no it’s, this is a terrific
opportunity and everything that was just said in terms of encouraging foreign direct
investment with conferences like this and through CFIUS. And a shout-out to one of my
former colleagues from BIS, Steven Holl, thanks
for being here. And so at the beginning
or rather at the end of our administration we started
seeing significant changes with respect to the nature
of the types of investments into the United States from
China and other countries that fell below the control
threshold that was described; that is investments you know that were non-controlling
investments in early stage technologies
that were involving emerging and foundational technologies
of national security concern or at least that
warranted consideration of whether they were of concern. And also transactions
involving certain types of real estate near
sensitive military facilities that wouldn’t necessarily have
been caught by the structure of CFIUS, the traditional
CFIUS again is foreign person, an investment that’s
controlling in a U.S. business. And if it wasn’t a
controlling investment, CFIUS would not have had
jurisdiction over it. So., on an extremely bipartisan
indeed nine nonpartisan basis at the beginning of 2017
senators Cornyn and Feinstein, Texas and California,
began to work together on an early version of a bill
that would expand the authority of CFIUS in order to
give it more visibility and more jurisdiction into
non-controlling investments in technologies of
concern and other types of investments of concern. And in the late fall
of 2017 FIRRMA, the Foreign Investment Risk
Review Modernization Act, which had as elements
of it the ability to give CFIUS jurisdiction
over investments or other acquisitions of
real estate in the U.S. that might be near
sensitive military facilities or other government facilities
that might not have been caught by existing CFIU.S., and for
non-controlling investments that involved sensitive
technologies or companies involved
in technologies that were either
export controlled or that were not
export controlled that perhaps should be. Transactions that
involved situations where there would be a release
of sensitive personal data of U.S. persons that could be
used by foreign adversaries for compromising purposes. And in non-controlling
investments into critical infrastructure a
broad concept that could be read to include, for example,
airports and and highways and telecommunications
and internet and other types of
infrastructure. In the bill that was introduced
there was also an element of it that would have given
CFIUS jurisdiction over outbound investments,
not just inbound investments but rather investments
by U.S. companies such as a joint venture
in China. The underlying concern
being that as a result of such joint venture, there might be uncontrolled
technology; technology that was not subject to export control
regulations for the transfer. But nonetheless, was
sensitive or could be used for sensitive applications
and for which the government
should have visibility into. And through a very active
very robust hearing process, and give-and-take
within the administration and between the House and the
Senate, eventually that part of FIRRMA was removed from
the original legislation and it was moved over into what
became a new export control bill the Export Control Reform Act. And so think of export
controls as the rules that govern the transfer
of technology and software and hardware out of the U.S.
moving in one direction, and then CFIUS and FIRRMA as the
rules that govern investments into the U.S. that might
result in such transfers or other activities of
national security concern as was well described. And so, in August of last year,
both laws both bills became law. The Export Control Reform Act which created a formal regular
order process for the bureau of industries industry
and security at the Commerce Department
to lead an effort to identify emerging and
foundational technologies of concern that were
not now controlled for exports but should be. And these are technologies that commerce is later
identified involving broad categories that are under
current investigation such as that dealing with artificial
intelligence or robotics or quantum computing or
additive manufacturing and nanotechnology, and
about 20 or so other areas. And at the same time than
giving permanent authorization to the Commerce Department
to regulate the export of technologies and items
generally for national security and foreign policy purposes. And then what the statute
did what FIRRMA did when it became law in in August of last year is it gave
the Treasury Department the authority to implement
pilot programs which would be the
early implementation of having a process in place
to require mandatory — remember historically
it was voluntary — mandatory filings of companies
engaged not a foreign companies engaged in non-controlling
investments in U.S. businesses in certain sectors, and then
require the Treasury Department to lead an effort to
come up with regulations to implement new
controls with respect to investments pertaining to,
again, sensitive personal data and real estate and
non-controlling investments in in critical infrastructure. And so, it didn’t, when it
passed actually require any of these changes, but it
gave authority and a mandate to Treasury to lead an effort
to publish those regulations. In November of last year
Treasury published what are called pilot program regulations that create a mandatory filing
requirement with respect to even non-controlling
investments from any country into a U.S. business
that would involve about 27 different sectors
of the U.S. economy if one of three conditions is met.>>Let’s wait in
the pilot program.>>Oh and get to that later
that’s right that’s one of our topics later>>We’re going to wait
a little bit that’s.>>That’s the, I got very
excited about this this.>>Told you we were caffeinated.>>This is fun stuff.>>No, that’s great. Kevin, that’s a great
overview of FIRMMA, and I think his description of
the congressional negotiations and ultimately compromise
of what happened with export control ECRA and
FIRRMA changes to to CFIUS. So you now kind of
know where we’ve been, where Congress wants us to go,
and what I think could be useful at this point is to kind of
get a view from a company on how they view
the CFIUS process, a company that’s looking at doing a transaction
what are the considerations that they have to take
into account before they go into that transaction,
where the processes that they have to figure out. And we’re lucky to have
Ender here with us today. And Ender, you use we have
a little introduction of ARM but if you want to take a moment
and talk to us a little bit more about ARM in is CFIUS
context is in terms of someone who’s
looking to do deals in the United States why don’t
you do that and then talk to us a little bit about
ARMs experience as they look at doing those those deals.>>Sure so it you can tell
this is an exciting topic. So, from a practitioners
standpoint in terms of well what do you do with
it if you’re a company? And so how do you ensure
that you’re on the right side of what the requirements are? You basically have to treat it
as any other approval process and give it the same rigor
that you would normally give to for example an
antitrust clearance from DOJ. This one is probably even more,
requires more homework ahead of time because the process is
sometimes not well understood. And it’s the process that has
evolved as you just heard. For ARM, let me tell you
about ARM a little bit. ARM is a UK-based company. It was founded as a joint
venture between Apple Computer, and a company called
Acorn computers. And 1992, I think 16 engineers
came together, yes in a garage, but not in Palo Alto
but in Cambridge, and they envisioned creating
chips that, semiconductors, that would be low-power
imagine that. Power was not even on
people’s minds back in 1992 because it was considered to be
plentiful, so why would you need to be more power efficient? As it turned out the company
was quite prescient in the sense that it had maybe
preceded the development of smartphones by
a decade or two. And so when you start getting
into understanding that ARM is, yes, it’s a semiconductor
company doesn’t make any chips, it just designs them. So, it’s kind of
like the architect. But it’s used by virtually
every semiconductor company that you can think of. And if you think of smart
TVs, smartphones, tablets, there’s a supercomputer
for example in Sandia National
Laboratory that runs on ARM. It’s everywhere. So, wherever compute happens
is where ARM is present. Yes, it is UK-based but of the
6,000 or so people 1,400-ish are in the U.S. and we’re investing. So, we’re investing
in hiring engineers and talent creating electoral
property in the U.S. But, we’re also investing
in acquiring as well you know nuke
other companies as part of our strategy but also
investing in U.S. companies. In my experience at least, the UK and the U.S. have enjoyed
a very close relationship some of you may have heard of the
five eyes, which are countries that share intelligence
together, well, the UK and U.S. are
among that, right? So, among even among the closest of countries you
have to follow CFIUS. And that’s an important
point; it doesn’t matter which country the foreign
entity or the foreign person is from you still have
to follow the process. So, as as ARM has
branched into other areas, for example into data
and analysis of data for the retail sector
for example. We acquired a company
called treasure data which had a ingest engine —
and everybody know what sort of an ingest engine is? It takes in gobs of
information and spits out insights on the other side. You could take that and apply
that in many different sectors which is kind of what
we think we’re going to be doing in the IOT world. And, that company, because
it now involves data and maybe even some PII
associated with U.S. citizens, it is now under the purview of
the CFIUS process and FIRRMA. Especially with FIRMMA. And so we had to take that through a CFIUS
approval process. We had to hire outside
counsel who could advise us on here’s the do’s and don’ts, here’s the what what
you have to prepare for. You know, what is your intent? There’s an entire process. So while it may take 45 days
for the first stage and 45 days for the second stage you
could say it’s three months. I would add another couple
months on both sides of that. So, the preparation
work is really where many companies fall short.>>Yeah.>>Really under estimating
what this thing will require. And partly it’s because not only
because it’s a different process than usual that you
may not be familiar with from other countries, but also because of the
national security aspect of what the CFIUS panel looks at they can’t really tell you
much during the review process. They can they might be able
to give you some indications of maybe that they might
have, clarifications that might be needed,
but because of the type of assessment being done much of the information is
considered classified and therefore you don’t get the
the live feedback that you might from a DOJ on a [inaudible]
process. So all of that is
something you have to go in with eyes wide
open and realize that you know this
may be the one thing that prevents your acquisition
even if from every angle. Financial antitrust, if it passes all the other
litmus tests this might be the one that you didn’t
put enough energy into. So, you know last week we
announced an investment in another semiconductor
company called Marvel, which is a publicly
traded U.S. entity. ARM has most of its
leadership team in the U.S. The CEO is based in
San Jose, I’m based in San Jose, most of the leadership team the
executive team is in San Jose. It’s about as U.S. if
you would think it is, but we still made sure that
even for a minority investment where we were taking a
percent ownership of a company, potentially if the
warrants paid, paid out at what we
thought they would pay out. That’s a hypothetical. Even then we wanted to
make sure that we filed, follow the the process,
and just to make sure that we weren’t surprised
on the other side. I think Laura said this;
CFIUS has the authority to actually unwind
an acquisition. So, if you don’t apply,
and now you almost have to, but if you don’t
apply you can be asked to divest the acquisition
you just did. So better to be on the safe side
then on the sorry side of it. You know I have experienced
with CFIUS in its prior instantiations
and other companies, and also working from the inside
of advising Homeland Security on some on some things. These are career professionals. They’re not politically
motivated. These are folks that have
done it through Democratic and GOP administrations,
and then some again. So, these are folks who look at
this in a very serious fashion. They’re super smart
and the meetings that I’ve had with them. Incredibly so, that you almost
feel comfortable that you’re in good hands as a
nation because of kind of what they’re looking at. It can be in technology, it
can be in thing in sectors, that are not technology
as Laura said. Virtually in every area. There was a situation
around harbors and ports so many years ago if you may
remember that [inaudible] that was critical
infrastructure. So, anything related to anything
critical infrastructure falls into the into the into
the purview so better safe than sorry is kind of the the
message for you from for me.>>Great well Ender
that’s a terrific overview from a practical experience,
and I think very well said. So Kevin introduced us a
little bit to pilot program. And what I think maybe what
I’ll do Kevin is have have Laura start with a little
bit of the of and then you can put
a little more gloss.>>Sure.>>If you’d like to do
that so Laura you want to explain a little bit more
of what the pilot program is.>>So, under FIRRMA some
provisions became effective immediately but a lot of the
substantive meet of it has to be defined in regulations
that we have 18 months to drive so February 2020. The legislation did give us
the authority though to set up pilot programs to pilot
some of the new jurisdiction. So within two months of
enactment of this statute we put out a pilot program
that does two things. First, it expanded
our jurisdiction over certain non-controlling
transactions involving critical technology. Critical technology is defined
with respect to export control, it’s not a CFIUS
specific definition. So, that allowed us to close
a gap in our jurisdiction because previously we only could
review controlled transactions, but as we all know, you
know, sensitive technology that you can get access to
material nonpublic information, some very technical
sensitive information without having control. So we’re now able to look at these non-controlling
transactions where there’s a board member
access material nonpublic information or involvement in certain substantive
decision-making. But we limited that for the
purpose of the pilot program to 27 high-priority industries, so we didn’t open
it up completely.>>And that’s thus the pilot.>>Yes.>>You’re seeing kind of what
works what doesn’t work as you as you look at filling
a regulation.>>And then the second,
the second portion, so that’s the expansion
of our jurisdiction. The second part of it is for
the first time we introduced the concept of mandatory
declarations. So as we, I mentioned previously
we had joint voluntary notices that were voluntary. Now there’s a certain subject
subset that will be mandatory. So for these transactions we
now have mandatory declarations and I’m happy to discuss
in more detail later if that’s of interest.>>Okay great. Kevin do you.>>So, yeah, terrific summary. And as mentioned it’s
actually an overlap between export controls
and CFIUS now. Because the jurisdictional hook for when a mandatory filing
requirement is now triggered under the pilot program,
if you’re in one of those 27 technology
sectors of the U.S. economy, is if among other things you
have access to technology which is export controlled or, the magic phrase is material
nonpublic technical information, which is uncontrolled
technology that’s necessary for the development of
export control technology. And so why is that relevant? Well, before you never really
with investments needed to necessarily know the export
control status of the technology into which was being invested
from abroad, and now in order to know whether you have a
mandatory filing requirement before you engage in any
non-controlling investment in the U.S., the
export control status of the underlying
information that’s in the U.S. company
is now needed. And the definition of
what that is again tracks with the export control rules
which, as they are expanded, to include emerging and
foundational technologies through a regular order
process will not only expand the authority of U.S.
export controls over those technologies, but
also the jurisdiction of CFIUS into investments involving
those technologies. And, so, that’s just sort
of a general commentary now about how the two sets
of laws export controls and foreign direct investment
rules are now very much overlapping and working
together with one another, even more so than they used to.>>Great. That’s a great
summary and and it leads I think into the regulatory process? So, we’re ongoing right
now, Laura mentioned, was it February 2020 you said? Was the deadline for doing the
full regulatory scheme I know they’re they’re working
busily working on this we have some folks
helping with you with that, so I know how hard
they’re working. Why don’t you talk to us
a little bit about timing and where where you are in
terms of the regulatory process.>>Sure, so Treasury has
been leading a very robust interagency process drawing
on subject matter experts from all the agencies to
produce the regulations as I mentioned before Congress
provided us the contours of the new Authority. And as Kevin mentioned there’s
some key terms that still need to be defined; sensitive
personal data, a subset of critical
infrastructure that will be subject to this new
non-controlling jurisdiction, the definition of
sensitive government facility for the real estate prong. So there’s several key
pieces of the legislation that we’re still
working to define. I can’t talk about that too
much now, but I will say that we will have a
public comment period of at least 30 days in advance
of making the regulations final.>>Okay, so you’re going to be
putting out, and again for those of you familiar with the way our
regulatory system works here, we have an endless series
of things that happen and then somewhere at the end of your lifetime the
actual rules come out. But here we have a deadline.>>Yes. [Laughs].>>We actually have a deadline.>>Yes, I have timelines
all over my office.>>Right. So I’m actually an
administrative law attorney, so I shouldn’t make fun of it. But, what what you’re going to do then is you’re
going to put out a your.>>Draft notice.>>Your draft regulations
and then people will have 30 or however many days
to comment on that. So, those should be well if
you had to give us a window of when you think
that would be coming out what would you estimate? I’m not going to hold we
have to allow enough time so I’m not going to hold.>>We have to allow enough
time, so I’m not going to give a particular date today.>>Okay great. So, enough time for people to
digest it and take a look it. And [inaudible] extremely
complicated stuff so. And I know that you do
appreciate the advice that goes back in. What, just an aside on the
administrative law side, one of the things that I think
has been very refreshing coming back into the government again
after being the private sector for a while, is that the notice and comment periods are
taken very seriously by the government agencies. And people review the comments and provide detailed
explanations and responses to those comments. So you know I’d kind of gotten
used to thinking them as kind of perfunctory, you have to
do it and, but I have to say that the ones that I’ve seen
the Department of Commerce since in the two years that I’ve
been there have been taken very seriously and and the answers
come from career professionals who are experts in their field
and provide detailed responses. So, you have if you
are interested in this area please do comment. We will look at it we’ll
review it carefully and we value your
input into the process.>>If I could just
add something.>>Yeah absolutely, Ender.>>So what happens on the
other side of the process? It isn’t I think Laura said it
it isn’t a thumbs up and the or thumbs down like with
some other approval, required approvals,
antitrust for example, it can be your just am asking
too much market share sorry. With this process it’s actually
intended to find ways for you to make the investment and
then things that you should, you’re not allowed to do
or things that you know set of rules that basically say
you shouldn’t be doing XYZ with this acquisition,
or this investment. So, there’s a caseworker that
is assigned, there’s an officer that works with you, there’s
a letter you might get which is an agreement, that you
will operate this investment or this acquisition
in the following way. And it could be related to
the governance of that entity, or it could be related
to who can make decisions for further investment of R&D;
it can be related to even a spin out of a piece of the business that may be considered a
critical infrastructure area where perhaps a different
governance scheme has to be put in. So, in my experience all of
those scenarios have happened, up to and including a special
board being appointed for a part of the business that’s being
acquired that is chaired by U.S. citizens so on, so on. So, just to protect the
integrity of the work and the technology being
developed in those areas. It isn’t the no you can’t do
the acquisition what at all. So, that’s one the
other one is I think I’m around real estate
which you mentioned. It’s not just acquiring real
estate its leasing real estate as well. So, you need to factor that
into your equation that and I don’t know what
the final rules will be and Laura will tell us
if and when she’s ready with the integration
of FIRMMA and CFIUS, but it can even be very
subtle things like that that you’ve gotten control
of a property adjacent to a critical site
in the United States and you might not be
allowed to do that or you might have some
controls put on who can use that that piece of property
either owned or leased. So I thought I would
just add that.>>No, that’s very, very
helpful and I think kind of the practical aspect of the mitigation is
is really important to understand the spectrum of
things that can be required, but that they are required to
end, and they’re often imposed in a minimum fashion to
achieve the objective so not an overreach in terms of the mitigation I think is a
really important point as well. As much that is needed to address the national security
issue and not more than that>>Correct.>>So, Kevin do have
any more comments on the regulatory
process or kind of where you see things going? I mean you can speak a little
bit more freely I think then Laura and I can.>>Oh, sure. This is an insanely difficult
exercise I do not envy my friend, well, I do in a way
I’d still like to be there, but these are very
difficult things to do because as described
earlier, it’s how do you come up with regulations in order to regulate real
estate acquisitions in the U.S. near sensitive
military facilities without basically
requiring every lease and every transaction and every
apartment you know purchased et cetera, and flooding CFIUS with
tens of thousands of filings and just getting
exactly what you need? How do you describe the subset of technologies involving
critical infrastructure that warrant additional filings? And you know, I want
to emphasize again, this was a completely
nonpartisan effort that said you know
widespread support in the House and the Senate Democrats
and Republicans, so the law and the principles
are very good. And and really do fill gaps
that were there that we noticed at the end of my tenure as
well, but actually putting those into regulations, it’s going
to be mind-blowingly complex. And I really want to emphasize
what Peter said about commenting because you know as
a former regulator as a former reg writer
we think we’re smart, we generally are pretty
good we’ve got lots of really good people around
us to help, but you have to crowdsource it
through the notice and comment process unless
people engage, unless they write in with pointing out what
works or what doesn’t work or unintended consequences
the process can’t improve. So I just want to pick up again
on the emphasis of engaging in the process and when the
regs get published in draft to really think hard and and
and send in thoughtful comments because they generally will
get factored in which will make for a better regulatory
structure, so.>>So, Laura mentioned the
Declaration process earlier on in your presentation. Why don’t you talk to us a
bit more about what that is because that actually might
be the first time when many of the folks in the room will
actually have to interact with the CFIUS process.>>So, you know as I mentioned
before we have a notice process. That notice the notice
requirements can be a couple dozen pages, so the idea with
the declaration was twofold. One, to provide a
more streamlined way for parties to make a filing. Generally, declarations can
be no longer than five pages, so it’s a short form filing. And the declarations, the
timeline for review is 30 days. So, for the notices I
mentioned was 45 and 45. However with respect
to a notice CFIUS has to make a determination,
clear negotiate conditions, or propose blocking
to the president. With a declaration CFIUS
can clear, can decide not to take action based on
the abbreviated timeline and abbreviated information,
request a full notice, or initiate action on its
own if there’s some kind of an emergency for example. So there is this other process. We’ve designed for the first
time a fillable PDF form to try to make it easier particularly
for smaller businesses to make a filing
through the declaration. So, some of those as I mentioned when FIRRMA becomes fully
effective, will be voluntary and then there will be a
subset that are mandatory. Under FIRRMA we still
need to define these terms but transactions that involve a
substantial government interest in one of those three business
areas that Kevin had mentioned where we have the
non-controlling jurisdiction, critical technology,
critical infrastructure, and sensitive personal
data will be mandatory; we’re still defining
substantial interest. And then we have the
discretionary authority to require declarations for other critical
technology companies.>>Well that’s terrific. And I just want to also
kind of emphasize, you know, just put us in context
here where we are today. We are at the Select
U.S.A Summit. The United States is
open for business, we’re a great place
to do business. You heard all the governors
and everyone talking about how their states are
the best place to do business. So, one could say we’re a
little bit of an outlier at this conference,
the panel is here. But I don’t look at it that way. I look at at it as that
the United States is still as interested in getting foreign
investment in the United States. We are emphatic about that. What we’re doing is trying to
make the process is transparent and easy to deal
with as possible and if there are issues we have
very smart people that are going to help you work around this
through a mitigation plan. And if there aren’t there
aren’t but then at the end of the day that’s what it is. So, I just want to make sure
that the emphasis we have in this panel is consistent
with the emphasis of the rest of the the meeting that you’re
at today, and we’re just kind of helping you with
that compliance process. So, Kevin is there anything
else you want to add on declarations,
or Ender as well?>>No, it’s a good summary. I’ll defer to your judgment. On, is there something?>>No.>>Nope. Well, that was an
excellent summary there.>>Yeah. I think that is. And Ender, I don’t know if you.>>I think that was
great summary. I think I would just
add one other thing. That when you think about
firm A buying firm B and frim A is a foreign entity, it may have a large
U.S. presence, but it may still have a large
international presence as well. And CFIUS will not only be
concerned about the technologies or the capabilities
coming together in the U.S. but also the technologies or capabilities coming
together outside the U.S. when these of entries combine. So, you have to think of
it from both angles as well to say what new thing gets
created in, I’ll pick Asia, I’m from Asia, versus
the United States. It’s not all about what
what’s happening in the U.S., it’s all about it’s also about what’s happening
outside the United States as these [inaudible].>>Actually I did
have a thought.>>Yeah go ahead.>>Sorry, to answer
your question what with the new mandatory filing
requirement that’s in place now which has penalties up to
the value of the transaction for failing to abide by
it, it is really critical to do advance planning and
that you combine your export compliance people, the people that can identify
the technologies in the United States
that are controlled and the technologies related
to it and that group of people that know about your information in your company work very
closely with your deal team and the due diligence team, so
that you don’t get surprised when the deal people get
to the point of wanting to actually do the investment
but somebody says oh, wait, stop we have this
mandatory requirement that must be completed
45 days before closing. And so my practice
advice to all of you is to have the compliance people and the deal people start
actually working very closely together very early
in the process as potential investments
are being considered so that this information
gathering and collection process that’s
required to even submit, what’s a shorter form but nonetheless requires
some detailed information, doesn’t take you by surprise
and ends up hurting the ability or the willingness to
invest in the United States. And it does require
more advanced planning, it does require more
coordination within the company, but if you do those two
things it is designed to go through the system
more smoothly. So, that’s my practice
tip to you all; more time and coordinate between
compliance and deals deal folks.>>And I’ll add one more, which is when you ask
the question earlier like what is your level of
knowledge between zero to five or five to ten I’m
proud and happy to say that the ARM contingent
sitting in the back of the room over their raised their
hands and said ten. So that is success, when
everybody on your team, deal team or otherwise, communications government
affairs, everybody needs to understand this process. And, so it’s an education
our general counsel is very, very much on top of
the compliance side of things our M&A leader and
our general counsel work hand in hand. And, so that’s the level of I’ll
call it execution that you want to be able to get
to on this process. And just as you would
on any other approval.>>I think those are two great
comments they’re kind of back to back about you know don’t
just you know wish something is going to go away don’t
think oh well I can deal with that later or whatever. This is, it’s a very good
area to be very proactive and get the people at the
beginning of the process when you’re doing your do
your deal risk assessment, it’s something you
need to consider. And as FIRRMA, you know, gets
out the regulations, get out, there will be more
information upon which you can base decisions
about whether to do a deal or not do a deal kind of based
on CFIUS, FIRMMA concerns, so. [Inaudible] raise the
International component here a little bit. I want to go back to that
just for a minute, too, because the United
States not an island. We deal with a lot of
different countries in the United States companies
doing business abroad also deal with CFIUS like regimes in other
countries so Laura I’m going to ask you to start a little bit
and talk a little bit about kind of what are other
regimes around the world and are there is there
international cooperation on how to deal with these kind of national security
/ investment issues?>>Sure. So, CFIUS has always
cooperated with our allies, but since FIRRMA we’ve
been building our capacity; I now have dedicated
staff to work on international cooperation. And this is in recognition of
transnational risk, particularly with integrated supply chains and as we’re seeing
technology develop, we found that it’s more
important now than ever to coordinate with our allies, and we have some
increased authority under FIRRMA to do that. So, we’ve been working both
bilaterally and multilaterally, and have been really
happy with the response. So, for example last year
the United helped set up a G7 working group
on investment security under the French presidency. We’ve been working closely
with the EU Commission as well as Japan on trilateral
cooperation, and the EU Commission even set
up a workshop for us to talk to EU Member States about
investment security. That was in the around
the time of the passage of an EU regulation on
investment screening, which the United States
strongly supported so it’s been getting
a lot of attention. Several countries are either
strengthening their systems and, in some cases, countries
are looking to set up an investment screening
mechanism for the first time and we’ve been providing
advice there, but I think it’s publicly known
that some of the countries that are either into
strengthening or and thinking about it include Japan, Germany,
France, UK, New Zealand, some other European countries. So, I think there’s
a growing recognition that we need to work together. But on the other hand just to reiterate the point you
made earlier, you know, when we’re meeting with these
other countries we’re always talking about how do you
protect national security without deterring inward
foreign investment? You know and as I said
before CFIUS has been around for three decades we
have a healthy stock of FDI, we want to keep it that way, but we need to address
national security risks. So, I think that’s something
that’s at the forefront of a lot of countries minds as they’re
determining the next steps.>>Right. Kevin or Ender,
do you want to add anything on the international
cooperation.>>No that was.>>That well said.>>Okay, yeah. I’ve been doing quite a bit
of work not necessarily only in the CFIUS, context
but I spend a lot of time in digital economy issues
traveling around the world and speaking to colleagues
and government agencies and particularly in the
European Commission, and in the Japanese as well. And there’s a lot of
emphasis on this right now. It is interesting, and
this is a longer speech, I would I usually give this about the Commerce Department
a little infomercial here if I can take my
prerogative as moderator. Commerce Department, and Kevin’s
going to back me up on this one, is a very interesting place because 10 years ago
I would have said, or 15 years ago I would
have said it was kind of an eclectic mix of bureaus that had something
to do with business. And today well it still
is something to do with business we have
five or six bureaus and I think the other
seven would be mad at me for not including
them that all deal with digital economy issues. So, we have intellectual
property at PTO, we’ve got you know satellites
and technology at NOAA, we’ve got NIST for standards
technology and issues, we have NTIA that deals
with spectrum privacy policy and other types of things, BIS
that deals with these issues, ITA and BIS that deal with
CFIUS in these kind of issues. So we have a national security
and digital economy kind of focus and we have a
place that does a lot of good policymaking, so
we have good people working on all these issues coming at it
from slightly different angles. So, our partnership with
Treasury is terrific. They’re a wonderful
group of folks in terms of I’ve been dealing on the on
the Taxation digital’s taxation over in Europe where there’s
a little epidemic going on right now that we’re
trying to address, but they’re great partners
on all of those issues. So, the interagency working
group that I’ve been seeing on CFIUS works extremely well. Multi-layered, extremely
professional the way you would like to have it design so you have the experts
providing the first cut on all the facts and
information, and it moves up the chain to the next level and then assistant
secretary level. Then it goes to deputies
and then ultimately to the President if
there needs to be. So, it is a four or
five level exercise that is very professionally
done. So, I want to ask the panelists if they have anything
else we have a little bit of a Ferris Bueller moment
I think with my clock here, I got some extra moments
but thank you very much. It ran backwards for a while but
that’s good, that’s all good. Well, let me just
ask the panelists if they have anything
else they would like to throw into the mix here?>>[Inaudible] I think
that in my 15 years of watching this process
both from from a part of it being a part of it in
some ways and then being a user of the process and and
following the process in terms of seeking approvals,
what I’ve seen is that it is it has improved in
a number of different ways. First of all it’s been
clearer around what’s included and what’s not included,
that’s one. I think FIRRMA helped a lot and
I think, that you know that, and there every 10 years or
so I think there’s a sort of change made to it. The second thing is I think the
transparency is getting better. Partly because of the people
understanding a process, because that’s really
part of transparency is if you understand the process
then it’s transparent to you. But, also, I think the
agencies that are involved in it are trying
to do a great job of actually telling you
here are our concerns, here’s how you can
mitigate them, this is what you
can expect from us, this is what we expect from you. And the consequences are clear. So, I think that companies
are getting more prepared. There’s also much more
advice available from people that have been either in the
process of managing CFIUS or involved in some of the
decision-making or involved in some of even the analysis
that they’re out there for you to consult with, and so
they’re available to you as resources we use them at ARM
because it’s just good hygiene from my standpoint, to make sure that we haven’t missed
something, because it does change. And I do think that you know
the spirit of it is the same as with any other any other
country, whether it’s the EU, the Netherlands, India, China; each country has something
I mean they may not make it as explicit as the
U.S. makes it for you. But this is about making
sure that you do invest in the country, but
that you understand that there’s some some
things that you might have to watch how you
do, and some things that you may not
quite be permitted to do that you anticipated. So, I think the CFIUS panel
tries to make it no surprises, but you can be surprised if
you’re not familiar with it. And and you can wake
up one day and realize, oops I should have filed and
I just you know lost 45 days or something like that. So if you’re prepared that’s
that’s a great starting point.>>And as transparent
as it is and baked into the process is the ability
to have informal discussions in fact in the regulations
it says come in and talk to Treasury in advance
of a filing to work through any issues. At the end of the day
remember, however, it is a confidential
process known only to you and to the committee, and also,
it’s, there’s a heavy aspect of it from the intelligence
community that’s involved. So, although the
committee’s, committee staff and the agencies will do
what they can in terms of helping you guide through
and work through the issues, remember there’s always going to be a little bit
of uncertainty in it. And this is not new by the
way, it’s always been this way with respect to underlying
national security issues that may not be able
to be discussed. So, there’s always going to
be a degree of uncertainty which is why when
you’re trying to think through on the voluntary side of it whether there is
potentially a national security risk sometimes being a little
bit more conservative and going in and talking with CFIUS or
making the voluntary filing, and don’t just assume
that you, you know, you have complete visibility
into what all the issues are. So, I’ll stop there.>>Great, thanks. Laura do you have
any closing comments?>>No, no closing comments. I just filling up on what Kevin
was saying we do have a process for parties to submit
a draft notice.>>Yeah.>>And we’ll give comments
before you submit the final to get the clock started.>>So, for a small medium-sized
business or something like that that may not have the ability to
go out and hire a big law firm like Kevin’s that would be a
good process for them to go through to get some
advice on how to do filing.>>Well, you know,
even some parties that have you know sophisticated
CFIUS counsel will file that to make sure it’s
complete while they’re kind of finishing negotiating
the transaction we like to have a deal
that’s pretty baked so while they’re finalizing it
sometimes they’ll file a draft just to kind of get the
okay if it’s complete or get some guidance
on [inaudible].>>Okay, good excellent.>>Not really a closing
remark but just.>>No, no, that’s
that’s a great way to end well listen I just
want to thank Kevin, Ender, Laura for a great great panel
discussion very, very exciting and interesting developments
going on here so thanks for your your great
comments, and please join me in thanking our panelists
for a great discussion. [Applause].

Avengers Endgame(No Spoilers) – Dog Honest Review


Let’s be real ese(dude). You already know you’regoing to watch Avenger’s Endgame and all these reviews are just a formality.
There really isn’t much to say about this film because it was incredible in
almost every way. This is the most important cinematic event in like the
past decade or more and I can only imagine this is what it must have felt
like to be a young pup watching the original Star Wars for the first time in
the 70s and feeling that sense of awe. The directors, the Russo brothers,
continue to show that they are truly masters of making superhero films as
they deliver what I consider to be the ultimate love letter to fans. The only
reason I was worried about this film is because of the potential for pro-radical feminist political propaganda, but no, the Russo brothers very wisely did
not turn this movie into “The Captain Marvel Show” because they know Brie
Larson is like a black hole sucking all the charisma out of her scenes. Hemsworth: Lifelong friends hopefully. Interviewer: Yeah! Hemsworth: Especially… Larson: (Bitch face) No. Not with me though. Hemsworth: No? We’re not going to… hangout anymore? Larson: Well I mean it’s just started and also probably ended. Hemsworth: You’re not going to return my texts? Everything I kind of do now is in the shadow of this WITCH(jk it’s “which”). by the way hats off to Chris Hemsworth
for delivering the most difficult scene in the entire film. Hemsworth: I like this one. MB: Jokes aside they kept the spotlight on the more popular characters while still
treating all the characters with the respect they deserve. There was just so
much about this movie that was incredible. The CGI that was used to
modify certain characters blew me away. There were so many cameos, and callback humor, and fanservice, and nostalgia, even Hawkeye was surprisingly way more badass
than I was expecting. There are so many little surprises and thankfully the
trailers didn’t give too much away and hopefully you’ve been able to avoid
spoilers on the Internet. The movie is 3 hours long, but it didn’t
feel like it because ultimately it doesn’t matter when every scene is
important and is part of an emotional build-up and there were multiple times
where I felt the urge to cry Alpha Dog tears. Trust me,
all my Alpha Dogs out there are gonna get hit right in the feels especially
if you have been following these films from the beginning. Because this is my
first perfect score I’m giving to a film so I’ll be giving Avengers Endgame 10
Vitas Thanos out of 10. (The 7th Element by Vitas) This film is everything a Marvel fan
could have asked for and more. The only thing that could possibly lower the
score for me would be if you were living under a rock and not watching Marvel
movies for the past 10 years because then you won’t get the same emotional
impact out of some scenes. Let’s just hope against all hope that
the post Endgame phase of Marvel movies don’t start to suck as much as Captain
Marvel did (Jeremy Renner putting up with Brie Larson) Larson: Tsk. Look at it with responsibility. Don Cheadle: I already told you about the touching. I told you not to touch. Lason: I don’t feel like I actually learn.

Chevy LS: Best Engine Swap Ever? | WheelHouse


It’s a cliche at this point: “Dude, cool
project, got any plans for it?” “Ah Dude, LS swap, throw a cam in there,
put the LS6 heads on it, it’s gonna be sick!” “Oh, cool”. Yeah, LS Swaps are a little played out. But I wanted to find out why more people are
doing them than ever before. From muscle cars, to drifters, to this Delorean. Welcome to WheelHouse. In the early 90s, GM knew that time was limited
for their small block V8. Foreign competitors were selling cars with
less power but much better fuel economy. But GM was like “Nah dude, we’re good”, And
got to work redesigning their workhorse small block. The LS1 debuted in 1997 with the release of
the new C5 Corvette. The block was made of aluminum
which was super light, and the 5.7 liter engine made 345 horsepower and 350 pounds of torque. Drivers and critics were
like, yo, this LS thing is sick. Then in 1999, Chevy released a cast Iron version
for use in trucks and SUVs, which they’ve since branded “Vortec”. In 2001, Chevy updated the LS1’s design with the
release of the LS6. It was stronger, better flowing, and had higher
compression. But why’d Chevy go from LS1 to LS6? Well, the LS6 was used in the 2001 Corvette
Z06. So you have LS6, and Z06, I guess that makes
sense. Anyway, the LS1, LS6 and every other LS all
share a common architecture. Ultimately, this means that parts between
engines are stupid interchangeable as long as you do some research. I can’t tell you who the first person was
to LS swap their car- BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD. But I can tell that whoever they are, ignited
a trend that swept the US. People will LS Swap literally anything. Muscle cars make up a large majority of LS
usage. For decades the go-to small block for muscle
cars was the Chevy 350, I mean I had one in my Trans Am, but people when people started
seeing the benefits of fuel injection, they started putting the LS in their project cars
instead. But what if you don’t want muscle car? The Nissan 240SX is a prime example, with
tons of Formula Drift competitors using the LS in their race cars. The Miata is another good option. Who wouldn’t want a lightweight roadster
with a V8 up front? That’s what the Shelby Cobra was! But Nolan, the 240 and Miata are so predictable,
everyone and their mom does LS Swaps on those cars. I hear you. Here are some of the craziest swaps we were
able to find. This is a 1936 Cord Westchester, notable,
for being one of the world’s first front wheel drive cars That’s right, this quirky
looking pre-war sedan has a Corvette engine sending power through a Porsche
transmission to the front wheels. It’s nuts. But that’s nothing! This guy, Connor Hofford, stuffed an LS into
his 1984 VW GTI. His car debuted at last year’s SEMA show,
and blew people away with it’s custom tube chassis, that was pretty much all hand built. Thing is just insane. Connor, if you’re watching, let’s hang
out dude. Bring the car by the office, we would love
to see it. And it doesn’t end there. This Delorean has an LS in the back! It’s finally as fast as it looks! Okay so we know a little bit of the LS’s
History, and why it’s a good engine, and that a lot of people have put them in a wide
variety of cars that aren’t Chevy’s. But none of that really tells us why they
do. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple answer. The LS is small. And I’m not talking displacement. When someone says that an engine is big like
a 427 cubic inch, they’re not talking about the engine’s physical size. Engines are basically air pumps, and displacement
refers to the amount of air that passes through an engine when each piston goes from top to
bottom dead center.. So if we use the LS1 as an example, its a
5.7 liter engine. It’s got 8 cylinders, a stroke of 3.62 inches,
and a bore of 3.898. We take those measurements and put them into
this equation, and we get 347 cubic inches.Convert that to metric and our engine breathers
5.7 liters of air. So the LS keeps a typical V8 displacement,
while being physically smaller than its competitors. How? well most new engines use overhead camshafts which
allow for more aggressive valve lift at higher RPMs and the use of more than two valves per
cylinder. Chevy didn’t bother doing that that. The LS still has it’s cam in- block with
two valves per cylinder, just like your grandma’s old Buick Special. And since the cams aren’t hanging out in
the cylinder heads, the engine is shorter in height and skinner too. Conventional wisdom says that overhead cam
engines should easily outperform in-block cam engines because they can put more air
into the cylinders. But more air is no good if it has a hard time
getting into the cylinder. So Chevy decided to focus their energy on
airflow. And that’s why, despite having fewer valves,
the LS is one of the best breathing engines ever made. It just breathes really, really well. And that’s it’s main advantage. So, it has a physical size advantage, stellar
airflow, and keeps the conventional V8 displacement. This makes it the perfect candidate for swapping
into oddball cars like the Miata, Delorean and that GTI. It all comes down to size. Going back the 240SX, a built LS will be the
same size and sometimes lighter than the stock turbocharged four cylinder engine. And there’s no turbo lag. You might be like me, thinking about which
car you would swap an LS into. You might have something in your driveway
right now that would make a perfect project. But how do you choose which LS to get? It can be pretty challenging there’s like…a lot
of them. Well if you’re on a shoestring you should
look for a 5.3 liter Vortec. Remember these are LS engines but they’re made of
cast iron so they’re about 100 pounds heavier than the aluminum ones. BUT, they’re everywhere, and that means
they’re cheap. a lot of magazines say you can find these
things for like 500 bucks. Not a bad place to start. Maybe you want to turbo a V8. You should go look for a 4.8L Vortec. It’s another cast iron engine, and it’s
the smallest of the LS’s, but smaller displacement means more meat on the cylinder walls, and
that means you can run a ton of boost without worrying about cracking the block. The 4.8 is a great option for people looking
for budget boost. But what if you want to be completely insane
and build an LS swapped Honda? Well you can do that too. The LS4 was designed with front wheel drive
cars in mind like the Impala SS. I found this build online by Ryan Standke,
where he transplanted an LS4 into his Aruca RSX AND boosted it. This thing is insane. And I think of all the builds we’ve talked
about today it’s my favorite, because it’s so wrong but so right. So as you can see, there’s limitless potential
for the LS swap. And yeah, it’s a popular thing to do right
now but for good reason. I’ll admit I was a hipster about this LS
Swap thing before I looked into it. I’m not even a Chevy guy but who doesn’t
love the sound of a V8? (Righteous V8 noises) Who doesn’t want that power in their car? (More righteous V8 noise) It’s a no brainer. And the only limit is your own creativity. (dat good good V8 rumble) Do you have an LS swap in your car? I’d love to see it, post it down in the
comments! The LS is nowhere close to being the first
engine but if you want to know what the first car was go back to last week’s episode right
here. If you like the Corvette, check out the up
to Speed on the Corvette. If my Mustang ever dies, i would definitely
think about LS swapping it, I think that would be hilarious. Ford, Chevy guys go fight in the comments. Thanks for watching, bye 🙂

What is Literature for?


We have a general sense that these sort of
places are filled with things that are deeply important,
but what exactly is literature good for? Why should we spend our time reading novels
or poems when out there, big things are going on. Let’s have a think about some of the ways
literature benefits us.. Of course, it looks like it’s wasting time,
but literature is ultimately the greatest time-saver, for it gives us access to a range
of emotions and events that it would take you years, decades, millenia to try to experience
directly. Literature is the greatest ‘reality simulator’,
a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you could ever directly
witness. It lets you – safely: that’s crucial – see
what it’s like to get divorced. Or kill someone and feel remorseful.
Or chuck in your job and take off to the desert. Or make a terrible mistake while leading your
country. It lets you speed up time:
in order to see the arc of a life from childhood to old age It gives you the keys to the palace, and to
countless bedrooms, so you can assess your life in relation to
that of others. It introduces you to fascinating people: a
Roman general, an 11th century French princess, a Russian upper class mother just embarking
on an affair… It takes you across continents and centuries Literature cures you of provincialism and,
at almost no cost, turns us into citizens of the world. Literature performs the basic magic of showing
us what things look like from someone else’s — point of view. It allows us to consider the consequences
of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn’t. And it shows us examples of kindly, generous,
sympathetic people Literature typically stands opposed to the
dominant value system, the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side, they make us
sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but that can’t afford
airtime in a commercialised, status-conscious and cynical world. We are weirder than we’re allowed to admit. We often can’t say what’s really on our
minds. But in books, we find descriptions of who
we genuinely are and what events are actually like, described with an honesty quite different
from what ordinary conversation allows for. In the best books it’s as if the writer
knows us better than we know ourselves. They find the words to describe the fragile,
weird, special experiences of our inner lives: – the light on a summer morning
– the anxiety we felt at the gathering – the sensations of a first kiss
– the envy when a friend told us of their new business – the longing we experienced on the train, looking at the profile of another passenger
we never dare to speak to Writers open our hearts and minds – and give
us maps to our own selves so that we can travel in them more reliably and with less of a feeling
of paranoia and persecution. As the writer Emerson remarked: ‘In the
works of great writers, we find our own neglected thoughts.’ Literature is a corrective to the superficiality
and compromises of friendship. Books are our true friends, always to hand,
never too busy, giving us unvarnished accounts of what things are really like. All of our lives, one of our greatest fears
is of failing, of messing up… of becoming, as the tabloids put it, a ‘LOSER’. Every day, the media takes us into stories
of failure Interestingly, a lot of literature is also
about failure. In one way or another, a great many novels, plays and poems are about people
who’ve messed up, people… …who slept with mum by mistake … who let down their partner … or who died after running up some debts
on shopping sprees. If the media got to them, they’d make mincemeat
out of them. But great books don’t judge as harshly or
as one-dimensionally as the media. They evoke pity for the hero and fear for ourselves based on a new sense of how near we all are to destroying our own lives. But if literature can really do all these
things, we might need to treat it a bit differently to the way we do now. We tend to treat it as a distraction, an entertainment
(something for the beach). But it’s far more than that, it’s really
therapy, in the broad sense. We should learn to treat it as doctors treat
their medicines, something we prescribe in response to a range of ailments and classify
according to the problems it might be best suited to addressing. Literature deserves its prestige for one reason
above all others: because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little more wisdom,
goodness and sanity.

That Moment I Started a Political Fashion Trend


– On November 8, 2016,
I was really devastated by the results of the election. I know I’m not alone in that. Across the nation, there was a huge uptick in calls to therapists. In my case, my therapist
actually canceled on me. So that was sort of the world I was in. That same week though, news of
the Women’s March bubbled up. And I knew immediately
that I wanted to go, that I had to be there. And I was trying to
think, was there something I could do beyond showing up. Like, was there something visual that could maybe create change? That got me thinking
like, okay practicalities. I have to wear a winter coat
and actually like button it up and gloves, a scarf, and a hat. And that’s the moment
where I was like oh wait, I love knitting, I mean, I could make my own protest
gear with my own hands. I think the second part of this though is that I’m a beginner. So if I could make this hat, anyone could. And that was the lightning bolt moment, where it became from one to many. And I could see the sea of pink. At that point, I immediately
texted my knitting friend, a knitting teacher Kat Coyle. Big, all caps, emojis, the whole works. Like I just had the best idea
ever, we have to do this, and we did it. A bunch of us got together and in six days we made a pattern for the
hat that people could follow, social media counts and a website. And we launched that the
day before Thanksgiving. ‘Cause we were hoping that
people would talk about it around the dinner table. I know it worked at least
for me, because my family talked about it at the
Thanksgiving dinner table. I brought home the
manifesto and some pink yarn because I wanted to ask my grandmother if she would knit some
hats for this movement. She took one look at it and was like oh, of course I can make this
hat, how many do you need? And I said one million, and
she was like wait, what? And you know this is Chinese and English and she thought I had
just not said it right, and in the meantime, my
dad picks up the manifesto and he reads everything,
and he sets it down. And he looks at me, and he says Krista, I think this is a stupid idea. I don’t think you should do it. I think the name is going
to really turn people off. I know it certainly turns me off. I guess to understand my dad and me, it’s useful to know that growing up I was the perfect Asian American kid. Like I got straight As, I
played piano for 10 years, and I was pre-med in college. But I just knew deep down that what I really, really needed to do was something creative. And it was like overnight I went from prized sheep to black sheep. So when my dad said to
me it’s a stupid idea, don’t do it, I heard what
he was really saying to me, which was I love you,
and I’m scared for you. In the meantime, the pussyhat was really, really getting momentum, and when I flew to Washington D.C., on the flight over,
people were wearing them, and just all along the
mall and everywhere I went, there really was a sea of pink. I felt like I just, I’m not alone in this. When I flew back home to LA, my mom picks me up from the airport, and at this point, the
pussyhat is on the cover of Time Magazine, it’s on
the cover of The New Yorker. It’s all over the news, it’s in all these political cartoons, people are wearing them on the streets, it’s in, I mean it’s everywhere, right? And my mom picks me up
and I just kinda thought this was the moment where it was like I’m proud of you Krista. Instead, you know, I get into the car, and she says Krista, you
need to cut your hair. And I was like, wait,
wait, what did you say? And she said don’t you want
a nice professional bob? And I was like no, I don’t
want a nice professional bob. When I saw my dad though,
I was like okay, okay, Krista you gotta seize the narrative here. And don’t let the conversation go awry. So as soon as I see my
dad, I say like so dad, like you proud of me,
and he says yeah, yeah, I’m proud of you. And in the corner of the kitchen, I see this crumpled up bag. I asked my dad, dad what is this, and you know, I’m opening
it, and it’s a pussyhat. My dad had tried to knit me a pussyhat. And he had gotten about like this far, there were a lotta like holes in it , but he was trying to finish
it before the Women’s March, so he could like FedEx it to me. And I could wear it as I marched that day. You know, people ask me all the time, like has the pussyhat
helped change anyone’s mind that you’ve met on the road or… I tell them like yeah, I’ve experienced it way closer to home. Something I feel like I learned dealing with my parents,
who were scared for me, was that there’s a difference
between scary and dangerous. For me to speak up, it’s
scary but it’s not dangerous. Like I’m scared that people won’t like it, and I’m scared that my dad won’t like it, and I’m scared that
people might be offended, or not get it, or think it’s crap. I mean, it’s scary,
but it’s not dangerous. And there are people for whom
it is dangerous to speak up. They will get hurt, they will get killed. When you speak up, if you’re
in the scary camp with me, it helps people in the dangerous camp, who cannot speak up for themselves. It also helps people who are
in the scary camp with me. Because when you speak
up, you make it less scary for other people to speak up, and we can make the world
a safer place through that.

Fallout 3 Is Garbage, And Here’s Why


Oh, god, a bunch of people voted for each video and I can’t be bothered to count them. Hold on, I’m just gonna flip a coin. Fuck. It’s gone behind my…fucking…desk. Fallout 3 is garbage, and here’s why. The first two Fallouts comprise some of the best games ever. Virtually nothing else comes close. Okay, let me be more specific – three games come close. Oh, wai–what’s this? Ignore this, forget about that. And all three of them are made by people who worked on Fallout! AND they’re also by companies that no longer really exist. These types of games are very thin on the ground, and don’t ever do as well as they deserve to. I’m gonna talk about what makes the first two Fallout games good a lot in this video. But it’s important to keep in mind that even without comparisons to the previous games, Fallout 3 fails on it’s own merits too. In an attempt to remain balanced, I looked up some reviews by more professional reviewers in the business at the time the game came out. After carefully perusing as many reviews as I can, I’ve isolated three key facts about the game. The VATS system looks totally badass. No written or video review can shy away from mentioning this, and showing you in graphic detail. Yeahhhhhh. Yeahhhhhh! Wooooooo! Ooh ooh ooh, murder! Woo! Eeeee! Ooooooh! Nnjnnfff! Hadjeur…mmm…hmmm VATS system…still happening… ♪This is all footage from one review♪ ♪They just, kept showing it♪ ♪This is all there is of Fallout!♪ ♪This is the part that people like!♪ ♪What about the nuanced storytelling♪ ♪Who gives a SHIT♪ There are some audio/visual problems on the PS3 version which also drops frames quite often. “Jagged edges, washed out lighting, and slightly diminished draw distance of the PS3 release aren’t so easy to dismiss.” “We also experienced a number of visual bugs on that platform.” And of course, No, seriously. The IGN review of Fallout 3 talked about how fucking deep and intricate the morality system is, and that doing bad things can have dangerous long lasting effects. He says this over footage of his character picking up a fork. And, as all the objects on the table bizarrely float around for no reason, the entire city begins to shoot him to death, for theft. “…and the game has an awesome climax that we won’t spoil for you here.” The IGN reviewer also thinks the ending was good – the one thing literally everyone disagrees with. If you think the ending is good, you’re actually wrong. You don’t. That didn’t happen, you hated it. Shut up. “But no matter which system you own, you should play Fallout 3, which overcomes its issues,” “by offering a deep and involving journey through a world that’s hard to forget.” Kevin, you’re calling the game deep and involving over footage of you friendly firing your fucking allies for no reason. That guy shows up to help you, “…and I had hoped to assist in your rescue.” And he’s attacking him…just because! Taking even the briefest glance at the game criticism industry at the time this game came out, reveals it’s just a cavalcade of fucking crazy people! Who think that…do you wanna kill a whole town of people or not, is a DEEP QUESTION! I-I, JSSCHJ, OH MY GOD! GAME JOURNALISM IS UNETHICAL! THE WHOLE THING IS A FUCKING NIGHTMARE MESS! SO WE HAVE TO STOP THEM! WE HAVE TO STOP HOW COULD ANYONE THINK THIS ABOUT AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA In an attempt to present fairness, I am going to start by listing out some of the things I liked about Fallout 3. I’m not against the game being turned into an FPS, a huge portion of the core engine, (even though I’m gonna complain about it later) isn’t actually all that bad if you strip away the bad things built on top of it. Fallout 3 has a solid base in there, somewhere. I like that, I especially like that you can target the weapon in someone’s hands, and knock it out. It’s a fun strategic move. If you ever played Perfect Dark and shot a gun out of someone’s hand, it gave you a rush no other game could provide until Fallout 3 had it, which was neat. I still wish you could go for the eyes, though, like in the originals. I also wish the AI wasn’t fucking terrible. I guess the other guy’s gonna take cover, or maybe duck in and ou– Oh no, here he comes. “Call the doctor! We got a bleeder!” I am just holding block with the sword I found on the body next to these people. I could be wrong, but it looks like the sword is hurting them as much as it’s hurting me when they try punching it. “Will you just… stand still!” I am! Yeah, there are some occasionally funny moments or decent bits mixed in with the garbage we’re getting to soon. The robot assuring you that “the bomb is perfectly safe, we promise”, before you even know there’s a bomb is pretty impressive as an opener. And it’s an impressive closer for Megaton too, if you decide to blow it up. [DISTORTED] “The bomb is perfectly safe.” Also, the sniper guarding the town who you can’t reach without cheats, and seems to know this. “How the hell did you get up here anyway?” Hey, wait a minute. Megaton’s a little different from up here. What is this? Morrowind? [CANNED LAUGHTER] The funniest thing in the game is at Raven Rock, the Enclave base. You’ll notice the mess hall floor is a metal grating. Well, if you go underneath it, you’ll find a ton of knives and forks. People kept dropping them and losing them down the grating. That’s fucking amazing! It’s spectacular! It’s the single humanizing moment the Enclave get in the entire fucking game, and I love it. If Fallout 3 consisted entirely of moments like this, it would be the best game ever made! There are some characters I like, not many. I like Moira. She’s interesting, quirky, has a personality, and she’s probably the character you can have the most…uh…varied relationship with. By which I mean you can, uh…do the quest for her and make her happy. You can do the quest even better and make her…happier? Uh, you can crush her dreams by talking her out of her ideas. Or you can nuke a fucking town, and then say hi to her later and…carry on as if it didn’t happen. That’s almost depth. I like, um… whatshisname I like General Jingwei, from the Operation: Anchorage DLC. He’s an incredibly one-dimensional character, but he is the one permitted one-dimensional character, unlike all the others in the rest of the game, because he’s literally a racist caricature in a simulation created by Americans to train soldiers to want to kill Chinese people. You can literally convince him, in one sentence, to commit suicide. Which, unfortunately, isn’t far off from how you talk to real characters in the rest of Fallout 3. But, it’s still funny because it reminds you how messed up the creators of the simulation were, and how obsessed they thought the Chinese were with honour. And also the line “I’m going to kill you SO MUCH.” is pretty funny. And, um… That’s not it! Are those all the characters…? Oh, shit, no, wait! The medic armour! The medic armour from the basement of Old Olney’s sewers. “Listen up you god-damn puke! You are now wearing prototype medic power armor. You take care of me, and I’ll take care of you.” That’s right, I’m stretching the definition of characters purely to compliment a game I don’t like! That’s how seriously I take being fair on a game! The medic armour is similarly a remnant of a messed up period in American history, and when you put it on, it starts yelling at you like a cartoon-ish drill sergeant. But even better, it ruins stealth on purpose. If you’re near an enemy, it speaks. “Let ’em eat lead!” And this attracts enemies! It literally makes the game harder! But, it’s an interesting piece of worldbuilding, and it manages to say something about the culture that built it, the obnoxiousness of violent American supremacy, or whatever. And, uhh… Nope. Nope! That’s it. So, two characters, and one talking piece of apparel…are good. And that’s it, everybody! Don’t forget to like, rate and subscribe before you eats, shoots and leaves! But… If you want to take a more critical look at the problems with this game’s design, and perhaps whittle the act of playing videogames itself to the bare nub of its meaning… Stay right there. Let’s go… On an adventure. Fallout 3 begins with your character’s birth. The…vaginal slit…dila– that’s not what it’s called, hold on a second. [TYPING] uhhhh The cervix dilates, and there we are. The next hour or so is spent making the character, picking their stats, and learning the dialogue and VATS systems, ironically being hand-holded and treated like a baby with no consequence for our actions, even when our character has turned 18. Let’s think about this for a second. “The protagonist’s literal birth”, is the bad joke answer to the question: “Where should our story start?” The other problem with this opening is it’s fucking boring! The stat picking process takes ages and corresponds to long scenes of your character growing up, and nothing major happening, and meaningless hijinks as you learn how to control a first-person video game. [WHISPERING]
You press the WASD keys to move and use the mouse to Are you ready to learn you need to click the mouse to shoot yet? Sorry, push Mouse1? I dunno, maybe we should fuck around at a birthday party some more. I genuinely want to know whose idea the opening of the game was. Give me their name! The first Bethesda employee to tell me who came up with the opening sequence set in an enclosed space you have zero control over, in their action RPG about having freedom and making meaningful choices, gets to live. But eventually, the game properly starts, and you can finally start acting of your own volition. Your friend gives you a gun and disappears down the hallway. And no, that’s not a description of how quickly she moves, she’s literally gone. You grab your stuff, and go to follow her… “There he is! Hold it right there!” And it was here. In the first proper room of the game, that I knew Fallout 3 was going to be a problem. This is Officer Kendall. He, and all the other cops in the vault beside one attack you on sight as soon as they see you. Remember how I just said you can finally act of your own volition? That was a lie. You can’t initiate dialogue at all. The roaches that attack him rarely kill him for you, and once he kills them, he goes hostile on you. If you try to run away, he’ll chase you. He’ll chase you through the entire vault! He is DEDICATED to putting his fingers in your eyes. No, wait, you can’t target those anymore. Your head, then. Whatever. You CAN talk to Butch, the fucker who’s been bullying you your entire life. In fact, you have no choice not to! He will chase you down to tell you about his mother! “You gotta help me!” But you can’t speak to this guy, who’s been a law-abiding citizen and a nice guy vault cop, who attended your birthday party! Butch! FUCKING Butch is allowed to have depth and be treated with a range of options. You can help him save his mother, leave her to her fate, or murder him in the head! This is the closest the game comes to a series of choices, but the game literally forces you to encounter that choice. And meanwhile, you don’t even get one whatsoever when it comes to Officer Mack. Is this what Fallout is supposed to be? A hallway with enemies to shoot? That sounds fine for your bog standard action game, but isn’t this supposed to be about having the freedom to choose what sort of person you are? Because now, no matter what sort of person I turn out to be, I’ve already shot a man’s fucking head off his body! Officer Kendall isn’t the victim of the Lone Wanderer. He’s a victim of bad writing. Compare and contrast with your first meeting with a hostile human in, say, Fallout 2. “To continue in your quest, you must defeat me in unarmed combat.” “Why do we have to fight?” “The path of the chosen one is not an easy trail to walk, Hbomb.” “This challenge prepares you to face another human, look him in the eyes, and know that you may have to kill him.” “I disagree with you. I think that a peaceful solution to any problem is possible.” Yeah, see you in shit, police officer I literally couldn’t even attempt a conversation with! Say hi to your family at your crappy state funeral I had no choice not to cause! Oh, and it’ll be closed casket, because THIS is how firearms work! Officer Park is intenstines now! “A lot of games make a big deal out of player choice, but few in recent memory offer so many intricate ways of approaching any given situation.” There are so many options! Gun! Bat! Oh, knife! having a conversation with the human beings in front of you with thoughts and dreams and “…and it’s this freedom that makes Fallout 3 worth playing, and replaying.” [♪ The Sound of SIlence – Simon and Garfunkel ♪]
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again If you aren’t Butch, this one guard, or the Overseer, your only meaningful choice is picking which weapon you mash them to death with. They’re treated like the radroaches! Like I said, the problem with Fallout 3 isn’t any one issue. Having a long sequence where you play as a baby and pick your stats from little books is fine. But it’s this in tandem with the several other long sequences. The being told how to click a mouse, the escape sequence where most players unavoidably killed a bunch of cops because they weren’t given any other choices, in this game about having freedom of choice. The character you build is garbage too, they took out all the nuance from it! They took out the traits system, because traits are scary! For those of you who don’t know, traits in the first two games were special choices with positive AND negative downsides, which you can start the game with, that radically alter the game. Like “Jinx”, which increases the amount of critical failures everyone including you can get, making the game a hilarious mess of constant suffering! It’s how I make almost every character nowadays, and it adds yet another layer of possibilities to the precedings, as enemies and allies blow the weapons out of their hands, and your dog does such a bad job of biting someone that his leg spontaneously breaks! But who’d want to risk having funny things happen at random, or cool risk/reward builds for characters who want to specialize in certain types of skills? That sounds too fun, and like it would add too much variety! That would run the risk of making the vault escape sequence even a little different every time you do it. [SLOWED DOWN] “…and it’s this freedom that makes Fallout 3 worth playing, and replaying.” Worth playing and replaying, eh, Kevin? Hm, I wonder if players agree with y– No, wait! They modded the opening out! That’s right! Even players who loved Fallout 3 enough to learn how to make mods for it think this opening is a heaping pile of garbage trash! When the game’s biggest fans are editing the content OUT of a game, that content is probably bad. Maybe it’s wrong of me to harp on the opening so much, because, even at its worst, its an hour of boring, repetitive stuff with no consequence, and then you’re done with it. But it’s not that simple, is it? The sort of people who thought THIS was an acceptable way to open their game about freedom and choice, made the rest of the game too! Whoever it was whose fault is the opening, you can see their grubby li’l piss-stained hands all over the entire game. So it’s worth talking about the opening’s problems, because they’re a microcosm of Fallout 3 as a whole. The dad making all the real decisions, who you’re just following around, and the throwaway characters you won’t have any interest in seeing again, all prime you expertly for the shitty game to come. So if you can call 3’s opening anything, one word you could call it is ‘honest’. Another word would be ‘SHITE-ARSE’. Fallout 3’s engine is fairly solid, but its design is terrible! Now, I know the lockpicking and hacking minigames are often criticized, but to be honest, I’m okay with them. But like the rest of Fallout 3, their potential is squandered because they aren’t used well. Hacking and lockpicking should be a skill your character has to bother to develop, which is then rewarded in the form of extra loot, or the ability to alter a situation, or even bypass a trickier fight. But let’s look at their actual use in the opening. To access the Overseer’s chamber, you COULD pick the very easy almost impossible to fail lock, OR, you could open the dresser drawer one room away and take the key. To access the Overseer’s computer, you COULD do the hacking minigame, OR, you could open the drawer directly next to the computer and obtain the password directly. While this is probably done to teach the player that hacking and lockpicking are useful, but can sometimes be circumvented by resourcefulness and being aware of your environment, they impart the far stupider lesson that hacking and lockpicking is pointless, and you’ll be able to skip them incredibly easily. So, players are ingrained with the belief that these minigames can be avoided, and you ought to look for ways to do so. I think that’s why people criticize them so much – not because they’re directly bad, but because the game itself teaches you that you should avoid doing them if you can. Even when you do get out of the vault, Fallout 3’s wasteland is big and very pretty at times, but fails to feel like a world because of some very bad design decisions. You’re simultaneously too free, and have no choices. I know that doesn’t make ANY sense, look, we’ll get to it, okay? Trust me. The world is really open. You can, technically, go anywhere in the world immediately. The developers seem to have actively wanted this to be the case, so they designed the world around this. Consequently, all the areas feel roughly the same. An open world shooter can be structured well, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., which for example put harder and stronger enemies in later areas, because you’ve become better at playing and found better equipment. The world is designed so while you can technically come to harder areas very quickly, simply getting there requires skills or weaponry you will get your hands on on the way over. No matter how you play S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the game is arranged so that if you’re playing properly, you’re never in a position where you’re at a tremendous disadvantage, and more difficult areas are discouraged by being harder to do early on, while still being technically doable. You can assault the army base right next to the start of the game straight away, but you have to be really good to be able to do it. This creates a sense of friction, and challenge, and fun, where the player’s ability is being tested. Assaulting the army base in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is just great, I love it. And, it’s, it’s, it’s—aaaaaaaah! Players don’t usually think about these elements of games, especially shooters, but the design of the progression and the pacing is what makes a game fun. Fallout 3’s world is designed for almost every area to be accessible to anyone at any time. This means that the developers had to avoid making an area the player could go to early, which, let me remind you, is anywhere, too hard. So most, no, let’s be honest, ALL enemies and characters in the game have fairly low quality equipment and stats, and no lockpicks or hacking minigames in your path require much skill to activate. This practically eliminates any sense of pace, or rising action, or difficulty. Once you’ve dealt with a couple of packs of raiders, and leveled up just a little, or if you stopped off at Moira’s for the rocket launcher early on, 90% of the game is a splashy meatfest where nothing can really challenge you, rendering almost the entire game dull. A good game is like a three course meal. You have your salad, your main, and your dessert. Fallout 3 is one massive salad, and you only need to have a little bit of salad before you wish the waiter would bring you your fucking spaghetti! A ton of popular gameplay mods for Fallout 3 make the game harder in various ways, with more realistic weapon damage, or harder enemies, or adding more mechanics the player has to deal with to survive, and this is because past a certain point, you’re gonna need that stuff for the game to be challenging in the slightest. Once again, modders are having to do the developer’s jobs for them. The most popular of these, Fallout 3: Wanderers Edition, also adds the ability to skip the opening, because of course it would! Whoever designed this mod should have made Fallout 3! The place where you should be able to expect the enemies and their skills, weapons, and armour to really get more difficult is the main story, but the developers had no way of knowing what level the player would be when they were doing the main story, and wanted to make sure players didn’t get stuck. So, once the Enclave turn up, not only do they engage you in small enough numbers that they’re not a problem even at quite a low level, but once you encounter them in greater numbers close to the climax, there’s invariably something else shooting at them for you, like Liberty Prime, or the Brotherhood of Steel, or Fawkes, or the turrets in the Enclave base. So, even the hard enemies aren’t hard. Well, at least the robots are having a fun combat experience here. It’s possible to beat a huge portion of the larger set pieces without firing a single shot, because your allies are invincible and overpowered in order to make sure the plot gets pushed forward. In fact, in the final mission, if you’re a melee weapons character, the real challenge is to kill anyone yourself. So, you’re totally free to take part in the game’s story, but don’t ever have any influence over it in terms of story or gameplay. So, in other words, you’re too free, and have no choices. D’you get it? It all made sense. There are a couple of areas that are suddenly very difficult. For example, the Old Olney sewers I mentioned before are a nightmare mess. The deathclaws are really powerful, making the area the most challenging one in the entire game, and literally impossible if you went to it early on. The reward is a suit of power armour that’s no better than the armour you’d need to be wearing to get to it, which, by the way, is still overpowered for the entirety of the rest of Fallout 3’s world. If you’re gonna have an area like this, you should probably put it somewhere only late game players can get to, so they don’t get murdered over and over expecting it to be like the rest of the game. But, no, it’s just sitting there. Worse off, it’s not even leveled to the areas around it. Right next to it, further away from where you start the game, is the Republic of Dave. It’s a fun little area, with it’s own, like, weird democracy thing going on, but there’s only five characters in it? It’s really fun! The Republic of Dave is, like Olney, one of the few truly cool areas in the game, but they’re the two areas that SHOULDN’T be right next to each other! They should be on opposite sides of the map! These areas are two of my three favourites in the game, and they’re both shoved off to the side, right next to each other, like an afterthought. A game that properly paced itself would arrange its map so you encounter the latter very early on, and the former much much later, when in fact, the opposite happens. Speaking of badly thought out gameplay, thanks to the poor visual design and writing, it’s often very difficult to know how to get somewhere once you decide where you want to go, or what exactly to do when you’re doing a quest. The world is so big and full of junk that, for most of the game, if you’re doing a story or optional quest, you can’t rely on the game to tell you where to head visually. You have to look at the arrow on your radar. And down here, is the biggest travesty in the history of videogames. Okay, it’s not that bad, but it’s pretty bad. A good game can tell you where to go effortlessly through the design of its levels, or by giving you enough directions that you can put the pieces together yourself. This is good, because it encourages the player to be aware of their surroundings, which lets them fully appreciate the worlds the designers have built, and all the neat personal touches to it. When you build a world centered around giving them a blip on their radar to walk towards in a straight line, you hamstring not just their own sense of going on their own journey and making their own decisions, but you’ve created a situation where the game is teaching you to follow this with your brain. Your eyes are trained to follow it, to stare at it, to just go where it tells you to. The levels can often be quite nice looking, with fun little things to look at, but your eyes are here at all times. You probably didn’t even notice you were doing it, but the game’s objective marker slowly turns you into an idiot with no awareness of your surroundings. Here’s a review from 2014. “Also, like, stuff like, you thought Liberty Prime was sick?” “I thought it was awesome because he was there the whole time and you never paid attention to him.” Liberty Prime is a gigantic fucking robot! You have a BUNCH of opportunities to see it! You cannot avoid seeing it when you walk into the room! It is LITERALLY impossible! And yet, somehow, these players missed it until it was the thing you were following for the last quest as it did all the work. I’m not calling these guys stupid, they’re pretty funny and smart. I’m saying Fallout 3 is so stupid by design that it teaches players not to notice things that are otherwise quite easy just to look at, and see, with your human eyes! In previous Fallouts, if you don’t have your wits about you, you’re not gonna see what you need to see. It trains you to develop an awareness of your surroundings, and thus, A: make you feel awesome when you figure out the way of doing things that wasn’t obvious or literally just told to you by the game. It made you feel like you’d solved a puzzle, and B: it gave you an appreciation of the design of the world. Remember the forks under the mess hall in the Enclave base? How many players do you think noticed that, or realized why? This is an uncharacteristically cool and funny, and human piece of worldbuilding. But the game was seemingly designed around making sure you don’t see it, because you’re too busy looking at this, the one thing telling you where you’re supposed to go. I remember in the other Fallout games and Planescape: Torment getting given strict directions, like, “Go down the street and take the second left to get to my friend’s house.” You have to navigate a street! At one point in Fallout 2, a guy gives you directions to some buried treasure, and guess what? He lies! You have to navigate the world based on some guy’s advice, which might not even be honest! There wasn’t an arrow constantly pointing at your destination. Conversely, turning this arrow off would render many quests impossible, because figuring out what you have to do and where without this guide just isn’t something the game is equipped to do. In order to progress the main story, you have to pick up this tape. So without the arrow pointing you directly to it, how would you ever find it? It’s in a giant base! The Elder Scrolls games, also by Bethesda, have this problem too, and worst off, Morrowind, the ancient one, is the one that doesn’t have this problem. The game left navigation to the player, and it resulted in a better world. I haven’t finished any of the last three Elder Scrolls games, but I stuck with Morrowind the longest, because it felt like my adventure. Not an adventure someone else wrote for me, and certainly not an adventure someone else wrote for a different character, that I’m just sort of there for. One are of the main story, Vault 87, DOESN’T give you a place to go. You have to look around a big facility to find the G.E.C.K. And guess what? It’s by far one of the most interesting areas of the game, because it had to be designed to lead you where you should look through sheer design, instead of offering very little in terms of direction or worldbuilding, and relying on a heads up display with an arrow on it. This forces you to become more aware of your surroundings and causes you to appreciate the game more. It’s a breath of fresh air! You notice little things, like how the mutants keep a leaf blower on the shelf next to the meat. That’s not sanitary! Meanwhile, in the rest of the game, players don’t notice the giant fucking robot, because they’re too busy following arrows to objectives. Vault 87 is like an intrusion from an alternate reality version of Fallout 3 that was really, really good. It’s also the one place in the game where you can actually talk to a mutant. Imagine if you could do that with more of them! But it’s not just the way you’re lead around, or the poor visual design of the world, no. Fallout 3 is geometrically wrong, and we’re gonna show our working. Have you packed your protractor? Because I didn’t, can I borrow yours? In open world games, players can theoretically go anywhere right away, but designers (at least, decent ones) do their best to set out a path, and give you a sense of direction and progression. This applies also to sidequests. While optional content that doesn’t affect the main story is fine, there are good and bad ways to put this stuff into the player’s view. In Fallout 1, when you’re looking for the water chip, you start off with literally one thing on your map, just like in 3. “We marked your map with the location of another vault. Not a bad place to start, I think.” So, you head in this direction. But what’s this? That’s right, on your direct path to your objective is Shady Sands, the first populated area. Do you see what the game’s done, here? The game has given you one place to go, but on your direct route, it’s offered you another one. You could go wherever you want, wander around, prance off into the wastes. In fact, you could go to one of the last areas in the game by just walking left. But, with just this one location, you’ve actually been shown two places to go. On top of that, you actually can’t get into the vault without a rope. Luckily, you now know of somewhere where you might find one. No objective marker needs to pop up to let you know you need to find a rope with an arrow floating over the people who can sell you one. You go there, you see you need one, and then it’s up to you to find it. This establishes a very important narrative and thematic throughline. You’re told to do something, or go somewhere, but doing that isn’t so straightforward. You have to be resourceful to make things work. The game is saying: “What you have to do is not going to be obvious.” “Use your head.” This is capped off by how, once you do get a rope and descend to the bottom of Vault 15, you find the lower levels have been completely destroyed, and you’re going to have to search elsewhere. So, the only instruction you’ve been given leads to a dead end. None of the people in Shady Sands have probably ever seen a computer in their lives. You have to find your own leads from here on out. The game doesn’t hold your hand, but it nudges useful options into your path for you to work with as you see fit. Now it’s just you, the wasteland, and, hopefully, somewhere, a water chip. Finding out where one is, and figuring out how to get it, forms the basis of the entire first half of the game. It’s a freeform journey you venture on yourself. Compare and contrast with the search for your dad, where there’s always an objective marker pointing to your next breadcrumb, which’ll tell you where to go next, marked on your radar of course, until you find him. There’s no actual adventuring for the player to do! I think this is why a lot of players ignore the story for a lot of their time playing the game. The story’s so unengaging, and requires so little effort or thought on your part, that your brain sort of…slides off it, and you go off to mess about with Tenpenny Tower, or those vampire guys, or just wander around listening to the radio. Fallout 1 always makes you feel like you’re the hero on a journey, by straightforwardly putting the onus on the player to connect the dots, while handing you places to look in an order of increasing complexity and danger based on where players are most likely to go next in their mission. It’s freeform, and yet it’s also subtly structured. You’re always searching for the water chip, always on your guard for someone who might happen to be able to help put some pieces of the puzzle together, and when sidequests happen, they’re also engaging, and they’re introduced in an organic, entertaining way. For example, after you’ve discovered Vault 15’s wrecked, you remember a guy you talked to mentioning trade caravans that carry water to and from several towns and cities. So you check out Junktown. On the way into the town proper, you hear this guy called Killian is the town’s sheriff, and there’s a dude called Gizmo who runs a casino and does crime things. I go see Killian, who is like a shopkeeper as well as a sheriff, which is a little weird and control-y, but he seems nice enough. “People usually find what they’re looking for.” Oh, I think I already have. While he doesn’t know anything about the chip, or vaults, and actively gets annoyed by vault dwellers, who live lives of safety and complacency, he seems like a nice person, and has stuff to sell that can help you out. Then a guy comes in and tries to murder him! Holy shi–I’m right here! I’ve looked into his dreamy eyes! You can’t do that! Obviously you help out. Then Killian’s like, “We know Gizmo’s behind this, but we’re law and order type guys, so we have to follow procedure.” Next thing you know, you’re wiretapping Gizmo’s office, or getting him to confess to wanting to murder Killian into a tape recorder. “So, will you do him for me?” Oh yeah… I sure will, heh. Do you see what the game’s done? You’ve reached a point where you’re pulling classic cop show hi-jinks, and it all happened completely organically from walking into a store to ask about the water chip. It’s badass, and the sidequest is not only entertaining and fun side content, but despite being technically totally optional, the game almost forces you to get involved from how it introduces it to you. There isn’t just an optional dialogue choice where you ask Killian if he has any sidequests, and he’s like, “Yeah, maybe go to a place and shoot some guys, and bring me back a McGuffin.” You get involved with the story of this town simply in the process of walking into it. Junktown, and Junktown’s completely optional additions to the game are peak game design, because they present themselves to you naturally. Fallout, despite being made in the 90s before games went mainstream and simplified themselves for a wider audience, is incredibly good at getting people into it. That’s why it’s so beloved by so many people. Let’s contrast with the first town in Fallout 3. You go to Megaton because your game’s objective marker tells you to. You walk into a bar and a man says “I knew your dad and I’ll tell you where to go if you do a thing for me”, but if you hack his computer or talk to his employee for five seconds, you don’t need to do that at all. The most freedom you have in your journey to see your dad is how much pointless busy work for other people you have to do. Instead of the options put in your path being different rewards for different actions, most of the rewards are how much side content you want to skip. After that you go to Galaxy News Radio and see Three Dog, because that’s where the objective marker says, and then eventually Three Dog tells you he knows where your dad went, but first, would you like to do an optional quest for me? No? Okay, well he went to Rivet City. Alright. So, you go to Rivet City. They say he went somewhere else. You go there, you clear out the mutants there, your objective marker takes you… “If you were worried about the story, don’t be. It’s very well structured and focused.” And then you go there, blah blah blah, you’re still following this one fucking guy’s trail! Which brings me to the game’s biggest single narrative AND gameplay problem: The main character is never the main character. Your DAD is the main character for most of it, doing his own thing for his own reasons. All the game’s truly big decisions, the decision to abandon his life’s work and raise his son, the decision to leave and try again, the decision to kill himself in order to prevent the Enclave from taking over… You spend too much of this game watching your dad have a much more intricate story. So, uh… I’m also here. God DAMMIT, Janice, what did I tell you about walking into tables in the middle of a fucking cutscene, the real main characters are talking here! But even when your dad dies, you’re not left to pick up the pieces and make things work for yourself. Doctor Li immediately takes over and starts giving you the orders for where to go next. “We’ve got to evacuate now!” “Don’t wander off. We’re going to need you.” Jeez, Madison, you don’t have to be rude, I’m standing right here! This guy knows what’s up! Or, uh, he knows something. Are you alright? Mate? hello darkness my old friend Here she is convincing the Brotherhood to let you in. “Lyons! I know you’re in there! I know you can hear me! You open this goddamn door right now!” I guess I’m also here, I’m just the player, but, ppppppppp And then, when the time finally comes to take back the memorial and kick the Enclave out, who gives the triumphant speeches and leads the charge? Not you! “When we’re done with this, everyone can have a nice cold glass of water on me.” “Pride, move out!” Hey guys, how’s it going! I literally can’t even move! I have to watch this play out exactly how the developers want it to. The biggest effect you can have on the final mission is, if you bring an ally in with you, Lyons can’t get past them and it takes longer for them to get out of the room. The final mission is you walking in a straight line assisted by the Brotherhood as they kill everyone for you, and you’re all following a robot as he kills everyone else. I spent a huge portion of this mission trying to score kills of my own, and I think I got about three. Aw, come on, guys, no kill stealing. That’s just rude. So, apart from a few brief flashes of brilliance, like Vault 87, the entire main story the developers wrote for their game is total garbo, and barely even actually qualifies as a story. You’re basically a camera with legs who watches a story happen at you. This makes the player constantly aware that they aren’t really taking part in a story. They’re just playing a video game. Like, I can already imagine an angry comment saying: “he’s complaining that people are treating the game like a game, LOL” but bear with me here. Games, especially roleplaying games, are focused on creating a sense of not simply being in a game, but of being immersed in an interactive story. They’re emergent from tabletop games like D&D, or in Fallout’s case, GURPS. If someone invited you to their weekly sessions set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and the story was not only weirdly railroaded where your character’s dad, (who was immortal until his heroic sacrifice) and some lady in power armour and her pals did all the real work, and the only way to interact with the other stories in the world was to ask where the sidequests are because you aren’t introduced to them organically, you’re not really gonna be having a good time, are you? Core concept, bottom line: Fallout 3 fails as an RPG, because it fails to make you feel like a person in a world. What does Fallout 3 have to make up for it? Well that’s easy! The rocket launcher! This weapon was touted hugely before it came out, a physics gun that shoots stuff at people. How fun! I’m not saying the rocket launcher’s bad, it’s not an inherently stupid thing to add to a game, but is it the sort of thing you should be adding to your game before the writing, or storytelling, or game design? One last big design problem. Speech. As a concept. Fallout 3 broke it. In the first two games, dialogue had a lot of sneaky behind the scenes stuff going on. If your character wasn’t smart enough to know something, you couldn’t say it in a conversation, and even then, if you didn’t have high enough speech, the smarter, more convincing options weren’t available. You didn’t even see you could make them, and when they were available, you had to actively choose them yourself. You were shown a list of options, and it was up to you to discern what the best, most persuasive thing to say might be to the character in question. It was subtle, and awesome. As always, Fallout 3 ruined everything. For one thing, they’re always openly visible to any player. No longer is having high speech a nice surprise that either causes a cool new option to open up and surprise you, or a backing thing adding to your list of possible options. The high speech options are always just sitting there, unsubtle as a gun that shoots junk. Furthermore, it’s not a simple test of your character’s skill levels, or player ability to decide the best answer, but rather a percentage dice roll based on your skill. It even tells you the percentage, so you can specialize in speech but not roll properly, or someone else who didn’t bother gets lucky with it. Or you can just reload over and over, which completely defeats the point of having speech checks at all. Cumulatively, this is a huge problem for the game as a whole. Conversation is the fundamental medium through which you experience the Fallout universe, and the speech ability is perhaps the most useful and unique thing Fallout ever brought to the table. Messing this up, this badly, is a GAME CRIME. Even without relating to the previous games, it makes this world feel like it’s made of tissue paper, where, if I pass a dice roll, I can totally alter a person’s worldview. It’s unsubtle and completely ill-fitting for a game series ostensibly based around the nuanced frictions between people. Now, let’s talk briefly about the weapon degradation system. It’s bad. No, wait, that’s not fair, I’ll explain why. Okay, so, I can see what they’re going for. There’s quite a good deal of thought going into the system and their execution, but, like with the way the main quest plays out, and the general landmarkless look of the wasteland, it isn’t quite done right. The idea is that your weapons are old and breaking, and need to be repaired, not just to continue working, but because their condition affects their damage. A fully functioning pistol is better than one that’s falling apart. You have a repair stat that allows you to take two of a weapon and turn them into one better weapon, but you need to get your stat higher to get things beyond a certain quality threshold. This means that as your character progresses, you don’t just get stronger by having more points in guns, but you also end up with higher quality weapons that improve your damage output even further. This, so far, is fine. But there’s another layer of design that has to go into the game when you add this system in. Since weapons break and can’t be used until they’re repaired if they hit zero condition, the developers can put more powerful weapons in early game areas in order to give you a taste of the direction the game’s gonna go, or, give you something powerful, but that you can only use a few times so you can save it for more difficult moments. So, lots of powerful weapons can be discovered early on and give you a taste of things to come, but have to be used sparingly. Wait. Can you see the contradiction here? Powerful weapons being given to you early in low condition, because they can’t be used too much, and weapons that get weaker when they’re in lower condition. These two things don’t go well together. This means the game ends up handing you a weapon that’s about as weak as all your other weapons. You can find laser pistols in the mart outside Megaton, but guess what? At this point, you probably haven’t put much points into energy weapons because you haven’t even seen one yet, and they’re in such low condition that they’re equivalent to the weapons you were already using. I’ve conferred with friends on this, and several of them were lead to believe that laser weapons were useless, because the ones they found were garbage. This isn’t just me and my weird pals, either. The internet is really unsure what to think about energy weapons, because the first ones you encounter are terrible. Plus, the repair system wasn’t great. Because you can only repair a weapon if you had another of the same weapon, a lot of rare and supposedly powerful weapons could rarely, if ever be brought up to a fraction of their actual power. The only weapon that really survives this ridiculous damage curve is the Fat Man, simply because it’s so over the top powerful even in a near broken state. The weapon degradation system is yet another pretty good idea hamstrung by crazy poor execution. Oh, and by the way, shooters already had a mechanic for limiting your ability to use a weapon that was more powerful than your current area. It’s called ammunition. This is a gameplay feature that’s been used in games like Doom, and the Resident Evil series for decades, without, pardon the pun, shooting itself in the foot, by also making the weapons hot garbage equivalents to what you were already using. They simply rationed out the bullets you were using with them. Anyway, where were we? This video’s already going to be super long, so instead of talking at length too much about the morality system, I’m going to use Vault 101’s microcosmic nature to illustrate the larger problem with Fallout 3’s morality on the whole, and then maybe extemporate for a little bit too long anyway about the stuff. The closest the game really comes to a meaningful decision in Vault 101 is whether or not you kill the Overseer, who, by the way, wants you dead. He doesn’t openly initiate combat with you, he just calls for your death. In the middle of me fighting to protect myself from guys I can’t talk down, he engages you in conversation, and you finally have the chance to tell someone you don’t want to kill them. If you kill him for being a dick, Amata is upset at you. “Oh my god! Daddy!” The game is using the Overseer’s death as a teachable moment. Killing people makes people sad. Aww. Maybe killing people’s wrong. “Who appointed you judge, jury, and executioner?” But just wait one backflipping moment! (my mum watches my videos i can’t swear too much) That’s the lesson I should take from this experience? Amata, not to be rude, but do you have any idea how many cops died because he ordered them to attack me on sight, and innocent people too? There’s something…insidious and fucked up to Fallout 3’s approach to morality. So many characters are utterly disposable. Throughout the game, all sorts of people will shoot at you without a second thought, and you will kill them, or you’ll run away, or you’ll die. That’s the extent of your moral interaction with a huge portion of the game’s characters. The game could’ve had a more nuanced perspective where the player is at any point made to consider that all these people had friends, and parents, and children, But, instead, being nice is reserved for a couple of specific people, who’re often the most responsible for the problems you experience. How nice of Bethesda to occasionally let me specifically be nice to one person. Worse than not even giving any option of being decent to these guys just doing their jobs, the game has a fucking pop up tell you when it deems an action is the right or wrong thing. Yeah, that’s right. Let’s talk about the amazing karma system. I kind of feel like any game which can measure your morality with a number is kind of problematic, because it means A: it thinks it is the arbiter of when something is a right or wrong decision, in no uncertain terms, or B: the game is stupid and so lacking in depth or complexity in its writing that you really can boil things down that far. You only really lose karma for stealing, or for actively killing people who weren’t shooting at you first. But, some people you do gain karma for openly killing, because they’re apparently just that bad. So, you can walk into a bar, and do this: But because he’s a bad guy, everyone just sort of ignores it. You gain karma for shooting a man in the face in public! I did a good thing, there! Meanwhile, with a few specific characters, often leaders of the groups that are trying to kill you, the ones who initiate the whole thing, all of a sudden, you’re supposed to consider the importance of human life. The Overseer is the first in a long line of people who you can spare, or convince to change their ways, or give up or whatever, but who accidentally make the fact that you kill your way wantonly through so many people to get to them fall completely flat. The player is required to only think about the human effects of their actions once the game decides it’s time to stop and think. Yes, you can be nice, and spare the Overseer. But that guy’s FUCKED. Worse than not even giving you a chance to really be a good person, the game doesn’t even really let you be a bad person either. And by bad person, I don’t mean “whoa hey let’s kill all these people for no reason” “whee! i’m so edgy!” “My name is not important.” “Wheeeeeeeeee” [COUGH] I mean as in the game never, and I do mean never, puts you in a situation where the lines are blurred, or where both sides in a conflict have a point, or are both equally wrong and can be opposed by a superior idea, or where only you benefit from the arrangement, but in the long run this might be better for the world as a whole, because you are, after all, the main character. You’re only ever really being nice, or being fucking, murder man! That’s a job in Fallout! Comparatively, in a good game, for example, Fallout 1, there’s enough of a texture to the problems that are put in your path that you can kind of see either side being justifiable. If you side in Junktown with Gizmo, who’s quite straightforwardly a self-interested dick who wants the sheriff dead because it’s bad for his business, “I want him dead because he cramps my business.” Junktown gets better. It grows and becomes a far more successful town than it could’ve been before. While I don’t personally think it’s a good choice, there’s enough room here that I could see someone with different sociopolitical beliefs than me making a convincing argument, that Gizmo’s version of Junktown is a more prosperous one, that’s ultimately better for the people in it. That’s right! Fallout 1 managed to give you options where the right answer can depend on what you personally think is best for humanity! And speaking of the towns made of junk that you encounter in the beginning of the game, Fallout 3 attempts a similar choice with Megaton. You can either make the bomb safe and help the people a little, or, blow the whole town to fucking smithereens! Wait, WHAT? That’s right, Fallout 3’s version of a nuanced moral choice is: Do you want to kill a bunch of innocent people, or not? Is killing people for no reason okay? Hm, what a complex question. How deep. Ten out of ten. The nuke really well illustrates my whole problem with the game’s moral system. You walk into a town, and a guy motions you over and says: “Hey, you wanna kill everyone?” “I know you have no reason to want this, and to be honest, neither do I,” “and to be even more honest, neither does the guy I work for, his reasoning’s really poor, but…” “you’ll feel like you’re having an effect on the world, right?” And since Megaton’s a town that can theoretically be blown up very early in the game’s story, none of the characters in it actually matter very much. They aren’t allowed to! Like in other shitty games with bad writing, characters who might optionally die are often bad characters, because when they live, they can’t be permitted to do anything useful or relevant to the story, because then you’d have to write the version where that doesn’t happen, and that can require a lot of re-writing to account for both versions and so on. In Mass Effect 1, for example, you have the ability to let the entire Council that’s been giving you orders the whole game die. In the sequel, the Council barely even comes up, whether they lived or not. This is because accounting for the deaths of the most important people in the political system is actually really difficult if you then also have to account for them not dying. By the time of Mass Effect 3, BioWare fucking gave up on the idea of players having freedom, and if you killed the council, they get replaced by almost identical looking copies who are virtually no different. You’re essentially getting to choose what outfit the Council is wearing. So it becomes a decision that’s ultimately set dressing for what some of the people you talk to on the space telephone look like. Much like that decision, Fallout 3 renders its first town practically meaningless on purpose, because nothing of value can be at risk of having an effect on the wider story. Even your dad doesn’t get that mad that you blew up a town and killed a bunch of people for no reason! “You’re still my son, and I love you, but I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed in you I am.” “We’ll talk more about this when there’s time.” Wh–what do you have to do to get this guy to hate you? Ironically, the most nuanced and interesting character in the game to me, Moira, actually does survive this incident. Presumably because the developers put so much effort into her long and varied quest, that they didn’t want to risk players missing out on it. So, effectively, walking into Megaton and shooting Moira in the head, has worse consequences for your future options than blowing up the entire fucking town with a bomb. Nice job, Bethesda. Hey Moira, if you can hear me I found that landmine you wanted! I’ll bring it over! Keep working on the survival guide! They could have built an area that arguably deserved to be destroyed. Maybe because it relied on slavery, and was planning on expanding and causing more harm to others. The player would have to weigh up the cost of invoking the nuclear option, the innocents and slaves caught in the crossfire, and possibly explore alternatives and live with those choices. But instead they build a normal town and say, “hey you wanna blow it up for no reason?” The “be good or be history’s greatest monster” choice is the only consistent set of choices you’re given in the game. Towards the end you have the option of putting a virus in the wasteland’s water, that purposefully makes it so that every mutant is probably going to die. And the person who gives you this option doesn’t give you anywhere near a decent justification for this being a good idea. We’re gonna come back to this later, but the specific and consistent issue in this game, is that you can’t really be a good person or a bad person, because there are no situations in which you have to decide what you think is best. There are only objectively good or bad decisions. I’ve chosen to play as a good guy this time. Ooh! I wonder what being a murderer is like? “You leave the safety of your vault into this world, you know,” “it’s your big decision, am I gonna help these people or am I gonna, you know, do my own thing, serve my own selfish needs.” Help people, or do my own thing. Those aren’t real choices. What about giving the player different ways of helping people, with downsides, or risks, or wider effects for the rest of the world? There’s no Junktown scenario, where you have to at least stop to consider, that giving Gizmo the power to pursue his business will pull more people into the town and make it stronger, than the guy who runs the town’s police and can be kind of iron-fisted about his ideas of what’s moral. YOU have to pick a side. The end result is, the player doesn’t feel attached to the world of the game because there’s nothing that demands any real moral consideration on their part. If you’ve decided to be good, here’s all the tips I can give you. Don’t nuke the town, and shoot the bad guys. Fallout 3 reuses and references tons of aspects of the previous games, which is normally fine – it’s in a series. But it reuses all this stuff on a constant basis as a crutch, and it never really does any of that old stuff the justice it deserves. There are so many things that appear to have been brought back simply so the game looks more like a Fallout game, not because they actually needed to be there. Similarly, the super mutants are back. I expected this because they’ve been around since the first game, but I didn’t expect them to be so poorly done. Fallout 1’s mutants are dumb and violent, but they have a purpose and a goal, and a set of beliefs about themselves and the world. “The Super Mutant is the next advancement in human evolution.” “Soon everyone in the world will be converted, and peace will reign.” They have a moral code that they believe will lead to peace. You don’t get the chance to spare any mutants in the first game, but you’re given ample opportunities to explore why they can’t be, and why they wouldn’t listen to you. In 2, the mutants are far less relevant, but the final boss is technically a super mutant in power armour. Otherwise, the mutants you do run into are all a little more chilled out. “You’re talking a long time ago. The world’s moved on.” People are racist towards mutants for things that happened a long time before, and the mutants secretly still believe that their master plan could’ve worked. There’s a texture to them, especially to Marcus, who will happily claim he thinks his best human friend would be better if they’d been turned into a mutant. “What a great mutant he would’ve been.” There are tensions, and yet there isn’t any reason for hostility. It’s just people with different views and appearances learning slowly to get along. “Time to die!” In Fallout 3, the mutants are…orcs. They run around killing people for seemingly no reason, they’re dumb, they yell and scream about murder, they keep bags of human gore lying around… There’s no master plan, no explanation, no justification. They’re raiders, but tinted green. They’re something for the Brotherhood to be fighting against, and we’ll get to the fucking Brotherhood. The mutants are the most interesting characters in the series to me. They live a long time and have a lot to think about. Turning them into this is abysmal! They needed something for the super mutants to do, and they needed more things to shoot, so… fwsssssssssssshhhhh But it’s not just the mutants and the ghouls, all kinds of things make a reappearance for seemingly no reason. Harold, the mutant who appears in the first two games is back. The G.E.C.K. is back, because coming up with another McGuffin is too much work, and everyone know the G.E.C.K., right? Oh, the Enclave are back, ’cause people remember them. They’re still evil, wow! Now you have guys in power armour to shoot! Are you feeling serviced, fans? “Ah, face to face at last.” Did you think having a conversation with a computer was an original idea? Zax in the basement of the Glow in Fallout 1 was a talking robot, and you could play chess with him, and discuss what it means to be human, and evolution, and mutation, and the nature of artificial intelligence, in infinitely more detail than any conversation you can have with John Henry Eden. Zax might seem like a minor point, but it speaks volumes about the difference in writing quality, that while in Fallout 1, you can have longer and more philosophically interesting conversations then, that take place anywhere in Fallout 3 with an optional character I’ll bet a huge portion of players never even found. And then we have the Brotherhood of Steel. Let’s go back again. In Fallout 1, you barely see much of them for most of the game, but their face is looking right at you when you open it. They’re coming. They’re coming, oh boy. And when you do meet them, and you wanna join, they send you on a suicide mission that they intend for you to die on. In fact, when you get there, you find the corpses of the previous people they sent. You learn they hoard technology and they’re kind of isolationists, who believe in keeping track of technology and science, and knowledge in order to preserve it for the future, so that the best of humanity can be restored in better days. Even though you can gain an understanding of them, and convince them to help you a little, they ultimately remain hidden underground. That’s their choice. The beautiful, capital B Beautiful thing about the Brotherhood of Steel is that they’re so human. They’re likable, they’re cool, they’re smart, they’re powerful, and they’re wrong. Fallout 2 is the story of their failure to truly help the world or themselves, as they wither away into nothingness. The title screen of 2 is an Enclave soldier – the Brotherhood have been replaced as the strongest faction in the wasteland. And a loading screen features a tribal in the same pose as the knight from Fallout 1’s title screen, wearing a desecrated Brotherhood helmet. That’s some pretty powerful imagery right there. Especially for a loading screen. They were never really the good guys, but they did care, and you kind of feel sad for their mistakes. In Fallout 3 the Brotherhood run around shooting mutants because they’re the good guys now. And no, I’m not saying “waaah i’m a big baby you have to do the brotherhood this way”, no, they can be any way the writer wants them to. They could not even be in a Fallout game, because they all died. They could be six guys holding on after the end of their whole way of life. They could be exactly the sort of group they are in Fallout 3, but whatever they are, they have to be done well. None of the Brotherhood are given sufficient levels of characterization or writing, or relatability. You never really understand these people. They feel like props. The majority of your interaction with them is part of the main story, which we’ll get to, or just kind of uninteresting busy work? There’s a central area with some generic guys shooting at targets, some rooms off to the side with a couple of people you can talk to a little, but…there’s nothing you can really gain from them, nothing really happens here. It’s like a Brotherhood of Steel themed attraction at a park. It doesn’t feel like a place, and the Brotherhood doesn’t feel like a cohesive group. In Fallout 1, the Brotherhood of Steel was a place you could get quite invested in learning about, with a multi-faceted membership. The Brotherhood weren’t just a place you could get guns and plot. Fallout 1 has talking heads, where when you talk to someone, occasionally you get a big shot of their face, and ooh they mouth at you. “What the bloody, bloody, bloody hell are you doing here!” There are four of the game’s what, ten? talking heads in the Brotherhood base, and all of them have a distinct personality from the moment you walk up to them. “Greetings. It’s a fine day for learning.” You have Cabbot, the obedient, nice, but kind of dumb door guy, who does the real work of defending the place and hefts the big guns. You have Vree, the head scribe, who privileges knowledge and invention. “Speak to the knights. Ask them to show you one of the latest laser pistols I designed.” That’s right, in Fallout 1, new things are being made. They’re not just salvaging old technology, in stark contrast to 3, where all characters are doing nothing but salvage old discarded shit, and creating nothing of their own. Ironically the same attitude the developers had. Vree specifically doesn’t think history itself as important, she’s more interested in researching the sciences and discovering the future, than in the past. You have Head Paladin Rhombus, a gruff and no-nonsense guy who doesn’t really want to talk to you, and directs you to Vree if you ask anything science-y or that requires a long-winded explanation. “Talk to Vree in the main library.” He represents the militaristic nature of the Brotherhood, and their descendance from the US Army. “I could teach you how to fight…if you had any ability.” You have General Maxson, the High Elder, who manages to have a sense of humor and friendliness, but also a sharp wit and an openly militaristic discipline streak to him. You can tell just from how he’s written that he was a fighter himself before he was given command. He’s a leader who embodies a nice mix of the traits of the other three characters. This gives you a sense that the Brotherhood at its core really is a brotherhood, a fraternity of people who take care of each other and are ultimately very close-knit. Not just visible in their constant worrying about the missing knights who went out on an expedition, whose trail you can pick up on and eventually rescue, but in things as simple as how their leader comprises a mix of all of their attitudes and beliefs. The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 1 gives a convincing impression of a functioning mini-society, creating a sense of a vast group of different intersecting personalities within their halls, and it does it with four faces. Every single member of the Brotherhood in Fallout 3 has a face, but they barely have one personality between them. “The Brotherhood is at your service.” [SLIGHTLY DIFFERENTLY THIS TIME?]
“The Brotherhood is at your service.” You can shoot them into tiny pieces of carefully modelled meat, but you can’t have a meaningful conversation about science with them. It’s very clear that Bethesda wanted to do their own versions Maxson, Rhombus, Vree and Cabbot, either as yet another reference, or because they genuinely had no ideas of their own, so, here’s a test of these new characters. What’s this guy’s name? What sort of personality does he have besides “generic door guard”? Cabbot’s name has been burned into my brain since I played Fallout 1 about 14 years ago. He had a lovely, unassuming nature, a uniquely shaped head, and represented not only the Brotherhood’s defensiveness, but their inner kindness to one another. I wanna take Cabbot for a walk on the beach, and just talk about stuff for a while. Fallout 3 was a chance to show a chapter of the Brotherhood that had redeemed themselves, where they saw the result of their foolishness coming, and decided to help the people of the wasteland form a better society. But instead, they’re a confusing mishmash of their presentation in the first two games, being rude to outsiders, not letting anyone in, with cookie cutter “maybe being nice to people is a good thing” nonsense mixed in with it. None of them offer any real justification for this change, and even as characters in themselves, none of them even say anything as flavourful and character-establishing as: “It’s a fine day for learning.” So there, I hope that makes me seem not against changing the Brotherhood on principle, just against changing it badly and not giving them enough characterization or justification for why they are how they are. Just like how I’m not strictly against the idea of there being a Mega Man cartoon, but that doesn’t mean that I’m okay with… [SINGING ALONG WEAKLY]
Super fighting robots…Mega Man… [WEEPILY]
SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT The re-use of old concepts smacks, like with the opening birth scene, of hasty attempts at storytelling and worldbuilding. It’s as if the developers were handed the rights to 3, and they knew they had to make a game, but not what should actually go into it, resulting in a cobbled together mishmash of whatever original ideas they came up with in some initial meeting, and ideas borrowed from the other games but given no real thought. The Fallout series is characterized largely NOT by adherence to a core set of concepts, but by change. War never changes, but the world the war is fought in does. In Fallout 2, things changed. The super mutants weren’t trying to conquer the world in the name of progress, they were survivors of a dead ideology, and the ones left were trying to do good, or at least have some peace, living in a town founded on the site where a Brotherhood knight and super mutant fought for so long that they realized how pointless it was, and sat down and started working together. That sort of concept was unthinkable in the world of the first Fallout. Things didn’t stay the same just for the sake of being like the old one. Even the money changed! Fallout 3 didn’t know what it wanted to be, or how to grow or shift or change these things, so it ended playing like a cliff notes version of the ideas that were popular or well known in the previous ones. Caps are back, because caps are a pop-culturally remembered thing from Fallout 1. The mutants are here, but they’re just generic bad guys The Brotherhood of Steel has changed, but rather than an interesting or meaningful or fitting change, they’re boiled down to such goody two-shoes heroes of the wasteland with no depth that they fail to actually progress the Brotherhood thematically. They’re like a misremembered version of the Brotherhood from the first two games. If you boiled it down, really really far down, you could have called the Brotherhood the goodies in 1 and 2. So, that’s what got translated over. It’s like playing a game of telephone! Ring-ring! [QUESTIONABLE IMPRESSION OF TODD HOWARD]
Hello? [QUESTIONABLE IMPRESSION OF TODD HOWARD]
What’s that? I’m a bad game designer? [QUESTIONABLE IMPRESSION OF TODD HOWARD]
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Todd Howard doesn’t sound like that! But the one thing that makes Fallout truly special is its themes. Its wider story about humans and the problems we face within ourselves, and how we conquer them and progress to new ones. Everyone likes to pretend that their favourite game has “ooh it’s an internal struggle” but Fallout gets it REAL, man. Despite being open world games where the player can go anywhere, and with stories over which the player has a tremendous amount of influence, the original games managed to be incredibly well structured and paced. You start small, getting sucked into the squabble in Junktown, and then you find yourself inexorably drawn to the Hub. Each game begins with relative chaos, in which everything’s up for grabs, but there isn’t much to grab, and you’re skirmishing with small groups over petty issues, and things are messy and difficult and almost seem to lack a moral dimension, because you’re still making your way, and figuring out what’s going on, and getting the equipment you need to save your vault. Then, as you get more educated, you discover areas with complex but identifiable moral problems. Entire populations are at stake if you execute an idea poorly, or take the easy option. Getting the water chip can doom the ghoul community of Necropolis if you don’t help them fix their own water problems, and their community has members who could do with getting rid of too. Not to mention the mutants standing right there! Unfortunately for them, we can see in isometric. Not every decision is easy, but you develop a sense of how to make things right, and a consideration for the wider effects of your actions. You fight larger and stronger groups, and by this point you’re assisted by a crew of your own. You get better weapons and armour and more allies. You get smart. Then, in the final act, you get access to amazing technology and an incredibly in-depth understanding of why the world is the way it is, from speaking to scientists, and Zax. The tensions keep rising, but all the distractions scale back. The fate of the world is at stake. Not because the crosshairs are manually on people like before, but because you’re getting confronted with the questions that lie at the heart of the world, and having to come up with a solution to them, or everything is fucked. Concepts solidify and sides are taken, the true motivating forces behind the problems the world face are made known, and then… Finally, you go to meet them. You make contact with the Followers of the Apocalypse, a group that has infiltrated the cathedral built on top of the vault where the Master, the leader of the mutants, is residing. They send a lot of help with you, and you descend into the corrupted vault, covered with proto-Lovecraftian ooze and swarming with mutants, monsters, and psychics. The final fight is very difficult. The mutants are numerous, which doesn’t go well with the incredible danger even one of them can pose. They eventually thin out, but so do your allies. This fight seems specifically designed so it’s a struggle even for the strongest possible character, and no-one who enters with you will leave alive. But eventually… The enemies thin out, paring away until you’re alone in a hallway. And at the end is one person. The entire game is preparing you for the moment where you and the Master, who’s been in charge of the entire mutant problem that threatens the world with domination this whole time, stand in a room together, and talk. This final hallway tenses me up EVERY time. It’s a confrontation with a comprehensive belief system that so far has been doing really well for itself, and you have to stop it, or mankind is probably done. You’ve gone from fighting scorpions to get an antidote so someone will sell you a rope, and slapfights with casino owners over their business practices, to sitting next to the arbiter of the world’s doom, and trying to explain what is wrong with their plan, and it happens seamlessly! “So what shall it be? Do you join the unity or do you die here?” Everything has been pushing you towards the moment where you have to tell the man who thinks he has the solution to the problems you’ve been facing, that he’s wrong. These are the crowning moments of Fallout, They’re the culmination of their story, their themes, their ideas, and all of your character’s choices too. Do you just wanna fight them? Are you unprepared, making a fight unavoidable and difficult? Do you try to talk to them, and maybe, just maybe, change their mind? The conversation with the Master is nuts. He wants to know where your vault is and has a compelling reason you should tell him. It’s a chance to assure the mutants can be strong enough to survive the wastes where mankind has and will not. “As long as there are differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other.” Because there are no obvious speech options popping up with percentiles, there’s no way of telling what the best way of attempting to talk him down might be, except for your own judgement. You have to engage him as a reasonable person, The best thing is, it’s impossible for him to be talked down on moral grounds. He doesn’t care about mankind’s survival or killing people, because for him, the mutants are the future of mankind, and the ends justify the means. The only way to talk him down is to explain why the plan wouldn’t work. This isn’t just a speech check. To do this, you have to ask everyone about the mutants, about what makes them what they are. Eventually, you can find through Vree that the mutants are sterile, and she gives you the evidence that proves this is the case. The Master rejects this as a forgery, anyway. You have to get him to ask his own mutants if any of them have gotten pregnant before he realises the truth. “But it cannot be. This would mean that all my work has been for nothing.” “Everything that I’ve tried to…a failure!” “It can’t be. Be. Be. Be.” “I…don’t think that I can continue. Continue? To have done the things I have done, in the name of progress and healing.” “It was madness. I can see that now. Madness. Madness? There is no hope.” “Leave now. Leave, while you still have hope.” The final speech he gives is sad, amazing, and deeply humanizing for such a monstrous character. Video game characters rarely have good voice actors, and the Master has two, playing about four different voices. Jim Cummings and Kath Soucie both make great performances that contribute to one of the best moments in video game character history. After that, all that’s left is to fight your way through an army of his men, and escape the base before THE GAME CRASHES I mean before the base explodes. Outwitting the Master feels like you’ve genuinely contended with an apocalyptic ideology and beaten it with intelligence and reason, not simply the strength of your gun, or some cookie cutter heroic speech. By the way, the male voices of the master are by the same man who voices Winnie the Pooh. I just thought I’d let you know that. Fallout 2 does a lot too– Fallout 2 does a lot as well, Frank Horrigan is a similar culmination of that game’s themes, but if I talk about now I’ll be here for another hour, so I’m just gonna skip ahead, okay? It’s good. It’s good! Play Fallout 2, play it! Please! The part where you have a short talk to the man in the room who embodies all the problems you’ve faced is the best part of those two Fallout games by far, to me. They tie everything together. Fallout 3 pits you against Colonel Autumn. “You again.” [♪ Through the Fire and the Flames – Dragonforce ♪] Autumn has been a dick to you personally, but he doesn’t represent any major flaw in the world of Fallout 3. He isn’t the culmination of the problems you’ve seen, he just sort of turns up halfway through. He’s just a guy, standing there saying “Well I guess it’s time for us to fight now”! And in the space of three lines of conversation, if you pass a speech check, you can talk him out of fighting, and he just fucking walks out! Colonel Autumn doesn’t really stand for anything, he doesn’t want anything, he doesn’t represent any core concept you’ve had to face over the course of the game. He’s a wet fart on the face of Fallout storytelling, he’s a piss in the mouth of philosophy, he’s a sledgehammer to the balls of the inner child of the mind of thought, he… H-He… This character has broken my brain! The ending, this final room, COULD have made everything about the game come together and make sense. It would be difficult, but it could’ve happened, and at least put a nice bow on things, but instead, it’s EXACTLY the ending you would fucking expect from the rest of Fallout 3, and yet that somehow still feels disappointing. Worse than that, this game had two chances to get this right, there were two men in rooms! When you meet President Eden, you’re in a similar scenario. Eden wants to convince you to enact his genocide, but unlike with the Master or the Lieutenant, or anyone, there’s no explanation, no underlying motive, it’s just: “I am bad guy, we need to kill mutants, genocide good.” “Super Mutants and ghouls must be purged[…]we need to clear the way for humanity to rebuild the wastes.” The Master had a comprehensive explanation for why the human race needed to be converted into mutants, now. Bethesda can’t come up with a single compelling explanation for why this is actually a good idea beyond the platitude of: “We need to undo mutants, do you get it, I’m a racist.” There’s no philosophical struggle. It’s impossible to even attempt to reason out why this philosophy is right or wrong in a rational manner, because it’s so fucking stupid that it defies rationality! You can’t show him that the mutants aren’t the real problem, that the real problem is something even the Enclave are a part of, the all too human need to continue to make unending war and death. How do you talk him down, then? Well, you get a “please kill yourself” speech option, and then you say, uh, you know, “don’t be bad, it’s bad. Aren’t you tired of being bad?” and then he says, “Okay!” “Yes, I suppose it is. Very well[…]I’ll put an end to the Enclave.” And he does! This should be a joke! Like, “wow, President Eden was poorly fucking programmed”, or “the Enclave are fucking idiots all the way up to the top”! But because there’s no real discussion or struggle or philosophical point to be made by any of the factions or characters in this game, it becomes strikingly clear that this really was the best Bethesda could do, and that’s just sad! Speaking of stupid, one-dimensional choices, after dealing with Autumn, you get one more moral choice. Someone has to save the purifier, but they will die trying in the radioactive chamber. This choice fundamentally decides your ending. If you do it, you’re a hero. If you let the real main character who’s been making the real choices, leading the charge, making the speeches, and literally has been putting her life on the line the entire time to do it, you’re a coward! You can be good, or bad. It’s exactly the moral choice Fallout 3 would give you. That’s it! No nuance, no change to argue, “hey, maybe these heroic people who love helping people and being nice could do it”. If you pick Lyons, regardless of your reasoning, you’re basically objectively a coward. And then it’s over. You get your fucking slideshow, and “war never changes”, and goodbye. Which one of you did this? WHICH ONE? Wait a second, I brought Fawkes with me, he’s immune to radiation, in fact, earlier in the game, he…did that! Why doesn’t he just save the world and let us all live? “No.” OH, WELL THAT’S JUST FUCKING GREAT! The developers created an ending choice so stupid within their own fiction that all of a sudden, the fucking hyper-intelligent mutant has to develop a sense of destiny to fear denying you! They wanted to pick the most generic hero/coward choice possible, and to do it they deliberately had to make sure the far better option wasn’t available, for no reason! Do you wanna do this stupid thing, or this stupid but evil thing? What about this clear third option that’s actually better than either? No. If you are writing an open-ended RPG about choice and morality, and there is a clear option the player could decide to take, and you put the option there, and you tell them “no”? You fucked up! But you didn’t just fuck up the ending, because the sort of idiots who would make this decision made the rest of the game too. Those same shit-stained fingerprints are all over it. Pick a cartoon character, or kill them both. Nuke a town for no reason, or don’t. Ask Tenpenny Tower not to be racist, or fucking murder a bunch of innocent ghouls for no reason. I don’t even know what Autumn wanted, he was against Eden’s genocide plan. Seemingly all Autumn wanted was for the Purity Project to have an Enclave sticker on it. When it isn’t clear what the final boss’s plan is, it’s time to do a re-write. No, wait! I didn’t mean that! No! Nooo– Do you get it? It’s a reference to the name of the
final…whatever. We all knew I was gonna cover this. Everyone hated the ending. People hated Bethesda so much they wanted to shit themselves inside out. They were made of piss! There isn’t enough hyperbole to explain how mad people were with the stupid ending. Then Bethesda released the Broken Steel DLC. So, now you survive your heroic sacri…fice… [SIGH] While being able to carry on is arguably a straightforward improvement, it speaks volumes that the developers either: A: Didn’t think of that in the first place in the years it took them making and playtesting the game, during which they claimed to have played the originals. [QUESTIONABLE TODD HOWARD IMPRESSION]
Hmm, maybe we should make a version of Fallout 2 that’s missing a key feature and hope the player has a save before the ending started. [I DON’T KNOW THIS GUY’S NAME]
Great idea, Todd! And while you’re at it, let’s add more companions who are immune to radiation but refuse to fix the purifier! [I DON’T KNOW THIS GUY’S NAME]
By the way Todd, you don’t sound so good, are you okay? Or B: They really believed in the finality of their project, of giving the Lone Wanderer a semblance of a complete arc going from birth to death, then walked back on it the instant people complained! Or C: Did this deliberately so players would buy the DLC that lets them carry on playing the game. You’ll notice there’s no footage from Broken Steel in this video. That’s because, back when it came out, I found myself wondering why I would pay to play more of Fallout 3. I had already accidentally slipped and hit the button that buys Operation: Anchorage, a ten quid costing corridor full of generic enemies you can’t talk to, terminating in a general who gives up if you say one thing to him. In other words, a microcosm of the actual game. Players had to fix the beginning, the developers had to fix the end, and that leaves only a middle consisting of hollow nonsense where you shoot the bad guys until they die and collect Fallout-themed McGuffins. It’s no surprise that players who have the most fun are the ones who traipse around on their own kind of adventure, shunning the garbage experience poorly planned for their perusal, flicking on the radio and just doing whatever they like! A friend who is way smarter than me has played Fallout 3 for a very long time, and still does, because they essentially just walk around, taking very little interest in the experience the world had planned for them. The best way to have fun with the game is to view the whole thing as something to take a walking tour through, purposefully carving out your own journey almost in spite of the game itself. These people aren’t playing the game wrong for not focusing on the story. They’re proving how wrong the game is, by showing how differently the game has to be approached in order to be enjoyed. It is a story-driven action RPG, in which to have fun, you have to avoid the story on purpose. For a long time, like, years, I was pretty sure that Fallout 3 wasn’t just bad, but that it was proof you couldn’t make a nuanced 3D game of its scale without it being bad. There wasn’t enough time to make it good, there was too much manpower involved. I thought that maybe the future was dark for RPGs. When New Vegas came out, I didn’t play it for about two years. I’d been burned before. But then, one day in university, I did. Fallout: New Vegas is the fourth game on that list. It fixed everything. The opening isn’t seven million hours long populated with unavoidable murder. You walk over to a machine, pick your stats, sit a short personality test and you go on an adventure! Traits are back! The mutants and Brotherhood and Enclave are treated differently from their appearances in 1, 2 AND 3, and their changes are explained and justified and understandable, while not distracting from the main story, which concerns the threat posed by an entirely new faction, because the creators knew how to come up with new ideas! And the new faction is a group of seemingly unjustifiably genocidal fascists, but when you sit down with their leader, he gives a meaningful and legitimate criticism of democracy itself, and starts talking about the Hegelian Dialectic! When that happened the first time I played, I cried the only two tears I have ever wept playing a video game. I-I am not embarrassed to admit that even a little. Conversations are fixed! Not only are speech checks no longer just a fucking dice roll, you can use skills besides speech, especially barter, to get an edge, but if you don’t have enough, you get a joke option that automatically fails just for fun! You can repair weapons using other stuff, making the laser pistol you find in the first room of the game an immediately useful option! That’s right, the weapons work in Fallout: New Vegas! The game’s writing and acting is so nuanced, you can tell what a character’s stance is on Caesar’s Legion, based on how they pronounce the name Caesar! The world’s design is paced, so the game actually gets harder as you go, and you actually need all the crazy explosives you pick up on the way! The only problems I can identify are: the game crashes when you try to resurrect yourself, which seems ironic given how the game starts with you doing that, and that I can’t seem to uninstall the giant bouncy breasts mod a friend installed on my computer at a party years ago, despite making fresh installs on several computers. That is a true story. It is a true story, and I have healthy beliefs about women, and… Just cut this part out, really, they’re not gonna belie– Fallout: New Vegas, for me, is… the best… game. But for me, it’s somehow even more than that. It proved that you could tell a good story and make an amazing world just by actually bothering to design and write and pace it properly. It fixed everything wrong with Fallout 3, literally everything. I can’t even go into detail about all the ways that it improves upon its predecessor, because we’re already an hour and twenty minutes in. What else can I even say? I ju– There isn’t enough time left, and we’re gonna eventually have to stop. Just trust me, and give it a shot for yourself. If for some reason you haven’t played New Vegas perhaps because you were burnt out after playing hours and hours and hours of Fallout 3, maybe now is a good time to give it a shot. Although, Fallout 4 just came out so I bet everyone’s burned out on that t–whatever. They also seem to have seen the same problems with 3 that I have, at least, based on the attitude they have towards it and its fans in the making of documentary. “A lot of people liked Fallout 3.” That little smirk, that’s just such a beautiful moment. Gonna be honest: the reason why I decided to play New Vegas was because I saw him do that. I saw that smirk, I thought, “yeah, he knows!” “He knows!” Josh Sawyer is what would happen if you dipped Todd Howard in the vats, he’s just…he’s better! I would do a lot of dark shit to try and get a Fallout 4/New Vegas type situation happening, but to be honest, I kind of like the idea of Obsidian doing their own thing. Almost one of the core messages of New Vegas and what it does with the Fallout mythos is show you that it’s okay to do things differently, and in a way, it’s truer to the spirit of that by letting them just make their own thing, not even having a Fallout name on it. In a way, Black Isle getting shot in the head, and Obsidian rising from their grave, made them truly free to do whatever they want without being attached to any pre-existing property. Meanwhile, Bethesda’s just become this franchise zombie, just making more Fallouts and more Elder Scrolls, and they published the new Doom and Wolfenstein as well. If you asked me which developers are gonna come up with the better, fresher, more interesting and unique ideas… We–you don’t need to ask me, it’s fuckin’ obvious! You can say what you like, but this, for me, is the defining moment of Fallout 3. It’s the most telling portion about the priorities in the game’s development, and the most straightforward expression of all its problems and mistakes, and it’s about ten seconds of gameplay. You walk into the final chamber with the water purifier. Autumn’s here. He plans to kill you with his gun, because he wants to… uhh be the guy who… has the water purifier that’s gonna exist anyway and purify all the water regardless of anything. In the course of three sentences you talk him down from his desire to do this, he gives up, and goes to walk out. On his way I remember this guy doesn’t deserve to walk out of here. I have an obligation to stop him. I killed all his guys, I’m gonna let HIM go? The guy upon whom this entire conflict can be blamed? The guy who my dad killed himself trying to stop and yet miraculously survived? I’m g–fuck that guy, I’m gonna shoot him in the face with a butter knife I stole from his own base. Look at this frame for a moment. The creators of this game modeled the individual 3D pieces of a face exploding. The eyes, the brain, the skull, the fleshy, gooey, splashy matter erupting from a gaping hole in his neck. This is a complex rendition of a head actually being crushed apart into disparate shapes and leaving behind a gory hole. They probably had to look up diagrams and do research for this, model every individual piece and make sure it spawned correctly where the head once was. They wanted to make sure that when you shot someone in the face with a gun, it exploded in the perfect blend of satisfying, hilarious, and grimly visceral. The character stands for nothing, he turns on a dime He’s flat, he’s not written well in any of his appearances. They didn’t write a character you could have a real conversation with. You either say “time to die”, or “give up and walk out now, please”. The creator’s time was apparently better spent on something else. Planet Xbox 360 gave Fallout 3 a 9.8, saying: Presentation. That site now redirects to a clickbait site, because it turns out game reviewers really did at some point get purged the way I said they should earlier. Archive.org saved the site. The review is mostly fluff talking about how many enemies there are to kill, how pretty the blood explosions are, and how cool VATS is and how much it reminded them of Oblivion. The images are missing from the archive, but it’s no big loss. I’ve seen enough pictures and video from enough other reviews to know they’d probably be more shots from VATS of the player shooting someone else. AKA Slight variations on this frame. The developers spent their time on the presentation. On this. Not on the writing. Not on making you care whose face it was and why it’s exploding. But it doesn’t matter now. This un-nuanced, barely even written, confusing motived man, is very definitely dead. But Lyons doesn’t think so! “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you’d let him just walk away.” Lyons, you– You are not good at this. Go into the water now, please. Just go, just g– Oh god! OH GOOOOO I’d also like to thank: I’d also like to apologize. I split the people I was thanking per video in half because I thought I was gonna get the other half thanked in this video, and then I went way over the end of the month. Everyone who backed me last month will get thanked this month in the two videos coming up soon. This one just took a lot longer than I thought, and I had to help with a funeral, it was a whole thing. Next time I do one of these I kinda of wanna talk about the philosophy of Dark Souls II, or why Bloodborne is the best designed Souls game in terms of introducing it to new players. Click on…oh, I dunno how to do those. Just let me know in the comments which you prefer. Or suggest a new thing, y’know, I don’t mind. I’m out of ideas.

McDonald’s Pizza – Food Review


Hello, everyone. This is Running On Empty Food Review. And good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Afternoon it is. 12:22 p.m… It’s 22 minutes after noon. and welcome to this review of a very interesting item here. Now granted don’t… I’ll say it out right. I don’t want to give the assumption in the impression that this is available at every single McDonald’s. Because it’s not. It’s a specialty item, and I personally just thought it would make for an interesting video. So that’s why I did it. Of course my policy really is, I want to review brand new items from major establishments, But when something really strikes me is very unique, very interesting, from a reputable well-known establishment, I’ll say why the heck not, I’ll review it. Because it never hurts. This is the pizza from McDonald’s. Those two words really don’t go together that often, but McDonald’s in very very very selected few locations does have pizza. There’s three locations in total. There’s one location in Ohio. There’s one location in West Virginia, and then there is one location in Orlando, Florida. And I’m here in the third location, the Orlando location. And it’s actually the home of the world’s largest McDonald’s believe it or not. and they serve pizza there of all things. Not exclusively pizza, but they do serve pizza among other things. Now this pizza that I got is a personal pizza, ten inches in diameter. And you can get it with an assortment of toppings. I got it with pepperoni, and It comes in its own little pizza box. Now again, this is a very specialty item available and only a selected few McDonald’s, but it makes an interesting review right. So here’s the delicious pizza. Right there you can see it. Nice, long view of it on camera. You can see it comes in the standard eight slices, and the pepperoni they use it’s not the small little, you know, tiny little Pepperoni pieces. This is big, you know, deadly meat Pepperoni that they’re breaking out for this one. You know, it is thin crust. Here’s a better view of a slice here, you know you can see it there. And of course again, it just simply has pepperoni, cheese, the sauce and the crust, so the standard pizza, pretty standard. But heck, it’s from McDonald’s. That makes it special at least. So I’m just going to bite into it. I’ll eat it, and I’ll let you know how it tastes like. So the McDonald’s pizza going in. Wow. I got a napkin here. You know what? I’m not going to lie to you ladies and gentlemen. I thought there was going to be a lot worse to be honest. For what it is, for some McDonald’s pizza, Given the nature of course, of what everything else to McDonald’s is, This isn’t bad. And it takes me truly by surprise. You know, I’m not going to lie. McDonald’s given the quality of what it is. Given how it’s really just gone absolutely downhill as of late. I thought this was going to be some garbage frozen pizza. Unique, yes, but I thought it wasn’t going to be good at all in terms of how it tastes, but now I’m not saying this is artisan-tier pizza because it is absolutely not. But I’m impressed by the quality of this. I really truly am. I’m not gonna lie. The pizza really has just the right amount of Bake to it, so the bottom of the pizza, the base has a little bit of a crunch to it. It is maybe a little droopy, but it’s nothing horrible. It’s no sort of grievous offense at all. Now the pizza itself is it is salty… Now, yeah, yeah, yeah, ReviewBrah you say every damn thing is salty, but that is a very common and popular trend in terms of fast food restaurants. Everything usually is actually fairly salty in nature nowadays, But you bite in and truth be told, the cheese, it does have a bit of a saltiness to it; the pepperoni is more on the salty side, rather than spicy and you might be thinking to yourself, you know, for this pizza, it seems like with the cheese and pepperoni being salty wouldn’t seem too salty in nature. But believe it or not the sauce here and again, it sounds very silly to describe something from McDonald’s as this, but the sauce is very just rich and robust and it’s very flavorful. And the sauce really does add a very very nice countering to the saltiness that’s in the cheese and the pepperoni. and with that it really does add to a very great combination, and adds to a real particularly tasty pizza slice. Now it is oily, It is greasy, but I imagine that’s one of the main contributing factors to its flavor. The crust itself is greasy too. So I have some napkins ready. It does offer a nice little crunch to balance everything out. But really all in all, this pizza is actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I mean this is like the little cherry on top, you know, it’s so unique and they actually have it taste good. That’s, you know, that’s a great added bonus right there. So I’m very impressed. I mean the place inside. It was just a cluster, you know. It was just full of so many people. And then I got some Big Macs, too. Just in case this pizza didn’t work out. And first they give you the Big Macs first, and then they put it where the pizzas are being served and they just let it sit there for 20 minutes getting cold while they made the pizza so it was just a very disorganized mess, and I’m glad at least the wait wasn’t for nothing because the pizza is actually quite good for what it is. I’d say the quality of this pizza is a standard, you know, pizzeria quality. It’s far above a lot of frozen pizzas in nature, so I’m very very impressed by this very much. So they did a great job on this, and they took something that I had low expectations of and really turned it around and did a complete 180° and it really took me by surprise because I’m impressed by it. Price-wise for this pizza Which it’s a personal pizza, but you do get a good amount of pizza for it. It’s around $8.99. Eight, nine dollars and change. And as I said for what it is, you’re getting a good tasting pizza and such a unique item. I think it’s worth the wait and worth the price all at all. So that being said, out of ten what am I going to be rating the pizza from McDonald’s out of ten? I’m, you know what, I’m going to have to give it a standard nine point zero out of ten because I’m very impressed by it. First of all, given the unique nature of it; Secondly though, most importantly, given how it actually tastes for the type of place that’s producing this McDonald’s. You know, it’s usually the home of soggy fries now, and awful tasting burgers that have been sitting out for 20 minutes. Really impressed by it. So they did a great job here. I know there’s very few locations that have this again, Ohio, West, Virginia and Florida. But if you find yourself near one, if you find yourself in proximity to one, give it a go, give it a shot, unique item to get, and you will not be disappointed by it. So with that being said, ladies and gentlemen,
that’s all I have for you. This is Running On Empty Food Review. I’m your host, The Report Of The Week.
Thank you for watching and take care.

Thoughts on Edge of Tomorrow


[YMS]: Edge of Tomorrow is not
as good as people say it is. Everybody’s treating it like
some hidden gem masterpiece that deserved so much
more money than it got, but to me my praise stops
at, ‘Eh, it was alright.’ I mean, I wouldn’t call it a bad
movie, but parts of it are really… dumb. And before everybody loses
their shit let me just say that there are parts
of it that I really love. Like other reviews I’ve done in
the past, I’m not saying this movie sucks, it’s just above
average instead of spectacular. Some of these points hold more
weight than others, but the only order I’m going to be putting
them in is chronologically. So let’s just start at the beginning. So the movie opens up with
a news footage montage. HEY WHY DOES GERMANY LOOK
SO MUCH LIKE RUSSIA??? Now although this is done
better than the average news-footage-montage-Hollywood
-blockbuster-action-movie intro, it would be nice to feel as though there’s
some other way to relay information to audience members at the beginning of
a Hollywood blockbuster action movie. Kind of beating a dead horse there. Still, like I said, credit where credit
is due, this intro is done slightly better than a lot of other intros
that are nearly identical to it. Rather than just informing us of the
political climate in the story’s universe, we’re able to gather information about
specific characters that appear in the film. We learn that Rita Vrataski is being
held up as the Angel of Verdun; [Cruise]: …was able to kill hundreds of
Mimics on only her first day in combat. [YMS]: After having seen the
film, we can infer that it was on that day that she got
her time travel powers. We also get to see Tom
Cruise’s role in the military. So even though they chose an embarrassingly
overdone way to deliver this information, I’m glad that the information that we got out of
it was at least important towards the story. We’re then informed through standard
action movie font that we’re in London, before we see our main
character waking up in a helicopter. The helicopter lands, and
as soon as he exits we are informed again that
he is, in fact, in London. [Welcome to London Lady]:
Welcome to London, Major! [YMS]: You know, just because it’s the standard
in these types of movies to inform the audience members where they are on
the globe using that exact same font, it doesn’t mean that you should do it,
especially if a character is going to mention the location within a
minute of using the title anyway. When I watch a film, I like to
be immersed in its universe. So considering those
titles do not exist in the film’s universe, you should probably
only use them when absolutely necessary. Obviously this isn’t one of my main points
against the film, as I am just going through these chronologically, but it is an issue
that to me is at least worth mentioning. So this general starts telling Tom
Cruise about Operation Downfall: [General]: A lot of good
soldiers are going to die tomorrow, Major. When
the smoke clears and the body bags start coming home people tend to
look for someone to blame, someone like me. [YMS]: So because he doesn’t want to
be blamed for these deaths, he tells Tom Cruise that he needs to go film
Operation Downfall in the first wave. Tom Cruise is like, no
thanks I don’t want to die. And the general is like, [General]: It’s not an offer
Major, it’s an order. [YMS]: So Tom Cruise realizes
he’s not getting through to him and out of desperation
he tries to blackmail him. Which almost seems to work until: [General]: Arrest this man. [YMS]: Awww, shit. He then wakes up and finds out
he is not where he wants to be. He explains that he’s
an American officer and asks to use a phone to
sort out this mistake. But it looks like that general from
before has indeed fucked him over. [Sergeant]: It says here you were
caught impersonating an officer. It says here you’d
likely try to make an outside call, even compromise
the security of this operation, anything to get
out of combat duty tomorrow. [YMS]: He then gets introduced to J-Squad,
and I personally love this scene. Now I have no idea if any of these
characters are in the manga, but something about the way they’re delivered
is so interesting and fun to watch. I mean, especially with Mr. Blank
Slate as our main character. By the end of this scene we’ll have
only seen these characters for less than two minutes and already
they have loads of personality. The relationship between
J Squad and the Sergeant is clearly shown without
having to explain it. And it does a great job of emphasizing
just how screwed Tom Cruise is. [J-Squad Member 1]: You’re
not in uniform, private. [YMS]: So now it’s the next day and our
main character is being thrown into battle. Typically when an audience is being
exposed to something new onscreen, it helps to have a character who
is equally unfamiliar with it. Now that being said I think
the movie would have worked better if it weren’t Tom
Cruise playing Tom Cruise. He’s not a bad actor and he was
pretty fantastic in Magnolia, but it feels like this role was written
for someone a lot younger than him. Anyway he narrowly escapes
death a few times, and then some giant thing
comes out of the ground! As soon as it notices Tom Cruise it runs
towards him but he’s fast enough to kill it. Its blood gets all over his face and
then he dies and then he wakes up again. It’s at this point where he
realizes he’s in Groundhog Day. He experiences the same day again,
remembering everything that happened. He uses this knowledge to save
this girl but then dies anyway, at which point he wakes up again! So we get an entertaining montage
of him living, dying, and repeating Heh heh He winds up doing the
same thing so many times that he becomes a badass
and gets to this girl: [Rita] Come find me when you wake up- [YMS]: So now he tries to escape
J-Squad to find the female lead, and that turns out to also
be a trial and error effort. After many tries, he gets to her and
she starts explaining his situation. [Rita]: What happened to you happened
to me. I had it, I lost it, ok? [Cruise]: Yeah, I mean that’s great there’s
a cure, how do I get rid of it? [YMS]: I like how he asks to get rid of
the only reason he’s alive right now. ‘Yes, please cure me of my immortality
before I go into battle again.’ What he should have asked is, ‘How
do you know that your power stopped working unless you’ve tried killing
yourself and didn’t come back?’ ‘I don’t have the power anymore, I tried
killing myself and I didn’t come back! Urk.’ There’s a line of dialogue near the
end of the movie that explains this a little, so don’t worry,
I’ll get to it when it shows up. We’re introduced to this character, who
knows everything about Mimic biology. Just in time for the fake
science mumbo-jumbo scene. [Scientist]: You’re not fighting
an army, you have to think of this as a single organism, these common
drones they act like its claws. [Rita]: The Alphas, like the one
that you killed, are much more rare- [Scientist]: Yeah, they’re like
1 in 6.18 million, by my guess. [Rita]: Yes. They act as the enemy’s- [Scientist]: They’re like the
central nervous system. But this, is the brain. It controls them all.
And this, is the Omega. And the Omega has the ability to control time. [Rita]: Whenever an Alpha is
killed, an automatic response is triggered. The Omega
starts the day over again. But you see this time, it can remember
what’s going to happen, just like you do. [Scientist]: When you
killed that Alpha, you inadvertently entered the
enemy’s nervous system. [Rita]: Cage. You’ve seized control of
the Omega’s ability to reset the day. [Cruise]: Internal Screaming
[Rita]: You control the power now. Just as I did in Verdun. [YMS]: Alright, so everything
that every single one of these Mimics is doing is being
controlled by the Omega. If one of the Alphas dies, then
the Omega resets the ‘day.’ But if the Alpha’s blood spills on
somebody, then they get the power to reset the day instead and the Omega
loses the power to reset the ‘day.’ If the Alpha blood got spilled on an earthworm
would it get to reset the day forever? Tom Cruise pretty much
insta-killed that Alpha so I guess we’re supposed to assume
that there’s a bit of a lag, considering the day didn’t reset
as soon as it was killed, so the Omega’s controlling
every single one of them, and it sends the
Alphas into battle… why? If the only way humans can steal that
power from the Omega is to kill an Alpha, why does it even send Alphas into battle? Shouldn’t the Omega just keep them hiding
underground ready to off themselves? Like, even if it needs to be
close by to be part of its central nervous system, it
could still hide underground! And if the only reason
they knew you were coming is because they’ve
already reset this day: [J-Squad Member 2]: What the hell… They’re
not supposed to know we’re even coming… [J-Squad Member 3]: It’s a slaughterhouse
man, it’s a slaughterhouse! [YMS]: Then how did this even happen? Isn’t the point of them resetting the day so
that they know everything you’re about to do? Apparently no other Alphas
have been killed in battle up until this point
on this particular ‘day,’ they’ve reset the day enough times to be
able to strategically kill your whole squad, and then when this Alpha notices that Tom Cruise
is about to accidentally reset the ‘day,’ at this point the Alpha could just
let Tom Cruise shoot it and be like, ‘whatever, I’ll just know where you
are next time the ‘day’ resets.’ But instead it does the only
thing that could possibly give Tom Cruise the
Omega’s powers, and goes, ‘WOULD YOU LIKE A HUG?!??’ Later in the movie they confirm that the
Omega is aware of how this happens: [Cruise]: It could’ve killed me but
it didn’t. It was after my blood. [Scientist]: So they know who you are,
they… they want their power back. [YMS]: So why the fuck does
it go out of its way to do the only things that could
possibly allow it to happen? ‘Man, I sure hope that those humans don’t
steal my ability to control time, I’d better send some Alphas out
there to hug them to death.’ Also, the Omega has the
ability to reset the day, but instead of it being an actual ability
it’s more like an unintended by-product? Like there’s several points
in this movie where it would have made a lot of sense for
the Omega to just be like, ‘Whatever I’m resetting the day now bitch.’ But it’s almost as if it can’t
do it unless an Alpha dies? Like if nobody kills an Alpha
then it can’t reset the day? [Scientist]: See you’ve got to understand is this is a…
perfectly evolved, world conquering organism. [YMS]: You know what I would do if I were a
perfectly evolved, world conquering organism? I would take advantage of the fact that I
could reset the day if one of my Alphas dies. It’s clearly aware of its powers
and its strategic benefits, but at no point does the Omega
order an Alpha to kill themselves. I mean, the humans haven’t
had that power very long and they’ve already figured out
how to take advantage of it. So even near the end of the movie
where the Omega has its powers and it’s witnessing Tom Cruise swimming
towards it with a shit-ton of grenades, not only is it apparently unable to
manually reset the day just by wishing it, but it’s never once thought, ‘Hey, maybe I should get one of my
Alphas to kill itself right now so I can reset the day and stop
Tom Cruise before he gets here!’ This being the same species that
stopped Tom Cruise from trying to kill himself because they
knew it would reset the ‘day.’ You’ve stopped your enemy from
killing themselves because you knew it would reset the day so
why haven’t you ever tried that? Not even for the sake of self-preservation
does it feel as though that’s even an option. Even if the Alphas can’t kill themselves
you can get another Mimic to do it. Don’t act as though their
exteriors’ too strong or some shit. Weren’t they firing a bunch
of rockets at the beginning? Why don’t you just leave one
hanging out somewhere with a rocket pointing at its
face ready to kill itself? So Tom Cruise does a bunch of
training and breaks his back. [Rita]: You get injured on the
field, you better make sure you die. [Cruise]: Why? [Rita] Last time I was in combat, I was hit.
I was bleeding out. Just not fast enough. I woke up in a field hospital with three
pints of someone else’s blood and I was out. I lost the power. Do you understand? [YMS]: Oh, a blood transfusion,
that’s oddly specific. Is there a specific amount
of someone’s blood that needs to be in you for
you to lose your power? Do you lose the power if you accidentally
get someone else’s blood in your mouth? You know, for something that doesn’t
exist, like time traveling into the past, the less you try to pretend it makes
sense in a movie, the better. When you try to pretend
it’s something physical inside someone’s blood it
sounds kind of stupid. Yep, I hit the three pint mark of someone
else’s blood, now I can’t do it anymore. If the power’s in your blood
then why does getting somebody else’s blood give
the power back to the Omega? It’s not like your blood spills back onto
the Omega and then it gets its power back, like the only reason the Omega’s not doing
it is because you have to take turns. So then we get another training montage
where Tom Cruise lives, dies, and repeats, heh heh, until finally he gets a vision. So now they need to figure
out how they’re going to get off the beach so they
can track down the Omega. So we get another montage of them
figuring it out through trial and error. So the Omega knows exactly what you’re doing
and controls every single one of those Mimics, but it’s controlling them to do
the exact same thing every time? Like, if it didn’t do that then
you’d never be able to predict it. It’s helping you succeed
for absolutely no reason. So if you’re going to make
the argument that the day resets for Tom Cruise without
the Omega being aware of it, then how did it track him down to give
him that vision and what happened differently that time that didn’t
happen any of the other times? If the Omega senses that its powers are lost
and it’s trying to track down Tom Cruise, but it’s unaware of the day
resetting, then it would be looking in the exact same
place every single time. The only way the Omega could
eventually track down Tom Cruise is if it tried something different
every time the day reset. Seriously, Tom Cruise was
training in the exact same place and dying in the exact
same place the whole time, so if the Omega eventually
mind-tracked him down it would have to be aware
of the day resetting. If that’s not the case then I
guess Tom Cruise just happened to crawl to the exact same spot it
was searching every single ‘day.’ And if that’s the case,
then that very specific spot would have had to
have been its first guess. Clearly it has the ability to do things
differently every time the day resets, even if the day’s being
reset by Tom Cruise. And yet it’s controlling
every single one of those Mimics to do the exact same
thing every single day? How does it benefit the Omega for
Tom Cruise to be progressing? If it’s aware enough of you resetting
the day for it to be able to find you, then why does it insist
on every single Mimic doing the exact same
thing every single time? If it’s not aware then how did it find you? You can have one or the other, not both. We then get a scene of Tom Cruise being
confronted by people from J-Squad, and it’s this scene that really shows the
heart of why people enjoy this concept. There’s something about being
able to predict everyone’s every move that strikes a chord
with us as human beings. It combines the ‘What if things were
different’ fantasy from time travel movies with the making people
question their own sanity concept we see in a lot
of popular prank videos. Having that sort of omniscience
and mental power over people is something that
we all wish we could do. So it’s no surprise that even
though this type of scene has been done a million times
before, it’s still entertaining, for now at least. So eventually they escape the beach, find a car, run out of gas, find another place, and then find a helicopter. Tom Cruise wants to
siphon the gas from the helicopter but Rita insists
they should fly it. But first Tom Cruise wants
to tend to her wound. He makes her some coffee, but then: [Rita]: How many times have we been here? [YMS]: Oh, so Tom Cruise was just pretending
that this was the furthest he’s gotten, when secretly he’s done
this a million times. [Rita]: What are we still doing
here, you’re wasting time. [Cruise:] Rita, if you
start that engine you die. [YMS]: SHIIIIIIIT [Cruise]: There’s a Mimic,
buried, twenty yards away, and it attacks when you
start the engine. Only one of us ever makes it.
[Rita]: Get in. [Cruise]: The only thing we
haven’t tried is a version where you walk away, just
go back to the farmhouse. There’s a cellar, there’s food, you wait
there ‘till I get back. You’ll be safe. [Rita]: I’m a soldier. I
volunteered, I’m not walking away. [Cruise]: You die here! Right here!
And if I go on and kill the Omega, you’re dead.
Forever. [Rita]: Why does it matter
what happens to me? [YMS]: Really, you don’t care if you die? [Rita]: You’re not being
specific, do you understand, you need to be specific,
otherwise I’m dead. [YMS]: Why the fuck do
you want to die so bad? He is giving you a potential option to save
your life while he goes to kill the Omega. She doesn’t even bother to ask
him the circumstances under which she would die if she
did start the helicopter. Like maybe she could start
the helicopter, and prevent it still if she knew how it
was going to attack her, but nope, she’s in suicide mode! What’s that, there’s another
option we haven’t tried where I get to live and you
get to kill the Omega? No way! Eeewwwps! If you’re putting the mission
ahead of your own life shouldn’t you be doing
exactly what he says anyway? Is it not apparent to you that if you die
he will kill himself and restart it? If you want him to destroy the Omega
why aren’t you listening to him? ‘Adam, that’s not far-fetched,
people act irrationally all the time to transition the second act into
the third in Hollywood movies. When you’re going into the third
act people have to be sad or upset with each other and
how it happens is irrelevant. You should just enjoy the movie
by ignoring parts of the movie.’ So now Tom Cruise decides that the only thing
left to do is just not tell Rita anything, he destroys all of the Mimics at the barn and
then goes in the helicopter by himself. So he gets all the way to
this specific location in Germany and oh shit, the
Omega isn’t even there! So then this Alpha shows up
and he’s like, super pissed. It stops Tom Cruise from
suiciding, but he’s sneaky enough to crawl into this little
space and then he drowns. [Cruise]: It was after my blood. [Scientist]: So they know who you are,
they… they want their power back. [YMS]: They know who you are and
they want their power back. They wanted your blood. Were they
just gonna like, swim around in it? Did your blood not get on any of those Mimics
those other million times they killed you? I guess it only works for Alphas. And despite there being an Alpha on the
very same battlefield you have been dying 8 million times on, it never once decided to
cut you open and swim around inside you. So let’s just say that
the Omega wasn’t certain it was him until he
showed up at that place, did he not run into a bunch of
Mimics on the way to that place? Would it not have been easy for the Omega
to assume that the one guy escaping the battle headed in that very same direction
is the guy that stole their power? He died from those Mimics on the farm
enough times to memorize where they were, they could have just immobilized him
and waited for an Alpha to show up. But nope, this is a
perfectly evolved world conquering organism that’s
dumber than a small child. I mean, look at this stupid little shit. What, you think life’s happy
or something, you’re wrong, grow up and stop being a little bitch! And if the Omega’s conscious of the day
repeating, which the movie tells us it is, then it should notice that Tom
Cruise is the only fucking person doing something differently
every single goddamn day. And even earlier than that it should
have noticed that Tom Cruise was the only person in the battle that
exploded an Alpha over top of himself. I am trying to view this story according to
the rules that the movie set up for itself. Why does this make me the bad guy? Time for some more fake
science mumbo-jumbo! [Cruise]: What is this thing? [Scientist]: It’s a transponder. You
stick it into the Alpha and it taps into the wavelength connecting it to
the Omega, that’s the idea anyway. [YMS]: WHAT? How the fuck did you build this shit??? ‘Hey, I built a device that if
you stick it into a live Alpha it taps into the wavelength
connecting it to the Omega.’ [Scientist]: Hey, hey, hey!
Aren’t you forgetting something? The transponder requires a
live Alpha to make it work! [Rita]: We don’t need one.
We’ve got the next best thing. [YMS]: Yeah, fuck you guy who invented this
impossible device, we’re the real experts. This ought to resolve that conflict. So now they have to go on an
adventure to get an actual working one, and hey, it’s
back where the general is. He manipulates him into
opening the safe right behind his desk and giving him
exactly what he needs. And apparently this is the first
time they’ve ever gotten this far. They try to leave with it, but oh shit! Alright, let’s try this again
except now we have a get-away car. So while they’re escaping they jam it into
his leg and within 25 seconds of doing so, he knows exactly where the Omega is. So now he snaps out of it and they’re
still driving for some reason. What, do you think you’re going
to go back to the fucking base? The same base where the
general had complete power to fuck over Tom Cruise
in the first place? Where is it do you think
that you’re going and why don’t you shoot Tom Cruise
in the head right now? Oh wait, there’s a major
plot device that wouldn’t happen if they didn’t get
into a car accident. So let me get this straight,
the both of you are very experienced in this
whole time travel thing. For Tom Cruise, it seems like he’s been
doing it at least a year in his time, and yet neither of them
thought, hey why do we even need to escape this building
in the first place? Why don’t we stick it into your leg
in the same room as the general? If they did that not only would they
know exactly where the Omega is, but they wouldn’t have any
resistance while doing it because they could do it while the
general’s still at gunpoint. And if you didn’t want to share
that information with the general you could just kill
Tom Cruise directly after. Then Tom Cruise could just show
back up and be like, ‘Hey, I know exactly where the Omega is, let’s
start doing shit to kill it!’ But given the fact that
Tom Cruise didn’t know how to use this device
until this very scene: [Cruise]: What am I supposed to do with this?
[Rita]: Stick it in your leg! [YMS]: Apparently it crossed neither
of their minds in the at least dozens of times they’ve been on
this mission to get this device. What fucking reason do you have to
leave the building in a chase scene? For what reason did you not try using
the device as soon as you got it? Like never mind the fact
that your wild guess that it would work on a human being
just happened to work out, why on earth did you feel as though you
needed to escape the building with it? Especially after you already tried it once and
realized there would be an army chasing you? This is a movie that punishes you for trying
to get into the minds of the characters. Either the movie just doesn’t
want you to do that or the script itself doesn’t understand the
characters that they’ve written. Analyzing a movie is
something that fans of the movie should be doing
if they like the movie. Keep in mind that I’m able to enjoy
it, it’s a fun popcorn flick! But people seriously need to stop
translating ‘I enjoyed it’ into ‘10/10!’ So they drive around a bunch
going who the fuck knows where, Tom Cruise gets shot in the
leg and then they crash. He wakes up and oh no, I
got a blood transfusion! Maybe I shouldn’t have tried
driving away in a car with dozens of trained military
personnel firing at my vehicle. There was just no other way! So Rita breaks him out and is like, ‘Let’s
start over, I’m gonna kill you now,’ but he’s like, ‘No, I lost the power
‘cuz I got a blood transfusion!’ [Cruise]: I lost the power! I feel it. [YMS]: OK, so *finally* they
give some sort of indication as to why they’re so certain
that they lose their power. Still feels kind of cheap
to me personally, but if you’re okay with this
explanation then that’s okay. It’s a nice save to a movie that would
otherwise have characters making one in a million wild guesses that
just happen to be 100% accurate, like certainty over the
existence of the Omega, and certainty over this untested
technical mumbo-jumbo device, and its compatibility with
species it was not designed for, and the unquestionable fact that if you
specifically kill an Alpha it resets the day. Not sure how they came to
that conclusion, considering nobody could have ever
possibly observed it! Here in Hollywood, wild one in
a million guesses are facts! The story needs the main characters
to understand this information, so how they understand it
is completely irrelevant. They’re just omniscient
beings that enjoy taking the route that causes
them the most conflict. So now that Tom Cruise doesn’t have his
powers, the stakes are really high. Suddenly everything’s super serious now
because there’s real consequences to death. They go back to J-Squad and he
manipulates them into helping out. So finally we’re back with the only
interesting characters in the whole movie. Mr. and Mrs. Blank Slate just didn’t cut it
for me, so this is a breath of fresh air. So J-Squad steals an aircraft and now they’re
on their way to the Louvre in France. [J-Squad Member 2]: Do
not kill an Alpha! If we kill an Alpha the Omega
will reset this whole day. [YMS]: We’re not sure how
anybody knows that to be a fact, but we will
consider it to be one. How does anybody know that it’s when you kill
an Alpha and not when you kill the Omega? The amount of evidence you have
pointing towards either are equal. Not a single character has ever witnessed
the day being reset by an Alpha dying. If the day gets reset by an Alpha
dying then you don’t remember it. How did anybody come to this
indisputable conclusion? [J-Squad Member 3]: So what am I supposed to
do if one of those Alphas is about to kill me? [Cruise]: Take a hit for the team. [YMS]: Take a hit for the
team, or just make sure its blood spills on you and
then you’ll get the powers! You know, Tom, you’ve done that
battle on the beach so many times, you don’t think you could recreate what
gave you your powers in the first place? Right now you’re going
into uncharted territory with no fucking clue
what you’re going to do! You have no idea how many Mimics are there, where they are, what kind of
defenses they have set up, or fucking anything! You don’t think it would be a
better idea to go into the setting that you basically have memorized
to get your powers back? Is the movie pretending like, ‘Oh no he can’t do that, because this
time they know who he is and they’ll remember him if they see him and
then they’ll do things differently.’ But hasn’t he reset the day
several times since they saw him? So shouldn’t the Omega
not know who he is now? Shouldn’t he be able to go back
to that very same battlefield and have all of them do the exact same
thing that he’s already memorized? Because if that’s not the case
then that means the Omega can retain information even if it’s
not the one resetting the day. And not only would that do away with the
entire idea of Tom Cruise stealing its power, like how would there be a disadvantage
to somebody else resetting the day if you can do things
differently every day anyway, but there would be absolutely no reason
why the Omega would have the Mimics doing the exact same thing every day
in the first two acts of the movie. So can it retain information when Tom
Cruise resets the day or can’t it? Isn’t the whole point of the power that you
can retain information when the day resets? Isn’t the whole plot of the movie that Tom
Cruise stole that ability from the Omega? You can’t fucking have both! Especially if zero percent
of the characters are going to acknowledge this
major contradiction. Why don’t you just go back to the beach
and get your powers back easily? Then this uncharted boss battle can be done 8
million times until you get it right. The characters are omniscient geniuses
when it’s convenient for the script, and the characters are bumbling morons
when it’s convenient for the script. ‘Adam, that’s not important, it’s
just the entire plot of the movie. The film’s logic only gets contradicted
in like, every single scene. You should just enjoy the movie
by ignoring parts of the movie.’ Let’s all go to where we think
the Omega is and hope that it’s not the most heavily guarded
fortress in all of the universe. Oh shit, we fucked up. Man, if only there was some way
where I could have my time travel powers while doing this battle.
There was just no other way. What a surprise, they get
shot the fuck up. There are needless casualties and
Tom Cruise almost drowns. So now all of the Mimics that were
attacking them suddenly disappear so our characters can regroup and figure
out what the fuck they’re doing. They decide they need to use this thing to
crash into the wall so they can get inside, two of them heroically suicide, and one of
them becomes another needless casualty. It’s a good thing the Omega’s
stronghold was a fortress of glass. So they manage to get inside
and dodge death a few times. They see an Alpha close by and they’re like,
‘Okay, one of us is going to distract it while the other one goes to kill the Omega. And let’s just
both expect that we’re both gonna die here.’ Let’s just remember that everything
they know about the Omega is just what they’ve seen
visually through those visions. You brought all those
grenades, but are you certain that they’ll even
damage it whatsoever? Did your vision inform you as to how much
firepower you will need to destroy the Omega? Like you haven’t even confirmed
that it’s actually here. You are doing this based off of a vision. A vision strikingly similar to another
vision that was completely wrong, remember? Maybe this would all have
been a lot easier if there was a way that you could have
gotten your powers back. So she goes to distract the
Omega, and she dies. Oh no. Tom Cruise takes his chance and- uh, god-goddammit. So now he’s swimming towards
the Omega with a bunch of grenades and the Alpha swims
towards him to try to stop him. Let’s just all forget
that they could stop him easily if the Alpha committed
suicide right now. Or if the Omega wasn’t comically unable to
use its own powers unless an Alpha dies. The Omega can’t control
any of the other Alphas on the planet to be killing
themselves right now? Can it not control any of the
other Mimics to kill the Alpha? Nope, because this is where the
main character has to save the day. So the Omega explodes and everything
it’s controlling withers up and dies. And then oh my god, the
Omega’s blood seeps around Tom Cruise and you guessed
it, the day resets. God fucking damn it. So I guess I’m going to have to kill
the Omega all over again, right? Well that would be the most logical, so no. You see, this time when the day resets, the
Omega dies before Tom Cruise killed it. And also, instead of him waking up as a
fresh recruit like 100% of the other times he woke up in this movie, he
gets to keep his rank as an officer! Yay! So like even though nobody knows he saved
the day he gets saluted and respected! Yay! A. The Omega died so the day shouldn’t
have even been reset, and B. If the Omega resets it
should still be alive. It’s not like every single time
the day reset for you before the enemies weren’t still there
that you already killed. Fuck logic, what people
want is a happy ending. So overall this movie was way
too distractingly inconsistent and self-contradictory for me to
be able to consider it great. There were parts of it that I loved, but a
lot of it I just couldn’t take seriously. It was generally fun to watch but
unlike the movies that I love, this is one that punishes you
for trying to think about it. If that doesn’t make the movie any
worse for you that’s okay, I’m not trying to get you to stop
enjoying things that you like. But for me personally, I prefer watching
a story that can at least follow itself. I’m not asking for a time travel movie
to make logical and physical sense, all I’m asking is that it follows the
very same rules it sets up for itself. I guess maybe that’s just asking too much.

GENERATIONS REACT TO ELECTION 2016


(silence) – I want to welcome you
to the first presidential debate. – No! – (Lester Holt) …first president debate.
– Oh god. – (Holt) The participants tonight are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. – I don’t like either one of ’em. – I haven’t watched the debates, so this is gonna be
my first time seeing it. – Oh my gosh, it’s them. – This is gonna be a very
opinionated episode. – (Donald Trump) To be
president of this country, you need tremendous stamina. And I don’t believe that
Hillary has the stamina. – That’s correct. – I– I…
– (Hillary Clinton) As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal…
– There you go, baby. – (Clinton) …a ceasefire, or even spends 11 hours testifying… – I’m tired already just listening to her. – (Clinton) …in front of
a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina. – She’s really wearing her hand out patting herself on the back. – The guy’s got a point. I think there is a present
situation with her health. It’s chronic. – (Clinton) Why won’t he
release his tax returns? Maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. – If he’s not rich and he’s
been saying that he’s rich, that could possibly mean that he’s a liar. – (Clinton) …to know that he’s paid… – (scoffs)
– (Clinton) …nothing in federal taxes. – Well, that’s because
he’s using our tax codes, lady. – Why is it bad about his tax returns? Really? Tax returns, emails. – Look at him. He’s so smug. – (Clinton) The only years
that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years
when he had to turn them over to state authorities when
he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.
– (deep sigh) – (Trump) That makes me smart.
– (Clinton) So if he’s paid… – Yeah. – (Trump) That makes me smart.
– (laughing) “That makes me smart.” – (Trump) That makes me smart.
– “That makes me smart”? – I’m, like, getting upset. – There’s not an American that doesn’t try to beat their tax return fairly. – Why can’t you just talk about yourself? – They’re just saying, “Oh,
well, you know what? He sucks. So vote for me.” – The man smirks. He makes faces.
He’s disrespectful. And I thought she was very clear. – (Clinton) I made a mistake
using a private email. – Ya think? – Oh boy, a little mistake. – (Clinton) …obviously
do it differently. – (Trump) That was more than a mistake.
That was done purposely. – Yeah.
– (Trump) That was not a mistake. I think it’s disgraceful.
– Slay. – That’s, like, probably her biggest flaw. – If she’s gonna lose this election, I think that’s gonna be
one of the main reasons. – They’re making a big deal
about those emails. I understand that,
during the Bush White House, there were all kinds of private
emails all over the place. And nobody ever said anything. – (Trump) If I win, I am going
to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor… – If he wins, I refuse to be in America. – (Trump) …to look into your situation. – Ah-ha-ha! Good for you! She needs a special prosecutor
to look into her situation, because she feels she’s above the law. – This is something that dictators do. – (Clinton) …with the
temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge
of the law in our country. – (Trump) Yeah, because you’d be in jail. – Ooh-hoo-hoo! That was the best one! – (Trump) Because you’d be in jail.
– (laughs) – (Trump) Because you’d be in jail. – That’s right. She belongs in jail. – He should’ve dropped
the mic right there. – She looks like a kindergarten teacher listening to one of her kids ranting. – It’s hard for me to be eloquent
when speaking about him, because he’s just an awful person. – (Chris Wallace) Nine women
have come forward and said that you either groped them
or kissed them without their consent. – (Trump) Those stories
are all totally false. – “Totally false, because
I was caught on tape, but that was false, and because
all these women came forward, but that’s a lie too.” – (Trump) I think they want either fame,
or her campaign did it. – Almost unbelievable
that he believes that. – (Trump) And I think it’s her campaign. – No, I think it’s her campaign too. – (Clinton) Donald thinks
belittling women makes him bigger. – Oh, there you go again.
She pulls out the woman card. She pulls out the race card.
She pulls out the victim card. – (Clinton) It’s really up
to all of us to demonstrate who we are…
– Come on, Hill. That’s right.
– (Clinton) …and who our country is. – That’s right! – (Trump) Nobody has more
respect for women than I do. – (guffawing) Oh, that’s just not true. – Your actions prior to this haven’t really indicated
that you’ve got a lot of respect. – How does he…
– (Wallace) Please, everybody. – …go on and get busted saying that he can grab women “by the [bleep],” whether or not they like it, and then you have all these women that go, “Yeah, he did it to me,”
and he goes, “Oh, I don’t do that”? – The harassment thing
just plays into the rape culture. – I’ve done Miss California USA.
He runs pageants. And you know, he helps women become powerful, independent people. – We had a video with Donald Trump
in my band 25 years ago, and he was a lecherous [bleep]. He was all over the 17-year-old
guitar player in our band. I’ve been on the Trump boat.
He’s an [bleep]. – (Clinton) We need to put more money in a Social Security trust fund. My Social Security payroll
contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out
how to get out of it. – (laughing)
– (Clinton) But what we want to do is to replenish the…
– (Trump) Such a nasty woman. – She is a nasty woman. – Now, that’s mean. – He is just so rude. – He really had to say that? I mean, we all see she’s being nasty. I mean, when he makes the comments,
it just takes away from him. – (Wallace) One of the prides
of this country is the peaceful transition of power. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?
– (Trump) What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.
– Ha ha! Good for you! There’s already been found voter fraud. – (Trump) I will tell you at the time.
– That’s so dangerous. That is so dangerous. – That just sounds like
a little kid not getting his way. So he’s gonna, “Nah-nah,”
you know, “This isn’t fair.” – (Clinton) That is not the way
our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. – Hmmm.
– (Clinton) We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted
the outcomes when we may… – I feel like every election’s
rigged, honestly. – (Clinton) That is what
must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage
during a general election. – He has no business being up there. – He has a temper tantrum
when things don’t go his way. – Trump is like a little kid, and she’s like more of a mature lady. – You’re gonna reject
the results of an election. That’s what happens in countries
where we have dictatorships. – When he says everything’s
rigged against him, I know he’s exaggerating
about a lot of stuff. But the media is kind
of rigged against Trump. – (Clinton) I will stand up for families against powerful interests… – Which she has done her entire career. – (Clinton) I will everything that I…
– Oh, you’ll do [bleep]. – She wants to be
a president for everybody. So even if you don’t vote for her, she wants to be your president. – (Clinton) I will do everything
that I can to make sure that you have good jobs
with rising incomes, that your kids have good educations…
– We’ll see about that. – Hillary just trumps Trump. – (Clinton) I hope you will
give me a chance to serve as your president.
– I wouldn’t. – I already voted for you, baby. – I hope we all give her a chance
to serve as our president, ’cause it’s about freakin’ time, you guys! – (Trump) When I started this campaign… – I can’t. No. – (Trump) Make America great again.
– I agree. – (Trump) Make America great again. – What was wrong with
America in the first place? – You mean, “Make America white again.” – (Trump) We cannot take
four more years of Barack Obama. – Well, you know what?
Barack Obama was wonderful. – (Trump) We cannot
take four more years… – You’re right.
– (Trump) …of Barack Obama. – You can’t take it.
– (Trump) And that’s what you get when you get her.
– And even worse. – (groaning) Oh my god! I’m speechless. – I’ve seen presidential
debates in the past. But I’ve never heard one so competitive. – God, we are [bleep]. – I have a small business. And the regulations and hoops
that I have to dance through are incredible. She wants me to make nothing
and them to make everything. And I can’t run a company that way. – This guy’s got the nation
turned upside-down. He’s got white people hating black people, black people hating white people.
We’re all the same species. – Everybody talks about them.
It’s on the news. It’s in my school newspaper.
It’s everywhere. – (FBE) Okay, so we have a lot to discuss. We’re gonna run down
some of their political stances, talk about some of their controversies, and then we’re gonna get
your opinions on them as people. – Okay. – Let’s go. – (FBE) So the reality is this video’s gonna get a lot of negative comments
and stir up controversy by even just talking about this, especially compared to when
we covered the election back in 2012. – I can see that. It almost seems more like a game show. Like, I don’t know.
It doesn’t really seem legit. – The previous times, there was always one who’s obviously better. Now there’s just, like, not– It’s just like, “ehh” and “ugh.” – (FBE) This is so divisive
that a lot of people feel like both candidates are no good.
– Well, that’s pretty bad, because that means they’re
not doing such a good job trying to run for president. – (FBE) Well, do you feel
the best Republican and Democrat are the nominees, or do you wish
we had different choices? – I think they’re not the best choices. Because there’s so many things
wrong with both of ’em. – I see how people might not like Hillary. I see how people might not– I definitely see how people
don’t like Donald Trump. – The election should be delayed
until we can get more candidates who are better qualified. – I think Bernie would’ve been better. – I would’ve gone for Ted.
He’s constitutionally strong. – I think the best Democrat was. As far as the best Republican,
my god, absolutely not. – I wish there were other choices. Pluto and Donald Duck
would’ve been much better than what we have. – (FBE) And candidate aside, what do you think is
the biggest issue today in the U.S.? – The issue’s we need
to bring jobs back to America. – Getting it out of debt. – I think climate change is huge. – I want the next president
to do as much as they can to stop all this gun violence. – Our justice system is trash. I think the way police officers
have been handling their personal justice
and whatever is trash. – Safety of American people. People that’ll spring up out of nowhere that are disciples of the
ISIS or ISIL organizations and doing bad things. – Terrorism, because that’s really scary. Before, it seemed like a foreign thing. But now, when you got homegrown
terrorists, that’s really scary. – (FBE) We’re getting
into some of the issues. We’ll start with healthcare. Clinton would like to expand
the current Affordable Care Act to cover more people, while Trump wants to repeal
Obamacare completely and replace it with a different system. Do you think that Obamacare is something that has worked
for our country thus far? – Well, I can’t say that it’s made
much of a difference for me, because I’m low-income. – Obamacare has not worked. – Obamacare has not worked
for this country. You got more healthy people
paying for more sick people. – It has worked for a lot of people. Because there are people who could not get any sort of healthcare. Obamacare’s actually saving their life. – I know a lot of people who couldn’t afford
any kind of healthcare, who’ve stayed sick because of it. And I know that it’s helped them. – The Affordable Care Act
has worked in many ways. I’ve had cancer.
My daughter had a spinal issue. We would not be able to get
insurance under previous rules, because we have preexisting conditions. – If they’re gonna get rid of it, they need to come up with
something that’s gonna work. Because if they just get rid of it
and they have nothing, we’re gonna have a lot of people
that aren’t insured. And they definitely
need to have insurance. – (FBE) So let’s talk immigration. Donald Trump is known
for his strict immigration laws that he wants to enact, like building a wall along
the border with Mexico. – I think the wall is ridiculous. I don’t really get how that’s
gonna work in the first place. – That, to me, is the opposite of America. That’s like making America
not America again, because we are a country of immigrants. – Quote-unquote “wall” in between the United States and Mexico, which I think is just HORRIBLE. Be a good person and don’t
build the wall and get a haircut. – There should be a way to get in,
but it’s been abused. Yes, I am for a wall. – (FBE) Also, Trump stirred up
controversy when he proposed placing a temporary ban on a large number of Muslims
entering the country. – What he’s trying to do is the most un-American thing
you can possibly do. He’s equating Muslim with terrorist. I don’t do that, because I have a brain. – I was one of the few people
that thought his idea for temporarily– that’s
the key word, “temporarily”– banning Muslims, especially
with a heated crisis such as ISIS– It makes sense to ban– and it’s like, I know
it’s racial profiling. And I totally get that
there’s innocent Muslims. And I have a lot of Muslim friends. My good homey Labib. You have to stop it somehow. – Me personally being Muslim
and of Pakistani descent– yo, like, most people are not here to do anything wrong with the country. Open invite to my house for dinner.
I got really good kebab. I’ll change your opinion
in a couple hours. – (FBE) So Hillary Clinton has said she wants to have tighter border security and wants to reform immigration laws by allowing those who have
entered our country illegally to have a pathway to citizenship.
What do you think about that? – I think immigration’s huge. – They definitely need to have
stricter laws on the immigration, because we keep bringing people in,
but we don’t have the benefits, ’cause it’s like
everyone wants to come here ’cause they want to get a free pass. – I hear a lot of folks talk
very poorly of illegal immigrants. And I want to ask those people
the same question of, what would you do for your family? Would you be willing to break laws so that your children
could be taken care of? Would you be willing to do that? I would. – (FBE) And of course, there are
many more issues to discuss. But let’s turn to the
controversies on both sides. Among other statements
that Donald Trump has made that have offended many
or been looked at as anti-diversity, recently tapes were released
where he said some things that some took as claims of sexual assault that he says is “locker room talk”
and that he apologized for. Since then, many women have come out saying that he has harassed
them as well or he’s done worse. What do you think about this controversy that has surrounded Trump? – I think people are just really focused on being politically correct. I think if he really did
sexually harass someone, he wouldn’t be making
jokes about it like that. – Always amazes me that
they come out right at election time. It’s just such a surprise
that several women are so prompted to tell their stories. – Boys will be boys. And when
boys are with all their friends, we’re all– like, I’ve said things
behind closed doors that, if there was a microphone
behind me and it got released, like, oh my god,
it would be the end of me. You can’t permanently
be offended by something that happened so long ago. – People can come out and say, “Oh, 10 years ago,
Donald Trump slapped by butt.” Like, honestly, big deal. You’re deciding between who’s gonna be the president
of the United States. Does it really matter if he says
these things about women? – It’s an issue that he’s got to handle. Some of the stuff that was said
was locker room, bar room talk. That’s why some people like Trump so well. – From the viewpoint of an athlete
and locker room talk, that is complete bull[bleep]. – Presidential candidates
should be a role model for every American.
He is not a role model. – His locker room talk,
right? We all do it. Groping a woman,
grabbing her by her [bleep]. Um, yeah, maybe I don’t want
my president to do that. Maybe I don’t want any man
in my life to do that, because it is sexual assault. – (FBE) And now back to
Hillary Clinton controversies. You know, there have been
a number of women who have accused her husband,
former president Bill Clinton, of sexual assault, with some claiming Hillary
tried to discredit the accusers in various ways over time. Some people say they don’t
like a possible future president being associated with someone who may have done something like this. Is this a fair criticism of Hillary?
– Yeah, she’s a hypocrite. She’s married to someone
who’s cheating on her then yet stays with him.
What does that say about women either? – He did the same thing that Trump did, but now he’s not in the limelight.
And she’s still with him. So she forgave him.
So why wouldn’t people forgive Trump? – She was complicit in his messing
around and what he did so that she could further her own career. – I don’t think it’s fair for people to just criticize her for that. – It shouldn’t affect her
presidency at one thing. – I don’t think that we should discredit her ability to get the job done
based on actions of her husband. – Man runs for president, we don’t really go on on what
his wife has done and hasn’t done. We look at him. It’s very unfair that when
a woman runs for president, we keep talking about her husband. – (FBE) And jumping back to Trump, he’s stated that the
election system is rigged and that he may only accept the outcome of the election if he wins. What do you think about Trump
making these types of allegations? – Well, that’s damn stupid. – He sounds like such a big brat. – Trump making these
statements doesn’t sit well, but he’s speaking the truth. – There have been presidential
elections that were rigged, like the one recently with George Bush. It should be watched
very carefully in each state. – You say, “I reject that.” And your supporters go,
“That’s right. It’s time for a coup. Let’s just overthrow the government.”
And that’s what happens. I mean, that’s what happened
all over the world in other places that don’t have democracy
or have shaky democracy. So it’s terrifying to me. – (FBE) So there’s also more
controversy with Clinton with her private email server, where she’s being reviewed by the FBI for sending classified emails
from her personal email account. Many have said that this
is an irresponsible oversight for someone who wants to run
our country. What do you think? – I don’t know if she’s listening,
if she is watching this, so I’m kind of nervous. – Her emails, which everyone
does really want to know about. Even though Hillary’s
are probably just coupons of Nordstroms or something. – I think the whole email
thing is nonsense. It’s been done. It’s been answered. – It was definitely irresponsible
is putting it mildly. That said, she has
definitely owned up to it and taken responsibility for it. – Why are you acting like there’s nothing important in the emails? Obviously there’s something important if you went and deleted them. We shouldn’t have a president
that’s so untrustworthy. – It was irresponsible. But I also think we have to see the good that she’s going to do on office
and that she has done. She’s being held to a different
standard than what he has. I mean, even like when
those tapes got leaked, like, didn’t Billy Bush get suspended? And it’s just like, we’re not holding him, someone who’s running for president, to the same standard as
a talk show host. And that’s insane. – (FBE) And Hillary Clinton aside,
this is the first time a female candidate has won
a major party nomination. So what are your thoughts about the idea of a female president
of the United States? – It’s about [bleep] time. – Men have [bleep] it up for long enough. – I think it’s a fine thing. I mean, women aren’t weaker than men. – I think it’s great. The guys are gonna hate me when I say, I think women are smarter than men. – It’s time. So many countries have it.
Why are we so far behind? – She beat me in being
a presidential candidate. I wanted to be the first lady
president of the United States. – America as a whole,
that’s a very big step forward. Less than 100 years ago,
a woman couldn’t vote. – I don’t want a woman
just because she’s a woman. I want a woman because
she’d make a good president. – I think we should have
a his and hers president. They have to work together.
Wouldn’t that be great? – It’s our time. And anybody who thinks that
a woman is not qualified to lead– anything, but this country–
has got another thing coming. I have a daughter, and this is
really a watershed moment. Right now, there are a lot
of changing moments, like Obama with the first black president, and then gay rights came out. And I’ve been alive for all of this. And then if we have
our first woman president, then I’ll be alive for that too. And I’ll be like, “Yep, I remember that.” – (FBE) And are you comfortable telling us who you plan to vote for? – Honestly, I’m probably not gonna vote. Some people might say every vote matters. But I just don’t think
my vote will matter. – I’m not comfortable
in relaying who I’m voting for. I think that I would like
to leave that as a surprise. I’m with her! – I’m with her. – I’m gonna vote for Trump. – I voted for Donald Trump. – I’ve already voted for Mrs. Clinton. – I plan to vote for Trump. – I’ma vote for that lady. – I will be voting for Hillary Clinton. – I’m voting for Trump. I think the biggest thing with Hillary
is there’ll be no change. I mean, jobs will continue
to leave the country. – I’m voting for Hillary. – I’m gonna vote for Hillary. Donald, if we pick him,
it might not just be a national crisis. We might go into a very
big international crisis. – I’m voting for Trump. I believe he’s the most
responsible, the most capable. – Do I agree with his personality
and things he’s done and said? No. But in the big picture,
I think he’s gonna be the better one, if we can control his mouth. – Donald J. Trump. Everyone looks at me and criticizes
me saying I support him. I support the idea of Donald Trump. And if it could be anyone
other than Donald Trump and having the same mindset as him, everyone would be on board with it. – I have to vote for Hillary, because, hell, I can’t vote
for Donald Trump. – (FBE) So a lot of people will say
that anything a kid says is only because of what
their parents have told them when it comes to opinions
about someone running for president. When you hear that,
do you think that’s true? Or do you have your own opinions
separate from your parents’? – Some kids only do their parents’. But I– personally, I do my own opinion. – We talk about it in school. We see it on social media. We have a good sense of what’s going on. – I have opinions
separate from my parents’. When all the candidates were
running, I was going for Hillary. My parents were going for Bernie. I’m like, “Why can’t we go for Hillary?” – Kids have their own opinion. Like, don’t think that they are just little people under your feet.
No. They have minds of their owns. They could turn on you any second. – (FBE) And final question that we asked in our last presidential election episode: with the election in two days, what would you want
to say to potential voters who are watching right now?
– Get out there and vote. – Either side, please vote.
I mean, it’s really important. – At least pick one,
because if nobody votes, then it’s just gonna keep on
going on and on and on. – Don’t fall into what
the media always tells you. Do your own research. Don’t just look at
the memes, laugh it off. Pay attention to the issues. – Somebody fought their [bleep] off to give you the right to vote. So get out there and exercise that right. – It is our responsibility
as American citizens today to go exercise that right to vote. So whatever you do,
do not sit at home. And go vote. – Vote from your mind as to
who’s gonna move America forward. We’re a little chaotic right now. We’re a little bit divided. We all can come together
and pull ourselves up. (silence)