Born John McDonough, Hancock is the estranged younger brother of Diamond City's mayor, McDonough. The two had a rocky relationship from the beginning; John considered him "entitled" and claims that the elder brother would sometimes shove rotten tatoes down the back of his shirt and slap them.
Despite this, he held some degree of brotherly love for his elder sibling - but this all changed in 2282, when the elder McDonough ran for mayor on an anti-ghoul platform, inciting hatred and fear of the city's mutated inhabitants. The relationship between them broke down completely when John confronted him in his office after his inauguration speech, and his brother offered no sign of remorse for the anti-ghoul violence that his campaign had incited, simply gloating that the city was finally his.
Drugs and despair
John tried to save as many ghouls as he could by relocating them to the town of Goodneighbor, at the time run by the ruthless mob bossVic. Unfortunately, many of the refugees couldn't adjust to life in the slum and fled into the ruins of Boston and the surrounding wasteland of the Commonwealth, eventually dying to starvation or violence. Over time, he fell into a rut of depression and drug abuse, at some point taking an experimental, radioactive drug in an attempt to transform himself into a ghoul. The attempt was successful, and he today remarks that both the high and the subsequent transformation were "so worth it."
His absolute lowest point came after witnessing the murder of a fellow drifter at the hands of Vic's henchmen. Despite knowing that there was nothing he could have done against the armed goons, John nonetheless considered his lack of intervention cowardly, and in the aftermath felt "like less than nothing." In a fit of despair, he went on a particularly intense bender of drug abuse, eventually blacking out completely.
When he regained consciousness, John found himself lying on the floor of the Old State House next to a set of clothes that, according to a nearby plaque, belonged to the founding father John Hancock. Inspired by the historical figure (and in awe of his fashion sense), John donned the outfit and took the name "Hancock," taking it upon himself to raise a revolutionary militia to overthrow Vic. Temporarily going sober in preparation, he gathered a crew of drifters and convinced KL-E-0 to loan them some weapons.
They gathered together one night, waiting on the rooftops and inside buildings for Vic's goons to gather. Holding off until their opponents were heavily intoxicated from a night of partying, the militia burst from their hiding spots and massacred the gangsters. His muscle wiped out to a man, it was a simple matter for Hancock and his men to storm Vic's quarters in the State House, dragging him out to be hanged by the neck from the balcony.
Looking down from the balcony and seeing that most of the town had gathered to witness the commotion, Hancock issued a simple proclamation: "Of the people, for the people!" With that, he was no longer John McDonough, the Diamond City refugee, but John Hancock, the undisputed mayor of Goodneighbor.
Mayor of Goodneighbor
By 2287, Hancock continues to serve as mayor. The majority of Goodneighbor's citizens look to him for leadership, and he acts as a source of reassurance concerning the looming synth threat. Following the events of Bobbi No-Nose's big plan (The Big Dig), a plot to steal from his stronghold, he claims to feel too pampered and comfortable. He gives a speech proclaiming his leave of absence. ("No one in power should be comfortable for too long.") Hancock then proceeds to offer his services to the Sole Survivor as a possible companion.
Interactions with the player character
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.
Hancock occasionally gives the character chems. Like most other companions, he also make comments regarding places visited or generally about the Commonwealth.
If spoken to after gaining more than 500 affinity, Hancock refers to the Sole Survivor as his friend. It is then possible to flirt with Hancock, and by passing his Speech challenge he will mention that he has impure thoughts about them, and hints at acting on those thoughts. This is obtainable without the Silver Shroud costume while he is a companion and flirting within the second private conversation.
Hancock can be found randomly when taking a card from the loot deck. While Hancock is the active companion, the player character can exhaust him to move one enemy to their space and fight it. If the player character fails to kill that enemy, he must be discarded.
When the player character performs the camp action, he will become unexhausted. However, if the player character does not have Perception at that time, he must be discarded.
On the upper floor of the Memory Den the player character can break into Irma's (Novice) terminal and read an entry about Hancock that states: "...well, let's just say if you thought he was handsome and dangerous now, you should've seen him before he turned ghoul."
According to Deacon, Hancock turns a blind eye to the Railroad's activities in Goodneighbor. This can also be noted by the existence of a "Join the Railroad" holotape on his coffee table.
If taken to Vault 81, some of the residents there will insult him, to which he will reply with a witty remark.
When the Sole Survivor travels without clothing across location borders, Hancock will make comments implying he appreciates the view, or call them emperor (in reference to the Emperor's New Clothes). This will also increase his reputation with the Survivor.
If one has him around after completing In Sheep's Clothing, he will express regret for being wrongly angry with his brother.
Hancock's chems of choice are Mentats because they make him feel "intellectual." He has the second-highest Intelligence S.P.E.C.I.A.L. score of the companions, at 14.
Hancock wears an American flag as a sash.
It is possible that settlers in the settlements have a short conversation where they call him mayor and talk about their owing him money, indicating that they once lived in Goodneighbor.
Piper refers to him as her "second least favorite mayor."
Sometimes, if the player character fires a few bullets randomly, Hancock will say "Wait, you see 'em too?"
"Of the people, for the people."
"Plenty of folks wanna make life hard for people just tryin' to survive. I'm not willing to stand for that kinda shit."
"What kind of settlement requires a test for entry?" – Referring to Covenant.
"Whoa, the Downs. Hope we're not going anywhere for a while." – Referring to Easy City Downs.
"That kinda bull is the reason I became mayor in the first place." – Referring to The Big Dig
"Damn. Hey, look, if you wanna get outta here..." – If taken to Nate/Nora's corpse in Vault 111.
"If someone needs help, we help 'em. If someone needs hurting, we hurt 'em. It's not hard."
"Like it? I think it gives me a sexy, king of the zombies kinda look. Big hit with the ladies."
"Hey, does that play "Red Menace?" Love that damn game." – Accessing a terminal
"Looks like you can use a little pick me up." – Said when initiating dialogue with him as a companion (and him giving the player character a random chem)
"Whoa ho ho, I like you already! Walk into a new place, make a show of dominance. Nice." – referring to the Sole Survivor killing Finn
"Listen close. It's the last thing you're ever gonna hear." – When Sinjin tells the player character to stop speaking as The Silver Shroud
"Christ, it's bright in here. Clearly they didn't consider some folks might be nursing hangovers. " – Possible comment when entering Vault 81.
If completing The Big Dig with Bobbi No-Nose:
"How you doin' killer? Arms tired from all that digging? You know, my strongroom is surprisingly empty now..."
"Now if it was just the money, I'd rough you up, break a few bones, and then we'd be square once you paid me back. But you killed Fahrenheit. That means blood for blood."
According to a relationship marker in the game files, Fahrenheit is Hancock's daughter. This is never alluded to in-game.
John Hancock was a statesman and patriot during the American Revolution, who also took part in Paul Revere's midnight ride. His coat is housed and on display in the Old State House in Boston.
Hancock can be killed by the player character regardless when he is dismissed as a companion.[verified]
Hancock issues a misc quest to investigate Pickman Gallery, but if he is available as a companion, on returning to report to him there will be no dialogue available to complete the misc quest. This also the case with the interaction with Hancock in The Silver Shroud mission. To finish this quest, speak with Hancock and let him join as the companion. Then speak with him again and in dialogue, there will be an option to finish the mentioned quest. Hancock will say something like: "When I wanted you to investigate Pickman Gallery, I didn't mean you to take me there." He does it even if one didn't take him with or had another companion on that quest. After that, the quest will be finished.[verified]
As Hancock somehow seems to be non-essential, dismissing him while being far away from a settlement the Sole Survivor wants him to be (e.g. the Sole Survivor is at Sanctuary Hills, dismissing him back to Goodneighbor) will cause him to be killed halfway through his journey way back. He can be killed by anything in the wasteland, even a mongrel.[verified]
Hancock's maxed hero card in Fallout Shelter Online
↑The Sole Survivor: "You and McDonough knew each other as kids?" John Hancock: "Oh yeah. Guy's my brother. Grew up together in a little shack on the waterfront." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "Guy was the standard big brother - entitled, punchy, liked to shove rotten tatoes down my shirt and slap my back." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "Look at what happened to Diamond City. Before McDonough took over, it was a half-decent place to live. A little stricter than I usually go for, but not terrible. I thought he and I had a pretty happy childhood. But then he decides he's gonna try and get elected with his anti-Ghoul crusade - "Mankind for McDonough." " (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "I remember storming into his office above the stands after the inauguration speech. He was just standing there, staring out the window, watching as the city turned on the Ghouls. He didn't even look at me, just said:I did it, John. It's finally mine." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "I'd been sneakin' off to Goodneighbor for years to get decent chems, so I knew the safe routes. I managed to track down a couple of the families, lead 'em there, but most couldn't get used to the Goodneighbor lifestyle.I brought them food for a couple of weeks, but after a while, they just disappeared." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "Any chems I could find, the more exotic, the better. Finally found this experimental radiation drug. Only one of its kind left, and only one hit.Oh man, the high was so worth it. Yeah, I'm living with the side effects, but hey, what's not to love about immortality?" (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "They cracked him open like a can of Cram on the pavement. And we all just stood there. Did nothing." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "I felt like less than nothing. Afterwards, I got so high, I blacked out completely." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "When I finally came to, I was on the floor of the Old State House. Right in front of the clothes of John Hancock.John Hancock, first American hoodlum and defender of the People." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "I might've still been high, but those clothes spoke to me, told me what I needed to do. I smashed the case, put them on, and started a new life.As Hancock." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "After that, I went clean for a bit, got organized, convinced Kleo to loan me some hardware. Got a crew of drifters together and headed out into the ruins, started training. Next time Vic's boys went on their tear, we'd be ready for 'em." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "So the night of, we all got loaded, let Vic's boys get good and hammered, and burst from the windows and rooftops where we'd been hiding. They never even saw it coming. We didn't have to fire a shot. We didn't have to. But we sure fucking did. It was a massacre." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "Once we'd mopped up, we strolled right into Vic's quarters in the State House, wrapped a rope around his neck, and threw him off the balcony." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "And there I am, gun in hand, draped in Hancock's duds, looking at all the people of Goodneighbor assembled below.I had to say something. That first time I said 'em, they didn't even feel like my words:Of the people, for the people! Was my inaugural address. Became Mayor Hancock of Goodneighbor that day. And from then on, I vowed I'd never stand by and watch. Ever again." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑The Sole Survivor: "Why would you want to leave Goodneighbor?" John Hancock: "For one, you pulled a job on me. That means I'm getting too comfortable. Need to get out there and hone the razor.For two, Goodneighbor is about doing your own thing. If I don't leave every once and a while, the power's gonna change me. Can't have that." (John Hancock's dialogue)
↑John Hancock: "So, you got a ride of choice? I'm usually a Mentats Ghoul myself. Makes me feel intellectual." (John Hancock's dialogue)