John Hancock is a ghoul who resides in the settlement of Goodneighbor, serving as its de facto mayor. Born John McDonough, Hancock is the estranged brother of Diamond City's mayor, Mayor McDonough. The then non-ghoul John cut ties with his brother after the mayor banished all ghouls from Diamond City, resulting in the deaths of numerous innocent ghouls as the inhabitants turned on them. John tried to save as many ghouls as he could by relocating them to the town of Goodneighbor, but many couldn't adjust to Goodneighbor. Their deaths would continue to torment him into the present day. John relocated to Goodneighbor, viewing it as a haven for those who didn't fit in anywhere else. He is exceptionally punitive toward his enemies or those that break Goodneighbor law but can be a good friend and valuable ally to those who treat him with respect, punish the guilty, and protect the innocent.
He became a ghoul sometime after 2282, following the use of an experimental radioactive drug. In spite of his ghoulification, John Hancock considers the high "so worth it," as well as noting the near-immortality he obtained as a benefit. Before John Hancock became mayor, the town was run by a ruthless mob boss named Vic. After witnessing the death of a fellow drifter by Vic's henchmen, John got high and passed out. When he came to, he found the clothes of the real John Hancock and, inspired by their presence, he took it upon himself to raise a militia and overthrow Vic. From then on, he became John Hancock, the mayor of Goodneighbor.
Currently, Hancock serves as the self-appointed mayor of Goodneighbor. The majority of 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.
When John Hancock's approval with the Sole Survivor reaches the highest level, he will grant the Isodoped perk, which makes the critical meter fill +20% faster as long as the Sole Survivor has at least 250 rads.
Hancock is a potential candidate for romance, an option that unlocks after reaching the highest level of affinity.
Range of interests
Chem use and addiction.
Giving others chems.
Asking people what they need.
Harm/cruelty towards those who rightfully deserve it.
Hancock will occasionally give the character chems. Like most other companions, he will also make comments regarding places visited or generally about the Commonwealth.
If spoken to after gaining more than 500 affinity, Hancock will refer 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. This can be exploited with quicksaves and restores to quickly max out affinity.
Hancock likes any actions done in the nude. Besides fast traveling, crafting and working on settlements are easy ways to gain affinity.
Hancock can be killed by the player character, upon which he will say "One... last... trip..." This is most likely caused by the random companion death bug where essential flags get removed.
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 apparently Mentats because they make him feel "intellectual," as stated in one of his offhand comments. 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.
If one kills Fahrenheit during The Big Dig, he will describe as having a "devil take me" attitude. This could be a reference to the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker," in which a Massachusetts man makes a pact with the Devil for fortune. Tom Walker's last words are "the Devil take me if I have ever made but a farthing!"
According to a relationship marker in the game files, Fahrenheit is Hancock's daughter. This is never alluded to in-game.
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."
John Hancock was a statesman and prominent patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He also took part in Paul Revere's midnight ride.
Hancock appears to be wearing John Hancock's coat and the hat of Major Thomas Melville, both of which are in reality currently housed and on display in the Old State House in Boston, the building in which Hancock makes his home.
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]