Gametitle-FO4 FH
Gametitle-FO4 FH

The Way Life Should Be is a main quest and achievement/trophy in the Fallout 4 add-on Far Harbor.

Quick walkthroughEdit

Far Harbor Main Quest: The Way Life Should Be
Find out DiMA's secret.
Confront DiMA about Avery's murder.
(Optional) Report back to Kasumi.
Investigate the Far Harbor Hotel basement.
Tell Far Harbor about Avery's murder.
Have Teddy Wright examine the skull.
Determine the fate of Acadia.
See DiMa brought to justice.
Watch or participate in the attack on Acadia.
Talk with Allen Lee.
Reward: 600+ XP
Lucky Eddy

Detailed walkthroughEdit

The quest begins shortly after entering the Vim! Pop factory after obtaining DiMA's memory #1 during Best Left Forgotten. Enter the main factory and battle through the super mutants to find a security door on the lowermost floors. Inspect the terminal to open the security door and take the elevator to DiMA's secret medical facility.

Inside the facility is an unmarked grave. Exhume it to find the body of the real Captain Avery. Take Avery's skull, locket and the holotape What's Done is Done as evidence of DiMA's crime.

Before leaving, if Nick Valentine is the active companion, he can be used to fool KYE 1.1, the security program for the facility, into thinking he is DiMA, granting access to an additional room, filled with medical junk items and the legendary combat rifle December's Child. If Nick is not present, a medium Charisma check can be used to get access into the medical room.

At this point, three choices are available:

Option 1: Confront DiMAEdit

Return to Acadia and confront DiMA with the evidence of synth replacement. After reading the memory he had removed, he remembers all of the guilt he felt at the decision. He pleads to the Sole Survivor to conceal this information from Far Harbor, concluding that revealing the truth will enrage them to the point where they will raze Acadia as a whole for DiMA's crime. Either agree to keep his secret, which leads to Reformation and the conclusion of the quest, or convince him to turn himself in to Far Harbor's justice. If DiMA's secret is kept, he will give the player character the legendary synth chestpiece Acadia's Shield.

If one elects to bring their findings to Kasumi Nakano before talking to DiMA, she is distraught to learn what DiMA has been hiding and wonders if Acadia is worth preserving. Regardless of the Sole Survivor's answer, she is resolved to see this through to the end. Unless "Acadia will burn" is selected, she will provide a reward of 3 stimpaks, 3 RadAway and 3 Stealth Boys. If "Acadia will burn" is selected she will become irate and refuse to speak any further.

If DiMA is convinced to stand trial in Far Harbor, Allen Lee will attempt to incite the entire town against Acadia, fulfilling DiMA's worst fears. It is possible to persuade them to stand down and only exact justice upon DiMA, by either telling Allen to "shut up" or pleading that Acadia is innocent. A number of citizens can and will speak at this point:

  • Sandra Lee will always speak, agreeing with her brother to destroy Acadia.
  • The Mariner may speak on behalf of the player character for completing the various Hull Breach quests. If Machete Mike was murdered by the Sole Survivor, the Mariner will voice her suspicions.
  • Teddy Wright will speak on the player character's behalf if Rite of Passage was completed, unless one sided with Malcolm in Turn Back the Fog.
  • Cassie Dalton will always speak, in favor of the player character if Blood Tide was completed, otherwise she speaks in favor of Allen.
  • Small Bertha will speak in favor of the Sole Survivor for completing Turn Back the Fog.
  • Mitch will speak in favor of the player character after completing The Hold Out. Otherwise he may remain silent or speak in favor of Allen, depending on whether or not other citizens speak up.
  • Andre Michaud will speak in favor of the player character if he was cured by them.

If successful, Acadia is spared, DiMA is executed, and the quest concludes.

If unsuccessful, Allen executes DiMA, Brooks is killed as well and most of the town will immediately march on Acadia and execute all of the inhabitants, including Kasumi. One has the option to refuse to take part in the attack, but the synths will still be hostile and will attack if the Sole Survivor is close enough. All of the named Far Harbor residents are essential, so the attack will always succeed. Regardless of one's participation, Allen will give the player character Lucky Eddy when all the synths are dead. Additionally, the perk Destroyer of Acadia will be granted, which grants a 4x damage boost upon dropping to 20% health.

Option 2: Inform Far HarborEdit

Return to Far Harbor and present Avery's skull and locket to Allen Lee. He will want the skull examined by Teddy Wright to confirm it is that of the original Avery.

Taking the skull to Teddy will confirm that it is Avery's skull and he will ask what the Sole Survivor intends to do. He elects to keep quiet about it and let the player character decide, however he cautions against bringing it to Allen. Taking this confirmation back to Allen results in him assembling a lynch mob to assault Acadia and claim DiMA's head. The end result is the same as putting DiMA on trial and failing to convince Far Harbor to stand down, except DiMA will be at Acadia making his last stand with the other synths.

If one presents this evidence to the synth Avery, she will come to realize the truth that her own mind has been altered to sell the deception. She remains determined to keep the peace on the island and pleads for the Sole Survivor to not tell Allen the truth. She can be extorted for 1300 caps or told upfront that her secret will be kept.

If one has failed to prevent Allen from assembling his lynch mob, Acadia's fate is sealed. Either join in the violence or simply watch. Regardless, Acadia is destroyed and the quest concludes.

Option 3: Agree to Replace High Confessor TektusEdit

While confronting DiMA about Avery's murder, DiMA's recovered memories lead him to the conclusion that replacing High Confessor Tektus is the best option for peace while avoiding bloodshed. Agreeing to this option completes this quest and leads to the quest Reformation. Evidence for the other options is removed from the Sole Survivor's possession in this route.

Quest stagesEdit

50 Find out DiMA's secret
100 Confront DiMA about Avery's murder
150 (Optional) Report back to Kasumi
200 Investigate the Far Harbor Hotel basement
300 Tell Far Harbor about Avery's murder
400 Have Teddy Wright examine the skull
500 Determine the fate of Acadia
700 See DiMA brought to justice
800 Watch or participate in the attack on Acadia
900Icon checkTalk with Allen Lee

Companion reactionsEdit

  • Nick Valentine likes telling Kasumi that Acadia is an ideal worth protecting, in spite of what DiMA has done to make it happen.
  • Nick likes telling Allen to shut up when he suggests burning Acadia down and loves telling him that Acadia is innocent.
  • Piper dislikes it if you promise to keep Avery's secret after confronting her with the evidence.
  • When confronting DiMA about Avery, Nick dislikes telling him he did the right thing. Additionally, Nick loves telling him that Far Harbor has a right to the truth. It is possible to reopen dialogue with DiMA and ultimately agree with him or convince him to turn himself in after selecting this option.
  • When confronting DiMA about the launch codes, Nick likes telling DiMA the Sole Survivor will make sure the launch key is never used.
  • When confronting DiMA, Nick comments "Is that your idea of justice, because it's not mine!" if the player chooses "Let’s proceed" in response to DiMA learning the truth of what he’s done.
  • Preston Garvey likes telling DiMA that the launch codes will never be used, and hates agreeing to replace Tektus with a synth.
  • When talking to Avery, telling her "I'm sorry" when she realizes the truth about herself will elicit a like from Valentine. He hates extorting her, and has no reactions to any other choices in this conversation.
  • During the trial, Nick loves either of the persuasion options. He has no reaction to "It's your decision" and hates "Acadia should burn." He has no reactions to anything else during the trial.
  • If the player character chooses to bring the evidence to the synth version of Captain Avery, Old Longfellow dislikes choosing to keep Avery's secret, but this can be cancelled out by a like received for extorting her. Nick Valentine hates extorting her.
  • When confronting DiMA, Longfellow dislikes agreeing to protect Acadia, loves agreeing to protect Far Harbor, and loves agreeing to replace Tektus.
  • Curie dislikes the Sole Survivor choosing to replace Tektus.


  • Going forward with this quest by talking to Allen after doing the DNA test on the skull will fail the Institute quest Forbidden Knowledge and the Brotherhood quest Search and Destroy.
  • Completing the first steps of Forbidden Knowledge or Search and Destroy will fail this quest.
  • If Far Harbor destroys Acadia, Kasumi will be killed as well. As she can not be sent home until the quest Close to Home, players seeking to keep her safe while ending Acadia must bring the Brotherhood of Steel or the Institute to Acadia's doorstep by informing either organization after she has been returned home. If both organizations have been destroyed or the player is enemies with them, Acadia cannot be destroyed without killing Kasumi as well.
  • In the event of a "tie" during the persuasion attempt (i.e. only two people speak on the player's behalf), Allen wins. As two of the quests (Push Back the Fog and The Hold Out) require completing Rite of Passage, completing that quest and getting Teddy Wright's support is effectively essential to sparing Acadia.
    • During such a scenario (i.e. Hull Breach and Blood Tide completed so only Sandra Lee, The Mariner, and Cassie speak up), "Shut up, Allen" does not get him to stand down, whereas "Acadia is innocent" does, provided the hard persuasion check is successful. This implies that a successful "Acadia is innocent" overrides the whole process, or flips the tie-breaker to the player.
  • The execution varies slightly depending on whether the town sides with the Sole Survivor or not. If the town sides against them, Allen shoots DiMA and then Brooks. If the town sides with them, Mitch shoots DiMA on Captain Avery's orders and Brooks is spared.

Behind the scenesEdit

"The Way Life Should Be" is a tourism slogan used by the state of Maine, where Far Harbor's real-life analog is located; it appears on many of the signs marking the border as one drives in from New Hampshire.


  • PCIcon pc In some cases, Teddy Wright will speak up, but AGAINST the player, stating that people left for Echo Lumber on the Sole Survivor's word and haven't been heard from since. This may be a bug, since Teddy was previously seen to support the idea when proposed by Bertha. At any rate, if Teddy says that line, the people of Far Harbor will elect to attack Acadia regardless of quests completed and/or successful speech checks.[verified]
    • A workaround is to disable and enable Small Bertha. When DiMA confesses to the town Teddy Wright still says that Small Bertha and Tony were never heard from but Small Bertha speaks up for The Mainlander and Allen Lee stands down. DiMA still gets executed but Acadia is spared.
    • If one did not talk to Malcolm after clearing Echo Lake Lumber, they may have sent the settlers to their doom and that could be why Teddy Wright speaks out against the player.
  • PCIcon pc When DiMA stands trial in Far Harbor it might happen that Avery is missing. This is a game breaking bug because this main story quest requires her to be present or it will not be possible to complete it. She can be teleported to the Sole Survivor's location with this console command: xx005c82.moveto player. The xx has to be replaced with the load order number for the Far Harbor add-on. If one has installed all of the add-ons in their release order this number will be 03, i.e. 03005c82.moveto player. Or one can try with 01, 02, etc. until it works. She will appear when the console is closed.[verified]
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