One of the best parts of Fallout 3  was finding the series-long companion Dogmeat. One of the worst parts was when Dogmeat died mere minutes later as an overzealous combatant going after people with guns. He just dropped like that.

Talking about Dogmeat and how he plays into Fallout 4, Game Director Todd Howard of developer Bethesda Softworks addressed exactly that. Dogmeat’s ability to die felt realistic, sure, but for many players it was what Howard calls a reload state, the same as if they’d died themselves. Instead of keeping that aspect of the game, they threw it out entirely. The dog is still there – it wouldn’t be Fallout without Dogmeat. But now, Howard confirms once again, Dogmeat cannot die. He can go down in battle, but he’ll get up once the action dies down, as will all the other dozen or so companions.

Alongside this bit of game-specific information, we also got a peek at the real life dog that helped bring Dogmeat to life this time around. Bethesda’s lead level designer, Joel Burgess, brings his German Shepherd into the office and ended up being the main source of footage for the fan favorite. While he’s just one of many companions, the footage shown so far has made heavy use of Dogmeat, and having convincing animation is going to make him a much more fun companion to have around.

Fallout 4 hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Nov. 10.

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