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In Fallout 4, after the Sole Survivor's son is taken from the vault, they are refrozen in the cryogenic tube. After escaping from that, he or she goes on the quest to get their son back.

I haven't yet finished the game and maybe I didn't pay enough attention at the start, but to me it seems like the Sole Survivor is absolutely convinced Shaun is still alive and hasn't yet, well, died of old age.

When and how does s/he learn how much time has elapsed since the kidnapping? Do they know this from the start?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes, later on during the main quest the Sole Survivor does figure out how much time has passed since Shaun was kidnapped.

During the quest Institutionalized, when the Sole Survivor first visits the Institute, they meet the leader of the Institute, Father. It turns out Father is Shaun, and 60 years have passed since he was kidnapped. Up until this time, the Sole Survivor assumes about 10 years has passed since the kidnapping.

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Can you add some information about the last statement inside the spoiler? I agree with this answer and have upvoted, but I don't remember how the last part of your spoiler came about. – nhgrif Mar 13 at 15:52
@nhgrif at the very least F****r did assert that the Sole Survivor would not be surprised to see S***n as a 10 year old boy - hence the little surprise Sole Survivor gets when inside the I*******e. – Jan Dvorak Mar 13 at 16:49
Did anyone else realise this? There is clues... everywhere. If you only care to look and listen. (The first one coming from the robot...). – djsmiley2k Mar 13 at 19:32
@nhgrif I can't remember when it came about either - I know it was early on in the game, though. I'll see if I can find anything more about it. – Adeese Mar 13 at 19:36
@nhgrif I couldn't find anything specific, but if I had to guess it was sometime around Reunions or Dangerous Minds. – Adeese Mar 13 at 19:58

The Sole Survivor is a grief stricken parent whose whole world was just torn apart. He or she simply overlooked that fact and wants to cling to the hope that his or her son is still alive.

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This answer only barely answers the question, but is ultimately completely incorrect by the time the player finishes the game. – nhgrif Mar 13 at 15:51
The way the question was phrased, it was asking how the Sole Survivor knew how long had passed, right after leaving the vault. At that point SS has no concrete idea of how long ago Shaun was taken, yet still assumes Shaun is an infant. My answer is why the SS assumed Shaun was still an infant at the start of the game. – bgalin Mar 13 at 19:11
This is correct at the start of the game, but doesn't answer the main question: "When and how does s/he learn how much time has elapsed since the kidnapping?" – DCShannon Mar 14 at 22:21

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