John Hancock is a ghoul who resides in the settlement of Goodneighbor, serving as its unofficial 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 city turned on them. John tried to help as many ghouls as he could relocate to the town of Goodneighbor, attempting to save as many lives as possible, 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 place 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 overthrew Vic from power. 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 guidance, 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.
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.
Showing sympathy towards the feral ghouls when talking with Initiate Clarke during the quest Duty or Dishonor (by admitting that trying to keep the feral ghouls alive was worth a shot and then promising the Sole Survivor will not hurt them).
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 flirted with in the second private conversation.
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 quick saves 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 off hand comments.
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."
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.
pcxboxone Hancock can be killed by the player character regardless when he is dismissed as a companion.[verified]
pcxboxone 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 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]
pcps4 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]