Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Dead Mutie is a Good Mutie

Wasn't sure if I could bother doing this again, but what the hell.

So then, Fallout.
The third world war has left the United States a dead wasteland where living is hard. Supplies are tight and what there is has to be fought for. Living in the wasteland is for the most part just dying, and those pesky radscorpions, raiders and... well, anything that moves in the wastes really, just bug the living hell out of you wherever you go. Of course, the most dangerous critter you can face out there is yours truly.
Hi, I'm Johnny from Vault 13 and unlike my bastard grandson in the future I'm not an idiot with high charisma and low everything else. I kick ass and nobody even notices it with my high sneak and even higher small guns skills. I don't take shit from the NPCs and I don't make as many mistakes as the Chosen One from Arroyo of the future past. Not saying I don't make any mistakes at all, I just don't reload and repeat them several times. Hell, when my long-time friend and brother in arms dies at the hands of some Raider scum I just shrug it off and kill the bastards myself, and when the police of a town gets angry at me for handing out twelve gauges of law, order and justice, I blast them too if they pop their heads out.
So far life's been good for me and anyone else who hasn't gotten in my way during my search for the water chip.

Unlike in Fallout 2 this time around I decided to be more straight-forward in my quest and create a more usable character. In Fallout 2 it bugged me that I couldn't really do anything particularly well and in battles had to really rely on the NPC companions to weaken the enemies. It was all because of my stupid choises for character stats. In Fallout 2 I also reloaded often to get the most out of the quests and places, and if you recall I also had the annoying habit of picking up everything and then complaining how I couldn't sell the junk away for a reasonable price.
In Fallout, if I mess up a side quest I won't reload, and if an NPC turns hostile when I would need him calm in order to do something outside the main quests, he'll be dead and will stay dead. Tough luck. If I die I do naturally reload and then maybe do things the other way, but for the most part what happens, happens. I also only pick up what I need and can carry, which has worked out just fine.

So, the Overseer of Vault 13 sends me on a mission to retrieve a water chip as the Vault Citizens are dying of thirst. Quite soon I find myself outside the Vault entrance in a cave with 20 rats. I know there's 20 of them because I spend an awful long time killing them all and then later check the stats for what I have killed and how many.
The Fallout wasteland seems more peaceful than Fallout 2's. There's hardly any encounters and during my trip to the east towards Vault 15 I don't meet anyone until Shady Sands. Shady Sands is apparently some shithole village started by Vault 15ers, and I stop there just to check what's what. I meet some greeters who I couldn't care less about, a doctor and his wife who refuse to heal me because I'm not hurt enough, a bored teenage girl named Tandi, the village leader who whines about radscorpions and a man named Ian.
Ian's an NPC companion, and I ask him to come with me. He says he needs a downpayment or something, but I tell him that he can freely collect stuff during our adventure and that's it, nothing more. He agrees and we head to the radscorpion cave to collect us some stingers and get some exp and caps. Ian does most of the work killing the scorpions because my skills are still rather low, I only hit level 2 around here somewhere, but I get the exp and caps from the Shady Sands leader. While collecting the rewards I notice that Tandi's not around and I assume she left because according to her own words she found the place boring, but none of the few people in the town mention her disappearance so me and Ian just continue to Vault 15 in the east.
Outside the shack with a ladder down to the vault is a lone radscorpion. It's hardly a fight, but I thought I'd point it out anyway. Underground outside and inside the vault there's a whole bunch of varying types of rats, but apart from the big hairy one they can be one hit killed with a 10mm pistol. I can fire only once with my measly 9 action points but Ian can fire twice a round allowing us to theoretically kill 3-4 rats a round due to my high sequence number sometimes granting me two turns in a row, and so far this quest seems easy. I guess I might be back at Vault 13 with the water chip in half an hour if things go smooth.
First real obstacle of the game is just around the first corner, though. The lift's not working and the game tells me I need a rope. A rope, from where the hell am I supposed to pull a rope out of?! I run back to Shady Sands to buy a rope from some random villager and then hurry back to Vault 15 to climb the elevator shaft. There's mostly just more rats on the second floor but also some extra bullets for a gun I don't have and another elevator shaft I need a rope for. This is retconned in Fallout 2, because all vaults are supposed to be built the same way with only ONE elevator shaft each. Vault 15 somehow later combined these two elevator shafts and I seriously can't figure it out how that can be possible. This layout's bullshit and I quit!
Yeah, I'm not being serious, instead I use the rope which I luckily found on the second floor and climb to the third floor. More rats, and even more rubble. I come to a dead end and the game tells me I will have to look for the water chip somewhere else. Buggery.

Well, Vault 15 was a disappointment and Shady Sands seemed boring, so me and Ian head to this other green spot on the map just south of Shady Sands. On the way there we have one encounter with a caravan, still no random battles.
The spot is apparently a raider camp, a particular group called the Khans. I look around the place and even try to ask one of the females out on a date with no luck before entering the big building. I meet the big man himself who, to my surprise, has captured Tandi and I get some speech options for negotiating for her release. Being the nice guy I am, and knowing that both me and Tandi could easily get killed in the middle of this bunch I buy her and some equipment off of the Khan leader what's-his-name.
I return Tandi to her home in Shady Sands, talk to her father and then double back to the raider camp to make sure nobody ever hears that a bunch of raiders got a laugh at my expense. Within 20 minutes the place is full of dead bodies and not a single survivor except for myself and the two slave girls who don't show their gratitude in any particular way. Ian, unfortunately, runs out of ammo mid-battle with the lone leader and for some very odd reason runs away only to go and melee attack a bunch of raiders on the other end of the map that hadn't heard of the commotion and were not hostile yet, and subsequently gets himself killed. Well, an idiot's an idiot dead or alive. I kill the last raiders, even get two of them running away before shooting them in the back, and leave Ian where he fell. With new equipment and lots of bottle caps I head to the far-away place on the map called Junktown. I hope I didn't create a time paradox.

Junktown, a much more town-looking than Shady Sands with it's police, jail, mayor and two criminal organizations spread across three screens with people and buildings. Right when I enter a guard offers me two quests: finding evidence against a fatso named Gizmo and finding evidence against some gang called Skullz. This town's police wants to handle everything by the book and find evidence before arresting or kicking out someone, which doesn't sound like much fun for this lone rider. Doesn't really matter, though, all I want to do is find a water chip and get the hell back in the hole I crawled out of.
It's night so people generally just tell me to come back in the morning everywhere I go, even the 'badass' gang Skullz is sleeping, although I admit that sleeping while standing up is a nice feat. All I can do is talk to Gizmo and a man who asks me to get rid of a dog whose previous owner had short dark hair with grey patches on the sides, wore black leather and carried a shotgun. Hmm... I got rid of my leather armor back in the raider camp when I was overloaded with junk so, uh, I'm not wearing it.
Gizmo the fat gamble man offers me a job when I talk to him. He asks me to take out Killian Darkwater, the mayor, and would pay 1000 caps for a job well done. I haggle it to 1500 caps and he agrees, and I leave. MacGyver is one of my childhood's favourite tv-shows so instead of killing Killian I go tell him about Gizmos offer. Killian doesn't just take my word for solid evidence and asks me to get a confession from Gizmo while wearing a microphone, which I try with negative results. Or positive from my point of view. You see, Gizmo only keeps asking me if the job is done without mentioning the actual order to kill Killian, and on the third try he attacks me since I still don't have Killian's dog tags for evidence. There's goes that word again... like coppers like crooks.

I kill Gizmo and his lapdog and take Gizmo's neat gun. I casually walk outside and one-hit kill the two bodyguards outside without them even getting a turn in. By the way, in this game the NPCs have a harder time to notice on-going battles than in Fallout 2.
I go to talk to people and find out that although some guards are happy that Gizmo's dead, killing in this town is not tolerated and that I messed up and should leave. I don't tolerate that sort of mentality, the kill was self-defense and only because I refused to kill the good mayor for money. I won't leave.
I go see the town doctor, Doc Morbid, who is not a pleasant chap. He's actually pretty annoying, so I go check out his underground lair on my own. I find this little man packing bits of meat inside a container, and talking to him reveals that the meat is people and it's sold as iguana bits in the Hub. I don't tolerate this kind of behaviour, this false advertising. If the meat is people then it should say so on the package, it should not be called iguana bits. What if a customer is allergic to people and thinks he's getting iguana? He might die, and that's no good. So I kill the little man after the dialogue is over and then I go up top to kill Morbid for being so morbid. Morbid keeps running away but these two guards in the hospital get curious about the noise in the other room. Curiosity has now killed more than cats, although I shouldn't really be talking after stuffing my Vault-nose into somebody's people-burgers. I also kill Morbid as soon as he stops ascending/descending the ladder for a breather.
Being now the resident Punisher I decide this town needs some cleaning up. I've already taken out half of this town's scum, why not throw a couple more on the top. Skullz, here I come! (One of my great ideas for Fallout 2 roleplays was a Frank Castle run!)
I find out the Skullz are total losers. I let them start the fight with a few bad words from me so that if anyone asks the kills were necessary, and soon there's a whole pile of them in the hallway of the hotel they were residing in. I happen to find a leather armor from someone and go wear it near the dog who then becomes my NPC companion. I go talk to the guy the dog didn't let inside the house but he just tells me to leave, and when I do he attacks me. Well, if you wanted it you should've just asked for it. He's dead, as well as the female guard outside who got interested in my business.
The rest of my misadventures in Junktown can be shortened to: people who didn't turn hostile towards me didn't die, the rest were blown to bits. Well, I actually initiated combat with the last four non-hostile guards... all of the Junktown police, even MacGyver are dead now. Sorry. But, at least six civilians survived, maybe more!
I did get great loot, though, more money from Killian's safe than I would've gotten from Gizmo plus everything from the Junktowners.
Moving on.

The Hub. Some sort of a merchant town, big place, and the police here are even stricter and more vigilant than in the last place I visited, so for a change I'll take it easy. I ask around if anybody's heard of a water chip and I'm directed to a place called Maltese Falcon by one guy, and someone else tells me to go see the water merchants. Water merchants, you say? Bingo?
I also meet Iguana Bob, the people person. I try to blackmail him into splitting his profits with no luck (I actually wanted to shout loudly about the meat being people but the mouse is occasionally iffy with this stuff) and I go and try to report his actions to the local sheriff. All I get to do though is either tell the sheriff that I was wrong or that I can't talk or I'll get killed, so I move on. I'd kill Bob, but the police... buggering bastards.
There's this Lenny or Lemmy guy who stops me while I'm window shopping and tells me he could give me satisfaction. I've heard that one before. When specifically inquired about it he says he knows about the water chip thing and wants 500 caps for the information. I'm no dummy and I have two other leads, so no thanks, bub. I also think he was a ghoul, but it's hard to say now. Roleplaying the old fashioned Vault bigot I think ghouls and muties can't be trusted and they especially should avoid getting to my bad side, although anyone from the wastes trying to stop me from getting the chip will end up on his or her backside. Well, they don't always fall back when shot, sometimes bits come off and, well, they'll end up on some side anyway.
I also meet a guy who's sad that some raiders took over his home and threw him out. Being a generous man I offer to off the raiders, which I do with general ease. I just can't wait to play Tactics, if you're wondering. The man says he has nothing much to give me as a reward but what he does have for me is just what any boy wandering the wastes in bloodlust would want. A pistol, which is actually a modified rifle, one of a kind weapon. Uses ammo so common I find it on the ground like litter, does more damage than my magnum or shotgun and asks one less action point per use, allowing me to attack twice a round. No, sir, I thank YOU.
After the great late birthday present I finally go see the water merchants. They say they don't have a water chip but do know that for some reason the citizens of Necropolis have refused to buy water from them, making this "Necropolis" my next destination. I also buy water for my peeps back home and ask the merchants to deliver it there for 2000 caps, postponing the dry doomsday with 100 more days. Good. The merchants try to warn me about the supply caravans directing people's attention to Vault 13 way, revealing it's location to possible evil-doers, but come on! Who the hell would want harm for my sweet ole hole in the mountain? Nope, they're safe there like in the Lord's pocket, just bring on the damn water, woman!
What was I doing again? Oh, right, Necropolis. I have no idea where it is, so instead of getting lost and dying in the desert while looking for the place I go see if the caravan traders have a job for me. They do, in just two days. I wait a while and sign up for a caravan guard's job on the 3rd of... whatever month, destination Necropolis! We meet three ghoul raiders on the way there, armed with spears. Pathetic bunch.

Necropolis. I shorten this story because majority of the time here is spent on waiting for ghouls to advance towards me and Dogmeat in battle.
Lots of grunting ghouls die and in the sewers one more intelligent zombie asks me to not take away their water chip when I tell him what I've come here to do. The water chip is what gets them water while their old water supply is out of order. Being the nice guy I am I tell him I'll fix their water shed problem in exchange for the chip and head out to search for the missing part for the water... thing the ghouls need. Being the arsehole I am, though, I give up looking for the part quite soon as I just can't find it and I already forgot the directions and hints. Tough luck, but my Vault needs water also. Suck rocks, zombies, I hear that helps.
I meet this Set ghoul who offers me a job. Generally I wouldn't care, but he says there's super mutants he needs killed. Sign me up, partner! So I go to the water shed and kill the muties. It seemed like a tough task with one flamer mutie and one plasma rifle mutie to back the fighters, but some quick sneak attacks through windows and my finesse trait's occasional criticals get me quite a few one-hit kills and let me take 'em one at a time. Six muties less in the world, and I can promise you more if you stick around. Well, to be honest it really depends on whether I see any more of them, and it's quite unlikely any will actually ever again end up in my way. Yes, very unlikely.
I release a ghoul from prison in the water shed and head inside a Vault of sorts underground. I find the water chip with remarkable ease, and I even get to use these few talking albino zombie bastards as target practice while I get ready for real trouble on my way home. I'm quick to leave these slow rotting sons of bitches to die here, I've got a Vault to save and some hot red heads in matching jumpsuits just dying to do dirty stuff with their very own Vault Dweller hero. And why not get dirty, we've got water to spare now and I've got stories to tell.
What an oddly short game, though. I'm done already, what on Earth could possibly go wrong?

On my way to Vault 13 I meet Bob the car salesman. His invisible cars and lack of loot do not impress me or Dogmeat, so we push forwards. Or is it backwards now that I'm returning?!
Back home I spend like half an hour trying to locate the Overseer, who is actually sitting on top of one of those moving spaceship toy-things the kids can ride in malls. The developers should've serious added a large red arrow pointing at him, you can't believe (unless you know me already) how many times I rode the elevator and exited and entered different rooms, talking about rebels and water thiefs with the god damn no-name jumpsuit lovers and that one hot Theresa girl while looking for someone titled Vault Overseer. I'm particularly fond of red heads, by the way.
There's one guy who asks me if I've actually killed anyone with that thing, but I think he's talking about my shotgun I had equipped. I actually had to think about it for a minute, because I did have two shotguns at some point, it really could've been either one of them that I used to SLAUGHTER THE FUCK OUTTA EVERYONE!
Anyway, after handing the water chip to the childish Overseer (seriously, come down from there and let the other kids try the machine too) and updating the vault archives with records of my adventure outside I get ready for the credits roll and Theresa's hot love. Unfortunately some bastard at BlackIsle thought 5 hours for a roleplaying game like this was too little, and I get a new objective. After having read my report the Overseer thinks somebody's specifically creating the super mutants out in the wasteland and wants me to go and stop that shit before they're so widespread they threaten the Vault's safety. Damn it.
And I was this close to getting inside Theresa's jumpsuit...

Ha haa! Still managed to continue my one post a day streak with 35 minutes to spare despite me watching Quantum of Solace earlier this evening. It was a good picture by the way, it really... shit, the images! Crap.

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