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Some minimal early-game spoilers for Fallout 4

Butch:

Didn’t do much yesterday save for tinkering (I STILL haven’t gotten a perk…what did you do?) and earning a trophy for dying spectacularly. Yup. There’s a trophy for that. It was “Hey what’s that? A camp? Hmm. Let me look at it through my trusty scope (you know you do that, too). Hey a raider. And hey, what’s that sound? Sounds like a” BOOOOOOOOM I’m in pieces. Trophy.

That was my night.

You play?

Feminina:

I’m sure I will get that trophy soon!

I did play a bit. Went to Concord, and I don’t know if that was exactly the part you were talking about, but you’re right, it’s kind of hard to see how you could have followed up on that quest in a nonviolent fashion.

I did notice that the first couple of raiders didn’t IMMEDIATELY shoot at me (though possibly because the first one was shooting at someone else and didn’t see me, so I just walked up behind him and shot him in the back of the head, which made me feel a bit icky), so maybe I could have just hung out and waited for them to kill all the settlers…? And then nonviolently allowed them to go about their business…?

Or maybe I could have stood aside and eventually the settlers would have rallied and killed everyone by themselves, and I could have said “see, personally I’m a pacifist, but now that you’ve killed everyone on your own, I’ll help you”? By getting into this giant armor with a big-ass gun that doesn’t really have a nonviolent purpose and somehow nonviolently ‘clearing Concord of hostiles’? Seems implausible. (Although I found out the armor does allow you to walk on the bottom of a river, which is a handy and not necessarily violence-oriented ability. Maybe I could have impressed them with that and they would have all run off.)

And you don’t really have the option to TALK to raiders (whom I will probably often call randits since they serve the same basic game function), so it doesn’t seem like I could have just convinced them to go away through the sheer force of my personality, although admittedly I did not actually try.

But it really seems as if following up on that quest required killing some people. I guess I could have ignored the quest entirely and thus avoided killing anyone, but just walking away and ignoring quests is sort of contrary to the way these games are usually played. And the helpful tip guy hasn’t said anything about “you can disable opponents in a nonlethal fashion by sneaking up and choking them into unconsciousness” or anything, although that would seem like a plausible use of sneak.

So basically I killed a bunch of people, as one does. And a deathclaw. I kind of felt bad about the deathclaw since it did me a favor by killing half the raiders for me, but it didn’t just wander off afterwards as I was hoping, so ‘clearing Concord of hostiles’ apparently required its death. Also, did deathclaws always look so much like dinosaurs? That thing was scary. I was like “what the hell is that?!”

Anyway, after Concord I’m supposed to go to Diamond City because a mystic druggie told me my son is alive and to look for him there, but I only had a few minutes at that point so instead I wandered off in a random direction and found a neighborhood full of feral ghouls, which I killed off. Then I prepared some tasty cooked bloatfly at their campfire, gave a bunch of random loot to Codsworth to carry, and called it a night.

Butch:

If Mr. O’ hasn’t already gotten that trophy. He’s fucking minting them. He got seven in one day. SEVEN!

Whoa for real? You can walk underwater with power armor? I shall check. But I’ll save you a heartache: that thing can run out of gas. Or “fusion core” if you rather. Mine did at a VERY BAD TIME and has been parked in Sanctuary since. Use wisely.

But re: non-violence, yeah. Ergo, me calling bullshit. I mean, those settlers are kinda important. They weren’t gonna die, and you had to save them, and randits just don’t chat. So bullshit.

Maybe they were being all technical and said “You don’t have to fire a shot,” which meant you could use a baseball bat. Who knows? But this is a fallout game, and people were going to get blown to bits in a fallout game. They just were.

As for deathclaws, I dunno, man, I’m old school. Deathclaws in the old games looked sort of like deformed elephant muppets. So all this quick scary shit jars, and always will.

It picking me up and slamming me was a bit disconcerting, but cool. I, of course, had to explore where it came from, too. MAN there is a lot to explore.

I’ve done a lot since that druggie told me that. She is an interesting one. I like that, in opposition to usual game tropes, she’s not really respected. Usually when the mystic old person is all mystic, game dudes are all “We must HEAR the words of the SAGE one” and shit. It’s kinda neat that when the sage one is all sage everyone’s like “Will you stop giving her jet? She’s fucked up. Ignore her.”

I heartily recommend that you do NOT go to diamond city next. I haven’t yet, and I’ve played more than you. It’s a) easier and b) more interesting if you go to sanctuary, putz around with them for a bit, and get to know Preston Garvey (the dude in the fetching hat). Plus you’ll get to see what settlements are all about.

Feminina:

This game separates saves by character, unlike the Witcher 3, so we might accumulate trophies individually (although they are still only counted once by the PS tracking system). I’ll have to see. It’s true I haven’t seen many yet (any? not sure), so maybe they do only count once and he’s getting them all first again. Siiiiiigh… But not really: I don’t really care.

Did you get trophies for basic stuff like “leave the vault”? Because I haven’t seen that sort of thing, so if they have them, they must only give them out once.

Seriously! Try it! I was by the water and figured, well, I’ll see if this thing protects me from the rad damage I took last time I walked through a river, and not only did I not take damage, I was completely submerged for a while and still just strolling along. Remember that in case you ever need to recover something from the bottom of a riverbed. I don’t know how its air supply works, or how long it lasts, but it was enough to cross a river at a leisurely pace.

I did take the armor off when I finished killing feral ghouls, just because it feels kind of awkward to walk around in all the time. Knowing it can lose power, maybe I’ll just leave it there for now and come back for it next time I need it. Ooh…there’s a workshop there, so maybe I can build a shed to keep it in!

Ha, yes, that could be it: you can get through the whole game without ever using a gun! Just beating everything to death with a tire iron! (Like that Simpsons joke: “He seized power in a bloodless coup. All smotherings!”)

I suppose one could argue that’s SLIGHTLY closer to ‘pacifist,’ in the sense that beating someone with a tire iron requires taking an up close and personal responsibility for their death that just shooting at them from a distance doesn’t have, and that taking responsibility is more akin to ‘pacifism’ morally than is just shrugging off hundreds of slightly more remote deaths, but…it’s not exactly how most people would probably use the word.

Butch:

They do only give trophies once. But, this game hands out trophies like treats on Halloween. I mean, you ever heard of getting a trophy for dying a certain way? Jeez. And there aren’t even any ridiculous “Finish the game on hard in 30 minutes while listening to punk rock” ones that only crazy people get. Yes, Leave the Vault was one.

Not a surprise you aren’t seeing them. Trophies are tracked by your PSN account, not a character.

Being able to walk underwater is both good and bad to know. Good cuz yeah, that radiation stuff sucks and looking for a bridge is annoying but bad because they’d only put underwater shit in if you eventually……hard to even type it…..have to swim.

Shit.

Now that I remember, I think there were swimming bits in FO3 and FONV and I didn’t like them.

Well, at least I can be pretty sure there’s no horseback riding. I hope.

You can fast travel in power armor even when it runs out of juice, which is a lifesaver. I’m keeping mine by one of those power armor repair/upgrade stations. There’s on in sanctuary, but they seem to be pretty common. SERIOUS belief suspension: “Well, here I am sneaking through his basement. In power armor. Oh, hey, a power armor station in this abandoned basement that still works somehow! Now I’ll take an hour to repair it with welding torches. No one noticed! Great. Back to sneaking…..”

Yeah.

But considering last night, while trying in vain to get the tinkering perk you promised me, I upgraded my bat to include screws and razor blades, not really very “pacifist.”

On that, did you know you can name weapons? I spent altogether too much time playing with that particular feature last night. It IS handy cuz you know how in bethesda games you wind up with like seven of the same thing and one of those is the nice one you’ve upgraded and you never know which it is? Well, name the good one! Boom.

Feminina:

Ah, well…I’ll never see a trophy, then, because Mr. O’ is WAY ahead of me on this one. Oh well. I will play unencumbered by the distraction of external recognition for my not-very-impressive exploits!

I don’t know about FO3, but FONV had that one vault that was flooded…I remember having to go underwater looking for things there. So, yeah, it’ll probably turn up once or twice. But you’re not really swimming in power armor, more just walking underwater. (Somewhat more realistic there than Geralt swimming along in the middle of the open sea while wearing 50 pounds of metal and carrying 27 extra swords…) Maybe you won’t dislike that as much.

Ha–so much suspension of disbelief. Sneak…sneak…spend an hour in someone’s shed banging away on your armor, undetected…sneak…it was ever thus with Bethesda.

I gave names to a bunch of stuff in Skyrim. Like I had this ring that increased my carrying capacity, and I called it Liftinator.

I didn’t say I gave GOOD names to a bunch of stuff.

Butch:

Yeah, that flooded vault. I remember that. Through hallways and shit. I HATED that.

Just for fun, sneak in power armor and go to the third person view. It’s a parody of itself.

Feminina:

“No one will notice me in this walking tank if I just crouch down a little. Look, I’m even tiptoeing with my giant metal feet!”

Butch:

Make sure you’re holding that minigun in the third person view, when you’re sneaking.

It’s awesome.

I’m still trying to avoid the third person view because, even though Jessica is pretty cute, her “armor” makes her look like a walking garbage dump.

Where’s your character? Sceenshot, dammit!

Oooo! I forgot! I re-read the post today about carrying around that toy dinosaur. I have my “dinosaur” for this. “Jangles the Moon Monkey.” I forget where I found Jangles the moon monkey, but I’ve decided that he reminds Jessica of her son, and so she’s going to carry it always.

Jangles does absolutely nothing. But shit, c’mon, like you’re going to throw away Jangles the Moon Monkey.

Feminina:

I still have Shaun’s ‘You are S.P.E.C.I.A.L.’ book. Sniffle. Haven’t seen the moon monkey yet.

Oh, and I took a screencap of myself last night, but forgot to send it. Mid-conversation, had to finish the conversation, etc. I look rather nice, though…wearing glasses and a hard hat. It’s a good look. I’m telling you, I was in construction when I was younger.

Butch:

Ooo! I forgot I could pick that up. I’m sure there was heart wrenching dialog associated with it.

I’m wearing a garbage dump, military fatigues, and a poker players visor. Nice.

Feminina:

No, no dialogue, but you get a stat increase from reading it. Go get that book!

Ooh, poker visor! That’s sharp.

Now that I’ve killed a bunch of people, I’ve looted a ton of leather leg and arm pieces, so I need to upgrade my outfit. Bet I can improve my AC a bit. I mean, raiders wouldn’t be wearing totally useless crap, would they? It’s not as if we ever left piles of terrible looted armor strewn across the Skyrim landscape.

Butch:

Ah, shit, stat increase? I forget which house is mine. Hope it’s still there.

Bring it all back to Sanctuary. Armor capital of the world.

Though a) you can upgrade stuff and b) you can scrap stuff! Not enough whatever to make that other whatever? You can scrap a piece of armor and use the parts to make your gun better! Nice!

I heartily recommend any upgrade that has the word “pockets” in it. Apparently, having a pocket lets you carry five pounds more. Cuz…..uh……well……. um……

Feminina:

Pockets! It’s all about…uh…redistributing the weight! Yeah! Good tip, though, I will be all about those upgrades.

I think your house is the one right next to the one with the workshop equipment? No one but me ever seems to scavenge anything, so the book is probably still there. Those settlers don’t care about it–none of them have children.

I do like the option to scrap things. It makes various things that are basically useless suddenly potentially useful. A lot like “breaking down” things in the witcher, actually.

I will collect all the garbage in the world and turn it into useful building materials to house homeless refugees! Now that’s a laudable goal.

Butch:

Five pounds makes a HUGE difference. Seriously.

Some settlers have children. Just not there….. feels incoming….

Yes, scrapping is like breaking down. And far easier. That breakdown stuff was a revelation. Monster tissue!

Have you figured out the radio, by the way?

Feminina:

Oh, yeah, it was just like you said–click on a station. I didn’t get that I had to actively select it, I guess. I moved the stick, what more do you want from me!?

So I was listening to Diamond City Radio while killing raiders last night.

I’m happy to give settlers with children the baby book…now that I’ve already read it and gotten my stat increase.

Butch:

Jr. has “Civilization” on his ipod. His current favorite song.

There’s other settlements. You’ll find ’em. Do the Sanctuary quest line, get to know Garvey. We’ll talk.

Feminina:

I miss “Big Iron,” though. I guess each post-bomb region was left with a limited selection of records, or whatever they recorded music on, and that’s what they play.

I had an option at one point in the conversation to “join the settlers in Sanctuary” but I decided to talk to Mama Murphy and it went away. So I’ll have to actively go there, which means I’ll probably get sidetracked 20 times along the way.

I assume Diamond City is Fenway Park? So that will mean traipsing through a lot of Boston proper. Yeah, I think I’ll stay in the surrounding area for a bit. Level up some. Boston is bound to be a cruel and horrific wasteland. I mean, more so than today.

Butch:

Big iron was great. I do miss that one.

Apparently the ink spots were really popular pre war. Everywhere.

Diamond city is Fenway. They do seem to have the geography right. M still wants me to nuke bi. I’ve toodled around “college square” in Cambridge some. Well done. And some shit around concord kinda blew my mind.

Fast travel. Fast travel is good. Fast travel matters.

Feminina:

But if you fast travel, you miss the chance to explore and stumble on things! And get sidetracked for days.

Butch:

Yeah, that’s the thing with this game. You have to say, when you sit down, “ok, tonight I’m gonna do quests, or tonight I’m going magpie.” And stick with. Cuz this one is at least trying to be more linear than skyrim. Which ain’t saying much.

Feminina:

Right. Because you WANT to magpie some. If you don’t do some wandering and exploring, you’re going to miss stuff. Some of it cool.

And yet, it’s easy to get sucked into endless rounds of wandering, checking out one more landmark, one more landmark, OK just ONE more landmark…which as you say is bad for the ongoing narrative.

Butch:

Yeah. I kinda go one play this one play that.

There’s also some herding. Like yesterday, the spectacular death was just that one more location thing. The game basically said “ok, that’s enough. Go back.” So you follow it’s lead. Got a few locations, found some pockets, then boom, and back to story.

Plus I have found most locations aren’t pointless. Skyrim had endless saw mills that were there to, what? Never figured it out. This game? I’ve already stumbled onto a location only to find it’s like episode three in some other story.

Feminina:

Ah yes. Which is always kind of helpful later when someone says “for this next task you must travel far into the uncharted reaches of wherever,” and you can say “oh, that place next to the thing? I’ll be there in 30 seconds!”

This did actually happen a fair amount in Skyrim. I remember one time I came across this house with a couple of creepy vampire-looking people in it, just kind of staring at me, not attacking or anything, and I said “ooookay” and left, and then later on someone sent me there to investigate some mysterious goings on. Turned out the people in the house were vampires!

Spoiling the story for yourself is an occasional hazard.

Butch:

Or better the “hey, could you go kill that place full of raiders?” And you’re all “dude, where do you think I got this pile of junk I call armor?” Boom!

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