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11

Rebel Without A Pause Key (Part 1)

Fight the Powers That Be!

News reaches me that Ultro-ASCII game Dwarf Fortress is having its latest release tonight, so while we wait for that, I thought I’d try something else. One of Bay 12’s older games. Namely, this:

Watch out forces of conservative oppression: I’m all hopped up on Lentils, I’ve been listening to Rage Against The Machine for the last four hours and I haven’t tidied my bedroom.

Liberal Crime Squad, as the name may suggest, places you as the sort of Terrorist organisation who spend a lot of time listening to the MC5 loudly. Its tongue is firmly in its cheek, but I suspect that wouldn’t stop some people finding it offensive. “Some” being defined as “Probably not the counter-cultural Bakunin-lovin’ readers or Rock Paper Shotgun”, or at least hopefully. In it, you’ve basically got to forward the liberal agenda by any or all means. It usually ends with your glorious Liberal hippies besieged in their safe houses by The Man. Now, I played it a little a couple of years back, but since then I’ve forgotten how it works entirely, so will describe my successes and failings here. And I suspect they’ll mainly be failings – it’s a game which uses the Rogue-like save systems, meaning if I die or lose men, they’re gone.

So this may be a series of diaries where I get shot in the first raid, and die in a pile of mine and everyone else’s entrails.

(Like morst of Bay12’s games, I recall it’s impressively bloody for game solely in text. But more of that in future episodes, I suspect, when I stick it to the pigs, the cops, the rozzers, the filth, etc.)

So – not having a clue what I’m doing or why I’m doing it? I’m the perfect left-wing terrorist.

The game starts with you creating your character. In the manner of Ultima, you have to answer questions about your background. Unlike Ultima, they’re less about Virtues and more about the time you tortured a spider with a magnifying lens while solemnly touching yourself, and then your mum came in, and you’ve been mentally scarred ever since.

Here’s the first one:
FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE!

The questions start giving me clues about what statistics I’m creating though. I go for option A, as like my comrades-in-arms Rage Against The Machine, I’m down with the Sandinistas (Note to prod: Check whether Rage Against The Machine actually are down with the Sandinistas). I’m also called Derek Wallace, which I’m going to have to do something about.

Later, I have this one to weigh up…
FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE!

Hmm. I decide that I want nothing to do with the consumerist culture inherent in the American automobile and that I did enough wearing black and moping in real life. Instead, I go off and live with my Nam addled dad. Of course, in real life, I have been to ‘Nam. Chippen’ham.

FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE!

Probably the hardest one yet. On one hand, I do understand what it’s like to feel my work isn’t REAL enough, y’know. On the other, I do like beating the living shit out of people. But on the third, I’m well used to taking money from rich people. In exchange for writing about games, yes, but it counts and isn’t modern serfdom in any way whatsoever.

A couple more choices – I went for an AK-47 for my birthday, as much like Weird War’s bequiffed revolutionary Ian Svenonius, I still believe in AK-47 – and the character is completed. In body. In mind, I need to be rebaptised for my life as a revolutionary, my first cry the slogan of our glorious Liberal Crime Squad movement.

Which takes us to the start of our campaign and the homeless shelter I call home.

FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE!

Which is where we leave it. Next time: either recruiting sex-slaves or shooting lawful citizens, I suspect. No, really.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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