Continuing a perma-death Fallout 4 diary, in which I begin with absolutely nothing other than a plan to to voyage around only the outermost periphery of the world.
Eastward ho, then. I crawl along the edge of the Fallout 4 [official site] world, some unknown force preventing me from heading any further North, but despite this strangeness it’s quite pleasant. It’s not obvious from here that the apocalypse ever happened. Here, it’s just quiet woodland. No leaves, admittedly, but it could be Autumn. A November ramble through the outer wilds of New England. No guns, no radiation, no factional warfare, no stuffing backpacks with old tableware and electronics. Just me, my bare-ass and the land.
Naturally, I am not, in fact, anything like that patient. After approximately six minutes of hiking, I first become bored and then panicked. Nothing is happening – more to the point, what if nothing happens? What if the entire edge of the world is like this, and my entire orbital plan is doomed to consequence-free tedium?
This is followed by a strange sense of relief. If it is, then… then I’m going to have a lovely time. I will purely see sights, I will never have to fight, and I will experience the Commonwealth in a blissful state of peace, so different to the life of its other put-upon inhabitants.
Then a shape flickers onto my PipBoy’s compass. Yeah, finally some action, let’s go murder some mutant wildlife. Uh, I mean, gosh I hope it’s just some oddly attractive and entirely deserted ruined building to gaze at and think upon the folly of man.
It’s neither. It’s a scrap yard, full of rusting cars and broken fences. No life, no chaos, no beauty. An inauspicious start, perhaps. But then I spy something altogether more interesting nestled amid all that crumpled steel:
Instinctively, I drop into a crouch and scuttle off to hide behind something tall. I am naked, with no weapons and no medicine, so I can’t afford to take any chances. But after a couple of minutes, it’s clear that this hulking security bot is as lifeless as the cracked brown maple trees all around us. I hesitantly walk over to it. Nothing. Talk at it. Nothing. And relax.
I paw methodically through the debris, hoping to find some overalls or a tyre iron – something, anything to make me a little less vulnerable. Best case scenario, a pistol and a few stimpaks. Or…
I’ve been in The Commonwealth for seven minutes, and already I have a portable nuclear bomb. An omen? Or an invitation to get cocky, in order that things can then go disastrously wrong.
In any case, I only have one shot with this thing. Better make it count. I briefly toy with firing it at the deactivated robot, in case its carcass reveals useful junk, but reason that I should save my lone nuke for emergencies. I am not in danger right now, but if I use the nuke here I won’t have anything to defend myself with should I get jumped by some irradiated horror. I’ll just stick the Fat Man here in my pocket and…
Look, it’s just best for all concerned if you don’t ask where I’m keeping it, OK?
There’s one thing here I haven’t checked out yet – a shiny trailer, hopefully full of lovely, lovely things. But hopefully not full of scary monsters and super-creeps. I’m presuming anything horrific would have sought me out while I was crashing around the junkyard and staring open-mouthed at nuclear weaponary, but you never do know. Time for a skulk.
Nope, nothing in here. Just a weapon crafting station – which I can’t do with unless it has options for upgrading underwear – and a terminal. Oh, and couple of circuit boards, a hammer that’s too small to use in combat and some anti-rad medication. All theoreticlaly useful, but no help to might now. Into my, er, pockets it all goes.
I also find a magazine, which tells me how to paint flames onto power armour. Hah, like I’m ever going to end up with power armour on this particular journey. Maybe I can flog the magazine somewhere, though. Time to check out the terminal next, which is full of pre-war emails about stock and staff anxities, though one mentions the arrival of that big old security droid out in the yard.
The junkyard owners didn’t know its origins, and were too scared to power it up. I, however, am not. I might be butt naked but I’m reasonably confident I can get out of here without the thing seeing me in the event it turns out to be hostile.
The thing powers on, but just flashes some lights and mutters something about the army. Useless. I check out what commands I can give it via the terminal; there’s the option to send it to one of several destinations in order to help out the military, to turn it back off again, or initiate self-destruct.
No doubt sending it out into the world would have some useful pay-off further down the line, but the odds are pathetically low that my pre-determined route would pass through any of killbot here’s possible destinations. So instead, I claim first blood.
I feel a little rotten about activating self-destruct – I’m murdering the first other entity I’ve encountered, which doesn’t set an entirely positive precedent – but the potential for valuable junk is impossible to resist. So, robot go boom.
The explosion is not without consequences – a mole rat’s shredded body thumps messily onto the ground from some underground warren, and is swiftly followed by two of its very much alive friendly, who make an immediate beeline for me. Time to get punching. I’m grateful there’s no-one else around to witness the sad sight of a near-naked middle-aged man try to box hairless rodents to death, but I’m even more grateful that the bloody things don’t hurt me too much before I pulp them into submission.
My brutality would not appear to be worth it. The carcass yields two fusion cores, which like the magazine are only useful for the power armour I will almost certainly never own, ammunition for a gun I don’t have and some junked circuit boards and fuses. That nuke remains my only recourse in the event of emergency, and I’m not at all confident that it won’t kill me too if I tried to fire it at anything. Still, at least I’m no longer empty-handed. Time to wander on, and hope I don’t run into anything alive and dangerous. My quest for armour and a weapon is likely to be a long one, I fear.
Who… how… why is this just left out here?
And because I blew up that robot and scavenged fusion cores from its corpse, I can actually use this absurd gift from the gods.
So, to recap, some 30 minutes after beginning this journey owning nothing except the undies on my bum, I now have a full suit of power armour and a portable nuclear weapon. This is not going the way I thought it would.