Fallout 4: Michael Radiatin’, Day 2

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…

Hmm.

Hmm.

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.

Wait, what?

What?

WHAT?

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.

27 Comments

  1. HothMonster says:

    Alright Alec fess up, you knew that armor was there already right? You wandered a little farther south and nearer to a raider den then any naked man following the border would.

    That being said I am surprised you didn’t sick the robot on the radar array that is like 10 feet from that armor to get all the raider’s gear. Maybe that was a little too meta gamey?

    • ScottTFrazer says:

      Ha. Yeah, as I was reading the “I’ll never use this” I kept thinking: about 50 paces south is a suit….

    • Jackablade says:

      To quote a certain Australian murderer-celebrity, there’s no point letting the truth get in the way of a good yarn

  2. Davie says:

    I can only assume you’ll complete your circumnavigation flying the Brotherhood’s blimp with a small army of tamed Deathclaws along for the ride.

  3. shagen454 says:

    I was on the fence about this one with all of the negative hype that has been going on with this game. I liked Fallout 3 & NV regardless of being discontent with Black Isle being gone and the Bethesda approach to Fallout. From the hyper I was feeling like I shouldn’t like this because it is the same old same old from Bethesda.

    After about 30+ hours in game, sneaking through Boston with my silenced 10mm, submachine & sniper rifles, thick ambiance – beautiful ambient soundtrack, shots being fired in the distance, flashes of bombs going off.

    Eventually, on a mission I made my way through Libertalia. I think I thought it was a part of the quest but I made my way all the through the fortress, clearing the area. Sniping from afar. This was when I fell in love with this game. It’s a really really well designed world, it’s got a certain feng shui about it – bugs & all. A lot of Bethesda games are fairly cookie cutter – but I am not seeing this problem in this game, sure there are plenty of go here and kill them all missions – but each location is at least fun & unique.

    • geisler says:

      The “problem” the way i see it with Bethesda games is just that. They are able to put this amazing character in their environments and world, but this is on a huge disconnect with almost everything else. From the shallow gameplay mechanics to the NPC design and writing, to very basic things like UI design, down to game stability and general polish, those are all fairly bad to abhorrent in some examples.

      Also, it doesn’t help that while their engine is great for rendering these huge worlds on mainstream systems while maintaining decent performance, the visual fidelity has been lagging behind compared to other open world games with every new release.

      It’s a great game if you like to wander around in interesting environments, but mediocre for anything else. For walking around, there are better games out there.

      There is this quote by Totalbiscuit gets thrown around a lot in these discussions but i do think it describes Bethesda games very accurately: “As wide as on ocean, but as deep as a puddle”.

      • Danarchist says:

        For whatever reason I read that post in the voice of comic book guy from the simpsons. I know I should be worried that I am hearing voices, but often they are quite funny!

  4. geisler says:

    Seems like doing open exploration instead of following the first 15 minutes of the main quest yields exactly the same thing; getting showered with overpowered early gear.

    Also, the waifu appears to be modeled after the singer Sia.

    • shagen454 says:

      On my point, I would much rather have this be a real Fallout RPG in the classic Fallout sense. This time around it’s very actiony, but I’m willing to see the game for what it is and appreciate the game for what it is and not for what it is not.

      Even though it’s very action oriented, I prefer it’s “janky” system to those of actual shooters. I also appreciate the encounter pacing, there is a lot of empty wandering without enemy encounters. There are some well placed boss/legendary encounters. One mission had me going to clear out a fort – on the way in I saw a hulking beast. The Brotherhood of Steel was doing most of the work clearing out the area I was supposed to go clear – so I got them to focus their fire on the legendary & mostly clear the area that I was supposed to instead while I picked off the stragglers with silenced weapons. Good times.

      It could be an immersion thing as well. Some people might not have the time or patience to get fully immersed. For a game like this, I grab a couple of beers, pack a bowl, turn down the lights, turn the volume up and put the headphones on. Total immersion.

      • metric day says:

        Er, yes. Most media is far more entertaining stoned and drunk if you like to get stoned and drunk.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Disagree on the drunk thing but he only said a couple beers, which shouldn’t get anyone over a 100 lbs drunk. I do agree that a little “buzz” will let you forget the real world a bit more and immerse yourself in the game world.

  5. shagen454 says:

    That is true, but I wouldn’t say “most media”. I would say something that one appreciates already that is fabulously layered will take on a new dimension.

    You guys are Brits, one of the best records ever recorded was My Bloody Valentine “Loveless”. I might have listened to that a hundred times sober and it’s great. Stoned it’s excellent, on LSD those production values, 100’s of layers are beyond fantastic. Now if I would have put on something that is akin to “most media” in the UK – like Rod Stewart’s “Another Country” which is currently in your top 10 album chart – it would be a sickening experience, sober, drunk, stone or tripping.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Did High times ban you or something? Lol every other post is about altered conscience substances.

      • shagen454 says:

        Just got out of the cryo-chamber Vault where Rick Strassman experimented on my brain sending me to hyperspace hundreds of times. It was horrid!

  6. kderby42 says:

    I have to call you out here. Your power armor screens have different armor configurations.

    • ShaunOfTheFuzz says:

      I set off on the same path today to see what was in store for the diary series (interesting times lie ahead), but I wasn’t sticking to the edge, I used it as an excuse to visit an sites that popped up. I got that power armour at the time and I can’t remember if it came with a helmet. If it did then he could easily have looted the helmet by accident, taken the screenshot and then replaced the helmet when he was getting into the suit. More curious however, is that I remember thinking; “it’ll be a bit suspect if he gets this armour, it isn’t really near the edge of the map”. Also, I’m pretty sure you needed computer hacking to activate the robot, but maybe you start off with some basic ability and only need higher ranks for harder hacking? I can’t remember. So for now it’s probably best to activate the “benefit of the doubt” perk and just be entertained by the writing.

      • ShaunOfTheFuzz says:

        Curse you lack of an edit button!

        Just noticed that the helmet is not the sole problem with the power armour, so now I’m back to being baffled. Perhaps we’ll get a reply?

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          Qazinsky says:

          Notice the [Caution] at the screen of the power suit, meaning he met something mean he didn’t mention. He’ll just write about the interesting stuff, if you want him to take full inventory and fight logs, this will go on forever.

          • zarnywoop says:

            In my game there were a couple of eradiated doe (? I think) running around. They don’t attack, but show up in red as an enemy.

          • silentdan says:

            Yeah, I noticed that, too … if I’m recalling that location correctly — and by the skeletal soldier slumped against the PA leg, I think I am — there should be a hostile Mr. Handy and, far worse, a hostile Assaultron. If either of those killbots had spotted him clearly, we would’ve read about the end of Michael Exsanguinatin’ right here. I’m not sure he realizes what he so nearly escaped …

  7. davoz28caboose says:

    The high level enemies according to the map are on the far bottom and right of the map, so staying on the outside might not help you! Also, you might think you are overpowered until you run into a level 50 irradiated Deathclaw :)

  8. Johnathon says:

    I must admit, I was expecting you to die a lot faster than you have … ;)

  9. Rad says:

    Ok, wait…why does the armor pieces change from the first image to the second? The first has the torso and legs, while the second has one leg, one arm, the torso, and helmet?