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Fallout 4: Fishy Factory Blues

A Fallout 4 perma-death diary, day 4

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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.

You’re all a bunch of WEAKLINGS.

In the last instalment, I asked you to vote whether Michael Radiatin’ should continue his planned journey around the outermost periphery of Fallout 4‘s Commonwealth, even though it involved wading through an irradiated ocean for an indeterminate and quite probably lethal amount of time, or move the goalposts so that he always remained on land, heading prematurely South but avoiding a watery grave.

45% people wanted me to swim for it. 55% wanted me to remain a land-lubber.

The cowards have it.

I’m both disappointed and relieved. I hate to walk away from a challenge, but I’d also hate to have ended this series so soon. And at least this way, the Commonwealth still retains some mystery for me – what would happen if I went all the way out East, into that water? Would I return? A tale for another day.

As it happens, it’s not long before I wish I’d run into the sea instead. I’m out of my depth even on dry land. A greenhorn like Michael was never meant to wander so far from Vault 111 quite so soon – my PipBoy deems almost every creature I encounter to be far deadlier than I am. Every fight is horrendously stressful, the humblest ghoul able to take huge chunks out of me and requiring me to constantly consume irradiated food and weird drugs, and squander those few medicines I find. I run away a lot too, but because I’m determined not to head backwards, I keep running headlong into new trouble.

Following the coastline, I’m soon dragged a little further East anyway, onto a small peninsula with a large, colourful building at its end. A gangrenous ultra-ghoul guards it, and one punch removes most of my health and showers me in radiation. My wholesome BBC namesake would be appalled by how many chemicals I shove down my throat in order to survive, though he’d probably think more highly of my decision to hide inside the cabin beached boat and wait for the ghoul to lose interest.

After a while, it scuttles away.

I creep out of the cabin.

It immediately sprints back over to me.

I scramble back inside, and uselessly lodge a couple of bullets in its head. Might as well have thrown confetti at it.

I manage to break its line of sight once more, eventually it scuttles off again. I climb out and OH WHY WON’T YOU JUST PISS OFF. And repeat.

The next time around, I plunge off the side of the boat and into that water you’d all told me to avoid. The suit protects me from the worst, and I’m only in there briefly, but it keeps me hidden enough that the ghoul doesn’t return. I skirt along the edge of the peninsula, finally reaching the crumbling factory at its tip.

There are a few fresh Raider bodies scattered around the place, which doesn’t bode well. Someone else has been here. Question is, are they still here? If that ghoul’s anything to go by, I’m going to die finding out. But I will find out.

There’s something very fishy about this factory. This is because it is a fish factory. Or was, anyway. Sadly I don’t get to fill my pockets with a piscine bounty, but instead just the usual assortment of junk, entry-level pistols and irradiated ready meals. I skulk everywhere, as occasionally I hear the sinister flat voice of some hostile robot. I don’t know what it is, but judging by the state of the raiders – look what they did to this one…

…I don’t think I want to. It’s not like I have a choice, though. For as long as there seems to be any route forwards, I can’t go backwards, which means it’s not long before I’m nervously riding an unpleasantly open-sided elevator down into the factory’s bowels. Where I’m spotted by Synths right away.

Michael Radiatin’ doesn’t know what a Synth is. Synths definitely don’t know who Michael Radiatin’ is, though it’s possible they’ve seen Spamalot and that’s why they’re so hostile towards a Palin-alike. They also carry energy weapons, which I quickly learn fire incredibly quickly but don’t too much damage per shot.

They bee-sting my hide, gradually wearing it away, but I stay alive long enough to reach a sheltered area.

In it I find more junk and a chemical crafting station, at which I knock up some random carcinogenic cocktails, purely because I can. Then it’s back out into the fray. Three of them, my PipBoy adorning each with a little red skull to denote deadliness, are on me instantly. Health pours away. I reach desperately into my pockets and….

Darkness falls.

I should have gone into the water.

To be continued…

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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