Fallout 4: A Dance With Deathclaws

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.

Guess I’m paying a visit to Chez Deathclaw, then.

Once again, you voted that I break my own rules – in this instance heading backwards and forwards in order to return a Deathclaw egg to the nest some now-eviscerated soldiers nicked it from. I’m not going to use Fast Travel, because that really would shatter the whole ethos of this journey, but in the hope of making my round trip as short as possible I do follow the straightest line to my destination that I can, rather than traipse around the periphery once again.

(Also nothing will happen if I simply retrace my steps, and that would be boring.

First things first: getting out of the corner I’m squeezed into alive. A particularly mean Deathclaw is stomping around on the other side of the wall, and I know from experience that all I can do is piss it off more. Fortunately, it seems a little less interested in me since I abducted its unborn child. Go figure. I’m about to make a dash for the exit when I realise something: I’m coming back here. For the first time, I’ll be returning somewhere, which means I could leave my very nearly depleted Power Armour here and use what little juice it has left on some small measure of my real journey. I figure no raiders are likely to nick it from a building guarded by a Deathclaw, but take the 95%-drained Fusion Core with me just in case.

So long, old friend. Hope I get to see you one more time.

As I head out into the darkness, I feel far more jumpy than usual, and it’s not just because I’ve left ol’ shellhead behind. It’s because I no longer have the arguable security of knowing that at least one side of me won’t suddenly release a swarm of horrors in my general direction. I am truly inland for the first time, and it makes me insecure. Anything could happen.

‘Anything’ turns out to be an flying bear.

Followed by an angry chef. I didn’t manage to get a picture because he was trying to kill me but I did get this sweet hat after I’d finished shotgunning him in the face:

He also left a list of ingredients he was after, which does not include ‘half-dead Monty Python lookalike’s butchered skin’ so I’m none the wiser as to why he attacked me.

I narrowly avoid a few Super Mutants and their reliably brutal dogs, as I’m feeling a bit too pink and squishy without my armour, and skulk my way to the Deathclaw nest relatively unscathed. Mama Deathclaw has got there ahead of me, and makes an immediate beeline for me. I sprint. She sprints faster. She’s right at my back and… I plonk the egg back in the centre of the nest and she skids to a halt.

We stare at each other for a while. Was that a smile? I’m sure I saw a smile.

Oh man, I’m turning into one of those poor, sappy idiots who say “I know my cat can smile” even though cats don’t have the necessary facial muscles to smile, aren’t I? No, the Deathclaw did not smile, but more far more importantly it did not impale me on its claws then eat my head, which by Deathclaw standards is basically a marriage proposal.

She also lets me loot her nest – egg aside – which yields a set of Deathclaw claws that pack a punch in melee, and some dead Raiders and Settlers carrying some vaguely useful ammunition and armour parts. And OH MY GOD FUSION CORES MY POWER ARMOUR IS SAVED I’M SAVED THIS DIARY WILL GO ON FOREVER

Oh no, my mistake, those are Fusion Cells. Dammit! Two shots for my Laser Rifle, in other words. Imminent death it still is, then.

I wave bye-bye to the Deathclaw using the severed appendage of one of its family members, which it doesn’t seem unhappy about, then hit the road again.

I’ve headed slightly South during my short time in the nest, which means I’m not following exactly the same route back. Which means New Things! Like this Almighty Tower Of Doom:

It’s guarded by a few Raiders, who are the first enemies I’ve encountered in a while that my PipBoy doesn’t freak the hell out about it. I take ’em out relatively easily, then head into the tower, only narrowly avoiding a tripmine at the bottom of its spiral staircase. There’s not too much going on in the tower, but the summit yields an excellent view, a dead man with a key to a nearby chest and some sort of radio mast with a big, tempting button on it.

I press the big tempting button. A siren sounds. Seconds later, I hear gunfire. Peeping cautiously over the parapets I see a few more bandits have arrived. Along with two massive Deathclaws, which my PipBoy very much freaks the hell out about. Er. This seems like a very unhelpful siren?

I have no dog in the race, so leave the monsters and maniacs to fight it out. This takes about seven seconds, leaving me still with two almost entirely unharmed Deathclaws to deal with.

Time to spend some points.

You may have been wondering how my skills have developed during my time out here. The answer is “not a lot”, partly because I’ve run away from so many fights but mostly because I’ve been stockpiling my options to learn new abilities until I had a clearer idea of what I’d most need. This is because my first skill was an almighty miscalculation – I’d gone for one which let me intimidate beasties that aren’t as tough as me into simply giving up, but the trouble is everything out here is far, far tougher than me. What a waste. Now I have a sense of what would help though, and I have the scars to prove it.

Here’s what I go for:

  • Bonus toughness and carry weight if I’m travelling alone (I doubt I’ll meet any companions out on the borders)
  • Improved Stealth
  • The one I really should have gone for right off the bat, which is to make me resistant to radiation while swimming.

I keep one in the bank in case I need something particular later, then try to creep past the Deathclaws. This does not work. Bloody Deathclaws. So I run, with two of them hot on my heels, and no hope. Come on guys, I took your egg back, didn’t I? Ask your mother.

This it. This is the end.

The end of the land. Now I am footloose and radiation free, I plunge off the bank and into the poisonous river below, and swim for it. The Deathclaws don’t follow.

I am deliriously happy. This is an excellent escape, yes, but it also proves that one of my older enemies is now defeated: I can swim. I can go anywhere. I will not have to compromise further.

Right, time to get back on track. Where my Power Armour at? Oh, typical. Right back in the direction of those Deathclaws gurning at me from the far shore.

To be continued…

23 Comments

  1. nigelvibations says:

    Go Michael go!!

  2. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    Bitchin’ hat, totally, i can’t see how you could possibly go back from that now.

  3. HopperUK says:

    This is delightful and is making me love Michael Palin even more than before, somehow.

  4. sepi9 says:

    Hey, I have been following these diaries for a while and I have to say, you write really nice, and I’m checking everday to see if you wrote the new part. Plus, you have dream job man. Keep up the good work.

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    heretic says:

    Great diary! Shame no poll to make you go back into those deathclaws for a hasty death :P

    • Sin Vega says:

      There should definitely be a poll. If you really want to circumnavigate the map then when you should go along the sea bed.

    • machstem says:

      Twitch Plays Michael Plays Fallout 4

  6. PancreaticDefect says:

    I love that I have enough hours into the game to know exactly where he’s going and what he’s going to encounter when he arrives. I voted against returning the egg because I already knew about the mother deathclaw waiting (in my game she picked me up, roared in my face, then threw me to the ground, despite having returned her damn egg, forcing me to kill her) and the raider tower with the deathclaw summoning siren at the top. I definitely thought returning the egg would kill him. He’s lucky he didn’t run the opposite direction toward the psychiatric hospital with its angry mercenaries and the mirelurk hunter nearby.

    • Zenicetus says:

      There must be some variable that triggers Deathclaw Mom to attack or let you go, because I returned the egg and didn’t get attacked. It made sense in the quest narrative — why would that option to return the egg even be there, otherwise? But it still seemed odd to have a Deathclaw not attack immediately, after you weren’t carrying the goods. They’re not supposed to be that bright.

      Anyway, I know what you mean about having enough time in the game to see where he’s going, and what might happen next. The blog has already gone a lot further than I expected. This Michael Radiatin’ has some mad survival skilz.

      • PancreaticDefect says:

        I think what I did wrong was I ran up to the nest and put the egg back in while the deathclaw was still in the middle of her animation of sliding down the wall to reach the nest. So the AI probably never even realized I’d done it.

  7. Clement says:

    The fight I triggered here lasted quite a while and was very entertaining. Maybe because I’m a higher level?

    I quite enjoyed this little area. I only had one deathclaw to deal with after the battle and he could not figure out where I was as I sniped him from the top of the tower.

    • PancreaticDefect says:

      Yep. They can’t even reach you if you stand just inside the doorway of the tower. Which I was thankful for because I was only level 6 and, for me, the siren summoned a regular deathclaw and a deathclaw alpha. Needless to say, I was almost completely out of ammunition by the time I was able to kill them both. Though the show they put on butchering those raiders made it worth every round

  8. biggergun says:

    Great diary. And that hat will make every death a tad more epic. Also, love how these elaborate theme parks of a game are at their best when played the wrong way.

  9. All is Well says:

    I found that exact same bear in that exact same pose. I then shot at it, which made it fall on my head. It was an odd experience.

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    Grizzly says:

    This is getting more and more compelling. Please keep it up, Alec!

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    distantlurker says:

    Isn’t dead guy next to BIG RED BUTTON the Universal symbol for ‘Please do not press’?

    Loving these Alec! So much more satisfying than a let’s play. Moar plz!

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      phuzz says:

      If you don’t push it, how will you ever know what it does, eh?

  12. Krazen says:

    You should be complete fine to kill the Deathclaw from the water at a safe distance. With that perk you’re now totally safe because nothing lives in the water … right ?

  13. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    OH MY GOD FUSION CORES MY POWER ARMOUR IS SAVED I’M SAVED THIS DIARY WILL GO ON FOREVER

    is that fear i hear in your voice?

  14. Belsameth says:

    Epic diary, Alec. Thanks!

  15. suboost79 says:

    ahaha wonderful diary.

    i managed to kill both deathclaw, the regular and the alpha one by sniping the mirelurk hunter in the lake after the raiders battles ends. they start coming towards me then they met face to face with claws.
    so 2 wounded claws (almost 50% energy) vs one mirelurk hunter and 2 regular ones ended with both claws killed and hunter survived.