Fallout 4: The Bomb

Continuing a perma-death diary in Fallout 4, in which I begin with absolutely nothing other than a plan to to voyage around only the outermost periphery of the world.

Michael Radiatin’? More like Michael Radiated.

The Endless Peninsula of Doom is over, and instead I now face The Endless Coastline Of Mirelurks. Like some lethal Whack A Mole, the giant mutant crabs explode out of the sand every few steps. I’m facing their tougher Killclaw variant now, and while my ‘climb on top of a car roof so they can’t get me’ tactic remains dependable, the cost in bullets is astronomical. I’ve recently acquired the Scrounger perk which makes me more able to find ammunition squirreled away in the wasteland, but even that can’t keep up with the drain these Killclaws place on my bullet-bags.

One of them tries to follow me inside a diner, and mercifully gets stuck inside while I jump out the rear window. Rather unwisely, I decide to squander mines and grenades rather than bullets on it, and slowly explode it from a safe distance.

There will come a time soon when I will regret this decision.

I meet a few raiders too, and plundering their corpses completes my collection of metal armour. It’s not quite Power Armour, but I’m feeling so much hardier. If I can survive that peninsula, I can survive anything.

There will come a time soon when I will regret this confidence.

I see the sights for a while – an old parking lot, a bridge across the bay, a cluster of towering radar dishes, inactive for centuries but still mighty to behold. And then my PipBoy pipes up. It’s found something on the radio. A distress signal.

I’m overjoyed. Finally, a chance to help someone rather than destroy them on sight. I can be a hero, not simply a murderous nomad. Though it leads away from the coast, the signal doesn’t seem to be coming from too far away. It leads towards those radar dishes, in fact. A bit out of the way, but fine.

I hear shouting. Gruff, guttural voices. Then there’s a whoooosh sound. I’m able to dive into a boathouse before the rocket, mini-nuke or whatever it is hits me, and mercifully the Super-Mutant who fired it decides to chase me down rather than fire another. Trouble is, he brings a couple of friends with him. A couple of vicious mutant dogs, too.

I can’t possibly fight them all, and I can’t possibly keep hiding in this boat house, so I run. The dogs are faster, not so much snapping at my heels as tearing them off, while the Mutants’ shots slam into my back. Almost gone, but if I can just…

Into the water. The dogs can’t swim, thank God, but I have to keep swimming further and further out, until the Mutants’ bullets can’t reach me. So very nearly dead. I dourly imbibe the radioactive water I’m paddling in, spared the worst of its effects thanks to the Lead Belly perk I taught myself a while back.

This, I realise, is a viable plan. I can chip away at the mutant pack’s health, sprint back out to the water, top up my health and repeat. Then I can help whoever’s sending that distress symbol. The same kind of strategic thinking that got me through that fight with the Children of the Atom. A born survivor.

Second time around, there’s an addition to the mutant ranks. He carries no gun, but he never stops running after me no matter how many rounds I pump into his face, and he bleeps ominously.

This is because he has a miniature nuclear warhead under one arm.

It’s extremely difficult to shoot while running, and this guy has an extremely tough hide, even by Super-Mutant standards. Fortunately, I’ve been hoarding mines for a while, so all I need to do is…


That Mirelurk in the diner.

Run to the sea, Michael. It’s your only hope.

The bomber is closing in on me. I’m not going to make it. It’s over it’s all over it’s… And then the bastard tries to run through the boathouse I hid in earlier, and gets himself stuck on the doorframe in the process. I stop running. I can still hear that infernal bleeping, but it’s no longer getting any closer. It’s a miracle. A ridiculous miracle.

I should walk away. I should go track down that distress signal. But I can’t resist. That mutant damn-near killed me: I can’t let him live. So I loose a few rounds at him as he snarls and bleeps from his wooden prison. My bullets are running low, so I switch to my Gamma Gun. As its nuclear rounds thump into the Super-Mutant, he’s knocked free of his unlikely cage. And he’s on me again.

Run to the sea, Michael. It’s your only hope.

Not a noble death. Not a fair death. But it was a funny death. A preposterous death, even. Mere bullets could not fell me. Monsters’ claws could not take me down. It took an actual nuclear bomb to do it. A nuclear bomb carried by a sprinting man-mountain with a death wish. Can’t argue with that. Hell, abstractly I even died trying to save someone.

So long, Michael.


  1. RutigerP says:

    Why not use VATS to detonate the nuke? Just target the arm he’s holding it with.

    • mrbright01 says:

      That’s somewhat counter-intuitive, damaging an item by targeting the arm, and it never comes up in game. I don’t think that even works on regular weapons, aside from ones built in like robots. And frankly, if the bugger is close enough, it’s too late.

      • Askis says:

        Is it really that counterintuitive?
        It’s a slab of green meat running at you, with no weapons except for the blinking and beeping mini-nuke under his right arm.

        First time I came across one of these guys, my weapons barely did any damage to him, but when I noticed the bright red blinking, you bet I hit that arm in VATS.
        The instant explosion was glorious and that three other Super Mutants got killed in the same blast was a nice bonus.

      • Xocrates says:

        My perception was always that doing it caused him to drop the bomb. Not that I was trying to hit the bomb itself.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I suppose the rationale might be that his finger is on the bomb’s trigger, since it’s a manually triggered suicide device. Hitting his arm always causes a reflexive push of the trigger. Or something like that.

          Supermutants are just dumb enough not to realize they could add a short timer and throw it like a grenade. Maybe that will show up in a mod. :)

          • Werthead says:

            In the rest of the franchise, Super Mutants are perfectly smart enough to do that. In FO3 and FO4 on the other hand, not so much because Bethesda wants to treat them like orcs or something.

          • Press X to Gary Busey says:

            @Werthead There are four lines of Super Mutants. On the west coast there are two. The first generation, generally smarter and created and curated by Master in Fallout 1 and the second accidental (stupid) generation in Fallout 2. Both return in New Vegas and the second generation is still stupid there.
            I’m not sure about the Fallout 4 line yet since I haven’t got far enough but the ones in Fallout 3 are stupid, like the west coast generation 2 since they are super mutants created by other super mutants without planning or selection like Master.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          You can still kill them anyway, in that case you fittingly get to loot a fresh mini-nuke, otherwise it’s nuclear material.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        It’s strange since you could target weapons in F3 and FNV, to break the gun or explode thrown weapons in the hand. Perhaps they removed it with item condition?
        (You can still target thrown weapons mid-flight but It’s really hard with time still flowing).

        Jet is handy when encountering a bunch of super mutants with a nuke suicider.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Nope, drugs are only allowed when boosting Cait’s affection.

  2. Stevostin says:

    Nasty bugger those ones. RIP Michael!

  3. Krazen says:


  4. Zenicetus says:

    Oh dear, VATS would have saved you with just one shot. On the other hand, it took me a few deaths from those bomber guys to figure that out, so I salute in memoriam. Good show!

    • try2bcool69 says:

      I try not to explode them now, i’d rather have the mini-nuke than just nuclear material at this point.
      I do remember the first one that got me though, he said: “You shall die…HONORABLY!!” as he slammed the nuke into the ground at my feet.
      Ah, good times…

      • Zenicetus says:

        Yep, gotta love Supermutant honor. I always feel bad when I’m skulking in the shadows and one says “Aw… I was looking for a fight!”

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Who doesn’t love a jihadist super mutant.

  5. Grovester says:

    Michal iz in heven wiv Diana an tha angles

  6. ProctorEldritch says:

    RIP Michael Radiatin.

  7. yabonn says:

    Too bad they couldn’t make it also headless and screaming :

  8. Solidstate89 says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I know where you are. Your death was meaningless.

    • Premium User Badge

      john_silence says:

      It always is. It always is. Sorry to burst your bubble. War never changes.

  9. Hexedian says:

    It’s too bad that most distress signals are long abandoned and not actually showing someone in need of rescue…

    • DuncUK says:

      Yes, this is the greatest irony. The distress call he was following was just from a group of long deceased Brotherhood of Steel soldiers… Michael died trying to save someone that was already dead.

  10. PancreaticDefect says:

    Shoot the nuke!…Aw, too late..

    And using the Gamma Gun on a creature immune to radiation was pretty foolish.

  11. 2lab says:

    Now anti-clockwise around the map, Go.

  12. rommel102 says:

    Boo. Guess you got bored. Michael would have used the ocean to swim around the dishes and certainly wouldn’t have engaged.

    • Zenicetus says:

      There has always been a tension in the diary about what he *could* have done, like just run away from everything, and having enough interaction with the gameworld so there is something to write about.

      I wonder if it’s possible to circumnavigate in a completely non-interactive way… Monty Python “run awaaaay” from everything?

      You’d need at least the hazmat suit and a power glove for stuff that can chase you fast like those dogs. You wouldn’t have to scavenge for ammo if it’s just the glove for emergency defense. Maximize perks in unarmed combat and increasing action points, so your sprint lasts as long as possible. Maybe it could be done, but I’m not bored enough to try it.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      He had some reason to quit, afterall there were a bunch of previous instances in which he clearly ninja reloaded, but many of us intentionally ignored the obvious truth behind it just so we could still enjoy the great fiction he created.

      A bit sad that he quit before getting into some civilization, like the Atomic Cats, precisely when he was starting to get sad that he couldn’t find any friendly things, and also that we don’t get to enjoy the glowing sea from his perspective.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Yeah, but if he died where I think he did, then he was a long, long way from finding the Atom Cats on the south coast.

        Probably a good death, as it was. I was getting the feeling that Michael R. was getting a bit frustrated with the project, and it did have some fun stories and writing. I just hope people on the fence about buying the game aren’t getting the impression that the whole map is like this.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Yeah, probably the road was longer than i expected at first because the beach is full of curves and detour, but from the previous diary he seemed to be at least at Nordhagen beach or even further.

          Come to think of it, pity we didn’t get a Micheal R. at The Downs, although that’s possibly the single biggest missed opportunity in this game, it was really saddening to realize you can’t do anything more there.

  13. vorador says:

    Yep, hate those damned suicidal super-mutants. If you have some distance they’re easy taking but if you’re in close quarters…

    Rest in pieces, Michael

    • mrbright01 says:

      I start tapping VATS the moment I head the beep.

    • Zennethe says:

      I made a melee build character the other day and VATS killed a suicider by punching the nuke. lmao Luckily I had a tonne of HP and anti-explosion power armor. Barely survived the boom.

  14. All is Well says:

    RIP in piece

  15. Skabooga says:

    He died as he lived. Radiatin.

  16. Kamestos says:

    When you started I was sure you would die to one of these guys.
    That or to a mine.

  17. teije says:

    Thanks for Palin, Michael.

  18. Monggerel says:

    A sensible death for a sensible man.

  19. CannedLizard says:

    “Oh my god, M.R. A bomb!”


  20. King in Winter says:

    Going out with a bang.

  21. Moonracer says:

    Sadly there is a decent quest just a little bit further down the coast as I recall. I was really looking forward to Michael finding a certain fridge and its contents.

  22. TheAngriestHobo says:

    The real Michael Palin wouldn’t let a little thing like a nuclear bomb to the face keep him from adventure.

    Speaking of which, please tell me someone has sent him a link to this.

  23. loganjamesalex says:

    You know (it’s kinda common sense actually) you can shoot the warhead in his hand causing him to explode either manually or by targeting the arm with VATS. Noble death though, you made it a ways.

  24. icarussc says:

    So great. I really love these diaries. And having seen Mr. Palin in ‘The Adventure of English’ last year (it’s an old one), I feel sure that he would have pursued the distress signal. So, not in vain at all.

    And now I don’t have to play Fallout 4!

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Good, you saved yourself from one of the worst games ever released. I actually envy you.


  25. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    But on the plus side, you get a Steam achievement for dying like that. A STEAM ACHIEVEMENT, ALEC.

  26. geldonyetich says:

    You could have kept running from that suicide supermutant when it got stuck in the door, instead of trying to kill it, but I guess the old saying holds true:

    Pride goeth before the fallout.

  27. Ben King says:

    I grieve for Michael Radiatin’

  28. celticdr says:

    He died the way he lived: Radiatin’ joy across the wasteland, specifically the coastal bits… RIP Michael.

  29. melnificent says:

    I was secretly hoping that the diary would just stop without conclusion…. Micheal, radiatin away in our minds.

    Instead he died like he lived, panicking and trying to survive.

  30. Wulfram says:

    The Bomb? I thing someone set you up.

  31. wombat191 says:

    *salutes* those are the pricks i hate and tend to kill me as well. nothing worse than rounding a corner and having one detonate before you even really see him.

  32. AVoiceFromTheCouch says:

    I don’t know how many times Dog Meat has loyally thrown his life on the line when it comes to suicidal nuclear armed super mutants, Man I love that dog.

  33. rezaka116 says:


  34. Hidoshi says:

    What an explosive way to end the story of Michael. I don’t know how much of it was true and how much was fiction, but I really loved the writing!
    I know fallout is not a game for me, so this was quite a great way to enjoy the game without playing myself.

  35. idkicarus says:

    As it begins, so it ends. Farwell, friend. Farewell.

  36. Major Seventy Six says:

    aaw. I will miss Mike.