Fallout: New Vegas – Diary of the Mojave Wasteland part 2

The remaining pages of the diary of a Mojave Wasteland explorer!

 

Day 4 

Headed out towards Novac. The view from the outpost hill is staggering; rolling hills, great towers in the distance, sand blown wasteland between and cracked roads snaking across the Mojave’s back. Passing back through the still burning Nipton I saw the survivor, the lottery winner, chased by a giant Radscorpion across the dunes. Let them get on with it.

Had to go through a narrow gully and of course I was ambushed, this time by the Viper gang. Fortunately it was over pretty fast; they ran into a herd of Bighorns in their haste to get to me. The Bighorns must have been protecting their kids, ‘cuz they stomped those gangsters down but good. Got some new equipment out of it.

Further down the road I met a trader caravan. They ran into a Caesar’s Legion ambush. I kept my head down again. Plenty of spoils left on the dead… welcome to civilisation. Found some throwing spears; a nice new addition to life in the wasteland. Got to say, these things really work. A passing Viper gang provided plenty of target practise.

Later that day I found the camp where the Legion was holdin’ the last Powder Gangers taken from Nipton. Felt i owed them, seeing as they made me look useless in Nipton. Too many Legionaries to take ‘em on fair.

Left a bit...

Update: I waited till nightfall, picked off the guard on duty with my repeater rifle, snuck into their tents and beat ’em to death with my baseball bat. Not pleasant but nobody will mourn these animals. Let the powder gangers go free; maybe it’ll go in my favour next time we cross paths; who knows, but one thing’s for sure- the Legion have heard about my meddling. They sent assassins to deal with me- Caesar’s orders. Only a matter of time before they realise those assassin’s aren’t coming back. Fortunately there’s a ranger station nearby that I can bunker down in for the night. Nice fellas too, if somewhat stressed.

Day 5

Arrived the next day in Novac. Quaint place. Giant dinosaur made out of trash. Folks from before the bombs must have been real crazy critters. Good people here, if a little mixed up. They have a bucket of problems, that’s for sure- cattle been mutilated, a sniper with a chip on his shoulder about some dead sweetheart, and attacks by ghouls from a nearby factory, just for starters.

I saw something of myself in that sniper, Boone. I asked around town. He thought his lady had been taken by the Legion, but a lot of people just said she was the kind of girl who couldn’t sit still. That was until a tip off from the local loony led to me finding some evidence that there was foul play. I led the culprit to their death, letting Boone take the killing shot from that crazy T Rex dinosaur’s mouth. I ain’t going into it any more here, since Boone has agreed to come with me on my journey- he doesn’t want to dwell on it and I’m not one to argue.

It all makes sense.

One nice old ranger in Novac called Andy taught me a new combat move. He’s a sweet old guy. Asked me to go check on Ranger Station Charlie where I slept at last night. I’ll take a quick look later.

I said I would check out the town’s Ghoul problem, so I did. They’re coming out of the old REPCONN rocket factory. Mindless feral Ghouls, of course, by the dozens, but boy Boone really earned his ticket on this one. I don’t know how I managed without him- he’s picking them off like flies, while I’ve been taking care of any survivors up close with a Ripper that I found. The factory is the usual maze of rooms with faded blood stains and terminals still blinking with messages from before the war. However, oddly, a Ghoul contacted me via the intercom. Going to check it him out. There are bodies of other Ghouls in robes here, as well as these unusual beasts that look like blue super mutants. Something screwy goin’ on.

Update: found the guy, who actually looks like a normal human but insist that he’s a Ghoul. Odd. He pointed me to another Ghoul (a proper one this time) called Jason Bright. He’s some kind of religious visionary who thinks that all Ghouls- even the feral ones- are on the path to salvation. The robed Ghouls all follow him and they want to embark on some kind of pilgrimage… smells like a cult, looks like an army, but they do honestly appear to be peaceful unless pressed. Seems they normally keep the feral ones in check, or so they say, but attacks by ‘invisible demons’ have caused them to lose control and hence the recent problems for Novac. Jason said they were still beset by these demons and I agreed to help him out- seems like finding a middle ground will be best for these Ghouls and Novac. A war would just be messy and take too much of my time.

Surprised to find a Ghoul downstairs called Harland, who was trapped while trying to do the same job as me. His partner is lost down here somewhere too. Even more surprised to find that not all of the blue mutants- Nightkin- are hostile. One called Davison, who I found talking to a skull that he calls Antler, said that he would take his men away if I help them find some Stealthboys. Harland is in the way. Life in the Mojave is never simple, feel torn between killing everyone or taking a social option. Life is like a next generation adaptive RPG game sometimes.

After much killing of Nightkin, which was much easier said than done, I found harland’s lady friend dead. He took it gracefully and let me search for the Stealthboys, but they were already gone. Davison was alright about it and pulled his boys out. Quite surprised at how things around here can go so easily from life or death matters to civility; sometimes the Mojave can’t decide if it’s camp and silly or dark and gritty.

Jason Bright got what he wanted after all, though I’m going to help him find more parts for the… well… the things he needed. I’m afraid to write it down in case someone finds this journal and thinks I went doo-lally. It’s been a real long night, so I’m heading to Ranger Station Charlie to get some shuteye.

Update: everyone at Ranger Station Charlie is dead. The room had been booby trapped too to deal with anyone who came looking; fortunately I was wary enough to avoid being blown up. Legion left messages bragging about the deed. Did what I could for the rangers… went back to Novac feeling a little hopeless. Time to head north to Boulder City. Manny Vargas of Novac says the Great Khans are there, and hopefully my pinstriped pain in the ass too.

Day 6

Passed a scrapyard run by an old lady called, well, Old Lady Gibson. Something weird happened to ED-E; something we said triggered a buried program and she started spouting the voice logs of some technician who worked on her once. She seems to come from a group called the Enclave. ED-E’s mission before being battered around was to go to Navarro. Not too sure that’s a good idea, but I would like to find out more.

A much nicer surprise- an NCR runner caught up with me and gave me a radio so I could call them for backup. Good to know that sticking my neck out for them- and earning the hatred of the Legion- has been noticed and rewarded. Feels just that little bit less lonely out here now.

Well, Boulder city is a ruin, destroyed in one of the early battles with the Legion. The Great Khans are here all right; they’ve taken hostages and are hiding in the ruins. I’m going to try to get those guys back, and find out what happened to me in the process.

Jessup, the leader, turned out to be quite reasonable. I managed to use my silver tongue to get out of there without any bloodshed on either side- along with the lowdown on my suited friend Benny. Turns out he didn’t pay the Khans for the job and took that platinum chip I was carrying back with him- no honour among thieves, it seems. I know he’s back at the Strip now… so it’s time to head to New Vegas. At least I didn’t have to kill anyone today… aside from a couple of guys on the road, but technically Boone did that.

Note to self: trading post 188 has some nice people, lady called Veronica wanted to travel with me, but I already got mouths to feed. Still, may come on back here after I’m through with Benny- some female company would be mighty nice.

Update: things aren’t going to be simple. Again. After coming up past massive farmlands and spying decrepit towers on the skyline, past cracked earth and desperate wanderers, I finally found the city that everyone’s talking about. New Vegas is split into districts and you need to pay the guards to enter. The place is half run down, half ritzy glamour. There’s the smell of death on every corner. But… something real excitin’ about it too. I’m going to get answers and a whole lot more beyond those gates. There’s nowhere else like this in the Mojave; a towering city where desperation mingles with hope.

What a town!

Might not hear from me in a while. This will be messy. Might have to save in a seperate slot.

…Damnit. I repair the fourth one one last time (by combining it with a spare fourth wall) and step into the Strip…

Murderdolls UK Tour announced!

Hi everyone; quick shameless press release regurgitation while I busy myself with New Vegas and dreams of the WH40K movie!

Following their raucous reception at Ozzfest at the O2 Arena recently, the MURDERDOLLS return to level the UK this coming February on their ‘God Save The Scream’ tour.  It will be their first full UK tour in over six years.   

The band have just wrapped a three-week US amphitheatre tour, opening for Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper’s pyro-laden ‘Halloween Hootenanny’ touring spectacular, picking up plenty of new fans on the way.  MURDERDOLLS also play their own Halloween headline show in Hollywood, CA at The Roxy on 31st October.

Murderdolls pic from oblioo.com

Frontman Wednesday 13 is excited for the trip back over this side of the pond, stating “I can’t wait to bring the MURDERDOLLS back for our first UK tour since 2003.  The Death Valley Superstars are on their way!  You’ve got blood and we’ll take it”.   Meanwhile, guitarist and co-songwriter Joey Jordison adds: “There’s no other place I love to play with the MURDERDOLLS more than the UK.  It’s our home and will ALWAYS be our home.  This is gonna top anything we’ve ever done there.  Can’t wait to see all of you.  Let’s party, motherfuckers!!  I NEED THIS!!”

The band’s first album in eight years, ‘Women And Children Last’ picked up stellar reviews from the UK press on its August release, including 4/5 in Q Magazine,  and 4/5 in The Sun (‘..gloriously trashy, sleazy, punk-metal’) and 8/10 in Metal Hammer (“The Murderdolls are back -they’re pissed off and this time they mean every fucking last word of it.”).  Pick it up online at www.play.com.

The full UK dates line up as follows:

Wed 2nd Feb – PORTSMOUTH                     Pyramids             (02392 824355)

Thu 3rd Feb – NORWICH                                Waterfront         (01603 508050)

Fri 4th Feb – BRISTOL                                       O2 Academy      (0844 477 2000)

Sat 5th Feb – SHEFFIELD                                 Corporation        (0114 276 0262)

Mon 7th Feb – WOLVERHAMPTON           Wulfrun Hall       (0870 320 7000)

Tue 8th Feb – MIDDLESBROUGH                Empire                  (01642 253553)

Thu 10th Feb – GLASGOW                             O2 ABC                 (0844 477 2000)

Fri 11th Feb – MANCHESTER                         Academy 2          (0161 832 1111)

Sat 12th Feb – LONDON                                  HMV Forum       (0844 847 2405)

Sun 13th Feb – NOTTINGHAM                     Rock City              (0845 413 4444)

Mon 14th Feb – EXETER                                  Lemon Grove    (01392 263518)

Support comes from Black Veil Brides.   Tickets, priced £15 regionally and £17.50 in London, go on pre-sale from Wednesday 27th October and on general sale from 9am Friday 29th October from box offices and all usual outlets.  Alternatively you may purchase via credit card hotline (0844 871 8803) or online at www.kililive.com.

Fallout: New Vegas – Diary of the Mojave Wasteland

From the journals of an intrepid reviewer nomad, the first part of an insight into the world of Fallout: New Vegas.

 

Day 1

Looks like I’ve been shot in the head by a suited gangster and left for dead. Good job Doc Mitchell has patched me up and made sure I was still myself, through a variety of questions that allow me to also dictate my personality. His old-western voice gently guides me through tests that eventually determine that I’m a slightly intelligent guy, light on my feet, good with a gun and prone to broken bones. I’m also a courier, halfway through a delivery, that seems to be  the root of my recent death trouble. I presumably can’t remember anything. I can’t go around being called Courier, so I opt instead for Hermes. Must have seen it on a billboard somewhere.

I’m in the town of Goodsprings, where a nice young lady called Sunny Smiles, the local tough nut, has decided to make sure I know how to defend myself. She talks with a cowboy drawl too. She has a lovely dog called Cheyenne. Also met a large cowboy robot called Victor, who is the one that saved my broken body after being shot. Have decided to adopt a cowboy accent myself in order to fit in. Partner.

Update: killed some Geckos for Sunny, with an aptly named Varmint Rifle. Think these mutants have been given rubber limbs and very loose jaws by some quirk of radiation. Cheyenne is dead; Sunny was upset but she strangely didn’t object to me stripping his hide and eating his meat. She even went on to show me how to prepare food on the campfire. Doggylicious.

The local boss, a respected woman called Trudy who runs the saloon, was harassed by a man called Cobb, who belongs to the Powder Gangers. They’re ex-convicts from the NCR who used to build railroad and as such love blowing things up with dynamite. They came to get a man holed up in the old garage, called Ringo. I ask Ringo what’s up and agree to help him get the town to rally around and keep the gangers out. Maybe I shouldn’t be making enemies already, but them varmints needs a good lesson in manners. I ask around town and find that the locals are willing to help provided I have skills in certain areas that appeal to them. My Pip Boy has a new function, telling me when I’ve not quite got a high enough skill; a lovely addition that breaks the fourth wall a little but is very useful when deciding how to improve myself.

That reminds me; Trudy has a radio that needs fixing and Doc Mitchell has a submachine gun in need of repair. I’m not skilled enough to do either of them there tasks. I did however find a magazine all about fixin’ things. Reading that improves my skill in repair, but oddly it only does so for a short time. Maybe it’s hard stuff to remember. I’d read the magazine again for a refresher but it seems to disappear after reading, self-combusting in a fit of poorly thought out game mechanics. No problem for Hermes of course- I swot up, fix the gun, then run out of the door, down the street, into the saloon, leap over the bar and repair the radio before I can forget what I’ve learned. Yeehaw!

There's only room for one cool hat in this town

Update: the Gangers arrived. Me and the few townies I could conscript killed them. I stabbed Cobb in the face. Ringo and the Goodspring townsfolk were grateful- they like me now- but the Powder Gangers seemed upset. I stripped the bodies of their dead and wore their clothes for a bit.

Went to sleep in Ringo’s old garage. Nice town, but better head on towards Primm, where I can find out more about the job I was on. Ate mantis legs for supper. Wish I had some beans.

Day 2

Another fine day on the range, The Bighorns and the Brahmin play. Set out towards Primm to get more info about the job I was on and have apparently forgotten about. Found a skeleton in a fridge, took it’s hat.

I came across more Powder Gangers who tried to kill me. I started shootin’ them on site. Varmint rifle seems to be more effective than expected down the iron sights, with V.A.T.S targeting only being useful up-close. As if someone had tweaked things to provide a more gunslinger-orientated vibe out here in the Mojave, as opposed to, say, the Capital. The Powder Gangers drop a lot of dynamite, another desert/cowboy touch, which comes in very handy for scaring Geckos. Found a few different guns now and slowly building up a stock of ammo for them. Single-barrel shotgun comes in handy for close encounters. Never get these in the Capitol- it’s as if the Mojave is a whole new place.

After a while I came across the town of Primm. The local NCR boys say that the town is in trouble; Powder Ganger convicts have taken over. Apparently sorting it out is too much work for five armed soldiers, so I set about killing them all single handed. They are tough hombres- had to employ my surprisingly large stockpile of dynamite.

According to a nice old man called Nash holed up in a casino, the Deputy I need to talk to is in a hotel. Helped myself to a few goodies from the safes but keep finding my lock picking ability is lacking. Old timer also told me that a cowboy robot was involved in the delivery that I’m on and it all sounds like a bad deal. Maybe Victor is up to something.

Skulking around the hotel and picking off Powder Gangers was fun. I’m coming across a lot of guns and armour and doing my best to tape it all together into working equipment. Deputy is a bit of a wimp but I managed to keep him alive long enough find out that I need to go to a town called Novac. However, first I feel the need to help out the beaten up population of Primm. These poor cowboys are down on their luck. Deputy Cowardface says that they need a Sherriff.

I’m impressed to find that I can achieve this in a variety of ways. Choice is important, maybe the most important thing in a role playing game. Used repair skill on fourth wall. I had to then decide how to get a Sherriff- program a robot to do it, get the soldiers to do it, or get an old experienced Sherriff from a nearby prison to do it. This seemed a good course of action so I set off to the prison.

Let's not piss these guys off just yet...

Update: prison a mighty thing to behold, enormous towers appearing from behind the rocky hills of the desert, surrounded by Powder Ganger camps. Accordin’ to my Pip Boy, I’m ‘shunned’ by the gangs now. Seems killin’ people gets you a bad reputation with their pals. This prison used to house the Powder Gangers but they took it over and use it as a fort- fortunately they let me in and I was able to enlist Sherriff Meyers. He’ll take over protection of Primm if I can get him a pardon on his sentence from the NCR Mojave Outpost.

Firstly I went back to Primm and repaired an old robot that was lying around; a small orb or eye-like thing called ED-E. It looks like the kind of thing a shadowy right wing contingent of US government troops would use to monitor the Capital Wasteland. Fortunately, I was able to get it working by using the right parts scavenged from the hotel and town, so it didn’t matter that my repair ability was a little low. This felt like a breath of fresh air, rewarding good scavenging, providing more use for the random objects littering the place and giving more options for those with low skills. I found I could store all the crap that I couldn’t carry on ED-E, using a new, simpler and faster interaction menu. However, I couldn’t give her my faction-related armour as my Pip Boy automatically assumed that I wanted her to wear it and instead threw it on the floor. Well tested.

Set off towards the outpost, south ways. Came across the Jackal Gang, hiding out in an old highway patrol station. ED-E laser-fried a woman who was resisting my attempts to pacify her with a baseball bat. Slept the night in the cells, safe and sound.

Day 3

Eventually got to the NCR Outpost. Surprised to see that a massive statue of NCR and local rangers shaking hands had been erected. It was piece meal and simple but just seemed odd considering that someone had taken the time to make it but hadn’t bothered clearing the crashed trucks and other debris from the road.

The rangers were all a bit ornery, apart from a nice young man called Major Knight who responded well to my bachelor charms. Worked a little too well actually… starting to feel a little uncomfortable about my Perk choice and a little on the Brokeback side of cowboy fun. Still, at least I’m making friends- he agreed to pardon Meyers, so now I know that Primm will be a little safer.

Rangers Ghost and Jackson gave me some jobs to do and pointed me in the direction of Nipton to check out some fire smoke over there. It’s on the way to Novac so off I go. Also killed some giant ants. Antilicious. Saw a man called Tomas attacked by a lady just for his lucky necklace. Odd, let him get on with it. Folks sure be crazy up in these parts.

Update: Nipton had been barricaded with burning tires. When I arrived I found a Powder Ganger shouting with glee about winnin’ some kinda lottery. I went into the high street and found to my horror that people had been crucified and were suffering and dying right there in front of me. On the town hall steps was a bunch of these Caesar’s Legion guys that they talk about on the radio. They were wearing skirts, but I guess I was in no position to judge.

A total bastard with a dog on his head called Vulpes Inculta told me that Caesar’s Legion- pronounced Kai-sar (who knows how these things were pronounced before the bombs?) had done all this and I would be allowed to live in order to spread the word. Seems he found the town morally lacking, willing to betray travellers, so he rounded them all up and made them play a lottery. Everyone just watched while the losers were stuck up there like piñatas. I wanted to introduce him to my new repeater magnum, but there were too many.

Did I come at a bad time?

After he went I checked out the town hall. The Legion had left dogs in there, picking off anyone left. The mayor’s computer told a tale about his treachery and meeting with a Mr Fox- clearly my new Legion friend. Maybe the town got what was coming to it, or maybe not, but the hand that dealt this punishment was a cruel and cold one that puts a shiver up my spine even in this bakin’ heat. Turns out the people of Nipton weren’t exactly ill prepared either; One of their men was a mechanic with a Mr Gutsy in his house and one had all manner of traps and captive bark scorpions. Inspection of their houses revealed much about their insanity, but frankly this place stinks of it and I’m going while I still can. It’s clear that the Legion must be tough varmints to take a town of roughnecks like this by storm.

Checked out the Nipton store to restock before I left and met a Powder Ganger called Boxcar. He wasn’t too keen on me, guess I must be shunned still. He got second place in the lottery, so they just broke his legs instead of killing him. That loony who won the lottery got to run away. The luckiest losers got decapitated, then the next group were crucified. Third place runners up were taken as slaves. The mayor was burned on one of the fires. One thing was painfully clear- I’d found the main plot.

I headed back to the NCR outpost, told them what I knew and squared things off with the rangers I was working for. I was about to find a place to bed down for the night when an old man called Malcolm came and told me that the blue star caps I’d been finding from Sunset Sarsaparilla drinks were so highly sought after that people would kill for them- as Tomas had suggested. Apparently they lead to some kinda treasure. Could be that collecting all these special caps will be quite an adventure, comparable in scale perhaps to, just as an example, collecting as much Nuka Cola as possible.

The Mojave Wasteland seems to be largely comprised of slightly different versions of things that are seen in the Capital Wasteland. The place certainly has more character and is an ironically colourful desert. I could even say that the whole game ran off the back of the sequel-construction effect, where everything feels like an improved version of something else, which of course is no bad thing as it shows that developers have taken on board feedback about everything that was lacking before.

I re-repair the fourth wall, settle down in my bedroll and go to sleep. Tomorrow, Novac and glory.