By gamma_male 1 Comments
(Last week I decided to restart Fallout: New Vegas, play it in Hardcore mode and be as evil as possible while writing down my experiences. The task set has been very enjoyable although I think I may have reached the boundary of just how evil you can be in New Vegas. It's proving to be quite a good writing exercise so I'll keep going for as long as I can. Oh, and there are spoilers in here so if you haven't played the game but plan to, you might want to give this a miss. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you wish to catch-up. Enjoy.)
Day 4 - Army of Antness (You think of a better title!)
The last time I woke up at 5am I forced myself to eat a bacon roll just so I knew I was responsible for the death of something that day. Even when I've been awake all night, I hate early morning. No such problem this time. Perhaps it's a sign of age. Perhaps it was actually mid-afternoon and only 5am in-game. I don't know but I feel surprisingly refreshed.
I head out to the NCR outpost but thanks to Tomas the X-Factor reject I'm very low on ammo. This Varmint Rifle is so shit that I might as well use a blow football pipe to propel the bullets. To avoid the Jackal gang (who may or may not have killed me multiple times in the process of working out that I have to avoid them) I head towards the abandoned race track. Two crows catch my eye in the distance. I aim at Lefty and fire a single shot. He literally explodes in a spurting shower of gore and feathers. I'm reminded of the time as a child when an older boy shot a bird with his air rifle. Its mate landed next to it and tried to wake it up by pecking at it. I leave Righty to grieve and feel like a complete arsehole.
When I arrive at the race track there's a line of Giant Ants going to and from a dead Radscorpion. One of the larger ones clocks me and charges with his equally massive mate. I immediately think “I'm completely fucked” and instinctively hit the VATS button. I aim for the head and fire away. I'm not going down without a fight. Three shots later and it collapses in a heap. These ants are rubbish. I decimate the rest of the ants and scream 'Fuck you' at Mother Nature (the ceiling of my bedsit). Who's your daddy now, bitch?
At the bottom of the hill leading towards the NCR Outpost, I find a travelling merchant. I buy all his juicy ammo from him and dump all of my worthless tat on him. A copy of the Boxing Times!? Unarmed combat is far too civilised and respectable for a self-respecting prince of darkness. There is no room in my diabolical schemes for the Marquis of Queensbury rules. I'll take the 10 caps and spend it on Vodka, if you don't mind.
Sgt Kilborn – a kindly man with the kind of gentle face that just begs to be killed over and over again - is pacing backwards and forwards outside the main base. I tell him of the Legion attack on Nipton. He acknowledges that he's facing almost certain doom then merrily strolls off on his pre-programmed path! Harbinger of sorrow is not a job to be sniffed at but I'd be a lot happier if he was reduced to a terrified hysterical mess. I speak to Ranger Jackson's moustache in the hope that he might lose his mind and open his wrists in the bath but no. He merely twiddles his fine handlebar moustache. If it wasn't attached to a good guy, I might let it live but the 'tach and Ranger Jackson are going down. It's very clear that opportunities for mischief are limited so I get some supplies and set off on my journey to Novac.
I find the Giants Ants are still feasting on the radscorpion. I try to hypnotise them into becoming my own personal ant army. Unfortunately a strange man standing in front of an over-sezed television wearing only his underpants rubbing his temples like Derren Brown has no effect whatsoever on digital videogame ants, even with an erection. Obsidian, you've failed me again. Did I need to buy a Kinect or something? I move on.
Thanks to some fairly severe pop-up, I fail to realise that I'm in the middle of the Nipton Road Pit Stop and surrounded by Jackal gang members. Luckily three of them are grouped together and only two have guns so I pick them off without any problems. I've managed to take this gang out with half my health remaining. Hardcore mode is really nothing to be feared. It just means you have to drink water and eat food every now and again. Both are plentiful, especially if you're willing to eat pets in front of their owners (I'm still really proud of that).
One of the Jackal gang is hiding in the ruins over the road like Alexis Arquette in Pulp Fiction. He bursts out guns blazing so I unload into his head. A pathetic four out of eight shots miss him completely while he manages to cripple my head (presumably that means brain dam...fluurughh de herp derp). I move to cover and use my one and only Doctor's Bag - perfect for brain injuries - recharge my AP and prepare to wax the sneaky little bastard. I jump and can't see him anywhere. I run around the building until I eventually find him cowering in some bushes behind a wall. The little prick has completely bottled it. He runs away screaming for help so I slowly follow him. First I shoot his legs. Then his torso. It's tempting to let him run off into the desert and let the Radscorpions finish him off but that was my only Doctor's Bag. I finish him off with some VATS assisted shots to the head. Terror, thy name is Jonty.
On arrival in Nipton, I enter the General Store and speak to Boxcars. He's a right moaning dickhole. You'd think he'd been crippled or something. The conversation tree fails again so I end the conversation, stand up and scream “Well, you can't use your legs when you're dead either so have some of this”. I VATS him in the face. Miraculously he stands up! It's a miracle! I am the messiah! I shoot him again and, alas, he loses the use of his legs again. Not having a head any more will do that to a man. Oh well, it was a fun ride while it lasted.
Continuing towards Novac I detect, using my psychic powers, that I'm entering gang territory. I disarm a couple of mines that I detected hidden under traffic cones. When I take some Sunset Sarsaparilla from a crate, some old damaged tat raises from the ground like zombified inanimate objects. How did this game ever get past QA? The traps on the road have been set by the Viper gang who've been hiding in the mountains. I'm sure their leader will be mightily pissed off that someone left a powerful sub-machine gun lying around. It cuts through the little savages like butter.
I arrive in Novac around 6pm and see Victor. I tell him to stop following me and he makes a thinly veiled threat. I have a feeling this fucker is following me for a story-specific reason so I decide against killing the shit out of him. It's getting late so decide to have a snoop around Nova, get some sleep then head out tomorrow. I enter a Giant Dinosaur statue (Not in a sexy man/giant dinosaur tryst. It has a door in its leg.) and speak to Cliff Briscoe. He sells me two Doctor's Bags and fuckloads of ammo. Head up to the mouth of the dinosaur and speak to Manny Vargas. He tries to get me to visit the rocket site to help clear a supply/trade route of ghouls. I agree but only because I spy an opportunity for shiftiness.
I scour the town and surrounding area for a bed but can't find one. I'm too low on caps to rent a room for the night. I head towards the Rocket Site in the hope that I'll find a bed on the way. As luck would have it, there is another manky old mattress at an abandoned guard post on the road there. Tomorrow I'll strip the place of loot and go ghoul mashing.