Monthly Archive: July 2016

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 11: Big Trouble In…

Big town full of small problems.

Big town full of small problems.

With Little Lamplight mostly dealt with, it’s onto Big Town next. I… don’t really have anything much against Big Town itself, it’d make a fine settlement with some work and additional thought put into it.

My first urge would be to simply decouple it from Little Lamplight entirely, forget the whole kids being kicked out thing. But eh… on the other hand, it could also form something of a symbiotic relationship with the cavernous kids. I’ll pontificate on that later.

So where do the main problems lie? Primarily, Bittercup. Need I say more? A Gothic, mopey, depressed character like this can work if handled carefully. But for the love of god at least make her interesting, or batshit crazy, or suicidally amusing. Something.

Bethesda has writers capable of this kind of writing, you only have to look at the Wild Bill dialogue in the Pitt DLC to see that. Though I do have to wonder if that writer had any hand in the main game… it feels like they probably didn’t, to be honest. Preston Garvey suffers the same issue in Fallout 4, he’s the most unapologetically boring character imaginable. (more…)

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 10: Little Lampblight

Mining for Awe.

Mining for Awe.

I suppose I should talk about Big Town and Little Lamplight now, huh? Big and Little because they have adults and children, ohoho, very good, Bethesda. Let’s start with Little Lamplight and the little bar studs who live there, shall we? Then we can move on to Big Town, which I honestly don’t consider to be all that bad, it merely needs a few tweaks and changes to bring it into line with a more logical world.

So… Little Lampblight. I hate this place so much, in so very many different ways. Irritating, bratty kids you can’t shoot because they’re immortal and have guns. A total and complete lack of any logic to the setting (eh, with caveats, will talk about the good points a bit later). And it’s a mandatory location thanks to the entrance to Vault 87 being there; so you can’t even bypass or ignore the little barstools.

This is one of those locations that could conceivably work if we were talking no more than twenty years after the bombs. There’d likely still be plenty of refugees, homeless, destitute, and otherwise royally screwed up people from nearby areas not so directly devastated by the bombs. Plenty of orphans to supply Lamplight with fine, upstanding new members of their society.

The overall story of this place (largely discovered via holotapes and terminal entries) is that a group of kids were trapped in the caves with radiation outside after the bombs fell. They found an entrance to Vault 87 but couldn’t get inside. After banging on the doors for days, a voice yelled through telling them they were already dead. (more…)

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 9: Reinvigorating Old Olney

Old but still charming.

Old but still charming.

This is a really nice little location, I’m hugely fond of Old Olney. It’s just a shame it’s so utterly squandered. I think this place could have been a really nice settlement as it stands; reasonably easy to defend, lots of space both in the town itself and surrounding areas, and the sewers are ripe for… interesting ideas.

I like the architecture here as well, there are a bunch of buildings that remind me heavily of both Searchlight and Nipton in New Vegas, and the overall style suits me well (I’m kind of an Art Deco nerd). In-game, though… it’s basically just a Deathclaw haunt and serves no real purpose beyond that until you hit Broken Steel, and even that’s just a simple fetch quest. *sigh*

That said… let’s see if we can improve it, shall we? How about a crazy ass loony death cult? Cults – good, bad, and neutral – are a staple of the Fallout universe, they provide ample opportunity for conflict, and they’re an uncomfortable reality both in our own world and the fictional secondary world we temporarily inhabit while playing a game such as this. (more…)