Monthly Archive: August 2016

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 15: DLC Attacks!

The Enclave is real! /TinFoilHat

The Enclave is real! /TinFoilHat

So… DLC. This is a pretty mixed bag. On the one hand you have Broken Steel and The Pitt, both fun and surprisingly varied romps with a fair amount to recommend them. In the Pitt you have some actually decent writing, a story that’s rather more morally grey than Bethesda’s usual fare, and can even choose who to support (*gasp!* choice in a recent Bethsoft game? Never thought I’d see the day!).

And in Broken Steel you have a reasonably open area at Adams Airforce Base with a bunch of fun things to get up to, including releasing Deathclaws and calling in (utterly nonsensical but still fun) artillery strikes on the hapless Enclave soldiers. Plus the amazingly atmospheric White House Metro areas.

The base crawler is kind of nonsensical as well given the insane amount of fuel that thing would require to move at all, but clearly that’s not something Bethesda cared to think about, exactly as they didn’t think about the existence of Vertibirds and the problems those present. Maybe it’s meant to be an atomic-powered crawler rather than diesel, who knows.

Also, the space race kind of went differently in Fallout’s universe, would they even have had mobile platforms for moving shuttles around? Considering the USS Quetzel is a nuclear-powered reusable shuttle that can take off under its own power… it seems like the crawler-transport potentially wouldn’t even have existed. Oops. See what you get for only paying attention to Rule of Cool instead of consistency of setting?

And then we have Anchorage and Zeta. Anchorage… well, overall it’s actually not as bad as some people make it out to be, and it’s nice to see Bethesda trying something different with this particular expansion. The Gauss Rifle was a nice addition as well, though the DLC itself is about as linear as it gets, even if you can choose which missions to tackle. (more…)

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 14: Forbidden Fruits

A simple matter of rearranging reality.

A simple matter of rearranging reality.

On the G.E.C.K.

Since this is a Vault-specific device I’ll talk briefly about it here before moving onto the last couple of locations, mostly because holy shit did Bethesda screw this one up. Beth’s version of the G.E.C.K. (henceforth known simply as the GECK because screw typing those periods every time) is a magical matter rearranger, totally alien to the original concept of the device. I use the term magical on purpose, because that’s effectively what it is.

Overall, I don’t exactly take issue with the device’s mode of function in Fallout 3, we’ve seen similar tech used elsewhere, after all, most-especially the Sierra Madre’s vending machines. It’s more the lack of care and attention paid to actually explaining the major change in functionality from what we’ve already seen in the previous game.

As the main cause of the war, not counting political tensions, was the dearth of natural resources around the globe, research into highly experimental tech of this nature would be entirely within the realm of reason.

Sinclair had a personal vault built for Vera, and commissioned research into all manner of things via Big Mountain – including the vending machines – specifically so she (and, it has to be assumed, he) could survive the inevitable nuclear war he had already predicted. Research into this magical Beth version of the GECK is roughly similar in overall goals, just on a rather more grandiose scale.

With the advent of micro-fusion technology, it looked like we might avert disaster… until the bombs fell. If we’d obtained that sort of tech earlier, we might well have avoided the war because most of the world’s problems would have been solved with a source of effectively infinite energy… though it’s always possible another war could’ve sprung up over who gets access to the tech. *shrug*

Similar to the Madre’s vending machines – experimental and only ever shipped to the casino and its villa, and even then only after Sinclair allowed the Big MT scientists to use the villa as another test city, and right before the bombs fell, therefore making the tech useless anyway – this magical matter rearranger GECK could have been a super late development, too late to be of real use before the war happened. (more…)

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 13: High Vaultage

Vault 101? Feels more like Bethesda needs a world building 101.

Vault 101? Feels more like Bethesda needs a world building 101.

So let’s take a quick look at some of the logical social experiments conducted in the non-Bethesda Vaults, starting with Fallout 1.

Vault 13:

The starting point for all things Fallout, this is the Vault the player is kicked out of in the first game in order to search for a water purifier chip. The experiment here was prolonged isolation. The only reason it was unsealed is because the water chip broke; unintentionally, and their supply of chips was accidentally sent to Vault 8 instead.

(There’s minor conflicting info here from two different sources – Chris Avellone and Dick Richardson – who say it was a prolonged isolation experiment, or ‘was a Control Vault designed to stay sealed until it was needed’ respectively, but either way the basic premise is the same; it was meant to stay sealed.) (more…)

Reconstructing Fallout 3 Part 12: Divided Deadites

Under the hills and far away.

Under the hills and far away.

Underworld is the ghoul settlement in the centre of DC’s ruins founded in the old history museum. The usual supply problems are there; where do they get water, food, and supplies, which I’ll get to momentarily. But beyond that it’s a mostly okay location. The ghouls have a good reason to hide out there (racism, bigotry, Muties, Brotherhood) without being quite as in your face about it as the whole Roy Phillips questline.

We know that ghouls have the same biological processes as non-ghouls (though Beth is busy retconning this with that goddamn kid in the fridge quest, ffffffffffaaaggghrrr), meaning they need food, water, and sleep.

Sleep is no problem. Food and drink… not so much. On the plus side, they’re already immune to radiation so they can handle not only entering irradiated zones to scavenge, but also potentially eating foods that would be deadly to regular humans. (more…)