Fallout 4: Settler’s Blues

I haven’t been doing too much with the settlement system, since I’ve been too busy being killed by everything in the Wasteland, but I’ve played enough video games to know where it’s going -settlements may not actually be a requirement, but eventually, avoiding them will be enough of  a pain in the ass you’ll just do it anyway.  It’s bad enough being reminded by all my relatives every Thanksgiving that I’m still single – I don’t need a bunch of itinerant brahmin merchants complaining because they have no place to sleep.

Especially since the very first mission (besides the one where you get killed by the Deathclaw) is to talk with Sturges, full time rebuilder and part-time Elvis impersonator:

“Have you ever considered that humans are just the fruiting body of the power-water grid?”


“The true life is underground,” he said.  Then his curled his lip, ran a comb through his pompadour, and handed me a laundry list of chores to do in order to turn Sanctuary from a radroach infested flea motel into a thriving hub of commerce.

First task: render everything down to the bedrock.

I needed the raw materials to make beds so my settlers had somewhere to sleep besides the ground, which is what I assume they’ve been using for the past 200 years.  I mean, if I were trapped in a post-nuclear wasteland, my top priority wouldn’t be a memory foam mattress.  More like –

Don’s List of Post-Apocalyptic Kit:
1. Canned food.
Like, some really good soup.  Maybe some Spam.  Mmmm … radioactive Spam.  Assuming it isn’t already.
2. Can opener.
Not electric.
3. Pre-war secret military-grade laser weapons.
Because even though these don’t, currently, exist, after the War they’re everywhere, like cell phones today. Maybe you can buy them at mall kiosks the same way? But that’s another blog post …
4. Pre-war secret military-grade power armor.
They sell ’em next to the laser store.
5. A fast car.
(‘Cause I’ve seen Road Warrior.)
6. A spunky animal sidekick to save my bacon when I get captured by radioactive cannibals.

But maybe that’s why I’m the PC. Anyway,  beds it was, followed by a water pump. Easy enough.

And it was strangely rewarding to see my settlers, fast asleep in the beds I made for them:

We’ll leave the lights on – wait, I haven’t built any power yet!

So we got water, we got walls, we got beds – the only thing holding us back from a perfect little Posturepedic paradise was this troubling lack of food.

So Elvis – I mean, Sturgis, sends me off to plant some corn.  ‘Cause I’d certainly love to help you with those raiders and the killing and the looting and the dying thing – but first I’ma plant me sum taters!

Planting ‘taters proved … challenging.  Along with corn, carrots, and pretty much any other foodstuff.

The workshop menu is counterintuitive in the same way that Windows 7 is counterintuitive – that is, designed to maximize sanity loss.  The “you can do this here thing here” option wasn’t immediately obvious, so I kept thinking I didn’t have the right location (plants, shockingly, have to be planted in dirt) even though I was standing in the middle of what, based on the color, I could only pray was dirt.

“There’s dirt here!” I kept screaming at the cats.  “Why can I not plant the carrot thingy?!?”

I had to do a search for “how do you plant food?” which it seems to me we pretty much successfully solved with the whole “agriculture” thing, but anyway, it turned out, what I didn’t have was any actual plants.


So it was off into the Wasteland in search of carrots.  Or potatoes.  But not, apparently, razorgrain, which can only be used to make a Cup O’ Noddles.

You think I’m joking, but the recipe for a “Noodle Cup” is “razorgrain” plus “purified water.”  You’d think you’d need at least sum beef broth and salt, but apparently you aren’t picky after 200 years in the Vault.

I learned that recipe from the cooking station at the Red Rocket Truck stop, where I not only discovered the secret ingredient for Iguana on a Stick – Iguanas and Wood – but also made a Radscorpion Omelette, which is way more impressive than the regular chicken omelette I failed to make this morning, but in my defense, Floyd Winchester probably wasn’t as hung over as I was.

And I made Crunchy Squirrel Bits.  Crunchy Squirrel Bits!  

Wait … where did I get regular squirrel bits?

Simultanously, in my real life, I was making roasted garlic and pepper bean burritos with sauteed mushrooms and side salad, but somehow it wasn’t the same.  Cooking in video games is remarkable satisfying, even though most recipes are “kill beast, put over fire.”  I think I will do a run in Skyrim as a cook.

Eventually I found some produce – which is actually a lot harder than finding meat, mostly because the produce isn’t actively hunting you down and trying to kill you – and we got a thriving garden going in Sanctuary, once I figured out how to assign the “grow this” option to a settler.

I was even able to give the Vault-Tec guy a job.

Yeah, remember this guy?
He’s changed a bit.

Which is the most awesome thing I’ve ever done.

We were even able to supply some of the … finer amenities in life:

OMG!  That’s what all the Boston Bugles are for?!?

All was well in Sanctuary – I was even beginning to get traders, as I discovered when I popped in one day to see this:

Second floor – locks, stocks, bagels, and socks!

But alas, even in a game about a horrid post-WWIII nightmare wasteland, cold hard reality sometimes intrudes, like when I was informed that all of my settlements were under attack at the same time by 50 foot mutant kaiju with flamethrowing machine guns!!1!

OK.  It was only 3 settlements.  And it was only 5 supermutants and a dozen raiders.  Still, I realized I was gonna need to built some … infrastructure.  And by that I mean machine guns.

I mean, I can’t go ten feet without walking into some raider hideout filled with more auto-targeting turrets than the Death Star, so they can’t be that hard to build, right?  If even a cracked-out razorhead punk-rock thug strung out on Mentats, Jet, and the Dropkick Murphys1 can do it, so can I.

Or not. I got enough to make Elvis happy, over in Sanctuary, but Abernathy Farm was on its own.  I needed more equipment – water purifiers, power grids, electronics, oil. Power, oil, and water! So, pretty much The Sims: Middle East.

Elvis was right; the true life is underground.

  1. It’s Boston

Fallout 4: Call of Duty, Super Mutant Edition

Sigh.  Starting to think I shoulda bought “The Witcher 3” instead of Fallout 4, even though Geralt of Rivia reminds me of former president Martin Van Buren:

I think it’s the man bun.



But even playing Witcher 3: The Federalist Papers would be better than what I’m currently playing, which seems determined to be some post-apocalyptic version of Call of Duty.

Which does have its moments.


‘Cause they’ve really upped the first-person-shootiness here.  New Vegas had combat, yes, but I’m not sure Fallout 4 has anything but combat.  The Wasteland is basically a collection of buildings filled with massive numbers of overpowered enemies, interspersed with radiation-blasted landscapes filled with massive numbers of overpowered enemies, followed by random encounters with massive numbers of overpowered enemies, all of which want to shoot you, stab you, club you, bite you, sting you, poison you, loot your corpse, suck out your eyeballs and eviscerate your major internal body cavities.

It’s fun for a while, but it’s starting to get in the way of completing quests and following the story, not to mention how it puts the kibosh on wanton exploring.  You’ll find some new town, only to discover it has a “Legendary Super Mutant Killermeister” in it, and you’ll expend all your resources killing him  and be sitting there, trying to stitch your leg back on, and your HUD will helpfully inform you that his 27 other brothers are all attacking you, and 26 of them have chain-grenade launchers, and the last one has a nuclear suicide vest.  (Seriously – ‘Super Mutant Suicider’ is a thing now, and the only way to survive is to not be there.)

I mean, I get a quest to “Find the Freedom Trail,” which sounds like a simple introductory adventure, and the first thing I see when I fast travel is a hammer the size of a bus crashing down on my head (Which just proves that fast travel IS teleportation, because I’m pretty sure I would have noticed that if I were just walking in.  It’s hard to miss malevolent construction equipment attempting to perform inverse chiropracty on you.)

And it’s being wielded by what appears to be the Sears Tower – I mean, a supermutated supermutant with arms bigger than some small nations, who is, of course, named “Swan.”



It’s like calling a big guy “Tiny,” only the irony doesn’t work when he’s using a train engine to compress your spine, and all you wanted to do was go hook up with a faction.

I think there was supposed to be some back story where I find his journal and discover that inside that homicidal brute there is a sensitive poet who just likes killin’ stuff and drinking blood, but I was kind of booked up on the 400 raiders who randomly showed up with him, plus that wasn’t even what I came here for.

I finish killing all of them, and I’m down to a hangnail’s worth of health and half a Band-Aid, and I’m informed that I have to go defend Oberland Station from raiders; when I check my quest log, I find out I was at some point notified that l also have to defend Abernathy Farm from raiders.

I start with Abernathy farm, where there’s 5 supermutants attacking a farmer who looks remarkably like Brent Spiner; I stimpak on up and manage to take them out, though not before my companion gets the snot beat out of him.

Then I go to Oberland Station, where I am relieved to find there are only 3 raiders.  I take them out and am trying to maybe build some automated defenses, but can’t because of a critical lack of oil (sound familiar?) even though the doped-up Mohawk-having raiders seem to be able to build turrets EVERY.  F@CKING. WHERE. and while I’m doing that …

… I’m attacked by more raiders.

Finally I decide to just abandon that entire quest line for a while and go do something simple … maybe find that guy’s missing grandpa, who’s dead, of course, but I can still get his family heirloom, this hat that’s still on his corpse, which is down this sinkhole …

… filled with Deathclaws.

F this, I’m playing Goat Simulator.

Or when I try to help the robots on the USS Constitution repair their turbines and I’m at the end stage cutscene and instead of just, you know, completing the quest, they add on one last little scavenger raid with what appears to be the entire population of the Commonwealth, including a guy who apparently hit the Black Friday sales at the Iraqi munitions factory, because he’s shooting what seems to be an endless supply of missiles.  Highly explody stimpack wasting missiles.  At me. Seriously, another one?  Ouch, dammit, how many missiles does this guy have?  Who is he?  North Korea?

So by the time all is said and done, I just wanna scream at the robots “finish the damn quest!  I don’t care about your quest anymore!”  I just want to go back to Sanctuary and sleep this off, even though by the time I get there it will probably have been overrun by supermutants armed with nuclear weapons and nanoplague viruses.

You can mock Martin Van Buren all you want, especially for the Panic of 1837, but at least he never went aggro with unlimited explosives that weren’t available for loot.


Caveat Hannibal Lector:

In Fallout 4’s defense, I recall I once had similar feelings about Fallout NV:


Dude, if I meet another one of these f@cking “cazadores” f@cking MUTANT DEATH BRINGERS OF THE F@CKING APOCALYPSE, I am deleting Fallout and all it stands for.  Jesus Christ, they auto-hit with enough poison to bring down a bull elephant, and they are EVERYF@CKING WHERE.
Experiencing some in- and out-of-game frustration with Fallout.



Fallout 4: Come Die With Me

I’m not sure I’m liking the way Fallout 4 makes companions essential.  Not essential as in “can’t die,” because that is entirely a good and necessary and true thing; I mean, I feel guilty enough dragging an innocent dog through the meatgrinder that is the Wasteland – even more so because he has to do all the heavy lifting, since I can’t even figure out which end of a gun the bullets come out of – without the added guilt of finding his lifeless corpse littering some super-mutant infested hellhole.

But essential as in “can’t complete the quest without them.”

I like using Codsworth, partly because I enjoy the dichotomy of having a stuffy English butler looting mutant ghoul corpses (and his constant repetition of “sir” reminds me of my cat Tabby), partly because he gives me lots of purified water (which are better than Stimpacks, because they work instantly and don’t just restore a percent of health) and partly because, hey –

Robot with a chainsaw!

but you need to have Dogmeat with you to track down Kellogg in his Evil Villain Lair of Villainous Evilry:

 Turned out I didn’t need to go that way.

How he (Dogmeat’s a “he,” right – I mean, you call him “boy.”  Maybe it’s some kind of Lassie thing, where Dogmeat’s a he but he’s played by a girl ’cause the code was easier) manages to track a decade-old trail across the wasteland using only a half-smoked cigar is beyond me, but hey – I was frozen for 200 years, maybe that got better dogs these days.

I don’t know if they did it that way because they already had a dog in the game, or if that’s the whole reason Dogmeat’s there, but while I like the way they’ve integrated companions into the gameplay, I don’t like how it narrows my choices.  Of course, Fallout 4 (or, as I call it, “Wasteland 2: the FPS”) does keep to its own pace, like when I left the Evil Villain Lair of Villainous Evilry and saw this:

Giant Blimpy Floaty Thing of Doom!


which, their zillion-decibel loudspeaker announced, was from Oz … I mean, the Brotherhood of Steel, which definitely upped the urgency factor on Paladin Danse’s offer of “join us or I will blow your head off.”

Fortunately, it turns out that when Paladin Danse says “no more mercenary work” he’s just kidding, because there’s only so far you can go with dynamic world building, and not letting the PCs loot the entire landscape just isn’t gonna fly.

But now there’s Brotherhood Paladins running around in power armor, and since I fickin’ HATE the Brotherhood1 I sure hope my companion is carrying some serious firepower – like, more than German Shepherd teeth.

And now that I’m in Diamond City, the game is very … intent on me using either Nick or Piper.

I mean, I like Nick …

You might remember me from such films as Bicentennial Man

not least of which ’cause he looks like the cover of an ’80s-era Rush album2, but I haven’t finished Codsworth’s storyline yet, which means I haven’t got his perk (Robot Sympathy) but even worse, he won’t be in the ending slideshow, and since the entire point of playng Fallout is to get drunk and maudlin while watching the ending, every missing epilogue is a reminder that I am a failure as a human being and a gamer.

Like in Fallout NV, you’d spend hours trying to unlock a companion’s questline, until finally you gave up and read the walkthrough, which helpfully informed you that you had to go with your Level 20 companion to some place you cleared out at level 2, which meant you basically had to replay the entire game for each possible companion (I’m lookin’ at you, Arcade Gannon – I mean, seriously, why would I go back to the Repconn Factory after I’ve cleared it?  I mean, Cass was easy3, but Raul?  Even with the walkthrough, I almost didn’t get his.) so I’m not too happy with the fact that I still haven’t unlocked Codsworth’s perk, and now the game really, really, really wants me to use Piper as my companion.

I’m guessing she’s like the Lydia of Fallout 4.  All the Fallout articles I read rather than having a real life talk about meeting Piper, and what’s involved in her storyline, or how to romance her, or how the author got a Piper tattoo, or how Fallout 4 carved her name into the side of a tree outside Ubisoft’s headquarters.  But frankly, I think she’s kind of annoying.  And anyway – if I can’t even get the intro character to give up the perk, what hope do I have with Piper?

I just really like this photo.
  1. Nobody puts Tex Kennedy in a slave collar!
  2. Also, he’s Belethor in Skyrim.
  3. Ha ha!


Fallout 4: The Man, The Myth, THE MOHAWK!

Because sometimes, you have to wait for the good stuff.  Well, and die like a zillion times, but I’ve finally figured out part of why I’ve been dying so much is ’cause  I had it set to “normal” mode.  Ha Ha!  Silly accountant!  “Normal” mode is for people who aren’t me!

Not that this stopped me from dying, it’s just now I can occasionally survive long enough to find a new location, thus inching my way across the map, dragging trails of blood behind me.

All of which means I finally made it to Diamond City, which is, um, one of the very first locations you’re supposed to go to.  In my defense, Fallout does its level best to divert you, like occasionally by having the earth erupt beneath you in the form of gigantic radscorpions.

“Don’t go this way yet.”

Lesser Common Radscorpion
Beefus Gateus
Health: 5 gizillion hit points
Base move: 3.0×108 meters/second
Base attack: Automatic critical hit
Base damage: 1 million zillion hit points.  And it poisons you.  Also, you start to question your politics and your kids are born funny.

Of course, that was happening before the War, too.

but I didn’t let mutated babies stop me – I gamely1 reloaded at every super-mutant infested location, until at long long last I arrived at Diamond City, the Great Green Jewel of the Commonwealth, and there … there …the first thing you see (once you get past the mandatory cutscene with plucky report Piper)

Less “plucky reporter,” more “homeless ‘tater thief.”

… is a barber.

The REAL Savior of the Wasteland

It’s like they knew; they knew what we wanted, but they made us work for it.  We had to fight our way through the Wasteland, sweat mingling with hair grease in our funked-up pompadours, with only one burning flame of desire to keep us going, one desperate dream to guide us:

a decent haircut.

“Hey, you look like you could use a haircut.”


“Really, is it that obvious?”
Not combing gives me more time for my meth habit.
Professor Badass to you.
Can we make this quick?  I want to catch “Mad Men” on my Pip Boy.
Waster … wasted … same … what we were talking about?
Seriously?  I was a math teacher!

And … can it be … ?!?



It’s no Mr. T, but it’ll do.

But in the end, something just didn’t feel right … I’d seen too much … suffered too much … it was time for my hair to reflect my inner turmoil.  Red might have worked in New Vegas, but I needed to be serious if I was going to find my mutant larva son:


And it only cost me 15 caps – which, considering there is nothing to buy in this forsaken hellhole, was cheap at twice the price:

Lookin’ good!
  1. Pun intended

Fallout 4: The Riddle of Steal

Between the time the fires ate America and the rise of the synths, there was an age undreamed of.  And unto this, Floyd, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Diamond City upon his troubled brow.   It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!

Into the Wasteland came Floyd, red-pompadoured, sullen-eyed, tire iron in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet …

Floyd Crop
Now I know how Red Sonja felt.

He thought now of his father’s words, as he taught him the warrior’s ways:

“There will come a time, my son, when laser rifles fail you.  But a tire iron with an axe attached, now that will f@ck some sh#t up.”

“But dad, I wanna be an accountant.  I put all my points in Intelligence.”

No strength

His father shook his grizzled head.  “Floyd, long have I battled across the Wastelands -”

“Even thought the war hasn’t happened yet?”

“Shut up kid, I’m talkin’.  I have fought with lasers, rifles, pistols, nuclear weapons, and once with an angry molerat, and if I have learned one thing in my battles, it is this – no amount of Pre-War SpeechTek nerdstuff will ever hold its own with Age Of Ultron’s Rogue Savager of the Wastes, not even in origami.”  He reached into a chest and handed Floyd what the Pip Boy said was a “bladed tire iron,” which, not surprisingly, turned out to be a tire iron with an axe attached.  He beckoned for Floyd to lean close; when he did, his father whispered in his ear:

“INT is a dump stat, my son.”

Floyd pondered for a moment.  “You mean, like how two strips of metal welded to a chestplate makes better armor than a full bodysuit of reinforced leather?”

“That is the Riddle of Steel.”

It’s clobberin’ time.

In the days to come, Floyd would learn the truth of his father’s words, as he ignored all logic and charged his enemies, bladed tire iron leveling man and beast alike, sending severed heads flying into the wasteland and leaving his opponents too stunned to counterattack.

“But – this is an FPS!” a Raider cried, moments before Floyd’s axe deprived him of life.

“This isn’t Skyrim!” a ghoul gibbered, as he fell before Codsworth’s rotary saw.

Though the similarities ARE striking …

And so it was that Floyd Winchester, Barbarian Accountant, fought his was past Radscorpions, Super Mutants, and really disgusting bloatflies to aid the distressed Brotherhood paladins at the Cambridge police station.

Soon he stood before Paladin Danse.  Girded spendidly in his power armor, Danse looked upon Floyd’s axe and greeted him as one warrior to another:

“Put some clothes on, fool.”

Floyd clothes
Oh, hey!  I didn’t know you could do that.

Back to back and blade to blade they fought through the bloody halls of … someplace or other, I forget, and also Danse was using a laser rifle, but anyway, the point is … back to back and blade to blade they fought their way to their prize: a “deep range transmitter” that … actually, Floyd wasn’t sure, because ever since New Vegas, he hadn’t really cared much for the Brotherhood of Steel. He was mostly just here for the loot.

They stood together, surveying the battlefield – behind them carnage littered the waste; ahead of them awaited the greatest of their foes.

“You know there’s gonna be, like, an army of Synths on the other side of that door.”

Floyd nodded.  Unbidden, the words rose within him: “Crom, I have never prayed to you before; I have not the words for it, for I failed my Speech check.  No one, not even on the Steam Forums, will remember if we had good karma or bad.  Why we fought, or why we died.  All that matters is that I have a tire iron with an axe welded on.  That’s what’s important. Smashing stuff pleases you, Crom … so grant me one request.  Grant me some murlurk-lovin’ critical hits.  And if you do not listen, then to the Vault with you!”

No sungs were sung to their victory that day, for none survived who could sing them.  But in that place, two stood against many, and f@cked some sh@t up:


As they surveyed the carnage, Paladin Danse turned to Floyd.
“You’re strange, kid, but I think you’ll do.  Are you ready to join the Brotherhood?”
“Does that mean I can’t loot the Wasteland anymore?”
“It’s time to serve a higher purpose.  To make your mark on the world.”
Floyd pondered a moment. “Nah,” he said.
“Floyd, what is best in life?”
“Kill people. Take their stuff.”
“Not friends? Not allies? What happens when you are overencumbered and can no longer run?”
Floyd nodded. “It is the Riddle of Steal,” he said at last.

Many wars and feuds did Floyd fight. Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand. And he wore his assault gas mask upon a troubled brow.

But that is another story …

Fallout 4: Praise the Lord and Pass the Cheat Codes

I must be doing something wrong.  I’ve been playing Fallout 4 for 15 minutes tonight, and I’ve died 14 times.  At this point, I’m not actually sure there’s anything more to the game than a bright red splash and a loading screen.  I’m level 8 and still nothing more than a highly mobile piece of bright pink dog food.  Did I miss all the actual weapons?  Perhaps I am secretly shooting vitamin bullets?


Because the Legendary Ghoul wasn’t enough – they had to give it air support.

I might feel better if I was actually able to at least hurt the enemy before I was reduced to a tinted crimson mist, but it is rapidly becoming apparent that the “pipe” in “pipe pistol” is actually short for “suck the pain pipe” because I can unload more bullets than a redneck 4th of July and all they do is laugh at me.  “HO HO HO SHOOT MORE,” they say.  “THESE VITAMINS ARE TASTY!”

… ah, clarity dawns.  In addition to the damage/weight/reload weapon stats, there is also something called an “accuracy” stat, which means that even if I aim correctly, shoot correctly, and the animation shows geysers of blood fountaining from the place where the enemy’s head was …

… does not actually mean I have, you know, hit the enemy.

I am not sure that this is making me feel better, but I don’t have time to worry about it, because I am too busy trying to run away from the packs of feral ghouls that roam the wastes in groups larger than the Russian Army … or failing to run away, actually, because based on the fact that the back of my head was just chewed off, they also move faster than light.

The glow is actually Cerenkov Radiation.

Speaking of the Russian army, resources are so scarce I often tend to run out of bullets before I have run out of enemies, so even though I have a nice modded out 10mm pistol with glowing sights (I named it “Glowy McTenPiece) I don’t have any ammunition to shoot it with.

Hang on, just died.  Because a super mutant wasn’t enough – they gave him a mutant hound and a rocket launcher.  Seriously, a rocket launcher?  For a super mutant?  That’s like a tank that shoots bigger tanks.

OK, so I Googlied “Why is Fallout …” and I feel a little better now, because the first choices were:

why is Fallout so hard?
Why is Fallout trying to kill me
Why is fallout designed by Nazis
Why is fallout OMG I woke up in a bathtub with no kidneys

so maybe mine isn’t a unique experience.  At least I still have my kidneys.

From what I’ve read, they really amped up the hate threshold for this game.  “Fallout 4 is gonna be tough,” they said.  “Fallout 4 will kill you AND your little dog.  Fallout 4 will follow you home and break you windows.  Fallout 4 will make lewd comments toward your girlfriend.  Fallout 4 will …”

Easy, Bethesda.  Did Assassins’ Creed put a bee in your gamer bonnet? Some of just want to wander the wasteland listening to rockabilly.  Is that too much to ask?

But now every time I hear Atom Bomb Baby, I cringe in pain thinking of all the times I died – and that sort of grimly ironic future awareness isn’t supposed to be meta, Bethesda.

But if you wanna go meta, I can go meta too … lesse, let’s just hit the ol’ tilde key, pull up the console commands:

HELP Armor …



When Your Name Precedes You: Jeannie Vanasco On Feeling Bound to the Dead Older Sibling She’s Named For

My father was named for his dead brother, and I’m named after my father.  Somewhere in the Mojave Desert is a grave with my name it.  I’ve often wondered about the nature of time and identity, and who, exactly, was really buried there.  How many souls are there, in the world?

This is also probably why I’m obsessed with Fallout: New Vegas.


“I was sixteen, the age Jeanne would always be.”

Source: When Your Name Precedes You: Jeannie Vanasco On Feeling Bound to the Dead Older Sibling She’s Named For

Goat Simulator: Postal 2 for farmers

Hmmm … think I’m just gonna play a little Fallout 4 here.  Let’s see what’s over here …



Your life has ended in the Wasteland …

Ok, maybe try that mission in Lexington instead …



Your life has ended in the Wasteland …

Oh yeah?  Well surprise, ’cause daddy’s got sum power armor for u….



I get the idea

Maybe I’ll go in the other direction … wait, there’s a signpost up ahead:



Your life …

F this.  I’m gonna go play Goat Simulator.


Goat Sim, Goat Sim.

Good news: I didn’t die.

I did get stuck in an endless loop, but – and this is important – at no time did I lose hit points.  Assuming I have hit points.  I’m not very certain.  What I am certain of was that I started the game as …


Of course it’s a jetpack.  It would be silly if it was a goat.  Goats can’t fly.

I’m not quite sure how that happened.  I was three deep into a six pack of Great Basin’s Ichthyosaurus IPA, so things were a little fuzzy.  I was playing the tutorial, trying to determine my objectives, which, as in most modern role-playing … OH HELL.  YOU’RE A GOAT.  YOU RAGE ON STUFF.


And occasionally lick it.

There were objectives, I guess, but really, in my world, “wanton destruction” is all the objective I need.  And considering I was playing a game called Goat Simulator and ended up


Apparently at some point my life ended in the Wastelands of … where am I, anyway?

trying to achieve anything so complicated as “trashing Goathenge” was frankly beyond my abilities.

Anyway, it was hard enough being a goat – not, I mean, being a goat, but actually managing to play a goat.


As opposed to …

It probably had something to do with all the “mutations” I picked at the beginning of the game, but I thought it would only let you pick 1-2 optional upgrades, like most other games.  And well … if Goat Simulator isn’t going to limit me, then it’s not my fault if I have a drinking problem.

But once I actually managed to play a goat (I picked the Goatborn option, which let me speak dragon, meaning I could ROAR like Macho Man Randy Savage) I proceeded to take out a little goat angst by thrashing the everlovin’ hell out of anything that crossed my path.  I blew up a gas station, raged on some hillbillies, and eventually even found and trashed Goathenge.  I was one Seriously.  Pissed . Off.  Goat.  It was like Postal 2 for farmers.


Or any Friday night in Modoc County.

And soon, terror stalked the streets of Genericville, USA … cloven-hoofed terror that struck without warning to the bellowed cry of OOOOH YEAHHHHHH …

Then I went to the next loading screen.

It turns out that cloven hooves, while great for the instilling of the terror, not so great for the opening of the doors.  And it was then that I learned the true meaning of Goat Simulator …


To a goat, the world has no doors …

Another deep insight that turns out, on reflection, to actually be kind of stupid.

Broken Windows

You may argue that this post contains a slight bias against Microsoft, to which I say: ah so you’ve used Windows, then1.

My machine’s been running slow; of course, everyone’s machine runs slow, because the nanosecond you get it, all bright and shiny and with nothing installed (especially those terabytes worth of naughty cat gifs you had on the old one) that becomes your new normal, and everything after is all downhill.

But slower than that – freeyztime slow.  Black screen and whirring fan slow.  Get impatient and close the programs and they won’t even close in a timely manner slow.

You know, needs an update slow.

I have to admit, since this is the first actual new computer I’ve ever owned, that I am not familiar with how updates go.  I’d update my computer at work, but usually only out of desperate hope that it was crashing due to some esoteric file patch like borkfixer.exe and not whatever it was I’d just downloaded2.

But still, it seems more logical – civilized even – to maybe pop up a message telling you an update was ready rather than you finding out after spending an hour crying on the floor, catatonic with rage?


I inchwormed the mouse over to the search bar and typed in “Check for Updates”3 then ignored the roughly 23 other apps that Windows helpfully decided might take priority rather than updates to the operating system itself.

There it was – it was called “Absolutely Critical Update So Windows Doesn’t Launch Nuclear Missiles Against North Korea But We Aren’t Gonna Tell You About It.”

After correctly answering the security question4 I proceeded to install the update.


Sorry, just a little IT humor, there.6

No, seriously, it told me there was an error, which I might have believed if this had been the first time the computer ran slow when there was an update available, rather that it being how I know an update is available.

Which of course begs the question: if the system was working fine before an update existed, how come it stops working until the update is installed?  I can only assume Microsoft has been taking lessons from the Mafia:

“Real nice computer ya got there.  Be a shame if sometin’ were to happen to it.”

But other than that, the update went fine, and I’m hoping it finishes sometime before Christmas.

Okay, it only took 2 hours.7  And then another half hour of hidden system reconfigs.  And another hour of reinstalling all the programs Windows helpfully uninstalled.  Also, it broke my keyboard.  At least, I kind of hope my keyboard’s broken, because a 10 minute wait for it to register letters seems kind of … ah, I see …

Checking for updates…

  1. Actually, I’m pro-Microsoft, mainly because I once worked at Apple.  That’s a longer, sadder blog post, and one that probably has to stay classified until the end of time.
  2. It was rarely borkfixer.
  3. Because XP’s intuitive menu GUI was just so unpopular.
  4. “Would you like to play a game of chess?”5
  5. Correct answer: no.
  6. This joke intentionally left blank.
  7. No, seriously, that wasn’t a joke.

Fallout 4: Spin the Wheel, Raggedy Man

Played almost 2 hours without dying, except for when I accidentally jumped off of something high … and the time I swam in radioactive water … oh, and when those ghouls killed me …
hmm … maybe it’s time to build some better armor …

Can't touch this

Wasteland style

Now I’m back at Sanctuary looking through my kit, trying to figure out this “crafting” thing, which isn’t gonna be easy, since IRL I have also been doing the “drinking” thing.  Apparently I have to make beds, which first involves having a temper tantrum and throwing everything on the ground.

Seriously, you apparently “scrap” stuff by going into some secret workshop view mode and … oh, wait, I think I see now.  You scrap inventory by going into the workshop, while you can scrap environmental stuff  like barrels and ruined houses and neighbors and …

I may have gotten a little carried away …


It’s gone, baby.

I leveled that place to the bedrock – houses, cars, medical supplies, playground equipment, Bambi’s mom …

Not Lydia


Seriously, it’s probably a good thing my wife isn’t alive:
“Honey, where’s the baby?”


Press R to scrap 

I got them some beds:


It never said they had to be inside.  

I got some water pumps, modded a couple of weapons, planted some taters:


Ah, the sickly green glow of farming.

and I finally got myself some semi-decent armor:


Seriously, the stats say it’s better.

I looked at that picture and realized this wasn’t Fallout – it was Mad Max.


I was dropping beds like a maniac and screaming about needing pig manure, so they sent me off to Lexington to deal with some Raiders who apparently were also seriously into parkour:


Really, how many of these do I have to climb?

Parkour in power armor, actually, as I discovered when I was handed back the flaming pieces of what was once my ass.  I’m standing there trying to stitch my arm back on when the raider takes off her helmet.  Something about her looked familiar …


Aunty Entity.

She smirked as she looked at me holding my guts in with my one non-crippled hand.  I looked up at her.

“This is gonna suck, isn’t it?” I said.

“Spin the wheel, Raggedy Man.”