Fallout 4: The Winter Of Our Nick-Content, Part II

I’ve think I’ve figured out who Nick was, before the War.

Satan.

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You ever dance with me in the pale moonlight?

That’s why, since I’ve been hanging around with him, every living thing in the Wasteland is trying to kill me.

I thought I was used to the level of combat in Fallout 4 (i.e., constant, even when you’re hiding in your cryopod trying to eat sum Iguana onna Stick) and the increased numbers of enemies (a million skillion of them, all at once, with rapid-fire nuclear grenade launchers and sharp pointy sticks) but when you combine those two things, it’s like two great pains that hurt a lot together, like getting hemorrhaging artery chocolate in suppurating chest wound peanut butter.  It’s one thing to have entire packs of enemies attacking all at once, but when you have packs of packs of different kinds of enemies, all looking to use your organs for kleenex, you know things are getting out of control.

I was still on Nick’s quest line when it started; that’s why I think he’s actually Lucifer the Morning Star, masquerading as a wisecracking android detective1. We were near Fallon’s Department Store when I ran into a fortress full of gunners, who are a random mercenary faction that of course is inimically hostile to you for no reason except that by this point in the game, regular raiders don’t kill you enough.

Fortunately, they were in the middle of a three-way battle with Brotherhood Paladins and some other random group called the Children of Atom, who of course are inimically hostile to you because at this point, it’s just what all the cool kids are doing.

The Brotherhood of Steel is actually turning out to be kind of useful, in that I can let them suck up all the aggro while I potshot the enemy with my sniper rifle.  And while I do feel kind of guilty when I accidentally headshot one of them, they don’t seem to mind, and they even let me loot their corpses.

I started to head toward the police station when I was distracted by

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Ooooh shiny!!1!

I’m a fool for anything shiny in the distance.  It might be ’cause I used to sell lightbulbs, or some symptom of incipient schizophrenia, but if it’s glowy, I’m gonna go check it out, something Skyrim used to great effect, with the ghosts and the lightning mages

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and occasionally this guy*

*flamy death courtesy of the Monster Mod, on the Nexus Forums.

Of course, Fallout 4 is rather more … fraught than Skyrim, as I discovered when the path to the glowy thing ran across a lake containing, among other things, a Legendary Mirelurk King

as well as his entire football team.

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So much death, for such a little guy…

So after a half-dozen cutscenes where I watched my head get severed and eaten, I decided to go the other way.  Where apparently Fallout went all meta and got into my head, ’cause what should I see but

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It’s EXTRA shiny!

Which turned out to be full of feral ghouls.  Not that this was a problem, as they were immediately attacked by a pack of mirelurk hunters.

It makes you wonder, it really does – I mean, what do these monsters do when there aren’t PCs around to kill?  Are they all just laying there, nosetip to fang, unaware that they’re packed in tighter than pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, until a footstep awakens them and they just start killing anything they see?2

Nick, showing the usual tactical genius of an NPC, ran into melee, while I sat on the sidelines lobbing Molotov Cocktails at the entire group.  I figured Nick could take it, what with him being the Devil and all.

Wait … something’s still moving … aah!  My face is melting!  This was not an ideal way to discover that Mirelurk hunters spit poisonous acid poison!

I engaged in what Fallout players call a tactical firing retreat, which means I ran backwards as fast as I could, while spraying bullets in the direction the pain was coming from.  It didn’t look like I was gonna make it, when I ran across a train station and heard a grunted “huh?” followed by the countdown beep of a …

… really?  The mixed salad of a mirelurks and ghouls wasn’t enough?!?  You threw in a Super Mutant Suicider?!?

Fortunately, the explosion took out the Mirelurk Hunter

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You can still see the mushroom cloud.

by this point, I figured I’d pretty much survived the worst Fallout could throw at me, so I kept heading south,which is where I discovered why they call it the  Glowing Sea:

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Dear God, the Land Itself Hath Risen ‘Gainst Me

OK fine.  I’ll try a different direction … how about hitting the police station in Quincy?

Nope – bad idea, ’cause Quincy hit back like Mike Tyson in a ‘roid rage … I managed to get around the Super Mutant camp that was being attacked by the Brotherhood, but only by stumbling into a raider camp filled with what I posthumously learned was a new level of raider, the “raider survivalist,” who apparently evolved to survive solely on the internal ograns of player characters.

Next try, I got more supermutants, a Legendary gunner, and the raider camp again, only this time they apparently had nuclear-tipped grenades, based on the mushroom-cloud shaped cutscene.

I eventually  make it into Quicy on the third try, only to find the entire town is another fortified gunner camp, where they apparently also have a working breeder reactor.  Or at least that was my ten-second impression, because all I heard was someone say “here, have some” and then drop what was, based on the damage level, a dinosaur killer asteroid on me.

Attention, Bethesda: An ELE is supposed to be a hypothetical cosmology term, not a gameplay mechanic.

You know what?  Never mind.  Maybe I started that quest too soon.  Let’s go back to an earlier one.  How about … follow the Freedom Trail … yeah, that one was a while ago, I should be able to handle it now.

Oh yeah, following the Freedom Trail … which leads to the Massachusetts State House, which is Filled. With. Mirelurks.

‘Cause the thing to do, when you have a kaiju-sized devil crab that can one-hit small galaxies, is to make ’em in six-pack sizes!

You know what?  Never mind.  I’m a badass now.  I can take these bastards.  Which they knew, apparently, ’cause right about then the floorboards start breaking under me like a bad horror movie  and up pops a

… really …

… really, Bethesda?  A mirelurk QUEEN?

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I actually managed to kill it. Then I was killed by raiders before I could save.

I … I’m gonna go play Solitaire now.

  1. Which is also basically the plot of Wuthering Heights.
  2. Yes.
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