Fallout 4: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Wasteland

You ever get that feeling that you’ve played a game too long?   It happens to me in all the games I’ve played; the sky will be getting dark and I’ll be off in the corner of the map, in one of the odd little one-off places they added for the completionists, and no one has any new dialogue, and I swear once an NPC was like, “don’t you have a home to go to IRL?”  And I get to thinking, “maybe I’m really just picking at crumbs by this point.  Hey, when did winter arrive?  What month is it?”

Of course it’s just my perception – I’ve played Skyrim for like 10 million hours1 and I’m still finding new quests. What happens is I put off doing the main quest in the hopes of not missing the sidequests, only to find that you come across the most sidequests while involved in doing something else.  Sigh.  It’s like jobs and girlfriends; you never have one, you have none or too many.

Same applies to power armor.

Now that I’d won Piper’s heart, I figured it was time to grab my oldpal Nick Valentine and go find Virgil in the Glowing Sea.

Nick was cool, ’cause he’s a robot, but if I was gonna come out with all my limbs intact, I was gonna need more than Bactine – I was gonna need sum power armor.  No problem; I left a set back at the Red Rocket Truck Stop, it looked just like in the main loading screen, except for the methed out alcoholic redhead that was living there.

I said goodbye to Piper and learned the lesson of Lot’s wife:

NEVER look back.

Yeah, she doesn’t take abandonment well.  Which is probably why when I came back, she’d let crackheads room in our house2.

And actually, it turns out nothing in the Wasteland takes abandonment well, because when I hit the Red Rocket …

We’d like to show you a picture of this power armor, but Raiders won’t let us.

A Raider stole my power armor!  What’s worse – he did it when I was in Sanctuary!  I heard the gunfire, and when I get there, the power armor’s gone, and there’s a dead Raider wearing every. bit. but. the. torso.

Because, you know, the point wasn’t to get power armor, it was to fck with the PC.

Sigh.  So you know how it is … like car keys, now I’m looking around for that spare set I left somewhere…

I was pretty sure I’d left one over by outpost Zima or whatever it was … Preston sent me there to clear it out and set up a recruitment beacon, and one of the raiders had some power armor.  OK, let’s fast travel … hey, how come my happiness is so low… whoa, how the HELL did I get 8 settlers?  That recruitment beacon ain’t whistlin’ Dixie … and of course, they scavenged the HELL out of my power armor, but they. can’t. plant. a. tato.

Or build a water pump.  I know you have steel, ’cause you scavved my power armor.

Alright, the Glowing Sea can wait – let’s see what these freaks want.

“To be honest, we’re kind of short on food.”

Yes, I can see, that, considering I haven’t planted any.  Say, what were you eating before I arrived?  There weren’t, like, 10 of you to start with, were there?  Ick.  Here – how about sum Dandy Boy apples?  Fancy Lad Snack Cakes?  I know these product names are supposed to sound super-consumerist whitebread Americana pre-Resource War and ironic and all that, but some of them sound like things I could buy at Safeway right now.  Blamco Mac and Cheese?  Isn’t that next to Kraft’s?  Aren’t Sugar Bombs out of Calvin and Hobbes?

Whatever, my settlers ain’t eating ’em.  Apparently they only want farm-fresh food.  Listen, you mutant freaks, we’re living in the Wasteland!  You can’t buy free range super mutant at the local Whole Foods.  There’s a crater where the Whole Foods was!  Now it’s a Hole Foods, but it’s filled with Deathclaws and you’re the food!  It is all very terrible and ironic and oh what the hell, I’ll plant sum razorgrain and you can make noodles …

… wait, you’re still not happy.  Maybe if I assign a settler to farm?  Still not enough food … here’s a gourd, some tatos – okay, how much food do these people need, anyway?   Can’t they just .. eat less or something?

OK, that’s enough food .. got enough water pumps to open a car wash, assuming we still had cars.   Why are you people still not happy?  Beds?  Can’t you just share some?  Free love, man!  Okay, maybe not … of course, it’s not like I have a lot of room to build here.  We’re not talking Spanish oak four posters, I’ll be lucky to even fit enough sleeping bags for you lot … of course Preston has me build the recruitment beacons at the smallest possible settlements.  Sanctuary would have been too easy.

There’s 1 … 2 … dammit!  I’m out of cloth … ok, should be easy enough, what’s around here …

… there is not cloth in the entire settlement.  That’s because the previous inhabitants were all wearing power armor.

Okay, let’s put this on hold and go find some cotton.

Fortunately, I almost immediately ran into a raider settlement:

Let’s just loot these corpses here – hey, whaddya mean “Leather Armor” doesn’t count as “cloth.”  Haven’t you ever met Piper?  Okay, never mind – there’s a trailer full of mannequins here, and they’re all –

Nothing lootable here.
If only I could find some cloth …
Not a stitch of fabric anywhere …

I was reduced to rendering toys into stuffing to make beds, kind of like some perverse children’s hospital commercial, but I finally got enough beds to make them happy, and all that was left to do –

No, sorry, can’t help you with levitating cows.

Was go find some power armor.  I know I left some around here someplace –

Maybe it’s under this bookshelf.

There were like, half a dozen around here someplace – I never paid attention, ’cause I always had a set.

Maybe I left it at the hotel?

I finally found a new set at a government checkpoint.  And just like when you give up and buy something new, you find a half-dozen of them lying around – one just sitting around a raider settlement, two that had been formerly occupied by BoS and were currently occupied by corpses … eventually, I couldn’t go 10 feet without tripping over one –


“In yo’ FACE.”  Luv, Fallout 4.

Okay, so now, FINALLY, I’m ready to … wait, what was I trying to do again?




  1. Of course that’s an exaggeration; it’s probably really more like 5 million.
  2. But that’s another blog post.

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