Monday, September 22, 2008

An Introduction / Fallout

I've been gaming since I was three years old, starting on the Atari 2600 and worked my way through the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360, and PC. With some odd consoles thrown in the mix (TI-99, Commodore 64, Jaguar, etc). Gaming is, sadly, my life. It's all that I do with my free time and it's the primary thing in my conversations with friends and family. This blog will serve as a journal of my gaming exploits, the good and bad, and I will also throw in a review every now and again. I don't imagine anyone else besides myself will read this, so I'll write it as so.

Entry 1 - Fall out.

I've started replaying the original Fallout in anticipation for Bethesda's Fallout 3. I know they won't share much except similar skills and the Fallout universe, but that's enough for me (a fan of the originals) to be very, very excited. Some fans feel the change is too drastic, going from an isometric tactical RPG to a first-person shooter RPG. However, I don't think people understand how awesome the V.A.T.S system is going to be, changing the twitch play of most FPS' to a more tactical experience. Of course, this is just hear-say, since I have not played the game yet (due October 28th 2008 as of this writing), but I've read countless articles and watched countless videos. I don't make uneducated assumptions.

Anyways, got way off topic there, back to Fallout 1. Now I got Fallout back in 1998 (a year after it's release), I was 13/14 at the time. I loved it, but sadly I haven't gone back to it since then. So replaying this is like playing it again for the first time. Re-experiencing it's excellent and fully fleshed out universe. The largest reason for it's success was it's style; with surprisingly candid insights on culture, a touch of cyberpunk, and it's post-nuclear yet somehow retro wasteland. It's hard to describe, but if you've played any of the Fallout games you know what I'm trying (and failing) to say.

Also, on a technical note, this was a DOS game, but for some reason it works fine on my PC running Windows XP Home SP3 with a dual-core processor. No idea why, since most DOS games have sound or video issues (or don't work at all), but everything works 100%.

START GAME (spoilers possible, nothing story ruining)

You can choose to use a pre-generated character or create your own. I choose the latter. I make a character with the idea in mind "I want to be excellent with pistols." so I dump a bunch of points into "Small Guns" and put some points into my Perception and Agility. I forgot to name my character, so his default name is None. Great, oh well, doesn't matter.

So I leave the precious safety of Vault 13, in search of the needed water chip to keep everyone inside the vault alive. I have 100-something in-game days to get it. Normally I don't like time limits of any kind in a video game, but this is acceptable as it won't take you this long to find it (unless you somehow go in some horribly wrong direction in the wasteland) and also you can go to a city called The Hub and send water merchants out to your vault, effectively doubling your time limit. Anyways, I'm told the best place to check is another nearby vault, Vault 15. It's my only lead, so I head there. Along the way I notice a small village, I'll come back to you village. I get to Vault 15 and you can't access it without a rope to descend the elevator. Well shit, looks like that village is going to get a visitor sooner than expected.

Shady Sands is small, with nothing but peasants and farmers. What you'd expect for a village in the middle of the desert wasteland. The rope is easy to get, you can just barter or steal it from the man at the front gate (I stole it), or head to the East and find it in one of the houses over there. While I'm there I take a minute to talk to the citizens. It seems they're having a problem with radscorpions (giant mutated scorpions), and the only way to end the problem is to go to their lair and slay them all. Sweet, my first quest. I go to the radscorpion lair and easily destroy them all with my pistol. Get an instant XP reward without turning the quest in to anyone. I head back to town. The guard thanks me, the leader of the village pays me, and the village doctor uses the radscorpion tails I collected to make antidote. Which I needed because I had been stung while fighting them. Now that this is done, I decide to go back to Vault 15.

I use the rope to descend to the lower level of the vault, it's been abandoned for some time. Killed a bunch of rats and mole-rats (mutated version of moles I guess). In a locker I find an SMG capable of burst fire (lucky me, this too is considered a "small gun") and a rope. The rope is required to get to the third and final floor of the vault, so I once again descend. I clear out the bottom floor of all the rats and find some grenades and dynamite. Nothing too exciting. However I do finish a quest for finding out that there is no way to extract the water chip from this long abandoned and mostly destroyed vault. I guess I should make my way back to Shady Sands and see if I can come up with another lead.

When I get back to Shady Sands, it seems a citizen there has been kidnapped by raiders, and I (of course) am the only hope of getting her back. I talk to some more people and end up recruiting my first NPC party member, Ian. Which got me some XP along with a helping hand. We head to the raiders camp. Combat is fierce, and I save every time a battle ends in case I end up dying. Luckily this SMG is just SMOKING them while in burst fire, the thing is nasty in my capable hands. However, since it is in burst fire, it chews up all my ammo. I end up picking up a .44 Desert Eagle off a raiders corpse. We clear the rest of them out and save the girl. Hooray, I'm a hero again and I got an XP reward to prove it.

So concludes my first night with Fallout. I can't wait to play it some more tomorrow. Clearly a classic, fun, well made game.