26 July, 2009

Game Journal: Fallout 3

written by Blain Newport on Saturday, July 25, 2009


I left Rivet City and went underground. Because of all the rubble in the streets, the only way to get around downtown D.C. is in the semi-collapsed subway tunnels. I killed a lot of feral ghouls and raiders and eventually made it it to the National Mall. It was a big open area that the super mutants had fortified with trenches. So I just ducked into the museum of history. The ghouls I'd met wandering the wasteland said there was a ghoul settlement there.

It's not most people's idea of hospitable, but if you look like a ghoul, maybe it's more comforting. There was a section of the museum the ferals had taken over that I spent some time clearing out. There was some Lincoln paraphernalia there. I figured the Temple of the Union folks might want it, so I gathered up what I could find.

Then I went into Underworld. There really wasn't much to do there. There's a guy in Megaton who was paying money for scrap metal. There's someone in Underworld who will trade stimpacks for scrap metal at a slightly better ratio. Meh.

Between Rivet City and the subways and the museum, I'd spent enough time indoors. It was time to get away.

I'd spent enough time in the southwest, so I headed to the northwest. It's... gray. There were a fair amount of robots around. I'm not big on fighting robots. Maybe if I was big into energy weapons they'd be less trouble. But it takes a lot of conventional fire to down a robot.

I checked out the satcom installation. I don't remember it containing anything of interest. More interesting, from a historical perspective, was a truck on the freeway with a pile of skeletons in the back. A note nearby gave a list of Chinese names. The US had started up internment camps again. Sigh.

Talon Company had forgotten about me. They were staking out some random power station in the middle of nowhere. This was when I discovered that they were psychic. They were alerted to my presence through solid stone when I wasn't moving. I also discovered something much more interesting.

Tenpenny had sent them. I wasn't ready to leave the northwest just yet. I was enjoying climbing around to places I wasn't supposed to go too much. I spent a couple hours climbing around, eventually getting to the furthest northwest point on the entire map. And as I stood there, looking back over the giant grey expanse, I felt ready. I hit my map and fast traveled across the world to Tenpenny Towers.

He and I would have words.

It was surprisingly easy to get to the penthouse and fast talk the guard into letting me see the boss. His entryway was suitably opulent. The man had an indoor garden with flowers. By Fallout 3 standards, that's opulence.

I was a jumble of thoughts. Part of me was working out how I would get out of the tower after murdering Tenpenny. Part of me was resenting how much wealth and standing his corruption had bought him. And part of me was wondering what he would say to the man who's murder he'd ordered.

This was not what I was expecting. He was disarmingly cordial. I guess guys with assault rifles and hockey masks are pretty common in the wastes. He didn't seem the least bit afraid, despite having no soldiers close enough to assist him. And none of my conversation options were hostile at all, rude maybe, but not hostile. Tenpenny even said he'd be willing to let Roy and his friends move in if I could convince the other tenants to agree to it.

A sudden twinge of memory and conscience sent me back to my Pip Boy notes. If you read that Talon Company order again, you'll realize that Tenpenny's name is simply invoked. The order is signed "-B".


Tenpenny might be an evil man. But he didn't seem to be. And Fallout 3 was generally pretty good about giving me clues when people weren't to be trusted.

No. This was Burke. He'd killed Lucas Simms (the sheriff of Megaton), and he had sent Talon Company after me. I would make a concerted effort to get my lock picking skill up to 100 so I could break into his Megaton home. There would be a reckoning.

Next Time: an odd side trip and back to the Mall

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