Okay. This week's missive is going to be a bit different. As you Rage Select fans know, I haven't been able to play much this year. Lately, I've been investing more time in games. King's Quest, Star Wars: Battlefront, Marvel Heroes, and now . . . Fallout 4. I haven't put much time into the game yet, but I already have a bone to pick! (more after the break!)
(Some minor Fallout 4 spoilers follow!)
Bear with me. This is lengthy. . .
Let me tell you about the Minutemen. In Fallout, you're roaming the wasteland, trying to find your missing infant son. (Prediction: He's not an infant and is long dead.) Early on, you find yourself allied with a group of freedom fighters called the Minutemen. By 'freedom fighters', I mean a handful of guys in stupid hats.
One of their earlier missions is to retake this place they call 'the Castle'. It's a strategic location on a southeastern peninsula and it is, true to its name, kind of a castle.
So I agree to help them retake this place. I roll up in there with my super mutant sidekick, Strong, thinking that we're going to walk in, kill some raiders, and then that's the end of it. Boom. You're welcome, hillbillies. Well, I soon learn, in answer to the question from Aliens, "Why yes, Hudson, this is another bug hunt."
The place is filled with these mirelurk crustacean things. Not a big deal. They put up a pretty good fight, but we took them down. The sub-objective is to smash all of the clutches of eggs scattered about the Castle. It's tedious, but I do it because I want the XP.
This gets the attention of something . . . large. The mirelurk queen. She's unhappy, of course. She's probably thirty feet tall and spits acid. A right nasty bitch. My weapons have little effect on her. By the time she fell (the Minutemen actually pulling their weight on this one), I was nigh out of bullets. I had like 20 10mm bullets left, and the gun that uses them is my sidepiece (one of many). It's the one I draw last and if I've drawn that gun, then I'm pretty much already dead. I'm just shooting that gun to feel like I'm actually doing something.
So after the queen dies, I get the prompt to meet the Minutemen in the middle of the courtyard. I go out there, and there's just this one asshole, standing there. I go up and talk to him, thinking, "Alright, gimme the XP."
All he says is something like, "When I saw that thing coming out of the water, I thought we were all dead."
"Yeah, okay. So . . . XP. Where is it?"
And he says again, "When I saw that thing coming out of the water, I -"
"Blah blah blah. Listen, is there anyone else I can talk to, because you're going into shock or something."
I check the map and find that the marker that tells me where to meet these guys is . . . in a different town?! WTF?
And I think, "Okay. You guys were calling this place right where I'm standing "the courtyard". But clearly there's another courtyard that you didn't bother telling me about. Whatever. I'll just quick travel there since I've been there before.
But no. The game tells me I haven't been to Diamond City (which I know damned well that I have). Whatever. I'll just walk. Fine. I gather up my big super idiot friend and we start walking to Diamond City.
Guess what? Those Minutemen sonsabitches aren't there! I check the map and now they're in a completely different part of the map. But I think to myself, "Wait. Am I going crazy? They were just in Diamond City, right?"
Fine. Jesus. We start walking again. Then I start thinking they're pulling some sort of funny joke, like maybe this is initiation to join the Minutemen. And that sucks. I'm single handedly rebuilding your entire organization and you're pulling this shit?
After walking a while, I start tracking these guys. I'm watching them on the map. And they're on the move! Apparently, this "courtyard" is mobile! I give chase. Finally, I start to catch up to them, but Strong and I encounter some trouble along the way. We pause to kill a few raiders, which takes all of 45 seconds.
In that brief window, the Minutemen have vanished! They've put more distance between us. We keep chasing.
At long last, I get them in visual range. I only see the leader, Preston. He's engaged in a firefight. Fine. We'll help him. I think, "How hard can it be? I've got this crazy mutant with a hammer with me, so we'll just wrap this up real quick like."
The place is a little suburban area called Jamaica Plains. As I'm about to join the fray, a feral ghoul rushes me.
No big deal! The Fallout equivalent of a zombie.
Oh, and he brought a few friends. Fine. Let's do . . . oh. Oh. Oh shit.
How many feral ghouls were there? Roughly all of them.
Apparently the punchline to this long joke is that this "courtyard" of Preston's is in the bowels of hell.
Now's also a good time to remind you that I'm almost completely out of bullets. So I run around Jamaica Plains, trying not to get chomped, and as I do, apparently I'm waking up the rest of the flesh-eating bastards.
It gets comical. I'm running around, kiting about twenty of these guys. One of them is flagged as 'Legendary', which is Fallout speak for Fuck You. The moment we walk in there, both Preston and my sidekick, Strong, go down. Now, since they're important NPC's, they don't die. They just kind of take a knee. The ghouls, being sportsman-like, let them have their repose and turn their attention to me.
I haul ass even harder and through some quick thinking and impressive agility, I evade them. And by "quick thinking" and all that, I mean that I climbed onto a roof where they couldn't reach me.
Up there on the rooftop, surrounded by these things. Preston and Strong aren't so lucky. After a brief rest, they stand up and fight for a few seconds, but are both quickly overpowered. Then they do it again. And again. And again.
I heal up, de-radiate myself, and try to fight the only way I can - with the shitty bayonet on the end of my shitty gun. I quickly get my ass handed to me. I retreat back to my rooftop. And I can't fast travel out of there because I'm in danger!
And for a long time, this goes on. Preston gets hurt. He rests. He stands back up, gets off a few shots, then goes down again. So I think, "Hmm. If I wait long enough, Preston will eventually kill them all."
And that's what I do. I sit there watching this sad, Sisyphean drama play out. Over and over. And he's slowly making a dent. Very. Slowly.
Realizing how long it's going to take, I go do the dishes.
Seriously. I left my guy in his perch and went and did the dishes in my real life, non-ghoul-infested house.
When I came back, it was still happening. I'm sitting on the couch at this point, checking Twitter and so forth. Suddenly, for no reason whatsoever, Preston is gone. Just gone! I check my map and he's just pissed right off! It would be another long hike to get to him.
Instead, I say the hell with this. He's obviously not going to let me complete the mission.
I leave and head back to my main base of operations, the town of Sanctuary. I'm pissed. I'm there, angrily doing workshop things and the like and after a few minutes, the 'completed' message comes up for 'Meet the Minutemen in the Courtyard'.
So I fast travel back to the original courtyard. Remember that one? The one in the Castle? Yeah. Guess who's there waiting for me? Preston, standing there with this look on his face like he hadn't just fucked with me for the last hour.
And of course, he's got more shit for me to do.
I'll be back with the regular Monday Missive next week.