Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Friend Indeed: Part 1

So, the other day I convinced a computer to destroy itself and therefore bring down the evil regime known as the Enclave. I only had a 25% chance of persuading the machine to self-destruct but lady luck smiled on me and I was successful. I took the FEV and quickly escaped Raven Rock. There were explosions, fallen Enclave, downed allied robots and finally Fawkes.

I love Fallout 3. It is one of the best games I’ve played in a very long time. I love the story, I love the characters, I love the way it plays, and I love the way it’s stylized. It all reminds me of playing Final Fantasy 7 and if you know me even remotely, I wouldn’t say something like that if I didn’t mean it.

The game spends a lot of time trying to immerse you in a world where you feel like you are a legitimate moral agent in this post-apocalyptic wasteland. And I must say that it does a damn fine job at that. Who you chose to help or kill determines your “karma”. You can help reunite a family, which accumulates positive karma, or shoot up a room full of innocent civilians, which bodes quite ill for your karma. One of the consequences of your good or bad karma is the people who choose to ally themselves with you. I killed the Slavers, I never stole nor was I simply ugly to anyone arbitrarily. My reward was Fawkes the Super Mutant.

I think it’s worth telling Fawkes’ story before I tell you why this NPC has made my experience of Fallout 3 memorable. I accidentally ran across Fawkes on a mission. I was supposed to investigate a Vault, a safe haven for those who were seeking shelter from the fallout of nuclear war. Something had gone terribly wrong and experiments were being conducted on humans and animals.

I passed by one of the locked labs and saw a super mutant trapped inside. He cried out in a sad vacuous tone. He wanted help and I was the only one who could help him. I remember feeling conflicted because I had killed so many mutants. Was it a trick? Did he know? If I helped him would it seal my fate as yet another victim of the mutants?

I decided to hear him out. He talked about how he wasn’t one of the brutish mutants of the wasteland. He used to be a scientist but the mutation had made him forget who he was and what he had learned as a human. He had spent his time in the locked lab accessing the computer and learning about the world. A self-educated brute, I found it touching.

I decided I would help him. I unlocked the doors, released him and there he was, a super mutant that, until this point, I would have given a buckshot makeover. Instead, hell, I gave him a gun and he started mowing down all the marks that showed up on my radar. Because of his mutation he had become immune to radiation and ran through the highly irradiated underbelly of the fallout shelter Vault (92) while I waited patently for him to bring me the G.E.C.K. (an item I needed to complete the mission). After we left the Vault we parted ways. I wouldn’t see him again for weeks.

By: Jimmy Hrom

Edited: Alex Daniel

1 comment:

  1. I think this was one of the more interesting encounters in the game--really the only one that had some emotional resonance... Can't wait for New Vegas!