Friday, October 15, 2010

A Friend Indeed: Part 2

Fast forward to the fall of the Enclave. The HQ was going up in flames and I narrowly escaped with my life. I climbed down the mountain and there was my friend Fawkes. He was shooting down Enclave with his Gatling Laser Gun and I was pretty impressed. “It looks like you got a new toy,” I responded to his warm greeting. I asked him if he wanted to follow me and he agreed. And with this, a new chapter of my story as the lone savior of Capital Wasteland began.

Fawkes became my right-hand man. If I was a little timid about going into an area infested with Raiders, his battle cry would inspire me to run head first into the fray. If I had become “over encumbered” with loot I could turn to him and say, “Let’s trade equipment.” He would respond in an enthusiastic growl “Yes, let's.” It never failed to put a smile on my face. I even find it poignant that he would happily kill any mutant that stood in my way.

All in all, Fawkes was a good friend. That’s not to say he didn't have his flaws. He’s a Super Mutant so he’s super strong and for a while he would kill enemies before I could even get close. This would rob me of the precious experience points I would gain if I had at least shot them once. Randomly, Fawkes would incessantly shoot at a dead creature as if in some mad panic. Though it’s obviously a glitch in the game, I told myself that he was blowing off some steam. Then there was that time in Rivet City when he started shooting at nothing. It almost ended badly but I'm a better diplomat than Fawkes.

The landscape of Fallout 3 was scary. It’s nice to have someone there to help you out. I'd compare it to watching a scary movie alone and being truly horrified or watching it with a friend and making fun of it the whole time. Since Fawkes joined me, I hadn’t died once, which brings me to the reason why I started writing this.

The other day I went all the way out the Patton Creek Game Stop to pick up the “Game of the Year” edition of Fallout 3. This version of the game comes with all the expansion packs and I was equipped with a gift card I received for Christmas (Thanks, Ryan and Krystn). I was ready to take on the streets of Pittsburgh, shoot down redneck mutants, and liberate Alaska from the Communist pigs. What I got was a harsh lesson in losing a friend.

I installed the expansions on my Xbox 360 and waited for the game to inform me that it was time to start my new missions. I wanted to take on Anchorage. In the trailer it looked cool and I was excited. I traveled southeast, fought past some mutants (with the help of Fawkes, of course), and finally met up with some folks with rather bad attitudes.

They were from the Brotherhood of Steel (the group I had allied myself with in the game) but also sort of bounty hunters. They told me that if I wanted a share of some valuable equipment I would need to complete a simulation, the liberation of Alaska. I reluctantly agreed, put on a neural suit and was whisked away to a snowy cliff side. I looked to my left then to my right. Fawkes was not there. I looked down the face of the cliff, nothing. I checked my radar and there was nothing.

My friend, my foundation, my mutant were gone.

I literally gasped aloud.

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