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Fallout New Vegas Day#10: BOOM! Goes the Subplot

Day 10 is a bit more arduous than I’m used to from Fallout. First, there is a kind of speed challenge in which I die many times, basically unclear on how to proceed. I then have to do a ton of little side missions to accomplish my main goal. The missions themselves aren’t that bad, but there’s a lot of them and it starts to feel very fetch quest-y. Overall though, the plot of the game remains good, and I have a number of good conversations with NPCs about different groups and how they need to adapt to survive. There were annoying moment this time, but the game’s writing and plot remain very good. Spoilers within.

Having finished my initial pass at the Strip, I’m heading back out to find and talk to the Boomers. I start leaving Freeside, but as I do, I stop in at a few shops on the way. The first one is the Atomic Wrangler. It’s some kind of bar/casino. I talk to Francine at the bar, and she reveals that word’s gotten around that I went into the Lucky 38.  They have gambling and prostitutes here. When I ask more about the establishment, they tell me that the prostitutes aren’t slaves, so I decide to talk to them — I’m always curious about how games handle sex. As I wander the space, I meet Hadrian – a ghoul under contract to do comedy here for low wages. With all of these entertainers around, I’m pretty sure there’s a quest somewhere to staff a show. And huh – well I can’t find any prostitutes even though I’ve wandered the whole space. Not addressing it at all — I guess that’s how they handle that. I leave the Wrangler and ugh the game freezes on black and I have to reload. I wander a bit further down the street and see another store. I give up my weapons to shop in a Van Graft weapon shop. When I walk into the large warehouse space, I have to wait as Van Graft deals with a business problem by incinerating one of the dealers to get the other one to play ball. When the surviving dealer leaves, I’m allowed to go down and meet Van Graft. She sells energy weapons, which I do not need at all. She’s an enemy of the NCR because they have tried to stop her business from spreading. Once I leave the store, I decide it’s time for me to get started and fast travel out of Freeside,

I arrive at the Gunrunners store and I immediate play (and beat) Isaac in Caravan. I discover a mole rat farm but all the rats are dead and I have to kill a mad Brahmin (mutant cow). I start to head towards Boomer territory. A guy stops me on the road to warn me that entering Boomer territory will get me all blowed up. He wants a bribe for information.  I try to Speech him instead, but while I succeed, I’m not sure it had any effect on the conversation.  He wants to bet me I can’t make to the Boomer gate if he tells me how to run a path of relative safety. He wants 300 caps, and he’ll double my money if I make it back. I accept as I’m very cap flush. The path in is something like running to a couple of buildings in the northwest and then using some corners to protect myself. I walk towards the Boomers and immediately get missiled to death. And I mean missiles falling from the sky.  I guess that wasn’t the way in.

I respawn back in Freeside. I walk out this time and on my way to the Boomers, I find Field’s shack. There’s nothing much in there. I try to take the Boomers again, and die horribly again. I’m not sure at all what this note about the path means.  I guess there’s a whole other entrance in a train tunnel, I try to go that way through a large open area and god, I die by missile again. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I decide maybe doing this with Veronica in tow is not a good idea, so I ask her to remain behind. I die a couple more time as I find the first safe building. I finally get through by ducking and hiding from building to building. I reach the fence and run to a gate. There, a guard stops me from behind the fence.   He threatens me and I choose to tell him I’m not here to attack. He tells me to wait for Raquel, and does she take her sweet time to appear. She’s the master-at-arms and she tells me Mother Pearl (the eldest here) wants to see me because I’m a savage that made it to the gate. She tells me to follow her and the game cuts to the inside of Pearl’s house.

Pearl tells me she waited five years for an outsider to visit. I Speech her to get her to talk a little. She reveals that the world is coming to Nellis (this base) and they won’t be safe unless they let the world in a little. She wants me to convince the town I’m a good presence here. To do so, I have to help out some of the locals. I wander around the map to meet the needy. From Loyal, I learn that have to fix the base’s solar arrays. I realize in conversation that I can find spare parts at Helios One. I see Pete at the base museum. He tells me how they left a vault (34 by his costume) to come to this base. They can fly bombers because they have simulators here. I listen to Pete’s history and speech/science/repair my way to impressing Pete with my interest and as a result, I get an Accepted status in the town. I talk to Jack. He needs scrap metal for the bases. In our conversation,  he hides some Lady thing from me, but he also is in love with a woman at another base. I agree (using my bachelor speech powers) to hook him up. I then talk to doctor and lie about my medical skill to get a  look at the patients. I check them out, but I don’t have the medicine to help them and if I try to help them with my pitiful medicine, I could kill them. I pass on that, but it makes me want to try playing as a doctor in one of these games someday.

Now that Nellis likes me, I go back and get Veronica. I see the gambler there again and I get him through conversation to give me my earnings for making it to the base and back. I fast travel back to Nellis.  I talk to Veronica when we arrive and she immediately dives into a discussion about the Brotherhood and its future. I tell her I think the Brotherhood needs to get with the times and stop being so isolationist. She agrees and thinks about doing something herself. My next task is to take care of some ants that have invaded a power station. I get a sonic emitter from Loyal that may work against ants, but I have to get it by Speeching him as I didn’t have the Science (by 5 points!) to know for sure that it will work. I go to the generators, and boy Veronica wrecks ants. I don’t even get to shoot them before she’s punched them to death.  I find the ant hill in the main generator room and I use the emitter on it. It works, as indicated by my achievement display telling me that I’ve killed a bunch of ants. I throw the generator switches to reactivate the station and then find Raquel. Raquel is impressed by my action and now I’m Like by Nellis. I’m out of water, so I fast travel to gulp to buy more, but they don’t have any purified water. I go to Goodsprings instead and drink water in the saloon. Now hydrated again, I go back to Nellis. I give Jack some scrap metal I found in the generators. I then go back to Pearl to see how things stand. It turns out that even though I’m liked by the town, I still have to help out more elders.  Ok, that’s enough for tonight.

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