Fallout 3: A friend in the No Man’s Land

Despite my best efforts to immerse myself into the game, I still barely feel any emotions towards the story, the sidequests, or my companions. As it always is with Bethesda games, characters feel like paperboard shadows in a poor stage play. Maybe the company (the cartel?) should finally employ an experienced Japanese writer?

Fortunately, there are few precious exceptions to the rule.

This happened to me some time after leaving the new Pittsburgh, a city built on steel working and steel will, and returning to the Capital Wasteland. Despite my emotional detachment, it was an uncomfortable feeling to travel down south without my companions, who had decided that their patience had run off, and without any friendly havens in the area. All that was left was a deserted space full of tiresome opponents, like Albino Radscorpions.

Then, suddenly, a green icon appeared on my motion sensor display, surrounded by others which were hostile red.

A travelling scavenger? A merchant? No, it was a scripted event actually worth mentioning on this blog.

Friend in the No-mans Land

Donovan, one of the Reilly’s Rangers, was about to attack a pair of the pale arachnoriders. Which, of course, would be his last and suicidal assignment, if it weren’t for me to knock off the monstrous insects with my wonder weapon. Right after the final shot of mercy, the wonderful happened.

In laconic words, Donovan explained that not only he wasn’t on a random scouting mission in the Wasteland, but he was specifically sent by Reilly to seek me out and provide some support. And then it went even better. My comrade’s gift of friendship wasn’t a bunch of caps or a flask of dirty water, but a Mini Nuke. As it happens, I collect these.

***

Maybe it’s wrong to feel emotions in such moments. Maybe it’s not appropriate for my age, sex, and nationality, to play video games at all. But memories like these make me think that gaming may be a serious matter after all.

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