Shards of Glim: Why Porn is Bad

Normally, when I’m playing a videogame, I pride myself with using hints, guides and walkthroughs only as a last resort. Usually, it will be a game-crippling bug which will force me to search for a solution on the myriad of forums and wikias. After all, each playthrough is supposed to be MY story, a unique trace (stain? )left on the canvas provided by the Creator Gods.

Sadly, all to often I’m tempted to cheat just to overcome a single obstacle which stops me from enjoying an excellent game. Today is such a day of shame.

The blame goes to the immortal counterpart of all my Captains. While they are born and die on the Underzee, he stays back in the twisted dark alleys of the Fallen London, unstoppable despite wounds, madness, the outrage of the society, and even the merciless progress of time. A mere caprice made him send an unexpected, and as it eventually turned out to be, an unwelcome gift to one of the Captain Dynasty. That gift, returning with each new incarnation, was a box with an indecipherable lock, a perfect bait for captains looking for fame, fortune and fate. The requirement for an access to its mysterious content was a rather laborous journey to a few different locations.

As a result, I found myself with an impressive amount of pornographic books on board.

They are called Romantic Literature within the game setting and are usually obtainable in the Khanate’s market. As it is to be suspected, the only possibility to sell this type of merchandise in the glorious Imperial capital is to ‘pay the customs duties’, as the information text kindly informs, and after the books are edited by the censors, they can be finally sold to the God-fearing citizens. Ironically, although the Sixth Captain was a smuggler, pirate, and generally a person who shouldn’t be trusted by the authorities, custom officials proved to be unusually negligent. A most troublesome situation, because the illicit cargo was occupying one third of my hold space, preventing me from undertaking longer voyages.

After a few short distance trips, my patience eventually ran out and I did the worst thing: googled the problem. The solution? Return to London and wait for the customs office. If they don’t show up, repeat until they finally decide to carry out their duty. So I’ve just lost another tiny part of my self-respect for nothing. My load of Romantic Literature was inspected about two minutes after I read about it on a Sunless Sea wikia. Once again, my impatience costs me much. From now, playing the game will not be the same as it used to be, because the single Google search for a solution actually ruined the feeling of discovering an uncharted territory.

Things to remember for the future: NO PORN ON MY BOARD!


Fallout 3: The Net is Tightening

When I was starting my current ‘evil’ playthrough, I decided for a hopeless fight — not just against the Enclave and supermutants, but against the flawed game engine itself. It is a truism that Bethesda games are usually unstable, to say at least, or rather riddled with bugs like a Russian soldier’s trenchcoat, to put it in a blunt way. To make things even worse, the mods I installed, and it’s just a couple of them, make Fallout 3 even more prone to strange behaviour and sudden crashes. Therefore, to make thingsĀ even more exciting and unpredictable, I started to avoid regular saving and relied on autosaves only. This makes it impossible to reverse things in case of encountering a crippling, game-crashing bug or glitch. There is an entire ‘philosophy’ behind this kind of approach which I explained in one of the old posts.

Recently, I’ve returned to F3 after a few months of vacation from the Capital Wasteland and its perils. Suddenly, it appears that I’m trapped in the Tenpenny Tower. When I attempt to enter my suite, the screen goes black and remains so without loading the new location, which means that now I’m cut off from my wonderful collection of unique guns and, what’s even worse, from my spare power armour, which I will definitely need to survive the trip north to the Little Lamplight and beyond it, into the supermutant stonghold located in the depths of Vault 87.

Tenpenny Tower
There’s only black void behind that door

The situation is getting worse with every step I take. When I use the nearby lift to go down into the main hall, I’m not even able to return upstairs. All this feels like having a noose on your neck, tightening with every breath, and it’s all too possible that I’ll have to abandon the game, since there are no old savegames to use a life saving throw. What if it’s the so-called karma, or rather metaphysical justice being served, and Hagen, my villain character, has to pay for the sins of his past? On the one hand, it would a damn shame to leave the game unfinished after hundreds of hours spent playing it, on the other hand, though, what a great story would it make! At some point, I stopped roleplaying as a heartless bastard, but before this heel turn many innocents had suffered at the hands of Hagen — a former slaver and bandit, personally responsible for the gigantic mushroom over the serene settlement of Megaton. Is it possible that, even after he abandoned the path of evil, the repent villain will be punished? I’ll know the answer soon.