To celebrate the fact that I am now knee-deep in Fallout 4 exploration, here’s a list of the best quests from its much-loved predecessor: Fallout 3. Obvious spoilers for a 6 year old game are to follow. You have been warned.
The Superhuman Gambit
You’re in the wasteland. Things are pretty dull and boring, right? You arrive at another town called Canterbury Commons and you think: well, time to explore a few more abandoned buildings and fight a mole rat or two. But no, not here my friend, as you are suddenly greeted by two factions: robots led by the heroic Mechanist, and ants led by the evil Antagoniser.
The scene is ridiculous. A skirmish breaks out and soon robot parts and ant limbs are flying everywhere. Both parties vanish and old Uncle Roe tasks you with ending the super hero squabble so that the town can be peaceful once more.
Now you’re left with a choice: fight for evil, or fight for good (either choice leads you to fighting for silliness). I generally go to the Antagoniser’s lair, as I enjoy saving humanity and as a high lock pick skill is needed to reach the Mechanist (always take the easiest option, eh?).
After battling through her ant army you arrive at her throne room. She turns out to be a bit of a bitch, and so threatening her violently is always recommended. She will then give you some snazzy ant armour, and you will have successfully spared the town from any more embarrassment. Hooray.
“Have you ever seen…a tree?”A question given to us by the almighty Three Dog over the air. And you think: have I? Have I seen a tree? Nope. But if you go towards the north end of the wasteland, some bright green mushrooms will lead you into a wonderful oasis (ha ha) of lush trees and foliage.
As you arrive you are greeted by the Treeminders, a tribe that have a keen eye for fashion (nice twigs!) and who have denounced technology, instead opting to use only products of nature to survive. Well, apart from those guns that they use to defend Harold.
And who is Harold? Harold is an ordinary man, and by ordinary, I mean completely messed up. So he’s a guy, who has a tree growing out of his head, that he calls Bob, but sometimes Herbert because that is apparently hilarious. Eventually this poor soul was completely treeified by Bob, and Oasis is where he stands today. He is also seen as a god to the Treeminders, so I suppose he has that going for him too. Radiation is a wonderful thing.
Except that it isn’t really, as Harold isn’t a fan of his new situation and wants us to take care of him. Now, I am very much the humanitarian sort, and therefore I am happy to oblige. Flamers out then.Goodbye Harold. And Bob. And Herbert.
This game has everything, doesn’t it? Giant molerats? Check. Many, many people named Gary? Check. Energy weapons? Check. A virtual reality simulator in which a little girl controls a 1950s suburban neighbourhood? Double check.
Although, not all is as it seems, which is generally the correct way of approaching a simulator, as the little girl is actually an ageing scientist gone mad called Dr. Stranislaus Braun. He is keeping your dad captive within the computer programme in the form of a dog, and it is up to you to perform a series of evil deeds to free him from his life of doggy antics.
The tasks given to you are incredibly sadistic, as you make little boys cry, break up relationships and become a serial killer. I know there’s a large jump between the severity of each mission, but hey, it’s Fallout. Braun is eventually satisfied by your devilish acts and agrees to free your father. Some father/son bonding, and a load of negative karma, is your reward.
If you feel like being a nice person, you can activate a fail-safe programme that will unleash an army of communists upon the neighbourhood, trapping Braun within the simulation for an eternity and putting the rest of its inhabitants out of their horrible black and white misery. Thank goodness for the Chinese.
Rescue from Paradise
After making your escape from the most annoying children on the post-apocalyptic earth, you travel to an abandoned strip mall full of slave-driving raiders. Trust me, slavery is a welcome rest from pinhead Mayor MacCready.
As you arrive, Grouse lets you in after some banter (“Unless you’re either buying or selling, p*** off”), and a slave’s brains are sprayed all over the wastes for attempting to escape. Paradise Falls is a barrel of laughs.
You have to free some little kids from slavery, which is the kindest thing to do really. This has you investigating various weak spots around the slaver camp that may lead to their successful escape.
Computers are hacked, keys are stolen, and speech challenges are…spoken? Anyway, this quest feels like a proper investigation, with multiple options available to achieve completion. Will you save Penny’s boyfriend, Rory? Probably not, as that guy is a pain to get out. But the opportunity is there nonetheless.
My favourite option is the most violent: murdering the entire slaver population and receiving a large amount of positive karma as an added bonus. Well, they are evil after all, and who doesn’t hate red suit wearing pimp-slavers?
The Local Flavor
The first quest from the Point Lookout DLC, and damn is it awesome. A new place to explore, with a host of interesting and freaky characters, and a load of horrific enemies to dismember. Yep, Point Lookout is one of the best things about Fallout 3.
You are approached by Catherine, a worried mother who asks you to find her missing daughter Nadine, and so the magical trip on the Duchess Gambit begins. Though not until you talk to the creepiest man outside of the Neverland Ranch, Tobar the Ferryman, to get a ticket. Creepiness aside, you set sail for a murky swamp full of murderous hillbillies and dangerous Tribals.
After disembarking at the Point Lookout harbour, you set your sights on the Calvert mansion i.e. the Adams Family’s summer home, where a foul-mouthed ghoul named Desmond is fighting off a group of Tribals alongside his two ‘pups.’
A large battle ensues inside the mansion, and you slaughter dozens of Point Lookout natives to defend the home of a rude, and incredibly ugly, stranger. Not only is this quest a gateway to a refreshing new world that takes us from the dusty Capitol Wasteland, but it adds new levels of black humour, horror and surrealism to an already fantastic game.
An early quest in the game that takes you from Megaton to Arefu in search of Lucy West’s family. She asks you to deliver a letter to them and, as the wasteland’s premier postal service, you are more than happy to oblige.
Your arrival at Arefu will make you wish that you’d stayed at home, as the town has definitely seen better, and certainly less depressing, days. Homes have been attacked, livestock has been killed, and blood has been drained. All of these crimes perpetrated by a mysterious coven known only as The Family.
As well as housing the slightly mummified remains of the West’s, Arefu contains one of the most twisted characters in the game: Brailee Ewers, a very disillusioned woman who has maintained a utopian viewpoint of the devastated world. This can be seen when she offers you one of her “old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies” (a tin can). But enough with the crazies, on with the vampires.
After discovering Lucy’s dead parents, you find out that her brother Ian has been captured by The Family, which leads to an expedition into the Meresti Train Tunnels. The perfect hideout for weird, vampiric cannibals.
Although they may seem to be an evil cult, they are actually quite hospitable. Their leader Vance agrees to tell you of Ian’s location if you research on their sacred customs, and so you learn more about their history, and their need of blood to quench their thirst. This gives an indication of how dire the world has become, and how some things are so important for survival, even if they seem horrific.
You find out that Ian had killed his parents because of his new-found thirst, and that Vance and the others only wish to help him with his urges. He is then free to go back home or to stay with his new family, and a truce can be made with Arefu in exchange for blood packs. All’s well that ends well. Tin cans all round!
Walking with Spirits
Continuing on from “The Local Flavour” you travel to the Ark and Dove Cathedral with hopes of infiltrating the tribal stronghold for Desmond, but unfortunately they aren’t having any of it. A grouchy intercom pretty much flips you the bird and you are then tasked with performing an initiation ritual at the Sacred Bog before you can enter the cathedral. Who do you voodoo, bitch?
Once arriving at the Sacred Bog, you fight your way through an army of mire/swamplurks and finally reach a huge, ugly plant called the Mother Punga. You make a grab for its delicious purple seeds, only to be gassed full in the face with a powerful hallucinogenic substance.
Many freaky things now appear before you. Giant “bubbleheads” materialise on trees as you walk through the bog; each pointing out how you’ve erred and come upon misfortune on your journey. But that’s not all. Ghost ghouls charge at you, only to suddenly disappear, Nuka Cola bottles cry like babies, and many dead friends and allies appear floating upside down in the swampy water.
One of the most harrowing hallucinations is just too harsh, as your dead mother’s skeleton flat lines on a hospital bed, surrounded by party balloons; pointing out that you killed her during childbirth. Damn, that’s pretty cruel.
The hallucinations end with the a man called Mister Break, standing in front of the unexploded Megaton bomb, who mysteriously has the same voice as Tobar the Ferryman – “Congratulations my boy, you’re going to pull through and everything will be right as rain!”.
Later, we find out that Tobar performed surgery on you in the Sacred Bog. But not just any surgery, no, a lobotomy. Isn’t that just the best? I told you he was creepy.
The Power of the Atom
Megaton: the pinnacle of the wasteland; a shining star; a hopeful object of beauty and style. Well, not exactly, as it’s kind of a heap of junk piled together around an unexploded nuclear bomb; full of poor citizens, many of which are of ill-repute.
As you search for your dad, you come across a stranger by the name of Mr Burke, who wishes you do him, and his employer, an act of kindness. And that act of kindness is? Wiping the whole crummy place off the face of the earth by arming the bomb that resides in the town’s centre.
Now, if you’re feeling particularly generous you can tattle on Mr Burke to the town’s sheriff, and promptly blow him away where he stands. Or, and I stress the word “OR,” you can take his fusion pulse charge and place it on the bomb, laughing callously all the while (if you so wish). A trek towards Tenpenny Tower is now necessary to vacate yourself from the blast radius, and to inform Mister Terrorist, I mean Burke, that the deed has been done.
His employer, Allistair Tenpenny awaits you on his balcony in the Tenpenny Suite to watch the show. All that’s left to do now is press a button and Megaton will be obliterated. Congratulations! You have just performed one of the most evil acts in the game. But at least a senile old man will have one less eyesore to worry about.
The Lone Wanderer: saving old men from looking at metal since 2277.
If you have any horrible stories about mutilation or brain surgery that you would like to share, please put them in the comments below. If you have anything to say about Fallout 3, I’m not that interested.