While some of the content I plan to provide on this site can be fairly obscure, incongruous or archaic as well as directly personal, in case of interest, don't be afraid to comment and/or criticize. The articles are also, at least for now, work-in-progress.
Here we go again. After having completed (labourously and diligently I may add) Fallout 1, I was fairly sure I would go for Fallout 2 in the next few months to complement my knowledge. I'd read up on a lot of the subjects regarding the background of the series, and while I was itching to play, there were relatively few chances of undertaking such a big session of gaming (I wanted to finish some other things; playing is, as you know, mutually exclusive with that).
So. Just before school started, I was able to spend some four days of activity (play-eat-sleep) on the game, and here we are, a little continuation to my previous Fallout ramblings.
As you know, the Fallouts have a widespread nigh-legendary status of being one of the buggiest games ever released, and in fact, my previous article was almost nothing but a testament to that. Still, while you can get unlucky with many other games too, precautions are best taken with these games.
For the first attempt, I installed the official v1.02 patch and Killap's latest unofficial one, largely recommended and perhaps the most complete of them all. What this resulted in (naturally!) was a game effectively crippled after four to five hours of gameplay, as the game begun to spawn random encounters far too difficult for any kind of realistic chance of progress.
The good thing about this was that as I had played the game twice through before, I was able to spot that something was actually wrong - a less experienced player might have just brushed off the encounters and tried to sneak one's way around. Okay, okay. I did try. Boy, I sure did, but the random encounters just were 10x in amount and difficulty.
So I scrapped that particular installation and threw in a fresh v1.02 official only version. With the puzzles and action fresh in mind, I was able to replay the beginning very swiftly, eventually halving the time used without hindering the character's experience points too much. It wasn't the perfect solution but it had to do.
Once I reached the state I had been in, there was none of the encounter trouble! In fact, after the whole mess, most of the game felt almost satisfyingly easy. The rest of the game went smoothly enough, too; I did have some dozen crashes, nothing really serious or vein-popping (you have to backtrack and replay often in Fallout anyway; it does get to you, replaying, but somehow it prompted me to play harder).
Surprisingly enough, though, the ending would once again prove to be nothing short of an utter disaster, thus establishing a fantastic tradition of end game woes.
Situation: I had left my NPCs (if I may add, four battle-hardened max-level power-armoured, gauss-slingin', ass-kickin' chums that I had configured, armed and clad with time and passion) chilling out at a suitable doorway so that I could sneak around the level unspotted and then pick them up to aid me in the end boss battle - unbeknownst to me, however, the door they were positioned next to would later be closed due to ingame scripting. D'uh.
As the end boss battle would start, I would then have to enter the room from the wrong direction altogether, unable to pick them up for the end battle. Most puzzlingly they would also -turn- against me for no particular reason! The game really seems to know irony - I too would bug out at the last possible moment in an attempt to disorient the player.
Dumbfounding, really. But what really finally gutted me was how the game ended before I was able to pick my team members up again (as they were both hostile and unaccessable), which resulted in an explosion taking out all my NPCs!
If I may add, my four battle-hardened max-level power-armoured, gauss-slingin', ass-kickin' chums! Blown to bits and bytes!
But it doesn't stop there. Subsequently, the end credits would bug out and I would miss out on seeing what I had accomplished. The thing is, Fallouts and their endings are extremely motivating, captivating and intriguing! The designers decided to show you how your actions affected the outcome of all the cities in the game according to how you performed.
While you could say that my morale with the series is at an all-time low, it wouldn't be all true: There is a perverse sense of perseverance related to the whole concept of post-nuclear survival, and I would lie if I didn't think highly of the experience of prevailing against the odds (and bugs). I did manage to finish the game and I did have an astonishing time playing through it.