Natural Born Killer - Genocide of the Fallout 3 World
March 26, 2010 11:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm on a mission - not to praise Jesus or ensure that every child in Namibia has a netbook, but to kill every single living vaguely human-like character in Fallout 3. ... everyone ... no matter how friendly, helpful, or beneficial to my completion of the game, must be put into the ground. "Natural Born Killer", an experiment in virtual genocide, parts One, Two and Three.
posted by slimepuppy (45 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
The inhabitants of New Reno were slaughtered, and the city collapsed into ruin. No lights shine there now, the streets home only to packs of wild dogs and vultures. The desert tribes avoid the giant graveyard, claiming the city is haunted by evil spirits. Some say the destruction of New Reno was a judgment from a higher power.
posted by griphus at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


This would have been cool if he had actually written about it instead of going off on some opium-inspired post-apocalyptic fanfic.
posted by Jairus at 11:20 AM on March 26, 2010


...or is this the "new games journalism" I keep hearing so much about.
posted by Jairus at 11:21 AM on March 26, 2010


...going off on some opium-inspired post-apocalyptic fanfic.

In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn/A stately thunder-dome decree...
posted by griphus at 11:28 AM on March 26, 2010 [22 favorites]


This guy is waaay off the rails.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:29 AM on March 26, 2010


I wonder if he's intentionally writing this as a kind of "this is what could happen if you play too many video games" cautionary tale.
posted by gurple at 11:31 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Johnny-come-lately. I've been trying to end Civilization games by exterminating all life on the planet for like a decade.
posted by COBRA! at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


As much as the game locks up with the DLCs, I can understand his raison d'etre.
posted by Nabubrush at 11:48 AM on March 26, 2010


This would have been cool if he had actually written about it instead of going off on some opium-inspired post-apocalyptic fanfic.

How dare you! Don't you realize video games are art, and provide a meaningful experience similar to watching television?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:53 AM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Before we go on, I should clarify that my mission has another, slightly more snooty, objective: anti-videogames pundits love to describe games like this as "mass-killing simulators", and whilst I'm reasonably confident that the vast majority of Fallout 3's buyers (and rascally downloaders) wouldn't dream of playing it that way, I want to know if there's any merit to the practice. Is it any fun?

Fallout spoiler ahoy:

When you win the original Fallout game and triumphantly return to your vault home, its leader exiles you back to the wasteland because you are a bad influence. If you have killed every single person in the game, instead of walking away you automatically shoot and kill the Overseer.

However, the games just aren't that interesting if you kill everything that moves, as the whole roleplaying element flies out of the window. I doubt one has to write three articles to come to that conclusion.
posted by ersatz at 11:53 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The easiest way to kill Gob is to just nuke Megaton. What a typical bleeding heart liberal.
posted by bonecrusher at 11:55 AM on March 26, 2010


A real man would mezz them all.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:56 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought everyone did this when they got to a certain point of boredom in Bethesda's RPGs.
posted by melt away at 12:01 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


"As much as the game locks up with the DLCs, I can understand his raison d'etre."

There's a fix for this, but it escapes my memory, something about locking it down to two processors or something, I had the same problem on my i7 gaming rig and now it runs smooth as silk, I googled windows 7 i7 fallout 3 lockups, now I can wander the wasteland for HOURS without lockups....


As for this; every fevered gamer has kinda gone "there" but we don't write it down, do we?
posted by NiteMayr at 12:03 PM on March 26, 2010


ersatz: At the end of Fallout 1, you actually shoot the overseer at the end if you took the "Bloody Mess" perk, not based on any RP choices.
posted by absalom at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


This...isn't just how you're normally supposed to play Fallout 3?
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:13 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even if you wouldn't find this style of play repulsive, it seems boring as hell.

Lentrohamsanin has the more interesting alternative, although I notice he didn't say "sell everyone into slavery". Some people's heads are just not up to being mezzed.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:14 PM on March 26, 2010


Lentrohamsanin has the more interesting alternative, although I notice he didn't say "sell everyone into slavery". Some people's heads are just not up to being mezzed.

Yeah as far as I can tell some of the characters are unsellable, even if you can kill them by other means. Old man Tenpenny, for instance, always either goes into a rage or has his noggin blow up. It's still fun to try though!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn it. i was gonna do this when I finished the expansions.
posted by cmoj at 12:25 PM on March 26, 2010


Ever since Defender let you kill every humanoid on the planet, and then the planet EXPLODES, this has been a recurring theme.

I also couldn't help but notice the affiliate links. Real genocidists are self-funded.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:35 PM on March 26, 2010


Doesn't "genocide" refer more specifically to destroying a race of people? Wouldn't this be better described as Omnicide?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:36 PM on March 26, 2010


Cool "experiment," bro. I'm sure we'll all learn something that the various real genocides have not taught us.
posted by EL-O-ESS at 12:43 PM on March 26, 2010


It was actually much more fun (and difficult) to do this in Ultima 7. You could even kill Lord British once you got the sword from the expansion. Killing entire towns with whatever spell it was... Armageddon? Oh, the good ol' times.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:12 PM on March 26, 2010


"There's a fix for this, but it escapes my memory, something about locking it down to two processors or something, I had the same problem on my i7 gaming rig and now it runs smooth as silk, I googled windows 7 i7 fallout 3 lockups, now I can wander the wasteland for HOURS without lockups...."

Yeah, I run it on the PS3 and Bethesda has made it clear that we've gotten everything we're going to get as far as fixes. I like their RPGs, but their support is sort of lacking. At this point the game's unplayable.
posted by Nabubrush at 1:17 PM on March 26, 2010


In Ultima VI, I locked Lord British out of his own castle by forcing him to give chase, and then raising the drawbridge on him. Armageddon spell didnt' work in my cracked version of the diskettes...
posted by growli at 1:18 PM on March 26, 2010


I don't even like killing super mutants. Too cute, at least when they're not trying to eat my arms (after I'm dead!).

But then I find a gore bag and remember why we can never be friends.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:32 PM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


"This is not like mowing down zombie space marines, or even zombie strippers: Bethesda spent what was clearly an enormous amount of time injecting as much pathos and tragedy into the Capital Wasteland as possible, and inflicting further cruelty on these beaten-down, hard-bitten little computer people feels like a real-life moral transgression."

Despite the hyperbole of this pointless article, I share his sentiment on this. Doesn't mean I didn't do it, of course...but I felt pretty bad about what I had to do to Greta to get Charon for free. Can't wait for New Vegas!
posted by Roman Graves at 1:37 PM on March 26, 2010


No mention of Nondrick, the character attempting to play Oblivion as an NPC? By MeFi's own Chris Livingston?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:51 PM on March 26, 2010


While we're talking about killing things in the Fallout creative universe, how bout them rejected Child Killer perk icon? SFW, but the boss will probably look at you funny.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:53 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first time I played Fallout 3, I decided to play as completely neutral as possible. It was difficult, but fun. After a few years, I got a new console and decided to go again, but this time I was completely, full bore evil. If something could die, the only thing keeping it alive was me waiting for it to give me everything I wanted.

Around this time, I seriously toyed with the idea of this very project; killing everything.

Unfortunately, several locations randomly spawn raiders, Talon mercs, and supermutants, so no matter how thorough you were, you could never completely purge the wastelands.

Probably for the best too, it's a time investment that would have had me abandoning the wife, the pets, and friends for no real purpose other than extending the virtual black stain on my soul.
posted by quin at 1:54 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


No mention of Nondrick, the character attempting to play Oblivion as an NPC? By MeFi's own Chris Livingston?

cortex linked it in the open thread on the somewhat disappointing college humour clip, so I didn't want to steal his thunder. It's good stuff, though.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2010


I really thought I'd love this game. Brilliant gameplay, astonishing graphics, compelling characters; this game had everything I love in an RPG.

And then I started playing it, and a few hours in, realized I was miserable.

Not only was it an incredibly depressing environment, injected with as much pathos and tragedy as possible, but I wasn't there to fix anything. I wasn't going to make the world better. Just to find one more miserable survivor among many. It was a hopeless world, brilliantly ugly and brutal, and it depressed the hell out of me.

I quit playing.

Now I realize I was doing it wrong.
posted by MrVisible at 2:30 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I capped off an evil playthrough with a genocide tour. The real problem comes when you discover that, with everyone else dead, you've got nothing to do.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:35 PM on March 26, 2010


Reminds me of hours spent on a rooftop in GTA, sniping off civilians. Ah, good times.
posted by signal at 2:52 PM on March 26, 2010


Yeah, I run it on the PS3 and Bethesda has made it clear that we've gotten everything we're going to get as far as fixes. I like their RPGs, but their support is sort of lacking. At this point the game's unplayable.

Stories like this have kept me from buying the game, but damn, I want to. I also quit playing Oblivion due to the ridiculous leveling mechanism, a problem that can easily be fixed by a patch in the PC version. Why do they hate the PS3 so much?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 2:57 PM on March 26, 2010


but I wasn't there to fix anything. I wasn't going to make the world better.

Hmm...maybe you should have kept playing, you would have discovered that the goal of the game is to, um, fix something & make the world better.
posted by the bricabrac man at 3:09 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


It took me two straight days of Katamari Damarcy to get out of my Fallout 3-inspired funk. No way am I going back in there.
posted by MrVisible at 3:11 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to find one more miserable survivor among many.

Dude, that miserable survivor is your dad. And not some long-lost father you never knew, but the sweet guy you interact with in the opening scenes. If that's not enough of an emotional hook for you, I really don't know what would be.

Also, what the bricabrac man said.

Then again, I spent probably 20 minutes the other day bringing a bottle of purified water to a lost and dehydrated stranger on the edge of the map, far from fast-travel points. I thought he'd just sit there but no, I saw him later up and about and headed for wherever he calls home. Gratifying. I also have level 1 animal friendship, and Mrs. Bronzefist has convinced me to stop killing friendly yao guai, wolves, and mole rats for the xp, which makes the wastes seem that much friendlier. (though, you know, they might eat the guy I helped. You can't have everything) I've defended towns full of innocents, and laid waste to towns of the not-so-innocent (to put it mildly).

I've never been attracted to the postapoc setting, but call me a fan of this one.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:41 PM on March 26, 2010


I killed my neighbor in The Sims because I liked his wife with the short bob haircut. I blocked him with in refrigerators. Death by Buy Mode.

In fallout 3 I gunned down everyone in megaton. Before realizing I would get to detonate the namesake device. Also, any shop owner or travelling merchant. I mean, they let you, why not?
posted by tremspeed at 3:41 PM on March 26, 2010


I haven't tried it. In fallout 3, but in fallout 1, this task gets VERY difficult after you wipe out your first couple towns. That nasty old childkiller (and dog killer) karmic reputation precedes you and folks just start shooting on sight. It's easiest to be a sniper at that point, but long range rifles don't really cone easily yet.

An alternate, highly recommended tactic is to cut directly south at the start of the game and get the power armor 1st thing.

It's worth all the trouble just to watch all the bad endings for each location.
posted by shmegegge at 4:36 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ever since Defender let you kill every humanoid on the planet, and then the planet EXPLODES, this has been a recurring theme.

"God, look at me. This was supposed to be my quest for peace, and I've become addicted to destroying suns."
posted by Evilspork at 6:55 PM on March 26, 2010


Evilsprok, that article has been lodged in my brain for months, and is the principle reason I so desperately want to play galactic civilizations ii.
posted by shmegegge at 7:15 PM on March 26, 2010


Thoughtcrime, I had the original version before I bought the GOTY edition, and if you play it without the add-ons, it runs pretty smoothly. They just didn't test the extra stuff very much (I guess).
posted by Nabubrush at 8:08 PM on March 26, 2010


How dare you! Don't you realize video games are art, and provide a meaningful experience similar to watching television?

You know, at some point in my Fallout 3 experience I entered another God damned vault that was part of another God damned sinister experiment that went horribly wrong when another God damned unintended consequence reared it's ugly head. While poking around in there to do whatever the hell I was supposed to do I found myself in a room where someone had fought a desperate (and ultimately doomed) holding action against their fellow vault dwellers now turned gibbering mad men by yet another God damned sinister experiment.

In the little room off the back of that room, kind of behind a buttress in the wall, was a 2/3rds sized skeleton and a teddy bear.... Once I grasped what I was seeing I was as emotionally involved in that game as I have ever been while watching television or a movie. I had a mouth full of bile and a heart full for rage and indignation. I wanted to move to Washington DC and hang out for 30 years or so on the off chance that the future described in the game might really come to pass and I would get a chance to find the malevolent fuck who thought that turning his customers into his own private army of quasi mindless slaves was a good idea and beat him to death with my bare hands.

So in fact, what you said. I had so much meaningful experience that I had to save the game and take a couple days worth of break.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:23 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


ersatz: At the end of Fallout 1, you actually shoot the overseer at the end if you took the "Bloody Mess" perk, not based on any RP choices.

Probably the game reviewer I read this from had chosen the BM perk then. Everyone does it initially.

I tried to recreate that effect one time but I got bored midway. After all, you can always press A to bring up the attack interface and throw rocks at the Overseer.
posted by ersatz at 9:08 AM on March 27, 2010


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