Spoiler Warning S5E48: Take Drugs, Kill a Bear

By Shamus
on Aug 4, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

169 comments


Link (YouTube)

I’ve done Honest Hearts twice now, and the rain thing is kind of odd. Originally, I saw it began raining, was impressed, looked up, saw a clear starry sky, laughed, and didn’t look up again. I was actually surprised to see the clouds forming in Josh’s game. I watched it more closely on my second play-through. It seems like it begins raining from a clear sky, and then the cloud layer slowly thickens. I think having those two things happen in the reverse order would be less ridiculous.

I also hadn’t noticed the raindrop thing. In case you couldn’t follow Josh’s demonstration:

  1. Just like my own particle system, it puts an emitter over your head (over the camera, really) that begins dropping raindrop particles on you. Assuming you’re looking forward, the particles will be tall vertical streaks to give a sense of motion.
  2. If you tilt your head upwards, it shuts off / removes the original emitter and starts another. Now it’s dropping tiny dots on you instead of vertical streaks.
  3. There’s a slight gap between the time when the first emitter is shut off and the time when the particles from the second one actually begin hitting you in the face. From the player’s point of view, it’s like it stopped raining for a half second.

I don’t understand why things were done this way. I’ve made this exact same effect in the past, and I can tell you that looking up into vertical streaks does not look bad at all. With foreshortening, they usually end up looking like dots anyway. I suppose the artist was worried about the player seeing one of those vertical panels edge-on? I don’t know. That’s actually not a problem at all. (Such moments are blink-and-you’ll-miss-it.) It’s certainly less distracting that having it stop raining for half a second when your head tilt crosses the 45° threshold.

It’s a very small issue either way, and doesn’t really detract from the fact that the rain is a refreshing change. It’s just interesting because it looks like someone went to a bit of extra work for very little (perhaps even negative) benefit.

Having done both endings for Honest Hearts, I can say that you only fight slightly more bad guys when wiping out the White Legs, compared to running away from them. I would say it’s less than double. The big difference between the two is that you have to fight Salt-Upon-Wounds, leader of the White Legs. You murder your way into their camp, and then you find that Joshua Graham is about to execute the guy. You are presented with this choice:

fnv_salt_upon_wounds.jpg

Wha? How about a third option, “What are you waiting for, Josh? Shoot this clown and let’s go grab some beers.”

I can’t believe Obsidian would leave out an obvious option like that. It would be fine if you missed out on some nice chunk of XP or loot if you let Joshua do all the heavy lifting, but this is some annoying railroading. Both of these options have you being a jerk to Joshua. You came here for the express purpose of executing this genocidal monster, and “go through with it” seems like a pretty obvious choice.

I can’t imagine why it was left out. You wouldn’t even need any additional voice acting. Just boom, headshot, and cut to Joshua Graham’s wrap-up conversation.

Also I hate when games have the local Hitler beg for mercy and it doesn’t give you a chance to say something appropriate to the guy. Maybe point out that he’s butchered / tortured / raped / cannibalized his way through a bunch of civilians without ever giving any of them mercy? Maybe just give him an abridged version of his crimes, so he understands you aren’t just here for laughs? No, your only choices are:

  1. Aw. Sorry for not losing to you. I totally believe in your abrupt repentance at gunpoint. Here is a hug. Off you go now.
  2. BLARG IMA BADASS LETS FITE!

This problem goes way beyond Obsidian. (In fact, I’m really surprised to see Obsidian taking this route.) I’d also insist that developers should let the player get the last word in, not their darling villain. I mean, the guy pulling the trigger should be able to decide when the conversation is over, so those last-minute digs from the condemned always strike me as the author’s agenda getting in the way of a satisfying end.

Also: “Hola”?!?!?

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Footnotes:


A Hundred!2020209Many comments. 169, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. Deadpool says:

    To be fair, they did put the “just shoot the bastard” option when talking to Graham… But I agree, that’s unescessarily complicated.

  2. bit says:

    I like how we can gradually feel the two of them getting drunker throughout the week. Tomorrow is going to be insane.

    • Deadpool says:

      TWO beers. TWO. Over the course of an hour and half.

      Pretty sure she’s just fine…

      Not sure what Josh is drinking, but having a REAL hard time finding that Rite of Passage quest though…

      • Jakale says:

        Well, after the time skippery it could well be more, since I don’t know how much active time that took them. Then again, that rule is really more for us as viewers to drink through rather than them what are still in real time.

  3. Kelly says:

    You can have Josh kill him if you’ve Sneering Imperialist. The thing is that this encourages Joshua to go back down his path of hardline militancy, and he takes the Sorrows and Dead Horses with him. Sparing Salt Upon Wounds isn’t for HIS sake, it’s for Joshua’s, to keep him from becoming the Malpais Legate again.

    • Zombie Pete says:

      Thanks for clearing that up. I was wondering, “What the hell is Seamus talking about? I had Joshua cap the a-hole as soon as the option came up.”

    • decius says:

      I want to go the stealth route. Put me up in the mountain a half-mile away with a good rifle. Why should I ever get close enough to -talk- to someone who I just want to kill?

      Also, why is it significant to show mercy to the guy in charge, after butchering your way through many other people who have parents, significant others, children, half-finished novels and extra bits from Warhammer figures? Oh, wait, we don’t know their names, so they must not be people…

      • Deadpool says:

        Well, it’s the difference between manslaughter and murder. He’s beaten, on his knees, begging for his life. A little different from an armed soldier firing…

        Yes, he’s a douchebag, yes he WAS fighting a minute ago, but that minute makes a HUGE difference…

        • Thomas says:

          On the other hand, he’s far more guilty for the state and actions of the people than soldiers who may well just be forced into their actions.

          Saving the bad guy makes you feel good and hide the guilt of your misdeeds and genocide. For that matter, so does the lecture Shamus wants to give. It’s no good to him. He’s about to die, you just want closure on your own wrongs

          But that’s a society thing really

  4. ProudCynic says:

    According to the Wiki, having the ‘Scowling Imperialist’ perk lets you tell Graham to ‘put a cap in his skull’ or something like that. Seems like a weird thing to wall off behind a perk, really.

    Edit: And beaten, with the perk’s correct name! Whoops.

  5. hardband says:

    They did put a shoot him now option! You just need the sneering imperial perk! It gives you the option to let Josh just kill him and basically turn all the tribals into savages!

  6. Kelly says:

    Oh Daniel, you’re the worst character. You’re the same “reality is hard on the idealist” that they tried with Arcade, but without any of the 3-dimensional elements that made Arcade work so well. What’s more, you want to abandon this paradise to these filthy raiders to “preserve the Sorrows’ innocence” as if that makes any sense IN A POST-NUCLEAR SETTING.

    Joshua’s path is the only one that makes sense in this situation (though you can’t just turn that one totally loose either, because letting Josh fall back into old habits is just terrible).

    • Chuck says:

      So he’s like the guy from The Postman, then.

      I think he’s more worried about The Sorrows becoming savage raiders and joining the Legion. Daniel seems more black and white then Joshua, so he sees it as “keep tribe innocent or have tribe become savage merciless jerks.” That’s just my theory, mind.

    • swimon says:

      To be fair he isn’t doing it just for the sorrows. He’s doing it for the white legs too, his viewpoint is that they can still be saved and that murder doesn’t make murder right. I can see how you could disagree but it’s hardly a ridiculous sentiment.

      It is a bit weird though when you have spent 30+ h killing indiscriminately on the vague assumption that they’re bad guys/ it’s self defense, to have the game suddenly tell you “it might be wrong to kill people just because they’ve done bad things”. It makes sense for Daniel as a character but it makes no sense from the game designers IMO.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Yeah, this could kinda work if the game morality operated on this premise from the start. I mean, it can be spun into a fairly cool conflict of ideologies, but by this point it just gives you pause and has your scratch your head. I really hate it when various sequences/quest/DLCs/whatever within a single game feel like they were written by completely different people who had some fairly cool stories to tell but they make no sense in a single universe.

      • Kresh says:

        Well, to be honest, the best way to save the White Legs is to kill the leader who got them to massacre New Canaan. You’re not going to win their hearts unless you put a new one in place. Killing Salt-Upon-Wounds has to happen, no matter what you want the tribe’s path to be. He’s thrown in his lot with the Legion and murdered an entire town. It’s hard to rehabilitate a guy who nails corpses to walls.

        You don’t rehabilitate that mindset. You remove it. Which is why Joshua is the logical choice no matter how you want to end the scenario, which is a weakness of the quest. The quest shouldn’t have been a choice between “Give up your home to the nasty killers and hope they leave you be (which they NEVER do, if you read any history),” or “Kill the nasty killers.” It should have been a choice of “What do you do with the survivor?” That’s a real moral choice.

        Do you believe that the tribe is horribly tainted by their actions and thus must die? Or do you believe that they got caught up in the moment (of course, it takes quite a lot of moments to do what they did) and did something horrible that they really didn’t mean to do?

        To simplify; what degree of manslaughter are the Whitelegs guilty of? What will your judgement be?

        Of course, for that, an exploration of New Canaan would have been in order and ain’t nobody leaving Zion until the quest is done. A DLC with two new worldmaps? Unheard of.

        • Kelly says:

          Of course it’s also possible that David’s mindset is simply not supposed to be rational. If you read Josh Sawyer’s breakdown of Arcade’s character, it’s possible that you’re simply not SUPPOSED to think much of Daniel’s position.

          I should have clarified that while I don’t like Daniel he’s not necessarily an INVALID character unless they legitimately meant for you to sympathize with his point of view (which I doubt because the obvious focus of the DLC is Joshua).

        • kanodin says:

          “He’s thrown in his lot with the Legion and murdered an entire town. It’s hard to rehabilitate a guy who nails corpses to walls.”
          But the entire dlc is about helping Joshua Graham, the Malpais Legate whose cruelty became legendary amongst the already cruel legion. Who is to say having his tribe and his leadership taken from him would not change this guy as much as it changed Joshua?

          /devil’s advocate.

          • I do think Sparing Salt Upon Wounds makes sense for Joshua, but I don’t think it was done nearly right – what I want to know, is why wasn’t Salt set up as a foil to Joshua? In game you convince him by saying “don’t kill him, he’s unarmed” or something, but the problem is that doesn’t tie into Joshua’s character arc at all. The thing is, Salt is everything Joshua once was, and is now begging for mercy, and don’t know why they didn’t make a big deal of the similarity.

            Convincing Joshua to spare him would make literary sense, because it reminds Joshua that they aren’t so different and even someone as bad as him can change, which is what his whole character arc is about. Then he can prove that not only is he repentant, but he’s genuinely changed and through his own redemption has found mercy and idealism, which is the kind of person he aspires to be, despite his cold cynicism.

            Isn’t that the logical progression of such a character? It’s the same dynamic that Revan and Malak had in KOTOR – where the light side ending has you playing that role and Malak wondering if he could do the same. Joshua is confronted with essentially the embodiment of his past, which he hates (read: wants to kill), but the ‘convincing’ interaction is about not being ruthless in general, not about accepting his mistakes and becoming a better person for it (chosing to spare him).

            The current justification is just weak and fails to contribute to the themes of the DLC, and I can’t understand why Obsidian did it that way.

        • swimon says:

          Ok I have to admit that I haven’t played through all of honest hearts yet. That said I don’t think that the fact that you probably can’t rehabilitate him completely takes away the value of his life (I know a lot of people disagree and it can be a very sensitive issue, I’m not trying to start a flame war I just think it’s an important side to this question of ethics).

          I do have a lot of problems with Joshua Graham though. As Kanodin pointed out (although as an advocate to the devil ^^) Joshua was a terrible person when he was with Ceasar (I’m sorry KAIISARR) but I don’t get how he changed. Being thrown burning of a cliff must’ve sucked but I don’t see how he didn’t just turn to revenge against Ceasar. What because his old home loved him? They did that before he became a “person of interest” to the Geneva convention so I don’t really see that as much of a change. I just don’t buy it, he goes from the feared leader of a ridiculously cruel and sexist military power to a peaceful tribal leader with anger management issues for pretty much no reason. I mean am I really to believe that he ran a military force because he got pissed off? Did he plan battle strategies while seething with anger? That makes no sense to me, his character could work if he was just a soldier but a person who ran things? I don’t buy it.

          If I had written him he would’ve been cold and calculating with a tendency to be cruel towards people he identified as enemies. Then when Ceasar burns him he recognises that if Ceasar wasn’t his friend maybe Ceasar’s enemies weren’t his and he becomes regretful of what he’s done. His later conflict where the “bad” Joshua comes creeping back comes from him essentially not really learning from his mistakes and sees the white legs as his new enemy. Or something to that effect. The problem I have is that I can’t buy someone who runs things in an army being so hotheaded that the rage blinds him for years and if that wasn’t the reason he became as bad as he did then what? Does Ceasar have jedi persuasion tricks?

          • Deadpool says:

            He wasn’t just burned alive. Everything he knew turned against him. All his accomplishments as Malpais Legate were rendered worthless.

            That’s the kind of shit that makes a man reevaluate himself…

          • Kresh says:

            Let’s be honest; Joshua Graham and Salt-Upon-Wounds have very different origins. Joshua started out as a good man with good intentions. He and Caesar, according to Joshua’s own words in Honest Hearts, started the legion due to their own mistakes. Joshua says that there were translation issues that caused their work with the Blackfoot tribe to take a different direction than they intended. Rather than correct these mistakes, and face the possibly lethal repercussions, they went with the mistakes and started a boulder rolling. A boulder that Joshua seemed genuinely regretful about, even as success followed success, thus making it possible for him to be capable of redemption when the “opportunity” arrived.

            We know nothing about Salt-Upon-Wounds. Yes, perhaps he could have been redeemed. Unfortunately, we know nothing about the man and can only judge him by his actions, which involved him destroying a bastion of order and goodness in Utah merely because he wanted to be on Caesar’s team. Did he agonize over the decision? Who knows? However, the fact that he nailed the corpses of the New Canaanites to the walls surrounding the town indicates that this was not a difficult decision for him. Nothing shows otherwise. Even his claims that Joshua will not listen to him, throw any doubt upon his character. Joshua is the whirlwind, and Salt-Upon-Wounds is railing against a force of nature that has decided to reap him. Everyone yells in anger at a natural force that takes them, it is natural.

            In order for someone to be redeemed, there must be a base goodness in existence, within the person, before the evil happened. Joshua Graham had this good base, before his own actions and following foolish decisions put him upon a path of evil. He had the capacity for good before the act, and thus he had the capacity to return to goodness, should he be in a position to do so.

            Knowing nothing about the Whitlegs, we cannot make assumptions, such as Salt-Upon-Wounds has that base goodness inside him, like Joshua, before they ran into the Legion and decided that the Legion were cool dudes. Remember, the Whitelegs have been raiders for generations, and have never been a tribe that were able to sustain themselves, indicating that they’ve always had a “take from others” mentality. This may indicate a sense of martial honor, but it does not indicate any goodness.

            I happen to believe that the White Legs were written in such a manner that those who wrote the DLC, the people who know the most about the Whitelegs, wrote them as who they are because they are evil. Their actions were evil. They are meant to be treated as disposable bullet (or knife, or rocket, or whatever) sponges and experience point dispensers, and the player is meant to do so with a clear conscience.

            Unless I missed a speech option, your choice at the end of taking the fight to the Whitelegs is not “spare Salt-Upon-Wounds and forgive him of his crimes,” but rather “Let him die with honor so the Sorrows won’t think you’re some kind of dishonorable meanie who disrespects tribals.” There is no option to redeem Salt-Upon-Wounds because the people who know him the best didn’t think players needed that option.

            Really, how many hints that Salt-Upon-Wounds is a bad guy do you need before you realize that putting a bullet in his brain-pan is a good idea? I mean, Look at his name! That’s not the name you get being a good Samaritan.

          • Destrustor says:

            Anyone can get indoctrinated if the leader is charismatic/persuasive enough. also KAIZAR was a decent guy at first so joshua probably followed him in his gradual descent to evil out of friendship/loyalty and got carried away little by little without noticing.
            As for his change of heart, he was religious all along and when he got burned alive he got a taste of the hell waiting for him and decided he would rather avoid that. Being burned alive for all eternity must suck phenomenal amounts of balls and knowing that it is your only future may be enough to reconsider your life choices, especially when you know exactly WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.

        • LadyTL says:

          You can kill Salt-Upon-Wounds and still evacuate the valley. If you shoot him right after the end conversation he turns back into the hostile NPC but you still get the good points for talking to him.

    • Even says:

      A guy who gets enamored with a group of people and their naive view of the world and then seeks to shelter it from a world which he perceives as being full of unnecessary evil and violence. You know, the same thing happened to the Survivalist. And it makes sense for him, considering his almost whole lifetime of misery and pain and all the shit he had to witness both Pre-War and after the bombs fell. It also makes sense for Daniel, given his religious beliefs. It might not be a realistic goal, but it is his belief that it’s worth saving.

      Which is of course a point of view open for much debate and criticism, but that’s beside the point. (I don’t really agree with him, even if I could symphatize a little.) The biggest problem I see here is that the escape path has barely any real worth for the Courier.

      They could have tried at least attempt to create some deeper connection between the Courier and the Sorrows’ “innocence” so as to make it something to actually ponder upon rather than just leave the player with the moral question of violence vs. non-violence. It’s hard to see worth in something that you mostly get second-hand opinions about. And no, Waking Cloud doesn’t count.

      • Kresh says:

        Well, the “Violence” vs. “Non-violence” choices seemed a bit silly to me. I didn’t evacuate the valley, but Shamus and Rutskarn did, and they still had to kill a whole mess of Whitelegs before they could get out (as I had suspected would be the case).

        It’s interesting that Fallout would even attempt to try for a pseudo-non-violence alternative, seeing as how 99% of your interaction with others in the game is via the crosshairs of your favorite weapon.

        Rather than a running escape, trading fire with your enemies, perhaps there should have been an option to leave Zion, to negotiate with Salt-Upon-Wounds and allow the Sorrows to leave without all the shooting. Of course, this probably would lead to Graham’s death doing his version of “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” but a good quest would have allowed you to change his mind with a speech challenge. If not totally remove his desire for revenge, then to delay it until the Sorrows are safely removed from Zion.

        • Ayegill says:

          Note: Graham would easily fight his way through all the white legs and execute salt-upon-wounds. The guy survived dropping into the Grand Canyon. While covered in burning pitch. And then after that, he managed to escape all the guys Caesar sent after him, despite having just been burned alive and dropped into the Grand Canyon.

  7. Vect says:

    I’m actually impressed at Daniel’s “Alright, I’m not gonna take this bullshit” attitude. Of course it’s suicidal when that man is Cuftbert.

    Oh. Oh dear. Are you trying to see if you can go as long as you can tripping out on “tea”?

    And while you can tell Graham to cap the fool with the Sneering Imperialist perk, Shamus is probably complaining on why you can’t do it naturally without a perk that makes you an Englishman on safari. Kinda like how in Dead Money you couldn’t tell Dean about the collars with a barter check (the reason being that you’re specifically blackmailing him with info in that case).

    • hardband says:

      He isn’t complaining about only getting that option with the perk (which is an honest (hearts) complaint), he obviously never took the perk and their is no way of knowing without the perk!

    • Shamus says:

      A better solution would be:

      1) Everyone gets the option to tell Josh to kill him.
      2) The sneering Imperialist gets the option to do it his / herself.

      • hardband says:

        That just might work, but would would the repercussions be for iceing him yourself?

        • Paul Spooner says:

          You don’t get as much XP as taking him in a “fair fight”. Really though, killing him is the whole point of the mission, so I agree, it’s quite odd that the game designers hid that option.

          • hardband says:

            I meant repercussions story wise. Maybe making tribals fear all wastelanders due to you doing something so sinister?

            • Kelly says:

              Exactly, it’d be pointless.

              Salt-Upon-Wounds is not himself a great concern. In fact, he’s almost impossible to lose to if you fight him outright because Joshua has 50 DT and you can just hide and watch him win the fight by himself. The concern is that the Burned Man will burn down the entire wasteland every time someone crosses his family.

            • NeilD says:

              Possibly the only repercussion is you get to better role-play the character as you see him/her. Not everything has to have an effect on the story or stats to be a valid option, especially in an RPG.

        • Hush says:

          You become the Malpais Legate.

          No, seriously. Joshua is impressed by your actions. It inspires him to return to his old ways, so he still turns into an asshole, but since you showed more ruthlessness and initiative at that moment, he passes on the title to you. Even better, when you return to the Mojave, there are rumors running around that the Malpais Legate is back, which you can confirm or deny, but people may or may not believe you ARE the Malpais Legate depending on Karma and/or reputation. It can also influence a chat with Caesar…somehow. I’m thinking that it it could be the gateway to taking over the entire legion for yourself, replacing Lanius or even Caesar and getting a wonderful new ending.

          Now if you’ll excuse me, I must bitch about why this possibility never occurred elsewhere on the internets.

          • Vect says:

            I think Sawyer stated that it’s actually impossible to put something that affects the main game heavily via DLC unless it was already built in in the first place. For example, Veronica’s extra chat about Elijah. That and it would require them to rehire voice actors (which would be inconvenient with people like John Doman, Zachary Levi, Matthew Perry or any of their celebrity VAs).

        • Here’s my take on the outcome of executing the guy yourself:

          Joshua sees you kill him, and remembers that he himself would have done the same a long time ago, spurring him to remember the resolve that lead him to abandoning his ruthless ways originally. He resolves not to become a ‘sneering imperialist’ like you and you basically get his “good” outcome where the Sorrows still retain their humanity.

          Now, I know the player who takes that perk probably doesn’t want Joshua doing that. It’s a paragon outcome to a renegade choice, but anything else would be inconsistent with his character arc.

          Joshua isn’t, nor was he ever doing this out of hate and prejudice, regardless of him wanting to kill Salt, Caesar, and a lot of people in general. That’s not because they hurt him, or the Sorrows, but because each one represents one of his failures. You get a sense of this by convincing him to spare Salt – he breaks down and goes on about how much he wants revenge, but it’s obvious that he’s not motivated by betrayal, but regret – he betrayed his beliefs and became a monster and realizes he can’t just blame others for his own weakness. If you kill Salt for such a petty reason, you’re willingly being everything he wishes he wasn’t. How could he support you when your approval fills him with shame?

      • Kelly says:

        That wouldn’t work from a narrative perspective at all though. The entire point is that it’s JOSHUA’S problem, not yours. The only people that would encourage him to go full force and return to his old ways ARE the sneering imperialist types. If you egg him on into shooting the guy, he leads the Dead Horses and Sorrows into rampaging all across Utah basically, destroying anything that so much as looks at them funny.

        By contrast, talking them down leads to him continuing his leadership, but being more restrained and even handed about it. The White Legs on the other hand return to the Great Salt Lake in shambles and are destroyed by the 80s.

        • Shamus says:

          So, the DM says to me, “I can’t let your character say that Very Reasonable Thing, because that’s not the story I’m telling”.

          I think ME being the Sneering Imperialist would be a nice way to avoid the fight, AND avoid turning Josh into a nutter. It makes the perk worth something, gives the player a satisfying end, and maybe lets Josh see what a monster he’s becoming. (By having you be the monster.)

          • Kelly says:

            That’s more or less what the fighting him toe to toe ending does, except you’re not a monster. And the perk’s worth is otherwise supported in gameplay for various things. Joshua doesn’t lead the people on a rampage or anything (as he does if you just lead him into brutally executing Salt in front of all the tribe present), though on the other hand he also doesn’t show quarter to those he does fight either.

            For the record, the actual Sneering Imperialist line is something along the lines of “Oh just cap general Gobbledygook so we can be done with this Joshua,” not telling Joshua to simply finish him for the sake of New Canaan anything. Hence “Sneering” imperialist.

          • Keeshhound says:

            That is a fair point, but how do you work that into the story? Why would a “Sneering Imperialist” stop Joshua from executing someone?

          • hardband says:

            That would be quite a satisfying ending, although it probably I don’t think the designers want you to get bad karma, but a good ending :p

          • Vect says:

            I just see the “Fight him in combat” option as the same thing, only it’s more “Let him die standing and with some dignity” rather than “Let him die groveling”.

  8. Kdansky says:

    On a similar note: Why do game designers insist on having the bad guy getting the last word in so often? It would be just as easy to give the player character a good line, and usually a lot more fun for the player. When I DM, I carefully arrange all my evil villain speeches and plans with holes and mistakes so my players can feel smug about themselves when they have a “clever” idea and outsmart the opposition.

    Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face quite as much as having the BBEG pull out ye olde plot invincibility, only to have it fail spectacularly due to the player’s actions.

    Or simpler: Surprise rounds go to the players. If you catch yourself with “before you can react, he …”, you’ve fucked up badly.

  9. therandombear says:

    Quick FYI Josh, you can interrupt the killcam by pressing E >.>

  10. Jarenth says:

    Fact: cream soda is delicious, and the fact that we don’t carry that here anywhere makes me weep every time I pass the soda section in a supermarket.

    What is New Vegas? I don’t even know.

  11. Deadpool says:

    Btw, haven’t played a tabletop RPG in a while, but it was costumary to leave food at the GM’s house just as a show of thanks for putting us up…

    • DrKultra says:

      I have been a DM for several years to this point, and the best I get are half way done 2L Sodas.

      I feel gipped and wish to hear more stories of people gifting you with food.

      • Bubble181 says:

        Assuming your players all come over to your place, drink your booze, dirty your dishes/glasses, and leave – just tell them to chip in. Let them help do the dishes. Have a different person take care of refreshments and snacks every week (warning: this can escalate into full-on food wars, where we ended up with home-made chocolate-guinness cake, self-made bread, 4-course-meals,…actually, besides the actualp lay time going down a bit, that was all yummy and a good plan :-P), let them help you do the dishes, etc etc.

      • Deadpool says:

        I guess different groups have different philosophis.

        It might help that we started YOUNG (10? 11? I forget), back when mothers were involved in this ordeal. It was just a way of saying “sorry for making all sorts of noise and mayhem at your place.”

        Stuck around as we aged…

  12. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’m sure the limitations of that choice are somehow related to the fact that you’re not a mercenary.

    Also, Greedo shot first.

    • Syal says:

      Because Han put his points into Luck and not Perception.

    • Bret says:

      I know I’m missing a joke here, but I can’t quite catch the point.

      Is it “both these statements are false haw haw”?

      Because they totally are. Good catch.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Pretty much, more specifically as “both these statements are nonsense that someone is trying to forcefeed us to claim that the character is totally different than what we know he is.” TBH the Greedo thing is only jarring because it is an intervention into an already established character, in FO3 it’s a matter of first giving us freedom to shape our characters than blatantly making said shaping irrelevant. I’m pretty sure if you asked the devs why can’t you just shoot the guy normally they would say something like “because, unless you’re a sneering imperialist, the courier is not that kind of person” or some such thing.

  13. Annikai says:

    You know that seems like something Obsidian does a lot, I mean having multiple paths but having one path hidden behind an almost arbitrary wall. This whole thing reminds me a bit of Alpha Protocol how with some things you can’t get a full resolution unless you manage to find the one thing that activates it, like finding out who the sniper in Tai Pei or getting the true resolution in Moscow. It interesting and infuriating at the same time because it shows you that you have actual story consequences if you don’t do certain things but at times it felt completely random and annoying that they would withhold something like this just because you didn’t do a dialogue tree correctly (especially with Brayko that is so annoying) or missed a little piece of intel here or there or simply missed a room (that can happen with the Tai Pei sniper).

    • GiantRaven says:

      Neither situation in Alpha Protocol (who the sniper is, the truth behind Moscow) could be described as ‘completely random’.

      If you don’t explain your motives to Brayko and question him on what he did, he has no reason to suddenly start talking about who is helping Halbech. He has no idea that’s the reason you’re there unless you specifically mention it to him.

      With the sniper, there are two ways I know of to reveal their identity. One is by having them admit it to you due to having a high positive reputation with them. The other by receiving a message from Oman Deng towards the end of the game, where he flat out tells you who it is. As far as I know, both of those can be accomplished without having the necessary intel.

      • Swimon says:

        Well the choice to get that memo from Omen Deng means you can’t speak with Alan Parker and if you don’t you don’t really get any resolution from that plotline and you never get any true insight into the bad guys motivation, it’s a pretty big loss to the story just because you happened to take a mystery call essentially. Also getting to that room where the sniper admits his/her involvement is extremely easy to miss. It’s literally a choice between two doors, if you choose wrong the roof falls in and the game auto checkpoint saves.

  14. Ringwraith says:

    The Sneering Imperialist issue has been discussed, so I’ll mention that “hola” isn’t all that unusual as they mention at one point that the Sorrows have descended from a group including Spanish-speakers, so hola was obviously one of the words that survived around 200 years of language development to be still be the same.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I have an idea:Lets ma’ke Josh watch Lin’ara say “room” a few times,and watch him scream at the screen.

    Also,Ruts’arn is completely right:No one on the internet ever implies that you are gay.

  16. Destrustor says:

    I can’t help thinking that during the whole fast-forward sequence, Mumbles was looking at boobs.

  17. Paul Spooner says:

    Just cause no one has brought up the pronunciation thing: I’ve actually be surprised at how many words people pronounce “wrong” actually have multiple standard pronunciations. Language standardization is one of those strange things (like code standardization) which people usually only insist on when it’s already over-enforced.
    That said… Rutz, It was funny once…

  18. Jokerman89 says:

    edit: me repeating someone else, i took the racist perk too!

  19. TheAngryMongoose says:

    What I always hate about these options to show mercy to the main villain is that, every single time they come up, it’s always at the end of a segment in which you’ve murdered hundreds of randoms without a second thought just to reach him. Oh sure, he’s unarmed, but it still feels incredibly jarring when you’ve damn near committed genocide to reach someone and then have to consider whether you’re going to execute them or not.

    • Shamus says:

      Agreed.

      It puts you in the position of a douchebag who will cut down an army of peons, but let the leader go free. Thus, you punish the people that had the least power to change their situation, and allow the privileged powerful leader that CREATED the problem to go free without punishment. Which sort of makes it seem like some lives are worth more than others. (Powerful people = better people.) Like the ancient practice of slaughtering a kingdom down to the last infant, and then taking the king and letting him reside in luxury in your palace as a living trophy. Disgusting.

      A more interesting moral choice (to me) is, “His peons have surrendered. What do we do with them?” Now THERE is a thorny question. Some of these guys are still loyal to the cause, and just biding their time until they can strike again. Most are just happy to get out of this alive. A small number might be genuinely repentant and interested in making amends. And here on the battlefield, you can’t tell the difference.

      • Grudgeal says:

        Disgusting, but very true to life.

        Anyway, the only game that springs to mind to let you put value on peon lives is Medieval: Total War 2, where you get the option of freeing or ransoming away prisoners of war.

        Of course, 100% of freed/ransomed soldiers immediately return to the enemy side to plague you later, and the computer always butchers all of your captured men, so the consequences get sort of broken. It becomes more of a case of ‘get chivalry points or money and kill them later, or get dread points and kill them now.

        • acronix says:

          And dread is better than chivalry in that game, anyway.

          • Josh says:

            I almost always try to ransom off the prisoners (because the money you get from ransoms is worth letting the AI get more men for the next engagement), but by the time I get my economy going and start really conquering people, I’m capturing so many prisoners in a fight that the other nations can never afford the ransom, so the game takes the liberty of executing them all anyhow.

            But hey, more dread points!

            • Ringwraith says:

              Although, before that point of forced dread points you get morale bonuses. Which can really make a difference if you don’t have such great morale troops.

            • Syal says:

              The first Medieval had a Butcher button in the battles themselves; if the second one still has it, you can kill prisoners as you gather them and keep the groups small enough to ransom.

              • Grudgeal says:

                Annoyingly, as I discovered in my very first battle, it was one thing they took out. Apparently, having a crack team of corpse-bagging ninjas instantly killing all downed foes mid-battle (especially while you were losing) was deemed ‘unrealistic’. Bah.

        • Isn’t it ironic that one of the games where you can do something with the peons is a game where the circumstances make it MOST likely that you’d slaughter everyone but the royalty?

      • Ringwraith says:

        Although this is more about Joshua sliding off the slippery slope again than who cares what happens to the White Legs. At least that’s what it should’ve been made clear anyway, and it shines through every now and again.

      • Vect says:

        Though in this case, I think it’s meant to be a case of “Cruel Mercy” since in the epilogues the White Legs don’t last long, at least due partly to the fact that they never developed self-sufficiency and there’s another tribe that kicks their asses eventually.

        Supposedly it’s like how Cass’ personal quest can end with letting the NCR bureaucracy deal with the Crimson Caravan and the Van Graffs. While the people at top are still alive, they don’t get out completely scot-free by the end.

        Then again, I tend to just make the best out of the options I’m given. Might not like them, but I just force myself to decide which one sucks less.

      • NeilD says:

        I just saw this somewhere very recently… must be Alpha Protocol, which I just finished playing. When you reach/defeat one of the honchos and decide to spare him, he makes some surprised comment about the dichotomy and how perhaps this means there are different standards of justice for the rich and powerful.

        Wish my memory was better.

      • rrgg says:

        Usually isn’t the correct choice there to detain them as prisoners of war? And even if you can’t detain them (or use any of the other middle ground options) then your decision isn’t really based on good or evil but rather weighing the respective negative repercussions of letting the enemy have their troops back vs negative publicity.
        but it really just goes back to the fact that good and evil really just make a poor moral choice system

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its not always li’e that.In mass effect 1 there is that one woman who as’s you to ‘ill her two competitors,and you dont have to fight her posse unless you choose the ‘ill her option.

    • Hitch says:

      Time to bring up another game. I kind of like at the end of Fable II when the bad guy would just go on and on. I cut him off fairly quickly, but was amused to learn that people who let him run on too long were robbed of their revenge by Stephen Fry who shut Lucien up when he’d had enough.

      • TheAngryMongoose says:

        I was spamming the lightning button before I regained full control of my character. I watched Lucien fall of the cliff and sat there for a few seconds trying to work out what had happened.

        I did like that scene, just wish the actual last boss had been… last bossier.

  20. poiumty says:

    Can we add an entry into the drinking game for every time someone says something very very loudly? Especially Mumbles and her massive unstable volume bursts every time she laughs or talks over someone. Or Josh when he’s laughing. At least It’d be fun to drink and reach for my volume controls at the same time.

    (this was a veiled complaint)

    Also was I the only one who had some framerate issues with the video? Can’t say if it was the encoding or Josh’s game, but the framerate was choppy most of the times.

  21. AbruptDemise says:

    Rutskarn, as a fellow MSPA fan, I feel you should have warned Josh about the cliffs. The ones that enable him to plummet to his death when he jumps off of them.

  22. Bentusi16 says:

    Ugh, yeah.

    See, when I did it I didn’t see ANY reason not to kill the guy. I knew Joshua was struggling with his rage again, and might go down a darker path, but letting Salt-Upon-Wounds live seemed to be like letting napoleon live in exile. He’ll be back. He’s already proven he’s willing to lead his tribe in atrocities. He’s siding with Caeser. He’s proven that he as an individual has absolutely NO redeeming qualities.

    But if I tell Joshua that he has to die for the good of Zion, execution style, welcome back Malpais Legate. The “best” ending I could get was choosing to fight him honorably, which didn’t last long since I was wearing Enclave Power Armor and using a laser gatling gun.

    Also, did mumbles just say “Maybe she should go back to giving birth instead of hitting people”? Jeeze mumbles, get a few drinks in you and you turn into a 1950’s stereotype dad.

    • BeamSplashX says:

      I think she just meant that you can’t have your midwifery cake and eat the bear-punching one too. I’d be upset too if my trusted midwife regularly got into slugfests with monsters.

      • Bentusi16 says:

        Well, as long as she remembers to take off the glove.

      • Deadpool says:

        Errr… Why? I mean, it’s not like one interferes with the other.

        This is a small tribe, constantly under attack from enemies. Everyone fights when needed.

        Hell, what do you think midwives in tiny societies DO with their free time? Sit down in their tent and twindle their thumbs? They WORK! Generally females are gatherers instead of hunters/warriors, but if the societ accepts them as hunters and midwives hunt too!

        • Bentusi16 says:

          I’d want her to take off the claw before doing her midwifing because the handsa er used D:

        • BeamSplashX says:

          I haven’t played it, but I was under the impression that she was the only midwife there. I think gathering is fine, but letting your only midwife into battle sounds foolhardy. Especially if the enemy figured that out. Making a badass warrior woman take some time out for babies would bite. I wouldn’t want my medicine man in on the action, either.

          Was there a SimTribe? Besides Spore’s interpretation, I mean.

        • Sumanai says:

          A hunter/midwife sounds bad. How much do you think she’ll help if someone goes into labor while she is off several miles away hunting? If she’s in the gatherer/stay home she can be reached within reasonable time and can actually help.

          • Deadpool says:

            You guys DO know that labor isn’t a sudden thing right? There’s generally a bit of advanced warning before it comes.

            If someone is eight months along or some, she stays near her. Otherwise, why not?

            Sure, some go into labor early without a midwife. A small percentage of that small percentage of babies die because of it. It’s an acceptable cost. Hunter/Gatherer societies don’t have a particularly high birthrate to begin with, that’s a drop in the bucket, and definetely worthy the price of a HUNTER.

    • GiantRaven says:

      Yeah, I think the best option would be to say “You shouldn’t do this, but I can” and kill Salty yourself. I can see why this isn’t available though because I can’t think of any negative outcome to it.

    • Entropy says:

      Well, letting Napoleon live in Exile totally worked the second time. :D

  23. Dante says:

    I’ve met a great deal of women that like looking at boobs.

  24. Kelly says:

    Oh and for the record guys:

    Apparently Lonesome Road is confirmed for release this month.

    Just saying.

    And highly suggesting.

    Also play Old World Blues.

    • NeilD says:

      If you don’t play OWB (I’m not sure how much of the fun would come through in an LP), at the very least I would love to read your review of it.

    • Ramsus says:

      Seconded on the Old World Blues thing. Again.

    • GiantRaven says:

      I don’t know about Old World Blues. It’s very long (at least it is if you’re determined to find every little upgrade for the Sink) and the best bits are all dialogue, which includes a conversation right at the start that is about 30 minutes long. I can’t imagine it would be that fun to watch.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Urghh, I’m waiting for some 4-in-1 cheap release on NV DLCs so, seeing as many people say OWB is actually good, I’m not sure if I’d want it spoiled. Then again I imagine I’m in the minority.

  25. Ghostzins says:

    I’ve a question. When you took the “escape from the valley” route in your playthrough did you just make a beeline to the exit or did you do any of the little quests that came with it? When I first tried escaping the valley I went straight to the exit until I killed a few guys at a bridge and received a message about completing an objective. When I looked in my pipboy there were a bunch of quests added to go around helping the fleeing tribals. Could that have been the reason you got the bad ending?

    • Shamus says:

      I imagine that’s what happened. I *thought* I’d done them, but I kind of followed the road and found myself at the end without double-checking.

      • Ghostzins says:

        Yeah, the game doesn’t seem to tell you that you have those quests outright. At least it didn’t when I was playing and I was hop and skip away from the end, had to walk all the way back to where the quest started cause the bloody game wouldn’t let you fast travel at that point…
        (GRUMBLE) Should have packed my Fatman for this dlc, would’ve solved all those tribal problems right quick.

        • Chuck says:

          There’s an irony in using mini-nukes in an area spared from the scourging of the Great War.

          I chuckle a bit whenever I remember I’m playing the dlc wearing Tesla Armor. It’s such delightful opposition to the setting.

  26. Ryan says:

    I’m going to rise to the bait and go ahead and say I’m pretty sure it’s actually ‘cah-zah-DOR-res’, not ‘cah-zah-DORES’. KAI-ZAR-dores is right off

  27. rrgg says:

    More gun safety:

    Assume a gun is loaded, many semi automatic pistols will load a bullet in the chamber even if the clip has been taken out. As many darwin award winners can attest.

    Also from DW winners, you can’t play Russian Roulette with a pistol that isn’t a revolver.

    • Viktor says:

      Yes you can. Just make sure you go second.

    • Nasikabatrachus says:

      I’m not exactly a gun expert, or user, or knowledgable about them much at all, but doesn’t Joshua open up the chambers on those guns before he looks down the barrel, thus ensuring there is no bullet in them that could be fired? Usually in movies putting semi-automatics in that state removes the bullet and anyway means the gun is not capable of firing. That’s just my primitive movie-based pseudo-education, of course.

      • Stupidguy12 says:

        Still a bad idea. It would ruin his day if he suddenly found out that, through miracles, there was a second round jammed up in the barrel or something that removed what was left of his face. Of course, if we’re complaining about his gun safety, maybe he shouldn’t leave a pile of loaded guns pointed every-which-fucking-way around the room at head height.

        Y’know, just saying.

        • SKD says:

          As a gun owner, when cleaning or checking a semiautomatic pistol you first eject the mgazine(he did), lock the slide back which ejects any chambered rounds(he locked it back, and the angle would have allowed him to see an unejected round), then you may safely check the barrel for damage or blockage in the tube(he did). Also it doesn’t make much sense to look down a barrel with the slide closed as you won’t be able to see anything.

          My only real complaint would have been that firelight is generally insufficient for a barrel inspection.

    • Syal says:

      Nor can you play with a landmine in close proximity to one another.

  28. Rutskarn as nobody else seems to have picked up on it, I’ll do so.

    I suspect you are right, maybe the folks in the comments here could tell which ending they went for and how many white legs they killed.

    I would not be surprised if summed up and squared the average (Root Mean Squared average) would be pretty much the same.

    It is very rare for games that to have a dramatic difference like that (even a Obsidian game that do dare to be different).
    Which is a shame as a Fallout game is kind of about the difference in choices and the path you take right Rutskarn? (you’ve played all Fallout games if I recall, I haven’t)

  29. NeilD says:

    And apropos of nothing… BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2011/08/04/18510371.html

  30. Nasikabatrachus says:

    Am I the only one who was really amused by the way Rutskarn was insistently asking “X amount of White Legs, Shamus?” In fact the whole discussion was funny. This has been a very good couple of weeks on SW.

  31. TSED says:

    Hey Mumbles; I got your back. Not as many things are as awesome to look at as boobs.

  32. Sydney says:

    Mumbles’s “I like your roll!” was i) very cute, and ii) Grade A ship-bait.

  33. F0nz13 says:

    1. Get Coke/Pepsi
    2. Add a bit of cream soda

    Result, vanilla flavoured coke (just in case anybody has the nostalgia of that stuff. No idea how to make pepsi twist though :S

    (That is literally the only reason I keep cream soda in)

  34. ClearWater says:

    the particles will be tall vertical steaks

    Yum!

  35. gebiv says:

    Take Drugs, Kill a Bear reminded me of this: (sorry if you’ve heard it before)

    A man was captured by an opposing tribe and was given the following test to see if he would be allowed to live. The test consisted of three parts: First, to drink an entire case of whiskey without passing out. Second, to pull a tooth from a hungry lion with his bare hands. And third, to completely sexually satisfy one of the tribe’s women.

    He quickly completed the first part of the test, drinking all the whiskey without pausing, and then staggered into the chamber where the lion was kept. Furious roars and howls sounded from the chamber, until after nearly half an hour, the man emerged alive.

    He blearily looked around and said, “OK. Now where’s the woman with the tooth I need to pull?”

  36. Woodthorn says:

    Shamus, how dare you suggest that roleplayers should go to the gym?!

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