Metro 2033 EP8: C is For Nazi, Good Enough for Me

By Shamus
on Oct 24, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

123 comments


Link (YouTube)

At the 14:40 mark, the loading screen says, “Ammo is precious in the Metro. Be sure to conserve your ammo and scavenge your surroundings for extra rounds.” I think this should be replaced with, “Ammo is precious in the Metro. Be sure to not waste it in a pointless war against other humans.”

At the ten minute mark, we hear some commies talking about Nazis using “a pack of suicide bombers”. That’s just… stupid. It’s just Lazy Writing to pound us over the head with the notion that Nazis are bad, in case we’re still conscious from the last 50 blows to the head with the same rhetorical blunt object. Humans are about the most non-renewable resource you have in the tunnels. With populations this low, suicide attacks are comically derpy.

Yes, Nazis exist in real life. Soviet Russia existed in real life. Pointless meatgrinder warfare exists in real life. Suicide bombers exist in real life. But the reality of these horrors doesn’t give a writer a free pass to stick them in a story without explanation. The fact that these things COULD happen doesn’t relieve the writer from their burden to explain why it happened here. When two entire societies act in ways that are impossible and insane, you can’t handwave it with “LOL NAZIS!” and call it a day.

There are simply not enough people and resources in the Metro society (as it’s been portrayed in the game) to make this war possible, and even if there was we’re never given a good enough reason. It doesn’t work. Instead of thinking, “Man people are tragically flawed and prone to self-destruction” I think, “Man, this writer is grasping at every trope in the book.”

You can get away with this in a comedy or action schlock, but in a game like Metro it just cheapens the world for me.

I think a great solution would be to portray the war as a symptom of the ghost-driven insanity. Have the Reds and Nazis be people who have lost their connection to reality and are living in one of the ghost-driven nightmares we see in the tunnels. They’re confused about the time and place they’re in, stuck reliving memories or acting out atrocities of the past. Khan could warn you ahead of time that the tunnels have driven them mad, and it’s making people destroy each other. Then the player wouldn’t walk in with the expectation that these people should make sense. It could also make them creepy as hell, if handled correctly.

This change would tie the war back into the main conflict (the insanity and darkness in the tunnels) instead of creating this idiot sideshow just so we can get our First-Person Shooting on.

Also, I have to commend Josh for his playing here. Yes, he died a couple of times, but he’s in a situation where he’s trying to SNEAK QUICKLY for the purposes of making interesting footage.

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!203There are 123 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. MrGuy says:

    Spaceballs – the flamethrower! Ah, that takes me back.

  2. silver Harloe says:

    What generation post-nuke are these people? Is it possible they war out of habit and sheer burning hatred leftover from more non-apocalyptic times? I’m trying to imagine some of our modern extremists suddenly becoming reasonable people worried about resource scarcity rather than thinking “now’s the time to kick my opponents while they’re down,” and I’m not entirely succeeding.
    Where do they get foot soldiers? If the extremists are in power, they control food, ammo, and even breathable air. They can “persuade” people to follow their cause.

    • James says:

      because the second book is called Metro 2034, i think its safe to assume its 2033.

      Assuming a life expectancy of like 60, ‘cus YOU LIVE IN A METRO STATION, and ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER ATTACK with LIMITED SUPPLIES. 4/5th generation seams fair, for 100 years or so assuming children are born every 20-25 years or so.

      so distant enough that its not freshly wounds but still recant enough its a common thought? after all the states still fear the RED MENECE, and its only just dissapearing in media, and were only 20 years away from 2033, and have had relative peace for all this time for culture to develop in

      • MrGuy says:

        Book was written in 2005, so probably best to assume it’s ~28 years post-disaster in world. Given an late-teens-to-early-twenties Artyom, he was born 5-10 years after the war to parents who survived the war likely as tweens to teenagers.

        Also, if you want to go all science on life expectancy and generational math, you’ll be disappointed. The average “realistic” human lifespan in the game would would be much less than 60. It’s closer to “not long enough for Artyom to be born.” Everyone’s dead and gone by 2033.

        Growing mushrooms in your human waste doesn’t defeat the laws of thermodynamics. And pigs need to eat. Underground with basically no sunlight, they’d have starved to death long ago. No way you can feed an underground society for nearly 30 years.

        • Mersadeon says:

          Ok, from the books: Artyom was born shortly before the war. He was an infant when they fled to the Metro. Most people down there are still first generation, people who had lives before the apocalypse. Pretty much everyone younger than Artyom is part of the new Metro generation. (And that has effects… even Artyom feels pretty shite whenever he enters wide spaces without comforting dark walls around him).

          EDIT: Also, about life expectancy and feeding the Metro – they had a lot of military supplies at first. That fed them for quite some time before they had to start eating pigs and mushrooms. And in the books at least, a lot of stations live in relative safety. Only the ones at the end of metrolines are in grave danger – or the ones where the seals have broken and the outside comes in, and there the radioactivity does almost as much damage as the monsters.

          • MrGuy says:

            Sounds great in principle. And I’m willing to buy you could last a couple years if you had supply caches all over the metro. But enough to last several decades? Not close (especially for water, now that I think about it).

            Not saying that you can’t finesse a few things in world for a good story. But the food supply is one of those things that doesn’t stand up to much reasonable scrutiny.

            We’re alive because the sun is shining, and in one form or another we’re consuming solar energy. Take that away and the clock starts ticking very very fast.

            • Mersadeon says:

              Well, that’s kinda the point – this isn’t several decades. It’s not even 20 years. And in the poorer stations, people barely get by on rats and moss and garbage from the richer stations. Some stations have completely been transformed into farms to supply the Metro. The books come with a maps in them, I don’t think they really mention these farm-stations.
              (And they even managed to make drugs from mushrooms. Because let’s be honest here, humans will, under any circumstances, manage to get high and have sex. It’s the two driving forces, I guess.)

              • Cybron says:

                He’s saying that transforming stations into farms is not a practical option, sans sun. Yes, there’s reasons it works in the setting, but those reasons aren’t exactly realistic.

                I think the MST3k mantra applies here, though.

                • Mersadeon says:

                  Well, I can’t really judge that. I’ve honestly never looked into the feasibility of farming food underground. Ok, I have grown wheat in an underground cave in Minecraft, but that doesn’t really count.

              • hborrgg says:

                You also have places like Venice, which apparently has plentiful access to edible mutant shrimp about the size of small children.

                There’s a lot of hand-waving going on in this setting.

        • ET says:

          It’s been a while since I read Metro 2033, but I’d assume that since in the game that there’s glowing mushrooms, that the mushrooms are those fancy ones that grow from nuclear radiation.
          Also, maybe rats eat mutant grasses which can grow outside, then are caught inside the tunnels and eaten?
          I know in Metro: Last Light, there’s fish and stuff, which presumably eat algae from outside the metro, so there at least is an input of energy into the metro food system. :)

          • Mersadeon says:

            Well, the glowing mushrooms are really just videogame convenience so that you can have some non-humanmade light in the tunnels. Those don’t appear in the book. And since they glow because of radiation, they aren’t exactly safe to eat.

            The rest depends on what you are looking at – in the games, the Metro is under constant assault by big numbers of monsters that can presumably be eaten. Those 20 Nosalises you and Bourbon killed in front of the gate could make good eating, and as you mentioned, Venice gets a lot of food input from outside, too.

            If you look at the books, however, things become a lot more grim, to the point it becomes obvious that the Metro won’t be able to hold on for much longer. The pig and mushroom farms supply a lot of the Metro, but other than that there’s almost no input from the outside – almost no monsters attack, and when they do, most stations don’t survive (except for two stations – one that is held only by outcasts doomed to fight for their life every night, and one that is in a three station alliance and gets the best supplies from everywhere – Sewastopolskaja). Venice doesn’t really exist that way in the books (there is something similar in the St. Petersburg Metro system, which is actually a bit more of a hopeful place).

      • DanMan says:

        I totally read that as “four fifths of a generation” and was very confused. Math is hard early in the morning…

    • Ambitious Sloth says:

      There’s a bit where the protagonist talks about how he’s one of the first generation of people to actually grow up in the metro, though I forget where. And it explains that a bit more in the sequel to this game it shows that he was about 7 years old when he first saw the surface, already nuked and destroyed.. There also some older adults who still remember a time before the bomb(s). So it seems likely that this is the first generation to grow up in the metro.

      As for the soldiers, most of them seem to be conscripts for either one side or the other. And the ideals they seem to be fighting for are pretty warped from their WWII versions. Even so, some npcs mention that the two sides got their names from an old war that no one really remembers any more.

    • Dirigible says:

      The Communists vs Nazis makes more sense if you consider it the product of two megalomaniacs using outdated ideology to keep people in line, encountering each other. No-one on the ground knows any better, because they’ve been taught about the “ideal society” and people have showed up who are following the polar opposite ideal, and the largest war in recent human history (Apocalypse scenario notwithstanding) featured these two systems of government in an extremely vicious war.

      As for the people running these respective communes, they’re both sociopaths, and can’t stand the idea of sharing power, so naturally they have to try and destroy the other.

  3. Ambitious Sloth says:

    As dumb as it is to have a war going on here in the tunnels. I have to admit that I liked the chance to creep through an active battle field. It feels very nice and tense up to that stair case that Josh, died right after climbing. The echos of gunfire coming down the tunnel from the front lines, punctuated every now and then by a stray bullet whizzing passed you. Plus the search light combined with the traps in the decay below the tracks. They give it this great sense of urgency and danger that makes it one of my favorite places to explore.

    Also, Josh, great job hiding from that cart. I like to imagine you pulled that off by posing like a piece wall art or graffiti.

  4. MrGuy says:

    I like Shamus referring to the Trolley Combat section as a “trainwreck.”

  5. MrGuy says:

    Also, since I was totally disappointed to not be able to invoke Goodwin’s Law at any point in this episode:
    PEOPLE WHO CAPTURE YOU IN CUTSCENES ARE AS BAD AS HITLER!!!

    Edit: OK, WordPress. You’ve flagged how many of my posts for moderation over the years, and THIS one you let go?

  6. Michael says:

    Shamus, maybe you should stick a link back here in the Youtube video’s description. There isn’t usually much conversation over there, but it could help drive a little traffic your way without much effort.

    • MrGuy says:

      You FOOL! You mad fool! You’ll kill us all!

      You want to invite YouTube commenters, the absolute dregs of the internet, back here for a tea party?

      I award you no points. And may God have mercy on your soul.

      • Michael says:

        Yeah… honestly, I haven’t seen any of the true dregs show up in the Spoiler Warning videos. I think the lack of testicle jokes throws them off. Though, I guess, making the suggestion while we’re running the Nazi episodes is kinda courting disaster.

  7. MrGuy says:

    No one remarked on the “good Communist” volunteer on the train worried about his religion and his soul going to hell?

    The “opiate of the people” was actively suppressed in all good communist societies.

    I guess you could argue this goes along with the “taking the forms of the war without really understanding the ideologies” idea. But given the rest of the recognizable communist rhetoric being spouted elsewhere, it’s at best unusual that the anti-organized-religion tenet is missing and no one considers it unusual.

    Edit: Yes, wordpress. Let the Hitler comment go and flag this one. It’s OK. You tried.

    • Mersadeon says:

      Well, even in the Soviet Union, eradication of religious believes was WAY less successful than we are normally led to believe. Maybe the Metro Reds just can’t risk loosing the support of religious soldiers.
      Also, in some parts of the Metro, you can see the souls of the dead reliving their tortured past – being a super-skeptical Atheist pretty much isn’t an option anymore.

    • Counterpoint: This version of communism exists in a Metro system that’s actually haunted by ghosts and infested with what are possibly demons. I think there’d be other things to worry about than the ol’ opiate.

    • guy says:

      You are incorrect. During WWII, Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox church to intensify popular support for the war effort.

      The leadership might view religion as the opiate of the masses, but when things are going poorly they are quite happy to have the masses on drugs.

    • Michael says:

      It’s been a few years since I was actually going through this stuff, but my recollection is that Marx was lashing out against the, I think, Prussian Church’s affiliation with the government. It wasn’t an independent body, it was actually a part of state. He believed, possibly correctly, that the church was a propaganda arm of the state.

      There’s actually an entire strand of Christian Marxist literature, built around distinguishing between religion as belief, and religion as a means of social control.

      EDIT: Hi, automoderation system. *pounds head into desk*

  8. A. Hieronymus Bosch says:

    The NVGs can be deactivated without taking them off by ‘tapping’ the N-key as opposed to holding it down.

    Also, in this level, no one can see you if you’re in a ‘green’ or ‘null’ stealth state.

  9. Mersadeon says:

    Ok, so I defended Metro in the last post pretty heavily, but yeah, the amount of troops thrown at this frontline are a bit too much. It only gets worse in Last Light. And, well, I might sound like a broken record: This is not how the book has it. Not at all. This is the writers blowing the Nazi faction out of proportion to have some kind of stalemate with two evil sides, whereas in the books the only one with the same resources as the Reds are the Hanse. And there isn’t war in Metro 2033. The Reds had war with everyone, had to understand that they can’t get through the Hanse and Polis and everything fell into an almost stable standoff, with only a few Trotzky-ist bands of Communists still attacking.

  10. FYI, the “wrong” swastika is a triskelion, which was both used in the novels and was a symbol for the fascist “resistance” in South Africa.

    The “C” is something others will have to help me out on. They used a similar symbol for the Fifth Column/Council (Nazi version of COBRA) in “City of Heroes,” and seeing it here makes me wonder if it was used elsewhere as well.

    • Mersadeon says:

      For the life of me, I can’t find an explanation for the C. I know it replaces the Swastika because here, those aren’t allowed(which is stupid since they are supposed to be allowed in works of art, but hey). So they rather replaced the Swastikas with the C.
      By the way, some Nazi soldiers seem to believe the Triskelion stands for the three Nazi stations in the books.

      • Ah, I forgot about video games and the international market. Could the “C” just be a made-up thing several people have used as shorthand for “insert Swastika here”?

        • Mersadeon says:

          I’ve never seen it before, so probably no – normally it is replaced by variations of the Iron Cross.

          Not even the Internet seems to know why it’s a C. I will ask a few russian friends, maybe it’s culture specific.

          • Ah-ha! First off: TVTROPES WARNING!

            Second, TVTropes lists the following:

            No Swastikas: The Nazi faction’s symbol is a big “C” instead of any actual Third Reich-related imagery. This C is the Moscow Metro sign for stop/no entry, symbolizing the Nazis’ attempts at getting rid of all ethnic groups other than their own. Beta version Nazis sported a three armed swastika used in the book.

            So there’s that to add to the speculation.

    • guy says:

      The banners in the tunnel have the C in a laurel wreath. That’s classic Roman imagery, so it’s plausible it’s from the Italian Facist party, which was big on using Roman symbols. The name is actually a reference to the fasces, an axe surrounded by a bundle of rods used as a symbol of authority by government officals in the Republic.

    • somniorum says:

      I don’t know what the C stands for, though I might point out, for those who keep reading it as “see”, it likely is rather the Cyrilic “C”, which is the equivalent to the English letter “S” (similarly, CCCP aren’t latin C’s and a P, but rather S’es and an R).

      Perhaps some reference to “soyuz” (union/alliance), or perhaps “sila” (strength/power).

  11. Phantos says:

    I was actually feeling kind of down/lonely/eager for a podcast when this came up. Thanks, Spoiler Warning dudes!

  12. Hitchmeister says:

    It would probably annoy me how dark these episodes are if Shamus didn’t keep complaining about it. But since he does, I hope Josh never turns up his gamma and we get a whole season of staring at black screens and listening to Shamus complain.

    But like everyone else, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that this tiny decimated population of survivors struggling to make it from day to day in the subways under Moscow, have decided to choose up sides and fight a war over political ideologies. I just can’t see where they’re coming from. ;-)

    • Chris Davies says:

      You’re alone in a godless universe and running low on vitamin D tablets, what better way to while away the time until extinction? Plus the football matches at Christmas are fun.

      (Oh, also, the “suicide bombers” are captured Communists, strapped with explosives and with the tongues cut out, driven back towards their own lines by machine gun fire. Sounds like a decent ruse de guerre to me, as long as you aren’t worried about the warcrimes trials.)

      • Not to mention in a world with limited resources, having a fairly high, if not constant, rate of casualties might not exactly be a bad thing.

        As for the senselessness of it, I can name several modern conflicts where the troops lost was a moot point so long as continued fighting allowed those in charge to stay in power.

    • Mersadeon says:

      It’s exactly because of these conditions. Resources are low. If your stations already have an ideology, that’s the perfect reason to take more stations – you’re only liberating them from Nazi/Communist/Hanse-Capitalist oppression!

    • Merkel says:

      I think this problem boils down to how the “Nazis” and “Commies” are treated. Imagine, instead, if the Nazis were more like contemporary Neo-Nazis (or skinheads, or the Aryan Brotherhood, or whatever) and were basically just a gang. Using violence and intimidation to get what they need to survive, tied together by hatred of outsiders. On the other side of the fence, you have the Communists, tied together by a twisted nostalgia for “the good ol’ days” when the Soviets were in charge; Using the symbols and structure of the old regime, in an attempt to recreate the old world. If the battles were scaled down to match this, and basically turned into two rival gangs squabbling over what little turf and resources there are, I think this scene would make a lot more sense.

      • Mersadeon says:

        And once again, because I really like saying it – that’s how they are portrayed in the books. They call themselves the Fourth Reich, but they really just seem like you described them.

        • Michael says:

          Am I misremembering, or are the Reds literally former Russian military officials who couldn’t make it to ___D6___ when the war went apocalyptic?

          So it’s not even that they’re pining for the days when the Soviets were in charge, they’re just reverting back to their old authoritarian ways.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      My horrible pun was too subtle. :-(

  13. McNutcase says:

    It’s obvious what knocked Josh out of the cart: the plot. This is a game in a Metro system, it has to be on rails.

    It even has Shamus’s infamous landmines for players who go off the rails!

  14. Phantos says:

    It’s weird to think that not too long ago, just a few years, everyone was sick to death of Nazis in video games. They just kept showing up. Every other game had to have them, because we need a convenient group of morally-bankrupt cannon fodder for the protagonist to mow down.

    But aside from this game, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen nazis as TEH BAD GAIZ. At least, not in the major, AAA releases.

    But before I give the industry too much credit, I notice in recent years we’ve just replaced nazis with Russians.

    • Mersadeon says:

      Mostly it’s Nazi Zombies nowerdays, because one huge clichee just isn’t enough.

      I actually kinda miss Nazis in videogames. Now that this medium has matured a bit, we could have some interesting stuff. I’m still yearning for a game where you play a german conscript. Maybe one who deserts.

    • Tim Charters says:

      In terms of major recent games with Nazis as enemies, there’s The Saboteur, and some campaigns in Company of Heroes and…yeah, I can’t think of anything else. This feels weird.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        There’s the sniper game that I think Mersadeon was referring to in the post above, and a quick check actually tells me there’s part 2 coming soon for some inexplicable reason. Also, do we give the new Wolfenstein games a pass because they (sorta) reference the classic or does that actually make it worse?

  15. Disc says:

    Talk about ruining a perfectly innocent symbol for ages to come. Have to wonder how many years it’ll be until people can look at a swastika and not instantly think back to Nazi Germany, if it could ever even happen.

    • Mersadeon says:

      I don’t think that can ever happen, at least here in Germany. It’s too deeply ingrained in every single citizen. The fact that it’s actually forbidden here also makes that impression stronger.

      • Scampi says:

        On this: just 2 days ago I installed the GOG version of Commandos on my computer and realized I wasn’t allowed to start the game, since the international version the sell contains swastikas…now my PC is put to Luxemburg settings. I’ll never get why the depiction of swastikas themselves is forbidden.
        As for me: I don’t blame the swastika for the faults of people using it as their symbol. It had no choice in the matter.

        • Mersadeon says:

          I chuckled at “it had no choice in the matter”. Thank you.

          Well, I kinda get it. It is allowed in depictions of art (unless it’s videogames, because videogames aren’t recognised as art here) or history. It’s so people can’t make new Nazi parties or show allegiance to that kind of idea by wearing it – not to mention it’s almost a traumatic sight for some.

          • Bubble181 says:

            “Almost”? My grandparents were in the camps – I don’t consider it a personal trauma or anything, and I don’t mind the imagery – but *they* sure did, and I think they had good reason to.
            As long as anyone’s alive who was alive themselves during WWII, I can understand banning those images in and around Germany. (Belgian here)

    • guy says:

      Give it a couple hundred years and only history nerds will recognize it.

  16. Arven says:

    Alright, I don’t know what happened here, but I can’t hear the commentaries at all. I can hear the game sounds, but not SW crew voices. It’s almost like that youtube feature to remove songs.

    Anyone have the same problem as me?

    Edit: Alright, found the source of the problem. It’s either my headset or the audio jack on my laptop. Either way, it’s all on my side, not the video.

    • Nytzschy says:

      Do you know why it happened? I’d love to be able to listen to the game without the commentary, as most of the stuff I’m used to reading in other season is just being swamped by the crew due to lack of subtitles.

      • Arven says:

        I think it’s because my audio jack doesn’t send loud sounds to my headset, therefore I can’t hear the commentaries. Thus, I can hear the rather silent game dialogues that’s usually drowned by the commentaries.

  17. Shildosh says:

    Assuming neither party brought the baggage their names connotate in the old world, why are these guys fighting?!? Seriously, there are Communists and National Socialists (Nazis), these guys politically shouldn’t be that different (I know that’s not how Nazi Germany worked, but assuming there is no doppelgänger Hitler or anything else interfering, I think the party would act like it sounded). Yet they are fighting an allout war because of this. Assuming that they did bring some kind of baggage because why else would they be fighting, I could maybe envision a Communist ideal starting in a Metro station, but which Russian would come after the apocalypse and say, “Let’s start a group of people not known for their ideals but for mass genocide and devastation to our own country. That definitely will work out just fine.”
    Gameplay is still pretty cool and neat in this section, even with the stupid plot. Artyom is truly the great equalizer. His Achilles heel is opening doors and blundering in as if possessed by a demon and getting his face smashed in.

    • guy says:

      National Socialism and actual Socialism have basically nothing to do with each other.

    • Mersadeon says:

      That’s because National Socialism doesn’t have much to do with actual Socialism, and the Metro Nazis have (just like Russian Nazis/Ultranationalists) taken the “fuck everyone who isn’t Aryan/Caucasian” part from Nazis, not the politics about the power of the state.

      • Grudgeal says:

        They’re basically the Russian equivalent to the EDL, or the Klan the really reactionary right-wing militia movements in the US or the Uyoku dantai in Japan. Or neo-nazis, well, anywhere. Angry young men screaming at the world and their corresponding outgroups.

  18. Corpital says:

    I absolutely despised this level. Not knowing you get free night vision goggles with the stealth suit, I got armor, after all the enemies seemed to be totally oblivious of their surroundings about two thirds of the time and blessed by superhuman laservision the other third.

    I died three times thanks to gaps I could nazi without night vision. After some therapeutical murder, I found two NVGs in the level, but wasn’t able to get to either one without alerting anyone for several tries. And finally, somewhere on the way to a save with goggles and being undetected, all my filters disappeared and the way to the nazis was just long enough to be too long without any filters. And every. single. time. the banter between the commander and the recruits.

    The following silent Hitman murdertour was VERY educational in terms of how the AI works.

    • Trix2000 says:

      I just found out – if you turn around and go backward along the tracks from where the cart drops you (being careful of the guards toward the end) there’s a pair of the night vision goggles there too.

      I’ve always been more inclined to the path of ‘stealth until spotted, then KILL EVERYTHING’ method though, so the goggles weren’t used much.

  19. Alex says:

    Skyrim has the best “Throw a rock” ability for stealth. Most games don’t let you combine ventriloquism with insults as a strategy.

  20. Rutskarn says:

    Side-note: My Great Gatsby reference was badly misremembered. The character I’m thinking of was Wolfshiem, who worked for a holding company. I got him (in part) mixed up with Goldstein from 1984, which I read in high school at about the same time.

    • Ilseroth says:

      I daresay no one pointed this out because they got the gist of what your point was despite the mistake. That being said, giving any literature major a requirement to write an essay on something can be entertaining just to see how much bullshit they will dredge up to attempt to sound intellectual, throwing a swastika in there is just icing on the cake.

      • Mersadeon says:

        My chemistry teacher did something extremely funny. See, he’s also a Religion teacher. His religion class was doing a unit about interpretation and metaphors and stuff like that. He showed them a poem and let them interpret it. After about half an hour of that, he told them he wrote it. They speculated some more.
        Then, he told them how it got to be: He took chapter titles from an old chemistry book and put them together so that a few of them rhymed. No intended meaning whatsoever.

    • Rutskarn’s References™ is underwritten by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and viewers like you.

  21. anaphysik says:

    Wow, Rutskarn sure had a serious case of dinosaur voice going this week.

    He made me say it. Now where’s my $50?

  22. Nytzschy says:

    So… can Nazis and Communists not see red laser lights? Is that a thing?

    I don’t understand why Shamus is so hard on this whole Nazi/Communist war thing. If you read between the lines, it’s actually very well justified in world. You see, the copies of Metro 2033 lying around everywhere mean that it is probably the only book that actually survived the apocalypse. Once the dust of the nuclear war settled, people started to get bored and realized that the novel had successfully predicted what would happen. Due to the fatalism of the human psyche in extreme situations, the people of the Metro adopted the book as their Bible, living their lives according to The Narrative until the appointed time. When Hunter died—an irretrievable loss to the people of the Metro—and people noticed that some schmuck named Artyom was going on a quest, word was sent around to arrange into silly factions and go all helter skelter on each other’s asses.

    That’s why Khan said, for no apparent reason, that “everything is depending” on Artyom. Duh! He read the book.

    In all seriousness, am I alone in thinking Shamus is a little hard on the game? I mean, sure, the war thing isn’t integrated terribly well into the overall tone of the game, but from the plausibility angle I think Shamus is being uncharitable in his assumptions about the scope of the world presented. I feel that, while the game doesn’t do a good job showing the state of the world within the Metro, it does do a decent job of hinting at it. There are shops, hidden ways, disreputable characters who move among the various stations, etc.. Maybe I’m just too generous, but I think that the world feels big enough to allow what’s depicted to happen. If you analyzed all the available inputs and outputs for such a society, it probably wouldn’t work, but the same is true for many depictions of societies in video games. Then again, maybe I think that because I haven’t played the game, or because I’m not terribly critical in this regard.

    As for why they’re fighting, I don’t know if the game goes into the specifics of what the “Communists” and “Nazis” think their ideologies entail, but assuming they are at all related to their historical forebears then I think they have pretty good reason to fight already. I mean, who would want to live in some cramped, dark tunnels with Nazis running around? No way. Call in the exterminators post-haste, kthx.

    Also, a note to Chris: I kinda cringed when you talked about communist countries invariably turning into fascist states (paraphrasing here). That is, to say the least, inaccurate.

    • Mersadeon says:

      Fun Fact: In the books, some people in Polis believe that in the library above, there is a book that predicts the future word for word, and they would really like to find it. They probably didn’t think it’s some popular novel!

    • Trix2000 says:

      I think this issue might come down whether we notice ‘headscratchers’ or not. Like, I went through this section without thinking about it much and it seemed pretty neat and fitting with the experience… but in retrospect it IS constructed oddly. All it takes is for the game to somehow bring up the question “why?” and suddenly the illusion breaks.

      Personally I don’t fault this part much – even now, when I replayed it again, it didn’t strike me as too out of place. But at the same time, it’s easier to see why people could have complaints about it.

    • jarppi says:

      I agree. Shamus is a bit hard on the game here. Sure, this war is pointless but isn’t that kind of point here? It may not be implemented in the best possible way in the game but I think it made its point. “Even the apocalypse didn’t stop us from killing each other over ideology.” This war is stupid and it is supposed to be, it is the self-inlicted end of the world and what do you know – we are still killing each others. It is a commentary of the human nature. Delivery is a bit ham-fisted, but how many games there are giving us any kind of commentary? (/fanboyism)

      Then again, I do look this game from a different perspective. I knew about the existence of the book while playing this but I hadn’t read it. So I just assumed some of this things that didn’t make so much sense were explained in the book.

      Speaking of things that didn’t make sense; Nazis. In the book these nazis were actually more neo-nazis than in the game. In a “Metro for the true Russians!” -spirit. So they really didn’t make as much sense in the game ase they made in the book.

    • Michael says:

      Calling them Fascist is technically incorrect. But, the Soviet Union, at least, certainly fit within the general political philosophy of fascism.

      The economics don’t fit, fascism didn’t really care who owned what, and the public justification was way off base, but, the reactionary bent in governance was alive and well.

      That said, the technical term is Authoritarian. And if you were to call the Warsaw pact signatories “Fascist”, you’d probably get chewed out.

      But, at the same time the Nazis were self proclaimed “socialists”, even though they’re the literal archetype of one form of fascism, so… *headdesk*

  23. Grudgeal says:

    Let’s see, the cart ride alone was one Stephen Blum, two or three Yuri Lowenthals and, I think, Fred Tatasciore or someone who sounds really like him. And yes, I am still keeping count.

  24. Decius says:

    No, the train wreck isn’t the cutscene capture and escape. The train wreck happens at the end of the next section.

  25. Thomas says:

    There’s a lot of good narrative potential in war between people who barely have the resources to survive, never mind fight.

    It only takes a map to realise that the least peaceful parts of the world are also the parts of the world that can least afford to fight. It’s the countries where people die of starvation every year that can’t even make a fair chance at improving because there’s so much fighting.

    Poorness creates desperation and desperation strengthens irrationality and weakens the people who need to be strongest so there’s a really interesting and relevant Metro theme in war where people literally can’t afford to shoot bullets.

    …but this doesn’t feel like that sort of thing. They’re placing the emphasis on the ideology and not the sheer poverty of the combatants, and it’s not a messy unorganised thing with warlords wandering the tunnels only loosely affiliated to any side. Instead it feels like a mini WW2 knock-off

  26. Lalaland says:

    I never found the Nazis vs Commies thing that distracting seeing as both groups are still engaged in political violence today, particularly in the ex-Soviet states. It actually made more sense to me for there to be conflict, in any scenario with limited resources people will want to control those resources thus conflict. Yes co-operation is to everyone’s mutual benefit but that has never stopped anyone before in fact its the basis of Lord of the Flies.

    Nazis and Commies provided pre-existing structures for violent groups to exert control over the rest of the populace, with their predefined hierarchies they would actually make it easier to exert control than a consensual group structure. The obsession with trivialities such as purity or order mirrors the arbitrary and scattershot rules of survival in any totalitarian society. During the Purges under Stalin or the Cultural Revolution under Mao the overwhelming sentiment expressed was one of ‘why am I targetted, I am loyal’ rather than ‘where is the food’.

    Also Nytzschy while I haven’t watched the video yet I would agree with Chris in that any political order that monopolises control to one party regardless of ideology always winds up as totalitarian and oppressive (often shorthanded to fascist).

    • The poly sci major in me wanted to call Chris out on that label, since it’s like saying that all governments where voting takes place is a democracy. A lot of “isms” get tossed around these days without a lot of regard for what they actually entail, which is a real pity.

      Anyway, to paraphrase this show, it’s like hearing liberal arts majors try to explain math. :)

      • anaphysik says:

        “poly sci major”

        I take grave issue with that spelling :/

      • Michael says:

        The polisci grad in me is actually pretty okay with lumping Soviet Russia in as a divergent form of fascism. It’s not what the fascist ideology intended across the board, but it was more in spirit with fascism than anything Karl Marx wanted.

        • My issue is that a totalitarian regime doesn’t default to “fascist,” nor does “fascist” automatically get you the same kind of outfit as Nazi Germany.

          • Lalaland says:

            Oh poli-sci debates debates I love them for their ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin’ nature. All of the extremist ideologies we’re discussing here are horrible to live under but they all aspire to greatness and start from differing philosophical bases.

            I agree with ps238principal because I’m not comfortable saying ‘X philosophy always morphs into Y in the end’ as that implies that their underlying philosophies are irrelevant. I also believe that saying ‘X becomes Y in the end’ gives X a free pass as if somehow in another more perfect universe it wouldn’t become Y. I prefer to say ‘X philosophy results in a society that is A and B’ even if I also say that ‘Y philosophy results in a society that is A and B’.

            The real issue is that both fascism and communism have had wildly divergent implementations in the real world such that saying either means a government based on this or that principle is pretty hard to do, witness the focus on industrial societies of Marx & Engel’s Communism versus Mao’s embrace/invention of an agrarian communism.

  27. arron says:

    Reminds me of the most excellent Dr Who story “Genesis of the Daleks” where a war has been fought between the Thals and the Kaleds for so long that they’re rapidly running out of people and the dead are used to man trenches, ammunition is scarce to the point of warfare being fought with antique equipment as all the modern equipment is reserved for the “special forces” and both warring cities are impregnable with neither able to destroy the other. The chemical poisoning and radiation have turned the planet into a wasteland and the unprotected population turn into mutants.

    Beyond a certain point, warfare becomes impossible as neither side has the resources to damage the other. The Thals have one missile left capable of flight. The story is that the Kaled scientist Davros invents the Dalek, betrays his own people to destroy any resistance to his plan..and then wipes out the Thals whilst they celebrate the end of the war. The Daleks take over, kill all the Kaleds in Davros’s bunker. Due to a lack of psychological restraints like compassion or pity go on to dominate the universe. The Thals and the remaining Kaleds join forces to offer resistance to the now very real threat, although it is likely to be futile.

    The Kaled-Thal war was basically endless and pointless. In the end, you had people more or less fighting with improvised weapons because nothing was being made in sufficient quantities to win any victory.

    There’s another story in another Terry Nation series (Blake’s 7) called “Duel” where an entire planet is dead from a global war and the outcome from the use of a doomsday weapon was described as “It was an end to fighting, but not the war. No-one remained. We are a dead race”. And there are millions of gravemarkers covering the entire planet to illustrate the number of dead. I assume that the ones who did the digging didn’t get to dig their own.

    It seems ridiculous in a game where you have the few remnants of humanity living underground that they would basically annihilate each other for an ideology in the most stupid way. Beyond a certain point, the war is unwinnable and you might as well either come to some kind of non-aggression pact and implement a boundary between the two parties or realise that you’re pretty much just the same and agree to peace. It’s the only option that makes sense to me.

    • Trix2000 says:

      People don’t always do what makes sense though. I can just imagine them saying “I want to survive, but I hate those Nazis so much I’d rather see them die than cooperate.” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if cooperation never even came to mind – likely the thought is “They have supplies and territory we want/need, and we hate their guts… why wouldn’t we try to kill them all?”

      As for throwing excessive amounts of supplies and manpower into what seems like a worthless meatgrinder, it strikes me as a symptom of neither side wanting to back down or show weakness in the face of the enemy. They might not notice how much it’s screwing everyone over until the ammo/food/manpower runs out, by which point it’s likely too late.

    • Mersadeon says:

      Well, the problem is that both groups here believe that only their way of life can save the Metro (and since most people in the Metro think no one else is left, for them this is about saving HUMANITY): the Nazis think that mixing with foreigners dilutes the power of humanity, and resources are wasted on them, so the only way is to let them work for you until they die or simply expel them into the tunnels.
      The Communists believe humanity can only be saved if everyone gets a fair share. (And to be fair, in a place with only so few people left over, that might not be the worst idea…)

    • WarMachineDD7 says:

      I’ve never seen Dr Who, but I went ahead and watched that Dr Who episode you mentioned (thank you, internet) and it was a pretty interesting story. But I’d like to point out that the Thals and Kaleds had a millennium of warfare and hostility towards each other, so it makes sense for them to not want to stop the war even though both groups are barely able to keep it going. It’s also possible that they might have ceased the war if enough time had passed without the Daleks taking over, everyone talked about how few supplies and weaponry they had and were mostly banking on one last move to win the war (the Thals’ rocket and the Kaleds’ Daleks). The Thals were also very forgiving with their prisoners of war when they believed they had won after they fired their rocket, which leads me to believe that the Thals, at least, were on the brink of seeking some kind of peace treaty if their rocket had failed.

      In the Metro though, the Communists and Nazis didn’t really have any existing feud when the bombs fell, so it doesn’t make sense for them to want to restart a fight against each other, especially with such fervor.

  28. Grudgeal says:

    That pane of glass you stepped on. That. One. Pane.

    I’ve lost count of how many reloads it has necessitated when stealthing that level. It is the true villain of this game, I swear.

    • MrGuy says:

      This is something that annoys me a little about the stealth mechanics in this game.

      The Thief series isn’t without fault, but MOST of the rules of what alerts people and what doesn’t make sense. Surfaces you walk on make noise, and that varies with the kind of surface. Darkness is relative and range dependent. Guards notice things like open doors, blown-out candles, and turned-off light switches, and will attempt to re-light things. Guards notice noises, but you can also use that fact to lure them away from where you need to be. There are states between “nothing to see here” and full-on murderously alerted. The guards feel “human” – they may be dumb, nearsighted, and borderline deaf, but they don’t feel like they’re cheating, and don’t feel like robots with a few senses on the fritz.

      Metro implemented some stealth game mechanics but not others, and where they landed feels a little arbitrary. They went with a fine-grained visibility system but a binary alert/not noise system. People notice you if you’re in the light, but for some reason they don’t notice you turned the lights out that were on a moment ago. As Josh found in this episode, there’s no distraction system. If a tinkle of glass is heard, it’s not just “full alert,” but suddenly every guard everywhere knows that it was YOU who made the sound and EXACTLY where you are.

      It feels a little “uncanny valley” to have AI’s behave in human-like ways to some stimuli and decidedly non-humanlike to others.

      • Mersadeon says:

        I have to agree. It gets better and worse in Last Light. Enemies seem even more oblivious to sneaking. Seriously, an all-stealth playthrough is way easier in Last Light than in 2033.

        One fight in the game, however, did this really well, weirdly enough: that one fight against bandits when Bourbon was taken hostage at the start. That one room works really well – if they spot you, they will shout and alarm everyone you are there, but if you get into the shadows they can’t find you anymore. They will spray bullets where they think you are, will slowly move out to find you and drive you into a corner.

  29. Zerotime says:

    In the second game, the morality system was quite literally converted into a “pay attention” system. Listen to a conversation? Get points! Go to the theatre? Get points! Destroy a nest of spiders? Get points! Spy on two exotic dancers taking a bath? Points points points!

  30. hborrgg says:

    Ok, so which makes more sense, the Nazis or Caesar’s Legion?

    • Mersadeon says:

      In my opinion? The Nazis. It’s a lot easier to get a group of people to simply define “non-caucasian” as the other and “caucasian” as the us, instead of getting what essentially amounts to a whole nation to deliberately give up the few bits of technology they have and dress like Romans.

      • MrGuy says:

        I vote for the Legion being the more sensible of the two.

        Smaller tribal societies being swallowed up by bigger, more powerful tribes seems like a plausible response to chaos. Fierce discipline and cruelty in the Legion are a means to an end (a strong warrior caste), as opposed to “we’re the bad guys” mustache twirling (e.g. using captives for target practice). And most critically, the reason for an eccentric cultural bent being the cult of personality behind a single charasmatic leader seems a lot more plausible than a bunch of people deciding “screw it, we’re Nazi’s now”

        Even the anti-technology bent isn’t implausible. A lot of post-war society in Fallout seems dependent on scavenging pre-war tech. Getting independent of it allows you significant freedom, and also enables you to build a society that can survive when the pre-war stuff finally breaks down. Healing powder may be less effective than stimpacks, but it’s renewable. The NCR would have a hard time surviving when the last radios they can scavenge break down…

        • Disc says:

          Caesar himself isn’t really anti-technology (The elite Legion units and his tent are a prime example). Handing out the best tech evenly to everyone would just go against the warrior culture he’s managed to create within the Legion. Better gear is something you have to earn through bloodshed. While casualties are high, their whole tribal conquering system exists mainly to keep feeding the Legion ranks with fresh soldiers and slaves.

          If you think about it, it may actually be just a lot easier way to govern groups of uncivilized tribals who just don’t know any better, rather than trying to teach them that everyone’s equal and other ideals that we take for granted. The whole faction was at least supposed to be somewhat of a ultimate utilitarian nation, where all the systems exist to serve some higher purpose and not necessarily because Caesar is a sexist asshole or an idiot who hates technology.

    • shildosh says:

      Well, Caesar’s Legion makes more sense politically as it doesn’t have a history of mass genocide and destruction behind the roots, enough time has passed to make it significantly less silly and more plausible, and has an enigmatic leader behind it to rally the crazies. But still, how do you get so many different roman ideas, coins, armor, etc. when we today don’t have anything perfect to go on, let alone a post apocalyptic universe where everything has decayed for hundreds of years?!? How would they even know about KAAIISSSSSSSSAAARRRRRRRRRR?! Also, who let the Fallout into our Metro?

      • Ithilanor says:

        Caesar himself was a former Follower of the Apocalypse who got education from them, then found a cache of books on the Roman Empire; specifically, Gibbons’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and the original Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Caesar’s Legion existing as it is in New Vegas is decently plausible; what doesn’t make sense is them existing as a long-term society, or why the Courier would join up with them.

        • Thomas says:

          Gengis Khan’s empire lasted 130 years and was arguably more ridiculously evil than Kaisar’s. Absolute brutality has been a more stable governing method than democracy for most of history. Democracy doesn’t even mean anything if you haven’t got a well-educated populace with efficient means of mass media, because whose going to vote for you except other rich people already hanging around your court?

          • Mersadeon says:

            Fun Story: I once met a guy whose brother was a history professor, and that guy had the ridiculous theory he wanted to prove – that Ghengis Khan was actually really kind and benevolent. Now, it’s true that some parts of his reign were a little bit more modern, but seriously? That guy was really trying to defend him. I finally shut him up with “yeah and that pyramid of cut-off heads he build in front of Delhi? He did that because he was so nice!”.

            • Veylon says:

              The Great Big Book of Horrible Things gives a body count of 40 million, tied for second place in the rankings.

              Though, to be fair, by Ghengis’s standards, he was kind and benevolent. He ended the Mongolian infighting, ended the caste system, and ensured better treatment of women and lower-ranking children. He made the Mongol people incredibly rich (by 13th century standards) and eliminated foreign threats with few Mongolian casualties. What more do you want in a leader?

        • Thomas says:

          Gengis Khan’s empire lasted 130 years and was arguably more ridiculously evil than Kaisar’s. Absolute brutality has been a more stable governing method than democracy for most of history*. Democracy doesn’t even mean anything if you haven’t got a well-educated populace with efficient means of mass media, because whose going to vote for you except other rich people already hanging around your court?

          *Athens was one city with a largely unrepresented body of people, other greek states didn’t have nearly the same stability when trying it,

        • Disc says:

          The long term plan, at least according to Caesar, is to conquer the NCR and then build something new on top of it. Legion being the ‘antithesis of NCR’, eventually ‘creating a symbiosis’ between the two.

          As for why the Courier would join them.. well since he’s mostly a blank slate, I’m sure people can find reasons. Most of the time, the reason why anyone outside of the Legion supports it, is because they find the alternatives worse; Rampant corruption, overbearing imperialism and general shitty management of things in the NCR or the cold, totalitarian capitalism of New Vegas which so far only benefits the ones who are already rich. It’s pretty much choosing between what kind of forced-upon shit you’re willing to live with from the perspective of your average wastelander.

      • guy says:

        Caesar was a former Follower of The Apocalypse. He found a pre-war history textbook.

    • What we also need to keep in mind with both is that these are video games that can’t realistically portray hundreds of dudes for a war of any kind, and we’re supposed to just assume more fighting is going on elsewhere. In the Metro, that’s more easily done since there are obviously more tunnels we can’t get to, and we’re not trying to fight our way to either side’s HQ and destroy it.

      If that’s not how we’re supposed to take it, then the Battle of Hoover Dam involved… what, maybe two dozen people?

      • Michael says:

        A couple hundred on both sides, in entirety. But, New Vegas is pretty careful to justify that. Unfortunately, it’s less careful about making sure it shows all it’s work.

        The Legion is made up of tribals from Arizona (and possibly further east.) It’s lead by a shrewd tactician with an extensive education in pre-war history, who assumed control of a tribe, and used the Roman model to build a cohesive fighting force.

        He doesn’t have enough men to throw away frivolously, in fact, the entire game happens as he’s building his forces up to the point where he can assault the dam.

        The Legion produces some of their own weapons, and have (apparently) raided some from prewar storage facilities.

        On the other side, we have the NCR. New Vegas does a really poor job of explaining just what the NCR is, but it’s a unified nation that stretches from the ruins of Los Angeles to Reading. The have a fairly substantial industrial production capacity, access to extensive pre-war military assets (including stuff they pilfered from the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave), and a substantial population. There’s some major Vietnam or Iraq/Afghanistan analogies at work there. But, they really can afford to send people off to die in the Mojave.

        • Disc says:

          I’d be curious to hear where you got the numbers. The game’s pretty fuzzy by itself when it comes to this stuff. NCR stretched as thin as it is, a couple hundred may be justifiable, but I’d expect Legion to have a lot more, since they’re attacking. Other than that, the Dam is the most important thing in the whole area strategically, which I’d imagine would motivate both sides invest more troops for it. NCR is at least implied to have been slowly massing whatever available troops they have to the Dam for a good while, hence why they’re so short-staffed in other areas (namely Primm.. it’s also implied to be the main reason why the prisoners at NCRCF succeeded in their revolt, since a lot of the guards got reassigned)

          • Michael says:

            With the Legion, the numbers are actually in game. There’s some throwaway line about Ceaser being responsible for incorporating something like 80 tribes. Based on Fallout 2, those range from 20 to a couple hundred people. Based on the Legion’s behavior, I wouldn’t be surprised if tribes that refused to join and were enslaved, wouldn’t even bump the meter, but there, I’m guessing.

            On the NCR side, yeah, I wasn’t kidding about the game doing a poor job of relating this information. The game flat out asks you for information about the NCR that you cannot find in game a couple times, and it’s not shy about giving you random background material that won’t make sense, if you aren’t familiar with Fallout and Fallout 2.

            A couple troopers in McCarren, on the Dam, and elsewhere will claim they’re originally from the Boneyard. New Vegas never tells you, but that’s the ruins of Los Angeles, it’s also where the Gun Runners and Followers are from (you go there in the original Fallout). And a site of some fairly extensive industrial ruins that could be restored. Others will claim to be from The Hub (Fallout), Redding (Fallout 2), and I think Klamath (also Fallout 2).

            Off hand, the two military facilities I know of in NCR territory are The Glow and Mariposa (both from Fallout, though Mariposa returns in Fallout 2). They also have access to the Enclave outpost at Navarro (the only mention of this in New Vegas is in the Arcade loyalty path). I’m not sure if they have access to the Sierra Army Depot, though it’s possible.

            I don’t know if Vault City is a part of the NCR, though it’s certainly possible.

            Vault 13 and 15 are both inside the NCR’s borders, while 15 was looted, 13 was still intact at the end of Fallout 2, so if anyone looted it, whatever they got probably ended up in NCR hands. The Los Angeles Vault was destroyed by a nuclear failsafe during Fallout. (No number given, so far as I know.)

            Between Klamath and The Boneyard, we have a rough approximation of the size of the NCR by the time of New Vegas. There’s also conversation topics, when talking to Chief Hanlan, that suggests that the NCR actually extends onto the Baja Peninsula.

            If that wasn’t enough, I could swear I remember someone (other than Marcus) mention they were from Broken Hills, if that’s true, then the NCR also has access to a uranium mine.

            I can’t remember where you find that the Service Rifles the NCR is handing out are freshly built. But, it’s the same for a lot of their standardized gear. Rangers are responsible for their own gear, something you can find out from talking to them. But, your NCR Troopers are carrying freshly produced firearms. If those were made in Shady Sands, the Boneyard, or someplace else, I don’t know.

            Oh, and while Shamus was asking about going to Barstow, that’s Necropolis from the original game (even though the internal data claims it’s Bakersfield.) As far as I know, canonically Necropolis was wiped out during Fallout, but I could be wrong. Vault 12 was pretty heavily damaged, but it could also have been looted by the NCR, for more equipment.

        • I have to say I don’t mind if a game doesn’t have easily-seen justification for what’s going on unless you look for it, especially when it comes to groups fighting each other. If you want to dig (and in Metro 2033, you can, but it’s mostly listening to conversations), you’ll find the lore/explanation, and that’s more realistic. If you could teleport to, say, Iraq, and you found a random soldier, he wouldn’t info-dump you about all of the goings on that’s led up to what’s happening now. On the surface, it’d seem like “LOL TERRORISTS” or what have you.

          My point was that video games can’t currently represent all of the combatants in a large-scale military endeavor. They have to use shorthand or limit your field of view. In Metro 2033 and Fallout, you pretty much have to assume you’re only seeing a small portion of what’s going on. In the Vault Wiki, the first Battle of Hoover Dam has the NCR having a victory and mop-up operation where they “only” lose 107 troops. If that’s an “only,” I’d assume the NCR forces were at least a thousand, probably more, unless there’s some naturally assumed high body count when the NCR enters combat.

          So let’s assume that the second battle is under-staffed by the NCR, as conversations with those in its ranks would lead us to believe. Even if we assume only half the original force, that’s about 500 people, and it could be even less. If we went as low as 100 troops at the dam, unless the top was the least-defended area (which would be kind of laughable, given that the Legion Fort is right freaking across the dam), the NCR you see in game aren’t even a fraction of those that should be there. You’re supposed to assume more fighting is happening around you than is actually present, and the game tries to fill the scene with as much chaos and kablooey as possible to make it seem like it.

          To be fair, the game does have other effects of the battle take place across the Mojave, as can be seen here. I didn’t know about a lot of these, as on every playthrough I helped those involved and it just seemed like a generic “a winnar is you” ending from my POV.

  31. I could NEVER figure out how to stealth this section. This episode helps with that a lot! :D
    (This season also has helped me figure out how to sneak past the bandits where Bourbon was captured.)

    Actually, I always learn something new and interesting about a game from Josh. He always seems to know the obscure stuff and it really adds to the show.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      It’s fun to make fun of Josh for dying (or whining, “Stop shooting me!”), but the reality is, given the obstacles of playing these games with the overhead of recording and streaming while talking about them and several other people talking in his ear the whole time, he really does a phenomenal job, often pulling off really tricky game shortening maneuvers to avoid multi-episode sections of the same boring stuff over and over again that would be typical of a more conventional play-though, but boring to watch.

      So before I get back to making fun of you next week. Well done, Josh.

    • GM says:

      I never really saw that spot so i tried to kill that guy without being seen and it was only after killing everybody I found the place

  32. postinternetsyndrome says:

    This area might have some plausibility issues, but the gameplay is overall quite enjoyable (except I was almost out of filters when I had to trek through the poisonous area). The game does take an actual dive closer to the end, that really made me question whether it was worth putting up with at all. Fortunately, I pulled through, and was rewarded with an awesome end sequence.

    Despite some wonkiness, I really liked Metro 2033, and I look forward to playing Last Light at some point in the future when I get the time.

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