At nineteen minutes, Rutskarn is quoting Deus Ex: The Recut, which I’ve nearly committed to memory from repeated viewings. It’s one of those things where I’m not even sure why it’s funny. Like, even the parts where they simply repeat Deus Ex dialog verbatim take on this strange sense of deadpan madness.
Mass Effect 3 Ending Deconstruction
Did you dislike the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy? Here's my list of where it failed logically, thematically, and tonally.
Why The Christmas Shopping Season is Worse Every Year
Everyone hates Black Friday sales. Even retailers! So why does it exist?
PC Gaming Golden Age
It's not a legend. It was real. There was a time before DLC. Before DRM. Before crappy ports. It was glorious.
Crash Dot Com
Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
The Best of 2017
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2017.
79 thoughts on “Fallout 4 EP36: Mumblo Number 5”
Maybe I’m missing context from never playing or seeing the original Deus Ex (take a shot!), but most of that video didn’t resonate for me. It took until halfway through before I even figured out that it was all game dialogue re-arranged with bits chopped out (because I apparently don’t know what a recut is?).
However, two parts were pure gold. The ending of course, that Rutskarn was quoting. And then for some reason, the term “electronic old men” got me every time.
I like how K1 is all: “And before you ask, no, I don’t have a sidequest for you. The finale of this somewhat confusing setpiece really is as abrupt and perfunctory as it first appears.” They felt the need to confirm that. We might not have believed it, otherwise.
Oh, and for anyone playing the drinking game, what with all those deaths and control confusion: I used to find really strong pickled onions a good hangover cure. Probably a good idea they didn’t put simple mentions of NV into the rules, or we viewers’d be getting a little thin on the ground by now. And was that a 7, there? (‘7. Josh picks a trait or upgrades a stat because, “Fuck it, everything else is locked”.’) Actually, let’s say not – don’t want to polish anyone off who’s managed to make it this far…
On the subject of luck – is it Josh’s high luck which means we’re running into all these ten-a-penny legendaries? I thought that was just linked to difficulty level, but given this lot think n+10=nx5, I wouldn’t necessarily trust the loading screen’s word for it even if I’m remembering it correctly.
I’ve heard a clove of garlic or two should help with a hangover aswell… But then again, I heard that from a old portuguese who lives in Iceland and speaks no Icelandic, so take that with a grain of salt.
Garlic with a little salt; got it. ;D
Touché, my friend, Touché. xD
Nah, I played a 1 luck character (no VATS use) and there were still loads of them. “Legendary” is something of a devalued term around the commonwealth.
Thanks! It occurs to me that I don’t know what difficulty level he’s playing on – I’d assumed it was on the low side, as that’s reasonably standard for SW purposes, but I could well be wrong.
Drink water to compensate dehydratation, and rest to help your body (liver, kidneys) filter the ethanol out.
Short of a dialysis, everything else is rubbish.
Aye, I know that, really. It’s just that strong enough pickled onions can distract you from your symptoms! :D Mainly by giving you new ones, briefly – once you’ve uncurled your toes & teeth, your body will have processed you that little bit further along to feeling better.
I like the cut of your jibs.
Doesn’t water just make you drunk again? :P
Drinking Sprite is apparently the “best” cure for a hangover. :D
Nah, drunkenness is a result of alcohol concentration in the body. More water does not mean more alcohol (fortunately ^^).
Alcohol makes you lose body water though, which causes hangover as symptoms. This is why you need to rehydrate. When people say they need more alcohol after being hammered, it’s because the brain is still craving the drug, but it’s the thing that makes hangover worse.
As for Sprites, it’s water, sugar and flavouring. If you like it, have it, but there is no medical benefit over any other sugary water.
Milk thistle works well at helping your liver clear toxins, so I always recommend it, plus water/gatorade and some vitamins, for a hangover.
Just remember, no Tylenol/acetaminophen. That stuff’s hard on your liver, and it’s already working overtime!
Nooo, talk about how awesome New Vegas is MORE; it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Yeah same here. Rub the fact that a smaller studio got it right in Bethesda’s faces over and over like a naughty dog who crapped inside. I feel no mercy doing it myself and neither should anyone else.
(Although to be fair, only when it’s really warranted.)
Assuming you haven’t, you could always watch the Spoiler Warning New Vegas season, where they talk about the Boomers, and the QA, and Dead Money, and hemipenes, and the voice acting, and caravan, and the end of Honest Hearts, and hardcore mode, and the Brotherhood…
On second thought, do not go there. It is a bilious place.
On third thought, do, of course! They are plenty positive too, and it’s just an occupational hazard of the format that things can tend towards poking fun and pointing out the problems. And if they just gushed for 50 episodes I wouldn’t have watched it all four or five times…
That’s from all the alcohol! :P
Man this whole thing was so convoluted. The idea of tracking down a Courser to rip out their component so you can trick your way into the Institute is both clever and satisfying (hoist by their own petard, and all). But why are the Gunners here? Why are they fighting this one Courser dude for her instead of just handing her over? And why would the Gunners fight you if they have bigger problems and you have a common enemy? It’s a long shitty gauntlet for no reason.
And then the fight was nonsense. They’re so built up to be like Terminators but they’re just another mook with a laser gun. Giving them special abilities or a cool scripted boss fight would make it feel like you did accomplish the impossible instead of just use more bullets. Like … I don’t know, Z1 just rips a massive pipe out of the wall and pastes you with it, or zaps you with electric shocks, has super-speed, something!
I guess the special abilities they did give him were insane damage reduction and invisibility, for that maximal blend of utterly boring and incredibly irritating. I’m glad Josh brought that bear-burger with him: watching Reginald handing out a well-deserved walloping was extremely cathartic.
And yet even with the absurdly broken bear burger it took him two swings to finish that courser off, god that must be a tedious fight if you approach it in any other way.
Right, and the only time I’ve done it I was basically Thor-with-a-minigun. When Shamus mentions taking it on as a stealth character? … but then didn’t really elaborate? I don’t know … there’s some real pain there for sure.
Stealth fat-man the whole room!
If you do stealth wrong, sure is painful. If you do it right, you’re an unstoppable murder machine.
Blimey. I approve of this ‘one swipe and you’re out’ policy.
I dunno, i nailed him with a sneak super-sledge to the head, he died in one smack. Of course, I don’t think there’s any enemy in the game that can live through a sneak hit from a 17-strength, maxed-sneak, Grognak-wearing, Blitz-2-using munchkin. But if you weren’t breaking the game? Yeah, super sponge.
I really hope the series goes long enough for Josh to get Blitz 2, to show how brokenawesome it is.t
How did you get into melee range? He’s supposed to trigger a conversation with you regardless of stealth before you’re even into the room. Maybe it’s just very sneak-points dependent?
Gauss Rifle, fully charged stealth headshot. No fight.
50Cal sneak Crit to the face staggered him pretty good for me. A couple of Molotov cocktails and I was looting a new jacket for Curie to wear. I didn’t even know there was a conversation until I read the wiki.
It’s Bethesda’s hamfisted way of trying to inform the player that ‘hey, this Courser thing is tough!’. Needless to say, it falls flat. Like basically everything Bethesda does.
Speaking of Deus Ex quotes…
“Aaaahhh! I’m cooked!”
Real question. Why did the Institute make the Gen 3 synths at all?
I understand the first two generations. The logic that SHAUN gives even makes sense- make one general purpose machine that can use our large existing suite of tools.
But the gen 3’s are bioroids- they bleed and have neural feedback, and presumably based on Harkness, they even perform all other life functions like standard humans do.
To put it bluntly, what is the benefit of making a machine that gets tired and poops?
I’m not sure in what way the Gen 3 has any use even as slave labor, unless they had some kind of organ harvesting scheme going.
The only uses they seem to have are either as guinea pigs for medical trials or infiltrators.
If I was inclined to make excuses for the game’s writing I might come up with the Gen 3 synths being able to power themselves by eating (which of course necessitates the waste byproducts of that). Of course that doesn’t really work since I doubt you ever see issues with earlier gen synths running out of power, or other possible downsides to them being microfusion powered (or if not microfusion then whatever other sort of fairy dust the institute runs them off of). As for getting tired I have no idea, there is no reason to make a machine that gets tired. Maybe one that feigns/imitates exhaustion to help it blend in, but not actually getting tired.
The main problem is, I think, that the game pretends Generation 3 synths are machines. But they aren’t. They are genetically engineered clones with a chip somewhere.
The main stated reason to creating them is for infiltration. But that doesn’t explain why they ALSO use them as labor in their base. The only probably reason I can think of (that is never stated as far as I know) is that Gen 3’s are actually cheaper to produce than the mechanical generations. Which could make some sense if, as you say, there was an actual resource problem within the Institute.
But that begs the question of why the bulk of their soldiers are mechanical synths instead of biological ones.
Don’t forget, Curie installs herself into a braindead one, and then has zero complications as a result. So their programming is editable.
And their memories are easily wiped, so they don’t use organic brain tissues for anything more than autonomics.
…. huh. Maybe some actual explanation on synths from Bethesda in the final product would have been good?
The gen 2s are characterised in a few ‘encounters’ in the institute as being pretty buggy and unreliable so that might be part the motivation.
I’m pretty sure there is an explanation in the game as to what the synths are for but I can’t remember it so, yeah, must be pretty good.
Which, considering that Synth 3’s have a tendency to rebel, sounds like they might be even more of a hazard than the previous.
I think the explanation is that the gen 1s 2s are reaching the end of their life cycle, and gen 3 production isn’t at a point where they can use them as foot soldiers. But, it’s not particularly clear.
It’s all part of the grand master-plan. Large spoilers for the grand master-plan:
who am I kidding? Is there a grand master-plan? “Outlook not so good,” says my magic 8-ball. When you ask Shaun why he defrosted you his verbatim answer is: “I suppose I wanted to see what would happen.” Obviously different-class character motivation, there, and you can see how cleverly this threads in to what I think we must assume is the complete absence of a grand master-plan.Or at least, that’s my interpretation, but I’m happy – eager! – to hear that I’m wrong. Please?
Infiltration is one, but don’t forget that the most apparent (though still not well-established) goal of The Institute is to repopulate the wasteland with beings and organisms of their design that can restore the Wasteland.
Though given that goal, would an army of heavily-armed Protectrons cleaning things up be all that unusual to see? If you didn’t want outsiders in your rehabbed area, the robots could just shoot everyone.
Now it makes even less sense.
If your goal was to repopulate the wasteland and you had an army of killer robit skellingtons, the first thing you would do is use your army of killer robit skellingtons to shoot all the raiders, supermutants, ghouls, and inconvenient settlers.
And tidy the place up a bit, till the land, uproot all those blasted trees and plant some new ones, tear down all those sure to be structurally unsound ruined buildings and stick some new ones up, etc.
Of course the Institute only wants to do that in the sense of talking about it because that absolves Bethesda of putting any effort in.
Don’t worry Mumbles, we’re all just electronic old men.
Re Gunner privates:
They’re always harder.
*squints menacingly, pulls out wad of crumpled paper and a crayon and scribbles something*
Shame on you Shamus! You’re the official “old guy,” and you said the Courser uniform was a reference to The Matrix when it’s obviously a reference to Rutger “Roy Batty” Hauer’s outfit in Blade Runner!
Shame! We are shaming you! Go stand in your shame corner!
Jesus, go easy on Shamus there. He’s seen things you people wouldn’t believe.
I mean really, he’s just an electronic old man, we can’t be too harsh
Electronic old men and their flexibility has allowed us to make progress in the mythical city on the hill.
We’ll be running the world within six months.
Old men… are the future.
Well, the Matrix uniforms were based on earlier cyberpunk works, so by the transitive property…
I think that was his point.An electronic old man should go for the older reference,not the younger one.
Oh man, I just realized the Gunners were fighting with melee weapons because they’re Blade Gunners.
The Laser Musket isn’t the most worthless weapon in the game.
That title belongs to the Institute Pistol/Rifle.
I know I’ve harped on this before, but I still think the laser weapons would’ve been so much cooler if every laser gun was this cobbled together single shot weapon that was way over powered making it worth the effort. Then finding an intact old world version would be like a super rare end game weapon.
I really like the idea of the laser musket, much like the pipe rifle that you saw all the way back in Fallout 2.
The idea that certain pre-war materials are becoming scarce, and that most people wouldn’t be able to find, buy or repair pre-war tech is a great way to indicate that such weapons are super powerful but also super rare, and the ones that most people use are cobbled together badly from scraps.
Of course you stumble across thousands of high tech weapons virtually as soon as you’re unfrozen, so it kinda ruins that whole idea almost immediately.
“Boob harness” makes it sound way hotter than the breast band thing it is.
On another note, I was dying at the “everybody” bit. The commentary this week was rock solid! It’s always best when all of you are present.
It’s always nice when there’s a full complement, but I do also appreciate the different atmospheres generated by all the various possible smaller combinations. Which atmospheres aren’t solely down to who shows up, of course, as they’re all dynamic human beings who change and develop over both long and medium timescales and thus might be in this mood or that mood … I’m rambling, aren’t I? Yep, always nice when there’s five! :D
Oh, was it Boob Harness? I heard Boot Harness and was trying to picture what kind of convoluted nonsense that would entail.
What it says on the tin! I’m sure you’ve seen something like it before, on women’s winter boots. Or Catwoman’s.
If you give drugs to Mama Murphy after meeting virgil she’ll actually give you the courser’s reset code, allowing you to skip that fight. Bout the only way to do that fight as a stealth character.
Wait, she has a use? She offers an alternative to combat?
Haha, you had me going for a second.
This is the one and only time her predictions have a purpose.
Interesting, but unfortunately I’d already given her all of the drugs long before that moment.
The laser musket actually is a usefull weapon, when upgraded to have a lot of charges it does an impressive amount of damage, over a very long range. Its probably the best sniper rifle in the game.
So in the Bethesda Fallout universe, it’s established in Fallout 3 that the DC slavers have the whole explosive collar failsafe on their slaves that remote detonate based on location…so why isn’t the super smart Institute also able to figure this out? They’re aware enough to implant passwords into their synths, but not aware enough to implant a marble-sized ball of explosives in their brain that they can remote detonate the second their slave decides “Johnny 5 is alive.” Or hell, they have a teleporter, how about they just tag synths and coursers and if they ever go rogue, hit the recall and call tech support?
The slave collars there and in Dead Money seem to be based on signal upkeep- they leave signal range and pow.
They also seem to need to know where you are roughly to start. Your main quest teleporter in 4 is hijacking a homeward bound teleport, so you either killed someone or left a Courser or some killbots looking both very silly and nonplussed.
That would have been a funny institute sidequest.
Or maybe something like a GPS tracker inside each of them? Or make them give off a subtle pheromone that humans can’t smell but Coursers can? Or allow Coursers to set off a ‘ping’ that will make any nearby synth ‘reply’ back with their own signal?
You can’t make something as stupidly powerful as a fully human android and not find a way to keep an eye on the little bastards!
I think few people can claim that they complained about a video game so much, they almost won a Hugo award for it.
Shamus is Lord of Nitpickers
The Laser Musket would have actually been cool if you didn’t have to use ammo for it, because you wind it up to generate the power that it fires. So it’d be an emergency backup “I’m out of ammo” weapon.
Which would justify how otherwise awful it is.
When I first got one, I totally thought that’s why you cranked it; YOU were the power source, making the Laser Musket a kind of fallback weapon for when you had no more ammo.
But no, it’s just a slow loading animation, basically.
So basically it’d be cool if it was the recharger rifle from NV?
What really gets me is that this isn’t some whatever, random, out-of-the-way junk weapon, or some joke “this is purposely useless lol” item. This is the thing they were showing off in the E3 demos and trailers and the like. That was the big, new weapon they revealed in early gameplay footage.
A musket. A weapon that fires one round every two years, in a game with machine guns. That’s the weapon they chose to try and IMPRESS people!
Even if they hadn’t bungled it in practice, it’s just a dumb addition to this game in concept. It really is a gift of Bethesda’s to see a bad idea from when it’s on paper, through play-testing and all the way to store shelves, and at no point go: “maybe that was a mistake”.
The thing that makes the laser musket fire all the shots is not a bug, but a legendary effect. It’s the one that gives the gun a bottomless clip. For something like the hunting shotgun or a revolver this is a very useful thing to have. For the laser musket it just unloads all your fusion cells. If you happen to get it and carry around a set amount of fusion cells you can use it as a useful “kill a boss for free” card. Or if you’re like me you use it to see what happens without saving first and have to decide between going back to a save from a long time ago or just proceeding forward with one less gun for a while.
Ok,those kill animations are just idiotic.How lazy was bethesda to make a unique weapon that behaves 100% like any other sword in the game?Come on,they made separate animation sets for a bunch of stuff,but one more was one too much?But it does fit with the rest of the game,where everything is implemented in the lazies way possible.
Speaking of that, you ever try using unarmed in VATS? Equip a power-fist and fire off some hits, then equip some brass kunckles and fire off some hits. They use the same animations, and the animations were clearly designed for the power fist, they look downright bizarre on anything else.
So I found a ‘Charged Shishkebab‘, and I think Josh would appreciate the special effect it has on it, although I think to be truly satisfying what’d you’d need is for both of the numbers shewn to be raised by an order of magnitude.
Actually, I’m not sure whether that means when you successfully block or when you are successfully blocked, but as the former would be pointless and irritating I suspect it’s that.
Test it and tell us then.
I haven’t got time for that! I’ve got a hot date tonight. bzzt
A date. bzzt
Dinner with friends. bzzt
Dinner alone. bzzt
Watchin’ TV alone. bzzt
Alright! I’m going to sit at home and ogle the ladies in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue. bzzt
*sigh* Sear’s catalogue. ding!
Now would you unhook me already? I don’t deserve this kind of shabby treatment. bzzt
Anyhoo – I took it for a test drive, and it’s the pointless and irritating one. What were the odds? Well, they weren’t 1 in 10, certainly, and neither is the chance for the effect to fire, unless you’re using Bethesda maths. In real maths, it’s about 1 in 50.
This was a really strong week for SW episodes, I gotta say!
Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>
You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?
You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.
You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!
You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>