Spoiler Warning Fallout 3 #1:
The Birth of Reginald Cuftbert

  By Shamus   May 4, 2010   80 comments

It’s the 1st episode. Of Spoiler Warning season 2. Playing Fallout 3.

This one ran long, the audio sucks, etc. The usual pleas for leniency apply. I’m sure we’ll get the hang of this sooner or later.

20202020There are now 80 comments. Almost a hundred!


  1. Phase says:

    I curse whatever monster blocked Viddler on my server. I must hear Rutskarn’s dulcet tones!

  2. Vipermagi says:

    This one went a little further than I planned, so, not in comment-form, @12:53:
    That’s going to hurt. Luck is the best stat.

    Other than that; I never play with more than 1 point in Charisma. Never leave a store with at least a profit of 1 (Pre-War Money is the best item for this; no weight and a value of 10), and just pump more Int for Speech points on level-up. Done. Losing 4 Charisma only translates to 8 points in Speech anyhow; 1 Int gives you 19-29 skill points, depending on whether you have Broken Steel or not. Additionally, making a dash for the Int Bobblehead once you spoiler the spoiler helps getting a few more points; you can get there at level 3 or 4 (and potentially ruin the storyline by talking to Spoil Sportli :P ). Works pretty well for me, and obviates Intensive Training.

    Additionally, mind turning on subtitles? :) That would’ve helped some with the Revelation 21:6 business.

    • eri says:

      Seriously, Charisma is totally useless in this game. It has basically no influence on anything except skill points… which Fallout 3 has in abundance. I’m pretty sure that if you have Broken Steel, it’s impossible not to have all your skills maxed out by about level 23.

      • Michael says:

        With average intelligence, no skill boosting perks, no bobble heads or skill books, I think it’s possible to make it to level 30 without maxing all your skills. But, I’m not sure.

        • Vipermagi says:

          With an Int of 6 and all bobbleheads, you can max at level 30. I think that was without skill-boosting perks as well. So yes, it’s possible to turn lv30 without every skill at 100, provided you don’t pick up bobbleheads :)

  3. Andy_Panthro says:

    One thing that I always pick up about Fallout 3 (which was demonstrated perfectly in the “birth” section), is that it treats your eyes as a camera a little too literally. In this example, you get blood droplets on your eyes.

    I remember Bioshock being worse though, since you get both water droplets and also lens flare!

    You’re doing a great job with this though, very enjoyable.

    I’d possibly recommend skipping dialogue though, except for the interesting or branching parts. After all, you guys are going to be talking over most of it.

    • Jabor says:

      Blame cinema for that :/

      If there’s no lens flare, it looks “obvious” CGI, and thus “fake”. So you need to add lens flare if you want people to think it’s “real”, even when the lens flare itself is unrealistic :/

      It’s the similar reason people think 24FPS looks better than 60 – because 60FPS movies are associated with camcorders and home video, while 24FPS is associated with professional cinema.

      • FatPope says:

        Been reading XKCD I take it?

        • Michael says:

          probably, since most non-digital camcorders and for that mater most non-HD TVs run at 30fps.

          • Simon Buchan says:

            North America and Japan use NTSC, which is 29.97 FPS (59.94 fields per second), most of the rest of the world is PAL, which is normally 25 FPS (some multisystem TV’s support PAL 60, which is of course 30 FPS). There is also 25 FPS SECAM, but that was invented by the French and the Russians, so only dirty pinko nations use that.

    • Sekundaari says:

      I noticed this in Operation Flashpoint the other day: You won’t get lens flare in 1st person, but you will get it in 3rd person view. So it sort of works out: Either you look trough your eyes, or a camera behind you.

  4. Dark says:

    What?!?! no Small Guns! madness!!

    Somewhat surprised you didn’t wait until level 4 for Comprehension. It doubles how many skill points you get from those books.

    What kind of weapons do you guys plan on using? Just whatever you pick up or are you going to get specific weapons? I’m a huge fan of the Shishkebab.

    • Sekundaari says:

      I’m not sure they knew you can still get the book later. Anyway, this one lost potential point of melee won’t hurt Reginald Cuftbert (sic).

  5. Galad says:

    Finally, I’ve been waiting for days for that! Despite the fact I found the first few scenes of fallout disgusting and never bothered with it..

  6. Rutskarn says:

    An explanation on the joke during the quiz:

    The ChHa TF2 servers have a tradition of pointless polls where the options are all similar/identical. Depending on who’s running it, the last option will usually be either “Rutskarn smells” or “Jibar sucks.”

  7. Errant_Polearm says:

    It’s clearly lever-action. Typical of BB guns and small-cartridge (.22 LR) rifles.

  8. Rayen says:

    so uhhh… did not expect melee thief never done it myself, i look foward to it. Also i like the new end music. oh and subtitles please? i know you said the sound was messed up but i can’t hear anyof the game stuff, and while i like your commentary i do like to hear the story you guys are following, otherwise you may laugh and it doesn’t make sense.

  9. Alan says:

    I don’t know whether it would help, but how about doing a small run, say 30 seconds of the game to see if the audio works, play it back, then try again with different settings?

    I don’t really know aht your setup is like, because if it takes 10 mins to set up a run of 30 seconds, might not be worth it, but if it only take a minute or two, could be worth having to type out the apology.

    Think of all the calories you will save with just those fewer keystokes.

  10. Abnaxis says:

    “I’ll be nice and let you keep the gun, Amata”

    Actually, if you let her keep it and stand outside the room they interrogate her in later instead of walking straight in, she’ll use the thing. Dunno if you ever took that path–I only did it once for and unarmed character because I didn’t need the gun, and thought it was a slightly interesting twist.

    Also, I also got a sense that the Vault is WAY bigger than you suggest. There are SO many doors you can’t go through, and most seem like they would lead to corridors, rather than individual rooms. Maybe not enough to sustain a survivable population for 200 years, but still much more than a few families’ worth of space.

    • eri says:

      The developers of both series of Fallout games have explained that yes, the vaults are much larger than what’s shown, and they’re limited both by gameplay demands and the sheer amount of work it would take to create such large spaces without just copying and pasting everything.

    • ps238principal says:

      There are also much more extensive vaults later on where your path criss-crosses over and under where you’ve been before, which makes navigating even with the help of the map difficult.

      You wouldn’t want them bigger.

  11. guy says:

    Important plot point: The vaults are actually self-sustaining except for producing delicate electronics like the water chips, which is why vault 13 was supposed to have 100 backup chips, but they got shipped to the wrong address.

    For instance, I’m pretty sure that all the weaponry in vault 13 was manufactured within the vault in an offscreen part.

    EDIT: favorite dialogue option in fallout2: HEY LLOYD! CATCH!

  12. YoSaffBridge says:

    @Rutskarn: Or occasionally “YoSaff smells of rotting cow”, if Onasuma’s in charge. Oh that trickster.

  13. Josh R says:

    23:29
    Why does a ten year old have a switchblade?

    Also – dammit now I want to play this again.

  14. Groboclown says:

    The part where you knock out Butch was where the game essentially broke for me. I went around and beat the snot out of everyone in the test, giving them concussions, including the test giver, and they just gave me mild language.

    Immediately afterwords, I went around killing anything that could be killed before I gave it a chance to talk.

  15. Cookie Of Nine says:

    IIRC you can get your childhood items (from the party) in one of the drawers in your room.

    I was going to mention the give Amata the gun scene, but Abnaxis beat me to it. It is a pretty awesome scene that most people would miss because they either a) took the gun, b) rushed in to help Amata, or c) didn’t care to stick around (often on later playthroughs). You guys should really do it since it is an uncommon, jerkish, and sneaky thing to do.

    As far as the stats/skills/perks go, although it is true that your raw combat ability, and most active skills are almost completely independent of your SPECIAL stats (aside from the skill points they provide) there are some important uses for them:

    – Combat on a console is much easier using VATS, which relys heavily on AP gained mostly from Agility.
    – Strength affects carry weight, which is a must for those who like to strip areas of all value.
    – Intelligence (as mentioned) gives skill points.
    – Charisma is very important for Lying. I had maxed out speech, but low CHA and had only a 30% chance to convince Amata I didn’t do something horrible. That made sense since I was lying through my teeth, but when I reloaded and popped some pills/booze and put on sexy clothes to increase CHA my chance went to 60-70% up despite my Speech stat not increasing (at least on the stats page, and certainly not by that much).

    One last question: are you guys going to use any mods and or DLC? I am a frequent reader of your site, and I remember your discussion on how some of the mods really improved the experience.

    • Abnaxis says:

      That’s a good point. I think you guys should use at least some of the mods Shamus brought up, if only for a single session so we can see them (the hunger thing sounded interesting).

      Also, I didn’t mention it before, but since cookie brought it up I’ll mention it here. The Amata thing happens outside of dialog (you watch it through a window) and would therefore benefit from turning on subtitles, if you decide to do it. Hopefully you haven’t recorded past that point already…

      And speaking of stat-dependancy, Melee benefits greatly from increased strength early in the game when the weapons don’t do that much damage on their own (at the end when you can twink Shishkebab with pyromaniac for 36 damage, the extra 2 or 3 from strength matters little).

    • Michael says:

      Not to nitpick, but, changing your stats can easily raise skills over 100. The GUI will show this by adding a (+) next to the skill, but since it does the same thing when giving skills under 100 a boost, its kind of hard to see. I forget how I fact checked it, but that was probably what happened here, your skill was temporarily around 110.

  16. RTBones says:

    Now I want to play this game again. Great. Thanks very much for that.

    Second, I will add the third/fourth/eleventy billionth call for subtitles. I enjoy your dialog, but also would like to keep up with the game. Oddly enough, sound levels as they are don’t bother me too much, though Rutskarn could either turn up his mic or (assuming he is using a headset) just move it closer to his mouth.

    I was going to say, “Hey, you forgot small guns!” Then I realized you are playing a melee character. Though, what skill is required to beat the daylights out of baddies with the gun hilt? Things that make you say “Hmmmm….”

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Aw,you shouldve picked female because of the black widow perk.Plus its so great when butch attacks you and gets scolded for hitting a girl.

  18. eri says:

    You know… after watching this, I can’t believe how ridiculously stupid this game is. What a fucking joke. Idiotic AI, horrible animation, bad writing, awful voice-acting, broken game systems, lack of gameplay options… ugh. It just barely makes up for some of it in terms of sheer size and attention to detail in the environments, but man is just a sloppy mess. To think that this half-baked insult of a game garnered such high scores and so many awards…

    The sad part is that Bethesda’s games always have so much potential, but are often let down by stupid design decisions. Morrowind has a huge and interesting world, but it’s full of generic and expendable NPCs. Oblivion is even worse; add all those flaws in Fallout 3 to a repetitive and mostly featureless fantasy world, combined with awful level scaling and a downright bad storyline (not to mention the cringe-worthy end sequence), and it’s amazing not only that their games are played by so many, and so well-received, but that they are even able to maintain a hold over me. There’s just something about the freedom, I think… I’m not sure if it’s a testament to the quality some aspects of their development, or just some sort of weird fluke.

    • TSED says:

      I loved Morrowind so hard. It made a Bethesda fan out of me.

      Then I got Oblivion.

      Oblivion was such a bad game it retroactively ruined Morrowind by making me realise all that was wrong with Morrowind.

      Now, I can say: I am not a Bethesda fan.

    • GoodApprentice says:

      I’ve often pondered over this as well. Bethesda’s games are so open that they have to sacrifice some of the polish and illusion that linear, cell-dependent games can utilize. Path finding issues for NPCs aren’t noticeable in other games where the people stand stock-still in the same spot indefinitely (Mass Effect, I’m looking at you). The inhabitants in Bethesda games walk around according to a schedule, react dynamically to their environment, and acknowledge each other with simple dialogue. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes it gets extremely repetitive, but I applaud the effort.

      I also like the immersive way you can interact with the world in Bethesda’s games. Who hasn’t created a home somewhere in the wasteland and filled it with various cool things scavenged in their travels? I have unique “homes” in the worlds of Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout3. I can’t say the same for other games where items only exist on the inventory screen.

      There are so many variables at work in these games that it’s a miracle they can function at all through the endless bug possibilities that are inherent with their design. It’s Bethesda’s pursuit of interactive openess that draws players in, but it also allows them to notice the various flaws in their gaming worlds.

      • Sekundaari says:

        I second this. The huge, open sandbox often creates issues, such as a less intense main quest, generic NPC:s with the same voices all over (or little voice acting) and lots of bugs. Yet I enjoy playing Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3.

        Mods of course are a big part of the enjoyment, like unofficial patches. These attempt to fix as many bugs as can be found, from broken quests to that mushroom floating 2cm over the ground. I don’t think Bethesda could ever have enough testers to find all these bugs, and it wouldn’t really be fair to take these fixes and call them official.

    • Viktor says:

      If it weren’t for the fact that I love these games, I’d hate them. But there is no one out there that does sandbox like Bethesda, so I put up with the glitches and the voice-acting and the animation and the exploits, because the games are just that good.

      • krellen says:

        Are they? Are they really?

        Given that Bethesda basically has no competition for the “ridiculously sandbox” genre, can you really say the games are good, or are they simply the only option?

        I prefer my ridiculous sandboxes to be administered by actual intelligences, personally.

        • Michael says:

          Well… there’s rockstar’s GTA titles, and the Saints Row series. I vaguely remember a sandbox set of maps for Operation Flashpoint, but it’s been years since I played them.

          • Sekundaari says:

            The three major maps in vanilla Flashpoint are very large and sandboxy (for infantry at least). The mission maker can narrow them down if he wants, but any planes sort of require most of an island. I don’t know whether you’re referring to some specific mod.

            EDIT to add: There are other options (great ones), but I still like playing Bethesda’s games. I say they really are good, whatever that means.

            • Michael says:

              Yeah, I was. They were basically just big, go wherever, do whatever you want scenarios, that were heavily populated with squads of Soviet forces, and a lot of abandoned vehicles.

              • Sekundaari says:

                I don’t recognize them, but I never played many unofficial missions. Most similar I can find, though I didn’t really try it, is Abandoned Armies. A single whole-island mission. But that one has two opponents, not just the Soviets, and it has a goal of some sort.

        • Avilan says:

          Yes, they are that good. Or rather, FO3 and Morrowind are. Oblivion’s botchered level system made it “quite bad”.

    • Tizzy says:

      To paraphrase Canada Bill:
      — Why are you playing this game? Don’t you know it’s crooked?
      — I know, but it’s the only game in town!

      I have not played Fallout 3, and by now I doubt I ever will, but I can relate to the feeling. When you really like games with RPG elements (and by this I mean an interactive world and dialogue trees, NOT xp and leveling), you will be willing to put up with much indignity given the paucity of the current offering. Not everyone wants to replay the old classics over and over again.

      I mean: poor AI? really dumb plot? Annoying arbitrary missions that rewrote the rules? Extremely poor balance? I’ve played a lot of such games to the hilt just because they gave the occasional nugget of conversation and non-combat resolution (vtm: bloodlines anyone?)

    • Farecoal says:

      You, know I never thought the plot was bad at all. In fact, I love this game to death. Same with Oblivion, though I never played Morrowind. Also, if you’re wondering why Fallout/Oblivion got such good reviews, its because there is a little thing called OPINION. Just because you like/don’t like something doesn’t mean other people are wrong. It is subjective opinion. Learn that.

  19. Dodds says:

    Glad to see this return =).

    Heh, seems I’ve been ninja’d on both Amata using the Gun, and the fact you can obtain the Skill Book when you’re making your escape.

    If I’m remembering right, you don’t need to make explosives a tagged skill to defuse/arm the bomb, if you have 5 Perception (I think) then taking Mentats bumps it up to 10, giving you the exact amount of explosives skill to defuse/arm. By wearing certain clothes you can also bump your repair up high enough to fix the pipes in Megaton. And I just realised that I played this game way too much…

    If, sorry, When you blow up the bomb, try doing it at night. Makes it much prettier =D

  20. Blake says:

    Another call for subtitles.
    Remember luck gives small bonuses to everything, int gives you all the stat points you need, charisma gives you some nice options but if you’re stealing everything anyway probably not an issue.

  21. Zaghadka says:

    All I can ask is when you do pile on Fallout 3, please try to do so with some humor, or it’s just going to be beating a dead horse.

    Kangaroo boy was hilarious, for example.

  22. Ramsus says:

    I too thought the jumping baby thing was incredibly weird. I think at one point I’d even managed to jump up onto your crib fence and I was thinking to myself “Ok I could see if this kid could climb it but jumping his height straight up?”

    I must say I agreed with the comment about the test being the best part of the intro. I always love those kinds of things and the fact that it’s obviously a sham and the answers being ridiculous was pretty amusing.

    I was amused by Rutskarn’s comment about Arcanum. I felt the exact same way I played it the first time but learned to love it because what it represents is the fact that in Arcanum it takes a lot longer to have every skill/ability/stat you want at the levels you want them than it does in other games and really ends up giving you the feeling that you’re actually improving even at higher levels as opposed to just becoming slightly more pointlessly overpowered.

    I know most people tend to play this game as more shooter, less vats combat but I always loved to use vats just because of things like what happened with the bat there. I just love the cinematic deaths, especially when they happen in the middle of a crazy run & gun firefight.

  23. BarGamer says:

    Melee is quite possibly, the worst way to kill things in this game. I went with a Sniper build, and pretty much cake-walked through the whole game. With VATS, it’s EZ-mode. I never even had to READ the strategy guide I bought, except to find that last Bobble-head or whatever.

  24. Master Jedi says:

    VATS is one of my favorite parts of the game. You would expect that watching a raider disintegrate into ash, or a bullet in slow motion hit him in the head would get old. It doesn’t, at least not for me. Also, I managed to shoot a grenade out of the air once.

    • ehlijen says:

      To each his own. For me, the slowmo super blood show got old halfway through the first time.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I enjoyed VATS to a great degree as well, more with my melee character than my sniper, actually. I was a much better rifle aimer without it, but it helps a lot when time slows down as you’re standing in the middle of five super mutants with miniguns…

      Never understood why you can’t aim at a specific part with melee, however. But even that wasn’t so bad–most of the time you just swing at the head by default.

  25. Kdansky says:

    What’s with the “Randy left the show due to unexplained reasons” crap? You’ve written it at least twice, you’ve said it at least once, Rutskarn posted it on his blog and I am sure I missed some. Either you guys tell us, or you just do not talk about it, but this is really annoying. I’m not sure if it is supposed to be a joke, a preparation for a joke or just snide remarks (which he does not deserve, he brought most of the funny in ME). Either way, why not leave it at “Randy has left the show. Period.”

    • Viktor says:

      ‘Unexplained reasons’ is a bit annoying. Just him leaving the show would be fine, or you guys could make jokes out of it, but the unexplained reasons thing just piques my curiosity(and I didn’t even watch season 1), making it a topic.

    • Randy Johnson says:

      The joke is that we were leading a rockstar life of fame and fortune and got caught up in it, and my drug and hotel vandalism got in the way of their womanizing and greed. I appreciate you getting defensive on my part, but I promise you nothing bad happen, as a matter of fact, I am usually in vent watching them play Fallout 3 together. The reason I am not in this season is that I didn’t enjoy Fallout 3, and only played a few hours of it, so I wouldn’t really enjoy this one and didn’t want to have the obligation to show up to recordings just so I could say nothing.

      • Volatar says:

        Thank you for explaining it.

      • FFJosh says:

        Also, this episode was recorded three days after the last Mass Effect episode went up. At the time, the matter of Randy’s departure hadn’t really been touched on by any of us, and his “Best of Spoiler Warning” video hadn’t been posted yet.

      • Kdansky says:

        Thanks. Will we see more of Bad Company? That commentary was splendid!

        • Randy Johnson says:

          The game’s cut scene amount and story quality quickly drop at this point, and starts being an actual game. I have, however, been batting around a couple of ideas for one off episodes of various games that we couldn’t do a full season on due to lack of story, but have a short interesting part.

    • Rutskarn says:

      As for me, I genuinely didn’t know–I hadn’t asked. The joke I used was that the details couldn’t be disclosed because they were part of a court case against Randy, and media pressure might color the testimony one way or the other.

  26. Simply Simon says:

    I found a pretty neat exploit in this game when I played it. If you try to steal something in a shop whilst the shopkeeper sees you, he/she will take whatever you’ve stolen back. However, you can carry stuff without anyone taking notice.
    1. Put all displayed goods in an unseen corner.
    2. Steal everything
    3. Profit.

  27. Valaqil says:

    I min-maxed Charisma (CHA 1) to grab a strong build on my most recent playthrough. It removes many of the nice “extra pay” or “shortcut” methods for quests (unless you want to save/reload endlessly), but it’s not that bad if you don’t care. I went evil on that character and the “kill everything” mentality meshed very well.

    I’m not sure if you’ve recorded the second session yet, but here’s a hint for you when you get to the change-everything door. You should be able to easily reach 25 explosives for the bomb quest with Mentats. Swap the tag for lockpick if you’d like, and Mentats + MAYBE a point or two in Explosives on a level-up, and you’re good.

    All in all a good episode.

    • Abnaxis says:

      Hey, I just realised–this whole time I keep thinking “well, yeah, they could have done that, but they already generated the character, and I don’t want to sit through that again…”

      Silly me, I forgot about the respec at the end of the intro. I will therefore add my voice to the chorus asking you to drop Explosives as a tag skill and add something actually useful, like lockpick or something, and use Mentats if you want to blow up Megaton.

  28. Jon Ericson says:

    I’ve got no desire to actually play Fallout 3 as it will fail to live up to the standards of the first two of the series. So I’m looking forward to watching this season as opposed to last season, which focused on a game I’d prefer not to be completely spoiled. Pretty impressive that the wheels are coming off so soon in the game. It’s a clever idea to make “growing up” the mechanism for setting your character, but it failed in execution since the whole vault ecosystem seems so paper thin. The vaults in the original Fallouts seemed far more alive. (Even the abandoned ones, if that’s possible.)

    On a meta-topic: is there some way to reduce the awkward pauses caused by everyone saying something at the same time and then everyone waiting for someone else to talk? Between the three of you and actually wanting to take in some of the game dialog, it gets to be too much. Maybe if the guy playing the game didn’t talk it would help. Nothing wrong with that guy, whose name I can’t be bothered to look up, but he’s got to concentrate on the game and it kinda screws up the MST3000 aspect of the commentary to have the player comment on his own actions. Just a thought.

  29. […] Spoiler Warning – Season 2 – Episode 1 […]

  30. Adam says:

    Fun fact: I was replaying this recently with the special-needs guy I work with (he can’t do much of anything because he’s medically fragile, so making signals to tell me what to do in video games is just about the only interpersonal contact he has) and I got about as far as the test itself. I restarted over half a dozen times, but some scripting error kept the test from ever starting. It’s a pity, because determining his character sheet in the framework of a short, multiple-choice test would have been easy for him to grasp and quantify. Instead I had to get around it by manually triggering the tagged skills menu before the test started. At least I gave him the chance to punch out all the tunnel snakes. You can do what Josh did to all three of them. The blood decals started overlapping!

  31. Kel'Thuzad says:

    I know this is quite far after the original was recorded but I like to watch the archived versions of this season as I think it’s the funniest. However, Viddler’s giving me some stuff about a free trial being expired? Is there another way to watch the episodes?

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  1. By Spoiler Warning, Fallout 3 « Delphia.co.uk on August 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    […] Spoiler Warning – Season 2 – Episode 1 […]

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