The Ramblin' Man
There’s an episode of MST3K that features about ten thousand hours of rock climbing and nine seconds of stop-motion dinosaurs. You could tell it was almost an endurance test for the crew, and as the episode went on they would just say “rock climbing” to describe how they were feeling. Among my gaming group we adopted this for times when something – a story, movie, game, vegetable platter, etc – would go on for far too long and become a test of will. (We also say, “From the people who brought you that last stuff, it’s… more of the same!”. But only on special occasions because it’s so verbose.)
I wanted to say “rock climbing” all during this episode. (I didn’t, because it would have been a meaningless non-sequitur.) But still, this is starting to feel like rock climbing. The nonsense plot. Our endless bitching. The relentless brownness. The glitches. Railroading. If it’s of any comfort, we’ll have nicer things to say about the next game.
And now, part one of the Broken Steel DLC:
Hello, person from the future. This space used to have an embed from the video hosting site Viddler. The video is gone now. If you want to find out why and laugh at Viddler in the process, you can read the entire silly story for yourself.
At any rate, the video is gone. Sorry. On the upside, we're gradually re-posting these old videos to YouTube. Check the Spoiler Warning page to see the full index.
The Ramblin' Man
MMO Population Problems
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Revisiting a Dead Engine
I wanted to take the file format of a late 90s shooter and read it in modern-day Unity. This is the result.
A programming project where I set out to make a gigantic and complex world from simple data.
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One of the highest-rated games of all time has some of the least interesting gameplay.
The Best of 2018
I called 2018 "The Year of Good News". Here is a list of the games I thought were interesting or worth talking about that year.
81 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning 2×24: Let the Good Times Roll”
The one excuse I’ll give for Broken Steel and why you wake up two weeks later regardless of how you ended the main quest:
The Enclave installed the Geck into it….and we’ve seen what happens when you turn a GECK on. So maybe some subdued version of that explosion/pulse thingy is what happened and why you got knocked out, not just radiation like what killed your dad.
It’s not a GREAT explanation…and it was still horribly crude writing and railroading…but there is a shred of internal logic to it if you REALLY dig.
Don’t knock the two weeks! If I just managed to stumble my way through Fallout 3’s main plot, I’d want to sleep for two weeks too.
It’s not like you’re going to get time off any other way.
It would have been nice if Bethesda would’ve thought about that. It would’ve given an excuse for Fawkes and Charon to either refuse or die in there as well.
The thing about that two weeks is: it doesn’t happen. They show a banner that says ‘TWO WEEKS LATER’, but I think it’s still the same day. Anyway, I got water from my robot in my house in Megaton during the ‘epic final battle for the purifier’ and he was still dry when I got back ‘TWO WEEKS LATER’.
I am amazed. I, too, have been saying “rock climbing” to describe interminable repetition for years and years (since the original air date of that MST3K, no less). I wonder how many other people share this obscure reference?
My gaming group used “So there I was, lungs bursting for air when I finally made it to the undersea grotto…” or more commonly just “So there I was lungs bursting for air” when it seemed like things were taking way too long.
Homage to the MST3K where one of the movie characters kept trying to tell his tory, but everytime he got that part he’d get interrupted by exciting things happening. We were trying to enitce exciting things to break up the side storytelling…
I always used the Dexter’s Laboratory RPG episode: “and you’re walking… and you’re walking… and you’re walking… and… a dragon comes out.”
My family does it as well, to this day.
I think we need a companion series to “Shamus Plays…” called “Josh Breaks…” Just see how far off the rails Josh can take any given game.
In that case I like to see Spoiler Warning tackle one of the Fable games next time. Let’s see if Josh can break free of those titanium rails.
There is prophecy, nay, legend, nay, mere children’s tales of a great hero who could one day wield the mighty avatar and break the mithril rails of Fable!
My wife and I have a similar thing that came from the 3rd(?) LoTR book. While some characters are off having amazing adventures – fighting orcs, leading armies, riding trees, throwing down sorcerers – there’s this whole other boring story where 3 characters walk through a swamp FOREVER. So when something in a plot drags one of us will turn to the other and say in a plodding, sing-song voice “Walking through the swamp.”
Your rock climbing really starts to shine in this episode: Josh goes into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Brotherhood. Twice.
We need more of those!
While we’re doing movie references: “Did you kill the Mysterious Stranger?” was strongly reminiscent of “Great! You just killed the Invisible Swordsman!” from Three Amigos. Then I realized — with the Chinese Stealth Armor and Shishkebob — you are the Invisible Swordsman!
(Me and my friend also do the “rock climbing” thing.)
It’s interesting to note that it seems NO ONE can fight while swimming… not even the mirelurks
Oddly DEEP HURTING is what stuck with me all these years…
I wonder how many times Josh went berserk and broke the game. Five, so far?
The whole “lets fight the Enclave” thing, which was questionable to begin with, really starts to feel like attemtpted genocide at this point.
The plot in this DLC is so needlessly shoehorned in its not even funny anymore. I like how the Enclave completely looses any pretense of being an organised power and just turns into “Dark hordes of chaos”. Seriously, they dont even have any leadership, they probably dont even want to fight anymore but the Brotherhood forces them to defend themselves. Think about it. They have the ability to destroy Pentagon and practically dissolve BoS at this point, but they only use it when an iron giant shows up at their doorstep, as a last resort. And I hate the “final choice”, they somehow managed to make it even more contrived than the first time! Its like they heard that all the cool RPGs have a final choice these days, and decided to add one to their own, but completely missed the point.
I have to agree, wholeheartedly. Y’know, I’ll buy that the Enclave is still around. Rutskarn asks, at one point in the video, if they’re flying in after the base and purifier were emptied of Enclave soldiers. Well, this outpost (the one in this video) and the mobile crawler/base (Jawas, anyone?) aren’t too far-fetched to me. I’ll believe that they have other reserves, esp. after finding scattered outposts around the wasteland.
But they have an orbital strike and they use it on Liberty Prime _now_? Why not earlier, when he and the “best” strike force of the BoS are in one tight group on a bridge? Or when the giant mecha of death was sitting inactive in the base? And the choice at the end? A giant “Ditto” there. We’re supposed to believe they wouldn’t have made that choice before we got there? There’s a lot I’ll forgive, but this is beyond explanation.
EDIT: The eradication I can take or leave, I’m specifically replying to, and agreeing with, the bit about the choice.
What troubles me is that the Enclave seemingly has no direction. You dont get to see a SINGLE enemy commander in the Adams Airbase (or anywhere else for that matter), there is noone in charge! How is that possible? You come across rows upon rows of enemy soldiers, seemingly without any direction or purpose, and kill them all. Who the hell gave the order to launch an orbital strike on Liberty Prime? You never get to see that man and you never find out what the Enclave was even trying to accomplish in this pointless conflict. All pretense of motivation is abandoned, they might as well be Ghouls or Supermutants at this point.
It could be the officers. I mean, aside from the fact that no one is above the rank of Colonel, you certainly do gun through a lot of nameless officers. Which would make the guys in powered armor enlisted, I guess.
There’s also the alpha squad on the crawler, but I think they’re supposed to be a counterpart to The Pride rather than the leadership.
The game should provide at least some sort of a hint about who the hell is behind everything, If they were so cheap they couldnt be bothered to add some dialogue, they could have at least left a bunch of logs and notes and other text exposition.
I saw the Alpha squad as a shout out to sergeant Granite’s squad in FO2.
Good catch on the Alpha Squad bit, it’s been seven years since I did a full play through of FO2, so I didn’t remember them.
Still, I have the depressing suspicion that Bethesda didn’t even consider who might be running the Enclave operations now that you’ve (potentially) killed off Col. Autumn because they assumed you’d Captain Kirk your way past him.
Do you seriously think a guy who can shrug off a dose of radiation so intense it kills your father, Sarah and nearly you would go down with a single plasma grenade? As soon as the purifier was activated and you went down, he got up, kicked you in the balls for ruining his awesome uniform and left laughing.
When I was playing FO3 I got the Pitt and the OA and that was all I think was available at the time. I didn’t really feel like replaying the whole thing for the other DLC, or generally even reinstalling it (I’m that kind of player, not that much into replaying stuff) so I didn’t bother with it for quite a while. Then I actually decided to try it due to this series and Broken Still was a great disappointment.
See, I HEARD people saying how BS adds “a real ending to the game” and all that hype, but the truth is, it doesn’t. I couldn’t name it at the time but I think the entire simplistic stupidity of the moral system was really getting to me and I was hoping that “the real ending” would either do what the original Fallouts did, give me the nice feeling of being able to revel in the shades of grey (with the “obviously good” choice not necessarily being the best choice in the longer run, as was seen in the ending of FO1) or, if that wasn’t coming, give me the heroic sense of purpose. It did neither.
BS felt way too much as if someone decided “ok, we have this really cool enemy faction (the Enclave) who are the main villains and all… but you didn’t really bother them nearly enough! You fought raiders and super mutants through like 90% of the game but then the Enclave only on three occasions (escaping from Project Purity, Raven’s Rock, back to Project Purity) so here’s more of that”. The entire orbital station thing is almost as big a plothole as the PP and, though I may be falling into a trap that “that’s what I expect from the game” I didn’t even get a sense of purpose without some enemy defined in person. As ridiculous as it may sound at first if I were to consider BS an ending I’d say it’s actually worse than the original since it doesn’t give you any form of closure. Sure, the original ending might have been more absurd but this one doesn’t feel like an ending at all.
At least they didn’t force the entire “sacrifice” theme on the us again and didn’t go with something like “oh, you have to bomb this platform but there’s not time to get away so you’ll die!”
Pretty much. The ending is good in a sense that it lets you keep playing and raises the level cap, it cant make the eponymous monkeys suddenly evolve into decent writers. The “ending” ending is arguably even more nonsensical than the original.
I won’t speak for everyone, but I think BS is more lauded for _letting_ you continue than what continuing actually means. Too many people were blindsided by the end and not being able to “finish” the game. As a result, anything that fixes the automatic “game over” is going to receive some praise. If you liked FO3 (I did), and wanted more of the same, BS isn’t too bad. Its story falls apart when you think about it, but I was able to enjoy it for what it was.
Ironically, we say itÂ´s a “good” ending because it is not an ending.
The plot sucks, of course. No once can deny that.
It’s almost as if you’re demonstrating why a man portable nuke launcher was a bad idea.
On the contrary, Cuftbert’s really the only one crazy enough to use a portable nuke launcher, and he has killed a LOT of people, some of whom didn’t deserve it. If anything that makes it a good idea on the part of the manufacturers – mass-murdering psychotic commandos take care of themselves.
There are (or should be) others who wield it. Usually near Behemoths, according to the Vault. Which is kind of annoying, because most of the I would prefer to act as if the weapon didn’t exist.
…most the the time I would prefer…
The Power Armor wearing soldiers in Operation Anchorage use Fat Men to blow open the door to the chinese compound near the end.
Which actually makes some sense; they’re safe and sound inside their power armor which will handily protect them from most shrapnel and radiation. Someone who is not wearing Power Armor using a Fat Man is indeed incredibly stupid.
Considering that the Fat Man looks like something built out of scrap metal, that doesn’t exactly sound good to me.
The reason why I like to ignore the weapon however isn’t related to how dangerous it is, but how dangerous it would be in the real world. You can’t just make a mini nuclear explosion like that. I’m pretty sure the same destructive effect that the Fat Man makes in the game could be achieved with more traditional explosives, which would make it more palatable.
I don’t even care if it fits Fallout’s world, because it just feels too unrealistic while not being all that cool.
Actually, M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon System, which apparently was an inspiration for the Fat Man idea, was basically a mortar that could fire 23kg mini nukes. It wasnt quite as portable as the Fat Man, it was supposed to be carried in a truck and used by a crew of 3, but otherwise it was the smallest nuclear weapon imaginable.
The idea was to deploy these in Europe along the border of the Soviet sphere of influence to repel a possible invasion by ground forces, presumably covering the whole border with radioactive fallout, preventing any enemy personnel to get through. Sure it was insane, but keep in mind that this was the Cold War era, Im pretty sure both sides were seriously considering giant mechaspiers at this point (see also: Dr. Strangelove).
Didn’t remember to check back here before, so:
The Mad Scientist stuff from the cold war never ceases to amaze me. While that doesn’t really go near the deep end, it’s still surprising. Mainly, I guess, because I didn’t know you could go that small before going under critical mass.
But isn’t the explosion still well past the Fat Man’s?
Regardless, I used “feels too unrealistic” for two reasons. One, I didn’t how it would actually work and scientists keep surprising me. Two, if something feels wrong in a game, it’s not good design. And Fat man still feels bad. The “made of scrap”-look doesn’t help.
As funny as a concept of a “nuke slingshot” is, it shouldn’t look like one since it’s supposed to have been designed/used by the military. Although, pretty much everything by the pre-war military seems to be just cobbled together in Fallout 3.
So, this is also directed to Sumanai, but somehow I am not able to reply to his post, because we would reach some singularity of tunnel-posting, I guess? Anyway, so I really thought the Fatman was a good idea and I liked it, in Vanilla Fallout. But why did they have to use it in OA? I mean, it wasn’t necessary. Just use a bomb like the ones you used all the time to blow up stuff, why not? Just so that some Powerarmor-Guy looked more awesome because he got a Fatman? The Fatman would have worked for me, IF they never ever would have mentioned it was made by the military. I’s the same with Psycho, being invented by the pre-war military. Why? Why? This just wasn’t necessary.
Well, congrats Josh, you made me laugh so much when you killed yourself that I choked on Yogurt.
On the subject of the orbital strike attack; I think that the perspective that they were coming from was that they can only use it from that base, but that still doesn’t answer why no one even tried to use it before. At the very least have colonel Autumn say something like “TARGET IT HERE! THEY HAVE A FRIGGING GIANT ROBOT”
My favourite Prime quote: “Democracy is non-negotiable!” Brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.
I like “The last domino falls here!” a lot.
That’s flat out my favorite as well, though, I’ve always kinda wondered how many players actually get the domino theory reference.
Huh. I’d never heard of that.
The More You Know!
Well, they did find the Bethesda art team slumped at their desks drooling and mumbling “Rocks…rocks…rocks…rocksssssss…”
Wait,you are saying that they couldve planned in advance?The guys that made little lamplight,through witch everyone can pass once you open it,couldve thought of something sensible in advance?Not to mention all the other plot holes that are spurting like mushrooms throughout the game.
That begining of the show reminded me of the highlander,the scene of the duel,when macleod keeps returning after being stabbed over and over again.
You know,this starts to remind me of idiocracy,with enclave being joe baures,and everyone else being idiots.Only the enclave is even dumber than joe was in that movie.
I would like to know if josh has a blog or website as i now follow both yours and Rutskarns?
in agreement to rutskarns comments at 20:30 (or so); you are achilles, they don’t control you. they unleash you.
Since Shamus is complaining (with cause) about how playing through broken steel is a grind, I feel I should let the guys know that at the end there is something that makes it all worthwhile. Well, it should make you smile at least.
At the end of the final broken steel mission you can call down an orbital nuke strike on the BoS Citadel, thereby destroying it.
Without spoiling anything…we’ve already finished the game, and gotten to this part. You’ll all see how things go down.
Awesome. Now *serious face*, How.Many.More.Episodes.Of.Fallout?
Also, can’t wait for the next game, and something that is not in 16 thousand tones of brown.
Also, after all this, you guys killed my desire to play through F3 one more time. Still, that’s a negative for the game, not you guys – you’re awesome.
Probably 2-3 more, if I have the DLC times correctly. Point Lookout is probably the best DLC though, and would be a decent test for Josh’s crit stacking. I almost want to here this line being uttered by josh as a cut takes place. “Screw this, I’m on a boat.”
Are you saying that one is the best DLC…in what sense? Because it certainly canÂ´t be because of the brain surgery or the NPCs hunting rifles plus 35 that vanish when they die.
Yeah, those are normal hunting rifles, it’s just the NPCs have a perk that gives them ~+10 damage with them, IIRC.
It’s not a perk; a number of enemies added in the various DLC’s have special abilities that cause them to do extra unblockable damage to the player.
The worst offenders are the Super Mutant Masters, who get, +30 i think, unblockable damage against the player if they’re using Tri-Beam Laser Rifles.
The thing is, they get that extra damage per beam, so if a Super Mutant Master gets you at close-range with one of those rifles, you will die in 2 – 3 hits, no exceptions.
The Tri-beams are the overloards, not the masters. Sorry, I could swear the way the game implemented that was through a perk, but you’re probably right, it’s probably just an actor effect. The Swamp Folk and the hostile Tribals are also egregious offenders in this regard.
ItÂ´s not an special ability on the NPC per se. Their version of the weapons have an effect that makes each shot deal a fixed damage that ignores armor. Then when you loot them, a script destroys it and replaces it with the common, everyday version you get everywhere else.
I modded those effects (and some over-HP stupidity) out of existance. out of sheer rage.
The hallucination scene alone was quite awesome, imo. And the downed aeroplane and the radiolog that accompanied it was cool. And the atmosphere was neat, very southern-like.
Still, it is just too long for these series, after allllll the F3 already.
Aaaand does it change anything? Does it give you the feeling that you’ve joined with the other team? Nope. I’m not 100% sure but I think if you encounter any Enclave they’re still hostile (which does kind of make sense considering you pretty much had to slaughter your way through half of their leftover forces to get to the console and then can only only choose that option cause you’re crazy).
Also, still can’t work stupid spoiler tags.
Let me try
and see if I canmake the tags work.
The [s]-tag doesn’t seem to work, but the [strike] does. For some reason the [s] disappears after posting (or editing).
This was floating in my mind for some time,but Its just surfaced now:why didnt they make liberty prime into a driveable mech?That way you wouldnt be following this giant killing machine,youd be piloting it,and that wouldve been even more awesome.Is there any game that has a mission where you are driving a tank or a giant mech that isnt fun?I know I love those sections,even in the games I dont like.
My guess is that the engine doesnÂ´t support that kind of stuff. Also, Libery Prime is another Author Darling, in a way. He kill-steals all the soldiers up to the purifier, and then saves you from the orbital attack by screaming “evacute the area!” (or whatever he says). Because Fallout 3 is a deep game, man! About sacrifice, man!
And it has power armor. So itÂ´s totally Fallout too!
The engine does support this… baddly.
Well… on second thought, look at the horses in Oblivion.
I would rather not. Those eyes freak me out.
Weynon Priory Horse knows your sins!
Have you played Oblivion? From what I remember, the eyes were less “I know what you have on your harddrive” and more “zombie horse from Evil Dead”.
I’ve burned a lot of time in it, and yeah in the, zombie vs. I know what you did last week in the bathroom, they’re more zombies, but so’s everyone else in Oblivion.
Also, it would have needed new programming. Those guys at Bethesda are super lazy.
ALRIGHT! SHOOTING THINGS TO MAKE THEM DEAD!
i love that.
also, best big weapon in the game coming up.
and a destructive decision to rival megaton???!!!!
*scratches vague beardings*
iunno, seems cool to me.
Series is fairly enjoyable, but it feels too long. with each episode clocking anywhere from 35-nearly an hour, it’s just too much fallout 3, considering the game itself.
Maybe I’m in the minority but I struggle to watch these videos in their entirety at this point, but this is just my feedback so far.
Honestly, I’m not sick of Spoiler Warning. I’m sick of Spoiler Warning Season 2: Still Brown And Grey And With Generic Guns.
Same here. The videos and their length and the hosts are quite good, the game is at fault here.
Ah broken steel, let the ret-cons begin.
Or rather continue.
Shamus, if i may make a suggestion for future Spoiler Warnings, because i’m sure you guys have the next one picked(what with pretty much saying it and all)
Anything that features as-little brown as possible. Other than that, i don’t care. You guys have put me off finishing some of the DLC i have for F3. But it’s okay, because i love you, Reginald. haha
Hello again. Just making my way through the second season after letting a long backlog build up, and I came to #14 where the post discusses what game to do next. And I’ve been thinking… Why not System Shock 2?
I know Shamus’ll have a lot to say about it, it’ll be interesting to see it played in a different way (I typically stick to conventional weapons and hacking–never seen it done with, say, psionic abilities) plus it’s reasonably sized, well-written and with an interesting (and internally consistent) setting.
Sorry if this has already been nominated/the decision has already been made–you guys make a lot of comments and, quite bluntly, I’m too lazy to search through all of them. But it’d be interesting to see everyone’s perspective on SS2 after all these years.
Anyway, whatever game you go with next, I’m sure it’ll be entertaining. Great series, hope you keep it up.
I have one question on this subject, has anyone gotten SS2 running on a modern OS?
I have it on XP and its working fine, cutscenes dont play but there is like four of them in the whole game. I think I installed some compatibility patches though.
I think you need to install some codecs, but I might be thinking of some other game. Or copy the files off the disc to a folder in the SS2 directory.
When I last played a few years ago I got it running on my XP system with no problem. The only issue was if it was a dual-core machine and in which case you need to set it to run on only one core (not a big deal but I would forget every once in a while sicne you run the game and then change priority before you actaully start playing).
There was a few years back a very good web site that walks you through getting the game to work so I imagine it’s still up (just google System Shock 2 and windows XP)
I’ve got (or rather had, before I reformatted my hard drive) it running fine on Vista. Had to install codecs as others said, and the cutscenes ddn’t work, plus I had to go into task manager and tell it to run with only one processor. Once those issues were sorted out, it ran perfectly.
I recently purchased the volume of MST3K which has “Rock Climbing”…was REALLY painful, even with all the funny riffs
Mostly it’s only my brother and myself who use references like this to describe the indescribable
Our other MST3K omni-reference quotes:
“Rail Death !!” – Ep. Space Mutiny
“Your weapons have no effect on me !!” – Ep. Prince of Space
“So, there was no monster !?!” – Ep. Monster A-Go-Go
And the best for last
“…Hobgoblins…” – Ep. Hobgoblins
In fact my brother and I have so many random references collected over the years, one could consider it a separate language
You could sit right next to us and never understand a word said
Don’t you mean “Railing Kill?”
Gah ! A mistake !!
I may have to turn in my Nerd Membership :)
That aside, I think you’re right…I’ll just have to watch it over again
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