Part 3: I Award You One Darwin AwardI Award You One Darwin Award
Last time on ATOM RPG, we detected a cunning bandit infiltrator by...wandering around the village and randomly asking people if they liked bandits. Today we're turning the idiot in for fat stacks of cash.
It was mentioned in the thread but there is a local news channel on the TV in Kovalev's house.
Ok, it's lying right now (there's still radiation everywhere) but just wait, it gets downright offensive.
Kovalev gets his description dumped on you every time, so I'm gonna skip ahead. I apologize for the small text, but as far as I can tell, scaling the UI doesn't actually scale the font so we're stuck with what we've got.
: Indeed, I found your snitch. It's Grishka, the young guy hanging around the village.
Now, you might be shaking your head like "we never learned the guy's name! What is Bear talking about?" Indeed, ATOM RPG does this a lot. The knight stuff we tried to get money out of Katya is a reference to dialog where we try hitting on her. Whatever. On with the quest.
: [Kovalev slaps his forehead, shocked. He looks angry but also sheepish, like he just did something stupid.]
You see it's funny because he did a dumb, durrr.
: What now?
You might think we'd have some elaborate plan to feed false info to the bandits, leading them into an elaborate trap. You'd be wrong. In fact, killing the bandits gets Otradnoye the bad ending. Just wait for next update.
: [Comrade Kovalev strokes his chin, probably pondering his next step. You calmly await his reply. Finally, having reached a decision, the Head claps his hands]
: Well, Comrade Kovalev, how about my payment?
We're not just being a greedy asshole here, we're going to need the money to actually fight the snitch. The mutants are stupidly easy, but the first time I played this Grishka killed me for reasons you're about to see.
Xander77 mentioned Kovalev was a reference to a film called "Village Detective" and I see it mentioned in the barter option here.
: [Speechcraft] I wouldn't have it any other way. No one should forgo the truth, even if it costs you personally. Even if you lose your health over it. Even if you end up with new, powerful enemies...
: I would be glad to help with the disappearing...
I was going to say there are about a billion different ways to handle this better, but then I remember that Grishka is a moron who literally told us he was the spy when we asked him and then betrayed his secret bandit base. I'm pretty sure trying to flip him to lead the bandits into a trap won't work because we have no real leverage once he's gone, but we could maybe feed him false information or something.
: Interesting. I won't ask why, but that is good to hear. But what exactly do you propose? Attacking him in broad daylight? No, no, and no. That will never work. I don't want to create a panic. The snitch must be dealt with quietly. It must appear as if he simply decided to leave...
: Beyond the fence is an abandoned building. How about you lure him out there and silently... you know. Do the deed...
Is this supposed to be like the joke in Beavis and Butthead where the dynamic duo take a hit job against a sexy lady and think they're getting paid to score?
: A rotten thing to do, by my standards. But sometimes a rotten thing is necessary, if it means saving our little community from obliteration...
: It will be done. I will lure the snitch into that abandoned house and... Well, you know. Gotta go.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, I found the bandit spy. It's the idiot who literally told me he was the bandit spy, and I also learned his name with my psychic powers or something.
: Of course! The man who came into town in an "I am a bandit" t-shirt? How could I have been so stupid? Isn't this funny, player?
: Now what? Are we gonna feed him false information so we can lure the bandit gang into a trap and kill them, or what's the plan?
: You must kill him in an innuendo laden way.
: Can I get the money for finding the guy first?
: Yes, you did great! It was super clever of you to ask everyone if they liked bandits! I wish I'd thought of that?
: Please sir, may I have some...more?
: A reference! We are all about that! Here you go! Now, Grishka the snitch must die!
: Sure, why not.
: I will not ask why you would do this terrible thing, but it is better to run one bandit over with a trolley than risk the destruction of the village. I am sure none of the bandits will show up in force once their agent is terminated. Anyway, lure him over to that abandoned house!
: Yea, I'm gonna do him. And by that I mean kill him! See ya!
This guy's the local trader. We can try to talk him into a discount but he just laughs at us, so I end up buying some crap.
As all the traders scale to your level and we're a level 2 shitlord, I buy this crappy rusty knife. It's a complete waste of money as it turns out, but unfortunately where we're going Owie the Brick just won't cut it.
Doctor Mikoyan here is, of all things, a Star Trek reference. Specifically he's a reference to DeForest Kelly as Doctor McCoy. Look, allusion is a valid literary technique, but so far none of these references actually tie in to what the game is trying to convey. As far as I can tell, Village Detective is a lighthearted comedy about looking for an accordion, but the reference character is paying us to pull off a hit. Dr Mikoyan here is going to sell us a ton of addictive stimulants (which we need to survive, admittedly) and that's just not something I can see Bones from Star Trek doing!
Anyway, we go back to the world's dumbest bandit. Per Xander77, this guy is based on a real person named Andrei Krasko who died at the age of 48 in 2006. Apparently he left behind two children, so it disturbs me that the developers would add his likeness to an NPC they have the player character get paid to execute brutally. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive, I dunno - but it does remind me of CDPR asking players to stop modding Cyberpunk 2077 to fuck Keanu Reeves.
Also note that his name appears as "Rat" despite Bear using his mystic powers to divine his name earlier.
: Listen... You don't have anything against going over to that abandoned building over there, right?
: [The snitch looks at you suspiciously, and eyes his surroundings. To gain his trust, you need to trick him somehow.]
We are trained in neither of these skills very well, but Bear is pretty strong.
: [Strength] Gotcha, comrade! Follow me. We need to have a serious chat.
: You'll know it when we get there. Now get moving, before I take a shot at you myself.
: Don't fret. Talk to you later.
We walk to the abandoned house while Grishka marches slowly to his unfortunate demise. A smarter man might have made a run for it, a real smart man might have tried to point the finger at us working for the bandits instead (only Kovalev knows about our mission, remember) but fortunately Grishka is dumb.
: Death shall be the main course today! And I am the chef!
This line was so stupid I had to pick it.
It doesn't matter what you say, if you talk to the guy he autowins initiative but if you're smart you can open combat with a brick to the head and skip talking.
We only get 2 attacks with the knife before it literally falls apart. Check the log.
Thus we come to an easily exploitable part of the combat system - opening the inventory is 4 action points, and everything after that is free. Want to down your entire healing drug stash? Go nuts! This means that late game fights are won or lost depending on whether you can tank a full round of attacks (in which case you are immortal because drugs are cheap and easy to find) or whether you get machine gunned down in a round.
Having healed to full, we continue our heroic quest to brutally murder a man with a brick.
Critical hits do quadruple damage for us, so whacking this poor guy in the head really fucked him up.
It also knocks him down, so we've basically won the fight and just keep applying brick to head.
He drops some interesting stuff, like a dice set, a shiv, and...
...a certified document proving that he was a bandit. You can't make this shit up folks.
: It is done.
: [The Head presses his lips together and nods. Without a word, he pulls a fistful of rubles from his inside pocket and hands them to you, never once looking you in the eye]
: Here, three hundred fifty rubles. That's... for the job. I thought I'd ask Petya, the lad at the north gate, to do this. He's got a lot of fight in him.
Is this supposed to be a funny reference game, or a dark and serious exploration of anarchy after the apocalypse?
: Thank you. This money is a great help.
: [The Head silently puts the money in your hands. You silently take it from him.]
: So... Now that the deed is done, how about taking on a little more work? As you can see, we are honest people and we reward honest work.
Ok, you are one for two on honest jobs after asking me to murder a guy.
: Tell me the details.
So you need us to chop some wood or source some food or something?
: Fine. The bandits had their spy in our village, now I want to have my spy in their camp. Since you've shown yourself to be a very resourceful person, I'm offering the job to you.
: It will actually be easier for you, since you're new here. The bandits already know all of my boys but you could easily gain their trust and infiltrate their gang.
: Can you be more specific? What is it that I have to do?
So the "honest work" is to join a group of murderous bandits and do murderous bandit things. Why is it that the more I look at the text of these games the less sense it makes?
: I agree. It sounds interesting.
: Just this card.
: Hmmm... I head that the bandits are creating their own <<official documents>>. Sounds like a terrible idea to me, but on the other hand I still think like I did in the old life. Criminals now have much less to fear than in the old days.
: Yes, that might be just what we need. Try showing this card at the bandit camp's gate. I know for a fact that you may approach without getting shot. Probably.
: Sounds dicey... but I'll do it. Just remember... I expect to get paid handsomely for this.
: Of course. Don't even worry about that. I've never gone undercover myself, but I understand how difficult it is. You'll be paid well, and the village will be forever grateful. Now let me mark their camp on your map.
Wait, Kovalev knew where their camp was the whole time? Apparently this village could afford to hire mercenaries, why not - eh, fuck it. We didn't have the option to tell him, that's for sure.
: [You give your map to the Head, and after some consideration he carefully draws a cross on the spot the bandit camp should be. After reviewing your map one more time, he hands it back to you]
: There, done. That is where those bastards live. Also, you might need a gun for the job. Check in with the armorer. He'll help you with that. Good luck!
There is no armorer in the village. Who edited this shit?
: I see. I need a little time to think it through, though.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Yo, dude, wanna come check out the abandoned house over there?
: You get the impression you will need all your wits to trick this highly intelligent man.
: Do it or I'll beat your ass.
: Uh...ok. I'll walk slowly on over while you run out of line of sight. So, uh, why are we doing this?
: I award you one Darwin Award.
: Hey Comrade Kovalev, I did it!
: Here's 350 rubles. I was gonna make Petya, my guard, do it so he would know what it's like to kill a man, but maybe it's better this way. Anyway, want another job? Honest pay for honest work, like luring a man out into an abandoned house to kill him.
: What, need rare parts to fix a generator or something?
: Well, the developers worked really hard on the bandit quests, so I want you to go over and do them all on the pretense of spying for me.
: Oooh, so we can lure them into an ambush or something?
: Lol fuck no. Do you have a way in?
: Yes, he was carrying a card that says "crook" on it, so I can prove to all the other bandits I am a bandit too.
: That seems like a real dumb thing to make but I guess it is the crime-filled post apocalypse. Anyway, go to the nonexistent armorer and go get a gun!
So the village doesn't have an armorer. If you forgot Yashin's spiel about having the best guns (because you looked at what he had for sale and it was homemade trash) Google is there for you.
We just need to go across the street to the trader and ask him for a gun. This gives us...
A rusty Nagant revolver. I guess it's better than a brick.
Next time: The thin bandit line!