The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing, Xander77

Part 9: FUCK Kraznosnamenny

FUCK Kraznosnamenny

Welcome back! Last time on ATOM RPG, we fought a badly designed boss and got a bunch of money. Today we're going to waste all our money on stupid shit.

This guy has a whole spiel on how Alexander isn't subtle.

: He drank half of the vodka in the tavern and even tried putting the moves on the local broad. It goes without saying that he failed miserably since that gal is colder than the Siberian winter. And good for her! The dude obviously had a 'history' behind him. It would be great to interrogate him! Such cell warriors usually mean bad news...

When I said everyone knew about Katya, I wasn't kidding.

Woof, that's some translation.

Anyway, these two bandits guarding the gate have some shit going on. "Grinding for skill points" is going to be a theme of this update.

: Hey! Can I ask some questions?

I've been cutting out TONS of dialog from incidental NPCs. If these updates seem bloated and wordy... try playing the game.

This guy is... kind of important?

: How are things in general?

: I'm alright! I've recently got back from patrolling the area safe and sound - isn't that great? I even found something during my patrolling. It was so heavy that I barely managed to carry it here! That's what I call luck! Every time I go on a patrol, I find something...

: [He smiles widely and closes his eyes, probably remembering something wonderful]

: It's good to be lucky! Can I ask you something else?

: Tell me about this place.

: What is there to tell? Can't you see? Comrades criminals occupied the former factory. It has a good territory and dislocation[sic] - it's strategically important! At first, a small group came, they made their home here. Then, other people joined them, from all walks of life. Everyone wants to live! It's better here than staying alone in the Wasteland where one may not survive the night...

: I got your point. Can I ask one more question?

: What are you doing here?

"I don't set villages on fire, I just scout villages and report back to the hitmen. It's totally ethical!"

Sasha does have a pretty big line he won't cross, as we may see later.

: I got your point. Can I ask one more question?

: Tell me some rumors.

: You know what... You seem trustworthy. I think I can share something with you... Look, there's an old pier to the North from here. I know that there's a small stash there. The owners won't come back. Don't ask me why... it's just how it is... But you can have a rummage in their loot! I just never have time for it myself. But I can't let the good stuff go to waste.

This is actually legit and not a trap.

: [He motions at you to get out the map, then he draws a circle in the place where, according to him, the stash is. He nods with confidence and gives the map back to you.]

This is also true, and we will do it anyway because we are not a smart man.

: I'll go check this place out. Thank you and goodbye.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hey, man, want to ask some questions?

: A/S/L? Rumors?

: I'm Sasha, and I'm a bandit, but I don't do mean things, I just guard and patrol the camp. Sometimes you can meet love interests doing that, and I found a cool loot stash. Go to the pier to the north for some free loot, just don't go at night or you'll meet crazy motherfuckers.

: Hello! What do you want?

: Who are you? You don't look like the local folk...

: [Burst into laughter] Are you indeed? A gangster? Have you been taking candies from younger kids? Or writing bad words on the farm's walls?

: [The strip of the boy's face you're able to see goes the same colour as his scarf. A mustached man next to him casts at you[sic] a look full of suspicion and grasps more firmly at his assault rifle]

: Very funny. I'm a valuable member of the team. I can... guard and also do household chores. And if you don't like it... you're free to go back where you've come from? Got it?!

: [Speechcraft] Wait a second! You're hiding something! Tell me what's wrong!

We're not charismatic for this yet.

My guess is that the strength option starts a fight, and I'd rather not hurt "Dima" and Sasha anyway.

: Okay, I have another question.

: Any idea what the factory folk are up to?

More people get suckered by Dan's bullshit.

: I see. Now I have another question.

: What is this place and what do you do here?

: I see... Okay, I have to go.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I am totally a man and a gangster and stuff! Really! 100%!

To proceed with this interaction we have to...grind!

A monster? What could it be?

Aw, fuck! We have to fight a bear, armed only with a crowbar! However will we -


So, these guys. They are despicable slaving scum.

They're also some of the hardest fights in the game, because they usually carry automatic weapons and decent armor. You don't want to fight them. You REALLY don't want to fight them.

We could win this with a much bigger drug stash, but damn they have a circular firing squad and there's no place to hide. I reload out of this one.

The wolf pack, on the other hand, is an easy fight. It gives us enough XP to level up, we dump points into speech, and go on our merry way.

We're going for this perk, because it's thoroughly bonkers and lets us kite pretty much everything in the game.

A lot of people swear by this perk, which is supposedly needed if you actually want to tank stuff. Personally I did not find it that useful, if you keep up with your armor upgrades and run a stimulant IV into your backpack you're extremely unlikely to die barring bullshit like Blind Death and one other boss we have yet to see.

Let's go back to our disguised friend.

Same skill check...

Before you ask, the sexual partners count can include Dunya. You need 10 personality to successfully proposition her in front of her boyfriend anyway, so if we decide to go that route we're gonna be blowing a ton of rubles on Communist Axe Body Spray.

: Now that was unexpected!

: [The mustached guard shakes his head and re-adjusts his assault rifle so that it is more comfortable to grasp. Then he starts paying closer attention to your conversation. The girl looks at him affectionately and turns to you]

I would also feel threatened if a master of the Cossack Sword started chatting up my gf and all I had was a shitty assault rifle and her devotion being strong enough to hide in a bandit camp filled with sadists.

: I fell in love. It was love at first sight, just like in fairy-tales. I ran away from home with him.

You do you, lady.

: [She points at the mustached guard, and he gives you a barely perceptible nod]

: Why do you pretend to be a man?

This is an interesting line - from what we've seen of Dan, he wouldn't tolerate any sort of sexual aggression toward Dunya, but it's clear she doesn't trust Dan to keep the bandits in line. Keep this in mind going forward.

: I see. How did you meet?

: [The girl sighs and lowers her eyes. It's hard to tell if she's happy or sad]

: I lived with my father then. He would repair cars and agricultural equipment, did his best to fix what was broken. And I looked after the house and the garden.

: Once our village had guests. These were Sasha and his guys. They had heard through the grapevine that Denis Denisovich, Dan, was hiring, so they decided to join his gang. They set up a camp near the village and brought their car to have it fixed, and ask[sic] the chief for directions, of course...

Dunya, you just said Sasha only joined the bandits because they took him in at his lowest, but now he has a working car? And deliberately sought out Dan?

I know, we talked.

: [Nod silently]

: He told me stories of the Wasteland, and big cities, and different villages, and forests, and mountains... And people, people! He opened a whole new world to me! The world I hadn't known even existed!

: [The girl sighs again and squeezes Sasha's hand tighter]

: [Shrug] It's your right to do so.

: Of course it is. I felt like a caged bird in that cursed village. There was absolutely nothing there for me! Next to it, even Otradnoye looks like a world capital...! But...

: But you know, I haven't seen Dad for so long. He doesn't know I'm alive, that I'm safe. I did a bad thing. I've left him alone and have no idea how he's getting on...

: Look, if I meet your father, I can give him a message from you!

: You must travel a lot. I can tell by the look of you! Please do, please! He's short, has reddish hair... Old...

: I'll go looking for him. Bye.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: I can't live this lie anymore!

: I'm a woman pretending to be a man in this bandit camp!

: If this motherfucker says anything like "Wanna see my Cossack Sword" to her I'll shoot him in the dick.

: I fell in love with this man! He's not an asshole, he just joined the bandits when he had no food or weapons. It all started when this impoverished man came through my shitty village with his functioning car and asked my dad to fix it. We got to talking, and he told me about the big cool world out there, so I ran away with him to go be a bandit. Except I'm disguised because I don't trust some of the creepy and evil bandits out here. Maybe this was a bad idea, huh. Anyway, I totally ditched my poor old dad, and have no idea how he's getting on. Could you search the entire game for him for me?

: Sure, why not.

We trek along. More random encounters! This game has a serious variety problem.

This moonshine shack is where Dunya's father is hanging out. It's a 2 minute walk from Dan's Fun Factory.

Unfortunately, we are not talky enough to get these guys to tell us anything cool. Oh well!

We'll be back later. There is stupidity to be had!

Throughout the background of this update I'm doing a lot of random encounter grinding to get a mystery tool that will help us later.

Welcome to Krasnoznamenny!

We get a little video cutscene of this sign.

This truck pulls up to the gate and then the cutscene is over.

This is the graffiti outside of Fidel's bar, "El polo loko". I know that's not great Spanish and it should be "El pollo loco". I assume that's a hint that Fidel is actually not Cuban? Not sure.

: [Say the password]

: But it's better to die a traitor than live a slave.

Hmm... foreshadowing?

: [He gestures to a short lad running to and fro in the main hall of the bar]

: Got it.

Fidel takes us to the back of the bar.

: The coast is clear, amigo. No eavesdroppers.

: [He gives your hand a firm shake]

I dunno Bear, I wouldn't call the password ridiculous as much as "ominous" personally.

: Good day, Fidel. My name is...

: Bear Bearovitch.

: [The man looks you in the eye and slowly nods]

: [Tell him everything you know]

: [Fidel listens attentively. He doesn't interrupt, nor offer his own comments. When you're finished, he removes his hat and pensively runs the palm of his hand over his bald scalp]

: Yes, it's all rather tricky.

: Wait, did you say "we"?

: [Fidel gestures theatrically]

: Who's going to look after the premises?

: [Fidel dismissively waves his hand]

: All right Fidel, let's hit the road then!

This is going to make our melee playthrough a bit harder as Fidel starts eating our XP and injecting our drugs, but I am confident in my ability to play Bad RPG Combat.

: Right. Gather as much stuff as you can!

Fidel gathers nothing except a hat and a bag.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Psst. Fidel. Ominous password about treason!

: Back of the bar, my dude. I'm Fidel, what's your name?

: Bear Bearovitch.

: You seem honest. I know you're here to look for General Morozov, but I know nothing about him except the expedition disappeared.

: I'll give you the lowdown - they went toward Bunker 317, the location is so widely known that the first guy I talked to in Otradnoye knew where it was, they passed through Otradnoye openly and were recognized as soldiers, and I also had a weird foreshadowing dream about the "mushroom god" when that sexy lady at the pub made me drink her weird ass liquor.

: That's confusing and ominous. Let me join the party! I got my adoptive kids to run the bar.

: Cool, let's go!

Bear is a level 7 Cossack Sword Master.

Fidel is a level 3 scrub with shitty non min-maxed stats. There is a way to fix this, but we can only fix one companion so I'll hold off depending on how crazy the thread wants to go. Notice that some of the skills are greyed out? We can hover over them to see why Fidel won't do them.

: Tinkering: I have no interest in making stuff. If it has to be done, you're gonna have to do it yourself.

Fidel is smart enough to avoid this game's shitty crafting system, which is going to be the bane of my life in a few minutes.

: Speechcraft: I did my share of talking to people when I was a barkeep.

: Barter: sure I can haggle, but how am I supposed to know what should be sold and what should be purchased? Easier if you do it yourself.

: Gambling: Been a long time since I held cards. I don't like playing for money, and in the Wastes that's the only way people play.

We're turning Fidel into a pistoleer for now. We stab, he shoots as he has fewer HP and AP. I know. ATOM!

We load Fidel up with some basic gear and marvel at the amazing color changing spiffy hat.

These people. Would you believe me if I told you interacting with them was part of the main quest? It is. It has to be done at some point, and it counts as "dumb shenanigans" so...

Let's just leave it for later.

I'm gonna say this right now: FUCK this asshole.

Ok, that's not too bad...

: Thirty? Well, that's not too bad.

: [You hand the money over to the guard, but suddenly he steps back from you. He looks genuinely (or at least it seems so) terrified...]

: [Intellect] This whole Krasnov's Syndrome is just a rumor. There is no such thing.

: Umm... No, no! What are you saying? It must be the fever talking! But don't you worry! We'll figure out how to help you!

Oh FUCK you.

: It'd be good for you to get some help from the city hospital! But I can't let you in just like that.

: [The man pretends to think really hard, then a mischievous grin appears on his weather-beaten face]

: Fidel, what kind of nonsense is this? This is corruption at it's worst!

: What can I say, Bear Bearovitch... Of course. This is Kraznoznamenny, after all. Everyone here is corrupt.

See why this update is titled "Fuck Kraznosnamenny"?. It's just the worst. You could drop this shithole into Age of Decadence, the game where NPCs in the starter town scam you with fake magic rings, and it would fit right in.

: Hold on there, comrade innkeeper, don't start with me! Because it might turn out that you also are sick! That you've caught it from your friend here!

: [Speechcraft] Are you for real! Where would I have this much money from?

: [Barter] I'll be honest with you, right now even killing a man costs less.

: I get it. I'll be back.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: It's 30 rubles to get in.

: That's...not that bad, sure. I'll pay the toll.

: Lol, sike, it's 1k rubles now! That's gonna buy me a lot of hookers!

: Fidel, what the fuck is this? This guy's corrupt as shit!

: Yup, that's Kraznoznamenny alright, everyone's a corrupt asshole.

: Don't fuck with me Fidel or I'll shake you down too.

: Really, guy?


Alright. The two recommended ways are to pay the bribe or go through the sewers. Let's just Cossack Sword his ass, the rest of the guards are out of sight. What could go wrong?

Oh. Fidel goes hostile and tries to kill us. Thanks, jerk.

Alright. So, we can pay the bribe, but fuck that. We can sneak through the sewers apparently, but we're not taking such a shitty option. We're doing this... the COOL way.

We'll start by talking to this, erm, extremely not sketchy lady here. We're gonna be grinding random encounters until we get enough of a very cool item that will let us bypass that jackass entirely.

Yea damn the game is pretty damn close to telling us we want to bone this chick.

: [As she sees you, the woman gestures with two fingers of her right hand, a sign you've never seen before, and lowers her head]

: It was not your two feet but blessed Mother Cosmos who brought you to the sainted martyr of Truth, Varna Banana Devi Christu. In the name of the Sitting Wolf I often teach lessons of utopian religious anarchy in this town, in spite of the hypocrites pushing me away.

I have no idea who this is a reference to.

: I don't know. Somehow, I haven't made up my mind yet.

: [All you manage to say is "Somehow, I haven't", before your interlocutrix has finished the sentence for you.]

: It was clear as day how my sentence would end. A hedgehog could have guessed it.

: You shouldn't laugh, my friend. Hedgehogs are natural born yogis! Have you seen the balls they roll into? And now that I've shifted your attention from the essence of the complaint...

: [The unusual woman turns to the public]

: Dear friends! Varna Banana, miracle worker and fortune teller, is leaving you to enlighten Otradnoye village! Thank you, thank you for your faith in me!

Our what now?

: Yeah, what strange people.

This guy runs up to us.

: [Squint your eyes at the man] Right... And who are you?

: Oh, how impolite of me. I wanted to offer you a job, an opportunity to make some money, but I completely forgot to introduce myself!

: [The man turns and gives you a big smile]

That, uh, given what we've seen from the mushrooms, seems kind of... ominous.

: Oh no! Another cult member...!

: Oh, no-no-no! I'm not a cult member! We have nothing against the existing, official religions! We are just a scientific and educational, philosophical movement.

: Alright. What do you want to propose?

: [The man comes closer to you. Unlike most Wasteland dwellers, he doesn't stink of body odour, alcohol or any even more unpleasant substance. He only smells of clean clothes and a bit of road dust]

: Let me guess, you want me to follow her?

: [The man nods in agreement]

: Before you say anything else, what am I going to get for it?

: Alright, you convinced me. How exactly should I be following them?

: Alright, I'll try to do that.

: We'll see. Maybe I will approach you.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Damn! That woman is smoking, even though she's fucking crazy!

: Oh child of God! Are you with me? I can read your mind, and you're thinking I can't read minds!

: This is really what you're going with, huh?

: Yes! And now that you're distracted, it's off to Otradnoye, everyone!

: Excuse me sir, but I work for Mycelium - which is a scientific organization and not a cult - and can I pay you a pile of money to follow that woman? She seems very dangerous!

: Why the hell not.

From this point onwards it's grinding time! We need to hit up Otradnoye for the next stage of this quest, but we can't really finish it until we deal with Gate Jackass.

These two jackoffs are standing outside the gate. They have an extremely unfunny take on cryptocurrencies, and while I generally consider cryptocurrencies a version of those bug zappers that attract idiots instead, these guys just aren't funny.

Look at this shit. The authors know that it's a dumb joke that doesn't work with their post-apocalyptic setting, but damn if we aren't shoehorning in references.

I'm cutting out a ton of this shit. Basically, these guys are running pinecone based cryptocurrencies which are just a scam to take money and give you worthless made up currency no one else accepts. It's vaguely analogous to bitcoin except for the part where there are a bunch of idiots who mutter something about blockchain and are dumb enough to accept this fake currency.

I am one of the greatest haters of blockchain you will ever meet and I still don't find this funny. Isn't this supposed to be about the 80s USSR? There wasn't any crypto then!

These two guys got scammed by the crypto gang because they took all the village's money to buy grain, then the crypto guys convinced them to buy their pinecone they could trade for grain with other crypto traders. How much grain were these two supposed to transport by themselves to feed a whole "mountain men survivalist group" for a month? Don't question it.

You can intimidate the pinecone blockchain scammers into giving you the money and either steal it or give it to the coke bottle guys for...the same shitty rusty rifle that the old man gave us back at the beginning of the game. What a waste of time and money.

Another scammer. If you haven't gotten the unsubtle message of "fuck this town" yet I don't know what to tell you.

I make it to Sasha's stash area. We're doing a whole bunch of unrelated dumb shit, folks!

This guy gives us a spiel about not coming here at night, and reveals the fish aren't biting because the water's polluted.

Ominous! Let's just go to Otradnoye until nightfall.

Mikoyan has some stuff to say about healing the bandits. We take the first option.

Then he says he plans to get back to work as a doctor. Again, this game operates on the motto of "never use a sentence where a paragraph will do".

Why is there an Osama bin Laden reference? I get he fought the Soviets in Afghanistan with CIA funding, but was he a household name? Was he really big enough to be passed down 25 or so years after the apocalypse? Remember, there was no 9/11, the USA got nuked long before that!

: Yes, yes! Come to Varna Banana Devi Christu, ye ill and lame of all places! She will not disdain you, nor will she turn her full moon face away!

: Ah, I remember you. Never mind. In my universal wisdom I will accept your company too, wandering child, even though you are a greedy creature. By your wish to drink from my wisdom a second time, you earn the right of the first sip from the recent converts of Otradnoye!

: Whom I can't see yet, and whose hypocritical authorities refused my request to give a lecture on the harm of hygeine.

: Last time you spoke out against authority. Why this random topic now?

: [Varna Banana smirks self-righteously]

I am tempted to take the first option, but refrain out of respect for Her Holiness.

: What kind of answer is that? It's even more irrational that[sic] today's choice of topic.

: Rationality!

: [Devi Christu throws up her hands]

You could have saved a lot of money on translation, a lot of QA time, a lot of writing time, and a lot of player time if you'd cut out these damn virtual reality stage directions! The dialog conveys her exasperation well enough! Stop it! STOP IT!

: What is rationality if not an imaginary candle held by a blind man who is struggling to find his way out of a dark room with no windows or doors?! A human mind is tuned in to completely different wavelengths.

: Only the black magicians, aka scientists, all these Einsteins with their relativity theories, with their loud "I don't believe", and "I don't believe in Gods!" - only they try to prove us wrong! But rationality will not settle for long as the hearts of common people, of the ignorant farmers and village drunks!

We met a god last update. He blessed us with lightning. That will never come up again.

: They are as clean and innocent as children, and when my next sermon rids them of their drinking habit... Wow, just you wait!

: Come to my next sermon as well - this time in the land of sin and depravity, in the chambers of the rotten, dirty old moonshiners who are poisoning this sacred land, this new Constantinople, with spirits and wines.

There is probably some irony in Constantinople being conquered by Muslims whose faith prohibits drinking here.

: Guys, let's get out of here! I'm afraid we are not welcome in the so-called "Otradnoye".

: Wait! Which moonshiners exactly are you going to visit?

: [The woman freezes and slaps herself on the forehead]

: Ah, yes, there are as many of them these days as stray dogs that need shooting. Give me your map.

: [You hand your map to the cult leader and with a piece of coal she marks the location of the moonshiners' farm]

: People call this fortress of alcoholism the "Drunken Lair". See you there!

Yes, the game is using quotes instead of << and >> now. I don't know why.

She gives an entire hypocritical sermon the entire time about how she would embrace the sick, then yells at one of her followers for sneezing. It's OK. We're putting this quest on the back burner till next update.

TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:

: Hygeine bad! Uh...shit...what else can I talk about...oh hi Bear! You can be my first convert here, except no one likes my teachings!

: That's because they're dumb.

: I just want to make some money off this thing... is that so wrong? You should come to my next sermon, at the moonshiners...but not because I like you or anything! Bye!

We're breaking the update here.

Next time: The Cool Way.