Part 19: Look Mommy, I'm Post Modern!Look Mommy, I'm Post Modern!
Welcome back! Last time on ATOM RPG, we met the Mushroom Cult and they turned out to be a bunch of Ayn Rand style moochers. Today we're going to completely ignore that shit and join the sewer mafia by popular request.
Anyway, this manhole is permanently closed because its the one into the Sewer Mafia base. There are actually two crime bases in Krasnoznamenny, there's a Crime Shack(tm) next to the brothel you go to as part of Dan's quests, and the Sewer Mafia base we're about to go into.
You need to wander around the sewers until you come to this door. There's some other crap down there, like a giant rat fight that drops no loot and a Satan cult we can't interact with, so I'm choosing to skip it all. Look, last time we took a quest from sewer people we nearly became rape accessories and if you play your sewer mafia cards right you can help out one of the pizzagate people from the creepy list!
: [Streetwise] Yo, I'm zonked the hell out and I wanna crash here. Don't be such a queen about it.
Huh? Zonked isn't even criminal slang.
: I'm not a queen! You're a queen! Fuck it. Hold on...
We also had the option to show our "I am a criminal" card.
: [The gatekeeper looks you over and gets away from the tiny window. You hear some mechanical sounds from the other side, and suddenly a bell rings all across the sewers! This is probably the guard's way of telling the locals they have a new guest]
No, the game doesn't play a bell sound. Why would we do that when we can write more useless description text and more disgusting quests about molestation?
: Fine, fine. I won't.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey! You can't come into our secret crime base.
: Think of some crime slang! Think of some crime slang! Uh...prithee, forsooth, let me in yon crime base. Do not be a fop whose bottom is regularly penetrated!.. wait, ATOM devs, wtf?
: NO U!. Your homophobic reasoning has convinced me! Just don't make any trouble!
: I will now describe an alarm because we sure as shit couldn't be bothered to search for royalty free alarm sounds on the internet.
*Look, I gotta summarize this, and if you have another way to interpret "queen" I'm all ears!
There's the guard and his dog, whom we could pester with questions, but at this point I think we're all sick of ATOM's atmospheric dialogue, aren't you?
The blond guy is the questgiver, but let's harass more people first.
A fat bearded man? Really? I never would have guessed! Bonus points for "looking into the depths of space" with a "stare".
Ha ha he made a Diablo reference!
: Well, I'm staying. What should I listen to?
: [The barkeep looks at you silently for a almost a minute, then shrugs his shoulders.]
: What kind of a figure of speech is this? I never heard anything like that.
: [The barkeep gives you a strange smile]
: Come on. What do you mean you never heard it? This phrase has like a cult following, it was first created by... Umm...Leopard Abel.... Yeah, that sounds about right. From um... The Tristramovka communal farm.... He-he-he. Jesus... Wow. He-he.
This is another Deckard Cain reference. Isn't this funny?
I'm posting the screenshots so that I can't be accused of making this shit up.
Ok, I admit, I laughed at that line.
: Why did that explanation sound like a lie you made up just now?
I think they patched the translation between now and the OP.
: What the fuck is a reference? What are you on about?
: [The bartender freezes for a whole minute, creepy grin intact. You are about to leave, when he starts talking again, as if no conversation ever took place.]
: No, thanks. I'm in a hurry. Farewell.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, stay a while and listen.
: Listen to what?
: I dunno man. It just sounded cool, like a figure of speech.
: What the fuck is that? I never heard any of that shit.
: Sure you have! It's a Diabl - er, it's a reference to uh, Leopard Abel...on the collective farm! Yeah! It has a whole cult following!
: Ugh, man, stop talking to him! He's breaking the fourth wall and ruining my immersion!
: FUCK post-modernism!
: No, seriously, what the fuck was that?
: It's a reference! Don't you get it? See, it's funny because it references a much better game people like to play! Laugh! Laugh! Why aren't you laughing at the tired unfunny reference?
: The fuck is this? Are the writers of this game twelve?
: REBOOT NPC.EXE
: Suddenly, I'm normal again!
This guy has a whole con artist like spiel but he sells the game's one respec elixir. We will probably buy it at some point to make one of our companions less shit, but I don't feel like grinding for 8000 rubles right now.
This guy sells a bunch of rusty old guns, which pale in comparison to the weapons shop on the surface. We fail the barter check, incidentally.
He does, however, have another Aniskin reference. This game is really mean-spirited.
By this point, you can make your own jokes about descriptions.
: Yes, it's my first time here.
: I'm flattered, but first can I ask your name?
: [The man winks at you and extends his hand]
: Bear Bearovitch.
: Nice to meet you, Bear Bearovitch. Now that we're finished with the formalities, let me ask you something.
: If it was ever really, truly needed... I think I would do it.
: Tell me the backstory. I'm curious.
: Ok, we're all smugglers around here. It's a nice job, but there's a lot of competition from all over. Civil people have already talked things through and divided the Wastes into territories for their operations, but there's always some newcomers wanting their own slice of the pie.
: You need to lose some of this newfound competition, right? Go on.
: The Mountain Pass of Woes recently became the main hub for the drugs and weapons trade in the region, and a village called Fogelevka became a popular rest stop for smugglers taking the Pass. It's a cozy place, what can I say!
: Some time ago, a very unsavory character was spotted near Fogolevka. This so-called Tawfik Mozambique is working for a newly formed gang of some kind that wants to try its hand in the lucrative drug smuggling business. I want you to deal with him, my friend. All of my usual hitmen are busy, but someone needs to kill him, posthaste. Do we have a mutual understanding?
: [Fidel grabs your shoulder and whispers in your ear]
Suddenly Fidel cares about the mission, but we can use his own words against him!
: You told me yourself - any ol' bastard might have valuable information that will help with the mission, so we ought to infiltrate the ranks of as many organizations as is humanly possibly.
And then, they were the conspiracy!
: Anyway, Tawfik Mozambique must be staying in the Fogelevka Inn. Lure him out of the village and send him to meet his maker. Just remember, my friend, no talking. You don't want to chat with that snake. Just pull the trigger as quick as you can and leave. Anyway, why am I coaching you? I can see you know what to do.
: Got it. See you later, bandit!
This leads to a trek halfway across the map.
I know, fewer random encounters, but I want to show this off.
Despite this being a bandit ambush, the game doesn't actually start combat because the bandits are on the other side of this huge ass map. This lets us just run to the exit without killing anyone, as we spawned where the party members are now. Great game design!
Welcome to Fogelevka! There's a bunch of stuff here I'll be putting off to go talk to our potential new enemy, but that truck is going to be important later in the game.
Hmm...could he be... a bad guy? This is almost too subtle for these writers.
: Tawfik, nice to meet you.
: [Fidel gives you the stealth elbow and whispers]
: Hey, I think this is the guy the smuggler wants killed? Maybe you wanna clue him in on this grim fate? But lure him out of the village first, to keep it on the down low.
Uh, why are we doing that, Fidel?
: Tawfik? Tawfik Mozambique? Listen, I've got a question for ya...
: I did some work for him, yeah, but that's not why I'm here.
: [Tawfik raises one eyebrow curiously]
: Okay... Oh, I get it. You're looking for a little something, right?
: [The man gives you a wink and speaks in a lower voice]
: Yeah, why not? What are you offering?
: Wha-a-at? I can't hear you! Too loud around here!
: [The man gets closer to you and whispers loudly]
: Let's go talk near the gate. The villagers are nervous people, and if they listen in they'll snitch to the authorities. My product isn't exactly legal, you see.
: Lead the way.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey, are you new around here? Sit down. I'm helping people get into the whole "crime" game, and I gotta ask you something. Do you like killing people?
: I guess I could. What's the lowdown?
: Well, I'm a smuggler, and back in my day we respected each other's territories. Now this punk Tawfik Mozambique is muscling in on my territory, and you need to kill his ass!
: Dude, we don't need to become criminals to advance the main plot! Is this a good idea?
: You said we needed to infiltrate as many organizations as we can to learn about General Morozov, and I sure as hell am not doing the Mushroom Cult stuff even though they seem knowledgeable.
: He's in the Fogelevka Inn! Go lure him out and shoot him, but don't talk to him because he's a snake!
: You notice that Tawfik is a sick fuck who likes watching bugs drown in vodka!
: Hey, I'm Tawfik!
: Psst. You should warn him about that smuggler guy, but not here, because...uh...fuck!
: Question for ya!
: Oh hey, you work for Dan the Bandit man! Want some drugs? Let's go out of town so I can sell you some druuuuuugs!
Now we follow Tawfik out of town as he slowly shuffles to collect his arthritis medication. It's yet another contrivance by the writers who seemingly have no idea how to get characters from one place to another or provide the player with any interesting attempts at subterfuge, so we get shit like Grishka the bandit telling us he's a bandit.
Really. The drug dealer we followed out to make a drug deal is ready to sell us drugs.
Well, looks like it's time for a vote! The sewer mafia quest has two branches, one where we kill people for Tawfik, and one where we kill people for Simon. Are we siding with Tawfik, or Simon? Choose wisely!