Part 22: In Which The Great Evil King Was Mistaken About What Was NextIn Which The Great Evil King Was Mistaken About What Was Next
Last time on ATOM RPG, we got unsurprisingly set up by a guy we met in a sewer, and forced to resort to The Way of Cossack Steel to defeat the random bandits. Today, we were going to do Dan's quest, but...
I mean, there's still the confrontation at the Wandering tourist tunnel.
Unfortunately, there's more to the Sewer Mafia I didn't show off!
We need to leave the wonderful humorless residents of Krasnoznamenny and go out into the Wasteland to kill a bunch of guys in a tunnel.
Specifically, this tunnel, which the player couldn't interact with until now.
Bear still has his priorities in order.
I love how non threatening the description is. "Large brute" is fine, but "currently in the process of producing a giant machete" manages to sap any sort of implied threat via passive voice.
: Don't threaten me, I broke men twice your size.
: Leave your threats.
: [The giant of a man gives his machete a wide swing and looks at it, mesmerized by the pristine blade. He then turns to you. You cannot see what goes on under his face mask, but it seems like he is giving you an icy cold stare, combined with a wicked grin. His glassy eyes are peering straight into your very soul]
: Today you will learn what pain is. You will curse yourself for not cutting your own legs off. You will curse your mother for giving birth to you. You will beg the silent sky to undo our meeting, to make it all a bad dream, a terrible nightmare.
: I will show you pain you never even imagined existed. You will know the whole spectrum of pain, a whole rainbow of suffering. Do not even hope that in time your body will stop responding to the terrible torment I will inflict on it. Do not hope for an easy, quick death. Oh no... I have methods that will make you squirm in ceaseless agony for days, weeks, months even.
Ok, the first part was effective, but I had to snicker at "rainbow of suffering".
: You will try to accept pain's embrace. You will try to befriend it. I won't let you, though. And then, you will become nothing but a howling little piece of sanity, locked into a body that resembles a huge open wound! Ohhhh, I hope you will be canonized after death. You will be a saint in a way, a martyr of sorts, because you will die for your faith, your belief... For your empty, nonsensical belief that you did nothing to earn such a gruesome end!
This is terrible.
: Uh huh, cool story, bro.
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: There is a bandit. You should be spooked by my use of the dull passive voice. He is producing a machete.
: You are doomed!
: No u.
: I will bring you the cotton candy of pain! I will use a pile of non sequiturs to maybe seem absurd?
This immediately throws us into combat.
The game gives us the first turn and we immediately explode this guy.
I mean, I get the joke, but the speech is bad and unfunny mostly because of the execution. I can't tell if the authors are going for serious threats but are inept (like Brent Weeks and his "asymptote of pain" speech) or if it's supposed to be comically absurd, but neither effect is conveyed well. The absurd dialog is ruined by the interjection of dull realism about swinging a machete, and the threats are ruined by the poor word choice.
His machete is strictly worse than our Cossack Sword. Aside from the reward for one particular quest, there's nothing in the game that outclasses it, and that particular quest reward has a few significant drawbacks.
These fuckers are the real rainbow of suffering.
Here's the thing: any fight where you have to stay out in the open against gunmen is extremely dangerous to our melee build, because we can't actually soak a full squad of men with guns. Now, as I've said before, the optimal play is not to take party members because you get more XP and you don't have to corral three fragile idiots with a mental age of five through this game's terrible combat. What you want to do in these situations is withdraw out of line of sight and force them to come to you, which they will do quite happily, burning all their AP on movement so you can sword them to death.
I figure "oh, 7 str is a lot, let's use that"
: [Strength] [Show the man your massive fists] Here are my invitations... Left one and right one.
: Fuck you and your mates! Fiiiiiiight! [Attack]
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Stop or we'll shoot biatch!
: I see you have automatic weapons. Are you intimidated by my fists?
So yea, this fight takes about as many reloads as any fight in Owlcat Pathfinder games.
We can absolutely shred the bandits with our Cossack Steel, as you can see, we've killed two out of seven in the first turn. That's not the issue.
We get shredded! I suppose I could have pulled everyone back behind the train, but fuck if I'm putting that level of thought into this game.
So I get cute and try to throw a grenade from outside their dialogue range. Specifically, the "training grenade" has a 40% stun chance.
It, uh, backfires, because there's a throwing weapons skill in this game. Let's take the somewhat more sneaky option.
: [Lie] Come closer, and I will show you my special invitation.
: [Speechcraft] Your boys are too low rank to know who I am.
Huh, there are Martial Arts checks?
: [Martial Arts][Grab the man as a human shield and bring the battle to his comrades]
So this does pull the boss out of position, but somehow we survive the gunfire and this happens.
The bandits immediately split fire between Bear and the dog, and I start save scumming like a maniac.
2 more men fall to the dreaded Cossack Steel.
The assholes shoot and permanently kill our dog because threat prioritization is hard and they don't want to do it. This forces another reload.
Remember to always go for the eyes if you want people to die.
I reload a lot.
Finally I remember that I can use drugs on companions from the inventory, and Bear and Doggo clean house by murdering all these bandits with melee weapons.
We loot them and continue on to the next pack of jackasses.
First, we heal our faithful dog for being the only party member to actually attack the enemy in combat.
: I'm the guy your people almost killed during the <<meeting>>.
: Hey, where did you put those drugs you stole?
: What drugs? The ones the courier was supposed to have? I never got my hands on them. Before we cut that courier's head off, he told us that Shpak's guy came by and took them before we got to him.
: Seems like your buddy Shpak decided to make a fool of you. He sent someone for the goods beforehand, and when you would have returned empty handed, he would have blamed you for the disappearance. Quite the plan, right? He gets all the drugs, and throws you under the bus as the scape goat.
I'm honestly not sure what the plan is here, to be honest. Is the idea that we're supposed to be sacrificed to buy off Tawfik's friends?
Now, we could try to spare him, but that sounds like something for a pacifist run. This is the Sex and Violence run!
: In that case, enough chit-chat! [Attack]
TheGreatEvilKing summary posted:
: Hey how's it going? Who are you?
: I'm the guy you tried to kill!
: Oh yea. You looking to do more crime?
: What happened to those drugs?
: Oh, Shpak totally played you! He had the drugs the whole time, and was just trying to get rid of you because...uh...shit, man, it's ATOM RPG, why are you expecting coherence? The funny thing is if Shpak hadn't tried to fuck you over we'd be cool! Guess you gotta die now!
The plan here is simple. Order all the companions to run away so their dumbshit AI doesn't get them killed, then hide in the corner next to the door and slice anyone who comes out. The AI isn't smart enough to not move toward you and attack, and usually doesn't have grenades or anything that could flush you out, so...
Uncle Hook is the first to face Cossack Steel and die. He's a martial artist with no guns (because he's a boxer, you see) so he tries to melee Bear. It ends about as well as you'd expect.
This build is absurdly lethal and doesn't require ammunition to function. Ammunition for the heavier weapons is rare in this game. On the optimal solo playthrough, you can seriously just sell all your ammo and if you run into a situation swords can't solve, well...collect timed bombs. I'll show it off before the end of the LP.
These idiots don't have a chance. If you can use the terrain to split and confuse your enemies you just steamroll through them hilariously quickly.
That's it! That's the last of the sewer mafia! Unless someone reveals otherwise (I don't think Hook gives any quests) we're done!
Next time: Dan the Bandit Man, for real.