The Let's Play Archive


by TheGreatEvilKing, Xander77

Part 49: Sex and Totally Unintentional Violence

Sex and Totally Unintentional Violence

: Oh hey. Only took me 5 months to get another update out. Sorry.
With any luck, I will manage to finish this off moderately quickly, getting into both content and themes that the main playthrough didn't really cover.
First of all - a quick jog to Bunker 317, with a few stops along the way.

: [You feel the cold stare of a tall, well built, blue-eyed girl dressed in a tattered camouflage uniform. The bore of her tightly held gun is pointed right between your eyes]

: Yeah... I fell victim to the Mandela effect, being convinced that TGEK covered this little farm on the way to the Bunker, so I took fewer pics than usual.

: [Possessed] That's funny! A lonely foundling, little daddy's girl! Always tinkering with her fucking gun while her family badmouths her behind her back Pio!

: [The girl jumps and looks at you with fear so strong it overpowers her instincts. Instead of grabbing her gun, she takes a few steps back]
What are you... an actor? Where did that terrible voice come from? It's as if the devil himself spoke through you. Ugh, and cursing too. So what if I'm a foundling? They never lied about it Father says they found me in the forest when I was five, walking alone to God knows where...

: But you remember different, right?

: I remember it differently. The memories are vague, of course, but I remember a deep ravine, tree roots poking out of its walls like withered arms. There's a man with me in the ravine. He has a moustache but no beard and I know him. He's armed with a gun, a Kalashnikov I think… There's loud noise, screams. He sticks his head out to shoot, then throws a grenade. Someone is shooting back at us, the earth is rocking! My hands are so tiny, a toddler's hands... and I'm holding a Makarov pisto. I’m trying to reload. At first I'm clumsy, but I get faster, faster, and then there's a blow! That's it. I don't remember a damn thing after that.

[Love (and you'd bet your right arm it's love this girl's dreamy eyes are full of) sometimes finds a tricky way into people's lives...]

: Interesting. Also, epic random reference:

: If you're interested in rumours, I know one from a merchant who got lost on his way here. There was a gang laying in ambush for a merchant or small caravan near a camp of the local thugs. What they saw instead was a man dressed oddly for the weather, in a wide—brimmed hat, wool coat and thick gloves. And behind him he was pulling a coffin by a length of twine. The gangsters came out of cover and demanded he explain what was going on. The merchant said he was going to bury a friend. They didn't believe him. ''I bet that box is stuffed with goods!" they said. "Open it." He shrugged, walked around the coffin and raised the lid. Inside was a pre-war Maxim gun! It was fully restored and functioning, with a bipod and 200-cartridge belt. The bad guys were rooted to the spot... long enough to accommodate about 50 rounds from the Maxim. He took the entire gang down with one burst, all except one guy, whom he ordered to tell this story to the Wastelanders.

: There are plenty of Maxim scenes in actual Soviet movies, but that would be too relevant to the setting. (FFS, we're about to get a White Desert Sun ref, that would be a thousand times more appropriate)

: Who I do need now, though, is a... what do you call them... a private detective. Yes. Can you imagine?

: A detective? Really? What for?

: People say there's a guy walking around these lands who introduces himself as Korallov, the tourist. But he's no tourist, you understand? He's not interested in our cities and villages. What's remained of our architecture is all the same to him... What he pays attention to is our women! You got me? People say he's convinced at least 30 women in Krasnoznamenny alone for some horizontal mambo.
I'm afraid he might have seduced my wife. I'm not always home... Sometimes I cross the border to visit my family, or spend the night fishing... And she's here alone... Try to understand me, friend... We've been having it rough already. And if she's cheated on me with this Korallov... I have to know. As for checking... it's easy. This bloody Casanova gives a plastic ring to every woman he's seduced - as a keepsake... So if you could rummage through her things... and find the ring... It would all be clear as day. Could you do this for me?

: Cool. That's part one of what we want to do here. Bronislav also has a biological daughter feeling confined on the farm.

: She leaves to explore the wide world following this encounter. And finally, as we dig around for evidence of the wife's infidelity, we also recover an ATOM membership card, because that's an integral part of the inventory of a secret organization that doesn't want to... ah ffs, I don't even care anymore.

: I don't remember your parents but we have a base here. Have you heard of the village called Red Fighter?

: Of course! So Red Fighter is an ATOM stronghold now? I'll go there right now! Look after my family, please. I can't stay with them. And here's some food, take it. Thank you again.

: Weirdly, she refuses if you offer to join your squad, and then you don't have a follow up option to have her join you at Red Fighter

: My daughters are leaving, my wife is leaving... What will I do..? Ah? What? Is that you..? Sorry, I'm busy now...

: Having quite thoroughly ruined this farmer's life, we leave and come back.

: Note the rare achievement popping up.

: Oh God! Oh God!

: What is it? What happened?

: I don't know... I wanted to visit a friend, and... and... there are two corpses there!

: Fast forward a bit...

: Erm... The thing is I, tourist Korallov, a traveller and an adventurer, at some point had an affair with the lady of this once wonderful house... I'm afraid... I'm afraid her dishonoured husband might have found out and... well...

: Before I gained the glory of a Casanova, a Don Juan, a Robert Lovelace of our time, a heartbreaker and a lover... I used to be an ordinary student and collected the myths and legends of the Wasteland. Until one day...
[Tourist Korallov plucks up courage] Until the day an evil witch cursed me! I was hungry and didn't sleep for 24 hours, so when she begged me for money, I might have answered a bit ruder than I should have. What a grave mistake it was! The next second the witch flew above me like a vulture. Only one word her blackened lips uttered: "Heartthrob!" I closed my eyes, full of fear, and when I opened them again, she was nowhere to be seen.
Since then... I've been obsessed with this desire to seduce women I meet on my way. I don't understand myself how I always find the right words, how my body assumes the right position... As if I'm possessed by some invisible demonic power... But my methods, for the most part, work like a clock.

: That’s a new spelling for Ahasver, which is understandably uncommon in modern western fiction. Since I'm being kind to this game (for the moment) I will not dig into the reference to the Wandering Jew beyond the litany of literary references this over-educated character spouts. For the moment.

: Whoops.

TGEK visited the Thug Fortress slave camp, but never bothered to interact with the thugs.

: I've heard the guys who work for Don Sarkis, to the north from here, once decided to record their skirmishes on the camera, just for fun... when the don learnt about this, he got so into it that now he orders to record fightings and killings on purpose. And he doesn't only watch it himself but also provides rich folk with the tapes! They sell like hot buns.

: A connection to the RLM snuff dungeon, perhaps?

: Merchants from the black market complain it's getting increasingly harder to get guns in a more or less decent condition. If guns and ammunition don't get produced on an industrial scale soon... we'll have to stop laughing at makeshift crossbows and arquebuses and begin fleeing from them in terror!

: That would actually make for a more interesting game. But anyway, the thuggish slave traders that even other mafia characters despise are shitty people. Who'd have thought. You'd think that getting the dialog options to get into the fortress would allow you to learn more about the slave trade and how to oppose it, but... nah. You just get to buy a slave.

: Fine, we’re just going to take the money off your corpse anyway. But regardless, you could resolve things via pacifism here.

: We’re not going to, though.

: I’m keeping Gyulchatai as a companion. The reward for having her wait tables in Fidel’s bar is pretty lame in-universe and out, I never skip free party members, she can carry loot even if she can’t fight, and she can actually be useful by… we’ll get to it in a moment, as we finally explore the bunker.

The bunker is actually fairly easy as a pacifist. Just go straight through, no side passages, no rats or ants (our party did manage to aggro a single rat, but I'm pretty sure you can easily sneak past it). Your party members may be unwilling to craft, barter, inspect computers, pickpocket or do anything of use besides kill stuff… but they CAN lockpick, via the handy “help me” icon. Our “former” slave is now a dedicated skill monkey.

: Anyway, the bunker thoroughly pacified, we head back to Red Fighter

: Look at that huge party. And only one of them had to be cheated in via a mod.

: [A young woman is walking the Red Fighter streets with a very businesslike air. She keeps a firm grip on her gun and her eyes burn with energy. She throws you a salute as you approach]
Gozhin has charged me with watching the stalkers who move through the village. With those rascals you have to be a good shot and a devoted haggler! I could teach you one of these things, but only one.

: We don’t need gun skills, so that’s +10 to barter. Can’t tell her anything about the horrid fate that befell her adoptive parents, obviously.
Anyways, let’s head back to KRZ, lots of stuff still there.

: For some reason, there’s a spare Fidel hanging out at his bar. A glitch from having him wait somewhere? A mod issue? In any case, I can’t recruit both, but at least I will have a replacement for his scintillating company should he disappear from existence.

: Hitting the barman for rumors, like back in the Ultima days. Like I said, I like the mix of true, false and nonsensical rumors in this game.

: Ha-haaaaaaaaaaaaa. Random dude asking for 10 bear-asses wasp asses, with the game emphasizing that this fetch quest is terrible blah blah blah. The reward is 100 rubles and a can of condensed milk, btw.

: Random dude gives us +10 to melee weapons (which we’ll need shortly)

: What happens if you actually let Nastya know that Toilet Kruul wants her.

: (See, the gag is that she’s got allergies, so the sewer and Kruul’s smell don’t bother her. Ha-ha).

:Oh, Toilet Kruul, did you want to tell me something? Tee-hee!

Dear Nastasya... My sweet heart... My gal pal... My darling. My lovey-dovey sunshine princess... So long have I struggled to find the right words. and failed, finally deciding to perfom the beautiful kidnapping ritual of my people instead. Beloved Nastasya, will you choose freely, to end my love quest, and to spend your life in my underground abode, in my sewage drenched home where the sun never shines, until disease and madness do us part?

:Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes, my sweet Kruul! Oh, how I waited for these words! I said yes right after your helper told me about your plan!

: So… at least this bit of writing succeeds. At being really fucking gross. You don’t get a reward if you warn Nastya though.

: Down in the sewer Mafia hangout, there’s an infrequent visitor:

: [A fair haired woman of around 40 or so is eyeing you with an ironic grin on her lips. As she notices that you are looking back at her, she nods, and invites you to come closer. This would all look very friendly and lovely, although one detail ruins the picture: a large knife in the woman's left hand]

: No, but I'd make the old fucker sleep or; the floor using his pathetic book as a pillow.

: You're a cold woman, do you know that? Icy, icy lady.

: You offered me to play some sort of a knife game before. What's that all about? [The woman smirks]

: What's there to tell? Let me show you.
[The woman smacks her right hand on the table, fingers spread. She then grabs a large knife with her left hand and starts stabbing the spaces between her fingers, each time aiming at a new gap. As she does this dangerous trick, she sings:]
Oh, I have all my fingers, the knife goes chop-chop-chop and if I miss the spaces in-between my fingers would come off! But still I keep on stabbing, oh this is quite the feat! Now think hard for a second - is this the record you can beat? [After the song ends, the woman sticks her knife in the table and gives you a challenging look]

: A disgusting game for working class slobs, criminals and plebeians... In all my years in the icy camps of Siberia, never have I played this terrible knife game. I needed my fingers nice and healthy in order to turn the pages of the books I read for other victims of the regime!

: Failing gives you a bit more melee skill, but we don’t want that.

: Winning can get you this pretty good melee weapon (particularly as you could theoretically head to KRZ and meet Sveta right out of Otradnoye, if you have the skills), but we don’t want that either.

: Nah. Keep that pig sticker.

: You're the boss. But hey, at least grab yourself a beer at my expense.

: Not that either. But not “I don’t want any gifts”, because that will just cause her to dismiss us.

: We now have three mysterious artifacts, which will surely be useful for… something or another.
Once again, I kinda like the idea that random NPCs around town have their little stories and can boost your skills, or that the major quest hubs have wandering NPCs that you only meet on certain days. The basic design isn't terrible.

: This is basically the only interaction most characters will have with the sewer cultists - chasing them away based on sewer mafia orders.

: Well... We are constantly bombarded by hostile religious and secular propaganda here in the sewer... Take that Krasnoznamenny television as an example. Constant attempts to make listeners into patriotic communists!
But now, when I finally see the potential risks of living in the open like that... Hmm... Hey guys, you wanna go live in the woods away from all traces of humanity? No? Well we're doing it anyway! Pack your stuff.

: As we head back from the cultists (or several in-game days and quests later, either way):

: This is our one-time respec potion. I’m actually moderately happy with Arthur, but you can take any NPC:

And turn them into a combat god:

: INT could be dumped much lower actually, as each NPC really only needs one maxed out combat skill. Not sure what attention does for companions either.

: Actually paying Fidel’s informer. Rather comprehensive, and eliminates the need to work with the cult (good for a “true” pacifist playthrough, as their latter quests require violence). Though you don't actually need to know about the bunkers in advance in order to visit the areas they are in and meet the mushroom folk.

: Telling the mushroom that Devi is dangerous. Another bit of dialog that we can easily ignore as mystical ramblings, but is actually true.

: Devi pisses off if we told the cult she’s not harmless and they asked us to get rid of her. And remember TGEK asking about why a real life person facsimile can have sex with the PC? Because that’s the “sneakily kill her” option, of course.
The game kinda has some issues with sex.
Speaking of, do you remember the bra retrieval quest from the main playthrough?

: She’s not *just* a random horny housewife.

: TGEK missed this when recovering the bra.

: Neat. We can now enter the municipal bunker without doing the election quest or having to bribe the guard, while he’s busy… what exactly *is* he busy doing, anyway?

: Yup. If you break into the house while the argument is happening, you get attacked by the husband and aggro the entire town. Also, Borislava doesn't have that stupid plastic ring the tourist is supposed to be giving every conquest of his.
Let’s talk about how this game treats sex. Your first reaction may in fact be "this game treats sex the exact same way Fallout 2 treats sex, same as it does with everything else". And... sure, Fallout 2 had that Beavis and Butthead "boobs, hehe" attitude that "mature" games in that era often had. It had an actual sex quality mechanic behind the scenes, it had its own porn movie questline (and porn magazine questline), several brothels and a shotgun marriage. What it didn't have is a consistent fascination with adultery and Swiftian misogynistic emphasis on just how gross sex can be.

Zhanna, the nurse a male PC can randomly boink is probably the most Fallout "you can just have sex with someone if you pass some Charisma Personality checks, and that's all that happens" encounter. The circus couple Xander (no relation) asks you to break up have the most healthy relationship in the game (and their insane jealousy possibly stems from inhabiting a fictional world obsessed with adultery).

We've got a chance to get it on with several married women, and several other married women cheated on their husbands in the backstory. Two of these stories can end in murder.

We have a chance to get it on with several mutant \ drug addicted prostitutes, with the narration and our companions pointing out just how gross this is.

We're asked to break up at least two young couples, often by playing up their jealousy.

We can recruit for (and star in) a porn movie, with the narration emphasizing the abnormality of our co-stars, the principal NPC insisting that the point is neither to make money nor to sexually educate, but to corrupt Wasteland society with perverse sexual norms.

Toilet Kruul and his romance with a "normal" girl is outright written to be as disgusting as possible (particularly interesting if you recall that Mutants are kinda meant to be minority representatives).

The incest-family in Dead City are meant to be as disgusting as possible, but on a less comic note.

The Mushroom cult specifically pairs us up with an opposite gender NPC to manipulate us, though no outright romantic options are presented.

And the one near-romantic NPC relationship with Katya is never consummated.

Anything I'm forgetting?

Anyway, game is more weird and awkward about sex that usual. News at 11.