Part 17: Desperate courageDesperate courage
Another undetermined amount of time has passed. Zhirik's plan worked and things seem to change for the better. But that isn't the case for the whole country, judging by Akhmet's description. JFYI, that plague thing wont ever come up again. Maybe it's in the book, but I really don't know.
Well seems like we have a fight on our hands. Those Khasli people aren't bandits in the pure sense, they are pretty much normal folks who are driven by hunger. This will come up again later. Also Akhmet mentioned a mined house in his diary, which I'll explain in a moment.
Since another stretch of time has passed, Akhmet beefed up his castle even more. This is going to be last time this happens, so let's take a tour.
First up, the new machine gun.
Disregard my previous comments about them, I'm dumb and totally forgot that they come with the last change.
The old MG nest has also been spiffed up a bit.
What's that small thing next to Vitek?
It's a detonator! As mentioned in the diary, Akhmet prepared a little surprise that you can detonate at your leisure. I'll show that later.
There is still more new stuff to look at.
The only way into the house now leads through a "maze" of car wrecks.
I wonder how four people managed that?
This one's for you, Keeshhound.
It's not a real moat, but some heavy rain could fix that.
This is on the short side of the block.
So yeah, no way around that maze.
This chapter throws you directly into the action.
I have no time to prepare, but that's okay as the first group is a small scout party.
And now we know what Wifey does, while the men are fighting.
Some guys will spawn on both sides, and I don't even bother engaging them with Akhmet and Serb. I want them to be ready for what comes after this.
Vitek can deal with this group alone.
Just imagine him headshotting six dudes.
Only one managed to shoot, though it was pretty close. See the hole above his head?
He also leveled up during this so I gave him the Radar skill which was requested at the start of the thread.
Radar:"You can sense living beings without seeing or hearing them. You devil, how do you do that?."
But honestly, I haven't noticed any effect. Maybe it's bugged, or will only kick in during the next battle? No idea!
:"Move, Move! The main gang is coming, let's prepare for our meeting!"
Just like last time, we have three minutes to prepare for the real fight. Now, of course I'm going to mine the shit out of the car maze. But there is something dumb about the way the game handles the change of Akhmet's castle. Since this is a new map, all of your things have been moved to Akhmet's old safe, which is on the top floor. Going up there and getting mines takes a good deal of time. So I'm going to exploit a little quirk of the game. When one of your crew opens a container, everyone can access it. No matter where they are on the map.
Serb just opens the safe, and Akhmet warps the mines into his inventory.
I managed to lay a few of them.
Truth be told, I just wanted to see how many mines I can lay down with the inventory exploit and radical micromanagement of Akhmet's actions. A whole bunch, as it turns out. But since no battle plays the same, I have to say that none of the raiders will even reach the mine field. I did a test run, after I mined the area, and like five or so guys charged into the maze only to have their legs blown off. I even deviously placed Claymores around corners, or placed some obvious mines and covered the routes around them with more sneaky Claymores. All this was for naught though, sorry! There's nothing I can do about AI behavior.
As the clock ticks down, Akhmet and Serb are still on the move.
That's no issue though. The raiders will need a moment to move into view, and Vitek is already in place.
Here you can see the points from where they spawn.
Don't be deceived by the low number, there will be plenty of them coming. Also see those yellow guys? They are scripted to walk near the mined house before they turn hostile, to make sure that it has a use.
Ah yes, the mined house. As you can see on the map, Akhmet prepared the only good piece of cover in front of his castle with a big load of explosives. It is a great idea in theory, but only semi useful in the end.
Another important thing is the red guy at the lower right corner. He is an asshole with a SVD rifle and can ruin your day real fast.
So Vitek takes care of him right of the bat.
This is a better representation of the numbers we'll have to face.
I sent Serb to use the new MG, and his side will see the most action for now.
I tell him to just hose down the alley, without expecting him to hit anyone. It's all about diversion for now.
Cause Vitek keeps popping heads.
Those guys are hidden in a side alley, and safe from the MG. But Vitek will kill a ton of guys on this side, no matter where they are.
Serb is doing his thing.
During my practice run, he killed four guys in a single burst. This time he's not so lucky.
At least he got one.
Proper use of the MG's depends a bit on your luck. But if you pay attention to the movement of enemies, and predict it right, you can still score a few cool kills.
By this point, more raiders come in from the other side.
Akhmet has reached the other MG and will put some fire on them.
Here I make a mistake.
I'm so happy about that sweet angle that I forget to check the whole path of the shots. They will go into a dumb wall that's just tall enough to block em.
Luckily, I realize this quickly and adjust.
You can see that dumb wall, on the right.
Serb scores another MG kill.
But Vitek killed the majority of guys here. I can't say it often enough: He's awesome.
Okay, Serb. You're cool too.
Since his side is pretty much done, I have him abandon the MG and get on with a little thing I planned.
As you can see, Akhmet's side is where the action happens now.
And those guys get really close to the house. Soon, my precious..
Here is a quick shot of Serb's side.
Remember that he only got two guys, while Vitek killed the rest and wounded a few.
The wounded on this side, are also the reason why I had a plan for Serb.
Here's the deal. Aiming the rockets is pretty straightforward, but they rely greatly on your heavy weapon score, way more than other guns rely on their respective score. And sometimes you will just miss, without any real reason. Especially if you try to shoot a distant target. Serb is good at heavy guns but he fires it straight into a wall, far away from those guys.
Rockets also have the same weird effect that the grenade launcher has.
:"Yeah, that's it! Good work! A little more...Yeah, got it!"
I'm pretty sure that this message signals that you should blow up the mined house, so let's do it!
It killed two guys, which is better than nothing I guess? As said, nice idea in theory but it won't work out right most of the time.
And there is another dumb thing.
The shockwave will reach your guys, if they are not behind a wall. For some reason?! Akhmet wasn't fast enough.
This battle is mostly over, and Akhmet has some prime targets for the MG.
He even get's two kills. Literally with the last rounds of the burst.
Meanwhile, Serb fired grenades to finish the wounded guys on his side.
Took him some tries till he hit them.
Vitek is still boss.
Akhmet leaves the MG, and joins the headshot fun.
The last raiders duck into cover and won't come out. So Akhmet goes to them. I planned for that event and set the minefield in such a way that you can carefully navigate through it.
No problem at all.
Vitek bags his last kill.
I really wish that this game had kill counts for your guys. Vitek probably has more than Serb and Akhmet together.
Akhmet finds the last two dudes.
I can't really show it, but I used the combat roll feature here. It's easy to overlook this. When you don't have a backpack and hold alt, your guys will do a roll when you click a bit away from them. If you click too close they will just sidestep though.
And here is the last one..
But I like this entry. It makes it clear that we're not fighting some random bandits. Those were, more or less, normal people that didn't want to starve.
Nobody has anything interesting to say, and I have no need for more money. So let's just say that I took a quick look at the corpses, and then moved to the market.
The first minor change here, is that the guards have a new designation.
:"Khasli raiders have just captured one of the fisher houses. Everyone late to escape has been killed. They came here too. But we fought them back."
:"I suffered too. Alright, take care."
When you walk up to the entrance, this new guy will start a chat with you.
:"Hey, Akhmetzyanov. I see you're still breathing."
:"Greetings, Pashkin. I like breathing. And what about you - I saw how Nigmat cleaned up the Administration."
:"What's good about that?"
:"Don't you get it? My lads have some issues with Nigmat. It works both ways, so Nigmat has some issues with us. When they'll find out that there's still three of us left, they will turn the Big Thirty upside down to finish us. Oh, we're four, not three. That's what I want to talk about. Serb's under you now, isn't he? I'd like to talk with him."
Huh, turns out that some more Admin guys survived the mutiny. And as always, Akhmet knows everybody, don't ask why.
This quest is completely optional. You don't need to be a genius to figure out that it will lead to a battle. Of course, I'll do it for the Lp. But I would also have done it in a normal playthrough as it has a hidden connection to the story, and there is a sensible reason for the whole thing.
I send over Serb...
:"Denis, you're alive! Brother! I was about to burry you and me! Thanks to Akhmet - he saved my ass although I still can't believe it. I was shot and confused, I could have been killed by even a child."
:"It seems you're healed now?"
:"Healed as a wild dog. Forget my health, I know what you're aiming for. I'll be quick: I do want to pay my little debt to Nigmat's morons no less than you do. Uff, I'm ready to smother them with my bare hands. But only if my boss agrees. He saved my life, now he decides."
:"I see. Talk to him, please. Obviously, your House will be destroyed if Nigmat gathers enough power. Now is a perfect opportunity to strike them: they're all injured after a fight. And, Nigmat will divide his fighters into two groups, one of which moves to Rusreserve. And that's where I, Vlad and the young ones will take them by their asses. And if you and Akhmet team up with us, nobody will escape."
And here we have the sensible reason, Nigmat is about to become powerful and would then pose a serious danger to Akhmet's house. I'm not so sure how the time-line for Nigmat and his band should go after they overthrew the Administration. That was quite a while ago, and you'd think that they would be well situated by now. Maybe this quest should have been earlier in the story? But let's not dwell too much on little plot holes.
Back to Akhmet..
:"I know, I talked to Pashkin. Don't even try. I already know what you're going to say. I won't let you go with them."
:"If Nigmat becomes stronger..."
:"Ah, shit. Everybody has the same in mind - revenge, revenge.. But if we enter this mysterious story, Mr. Serb, this mysterious, bloody, dark, bad story, we must do it as a team. If Nigmat gathers enough power today, he'll be a dangerous rival tomorrow. But if we won't survive it, our House won't last long. Alright, I'll consider it."
This entry may give a different impression, but you can still tell Pashkin to fuck off.
:"We decided. Generally, your idea is bullshit in which I see no profit, but honestly it's a right thing to do. Let's cut some throats of Nigmat's gang, before he starts to do the same with us."
:"Honestly, I didn't expect it from you. I know your priorities are your wife and your House. We gather at the old guard post, and move out to the Rusreserve by night. Then we kick some asses. I have three fighters with me, so Nigmat will suffer heavily."
We'll do this in the next update.
For now, let's finish our tour around the new market and then stop.
:"What's the news, Oleg?"
I only said that they weren't simple bandits, this doesn't mean that they're nice people. But then again, seeing your children and friends starve changes you, I suppose.
There is also a new trader.
Thanks for complimenting my looks, I guess?
:"Who are you? I've never seen you before."
:"Name is Arkadij. You may call me Arkasha. I used to trade at DOK, under Nigmat. Yeah it was a mess and I could easily be robbed, and the guards didn't care. So when Kiriukha restored order at your place, I moved here."
Here you can see the name thing again. "Kiriukha" is a nickname for Zhirik. And Arkadij has given himself one too. I really would like to know if that is a thing of the Russian language or translation fuckery, as it can be observed through the whole game. Also I have no idea what "DOK" refers to, probably a place from the book.
Anyway, he deals in heavy arms. Rocket launchers, grenades, LMG's, MG ammo - all the big stuff.
Before we finish, let's visit Zhirik and see how he does now.
He has an office on the top floor. Could have been a classroom or the teachers lounge before?
:"Hey! How's your Bazaar business?"
:"It's okay so far. You see people are gathering, every next day we earn a buck more than the day before. But there are expenses too. You see I can't even afford a new girl that I desire. You see this bitch brought by Jackal? Dammit, where does he find such girls.. I am standing here all salivating. He asks for half a thousand, not a Five less. I wish I could just shoot him down and take her, but that's bad for business."
Yep, slavery. It's a thing. Sexual slavery even.
Of course, we're going to support it.
:"Yeah, it must be. So, it's time to rescue you from your sexual toxicosis. Ok, just remember my kindness, I'll deal with your problems."
Let me say a few words about this.
It's optional and normally I wouldn't do it, cause it's fucked up as hell. The reward also isn't that great. The quest itself is a tad confusing and many roads lead to a fight, which is likely to piss off the market guards. The easiest way is to just give Zhirik the money and be done with it. But then you'll miss some dialog with the Slaver. I really would have appreciated it if the devs gave you the option of saving the girl. But then again, that is maybe too heroic/happy for the tone of the game. Also they maybe just assumed that you're cool with sex slaves. 7,62 also had some sex slave/rape shit in it and I have played Planet Alcatraz which is much more awful about the whole matter. Alcatraz is not from the same people but from the same country.
So yeah, what's wrong with you Russia?
Here's the slaver.
The group in the back is also interested in the girl. As said, many choices will lead to a fight.
When you click on the girl..
:"Cool slut, eh?"
It will get even worse.
:"What do you trade?"
:"Don't you see? I breed rabbits. Big two legged rabbits. If you need some labor power we may talk. Sometimes I have girls, in lucky days even unused girls, if you know what I mean. But it's rare and would be expensive. So.. interested?"
:"I'm interested in the girl. What's the price?"
:"I promised it to Egor already. He pays four hundred."
:"You will have to break the promise."
:"Why should I trick my client?"
:"Have you taken his Fives? No, not yet. It means there's nothing to be concerned about. Jackal, sometimes Fives are only part of the deal."
:"And then I have to report to Egor, yeah? Are you nuts, Akhmet? You want some fight, yeah?"
:"You take me for a thief? You have just put yourself in serious trouble. Now, bring me the girl, take your four hundred Fives and shove off before I get angry."
:"I will charge additional hundred for inconvenience. You know, it won't be easy to explain it all to Egor."
I could have killed Egor, or I could have shot the Jackal. But both fights have a good chance to piss everybody off. So after showing the dialog, I trek back to Zhirik and just give him the money.
:"Here, keep it. You owe me now."
:"Well, you tatar mug, thanks. Here, take it, from my personal storage."
Akhmet levels and I put a point into the rifle tree which will help his shotty skills. There is really nothing good left for him.
Affinity to rifles:"No matter how long and heavy a rifle or a shotgun is, you can get it ready in the blink of an eye."
The reward is a fully pimped SVD. But I have no use for it.