Fallout: Split Timelines

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a pleaser. It’s just in my nature. So when you guys were a little bit split on what perk to go with last round in our Fallout Voting, well, I figured I may as well take the time to shine. There was a large minority who were interested in seeing us take the explorer perk, to add a little bit of spice to our runthrough here in the form of the OMG SPECIAL ENCOUNTERS!!!!1111oneone!

So we split the timeline a bit. One split, where Athena takes the tactically advantageous perk that we democratically agreed on and continues on with the rest of the game that we already totally beat so don’t even worry about that, and one where she takes the perk that garnered such interest for the flavor of it and leaves everything far behind in pursuit of adventure.

Let’s see how that second timeline goes, shall we?

So Athena picks the explorer perk. This increases her likelihood of running into a super cool special encounter that totally blows all your minds. Then, ignoring the Overseer still wanting us to check back in with him, we head right back out into the wastes.

SPECIAL ENCOUNTERS only come up in the desert area to the west of our available map. Because having lived in a desert for a good long while, I can personally tell you that if you’re looking for something strange and unusual and interesting… yeah, I can’t even finish that. Anyways, we’re going to the desert. Let’s chronicle our adventures.

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First, we have a regular encounter. In which we come across giant mole rats, and shoot them.

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Then, we have another regular encounter, in which we come across some regular rats. And also shoot them.

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Third, we have one more regular encounter. In which we come across giant mole rats. Shooting them also occurs.

This has been a fruitful hunt so far.

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Then we run into a horde of giant dudes and dudettes in power armor. They say they recognize Athena from when she visited their base, which we totally haven’t yet but whatever. They also warn her not to do something but I don’t even care, because this encounter is not suitably SPECIAL for my tastes. C’mon Explorer! You promised me things!

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Next, we linger a little too close to where mumble mumble is lurking, and run into a crew of Super Mutants. Unlike the ones in the necropolis who just made Athena feel a bit icky with their misplaced attractions, this ones are immediately hostile. And are also endgame-level enemies. Whereas Athena is a midgame level hero. Athena immediately starts booking it towards the escape zone. Tycho and Dogmeat hang back to fight. The two of them, as well as an enemy Super Mutant that came too close, all end up blown to pieces by minigun volleys from a mutant at the edge of the battlefield. These guys don’t play around.

Athena manages to escape, though. But then she runs smack into a very similar group of Super Mutants as she’s trying to put some distance between her and the thing you don’t know about yet. Without Tycho and Dogmeat to serve as meatshields, she’s the only target on the battlefield. So, Fallout has potentially the most realistic miniguns in videogames. In that rather than being the relatively wimpy high rate weapons of other games, miniguns in Fallout fire like 40 rounds in a fraction of a second and have enough power to chew through a tank.

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Suffice to say, Athena’s metal armor is not proof against it.

Let’s try that again, shall we say?  We have not come across anything suitably SPECIAL yet.

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In this new alternative timeline, we’re careful not to wander too far north in the desert. Instead, for the first of several times, we run into an encounter in which we can’t find any water here in the desert, and take some damage due to our thirst. Except our metal armor provides us with some resistance against most sources of damage, so we don’t actually take any.

So, in review, we get so thirsty our health suffers, except all this metal we’re wearing makes it so that this doesn’t actually happen. This happens to Athena many, many times. So next time you’re wandering through the desert, make sure you’re wearing a hundred pounds of steel, and you’ll survive all the extremes it has to offer.

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Radscorpions. Meh.

So Athena gets thirsty but not really about twenty more times, and then it turns out that she’s been wandering the desert for like an hour and nothing SPECIAL has been encountered. See, there’s three things impacting our ability to find special encounters. There’s that Explorer perk, which boosts our chances. There’s Athena’s luck score, which is above average. Then there’s the player’s personal luck score, which, as anyone who knows me will attest, mine is in the negative. I was lucky enough to get the world’s most amazing hair and natural good looks, so my luck is permanently as low as it can go to compensate for that early advantage. So, although Athena should have every shot of finding a special encounter, because of me, it’s just not happening. Sorry guys.

So, I don’t do this often, but after an hour of wandering the desert with nothing to show for it, I gave on. No Godzilla footprint, no TARDIS, no alien crash site, no used car lot, nothing. I don’t do this often at all, but here, I give up. My time is too valuable to me to spend more hunting for something this game is insisting it won’t give me.

Except that doesn’t even count, because this was all an alternate timeline. We’ll see you in our prime timeline next time around.


The Sunshine Blogger Award

So, as we mentioned last time around, in addition to the Mystery Blogger award from Red Metal, we were nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by master of the mental science, bloggess extraordinaire, and dominator of the post-apocalyptic wasteland, Athena. Ran out of time to get my response together for that last week, so let’s address that now.

Rules for the Sunshine Blogger award are:

Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

Athena is a woman of impeccable taste and decision-making. And also she likes Dragon Age. Thank you very much, Athena, for this recognition. I appreciate your consideration.

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

Questions are:

1. If you could change one thing about AAA gaming, what would it be?

This is one of those somewhat trendy business management things, but I would increase the focus on Human-Centered Design. For a quick 101-level summary, the philosophy there is that generally, there’s three directions most people start from when designing a new product. There’s the business side, which seeks to build things that are economically viable, the practical side, which builds things you’re capable of doing, and the human side, which builds things that people want to use. Any product you release has to satisfy elements of all three spheres to be successful, but when you’re just in the early stages, planning things out, you typically start in one of those spheres mentally and move into the others after you’ve started prototyping and actually testing those projects out. Whichever one you start with has the biggest influence on what shape the product tapes. I get the feeling that a lot of AAA gaming starts more in the sphere of seeking financial viability rather than something that’s going to have an impact on the end user, and I’d like to see that shift.

2. Do you think pineapple belongs on pizza?

Absolutely. Pineapple and onion pizza is one of my favorites.

3. Is there an article on your site that you would write differently, knowing what you know now? Which one?

Eh, don’t think so. I can’t think of anything I’ve written that I wouldn’t stand by. Some of them I’d have plenty to add to, my opinions might have changed on a few, but I can’t think of any that I’d re-write.

My post about being unable to identify as a player in my professional life, though, I feel that one I’d have the most to add to with the way time has shaped up.

4. What’s the weather like near you today?

Warm and sunny. Which has been the case most winter. And that’s a problem. I live in an area where the economy strongly relies on the ski industry. So while parts of the country has been absolutely dumped on, we’ve been pretty dry. Our slopes have spent a lot of the season green. Without snow, we haven’t been getting our usual tourists, which has slowed the economy, which has made my job in workforce development a bit more interesting than usual.

5. Do you like pancakes or waffles better?

Waffles, typically. Evenly cooked all over, crispy instead of floppy? Yes please. Pancakes are good too, though.

6. Is there anything about your gaming hobby/habits that you don’t like?

The time available, mostly. As I mentioned in my last post, I am a multi-faceted individual, with multiple interests and responsibilities, and it’s hard to fit them all into a given day. It’s usually not until 9:00 p.m. That I’m able to start playing something, and I’ve only got a few hours to spare for my favorite pasttime. Even then, I often find myself combining activities, such as playing and exercising or playing and listening to something at the same time, if the game is of a kind to allow for that, just to fit in everything I want to before the day’s over. It’d be nice to have a few more hours added to each day so I can deal with that.

7. Do you have a preference between JRPGs and western RPGs?

No. I don’t typically think in terms of genre much, but both can deliver absolutely fantastic experiences. I feel like there’s a lot more half-assed JRPGs than WRPGs out there, but if you reach the heights of both, both genres can be great, and they can be great in very different ways. What I’ll play really depends on my mood.

8. When does an open-world game begin to suffer from open-world bloat?

I think it’s really a factor of time and engagement. When you’re spending a noticeable amount of time doing things that you just check out from, such as travelling through an empty and uninteresting locale, grinding boars for your quest to collect 20 pig asses to craft your Sword of Pork Butt, *ahem combat in Planescape Torment cough cough*, and you’re not actually paying full attention to any of it, I would say that that’s when open-world bloat starts to kick in. Experiences should be engaging. They should cycle mental energy through you. When they stop doing that, when you’re just checking the boxes and checking out, that’s when they start losing you.

9. What is the most memorable line of dialogue in a game?

I’m not a big quotes guy, but I am rather fond of “Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?”

No? You want something meaningful? How about Tales of Phantasia’s “If there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.”

Still not satisfied? Fine, bonus round. “Only a jackass can change the world.” Probably my favorite moment from Final Fantasy X-2.

10. Quick! You have 3 seconds to grab one game from your collection. Which one to do you grab and why?

3 seconds?! Oh no, what am I… Persona 4. That’s also my desert island game, my game that describes me, my 8th degree of Kevin Bacon, etc. I think everybody has a work that truly means something to them. That’s special to them, no matter what the quality is. That there’s a connection there beyond just the work itself. Persona 4 is that for me, for reasons I went over in my last post. Persona 4 is my game of games.   It’s the one where context has transcended context, and it has touched me and my life in a way few others have.

11. Do you collect anything? What is it?
Can you collect memories? If so, that’s it for me. I enjoy novelty, building up new experiences, trying new things out. I am more apt to do something if it gives me something new to learn or an experience I hadn’t tried before. There’s a lot to life, and although I’m never going to experience even a fraction of it, I would like to build up as much experience as I can.

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

Again, nah. I’m just not that social. I don’t think I even have eleven friends. And all the people I would nominate either don’t really jive with the social awards or they’ve gotten one recently because we’re all part of the same circle. Sorry.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
I don’t know what the award logo is. A quick Google Search shows about a hundred different logos. So you know what? Here:


And that’s me!  I hope you all enjoyed me talking about myself as much as I did.  And it was a lovely break over a week when I spend half of it away from my writing computer.  We’ll be back with our regularly scheduled content in the near future.


The Mystery Blogger Award

This post could have been a couple things. A bit about how I tried and utterly failed to every one of our Fallout decision makers. Something reflecting on Planescape Torment’s unfortunate case of bipolar disorder. I could have finally publicly published one of the hundreds of posts sitting in my blog folder extolling the virtues of my hair. But, well, I’m a pleaser. I can’t help it. Just ask your girlfriend. I like leaving the people around me better off. And when those people around me combine that impulse with my natural enjoyment of talking about myself, well, I just can’t help it.

We’ve been touched by those viral get-to-know-you blogging awards again. You may remember our adventures with these in the past, when we were given the Double Lovely Versatile Liebster award. Well, that’s been expanded by not just one, but two steps. First, Red Metal was kind enough to send us over a Mystery Blogger award, thus guaranteeing we’d have easy content ready to go the next time a week got ahead of us. I was holding on to that in my back pocket, waiting for the most opportune time to slip that into my draw, but then Athena raises the stakes with by calling us for the Sunshine Blogger award, and, well, now it’s time for those cards to be on the table. I am nothing if not efficient, so let’s take care of both of those at once here.

Thank you both Red Metal and Athena. I appreciate your interest in opening up humble old me, the kindness you showed in your nominations and giving me the opportunity to talk about my favorite subject, myself.

Let’s start with Red Metal’s Mystery Blogger Award. Step by step, the rules are

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.

You know what, let’s do that, but with a twist.

  • List the rules.

Check, got it. Man, I’m the best at this.

  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Done already. But again, thank you Red Metal. If you’ve been around for most any length of time, you’ve seen him around in the comments at the very least. Dude’s one of my favorite game reviewers, and takes a pretty in-depth look at whatever catches his fancy on the regular. Check him out.

  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

Methinks that one Okoto Enigma maybe started up this award as a means to Google Bomb themselves. But oh well. I won’t hold it against them. With a quick glance at their blog, they’ve got absolutely no crossover with what we talk about here, so, don’t know that you’d be interested, but just for the webcrawlers, here’s their site.  I chose a random post there, just to make the stats the get a little more random.

  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  1. Like many people, video gaming is just one of my too many interests. It’s the one I’ve kept up with the longest, and devote the most mental space to, but I’ve got a too long list of things I keep up with, such as comic books, physical fitness, men’s style, art, New Japan Pro Wrestling, wine, my hair, and so on. Makes my days a little too full. I’ve kept most of them from here, because, although I consider this more an Aether’s Interest blog than a video games blog, I want to have at least a little consistency, but I’ve noticed some of that popping into a few of the examples or analogies I may use.
  2. I fantasize about leading a band, but I haven’t actually picked up an instrument in years.
  3. I think of myself as pretty socially adept. I can hold my own in a conversation, use my network well, get people talking with ease, etc. Put me in front of a room of people, even, and I’ll thrive. I’ve got this huge block when it comes to approaching people, though. I don’t understand it myself. When I’ve got an in to a conversation, it’s easy. When I’m introduced by someone else, fine. But I just can’t figure out how to put myself out there like that. Social stuff is weird.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

Nah. That involves approaching people, and see number 3 above. Also, I have a pretty small blogging circle, and most of those whom I would nominate either received a similar viral award recently or choose not to play along with these.

So here’s an inoculation against the viral spread, I guess.

  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

Okay, done.

  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny

Here’s Red Metal’s questions:

Which game proved to be the biggest disappointment for you?

Justice League Task Force. When I was a kid, had a lot of fun with fighting games, loved superheroes, this seemed really interesting from the magazines, a perfect fight. Then I rented it, and it played like garbage. Slow, clumsy, special moves were really unreliable, just not a good experience. I’m sure I’ve been more disappointed by games since, but I remember this one because it was my first learning experience that not all games will live up to my excitement.

Which game proved to be the most pleasant surprise for you?

Persona 4. But this one’s going to take a bit of a story.

Around the time I picked this game up, I was in a weird place in life. Part of that led to me just not enjoying things, including video games, as much. Part of that was just general malaise, but part of that was that it was a lot easier to see the worst in everything than it was the good. And my gaming habits were hitting that wall hard. I was starting to think the whole medium had peaked, and was on its way down in quality. I had been considering giving it up.

I don’t remember why I had picked up Persona 4. I didn’t know anything about it, other than that Persona 3 was reputed to be really good, and I had very fond memories of its Super Famicom predecessor Shin Megami Tensei from a time when I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing else to do than to trial and error my way through a brutally hard JRPG that I couldn’t even read. But I gave it a try on a whim, and I was blown away. It was an incredibly tight story that was very well thought out, I built connections to the characters there in a way I was sorely lacking from the people I was with in real life, and the battle system had complexities at a level I wasn’t expecting from a JRPG of the time.

It didn’t exactly turn my life around, but it did single-handedly turn me back into a devoted hobbyist of video games. I had been a proponent for stories in video games beforehand, but that was the first one that really opened my eyes to the depths of just what unique feature the medium had for storytelling.  Not only that, it was fun.  I fell in love with it, and it showed me I still could enjoy video games at a time I really needed that.  I probably wouldn’t be playing today and having this blog here were it not for that game.

What is the most memorable scene from a film you’ve watched?

For me, it’s the climax to Beauty and the Beast. Where the Beast is fighting with Gaston, and the latter falls off the castle to his death. Between Gaston’s blind rage, and the first time I think I was exposed to a death as a kid, that really stuck with me.

What inspired you to begin blogging?

Blazes. Look at my sidebar there. This blog dates back to the start of 2013. For such a simple project like this one, that’s exceptionally long. Long enough that I don’t rightly remember.

I’ve been writing for a long time. Some of which has even seen the light of day. I used to admin for a roleplaying forum, and was a pretty active participant there. I’ve got a few articles scattered around other people’s sites, used to put together fun essays and games on various social media I was a part of, etc. I enjoyed it. I like creating. But everything I did was all scattered around, and it was all on other people’s sites. I had nothing of my own. I was also following quite a few gaming blogs at the time. I was frustrated with most of the forums and what not I had been dealing with, how much discussion went ignored there, but I was enticed by the idea of having my own little place that I could put my own thoughts up, keeping my own small corner of the internet, just having a place for me and whatever from my mind I felt I could share with the world. I figured I’d try it out, see how it goes, and five years later, I’m apparently still at it. I don’t have the time to post as much as I’d like to, and it doesn’t seem to have as much reach as the avenues I used to write through, but I’m very fulfilled with it.

If you could go back in time and see any band that has permanently broken up perform a concert, which one would you choose?

Nightwish is one of my favorite bands. They’re still around, but they’ve gone through a few lead singers, and each time, it changes their musical profile significantly. Would have been nice to have caught them with their original lead singer, with whom they put out a lot of their most notable work.

  • Share a link to your best post(s).

My best post? They’re all great, how can I choose? But I am particularly proud of having what I believe is the most comprehensive list of left-handed video game characters on the internet. It could probably do with an update, there’s two more I’ve come across in games since I put that list together, but it’s still a more thorough list than I believe you’d be able to find elsewhere. Occasionally, I track back the links leading people to the blog, and find that someone else has used that list for their own projects. That’s also fulfilling to me, that it’s started to take a life of it’s own.

Also, I’m really proud of our Dark Souls run here. If you have some time to fill, might I suggest that? The first post probably not so great, because I wasn’t expecting to do a LP out of it then, but from the second onward, should be hitting more our stride. That was the first LP I’ve completed, and I think it went really well. Especially one jumping in blind to a notoriously difficult game.

More recently, I think my post analyzing Nintendo’s business culture is pretty noteworthy. It was fun for me to step back into my business academic shoes, and although it’s mostly conjecture, I think it does come from a perspective and carries information you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

And, you know, because this is long enough already, and because it’s time for me to go play some games, how about we tackle the Sunshine Blogger award in another post.

Fallout: Election 2018!

This one snuck up on me. I hadn’t realized we were closing in on level 9 in our Fallout run, and it wasn’t until I started the game up again and it asked me for my choice of perks that I realized it’s time for yet another vote. Now, we’ve got the water chip, saved our vault, and are back home again. There is absolutely, positively, no more reason to go out into the wastes again. Honest. Don’t let the fact that there’s still half the map left and a bunch of mystery abounding fool you. We beat the game. Just have to talk to the Overseer again now that we’ve submitted our report to work it out. But, you know, given that we have the option to choose more perks, even though we’re obviously not going to have the time to make use of them before the credits roll which is going to be super soon, I figured I’d let you guys make one final choice on the direction of our Athena.

Our new choices with this level up are:

Animal Friend

This perk will make Dogmeat like us. Well, she already likes us. But this will make all the other animals we run across like us just like Dogmeat does!

No, no it won’t. But at least it will make it so they don’t want to murder us on sight anymore.

Better Criticals

We’re at the stage of the game where it doesn’t always oneshot the enemy when we get a critical hit anymore. Still does massive amounts of damage, but sometimes, an enemy is able to hang on long enough to die later. If that bothers you, you can take this perk, which makes our critical hits 20% more powerful when we do catch one.

Bonus Rate of Fire

So, when I’m presenting these perks, I am completely nonpartial. I’ve got my preferences, but I’m not going to try to color your choices. So when I tell you to vote for this one, if you have any love in your heart for me or for dear Athena, you know I’m still keeping that professional distance in there.

Right now, it costs 5 action points to fire a gun, or 6 if Athena’s wanting to target a specific body part. Athena’s got 9 action points to play with, so she can fire once and do something else, either move a bit or dig into her backpack, every turn. This perk will reduce the AP cost of ranged attacks by one. Meaning Athena will get to fire twice a turn. Effectively doubling her offensive capacity.

This is obviously the best choice. So much so, I don’t know why they even offer other perks to guns based characters at this level. But no pressure.


We’ve got an Armor Class. This works just like it does in traditional tabletop games. The higher our Armor Class, the more likely we are to not be hit by attacks. AC comes from armor and stats. This perk increases the bonus we get to AC from our stats.

That was a lot of words to say it just makes us harder to hit.


We’ve yet to run into any of them, but this game actually has a lot of interesting random encounters. Get to see some fun stuff going on. This perk increases our chances of running into one of them.


Back at the beginning of the game, you guys chose two special traits for Athena. You chose to make her smarter and more aware at night, less so during the day, and you chose to make her better than everyone else. If you were uncertain about either of those decisions, you could choose this perk and get a do-over.

A short list this time around. There are more that can unlock at level 9, but Athena doesn’t have the stats for them. But that’s ok. We’ve still got enough to choose from. Or, if you were interested, any of the previous perks are still up for grabs.

Here’s the complete list of what we’ve got available to us:

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As always, vote in the comments!

Lagging Behind on the Leading Ladies: The Social Factors


Business Factors

Creative Factors


Gotta admit, I’ve been putting this one off for a while. Part of it’s the fact that, although I’ve been watching for a long time and done some work on the fringe, I don’t have the same type of background for discussing the social factors as I do the business and creative factors on female representation in video games. But most of it’s the fact that this part of the subject is particularly depressing, and I don’t like having to face it.

Here’s the deal; we, as humans, are just bad to each other. And we don’t even think about it. We’re a society that’s been built on social groups, and the belief that our social group is better than everyone else’s We’ve stepped into an era where surrounding us with people just like us is not important anymore, but we still hold to that old tribal thinking.

And every group does it. In the west, we often point the blame at the WASP men because that’s the easiest and the socially safest, but in countries where other races are in power, they do the exact same thing. Same in micro-cultures were women hold the power. It’s the unfortunate interaction of people’s habits of attempting to mentally understand something completely the moment it’s introduced and so filling in their concept of a person based on stereotypes of the most obvious features until further information is gained and of thinking of themselves and the people like them or in their groups as inherently superior to all others.

Us vs. Them. It’s one of the most addictive ways of thinking, yet one that leads to ugliness in life like few others. Us vs. Them is the enemy. And if we want to start treating each other well, we need to identify and eliminate it wherever it comes up, and whether it benefits our group or not.

But that is a large task. It starts with understanding, in small pieces. So, in pursuit of that understanding, let’s take a look at one facet among thousands of that comprise of this, and dig into some of the social challenges of having women as the main protagonist in video games.

Continue reading

Leaving Love Behind: Aromantic Characters in Video Games

It was Valentine’s Day earlier this week. Valentine’s is kind of a crock, isn’t it? Who is it even good for anymore? Single people hate it, because it reminds them of their status and implies there’s something wrong with that. It sets attached people up for disappointment, condition them to expect great experiences provided by their partners with no effort required on their part, that both partners can’t reach and get burned by. I think it might be worst of all, though, for people like me. I know there are a lot of you out there who ache for someone to have on Valentine’s Day. And I’m sorry. I don’t do it on purpose, but it happens because of me all the same. It might be true that there’s someone out there for everyone, but come Valentine’s season, all the someones come knocking down my door. The reason you’re single right now is statistically likely to be because your destined mate just won’t leave me alone.

Valentine’s. It does things to people. And apparently that makes them come here and beg me for dates. And I’m a lot of man with a lot of love to go around, but even I have my limits. I’ve been booked solid for a week plus with admirers, and I’ve still got a ways to go. This is awful. I don’t have time anymore. Things are starting to get sore. And everyone always expects me to pay. Valentine’s sucks.

Let’s make ourselves feel better by celebrating the characters in games who have stepped away from that. Both sexuality and romance are not nearly as universal in video game stories as they are in other mediums. But that makes it all the more unique when you do find someone who clearly occupies the neutral ground in those regards. Let’s hear it for those who stand apart from that whole structure entirely.

Terra-Final Fantasy VI


FFVI’s first leading lady has had a complicated development. A product of forbidden love herself, then kidnapped and raised as a living weapon/possible mindslave, before her memory is stripped. So, come game time, she doesn’t know who she is and what she’s about. Has trouble with navigating a lot of feelings, the one she seems to have the hardest grip on being love.

Seems like it might be leading up to her coming to herself as a man sweeps her off her feet. Maybe it would be that charming king that shows an obvious interest in her and gets her connected with the main crux of the conflict. Or maybe it would be that noble and honest enemy general she has a moonlit heart-to-heart moment with during a rare period of peace. Or maybe it would be that dashing rogue with a penchant for saving damsels that 90% of boys named after themselves because he was the first male character to show up in the game. It really seems the games moving that way in a lot of points.

But no. She does grow into herself over the course of the game, finding more about who she is and how she should feel. She even finds love. But it’s a maternal love, for some orphans she rescues and takes care of. In spite of more than a few men pursuing her, she shows absolutely no interest in romance of any kind.

Agent 47-Hitman


Agent 47 always finds himself surrounded by sexually-charged people. Apparently, it just makes it easier for him to infiltrate and do his work. He’s a man that’s only ever focused on one thing, though, and love has no place in that. In fact, although he’s usually implacable, romantic overtures towards him are one of the few things that consistently draw an emotional reaction.

Which makes for a pretty interesting dichotomy with his game world. Hitman’s settings get progressively oversexed, to the point where they start bringing in the battle fetish-nuns a few games ago and that’s apparently a normal thing for them. And 47 wants absolutely no part of that. He stands apart.

Cole-Dragon Age


Sure, you can ruin this if you want, but as a spirit largely unintegrated into normal human society, Cole just shows no interest in romancing anyone. That’s just not how he makes relationships. Throw him in a situation where he’s almost guaranteed to get some, he’ll just end up solving people’s problems and making friends, and leaving it at that. Unless you push him towards being more human, topics of love are just lost on him.



Like 47, he’s just dedicated to his job. Of being a thief. The IRS has a hard time taxing it. Matters of romance are a distraction from him being the thievingest thief he can be, and he doesn’t stand for it. He does empathize with women, show concern for them, but never any romantic interest.

Ivy-Soul Calibur


Yes. The woman showing up on so many sexiest character lists just doesn’t have any interest in sharing herself with anyone else that way. Sorry to burst your bubble. She just likes dressing that way for her own sake. And that’s fine.

So officially, this is out of necessity. Ivy’s the latest as part of a cursed bloodline, and doesn’t want to risk passing that along. Even before she found out about that though, she never particularly showed any interest in romance. One of those who just always seemed to have something more important going on.

Which is not to say she doesn’t value love or relationships. She had a very strong bond with her father. There’s just many different types of love, and she’s never had an interest in partaking in the romantic.

The Salarians-Mass Effect


As a whole. An entire species. None of them care about that mushy stuff.

If you want to make something seem really alien, show them as having an unusual sexuality. It’s bizarre when you think about it, but sex and love are such a huge part of our individual identities, that showing a culture with very different sexual habits immediately and strongly sets them askance. Sure, the Salarians look like walking crab pincers and have the lifespan of a dog but it’s not until you find out that courtship for them is all about business relationships and nothing else that they start seeming really weird.

Again, it’s not that you don’t see them forming bonds, connections, relationships, etc. It’s just that almost none of them, are romantic in nature. And I bet they don’t have a Valentine’s Day. So lets all go vacation on their planet February of next year.

Fallout: The End…

Last Time on Fallout Girl, we were faced with some dick asking us to kill some jerks, and you guys rightfully said no. Let’s see how that all ends up, shall we?

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So out in the streets outside the watershed, we run across Larry here, the first of the Super Mutants stationed here in the Necropolis. He doesn’t bother us as we approach, instead mentioning something about ‘the boss’. I’m actually not sure who he refers to here. Played it a couple times, and there’s a couple of people he could call ‘the boss’, some of whom might actually hit you.

The first one is inside the watershed here. Harry. They’ve got theme naming. Harry spots Athena coming up, dressed in a very flattering set of bloodstained spiked metal armor, face flushed and jaw clenched from the frustration of having to deal with a total dick, killing machine in her hand. He sees how pretty she is. He tells her so.

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Athena could respond by smacking his face across the room, but we’re going nonviolent here, so she chokes back the bile and butters him up instead. We get our first real look at Super Mutants here. They’re much larger, uglier, and dumber versions of humans. Have difficulty talking, parts of their bodies so overgrown they have to hold them up with straps. Thinking’s a bit of a problem for them. Harry here, he realizes she’s a normal human, says that he’s supposed to take normal humans to “Lou Tenant”, but doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her so he lets her through, but tells her to be quick about it.

Most of the time, gender doesn’t matter in the original Fallout. This is one of the few times it does. Male characters, or female characters with less charisma than Athena, have to convince Harry that they’re actually robots instead of humans to get through there. Fail the speech check, you get a fight, which, once again, is probably the second most consistent companion-killer in the game. You can also choose to let Harry take you to his leader and end up with an early look at an end-game area and boss, but that also ends with all your stuff being taken away from you, with you locked up in a cell, surrounded by a whole bunch of better-armed version of these guys. Something of a challenge option for stealth-based characters, certain doom for all other builds. Recent success notwithstanding, Athena is not a stealth-based character. Let’s take the road better-traveled.

Anyways, Harry lets us through. Next room over in the water shed is the broken water pump we were informed of previously. If you need a refresher, the Necropolis has two sources of water, this water pump, and the computerized water-filtration system that probably has the water chip we’re looking for. The pump’s not working, so they’re completely reliant on the thing we need to render inoperable to save our people.

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In the back is a ghoul that’s locked up for reasons. We’ve got no real reason to do this, but after joining the circle of thieves, Athena’s starting to get a real itch to practice her skills. Just for fun, she picks his cell door open. In return, the ghoul tells us a bunch of stuff we already know. Ok. It also mentions something about some wild glowing ghouls downstairs. Continue reading