Last time on Fallout, y’all decided to side with the good, handsome lawman that asked kindly for our help over the evil fat jerk that threatened us. I know it was a hard choice for you all. But one that I’m happy to see through.
So, we head on over to Killian, and let him know the good news. We got Gizmo’s confession, courtesy of the recorder we were wearing when he hired us to kill the mayor/shopkeeper. For that, Killian offers us our choice from a number of different rewards. Not quite the ‘anything in the store’ he promised. In fact, outside of the stimpaks, everything he offers is something that we already have and couldn’t get any more use out of. So yeah, for finally breaking the stalemate that has locked Junktown down for who knows how long, he gives us like five of the most basic healing item in the game. Woo.
He follows by asking us if we’d like a piece of the action in taking down Gizmo, to which we respond that we’d love the chance to see the fat guy try to walk. With that, we head out.
Unfortunately, we never get the chance to see that through. Killian gathers the guard, storms into Gizmo’s office, and announces that Gizmo is going for a long trip downtown. Gizmo decides that he’d rather not, so he pulls out a gun and fires a shot into Killian. All from behind his desk. The guy in fact never leaves that desk at all, so no walking for him.
In any case, Killian and his guards return fire on Gizmo. Athena takes aim at Gizmo’s bodyguard, Izo, and nails him in the head. Izo is a pretty simple combatant, no weapons, no items, nothing special, just pure physicality to him. He might be dangerous, if we didn’t find metal armor long before we’d be able to get it if we hadn’t taken on the raiders. As is, he strikes at us twice in his turn, neither of which break past our armor class.
The guards and Killian continue the firefight with Gizmo while Dogmeat and Athena take on Izo. Athena knocks him down with a critical hit, and Dogmeat closes in and finishes Izo off herself. Next turn, a shotgun blast blows Gizmo’s chest out of him, and the crime lord is down.
This gains us the good well of most of the justice-styled folks in the town, as well as enough experience points for another level. We’ll be waiting until it’s night to level up, for the extra skill points that come as Athena’s intelligence rises. We’ve got some business in town before then, however.
So hey, you remember Tycho, the desert ranger at the bar who taught us some stuff about survival? We check in with him, and tell him that Killian has asked us to clean up the town, and he’s all to happy to join up. He suggests we start by taking down Gizmo. Yeah… I guess we could have picked him up after turning in Gizmo’s recording, but I’ve always remembered his recruiting criteria as being after we take down the plus-sized crimelord.
In any case, we’ve got our new companion, which is really handy to have with Ian passing on so early. Tycho’s probably the strongest companion in the game, although like all of them, he’ll have a hard time keeping up as we head into the endgame. He’s big on spears, shotguns, and rifles, and has the best defenses and highest hit points of all our potential companions. Tycho doesn’t show nearly as much personality as Ian does, but he does have a pretty clear sense of justice. He wouldn’t have joined us at all if we had sided with Gizmo.
Of course, as high as his sense of justice is, he doesn’t say a word to stop us as we head into Gizmo’s office and loot the corpses. Izo doesn’t have anything on him, but Gizmo carries a 9mm Mauser. This is a gun we are never going to use, because it’s weak and it’s ammo is limited, but it highlights a pretty interesting thing about the Fallout world all the same. This is the only 9mm weapon we’ll find. In the real world, 9mm ammunition seems to be the standard for small arms. The industry did play around with 10mm ammunition, but to my recollection largely found it to offer no advantage over the slightly smaller bullet. Fallout takes a different course through history, one in which the 10mm bullet did largely supplant the 9mm. We see that alternate route a few times, such as how they were able to build advanced power armors and robotics before the war but still store data on tapes and have personal computers the size of armchairs.
We also break into Gizmo’s bedroom, and pick up a gun hobbyist magazine there, as well as the ultimate in wasteland assassination tools, a burlap sack. Seriously. If we need to kill someone in public with nobody the wiser, I’ll show you how that works.
Then we embark on our next errand in Junktown. You may recall that, much like Killian did with Gizmo, the guards wanted Gizmo’s gang, the Skulz, taken down, but aren’t able to act without evidence. We’ve got something we can do about that. Basically, the same thing we did to Gizmo.
The Skulz hang out in the back of the Crash House Hotel. There’s a guard outside, but they don’t stop us from just walking in, so what’s the point. We go in, and tell the leader, Vinnie, that we want to join the Skulz.
To Vinnie’s credit, he wants us to prove himself before he drops the details of his evil plan. So he’s got at least that much over Gizmo. You remember Neal, the bartender/owner at the Scum Pit who blew away that Skulz banger that was getting too handsy with his waitress? Vinnie seems to have set his sights on him following that, and wants us to begin making him suffer by stealing his wife’s ashes.
You would think this would be enough to get at least some action from the town guard, but no. They don’t even give you the option to bring it up. So we actually have to go through with this one.
It’s really a simple heist. Early enough in the morning, when the bar’s closed, Neal locks up the front door and retires to his bedroom. He leaves the side door unlocked, which opens up right in front of where he keeps his wife’s urn on the bar. We pop in, pick up then we’re home for pie.
We take the ashes to Vinnie, who’s plenty happy with our deed. He says the Skulz are going to be raiding the Scum Pit seeking Neal’s head tonight, and asks us if we’d like to join them. We agree, but say we need a moment to pick a little party favor.
That little party favor turns out to be the town guard. Now, this is another situation where we’ve got ourselves a moral choice, where we can side with either the Skulz or the guards in this battle, but since you guys already made the choice to take down Gizmo, I figured we should just see the whole thing through and wipe out any trace of his criming in town. We head to Lars, guard captain, and let him know that what the Skulz are planning. Lars requests our help in the coming firefight, and we happily agree.
We arrive just as the firefight starts, in which Vinnie knocks Neal down with the opening salvo. The Skulz are no Khans. They are way weaker, way less organized, and way poorer equipped. This fight poses very little threat to us. The big challenge here is putting a stop to it with Neal still alive. The bartender is in even worse condition than the Skulz are, and they’re all gunning towards him.
Athena starts the fight by convincing the Skulz to turn towards a more threatening target, and blasts the nearest banger in the head. Dogmeat, Tycho, and the guard all follow suit, dispersing their attacks among the nearest Skulz members. Our opponents take the bait, and start returning fire at Athena and the guards. All of them, at least, except for Vinnie.
Vinnie’s still gunning for the bartender, so we interpose ourselves between the two. When someone’s in the line of fire, there’s a chance that they’ll be hit instead of the intended target. That pays out for us here, as we intercept Vinnie’s next shot, lodging it into our chest cavity instead of Neal’s. Yaaaaaaaaay. We respond by shooting Vinnie point-blank in the eye. Then Neal gets up, and successfully shoots around us to take Vinnie down for good.
Vinnie was the most dangerous one on the field. With him gone, the rest of the Skulz are easy to mop up. We could really leave the guard to it, and they’d have no problem. We don’t, though.
Next morning, we give Neal his urn back, over the pile of corpses that he still hasn’t cleaned up. We don’t tell him that we stole it in the first place. Something tells me he probably wouldn’t take that well. He’s so happy to have it back that he says we’ll never pay for a drink in his bar again. I consider abusing that, but given that we only solved a problem we created in the first place, Athena leaves after downing a single whiskey. Girl does love the hard stuff.
We’re not particularly hurt, but we visit the hospital nonetheless. That’s where the cool people hang, after all. Like these two big guys, Flash and Cougar, toughs serving the resident doctor, Doc Morbid. As you can guess from the name, Doc Morbid isn’t exactly a pleasant fellow. He’s a very competent doctor, but he’ll charge way up the nose for the simplest of services, and will barely tolerate your presence while he’s at it. He does have a basement, though. We check it out.
There’s a lot of strewn body parts around, and a dwarf stuffing things into an icebox in the center of the basement. We chat him up, telling him his boss sent us down.
The dwarf isn’t exactly sharp. He immediately tells us that he’s ‘packing up lots of good meat’ for ‘Iguana man Bob’, a food vendor in the Hub. Seems like Doc Morbid has a side business in recycling human corpses.
One thing I’ve noticed about my time in Junktown so far. Athena’s found herself in plenty of situations that she could easily talk her way out of, but doesn’t due to either my screw-up, such as with the crazed raider in the hotel, or by choice, such as with the Skulz. This is another one of those situations she could easily talk her way out of, leaving the dwarf to his dim self and convincing the Doc and guard upstairs to let her leave peacably with what she knows.
I just don’t feel like it.
With Gretch dead, Athena examines the icebox. Immediately afterwards, she regrets the decision. The locker in there would show us what exactly these human corpses are being used for, but it’s both locked and trapped, and Athena is not skilled enough with either of the abilities she’d need to safely get it open, so we miss out on seeing the Iguana Bits on a Stick we’ll become a little more familiar with in the next area. We head back upstairs.
Doc Morbid sees us, and, having heard the one-sided fight going on downstairs, immediately flees into the basement. We go to the basement, and he immediately runs back into his office. I don’t know how we will ever catch this criminal mastermind with escape routes so powerful.
Oh wait, we just shoot him the next time we come upstairs. He’s a good doctor. And a bad person. But also a bad bullet sponge. Athena and Tycho gun him down easily.
Flash and Cougar also join the fight. There’s a wall in between us and them, which means they need to walk to get us into firing range, by which point they don’t have enough AP left to fire their shotguns and are easy pickings for the two of us. At least Flash does. Dogmeat screws up our tactical genius by taking the fight to Cougar, but by the time he does so, Flash is down, so it’s three against one. Things are pretty predictable from there.
We loot the place after that. Four people killed, and all we get for it are a few caps and some grenades in the bookshelves. Well, I suppose we also stopped them from feeding people corpses/potentially killing people for more supplies. That counts for something, too. There are also some rocks in the same bookshelf we get the grenades from. Rocks in this game are a little weird. I’ve known some people to go through this game collecting rocks. Rocks in Fallout are a non-renewable resource. They’re a really poor throwing weapon, but there’s only a limited amount and there aren’t any more. I’m tempted to do the same, but decide against it. Poor Athena’s carrying capacity is not that high, and with her metal armor it’s near its limit already.
After this, we go back to the hotel and talk to Sherry, the ‘guard’ of the Skulz hangout. She doesn’t quite seem to realize she’s the only one left, and still talks as though the Skulz are still around. Athena gets her therapy chops on, and starts having a good, heart to heart discussion about Sherry, what she’s doing with her life, and what kind of person Sherry would like to be in the future. Sherry’s not thought in the long term before, so this is a revelation for her. Athena convinces her to leave the life of crime behind and make something of herself. If we hadn’t already killed the Skulz, we could then convince her to flip on them and provide the testimony required to have them arrested. As is, we don’t gain anything from this, but I like knowing we’ve had a positive impact on one of them, at least.
Finally, we visit the town boxing ring. If we were so inclined, we could bet on boxing matches, but there’s not one going on right now. Rather we talk to Saul. It’s really easy to miss, but when the Skulz member gets to handy with Trish in the bar and Neal blows him away, Trish calls out for a Saul. That’s this guy. I don’t remember talking to her about her relationship with him, but Athena does, and so has a little word with him about her. They apparently have disagreements because Trish doesn’t like his boxing very much, isn’t into the risk to him. Athena talks with him about Trish’s point of view, and the need for a compromise. He sees her point, decides to try and meet Trish halfway, and Athena gets a few more experience points for saving their relationship. You don’t just learn things from killing, after all.
And with all that, we’ve done all there is to do in Junktown. What’s next in Athena’s adventures? Stay tuned to find out.