Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic


The Fallout series of games take place after a nuclear apocalypse and earlier I had briefly mentioned Fallout 3 (which takes place in the post war Washington DC area).  The game (especially the game-of-the-year edition) comes with a huge variety of quests, mini-quests and encounters as you wander the wasteland.  I keep meaning to point out two that stuck in my mind.

While just wandering around, I came upon a slaver camp.  I should point out that 99% of the encounters with bandits, slaves, slavers, etc. are white/Caucasian NPCs.   Anyway, not being a big fan of slavers I took it upon myself to be inquisitive...with my assault rifle.  It turned out that the guy running the slaver camp was a black 'preacher' by the name Eulogy Jones.  Since I used non-verbal methods to invade the camp and never got to speak to him without many bullets inside of him, I kind of wondered what Mr. Jones's story was, but I did get a nice suit out of the deal anyway.  (As an aside to this, in an add-on where a former military man has turned Pittsburgh into a glorified slave colony, the master of the colony is also black).

Later in the game there is an interesting side quest surrounding one Mr. Tenpenny.  Tenpenny had set up a quiet oasis in an old hotel in the wastelands, but no black people ghouls (semi-civilized zombies) were allowed to live there.  Naturally the ghouls living underground nearby resented Tenpenny and felt that they should be allowed to live there as well.  The quest kind of kicks off with either encountering the ghoul leader in their shelter, or entering Tenpenny Tower as it's called, as a couple of ghouls get turned away at the gate.
Tenpenny Tower


Before continuing, I'll point out that in Fallout there's a 'karma' characteristic where you can be either good (help people, kill only bad guys, etc.) or bad (thieving, help bad guys, etc.).  Being good brings some long term benefits later in the game while being bad gives you (generally) short term benefits early in the game.  For the Tenpenny quest, the game guides you into good karma by working to give the ghouls a chance to live at Tenpenny Towers.  Every time the player kicks an anti-ghoul human out of the tower, or convinces another human to the idea of letting the blacks ghouls live in the Tower, the player's karma is improved.  After enough hard work Tenpenny finally relents and allows human and ghoul to live side by side in peace.

It seems a lot of players leave it at that, but if you return to Tenpenny Towers a few days later you discover that the ghoul junta has wiped out the humans.  Speaking to the new ghoul residents leads to reactions like "oh that's a shame, the white people humans didn't seem that bad, but oh well...".   Although a nice prize is given for helping the ghouls I couldn't help but feel sick and I have a hard time believing that whoever scripted the event wasn't in on the double meaning.

Anyway in the end, as with the slavers, I let my assault rifle do the talking; karma be dammed.

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