Tonight we’re pleased to share the fourth Game Guide diary from David Hodgson, author of the War and Peace-sized Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide. If you live in the Portland area, David has informed me he’ll be signing copies of the guide on Monday night at a GameStop at the Clackamas Promenade.
Here’s David (caution: some spoilers below)
Although it is possible to complete your New Vegas experience without personally slaying anyone yourself, much of your time exploring all the backwater settlements, chem-dens, and abandoned ghost towns involve tense interactions with entities that could best be described as “bloody entertaining.” The Mojave Wasteland is filled with a multitude of enemies ranging from the savage to the refined, and by the time you’ve pissed off a major faction or two, you’ll be craving a complete list of every single monstrosity, or faction enemy — along with their Level, Perception, combat skill abilities, favored weapons, and even the likely loot their corpses contain. The guide is an amazing place to find accurate information on those foes you’ll be cleaving, culling, or cutting. But who’s out there in the badlands, waiting to pounce?
Human-sized foes dominate much of the landscape, and these vary from the White Glove Society Bouncers (who strike with their refined, but oh-so damaging fancy Dress Canes), to the sausage-fingered hired hands of Brahmin Baron Heck Gunderson. The shifty-eyed thugs of Freeside are more aggressive, to such an extent that you can employ the services of a bodyguard to watch your back in the sprawling maze of alleys where the less opulent eke out a grim existence. Both inside the gates of Freeside, and out in the wild blue yonder, the major Factions have their guardsmen. Take the Boomer tribe for instance, who greet visitors with howitzer fire and wield Grenade Launchers for good measure. The scattered settlements of Goodsprings, Primm, Novac, and Sloan all have a particular type of plucky soul attempting to make a living off the land (whether growing vegetables you can pick and cook, or blasting limestone from a nearby quarry).
Naturally, the main Factions of the NCR and Caesar’s Legion have a number of shock troops you might not wish to get on the wrong side of. If you’re at Hoover Dam to watch the arrival of Bear Force One (NCR President Aaron Kimball’s Vertibird), expect the security to be tight, and the President’s guard to be comprised of veteran Rangers with armor you’d almost give a companion up for. Or if you’ve been summoned by Caesar, and are visiting his sprawling Fort in Arizona, you’ll be sizing up the guards to see whether wrestling the ornate breastplate off his corpse is worth a declaration of hostilities. But for the real horrors that inhabit the lonely stretches of the Long 15 highway — the mutated, shrieking deviants shunned by Mother Nature, ready to devour and mutilate — the dank caverns and blasted heaths are where your mettle is truly tested.
Wilder foes are classified as “Abominations,” creations abhorrent to the natural order of things, and “Mutated Animals,” wildlife with a taste for human flesh. At the top of the “crap your pants in fear” chart are the Alpha Male, Female, and Legendary Deathclaws — taller, bigger, and sharper than their east-coast brethren. Geckos also dash around the countryside, bigger than a man, and skedaddling faster than you can run. Venture into an old Vault in the northwestern mountains, and expect encounters with atrocities that merge the line between plant and animal. Fight off the slithery and furry advances of the Nightstalker, then save some of your ammunition for the scatterings of Feral Ghoul settlements and encampments of blue Nightkin Super Mutants — and their lunatic leaders, Tabitha and Davison.
No matter what skills and weapons you’ve armed yourself with, there are rugged, rocky sandscapes, detritus-filled alleyways, or coniferous woodlands with something waiting to jump out and take a swipe at you. It’s up to you to meet and greet it, or beat and eat it.
Next week David will be back for his final Game Guide Diary. By then, you’ll be ready to venture into the wasteland.