(This is part of my journey going checking out Fallout 2. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
My rag-tag party of a tribal and an engineer and I begin our trek out to Vault City. The overworld map can spring all manner of encounters on you, and we quickly walk in on a disturbing standoff between farmers and three hulking armored goons. The farmers refuse to go with the Enclave and are gunned down for it, although we are mysteriously left alone.
Crossing the wasteland is a tough go. We keep hitting combat encounters — robbers, slavers, geckos. I’d be more than happy to grind up a few levels on them except that I keep burning through ammo and stimpacks just to survive (and that stuff is expensive).
I’m actually overjoyed when we bump into a merchant caravan, since it’ll be a bunch of friendlies and I can resupply. That joy does not last long…
Vault City is a long, long way away from the Den. So far away, in fact, that when I stumble over a small farming community, I declare that we have to take a rest stop, just to break up the monotony of mountain crossing. This is Modoc, by the way, which is either a Marvel supervillain or a juvenile joke by Black Isle (read that name backwards).
Modoc is a farming community that’s in a bad way due to a drought. Guess we’re in California (rimshot). The general store trader wants me to investigate a farm that (pro) has growing crops while everyone else does not but (con) apparently has homicidal ghosts. Sure. Why not.
I take on a quick job to eliminate a pack of wild dogs that have been preying on the local cows. “Quick” is a relative term, since the fight takes just shy of forever. I love a lot of things about Fallout 2, but the tedious turn-based combat system is not always endearing, especially when the field is populated by a couple dozen critters, each of which have to take a turn moving around.
At least killing the dogs was worth it: I gain another level — and this one with a perk! Lots of tough choices (kama sutra master? That’s a trap and don’t deny it!), but I’m going to go with Ranger, because I’d love to see more of these special encounters on the map. Might make for good blogging.