(This is part of my journey going playing through 2010’s Fallout New Vegas. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
You can’t see it, but my eyes behind those goggles are hollow. My lips are cracked from the screams. And that burning town behind me? That’s the horror show that was Nipton, California.
Let me back up a bit. Right now I’m making the very long journey from Primm to Novac. It’s a trip that literally spans two states and a whole lot of deadly between Points A and B. I’m overloaded with gear I’d like to sell and probably greatly underleveled (I’m inching my way toward level 6), but it’s where I need to go.
And then I arrived at Nipton.
The storytelling that happened in Nipton is actually well told. You don’t know it when you arrive, but it starts in reverse, with the very end of things. This loony guy comes running at you, extremely jubilant that he’s won some “lottery.” He doesn’t explain it, but goes running into the wasteland all giddy and out of his gourd.
I walk past him and enter the town, which looks like a scene from Dante’s Inferno. Everything’s broken, burning, or dead. Lots of folks hanging from crosses.
And the game tells me that these people, who are obviously still alive, can’t be cut down because that’d kill them. So? I’m sure they’d rather one final moment of mercy than to leave them up there. For shame, New Vegas.
Anyway, a crippled man in the general store fills me in on what happened here. The Legion came in and backed a guy to become “mayor” if he’d just betray everyone. Kind of a Trojan horse situation. Then the Legion took over the town, rounded up everyone (mayor included), and ran a “lottery” to see who lived, who would be horribly maimed, and who would die in various ways.
This guy ran the show, and if it wasn’t for the six guys and multiple attack dogs around him, I would have taken him out on the spot. As it was, he let me go to “spread the word” of what happens to lowlifes.
Suppressing the urge to run away, I did a very careful looting of the town left behind. There were a few interesting houses, such as one with an aggressive floating robot and another with numerous traps, but in the end I walked away with plenty of upgraded weapons and ammo.
I also got to fight a whole ton of dogs, including this one up here who thought that he’d attack me by running over a mine. How’d that work out for you, Fido?
After what seemed like forever, I finally left Nipton and California to enter Nevada and a lot of empty desert. As a player who vastly prefers wide-open spaces to dense urban crawls, this was a relief.
Still a very long way from here to Novac, but I have hope that I’ll see it through. Some day. Maybe next week.