Rimworld: Playing with dead things

(This is part of my journey going playing through 2016’s Rimworld. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

The morning after the Great Elk Massacre, as it’s now being called, Wallis and Lozano somehow make it back to their base. They’re not in great shape, but they’re not bleeding to death, either.

Visitors arrive to trade, but they don’t have anything really useful — parkas or submachine guns would be great — so instead I send my guys to go sleep it off and try to get back into working condition. They’re both at extreme risk for breaking, which is another thing Rimworld has you worry about. Colonists have a mental state, and if they experience too many things they don’t like and don’t have enough good things to balance that out, they can break and go wandering or start fires or even start attacking each other.

My two survivors are right on the threshold of disaster, again, but there’s little I can do other than just wait it out and hope the situation improves. After burying Gallagher and heading out to watch a sunrise, Lozano snaps and starts wandering around in a daze. The only good thing that comes from mental breaks is that there’s a positive period of catharsis afterward, but I’m worried that Lozano’s health might not last until then.

Then Wallis breaks, and he decides to go play with some dead bodies. I’ll admit it, that’s a new one that I’ve never seen before in this game. Sometimes Rimworld can get really dark and twisted, you have no idea.

Hey, it’s Hoffman! Hoffman’s back, everyone! Wallis starts toting around the remains of his former shipmate, maybe planning on doing some Weekend at Bernie’s activities with her.

What he actually does is haul her body back to the base, plop her on the dining room table, and then eat a meal on top of her corpse. Let’s just hope Lozano doesn’t choose this exact moment to come back from his wanderings — it would probably set him off again.

Huh, actually he’s pretty OK with it, being in catharsis finally. Meanwhile, Hoffman turns into a dessicated corpse and why am I writing about this? This is the most macabre thing ever, but it’s also weirdly hilarious.

I think this is why you HAVE to play Rimworld on commitment mode. If I could reload past saves, I know I would have by now — but I would have missed out on the ongoing struggle of the colony in order to play it safe and perfect. This is how stories emerge, without a safety net of saved games.

During a dark and stormy night, a mad elk breaks into the base like a horror movie villain and starts going to town on poor, poor Lozano. At least this time, Wallis and the dog (Connor) are able to down the creature relatively quickly. That’s the first time that dog’s ever done anything useful in this game.

Finally, some semblance of normal life returns. Wallis is fully healed and starts harvesting potatoes. I’m deeply worried that the colony is going to starve over the winter at this rate. I should have a lot more food stored up, and I’m not sure how feasible hunting is going to be after the elk incident. Right now, at least, I’m focusing on the fields and seeing if I can get another crop in. I doubt it — the days are already turning cooler at the end of the summer.

Much, MUCH too cool for my tastes. A cold snap arrives, which sends the temperature plummeting. Not only is this going to kill off any crop I haven’t harvested, not only is this going to prevent new crops from growing, but it’s going to pose a health risk to my two colonists in their unheated dorm room. Quickly, I tell Wallis to build a heater and get a power cable into that room.

And the hits just keep on coming! Another raid is launched against Bio Break colony, and while the pair are able to kill the slasher who comes at them, both Wallis and Lozano are hurt. Again.

I don’t know how much more everyone here can take. But at least there’s one more corpse in the ground to play with.

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