I continue my play diary of Fallout 4. I had planned to head straight to The Castle today – Preston’s been very patient – but, not surprisingly, I got distracted. This time by a Brotherhood of Steel distress call.
I’ve still not decided where I stand with the Brotherhood, but I also can’t turn my back on a mystery. I’m leaning towards a pro-synth stance and I don’t get the sense that the Brotherhood will be cool with that. At this point, that’s more of a general, personal amiability towards machines than anything specific in the game. Things could change!
Oh, I did get to the Castle, eventually. I soon wished I hadn’t.
Obviously, there will be spoilers ahead!
My Very First Radscorpion!
I’ve yet to explore the reportedly much more dangerous southern portions of the map, but I was still surprised to realize that I hadn’t yet encountered one of Fallout’s signature creatures: the Radscorpion.
I was investigating an abandoned military base when the earth beneath me erupted and the familiar, yet completely different, venomous nightmare appeared. They’ve learned the same “hide-and-go-kill” trick that have made the new Molerats so much more annoying.
The Radscorpions of Fallout 4 seem perhaps a shade smaller than their earlier incarnations, with more interesting coloring. Physically, they’re thinner, more angular, much faster and more agile. Coupled with the hiding trick, this makes hitting them from the hip a chancy proposition.
I’m not ashamed to say it: I ran. In a decision born of sheer panic, I headed toward the buildings I was scoping out. As I did, the turrets protecting them came to life and killed the radscorpion for me. It literally fell dead at my feet without a single shot (from me) fired. In some ways then, I suppose, I still haven’t encountered a radscorpion.
My Story so Far
Once I encountered the distress signal, I was pleased to note that I had to find the source by actually triangulating the signal rather than be handed a map marker. I vastly prefer these more nuanced, complex narrative-based missions over the more common “go there, kill that” quest.
The signal led me to a burned out house and several suits of melted, fused power armor. A holotape on a corpse told me the first part of the team’s tragic story, then directed me to a nearby military base.
At the base, I was mobbed by ghouls, but found another deceased member of the Brotherhood team. A second recovered holotape pointed me to the nearby satellite array which was infested with surprisingly powerful super-mutants. Scouting the area, I counted no less than three super-mutant butchers, two of them legendary.
Leveraging sneaking, my sniper rifle and a basket full of mines, I was able to deal with the mutants. I found the last deceased Brotherhood member high in one of the crow’s nests (apparently super-mutants are as lax about cleaning up corpses as humans). The holotape led me, finally, far to the north and a forgotten Brotherhood bunker. There the leader and sole survivor of the mission, Paladin Brandis, remained going slowly insane.
I’m sure someday I’ll make up my mind about the Brotherhood and let Paladin Danse know about Brandis. At the time, I decided to take the loot he offered and get back on track to the Castle.
I found Preston and his men in a small shack, within spitting distance of The Castle itself. I agreed with the recommendation that “we” set up a firing line before learning that it meant that “I” do all the work.
It quickly became clear that the Castle was infested with all the mirelurks. We were quickly inundated by them and the new, and oh so annoying, mirelurk hatchlings. There were no less than a dozen nests nestled in the courtyard, the battlements and in the lower rooms. Unfortunately killing them all, made their mama real sore at us.
The mirelurk Queen is clearly a new “marquee” opponent. Huge, agile and with a devastating ranged attack, the queen was far and away the most difficult challenge that I’d faced. It’s clear that encounters with these, um, “mothers” will be memorable and, I predict, never easy.
Luckily, I took Preston’s warnings about a “giant monster” seriously. I tweaked the “Troubleshooter’s Missile Launcher” (which, unhelpfully, does 50% more damage to robots) and turned it into a four-barrel monster with increased damage. I probably should have brought a Fat Man. Or two. Even with the missile launcher I spent most of my time watching load screens after horrible deaths.
I began by climbing the wall and dropping mines. I assumed that that Queen would cross the courtyard to reach me. Unfortunately, the damn hatchlings set off all of my mines. Which didn’t matter anyway since the queen could climb like a freakin’ monkey and just came at me over the wall. In what was likely my only serious option, I moved into a secure, indoor position and took potshots at her with everything I had. She finally went down to a nicely cinematic missile and The Castle was ours!