My best Fallout moment happened when I didn't listen to the game

Written by: Carlos Zotomayor

Features | Oct 2, 2017

deathclaw Fallout Fallout New Vegas

In honor of Fallout's 20th anniversary, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and find my fondest experiences with the franchise. While traversing the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3 and the Mojave Wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas with nothing but fisting weapons (heh) is the norm for me, nothing quite beats my first trip to the shiny New Vegas.

Let me explain: once you survive getting shot in the head and complete the tutorial missions in the town of Goodsprings, all signs point that you should head south. The NPCs tell you to find your killer down south. The world's geography is shaped in such a way that you're more likely to head south than any other direction. Oh, and there isn't a giant nest of deathclaws when you travel south of Goodsprings either.

For the uninitiated, a deathclaw is the Fallout universe's equivalent of Wolverine. It is burly, insanely fast, and has the tendency to chop off your head like someone with a skull collection. But unlike Wolverine, who can only be found in Canada, deathclaws can multiply and migrate to other places. Places directly north of Goodsprings, for example.

These are the creatures which inevitably block your passage to New Vegas and force you to find a way around. What comes as a surprise to me is that when I look back on my first playthrough, there was nothing stopping me from heading north.

As soon as I saw that bright city in the distance, I made for it like a depressed child to ice cream.

Not once did I come across a deathclaw or its kin as I clumsily jumped from mountain to mountain to reach my destination. Seeing as these things multiply faster than horny rabbits, I realize I must have been one of the few who were lucky enough to reach New Vegas before the intended level (this is even more fortuitous when I realized my primary method of attack would be to punch a deathclaw in its face).

Well... I wasn't completely lucky.

I still had no good weapons to deal with the Raiders surrounding the city's walls nor did I have the caps to enter the city proper. I was stuck in Freeside - the outer rim of the city with more drugs and STDs than a Woodstock concert- for quite some time before I completed enough errands to set foot inside Mr. House's den of sin.

Even though the payoff wasn't worth it, this was one of the times where my journey definitely beat out my destination.

About the author: Carlos Zotomayor

Zoto can see your underpants. Mmm... tasteful.

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