Scourge of Humanity

Tread softly in these caves.

Sneaking through the Deathclaw Sanctuary (with a Stealth Boy or two) was arguably Homicidal Harriet’s most dangerous excursion yet. Especially when the second Stealth Boy wore off just as I collected Vengeance, leaving me armed and exposed for the trek back out of the cave. Thankfully, as one would expect, Vengeance reduced everything to giblets, and being seen wasn’t nearly as fatal as it could’ve been. I’d been buying Electron Charge Packs for some time, and while I didn’t have enough for continued usage, I did have enough to get this ludicrous weapon back home.

And now I carry it with me always.

Vengeance is a costly acquisition, though. It tears through Electron Charge Packs as quickly as it tears through the opposition. It’s also difficult (and expensive) to repair, as its condition degrades quickly, and there are few who can fully repair it. But it fundamentally changes the build.

Homicidal Harriet can’t usually deal ranged damage, and Big Guns allow her to, which won’t necessarily be a concern once I’ve recovered the Chinese Stealth Armor, but some enemies are super-absorbent bullet sponges. Even a sneak attack critical with the Deathclaw Gauntlet won’t be enough, but the rapid fire of Vengeance might be. Operation: Anchorage was now, due to my unusual approach, necessary for the continued success of the build, and so to Alaska she went. If you’ve invested in Small Guns (as most do) the simulation isn’t that difficult, but if you haven’t then you’ve got few ways to actually deal damage. Sneaking isn’t an option, either. Stealth Boys are rare and any that you’ve found are lost when reporting to General Chase. Not that it’s impossible if you’ve not invested in Small Guns. It’s just tedious.

Gaze upon the Mother Punga in awe.

Having previously crafted the Deathclaw Gauntlet, the acquisition of the Chinese Stealth Armor, alongside the acquisition of Vengeance, meant that this build was rapidly realising its true potential. Proving to be as diverse as I’d hoped that it would be. Not all situations are created equally, and while the Deathclaw Gauntlet is powerful, it’s not going to be the answer to every problem. Vengeance still has its uses. And that’s why I enjoy these quirky builds, as they encourage you to be creative and that creativity often results in seeing things that you’ve not seen before.

Or it highlights glitches.

As was the case with Haley, of Haley’s Hardware, in Point Lookout, who I had always believed to be one of the few NPCs who could fully repair equipment. When inherently he can’t, and it’s actually a glitch, as his Repair increases with each visit, and so he eventually gains the ability to do so.

Revisiting Point Lookout is one of the highlights of this build. I do love it so. Sailing in through the fog on the Duchess Gambit to greet the eerie shores of Point Lookout, then meandering through a decaying shell of society and hazardous swamps. It’s a great atmosphere. One of being truly alone in a harsh, unforgiving, and unpredictable world. Something that Fallout 3 done incredibly well. Fallout: New Vegas was impressive in its own way, but it never felt as lonely as Fallout 3 did, and that’s why I’ve always enjoyed the Capital Wasteland. It feels like a post-apocalyptic landscape. Devoid of humanity, but rife with dangerous creatures and murderous marauders. Fallout 3 also allowed the more distasteful pursuits, which suit this character, and suit the wasteland, but were absent in later instalments.

Have a nice week, all!


Homicidal Harriet

The G.O.A.T. couldn’t predict this.

You could try to blame Butch for her predilection towards violence, but her childhood trauma doesn’t explain why those who haven’t done her wrong are just as likely to be ceremoniously dismembered. Or atomised by a nuclear bomb. As was the fate of the inhabitants of Megaton. Who welcomed her, and whose kindness was repaid with undoubtedly the most heinous atrocity that she will ever commit. Executed under instruction from Mr. Burke, in service to Alistair Tenpenny, owner of the illustrious Tenpenny Tower, which is soon to experience a hostile takeover.

An incredibly hostile takeover.

If the residents of Tenpenny Tower weren’t insufferable elitist bigots a peaceful resolution might be possible, but they are, so a violent resolution becomes necessary, as she proudly advocates equality for all who reside in the Capital Wasteland. They’re all equally as likely to be murdered.

Following the success of Murderous Mabel, the courier who sowed despair across the entire Mojave Wasteland, Homicidal Harriet was born, and after being exiled from Vault 101 began her own misadventures. Homicidal Harriet will attempt to experience the aspects of Fallout 3 that I’ve not seen before, much like Murderous Mabel did in Fallout: New Vegas, and will be unequivocally evil. I’ll be building around Melee Weapons, Unarmed, and Big Guns as I’ve not (solely) built around those before. I’ll also be relying on the Intense Training perk for the first time. Her S.P.E.C.I.A.L. distribution requires adjustment before she can fully realise her potential. Notably her Charisma, as I’d hoped to avoid the Child at Heart perk, but it’s the easiest way to bypass Little Lamplight without making Paradise Falls hostile.

I’m glad that she survived the nuclear detonation.

Despite being an atypical close quarters build, I’ve been deliberating between the Chinese Stealth Armor and the Winterized T51-b Power Armor. With certain perks, such as Ninja and Better Criticals, she could deal ludicrous sneak attack critical damage with the Chinese Stealth Armor, and would be rendered (mostly) invisible while crouching. Whereas, the Winterized T51-b Power Armor favours the traditional approach. Taking damage and dealing it in equal measure. I’d never considered sneaking through Fallout 3 to be viable, but it could be with an appropriate build.

This could be that build.

I’d assumed that Homicidal Harriet would visit Point Lookout first, as my characters usually do, but Operation: Anchorage would be unusually lucrative should she utilise the Chinese Stealth Armor. It’s not particularly difficult, either. So it’s possible to venture to the Outcast Outpost early on.

Her progression has been slightly disjointed, though. I’ve been completing the Wasteland Survival Guide quests, but have been deviating when the opportunity presents itself, such as during The Replicated Man quest, which coincided with learning about the true history of Rivet City. I’ve also been trekking across the Capital Wasteland to put specific locations on the map. These will be of crucial importance when collecting Bobbleheads, or when searching for unique equipment and schematics. Few locations, such as the perilous Deathclaw Sanctuary, have both. Not only does it house the Endurance Bobblehead, but Vengeance can be recovered from deep within its caves, which I’d always believed to be governed by Energy Weapons, but is actually governed by Big Guns. I’ve just got to survive long enough to recover it.

Have a nice week, all!


Render Unto Caesar

A bleak future for humanity.

At the end of her surprisingly long campaign, Murderous Mabel delivered one final gift to the Mojave Wasteland and its people which ushered in a new era of oppression and slavery. No faction was left unscathed (even Caesar’s Legion) as disharmony became the foundation for future generations. Her actions won’t soon be forgotten should anyone be alive to remember them. No-one can be entirely sure of what the future holds, but the recently promoted Legate Lanius, who became Caesar following his predecessor’s untimely death, minted a coin in her honour and that’s neat.

Sure to be worth the hundreds of lives that it cost.

Of the many builds that I’ve attempted in Fallout: New Vegas, Murderous Mabel is definitely one of my favourites. Being unable to rely on Speech to resolve quests, the (most convenient) answer was usually violence, and that often meant aligning with factions that I don’t usually align with.

Of her achievements, of which there are a few, successfully completing Return to Sender was arguably her finest moment, and perfectly illustrates how diverse her approach to things had to be at times. Which is especially true of her time with Old World Blues, where scrounging and crafting ammunition was the only way for her to successfully complete its campaign with her conventional weaponry. Dead Money was (oddly) less challenging for similar reasons. Despite the opposition being super-absorbent bullet sponges, the abundance of Police Pistols (and varied ammunition) meant that I was able to avoid using Knife Spears. Using weapons adjusted by Guns or Explosives was always preferable, even if they weren’t affected by her perks, as her middling investment into Melee Weapons offered few viable alternatives.

Ensure that the mistakes of the past aren’t repeated in the future.

This is also the first time that I’ve experienced Dead Money in its entirety. It’s certainly an interesting concept, but one that feels absurdly convoluted as you haphazardly dash through hallways haunted by the ever-present beeping of your bomb collar. Searching for radios or speakers only to discover that the majority of them are shielded or otherwise inaccessible. Wondering why anyone would construct this elaborate scheme, when a single mistake would result in the deaths of those that they’ve brought together for this specific purpose thus nullifying their efforts.

It was a truly perplexing expedition.

Given that one of the reasons that I conceived this build was to see things that I’d not seen before and do things that I’d not done before, I’m quite pleased with how this build has developed. I don’t tend to stringently adhere to the ideas that I had at their conception and this is why.

I like to see how builds adapt to the challenges that they face and Murderous Mabel has faced many. I was most impressed at her ability to effortlessly complete numerous Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenges, while being a walking arsenal ensured that she always had a weapon suited to the situation at hand. Whether it was the explosive fury of Thump-Thump or the deadly accuracy of La Longue Carabine. The versatility of All-American or the thundering shells of the lever-action shotgun. There was always an answer. I didn’t intend for these posts to form a short series, but I’m glad that they did as I wouldn’t be able to express everything that I enjoy about Fallout: New Vegas in a single post. Nor would I want to. Even ten years after its release it’s still one of the most engrossing post-apocalyptic RPGs that I’ve ever played.

Have a nice week, all!


Return to Sender

A trek across the Mojave.

In what could be considered Murderous Mabel’s finest hour, she infiltrated the NCR by wearing a disguise that fooled very few NPCs, to complete a quest that she shouldn’t be able to complete, and earn an achievement that she shouldn’t be able to earn. Wearing the disguise allowed me to accept the quest and roam their camps, but the majority of named NCR NPCs saw through it and immediately became hostile. Which, surprisingly, wasn’t a problem. As I was able to complete the Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenge to murder named NCR NPCs with certain weapons while upgrading radio equipment.

I strive for efficiency in all things- even murder!

I hadn’t really considered Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenges when conceiving this build, but it’s oddly capable of completing them. These challenges along with certain quests (such as Talent Pool and Arizona Killer) have allowed me to earn achievements that I’d missed with other builds.

I could’ve completed Return to Sender earlier and more conveniently but that would’ve been too easy. Murderous Mabel is quickly becoming one of my favourite builds due to the adversity that she faces, and to neatly conclude my business with the NCR before moving forward with Caeser’s Legion would’ve been unexciting. I could’ve murdered Benny and retrieved the Platinum Chip at The Tops, but decided to let him escape to The Fort because I wanted to meet Caeser before meeting Mr. House. Yet, despite orchestrating these events, I let Caesar die during the surgery, because I’m exploiting Caesar’s Legion as much as any other faction. I can’t think of any other build that I’ve done which has been this interesting or diverse. It’s been a wholly unique way to approach Fallout: New Vegas and its various DLC.

Light that gives us the strength to continue through unending hardship.

I doubt that I’ve ever completed Old World Blues in such a way before, either. Nor will I ever do so again. You’re required to remain at Big MT until its conclusion, which, given the immediate access to The Sink and the crafting facilities found therein, is not usually a problem. But Murderous Mabel relies on explosives and conventional weaponry. Old World Blues is brimming with science-y weaponry. Which is terrible when you’ve never invested in Energy Weapons. So I had to scavenge, scrounge, and craft every form of ammunition that I required. Even raw meat was scarcely available.

It truly felt like surviving in a foreign land.

I’m incredibly fond of how this build continues to develop and evolve. I’ve invested in the majority of the aforementioned Perks, and I’ve been increasingly diverse with my choices since then. They’re mostly true to my original intentions but some are opening up entirely new opportunities.

Following the completion of Old World Blues, Honest Hearts, numerous Gun Runner’s Arsenal challenges, and the majority of the main campaign I’m now adequately prepared for Dead Money. I’ve no idea what I’m going to encounter in that hellish domain, but I’m looking forward to seeing content that I’ve never experienced before. I’ve got a vague recollection of certain events but that’s it. I know that my investment in Melee Weapons will serve me well. I also know that I’m going to be stripped of my equipment once there, and that I’ll be surviving with limited supplies, but I don’t know whether I get any equipment back prior to its completion. Or how long this expedition is expected to take. So I’m not sure what (if anything) I should take with me and how much I’ll be able to bring back to the Mojave.

Have a nice week, all!


Bringer of Sorrow

An entirely apt description.

One who wished to travel to Novac but instead discovered new routes to Scorpion Gulch, which (as you might expect) is brimming with scorpions, then discovered Primm Pass, which (as you might not expect) is home to a blind deathclaw. One who then tirelessly searched for a Scientist Outfit to conclude Come Fly With Me in the most fiendish way possible. Mostly as penance for having to endure that awful quest, which I’d usually avoid by simply going to New Vegas but I needed the Stealth Boys to infiltrate the Gun Runners. Not that I’m convinced Stealth Boys are actually stealthy.

NPCs are ludicrously perceptive of invisible couriers.

But the Gun Runners were blissfully unaware of my presence and that’s what matters. Even when I opened the gate in view of the guards, who never questioned it opening and closing by itself. Stealth Boys are odd. Things that shouldn’t be possible are, and things that should be aren’t.

The misadventures of Murderous Mabel are partly due to her unconventional build, but mostly due to how I’m approaching and completing quests. I’m working with certain factions for certain reasons, such as the Boomers, to acquire Thump-Thump, but I’m not actually aligning myself with them unless they’re required by Caesar’s Legion. I’ve previously worked with both the NCR and Yes Man as there are valuable experience points to be had, but I’m avoiding decisive quests and I’m still working towards the Caesar’s Legion ending. I’m just exploiting different factions for personal and financial gain. As any truly soulless abomination would. I’ve also been purposefully avoiding investing in Speech, which (sadly) means that I’ve been unable to complete every quest in the most distasteful way possible.

Fantastic by name. Fantastic by nature.

It’s definitely an interesting build, though. I was aware that lever-action shotguns were affected by the Cowboy perk, but forgot, and so didn’t consider the Shotgun Surgeon perk, which I’m now considering. The steady investment into Guns would exponentially increase its damage, and it would become devastating were I to invest in the Finesse and Better Criticals perks. Those would serve conventional weaponry such as All-American well, too. But it’s these decisions which make this build so fascinating, because I’m rapidly discovering new strengths as I continue to develop it.

Eventually turning Murderous Mabel into a walking arsenal.

I’ve been wondering how best to approach the content and I’ve (mostly) decided to work through the DLC before the conclusion of the main campaign. That’s how I’d usually approach Fallout: New Vegas, and I should be able to see any new dialogue related to Caesar’s Legion this way.

Old World Blues is arguably the most beneficial to begin with, as it offers access to The Sink and (through horrific experimentation) unlocks various perks following its completion. While Lonesome Road is arguably best experienced last. Honest Hearts does offer some weaponry which could be useful, but doesn’t confer any other significant benefits. And Dead Money is a nightmarish expedition through the ruins of the Sierra Madre and the only DLC I’ve yet to fully complete. That one’s going to be painful. Very, very painful. However, there are many more things to experience in the Mojave Wasteland and my indecisiveness will likely cause these plans to go awry. As my plans tend to. Which is why, regardless of how many times they ask at job interviews, I don’t know where I see myself in five years. Five years is a long time.

Have a nice week, all!