Fallout 3 - most formats
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« on: June 17, 2014, 04:45:16 am »

Fallout 3 is made by Bethesda, who also makes the Morrowind series.  This is also the game that is the reason the "bridge glitch" in Oblivion is still there.  Bethesda was more concerned about getting Fallout 3 done, that they couldn't be bothered to fix a 3 year old known bug in Oblivion.

This is a true RPG.

NOTE 1:  I have played this game completely through 4 times and am currently on my fifth run through. My first go was on the PC and the rest have been on the 360.  I also have the Operation Anchorage download from XBox Live.


In 2066, China invaded Alaska and took it from the US.  The US fought back and won a couple of years later.  In a move to prevent China, or anyone else, from taking Alaska again, the US forcibly "annexed" Canada.   This of course leads to World War 3.


As you would expect, everything is pretty much destroyed. 

Animals have mutated into some interesting, if not down right dangerous, creatures.  The only animal not to mutate into something else are dogs.

There are 2 types of humans, normal and ghouls.  Ghouls were affected by the radiation poisoning and many are pretty old, in some cases more than 200 to 300 years old.

Everything is based on the US in the 1950's, but with a twist.  The cars, buses and whatnot are all rocket powered.  You will distinctly see 1950's Cadillacs but with a rocket engines, as well as various other brands of cars.  The clothes some people wear are distinctly 1950's as well.

The music in game is played by radios dotted around and your "Pipboy 3000".  The music is blatant 1940s and 1950s on GNR Radio. They are real songs from that era.  The singers include; Bing Crosby, The Ink Spots, Billie Holiday, just to name a few.  There are other radio stations that play different stuff; ie the Government propaganda station.  Listening to the radio gives you a lot of info that is very helpful in game, so listen to it, especially GNR.

There are some flaws in the game, where you can see under rocks and in dark areas, you can see the seams where they joined the bits together.

Game play

I found game play to be very easy and straight forward.

The controls make sense and there should be very little to no confusion as to what what you need to do.  Just check the manual to see what buttons do what.

There are various difficulty settings, which like most games give you more or less experience points.

Out of the box, the game has a cap of level 20.  This changes with an expansion pack download in March.

Be careful how far you follow the main story line, as the game ends without notice and can't be played further. This too is solved by the March expansion pack download.  So if you play the game before then or don't want to get the expansion packs, do all the side quests before getting too far into the main quest line.  I usually stop after doing the "Tranquility Lane" main quest section, then finish all the side quests and clear all the areas and do a lot of exploring.

I highly recommend that you explore the entire map.  You will find some very weird and wonderful things on your travels.

You can play good, neutral or evil.  It's all up to you and your actions effect your karma rating.  This of course affects how people treat you and which humans are your enemy.  Unlike older RPGs, there is no setting to say what type of character you will be when you make your character. Your in game actions determine that.


While traveling, you will run across all kinds of people and animals. 

Most animals will attack you unless you have the "Animal Friend" perk. The Animal Friend perk only affects certain types of animals, though it does keep some dangerous animals from attacking you.  Death Claws {strongest animal in the game} will always attack you, regardless.

Named animals {dogs with names like Ginger, Girlie, Rex, Spot, Sparkie, etc} won't normally attack you, depending on your karma rating.  If you are friends or neutral with their owners, then the named dogs are friends/neutral with you.

There are also some named "enemies" who depending on your karma rating, won't attack you.  As an example, there are 3 named Super Mutants {Orcs} that will help you if you are a good character or attack you if you are an evil character.  If you have a perfect neutral rating, they will ignore you.

You will always have a group of humans that are your enemy, depending on your karma rating.  As expected, playing an evil character makes the toughest human enemies.

If the person/animal is blue on your radar/compass, then they are friends or neutral to you. If they are red, then kill the fuckers. 

Death in game

As with all true RPGs, when you die, it's game over or start from a saved game.

The game assumes you want to use the last saved game, but you can override that and quit or use a different saved game.

Armor/Weapons/other gear

As always, you get your basic kit when you start the game and easily get more gear as you go.

You can use any gear you want at any time, except for Power Armor.  To use Power Armor, you need to have special training which is given in one of two quests.  I think there is a 3rd quest that gives you the special training, but I haven't done that, so I can't say for sure.

When you level up, you can put skill points into the various skills.  It's best to stick to one type of weapon and build up that skill.

Named items are the best of their kind in the game, so always keep them if they are suitable for your character. 

Repairing Gear

You can have one of many shop owners or traveling merchants repair your gear.

The game offers the Repair skill so you can repair your own gear using gear you find on the ground, on enemies, in lockers and whatnot. 

Repairing your own gear has it's ups and downs.  Say your gear is 50% damaged and you take a piece of gear that is 50% damaged.  Ok, you would think that combining them would make your gear 0% damaged still.  Nope, there is the some sort of factor {I haven't figured it out} that makes your gear end up 25% damaged still.

I mentioned that named items are the best of their kind in the game.  Well, when repairing stuff, be careful not to use them to repair another item or to make space in your inventory.


There are some items that can be crafted in the game.  You buy/loot/steal the schematics and then get all the parts to make it.  You will need a work bench that some people will let you use or you can find them dotted around the game.  If you play a good character, you can buy one for your house.

The more schematics you have for a certain item, the better the item becomes when you craft it.  Also, the higher your Repair skill is, the higher the item's rating is.

There are some items that can be crafted that don't use schematics; ie Wonder Molerat Meat.  You need to find the place where the scientist is and read his journal to find out how to make it.


You can only have one house in the game {there are 2 to choose from} and it depends on which way you decide to go.  If you are evil, you get a penthouse suite in Tenpenny Tower and if you are good, you get one in Megaton. 

You will either need to disarm the bomb in Megaton or blow up Megaton. Either choice you make, you will need an Explosives skill of at least 30.  Once you do the deed, you will get the house in which ever place.

As I mentioned earlier, you can buy things for your house from the local sales person where you live.

There are also NPCs that will let you stay with them and have a bed and a place to store your extra gear.


Besides the normal health damage, there is also radiation poisoning. 

You can heal health problems by sleeping or you can buy "Stimpacks" or buy the medical kit for your house.

To heal radiation, you either buy "Rad-away", have a doctor heal you or you can buy a medical kit for your house and use that.

Using drugs other than Stimpacks, Rad-away or RadX {reduces radiation poisoning}, causes you to become addicted.  Addiction causes all drugs not to be as effective or last as long, plus it reduces your normal stats.  You either need a doctor to cure you or you have to buy a science kit for your house. The science kit can also make random drugs for you @ 1 item per day, but it can't be used again for anything until it's finished making the item. 

Also, eating human flesh and "strange meat" {same thing, different name} will make you addicted. Not only does it cause the problems noted above with drugs, but it also makes other types of food/water give you less healing.

"Caps" {actually soda bottle caps} or Money

You get money in al the usual ways; looting, stealing/pick pocketing, from various containers, etc, etc.

Until you get a decent Barter skill rating, you won't make much money in the game.  There is a level up perk that you can get that gives you 25% off at all merchants. 

There is also "Pre War Money" in the game that I haven't found what it is for other than to sell to merchants.  But with other factors {see below}, it does seem like it has a special purpose, as in some sort of quest.

There are a few side quests that give XP, money and a couple that also give karma.  So save these items and use them only for the quests.  Hell, if you see them being sold by merchants, buy them because you will make a hell of a lot more money than you paid.

Another thing to do to make more money and get better repairs is to invest in the traveling merchants' shops.  You need to go to Canterbury Commons and talk to Uncle Roe to do this.  I've been told that you can do all of this through Billy Creely in Megaton as well, but the dialog never comes up.  If you invest 700 caps {200 then another 500} into each of the traveling merchants, they will have uber repairs {Wolfgang the junk merchant has the best in game} that only you can beat if you max out your repair skill.  You will also get a discount at their shops.  You also get a map of their trade route, so you know where they sell stuff.  It should be noted that all 5 times I've played this game, one of the traveling merchants dies. 

If you are a good character and are nice to Gob {ghoul bartender in Megaton} he will give you the best prices in the game, though he doesn't have much money to buy things from you.  You can also use him to judge your karma rating.  Here's what he says and their meaning;  "see ya soon, buddy" or "see ya soon, turkey" = good, "see ya" = neutral and "don't hit me" = evil.

Side Quests

Getting side quests depends on 2 things, your stats and your karma. 

As an example, you can't get "Strictly Business" {slaver side quest} if you are good. Only neutral and evil characters can get that.

If you are evil, good NPCs won't talk to you. 

Karma rating isn't the only important part, some side quests depend on your speech and Charisma stats.  If you can't convince the NPCs to trust you, then you won't get the quest.

Some quests are killed by doing other quests and exploring.  As an example, the Vault Tech headquarters quest is killed if you go into any of the vaults {other than 101, of course} before you do this quest. 

Some quests are only found out by listening to the radio.  Whenever you get near a radio tower, check to see if you pipboy gives you a new signal.  You may {most likely will} have to turn on the tower using the switch next to it.

Expansion pack downloads

There will be 3 in total, at least that's what all the various sites say.  These will only be available on XBox Live and they will come once a month, starting last month {Jan 09} and finish March 09.

Each expansion will cost 800 Microsoft points {about £6}.

1. Operation Anchorage {already out as of this writing}

This expansion has it's own quest that uses a simulation based on the US invasion/retaking of Alaska. 

At the end of the mission, you get some great gear and I do mean GREAT.

2. The Pitt {end of Feb 09}

You are given a quest that sends you to Pittsburgh. 

3.  Untitled as of this writing {end of Mar 09}

This will increase the level cap from 20 to 30 and allow you to continue playing the game, even after you finish the main quest line.

It will also fix some of the bugs in the game.

The bad bits

Fallout 3 seems to suffer from the same problem as Oblivion, with the bridge bug.  Obviously they learned their lesson from Oblivion and didn't make any important NPCs on bridges.   I found this out when I was being chased by some Talon Mercs {I'm playing good} and I jumped off a bridge and they followed.  They disappeared into the rocks below and were still shooting at me, even though I couldn't target them because they were in the rocks.  This isn't the only example of enemies falling into the scenery, but it's the only issue where they had guns to keep shooting at me.

Bobby pins are used to pick locks, yet they are extremely rare and break easily.  Not all merchants sell them, in fact most don't, but those that do only ever have 1 to sell.

There are several cases where you get bad karma even when you take things with the owner's permission or take things from your enemies.  The old guy in Tenpenny Tower gives you his key to his safe {if you do the dialog right and have good karma} and tells you to take it all because he's too old to need it anymore, but you still get bad karma for taking it.  Similarly, killing the cannibals in Andale gives you bad karma if you take anything from the town or breaking into the shed and basement, which you have to do to find out they are cannibals.

In Big Town you have to use "pick pocket" to give the NPCs gear so they can protect themselves from the slavers and super mutants that constantly attack them.  If you get caught, they will chase you and end up getting killed by mobs in the area.  Defeats the purpose of the whole thing.  If you don't give them the gear, they die in the next raid anyway.  Catch 22.

In Little Lamp Light when you get the quest to trade stuff for fungus, you have to do each trade separately, there is no option for a "here let's trade all I have", like with other traders and quest givers.  If you do the Andale quest, you end up with 120 strange meats to trade and it takes f'ing ages to do all that.

Speaking of LLL, why do "strange meat" and human flesh have different names when they are exactly the same thing?  Is it to limit how much you can trade in LLL?  Also, the Pre War book quest only rewards you for books with a value of 1 cap, while it won't take the books valued at 5 caps, yet they have the same name.

I do feel cheated on the final "expansion" pack.  It should be free, as all it does is extend the level cap and make it so you can continue playing after you finish the main quest line, there is no content change/additions.  It also fixes bugs in the game.  Why the am I paying for bug fixes?!


DLC 3 was called Broken Steel and they added more game content.  Actually, they took what was supposed to be the 4th download and included it in the 3rd.  This means it was more than just a bug fix and raising the level cap.

There are 2 more downloads that have been announced for this summer;

DLC 4: Point Lookout is due on 23 June and is set in a seaside resort.  From the trailers, it looks very much like Deliverance meets post apocalypse.  This will also be the first expansion that you can leave and return before finishing the main quest line of the module.  Another change is that your henchman and dog can't follow you.  They have to wait at the transition point in the DC ruins {main game play area}. 

DLC 5: Mothership Zeta is due out at the end of July.  This will take place on a spaceship, in case you couldn't guess from the name.  As with Point Lookout, your henchman and dog are left behind.  Like with the first 3 downloads, you must finish this entire module before you can return to the DC ruins.

Bethesda says to expect even more DLCs to come before the release of "Fallout - New Vegas" next year. 

FO-NV is according the Bethesda, not FO4, but a completely separate game, based on the FO series.  If that makes any sense.  I don't really get is since the only difference is that that FO-NV take place in Las Vegas, not DC.  Anyway, who knows.

There's also talk of a Fallout MMORPG. However, at the moment that seems unlikely since there is a dispute over some part of the contract.

NOTE: DLC stands for "downloadable content"

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