House hunting in Fallout 3

26 Mar

This is me and my house. Like many first homeowners I got mine by defusing an atomic bomb in the centre of the town, and was given the deed by the local Sheriff as thanks. Which was jolly nice of him, but let’s be honest: it’s a bit crap.

There’s holes in the ceiling. Windows are unheard of. To decorate it, I must give several thousand caps to the clinically insane merchant a few houses down, and even then the ‘themes’ I get are mediocre at best. Even the ‘Love Machine’ theme, featuring a lamp shaped like two people doing it, hardly livens the place up. How I yearn for something more, well, homely.

Without telling the Sheriff in case his feelings get hurt, I decide to move out. I’ve other things to do, of course – investigating a water theiving ring, for example, and destroying America’s corrupt, amoral Government. They’ll have to be put on hold for now. I have a few simple criteria for the new place – it must be safe, must have plenty of storage room, and must have a bed not made out of cardboard. Most importantly, though, it shouldn’t make me want to go back to Megaton. I start by fast-travelling to a few places I’ve been before. No luck. Sure, there a plenty of intact houses – the problem is that many of the original owners haven’t left. This starts a long list of niggles with the first few prospective abodes – there are t00 many two-hundred-year-old skeletons spooning on the bed. There is almost always a fight going on outside between a robot and some raiders. There’s no door. There’s a good chance a hit squad out for my blood will spawn outside the only door. The basement is filled with the victims of a family of cannibals. The wallpaper is ugly.

Giving up on the towns and settlements, I decide to think outside the box. This only ends up with me getting lost in the labyrinth of underground metro tunnels. Eventually I stumble into a door, emerging on to an old railway station. I climb the stairs. Bingo.

As it happens, this is the game-erised version of Arlington House, once home to Confederate bigwig General Robert E. Lee. Only a few days ago I’d abolished slavery in the Capital Wasteland by murdering everyone in Paradise Falls, the slaver headquarters, and again later at their stronghold in the Lincoln Memorial. It was fitting that I take over this guy’s old house as well. I slipped inside silently and, disappointingly, found a lodger – one Junders Plunkett – had beat me to it. A note I collected on my way here confirmed he was evil, however, so I slipped a landmine in his pocket while he was eating and started looking around at my leisure.

It wasn’t for me, sadly. I could deal with living in a graveyard, but it was dark, a long walk from the nearest fast-travel point, and Plunkett was in too many pieces to effectively remove him from the dining room where he exploded. I left the mess I made and started over. I moved closer to the centre of the map, to a place called Charnel House, in the hope that places with “house” on the end were generally better. They were not. Almost immediately I was attacked by a no-good gang of raiders who, like Junders, had pipped me to the post. After dispatching them (and their dog – I hate dogs) with an electrified sword I had in my possession, I moved on quickly. Arlington may have had needed some lightbulbs changed, but Charnel was missing both a mattress and a roof. I wasn’t settling for a half-destroyed building, even if I did nearly break my sword securing it.

I trekked north. There was even less up there. At one point I found an abandoned tent (I know because it said “Abandoned Tent” on the door) which had a bed, lockers, even a few desks if I wanted to do some light typing. There was only one problem:

By this point I was desperately scanning my map for promising-sounding houses. Deathclaw Sanctuary? Nah. Irradiated Metro? Sounds cold. Faded Pomp Estates? Well, I am a fan of pomp, however faded. Changing my mind about the bigger settlements, I figured an estate would provide rows of salvageable places to live.

Fffffffffffffffff. It was almost as if the Chinese didn’t care about my domestic needs when they carpet-bombed America with nukes two centuries ago. Annoyed, I headed south to take my frustration out on the Super Mutants in the nearby school, and carried on going. Climbing over the crest of a hill, I didn’t expect what I found.

I instantly warmed to the place. It looked like the stage at a Muse gig, if Matt Bellamy was from an post-apocalyptic wasteland rather than Devon. I snuck past the raider guards, who were occupied with a hostile robot, to have a look inside. I’d put mines in their pockets later. For a power station, it was really quite lovely – better lit than most houses, and with beds that had actual linen on them. This immediately put it several notches above not just my own place, but near every other bed in the wastes. I cleared the interior guards with a minimum of fuss, and they very politely left a minimal amount of blood on my new floor. As well as the beds I had a clothes cabinet, a safe, two sturdy cabinets and a lab set. I even decorated with some odds and ends I had on me, like mugs and a gnome. I’ll take it.

Moving in to my new flat/power station was a bitch. I had to first get rid of the kids on the roof, who had dealt with the wandering robot and were now quite cross with me. Rather than faff about with an eviction notice, I shot some of their more important limbs off, and started shifting my stuff from my home in Megaton to my new digs. Like I say, it was a bitch – I can only carry 280 lbs of gear, and over my travels I’d amassed half a ton or so of loot in a locker. White vans no longer exist, and you can’t fast travel when overencumbered, so it took me a day to both move my equipment and then organise it into the corresponding container at the power station (weapons, clothing, collectibles etc.) I celebrated with a night in my brilliant white bed, and left the next morning to carry on taking down the government.


3 Responses to “House hunting in Fallout 3”

  1. Spoon Raider September 13, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Marvellous stuff! Has inspired me to a spot of house- (and/or dog-) hunting myself. Tally-ho!


  1. Gnome Pun Intended « The Talking Stove - May 17, 2010

    […] Gnome Pun Intended May 17, 2010 by James Remember when I found a decaying power station in the middle of a blasted no-man’s-land and decided to live in it? […]

  2. I say « The Talking Stove - October 8, 2010

    […] is now up. It’s a slightly re-written (i.e. better) draft of my real-estate-judging Fallout 3 post from a while back,and was part of the begging email I sent to editor Craig in the hope of being […]

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