Being evil has consequences, some strange, some dramatic, but the decision to go evil has breathed new life into my Fallout 3 experience.
The Power of the Atom
After leaving the Vault I walked straight to Megaton. When Lucas Simms greeted me, I took a hard line with him, and learned my first lesson about being evil.
Choosing the mean response during conversation often earns a rebuke, but being a dick usually doesn’t close doors (or open others) in terms of quest progression. Still, it’s pretty hilarious to insult someone, have them speak to you angrily for a few seconds, then go back to being helpful.
I decided to leave Simms alive. I had bigger fish to fry. Mr. Burke was waiting for me at Moriarty’s.
I actually wondered if I could destroy Megaton. I usually hate making permanent decisions in video games. In most of my playthroughs of Fallout 3, the only reason I chose to destroy Raven Rock was because no matter my choice, I could not return afterward anyway. I’m also a total completionist, and blowing up Megaton might mean I would miss some skill books!
I tried to think about how blowing up Megaton would serve me. Well, to start, there was a fair amount of caps in it for me (I even passed the speech check to make my reward 1000 caps!). Getting rich early isn’t easy, and while I could steal everything in sight and slowly sell it back to vendors, it was a long and very boring process. It was evil as well, but it felt more like the Diet Coke of evil than the Surge of evil. Why should I grind hours upon hours when I could have the caps in hand just for walking over to Tenpenny Tower?
There was also the knowledge that I would get a free suite in Tenpenny. I’ve never liked the Megaton house. It feels cramped and looks like shit no matter how it’s set up.
I admit, mostly it was the caps. It was hard to see a clear reason besides cash that justified doing the deed. Yes, I needed to justify it. I was trying to be evil, not insane. I attached the charge Mr. Burke gave me to the bomb, looked at the worshippers from the Church of the Atom, walked past The Brass Lantern, where someone was sitting at the bar eating, and left Megaton for the last time.
Instead of walking directly to Tenpenny, I headed into Springvale. I needed some extra ammo and gear to cross the wastes to my future home. I knew from chatting with Moriarty (a guy I wouldn’t mind blowing up no matter my goals) that a chick named Silver resided in a shitty house here, and that she had caps. I convinced her to give me some caps to tell Moriarty she was dead, then made it a reality with my trusty baseball bat when she turned around. I took everything of value in her home and sold it all to one of the travelling vendors outside Megaton.
The trek to Tenpenny went quietly. I was only level two, so nothing nasty tried to stop me. The only interaction I had was killing Raiders near Fairfax, and trading with the Outcasts at Fort Independence.
At the gate to Tenpenny, a ghoul named Roy Phillips was yelling to be let into the Tower. I ignored him, mostly because I hadn’t decided whether I was killing him yet, and ascended the Tower. The weirdly normal Alistair Tenpenny and Mr. Burke were waiting for me on an east-facing balcony under the night sky. There was a briefcase on a table. I was granted the honor of pushing the button.
I wish I had saved my game before pushing that button. I didn’t know exactly where Megaton was because it was dark, so I just sorta stared at the landscape to the northeast for a moment.
Then, BOOOOOOOOM! ::the video below is not mine. thanks str00py::
The explosion was sublime, illuminating the night sky as a mushroom cloud rose up out of the horizon. Smoke, dust, and debris blew out from the explosion, covering a huge chunk of the wasteland in an eerie fog (actually far more than in the video). I thought about how much it looked like a pyroclastic flow from a volcano, and if anyone could survive it. A shock wave knocked all the clutter on the balcony off their resting places. Burke practically lost it, talking about the beauty of the whole thing. The Roy Batty in me was gleeful at the murderous spectacle I had unleashed.
I was taken aback by how awesome the whole experience was. Sure, it was super evil, and that was the overall goal, to get the ‘evil’ achievements, but blowing up Megaton had already plummeted my karma to as low as it could go. I had worried that once I hit very evil, I would stop doing evil things because the numbers said I didn’t need to anymore.
But now, after seeing that awesome display, I wanted to see it all. I wanted to be evil just to experience different outcomes. Evil for the sake of experience was my new goal!