I follow up one shopping-based update with one thats 90% talking. Its good talking though, just a little expository. Then again, without voice it might not be the same for you guys. I'll try to keep it snappy.
I know Mick didn't need much convincing to show me his secret guns, but damn, kid, you can try being subtle.
I'm not sure why the kid is running to the next city section. Why would he still be panicked from the gunfight, when the bums who were right in the middle of the action didn't so much as flinch?
This slum is fairly extensive, and there might be a bunch to see if you have a fetish for broken concrete, but this door looks like it actually goes somewhere, so I'll head this way.
No votes to bum around Freeside, so we keep out eyes on the prize. I doubt Latooni would be happy to see the Followers of the Apocalypse anyway.
I'm guessing this is where 'The King' hangs out. Certainly enough guys acting tough around here to make a gang. But this King guy rules Freeside, and I don't have much business there.
Theres a hooker advertising the Atomic Wrangler, and a nobody talking up the Silver Rush, but again, I'm heading for classier places.
Looks like an even bigger gate up ahead...
Gah! People with friendly advice! Not again!!
Ugh...Ok, why shouldn't I go past that robot?
Oh, right. The default reaction of any robot who doesn't understand whats going on. Thanks for the valuable insight.
I'm sure you have a thrilling and highly relevant story to go with that...
Why the big hubbub, tin can? Could it be someone finally knows who they're dealing with here?
So you can't have a good time on the Strip without caps, huh? I dunno, I got a silenced pistol, some frag mines and some Stealthboys, I can make my own fun.
But ok, I got about 2700 caps on me, chump change really. Is that enough?
Thank you. Now we're finally getting somewhere.
Seriously, it took me less than a week to earn all this money. You just weren't trying hard enough, buddy.
Earning 2000 caps is the simplest way to get into the Strip, all things told, but there are others. I've said that NCR players can get special access, but one can also get a special passport through adventures in Freeside. Which is all well and good, but given how long the quest path in Freeside is, I'm not sure how one could do that method and not earn 2000 caps legitimately getting to the point in question. Given that the robots just scan your wallet, and don't even take a single cap, you don't even have stinginess as an excuse. I guess its for people who don't like using shops, or looting dead bodies, or something.
Also you can fool the robots if you have really high science, which is a nice touch, but I didn't try this with my last character, because its just so trivial to earn the needed caps.
And here it is, the New Vegas Strip. Smaller than I expected, but the lights do add something.
...And theres the Tops, in the next section. Looks like I'm finally...huh?
Victor...I'd say I'm shocked, but really, I'm not. You showing up again makes perfect sense.
Ah, so you haven't been stalking me, someones just been putting you in new bodies to look out for me. Well, that makes me feel a little better about you, but not so much for the guy behind it all.
But I'm kind in a hurry, Victor, I have an appointment in the Tops, have to see a man about a Bullet in the Head.
House. I figured it was him...But I guess I'll listen, if he wants to help me with Benny. I don't need help, understand, I'm just seeing what his offer is. But why won't he come meet me himself?
....I still think this is kinda insulting, he could at least use your face to send me a face-to-face message.
I may have overestimated the 'classy' part of the strip.
Wait, who's this guy chilling out to the side. He looks suspiciously interesting.
Eh....I think I got some already. Plus, I'm good at hiding stuff. I don't have a dress to really hide an arsenal, but I can make do.
Also we're past Sneak 50, so our holdout weapons allotment is much higher.
Yeah, if I wanted to. I can make do with smaller though.
Yeah, you got nothing I need, buster. I'll just make do with my own arsenal.
Anyway, lets see about this Lucky 38 place.
Eh, I doubt Boone'll complain if I leave him alone for a bit. He can drink in the atmosphere, or climb up the tower and start picking people off. Whichever works.
Ok, lets head on up.
The other companion dismissal terminal. In terms of physical distance, they're pretty close, but if you actually walked between them you'd had way too many loading screens to make it convenient to dismiss people at the Gun Runners and pick them up from the the 38.
Hmm, guess this casino really hasn't been used since the War. Still, it seems to be in ok shape compared to other places. Maybe theres something worth taking?
....Well there would be if I was a boozehound like some. I'll snag the soda though, might be useful.
Heres an interesting curiosity, a set of unique boxing gloves. They're something of a novelty, but can actually be useful if you're the type who likes roleplaying pacifists and needs an effective non-lethal weapon. Of course, you can also try finding a cattle prod and use that, but theres something to be said for a character going through the entire game with boxing gloves, before going ten rounds with the final boss.
The real treasure trove of the Casino Floor is in this room right underneath the bar with the gloves, the security room. None of the safes are locked, and they can contain a wide variety of collectable goodies, especially weapons and ammo. However, Latooni is underlevelled and thus the randomised loot isn't that useful, mainly prewar money like this, and a bunch of drugs. The only weapon I found was a laser pistol, which I dropped for weight.
Lets get this over with. Bring me to House.
Another wierd robot?
Um...So Mr. House is an interesting guy, then?
More of this thing with Robots who give a damn about people. I don't get it and I'm thinking I'm better off that way.
....Somehow this makes it even worse.
Enough. I have an appointment.
Ok House, I've had it up to here with TV-screen faces...OH FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!
I should point out now that, despite my characters misgivings about the whole affair, I really like Mr. House. Mainly because he's voiced by Rene Auberjonois, aka Odo from Deep Space Nine (another character I really like), and Rene's acting chops lend House the casually smug tone he really needs to function as both mentor and rival in the game.
In my last playthrough, I really wanted to go with House at first, but my heavy NCR leanings and the difference between how the two factions deal with a third meant my pacifist had to compromise some morals to uphold others, and turned on House in the end. We'll see how he gets on here.
I don't have time for this!! Lets get serious, I got places to go and people to kill!
I'm very good at discretion.
A cool thousand for something I was probably just going to use as a keepsake anyway? I'm sold. I'll make do with Bennys jacket for memories.
...I suppose I should get the details behind all of this before I go. Any hints on getting to Benny?
Makes sense, he's not an amateur. So I'd have to get in there to get him offguard...
True...But isn't the Tops technically yours, given you rule New Vegas and all? You can order them to sell out Benny.
Again, can't you do this?
Right, right, I forgot how things worked around here with the cowboy robots and all...
...Okay, how about this: Who is Benny? Besides being one of your casino owners, which I assume would make him wealthy enough.
You need someone other than a robot? It sounds to me like these blue boxes can do pretty much everything, even past the point of sense or good taste. So you need a meat-brain or two after all?
Well shucks, an honest-to-god compliment. I'm shocked. Thank you.
...But that brings up another point. Benny must have thought he was onto something big if he decided betraying you was the better option.
So, if you knew he was trying something, why didn't you stop him before I ended up with 2 teaspoons of buckshot in my brainpan?
Wow, I guess I overestimated the Securitrons, in that case.
So....Tell me a bit about you, Mr. House. You're kinda a mysterious figure, what with all the robots and TV screens doing all the talking for you.
And now you're a giant TV. It sounds like quite a life.
I'm no doctor, but if you're really 200-odd, I'm not sure it counts as flesh anymore, more like jerky. How did you and your robots pull that off?
Sure, I'll buy that. And you sat around for 200 years, before coming out to take over the city. How'd that come about?
Well, yeah, using the NCR as an exploitable resource is probably the best call.
Moving forward a bit, this Platinum Chip business, it seems like a lot of trouble over one little thing you can lose in a slot machine.
(Theres more to this, definitely, but pissing him off won't help me find out...)
But still, if its so valuable, just giving it to me was kinda a risk, wasn't it? I know I'm the best in the Mojave, but I will reluctantly admit I'm not invincible.
(Yeah, duh, the dead guy at Primm was kinda a giveaway. Well done undoing that compliment earlier)
So, your excuse was that Benny had all the inside info, and otherwise my hotshot status should have been enough. Well, I guess putting your trust in my skills was a fair call....
(Putting your trust in me, though...)
Okay, House, we'll see where this partnership takes us. I'll go off Benny, and take the Chip from his corpse for you. And then we can talk bigger things. So, I'll see you in a few hours, ok?
I mean, does he even use this penthouse for anything? Its barely furnished. Theres cloth over half the furniture. And I can't tell the difference between any of these books.
And whats this computer here for, with a Securitron right next to it, like he's guarding it? Hmm...
Eh, all in good time. Victor, I'm done here.
Hmm...I guess I can't say now to some more stable, non-doomed accomodation. Let me see what you've got to offer.
Guest bedroom, handy for Boone, and with office space.
Ooh, a kitchen, with working refridgerator.
Think I'll dump all this soda I've been picking up like a retard. Seriously, what was I thinking. At least the Sasparilla has the star caps every so often.
Some kind of games room, ok...
...Is this supposed to be a kids thing, or some kind of wierd fetish? I can't be sure with House.
Snowglobe-Co Mk7 Display Pedastal? This looks oddly significant.
Oh wow! Working baths and showers! With privacy curtains and everything! This is looking like a good deal!
And a master bedroom, which all in all looks kinda empty compared to the rest, but looks ok.
Nothing in the wardrobes but the same mothbitten casualwear as you get elsewhere, and this hat. Its kinda fetching, but its not me.
I'm not wearing a bonnet, not even if requested. If you need to ask why, you haven't wasted enough time on Youtube.
One feature of the Lucky 38 that other player accomodations don't have is customisability, which is more functional than the themes you could get for your house in Fallout 3, but not as flavorful (Love Machine theme ftw). Its basically a set of extra containers and workbenchs you can have installed throughout the apartment, so you can sort your gear in practically any fashion you like. Handy for those who like making collections, sorting their captured guns by type, having a cupboard filled with egg timers or whatever you like. For us, however, its possible we can do without for now.
Also this console is kinda bugged and it can take a while to figure out how to actually buy anything from it. Its probably a consequence of the programmers not wanting you to be able to sell things to a CRT monitor and thus never use any vendor again, but its generally annoying.
Theres one other location to the Lucky 38, a restaurant floor overlooking the city. Theres not much here, some more money and magazines on the table, and the view isn't that good, but there is something to note.
Its kinda metagaming to know what to do with this, but if you were paying attention to a NPCs dialogue options earlier, you'd know where to go.
Because the guy just wasn't quirky enough as it was.
Its kinda metagame to do this, sure, but mo' money is mo' good, and its not like I psychically went picking up all the rest of them that we could have found in earlier locations. If you guys don't think it worked as Latooni finding it while scouting and figuring it out with her genius brain, I can dump the caps earned in a container or pickpocket them onto a bum or something. But somehow I doubt anyone will mind.
Ok, time for Benny at last! Wait, who's this guy? More NCR bullshit?
The hell? What Ambassador?
...What. Oh come on, I don't have to listen to this bullshit! I don't even have any crimes on the NCR roll, and its not for lack of them daring me, its just because they don't have anything worth stealing. And because I didn't get a chance to cap that asshole in Boulder City. Stupid Victor...
Well, whatever, lets go Boone.
Everyones staring, probably because no-ones gone into the Lucky 38 since the War. Did it really take that much for the NCR to finally notice me? I gotta advertise myself better.
Anyway, thats all irrelevant, I have to get to the Tops.
....Ugh. The Strip seems worse and worse the more I see of it.
I personally love this guys terrible jokes.
Free magazines, only 200 years old. And none of them porn, surprisingly.
....And here we are. This is the big one.
Yeah, this one was reeeeeaaaaallly talky. I apologise for that, but I guess I just have a weakness for listening to House ramble on. In any case, that has lain the brickwork for the second half of the game, but it won't mean much until we finally get the Platinum Chip and figure out what to do with it. This means the next update will be very important....hence why I ask the audience if theres anything you want handled before we burst into the Tops.
In addition, I'd welcome suggestions for how to approach Benny and the murder thereof, but I have a method in mind which I'm kinda set on. It'd have to be a doozy to counter that. Still, general suggestions for how to approach this might be appropriate.
But, aside from all that, I hope next update makes up for the slow times!...Although it might end up a talker even with all the murder.
Oh, one thing: What should we do with Boone? He's not going to be able to use his rifle inside, so he'd essentially be a meatshield, and given we're on hardcore, the chances of him being killed if we go in guns blazing would be fairly high. So, leave him outside, bring him anyway, try to arm him with something hidable, what?