Game Over Man, Game Over.

I reached the end of Fallout 3 last night. Well, the game can’t really end per se, but let’s just say that I reached my end. It seems fitting to return to this blog by writing about being done with that game, since I so heartily blamed it for putting an end to this blog for a while.

To recap, I’d finished the main narrative of the game – saving the world, or at least providing it with some clean drinking water – and then headed into the world of Broken Steel, an add-on which extends the narrative from that point. Shot and detonated my way through the process of mopping up the evil Enclave forces. Did the side quests which revolved around the distribution of clean water to the populace of the Wasteland. Missions accomplished.

So then I was back to being a literal Lone Wanderer, with nothing much to do. I happened across the White House and indiscriminately took out all factions fighting around it, not so much for the American way as for experience points. The virtual life was getting empty, though in an appropriate-feeling way. What do you do when you’ve saved the world, killed the bad guys, and you don’t have any friends, family, or sense of purpose? I wandered.

Near the White House I heard a man’s voice shouting – some crazy guy who threatened to blow himself up. I tried to find him without much luck, then came across someone at the mouth of an alleyway who complained about the crazy guy. Said he was down the alley. Within my glowing “power armour”, with my glowing gun, with my general badassness, I set off down the alleyway, ignoring the crazy guy’s ranting even as I tried to find him, to sort out one last little problem in the Wasteland.

I heard a beeping.

Some more beeping.

Beeping…

And then the entire alleyway exploded, threw me up into the air in slow motion, a rag doll, a leg missing, armour still glowing. Dead.

The game reloaded to my previous save point, but I knew an appropriate ending to my play when I saw one. After hours and hours of taking down all comers, saving towns, rescuing children, fighting the good fight, I had died in an alleyway boobytrapped by a ranting madman. The very anonymity of it, the lack of heroism and pizazz, is what made it easy (perhaps possible) to power down the game and move on. Personal narrative concluded. Mission accomplished.

15 May 2010
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