Dead Money – Fallout: New Vegas DLC

I started Dead Money today. It’s giving me a headache, not because it’s hard, per se, but because it’s extremely tense.

The enemies are referred to as Ghost People, and they’re extremely hard to kill. They’re attracted to light and sound, so sneaking is the way to go… which is all well and good, but I hate sneaking. I think it has something to do with how easy it is to get startled in that mode, and if there’s one thing I hate more than sneaking, it’s getting startled. I could avoid that adrenaline rush for the rest of my life and be happy.

The DLC starts in the abandoned BoS bunker near Camp Forlorn Hope. As you advance, you see a bright yet fuzzy light in the distance, but when you draw near, you’re knocked out, presumably by gas. When you wake up, you’re somewhere else and you don’t have your stuff. And, oh yeah, there’s a hologram yapping at you. Eventually you figure out that you’ve been teleported to the Sierra Madre Casino, or at least to the grounds. Your supplies got left behind because they had radiation on them. And the hologram talking to you is Veronica’s beloved Elijah, ordering you to do stuff. How can he order you? Because while you were knocked out, one of his agents put a radio collar around your neck, kind of like a slave collar. He informs you that you are going into the casino after you round up a little band of people and manage to get the casino doors open. You will be scavenging for him, and if you get any ideas about killing your team members, you’ll all die; he rigged the collars to all go off if one of you dies or gets too far from the group. Oh, and the collar will detonate if you get too close or spend too much time in the area of a radio or speaker. Conveniently, though, it will beep to let you know when you’re getting close, and beep faster if it’s getting close to exploding.

Well, with no other options, off you go. The first group member you find is Dog, or, as Elijah refers to him, “the FEV reject”. He’s a nightkin, a type of super-mutant, but he’s not aggressive toward the PC. Just to add more complication, Dog has another personality, God. God is intelligent and  well-spoken but resentful toward Elijah and, as an extension, you. Balancing these personalities is a challenge.

The other interesting thing about Dog is that, when he’s the dominant personality, he will eat the limbs of the Ghost People. Since the Ghost People can… reincarnate? reanimate? get back up and start fighting, in any case, if they retain all their limbs, this trait is useful.

The second person you “recruit” is Christine. After a puzzle that involves shutting down a speaker system, you find her inside an Auto-Doc, a machine that looks like the single-person fallout shelters from Fallout 3 but which, obviously, heals you. At least, that’s the idea; this clearly didn’t go according to plan for Christine. She’s scarred and bald and mute, but with sign language you come to understand that the “bald” part was her choice. The scars are from some surgery she had, apparently at the hands of Elijah, but the muteness is because the Auto-Doc cut her vocal cords. I can only speculate that she was screaming because she was trapped, and the “solution” is pretty horrifying.

Christine was a scribe with the Brotherhood of Steel, and she communicates that she came to the Sierra Madre looking for her girlfriend. Elijah is responsible for their separation, and I’m guessing she wants to kill him. To do that, we have to get inside the casino, since he got himself trapped.

The third and final member of the group is Dean Domino. He’s been ghoulified, and doesn’t look anything like his posters, seen on loading screens. He also seems to think he’s better than everyone else, referring to the PC and the people who came to the Sierra Madre before as “tourists”. He has a similar attitude toward Dog, but when he meets Christine, he tries to chat her up. (Given what I’ve read on the wiki, this is really disgusting. Sad, because I wanted to like him.)

He also knows the history of the Sierra Madre, as he knew the man who built it, and he knows the woman the hologram over the fountain is based on.

The next thing on your quest list is to get everyone to their places to start the Grand Opening Gala. It’s a light-and-music extravaganza that taxes the power system enough that the front doors can be opened, as the locks rely on electricity.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten; I still have to get Christine to her place. More when I’ve played more.

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