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Top Ten Saturday: Top Ten Fallout 3 Moments

Fallout 3 is a game that gets tons of respect from players and critics alike, and as a person who waited months to actually play it (despite getting it on release day; special addition), I feel it necessary to give it some long overdue credit. I like to describe Fallout 3 as a game that occurs not as a whole, but rather in moments; moments that are so memorable just because of how well they are pulled off in the Universe in which Fallout 3 exists. Therefore, I dedicate this list to one game in particular and it's best moments; this is the top ten moments in Fallout 3.

WARNING: There will be spoilers (Obviously...)

10. Bloodsplosion: Attaining the "Bloody Mess" Perk

Although not technically a singular moment, this perk appropriately dubbed "Bloody Mess" is a sight to behold in action. The basic idea is that every killing shot delivered to an enemy in VATS causes them to explode in a spectacular show of viscera and gore, as there bones and flesh rip each other apart and explode into the radiated air. A headshot grants the greatest sight as it causes the skull to literally blow itself apart, sending the scalp and eyes flying in every direction. Meanwhile, their legs rocket from their bodies, surely propelled by the vats of blood that are spouting from every available orifice, some of which are created just to be surted through. As if this wasn't enough, the other limbs, the arms, fly off in every direction, leaving the torso to limply flop onto the ground as the gore showers down onto the surrounding ground. Possibly the greatest use of this perk is upon an enemy (In my case, a Raider) that is swimming in the water, as his exploding guts will then rain down upon the water, creating both a visual sight and an aural pleasure that is like no other, which easily nibs this awesome moment the number 10 spot on the countdown. Plus it adds 5% to the damage of all weapons!

9. The Antagonizer vs. the Mechanist: The Dilemma of Canterbury Commons

After hearing from Three Dog that he knows about some odd happenings in the Canterbury Commons area, and if you so choose to go and see for yourself what he has described, you will find possibly one of the oddest sights in a game that is full of odd sights. You will see a woman dressed up in a suit that looks like a Kamen Rider rip-off commanding giant ants to attack robots being controlled by a man in a giant robot costume. Eventually, the two will kill each others' servants and run off in separate directions, leaving you very bewildered. After standing there for a couple minutes in shock, you eventually have the option of chasing the two down and demanding that they stop so that traders will not be scared off. If your the type that enjoy going the extra mile, you can convince both of the masked vigilantes to stop their attacks upon one another and obtain each suit for yourself. Just out of shear awkwardness, this moment had to make the list and ends up at number 9. By the way, a super villain named the Antagonizer is simply pun-erific.

8. Attack of the Clones: Vault 108 and the Garys

If you so choose, you can explore each vault for yourself to see what each contains. One such vault is Vault 108, a dilapidated, abandoned, seemingly uninhabited vault. This could not be further from the truth as you soon run into an enemy: a vault-dweller named "Gary 43" runs at you determined to decorate his walls with your guts. After dispatching the oddly named attacker, you continue through the ruined vault. Soon enough however, you run into another Gary, same name, same face, different number. What the hell is going? A few minutes later, and you find yourself surrounded by Gary's; every which way you turn, Gary's surround you trying to separate your head from your body with a variety of melee weapons. How did these clones come to pass? Who made them? How are they living in the hell hole they've come to inhabit? None of it is explained, and for the better. Once the final Gary is put down, you have no choice but leave with only a vague sense of accomplishment. The absolute insanity that Vault 108 contains is plenty enough to earn it the number 8 spot on the countdown, Gary be damned.

7. The Color of Insanity: Flashbacks in Vault 106

Another moment straight out of a Vault, this time coming from the 106th Nuclear Fallout Shelter. Everything seems like a n average vault dwelling experience; blood on the walls and floors, chairs knocked over, furniture in disarray, etc. However, soon you find that you have company in the form over crazed vault dwellers who attack you. Still pretty standard fare. However one minute you're walking down a hallway and the next everything goes purple and you see your Father as well as other people dressed in science gear walking about. They each go into a separate door, hidden from your site, and just as soon as it came, it disappears. A game glitch maybe? Obviously your monitor is on the fritz. you continue onwards and find yourself fighting off more crazy vault inhabitants. You blast them away like nothing, but all of a sudden things go purple. Your enemy with the baseball bat no longer stands in front of you; instead, Butch from Vault 101 stares you down with a switchblade, slashing at you like a mad man. You try to defend yourself but nothing seems to hurt him. Things go lucid and you find yourself killing the same vault dweller as before. What has just occurred? Crazy, unexpected, and absolutely engrossing, this moment cements itself into the number 7 spot on the countdown.

6. Battle for GNR: The Attack of the Super Mutant Behemoth

On your quest to find your Father, you find that you must talk to Three Dog at Galaxy News Radio, one of only two radio stations available throughout the Capital Wasteland. You track it all the way there and find the Lyon's Pride, an outpost of the Brotherhood of Steel. It seems that they're having problems with Super Mutants, a problem that calls for you to help. You follow them around blasting all types of Super Mutants; Brotherhood of Steel soldiers shredding apart enemies with Miniguns and Laser Rifles. You feel as if your unstoppable. Things come to a head when you see the GNR Building where the Super Mutants have taken over the Courtyard of the GNR Plaza. You and the Lyon's Pride take them all out with ease and you trudge up to the doors of the GNR Building, but you find the doors are locked. You see you have to press the call button, but a message comes up telling you it's unavailable currently. Suddenly, you hear a small bang; you turn around and see a huge explosion rock the corner of the courtyard. A Super Mutant Behemoth, the largest enemy you have seen and will ever see in the game charges at a Brotherhood soldier, killing him and knocking his Fatboy Missile Launcher towards you. You are given the directive "Kill the Super Mutant Behemoth with the Fatboy". You grab the nuke-firing bad boy and you let loose on the Behemoth. After three shots, he explodes his guts all over the courtyard. You weep with the beauty of the carnage, and for that, this climactic moment earns the number 6 spot on the countdown.

5. Catch, Rampage, Reason, and Release: Escaping the Enclave

Shortly after finding Fawkes, you are captured by the Enclave, who waste no time grabbing the G.E.C.K. and formulating a devious plan to use it for evil. You awake to find yourself being interrogated by General August, a Southern-spoken bastard who wants the password out of you. Telling him off with various "Fuck off"'s is especially awesome, making you feel like the ultimate badass. Shortly afterward, you find yourself being spoken to directly by President Eden, who releases you and asks you to come see him. If your anything like me, you immediately starting wrecking shop, killing every Enclave son of a bitch you could find, looting their powerful Tesla Armor and Plasma Rifles and having an absolute blast getting the most therapeutic revenge one could imagine. However, you finally run out of Enclave soldiers and scientists to slay and find President Eden. To your surprise, you find that he is not a man, but rather a computer, and he wants something from you. He asks you to use the purifier to eliminate all Super Mutants as well as Ghouls from the gene pool; righteous genocide. In an homage to the original Fallout, you can convince him to actually kill himself and self-destruct the facility. Once all is said and done, you rush outside to find your buddy Fawkes blowing apart fleeing Enclave Soldiers with his new rapid-fire toy. Brutally therapeutic, wholly climactic, and absolutely awesome, this moment is one of the best moments Fallout 3 has to offer, earning it the number 5 spot on the countdown.

4. The Good, the Bad, and the Betty: Misadventures in Vault 112

After finding Vault 112 under an Auto Shop, you can feel that your Father is close. However, a "Robobrain" is asking you to put on a Vault 112 jumpsuit. You do it and enter the Vault, which is surprisingly not destroyed; in fact, the Robobrains seem to have been taking care of the place nicely. But, without a human in sight, the air is think with suspicion. After making your way to the bottom floor, you are asked to enter a "Relaxation Chamber", which you do hesitantly. Suddenly, you enter a black-and-white virtual world where Nuclear Fallout hasn't destroyed everything in site. You find that you must talk to Betty in the center of the neighborhood, who is an innocent-looking girl. She seems to be the only one aware of the fact that the world is fake, and she asks you to do one simple thing if you want to see your Father; make another child cry. Why would she ask such a thing? You don't want to do it. But there's only one thing to do. You walk up to him and punch him until he cries. You go back to Betty who seems satisfied.

She asks of you yet another task: get a couple to divorce. At this point, you know that something is wrong. If you walk around long enough, you'll find an old woman who is also aware that it is all fake, and she tells you to find the abandoned house where the Failsafe program is held. You enter the house to find a cryptic puzzle with no clear solution. After solving the puzzle, you are given the Failsafe program: a recreation of the Chinese Invasion, which will result in the death of every other resident. You now have a decision to make: continue to serve the evil of Betty, who is actually the evil scientist who set up the experiment, or put every resident out of their misery. No matter what the choice, the situation is awe-inspiring in how it distills the moral choice element of the game into such a pure, raw, form that goes beyond simply good and evil; it now means life or death. Either cause misery and take the easy road, or take the moral high road and solve the cryptic puzzle. For this kind of moral ambiguity, this moment absolutely has to make the list, and makes to the number 4 spot.

3. Moral Obligation in the Oasis: Harold and the Treeminders

One of the few moments that aren't on the path to finding your Father, this is also one of the few moments in videogame history that can bring some to tears. I'm talking about the mission in which you come across Harold, the Ghoul who has become stuck in the tree. If your a fan of Fallout, you'll quickly see that Harold is the exact same Harold you found in the first game, except now the plant on his head, Bob, has now rooted him to the ground. He has created a green, lush land, hidden in the Wasteland, and it is inhabited by Treeminders, a religious sect who worship Harold as a God. Unfortunately for them though, Harold is not a God; he's just an unlucky Ghoul, and after speaking to him about how he came to be rooted to the ground and his relationship with the Treeminders, he asks one simple thing from you: kill him. He is sick of being stuck there, which he has been for 30 years or more; with no food, drink, sleep, and only crazed religious nuts to talk to.

If you accept the task, you are then approached by the Treeminders who offer you two more choices: let him live and impede his growth so it spreads no longer or let him live and speed up his growth so that it can spread all across the Wasteland. What follows is a emotional and moral choice which will place you at Harold's heart frozen in thought: do you let Harold have his wish and kill him, do you help the leader of the Treeminders, or do you sacrifice Harold's whims for the good of the Wasteland? No matter what, someone loses, which makes the decision all the more difficult. For the first time in the game, it's not about choosing who you want to win in the end, but instead who you feel is best fit to take the fall, the Treeminders or Harold. Whether it's the emotional weight of the mission or the impression Harold leaves on you, this moment earns the number 3 spot on the list easily.

2. One Shall Stand and One Shall Fall: Liberty Prime Awakens

Directly after escaping the grasp of the President's troops, you find that the Brotherhood of Steel are ready to mount an assault upon the Enclave, with you at the helm. The Lyon's Pride and Fawkes are ready to follow, but suddenly the leader of the Brotherhood mentions that "it" is ready. "It" is of course referring to the giant robot in the middle of the facility, Liberty Prime. Liberty Prime is a leftover robot from the war between the U.S. and Communist China, and he is equip to take on the lethality that all of China can bring. The question is, can he take it the forces of the Enclave? The answer is without a doubt, yes. The most climactic moment in such an understated, dialogue-heavy game, following Liberty Prime as he crushes, lasers, and nukes the Enclave forces is absolutely awesome. When I say nuke, I mean he grabs a nuclear weapon off of his back, and tosses it like a football into enemies. You can even help and pick off forces that he misses of snipe them from behind, but it's all about watching him destroy the Enclave as he spouts incredible propaganda like "Democracy is non-negotiable." Balls-tighteningly intense, aurally magnificent, and just plain cool, this moment is the definition of climax, which is why it earns the number 2 spot on the countdown.

1. "War never Changes." - The Prologue and the Epilogue

The first moments of Fallout 3 are absolutely brilliant: a radio cuts on, a song plays, and the camera zooms out to reveal the Wasteland that has been created. In comes the narrator, who tells of the origins of War amongst humans, how even our primordial ancestors bludgeoned each other with bone. He tells of the nuclear fallout that befell the world during the war between the U.S. and China. But in Fallout tradition, we are treated to the greatest line ever written for a videogame: "War...war never changes." Terse, concise, but absolutely paramount in statement, the simplicity of it is absolutely essential. But what cements the solemn and sullen words of the narrator and the images we are subjected is not the already incredible opening to the game, but it is the Epilogue that does it. After a cut-and-pasted bullshit slideshow, you are expecting the game to end on the note that your heroism "saved the day" and that humanity regrew itself. For most games, this would be the case, but not Fallout 3; after the disappointing plot hole with Fawkes and the slideshow that judged your integrity, you are given one final message, that is delivered whether you were an evil bastard or the hero of the Wasteland. You are told that even with the Purifier working and the Enclave defeated, humanity will never get over it's own brutality. In the end, it is Humanity's struggle is neither solved nor finite, but rather inevitable, because war...well, war never changes. That is the true ending of Fallout 3, and that is the message of the game, which is why over everything else, from bloodsplosions to Liberty Prime, the message is truly the greatest moment in Fallout 3.
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About Canti-samaone of us since 9:47 PM on 08.03.2009

Hello, I'm Trevor Johnson, also known as Canti-sama. I like to write about things including videogames (that should be paramountly obvious at this point...) music, film, and anime, so what you see in this blog is just one part of my pretentiousness! I'm a nit-picky bitch when it comes to basically everything, so excuse me if I seem like kind of an elitist, even though I try not to be. If I had to sum up who I am, I would do it through top 5 lists, so how about we a do a few right now! But before that, since DTOID tends to remove frontpage posts from my c-blog, here's the list of my frontpages, which I thank everyone very much for!

Frontpage Posts:
1. Monthly Musing - I suck At Videogames: Nostalgia's Curse, 8/12/09
2. Promoted Story - Suda 51 and the "Art" of Videogames, 9/6/09
3. Monthly Musing - Nothing is Sacred: Videogames, 10/7/09


Top 5 Favorite Videogames:
5. Fallout 3, PC
4. Mega Man X, SNES
3. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, PS2
2. Braid, PC
1. Shadow of the Colossus, PS2

Top 5 Favorite Albums:
5. Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm a Machine, 2004
4. Radiohead - O.K. Computer, 1997
3. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92, 1992
2. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam, 2007
1. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation, 1988

Top 5 Films:
5. Brazil, Directed by Terry Gilliam
4. Fargo, Directed by Joel Coen
3. Fight Club, Directed by David Fincher
2. Shaun of the Dead, Directed by Edgar Wright
1. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Directed by Sergio Leone

Top 5 Anime Productions:
5. Spirited Away, Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
4. The Big O, Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama
3. Cowboy Bebop, Directed by Shinichirō Watanabe
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion, Directed by Hideko Anno
1. Fooly Cooly, Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki

Avery Island: Musical Opinions From Music Geeks
PSN Name: MetalLink1979
Wii Friend Code - 8089-7286-5497-4717
XBL - Metal Link 904 (Note: My Xbox 360 is in possession of my brother, so this is no longer technically my XBL Tag)
Xbox LIVE:Metal Link 904
Steam ID:MetalLink1979
Mii code:8089-7286-5497-4717


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