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Ahead of the Fallout TV show, you should replay Fallout New Vegas, because it’s the ultimate dating sim with nukes

Truth is... the dates were set up from the start…

Some Fallout New Vegas characters in prime 2010 Tumblr style.
Image credit: VG247/Obsidian

I’m on my knees, and he’s pointing it at me.

I ask myself why we couldn’t have at least gone to a nice restaurant.

Somewhere with a chill atmosphere and a selection of starters that might’ve made all of this a bit more palatable. A moment ago, he said he was sorry I got twisted up in this scene, and that I must be on an 18-carat run of bad luck. At least it wasn’t the old ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ schtick.

As he shoots me in the head, I think about where I’m at in my sordid love life. Surely things can only go up from here, right?

I wake up with a balding man standing over me. He’s got a nice moustache, and the sort of kind eyes that could only belong to a grandfather in a movie or a Disneyland mascot designed to calm down a child that’s just s**t itself going down the log flume. He’s a bit too old to be my type, even if I do appreciate the hug as he helps me out of bed.

Then, things get a bit weird. He makes me play this old carnival game to check I haven’t got brain damage, then we head through to the other room. First, he starts playing word association, then he shows me his art collection. One of the paintings looks like a dick, but I’m too embarrassed to actually say that. One’s of two bears high-fiving, for some reason. I wish he'd just gotten a Pinterest instead of showing me them in person, but I think he’s a hipster. He gives me some nice parting gifts, but it’s not enough.

Outside, I run into a robot with the face of a cowboy on its monitor. Ok, maybe it’ll take some explaining to my parents, and who knows how much of a nightmare it could be in the bedroom, but sure, I’ll entertain it. It turns out he dug me out of the grave my ex left me in, effectively saving my life. It doesn’t help his case much. I’m just not into the faux-John Wayne act, especially from something that might accidentally fire a machine gun at me if it gets too excited during foreplay.

Easy Pete in Fallout New Vegas.
Sorry, Easy Pete, it's a no. | Image credit: VG247/Obsidian

I head for the saloon, because lord knows alcohol might make this all a little easier. There’s a grizzled old prospector sitting on the porch. “Howdy. What can Easy Pete do for you?” he says. I entertain it for a second, then head straight inside. The bartender’s missing. Instead, I’m accosted by an unbearably cheery woman in leather armour, and her dog. Why do these kinds of people always have dogs, I think. She offers to teach me how to shoot things and go camping. There’s something about her outdoor centre instructor hiding a deeply traumatic past vibe that starts to win me over.

Midway through shooting some geckos, however, it wears thin. I realise it won’t work, because when we’re with people, all they’ll do is ask me why I’m not as cheerful as she is. When she’s not looking, I run for the hills.

The next few days all blur together. There’s a lady at a bar who blows me away with her profanity and appetite for whisky. She says something about a Long Dick Johnson, who has a long dick, hence the name. At first, I worry it’s some ex I’d have to live up to, but soon, that doesn’t matter. She can’t leave the outpost, and I’m not ready to settle down yet. On the roof of the same building, there’s a woman in a cowboy hat. She’s nice, but intense, and cursed with the same complexion as a ginger person. I assume the latter two are inherently linked. She asks me to go and check out some smoke in a nearby town.

It’s there I meet the lottery winner. And the furry. I quickly rule out the former. The furry takes more time. Him and his mates have dog hats and actual dogs with them. I resist the urge to ask him if, in all forms but physical, he is a wolf. He’s trying to scare me, to go and tell other folks to be scared of him and his buddies. I don’t know if it’s that, the hat, or the crucified bodies surrounding us, but I’m not quite feeling it.

Boone in Fallout New Vegas.
You're just not my type, Boone. | Image credit: VG247/Obsidian

I drift north, and it all continues to blend into a human soup. There’s a nocturnal bloke who won’t stop going on about his deceased spouse. I’m 90% sure she’s just left him and taken the kids. There’s a glowing man with no skin, who wants to hop on a rocket and go to space with his friends. Sorry, his cult. He’s pretty fun, but guys who think they’re Jesus are a non-starter. There’s a girl in brown robes who says she lives in a hole in the ground with her family. I don’t blame her, moving out is tough in this economy. I am, however, mildly worried that she’d ask if we can use her pneumatic gauntlet in the bedroom.

I keep on going, drifting into the city. There’s a lady doctor with a sick mohawk and the calm temperament of someone without a mohawk. In a different way, she’s just like the girl who taught me how to shoot. Too nice, too good at caring about people and asking for nothing back for us to work. There’s an Elvis impersonator with a robotic dog. That last part nearly swings things his way, but then he says ‘uh-huh-huh’ and I physically shudder.

I pay my caps and head onto the main drag. Finding love among the neon-trimmed fakery seems impossible, but I give it a try. The closest I come is when I take a trip up to the tower’s penthouse. He looks pretty handsome on the screen of his monitor, and seems rich enough to be prime sugar daddy material, even if he won’t stop spouting Adam Smith quotes and asking me for that damn chip. Something doesn’t feel right, though. So, I sneak into his back room and that’s when I find him. The real him. A shrivelled prune with wispy hair. A ready meal, 200 years or so out of date. I’ve accidentally killed that ready meal in taking it out of the fridge, but it doesn’t matter. The search continues.

There’s a top hat wearing cannibal and an Italian mobster who runs a big brothel that’s kinda on fire. Pass. Pass. There’s a desk jockey who wants me to go and talk to some boomers. He doesn’t last long. Then, I run into the furry again. He asks me to go and see his boss, who sounds like an actual salad. F**k it, why not? I trek halfway across Nevada to a tent on a hill, and inside I find what I can only describe as an incel’s incel. He’s dressed like a Roman soldier, he’s read some Hegel, and his hairline’s beyond saving. He’s also quite rude. He’s on the table as an option far longer that he should be. Mainly because I’m fascinated as to why none of his friends have given the punch in the mouth he so clearly needs yet.

Legate Lanius in Fallout New Vegas.
It's me, not you, Lanius. | Image credit: VG247/Obsidian

Then, I find out why. He’s built like a brick shithouse on stilts, carries a sword that’s so huge I’m not even sure of the rule about it compensating for something applies here, and wears a mask that makes him look a bit like the statue from an expensive water feature. He talks in riddles, muttering about bears and bulls, easts and wests, flags and blood. I consider asking him to be the singer in a metal band I’ve been planning to start for a few years now, but think better of it. He’s clearly far too normal for that career path. Eventually, I chew his ear off long enough that he runs away.

Unsure where else to go, I wander further and further. There’s a religious guy, covered in bandages. I find a lot of his scripture cute, but I’m not sure how we’d do it without him getting hurt. There’s a brain in a jar that thinks my toes are penises and won’t stop shouting at me. For a very brief moment, I think he might be worth a go. There are another couple of old men, who live in a neighbourhood filled with really bad clouds of pollution. One’s clearly into bondage, as he drugs me and puts an explosive metal collar on my neck. The other’s a skinless singer, with an ego the size of the theatres he performs in. There’s a guy with dreads in a sleeveless jacket, who won’t stop lecturing me - via a robotic phone - about America and everything I ever might have done wrong in my life. Nope, nope, nope, nope, and, ehhh, no.

I give up.

I head back to the city's main drag and find the guy who shot me in the head. You’ll do, I think, as I gently grin and whisper something in his ear that he’ll never forget.

Benny in Fallout New Vegas.
Image credit: VG247/Obsidian

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