A few days ago, I came across this puzzling story through Gamocracy: some water_wendi, over at NEOGaf, had beaten Fallout: New Vegas without fighting one bit or firing the least shot.
Now, what was that?! As far as I knew, #FNV was a first-person shooter in a post-apocalyptic world, not a walk in the park to feed Bambi.
I was curious. I felt like asking the man a few questions… and luckily my brother happens to be a long-time NEOGaf member, just like him. So he helped make the connection, water_wendi agreed to answer, all is well in the best of worlds and here are five questions to the Ghandiman…
What can you tell us about you? Where are you from?
Not a whole lot to say about myself. I’m mainly an RPG gamer and am from Las Vegas.
What prompted you to play through the game like that?
The previous Fallouts had viable pacifist game paths (except for Fallout 2 at the very end). Games where you shoot, punch and stab your way to the end are very easy to find… Games which use diplomacy, science and bartering to complete, not so much. I mainly wanted to see if what Obsidian said in interviews was true. Often times developers exaggerate what can be accomplished. Not so in this case.
Was FNV built so that someone could finish the game without making a kill or did you have to trick it?
New Vegas was indeed built up to support that style of play. No tricks were involved in my pacifist run. I didnt have companions kill for me while I just soaked up the experience or anything like that. My strategy was built around Speech and Sneak. If I could not talk my way through problems I just sneaked by them instead. If I came under attack I would run away until the hostile creature/person lost interest or a friendly creature/person came to my aid (I was Idolized with most factions and I had both levels of the Animal Friend perk which had most animals come to my aid if I was under attack).
There’s this screenshot with some kind of “Messiah” status information. Is it a status you acquire by beating the game the way you did?
The Messiah status comes from the Karma system… Did I do more good than bad? In most games, supplies like ammo or stimpacks are hard to come by so people steal them. Stealing items even from hostile factions results in a gain of Negative Karma. Since I never got into a fight I had no need for ammunition or health items so I rarely stole. On top of that, because I talked my way through things I was kind of a “Wandering Arbitrator/Diplomat” where people had problems and this kindly woman showed up to get everyone to play nice. Lots of Positive Karma from doing that repeatedly.
Did you ever think about completing another game like that? or with any other kind of fake “constraints” for that matter?
Oh all the time. Most RPG’s focus more on combat so it becomes a difficult challenge. Playing as a pacifist in New Vegas isn’t much of a challenge honestly. It’s pretty easy, imo. There are so many options to resolve quests without killing. There are only three or four quests which require fighting, I think.
As for other “constraints” I am currently trying to do a run where I fight with everyone I meet. So no talking, no quests, no anything but straight-up killing. I’m wondering how far I will get before the game breaks. I can’t for the life of me figure out how I’ll be able to get to the endgame if I remove everyone I come across. Whether or not I’ll be able to complete this remains to be seen because it’s a) very boring and b) much more difficult.
Thank you water_wendi for taking the time and jujukun for making the connection.