Comic for Saturday, Oct 17, 2020


Posted October 17, 2020 at 12:00 am

- "This is a CUTSCENE, isn't it?"

In the larger video gaming community, there are challenge runs. These can be speed runs, in which the goal is to simply use every trick available to complete a game as quickly as possible, or any number of other special conditions and restrictions.

An example relevant to Susan's situation would be a pacifist run of Fallout 3 in which you aren't allowed to kill any enemies.

The reason that example is relevant is because it can be done, but played as intended, it's impossible.

Fallout 3 literally begins with your character's birth. Seriously. You're born, and then character creation happens, because apparently future nonsense means they can predict how you'll look as an adult right down to your haircut and dye choices.

On your character's tenth birthday, you're in an underground shelter known as a vault, and there is a giant insect you have to kill with a BB gun. As far as the game is concerned, there is no alternative to killing this bug if you want to continue the game.

It is possible, however, to glitch one's way out of the vault without killing the insect. You'll be struck as a kid instead of an adult, but you'll be able to continue the game without killing anything! Hooray!

Until you reach a point when interacting with a progress-critical console results in a "children cannot use that" message, ending the challenge run.

What you actually have to do is glitch your way out of the vault even earlier.

As a baby.

A baby that is actually just an adult who's been scaled down (you can't tell in the tutorial because it's stuck in first-person view), so you can use the previously mentioned console, but you WILL be stuck walking all sorts of slow at a tiny size, and unable to access your inventory, AND there'll be more moments of having to glitch to proceed later.

Bringing this back to Susan's situation, there are times when you have to do things the game's way to keep going. Even when there are ways around it, they might only work temporarily, or come at some sort of terrible, terrible cost (seriously, you don't want to play Fallout 3 baby-sized, it's nightmarishly slow).

You also need to know exactly what you're doing, or you'll just be staring at a giant cockroach while your dad encourages you to shoot it (metaphorically speaking, of course, if not specifically playing Fallout 3).

Granted, Susan has no knowledge of this. You think she does, or watches, video game challenge runs? She's basing her choices on what she's experienced. I just thought I'd provide a bit more perspective on the potential situation she's in.