Thursday 31 May 2012

A Bar full of Bullets

My journal through Stalker Soup - a mega mod for Shadows of Chernobyl! You can follow the rest of the story here!

On my way back to Garbage I met the trader Adrenalin who had setup shop in the research station as well as the "flying" trader named Gray. Seriously, he lands his helicopter at a spot and opens a temporary shop. Also had to deal with one more military squad waiting for me on the road. Back at the Garbage I made my way through the duty checkpoint after helping them with a stampede of boars from the dark valley and began the trek to the "Bar". The path was littered with anomalies, and the pack of dogs didn't help. Apparently the pseudo-psy dogs gained the ability to pull weapons from my hands too. Great. More fantastic was that a blowout was on its way.

Smarter than the average dog.

With a mad dash I made it to a bunker and waited with a squad of Duty guys for the emission to pass. After it was over, I had finally made it to the duty controlled city of "Bar" (which seemed to be run by the barkeep no less). Some interesting people there too - one being Gordon Freeman. Yup, exactly the one you were thinking of. There's also an arena here. Apparently these crazy guys don't have enough to shoot at so they shoot at each other for sport. I knew there was good money in it though so I joined the tournament. First two rounds were one on one matches with pistols which I won easily. The third match which pitted me against a swede and his frenemy with shotguns was perhaps the hardest and a lesson in cover. Fourth match was a teams of 3 event which was easy since I had bait, followed by a round against 2 spetznaz who had no chance since they gave me a decent rifle for that fight.

Sixth round was very fun as I was fully equipped against a band of six captured bandits. After slaughtering them it was I who was almost completely unarmed against a veteran in powerarmor. I had four grenades to win the match and only needed one. The finals saw me go against 4 other Exoskeleton dudes (with me being the only one without exo armor). However since it was a free for all, I let the idiots kill each other and picked off the winner at the end. With that, I was the new tournament champion - for now anyway. It runs everyday.

After talking to everyone and now having a super long list of things to do, I decided to push onto the main part of the city that "Bar" is attached to. Large warning signs conveniently let me know that it is no longer a secure area. Nevertheless - I pushed on into Rostok.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

In-depth Research

My journal through Stalker Soup - a mega mod for Shadows of Chernobyl! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Made my way to the factory where "Serly" and his band of free-stalkers were finishing off the bandits camped there. Two of his buddies then helped me push on to the border of Agroprom but they were killed by the leftover bandits ambushing from the tree line. Once they were out of the way I continued alone down the road. When I got to the research facility there was a heavy fire fight already underway between stalkers looting the place and a large military contigent storming the facility. I joined in, assisting the free stalkers but in the end only one guy named "Mole" survived, and he suggested we get out of there before the spetznaz special forces came - and sure enough a helicopter flew overhead even as he was talking. Decided to cover Mole's escape from the rooftop and eliminated the 2 squads that were making their way in. Mole was thankful, giving me a lead of where to find Strelok - in the tunnels that ran beneath this whole area - right before a bloodsucker appeared out of nowhere and ripped him apart infront of me.

Yeah, Cthulhu is in this game.

Shotgunned the horror before it could do the same to me then climbed down the ladder into the darkness, shotgun close at hand. First thing I ran into though was a small crew of bandits who were easily eliminated. Deeper in were more bloodsuckers, a full contigent of military dudes, and a controller. They now make horrible ghost children sounds. Fantastic. After wandering around the cramped tunnels for a bit I finally found Strelok's hideout but no one was home. Decided to try the second exit in the middle of the night and popped out in the nearby Military Base! Not wanting to start a firefight in the dark I quickly went back through the tunnels to where I first entered. I did have a mission to retrieve some documents from that base though, so first I returned to the now empty research facility and slept till dawn, a nap only interupted by a emission. And not the fart kind.

As the sun began to rise I hoofed it up to a hill overlooking the base and began sniping sentries. Sure enough they began sending out scouts to try find me, a few of whom I killed but I quickly learned that they had a working fleet of attack choppers (with much loading), and had to pull back into the shrubs before they arrived. Still, there was a good number of troopers looking for me on that hill so I circled around and easily got in after killing the two remaining guards at the gate. Snuck into the target building pretty easily too via a back window, until I had to shoot a guard patrolling inside - then all hell broke loose. Not only did they send a whole contigent of soldiers to try swarm me, they also got an attack chopper circling around which turned the numerous windows into near insta-death if I timed my movements wrongly.

It was a pretty long, and epic cat and mouse game - with one mouse (me) and cats working in squads (some in power armor) to catch me. Managed to eventually nab those documents at the top floor then being low on ammo had to sneak my way back out to the entry point. There was no way I was getting past the new gate guards and be able to outrun their aircraft though so I made a sprint for the tunnel opening I had found earlier and made it with automatic gunfire whizzing overhead. Fortunately there were no new bloodsuckers waiting for me in the darkness as I made my escape.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Another Mans Treasure

My journal through Stalker Soup - a mega mod for Shadows of Chernobyl! You can follow the rest of the story here!

After camping out to recover and continued up the road north when the sun was up which was a good call since I ran into a pack of around 20 doggies. Shot what I could as I sprinted back to Stargazer's team who helped me clean up the rest. Pushed on to the checkpoint guarded by two bandits who were easily dispatched. FINALLY I get a 2 shot short-rifle from them. Also found an amusing TV inside, displaying a clip from Silent Hill. Once it started to loop, I made my way to the next area: Garbage.

The first thing I ran into was a group of three thugs robbing another Stalker so after sneaking to a good spot I took them out before they knew what hit them. The dude I rescued was thankful but also in a hurry since another blowout was on the way. Not knowing where the nearest shelter was I decided to backtrack instead and hide out at the checkpoint which protected me pretty well. Back at Garbage I came across a vehicle graveyard occupied by a squad of stalkers led by Bes - he asked if I could help them kill some inbound bandit reinforcements and I agreed instantly. Soon enough the fire fight began, the enemy outnumbering Bes' well-armed squad. I let them take point while I waited from an opportune position and that's when I heard something lurking in the tall grass nearby. Spinning around I saw the beast do an incredible leap towards me but I dodged just in time and clambered up on a nearby rotting APC.

It was a Chimera!

These things didn't come out till the 3RD game! WTF - Awesome! I took on the beast on my own to cover Bes' flank and managed to take it down pretty quickly with the sawn-off rifle. Advanced into a broken down bus and took down the remaining bandits from there with pistol head shots. At the end, only Bes was left alive and after thanking me he headed off leaving me to pick up the (plenty of) loot from the fallen. Now well equipped I headed to the North part of the Garbage where I was tasked to hunt down a particular bandit. It was easy enough to kill him with my plated combat gloves, having snuck up on him while he slept in the middle of the field.

Not so easy was evading the Merc squad that suddenly showed up right after, apparently they were also after his PDA. Bolted to the nearby silos and used them as cover to take down the 5 man team after me - including their leader who like Bes, was in full power armor. Too bad I couldn't loot that. The next road checkpoint was nearby, controlled by the "Duty" faction so I headed there to trade off some gear and recover. Interesting to note that non-merchants no longer trade ammo, it certainly makes the game more challenging. :)

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Wrong side of the Tracks

My journal through Stalker Soup - a mega mod for Shadows of Chernobyl! You can follow the rest of the story here!

I must have used up half the ammo I was carrying against the packs of dogs, boars and zombie rats going across the fields back to the rail bridge. Stargazer's pistol was getting good use. I was looking for "Guide" to get me back across the tracks but found him ripped to pieces near an anomaly filled tunnel, and it wasn't long before I found what got him - a bloodsucker, not 5 minutes away from the "newbie" village. Fantastic. In the original game you'd first encounter this thing like 2-3 maps away, but this time it was right here - scurrying half-invisible through the bushes and tall grass. I quickly climbed up to higher -clear- ground and a full pistol clip into its face put it down. Helps that I know how to shoot.

Not wanting to go through the dark tunnel I instead went to the military checkpoint on the road where the colonel offered me safe passage in exchange for vodka. In my previous run through I managed to kill him and his men with a single grenade but this time the good colonel had been buffed up incredibly (possibly god mode) so it sounded like a fair deal. He let me through and I traded some goods with his men before continuing on to clear some shoddy buildings of "flesh" mutants, then went to help a guy named Fox who had been bit by a few too many doggies. After patching him up, the said doggies arrived but were no match for him, Stargazer and Doc who had turned up out of the blue. Explored a nearby house and found a nice stash of medkits too and then... the sky turned red and the ground began to shake. A blowout!?

Yup. Time to run.

Had I known better I should have just stayed in that building but instead I made a mad dash back to the bunker at the newbie village, and everything else seemed to be dashing madly too. When I reached the bridge Colonel Vodka's group was on the run to a nearby factory ruin but one of his troop decided to open fire on me. I put him down quickly and took his gear before his buddies could get a bead on me. Before long I was safely underground (in a bunker with 12 dudes - funny) and the radioactive blowout was finished. Upon exiting I noticed something changed - All the fricking anomalies had moved! Way to keep you on your toes.

While there I decided to try buy a cheap vehicle from Sid - this turned out to be a small white car that was -very- broken. It couldn't even move as far as I could tell. No matter, it was more fun on foot anyway. Colonel Vodka's team was less friendly this time, opening fire on me as I approached for killing their dude. While I got the guy's rifle - he had no ammo for it and I was not looking to fighting a military squad with a pistol and a low ammo count so this time I braved the anomaly filled tunnel and came out the other side hurt, but alive.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Tripping out at the Cordon

My journal through Stalker Soup - a mega mod for Shadows of Chernobyl! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Woke up on the road with a guy named Stargazer who apparently pulled me from the wreckage of a "death" truck. He seemed surprised I survived then gave me a raincoat, binoculars, a knife, a med kit (used immediately since I was near death) and a small pistol with 8 bullets and sent me on my way to the "newbie village". This is hilarious, given the amount of hostile wild life I am seeing nearby, not to mention I have to get past a military checkpoint at a broken rail bridge to reach it. Gotta say the anomalies have never looked so good, and dangerous. Fortunately I still have my infinite scrap metal pieces to toss ahead of me just to make sure I'm not walking into anything nasty.

Getting across the tracks turned out to be easy since I spotted a lightly patrolled section atop the hill and I slipped through undetected which is great given that a) the military guys don't like stalkers and b) they are better equipped than I am. Spent all but one bullet on a pack of dogs that caught onto my scent on the other side, and I had to make a run for the village with the left overs in tow, resulting in the death of one of the guards. Was also interesting to note that there was a gangly zombie (which I had never seen before) lurking in the forests nearby and keeping everyone on edge. The guards eventually killed the "Izolm".

He's a handsome fella ain't he?

The other stalkers at the village had a great deal of distrust in me, and sent me to see Doc to take some sort of test. Apparently this involves taking wierd medicine and passing out (again) only to wake up deep in a mine full of horrible beasties including snorks, bloodsuckers, zombies, skeletons, pseudogiants and poltergeists. Thanks guys. At least they provided me with some power armor, a chain gun and decent artifacts to negate the horrible radiation. After massacring all the other hostiles the last section contained a series of lightning anomalies - a good trick given that someone in power armor cannot run. Easy enough to time jumping through the eletrical arcs with the armor off though.

Having passed the "test" I awoke back in the village and see the local trader (bought more ammo - yay) as well as some other dudes to do some random tasks involving retrieving artifacts, saving captured people, retrieving armor from dens of psy-dogs, and hunting boar - all in a lousy raincoat and -still- using Stargazer's pistol. The modders balanced the money in-take/out-take very well. It was around this point last time that I went south to the military camp to wipe them out but given that they have a HELICOPTER lurking around their base (and I still only have a pistol) I thought to instead follow the main quest North to find this "Strelok" person.

Diary of a Marked One

A journal about my re-run through Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl using the mega Stalker Soup MOD. I've previously won this game (as well as Clear Sky, Call of Pripyat, and Metro 2033) years ago but the new gameplay mechanics are bound to keep things fresh and exciting. Even if they don't I'm such a big fan of the Stalker series that I wouldn't mind playing it again anyway! I had originally thought to just go in using "the Collector" which begins the gameplay -after- the main story is finished but where's the fun in that?

Later on I'm continuing the tale in Borderlands which has a similar setting to the Stalker universe anyway.

And so, after ramping up the difficulty to the hardest mode, the adventure through the radioactive zone begins...

1. Tripping out at the Cordon 
2. Wrong side of the Tracks 
3. Another Mans Treasure 
4. In-depth Research
5. A Bar full of Bullets 
6. Rostok Rumba
7. Southern Circuit
8. Descent Into the Dark Valley 
9. Escape from the Dark Valley
10. Surprises in the Swamp
11. One Heck of a Detour
12. Drive and Draw
13. Return of the Yantar
14. Another Lab of Horror
15. Guns make the World go around
16. Night of the Full Moon
17. Breaking Dawn 
18. Anomaly at the End of the World
19. America! Fuck Yeah!
20. Monolithic Defense
21. Welcome to Lubech (moved to Stalker Online Beta)
22. Journey to the City
23. A Good Place
24. Country Walkabout 
25. Bear-ly Returning Alive
26. Crisscross Scouting
27. Station Lockdown
28. Bus to the Badlands (moved to Borderlands)
29. Let the Cleansing Begin
30. Steroids aren't the Key
31. Hammer Time
32. Auto Duel
33. Ghosts and Monster Trucks
34. Things Great and Small
35. What's up DAHL?
36. How to deal with Scum 
37. A Lance of Crimson
38. Sherrif of the Wastes
39. Melting Moments
40. There can be only One
41. Intentional Miscommunications
42. Impaired Living
43. The Best Cure is Bullets
44. Familiar Ground
45. Defeating the Creator
46. Memories of the Fall (moved to Farcry 3)
47. The Warrior's Path
48. Independent Princess
49. I've got the Stones
50. Deals and Devils
51. That's not a Knife
52. Peekaboo! Guess Who?
53. Trippin Balls
54. The South Island
55. Crazy Monkeys
56. This Little Piggy
57. Killing is Winning
58. A New Target
59. The Long Way Around
60. Gear Check
61. Bunker Down
62. Drug Worship 
63. Hard Earned Riches

Thursday 17 May 2012

Winter of my Disconnect

A lot has happened since my last post. Ok maybe just two things... firstly I'm now a married man and have moved in to my new house with my wonderful wife! Woohoo! Secondly, my home compy is not hooked up to the internets yet and it may be awhile before it is (need funds for house upgrades x.x), meaning my online adventures will be put on hold for a bit.

This is ok as it means I can focus a little on creative works again instead, possibly alternating with a run through Stalker Soup - a massive and hardcore fan-made patch to Shadows of Chernobyl (which I had previously won, but it was so awesome I'm willing to do it again). I'll most likely start a journal of that too when I get the chance. :)