Thursday 28 June 2012

Escape from the Dark Valley

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

As I made my way out of the lab I encountered a small squad of military guys raiding the facility. It was nice to see the poltergeists throwing crap at someone other than me for a change. Killed them swiftly and exited that haunted place only to learn via comms that the military were performing a massive raid on the area, focusing primarily on the bandit base to the North. However they also blocked the path to Garbage which means my only exit was the South road but first I had to get out of this building. I had a feeling that the army guys were here in force so I didn't bother taking the main door out and instead took stairs up where I fought past another team before reaching the roof. Thankfully there were no helis in sight. By taking the back, slightly broken, fire escape I managed to flank the next two teams who as I thought were watching the main door.

Made my way out of the gate and sure enough the choppers were doing their thing at the bandit base. Didn't want to get involved with that so I hoofed it South, sniping two more soldiers guarding a small bridge and just as I am nearing the border I get a warning that a mechanized spetznaz unit was spotted coming my way. "Mechanized?," I pondered to myself as I kept on walking down the road until the south gate suddenly exploded open as five dudes came marching through, and behind them was the answer to my question.

Quickly took cover behind a tree, narrowly evading a shell that flew past and gunned down the foot soldiers. I had been reading recently that while tanks are the behemoths of the battlefield, they are not as effective without a supporting ground squad. This proved true, as I managed to move up the tree line into a position where I could lob grenades at the bastard who was content with staying put. In the end I ran out of grenades, but he ran out of life. Kaboom! Victorious, I looted what I could and pushed on back into Cordon.

At the Newbie Village I sold off what gear I could, including the broken bandit-exo and the empty tommy gun and got a few weapons from Sid for completing various side quests (including punching out a dude in town) for which I was given a Saiga 30 clip, auto-shotgun. He did also have a new task for me, to sneak into the military base to the south and retrieve some documents. That wasn't going to be easy. Before that however, a new stalker named Fanatic was in town and he asked me to help protect the place from an incoming band of mercs. Ofcourse I agreed and took up position on one of the rooftops. It was storming heavily when they arrived, but between myself and Fanatic not one of them even breached the perimiter. The small group was just a scouting party it seemed as the remainder were still camped out in a field nearby. Took the liberty of Saiga-ing them all before they could reach for their weapons, or stand up. All mercs dead, village casualties zero.

Friday 22 June 2012

Descent into the Dark Valley

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

I noticed on the map a new way to reach my destination - something called the Forgotten Forest. I only got to its outer zone when I was beset by packs of dogs, a pair of snorks, blood suckers and zombies that get up after you "kill" them. Did a good job pushing me outta there and rethinking my route. With exo armor at less than 50% I hoofed it back to the Duty outpost and used the Northern path instead which, while being more radiated, was a whole lot easier to traverse.

Upon entering the Dark Valley I met up with "Bullet" who had just taken down a small group of bandits (I had to put one out of his misery though), and he asked me to help him free his fellow guild members from the bandit controlled buildings in the northern section. Turns out their leader holds a key I need to get into my main target = laboratory x18. After helping Bullet save one guy being transported it was up to me to infiltrate the base and rescue "Shaggy" and his team.

Of course I was attacked by a bunch of bloodsuckers en route but the first part of their compound was surprisingly lightly guarded by only 1 dude. I imagine the bloodsuckers did take a few of them out though since I found their bodies. The next few sets of bandits were asleep so I took the liberty of point blank shotgunning them to the face, Just as they deserved. This of course alerted the numerous remaining scum but they were no match for me. Alas I found Shaggy in the dungeon - dead. He was either executed or it was suicide, regardless I got the key from the bandit boss and made sure all hostiles were dead before leaving the compound.

I was surprised to find Mole and Bes camped outside, and completed a few tasks for them while I was there which earned me a nice Tommy-gun from Mole which would come in very handy in the next place I was going to visit. The laboratory had a few more bandits lurking outside (one with an RPG - yikes), but the true horrors were within the heavy sealed door.

Burers are a lot more dangerous now, but still just as ugly.

The entry was crawling with izolms along with a few snorks. Also killed me a few burers and a number of very annoying poltergeists further in while trying to find codes to open two locked doors, behind one of which was another pseudogiant. I eventually find the files I was after, but that nice tommy gun was totally dry of ammo and my exo-skeleton armor was pretty much falling to pieces.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Southern Circuit

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

Blew through Bar pretty quick, though I had to take some time on the Southern border to snipe a whole pack of dogs waiting for me. Tried sniping a wandering Burer too but I ended up having to just run past the telepathic bastard. Pushed through Garbage to Agroprom for a small detour of sniping a military grunt at a toxic lake. Also found myself attacked by a small litter of fast moving cats. Yes. Cats. God damn. Everything here wants to kill me. Fortunately some drop good loot like the bandit bunch I ran into. Managed to pickup a "Bandit Exo-skeleton suit".

Decided to then take a short-cut back to the Cordon via a foresty path filled with anomalies, boars and fleshes. Thought I'd finish off a few quests while I was here only to find I couldn't for some because a) the quest giver had travelled to a different location and b) the item I retrieved and used was so damaged they wanted me to fix it first. Sigh. Fortunately Sid repairs for resonable prices. Got a replacement shottie while I was at it and I also found a fat guy named Tolik bleeding out in the bush, patched him up and helped him get vengeance on the dog pack that got him and his buddies.

I also met a group of three hunters who wanted my help in staving off an attack by bandits near the rail-crossing. I agreed and sure enough a large firefight ensued with the hunters all dying in the first 10 seconds of combat. To make things more interesting a group of wandering stalkers and Colonel Vodka and his squad decided to join in. In the end everyone except for the invincible Colonel and myself were dead.

After the blood bath I had to elude the Colonel with a large detour, then it was time to push back North. My journey was slightly delayed by a heavy storm so I made camp to wait it out near the ruins where Fox's team was - though one of their number had been killed by another pack of dogs. They weren't what I came across when following the road to Garbage though. It was this guy...

Yup. A psuedogiant.

Fortunately I was well stocked on launchable grens and took it down with no fuss. Still high on ammo and supplies, I headed for my next stop: the Dark Valley.

Monday 4 June 2012

Colorful Distractions

I've hit a slight pause to my re-exploration of the zone with Mabinogi NA releasing the next main stream content: Generation 16 - Macbeth! aka - "Maybe this time I get to kill Shakespeare"? His initial addition to the game was met by quite a few WTFs but they are doing a decent job of tying his story up with the overall "which God/Goddess is not insane" theme they have going on, though the general consensus is they're all messed up in the head. :P

Haven't played Mabinogi before? I suggest you give it a try! They've even introduced martial arts abilities which are quite visually impressive. I may dabble in those later once I finish my sword and bow training too.
Another game I've been trying out is Dino Beatdown which is going quite cheap on steam atm. It is chock-full of bugs but still good fun to play with a team. Currently there are only 3 dino types with below average AI makes it a pretty easy game to practice your FP shooter skills if you are a newbie to the genre too. Can't help but think this game is a more polished "copy" though - Primal Carnage. Certainly stays to the dinosaur theme at least?

Lastly Game of Thrones Season 2 has just drawn to a close and just like its first season I (as a non reader of the books) am finding it incredibly awesome. Episode 9 in particular is a good watch with the Battle of Blackwater. Unlike the other episodes it doesn't hop from location to location but that gives it more time to show some fine medieval warfare. For the first time too I might add, as they usually just skip the big fights due to budget constraints.

Friday 1 June 2012

Rostok Rumba

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

The entry of Rostok was a strangely quiet and anomally filled courtyard. Good thing I trusted my instincts and pulled up my binocs to spot a squad of mercs waiting to ambush me. Took some cover behind some concrete blocks and put all of them down and FINALLY managed to get a decent scope from their weapons. It was going to come in handy too, because the city was a warzone. Mercs led by some dude called Wolfhound were here in force, even shooting down a passing army chopper in the process. They were after a science group in the area, and it wasn't long before it was up to me to rescue them.

Decided to stay on the rooftops as much as I could to avoid the anomalies below, also taking the opportunity to snipe down as many mercs as I could. Eventually I had to get down to the train tracks and decided to check the downed chopper. Had a close encounter against Wolfhound himself but my shotgun was faster than his. Found what was left of the science team, one guy named Kruglov who asked me to escort him down to the Yantar valley. Ofcourse I agreed, getting him through a few more merc ambushes, a dozen anomalies and right at the end along with a few zombified stalkers. The valley itself is mostly inhabited by zombified guys and snorks, neither of which are very dangerous if they don't catch you by surprise.

They're more like radioactive jumping idiots.

There are tons of dangerous, moving anomalies though - and the building zone where all the zombies were coming from just seems to kill me by simply standing in it, so it was definitely a no go zone. At least the mobile science lab was well stocked with useful gear which I paid big bucks for: military grade binocs, an anomaly detector, a mine detector, various pills and medicines and because I got Kruglov there in one piece - a brand new bio-hazard suit - useful for radioactive areas. Unfortunately they did not sell bullets of any kind, depite having some high caliber weaponry on sale. With nowhere else to go and ammo running low I began the long trek back through Rostok.

The snorks and radioactive skull-rats had moved in, as had two more merc units with one exo-armored bastard but I got through them just the same, despite me choosing to go in the dead of night where visibility was really against me.