Wasteland: A Landmark of RPG Innovations


Chunk offered to dig both graves for us, so I have time before nightfall to write what happened:

We lit a fire outside of town and settled down to lick our wounds. I'm not wary of lighting a fire outside any more--we've just been to hell and back, and whatever finds us out in the desert isn't going to be a fraction of what we experienced in there...

The rumors about the war machines were true. The locals had their own names for them based on what they did or looked like: Slicerdicers and Chopters were a mass of arms and blades. Warroids were essentially high-powered humvees (except humvees don't drive themselves around firing roof-mounted assault rifles). As for fighting them, the slicerdicers and chopters were relatively easy to take out--just don't let them get close to you. The warroids spooked us until we realized that a single LAW shattered them into a mass of platinum metal shards. But the Cyborg Commando...

We'd never seen a Cyborg Commando before when it just appeared out of nowhere and started running toward us. Kylie thought she could take it on and bolted toward it like a jackrabbit; we screamed after her, but she was already off and running. She ran at an angle, banking the other direction to confuse it. Just as it raised its weapon to fire, she ran up the back side of a car, sprung into the air with a high forward flip that allowed her to look straight at it from above--upside down--and emptied a clip into the thing. Her legs swung back down to the ground as she landed on both feet about three yards directly behind it. She turned around and looked at us, a huge smile on her face. But her smile slowly dwindled to a quizzical look as she realized it hadn't fallen down yet.

The Cyborg commando rotated its torso around the waist 180 degrees and fired a burst right into her face.

I froze as she crumpled, but Vlad started cursing in Russian, getting a LAW ready. Chunk was silent as he ran toward it wielding the proton axe we had found a couple of buildings back. It turned out the LAW was useless: the Cyborg could jump out of the way long before the rocket got there. Chunk couldn't get the ax to connect because the thing could run one way and shoot another--Chunk couldn't get close enough to use it. Doc tried his best to evade the mayhem, but he caught a bullet and lay on the ground, seriously wounded. Slowly, almost as if in a daze, I laid flat down on the ground in sniper fashion, pointed my AK-47 at the waist of the thing, and fired a single shot. The Cyborg's torso was liberated from its legs and it fell, a dead hunk of metal.

Upon examining it later, we found that Kylie's little maneuver had indeed caused damage to it. My lucky shot wasn't really so lucky; it was merely the straw that broke the camel's back. If she hadn't done that, I might not be here to write this, since we didn't know how to handle it. Now that we've seen one, we can deal with it. There's got to be more of them.

Stupid, stupid Kylie! Why did she have to do that? I guess I can't blame her; she always loved that move. She used to tape her ankles every day to practice it, thinking it would be useful for surprise attacks. I guess we didn't expect to come across something that couldn't be surprised.

Of course, that wasn't the only surprise today. Losing the Mayor was almost comical; he stepped on a land mine in the middle of the street and blew himself sky high! It turns out that the people of New Las Vegas had found that the best way to fight against the killing machines was to booby-trap the whole place with land mines. I knew he didn't have decent perception skills, but geez, you'd think you'd see a land mine sitting in the middle of the street! Probably a fitting end, considering what had happened to his wife. Like I said; comical.

Okay, okay; I know it's tragic. But you've got to have some sense of humor out here, no matter how twisted, or you'll just go crazy.

In dragging Doc to a local healer today, we heard more rumors. Rumors I really don't want to think about. An android plague under the city in the sewers. Someplace called "Base Cochise" that is supposed to have an arsenal of weaponry. And an insane robotics inventor called Finster that wants to take over the world... or was that an insane computer that wants to destroy the world?

I can't remember; I gotta lay off those snake squeezins. 'Course, with what's coming up, booze is the least of my worries...

Jim Leonard is the co-founder of MobyGames, and can be reached at [email protected].

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