Fallout 4: How exploring turned into a nightmare

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Fallout 4 has pretty much turned into an obsession for every writer at LoadScreen. Since I’m very close to the end game and don’t want to pick a faction I’ve been endlessly exploring the wastelands, searching for loot and shooting raiders right in the groin. This exploration bender has been going on for some time and up until yesterday it was mostly care free. Not anymore, now I tremble at the thought of entering the unknown.

It all happened in the northeast section of the map, you know the are with the witchcraft museum and not much else. I was casually strolling through the woods with Dogmeat towards the museum, which I had heard was pretty spooky, so was prepared for mild horror, what I found was much worse.

Looks both peaceful and disturbing.

Looks peaceful enough.

On our way to the museum I happened across a quarry filled with raiders, it seemed like a good spot for loot so I decided they had to be taken care of. This took a while and I ultimately had to call in a vertibird to assist me with two raider veterans with power armour. Once the raiders were good and dead I descended into the quarry in search for prizes. After finding the usual cap stashes and ammo I noticed an entrance to a mine. “Hmmm, why not go down there, I’m sure it isn’t going to be absolutely terrifying,” I thought to myself. I told Dogmeat to stay and ventured in.

The mine had its fair share of raiders inside, and even a raider boss named Bedlam, who I quickly dispatched of. I also noticed a few terminals scattered around. The most noticeable terminal was one near what seemed to be the bottom of the mine, next to Bedlam. She had left entries in the terminal, apparently she was there to oversee transport of iron from the mine to the raider run Saugus Ironworks nearby.

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Bunch of god damned cowards. Saugus can’t run without its iron, so Slag sent me to figure out why the scum in this place can’t turn out a shipment of scrap to save their lives.

And what do I find?

These yellow bastards eating food they haven’t earned, whispering to themselves about the things down in the mine.

Well I’m here now. These maggot have bigger things to fear than a couple of ferals.

Well that sounds like a good premise for a horror movie… What else does this charming bandit have to say for herself?

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Last two shipments made it out on time, but the crew we sent to clear out the Ghouls down below haven’t come back. We’re running out of scrap up here. We need to get deeper into the mine. Guess I have to do everything around here.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that was a bad idea. Time to read Bedlam’s last entry before I murdered her with a missile launcher.

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Oh…

Her last entry reads “I’m safe in the light,” over and over. At this point I left the terminal and noticed a red door in the corner, it was chained shut. Naturally curiosity got the better of me, as did the potential for rare items. I unchained the door and walked into the dark tunnels winding to the bottom of the mine. There was a haze in the air, like heat shimmer, but thicker. Ahead there was a circuit breaker, I flicked it, which filled the tunnel with light. It’s also when the tunnels awoke with feral ghouls. They were relatively easy to dispatch apart from one legendary, but he did drop an amazing piece of armour.

So far not so bad. I headed further along the tunnel, which is when my screen flashed bright white and what had previously been a tunnel in front of me was now a wall. I stood confused, okay so now my player is hallucinating. Another bright flash brought me back to reality and face to face with more ghouls.

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I did feel pretty Rick Grimes with the .44 revolver.

Deeper into the mine there were more rooms with similar circuit breakers. After turning each on I was met with another wave of ghouls. The deeper I went a creaking groaning noise became louder, there were also rumblings that causes rubble to fall overhead. Playing with headphones was almost unbearable, this noise was so unnerving that it made the simple to kill ghouls terrifying. When they popped up I noticeably flinched and began to panic.

Finally I found a final little corridor, heading down it another flash came, this time it revealed a sacrificial alter with men and women kneeling before it.

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Oh, hi, I was just leaving.

Flashing back to reality there were more ferals running at me, this time they had names.

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This guy was rad, no seriously, he filled me with radiation.

After killing them I went into the room they came, it had no alter, but there was a pool of water where the alter had stood. Luckily I have the aquagirl perk that allows me to swim in water without picking up rads and indefinitely hold my breath. I dove down and swam to a small darkened room filled with collapsed pillars and crumbling statues. On the far end of the room was an alter glowing green that contained two mini nukes and a rare weapon with a mod titled sacrificial blade.

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Despite being creepy this is a really good weapon.

Once I had looted everything possible in that hell hole I got out of there and headed to the surface, the mines rumbling and crumbling with every step I took. As I left the mine there was a lightning storm and ferocious winds, it was also pitch black outside. I checked through my inventory and found two two tapes taken from the depths below. Both alluded to workers for the mine being tricked into excavating something they were unaware of by management, something seemingly supernatural.

After reuniting with Dogmeat and running away from this site of horror I was tense as fuck. Fallout 4 is stressful enough without adding in elements of sheer terror and hallucinogenic confusion. After exiting the game I looked up the name of the mine, it was called Dunwich Borers, named after the H.P. Lovecraft story The Dunwich Horror. Incidentally there is also a Dunwich Building in Fallout 3 that the player can explore, I didn’t find it in my playthrough back in the day, but apparently it also causes the player to hallucinate and unveils more on the sinister Dunwich organisation.

Well thanks Bethesda, the wastelands are even more terrifying now.

You can sacrifice Charlie on Twitter @clbraith and don’t forget to follow @load_screen and like us on Facebook.

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