There are self-imposed challenges, and then there’s gleeful masochism. This Fallout: New Vegas run looks like the latter. Rhetam, the gleeful masochist in question, played the game without allowing himself to do any direct lasting damage to anybody but himself. It took him more than a year to complete.
In March 2017, Rhetam began his journey to complete the NCR main quest path of Fallout: New Vegas and every sidequest on the hardest difficulty setting with hardcore mode and permadeath (presumably via a mod) enabled, sans any companions. Oh, and he couldn’t kill anybody! Well, not directly, anyway. Most of the time, he got around this by using boxing gloves, which can render other characters unconscious. He also evaded enemies through other more nefarious methods.
“Fallout: New Vegas is pretty flexible in allowing the player to not have to kill anyone,” Rhetam wrote on Reddit, as spotted by PC Gamer.“Though there were many times where I had to knock someone out and let a nearby NPC take shots at them until they died or simply act as bait and let an enemy follow me to an ally that would actually kill them.”
Some quests necessitated even more elaborate workarounds. The most challenging, according to Rhetam’s post, was “Hard Luck Blues,” which required him to collect multiple keys in a vault filled with ghouls. For the most part, it’s possible to loot keys off already-deceased ghouls, but in one particular case involving an extra-powerful Overseer Glowing One enemy, that’s not an option. Rhetam had to create a perfect storm of murderous idiots and environmental damage.
“To get the key off him, I needed to beat him to a sliver of health and make him (and a few dozen other ghouls) follow me to another room filled with gas,” he said. “Once in the room, I needed to keep damaging him because the glowing ones heal their allies. One of the attacks of the glowing ones is a small explosion that can trigger the gas to ignite. The fire killed the overseer and thereby made it possible for me to loot his corpse and complete the quest.”
If you’ve got spare time on your hands and some eye drops handy to keep your eyes moisturized while they go wide in amazement, you can watch Rhetam’s entire 17-part run on YouTube.