Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Oasis: Beauty of the Unexpected

So i've been playing some Fallout 3.

(Sub Quest Spoiler)

A solid game, not doubt about it. I was exploring the northern rim, trying to find me some of the final achievement quests I had yet to finish. Passing a rocky mesa I happen to turn my head from the interstate wreckage I was heading toward. I see a small mountain path shaded by the stone cliffs, my meta-game sub conscious clicked, Clearly a programmer had a reason for random paths so finely hidden. I deviate and follow.

Winding up the path i hit a small green shrub and some glowing mushrooms. In just about any game this would have been unremarkable. Indeed, I almost ignored the sign until another part of my subconscious ( I give credit where credit is due) did a double take.


In a world of brow dirt and gray buildings? A gritty, dark color scheme that has been etched into my eyes now dazzles me with the color green? This in incredible. Indeed it was. I had discovered the Oasis of Fallout 3.

This lush grove is akin to a druid's sacred prayer ground. Indeed, it is arguably a small nod to the vast landscape that Bethesda creates in Cyrodiil. I then met Harold, the ghoul/man with an intimate deciduous friend. The quest was a complete show stopper, because in a world of nukes, super mutants, and Liberty Prime, I now stood in a tranquil forest. Fallout 3 was indeed the act of stripping away all that was normal until it became ingrained into your head that empty cans and bottles littering derelict houses were commonplace. That all trees could be redefined as charred sticks. That rocks and cracked asphalt were the customary terrain.

Once the status quo is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Bethesda provides one measly location on the outskirts of the game world. Carefully hidden to the point that shear luck is the only key to discovery. But upon discovery, reality of what is normal rushes back and you realize the twisted fairy tale that has been a drain (but an enjoyable one) on your spare time. Bethesda made a capital of aberrations to give you one moment of revelation, one instance of realizing how beautiful the natural world truly is. Because of this stupefying experience to rekindle a lost reality, The Oasis quest in Fallout 3 is the best mini-quest in all of gaming history.

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