From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
If you missed it, go back to part 8 and clean up Quartz.
The jeep drops you in a garage in Needles, before breaking down. The garage attendant informs you that it will take a new engine to get the jeep running again. Yes, the same kind of $500 engine that you bought to fix one of Highpool’s problem. At least you know you can buy one from the Rail Nomads if you need to.
For now though we can take a look around Needles and see what there is to see.
Downtown has a few things to recommend it. For the most part it serves to let you know that the trusty pistols you started the game with are going to need an upgrade soon. Gang members will attack frequently, and you’ll need more than just Ugly’s Uzi to deal with them.
There’s a useful NPC here by the name of Christina. She’s useful for a number of reasons. She is the first NPC to actually come with equipment, for starters. To be fair the other NPCs have been prisoners, hostages, or teens stuck in a cave, but still. Christina comes with her own Uzi, a Rad Suit, and a Geiger Counter. All useful items for an adventure in Needles. Christina can be found in an alleyway downtown.
In one building you’ll find the door blocked by guards who drop loot when killed, including item called the Bloodstaff. Explore the building further and you’ll see stairs down to a room with more loot and a Bloodstaff verification table. Feed your new Bloodstaff in and… crunch crunch. It wasn’t’ real. Presumably there’s a real one somewhere.
Leroy’s Boutique has a bar and a store. The store sells the same items as the store in Quartz. A useful place to replenish your ammo of course – while stocks last. If you order a drink the bartender will tell you to keep an eye out for the Bloodstaff. Okay then.
A gamblers den, the password is Acapulco. Once they let you in, you can sit at the table and lose as much money as you like.
Okay, sightseeing over, let’s go find out about those Bloodstaff murders then. In the north east corner of town are a cluster of useful buildings; a hospital, a library, an ammo bunker, and the police station.
In the police station you meet a detective who confirms there have been a series of murders in town, and the Bloodstaff is probably involved. This seems to be a relic of the Mushroom Cloud church. If you like you can start trouble here and fight masses of robot cops. You probably want better weapons than pistols before you try this.
Learning new skills, or improving existing skills (other than through use) can be done at the Library. As your INT stat increases, you gain both more points to put into skills, and a wider array of skills available to learn. This library adds Doctor, Electronics, and Toaster Repair to the skills you can learn. Doctor is the most important right now, as it’s just a better version of Medic.
There’s a lot of blood and a dead body down here. The body holds a Bloodstaff and a ruby ring, which you’ll need to use your Perception to find. The Bloodstaff is a fake but the ring is real. You can also find ammo, grenades, and something called a power pack down here. Oh and some howitzer shells if you feel like fooling around with the howitzer in downtown Needles. The ammo bunker also provides a safe place to camp if you pick up injuries fighting the various foes (human or robotic) to be found in Needles.
The church is deserted except for the priest. Show him the ruby ring you picked up in the ammo bunker and he’ll realise how serious the situation is. The real Bloodstaff has been stolen and he wants it back. Such clues as there are lead you to the Temple of Blood, located in north west Needles.
The ground around this temple is highly radioactive, so unless you want to contract a lethal dose be careful (Christina’s rad suit will protect her, meaning you can make a run to the hospital if you have to). Approaching at night will show you the deadly squares.
In the day time it is better to leave Needles and re enter at the north east square of the town. Hug the walls of the temple to the door and you’ll be fine.
Inside, lethal robots will attack you unless the party is all wearing robes. Stop in at the sermon to find a launch code written in the pews. You’ll need this later.
Walk up to the north west and you’ll find a torture room. Once the executioners are dealt with, you can use the control panel to turn off the various devices, freeing the one prisoner still alive. He will join your party, if you want him (you probably don’t). The executioners drop yet another fake Bloodstaff.
Double back to the sermon room and take the north east door. Follow the corridor and grab the loot from the two side rooms, including a second Kevlar Vest in the north room. After fighting the robots you’ll be happy to see this. Once you have the loot it’s time to walk up to the console in the final room.
Once the guards are dealt with, walk up to the console and select ‘yes’. You’ll be transported to a giant chessboard. The game here is that there is a safe path to the end, and each time you stray from the path, laser will shoot you. So, kind of like a Japanese game show.
From your starting square, the path is: NORTH 1, WEST 4, NORTH 2, EAST 5, SOUTH 1, EAST 2, NORTH 4, WEST 2, SOUTH 1, WEST 4, NORTH 2, and finally EAST 2 to finish next to the giant robot.
The robot asks you how many steps and the answer is 30. As a reward you are dropped through a trap door into t lake of blood. Nice! The blood is filled with biting creatures. Even nicer!
Wade north to an island and make your way to the doors at the north. I hope you brought TNT for the doors. Did I mention you’d need TNT for the doors? You’ll need TNT for the doors. As you approach, snipers on each corner of the island will attack you. The sniper at the north west corner will drop your first assault rifle. Best to equip it now, before the big fight to come.
The big fight will yield you 1 genuine Bloodstaff, and the Needles mission will update accordingly.
Take your new loot and head back to where you were dropped in, and take the stairs up. You’ll find yourself in a hollowed-out missile. The launch code from the church pew will open the end of the missile allowing you to emerge into the sands of Needles via a blue glowy thing.
Once you return the Bloodstaff to the Temple of the Mushroom Cloud, the priest will give you a large quantity of loot as a reward, including more assault rifles, and a Kevlar Suit, your best armour yet. You may need to make a run or two to Leroy’s to sell down your loot in exchange for this new hoard, but you have time. The priest has even given you the engine you needed – no need to visit the Rail Nomads.
When you’re ready, return to the garage, give the engine to the attendant and take your jeep to Vegas and the next leg of the adventure.