— Spoiler Warning: Let's Play Fallout 3 (Episode 20)
Note: This entry has nothing to do with actual Spoilers. If you were looking for that kind of Spoiler, check out the Spoiler Policy page.Spoiler Warning is a DVD Commentary-style Let's Play group, whose main style consists of deconstructing, analyzing and (in some cases) ruthlessly mocking the plots and characters of the games they play, usually while using a play-style designed to showcase pieces of the game in ways that 'normal' players usually won't see (i.e. by playing the game like it was a tabletop role-playing session and they are The Loonie). They tend to favour Role-Playing Games.The group (in order of appearance) consists of:
Josh Viel: An anime reviewer for The Escapist. Plays the game, with the others as backseat drivers.
Randy Johnson : The Player for the majority of the Mass Effect LP (taking over for Josh a handful of episodes in), Randy left after season one was finished. Started the group's now signature Chaotic Stupid play-style.
Accentuate the Negative: The group, particularly Shamus and Josh are harshly critical and will quickly pick on parts of the game that they find frustrating or general issues with the plot. Though they do point out the parts they like in the games and as hars as they are, they can give praise when justified.
They also note that in the first episode of New Vegas that of all the games they've done to that point, New Vegas is definitely better written, if hardly flawless.
And again at the end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, when Shamus admits that the game blew away his expectations, and allowed him to like Take Cover shooters. (Though he still dislikedMass Effect 2.) Both he and Josh think that they like the game more after their LP, unlike with most games.
This was lampshaded during the playthrough of Dishonored when Rutskarn pointed out he liked the game and yet playing through it as a Spoiler Warning commentator was causing him to nitpick the game mercilessly, culminating in him mocking Corvo's mask just out of a sense of having to criticise something.
The Season of Mystery made Josh go into this at the end.
The Alcoholic: The original Reginald Cuftbert, during Fallout 3, succeeded at picking up addictions to practically every habit-forming substance in the Capital Wasteland. Appropriately, 'addiction to new substance' became one of the parts of their Drinking Game.
In New Vegas, Cuftbert manages to become addicted to alcohol just by drinking a single bottle of whiskey. This is also the reason why they later picked up Cass as their companion due to her Whiskey-related perk, though she later ditches him due to his Stupid Evil nature.
It's even sillier than that: due to a quirk of the game's addiction system, you can't actually be addicted to "alcohol". Cuftbert instead gets addicted to whiskey specifically. He later picks up addictions to scotch (a specific type of whiskey!), beer and wine.*
It's actually just an interface bug. The addiction is listed as alcohol in the Pip-Boy, and reacts to any alcohol consumed.
The incinerator in New Vegas that Josh lugs around for no reason whatsoever.
They generally don't like it when characters spare the villains for incredibly weak reasons other than "It'd be wrong to kill them" or simply not take the initiative to kill the villain standing in front of them. Shamus was particularly upset about how in Honest Hearts the option to tell Graham to simply execute Salt-Upon-Wounds wasn't immediately available without a perk (though it turns out he just missed it).
Big "WHAT?!": Common reactions to particularly outrageous/stupid plot events, especially from Rutskarn.
Big "NO!": Mumbles is... quite upset when she realizes she called Triple H Triple X by mistake.
Also Shamus during the Probing Questions special.
Mumbles was also not happy to learn from Mr. House that cats are now extinct in the Fallout universe.
Brick Joke: Rutskarn's Face/Off pun in the Amnesia episode.
Cannon Fodder: During the Mass Effect 2 playthrough, the group mocked the Blue Suns' status as useless mooks mercilessly. Needless to say, they were unimpressed when Aria offered to get them (along with the other expendable merc armies) as War Assets.
Someone mentioning a criticism and Shamus going "Euugh, yes!" and elaborating. Often coupled with "This is what bugs me about X/this game-"
Someone making a suggestion for Josh to do something stupid, to which Shamus responds "Strongly in favor of."
During Alan Wake, Rutskarn's "Coffee? I LOVE COFFEE!"
Chris' "I boo that", generally in response to one of Rutskarn's puns.
Chaotic Stupid: The general playing style, which is both partly to (usually) show contempt for the story and partly for the lulz. This even describes how Josh plays the game (using/carrying weapons he puts no skills into, charging headfirst into battle with a stealth build/in a cover-based shooter) though he usually makes it work somehow (though not without dying multiple times).
"Okay, it's time for you Incinerator, to do what I always knew you could do"
Cherry Tapping: One fast forward sequence during New Vegas had Reginald Cuftbert beating a Freeside thug to death with his bare hands... over a period of several minutes.
Child Hater: Children in games have a tendency of reminding them of Little Lamplight and as such enrage them to no end. The kid in Mass Effect 3 is occasionally referred to as Mayor MacReady since he's just as annoying in-game. Averted however with Clementine of The Walking Dead, who they note as one of the better written child characters that they've seen in any media while also acknowledging that Duck was probably written with the intention of frustrating the player.
Comedic Sociopathy/For the Evulz: A major part of their humor, especially in Fallout 3. Not only do they nuke Megaton, they blow up Three Dog and take the chance to kill Brotherhood of Steel members whenever possible. In the Mass Effect series, this takes the form of trying to take Renegade options whenever possible.
This even lead them to choosing the Paragon option for the endgame of Mass Effect 2.
Rutskarn: Ok, let's evaluate this rationally. On the one hand, the technology would be extremely useful, would help the galaxy, and- Shamus: -Prove the existence of the Reapers... Mumbles: And there's no way the Reapers would ever attack in the future, right?... Rutskarn: Hold it, hold it. On the other hand, I actually do have a counterpoint: *ahem* Fuck the Illusive Man, blow it up!
In New Vegas, they also "completed" Boone's quest by having him kill the wrong target (specifically his old friend Manny), telling him that they just wanted to see him die and killing him when he retaliates. Later on they said that they didn't want to kill Boone, only wanting to "mess with him" and didn't know that he'd actually become hostile afterwards.
Cutscene Incompetence: A prime pet peeve, especially for Shamus. Their series on The Walking Dead made Shamus wonder if more game companies should follow the example of that game and make everything interactive, including making Cutscene Stupidity player-initiated, so they would eventually notice how glaringly stupid and inconsistent cutscenes make them act.
Rutskarn: That is a dystopian vision, Shamus. Shamus: Yes, that is blind idealism.
One of the reasons that Kai Leng was so massively despised was because this was induced upon every other character (particularly Shepard, who forgets that she's a biotic) in order to make him look cool.
Cutting the Knot: A (un)surprising amount of quests get solved this way, i.e. by horribly murdering the quest-giver.
Designated Hero: Another sore spot of the group is when a game tells you a person is supposed to be heroic and good, even when what's happened in-universe so far gives no reason to support this. Amongst other things they point out that the accusations against Saren in Mass Effect objectively come down like nothing but paranoid ramblings with no evidence (and then mocking the flimsiness of the evidence you do find), that the Brotherhood of Steel continues to insist that Reginald Cuftbert is a hero who's supposed to save the Wasteland and not a mercenary even though he's killed half of them, nuked Megaton, killed Three Dog, tried to kill Little Lamplight, and a lot more, and that Ezio is a egotistical revenge-driven spree killer who kills hundreds of guards just doing their job while letting the Big Bad walk away to cause more mischief because suddenly "it won't bring his family back".
Disproportionate Retribution: As punishment for throwing a bottle at a Metrocop, Josh gets stuck to a wall by a glitch and is given a thorough thwacking.
Drinking Game: Has an official one. Take a shot if (1) The main character dies. (2) If all contributors talk over each other at the same time. (3) Whenever the game they're playing gets compared to whatever game it's a sequel/Spiritual Successor of (double that if it's by Shamus). (4) Whenever the game crashes on-screen. (5) Whenever Josh mucks up in combat and starts blaming the interface, swears or uses his Catch Phrase. (6) Whenever said mucking up causes a near-death experience that causes him to spam healing items. Other options depend more on which game is played, such as substance abuse in Fallout and the 'rogue cell' gag in Mass Effect 2.
Josh and Mumbles eventually decided to play the game themselves during Honest Hearts in order to drown their bloodlust for each other.
For those morbidly curious, here is the result of the game during the Fallout 3 playthrough.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Reginald Cuftbert of Fallout 3, slayer of Three Dog, The Enclave, and The Capital Brotherhood (and a lot of other things in-between), died for good (and unintentionally) in a Random Encounter with a non-named super mutant not two minutes after finishing the last quest of Broken Steel. The group decided this was too good an Anti-Climax to waste, and stopped playing.
The crew explicitly mention this as happening to Subject Zero/Jack in Mass Effect 3, after failing to do the mission that saves her (believing that she had died in the endgame of ME 2) and meeting her as a random mook with no importance that they kill instantly.
The Eeyore: Shamus will find something to complain about in just about anything going on.
At the end of the main Fallout 3 campaign, they refused to use the Modified FEV due to the fact that it is tantamount to a slow suicide, with the player not being immune to any of its effects despite what Eden (who is unaware that the Lone Wanderer is born a wastelander) says.
A better example was their all-rescue streak in Bioshock (naturally, with Shamus lampshading that the 'gains' of going all-harvest were so minimal so as to render the 'moral choice' pretty much moot).
In Dishonored, during the Lady Boyle mission they decided that the Non-Lethal path (which involves giving Lady Boyle to a Stalker with a Crush) was way too creepy, opting instead to kill both her and said stalker.
Dull Surprise: A major complaint about Dishonored is that the voice acting comes off as incredibly bland and emotionless. Particularly bad is The Outsider, who despite being intended to come off as a disinterested trickster god simply comes off as really boring.
Early Installment Weirdness: It is kind of weird looking back on the first season with the lack of Mumbles and Rutskarn and the inclusion of Randy.
The Faceless: Josh. Lampshaded when Shamus showed pictures of their trip to PAX, where all photos of Josh were either taken from behind or with his face obscured in some way.
Failed a Spot Check: Shamus not spotting things happening on-screen happens semi-regularly. It's even happened to Josh a few times, and he's the one playing. Shamus also admitted to having failed to spot Liberty Prime during his first play-through of Fallout 3. For those not in the know, Liberty Prime is a 50 feet tall Humongous Mecha and tends to dominate the room it's in, which you visit several times during the course of the game.
Josh also points out during the Mass Effect 2 series that a large group of Quarians failed a spot check on their wost enemy in the middle of their home
Shamus also admits that in his first playthrough of Mass Effect 3 he completely missed out on Lt. Cortez. As such, his death had limited impact on him. He also admits that in Human Revolution he had no idea that it was possible to talk your way into the Police Station rather than being forced to sneak in.
This was shortly followed by the episode 'Fission Mailed', in which Shamus inadvertently made Josh go do the Honest Hearts DLC.
Flashback Cut: The opening of Human Revolutions involved Shamus saying the reason they weren't playing the original Deus Ex first was due to problems with the others' computers in viewing his stream properly. We then cut to a flashback of how said stream looked to the other players. (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart or ear.)
Rutskarn: "It's like if some guy was dressed as John Wilkes Booth at a president's party, and he was John Wilkes Booth and had a pistol, we figured if he was actually here to kill us, there was no way! He would've removed at least one of those variables."
Fridge Logic: Pointing out the in-universe Fridge Logic in the games they play is their secondary hat, like the above Little Lamplight question and why, for whatever reason, C4 is classified as a concealed weapon in Fallout New Vegas. In one case, Josh is impressed when Papa Khan lampshades the Fridge Logic of Cuftbert coming to his home and talking to him while having no idea who he is.
Gone Horribly Wrong: Rutskarn's attempt at playing Hitman eventually devolves into killing everyone 47 sees.
Grumpy Old Man: Shamus. They occasionally mock this by referring to him as a curmudgeon who hates all games.
Jarenth, contributor to Bluescreenofawesome and regular Spoiler Warning website commentator, took over for shamus for one week during the Dishonored playthrough.
Highly Visible Ninja: How Cuftbert is played in the Fallout games. As a Stealth and Melee build, his favored assassination technique is to plant explosives in others' pants, commonly uses weapons that he is for all intents and purposes incompetent with and generally favors a Leeroy Jenkins approach.
Not to mention his favourite weapon; the perpetually burning Shishkebab. How anyone manages to stay stealthy with a Flaming Sword is anybody's guess, but Reginald does it somehow.
Assassins Creed II is already Highly Visible Ninja: The Game, but Josh's extremely unsubtle play style and confusion with the controls sure as heck doesn't improve matters. Much lampshading on how tearing off a few posters compensates for his misadventures abound.
They finally succeeded at the Stealth-Based Mission by rushing through the courtyard and stabbing a person in the face before he could cry out.
As for the Dishonored playthrough... Well... Yes. It qualifies too.
I'm a Humanitarian: In Fallout: New Vegas, Mumbles is often urging Josh to take up cannibalism, which he always refuses for the sake of not wanting to waste a perk. Of course, he does at one point absentmindedly eat a piece of human flesh he looted from the Fiends.
Informed Ability: One of the reasons the group despised Cerberus is the fact that despite how evidence proves that the one thing they are consistent in is having things backfire horribly on them they are made out to be dangerously competent and as of Mass Effect 3 are capable of waging war on the galaxy despite being a small terrorist cell. Similarly, the group were not fond of Aria being made out to be a big-shot despite the fact that the only thing she actually rules is an asteroid (which by the time of the third game she's lost to Cerberus).
It's pronounced Kai-Sarr, not Caesar. Mumbles loves pointing this out.
Shamus was very insistent about referring to Mass Effect 2 as a "cover-based shooter" instead of an RPG.
Reginald Cuftbert is not a mercenary, at least according to the Brotherhood of Steel.
Impractically Fancy Outfit: The crew had problems with Ezio's getup, often referring to it as "the clown suit". They're generally quite mocking of impractical outfits.
Infant Immortality: Something that seriously ticked them off when dealing with the Little Lamplighters.
Kick the Dog: During Honest Hearts, Josh killed a dog who wasn't even hostile to him for the hell of it. Then everybody else called him out on it. Then Rutskarn explicitly named this trope. And commanded someone to add it to this wiki. So we did.
That and killing Veronica for the hell of it after killing off her entire family. Video Game Cruelty Potential in general is a major part of the series.
He also makes sure to go out of his way to try and emotionally crush Wayne Haas in Human Revolution in a way that still lets him progress with the game.
Kill 'em All: The group's "canonical" ending of Fallout 3. The New Vegas ending was much the same way, with only the Fiends and Powder Gangers thriving (barring characters and factions they never met). Their Mass Effect 3 ending was much the same way.
Defied in Human Revolutions where Josh outright refused to pick the 'everyone dies' ending because it made no sense (well, marginally less sense than the other ending options) even as the others were egging him on to do so.
Kill Him Already: They will usually say this when the protagonist simply stands there and lets the villain talk.
Leeroy Jenkins: Cuftbert in all his/her incarnations loves to get into situations that he/she is unequipped/underleveled for for, such as murdering the Brotherhood of Steel within the Citadel, taking down Fortification Hill, rushing in with Biotic Charge, punching Securitrons, and taking on the Boomers wearing nothing but Benny's fancy suit and a bonnet. Through the power of drugs, spamming attacks and sheer luck he manages to make it through. Eventually.
Turns out that this process works quite well during Dead Money with an Unarmed build. However the consequence is that the story and the background information (most of which is discovered via taking the time to read terminals and talk to characters) is rushed through and just barely explained by Josh to the confusion of the rest of the group.
This is not helped by Josh's tendency to level in certain skills, then pick up powerful, exotic (and usually heavy) weapons that do not benefit for said skills, then to carry said weapon around, refusing to sell it, even when its out of ammo. When the rest of the team invariably points this out, he continues to do so just to troll them. Statements to the effect of "Thank goodness you have all those points in energy weapons!" are a Running Gag in both Fallout games.
However, they make an exception for Human Revolutions, where Stealth is at least attempted with some success.
In Mass Effect 3, this works out much better since the Vanguard in the game has been upgraded to become something of a Game Breaker.
Legacy Character: Reginald Cuftbert, who is associated with their general Chaotic Stupid playstyle. He even has a Distaff Counterpart in Regina Shepard. The character somehow manages to find his way to Assassin's Creed II as assassination target Francesco de Pazzi.
Lord British Postulate: The group went to extreme lengths during the end-game of Mass Effect 2 to get Miranda (who has extreme Plot Armour on the suicide mission) killed without having to bring her along in the party or killing off anyone else they liked in the process. They managed it.
The amount of times the crew 'killed' Elder Lyons (only for the game to resurrect him because he's unkillable) in Fallout 3 can only be counted using several pairs of hands. They finally got their comeuppance in Broken Steel, but by using a legitimate plot point instead of bugs.
Lower Deck Episode: Any filler episode featuring Rutskarn and his other LP crew, Jibar, Phase and Blackfox.
Pet the Dog: Characters that are liked are generally treated favorably.
In Mass Effect 2, the group occasionally force Josh to not take Renegade options (usually helping out injured aliens) and play nice (to his frustration), particularly when it comes to Tali.
And Mordin. Josh in particular seems to have a lot of respect for him.
Josh also edited their save data so that Wrex was alive, whereas he dies on default without a save file from the first game.
Josh also ends up saving the companions in Dead Money just because he likes the characters. He also sticks with House for a surprising amount of time before finally killing him (ironically right after House gives the order to exterminate the Brotherhood of Steel, something that Josh would've gladly done out of his own volition).
Despite playing High Chaos in Dishonored, Josh chose to spare Daud since he's the only character with any actual depth.
Railroading: The group's arch-nemesis, and one of the quickest things they will point out. The most frustrating example being Shepard being forced to work with Cerberus in ME2 despite the fact that Shepard is a Sole Survivor of one of their "Rogue Cells".
A quest in New Vegas involved going into the headquarters of Caesar's Legion. They killed Caesar and every living human in the camp. Mr. House says while it will hurt the Legion in the long term it's not going to keep them from participating in the final battle, to groans from the quartet. However, as a commenter pointed out, this sort of thingwas fairly typical for the Romans and it's justified and lampshaded in-game by several characters.
Promoted Fanboy: Inverted. The regular hosts were self-proclaimed fans of Errant Signal, and thus got its creator to join their merry band.
Obviously Evil: One of the things that the group like about Human Revolutions is that despite the fact that Frank Pritchard is consistently a jerk to Adam Jensen and David Sarif is a Cyberpunk CEO, neither are actually evil nor do they backstab Jensen at any point in the game.
Reginald Cuftbert the Third starting every episode of Bioshock by trying to dig his way out of Rapture with his wrench, before quickly becoming distracted by something shiny and/or killable.
The mockery of Cerberus in Mass Effect 2, where everything questionable was handwaved as being caused by a 'Rogue Cell'. In the end, the crew decided that the Collectors themselves were a 'rogue cell' due to the sheer stupidity of their plan.
The incinerator in Fallout New Vegas, which Reginald lugged with him for practically the entire season for no reason at all, much to Shamus' annoyance. The incinerator was finally destroyed by a C4 trap that was laid for the end boss, Legate Lanius.
Also in that game, someone suggesting Josh do X, and Josh responding, with false ignorance, "What's X?" or "I have no idea what you're/you guys are talking about".
Mumbles' insistence on taking up cannibalism.
Everything is part of Mr. House's plan.
Shamus (impersonating Mr. House): I knew you would kill that hooker, in fact I accounted for it in my plans. It's a requirement for taking over Vegas.
DXHR: Josh not taking the "Parachute" augment, no matter how convenient.
Shamus mentioning how something will cause people to "yell at us in the comments".
COFFEE? I loveCOFFEE.
Sanity Slippage: Spending time watching Josh's calculated trolling in the form of playing New Vegas as randomly and stupidly as possible induces this upon the group, especially Shamus.
Sarcasm Failure: The climax of Mass Effect 2 causes most of the cast to suffer from temporary Sarcasm Failure (of the 'I have seen something too stupid' kind). Especially Rutskarn, who hadn't seen it before.
Shaggy Dog Story: In Mass Effect 2, the story of Thane took this bent (which was lampshaded). He was recruited, never used once, never talked to once, and then killed by debris in the opening rounds of the Suicide Mission. Basically, all that (plot-mandated) ado for absolutely nothing.
In Assassins Creed II, the team basically proclaimed the entire carnivale of Venice as this, considering you went through a lot of pointless minigames just to have the prize taken away due to a bribe.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The opening for ME2, which features Shepard being blown out of the Normandy while a jaunty jazz tune plays.
Stating the Simple Solution: Another trademark is to question overly complicated quest proceedings (which they're Railroaded into) with asking why they don't do the obvious, i.e. commonly kill someone.
Shamus pointed out that the entire reason Mass Effect 2's plot exist is apparently because nobody thinks about mining, booby-trapping, disabling or otherwise blockading the Omega 4 relay, since it's the only way the Collectors can enter the rest of the galaxy. Doesn't help that the Arrival DLC mostly invalidates the entire plot of going through the relay and attacking the Collectors in the first place.
Stealth-Based Mission: Another apparent pet peeve of the group, given their response to the forced stealth section in Assassin's Creed II (which is supposedly a stealth game — not that Josh plays it like one in any given way).
Stupid Evil: Their opinion of Cerberus, specifically in how their research always seems to end up killing more humans than the main villains and never actually produces anything useful in the end. Likewise, they consider The Illusive Man as a Smug Snake at the very best.
Josh's playstyle and Rutskarn's puns occasionally have this effect on the others.
Shamus: Is this my blood? I think this is- I think I'm bleeding. Guys, I think that pun...
Alluding to Fallout 3 can have a similar outcome.
Mumbles:Lemme get this straight. So my father was putting together a project before I was born...and he got in trouble and he died for it. And now I have to pick up the project and purify the wasteland.
Shamus: Yes. Thank you, Mumbles. Excuse me, I have to throw up blood.
Tempting Fate: During the first episode of the Half-Life 2 episode, Josh proclaims how he's yet to find a significant bug in the game. Not two seconds later he gets stun-locked into a wall while a bugged Metro Cop keeps whaling on him non-stop.
Some few episodes (and uncomfortably many bugs) of Half-Life 2 later, they eventually lampshade having done this.
During episode 2 of The Walking Dead, while at the tractor ambush, Josh keeps walking around in circles behind the cover while taunting Mark about how he can move around freely and Mark can't. He's promptly shot dead.
What the Hell, Hero?: Mumbles calls Shamus out on his shoddy parenting skills when he lets Josh play Honest Hearts after he did everything in his power to irk everyone else because they wouldn't let him play Honest Hearts.