A 1988 CRPG that was groundbreaking in its combination of a gritty post-apocalyptic setting with a nonlinear play style. The designers notably sacrificed more modern graphics for extended detail in the gameplay, as well as creating a rich backstory that appeared in the game's copy protection, a set of 'Paragraphs' that were referenced by number at various plot points. Woven into the paragraphs were numerous Red Herrings not referenced in-game to keep players from skipping to the end of the story.Celebrated on several sites, most notably at the Ranger HQ Grid, which includes info about the game as well as some surprisingly good Fan Fic.After a very successful Kickstartersupport campaign, inXile Entertainment, under Brian Fargo's leadership, have begun work on the sequel, Wasteland 2, with Obsidian Entertainment, and Chris Avellone in particular, joining in as co-developers. The game is expected to be released in late 2013.An enhanced version of the original Wasteland - with optional music, voice-overs and an integrated paragraph book has been released on digital distribution sites (including Steam and gog.com) to coincide with the sequel.See Also Fallout, the series' Spiritual Successor.
This game provides examples of:
Action Bomb: The Radiation Angels at the Temple of the Mushroom Cloud explode into a pile of glowing blue dust after you defeat. Why yes, it is radioactive.
Action Girl: Christina, one of the few recruitable NPCs who has a unique picture.
Added Alliterative Appeal In the southeast corner of the agricultural center's farm, there are four foot tall pears. They're pleasingly plump, and perfectly prepared to possibly plummet.
Anti-Villain: Finster believes that with nuclear holocaust humanity has proven to be bad stewards of the earth, so he is terraforming it to start over. The PCs are just in his way.
Apocalyptic Log: A number are found and related in the Paragraphs, including actual logs from the Sleeper Base.
Artificial Stupidity: NPCs are only under a reasonable amount of control by the player. Often they refuse to take orders or take them too well. They also can't tell between friendly and non-friendly non-party NPCs.
Cloning Blues: If you take the time to learn the associated skills, you can clone any of your party members. This can be used either to invoke We Have Reserves should you manage to lose one of them in battle OR to outfit your team with a carbon copy of your toughest Ranger to increase the team's overall ferocity.
Critical Existence Failure: Averted. Dropping below 0 hit points results in a number of progressively serious wounded states, and unless the Medic or Doctor skill is applied, the character is toast.
Gang Of Bullies: The kids in Highpool who laugh at your troop of hardened soldiers falling on some slippery rocks. You can kill them if you choose to, although everyone hates you for it and it results in the town becoming deserted.
Guide Dang It: The end game is nearly impossible without energy weapons. These require your characters have an IQ of 23 to be able to even use them. You have to create your characters with near an IQ to 18 as possible and then constantly raise it when given a chance to get to the minimum requirement.
Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Usually averted. You can blow up or knock down virtually any door (including several that have key slots, but can only be opened with explosives) and a lot of walls, and there are a good number of walls that can be climbed, too.
There's an old mortar in one town. If you can find working shells, you can easily wreck most of the town using it.
And as the game averts Never Split the Party (you can split up your characters at will), you'll usually be able to access both.
Rail Roading: Beautifully averted. While the car takes you from city to city and there are two locations that NPCs need to reveal, but otherwise, you are free to explore the whole map, returning to any earlier location you like and even trying farther ahead ones.
Red Herring: The manual included paragraphs not referenced in-game which changed the direction of the story markedly if a player tried to "skip to the end". The paragraphs in question gave the game the appearance of being about a mission to the planet Mars.
Regenerating Health: You can get back to full health by waiting. In some versions, when your entire party is unconscious, they may recover after a few minutes. However, if you are sick or became seriously wounded from combat, you must get medical treatment or die.
RPGs Equal Combat: Somewhat averted. While most of your experience will come from combat, successfully using noncombat skills can earn experience as well. In at least one place this can be abused for infinite experience.
Story-Driven Invulnerability: There are characters who can be attacked and those who can't. The vast majority, including people you wouldn't want to attack, are the former, but a few (like Spam Shade) are the latter. Some of these change types after a given plot trigger, such as if you complete Fat Freddy's quest.