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Fallout: DUST Survival Simulator is a Game Mod for Fallout: New Vegas that could be described as New Vegas meets DayZ minus actual zombies. Set 20 years after the events of the game, the Mojave is definitely not a nice place to live, not anymore. It is a dog eat dog ruin where tribals, cannibals and survivalists battle it out for their very lives against the hostile wasteland (and each other), Hoover Dam is all but spent, New Vegas is nothing more than a ruin infected with the same Cloud that plagued the Sierra Madre and the NCR's remaining outposts in the region are shooting just about everyone on sight. But instead of someone like the Courier, the player is nothing more than just another survivor lucky to be alive. All you could do is find a way out, alive...if you can.

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An official trailer can be found here.


Tropes:

  • Action Survivor: Unlike in the game itself, you're not a badass like the Courier, but just another survivor trying to get out in one piece. Neither can you ever hope to redeem the Mojave. This extends as well to how much easier it is for you to die if you're not careful.
  • Beef Gate: After a fashion. The presence of cannibals, tribals, Tunnelers and trigger-happy survivalists mean that certain areas of the Mojave are nigh impossible to access unless you're properly equipped or leveled up.
  • Blessed with Suck: It's possible to succumb to insanity. But while it opens up unique perks, drawbacks include significantly reduced Intelligence and Charisma as well as hallucinations. Not to mention being irreversible.
  • Crapsack World: The Mojave Wasteland has definitely become this over the 20-year Time Skip. Outside of the handful of NCR outposts and garrisons as well as the Brotherhood of Steel-controlled Camp Searchlight, there's next to no order or civilization left, the landscape now a twisted mix of the Capital Wasteland and the Divide.
    • On top of that, don't expect the faction-controlled areas to be any less hostile to you than anywhere else in the wastes; everyone's paranoid and armed, factions won't change that. To the point that the number of people who don't shoot on sight that can be encountered in one game could be counted with one hand.
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  • Crazy Survivalist: There are still quite a number of survivalists holding out in the wasteland who aren't tribals, cannibals or trigger-happy NCR personnel. And in general they're no less hostile to you either.
  • Darker and Edgier: The mod in a nutshell, which makes even Lonesome Road's Divide seem more preferable.
  • The Dreaded: The lore points to The Courier becoming this, with implications that he became a Fallen Hero. And it's possible to encounter him, resembling a ghoulified and heavily-armed Ulysses.
  • Early Game Hell: Without additional mods you start with a tire iron, a makeshift pistol (with 2 junk 22lr rounds), and at the bottom of the map surrounded by feral ghouls, tunnlers, and hostile survivors.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: If dealing with tribals, cannibals and other fellow survivors aren't enough, the Tunnelers from Lonesome Road and a new generation of Ghost People in the Cloud-infested New Vegas ruins are also in town. Don't expect help from the NCR however, as its remaining forces in the region are more likely to shoot you on sight too. Same goes for the Brotherhood of Steel too.
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  • Forbidden Zone: The Mojave is implied to have become this for the NCR, those left behind or with the "misfortune" of manning the remaining outposts being on their own for the most part.
  • From Bad to Worse: How the backstory unfolds. Over the course of 20 years, growing unrest in New Vegas, the drying up of the Dam, the arrival of Tunnelers from the Divide, increasingly desperate measures on the NCR's part to contain the damage and eventually, the fall of New Vegas to the Cloud conspire to turn the Mojave into a desolate ruin.
    • This extends to escaping the nightmarish wasteland. Going to Zion just puts you in the middle of a battlefield between an NCR expedition and tribals descended from Caesar's Legion. While taking the Vertibird out of the Mojave just sends you crashing in the Sierra Madre, which is still laden with Ghost People and the original Cloud. This latter path also happens to be the correct one in order to escape once and for all.
  • Genre Shift: DUST turns New Vegas into a survival simulator more akin to DayZ. The mod's creator admits as well that this was made because of how the Mojave seemed too tame and didn't seem "post-apocalyptic" enough.
  • Gunship Rescue: One way out involves a Vertibird inside Camp Mc Carran.
  • Happy Ending Override: A certain sort of "happy ending" at least, which seems to incorporate elements from both the NCR and Independent endings. What backstory the player can uncover implies that the mod takes place following an NCR victory in Hoover Dam that in turn led to the Mojave becoming integrated with the NCR. Things don't exactly turn out as was hoped.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's an option to resort to cannibalism, though doing so does make you more liable into becoming insane.
  • Intrepid Merchant: There are still a few hardy merchants around, though it's implied that these folk just happen to be lucky.
  • Kaizo Trap: There are quite a few. Expecting relative safety in an area after a particularly rough encounter is a good way to wind up being gunned down by survivalists or mauled to death by Tunnelers.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite whatever went down in the Mojave and some of the sketchy projects done in the Strip, it's strongly implied that the NCR is still doing well in California and that Kimball is still President, riding on the triumph over Hoover Dam. And the ending suggests that the NCR saves the day and takes you to safety.
  • Necessary Drawback: Many of the perks carried over from the base game are now saddled with these. For example, the Gunslinger and Commando perks now have, as a drawback, an accuracy penalty on the type of weapon covered by the opposing perk (eg. Gunslinger's penalty affects weapons that benefit from Commmando, and vice versa). Another example is this mod's version of Shotgun Surgeon. It now adds a drawback of reduced damage when using non-shotgun firearms.
  • Nintendo Hard: The mod's merciless, relentless and oppressive atmosphere extends to the gameplay. Dying also forces you to restart the game with a new survivor.
  • Obligatory War-Crime Scene: It's revealed that the NCR were conducting dubious experiments underneath the Strip. Which also explains why the Cloud envelops New Vegas.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Water, food and ammo are scarce in the ruined Mojave.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: The remaining NCR forces in the area, in addition to manning the remaining outposts in the Mojave, are for the most part forced to deal with the chaotic wasteland on their own and with little to no chance of being relieved soon.
  • Red Herring: Quite a few, in part to trick you. Even the escape via Vertibird is one.
  • The Remnant: The tribals in general seem to be have their origins in survivors hailing from Caesar's Legion and the Great Khans, who over time devolved into scattered tribes just to survive.
  • Sanity Meter: Your sanity (Replacing the Karma Meter of vanilla game) has a numerical value attached to it. Doing things like consuming human flesh, getting addicted to drugs, and murdering people cause it to steadily lower. Once it gets low enough, you'll be permanently Driven to Madness.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • The Mojave is much worse for wear after two decades, looking like a twisted blend of the Divide and Capital Wasteland, with New Vegas itself shrouded in radiation and the Cloud from the Sierra Madre.
    • Zion isn't much better, having become a battlefield between tribals descended from survivors of Caesar's Legion and a NCR expedition hanging by a thread.
  • Schmuck Bait: If there's a sizable cache of supplies and ammo closeby, expect it to be either heavily defended (and rigged) by trigger-happy hostiles or swarming with killer wildlife.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: It's mentioned that many Rangers deserted their posts once the NCR forces in the Mojave were cut off from official support. This also explains why some of the cannibals and hostiles wear torn NCR uniforms.
    • Your one and only objective.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Some of the tribals still use the remains of Legionnaire armor and equipment, hinting at their past as part of Caesar's Legion. A number of cannibals meanwhile are apparently former NCR soldiers who went AWOL when the Mojave took a turn for the worst.
    • An interesting case is Cottonwood Cove, which has become a cannibal camp renamed to "Aurelia", still lead by Aurelius of Phoenix who has gone mad and become a cannibal himself. Despite this, he still wears his Legion armor, and governs as if he's still giving Legion-style orders, although said orders are completely insane and arbitrary.
    • A corpse in the sewers wearing Legion armor has a note where he still writes a bit in Latin and laments the death of Caesar. After seeing the NCR's mutants loose in the sewers, he felt that the Legion would have never let that happen had it taken over. Possibly related to him, or possibly an independent Legion group, there is a shrine with the Legion flag surrounded by gore and a couple of NCR sacrifices, complete with a sacrificial knife.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Potentially, you could graduate from just being an Action Survivor into a certified badass, but it's a challenge in and of itself.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The NCR, who are the only real "civilized" presence left in the Mojave. But given how much of a mess the wasteland's become and the botched attempts to restore order to the point of blocking the passage into California via the former Mojave Outpost, their shoot-on-sight cynicism might be justified.
    • Not that they weren't jerkasses in the intervening 20 years; they are possibly responsible for the clouds in Vegas, as they were working on a bio-weapon before pulling out and evacuated themselves mere hours before the cloud hit, locking the Vegas residents in. All to stop a rebellion which was mostly fueled because of fear the NCR would do something like that.
    • Likewise, it's implied that the Mojave Chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel has devolved into glorified bandits with Father Elijah's twisted mentality.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: The NCR in California is run by good guy faction Followers of the Apocalypse. Resources are spent on bringing the people responsible for what happened in the Mojave to justice, as well as dispersing the cloud from other places and taking care of refugees from such places. On the other hand, it's mentioned that Kimball is still President of the NCR, implying that he managed to cash in on his war hero credentials while also swaying the Followers to support his rule. One ending nonetheless has you end up in a friendly, NCR-run refugee camp.
  • Unlucky Everyman: In essence, you.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The mod reveals that most named characters are either dead, hostile or otherwise hostile and insane.
    • The former Mojave Outpost in particular contains the corpse of Cass, who's implied to have been killed when the Outpost was overrun by cannibals.
    • In the Sierra Madre, Father Elijah's skeletal corpse is worshipped by the Ghost People as "The Father."
    • The Courier is implied to have become a Fallen Hero and renegade wanted by the NCR. He's found to still be alive and holding out in a survivalist cache near former Lake Mead, albeit ghoulified and heavily armed.
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