01 October, 2009

Pathologic - Quarantine


The streets get dangerous at night. That's when the muggers come out, armed with knives. They're pretty tough. Because they're bad, killing them (or knocking them out - I'm not sure) doesn't harm your reputation (as killing an innocent obviously would), and, being muggers, they generally have some good stuff to loot off their dead (or unconscious) bodies. They're tough, though, and if you're not careful, you could wind up dead or losing too much health that needs to be restored for the fight to be worthwhile, not to mention the wear and tear on your weapons. But I do need the money...

All the kids, unsurprisingly, are in bed at night. They're good to trade with, as they like to collect things - mostly bullets, sometimes pills. And because they're kids, they don't care much for money. They have this nut collecting game going on, so it's quite possible to trade a kid a couple peanuts for an extra bullet, for example. And if you think it's scary that the kids are carrying bullets - you don't know the half of it. They've been known to play a game that simulates an epidemic, by trading powders that they've mixed up consisting of crushed drugs/medicines. Kids have died in the past from taking lethal concoctions. The up side is that they inadvertently created a cure for the Sand Plague (also called Sand Filth), but that particular powder is limited and since it was mixed randomly from unknown substances, it's not repeatable.

I also discovered that you can search in drawers and cabinets in houses, and steal people's stuff (presumably without them even noticing). At this point, I need everything I can get, just to be able to afford enough food, medicine, and health supplies to keep me alive. One of the townsfolk attempted to create a shelter house, but sure enough, I arrived to find it wracked by the plague. So much for that idea. And that other house where the second plague victim died - the infection has spread to the whole block, now quarantined - but I had to go in there, as part of an effort to get an infected tissue sample (which I'm still working on acquiring) in order to hopefully come up with a vaccine. Eventually.

The infected zone was creepy. The boundaries are guarded but open, and as soon as you step in, the air turns sickly green. Watch out for the squeaking rats, the pests. They're fast, and small, thus hard to hit, but they bite to infect, so you better be careful. The infecteds wandering around are all bundled up, but no less creepy. Funny (or scary, rather) how they seem to be possessed with the desire to infect others, as if the disease was taking over not just their bodies, but their minds, too. And the periodic ghostlike clouds of infection that pop up and chase you around are just as dangerous. You can go inside the infected houses (yes, the houses themselves seem to be infected, growing boils on the walls and even creepier on the inside), though it's dangerous - less room to run away from the clouds of infection. People lying on the ground everywhere in pain, and I barely have enough supplies to keep myself alive, let alone help anyone else.

I have a feeling things are just gonna keep getting worse. I don't know how I'm gonna stay healthy. For the time being, I have two doses of that powder, so I'm not *too* worried that I'm almost completely infected after wandering the infected zone, but I don't know how I'm gonna keep it up, unless I get a lot better at avoiding infection. When you get infected, and as the infection eats away at your insides, you get all woozy, and the screen goes out of proportion, and it's quite disorienting, especially inside the cramped quarters of the infected houses, with bloodied sheets hanging everywhere to even further limit your visibility. And let me warn you, if you see a dead infected lying on the ground - by all means, RESIST THE URGE TO LOOT HIS BODY. Trust me, it's just not worth it.

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