Fallout – Remembering Ian

Ian, a companion from Interplay’s original Fallout and a die-hard submachine gun enthusiast with little regard for anyone’s safety, is the main subject of this unusual PCGamesN article that frames Ian’s penchant for friendly fire as an amusing quirk and describes a playthrough of Fallout where the main goal was to get Ian through the entirety of the game in one piece. An excerpt:

Getting any companion through the entirety of Fallout is a challenge but this goes doubly for Ian. I ran into trouble with him very quickly. Like I said, Ian is a few caps short of a collection. Give the man a melee weapon and a gun and he will pick the melee option more often than not. It doesn’t matter if you’re going up against an unarmed raider or a terrifying Deathclaw – Ian’s buffoonery knows no bounds. It’s a ridiculous trait to have to deal with and often frustrated me. But it also never failed to make me laugh. The image of Ian running up to a giant radioactive beast, armed only with a knife the size of a small letter opener, is permanently on repeat in my mind.

To be fair, he does sometimes manage to pull out a decent weapon, but that doesn’t mean you can breathe a sigh of relief. If this playthrough taught me anything it’s that you should never underestimate Ian’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I had one save in which I had worked my way through the entirety of Necropolis to get the water chip, having slaughtered endless ghouls and mutants to get to where I needed to go. All that remained was a single Super Mutant blocking the entrance to the underground vault. Easy, or so I thought.

As we faced it, in the corner of the screen I saw Ian pull out his SMG and reload it, catching myself involuntarily gritting my teeth. There’s a momentary burst of bullets and an explosion of guts. I’m cut in two. The gruesome death animation finishes and I watch as Ian stands over my corpse, stone-faced. Great work, mate.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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