I wrote about my inspiration for a traveling merchant character within Fallout 4 in my character article Lucky Lark – pt 1: The helpless & the raiders. In today’s article I’ll be discussing the development of my character Lark, and the process I went through in defining his playstyle.
- Attack Dog – While Lark can seem like the selfish type, only driven by his love of a good time and catching lucky breaks, he knows it is tough to go it alone and so he puts all his love and care into his pup Dogmeat. Through their bond they become a formidable fighting force, a symbiotic super duo of man and beast.
- Idiot Savant – Lark never was one for book-learning instead he somehow passed all of his classes by using the tried and true method of guessing his way through his major tests. With Idiot Savant, Lark is able to level up quickly, based on sheer luck.
- Four Leaf Clover – Lark knows he isn’t the best shot in the world so he relies on lucky can’t-miss critical shots to deal his damage for him. As such the Four Leaf Clover skill gives him the chance to rack up tons of critical shots just by landing a few every now and then.
- Critical Banker – Just when it seems like the enemy has caught Lark unprepared for the next fight his luck has made it so he always has at least one critical shot saved for that oh-so special occasion when he may need to start or end a fight in a hurry.
Personality Quirks & Habits
- Whatever is best is best – Lark’s gear and weapons come from the bodies of fallen travelers before him and weapons caches that were never retrieved. Without a keen interest in being a weapons’ expert, Lark goes by the mantra “whatever is best is best,” tossing aside guns as they run out of bullets or when a better one comes along, without loyalty to any piece of gear save for his trusty minuteman hat.
- Are you afraid of the dark? – Lark ain’t no scaredy cat, but even he knows that nothing good can come from wandering a radioactive wasteland at night, thus he prefers to get to shelter by sunset at the latest and sleep through the night. He likes to wake up early and travel from sunrise to midday when the air is sweet and he can see a giant bear charging him clear as day.
- Jet me up baby! – For Lark life is all about having a good time now, especially in the wasteland where every minute may be your last. Thus he loves the mind altering and physically empowering rush of Jet and uses it whenever he so pleases.
- Sugar Bombs & Nuka-Cola obsession – Lark hates the food and animals he finds in the wasteland he can’t get over how disgusting it would be to eat some irradiated piece of produce or meat so he sticks to the staples of preserved pre-war food he can find with a particular infatuation with all kinds of candy and soda, those sweet treats that can’t be beat.
- All of the Teddy Bears for the pupper – Lark loves his pup Dogmeat and would do anything for him, in battle he saves his stimpacks for Dogmeat and walks off his own wounds with some nuke-cola or sugar bombs instead. Lark knows the cruel world of kill or be killed can be stressful on the poor dog and so he makes sure to collect each and every toy he can to give to the pupper with special attention to Teddy Bears, Dogmeat’s favorite.
The Art of deception
As Lark continues to travel through the wasteland he starts to feel pretty good about his odds of survival, things aren’t so tough with his trusty dog by his side. For the two of them, finding shelter from the hazards and monsters of the night was surprisingly easy, and scrounging for candy and soda pop for Lark and toys and teddy bears for Dogmeat becomes quite the fun scavenger hunt. It seems that life in the wastelands wouldn’t be so bad as long as they keep to themselves and just finnd a way to survive.
Following the western train tracks north, in search of a loot cache mentioned in a smuggler’s note they found, Lark and Dogmeat happened upon a small house with the roof collapsed in on itself. They heard the desperate please from someone in the house begging for mercy, upon looking inside they were startled to see a man holding a gun to another man’s head, who looked to be his identical twin, ready to execute him. Feeling the hero’s call echoing in his mind as it did in Concord Lark decides to engage the executioner, a gun battle ensues and Dogmeat helps to land a fatal blow on the assailant.
Lark finds out that the man being held captive is named Art, visibly shaken up, Art exclaims “that THING was wearing my face!” curious, Lark turns to the body and examines it, yet finds nothing out of the ordinary. He confronts Art about it and Art immediately becomes hostile, and Lark finds himself in a fatal shootout with the same man for the second time in a matter of minutes. Confused and unsure of what just happened Lark inspects the second body to find synthetic components, some kind of robot / human hybrid. To his horror Lark realizes he killed an innocent man and had almost helped the imposter escape with his identity.
Lark’s world has been turned upside down, not only has he learned that he can’t trust anyone he meets in the wasteland, he’s also learned that playing the hero can get innocent people killed.
Facing the hard truth of what he just witnessed, what he just did, Lark determines that his luck need only apply to him and Dogmeat, and that he will save his bullets for the fights he must win to keep them safe. He will only focus on the needs and joys of the now with his furry friend for there is little else the world has to offer them, and even less they can offer the world.
This is the second installment in my character series titled Lucky Lark, if you enjoyed it please feel free to read through the other articles within the series: Lucky Lark – pt 1: The helpless & the raiders. I welcome discussion on the design of this character, if you have experiences of your own you wish to share please respond to the thread for this article, or talk to me through my email or any of my social media: email@example.com, Facebook, Twitter.
Play Professor is the blog of ludologist and video game journalist Andrew Mantilla. You can check out more of his content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.