Is Prison Valley doomed?

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hshshs
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Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by hshshs » March 23rd, 2018, 6:05 am

Hi everyone,

new poster here; I'm on my first playthrough of the Director's Cut of WL2 and really enjoy backstory and atmosphere of the game. I'm playing with a "keeping up the Ranger values" approach, looking to find peaceful / mutually beneficial solutions to the quests where possible.

The Prison / Prison Valley section seems an especially hard nut to crack for an happy end, though. It seems that it was possible to save the Prison Valley inhabitants in past (Vanilla?) versions of WL2; and that this possibility no longer exists. Is that correct?

In the past, there seems to have been a window of opportunity to intervene between Cdr. Danforth's dogs being poisoned and his retaliation against the Prison Valley civilians. Some discussions in various forums indicate that a doable approach was to destroy Tinker in Damonta and retrieve the Tank Tread from it; but not hook up the radio repeater but instead return to the prison. According to these discussions, the civilians (Anna Hegedus, the pig farmer family etc) were still alive at that moment. You could then cure Danforth's dogs, broker a peace with him and then blow him and his milita to smithereens to free the valley from the RSM. The Gamepedia wiki even has an entry for a "happily ever after" character ending for Anna and Elroy Hegedus.

In my DC playthrough, nothing significant happens in the Prison until the radio tower in Damonta is back in business: The civilians are alive, there's no sign of the dogs being in trouble, Danforth is inaccessible and the Findley-Tek robot only shows some kind of "I'm booting, come back later" message. However, once the repeater is installed in Damonta, the civilians are dead upon my arrival back in the valley, even if I run straight from Damonta to the prison.

So, is it really absolutely impossible to save the civilians of Prison valley in the current DC version? I can't think of too many things I could have played differently in advance; maybe not killing Pitbull or Chris VanOverbake, but my web search does not indicate that these events led to Prison Valley's doom.

... and a bonus question: Is there any way to save Snake Svargas (aka S. Dubich) or alert someone to his ordeal? I can't even report his fate to General Vargas, who is both his commanding officer and the reason why Danforth enslaved Dubich (and named him after Vargas!), which seems really unsatisfying.

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Gillsing
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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by Gillsing » March 23rd, 2018, 6:25 am

Since Danforth claims that Rangers killed people in the Prison during their last visit, perhaps the only way to save Happy Valley would be to not kill any RSM at all when visiting the area to talk to Red in the junk yard? Since you pretty much have to kill some RSM to make it past the last checkpoint I guess this precludes helping pig farmer Brown get his pigs back, unless the family is alive and the pigs are still there after hooking up the radio tower in Damonta.

To be 110% sure of 'not killing anyone', I suppose the Rangers could also avoid the guy who kills himself after RSM shot his wife, since Danforth might blame that death on Rangers. Same for Anna Hegedus. Not that any of this has to mean anything, as Overbake could just walk around and kill people at will, and then report to Danforth that Rangers did it. But maybe it's worth a shot? If I decide to replay or start over that is certainly something I'd try, just to see what happens.

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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by hshshs » March 26th, 2018, 1:36 am

Gillsing wrote:
March 23rd, 2018, 6:25 am
Since Danforth claims that Rangers killed people in the Prison during their last visit, perhaps the only way to save Happy Valley would be to not kill any RSM at all when visiting the area to talk to Red in the junk yard? Since you pretty much have to kill some RSM to make it past the last checkpoint I guess this precludes helping pig farmer Brown get his pigs back, unless the family is alive and the pigs are still there after hooking up the radio tower in Damonta.
Red can be visited through the cave and without alerting RSM personnel. However, I can't find a way to reach the prison without plowing through auto-hostile RSM operators: On the Prison map, they guard the bottleneck before the junction that leads to the Auwaerter farm and the prison. From what I know there's no way of avoiding killing those guys if you want to reach the prison.
To be 110% sure of 'not killing anyone', I suppose the Rangers could also avoid the guy who kills himself after RSM shot his wife, since Danforth might blame that death on Rangers. Same for Anna Hegedus. Not that any of this has to mean anything, as Overbake could just walk around and kill people at will, and then report to Danforth that Rangers did it. But maybe it's worth a shot? If I decide to replay or start over that is certainly something I'd try, just to see what happens.
As mentioned, I think there's no way to avoid killing the bottleneck guards. That set aside, I agree that your approach is probably the only way forward to test your hypothesis; plus, delaying until after liberation of Prison Valley the "Deliver a letter to Katy in the RNC camp from Robert Bowling" quest to avoid triggering Pitbull's appearance in the train car.

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Gillsing
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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by Gillsing » March 26th, 2018, 2:20 am

You don't have to visit the farm though, and you don't have to kill Pitbull either (you can let him have his way, or buy him off). But Pitbull is less of a concern, as the issue isn't that Danforth dislikes Rangers, because he already does. The issue is what Danforth said about Rangers poisoning his dogs while they were visiting the Prison and killing people. The latter of which they would have done if they reached the farm.

Though hypothetically I guess it's possible to sneak Rangers past those guards, since they are randomly walking around. And then time it correctly to avoid the dog patrol on the path from the checkpoint to the farm. But that's almost impossible in practice even if you save scumm. Not like the patrols in the Temple of Titan, which are designed to let Rangers sneak through the correct route. Well, I don't know if it's even hypothetically possible to sneak past the dog patrol. I only did it in turn based mode because my Ranger was spotted by one of the checkpoint guards after reaching the open area below the over/underpass. Maybe in real time they turn around too quickly for a Ranger to run past them behind their backs?

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Zombra
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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by Zombra » March 26th, 2018, 6:11 am

I'm pretty sure that nothing ever came of the Dubich situation; that was a story hook the scripting team wasn't able to follow up on. I wanted to do something about it too :(
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Mole204
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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by Mole204 » March 29th, 2018, 9:53 pm

Eh, it happened near the "leave for LA" part, so yeah, the dog man is swept up with the rest of Red Scorpion plot threads. There's no reason to resolve everything all at once. Logically there's room for him in WL3, though he might still be in therapy. That's gonna be a NPC with a LOT of quirks.
I wonder if, or by what measure, Billy is going to do the promised clean-up of the RSM organization? Shoot them all, or re-purpose them? Hey, even if they arn't rangers, SOMEone's gotta build all the helicopters or whatever would be used to move people from Arizona to LA. The Scorpitron is WL series' iconic robot, but how much work would it take to turn one into a bus?

Nice to hear that, Zombra- that the story team know a character was being cut short. While Dog-Snake was not a favorite character of mine, if there wasn't more to do with a character, then there'd be nothing to construct a sequel with.

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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by hshshs » April 3rd, 2018, 4:27 am

Zombra wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 6:11 am
I'm pretty sure that nothing ever came of the Dubich situation; that was a story hook the scripting team wasn't able to follow up on. I wanted to do something about it too :(
Thank you - I assumed as much... There really seems to be no way out for Svargas / Dubich. His enslavement and torture were the final nail in the coffin which made me decide to, uh, put Danforth and his goons into their very own coffins. From what I hear, Danforth genuinely cleans up his act if the player hammers out a deal with him. But I felt that the - apparently unavoidable - Prison Valley massacre and the Dubich affair could not go unpunished.

edit: typo

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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by hshshs » April 3rd, 2018, 4:33 am

Mole204 wrote:
March 29th, 2018, 9:53 pm
I wonder if, or by what measure, Billy is going to do the promised clean-up of the RSM organization? Shoot them all, or re-purpose them?
A bit of the former and more of the latter, apparently; I read that he gets rid of the psychopaths (e.g. Pitbull, assuming he's still alive) and changes his management style to an approach more compatible with Ranger values; i.e. no more harassment, enslavement or extortion with made-up taxes. Couldn't say with certainty, though, as Danforth reached room temperature in my own playthrough...

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Re: Is Prison Valley doomed?

Post by hshshs » April 3rd, 2018, 4:41 am

Gillsing wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 2:20 am
You don't have to visit the farm though, and you don't have to kill Pitbull either (you can let him have his way, or buy him off). But Pitbull is less of a concern, as the issue isn't that Danforth dislikes Rangers, because he already does. The issue is what Danforth said about Rangers poisoning his dogs while they were visiting the Prison and killing people. The latter of which they would have done if they reached the farm.
Agreed; although Danforth's radio message after hooking up the Damonta repeater goes something like "The rangers have messed around for some time with the RSM; but now they've crossed a line!" This COULD indicate that an approach with zero RSM kills might yield a different result. But this sounds like very weak sauce even as I write it. My best guess is that the Prison Valley survival option was removed in DC as opposed to Vanilla. A pity.
Though hypothetically I guess it's possible to sneak Rangers past those guards, since they are randomly walking around. And then time it correctly to avoid the dog patrol on the path from the checkpoint to the farm. But that's almost impossible in practice even if you save scumm. Not like the patrols in the Temple of Titan, which are designed to let Rangers sneak through the correct route. Well, I don't know if it's even hypothetically possible to sneak past the dog patrol. I only did it in turn based mode because my Ranger was spotted by one of the checkpoint guards after reaching the open area below the over/underpass. Maybe in real time they turn around too quickly for a Ranger to run past them behind their backs?
I briefly tried this; and couldn't find a gap in the patrols to sneak through. I didn't exactly spend hours on this, so there might be a way. But as I wrote above, this does not sound convincing. I'll give it a try in a future playthrough, but it looks too radically different from the Vanilla quest solution to be plausible.

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