Playing Fortnite As A Pacifist & As A Friend

In many kinds of games, one of the most difficult playstyles to pull off successfully is the pacifist: a character who either (according to its community) doesn’t harm, or doesn’t kill, any other character in the game. Lots of games have some form of violence as their primary verb, so eschewing all of that is choosing to make (your own) life harder.

A game in which pacifism is particularly difficult, yet possible, is Nethack. It’s a “tracked conduct” in that game, meaning, when your game ends, you’re informed as to if you played that way. There’s a page on the Nethack wiki all about it. Back on GameSetWatch I related a story, from a Usenet post, where a player won as a pacifist. Since then, many people have ascended (Nethack’s term for winning) as a pacifist. It’s hard, possibly the hardest single conduct, but there’s still lots of ways to take care of opponents without killing them, including let your pet do it. Nethack gives players ludicrously many possible actions, and there’s almost always a way.

There is another conduct, “never hit with a wielded weapon,” but it’s not necessarily much harder, since you can kill things with it, you just have to use other tools, or your fist. Monks, who fight best with martial arts, find that the best way to play anyway.

This is all a digression, because it’s hard to shut me up about Nethack, but it also serves as a segue. How about Fortnite? It’s a game where 100 people are dumped into a space and the only way to win is to be the last survivor. By definition, you can only win at it if everyone else dies, so they have to have an accident. Not a mafia-style “accident,” but a genuine one.

As it turns out, Fortnite even has an achievement for it, although its reward is laughably small. And it’s not so much that it’s hard, but relies heavily on chance. The video that follows then expands the subject a bit: it is possible to befriend another player, whose main objective is to kill you?

Searching for Humanity in Fortnite (Youtube, 30 minutes)

Pac-Man 99 to Sunset

Because we not only can’t have nice things, but even the nice things we used to have must be taken from us, Polygon reports that Pac-Man 99, Bandai-Namco’s brilliant battle royale take on the classic arcade game, is shutting down online play October 8th, and the paid DLC and modes will stop being sold even earlier than that.

Pac-Man 99 is part of a trilogy of games with similar concepts on the Switch. Of its siblings, Tetris 99 continues to be playable and its online DLC still available, and Super Mario Bros. 35, Nintendo’s free SMB-based version of the concept, shut down years ago now.

All these games are great, and SMB35’s loss is still keenly felt. I particularly rue it because I was freakishly good at it; I have a screenshot somewhere of the records screen showing a streak of 11 1st place wins.

Pac-Man 99 is really good, and its online mode is free to people with a Switch Online subscription, so please enjoy it while you can.