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I'm currently playing Fallout 1 once more and decided to not pick up skills which I'm calling "standard set". Before I was always picking speech + two from small/big/energy weapons. Now I've decided to choose a prepared character - Natalia Dubrovhsky. She has Sneak, Steal and Unarmed as tag skills. I know Fallout 2 has many improvements for unarmed fight but Fallout 1 does not. But I can still use targeted attacks.

Is it possible to finish Fallout 1 with some diplomatic/thief character? What would be the best strategy for this?

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It depends as what you class "Unarmed" as. You can use the Powerfist as an unarmed weapon but then in a literal view its not unarmed. Essentially, it is very possible as I myself have done it and know of others that have to.

There is also a perk you can at around Level 18 which makes all unarmed attacks critical. However, before getting the powerfist, it really is such a grind to be able to deal with things, but its exactly that, a challenge.

Once you have these two though, the game is very, very completable.

  • Yes, I'm keeping powerfist as unarmed weapon. But there you still need to play enough until you'll find one :-) – Pawka Mar 19 '12 at 16:41
  • @Pawka it's challenging, my advice would be to avoid Deathclaws until you have this. And even then... – ediblecode Mar 19 '12 at 17:00
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If you want to know if it is possible to complete the game with a non-combat oriented character, the answer is yes. In fact you can complete it without killing any characters in combat. You might not gain a ton of experience however, and it might not be very much fun.

If you want to know if unarmed is a viable combat option, I defer to this answer.

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Adding to what has already been said, there is a "non combat" option for the end boss. You can kill him by simply convincing him that his plan is flawed and that his race of super mutants is going to die because they are sterile.

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