If you know me you know Fallout 3 is actually one of my favorite video games of all time. That can be a pretty contentious thing with a lot of Fallout fans, but it was the first one in the series I actually played and that world, the characters, and the story really stuck with me.

Now this post is all about my first experience playing Fallout 3. I think, like most people, it all starts out the same. Grow up in the vault, leave said vault, then explore.

Obviously my first stop was Megaton, but after that I set off to go to Galaxy News Radio. Following the quest markers and all that. After fighting what felt like forever against two super mutants across the river armed with mini guns, I found the entrance to the metro tunnels. I took one step in, realized how dark and utterly terrifying it was, and left. I actually saved the game and turned it off.

It would be a month before I started playing the game again, determined to go into those tunnels and continue playing this wonderful game. Once again, as I entered the tunnel I could hear the hissing and growls of ghouls, and I left.

I decided that I would build up my confidence first. Continue to explore and eventually make my way back into that tunnel. So I did just that, and came across Rivet City. When I got to Rivet City, the GNR quest disappeared and was replaced with a new one tied to Rivet City. I did not think anything of it and continued to play through the game.

It would be till my second play through a while later that I realized I completely skipped an entire section of the main story. I skipped meeting Three Dog and Sarah Lyons. I never fought that Super Mutant Goliath or made it to Galaxy News Radio. It was actually pretty amazing to play the game a second time and actually experience something new and new people after feeling like I had done it all.

I was never really good at playing horror games. I’m still not. Now though, whenever I start a new game in Fallout 3 I feel like a boss when I go through those tunnels. They still creep me out to the max, but it always reminds me of how crazy these open world games can get, where you can slip entire sections of a game and not feel like you missed anything at all.