A Fallout: New Vegas fan recently completed a run that can best be described as taking the path of most resistance. YouTuber Rheteam beat the game, beat the game on its highest difficulty, beat the game with a hardcore survival conditions mod enabled, beat the game with permadeath (so he couldn’t die), beat it without killing anyone and beat it without firing a gun. Oh, and no companions, either.
It took him since March over a span of 19 episodes (about one hour each). Here is the finale (spied by PC Gamer), which wrapped up two days ago:
Boxing gloves are the only means of dealing with hostile interactions. They KO, rather than kill, with a high enough strength attribute, and Rheteam’s starting S.P.E.C.I.A.L. was 10 in Strength for just this reason. Endurance was 10 (definitely useful for the pacifist option) and so was Intelligence (for hacking terminals, naturally). A 1 Charisma is interesting because speech negotiations can streamline the story path and get players either out of trouble or to bypass conflict sequences.
An important qualifier here is that it’s not like Rheteam went through this with no NPCs dying. He just didn’t kill them with his character. For example, he’d lure enemies into an area with friendly NPCs who would then do the dirty work for him.
He still got all the way through on the New California Republic storyline (one of the three major ones to complete the game) and even completed all of the side quests (technically, one tutorial mission was not completed on this playthrough, though he did so in another just to show it could be done). In this Reddit thread, he mentions five of the trickiest missions. One, “Three-Card Bounty,” has three characters who have to die to complete it. Rheteam solved that by positioning himself so that these people took friendly fire (and ended up attacking one another).
Again, it shows the enormous staying power of Fallout: New Vegas, which launched eight years ago, even without mods. People keep finding ways to make their trek through the desert wasteland interesting even if they’ve beaten the game repeatedly. But I am at a loss to think of another way to make completing the game harder than this.