Fallout: New Vegas’ hardcore mode is a game of survival, with the RPG tasking you to care for your character’s food, sleeping habits, and water intake. But what if you just ... didn’t?
Mitten Squad, a YouTuber whose channel is dedicated to challenge runs, was determined to find out. From the onset, Mitten Squad knew that their sleep tally increased by 1 point every 50 seconds, hunger built up by 1 point every 25 seconds, while thirst accrued at 1 point every 10 seconds. This in turn meant that Mitten Squad had about two hours to beat the game, because if any of his needs reached 1,000 points, his character would die.
Hardcore fans know that speed runners have beat the game without glitches or exploits in under 30 minutes, though usually not in Survival mode. That is, speed runners don’t have to worry about how increased hunger, thirst, or sleep could affect their stats.
Without water, for instance, a character will experience decreases in Endurance, Perception, and Intelligence. Sleep deprived characters will have their Agility, and Endurance stats suffer. Starving characters, meanwhile, will take a hit to their Strength, Perception, and Charisma. Basically, playing as Mitten Squad does here ensures that all of his stats and skills are hammered by his refusal to relieve his character.
Regardless, he built a character with a Luck stat of 9, and Charisma at 1 — and most of the other SPECIAL stats at around 6 points. The run began rockily, with Mitten Squad getting banged up by Cazadors and Deathclaws as he frantically tries to run away. It’s not long before Mitten Squad proceeded to basically murder everyone in the wasteland to quickly gain XP. This, however, doesn’t save him from the occasional glitch — when he tried throwing spears, for example, they just froze in mid-air.
Mitten Squad sides with Yes Man, because it’s the quickest way to clear the game. But by the time he arrived at Hoover Dam, the final level in New Vegas, his thirst was in the red. Here Mitten Squad learned that thirst apparently gets exponentially worse, rather than increasing by a set amount. By the time he neared Caesar at the end, he had 962 points in dehydration, meaning that he was a few moments away from dying. But, he still managed to talk his way through the final encounter.
When the game started to congratulate Mitten Squad for his deeds, he was at at 999 thirst. Apparently, New Vegas can’t handle such thirst levels, because as the last cutscene played, Mitten Squad’s character tried clearing their throat — as he presumably would if he were falling dead — and it stopped the game’s narrator from saying anything about the ending.
So, yes, you can totally beat Survival mode without eating, drinking, or sleeping. You’ll just also kinda break the game at the end. But given Fallout’s infamy as a glitchy franchise, nobody is surprised, right?