Tales of the Unarmed Master: "So Seven Migo Enslavers walked into a bar..."

So, here is a tale of how I ended up crawling with, for the second time in my entire time playing Cataclysm, a 300+ pain score, and, equally for the first time, all four limbs broken as I nearly bleed to death.

My present character, as some forum frequenting folks might be aware, is an unarmed-only character. That means no throwing (within reason) or ranged weapons. Perception stat is set to 4, and all of those points went to brawn. The entire challenge revolves around defeating everything that is Cataclysm in its current state with nothing but fists and old fashioned knuckles.

This character has developed to the point where they can clench their fists and tear down Juggernauts with furious blows. To understand how I clawed my way to safety with a combined total of 50 hp in my head and torso, let me start from the beginning…

Just another morning coming and going, reading a war novel as I play the Sax to my buddy the Bone Collector in my mega rig outside of a new city. The day before, a wandering AI tank was slaughtering a bunch of zombies in the middle of town while rolling through windows. In my, personally, sound judgement, my character spun upon their heal and walked back to the car to turn zombo meat into blobs for 15 hours and to let the tank suicide itself upon the acid zombos, brutes, necromancer, and a juggernaut. Surely, my flawless logic said, a single shooty mini-tank wouldn’t be able to kill the nearly 100 zombos that had the thing surrounded in a Strip Club.

So, after about fifteen hours of smooth jaz, a 9 hour nap, and some morning pemmican, I decided to stroll into town when, in the corner of my eye (map with binocs) I notice a fleshy tower in the distance. Veteran DDA players may start to wince at the notion of charing into a Migo tower with your bare hands, but I grinned at the challenge of suicidally trying to destroy the tower with nothing but my fists and stubborn amounts of Regeneration mutation being applied directly to the forehead.

Jokes aside, I equipped a full-body of Chitan armor. I had to purify my HUGE mutation back to Large after discovering the, presently, lacking XL armor variety, much, much, MUCH, to my sorrow. Now, I had a quick peak into one of these towers nearly 280 days prior, and was nearly killed by ONE brain blasty bastard. My character, without doubt, had both a bone to grind and PTSD from having a psychic brain pealing, so I opened up my box of toys. I strapped two grenades and an EMP to my belt, traded my codine for Oxy, prepared a syringe of addrenaline, brewed a 1L jug of Meth Cola, and picked up a baggy of crack I took from the clutches of an OD’d druggy on the side of the road before clanking my fisted knuckles together and jumping off my doommobile. Now, lessons had already been learned, and I carry not just one, but TWO extra sets of knuckles, more on that later. My character tapped themselves down, making sure the Kevlar and Leather patches were nicely tucked into my leather cloak and clothes under my Chitan ensamble. A .50 blast from a turret in this suit did at max 30-odd damage and I could soak quite a few of those blasts with a natural strength stat of 22, that’s just over 150 hp for each limb. Extremely strong + naturally high STR + Large mutation equals one very swole survivor girl. I made sure to charge my internal batbox up to 750 power and popped two caffeine pills and started chewing some caffeine gum as I walked over.

Now, I don’t underestimate any AOE or Aura-based enemies that inflict serious pain, and I popped a single Codine pill before I even jackhammered my way in through the back of this tower. My decision to make THAT much noise will come into the picture later, look forward to that shortly because things pick up FAST. I pause the Jacking at 89%, pre-stim with my drug cocktail of Adr, meth, and crack before finishing my hacking through the wall. The very instant I get through the wall, I’m blasted by the Migo screams and lose stamina. The fools, I thought, I have Adr and stims beyond my wildest RP dreams, have you SEEN my health stat tomorrow being -200? I have! With that thought, I surged my bionic muscles into action, and with them combined, brought the raw fury of 47 STR to bare sprinting straight into the face of the first Migo horror I saw right behind the wall. With a critical drawn from my 11 Unarmed skill of many battles and over 3,000 confirmed kills, the foe was knocked a tile back with over 100 damage, sending it into a stun. Still sprinting, I move one tile into the building and start feeling that heat in the room, and the fact I have 3 layers of clothing, instantly, just as I see a room filled with Migo. My real life words were as I quote: “Oh.

In my inventory, I activate the first Grenade, fully realizing that this was not the 3 Migos I saw in my first door-kicking adventure with a Migo tower. There was a party here, so, dropping the nade in the newly torn hole into this fleshy exterior, I took my now pain-induced body from lack of stamina and ducked around a corner just before the nade went off. There were enough brain blasts hitting me that the stamina and regen of the Adr did not last long, and soon I found myself punching the backdoor of liquor store with six or seven very, very angry Migos coming to collect the fine for forcefully entering a newly made back door in their fleshy structure.

By this point, the pain score had likely blown past 150 but was well hidden under the Adr shot. Speaking of, it was likely 25-30% burnt by the time I managed to flee into the building. That nade seemed to only stir the hive with how many angry little citters crawled out, and a guest but, again, more on that SHORTLY.

Now, my stamina was not good enough to escape these guys before the shot ran out and I suffered the full effect of the pain stat and lost my 110 speed score. So, I drank the last of my cola, likely going to start going blind and suffering horrible OD issues around the time that I run out of Adr, but so be it. Rushing into the main lobby, prepared to use this chance to run the hell away and just run these guys over with the death mobile rather than trying to punch down 6-8 pain beams at once, I hear “KABOOM” and subsequently think, again, “Oh, right.

A tank grenade shell had just obliterated the brute trying to break down the door to eat my face, and the lovely rover decided to come over and invite me to a fire fest. Riiiight, and this is one of two reasons why I carry an EMP nade, I thought as two more shells dropped the front lobby down (Partially collapsed already) into rubble. Ducking into the backroo, with the Migos right next door, I have to choose between rushing a tank with an active EMP nade, or a horde of Migo-death to my back.

I chose the Migos, since if I stayed to punch the tank to death the Migo’s would be on me whilst I was on rubble and there was no certainty I could finish rover off before my stun chain ran out and he pumped me full of turret ammo point blank whilst the Migos were trying to burn my brain. Charging around the corner with my gas genny pouring power to my muscles as they burned with the fury of over 40 STR, I splatter two of the Migos in a single turn before the blasts drain my stamina. Knuckles, break, wield second pair, three and four die within perhaps 10-odd turns through a flury of good-luck criticals. Then a shiny thing turns the corner, fires a shell, and the next thing I see is my vision covered in rubble. I was smothered in rock for but a moment, but my heart rate was likely 140 at this point as I clawed my way out of a collapsed roof. Right next to the tank who was teaching the last three living migos a lesson in discipline. So, what is an unarmed warrior to do when you have a beagle tank to your northwest tile, and slavers to all three of your east tiles?

You pull the EMP nade’s cord first, take a shot from the tank and a few clubbings from the slavers that breaks your leg, then pull your last nade’s cord, get shot three times in the torso bringing you down to 40hp on your very, very vital area, toss the nade which manages to hit one of the only remaining walls left in the building just 2 tiles away (Thanks perception 4!!!) and get shot and beaten even more, then punch the tank with your full might, breaking your second pair of knuckles and stunning the mobile nuke machine, and getting beaten by more strikes of the Migos. The EMP goes off, stunning the tank as it’s on my person, my power bank dies with it and my muscles get substantially less swole. The second grenade goes off right next to me in a squal of explosive pain, taking two of the migos out with it along with my other leg and an arm that were in the danger zone already. My Chitin armor is severely damaged and my gauntlets have been shattered clean destroyed. I punch the last Migo one last time, Adrenaline shot runs out, pain of around 307, speed 25 and cost to move in the 300s. The migo doesn’t die, and begins to pumble me for every punch. That EMP won’t last long.jpg


Fourteen more punches on the beagle, the greatest threat, later kills the beast as the last Migo does everything it can to try to can-opener me from my armor. A single punch to it’s face brings it near death, but in response, it grabs and snaps my last arm over it’s leg with an evil grin.


The run is over one obviously thinks, I have less than 80 health left, am bleeding, and can’t attack any more.

But you forget one final thing of the survivor’s handbook, these big bastards are as Clumsy as they are cowardly. That last strike managed to get the netherborn fearful of the bleeding out corpse on the rubble and it turns to run away. Two tiles of navigating rubble later, it stubs its toe on a rebar and dies.

I spend the next hour doing micro-crunches with my torso to crawl back to the mega rig, after bandaging myself with broken limbs, applied XL splints, that I crafted beforehand just in case, and proceeded to spend the better part of a month with -200 (and less) health from my adventures. Did I also mention that, after popping an Oxy during the fight I started to go blind for a period and had to climb into the mega-rig as I was going in and out of consciousness? Did that too.

All in all?

The Migo Tower + Beagle Tank may just be the truely greatest challenge I have thus far faced in the Cataclysm.

The moral of this story? Drugs are good for you and explosives are your friends. Always bring as many of them as you can into public at all times so that you can murder tentacle monsters and metal dogs in the ruins of a destroyed bar.

To anyone that is new to Cataclysm passing by, I offer these words,

Welcome to the Cataclysm, the Grim Reaper can be found in a graveyard to your right, your own mistakes on your left, a hell gate pouring out netherspawn straight ahead as aliens invade the world, dark abominations out of Lovecraft consume the populace, and normal animals mutate into horrific apex predators, may we take your order?


Only in Cata DDA Ladies and Gents.

Can’t be sure if the Mi-go elite was running, or pathing somewhere, but its decision to walk over rubble and stub its toe is the reason why I live to punch things another day. Not sure of the Mi-go elites have pain fear like the lesser nether types.

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The most amazing thing about mi-gos for me is that their screams can daze robots. Yes, they daze ROBOTS. With their scream. First timewho am I kidding, every time I see this, the only reaction I have is “wtf”.

This is how you spot an experienced CDDA player.

In a recent escape from a research facility with surprisingly few portals (only about 5 or so), which were also placed fairly close to each other on X and Y axes, I managed to rack up 65 irradiation with Imperceptive Healer, and head and torso looking like ||\ and |||, I believe. Got Poison, Disease and Infection resistances and fully recovered eventually. Unfortunately the run ended not even a week after the recovery, and not even to the dozens of shoggies roaming the ground floor and the courtyard.

This should be a trailer for the game xD

Heh, all just another day in the Cataclysm. I’m still airing the potential for a Cataclysm novel at some point when time allows, so that’s not too far off~

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Final recovery from this battle took 3 weeks even with the Regeneration Mutation.

I’ll take this as a lesson that, as long as you have poison immunity and Regeneration, almost overdosing on Drugs is perfectly fine.

Drinking Dandy Tea for a few weeks as you sit with broken limbs is more than enough to recover no matter what you do. Yeah.

That kinda sounds like Regeneration is a bit weak now.

The health came back after a few days for the Head and Torso, the limbs healed in about 10 days, but the Health took around 3 weeks to fully recover to +10.

Healing from explosive, heavy arms fire, and alien injuries in a few days, and healing from likely compound fractures in 10 days is pretty darn good.

I’d also say that coming back from overdosing on Opioids and Adrenaline in just a few weeks is a pretty good affair.

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I guess I’ll add mine here. Maybe you might find it interesting to see a totally different approach to an unarmed specialist.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played this game (I’ve been waiting for a version that doesn’t implode on itself when I try to play it), but I have the last stable version I used backed up. I figure this is as good a time as any. Here’s the main character I used.

I dunno how much has changed since then, so grains of salt and whatnot. I know unarmed was nerfed, but most of these would still be possible from what I last saw.

She’s a doggo that punches everything. And I do mean everything.

Unwilling Test Subject start, chose the basic outline of the mutations I wanted. This took a few attempts. The final attempt saw me on the ground floor face-to-face with a turret that I had no way to kill. The only ammo I had was shotgun shells. So I made a note of the map and loaded up my other character to go save her. It took a while, but I was able to find the exact location on the map and toss her a rifle with a single bullet.

Basically, in this beginning scenario, if you can’t find a matching rifle, magazine, and ammo in that run, you’re not getting out of the lab. The darkness on the staircase will let you shoot it safely. A pistol might work, but I wouldn’t count on it, and there’s no way to get close enough with a shotgun. If only you could get a pickaxe.

After rescuing her, I had that character fix up a car for her and off she went.

With a lot of patience (and a little debug help) I eventually I got all the mutations I was aiming for. There was one point where a Yugg deleted her Carnivore mutation, so I went into debug, gave Carnivore back, and added something else instead. Those were the only things that were debugged. Other than saving myself time with mutations, everything else was done the hard way, and I made sure to be reasonable.

She’s extremely fast and hits really hard, but she can’t carry a whole lot, and she relies almost entirely on Dodge to survive. Anything heavier than 100 pounds starts to crush her tiny frame, and if something with a gun shows up, tactics change drastically. She can basically only eat meat and water.

She carries a hunting knife in a sheath to butcher any meat she finds, a hairpin to pick locks, and a modded Beretta M9 with two large mags and one standard to take care of things she’d rather not have to punch, like bloats and boomers. Still punches those most of the time. Acidic ants are a huge pain in the ankles, no matter how much acid protection your feet have.

Other than that, she wears literally nothing but a collar, because dog. If it gets cold, she puts on a fur cloak, some fetlock furs, and a long fur scarf. She carries around a duffel bag and simply drops it whenever she needs to punch things. That’s what the 25 encumbrance is. She she drops the duffel bag, Dodge goes up to 24.8.

She drives a heavily modified Luxury RV with tank treads, pulse lasers and a cargo dimension. Unlike the other character, who had to build each and every tank tread by hand (this took months), hers were salvaged. Newer incarnations also have a motorcycle hitched on the back of it, but not this one.

Most of the time, Tab takes care of whatever hostile problem she faces. Just park her in the middle of Blob nest and hold down the Tab key until everything is dead. Make her shoot off a 201 volume “Awoo” to attract any stragglers.

She can outrun a moose and safely jump from the top floor of an apartment complex. Most of the time she uses Capoeira, except for that one time when she used a Shoggoth as a punching bag to train her other melee skills. She used Silat for that.

Hopefully the kill list will explain why there are so many bionics and mutations. I could add those full lists, but I think you get the idea. She has also punched a Wraith to death in newer saves.


Certainly sounds like fun Roleplay scenario.

The only clash to your run and my own would have to be that my run is Hardcore with a 1-and-done attitude with absolutely no exceptions to debug, squirl-scumming (Closing the game out via console to avoid death or bad muta), or mismatch gaming.

As to where levels and unarmed are concerned, they were both vastly overhauled to prevent untamed leveling of either. My Unarmed appears almost entirely hard-capped around level 12 whereas it could level into infinity once upon a time. Furthermore, the damage of unarmed is almost entirely based upon critical damage and martial stances now moreso than the level of the technique. At base levels, you’ll be looking at only around 2-9 damage for a 10 STR character.

In order to accomplish a Hardcore unarmed run that worked I needed 5 previous attempts with two different scenarios until I found the one by leaving myself in a mall surrounded by about 36 zombos. Made it out of that by well timed sprints, use of shelves & counters to restrict and slow the zombos, and then not being afraid to retreat to recomp stamina.

Your base stats also don’t appear to have been very specialized, close to base with a few buffs added to them with some of your points. My build entirely rejected that and focused entirely on pure muscle power.

What draws my attention the most is that you allowed your character to use a gun to escape the lab, and that you apparently managed to kill 32 zombie burners with your bare hands. In general, if you are playing ‘True’ unarmed_only, then needing to use a gun to continue a run is an automatic restart and you would think that the zombie burners that splash out Raging_Fire-tier fire tiles upon death wouldn’t be more of a topic to discuss considering your character is effectively naked nine/tenths of the time. The same can be said about the Incandescent Hulks, who you slew over a hundred of with your rather modest 16-base health stat. Being nude and wrestling an AOE_shocker should normally cost you almost half of your overall health and send your pain sky high every single time. Granted, likely something to do with your time-space CBMs more so than anything else.

My stance, and only stance, is Tiger. My Stat, and only stat, is Strength. The only tools at my side are grenades which almost always go off on my person if used, a pair of knuckles, and chems. All else is forbidden without exception. I have but a single headshot, and it comes from accidentally picking a rock, and deciding to throw it instead of dropping it since hitting anything with (4) perception would be impossible only for it to scar my perfect record by actually hitting a zombo in the nose. Almost reset the run right then and there for breaking the rules but rationalized it away as the comedic event of the run instead.

Overall? Your run is extremely impressive, but by the sheer fact that you have Bashing weapons, handguns and marksmanship leveled to -over- level 10 means that we are playing entirely different games. Not so much in terms of patch or game state, but in what we prefer to play.

In your next run, I highly recommend a full_unarmed run, it’s enlightening as to how much we find ourselves dependent on other tools. When its just us, our fists, and the gear upon the fist, the world of the Cataclysm is much, much more dangerous. That thrill is what gave birth to this post in the first place.

My declaration to the Cataclysm with this run is that you can overcome it with nothing but your own body and your wits.

The only run left after this one finds it’s inevitable conclusion would be really_bad_day, no_mutations+no_cbms, 50 NPC faction, 4-base_all, unarmed_only, no_skill run.

The legitimate hardest run I can think of save the ones where you are counting down to zero and doing this. Granted, those runs have a touch more rng when using this setup, so really bad day would be where I draw the line.

Anyhow, I’ve said my peace. All methods of playing CataDDA are viable as they are equals, and I have my preference for when I RP_Run on Hardcore.

To all others,

The Cataclysm has come, And We Will Survive

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I’m not sure what you mean by “mismatch.” But I have alt-F4’d any time I’ve died to a bug. Which is most of the times I die. The only other time she’s been close to dying was that one time I set a basement on fire and decided to ride it out. Climate Control and Thermal Dissipation helped. Oh, and that one time a Mini-Nuke Hack went off on the other side of a door. That was…interesting.

Bullets have taken out other incarnations of her. Now any time I see anything that can spout bullets, I make myself invisible by whatever means necessary. Cloaking CBM, actual optical cloak, a wall, something. 9mm isn’t a big deal with subdermal armor and such, I’ve survived a full burst at point blank before, but do not fuck with rifles. I am still amazed that I didn’t die from that one M4 burst. Actually took that one pretty well.

You also have to consider that combat isn’t my only handicap. With very few exceptions, quite literally the only things she can eat are meat and water, and carrying things is very difficult.

I’m aware it was nerfed, but I’ve imported the character to newer builds a couple times and Hold-Tab-To-Win still works for pretty much everything. I dunno about leveling, but I would think that with a kill count of around 20 thousand, 19 unarmed wouldn’t be out of the question. Especially when my Dodge was high enough to use a Shoggoth as a punching bag.

Before the nerf, her roundhouse kicks quite literally did more damage than a .50 BMG. It was actually kind of inconvenient, because it’s hard to butcher something when you just turned it into a meaty pulp splattered on the wall. I almost considered just shooting anything I needed to eat. She still does quite a lot of damage, (30-50ish I think?) but she no longer hits like an anti-tank rifle.

The biggest danger in the scenario I went with was freezing to death. Aside from the single turret at the end, of course. You’re not getting past that without either a gun or some kind of cloaking. She did get hit on occasion in the beginning, but now she’s at the point where not even manhacks can hit her. If she lets them catch up to her in the first place. They’ve gone from a horrifying lightspeed flying terror to barely an inconvenience.

I put as much as I could into Dexterity and Dodge, then put the leftovers into Strength and Unarmed.

Well I mean, I would rather not die than not use a gun, but any time I use the pistol, it’s just for convenience. At this point, most of the time I use Chain Lightning instead. I’ve used a bow and arrow and a .308 to deal with fungaloids before, because eventually you run out of fungicide. I usually just use a match and time.

I’ve…never seen them do that. But yes, I punch them. They’re really not a big deal. Even if they hit me with fire, it doesn’t really do much, because she’s not wearing anything, so she can’t be set on fire. And she moves fast enough that the heat isn’t a problem to deal with.

Three words: Dielectric Capacitance System. Turn that on and electricity can’t hurt you, full stop. Before I had that, I just ran from them.

As for health, I have Repair Nanobots. Doesn’t do anything for pain and it eats energy like candy, but as long as I have food or something flammable nearby, I don’t have to turn it off.

I’m a little surprised those were what stuck out to you, and not the two tanks and the Bio-Weapon Apophis. Killing a tank looked a lot like Fist of the North Star, and it was only possible at night, preferably with a forest to hide in. I’m not sure if it would be possible anymore.

On the subject of pain, Sensory Dulling has helped a lot with that a few times. It also lets you install CBMs without anesthetic. Just don’t keep it on while you sleep. You will stop breathing. RIP Frank. May your feet be free of Triffid spikes in the next life.

I’ve actually only ever used Time Dilation to counter the Shoggoth’s health regen. Even then, I’m not sure it would help much anymore. It immediately drops your energy to zero, so it’s not super useful. Especially when my dodge is that high and I have a Cloaking System.

I haven’t found Tiger yet. I have Centipede and I think I found Frog in a newer build once. Capoeira works for me because it’s built around dodging. I only used Silat for the Shoggoth because one of the special moves knocks it back a space, so I could keep it from escaping the room.

Fair enough. I want to point out that I raised Bashing to increase unarmed damage. That does significantly factor into the damage equation. I also raised cutting weapons to increase claw damage and piercing weapons for fang damage, though I’m not sure if the latter is actually affected. It might just always deal 20 damage.

The other skills are only that high from the sheer amount of time I’ve spent. I mean, computers is at 12, and that’s not something you can use very often. I actually had to import the character into a new world in the same build version before, because the save file was almost 2 gigabytes in size and the game would take a full minute to save.

Oh dear. Hm. That would take some planning.

Like I said, entirely different games. Your run was Casual Semi-Roleplay, mine is Hardcore Roleplay. Even if a bug, glitch, or other issue(s) came my way, and they have, I reported it to a Dev that specialized in the bug’s code region, made a post here, and moved on.

Had a bug with the NPCs once where I could not actually attack hostile bandits. They were registered in some weird code spiral somehow and so I had to manage taking out three armed bandits with fire-tile traps over the course of probably 20 minutes for a mission. I took massive amounts of damage during that because, for whatever reason, their move speed bugged to something silly like 30-per action.

Regardless, sounds like your run was fun for you, but I digress, our runs weren’t of the same rules, metrics, or goals. Hope you continue to enjoy the Cataclysm, and I’ll continue playing this run stubbornly as I have.

Give a true hardcore unarmed_only run and see how the world changes.