Last updated at 17:13, 19 Aug 2016 Uploaded at 11:48, 15 Jun 2013
This mod and any future updates will always be free
Click here for more information on the Forever Free promise
What is this mod?
Four Legged Friends (not a reference to Orwell's Animal Farm, really!) is a collection of animal companions I put together for everyone to use as they wish. It started as a pair of dogs I created after seeing the Tactical Guard Dog in Monster Wars and my photostory/fanfic character declared she needed one too.
Xaranth pointed me to Caprius' Advanced Compaion Creation Guide that I learned a lot from, but the real breakthrough happened when I passed the guide on to Se7enraven after merging some mods for him and he provided me with a mod that had a companion implemented and functional that was mine to do with as I saw fit. From there I went nuts merging and copying to make the mod what it is now.
This mod adds (at the moment) six companions to the game that can be hired from the beginning of the game. You are free to use the names and backstories I (or the creator of the character) have imagined for them or make up your own to do with as you please. I'd love to hear about your stories with your pets and see pictures if you're inclined to share any.
This mod is not aimed at being perfect, it is intended to be functional and I don't care if it is in perpetual "beta quality". It costs me nothing to share the time and effort I've put into these companions with you so I'm putting my "money" where my mouth is.
Details: (Now with support from JIP Companions Command & Control thanks to jazzisparis check out all his excellent mods!)
The companions can be found in the Goodsprings schoolhouse; I recommend you leave the mod inactive when starting a new game until you've cleared the schoolhouse or they will kill the mantises before you can. You've been warned; I don't want to hear it.
Currently the companions are not scripted to heal after combat, but they have ten thousand (10,000) hit points and are marked as essential. If this does not sit well with anyone they are free to change it (I'll even be thrilled to host different versions of the mod right here!) or pass on using the mod. Again, I'm not interested in hearing about it if you don't like it.
I'm also aware that the dialog tree is messed up and there's no "goodbye" option. Most anything you may want to do with your companions can be accomplished through the companion wheel and the dialog does work even if you might need to be creative in getting the option you want. You guessed it, I'm not interested in hearing about anybody not liking it. If someone wants to help fix it, I'd be extremely grateful and, of course, give credits in the mod description.
I currently do not have the skills to add inventory items that allow you to summon any of the companions, maybe someday I will. This is another thing that I'd love to implement someday and if someone wishes to script something like that for use in this mod I would be thrilled to give credit for including their work.
This mod is far from perfect, but it's functional and that's good enough for me.
This mod is archived using 7Zip in .7z format and should work fine out of the box with NMM or FOMM. If installed manually make sure to install directly to your DATA directory. This mod does not require any other files or assets that are not included in the download to install or operate properly.
The Companions (again, feel free to make up your own names or personalities for them):
Bullets is your generic guard dog and faithful friend. Bullets can be somewhat empathic and react much as his owner would. Touchie-feelie friends get licks and happy barks. Less refined friends are given more grisly gifts like severed arms as Bullets does his best to please the people he travels with.*
Shrapnel is the dog the wasteland chewed up and spit back out because there was too much fight in him. Shrapnel is a perfect companion for any courier, mauled and mutilated after experiencing the unthinkable. My initial intent was for the player to meet Shrapnel in the divide, but I didn't want to create a DLC dependency.*
Mezcal is a coydog that's served as a pack dog with many years of experience travelling with caravans. He's more at home on the road with his master but can behave well enough in town with supervision.
Farsight is a wise tribal dog that previously served a medicine man in the Zion valley (again, I didn't want to create a DLC dependency) and can recognize edible plants that his former master made use of. Some have claimed Farsight can see into the future (hence the name) and when he hides or takes cover, it's suggested you do too.
Digger is a pack molerat that was inspired by Snuffles in Sloan. He's brave for a molerat, but that's not really saying a lot. When you can't afford or manage a brahmin to carry your extra load, Digger has been trained to follow and keep your goodies safe.
Zippy is an energetic young gecko of mixed heritage. He seems to be mostly feral but I gather his loyalty and friendship can be bought with tasty treats and snacks. Zippy's character was created by Schmoops9 in her pictures of her character Brie so she's the real authority on the little guy. Zippy is included with permission so that everyone can enjoy his cuteness. Zippy is armed with the young gecko firebreath weapon; if you think this is unbalanced or overpowered you are free to simply not use Zippy or leave him waiting before entering areas where weapons are prohibited. If it doesn't work out for you, you've been warned and I really don't want to hear about it.
* Bullets and Shrapnel make use of meshes and textures from antistar's Dragonskin Tactical Outfits. If you know how to move and rename textures, you can change the appearance of their harnesses with other patterns from the Dragonskin mod or the bonus pack.
Want a preview? Check out MCDofficial's mod spotlight, thanks and kudos MCD!
Credits and thanks:
Tumbajamba for Tactical Meat and Jaden's Revenge; the source of Bullets, Shrapnel, and Farsight.
Quetzsacatanango for Q'a Critters Resource; the source of Digger and Mezcal's harness.
Antistar for Dragonskin Tactical Outfits; the original meshes and textures for Bullets' and Shrapnel's harnesses are based on this mod.
Nivea for Nivea Dog Eye Fix; the source of eyes for Bullets, Shrapnel, and Mezcal. not only do these eyes avoid the New Vegas dog eye glitch problem, they're easy to use without needing to extract the meshes from the vanilla BSA.
WatersMoon110 for Puppy Meshes - Modder's Resource; The sources of Bullets' alternative skin.
Ironman5000 for creating Monster Wars; Without your Tactical Guard Dog this mod wouldn't exist. Your encouragement and permission to use your edits in your own thread was the first step in making this mod.
Se7enraven for the base mod used to create this one.
ElminsterAU and other contributors for FNVEdit; without your utility I would never have bothered learning to mod. FNVEdit made this mod possible and allowed it to be finished very quickly.
Caprius for Advanced Companion Creation Guide with Companion Wheel; I learned a lot from your guide and it influenced the possibility of this mod being made.
Schmoops9 and MissMorose for testing the mod for me. Your comments and feedback have made for as bug-free a release as I could manage.
ArekkusuStorm for helping me figure out what I was doing wrong in Nifskope and then some!
The amazing Nexus community; the modders, the folks that contribute to discussions in the forums, the screen artists, the storytellers, and yes, even the naysayers and critics who offer views we don't want to hear - you challenge us to do better.
Legal and permissions:
All assets used in this game mod are from free to use modder resources or used with permission from their respective owners.
All that I claim ownership of is the characters provided (except for Zippy) and the time spent developing this mod and putting it together.
If you wish to edit this mod I request that you consider sharing your changes so that I can upload them here for others to enjoy just as I've made this mod available to you in the first place; credit will, of course, be given.
If you think you've changed the mod enough to call it a new mod, I have no problem with you releasing a modified version provided that you first contact me so that we can arrange for mutual representation on our mod pages and to verify proper credits for resources are detailed (and permissions granted as necessary) on your mod.
Thanks again to all who have been a part of the making of this mod, your resources, encouragement, friendship, advice, time contributed, and well wishes have all contributed to make it possible.
When I get the donation system up and running, I will forward any donations to Dogs for the Deaf an organization that helps match up service dogs with needy individuals. Not just the blind make use of service dogs; deaf people also benefit from their contributions and they help provide companionship, calming, and safety for individuals with autism among many others. If you'd rather donate to them directly you can do so via their main site as well.