Burned out ruins of proud cities from a long gone age? Bloodthirsty, giant, deformed creatures that once were ordinary humans and animals? Old empty vaults with fading signs of the madness that once tore them up from the inside? Oh yes, the Wasteland is indeed a scary place. While there may be much more content, and therefore, much more exploration and possibility for scares in Fallout 3 and beyond, the first few were legitimately terrifying in their own respects. Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 have their own pages.
- The ghost farm in Fallout 2. With that creepy City of Lost Angels aside, all there is to it is a very large cornfield and what looks like bodies impaled on stakes. A closer look reveals that they're nothing but dummies, but in the house you can fall into a cave unexpectedly. The atmosphere of the situation does not make it calm.
- The intro in the second game is nightmare fuel. The first half is funny, but then it switches to the vault door opening, and you seeing what looks like a helicopter and a few soldiers with machine guns. They all are silent, and the camera cuts to the silhouette of a family waving through the door. All of a sudden, the machine guns fire, and then the screen cuts to black with a scream echoing in the distance.
- The intro in the first Fallout game has shades of this. The news that Canada has been annexed by the USA (pressumably by force), a clip of two soldiers killing a tied-up person (in a way that closely resembles some infamous photos of executions during certain wars), the soldiers then become glorified and a banner of the USA is shown…with far less stars than normal. And then the camera shows that that's a TV still emitting… in the middle of an empty, ruinous building in a city equally as destroyed. The classic music playing then ends… with an eerie echo that resonates in the massive silence of the ruins. Only the sound of the wind remains as the echo dies. And then the narrator begins telling you about what happened in the beginning and what triggered everything. It can be harrowing to see how it could all actually happen in real life if certain conditions occured. Despite certain funny parts of the opening (the ads for the car and the Mr. Handy robot qualify), it's a pretty chilling introduction to the horrors you'll encounter in the franchise. And it only gets worse from here…
- The execution clip reveals a lot about the horrors of the prewar world. Note that the video was propaganda that the American government wanted people to see, not some leaked footage. If the government is willing to show the American people something as horrifying as that, what even worse things have they done that they DON'T want people to know about? Play the game and you'll find out.
- The Master's Lair in Fallout 1 was quite creepy at the time, as you recognize a Vault…but as you go deeper more and more of the Vault seems directly connected to some kind of biomass…
- The Master himself (Richard Grey), a Vault exile who goes into hiding and accidentally falls into a vat of FEV serum, and undergoes a hideous transformation into a biomass that looks like a cross between a Centaur (see the Fallout 3 Nightmare Fuel page, not the one seen in the first two) and a Vault Terminal, whose only wish is to make the world "peaceful" by turning every man, woman, and child into a Super Mutant. The worst part may be that he believes he's right, unless you are charismatic enough to Heel–Face Turn him.
- Many of the death animations in the original games are absolutely horrific:
- The Lieutenant seems to melt from the inside out as he twitches around.
- Frank Horrigan, who manages to rattle out his Famous Last Words despite his legs and torso being explosively separated not half a minute earlier.
- Critical hit-kills with plasma weapons causes the victim's flesh to melt off the bones, as they're screaming.
- Shot from laser rifle can cleave you in half, revealing the protruding stump of your spine.
- Alien blaster and pulse weapons will turn your target into pile of ash or outright disintegrate it.
- The Overseer gets his entire left half blown apart, his intestines dragging behind him as he tries to crawl away before twitching violently and dying.
- The ending where you side with the Master. You get treated to a scene where you are wrapped in bandages and squirming as you get dipped into FEV. The next thing you see is Vault 13 being invaded by mutants. The mutants start murdering everyone, including what looks like the Overseer as he has a futile last stand against the mutants made of iron. In the unpatched game, after 500 days (400 if you gave away the location of Vault 13 to water merchants), you get the same cutscene, except without the Player Character being dipped into FEV. You know who finally killed the overseer? It was YOU.
- Although a later patch replaces the 500 day limit (to a maximum of 13 in-game years for limit reasons), so you can take about as much time as you want. Eventually, the mutants will however take over areas of the map.
- Remember those iguana treats, the ones that always provided you with a little extra health? And then going in to see good ol' doctor Morbid, and accidentally going into his basement to discover iguana-on-a-stick is people!!?
- The newer games have done away with it, but the first two let you target children. You could blow them up, disintegrate them, put out both their eyes, set them on fire, and leave them a limping, bleeding mess with a single remaining hit point. Or you could just shoot them with a gun. And were you feeling like a big man and started a shootout in a populated area? There's some chance of accidentally hitting those kids if you miss. Take some time to think about it while their detailed death animation plays out.
- Frank Horrigan. It's telling that he is the only boss in the series who can't be talked down… you have to fight and kill him. This is probably for the best.
"Your ride's over, mutie. Time to die."
- Frank Horrigan: Darth Vader meets The Incredible Hulk with the mind of an Eagleland psycho. Mutated at Mariposa with help from Enclave scientists, Frank had become an "ultra super mutant in power armor"; a "genetically engineered total homicidal maniac cyborg bodyguard". Bound to his suit, he can take anything you can dish at him and throw it right back at you. You have to kill him.
- In the Fallout universe, Richard Nixon was such a loved president that many items praising him can still be found after the war. Makes you wonder what their equivalent to Nixon was… Alternatively, it was already such a Crapsack World by his presidency, his methods were considered relatively benign by comparison. Instead of causing a national scandal leading to him ultimately being impeached, no-one cared.
- One fan theory posits that Senator Joseph McCarthy eventually became president.
- The series whole timeline. Oh God, it's horrible how it all makes sense, and the not-entirely unlikely idea it could actually happen. With oil supplies running low in the mid to late 2000s and no reliable sources of alternative fuels available, Europe is forced to invade the Middle East because they can't afford to import oil anymore, and China and the US go to war over the last remaining oil well found in the Pacific Ocean. International tensions flare, countries grow increasingly militant and paranoid over dwindling resources. As a result, the United Nations disbands, the European Commonwealth falls apart, and the United States annexes Mexico and Canada. And through it all the world governments pursue ever more amoral technology in the pursuit of better weapons or alternative fuels.
- This chilling description of the Great War's aftermath, from the Fallout wiki, paraphrased from the Fallout Bible:
- Around a week after the initial nuclear explosions, rain started to fall; however, none of it was drinkable. The rain was black; tainted with soot, ash, radioactive elements produced by the nuclear explosions, and various other contaminants produced by nuclear weapons. This rain marked the start of the terrible fallout that marked the true, permanent destruction caused by the Great War. The rain lasted four long days, killing thousands of species that had survived the initial destruction of the bombs, be they animals, plants, or microorganisms. Those few living things – human, animal, or plant – that survived after the rain ended were left to live in the now-barren wasteland that had spread across Earth, where nearly all pre-War plant life had died either in the initial explosions or from the intense radiation produced by the fallout.
- Myron. Just let him tell his story about how he developed Jet to get an idea of how much of a sociopathic monster he is.
- Somehow managing to play Fallout 2 for so long that you reach the game's built-in 13-year time limit. Though it's mainly a still image of the wasteland with "THE END", the Scare Chord and blowing wind make it unnecessarily spooky, especially when you aren't expecting it (not to mention how it just dumps you to the title screen without a word afterwards.)
Looks like you're out of action points. Time to break out the minigun and hold the trigger down.