The second game in the Fallout series, released in 1998. This installment improves much upon its predecessor, being a game where you can do just about anything within reason. Depending on your actions, intelligence, charisma, gender and patience, each playthrough is a wildly different experience. Numerous pop culture references make this game a troper's best friend.The tribal village Arroyo is an okay place to live. Aside from trading caravans that come by every once in a blue moon, you and your family, the tribe, are completely isolated from the outside world and live a peaceful and simple life. But nothing is ever that simple.Several failed harvests and the death of the majority of the Brahmin herd have taken quite a toll on the tribe, and its members are now slowly withering away from starvation and diseases. However, ancient holotapes speak of one thing that might be the key to salvation: the legendary Garden of Eden Creation Kit, which is said to be able to bring life to even the driest of deserts. Arroyo needs someone to leave the village and search for the GECK. That someone is you.You are The Chosen One, the grandchild of the Vault Dweller from Vault 13. Eighty years ago your ancestor ventured out to save his vault, and later ended up founding the tribe. Dressed in your great forefather's old Vault jumpsuit and carrying the only lead on your target - a Vault 13 flask - you now must journey out and find a trader named Vic in the nearby settlement of Klamath. He might know where you can find Vault 13, which possibly has a GECK...Or you could just give in to the temptations of the huge, open world that now lies in front of you, and do whatever you want.
Affably Evil: President Dick Richardson and most of the Enclave Civilian Government are quite polite people who are trying to kill all mutants, which by their definition are basically everybody in the desert.
AFGNCAAP: The game has some fun with the Vault Dweller's status as one. NCR has a monument for the Vault Dweller, but the plaque attached to it can't decide if s/he was a man or woman. The manual also contains a journal written by the Vault Dweller after the events of the first game...but still gives no clue as to his/her canonical gender, even to the point that s/he eventually settles down with a spouse of indeterminable gender with a Gender-Blender Name.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Depending on how you built it, Skynet can potentially turn on you as soon as you exit the Sierra base.
All Women Love Shoes: When you gamble in a casino as a female character, one of the comments she may drop as you place a bet is "C'mon! Baby needs a new pair of shoes!"
Ancient Conspiracy: Revealed by the President that the Vaults were not meant to protect the people from the Nuclear War, their true role was to determine if the population can handle being isolated from the outside world under various conditions, all in the name of constructing the Space Ark.
An Aesop: A recurring aesop throughout the game is the importance of peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. Each of the rivaling towns have something the other side wants or needs, and getting them to cooperate with each other will result in a happier ending for both sides.
And I Must Scream: A minor one for Marcus. He reveals that he's got the worst wedgie in the world. As a super mutant, whose clothes are permanently bonded to him...
Anything That Moves: The game allows the player to go this route (although it is generally easier with a female character, as Most Writers Are Male, and there is only handful of homosexual men in the game, but not vice versa) and awards the player a reputation based on it (regardless of sex): Gigolo. Oddly, you only have to sleep with one person to do it. However, if you sleep with 10 or more people, you get another one, Sexpert, which effectively gives you the benefit of a sex-related perk (Kama Sutra Master) for free.
Gigolo: Let's be honest: You sleep with anything that walks on two legs. Sometimes, you're not even that discriminating.
On the flip side there is the Virgin of the Wastes reputation which was cut from the final game. It was put back in the Restoration Project Fan Patch.
Artificial Stupidity: Once again, giving your party members guns with burst functions is a very bad idea, and once again, standing anywhere near a damaging force field will likely result in your party members randomly bumbling into them for no good reason.
Avenging the Villain: Frog Morton in Redding has three older brothers: Toad, Newt, and Snake Morton. Killing Frog will trigger random encounters with his stronger siblings across the course of your adventures. Of special note is the Continuity Nod present in the New Khans, who were organized by the only remaining member of the Khans from Fallout. They exist to bring down the New California Republic, who asked the Vault Dweller of the first game to wipe out the Khans.
The Vindicator Minigun, despite being the strongest gun in the game, proven to take down The Dragon in one combat turn using the right build, eats up rare ammo like a starved pig.
The Flamers are the only way to get the "flailing around on fire" death, yet they just suck in combat.
The Solar Scorcher does plenty of damage and recharges on sunlight, for free. A perfect choice for the miserly... until you're ambushed at night or have to fight underground/indoors. Better hope you packed a backup.
Badass Army: The Enclave Troopers. They travel in small squads, have high health, amazing accuracy, are almost completely invincible against bullets and lasers due to their power armor, and carry the greatest weapons in the game such as Plasma Rifles and Gauss Rifles. Each and every one of the soldiers is capable of easily curb stomping entire groups of raiders by themselves, and they will utterly destroy you if you try to attack them at any time in the game except at the very end when you have several companions and almost as good weapons and armor as them (or if you did the quests in Navarro, their exact same equipment).
To a lesser degree, the combat armor wearing, assault rifle wielding NCR Rangers. Luckily, these guys are friendly (unless you're a slaver). Retconned into Elite Mooks in Fallout: New Vegas.
Beef Gate: Trying to explore along the coast at anything less than near-endgame levels will have you utterly curbstomped by stormtroopers in power armor. Hanging around other parts of the map before about the mid-game is a good way to be splattered by Super Mutants armed with miniguns and rocket launchers.
Berserk Button: Don't let Sergeant Dornan catch you without a Power Armor. In fact, you shouldn't speak with him at all.
The Enclave Communication Officer will start stuttering in frustration if you don't know who the president is.
BFG: Aside from the guns that are meant to be big, like rocket launchers,miniguns, and flamethrowers, the Bozar stands out for being a giant rifle with immense damage and plentiful ammo, making it the best weapon in the game. In terms of ammunition access and weight of said ammo (which is probably the most important factor for Fallout's BFGs), Bozar is the best burst weapon cost and damage wise. And probably the only one you don't want to rise your skills for, as the less skill you got, the bigger the spread, ending with mowing down entire gangs or squads in single burst. Just don't have anyone friendly standing between you and the target...
The Bozar was originally planned to be more like a sniper rifle, which is hinted at by its inventory graphics and description. The gun used by the Chosen however has the graphics, sound and function of a minigun. It also had decent damage per shot and used naturally armor piercing ammo, so it still worked on armored targets, unlike some of the burst fire guns. In it's appearance in the Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC of Fallout: New Vegas, it's officially a Light Machine Gun with a scope.
Bizarre Alien Biology: Wanamingos are just weird, with tentacle arms and Cephalothorax bodies that vaguely resemble xenomorph heads. Despite their appearance, they're not actually aliens (even though they're flat out called aliens at certain points,) but biological weapons created by the US government.
Blatant Lies: Cameron, who waits at the end of the Temple of Trials to challenge you to unarmed combat, tells you it won't be a fight to the death. What he means is that it won't be a fight to the death for him. He's still perfectly willing to beat you to death.
Although it can still be a lie on both sides if you happen to have a ridiculously high Strength. A solid enough blow can take him down before he's able to initiate a conversation that ends the combat.
Bonus Dungeon: Part of the many bits of Dummied Out content (and restored in the Restoration Project mod) was the EPA building, which is completely self-contained and not part of any sidequests outside of it (the only way to get its location was from either a special encounter, or to get Myron to tell you the location by trying to drop him from your party.) Alongside a few self-contained sidequests and some equipment (including where the Solar Scorcher was originally going to be,) there were also three recruitable NPCs in cryogenic storage (though the player could only successfully revive one.) As far as difficulty goes, however, it's only hard in that it requires fairly high Speech and Repair skills and a very high Science skill to unlock everything (although there's also a gigantic nest of Wanamingos at the very bottom that the player can easily run afoul of.)
Item description: "Well, THIS would have been good to have at the beginning of the goddamn game."
Brain in a Jar: Skynet, which can be recruited by constructing him a body, brain included. How useful it is depends on which brain was installed.
Cartography Sidequest: Two of them given by Vault City, scouting a route to NCR and the exploration of Gecko's surrounding territory.
Chaos Architecture: Mostly averted, although Vault 15's entrance changes from game to game.
Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: There's technically no time limit to find the GECK (other than the 13-year time limit on the whole game that's born more of technical limitations,) but take too long and Hakunin will start bugging you in your dreams to hurry up.
Cool Car: The Chryslus Highwayman. Nearly two centuries of neglect and it only needs one part to get it going, and is capable of holding your entire party, which can potentially include a super mutant, a deathclaw, and a brain-bot containing the personality of a pre-War AI. It gets even cooler as you find and install its upgrades. The trunk was notable in that it could hold several suits of power armor, a half dozen miniguns, and an infinite amount of ammo
Cool Shades: In New Reno you can get a pair of mirrored shades that are literally named Cool Shades. They are so cool that provide +1 to Charisma when equipped.
Crapsaccharine World: Vault City. The first time you see it you'll think you've just stepped into heaven, with its green grass and clean, beautiful buildings. However, it doesn't take much time to see how self-righteous and racist the city's leaders are, and that slavery is openly practiced in it.
Darker and Edgier / Lighter and Softer: Somehow manages to be both compared to Fallout 1. On one hand, Fallout 2 has a ton of humor, way more than Fallout 1, and the mood is overall much more lighthearted. However, one the other hand, the themes are much darker, rape, prostitution, drug overdoses and slavery are regular occurrences in many towns, and the villains are a pure evil instead of Anti Villains like The Master and his army.
Sgt. Granite and his squad during the oil rig escape.
Deus Est Machina: In San Francisco, The Chosen One discovers that the Shi Emperor is a supercomputer, though the ordinary Shi don't know that.
Disaster Democracy: Downplayed and twisted considerably. NCR is a republic with presidency and council, but Tandi served countless terms, as did her father. Said that, NCR was neither democratic nor republic, but a humble hamlet known as Shady Sands when Vault Dweller rolled there, sorted their problems and provided them with free "now you can prosper like no-one else" coupon. It also took many years, scavenging and political agreements to create the Republic and it's still a shaky structure after few decades.
Disc One Nuke: It's possible to pick up one of the best armors in the game early on. Granted, you have to get really lucky with avoiding random encounters in extremely hostile territory to get it. You probably need to know where the armor is — it is unlikely that random wandering will turn it up.
The NavarroRun sequence breach doesn't just give a souped-up armor, though that's obviously the best-known part. It also gives one of the highest-end weapons, and allows you to complete a quest that will probably launch you to Level 8 or higher immediately.
A bit of a straighter (and milder) example is the .44 Magnum you can get in The Den. It's relatively easy to get, only uses 4 AP to fire, and has an incredibly high rate of criticals and damage, and .44 ammo is quite plentiful.
Crit chance doesn't come from the weapon itself. But it has the "Penetrate" item flag, which may reduce armour modifiers if a comparatively low Luck check is passed.
With proper Min-Maxing you can actually unload the whole cylinder in single turn. Even without good aiming, you still deliver a lot of pain with each shot, so it's entirely possible to gun down 3 people in single turn. And if you are really lucky with crits... Only .223 Pistol is considered stronger and it comes much later.
Doom Magnet: The Pariah Dog, who sometimes tags along with you without your consent if you are unlucky enough to encounter him. He drops your Luck down to 1 and gives you the Jinxed trait. The only way to get rid of him and his ill effects is to kill him, which is a feat in and of itself thanks to his huge amount of HP and tendency to run out of range at the first sign of danger. Just to drive home that the dog is bad news, when you encounter him, he's surrounded by dead bodies.
Downer Ending: The fate of Broken Hills in two of the endings. In one, the mutants are all wiped out and the humans can't safely mine the uranium without them, while in the second, the mutants and humans wipe each other out. The third ending is more bittersweet; humans and mutants continue to live peacefully until their mine runs dry and the town disperses with their economical backbone gone. Hey, it's a mining town.
Fallout: New Vegas implies that the third ending is canon, though not much explanation is given. On the brighter side, the mutants from Broken Hills went on to find their own town.
Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Dornan, the Enclave trooper, exemplifies this trope when spoken to when the Chosen One travels to Navarro.
To the extent that "Cannibal" Johnson, who witnessed the ear-blistering rant, still has vivid memories of it over 40 years later.
Dummied Out: Because Black Isle Studios ran short of development time, quite a few places and quests were only halfway implanted or completely left out of the game, which leaves a couple of plot threads, such as finding Sulik's sister and exposing the cattle rustlers in Klamath, hanging in the wind. Fanmade patches, such as the Fallout 2 Restoration Project (still updates regularly), seeks to restore them to a playable state. Still, there are many things even the Restoration Project has yet to explain, such as the "Brotherhood" area in the Oil Rig.
Easter Egg: One of the original Wide Open Sandbox games should of course have these in spades, including an actual egg that can be found.
Eat the Dog: Cousin Nagor's beloved dog, Smoke, will eventually be turned into a delicious meal by least-favorite aunt Morlis if you take too long getting the GECK.
Also, a girl in the Den will tell you a story about how her cat Cuddles was cute and adorable and loving, until the day food started to get scarce...
Elite Mooks: The Enclave soldiers on the Poseidon Oil Rig.
Empty Room Psych: Such that veteran players will know which rooms not to enter in subsequent play throughs.
Exposition of Immortality: Harold, the ghoul-like mutant first encountered by The Vault Dweller in Fallout 1, can be encountered once again by the Chosen One. Along with much of the ghoul population of Necropolis, he's settled in an abandoned nuclear power plant and formed a small town named Gecko.
Even Evil Has Standards: The player can invoke this by doing some mildly evil things throughout the game, but being disgusted at Myron killing a bunch of slaves to get the formula for Jet right.
Chosen One: You killed hundreds of human beings to test a drug?
Myron: Who cares about a bunch of slaves anyway? We didn't want the drugs killing our customers.
Evil Versus Evil: Some random encounters will include two random parties fighting each other. Sometimes this will lead to situations such as robbers fighting highwaymen.
Failure Is the Only Option: The Hubologists. All of their endings involve them doing something wrong with their rocket and dying hideously. In fact, not helping is probably doing them a kindness as it leads to a (relatively) swift death in an exploding rocket rather than slowly asphyxiating inside their ship from a lack of oxygen scrubbers.
Faking the Dead: Re-added content from the Restoration Project reveals that Ian, fearing that remnants of the Master's army may come after him, had the Vault Dweller pretend that he had died "in a blaze of glory" in the battle with Lenny in Necropolis. He shows up in Vault City under the alias "Old Joe".
False Flag Operation: The proper resolution of the first quest done for the Wrights in New Reno involves uncovering this. The one responsible for Richard's death is Louis Salvatore, head of the Salvatore family. He ordered Renesco to spike a dose of Jet with radscorpion poison, which some Salvatore hitmen then force-fed Richard with. Since the Mordinos control Jet production and distribution, the Wrights would obviously suspect the Mordinos as the ones who ordered the hit; the result would be the Wrights and Mordinos softening up each other in a gang war to the point they would be unable to put up any meaningful resistance against the Salvatores. With no fear of getting backstabbed by third parties in the process, the Salvatores would then be free to move against the Bishops to eliminate the last rival family and assume total control over New Reno.Were it not for the Chosen One's efforts,it would've worked.
Felony Misdemeanor: Picking up a single coin from the bottom of the well in Modoc will cause you to lose one karma point. That's about the equivalent of killing a civilian.
Final Boss Preview: Early in the game you're likely to encounter Frank Horrigan and a couple of Enclave soldiers butchering a random family.
Five-Man Band: Your party can be one with sufficiently high Charisma.
The too many items bug. While the precise reasons are unknown, when you have too many items on a map and/or too many entries in your Pip Boy, the game corrupts saves. This bug may have been present in Fallout, but that game wasn't big enough to trigger it.
Also infamous "vanishing car bug" rendering either a trunk or the whole car unavailable for the rest of the game. Not necessarily a gamebreaker unless you put some important items in the trunk.
Less obvious than the previous two, letting the car run out of juice while fast traveling will create a map-marker for the drained car. If you happen to run out of juice on a square that already has a map marker, you can kiss the car and everything in the trunk goodbye.
Generation Xerox: The Chosen One's bastard child, which he had with one of the Bishop women, inherits his father's badassery. At the age of thirteen, he takes control over the Bishop crime family, and eventually leads them to victory over the other families in New Reno. Another trait he inherits is a eagerness to explore the Wasteland, and he therefore has a intimate knowledge of the whole Core Region's geography.
The NCR Rangers' method of restoring law and order to areas outside of the Republic's control is by shooting all slavers and raiders they come across.
Also, the New California Republic itself might also count as that. They are dedicated to noble values such as democracy and the rule of law. However, they are also willing to engage in shady and sometimes unethical means to get the job done.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: It is embarrassingly simple to explore the two Enclave bases in the game. You can sneak into Navarro simply by presenting yourself as a new recruit, and the head of security then directs you to the armory where you can freely take as many weapons and a suit of Powered Armor. You can also get one of the mechanics to leave his post just by telling him another mechanic he has a rivalry with insulted him, allowing you to loot his station, and can get a piece of technology needed to access the oil rig by asking for it and telling the right lies. At said oil rig you can wander freely as long as you're in your Enclave Powered Armor, and no one will suspect you even as you loot everything in sight. The only people who become aware of who you are are ones you reveal yourself to willingly.
Keeping your identity hidden while on the oil rig is somewhat justified. Just check the box-art at the top of the page. Can you tell anything about the person inside the armour?
Gun Twirling: Your character will do this when you holster certain guns.
Hair-Trigger Temper: You can crank call the Enclave while at Gecko's power plant. The communications officer on the other line has a very short temper, launching into a rant and threatening to "kick your fucking ass" the moment you show even a sign of ignorance about who the president is.
Hash House Lingo: The Enclave cook in will gladly, if you ask for food, serve you "shit on a shingle" and points to the "snow and fly shit" on the table. "Shit on a shingle" is chipped beef on toast, "snow and fly shit" are salt and pepper.
Heroic Mime: Averted. Unlike the first game, your character will talk outside of the dialogue window from time to time, mainly in the form of snarky comments.
"When I was one, I was dropped on the porch. When I was two, I had pneumonia. When I was three, I got the chicken pox. When I was four, I fell down the stairs and broke six ribs. When I was five, my uncle was decapitated by a watermelon. When I was six, my parents hit me in the head with a shovel. When I was seven, I lost my index finger to my pet rat. When I was eight, my dog Spike got hit by a tractor.
When I was nine, my mother lost her arm to a rabid Brahmin. When I was ten, my sister was torn to bits by a pack of dogs. When I was eleven, my grandfather killed himself because I was ugly. When I was twelve, my grandmother killed herself because I was ugly. When I was thirteen, my father poked out his eyes with a pitchfork in a drunken stupor.
When I was fourteen, my brother lost his hand to a wallaby. When I was fifteen, my aunt choked to death on a chicken bone. When I was sixteen, I lost my cousin to a badger. When I was seventeen, I cut off my left big toe with a hoe. When I was eighteen, my father lost his right leg to the same tractor that killed my dog. When I was nineteen..."
Chosen One: Well, you know, I just read this for the articles.
Infinity–1 Sword: The Sniper Rifle. It's not quite as overpowered as the Gauss Rifle, but it has the same range with greater accuracy, and is far easier to obtain (hell, you can find one just lying around outside the Sierra Army Depot, whereas the Gauss Rifle would require you to either loot Navarro or steal one from someone in San Francisco or get lucky with the merchant stock.) It also uses the fairly common .223 FMJ ammo type, whereas the Gauss Rifle uses its own special, more rare ammunition. And with eye-targeted criticals, one or two shots is usually all you need for all but the toughest enemies (or if you're just exceptionally unlucky.)
As mentioned above, the Vindicator Minigun is the most powerful Big Gun (and most powerful gun, period) in the game, but the second-most powerful gun, the Bozar, has it beat in ammo availability and Strength requirements, and can be found much earlier in the game.
The Sniper perk makes any gun a Lethal Weapon. It's entirely possible to kill with a BB gun with Ludicrous Gibs animation thanks to the nature of critical hits and how skills work in combat. Gauss rifle is just the easiest way to get such animations.
Instant A.I., Just Add Water: Subverted. The Brotherhood supercomputer, ACE, reveals that most governments stated that, officially, Artificial Intelligence wasn't possible, but the American and Chinese governments had actually developed them secretly behind closed doors. Most commercial supercomputers had a sort of limited AI, like ACE, but didn't have emotions or true abstract thought. Though if you ask, he says he sometimes thinks he feels lonely, possibly meaning he had evolved to true Artificial Intelligence.
Irony: Remember how your grandfather, the Vault Dweller, was exiled from Vault 13? He was exiled because according to the Overseer, he would kill all of them if you stayed. He left. Other people in the Vault left. Those who stayed died.
I Was Quite a Looker: Tandi, the idealistic and attractive young woman from Fallout 1 is now the president of the New California Republic. The stress of being a politician has clearly not treated her well for the last few decades. Then again, she is over 90 years old by the time of Fallout 2.
Jump Scare: If you take too long on the main quest, the Shaman will visit you in your dreams (Three times) telling you to hurry up. This is especially jarring since he only appears after a certain amount of time so unless you keep track of every second, he will surprise you. Also, he is very creepy looking to begin with.
Karma Meter: Mostly done in a realistic way however rape, stealing, adultery, drug abuse, and a lot of things don't affect your karma. The "karma" meters are a little misleading as they don't measure how good or bad you are but what your reputation is in the different towns and in the game world in general. So if you did a pretty bad thing in an area where there's supposedly no one around to witness it, your karma won't be affected.
Myron gets an entirely deserved death that is infinitely appropriate. It happens after the end of the game. He's drinking in the Den, when an addict kills him for money to buy more Jet. His name is quickly forgotten, and only his invention, Jet, survives him, causing suffering decades after his death.
Also Dr. Schreber who can be killed without alarming the entire base because his lab is soundproofed to muffle the screaming subjects of his experiments. Feel free to appreciate the irony while you paint the walls with his favorite organs.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: NCR as a whole is doing some very shady stuff in order to forcefully annex Vault City, including collaborating with a mob boss and using raiders to harass it, and even goes so far as to turn its people into second-class citizens in some of the endings. These would be very serious charges if Vault City wasn't such a bigoted, elitist society that fuels the slave economy.
Sheriff Marion: Hey, I didn't make that one up - he did. With puns that bad, I'd say that gives you just one more reason to kill 'im.
Laser-Guided Karma: One of the endings for Vault City leads to their supplies running out some ten years after the game ends, and running to the NCR, which they have repeatedly insulted and refused to trade with, for aid. NCR, and the rest of the wasteland, does make them citizens.. Second-class citizens, who don't have as many rights, and are treated with scorn by almost everyone.
Lethal Joke Item: A character with the Red Ryder Limited Edition BB Gun, a high Small Guns skill, and decent Luck is effectively unstoppable. Give that character 10 luck, 10 agility, Action Boy(2), and a large stockpile of drugs and cookies and they are unstoppable.
To a lesser extent, flares in the early-mid game. Although lit flares normally only do 1 point of damage when thrown at an enemy, they only require one AP to throw and can even cause instant death or blindness to enemies in power armor when aimed at their eyes. If you combine a decent throwing skill with the Living Anatomy perk, each flare that hits an enemy target will always do 5 damage, regardless of how much armor they have. With a maxed out Agility stat, this means that you can potentially do more damage with each turn than you could with any of the starting firearms.
Let's Get Dangerous: Up until the Enclave oil rig the game is generally not too serious. But when you get there, the jokes stop, the music gets eerie, and the plot kicks into overdrive.
Magikarp Power: Believe it or not, but this trope applies to Vic. He is acclaimed as a totally useless character both in and out of universe. It goes so far that your character starting Repair skill tends to be higher than his when you first meet and he's supposed to be your team mechanic. But what most people are unaware of is that he can level-up six times, have 12 Action Points (read - two shots per turn) and he can use rifles and energy weapons, which he can effectively use just after two level-ups. By comparison, resident Badass Cassidy gets 10 Action Points on his final level, giving him only one shot per turn and his Small Guns skill is considerably lower.
Manual Leader, AI Party: The recruitable party members allow you to customize how close or far they stay from you, how often to use drugs to heal themselves, and how to use their weapons.
The Millstone: The dreaded Pariah Dog, who turns your party into a bumbling, error-prone laughingstock.
Minus World: Try pressing "3" next time you zone into the Den. (This does not work with people using the Megamod or Restoration project.
Modular Epilogue: The ending is a series of short epilogues detailing the future of the different settlements the player visited, with multiple endings highlighting the player's actions and their moral implications.
Money for Nothing: Zigzagged. You'll definitely be wanting for money and loot to barter with throughout the beginning of the game, but it's very easy, especially with party members, to hoard enough loot to solve all your bartering problems by the mid-point of the game. Unfortunately, characters don't carry a whole lot of money, so it can be a bit harder when people demand transactions in cash.
Mook Maker: Melchior, who summons four of multiple types of enemies from the pools of FEV around him during his fight, from mole rats to fire geckos to even deathclaws.
Multiple Endings: Every town (except the mostly irrelevant Klamath) and some of the factions have several different endings. Which ones you get depends on your actions (or lack of actions) through the course of the game.
Mythology Gag: In reference to brahmin speaking more often than intended in the first game (possibly due to a bug):
Ed: Swear I heard one of them brahmin speak. "Moo, I say," or somesuch.
What's funnier is when the Brahmin actually say that, a Shout-Out to a MUD that one of the game developers used to play.
Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: Relatively speaking, the Wrights are a lot more ethical than Reno's other crime families in that they actually have some concern for the well-being of New Reno itself. More importantly, one of the best endings for New Reno requires that the Wrights win the power struggle and turn the town into prosperous and peaceful place to stay.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If you choose to optimize the power plant in Gecko, Vault City invades and enslaves all the ghouls. Bastards.
There's a subquest where you can convince Vault City that it's preferable to ally with Gecko and trade them medical supplies for their excess power. Unfortunately this option is inaccessible due to a bug that is only fixable with unofficial patches.
Nonstandard Game Over: If you don't make it, you get to see your corpse still decked in your gear decomposing in the desert sun, all while a grim voice-over gives a short statement about your demise. Gee, the wastelands are unforgiving.
Not Rare Over There: Vault City has an entire apartment full of water chips, the object that half the first game is spent trying to obtain. One NPC will tell you that the water chips were supposed to go to Vault 13, but there was a clerical error and the shipment of water chips was switched with a GECK (meaning this one mistake caused the plot of both games).
Obvious Beta: The numbers of bugs and things left half-finished are quite high, even with the official patches installed. Luckily, there are a lot of unofficial patches as well. Sadly, these patches, due to the larger game world, are more likely to trigger the above Game-Breaking Bug.
One-Man Army: Sort of averted with the Player Character. After maybe the fourth town, you'll almost always be tagged by 2-5 companions. Most fights waged against forces of equal training and armament are very dangerous, due to the fact that a lucky critical can quickly put you down in a single hit, and even if you win against your foes in a Curb-Stomp Battle you'll rarely find a group of more than 7-8 human(oid) enemies at a time.
Playable Epilogue: Not much changes after the ending, except for some characters congratulating you on defeating the Enclave. And you can get the Fallout 2 Hintbook from Father Tully. It's not that bad, by that point in the game you have to go to Navarro anyway and Dr. Schreber's pretty easy to kill, and you don't have to worry about any of the guards as the room is soundproofed.
Press X to Die: The nuke in the Enclave base will kill you if you fiddle with it with a low science skill.
Punch Clock Villain: Most Enclave soldiers seem to regard their duties as a job and nothing more. The personnel at Navarro base seem to be pretty ordinary people no different from average soldiers for the most part, complete with idle gossip and romance amongst the personnel. Then again, it doesn't seem to bother them too much if their job sometimes involves gunning down unarmed peasants with miniguns. For example, directly after Frank Horrigan brutally murders a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, he casually asks his soldiers if they are up for lunch.
Reckless Gun Usage: One of the ways to assassinate Orville Wright is to give one of his kids a loaded gun and tell them "Why don't you wave this in your daddy's face and pull the trigger?"
Recurring Boss: The Dummied Out (and restored in the Restoration mod) Kaga is one. An exile from Arroyo who claims that he was supposed to be The Chosen One, he was supposed to attack the player soon after they leave Arroyo, and then multiple times throughout the game with increasingly better weapons and party members. He has an obscene amount of HP, and always runs away after taking enough damage.
Red Herring: In the beginning you receive two quests from Elder: Find Vault 13 and find merchant Vic, who may know where to find Vault 13. When you'll find Vic, he will direct you to his friend Ed, but Ed won't give you anything except revealing most of the cities and this story goes absolutely nowhere.
Running Gag: 9 times out of 10 asking if someone knows where you can find a G.E.C.K. will have them ask if you mean Gecko, either the town or the animal depending on where you are. The Chosen One starts getting fed up with the confusion by the time you get to NCR, and it gets lampshaded by Gruther in Vault 13.
San Francisco: Mostly populated by the descendants of the Chinese submarine crew.
Screw Destiny: At one point, a pre-war supercomputer with the ability to predict the future based on available data to the point of being omniscient tells you that the chances of you succeeding in your mission are around 5%.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: So, so much, at least when it comes to combat. Even the simplest guns and armor are much harder to get in this game than in Fallout 1, and your shooting accuracy will be much lower than what you would have in the previous game with exactly the same stats.
Example: In Fallout 1, you were given a 10mm pistol right when you left the vault. In this game, you can't get one until the third town, unless you got really lucky with a random merchant inventory and a had a lot of money. (Although you can find one on a corpse during a side quest in the first town.) The Temple of Trials also skips over the easily killed rats from the beginning of the last game and instead throws giant ants and lesser scorpions at you instead, along with being forced into an unarmed duel at the end of the dungeon (woe be unto you if your character isn't good at unarmed combat right out of the gate, nor is geared towards stealth and theft or diplomacy.)
In another sidequest in the first real town, you will encounter a locked door, and a damaged generator. If you can fix the generator, and unlock the door... You will find a security robot with a semi auto missile launcher. If you survive, there is a Bozar, Plasma pistol, Laser pistol, and combat armor MK 2. Sending you through a sequence of hell fit for this trope, and thoroughly averting it for most of the game.
Also, economically. Slain enemies almost never drop their armor anymore, which you could sell for thousands.
If the Restoration Project mod is any indication, the beginning was meant to be even harder, with a higher encounter rate and a Recurring Boss that starts attacking you as soon as you leave Arroyo.
Sex God: Via the "Karma-Sutra Master" perk. Given that there is one occasion where your "score" for sex has an effect, and only if Dump Stated physical attributes and charisma (an extremely unorthodox method of play), which prevent you from qualifying for it anyways, its a Useless Item.
Shaggy Dog Story: The "Typhon's Treasure" sidequest in Broken Hills, where an elderly ghoul promises to tell the player the location of a huge stash of money he has hidden if he runs some fetch quests for him. After getting him his stuff, getting told only a vague area where it could be since he'd forgotten the exact location, finding it, losing it down a well and hiring someone to retrieve it in exchange for 50% of the spoils, the treasure turns out to be...a huge stash of bottlecaps, the currency from Fallout 1 that is now completely worthless.
Shining City: Vault City. Subverted in that it's a totalitarian Crapsaccharine World. NCR is a somewhat straighter example, but also much humbler in its appearance.
Shotgun Wedding: Sleep with one of Grisham's children, and, unless you pass a speech check, you will be forced to go through one of these if you don't want the whole town of Modoc trying to kill you on sight. Thankfully there is no penalty for causing your spouse harm, so feel free to get her/him killed, whored out, sold to slavery or divorce her/him by paying Father Tully with a alcoholic beverage. For extra cruelty, you can tell your former father-in-law about the death of his child, which will give him a fatal heart attack.
Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Being involved in slave-catching raids not only lowers your karma but gives you a special perk of infamy, with which many NPCs will refuse to deal with you. The other crimes that give you this measure of infamy are child killing, destroying entire settlements and robbing graves.
Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: A variant. In the first town you reach after leaving home, you encounter a mentally stunted man who with great difficulty tells you to help safeguard some livestock. If your character has a very low intelligence score, you will be able to converse with him in very erudite grunting (the translation is given in parentheses), conveying fairly complex information.
Timed Mission: Played Straight, Averted and Subverted. The main GECK quest has no time limit unlike the first game (despite Hakunin coming to you in visions to urge you to hurry.) However, the entire game has a 13-year time limit due to technical limitations, which causes the game to abruptly end with a short cinematic when it's reached. However, you'd be likely to to everything there is to do in the game in only 2-3 years, so it's very unlikely to be an issue unless the game's been expanded with unofficial mod content.
Stopping Modoc from attacking the Slags has to be done within 31 days. Even if you haul ass as fast as you can, you'll only have about 4 days to spare by the time you finish (unless you skipped over the main Modoc quest to get the car first.)
All the miners in Mariposa qualify, but Melchior the Magician is the biggest example, because you can actually follow his story. It's not required or yields any reward, but you can. He was a miner in redding before the Enclave captured him, and he performed many magic tricks to entertain the town. When you finally find him, he's a half-crazed super-mutant who performs a final magic show, where he pulls some rather vicious rabbits out of a bubbling green FEV hat.
Horrigan is a schizophrenic boy indoctrinated with "The American Way" his entire life to become a super soldier, then being heavily gassed by FEV in a mining accident. He becomes an unthinking monster unable to come out of his suit.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: One minor sidequest in Modoc results in blowing up an outhouse and covering half the town in shit. Nobody ever comments on this!
Another example: the mysterious cowled figure in your party pulls off his robes when a fight breaks out, revealing a hideous man-eating monster. Bystanders watching the battle will not blink an eye, and will go right back to ignoring him as soon as he pulls that all-concealing bathrobe back on.
Warrior Monk: Sulik fits this trope. He is most known for speaking as if he is a we, referring to all the spirits around him. He often gives the Chosen One advice pertaining to the current location he is, often vague and prophetic. He is also very very good with a Sledgehammer and submachine gun.
Salvatore's respiratory problems can be exploited by stealing his oxygen tank and (due to a bug) holding the Poison Tank at the same time. The Restoration Project makes it so that simply stealing the oxygen tank is enough to kill him via slow suffocation.
Wham Line: "Chosen...the shadow of darkness arrived before you."
With This Herring: Seems to be played straight, but is actually averted. Your home village ends you out with nothing more than a spear, a knife and a bag of healing herbs... but a short exploration of the village shows that, by village standards, what you have been given is cutting edge.