The first game in the Fallout series: the most straightforward and unarguably true to the original vision. Released in 1997.Vault 13 is an okay place to live. There's plenty of food, water and friends, and the Overseer keeps everything nice and tidy. Not that you have much choice: the Overseer says that the world outside is a big pile of radioactive ash and bleached bones, with the only life being horrifying mutant creatures that could kill you in seconds. The wasteland is simply inhospitable. Good thing there's no reason to leave, right?Think again. The water chip, the source of all the water in the Vault, has broken and there's no way to fix it. The only way to get another one is to seek out another Vault and take theirs. But wait, that means someone has to go into the wasteland! Who would do something that crazy?! The Overseer decided that the most fair way to find out, was to gather all the inhabitants of the Vault and have them draw straws. And guess who drew the shortest? Oh yes... it was you.You leave the Vault for the first time. All you can see is a dark cave filled with rats, all of which look quite hungry, and a skeleton dressed in a Vault jumpsuit just outside the entrance. The door you just came out of won't respond to your password... This Is Gonna Suck.
Asshole Victim: Decker may be an evil crime boss, but the people he wants you to remove aren't angels themselves. They include Darren Hightower, the leader of the Water Merchants who use their water supply as an economic weapon, and Jaina, a member of the Unity.
Bittersweet Ending: In the end you are banished from the home you fought so hard to save because you have become "too different".
Body Horror: The Master, who's only barely recognizable as human (or even humanoid) and talks in three different voices. The floor he's on isn't much better, covered from floor to ceiling in biomass.
Chekhov's Town: Shady Sands, the humble First Town with a few minor sidequests, goes on to become the New California Republic, a major faction in both 2 and New Vegas.
Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: Generally speaking there are three ways to accomplish anything. You can just use plain violence, you can use diplomacy, or you could steal something. This includes the final boss: you could convince him he's wrong and that he needs to self-destruct, you could just shoot him, or you could sneak into the basement and set off his self-destruct nuke.
Foreshadowing: Have you paid attention to the lyrics of the song Maybe heard in the intro? Especially to the verse Maybe you'll think of me when you are all alone/Maybe the one who is waiting for you/Will prove untrue, then what will you do??. Cue the memorable scene of the Vault Dweller wandering towards an uncertain future, after being banished from the Vault 13 by the Overseer.
Gorn: Some of the deaths can get pretty messy, usually when enemies are killed via critical hit (or if you have the Bloody Mess trait, which causes everyone around you to die the most violent deaths possible.)
Gun Twirling: Your character will do this when you holster certain guns.
Hulk Speak: Super mutants, as well as the player character if s/he has a low intelligence score.
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: If you talk to the raider leader, he orders you to execute two girls. Saying "NO!" makes the raiders turn against you; Saying "Okay!" results in the girls begging you not to, before cutting to a sticky spot on the floor, and the raiders commenting that your style is "Messy, but effective." You lose a few Karma points and befriend the raiders.
Life Will Kill You: If Gizmo takes over Junktown, he dies by choking on an Iguana Stick in the ending.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Small Guns, Melee Weapons, and Unarmed Combat could be seen as analogues for a "Warrior", because they're common and will carry you through the game. Big Guns and Energy Weapons, on the other hand, are much less common yet they are superior to the other weapons by the endgame (Big Guns can deal high damage to multiple targets, and Energy Weapons have the highest damage per shot).
Manual Leader, AI Party: The recruitable party members allow you to customise how close or far they stay from you, how often to use drugs to heal themselves, and how to use their weapons.
Artificial Stupidity: Unfortunately, there's no way to nudge them out of the way until 2, meaning they can box you into a corner in more crowded areas and refuse to budge, necessitating a reload if you don't want to shoot your way out.
Megaton Punch: Combining the power fist (or, indeed a high enough unarmed skill) with the Bloody Mess trait results in the player being able to literally punch massive holes in enemies.
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.
Plot Coupon: The Water Chip. It is not a MacGuffin since the item itself has relevancenote if you don't find it within the time limit, Vault 13 will run out of clean water and your people will die of dehydration, and you need to "cash it in" in order to move the plot into the second phase.
Sequence Breaking: Since the player can go pretty much everywhere from the very start of the game (although they only have the coordinates of one of them) it's entirely possible, with high enough skill, luck or repeated Save Scumming, to complete the second mission's objectives way before having finished the first one.
Timed Mission: You have 150 in-game days to find the water chip. This can be postponed 100 days if you tell a group of water merchants were Vault 13 is. Next you get 500 in-game days to stop the Master's Army from invading Vault 13. If you asked for help from the water merchants you only got 400 days. This leaves the player with relatively little time to explore a pretty interesting world, something Black Isle probably realized, because the first patch removed the second limit, allowing you to Take Your Time. Some of the cities still end up being destroyed if you take too much time though.
Thirteen Is Unlucky: Vault 13 may seem a case at first, since its spare water chip shipment got misplaced. However, as you progress you'll see Vaults whose fates were much worse.
This Cannot Be!: The Master will at first claim you forged the evidence that the virus turns everything sterile.
Utopia Justifies the Means: The Master wants to turn every human into Super Mutants as he believes that it is the only way to unify the wasteland.
Welcome to Corneria: Pretty standard for its time and genre. But subtly lampshaded close to the end when you get to the Cathedral. When you speak to one of the Children inside, a possible conversation starter is "You know, every time I talk to someone, people keep repeating everything they say over and over again."
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Master. He wants to replace humanity with what he genuinely views as being the best step forward. He reveals that he doesn't want to kill humanity so much as phase them out, and is absolutely heartbroken at everything he has done if you reveal how pointless it has been, and he is genuinely horrified and suicidal over all that he has done in the name of progress.
Wham Episode: The conversation with ZAX in the Glow, as well as reading the holodisks stored there.