Web Video / Fallout: Nuka Break

"By Mennen, Nice Shooting."

Fallout: Nuka Break is a Fan Film series set in the Fallout Universe. It's made by Wayside Creations, created and written by Zack Finfrock and cowritten by Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theater and Atomic Robo fame. Originally just a short film, positive reaction lead to it being revived as a continuing series.

The series stars Twig, a dimwitted, overweight Vault Dweller, Scarlet, a Laser-Rifle-toting former Legion slave and Ben, an amoral ghoul. Together, they try to survive the Mojave Wasteland, and, in Twig's case, search for the perfect "Nuka Break".

Complicating matters, is a bounty put on the trio by Caesar's Legion for freeing Scar and Ben's unscrupulous item-obtaining measures have put them in a tight spot where finding work is difficult.

Season 2, which according to Zack will be wider in scope and more ambitious, went into production after a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Tim Cain, one of the founding fathers of the Fallout series, and Chris Avellone, designer on Fallout 2 and New Vegas was involved in the creative process. The second season was released on October 28, 2013. Plans are currently in motion for a prequel focusing on the Ranger.

Fallout: Nuka Break contains the following tropes:

  • All Hail the Great God Mickey!: Ben's memories of life before the Great War are a little hazy, leading him to the conclusion "By Mennen" is from a hymn, leading the trio to start using it in the same way as "by God". Mennen is the company that makes Gillette razors, among other things.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Season 2 ends with Twig, Scar, Larry and Bessie heading off to return Bessie to her hometown.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Leon attempts to give one to Scar, who had just lethally wounded him. She doesn't let him finish.
  • Art Evolution: There is a noticeable increase in quality between the film and the first episode.
    • And more between Season 1 and Red Star. Compare the Eyebot from the movie/Season 1 to the one that shows up in Red Star.
  • Artifact Title: Or rather its importance and direct relevance to the plot. Twig's desired "Nuka Break" is achieved halfway through the first season, but the trio are still actively trying to find peace and stability while surviving in the Mojave Wasteland.
  • Action Girl: Scar. In episode 4, she beat the crap out of a slaver merc who tried to disarm her. Even Twig was impressed. Too bad another one shot her in the arm.
    • Also it turns out that Twig and Ben's memory of when they rescued her from the slavers is more than a little self-serving. They tried to rescue her but got their asses kicked. She broke herself free and then rescued them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: By none other than the Mysterious Stranger to Twig in episode 6.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: At the end of episode 4, Larry ambushes the crew for Leon Swallow, Scar's owner. In the last moments of the episode, one of his men seemingly shoots her in the back (it's actually her arm, so she's okay.
  • Bounty Hunter: They've run into a few, due to the Legion putting a price on their heads. Luckily for them, the only ones they've encountered so far have been completely incompetent.
    • It's now pretty clear that the idiot raiders and mercs that came after Scar and company were misinformed. Leon's bounty on Scar was supposed to be 2000 caps, which is more than what the Courier gets paid for the Platinum Chip. Episode 4 ends with Ben's old friend betraying them and getting a team of competent and numerous mercs to capture Scar.
  • Brick Joke: Twig returning a fallen hat to man shortly after arriving in Eastwood. It belonged to the Mysterious Stranger, who saves his life from a Radroach attack a few episodes later.
    Mysterious Stranger: Now we're even.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "Red Star" and Season 2 are far more serious than the original fan film and Season 1
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: The protagonists form the trifecta. When faced with a problem, Scar is shown to favour Combat, Twig prefers Diplomacy, while Ben tends to use Stealth.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When the NCR Ranger drops the name of an important person from Ben's past, he immediately begins throwing punches. The Ranger deflects them easily and disables Ben in Bullet Time. Then Twig attacks with his Shishkebab, which fares as well as you'd expect, while Scar's smart enough to not jump in. Really, the only reason the group is still alive is because the NCR Ranger wanted to talk.
    • The Mysterious Stranger versus... a radroach. Overkill at its finest.
    • In Red Star, the super mutant Bison delivers one of these to the Ranger.
  • Darker and Edgier: Season 2 is a lot less funny than the first one, which is not to say it doesn't have totally ridiculous moments.
  • David vs. Goliath: Unfortunately, inverted during the fight between Leon and Ron. Ron is clad in his resilient Powered Armor and uses a slow, powerful Super Sledge, while Leon is lightly armored and uses a basic sword. Leon uses his superior maneuverability to disarm, trip up, and prepare to execute his painfully slower opponent.
  • Defictionalization: The Nuka Breaker weapon, which started as a Shout-Out to this same series in Fallout: New Vegas, is now a weapon that Twig uses.
  • Doom Magnet: Scar considers herself one in Season 2, because of how many people are dying due to Leon's drive to capture her again. This almost causes her to give up escaping when captured again.
  • Dual Wielding: In the Season 2 finale, the Ranger uses both a knife and a hatchet in combat, easily trumping a few mooks.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Twig receives the Nuka Breaker in the Season 2 finale and it is set up this way. But it is ultimately subverted as he doesn't even get to swing it before getting run through by Leon's sword.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Leon was so crazy that Caesar's Legion, one of the most brutal societies in the franchise, kicked him out. Although the legion still supports him, since his big brother Edward happens to be Caesar.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Let's just say Scar must go through a lot of sunblock.
  • Explosive Overclocking: During the Season 2 finale, Twig supercharges his Shishkebab with a Nuke Cola Quantum, providing a flashy blue flame and easily cutting down a few mooks. Then the blade melts away. Fortunately, he gets the Nuka Breaker.
  • Faceless Goons: Face-concealing bandannas, scarves, and hockey masks are utilized on both sides, but more enemy mooks use them more than the Red Shirts do. Justified as it's an effective way to shield oneself from the arid air of the Mojave desert and glare of the sun.
  • Fat and Proud: The residents of Vault 10. They were encouraged to constantly eat fatty foods and were provided no exercise equipment whatsoever, so after 200 years, morbid obesity became the ideal weight in their society. Twig was bullied all his life for being the skinniest person in the vault, hence his nickname.
  • The Fog of Ages: Ben's lost much of his memory of life before the Great War ("By Mennen"). That's to be expected when you've been suffering from radiation poisoning for 200+ years.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Alot of them, usually with props or set pieces from other Fallout productions.
    • Special one: an aversion of Katanas Are Just Better in Episode 5. Shiskebab v. Katana? Shiskebab wins hand down.
    • Plot relevent one: The Ranger can be seen in the stand off scene in Season 1, Episode 3.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Twig meets Goris, who's a giant, intelligent deathclaw. Goris exchanges some pleasant conversation and then provides Twig with a book on factory maintenance, which allows the Lockre to manufacture the munitions it needs to defend itself.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Red, in the movie. She shoots one of her teammates in the face. She later shoots Trader Vic when he finds her unconscious at the end of the film.
    • Scar, too; in the first episode, she puts a gun to Ben's head, and in Episode 2, she slugs Ben for being a Jerk Ass.
  • I Call It "Vera": Leon has a Fat Man named "Artemis".
  • Idiot Hero: Played with, Zack Frinfrock said at PAX the only reason why Twig is still alive is a 10 in his Luck stat.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Legion soldiers don't like using guns, and it definitely shows. Leon's men fail to hit targets at ranges where the heroes use the Fallout shotguns to take them out. In one case, two mooks with assault rifles can't hit two people stuck in the open, standing still, who then have time to line up a shot with a pistol and headshot them!
    • Twig admits to being a terrible shot without using VATS, although we never get to see how terrible.
  • Insult Backfire: Whenever Twig is insulted for being fat (typically by Ben, but other characters get their turn), he will be very flattered, because in the Vault he grew up in, everyone was morbidly obese - he was ostracized for being very thin compared to everyone else, hence his nickname.
  • Karmic Death: Leon meets his end at the hands of Scar, who he had spent the entire series tormenting.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Ben. Besides looting every corpse he finds, Ben thought their Courier job was a scam, stole all the objects and replaced them with "useless crap" which led to them getting kicked out of Goodsprings.
    "Woo! Free shit! Woo!"
  • Land Mine Goes "Click!": Ron steps on a landmine in S2E4, and can't step off it until it's disarmed. Bad enough, but it's part of an armed ambush and he's now stuck in the open. After a close fight, the enemy is killed and Twig manages to defuse it.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Episode 5 features the trio doing this, with Twig robbing a merchant for a Shishkebab, Scar beating the crap out of the mercs who captured them and Ben deciding the only way the situation they're in is going to end is if they go after Big Bad Leon Swallow, or else the mercs will keep coming.
    • Season 2: When Ron suits up, you know heavy stuff's about to go down.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The Ranger, a.k.a. James Eldridge, is Ben's great-great-great-great-grandson. Ben's wife was pregnant back when he got her into Vault 7, but neither of them knew it at the time.
  • Mook Chivalry: Used throughout the series, but the Season 2 finale plays it straightest. Mooks switch to melee weapons to engage the heroes wielding melee weapons, don't gang up on said melee heroes, and nobody shoots the main characters when they're walking out in the open. Somewhat justified, as they're fighting the Legion, and they can't resist the chance to best their foes in melee combat.
  • Mythology Gag: Just about every gun, outfit, and item in the series is a replica of something from Fallout, including Vault Jumpsuits, Laser Rifles, Bottlecap Mines, That Gun, and of course, Nuka Cola.
    • Of particular note is Scar's Tri-Beam Laser Rifle, which does fire 3 laser beams as in game each time it's fired.
    • Episode 3 reveals that Ben and Larry worked in the stables of New Reno with Myron.
    • Larry has the Eyebot from the movie on the shelf behind his Jet stall.
    • At the end of Episode 2 and the beginning of episode 3 there are several NCR Civilian Rangers and one NCR Veteran Desert Ranger.
    • Episode 4 features a very faithful recreation of a Legion Slave camp.
    • Episode 5 features the Shishkebab and a Nuka Cola Quantum. It also has an internal mythology gag with the return of Red.
    • The Eastwood shopkeeper remarks that Twig must "have a lead belly" to drink so much irradiated Nuka Cola without getting sick (which happened in the fan film). "Lead Belly" is the name of a gameplay perk that cuts down on the poisoning incurred from eating foods and drinking irradiated liquids (though ironically not Nuka Cola).
    • A two-way Mythology Gag: Fallout: New Vegas added a unique Rebar Club called the Nuka Breaker in the Gun Runner's Arsenal DLC as a shout-out to this series. The creators of the series didn't realize it was a shout-out and included it in the background of an episode as a shout-out to New Vegas. After realizing it, they have Twig using the weapon in the Season 2 finale.
    • In Season 2, Twig eventually meets Goris, a.k.a. the Albino Talking Deathclaw from Fallout 2. Goris is actually pretty helpful.
  • Narrator: Played by Vic Mignogna in both the movie and series!
  • Nice Hat: Mayor Conners of Eastwood has a foot tall top hat.
  • Never Found the Body: James goes down in the final battle, complete with dramatic slow motion close up. After the battle, Ron tells Scar that they couldn't find his body. Sure enough, James turns out to have survived.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Twig. Then again, he grew up in Vault 10, where he was the skinniest, so to them it is an indicative name (in fact it's the nickname they called him to make fun of him).
  • Odd Friendship: A chubby Vault-Dweller, a kleptomaniac ghoul, and a badass former slave. We know how Ben and Twig met Scar, but how Ben and Twig ever hooked up as traveling companions is completely unimaginable.
    Scar: "Don't look at me, he's your friend."
    Ben: "My friend? I don't even like the guy."
  • Only a Flesh Wound: In the final battle, James gets stabbed between the shoulders and Twig gets stabbed through the kidneys. Twig is excused, James not so much, but they're both revealed to be just fine.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Very common way for Mooks and Red Shirts to die.
  • Powered Armor: The iconic Brotherhood Of Steel armor (modded with some road signage) makes an appearance in the second season finale.
  • Remonstrating with a Gun: Scar warns Ben about doing this in the Fan Film.
  • Retired Badass: Ron. Turns out he was the Brotherhood of Steel Paladin that taught Scar how to survive in the Wasteland.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Many characters, but the Ranger in particular uses them to great effect, using them at close range. Very close range.
  • Scenery Gorn: The series uses visual effects to add post-apocalyptic rubble in wide shots, adding a very nice atmospheric effect.
  • Schmuck Bait: When Larry is having Scarlett disarm his slave collar.
    Larry: You feel that tiny little bar?
    Scarlett: Yeah.
    Larry: It's about a quarter-inch thick, has a blue stripe, really really tiny?
    Scarlett: Yeah.
    Larry: DON'T touch it! The thing next to it, pull it straight down, STRAIGHT down.
  • Serial Escalation: Despite being a fan project with limited funding, they got full support from Chris Avellone at Obsidian, Bethesda has openly supported them, and had two high profile actors (Vic Mignogna and Doug Jones) work on their project.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: In the series, Ben's signature weapon is analogous to Fallout: New Vegas's Hunting Shotgun.
  • Shout-Out: The Ranger's combat style in the Season 2 finale seems kinda familiar. Where else have we seen someone Dual Wielding a Reverse Grip knife in one hand and a hatchet in the other?
  • Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Especially evident in the Season 2 finale. Characters on both sides walk out in the open shooting other people with guns and aren't cut down immediately by their support (which also have guns)).
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Ben somehow does this while standing in the middle of an ambush. The moment he's offscreen, he's gone. The ambushers actually have to look around to realize he's right behind their leader. His Stealth skill must be maxed out.
    • Ben somehow did this in the original fan film, too: Twig and Scar mention they killed a bunch of bounty hunters, and suddenly Ben's already behind them, running towards the bodies for loot.
    • The mysterious stranger who saved Twig in episode 6.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: Twig has Claustrophobia due to this.
    "Since I was the smallest, the other kids would make fun of me by stuffing me into small spaces. 'mua ha ha! You can fit into a refrigerator, whereas we cannot!'"
  • Throwing Your Hatchet Always Works: The Ranger kills a mook behind Scar this way in the Season 2 Finale.
  • Toilet Humor: "Hey Twig, have you seen our new water purifier... Well... it's still yellow but its coming along."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Twig and Nuka Cola.
    Twig: "You have any more Nuka Cola?"
    Old Man: "I got Sunset Sarsaparilla."
    Twig: "That's not Nuka Cola."
  • Trash the Set: Not a straight example, but the set Eastwood was filmed in burned down in a recent wildfire[1]. Aaron Giles blamed the fiends.
    • Throw It In!: In Episode 6, aired after the set-trashing above, Leon Swallow blows Eastwood to smithereens with a Fat Man.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ben and Twig, and Ben and Scar. Ben openly admits he's not too crazy about Twig and openly tries to get him killed, yet is completely willing to give him back-up. Scar is routinely offended by Ben's behavior, often calling him out on such things, and he does apologize to her often.
    Scar: You're an ass, you know?
    Ben: I know, sorry.
  • Weapon of Choice: Twig uses his .223/5.56 Pistol, you know, That Gun. Ben uses a Hunting Shotgun and Scar has her Tri-Beam Laser Rifle.
    • Twig later takes up the Shishkebab, and after it gets destroyed, he gets the Nuka-Breaker.
  • Webcomic Time: An enforced example. Episode 5 was delayed a week because the VFX guys couldn't finish the big fight scene in the episode fast enough. When it turned out extremely well, they openly admitted on Twitter that they rushed to released the first four episodes and currently Nuka Break now airs once every three weeks instead of every two, giving the effects people more time and the actors the ability to do pick up scenes.
  • What Could Have Been: The last half of season 1 was filmed and then needed to be refilmed when a wildfire destroyed the Eastwood set. Many characters who were given names (like Raz) were intended to have much larger roles in the series... which can't happen now. As a result they truncated their last half of the season to end at episode 6 (the original intent was 9 for a decent length season) with the above mentioned Throw It In! as their cliff-hanger for season 2, which will be nothing like the original intention. (They have, however, announced that there will be several survivors from Eastwood, including Mayor Connors.)
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: When Leon bests Ron in melee combat, he insists on a flashy execution and is interrupted twice before he can finish, the second interruption resulting in his death.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Leon assaults the Lockre with only a platoon of men, rather than waiting for a battalion of legionaries for backup. This explains why the Legion's usual tactic of zerg rushing isn't as effective as it ought to be.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Twig's reaction to being complimented on a steal by Scar and Ben.
    "…That doesn't make me feel good."
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Twig was bullied all his life for being the skinniest person in Vault 10, but he is considered too fat by most people in the Wasteland. Of course, since he's from Vault 10, if somebody tries to insult him for being fat, he'll just take it as a compliment.