YMMV: Fallout 1

  • Demonic Spiders: The Deathclaws.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dogmeat was so well-received that he returned as a Secret Character in Fallout 2 and had an Identical Grandson in Fallout 3.
  • Game Breaker:
    • The Gifted trait. It gives you an extra point in each of your primary statistics in exchange for slower skill progress. The fact that there is normally no way to increase your primary statistics after character creation but you can still max out all important skills with relative ease means this trait gives you a huge advantage for almost no tradeoff, especially if your Intelligence is high.
    • With a Gambling skill over 50%, you can go to the casino in the Hub, go to the dealer by the roulette tables, hold down the 1 and 4 keys to continuously bet 50 caps, and win over 60,000 caps within 10 minutes. With this infinite source of money, besides being able to buy tons of stimpaks and some really great weapons and armor, you can buy skill books from the library in the same area of town until you can't gain skill increases from them anymore, ending up with around a 90% level for each skill.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Pretty much the entire soundtrack. It is very good at setting the mood that you are in a destroyed world with having songs that are very much atonal, giving a very unnerving effect.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Unprepared players can easily run into the Super Mutants and find themselves imprisoned in jail, with the Lieutenant sneering at them and no easy way to get out.
    • The Master. Every single thing about him is creepy and unnatural.
    • The Game Over screen can look startling for first time players. A white fade out to an image of the skeletal remains of your character. Can be especially startling if your character dies of dehydration or radiation poisoning, as one might not even know what killed them and thus the screen seems to appear as a Jump Scare.
  • The Scrappy: A lot of people loathe the Overseer for exiling the Vault Dweller at the end of the game because, if he sticks around, the next generation will look up to him and eventually want to leave the vault. It's to the point that the bad Karma/Bloody Mess ending where the Vault Dweller gorily executes him as he's walking back to the Vault is often seen as the most satisfying one. And even if he's spared, the second game reveals that he was eventually tried and executed for presumable treason.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The time limit, which severely limits the time one can do for quests. Mitigated a bit by the second timer being removed in an update and replaced by an invisible timer where Super Mutants will overrunning towns after a while.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The Overseer banishing you despite all you had done was a horrible thing to do, but Fallout 2 shows that his predictions about the consequences of your actions for the vault proved essentially correct.
  • Tear Jerker:
  • Uncanny Valley: The animated cutscenes where characters talk can look strange looking for new players due to characters using clay models. A clearly deliberate extreme example though is the Master who not only looks vaguely human, but have four different voices that shifts even in the same sentence based on what he says. They're the calm and dominant male, aggressive and robotic male and kindly female.
  • The Woobie: You, if you go with low intelligence. Nobody wants to talk to you and you find yourself limited in what you can do.