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The Fallout Universe

  • Fifties:
    • It seems odd that the world of Fallout was stuck in the 50s. But this is a world that runs by 50s science. It's not stuck in the 50s, it practically IS the 50s!
    • It also gives you a good idea as to why the Pre-War world fell. They took an attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". But when it did start to break, they were so stuck in a cultural rut that they refused to adapt, even as their world started to crumble around them. The world was stuck in the 50's not just because it worked on the 50's mass-idea of science, but because they refused to change. What else refuses to change? War. The lesson? Societies need to adapt and change in their modes of thought and how they see the world, or they will become stagnant and destroy themselves.
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  • Fallout is basically a combination of what the future was to people in the 50s (ray guns and cheesy-looking robots) and their greatest fears (a nuclear holocaust). The weapons changed to meet the expectation of the future while many of the appliances (radios, soda machines, refrigerators) stayed the same as in the mid to late 50s. We're playing the same thing that was Nightmare Fuel for someone living in the Cold War.
  • It seems kind of strange that Unarmed would be governed by Endurance instead of Strength, like Melee is. However, having a higher Damage Threshold (which is also tied to Endurance) means that the impact would be less likely to cause damage to the puncher himself, so it's an interesting example of a Required Secondary Power.
  • Saturday, October 23rd, 2077 is the day the bombs fell. A quick look at the calendar will reveal that the Developers of the original game really have Shown Their Work in regards to accurate time scaling.
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  • The back story says that in the years leading up to the war, all the fossil fuels on Earth were used up, and the subsequent collapse of global economies and the scramble for resources was one of the driving factors behind the Great War. This explains a lot about the setting. Why are cars nuclear powered? No oil for fuel. Why is everything glass and metal? Because you can't make plastics without oil.
  • Garden of Eden Creation Kit : a Garden of Eden in a cellular automaton is a configuration that can't be created following the automaton's rules ; considering Fallout is basically a playable cellular automaton, how can you really have that in a kit?
  • It seems odd that people would be so cheerful about the Old World, but it's safe to assume most people can't read, and that oral tradition would deteriorate. Political tensions and the New Plague have no meaning to them; the only things that have any meaning to the people of the Wasteland is how big and (relatively) safe the cities were... How kids could play in the streets of D.C. and this strange thing called "grass." Even the Lone Wanderer is probably waxing nostalgic about it due to Vault 101's Patented Propaganda Process. This explains why Ulysses in Fallout: New Vegas, one of the few people who has actually studied history, hold House and his plan to revive the Old World in such contempt. To Ulysses, House and the Old World are both ghosts that need to die. This even continues in Fallout 4, where the Institute seem to agree with Ulysses, and are attempting to intentionally destroy the few remaining records of the Old World so they can build a new one that won't nuke the world to pieces again. The Sole Survivor, the first player character in the series to come from the Old World, even gets some dialogue options to express what their Pre-War life was like, and they can either wax nostalgic or viciously condemn it as the hell it was.
  • Why can you read copies of the same skill book and get a skill bonus every time? If you've already read it multiple times, what else can you learn? But those books are over 200 years old. They are probably badly damaged, missing pages, or have unreadable text. It also stands to reason that each copy is missing different information (for example, let's say that one copy is missing pages 101 to 116 and another copy has those but is missing pages 13-54). So when you read multiple copies of the same skill book, you are actually just piecing together a complete book out of the fragments you have. It makes more sense for the works that are periodicals, since you're reading a different month of, say, the DC Journal of Internal Medicine or Grognak the Barbarian. This is made explicit in Fallout 4, where there are multiple unique issues of the skill magazines with their own distinct artwork and you have to collect them all to get all the perks.
  • The Nightkin, the Master's special agents, are deep purple. While this makes sense on a topical level, as their dark coloration makes them hard to see in the dark, one must remember that Super Mutants are basically orcs. Purple iz da sneakiest color!
  • Fans who have played multiple games in the series will notice that weapons change in appearance from game to game. This at first seems to make no sense at all. Why does a Assault Rifle in one game look different then an Assault Rifle in another game. That is until you start to understand the world of Fallout. The US was split into commonwealths, basically adding another level in government. In the lore, its implied that the different commonwealths tended to compete with each other over interests. Its very likely, in an effort to make themselves different, that each Commonwealth manufactured their own goods. Not only this, but also regulate what goods entered their commonwealth (An explanation as to why Sunset Sasparilla is not in Fallout 3). Its possible that the weapons in each game represent what weapons were allowed for import/made in said Commonwealth during pre-war time.
  • Since the Fallout Universe is stalled in the 50's, their technology lags far behind our own in many areas. Not only in computers, but it could also lag behind in machinery used for petroleum production. Methods such as steam injection or use of unconventional sources like shale rocks and oil sands might never have been developed, meaning they probably had to rely on the easiest pockets of oil to access. It also doesn't seem like the United States made any significant research into areas of renewable power outside places like Hoover Dam, Acadia, and Helios. Add all this to a massive growth in population with an increased need for power and it's no wonder the Fallout-verse experienced such a severe energy crisis. Their need for energy outpaced their ability to provide it.
  • The Bethesda games have a flashlight built into the Pip-Boy which you can turn on or off. This explains where that uncanny halo of light that surrounded the player in the original two Fallout games came from, and why you never needed a light source at night or underground.
  • It makes sense that the world is littered with radioactivity, right? It ended up going in a nuclear war after all... Until you realize that the nuclear war happened literally 100 years ago. Radioactivity decreases exponentially with time, and isotopes created in a nuclear explosion are short-lived (which kinda makes sense on its own, since nuclear warheads are generally supposed to use as much energy as possible in the shortest possible time - well, literally to blow something up. Fallout is a byproduct) so, according to famous Nuclear War Survival Skills book, the fallout from a nuclear warhead decreases by a factor of 10 roughly every 7 hours. So, after 100 years there wouldn't be much radiation to speak of... Unless there was some other popular source of radioactive material... Which, unlike bombs, isn't built in such a way as to release all the stored energy at once, but rather to do it slowly... Like a nuclear power plant... Which was, before the War, the go-to energy source in all of US, to the point where nuclear cars and houses powered by small, underground household reactors were commonplace.
    • Really. While most nuclear test sites are perfectly safe to visit by now, you know one place in the world where radiation can still kill you, even after more than 30 years? Chernobyl.
  • The difficulty curve from the beginning is notably steeper for Fallout 3 than New Vegas or Fallout 4, which makes plenty of sense. In New Vegas you play a road hardened courier with a long history of surviving the wastes (and a short history of surviving being shot in the head), and in 4 the player character is assumed to be an army veteran. Who are you in 3? A 19 year old whose entire life has been spent locked up in a secure and tightly run vault whose survival/combat experience totals up to a couple of potential dust ups with Butch and a handful of potshots at radroaches with a BB gun.
  • When using V.A.T.S, the percentage of a hit will not be any higher than 95% even if you are at point-blank range. There is always a 5% chance of a missed attack. If one looks up basic statistics, you will realize that Rob Co most likely created the V.A.T.S based on the 95% confidence interval. A confidence interval is a range of values where you are sure there is a x% chance that the true value lies within it.
  • The morality and reputation system reflects each protagonist's personality and background in their respective Fallout game.
    • Fallout 3 has a simple black and white karmic system. The Lone Wanderer is only 19 years old and came straight out of Vault 101 and into the Capital Wasteland. The Lone Wanderer's views on right and wrong are also based on his/her father's teaching of Christian beliefs.
    • Fallout New Vegas centers much more around reputation and karma becomes more secondary. The Courier is experienced and is aware of different kinds of people and how the wasteland works. He/she does not have a specific upbringing in terms of beliefs.
    • Fallout 4 does not have an explicit karma or reputation system. In fact, the main focus is more on companions' reactions and relationships. The Sole Survivor focuses much more on personal relationships and solely their son. The Sole Survivor also came from Pre-War America, so their views are most likely different from people living in the Commonwealth.
  • In the original Fallout, one of the death messages you can receive states "The darkness of the afterlife is all that awaits you now." In this universe, is the only fate awaiting everyone The Nothing After Death?
    • Unlikely, as I think it could simply be a nod to the whole, "everything is getting dark," scenario where your senses all start to fail you, naturally. That, or it could also be just something that was written to be creepy.

Example of: