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For examples related to the original ending, go here.

For examples related to the Enclave, go here.

For examples related to the DLC's, go here.

    James's Sacrifice 
  • OK, this is a little modified from my original post. Why was James willing to sacrifice his life and, potentially, all of Project Purity just to keep it out of The Enclave's hands? OK, so Eden's plan was to use it to spread FEV, but did James know that? And if he did, then surely the Brotherhood would as well, in which case why didn't they Brotherhood keep the Project going without James?
    • Quite possibly - this is a couple of decades after the last attempt in Fallout 2, and the Brotherhood of Steel apparently knew about the Enclave and its plans in California, probably due to the Vault Dweller passing the data along. And James was working with the Brotherhood the last time, before his wife died and kicked off this whole series of events.
    • Your dad was Genre Savvy, he knows that in any After the End story, the U.S. government is evil.
    • He had just seen them blow a woman's face off. That's not the sort of action you expect from someone who likes what you doing, but just wants the credit. The Enclave is pretty well known to be the sort of folk who'd cut out an eye to spite their face.
    • His instincts are good, too; later on, you're put in a similar situation, and if you do provide the code, Autumn's gratitude takes the form of several 10mm rounds.
    • It's not that his instincts are good, it's that he tries to shoulder burdens by himself, never thinks of consequences, and has repeatedly been a horrific judge of others' character or situations. It starts with him trusting the Vault 101 Overseer and thinking that you will be safe if he leaves you behind - which starts that Escape Sequence where Vault Security is trying to kill you. Then he hops into Tranquility Lane without leaving himself a back-up plan, with no evidence that he can get out of his Pod - we know how that fares for him. The last bit is somewhat circumstantial - if you haven't cleared out the Jefferson Memorial before he brings everyone to start working on Project Purity again, he tasks you - his only child - to go in and clear out the super mutants by yourself, because he's no good in a fight. Despite all this, he still thinks you don't have a chance against the Enclave and takes it upon himself to try and take out three of them - with no regard for you. If not for James' scripted death, I believe that you could have killed Autumn (who isn't much of a boss anyway - he could have a bigger bad do the rest of the bad guy thing later) and the two Enclave soldiers, escaped with Dad during that Escape Sequence, drop him off at the Citadel, and it wouldn't have altered the story at all (In Broken Steel, he could have taken the place of that one busy bureaucrat at Project Purity or been found wandering around the Purifier). IJBM that there wasn't an alternative to this, and that his sacrifice had to be seen as the act of a saint, when it was really Stupidity Is the Only Option.
    • The problem with the purifier is that three different factions want it for different goals. Eden want the purifier to retry Richardson's evil plan from Fallout 2. James want to help the wastelands (though the water problem is arguably minor, loads of men and women seems to live old and tumorless). Autumn probably want to use it as a basis for making the Enclave more powerful than ever, probably bringing order to the wastelands in the progress, using something along the lines of "join the enclave and get fresh water". Too bad we don't get a "Autumn win" ending, because I have the feeling that he was pragmatic enough to understand that full-blown genocide wasn't the solution. Who knows, if things had been different (and the story less screwed up) we could have got something like Autumn and Lyons bringing order and peace to the wasteland together. Hell, the Brotherhood of Steel is not so different from the Enclave. They both shoot mutants, raiders, and ghouls, and want nothing more than making the country strong and ordered again. Why they didn't ally once Eden was out of the picture is just bugging me.
    • The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, no more, no less. Autumn wasn't willing to commit all-out genocide, but he was still quite content having Wastelanders checked for mutations and killed if they had any. Given that the Brotherhood of Steel were kinda focused on saving Wastelanders as step one, this might be what you call an irreconcilable difference of opinion.
    • There's also the Brotherhood of Steel's original purpose, which was to preserve higher technology and to keep it out of the hands of the unwashed masses - and the Enclave was like an evil version of the Brotherhood, which saw the Brotherhood as part of the great unwashed.
    • Only the Citadel branch of the Brotherhood of Steel believed in helping the outsiders. The hardliners broke off and became the Outcasts. The Enclave could have made common cause with them.
    • Except the Enclave wants the Brotherhood Outcasts dead. They're 'mutants' too, after all.
    • "though the water problem is arguably minor, loads of men and women seems to live old and tumorless" As I gathered, people seemed to doing okay, but the radioactive water made vegetation nigh-impossible. Without plant life, the ecosystem is unsustainable and humanity is circling the drain until the pre-packaged food supply runs out.
    • Since James took off, Madison Li and friends have been working on the resurrection of agriculture through hydroponics, presumably aware that the food supply won't last forever. One would presume that whatever water purifier powered Megaton's water supply could be used to create the water necessary for hydroponic agriculture on a semi-workable scale, at least for a small population, so the Capital Wasteland wouldn't go completely tits up. By extension, Project Purity may very well be the first step on the road to bringing the area back from the dead completely.
    • The science behind Project Purity is just one big case of artistic license, intentional Zee Rust, or the writers just didn't care, what Dr. Li is researching is much more difficult and more important in dealing with agriculture. Pure drinking water isn't the issue when dealing with vegetation. Water itself does not hold radiation, just the impurities in it. The soil itself has radioactive fallout, and what is in the soil is what is being absorbed into the vegetation, so any radioactive isotopes still releasing their energy from the soil moves on into the plants, where it is concentrated. Humans or animals who ingest those plants will concentrate the radiation again, and then that's where the issues form. Several people in southern Utah for instance, would drink milk from cows who had eaten grass from irradiated soil left over from nuclear testing. The isotope Iodine-131 built up in their thyroids and caused a lot of damage (particularly in children, who are more susceptible to this sort of damage). For this reason, this is why people in Japan after the recent tsunami and the subsequent nuclear plant situation were given iodine tablets - the tablets are there so that the population would not absorb radioactive iodine into their systems, but rather the safer non-radioactive iodine.
    • This part of the plot makes so little sense that it just about ruined the whole story for me. Your character is the only person who MIGHT have been planning to do anything with the purifier other than purify water with it. Yet, for some reason, everybody is killing and dying over who gets to flip the on switch. I simply could not feel the sense of urgency to stop Autumn from activating the purifier when that's exactly what he was planning on doing anyway.
    • It was implied that Autumn would control the water supply, rationing it out as he saw fit for his own gain.
    • How was he going to do that when his forces had been destroyed and there was a nuke-throwing robot outside waiting for him?
    • Well, gee, maybe that was why you were attacking the purifier in the first place. He kind of can't take control of the pure water supply with you having crushed his army. Once Liberty Prime reached the island, you won, except that you still had to actually clear out the purifier to prevent sabotage.
    • Yet, for some reason, everybody is killing and dying over who gets to flip the on switch. I simply could not feel the sense of urgency to stop Autumn from activating the purifier when that's exactly what he was planning on doing anyway. Except that if you'd actually stopped and bothered listening to the discussion among the Brotherhood before the final assault, you'd have actually heard why the assault was so urgent; if you don't attack soon, the Enclave will continue fortifying their position and retaking the purifier would be impossible - at which point, Autumn controls the only secure source of clean water in the Wasteland. But its entirely understandable how you'd miss that, considering Sarah Lyons only says it very clearly and explicitly in a scene of dialogue that is almost impossible to skip, considering you're frozen in place during the scene in question.
    • Retaking the purifier? Nigh impossible? When they've got a nuke-bot ready to go?
    • None of you understand. He's questioning why Colonel Autumn having the purifier is such a bad thing in the first place.
    • That nuke bot gets nuked itself in the DLC, it's hardly invincible. Given time to dig in, the Enclave could easily have bought itself enough time to bring its killsat to bear and leave the assault foundering.
    • Raven Rock just got blown up. How is the Enclave going to fortify the Purifier, much less patrol the whole Potomac?
    • Raven Rock isn't their only base in the area. The Enclave can just bring forces from elsewhere. Broken Steel shows that they still have reserves after the last battle.
    • For me, James' sacrifice was the most frustrating part of the story and game, and what solidly set me against the game's approach to the story. Earlier in the game, there's a similar situation during the Justified Tutorial where you can interrupt an interrogation where someone close to you is being threatened with violence, or just let it play out. I was looking at the situation with James and Autumn the same way - the first time, moment I got to the purifier and heard the first few comments, I was looking for a way to open the airlock and save dear old Dad before something happened, but alas, I'm stricken with Cutscene Incompetence and this one door is the only one in the game that I can't open by lockpicking or hacking or fixing something or pressing a button, and I have to watch with no way to fix or change this. It's not like Fallout 2, where you're not even present to stop the village being kidnapped or a similar scene in Star Trek 2 where the room is already filled with radiation before you get there - it's a situation where you should have had an option to act, but the way it's written simply makes you sit on your hands.
    • Exactly, at that point in the game I'm decked out in indestructible power, loaded to the gills with alien weapons, and have a badass ghoul sidekick. Why doesn't dad just open the door and let me kill the three guys holding him hostage?
    • James was thinking "If I die here then I won't have to go to all the trouble of finding the damn G.E.C.K. or putting up with those whiny scientists god i hate them now i remember the real reason I quit project purity"
    • A point about activating the purifier that no one has brought up: news in the Wasteland is disseminated via radio, and through word of mouth. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for nuance, and think about how many NPC’s in the game have little to no idea about what’s going on around them, whether because they’re cut off from forms of communication, or because they just don’t care. Information in the Wasteland is a commodity. Therefore, if word spreads that the Enclave is in control of the massive water purifier, they’re the heroes who brought clean water to the Wastes. If the Brotherhood controls it, then they’re the heroes. You might not think that’s factually accurate, as a 21st century person living in a reasonably sturdy society who exists outside of the video game and outside of the video games’s story, but that’s how your average NPC will understand it.
    • And speaking of James and his sacrificial tendencies... did you miss the Biblical themes of the game? For instance, there’s this passage of Revelations they mention a time or two, which also just happens to be one of the most critical plot points of the game. James is the Alpha of Project Purity, and the Lone Wanderer is the Omega. James is the creator, and you are the person who sees it to completion. And who, of course, is saying “I am the Alpha and Omega” in Revelations 21:6? God. You know. The Christian God who is, canonically, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one being, the same God who gives his Son human life (it’s implied that James does this the regular way, rather than the Biblical virgin birth way) so that the Son can spread the Father’s message (work on Project Purity) on Earth (the Capital) and sacrifice Himself by dying so that everyone else might live (have clean water, restore agriculture, and bring greater stability to the area because everything sucks just a little bit less). Continuing the topic of parents and children, another major theme of the game is children stepping into their parent’s shoes, i.e. Amata becoming the new Overseer; Sarah as successor to Elder Lyons; Maxson as successor to his ancestor’s legacy; and finally, the Lone Wanderer completing their mother and father’s work by activating Project Purity. James is someone who will do rash and dangerous things for the sake of improving the Wasteland. The Biblical Father and Son are one in the same, and the children of the Wastes are there to carry on their parents’ legacies. James is presented as a character who will do less than perfectly rational and very dangerous things for the sake of improving life in the Wasteland for complete strangers, because the (canonical good karma) Lone Wanderer is someone who will do dangerous and rash things to improve life in the Wasteland for complete strangers. Like father, like gender-nonspecific child.


    Power Armor 
  • What about the Power Armor? In the old games, the Brotherhood-standard power armor was the military-issue T-51b suit. This was the basic armor. The Enclave had more advanced variants, that provided better protection. In this game, the best armor is the T-51b. Nobody else has one, and it provides better protection than any of the armors developed by the Enclave (which has spent the last 200 years improving pre-war tech). This wouldn't bother me, except that Bethesda was pretty good about virtually every other bit of canon.
    • I'm betting that they'll use From Bad to Worse as the justification, with the Enclave and apparently this branch of the Brotherhood having forgotten how to make the 'good stuff'.
    • Since you find the T-51b power armor elsewhere, it's presumably because the Brotherhood is using the crappy armor the Army was using during the liberation of Alaska. It fits, given that most of their presence in DC is now made up of Wastelander recruits. But that's a whole other strain on credulity, since it forces you to believe that the freaking Pentagon did not have a large supply of the best weapons America had prior to the apocalypse.
    • The Pentagon is not supposed to be a supply depot.
    • The Pentagon is the command-and-control hub. You don't keep the weapons there, you need them on the front lines.
    • You do if you're General Chase!
    • The canon explanation is that the Brotherhood never intended to set up a permanent outpost until they found what was in the Pentagon. Namely, dozens of suits of functional (if obsolete) T-45d Power Armor and Liberty Prime. It's implied that the Brotherhood sent an expedition so far east because their numbers were growing and outstripping their available equipment. One of the reasons they set up shop in the Pentagon was that all the suits meant it was possible to outfit their entire chapter with Power Armor (and even train more), instead of the semi-powered combat armor the lower level Brothers wore in Fallout 2.
    • You know, The T-51b really isn't that great when compared to the Brotherhood armor or even the Enclave armor. It resists a lot of damage, true, but it lacks the Strength enhancements that make the other suits so useful. Maybe in the intervening decades the Brotherhood decided to go with armor that was more versatile even if it lacked some protection?
    • Strength enhancements don't mean much if your strength is nearly maxed out anyways - and the armor doesn't 'carry' itself, which means it's taking a lot of your maximum 250-300lb weight limit as-is. The extra radiation and damage reduction is, however, very useful in the middle of a radioactive wasteland. What really bugs me is that the Advanced Power Armor and Mk II don't show up in this game - or at least, it doesn't show up as being any stronger than the T-51b despite it being literally centuries newer and supposedly improved with lighter ceramics and composites as it was in Fallout 2. But that's why mods exist, I guess.
    • Maybe if you were playing a character who maxed out strength. Some of us played characters who went for things like Agility, Charisma, Perception and Luck.
    • And those of us who did aren't especially interested in bulky heavy armor that often comes with an AGI penalty. Ranger Combat Armor or Chinese Stealth Suit all the way.
    • The T51-b armor did have a strength enhancement (+ 3), why it got dropped from Fallout 3 is anyone's guess. Except that the armor was only included in the initial release as an easter egg. So it's possible that's why the strength bonus was dropped.
    • Maybe that certain piece of armor was being tricked out by the R&D lab before the bombs fell to see how far they could enhance the armor they currently had rather than issue a new model. That would explain why (according to the Fallout wiki, never found it myself) it's in an R&D lab and behind a stasis field.
    • It's locked up behind three unpickable doors that need keys to open, which may be why you didn't find it. Whether it was tricked out or if it was just that they didn't know better is up to debate. Or else it could just be a Shout-Out to the first game, where the T-51b really was the best suit of armor in the whole game. One thing noted again in the extras in the Collector's Edition of the guide is how proud they were of the fact the armor looked exactly like it did on the cover of the first box.
    • Oh, please, they did the research. I'm quite the Fallout fan and I'm still surprised of the HUGE numbers of tiny details from previous Fallout that they got right. Hell, they were even right on things that weren't in the final version of Fallout 2, like the Harold and Herbert thing, that come from the Fallout Bible. Only die-hard fans have read it. Now, for the power armor, I think they designed their functionality with gameplay balance in mind, rather than just copying the armor stats from Fallout 1 and 2. Also, Fallout 3 T51 is that good, because 1) It was made when the U.S. was damn rich 2) It has been, unlike any other power armor you can find, never used. It's completely new, in perfect shape, hell, it was in a stasis field for the past 200 years. Even enclave armor are not in such a good shape.
    • Except that the Mark II armor IS more advanced (as listed in the Fallout 2 description and comments by the Brotherhood in this game), and was built by an Enclave which still understands and researches the technology, which is why the Mark II in the second game had ceramics to make it lighter and stronger. Plus they're the only ones still fielding plasma weapons on a regular basis, and have developed Tesla Power Armor Mk II. But in the third game, the old T-51b is better than the Mk II - a reversal of the situation in a previous game. This isn't BattleTech, where they're using devices they barely understand because they killed off all the scientists; the Enclave was manufacturing equipment, and didn't just happen to have it all lying around in the open for the past two hundred years where it'd start to break down.
    • Turn out there is a stronger armor than the T51. The enclave shocktrooper armor has a DR of 55 plus rad resist and energy weapon boost. It is semilegendary, many people thought it is only accessible through cheats, but it can be found during the escape from Raven rock. So in fact, it seems that the enclave mostly manufacture cheaper armor for practical and economics purposes. Make sense if you ask me.
    • Never mind, I've been fooled by another wiki. Shame on me.
    • That was the "Armor Rebalance" mod - which is why I said 'I guess that's why there's mods' with the Mark II.
    • The second bit, that the Enclave likely manufactured cheaper Power Armour, is still fairly plausible - after all, they DID have a slight setback when the //Chosen One nuked Poseidon Oil in the second game. And quite possibly wiped out Navarro as well. I'm surprised they've still got any sort of manufacturing facilities in the first place.
    • I'm not - the Enclave Oil Rig may have been the main facility, but I doubt it'd have been the only one as they'd have a hell of a time fitting a Vertibird manufacturing facility on there, and they did set up the base in Navarro. It's possible they (and the Brotherhood) are manufacturing cheaper armor now which is worse than the T-51b, but that still bugs me that the oldest armor is still the best, like it was some sort of Ancestral Weapon. I still say that the T-51b being the best armor in the game is either an oversight, or more likely, a Shout-Out to the first game where it was the best.
    • The Brotherhood can't manufacture power armor, they're using 200 years old T51-b. Said armor have been constantly refitted and repaired, thus the minor difference of look on the the shoulders and the back between the brotherhood ones and the pure, untouched T-51b from Fort Constantine.. Kind of Warhammer 40000-ish, if you ask me. Now, I really don't know from where the prototype medic armor comes from. While the design (and ex-wearer) is definitely brotherhood, the holodisk you found beside make it sound like it's a prototype from prior the great war.
    • Again, that's Fan Wank - this is the faction which manufactures combat implants and cyborg parts, which turned Star Paladin Cross into a cyborg after she took some massive injuries eleven years back, and which had that armory in Fallout 3 which showed them assembling a Powered Armor suit. They can build the things, as the prototype medic armor shows; it was found on a Brotherhood of Steel soldier who was field-testing it, and there are files in their computers at the Pentagon if you do some looking around. Plus if it was a pre-war prototype it should look more like the T-51b which was the state of the art at the time... and it doesn't; its model is standard Brotherhood armor, and it has the same in-game protective values of the Brotherhood armor rather than the more-advanced (in comparison) T-51b. Again, I have to repeat that this isn't BattleTech, where the Brotherhood doesn't understand what they're working with - they started with a military unit and a bunch of scientists who survived the Great War, which is why they were the only folk with powered armor and advanced energy weapons until the Enclave showed up. The real question is 'why is the Enclave making their Mark II armor less impressive than it was in the previous game'?
    • They don't, storyline-wise at least. Enclave armor looks like it doesn't worth a penny for us players, but it's still pure gold for, say, Paladin Casdin of the Outcasts. Gameplay and Story Segregation is the key here, along with game play balance. Even on very hard, the game is easy-peasy with what we call the nerfed power armor, so they really don't need to make them as powerful as in Fallout 2.
    • Fixed the link for you. I still say it was somewhat stupid to 'downgrade' it this way - they could've just left the T-51b with the same stats as the Brotherhood armor and nobody would've been the wiser. By making it better than the newer stuff, they were inviting some more Fan Dumb ranting.
    • Well the Medical Armor have something that looks to be a US Army insignia so I doubt it was created by the Brotherhood of Steel, also the force field terminal says "medical armor prototype" that seems to indicate originally it was the Medical Armor was supposed to be in there but somehow it was replaced by the T-51b.
    • The brotherhood is supposedly equipped with T-45 power armor, which wasn't as advanced as the T-51b, but it is still definitely prewar tech. While the bulk of the T-51 armor was off on the front lines. It doesn't explain why you never see ANY other suits of T-51 armor though, since the Brotherhood would have reasonably brought some suits over from the west coast.
    • Judging from developer's comments in the hardback Player's Guide, it looks like the T-51b was a late addition to the game (I think he said it was finished less than a week before the game went gold). If I had take a guess, the Medical armor was supposed to be the prize for completing the Ft. Constantine side quest. Once the T-51b got added, that armor was hastily moved to its current location, and the script that closes out its quest was attached to the T51-b suit. (I could go further, but I'd end up in WMG territory if I did).
    • There's also the fact that the BoS has been in DC for about 20 years now, it's highly probable any T-51b armor they brought with them is too shot up to be of any use anymore, and the T-45s were in great supply in The Pentagon/Citadel (according to the back story anyway), thus necessitating the change. And it makes sense if only because the T-51b was a front line power armor and Washington DC was most decidedly not the front line of the war with China at the time. Most of the T-51b suits that weren't found by the BoS out west were probably being used in Canada, Alaska, and China at the time the bombs fell.
    • I'm waiting for Operation Anchorage in order to see what the brand-new T51 was supposed to do.
    • Nothing really different unless you count the new paint job and the millions of points worth of durability.
    • To make this clear once and for all:
    • The Fort Constantine T51b is really more of an easter egg than anything else. Canon wise, forget that it even exists.
    • Enclave power armor really is superior to Brotherhood power armor, but subtly. See, Enclave PA has something like 1300 hp, while Brotherhood PA has 1000 hp. Thus, Enclave PA degrade slower, keep a higher protection level for longer. It also has better rad protection, and is lighter. The Tesla PA is even better, with more DR, no agility penalty, and 1500 hp.
    • At the end of Operation Anchorage, you get a T51b, different from Fort Constantine one. 45 DR... sounds better than even the Tesla PA, right? Not really. There are two versions of that T51b. The simulation version has 10 million HP, while the version you were suppose to get in the armory after the simulation has only 1000 hp. Due to a bug, you get the simulation version instead of the wasteland version. The wasteland version of the Arctic T51b degrades effectively faster than any Enclave PA. 45 DR won't do you much good if it drops to 0 under ten minutes. You get the idea.
    • Of course you could just be a smart player and take the Chinese Stealth armor. 15 stealth bonus. Let's just say you find the sneak bobblehead, the agility bobblehead, and take the Silent Running perk (who wouldn't?). Combined with the Chinese armor you only need your base Sneak to be around 55-60 to get 100 by default. This makes you COMPLETELY INVISIBLE TO ALL ENEMIES ALL THE TIME as long as you don't fire a gun. So basically you can just sneak up on an enemy and melee them to death without them EVER seeing you. And I mean any enemy. Enclave, ghouls, robots, super mutants.
    • And if you get The Pitt add-on and get the silenced assault rifles (Infiltrator/Perforator) you might as well be playing Oblivion with the 100% Chameleon suit. Completely invisible, silent including your weapon, it's downright absurd.
    • We have yet to see the truly high-end Enclave PA. Wait until Broken Steel is out...
    • Here's my theory: That suit at Fort Constantine was enhanced. This is supported by the fact that the Winterized Armor at the Outcast Outpost has 5 less DR. The normal T-51b you find in the outpost is a firm Game-Breaker because of its 10 Million item HP, but that obviously wasn't intended. The normal Enclave Armor has 49 DR (with helmet), the same as T-45 power armor. They probably manufacture this because it's cheap, and nearly every other faction's armor is inferior anyway. When they need more powerful armor, thats what they have Tesla Armor for. It has almost he same DR as the Winterized (normal) T-51b, (T-51 with helmet: 55, Telsa Armor with helmet: 51), and an insanely useful energy weapons boost (+10 Energy Weapons). And remember, this is the cannon fodder armor, not their best. No, that would be their Hellfire Armor, which has more DR then the "normal" T-51b and the same as the Fort Constantine one (60 with helmet). So their second most common armor is roughly on par with the T-51b (with the energy weapons boost and lower manufacture cost probably making up for it), and their least common armor is actually better. Makes sense I guess. Odds are the inferior armor is simply easier to mass-produce, which is important when all your combat troops need to be equipped. Remember in Fallout 2, many Enclave soldiers had combat armor or the older models.
    • The thing that bugged me the most is that there's a random throwaway line in a computer found in the Citadel that refers to the Power Armor used by the Enclave as "Advanced Power Armor Mk II." This is what the very last Power Armor the Chosen One got in Fallout 2 was named. The problem here is that the Enclave Power Armor in Fallout 3 doesn't look anything like the Advanced Power Armor Mk II from Fallout 2 (oddly, the Remnant's Power Armor from Fallout: New Vegas looks just like—and is—the old Mk II suit). It would also imply that the Enclave ceased Power Armor development between 2241 and 2277, as Mk II was cutting edge in 2241 and Hellfire Armor is just exiting prototyping during Broken Steel (c. 2278). All it would have taken was for that terminal to call it "Mk III" or "Mk VII" or to just not exist and allow the aesthetic difference to be imply a new model.
    • The one you find in Fallout 2 is probably a prototype. It took the Enclave decades of hard work and the most advanced post-war technology in the wasteland to come up with the Advanced Power Armor MK I. It's conceivable it took them a few more decades to get the kinks worked out and the MK II in mass production, followed by them immediately turning around into the Hellfire armor project and deploying the prototypes. As for the reason they look different between 2 and 3, it might just be they used the MK I designs during testing or the fact that Fallout 2 likes to use the same sprites for different armors (i.e. the combat armors, the leather armors, etc).
    • Remember that one of their primary R&D and production facilities had a little accident at the end of Fallout 2: while it may push plausibility to say that all their power armor schematics and research were stored there with no duplication, it's possible in the context of a 'most top secret' project that they were desperate to keep away from the Brotherhood or other mainland factions. After most of your research data and your most brilliant engineers have been unexpectedly vaporized, advancing to a Mark III might simply not have been feasible. They did have plenty of other things that needed doing...
    • Actually that's perfectly logical. Pretty much everything regarding the Advanced Power Armor project, from the schematics to performance to the numerous failures and prototypes and deaths in the project, were heavily classified by order of President Richardson. It's very possible they compartmentalized it to an extreme degree to keep it out of anyone else's hands.

     Nobody Ever Enters (Except When They Do), and Nobody Ever Leaves (Except When They Do) 
  • Vault 101's original purpose was never to open its doors. For some reason, however, they let your father in (unlike all the sign-toting skeletons you find in the doorway). It's probable James had a very high Charisma score and seemed like a nice guy. Not to mention he carried baby Lone Wanderer with him all that way from the Jefferson Memorial and probably looked extremely bedraggled and exhausted from the presumably harrowing journey. One tired man and a baby couldn't cause the vault any harm, right?
    • As with most other Overseers, the one in V101 had shady dealings going behind the scenes...and "rules for thee, not for me" (ie; don't open the door) were standard practice.
    • It was stated by the Overseer himself in the "Trouble on the Homefront" mission that they all kept quiet about it so that future generations would actually think that "no-one ever enters and no-one ever leaves." Simply put, they lied.
    • Previous Overseers had sent out scouting expeditions - the current one may have had the last one, who let James in and sent out the expeditions, killed in order to put a stop to outside contamination. You can find their reports in the Overseer's office if you check out his computer.
    • It is implied (in the guide I think) that the previous Overseer was killed in secret by a small group of isolationists led by the current Overseer when he was wandering in the Wasteland, specifically because of his open Vault policy, and the other inhabitants, while not outright voicing this accusation, was at least suspicious of the group's involvement in the Overseer's disappearance. The skeletons outside the door is perhaps not war victims, but core supporters of the previous Overseer, forcefully thrown out of vault on some dubious basis because attempting to make them "disappear" would raise the suspicion of foul play further.
    • I always assumed they really needed a doctor (which is what your dad's job appears to be in the vault), particularly since the only alternative they have when he leaves is the Ax-Crazy robot. If you listen to the dialogue during the flash forward after you've chosen your appearance it supports this to a degree ("We need a doctor, not a dentist").
    • I thought he said "We need a doctor, not a scientist.".
    • I was certain it was "We need a doctor, not a deadbeat." implying that they only let him in due to his skills and that he had to pull his own weight.
    • "We need a doctor, not a dental nurse. If you fail to live up to my expectations...". Both a doctor and a dental nurse are medical practitioners, but one is far more qualified than the other. The Overseer was basically saying, "You'd better not be lying to me, or there'll be hell to pay".
    • What bugs me isn't so much why they let him in, but nobody seems to acknowledge it. Wouldn't all the Vault 101 residents realize that this new guy just popped up out of nowhere? If they did know, then it seems unrealistic that they would all be in on the plot and wouldn't tell you about it, especially Amata (assuming you take the good path and don't treat her like a jerk). The survey teams sent out, too, would probably be missed after not returning. You'd think that someone would get wise. Then again, judging by the questions on the "infamously difficult" G.O.A.T., the people in the Vault might not be all that bright.
    • They did acknowledge it. During "trouble on the homefront" the none dialogue NPC's say things like "We never should have let your father in." etc.
    • Considering that all the other kids are the same age as you, it is not likely that they would have any idea that you were not born in the Vault unless one of the adults told them. You were already in the Vault when you were a year old after all.
    • I suspect they're just very, very good at feigning ignorance or just refuse to acknowledge anything that bother them. Or maybe they just shoot people who disrupt the status quo and shove the bodies into a recycling unit. Given what happened to Jonas and almost to your character this seems quite likely. No wonder Vault 101 looks so empty...
    • The old lady that gives you a sweet roll remembered, as the crazy lady passing you a poem on your tenth Birthday, and a few of the security guards that don't try to kill you on sight. They were almost certainly trying to keep things quiet so that the new generation didn't end up with wanderlust, and when the guy in charge has all the guns and a lot of folk willing to shoot first and ask questions later, you do what the guy in charge says.
    • There's also Moira in Megaton commenting on how people were leaving the Vault every few years, up until the time your father got in. It looks like Amata's dad was more hard-line on the whole 'no exposure to the outside world' part than other Overseers.
    • Moira will also give you an Armored Vault 101 Jumpsuit after recalling life in the vault for her book, she says she made this suit for a girl from the Vault around "10 or twelve years ago," but the girl never returned to pick it up, leading Moira to speculate that she may have died.
    • They do acknowledge it, but it's not so much they keep up a facade so much as, in that time period, it wasn't something you were paying attention to. Odds are, they did talk about it, just never in front of the PC. Hints of this are in the hidden conversation between the Overseer and Officer Kendall during the birthday party segment, and Allen Mack's rant through the window during your escape.
    • There's a hint of this in the conversation with Palmer during your birthday: "It feels like only yesterday your daddy came." Not born. He came to the vault.
    • The guy's also a doctor. That's a pretty vital occupation (especially in an underground bunker which, it's clearly hinted, is beginning to fall apart through social strains well before he came along anyway), and it's suggested that he performed his duties well up until he suddenly abandoned the vault; chances are, outside of some gossip behind his and his child's back they just accepted it. After all, outsider or not, no sense in pissing off the guy who's keeping you alive.
    • "Vault 101, with the clear objective to never open its door..." Not so clear. The opening narration suggests this, but oa review of the Vault tech files on the various known vaults in the Capital Wasteland shows that the purpose of Vault 101 is classified. Its purpose might not be to explore what happens if a vault is sealed forever, but simply how do its inhabitants start to behave if they think they're sealed in forever.
    • Which amounts to pretty much the exact same thing from the point of view of the inhabitants who don't get to leave, really.
    • If I remember correctly, the purpose of Vault 101 was to experiment with the effects on a population led by an all-powerful Overseer. The Vault was supposed to stay shut to prevent the population from going through a rotation - trap them with their dictator with no option to leave, basically.
    • Though Butch is canonically a year older than the player, so he might have been held back.

     The age of fellow Vault Dwellers 
  • It seems a bit weird that not only is the Vault 101 population so small (and the vault itself for that matter) but that all of the children are around the same age. During the G.O.A.T. exam when you are 16, every single kid in the vault appears to be present. It is understandable that there'd be restrictions on breeding for population control reasons, but it's odd that all the kids were apparently born in the same year.
    • It makes a lot of sense if you think about it though, all the kids will have friends available their own age, and for education they'll all be at the same level so you can teach them as a class. If you have to control the population anyways, and it has to be this small, that would be the way to go.
    • In Fallout 2 it's explicitly stated that Vault City only allows children to be born at certain times. Pregnancy cannot occur without medical assistance. The woman in Vault City's Vault who tells you this is somehow not age-synchronized with the rest of the population. She complains about everything being geared to a retirement age population when she's not nearly that old.
    • Plus the vault depressive disorder was affecting half the inhabitants. (the sad poem lady and one of the tunnel snakes in Dad's computer at the least.) Depressed people who think there is no future being locked in a box never to leave, don't really feel like bringing more people into their little prison.
    • Also consider that there have been several generations since the war. Only the first couple would have to be strict about it. After that the subsequent generations would sort themselves out fairly naturally.
    • You also have to consider that it IS a video game. The Vaults population capacity (as is stated in various terminals) is supposed to be in the hundreds at least. For the sake of gameplay coherency, do you really think they'd display that many people? Suspension of disbelief.
    • In both your trips to the Vault, there are some doors marked INACCESSIBLE that you can't get through. It's easy to surmise that they might lead to other areas of the Vault. The possibility that occurred to me was that the Vault was divided into dozens of Sub-Vaults, each one largely isolated from the others and using separate power and recycling systems, so that a catastrophe in one Sub-Vault might be contained rather than taking down the whole Vault. Intervening doors would be sealed except for essential maintenance and emergencies. The most obvious means of division would be that each Sub-Vault contains a different generation of children - thus they all grow up together, and take their G.O.A.T.'s together. The Overseer's Sub-Vault is the one near the door, naturally, and your Dad lucked out in that they were currently raising a generation of kids around the same age as his own.

    Little Lamplight 
  • Okay, so when the children in Little Lamplight reach the age of 16, they get kicked out and have to make their way over to Big Town. Where has Little Lamplight been getting replacement kids for the last 200 years? I don't recall anyone in Big Town mentioning having kids and taking them back to Little Lamplight either.
    • I don't think it's too much of a stretch when we have middle-schoolers getting pregnant in RL. Although I shudder to imagine the mechanics of romance in an isolated, adult-free society.
    • There'd probably be a few orphaned kids wandering the wastelands trying to avoid raiders, slavers, etc who might hear talk of this settlement for kids in the caves and go there for sanctuary. Also, as noted below, the possibility of teenage pregnancies from those who enter puberty early.
    • I also can't be the only one who wished for an option to slap those little brats, even if they were made immune to being harmed. Is it any surprise a mod was released that lift that restriction?
    • Just because the Big Town residents didn't mention it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Then there's also the Lamplight scav teams finding orphans, the aforementioned teenage pregnancies (3-5 years is certainly a long enough time for them to pop out a kid or two each, especially considering they don't have contraceptives or society's qualms about under-age sex), and former residents that didn't move to Big Town (like Machete in Canterbury Commons) telling kids about Little Lamplight.
    • Not only that, but the kids in Little Lamplight seem to have no major problems keeping slavers and super mutants at a safe distance, but the moment they get to Big Town, who's wiping out their settlement? Slavers and Super Mutants! Do the bad guys suffer the same stricture against killing kids that the player character does? Do the Muties sit around thinking "soon as you turn 16 I'm gonna eat you"?
    • It's all about location: LL is underground - out of sight, out of mind. There's also only two ways to get in and one of them is from a Vault inhabited by monsters with an entrance irradiated so bad it instantly kills any 'normal' person that gets close.
    • ^ Location indeed. The kids of Little Lamplight don't have to worry about slavers or super mutants or any other wasteland horror because their location keeps them safe. However, that also means they have almost no idea of how to defend themselves against those things upon leaving Little Lamplight, which is why they're barely holding up when you get there. You literally have to teach the residents of Big Town how to properly defend themselves.
    • Defending Little Lamplight is a lot easier than defending an open town. The cave only has two entrances with long tunnels and existing barriers in front of both. The scav teams seem to be pretty successful in bringing in munitions, perhaps stealing from the Super Mutants. In contrast, Big Town is "protected" by a bridge across a moat and doesn't have any major settlements nearby to steal from.
    • Still doesn't explain how come a little band of 100th generation of boy/girl scouts in the middle of nowhere have assault rifles and rocket launchers in their sold in their souvenir shop.
    • Scavenging, again. There's lots of weaponry floating around the Wasteland and lots of people who get killed who drop them. The assault rifles / etc are when they happen to have lucked out and found a few on their various expeditions.
    • Even if there were teenage pregnancies, there doesn't seem to be anyone within with the knowledge of how to deliver the babies. Not to mention the fact that any of them have any level of education, I have high doubts that knowledge can be effectively taught over 200 years by preteens and teens. They also have skills that they really shouldn't have for their ages usually, like I doubt the mayor had developed those leadership skills in 12 years. Are they just born with working knowledge? There's more than just a little fridge logic in Little Lamplight...
    • The title of mayor is given to anyone who beats up the previous mayor. Leadership skills has nothing to do with it, and he said it himself that it's basically anarchy in the caverns. Plus people have been giving birth for millenia, I'm pretty sure people were still being born before hospitals and proper medical care existed.
    • If you're in a situation where it's basically 'learn how to do something' or 'die', you learn how to do something and pass it on to the next guy.
    • Maybe they had an Auto-Doc.
    • Joseph explains that he's responsible for teaching everyone what they want to know from all the books they bring back from scavenging. As for the Mayor, he's hardly an iron-fisted administrator: he says it's anarchy and everyone likes it that way, with the mayor being responsible for knocking heads when someone gets too far out of line. Seems pretty low-skill to me.
    • Look at it like this. In every generation of Little Lamplighters, there is bound to born a few kids who manage to mature faster than others and start taking interest in learning important things like fighting or treating illnesses. Those who start honing their skills early on will learn it faster, since child's ability to pick up new things is greater than adult's, despite the cogitative disadvantage. In addition, those with skills might be teaching their piers and younger kids and in the process, learning their their trade even better. Those few skilled individuals (the Mayor, Lucy and Joseph) are more more than enough to keep the show afloat while others dick around until they hit the puberty.
    • There's no real reason for Little Lamplight to exist the way it does, except that the Developers just wanted a town full of nothing but children (every settlement is entrenched in Fantasy to some degree - for instance, Tenpenny tower is full of rich people who are there just because they say they're rich, Megaton is a town built around a nuclear bomb, Rivet City is a city inside a wrecked aircraft carrier). The real simple question with no answer is: why, in 200 years, did not one of these kids simply beat up the mayor and say "I'm mayor now and I'm changing the rules, I'm not leaving and neither is anyone else" - 200 years of anarchy and poor education is a long time for everyone to follow a rule like "You're 16 now, get out!" simply because the previous adults left to try and find help. Child cruelty be damned, at some point, these kids have probably taken shots at each other over dumb arguments. Why hasn't anyone over the age of 12 matured to the point where they think of something better? They have the resources to bring back more kids and more food, but they enforce the rule that they have to kick out adults with the only reasoning being "we don't have the room or resources" - food is required for adolescents far more than at any other time of life, except for pregnant or lactating mothers - yet they bring more children into Little Lamplight, enough weapons to fight off super mutants (and sell to complete strangers), produce enough food for the entire population with enough to spare the Lone Wanderer, and then there's plenty of room in their gigantic cavern, with some intact buildings outside which they could pull apart for more supplies.
    • First off, "beating up the mayor" is exactly how the leadership works. Whoever beats up the previous mayor gets to replace him. The thing is everything seems to be working so smoothly for them that there's no reason they should feel the need to change the rules.
    • Things are working so smoothly that it's complete anarchy and they have to kick people out because they think there's not enough food and not enough space. Real smooth. If there's not enough food or space, why do they keep bringing orphans back, and why do they keep making more babies? No matter how one tries to Hand Wave those issues, there's a great deal of faulty logic going on there.
    • ^ Well, for starters, if they didn't bring in new kids now and then, well, then they'll all eventually have no one in the caverns at all. And as the mayor said, it does run smoothly with complete anarchy, the monsters and raiders are at bay, there are no serious violent take overs, and they ration supplies properly to survive, and everyone follows the strict moral code to leave when they come of age, even if they don't want to. Maybe the kids decided long ago that eventually they all need to leave the caves and go outside and accept reality. Maybe they just didn't think the details through because hello? They're kids.
    • Hello? They're kids, and that's exactly the problem. They're uneducated, unguided, and no, they don't think the details out. There's always kids who think they know best, and many of them will think 'tradition' is stupid and try to change it. Simply put, the constant use of the word "Maybe" in your argument simply supports that there's no good, rational explanation. You have to stretch really far to make it work. Number one, the place is absolute chaos, the Mayor and everyone else says so. There's no strict moral code that you speak of, except a misplaced belief that children always do the right thing (again, the population is made up of children found in the Wasteland or teenage pregnancies already within - not necessarily a moral upbringing if you're going to use that word). Number two, it's blatantly stretching the suspension of disbelief to think that none of the 'adults' from Little Lamplight wouldn't give up a whole lot of children in exchange for their own freedom (Big Town is one of the places slavers and the Super Mutants pick up 'new recruits' after all). Maybe one of the adults who grew up in Little Lamplight might turn into a villain like the kids think you turn into when you become an adult. Maybe it's just coincidence or really good luck that no one ever has ratted out the place until the Lone Wanderer does. Especially after they leave. After all, they had it good in Little Lamplight. What's to say that later in life, they get second thoughts about the place, and decide to fight for one of the Wasteland's only renewable food sources that is radiation free, etc. etc.
    • Continuing on, if I were a villain like a slaver or something, I could just park in front of the only entrance into Little Lamplight and repeat a message saying that I'll collapse the tunnel if they don't open their sheet-metal gate. Win-win for me, I can enslave a bunch of kids or I can cut off one of the possible access routes into or out of Vault 87 in case the Super Mutants eventually bust through Little Lamplight.
    • And again, if supplies are so limited that they have to be rationed out, why do they keep bringing more children back? After 200 years, children would get the idea that they need more food as teenagers than they did in the years before. So why cut down on your own food supply or the food supply for the people who are your 'family' - blood relations or not. Again, it's a community based on a Fantasy concept, rather than on any sort of realistic expectation of children. Can children be selfish? Yes. Can they be cruel? Yes. Hell, it's possible for children to be even more cruel than adults, even to other children. We're expected to believe that Little Lamplight will shoot people to death if they try to come in (not that children can even fire guns in the game), but they wouldn't have killed each other over the title of Mayor? It's the game and the programming of Fallout 3 that prevents child mortality, not a reality of their situation.
    • Things didn't go to hell in the caverns because the kids in there behave relatively nicely and they aren't suicidally stupid. I can only assume when the kids genuinely start putting a serious risk in the stability of the caverns the mayor and other kids wouldn't be afraid to kill the person trying to kill them all. Slavers are a serious problem, but the kids manage to fend them off pretty well, and really, all of your complaints are just what-if scenarios. The people of Big Town and the kids in Paradise Falls can attest that their system isn't perfect, but the game never tries to say it does.
    • The problem that makes Little Lamplight a Headscratcher is that it's two hundred years since the founding of Little Lamplight and there has been zero change in how the 'system' operates. With all the issues plaguing the Capital Wasteland and Little Lamplight itself, some kind of change would have happened. But Little Lamplight remains exactly as it was just after the bombs fell. It's been said above that the situations and communities of Fallout 3 would have made more sense twenty years after the bombs as opposed to two hundred, and no example is more obvious than Little Lamplight.
    • Was it ever explicitly stated how long it took for the "system" to be put in place, or how long the "system" has been in place? They might have taken decades to figure it out.
    • It's hard to say, but if we take the story at face value, it didn't take long at all. Every adult would leave, and at some point, as the kids grew up, the eldest left when he turned 16, so everyone else simply turned that into a 'tradition.'
    • The game explicitly says that they started exiling the older kids is because they blame adults for the Crapsack World. The resource thing is just part of it. Does no one remember that the reason we hate the lamplighters is because they are insulting little pricks? Little kids are easily convinced that grown-ups suck, and thus it's not at all surprising that the "system" stays in place. Little Lamplighters believe that, as we grow up, we turn into arrogant, know-it-all jerkasses who make life hell and destroy the world. If you're going to bother to bicker and argue about pointless fanwanking logic trouble, pay attention to the the pointless fanwanking details.
    • We -are- paying attention to the pointless fanwanking details, if you can't be bothered to note. As for the reason some fans hate Little Lamplight, it's called Alternative Character Interpretation. While some people hate the Little Lamplighters for being whiny, insulting little pricks, others hate the fact that they are designed to be a nonsensical fantasy community. Once again, why do Little Lamplighters hate "mungos?" MacReady likes to say that people change when they turn into an adult, but how would he or any of the other children really know, since they've gone well over a hundred years without adults living among them - they all end up leaving for Big Town, as the tradition goes.
    • It works the same way religion does. The idea has been ingrained in their psyche for two centuries from the people who came before them. Even if logic and tangential evidence suggested otherwise, it has permeated itself throughout their culture. It has become memetic.
    • Which again, just brings the problem right back around. After two hundred years, children, especially at that age, are much more likely to rebel against "tradition" and religion, especially as they have no actual enforcement of such a tradition.
    • Coming back to 'where do they get new children from?', I kept waiting for the revelation that the Lamplighters had access to a cloning facility much like the one that was used in Vault 108. A sealed sub-level of Vault 87, probably. Although that raises the uncomfortable idea of 200 years of Princesses and Mayor Maccreadys being generated by the Clone-O-Mat... wow, that's even worse than Gary.
    • That... would certainly explain why there's so many cookie-cutter Raiders out there with so few distinguishing features or backstories or family ties. Cloning process results in a poor excuse for a mind and identity, so eventually the cloned children cycled out of Little Lamplight either stay relatively stable and become just another schmoe in the wasteland, or go completely insane and become torture-happy homicidal degenerates and cannibals.

  • Your father in general. He sacrificed the future of humanity and helping the world because he freaked out. So after 20 years he decides to have a change of heart. Yeah, okay, sure. Then the Enclave, who has been a totally unknown entity up to this point, comes to Project Purity to take the credit for turning on a Brita water filter. Your father seems to be pride-stricken, as he is willing to kill himself and others to NOT turn on the purifier. Good job Watson, you've just did the opposite of what you were trying to do! Oh, and not to mention that he sabotages the room in general, as it never seems to clear out of radiation. Good thinking, dad!
    • The Enclave was also going to use the purifier as a club to rally support. I don't think James wanted that, and I don't think that the Enclave is an unknown to him and the Brotherhood.
    • And yet he still inevitably denies the process of still proving clean water in the area. I'm not sure how the Enclave were going to use purified water as a rally support either, considering all the water in the area would be purified. What were they going to do, station troops at every watering hole and river? Bomb towns when it rained? Yeah, I bet everyone would love the Enclave then.
    • The fact that it still was not working when the Enclave arrived and that Autumn would not listen to Dad surely backs up his actions, if he didn't turn it on he would have been shot to death or kidnapped, tortured and then executed, if he did turn it on and they noticed it was not working they probably would have killed him anyway. So I assume Dad took the only option available to him, sacrifice himself, sabotage the generator, kill a few Enclave and buy some time for his child and the scientists to escape and locate the G.E.C.K. Presumably he would have sent his son to retrieve it once they had located one anyway had the Enclave not interfered and I guess he would have expected his child to carry on his legacy. I also assume that Dad suspected the Enclave would have betrayed and killed him and his child anyway even if he had accepted their demands, considering the Enclaves reputation and a lot on instances in Fallout 3 where they happily stab someone in the back at a moments notice. Plus sabotaging the project would have slowed down the Enclave anyway while they worked out how to repair it until his child, the Scientists and the Brotherhood could regroup and reclaim it. They would have seen his notes and realized they needed a G.E.C.K anyway and since they were in on the vault experiment they could easily locate one nearby. This works on the assumption Dad backed up his notes and didn't just leave them on holotape. To sum up, Dad did what he did because he had no other option and the project still wasn't working anyway, he was backed into a wall, and I think he hoped that his final action would have allowed the time needed for his child to finish the job. I still can't account for how the Enclave found out about the project and how convenient their arrival was, his also assumes he had accounted for several variables so considering the chaos caused when he left the vault despite his hopes to the contrary it depends on the opinion of the player.
    • It's just that Dad was a smart scientist, but a really poor judge of situations or people. He's way too trusting and naive, and had zero thought as to the consequences of his actions or the realities of what he was doing. It's recurring throughout his interactions. One of dear old dad's friends in nearby Megaton is resident Jerkass Colin Moriarty, for instance. He thinks it's okay to leave his child behind in Vault 101 - shortly after he leaves, Vault Security is out to kill you. He gets into Tranquility Lane without some sort of way out. What bugs me is that he didn't really do what he seemed to be doing - if he was trying to keep the Enclave from taking over the purifier, he failed. If he was trying to buy time for his child to escape, how would he have known if that would work? He only tries to kill the three guys closest to him, and his kid's on the other side of the door - how was that supposed to work if there were Enclave soldiers right outside the door? And if he had a thought for his kid to return to finish his work, how would that have happened if it were the Enclave still controlling the building? He couldn't have known that Liberty Prime could tip the scales in the Brotherhood's favor. It just bugs me that people like Star Paladin Cross revere James as an impossibly good person when all evidence kind of suggests he's more bumbling than brilliant.
    • Leaving the Enclave in control of the only source of purified water in the Capital Wasteland is a Bad Idea. Doesn't the game make this explicitly clear? Its not a case of pride, its a case of handing over a massive strategic resource to someone who is planning on effectively engaging in a happy spree of ethnic cleansing. I don't know about you, but I really wouldn't want them in control of my water supply.

    An overabundance of raiders 
  • No matter how many you kill, the Capital Wasteland seems to be in short supply of everything but Raiders. You would think all the settlements would be rubble by now, considering the Raiders' numbers versus one (possibly deceased) sheriff in Megaton or a few guards in Rivet City.
    • Rivet City, they have the bridge and apparently some Mirelurks hanging around the water. Also think of the Raiders as Chaos Cultists from Warhammer, they fight the player and innocent people but they most likely fight each other as well, just off screen.
    • The Raiders are also probably not that tough. The player can still take out tons of them with relative easy at about level five or so, and most town defenders are probably more experienced than that. The biggest worry for the larger population centers would probably be running out of munitions, not the Raiders themselves.
    • I second the 'Weak Raiders' motion. It's very likely that they're chem addicts, which would take a great toll on their physical condition, and if they're going through withdrawal from chems it would make sense that they're shaky and weak.
    • Take a look at all the chems and booze strewn about in the average Raider encampment. Their diet is irregular and poor. 'First aid' consists of jamming in a stimpak or, if they're lucky, a 'doctor' with filthy hands and tools. I think it's safe to say that the average Raider is in awful physical shape.
    • Raiders are also largely both disorganized and scattered. Most of the raider groups encountered in-game are very small bands, usually three to six - no credible threat to any reasonable population center in-game, outside the smallest like Arefu. The majority of the large, organized operations we encounter are a few raider bases in the hills, well removed from the major population centers, i.e. the dozen or so at the armory, the group squatting in the giant transmitter towers, and the thirty-odd raiders in Evergreen Mills. The Wasteland itself also makes raider attacks difficult, considering that unless they move in force, leaving their bases unguarded, they'll likely run into at least some trouble going anywhere; a small raider group would likely get wiped out in moments by Giant Radscorpion or Deathclaw attack. Even a big group of raiders might take casualties just moving around.
    • It's not just Simms against the Raiders in Megaton, but also Stockholm, Deputy Weld (For all the use he is), and Deputy Steel. Jericho even mentions that he assists in protecting Megaton from the Raiders whenever necessary, and his own knowledge of Raider tactics has probably led to some successful counterattacks. Given that a sheltered 19-year old without any formal weapons training can mow down entire raiding party within minutes of leaving a Vault, it's likely that Simms, Stockholm, and Jericho are that much more effective against larger warbands.
    • But it is just silly in general. The raider to population ratio, I mean. I think it is safe to say that there are more raiders than wastelanders. But raider caves have dozens of dead bodies strung up in them. Is that all from opposing raider factions fighting? I doubt it. If so, raiders would be in short supply. They can't be spending their time just killing off all the other raiders 24/7. So what do they do? Kill wastelanders? There isn't enough for one wastelander per raider in a whole raider's lifetime! And population in towns is not even close to the level required to support young guys and gals frequently running away from their hometowns to join the bandits. There is hardly enough genetic variation to sustain life at all.
    • It's implied in-game that the actual population of the Wasteland is much larger than we see in-game. A lot of the population appears to be nomads, scavengers, and traders moving from settlement to settlement, and the majority of the ground you can cover in-game is removed from the actual population centers. Note the geographic distribution of the major settlements, i.e. Tenpenny Towers, Megaton, Rivet City, and the Citadel - they're all located in the south-southeast of the Wasteland. Further north, you get smaller towns and villages - Canterbury Commons, Arefu, Big Town, etc. Its probably no coincidence that the regions in the south are safer and less dangerous than than the ones in the north (relatively speaking). If you could travel further south, I wouldn't be surprised if you encountered more population centers. Its just that the majority of the time you spend in-game, you're on the "frontier" of the Wasteland, where the population is going to be lower and the settlements will be more spread-out.
    • My two cents? The Wasteland is a bad place that can do very bad things to you. I don't think it takes much to join the Raiders. And besides, by what I can tell, its implied that Simms is a badass, even though we don't see too much of it (and indeed, Mr. Burke can kill him).
    • Pretty much anybody can kill anybody if they get the drop on them and put a few bullets in their head. The only un-badass thing that Simms did there was turn his back on a man he was escorting to lockup... if you save him he does berate himself for almost getting killed, too, so he probably hasn't dealt with that sort of problem in so long he just didn't think anyone would be brazen enough to shoot the town Sheriff in the head in the middle of town. Which is less non-badass and more just a lapse of judgment, which even action hero main characters can (and frequently do) have.
    • It seems no one goes into Springvale school and reads the computer about the raiders who tried to attack megaton at the very last post she mentions if she can't get the ants below dead and into vault 101 {which seems to indicate vault 101 stretches a long way from where you come out} that she'll end up with a bullet in the head like the last boss of the raider band except this time it wont be from the sheriff it will be from her own men. This tends to indicate raiders are too chaotic to last long in a world filled with ghouls, scorpions, molerats, bloatflies, Yao Guai, loose protectorons , sentry bots , talon company , regulators, enclave, brotherhood of steel, well armed scavengers, well trained mercs, an bridge that can be moved away, super mutants, Slavers, Deathclaws. When you consider how savage the wasteland is and combine that with the raiders tend to be somewhat "confused" {if you mezz them collar them then talk to them again they'll tell you they were just confused before and they don't want to be slave if you remove it they'll be nice to you forever] This confusion leads them to be not really a threat.
    • Bethesda just wanted to give the player something to kill until the Enclave showed up without you feeling bad. That's why they respawn all the time.
    • Which again, is why there's no good rationale behind it.
    • At some point "it's a video game" becomes a perfectly acceptable explanation, you know. If you think there's a market for a game that adheres to realism above all else and spends more time explaining how the world works to the player than actually letting them play the game, then I suggest you take a cue from Xenosaga and actually make said game.
    • ^ And some Fallout 3 fans are apparently mystified why fans of the first two games weren't keen on this installment. None of the previous games insulted your intelligence to this degree.
    • We're just seeing a very small part of the overall world in the game, remember. The raiders probably wander around from all over the place.
    • I say there's a disease that causes people to go insane and "raider" since there are just too many of them to actually support that kind of living for any reasonable amount of time. No crops, limited food supply there simply aren't enough settlements to raid for provisions to survive as raiders for more than like 2 years let alone 80-100.
    • Or, alternatively, they're just people who snap from the strain of living in a radiated post-apocalyptic wasteland and go wandering around fucking other people's shit up. This probably happens all the time — settlements fail and the inhabitants turn feral, a group of travellers get lost and resort to extreme measures to survive, people just give up and stumble out into the Wasteland but somehow don't manage to die... lots of people probably stumble into becoming raiders all the time.

    Unaffected by FEV? 
  • Despite what mutations you might pick up in the game, you are, apparently, unaffected by the FEV virus if you choose Lyons to sacrifice herself.
    • It doesn't actually say as such... but given the backstory, that's not totally illogical. Most of the above-ground mutations are due to, excluding ghoulification and some of the mutated animals, FEV exposure in the first place, either the original form or the mutated airborne (and much less mutagenic and shorter-lasting) form. Super Mutants were completely dipped into base FEV after exposure to FEV's airborne form, the Master and his absorbed minds were dipped into FEV without much radiation or airborne FEV exposure. Deathclaws were pre-War experiments most of which were later exposed to FEV, centaurs are from throwing too many things into an FEV vat at once. The Fallout Bible adds Brahmin, radscorpions, and all the mutated rats and roaches to the list. Anything that was alive and on the surface of the continental United States was probably exposed to airborne FEV. It's not hard to imagine the Eden-modified virus to work based not on mutations, but on FEV exposure. Since the Enclave's location and the vault dwellers were never exposed to airborne FEV or large amounts of the normal stuff, the modified virus probably doesn't notice anything unusual, even Harold's blood or a radiation regeneration modification. That'd still screw the surface population, though, and killing off the Brahmin means that even many of those descended from vault dwellers would die.
    • You are affected by the FEV virus. If you drink the purified water in Broken Steel after using the FEV, you suffer a stat drain and will die after drinking four bottles. Eden said you'd be fine because you were 'born in a vault', which by then you know is not correct. Anyone who thinks the FEV won't affect them is not paying attention to the plot. Choosing to do use the FEV is a choice to poison yourself, and should give you 'Stupid Karma', not 'Bad Karma'.
    • Except he doesn't say you were born in a Vault. He says you were raised in a vault, hell his lines for the scene seem to indicate that he knows you weren't born in a Vault, which is supported by them having one of the scientists from Project Purity collaborating with them.
    • Knowing that his disposable agent would die along with all the other unworthy only-99.9-percent-humans would not disturb Eden at all.

    Daddy still loves his villain 
  • Dad still loves you, even if you admit to him that you set off the bomb in Megaton. He doesn't seem to mind if you shoot good people in the head too. Thanks dad.
    • No, its not idiocy, its an actual phenomenon that has been documented in real life. Parents can and will go to extreme lengths to outright ignore things their children do. They love their children and refuse to accept the possibility that they could have done something so hideous, and even if they accept it, many parents will still love their child, because no matter what they've done, they're still their children. He might be horrified by what you did, but you're still James' child, and parents are not rational around their children.
    • Would she know about it? Would she be watching me? And is there actually a 'decapitate children+ cook for dinner' mod somewhere out there? Because I, for one, have been searching in vain.
    • Uh... well there is a cannibalism perk. And a mod that lets you kill the children in the game. So yes.
    • Not really. I can't speak for the troper two responses above me, but I hope to hell my Dad would be a little concerned if I turned into a scourge of God and put me down or at least stop me from destroying everything pure and decent. Parental love is not a free ride.
    • However, parental love has convinced many that their children are 'not to blame' for whatever terrible things they do, and it's possible for people to rationalize horrific acts if those acts are committed by someone they love. James, having lost his wife and with most of the people he knew (Li and the other scientists, members of Vault 101) estranged or dead, would likely be willing to let quite a lot slide from his son/daughter. An apropos example.
    • Here's my take on this: nearly every NPC who's run into James before you kind of mentions (directly by Dr. Li, indirectly by most others) that he's got a one-track mind. Presumably, his top priority in nearly all his actions is Project Purity; he got sidetracked by getting a child (you) and losing a wife (and research partner), so he goes to the Vault to make sure you're dropped off somewhere safe and at the same time see if there isn't a G.E.C.K. there for the taking (and since there wasn't one, he left when he could; as far as the PC is concerned, he didn't really think that one all the way through, obviously). Perhaps by the point you finally meet up again, he just didn't care about scolding you anymore; or perhaps he simply thinks you're old enough that he's not going to question your decisions externally. He needs the project completed to his ideal, and he knows you're his best shot at that happening (since, you know, you're The Chosen One). So, while there's probably a bajillion holes in my hypothesis here, it seems plausible (though still disconcerting).
    • I don't know about you, but carrying around love letters from a suit-wearing assassin would at LEAST earn me a raised eyebrow and demands to know what the hell I'd been up to when my parents weren't looking.
    • I wondered exactly the same thing and that it would've made interesting dialogue options. You are the family's only child, 19 years old when he's... late 20's or early 30's, and he is professional assassin who is willing to blow a bomb, killing lots of people. Would YOU hand your little girl into care of such man? However, given the material of the letters, where over the time Burke grows desperate and depressed for not able to have you, as put in: "I can't live like this. Wanting you. NEEDING you. But unable to have you." and probably feeds himself a 9mm bullet (Just look at the subtext of the final letter! It almost screams "suicide note"!) My speculation is, that if James knew what kind of man Burke is he would have asked "what the hell you were thinking?", then calm down after seeing the Power of Love in the letters and then two other options Either getting mad at Burke for breaking your heart and then getting cowardly away by shooting himself OR comfort you that you aren't responsible for Burke's death (Wouldn't you feel guilty if your lover kills himself because of you?) and tells that you shouldn't follow him even if you have Heroic BSoD
    • But that would require an option to pull the letters from your pocket and show them to your dad, which doesn't happen. The game just doesn't allow for that depth of interaction here, so we should assume the in-world explanation is that from the time you recover Dad to the time he dies, it's a straight line - No time to stop and chat, so Dad still doesn't know anything more than what you're allowed to talk about in the dialogue options.
    • It does make for some pretty interesting mental dialogues, though. (What, your parents never go through * your* pockets when you're not looking? Man. Guess my family either has trust issues, or they're looking for Tic-Tacs.)
    • Simple reason for this is: If you did shoot good people in the head, and set off a bomb in Megaton and did plenty of other atrocities, and he needed to get a world-saving project going, it was probably in his best interests to fake that he was proud of you and try not to piss you off so he didn't get the same treatment. You shouldn't actually give a flying crap if he's disappointed in you anyway, so what's the big deal?
    • IDK, about any of you but I was totally upset when he found out about the whole blowing up Megaton thing. I felt like he knew from the moment he laid eyes on me when he got out of the tranquility lounger. So embarrassed...but then again, my RL Dad looks/sounds exactly like James so I was about to be like 'OH SHIT I AM SO SORRY And for enslaving a ton of people and children, and eating people, and crushing Moira's dreams' but it didn't have a 'confess fucking everything' option. '
    • Your father... sounds like Liam Neeson. Oh dear god, make him say insane things for us!
    • I suppose in the end since every family is different and every relationship within different, James is as much a blank slate as the player character is. However you rationalize or not their relationship, it simply is a very simple and straight forward relationship presented with very little actual undertones.
    • I'm not taking a side on whether this makes sense or not. But if you complete Tranquility Lane by playing along with Betty while gleefully telling her how much fun you're having in earshot of dog dad, your dad still says "You saved me" in a voice of wonder, even though he'd refused to do the same.
    • Or more simply put, he's savvy enough to not try to start fighting someone (his kid or not) who was clearly heartless enough to just do something like that. You're his best chance at getting the project up and running again, why would he blow it and risk you killing him/sabotaging the place out of sheer spite?

    Unknown History 
  • The history before your exit of the vault seems to have been produced in the factory of ambiguity, packed in the box of vagueness, put on the truck of enigma, shipped on the cargo ship of obscurity, and was then finally swallowed whole by the whale of inscrutability.
    • If it weren't such a conundrum, could it possibly have made any sense? Whether just the Vault's history, or that of the entire world, explaining it would leave so many holes that we are probably better off not knowing.
    • What history? Considering that the majority of the world's books and terminals are burned out, what would people really know about the world other than 'the U.S. and China had a war, nuked the world, and now here we are.'
    • In the museum aboard Rivet City, you can read their attempts at piecing together pre-war history and some of it is wildly wrong. Not only is the history largely lost and scattered, but some in the world are actively 'editing' it for their own purposes. If you go to the Lincoln Memorial, you can meet a group of slavers who will buy Lincoln artifacts in order to destroy them. They are trying to eliminate a symbol that their slaves might rally around.
    • Oh, and what the hell is happening over in Europe during all of this? A terminal implies that Moriarty came from some other country, which we will assume is Ireland. There are also a lot of dead Chinese secret agents running around. I kept waiting for China or Britannia to show up and be the new Big Bad, but instead we just learn that Thomas Jefferson is god of all Idiot Plots. Maybe only the USA got nuked and the rest of the world decided to leave it at that and get on with their lives?
    • Europe is likely a giant version of DC: one serious target-rich environment in case of nuclear war. Capital cities and military bases all over the place (and not nearly as far apart by comparison), centuries-old feuds waiting to reignite, very few isolated places to escape to... probably the last place you'd want to be in case of nuclear war.
    • Then we have Tenpenny, who admits to being a stereotypical high-class Englishman, who came over from Europe and found his tower completely intact and decided to use it as his own personal palace. To be fair he is pretty delusional so he might just be imagining it, but still.
    • I agree that Tenpenny is just freaking nuts. He doesn't even have a proper English accent, and dresses like a British Redcoat soldier minus tall furry hat, so yeah, he's probably just an old, rich guy obsessed with and probably mis-informed about British culture.
    • Let's assume that the communication cables around the globe are broken. Not even slightly implausible... hell, most of the endpoints will have been nuked, bombed or EMPd. Also, communication satellites are dead. After 200 years, near certainty even if they survived everything else. This means no long range comms at all, and it isn't like people are tripping over working transatlantic or pacific aircraft or shipping. You wanna find out what is in Europe? Prepare to spend a few weeks on a yacht, and hope your navigation skills are pretty good, and that the weather isn't dangerous, and that giant mutant seamonsters don't eat you. Then hope it isn't a worse radioactive wasteland than the US. Oh, and then come back and tell everyone about what is going on.
    • For that matter, what's happening over in Malaysia, Timbuktu, Brazil, Japan, or Freedonia? They're not the focus of the game, just like they weren't in the first two games. This is a weird thing to be Just Bugged By.
    • It is relevant, because it strains the plot to suggest that Europe and America would be cut off from each other for two centuries. Unless there are sea monsters like the above troper suggested, someone would have tried to cross by now and bring news. And if one side of the pond were significantly better off than the other, there would be refugees. But no one even mentions it.
    • Did you miss the part about how freaking hard it would be just to try and get there? Considering how deadly walking across the street is, why would ocean travel be somehow easier? Hell, there's not even any communication between Washington and the next state over, let alone the other side of the country. Cross-country trips are notably rare in this series just because of it. Humanity has to start entirely from scratch - they have no infrastructure, no resources, and still have to deal with constant conflict and giant man-eating monsters. They have to reinvent everything and then reinvent it in a hostile environment - and consider that on top of how long it took humanity to travel long distances in the first place and how dangerous sea travel was for centuries until the technology finally existed to make it safe enough. Seriously, how is anyone going to build a boat when there's no trees and a working factory is a rarity and likely a life-or-death affair? And lets not even forget the scarcity of food and utter lack of potable water - a long ocean voyage to Europe requires provisions out the ear and there's no practical way of getting them in those quantities anymore. Plus the ocean is likely dangerously radioactive, so you can't eat fish (raw fish, no less) and even if sea water wasn't already a sure-fire way to die of thirst on an ocean voyage, you'd likely die of radiation poisoning. That's why you don't find out. Because as far as we've been shown, there's just no plausible way for this to happen and after the aftermath of nuclear war and the rebooting of humanity, not much will to make it happen until people can manage to sustain themselves where they are, let alone elsewhere.
    • Against the point made before, I do remember that all the various mutated monstrosities encountered in the series seem to be there, judging from the Fallout Bible, because of FEV, and it was written that "they would not have survived otherwise". Except FEV is clearly an experiment gone wrong on the USA soil, and thus the United States is probably the country who have the worst of mutants needing dealing with. Even if it is mainly because of airborne FEV, we have, I think, no reason to believe that it actually covered a place other than North America and even then, as it's airborne, it would not have affected sea-based creatures (notice that the crabs mentioned below are amphibious). As the pre-war nations had little reason to send nukes in the ocean, the ocean is probably practically non-radioactive and may be the place the most devoid of danger on Earth! Indeed, the population of edible fish would be even greater than before because of the non-exploitation. And the other countries would not have Super-Mutants and the likes. The only problem would be a proper boat or craft for traveling across the ocean and drinkable water, and even then, by the time of Fallout 2, it certainly doesn't seem impossible to have them.
    • Two words: The Kraken. If garden-variety crabs get turned into 6-foot horrors, imagine what a giant squid would become.
    • Mirelurks are what the effin Crabs became, just think for a moment about what the damn sharks are now! I wouldn't go near the Ocean for all the caps and ammo in the country.
    • I wonder how Australia is doing during all this.....Oh god, the mutant kangaroos.
    • Conventional wisdom says that, in the event of nuclear war, Australia will be utterly untouched, uninvolved, and will collectively be saying "WTF, mate?"
    • Not to mention mutant platypus! EEEK! (perhaps they mutate into normal animals like ducks or beavers).
    • Haven't any of you heard of ham radios? Operating at certain frequencies, radio waves can be bounced around the world - its certainly possible to receive radio transmission from Japan, for instance, in the continental United States. Assuming the requisite technology exists, there's no reason people in the US couldn't have received transmissions from other areas of the world, and vice versa. The only real reason is the limited scope of the setting of the game.
    • Ham radio use assumes that the ionosphere isn't massively screwed up still as a result of the nuclear war. Because Fallout uses SCIENCE! and not Science, it's entirely possible that longer-distance ionosphere bounces are impossible or at least take very fancy, very rare equipment.
    • This makes the assumption that people have retained the knowledge to communicate worldwide with a ham radio. With the amount of historical and technological data lost, it's not a huge stretch to say that people are too busy trying to stay alive to bother rediscovering worldwide radio communications.
    • Plus we do get radio messages, they're just all from China. (I don't mean Mama Dulce's, I mean the various Chinese remnant hideouts. And the dead Chinese commando with the working radio under his corpse.) How many people do you think know Chinese when they don't even know who the first presidents were?
    • Have any of you played Fallout? The first game? In the intro movie, we are told, basically, that Europe's political systems degenerated into little countries that hate each other and want each others' resources. When countries hate each other and want each others' resources, the result tends to be war. I think it's safe to assume that while China and the U.S. were destroying their civilizations with nukes, Europe was busily doing exactly the same thing with conventional weapons. Think of Germany after WW2... it was a big pile of rubble... now imagine the same thing if the war hadn't stopped, and every single one of the allies immediately started fighting each other over what was left. That's probably Europe in Fallout: many small nations, living in bombed-out cities, faced with constant famine and disease due to the destruction of their old infrastructure, and locked in perpetual war with each other. It's possible they eventually stopped fighting, but unlikely they did so before creating a new dark age. I doubt they have much interest in anything outside of Europe. The More Things Change...
    • The creators have said that Tenpenny came from England (or whatever it is now) to try to carve out a better life, and he said that he did this to inspire imagination among players on just how BAD the rest of the world is for people to come here to get away from whatever is where they came from. Make no mistake, the entire series says quite clear the entire world was bombed to hell and back.
    • We have no idea how bad off Europe is, but if Tenpenny is actually from the U.K., things are probably not that great. It's safe to assume all the European powers had nuclear weapons and probably few qualms about using them after the general U.S./China war kicked off while they were already fighting. Then again, Tenpenny is a ruthless entrepreneur who promotes living a pre-War lifestyle, so it's entirely possible he's supposed to be a example/commentary on naturalized American tycoons like Carnegie, with less Scottish thrift and more English upper-class entitlement.
    • We certainly have many clues. The Resource Wars prior to the Great War featured a limited nuclear exchange between the European Union and the Middle East just before the oil ran out. They fought for a little while longer and then quit just in time for the US and China to go at it.
    • A certain character in Point Lookout is strongly suggested as being a covert agent for a European power, however, so if they entered the former USA after the war, it might point to at least some European organizations being still at work.
    • Hell, what happened to Mexico! The U.S.A. and Canada are not the whole continent! Since we've been a pretty neutral country since the 1900's, I kinda doubt anyone would care spending their bombs on us. And the center of the country is surrounded by very tall mountains, which might have isolated it from the radioactive winds. Makes one wonder.
    • Mexico likely degenerated into a patchwork of drug-lord run feudalisms when the occupying US forces were decimated. The sad thing is, that wouldn't be too far of a fall from what the country is right now.
    • According to the Fallout Bible it was occupied by the US even before Canada was, in order to seize control of their resources. And now we got Raul in New Vegas, who confirms that Mexico City was in fact bombed.
    • In the first or second game of the series, you can recover a holodisc mentioning some of the pre-war events; among other things, we hear of the European powers arguing with the Middle East over the last oil. Last mention of Europe is in regards to this conflict, and says merely "limited nuclear exchange".
    • 'Course the other thing you could take from this is that if Moriarty and Tenpenny came over from Europe, then 1) there are still people living there, and 2) they have the ability to make long-range boats. In some ways that's surprisingly optimistic for Fallout. Perhaps they trade with the Commonwealth and leave DC alone.
    • A major point of Fallout games is that most people don't know what happen during the Great War, those that are old enough to remember only provide snippets of eyewitness testimony... going with Fallout's theme of letting go of the past, "It's over let's move on and rebuild" if anything Fallout 3 tells you the most about the Great War.
    • Where are you getting all this from? Fallout's overall theme was never about "Letting go of the past." It was always about the cycle of violence repeating itself ("War never changes"). Fallout 3 told very little about the Great War, as it repeats what had already been told in the previous Fallout games.
    • Dude, "letting go of the past" is kind of the entire message of Moira Brown's speech to you, and is the underlying theme throughout New Vegas. Also Fallout 3 featured Operation Anchorage and tons of computers and tapes from people during the war and bombings, as well as a ghoul or two to tell their own story.
    • What are you talking about? "Let Go And Begin Again" is the theme of the DLCs of Fallout New Vegas, not of it's main questline, nor is it the underlining theme of Fallout 3. As a matter of fact, Fallout 3 cannot let go of the past. The various Ghouls in Fallout 3 often cannot let go of the past, as we have seen with Desmond, who is completely obsessed with his 200-year-old rivalry with Calvert. In two separate storylines, two different ghouls have problems with Alistair Tenpenny and are fixated on killing him for past grievances. Even non-ghouls are fixated on the past. Agatha's Violin is all about getting an item that she's not sure ever actually existed that's in a place that, for all she knew, could be sealed up and inaccessible. Abraham Washington is all about digging up the past. The Slavers and escaped Slaves in the Capital Wasteland are warring over ancient Lincoln relics. The problem with Operation Anchorage is that the simulation has been given many layers of doubt as the in-story character logs outside the simulation make note that the General in charge kept changing the simulation until was completely divorced from reality.
    • Not the poster above, but that's kind of the point. It's worth pointing out that in most of the examples you describe, the inability of various characters to let go of the past causes nothing but trouble, misery and death for them and / or those around them. Heck, the main villains of the game are utterly fixated on restoring The Way America Was to the point where they've become genocidal maniacs. And "war never changes" mainly because people don't break out of old habits, grudges and ways of behaving, leading to the cycle constantly perpetuating itself. The characters who prosper most are usually those who either walk away from the past or manage to repurpose it in new ways. Fallout 3 'cannot let go of the past' because it's demonstrating how people who can't usually end up making things worse in the long run. It's not the only theme, but it's definitely there.

  • The Overseer has ordered you killed. Not arrested—killed. He's already demonstrated his determination to cause the funerals of everybody who he so much as suspects may have been involved in James' escape—Jonas has just flat-out been gunned down, and they shoot to kill when they see you without even a pretense of attempting to detain you. You've just shot your way out of Vault 101. I never got out without killing multiple security officers, including Chief Hannon. You did this with the Overseer's gun. He has to know where you got it - in fact, he's certain enough of Amata's involvement that he orders that his daughter be tortured for information - at which point you come in, kill the guard ordered to do it, and basically threaten the Overseer with his own gun. Amata is now just as involved as you or Jonas, people the Overseer had issued "shoot-to-kill" orders against. But Amata, a known accomplice to what has to be the greatest rebellion against any Overseer's authority in Vault history, thinks it's a good idea to stay when you open the Vault and invite her to come with you.
    • This situation screams for a mod.
    • Amata and the others retreated into the lower part of the vault and barricaded themselves in. You know, where you found them? Yeah the clock may have said years have gone by, but the storyline assumes you do everything as soon as you leave the vault.
    • You've gotta stick with your family, I guess. Plus, Amata and all the other Vault 101 residents are basically taught that leaving the Vault means a slow, horrible, painful death. It makes sense that rest of the people there are surprised to see you when you return, because they probably would have given you up for dead by that point.
    • I guess the Enclave Power Armor, Plasma Rifle, Laser Rifle, Alien Blaster, Fat Man mini-nuke launcher, and the two companions I had in tow (a Brotherhood of Steel soldier and a dog) had nothing to do with those odd looks...
    • Seriously, why wasn't anyone in the Vault curious about the Super Mutant sidekick or my super armor? And why did the eviler! overseer try to kill me with a rifle? Shoot at a man wearing sci-fi power armor, carrying a rocket launcher, and accompanied by an attack dog, and the Inscrutable Hulk? Yeah, that's bright. Oh, and the first thing they say to you when you return? "I didn't recognize you with all that outside dust and grime!". Maybe you didn't recognize me because of the extensive facial surgery. Or because of the metal mask.
    • The Overseer was also in full Knight Templar mode, doing anything he could do to save the vault. He wasn't going to throw away the only trustworthy Overseer candidate in said vault.
    • You know, for that matter, when Amata wakes you up, she says that Vault Security is "looking for you." They didn't think to check your bedroom?
    • I recall there being a dialogue option in which you use this as assumed evidence for being suspicious of Amata - how did she get here before they did?
    • And then there's the fact that there's Officer Kendall right outside your room, being momentarily distracted by those radroaches. Remember where you got that first Vault Security Armor?
    • It's likely that they initially thought you had already escaped with your father, but when they realised no-one had seen you with him, decided to conduct a search for you. Most of their lines imply they suspected you were planning to escape with him but had been delayed, with Amata being surprised (and initially dubious) that you didn't know about your father's plans.
    • What bugs me is that every time you're asked by your dad (or Doc Li) why you left the Vault you interestingly can't answer that the Overseer wanted to see you dead. Why cover for that guy?
    • Especially to James. "Well, I wanted to stay, Dad, but there was that little thing with the Overseer sending all his goons after me and trying to have me clubbed to death. Thanks for that, by the way."
    • I thought that too. Maybe, whether you're the Last, Best, Hope or the Scourge Of Humanity, Calling the Old Man Out is just too mean.
    • Yeah, but you can tell him to "go ** himself," so, that theory may be out the window.
    • To expand on this, James is built as this paragon of justice and with a Good Karma total of 9001. Therefore, he is immune to taking responsibility for his actions. That means running out of a safe shelter from a post-apocalyptic hellhole without even informing his daughter to work on a project that didn't even work the first time around, but now that you have a really sketchy and dangerous lead it's alright.
    • Also, James's tapes, and Li's words after you find her in Rivet City, indicate that the project would have worked if it hadn't been for internal divisions and James needing to find a safe place for his child. Similarly, I'm not exactly sure why the Overseer decided that 'a guy escaping with no intention to return' is grounds for issuing shoot-on-sight orders, but assuming that he'd been a little more rational there really would be no safer place for James' kid than the Vault.


    proof The Overseer wants you dead? 
  • Is there any proof the Overseer actually wants you dead just because your Dad left? It's stated pretty clearly that "Anyone caught outside of their rooms will be shot", or something similar. Perhaps the Overseer did just want to talk, and the guards were only attacking because they'd been ordered to shoot anyone wandering about?
    • If you talk to him, agree to surrender and give him your weapons, then he tries to kill you. With your own weapons.
    • Don't forget that Amata told you they shot Jonas—they didn't even BOTHER to arrest him. And if you read his terminal later, it's implied that he had the previous Overseer, who let James in, murdered in order to prevent others from getting in.
    • I seem to recall her telling me that they beat Jonas to death? Not that this changes anything, but still.
    • What really sucks is how the game punishes you by installing an even more corrupt overseer during the trouble on the homefront quest if you off Amata's dad. Amata being mad at you is understandable, but it's really the Vault's vault for not trying to replace the sick puppy I put down. Amata's dad tried to kill me, killed Jonas, and was responsible for the guards I had to kill, and it's very evident that he is, yet no one sympathizes. Its clear why they ask you to leave-they feel ashamed when faced with your common sense.
    • I didn't believe that it was the game necessarily punishing you: Your actions convinced the Vault dwellers that the old Overseer was right, so naturally they'd elect someone who was if anything even more rabidly anti-outsider than the old one, taking the old Overseer's beliefs to the next level if you will. A pretty natural response, I think; they definitely wouldn't elect a nicer or more tolerant Overseer, since the general belief would be that the disaster was caused by the previous Overseer being too lenient.
    • There needs to be a mod that brings some plausibility (and greater emotion) to the Trouble on the Homefront quest, and also makes it so that you're not locked out afterwards.
    • There's a mod on Fallout 3 Nexus called Vault 101 Revisited.
    • It makes sense, the Enclave regardless of which side the Wanderer is working for is going on a witch hunt. Remember what happened in Fallout 2 where the Enclave greeted the Vault 13 dwellers by gunning most down and dragging the rest off as 'controls' for an FEV experiment? They will not welcome the overseer with open arm and instead gun down anyone who resists.

    Cannibalism is evil 
  • It bugs me that, in a post-apocalyptic setting where food and clean water is scarce, you are automatically considered evil for engaging in cannibalism regardless of circumstance. Sure, killing people in order to eat them like the folks in Andale should still be considered evil, but eating human flesh when no other sustenance is available should not be anything out of the ordinary in a wasteland riddled with slavers, raiders, feral ghouls and supermutants.
    • Notice that those slavers, raiders, feral ghouls, and supermutants are the one eating their neighbors, not the normal townies. And you expect to be a cannibal and then to be treated better than those other cannibalistic psychos? It's kinda hard to be neighborly with someone who looks at you as a walking Happy Meal. Beyond that, the wasteland isn't nearly desolate enough for people to be starving to death, which means that eating people as a first or second (or third) resort is, like now, seen as an uncivilized and barbaric choice. There's definitely other food out there - buildings full of 200 year old canned goods, and others who raise brahmin and the like. Unless extreme starvation conditions are in effect, most Western-derived cultures (which would include the United States) are not going to look kindly on cannibalism as a first course of action. Especially when only the bad guys knowingly eat people.
    • True enough, though the fact that old prepackaged food is still viable after 200 years is one of those "gamey" elements of the setting. It is mostly the fact that cannibalism makes you lose karma even if no one sees you do it that bugs me, implying that it is an inherently evil act regardless of circumstance - even if the circumstances that would justify eating human flesh are unlikely to occur in this surprisingly well-stocked wasteland.
    • Notice what you just said - 'circumstances that would justify eating human flesh are unlikely to occur'. That's the key to why it's BAD; there are alternatives to eating humans, and if you don't take them you're doing so out of malice rather than need. That's the key to the karma issues here... on top of the fact that karma's an overall measure of your innate selfishness/selflessness; if you constantly steal things, you're going to be seen as something of an evil or at least petty figure even if you kill slavers, whereas if you take the occasional item which belonged to a slaver you just killed (which is still theft, albeit from a dead person) people won't think as badly of you as they would that new guy from Vault 101 who has a reputation for eating people.
    • So if someone eats unhealthy food as opposed to healthy food when they have a choice makes it an "evil" act? No one is in danger here. If you come across a corpse and you're starving in a wasteland, then what exactly is "evil" about it? Bethesda even contradicts this by making it "A-Okay" with The Family - you lose karma when you kill cannibals who are obviously intelligent enough to arm, clothe, and provide excellent accommodations for themselves: but no, they've still gotta hunt down humans and eat them (or as they put it, "drink their blood." Oh good, polite cannibals. Now I've heard everything). Fact is, the karma system is bunk.
    • You completely missed the point of that quest. The Family isn't eating people, they are literally just drinking blood. The people of the Family used to be cannibals, but Vance took them in and trained them to only drink blood to satiate their desire. If you take a peaceful route in the quest, you can work out a deal between the Family and Arefu in which Arefu gives bloodpacks, and that also has the bonus that the Family no longer sets upon unwary wastelanders.
    • You can eat Human Flesh that is looted from Feral Ghouls without taking a Karma hit, so it appears that the real sin here is desecrating a corpse.
    • I thought it was more that the sin was knowingly eating a human, whereas the stuff you pick up off a Feral Ghoul is actually ghoul flesh, which was once human but is not acknowledged as such anymore.
    • It's worth noting that devouring a corpse only gives you -1 karma. Compare this to using someone else's computer, which is -5 karma.
    • Yeah, and...? Dude, don't touch my computer or I will flip out. Touching another man's computer without permission... I mean, Even Evil Has Standards.
    • The karma system was based on our morals folks. You know the people that design, code and play the game? Not the people in the post apocalyptic wasteland. People today find cannibalism wrong, so it's wrong in the game. Being given the option at all is already pushing it.
    • If they're basing their morals on contemporary models then they're doing a rubbish job of simulating an apocalyptic wasteland.
    • Bullshit. The Karma system is based on a post-apocalyptic morality, as it should be. You get positive Karma for killing raiders - not incapacitating them, providing them with lawyers and setting up court cases for them. As such, consuming human flesh in a hellish wasteland where there are no crops and food is few and far between is not only acceptable and justifiable, but in some cases, absolutely necessary. If you're going to start claiming that the Karma system should be beholden to modern morality, you wouldn't be allowed to go around shooting people with guns in the first place. And really, provided you didn't kill someone to do it, what is it about cannibalism which makes it so exceptionally evil that it should not belong in a world where you can take drugs, sell people into slavery and commit genocide?
    • The fact that you are eating people like some kind of wild animal - despite being surrounded by wild life and forage-able items, making you seem less like a desperate survivor and more like wallowing in your own depravity?
    • So eating people is bad because it involves eating people? Sound kinda circular. I assume that the troper above wondered why a Capital Wasteland Cannibal should seem like a monster in the first place!
    • Capital Wasteland or not, the majority of people will still most likely view cannibalism pretty negatively. As a couple of entries above me pointed out, there are plenty of wild animals around to huntnote  and there's also a fair amount of food that can be scavenged from ruins. In this wasteland, cannibalism just isn't necessary. Therefore, people will be uneasy when they see someone going around eating dead people when there are easily accessible alternative food sources around.
    • Considering that selling people into slavery, committing genocide and (in a way) drug use also negatively affects your karma level in the game, I'm not sure what the point is here. People consider cannibalism, the slave trade, genocide and drug abuse bad in the real world, so they're bad in the game world as well. That's it.
    • -1 karma is so little, it's probably the equivalent of something that would get you a dirty look, but everyone's forgotten an hour later. It's not Evil, it's Slightly Unsettling. The penalty makes perfect sense if you take the scale into account.
    • Fridge Brilliance for anyone who has seen The Book of Eli or The Road - frequent repeated cannibalism is popularly believed to damage the nervous system and induce psychotic behaviour (whether or not this is true in our reality is unimportant, Fallout reality is dictated by SCIENCE!). The Karma hit - even if nobody sees you - therefore makes perfect sense; your cannibalism-induced insane behaviour is noted as evil by others.
    • For more about the dangers of human meat as a staple food, click here.
    • It should also be noted that even today, when the situation does warrant it, we're still usually pretty creeped out about the idea of cannibalism. I'm betting if you found yourself on a flight with a bunch of Uruguayan soccer players, you'd be getting a little nervous.

    Who buys slaves? 
  • The slavers in Paradise Falls catch and imprison slaves, but nobody in the Capital Waste seems to be buying them. Not even the communities that would easily accept the concept of slavery, like Tenpenny Tower. The only slave outside the Falls seems to be Gob in Megaton, and not even he seems to be "officially" a slave, just badly in debt.
    • The DLC The Pitt answers this question, complete with visual aids. They need all those slaves because they use them up very fast. Go ahead and visit - by comparison it will make the Washington DC area seem tidy and civilized.
    • There are slaves in Evergreen Mills, owned by raiders. And you talk to some free slaves who were privately owned.
    • In the Wasteland, slaves seem to be sold mostly to criminal interests, raiders, and (occasionally) butchers to judge by how a certain restaurant came into being. A lot of the local slaveholders have probably been raided by the Brotherhood over the last decade - Lyons has taken a harder line toward such practices than the Elders in California.
    • If all the slaves are sold to the raiders of the Pitt then why does Eulogy charge extra for Squirrel because he's good with computers? And why would child slaves be popular if their only purpose is to be killed in an arena?
    • The idea is that younger slaves are easier to brainwash and control than older slaves who are more likely to be stubborn and retain some of their personal identity. Child slaves can be trained the way their owners want. A child like Squirrel with an aptitude for technology is good to have around and is much more useful to people like Ashur, whose goal is to get the Pitt 'producing' again. We don't see any children in the Pitt aside from little Marie, so any child slaves or skilled workers there are probably stashed away somewhere else, being forced to work on tech. The older, unskilled worker slaves seem to be the ones being fed to the bloodsport of the arena.
    • And again, although the raiders of the Pitt buy MOST of the slaves, there's evidence of privately owned slaves as well. So Eulogy might not have planned to sell Squirrel to the Pitt at all, but some other buyer. Or perhaps keep her around in case Paradise Falls finds some Pre-War tech or needs their computers fixed. Hacking can be a useful talent in the Wasteland.

    Wanderer can't be pure-strain 
  • A Fridge Logic moment that occurred to me after beating the game. I just realized that your character is probably NOT, in fact, a "pure-strain" human. Dad and Mom were from Rivet City, not Vault 101, and you were also born in Rivet City. Dad just took you inside Vault 101 to escape the Wasteland after your mom dies. Dr. Li tells you as much. Knowing that, there's absolutely no reason to believe you'd be in any way immune to Eden's FEV final solution, since you're actually descended from Wastelanders and not Enclave or Vault Dwellers.
    • It's not clear where Dad and Mom were originally from, but the first point of origin the game gives you is Rivet City, so unless they're Enclave defectors or escapees from a recently opened Vault (which the game never gives you an indication of), then it's reasonable to assume that they were Wastelanders and thus, along with you, vulnerable to Eden's FEV.
    • Well if they were Enclave defectors that would explain why dad is so eager to keep the Purifier out of the Enclave's hands when they show up.
    • You were right. In Broken Steel, the FEV-infected Aqua Pura (the bottled water that is made from Project Purity) causes a debuff, and can eventually kill you if you take too much of it. I'm assuming Eden doesn't know the exact specifics of your PC's history, and simply believes through Enclave intel that you are simply a Vault Dweller. Or, alternatively, he didn't care about the fate of a disposable subhuman wastelander and lied to you.

    Alien craft 
  • A pre-war computer entry at the Citadel tells about a fallen alien craft that was never found or retrieved. You, the player on the other hand can find such craft, which not only emits radiation, and a radio signal, but has also crushed houses while falling. If this is the same craft, then the US military intelligence is the worst investigative office, ever in the game's world.
    • I'm pretty sure the message was about another alien craft, after all there's been an alien crash site in every one of the three games(Though one is a Star Trek thing and probably not canon). Given that the houses around are splinters and blackened by the blasts and that the alien body is just lying around next to the ship, I'd say it landed after the nukes not before(The body would go flying at least).
    • There's a truck on the far side of the wasteland shipping alien power cells, so they probably came from an earlier ship. The ship we find JUST crashed, since Mothership Zeta shows up to claim it. And yet another ship crashes and drops a Firelance on your head if you're lucky.
    • Heck, there are at LEAST two different alien crashes in Fallout 3. Looks like Earth is a major interest to this alien race for unknown reasons.
    • They want to conquer us using an army of evil Giddyup Buttercup robots.
    • Judging by their record so far, I'd say Earth is where they train their student drivers. "Okay, now let's try parking on a planet. Oh my Space God! What are you —"
    • Aliens are not supposed to be canon in the Fallout universe. At some point during making the DLC, Bethesda apparently forgot that, which is why there is that discrepancy. Fallout New Vegas did revert back to the "aliens don't actually exist" policy.
    • I dunno canon, Easter Eggs and previous Fallout games from a hole in the ground, so I'm not about to wade into that whole quagmire, but since the entire aesthetic of Fallout is essentially 1950s 'raygun' science fiction taken to a Darker and Edgier post-apocalyptic setting, and since aliens and alien invaders were an integral part of 1950s science fiction, it makes perfect sense that aliens would show up in Fallout at some point.
    • Actually, there are several alien references in New Vegas, if you have the Wild Wasteland trait. There are no other references to aliens in New Vegas, otherwise.
    • Why the hell are aliens so interested in this miserable planet that was nuked to hell and back and is still war-torn? And if they're so interested, why haven't they taken any action? Their technology is so far superior they'd curb-stomp what's left of humanity in... what, a matter of hours? And yet they just fly about in their nigh-invulnerable ships, the biggest of which can blow up an area the size of a nation every few seconds, and not actually doing anything.
    • They're waiting until humans have cropfields for them to draw circles in and one-headed cattle for them to mutilate again.
    • The only plausible explanation I could come up with is they find humankind a source of amusement; much like a child watching an anthill. They can't possibly need resources from our radiation-poisoned planet. We never posed a threat, never even had a clue where they could be. But life-bearing planets are rare - nevermind planets with complex life. Earth is literally a galactic "winning lottery ticket" with intelligent lifeforms to observe and experiment on.
    • More pessimistically, the aliens found Earth sometime in the 2050s and saw this as a rare chance to watch as a primitive race on the very brink of space travel destroyed itself. Think of the poignant nature documentaries which filming the event would allow you to produce back on Aliena!
    • Then how do they have a samurai from feudal japan and a cowboy from the wild west?
    • They used to drop by earth every once in a while to pick up exhibits for their zoos. It's only after the apocalypse happened that they started visiting more regularly, because everything on the planet suddenly became classified as endangered, causing a spike of interest back in the Zorblob Galaxy.

    Vault Dweller interactions 
  • The developers seemed a bit lazy when it came to scripting your interactions with the other Vault inhabitants in the prologue. Seemingly the only person of your age group that actually likes you is Amata, and Butch will always attempt to bully you. Maxing out Charisma does not make an iota of difference to your social status, and having high strength does not make Butch afraid of provoking you.
    • True, but they were going for a Justified Tutorial, so they probably had to be sure that the player saw everything necessary.
    • More ridiculous is the fact that Butch doesn't care whether your character is a ten-year-old boy or ten-year-old girl. One could think that Butch wouldn't try to punch a girl, but in fact he doesn't seem to care.
    • Actually, everyone probably hated you because you and your dad are weird and deviations from the norm are frowned upon in Vault society. Especially that. Also, Butch was about to smack around Amata, the Overseer's daughter. Why would he be afraid of hitting any other girls?
    • At least Butch is an equal opportunity bully. And it is possible through your interactions to make Amata despise you (kill her father and act unapologetic about it), and/or get Butch to open up to you (rescue his mother from the Radroaches or pass a Speech check to give him the courage to do it himself).

    Super Mutant in Capital Rotunda 
  • How did that Super Mutant Behemoth get into the Capital Rotunda? Did they grow it in there like a ship in a bottle?
    • It could fit by crawling through the wider doors.
    • The Capitol Rotunda has a large hole in it, visible from the outside.
    • Forget the fact that the Capitol Hill rotunda doesn't follow the contours of the outer dome at all...
    • Are you referring to the game? Because the real Capitol Rotunda is indeed right beneath the dome.
    • Super Mutants grow over time, making the largest mutants the oldest. Thus, the Behemoth is really a US Senator that is merely continuing his absurdly long filibuster.
    • ^ Best fan theory of everything ever.
    • And he was just kind enough to let them set up laser turrets around the room while they were preparing to attack him?
    • He assumed those were visual aids for the next speaker's speech.

    Enslaving Raiders is evil, killing them isn't? 
  • Why does enslaving a raider result in negative karma when killing them doesn't? Your options are: Running, leaving a murderer to roam free; attacking them, they're dead now; enslaving them, ending the conflict without violence or negligence. EEEEVVVVIIIIILLL!
    • It would be evil because though you're enslaving people who by all rights deserves much worse, you are in turn supplying, financing, and supporting the slavers of Paradise Falls. The majority of them don't have your morals about who they should and should not enslave, and with every slave you capture, you ensure, in a small way, that they can continue to do their dirty deeds.
    • Enslaving anyone, wastelander or raider, is supporting slavery and allowing it to continue. Killing them isn't good because you're inflicting pain on a bad person. It's good because you're stopping them from hurting anyone else.
    • Have you ever heard the phrase, "Better to die free than live a slave"? No one, not even the Raiders, deserve slavery. And even if they did, are any of us in the moral authority to decide something like this?

    Strange Meat versus Human Flesh 
  • If "Strange Meat" is actually human flesh, why is there also "Human Flesh" in the game? And why do the two items have different attributes?
    • For all we know, the "Strange Meat" could've been radscorpion or some other flesh, but it was just too odd to be recognized. Hell, maybe it's super-mutant flesh....
    • It's pretty heavily implied to be human meat since in the Andale shed and basement there are human corpses and skeletons everywhere (some in cages) and pretty much every knife in the game. Then the Andale residents try to kill you for going in, unless you have the cannibal trait. Then you can just say you were going in for a snack.
    • There's also the Hunters who kill humans and strip their flesh to sell as food. Their food is also marked as "Strange Meat."
    • Yup, and I've seen them chasing down and killing wastelanders with no provocation. Plus they didn't even flinch when I ran up and cannibalized the body right in front of them.
    • Reread the Fallout page. And realise there aren't any Iguanas in the Fallout 3 Wasteland... Where are all the Iguana Bits coming from, eh?
    • The fridge?
    • That's why I said 'knowingly' in a previous comment.
    • This was addressed in Fallout 1. "BOB'S IGUANA BITS ARE PEOPLE!"

    Tenpenny and Roy 
  • The Tenpenny/Roy quest. Quite possibly the most ridiculous quest to ever be found in an RPG. All outcomes except one involve a negative karma deduction as well as good ol' Three Dog, who will praise you at one moment, and then blast you for this one. Keep in mind the only choice in the quest that doesn't have a negative karma outcome is where Roy KILLS EVERYONE. Uh, does Bethesda not understand the concept of what karma is? Add that to the fact that if you kill Roy afterwards you gain NEGATIVE karma. Yep.
    • Wow, a there's more complexity than Mother Teresa or eating babies... Is it that hard to do a bad thing for a good reason?
    • Welcome to Fallout, this happens sometimes. It's partially a reference to Fallout 1, where the original plan for Junktown was to have the Law and Order faction become unhinged and authoritarian if given your support, while the Money Making Libertine faction would mellow out and product real growth and stability for the region if you backed them up. It was taken out of the shipping game because it infuriated people new to games like Fallout, but helped to build part of the legend of that game - few game developers were considering choices that innovative and complex in RPG's of that time.
    • Roy's a good person? He's the ghoul version of Tenpenny. After he's killed everyone for no odd reason at all, Mr. Burke pays him a visit to exact revenge against Roy for Tenpenny's death. When Roy talks him down and Mr. Burke tells him he's going to bomb Megaton, Roy gives him the thumbs up, saying he wouldn't mind if he "burned down that smooth-skin shit hole." Getting into Tenpenny Tower was never about safety or a better quality of life for Roy—he just wanted to get in.
    • The Tenpenny/Roy outcome is also true to life. It's fairly common for a formerly oppressed group to get more than a little carried away once they get their hands on the guns and the power.
    • Especially considering that if you got that ending, you've gone through convincing/chasing off the most strident bigots; Roy's nonchalance about the massacre hints that he may have been planning to do so regardless.
    • When you first talk to Roy and if you ask him about his plan to get in, he tells you up front he intends to kill everyone in the building. It should be no surprise that he does it anyway even if you find a peaceful way for him to move in as he was already planning to do it in the first place.
    • Many players may have been expecting him to change his 'kill all smoothskins' plan once a peaceful truce was brokered; I know I was.
    • Especially considering that after you tell Roy he's been let in, he says something like "I guess I don't have to kill them after all."
    • I don't see what bugs so many people about this quest. Even if I was really pissed off the first time I realized Roy played me like a fifty cent kazoo, I find this is actually an excellent example of how things would probably work in Real Life. There is no "good" outcome, there is always a crusher and a crushed. And it's either leaving the status quo in place or switching positions.
    • But here's the thing. We get that Roy's a ** . We just don't get why killing such a nasty piece of work is judged (by the karma hit) as bad as killing a kid's parents and eating them.
    • I also only have a problem with the karma hit you get for killing Roy, before or after he moves in. Roy proves that "Ghouls are people too" because he's a murdering scum bag, not a poor oppressed rotting zombie. But why must I get a karma hit and Three Dog whining like a bitch because I had the foresight to see that? Three Dog has already proven he has clairvoyant powers by solving the "Who blew up Megaton?" mystery with next to no evidence. Its like the only time Three Dog hasn't got the full truth of the story, and you have to listen to him guilt trip you for killing someone no better than a wasteland raider. Either Bethesda are dumbasses (which I wouldn't put past them), or it was just a minor botch in the mission.
    • If you kill him after he wipes out all the humans, you don't take a karma hit. You do take a karma hit for killing his buddies though. Roy is obviously a bad person from the first time you talk to him. Whether his mind is going or he's just an asshole is up to you to figure. I think he was just a bad person, considering there are pre-war ghouls who are of MUCH sounder mind. (Carol) Besides if you kill Roy early on, it's obviously unjustified unless you're psychic (in-game that is, obviously YOU know Roy is an evil prick. but it hasn't come out in-game yet) so the game considers it an evil act, as you've just killed someone who did nothing to indicate they deserved it.
    • Actually, I can confirm that you do in fact lose karma for killing Roy after the massacre. And yes, I did go through all the events beforehand (asking where the humans are, finding the bodies in the basement, then confronting Roy).
    • The real problem I have with this quest is that it tries to enforce Gray-and-Gray Morality in accord with Good Is Dumb. A good character is unable to (in-game) spot Roy's obviously hateful and murderous attitude towards smoothskins, unable to set conditions to his entry to Tenpenny Tower ("Pull your feral friends out of the basement or I'll sic Gustavo on your ass!") and even if Roy has an exploding pants accident on his way to Tenpenny's, everyone still gets slaughtered plus Roy's pals will turn hostile. Hey Bethesda! If you are trying to tell me to consider the outcome outside of clear-cut morality and preconseptions could you please not railroad my options to Stupidity vs. Amorality?
    • Because everyone knows Tenpenny is an evil bastard. Since Tenpenny wanted Roy dead, by proxy you are helping Tenpenny in his goal. Everyone including Three Dog knows of Tenpenny's contempt for everyone. He considered Megaton's destruction as entertainment.
    • Tenpenny is not an evil bastard. Every vile thing that you get ordered to do is being ordered by Gustavo and Burke, whereas Tenpenny seems completely unaware of whats going on. If he really was an evil bastard, he would've just sniped Roy from the top of his tower when he had the chance, and he wouldn't have given you 500 bottle caps for negotiating a peaceful solution.
    • The very fact that you can get a huge karma boost for killing Tenpenny suggests that he very much is an evil bastard; one who might be able to eventually see the logic in allowing ghouls into the tower (as Three Dog says, it's theoretically more paying customers for him), but evil nonetheless. Just because he has flunkies to do his dirty work doesn't mean his hands are clean.
    • It's not just about Tenpenny. Every human in the tower is killed, even the ones who were a-okay with the ghouls going in, even Herbert Dashwood, who is an all-round nice guy with a ghoul best friend/ retainer. How come Three Dog doesn't grill Roy Phillips for all that?!
    • Either Three Dog didn't know Roy done them all in or how deep down Roy is just a Ghoul version of Tenpenny. People on the wasteland already knows Tenpenny as a Wasteland hating man who sees everyone else who isn't better off as him as a source of amusement. In addition, most of the Tower's residents are slavers, old money nobility who views the wastelanders with contempt at best, entertainment at worst with only a Herbert and Primrose as the two exceptions to the rule for not being utter scum. And the price for being invited to a room involves NUKING a settlement just for the sake of amusement. You are doing everyone a favor by letting Roy and the ghouls in.
    • There's always a third option, don't complete the quest. First time through I investigated the Towers after hearing Three Dog yabbering about it every 10 minutes. After I talked to everyone I decided that Roy was going to kill everyone no matter how he got in (duh) and not all of the residents were total bastards. And even if it's vile, being a bigot doesn't deserve death. So I eventually left them alone. Now if there was a way to cap Tenpenny and Burke and take over...
    • I convinced the Tenpenny residents to allow Roy and his ghoul friends in, killed the asshole residents and then killed Roy and his gang after receiving the insanely useful Ghoul Mask from him. I felt like it was a fairly happy ending. I don't recall receiving any negative karma at all either.
    • That won't stop the massacre though. Go back to the tower and everyone except a few generic ghoul residents will be missing.
    • Answer: Karma is if what you did is bad or good, its what other people [ie Three Dog] think about it. Eating people is Bad, not because of morality, but because Three Dog and other Wastelanders think its bad. Killing Roy is Bad, not because morality, but because you're the only one to know he's a complete bastard. Everyone else just thinks he's a poor, oppressed ghoul. Since no one else knows he plans to kill everyone, and there's no option to tell them that, everyone thinks you're a horrible person. The karma system is less karma and more PR. It represents what other people think of your actions.
    • It doesn't. Actions undertaken without witnesses - in fact, even actions undertaken in virtual realities - affect it. What You Are in the Dark is in play.

    More on F 3 quests 
  • In fact, quests in general. Leave it to Bethesda to stick to their guns in there usually being three paths in a quest line; good, neutral, or evil - all of which usually involve violence. Did anyone in the studio ever think of trying to apply logic to a situation? Like, "Hey Roy, instead of living in Tenpenny Tower, why not, gee, move to the Underworld? You know, that ghoul city where you can live rent-free amongst people who will accept you for who you are?" Nope. Not gonna happen. Bethesda intricately laid out scripts and voice acting for the violent path and they want you to appreciate their "hard" work.
    • Agreed. Even for a post-apocalypse world, it seems like there should be a few more options for dealing with problems.
    • Roy's pretty clearly not interested in it for the quality of life. He's a psychopath, and he wants revenge on the idiots at Tenpenny that made fun of him. As You Gotta Shoot Em In The Head demonstrates, he's not the only one (and not too unjustified for Tenpenny).
    • For me, it's just the options (though not particularly less than the other games; except that your stats don't seem to affect gameplay as much). What if -I- wanted to become overseer of Vault 101? Why can't -I- be sheriff of Megaton? Why don't I have greater control over the endings? I love the game and all, but... just a -few- more non-combat options maybe?
    • Compared to Fallout as a whole, it seems like there's a lot less non-combat options. But really, as someone who played Oblivion and compared the two, Fallout 3 is actually an improvement by Bethesda's standards. I was genuinely surprised, for example, that having a high science stat led to a unique solution to the fire-spewing ants problem. Yes, I'd like more options...but I was just happy to see progress considering who handled the game and all. Hopefully the expansion content will improve further.
    • Am I the only troper here that sees just how hilariously impractical the above suggestion is? Find just one game, just ONE game, that you can do anything in. Bethesda can't program everything. This game isn't about, say, overseeing a Vault. This game isn't about, say, looking after Megaton. You're the Lone Goddamn Wanderer; you can't just settle in a Vault or a city...
    • Which was updated for 16 years. Yeah, I wish they never completed Fallout 3 and try to add more options forever, requiring more and more gigabytes just because people need more options. Not to mention that NetHack doesn't have a main plot ("Your goal is to grab as much treasure as you can, retrieve the Amulet of Yendor, and escape the Mazes of Menace alive")... or graphics, for that matter. I can see how a text-based Fallout with no main story would be great. But this is a FPS/RPG. For this type of game that requires more than a few kilobytes for every bit of expansion, there is a Sliding Scale of Game Length vs Details. This game is practically in the middle, maybe a little more leaning to length. I can deal with it.
    • Sliding scale of length and detail? The two are in no way mutually exclusive. Bioware's last few RPGs have had lengths much longer than Fallout 3, with a huge amount of detail -and- nonviolent solutions to sidequests.
    • Yeah but those aren't sandbox games. The more freedom the game gives you, the harder is to add an option for every single player action.
    • Although a game where you can clean up a section of the wasteland, nice or nasty, without pratting about with GECKS and water chips would be cool too.
    • In no particular order, Tranquility Lane, The Superhuman Gambit, The Replicated Man, Head of State, Blood Ties, Oasis, The Power of Atom, Tenpenny Tower, and Trouble on the Homefront all have non-combat solutions. Note that some of the quests still have combat in them, because you have to fight monsters to find certain people, but those monsters aren't actually relevant to the quest itself (for instance, in the Blood Ties quest, you have to fight some monsters to find Vance's hideout, but that doesn't mean that you actually have to fight him or any of his friends to complete the quest).
    • Fighting monsters is combat and violence. However, Tranquility lane requires you to kill everyone one way or another (one path kills them permanently, the other kills people over and over again). The Superhuman Gambit requires combat to get to the people you need to talk to. Compare all of that to Fallout 2, where it was possible to finish the game and get a good ending without firing a single shot, either in self-defense or as part of a random monster encounter. Of course, I'm not sure if poking Horrigan with a mutated toe counts as 'violence'...
    • Even if you do not count the mutated toe incident as violence, the ending featuring the Chosen One blowing up the entire frikin Enclave oil rig certainly does. At the end, he always have a lot of blood on his hands, even if the Enclave deserved it.
    • You could just sneak or run past those monsters, which you'd also have to do in Fallout 2 for a non-violent playthrough (the tanker hold, for instance). Also, finishing Fallout 2 without firing a shot locks you out of quite a few of the game's sidequests and several good endings as well.
    • Right, running away from combat in Fallout 2 or past monsters is what I was referring to. The fact remains is that you can do it in Fallout 2. You may not get the most optimal endings for doing so, but it can be done. Fallout 3, on the other hand, is written so that you cannot advance without killing at some points. The Tranquility Lane simulation is part of the main quest, which -requires- you to kill people, either for good (which seems like a pacifist solution, but it does not count, as it's you who presses the button and it is your intent to kill everyone as part of the quest's solution) or as part of that recurring nightmare (direct violence). I've also never managed to escort Dr. Li through the sewers to the Citadel without engaging in combat, but seeing as she's Set as Essential, I'm sure she could make it... you and the three other guys you're escorting might not be so lucky. And then you can't complete the primary quests in the DLC without, at some point, engaging in combat and violence. The Pitt has the Arena. Broken Steel ends with you calling missiles down on a target of your choice even after you sneak your way through all three of the areas (which I have done, you're still the one pressing the button to rain death). Operation Anchorage, being a combat simulator, has a mission that require you to kill everyone in a building in order to continue. Point Lookout's main quest ends with you killing a Brain in a Jar and possibly the resident Jerkass. Mothership Zeta has you engage in violence right at the start in order, and there's not much you can do to sneak around, etc. etc. Not to mention engaging a giant Death Ray in ship to ship combat (only you can press the buttons).
    • I'm sorry, but the two options in Tranq Lane use completely different definitions of "kill", and require you to work out whether to commit euthanasia or leave people physically alive but in torment. You set yourself an arbitrary moral code of "never kill anyone"? Fine, leave them there to think they're being killed over, and over, and over... perfectly non-violent on your part. Admittedly, the fact that the game reviews your actions and assigns them an objective morality score after the fact rather undercuts that message, but I find it was one of the more interesting and genuinely thought-provoking moral choices in the game. If anything, the fact that Thou Must leave Braun alive but alone for eternity was the moral quandary there, despite what he'd done.
    • Indeed, within the simulation, the two choices are a final death via violent and brutal end by way of a virtual Chinese Army invading and killing everyone, or eventually working your way to murdering a rather nice older woman in a variety of horrible ways, before going Monster Clown on the entire neighborhood.
    • Actually, if you think about it, the "evil" tranq. lane path is actually the no-kill path - those people you attack as part of Braun's sadistic plans? They don't actually die. Just respawn. Exactly like the last 200 years, when it was Braun doing the "killing".
    • It's not a "no-kill" path. It's the difference between being Killed Off for Real and computer-driven Death Is Cheap where everyone thinks they're dying over and over again.
  • I'm confused. Does anyone buy a computer game describing a power struggle in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with the intention of not using the vast array of weaponry described on the back of the box?! Can't we be pleasantly surprised that there are some situations that don't have to be resolved with a bloodbath?

    (Lack of) Genetic Engineering Reveal 
  • Was anyone else expecting a big reveal that you were genetically engineered and that was part of the reason your mother died? (Seriously, who dies during childbirth in a hospital?) It is mentioned that you are growing up and maturing fast, and within days of leaving the Vault you easily grow into a bona fide badass who can go around killing Super Mutants with a flaming sword. (Take that, Brotherhood of "where's my minigun and powerarmor" Steel!)
    • Actually, the maternal death rate, in the United States at least, is 11 in 100,000 births. It used to be much, much higher, maybe even as high as 1 in 100 before the use of modern medicine. I'd imagine something like a nuclear apocalypse would cause the death rate to increase again since resources would be scarce.
    • One in fourteen. Seriously. Mostly post-partum infections. Inexplicably, it took thousands of years for us to realize that a midwife should sterilize her hands.
    • You were born in a lab, which among other things had a machine that could somehow predict exactly how you'd look at the age of 19. It's not like it was some muddy cave in the middle of nowhere with a doctor who hadn't bothered to wash his hands.
    • Seeing how you look at 19 was just a handwave to explain why the character customization window came up. By the same logic you are using, your gender was literally determined by your father asking you what your gender was and the GOAT exam, despite allowing you to choose the results, determined exactly what skills you are most proficient in. It isn't proof of your theory.
    • Both your father and Dr. Li are doctors because they say they are doctors. There's no medical schools, boards, or formal training to demonstrate that they know anything about obstetrics. Also, the Rivet City/Pinkerton labs show that high-tech equipment and sanitation are not always hand-in-hand in the Fallout Verse.
    • Exactly. Dr. Li said herself that they lacked the proper equipment or something along those lines when the two of you discuss why your mother died in childbirth. Like I said, resources would be scarce after a nuclear apocalypse. Just because they have one thing doesn't automatically mean they have everything else. Even if they did, there would still be a very small percentage of women who would still die during childbirth even with the miracles of advanced medicine.
    • The "doctors," as far as I can tell, are chemists, not medical doctors by profession. They just happen to be smart and know something about medicine.
    • Your capabilities are not proof of you being genetically superior. It's a Bethesda game. The main character is always ridiculously overpowered with not even an attempt to handwave it. The closest was Morrowind where your awesomeness could possibly be explained by you being the divine reincarnation of a demigod, but even then, the fact your previous incarnation was so unbelievably awesome he apparently decided to become a demigod lacks any proper handwave.
    • In this game, your awesomeness comes from the fact that you're hopped up on stimulants and constantly injecting more. Just say no to drugs, kids, unless of course those drugs can re-attach your legs after that incident with the land mines.
    • The expectation of a genetic experiment may have been caused by the fact that the title Project Purity does sound a bit sinister until you find out it's just a phlebotinum water filter.

    The Outcasts 
  • The Outcasts. In the regular game they mock you for supposedly being backward owing to being from the Wasteland ("Go bang some rocks together!"). Somehow they fail to notice that you might be wearing a Vault jumpsuit and in any case have a Pipboy wrist-mounted computer. Until Operation Anchorage, when they suddenly do. Though you can trade technological items for supplies at their headquarters in the regular game, it is silly that they do not ask whether your vault may be willing to trade advanced technology to them. The Pip-Boy seems to be thought of as a largely valueless toy, instead of real valuable technology — it's only a very specific computer system in Operation Anchorage that'd make them pay attention for more than a few seconds. A hick walking around with a Pip-Boy and a Vault jumpsuit just broke into one of the vaults the Outcasts must have explored before and grabbed the last few pieces of trash... right?
    • Maybe not every outcast member knows about the simulation and that a pip boy is needed for it. The ones who DO know about the simulation don't actually appear in the game without Operation Anchorage anyway. Maybe that place wasn't even discovered by the outcasts in-game until you download the content. (Seems likely, since you get the distress signal and they're still fighting off Super Muties when you arrive, though the fact that you can wait weeks and they still won't be done fighting is fridge logic in itself)
    • Besides, even if they recognized the Pip-Boy for what it was, it wasn't even the most recent model; aside from listening to radio stations and telling the time, it's hard to say just what the Pip-Boy does within the game's universe. Does it really let you haul 100+ pounds of crap across the Wasteland without actually having to carry them?
    • You have to keep in mind that no one group ever has every single member conforming to the exact same ideals. Consider the situation at the VSS digsite for The Outcasts. They are low on manpower and heavily besieged by Super Mutants, in addition to the fact that they've been unable to find an easy way into the Armory. Morrill was expecting Outcast backup but instead gets you, the Lone Wanderer, who just happens to have the one piece of technology they've needed to get the armory open. Since they're already in a bad situation, it makes sense that Protector Mc Graw would strike a deal that is uncharacteristic of the Outcasts, even though he himself seems a bit abnormal for the group anyway (i.e. being far more polite than any other Outcast). It also easily explains why his decision leads to Sibley and some of his soldiers rebelling against him after you complete your end of the deal.
    • In any case, there were several wasted opportunities for interesting questlines here. Instead of expelling you from the vault even if you have convinced her to open it to the outside world, Amata should have asked you to act as an ambassador the other factions, offering the advanced technology of the Vault in exchange for needed supplies and aid in surviving outside. You could have quests to reconcile the Outcasts and the Brotherhood, hunt down spare parts needed to get advanced technology working, find people knowledgeable about technology and convince them to aid the Brotherhood (like the ghoul Michael Winters, who claims to have been an engineer or possibly scientist before the war), aid them with your own skill in science or expertise in robotics, and so on.
    • Yeah I kinda hoped an Enclave scientist, Doc Li, the brotherhood Scribes, and a prewar ghoul scientist would design Project Purity, while the water filter guys from Megaton and Underworld built it, using tech from Vault 101, and the Brotherhood and Rivet City security held off rival factions. Bringing the whole wasteland together to save the world kind of thing. Or if you're evil, just killing/kidnapping and taking what you needed.
    • Normal Vaults still should be very backwards in comparison to the Outcasts. There is absolutely nothing in the Vault that is high tech enough to be of interest to them. The Brotherhood of Steel mostly came out of the higher tech, better stocked military vaults. Only the Enclave vaults would have had a higher level of technology in them. Not to mention the Brotherhood of Steel is primarily interested in military technology, something the player's vault lacks.
    • The only way the developer could plausibly justify the player's role in Operation Anchorage was to explain that the Outcasts needed a commonly available, fairly low tech, civilian issue computer to activate a military system. YMMV whether that constitutes a plausible technological advantage.
    • The milage gets a bit better when you realize the item they need is one they would have no reason to carry around on a normal basis. Then they get stuck in a situation where that one thing goes to a desperate necessity, and oh look, here comes a vault dweller with just the ticket.

    Dead Trees 
  • Why are there dead trees all over the place? If they got nuked directly, they should have burned into the ground. If they got killed by nuclear fallout after the war was over, should they not have decayed in the intervening two centuries?
    • On a similar note, the greenish tint to everything was a great big WTF. It's forced atmosphere to the level of "oh come on now..." in order to fit with the stereotypical image of what the world would look like post-apocalypse.
    • There's a mod that de-greens the game, in case you're interested. It even gives it a proper sky.
    • They're alive, but only barely. Unrealistic yes, but necessary for the proper atmosphere. The same complaint could be given to Fallout 1 that happened "only" one century after the bombs.
    • Am I the only person who remembers the anti-nuclear propaganda of the 80's? Justified or not, the claims of what radiation / nuclear war would do were massively over-inflated. Fallout 3 reminded me of those over the top apocalyptic claims to a T.
    • That's the point. Everything of the game is a 50's view of The Future!. Including the aftermath of nuclear war. They put dead forests in the game because it looks like nuclear winter.
    • It is likely that the decomposers from the previously existing ecosystem are also gone. Recent findings of Chernobyl have shown that the trees there aren't decomposing. Bacteria, fungi and others are likely affected by the radiation, and the trees just stayed around afterwards.
    • One better: There's a spot in Arlington Cemetery where you can see two completely normal-looking flowers (barring possibly some excessive bloom) at a grave. Explain that.

    Fighting Liberty Prime 
  • Why didn't we ever get to fight Liberty Prime? He had 'final boss' written all over him.
    • Mainly because that final boss would reduce you to a steaming pile of chunky salsa without even slowing down. It took a freaking orbital strike just to stop him.
    • Because he was on our side! Also, because we wouldn't stand a chance.
    • Yeah! You some kind of commie? Do you hate freedom?
    • I was just disappointed that we had to follow behind it for ten gorram minutes while it stole our kills and got stuck on the bridge like an asshole making us revert several minutes of boredom, instead of being able to drive it. I mean, the BoS already had trouble getting the thing to work, it would have been trivial to make the guidance systems faulty too.
    • "Stole our kills?" Please, this isn't Counter-Strike. Though I'll hand you credit about the stuck on the bridge part: Damn bugs.
    • As mentioned above, we wouldn't have stood an unmutated cell's chance in an Atomic Holocaust. It has been attempted, with predictable results.
    • He can throw a nuclear bomb at you! And not even a mini nuke, a full size one!
    • You * can* 'fight' him. Just start shooting at him while walking behind him. Nothing will happen for a bit, and then you will die because he vaporized you with his laser.
    • I didn't want to kill Liberty Prime, I wanted to control him. I guess it would be too mecha for the Fallout universe, but my complaint about having big friendly giants on my side in Oblivion and F3 is mainly that I don't get to take control of them to fight The Final Battle, and my character becomes a side-item.
    • Haha. "Stole our kills", hilarious. It's an escort mission. And you're the one being escorted. If you killed Enclave soldiers, Liberty Prime is so badass he would have every right to accuse YOU of kill-stealing.
    • I thought it was an ironic reversal of the usual escort mission in games - you know, the one where some imbecile with 2 hit points insists on being escorted to the heart of Vampire Mountain or someplace equally bad for his/her lifespan? And after an entire game of skulking, praying, and VATS-ing like crazy, it's great to walk along with your hands in your pockets, whistling. Technically you don't even have to draw a weapon unless you're feeling frisky.

    Pre-War Advertisement posters 
  • The ever present pre-war advertisement posters on each and every wall really started to make me pissed off. Why has an advertisement for a grocery store been placed into an elementary school? Has omnipresent media saturation by a military industrial complex seeped so deeply into society that people now plaster their own homes with advertisements?
    • Not at all far-fetched, judging from FO 3 canon. Heck, take a look at the Halloween costumes ad in the loading screen; one of them is a kiddyfied power armor suit. In the FO 3 universe things really have just gone that far.
    • Judging from the library with a sponsorship deal from a dental company, I'd say yes. (Also, if you take the broad definition of "advertisement", all those posters people put up in their bedrooms in Real Life...)
    • Hmm, you have a point there with the Arlington Library Archive. (EDIT): But they do seem to stretch what is reasonable. A little girl with a poster for a new mechanical horse or a boy with a poster for his favorite television program I'll take, but I don't think anyone is so company loyal to begin wall papering their own households with advertisements for job openings in their own store.
    • They would if they went insane. Nuclear war would do that. Also Three words. SIERRA. FUCKING. PETROVICH.
    • Not to nitpick, but this troper is confused. Did you mean SIMON PETRIKOV, or are you referencing something else?
    • I think the troper in question was referring to Sierra Petrovita, whose house is a Room Full of Crazy, only filled with Nuka-Cola posters (and other assorted merchandise). Post-nuclear-apocalypse could just unbalance some folks.
    • I always assumed that the posters were scavenged by people who had or are living in those areas, and put up for the same reason we put posters on our walls. Sure, advertisements may not be as good as the theatrical poster from Reservoir Dogs, but it's something.
    • how many people have Nike and Reebok and etc. posters on their wall today? This game is both a parody and tribute of the 50's, and people didn't spend a lot of time worrying about things like "the military-industrial complex" unless they were Eisenhower, "Commie Mutants" (go Paranoia!), or on the staff of The Atlantic.
    • I have the pre-order promotional poster from Gamestop for Saints Row: The Third on my wall (they were taking them down and I asked for one). Not too unrealistic.

    Tranquility Lane karma and Dr. Braun 
  • In Tranquility Lane, if you activate the fail-safe, you get positive karma for releasing the vault dwellers from their eternal suffering. However, in rescuing the dwellers, you doom Dr. Braun to a Fate Worse than Death. Why isn't there an option to forgive Dr. Braun and release from his fate? I know that he's pure evil, but why does that justify condemning him to solitude for what might be a million years, unable to die, and unable to make contact with anyone.
    • See "pure evil," above. Honestly, if you empathize with Braun, just give him what he wants and don't let any of the inhabitants out. Then he can torture them eternally as their vile god, just as he wanted... you sick, selfish prick . (Or pussy, I'm equal-opportunity here.)
    • No. I don't sympathize with his torturing the vault dwellers. However, I am morally opposed to giving anyone a Fate Worse than Death. If the only way to save the vault dwellers from their fate is to kill them for real, than what must be done must be done. That still doesn't justify condemning him to fate far, far worse than death. Not only that, but consider this: it has been confirmed that at least two non-vault dwellers can leave the vault with Dr. Braun's blessing. What if, by chance, one person enters the vault, and makes a deal with Braun? One that ends with ten more people forever trapped in the vault, waiting for someone to rescue them?
    • Most people, when confronted with the knowledge of what Braun has done, will have one of two gut reactions: "The heartless prick should suffer!" or "Wow, your own private torture chamber. That's cool. 'Kay, bye." Probably the developers felt that adding a third option would be unnecessary since most players would pick one of the two available options... And honestly, since Braun was quite happy to hand out fates worse than death, I see it as karma, and a much better option than what most people would see as Braun being awarded Karma Houdini status. As to what happens if someone stumbles on Vault 112? If you activate the failsafe, Braun/Betty tells you that it not only kills everyone (by shutting down all but Braun's machinery) but also locks Braun's ability to communicate with the outside. Even if someone found Braun, the machinery in the other pods is as dead as the inhabitants: Braun is completely alone forever.
    • Letting Braun suffer as he made others suffer is not Karma if you're the one doing it. It's an example of eye-for-an-eye justice. Some would consider that barbaric, which is why I agree that a third option would be nice. YMMW, but raping a Rapist as a punishment, for example, kind of fails to deliver the whole rape-is-evil-message to me.
    • The big question is why can't you kill Braun? Once you're out, you should be able to put a grenade in his life-pod and be done with him, thus resolving both the adequate punishment, and the issue with Fate Worse than Death.
    • Okay, that's a point. Hell, since apparently the pod is all that's keeping him alive, you could just open the thing or break the glass and Braun's toast. Adding a 'kill Braun' option would have made everyone happy.
    • I tried. I even tried a Fat Man. That's some tough glass!
    • You can kind of kill Braun, but not directly. Destroy all the Robobrains that maintain the vault, and thus leave nothing there to keep it in repair. Eventually, the Vault would break down, Braun's pod would fail, and he'd die a slow, drawn-out death.
    • Slow and drawn out? The first time anything went wrong with his pod he'd presumably stop breathing. I guess the worst outcome would be the Lotus-Eater Machine failing before everything else, leaving him trapped, fully conscious, in a life-support pod. Ick.
    • Don't forget that the 'Chinese Invasion' solution turns off the failsafe that keeps the people from being permanently killed by their simulated death. Then the karma reward assumes (as do most of you posting here) that leaving the people alive means they're trapped forever, and killing them is left the only moral alternative on the premise that their situation is hopeless as long as they live, rather than that there's hope as long as they're still alive. Huh? Just because you aren't the one with a solution to free them, does it naturally follow that they're eternally doomed? To believe that, you'd have to be a glory hound to the drama queenth degree.
    • First, Braun is established to be some kind of crazy-awesome computer scientist, as evidenced by his work, with no peers or competition in pre-war days; what are the odds that you'll be able to rustle up a computer-expert in the Wasteland? Even if one could pry open their loungers, chances are they'd be incapable of living outside the lounger due to the fact that it's been two centuries, and I doubt the life-support systems are portable. The best they could hope for is continuing to live in a useless body unable to go see anything but the ceiling of the room. It's not so much assuming that only you can do anything to help as knowing that you're the only one, because 1) Once you and Dad leave the sim, no-one else will be coming in, 2) The failsafe means that no-one else will be able to operate the computer from outside, or enter the sim, 3) just because the failsafe means Braun can no longer revive the prisioners doesn't mean he can't still affect them. Note that Braun is still immortal, and the others aren't; quick deaths are usually the morally-right thing for the player to do, although the repeated memory-erasures might mean that it doesn't make a difference for the victims themselves. And in a meta sense, as is par for video games, you are The Chosen One.
    • So wait. Your solution to the "they've been tortured for two hundred years and the only options I have are to leave them to be tortured or to release them from their torment" dilemma is to let them continue to be tortured? When you can personally save them from that hell? This is not justified by the Bystander Syndrome - you have no guarantee that someone else could free them, or even that they'd be capable of surviving outside their pods once freed (Braun implies that they can't) and if you leave it for someone else to come along to try and free them, you're still condemning them to months or years of further torment. From all of the available facts you have on hand, the only ways out are to let them die with dignity or to leave them in Braun's hands. You, at that moment, are in a position to save them, insofar as they can be saved. With no guarantee that someone else could save them, you only really have one moral choice available from two bad ones.
    • Also, they've all been there for 200 years. The pod is the only thing that has sustained their lives, which means that they would probably die as soon as they are "freed" from the simulation. So they're either in the simulation being tortured, or they're dead. There's no third option for them, unless you can kill Braun and let them live forever without being tortured. Since killing Braun is not available, the second-best thing to do is kill them all and let Braun to his fate. He's either gonna find a way to kill himself (it's his fault if that's not possible), or physically die eventually as I doubt that the life of the physical body can be sustained literally forever. Hey, if he dies a couple of centuries later, it would be like an eye-for-an-eye solution, only milder since he's just tortured by boredom and not physical pain.
    • I'm just confused as why doing what Braun says is so evil. Granted, he tortures everyone in the sim, but, except for the old lady who tells you about the failsafe, they aren't aware of it, and they are revived thanks to Braun's Reset Button, while the "good" option kills everyone except Braun, who is trapped in an And I Must Scream.
    • Not sure if anyone here checked the computers before going into the Sim? Their heart rates were super high, their stress level was elevated...
    • Not to mention that some of them were tagged as "deceased", which seems to indicate that their bodies are decaying while their brains are kept alive. Everyone but Braun is already suffering A Fate Worse than Death because of Braun.
    • "He tortures everyone in the sim, but, except for the old lady who tells you about the failsafe, they aren't aware of it, and they are revived thanks to Braun's Reset Button," Exactly. The old lady is aware. That's one person, yes, but would you walk away from one person being tortured, knowing full well what they were going through? Whether it's one person or a dozen, torture is kind of an issue no matter how many people are going through it.
    • If it's only one person, I'd suggest doing what people earlier mentioned doing to Braun. Plop a 'nade in her box and there you go, the rest of the people there are allowed to live on in what is more or less happiness, only with the occasional torturing when Braun feels like it.
    • As the person above noted they at least subconsciously recognize what they are going through and it is just not right to leave people with a psychotic sadist with godlike powers.
    • Not to mention that it's not "occasional torturing when Braun feels like it" - which is a turn of phrase that really should illustrate what's wrong with that idea. This is the only sport that Braun still finds engaging after 200 years - finding new ways to humiliate, injure, defile and finally butcher his 'subjects'. His logs seem to indicate that he switches scenarios when the present locale has run out of entertaining ways for him to kill them. Is it really a good thing to leave anyone, especially innocent people, to be eaten by sharks/impaled on fences/otherwise repeatedly killed in new and exciting ways when you have the ability to prevent it? And of course, it's not just 'physical' trauma, but emotional and psychological trauma, given that Braun makes you fuck with kids' heads and drive women into murdering jealous rages, which also contributes to those heightened heart-rates and subconscious stress.
    • I found Tranquility Lane the most disturbing mission in Fallout 3. Why? Because so few people on the net were looking for a way to free Braun from his Fate Worse Than Death! A common attitude was that he "deserves" to live eternally in Hell. I cannot wrap my mind around this kind of thinking; I spent an hour trying to find a way to get the guy out or at least kill him. Heck, I shot Pumpkin the Mole Rat to save her (him?) from starving even though she would probably gnaw my face off if she had the chance. I wonder which religious/philosophical stances are associated with the ability or inability to show mercy to Braun. To me, it was that kind of wonderment which made Tranquility Lane a mission I'll remember for years to come.
    • Honestly, I don't think many religions out there would show mercy to Braun. Christians, Jews and Muslims all say he'd be tortured for eternity. No mercy there. Hindus would expect him to have some of the worse reincarnations of all time, as would some branches of Paganism. No mercy there. I'm not really sure if Buddhists believe in reincarnation, but no matter what, he ain't getting any sort of positive effects. I (obviously) can't speak for all atheists, but myself? I think he deserves it due to my mindset of "If you're going to do shit, be ready for it to happen to you". I can't think of a single religion that would show Braun mercy.
    • I too looked for ways to save him. After I realised there was no way to set him free and my only other choice was to kill him, I set about trying to blow up his pod and the main computer. Leaving him was an awful feeling. Like the above poster, I too am an atheist. I think Buddhism, and in fact most religions/spiritualities taken in their most liberal form would advocate mercy.
    • Buddhism would probably advocate forgiveness, but that's because there's no reason to get agitated by anything in the material world because it all passes, and by that logic it'd be okay if you didn't bother with your quest because while the raiders and the Enclave and so on will continue to prey on the Wasteland, and the helpless will continue to suffer, it doesn't matter since their dharma will work itself out, or not. There's no need to bring religion or philosophy into what's ultimately a personal decision: As someone who was fine leaving Braun to an eternity of idle solitude, I didn't find myself pondering the spiritual or theological implications of what I was doing, and I suspect few people did. I seriously doubt that there were any religious/philosophical intentions attached the choice.
    • You are very correct, in my opinion. I'm a Christian myself. It does not mean I think about evil people suffering all day. That does in fact go against the point of my religion (Ultimately, the point of Christianity and its most basic philosophy is that Christ died for sinners. He did not die for sinless messiahs, like himself.) I find on a PERSONAL, not a RELIGIOUS, level that it is wrong to leave a person in that state if you have the option not to. No matter how irredeemable a person is in my eyes, I have no right to willingly inflict pain or trauma on another person simply as retribution. I don't generally advocate mercy kills, but yeah. I think an eternity (Or 50, 100, 200 years... what's really the difference to us?) is worse than death. I try not to get too worked up over it. It is just a game. A story. Unfortunately, however, this bleeds into real life. I have met an unfortunate number of people who advocate prison rape/police brutality for criminals. I disagree with this particular ideal, as I think it erodes the point of human morality. That's my opinion on the concept. You may disagree.
    • To be fair, Braun's situation if you activate the failsafe isn't remotely comparable to police brutality, or a rapist being raped; all it amounts to is a prison sentence wherein he feels no physical pain, doesn't want for food or water, and is free from persecution by anyone. Given the extent of his crimes, its rather fitting that he should be punished in the manner that we in our present situation have deemed to be the most humane form of crime management available. It isn't a case of us missing the point by locking him up; the punishment is far less cruel and unusual than the ones people would be calling for in the real world for his actions. There are no mitigating factors, and given that the facilities will eventually fail it's hardly a fate worse than death- Braun can leave at any time if he wants to and end it.
    • Since it's clear the Vault 112 residents would A) probably not survive coming out of the simulation and B) certainly wouldn't thank you once they realized how horrible the world still is, I would have loved a mod that allowed somebody with Science 100 to 'split' the simulation, allowing the rest of Vault 112's residents to go on living in a Tranquility Lane without Betty, while in the other simulation Braun goes on venting his horrible urges harmlessly on computer simulations that he still thinks are real people. Still suitably ironic, I think...?
    • I don't understand the concept of "showing mercy" to Braun at all. Being trapped in a computer simulation that he controls is only a horrible punishment for Braun because he's a Jerk Ass sadist. Plus it at least seems like he could leave the simulation himself if he wished, as if you try to convince him to stop the simulation, he doesn't say he can't, but simply that he doesn't want to.
    • Actually, he does say that he can't leave: in his own words, his body is being kept alive by machines, and will crumble to dust if he tries to stand up.

     Killing Slaves 
  • One thing bugs me about The Head of State Quest and trying to do it from the "Help The Slavers" perspective. They're trying to bust the Temple of Union because of all the escaped slaves it is helping and because they think the legend of Abraham Lincoln will just give the slaves something to rally around. Fine and dandy. But why in the name of Jefferson Davis do they order you to not kill the escaped slaves once you find them but to wait for them to get there only to watch THEM gun down the slaves. Why? They have sufficient arms and soldiers to recapture the escaped slaves easily and it just seems to make no sense for them to go killing product.
    • They told you not to kill them so they could have the pleasure themselves. This is pretty much confirmed in that Leroy gives you 100 caps if he gets to kill Hannibal
    • Escaped slaves have already proven themselves to be independent and brave. Those are the type of people who start revolts. Probably best to kill them.
    • Probably, except that given the technology the slavers have access to (a.k.a. the explode-your-head radio collars) it's not like they can't make the attempt to recapture the escapees long enough to make an example of them to any other would-be escapees. Historically, escaped/rebellious slaves were usually captured alive so they could be executed in view of a crowd so the other slaves would see what happened to those who fought back.
    • Possibly the fact that the slaves had organized as much as they had would have been the deciding point; it's likely that the slaves still in possession of owners (or at Paradise Falls) don't know much, if anything, about this new Railroad. The idea of something can be just as threatening as the reality, and killing the ex-slaves before a crowd would have just made martyrs of them - Better to wipe out the Temple of the Union before word spreads. Can't have the chattel getting funny ideas about hope and freedom.

  • The Karma system in general bugs me on several points. See the above entry regarding the Roy Phillips/Tenpenny Tower quest and how the "good" option entails you indirectly aiding and abetting the slaughter of a large number of innocents. Even after you find out that Roy killed all the non-bigots in Tenpenny Tower, killing him results in bad karma.
    • I ironically described this quest like this in my Fallout 3 War Journal on his blog - "So basically, the moral of this quest is that we cannot achieve equality through communication and understanding - but have to blow up The Man (Tenpenny), kill the corrupt lawmen who follow his orders and kick the rich out of their homes and into the street to live like mangy dogs."
    • Huh, that might be the best moral in a work of fiction ever. No, that's not a joke.
    • This is a certain level of realism here... which has already been covered in the Tenpenny Towers section above, so I won't just parrot it back.
    • Well not only that but if you kill Roy after he slaughters everyone you don't take a karma hit. The only good karma option is to try and find a peaceful solution. It doesn't work out in the end but that is the only thing a good person would do do of the given options. Obviously killing everyone is evil, and killing the ghouls for being ghouls is evil.
    • If I recall correctly, simply killing Roy after getting the good karma option but before he can kill anybody (preferably as he is moving in) will not hit your karma, and will stop the Tenpenny Tower resident massacre from happening, while still making Three Dog praise you.
    • Fridge Logic: FO 3's morality system isn't based on Objective right and wrong, because that obviously doesn't exist. Instead, it is based on what Three Dog and the general public thinks of what you did. Think about it. You don't get a karma penalty from stealing from slavers, or killing fleeing raiders, or sneak-killing Enclave Soldiers/Raiders/Slavers that did nothing to you. Why don't you get a karma penalty for it it? Why do you get a penalty for cannibalism, or convincing Moira that her dream is too dangerous to complete, or enslaving an attacker with the Mesmetron? There can only be one answer: this system of right and wrong is not your own. The Tenpenny Tower quest was a test. If you did what you thought was right and ignored the Karma penalty, you passed. If you did what the game told you to do then you lose.
    • Now all someone needs to do is make a game that gives you a big ol' What the Hell, Hero? epilogue based on this theory. "Why did you do what other people thought was right when you knew they didn't have all the facts available? Why didn't you make your own choices?"
    • Actually you DO get Karma Penalty from stealing from anyone. Even evil people.
    • No you don't. Kill everyone in Paradise Falls, all of the items that are marked as stealing don't actually give karma penalties when taken.
    • This is the best justification for the karma grading I've seen. The Karma point doling system kept on bugging me because my intent was to play a duplicitous bastard, which meant I'd go about manipulating someone by telling them what they wanted to hear fully intending to exploit their good graces... only to be told by the game that I was a swell guy. Thinking of it as a marker for what it looks like and not the actual intent behind the actions makes it much less wallbangery.
    • Consider Colin Moriarty - the crime boss of Megaton. He keeps a ghoul slave as a bartender. He's reportedly forced several women (Nova being the most recent, Silver being a recent escapee) into prostitution and virtual slavery. If you hack his computer, you find out that he's been spying on the whole town and is blackmailing half of it. Your reward for ridding the world of this scumbag? Bad Karma!
    • But he's also the main backing of the town, which is why Sheriff Simms lets him stay around; you think that a Regulator like him wouldn't run Moriarty out if he didn't have a great reason not to? Besides which, the Saloon functions as a hub for the city; a lot of people would be upset if it got shut down, and I'm sure Megaton's got its seedy element as well. Call Moriarty a necessary evil, if you will.
    • Except - after you do kill him - life goes on in the town, except Nova stops whoring and takes over running the pub/inn herself. So there's really no evidence that killing Moriarty has any negative consequences on Megaton at all. It certainly makes things better for Nova and Gob.
    • Killing someone for being a bad person isn't necessarily a positive action. He's not a murderer, he's just a fucking prick.
    • Hey, I'm just going by the game-text and the strategy guide here: The player never sees the 'long-term' effect of Nova replacing Moriarty, since certain things in the game simply don't change throughout the playthrough as it might 'in real life.' If we're looking at things from a purely in-game view, it's hinted Moriarty had dealings with a lot of bad guys, particularly the Slavers and no few Raiders I'm sure; do you think they'll deal with Nova, or she'd stoop to deal with them? For all we know, it's Moriarty's influence that's keeping Megaton in one piece, since for all that there are walls I'm sure a determined group could get inside and wipe the place out. Again, I'm just saying that if it were true that killing Moriarty would have no negative side-effects, Sheriff Simms would have done it long ago, if not one of the others; Moriarty doesn't seem too well-liked.
    • While Moriarty is an asshole, killing him is an act of unprovoked aggression. It tends to cause bad karma when you just randomly gun people down. Being a dick isn't a capital offense, and blackmail isn't that serious of a crime, especially with people like Jericho. Moriarty's notes imply that he's doing that as much as a self-defense option, and isn't actively blackmailing people with that knowledge.
    • Technically, though, it's also an act of unprovoked aggression every time you explode a Raider's head by sniping them from the shadows while they just quietly meander around; and if you play anything like me, you did that a lot. Sure, the red cursor and the HUD tell you that they're a hostile Raider, but in the context of the game world, these things do not exist. Unless the Pip-Boy can actually read minds.
    • If they weren't surrounded by flayed corpses and and severed body parts, I might agree.
    • Also, if they didn't try to shoot you on sight for passing through.
    • Also that raiders are Always Chaotic Evil and no matter how much of a badass you are, how evil you are, or how much better armed you are, they always attack you no matter what. They're basically Feral Ghouls with weapons. Your Pip-Boy is savvy enough to identify them as being both Raiders and threats to you despite you not knowing anything but what they look like.
  • The MOST broken example of this game's karma system? If you kill Millicent Wellington while she is murdering her cheating husband and his mistress, you get bad karma.
    • WMG: The writer for that's wife/husband cheated on him/her.
    • Consider Doctor Lesko - the scientist in Greyditch whose experiments created a dangerous breed of mutant ant - even by the standards of the Capitol Wasteland! He kills the entire population of Greyditch, save for one very scared boy and is entirely ambivalent when you bring this fact up to him, saying that he cannot care for the child as his work must continue... after you clean up his mess. Your reward for giving this amoral egghead the bullet to the brain he sorely deserves? Bad Karma!
    • Intent has a lot to do with this: Lesko's aims were good, and killing everyone wasn't his intention. The only reason he wasn't dead is because he was conducting his experiment from a thick-walled steel bunker in the tunnels, which similarly meant that he wouldn't be getting out to warn anyone. As to him not taking care of Bryan, given the man's social skills, isn't that a good thing? Killing him nets bad karma because a) his intentions were good and b) he's still trying to fix things. Your karma has only to do with the actions you directly cause, which is why you get good karma for negotiating the Tenpenny truce despite it leading to a massacre of the humans by the ghouls (which you probably shouldn't consider a good thing).
    • Except his trying to correct the problem was less about correcting his mistakes and more about saving his own ass. Until you fight through the ants to get to him he's effectively trapped underground. He could have gone and set up his device to pacify the ants himself but was too scared to make the attempt. Granting that he's a scientist and not a fighter, someone who was truly concerned about the damage he was doing would make the attempt, though he might die trying rather than sit around waiting to starve to death while wallowing in his own cowardice. And even after you solve the problem with the ants, he's more concerned about his work than the damage he did. His response to the idea of caring for the boy is more Doctor Venture than Doctor Quest, if you know what I mean.
    • Hey, I'm not arguing that Lesko's a saint; like I said, it was for the best Bryan went to live with Vera. What I'm saying is that A) All scientists in the game (except, apparently, your dad) are more concerned with their work than people; just look at Dr. Li and her team when you try to recruit their help! And B) all scientists in the game (again, except apparently your dad) are shit at fighting, so even if Lesko tried to neutralize the ants he'd just be dead and there'd be no-one to tell anyone else how to handle it. Also, note that after you help him it's entirely possible for Lesko to retreat to the surface and move; the fact that he stays and attempts to reverse the process means that, at the least, he wants to undo what he's done. Lesko's behavior isn't out of place for a scientist in the game, and if you should be getting good karma for shooting Lesko then you should get good karma for shooting Dr. Li since she prevented the bettering of the entire Wasteland. Saying that someone should 'die trying' is the P.O.V. of one who has protagonist stats and the ability to load from their last save.
    • "someone who was truly concerned about the damage he was doing would make the attempt, though he might die trying rather than sit around waiting to starve to death while wallowing in his own cowardice." That's idiotic. Lesko is an unarmed scientist with no combat training against giant firebreathing killer ants. All he would succeed at doing is getting himself burned alive. All evidence is that Lesko is a "big picture" thinker - he is patient and thinks of things in the long-term. Sacrificing himself on a suicidal, ill-advised attempt to get to the computer would be pointless, especially as he's the only one who knows how to operate it and he's performing (in his eyes) long-term important research that can eliminate another danger of the wasteland.
    • A more minor character, but still noteworthy, is Anna Holt. If you encounter her in Raven Rock you'll discover that she willingly betrayed Project Purity to the Enclave. Even then she's completely unapologetic about it and if you call her out for stabbing James and Dr. Li in the back, she'll just shrug and say "sorry you feel that way". If you kill her though, you get negative karma. This is despite the fact that killing any other Enclave scientists results in no karma change.
    • If I recall correctly, she didn't betray Project Purity to the Enclave so much as surrender and join up when it looked like the Enclave was going to win. Not quite as bad, though I agree that she should have counted as an Enclave scientist by then, and thus not have given negative karma.
    • I think the best way to Hand Wave the questionable "Good Karma" choices is to say they aren't actually good, but Canon to what the Lone Wanderer does. This is because, looking at Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, it isn't quite impossible for some Bad Karma choices to have possibly happened, but most of them would lead to situations being Jossed in the next game - wiping out settlements that play important roles is one of them, and Evil Endings (i.e. becoming a Super Mutant for The Master in Fallout 1) are Jossed straight to hell-and-back because there wouldn't BE a wasteland left by the sequel. Plus, since most of the Plot Holes in this game come from choosing the "Evil Karma" options (James still loving their "Evil" kid being the prime example), and just how much the Evil Karma options still leave a bad taste most of the time, it's safe to say they aren't what the 'real' Lone Wanderer would do, and thus the Good Karma choices that seem questionable aren't meant to be legitimately 'Good' options - just options the Wanderer took compared to the 'Evil' options.
    • That said, one way these issues could be solved is if the Lone Wanderer has an option to call out the 'Good' characters who really aren't that Good (like with a Speech Check or certain dialogue trees), and causes them to have a Heel Realization - or at least, drop them from 'Good' to 'Neutral', so that, while it doesn't penalize the player for deciding to Kick the Son of a Bitch, it doesn't openly reward them that much either.

    Braun's motives 
  • Why did Braun want everyone in vault 112 dead? He orders you to kill everyone, which, for lack of a better term Ruins his Fun. Wasn't the whole point that he was getting his kicks from emotional and mental torture and then erasing their memories to start over again? So if you do exactly as he says, you still end up with him trapped inside the simulation completely alone for however many centuries it takes for the vault power to go out.
    • I just finished this quest and in it, I killed Mabel Henderson twice: Once via "creative death" and then as the Pint Size Slasher. Apparently, he just really hates the residents of Vault 112 a lot.
    • If you kill their selves in the simulation they apparently go to sleep or something after having felt the pain like it was their own bodies. However Braun can just go to his console and reset them so they live again with or without the memory of having died as he chooses. So it's emotional, mental and "physical" without worrying about killing them unless you activate the special army program that truely kills anyone that dies but can't work on the guy in charge due to safeties.
    • Eerily familiar— Do Braun's actions seem like those of certain types of gamers to anyone else?
    • Hmm, excellent point. A subtle Take That, Audience! aimed at the sadistic sort of player who, for instance, locks 'virtual people' inside a small room and sets them on fire, laughing as they die before resetting and doing something equally heinous?

    Plasma weapons 
  • Why is it, that the Brotherhood of Steel talks about how the Enclave developed plasma weapons, when every pre-War military bot had a plasma pistol attached. (Completely ignoring that in every previous Fallout title the Brotherhood has had plasma weapons.)
    • Possibly they meant 'the Enclave has developed a way to make plasma weapons!' It's implied that most of the Brotherhood's tech is scavenged, likely from pre-War caches; grabbing weapons from armories is a lot different from being able to make them yourself.
    • Plus, look at them. They're held together with paper clips and duct tape, and made from spare parts. They look like they were made at radioshack! If they were prewar, I bet they'd at least have a smooth plastic cover over the technical bits.
    • The Bo S is split into several factions, and even if they all wanted to share knowledge (which they don't) it would be incredibly difficult to do so. Lyon's group knows how to use and probably how to maintain plasma weapons, but manufacturing new ones is beyond them.
    • In Fallout 1, the Brotherhood is in the process of making new laser weapons, as Vree explains. So they aren't simply scavenging pre-war tech.

     Stanislaus Braun 
  • Tranquility Lane. Why exactly does Braun let you go? You killed off all his subjects and condemned him to a Fate Worse than Death yet his response is something in the lines of 'You asshole, now I have to spend the eternity in here all alone! Anyway, the dog is your father, and I'm gonna let both of you go instead of keeping you as my test subjects.'
    • Braun released the PC and his/her Dad for two reasons. 1) Activating the fail-safe meant that Braun could no longer control them, so there's no point in having them stay and it's likely that Braun couldn't have made them stay if he'd wanted to, so better to just send them off and pretend that you're not completely powerless. 2) Now that the player has accessed the computer itself, he/she might have been able to take control and put Braun through Hell in return, so again it's better to just get them out before they think of it.
    • He has no power anymore. He says so himself.
    • Except if you punch "Betty" after making the door appear, your real body will still get blown up in retaliation. Clearly he does retain some power.
    • That's probably just a developer oversight.
    • Braun should be HAPPY that you're attacking and trying to kill him. You know, save him from Hell through boredom and all that...

    Nuka-Cola Challenge 
  • The whole Nuka Cola Challenge quest and the distasteful/hypocritical karma system coming into play again. Sierra is a hyperactive bimbo - possibly due to the long-term effects of her Nuka Cola addiction. She hires you to track down 30 bottles of Nuka Cola Quantum - an even more addictive AND radioactive version of the same soda. Ronald - a mercenary Jayne Cobb-type and Sierra's only neighbor - offers to pay you for the soda so he can give it to Sierra. Why? Well, despite feeling that she's nutty as a fruitcake, he does want to sleep with her and thinks he can use the soda to buy his way into Sierra's bed. Encouraging Sierra's addiction and further endangering her health by giving her the highly-addictive and dangerous soda? Good Karma! And make no mistake, Nuka-Cola -IS- addictive. You can even ask This guy from the first game about his addiction. Sierra would probably kill to be in Dugan's place. Nuka Cola QUANTUM, on the other hand, is caffeine, plus RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES. But still, just down a few Rad-Aways after a binge and you'd be a-okay. Killing Ronald, who freely admits that he is protecting Sierra purely in the hopes of getting laid someday? Doesn't affect your karma AT ALL!
    • When the options are Jayne Cobb wannabe and people that make Reavers look nice, Jayne is a much better option.
    • Giving Ronald the soda nets you bad karma, even though - after he gives Sierra the soda - she still doesn't understand what he wants and mistakes his advances as a marriage proposal.
    • Convincing Ronald to go get the quantums so he can fuck both you AND Sierra (if you're a female character) results in NO Karmic consequence. Even though he gets himself killed in the process because he's a fucking moron.
    • Granting that Ronald is a total sleaze for thinking that he can get Sierra to whore herself out for glowing soda, he does have ethics enough not to force himself on her (they are the only two people in town - there's no lawmen to stop him) or to take Sierra on a trip to Paradise Falls to get one of those "special friendship necklaces". So helping him out, while sleazy, doesn't seem to be any less sleazy than helping Angela Stanley in setting up her marriage trap for Diego - a quest that gives you Good Karma for using the exact same means (i.e. acquiring a chemical substance) to accomplish the exact same ends (i.e. getting a someone into bed)!
    • The game doesn't always net you Good Karma for what we think would be good actions, nor do they always net you Bad Karma for bad ones. They get you good or bad karma depending on how the person you're dealing with sees your actions... and Sierra really wanted those Quantums.
    • Or it's just the good ol' Double Standard rearing its ugly head.
    • Even if Nuka Cola isn't dangerous, this should not get you positive karma. It's not like you're handing out medicine to a terminally ill person, you are selling soda to some idiot in the middle of nowhere. I'm sorry, but by this logic I should get positive karma every time I sell anything to anyone.
    • It grants you evil karma because of the eventual outcome. If you give Sierra the Nuka-Cola, she'll continue to (unwittingly) tease Ronald, and Ronald will continue to protect her because he has no interest in "plowing" a corpse. If you give Ronald the Nuka-Cola, he'll get into her pants, then bugger off, and Sierra will die because she's a junkie who doesn't have the foggiest idea of how to use a weapon.
    • Uh, no. Giving Ronald the Nuka-Cola Quantum has no such effect, as Sierra still won't have a clue what Ronald wants, and he never gets into her pants. Ever.
    • That was speculation on the future if Fallout 3 didn't have its limitations. We all know that in the code, Sierra will just stand there being deluded forever. (Wow, Tranquility Lane lives.)
    • Sierra Petrovita shows back up, where else, in the Nuka World add on for Fallout 4. There is no word on the canon outcome of this particular quest in 3, but at the very least it shows that she’s still alive ten years later. No sign or mention of Ronald, so he probably ditched her with her being totally unaware of his advances. That said, the important part is that she’s found at the heart of a raider infested theme park, acting blatantly like a tourist... and they just completely ignore her. Maybe being a Cloudcukoolander gives her an immunity to raiders, and Ronald’s protection was never necessary?

    Lucas Simms 
  • One little nitpick...why is Lucas Simms still kinda cold to you even after you disarm the bomb AND save him from getting shot in the back by Burke? You'd think he would greet you more cheerily after that.
    • I assumed it was just him emulating the cowboys he'd based himself on: Think Clint Eastwood and John Wayne were the cheerful types in their movies?
    • I don't know if I'd call him cold. When he sees me with "Hey, friend!" now. Also says "Mighty fine thing you did for this town."
    • Hm, guess his dialogue might be random then.
    • It most likely is random, no matter what story progress was made regarding him or Megaton. Even after saving him from Mr. Burke and disarming the bomb, I'd sometimes get the whole "Don't want to have to waste good bullets on your sorry hide" line from him. I understand him hoping I don't decide to raise hell in Megaton...but I did save his life, as well as the lives of everyone in the town. I'm sure my hide wouldn't be "sorry" after those acts of heroism.
    • Simply put, he's not the heart-gushing friendly sort. He's stoic, firm, focused on only the job rather than being pals with you. His job is still to protect the people of Megaton so he's basically saying, “While I appreciate what you've done to this town, don't think I won't waste your ass if you try to hurt anyone here in Megaton.”

    Enslaving others 
  • The enslaving mechanic seems pretty dumb to me. You mez someone, slip a collar on them, take their stuff... and then tell them to trek through the wastelands towards Paradise Falls, HOPING that they get there alive. Why can't you escort them? Why WOULDN'T you escort them? Would it have been that hard to make them temporary followers until you get them to Paradise Falls?
    • Well, escorting an unhappy slave would realistically have some downsides. Just off the top of my head, they could - like most of your companions do by accident - shout and give away your position if you are a stealth fighter. Basically, they have no reason - other than their fear of dying being greater than fear of a fate worse than death - NOT to be a burden on you as you escort them back to Paradise Falls.
    • Actually, you CAN escort them. You can run after anyone you enslave and while it's usually a bit tricky since they run full tilt and probably aren't weighed down as much as you, they come to a dead stop any time they encounter an monster or run the other way. In fact, if you're using the mods that allow you to enslave nearly anyone, this is the only way to ensure most of your "recruits" make it to Paradise Falls safely.
    • Of course if you're not there, they always make it safely but if you ARE there, the chance of their death increases exponentially.
    • Enemies only seem to spawn when the player character is present, meaning you put a 'recruit' in more peril by following them than you would by either fast-travelling to Paradise Falls (which seems to teleport them straight there) or waiting/sleeping a few hours (giving them time to travel there alone). This is how Moira travels through the DC ruins without dying instantly if you blow up Megaton and don't escort her, and also the safest way to complete the Head of State quest if you decide to escort the escaped slaves to the Lincoln Memorial.
    • What aggravates me most and makes enslaving mostly a waste of time, is that aside from the 4 VIP targets and generic raiders pretty much nobody can be enslaved. All those people wandering around settlements who don't give quests, run stores, and don't even get names are for some reason immune.
    • Not true, I made it my personal mission to enslave as much of the wasteland as possible, and it is certainly possible to enslave quite a lot of random NPCs in Rivet City or Megaton. The trick is to Save Scum, because there seems to be a random chance that they'll be enslaved vs. going hostile vs. Head Asplode. Leave (or hide in the Megaton women's restroom) for 3 days and all is forgiven. Tenpenny Tower, Bigtown, and Canterbury Commons do seem to be immune, though. And mezzing anyone in the Temple of the Union makes everyone else permanently hostile (which makes sense).

    Tranquility Lane 
  • The Tranquility Lane quest really bugs me. I can get why your father makes a bee-line back to project Purity, but I don't get why a SCIENTIST who admits to being rubbish in a fight would then brave the wastes UNARMED looking for this Braun character (could he at least have made a little money and hired a mercenary? As it is he seems crazy at best and suicidal at worst). Then once you get to Vault 112, in an ominous situation that screams "lotus eater machine," (the vault even lacks just about EVERY basic necessity you can think of) your only option is to fall for it and fall into Braun's simulation.
    • Lack of other option, and did not think too hard about the consequences. That's Dad greatest specialty. He was obviously over-excited, I mean, he was going to have a chat with Braun, the Fallout-world equivalent of Einstein, the guy with the magic brain that solves the impossible.
    • I had that gut feeling about getting into the tranquility pod. So why isn't there another option? Getting into that thing just screams, "It's a trap!", complete with Ackbar voice. But no, I follow the quest directions, and get poofed into Happy 50s Land. And then lose karma for punching some kid because I can't figure out where the failsafe, to the point where I used an online guide so I wouldn't lose more karma. Honestly, matching the sounds of the random objects with a little girl's whistling or the zone music? What if I don't have speaks? What if I'm deaf? Maybe I'm Q Qing about the difficulty, but that was by far the hardest part of the game, even moreso then wandering around Vault 101 aimlessly as a noob who didn't know that there was directions on your map.
    • I loved that part of the game myself, I thought it was rather great puzzle. Hell, I figured it out on my first run through. It isn't all that hard really. Select an object, hear the noise. Just keeping trying until you find the right order.
    • You do realize what the tune to get out of Tranquility Lane was, right? The recurring tune in the background music? That you can hear "Betty" humming if you listen? Took me 2 minutes.
    • James is old, pushing into fifties and sixties. He most likely feels that he doesn't have much time left, especially given the dangerous nature of the wasteland, and what little time he has left he has to make the absolute most of. Risks he could afford to dance around twenty years ago now have to be taken head on. With his child safely entombed in Vault 101, he's got nothing to lose but his life at this stage. He intends to fight to finish the project until he dies.

    Lack of Science options 
  • Is anyone else disappointed in the lack of options the Science skill gives you? I mean, it's cool the ones they do have, like how you can yell at Lesko for cutting corners and the like, but it just seems with my 10INT and 100Science and Official SCIENCE! Labcoat, I should be able to just slap him, yell "You're doing it wrong!" and just fix the problem with the ants.
    • Same with the Pitt. "Trogg disease? Pff, move over. Fixed."
    • Having an IQ of 300 won't let you magically solve any science related problem. To do that kind of stuff, even the brightest mind need time, a well furnished lab (hard enough to find in the wasteland) and competent help.
    • Bethesda want you to fuck up the ant's shit. Not resolving the situation with SCIENCE! but taking a gun into the place and killing everything in sight.
    • Imagine your character announcing everything he's doing with the words- "with SCIENCE!" and you feel much better about it.
    • Fallout 3 was simply not written with any believable science, and it shows with the lack of science options. There's some bits about superscience sprinkled here and there, but the game, as a whole, ignores even technology available in the 50s and going with a SCIENCE! answer from a comic book. Project Purity being one outstanding example - it's a glorified radiation filter, but only works with the magic of a GECK (treated as a mini-Genesis device). There's all kinds of scientific issues with that, from more realistic alternatives to the entire thought process around the execution of the Project. It's Rule of Cool at it's finest, be damned what would actually make sense!
    • There's actually a very similar issue with crafting/repairing items. Even at top skill, your options are not only very limited to what you can make, but in repairing. For example, repairing one laser rifle with another consumes the entire rifle used to repair it. Even if all you needed was one part. There's no breaking down things for components (like Flak & Shrapnel refer to) or craft much of anything besides weapons and armor/clothing. People tried to address this issue with mods like the CRAFT series, and Bethesda addressed it in New Vegas, where you can break ammunition down into lead, powder, and hulls, as well as craft meals.

  • The android and the Institute in Fallout 3, that's what bugs me. Seriously, what was up with that? Apparently it's an extremely high-tech place capable of building fully humanoid robots (that can even conquer Uncanny Valley) which are so intelligent they may decide to escape and assume a new, human, identity. Apparently these escapes happen SO OFTEN, they merit the existence of "an underground network to help escaping androids". The Institute just sounds like the fanciest place in the world this side of Raven Rock, plus it's part of a state/entity called the Commonwealth. So why doesn't it actually appear in the game? When I came upon the quest, I thought it was a lead on the game's real villains. But - nada. It's not even mentioned by anyone beyond that one quest. Rather than leveraging this potentially interesting story idea, Bethesda decided to just recycle the Fallout 2 villains (actually all the "big" Fallout 1/2 factions except the NCR). The Commonwealth is not even being considered for DLC. I'd call it a Red Herring, but it doesn't seem to be deliberate.
    • I agree wholeheartedly. So much more could have been done with the Institute, but in the course of 3 DLC packs (and an upcoming two more) there is no evidence that we will ever come in contact with them again. Humanoid androids was such an interesting concept, with so much storyline potential, that I had been assuming we would encounter at least one more in the course of the entire game. Then again, in the interest of actually addressing the issue of why we don't come into contact with the Institute. The Capital Wasteland has nothing useful to offer a place as advanced as they apparently are. At least they can give the Pitt slaves. They have very little to gain from further contact, and their attitude suggests they would hardly do it for their health. Incidentally, I like to think that the implication is that the Commonwealth is post-Massachusetts, and the Institute is an ultra-secured MIT.
    • Given that the Commonwealth apparently has the organisation to form a government (implied by the fact it has a name), and the money to burn on what appears to be an actual scientific institution (rather than some bright kids salvaging technology and awarding themselves doctorates like presumably Lesko), it's probably just not very interesting as a gameplay location. Fallout isn't really about paying your taxes and living a comfortable life of scholarship in a functioning, well-managed state.
    • I assumed that the Commonwealth referred to a group from the UK. This does raise the issue of crossing the Atlantic and all of that, but think about how many questions it answers! You can decide for yourself if this sounds like a good reason not have it in the DLC, but I think it is.
    • Several NPCs involved in the Replicated Man quest indicate that the Commonwealth is somewhere North, on the East Coast. While it doesn't necessarily rule out some kind of UK-originated team, it's more likely that they'd have integrated into American groups by now, maybe centered around the fortified MIT suggested above. Only because crossing the Atlantic seems outright impossible at the moment, and the Fallout series as a whole is focused on the post-War USA rather than anywhere outside those borders.
    • The Institute is indeed MIT and The Commonwealth is post-war Massachusetts. This is mostly just by process of elimination because there are only 4 states in the USA that are "commonwealths", and Massachusetts is the only one in the Northeast part of the country. And yes, I was also annoyed that The Commonwealth wasn't more fleshed out but given that a sequel (aside from New Vegas) is inevitable, I have a feeling Bethesda wanted to save that idea for a full game instead of just a DLC pack.
    • Well, there is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...but yeah, I assumed it was MIT as well.
    • Eh, guys, have you heard about a little book called "Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?" and a movie loosely based upon it? Called "Blade Runner"?
    • Yeah. So? Are you saying that it Just Bugs You that the scientist tried to hire you rather than Harrison Ford and his flying car? Although implementing lifelike android strippers might placate those who claim Fallout needs sexual content again...
    • At the time it was probably just a bit of flavor (and a shout-out to Blade Runner. However, the Commonwealth and its androids were brought back for Fallout 4 in a big way.

    West Coast factions moving to the East Coast 
  • It just bugs me how Bethesda took factions and characters from the west coast games and transplanted them to the other side of the continent with no explanation. The Enclave, maybe, have a reason to be sentimental about their nations' capital, but the Brotherhood of Steel and Super Mutants don't belong.
    • One of the quests involves Harold from the previous two games on the east coast, for no apparent reason other than a Shout-Out.
    • That part's justified. Go back and watch the ending to Fallout 2.
    • Granted, it would be nice if they had put a bit more effort into creating or expanding upon new factions (such as the Commonwealth, discussed above) but, in terms of the story, they give reasonable justifications for both the BoS and Super Mutants. The Super Mutants were created with FEV in Vault 87 (not unreasonable, given that similar FEV experiments created the original Super Mutants and Vault-Tec may have had competing research teams or variations on the same experiment in different locations). The Brotherhood of Steel also have valid reasons for coming to DC - it was a major city which likely held significant technologies. Given that they found the Pentagon and Liberty Prime, the excursion seems to have paid off.
    • I feel it made perfect sense for Vault 87 to be set up the way it was because the entire Vault system was just a massive series of experiments by the Enclave who were doing stuff with FEV to begin with, way before the war. Also it makes sense that not all of the Enclave was wiped out in Fallout 2, since I'm sure some of them ran for it once the oil rig's core started to go. Also there's backstory that has one of the deceased citizens of Greyditch being a former Enclave member who escaped from Navarro and Colonel Autumn's father being a survivor of the oil rig, so it's not entirely implausible. Besides, you can't ever really expect a Shadow Government to go away after just one setback.
    • The Brotherhood has the perfect reason to be there. They are scavenging for weapons and books. DC has the Library of Congress and the Pentagon. The Pentagon might not have the weapons on hand, but it may well have the logistical manifests to tell you where to look next.
    • Not really, for one thing the last expedition they sent failed and dissappeared completely. This was a larger, better equipped force with vehicles, as well. Sending one chapter even further makes no sense.
    • The other issue is that the Brotherhood of Steel is the group that came from the military bunkers. They should already have all this information. The notion that anything of value was left in Washington DC after the evacuation is ludicrous. There is a reason why all the government and military vaults (prior to Fallout 3's hand waves) were on the west coast as far from Washington DC as possible. It is the most obvious target and was obliterated completely and utterly in the bombing, just like New York. Bethesda chose to disregard that.
    • Actually, there's no reason that the Brotherhood of Steel should have any data regarding any military installation other than the one they're in. Not every base has a nifty manifest of the exact purpose, location and logistics of every other base. The Brotherhood came from a few military bunkers, and they occupy a few more, but they probably don't know that, say, McConnell Air Force Base houses a wing of fighters. The D.C. area has absolutely everything necessary for their mission to find and preserve pre-War technology - and is conveniently located away from any of the West's burgeoning nations that can oppose their quest. Raven Rock alone could have contained a full battalion of Power Armor and weaponry for all they knew (and apparently did). And the Enclave would be ludicrous if they never intended to return to D.C. If they really controlled the pre-War government, then they had to have had some ability to live on in the Raven Rock bunker, which is the bunker from which the real life US government would survive a nuclear war.
    • Clearly you've never seen any classic science-fiction movie where the crumbling remains - or even surprisingly-intact remains - of Important Buildings survive both the ravages of time and direct nuclear/laser strikes. All the Fallout games, especially 3, runs on the sort of sci-fi implausibility that makes it fun to play, and within the universe those rules create search teams make sense. It's likely they had pre-War records indicating important sites and caches whose recovery would have made a trek worth it, and it panned out: They're recovering everything from Pre-War Books (preserving knowledge, culture, and history) to a flippin' huge giant war-machine that chucks nukes at their foes. The Brotherhood presence is also what allowed Project Purity to get started, kept the DC area from being completely overrun, and helped get the basin purified (and distribute the purified water). So within the universe, yeah, they had reason to go out there, and it paid off.

    Fawkes acting like a brute 
  • Fawkes. For a 'civilized' super mutant, he really likes to whip out that gatling laser and go, "AHAHAHAHAHAHA! WHY DON'T YOU PUT UP A REAL FIGHT? THIS IS TOO EASY. HAHAHA!" Yeah. I suppose he's not that different from his brothers. And why doesn't anyone shoot him on sight? I'm pretty sure after I met him, he wouldn't come along with me because of that reason. Of course, I did already have a companion at the time, but still.
    • Fawkes' issues are actually explained/handwaved. One of his random comments are about him being amazed at how people tolerate him so easily because the trust the player, and another makes him almost break down in how he sometimes has to struggle against his primal side. A few of his other quotes relate to Zen Buddhism, so it's not a far stretch to say he is "meditating" to keep himself from going batshit like the other Super Mutants.
    • Really his dialogue is just regular recycled super mutie dialogue during combat. Everything he says is something normal muties say.
    • Not wanting to sound picky but Fawkes is female...
    • Actually, no he's not. Word of God has confirmed this.

    Moriarty and Tenpenny 
  • Was anyone else bemused/enraged by the fact that there's a guy with an extremely strong Irish accent in the middle of the Wasteland? I mean, even if his father was Irish, from Ireland, and he wasn't introduced to any other people in the first 14 years of his life, he still wouldn't be carrying around that kind of brogue fifteen or more years later. There simply isn't enough people to develop a regional accent. And let's not forget, he is only Irish in the same way actor Guy Pearce is from Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
    • He could have emigrated to the area from a group of Irish survivors.
    • A lot of evidence supports the theory that only America survived World War OSHI - in the Vaults. Europe fell into the Resource Wars, so it's doubtful that Ireland survived.
    • It's highly doubtful that any of the other countries still exist in name. However, there are still other people around the world, Moriaty's father came from Ireland and Tenpenny came from England.
    • Or he just fakes it, to stand out a bit more. More plausible than him actually sounding like that.
    • Actually, if he hails from Ireland, that all would make sense. Granted, he'd pick up some "Americanisms", but many people do not completely lose their accent over life if they grow up somewhere else. Also it's not about "not enough people to develop an accent", which is a false premise anyway, actually the less people in a given community, the more likely they'd be to adapt new language patterns (because of less inertia). It's about the old accent still existing and there's no reason to change to some standard English (or American) afterwards.

    Slave Collars 
  • Why use an explosive neck collar on the slaves? That kind of ruins the merchandise. Wouldn't an exploding foot bracelet do the trick? Or an arm bracelet? I'm sure that the slavers probably just pulled this stuff out of a bunker somewhere, but if you only cripple a leg, then with a wooden replacement or hook-hand you could at least sell the merchandise at a reduced cost. Hell, explosive underwear would do the trick...
    • Explosives on the arms or legs are easier to tamper with, as you can actually see what you're doing.
    • You'd be slightly more willing to risk having your leg explode than your neck explode, and having more injured merchandise brings less money than mostly unharmed merchandise with a few dead examples.
    • And they bought them off the Commonwealth for specifically that purpose. They used them on androids up there.
    • Where's the proof that they came from the Commonwealth?
    • New Vegas shows they were used in Big MT to control the chinese in the lab's death camp wouldn't be too shocking the Commonwealth which seems to be another Think Tank had the same.
    • Again, where's the proof in Fallout 3? New Vegas was not written by the same people as Fallout 3 was.
    • IIRC, Grouse says they come from the commonwealth when he explains them to you.
    • No, he does not. Grouse only tells you how the slave collars work and how to use them. He never says anything about where they come from. You can only ask him about the Mesmotron, which he says they found in an old military base.

    Mr. Burke and his magic pistol 
  • How is it that after I pickpocketed the gun of Mr. Burke.. He was still able to pull one out of nowhere in Megaton?
    • Obviously that was the decoy gun.
    • As mentioned above, under the Pitt category, scripted events suck. Next time you're doing the Vault 101 tutorial, kill the guards in the Atrium, and watch in awe as Tom and Mary Holden run towards you, then inexplicably drop dead.
    • On a related note, go talk to Mr. Lopez on his suicide perch and offer to push him. But offer to push him with your back to the ledge, facing him. He ragdolls backwards and dies before he hits the ground. The ground he's STANDING ON.
    • Heart-attack?
    • Aliens.

    Cleaning the dirty, dirty Wasteland 
  • My thing is about cleanliness. Take a look around Rivet City, Megaton, the Citadel, or any other half-civilized area. Despite the fact that of all the places I can think of have been continually lived in for the past twenty-five years, no one has tried to tidy the place up. Just after you exit the stairwell during your first time in Rivet City, you see a room filled with rubble, dust and a multitude of skewed file cabinets. In all the time people have walked past this room over and over and over, no one thought to take a broom to it. You've even got a bunch of uptight scientists in the lab that like to run a tight ship. Not one person in the near two hundred years of settlement on that ship has been a perfectionist, or even a little anal. Or even had a couple hours free time and wanted to help out the place. This bugs me, as does this: I have a Grimy/Dirty Pre-War Whatever. I have Purified Water. I even have a couple boxes of Abraxo Cleaner. How can I not make this Spotless, or at least clean? It's as if everybody lost any real sense of initiative after the bombs fell.
    • Part of this is at least handwaved in Rivet City. One of the inhabitants has the job of cleaning the place up. If you comment that she hasn't been doing a very good job, she just says "you should have seen it before".
    • Most water is radioactive, and not exactly ideal for cleaning. The purified water is too precious as drinking water to be wasted as a cleaning supply. I imagine after they have fixed the purifier, they'll begin cleaning up.
    • The world ending (really just taking a hit and losing most of civilization but it still feels the same) is enough of a downer to destroy most people's initiative I'd say. Also no one needed that room and everyone probably has their hands full trying to do offscreen stuff related to survival.
    • There's an added problem: Fallout 2 has already shown that towns can actually be clean and reliable. Electricity was running in goddamn New Reno, New California Republic, San Francisco, Vault City, even fucking Gecko. Shady Sands was cleaner than nearly every human settlement in the Capital Wasteland, and that was only three generations after the bombs fell.
    • It's the game code. The same code that makes paper and rubble show up everywhere is at work. In mothership zeta, ON the mothership, wasteland garbage builds up for no reason, and builds up more every time you enter the engineering core. It's trying to randomly place paper and garbage about the wasteland so that it's not always in the same place. It ends up just making everything look dirty.
    • Actually that's because the survivors on the ship are bringing whatever scrap and junk they can find back to the engineering core.
    • California may have gotten out of the nuclear war better off than the Capital Wasteland, which may explain why they recovered so much faster. DC was probably hit hard by the nukes. And while towns like Megaton and Rivet City aren't exactly neat and clean, they are orderly, have an active police/defense force, and working electricity and water.
    • Canonically, the opposite happened. The West Coast was hit a lot harder than the East Coast. I believe there's a few comments to the effect in FO3, just can't recall where.
    • The West Coast may have on average been hit harder, if you compare the entire western seaboard to the entire eastern seaboard, but the Chinese would have had to be nuts to not hit DC harder than any other metropolitan area.
    • You found the Cleaning bobblehead. Your Cleaning skill has been permanently raised by 10 points!

    Inability to share Alien tech with D.C. Wasteland factions 
  • Mothership Zeta brought up more questions to the already bizarrely-worked Fallout 3 cannon. Hell, EVERY DLC for Fallout 3 has done that. How is it that someone walking up in Winterized T-51b Power Armor holding a one-of-a-kind energy weapon sniper rifle gets the same moderate shout-fest from that Lyons chick when they meat the for the first time on the way to GNR? Or how you can get the "go bang some rocks together" comment from random Outcasts? SPEAKING of Outcasts, if you don a suit of their Power Armor AFTER completing Operation Anchorage, they'll say "Dude, where's the rest of your squad?" or something along those lines. And to take this further, despite being able to leave Mothership Zeta with roughly 50 pounds worth of ALIEN LASER PISTOLS if don't drop the excess you CANNOT take them to Fort Independence for the Outcast Tech Collection mini-quest for some serious brownie points with the Outcasts? Another thing to wonder about is how the hell nobody in the wasteland SAW the other alien ship that you fought of with the SUPPOSED to have been DISABLED Death Ray FREAKING EXPLODE. And why doesn't anyone mention the signal Werhner broadcasts, or even the Wasteland-spanning Recon Craft Theta beacon (provided you HAVE Mothership Zeta) at all? Three Dog, with all his reality-defying information-gathering skills, can't even mention these things despite being able to find out about the player character going to town on Paradise Falls by putting some well-deserved bullets through the skulls of Slavers or the antics they got into in Canterburry Commons! And don't even get me started on the Vertibird the Brotherhood of Steel loots from Adams Airforce Base right before you make the orbital satelite blow the damn thing to hell! After you leave the Citadel then come back minutes later, it's freaking GONE. I mean seriously, what the hell?!
    • This. Being left with a lone soldier and a smart-aleck for a 'crew' and in command of an alien battleship that I could do NOTHING with sent me running for the nearest modding site.
    • The thing about Lyons and the such is another example of the downsides of voice acted dialog replacing text. Rather than being able to modify the dialogs based on your accomplishments, the developers have to record lines of dialog for every single possibility and they just don't have the time/money or even bother. That and I think that that the Brotherhood simply don't want to acknowledge that player can upstage them without need for their fancy-schmancy power armor.
    • Well, I have an answer for two of those. As far as the alien ship battle goes, it can be assumed that the ship battle didn't take place directly above the Capital Wasteland. And as for the Vertibird, well, it's probably just in storage somewhere. You don't really think that everything you see is everything there is to see, right?
    • The wasteland spanning beacon and other signals might not be detectable to anything less advanced than the Pipboy-3000 the Lone Wanderer has, which is probably better than normal radios or Three-Dogs salvaged setup.
    • And if you watch the wreckage of the ship you blew up fall to earth, it's pretty tiny. And the outcasts won't take the Mothership weapons because it's new content. (they will take the blaster though, if you've used up all the ammo. Because it's from the original game.) Game developers never go back and change old stuff.
    • Yes, they do, and Bethesda has done it. If you start Shivering Isles and then go back to Cyrodiil and do Sheogorath's quest, you get different dialog from Sheogorath (or Haskill if you've beaten the expansion). No, that's just plain lazy.
    • Bethesda will do it, albeit, only to incorporate new quests for the new expansion. Haskill and Sheogorath are changed so that they can incorporate the Shivering Isles questlines. In Fallout 3's case, they changed the original ending of the game, see the entries at top of this page, to incorporate Broken Steel. One of the very first things the player does in the expansion is tell Elder Lyons that Vault 87 is the birthplace of the Super Mutants, yet nothing is done to change Vault 87, since no quests were written for it.
    • WRT to Mothership Zeta, you're in orbit. No one can see you shoot down another ship, and it obviously didn't fall on DC. The only thing they could have seen was the original ship being recovered, and even then only if they were standing in the middle of nowhere, which normal people do not do.
    • You can see the Space Shuttle go by overhead when it's in orbit. That mothership you shot down? A lot bigger. You would at least see a couple of fast moving, surprisingly large stars from the ground. Then that explosion? One of those fast moving stars would appear to become significantly larger, it may even look bright red, and then disappear after some time. Granted you wouldn't clearly see they're space ships without a telescope, but people would see something very unusual in the sky, and they would say something about it. It likely is over the Capital Wasteland, though, because it tractors up Recon Craft Theta and appears to be station-keeping in an off-equator geostationary orbit (when you see the planet below, it isn't spinning).
    • Nice analysis.
    • So... after you shoot down the opposing mothership, or perhaps before, doesn't matter. Some time on Mothership Zeta, you get to shoot the Death Ray into the earth. You hit some part of Canada... and the shockwave looks to be really big. Like, bigger-than-Alaska-big. No way the people in the Capital Wasteland didn't feel that, when the Tsar Bomba in 1958 was felt in, like, Denmark.
    • You can hand in the vanilla alien blaster to the outcasts, as well as the ammunition for it in exchange for some rewards.
    • And exactly nothing else. You can load up yourself and your followers with enough xeno-weaponry to outfit a regiment, but they won't take it. The same faction that will give you ammunition or medical supplies for a sensor module won't even look at any of the other alien firearms.

    Talon Company and Raiders 
  • Talon Company. What kind of ASSHOLE do you have to be to put a hit out on someone just for being too nice? I could understand if you only encountered them when you actually cross someone important and wealthy, (by disarming the bomb in Megaton, for instance) but no. You'll get the same result even if all you do is hand out purified water to people dying of thirst, which leads me to believe that someone out there is just determined to keep the wasteland miserable, like some kind of all-seeing Care Bears villain.
    • That would be Littleton & Associates, who you turn ears into if you take the Contract Killer perk. The game doesn't state it outright, but its pretty clear Littleton is the one hiring Talon Company to kill you if you have good karma - especially since the opposite end of the spectrum has Regulators hunting you if you're evil, who collect fingers from you with the Lawbringer perk.
    • Yes, actually. Littleton (or was it Littlehorn?) is basically the aforementioned care bears villain. He gives you a BONUS for being evil. Like if you bring in some ears and your karma is low enough he basically goes "FUCK YOU'RE EVIL! HAVE SOME MONEY FOR BEING SO EVIL! HOORAY EVIL!"
    • It is indeed Littlehorn & Associates. Upon obtaining the Contract Killer perk, Daniel Littlehorn (CEO of Littlehorn & Associates) tasks you with obtaining the ears of those who are of good nature.
    • Perhaps it's bad for competition. If you get all these Johnny Niceguys running around, soon there may not be much work for the Talon Company.
    • It could just as easily be the Slavers. Remember, if you're the kind of guy running around giving water to the downtrodden and having Three Dog sing your praises over the radio, then word will spread. That's exactly the kind of Gordon Freeman-esque legend the Slavers can't have inspiring their captives, that's why they are so big on eradicating the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
    • Enclave members probably also use them as a third party "wasteland disposal unit", in need of warm bodies to eliminate the mutie without risking themselves. They pay the Littleton guy in tech in exchange for providing bounties for killing mutant scum (aka wastelanders and ghouls.)
The Always Chaotic Evil nature of Raiders bugs me. In fact, just the fact that the game capitalises the word "Raider" bugs me. I can easily accept that after a nuclear holocaust, a lot of people would abandon their morals (if they had any to begin with) and turn to violence in order to survive. Makes sense. However, the fluff text, along with the aforementioned capitalisation suggests that every single one of these people are part of some monolithic organization, and that ALL of them, down to the last man, are actually crazy sadists who enjoy spreading misery, rather than just doing whatever it takes to survive. That's a little hard to swallow.
  • The wasteland gets to people, I assume. Somewhere along the lines, they just thought "fuck it, let's raise hell" and began their lives as sadists above the law.
  • Are you trying to suggest that there wouldn't be any hateful, violent psychopaths after the apparent end of the world?
  • I think that some of the raiders are just feral humans (who come running at you with a stick when you are a walking tank), others are just serial killers who are sticking the hooks through people, and finally there are just the anarchistic assholes looking out for themselves.
You Mezz a Raider put a collar on him/her the end the convo then retalk to them the raider will say they were just confused before and get the collar off they dont want to be a slave. Have a high enough science {and a savescum this game loves to fuck up if you do this} He/she thanks you and then goes about their business as an friendly npc. technically you can use this method to create a colony {check out masterpug{randomnumbersinthisparenthesis}'s settlement guide}. the raiders will drink soda eat food sleep and generally be ok guys and if you happened to strip them and put new clothes on them you could concievably turn them into your own vault group {Naughty nightwear confirmed to work so vault outfits should work as well. unlike giving cherry low dam resistance clothes or reverse pickpocketing low dam resistance onto npc's}

  • If Sibley was so against the Outcasts sharing Anchorage's spoils with you, why does he wait until after you've unlocked an armory full of Infinity Plus One equipment to launch his revolt?
    • It was my conclusion that any promises made would be instantly revoked in case of success and the Lone Wanderer thrown out on his/her keister. But when it becomes clear that the leader does actually intend to keep his word, Sibley goes into WT Freakout-mode.
    • I get the impression that Sibley didn't know about the whole "let the local have first refusal" part of the deal, or assumed that his leader would just kill you after you did the task. That, and the fact that he knew he needed your help to get all of it.
    • Remember, the Outcasts needed your pipboy to unlock the armory; so if you were willing to go through the quite-possibly-lethal simulation to unlock it for them, Sibley's alright with that. Sibley just wanted all the toys you unlocked for him.
    • Well, let's be fair: there were, what, four or five uniques in that treasure trove? I know many players who would instantly go back on their word to a non-player character if that was the sort of loot they could get. The whole point of the Brotherhood is to find relics like this and keep them safe; watching you walk out with these things and go off who-knows-where must have been too much for poor Sibley.

  • Brotherhood Outcasts, GODDAMN they annoy me. Sure, the Wasteland is cruel, crappy place and almost of avatar of death and despair, but that doesn't give you the rights of being a total a-holes and politic to shoot first and ask later. No wonder that they got kicked out!
    • You're confusing the Outcasts with Talon Company. The Brotherhood Outcasts have a policy of looting all the good tech and analysing it, and they do treat others as impaired, but they are sure as hell not "shoot first, ask questions later" people. Also, the Outcasts left of their own accord; they weren't exiled.
    • Brotherhood Outcasts never start hostile to you when you see them but they are fucking assholes. The game can't even decide if they're evil or not. I happened upon 2 outcast guys and an Outcast aligned robobrain walking around near Vault 101. I kill them and their robobrain. I take a negative karma hit. But what do I find on their bodies? FINGERS, which are only dropped by evil characters.
    • Maybe they got them the same way you did, looting a body...
    • Given the way the game works, it seems unlikely. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to loot any fingers they'd have grabbed: You have to land the killing blow yourself, which is why you don't get Fingers if someone/something else kills an evil character (like a follower). I've never been attacked by an Outcast without starting it, but about level nineteen I realized I had no real reason not to kill them for being dicks to me after I helped them fend off an Enclave attack. Pretty much the only not-good thing I've done in the game, too.

    Vault-Tec PA 
  • In the beginning, you can hear the Vault PA system say that the surface of the Earth won't be habitable for at least three more centuries. Yet there are a large number of organizations and towns living on the surface and all are doing perfectly fine. Eh?
    • Two words: Overseer's Propaganda.
    • That probably has more to do with how long the Vaul Tec people planned on keeping 101 sealed for experimental purposes than it does with dangerous radiation levels.
    • And it's not like the kindly, honest, benevolent, generous, truthful, loving, and reasonable Overseer would * gasp* lie to the denizens of the Vault and modify the PA recording to keep anyone from wanting to leave. Never!
    • There was no need for the Overseer to modify anything; the reason why he's so obsessive to keep the Vault sealed is because the Vault Tec's secret information about the Vault Experiment tells him that this is what he needs to do.

    Wastelanders able to repair alien tech 
  • How exactly is it that any person in the Wasteland (except you) with knowledge of Repair is somehow magically able to repair ALIEN WEAPONS or indeed any sort of unique, super special, one-of-a-kind item, when it's implied it's otherwise done by scrapping another similar weapon or armor to get spare parts for the one you want to repair? Just bugs me.
    • Treat it like an energy weapon. Apparently, all repairmen in the wasteland have the jury rigging perk.
    • Most repairman in the wasteland are shown to have an impressive collection of junk. Some haul it around in a sack but the most skilled have it all over their workshop. When you're scrapping an item to repair you're replacing parts one-to-one. Repairmen are no doubt doing something similar, albeit without understanding: "No idea what this fancy thing is, but this bit looks a lot like the shiny thing from the middle of that doohickey I found at the military base. Lemme try swapping 'em out." The player can't do this because they clearly don't carry around enough otherwise-useless junk.
    • That's...some serious fridge brilliance. You wouldn't really need to know just how all the pieces worked - and isn't lost/missing knowledge a big point of the whole game? You'd just need to know what Part A did when you ran wires from points B and C into circuit D. Ta-da, your alien rifle is fixed.

    Confessor Cromwell 
  • Confessor Cromwell stands in ankle-deep irradiated water right next to an atomic bomb all day in Megaton. How (and don't say "game files make him immune to radiation") does he not either drop dead or turn into a freakin' Ghoul?
    • The Power of Faith, or possibly lead-lined boots and pants.
    • The radiation mutated him in a way that made him immune to radiation. Or maybe he's an android, or a ghoul wearing someone else's skin.
    • Game files make him... impervious... to radiation.
    • Cromwell is likely either resistant due to constant exposure (like the player can become, due to exposure on Moira's quests) or takes constant doses of RAD-X and Radaway.
    • Standing in the same water to help Moira with her radiation exposure research nets you a Rad Resistance perk (OK, so does any other kind of exposure, but that's the closest source). Maybe he's developed even more resistance?
    • He's just a few steps away from Doc Church's. He removes all Rads "quick and easy" for 100 Caps. Obviously that's where his church donations go...

    Sleeping in "owned" beds" 
  • You can be the biggest badass in the Wastelands, enslave children, murder civilians for little to no reason, deploy a virus that will kill 99%+ of the populace of the capital wasteland, steal anything you want, cleanse entire cities of all life... but you can't sleep in an "owned" bed. That's just too evil. Even if your character has no way of knowing that it's an owned bed. Seriously, what? I understand there might be gameplay balance reasons to discourage sleeping in dungeons, but you can fix that by making sleeping out in the wild risk a random encounter where you're caught flat-footed. Also, in related news, why can I carry five suits of power armor but not a sleeping bag or bedroll?
    • Sleeping in an "owned" bed means that at some point, the owner of the bed is going to come along and kick you out. Also, all the NPCs have scripts that include them sleeping, so this is likely also a programming decision to prevent you from screwing up the game script.
    • So how can I not sleep in a previously-owned bed after the owner accidentally brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving?
    • Because to do this Bethseda would have to create hard associations between a specific owned object and a specific NPC. It's far easier to code objects that are "owned", and simply have any nearby NPC try to murder you and/or confiscate the material if they catch you stealing it. They then imply that any owned item will have it's "owner" nearby to give the one response to theft in the game. Thus, an object that is "owned" will never become "unowned" because the object never recognized an "owner" in the first place.
    • ^ Hey Poster above that's a good theory and all and Imma let you finish but how do you explain why I watched C.J. Young walk out of her families room and into flak and shrapnels bedroom and take a nap. unless there's a side story there Bethesda neglected to share.
    • That's exactly what he just explained. "Owned" stuff is not owned by anyone in particular, it's just "owned"; i.e., designated for NPC use only.

    Where are the squirrels 
  • Not sure if this applies to the other games, so putting this here. How exactly are squirrel stew and squirrel on a stick common food items? The non-packaged nature of the items implies that they're fresh- but the lack of living trees means squirrels should be long gone, and you don't encounter any, either!
    • It's a reference to the previous Fallouts. Iguana-on-stick was a food found throughout those games, even though you never saw the iguanas. Lampshaded by several characters, until you find out that it's not iguana. Probably changed to squirrels because iguanas are typically found in desert environments.
    • Actually, Iguana-on-a-stick and Iguana bits are in Fallout 3 along with Squirrel Stew and Squirrel on a stick. My explanation is that the squirrels are ground squirrels. They may have a better chance at survival by hunkering under ground as the bombs fell. That and small things could be taxing on the game system.

    Science error 
  • Scientific Plot Hole: The simple facts of nuclear radiation. The main thing is that water cannot physically absorb radiation, just sediment. Clean the water with charcoal or something, who cares about the FEV!
    • It also doesn't create acid spitting mutated monsters and wacky bartending zombies. But the game doesn't work with real world science, it works with SCIENCE!
    • The problem here is that the Fallout Universe only works with SCIENCE! in regards to futuristic technologies relative to the 1950s, it's rather well grounded in practical science that existed up to and before that time. It's only in Fallout 3 that they just abandon existing science and go straight for SCIENCE! In this case, a facility similar to a modern water treatment plant (which have existed since the 1890s, using the same exact principles they do now, and have been widespread since the 1920s) would be just as capable of doing what the Purifier does, and wouldn't require a GECK or 20 years of inaction.

  • About the item "blood pack;" you are aware that even if properly preserved, y'know, refrigerated in gigantic, specially built units, you get AT MOST 10 years out of blood that isn't inside a body and not 200? And this is ignoring the way it's used in game, you don't see the Wanderer carrying around a drip do you? Does s/he just drink it? If so, how could learning about cannibalism make it any more helpful to do so ARRRGH!
  • The sound effect when said packs are 'used' does indeed sound like drinking. I really, really don't want to know...
  • ^ Sorry poster above but yes it's drunk. In the blood ties quest you can actually talk the leader into teaching you how to truly appreciate drinking blood. before this vampire perk bloodpack = like 1 point of health after vampire perk = a lot more.

    Caps as currency in Fallout 3 
  • Why the hell are caps the currency in DC? It made sense in the first game because they were backed by the merchants and somewhat rare. But 3 didn't give an explanation, and they're pretty abundant, seeing as the plant is right there. Bethesda pulling an Artistic License – Economics just for nostalgia?
    • In short: light, small, counterfeit-proof, durable, uncommon, and shiny.
    • Also nukacola comes in twist top bottles. That means if you have the cap you can reseal the bottle to store all sorts of stuff, including purified water. Now in the western fallouts where much of the landscape is desert thanks to no irrigation so that makes sense but the same applies in Fallout 3 where the ground water is contaminated with radioactive sediment. Any fresh water is precious so the ability to store it for later use is a commodity. The bottle caps are how people originally traded in that commodity which has turned into a generalized barter currency over time.
    • Caps actually make for effective currency. They can't be easily duplicated, they're easy to carry, and they're rare enough that they can be used as currency while still being plentiful enough that everyone can use them; just because the factory is there it doesn't mean that the caps are so prevalent as to cause inflation, especially considering there's so few at the factory when you go visit it. As long as the merchants in the region are willing to accept them as currency and as a basis for value, then they'd be easily accepted; there's a reason why the merchants in the first game were willing to accept them as currency. The use of caps probably developed like actual currency originally developed, simply as a means to facilitate trade.
    • For a more direct plot rationale, I imagine the Brotherhood brought the idea with them when they arrived from the west. With the Brotherhood offering caps for guns and books, the rest of the Capital Wasteland probably just took the idea and ran with it.
    • This brings up a serious loophole. I mean, surely there is a place where the Nuka-Cola Bottle caps are manufactured. If some lucky wastelander managed to get to the factory, and it wasn't severely damaged, he could recover thousands of pre-made caps. Hell, if he managed to get the factory working again, he's have access to unlimited caps.
    • Those are some pretty gigantic "ifs" for the average wastelander.
    • New Vegas deals with that very idea, on a sidequest where you have to shut down a production line of new Caps.
    • And, theoretically, this would actually just cause inflation. They've become too integral to just abandon as currency, so each cap would just become worth less.
    • This begs an even bigger question; Why is there even a currency at all? The exchange of resources and materials directly via barter system is the only logical and practical form of trade between survivors. What makes more sense: exchanging a can of beans for five caps, a blob of tin which cannot be eaten or used to do anything productive, or exchanging the same can of beans for ammunition for your currently possessed rifles to hunt with? Chalk it up to convenient gameplay mechanics I suppose.
    • It also probably has to do with ease of programming. It's easier to put money into the game and have everything traded for money rather than try to have every item traded for another item. Of course, that explanation only makes sense from our perspective. From the in-game characters' perspective, it probably has more to do with cultural inertia. Pre-war USA had currency, so the post-apocalypse people feel like they should as well. It may not be the same currency, but it still works. Further, it's a lot more convenient to carry around a sack of bottle caps rather than several tins of food, which is at least part of the reason why we developed currency in the first place. As long as everyone ascribes a certain value to bottle caps, everyone is going to be willing to trade goods and services for caps.

    Vault Dweller as the ultimate killing machine 
  • Why is it that someone who spent their whole life growing in a vault and going through typical high school training can easily gun down trained security staff, ruthless wasteland raiders and super mutants with ease?
    • A life time of healthy living with access to prewar grade medicine, regular meals, pure water, a halfway decent education, and presumably a fitness center given they regularly talk about the vault baseball team. VS admittedly terrifying monsters that are ultimately just animals, half starved and mutated raiders poisoned by crappy radioactive silt contaminated water, and braindead super mutants whos minds barely function enough to understand "go capture return". It's not that big of a stretch when you stop to think about it.
    • To be fair, Vault security specifically are also dealing with a huge invasion of mutated cockroaches and trying to restore order to the entire Vault after a major breach in security as well as you; it's perhaps fair to say they're a little distracted and you're taking advantage of that. And while a high-school level-education might not necessarily prepare one for automatic survival in a post-nuclear apocalypse, one could also handwave this as being down to strategy and tactics — most raiders and super-mutants tend to operate in a manner that suggests savagery and bloodlust, whereas you can operate in a more tactful and strategic fashion. And ultimately we have to consider Willing Suspension of Disbelief and Acceptable Breaks from Reality in a meta-sense, since let's face it, it wouldn't be much of a game if all you did was escape the vault and then get eaten by a bear or unceremoniously tortured and killed by a psychotic raider.
    • On the other hand, the case is made that Fallout 3 is entirely too easy because of this sort of thinking towards empowering the Lowest Common Denominator. Some feel that anyone could stumble along the storyline, making horrifically bad decisions and still be able to "beat" the game with the "best ending" because the game was designed without taking into account many of the decisions made along the way.
    • On another other hand, while the game's difficulty levels may or may not be too easy depending on the player and this may be a valid complaint, people who sincerely complain about a Triple-A video game release being made accessible to players beyond a select handful and who dismissively describe them as 'Lowest Common Denominator' can in many cases be generously described as 'snobs'. While the changes made to Fallout 3 might not have been entirely for the best, it is possible to get a bit too precious about the original games; seriously, they were post-apocalypse role-play games, they weren't À la recherche du temps perdu.
    • God forbid wanting decisions to matter in an RPG. It's gotta be accessible to people with no interest/understanding of the game or genre, so that no effort or clever decision making is required to beat it. After all, a franchise known for its complex endings and wide variety of options needs to dumb itself down the minute it gets a higher budget, otherwise it's just snobbish.
    • Ask the protaganist of Fallout 1, who grew up under the same circumatances how he did the exact samething.

    Wanting to stay in Vault 101 
  • Who and what army is going to stop me from living in Vault 101 again? Seriously, my dad just got killed. Why can I go "fuck you wasteland", and convince Amata that my place is back with her in the vault where I grew up? That'd make for one hell of a Take a Third Option ending. I didn't kill your father both times I had the chance, and stopped the rebellion in your favour, with no violence, but you'll throw me out? I only killed like one guy (you know, the one who was about to shoot you) from the vault all up. I can even advise the people who seem so intent on leaving the vault (pro-tip, go to Megaton first). Oh, and here are thousands of caps, a dozen alien blasters, some armour and all the guns you'll ever need to protect yourself. Once my dad died, the only thing I gave a crap about was Amata, and being unceremoniously thrown out made me think of the rest of the game as a chore to get through just to say I'd completed it.
    • But Thou Must! save the wasteland!
    • If you tell Amata to keep the gun when she wakes you up, she'll shoot Officer Mack in the interrogation session... And you still get the gun in the end. I do that all the time in my 'good' playthroughs.
    • I think you've forgotten that about half the population of Vault 101 still hates you. I mean, really hates you. They think you're just about the worst threat to the Vault's safety ever.
    • So effing what? They can hate me until their eyes cross, I have enough firepower to depopulate the entire bloody Vault and still make it back to Megaton in time for afternoon tea with Wadsworth. There should at least be the option to say "I'm coming back in, through the melted remains of the Vault door and over your dead bodies if necessary."
    • I think you're forgetting that, by this point, the Wanderer is a heavily armed and armoured wasteland killing machine, while the residents of Vault 101 don't even have access to weapons. If you've managed to subvert the Overseer and restore order, just who the Hell is going to challenge you - and even if they do, what stops you from simply gunning them all down?
    • Well, nothing is stopping you. If you kill both Amata and the overseer then all chaos breaks loose and the vault is left open forever and you can visit it whenever you want. It's just that there wont be anyone there anymore or any reason to stay there.
    • The thing that bugs me is that you have to leave forever. So Amata says you can't stay right now because things are so tense in the vault that it nearly sparked outright slaughter. Okay, I can understand that, Amata's a smart girl who actually cares about everyone in the vault and wants things to settle down as soon as possible. That's cool. But there's no mention of keeping in touch with Amata to keep her updated about how things are in the Wasteland, finding trustworthy people to trade with them, coming back in a few years, nothing. For god's sake, you're her childhood friend and a really important asset to the vault, but you're basically kicked out on your ass and never allowed back. Thanks, Amata.
    • Actually, if listen to Amata carefully she basically is much more reasonable Generation Xerox of her father. On your escape from the Vault her response to your offer to come with you is I Choose to Stay, citing her responsibility to everyone else. After the second time, she's absolutely right about how everyone in the Vault wouldn't calm down with you around, which, given when Dad left resulted in a radroach invasion and a ton of Vault dwellers dead (which you and he got blamed for by proxy), there is no way in hell they would overcome being an Ungrateful Bastard on a collective level after all the crap they've gone through, especially considering how, with the exception of yourself and Dad, they themselves are gunshy of the outside world, and since she understands that, she tells you, albeit in a somewhat nicer way, to GTFO because she had to make a hard choice between the Vault 101 community surviving without devolving into anarchy because of the presnece of an outside influence, or keeping things relatively intact with you removed, and she chose the many over the few.
    • This becomes ridiculous, actually, in that you really didn't have anything to do with James' escape, and that you shouldn't be held responsible when you were acting in self-defense, and now you're back to try and help because you are -not- your father, you're your own person. For instance, Daniel Agincourt is a rude bastard to you as well for a completely different reason, yet he wises up when he realizes that you aren't James and you're trying to help him instead. And if you choose to make Amata leader of the Vault after you leave, you can encounter Susie Mack who will inform you that the vault is doing quite well, and now she is out exploring and will eventually go back home. You know, as an outside influence.
    • Welcome to the wonderful world of illogical prejudice; it's entirely ridiculous, and yet.
    • You get kicked out because half the Vault hates you and your father and the other half fears what you've become. They don't want you there no matter how much they could learn from you or how much you helped them. Maybe that will change in the future as they establish themselves as a presence in the Wasteland. And if you're the sort that would turn around and hold the Vault at gun point in order to stay, then they were absolutely right to turn you out.
    • Simply put, you and your father were always outsiders. Outsiders who were let into a Vault that never saw anyone outside Vault 101 before for reasons unknown to them, and had to act like this was business as usual. From the very beginning, you and your father had completely changed their lives by merely stepping foot into the Vault. Then when your dad leaves, all hell breaks loose. Then even more hell breaks loose a bit later. Simply put, you were, and always were, the representation of everything that had gone wrong in the Vault. And here you are again, standing there equipped with armor and weapons they've never seen before asking them to just accept you back in and...act like nothing had ever happened. Again. They don't want you back because you're the symbol of why Vault 101 has been plunged to hell. Amata knows this. It probably pained her to have to kick you out, but she knew that when considering the needs of the Vault or you, the Vault came first. And the Vault wanted you out.

    Overabundance of skeletons 
  • What's up with the skeletons littered all over the place? It makes sense in the Wasteland, camps filled with psychotic raiders, or abandoned Vaults. Not like there's a cleaning crew there. But Rivet City, Megaton, Arefu, and all of the other (relatively) civilized settlements never seem to have bothered to give all of the dead proper graves. Even Andale, which poses as a pristine pre-War suburban town and keeps its gory Dark Secret firmly locked in the cellars and basements, has a skeleton just laying there in the bathtub.
    • I don't recall seeing skeletons lying around Rivet City and Megaton. And are you actually expecting the people of Andale to actually give a damn about a skeleton lying in a bathtub if they don't give a damn about the living already?
    • For all we know, the more civilized people do attempt to bury the dead when they come across them. But then, it's a nuclear wasteland with savage monsters, feral radiated ghouls and humans who have been reduced to being complete sadistic monsters wandering freely around. Bound to be a lot of bodies rack up, and you can't take care of them all. Plus, some of them could be left out as a warning of frontier justice — i.e. 'don't mess with us or this'll be you' sort of thing.
    • For that matter, why aren't there any infant skeletons to be found in the wasteland, especially given the abundance of pre-war baby strollers and children's rooms?

    Unenthusiastic PC 
  • There is a serious lack of enthusiasm in many of the dialog options that the player can use. For example, when Three Dog is telling you where the replacement dish is to be found, your only options are "Anything to find my father.", "I can't do that right now.", or "OMG SUPERMUTANTS NO WAI IM SCARED!" Where the heck is the "Hell yeah, I love killing super mutants!" option?
    • ...Developers can't think of anything?
    • The developers are like this DM.
    • Perhaps it might help if we briefly look at it from the character's point of view for a moment. Imagine you're the player-character — as in, actually the player-character. Whether you've decided to be The Messiah, a villain or a True Neutral, you're still a nineteen-year-old who's up until relatively recently lived in relative comfort, who's suddenly been thrust out into the big bad world — which is particularly big and bad because of all the radioactive monsters who want to kill you out there. You probably don't enjoy fighting these radioactive monsters much. By the time you find Three-Dog, you just want to find your dad. That's the only thing you want right now. And this guy knows exactly where your dad was headed, but when you finally get to see him he quite happily informs you that he has no intention of telling you a single goddamn thing until you wade into an area swarming with these big, heavily armoured vicious green mutated sadists who would make the Frankenstein's monster crap himself with fear to do him a favour. Now, the player could be thinking "Alright! Chance to fuck up some super mutants! WOOOT!" — but then the player is probably sitting on a comfy couch in a nice warm house in a world which isn't an irradiated wasteland crawling with monsters, so his / her opinion probably doesn't matter for shit here. The character, on the other hand, is most likely thinking something along the lines of "Three-Dog, you fucking asshole." And why wouldn't s/he? Considering that most of your interactions with the people in the Wasteland before this and after are with people, roughly 80% of whom are complete assholes, who's first instinct when you ask them for help — or even when you just happen to come across them — is "hey, buddy, what are you gonna do for me?!". Often expressed as rudely as possible. And which often involves the player-character getting themselves in very dangerous situations for them. Yeah. Not that hard for me to see why the player-character probably isn't likely to be very thrilled about these missions. Although it helps that they do become a lot more interesting if you imagine them being said as as sarcastically as possible at times.

    Player's status as Bo S Paladin 
  • Minor one for Fallout 3: once you're officially a Knight of the Brotherhood, why don't more dialogue options reflect this? Just a simple "I'm Knight (PC Name) from the Brotherhood and I'm here because..."?
    • ...An Honorary member. Which basically translates to 'a member in name only'. Fank wank answer: The Lone Wanderer doesn't mention it to avoid drawing unwanted attention to himself and possible enemies attacking him/her (Note that in one of the few instances in which you can mention your membership in the BoS, the person you're talking to, along with all his teammates, turn hostile on you).
    • No, you're an official member by Broken Steel. Elder Lyons says so when you agree to help pursue the Enclave. Some of the unnamed Brotherhood NPCs do refer to you as 'Sir Knight' when passing them by.
    • Well then he/she is probably doing it to avoid attracting unwanted attention to himself.
    • Hell, Lyons makes you a member of the Brotherhood whether you agree to help or not. It felt distressingly similar to being conscripted to me, especially when Paladin Tristan starts barking out "That is an order!" when you refuse objectives later on.
    • Which might also explain why she / he avoids mentioning it; a bit of resentment at being essentially press-ganged.

    Camera mistake 
  • Early in Fallout 3 when Jonas takes a picture of you and dad, he holds the camera up to his face as if looking through a viewfinder. The cameras in the game are all Twin Lens Reflex-type cameras, which have a ground glass viewfinder built into the top of the camera. Someone using a camera like that properly would hold the camera at chest level and crane their neck to look down into the viewfinder. It could, on the other hand, be a case of Reality Is Unrealistic, as TLR cameras are uncommon and most players would expect all cameras to have a viewfinder like an SLR.
    • That camera was probably made in the 2070s, not the 1970s. Chances are pretty good its internal workings aren't actually the same as what its outside would indicate.

    Unremovable Pip-Boy 3000 
  • Anyone else bugged by the fact that, even though you're told you cannot remove your Pip Boy, you somehow are able to tuck your sleeves inside it whenever you change outfits?
    • Well, they probably lied to you. It is, in fact, possible to remove the pipboy with the right equipment. In New Vegas, you're given an extra pipboy from the doc that saves you from the introduction.
    • Regardless of how difficult they are to remove, the Pip-Boy would have to have an adjustable diameter, otherwise you'd pretty quickly outgrow it. No-one has the same wrist size from age 10 until death. So you adjust the diameter, put your sleeve in, and tighten it up again.

    Accents in Vault 101 
  • In what world would any nationality retain their accents living in small, cloistered area for hundreds of years? It's not big or diverse enough for people to retain particular accents. That probably should have been one of the first things to be phased out. Either the smallest demographic would sound like the largest, or a new accent would spring up.
    • Some of them — particularly those belonging to people with some sort of power, influence, or access to Pre-War tech and recordings — could simply be affectations for whatever reason.
    • As someone in another question mentioned, small populations actually increase the odds of accents and different dialects, because there's not many other people around to cause inertia in language.

     Positive Karma for killing evil characters 
  • OK, the karma for killing evil characters bugs me: It makes perfect sense to get positive karma from killing really, really evil people that the wasteland is better off without (Eulogy Jones and Mr.Burke, for example), but other cases don't make a lot less sense, mostly because you get negative karma for killing someone else who does basically the same thing. Compare 2 other evil characters you get good karma for killing: Allistar Tenpenny and Azukhral (the corrupt ghoul bar owner), to their counterparts: Roy Phillips and Colin Moriarty:
    • Moriarty: Just like Azukhral, he is a sleazy business man who keeps a psuedo-slave, blackmails his customers, and sends the player character to try to kill an innocent woman. Yet you get negative karma for killing him and positive karma for killing Azukhral. The only difference between them is that Moriarty is arguably worse, as he forces women into prostitution and treats his workers horribly (Gob:"Moriarty has been beating me harder than usual lately...").
    • Roy: This has already been talked about enough, but I'd like to point out that Tenpenny didn't actually seem like that bad a guy. Sure, he wanted Megaton nuked and kept the ghouls out his tower, but at least he wanted Megaton evacuated first (which Burke ignored), and he can be quite easily convinced to let the ghouls in. In fact, if you convince his tenants to let the ghouls in, he'll actually give you 500 caps, implying that he was never really racist at all and just wanted his residents to be convinced first. Roy, on the other hand, will massacre dozens of innocent people even after being let in peacefully.
    • I was always bugged by the fact that you would lose Karma for stealing from evil characters yet would gain Karma for killing them. Talk about Moral Dissonance.
    • You don't lose karma for stealing from evil characters. Take every item in paradise falls, or take the key off Ahzukrals body and take everything in the Ninth Circle supply cooler. You wont lose karma, even though taking the items are marked red, as if your stealing.

     Tenpenny Tower Security 
  • One thing really bugs me about the Tenpenny Tower quest, in particular the security force headed by Chief Gustavo: Why are these guys do goddamn useless? Seriously, I can name 3 things right off the bat that happened that they could've easily prevented but didn't: One, the murder of Susan Lancaster and Edgar Wellington II. They were both murdered by Millicent, who made no attempt to be discreet at all. She just shoots them right in front of the guards, and they dont even blink. Even after she's committed the murders, she just casually strolls out of the tower and security don't even try to stop her. They even open the gate for her. Two, how are they so stupid they let Roy, Micheal, and Bessie, 3 radioactive, untrained, poorly equiped ghouls with no armor whatsoever massacre everyone at Tenpenny Tower in the "peaceful ending"? Did Roy let feral ghouls do the dirty work? If so, did the guards just not notice a hateful ghoul walking into the door that can unlock the only thing that keeps the ferals out?
    • Yes, Roy kills them all by setting loose a scourge of feral ghouls from the locked door in the basement. I imagine he manages to access it the same way the player can if you decide to personally help him in this scheme.
    • This is just a simple case of The Guards Must Be Crazy.

     Wasteland Economy and Jobs 
  • From megaton to Rivet city their are plenty of people wandering around without any apparent source of income and those who have jobs, who is paying them? There is also the fact that places like Rivet city market would depend out of towners to bring in items and caps, yet you never see any. I can buy that some places have a tax to pay for things like the sheriff and the water plant (megaton) but other things remain unexplained.
    • Megaton and Rivet City are both one-upped by Tenpenny Tower, filled with the rich elite of society who have gained their station by means of saying that they are. They're just rich because they live in the town of rich people, with no more explanation than that. It seems to be a failing of Bethesda's of late, to not even bother to pretend there's a working economy. How do people find enough to eat? Why, in a supposed scavanger society, has nobody ever looted anything? What remotely skills do even half the people in these towns have?
    • A good many places wouldn't be looted simply because they're too dangerous for most wastelanders for one reason or another. We see some traveling salesmen, like the ones that visit Canterbury Common and whom you can pay to get better inventory. Water caravans are also seen if you have Broken Steel installed. But the economy on an individual- and community-level still leaves a lot to be desired.

     Giving Harold a reason 

  • If you complete Oasis by applying the liniment to make Harold grow faster, why can you only tell him you did it to keep the Treeminders happy? Why can't I tell him "Yeah, you're gonna live much longer in that same spot stuck there, but you'll grow a lot faster and be a huge asset to the Capital Wasteland." I figure if I can convince him being stuck as a tree for the sake of a nature tribe is enough of a reason to keep his will to live, bringing foliage back to the entire Capital Wasteland should be an even better one.
    • You're giving him a purpose in life now. When you tell him he's going to make lots of people happy, he finds solace and accepts his destiny.
    • Not everyone's a big-picture thinker, and he seems fond of the Treeminders even as he's exasperated by them, especially Yew. "You're helping the Wasteland!" isn't as personal as "These people who worship and tend to you will have nowhere to go when you die."
    • I personally wanted to say "Oh, I'd have been happy to kill you and get the endurance bonus destroying your heart granted, since i set my SPECIAL to have 9 in Charisma, Strength and Intelligence by lowering other stats: however, the thought of making Yew cry was unbearable. I'll slaughter whole tribes, sell children into slavery, and blow up a town, but when Yew cries I truly hate myself."

     The Super Mutants 
  • The Super Mutants in general in this game bug me. I can buy that the Enclave was experimenting with the FEW somewhere other than California, but where are all these Super Mutants coming from? Hundreds of them are slaughtered by The Brotherhood Of Steel weekly, but apparently they just keep coming. I know they kidnap people and turn them into mutants, but there is absolutely no way there should be enough people to replenish an army this large. On a similar note, where did they get their weapons? Maybe they scavenged the first hunting rifles and grenades from Vault 87, but how are they keeping hundreds of mutants supplied? There is no way that all those miniguns were just lying around the wastes. Finally, how the hell are they so organized? They are organized enough to occupy D.C., plan assaults, obtain weapons, and bring more people back to make more mutants, but they don't seem to have any kind of leader. Where is their Master? Why didn't the Enclave disable the FEV while they were kidnapping me in Vault 87? I would've thought that that would have been the Enclave's first priority.
    • Bethesda rehashed the main antagonists of both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 and jammed both into the game. However, they also made some pretty big changes to the lore which made it so neither group could plausibly function or serve as a legitimate threat without essentially unlimited manpower at their disposal. As compared to FO 1 and FO 2, where both groups were able to pose a significant threat despite being fairly small groups.
    • They Flanderized both groups, so neither is competent enough to legitimately perform their role in the plot. For example, a lot of Super Mutants in Fallout 1 are very dumb, the ones that aren't dumb are easily some of the smartest, most articulate characters in the series.
    • The actual tools required to do the real plans (which were far more ambitious than the Fallout 3 groups being content with just the Capital Wasteland) were explicitly destroyed in Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 were destroyed and made unquestionably canon. This made it virtually impossible even with generous retcons to allow Bethesda to make those plans functional. Project Purity was basically a plot device so the Enclave plan could work without years of planning and infrastructure development.
    • That did absolutely nothing to answer the question and mostly consisted of you just bitching about the plot.
    • The headscratchers were issues caused by someone trying to logically think out the logistics behind the two groups. If you played the older games, these questions were answered. For example, in Fallout 1, the Super Mutant leaders were two of the most intelligent characters in the game and they took over two major installations, both of which contained large quantities of weapons and technology. Bethesda pretty much ignored all that and by not fully developing the groups leads to a lot of very basic questions being unanswered. The actions and equipment are identical to the generic encounters with both groups in the first games, but all of the characters and locations that made their actions possible do not exist and aren't really replaced outside vague allusions and handwaves.
    • The ones in the Core Region (West) are from the Mariposa Military Base. The ones in the Capital Wasteland (East) are from Vault 87. They are two different, only distantly related projects - using different versions of the FEV virus. The fact that they're both called 'Super Mutants' is really just the result of locals assuming that the big homicidal ogres they're looking at must be the same as the big homicidal ogres they heard about from back West (or back East. Whichever.)
    • The Super Mutant situation just bugs me. I can get that the super mutants destroy all major civilizations in the Wasteland - communities grow too big, they stick out and get nailed down, which explains the whole 'just after the war' look. However, my headscratcher is that why are there still humans in the Wasteland? The super mutants have been around since 2078. The B.o.S, the first group to deal with them, only arrived in 2254. How did the Super Mutants fail to kill everything in that time. Even the most heavily defended places, like Rivet City, would have fallen eventually, even if it cost them hundreds of lives. So why is DC still standing?
    • Being attacked by a thousand men is intimidating... unless they're imbeciles. Led by other imbeciles. And only come at you four or five at a time. And are hoping to take as many of you alive as they can. No, the Mutants are individually intimidating, but they're far more of a threat to people out on the road, rather than dug into fortified locations. Even that sort of constant body-snatching disrupts trade and communication lines well enough to leave the local humans struggling.

     Lack of competent fighters 
  • We are told time and time again about how dangerous various wasteland perils are (raiders, Super Mutants, Talon Company etc.). And yet, on encountering these enemies, we find they are terrible fighters. A 19 year old, who has spent their whole life underground, encountering nothing more ferocious than giant cockroaches, can still defeat the worst the Wasteland has to offer. Apparently, raiders enjoy nothing better than murder and torture, but, for people who like killing so much, they aren't great at it. After wiping out various "bases" of raiders, I am forced to assume the various bodies chained up are their fallen comrades. And are squads of power armor clad soldiers really necessary to take on super mutants? It seems to me that some of the knights at GNR could have done the job of Lyon's Pride. But the worst example of this is Talon Company. We are told to expect a "fight to the death". However, 3 of them can't defeat one 19 year old for 1000 caps! I suppose you could say the same about the Regulators, but come on! At least the mercs have armor!
    • The Wanderer has three humongous advantages over anyone else: quick-load/quick-save AKA 'two-button time machine', the complete lack of any physical needs besides healing damage (no hunger/thirst/fatigue effects), and controls that don't scale to basically anything. Most people would get pwned something awful if the playing field were suddenly leveled to something even remotely resembling a fair fight.
    • After a few levels ups and associated perks it becomes clear the lone wander can't be human. If you assume the player is superhuman and everyone else is human (and weakened by disease and malnutrition) then it makes a lot more sense, they aren't a real threat to you, but still a danger to others.
    • Even in Fallout 3, Super Mutants aren't all powerful entities on that level. You are fully capable of slaughtering them quite easily, even with fairly low combat skills and weak weapons.
    • Enemies don't have access to the almighty Quick Save button. This 19 year old is beating them because if the wanderer loses, the game resets until they win.
    • It's not an in universe issue, it's a "Bethesda wants to make the player feel like the ultimate badass" issue. In the older games, you could still be one hit killed by many mooks, even with maxed damage resistance and the best armor in the game. They didn't even have to be adept fighters with much combat training. Anyone with a decent burst fire gun and a bit of luck could kill pretty much anything.
    • I personally like the aspect that the LW turns out to be the ultimate badass, but that's just my opinion. I ubelieve that the LW's advantage can be explained by a couple of factors. 1) Good genes (read: mutations): It can, through perks, become clear that the LW has some pretty beneficial mutations compared to pure-strain humans. 2) Growing up in a vault could easily have been helpful, as the LW has grown up on a healthy diet and such. 3) It's implied that the LW was commonly in fights with the Tunnel Snakes, as well as practicing with his BB Gun rather often. That would explain the gun skills. That's my two cents.
    • Virtually none of the perks are mutations and most of the ones that technically are are pretty much worthless ones.
    • Vault Dwellers are not that well fed, they are eating highly processed, heavily rationed food.
    • There is a huge difference between a couple of fist fights and shooting a BB gun and actual combat training. Brotherhood of Steel members slated to become Knights effectively spend their entire lives training with just about the best equipment available. Wondering out of a vault with some BB gun practice should not be comparable.

     Why kill Jonas? 
  • Imagine you are the Vault 101 Overseer. Your doctor escapes. What is the first thing you do? Do you kill the only other person in the Vault with any medical knowledge? Congratulations! You, apparently, are suitable to be responsible for people's lives! The Vault has adequate holding facilities (Mr. Brotch is imprisoned in Trouble on the Homefront), so why not stick him in there until you need him, or execute him if you find out he helped James escape or something. If you must kill him, try to find a better replacement than an old robot.
    • I don't remember it ever being implied that the Overseer is exactly sane. Going off the information in the game, he had the guy before him (who allowed James enter the vault) killed so as to keep Vault 101 isolationist, so it can be assumed that he's not exactly fond of the idea of letting people know the outside world isn't as horrible as he has lead them to believe (it really says something when the real Capitol Wasteland is actually better than what the Overseer said it was). It's not too hard to believe he'd start offing people the second someone left the vault, and he probably assumed Jonas was in on James' plan.
    • Plus I kinda thought Jonas's death was just due to a botched attempt at torture. The Overseer wanted information, so he got the chief of security to extract it from Jonas, he just got a bit overzealous and killed him during the attempt.
    • Debatable. When confronted about it during "Trouble on the Homefront," he'll say something along the lines of how he didn't kill Jonas...he merely ordered Chief Hannon to do it. (Oddly, this conflicts with (IIRC) Officer Gomez's account of the story which has Officer Mack beating Jonas. Amata might've said that, haven't played the game in a while, but I'm absolutely certain that somebody said it was Officer Mack.)
    • There is a peripheral, easily overlooked comment on one of the holotapes that does offer a slight explanation. Jonas apparently did figure out the Vault had been opened already and that James was not from there. Mentioning it to the Overseer or Chief Hannon might be enough incentive to kill him to keep the secret. The timeline of this is incredibly awkward. Jonas should have been old enough to know the vault was opened and James was from outside the Vault, but the holotape saying he figured it does require Jonas didn't know, implying that he is younger than he seems to be given how old he looks during the birthday party.

    GNR Radio 
  • Three Dog mentions that he does not know what a disc is, meaning records are not used at GNR. However, in the Fallout universe, recording technology never seems to have moved past records. So what else could he possibly be using?
    • Holodiscs, which are basically all-purpose audio tape. Terms like "Disc Jockey" continue to be used despite discs not being used for the same reason floppy discs are still the universal symbol on computers for "save", though no one using them anymore. He is the jockey of discs, he has no idea what the title means, but that's his job.

    Durga Still Charges the LW After Becoming a Knight 
  • Why does Durga still treat you like you're not in the Brotherhood? The LW is probably the only one paying her for repair jobs and supplies. I was expecting maybe a small amount of assorted ammo and some bare-bones repairs for free every few days, and anything beyond that you'd have to trade for it, but nope. It stumps me that you seem to be a knight in name only in some places while Elder Lyons, Sarah Lyons, Paladin Tristian and assorted characters make it clear that you're a full-fledged knight of the Brotherhood.
    • She just doesn't like you? Not everyone is going to bow down and kiss LW's ass, much as the LW may like.
    • What's with the hostility? I'm not asking for an ass kissing, I'm saying the player should be treated like a Brotherhood member just like everybody else. They obviously don't pay for their equipment since Durga specifies that you have to pay her.
    • I'm not being hostile, friend. I'm just saying that maybe Durga doesn't like the LW. Why? Who knows.
    • The Lone Wanderer isn't a real Knight. It's a purely honorary rank. If the Brotherhood of Steel was inducting you to become an actual member of the organization, your rank would have been Initiate.

     Dirty Foreigners 
  • How on earth are there so many characters not from the USA in a world where there is no reliable form of travel? There are at least three characters I can name off the top of my head who have no plausible reason to be there, Dukov, Moriarty, and Alistair Tenpenny and only one even has a handwave about being there.
    • Because its a Bethesda game. Of all the things they handwaved, changed or never bothered to explain, a couple of foreigners is far from the worst. Harold and the Brotherhood of Steel are much more egregious examples than Dukov, Moriarty and Alistair. There is no confirmation of how bad other countries were hit, so it is at least plausible they have a much higher seafaring capacity. It is entirely possible that part of the east coast is occupied and they are strays from those settlements.
    • No reliable form of travel just means they used an unreliable form of travel; there are still a few ways you can cross an ocean if you look hard enough. For example, see the PMV Valdez of Fallout 2.
    • Presumably someone found or built a boat and they sailed across the ocean. Dangerous, certainly, and perhaps more so in an post-nuclear holocaust ocean environment of giant irradiated monsters, but not beyond the realm of possibility.
    • Presumably the settlements of Fake-English-Accentia and Port Irish-Accent exist just outside the boundaries of the explorable area. (Depending on how bad things are in the British Isles, groups may have emigrated by sailing boat. And even if things are worse in the Wasteland, getting back might be beyond their capabilities.)
    • Recent discoveries can actually explain this. Chemical analysis of Egyptian mummies discovered tobacco and cocaine, and not from really enthusiastic archeologists, but from back when they were alive, or had been recently mummified. For those that don't understand what this has to do with Fallout, it's very simple: tobacco and cocaine have never been indigenous to Europe, Asia or Africa. They only have ever existed naturally in the Americas. Furthermore, an ancient Roman ship was found sunken in Brazil. This means that the Egyptians and Romans were in the Americas millennia before Columbus "discovered" them. This is in addition to Leif Erikson coming to the Americas before Columbus. If the Egyptians and Romans could make it here without any possible way to create a metal ship, the Irish and the English could make it here with somewhat repaired ships.


  • Where is all the electricity coming from? The previous infrastructure is probably completely decimated or at least inactive after 200 years, so people are either repairing it or making their own generators. The larger settlements like Megaton and Rivet City can probably be handwaved through SCIENCE! and having some sort of small (nuclear?) power supply somewhere, but where is a smaller settlement like Arefu getting its power? There doesn't seem to be any sort of place for a power generator, and there were no wires coming into the settlement either. Further, the fact that every building in the DC ruins has power makes even less sense. The Brotherhood could have supplied power to some of the locations, but what about the building abandoned save for Super Mutants and Raiders? Neither group is likely to have the materials and know how.
    • It's possible that some of it is just smaller air/wind generators that are still up and running, simply because no-one ever bothered to deactivate them. Perhaps they're getting it out of a generator operating underneath the earth in some underground river? Besides, it's not like the settlements here are massive cities where everything you do requires tons of power. At most, there are a couple of lights, you could probably use a handcrank generator or something for that amount of energy. And it's not out of the question to say that the world developed some kind of fusion reactor between our time and 2077, that thing could probably have generated massive amounts of power, enough to keep a city or two going for the 2 centuries it's been since the great war.
    • The problem with this is that it doesn't mesh well with the image of devastation and post-apocalypse that Bethesda wanted to create in Fallout 3. Nuclear weapons and EMP disrupt existing electrical grids and generators, even if much of Washington had through so much Ragnarök Proofing, there's an unbelievable amount of working electricity and working computers that are just lying around. In Fallout 3, there are computers and electrical grids which should have burned out decades ago that are still "on" after two hundred years of complete neglect. Old Olney Powerworks, for instance, is still fully 'active' after 200 years. As it's been said before, it would make sense maybe 20 years after the Great War that some of this stuff is still working, but after 200, that's just beyond believable.
    • The notes on the computer terminal from the female ghoul scientist in one of the Sat Com towers makes an off-hand remark about "there's still power down there if you know where to look", strongly implying an underground electrical network that is still operational. WMG, but if power is on a distributed, decentralized network like the Internet is in our world, the working generators could be hundreds of miles away and still supply a few streetlights and terminals in DC. New Vegas demonstrates that the Hoover Dam is still running 200 years later, supplying the strip with power without having to use overhead lines; there's no reason to believe Niagara Falls isn't performing the same feat on the East Coast.
    • That is a lot of Wild Mass Guessing. Just so you know, Hoover Dam was -not- operating for 200 years after the War. The Strip was not powered on at all. Mr. House and the Lucky 38 were getting by for many decades on emergency power from the small generators he has in the basement. Hoover Dam was knocked out and dormant after the War and was repaired by the NCR only a couple years before the events of New Vegas start - and even then, not all the generators are operational.
    • An underground electric grid in DC surviving the bombs is a fairly plausible explanation. After all, EMP can't travel more than a few feet through solid ground, and considering this is DC it may have been shielded as well. Whatever source is supplying power (probably one or more nuclear or fusion plants) must still be running. After all, if the backpack mini-generator in a suit of T-51b armor can be loaded with enough fuel to last 1,000 years, I don't see why the same thing couldn't be done on a larger scale to power a city.
    • There's no question that an underground electrical grid exists. The question is where the power is coming from and why aren't more people "plugged in" if power is still plentiful? If there's a reliable underground power grid, then what is the purpose of these above-ground power stations? Fuel is one thing, maintenance and proper working order is another. It's been over two hundred years, afterall, andequipment need maintenance, but yet Olney Powerworks is still active and at what seems to be full capacity without any interior maintenance (the robots don't go that far into the building). Nuclear powered cars run rampant around the Capital Wasteland, yet no one has pulled them apart for fuel or parts and just let them sit out where they can explode at a moment's notice.
    • Not sure what you mean by "why aren't more people plugged in?", as the aforementioned ghoul scientist mentioned the "power down there" as being the reason why she was able to restore power to the pre-war Satcom Array tower, which would obviously have an already-existing connection to the pre-war grid. Those above-ground stations are pretty clearly transformer substations, not generator plants. While the game doesn't go into detail on the underground power sources, based on the Fallout setting it's probably safe to assume that it's automated and self-maintaining. (After all, this was a society afflicted with constant Red Scare and nuclear war paranoia. Doesn't it make sense that they would take steps to ensure that the U.S. capital could continue to function post-attack?) As for the cars, I doubt that the average wastelander has the technological know-how to dismantle a decrepit, non-functioning nuclear car for usable parts.
    • The question again is why aren't more people plugged in with access to electricity if Electricity has so much Ragnarök Proofing, or why isn't there more progress in reclaiming the wasteland if a simple utility like electricity is so prevalent. We even have derelict power stations just lying around. "Power is everything." As it's been shown a few times, even within Fallout 3's story - Power is a major commodity necessary for operating everything from simple machines to large scale utilities, so the question is also "if electricity is so easy to automate, why aren't other utilities such as water" - which, as explained elsewhere on this page, simple utilities can purify water to acceptable levels, and such facilities are controlled by the government as well, and would be quite necessary for the survival of the United States government in a Red Scare war scenario. Electricity can vastly improve the quality of life for many wastelanders, but many are simply reduced to using it for lights or the occasional radio. Another question would be the prevalence of electricity, but not telephones or other common "underground" utilities (which are electrically powered and a necessary utility... like power). Electricity is all you need to charge up some of the old pre-war cars or power up a water distillery (which is infinitely more practical than the Purifier), yet the groups who have access to the electricity, don't use it for sensible purposes (Brotherhood of Steel stands out in this - they have a huge crane for lifting Liberty Prime which is presumably electrically powered - yet don't share this power, or use it to charge up anything else. It's hard to think of the conditions as bad when random building still have power to operate computers or whatever, or that a museum is still functioning properly 200 years after the fact. The problem that makes this a Headscratcher is that, because of the sheer lack of information we have, any attempt to answer quickly becomes Wild Mass Guessing.
    • The thing is, lack of electricity is not what's prohibiting the Capital Wasteland denizens from making more social progress. It's the Super Mutants. Sarah Lyons explicitly tells you that the constant mutant attacks for decades have been what's keeping civilization in DC back. Like I said, those derelict power stations are ruined transformers substations, they wouldn't help people generate electricity. Besides, many things in the Capital Wasteland (both pre-war and post-war) are powered by smaller generators, which you can see scattered all throughout the game. Many wastelanders don't have access to the pre-war grid because they have no connection (I doubt it's as simple as digging up an old power line and "plugging in"); in fact, a lot of wastelanders are nomadic. The majority of pre-war cars are deteriorated well beyond simply "charging them up", but there are exceptions that do get used— for instance, in Broken Steel the Brotherhood has restored military trucks. You mention that the US government would also need to have their own Ragnarok-Proofed clean water systems. Well, they do— in Raven Rock (it's stated that Raven Rock pumps it's water up from wells deep underground, and that it has a Vault-style purifier). And the Enclave aren't exactly keen on sharing it. You're right, the electricity thing isn't explained fully in the game, but then again, there is some precedent— for example, the Den in Fallout 2 has working pre-war streetlights, but you don't see a generator anywhere.
    • It's not at all difficult to get plugged in, as Fallout 3 demonstrates. James, for instance, runs a small generator inside the Jefferson Memorial to power a computer so he can do some tests before running off to Vault 112. When you come back and turn Project Purity on, all you do is switch out a couple fuses in a fusebox and suddenly the entire facility has power. Where did that power come from? Never answered, but it seems to imply that there's electricity still running through the main power grid, just like how the satellite towers gets their power. Just about everywhere else you encounter a generator, it's for a single independent system, like a turret, a door, or for some lights in a tunnel somewhere. As for everything else: Number one, many of the people who live in towns found throughout the Capital Wasteland are -not- nomadic - the fact that they have permanent settlements means that they do not, or no longer wander. Manya in Megaton, for instance, has lived inside those corrugated shacks of Megaton her whole life, only to leave as part of her old caravan business. Number two, the world in Fallout 2 has quite a lot of electricity available with their sources - while the Den and New Reno don't really show where they get their electricity, most others like Vault City, Gecko, Broken Hills, San Francisco, the Oil Rig and NCR do have a stated electrical source. Number three, while Raven Rock has its own water system, other important facilities, such as the Pentagon (the Citadel) do not. Which is curious, since Raven Rock is intended to be the back-up for the Pentagon. The logic is pretty contradictory if you believe that Washington is Ragnarok Proofed with reinforced concrete, but only one basic utility (electrical power) in which to survive the impending nuclear Apocalypse. If the assertion that it is to keep the American Government going on after a nuclear event, it would not do well against basic logic concerning even fresh water.
    • There is still electricity running through the main power grid. Not everywhere, but there is still power available in many places if you have a connection. We established this already. Also, generators do power quite a lot of things. There are small ones that can only power doors or computers, but several buildings have large generators that are clearly meant to be powering the buildings. To continue, I wasn't saying that all wastelanders were nomadic— merely that there is a sizable nomadic population (specifically, all the unnamed Wastelanders and Scavengers that can be found wandering around the wastes). Number two, yes, places in Fallout and Fallout 2 get power from other sources because they don't have a functioning power grid. But not all is explained: besides the Den and New Reno, where does Junktown and the Hub get the electricity to power their lights and signs? I didn't see any generators. Regardless of the answer, the fact remains that, unlike the Core Region, the Capital Wasteland does have a surviving power grid. There's plenty of evidence for it. Number three, you're right, the Pentagon doesn't have water systems while Raven Rock does. That's because, after the Great War, the policy was for the Enclave in DC to immediately transfer many of the Pentagon's functions to Raven Rock (I'm pretty sure this is the protocol in real life as well), and keep it maintained with a skeleton crew while the US President and top brass maintained central command and control of the Enclave at the Poseidon Oil Rig. I doubt that the Enclave took steps to ensure that all water in DC could be quickly purified, considering that they already had a supply and they care more about themselves than the US population. The electric grid wouldn't be damaged too badly since it's underground— like I said earlier, EMP can't travel more than a few feet through solid earth. I'm not 100% certain that the grid was reinforced (that may have been an error on my part), but it's still possible. My point is that the Enclave made sure that they would survive and be able to continue operations, not that DC itself is completely equipped to counteract the effects of nuclear attack. Even if there were pre-war water purification systems in place, I have my doubts that they would be as large as Project Purity, which is intended to purify the Potomac River and provide a large outlet of fresh water so that the wasteland can start to be brought back from the dead.
    • Again, the HEADSCRATCHER is that there is no given source of power for the Capital Wasteland's power grid. The issues with Fallout 1 and 2's Den and others should be going to the Fallout Headscratchers page - though I will say that the assumption is that the street lights in those areas are electric - there's no evidence that they are (they could be gas-powered for all we know). Furthermore, if, at the first sign of trouble, the Pentagon "goes to a skeleton crew and control goes to Raven Rock," why continue to maintain the Pentagon as the primary nerve center of the military? Especially considering the Cheyenne Mountain Facility's noted purpose at the height of the Cold War as a "dug-in" facility which was comfortably capable of continuing operations after an event. Water purification for survival usage doesn't need to be as big as Project Purity, they simply would be necessary for the continual operation of strategically important government facilities in the case of a national emergency or a nuclear event. In fact, the President had moved to the Oil Rig months before the Great War in order to plan out the on-going war. The real questions start to come up after this. Some people have made the case that the buildings in DC are still standing because they are reinforced concrete and have gone Ragnarök Proofing, yet these buildings do not have the redundant failsafe systems such as their own generators or water/air purification systems necessary for operations after an event. As you say, the power grid is still functional because they may or may not have been built that way to survive a nuclear event. If the power grid is still providing electricity, why not other basic facilities like water? EMP might effect electrical grids, I don't recall it ever having an effect on water pipes.
    • This troper would just like to point out that the water networks ARE still running. They're just every bit as contaminated as the rest of the wasteland (hence how you can drink from sinks: they work, the water's still running, it just irradiates you when you drink it). And to head off your next question, the reasons for the water treatment plants being offline when the power plants aren't is that any type of water treament plant that would be resistant to the effects of fallout (and be able to mitigate those effects) neads a constant, external supply of filtration media to replenish stuff that gets (for lack of a better term) clogged. This would of course be precluded by the lack of any external industry. It might work for a while, but 200 years? No chance.
    • The Vaults establish that they had developed practical geothermal power by the time of the Great War. Perhaps it's a distributed system of small geothermal wells (whatever that means)? Of course this would lead into a second headscratcher: between nuclear-powered vehicles and geothermal-powered urban areas... why were they fighting over oil?
    • It's implied that only America was able to convert to electric and nuclear-powered cars, the rest of the world was pretty much still addicted to oil. America had the last bit of oil in the world in the Fallout universe, controlled by the Pre-War Enclave at the Poseidon Oil Rig (see Fallout 2), and even that had been tapped out after the end. There's little evidence that China actually invaded for control of that oil, but it's the most likely theory. The headscratcher here is why didn't the US sell the technology to convert nuclear material into a fuel source?
      • Actually answered pretty well with a bit of backstory digging. Violent isolationism and jingoism! The United States invented the extremely compact nuclear technology they needed to completely avert the impending energy crisis, then promptly informed the world that this technology was not available to anyone else and would only be used to serve American interests. Stupid? Oh most certainly. In character for the Fallout government we know? Just as certain.
    • Because the prevalence of nuclear energy only exists in Fallout 3 and mostly as a Hand Wave for why things work. In Fallout 2, major plot points depict the exact opposite. A nuclear generator is extremely rare to the point one of the most bigoted group in the game is willing to openly trade with Gecko for energy from their generator. Oil is also extremely important. Vertibirds in Fallout 2 are oil powered and oil is used extensively for power generation beyond that. In fact, the Enclave's advantage basically boils down to them having access to oil. If nuclear energy was readily available in any practical form, the Oil Rig would be a colossal liability.
    • As for the abovementioned EMP, Fallout technology is still working with vaccum tubes and tapes instead of transistors, which have never been invented. Those technologies are far less susceptible to an EMP than transistors. Compare the tube radio one survivor gets to work in The Day After.
    • To lay this to rest. The DC power grid is still operating on at least some of its underground grid though some mix of nuclear fusion based generators, which the pre-war United States had so well figured out they could make it as small as a D-cell battery, renewables that would still be working if at reduced capacity, and various nuclear batteries which at minimal output could last potentially thousands of years. As a result Washington DC still has power albiet highly limited access to said power.

    Enclave Field Report: Non-Feral Feral Ghouls? 
  • Has anyone else seen this? I encountered the Enclave camp on the way to Vault 92 and the terminal mentions A) 'Recruiting' Wastelanders for genescans with Purified Water, B) Flaming the detained if they got too many, and C) the report above, where an Enclave soldier kills two "ferals" and the fourth follows him docilely back. The truck has two Wastelanders and Purified Water, confirming that part of the report; one of the Enclave soldiers carries a Flamer, so that's part two. Is there an explanation for the non-aggressive Feral Ghoul? None of the Enclave members had the Ghoul Mask or anything; I thought they just assume all ghouls are feral, but they don't mention this one talking (which I assume he would have done had he been a non-feral, Underworld-type ghoul) and when you check the body it shows up as a Feral Ghoul (as its appearance would indicate).
    • Ghouls are mutants. The notion that one mutated in such a way that it wasn't aggressive really isn't that odd a concept.
    • Delving into WMG territory but since becoming a feral is apparently a gradual process... maybe this ghoul just wasn't all the way there yet. Or maybe he was... mentally handicapped even before ghoulification. It would've been interesting to encounter non-hostile ferals in-game though...
    • It's perfectly possible that the Enclave just refer to all ghouls as feral, and whether or not the "feral" came willingly is a matter of interpretation (if it felt threatened, if it was truly obedient, or if the trooper just dragged it). Or the use of a feral ghoul corpse was a slip by Bethesda, or not meant to be taken literally.
    • Bethesda did subvert their own Always Chaotic Evil categories in the game, if rarely. Fawkes is the obvious example, but just the other day I encountered a lone Enclave soldier out on patrol who walked right past with a 'hello'. (He must have been in the can when Colonel Autumn was handing out wanted posters with my face on them.)

    The noisy city 
  • Why is Rivet City so noisy? The city isn't sinking so it can't be pumps. Water purification and fusion power systems wouldn't make that much noise. So why is there a constant background din?
    • Even perfectly stable houses built with brick and wood make inexplicable noise every now and then. Rivet City is several giant hunks of metal bolted together so that they float, moored in a river. On top of that, it's very old, has gone for decades without maintenance and been split in half. All those bits rubbing against each other are going to creak, particularly just after sunrise and just after nightfall as the metal heats, expands, then cools and contracts.
    • Not to mention the Mirelurks outside bumping against it.
    • Have you ever been in a house with a tin roof? As metal heats it expands and as it cools contracts. This change in size causes the metal to exert forces against itself, which tends to make it pop and tick. Rivet City is a very large tin roof, figuratively speaking.

    Vault 87 access 
  • How do the super mutants get out? There are three possible ways 1) The main door, which is sealed shut by a nuclear blast 2)The back door which is sealed shut by a forgotten password 3) Murder pass, which is sealed shut by the kids of little lamp light. I can buy the enclave threatening the kids to get though murder pass or the back door, but the super mutants would have killed all the kids if they could get though this way.
    • The simple answer is Offscreen Teleportation, and as with most things in Fallout 3, justified mostly with A Wizard Did It.
    • They use the front door. Being much stronger than humans, they could very well open it by brute force. As for why it's closed and [INACCESSIBLE] in-game, that's because the dev team didn't build anything behind it.
    • Super Mutants are perfectly able to force open the main door to a Vault, as shown in the video of them invading Vault 13. And the blistering radiation outside Vault 87's entrance won't bother them because they are, well, Super Mutants. The inaccessible doors are simply the gamedev's rather clumsy way of avoiding sequence breaking.
    • Mind you, this [INACCESSIBLE] door is just a simple metal door like those found on the front of shacks or the entrances leading to other Vaults, not the heavier doors found elsewhere, let alone a big massive Vault door (which is left open and leads to nothingness) which is only accessible by way of yet another [INACCESSIBLE] door. There's no real justification for the door to be closed or for the entrance exterior not to be connected to the interior, except that the Devs wanted to prevent sequence breaking. So, it really does become A Wizard Did It all over again.
    • What bugged me was - how do they get their victims in there? They abduct them, drag them out that way in shopping-cart cages, and... what? Can't go overland, your cargo will die of massive radiation. Little Lamplight is unknown to them. I used to figure they used the Murder Pass entrance, but all the trash in the way of that entrance suggests that they've completely forgotten about it.
    • The [INACCESSIBLE] doors are a wooden one in the center of the blast crater outside and a normal interior vault door that leads to an inaccessible vault main door. It is possible that the super mutants can work these doors to get in and out. The Vault 87 Overseer's terminal is both Dummied Out and only says "the main door to Vault 87 is damaged beyond repair," not that it is sealed shut forever. The question of how the Enclave got in and out (presumably) without using the main door or (presumably) Little Lamplight still remains. If I recall, the Enclave actually ambushes you from the main door room.

    Radiation from food 
  • Everyone having to eat food that is full of radiation makes no damn sense. Not food being irradiated, nor people willing to eat it, that's fine. It's a numbers game of radiation build up. Assuming that you need two items of food a day, each having 2 Rads from eating it, as well as being lucky enough to have purified water to drink, you accumulate 4 rads per day. In the fallout universe, 1000 rads is the 'lethal' level, although any sane individual wouldn't want to have minor radiation sickness, which is at 200 rads. For the lethal level to reach, it would be 8 months worth of consumption, and for the minor poisoning it is just under two months. RadAway costs 20 caps, give or take, and with the highest Medicine skill possible will remove 150 rads a dose. Now, anyone with two caps to rub together could chip in for a pack or two and then make do with themselves, and the really high rollers can pay a doctor to just cleanly remove all rads. And while RadAway isn't exactly a resource that you can piss away (well, except for the side effects of the medacine, but I digress), dialogue from Julia Farkas from New Vegas implies that they can reproduce or replicate the stuff with enough sample material. The main point of my complaint is the beggers and poor people, and the fact that they have survived. Food costs around about 4-5 caps for the basic stuff, so assuming they eat twice a day and someone just gives them their pure water thats 8-10 caps a day, 240-300 caps a month in food. If they cure minor radiation poisoning when it happens, then they have to purchase 400-500 caps worth of food, in addition to scavenging caps for the RadAway, running up at just under a cap a day put aside to pay for two bags. I'm discluding those who punch rats and rad roaches to death and eating their meat, since that is either subsistance hunting or the begining of a hunting career. But they are beggers and such for a reason, quite likely chems are gonna drain their resources as well, requiring them to scavenge more. Seeing the logistics of it makes not an impossibile thing to overcome, but raises some questions.
    • Maybe people don't last very long once they become beggars.
    • Also, your theory requires that they eat 2 food items a day, which is probably something only reasonably wealthy people can afford to do. I'd say any beggar who gets 2 or 3 meals a week is doing pretty good. Something else that you didn't account for was thieves and pickpockets. Just because you never see people stealing stuff doesn't mean they don't. Large amounts of supply theft is probably why stealing is a big enough crime to get you shot. Plus, even if most beggars don't steal their food the ones in large settlements are often implied to survive (at least partially) on handouts. The Lone Wanderer himself can walk into Canterberry Commons in a suit with over 1000 caps to his name and Joe will still give him a freebie. (Yeah, its a measly bottle of dirty water, but still...)
    • Then again, this assumption presumes that living conditions in the Capital Wasteland are actually bad (Fallout 3 has a habit of not being able to show the Wasteland as being as desperate situation as it is made to sound like). Those beggars outside of the settlements are asking for clean water, not because they're sick with radiation, but because they are sick of drinking irradiated water. Mind you, they don't ask for food, Rad-X or Rad-Away to keep them going or flush out their system so that they can keep going, but just for clean water. Just because we don't see them eating well doesn't mean that they don't.
    Tin Cans 
  • Why is it that I can find hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS of opened tin cans throughout the wasteland, and yet not a single can opener?
    • You can open a tin can with a knife. There are lots of those around.
    • Historically, this used to be your only option. There was a 45-year gap between the time that tin cans and tin can openers were invented.
     Radiation Duration 
  • I was having a discussion with my father who worked with Strategic Air Command and he told me that Fallout 3's depiction of there still being radiation everywhere is fairly realistic. He said that radiation was expected during the Cold War to last at least a thousand years if a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States was ever to happen, or at least that is what his Military training taught him. However most accounts I have heard say that the United States would largely be radiation free 200 years after a nuclear war. How do we know one way or the other if we have never experienced nuclear war? What is the more accurate figure?
    • We know much more about how radiation works because of the extensive testing over the years, as well as from more recent nuclear events such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That Other Wiki has a great article on it here. Fancy that, it's even called Fallout. Simply put, radiation from nuclear bombs has a shorter half-life and will dissipate in that time. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were rebuilt in ten years after the bombs and have long since been non-radioactive. Chernobyl and Pripyat, both areas which are still quite radioactive, have quite a bit of wildlife growing there only 20 years afterwards, despite being highly dangerous for humans.
    • Realistically Fallout 3 should look like one big forest of trees spanning the Wasteland as plants are quite capable of absorbing radiation. My father told me that during the Manhattan Project various experiments were conducted with radiation and one of the curious tales that my grandfather experienced was of a tree that was exposed to radiation and it started glowing green in the stereotypical fashion seen in fiction. To this day that tree is still glowing as my father can attest. Direct radiation from the nuclear material is going to last longer than fallout from a nuclear bomb. I was however rather surprised to hear in his opinion that fallout from a nuclear war would last that long, my understanding was that only the nuclear material itself has a half-life that long. I'll try to show my dad that those Cold War predictions of the fallout duration were a little off, thanks.
    • There are some variables to it, like how much of the fissionable material is used up in the nuclear explosion. The bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, for instance, only used about 10% of the nuclear material as the rest was scattered to the winds and into the atmosphere. Later weapons are a bit more efficient, but if we're to believe Fallout 3, they are not very far along as bombs go.
    • Fallout history diverges from real history somewhere between 1945 and 1961, so nuclear weapons research could have stopped at any point respective to real history during that period. For example, the first H-Bomb was successfully tested on Nov 1, 1952...but there's no mention in the Fallout universe that they got beyond A-bombs.
    • Nuclear weapons most definitely work differently in the retro-futuristic Fallout world. In fact, the manual for the original Fallout has a backstory section which explains that megaton-size nukes had been mostly retired in favor of larger numbers of smaller but dirtier kiloton-size weapons. It also mentions that the radioactive fallout from these weapons is actually much larger than scientists had predicted in the 60s and 70s. Both of these help explain why the radiation in the Fallout universe lasts longer.
    • The Fallout universe isn't based on how actual science works. It's based on the popular perceptions around the 1950's. The way radioactive fallout works is the way that most people in that time period were told it works.
    • Also remember that the world of Fallout uses nuclear energy for pretty much everything, including powering their cars, which the player can even make explode with the power of a mininuke just by shooting it. This means that when there is a nuclear war a massive chain reaction of nuclear detonations can result from a single bomb from all the cars and buses and so forth all blowing up one after another, not to mention the cluster bombing that went on.
    • This is why many effects of nuclear detonations are inconsistent with the real world throughout the series, such as the lack of a Nuclear Winter, humans being able to absorb plenty of rads before dying or mutating (especially through consuming irradiated food, which would in the real world be an Attack Its Weak Point for radiation), leading to radiation being used to make food last forever, the existence of ghouls... all of which has been in the series since Fallout 1.

     What is with the money? 
  • Stacks of pre-war money are worth a fair bit in caps, more than most random pre-war tools or appliances, a lot of which are worth precisely nothing. Erm... why? The prewar tools and appliances all still meet the same basic needs, whereas isn't the pre-war money just scraps of not-valid-currency-anywhere low-quality cloth at this point?
    • Do you see a lot of toilet paper in the Capital Wasteland?
    • Or vending machines that don't take caps. Given the food made it two centuries it's not impossible that some vending machines aren't out yet. That or buying your way past protectatrons in places that used to require money.
    • It probably has to do with the historical value of the money, it reminds the citizens of the Wasteland that they used to have a powerful and worthy nation that their ancestors were a part of and gives them hope of what they could one day be again. Besides they probably keep the money so that they know how to model their money when they one day recover from the war and create a Government and a system of commerce they can say, "How should the money look? Well we have a sample from the pre-war era, maybe our money should look like it."
    • NCR currency, as seen in loading screens, does resemble United States currency.
    • I always thought it was because paper is still useful, given that only options for wiping their asses involve irradiated water and a foul rag. That or somebody like the Followers recycled the paper into usable blank sheets. Mostly the toliet paper theory though.
    • There's also the fact that it was obviously useful to somebody. No one but a dedicated tinkerer would have much use for a coffee maker, but anyone can tell that the US Dollar was valuable to someone somewhere.
    • They're relics of the biggest and best economic system that the world had ever seen. If you're going to try and rebuild an economy, it makes sense to copy from the best. There's also the issue of being rather counterfeit-proof - pre-war money in good condition would be far beyond anything most wastelanders could do. Forge some bottle caps? Not all that hard. Forge a US dollar? Fat chance!
    • Relics of the biggest and best economic system in world are we talking in-universe or real world? because the in universe America was so wasteful and corrupt it spawned such things as wars over the Earth's few remaining resources. In fact the most successful faction that bases itself on pre-war US (the NCR) is so bloated even it's biggest and most powerful supporters realizes that it can not operate this way forever. As for the real world you do realize the world wide recession that hit us around 2008 and has nearly crippled several countries started in the US right?
    • Pre-war tools (like hammers and wrenches) aren't worth much because they are, literally, so common you can walk over a few every other time you go scavenging. They were manufactured by the millions, and the world's population has dropped drastically. Way less people = way more tools per person who knows how to use them = not worth much.
    • Pre-war appliances A: likely don't work well or at all, B: require a decent power supply, and C: may not be useful for their intended function post-apocalypse. (example: what point is a toaster when there is literally no bread to toast?) Something like the working fridges Sierra Petrovita has or you can buy for your Megaton/Tenpenny home are now unimaginable luxuries for most people.
    • Pre-war money is still a form of tender. If the people using it determine that it has some kind of exchange value (even if that value is simply "something I can wipe my ass with that is nicer than radioactive nettles") and can be used to meet an obligation, then it can still worth something. I doubt the greenback is worth as much as it would be pre-war, but it nevertheless still might have some value as a form of currency or a tool of trade — you can still exchange it for a good or service in the same way that you can swap bottle caps. A pre-war toaster, however, is an object built for a specific purpose and has certain requirements in order to function; take away that purpose and those requirements, it's basically useless. There's not much in the way of a reliable electricity provider or bread in need of toasting in the Capitol Wasteland, so a pre-war toaster's value drops dramatically. It's not even much good as a paperweight because there's hardly any paper in the Wasteland requiring weighing down.
     Sooo... why are we fighting again? 
  • Seriously, I don't get it. When you think about it, the player and the Enclave both have the exact same goal (activating the purifier). It'd make no sense to stop them from activating it, since you just try to do the same thing two minutes later.
    • The Enclave want to contaminate the water supply with stuff that will kill anyone born outside the vaults or Enclave.
    • As mentioned, President Eden seeks to use modified FEV in the water to wipe out most of the Wasteland. Colonel Autumn, though, believes that is too extreme, so his plan is to activate the Purifier, wipe out the Brotherhood of Steel, and take control of the Wasteland to rule under the Enclave's iron fist. Either way, the Enclave are after the Purifier for their own interests and are in no way interested in simply helping people. Naturally, this brings them in conflict with Elder Lyons' Brotherhood, who seek to activate the Purifier to provide an outlet of clean water for the population of the Capital Wasteland and help civilization get back on its feet.
    • Fallout 3 does a very, very poor job of setting up the Enclave. Basically, they ripped off the plot from Fallout 2 without really explaining it. Enclave hates mutants. Anyone not Enclave is a mutant. If you are in a sealed vault, they take the perception you will eventually become a mutant after being exposed to the wasteland. So, the Enclave's goal is to kill all mutants, and their definition of mutant boils down to everyone not in the Enclave. The Purifier is magic technology that lets you achieve all your goals. Since Bethesda isn't really known for penalizing players for doing stupid things (like poisoning the water supply with something that is supposed to kill everyone outside the Enclave, including yourself, not being taken to the logical conclusion that you die), it is even more unclear what the Enclave was actually doing.
     Tenpenny and Megaton 
  • So, when Alistair Tenpenny gave Mister Burke the task of detonating Megaton's nuclear bomb, he requested that Burke allow the population of Megaton to evacuate beforehand. It sounds like a Pet the Dog gesture at first-until you realize that the townspeople would be left homeless in a total Death World. So, killing people is bad, but leaving them stranded in a post-apocalyptic hellhole is A-OK?
    • Tenpenny has different interpretations, ranging from just being out of touch to being an evil tyrant. We're only told that he wants to destroy it because it doesn't look right. He's not exactly thinking out the consequences of his actions. The radioactive debris could be blown in the Tower's direction, after all. And really, even if it was an eyesore, what was he going to do once it was gone anyway? Build a condo?
    • Tenpenny probably planned a Hunting the Most Dangerous Game hunt given the gentrified nature of Tenpenny's tower and Three Dog's dim attitude towards Tenpenny.
    • When you ask Tenpenny what he shoots with his sniper rifle his response is, "Whatever I want. Whatever I want, dear boy." Tenpenny probably shoots random people and animals wandering the Wasteland any time he feels like it; it would seem probable that if all the refugees from Megaton came in that direction that he would have more target practice than usual. Alternatively Tenpenny may want Megaton to cease being a competitor to his tower in the region and have a good number of those refugees live in his tower at the usual price.
     Why can't you change sex? 
  • This is a joint Fallout 3 Fallout New Vegas Headscratcher: It just kind of bothers me that there is no way to change your sex once you've selected your character. You can change absolutely everything else including your entire face and even your sexuality but you are stuck with the one sex throughout the entire game. I would accept the argument that it would affect the storyline if it wasn't for the fact that gender really impacts very little in this game. I would also expect that the super duper Auto Docs on the Big Mt would be able to do something so trivial given that they can also remove your brain and let it talk to you.
    • It's probably that changing someone's sex would require a complete restructuring of one's body, something that's hardly 'trivial' given the numerous differences in male and female anatomy, structure, proportions, etc. Removing one's brain and puting it in a tank is obviously manageable given the existence or Robobrains and the Think Tanks themselves, but totally taking apart one's body and puting it back together properly seems like it might be out of reach even at Big Mountain.
    • There's also a difference in the level of tech available in the Capital Wasteland vs. what's available in the Mojave, and the Capital Wasteland doesn't have a Big MT. A sex-change is a far more invasive operation than plastic surgery, and thus far more risky: It would require a trained surgeon and/or an advanced machine, both of which are hard to come by around DC. It might be slightly less unlikely in the Mojave, given its larger number of surviving pre-War facilities, but a surgeon with that kind of training would still be rare to nonexistent, and a specialized Auto-Doc would also be hard-to-find since sex-change operations probably weren't common.
    • You could in fallout 2 or 1 either in the non-canon EPA, the glow, or in the military base outside of New Reno. You could get a sex change with like a 80% chance of the autodoc killing you shredding you into ludicrous gibs. With such a high death rate (and gruesome) the machines were probably still in a prototype stage and were never commercialized. Keep in mind there's a war going on so little to no progress was made on the deadly procedure.
    • Gameplay wise it could play all sorts of hell with the quest flags, especially if the quest involved or could be solved with gender specific perks. Black Widow or Lady Killer would be tough to program around if you could just swap your gender whenever you wanted.
  • Where did all the radscopions come from? In order to have mutated scorpions, there needed to be scorpions there to mutate in the first place. This makes sense in the other three Fallout games, as all three of them take place in the southwest. However, scorpions don't live in the Mid-Atlantic region.
    • Could be descended from escaped pets, or maybe the much-tougher-than-normal-scorpions radscorpions spread across the country.
    • It's explained in the game that these Radscorpions descended from North American Emperor scorpions which were commonly found in pet stores at the time of the Great War.
    • Kind of makes you wonder why we haven't seen radspiders or radcentipedes in the series so far, given how widespread these animals are.
     Dunwich Building 
  • I realize that the building is more-or-less there as a Shout-Out to H. P. Lovecraft and plays a small part in one of the quests in Point Lookout, but I can't be the only one who wonders why it's even there? It has pretty much nothing to do with the Fallout franchise, overall, and actually seems out of place, given the setting.
    • It appears to be just an average office building, albeit one with a dark secret in the basement.
    • Just about all of the quests and locations with even the slightest bit of plot are either directly taken from Fallout 1 and 2 or they are references to movies or books. It's far less out of place than the Blade Runner quest or the random gigantic battle mech.
    • I'm sure it really was just a throw-away shout out, but if you're referring to the fact that it has supernatural elements, well... the darkest corners of the Fallout world have slowly accumulated slightly supernatural elements - there's a boss with psychic powers in the first game, and a side quest involving laying a ghost to rest in the second. And, of course, proof of intelligent life on other planets. Once you have psi, hauntings, and aliens in your setting, the doors to the paranormal are already pretty wide-open.
    • Also this is "Bethesda" who are obligated to have H.P Lovecraft references in all of their games. From the "A shadow over Hackdirt" quest in Oblivion to 90% of the Dragonborn DLC in Skyrim I can't speak for New Vegas (Since it was made by Obsidian more than Bethesda we can let that one slide) but there will no doubt be a reference in Fallout 4.
     Behemoth Fawkes 
  • It's mentioned that Behemoths are the result of Super Mutants living for a long time and thus growing to massive proportions as well as becoming VERY stupid. So... how come Fawkes, who was apparently one of the first people in Vault 87 to be turned about 2 centuries before the game begins, isn't 50 feet tall and dumb as a brick?
    • Because the whole Behemoth thing was a Hand Wave for Bethesda wanting to add gigantic enemy Super Mutants. Beyond that, nothing ever acknowledges the concept that Super Mutants get stupider or larger over time. In fact, that is directly contradicted at every opportunity.
    • To be fair to Bethesda these are not the same Super Mutants as the ones from the previous games - they were spawned from FEV-87, not FEV-Mariposa. They do not have to follow the same rules.
    • A possible explanation is that while it's possible for Super Mutants to grow very large as they age, it doesn't mean that they necessarily will. There are only five in the game, so it could in fact be a rare occurrence. As for intelligence, Fawkes is already a special case in that he retained his sanity and intelligence, leading the other Super Mutants to consider him a failed mutation and lock him away. Reading books (while he still had access to them) also helped maintain his sanity.
    • Maybe it's like goldfish, Fawkes didn't grow massive as he didn't have the space to do so.
    • Or a matter of food supply - Fawkes was kept 'on rations' (and don't ask how he was fed - I didn't see any means of food delivery other than the door), so he never glutted himself in the way overlords and behemoths were able to. Or, in Fallout 3's tradition of cannibalism granting weird benefits, maybe a Wasteland metahuman needs to eat lots of human flesh to trigger the growth reaction. (Even darker, maybe it has to be flesh from a human awash in human growth hormones - that is, children.)
    Intense Training:Luck 
  • How does one train luck?
    • Walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, spilling salt. The usual kinda stuff.
    • But that would not increase your luck only test it, unless is a homeopathy thing?
    • Wait, so you're telling me I haven't been grinding my luck stat?
    • Fallout: New Vegas may have provided a feasible explanation for this, as part of Mr House's character/back story arguably does away with the wizard in regards to the Luck stat. House is revealed to be very accurate in calculating odds and probability, which helped protect Las Vegas from complete destruction during the Great War. Notably, he has a Luck stat of 10, suggesting it's more about odds/probability (especially as it affects gambling success in New Vegas as well) than anything magical. As such, it's an ability that the Lone Wanderer/Courier can hone. Alternatively, since Luck gives a small boost to all Skills in both games, increasing Luck through the Intense Training perk could be seen as some kind of general training that hones all your Skills across the board, setting you up to do some amazing/badass things including pulling off stuff that might seem to be sheer good luck.

     Sonara Cruz 
  • Why is that the leader of a vigilante group flees when danger is nearby? That always confused me.
    • Because Sonara's a coward? Maybe she isn't as tough as she thinks?

     200 Years, or 20? 
  • As entertaining as Fallout 3 is, there's a serious case of Medieval Stasis (or the post-apocalyptic equivalent) going on here. Does anyone else get the impression that this game was initially pitched as Fallout 0, set just a few decades after the War? I cite several elements that have been mentioned in the Headscratchers above. There's Little Lamplight's adult-free social order (and the general tendency in all the towns for "nothing much" to have happened between the immediate post-war recovery and your character's first visit); the relatively high number of delicate machines that are still in working order; virtually no sign of radiation-resistant plant life growing back in; blood packs and canned meat that can still be safely ingested; the bodies of the people trapped in Vault 112 being elderly, rather than 200-year-old skeletons; the Brotherhood relying on T-45 armor (T-51b armor was already the standard in 2147); relatively youthful Gary-clones in a Vault which doesn't seem to have anybody with a functional brain operating the Gary-Generator; valuable resources hidden practically everywhere, with no sign that ten generations' worth of desperate scavengers have been ransacking the land; no sign of English splitting into local dialects; scattered city-states with no real 'history' of interactions; relatively tech-savvy Raiders rather than the Tribals that such scavengers ought to have devolved into. Even the Enclave, which was 'outed' very publicly at the end of Fallout 2, seems to be subject to the Reset Button and treated as a mere myth by the Wastelanders. Everything about the setting, except the calendars and certain (rewritten?) elements of the plot, suggests a relatively recent apocalypse.
    • Something tells me you only skimmed through a few pages on the Wiki, or just weren't paying attention during the game, as there are explanations for all these things: Vault 112's citizens were in pods with built-in cryogenics, allowing the users to stay alive indefinitely. The Capital Wasteland wasn't as widely-developed, and I wouldn't expect too much to happen or develop in a Wasteland practically overrun with Super Mutants. The T-51b was only mass-produced just before the Great War and Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel was cut off from their Western and Midwestern superiors so they didn't have access to much apart from what they found out East. And since T-45 power armor was already mass-produced decades before the bombs fell, it's reasonable to understand why there'd be so much of it in the Pentagon/Citadel's armoury. Pre-War tech had advanced to the point where most food could stay fresh if kept in its packaging, or else it was recently made. Some Wastelanders may have become Tribals, but there are lots of areas where civilization could flourish without outside help. As for the dialects thing, do you really think the game developers are able to think far ahead to anticipate what the hell a Brooklyn accent would sound like in 200 years?
    • Your 'something' instinct is wrong. The list I compiled are points that appear on this page (except for the Gary situation), all with the mutual problem "Too much time has gone by for X to be Y". However, I probably shouldn't have posted the theory here, since it's more of a WMG: that the developers intended to set it in one time period, then made a change when the game was partially completed.

    Not being able to have more than one companion at a time 
  • This also applies to New Vegas, but I thought I'd list it here: Why the hell are all the companions (apart from Dogmeat) so damn picky about only coming with you if you don't already have someone following you and all share the "Three's a crowd" mentality? Haven't these guys ever heard the phrase "There's power in numbers"? Hell, most of the followers should understand how important it is to be in a group of more than just two humanoids (or robots, in RL-3's case). I get the Karma thing, and I could also understand if Butch didn't want to be grouped with Charon due to being afraid of Ghouls, or if Star Paladin Cross distrusted Fawkes since he's a Super Mutant, but saying "Oh, you've got someone else with you, so you don't need my help right now." or "There ain't enough supplies for all of us" is just stupid. Hell, there are temporary followers you meet during certain quests that'll follow you around no matter who the hell you're with, so it's not like having more than one companion would mess with the game's memory. Or did Bethesda anticipate that the ability to bring a small army with you everywhere you went would be a Game-Breaker?
    1. Star Paladin Cross is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, an organization whose members tend to operate in squads, so she ought to understand how important/efficient working in a group instead of a duo can be. Especially considering how dangerous the Capital Wasteland can be, which is also something Cross ought to be perfectly aware of in the amount of time she's spent there. Not to mention that her explanation that she can't go with you because the other companion isn't a member of the Brotherhood of Steel is just dumb, considering the game has established that the Brotherhood of Steel frequently collaborates with outsiders (Three Dog, James and the other Project Purity scientists, Rivet City Security, etc.) and she's available as a follower well before you're even declared an honorary member of the Brotherhood.
    2. Jericho is an ex-Raider, and Raiders often work together when attacking potential victims. Not to mention that Raiders don't rarely use much in terms of equipment, so not having enough supplies to go around really shouldn't be a problem for him.
    3. Clover's a slave and Charon's under contract to help his employer in combat, so the LW should be able to make them come with him/her anyway, no matter how crowded it would be.
    4. Butch DeLoria used to be the leader of a gang that had more than two members before he becomes a potential companion, so he should understand why you'd want more than one person with you at a time. Otherwise, why the hell would he have had allowed more than two members in the Tunnel Snakes to begin with?
    5. Fawkes, being as logical/intelligent as he is strong, should be able to understand the many possibilities that come with operating in a group of fighters that each practice their own unique tactics/skills in combat.
    6. Sergeant RL-3, even though he's got his own unique quirks/personality, is a robot built for military purposes by the pre-war U.S. Army, which has been shown throughout the series to use military robots in their squads/platoons, so it should be part of his protocols anyway to work in a group.
    • That might have been the reason. Bethesda didn't want you to be able to create your own personal army and make the game THAT much easier to beat.

    Three Dog's Radio Dish 
  • Here's one, why is it that Three Dog needs me to go collect the dish from that lander in the museum of technology...when there's a small Bo S outpost right the fuck there, wrapped around the Washington monument. Now, I understand there's supermutants there, but for Christ's sake it's like he was trying to get me killed. What's especially glaring is that you can't even bring it up at any point. And it's not like it's swarming with them, I was able to walk right in, didn't even need to sneak. So the odds of losing a couple of Bo S members was low, and even if they did, Lyons makes a point if you ask to join that they have an abundance of recruits available. Just give one of those assholes the job and let them join if they succeed.
    • I think it's general acceptance that Three Dog is a bit of an ass. I mean, a teenager asks him where his/her father is and his first response is to basically say, "I know where he is, but before I tell you, I need you to go on a suicide mission for me, 'K?" As for why you can't bring that up?? I chalked it to Gameplay Versus Story Segregation. While we would go to the Washington Monument, the story assumes the first thing we'd do is make a bee-line directly to GNR, so our character would have no way of knowing that the Bo S are at the Washington Monument.

     The Mothership Zeta Aliens 
  • Seriously, the game tells us almost nothing about them. Who are they? Where did they come from? Why have been orbiting around Earth for at least six hundred years? What is their intended purpose for abducting and freezing humans? Why do they abduct the PC? What do they want??

     Karma Meter Dissonance 
  • So according to Bethesda, help a brother buy a girl a drink, you're a monster. Help a sister drug and date-rape an aspiring priest, you're a hero. WOW.
    • Which is precisely why this troper never finished that quest.
    • The Karma System in this game is whacked. Remember, this is the same game where you can become a complete monster by blowing up a town, yet give enough Purified Water to a Water Beggar just a few scant hours later and you're the Messiah of the Wastes. I wouldn't worry about it.
    • To be fair, those drinks are addictive radioactive sodas that the girl's addicted to. It's less "buy a girl a drink at the bar" and more "Give the junkie some crack" for that quest. No real defense for the date rape though, that always sat wrong with me.
    • There's a good chance that the girl uses the pheromones on herself, given that they come with a +3 charisma boost.

     Adopting Bryan Wilks 
  • After completing Those! and giving Bryan over to Vera, something occurred to me: Assuming you have a home in Megaton, why didn't the game give you the option to say something like: “Hey, I have a place in Megaton. You can stay with me if you want.” You can give him to Vera, Lamplight, or to the slavers, so why not a fourth option where you can become his surrogate mother/father? It seems to me like this was an obvious choice the developers skipped out on. Bryan even said that he felt safe with you around, so the idea of living in Megaton with you surely would've been welcoming to him.
    • You do spend most of the game running around the Wasteland getting shot at by most of the multitudes of warring factions who hate your guts and almost getting eaten by giant radioactive monsters, whereas Vera spends most of the game safely cooped up on a huge battleship. Compared to Vera, you don't exactly have a stable home life to offer the boy. Vera's also Bryan's aunt as well.
      • Still better than leaving him alone in a ghost town, or selling him as a slave. At least in Megaton/Tenpenny Tower, he'd have Wadsworth/Godfrey to tend to his every whim, and a bunch of well-armed townspeople to protect him.
    • Vera literally runs a business centered around renting clean rooms to people, deep in one of the most secure settlements known in D.C.. Any correct thinking adult in the Wastes would approve of Wilks living there.

I know that Ug-Qualtoth (the deity mentioned in the Dunwich Building) is supposed to be a Captain Ersatz version of Yog-Sothoth, except...Yog-Sothoth and the Cthulhu Mythos are public domain; anyone can use them. So instead of making up a thinly-veiled expy of Yog, why not just use the real Yog?
  • Ug is Yog's younger cousin. After decades of being ignored, he finally got to break into show business with this cameo.

    Why are children immune to damage? 
Yes, I know why children can't be killed in this game. But why do bullets and all other attacks just phase right through them like nothing happened? Considering that there are already "Essential" characters that can only be knocked unconscious, using the "ghost" effect for children is totally redundant. Would it really be too much to be able to knock a child out cold for ten seconds so that they don't run around screaming "Help! Help!" while everyone else is trying to fend off a group of Raiders/Slavers/Regulators/etc.?
  • Violence to children of any sort will get you significantly higher ratings (and outright bans) in many countries.
  • Which makes one wonder why they designed this game in such a manner that will actually make you WANT to kill children. New Vegas, on the other hand, never makes you think about the fact that you can't.

  • Another Tranquility Lane Headscratcher: Why doesn't the Failsafe kill you and Dad as well when you activate it. I cannot think of a reason why the Chinese commandos ignore me. Hey still don't do anything to me even if I get up in their faces. I think the only way they attack me is if I punch one of them, but that's definitely not what the other residents are doing.
    • The commandos were likely only programmed to attack people who were sealed away in the Lane when it started (sans Braun, since he's the overseer); the player was basically an Outside-Context Problem for Tranquility Lane, so the commandos likely wouldn't be programmed to attack someone who entered the simulation after it initially started up (which, as Operation Anchorage demonstrates, the programmers who made the program were certainly capable of doing); as for your dad, he was a dog in the simulation; even if the commandos were programmed to deal with him, they'd likely be looking for someone who looks like your dad, not a dog.

Why don't beer bottles give you bottlecaps? Wouldn't that be where most of them come from?
  • Not all bottlecaps are used as currency. It is specifically only Nuka Cola bottlecaps (and sunset sarsaparilla in the Mojave)

    Why No Romance? 
  • Why are there no romances in game? Amata and Moira Brown practically scream this!


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