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Machinima / Fallout Lore: The Storyteller

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"But that is a story for another day..."

Fallout Lore: The Storyteller is a Machinima series about the universe of the Fallout franchise, created by the Shoddycast channel on YouTube, who also do similar series for other storyline-heavy universes.

At first, it appeared to be simply be a in-universe recounting of certain parts of the Fallout games that players may have missed, forgotten about, or had never seen in the full context of the Fallout Universe. This was all well and good, and featured nicely done and heavily-researched in-engine recreations of scenes never before seen in the 3D Fallout games— or, in some cases, anywhere before.

And then, at the end of the first season, the camera pulled back and revealed that a man in power armor was telling these stories. Since then, this "Storyteller" has slowly been fleshed out, and the series has become just as much about his adventures and the people he runs into in the wasteland as it is about the stories he tells.


The series is very well regarded and has even received some Approval of God cameos by major Fallout figures. To date, Erik Todd Dellums, Wes Johnson, and Heather Marie Marsden have reprised their roles from Fallout 3note , and Tim Cain, Chris Avellone, and Josh E. Sawyer have appeared as Chris's Bounty Hunters from Fallout.

Not to be confused with the Fallout episode of LORE in a Minute.


Fallout Lore: The Storyteller contains the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: The Storyteller runs into a few now and then (most notably Ranger Tanner) and of course talks about some in his stories.
  • After the End: It's set in the Fallout universe, which predominantly takes place several hundred years after several minutes long nuclear war during which China and the United States nuked the ever loving shit out of each other.
  • Alternate History: Part of the fun of the series is how it delves into what makes the Falloutverse one. Also, occasionally non-canon endings or decisions will be brought up, showing how the events could have gone differently.
  • Animation Bump: Justified, in Season 4 due to it being filmed using Fallout 4's engine as opposed to the one present in 3/New Vegas.
  • April Fools' Day: A humorous, presumably non-canon installment co-created with the "Asynchrony" channel was released on April 1, 2016 featuring... Fisto.
  • Arc Words: "But that is a story for another day..."
  • Artifact Title: While certainly the Lore of Fallout is still front and center, the Storyteller's adventures at times take up more space in a episode than the actual lore itself, come the third season onward.
  • Badass in Distress: NCR Ranger Tanner is kidnapped by the Vault Droid at the end of Season 3 and is presumably being held captive by him somewhere in the Commonwealth. Averted by Season 4's episode 12, where it's revealed she escaped from him in the Glowing Sea and has since been tracking him down to kill him.
  • Black Comedy: Made use of both in the actual stories and in the "meta" events of the series proper. Such as the Nuka-Junkie getting killed with a Nuka-Grenade, or ED-NA responding to the Storyteller's admission of his desire for a loyal dog companion by vaporizing a too-friendly stray.
  • Brick Joke: The In-Universe audience member from the Season 1 finale, a Nuka-Junkie who complains that the Storyteller didn't tell him anything about Nuka-Cola, and who proceeds to murder his fellow audience member over a bottle of the stuff, reappears in Season 2 at the Sunset Sasparilla Factory, where he finally gets the info he wanted.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Went from standard Black Comedy lore recitals to an ongoing story involving the Storyteller chasing down a murderous android-clone of the Vault Dweller.
  • Clone Degeneration: After the Vault Android tries to clone himself at Nuka-World they all turn out deformed and stupid. This is because the DNA in his brain was damaged by radiation in the glowing sea and when he learns this he goes ballistic and starts shooting the clones screaming that they're not worthy.
  • Crapsack World: Again, this goes with being a work set in the Falloutverse. Subverted, however, in that the Storyteller often likes to find the beacons of hope, beauty and optimism when he can.
  • Crossover: The Storyteller has appeared in episodes of Shoddycast's "Hidden History" and "Galaxy News Network". These presumably are not canon to the Fallout Lore series proper, especially since the GNN appearance was essentially a comedy sketch about how long fans had been waiting to hear Fallout 4 announced.
  • Cool Car: The Highwayman in Season 3's framing segments, which is implied to be the same one as appears in ruins in Fallout: New Vegas and possibly the same one that the Chosen One used in Fallout 2.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Storyteller (who is wearing Power Armor and wields a Tri-beam laser rifle) versus a group of gunners.
    The Storyteller: "I've got more armor on my crotch then your entire unit combined; how did you think this was gonna turn out?"
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Storyteller, and occasionally his companions and the people he meets.
  • Downer Ending: Season 3 ends with Junior dead at the Vault Droid's hands, Tanner kidnapped by the latter, and the Storyteller alone with ED-NA on his quest to rescue her.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first season gave little-to-no indication that the narrator was anybody special and there was no framing device.
  • Easter Egg: Usually to other fan works or other works at Shoddycast.
  • Empathic Weapon: A "Cyberdog Gun" named "Daisy" shows up in season 3 and becomes something of a member of the Storyteller's party.
  • Exposition Dump: Originally, the entire series could have been said to have been this. Now, it's done within the confines of the framing device story.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Storyteller, as noted below in No Name Given, has a real name (unknown to the viewer), but even those who know it just call him "Storyteller".
  • Evil Luddite: The Luddites in Season 3 Zig-Zag this trope: on the one hand, they look like most raiders/tribals, and have a violent streak against anybody with manufactured items from pre-War factories. On the other hand, they let travelers without high-tech items pass through their lands uninterrupted, and even when coming across those who carry high-tech items, they give them a chance to either give up those items (such as asking Junior to let them destroy his Chryslus Highwayman and laser rifle), or giving them a chance to just walk away (namely when the Storyteller waltzes over with Brotherhood of Steel power armor), which is a LOT more generous than even most wasteland factions who take a "shoot on sight" approach to intruders. Their leader, King Ludd, is also a Well-Intentioned Extremist who had a justified reason for instilling hatred of technology, what with them blowing the world into nuclear ash in the first place, and even lets the Storyteller's party heal the few survivors of the St. Louis Massacre with their Stimpaks.
  • Fantastic Drug: The Season 2 episodes focusing on Nuka-Cola and Sunset Sasparilla reference both their drinks' status as potentially addictive compounds, due to the unscrupulous practices both used to try and dominate the soft drink market. Mention is also made of the problems their status as such causes in a world where their recipes have been lost forever.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: At times the creators will sneak little nods to other things into the videos, such as a brief scene showing the cast of Fallout: Nuka Break sitting around a campfire. You'll miss them if you aren't paying attention.
  • Game Mod: Aside from utilizing many of them in the making of the show, there is also an official Shoddycast-created companion mod for New Vegas that features the Storyteller and ED-NA.
    • Carried over into Fallout 4 with two mods. "Armor of the Storyteller" which gives the player their own suit of T-49 Power Armor and another "The Wasteland Codex", a holotape with recordings of the Storyteller narrating lore entries on various creatures, factions and other features of the wasteland that the player encounters.
  • Genius Bruiser: The Storyteller is a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin decked out in power armor, but he's got a lot of knowledge locked away in that tin can and isn't afraid to share it with anyone willing to listen.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Some of the Player Characters from the games get this, usually from people from or descended from the "losing" side of their adventures, but sometimes due to misunderstandings. For example, The Chosen One is hated by Junior, who claims that the former murdered his father in cold blood and wouldn't even look him in the eye afterwards. The truth is that his father, Melchior, had turned into a murderous super mutant. The Chosen One killed him in self-defense, and never had the heart to tell Junior what happened.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: The player characters and companions of the actual Fallout games.
    • Similarly, the Storyteller himself has become known, at least to NCR authorities, by Season 3.
  • Mirroring Factions: While Season 3 was made before Fallout 4 came out, the NCR is actually similar to the Institute; creating artificial people For Science!, refusing to see its humanity, and send a hunter out to retrieve them when it escapes.
  • Musical Spoiler: In case there was any doubt whatsoever where the Storyteller was heading to next at the end of Season 3, the theme of Fallout 4 begins to play as he leaves the Capital Wasteland.
  • Mysterious Past: The Storyteller has seemingly been spending decades traveling the wastes looking for stories and information and is/was a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, but that's essentially all we know about him.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: While the possible "evil" actions of the Fallout player characters are often brought up as either hypothetical scenarios or through a more-than-usual Unreliable Narrator, the series usually goes with the "official" canon that has the player characters being more-or-less paragons of virtue and goodness.
  • No Name Given: The Storyteller does have a real name, but every time we are about to hear it he's interrupted or something happens that causes us not to hear it.
  • Original Character: Most (but not all) of the characters in the framing devices. However, this is almost completely averted in the historical sections themselves, which stick as close to pre-established Fallout backstory as possible.
  • Powered Armor: The Storyteller wears a unique suit of "Model T49" Power Armor, a mod-based suit representing one of the designs never touched upon in game-canon.
  • Robot Buddy: The Storyteller is followed around by ED-NA, a Eyebot that serves as his sidekick, camera-man, and method of hearing messages from Three Dog.
  • Running Gag:
    • Every time we are about to hear the Storyteller's real name, either he is interrupted, or something occurs that causes us not to hear it.
    • Other characters complaining about, cutting off, or finishing the Storyteller's "story for another day" line at the end of videos.
    • People getting annoyed at the Storyteller's habit of entering a Exposition Dump.
    • "ED-NA's a bitch."
  • Science Is Bad: The "Kingdom of Ludd", an original group introduced in the series in Series 3, is this. Hence the name.
  • Serial Escalation: Has gone from a fairly straight-forward documentary series, to a documentary series with a framing device, to a documentary series where the framing device at times threatens to overshadow the documentary. Note that this also deals with what is covered in the series. Early entries focused on certain aspects like cultures or events, while later series have begun to more-or-less recount the plotlines of entire games.
  • Shout-Out: To, among other things, Fallout: Nuka Break and some of the other "Lore" series at Shoddycast.
  • Stock Footage: Sometimes uses some from either the games or from the real-world, leading to brief Medium Blending (when live-action is used) or Art Shift (when, for example, the cutscenes from the original two Fallout games are used).
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: When the Storyteller discovered that ED-NA was loaded with audio logs made by Three-Dog, one of the many things that the messages contained was a rhetorical question about how the Storyteller was able to go from the East Coast to the West Coast so quickly, the Storyteller attempted to answer it, only to remember that this was just a recording.
    Storyteller: Well I don't like talking about myself very much, but it would make for an interesting story. You see- Oh, I forgot you can't hear me.
    Three-Dog: If you just tried talking into your eyebot, consult your doctor. You may be suffering from a severe case of loneliness.
  • Time Skip: Season 4 starts 10 years later, right when Fallout 4 is taking place.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The NCR-built "Vault Droid," an android with the Vault Dweller's cloned brain inside it, almost instantly turned against its creators and went on a murderous run of Post-Apocalyptia.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Many things in Fallout can differ depending on who was playing it and the decisions they made, as well as the fact that the setting itself takes place in a post-apocalyptic hellhole, so this comes up a lot. Even the Storyteller, who is basically meant to be a walking Wiki of Falloutverse info, admits that he has no way of knowing for sure how some things went down.
  • Walking the Earth: The Storyteller. He's implied that he's been doing this for decades, walking from one side of Post-Apocalyptic America to the other, for no other reason than learning about its stories and occasionally grabbing a souvenir here and there.
  • Wham Episode: The end of Season 1: The first in-the-armor appearance of the Storyteller.
  • Wham Line: The end of Season 4, episode 15 has "I'm the new Overboss, and you're the last raider in Nuka-World." Uttered by the Sole Survivor herself.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of Episode 8 of Season 4, Elder Maxson starts to give the speech heard in 4...with the camera panning over to show the Sole Survivor.
  • You Bastard!: Basically says this to Fallout players who go on murderous in-game rampages for no real reason by showing the aftermath of just such an event, with the Storyteller saying that he had heard of "lunatics" and "deranged" individuals who have done things like this, while giving examples of some of the more evil things a player can do in the series (such as dropping a nuke in the middle of town, or sniping innocent people from a distance). Some overlap with Take That, Audience!.
    • Further made clear by the fact that the perpetrator actually possesses the cloned brain of a previous Fallout player character, in essence telling the audience that they, in a way, did this.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: NCR Ranger Tanner does not take well to hearing about how tribals eat dogs, although this is implied to be because of how much she cares for dogs.
  • You Talk Too Much!: The Storyteller gets this reaction from a lot of people. Of course, given how readily he starts rambling on, it's kind of justified.

"Of course, that's just the handful of stories I've happened to stumble across in my days. The Wasteland has many more mysteries buried in its sands, and strangers like me are all too happy to share them... But that is a story for another day."


Video Example(s):


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