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Nightmare Fuel / Fallout

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Fallout_Master.png
Not pictured: Creepy voices, Vault Dweller's brown underwear.
Burned out ruins of proud cities from a long gone age? Bloodthirsty, giant, deformed creatures that once were ordinary humans and animals? Old empty vaults with fading signs of the madness that once tore them up from the inside? Oh yes, the Wasteland is indeed a scary place. While there may be much more content, and therefore, much more exploration and possibility for scares in Fallout 3 and beyond, the first few were legitimately terrifying in their own respects.
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In General

  • In Fallout 1 and 2, the talking heads for certain characters tend to be unnerving due to their rigid animations, and are often shocker material if you first play the game. Hell, even the first cutscene can be startling at first.
  • Many of the death animations in the original games are absolutely horrific:
    • The Lieutenant seems to melt from the inside out as he twitches around.
    • Frank Horrigan, who manages to rattle out his Famous Last Words despite his legs and torso being explosively separated not half a minute earlier.
    • Critical hit-kills with plasma weapons causes the victim's flesh to melt off the bones, as they're screaming.
    • Shot from laser rifle can cleave you in half, revealing the protruding stump of your spine.
    • Alien blaster and pulse weapons will turn your target into pile of ash or outright disintegrate it.
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    • Bursts from automatic weapons will dismember a person in seconds, leaving little more than just a pair of legs.
    • Critical hits from certain rifles or even punching can put a very large hole clean through someone.
    • The Overseer gets his entire left half blown apart, his intestines dragging behind him as he tries to crawl away before twitching violently and dying.
    • Although a later patch replaces the 500 day limit (to a maximum of 13 in-game years for limit reasons), so you can take about as much time as you want. Eventually, the mutants will however take over areas of the map.
  • The newer games have done away with it, but the first two let you target children. You could blow them up, disintegrate them, put out both their eyes, set them on fire, and leave them a limping, bleeding mess with a single remaining hit point. Or you could just shoot them with a gun. And were you feeling like a big man and started a shootout in a populated area? There's some chance of accidentally hitting those kids if you miss. Take some time to think about it while their detailed death animation plays out.
  • In the Fallout universe, Richard Nixon was such a loved president that many items praising him can still be found after the war. Makes you wonder what their equivalent to Nixon was… Alternatively, it was already such a Crapsack World by his presidency, his methods were considered relatively benign by comparison. Instead of causing a national scandal leading to him ultimately being impeached, no-one cared.
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    • One fan theory posits that Senator Joseph McCarthy eventually became president.
  • The series whole timeline. Oh God, it's horrible how it all makes sense, and the not-entirely unlikely idea it could actually happen. With oil supplies running low in the mid to late 2000s and no reliable sources of alternative fuels available, Europe is forced to invade the Middle East because they can't afford to import oil anymore, and China and the US go to war over the last remaining oil well found in the Pacific Ocean. International tensions flare, countries grow increasingly militant and paranoid over dwindling resources. As a result, the United Nations disbands, the European Commonwealth falls apart, and the United States annexes Mexico and Canada. And through it all the world governments pursue ever more amoral technology in the pursuit of better weapons or alternative fuels. All because of the butterfly effect of the transistor never being invented, leading to an Atomic Era instead of an Electronic Era.
  • This chilling description of the Great War's aftermath, from Nukapedia, paraphrased from the Fallout Bible:
    Around a week after the initial nuclear explosions, rain started to fall; however, none of it was drinkable. The rain was black; tainted with soot, ash, radioactive elements produced by the nuclear explosions, and various other contaminants produced by nuclear weapons. This rain marked the start of the terrible fallout that marked the true, permanent destruction caused by the Great War. The rain lasted four long days, killing thousands of species that had survived the initial destruction of the bombs, be they animals, plants, or microorganisms. Those few living things – human, animal, or plant – that survived after the rain ended were left to live in the now-barren wasteland that had spread across Earth, where nearly all pre-War plant life had died either in the initial explosions or from the intense radiation produced by the fallout.
  • The truth about the Vaults were never revealed in the original games, and only became known to the fans through the Fallout Bible in 2002, but there is a deleted terminal entry in Fallout 2 that contains the logs of the Vault 13 Overseer, detailing the events after the first game and exposes WHY the Vault Dweller was exiled. The Overseer's last entry mentions something called the "Societal Preservation Program", which The Chosen One finds odd, and does a bit of digging in the computers memory. After hours of searching, he comes across a few well hidden documents, revealing a sinister truth...

    Overseer's Log

    {330}{}{This is it. Consider these my final words, as I doubt I'll live to write another entry. Oh no, the people of the Vault have spoken, and they've made it quite clear that they want my head. I knew this day would come, ever since HE managed to rile them up by doing the impossible. Sure, he saved all our lives, but he also ruined everything.}

    {332}{}{Let it be known that I took little joy in exiling our "great hero", but I had no choice in the matter. His adventures in the outside world had changed him too much. He was too great a threat to the project. Had I let him remain among us, he might have uncovered the true nature of the Vaults and jeopardized the experiment. Even if he didn't, he'd at least inspire others to venture outside, which would be just as bad.}

    {334}{}{He simply had to go. There was no other option. But even that wasn't enough. No, I'm afraid the damage had already been done. I allowed his most stubborn supporters to follow him into exile, and then tried to reassert my control over those who remained. But it was no use — I'd already been vilified. So be it. The only thing I'm guilty of is an entire lifetime of carrying out the demands of our Great Nation.}

    {336}{}{My only regret is that Vault 13 is not likely to complete the social experiment. Once I've been disposed of, I feel certain the others will leave the Vault. Not right away, of course — I've instilled too much fear in them of the outside world. But eventually, they're bound to overcome that fear. I have very little faith that Vault 13 will remained closed until 2277, as the experiment dictates.}

    {338}{}{I'm afraid I have failed my duty as Overseer. I can only hope that the rest of the public Vaults involved in the Societal Preservation Program have been more successful. To my superiors, who I'm certain will one day read this: forgive me. And may God bless America.}

    Hidden Documents

    {360}{}{After hours of scouring through the computer's archives, you're able to locate a few hidden documents concerning the Societal Preservation Program. As you read over them, you uncover a rather disturbing truth about the Vaults: they were never intended to save the population of the United States.}

    {362}{}{Incredibly, all 122 of Vault-Tec's public Vaults were part of a grand social experiment orchestrated by the US government. Only 17 of those Vaults, dubbed "control Vaults", were designed to function correctly (it seems Vault 8 was one of the lucky few). The rest were meant to have various critical flaws, so that the government could study the pre-selected occupants, and see how they react to the stresses of their situations, and how well they're able to re-colonize once their Vaults open.}

  • The game overs of Fallout 1 and 2 are, frankly (and with no pun intended), bone-chilling. If the sight of your character's skeletal corpse wasn't already bad enough, the eerily subdued narration will certainly give you the creeps. The narration doesn't muck around - it often outright tells you just how badly you screwed up, and how your failure has sealed the fate of everyone else.
    "The darkness of the afterlife is all that awaits you now. May you find more peace in that world than you found in this one."
    • The first Fallout's game overs jack the creepy factor Up to Eleven by including the sound of the blowing wind of the desert you die alone in beneath the narration. Brr...
    "No price is too high for the survival of the human race. If you were human, you'd feel the same way."

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