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  • B-Team Sequel: Zig-Zagged. It's a little difficult to tell who exactly is the A-team and who's the B-team. Fallout and Fallout 2 were created by Black Isle studios, which had dissolved by the time Bethesda bought the rights and released Fallout 3, which is almost more of a reboot than a sequel, set in an entirely disparate location with a new gameplay style and no returning factions or characters besides the Enclave and the Brotherhood (and even they are different branches that differ significantly from their West Coast counterparts), which have seemingly been reset to the Fallout 2 status quo via the setting change. The follow-up, the Obsidian-made Fallout: New Vegas, would be a straight example, filling a blank spot on the release schedule until Bethesda could get done with Skyrim and move onto the long-rumored Fallout 4... except that Obsidian hired several ex-Black-Isle creators to make it, and they reused several concepts from Black Isle's cancelled version, code named Van Buren. As a result, while it kept 3's gameplay style (with improvements), it is set in the same general area as 1 and 2 and the story is much more of a straightforward sequel building on the first two Fallout games. Whether Only the Creator Does It Right or My Real Daddy is just as good or better, or even who the "creator" and "my new daddy" ARE at this point, are points of debate among the fandom.
    • It's also worth noting that the first Fallout was created prior to the naming of Black Isle Studios, and had a different team which worked on it, which later left Interplay and formed Troika Games. While Fallout 2 largely retained the same gameplay, it is more pronounced on pop culture references and black humor which became a staple of the series.
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  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: A rather hilarious example, as some dubious journalists saw a Fallout 3 promo shot of a ruined Washington, D.C., without a watermark and assumed it was created by terrorists as a warning. Seriously.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: 1 and 2 were much Denser and Wackier than the other 3, with the possible exception of New Vegas if you have the Wild Wasteland Trait. Some, however, including Chris Avellone himself, argue that many of the "sillier" parts of the first two games should be considered ambiguously canon at best, much like the aforementioned Wild Wasteland. More noticeably, the first two (three really, because of Tactics) were isometric turn-based role playing games with combat based on pen and paper systems, while the games 3 and onwards are first person shooter action role playing games.
  • Executive Meddling: The reason why two of the Multiple Endings in the original game were cut, because of the Grey and Grey Morality content. It's also the reason for Fallout 2 having the worst Justified Tutorial ever.
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    • 'Med-X', which provides damage reduction, was originally called 'morphine'.
  • Long Runner: The game has had five main games (1, 2, New Vegas, 3, and 4), three spin-off games (Tactics, Brotherhood of Steel, and 76), and thirteen story-based DLC campaignsnote  since 1997, and is still ongoing as of 2019.
  • Name's the Same:
    • The Great War is the 2-hour long nuclear war which destroyed civilization in October of 2077. There is also the war between the Olympians and the Titans. And what World War I was called before there was a second one. Both Kratos and Wonder Woman waged their own Great Wars in their respective games.
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    • The name of the military base which houses the FEV is called Mariposa. Lisa uses it as her Lucha Libre alias.
    • ED-E is the Enclave Eyebot who hooks up with The Courier. Edi.E is the crooked cop from Metro City. And EDI is also a robot buddy but in a completely different future.
    • Boomers are the tribe who originated from Vault 34 and have a habit of blowing shit up with heavy artillery. The plural version could either be a group of locusts who also like to blow shit up, or a fat zombie who can call other zombies.
    • The Citadel is the ruins of The Pentagon which serves as the headquarters of the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood of Steel. There's also the the Combine facility and the seat of the Council.
    • The Pitt is what used to be the city of Pittsburgh. The Pit is a stage in Mortal Kombat in which you can knock the opponent onto a bed of spikes, the hard stone floor, or a mass of spinning blades. This Pit is a winged warrior gunning for Medusa.
    • Ghost is a Ranger stationed at the Mojave Outpost. Jon Snow's pet direwolf shares the name, and drug lord James St. Patrick claims it as a nickname.
    • The Fiends are a group of chem-addicted Raiders in the Mojave Wasteland. We also have monsters who are unsent humans.
    • The King is the leader of a gang of Elvis impersonators in Freeside. Duke Nukem, Sagat, and Ash Williams share the nickname.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes/Screwed by the Lawyers: As part of the fallout of the legal battles between Interplay and Bethesda regarding the games, Interplay took the games they produced off of GoG.com and Steam, at least until the games' copyrights reverted to Bethesda after the final settlement. Then they soon returned to Steam and later GoG.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Originally, Fallout was going to be based on a licensed version of the paper RPG GURPS, from Steve Jackson Games, and would have published under the name Vault 13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure. But due to disagreements, including Steve Jackson disliking the appearance of Vault Boy on the character creation screen, and the execution of the insurgent from the intro, the deal was called off. Instead, Black Isle thought up the SPECIAL system, which has been used in every Fallout game ever since.
    • Fallout was going to have a film adaptation.
    • In Junktown of Fallout, the player can make the good choice of siding with the mayor Killian Darkwater against the greedy casino-owner Gizmo. If the player sides with the former, the town becomes a bastion of law and order. If he sides with the latter, it becomes a Wretched Hive. Originally, this was the other way around: The mayor runs the place into the ground with tyrannical laws and hanging half the population. The casino owner turns the place into a slightly seedy, but otherwise safe and pleasant place to live. The publishers objected to this and the endings got semi-switched.
    • The first Fallout 3, aka Fallout: Van Buren, could have lived even after Black Isle died. Had they not been outbid by Bethesda, Fallout 3 would have been made by none other than Black Isle alumni developers Troika Games, creators of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Several ideas from Van Buren would eventually be implemented in Fallout: New Vegas, though with changes to reflect the later time period. One of the most notable is Joshua Graham, the Burned Man - in Van Buren he was to be the "Hanged Man" instead, the first and statistically strongest companion available to the player, but also an extremely angry individual who was likely to piss off anyone and everyone else you came across. A group of fans hope to recreate Van Buren as it was originally envisioned.
    • Supposedly, the person first considered for the role of Fallout 3's President John Henry Eden was none other than Bill Clinton. An early version of the character was also meant to be the consciousness of President Richardson from Fallout 2 uploaded into a computer.
    • A Fallout top-down shooter was being developed for the PlayStation by Interplay, and was being developed at the same time as a PlayStation port of Baldur's Gate.
    • Brotherhood of Steel 2 was in the works. Interplay loved this one so much that they cancelled Fallout: Van Buren to make the sequel. However, thanks to poor sales, Brotherhood of Steel 2 didn't get made either. Interestingly, when the design documentation was made public in 2009, it revealed it would have used concepts from both Van Buren and the cancelled Tactics sequel.
    • Fallout Tactics 2 would have taken place in Florida and the Southeastern USA, and concerned an irradiated, faulty GECK creating powerful, man-eating mutant plantlife that threatened to overwhelm the barren (but inhabitable) deserts. Stated influences included The Day of the Triffids and Doctor Who's "The Seeds Of Doom," and the designers said they were determined to avoid the flaws of the first game. The Central Theme would have been the moral ambiguity of "man versus nature."
      Gareth Davies: My favorite aspect of the theme was the idea that you essentially have nature doing its thing and rapidly rejuvenating the desert wastes, but those wacky humans feel the need to oppose it because they don't like the idea of becoming fertilizer.
    • Fallout Extreme was going to be a squad based first-person and third-person tactical shooter on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox using the Unreal engine.
    • Fallout Online was to be developed by Interplay. The rights were transferred to Bethesda, and it was eventually cancelled in 2012.
    • Prior to the iOS/Android Fallout Shelter, John Carmack proposed a Fallout game for the iPhone.
    • Fallout: New Vegas originally allowed you to continue playing after the main quest, with some new sidequests and dialogue even being opened up. This was unfortunately ditched for the final product, as the wide variation in potential endings, coupled with the limited development time, made it an unrealistic proposition for Obsidian.
    • Fallout 4 had a myriad of content cut. Most of these were sidequests that Bethesda likely ran out of time or patience to develop. Judging by leftover assets, one mission was going to send the player to the bottom of the sea in a diving suit to fight a sea monster. Another major piece of cut content was the Combat Zone. It shares a similar story to the Windhelm Pit from Skyrim: It was to be an arena where the player could bet on NPC fights or join the fights themselves. This was scrapped late in development and the Combat Zone was re-purposed into just another raider dungeon, but enough of the assets were leftover (including some scripts and all of the dialogue) to enable modders to restore it.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Gamepedia The Vault, and Wikia Nukapedia, which are now merging on Wikia/Fandom.
  • Word of Saint Paul: The Fallout Universe Bible put together by Chris Avellone. It's technically not considered canon anymore, but it's still used as reference material by the franchise's new owners and fans generally consider it "canon until contradicted in-game."
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