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  • Broken Base: While the game is generally agreed to be an Even Better Sequel (especially in gameplay), there's a group who feels that 2 went too far into Denser and Wackier territory and went overboard with the pop-culture references. There's also a small group who doesn't like how the game messes with the lore established in the first game, such as featuring a larger amount of real-world firearms and introducing supernatural elements.
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  • Complete Monster: Frank Horrigan is a Secret Service agent and Dragon-in-Chief to President Dick Richardson. A psychopath even before his mutation, Horrigan delighted in killing whenever he could. His first onscreen appearance has him gunning down a family, including their child, for refusing his demands. Later, he gleefully kills Brotherhood of Steel agent, Matt, and wipes out the entire community of peaceful, talking deathclaws that the player had earlier befriended. Horrigan has a special hatred for "mutants", humans and creatures that have been exposed to the FEV virus or even the slightest amount of radiation. This racism leads to him aiding in the Enclave's plan to unleash a biological weapon which will wipe out all mutated life in North America, in order to make America "genetically pure." Once defeated, Horrigan tries to activate the Enclave Oil Rig's self-destruct sequence, condemning all of his remaining allies to death, just so he can take the Chosen One with him when he dies.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
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    • The unused icon for the "Child Killer" reputation.
    • Your character can become a porn star or a "fluffer" note . There's also a variety of reputations and stats that count how good you are at having sex, such as "Gigolo" which is given to you after banging enough people. The sheer amount of work put into the possibility that the players may want to become virtual sex workers in a post-apolcalyptic world is baffling but hilarious.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Deathclaws are more numerous than ever, and the game introduces the Enclave patrols, who will absolutely end your game with their weaponry if you're at anything other than near-endgame levels.
    • Wanamingos. They're tough, hit hard, leave radiation damage, and tend to come in packs.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • This is the major reason Dogmeat made a reappearance after the first game. And why his "descendant" is in Fallout 3.
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    • Everyone remembers and loves SERGEANT ARCH DORNAN!!!
    • Cassidy, by virtue of being far and away the most useful party member thanks to his marksmanship abilities and his memorable one liners. Such is his popularity that the Restoration Project modification gives him a fully animated and voiced 3D head model. His daughter appears in Fallout: New Vegas as a possible companion and quest-giver.
  • Even Better Sequel: The first Fallout was good. Fallout 2 took everything it had, cut out the superfluous parts, improved the lacking parts, and polished it all to a gorgeous finish. The result is a larger world to explore, more involved quests, morally complex stories and characters, and much deeper gameplay with a large variety of new equipment and enemy types. The first Fallout seems like a beta or a demo for Fallout 2 when you look at the two together.
  • Evil Is Cool: Frank Horrigan has his share of fans due to this.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Many of the criticisms levied against Fallout 3 by its detractors can also be directed at this game — reusage of story elements and ideas from the previous game, plot holes in the main story, inability to join the villain faction, and retcons to the lore. However, the Fallout franchise was comparatively obscure at this time and the franchise was still finding its identity with only two games to its name, so these problems aren't minded much since Fallout 2 is still a great game, while Fallout 3 dials up some of these problems and has several others that make it more contested.
  • Game-Breaker: Enough to get their own folder.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Wolves. You're wandering around the countryside trying to get to New Reno, when you get stopped by three random encounters in a row with wolves. They can't do any damage at all to decently-leveled players, but there's a ton of them, they have a high initiative, you can't skip their moves, and your companions will likely burn through the ammo of whatever very powerful weapon you've given them to kill things they can just kick! They also have a nasty habit of circling around you and mauling you to death at lower levels. There's also the rats, who stop you from traveling around and force combat with you until you just step on them.
    • The random pickpocketeers in the Den are some of the worst Goddamned Bats. They don't do anything but steal from you, and even unless your Steal skill is obscenely high, you'll have to buy your items back from one of the Den's vendors.note  Yes, this includes quest items. If you want to avoid becoming a Childkiller, you can go with a more moderate option and hit them once. They won't ever bother you again. You can also enter combat mode whenever you are within melee range of the children. They can't steal during combat, so it's not necessary to even hit them.
      • The greasy snake who actually employs the kids is considered a Goddamn Bat by his fellow townsfolk- they won't bat an eye if you just kill him to get your stuff back. He is also so, so very stupid- You can be talking to him decked out in full power armor, 6 followers and high-end rifles and he still has the balls to try and sell your own stuff to you.
    • All the enemies in the Temple of Trials, unless you have a character specifically geared towards unarmed or melee combat. They are going to be obnoxiously hard to hit, forcing you to use drawn-out hit-and-run tactics to avoid burning through all their Perception-lowering healing items.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The broken computer quest in NCR. After Jack has blown himself up, you could repeatedly fix the computer, gaining 3000 XP every time. Sadly, fixed in patches.
    • If you save Smiley in the Toxic Caves, he can later teach the Chosen One about geckos, increasing his Outdoorsman skill by 3%. You can ask him to teach you about geckos for the infinite amount of times and increase the Outdoorsman skill up to 300% if you want.
  • Genius Bonus: The crashed Vertibird in Klamath could be a reference to the Real Life V-22 Osprey. Both the Vertibird and Osprey are tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft. Additionally, the fact that the Vertibird crashed may also be a reference to the V-22 Osprey's... troubled history with engine failures.
  • Heartwarming Moment: If you play as a stupid character and answer the "Why don't you have a uniform" question of one of the Enclave officers in Navarro, he loosens up a little and remarks that it's not your fault that you're slow, and adds that he has a brother just like you.
    • Vic reuniting with his daughter, Valerie, in Vault city.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The next exchange is hilarious with every Fallout game except 2 having a way to talk down the end-game boss into submission. Frank Horrigan's caustic disdain for diplomacy almost feels as if he were lampshading the whole issue.
    The Chosen One: Can't we talk this over?
    The Chosen One: WAIT!
  • It Was His Sled: The Reveal that the Vaults were never intended to save anybody has become less shocking after every subsequent game made this common knowledge.
  • Memetic Badass: Frank Horrigan has a reputation massively beyond what his brief in-game appearance suggests. He's the Fallout equivalent of Chuck Norris and whenever his name comes up on battle boards it can be assured that the thread consensus will always be him stomping the opposition.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Being evil is still kinda OK (although at -500 Karma, you get badass Bounty Hunters after you). Being a slaver won't make you many friends, but it's a living. Killing children, though, is an irredeemable act that will get you not only bounty hunters but also stop many people from even talking to you.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The wanamingo. You know, the... things in the Redding mines. Besides being extremely difficult. They're so alien. At least you can tell that the deathclaws are mutated reptilians, but the wanamingo, you have no idea what they are.
    • Somehow managing to play so long that you reach the game's built-in 13-year time limit. Though it's only a still image of the wasteland with "THE END", the Scare Chord and blowing wind make it unnecessarily spooky, especially when you aren't expecting it.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Despite having next to no bearing on the actual plot and it being possible to play the game without meeting him at all, Sergeant Arch Dornan is one of the most memorable characters in the game on account of how absolutely ballistic his voice actor goes with the Drill Sergeant Nasty routine. The developers seem to have been intentionally aiming for this trope, since he has a "talking head" and full voice acting, which is otherwise only reserved for very important characters, which he is not.
    • The communications officer is practically an Easter Egg and the only thing he does that could come up again was Dummied Out, but he's well-remembered for pretty much the same reason as Dornan.
  • Player Punch: Not only is your entire village destroyed and kidnapped after you finally get the G.E.C.K, but right after returning to Vault 13 from the desecrated Arroyo you find that the Talking Deathclaws have all been murdered by Frank Horrigan. The latter can be prevented with the Restoration Project, but doing so requires a serious Speed Run and has been confirmed to be non-canon.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: When you have Goris and enter the combat mode, Goris always takes off his robes for several seconds before you can do anything.
  • Squick: Myron's story behind the creation of Jet. Jet users are basically huffing the fumes from Brahmin shit.
  • That One Level:
    • The Temple of Trials, a Forced Tutorial that Executive Meddling forced be included in the game, and no one likes it. Unless you build your character for Unarmed or Melee combat, you'll have only a 30-40% chance to hit enemies with attacks, and it takes three or four attacks to kill the giant ants that infest the temple, making each battle long and boring as you and the ants just take turns hitting each other in melee. The temple is extremely scarce on supplies, including little in the way of healing, which is a problem when several radscorpions are found deeper in the temple. Finally, because of your limited combat options, the ants and radscorpions being the only enemy types, and the linear nature of the temple, the level is plain boring.
    • The Wanamingo Mine, several levels of Demonic Spiders with high power and lots of HP. 'nuff said.
    • The Sierra Army Depot, if you're at all annoyed by your allies constantly bumbling into force fields. If you make the mistake of activating the robot sentries around the place, you then get the Wanamingo Mine all over again, but with robots.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Myron is by far the weakest character in the entire game. He has an extremely limited weapon selection, low health, and will almost always run away from enemies. His only redeeming trait is the ability to make stimpaks and super-stims if you bring him the right materials, but said materials are so uncommon that it isn't worth the trouble of dragging Myron around to use them.
  • Woolseyism:
    • A minor one found in the Russian pirated version of all places (which was also how most of the Russian Fallout fans got into the series, thanks to the official version not being released until 2006), where in start-up loading screens the words "loading" were replaced with something else like (note: translation accuracy not guaranteed): "Get in the line, Sons of the bitches" (where the Chosen One is captured); "Scavengers are immortal" (Guy wearing damaged Power Armor Helmet); "Leave the hope here traveler, you won't need it" (Chosen One silhouetted against car lights); "War, War never changes" and so on. There is also an image where the "Loading" was not replaced, since it kinda fitted the image. The alternate title "Vozrozhdenie" (Rebirth, Revival) may also be this for some, if only for intended irony.
    • The Polish translation has an example of the translator adding something just for fun. In the character menu, if you click on the Eye Damage entry, the original description says "This means your character has been seriously hit in one or both of your eyes. This affects your Perception". The translation adds an extra sentence that says "If you can read this text, the wounds aren't critical".


Srg. Dornan: "Troper, what are you doing here? I gave you a direct order to read the main page! NOW YOU MARCH YOUR ASS OVER THERE AND DO AS YOU HAVE BEEN ORDERED, AND DO NOT LET ME CATCH YOU HERE AGAIN, DO YOU UNDERSTAND MEEE?"

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