Fallout (series)

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Fallout logo.svg
Fallout series logo
Genres Role-playing (1997-2001)
Action role-playing (2004-present)
Developers Interplay Entertainment
Black Isle Studios
Micro Forté
Bethesda Game Studios
Obsidian Entertainment
Publishers Interplay Entertainment
14 Degrees East
Bethesda Softworks
Platforms DOS
Microsoft Windows
Mac OS
Mac OS X
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Cloud (OnLive)
Platform of origin DOS, Windows, Mac OS
First release Fallout
September 30, 1997
Latest release Fallout 4
November 10, 2015

Fallout is a series of post-apocalyptic role-playing video games. It was created by Interplay Entertainment. Although the series is set during the 22nd and 23rd centuries, its atompunk retrofuturistic setting and artwork are influenced by the post-war culture of 1950s America, and its combination of hope for the promises of technology, and lurking fear of nuclear annihilation. A forerunner for Fallout is Wasteland, a 1988 video game of which the Fallout series is regarded to be a spiritual successor. Although the game worlds are different, the background story, inhabitants, locations, and characters draw many parallels.

The first two titles in the series (Fallout and Fallout 2) were developed by Black Isle Studios. Micro Forté and 14 Degrees East's 2001 Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is a tactical role-playing game. In 2004, Interplay closed Black Isle Studios,[1] and continued to produce an action game with RPG elements for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel without Black Isle Studios. A third entry in the main series, Fallout 3, was released in 2008 by Bethesda Softworks. The next role-playing installment of the series, Fallout: New Vegas, came out in 2010 and was developed by Obsidian Entertainment. The newest game in the series, Fallout 4, was announced on June 3, 2015 and was released on November 10, 2015.

Bethesda Softworks now owns the rights to produce all Fallout games.[2] Soon after acquiring the rights to the IP, Bethesda licensed the rights to make a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) version of Fallout to Interplay. This led to a lengthy legal dispute between Bethesda Softworks and Interplay, with Bethesda claiming Interplay had not met the terms and conditions of the licensing contract. The case was decided in favor of Bethesda.[3] The MMORPG got as far as beta stage under Interplay,[4] and it is not currently known whether Bethesda plans to develop a Fallout MMO.

Main series[edit]

Timeline of release years
1997 Fallout
1998 Fallout 2
2001 Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
2004 Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
2008 Fallout 3
2010 Fallout: New Vegas
2015 Fallout Shelter
Fallout 4

Fallout (1997)[edit]

Main article: Fallout (video game)

Released in 1997, Fallout takes place in a post-apocalyptic Southern California, beginning in the year 2161. The protagonist, named the Vault Dweller, is tasked with recovering a water chip in the Wasteland to replace the broken one in his or her underground shelter home, Vault 13. Afterwards, the Vault Dweller must then thwart the plans of a group of mutants, led by a grotesque entity named the Master. Fallout was originally intended to run under the GURPS role-playing game system. However, a disagreement with the creator of GURPS, Steve Jackson, over the game's violent content required Black Isle Studios to develop the new SPECIAL system.[5] Fallout's atmosphere and artwork are reminiscent of post-WWII America and the nuclear paranoia that was widespread at that time.

Fallout 2 (1998)[edit]

Main article: Fallout 2

Fallout 2 was released in 1998, with several improvements over the first game, including an improved game engine, the ability to set attitudes of non-player character (NPC) party members and the ability to push people who are blocking doors. Additional features included several changes to the game world, including significantly more pop culture jokes and parodies, such as multiple Monty Python-referencing special random encounters, and self-parodying dialogue that broke the fourth wall to mention game mechanics. Fallout 2 takes place eighty years after Fallout, and centers around a descendant of the Vault Dweller, the protagonist of Fallout. The player assumes the role of the Chosen One as he or she tries to save their village, Arroyo, from severe famine and droughts. After saving the village, the Chosen One must save it again, this time from the Enclave, the remnants of the pre-war United States Government.

Fallout 3 (2008)[edit]

Main article: Fallout 3

Fallout 3 was developed by Bethesda Game Studios and released on October 28, 2008. The story picks up thirty years after the setting of Fallout 2 and 200 years after the nuclear war that devastated the game's world.[6] The player is a Vault-dweller in Vault 101 who is forced to flee when the Overseer tries to arrest him/her in response to the player's father leaving the Vault. Once free, the player is dubbed the Lone Wanderer and ventures into the Wasteland in and around Washington, D.C., known as the Capital Wasteland, to find his/her father. It differs from previous games in the series by utilizing 3D graphics, a free-roam gaming world, and real-time combat, in contrast to previous games' 2D isometric graphics and turn-based combat. It was developed simultaneously for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 using the Gamebryo engine. On release it received highly positive reviews, garnering 94/100,[7] 92/100,[8] and 93/100[9] averages scores on Metacritic for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game, respectively. It won IGN's 2008 Overall Game of the Year Award, Xbox 360 Game of the Year, Best RPG, and Best Use of Sound, as well as E3's Best of the Show and Best Role Playing Game.

Fallout: New Vegas (2010)[edit]

Main article: Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and released on October 19, 2010.[10] The development team included developers who previously worked on Fallout and Fallout 2.[11][12] Fallout: New Vegas is not a direct sequel to Fallout 3;[13][14] rather, it is a stand-alone product.[13] Events in the game follow four years after Fallout 3 and offer a similar role-playing experience, but no characters from that game appear.[14] The player assumes the role of a courier in the post-apocalyptic world of the Mojave Wasteland. As the game begins, the Courier is shot in the head and left for dead shortly before being found and brought to a doctor in the nearby town of Goodsprings, marking the start of the game and the Courier's search for his or her would-be murderer. The city of New Vegas is a post-apocalyptic interpretation of Las Vegas with only four standing casinos; "Gomorrah", "The Atomic Wrangler," "The Tops," and "Ultra-Luxe", while the "Lucky 38" is a shell of a casino with a major plot.

Fallout 4 (2015)[edit]

Main article: Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is the latest in the series developed by Bethesda Game Studios. The game was released on November 10, 2015. On June 3, 2015 the game's official website went live revealing the game along with its box-art, platforms, and the first trailer.[15] The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, of the in-game New England Commonwealth and features voiced protagonists.[16][17][18][19] The Xbox One version is confirmed to have mods as early as 2016.[20]

Fallout 4 takes place in the year 2287, ten years after the events of Fallout 3 and 210 years after the Sino-American war, which was fought over natural resources. The Sino-American war ended in a nuclear holocaust in 2077. The setting is a post-apocalyptic retro-future, covering a region that includes Boston, Massachusetts and other parts of New England known as "The Commonwealth". Unlike the previous titles, Fallout 4 's story begins on the day the bombs dropped: October 23, 2077. The player's character (voiced by either Brian T. Delaney or Courtenay Taylor) takes shelter in Vault 111, emerging exactly 210 years later, on October 23, 2287.[11]

The story begins on the morning of October 23, 2077, with the player character and their spouse (Nate/Nora) preparing for an event at the Veteran's Hall when a Vault-Tec representative comes to inform them their family is approved for admittance into Vault 111, due to Nate's military service. Moments later, a news bulletin tells of nuclear detonation on the Eastern seaboard, forcing the family to rush to the vault, where they are temporarily trapped outside when a nuclear bomb detonates just a few miles away. The platform below them lowers just in time, and the family and other residents of the town are tricked into being placed in cryosleep.

Years later, the player and their spouse are re-awakened by two unknown individuals, who open the spouse's Cryo tube with the intent of taking the player's infant son, Shaun. When the spouse tries to prevent the kidnapping they are killed by one of the strangers, who takes Shaun and put the player back into cryosleep. The player is woken out of cyrosleep again in 2287, where they discover that they are the only survivor of Vault 111, as the remaining residents have died due to the strangers tampering with the Cryo tube controls and life-support system. Once they emerge from Vault 111, the Sole Survivor vows to avenge their spouse's death and find Shaun.

Spin-off games[edit]

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (2001)[edit]

Tactics is the first Fallout game not to require the player to fight in a turn-based mode, and it is also the first to allow the player to customize the skills, perks, and combat actions of the rest of the party. Fallout Tactics focuses on tactical combat rather than role-playing; the new combat system included different modes, stances, and modifiers, but the player had no dialogue options. Most of the criticisms of the game came from its incompatibility with the story of the original two games, not from its gameplay. Fallout: Tactics includes a multiplayer mode that allows players to compete against squads of other characters controlled by other players. Unlike the previous two games, which are based in California, Fallout: Tactics takes place in the Midwestern United States. The game was released in early 2001 to generally favorable reviews.

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004)[edit]

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel became the first Fallout game for consoles when it was released in 2004. It follows an initiate in the Brotherhood of Steel who is given a suicidal quest to find several lost Brotherhood Paladins. Brotherhood of Steel is an action role-playing game, representing a significant break from previous incarnations of the Fallout series in both gameplay and aesthetics. The game does not feature non-player characters that accompany the player in combat and uses heavy metal music, including Slipknot, Devin Townsend, and Killswitch Engage, which stands in contrast to the music of the earlier Fallout games, performed by The Ink Spots and Louis Armstrong. It was the last Fallout game to be developed by Interplay.

Fallout Shelter (2015)[edit]

Main article: Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter is a simulation game for iOS and Android. The player acts as Overseer and must build and manage a Vault and its dwellers, including sending them into the Wasteland on scouting missions or defending the Vault from attack. Fallout Shelter was first released for iOS on June 14, 2015 and later for Android on August 13, 2015.

Cancelled games[edit]

Fallout Extreme[edit]

Fallout Extreme was a title in development for several months in 2000 but was canceled due to a lack of a proper concept that could have been explored further.[21]

Van Buren[edit]

Van Buren was the code-name for the canceled version of Fallout 3 developed by Black Isle Studios and published by Interplay. It featured an improved engine with real 3D graphics as opposed to sprites, new locations, vehicles, and a modified version of the SPECIAL system. The story disconnected from the Vault-Dweller/Chosen One bloodline in Fallout and Fallout 2. Plans for the game included the ability to influence the various factions. The game was cancelled in December 2003 when the budget cuts forced Interplay to dismiss the PC development team. Interplay subsequently sold the Fallout intellectual property to Bethesda Softworks, who began development on their own version of Fallout 3 unrelated to Van Buren. Main parts of the game were incorporated into Fallout 3 and its add-ons as well as Fallout: New Vegas.

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2[edit]

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 was the canceled sequel to Brotherhood of Steel. The development of the game started before the completion of the original and its development caused the cancellation of Fallout 3. Like its predecessor, the game would have used the Dark Alliance Engine. It was targeted for a Christmas 2004 release date.[22] Like other Fallout games, the game would have used a reputation system, only simpler. The game would have featured fourteen new weapons and ten new enemies. Depending on whether the player is good or evil, the game would have played out differently. Each of the four characters that were playable would have had a different fighting style, therefore each time the player played the game, they would have a different experience. It would have had two player co-op action for players to experience the game with their friends. The Dark Alliance Engine would have been fleshed out and player experience would have been refined. A brand new sneak system would have been added to the game. This system would have allowed players to stealthily follow enemies or use a sniper rifle on them. For characters that could not use the sniper rifle, Interplay added a turret mode allowing those characters to use turrets.[23]

Fallout Online[edit]

Main article: Fallout Online

Fallout Online (previously known as Project V13, also known as FOOL) was a cancelled project by Interplay and Masthead Studios[24] to develop a Fallout-themed massively multiplayer online game. It officially entered production in 2008,[25] In 2009, Bethesda filed a lawsuit against Interplay regarding Project V13, claiming that Interplay has violated their agreement as development has not yet begun on the project.[26] On January 2, 2012, Bethesda and Interplay reached a settlement, the terms of which include the cancellation of Fallout Online and transfer of all rights in the franchise to Bethesda.[27] Since then, Project V13 has been revived as a completely different project called Mayan Apocalypse, unrelated to Fallout.

Series overview[edit]


The series is set in a fictionalized United States in an alternate history scenario that diverged from our reality following World War II. The transistor was not invented, while vacuum tubes and atomic physics became the cornerstones to scientific progress, eventually achieving the technological aspirations of the early Atomic Age and locking society into a 1950s cultural stasis. Thus, in this alternative atompunk "golden age", a bizarre socio-technological status quo emerges, in which advanced robots, nuclear-powered cars, directed-energy weapons, and other futuristic technologies are seen alongside 1950s-era computers and telephones, and the aesthetics and Cold War paranoia of the 1950s continue to dominate the American lifestyle well into the 21st century.

More than a hundred years before the start of the series, an energy crisis emerged caused by the depletion of petroleum reserves, leading to a period called the "Resource Wars" – a series of events which included a war between the European Commonwealth and the Middle East, the disbanding of the United Nations, the U.S. annexation of Canada, and a Chinese invasion and subsequent military occupation of Alaska. These eventually culminated in the "Great War" in the year 2077, a two-hour nuclear exchange on an apocalyptic scale, which subsequently created the post-apocalyptic United States, the setting of the Fallout world.


Having foreseen this outcome decades earlier, the U.S. government began a nationwide project in 2054 to build fallout shelters known as "Vaults". The Vaults were ostensibly designed by the government contractor Vault-Tec as public shelters, financed by junk bonds and each able to support up to a thousand people. Around 400,000 vaults would have been needed, but only 112 were commissioned and constructed. Each Vault is self-sufficient, so they could theoretically sustain their inhabitants indefinitely. However, the Vault project was never intended as a viable method of repopulating the United States in such a deadly scenario. Instead, most Vaults were secret and unethical social experiments, and were designed to determine the effects of different environmental and psychological conditions on its inhabitants. Experiments were widely varied and included: A vault filled with clones of a single individual, one where the equipment designed to make clothing failed immediately after closing, one where no sources of entertainment were provided, one where one resident (usually the Vault's current Overseer) must be sacrificed each year, only one man with puppets, extremely disproportionate ratios of men and women, one filled with compulsive gamblers who were only allowed to solve issues through gambling, a Vault where the inhabitants were exposed to the mutagenic Forced Evolutionary Virus (F.E.V.), and a Vault where the door never closed, exposing the inhabitants to dangerous amounts of radiation. A few control Vaults were made to function as advertised to contrast with the data from those Vaults with intentional flaws, but were usually shoddily made due to most of the funding going toward the experimental Vaults. Nevertheless, many Vaults had their experiments derailed due to unexpected events. Many of these Vaults were so self-destructive that by the time other survivors opened them, they were nothing but tombs.

Post-War conditions[edit]

In the years following the Great War, the United States devolved into a post-apocalyptic environment commonly dubbed "the Wasteland". The War and subsequent nuclear Armageddon has severely depopulated the country, leaving large expanses of property decaying from neglect. In addition, virtually all food and water is irradiated and radiation exposure, combined with a mutagenic bioweapon that was accidentally released into the atmosphere during the War, have caused mutation in nearly all forms of life. With a large portion of the country's infrastructure in ruins, basic necessities are scarce. Barter is the common method of exchange, with bottle caps providing a more conventional form of currency. Most cities and towns are empty, having been looted and deserted in favor of smaller, makeshift communities scattered around the Wasteland.

Many humans who could not get into the Vaults survived the atomic blasts, but many of these, affected by the radiation, turned into so-called ghouls. While they were given an extended lifespan, most lost their hair and their skin decayed, giving them a zombie-like appearance; often, their voices became raspy. Many ghouls have a hatred for humans, either through jealousy or due to discrimination by the humans. Almost all ghouls resent their comparison to zombies and being called a zombie is viewed as a great insult by them. After suffering mass amounts of radiation, a number of ghouls eventually go insane; these "feral ghouls" become mindless, aggressive creatures, driven only by instinct.


Although the Wastelands of the Fallout series are home to innumerable self-supporting groups, there are a number of factions who have a significant presence across the former United States. These factions are often the major players in the larger events of each game's primary storyline.

  • The Brotherhood of Steel is a group dedicated to the collection and preservation of Pre-War knowledge and technology. They pursue these goals with religious fervor and many are descendants of American military survivors. Seen as xenophobic, the Brotherhood believes that they are the sole heirs to Pre-War technology, bringing them into conflict with other factions. On the East Coast, however, in the D.C. area (also known as the Capital Wasteland), the Brotherhood takes on the form of protectors of the Wastes, actively engaging Super Mutants in the region and helping to distribute clean water to the people of the region.
  • The Enclave is composed of the shattered remnant of the pre-War U.S. federal government and acts as the main antagonist in Fallout 2 and Fallout 3. They have access to superior technology available before the War, such as advanced power armor and plasma weaponry. Their main goal is to wipe out all mutation in the Wasteland so that they can restore the pre-War U.S. of old, which, given the pervasive radiation and background FEV virus, is almost every living thing in the Wasteland besides themselves.
  • The New California Republic (NCR) is a constitutional republic. It is the largest faction in post-apocalyptic America, both by population and landmass. The NCR bears resemblance to the democracies of old, with a commitment to "old world values". Based in California, it has holdings in Nevada, Oregon, Baja California, and New Mexico along the Colorado River. The NCR holds Hoover Dam during the start of Fallout: New Vegas.[28]
  • Caesar's Legion is an autocratic, totalitarian, homogeneous dictatorship, ruled by Caesar (real name Edward Sallow), who originated in Arizona and later expanded into Colorado and parts of Utah. The Legion consists of 87 tribes that were brutally conquered by Caesar and his minions. Basing its culture and ideals on those of the historic Roman Empire, the Legion expands its borders by violently conquering nearby lands, massacring or enslaving the original inhabitants and obliterating their previous culture. The Legionnaires willingly reject most modern technology (save for that involved in armaments) and their society is based on a strict caste system. Men must become Legion warriors and give up any ties to their previous, conquered tribes (to this end, they are frequently separated from old friends and family), while women are kept as slaves, treated as though they were livestock, mostly for housework and reproduction.
  • The Followers of the Apocalypse are a loosely organized collective dedicated to humanitarian work and the recovery, preservation and dissemination of knowledge. Originating in the town of Boneyard in the NCR, they can be found throughout the Western regions, often running medical clinics. They are frequently considered "anarchist rebels" by various factions (chiefly the NCR) due to their lack of loyalty to any specific government. Despite this label, the Followers are not a violent group and frequently assist the player characters in their travels.
  • Mr. House is the owner and proprietor of New Vegas, the Post-War version of Las Vegas. Previously an influential businessman and scientist, he had predicted the Great War and spent 12 years developing a plan to save the city from destruction. Though he managed to save the Vegas Strip, radiation from nearby bombs devastated the surrounding area. Hoping to guide human progress after the apocalypse, House entered an immortal stasis in order to develop long-lasting plans for rebuilding civilization and reigniting scientific innovation and industrial growth through the profits of the New Vegas strip, treating the other factions as customers. At the start of Fallout: New Vegas, Mr. House rules New Vegas as a "benevolent dictator" (as he puts it) with the aid of an army of armored robots called Securitrons. Before the War, he was also the founder and CEO of RobCo., the company that designed and manufactured most of the robots and computers found throughout the Wasteland.
  • Super Mutants are the result of Pre-War experiments with the "Forced Evolutionary Virus", which turned humans into hulking, sterile, and biologically immortal mutants. While most are largely hostile to humans and varying wildly in cognitive ability, there exist small enclaves and individuals that are peacefully disposed to humans. Most super mutants in the West Coast of the the former United States were controlled by "The Master", a deranged, heavily mutated former scientist, who plotted to turn all people into super mutants and form "The Unity", a shared consciousness between all super mutants and himself, which would finally bring an end to all conflict.
  • The Institute arose from surviving scientists and professors at the Commonwealth Institute of Technology, abbreviated C.I.T. and an in-game analog of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The people of The Institute have given up on the post-apocalyptic Wasteland as a lost cause and live underground in isolation, sending out androids they have created known as Synths to infiltrate and monitor aboveground society. Newer models of Synths are so advanced that they can pass for human beings, including the development of free will and a desire to escape The Institute, which sees them merely as machines. The Institute will also sometimes send an envoy to the surface to recruit promising minds to join The Institute underground in their mission to advance science.
  • The Railroad formed with a mission to aid Synths desiring to escape The Institute. The name is based on that of the Underground Railroad, which aided African Americans seeking to escape slavery in the Southern United States. The Railroad smuggles Synths out of The Institute, then supplies them for their new lives in the Wasteland. Due to high levels of suspicion and prejudice against Synths in the Wasteland, as well as antagonism from The Institute, The Railroad operates under great secrecy.
  • The Minutemen are a peace-keeping organization based in the Commonwealth. Their goal is to protect people from various dangers such as raiders, Super Mutants, and ghouls, and to unite them under one banner to make the Commonwealth a more peaceful, better place to live.


Fallout draws from 1950s pulp magazine science fiction and superhero comic books, all rooted in Atomic Age optimism of a nuclear-powered future, though gone terribly awry by the time the events of the game take place. The technology is retro-futuristic, with various Raygun Gothic machines such as laser weaponry and boxy Forbidden Planet-style robots. Computers use vacuum tubes instead of transistors, architecture of ruined buildings feature Art Deco and Googie designs, energy weapons resemble those used by Flash Gordon, and what few vehicles remain in the world are all 1950s-styled. Fallout's other production design, such as menu interfaces, are similarly designed to resemble advertisements and toys of the Atomic Age. Advertising in the game such as billboards and brochures has a distinct 1950s motif and feel. The lack of retro-stylization was a common reason for criticism in spin-off games.

A major influence was A Boy and His Dog, where the main character Vic and his dog Blood scavenge the desert of the Southwestern United States, stealing for a living and evading bands of marauders, berserk androids, and mutants. It "inspired Fallout on many levels, from underground communities of survivors to glowing mutants."[29] Other film influences include the Mad Max series, with its depiction of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In the first game, one of the first available armors is a one-sleeved leather jacket that resembles the jacket worn by Mel Gibson in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.[30]



Fallout Tactics' character creation uses the SPECIAL system.

SPECIAL is a character creation and statistics system developed specifically for the Fallout series. SPECIAL is an acronym, representing the seven attributes used to define Fallout characters: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. SPECIAL is heavily based on GURPS, which was originally intended to be the character system used in the game.

The SPECIAL system involves the following sets of key features:

  • Attributes (listed above) represent a character's core, inbred abilities. Attributes stay largely constant throughout the game, though they can be temporarily affected by drugs, altered indefinitely by conditions such as the wearing of Power Armor, the presence of certain NPCs or eye damage received in a critical hit, or permanently changed at certain points in the game through use of certain items or by taking certain perks.
  • Skills represent a character's chance of successfully performing a group of specific tasks (such as firing a gun, or picking a lock). They are represented as percentages, though these percentages can extend well beyond the expected maximum of 100%, at increased cost for skills over 100%. The SPECIAL stats continually add bonuses to skills. This is done passively, i.e. if the SPECIAL stats change, the bonuses are automatically and instantly adjusted. Skill Points that are earned each time the character levels up can be used to raise skill percentage. At character creation, the player also selects three Tag Skills — Skills which can be increased at multiples of the normal rate, starting at one skill point per 2% skill at under 101% skill.

The SPECIAL system has thus far been used in the role-playing video game Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. A heavily modified version of the system was used for Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout: Warfare, a tabletop battle game available on the Fallout Tactics bonus CD. Fallout Shelter, the first mobile game in the series, also uses a form of SPECIAL.

Aside from Fallout games, modified versions of SPECIAL were also used in Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (also referred to as Fallout Fantasy early in production), a fantasy role-playing video game that involved spirits and magic in addition to the traditional SPECIAL features, as well as the cancelled project Black Isle's Torn.

The Pip-Boy and Vault Boy [edit]

The Fallout series' look and feel is well represented in the user interface of the Pip-Boy computer, and the frequent occurrences of the Vault Boy character, here illustrating the Bloody Mess Perk.

The Pip-Boy (Personal Information Processor-Boy) is an iconic wrist-computer given to the player early in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 which serves various roles in quest, inventory, and battle management, as well as presenting player statistics. The model present in Fallout and Fallout 2 is identified as a Pip-Boy 2000, and both games feature the very same unit, used first by the Vault Dweller and later inherited by the Chosen One. Fallout Tactics contains a modified version of the 2000 model, called Pip-Boy 2000BE, while Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas uses a Pip-Boy 3000. Fallout: New Vegas also has a golden version of it, called the Pimp-Boy 3Billion that is given to the player as a reward for completing a quest in a certain way. Fallout 4 contains a modified version of the 3000, called the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV.

The Vault Boy character[31] is Vault-Tec's mascot, and is a frequently recurring element in Vault-Tec-related items in the world. This includes the Pip-Boy, where Vault Boy illustrates all of the character statistics and selectable attributes. From Bethesda's Fallout 3 onward Vault Boy models all of the clothing and weaponry as well.[32]

Tabletop games[edit]

Fallout: Warfare[edit]

Fallout: Warfare is a tabletop wargame based on the Fallout Tactics storyline, using a simplified version of the SPECIAL system. The rulebook was written by Christopher Taylor, and was available on the Fallout Tactics bonus CD, together with cut-out miniatures. Fallout: Warfare features five distinct factions, vehicles, four game types and 33 different units. The rules only require ten-sided dice. The modifications to the SPECIAL system allow every unit a unique set of stats and give special units certain skills they can use, including piloting, doctor, and repair. A section of the Fallout: Warfare manual allows campaigns to be conducted using the Warfare rules. The game is currently available for free online from fansite No Mutants Allowed and several other sources. It has also been chosen for many awards and won game of the year.[citation needed]


Exodus is a role-playing game published by Glutton Creeper Games using the d20 Modern/OGL system. At the beginning of the development this game was known as Fallout: Pen and Paper - d20 however all connections to Fallout were dropped after a legal dispute with Bethesda.

Legal action[edit]

Interplay was threatened with bankruptcy and sold the full Fallout franchise to Bethesda, but kept the rights to the Fallout MMO through a back license in April 2007 and began work on the MMO later that year. Bethesda Softworks sued Interplay Entertainment for copyright infringement on September 8, 2009, regarding the Fallout Online license and selling of Fallout Trilogy and sought an injunction to stop development of Fallout Online and sales of Fallout Trilogy. Key points that Bethesda were trying to argue is that Interplay did not have the right to sell Fallout Trilogy on the Internet via Steam, Good Old Games or other online services. Bethesda also said that "full scale" development on Fallout Online was not met and that the minimum financing of 30 million of "secured funding" was not met. Interplay launched a counter suit claiming that Bethesda's claims were meritless and that it did have the right to sell Fallout Trilogy via online stores via its contract with Bethesda. Interplay also claimed secure funding had been met and the game was in full scale development by the cut off date. Interplay argued to have the second contract that sold Fallout voided which would result in the first contract that licensed Fallout to come back into effect. This would mean that Fallout would revert to Interplay. Bethesda would be allowed to make Fallout 5. Bethesda would also have to pay 12% of royalties on Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 and expansions plus interest on the money owed. On December 10, 2009, Bethesda lost the first injunction.[33]

Bethesda shortly afterward tried a new tactic and fired its first lawyer, replacing him and filing a second injunction, claiming that Bethesda had only back licensed the name Fallout but no content. Interplay has countered showing that the contract states that they must make Fallout Online that has the look and feel of Fallout and that in the event Interplay fails to meet the requirements (30 million minimum secure funding and "full scale" development by X date) that Interplay can still release the MMO but they have to remove all Fallout content. The contract then goes on to list all Fallout content as locations, monsters, settings and lore. Bethesda has known that Interplay would use Fallout elements via internet emails shown in court documents and that the contract was not just for the name.[34] The second injunction by Bethesda was denied on August 4, 2011 by the courts. Bethesda then appealed the denial of their second preliminary injunction. Bethesda then sued Masthead Studios and asked for a restraining order against the company. Bethesda was denied this restraining order before Masthead Studios could call a counter-suit.[35] Bethesda then lost its appeal of the second injunction.[36]

Bethesda then filed motion in limine against Interplay. Interplay then filed a motion in limine against Bethesda the day after. Shortly after, the trial by jury which Bethesda requested on October 26, 2010 was changed to a trial by court because the APA contract (aka the second contract that sold Fallout to Bethesda) stated that all legal matters would be resolved via a trial by court and not a trial by jury. The trial by court began on December 12. In 2012, in a press conference Bethesda revealed that in exchange for 2 million dollars, Interplay gave to them full rights for Fallout Online. Interplay's rights to sell and merchandise Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel expired on December 31, 2013.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Fallout (PC) 89[37]
Fallout 2 (PC) 86[38]
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (PC) 82[39]
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (Xbox) 66[40]
(PS2) 64[41]
Fallout 3 (X360) 93[42]
(PC) 91[43]
(PS3) 90[44]
Fallout: New Vegas (X360) 84[45]
(PC) 84[46]
(PS3) 82[47]
Fallout 4 (XONE) 88[48]
(PC) 87[49]
(PS4) 87[50]

Five titles have received universal acclaim from both critics. The highest rated title is Fallout 3, which holds a 92.85% and 93 on GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively.[51][42]

Controversy and fandom[edit]

Fallout 3 is not a Fallout game. It's not even a game inspired by Fallout, as I had hoped. It's a game that contains a loose assortment of familiar Fallout concepts and names ... Electricity, pre-war electronic equipment, powered and still working computers (just think about that for a second), working cola & snack machines, weapons, ammo, scrap metal (needed by many), and even unlooted first aid boxes are everywhere.

—Vince D. Weller, long-time No Mutants Allowed member, former RPG news site director, and lead developer of The Age of Decadence[52][53]

Not all fans are happy with the direction the Fallout series has taken since its acquisition by Bethesda Softworks. Notorious for their vitriolic support of the series' first two games, Fallout and Fallout 2,[54][55] members centered around one of the oldest Fallout fansites, No Mutants Allowed, have cried foul over departures from the original games' stories, gameplay mechanics and setting.[55] Minor criticisms include the prevalence of unspoiled food after 200 years, the survival of wood-framed dwellings following a nuclear blast, and the ubiquitousness of Super Mutants at early levels in the game.[55] More serious criticisms involve the quality of the game's writing, a perceived lack of verisimilitude, the switch to a first-person action game format, and the reactiveness of the surrounding game world to player actions.[55][56][57] In response, Jim Sterling of Destructoid has called fan groups like No Mutants Allowed "selfish" and "arrogant"; stating that a new audience deserves a chance to play a Fallout game; and that if the series had stayed the way it was back in 1997, new titles would never have been made and brought to market.[52] Luke Winkie of Kotaku tempers these sentiments, saying that it is a matter of ownership; and that in the case of Fallout 3, hardcore fans of the original series witnessed their favorite games become transformed into something else.[55]


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External links[edit]