There’s excitement in the air. Fallout 4, is easily the most anticipated game of right now. It’s a series which spans decades and only a handful of games, but games that made a huge impact nonetheless. And for many of you, this will be your first taste of Fallout. A whole new world as Aladdin sung about on his discount carpet, one filled with mutants, sand, malfunctioning robots and even more sand. So where do we begin?
Why, with this handy primer of course!
Dresses rarely go above ankles, those damn hippies haven’t ruined a good ol’ puff on the pipe yet and everything is just so super! Yep, it’s America in stuck its 1950s glory and fashion, only with a few differences. After 1945, the United States of A have now split into 13 Commonwealth territories and a new series of wars have taken place.
War, war never changes
You got that right. America has been embroiled in various conflicts, but it’s the final Great War that really shook things up. After the Resource Wars of 2052 that saw the globe battle it out over the dwindling supply of petroleum and the resulting energy crisis that followed, the US finally won after a pitched battle in 2077 that saw a Chinese invasion of Alaska repelled.
And then came the Great War, a one-day conflict that ended with the mother of all nuke-slaps. No one knows who exactly fired the first nuclear missile that resulted in mutually assured destruction, but everyone agreed that the person responsible was most likely a massive smeg-head for doing so. After the mushroom clouds had settled, most of humanity was dead and the Earth’s climate was buggered more than a bunghole after an El Diablo hotwing binge. On the plus side, there was now more room to expand your man-cave, seeing as how your neighbours were probably dead.
Holy crap, did anyone survive at all?
Those lucky few who didn’t find themselves reliving a Terminator 2: Judgement Day flashback, managed to take shelter in the various vaults that the US government had set up in case the world went arse-up. Stocked with all manner of resources, buried deep in the ground and tougher than a $2 steak, these vaults would thrive for over 200 years and create factions such as the Vault Dwellers, Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave and that one vault that was filled with spiders.
That doesn’t sound so bad
Nope! If you were lucky enough to heed the sirens before the nukes dropped, you could have high-tailed it into a vault and spent the rest of your life underground, dressed in a snazzy blue and yellow jumpsuit. In the new world, the Brotherhood of Steel roamed the wastelands in their magnificent power armour, preserving the past with bullets and the kind of religious dedication to the old way of life that is normally reserved for the unexpected arrival of the Spanish Inquisition.
Meanwhile, the Enclave survived as the descendants of the lowest form of life on the planet: Politicians. Dedicated to restoring the US of A to a pre-war condition, the Enclave serves as the primary villains of the Fallout universe, due to their radical policy of wanting to exterminate all mutants.
You mean like X-Men mutants?
Oh you, I admire your optimism. No, nothing like the kids of tomorrow over at the Xavier institute of higher learning. You see, it was possible to survive outside of a vault when the bombs landed. But doing so would most likely have exposed you to dangerous amounts of radiation. 200 years later, and all kinds of mutants roam the landscape.
Most mutants look like the love affair between Freddy Krueger and a waffle iron, and are actually some rad dudes (heh). And then you get Super Mutants. These fellas are infected by a Forced Evolutionary Virus that has given them increased strength, durability and a case of longevity. The majority of the Super Mutants are pretty much Hulks with guns, and they’d like nothing more than to wipe Homo Sapiens off the face of the planet for good.
So what’s the first game all about then?
Right, it’s 84 years after the Great war, and Vault 13 has a buggered water chip. With the vault on the verge of extinction by funky irradiated water, the player has to brave the wasteland and acquire a new chip. Along the way, he makes allies, faces an army of super mutants and runs afoul of a warlord who calls himself the Master and who may also be responsible for that Doctor Who reference in the game.
Said player eventually finds a water control chip, takes it back to the vault and finds himself exiled in the end, because of some crap about preserving the isolation of the inhabitants itself. Gee guys, thanks for nothing.
Bummer. So what happens in the sequel?
It’s not all bad. Banished from the only home he ever knew, the original vault dweller goes on to start his own tribe, and finds that a sperm count which hasn’t been bombarded by radiation has made him pretty virile. 80 years later, you’re one of his descendants, and referred to as the Chosen One, only you don’t have some guy called Betty trying to kill you.
What you do have however, is a task ahead of you. One that requires you to find the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (G.E.C.K),which could help restore the wasteland back to it’s former pre-war glory. The only problem here, is that the Enclave also wants it, so that they can use it to make more super mutants to kill. The Enclave really doesn’t do very good long-term planning.
Anyway, the day is eventually saved, you regroup with the Vault 13 inhabitants who were kidnapped by the Enclave and together with your tribe, start a new community.
So what’s the deal with Fallout 3 then?
Right, it’s 2277. You’re in Vault 101, which is situated in the former capitol of Washington DC. Your father is Liam Neeson, so life is fantastic. And then your dad gets mysteriously taken, the Overseer wants a few words with you and escape looks like a viable option. Now known as the Lone Wanderer, it’s up to you to find out what papa Neeson was up to, which eventually leads you to Vault 112.
Turns out that your daddy wanted to combine the G.E.C.K with Project Purity, which had the potential to scrub clean all the water in the Potomac River.
Yep. Reunited with your pa, you find yourself battling the Enclave yet again. The Enclave still have a mad-on for the mutants, and want to engineer Project Purity into a super-weapon that’ll infect the water with a virus that only kills mutants. Daddy Neeson gets killed in the crossfire and is then pursued by the Enclave and has to decide whether he’ll risk his life to activate the project in the end.
What happens in New Vegas, stays in New Vegas
Four years later, and players find out that if anything can survive the Apocalypse, it’s Las Vegas, gambling and most likely legalised prostitution. This time, you’re the Courier. And in hot water when a special poker chip you’re delivering is stolen by the gangster known only as Benny.
Naturally, you’re pissed off at being left for dead, and you want some revenge. Turns out that the Poker chip was actually a data storage device that could up the attack-ante of the New Vegas Securitron robots, which would give Benny control of an army that could take over New Vegas.
Well at least it can’t get any worse
Oh yes it can. Turns out that you get caught in a conflict between the slave society of Caeser’s Legion, the gun-crazy militia of the New California Republic and Mr House, a Great War survivor who runs New Vegas. All three sides have their eyes on the Hoover dam. Whoever controls the dam controls the flow of clean water and power over the entire Southwest region.
Eventually, you choose a side, protect the dam and it’s up to you to decide whether to control or destroy the dam and its limitless defenses.
That’s a lot of exposition, Basil
Yep. And expect a new lore to be written, when Fallout 4 arrives next week.
Last Updated: November 4, 2015