Well, I officially sold my soul
by doing an Icewind Dale 2 designer diary and bartered it for some time
to do another one of these Fallout Bible updates. I don’t know when
the next one is going to be – depends how Icewind Dale 2 is going.
Anyway, welcome to the sixth Fallout
Bible update - if you missed any of the others, check the Black Isle
main page (www.blackisle.com),
scroll down, and click on the "Read More News Here" section
(and scroll down or do a "Find" for Fallout). The first three
updates have been collected into "Update Zero" (a cryptic
and sinister name, isn’t it?) and the fourth and fifth update stand
on their own. The reason the fourth and fifth stand on their own is
because they are brave little updates, and my heart goes out to them.
For those of you who haven't seen
these before, the Fallout Bible is just a collection of all the background
material and hi-jinks from Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 compiled into one
document so the fans can take a look at it. The term “Bible” is misleading,
since it’s not supposed to start some religion or be the word of some
holy power – it’s just a term I stole from Chris Taylor (Fallout 1,
Fallout Tactics), who apparently stole it from some guy named Dan Wood
who called me at work once. Dan Wood’s Bible and this Bible aren’t the
same thing. This is just for fun. It is also not a marketing ploy to
drum up Fallout sales, since this is for fans who already snagged the
game and wouldn’t mind knowing a bit more about what went on behind
the scenes or what material never actually made it in. Please feel free
to take this paragraph and formulate whatever conspiracy theories you
Some of the stuff in this update
a little rough, so if you see anything wrong or if you think of anything
you'd like to see, drop me a line at Cavellone@blackisle.com
and I'll see what I can do. I can't promise I'll answer your emails
immediately (especially with Icewind Dale 2 and my repeated attempts
to barricade my office against Josh Sawyer’s sudden designer artillery
strikes), but I will get around to it, usually when the weekend hits.
Small, quick questions have a much
faster turn around time. This is because
I am lazy. More on this below.
Oh, there may be parts of this doc
that are sketchy because I am tired. And cranky.
Thanks for supporting Fallout,
Chris Avellone @ Black Isle Something
Okay, I always start these updates with a list. So here it is!
Before you do, though, read #2, below, and "Questions
I Will Not Answer," after that.
2. Suggestions for material to include
in the Bible, suggestions for good Fallout fifties tunes, comments on
why you like pen and paper RPGs over computer RPGs, questions about
Fallout events, and suggestions for good source material are welcome,
but there are a number of things I can’t or won’t answer because I am
busy and I hate you. They include:
Giving hints or walkthroughs for the game. If you need a hint or
a walkthrough, go to the Black Isle message boards at:
And within fifteen seconds, someone will post an answer to your problem.
The answer will occasionally be snide and sarcastic and may be followed
by the words, “silly rabbit” or “dumbass,” but you will get your answer.
So make your voice heard.
Providing technical support. If you have any troubles with your
Fallout disks or other Interplay games, you need to contact Interplay
customer support at one of the following addresses:
Answering questions outside of Fallout 1 or 2. I cannot answer any
questions about a Fallout 3. There's not one in production. I swear
upon Josh Sawyer’s life that I am never going to answer this question
again, so cut it out.
Reading fan fiction or fan-created material for Fallout.
Providing any information, walkthroughs, hints, or support on the
Baldur's Gate series, IcewindDale I (or II), Planescape:
Torment, or Dark Alliance.
3. Thanks for everybody who sent in tunes - if
you have anything that strikes you as a good Fallout fifties ambiance,
send it my way at the email address, in #1, above. I'm always looking
for new music tunes.
4. There are a lot of questions sitting in my
archive. If you don't see your question here (especially if it was recent),
I haven't forgotten, I just haven't gotten around to it yet because
I AM REALLY, REALLY BUSY.
5. BTW, if anyone has the link for the Unwashed
Villagers site (or if it still exists), let me know. I need to make
sure they are not some lie concocted by Dave Hendee.
6. Sebastien Caisse is our Big Winner #1
from last time on the Magic Eightball and went beyond the call of duty
by providing a full list of Tell Me Abouts for Fallout 1 because he
is a crazy programmer guy and knows how to crack Fallout 1 code like
a twig. Sebastien, I salute you. (Feel free to post your answers on
the Fallout message boards.) His other great claim to fame is the fact
that I occasionally get bounced from his email address, which makes
me mad and scream his name loudly, usually while I am having sex with
7. Thanks also to Michael Jeppesen, who
also gave me a list Tell Me Abouts... thanks, Michael.
8. BTW, Big Winner #2 on the Magic Eightball
is Gammons, however, who, while not as fast as Sebastien, included
all the same answers, along with text corrections. Thanks, Gammons.
I salute you as well. There were some other people, too, but they came
in third, fourth, fifth, and so on, and I don't feel like listing them
9. If I ever get anyone's name wrong when I respond
to your emails, tough. Some of you have "a"s and "e"s
in strange places – maybe if your parents had named you with some sense,
there wouldn’t be a problem.
10. If you like Fallout, Peter Nellemann
(who I'm guessing is FO-Tank, one of the 12 Dark Apostles of Fallout
fame) has a site you might want to check out:
These links may be broken by the time I post this, but not as of this
morning. Deadlus' site looks pretty spiffy, even though I couldn't read
a word of it since it's in Russian, I think.
11. And, “Pawel,” if you're out there, I tried
responding to your address and kept getting bounced, so I just want
to let you know I'll be answering your questions in a future update,
but it probably won't be for a while.
Now let me get on with being obstinate:
QUESTIONS I WILL
In addition to the list of questions I will be answering this time,
I also have a list of questions I will not answer or questions that
will most likely take a very long time before you see them. Among them
are the following.
1. When is Fallout 3 going to happen?/How's
Fallout 3 coming along?/I heard you guys are working on Fallout 3! When
is it due out?/Will Fallout 3 be ready by christmas?/Is Fallout 3 contingent
on getting the Bible done?/Are you guys planning a sequel to Fallout
Fallout 3 isn't in production.
Fallout 3 isn't contingent on getting the Bible
The Fallout Bible isn’t a marketing ploy.
I am compiling this information because it's
fun and because I'm trying to get prepped to release a Fallout pen-and-paper
game (for free) on the web, and it pays to run this stuff by you guys
and get your feedback, since a hundred extra pairs of eyes (and torches)
I swear upon Josh Sawyer’s life that I will never
answer this question again. If you email me this question, I will not
2. What happened to China, Russia, or any
other areas outside the area explored in Fallout 1 and 2?
I don't know. To tell the truth, I really don’t
care – since I am an Ugly American living in California, I only care
about the areas in F1 and F2, and possibly any areas close by that have
some impact on them.
As for the rest of the world ("ROW"),
there's little to nothing on the ROW that hasn't already been hinted
at in the games (this also includes sections of North America and the
United States that weren't in Fallout 1 or 2). Anything I would write
would be speculation and would require a great deal of research, much
more than I can put in on weekends, so it's going to be a while before
you see these answers. It's quite possible you may never see these answers
(fleshing out other countries may pigeonhole potential future Fallout
titles that would want to make up their own history for the region).
I may change my mind later, because I am fickle, but until then, don’t
send me these questions, either.
3. What was U.S./world history like before
the timeline included in previous Fallout updates?
No one has asked this yet, but I thought I would
cut this question off at the pass. Fallout takes place on a future earth,
in an alternate timeline. I will not be including any information on
how and when it diverged - it will remain one of the mysteries of the
setting. Just let it be known that it diverged after WW2, and leave
it at that.
4. What were the experiments in the other
Vaults and where are they located?
Answering this might curtail any adventure seeds
for the future, so I won't be answering it.
5. What cities were nuked and which ones weren't?
See answer #4. If someone is making a game in
a section of the Fallout universe, then I’d like to leave them the freedom
to say what was nuked and what wasn’t.
QUESTIONS THAT MAY
TAKE A WHILE
1. Any question related to blueprints and schematics for Power Armor,
Robots, etc, is going to take a while; I probably won't be able to get
to them until I have a lot more free time than right now. Those models
and concepts don't exist, and I'd have to draft them by hand or shanghai
a Black Isle artist. We got a bunch of new artists, but so far, they’re
pretty crafty and have been avoiding my nets and pit traps.
2. If you send more than one question to me in
an email, the time it takes me to answer these emails is about one month
per question past the first, because I am lazy and I hate you. If you
break them up into smaller, one question emails, this makes me much
PIE IN THE FACE SECTION
Welcome to the pie in the face of the section where you get to rub my
nose in bad facts. Based on how things are going, this will most likely
be a regular feature.
Vesuvius corrected me on ZAX's initialization,
so here's the corrected entry in the Fallout timeline from 2-11-02:
ZAX 1.0 goes on-line, developed
by Vault-Tec. Initially a prototype of some of the systems designed
to govern the vaults, it is given to the government to help the
Department of Energy collect resource data. Within a year, it
is taken by the military for plague and tactical research; one
version, ZAX 1.2 is
constructed for West Tek (below).
Oskar Liljeblad has pointed out another
flaw in the timeline:
Look at these two paragraphs from the timetable
in the Fallout bible from 2002-02-11:
2162 May 10: Fallout 1 Ends: Vault Dweller
returns to Vault 13, only to be told "you're a here and you have
to leave." Some members of the Vault (led by Lydia, the head of
the "return to the surface" faction, and including her supporters,
Therese and Lyle) follow soon afterwards.
2165 May 12: Vault Dweller removes the Vault
suit and from this day forward, never wears it again.
My question is, what happend during the three
years between 2162 and 2165? Or is 2165 May 12 the incorrect date (maybe
it should be two days after the vault dweller was expelled)?
Vault Dweller removes the Vault suit and
from this day forward, never wears it again.
Vault Dweller heads North with a small
group of Vault-dwellers and wastelanders and founds the small
village of Arroyo.
Thanks, Oskar. If you (or anybody else) see anything
else wrong, don't hesitate to let me know. Or better yet, post it on
the boards rather than email me directly, where it may take me a few
days to see it.
We've got the usual round of questions this time. Ignore the bumbling
numbering scheme - I gave up on keeping consistent after Deadlus’ question
Some groovy cat named CoolJiggily had
this comment to make:
0. I was just wondering once when I killed
the deathclaw in Navaro (Xarn I think) I had used an energy weapon and
had a critical hit. The kind where the target drops everything on the
ground when they die. The claw the he was weilding fell it was a purple(maybe
blue) square with white text that said deathclaw weapon 2(or something
like that). This item was a okay melee weapon. Do you have any knowledge
What we do in most of the RPGs we make (both
in Fallout and in the Infinity Engine games) is equip monsters and NPCS
with "invisible weapons" that simulate their attacks. The
items are supposed to vanish upon death, but if you hit it too hard
and too fast for the computer to handle, boom, it may drop it.
So that's the big mystery. Oh, and way to kill
Xarn, you big savior of the world, you.
The first of many from Deadlus in an attempt
to clean out my mailbox:
1a. I know that enclave didn't even exist
as an idea in FO1, but it is in FO2 and I thought that you guys have
a ready story "why enclave didn't do anything about master"
and you didn't put it in the game for some reasons!
Nope, there was no ready story, at least that
I was aware of - Cain & crew coined the Enclave, and they may have
had some reason why they didn't do anything about the Master. It may
just be that the Enclave was only active in Northern California and
besides, not many people even knew about the Master's operation in Southern
1b. Eh, I guess I have to be piatent......BTW.
I know you answered one (only one, the smallest one :) of my qustions!
BTW2. In tanker there was a dead vault 13 guy near those vault doors,
how did he get there blah blah (you know the rest)? BTW3. How did those
"aliens", floaters and other things get into the tanker???
They sneaked in or something?? I had some other qustions but I forgot
them :) , oh, that Ed guy ( "You see Ed, Ed is dead) supossed to
be another in-joke like Leonard Boyarski ?
Vault suit guy in tanker: Unknown. It's possible
he was a test subject left over from the Enclave when they held the
tanker, or a traveler from Vault City. His origin was never mentioned
in the documentation.
The aliens, floaters, and centaurs were placed
in the tanker, since we needed some major baddies in the tanker at the
end game. They most likely crawled down there in search of a lair before
the punks showed up. Centaurs and floaters get around – mostly wherever
game logic (not necessarily plausibility) dictates.
Ed - yeah, it's in-joke. According to Chris Taylor:
What's the deal with Ed? Zed's Dead, baby,
Zed's dead. From Pulp Fiction. That's part of the reference. Ed
was twofold: to immediately show the player that the outside world
was dangerous, and to tell the player that he wasn't the first
choice of someone to send out. Ed was sent out before the waterchip
malfunction, however, since he's just bones.
So there you are.
1c. In the undergrounds of Broken Hills there
was (another) "dead vault women" :) (with no legs :), I know
it is f. detail but you can always make something interesting out of
nothing:) (but please, make her someone interesting not just someone
from vault city! :)
Sorry, there were no other vaults around; she's
from Vault City - one of the many Vault City unfortunates who couldn't
adapt to the harsh life of the wasteland. I do not know whether she
had any legs while she was alive.
1cc. There was repair bot in klamath's underground,
was it from that vertibird near the second repair bot / near the canyon?
It's possible, but unlikely (vertibirds tend
to carry only one Mr. Handy when possible). It was mostly like an old
repair robot from the days when Klamath Falls was a real town.
1d. In Redding there was a corpse(under some
rocks) of a man in vault suit, from wherehe, and how did he get there
He's another sucker from Vault City, possibly
having come in on a caravan. He could also be a fugitive Enclave scientist
or worker, since they wear Vault suits, too, but this is unlikely.
1e. Vault doors were in the tanker in San
Fran, from which vault are they, and who brought them onto the ship?
They are unmarked models, planned for shipment
somewhere up or down the West Coast. The "Vault Doors" were
used for more than just Vaults, however, so the door may have been intended
for some other facility. It's most likely just there because of designer
caveat/designer privilege/game logic - the designer probably just needed
something to fill up space in the tanker, and the door looked like good
1f. Bible is updated again and its been a
while since I've sent those qustions.... (answer, please) O, and one
new question Is EPA and the other locations that weren't added to FO2
in master.dat or somewhere are finshed (Because you can replace one
of the existing towns with ex. EPA, but I don't haven't got time to
check this) ?
No - they were never finished. I posted the original
design for EPA, below (much, much farther below), if you want to see
it. There's not one for the Abbey or the Primitive Village that I can
1g. How did that guy from New Reno Arms get
vault-tec speech module? And how did that friend of Vic ( from vault
city ) get the "vault13 flasks" ( I don't remeber that it
was explained in FO2 )? Oh, and why Enclave didn't do anything about
master after he took vault-tec demonstration vault? BTW. How did master
move, he's just a big peace of crap!
1. Vault-Tec speech module: He got it from a
traveling merchant (similar to how Vic got the V13 water flask). Eldridge
likes to collect old Pre-War relics and throw it in his basement to
keep Algernon amused - and in the hopes the kid will build a nuclear
missile he can use to hold all of New Reno hostage.
2. Ed the Brahmin Dealer may have traded with
some of the Vault 13 refugees from Vault 13 when they left the Vault
after the Vault Dweller at the end of Fallout 1, or one of the V13 refugees
may have traded with a random caravan master that eventually sold it
to Ed. Again, it was mostly a plot device carrot, and no documentation
3. The Enclave didn't even exist as an idea in
Fallout 1 (to my knowledge), so they never really factored in to any
of the events in Fallout 1.
4. I have no idea how the Master was moved. It
was probably either by a large (steam) truck or caravan, but I don't
have any specific information on how he was moved. I doubt a caravan
could do it unless Grey was much smaller and, uh, less "spread
out" than he was at the end of Fallout 1, which is entirely possible,
but he sounded pretty fucking mutated in his audio diary in the Military
Base. Maybe they poured him into in a toxic waste barrel and transported
him that way. I haven't found an explanation in F1 anywhere – so if
anyone finds one before I post an answer, let me know.
One from Pasi Eronen in Finland:
2. I'd like to know more about the player
modeling behind the surface of the game. The reason for this is that
I am participating a course in CS, which is titled Adaptive Learning
Environments. In this course I have group work with my colleagues about
User modeling in Computer Games. Apart to theory part, it would really
help us a lot to hear also, how this is done in reality - in true gaming
Especially in Fallout 2, there was huge difference
in the story line, depending on the way one played. I remember playing
once in a bit morbid way, digging up dead people and blazing my way
through events. I didn't pay me in the end, or well, depends how do
you see it.. :) Usually events that one encountered were more pleasing,
when playing it more ethically "correct" way. In my opinion,
this kind of reflection of one's behaviour to whole scene in the game
were one the best things in the game.
If you would have some time to answer me and
kindly reveal some of the tricks and techniques used behind the scenes,
I'd be really happy for that!
There really isn't any trick to it, just mostly
a lot of grunt work (though fun grunt work).
Essentially, what needs to be done (and I'm using
an NPC's dialogue as an example), you essentially write one dialogue
that's three to four dialogues in one, and you do "character checks"
at various points to see where the dialogue goes (i.e., if your Intelligence
is low, you go here, if your Speech skill is high, you go here, if you're
carrying a gun, you go here, and so on). It's a lot of work, and it
requires that you design out all three to four of those paths completely
so each player type gets a different experience.
For quests, you do the same thing - you design
it (at least) three different ways so a player of different skills can
I don't know if you're familiar with a "Choose
Your Own Adventure" book, but that's what the game really boils
down to - it's just a big Choose Your Own Adventure, where the designers
try to plot out every possible path the player can take in as much detail
as possible. Game logic and development parameters usually prevent you
from being able to design out quest solutions with as much freedom as
you would have in a pen-and-paper game, though.
One from Richard M. Lippincott:
3. Perhaps you can answer the question of
whether Fallout is set in an alternate timeline or not. By alternate
timeline, I mean a world where some part of our history up to now was
different then what we know. It seems many fans are inclined to believe
this view. Some who claim to be "in the know" and say they've
seen the original design documents for the first game support this view.
However, I've noticed no such evidence in the Fallout Bible.
Fallout takes place in an alternate timeline.
There's no documentation about exactly how and when it diverged (and
this will never be addressed in the Fallout Bible - see above), but
it did. You will have to take it on faith.
Sebastien Caisse (BIG WINNER #1) sent
me a correction:
4. John Deily mentions that he [Melchior]
got his pets from outside... however aren't they locked in?...
No, that was my fault (John is blameless). I
forgot the Enclave had sealed off the base. Melchior's pets probably
came from (now collapsed) side caverns in the Military Base (kind of
like those mutated pigrats running around). Sorry about that. I need
to research the Military Base some more, so if I find anything different,
I’ll let you know.
A question from Steelface the Hunter,
who has a scary name:
5. What is the deal with the retinal scanner
from the docks in San Francisco, and all those guys blumbering about
The retinal scanner was just there for show.
As for the submarine, that's a longer story.
As mentioned in Fallout 2, the Shi (or more specifically,
Dr. Fung) say that they are descendants from the crew of a Chinese nuclear
submarine (the Shi-huang-ti - the remains of which were used to help
build the Palace in San Francisco).
This submarine was supposed to play a larger
role in Fallout 2, but it was axed because the game was too big as it
was. Basically, it was another stage to "get the tanker ready"
quest - basically, there was this old Chinese submarine buried beneath
in the waters of San Francisco, and if it detected any American vessel
coming anywhere near it, its automated defense system would fire its
missiles at the vessel and DESTROY it. So the intention was for you
to find some deactivation code to disarm it before you could take the
tanker safely to the Enclave.
An inevitable consistency question from Bud
6. Last update, you said there were 1/200
cars/people ration in the NCR. If there were so many working cars in
NCR, where were they?
They’re there. It’s game logic. You don’t see
them for the same reason NCR is only three maps, only has 1 councilor/senator,
and only about 40-50 people in its city limits. That’s why the Chop
Shop in Reno exists, why the bum outside of NCR offers to watch a car
for you before you show up in one, and a reason that NCR built a garage
in Shady Sands.
So to explain "game logic" in this
instance, there’s nothing precious about building a car of your own
if you can steal one – or if somebody else in town has one. Or in the
words of one designer (me), “there's no good reason why a PC would want
to undertake a fucking huge Fed Ex quest to rebuild one if they can
jack one from the locals.” The last part is especially true considering
town-wide mass murder is possible in both Fallout 1 and 2.
And before you get the image of tanks and jeeps
flying around everywhere with heavy machine guns mounted on the back,
most of that junk is old tractors and crap like taxis, old buses, snowplows,
and even old construction equipment. It's possible that mysterious old
steam-truck mentioned in the bowels of the F1 data archive is still
lumbering around somewhere. The caravan houses of the Hub, in particular,
around the time in Fallout 2, have been looking to further its trade
influence, and new vehicles (and types of transport, such as trains,
boats, or barges) have been eagerly sought after for carrying large
amounts of trade goods vast distances. Good ol' human greed will move
mountains. Or at least rebuild things that can. Once they learn of the
Enclave's presence in the North, they are likely to have huge bounties
promised for vertibird
plans - or better, a working vertibird.
One from Steel Knight...
1. In FO2, the random encounter cafe of broken
dreams Tandy says Ian is some ware in FO2 is this true and if so, ware???
Tandi is a big fat liar. Ian was originally intended
to be in Fallout 2 (as a very old guy in the Den), but it was scrapped
near the end because there were (in our opinion) too many characters
making repeat appearances already. If I can dig up his old dialogue
at some point, I will.
Two (and then four more), from Albert.
1. Who owned the dog named Sasha that appears
as an easter egg? At the cathedral there's a dog outside that you can't
get to, but whose description says that she's a Siberian Husky faithfully
awaiting her owner's return. Then in the Den, one of the things that
the addicts were yell periodically is "Sasha!". Which of the
developers owned Sasha?
Sasha was owned by Vince Denardo, one of the
producers here at Interplay (he didn't work on Fallout, but he was friends
with many of them - he produced Conquest of the New World, among
other titles). I think Dave Hendee said:
Dave Hendee: Sasha is the name
of one of Interplay's old producers, Vince Denardo. He did not
work on Fallout 1 or 2. It was a bit of tradition to have is dog
somewhere in an Interplay game, in some shape or form. Sasha is
normally placed in the special thanks section or some other place
in most of our older manuals.
2. How do the raiders continue as organizations
over the years? Do they recruite people or do they have kids of their
own? I ask because you never see any raider kids and it seems to me
that raiders would not be good at raising kids and keeping them healthy.
It's mostly for game logic reasons (kind of like
the fact NCR is only 3 maps, has 1 councilor, etc, etc.). You try not
to put kids in places where there's going to be gunfights, because they
tend to get caught in the crossfire and before you know it, you've got
the Childkiller Perk. Also, if you're playing the English version, then
some kids are removed for localization purposes.
But, if Fallout took place in the real world,
raider kids would exist.
Raiders add to their numbers through press-gang
tactics, captives from raids, crushing the spirits of slaves and drafting
them, and having children of their own. They also add to their ranks
by attracting neer-do-wells across the wastes. It's a rough life, but
raiders do sometimes have kids and families with them in the band, even
if they don't always take them on raiding missions.
And because no good question can have a true
answer, here are four more, from Albert.
My interest in the raiders has been perked.
Specifically, I'm wondering about their culture (if you can call it
First off, I'm going to include a section on
the Vipers that I found in some old design documentation by Scott Campbell;
the Khans you already met in Fallout 1, but the Vipers are the other
side of the coin. It may help answer some of your questions - basically,
raiders are a pretty varied bunch.
1. What sort of religion, or at least superstitions,
do raiders have?
It varies - there's no one overall religion for
all raiders. Some have none at all (Khans) while others (the Vipers)
are zealots. In some regions of Fallout, "raiders" blur into
"tribals," so there are raiding bands of tribals that have
a number of bizarre customs, including eating fallen opponents, ancestor
worship, sun/nature worship, and so on. Usually, however, raiders are
just violent assholes begging to be shot.
2. Do they have any real culture or customs?
I know that raiders like the Vikings and Monogolians did.
Again, it varies, depending on the raider band
and depending on the region. It can be something as simple as survival
of the fittest, with the strongest raider ruling everyone else (Garl),
and occasional codes of conduct such as "never surrender to the
law," "never leave witnesses," "never bargain with
a town or caravan master," to a complex set of customs and rituals
(such as the Vipers).
3. On the subject of their families, do raiders
ever marry (or have an equivalent to it). You mentioned that they would
have families, but if both ma and pa are out on a raid, who takes care
of the kids? Does someone stay behind?
They can marry, if they choose to honor frontier
law or follow a religion, but others simply take mates or partners for
a period of time, then switch around - on occasion, the leader of a
raider band has the sole pick of any members of the (usually) opposite
sex in the camp. Some raider bands take women and children from towns
in the wastes, or from caravans, which keeps their numbers up. Over
time, these slaves become assimilated into the band - often they have
nowhere else to go. This happens in slaver bands as well.
As for kids, if they can carry a gun and shoot
it, they are sometimes brought with the raiders, to teach the young
ones about the "life" early - in some raider bands, going
on the first raid is a rite of passage for children. Younger children
are left back at the camp with a few of the raiders - not all raiders
always participate in an attack.
4. How do they minimize violence and infighting
in their camps?
Depends - some camps don't, which is probably
why there's not a larger amount of raiders prowling the wastes. Usually
the presence of a strong leader prevents arguments from erupting too
frequently - or allows for controlled violence, where disputes are settled
before the leader, usually with a fist or knife fight. Furthermore,
it's in the raiders interest to police their own - the life of a raider
is tenuous, and troublemakers need to be dealt with swiftly.
Furthermore, a number of raiders are free to
sate their violent urges on the towns and caravans they prey on, which
helps a bit. Otherwise, violence and infighting usually comes down to
fist or knife fights in camp (especially if alcohol or drugs are present),
and either no lasting wounds are inflicted, or else they are fights
to the death, and the loser is left to die in the wastes.
RAIDERS IN GENERAL
In some ancient design documentation that I think was written by Scott
Campbell, one of the original designers (I'm still checking if it was
him, so I may need to print a retraction on the credits), there was
actually supposed to be three groups of raiders: The Jackals, the Khans,
and the Vipers. Not only did they raid local towns and caravans, but
they also preyed on each other - as you'll see from the descriptions
below, their behavior and habits in F1 dictated (or were dictated by)
their name choice.
The Jackals: The first clan, the
Jackals, is your typical group of crazies. They have no morals
except one: survival. They use group tactics to overmatch their
enemies. They are craven cowards, though, and will not attack
unless they know they can win. They band together in their hideaway
and fight over the spoils.
The Vipers: The second clan, the
Vipers, are mysterious followers of an ancient religion (or
so they claim). They usually only come out at night to hunt
for food or to conduct raids. They are very ruthless when it
comes to combat. They prefer stealth to strength. They usually
carry bone knives dipped in Pit Viper venom. This poison, when
in the blood stream, paralyzes the victim. Most victims captured
in this way are taken back to their hideout.
The Khans: The last group, the
Khans, is probably the most dangerous. They live the lifestyles
of Mongol warriors, raiding towns, burning what they cannot
take and capturing the survivors for use as slaves. They usually
travel in small scouting bands, but sometimes they roam as full
war parties. The Khans above all else respect strength. They
are eager in combat to prove their worthiness to the clan by
engaging in hand to hand combat with fists or clubs. The Khans
carry very few firearms (since they are for cowards). Anyone
showing superior strength is worthy of their respect. The leader
of the Khans is so because no one has beaten him in combat.
One interesting thing listed in the original documentation is that all
raider bands were supposedly all from Vault 15 after it opened, but
they all splintered off into different groups from the overpopulated
All of these raider groups officially exist in
the Fallout universe, though only the Khans are in southern California
at the start of Fallout 1. The handful of Vipers that survived Rhombus'
campaign of extermination in 2155 fled North and East, following the
same path the Jackals took after they had their asses handed to them
by the Khans thirty years before.
Let's focus on the Vipers. Again, credit for the Vipers goes to Scott
Campbell, I believe, currently at Contraband Entertainment, Inc. Look
for their fine products wherever computer games are sold, and you will
be supporting one of the souls of Fallout development.
BTW, no huge mutated Pit Vipers actually showed
up in Fallout 1, so don't worry that you missed them.
The leader of the Vipers, Asp, conducts
their ceremonies and administers duties. The members of the
clan will follow his orders even if it meant death. Asp is usually
in the same type of bone armor as the others, save he wears
a snake skull as a helmet adorned with feathers and snakeskin
as a cape.
The Vipers are always dressed in bone
armor. This armor, as the name implies, is made from strips
of bone bundled around the body with strips of leather. All
viper clan members have crude tattoos all over their bodies.
Exotic piercings are not uncommon. The
Vipers usually carry bone knives, bone spears, and sometimes
The Vipers hideout, or as they call it
"The Shrine," is many small adobe buildings surrounding
a large pit. This pit is where they conduct their religious
ceremonies. The sacrifices are placed within the pit and several
huge Pit Vipers slither out to claim their meal. Although it
has never happened, if anyone were to escape the pit, the Vipers
would let that individual go, claiming it was the will of the
Aside from Asp, there is at least one other personality mentioned as
belonging to the Vipers' band, a woman named Cobra, a "Brewer"
of the Viper clan, responsible for making the snake venom (or extracting
it from the Pit Vipers), she has a son named Fang, and her husband died
In the original design documentation, there was
an adventure seed for any characters coming across Garl from the Khans
- he would task the player to go kill Asp and take his ceremonial helmet
Although Garl prefers the direct approach, he
knows the Vipers rival the Khans in strength, and if Asp is killed,
it has a good chance of scattering the Vipers.
Animosity: Both the Khans and the Jackals
hate the Vipers, but the Khans and Jackals hate each other more than
the Vipers, so there is a nice little hatred pecking order going on.
Note: Some of the information below
is dated, obviously, and does not reflect everything that happened
in Fallout. I'm just including the original text so you can see
it in all its glory.
Background: 64 years ago, a man
named Jonathan Faust led his group of about 200 people from
the overcrowded Vault into the wastes of the outside. It was
there that his small band came to a small oasis in the middle
of the desert. In the middle of this oasis was a large pit,
almost like a crater. While resting and setting up camp, Faust
decided to look into the pit. Darkness greeted him.
When a member of the band called out
to him, Faust turned, startled, and slipped into the Pit. He
slid down twenty feet and then fell another 20 and broke his
leg in the process. As he lay there dazed, a half dozen gigantic
Pit Vipers slithered toward him. Not knowing what these things
were, Faust was terrified. The group above heard one loud scream
and then nothing. Three others went to look for him, but never
The small band, leaderless and stuck
in the desert with no food and water, decided to stay at the
oasis, at least for a little while. They covered the pit with
a tarp and nailed spikes around it to keep whatever horror lived
there encased there. They then set up their camp as far from
the Pit as possible. Whatever was down in the Pit never bothered
Days passed. The more influential of the group argued about
what they were to do. There was talk of joining up with others
from the Vault. There was talk about going back to the Vault.
During these four days, almost ¼ of the
group was either dying or already dead. Those who survived the
radiation poisoning were too weak to travel, while those who
survived either left or stayed and helped defend the little
settlement against the desert creatures.
Finally, after a week, the remaining
members of the group decided to move on. They started to pack
their belongings when an almost spectral figure emerged from
the shadows. It was Faust, except this was not the strong leader
they remembered. He was wan, pale, and emaciated, and there
was a feverish gleam in his eyes. He told them that when he
was down in the pit, a god visited him and told him the True
Way. They would make sacrifices to the Gods of the Pit, and
wealth and happiness would be theirs.
Of course, everyone was skeptical. Some
were even violently rebellious, saying that Faust was crazy.
After Faust patiently listened to them, he then whistled, and
from behind him, came two very large Pit Vipers. Without warning,
they struck. They attacked everyone in the group, including
Faust, but he just laughed as they bit his flesh.
As the sun rose the next day, the two
snakes lay dead by Faust's hands. Half of his people were dead,
the other half were on the brink of death as the Pit Venom started
to sink into their systems. By that afternoon most would be
dead, but the forty or so survivors of the venom were half crazy
with the aftereffects of the venom. Faust, himself immune to
the venom, helped the remaining few through this time, which
has come to be known as the Great Awakening. He whispered things
to them, told them how the Great Snake has spared their lives,
so that they would fight for His mighty cause.
And thus the Viper clan was born. They
decided to make the Pit their Shrine, and to go out into the
wastes and take what they needed from those blasphemers that
did not follow the Winding Way of the Great Snake.
When Faust (or the Great Snakekeeper,
as he was called), grew too old to rule, his son, Asp, was given
the sacred role of leader and High Priest. He has ruled ever
Dress: Vipers typically dress
in bone armor with a red sash, and their elite warriors are
called the Crimson Tongue.
Rituals: Once a month, the Vipers
fall into a deep trance through a dangerous mixture of alcohol
and snake venom (anyone who doesn't awake is considered to have
been found unworthy by the Great Snake).
When the Vipers reach manhood, they are
given a special mixture of the Pit Viper venom. Those who die
(or are in a coma for more than seven nights) are given as sacrifices
to the Children. (The snakes in the Pit are officially called
the Children of the Great Snake.) Those who survive the week-long
delirium become Warriors of the Snake (also called Chosen Ones).
There is also a monthly ritual, where
the Venom is taken by the High Priests and Priestesses of the
tribe in small quantities, which causes bizarre dreams. This
is called the Time of the Summoning, because many claim to see
the Great Snake come to them in their dreams.
When it is time for a captured prisoner
to be sacrificed, he is typically hurled into the Pit at midnight.
The Pit: This is the large
pit that lies in the center of the Viper's camp. It currently
holds four giant Pit Vipers. Each one is old and very well fed,
but they are still very deadly. The Pit itself branches off
into many tunnels, where the player can find Faust's old staff,
as well as many nests of rats. One of the tunnels opens up into
a secret exit near the mountains, so a resourceful player could
use it to escape after being hurled into the Pit.
The Sanctuary: This is
where Asp sleeps and attends to the governmental duties of his
people. His mate, the High Priestess of the Great Snake, is
always close by. They have no children. The meeting room itself
is long and lined with torches. The throne Asp sits on was made
from the skulls and bones of the two snakes that Faust killed
during the Great Awakening.
The Cages: Where the prisoners
are kept. Located at the very edge of the Oasis (they cannot
taint the snakes with the unbelievers), these pits are dug into
the ground. Their entrances are made of iron grates set into
the stone ground of the oasis. They are usually guarded by the
Crimson Tongue, the special elite warriors. The reason they
are used to guard this is because a lot of the time the Cages
are used to hold the sacrifices to the Children.
The Hall of Ascension:
This is the ceremonial lodge used in the Time of Summoning.
This is also used for all religious purposes, except the Snake
Sacrifice, which is done on a platform set up over the Pit.
So there you are - all I could dig up on the
Vipers. Officially, they exist in the Fallout universe, but they'll
differ from the description above in the following ways:
The Vipers are from Vault 15.
Mutated snakes do exist in the Fallout universe. Watch where you
The Vipers' leader's name is unknown, but he was the first to discover
the hallucinogenic effects of the mutated vipers. Anyone else injected
with the undiluted venom either dies or goes into a coma.
The Vipers have no stable location. They wander the wastes, the
mass of snakes carried with them
in a massive steel drum supported by slaves and brahmin.
The Vipers left Southern California after two incidents:
1. Defeat at the Hub in 2125: Their failed attempt to raid
the Hub during the Hub's formative years, stopped almost solely by
Angus, the founder of the Hub. Angus' defense caused the Vipers to
retreat north, and they roamed the wastes for many, many years, occasionally
attacking caravans and small settlements. Around the early 2150s,
however, the Vipers had grown to their former strength from captured
slaves and caravan drivers and had begun to establish a power base
in the badlands to the
North of the Hub (and south of the Lost Hills Bunker). Driven by a
religious frenzy (and the need to provide for their much larger numbers
of soldiers and disciples), they began raiding more frequently than
before, attracting the attention of the Brotherhood of Steel. The
Brotherhood sent out a few squads of scouts to track the raiders down
- it was more of a training exercise conducted by John Maxson's father,
as the Brotherhood was convinced that small detachment of troops in
Power Armor would be sufficient to deal with a group of raiders, no
matter how large.
2. Near Extermination by the Brotherhood of Steel in 2155:
One Brotherhood squad found the Vipers, and during the firefight,
John Maxson's father (who was leading the squad) was killed with a
poisoned arrow. The response from the Brotherhood was immediate. The
Paladins, now led by Rhombus, began a full scale campaign against
the Vipers, tracking them down and wiping out almost all of their
members within the span of a month. A handful of Vipers were able
to flee north and east into the mountain range, but they were never
heard from again.
During the campaign, the Brotherhood sent a few scouts and emissaries
to the Hub to track down
Vipers members, and from these beginnings, the Hub and the Brotherhood
began full trade relations
(caravans had delivered to the Brotherhood before, but not long after
the destruction of the Vipers,
caravan trains ran directly from the Hub to the Brotherhood on a regular
basis). So some good did
come out of the Vipers' presence in the wastes, for what it's worth.
Three questions from Ramon Dexter, transmitted
via DJ Slamak (I'm checking on the other ones, Ramon):
1) Are the Fallout locations made according
to real places, or did you make them up? I mean specifically the Hub,
Junktown, Gecko a Modoc.
Some are based on real places (Necropolis = Bakersfield,
Klamath = Klamath Falls, Redding = Redding), but the Hub, Junktown,
and Gecko were all made-up locations.
Modoc most likely took its name from the Modoc National Forest located
near the location. "Modoc" was originally the name of an Indian
tribe in the region, I believe. Arroyo is a fictional locale, according
to Tim Cain.
2) Does the Fallout 1 Military Base exist?
According to Chris Taylor, Mariposa Military
Base is based on Fort Ord, IIRC. That's an old military base that has
been shut down near Monterey Bay.
3) What happened to inhabitants of Los Angeles
when the bombs dropped?
According to Fallout's very own Chris Taylor:
This isn't canon, but I had always imagined
that LA was pretty much decimated (which is 1 killed out of every
10, thanks Romans!). Most people in LA died after the bombs dropped,
due to radiation poisoning, disease, famine and each other. Most
of the people in the demonstration Vault left and of those that
remained, most became the Master's servants and members of the
Children of the Cathedral. Those that left could be part of almost
any organization in LA. The majority of people in LA would have
to be people who came to the city after the destruction. Most
to scavenge what they could, be it equipment, food or people.
...and based on what I could dig up from the
old design documentation, this is pretty much what's written there for
the Los Angeles area.
One from Classic316 (via Kreegle):
X. You said in the Fallout Bible, that Ghouls
still live in Necropolis, but in the manual, it is written that the
city was completely wiped out (The bad thing that happens if you don't
take out the Military Base in time.) I find this odd since I assumed
FO2 continued with the assumptions that the Vault Dweller more or less
did everything the "Best" way possible in Fallout 1 (Such
as taking out the base in time) Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something
here, which is not too unlikely considering how long it's been since
I've had time to play the game, so anything to help clear up this little
question of mine is appreciated.
I am wrong. Most ghouls were forced to leave
Necropolis, leading to the Great Migration across the wastes.
I will print retractions later.
Some questions from Dane Zarbano:
1. What happened to Sgt. Granite and his crew
after the destruction of the Enclave?
He and the EC crew hopped aboard the tanker,
and escaped to the mainland after watching the fireworks from the top
of the tanker, whispering "gawd-damn" to themselves and throwing
suggestive glances at the women from Vault 13 and Arroyo. After reaching
the mainland, they headed north to Navarro (or the remains of Navarro,
depending on how your PC left it) and were never heard from again, though
their adventures could fill several eras worth of pulp comics, including
a recent re-appearance in Keith Giffen's resurrection of Suicide
2. How was the Brotherhood of Steel involved
with NCR after the destruction of the Enclave?
Unknown. Presumably, they'd already established
some level of co-existence with NCR even before the events of
F1, judging by one of the states of NCR being dubbed "Maxson"
(more on that in a future update except to say that the Lost Hills Bunker
was NOT turned into a town in NCR) and considering their pre-existing
ties to the Hub, which became a state by the time of F2. I've always
imagined that NCR and BOS have maintained an uneasy truce, with barter
and (some) technology sharing between the two groups.
3. What happened to the doctor guy who released
the modified FEV virus into the EC's air ducts?
Devastated in the wake of finding his moral center,
he did not inoculate himself. When he released the toxin, it is believed
he died with the rest of the EC, but his body was never found.
4. What happened to...
Skynet's fate is undocumented. If I was to speculate,
he left the player and began to travel west into the wasteland, looking
for terminals and data to acquire more knowledge, collect more data,
and perhaps "settle down" in a mainframe. The frame he was
in, and the brain he had could only store so much information, and AIs
need more data storage space to grow in order to evolve. It is possible
he made his way to theGlow, but it's not known for sure. Any fan writers
out there, feel free to round out what happened to him - considering
his combat messages alone, the world's in for some shakin'.
In the official universe, Skynet is not his real
name. Like some other aspects in the Sierra Army Depot (i.e., the news
reports), it needs to be revised into the timeline. Sue me.
Marcus went east to try to find the remnants
of the Master's Army:
Inspired by the example set by the Chosen
One, Marcus eventually traveled across the great mountains to
the east, searching for other refugees from the Master’s army.
You never heard from him again.
No one knows. He is the last of his kind, a tortured
soul in a kingdom of ruins. Can you hear him howling in the darkness
at the edge of the firelight? Of course you can. Shed not a tear for
brave Goris – he has served the good people of the wastes, and now his
time is done. See below for more information.
d. K-9 (from Navarro)
After getting his motivator repaired, K-9 was
left in NCR by the Chosen One so that he could receive necessary repairs
from Dorothy and, not long after his recovery, Dr. Henry (who had been
placed in critical condition after being reportedly assaulted by the
Chosen One some time earlier). Dr. Henry, afraid that too much information
about the Enclave would be obtained from K-9, attempted to destroy the
cyborg, but was stopped by cyberdog and Dorothy, who suspected what
Dr. Henry was planning. The NCR government used the attack as an excuse
to confiscate K-9 and cyberdog in order to learn more information about
the Enclave as well as what makes the two of them "tick."
At last report (and over Dorothy's objections), K-9 and cyberdog were
disassembled and analyzed. Structural damage during the disassembling
is reported to have killed them both.
e. Xarn the Intelligent Deathclaw from Navarro
According to F2 designer John Deiley, Xarn was
supposed to go back to Vault 13 and warn the Vault about Horrigan's
attack, but he never made it (in the original design, he was supposed
to be able to go back and save all the deathclaws and warn them about
the Enclave, but this didn't make it in). He was last seen wandering
east into the wastes toward Vault 13 - he never made it, however, so
his final destination is unknown.
5. So if supermutants can now reproduce...
They can't. Marcus was joking in New Reno. Super
mutants are sterile. Blame me for another episode of bad humor, oh cruel
...Goris and Xarn can perpetuate the intelligent
deathclaw race, and new ghouls are being made from over-radiated people
Goris and Xarn did not perpetuate the race –
they are the last of their kind. See below.
...that would mean Humans, Supermutants, Ghouls,
and Intelligent Deathclaws would be major races in New California right?
Not as of the end of Fallout 2, no. The predominant
and most accepted race in NCR is human (and probably will be for generations).
While super mutants and ghouls are tolerated (although some gain true
acceptance, especially in the military and in the NCR Rangers), deathclaws
of any intelligence would not be, assuming any significant number survived
the Enclave's massacre at Vault 13, which they didn’t.
One from Killian:
Belief system. From the looks of FO/FO2 everything
seems pretty non denom but there are still allusions to xianity. Any
generally accepted idealogy in the wastes? I'm assuming it would be
monotheistic? Any interesting tribal religions you'd care to elaborate
more on? How about clearing up some of Hakunin's gibberish? (side question:
Where's the name Hakunin from? Not any relation to Bakunin I hope though
I guess Hakunin looks a bit like Bakunin post-scurvy)
All the basic belief Pre-War systems are probably
still out there, but they haven’t been addressed in any Fallout game
out of fear of riling the masses - the Hubologists is probably the closest
we ever got, and even they are an amazing coincidence to a contemporary
religion. As a result, there's probably not much point on speculating
on them except to say they probably survived in some fashion. Individual
designers may end up resurrecting other religions if necessary to create
controversy and screaming matches in the newspapers and message boards.
In my opinion, the entire spectrum of Christianity
still exists, and has scattered into even more splinter groups. Mormonism
still exists, since it was hard to nuke all of Utah, and Mormons are
pretty hardy folk.
Father Tully in New Reno wasn't really a priest,
obviously, and Jo in Modoc was a "minister" of sorts, but
neither one was a representative of a real world religion. In the original
documentation, Tully was supposed to be from the Abbey, but they drove
him out after he accidentally set fire to one of their libraries.
There are no tribal religions anywhere in the
documentation except for the Vipers above, so anything I added would
just be speculation. There are some out there – as much as Arroyo had
a whole ancestor-worship thing going on, there are probably radscorpion
/ sun / sand / volcano / storm / chem / spore plant/ radiation-worshippers
Hakunin's Gibberish: Don't know where his name
comes from. If Hakunin was part of the original F2 design, Tim Cain
might know. I’ll ask him at some point. His gibberish is probably due
to a constant barrage of mind-altering chemicals he’s been taking in
his role as shaman. He’s pretty whacked.
Game logic reasons, however, dictate that because
Hakunin’s text was written by Mark O’ Green, that he speaks the way
he does because Mark has a talent and passion for inventing cool ways
of speaking for NPCs (Set’s lingo, for example, Bonenose’s whole Jamaican
dealio), and he does it because it’s fun. Let’s give it up for Mark
O’ Green, people.
Oh, and there are plenty of cults in the wasteland.
Watch out for them, because usually they don’t like you and what you’re
What's the family structure like in the Fallout
universe? From most of the examples we've seen it looks like it sticks
to the typical nuclear family or in more than usual cases, single parent
homes (due to mortality rate in the wastes, I'd assume.)
I imagine it varies according to region (there's
no documentation for this), but it would mostly be nuclear families
and possibly a commune here and there or some sort of group-rearing
village. In situations where the genre wants to drive home the 1950s
aesthetic, nuclear families are especially common.
Racism. We've seen "city dweller"
vs "spear chucker" discrimination in the Fallout world but
is there any sort of racism? Aside from human vs mutant I mean :] I
figure a catastrophic event like the great war would bring people together.
There's no documentation on this, but aside from
the obvious mutant-ghoul-human and cultural bigotry (tribals vs. townsfolk,
Vault City vs. everyone else), racism and sexism (and this is just in
my opinion) would be alive and well. A person's skin color, status,
and career are always good excuses for fear and hate to build upon.
I imagine communities like NCR and Modoc would have less of a problem
with this. The Great War may have brought some communities together,
but it also made isolated communities as well. Even in Fallout 1, Shady
Sands hated the Hub, was suspicious of Junktown, and there was quite
a few groups suspicious of the Brotherhood, etc, etc. There's lot of
potential for sowing the seeds of hate in Fallout, so buckle up, everyone.
It’s not one big happy family out there. Let the flames begin.
As a final note, I always thought it was kind
of cool that there was lots of female Enclave soldiers, and I liked
that the initial design team made Lynette head of Vault City (and in
a nice twist, had her in favor of slavery to give the player more to
chew on). The culture of the world got shook up in interesting ways.
Something Mr. Frosty wanted to know:
I'd really like to know this. Why did they
become tribals in such a short time? Religious reasons? Drugs? My problem
with tribals is not their lack of technology -- which is
vaguely plausible -- or their tribal structure -- which I don't object
to at all. My problem is that the nature of their tribal cultural is
ridiculous -- it makes no sense that post-Apocalyptic Americans
would degenerate into pre-Columbian natives.
If you're looking for plausibility in Fallout
1 and 2, you're bound to find holes, and there's not a concrete explanation
for each one - and sometimes, you'll even find multiple explanations
that contradict each other. The decision to make the Arroyo culture
"tribals" was most likely a game logic/thematic one (as plot
devices tend to be). There was a certain atmosphere that the F2 initial
design team established with the tribal culture in Fallout 2, and I
think they just wanted to play around with the fact that the player
was from a primitive, non-technological, ancestor-worshipping culture.
It was a way of bringing the history of the Vault Dweller from the past
into the present, and provides a nice backdrop for the events in the
Also, one issue (raised in Killian’s question
above) is that many of the voice-acted dialogues were done by Mark O'
Green, who likes to play with language and culture with the characters.
Personally, I like what he did with Set, Sulik, the Elder, Hakunin,
and the whole batch of them. Sure, they're bizarre, and they make you
wonder about the culture of the world you're in, but I think that's
a strength, not a drawback.
Here's one from John/OTB.
Something came up recently regarding one of
the denizens of Vault City, namely Thomas Moore. The question is pretty
simple: is he a reference to the author of Utopia?
Leonard Boyarsky (the original F2 designer who
made Moore) says it was most likely a reference to Chad Moore, one of
the Interplay artists at the time.
One from Alin Sfetcu / Sanctuary:
1. Why the doctor for Vault City (the one
inside the vault) ask you to bring his a dose of Jet ? For his personal
use or for research ? This is some sort of quest or i`ts a deadend ?
Doctor Troy wants the Jet so he can create an
antidote for it, though at first glance it appears like he's nursing
a habit. It's a quest.
Here's some from DoPr, Mat, and Cervantes (I tried to email this
answer to you guys, but I got bounced, so you may be seeing this for
the first time):
First of all thanks for answering my question.
Finally I know some more about Boyarsky's history. :-) Besides it was
a nice news on my (and my friends) site. :-)) Any way, you encouraged
me to mail some more questions:
1. The citizens of San Francisco often fight
with knives called "Shiv". I tried to use them, but it was
They're really shitty daggers - basically, their
big claim to fame was supposed to be (1) they would never be detected
as a weapon in hand if you approached someone (or entered a boxing match,
or fought in the ring against LoPan), and (2) they were easy to conceal
in case anyone searched you. There wasn't a way to pull off the "see
no evil" power, so we didn't implement it. As for being "searched,"
you don't get searched anywhere in the game (except at the Vault City),
so the shivs just ended up being really crappy knives - still, there
was plenty of places where shivs were thematically appropriate (New
Reno), so they're lying around in people's inventory.
2. Is it true, that Holly Hand Grenade can
be found in a regular encounter with a cave full of enemies?
I checked with Jason Suinn, the random encounter
designer from F2 (he also designed the encounter with King Arthur).
He says he doesn't think so - it's only available after the King Arthur
encounter, in a cave with an extremely dangerous rat.
We could be wrong and one may be accidentally
placed somewhere (we're still finding the solar scorcher in strange
places). If you guys have a savegame where this happens, let us know.
3. Why Miria (and I guess Davin too) don't
promote to higher levels?
Because they're terrible NPCs. Basically, they
were intended as a burden rather than a force to be reckoned with.
4. In NCR there is a doctor (I don't remember
his name) that works on an antidote for mutants. Unfortunately the antidote
is lethal. I'm curious who is that guy because, according to the dialog,
he seems to come from Enclave... or maybe he was just working there?
Dr. Henry used to work with the Enclave cyber-genetic
research program at the Poseidon oil rig and at various other Enclave
installations. In NCR, Dr. Henry claims he left because he felt his
"work wasn't being appreciated," which is true: his theories
on correcting the mutation in the Wasteland population were not popular
with the rest of the Enclave scientists, most notably one of his colleagues,
Dr. Schreber, who he worked with jointly on many genetic research projects
in the past. Dr. Henry was arguing with Schreber at the Navarro base
about the mutation problem for the five billionth time when Schreber,
in a fit of anger, told Henry he was going to recommend that Henry be
transferred to another Enclave facility where he would be put to work
on cybernetic maintenance (the equivalent of cybernetic janitorial duty).
Henry took the threat very seriously, and within hours, Dr. Henry stole
a cybernetic dog (cyberdog) and slipped away from the Navarro facility,
heading east and eventually making his way to NCR. The Enclave, while
not pleased with his attitude and the directions of his research, were
not happy with his escape (they need all the scientists they can get),
and several soldiers were punished for negligence. Schreber never confessed
to his role in Henry's disappearance, and simply claimed that Dr. Henry
had been acting suspicious for some
time, and was displaying “sympathies for the mainland mutants.”
5. Why such a large city like San Francisco
is not so well known as Vault City? The people there didn't seem to
isolate like VC citizens. I also don't understand why San Fran was avoided
by caravans though there was a lot of good stuff to buy.
It is actually well known (at least in the South),
you just don't see the caravans from San Francisco. San Francisco trades
fish to other cities in the wasteland. Mmmm, fish.
6. Now a question about Brotherhood of Steel.
How did they know my hero's name??? :-)
They're psychic, can read minds, consume human
beings and absorb their thoughts, and neurolink to computers like the
Master. No secret is safe from them.
I also have two more questions, but they are
not exactly from me. Some people sent such questions to my site and
now I have opportunity to finally find the answer. The first question
seems to be a "walk through question" but I'll ask it anyway.
:-) So... A guy named "Mat" asked about the second excavator
chip in Redding. Is there any way to
sell both chips?
There should only be one chip. If there are two,
then that's a bug. Let me know where you find the second one.
The second question is a real mystery for
me, because I only managed to verify that part of it. Someone called
"Cervantes" asked about the sixth toe gained in Toxic Caves,
which can be removed in Vault City. That part is clear but now is something
interesting... Cervantes says, that after he finished the game whores
in New Reno kept saying: "You really should use the mutated toe
on Horrigan" (to get full amount of points). Is it true or is Cervantes
just pulling my leg? :-]
It's just a joke; don't do it. It doesn't do
anything. Don't eat the toe, either, since I believe it poisons you.
A couple from Tom:
1. Whatever happened to the inhabitants of
The Sierra Army depot?
General Clifton and his troops evacuated the
base (sometime between July 10, 2077 and late October, 2077) and went
to join the remaining troops in neighboring installations or sent to
the front lines in China or Anchorage on a plane or ship before their
lives were reduced to ash by a rain of nuclear fire.
2. Who were the Sierra Army Depot soldiers
attacked by? Since when u get the robot to take out his body from a
tube he says "I got to get back to my squad!" Sadly he dies.
They were attacked either by hungry or striking
rioters in the United States (unlikely from Dobbs' description, however),
or they were deployed to China or Alaska, where they fought the Chinese.
Dobbs' unit was in Alaska when he was wounded and dumped in the meat
3. Why does he have a Red Ryder LE? I never
used the beebee guns because I thought they were weak. Were the enemies
weak or something?
The fact he is carrying the BB gun is a joke
(as well as the fact that he dies from post-cryogenic syndrome a few
seconds after popping out of the tank), but the gun itself isn't very
funny to anyone you shoot in the eye with it. It has a high chance of
doing some blood-curdling criticals and consistently does 25 points
of damage with every hit, I believe.
Two from Sergeant Josh Grant, whose current
tour of duty is Lead Tester on Icewind Dale 2, and has had nothing
but pleasing things to say about my design ability and comparing it
to the grace and style of a drunken monkey on a typewriter with several
1) The Fo1 manual has an ad in the back for
a GECK. When this ad was placed in the manual, was it already known
that this would be the key item in Fo2, or was it just coincidental?
No - from what Chris Taylor tells me, the GECK
was created by Jason Anderson and Leonard Boyarsky for the F1 manual
- it wasn't intended to be used in Fallout 2. But as far as a McGuffin
goes, it was there when it was needed. Hello, game logic.
2) Can the Fo1 vault dweller ever beat ZAX
From Jess Heinig, one of the Fallout
1 programmers, designers, and the one responsible for writing the
loveable machine intelligence:
To beat ZAX in chess, you must score a
critical success on an Intelligence check, and ZAX must fail its
check. Very, very rare circumstance. As I recall it might be scripted
so that it's also only possible if a character has a 10 INT, but
I may be mistaken -- it's been a while. None of the skills, except
perhaps Gambling, seemed really appropriate, so I decided to go
with straight stat check.
Some from Michael Jeppesen:
1. Once I ask Butch from the Far Go Traders
in the Hub about the Maltese Falcon, and he mentioned a girl named Hope,
a singer at the Maltese Falcon. When I looked at your newly released
concept art at Vault13.net, I noticed a character named Hope. I've never
been able to find this girl in the game. Why not? What role should this
character have played?
According to Scott Campbell, one of the original
designers for Fallout 1, Hope was supposed to be a singer at the Maltese
Falcon who was supposed to have some adventure seeds with the Hub underworld.
It didn't make it into the game, and there's no more information on
2. What do you need to do to save the Hub
from being slaugtered by the fleeing mutants in the end scene? I've
finished Fallout 1 once where the Hub survived the attack, and twice
where it was slaugtered; but to the best of my knowledge I did nothing
different when playing the game the second and the third time!
Beats me; I’ve forgotten. I think it’s a time
issue. If anyone out there reading this remembers, let me know. It could
be a bug.
One from Dmitri Polioutinne (not from
his mother, Nina Pastoukhova):
X. I've read all the updates and still I'm
curious about one thing. Why the Sierra Army Depot is not mentioned
at all? I think the Sierra Army Depot is not an insignificant part of
the game's plot. Just on the contrary I believe that it has something
to do with the F.E.V. experiments or with development of futuristic
weapons and armor. It doesn't look like it's just a weapons storage
facility. Otherwise why was it inserted into the game if it has no particular
reason?(or a place where one can find some stuff to sell and gain an
NPC(probably one of the best)) So my question is: What is the role of
the Sierra Army Depot in Fallout and what it has to do with the F.E.V.
experiments and weaponry development or maybe some kind of an artificial
First of all, the Sierra Army Depot was intended
to be a bonus location for the game, just a place to adventure that
wasn't tied to the main plot (kind of like the EPA, Abbey, and the Primitive
Village were supposed to be), except it made it in (as did Modoc, New
Reno, and to an extent, the Military Base, which, while it helps support
the plot, isn't critical path).
The Sierra Army Depot was used for the following
(primarily taken from Sierra Mission Statement Holodisk):
1. From 1942 - 1991, it was responsible for storing
various military munitions. This is true.
2. From 1992 - 2050, it was responsible for disposing
much of the obsolete munitions in storage. This is true.
3. From 2050 - 2076 is when the place started
getting creepy. It became a classified facility for robotic research
and development, and biological and conventional weapon testing. Skynet
(constructed primarily for research purposes) went on line in 2050,
and it is possible that the intelligence arranged all of this, but unlikely.
Again, Skynet is not its real name.
Robotic Research: Skynet is the first
machine intelligence to be developed in the Depot, and it was conceived
in 2050 (it didn't actually become aware until 2075, and it really started
cranking on developing a cybernetic brain to help it gain mobility).
In July of 2077, Skynet was "copied," creating two versions,
one to run the defenses and the other one to sit in the lab and wait
for the researchers to come back and help it finish the fucking cybernetic
brain it had spent so long developing.
BTW, the dates that Skynet lists for its
awareness and "final instructions" in Fallout 2 are
incorrect. It became self-aware in 2075, and it was abandoned
sometime in late July to early October in 2077. It is believed
that the dates and other numerical data within the facility may
be suffering from some damage or numeric decay in the base's internal
Biological Research: In addition to biological weapons and drug
testing, the Sierra Army Depot performed many illegal experimentations
on prisoners of war and military prisoners (especially U.S. military
prisoners and deserters – the ones that weren't used to "stock"
robobrains, however), attempting to enhance their intelligence and fighting
skills, but the chemical cocktails that the Sierra Depot crew were feeding
their subjects had nothing to do with the FEV research taking place
in West Tek and the Mariposa facility. Many of the brains extracted
in the Sierra Army Depot found their way into Robobrains throughout
the U.S. military.
Furthermore, the Sierra Army Depot kept many
prisoners and soldiers in stasis, most likely for medical or testing
purposes (such as Private Dobbs).
4. 2077 is when Skynet was made into a "multiple
personality" in order to oversee defense of the Sierra Depot as
General Clifton and his command pulled out of the base. It has been
sitting there in the darkness ever since, illuminated by tiny blinking
red diodes and the whirring of magnetic tape reels.
And because as mentioned before, no good question
can ever truly have an answer, here's another follow up from Dmitri
X. Besides I want to be aware of one more
thing.(Don't think I'm too insistent) Everybody's mentioning the EPA,
the Abbey and the Primitive Tribe(Village). Is there any possibility
of these additional locations ever being released or a crack to unpack
them? The data of this locations is included into the Master.dat, if
I'm not mistaken. So there must be a way to reveal them and make them
playable, right? I guess you know how it is valuable for the fans.
There wasn't ever anything designed for these
locations except for the 5-6 pages of the EPA summary which I've included
below - the locations don't actually exist in a data file anywhere in
a playable state or even a "50% finished" state. It's doubtful
we'll ever make them or release them to the public.
Here's a common question I get; it's from Evan
THE SHORT ANSWER ON HOW TO BE A GAME
This last question isn't going to be in the final version of the Bible,
BTW, I'm just posting it here since I get this question a lot.
I am an avid gamer and fan of roleplaying
games that wishes to enter the industry, but have limited appreciation
of graphic design and programming. My primary interest,
instead, rests along the lines of story-line and world creation, in
classic roleplaying fashion.
Now, this would seem to make entering the
gaming industry difficult: few games really seem to have a great focus
on excellent and well-executed storytelling, which would seem to note
a limited demand. Further, how would I make contact with companies to
establish myself? Fan fiction is a lovely thing, but I've never heard
of a fan fiction writer being drafted, more or less, to work in a gaming
You can see my problem.
My questions are as such: what degrees or
experience would be preferred if I am going to attempt entry as a story-line
writer or level designer, as a story-line writer would likely also become?
Additionally, how would I establish contacts within the industry or
companies that would have need for interested and able writers?
Well, first off, if you're interested in story
and world creation, I would recommend trying to get established in the
pen and paper game industry or in books or novels - game design requires
a love of game mechanics, lists, and tons upon tons of rule sets. If
you're interested in computer game designing, then here's what we look
for/what you should focus on:
1. A love of RPGs.
2. A critical eye for RPGs (and preferably, other
games as well), including feel, interface, pacing, weapon balance, level
design, and so on. Play a lot of them and be able to tell what you like
and don't about each game. The more specific, the better.
3. Good design skills - not only do you notice
the elements mentioned above, but you can also implement them well.
Know and recognize game cliches.
4. Good writing skills - when not actually arguing
and throwing feces at each other through our cage bars, a large portion
of a game designer's job is design documentation or writing 5000 emails.
That means you need good technical writing skills and an ability to
organize your thoughts. You need to be able to pass a document off to
audio, QA, marketing, the programming staff, and an artist, and they
should be able to find out whatever information they need just by looking
at the document.
If you want to prep for a job in the game design
field, I'd suggest the following:
1. Play a lot of games and analyze what you like
and don't like about them. If you interview for a game company, that'll
always be part of the interview questions, and having smart answers
ready beforehand helps them determine if you'll be a good developer
2. You should play a lot of games, but just as
importantly, watch a lot of other people play games. Pay attention to
how the game is played, especially the interface and menus and the means
by which the player interacts with the game. When you do, you’ll quickly
start seeing what irritates players and what they enjoy - keep a running
log in your head of successful ideas used in games and what made them
3. If a game comes with level or map editors,
play around with them, try out levels or scenarios with your friends
and use that as an acid test for your work. There are tons of editors
out there, like the level editors for Quake, Starcraft, Warcraft, Arcanum,
Neverwinter Nights, or any others you can get your hands on. Put your
levels or mods up on the net, get critiques, and try to make a name
for yourself as a good level or map designer before you even go to a
game company - it helps when the interviewer's already seen your work
on the internet and perhaps even played one of your levels.
4. Persistence and enthusiasm mean a lot in the
game industry, so if you get knocked down once, just get back up and
try again. You’ll get noticed.
5. If you're looking for college classes to take,
I'd suggest some creative writing courses, maybe a little bit of programming
and art, and any classes that deal with interface design or layout for
computer programs. Learn how to write critically and technically, and
become familiar with Microsoft Word.
6. A lot of designers did not start out as designers.
If you want a door into the game industry, try manual writing, web design,
quality assurance, or any of a bunch of other jobs in the game industry.
Make your interest in becoming a designer known, and if you have the
skills, somebody should give you a chance.
P.S. I've a question for the Fallout Bible,
by the way:
1) Most classic theories on nuclear war include
a nuclear winter after the attack, where particulates in the atmosphere
cause a substantial drop in temperature,along with snowing, freezing
and the like. There is a 'Great Winter' listed in the Fallout timeline,
but it doesn't immediately follow the nuclear exchange. Was or wasn't
there a nuclear winter? If not, why not? If so, why wasn't it mentioned
before? Mind, it is quite possible I missed mention of it. Presumably,
though, it would have had some sustained impact on the world.
Nope, I just assumed there was a nuclear winter
and that was a bad assumption - I just assumed with hundreds of bombs
flying around a nuclear winter was pretty inevitable, but I don't think
one ever occurred in the Fallout universe.
As for why not, I don't know enough about nuclear
warfare at the moment to say why not - I'll make the assumption that
the nuclear warheads used in the Fallout universe were of comparable
tonnage to the nukes in the real world (early) 1950s era, in which case,
many of them could have been used without causing a massive blackout.
If someone out there with real nuclear warfare knowledge, however, can
illuminate Evan and I, I'd appreciate it, and I'll make you the BIG
WINNER for next time.
Some questions from Per Jorner:
About the Elder aftermath text: first it says
she lived on "for many years", then that she "passed
away a few months later". Is that an inconsistency, or did she
live many years and then a few months and then she died? :)
She dies a few months after Arroyo is established,
which takes many years, once they figure out how to make their GECK
2 questions (not the ones I'd most like the
answers to, but just off the top of my head):
1. Could you dig up the floating dialogue
that Melchior Sr. blurts in the Military Base?
Here you go; I only include it here, because
when I run Fallout 2 in Windows NT, it flashes by too fast for me to
read, so if anybody else out there is having the same problem, here
Approach no further! Melchior the
Magnificent commands you.
Behold, I am the greatest magician
in the world.
Tremble before the might of Melchior
My pets will feast on your bones!
2. Is the Professor in Broken Hills the same
as the missing Shi researcher mentioned in the biology database?
No. Professor Sheng is unaccounted for. Poor
3. In John Deiley's answer to a Goris question,
the statement that "the intelligence gene was made male specific
and dominant" doesn't make a lot of sense from a genetic
standpoint, but I suppose that's science fiction.
Hey, I'm still trying to figure out how to explain
the physics of the Hydroelectric Magnetosphere Regulator.
Oh, if you go through Vault City with an Intelligence
of 4, you'll notice that your character won't always understand some
of the bigger words the Vault Citizens are spitting out.
On the topic of real-world names in Fallout,
I think they're neat. I like to open an atlas and look for places in
Wasteland and Fallout 2, and it must be absolutely mind-boggling to
be a Fallout 2 player and actually live in Klamath Falls or something.
I guess Tim & crew thought so, too, or they
just felt like doing it for some other reason. I don't really know what
the decision was behind it.
A thesis and a big "hey!" from Krzysztof
I just downloaded and read the two Bibles
- part 0 and part 5, and I have some questions about Fallout...
Just wait 'til you read this update.
1) Why the cows in Fallout 2 when touched
(to move them) are dropping down on the ground? Why does it happen after
some 'shaking' which looks like taking damage from
gunshot? Why is it not possible to move them all?
It's supposed to simulate the great sport of
2) Do perks like Sexpert or Kamasutra Master
make any difference? There is not so many possibilities to have sex
in Fallout 2. :-(
I think it allows you to automatically
get the best response from Mrs. Bishop as well as allow you to become
a Porn Star without a problem - Tom French (one of our programmers)
set it up, so I'm not absolutely sure. It is of limited usefulness,
and I wouldn't recommend taking it in a serious life-and-death game
- or if you are a gaming munchkin.
3) What the hell happened to Vault 15??? [Two
maps were included, showing the two versions of V15 side by side] The
question is long and complex, so I added two images to the email to
make it a bit more understandable...
(Since I’m not including the images, the images
show Vault 15 from F1 and Vault 15 from F2 – obviously, there are some
big structural differences.) Beats me. I’ll ask the designer. It was
probably changed because of designer caveat/privilege/whatever; there’s
no documentation on it. However, if I recall correctly, Tandi does say
that Vault 15 was occupied by NCR "a couple of years" before
the Squatters drove out the guards. It's possible they did some excavation
and maintenance over the past eighty years - especially while building
NCR, but that WOULD BE GUESSING.
a) Do the 'original' people from community
of Shady Sands come from Vault 15? President Tandi says something like:
"We need some parts from our old Vault". Is she lying, or
the Aradesh didn't want to tell the original Vault Dweller anything
'bout it. As far as I remember after telling him, that the character
is from one Vault he says something like: "Wanderer, I shall believe
you, for now" - the 'standard' answer.
Yes, most of them. There are exceptions, like
Ian. I don't know why Aradesh didn't mention Vault 15; I suspect he
tends to be pretty reserved and suspicious of strangers. As for "Wanderer,
I shall believe you, for now," Aradesh is just commenting on that
he's not sure whether he believes the player is from a Vault. It doesn't
jive, I know, especially after you help his daughter, but there you
Just as a detour/side note into game logic so
you can see it from a development perspective, voice acting is a double-edged
sword. It's cool to hear the characters speaking, but it can cause problems,
not just because of expense, but because (1) what you record is what
you get, (2) it has to be done several months before the game ships
so that audio can clean it and you can lip sync it to the characters,
and (3) Ron Perlman is very scary in person. The problem occurs is that
you can't always anticipate every spoken line of dialogue you may need
for the game - that's why occasionally you'll get some "Tell Me
About" responses for some of the spoken characters that do not
have any voice attached to them.
Also, if you've ever wondered why certain voice
acted characters in the Fallout game tell you to go to their assistants
to receive rewards, that's why - it's easier to modify their non-voice-acted
assistants than them.
i) If we're talking bout Aradesh, why does
he look like General Maxson? Are they family or what??
I think they were both done by Scott Rodenheizer,
and he has a certain style in how he sculpts heads - they may have even
been the same head. I don't know.
b) Why the Vault 15 from F2 is not the Vault
we remember from F1? I mean the following: i) The cave entries look
completely different. Chech one of the images - the blue color (on both)
shows the walls in F1, the green - in F2.
In F2 you can go into the cave from one of the
houses in The Squat, or through the elevator in the mountain. In F1
there is only one way in - from old shack, through a
manhole in the floor. There is also no mention about any mountain nor
hill. So - what happened there??? You probably also noticed the differencies
in the caves' looks and
'construction' - some new halls and rooms were added.
To recap from above or below (images not replicated),
I can't remember:
(Since I’m not including the images, the
images show Vault 15 from F1 and Vault 15 from F2 – obviously,
there are some big structural differences.) Beats me. I’ll ask
thedesigner. It was probably changed because of designer privilege;
there’s no documentation on it. However, if I recall correctly,
Tandi does say that Vault 15 was occupied by NCR "a couple
of years" before the Squatters drove out the guards. It's
possible they did some excavation and maintenance over the past
eighty years - especially while building NCR, but that WOULD BE
ii) The third level is also different. All
the rocks were dug out - but how? In F1 you see slt: 'it is impossible
to move the rocks, even with best explosives'. Does it mean: 'one person
is unable to do that work, but many hands for many days may be able
to do it'??
It's most likely a case of designer privilege/caveat/whatever.
It's possible a mining and excavation team with drilling and excavation
tools backed by the Republic working over several months can do it (since
they were there for many decades before the squatters showed up) - but
I don't know for sure; that's just a guess - or a "retro-explanation
for something that defies explanation."
iii) In F1 there were two elevators. One on
lvls 1-2, second - - from 2-3. It is NOT possible to rebuild the elevator
shafts, or am I just mistaken?? ;-]
Again, a case of designer privilege/caveat/game
logic; the designer most likely just needed them rebuilt, but it could
have been done with ropes down the shafts. I imagine (and WARNING: this
is speculation only) that if there had been an NCR excavation team,
they may have gotten the shafts operational again somehow (especially
to haul out heavy computer equipment, or to get heavy drilling equipment
downstairs). But that would be reaching - I can't find any reason for
the change, and there may not have been one except for the purposes
of designer privilege/caveat/whatever.
4) Has Cassidy ever had a wife or girlfriend??
Tons. And sometimes both at the same time. It's
why he has a bad heart.
5) What kind of tree is growing out of Harold's
head? An oak, "the larch", or something else??
It's a completely new species of tree, no Pre-War
equivalents, and it's never been classified. It's unique and special,
just like Harold.
6) How about water creatures? Are there whales
in Fallout universe? The crashed one surely existed. ;-] How about sharks,
other fish species, lobsters (I think they should mutate similarly to
There's fish, seaweed, and algae, but no known
sightings of other fishy creatures, including sharks and lobsters. If
for fan fiction purposes you wanted to include lobstrosities like in
The Drawing of the Three, knock yourself out.
Presumably, aquatic life probably fared better
than most of the land-based species, but no one has done research on
how FEV or radiation may have affected them, if at all.
Oh, the whale in F2 doesn't count, since it fell from orbit.
Some from Michael Roellinghoff (if I got
your name wrong, I apologize).
I've been playing through FO2 again, and I
noticed in the NCR Holodisk that there is reference to a number of cities,
most of them are recognizable, except for "Maxson". I take
it this city is named after the various Brotherhood Maxsons - so what's
the story? Did they settle down and make a larger town? I can hardly
imagine the Brotherhood of Steel doing this, let alone for some city
like the NCR.
Secondly, in FO1 Tandi is of East Indian decent
but in Fallout 2 she is clearly white. And has a Texan accent. Also,
what happened religiously in NCR? I know it was supposed to be a intentionally
mixed Vault ethnically, but they seem to be Hubologists (and there are
a lot of crosses around in general).
Well, Aradesh has East Indian influences about
him, but I don't know about Tandi's mother, since she kicked the bucket
before the game starts. She has darker skin in F1 than F2 most likely
because when 2 rolls around, she's ancient and she spends a LOT more
time indoors. As for shedding Dharma's teaching, Tandi loved her father,
but didn't always agree with him, and I imagine religion was no exception.
The designers for NCR, Zeb Cook and John Deiley, felt that with the
huge brahmin trade, NCR would gain some Texan color and slang (I think
Zeb just lived in Texas too long that the region was burned into his
skull), so Tandi's speech is roughened up as a result of 80+ years of
brahmin-driving influences. There you go.
Religiously - while Aradesh believe in the teachings
of Dharma, Tandi always believed in the separation of church and state
- and resisted any attempts to canonize the Vault Dweller within the
city limits (the statue's fine, but that's it). Both Aradesh and Tandi
found politics and religion don't mix, especially when they got more
exposure to the people of the Hub and visits from a few well-spoken
members of the Followers of the Apocalypse.
In any event, the NCR allows any non-psychotic
religions within their capitol (they are all for freedom of religion,
as long as it doesn't involve human sacrifice or dipping people in Vats)
and the crosses were just holdovers from Fallout 1 scenery. It is quite
likely that the members of Shady Sands were Catholic, but as a general
rule, you have to be careful about bringing real world religions into
games from a development standpoint - it's worse than profanity in the
"Top Ten List of Things People Will Get Up in Arms About."
That said, the Hubologists have no relation
to Scientology. Any coincidences between the two groups are just that,
coincidences. One last thing, from a development/game logic standpoint,
the Hubologist was mostly in NCR to allow you to access the Hubologists
in San Francisco later on, much like Jain in the Hub in Fallout 1.
Thirdly, is there going to be any reference
to what happened elsewhere? Like Canada or China or Europe perhaps?
There were a number of dots on the world map in the Enclave war room?
Are these other US bases?
Nothing on any other countries that hasn't already
been mentioned in the Bible, at least, not for some time. The dots on
the map wall were either Enclave bases, "sites of interest"
for the Enclave, special monitoring stations, or just flashing red dots
placed there for ambiance. I'm betting on the latter.
Finally, I was doing some research into nuclear
winters. South America as a whole doesn't have many natural resources,
so would likely not be involved with the Great War (never has been a
major player, never will be), and because of it's far-south location,
it will be spared from a lot of the nuclear fallout and pretty much
all of the effects of the nuclear winter. What is South America's status
in the Fallout world?
Well, the author of The Last Ship agrees with
you; South America probably didn't get involved or hit as bad, but I
won't be covering any specifics in the Bible, at least not anytime soon.
Whoever asked about penguins in the last update
should probably check out The Last Ship, too, since the author dwells
on the topic of penguin's survival quite a bit. Somebody I forgot the
name of asked this:
What does the yellow reactor key card do?
Last I heard, it was supposed to either (1) do
something to the nuclear bomb in the Enclave, or (2) do something to
the reactor in Gecko. Whatever it was, I don’t think it made it in –
but I need to shanghai a programmer to make sure. They all stopped talking
to me since I turned into a raving lunatic during Icewind Dale 2,
so it may take a while for me to hunt them down and place them in interrogation
BTW, the talking deathclaws were destroyed at the end of Fallout 2.
Xarn and Goris did not go on to create a new species. They are gone.
Kaput. Goodbye. In fact, any mutant animal that talks can safely be
assumed to have died at the end at the exact minute that Fallout 2 was
Any last words, talking animals?
I thought not.
A HISTORY OF DEATHCLAWS
And for you Deathclaw-lovers and all of those who love Fallout: Tactics…
Did you know Deathclaws originally had hair?
Do you know what Deathclaws were originally modeled
after? And no, I don’t mean the “Shadowclaws” in Wasteland.
Wait for the next update for the exciting answers
and concept art! You’ll get to see the dark underbelly of development
at its finest!
MORE ON HORRIGAN
Oh, I checked with the designer for Horrigan (Matt Norton, one of the
lead designers for F2), and the deal is:
1. He's a new model of super mutant, even bigger,
stronger, and faster than other super mutants. He's like New, Improved
2. Not only was he exposed to FEV, but he was
also given controlled injections of a modified version of FEV to make
him a complete muscle-bound jerkoff.
3. He can't survive outside his armor. The armor
continually injects him with drugs and other stabilizing agents. Ha
ha ha, Frank.
4. Frank Horrigan is also a reference to Clint
Eastwood's character in "In the Line of Fire." Let the pop
culture flaming begin.
5. He is the secret service agent that the Chemical
Corps officer in the Enclave mentions as having being experimented on.
Here’s a summary of NCR and the Brotherhood of
Steel for anyone who cares or who doesn’t know what the hell “NCR” and
“BOS” mean and why they’re there; WARNING: This is just a summary for
the moment, not the end-all, be-all of the New California Republic.
Flag design courtesy of Matt Norton, from Fallout 2.
CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC NCR Summary: The New California Republic (NCR) is a government
on the rise from its modest beginnings in the village of Shady Sands
in Fallout 1, almost eighty years ago. The NCR capitol (Pop: 3000+)
is west of the Rockies, in the middle-eastern portion of California
(almost straight east inland from San Francisco). The NCR is arguably
the largest power group in the world of Fallout, and maintains the largest
Government: The government of NCR is much
like the Pre-War United States, with a House of Congress staffed by
elected representatives (Congressmen elected by their states). These
representatives decide upon the President and Vice-President to head
the council and govern the republic - under advice from the representatives,
of course (NCR, at the time, has no existing term limits - Tandi was
currently serving her tenth year at the beginning of Fallout 2). The
titles for these representatives have ranged from "Councilor,"
"Counselor," "Councilman," "Representative,"
"Senator," and in particular, the Hub (in its own obstinate
way) prefers to call their representatives "Governors." (There
is a lot of friction between the Hub and Shady for a variety of reasons,
usually related to trade rights and caravan routes.) In any event, all
titles are recognized and accepted outside of the council chambers,
but within the chambers, the titles are occasionally used as insults
and spark furious debates - nothing more than petty displays of each
state trying to exert its independence.
NCR has outlawed slavery in their territories,
have one of the best and largest standing armies in the wastes, and
have benefited under their current President, Tandi, who has been with
the Republic since she was a young girl in Shady Sands (see History,
below). On the plus side, the NCR has outlawed slavery in their territories,
has attempted to bring civilization and law back to the wasteland, and
they don't (openly) discriminate against ghouls and mutants.
There is little to no sexism in NCR (unlike most
other territories in the wastes), most likely due to the community's
origins in Vault 15 and because of Tandi's extended presidency. The
republic also has shown little discrimination against ghouls and mutants,
though many political analysts argue that this is because NCR has had
limited contact with them (NCR had little contact with Necropolis or
the Master's Army).
The NCR military is composed of several Divisions,1
including special cavalry and mechanized units. One of their "Special
Forces" units consists of the Rangers, a select group that is pledged
to protect the people of the Wastes much like the Texas Rangers of old.
The Rangers are said to have numerous safehouses throughout the wastes,
and they use these to strike at slavers outside of NCR territory (usually
in the North). As expected, the two groups hate each other with a passion.
NCR was also in the habit of establishing marshals in the major population
centers in their territories, responsible for enforcing the laws of
NCR throughout the Republic. Ghouls, super mutants, and humans were
all known to serve in the NCR armed forces, even in the rangers.
Although nearly hitting a hundred years of age,
Tandi has done more to unite the people of the wastes than any other
leader born from the ashes of the Great War, and she is revered as a
saint and even a "Great Mother" by some of the tribals outside
of the Republic territories. Tandi’s State of the Republic messages
were famous for inspiring countless people to join the “service” and
rebuild civilization.2 Under her rule, the republic
has grown, and she has focused efforts on rebuilding the pre-war infrastructure
to support the growing population, finding new forms of transportation
and manufacturing, clearing roadways and rail lines, building forts,
fostering caravans and trade in the republic (and with other territories),
and dealing with threats swiftly and efficiently. In all her years,
she has never forgotten her roots in the small village of Fallout 1,
and she has always strived to put the welfare of the common man above
the wheels of progress.
When people talk about "good people,"
Tandi's good people.
Common NCR Laws include:
No weapons may be carried openly within the city limits.
Public drunkenness and drug use is grounds for arrest.
Slavery, gambling, and prostitution are not permitted within the
These laws were more relaxed in the outlying
settlements, but became more rigidly enforced the closer one came to
a major NCR population center.
History: The New California Republic was
born out of the remnants of the survivors of Vault 15, a sister vault
to Vault 13 that opened earlier and released its occupants out onto
the wasteland. Abandoning their vault (after scavenging most of what
they could from the surviving technology and collapsed lower levels),
the former residents of Vault 15 founded the small walled community
of Shady Sands, a town midway between Vault 13 and 15. In the period
of Fallout 1, this community was led by Aradesh, and his daughter, Tandi,
eventually rose to become president of the sprawling New California
Republic in Fallout 2. (Without the efforts of the Vault Dweller in
F1, however, the raiders in the region - the Khans - would have claimed
Shady Sands and stamped out the republic before it even got started).
At the time of Fallout 2, NCR's main resource is its great brahmin herds,
which provides most of the wasteland with as much meat and leather as
they require. The brahmin barons and ranchers in NCR (along with the
Stockmen's Association) hold a great deal of sway with the caravans
and the government.
The NCR's relationship with their old Vault has
undergone some violent upheavals over the years. From nests of monsters,
raiders, Vault 15 worshippers, ghoul scavengers, to more innocent (and
not-so-innocent) Squatters and Salvage Teams and the Republic arguing
over excavation rights, it seems to be difficult for the government
or any other inhabitant of the wasteland to leave the area alone...
because, well, it's a Vault.
The brahmin herders hatred of radscorpions is
famous, and it dates all the way back to the founding of Shady Sands.
Rumors of herds being attacked by talking deathclaws are unfounded.
The Hard Sell: NCR has a decent marketing
and public relations department, and they are constantly sending couriers
out into the wastes to nail up NCR posters or disseminate NCR propaganda.
Here’s a transcript of the NCR sell sheet in
NEW CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC
We’re Here! Why not join us?
There’s a wonderful future ahead
– and it could be yours with the New California Republic!
But what is it, you want to know?
HOW BIG IS NCR?
Founded eighty years ago, the NCR is now comprised of the states
of Shady, Los Angeles, Maxson, Hub, and Dayglow. Approximately
700,000 citizens are pleased to call NCR home.3
WHAT DOES NCR STAND FOR?
The New California Republic is dedicated to bringing peace,
security and justice to the people of the great west. NCR’s
fine police forces constantly patrol and arrest any raiders,
cannibals, slavery ("slavers" - ed), and lawless mutants
within the country, and the NCR army valiantly protects the
borders against outside marauders. To ensure justice and liberty,
all citizens have access to NCR’s courts and the right to vote
for a representative of their choice to sit in the Hall of Congress.
In the words of President Tandi, “A safe people is a strong
WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE? NCR may be a bit different from what you’re used to. There
are no chieftains, town bosses, kings, or dictators here. Our
leaders are elected by the people! That’s right -- every state
has the right to send representatives to the Hall of Congress.
These representatives select the President and Vice-President
to head the council and it is their advice which guides the
President’s decisions. For ten terms now, President Tandi has
been the unanimous choice of the council, who respect her wisdom
SOUNDS GREAT! HOW DO I JOIN THE
All law-abiding and peaceful people, human or mutant, are eligible
to become citizens of NCR. To become a citizen all you have
to do is move to NCR and present your claim for immigration.
After citizenship training and processing your application,
you will be notified of your new status as a PC (Provisional
Citizen). From there, it’s only a short step to full citizenship!
Of course, NCR is not for everybody
– slavers, unreformed mutants, known raiders, and other undesirables
need not apply!
BUT I WHAT IF MY ENTIRE TOWN WANTS
Depending on where your town is located, NCR does accept petitions
by villages, towns, bases, city-states, even minor kingdoms
for annexation by NCR. Once the petition is accepted, NCR will
grant your town territorial status. Once the needed police and
army presence is established and any banditry or other lawlessness
has been dealt with, your village can apply for full statehood
in the NCR. It’s that simple!
So remember – WE’RE HERE. WHY NOT
Prepared by the New California Relations
NCRAP Pub. #A7-7893b
NCR Regulations: Oh, and to recap, here's
a listing of NCR laws from Fallout 2:
Welcome to the New California
Republic! Before entering our fair city please take a
moment to familiarize yourself with the following rules and
No weapons may be openly carried inside
the city limits.
Persons found under the influence of
alcohol or drugs will be arrested.
Slavery, gambling, and prostitution
are not permitted within city limits.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
A dumbass will get his/her butt kicked just as fast as a smartass.
If you can’t live by these laws – then
get the hell out cause we don’t want you here!
More on NCR to come – the above is just an introduction.
Just like the following is for the Brotherhood of Steel (and again,
this is not the end-all, be-all, it's just laying a foundation):
1. These “divisions” are notably smaller than modern-day Divisions
by several factors. While NCR can field a large number of troops
compared to most other communities in the wasteland, they would
be nothing more than a drop in the bucket to Pre-War Divisions.
2 “Nothing will ever break up our home,” Tandi proclaimed
in her second State of the Republic address. “We will create a new
future- without the mistakes of the past.” Political jargon blah
blah blah - but with heart! 3 These population figures are
exaggerated, though the population of NCR and all its states is
pretty impressive. It has been known tovary according to plot purposes.
BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL
The Brotherhood of Steel: The Brotherhood of Steel (BOS) is a techno-religious
organization, with roots in the US military and government-sponsored
scientific community from before the war. The BOS is mostly composed
of the descendents of those military officers, soldiers, and scientists,
but aside from some outlanders among their ranks, the BOS is as close
to pure strain humanity (prime normals) as you're going to find outside
of a Vault.
The ranks of the BOS is generally recognized
as being composed of the best and the brightest... which means the BOS
is a really small organization, at least compared to NCR. They make
up for this with their frightening arsenal of pre-war and post-war technology:
They have laser weapons, power armor, surgical enhancements, combat
implants, and a squad of Brotherhood Knights have the ability to erase
an entire town from a map without a scratch.
The Brotherhood are generally good guys, but
they have their faults - (1) they don't care for mutants, (2) they worship
technology, and in many cases, put it above human life, and (3) they
don't like to share their choicest technological bits, despite the obvious
benefits their technology could bring to the wasteland. It’s commonly
accepted within the Brotherhood that the people of the wasteland are
not responsible enough to use (and maintain) all of the technology the
BOS has at their disposal. They are known trade some of their technologies
with frontier communities and NCR states, but they keep the more sensitive
technologies to themselves.
It is believed that the current HQ of the BOS
is the Lost Hills bunker in Fallout 1, but at the time of Fallout 2,
the BOS is spread across the wastes in small bunkers and installations
hidden from the eyes of common folk – finding them all and wiping them
out would be a difficult and dangerous task.
The BOS is divided into different ranks: Initiates
are trainees who are expected to perform well enough in the training
process to be promoted to Squires. After proving themselves,
Squires are promoted to Knights. After many years of service
and experience, the best Knights are promoted to Paladins - the
pinnacle of the Brotherhood military. Paladins who survive to their
later years become Elders, and they number among the Brotherhood
It is also possible to serve the Brotherhood
as a Scribe. Scribes are responsible for copying the ancient
technologies, maintaining the current technology and even experimenting
with new weapons and other useful devices. Scribes rarely leave the
safety of the BOS bunkers, but they are sometimes called into the field
to examine a piece of technology or perform a task beyond the skills
of the Brotherhood soldiers.
It is said that the BOS symbol, broken down,
represents each of these orders. The sword represents the Paladins,
the wings represent the Elders (the “wings” control the movement of
the sword), the large gear represents the Knights, and the two smaller
gears represent the Scribes and the Squires, whose services keep the
Knights supplied with the information and the manpower to get their
jobs done. No one is sure what the circle means, however.
Squires may be only in Fallout: Tactics
(I don't recall "Squires" in Fallout 1, but my memory is hazy),
and if so, replace the "Squires" with "Initiates"
in the symbolic breakdowns.
More on BOS to come – the above is just an introduction.
Here’s that segment on the EPA that I mentioned before:
The Environmental Protection Agency
is a bonus location for Fallout 2. It’s full of an odd assortment of
puzzles, fighting, and various weird adventure “seeds” (literally),
including, but not limited to:
1A. A parking lot jungle replete with
several varieties of spore plants.
2A. A bizarre petting zoo. Filled with humans. Hungry humans.
3A. Sub-levels filled with exciting varieties
of poisonous gases and virus-laden mutant fruit flies.
4A. A small government museum complete
with dioramas! The exhibits on post-holocaust America are especially
5A. A storage room full of new seeds
for Arroyo. Some seeds grow into bad things.
6A. An entourage of custodial peevish
holograms that provide tours and bursts of incidental binary
7A. Various NPCs on “ice” (in hibernation).
8A. Computers filled with information
on crop rotation and the F.E.V. virus.
9A. A clinically depressed Mr. Handee
and a hyperactive drug-making appliance for Science characters.
The EPA was supposed to use the Vault City/Vault
13 tile set for interiors (bright white, like original vault). Special
scenery objects include an EPA parking lot sign, and color-coded symbols
on the walls, running the whole range of the rainbow.
Can of Dog Food (a la Mad Max)
Pop-Rocks (if you drink water with them, you will explode in a horrible
EPA Government Power Cell
Bug Spray Canister (kills all insects instantly)
Plant Spray Canister (kills all spore plants instantly)
Solar Scorcher (this was its original location)
The EPA is 4 maps large. These maps are small, and these “levels” often
share the same map.
Entrance Level (Office Building)
Level Red (Security, Public Relations, Museum)
Level Orange (Blood-Curdling Cafeterias and Sinister Conference Rooms)
Level Yellow (Power Core)
Level Green (Animal and Biological Testing; Arboretums and Cages of
Level Blue (Hibernation)
Level Indigo (Top Secret Research into Gender Modification)
Level Violet (Memory Core)
The breakdowns of map flow is listed below:
MAJOR ADVENTURE SEEDS
Carnivorous Jungle: The player
has to navigate a jungle filled with Venus Mantraps. This isn’t as much
an adventure seed as a combat-based necessity in order to enter the
EPA in the first place.
Hologram War: The player
can encounter some of the custodial holograms that still fill the EPA
corridors. They were mostly used as tour guides while the EPA was still
in operation, but ever since the “Big Silence/Great Static” following
the “Big Flash,” they have become somewhat warped in their duties. They
have taken the bureaucratic mentality to a lethal extreme, imposing
regulation and regulation upon each other until they have become gridlocked
in their duties and can no longer function. The heads of each division
are currently arguing ad nauseum in one of the EPA conference rooms
because the presence of a powerful magnetic field that keeps erasing
their short-term memories (they keep repeating the same argument every
five minutes, forget everything they say, then repeat it again). Only
by fixing the problem with the magnetic coils, interrupting the conversation
and ordering them to stop can the player stop the gridlock.
Holograms can only be destroyed
by an EMP grenade, or by stealing or destroying the EPA power core in
Gas-Filled Level: One of
the levels is filled with poisonous gas. If the player wanders around
this level, he will take considerable damage every round until he leaves
or dies. A player can either make brief “hops” onto the level to steal
things from the labs there or else find an oxygen mask hidden on one
of the lower levels that allows him to breathe freely as long as he
has it in one of his two hands.
Ventilation Horror: In order
to get access to the main EPA complex, the player has to navigate a
series of ventilation shafts where he can only use small weapons against
the inhabitants of the ventilation shaft: Giant Mantises, Small Scorpions,
and the occasional man-eating plant.
Static “Zzzzzt”: The player
discovers one malfunctioning hologram that speaks only in static (like
a fast food drive through speaker). If the player repairs the holograms
projector (or slows down his speech), he can learn some important codes
or other information.
Mr. Chemmie! The player discovers
a small appliance in one lab (Mr. Chemmie) that takes various raw materials
(plants, beer, condoms, chemicals, garbage, Scorpion tails) and turns
them into various pharmaceuticals like RadX, Mentats, RadAway, and so
on. The player can experiment with the machine to create certain drugs
or bizarre substances. Characters with a high Intelligence, Luck, or
a high Doctor or Science skill can create special drugs that no other
Mr. Chemmie always “speaks” in exclamation
The Brave Little Toaster: In
one of the abandoned kitchens in the EPA is a small, intelligent toaster
with an IQ of 6000. All of its brain power is focused towards convincing
humans to make toast.4 Dialogues with it will be
somewhat one-sided, as the player will ask it a question, and it will
respond with some question about whether the player will like toast
While the toaster seems like just
an incidental piece of strangeness, the toaster does happen to mention
in its dialogue (almost in passing) that it is broken and can’t access
everything it needs to in order to successfully make toast. If the player
repairs it, then the toaster can provide him with the following: the
secret code for the vault in one of the New Reno casinos (which is otherwise
near-unopenable), some secret codes for jinxing the slot machines out
of their cash, and some other bonus items.
ABACAB: One of the computers
in the EPA mentions a simple cure for epilepsy. Apparently, by repeating
a series of letters with the proper inflections, a listener can be cured
of either autism or epilepsy. If the player discovers this and goes
to New Reno and says the code phrase to the Barking Man (who didn't
make it into the game, so I put him in Planescape: Torment), then he
will be cured and gives the player a minor reward (in addition to the
minor experience award).
No News of a Thaw: The player
may discover some hibernation cells in the lower levels of the EPA,
and depending on what “type” of character he is (combat, stealth, or
diplomatic), he can free one of three hibernating humans that have been
preserved since the great silence.
Hologram 00000, Director of Science:
A brilliant hologram that can’t express himself properly… an electrical
short has damaged his vocal abilities, and now he can only communicate
through displaying binary numbers (a character with a high Science or
Intelligence can ‘read’ the binary codes, decipher what he is saying
and fix him).
Hologram 10001, Director of Security:
A gung-ho marine hologram who peppers his speech with a lot of crude
German phrases. He believes that everything in the complex should be
killed and then the EPA allowed to “reboot.” Fortunately, he can no
longer command any of the robots, all the weapon defenses have run out
of ammo, and all he can really do is bluster about how much he would
like to destroy everything if he was in charge. If the player performs
some tasks for this Director, they can get access to the Security Locker
Rooms, which holds some old ammo, weapons, and some armor.
Hologram 12001, Director of Operations:
A weasely, nervous-smiled male hologram. Only characters with a high
Intelligence can make out what the hell he is saying since he uses so
much doubletalk. Nothing can be gotten out of this director, since he
has no authority over anything.
Hologram 10031, Director of Ground
Maintenance: A frustrated hologram who is in charge of all the ground
maintenance at the EPA. The fact he has no physical body and none of
the robots do anything he says has forced him to operate at 100% inefficiency
for the past few decades. The other directors always bring this up whenever
they can. If the player fixes the robots or takes care of some of the
gardening and landscaping problems around the EPA (killing the lethal
plants), the Director will “hire” them, allowing them access to the
EPA medical cabinet and storage shed (which contains new seeds, chemicals,
herbs, and various insecticides and weed killers).
Hologram 40011, Director of Public
Relations: This sexy-sounding (yet somehow prim and proper at the
same time) hologram is in charge of all the tours and press releases.
Her syrupy-sweet attitude and her constant stream of press releases
gets annoying really fast. Nonetheless, the player cannot get to certain
areas of the EPA complex without her… there are some portions of the
complex that will only open if she leads the way (mostly the museums
and petting zoo). Characters with a high diplomatic skill can get much
more out of her than other characters.
There are no secondary characters.
It’s all or nothing in the cutthroat world of the EPA.
Zzzzzt: A malfunctioning
hologram that speaks only in static until he is repaired. When repaired,
he is quite relieved and can provide the player with information on
various mysterious objects in the EPA sub-levels, along with codes that
allow access to restricted areas.
Brave Little Toaster: A genius-level
toaster. It has a 6000 IQ. It likes to make toast.
Mr. Chemmie: A cheerful little
4 Yes, I know it's a pop culture reference. Surprised?
What’s in a Garden of Eden Creation Kit? Well, here are my thoughts.
Feel free to feed the flames.
The following is inspired by a thread
on the BIS forum started by Crazy Tuvok/Christopher Gannon. He
asked some questions about the GECK, and here are my answers:
I'll start by saying that the GECK
is a plot device. A McGuffin. It had the ability to save Arroyo when
in the hands of the Chosen One or a learned member of the wastes.
As a crude plot device, it may also
be used as seen fit to create plots and plant new and exciting adventure
seeds as needed. As a result, all of the material in this section is
subject to change based on the whims of whoever wants to play with the
GECK. If you want it to be a magic box of 1950s science, that's cool
- we might do it, too. However, my current take on it is, it's not some
miracle device, it's a little more down to earth - more like a deconstruction
kit, if you will.
The GECK isn't really a replicator.
It contains a fertilizer system, with a variety of food seeds, soil
supplements, and chemicals that could fertilize arid wasteland (and
possibly selected sections of the moon’s surface pre-conditioned to
accept the GECK) into supporting farming. The GECK is intended to be
"disassembled" over the course of its use to help build communities
(for example, the cold fusion power source is intended to be used for
main city power production), and so on. Anything else people needed,
they could simply consult the How To Books/Library of Congress/Encyclopedias
in the GECK holodisk library for more knowledge. The pen flashlight
was just a bonus.
The GECK also contained some basic
force field schematics as well as info on how to make adobe-type buildings
from the landscape (or contain chemicals that can create "sand-crete"
As for clothing, the GECK contained
codes that allowed the Vault to create more varieties of jumpsuits (and
weatherproof gear) from their dispensers, which they could do anyway
before the GECK. It's possible the GECK contained other codes that could
unlock more functionality within the Vault computers that weren't initially
available because they would jeopardize the survival of the Vault if
they were used or scavenged (or else they would interfere with the Grand
Also, the GECKs also tell the Vault
inhabitants how to disassemble sections of their Vault (or take extraneous
systems from the Vault) to create new homes and defensive structures
on the surface.
The "just add water" comment/joke
for the GECK in the description in Fallout 2 refers to the fact that
part of the GECK's operations require that the Vault Dwellers use water
from their water purification system in the Vault to help with the agriculture,
irrigation, and possibly the cold fusion as well. It wasn't meant literally.
If you want it to be, that’s cool, too. Go for it.
To close, the "basic replicator"
mentioned in the Fallout 1 manual is nothing more than a selection of
seeds and fertilizers. The fact that it can "build basic items"
is intended to mean that you can use it to help break down sections
of the Vault into items usable in a community, as well as provide new
codes for the machines in the Vault to create new items from the dispensers
Tuvok's replies are:
1a. Wouldn't this [the seeds
and soil supplements] date itself rather quickly?
Sure, but the government subcommittees
sponsoring the research and the GECK contractors (Future-Tec) weren't
really concerned about that. They were "relatively certain"
the seeds would be viable in a post-nuclear environment. They had done
"thorough tests," and "all conclusions point to this
as being the best option." The GECKs are a miracle... a miracle
that they work.
1b. What may be suitable for
planting in the present may not be suitable in 20 yrs. This is esp true
I would think in the FO universe with its rather unstable ecosystem.
I mean if one really wanted to be certain that what one was panting
would grow the best thing to do would be to collect the seeds, spores
etc from already growing food sources - these have a guaranteed fertilization
rate. After all those corn seeds that were put in the GECK 50 yrs ago
now have not sufficiently mutated to endure the new Wasteland (even
in a "normal" ecosystem, the only strains of plant that survive
are those that mutate).
You're absolutely right. The GECK
builders had no idea what the post-nuclear world would be like, and
they had no real way to anticipate it, despite their "thorough
tests" (it's doubtful they gave it much thought, to be honest,
considering how badly organized the Safehouse project alone was, not
to mention the experimental nature of the Vaults) - still, it seems
as if the seeds present in the GECK were viable for Vault 8.
Evolutionarily speaking using
old seeds would be like reintroducing a species that may have gone extinct
or at the very least one that is not as cutting edge in its evolution.
You bet. And that's dangerous on
so many levels! Wheee!
Also, as far as How-to books,
schematics, sand crete etc.. this seems a bit user heavy. That is a
GECK is going to be utterly useless to those who cannot read, or don't
have the raw materials to construct a force field, sand crete polymers
The GECK designers assumed that
the Vault Dwellers would know how to read and how to operate various
technologies present in the Vault - they didn't plan for tribals or
other contingencies. They also didn't plan on the FEV getting released,
or the fact the Vault Dwellers might be attacked by giant mutated scorpions
or rats, either. On one hand, you could say they weren't too bright,
and on the other hand, you could say they weren't prepared for the future
of the human race to become an extended Post-Atomic Horror movie. Silly
My impression of the GECK was
that it really was a Garden of Eden. Given that most of the tribals
in FO seem preliterate (yes I know I am avoiding overly PC flaming),
and in pretty dire shape resource wise (unless the polymer construction
requires Broc Plant and Xander Root) this seems to make the GECK kinda
useless to them (nice suitcase tho =) I understand that originally the
GECK was designed for Vault inhabitants and they therefore would be
able to (presumably) procure these basics -so my question then is were
the Arroyo Tribals merely "invoking" the GECK - that is, did
it represent to them life in the Wastes without them knowing precisely
what it was . This seems consistent with the Elder's original quest
which speaks of the GECK in nigh mythic terms.
The tribals were invoking the GECK
as a panacea for all their problems. They saw it as a miracle device,
and while the item is useful, it's not the miracle maker they
considered it to be.
Other follow-questions relating
to this on the boards include:
Section Eight/Gareth Davies:5
I think there has to be more to the GECK than some basic agricultural
supplies. If not, then Fallout 2 is a fool's errand.
In some ways, it's just intended as irony. The
GECK just isn't the holy cure-all miracle device the inhabitants of
Arroyo intend it to be, but in the right hands, it's a very useful piece
of Pre-War tech that can help establish a viable community.
Section Eight/Gareth Davies: A high int character
in Fallout can explain to Shady Sands about crop rotation, etc. So why
couldn't a high int char in Arroyo do the same? Bam. Game finished.
2 seconds elapsed. Fun.
Well, just knowing about crop rotation isn't
enough if the crops are dying or if the land can't support crops, etc.
While sections near Arroyo could support vegetation, the agriculture
in the community was suffering - new seeds and fertilizers would help
with that. Nope, it basically has seed samples, fertilizers, and other
supplements, and a nifty power source - just knowing about crop rotation
isn't enough. In the right hands (and in the hands of the Chosen One),
its useful functions can be exploited, however, and be used as a foundation
on which to build a stable city. All the crops in Arroyo were dying
out, and the GECKs fertilization and new seed samples provide the basis
of a new, healthy crop.
5 Of Microforte fame, for Fallout:
Tactics fans... and Australian fans.
Here's a list of Tell Me Abouts that are easy on the eyes, courtesy
of Sebastien Caisse, the BIG WINNER. I have not tested all of
these, but they probably all work - and it's a good place to start if
any of you feel like quizzing the inhabitants of Fallout 1 about certain
key words. (Thanks again to Michael Jeppesen who also provided
a list of keywords.)
DECKER Heights Cathedral
GARL That's us, you lackey.
HARRY Children of the Cathedral
HARRY Water Shed
HARRY Lou Tenant
IAN Necropolis Hall
RHOMBUS Strange Army
RHOMBUS Missing Caravans
RHOMBUS Children of the
SET Brotherhood of Steel
SET Water Shed
SET Children of the Cathedral
VREE Strange Army
VREE Missing Caravans
VREE Children of the Cathedral
FALLOUT 2 "SECRET"
- CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD
Ever wanted to be Captain of the Guard in Vault City? Well, it's simpler
than it sounds. Ideally, Lynette is set up so that if you kiss her butt
completely, your ability to give her ass a swirl is rewarded by making
you Captain of the Guard.
If you're willing to buckle up and walk the dialogue
minefield, you'll need the following things:
Speech >= 75% AND a CHR > 7.
Be able to speak to Lynette, the First Citizen
of Vault City, without killing her. No small task.
Choose every response that addresses her as
"First Citizen," including "Bye" responses.
Stop the raiders, show Lynette the account
book you got from the raiders AND Bishop's holodisk detailing his
affairs with NCR (located in Bishop's personal safe in New Reno),
and then deliver the disk to Westin in NCR.
When you get back, mission accomplished, if
her respect for you is high enough, she awards you Captain of the
You will notice most of the Vault City citizen
dialogues will change, especially Sergeant Stark, who will be none
too pleased with your promotion. Take Cassidy with you to Stark for
more hi-jinks and a little more XP if you confront Stark on busting
up Cassidy's bar.
The best way to insure Lynette's respect counter
for you is high enough is to find a loop in the dialogue where you can
continually address her as First Citizen - after becoming a Citizen,
the best way to do it is to keep asking her about Vault 13 (if you haven't
found it), choosing the response of: "First Citizen, it’s very
important to me that I find the location of my ancestor’s Vault. If
I may check the archives, I would be grateful." Loop it ten
to fifteen times to be sure (you need at least a level 10 - I do it
fifteen times to be sure), then just be sure not to anger her after
One final word, if you want to become Captain
of the Guard, do NOT keep stopping by to talk to her if you are not
a Citizen. This... irritates Lynette. Every instance of this should
lower her respect for you by 1. That’s it for this update; Icewind Dale
2 and more exciting designer diaries call. You may debate, flame, or
debate-flame me either at the address at the beginning of this update
or on the message boards. Email is usually faster.