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Video game fandom
Developer(s)Interplay Studios (1996-2003)
Black Isle Studios (1998-2003)
Obsidian Entertainment
Bethesda (2003-)
Genre(s)Action role-playing
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Fallout is a series of roleplaying video games. There are five main games in the primary series: Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4. Fallout takes place in an America devastated by nuclear war. The game is heavily based on the retro-futuristic concept of the mid 20th century, so while futuristic technology such as AI and laser pistols exist, Fallout's culture is based also based on the stereotype of 1950s America.

The world of Fallout took a different timeline from ours after World War II, and the Cold War effectively lasted until 2077, when nuclear warfare finally happened. The ruins found in all the games show that the architecture was still similar to that of 1950s buildings 120 years later, mixed with the views of what the future was depicted as in that period.


Released in 1997, Fallout 1 is the first game in the Fallout series. It is considered to be the spiritual successor to the 1988 game "Wasteland". There was originally a time limit of 500 days, but a patch increased this time to 13 years.

The player character in Fallout is known as the "Vault Dweller". The Vault Dweller's name, age, appearance, and gender can be changed. However in canon established at the beginning of Fallout 2 the Vault Dweller is referred to as a male, although their spouse has an intentionally androgynous name.

The Vault Dweller becomes an influential individual, being referenced in every Fallout game. Reputation and karma are introduced in this game and are the basis of how the Vault Dweller is seen. Like all Fallout games, there is an ending which features the major decisions that the player has chosen. 4 companions are available to recruit, and all 4 can travel with the Vault Dweller at one time so long as they have been recruited.

The first two Fallout games do not receive as much recognition from the fandom as the later games due to their age; they can be difficult to get running on modern systems.

Fallout 2

The player character in Fallout 2, the "Chosen One", is the grandchild of the Vault Dweller. As with all Fallout games, the name, age, appearance, and gender can be changed. But like Fallout, there is a canon character that was given in Fallout: New Vegas. The Chosen One in canon was a male.

The Chosen One is sent from their tribal village in the newly-formed New California Republic to find a ancient piece of technology; a GECK (Garden of Eden Creation Kit), which can make even the most hostile terrains habitable and fertile.

During the game the Chosen One can recruit a total of 14 companions. Some of these companions or their children return, such as Marcus (New Vegas), Cass (New Vegas, John Cassidy's daughter), and Dogmeat (Fallout 3).

Fallout 3

The player character in Fallout 3 is known as the "Lone Wanderer", who leaves their home of Vault 101 in search of their father. Their name, gender, race, and overall appearance are all customizable, so there is no standard Lone Wanderer character in fanwork, and there is no established canon Lone Wanderer. The Lone Wanderer's actions lead to gain or loss of karma, which affects how people view them and if a companion is recruitable.

In fanfiction or art, fans may sometimes specify that they are using an "Evil F!" Lone Wanderer or "Neutral Karma M!" Lone Wanderer.

The Lone Wanderer has 8 potential permanent companions, 6 of which can only be recruited depending on the characters karma. The most popular companions are Butch DeLoria - a human male from Vault 101 - and Charon, a male ghoul from Underworld. Both of these characters are prevalent in fanfiction as part of a pairing with the Lone Wanderer.

Fallout: New Vegas

See Fallout: New Vegas for more information.

Fallout: New Vegas was released in October 2010 and is considered to be a spiritual successor to Fallout 3, but not a direct sequel. It features a fully customizable protagonist known only as "the Courier" and allows players to shape their Courier's personality and story through the use of the returning karma system from Fallout 3, coupled with the reputation system from Fallout 2.

Fallout 4

Released in November 2015, Fallout 4 followed many themes and styles as the previous games but added some notable features: the player character can speak, begins the game in a heterosexual marriage with a son, and can romance a number of companions. As in previous games, the protagonist's name, gender, race, and appearance are customizable. Some names can be spoken aloud by one of the companions: this list of approved names includes many pop culture references, such as names from Akira, Mad Max, and The X-Files. The "Sole Survivor" can join various factions as they travel through the remains of Boston.

Fallout 76

See Fallout 76 for more information.

Released in 2018, Fallout 76 was the first MMORPG in the Fallout series. It's set in West Virginia and centered around Vault 76, which is one of 17 known control vaults and originally programmed to open 20 years after a nuclear war.


See Fan Reaction to Fallout 76.



Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.