Monday, April 22

The Fallout TV Show made me decide to leave the fandom.

I love Fallout. Fallout 1,2, and New Vegas are what I would consider to be 3 of the best RPG’s of all time. Since Bethesda have taken over, things have changed. I don’t want to be the type of toxic fan that thinks that a series, franchise, or fandom should exclusively cater to what I think it should be. Because of this I don’t want to say that modern Fallout is worse than the Fallout I love. I easily could have titled this article something like

“The Fallout TV show killed the series!” 

I just didn’t want to. I want this article to be a personal piece about my farewell to a series that has meant a lot to me over the years. 

Fallout 3 is where things began to change for the series. It’s where the modern Fallout began to pull apart from the classic.

Fallout 1 was set 84 years after the Great War that ended the modern world in nuclear fire. You emerge from Vault 13 to find a replacement water chip for your vault. The world you find is beginning to rebuild itself. While it’s still very much dealing with the aftermath of the nuclear fallout, settlements like Shady Sands have been built from nothing. They are managing to farm their own crops and raise their own livestock. It’s not much but a new world is beginning to sprout from the radioactive debris of the old one. It’s a post-apocalypse but one that is starting to move forward. 

Fallout 2 is set 164 years after the great war. You play as the grandchild of the player character from the first game. When you leave your tribal village, you find a world that has changed a lot since your grandparent’s journey. Shady Sands is now the centre of a newly formed government known as the New California Republic. It has paved streets, working streetlamps, government buildings, a police force, and so on. This is mirrored in other cities you explore in the game such as Vault City or New Reno. This is no longer a post-apocalypse, it’s now a post-post-apocalypse. Like the rise of modern Europe after the fall of the Roman empire, a new world has grown from the ruins of the old one. This is no longer a wasteland, it’s a new world. One with new problems, new governments, new cities, and so on. The Great War is now only a historical event that is taught to the youngsters but not a daily tragedy they are still living through.

Fallout 3 changed that. Set 200 years after the Great War. Suddenly the first settlement you find is built out of the ruins of the old-world. The nearby town of Springvale is still a destroyed mess from the Great War. The biggest settlement is Rivet City and it’s literally built out of a destroyed aircraft carrier left over from the war that happened 200 years ago. Unlike Fallout 2, this is once again a post-apocalypse setting. One that is somehow, even less developed than what we had during Fallout 1. The world hasn’t continued to move forward, instead, it’s regressed. I hate this. 

I love the way that classic Fallout’s world moved forward. That it built a new world from the ruins of the old one. New Governments rose, new cities were built, and life changed. As the series tagline likes to remind us, however, there is one thing that never changes. War, war never changes. Modern Fallout isn’t like this, however. In modern Fallout, nothing changes. The world we see in Fallout 76, set 25-27 years after the Great War is almost identical to the world, we see in Fallout 4, set 210 years after the war. In the 80 years between Fallout 1 and 2 we see new cities rise from small communities. In the 183 years between Fallout 76 and Fallout 4 we don’t even see the cardboard boxes rot away.

BUT all of this was okay until now for one reason. Modern Fallout, meaning Fallout 3, 4, and 76 were all set on the East Coast. Classic Fallout, meaning Fallout 1,2, and New Vegas, were all set on the West Coast. It was okay to me that Bethesda were doing their own thing with the series because the NCR, Vault City, and so on were all safe on the other side of what used to be the USA. 

Then the Fallout TV show happened. It was set in LA, on the West Coast. Suddenly modern Fallout had taken over the classic games. It didn’t do this subtly. Shady Sands, the city built from nothing into the centre of a massive government was nuked. Because modern Fallout needs things to never move forward, they had to literally destroy the progress made in the classic games. Now it’s just another wasteland, like all of the East Coast. 

When I learned of the NCR’s fate it hit me. The Fallout I love is gone. Classic Fallout now only exists as retro games. I still love them, and I won’t stop playing them. But I’m officially done with the series going forward. I don’t want to remain in this fandom just to moan that the new games, shows, films, and so on are awful compared to the old ones. I don’t want to be that old-enby that just moans about what used to be.
“Back in my day Fallout used to be so much better!”
I don’t want that to be me and if I keep investing myself in the series then I know that’s what’ll happen. So, I’m done.

The modern games are not bad. Fallout 3 has an amazing open world. Fallout 4 is a good open-world FPS. Fallout 76 is fun with friends. The Fallout TV show is made well and captures what people love about the modern games almost perfectly. I don’t want to say that anyone is wrong for liking or even loving these games and series. Honestly, it’s amazing to see so many people excited over a video game IP.

Modern Fallout is not for me but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It has so many fans for a reason. Sorry to talk so negatively about the series, especially if you’re a fan of the newer games. I just needed to get all of this out. I just needed to say goodbye to a series that has meant a lot to me over the years. That’s what this is for me, a goodbye to Fallout. This series taught me to be interested in politics, taught me how to read media in a more nuanced way, taught me to love writing. The last Christmas present my Nan brought me before she passed away was the Fallout Anthology. It’s now one of my most prized possessions. The fandom around these games has introduced me to YouTubers like HBomberguy, Many a True Nerd, and Up is not Jump. Fallout has been important to me. That’s now over. It’s time to let a newer fandom enjoy the series. 

Farewell Fallout.

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