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Life in the Vault is about to change...
The first game in the Fallout series: the most straightforward and unarguably true to the original vision.
Vault 13 is an okay place to live. There's plenty of food, water and friends, and the Overseer keeps everything nice and tidy. Not that you have much choice: the Overseer says that the world outside is a big pile of radioactive ash and bleached bones, with the only life being horrifying mutant creatures that could kill you in seconds. The wasteland is simply inhospitable. Good thing there's no reason to leave, right?
Think again. The water chip, the source of all the water in the Vault, has broken and there's no way to fix it. The only way to get another one is to seek out another Vault and take theirs. But wait, that means someone has to go into the wasteland! Who would do something that crazy?! The Overseer decided that the most fair way to find out, was to gather all the inhabitants of the Vault and have them draw straws. And guess who drew the shortest? Oh yes... it was you.
You leave the Vault for the first time. All you can see is a dark cave filled with rats, all of which look quite hungry, and a skeleton dressed in a Vault jumpsuit just outside the entrance. The door you just came out of won't respond to your password... This Is Gonna Suck.
This Video Game contains the following tropes:
- Atom Punk: Especially before the war.
- Anti-Villain: The Master is an honestly well-meaning person... mutant... thing. He truly believes that mutation is best for humanity, and you can't blame him for thinking Humans Are Bastards, since they created the Wasteland. And he'll even give up if you prove to him his plan will fail.
- Asshole Victim: Decker may be an evil crime boss, but the people he wants you to remove aren't angels themselves. They include Darren Hightower, the leader of the Water Merchants whom singularly control the economy, and Jaina, a member of the Unity.
- Bittersweet Ending: The game has the Vault Dweller banished from Vault 13 because he's become "too different".
- Also, Necropolis is canonically destroyed by the Master's armies, meaning a ton of innocent Ghouls died. On the plus side, Set dies as well, and Lenny's existence in 2 suggests that at least some of the population managed to survive/get away in time.
- According to the background information from the Fallout Bible, most of the surviving ghouls from Necropolis resettled in the area near the Glow, and form a thriving salvaging business. Eventually they joined the NCR as a key member state, and play a large role in creating equality between ghouls and humans in the republic.
- But Thou Must!: "The chip, please." Becomes a Crowning Moment of Funny if you play a below 4 intelligence character.
- Chekhov's Town: Shady Sands, the humble Starter Town with a few minor sidequests, goes on to become the New California Republic, a major faction in both 2 and New Vegas.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Vault Dweller can become this. Always aim for the eyes in
V.A.T.S.targeted attacks! You can also kill both the final bosses by blowing them up and bypassing the boss fights entirely, but if you don't get the Special Key from the Lieutenant's locker/have high enough skills (repair and science), you can't activate the Nuke under the cathedral. Also, the only way to beat the game is to leave both of their places of residence smoking craters.
- Cool Pet: Dogmeat.
- Downer Ending: If you side with The Master, you get treated to one of these. It is pure horror. See for yourself.
- You get the same ending if you tell the mutant Lieutenant where the Vault is when he tortures you, should you be brought to him.
- Dronejam: It can happen in tight spaces if you have a large party. There's no way out of it, so your only hope is that someone moves away.
- Enemy Summoner: The Master.
- Exposition of Immortality: Harold, a ghoul-esque mutant you can meet in The Hub, was five years old when the Great War began, and emerged from Vault 29 in 2090. The Vault Dweller encounters him in Oldtown in 2162.He'll tell you a little about his life in Vault 29 and what he remembers of the beginning of the war if you ask.
- Evil Brit: The Lieutenant, voiced by the delightful Tony Jay.
- Foreshadowing: Have you paid attention to the lyrics of the song Maybe heard in intro? Especially to the verse Maybe you'll think of me when you are all alone/Maybe the one who is waiting for you/Will prove untrue, then what will you do??. Cue the memorable scene of the Vault Dweller wandering towards an uncertain future, after being banished from the Vault 13 by the Overseer.
- Gallows Humor: "This is Ed. Ed's dead."
- Gray and Grey Morality: As with the rest of the series. Interestingly enough, it was going to be more gray in the sense of Junktown having a Bittersweet Ending no matter who you sided with.
- Gun Twirling: Your character will do this when you holster certain guns.
- If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten: If you talk to the raider leader, he orders you to execute two girls. Saying "NO!" makes the raiders turn against you; Saying "Okay!" results in the girls begging you not to, before cutting to a sticky spot on the floor, and the raiders commenting that your style is "Messy, but effective." You lose a few Karma points and befriend the raiders.
- Knight Templar: The Brotherhood of Steel.
- Life Will Kill You: If Gizmo takes over Junktown, he dies by chocking on an Iguana Stick in the ending.
- Megaton Punch: Combining the power fist (or, indeed a high enough unarmed skill) with the Bloody Mess trait results in the player being able to literally punch massive holes in enemies.
- Sequence Breaking: Since the player can go pretty much everywhere from the very start of the game (although they only have the coordinates of one of them) it's entirely possible, with high enough skill, luck or repeated Save Scumming, to complete the second mission's objectives way before having finished the first one.
- Shout-Out: A trademark of the series.
- The 'FEV ending' (i.e. bad one) ends with the shot of the hand stretched from the vat of sickly green goo.
- The Junktown was visited by stranger with a shotgun, a dog and one-sleeved leather jacket.
- One of the possible special encounters is an "Unusual Call Box". More precisely, it is a blue, 1960s style British police call box.
- Talking the Monster to Death: An intelligent enough character that has found the right piece of evidence can do this to the master.
- Timed Mission: You have 150 in-game days to find the water chip. This can be postponed 100 days if you tell a group of water merchants were Vault 13 is. Next you got 500 in-game days to stop the Master's Army from invading Vault 13. If you asked for help from the water merchants you only got 400 days. This leaves the player with relatively little time explore a pretty interesting world, something Black Isle probably realized, because the first patch removed the second limit, allowing you to Take Your Time.
- Also, Necropolis gets destroyed by the Mutant Army if you don't defeat the Master fast enough. It seems that developers were originally planning that every city gets destroyed by Mutants if you aren't fast enough. Sadly keeps the game from being the Wide Open Sandbox that the rest of the series does so well.
- Sometimes, Shady Sands does get wiped out by the Mutant Army.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: Vault 13 may seem a case at first, since its spare water chip shipment got misplaced. However, as you progress you'll see Vaults whose fates were much worse.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The Master wants to turn every human into Super Mutants as he believe that it is the only way to unify the wasteland.
- Voice of the Legion: The Master speaks with four different voices at random intervals: a passive-aggressive tone, a more violent, shouting voice, a heavily filtered monotone voice, and a similarly filtered female voice. Also, nearly all of them are Jim Cummings.
- Aka Aerie and Minsc have been turned to a horrifying freak of nature! IRENICUS!!!!
- Welcome to Corneria: Pretty standard for its time and genre. But subtly lampshaded close to the end when you get to the Cathedral. When you speak to one of the Children inside, a possible conversation starter is "You know, every time I talk to someone, people keep repeating everything they say over and over again."