Fallout 3 was a drastic and bold change to the series. Where the first three titles created were all isometric turn-based strategy, Fallout 3 was the first of its name to be a first-person shooter. Though the size of its map was not a big as many other titles by Bethesda today, their use of the indoor areas and maze-like areas within the city made it feel much bigger then it was. For all its flaws, it was a masterpiece. Still, many of us knew close to nothing about this post-apocalyptic open-world title. Its transition from role-playing strategy to role-playing shooter could not have been handled better.
Though many argue about which Fallout title is the best so far, the decision for Bethesda to breath new life into the franchise has been a joy to gamers across the globe. With the reveal of Fallout: 76, we can now look forward to a new title in the franchise — one that once again takes the franchise in a new direction. With all that said, we are taking a look back at Fallout 3. If you have not played Fallout 3, there is no better time than now to pick it up and give it a try.
25 The Secret Of Vault 76
So if you have done any amount of research on the upcoming Fallout release, you may have found out that Fallout 3 had the first information we could find on the new title. In the Citadel there is a terminal that you are required to use in the main quest that mentions all the Vaults in the area. One of which was Vault 76 and this was one of the first mentions of a Vault that had no secret agenda hidden behind it.
Basically, it is exactly what Vault-Tec advertised.
It is not equipped with anything more than just to keep 500 people alive until they can be released back to the world. Needless to say, we are all interested in seeing how this will play into the new game.
24 The Lone Wonderer's Birthday
If you do some digging you can find that the Lone Wonderer's birthday is July 13, 2258, which is 7-13-2258. So what makes this important?
Well, his birthday is a reference to a verse in the Bible.
That verse is Micah 7:13 which reads: "The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds." Sounds a lot like Fallout as a whole doesn't it? This is not the first nor the last Biblical reference in Fallout 3 and this one is certainly the most interesting.
Artwork by Patrick Brown.
23 How Fawkes Got His Name
When you meet Fawkes you might wonder about his name. Once he becomes your companion you will be able to ask him about his name. He will tell you that he got his name from a man who martyred himself for he believed in. That would mean that he must have gotten his name from Guy Fawkes. But. this is not the only thing that connects their stories. From the story of V for Vendetta written by Allen Moore, "V" escapes from captivity feeling he is a monster and goes out to make the world a better place through violence.
22 The Ghoulish Mask
So everyone has either saved or destroyed Megaton and the chances are that you have lived in Tenpenny Tower at one point or another. There is a third option of sorts where you can destroy everyone in the tower and make it a ghoul paradise. The ghoul Roy Philips and his friends are not allowed to live in the city so they have a plan to get in.
After succeeding in getting the ghouls in charge your reward is a grisly mask.
This mask in question will make ghouls friendly to you, but at the tradeoff of having a very Leatherface-like appearance. It is certainly one of the most unique items in the game and the most terrifying.
21 Vault 101's Experiment
As we mentioned, most vaults have some sort of hidden agenda or experiment that Vault-Tec kept hidden from their residents. Anything from releasing hallucinogenic gas on its inhabitants to having 99 females and only one male. So with only a few Vaults having no experiment beyond saving its inhabitants. So what was Vault 101's experiment? Well, its goal was to never open up at all, which would lead eventually to an overt friendliness among its inhabitants. The goal was to specifically study what the Overseer would do in this situation.
Artwork by Chronicdoodler.
20 Herbert Dashwood's Adventures Were Real
If you like to run around the wastes listening to Galaxy News Radio (who doesn't?) you will occasionally hear the radio play called "The Adventures of Herbert "Daring Dashwood." It is a fun, short show about Dashwood and his "ghoul manservant" Argyle. Dashwood is an NPC in the game living in Tenpenny Tower. If you talk to him, he will talk about how his adventures are all true and about losing touch with his ghoul friend. It turns out that Herbert abandoned Argyle after a blunder. Just when you thought there was one decent resident of Tenpenny.
19 How To Crush Moria's Dream
One of the first people you visit as you enter into Megaton is Moria Brown, the owner of Craterside Supply. She will always enthusiastically offer for you to help her with her Wasteland Survival Guide.
We almost always accept and try to do all we can to get all the loot she offers along the way.
However, if the player is able to convince her that writing the book is a waste of time you will get a perk called Dream Crusher. This perk actually is really good, it cuts enemy's critical hit chances in half, gives you a great discount at her store, and increases her repair skill to your benefit.
18 Becoming The Matchmaker
In Rivet City, there will be a woman named Angela who will confess to you her love for a man named Diego. Diego is unable to marry due to his ties to the local church and through some persuading (and ant pheromone) can be forced to leave the church and marry Angela. Most of us have probably done this quest at some point or another, but did you know you can witness the wedding? This is one of many small details that Bethesda loves adding to their games. The strangest thing is for some reason Angela is holding a knife as she is being married, kinda creepy.
17 Another Vault 76 Reference
In the Mothership Zeta DLC, there is an audio file that can be found which gives us a clue about Vault 76. In Alien Captive Recorded Log #13 we hear that Giles Wolstencroft was captured by the aliens before the Great War. Wolstencroft was the assistant chief executive officer of the Vault-Tec Corporation before the Great War.
Of course, this means that before the Vault was opened he must have disappeared, which might be why there was never an experiment attached to the Vault.
16 A Quiet Secret In The Wasteland
Hidden in Fallout 3 is one of the US's most famous monuments to its fallen heroes, Arlington Cemetery. In the game, the cemetery is only found through a flooded metro tunnel. It is known as one of the calmest areas in the game due to there only being a small group of enemies here that once dispatched never respawn. It allows you to take in the sad sight and ponder the events that lead to the events at present. It's a quiet nod in a visceral game.
15 A Rural Past Time
I will be honest, I had no idea that this was a thing. So if you crouch and walk up to any brahmin and hit the action button your character will push the Brahmin over. It is a funny little easter egg that pays homage to one of the most famous rural past times, cow tipping.
Cows do not actually sleep standing up, nor do they easily just fall over. So really the whole idea of cow tipping is a little silly. Most sources will mention that if you really wanted to tip a cow over in that way it would take three or four people to do so.
14 Occam's Razor
Beyond being a unique item in Fallout 3, the idea of Occam's Razor is a famous problem-solving philosophy. It really does make you wonder about the person that named the item. The path of least resistance in Fallout might be at the end of a knife. If you have ever tried to play a melee only character in any Fallout you might disagree with this way of thinking. However, it is an awesome reference and a really good knife.
13 If You Have This, You Are A Bad Person
Now to be fair, the picture shows a mod that depicts what this mask should look like. This item is called "The Boogyman's Hood". It is a unique piece of headgear that can only be acquired one way, tricking someone from Little Lamplight into wandering over to Paradise Falls and never coming back. If you don't see what's wrong with that, then maybe you've spent a little too much time in The Wasteland. So in order to get this, you need to accept responsibility for this unspeakable task.
12 The Dunwich Horror
References to H.P. Lovecraft's mythos are in almost every type of media. For the Fallout series, there are actually a couple. Since Fallout 3, the games have moved in a slightly darker and horror-based direction. In the third game, there is a building called The Dunwich Building, which is a reference to Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror. Inside, the building is a veritable army of ghouls and creepy surprises. It was a pleasant surprise to find this infamous bit of lore buried in The Wasteland.
11 A Tribute To One Of The Greats
Ray Bradbury could be considered to be the father of modern-day science fiction writing. Similar to Lovecraft, much of what he wrote was way ahead of his time. There is a reference to Soft Rains Must Fall, one of the best short stories that he ever wrote. The story is about a futuristic house that is almost fully automated as the house itself struggles to survive after a nuclear strike. Inside the home, we see the remains of a dog, similar to the story. As well, if you activate the Mister Handy he will go about day to day activity as if nothing was wrong.
10 An Early Game Boon
There is a rock on the outskirts of Megaton that has some great early game loot. It contains a sniper rifle, some ammo for the rifle, a stealth boy, some Stimpacks, and a note from a shady supplier named "E". All of these items come in very handy early game and once you know it is there, it becomes one of your first stops in your quest to find your dad. The only shame is that there is no way to find out who the mysterious "E" is or his black market operation nor who the recipient was meant to be.
9 The Man Himself
So the only thing we left out of our talk about the Arlington Cemetary is the Arlington House. Presumably, it was the home of the groundskeeper of the cemetery before the war. Inside the home is something quite interesting, a shrine to Abraham Lincoln. What is also pretty interesting is that if you have the Lawbringer perk, there will be a wanted man living in the home. Most raiders are not fans of the ideals of Lincoln, so perhaps this bad guy was once an abolitionist and through some mistakes ended up on the lawbringer's list.
8 Following The Signals
If you have played Fallout 3 then you have surely found the radio tower scattered around the Capital Wastelands. Once you turn the radio towers on several radio signals will be found which normally lead to some long forgotten civilian bunker full of loot.
There is one that stands out from the rest, the Yankee Bravo radio signal.
When you listen to this signal all you can hear is deep distressed breathing. Upon entering the bunker you will find a group of feral ghouls standing around the distress radio's microphone. It is one of the only bunkers to have a live radio being broadcast instead of a message loop.
Artwork by Lucas Hardi.
7 Mad Max's Influence
Mad Max was revolutionary at its release and gave us a really good standard to base our post-apocalyptic stories on. The Fallout games are no exception to this as many things in the games are based on the Mad Max series. In almost all the games, the leather armor variants are all based on Max's leather jacket. Each of these games has a dog companion named Dogmeat and many of the NPCs will say things that refer to the movies. The best example is an NPC found at random named Mel who tries to rob you, but if your perception is high enough you can tell him that you can tell his sawn-off shotgun is unloaded, which is a reference to the movies.
6 The Town Of Bethesda
The town of Bethesda, Maryland was the original base of Bethesda Game Studios. As a homage, they left the town in the game as a ruin. This area has some great loot including a few skill books, two mini-nukes, and the Lockpick Bobblehead. The are is very dangerous as a group of raiders is almost always present. There are many towns that should be found in the area of Maryland around Washington DC but of course, Bethesda would leave in the town of Bethesda and leave out some of the others.
5 HAL 9000 Is Watching
In and around many of the military installations in the Capital Wastelands you will find these security cameras that look strangely familiar. These cameras are a reference to HAL 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. In that movie, the Artificial Intelligence goes rogue and takes a turn for the worst. Thankfully, his look-alike does not act so hostile and the only similarity it shares with HAL 9000 is its appearance.
4 What Is With The Children Of Adam?
So let's be honest, the Children of Atom are pretty weird. In the town of Megaton, there are many of these folks worshiping the undetonated atom bomb in the center of the city. What you might not know, is this is a reference to the movie "Beneath the Planet of the Apes." In the movie, while fleeing some hostile ape soldiers, the hero discovers a subway tunnel that leads to some humans that are worshiping an ancient nuclear weapon. Too bad the Children of Atom are not telepathic like their movie counterparts.
3 Heeeere's Tenpenny!
Tenpenny Tower is an interesting place and is full of interesting —if not rude— people. But with its long halls and eerie lighting might make you feel a little uneasy. Well, if that does not get to you the sight pictured above might. On the third floor, there is a reference to the movie The Shining. In the movie, Jack's son rides around the hotel on a tricycle when he witnesses a terrifying sight in the form of twin sisters.
2 The Inspiration For Three Dog
Wolfman Jack was an eccentric radio personality who was famous for his gravely voice and his use of popular slang from the 50s and 60s. He has even been known to howl from time to time, but not as often the counterpart he inspired for Fallout 3, Three Dog. For this new character, they took aspects from his real-life persona and the one created in the movie American Graffiti. Wolfman Jack is known as one of the best American DJ's that radio has ever had and we know that Fallout 3 would not be the same without his inspiration for our favorite wasteland DJ.
If you have played more then one game that Bethesda has made you might notice there is more then one reference to someone stealing a sweet roll. In the very first Elder Scrolls game the stealing of a sweet roll was created and become a running gag used by the team.
When you are given the item as a present Butch tries to take it from you by force. The original gag was that three boys your age attempt to take your sweet roll. So seeing Butch and his goons must have been a no-brainer to continue this joke.