Fallout 76 may be one of the worst games of 2018, the kind of game that makes you long for a not-so-distant past when Bethesda games were some of the best open-world RPGs money could buy. Fallout 4, released in 2015, was disappointing in some respects, but it's hard not to look back at the game more fondly now given how Fallout 76 turned out.
Much like every other major Bethesda release before it, players have spent years exploring Fallout 4's world and uncovering its hidden gems. Like most open world games of its size, Fallout 4 is teeming with interesting details both big and small. Part of the game's charm is Bethesda's ability to create stories from the environment itself, as many of the collapsed locations you'll visit in post-apocalyptic Boston have a history just waiting to be revealed. There's a very good chance you've found at least some of the following Easter eggs by now (the game is over three years old), but if you're feeling burned by Fallout 76 and want to remember what the series is like when it's doing things right, it may be worth revisiting Fallout 4 to see if you've uncovered these 25 hidden details.
25 Christmas Time In The City
Fallout 4 has its own date and time system, beginning on October 23rd, 2287, the day your character is unfrozen. If you visit Diamond City on Christmas Day, the city will be strewn with Christmas decorations and guards will offer holiday greetings such as “Ho f****** ho.” Charming.
Disappointingly, Christmas is the only holiday that is actually celebrated in-game; though you'll regularly come across Halloween decorations since the bombs dropped less than a week before All Hallows' Eve. Just watch out for the jack o' lantern traps used by some of the Commonwealth's Raiders!
24 Fireworks Display
While Fallout 4 doesn't feature any in-game Fourth of July festivities, there is a way to carry out your own Independence Day party. Northeast of Relay Tower 0BB-915, you'll find an unmarked shack on a cliff. Inside the shack are a bunch of propane tanks and three ramps.
Carry the tanks over to the ramps, fire at them, and then blast off, into the sky. It's best to wait until nightfall to get the best light show experience, but just be careful you don't injure yourself in the process!
23 Frozen In Carbonite
In addition to Blade Runner, the other big Harrison Ford franchise that gets a shout-out in Fallout 4 is Star Wars. Specifically, the game contains a nod to Han Solo's infamous carbonite freezing in The Empire Strikes Back. In the Nuka-World DLC, head to the roof of Fizztop Mountain and you'll find a person frozen in what appears to be carbonite.
Strangely, the frozen figure is way tinier than any human could be, which suggests the poor soul was shrunk down somehow. Unfortunately, there's no way to thaw him out.
22 Find The Best Power Armor
Longtime Fallout fans will remember that the Enclave made their debut back in Fallout 2, and while the group is easy to dislike, it's hard to deny that their X-01 Power Armor looks supremely cool. Fortunately, you can get a set of your own in Fallout 4, though you're much more likely to stumble upon individual pieces rather than a full suit.
The X-01 spawn rate goes up around the level 30 mark and once you're at that point, pay a visit to a building marked “35 Court” near Faneuil Hall. Take the elevator to the roof and there's a good chance you'll find a full X-01 suit waiting for you.
21 Automotive Stonehenge
Anyone who claims that Super Mutants have no culture clearly haven't visited Carhenge, a monument of rusted automobiles built in the likeness of England's famous Stonehenge.
Located south of Walden Pond, Carhenge is one of the Commonwealth's best tourist destinations and unlike the real Stonehenge, there are no actual tourists to get in your way! There is, however, an angry Super Mutant Behemoth standing guard, so it's best to use caution while exploring this “sacred” monument.
20 An Edgar Allen Poe Story, Retold
Edgar Allen Poe's short story “The Cask of Amontillado” was given a brief nod in the Fallout: New Vegas quest Heist of the Century, but Fallout 4 goes one step further in honoring Poe's story.
Head to the Castle, the former headquarters of the Minutemen, located east of the Gwinnett Restaurant and Brewery. Next, go to the very end of the tunnels. You should see a crate of Amontillado wine and a skeleton entombed in the wall, a direct reference to the fate of Fortunato.
19 The Dunwich Borers Mystery
There's a fair bit of H. P. Lovecraft influence permeating Fallout 4, but the best is arguably the Cthulhu-inspired Dunwich Borers mystery. Building off the spooky Dunwich Building in Fallout 3, the Dunwich Borers site offers an even sinister ride.
By piecing together the memos and holotapes found throughout the area, you'll stumble upon a mystery that is too good to spoil here, as well as a unique weapon called Kremvh's Tooth... though, you'll have to swim to the bottom of an irradiated pool to find it (there's always a catch).
18 Power Armor Customization Runs Deeper Than You Think
It's apparent that Fallout 4's Power Armor sets are very customizable, right down to the paint jobs. While most paint jobs are just for style, there are some that award various skills and perks (be one the lookout for issues of Hot Rodder magazine, which give you more options for armor customization).
If you're serious about upscaling your Power Armor, be sure to visit the Atom Cats group in Boston. If you join their faction, you'll gain access to unique upgrades, as well as greaser armor.
17 “You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat”
Head out to a boat near Oberland Station to find a recreation of one of filmmaking's most famous scenes. On the boat, you'll find the skeleton of a man lying next to a giant mutated dolphin, recalling Quint's end scene from the movie Jaws.
If you're feeling really brave, you can even find a shark cage by swimming under the boat. We're not sure what's more heart-pumping: an angry great white shark or a man-eating mutated dolphin, but both creatures would likely make anyone who encounters them wish they had a bigger boat.
16 Fallout 3 Reunion
Unlike Fallout 76, which is set only decades after the bombs fell, Fallout 4 takes place only 10 years after the events of Fallout 3. Since both games are also set on the East Coast, it makes sense that some characters from the Capital Wasteland show up in the Commonwealth.
The most significant returning Wastelander is Dr. Li, who can be convinced to work for the Brotherhood of Steel once again. You can also run into boy-Mayor MacCready of Little Lamplight, all grown up (he’s now a mercenary living in Goodneighbor and can be hired as a companion).
15 Attack Of The Clones
Like most open world games, Fallout 4 is packed with random encounters for players to stumble upon. One of the best ones (and one you may have missed) involves a deathmatch between a human and his synth doppelgänger.
The human and synth (both are named Art) can typically be found pointing shotguns at one another. By navigating dialogue options, you can determine which Art is human and which is synth, though the Awareness perk will also let you figure it out. You’re then free to tell the human Art to attack the synth or vice versa.
14 The Deathclaw Gauntlet Turns You Into Wolverine
No enemy in the Fallout series strikes as much worry in the hearts of intrepid Wastelanders as the Deathclaw. These menacing beasts are agile, have lots of armor, and can make mincemeat of anything they come across with their powerful sharp claws. Fortunately, there's a way to get a pair of your own in Fallout 4.
The Devil's Due quest tasks players with stealing a Deathclaw egg and return it to Diamond City, but you can also bring it to a mother Deathclaw instead. For your troubles, she'll reward you with the Deathclaw Gauntlet weapon, which will turn you into the Commonwealth's very own Wolverine!
13 Freefall Legs
Falling damage in video games, in a word, sucks. Realism be damned! Exploring an open world works a lot better if you don't have to worry about meeting the pavement after a multi-storey fall. Fallout 4 is no exception in this regard, but thankfully, there is a piece of equipment that alleviates the problem.
The Freefall Legs are located at the top of the Mass Fusion building in a locked safe. The only way to get to the top is with jetpack-equipped Power Armor or by exploiting the trashcan glitch (find a walkthrough here), but it's definitely worth the effort to do so.
12 Blade Runner References
Fallout 4 has a surprising number of references to Harrison Ford movies. Fittingly, there are several nods to Blade Runner, the 1982 sci-fi masterpiece that pits Ford's Rick Deckard against a group of wayward androids called replicants.
Fallout 4's synths were no doubt inspired by replicants like Roy Batty, whose end scene is alluded to in a tableau found on the roof of the Mass Fusion Containment Shed. You can also find a noodle bar in Diamond City run by a robotic chef whose dialogue recalls a similar scene in Blade Runner.
11 Cheers, Where Everybody Knew Your Name
Fallout 4 is set in and around the Boston area, so it's only fitting that the city's most famous bar can be found among the rubble. Unfortunately, the apocalypse hit Cheers pretty hard, as you'll find the skeletons of Norm and Cliff Clavin still sitting in their usual seats. Frasier Crane is there too, seated alone by the entrance.
You'll also find skeletons that may or may not belong to Sam, Carla, and Woody behind the bar. Topping off the whole darkly-humorous Easter egg is the fact that the bar is called Prost, which is German for Cheers.
10 Good Will Hunting Nod
Another Boston-specific Easter egg that uses skeletons to great effect can be found in the C.I.T. ruins. Here, you'll find a nod to one of the most famous scenes from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's early career hit Good Will Hunting.
Look for a janitor's skeleton lying underneath a blackboard that features the same linear algebra problem Damon's titular character solves in the film. Evidently, the Institute had its own mathematical genius working as a janitor before the bombs fell. It's just too bad he didn't make it.
9 Visit A Dark Souls Bonfire
Nowadays, it's hard to find a new AAA game that hasn't been inspired to some extent by Dark Souls. While Fallout 4's design doesn't seem to mimic Dark Souls' in any meaningful way, the designers found a way to honor the series nonetheless.
In the town of Bradberton, you'll find a house with a recently extinguished fire and a foreign Officer's sword sticking out of it. Kindling the fire will cause three stimpaks to spawn, while taking the sword will reward you with three more. Lighting bonfires in Dark Souls refills your character's HP and stamina, so it looks like the Bradberton bonfire is Fallout 4's way of praising the sun.
8 Jigsaw Would Be Proud Of This Maze
Jigsaw may not be in Fallout 4 (at least, we hope not), but the maze located in Milton General Hospital proves that the Saw villain has at least one fan worrying the Commonwealth. This unsightly gauntlet is filled with traps, ghouls, and of course, lots of radiation.
As spooky as the maze is, it has some cool puzzles to solve and forces players to make some questionable choices along the way. The maze designer also improves upon Jigsaw's design by rewarding those who escape not just with their lives, but the choice between two loot stashes.
7 Find Toy Story 3’s Clapping Monkey
This Easter egg is somewhat obscure unless you've watched Toy Story 3 quite a bit. During that film's climactic escape from Sunnyside Daycare sequence, one of the most noticeable toys standing in Woody, Buzz, and the gang's way is the wide-eyed clapping monkey.
Well, leave it to Bethesda to give this toy a walk-on cameo in their game, as you can find a similar monkey in the Corvega Assembly Point building. Fortunately, unlike Andy's toys, you're free to just end the monkey before it starts clapping wildly.
6 Famous Custom Names
Fallout 4 lets you name your character, with the added bonus of robo-butler pal and other characters being able to address you by name. Bethesda recorded more than 1000 of the most popular names from around the world, but also threw in some character names from a variety of pop culture sources.
You can call yourself Kal-El (Superman), Neo, or Morpheus (The Matrix), to name a few. Find the full list of recorded names here.
5 Is That Nirnroot?
Although the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series share many of the same gameplay systems (and Bethesda's old, janky engine), the fact that they are set in considerably different worlds means there's not a ton of overlap when it comes to things like weapons and items.
However, just because Skyrim is set in a fantasy world with elves and wizards doesn't mean that Fallout 4 can't include an Easter egg referencing the land of Tamriel. There's a plant you can find in a greenhouse that's labelled “experimental plant” but looks and acts exactly like the Elder Scrolls' famous Nirnroot.
4 Drinking Affects Your Speech
Bottled beverages can be readily found throughout the Commonwealth and while it won't do anything to stave off radiation poisoning, living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland seems as good an excuse to drink as any, right?
What you may not have realized is that getting your character a little “loose” in Fallout 4 unlocks some hilarious conversation options, such as slurred speech. It may not hold a candle to Red Dead Redemption 2's now-famous drinking sequence, but then again, it's hard to say if anything could top that.
3 Find Spare Parts From Alien’s Nostromo
Buried in the repeatable Brotherhood of Steel quests is an Easter egg for one of the greatest science fiction films ever made. These quests task you with tracking down various pieces of high-tech equipment. And while most of the pieces are just random doodads, the flux sensor is of particular interest.
The sensor has the code “CM-88B 180924609” written on the back, which may seem like a random number, but is in fact the serial number for the Nostromo: the freighter ship from the 1979 film Alien. Is the Brotherhood of Steel in cahoots with Weyland-Yutani? We wouldn't put it past them!
2 Nick Valentine’s Stranger Investigation
Gumshoe Nick Valentine is one of, if not the best, companion character in Fallout 4, as having him around unlocks some pretty interesting conversation options.
One of the best details about Nick Valentine is that he has a keen interest in the Mysterious Stranger, a fellow trench coat-clad gunslinger who can be summoned to randomly come to the player's aid in battle with a perk. Dig a little deeper and you'll discover that Nick has been investigating the Mysterious Stranger, as evidenced by the entertaining case files he keeps hidden in his office.
1 Play Some Donkey Kong!
The residents of Vault 111 were frozen in cryogenic suspension, so it's unclear why Vault-Tec put in a functioning recreation area. Fortunately, you can reap the benefits of the decision, as the rec area has its own video game terminal with a copy of the Pip-Boy game Red Menace.
The game is basically a Red Scare version of Donkey Kong, with the titular Red Menace standing in for Nintendo's famous ape. Additionally, Fallout 4 features several other games scattered across the main game and Automatron DLC, including variations on Missile Command, Space Invaders, and Pitfall!