Fallout 4 is a weird game in the long-running RPG franchise. One the one hand, it’s arguably the best looking game in the series and its significant changes to the established Fallout formula make it more approachable for newcomers to the genre. On the other hand, many found it to be a rather watered down experience that lacked both the gameplay versatility and depth of writing that made the games great and unique in the first place. Although, with the numerous bugs and frustrating mechanics of Fallout 76, Fallout 4 remains the best Fallout experience made for the current generation of gaming hardware.
This unusual situation has led to players exploring and talking about Fallout 4 much more than they would otherwise. Over the course of these investigations and conversations, fans came to realize that a lot of the early fan theories they had about the game proved true. Moreover, a lot of ideas about how the base game could expand prior to the release of the Fallout 4 DLC also played out exactly like some theorists thought it would. Sure, not every wild theory turned out to be legitimate, but there are still a surprising number of theories that players cannot believe are actually true.
These 25 Fallout 4 fan theories are now canon within the game and are as surprising today as when players first proved them valid. Some of these fan theories have massive consequences for the world of the games, others are meaningful to certain characters, and a few of them are just plain goofy; but they’re all true and that’s pretty amazing.
25 Returning Fallout 3 Characters
The world of the Fallout franchise is pretty expansive, with different games in the series taking place at roughly the same time, but in vastly different locations in the United States. This allows characters introduced in one game to appear in another, while also letting the games explore more of the universe. Fans thought that a good number of characters from Fallout 3 would return in Fallout 4 and they were not disappointed. Arthur Maxson leads the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4, Dr. Li reappears as an Institute scientist, and Sierra Petrovita returns in the Nuka-World DLC.
24 Elder Scrolls And Fallout Aren’t Connected
Ever since Bethesda acquired the rights to the Fallout franchise, fans have wondered if it’s possible that the Elder Scrolls franchise and the Fallout series take place on the same planet, just several millennia apart. As this theory rose, so did arguments disproving the theory. Bethesda would go onto confirm these counter-theories, and they have firmly stated that the Fallout games do not occur on Elder Scrolls’ world of Nirn. As much as some would like, dragons, mages, and gods of various moralities will never appear in the Fallout franchise.
23 You Were Going To Have A Synth Spouse
At the end of Fallout 4’s campaign, the Sole Survivor is given a synthetic version of their son Shaun, who thinks he’s a real adolescent boy. Since synth-Shaun is given to the player by the actual Shaun, who's now an elderly man and the head of the Institute, many thought that a synthetic version of the protagonist’s spouse could also appear. While this doesn’t happen in the game proper, data-mining reveals that there was a quest planned at one point that would have let the player revive their spouse as a synth companion.
22 The Return Of The Mysterious Stranger
The Mysterious Stranger is a character, or characters, in the Fallout universe that appears in each mainline Fallout game. Little is known about the character, but they aid the protagonist of each game by appearing out of thin air at times and defeating those hostile to the player. It was a pretty safe bet that the Mysterious Stranger would appear in Fallout 4, but few expected the detective character, Nick Valentine, to be borderline obsessed with uncovering the figures true identity. This was a great joke that played right into Fallout’s extensive lore.
21 The Mannequins Are Meaningless
All across the world of Fallout 4 are mannequins arranged in strange and unsettling positions. When fans first discovered this world-spanning trend, they quickly started developing theories about some madman running around placing the mannequins in those positions, while a small minority thought it was just the developers trying to creep players out. Those dissenters were, in fact, correct, as the makers of the game would later confirm that there is no in-universe explanation for why there are so many peculiar mannequins.
20 Trashcan Carla Is A Spy
With the Institute having such a secretive and wide-reaching effect on the Commonwealth, fans speculated that a number of characters had hidden ties to the organization. These suspicions proved correct as an Institute terminal revealed that the traveling merchant Trashcan Carla is an informant helping the Institute track down runaway synths. Although this doesn’t really affect the game all that much, this added backstory does make Carla, and the world, feel quite a bit more fleshed out than it would otherwise.
19 Nick Valentine’s Origins
Once players learned that the companion character Nick Valentine was an early model synth discarded by the Institute, they quickly tried to fill in the blanks of his mysterious backstory. The idea that there could be more characters like Nick was enticing, and eventually proved true in the Far Harbor DLC. Here players meet DiMA, another synth prototype that’s more or less Nick’s brother. Although the DLC is pretty good on its own, having Nick also venture to the island and meet with DiMA creates some great character moments for one of the game’s best NPCs.
18 The Ghoul Whale
Another rumor that spread pretty quickly thanks to Fallout 4 NPCs, is that of the Ghoul Whale. Mentioned by a few characters, players quickly started searching the Commonwealth for an irradiated and zombified giant whale. Although they didn’t find anything, Bethesda rewarded them for their searching by adding whale bones to the shores in the Far Harbor DLC. That might not be as cool as fighting a zombie whale, but at least it’s confirmed that Ghoul Whales do exist in the Fallout universe.
17 Nuka-World Is Disney World
Once Bethesda announced Nuka-World as the last piece of DLC for Fallout 4, fans immediately started comparing the fictional theme park to the real-life Disney World. As more information about the new location came to light, these theories proved true. With areas like the Galactic Zone and Safari Adventure mimicking the Epcot Center and the Animal Kingdom respectively, it’s clear that the DLC site stems from the popular, real-world amusement park. Or at least a more carbonated and irradiated version of the park.
16 There’s A Frozen Head In Nuka-World
Once it was thoroughly established that the fictional Nuka-World drew heavy inspiration from the real-life Disney World, fans speculated that some of the urban legends surrounding the site would pop up in the game. The developers responded to this theory pretty enthusiastically by including one of the biggest Disney World legends in the game. John-Caleb Bradberton, the creator of Nuka-Cola and a Walt Disney analog, is kept alive within a cryogenic stasis within the theme park. This mirrors the real-life rumor that Walt Disney’s body is frozen somewhere in the Disney World amusement park.
15 There Are Several Comic Book Crusaders
Comic book heroes are a big part of Fallout’s lore and helped establish its unique, 1950s colored apocalyptic world. In Fallout 4, the Sole Survivor can dawn the costume of the hero Grognak the Barbarian, and there are even special quests available when they’re wearing the Silver Shroud costume. Many thought that other costumed crusaders would pop up in Fallout 4, and this wish came true in the Automatron DLC. Adding the comic book villain the Mechanist and loads of new robotic enemies to fight, this DLC greatly boosted the game’s overall value.
14 Diamond City’s Mayor Is A Synth
Fallout 4’s Piper Wright is a companion character who works as a journalist in Diamond City. Her snooping eventually makes her a bit of an outcast in the community, and the mayor is even hostile towards her after she accused him of being a synth. While players can respond to Piper’s alligators in a number of ways, the theory is made true when the Sole Survivor later discovers that the Mayor is actually a synth. This narrative is great because the game itself proposes a theory for fans to debate and then answers it before the game’s conclusion.
13 Aliens Influenced The World Of Fallout
Aliens have been a part of the world of Fallout since the earliest games in the series, and fans have long thought that they heavily influenced the world of the games. This theory was seemingly confirmed in Fallout 4. Here, players battle a real alien in a crashed spaceship, and later alien shaped robots in the Nuka-World theme park. The two kinds of enemies look identical, though, and that could only happen if the people who made the automations knew what the real aliens looked like.
12 Shaun’s An Elderly Man
As soon as players learned that the Sole Survivor was on a mission to rescue his son after getting cryogenically frozen, many guessed that Shaun would be much older than the protagonist realized. As the character never stops to think about the implications of being frozen in time, they are shocked to find that their son is now an elderly man. Players, though, long suspected that something like this would happen, which did make the revelation feel a bit underwhelming.
11 Synths Are Everywhere
The story of Fallout 4 revolves heavily around the Institute replacing the people of the Commonwealth with robotic duplicates so that they can influence the growth of society. This premise cause loads of fans to speculate which characters are organic humans and which are synthetic. The game plays heavily into this set up by revealing characters to be synths after their introduction, and even has the player create a few synths over the course of the game. This was a fun execution of one of the game’s most interesting premises.
10 Humans Used Synth Technology To Live Forever
Modified humans are a big part of the world of the Fallout games. The extent of what this technology can do is still pretty vague, so fans of the games try to define it using clues from the games. The idea that humans can live forever using Fallout’s advanced technology was seemingly confirmed in Fallout 4. Using the Institute’s synth technology, Conrad Kellogg lived well beyond his natural lifespan with no signs of aging whatsoever. It’d be cool if this trend continued, and aging was a reversible mechanic in future games in the series.
9 Kasumi Isn’t A Synth
The events of the Far Harbor DLC begin when Nick Valentine and the Sole Survivor are asked to look for a missing young woman named Kasumi, who thinks she’s a synth instead of an organic human. While the normal storyline leaves her status as a synth as rather ambiguous, there’s enough in the game to confirm the theory that she isn’t a synth. For one thing, when defeated, she doesn’t drop any mechanical parts like other synths, and the Institute never saw the value in creating synths to replace children.
8 There’s A Cure For Super Mutants
Fallout’s super mutants are humans that mutated under the effects of a forced evolutionary virus. This led some fans to reason that these mutations could be reversed using in-universe technology, and they were proved correct in Fallout 4. Here, Brian Virgil creates a serum to reverse the effects of the mutation and plans on distributing it across the Wasteland. Perhaps, future games in the series will use this development to add more depth to one of the franchise’s oldest enemies.
7 There Are Supernatural Elements In The Fallout Universe
The Fallout franchise is primarily known for its use of science fiction tropes and plot devices to create an enticing universe and tell enticing stories within it. However, more mystical and supernatural elements appear in the games from time to time as well. Lorenzo Cabot has a mysterious device that grants him psychic powers and the Dunwich company has paranormal ties. Fans were right to think that the world of Fallout is much more magical than we were first led to believe.
6 Nuka-Cola Is Really Bad For You
Reasoning that soda in the real world is quite unhealthy, fans have long thought that Fallout’s Nuka-Cola is unhealthy, despite restoring a player’s health. It turns out they were right, as more recent games describe the beverage as somewhat toxic and irradiated. Fallout 4’s Nuka-Cola Quantum even contains a radioactive isotope and the game depicted frequent drinkers of the beverage as having rotted teeth. For as bad as real world soda is, Nuka-Cola is apparently far more hazardous and addicting.
5 Other Nations Survived The Apocalypse
The world of Fallout is pretty mysterious, as some communities are thriving while other areas are so radioactive that it’s uninhabitable. This caused plenty of fan debate over whether other nations besides the United States of America even exist in the world of Fallout. Fallout 4 seemed to hint at settlements existing around the world, with numerous characters having accents that reflect specific regions and nations of the world. Although this does raise the question of how people travel across the globe in the apocalypse, it is a solid instance of world building.
4 The Dunwich Conspiracy Lives On
Fallout 3 introduced Dunwich Borers LLC to the franchise, which had some ties to the occult. Fans speculated if the company would return in Fallout 4, and were happy to discover the Dunwich Borers location. By exploring this mine, the player was treated to visions of people worshiping a paranormal entity called Ug-Qualthoth. While we still don’t know what exactly is happening in these visions or how it affects the rest of the world, another wink to this mysterious game is sure to appear in future mainline titles.
3 Vault-Tec Wasn’t The Only Group Performing Experiments
The Vault-Tec Corporation created Fallout’s iconic nuclear fallout vaults and perpetrated many of the bizarre and horrific experiments that help define the world of the games. Fans thought that other organizations may have done some unusual experiments of their own, and have been proved right. While there are many examples, Fallout 4’s Suffolk County charter school had a program where students had to consume food paste to test its potential side effects. That’s why, if the player enters the building, they’ll encounter a horde of pink feral ghouls.
2 You Can Play As A Villain
In Fallout 4’s base game a player can make the Sole Survivor kind of a jerk, but never an outright villain. Usually, this wouldn't be a big deal, but the Fallout franchise is known for its high level of role-playing and fans quickly hoped that the option would appear as the game grew. Their hopes were answered in the Nuka-World DLC where the Sole Survivor becomes the head of a vicious raider gang. It also changed interactions in the rest of the game and made being bad feel better than ever.
1 Dogmeat Is Immortal
Dogmeat is a long running element of the Fallout series, and the terrific canine companion. Previous versions of the character made the magnificent mutt susceptible to fatal damage, which left fans hoping for a more durable version of the character in Fallout 4. When the game premiered, many were ecstatic to learn that the companions in the game are immortal and that their favorite apocalyptic dog will always get back on his feet, no matter how much damage he takes.