The concept art books for the Fallout franchise contain amazing illustrations. Just flipping through the pages gets you excited about world-building, drawing, and coming up with ideas for the Fallout universe. The concept art even inspired some fans to create mods for some of this cut out content!
I’ve been in the midst of re-playing Fallout 4 (need to actually play the DLC now), so a lot of ideas have been rattling in my mind lately of some ideas that could’ve been, like Hancock having hair or the Institute having their own type of Power Armor.
That’s not all, but Fallout 3 had a lot of creatures cut that we can see concept art of, such as wastewolves, abominations, and piggy bank grenades. I own a copy Fallout 3’s collector's edition concept art book (came with a Vault lunchbox!) and it’s loaded with cool ideas that did not make it into the final game product.
So from creatures to gear to character designs, there is actually a lot to look over. Maybe these unused concepts will make it into future games? It’s been known to happen.
Let’s open these concept files and see what we got!
22 Giant Mole Rat
Mutated mole rats are a common creature in the post-nuclear war world of Fallout. There have been all kinds in the franchise from hairy mole rats, albino mole rats, pig rats, regular mole rats, mole rat pups, mole rat brood mothers, and glowing mole rats.
A giant mole rat that’s big enough to ride? That was a concept cut from Fallout 3.
Mountable creatures are not a thing in the franchise yet and it’s surprising when they have the mounted creatures all coded down in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series. It’s also not a new concept for mole rats to be domesticated. Remember Snuffles at Sloan in Fallout: New Vegas? I hear most gamers accidentally took oiut the poor creature. Huh, maybe we don’t deserve mountable mole rats.
21 Hancock with Hair
This ghoul mayor was hands-down my favorite character in Fallout 4. This historical cosplay nerd had a somewhat different look in his concept art than the ghoul we know in the game. He has a little more hair.
I know this seems like a minor thing, but it wasn’t minor for some Fallout fans. I know because there is a mod to make Hancock more like his original concept art. Fans have argued that Hancock is recently ghoulified, so he should look more like his concept art than long-time ghouls like Daisy and Kent.
But what do we know? Hancock’s situation was unusual. I think a lot of fans were affected by this concept because Hancock is a romanceable character, so every physical detail matters.
20 People Cage
This Behemoth concept art is from Fallout 3’s concept art book. Behemoth’s are a sight to behold in the Fallout series. These guys are so huge they can use car doors as shields, shopping carts as backpacks, and streetlamps as weapons.
Now I’ve seen shopping cart backpacks on Super Mutants, but not filled with people!
That’s a horrifying and an awesome idea. We know Super Mutants kidnap people for different reasons, whether for food or to create another Super Mutant. In the series, we often save people who have been kidnapped by Super Mutants, but imagine if you had to save someone straight from a Behemoth’s back! There would be much more difficulty because you could accidentally hurt the people in the process and you would have no choice but to deal with the Behemoth.
19 Tinker Tom Headgear
Tinker Tom is recognized as the repairman and quartermaster for the Railroad. More so, he is remembered for his crazy theories about well...everything. They're mostly about the Institute, but he also goes on about aliens. He also apparently thinks Deacon is a time traveler.
I must say the concept headgear is way cooler than the Tinker Tom headgear from the game. The game’s headgear just look like regular googles with one of the eye pieces being a little longer than the other. What we're seeing in this concept fits way more with Tinker Tom’s crazy personality.
Also we can see from this concept art that Tinker Tom was an old white guy. We’ve seen plenty of old white guys with the crazy theories trope, so it was a good decision to change his race and age in our opinion.
18 Mutant Mantis Shrimp
This creature appeared in concept art for the cancelled MMO, Fallout Online. With the game cancelled, this creature never even got a chance. Though I could understand why it’s not so sorely missed, as it looked a lot like a Mirelurk Hunter. It may have been an interesting creature to put into the Far Harbor DLC in Fallout 4. Though the giant hermit crabs certainly have the mantis shrimp beat in creativity.
This concept art is apparently telling a story. The man being attacked has a name: Lee Jenkins, a Brotherhood Paladin. I guess we will never know if Jenkins survived this attack. This mantis shrimp fight is mentioned in a brief short story called, "On the Beach", published in The Armageddon Rag, Vol. 3.
17 Noodle Upgrade
Huh, Power Noodles really became a cheaper looking establishment in the actual game. A direct comparison of the Diamond City’s Power Noodles concept art to the actual Power Noodles in Fallout 4 is a little depressing. The steel canopies in the concept art seem to have been turned into red cloth, giving it a more tent-feel, rather than a hotel.
Also the tower seems much more massive in the concept art, like people could actually live in that tower. Or maybe in the concept, we have a bunch of robots in that tower making noodles instead of one.
I think what we got in the game is more suited for the Fallout universe though. We can’t get too high-end in a post-apocalyptic world! There is nothing quite as nice as a humble noodle shop anyway.
16 A Different Sort of Ugly
Talk about nightmare fuel. This is actually known as an Abomination rather than a Mutant when it comes to Fallout creatures. This drawing is one concept out of a couple that were meant to be in Fallout 3’s DLC, Mothership Zeta.
So you’ve probably guessed it from the DLC mentioned, this creature was created by aliens.
But this creature, along with some others, was cut presumably at the conceptual stage of the DLC. It’s one of the more disappointing losses, as the abominations that made it in the game are far less interesting looking and don’t seem scary at all. Nothing can beat having a crab arm and dozens of eyes on a tentacle arm. If displayed right, it would scare the spirit out of me.
15 Pipboy Design
This Pipboy looks like the last thing I would want on my arm in the apocalypse. Look at all those wires that can get caught on stuff and check out that penny-sized screen that sticks out like a sore thumb!
I can picture one vault getting this version of a Pipboy and then meeting another vault dweller with the Fallout 4 version, before losing their minds about how unfair their lives are for having suck a dumber Pipboy.
If I was a raider and found some poor soul wearing it, I’d let them keep it and loot for their caps and food instead. Also is that supposed to be Pipboy the mascot in the corner?! He looked like an elf for a cereal brand! What happened?
14 Horrifying Centaurs
Centaurs hit on the most gruesome aspects of body horror in the Fallout series. Now I remember how they looked in Fallout 3 was horrifying, but this took the horror a step further. Centaurs were going to appear in Fallout 4, as we can see from this concept art, but were cut for unknown reasons.
We don’t know whether to thank Bethesda or be disappointed for this one. I think I’m mostly disappointed.
These monsters were once people, sort of like Super Mutants, except unlike the Supers, these guys are almost devoid of any humanity. Their mutations are not even useful, that’s the scariest part. Imagine turning into one of these and all it does for you is make your barely-functioning life miserably long? I think we missed out with this nightmare.
13 Institute Power Armor
What a sickening loss for us and the Institute! I’ve never sided with the Institute in the end, but I still am pained that this Power Armor got cut from the game. Thankfully there is a mod for those who want the Power Armor now.
On one hand, why would the Institute use Power Armor when they use synths to do everything combat-wise? Would the synths use the Power Armor? Or would the Power Armor itself be capable of artificial intelligence? It would suck to fight a Courser wearing a suit of the Institute Power Armor.
For those who don’t use mods, you’ll have to settle for Institute paint for your Power Armor cause that’ll probably be the closest you’re going to get to this concept piece.
12 Alien Abomination
You know how I said there are multiple cuts for abomination concepts in the Mothership Zeta Fallout 3 DLC? Here is another one! It's quite as exciting and horrific as crab-arm, many eyes man, but still better than what we actually got in the game.
This guy looks like he could have a Deathclaw hand and some inhuman feet.
In the DLC, when you end abominations, you sometimes hear them whisper “Thank you.” If they look as upset, horrifying, and uncomfortable as this guy, that would've been more powerful. I heard these merciful actions don’t affect your karma though. I am glad the karma mechanics got kicked out of the series after Fallout 3. Imagine if we had that in Fallout 4 or New Vegas. I’d definitely feel less free in my roleplaying life.
11 Catfish Mirelurk
This one actually gets kind of cute the longer I stare at its catfish face. The Mirelurks Fallout players are familiar with are most iconic for their shells that take little damage. This catfish doesn’t appear to have the shell, so I wonder who would classify him as a type of Mirelurk?
In fact, how do beats get officially named in this series? Am I missing that lore or are we just accepting a common name despite the fact that society is in pieces? I think wastelanders would each have their own name for creatures, like how the characters do it in The Walking Dead.
This concept was found in the Fallout 3 concept art book. I guess we’ll have to settle with just regular Mirelurks for now.
10 A Different Nat
I would not have thought this image was Piper’s little sister, Nat, if the Fallout 4 concept art didn’t outright state it! She looks totally different with white hair, pigtails, and a bandana. Then again, I usually recognize most people by their hair. But why white hair? This girl is around maybe 10-years-old?
White hair often fits the trope that the character has gone through some kind of trauma, but Nat is a pretty minor character with little backstory.
She’s also holding a gun in this concept art. Does he actually have a gun in the game? She never needs to fight since she never leaves Diamond City, though it would be awesome to see a kid beat some raiders. I might have preferred this Nat to the one we got.
9 A More Memorable Murphy
Well, this art has proven to me that Mama Murphy missed out on possibly having the coolest design of a Fallout character. We have never seen someone in a wheelchair, let alone one as awesome as this one! A Mister Handy chair? Or a chair with tank wheels?! Her own lantern dangling above her!?
Instead we got an ordinary looking old lady! What kind of chems was Bethesda on to get rid of this awesome gem of a concept? She already had a cool physic power! Physic characters leave a ton of room for creativity, and you can see that in this concept art.
The “sight” she gets from chems was a cool aspect, but without it (if you get her to quit chems), she’s just an ordinary settler.
8 Mutated James
This would have been a game-changer in Fallout 3. In the game’s concept art book you can see some concept art labeled ''Dad'' and these depict a freshly mutated mutant with a suspiciously soft, fatherly face.
According to the Fallout 3 guide, the Lone Wanderer was originally never planned to be involved in Project Purity and was to encounter James in Vault 87, who would be in the process of becoming a mutant and would ask the Lone Wanderer to end him.
That is dark! Darker than the story we know. Bethesda decided to throw out that concept because it was a twist too close to Prey’s and felt cliché. I don’t know about that though. I think I may have preferred this version. I wonder what the rest of the plot would’ve been without Project Purity though?
7 Gross Abomination
Mothership Zeta DLC’s aliens had a lot of concept art for their abominations. From a tentacle monster to two bodies trapped in one, before coming to this disgusting vision. It has quills, a bunch of legs, a bunch of eyes, and about two mouths that are vomiting? It apparently vomits its entrails for external digestion. I’m not biologist, but that sounds pretty sick and gross.
The vomit is even coming out of its nose! How does it breath? How does it exist? With Fallout 3’s graphics, I can see why they may have cut out this concept. Possibly it was too much going on at once for a creature. It may have made an interesting boss fight though. I would need a bath after even looking at that creature though.
6 Giant Mutated Rats
These creatures were cut from Fallout 3. Maybe because mutated mole rats are enough? I feel like rats are way more common and likely. Like how many mole rats do you see compared to rats? Unlike the mole rats, these look hairier (albeit the hair is falling off to due radiation).
Also the Washington DC I know is full of rats! I’ve seen them in the alleyways between restaurants and dumpsters. So why did we get mole rats in the Capitol Wasteland?
Mole rats stuck around for New Vegas and Fallout 4 too. They are one of the most common creatures to run across in these games. Maybe mole rats just benefitted from the nuclear war while regular rats died out? It’s just odd.
The name alone is awesome due to the alliteration. This was another monster cut from Fallout 3 that can be found in the concept art book. They held the same facial and physical deformities and appearances as yao guai.
There are rumors that the concept art for wastewolves were not accepted due to being "too buffalo-like" and "too hyena-like.” I don’t see anything wrong with that! That just makes them more terrifying. They're certainly a step up from the wild dogs you find in the Capitol Wasteland. These guys would hunt in packs, having ear-piercing howls you can hear from a distance at night, and would probably eliminate small settlements.
What if you could have one as a companion? Wolves are never not cool.
4 Boom Goes the Piggy Bank
Aw, it’s a little piggy bank! How innocent looking.
Something I love about the Fallout universe is the creative ways Bethesda creates a new world after post nuclear war. We got a huge ship or baseball stadium reused for cities, mines made of bottle caps, a gun that shoots junk instead of bullets, and the list goes on. Unfortunately though, this little charming piggy bank grenade didn’t make it into Fallout 3, but it is in the concept art book!
This one makes more sense than the bottlecap mine.
It is a grenade version of the bottlecap mine because, as the name suggests, it would have used currency for shrapnel. Also unlike the bottlecap mine or the Nuka-grenade, the piggy bank grenade appears to use a powder fuse rather than an electronic one.
On this visual alone, I would cut out this creature. Cut from Fallout 3, but still found in the concept art book, a Floater was meant to be a hostile mutant creature that most likely would have originated from the FEV-infected flatworms mentioned in the FEV experiment disk, and were later further enhanced by the Master's experiments.
The Master is from the earlier Fallout games, like 1 and 2. So these creatures were actually in previous games! However their designs did to make it to later games as I bet they didn’t translate well to the sudden shift of the gameplay and graphics.
This was one of three versions that were cut. This one was a lamprey floater and there was also a needletooth floater and manowar tendril floater.
2 Mason Jar Mine
One word: Ouch! I’d much prefer to face that piggy bank than this mason jar of nails! This can be found in Fallout 3’s concept art book. Like all else listed, it got cut from the game.
Like a lot of Fallout’s homemade weapons, this is pretty creative.
I like how you can just stick a stick of dynamite and a lit cigarette onto something and just there you have it: a mine! The cigarette burns down and eventually ignites the fuse on the dynamite. When it explodes, it sends the nails flying! That would make this function more like a time-bomb than a mine or grenade. I bet if this made it into Fallout, we would be getting ourselves in trouble all over the place from the time limit. Maybe it’s a good thing we were spared!
Like the floaters, wanamingo were from the earlier Fallout games (Fallout 2) and didn’t translate well when Fallout 3 came around. Their concept art is in the book though!
Wanamingo were mutant animals that live mostly underground and they were actually created with FEV as weapons for waging war on other countries and escaped into the wastes. I guess they sort of have the same origin as deathclaws then?
In Fallout 2, they were only called wanamingos in Redding and were called aliens everywhere else for a while. Who can blame them? They look like aliens to me.
Geez, look at that concept’s skeleton, it’s all face and leg! How does it digest what it can eat with that giant maw? Also there are holes for eyes and nose and I don’t see them on the creature?