Bethesda Game Studios has made quite a name for themselves, with game series like Fallout and Skyrim. After purchasing the series from Gamasutra, BGS has revolutionized the Fallout series, winning the game various awards from 'Best Use of Sound' to Best 'Over-all Game of the Year' in 2008. The studio itself boasts a few nominations, including 'Developer of the Year' in 2015. With its gripping story-telling packed with beautifully rendered content, it's hard not to sing this developer team's praises.
But let’s be honest, Bethesda’s open-world games leave lots of room for error. They’ve packed a ton of story into the game as far as the world, its factions, and items. Which is part of why we love their games, however, these elements are sometimes inconsistent. Since Fallout 76 recently hit store shelves, some fans are already noticing a couple details that make no sense according to the past lore and history of the franchise.
Aside from these mismatches, sometimes the mechanics go against the ease of storytelling, as Fallout’s karma system has raised a lot of ethical questions.
And yes, some science will be discussed here. Fallout delves into a world that tries its best to be believable with the tools it has. They only go so far, though. For example, we find a child ghoul who has been stuck in a fridge for 200 years. That’s a huge stretch for our suspension of disbelief.
So how far did your suspension of disbelief go in the series?
29 Why Are Aliens Overlooked?
The Mothership Zeta DLC for Fallout 3 was among its least popular add-ons because aliens are just kind of a side-note in the franchise. It’s funny because since when are aliens considered side-notes?
Aliens exist in the Fallout universe and no one seems to care.
Even if the bombs went off yesterday, people would be losing their minds if they see concrete alien evidence!
Why include aliens if they are just going to be overlooked? A lot of fans hate this about the Fallout universe.
28 Magic Powers Exist?
The only explanation given as to why some people have magical powers in the wasteland is radiation. Sorry to be a downer, but that’s really stretching the ability of what radiation can do.
Magic has been shown to exist in Fallout through Mama Murphy, the AntAgonizer, Harold the tree-mutant, and Lorenzo Cabot (with that weird crown he found in an archeological dig). Then there are the psykers, who are people with paranormal powers. Reminder: this isn’t an Elder Scroll game! You are still playing Fallout.
27 Deathclaws Are Chameleons?
Look up the Jackson Chameleon to find out where Deathclaws come from. You can sort of see it in the horns. Other than that though, what happened? Why are mutated Jackson Chameleons the most dangerous creature in the wasteland? Am I the only one who feels like I’m being lied to?
Documents have shown that these guys were created before the fallout as tools of war.
Also, their super early concept art by Scott Campbell actually gave them fur and they looked more like werewolves. Maybe that would have been better.
26 How Does The Mysterious Stranger Work?
The Mysterious Stranger is more of a perk than a character in the Fallout universe. However, he is no figure of your character’s imagination. We learn this from Nick Valentine’s research in Fallout 4 on the Mysterious Stranger. He has been a perk in every game so he knows how to travel and survive throughout everything. But how? Is he multiple people? Does he use stealth boys to disappear quickly after appearing? In New Vegas, the Lonesome Drifter hints that the Mysterious Stranger is his dad, raising so many more questions.
25 What's With Harold, The Talking Tree?
Harold has been in a lot of Fallout games up to Fallout 3. He’s not a Super Mutant and not a Ghoul, but a special FEV subject. What really makes him special is that he acts as if the plant growing on him, who he calls Bob, is sentient.
Is Harold losing his mind or is this plant actually sentient? That’s left up to interpretation.
Of course, people are worshipping him by the third game! He’s a magic tree with the ability to fertilize the wasteland and make more plants! But how does this even work? We need answers!
24 What's With Far Harbor's Mother Of The Fog?
The Mother of the Fog in the Far Harbor DLC is a grand enigma of the Fallout universe. Is she a spirit? A ghost? Some substance-addled dream? We don’t ever find out. All we know is that she is worshipped by the Church of the Children of Atom and you can only see her if you drink irradiated water from Atom’s Spring.
Sounds like a substance-addled dream, right? Then why do others see the exact same thing? She may not even be supernatural either, since she is able to leave notes in Haddock Cove. So what’s really going on?
23 A Kid In A Fridge For 200 Years?
In Fallout 4, you find Billy in a refrigerator in the middle of nowhere. He’s a child, turned ghoul, and get this, he's pre-war. This means that he has been stuck in that fridge for about 200 years.
No one has heard him screaming for 200 years when he’s a 15 minute walk from his hometown?
How is he able to see after being in the dark for that long? In fact, how is he able to walk? Why isn’t he feral or at least insane? This quest was just a fever dream.
22 Ghosts Exist?
You see ghosts more than once throughout the franchise. You see them in the Dunwich Building in Fallout 3, with Anna Winslow in Fallout 2, the ghost child in Fallout 4’s Nuka-World, and Ghost of She in New Vegas.
So what makes someone a ghost anyway? Everyone in these games seem to have perished in a rather traumatic way that give reasons for a soul to be unable to leave. What makes certain people or creatures special? A better question is, why hasn't a ghost hunting faction been created yet?
21 Vampires Exist?
Also known as 'The Family' in Fallout 3, their lore is very strange. They were once people-eaters, before their leader decided they should be vampires instead. He took the idea straight from classic literature, so now they drink blood instead of eat people.
They have no powers or abilities, but in the quest, it sounds like they can have an uncontrollable hunger much like a vampire.
Take Ian West, who one day snaps and ends his parents. How did Ian develop this insatiable hunger from being hit in the head as a kid? This story just gets more and more ridiculous.
20 Pre-War Amnesia?
Bethesda threw a bomb at its fans when it hinted in that Fallout 4: Far Harbor we might become androids. The whole idea is crazy and frankly story-breaking if you think hard enough about the possibility.
If you try to argue that you know you’re human in the game, your character realizes that they don’t remember a single day before the bombs dropped (right when the game started). Um, what? That level of amnesia is too important to just be a side note in the story! We need some sort of explanation.
19 Stimpaks Heal Everything?
Stimpaks are just so the game isn’t infuriating when you get injured. We know know this because during hard or nightmare difficulties, you have to see a doctor to heal broken bones and concussions.
In normal and easy mode though, you just stick yourself with a ton of healing juices that magically mend your body.
With that level of healing, it’s a wonder how people perish so much. Why isn’t mass production of stimpaks the first thing on the list of things to rebuild society?
18 What's With Kellogg’s Brain Implant?
The implant is fine and makes sense enough. It’s not so much the brain implant itself that's as absurd as what you do with it. You use the android Nick Valentine’s brain, hook it and yourself up to the machine, and somehow see Kellogg’s memories. It's a lot to take in but it flies by pretty quickly.
Then, out of nowhere, Nick speaks like Kellogg for a moment afterwards and it’s never mentioned again. What happened? Is part of Kellogg always part of Nick now? This part of the story is just glossed over!
17 Magic Weapons Exist?
We don't really care too much if they are magical in the Fallout setting because they are just so fun! Fallout 4 is most known for its magical weapons. For instance, a gun that does 50 percent extra damage, or a minigun that does fire damage, or a bat that with a small chance of sending your enemy flying an inhuman distance.
These are often held by legendary creatures of the wasteland.
They are purely mechanical, but very fun. Though, maybe it would be more fun if these weapons had an actual story.
16 When Was The Brotherhood Founded?
This made a ton of Fallout 76 players mad, due to a major error in the Fallout timeline. Previous games, documents, and the like, have all entailed when the Brotherhood of Steel was founded. With this information, players have pointed out that the Brotherhood of Steel should not be in Fallout 76 since it takes place 30 years before their founding.
According to an article on Game Rant, the creators admitted they bent some of the lore to push the game forward. Yikes.
15 How Do Ghouls Survive?
This is nit-picky, but here we go.
We know parts of them are falling off, as almost none of them have a nose and their skin is messed up. So wouldn’t their immune system be compromised and wide open for infection?
Your nose and skin are primary entrances for bacteria. So what happens to the bacteria?
Especially in a dirty place like the wasteland! They've adapted to radiation, so how does that translate to regulating their body temperature or protecting their lungs? More answers please!
14 Where Did The Little Lamplight Kids Come From?
There is evidence of the beginning of Little Lamplight in Fallout 3 starting with a cave-in during a kids’ field trip. But that was 200 years ago. We learn that all the adults perished quickly, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. These kids then kicked anyone who grew up out to Big Town.
But how does this cave settlement keep being supplied with kids? Do the Big Town adults send their kids there? Something very suspicious is going on.
13 What's With The Overabundance Of Raiders?
If your goal in Fallout 4 is to cleanse the wasteland of raiders, then your work would never be complete, as they will surely respawn.
You may totally cut down a gang in a run-down pub, but next week they will be back for you to do it all over again.
The developers were probably worried that the game would get too boring if we could just clear out all of the enemies but then again, isn’t fighting the same people in the same place even more boring and far less satisfying?
12 What's With The Karma System?
The fun part of an apocalypse game is how it can force you to make hard decisions. What is normally taboo can become your only way of survival.
The karma system for some of the Fallout games utterly ruined that experience. They got to say what was good and sinister, and that confused people. For example, it’s not wrong to end a raider but wrong to make them servants. Furthermore, it's wrong to eat people even when it’s a difference between life and demise. Where exactly do we draw the line?
11 Who Buys People?
This question mostly goes for Fallout 3, which features Paradise Falls, the center of the market for people in the Capital Wasteland. The narrative around this location presents as a big deal.
However, who is purchasing these humans other than that one guy that sells you Charon?
We never see settlers or even the raiders possessing people. Do they just buy and eat them or something? Is there only a single buyer out there somewhere?
10 Expired Trees?
Why are these still here after 200 years? We can only assume these were once living and could only have survived pre-war and then perished when the bombs hit. So what on earth keeps these deceased trees up and together? Due to being hit, radiated, and getting a severe lack of sun and water.
The developers either forgot to consider this, or they thought the land would be too boring without the trees. However, they're deceased trees! Which means no one should miss them.
9 How Doesn't Fawkes Make People Hostile?
Imagine how difficult your life would be if they made our friendly neighborhood Super Mutant far stronger but also made settlements hostile to balance things out?
But wait... Boone wouldn’t go near Cesar’s camp without hostility... Fawkes is cheating!
Really though, no one cares that a Super Mutant is in their restaurant, house, or church. It’s fine as long as he is Fawkes. No introductions needed even. Sometimes we wonder how he even fits through the doors but he manages.
8 Sleeping In Owned Beds?
You can sweep out the lives of innocents and wrong-doers but you cannot under any circumstances sleep in an owned bed. It doesn't even matter if the owner is deceased. You cannot sleep on what is considered their property.
This mechanic is actually for good reason because you could mess up the entire system of an NPC if you were allowed to sleep in their bed. Still, it’s funny considering how much you actually are able to do in this game.
7 Repairing Alien Tech?
This is another reason the aliens just are a painful part of Fallout lore. How is it that random people throughout the wasteland can figure out how to repair the alien weapons you collect?
Why do aliens have weapons that work just like ours?
Or are merchants just super familiar with alien tech? There should have been an NPC especially made to be the only one who knows alien tech. Not only would that build on lore but it would be a lot more believable.
6 Where Are The Squirrels And Iguanas?
If this question seems strange, then let us remind you that you can find food in the wasteland called “Squirrel on a Stick” or “Iguana on a Stick.” So, where are they? If this food exists, then where are all the squirrels and iguanas? Did we hunt them down to extinction and just still have their meat lying around?
Did someone corral all the iguanas and squirrels because they are now endangered? Did they become like that Wolf’s Rain anime and turn into humans to protect themselves? Where are they?!
We are definitely not the first or the last to notice this accent issue in the games. Most of the population of the United States has been wiped out and 200 years have passed.
So the only way for accents to remain would be on behalf of a pre-war ghoul or perhaps a vault dweller.
The possibility that they were raised in a community of other people that somehow retained their accents seems unlikely. Examples of NPCs with accents include that Irishman from Megaton, the brothers in Diamond City, and Cait.
4 Worth Of Pre-War Money
Why is pre-war money worth anything? If you collect pre-war money, you can sell it for a significant sum of caps. But why do people do that? Why buy expired money with the currency of real worth? Do people use old money as toilet paper? That would be disgusting.
It’s a great way to make money though. You can collect pre-war cash as much as you want because they don’t weigh anything. Since it's easy caps, maybe it’s best to keep this on the hush.
3 Isn't 200 Years A Very Long Time?
Just look up the 200-year time span of the fallout online and you will see why tons of fans have an issue with it. It’s a long time! In that span of time, humanity went from horseback riding to visiting Mars. So how has so little changed since the bombs fell?
There is still so much untouched by humans, like deceased cars and abandoned buildings.
Some fans love New Vegas the most because it entails that some societies, even cities, and gambling, have been rebuilt.
2 Why Do We Need A Water Purifier?
So seriously, the plot of Fallout 3 makes no sense. The plot hinges on the importance of water purification, a process so important in this post-apocalyptic setting that there exists an entire initiative dedicated to it, Project Purity. Unfortunately, all of the technological abilities in Fallout 3 create a giant hole in our plot.
If you buy a house with a butler robot, he will give you purified water. So, does this mean that robots have purifiers in them? If so, then the purifier your dad was working on doesn't seem so needed.
In fact, humans have survived for 200 years without the water purifier haven’t they? How did they manage to do that? And if they have, why purified water so important now?
1 Your Dad’s Actions
Speaking of the old man, in Fallout 3, your dad sacrifices himself so that the Enclave does not get the water purifier. A lot of fans took issue with this because who cares if the Enclave gets a water purifier? It’s not like it’s a super powerful gun.
Your dad sacrifices himself for this reason, despite the fact that (as we've just established) a water purifier isn’t even that needed!
Of course, there is the virus that will destroy mutated creatures that the Enclave later plans, but that was unknown to your dad.