The Fallout series has always been about living out a post-apocalyptic fantasy. Over the years, Interplay, Bethesda and Obsidian have taken that idea and built a seriously dark world giving players a brilliant series of sandboxes to play around in. Aside from leveling up and earning new skills with which to battle bigger and badder enemies, the Fallout franchise allows players to verbally interact with the NPCs of the world and make serious choices that effect the story, the characters and the greater world therein.
The Fallout series, for better or for worse, gives players choices. You can choose to be the beacon of hope for a slowly-rebuilding wasteland or you can burn the whole thing to the ground. There is really no wrong answer. The series has also never been one to shy away from the more gratuitous sides of the role-playing genre. Whether it's through hyper violence, drug use or by role-playing a vicious ne'er-do-well who uses their high charisma score to convince some poor soul to kill himself, there are plenty of outlets for one's more socially unacceptable desires. The series will often surprise players by allowing them to do things they never thought possible... for good or for evil.
But no matter which side of the Karma scale one finds themselves, occasionally the series takes things a step... or three... past the acceptable. Here is our list of 20 times the Fallout series has taken things TOO far.
20 Eat Your Fellow Wastelanders, If You Feel Like It!
Walking around the wasteland can be exhausting, especially if you are doing it on an empty stomach. Lucky for you, Bethesda thought to include the Cannibalism perk in the most recent iterations of the series. After choosing the perk, players are able to eat members of their own species as food. Add in the fact that Fallout 4 added a blood spurting graphic to the nasty little endeavor and you have yourself one of the more disgusting acts a player can engage in within the series. At least Bethesda hasn't lost their moral barometer completely. There are consequences for eating your fellow wastelanders. Most of your companions will be turned off by your menu choices and eating too much human meat may cause one to incur the Dark Craving status effect and normal food will no longer sate your hunger.
19 To Be Fair, They Were Mean To You
Okay. Maybe YOU are having a grand ole' time out in the wasteland, but that doesn't mean all of your buddies from your home vault want to leave their cozy, underground home and join you out in the radioactive wilderness. Why not sabotage the water chip and force them to come out and play instead? This is just one way players can complete the quest "Trouble on the Homefront" in Fallout 3. Shortly after receiving a distress call from Vault 101, you are tasked with usurping the overseer and freeing the vault denizens of his tyranny. Little do they know they were inviting you, a now devious wastelander, back into their homes as a proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. Suffice it to say, a high enough hacking score will allow you to destroy a key component of the vault's life support system forcing all of the vault-dwelling softies into the macabre of the wasteland.
18 The Crucifixion Of Benny
Crucifixion is never a fun way to go. Being nailed to a cross (alive, mind you) and then being hoisted up to die a slow, slow death... not a pretty picture. Fallout: New Vegas doesn't pull any punches before showing signs of this horrific torture early in the game as you meander past skeletons being picked clean by birds, still hanging with arms out-stretched. However, as I began my first playthrough of Obsidian's masterpiece, I never expected to have the option to take part in this biblical and barbaric act. If working for Caesar, the player will be given the opportunity to choose how Benny dies. He seems unphased by most methods, but when crucifixion is mentioned, his fears begin to surface. Of course, you could choose to free him, but where's the fun in that?
17 Addiction Can Affect Anyone
It is no secret that the Fallout franchise has had its fair share of problems with rating classifications abroad. The adult nature of the game has always given rise to its fair-share of difficulties in countries with more puritanical stances on video game content. Though it would be easy to assume that the graphic depictions of violence were largely to blame for Fallout's problems overseas, it is actually the post-apocalyptic chems (basically fictional analogues to modern day drugs) that have stirred the most controversy in recent years. Using chems can add a temporary stat boost to a player's abilities, but it comes with a price. Using too many chems of a particular make will cause a player to become addicted and certain skills will take a negative hit by a point or two. Really cool from a roleplaying perspective, but certainly one of the more adult themes within the franchise.
16 You Can Just... Blow Up A City
The title says it all, but for the uninitiated, Megaton is the first major city players encounter after leaving the vault in Fallout 3. You meet your first wasteland NPCs there. Get your first REAL quest there. Maybe even buy your first weapon! If Fallout cities were girlfriends, Megaton would be your first kiss. Tenpenny Tower would be your prom date. In any event, at the center of the city is an undetonated megaton class atomic bomb which is, unsurprisingly, the city's namesake. There is even a religious cult that has come to worship the nuclear weapon as a diety. An early mission tasks you with deactivating the bomb for good, thus saving the city from eventual doom... but for a few dollars more, players can choose to do the bidding of a sinister real estate mogul and detonate the bomb instead. Easily one of the more evil choices that can be made within the series, but made especially so since you probably personally know everyone who lives there.
15 They Should Lock You Away For That
For those of you that started the series with Fallout 3, it may come as a surprise that the initial two releases of the franchise allowed the death of children. Not only could they die, but their blood could be on your hands if you chose to be a truly vile and despicable person. This wasn't simply an oversight by the developer, Interplay, either. Players could find themselves with the "Childkiller" reputation if they killed enough kids granting them a serious point reduction to reactions with both good and evil NPCs. At least the developers tried to make you avoid child murder. It still seems like allowing it in the first place by creating game mechanics based around the murder of children takes things a bit too far.
14 Speaking Of Eating Other Wastelanders...
Yes, I know we already mentioned cannibalism on this list, but what about FORCED cannibalism? Yeah, WAY worse. In the original Fallout, the player may find out that a local doctor has been shipping human body parts to Iguana Bob who has then been turning those bits into "iguana-on-a-stick." In this case, the most evil thing is to do nothing and allow the residents of Junktown to continue buying and eating the imposter "iguana-on-a-stick," unaware of its true origins. Even worse, you can choose to blackmail Iguana Bob and get a cut of the human-meat profits. Either way, I often think about this mission whenever I'm standing in line at the kebab shop watching the guy slicing off bits of the twirling gyro meat.
13 Be The Leatherface Of The Wasteland
Alright, so you can only make a mask out of ghoul skin, but remember, ghouls used to be people just like you or me before they came into contact with too much radiation. And besides, wearing anyone's face on your face basically looks like ghoul skin anyways. Aside from providing the player a little extra resistance against the dangers of the world, it also acts as a disguise against feral ghouls who are not as intelligent as their non-feral counterparts. Sure, everyone will think you are hideous in the mask, but it is far from Bethesda disincentivising the wearing of another sentient being's face.
12 This Seems Like A Cheap Shot, Even For You
Poor Mister Lopez. He's depressed because no one remembers or cares about him. His wife and children were killed by raiders and he has been living in the common area of Rivet City for the ten years since his life went down the tubes. The nice thing to do would be to convince Lopez that he is still needed. Talk to some other kind folks in the city and find someone who would need the guidance of Lopez. Perhaps that would pull the poor bastard out of his depression and give his life meaning. Or... you could be a truly evil piece of work and goad him into ending his own life by calling him pathetic. Or you could just push him over that ledge...
11 At Least You're Not The One Being Framed
The mission is simple: find a man's lost son and return him safely to his father. Too many video games have posed this familiar scenario. Few of those games give the player the option to kill the abducted person. Fewer still let you frame the family member for the murder. Fallout: New Vegas doesn't bat an eye when tasking players with this Liam Neeson-like scenario and makes the option to kill the son instead an appealing option. Sure, the lowly farmer was going to pay you for the return of his son, but in the world of evil-doings, someone will always pay better.
10 You Can Be Totally Racist If You Want To Be
Clean water in post-apocalyptic DC is hard enough to come by. It would take an especially sadistic idiot to come along and poison some of the only drinkable water in the region. Even though the "poison" we're talking about strictly targets super mutants and ghouls and that, as far as the player knows, it should not affect normal humans, it's still pretty evil. Part of the main story for Fallout 3, players have to choose whether they want to cleanse the land of the highly irradiated humanoids or sever ties with President Eden and allow all beings the pursuit of life. Some say that infecting super mutants and ghouls with FEV and subsequently wiping them out is a good thing. I say that's just politics.
9 Help Some Convicts Take Over A Town
An early quest in Fallout: New Vegas finds our protagonist with a choice: help a city threatened by convicts... or help the gang take over the town. This is one of the more black or white choices in New Vegas and that it is why it is so significant. You would have to be really, really wanting to take things too far if you choose to side with the gang. They don't provide much in terms of reward if you sack the town. You lose access to vendors and other friendly NPCs. And when I say friendly, I mean friendly. Some of the kindest folk this side of the wasteland. Hell, the city is even called Goodsprings! It's basically the Mayberry of the Fallout series. Turning on these kind, small-town people and raiding the town... just despicable.
8 Honestly He Doesn't Really Want To Live Anyways
While wandering around the world in Fallout 3, players may find a hidden oasis. A veritable contrast to the sandy deserts of the rest of the world, this haven of greenery is home to a tree-man who has but one desire: he wants to die. After being stuck in the same position for years and, with immortality providing no end in sight, he just wants it all to end. This would seem like a humane thing to do, except there is an entire village surrounding the tree that relies on his supernatural growing powers to fuel the greenery of Oasis. There is a convoluted quest to put the tree-man down in the gentlest way possible, but if you want, you can just burn him to the ground.
7 This Kid Can Just Suck It Up
You may not be able to murder kids in Fallout 4 (at least not without the help of a mod), but you CAN steal their medicine. Poor little Austin of Vault 81 has been bitten by a molerat and it is up to you to find the cure to this poor child's plight. You are pointed towards a cure, but it is highly likely that while attempting to find it you will also contract the molerat disease. With the illness comes a potentially permanent reduction to your HP. And it gets worse. When you find the cure, there's only one dose left. So now you are left with a predicament. Do you take the medicine yourself and cure your vermin-related ailment... or do you sacrifice yourself and give poor, little Austin the cure? I mean, this is a permanent reduction to HP we're talking about here!
6 Did Something Bad? Let The World Know!
The in-game radio in Fallout was one of the best additions to the series. Not only does the retro-music make for a great juxtaposition against the colorless horizon of the post-apocalyptic landscape, but the narrative aspects of Three Dog going on about your heroic endeavors is always rewarding. Not only does it give you the feeling that you are actually making a difference in the world, but the level of immersion it adds to an already immersive experience is unparalleled. However, if one is more inclined to push the moral boundaries in the darker direction, every broadcast discussing the people you have killed or the settlements you have burned to the ground are nothing more than a cavalcade of positive reinforcement for more evil deeds. Plus, that track about the murderer hacking up all that human meat always gets my toes tapping.
5 Not My President
It is not the most novel mission to be tasked with in a Bethesda game. Hell, it's almost more likely than not that an assassination mission will be given to a player in just about any game. But there is something about the presidential assassination in New Vegas that just goes a bit far. I don't know if it's the obvious real world analogues they pose or just the whole shooting an unarmed man while he gives a speech to a crowd of onlookers. Either way, the sheer number of ways a player can go about killing the commander-in-chief of the New California Republic is mind boggling.
4 You Can Be A Sneering Imperialist
This is one of those perks that you have to look a little deeper to see just how dark it really is. Basically the perk grants players additional attack bonuses versus tribal folk. That wouldn't be so bad if all of the tribes in New Vegas were bad, but they aren't. To really take advantage of the bonus (which you definitely want to do with all your perks since they are hardly handed out on a whim), you have to be waylaying tribesmen like Anakin Skywalker at his mother's funeral. Also, the "Sneering Imperialist" name conjures images of forcibly removing natives from their homelands. That's just dark.
3 Wiping Out The (Robotic) Underground Railroad
In the world of Fallout you are likely to come across all manner of sentient beings. Some of the more intelligent of those, believe it or not, tend to be the robots of the world. In Fallout 4, the series takes the robot race even further with Synths; human-like cyborgs with personalities that blur the line between man and machine. Synths were created and work for the Institute, but they are essentially slaves to their masters. This is where the Railroad comes in to play. Analogous to the American Civil War era Underground Railroad in more than just name, the Railroad in Fallout 4 hopes to undermine the Institute by freeing the Synths from their master's control and giving them the agency to live productive lives in the wasteland. But Bethesda gives you the option of shutting the whole organization down instead.
2 The "Childkiller"
Sure, killing kids and the "childkiller" reputation were mentioned before on this list, but the rejected art for receiving the reputation of child murderer takes everything to a whole new level. I mean... just look at it... 'nuff said.
This art was removed for a reason, and we're happy that it was. Just look at Vault Boy's face; he's WAY too happy to be kicking that poor woman like that. Anyone who makes that face after kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach has something seriously wrong with them, and we definitely don't want to be associated with them.
1 We're Going To Remind You That This Is A Teenager
Last, but certainly the darkest bit in the entire Fallout franchise, is the character of Myron. An NPC you meet in Fallout 2, Myron seems a little off from the get-go. If a player has chosen to run the game as a female character, Myron will begin making s*xual advances at the very onset of any conversation. Worse yet, if your character has a low intelligence score, he will begin manipulating you into having a drink with him. If the player chooses to imbibe, they begin to get woozy and the screen fades to black (as it does with all s*xual moments in the game) and he urges you to "just relax, sweetheart..." The moment is gross and it leaves you feeling exactly like you would expect it to. An unnecessary addition and certainly the #1 spot for when the series just took things too far.