Document conversion project
Fallout Bible 5 is the fifth installment of the Fallout Bible, a collection of documents containing background material for the first Fallout games compiled and written by Chris Avellone. This installment was released on March 11, 2002.
All notes in italics come from The Vault editors, not from Chris Avellone himself.
|The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.|
Fallout Bible update
Mar. 11th 2002
Welcome to the fifth Fallout Bible update - if you missed any of the others, check the Black Isle main page and the "More News" section (and scroll down). The first three updates have been collected into "Update Zero," and the fourth update stands on its own.
For those of you who haven't seen these before, the Fallout Bible is just a collection of all the background material and hi-jinks from Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 compiled into one document so the fans can take a look at it. Some of it's a little rough, so if you see anything wrong or if you think of anything you'd like to see, drop me a line at Cavellone@blackisle.com and I'll see what I can do. I can't promise I'll answer your emails immediately, but I will get around to it, usually when the weekend hits. Because I am lazy, small, quick questions have a much faster turn around time.
In any event, these updates will now be appearing hopefully twice a month (on every other Monday) on the Black Isle Studios website, but you can usually find it not long after at any of the Fallout fan sites across the web.
Thanks for supporting Fallout,
Chris Avellone @ Black Isle
1. First off, I wanted to thank everyone who submitted their information on why they like pen-and-paper games. If you have anything else you'd like to add, send it on in to Cavellone@blackisle.com.
2. Also thanks for everybody who sent in tunes - if you have anything that strikes you as a good Fallout fifties ambiance, send it my way at the email address above. I'm always looking for new music tunes.
3. Hey if any of you out there would be interested in a Fallout PNP RPG play-by-internet game, feel free to contact John Schweizer at:
Or go to his site, which has all the info here:
4. There are a lot of questions this time, and there's also a lot sitting in my archive. If you don't see your question here, I haven't forgotten, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
5. Also, I'm sure this will cause another flurry of flames, but there's a great deal of stuff that took place in the Fallout universe that were just done 'off the cuff' - or for reasons that may not be apparent from a gameplay standpoint, whether due to artistic, programming, or time constraint concerns.
There isn't always a reason for everything you see in the games, but there's the temptation to see all kinds of deeper meaning and find the 'reasoning' behind these truly random actions and placements. If trying to put two pieces of Fallout lore together makes your head hurt, take a step back, breathe, and realize that the developers may simply have been highly caffeinated at 1AM in the morning before a major milestone. It just happens, and we do our best to bring you a good RPG regardless.
6. I will be including Fallout Tactics material to the Bible, with two caveats: I'm probably not going to write it since I don't know as much about FOT, and two, it'll be an appendix to the Fallout 1 or 2 information for any torch-wielding purists out there who can choose not to print or read that section. For as many people who requested it not be present, there were an equal number of people who wanted to see it, so here's the solution. Feel free to flame away.
7. There's probably going to be some questions I won't answer because it might ruin or pigeonhole potential future titles - or I just don't want to answer them in case I want to leave it open-ended for reasons of my own (this applies to the Africa extinction question, and the questions about Cassidy and Sulik, below). When I get other questions like this, I'll let you know.
8. Here's another Fallout fan site to add to the list from last time - it's from Tank, and as of a week or two ago it was still being updated:
9. BTW, this Bible doesn't have much chance of ever becoming a real hardcopy work just because I think it's going to end up being many, many hundreds of pages long before it's finished.
10. Also, if this file ends up being too large for easy download, I'll cut down the number of screenshots so it's easier to digest.
That's it. Onto the update:
Here's one from Aaron Johnson:
1. What does the Easter egg you find in New Reno do?
Nothing, it's just lame game developer humor - it was just there so we could say for sure there was an easter egg in the game. I like the icon for it, though.
Here are two questions from yPArAH from the last Fallout chat at Vault 13:
2. <Red1> [yPArAH] Goris says he is relatively new to Vault 13 when the Chosen one speaks to him (rolled in about two months ago). This, I suppose, means he is not from Grutnar's pack. Is so, why is he intelligent, like other Enclave-modified deathclaws?
According to John Deiley (designer of Goris; worked on design for Vault 13, 15, NCR, and helped with numerous maps):
3. <Gadro> [yPArAH] BTW, how did Goris survive the Franky's raid on the vault?
John Deiley has an answer for you:
Here's a two-in-one from Alex Sinov (one of these questions was also asked by [LasTofThE] at the last chat):
4. Whi Does Goris Have A different Skin Color? and Goris' pets were dipped in FEV?
(I'm guessing you mean Melchior's pets, but if you mean Goris' pets, send me an email.)
According to John Deiley (designer of Vault 13 and Goris), Goris' skin color was most likely a result of him mutating differently (FEV mutates even the same critters with variations), and according to Jason Suinn (designer of the Military Base in Fallout 2) Melchior's pets were extra tough do to their exposure to the raw FEV in the military base - Melchior dipped them in FEV as part of his "magic." In addition, it was gauged by that time in the game that the players would be at a pretty high level, so they needed to be extra tough in order to pose a challenge.
Melchior captured many of these creatures from raids on the surrounding wastes. They were not present when he overthrew the Enclave forces stationed at the base.
Here are some questions and some points from Paweł Dembowski:
5. In F1 the Lieutenant said that the FEV raises intelligence. There are, however, very many dumb mutants. What can you say about it? And what do you think of my theory, which i've been using in my Fallout PnP campaign?
Sorry, Paweł, for two things: I wasn't able to personally respond to your email because I kept getting bounced, and two, I wasn't able to comment on your FEV theory (as a reminder, I can't read fan-created material, so just send questions, comments, or facts if you can).
The current Fallout-era FEV does enhance intelligence - in some people. Just not many. The Lieutenant was one of the lucky ones who didn't become a knuckle-dragging, butt-scratching moron after being dipped (and it may not have raised his intelligence, he may have been that smart before his dipping, but no records of his past exist to verify this).
The FEV that was released out in the wasteland was mutated by radiation, so its effects changed. As for the FEV at Mariposa, the Lieutenant says the super mutants are smarter than humans ("We are highly intelligent and immune to disease"), which is only half-right, and he also says that the virus can also interfere with a person's memory, causing them to forget things. Obviously, the Lieutenant keeps forgetting that most of his super mutant forces can barely form complete sentences.
Basically, the FEV in the vats only has a small chance of raising a being's intelligence (or even keeping it intact). The Master was one of the lucky ones. More often than not, it causes brain damage. It's also possible that the crude dipping procedure in Mariposa also caused imperfect mutations as well, reducing the chance of heightened intelligence.
But to answer your question: the FEV at West Tek before the war caused increased intelligence in its subjects, but the FEV at Mariposa after the war rarely enhanced the intelligence of humans who were dipped. The reason for this is unknown.
Chris Taylor says:
Here's a question from Andrew Quigley:
6. About how many working or servicable cars are there at the time of FO2? Obviously there must be more then one, since the guy in new reno has a garage fully staffed, and most likely has a large supply of parts( im assuming that was what the warehouse building next to the garage was filled up with, you couldnt pick up anything off of them)
Probably not too many, but I don't know the exact number. The real problem isn't fuel, it's mostly tires and other degradable parts that have gone to the dogs in the past 100 years. For every two hundred or so people, there might be one working vehicle, and even "the local clunker" wouldn't be up to factory specs. NCR is rumored to have a mechanized vehicle division outside of its farming vehicles, but the number of vehicles in the division is unknown.
The next question is from Darren Rowe: 7. Just a question about the Luietant from Fallout 1, was he a Brotherhood soldier that got dipped? Or was he just a mutant that got lucky and scored himself some nice armour (that looks a lot like PA) - Stainless
He's a human that got lucky when he was dipped and managed to keep his intelligence (or possibly, got greater intelligence). As for armor and weapons, yeah, he lucked out, especially with that gatling laser. :)
The next question is from DoPr: 8. Hi, In the last "Fallout Bible" update there was a question about Richard Grey and why he was exiled from Vault City. I remember that there was another person exiled from the VC - Leonard Boyarski. He also was exiled for a murder but I'm curious how did he die? I've found his grave on the Golgotha and it's quite surprising. ps. If there are any mistakes, sorry for my English. :-)
Boyarsky was an in-joke to Leonard Boyarsky who originally worked on F1 and parts of F2 (one of the five billion developer references in Fallout 1 and 2). I think the name was originally Jason Anderson in the text, but I don't remember. Boyarsky was exiled for murder and unauthorized research (the research allegations revolved around some tampering with the pregnancy cycles in the Auto-Doc that apparently put all of Vault 8 in danger, but the details were deleted from the Vault 8 computer). His crime occurred many years after Grey's alleged crime, but Boyarsky only got as far as Reno with a traveling caravan before he was robbed and killed by Reno toughs who saw him as an easy mark (which pretty much is true for everyone traveling from Vault City). His reasons for traveling south were unknown, but it is rumored his original destination was east of Reno - even though explorers report there is nothing out there except desert and deathclaws.
This next one is from John Olivas:
9. Hey what gives?!? You sent me a letter 3 updates ago saying my questions would be in the next edition of the bible. I asked about EC squadren and Renewing. Then I asked about what was up with something... It was a quest that couldn't be solved... I don't remember but it had something to do with not finding a peaceful solution. Oh yeah Melchior the magnificent. Then nothing. I've been patient but it's another update now. I know you're busy but I'm getting the idea I'm being ignored just because I'm not some mosquito asshole who won't leave you alone for five minutes, never logs off the forums and expects you to explain fusion power. Fusion power! You want an explanation: It's a game and it's tons o' fun! You explain it we'll give you a nobel prize! I'm asking stuff you MIGHT ACTUALLY know the answers to and I was told I'd get them. I can't help but feel it's some kind of strange eliteist thing where only big members of the fallout community get any time. I used to be part of the fallout community and as luck would have it I was replaying Fallout2 when you started writing up the bible so I was buzzed. I still visit good ol' duck and cover all the time and I even have a couple of the wasteland news stories at the San andreas Vault to my credit. (Check it out I like em and i still get mail telling me they're the funniest thing people ever read. thought they were edited quite a bit for length.) But I'm just a little guy in the end. How about showing some love to the fan who's devoted but doesn't tear off his Blackisle shirt, pour a beer on his head and describe himself as "FRIGG'N HAAAAAARDCORE!!!! WOOOO!!! WOOO!"? Thankyou for your time and I'd like to add nothing was meant in uh... bad humor though after re-reading it I think some of it could be construed that way (unless that would get me an answer). Just adding this to be safe because I don't like to use incessent smilies. - John Olivas
Just a reminder to anyone who sends me an email: I'm human, and I forget stuff. Otherwise I would rule the universe right now.
To answer your Melchior question, I can't find any documentation for any planned quest to reunite Melchior with his son, and after talking to Jason Suinn (designer of the area), there was never a quest in place for it. His son was just included in Redding to foreshadow Melchior's presence and to clue the player in that Melchior was a kidnapped miner from Redding. As for the super mutants in the Mariposa base, it was just intended as a combat location, so the dialogue was never planned, at least as far as I can see in the documents.
And here's the follow-up to the question above:
9b. Hey thanks for answering. You probobly can't find the other questions because I was at my bro's when i sent em. I asked about what happened to some of the fallout 2 npcs after the game. We know myron gets stabbed by a jet addict ironically in the den. And Marcus goes off to go do some heroics of his own. But what about cassidy, sulik and the EC squadren to name a few.
Cassidy and Sulik: Can't say, no documentation exists. To be honest, I'll probably leave their fates open, since I don't want to pigeonhole two of the most favorite NPC allies from Fallout 2. I kind of hope that Cassidy eventually got his heart meds, though. At last word, Sulik returned to the primitive tribe for a few moons (months) after breaking paths with the Chosen One, then headed east in search of his sister. Cassidy went on to search for Texas, breaking south through NCR and past Dayglow.
The punks on the tanker also survived, and they had a great view of the Poseidon oil rig exploding. They eventually into an uneasy trading relationship with the Shi after the destruction of the Hubologists, and the two groups went on to make San Francisco a major fishing and trading center.
And here's the follow-up to the follow-up above:
9c. The other question was about renewing. I had always killed the rat God before I got to necropolis. Now I know (as of about 3 days ago actually) that renewing was the term the ghouls used for becoming truly human again. (I had just asked what it was before and what the heck the ghouls meant.) Any further info on renewing would be much apreciated. (though I don't expect you to explain how to actually do it or anything it remained pretty vauge in fallout2 and I just couldn't find a way to get it to happen. Everytime I tried to optimise the plant Vault city would wipe out the ghouls. Was it actually doable or just a clever ruse from the brain to take over the world? (he never did in my games and i didn't have to do anything to stop him, like in the cartoon his plans fall apart on their own I suppose) Thanks for your time once again.
It was not possible for the ghouls to "renew" in Fallout 2 - it was part of the Brain's plans to get them human again (under his control). It is possible to save Gecko and VC - one of the walkthroughs on the Fallout fan sites should have info on it.
And here's what the Brain specifically has to say about Renewal:
Also, according to designer Matt Norton, "renew" was also a reference to the movie (and book) 'Logan's Run.'
A three-part question from Ed:
10. Some anal-rententive bits about the Bible. You don't have to answer this email at all - just stick the answers in the Bible, if you think they're worth answering. If you already have the answers, and they're in the pipeline for a future update, feel free to tell me to stuff it.
a. Anything in the design docs on when that tree began growing out of Harold's head? I ask this because the timeline in the latest bible update says that Harold shook his head a lot when he settled in Gecko (2238).
Nothing in the design docs - Harold first started noticing it when he touched the southern boundary of the Fallout 2 world map on his way north (after reconciling the skags and the Hubbers at the end of F1), and it's been growing slowly ever since. Its roots are going to start burrowing through his empty eye socket soon.
b. A quote from Summer, 2066: "Nearly thirteen years later, few sections of the United States were supplied with fusion power."
Since the Great War broke out in October, 2077, I guess this would be technically true, as the the Poseidon platform (and maybe the vaults) would still be using fusion power in 2078. Assuming, of course, that's what the statement is meant to say.
My error. This will be fixed. I meant to say "Nearly eleven years later." Here's the correction:
(BTW, a third revision of the timeline will be in some future update, just not this one.)
Again, my error. The new timeline fixes are:
A question from Dan Vondrak:
11. Dan Vondrak: So if Richard Grey was from Vault 8 and was old enough to be exiled for murder, wouldn't he have know about what Vaults were, and maybe even where other Vaults were located. But the bible says the Master finds out about the Vaults from the Boneyard Vault. Almost making it sound like he never knew about these Vaults before. Unless the mutation into the master made him forget, that makes sense I guess..? Or am I missing something obvious.
Nope, he knew other Vaults existed - he just didn't know where, and he didn't realize that the prime normals within these vaults would be so FEV-friendly until after a lot of experimentation. The only "discovery" the Master had was the realization that if he could find sealed vaults, then the specimens within would not be as contaminated as the ones he's tried to experiment on since. He knew about the Vaults, but he didn't realize at first the connection between radioactivity, the FEV mutations, and the potential of the prime normals Vaults have. Anyway, here's the revised timeline entry to avoid confusion:
One from Radmutie:
12. BTW about the Fallout bible: In the timetable (under year 2090) Harold is mentioned as "now Human". Are you sure that it should not be: "Harold (at that point human)" or "Harold (now adult)" (in reference to the Vault experiments). Sorry if I have misunderstood it. Best Regards and best of luck - Radmutie
Got it - here's the revised timeline entry to avoid confusion:
One from Sean McGrorey:
13. There's a bounty hunter to the west of the Followers of the Apocolypse compound with a suspiciously familiary name. What's his story in the Fallout universe? Where did he come from?
It's just a joke from Jess Heinig, one of the programmers. It's one of the five billion developer in-jokes in Fallout 1 and 2. The fellow Avellone has no past, and no future.
Two from Tatu Ahponen:
14. One thing - what's happened to Junktown? Was it just too little to be it's own state? Or maybe it has managed to survive as an independent enclave inside NCR, a hive of scum and villainy, so to speak. And what kind of folks would live in Glow? After all, that place must still, well, glow, at least somewhat. Ghouls?
Junktown became part of NCR as part of the state of Shady, and it was one of the first provisional states, considering it was one of the first (and most trustworthy) of the Shady Sands trading partners during its early formation. Its alliance with Shady Sands did cause some alarm from the caravans in the Hub, but it didn't hurt the Hub communities any... and the Hub eventually became part of NCR as well.
As for the Glow (or the state of Dayglow), most of the state is actually north and west of the glow, but they are still able to see the Glow from their borders. A number of ghouls are rumored to live there now, as part of the Great Migration from Necropolis - once the ghouls learned of West Tek, they were eager to see if they could scavenge technology from the abandoned center. Some ghouls formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts. At least one super mutant, a refugee from the Cathedral, was also rumored to be working with the ghouls and humans in Dayglow.
15. Another thing. While FO1 ending animation suggests Hub is destroyed, it still seems to exist. Has it been rebuilt, or did it survive, no matter what was said in FO1 ending? In latter case, is there a chance Followers of Apocalypse also survive?
The Hub survived F1, and last word was the Followers of the Apocalypse also survived, using their knowledge to help the Blades of New Adytum.
Here's one from Skjalg Aka. NeXor:
16. Have you got anny idea who made the "Moo, MOOO, I say" Special Encounter?? If you meet him, tell me i think its the best thing in Fallout!! - Skjalg Aka. NeXor
It was an old joke from a MUD that Tim Cain used to play in - he apparently made a habit of teleporting cows into his rival's private chambers; the cows would say things, like "Moo, I say." Chris Taylor heard the story, and he thought it was funny enough to put in Fallout, so there it is. And here's it directly from the two of them:
Here's one from Uber Dog:
17. Anyway in the fallout bible chat you asked if we were wondering about spefic animals and extincatioon, and I know this might sound odd, but I was basing it on a storyline for a fot campaign set in africa I was making, So I was wondering what is the status in the fallout world of hippo's, elphants and penguins?
Penguins are dead, elephants and hippos are unknown, and there's no documentation on whether they are alive and kicking or not. Feel free to play around with FEV and species survival to suit the story. Mutated hippos would be interesting. Mutated penguins probably wouldn't be.
BTW, I suppose I shouldn't be hyping other games, but if you're interested in checking out some cool things you can do with hippos check out VR1's Lost Continents:
For anyone doing fan fiction or campaign stuff for Fallout, my recommendation would always be to do whatever makes the story or campaign better - strict adherence to the Fallout genre might kill some good ideas for a story or (in role-playing games) lessen a cool playing experience for your players.
One from Anti-Hero from the Fallout Forums on BIS: http://feedback.blackisle.com/forums/
18. I know there are slavers in Fallout 2, but where are the slaves? Sure we see them in the pens being kept captive by the slavers, but you don't see allot of them in houses or around cities. I don't think allot of people can afford slaves.
And the slavers certainly seems rather large of a group, how do they make all that money and get all those recruits by selling slaves in the high-peak of poverty? And even if people can afford slaves, what would they do with them? Make them farm? I certainly think not because there isn't allot of farming going on with the radiated and dead soil the Fallout world sports. Or what about growing drugs? If the drugs of Fallout wore grown (which they aren't) then it would tie in with the Fallout problem, but since they are made chemically in gang-owned labs, the slaves aren't needed for drugs either.
You can pick up that Vault City has slaves, but why would anyone buy slaves just to do the chores around those small houses of theirs? What about the mines in Redding? No, I think not. The miners in Redding are paid from what I can gather (talk to the slut in the bar, and by picking the right dialog options she sais her miner boyfriend is not getting payed enough or something like that).
There are allot of sluts in Fallout, but I find it hard to believe that they are slaves since the pimps would have a hard time keeping track of them (unless they confined them to their rooms in the whore houses). So, what the hell do the slaves in Fallout do?
There are slaves in F2, you just don't see them too much except in Reno, random encounters, and in sections of the Den, VC, and (outside of) NCR. The markets for slaves include Vault City (who can easily afford slaves), caravans (who have enough cash to buy some porters to help carry stuff... plus you can sell the slaves at the end of a caravan drive), various farmers (who can sometimes afford one or two slaves), and Reno (those crime families make a killing), and as for prostitute slaves, there's usually one pimp for every 5-10 prostitutes, which isn't far from the real world model, I believe.
BTW, sorry about this, but I don't post in the forums too much; it's hard to find the time. I do try to check out the Fallout forums when I can.
Five or six questions from Jonathon Forbes in Dublin:
19. I just thought I would drop a line about this hole Fallout Bible thing...........I have followed the Fallout saga since the first demo came out on a Disc on a PC mag and have loved it since.......you probably already know about all the clans and fan sites knocking about on the net and I'm sure that the news of yet more Fallout related material is on the horizon.....Right then enough of the remenising crap time to get down to business........ Here are a few questions that I have gathered up that you might be able to answer in the Bible and could lead to other things.....
19a. The people that were outside the vaults when the bombs droped...how did they survive the bombs?? 19b. How did the brotherhood initaly start off as in persons, places?? 19c. What happened to the rest of the world ...Europe, China, Russia, etc...?? 19d. Were did the brotherhood get there resources to construct there main base ....who was the brains behind the operation...?? 19e. Who started some of the settlements such as the Hub, Reno City, etc...?? 19f. What happened to the rest of the military personel..?? 19g. What happened inside the vault when they had found out the overseer had been killed by our hero..??
a. Some areas of the world were not hit by nukes, and even though many cities promptly went to hell out of starvation and rioting (New Reno), there were still plenty of cubbyholes and old shelters for people to eke out an existence. Survivalists and some isolated military units in Power Armor (and other equipment) also were able to hole up and survive the Nuclear Winter that followed.
b. The Brotherhood started off under the leadership of Captain Roger Maxson, when he chose to break off from the US military and lead the remaining soldiers and families away from Mariposa and to the Lost Hills military bunker back in 2077.
c. This is a long answer, and I don't have it all together yet. :) Maybe in a future update, but not any time soon. I will say that there were some U.S. military units stranded in China when the big one happened.
d. Actually, most of the resources were already there. Maxson directed the rebuilding efforts, and what supplies they didn't have, they either scavenged from nearby "dead communities" or from trading with the Hub.
e. Founders: Kind of complicated, but I'll see what I can do in a future update. For right now, I can tell you that the Hub was founded by a fellow named Angus, beyond that - I'll see what I can dig up.
f. Military personnel: Whichever ones didn't line up with the Enclave either died out or are camped out in the wastes somewhere in their own bunkers. With their Power Armor. And heavy weapons. And their own dark secret plans.
g. In official Fallout canon, the Overseer wasn't shot to death. In an alternate future universe where he was, I imagine the people would have gossiped about the horrible brutality of the Vault Dweller and then they would have elected a less-useless Overseer to fill the now-empty position.
One from Nick Steffel:
It was just a hint of what the Wannamingoes were up, too - no big mystery, unfortunately.
Two questions from David HAHA/Sand Hammer:
21. What happened to the BOS? In Fallout 2 they've all but disappeared. You only encounter small "spy" outposts each guarded by a single man in tesla armor and all but one of these outposts are nothing more than a room with a desk in the center. So what happened? They seemed too powerful in Fallout 1 to have fallen apart. Did they not attempt to advance their technology or expand? Why did they do nothing more than watch the Enclave? A cold war type thing between the two would have been...interesting.
Nothing happened to the Brotherhood of Steel - the outposts/bunkers in F2 were just intended as listening posts. The Lost Hills bunker down south (Fallout 1) is their main base of operations; they just haven't expanded as far north as F2, or at least brought as much of their weapons and armor. The metal armored fellows you encounter in the bunkers are mostly scouts and lesser paladins assigned to watch the region.
As for watching the Enclave, well, the Brotherhood's road has always been one of caution and gathering proper intelligence before taking action - sometimes too much so, as in Fallout 1. So why didn't they attack the Enclave? Well, the Brotherhood couldn't have survived an attack by the Master's army (as hinted in Fallout 1 - although they would have caused a lot of casualties to the Unity) - now imagine an army that's smarter, composed of hundreds of soldiers armed with advanced versions of Power Armor and guns that rival the Brotherhood of Steel, and I don't blame them for watching and looking for a vulnerability in this new foe.
Anyway, they haven't fallen apart, and by the end of F2, the BOS was alive and active in the southern regions.
22. Ah yes there is ONE more thing actually...those darn geckos. Where did they come from? They were non-existent in Fallout 1 while in fallout 2 they seemed to be all over the place and as Harold would put it: "You couldn't fart without hitting one."
They stemmed from an unknown species of lizard indigenous to the Oregon-California boundary that sucked up enough FEV to grow bigger, stronger, and faster - and they're definitely not sterile. While it took them a few generations to get all their new genetics straightened out, they started breeding slightly less than FEV-influenced rats. No one knows what lizard stock they originated from, or how the fire geckoes sprang into being.
One from Stefan S Babicz:
23. i was curious about the master. i read that the master "absorbed" people in to him, and that is what accounts for the different voices he has. but when he says a certain line (the line where he debates who is best suited for living in the wasteland), he ends with a computer generated voice saying "mutants." i was curious how the master was able to make the voice (ie. wheather he was able to "absorb" and incorporate computers like a cyborg being or if a computer just said it instead of him). i'm not going to lose sleep over this one, but hey, this IS the fallout bible, right? -fatt
Well, from what I can gather from the Grey's/Master's audio diary, he gained the ability to neurolink into the Cathedral computers, so the computer "voice" is just one of the people he absorbed channeling his voice through the computer. I suppose I could attempt some pseudo-science explanation for it, but it makes me confused just thinking about it.
One of the 5 million questions from Deadlus:
24. I found in master.dat picture, COLUSA, it was one more special encounter like EPA, Primitive Tribe and Abbe wchich BIS didn't have time to add it to the game?
That's what I recall, too, and considering how much dead space there was along the middle of the coast without the Primitive Tribe, that seems to support it. The real Colusa is much farther east and a little south of Navarro.
One from Peter Jackson (not the director of Lord of the Rings, to my knowledge). Among his other metaphor-laced comments, his end question is:
25. and why did you guys f*** up Fallout 2 with real locations??? fallout 1 didn't need any of those. it was cool to go to the Boneyard and find it was LA filled with dead bodies. getting to F2, it ruined it to see all the places in California already there - post-nuke people would have named them differently anyway.
I don't know why real world names were used in Fallout 2 for some of the locations. To the best of my knowledge (I wasn't at any of these meetings), Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky, Jason Anderson, Matt Norton, and Jason Suinn all established the locations at the beginning of the Fallout 2 development cycle, and many of those locations (with the exception of Colusa/Navarro) remained true to those choices all the way to the end.
Proverbius has an alternate answer for why super-mutants wear straps on their faces (a question answered from last time):
26. AS for an alternate answers to why mutants have straps on their faces....
Chris Taylor says that the mutants have those straps to keep their faces on.
And someone from the Vault 13 chat [sorry, can't find the email] has some issues with ghoulishness:
27. I disagree with making Harold not a ghoul. During Fallout 1 the name "ghoul" was not yet as widely used as in F2. Harold could have disagreed with calling his mutant kind with such a name (which is not very nice). When you ask him about the ghouls he says:
I think it doesn't necessarily mean that he's not a ghoul. It just means that he doesn't want to be called a 'ghoul'. He says, that the ghouls are mutants, just like him, and it doesn't matter how they call themselves.
I think the name 'ghouls' was either created for them by the Necropolis ghouls themselves, or by people who considered them monsters. As he looks like a ghoul, i think he would be considered one by both. Ghouls are not like supermutants, they are not all the same. It's only a name for people twisted by radiation or FEV (or both). There may be ghouls created only by radiation, and ghouls created only by FEV.
I also think, though Harold was mutated in the Vats, that if you say that all the ghouls were created by the FEV, then there isn't much difference between Harold and other ghouls.
Chris Taylor wrote:
If so, then people dipped in the Vats can become ghouls instead of supermutants, if they are radiated. I think that easily matches Harold's case...
As you can see, Harold is called a ghoul in the game.
As you can see, there are more muties in the Hub Old town, not only Harold (though we don't see them in the game). And they are all called both 'mutants' and 'ghouls'.
I think the point is that you call 'ghouls' only the ones that were exposed to 'wild' FEV in the air and radiation, and not the ones that were screwed-up results of dipping (like Harold and Talius). I think both kinds should be called 'ghouls', because, though they were created with different methods, the result is identical, and they were both result of radiation and FEV (ghouls of Necropolis are radiated people that were exposed to mutated FEV in the air, and Harold and Talius are result of dipping people with radiation damage - think this is what Chris Taylor meant).
All good points - Tim Cain and Chris Taylor agree with you, and they say Harold's a ghoul. To quote statements within the past week:
According to Chris, ghouls are irradiated humans exposed to FEV.
According to Tim, ghouls are due solely to radiation.
Both agree Harold is special. And I don't mean handicapped.
Officially: Ghouls are a mix of FEV and radiation. Harold is a mutant who resembles a ghoul. Harold may have had some radiation damage before he was exposed to FEV, but his mutation (outside of his surface appearance) makes him different than a ghoul. Most ghouls are the result of extreme radiation + FEV exposure, but Harold's change was due primarily to FEV exposure (again, he could have sucked up a few rads in the wastes without him knowing, especially considering how long he ran caravans in the wastes).
He is hideously mutated enough so that he looks like a ghoul, but he's not technically one, and this is the mistake that Loxley makes (Loxley only judges a book by its cover, and he knows nothing about genetics or anything beyond a surface appearance).
You can call him a ghoul if you want, but the official answer is:
"Harold is Harold." Harold's special.
BTW, glowing ghouls are ghouls that suck up too many rads after they have become ghouls. We originally wanted Lenny in F2 to be able to turn into a glowing ghoul when he drinks too much radioactive liquor, but we didn't put it in.
One from Azael from the Fallout BIS message boards:
28. I'd really like to know this. Why did they become tribals in such a short time? Religious reasons? Drugs?
Well, the long answer is read "Earth Abides" by George R. Stewart. The short answer is:
- 80 years is not a short time.
- The Vault Dweller did not take any real books with him once he left Vault 13 for the last time. Guns and Ammo wasn't very helpful without more guns, the Scout's Handbook had some good stuff about making fires and tying ropes, the First Aid Handbook had its uses - but nothing high-tech, Dean's Electronics wasn't very useful without high-tech equipment, generators, and purifying systems to practice on, and the Big Book of Science only matters if you've got students willing to read through it and if it has practical applications, which in a farming community like Arroyo, isn't much outside of crop rotation.
- There was no formal educational system in Arroyo, despite whatever efforts the Vault Dweller may have made in this direction. Too much energy was spent trying to create the community.
- The Vault Dweller may have wanted to make a clean break from technology after the events of Fallout 1, especially considering his experience in the Vault, at Mariposa, the Glow, the Boneyard, and even at the Brotherhood. The BOS' adherence to technology in many ways is rather disturbing and narrow-minded and hasn't really allowed them to become better "people."
- While a few members of Vault 13 followed the Vault Dweller, many other Arroyo inhabitants came from tribes across the wastes, and they had a large influence on Arroyo's development. The members of Vault 13 that followed the Vault Dweller would also have had their hands full adapting to life in the wastes as well as building a community from scratch to teach any higher concepts about life in general.
- The Vault Dweller, while skilled, may not have made a good teacher or even had the time for it. In any event, students may resist attempts at learning certain concepts, especially if the concepts have little practical or entertainment value.
- When they established Arroyo, farming and "tribal" skills and know-how proved to be far more important than being able to calibrate the magnetic field housing in the turbo-plasma rifle.
- As for why the player didn't have access to the Power Armor or super weapons from F1 at the start of F2, that was simply for balance reasons. Over 80 years, the items were broken (like the handgun in the elder's tent), hidden (the Vault Dweller may have tucked away the Power Armor or taken it with him when he left Arroyo), or their power or usefulness expended in constructing the Temple of Trials.
BTW, the Temple of Trials was built on the ruins of an older Pre-War building, most likely a church. The carved head at the entrance and some of the carvings/wall decorations on the three sub-levels were done by the Arroyo inhabitants.
Martin sent me a color PIP Boy (though I had to crop it a bit). I'm kind of in love with the black and white version, though, but I thought I'd show you guys:
Continuing the exciting trend of last time, here's some more key words you can ask the talking heads in Fallout 1 with the "Tell Me Abouts." This may not be a complete list, but these are all the ones listed in the design documentation. There is no documentation I can find for the non-talking heads, but if you happen to know any or find any other talking head key words I miss, let me know. There are some extras I've found that were added later that don't have any voice acting attached to them, but they still display a message.
This week goes from Tandi at Shady Sands to Set and Harry at the Necropolis. Let's start with that cute little bundle of deserty goodness, Tandi:
And now slow, slurring Harry:
And now that dirt-nappin' norm-hating Set:
BTW, XLA from FV and V13 also showed me how to call up all the "Tell Me Abouts" in Fallout, I just haven't been able to snag the OBJ_DUDE.MSG file to make it happen yet. I'll probably print some corrections once I dissect it - thanks, XLA, much appreciated.
BTW, if someone can point me to a pre-existing list of Tell Me Abouts, they will have my eternal gratitude. Take that for what it's worth.
This shouldn't surprise anyone who's played Fallout 2 with a party, but as your main character goes up in levels, so do your party members. The rate they advance varies, but each character has a number of "stages" they advance through over the course of the game, usually based on their ability to learn.
This week we'll give you stats for Cassidy, Myron, and Vic. I can actually provide skill levels for them this time. Note that in the skill screen shots below, their "tag skill" is highlighted on the PIP Boy screen.
In any event, let's start with Cassidy, who's a four-stage character because he's cranky and old. And talks too much. His specialty is Small Guns. I designed him, and he'll always be one of my favorite F2 characters because of his sheer cussedness. And the fact he has funny floats depending on what type of chem or med you give him.
Images to be added
Here's Myron (I accept the blame for designing him), who's a four-stage character because he thinks he knows it all already and doesn't need to advance too high. His specialty (drumroll) is Science, but usually he just ends up a brainless husk as his brain is ripped out and put into the Robobrain.
Images to be added
And here's Vic (designed by Black Isle's very own Dave Hendee), a six-stage superhero because he's an early-game character. His specialty is Repair.
Images to be added
The magic eightball is a secret easter egg of sorts that only works for high Luck characters; it's located inside the easternmost pool table on the second floor of the Shark Club in New Reno. You can use it any time to "answer questions," just like you would with a real magic eightball... except if you're really lucky, you'll get real answers that are actually helpful.
If your Luck is less than 9, you won't get anything except the following messages (some of which courtesy of Tom French, master programmer):
If you have a Luck of 9 or 10, however, you start getting specific answers to your questions:
Once the eightball displays these messages, you can then go to the toilet in New Reno and dig out some grenades, go to the Vault City terminal to get some extra stimpacks, and go to the grave in Golgotha and get a few hundred bucks. These locations won't give anything until you see the message on the eightball.
Thanks goes to Dan Spitzley for helping to program these encounters.
There's one message missing from the list above - if you email me back what it is, I'll make you the big winner in the next update.
In the original design, the eightball was also supposed to increase the frequency of special encounters as well as be a weapon you can throw, but we ended up axing that because the eightball was getting too filled with functionality.
That's it for this update. Hopefully (no promises), the next update should be coming out two weeks from now (March 25th).
Thanks for reading,
Chris Avellone @ BIS