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Fallout Bible 9
author: Chris Avellone
publisher: Interplay
release date: November 7, 2002
medium: .doc/.pdf file
# of pages: 34
website: (defunct)
download: .doc at Duck and Cover
.pdf at Duck and Cover
part of: Fallout Bible
previous: Fallout Bible 8

Fallout Bible 9 is the ninth and last 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 November 7, 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.

The Fallout Bible Update Nein

Fallout Bible Nein
October 15? Nov 6? 2002? Ah, screw it.

Here's the ninth Fallout Bible update - if you missed any of the others, check the Black Isle main page (, scroll down, and click on the "Read More News Here" section (and scroll down or do a "Find" for "Fallout"). The first three updates have been collected into a sinister "Update Zero" and the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth updates stand on their own.

For those of you who haven't seen these before, the Fallout Bible is a collection of background material and hi-jinks from Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 compiled into one document so the fans can take a look at it. If you see anything wrong or if you think of anything you'd like to see, email me at 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.

This update contains an interview with Fallout designer/programmer Jess Heinig who wrote Zax, helped set up Junktown, and spends his time trying not to body-block Enterprise's Jolene Blalock, some assorted trivia that Jess was happy to pass along (curious how the end cinematic sequences in Junktown were supposed to go?), brahmin and gender identity issues, mutants and sex, info on Patrick the Celt from F1, some questions and answers (but not as much as FOB 8), lots of pies being thrown by Canadians, the truth about the Brotherhood of Steel, honoring the Fallout flag, the winner of the Ink Spots contest, and yet more fallout from our favorite post-holocaust world of the future.

Thanks for supporting Fallout,

Chris Avellone @ Black Isle Studios

Fast Forward

Here's another list of stuff to start the update with. It's almost the same thing as last time, so you can fast forward over this if you're a veteran of these updates.

1. Again, any questions or suggestions for the Fallout Bible, send it on in to

Before you do, though, read #2, below.

2. Suggestions for material to include in the Bible, suggestions for good Fallout fifties tunes, comments on why you like pen and paper RPGs over computer RPGs, questions about Fallout events, and suggestions for good source material are welcome, but there are a number of things I can’t/won’t answer because I am busy and I hate you. They include:

· Giving hints or walkthroughs for the game. If you need a hint or a walkthrough, go to the Black Isle message boards at:

And within fifteen seconds, someone will post an answer to your problem. The answer will occasionally be snide and sarcastic and may be followed by the words, "silly rabbit" or "dumbass," but you will get your answer. So make your voice heard.

  • Providing technical support. If you have any troubles with your Fallout disks or other Interplay games, you need to contact Interplay customer support at one of the following addresses:

For technical problems:

And for any other questions regarding Interplay products, barring hints and tips:

  • Answering questions outside of Fallout 1 or 2. Occasionally, if I am lucky, I can answer Fallout Tactics questions. I don't answer Fallout 3 questions.
  • Reading fan fiction or fan-created material for Fallout.
  • Providing any information, walkthroughs, hints, or support on the Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale I or II, Planescape: Torment, or Dark Alliance.

3. 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, in #1, above. I'm always looking for new music tunes.

4. There are a lot of questions sitting in my archive. If you don't see your question here (especially if it was recent), I haven't forgotten, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Or at least that's the story I'm sticking to. If you sent in five hundred questions in one email, I can personally guarantee I won't be getting around to it until some time next year, so don't hold your breath, Mr. Question Man.

FEV and vegetation: specifically, carrots

Through the power of bumping despite the loss of search functions on the BIS board, I am proud to present the arguments of Senior Carrot: Carrot is not to be confused with the Flaming Carrot comic book character.

BTW, "MCA" is an acronym for Mr. Chris Avellone (me), for the uninitiated. I feel so street.

As has been publicly stated work on FO3 has not started, I hope this gives us a good deal of time to fully work out the universe issues that have arisen.
The current FOB thread has grown into a monolith of off topic posting and one thinks any more sensible suggestions would be lost within its dark expanses.
The big hit list goes as follows:
The Enclave (should be sorted now)
The timeline (needs to be sorted)
FEV (the debate should end here)
The problem as perceived by the/some fans:
MCA in writing the FOB lost track of the essence of FO its pulp sci fi element, instead of sticking to the universe where modern day physics don’t apply it seems a modern day excuse has to be conjured up to explain everything. Here we have the use of FEV as a tool to explain everything weird and wonderful on the FO wasteland.
Now clearly everything is meant to be the result of 50's radiation, e.g. every monster film in the 50's is due to radioactive material mutating everything, now this is what I believe that Fallout was trying to capture. Why RadScorpions are called RadScorpions etc.
Instead we have the miraculous wonder brush of 90's style genetic mutation in the form of FEV to explain everything! Now ignoring all the disparities between FOB FEV and proper FEV as described in several scientific journals in FO1 let us examine where said Wasteland mutating FEV came from.
There are 2 possible locations of FEV the Mariposa Base where the large scale production/testing and research of FEV was to take place with huge quantities stored in vast underground vats, and the one bunker (obviously part of a chain) at the West Tek facility where initial experiments took place where there would possibly be small stores. Now let us theorise on ways in which said FEV would be released, Mariposa detonation was post FO1 (when most of the mutations had taken place) that said there is an indication of leaking into the surrounding area. The other would be FEV surviving the nuclear strike on West Tek, how would such a virus survive the nuclear fire sweeping the facility, or be able to pass across the great distances it is described as doing in the FOB through a dense cloud of superheated particles and raging fires?
Of course the scenario was preposterous from the start, there is no way FEV could have penetrated the surrounding wasteland in the short period of time in high enough concentrations from the small stocks available to mutate all the creatures.
Also one of the main races in Fallout, the Ghouls who to first time players are clearly zombies created by good ol' radiation have to be explained away be a supposed fog of FEV billowing across the Californian countryside and propelling itself under the vault 12 door? When both the prominent creators of the Fallout universe disagree with this, one has to wonder if a change is in order? But that’s why this thread is being written and there’s still time to do it!
The game is called Fallout, surely the universe should have a greater emphasis on the effects of its namesake in the guidelines set out clearly in the original then trying to update everything to today’s universe (seen also in the guns etc.).
How to rectify the problem:
Have the description of FEV lifted directly from the FO1 logs (where it actually make sense and is something rare and interesting).
Make reference to the fact the universe is not our universe (indicating differing events on the timeline e.g. no Watergate) and as such the radiation laws that apply are those from the 50's not the modern day. And as such weird and wonderful beasties can be created by said radiation and fallout without having to explain it all away with FEV.

Forgive Carrot for his grammar, he's English and doesn't understand how we do things in the colonies. For anyone new to this argument, the following answers have been derived from it:

- FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) explains the more grievous mutations in the wasteland (the Master, the Master's pets such as the floaters and centaurs, super mutants, Harold), and radiation caused most of the other giant-style mutations you see (scorpions, rats, ants, etc.), and some of the others (ghouls).

- The Fallout world is much like Torg - physics and natural laws are not the same as in our universe, but are based instead on 50s sensibilities and pulp era comics - the Fallout universe is what people in the 50s believed the future would be (with a lot of nuclear warheads dropped on it). As a result, there are endless stretches of desert, radiation will cause giant mutations, rayguns, and brains in jars are realities, you might trip over a few giant evil tentacular blobs with plans of taking over the world, see plenty of clunky robots with glass dome heads and lots of blinking lights, and science in general is not only heavily atomic and optimistic, but it is also much easier in the Fallout universe (or also, "Science!") thus allowing people to create ultrasound guns, death beams, and lasers, usually in little or no time (especially when an invasion from outer space occurs). Most modern day concepts concerning artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and so on aren't part of the Fallout universe, since people in the 50s didn't recognize that many of these concepts existed (well, except the terminology for artificial intelligence, which was officially used at the Dartmouth Summer Conference on Artificial Intelligence in 1956, if I have my facts straight).

- In case this is news to anyone, the Fallout world is a divergent Earth. Really. And the world blew up in 2077, not in 1950.

Thanks to everyone who participated.

BTW, STILL waiting on those two prominent creators you cited as evidence, Carrot. ;)

Ink Spots contest answers

The winner of last month's contest was DJ Slamák, who guessed that the first choice of the Ink Spots song for Fallout 1 was "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." Rock on, DJ, you crazy muthuh, you.

Odin actually got it first, but he refused credit, so...


FEV explains all, half a third of it?

All right, here's the contest for next time - other than FEV I (and II), name two other non-real-world viruses that exist in the Fallout universe. Go!

And NO, despite his appearance, the Master is not a virus. Neither is Feargus. So ha ha ha ha, funny people, now do some research.

Broken footlockers in Broken Hills

Tim Geoghegan (whose last name makes him sound like a sci-fi villain), wanted to extend help to those of you who want to get to those mysterious footlockers in Broken Hills. Interestingly enough, DJ Slamák didn't mention this, so he is now on my shitlist of people that will burn when I get my flamethrower. Of course, if he mentioned it and I forgot, then I will still set him on fire.

I believe you were asked about the footlockers in Broken Hills and how to get to them in FOB 8. Well, DJSlamak, who runs Vault of the Future, a Fallout fansite hosted by Duck and Cover, has a guide togetting to those footlockers with screenshots.
Tim Geoghegan

Thanks, Tim.

The missing PIP Boy button and Vault Zero

Pawel/Ausir, being a gentleman and a scholar, also provided me with the following information regarding that missing PIP Boy button on the interface and Vault Zero:

1. The broken button in PipBoy interface was meant to be "clues" (it was in the FO1 demo, AFAIK).
2. The Vault 0. Here's my theory: i think, that in fact, if BoS elders knew rumors of the Vault 0 from the beginning, while they did not know anything about the Enclave until FO2, it could have been a public secret, which could have had 2 reasons:
i. to get rid of unwanted people - politicians and journalists, who weren't always supporting the government policies, some not-that-important scientists and celebrities, and get rid of them - if they knew about the Enclave, and were not let in, they could have exposed its existence. Since they were let in to Vault 0, they didn't even suspect, that there can be an even more secret base.
ii. to cover up existence of the Enclave - the more people knew that the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was changed into a government vault, the less people would suspect that the government would in fact hide on an oil rig. it could have been part of the experiment - maybe the Calculator was MEANT to go mad?
Cheyenne Mountain is a pretty famous vault-like facility. I believe it's where NORAD is housed. So it's no big secret.

Thanks, Ausir.

Ripping Tangler's hand

Somebody, probably DJ Slamák asked about an item called the "Tangler's Hand" in the last issue. Turns out (according to the Fallout 1 Editor), it looks like the Tangler's Hand belonged to a fellow named "Tangler" (surprised?) who has an AI packet that identifies him as a leader of the Rippers. Or at least he had Ripper AI in his scripting block, whatever "Ripper AI" means. In case you don't know who the Rippers are, they were part of the (defunct) inbred familial gang of Rippers - presumably, they were a rival gang that lived where the Mother Deathclaw is in the Boneyard, as evidenced by the "Ripper" movie poster outside her house hutch. According to some old dialogues, their building was fortified with traps and landmines, and they fought with the Blades a lot.

Oh, in an old dialogue file, Nicole mentions that Morpheus used to be a part of them - I can't get her to mention it in the game, which probably went the way of the Dodo when the Rippers were "cut." If anyone can get her to say this, let me know the dialogue path, and the wealth of nations shall be yours.

I want figures

Langy asks:

Will there be statistics of how many people lived before the war and how many died, how many turned into ghouls, how many people the Master dipped, how many became Super Mutants, and things like that?


But what about Wasteland?

Ausir asks:

Though you will not refer to Wasteland directly, are you at least going not to contradict the game in the Bible or in the nextFallout games (like make an ancient monastery in the place of basecochise and las vegas destroyed in the war etc.)?

Well, although Fallout has Wasteland influences, they are two separate universes, so there's going to be contradictions.


bloodbathmaster2 asks:

Will there be an explanation to the AI? in fallout 2, it was said that AI got bored and started the great war.

I'll try to do future sections dealing with the Machine Intelligences like ACE, Skynet, Zax, and others. What Skynet (not its real name) says most likely isn't true, and I don't like the concept of artificial intelligences in Fallout - they're too 1990s/21st century.

The Holy Hand Grenade

Ausir asks:

will you include info about the holy hand grenade? :))))

Stats for the Holy Hand Grenade on the right...

Range: 15, 2 lbs., 300-500 points of damage. It costs 4 AP to throw. Save it for Horrigan.

Unfortunately, you can't get the holy hand grenade in the actual game because of a bug. The good news is that there's a patch out there which you can find at:

Have fun. The patch, I believe, is courtesty of Maxim Sorokin (aka Seawolf).


I think Red1 asked about brahmin once on some chat or another. So here is an entry for brahmin.

Important! What follows is the rough draft layout for the "critters" section for the Fallout PNP game.
If there's anything about the layout that's missing or you think would be helpful to you as a GM, please email me.
Or at least have the courtesy to bitch about it somewhere where I can eavesdrop on it.

Fallout PnP: Brahmin!

Brahmin are mutated brahmin cattle with two heads. If you just said, "hell, I thought brahmin were something from India," well, you'd be right. A bunch of brahmin made their way to the states long ago for crossbreeding purposes. When the bombs fell, brahmin grew two heads. They are quite hardy. They are also a delicious toasty brown, as you'll notice in the picture to the left. They attack by head-butting or trying to gore someone with their horns, so brahmin-tippers beware. For some reason, only the left-most brahmin head has horns, which raises some curious gender identity issues.

Brahmin serve a vital environmental niche in Fallout - they form the foundation of survival for many species in Fallout, most notably, humans. They also form the backbone of the NCR economy. They also form the backbone of the New Reno "NCR brahmin rustling" economy. Brahmin can pull carts, old cars, plows, and dead bodies. Brahmin can be driven into herds then used as stampedes on rival tribal villages which is better than a Delayed Blast Fireball any day of the week. Brahmin can be worshipped. Brahmin hair can be woven into bags and ropes. Brahmin hide can be stretched over wooden or metal rods to make canoes, if you're into that sort of thing. Brahmin sinew can be used for bowstrings or thread for stitching. Brahmin shit is great fertilizer (and fuel for campfires). Brahmin meat is delicious - well, only because no one in Fallout knows what a succulent Pre-War steak used to taste like. Brahmin are a source of milk that is like modern day milk, yet terrifyingly different. Brahmin can be tipped over. Brahmin bones can be used as clubs, knives, arrowheads, eating utensils, hoes, or even dice, and their skulls look really scary dotted all over the desert landscape. Their horns can be turned into drinking horns if you feel like getting medieval. Brahmin can be used to distract a hungry deathclaw. Brahmin fat makes decent soap. Their hide can be used to make tents (or tipis/teepees), clothing, belts, saddle bags, shoes, leather armor, or a bizarre brahmin-looking disguise so you can sneak up on other brahmin and listen to their conversations. You can also use their tails as fly brushes or paint brushes, depending on your level of artistic talent.

There are domesticated brahmin and wild brahmin. PCs are encouraged to approach wild brahmin like they would a domesticated brahmin, because the end result is amusing for the Overseer.

Wild brahmin can forage for themselves, and they can be found across the wastes, gathered into small herds, wandering here and there, munching on the dirty weeds scattered throughout the desert. Fortunately for the ecology of the wasteland (and the survival of their species), brahmin can go for long periods of time without water - they don't need much to survive. They have a strong sense of smell, and they don't hesitate to stomp over any wasteland predator that threatens them or their calves - well, except deathclaws, because no one messes with deathclaws.

Brahmin are a great source of cattle drive and range war adventure seeds, if you feel like getting your Louis L'Amour on for a few sessions.

There are rumors that the smell of brahmin shit is highly addictive.

If you wanted to give brahmin perks, you'd probably want to give them three levels of the Perk: Strong Back, and possibly the Perk: Acute Sense of Smell, but no one really cares.

Brahmin, like giant ants, are believed to be the result of radiation. This is a little worrisome, since they may be radioactive.

will add the stats tables later

Original stories

Suicidal Bob sayz:

I read in the back of the Fallout 2 Strategy Guide, the section that talks about the process the design team went through to develop the storyline and such, and it states two storylines that were thought about. One of them being about an intelligent computer making a city of androids, and the main character going into space, the other about the Master's army capturing mutants for slave labor. I was wondering if in the actual storyline of Fallout, did these happen, or were these ideas just scrapped when the storyline that was used for Fallout 2 was selected as the one to be used?

They were scrapped, and they never happened in the Fallout universe. They were ideas by the original team that were being tossed around before the second original team, Tim, Jason, and Leonard, began work on F2. I haven't been able to find an original copy of the original story doc, but if I do, I might print it in all its original glory.

Jet? When? Myron? How old? Huh?

Daniel Horn raises a good point:

This is where I send stuff for the Fallout Bible... Right?


Well, I was wondering this: How old is Myron, and how long has Jet been around? Because he looks to be late teens, possibly early 20's.

However, if he is that young, as far as I can figure out Jet wouldn't be around.

Mrs. Bishop got hooked on Jet by Bishop (before they got married) and for that she got kicked out of Vault City. However, Angela Bishop, her daughter, is what, late teens, early 20s? Because presumably she had Angela after she got married to Bishop, and thus after she got addicted to Jet, Jet would have to be at least as old as Angela Bishop, and Myron would have to be older (at least 10-15 years, I figure) than Jet. But he doesn't look it. Did Myron REALLY invent Jet? Or is it just his usual egotism?

You know what, you're right - that was a mistake on my part. Myron is supposed to be 17-20, but that kind of messes things up if you take the Bishops into account. I had always thought he had made Jet pretty recently (within a few years) so that the Mordinos could rise to power.

Myron really did invent Jet. He's really, really smart and really, really annoying.

So ignore the Bishops and their messed-up rendition of events - they're been taking too much Jet anyway.

Timeline stuff

Just a quick update on timeline credits:

BTW, the original timeline (not yet printed, but it shall be coming to a future update near you) that I originally credited to Scott Campbell was done by Brian Freyermuth and approved by Scott. Much of the post-F1 stuff was originally laid out by Rob Hertenstein, who I do not know where he has absconded to, but if he is reading this, I would love to hear from him.

My apologies to the mis-credited parties - and knowing is half the battle.

Leap of faith

Dan Spitzley would like to say:

Neither Fallout handled Leap Years, did they? I was just thinking that that might make for an interesting adventure seed. What if the Fallout universe does have Leap Years, but every February 29th the entire population is put to sleep by the "bad guys" for some nefarious purpose, waking up on March 1st none the wiser. This would explain why nobody ever sees Feb 29th on the PipBoy. As soon as it comes along, everybody's abducted by aliens or something. Alternately, perhaps a bug in the PipBoy calendar that everyone "follows" has made the world forget about Leap Years since the war, meaning that maybe soon it will be dark in the afternoon or they'd have snow in August since they miss that one day every 4 years.

Just a reminder that I do not accept adventure seeds, especially from insane programmers who have been working too hard.

BOS corrections

Well, according to the Fallout 1 editors, it looks as if there are the following internal breakdowns amongst the Brotherhood of Steel ranks for the Scribes and Knights, and Paladins.

Knights and Scribes have the following ranks: Initiate, Senior Initiate, Apprentice, Journeyman, Senior, and Head Knight/Scribe.


Paladins are identified as being Junior Paladin, Paladin, Senior Paladin, and Head Paladin.

Fun? You bet it is!


Sean Meskill would like to say:

I the last installment, you mentioned how you were not sure a laser could read a tape. They can. In 69, I believe, RCA made a prototype system called Holotape for video playback, that read hologram data on plastic tape with a laser. It really worked and that type of tape is completely plausible. You can see pictures of that system here: All you guys did with fallout was extrapolate a real technology to a viable conclusion without knowing it. So that is holotape, explained at last.


Thanks, Sean.

Ian and his gun

Several people asked about what kind of gun Ian was to give you in his dialogue in Vault City. The answer is: I haven't been able to find out. Ferg knows, but he won't tell me because he doesn't talk to me anymore except to spit on me.

Ausir is whoring his site

Ausir wanted me to publish the link to his Russian website...

(It's actually Polish, but I can't resist.)

So there it is.

Things man was not meant to know: Chet and Mr. Cheater

DJ Slamák is messing around with forces he cannot comprehend (and Petruschka had the same question): I really didn't start this Bible update with the intention of it being a DJ Slamák issue, but the world is a crazy place.

Hello Chris, I've been fiddling around with master.dat and found... something. Can you look into it?

File: master.dat/text/english/dialog/cccheat.msg

 {100}{}{You see Mr. Cheater.}
{101}{}{He still looks like a cheater.}
{200}{}{Hello I am Mr. Cheater. How may I help you?}
{201}{}{Will you kidnap my tribe?}
{202}{}{Will you put me on the Shi quest?}
{203}{}{Will you put me on the Elron quest?}
{204}{}{Will you put me on the Brotherhood quest?}
{205}{}{Make it so I've already been to the military base.}
{206}{}{I've kidnapped your tribe.}
{207}{}{I've put you on the Shi quest.}
{208}{}{I've put you on the Elron quest.}
{209}{}{I've put you on the Brotherhood quest.}
{210}{}{Now you have been to the military base.}
{211}{}{Thank you, Mr. Cheater.}
And a similar one; this is yet another Vault City official:

File: master.dat/text/english/dialog/vcchet.msg

{100}{}{You see the Illicit Allocations Chief, Chet.}
{101}{}{You see a shifty-looking man wearing a Vault 13 jumpsuit.}
{102}{}{You see the Illicit Allocations Chief, Chet.}
{103}{}{You see a shifty-looking man wearing a Vault 13 jumpsuit.}
{104}{}{Hey, there. I'm the Illicit Allocations Chief... but you can call me Chet. You need something?}
{105}{}{Need anything else?}
{106}{}{Set the endgame flag, Chet. I'm all done.}
{107}{}{Make me Captain of the Guard. Now.}
{108}{}{Make me a real citizen, if you please.}
{109}{}{Make me a fake citizen and give me the papers.}
{110}{}{Make me a kicked out citizen.}
{111}{}{Change my reputation.}
{112}{}{(Doesn't work) I need a character in my party.}
{113}{}{Nope, nothing.}
{114}{}{To what?}
{115}{}{Make me a slaver.}
{116}{}{Make me a childkiller.}
{117}{}{Nothing...just lower my karma by a 100.}
{118}{}{Nevermind. I wanted something else...}
{119}{}{Nope, nothing.}
{125}{}{Nobody. I have more needs.}
{126}{}{Nevermind. Bye.}

Those were two cheat characters that were scripted into the game so we could test reactions of people in those locations in the game - they were never intended to be in the final version. I remember writing Chet - and he was very useful, indeed. Notice the skill and imagination woven into each of Chet's lines, lovingly crafted so he blends seamlessly into the game environment while providing much needed services for designers and testers. Truly, he is a work of art.

I do not know if his scripts are still in the game. If they are, I would exercise extreme caution before using them. Much badness could result. Quests could be thrown into turmoil from which Fallout 2 may never recover.

The way things were in the old days

Ausir/Pawel is playing a little safer than DJ:

By the way (again), have you seen these pictures? They are in the FO1 demo files, but were not used in any of the games. According to Tim Cain they were meant to be GURPS advantages/disadvantages, when Fallout was still GURPS.

These are fun. Check them out, people. See the Color Blindness, Obesity, and Odious Personal Habit disads in all their glory!

As a prize, can anyone tell me which of the three Disadvantages Tim Cain has above? For bonus points, you can add Josh Sawyer's Disads from the three above, too.

Sex and mutants

Neil has a question about mutant sexes:

How come no female mutants are ever seen? I have never heard of a female ghoul or supermutant. Are they actually all over the place? Have they just been mutated so badly you can't tell?

There are female ghouls and super mutants, but they look almost exactly like their male counterparts. In fact, Vree can't even determine the sex of the super mutant in her autopsy report in F1, although you could argue that might be because the wild dogs bit the super mutant's pecker off.

The Vault Dweller... Alive?!

Set/Seth has a question about life and death:

Ok, is the vault dweller still alive? You keep mentioning that he left Arroyo but I never hear *you* say that he died. I mean, FEV can cause a person to live longer (super mutants, ghouls). You can't deny that the vault dweller got exposed to FEV (for that matter this applies to the Chosen One as well at Mariposa) while dealing with the Master's army. So, it may actually be possible that *the* vault dweller still is alive and kicking? Or is this just too silly to consider?

ps. You can refer to me as Set. For some strange reason all my closest friends do. Bastards.

It's doubtful that he/she's still alive, but no one knows what happened to him or her. Just leave the poor Vault Dweller alone, okay?

More B.O.S. questions

Cameron, in his quest to join the Brotherhood of Steel, has some questions:

a) Where does it say that the original warriors of the BoS came from the Military Base?

It's in one of the holodisks that you get in the Brotherhood of Steel or the Military Base ("Captain Maxson's Diary") - it details what happened when Maxson decided to desert from the US Armed Forces at Mariposa.

b) Was the main base for the BoS originally some kind of military vault? I just kind of find it hard to believe that they built it.

It used to be a government/security bunker/base, called Lost Hills.

c) Can you tell me a little about the BoS during Fallout 2? I just always assumed that the main base grew above ground and some outposts were set up in the NCR.

That's pretty much it. Last word from the south is, the BOS is still centralized around the Lost Hills bunker, though they do have listening posts and other bunkers and bases scattered throughout the wastes.

d) Did the BoS capture Navarro after the destruction of the oil rig?

No one knows what happened to Navarro after the Enclave was destroyed. It's unlikely that the BOS seized it after the events in F2 because they didn't have a strong military presence up North at the end of F2. They would have been interested in taking it, however - although they would have suffered serious casualties.

e) Who thought up the idea with the airships at the beginning of FOT, cause it

Beats me. I don't know too much about FOT, but I'll ask.

'f) The system of FOT wouldn't even work. The new recruits come from the villages, but the villages hate the BoS. If a village ever decided to leave the BoS, then it would be attacked and the soldiers would rebel. It wouldn't be long before oher villages would leave the unity and a civil war would occur. I'm not trying to be picky or anything, I just noticed that one day. (That would make an interesting base for a sequel)

You could argue this either way, but I don't think the system wouldn't work. Again, my FOT knowledge is sketchy, so I really couldn't say for sure. I'll pass along your question.

Interview: Giving Jess Heinig the "13"

I'm going to try and start interviewing old members of the Fallout 1 and 2 (and if I'm lucky, Wasteland) development team in future updates.

Jess Heinig is a programmer who was brought on board to help with Fallout 1, and is responsible for quite a bit in the game, including Zax and the fact you were able to have NPC companions in Fallout 1.

I put "the 13" (questions) to him, and here are his answers. Buckle up.

1. Introduce yourself. Who the hell are you?

I'm Jess Heinig. That's what it says on the interview section, right? This thing has a header, doesn't it? Or are you some kind of slack bastard?

I lurched into game design with Fallout, then moved on to spend about three and a half years Gothing it up at White Wolf. Most recently I've slouched my way back to California to work for Decipher on the Star Trek roleplaying game. This means that I get to visit the Paramount studio lot, and therefore, that I am inherently an alpha-geek.

2. How did someone like YOU start working on Fallout?


No, not me, Interplay.

In short, Fallout was still GURPS back in the day. I knew GURPS. I was working computer science stuff in college. I wrote a short character generation program in C++ and showed it to Tim Cain (the project developer).

I correctly declared int main(void) instead of void main(void) in my main function. I got a job.

3. Yeah, yeah, but what did you do on Fallout?

Things and . . . stuff. Mostly things that gave you experience, or henchmen, or information. Things such as the scripting of characters in Vault 13, Junktown, Adytum, the Glow, and the Military Base. Random encounters. If it was in one of those areas and it talked to you, shot at you or wandered around, I probably wrote some or all of the script that made it do what it did. All of the party members -- although we weren't really set up to have party members . . .

4. What was you most favorite thing, area, or item that you worked on in Fallout?

ZAX, the pseudo-intelligent computer in the Glow, was my favorite little baby. That came from an ancient, yellowed design document for an early draft of Fallout that was found in a chest guarded by an orc, or something. There was a throw-away reference to a computer that held a conversation with the character, so I wrote one up. The name ZAX was, of course, an homage to VAX, the humanform robot of Wasteland.

A close second in favorites was the party members. The engine didn't really have support for party members, and the dev team didn't have much of an incentive to add them (nor did anyone think that it was feasible). I wrote up a script for Ian, THEN I showed it to Tim Cain. Eight million bugs later, we had "functional" party members who would shoot you in the back.

5. What was your least favorite thing, area, or item that you worked on in Fallout?

The bugs.

Seriously. The worst part about the bugs were the core code bugs.

Sometimes there were function calls that didn't work right and crashed the game. If this happened in your script, then you'd get the blame . . . even if it was a function that you hadn't written, had no access to, and couldn't fix. No choice then but to put the programmer in a headlock and force code out of him* like squeezing the juice from a rancid turnip.

Oh yeah. There was also this little bit of having one of the characters use the word "Oriental" in reference to another character. Sure, in the modern day and age we enlightened people say "Asian." For some reason though this little bit of PC was forced into the game text as well. Why a character in the game can't be un-PC, or just plain wrong, I don't know. Especially when the game allows you to push drugs on kids until they die, and then blow up their corpses with dynamite. You can't say "Oriental"? WTF?

*For those who presume that I am being sexist by assuming the male pronoun in my English, may I point out that there were no female programmers on Fallout 1's team.

6. Any secrets or background stuff that you've been keeping in your noggin that you want to share?

If you have a character with a 10 Intelligence, there is a vanishingly small chance to best ZAX in chess. This is a doomed experiment for you, though. It will take you so long to finally win that your Rad-X will have worn off. You'll stand up from the chess game and then keel over dead from megadoses of radiation in the Glow. Some days, I am an evil man.

As far as background secrets, I didn't have the chance to put in many easter eggs . . . except, of course, for the obligatory pop culture references that became so common that one was actually worth experience in Fallout 2. Tycho (the party member) was, as his background implies, a desert ranger -- another throwback to Wasteland. Oh yeah. In an earlier version of the Glow, there were two little nearly-hidden things... not sure if they made the final cut; I haven't played the game in a while. Behind one of the broken goo-filled suspension tanks was a body of a big-headed alien. Near that was a desk with a note on it. The note had about every third letter taken out, but if you puzzled out what it said, you could figure out that it was an evacuation notice, signed by Dana Scully.

7. Was there anything you created that didn't make it in?

See the aforementioned bit about the Glow . . .

In conjunction with a couple of the folks in QA, I worked out some ideas for maps and quests based on early design documentation. Fallout's design docs were really constantly evolving, and sometimes a given iteration of the documents would just have a big hole and you'd have to go back to earlier copies to find notes and rough ideas for an area. There were originally going to be two other raider tribes in addition to the Khans -- the Vipers and some other group whose name escapes me. We had this idea worked out for the Vipers being in a cleft in a canyon with some beat-up wagons or motor homes, and a sort of snake-worship-cult thing going on. There was gonna be a quest where you could become an honorary Viper and go through their pit of serpents and gain the Snakeater perk for free. Sadly, we just didn't have time to actually build the map.

I also championed long and hard for a different version of the Boneyard, but I was not really a senior staffer, and Leonard Boyarsky had a specific idea in mind that evolved into the final cut. The maps would've been similar but a lot of the story for that area would've been quite different.

8. Any personal stories you want to share from the development process?

Well, there was the whole thing about being at least 18 to blow the Master. . .

The tentacles, you know . . .

I remember learning the virtue of TESTING. I had finally figured out how to set up external variables in the scripts, and I'd managed to weasel the other Jesse (the programmer) into coding them in the engine. As a result we suddenly had the ability to make one item affect another. A bunch of the team had been pounding their heads for literally WEEKS over the problem of just figuring out how to make it so that using the Vault computer terminal on the outside of Vault-13 would cause the Vault door to open, since they were two separate objects. I figured out how to make the external variables link, coded a script, and ran to get Leonard Boyarsky. Foolish me, as I had not copied the script to the override file . . . that is, I wrote all the stuff to make it go, then forgot to put it in the right place. Boy did I look stupid when I said "I've got it!", clicked the button, and the character walked over, fiddled with the door computer, and nothing happened.

"Boy was my face red!" as they say in the biz.

My other memorable moment was deciding to make the bounty hunter group for the child-killers. We had debated heatedly the merits of having child-killing in the game versus not having child-killing, and I was a proponent of consequence-driven gaming -- if you screw up, you suffer the consequences; if you kill children, then people get so incensed that they hire bounty hunters to come after you. Of course, I lovingly named the lead bounty hunter Chris Avellone in honor of Chris Avellone, the most humorous designer at Interplay.

9. If you had one inventory item from Fallout, what would it be?

The POWER FIST! I would smash righteous fury down upon the heads of evildoers and jaywalkers with Minsc-like ferocity!

Or, did you mean, is there any particular inventory item that I feel responsible for? In that case, also the power fist. While playing through the game with an Unarmed Combat/Speech character I concluded that you just couldn't dish out the damage to get past enemies in the endgame, even with Unarmed Combat of 200%, More Criticals, Improved Criticals, and a lot of called shots. So, I lobbied for "unarmed combat enhancers," from which we gained the spiked knuckles and the power fist. (Mostly I think it was just because I kept saying "Power Fist" over and over again to Feargus until he finally just caved in and had them put into the game.)

10. What are you doing now? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

These days I reside in Los Angeles and I work for Decipher studios on the Star Trek roleplaying game. We just put out a new core game, thanks to the wacky license changeovers of the last couple years. Current projects include working on some of the backlist sourcebooks like the Star Trek Aliens and Starships books. I nearly smacked into Jolene Blalock (T'Pol on Enterprise) about two weeks ago, which would have been very bad because she is not a large woman by any means and I would have crushed her. I doubt that Paramount would've been happy with me bruising up their resident Vulcan.

I'm hoping to leverage my Star Trek work into writing for the shows and movies. Not only would that be enjoyable, but I could make some REAL money.

(And I couldn't possibly do worse than some of the novels already out there.)

11. What question do you wish you had been asked about Fallout that wasn't in this list of questions?

"What was it like working with the Fallout team?" (You don't get off that easy, though. If you wanna know the answer, you have to actually ask.)

12. If you had one wish, what would it be?

Right now? Since I'm in a Fallout-y mood from this questionnaire, it would be for the completion of Fallout 3, that all the computer gaming world could share in the joy that is more Fallout.

Or the best sandwich EVER. I have had some really good sandwiches but the best one ever would be really nice right now.

13. Is there anything you've ever wanted to say in an interview that you've never had the chance to say?


Additional trivia from Jess: Junktown!

And Jess had some additional comments about Junktown.

Junktown was a pretty schizophrenic place because Chris T. had sent over a design doc that had the basic Gizmo/ Killian conflict, but almost everything else was unfinished. I would get some general outlines from him and then fill them in. For instance, "There should be a gang conflict between the bartender and some gang" turned into the whole gang story arc with the bowling trophy and Sherry and whatnot. I scripted in Dogmeat, but it was Chris T. who originally came up with the design idea.
Didja know . . . in the original write-up of Junktown, the "ending sequence" was reversed from its current incarnation. That is, in the endgame slideshow, if the player had favored Killian, the original write-up was something like "With Gizmo out of the way, Killian enforces his brand of frontier justice on Junktown. The city remains orderly but small, as travelers steer away from his rigid sensibilities," and the picture background behind Killian was a gallows with shadows of dead men hanging from it. If the player favored Gizmo, it was "Under Gizmo's leadership, Junktown becomes a trading center and resort, where people come from miles around to gamble, spend money and enjoy themselves in relative safety. Gizmo keeps the town prosperous but healthy, as he has no desire to injure his own affluence. The inhabitants of the town become wealthy and famous," with the background picture showing Junktown as a Reno-like casino with electricity and clean streets free of any drug dealers or riff-raff who might endanger Gizmo's operations. Marketing decided at the last minute that we had to "reward good and punish bad," though, so the sequence was changed to its current incarnation.

Additional trivia from Jess: Patrick the Celt!

And Jess had even more comments about Patrick the Celt from Fallout 1:

Seems kinda out of place, doesn't he? He's the descendant of an Americanized Celtic family who has a strong vibe to keep his "ethnic heritage" alive. To do so he maintains lineages of Celtic music, food, clothing -- you name it. Never mind that who knows if England still exists at all . . . among other things, he's a storyteller and a collector of history. While telling tales of the rest of the world was really outside the scope of the game (and it would've been really boring for the player to wade through pages of history-through-a-Celtic-lens), his expertise meant that he could rub off a little on the character in matters of jokes, tale-telling and singing -- the sorts of things that help with Charisma.


Jess also talked a bit about Tycho from Fallout 1:

Tycho's a nod to the desert rangers of Wasteland. Obviously that "history" didn't wind up in Fallout, so that makes it more of an homage than anything.
Originally, the idea is that he came from east of California, in the Nevada area. His family comes from people who survived the devastation when WAR happened, likely living among the badlands of Nevada. As I envisaged it, Tycho learned a lot about desert survival and whatnot from his small community, which kept a strong survivalist contingent -- so they still had some small arms and books. They probably had something like the cliff-dwelling Indians going on for their town, though I never fleshed it out.
Anyway, Tycho took off to wandering the desert with traders and explorers for several years, returning from time to time with goods or maps. Most likely he started with small trips and went further abroad as he became more experienced. He went as far as the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and then headed back west. Eventually he wound up on the west coast as a long-range explorer from a loose group of desert rangers whose actual origins, scope and purpose weren't defined.
In some ways Tycho is reminiscent of master Yuta from "Nausicaa and the Valley of the Winds." He carries a gas mask just in case, wears hardened leather armor, has a knife, knuckles, canteen, all the usual survival gear. I'd pictured him as this guy in leather armor (Fallout-style) with a gas mask hanging around his neck, goggles (to keep out sand and glare), a sand-colored cloak usable for camouflage and to keep the sun off, and a double-barreled shotgun.
Source texts

This article uses material from the "Fallout Bible 9" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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