September 29, 2014

Should Fallout 4 Be A Prequel To Original Fallout?


What exactly would be a prequel to original Fallout game? Since Fallout take place in the year 2161 on the West Coast of what used to be the United States, California, the most logical would be for a prequel to be set at least somewhere in the US, before 2160. Not Canada, or whatever, but US! I can't really imagine that "fallout feel" somewhere outside the US. But how far in the "past" should it go?! I don't believe that any future Fallout game will ever be set during the Great War, or even before, no matter how "awesome" that would be. Maybe in a form of DLC. Then again, moments after the war, the game setting would be too dark, so that's also a no from me. The best time-frame for a Fallout prequel, for me, would be somewhere between 2127(9) and 2142(9). Can you see where I'm going?! No?!?

The thing is, the US government (Enclave), and Vault-Tec, never really believed an actual nuclear war would occur and the real reason for the existence of vaults was to run social experiments on pre-selected segments of the population to see how they react to the stresses of isolation and how successfully they would recolonize Earth after the vault opens. Vault-Tec was commissioned to build only 122 such vaults. The Enclave, responsible for the experiment (officially known as the "Societal Preservation Program"), considered themselves prime candidates for recolonizing the world after a nuclear holocaust and to this end commissioned the construction of their own shelters, isolated from the vault network. The purpose of the vault experiments was to help prepare the Enclave for either re-colonizing Earth or colonizing another planet if Earth turned out to be uninhabitable. Despite all of this, the experiment may be considered a success in terms of the data collected - data that was much more important to the Vault-Tec and Enclave scientists than a few hundred thousand lives, most of whom would have died anyway if not for the vaults.

Now let's focus on specific time frame the new Fallout game could take place. I will go in order from the first Vault openings after the great war:
  • Vault 12 - In order to study the effects of radiation on the selected population, the vault door was designed not to close properly. This is the Necropolis vault and a large population of ghouls was the result. Interesting, but not so much for a game to be based on.
  • Vault 8 - a control vault located in West Nevada. It was designed to re-colonize the surface after 10 years. It opened as intended after receiving the all-clear signal, and its residents emerged to begin rebuilding civilization (with G.E.C.K.). Vault City was the result. And that's a no from me, for a game prequel plot.
  • Vault 70 - first mentioned in the Fallout Bible and was going to be mentioned in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 project where the Vault opened in 2190, and its inhabitants founded the town of New Jerusalem. Yeah, that's also not an awesome prequel game plot idea..
  • Vault 15 - (there are few vaults that may been opened before vault 15, but I really want to shorten this article.) Intended to stay closed for 50 years and include people of radically diverse ideologies. The birthplace of three raider groups and Shady Sands (later to become the NCR). This could build an awesome prequel story, and this one in my opinion, is the best story "base" for a Fallout prequel. We even made a comic series - Fallout: Origins. Feel free to check it out, although it includes only the first part of the series.
On the other hand, another great story for a prequel would be the Enclave themselves (something like Fallout: BoS). Enclave is present in every Fallout game so far, but you couldn't actually side with them as a faction member. Relatively early in the fateful year of 2077, with the planet ultimately headed directly for nuclear devastation, the President of the United States and various other members of the continuity of government fell back to multiple secretive, and heavily fortified locations all around the continent. When the bombs began to drop, they lost communications with the main group that was to be headquartered at the Poseidon Oil Rig in the Pacific Ocean.

For a long time after the Great War, the Enclave sat quietly in its oil rig, consolidating its forces and working on gaining a technological edge over anyone on the mainland. Eventually, when they felt it would be safe, they decided it was time to move out and start working towards the rebirth of America. And pretty much here starts original Fallout game. To me, Oil Rig is not an option for a prequel (yes for DLC later on), but rather some of those secretive, and heavily fortified, shelter locations that lost communications with the Poseidon Oil Rig. With so much options here, it makes sense for a prequel to be built. 

With all those ideas listed above, I'm not saying that next Fallout game SHOULD be a prequel, I'm just focusing my thoughts on IF next installment will be a prequel. I didn't go so much into details, as this article would be then five times bigger. You can share us your thoughts on #VTi Facebook or Google+ post. Thank you for reading, share it with your Fallout friends!

Fallout 1, 2 Tactics, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4