October 02, 2014

20 Incredibly Great References in Fallout 3

There are about 120 cultural references in Fallout 3. Since we can't cover all of them, we're bringing you the incredibly great ones, like references to great post-apocalyptic movie titles like Mad Max and A Boy and His Dog. This article is two pages long, with 10 references on each.

 1. A Boy And His Dog


To me, A Boy and His Dog inspired Fallout on many levels, including Fallout 3. Dogmeat, the vaults, the blending of 1950s America with futuristic horror, and the glowing ones. They are all allude to Harlan Ellison's book A Boy and His Dog which got the film adaptation later on, A Boy and His Dog (1975 film). Also, In Oasis, the man encased in a tree calls the tree "Herbert" because he thinks it's funny and it annoys the tree. In A Boy and His Dog the dog Blood, often calls his boy, Vic,"Albert". Blood finds this funny, while Vic is annoyed by it.

 2. Mad Max


The Mad Max movies, starring Mel Gibson as a post-apocalyptic warrior, are also a pervasive influence on the Fallout series. The design of the leather armor in all four Fallout games is based on Mel Gibson's armor in the Mad Max series, particularly the single-sleeved armor in The Road Warrior. A picture of the main character walking beside Dogmeat that is featured on the back of the packaging and in every ending is an homage to the image of Max walking beside his dog from The Road Warrior. Fallout 3's Dogmeat is a Blue Heeler, the same breed as Max's dog in The Road Warrior.


One of the Little Lamplight children uses the word humongous incorrectly, saying "humungus." Though it appears incorrect, it is actually a reference to Lord Humungus, the leader of the antagonizing gang in The Road Warrior. Upon meeting Harkness one of his replies might be "Oh yeah? And I'm a fairy princess." this is a reference to an utterance made by Mad Max when he talks to MasterBlaster in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The raiders' style of dressing is similar to that of the various raider and biker gangs in the Mad Max films. Medical braces are similar to those that Max wears on his left leg in the films. The arena in The Pitt resembles the Thunderdome.

The raider blastmaster helmet resembles the helmet worn by Blaster, the "muscle" of Bartertown in Beyond Thunderdome. The scoped .44 magnum/Blackhawk resembles the gun used by the Lord Humungus in The Road Warrior, which was a scoped Smith & Wesson Model 29. The outfit worn by Mayor Macready of Little Lamplight is identical to the costume worn by Jedediah the pilot's son in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome - a pith helmet, goggles, and a jacket one size too big. The image for the perk Pitt Fighter depicts Vault Boy wearing armor identical to Blaster's armor in the film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

There is a random encounter with a character named Mel, who wears a leather jacket and sports a sawed-off shotgun. High Perception grants the information that the shotgun is unloaded. In The Road Warrior, Max threatens the Gyrocaptain with his shotgun, even though it wasn't loaded. The outfits worn by slaves in The Pitt resemble those worn by the slaves in Beyond Thunderdome.

 3. The Road

A 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy. This post-apocalyptic story also influenced Bethesda Softworks (as mentioned by Todd Howard in interview) in their work on Fallout 3. The most overt references to the book are the hunters who peddle "strange meat" (human flesh) and the cannibals in the town of Andale.

 4. Dracula


Just above the entrance, you can see a damaged traffic sign that should read "CAREFUL," but on which the 'C' and 'L' have faded away to display "AREFU". Arefu is a "real life" small village in Romania, most well known for its proximity to the former castle of Vlad III, the prince of Wallachia, who is also known as "Dracula" and "Vlad the Impaler." And the quest "Blood Ties" only confirms that reference. Lucy West, the woman who kicks off the Blood Ties quest, is a reference to Lucy Westenra, Mina Murray's friend in Bram Stoker's Dracula. They both have connections to vampires, and they were the first victims of a chain of unfortunate events that affect their loved ones.

 5. Interplay


The monument is located in Chevy Chase, just outside the Tenleytown / Friendship station. There's a small square with a monument that is a reference to Interplay. The bronze Earth with a circling rocket appeared prominently when launching Fallout 1 and 2. Chevy Chase is also a real-life neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

 6. Black Isle Studios

Inside the Museum of Technology, a plaque describes the fate of the USS Ebon Atoll, a missile destroyer that was torpedoed by a US submarine, USS Interference, off the coast of Alaska. "Ebon" is short for "Ebony", a word for black, and "atoll" is another word for island, or isle. The fate of the boat is also similar to Black Isle's, having been "torpedoed" by their parent company, Interplay. Also, in the Point Lookout add-on, the loading screens and several terminals mention Isla Negra Holdings, the company that built the Pilgrim's Landing boardwalk. "Isla Negra" is Spanish for Black Isle.

 7. The Bible

The Lone Wanderer's birth date, 7/13/2258, is a Biblical reference to Micah 7:13, which reads: "And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, on account of the fruit of their deeds." This aptly describes the whole Fallout series.

 8. American Civil War

Hannibal Hamlin was the name of Abraham Lincolns's first vice president, a staunch abolitionist. Leroy Walker is named after LeRoy Pope Walker, the first Confederate States Secretary of War who issued the orders for the firing on Fort Sumter, which began the American Civil War. Bill Seward is named after William H. Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State from 1861-69. Caleb Smith is named after Caleb B. Smith, Lincoln's Secretary of Interior from 1861-62. Simone Cameron is named after Simon Cameron, Lincoln's Secretary of War from 1861-62.

 9. Beneath the Planet of the Apes

In Megaton, the undetonated atomic bomb and the Children of Atom are a reference to the film Beneath the Planet of the Apes (a 1970 American science fiction film directed by Ted Post and written by Paul Dehn), in which a cult worships an intact nuclear ICBM (An intercontinental ballistic missile).

 10. Star Trek (original)


During the first fade-to-white in the opening character creation, The Overseer says, "Dammit! We need a doctor, not a scientist", a reference to lines in the original Star Trek in which Leonard McCoy says to Captain Kirk, "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a [profession that isn't medical]". Dr. Preston in Rivet City will say "I'm a doctor, not a dealer!" when asked about purchasing chems.

The Adventures of Captain Cosmos takes its inspiration from Star Trek. Captain Cosmos is known to have aired at 8:00 P.M. on Thursdays (the timeslot that Star Trek filled during its first two seasons in the real world). In the Mothership Zeta add-on, the Lone Wanderer and Sally (who is a fan of Captain Cosmos) take a diverse crew into ship-to-ship combat against another alien mothership.


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