|The following is based on promotional content and is not canon.|
All Roads is a Fallout graphic novel written by Chris Avellone. The cover artists are Geof Darrow and Peter Doherty (colors), while the interior artists are Jean Diaz and Wellinton Alves. The art style changes when focus is shifted to another character.
Serving as a prologue to Fallout: New Vegas, the book was released with the Collector's Edition of the game on October 19, 2010. Dark Horse released a digital version of the book on November 16, 2011 on Dark Horse Digital and its iTunes app for $2.99. Chris Avellone described the storyline as "showcasing the cast, locations in the game, and provides more backstory on some of the major characters. It leads right up to the opening movie of the game, and provides context for the initial set-up and the motivations for some of the major adversaries."
The events take place in the week before the game's begin date, and Avellone explained that the Courier was not included in the storyline, as the team "wanted the players to determine how their character looks, acts, and reacts so in the book we focused on the player's adversaries and the folks who want you dead."
Avellone's previous experience in comics includes five stories for Dark Horse's Star Wars Tales anthology comic and Clone Wars Adventures digest comic.
The story takes place a week before the events of Fallout: New Vegas. Benny is sitting at his suite and observing the New Vegas Strip. He laments that Vegas is his kind of town. Meanwhile, at Red Rock Canyon, a hulking Great Khan named Chance leans against a painted rock, passed out after a night of alcohol and chem abuse. He is approached by Jessup, who asks if Chance is coming back to them. Jessup observes the rock Chance painted and proceeds to point a gun at the Khan, urging him to forget Bitter Springs. Suddenly, Chance leaps up and grabs Jessup's gun hand. Happy that Chance is conscious, Jessup tells him they have a job to do.
As Benny is preparing to leave The Tops casino for business, Swank wonders where he's going. Benny asks if Swank has a problem, though his right-hand man only expresses a dislike of Benny putting out his cigarettes on the floor, as they leave "a trail you can smell from a mile away". Benny tells him that minding his floor isn't Swank's business, and asks how things are downstairs. Swank informs him that they're running low on talent and, although Tommy is working on getting some new acts, he could use some help. Benny is unsympathetic, and asks if the Singer has been taken care of. Pulling a vial laced with psycho from his pocket, Swank says that word on the Strip is that the Singer died of an overdose, though the rest of the Chairmen aren't happy with his passing, as they liked the man. Swank goes on to say that if Benny wanted the Singer dead, Swank could have simply killed him directly, as it would have been the way they handled things back when they were riding the Mojave. Benny angrily tells Swank that if he wants to go back to the old days, he is free to leave. Swank apologetically tells Benny that he only meant that a direct kill would have been honest, since the Singer didn't know there was psycho in the vial. Benny smiles and tells him the only thing in the vial is Vegas.
Back at Red Rock Canyon, McMurphy and some other Khans are gathered around a crudely drawn map in the dirt, planning their route. The other Great Khans wonder who they're doing the job for, if it's raider work, and if they're going to kill NCR soldiers. McMurphy informs them that they won't be raiding or killing any NCR troopers. Just then, they're joined by Jessup and Chance. Chance pulls out a knife and proceeds to draw a much more detailed map in place of the old. McMurphy points out that Chance forgot something, to which the towering Khan plunges his knife deep in the dirt and twists, creating a gaping hole, under which he writes "Vegas". A voice behind them claims that this wasn't his experience of Vegas. With Benny's arrival, the Khans journey south of Red Rock Canyon.
As night falls, the group makes camp. As the Khans observe Benny, McMurphy asks him why they're hunting for some courier, but Benny simply tells him that this is the job. Jessup wonders if this courier has wronged Benny somehow, but Benny informs him that he doesn't want the courier as much as what they're carrying. Jessup notes that the chip sounds valuable, but Benny claims that it's only valuable to him. Jessup goes on to ask if the courier will be accompanied by any bodyguards, but Benny says that they'll be alone, as it's a covert mission. Jessup wonders if the courier will simply give them the package, but Benny says that it'd be better if they killed the courier, so as not to leave any loose ends. Jessup angrily tells Benny that he knows who he is and that he could simply employ other Chairmen to do his dirty work. Jessup is, therefore, suspicious that Benny would seek out the Khans instead, and is adamant that their tribe doesn't "kill for New Vegas caps". Benny assures him that he'll be the one to pull the trigger, putting an end to the argument. As Benny is standing in front of the bonfire, Chance stares at him, reminded once more of the Bitter Springs Massacre. Noticing that Chance is suffering from withdrawal, Benny asks if Chance is clean, clearly worried. Jessup and McMurphy assure him that Chance is good in a fight and that the Khans "carry their own".
The next day, as they're traveling south, Jessup discreetly asks McMurphy if he'd noticed Benny's lighter, clearly planning to steal it. McMurphy warns him off such on action, as the wrath of New Vegas is the last things the Great Khans need, reminding him that the city already absorbed three tribes and turned them into families. Jessup is surprised to learn that Benny is a tribal, but McMurphy points out that Benny is the one setting the pace. Benny notices Chance shadowing him and briefly tries to make conversation with the Khan, even though Jessup told him Chance hasn't spoken since Bitter Springs. Their one-sided conversation is cut short when they stumble on a charred corpse, not far from a small, burning tribal village. Benny quickly determines that the man died when someone set him on fire and watched, while McMurphy notices a painted skull on the ground and concludes that the village is being ravaged by Fiends.
As the suns sets, the group plans on what to do next. They all agree it'd be best to avoid the Fiends, even though the Khans normally trade with them, since the Fiends are clearly high on chems. McMurphy suggests circling back a few miles, but is denied by Benny, who doesn't want to miss the Courier. Jessup bitterly laments that the NCR is supposed to protect the Mojave from attacks such as this, but McMurphy reminds him of Bitter Springs and is certain that NCR help is the last thing the Khans need. It is then that Jessup notices that Chance is missing.
As he observes the pillaging, Chance is driven berserk by the sight of fire, which reminds him of Bitter Springs. He heads into battle armed only with his knife, and begins slaughtering the Fiends. McMurphy and Jessup prepare to help Chance, but Benny stops them. Since the Fiends hadn't noticed them yet, Benny wants to leave Chance behind and make a clean getaway. Jessup protests, but McMurphy seems to initially side with Benny. Jessup decides to help Chance anyway, prompting McMurphy, the rest of the Great Khans, and even Benny to follow him. Just as Chance is about to be overwhelmed, the rest of the Khans and Benny join in. Despite killing a large number of Fiends, the group is quickly surrounded and is almost overwhelmed. Chance himself is stabbed and pinned to the ground, but manages to fight off his attacker. Just then, a flamer-wielding Fiend shows up and blasts Chance and the group of Fiends he was fighting, engulfing them in flames. Despite his injuries, Chance leaps towards his assailant and is able to bend the flamer nozzle towards the Fiend, resulting the raider burning the flesh off his own skull. They win the battle, but Chance is badly burned and near death.
McMurphy and Jessup consider giving Chance some of the drugs they looted from the Fiends to make him live longer, but Benny is opposed to this idea, as Chance lost his cool even when he was sober, so there is no telling how he'll behave on chems. Benny, instead, tells the Khans to put Chance down, but reconsiders when they give him a threatening look. Barely conscious, Chance remembers the Bitter Springs Massacre, and how he was unable to prevent it. Benny approaches the injured Khan and offers him a cigarette, though Chance doesn't respond. Benny goes on to tell Chance a story about how the Chairmen used to be a tribe not dissimilar to the Khans, and how there was a Singer that entertained them around a campfire. When the Chairmen became one of the Families, the Singer continued to sing much like he did back when they were nomads. The Singer, however, longed for the old days. He sang songs about the time his tribe roamed the Mojave, and talked about how the Chairmen should return to that time. The problem was, as Benny puts it, the Chairmen began to feel nostalgic about their time as nomads because of the Singer's songs. Benny says that the Singer was unable to move on, and so frequently got high, much like Chance is unable to move on from Bitter Springs. Benny then talks about how he's not like the Singer, and that he plans on ruling Vegas and never walking the Mojave again, instead making the Mojave walk to him. He then pulls the psycho vial he got from Swank from his pocket and places it next to Chance. Benny hopes that Chance can pull through until the job is done, but offers him the vial so he can kill himself if he can't let go. Chance decides to take it, and is found dead in the morning.
McMurphy and Jessup are saddened by the passing of their friend. They decide to bury Chance. Benny protests, but decides to allow it when the Khans glare at him. Benny tells them to catch up when they're done. They arrive to the Goodsprings Cemetery, and prepare to ambush the Courier.
- The Courier is the player character in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Benny is the antagonist for the beginning of the game and an important character in the main quest.
- Jessup and McMurphy can be found in Boulder City (as part of the main quest) but McMurphy is dead.
- Swank, Benny's second-in-command, is at the Tops casino, as well as mentioned-only Tommy Torini.
- Chance's Map, which McMurphy began carving into the ground with his finger can be found west of New Vegas, close to Red Rock Canyon.
- Chance's knife, which he used to finish the map McMurphy started, is located inside Chance's grave along with the Great Khan simple armor he wore at the time of his death.
- Tribal Village, where the battle against Fiends took place, can be found north of Goodsprings, along with bodies of murdered tribals, Great Khans, and Fiends. Now inhabited by the cazadores mentioned in the graphic novel.
- The engraved cigarette lighter which Benny used to light his distinctive cigarettes and which the Khans discussed stealing is given to the player character by Jessup in Boulder City.
- The grave that the Courier was buried in was dug by the Great Khans. Benny pulled the trigger as the Great Khans refused to do so.
Behind the scenes
- Chris Avellone stated, "We decided not to use the Courier in the book. We want the players to determine how their character looks, acts, and reacts so in the book we focused on the player's adversaries and the folks who want you dead."
- NCR troopers seen in Chance's flashback are riding horses. On January 24, 2013, Fandom user "StylesV13" added a quote from a personal email claiming to be from a correspondence with developer Chris Avellone.[Non-canon 1][Non-canon 2] The contents of the email pertain to the appearance of horses in the All Roads comic as "an error (no one noticed it until too late)" and stating that horses are completely extinct in the Fallout series.[Non-canon 3] The contents of the email cannot be independently verified. While a quoted portion has existed in the Horse/Equidae and All Roads[Non-canon 4] articles since 2013, the screenshot of the email did not surface until 2014 where it was uploaded by a different, unrelated user on a separate website.[Non-canon 5] Comments on the file suggest it was taken from the now-defunct Bethesda forums, but a link to the original post or thread has not survived.
- When asked about the StylesV13 email about horses in September 2020, developer Joshua Sawyer commented that he was not immediately familiar with the horses appearing as an error in All Roads, the concept of horses being completely extinct in Fallout, or Chris Avellone expressing it. He had "no idea" about this information, and that if he ever knew, it was "lost like dust in the wind."[Non-canon 6] Sawyer later clarified in January 2021 that horses would "be fine to exist in Fallout" as it never came up in discussion for the games and he would not object to their appearance in a Fallout game.[Non-canon 7]
- While Geofrey Darrow had no previous involvement with the Fallout series, his art helped inspire the look of pre-War cities and the original 10mm pistol is modeled on artwork Darrow created for Frank Miller's comic Hard Boiled.
- Swank is dressed in a grimy pre-War businesswear in the graphic novel, while in the game, the texture of the suit is the same as the dirty pre-War businesswear texture.
- The account of the Bitter Springs Massacre in the graphic novel are told from different perspectives.
- Chance's map in-game and in the graphic novel are located in different locations with minor differences in appearance.
- The title All Roads likely comes from "All roads lead to home" or "All roads lead to Rome". In the add-on Honest Hearts, Joshua Graham offers another possibility saying "All roads wind down to the same spot, the grave" when discussing The Divide.
- Geof Darrow darkhorse.com (Archived)
- SDCC10: Fallout: New Vegas Origins at IGN.com (Archived)
- The Courier: "What's at the Divide?"
Joshua Graham: "I don't know for certain, and I don't think NCR knows, either. Whatever happened at the Divide was too much for them to handle. Our frumentarii told us what they saw. Only fools and madmen would march into a place like that. All roads wind down to the same spot, the grave."
(Joshua Graham's dialogue)
- I emailed Chris Avellone and that is what he had to say about Horses and All Roads. StylesV13 edit on January 24, 2013
- Sorry it was me StylesV13 how made this edit about Chris Avellone. I thought I was logged in. StylesV13 edit on January 24, 2013
- StylesV13:"Hello again,
There is debate in the Fallout Universe regarding horses and whether or not they are extinct. Most people see them as extinct given that we haven't seen them or heard any mention of them in any Fallout game. But in All Roads we see NCR soldiers on horses.
So the question is, was that part of Chase's drug induced hallucination, a dream, or was it to show us that horse are in the NCR?
In the end, it's up the Bethesda, but we would like your view on this matter. Still Bethesda would have been part of the approval of All Roads right?"
Chris Avellone: "To me, that picture in the comic was an error (no one noticed it until too late).
While the end decision is up to Bethesda as to whether horses exist in the NCR, it was never my intention that there were any horses, and furthermore, there were still parts of the New Vegas design where we specifically removed the mention of horses from certain narrative points (one of Raul's stories originally referenced horses, for example, and we cut them because we didn't want to imply horses still existed)."
- Complementary edit to the All Roads article made 30 minutes later by a separate user.
- Image file page on gamepedia showing an upload date of July 2014, 19 months after the original email.
- yellowflickerbear: "Way back in 2013, Chris Avellone said in an email that it was never his intention to have horses in the comic All Road. Today, some people are doubting the legitimacy of that email. Can you re-confirm that what Avellone said back then was true?"
Joshua Sawyer: "I have no idea, honestly. If I ever knew, that info is now lost like dust in the wind. Sorry."
(Joshua Sawyer on Tumblr (archived))
- scriptfinch: "I've always blindly accepted the whole "horses not appearing in Fallout" thing until recently. Clearly, their not being in 1, 2, or NV makes it clear they are not tonally/thematically appropriate, although I could never explain to myself exactly why. (My quick rationale is that horses, among accelerated travel, would globalize the setting too quickly — that the cozy corners of the wasteland would be undermined.) In your personal, subjective opinion, makes horses unfit for Fallout's setting?"
Joshua Sawyer: "I think they’d be fine to exist in Fallout. It never really came up as a serious discussion point that I remember. I don’t mind them not being anywhere in any of the games but if I saw one I wouldn’t be like [image of a frowning, gray cartoon face]"
(Joshua Sawyer on Tumblr)