Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Started a #Fallout "Apocrypha" page in the spirit of the old "Fallout Bible" back at Interplay.

(It's also an easier place to compile questions from the community, which you're free to ask here or in the Comments section of the page.)
— April 2022, Chris Avellone on Twitter

Fallout Apocrypha is an online publication published on Medium by Chris Avellone. In the spirit of the Fallout Bible, Fallout Apocrypha is meant to be continuation of answering community questions except on a "Living" page that Chris Avellone updates with new questions that he gets asked through Twitter and through the comments section of the page.[1]

Revision (April 30th, 2022)[]


Update 4–30–22 V1.1: So when doing updates to the Fallout Apocrypha, I’m going to do a few things:

  • I will try and answer all questions posted in the comments (you can see answers there now). Some of these questions I may move directly into this post, but feel free to browse and see what interests you.
  • Any additions I will try and mark with an “*” or an obvious inclusion at the beginning or end of this post.
  • Topic Additions: Horses and Talking Deathclaws.
  • Patch Notes: So this V1.1 fixes some spelling errors in the text, makes the Fallout 3 feedback easier to read, adds some additional explanation to some questions.
  • If you want to jump immediately to the new topics, click here.

Transcript (April 9th, 2022)[]


Many years before the Great War of 2077, specifically, the late 90s and a few years into the new millennium (2002, in fact), a time when all things regarding Fallout seemed to be going nowhere at Interplay, I worked on a “keep awareness of Fallout high (and also test out the community reaction to ideas)” series of releases called the “Fallout Bible.”

The Fallout Bible contained a lot of questions from the community, specifics about Fallout and 2 development and design information, and other things that it seemed the Fallout community (you) would be interested in seeing.

And so is this — a living “Fallout Apocrypha” page. I’ve only recently been introduced to Medium, but this “page” is something where I’ll try to make a repository of all the questions I get asked, factoids, and other fun Fallout-y stuff that may have occurred during Fallout 1, 2, Tactics (which I got to see being developed and had some minor insights on), and New Vegas. It’s a much easier place to search for info than on most social media sights, so there’s that as well.

If you’d like, you can ask questions on Twitter: @chrisavellone or you can ask them in the Comments section. I’ll also likely be re-ordering this page and re-structuring its categories and potential sub-pages depending on if the questions and answers can be easily categorized (ex: “Everything about Stimpaks”).

Ask away!


Neither this or the Fallout Bible are canon, these just compile insights and factoids from development.

If you’re looking for what’s canon and what’s not, then the actual game content from the Bethesda/Bethesda-backed titles (F3, NV, F4, 76) are the sources you should refer to (F1, F2, Tactics are not necessarily canon).


The “Metacritic bonus” if the game got above an 84 review score was something Bethesda offered above and beyond the New Vegas contract.

We didn’t ask for this, they offered it, and it was our responsibility to hit that review score. We did have to have layoffs at Obsidian around this time period, but the bonus from Metacritic wouldn’t have prevented that from happening.


As of 4/9/22, about 20-ish, I believe, out of an original team of ~70. The remainder either quit, were laid off, or were fired.

Before that’s a cause for alarm, however, many of these remaining 20 were key people in New Vegas’ development, and Obsidian also has Leonard Boyarsky and Timothy Cain on board, even though both are on Outer Worlds (2), and Leonard and Tim are the original creators of Fallout.



If anything, they kept it alive, and then added a much deeper layer of open-world exploration than anything we’d been able to do at Interplay.

Also, the marketing department at Bethesda had a much stronger push than anything Interplay could have made happen, and arguably helped Fallout enter the mainstream more than Interplay ever could have done. There’s a reason you’ll see Fallout shirts at Target, and that alone is a pretty big accomplishment (whether you agree that’s an accomplishment or not).




My critique was:

:: Floodgates open ::

It’s a testament to the game that for every thing that initially bothered me, there was a solution or a tool to counterbalance it. For example, I was exploring Hubris Comics, dropped my Power Fist so I could haul some extra loot, then came back and couldn’t find it on the floor. Pissed. And then I remembered Dogmeat has the dialogue option to go “fetch” existing weapons in the environment and bring them back — so I asked him to go hunt down the Power Fist for me, and he found it in 5 seconds. Awesome. The game had enough options and tools at my disposal to insure I was having fun no matter what the challenges, so I can’t ask for much more.

So here’s the list:

The negatives: Dogmeat’s breathing if you don’t adjust the sound sliders. The tiny model house in Minefield not containing anything special. Anyone armed with a flamer can kick my melee-specialized ass, and thus, can kiss my ass. It was confusing to find one’s way around Megaton, although it had beautiful set pieces and I got used to it. I played with a 4 ST character and regretted it, but it made me appreciate the ST boost from alcohol more (1st time I’ve ever considered alcohol a viable drug in any game system, ever) and also made me appreciate Buffouts. I suck at the Science minigame, which is a horrible confession for an English major. Thought Hubris Comics should have had more Grognak issues, although I really liked the fan mail and the text adventure game in there. Didn’t like not being able to kill Amata or Andy the Robot at the outset because I hated them both. I didn’t like that the first potential companion was a bad Karma companion and expensive, but then the twin goals of being an asshole and scrounging up a thousand caps became bait and a challenge in trying to get him — when I got Jericho, I felt like I’d earned him as a companion. I think Repair became too valuable as a skill, but it’s better than the special case it was in Fallout 1 and 2, so I’d rather that than it remain a broken skill (like Doctor in F2). Maybe because I’m approaching it from the development end, I didn’t care, but I think the level cap turned a number of people off, as did not being able to play after and continue the game until Broken Steel came out. Some of the locations I think broke the 4th wall (Dunwich, which I actually enjoyed playing, just not the premise).

So that said…

Likes: Opening immersion and re-introducing you into the Fallout world. Fallout 1 and 2 had consistently broken or special case skills that were rectified in F3 (for example, Repair — and Doctor vs. First Aid in Fallout 2 became broken without a time limit, so Medicine was clearly an improvement). Fast Travel. Felt my skills mattered in general. The kitchen bell XP sound. I love radiation more in F3, it makes me pay close attention to the environment, I loved the Grognak text adventure game, I loved the Gutsy and Robobrain combat barkstrings, I liked the usage of the radio and the reactivity to the player’s actions — that seemed an elegant way of reinforcing your actions in the world as well as introducing a bad guy you couldn’t immediately shoot in the face, I liked a lot of the moments in the game, including suddenly being surrounded by the creepy Andale residents after entering the basement in town, I never thought a neighborhood filled with land mines would be a good adventure locale and I ate my words, loved the juxtaposition of real world mundane locations and their change into dungeons (Campgrounds, Springvale School, Super Duper Mart). Liked tracking down radio transmission signals for rewards. This is the first game I’ve ever played where I was excited to see barricades.* Nerd Rage surprised me as a Perk — chose it by default at one level only so I could drop grenades on myself to increase my carrying capacity and found it surprisingly useful at saving my ass when I walked into an ambush. The Pitt DLC, especially the opening vista crossing the bridge, is incredible. Liked the lockpick minigame. The Arlington Cemetery actually hit me pretty hard, and as a location it really drove home the futility of war to me — just seeing all those graves with Washington DC stretching out behind it made me feel really bad. Loved firing my combat shotgun into a bus with 5 ghouls trapped on the Dupont Circle freeway below and watching the whole screen erupt in fire. Consistently being rewarded for exploring the environment — there was always at least three things to see on the horizon that you wanted to go check out. I didn’t think I would like Liberty Prime, but the Iron Giant aspect worked for me and made me do a 180. I liked the Brotherhood camping out at the Pentagon. The sign inside the portable bomb shelters made me smile. I liked the Time Bandits aspects of Mothership Zeta. Seeing Dogmeat on fire, and being so tough that he didn’t even care that he was on fire. Liked playing as a Psycho-using alcoholic and murdering caravan folks for things I didn’t even need. Thought beer was valuable as a ST enhancer to carry loot. Liked the Well-Rested Perk. Shiskebab rocks — tap and burn.

* Yes, barricades. I have never had anything but hate for barricades until this game. They block my progress. Fuck barricades. But in F3, they are filled with the equivalent of RPG candy — containers are usually embedded in the wreckage, which was a great way to turn something hated into a gaming loot opportunity. Good level design call.


Different companies have different names for this, but it’s the “bark” (usually 1 line of text or VO) that floats above a character or they say without entering an actual dialogue window.


About 3 hours, then quit over a level design/encounter issue and haven’t gone back.




Nothing. Except it probably wouldn’t be called “New Vegas 2”.

I do think any such game would require Bethesda’s support, even though they are owned by Microsoft. I know people assume that Phil Spencer could simply force Bethesda to do something, that’s not the pattern from the studios that Microsoft has acquired.

That’s it for now. Looking forward to your questions. If I can answer them, I will.

Transcript (April 30th, 2022)[]


NEW APOCRYPHA ADDITIONS 4.30.22 (Version 1.1)


No. I will update this only when I feel like it.


I don’t fucking care. If you want to look a gift horse in the mouth, do it with something other than Fallout cause there ain’t no horses in the game.


There might be, somewhere. But the biggest reasons for no horses are as follows:

- They aren’t part of the game world (I mean this in the game mechanics sense). None of the Fallout teams had time to implement horses in the game, and realized it would cause a lot of game mechanic problems that we didn’t have the time or budget to solve (Bethesda probably has less of an excuse than we did, both at Interplay and Obsidian, we were always out of time and budget).

- The presence of horses would cause a lot of tech changes that we don’t account for in the environment, anywhere.

- People probably got really, really hungry at points in the Fallout timeline, and horses don’t usually survive that. You could also argue that dogs should be in this same category, but well… they’re not. All the dogs survived because they were led by an Eternal Dog Champion, Dogmeat, who would continually arise in a new incarnation every generation to protect lupinekind from extinction at the hands of humans.

- One of the Fallout 3 (Bethesda) level designers once did a presentation about environmental storytelling, and in it, he showcased a Fallout level design sample where it looked like someone had ridden a motorcycle over a ramp and crashed (this is a poor description, it’s been a while). The crashed motorcycle was a cool visual storytelling moment, but then he ended the description of that scene with (paraphrased) “…but what’s wrong with this picture?”

  • After this, he then correctly pointed out why this motorcycle environmental set up, which was very well done and kind of funny for a player to find, was a mistake in the context of the game.
  • It implies motorcycles can be fixed and ridden in Fallout, which isn’t shown anywhere else. The player certainly can’t do it, but they certainly would want to do it if they could. Normally, this isn’t a question, but as soon as you see that motorcycle scene, you suddenly do question it.
  • Riding motorcycles is cool, so providing a hint that you might be able to ride one and then denying the player of that option is unfair, jarring, and reminds them the game world could have been more.

Horses are a similar concern. They may exist somewhere in the Fallout world in a vault or frozen or whatever, but their use as mounts, travel assists, and “tech” applications would have a big impact on the Fallout world that simply isn’t budget for or accounted for.


And I want to ride a talking deathclaw, but we all don’t get what we want. Besides, like with talking deathclaws, it’s not my call.


I don’t hate talking deathclaws, I hate what they represent.

Now before you misinterpret that as me actually hating talking deathclaws, I don’t.

In the context of Fallout and what it means for player actions, I absolutely do.


So first off, the original creators of Fallout were pretty thumbs down on talking animals and when possible, I consider their vision to be the one to abide by, even if I wasn’t always correct in how I went about trying to follow it.

There is some support for intelligent animals in Wasteland, but not as much in Fallout. Now we included talking animals in Fallout 2 anyway even though they’d been explicitly axed in Fallout 1, and that was a mistake for the most part — their presence was either reduced to weird comedic value or was done in a way that raised lore questions.

It’s also important to note that none of the original visionaries for Fallout 2 had ever asked or laid out designs for their inclusions in the design docs for the areas they left behind before they quit Interplay and went to Troika.

Now, being the enthusiastic talking deathclaw advocate you are, you may be tempted to say, “well, that was wrong, and it’s always best to tear down what the original creators wanted because they are old and stupid and should be put to death so that their blood may be used to fertilize the birth of the new world order.”

Before you commit to that, though, let’s move on to the next, far more important point.

Second, the reason I take issue with talking deathclaws is it’s the same reason I hate zombie genre pieces where… after the protagonists have killed hundreds of zombies in gruesome ways… the zombie franchise creators then go to imply that zombies have feelings, are intelligent, can be cured, etc. This isn’t a bad idea by itself. The issue is that if you want the player to feel like complete shit for having killed hundreds of creatures that you might have had the potential to save and evolve, then I probably don’t want to play any game you design because you and I are miles apart on what “letting the player feel heroic” means.

Third, real mutant monsters in Fallout are rare. This is partly a game resource budget issue, but at the same time, if you care about the franchise feel, mutants are also not as easy to think up and keep within the “1950s” feel as you might think (the Tunnelers in Lonesome Road, for example, were based on Mole People from 1950s bad sci-fi). While you can “make up” rando mutants and Fallout allows for that (the Centaur is one that’s pretty out there), there’s usually franchise rules for how best to make these monsters.

So in short, Fallout doesn’t actually have a huge range of monsters compared to something like D&D, which means what you do have, you need to use sparingly.

Deathclaws are one solid monster type you can count on, they are the Fallout equivalent of fighting dragons (or more appropriately, a D&D tarrasque, since that’s what the original ones were modeled after and I’m surprised Wizards didn’t sue Interplay). Deathclaws were designed, just like the Shadowclaws in Wasteland were, to be super scary adversities you felt good after beating in a very tough fight.

If you take away that, then you’ve got one less badass monster in the wastes. That’s a minor point, though, and again, the main reason I don’t like talking deathclaws is because they have a huge potential to make you feel bad about fighting other deathclaws that were not designed to be saved. If the game revolves around you peacefully curing and evolving deathclaws, then no problem, but Fallout has never been about Deathclaw Evolution Rancher as a premise. If it is, then Talk Deathclaw to your heart’s content.

If you have a big issue with talking deathclaws, that’s fine, write to Bethesda and ask them to add it back in. Start a campaign. Sign a petition. Make it happen. But don’t fucking argue with me about it, because it’s useless, and I don’t have any say over it anyway.

As to Bethesda NOT including talking deathclaws on their own, it’s significant that they haven’t. It’s not because the endings to Fallout 2 were flawed, it’s because the idea raises some serious player franchise concerns. It’s no longer “fun” to fight deathclaws if in the back of your mind you think they can be saved. I think the radio-controlled ones in Broken Steel are about the closest to “intelligent” deathclaws you might find, but I didn’t play Broken Steel so I couldn’t expressly tell you for sure.


Comment section (April 30, 2022)[]

Avellone response to Devastating Dave April 30, 2022
Do you think there's merit in Fallout going from post-post apocalypse and into an actual rebuilding phase? Or do you think the Fallout world should always be putting itself in an apocalyptic shitstorm of crab mentality?

I think once you advance the timeline enough, you can undermine the chances to still tell post-apoc stories, but it’s part of Fallout that you DO see a progression over time. My feeling is once you advance the civilization clock too far, however, you can’t really go back to telling “Fallout” stories, it becomes something else, and any attempt to tell prequels or “what came before” loses dramatic impact because you already know the world survives beyond what happens in the past.

That said, Tim Cain has said in the past he saw the franchise going into space, and this was something we tried to hint at and develop in Van Buren, which had similarities to the opening of Horizon: Forbidden West, if you’ve played that – certain level locations are designed to foreshadow directions for the plot and franchise.

I did object to the nation building in New Vegas, however, as it felt like too much. I don’t mind factions, I don’t mind big enemy/antagonist groups, but something about having the factions control huge swaths of post-apoc America didn’t really sit well with me – it felt like it made the world less dangerous and it didn’t make the world more interesting (House was different, but I think House and the Vegas faction worked because there was a lot to do with them, and also they had a strong figurehead representing the faction, which NCR lacked – and while the Legion had a strong figurehead, there wasn’t enough content for Legion or even a reason to join the Legion if you were playing a female or good karma character, which I imagine a lot of people did – most players seem to go the “Do-Gooder” route).

Avellone response to Andrewcople April 30, 2022
whats your opnion on the more lovecraftian aspects that bethesda has added to fallout such as the interloper https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/The_Interlope, the dunwich bores https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Dunwich_Borers and the dunwich building? https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Dunwich_Building

I disagree with the inclusion and I think muddies the franchise. That said, some of those locations from a level design aspect were very well done (the Dunwich Building in F3 was great, I thought, but it could have had the same effect if it wasn’t Lovecraft).

Avellone response to Alessandro Silva April 30, 2022
Most of the fans of the oldschool Fallout games have a lot of very legitimate reasons to be frustrated over the direction Bethesda has taken the franchise into. Todd and Emil's writing are, let's be quite frank, dogsh*t and the RPG mechanics have been watered down aggressively with every new release and, in my experience, the disdain for this dumbing down of the franchise is very much a consensus among the community of fans of the Fallout games made by Interplay and Obsidian. All of this feels so dissonant from the attitude many of the people actually involved in making the classic Fallout games, including yourself and Tim Cain, among many others. What happened to make the old devs so complacent and apologetic of the decline of the franchise? Everyong is just afraid of burning bridges because they have hopes of working for Bethesda someday? Did they all just lost their taste for classic RPGs? Or perhaps everyone just isn't playing these new games to actually know how bad they really are?

I'm not apologetic or complacent about it, but while the narrative may have suffered, there are some positive things Bethesda unquestionably added to the franchise.

I think completely demonizing everything they did is an extreme take, but I don't like everything they did, either. I don't have any skin in the game (I'm never going to work on another Fallout), but I do miss the amount of character customization the old Fallout 1 and 2 systems allowed for, as the granularity of those character development systems allowed you to make a character that felt truly unique vs. being a copy of thousands of other players.

Lastly, it is possible that had Bethesda not acquired Fallout, that the franchise would have died on the table or been given to someone worse. As it happened, Bethesda increased the visibility on the franchise even if you disagree with how they continued developing the world (and I wouldn't necessarily object to that argument). I think that in Fallout 3 especially, the use of "Speech" was especially painful to see implemented so poorly, but I'm obviously biased since I LOVE Speech options.

Avellone response to Neon Certainties April 30, 2022
I have several questions: 1.What part of Fallout i.e. character, dialogue, scene, quest, are you most proud of writing? 2.Would you ever work on another Fallout game if offered? 3.(non relevant to Fallout question sorry) I recognized your name in the "special thanks" credits of Disco Elysium was that just a tribute to you and your work? Or did you have a role in the creation of that game?

I have worked with Studio ZA/UM in the past, and I have a lot of respect for Robert Kurvitz and a lot of respect for Disco Elysium. I have played it, and I thought it was excellent. I did play their demos for Disco and provided design feedback on it, and also did a lot of other work related to Disco Elysium, so it wasn't a one-off thing, I had the pleasure of working with them in the past for months at a time, and it was great to see their design aesthetic and learn from it. I look forward to seeing what Kurvitz and the crew do going into the future. :)

I would work on Fallout again, but I don't think it's ever going to happen, which is fine.

In terms of what I was proud of contributing, I'm proud of the work the team did in the time provided on all games, but anything I contribute I often simply see the flaws or "what could have been better" so it's hard to be content with any contributions. I was proud of the amount of reactivity and the design of aspects of New Reno, but it's often ruined by the amount of "4th wall breaking" that occurred throughout the game.

Avellone response to Simon Ganley April 30, 2022
Also (sorry, dunno if I’m allowed to post multiple questions) what exactly were the encounter / level issues that turned you off from Fallout 4?

There was a lot, but I realized by the time I got to the Museum of Freedom, I was already bored (I hadn't encountered really anyone and nothing was really motivating me to keep going - I didn't care about my supposed son b/c there wasn't really anything to care about and it felt like another take on the "find family member X" plot which I don't usually care for in games, since it implies a level of connection the player may not feel in the slightest). In addition, the design of the first encounters in the Museum just paled in comparison to the presentation of museums in other games, so when the combats occurred there, I didn't really have any desire to keep playing as I expected similar issues to keep happening as I progressed.

Now later on, I watched my wife finish two of the faction endings for Fallout 4, and neither of those endings I think would have made me happy I'd finished the game and gotten either resolution.

Avellone response to Simon Ganley April 30, 2022
I’ve heard from somewhere, sometime or other that the design for the NV Strip was supposed to be much, much larger and was downsized due to console parity/functionality. The one thing I’ve seen that seems to remotely confirm this was that one concept drawing. My question is, was there ever an actual design, full or otherwise, for this hypothetical bigger Vegas?

Vegas was much different, yes, but at the time the design didn’t take into account the engine limitations on such a sprawling city being seen all at once in-game, so it had to be chopped up and reduced drastically.

I do think there would have been a way to implement the original with some changes if it had been planned out first (we didn’t have a lead level designer at the time of the city’s creation, so no one was overseeing the framerate aspects). It also resulted in a lot of billboard walls that always looked pretty crappy from the outside (imo).

Avellone response to Matus Benko April 30, 2022
How did it come that you have chosen Mark Morgan to create soundtrack for the Fallout 1 and 2? Have there been some other artists that were considered? Did you personally like the soundtracks from mister Morgan?

You'd have to ask Charles Deenan, Interplay's ex-Audio Director, who would choose composers for Interplay's titles. I think Mark did an amazing job on Fallout and an equally amazing job on Planescape Torment. Love his stuff.

Avellone response to VatsOfGoo April 30, 2022
Hello, Chris.

You probably remember that the soundtrack for the first part of Fallout was released on a separate disc as part of some boxed versions of the game. Relatively recently, information appeared on the Internet that the soundtrack to Fallout 2 was also released on CD, but in very limited quantities. Maybe you remember something about it?


I wouldn't be surprised. If you ever can get in contact with "Scott Everts" at Obsidian, he would know for sure (I don't have his contact info, but Scotty was one of the biggest supporters for releasing the music as part of the game).

Avellone response to CyrusVesuvyan April 30, 2022
What do you think of the level and quest design of some of New Vegas's DLC? Specifically, I want to ask you about Old World Blues, where, in my opinion, the gimmick and cool loot were fun at first, but can get awfully trite with how repetitive it can become, and at times, be downright frustrating with the constant spawning of enemies. Is there anything you would have done different in regards to designing any of the DLC, either as a set of levels or at their base concept? Or are you happy with how they all turned out in the end?

The quest design in Old World Blues was unfortunately comical (my fault). Considering our time and resources, the quests were very simple (go to A, retrieve B, return to base, do it 3 times). However, we did hope that the fact it unlocked new personalities in the crater helped offset the simple structure somewhat (but not enough, imo). While I didn't design the internal repetitive quests (stealth suit), I did approve it, so you can blame me for that if you want.

Yeah, there's plenty I would have done differently in the DLCs with more time and resources, but some of it wouldn't have occurred to us without fan feedback. I will say we thought Old World Blues would be the weakest of the 4 (we didn't think the humor would go over well), and the reception surprised us, so we don't always have the best takes on things as developers for anticipating what fans want.

Avellone response to Kino1208 April 30, 2022
Hello, I had a question about Fallout 1. In one of the endings for the Brotherhood of Steel, there's an ending that mentions the transformation of the Brotherhood into a religious techno-dictatorship known as the Steel Plague. What exactly was the idea behind this ending?

I do not know, for I did not write it. The ending description is cool, though.

We did have a secret black ops (more stealthy/techninja/assassins) branch we intended to introduce in Van Buren, and that branch was becoming unhinged through extreme use of Stealth Boy technology, and causing fractures within the political structure of the BoS. It's the organization Christine in the New Vegas DLCs was once part of, and is why her sniper rifle has the "CoS" designation.

Avellone response to Easy Pete April 30, 2022
Hi Chris, thank you very much for this initiative. I've always been fascinated by the robotic world of Fallout: eyebots, robobrains, think tanks... all have unique designs and interesting features. I have a little question about my favorite robot, ED-E (the clone): can we consider ED-E a conscious entity? Like some kind of primitive artificial intelligence capable of feeling emotions? I already discussed this a while ago on Reddit. https://redd.it/t9jsr2

I do not believe ED-E was a conscious entity, no, but I wasn't his designer beyond inclusions in Lonesome Road to try and give him more background and empathy.

When writing was done, we did try to make it an advanced intelligence enough to be sympathetic, we didn't view it as an A.I. (although with upgrades, the potential would exist).

In Van Buren, it was intended you would have the chance to meet ZAX again (in the bottom of the Boulder Dome in a level almost completely dedicated to his "brain"). ZAX, although damaged and effectively suffering from computer Alzheimers, would be one of your best allies against the looming threat in Van Buren.

Avellone response to Josan C April 30, 2022
I have two: 1. Replaying the original Fallout, the Master stands out to me as one of the most amazingly badass villains in all cRPGing. He's so cool! ...but he's also only in about five minutes of the game, before he gets murdered or commits suicide. It seems like such a waste. Were there ever any plans to do anything else with that character, or revisit him somehow? Was there ever any regret at Black Isle that we didn't get more screentime from such an awesome dude before his death?

2. When you're designing a card minigame game like, I don't know, Caravan as a random example, do you actually think anyone will play it? Who is it that insists on including these minigames in RPGs, and New Vegas in particular? Did it feel mandatory, given the Vegas themeingIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar, to have some kind of card game? Because I'm going to be honest, I've finished NV probably 15 times and I've never played a single hand.


Agree on the Master. No idea what other plans were for him/them, but proper villain foreshadowing definitely improves the plot of any game, and the Master was lacking that for sure. While you can hate on President Eden all you want, the fact is, you know who he is very early in Falllout 3 and you're continually reminded about his presence throughout the game is a good thing, imo - a villain or major character who only shows up for 5 minutes at the end is a thumbs down from me (and I've had to write many of them).

Still, while the Master's presence being mostly at the end is a negative, just about everything else about the Master is a plus. The fact you could reveal the flaw in his master plan I thought was genius, and being able to "talk down" a villain in a game was something I hadn't seen done before, and I loved it.

Caravan/Card Games: There's paper prototyping for most games like this when included in games, but if I had the choice, I would have axed it and any other minigame until more of the core features, the UI, and perks/traits were fully designed (which came online very, very late despite the impact on balance). While it would have seemed "odd" not to have gambling games, New Vegas already had too much in it to ship at a quality level, as evidenced by the extremely buggy release (our fault - I know people are quick to blame Bethesda QA, but the fact is, QA had found way more bugs than we could ever fix in the time provided, which was a bigger problem in the game's development).

Avellone response to Nanashi April 30, 2022
Given two of the defining features of Fallout are the lack of oil (thus closing off most plastics) and "retro future" styling, was using celluloid and/or horn as materials in a Fallout product ever discussed? Seems to me like the circumstances of the 2070s onward would lead to those materials making a comeback.

I don't know, that's a good question. If it fits in with the 1950s-imagining-the-future-tech, it would be appropriate, though.

Avellone response to Solesurvivor2077 April 30, 2022
As the (seemingly) first comment to the Chris Avellone (Non) Fallout Bible 2.0, my first question is: Was the X-7b "Boom Town" based on the cut "Moletown" that was to be seen in Van Buren's version of Big Mountain?.

No, Moletown (not the actual name) was a locale in the Van Buren Pen and Paper game as a locale that bordered Big Mountain (which was a military training facility in Van Buren run by deranged Mr. Handys). Moletown was a locale situated within a ghost town where a survivor had burrowed a network of tunnels beneath and used traps and ambushes to kill anyone entering the town. If possible, I would have liked that location to be in the VB game, as I had fun designing it for the pen and paper group. It also gave player characters with Traps/Demolitions a lot of use as well.

Avellone response to Solesurvivor2077 April 30, 2022
Vault City question: In F2, according to the central computer, every Vault was to get 2 GECKs. However, the wording makes it sound like the Chosen One is reading partial data, and not the full story. Was every Vault in Interplay lore to have 2 GECKs each, or was it a misconception by the Chosen One?

According to the log, each Vault was "supposed" to have 2 GECKs, but the issue is, even that information is flawed considering that the Vaults were actually experiments, and sometimes having/not having the right item was part of the experiment.

Avellone response to AmongUsSteve April 30, 2022
I have heard some people say that fallout 1&2 had an 80's cyberpunk feel to them. Was this intentional?

Not to my knowledge. The Mad Max feel is definitely part of it, especially F1, but not so much Cyberpunk influences. I could be wrong, as it depends on the actual designer of the content.

Avellone response to Aversav April 30, 2022
It is established in Fallout NV that the NCR has only five states (Shady, Maxon, Los Angeles, The Hub and Dayglow), but also that in the events of Fallout 2 New Reno, Redding and the other cities of the Big Circle were annexed to the Republic. How do these cities fit into the political organization of the NCR?

In Van Buren Part 1, the West Coast NCR was at war with BoS and also dealing with a violent and bloodly uprising in Gecko, and we didn't have plans to deal in-depth with any of the entities above, so I don't know if any information was developed for them, I'd need to search my brain some more and see if anything springs to mind.

Avellone response to GoodOlSmokey April 30, 2022
It is established in Fallout NV that the NCR has only five states (Shady, Maxon, Los Angeles, The Hub and Dayglow), but also that in the events of Fallout 2 New Reno, Redding and the other cities of the Big Circle were annexed to the Republic. How do these cities fit into the political organization of the NCR?

No idea. Was probably only a page or two, and IIRC, it was largely a dungeon mutant-crawling area, but it might have been changed in VB Part 2 (see answers above).

Avellone response to Christian Salerno April 30, 2022
after the massive return of rpgs, would you go back to work on a classic Fallout or any Fallout game? if the answer is no, why? (We miss you Chris)

I'll always love Fallout and am happy I worked on it, but I don't see any scenario where I could ever work on it again, and that's not a bad thing - maybe there's another game out there that will replace Fallout like Fallout replaced Wasteland (Fallout happened b/c Interplay couldn't get the rights to do another Wasteland game, and it turned out great in the end).

Avellone response to Newgins Lab April 30, 2022
For a new Fallout game, if you could pick any location, where do you think would be the most interesting? Stuff to think about like... >Geography >Municipalities >New factions(?) >Iconic monuments (I.e Hoover damn, Lincoln Memorial, Fenway Park, etc.) >Story opportunities related to specific location (I.e Hoover Dam being central to the conflict, etc.)

Two devs at Obsidian has suggestions for two cities for a future game - San Fran and New Orleans. I think Orleans would have been very cool, and since SF shows up in Horizon: FW (not a spoiler, it's in the trailer), I'd probably want to consider a different city that hasn't been done in a recent game so Orleans appeals more to me.

Avellone response to Sigourn April 30, 2022
How do you feel about many New Vegas sidequests being related to the main quest, to the point that it essentially feels like the player approaches them with a certain faction allegiance in mind (which in turns highlights the lack of Legion quests)? I personally think it makes playing the game as anything but an NCR-allied character rather difficult, or boring.

If you're doing a multi-faction game and want players both to join a faction and have real choice, then each faction should have an equal representation in content the player experiences. I do feel there was too much of an NCR focus in New Vegas and not enough opportunities for intros to other factions (NCR is very likely to be one of the first factions you interact with, and that persisits across a number of locations).

Avellone response to Do I Really April 30, 2022
According to at least one interview, “Fallout 3 had started development on at least two prior occasions” before development was started on Van Buren. Is there anything you could share with us about these pre-Van Buren Fallout 3 projects?

Can you link to the interview? To my knowledge, there was Van Buren Part 1 (which I'd worked on mostly solo for years and formed the basis for the PNP campaign to test out the system and level designs), then Van Buren Part 2 that fired up when Baldur's Gate 3 got canceled (which was similar to Part 1 but changed based on staff input). Part 2 I departed after a month or two because I resigned the company when Obsidian poached me. While I really wanted to work on Fallout, I no longer believed Van Buren would ever happen based on the decisions coming down from Executive Row (and unfortunately, that turned out to be the case).

Avellone response to reflexezjack April 30, 2022
Hi Chris! Appreciate you doing this.

When you think of Fallout, which person who worked on any of the games comes to mind? To rephrase, who do you think is the quintessential Fallout person who truly understands the intracaciesIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar of Fallout's design? It almost seems like New Vegas was a 'lightning in the bottle' moment for the franchise, but what do you think truly contributed to this notion?

In addition, who do you think is the most passionate about the Fallout franchise to this day? Out of all of the Fallout developer alumni you seem to actively talk about your experiences with the franchise which is honestly quite refreshing given how much this series and its development means to a lot of people.

Excited to hear your thoughts!

Tim Cain for both questions. :) He established the vision and direction, and while sequels seemed to lose that cohesive vision, I don't think Tim ever lost sight of it or his love for the world.