The Fallout Bible is a collection of documents containing background material for the first Fallout games. They were compiled, written, and released by Fallout 2 designer Chris Avellone in 2002 on Black Isle's homepage.
In 2011, Avellone stated on Twitter that "Fallout Bible is no longer canon" and in 2016 explained that it was written to consolidate information for Van Buren. In 2020, Bethesda lead writer and designer Emil Pagliarulo spoke about the Bible, stating that "for us, canon always starts with what is in the games" and that although they have looked at information from the Bible during development, explained that "We don't just assume that everything in the Bible is canon. We have to take it step-by-step inside. It's a judgement call."
Community veteran Dan Wood coined the phrase Fallout Bible, which is a separate initiative than what was written by Avellone. Avellone explained that "the term "Bible" is misleading, since it's not supposed to start some religion or be the word of some holy power" and was intended for, "fans who already snagged the game and wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about what went on behind the scenes or what material never actually made it in."
Segments included behind the scenes information from Fallout developers, including Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, elaborating on details and answering community questions. A compiled version of the Bible was included with a purchase of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics on GoG and includes a foreword by Chris Avellone.
There are nine main installments of the Fallout Bible and Fallout Bible 0, a compilation of the first three with various corrections.
- Fallout Bible 0 (released March 8, 2002)
- Fallout Bible 4 (released February 25, 2002)
- Fallout Bible 5 (released March 11, 2002)
- Fallout Bible 6 (released July 10, 2002)
- Fallout Bible 7 (released July 29, 2002)
- Fallout Bible 8 (released October 2, 2002)
- Fallout Bible 9 (released November 7, 2002)
- Chris Avellone on Twitter Aug 11, 2011
- Chris Avellone on Twitter Jan 4, 2016
- Fallout 76: Would the Fallout bible be considered canon or not?:
Emil Pagliarulo: "So, there's actually different versions of the Bible, too. A lot of the stuff from the Bible is on- public on the Fallout Wiki, online, and you can look at that stuff. For us, it's always... for us, canon always starts with what is in the games. And so... it's what is in Fallout 1, Fallout 2... even some of like, Fallout Tactics is- there's some stuff from canon from Fallout Tactics as well. And our Fallout games. So, we always look at what's in the games first, and then we go to the Fallout Bible and look at the stuff. So, some of the stuff that is in Fallout 3 that is now canon came from the Fallout Bible, some of that fiction. And so... it depends. We look at the Fallout Bible and some of the lore that really... was written, y'know, back in the day. It makes sense and we use that and put it in our games. We don't just assume that everything in the Bible is canon. We have to take it step-by-step inside. It's a judgement call."
Note: This video is an excerpt from a longer interview at Gamescom 2020.
- Welcome Back to Fallout: "Obviously we had the old games to look at, and Fallout 1 became our main model and inspiration. I always preferred the tone of it, and it's the one we focused our time on dissecting. We also went through all the original source material, as well as the 'Fallout Bible,' put together by Chris Avellone, whose work is always fantastic. But one of my favorite sources, when we received everything (yes, everything) from Interplay, is the original 'Fallout Vision Statement', back when it was called 'Fallout: A GURPS Post Nuclear Adventure.'"
- Chris Avellone: "For those of you who haven't seen these before, the Fallout Bible is just a collection of all the background material and hi-jinks from Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 compiled into one document so the fans can take a look at it. The term "Bible" is misleading, since it's not supposed to start some religion or be the word of some holy power – it's just a term I stole from Chris Taylor (Fallout 1, Fallout Tactics), who apparently stole it from some guy named Dan Wood who called me at work once. Dan Wood's Bible and this Bible aren't the same thing. This is just for fun. It is also not a marketing ploy to drum up Fallout sales, since this is for fans who already snagged the game and wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about what went on behind the scenes or what material never actually made it in. Please feel free to take this paragraph and formulate whatever conspiracy theories you want."
(Fallout Bible 6)