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Description

In October of 2020, a new canon policy was adopted by the Fallout Wiki after a community-wide discussion and successful vote. Originally thought to be future proof, the policy has since seen several unratified changes in the years since its adoption, leading to what is effectively an entirely new canon policy that the community did not vote on. These changes to the canon policy have led to a myriad of issues and disputes between editors.

This forum seeks to present the differences between the two policies, and also allow for further discussion including that on an entirely new canon policy proposal presented by several members of our community. This new proposal seeks to form a middle ground between the voted-in policy and the current policy, and respect the views (or lack thereof) of the franchise’s current IP holder, Bethesda Softworks. The new proposal is a work-in-progress draft and is very much subject to further changes and additional development as the discussion continues.

This is the voted-in policy as of October 20th, 2020

The Fallout canon is the body of works considered to be an official part of the Fallout universe by its current rights holder (Bethesda Softworks since 2007).[1]

This page defines the Fallout canon in the context of the Fallout Wiki, to establish a framework for authoring articles and resolving conflicts that may arise when covering topics spanning multiple games. The situation is further complicated by the fact that much of the Fallout series was created by completely different teams with limited overlap and developers of one game might disagree on certain topics.

For example, Tim Cain and Chris Taylor had different views on the origins of ghouls, with the issue eventually resolved by a completely different development team.
Please note
The upcoming Fallout television series by Kilter Films, made in close conjunction with Bethesda Softworks: Bethesda executives Todd Howard and James Altman serve as executive producers on the series. However, its relation with the rest of the franchise and especially the games - the core canon - is yet to be established and has not been placed in any of the categories below.

Core canon

For us, canon always starts with what is in the games.Emil Pagliarulo

Core canon sources encompass released video games. These are the point of reference for every other source and take absolute precedence over other sources, if they have not been otherwise deemed non-canon. This includes:[2]

For the purpose of resolving conflicts, later releases take precedence over earlier games.[2]

For example, super mutants are stated to have a limited lifespan in Fallout. Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas establishes that their lifespan is functionally indefinite. Fallout 2 takes precedence, as it is a later release.

Released games in this category may sometimes reference elements featured in Fallout Tactics, Van Buren, and other non-canon either to pay homage or to reference. These specific elements become part of the core canon, although their extent is limited specifically to elements being referenced:

  • Fallout Tactics was originally stated by Emil Pagliarulo to be "broad strokes" canon in correspondence with our founder.[3] The game has been referenced at three points in core canon games (twice in Fallout 3 and once in Fallout 4), simultaneously rewriting all events in the game. As such, the extent of canonicity is limited to:
    • The presence of a small, rogue detachment of the Brotherhood in Chicago...[4]
    • ...battling super mutants in the city (a retcon of Tactics, where super mutants were fought in Missouri, starting with St. Louis)...[5]
    • ...which arrived there by airship.[6][7]
  • Minor elements from Van Buren have been referenced or recycled, including the Chinese infiltration of Hoover Dam in Fallout: Vegas,[8] New Canaan in Honest Hearts,[9] Big Empty in Old World Blues[10] the Ciphers in Dead Money,[11] and Vault 29 in Fallout 76.[12]

In these cases, the content referenced should be placed in a separate article to help distinguish between core canon and non-canon incarnations, eg. the Chicago detachment and the Eastern Brotherhood.

Supplementary canon

Supplementary content is any material that expands on what is included in the games and provides additional information. These sources encompass content outside video game sources, such as development documentation, developer commentary, presentations, online responses, and so on and so forth.

Released video games take absolute precedence in all cases, such as if conflicts arise.

If supplementary sources conflict with each other, these should be resolved on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the age, context, and degree of conflict with core sources, if any.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of supplementary canon sources.

Complimentary materials

This refers to materials provided as part of a game's release:

Strategy guides

Strategy guides frequently contain additional information not released in the game, such as character biographies, behind the scenes information, or other miscellaneous lore. However, they are usually authored based on early game builds and information is static at the time of their publishing, which may lead to discrepancies between the guide and the game they cover. These discrepancies should be listed where possible.

Developer commentary and documentation

Some Fallout developers have decided to share various pieces of information with the public, through blogs, forums, editorials, and other means. This can provide useful information regarding various topics and expand on the information already included in the game.

Examples of developer commentary include:

  • Chris Taylor interview for Vault13.net (2001)
  • Fallout Bible (2002): A collection of "background material and hijinks" released on Black Isle Studios' front page, compiled by Chris Avellone.[13] Commonly mistaken for a definitive guide to Fallout canon, it serves as one of several sources of inspiration[14][15] for Bethesda developers, after accounting for its age.[16] Numerous setting elements introduced in the Bible have been further developed in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.[17]
  • Joshua Sawyer's Formspring responses (archived here), Tumblr posts, and SomethingAwful.com forum replies (2011+): J.E. Sawyer was always an active poster and his replies provide a significant amount of behind the scenes information, expanding on the setting of Fallout: New Vegas.

Dependent canon

This category encompasses content that does not fall strictly into the non-canon category, but due to various reasons may not be compatible with the core canon.

Unless referenced in core canon, works in this category should be considered as existing within their own continuities. For distinguishing these works, the term dependent is used, as they depend on their inclusion in the core canon.

Released video games and additional content

  • Fallout Shelter and Fallout Shelter Online, while produced by Bethesda, are developed by outside companies and freely draw on various elements of the franchise to enhance its gameplay, essentially forming its own universe.
  • The Atomic Shop for Fallout 76 generally emphasizes fun over absolute conformity with canon, leading to looser standards for inclusion.[18]
  • Creation Club for Fallout 4 is distinct from the Atomic Shop and blurs the lines between canon and non-canon. Although Bethesda reviews all Creation Club content to ensure content works within the game and is consistent with the general setting of the game, they tend to prioritize the attractiveness of content and gameplay over absolute compliance with core canon. The situation has been described as "parallel to canon."[19]

Other games

This category encompasses classic pen and paper games that are created by third parties and may freely interpret the setting for the sake of gameplay. These include:

Official merchandise

At the present it is not know how merchandise offered through licensed third parties is vetted, if any such process exists. All content based on merchandise should be marked as such and grouped separately.

Non-canon

This category includes games that are not part of the main continuity. Released games may freely reference individual elements of these games as part of an homage or continuity nod, creating exceptions to the rule.

Released games

Cancelled games

Reference sections

When referenced, canon groups should be noted by using the appropriate group in the reference code, eg.:

<ref group="Non-game" > for supplementary canon.

To display them in reference tables, they should be grouped separately in the references table using the appropriate code:

<references group="Non-game" >

References

Reference box hidden for now.

This is the currently implemented policy as of May 28th, 2022

Background

Nukapedia strives to provide a comprehensive overview of all subject matter drawing on all available sources across the Fallout series, while clearly identifying the information's origins to be easily identifiable at a glance.

Canon

The canon distinction is applied to the video games in the series from the franchise's owner Bethesda Softworks. Canon information includes content from the following six games.

Games

Non-canon

Content that is derived from any other work or source is categorized as non-canon. The following formatting section outlines the guidelines for referencing information from all non-canon sources.

Games and expansions

Content and promotional items

  • The Atomic Shop for Fallout 76.[23][24]
  • Creation Club content for Fallout 4.[25]
  • Official merchandise on Bethesda Gear Store or developed by third parties.
  • Promotional publications such as All Roads, One Man, and a Crate of Puppets and The Vault Dweller's Official Cookbook.
  • Design documents, concept art, and art books such as The Art of Fallout 3 and The Art of Fallout 4.
  • Promotional material, advertisements, and cross promotional releases in other video games.
  • Content that is not present in the game, but still located in its files, such as due to being unused, bugged, cut, or removed via patching is considered non-canon. Exceptions may be discussed and decided on a case-by-case basis. In all instances, if such a piece of content is referenced, it should be added to the bugs section of an article or marked with {{removed}} Fallout 76 removed content, {{cut}} Cut content, or {{unused}} Fallout 76 unused content.

Developer comments

  • Fallout Bible: Commonly mistaken for a definitive guide to Fallout canon, the Bible is a collection of "background material and hijinks" released on Black Isle Studios' front page, compiled by Chris Avellone with commentary from various developers.[26][27]
  • Joshua Sawyer's Formspring responses (archived here), Tumblr posts, and SomethingAwful.com forum replies.
  • Origins of Fallout blog: A web article penned by Scott Campbell and released on No Mutants Allowed, the article goes into detail about the inspirations, the reasons, and the design decisions during the making of Fallout.
  • Ferret Baudoin interview on CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast: A behind-the-scenes live stream interview and Q&A session with the lead writer for Fallout 76: Wastelanders.[28]

Formatting guide

Reference guideline

Non-canon sources are referenced utilizing the following format guidelines.
Single citation
Instructions Code
In front of a single citation, or a citation that will only appear once in an article, replace <ref> with:
<ref group="Non-canon" >
The code will look like this in the article:
A man named Angus founded the Hub.<ref group="Non-canon" >''[[Fallout Bible 0]]'': "2093 ''The Hub is founded by a man named Angus''".</ref>
The citation will look like this in the article:

A man named Angus founded the Hub.[Non-canon 1]

In the reference section, a single referenced article will appear like:

Fallout Bible 0: "2093 The Hub is founded by a man named Angus.

Duplicate citation
Instructions Code
In front of duplicate citation, or a citation that will be used more than once in an article, give a descriptive name and replace <ref> with:
<ref name="name" group="Non-canon">
The code will look like this in the article:
The Mariposa Military Base was newly completed in January 2077.<ref name="BibleMariposa2077" group="Non-canon">''[[Fallout Bible 0]]'': "2077 January 7  ''Major Barnett orders transfer of all FEV research to the newly-constructed Mariposa Military Base."''</ref>
The citation will look like this in the article:

The Mariposa Military Base was newly completed in January 2077.[Non-canon 1]

For subsequent, identical references, instead of the full reference, replace it with:
<ref name="name" group="Non-canon" />
The code will look like this in the article:
Barnett decided to move all FEV research to Mariposa.<ref name="BibleMariposa2077" group="Non-canon" /> The scientists objected to the orders.<ref name="BibleMariposa2077" group="Non-canon" />
The citation will look like this in the article, the same after each reference:

Barnett decided to move all FEV research to Mariposa.[Non-canon 1] The scientists objected to the orders.[Non-canon 2]

In the reference section, a duplicate article will appear like:

2.0 2.1 Fallout Bible 0: "2077 January 7 Major Barnett orders transfer of all FEV research to the newly-constructed Mariposa Military Base."

End of the article
Instructions Code
If there are only canon references in an article, the following is placed at the very bottom:

==References==
{{References}}
If there are non canon references also, the following must be added:
==References==
{{References}}
'''Non-canon'''
{{References|group="Non-canon"}}
The citations will look like this in the article:

References
1. ↑ Alice McLafferty: "The Crimson Caravan Company has been in business for over 130 years. We're partially responsible for the progress in the NCR."
(Alice McLafferty's dialogue)

Non-canon
1. ↑ Fallout Bible 0: "2093 The Hub is founded by a man named Angus.
2. ↑ 2.0 2.1 Fallout Bible 0: "2077 January 7 Major Barnett orders transfer of all FEV research to the newly-constructed Mariposa Military Base."

Reference box format
Instructions Code Instructions Code
Another option is to place all references in a scrolling reference box.
{{ref box}}
To use the reference box with non-canon sources.
{{ref box|Non-canon}}

Upcoming

Categorization of the upcoming Fallout television series by Kilter Films is yet to be established.

References

Reference box hidden for now.

This is the canon policy proposal draft as of May 28th, 2022 (work in progress)

Background

Nukapedia strives to provide a comprehensive overview of all subject matter drawing on all available sources across the Fallout series, while clearly identifying the information's origins to be easily identifiable at a glance and in line with the views (or lack thereof) of the franchise's owner with regard to canonicity.

Canon

The canon distinction is applied to the video games in the series from the franchise's owner Bethesda Softworks. Canon information includes content from the following six games.

Games


For the purpose of resolving conflicts, later releases take precedence over earlier games.[29]

For example, super mutants are stated to have a limited lifespan in Fallout. Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas establishes that their lifespan is functionally indefinite. Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas take precedence, as they are later releases.

Released games in this category may sometimes reference elements featured in Fallout Tactics, Van Buren, and other ambiguous-canon or non-canon materials either to pay homage or in reference. These specific elements become part of canon, although their extent is limited specifically to elements being referenced:

  • Fallout Tactics was originally stated by Emil Pagliarulo to be "broad strokes" canon in correspondence with our founder.[30] The game has been referenced at three points in core canon games (twice in Fallout 3 and once in Fallout 4). As such, the extent of canonicity is limited to:
    • The presence of a small, rogue detachment of the Brotherhood in Chicago...[31]
    • ...battling super mutants in the city...[32]
    • ...which arrived there by airship.[33][34]
  • Minor elements from Van Buren have been referenced or recycled, including the Chinese infiltration of Hoover Dam in Fallout: New Vegas,[35] New Canaan in Honest Hearts,[36] Big Empty in Old World Blues[37] the Ciphers in Dead Money,[38] and Vault 29 in Fallout 76.[39]

In these cases, the content referenced should be placed in a separate article to help distinguish between canon and ambiguous-canon or non-canon incarnations, eg. the Chicago detachment and the Eastern Brotherhood.

Ambiguous-Canon

Ambiguous-canon consists of materials and games that have not been confirmed to be canon or non-canon by Bethesda. Content from some of these materials may be properly canonized by its presence in future canon installments, as these documents and materials are often used as inspiration for new content, and are important for contextualization. Ambiguous-canon includes the following materials.

Games and expansions

Developer comments

  • Fallout Bible (see additional note below.) : A collection of "background material and hijinks" released on Black Isle Studios' front page, compiled by Chris Avellone.[40] Commonly mistaken for a definitive guide to Fallout canon, it serves as one of several sources of inspiration and lore[41][42] for Bethesda developers, after accounting for its age.[43] Numerous setting elements introduced in the Bible have been further developed in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76.[44]
  • Joshua Sawyer's Formspring responses (archived here), Tumblr posts, and SomethingAwful.com forum replies.
  • Origins of Fallout blog: A web article penned by Scott Campbell and released on No Mutants Allowed, the article goes into detail about the inspirations, the reasons, and the design decisions during the making of Fallout.
  • Ferret Baudoin interview on CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast: A behind-the-scenes live stream interview and Q&A session with the lead writer for Fallout 76: Wastelanders.[28]

Content and promotional items

Non-Canon

Non-canon consists of materials and games that have been explicitly excluded from canon by Bethesda Softworks. Like ambiguous-canon materials, non-canon materials may be eventually canonized by their presence in future installments.

Games and materials declared to be non-canon

Canceled projects and cut content

  • Van Buren
  • Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2
  • Fallout Extreme
  • Fallout Tactics 2
  • Project V13 and The Armageddon Rag
  • Content that is not present in the game, but still located in its files, such as due to being unused, bugged, cut, or removed via patching is considered non-canon. Exceptions may be discussed and decided on a case-by-case basis. In all instances, if such a piece of content is referenced, it should be added to the bugs section of an article or marked with {{removed}} Fallout 76 removed content, {{cut}} Cut content, or {{unused}} Fallout 76 unused content.

Special Rules and Additional Considerations

Fallout Tactics

Bethesda has given inconsistent statements on the canonicity of Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel ranging from non-canonicity to partial-canonicity. Some events, people, and places have been introduced into canon by later installments. Where this occurs, we consider their canon status as coming from those later games but will note that they originated from Tactics. Any other Fallout Tactics content is considered ambiguous-canon unless canonized by future installments.

Fallout Bible

The Fallout Bible, written by Chris Avellone and published in 2002, provides swaths of additional lore and background information for the Fallout World and Fallout 1, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics. Some information from the Fallout Bible has been adapted into canon by Bethesda Softworks, while other information has been contradicted (and thus superseded). When Fallout Bible content is specifically confirmed or contradicted by canon installments, we will make note of it as such. Otherwise, any Fallout Bible content is to be considered as ambiguous-canon unless it is canonized by future installments.

Character statements

Just because a character says something does not necessarily mean that it’s true. Just like real people, they can be mistaken (e.g. we don't consider Moe Cronin's version of pre war baseball to be factually true), or even lie, so content shouldn’t be taken as definitive purely because a character said it. When writing you should still note that a character is making a claim, and include any counter evidence to their claim.

Formatting guide

TBD

Upcoming

Categorization of the upcoming Fallout television series by Kilter Films is yet to be established, as details of its canonicity and general relationship with the series have not been made known.

References

Reference hidden for now.

References

  1. Asset Purchase Agreement
  2. 2.0 2.1 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.
  3. Information acquired from Emil Pagliarulo by Paweł "Ausir" Dembowski. The wiki currently does not have a transcript of this information, and all content from Fallout Tactics should still be tagged.
  4. The Lone Wanderer: "Then where's the rest of the Brotherhood?"
    Reginald Rothchild: "The West Coast, unless something has changed. There's been no contact with them for the last several years. There's also a small detachment in Chicago, but they're off the radar. Gone rogue. Long story."
    (Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)
  5. The Lone Wanderer: "Care to share anything about the Super Mutants?"
    Elizabeth Jameson: "The Brotherhood has been battling Super Mutants for decades. First out West, then in Chicago. Now here. But this group of Super Mutants is different, somehow. Physically, yes, but mentally as well. If we knew where they came from, we'd know why."
    (Elizabeth Jameson's dialogue)"
  6. The Sole Survivor: "Did the Brotherhood ever build other airships?"
    Kells: "There were less advanced versions of this ship built on the West Coast a long time ago. Historical records about their current status are in dispute, but we're fairly certain that they were destroyed. In any event, I hope your tour of the Prydwen helped acclimate you to our way of life up here. I think you'll find that the more familiar you become with both her capabilities and her crew, the longer you'll survive as a member of the Brotherhood. You're dismissed, Knight/Paladin/Sentinel."
    (Kells' dialogue)

  7. Brotherhood soldier (1):"I still can't believe I was posted to the Prydwen. I mean, look at her... she's one of a kind."
    Brotherhood soldier (2): "Actually, the Brotherhood of Steel had a whole fleet of these things at one time. They weren't as advanced as the Prydwen, mind you... but seeing them fill the sky must have been an impressive sight."
    Brotherhood soldier (1): "Are you kidding me? What happened to them?"
    Brotherhood soldier (2): "Not sure, really. Most of them were destroyed fighting Super Mutants or scuttled for parts. I think one of them crash landed somewhere in the Midwest. I heard that the wreckage is still there."
    Brotherhood soldier (1): "Wow... I had no idea."

    (ConvBoSAirportPrydwen07Scene)
  8. Chinese stealth suits in Hoover Dam in Fallout: Vegas
  9. New Canaan from Van Buren served as basis for the Canaanites in Honest Hearts and several characters from it are mentioned by name.
  10. The Tibbets Prison was altered into Big MT.
  11. The Courier: "What happened next?"
    Elijah: "After that... I wandered, alone. Saw the storms of the Divide, walked among the Ciphers of the West. Traveled to the Big Empty. I heard the signal. The woman's voice, the Sierra Madre, promising a chance to begin again, reverse my fortunes. All... nonsense. I tracked the signal. Came here, scouted the city... using other hands. Kept dying on me, killing each other. You - you got the farthest of all."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  12. Last day of school
  13. The Fallout Bible on blackisle.com (archived)
  14. Welcome Back to Fallout
  15. Emil Pagliarulo on DAC: "Don't worry, guys. I sleep with a copy of the Fallout Bible under my pillow."
  16. 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.
  17. For example, Vault 106 in Fallout 3, Vault 34 in Fallout: New Vegas, the T-51 power armor development timeline in Fallout 4, and Vault 29 was mentioned in Fallout 76.
  18. Fallout 76: Is the Atomic Shop or Creation Club considered canon?:
    Emil Pagliarulo: "Atomic Shop is a lot...we found that Atomic Shop tends to not be canon so much, it's a lot looser. Just because it's, y'know, stuff that you purchase or use Atoms get into your game that is, like... there's a big fun factor there. There's a lot of stuff in Atomic Shop that we could take out because it's not strictly Fallout canon, and then players would be bummed. Because it's in a live multiplayer game, you... it's always a judgement call, it's tough. There's a lot of stuff that's... the canon rules are a lot lighter with the Atomic Shop stuff. Because we want people to have what they want and just have fun."
    Note: This video is an excerpt from a longer interview at Gamescom 2020.
  19. Fallout 76: Is the Atomic Shop or Creation Club considered canon?:
    Emil Pagliarulo: "Okay, lemme answer this. So... um, Creation Club and Atomic Shop are two very different things, first of all. Creation Club is, let's start there, Creation Club is sort of as close to canon as we can get but also sort of the lines get blurred. So, for example, the team that does the Creation Club stuff always runs fiction by me and says 'would this work? Is this canon? How close is this?' And any time there's any writing or anything that goes into Creation Club, we wanna make sure that it's, y'know, everything fits. So for example, y'know, there was a cyberpunk apartment that went in that you access in Fallout 4 that you access via Goodneighbor. And there was some notes in it, it was like a synth's apartment. So all the fiction there had to be right. It could be canon, it could be... So it's sort of like parallel to canon, almost. It's... we don't wanna limit ourselves. We don't wanna not do something completely. It's tough. Because you don't wanna not do something that would be awesome, because it might get a little close to not being canon. So, it's always a judgement call. We weigh everything."
    Note: This video is an excerpt from a longer interview at Gamescom 2020.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Todd Howard: "For our purposes, neither Fallout Tactics nor Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel happened."
  21. 21.0 21.1 David S.J. Hodgson (via Twitter): "If memory serves, [the "Wasteland Census" section in the Fallout 3 Game Guide] is supposedly canon as I worked with “certain documents” and the guide was fully approved by Bethesda. You’d have to confirm with @DCDeacon of course. However, if you come across a discrepancy between game and guide canon, game trumps guide."
  22. 22.0 22.1 Mashable.com interview with David S.J. Hodgson, author of the strategy guides for Fallout 3, New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76
  23. Fallout 76: Is the Atomic Shop or Creation Club considered canon?:
    Emil Pagliarulo: "Atomic Shop is a lot...we found that Atomic Shop tends to not be canon so much, it's a lot looser. Just because it's, y'know, stuff that you purchase or use Atoms get into your game that is, like... there's a big fun factor there. There's a lot of stuff in Atomic Shop that we could take out because it's not strictly Fallout canon, and then players would be bummed. Because it's in a live multiplayer game, you... it's always a judgement call, it's tough. There's a lot of stuff that's... the canon rules are a lot lighter with the Atomic Shop stuff. Because we want people to have what they want and just have fun."
  24. Ferret Baudoin - 12/16/2020 Fallout for Hope - CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast Twitch stream: "I think if you're buying it in the store, you're choosing to go outside of the game in order to customize your experience. The same way that you would getting a mod that you particularly enjoy. So I tend not to sweat that stuff. If people can rationalize it, fantastic."
  25. 25.0 25.1 Fallout 76: Is the Atomic Shop or Creation Club considered canon?:
    Emil Pagliarulo: "Okay, lemme answer this. So... um, Creation Club and Atomic Shop are two very different things, first of all. Creation Club is, let's start there, Creation Club is sort of as close to canon as we can get but also sort of the lines get blurred. So, for example, the team that does the Creation Club stuff always runs fiction by me and says 'would this work? Is this canon? How close is this?' And any time there's any writing or anything that goes into Creation Club, we wanna make sure that it's, y'know, everything fits. So for example, y'know, there was a cyberpunk apartment that went in that you access in Fallout 4 that you access via Goodneighbor. And there was some notes in it, it was like a synth's apartment. So all the fiction there had to be right. It could be canon, it could be... So it's sort of like parallel to canon, almost. It's... we don't wanna limit ourselves. We don't wanna not do something completely. It's tough. Because you don't wanna not do something that would be awesome, because it might get a little close to not being canon. So, it's always a judgement call. We weigh everything."
  26. The Fallout Bible on blackisle.com (archived)
  27. 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."
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ferret Baudoin - 12/16/2020 Fallout for Hope - CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast Twitch stream: "The primal source of lore is what you see in the games. Everything after that is varying degrees--I would say, if it's not in the games, we may use it, we may not. There's things we may fully like, 'no, this is what happened!' No, that's just headcanon for a writer. That doesn't actually exist until you see it... the funny thing is, there are things I intend that have already been re-written, but that's OK. That was never in the game. Sure, alright. You wanna change that? That's a great story; go for it! We will get inspiration from all sorts of sources, right? Who's to say what we'll take and what we won't?"
  29. 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.
  30. Information acquired from Emil Pagliarulo by Paweł "Ausir" Dembowski. The wiki currently does not have a transcript of this information, and all content from Fallout Tactics should still be tagged.
  31. The Lone Wanderer: "Then where's the rest of the Brotherhood?"
    Reginald Rothchild: "The West Coast, unless something has changed. There's been no contact with them for the last several years. There's also a small detachment in Chicago, but they're off the radar. Gone rogue. Long story."
    (Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)
  32. The Lone Wanderer: "Care to share anything about the Super Mutants?"
    Elizabeth Jameson: "The Brotherhood has been battling Super Mutants for decades. First out West, then in Chicago. Now here. But this group of Super Mutants is different, somehow. Physically, yes, but mentally as well. If we knew where they came from, we'd know why."
    (Elizabeth Jameson's dialogue)"
  33. The Sole Survivor: "Did the Brotherhood ever build other airships?"
    Kells: "There were less advanced versions of this ship built on the West Coast a long time ago. Historical records about their current status are in dispute, but we're fairly certain that they were destroyed. In any event, I hope your tour of the Prydwen helped acclimate you to our way of life up here. I think you'll find that the more familiar you become with both her capabilities and her crew, the longer you'll survive as a member of the Brotherhood. You're dismissed, Knight/Paladin/Sentinel."
    (Kells' dialogue)

  34. Brotherhood soldier (1):"I still can't believe I was posted to the Prydwen. I mean, look at her... she's one of a kind."
    Brotherhood soldier (2): "Actually, the Brotherhood of Steel had a whole fleet of these things at one time. They weren't as advanced as the Prydwen, mind you... but seeing them fill the sky must have been an impressive sight."
    Brotherhood soldier (1): "Are you kidding me? What happened to them?"
    Brotherhood soldier (2): "Not sure, really. Most of them were destroyed fighting Super Mutants or scuttled for parts. I think one of them crash landed somewhere in the Midwest. I heard that the wreckage is still there."
    Brotherhood soldier (1): "Wow... I had no idea."

    (ConvBoSAirportPrydwen07Scene)
  35. Chinese stealth suits in Hoover Dam in Fallout: Vegas
  36. New Canaan from Van Buren served as basis for the Canaanites in Honest Hearts and several characters from it are mentioned by name.
  37. The Tibbets Prison was altered into Big MT.
  38. The Courier: "What happened next?"
    Elijah: "After that... I wandered, alone. Saw the storms of the Divide, walked among the Ciphers of the West. Traveled to the Big Empty. I heard the signal. The woman's voice, the Sierra Madre, promising a chance to begin again, reverse my fortunes. All... nonsense. I tracked the signal. Came here, scouted the city... using other hands. Kept dying on me, killing each other. You - you got the farthest of all."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  39. Last day of school
  40. The Fallout Bible on blackisle.com (archived)
  41. Welcome Back to Fallout
  42. Emil Pagliarulo on DAC: "Don't worry, guys. I sleep with a copy of the Fallout Bible under my pillow."
  43. 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.
  44. For example, Vault 106 in Fallout 3, Vault 34 in Fallout: New Vegas, the T-51 power armor development timeline in Fallout 4, and Vault 29 was mentioned in Fallout 76.
  45. Fallout 76: Is the Atomic Shop or Creation Club considered canon?:
    Emil Pagliarulo: "Atomic Shop is a lot...we found that Atomic Shop tends to not be canon so much, it's a lot looser. Just because it's, y'know, stuff that you purchase or use Atoms get into your game that is, like... there's a big fun factor there. There's a lot of stuff in Atomic Shop that we could take out because it's not strictly Fallout canon, and then players would be bummed. Because it's in a live multiplayer game, you... it's always a judgement call, it's tough. There's a lot of stuff that's... the canon rules are a lot lighter with the Atomic Shop stuff. Because we want people to have what they want and just have fun."
  46. Ferret Baudoin - 12/16/2020 Fallout for Hope - CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast Twitch stream: "I think if you're buying it in the store, you're choosing to go outside of the game in order to customize your experience. The same way that you would getting a mod that you particularly enjoy. So I tend not to sweat that stuff. If people can rationalize it, fantastic."

On the subject of formatting

Provided the current canon policy proposal draft is further developed and ratified, there are a number of possible formatting options for content and reference grouping. The list below is a starter set of examples that have been developed by Tagaziel for the current proposal draft.

Tagaziel: Canon Inline - A proposal in which the content is not separated by section and is instead separated via reference grouping. This is similar to the method utilized by the voted-in canon policy.

Tagaziel: Canon Headings - A proposal in which the content is separated into subsections, with a canon only subsection and an all-sources subsection while still utilizing reference grouping.

Tagaziel: Canon Tabs - A proposal in which the content is separated into two different tabs, with an all-sources section and a canon only section while still utilizing reference grouping.

If anyone has any additional formatting examples or potential ideas that they would like to share related to content and reference grouping, feel free to add them here.

Signatures

This section is for those who would like to sign off on this discussion as a result of their involvement with development of the new proposal. However, anyone who supports this discussion or the new proposal is free to sign as well.

Changes to The Proposal

D.J here, I’m going to use this section to document consensus-based changes to the proposal since the beginning of the discussion. If anyone disagrees with any of the changes made to the proposal, feel free to leave a comment and we can discuss it more to get all perspectives.

May 29th Changes:

1. Removed Player Choice Section: “A game shows "canon" as it was at the start of the game, with the canon events and outcomes of the game itself only being determined by later installments. However, in the case of events in a game that occur regardless of player choice (Example: The Enclave’s capture of Project Purity during The Waters of Life), we will consider those outcomes as canon even if they have not been confirmed in later installments. This does not apply to optional side quests as they can simply not be completed by the player.” (It was determined that this clause would cause more problems than it seeks to solve, and could be interpreted negatively far beyond what was originally intended).

2. Reworded Undetermined-Canon to Ambiguous-Canon for now, per the first wave of consensus. Term used still very much subject to change.

3. Removed Apocrypha branding: “Discussion Note: "Apocrypha" is a current working term for this category, with no relation to Chris Avellone's Fallout Apocrypha.” (It was determined that the apocrypha term would not be appropriate to use for canon purposes due to the possible confusion and lack of clarification).

Comments

Excellent work guys. I think you've come up with a fair position that we all should get behind. The scale of these unauthorised changes is staggering, but charting a new course brings hope for the future. Looking forward to placing my Yes. I like the tabs the best, followed by inline. Agent c (talk) 12:12, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

The new proposal looks solid, we need to come up with a better name for "Undetermined canon" but I'm sure we'll think of something. I prefer separating content inline by reference grouping, as it's easier for the reader to have all information in one place rather than having to piece it together from several (sub)sections or tabs. The Appalachian Mandalorian insignia.png 14:20, 28 May 2022 (UTC)


Concur. Awesome work, gentlemen. If we can ever determine a better phrase for undetermined canon, I would certainly agree to that, but agree that apocrypha is probably best to stay away from for obvious reasons. As for presentation, personally, I prefer the readability of inline, but wonder if that will open us up to allegations of "including false information", even though the veracity of it's source is plainly listed. I believe the other tow methods deal with that better, but are far less readable and wonder exactly how having essentially greatly duplicate information on one page will effect things like google rankings and such. Perhaps one of our SEO experts can address which of these methods is best from an SEO standpoint?TheGunny2.0 (talk) 14:23, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

I really like the new changes, but I had a question I'd hope someone could answer. Since they are written by game devs and/or published by the game company, is there any reason on why the game manuals are not considered proper canon? Is simply because they are not in-game? Just that. Thanks for taking your time in trying to fix all this! --Ryon21 Ryon21 Signature Image.png (talk) 14:47, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

I think its because they put us in a funny situation. The Fallout 1 manual, for example, contains information on how to use a SimTek (implying the whole game, like the matrix, is a game within a game. Additionally it contains information from an energy weapons FAQ that whilst accurate to the real world, isnt accurate to Fallout's (Rule of 7s doesnt appear to work) Agent c (talk) 16:07, 28 May 2022 (UTC)
The rule of sevens is largely intact, actually. Radiation is primarily gone in Fo1, with the exception of the Glow, the world is perfectly habitable, and radiation is not the rule, but the exception. As for the SimTek, I think that was just them being clever. Тагазиэль 19:06, 28 May 2022 (UTC)
Generally I’d think the logical rule would be that they’re canon except where contradicted by the games, in which case game trumps guide (I think the writer for the Fo3 Wasteland Census said that exact thing about the Wasteland Census, which provides a huge amount of additional background and lore information for almost every character in the game, with the occasional inaccuracy). Bethesda hasn’t made any official statements on their canonicity specifically, and since it’s hard to kind of grasp how they treat the manuals and game guides, undetermined canon might be the best category. The Greatest Savior (talk) 20:13, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree with the proposal here. The fact that so much content was declared "non-canon" AGAINST our policies was truly worrying, and I'm glad work is being done to fix that. Skysteam (talk) 20:49, 28 May 2022 (UTC)


I believe that we should use the phrases "Primary source" (the games) "Secondary source" (everything else not specifically declared non-canon by the IP holder) and "Non-canon" (what was specifically declared non-canon by the IP holder) because we don't have the authority to declare something this or that. Only the IP holder does.

That said I do believe we should operate on good faith that what they publish, allow to have been published, or have taken the time to answer questions personally to use, as a good source. With appropriate adjustments for specific claims. People can make mistakes, and we can always refer back to Primary sources and seek clarification.

Basically my criticism boils down to "it's canon unless specifically stated otherwise, with the game taking precedence."--Ant2242 (talk) 23:43, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

Addendum: On the subject of formatting: "CanonInline" seems to be the most clear and least intrusive of all the options. Although I think we should not use the box there, as we have a specific canon policy page.--Ant2242 (talk) 23:49, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

Potential confusion

Regarding the 2022 proposal:

  1. I'd like to see the reference to apocrypha removed. First, because Avellone is using that term now. If we use it now, it's going to cause problems. Second, because apocrypha doesn't mean what we we're using it for. It means "writings or statements of dubious authenticity." We know these works are authentic, so that word doesn't fit. What we don't know is if they're relevant to canon. Undetermined, undecided, unresolved, or ambiguous (specifically this definition of ambiguous, because even ambiguous is ambiguous: "unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made") canon are accurate descriptions of what we're trying to convey.
  2. I'd like to see the player choice section removed. The goal of this stipulation is to avoid debates over canon endings. Defining canon based on how the game starts means anything after your character wakes up in a vault or with Doc Mitchell is not canon. Furthermore, there are a variety of canon details that are revealed (or not revealed) through player choice. For example, if you side with the Brotherhood in Fallout 4, you'll see additional lore that you wouldn't see if you side with the Minutemen or the Institute, but you'll also miss out on lore from the Minutemen and Institute. If the goal is to say that endings are not canon unless confirmed by other means, I recommend just saying that rather than focusing on player choice from the start of the game.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png5/28/22 [4:31pm]
  1. I agree with the removal of the apocrypha term. Though some of us were partial to it while creating the proposal, there are too many issues with it to use it without causing more confusion, most of all Avellone’s new usage of the term. I’m partial to undetermined myself but I see that ambiguous is becoming more popular, so that might be the best one. We’ll definitely work it out as the discussion continues.
  2. Yeah, this is something that was discussed and added in to a very early draft of the proposal, I can definitely see it causing a lot of unneeded confusion so I might remove it unless anyone objects to that, and we can talk about it more if so.
The Greatest Savior (talk) 21:42, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

The problem with not-Apocrphia is what to call it? Meta information maybe? Most of the names that have been suggested have been worse. With regards to player choice, I would suggest a statement that "a game is canon as far as the world is at the start of the game and any unavoidable events in the game if the main quest is followed" (eg - F4 starts before the bomb, but avoiding the nukes and getting to post war is unavoidable, the Brotherhood's arrival is unavoidable, etc). Agent c (talk) 22:31, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

Apocrypha, meta, and dubious are all fun words, but they aren't very accurate for our purposes. In a community that is often ready to go to war over the most pedantic matters, particularly canon, it makes sense to be as accurate as possible. I offered four suggestions that are accurate to the category and would be immediately understood by the general reader: undetermined, undecided, unresolved, or ambiguous canon. I've heard meta thrown around, but it's another word with a meaning that doesn't match the topic. It's self-referential, so "meta canon" would mean "canon about canon," in the same way "metadata" is "data about data" and "meta rules" are "rules about the application of rules."
Regarding the player choice portion, we're back to the same problem. Let's say you follow the main quest in Fallout 5, and you have to choose between supporting the Mirelurk Liberation Army or the New American Revolutionaries. You choose the MLA, obviously, because Mirelurks deserve freedom. If you had chosen the New American Revolutionaries, however, at the start of the final quest, Jack McClintock, the leader of the NAR, would have told you that he used to work with a group called the Railroad in Boston and went by the name Deacon. That statement wouldn't be canon because of the player choice policy. The choice doesn't change the fact that he is Deacon. So, instead of having canon confirmation that the two are one and the same, part of the game becomes non-canon and directly contradicts one of the rare statements Bethesda has made on canon. Likewise, the new wording could throw out anything you learn in a side quest, random encounters, etc. The player choice portion would declare huge portions of the canon games to be non-canon. It's a far-reaching policy to solve an almost non-existent problem.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png5/28/22 [6:20pm]
{{If you had chosen the New American Revolutionaries, however, at the start of the final quest, the leader of the NAR would have told you that he used to work with a group called the Railroad in Boston and went by the name Deacon. That statement wouldn't be canon because of the player choice policy.}}
I don't follow. Following the first unavoidable event, Decon exists in the game, and at that point he works with the railroad. These things are set before the start of the game, and aren't effected by player choice (its only whether or not you learn that fact which changes). Player choice would be claiming a specific outcome on how the main quest ends. Agent c (talk) 23:25, 28 May 2022 (UTC)
I see what you mean. I edited the original wording to clarify and make it easier for anyone else reading this in the future to follow.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png5/28/22 [6:30pm]
I don't think it helps. Its still a fact that occured before the game that Jack worked with them. Your choices in F5 didn't go back and change history (unless F5 is taking on a time travel theme... Pls no). The only thing that player chocie has done is change whether or not the fact was reported to you. Agent c (talk) 23:36, 28 May 2022 (UTC)

(Because of the fact that it's a player choice and an avoidable event, it's not canon by the revised definition you suggested. Jack telling you that he is also known as Deacon wouldn't be canon. Any lore you learned from a side quest wouldn't be canon. Any holotape, note, or terminal entry that isn't an unavoidable part of the main quest isn't canon. What problem is the "player choice" portion trying to solve, and can it be solved in a better way? Right now, it's declaring almost everything in an open-world RPG to be non-canon.

intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png5/28/22 [6:45pm]

But those arent player choices. Its not player choices that change that characters history or put those notes or holotspes there. Those facts are there at that point. A player choice would be what the version of Nuka Cola eith the vaccine is called (as that is set by the player), the prior NPC work to develop it and the development of it y the PC (as unavoidable in the main quest) would be canon. Agent c (talk) 07:48, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

Using a similar example we already see in Fallout 4:
Danse is a synth. We only learn this as a result of player choice, siding with the Brotherhood. Danse being a synth is not a result of something the player does, but the information is only exposed to the player by meeting certain conditions. Danse is not human for RR or Inst characters.
It is also important to remember "player choice" extends far beyond quest outcomes or world states. Player choice begins with stat distribution. Meeting a dialogue check based on skill, SPECIAL, perk, or other factor subject to change based on the whims of the player, does not mean dialogue shared with the player (or in some cases spoken by our character) is invalid. This is all why evaluating sources is important, since all manner of information is tied to particular sets of circumstances, some of which may only occur as a result of actions taken and some of which we are only aware of thanks to actions taken. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 12:38, 3 June 2022 (UTC)

Gaps in the proposal

I also looked at my own method of doing the canon and it mostly falls in line with my thinking. I have spotted one big hole in the policy that will inevitably lead issues down the line: how to present canon which is canon for the game but is otherwise non-canon or been superseded. My reason for saying this has been missed is one of the biggest complaints was things that were marked as non-canon, which people disagreed on, not only that what happens in FOBOS is non-canon, but you whack a non-canon tag on every reference for a page which is purely for that game it will be confusing.

Before moving the proposal forward to ensure it is future proof and limited disagreements can occur this needs to be addressed. My proposal would be as below (needs some fleshing out):


When referencing content that no longer canon, but would be canon for that piece of media it should be treated as canon, with a clear marker that this is not canon in a wider context.


We already have markers that can be used such as {{FOT}} and at most may need tweaking to make it clear that the content is canon at the time of the media being released.

Personally I think it would be best to have both backgrounds in line with each other and title anything that is ambiguous as supplementary Canon and have a third section to explain the evolution of canon itself, explain what was canon, how and when it has been replaced. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 09:31, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

This is a very good point and it is something that I should have spelled out in the proposal. The good thing about content from FoT, FoBoS, Van Buren, etc, is that their content is largely isolated on their own pages with very little overlap (some exceptions in the case of Van Buren) and they already have page-wide disclaimers (FoT template, VB template, etc). For this reason, it wouldn’t be necessary to utilize reference grouping on their pages, we can just change the templates to match their overall canonicity and leave the references as they are, thereby saying that the content from that piece of media is canon in relation to that piece of media, but the piece of media is overall ambiguous canon or non-canon. The Greatest Savior (talk) 19:09, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

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