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Wasteland is a computer role-playing game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by nuclear armageddon. Created by Interplay and published by Electronic Arts, it released on January 27, 1987, for Apple II, Commodore 64, and Microsoft DOS.

Wasteland is not considered part of the Fallout universe, but it served as a major inspiration in Fallout's creation and numerous references can be found throughout the series.

Wasteland 2, the official sequel to Wasteland, was released on September 19, 2014.

Wasteland background

Tensions grew with the coming of 1998. The United States' Citadel Starstation was slated to be fully operational by March. Soviet charges that the space station was merely a military launching platform alarmed a number of nonaligned nations. The right-wing governments in the South and Central Americas, many of them set up by the U.S. during the Drug Wars (1987-1993), pledged their support to the U.S. The NATO nations, including the new African members, also declared their alliance with the U.S. That move forced most of the remaining neutral powers to join the Soviet protest. In six short weeks, only Switzerland, Sweden, and Ireland continued to declare themselves neutral nations.

Two weeks before Citadel was due for full operation, the station transmitted a distress signal. Immediately after the message was sent, most of the satellites orbiting the planet were swept clean from the sky, leaving the great powers blind. In a military panic, each sent 90 percent of their nuclear arsenals skyward. Although the destruction was tremendous, it was not complete. Pockets of civilization remained, some even oblivious to the military exchange.

On the same day that the U.S. and Soviet Union were attempting to extinguish each other, a company of U.S. Army Engineers were in the southwestern deserts building transportation bridges over dry riverbeds. They worked deep in the inhospitable desert valleys, surrounded by a number of survivalist communities. Located directly south of their position on that day was a newly-constructed federal prison. In addition to housing the nation's criminals condemned to death, the prison contained light industrial manufacturing facilities.

Shortly after the nuclear attack began, the Engineers, seeking shelter, took over the federal prison and expelled the prisoners into the desolate desert to complete their sentences. As the weeks passed, they invited the nearby survivalist communities to join them and to help them build a new society. Because of each community's suspicions towards one another, times were difficult at first. But as time nurtured trust, this settlement -- which came to be known as Ranger Center -- grew to be one of the strongest outposts. Ranger Center even proved powerful enough to repel the hands of rancorous criminals who repeatedly attacked in attempts to reclaim what was once "rightfully theirs".

The citizens of Ranger Center, after first believing that they were the only ones who survived the nuclear maelstrom, soon realized that communities beyond the desert's grip had also survived. Because they had such success in constructing a new community, they felt compelled to help other survivors rebuild and live in peace.

Toward this end, the Desert Rangers, in the great tradition of the Texas and Arizona Rangers a century before, were born.
Wasteland Game Manual, a.k.a.the Wasteland Survival Guide

Overview of Wasteland

You control a group of player-created characters ("PCs") known as Desert Rangers. After most of the world was obliterated by nuclear weapons in the Great War, your band of heroes survived because they luckily hailed from a former prison located near Las Vegas, Nevada, an area that somehow avoided a direct hit. Your initial mission is to investigate disturbances in surrounding communities: Highpool, the Agricultural Center, Quartz, the Rail Nomads Camp, Needles, and Las Vegas. The Desert Rangers uncover a sinister plot, hatched by a cyborg and a computer mainframe with artificial intelligence - to replace the world's population of living, breathing creatures, with cybernetic machines. To achieve this goal, a nuclear holocaust was orchestrated, and in the aftermath, machines are produced to destroy humans and then repopulate the earth. The Desert Rangers ultimately prevail by blowing up Base Cochise, the location of the A.I.-driven computer mainframe.

Relationship or similarities to the Fallout series

Entire Fallout series
  • The Brotherhood of Steel is similar to the Guardians of the Old Order as they are both xenophobic, devoted to hoarding or preserving technology, deploy combat armor and reside in bases they call the Citadel.
  • Deathclaws are similar to the shadow claws, mutated iguanas found wandering the desert in Wasteland.
  • Ghouls are similar to the mutated desert dweller, drool, pit ghoul, shambler ghoul, spineless ghoul, night screamer, and night terror encountered in Wasteland.
  • Water chip - in Wasteland, the first quest given to the Desert Rangers is to fix a water pump in Highpool.
  • ZAX, a series of advanced supercomputers that appeared in the original Fallout and were set to return in Van Buren, are named similarly to VAX from Wasteland.
  • Tycho, the Desert Ranger - the band of heroes in Wasteland were Desert Rangers. He also makes references to Wasteland, such as mentioning the Wasteland character Fat Freddy.
  • Dane, a member of the Children of the Cathedral asks the Vault Dweller if anyone knows how to fix a toaster, this is a reference to Wasteland's toaster repair skill.
Fallout 2
  • The little Casino War in Wasteland's Las Vegas appears to be a model for the situation in New Reno.
  • Cassidy has a few combat taunts that come from Wasteland's combat descriptions.
  • In the Mercenaries' cave, the Chosen One needs three numbers (11-16-27) from three dog tags to open a safe. These are the same three numbers found on Huey, Dewey, and Louie's ID tags in Quartz that also open a safe.
Fallout 3
  • Brick - When asked about Vernon Square, Brick mentions that she loves turning the 'muties into a "fine, red mist" with her gun; in Wasteland, this is one of the descriptions the game used for dramatic combat deaths.
  • The Children of Atom is similar to the Servants of the Mushroom Cloud, a cult of radiation worshiping zealots located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Firelance is a reference to the weapon found in Wasteland's meta fictitious, "decoy" story line, in Wasteland's paragraphs book.
  • Toaster - When Three Dog mentions that his toaster needs repair, it is likely (in part, at least) a reference to the surprisingly useful skill of Toaster Repair in Wasteland.
  • Wasteland Survival Guide - The book the Lone Wanderer can help make is the name of Wasteland's game guide book.
  • President Eden - When speaking with the Cochise A.I. mainframe in Wasteland, it states that its mission is "to repopulate the Earth with pure stock once my minions have destroyed all other life. I will win." This is identical to the main goal of President Eden, who is also an A.I. mainframe. Additionally, one can ask Eden how to kill him, to which he will reply that doing so is impossible. A similar question can be asked of Cochise, with a similar answer.
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout 76

See also

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