Area 51 is a military base in Nevada, and a former testing ground for experimental government aircraft and extraterrestrial phenomena. Area 51 housed some alien technology, including a captured flying saucer which was later re-captured by aliens, but then crashed somewhere in California.
Area 51 is mentioned in Fallout, as a print on a flying saucer in the Alien Ship special encounter. It was to appear as a location in Fallout 2 and be inhabited by a group of scientists, but was cut from the final version of the game.
Behind the scenes
- In one of the first versions of Fallout 2, Lynette's talking head was supposed to be used for a spokesperson for a group of scientists living in the ruins of Area 51.
- Area 51 is based off of the real world Groom Lake Facility, code named Area 51. It is located within the Nevada National Security Site. The base is used by the United States military to develop and test many top secret aircraft and weapons technology, though it has long been a source of speculation among conspiracy theorists. Many theories involve captured aliens and their technology, hence why the location is mentioned on a crashed alien ship in Fallout.
- When asked why the base was not included in Fallout: New Vegas, Joshua Sawyer expressed that the land between New Vegas and Area 51 was not close nor interesting enough for inclusion. In addition, he remarked on the popular culture association between the base and extraterrestrials, which had been covered in the Fallout 3 add-on Mothership Zeta.
- Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets, p. 335
- Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.334-335: The Doodling in Your Head Stage
"... A second set of drafts hypothesized the army of the Master (from Fallout 1) roaming the Wastes in a huge, armored land fortress, scooping up muties to use as slave labor. As you can see, neither of these stories made their way into the final game. Although some parts of them did—Lynette's head, for example, was once going to be the spokesperson for a group of scientists living in the ruins of a base in Area 51."
- Fallout: New Vegas is tied with Fallout 3 for my favorite game, but my question is why didnt you guys add Area 51 to the game world considering how close it is to the Air Force base? I'm hoping that it will be a DLC because you guys could do a great job.
Joshua Sawyer: It really isn't that close and there's not a lot going on in the land between Las Vegas and Area 51.
Also, Area 51 is most closely associated with (in popular culture, anyway) aliens, a subject Bethesda dealt with in Mothership Zeta.
Josh Sawyer Formspring answers