Fallout Bible 4
FALLOUT BIBLE UPDATE
INTRO: BLACK ISLE STUDIOS MESSAGE BOARDS
This may be the first Fallout Bible update you've seen on the Black Isle Studios site, but hopefully not the last. There's been three other updates posted at various Fallout sites across the web (Jan.15th, Feb. 2nd, and Feb. 15th), and we'll be reposting them here before too long so you won't be missing anything. I included some sites below you can check out for the past updates if you don't want to wait.
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. Some of it's a little rough, so if you see anything wrong or if you think of anything you'd like to see, drop me a line at Cavellone@blackisle.com and I'll see what I can do. I can't promise I'll answer your emails immediately, but I will get around to it, usually when the weekend hits.
In any event, these updates will now be appearing hopefully twice a month (on every other Monday) on the Black Isle Studios website, but you can usually find it not long after at any of the Fallout fan sites across the web.
Thanks for supporting Fallout,
Chris Avellone @ Black Isle
1. First off, I wanted to thank everyone who submitted their information on why they like pen-and-paper games. If you have anything else you'd like to add, send it on in to Cavellone@blackisle.com.
2. Also thanks for everybody who sent in tunes - if you have anything that strikes you as a good Fallout fifties ambiance, send it my way at the email address above. I'm always looking for new music tunes.
3. Nobody was able to tell me where that holodisk was from the last submission, so I'm guessing it never made it into the game. If you happen to find out exactly where you find it, let me know - it's important that I know whether it's canon or not just for my own piece of mind.
4. If you want to check out the previous updates before they get compiled on the BIS site, you can check out the following Fallout fan sites:
No Mutants Allowed http://www.nma-fallout.com/
Vault 13 http://www.vault13.net
Duck and Cover http://rpgplanet.com/fallout
Vault of the Future http://czech.vault13.net
French Vault http://frenchvault.vault13.net
No favoritism is implied in the listing of these websites, except for No Mutants Allowed, which is my favorite site, bar none. If I didn't include your site, don't take it the wrong way or start drawing up conspiracy theories, I was just too lazy to look it up.
We've got questions, questions, questions this week. Rather than going into a manifesto with Saint Proverbius about how fusion power really works, something that I know less than nothing about, we'll start off with a question from a slightly less rabid Fallout maniac, Killian from Duck and Cover, who was kind enough to send me an interrogation last week that tried to find every possible loophole for asking about a potential Fallout 3 just going short of asking the question itself. Bravo, Killian, bravo. (::Crowd cheers::) So here's one more question that old Killian has to ask:
1. On a more fallout-y note, could you maybe explain the special encounter in FO2 that everyone has to go through where Frank is seen shooting some Farmer who refuses to give up some information? Why would frank go out of his way to mow down a couple of farmers? What was so important? Think you could include this in the bible too? I'm pretty sure lots of folks are curious.
I'm sorry, Killian, but the answer is no. If anyone else had asked, I would have provided them with documentation along with an audiotape of the designers describing the behind-the-scenes layout of the "Frank Horrigan foreshadowing events."
Damn you all. All right. I will violate my vow of "I'm not going to talk about that FEV-pustule-argument-provoking Horrigan this week" with the following documentation. Here's the deal on the player's first encounter with Horrigan (note that this documentation is OLD, so it's got some problems):
Where: On the WorldMap as a Random Encounter
When: 5th week of gameplay.
The player stumbles upon Horrigan and a number of Enclave guards interrogating an old man and his family. Horrigan says that if the old man does not come with them quietly then things will get very ugly. The old man refuses and says that he will not use his knowledge for him or his bosses. Horrigan retorts that if he does not change his mind then he and his family will not see another sunrise. The old man refuses again.
Float (Horrigan) : "Old man, you WILL come with us."
Float (Old Man) : "Leave us alone. I will never support the cause of your superiors."
Float (Horrigan) : "I will not ask you again. Come now, or you will be made an example of."
Float (Old Man) : "I would rather what knowledge I have disappear with me into the grave."
Float (Horrigan) : "So be it. Kill them all." [Have him turn to face to the right and left]
Float (Old Man) : "NO!!!"
All of the Enclave guards then open up on members of the family and Horrigan fries the old man - with this special punch or shot.
When they are dead the player is given control back. Horrigan then says to the player that he would be wise to turn around and walk back the way he came. Horrigan and his group then turn away from the player and walk towards the side of the map.
Float (Horrigan) : "This is none of your affair. Turn around and walk away."
If the player attacks (if possible) Horrigan will give the player one warning and say that doing such a thing again would be inadvisable.
Float (Horrigan) : "That was ill advised, but I will overlook it due to your obvious ineptitude. I will not do so again."
So the answer is that there is no answer. The farmer was included as a foreshadowing device, and allowed the player to see Horrigan's cruelty first hand early on in the game - the reason for the farmer's death is a mystery. If I were to guess, I would say that the old man held key information on the possible location of a Brotherhood of Steel outpost/bunker, some key genetic research that would enable the researchers to finally decode the FEV and/or figure out how to release it, perhaps the farmer was an escaped Enclave scientist, perhaps the man knew the location of Vault 13 (unlikely), or perhaps he was an unwitting dupe in the enslavement of several Redding miners many years ago and was being brought in for questioning on the effects of the FEV on the miners. I'm still following up with questions for the designers, so more information may become available later.
Next on the string of "I don't know" answers, here's one from Eddy:
2. i heard there was going to be a monastery-area in FO2, but it was not implemented in the game. It supposedly would give the player more background information on the world of Fallout. My question, thinking about how the FotA kinda worshipped 'knowledge' and 'learning a lesson out of the apocalypse', was this monastery to be the new 'base' of the FotA?
I don't know - I haven't been able to find any documentation on it, but I don't think so. From what I heard second-hand about the story and the original locations in F2, the monks at the Abbey were interested in preserving knowledge, but they were not part of the Followers of the Apocalypse... though their ideals may have been quite similar. I sent off an email to Tim Cain, and he might know, so stay tuned.
And here's me a short while later with an answer from Tim Cain:
It [The Abbey] did not have the Followers there. It was supposed to be an independent organization, probably of Jesuits or something like them (I'd probably go with the latter to avoid right-wing complaints). The monks preserved knowledge in the form of books, blueprints, and items, and they tried to preserve technical knowledge mainly. Unlike the BOS, who hoarded their technology and used it to stay superior, the abbey was open to anyone as long as they did not damage anything. All they had to offer was knowledge, because not a single preserved item functioned.
One more thing: the monks did not understand the knowledge in the books they preserved. They treated them like holy materials, to be read and copied and cared for, but not acted upon. Think of the book "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter M. Miller, which was the inspiration for the abbey.
So there you have it. Coolness.
And the DJ slams in with question 3:
3. I keep wondering, what are those straps under the Super Mutants' upper lips good for?Y'see, when you look at Harry and the Lieutenant, they seem to have straps of some sort that appear to be holding their upper lips up and baring their teeth. Moreover, Marcus in Fallout 2 doesn't have that. See:
Can you dig up any documentation regarding these, or can you at least make up an answer? :) -
Can't find a record for this - as far as I can tell it's just decoration, or it was an aesthetic decision to make them look stupider (not stupid-looking, just dumb-looking - you know what I mean), or my best guess is that it was to enable them to talk coherently without their huge lips getting in the way. I mean, LOOK at the upper lips those guys have. They're like tents to go over their jaws. Bleh.
I think Scott Rodenheizer (our sculpture modeler) was just having fun with the models - kind of like he did by punching bolts through Set, putting vises on Marcus' shoulder, and having a tree growing out of Harold's head. By the time he made Marcus, he may not have been in that frame of mind anymore... and Marcus is a pretty old mutant, so it's possible his skin was shrinking back (and forming pustules and boils). Also, despite the general physical characteristics of a super mutant, variation does occur after dipping or FEV exposure, so it's quite possible that Marcus mutated differently than the other super mutants... he certainly was a great deal smarter and more level-headed than the others of his kind.
BTW, in case you weren't aware of this, Scott Rodenheizer did a number of the talking heads for Fallout 1 and 2, and he eventually left for San Francisco to work at some other computer game company whose name eludes me at the moment. I think Leonard Boyarsky or Jason Anderson did the Master, though.
Here are two questions from Liu Hao and/or the Petty Pilferer:
4. In the original Fallout 1, I never installed the patch, I was able to exhibit FEV virus exposure symptom in the Glow after accumulating a certain amount of radiation (about 800 rads). Later someone told me that this was a bug and is fixed by a patch, which I never downloaded. Is this true or was this intended at first but later removed? - Petty Pilferer
It was a bug. For some reason, you were gaining stat points when you were supposed to be losing them. You could attribute it to FEV if you want.
5. When you talked to the Master in Fallout 1, he has several voices or minds or whatever. Are these the people he consumed or a split personality due to the FEV virus? - Petty Pilferer
These were people he consumed, according to Fallout 1 designer Chris Taylor:
Saint_Proverbius: The Master seemed to be derived from three people, who were those three people and how did they become The Master?
Chris Taylor:Richard Grey was an explorer who found the Vats, he is the primary Master. The other people were added to him over the years, they are nameless.
The Master was an extremely powerful telepath, perhaps the first ever to exist... and definitely the last. When he consumes a sentient entity, he not only absorbs them physically, but he also absorbs their psyche (he claimed that he was ability to feel the mind of his first meal, a rat, not long after he crawled from the FEV vats in the Mariposa military base). It is likely that over time, the Master's personality becomes a "we" (a unity) as opposed to an "I," with the other minds becoming a chorus that echoed Grey's primary will but also occasionally voice his unconscious doubts or questions. As for the computer voice, Grey had a neurolink with the Cathedral Vault computers, so he (or at least one of his chorus of minds) was able to speak through it as well. As I understand it, the computer voice was added to make him sound even creepier, since he was a pretty tame-looking mass of protoplasm without it. :)
Here are three questions from Brook:
6. Where the geckos in Fallout 2 robots because they defiantly sounded robotic and their blood was very dark, almost like oil?
No, they're flesh and blood. If they sound like robots, blame our audio department or turn down your speakers. :)
7. When the bombs dropped, all communication between the vaults where severed, so if their was no way to communicate with the vaults how did the Enclave send a massage to Vault 13 telling the people its time to go?
Communication between Vaults was never in place (it might ruin the experiments), but communication with the government/Enclave/Vault-Tec was a different story... they needed some way of monitoring the vaults.
The Enclave, having access to the Vault-Tec construction plans (not too surprising, considering the fact that the Vaults were funded by the government) had a way of monitoring events taking place within the Vaults... not only could they access their computers and systems remotely, (including PIPBoys and the personal logs of the Vault Dwellers), but the early Overseers of most of the Vaults knew of the ties to the government, and it was part of their duties to download information on the citizens and the Vault into an computer archive that the government could easily access.
Their tie to the Vault computers also gave the Enclave the ability to override any Vault locking mechanism and send an "all-clear" signal to sealed Vaults, coaxing the inhabitants to come outside. Again, almost no Vault Dwellers were ever aware of this. For some Fallout 2 relevant information on the matter, here's what the player says in Fallout 2, and here's what Lynette says in response:
Note: As evidenced below, keep in mind that Lynette's archives are suspect, and they should not be treated as truth.
How did you know *when* to leave the vault? I heard the vaults were isolated from the outside world.
What you heard was incorrect. Our archives are quite clear: our vault received the all-clear signal two years after being sealed.
The “all-clear” signal? From where?
(Confused) Why...from surface monitors, I suppose. I am certain there were sensors monitoring the environment. How else would the Overseer have known when it was safe to leave?
So...the order to leave the vault came from the Overseer?
Yes...(Thinking, uncertain) ...at least, that is what I remember from the archives. (Confidence returns) However, I am certain many Citizens were responsible for monitoring the surface sensors.
Really? Do these monitors still exist? Can I see them?
(Angry, not certain where the player is going with this, but doesn’t like it.) Quite likely they were disassembled and used as upgrades for other systems.
And that's all she wrote - it is a dark foreshadowing to what was really going on in these cauldrons of evil. In any event, I remember having a conversation with the designers about the Overseers roles in the Vaults, and the early Overseers were the ones tasked with supplying information to the government... although when the world blew up, there wasn't really anyone to supply it to anymore, since the Enclave took some time to get back up and running.
In any event, enough blather. Hope that helps.
8. Are you sure the UN broke up? Yup, the UN broke up. It doesn't call, it doesn't write... the relationship is over.
A question posted by Puriel on the Vault 13 forums:
9. Do YOU guys know what that ending of the Hub with ghouls and humans uniting is all about? It says Harold and the VD unite the ghouls and humans of the Hub. Anybody seen more ghouls than Harold in the Hub? Can't be about Necropolis, because it's the ONLY good ending for the Hub.
Although there weren't any ghouls shown in the Hub in Fallout 1, there may have been a handful wandering around in Old Town (kind of like Talius the ghoul in the Boneyard). The ending is more appropriate if you just mentally change the word "ghouls" to "skags." Basically, peace and harmony reign supreme. It's possible several ghouls traveled to the Hub during the Migration after they formed their engineering development house in Necropolis.
The last one is from Access on the Vault 13 forums:
10. What I REALY want to know is about the one of two endings in FO:T! The ending were you decide to join the Calculator it says about the BOS elders gone missing and that they couldn't be found... Does anyone have any idea WHO or WHAT killed them? or is it one of the x-files sort of mesteries you have to wait and wait?
It's supposed to be a mystery, a loose thread that could lead to other plotlines.
That's it for the questions this week. Now on to some additional material:
FALLOUT 1 ARCHEOLOGY
Continuing the exciting trend of last time, here's some more key words you can ask the talking heads in Fallout 1 with the "Tell Me Abouts." This may not be a complete list, but these are all the ones listed in the design documentation. There is no documentation I can find for the non-talking heads, but if you happen to know any or find any other talking head key words I miss, let me know. There are some extras I've found that were added later that don't have any voice acting attached to them, but they still display a message. As with the questions, let's keep going with the Killian theme and tack on Gizmo too, starting with fatso's keywords:
Darkwaters (no apostrophe)
Junktown (no voice)
Deathclaw (no voice)
Well, Gizmo's selection bites the big one. Here's Killian:
Children of the Cathedral
Junktown (no voice)
Damn, Killian's a gold mine. Have fun. Next time, we'll set up Tandi and maybe take a jaunt to Necropolis with Set and Harry, too.
PARIAH DOG STATS FROM FALLOUT 2
Well, digging through some old files gave me the statistics for the Pariah Dog in Fallout 2. I wasn't able to dig up his actual skill levels, but if you're ever curious what his actual game SPECIAL statistics were, take a gander at the shot below:
FALLOUT 2 CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT
This shouldn't surprise anyone who's played Fallout 2 with a party, but as your main character goes up in levels, so do your party members. The rate they advance varies, but each character has a number of "stages" they advance through over the course of the game, usually based on their ability to learn. During this segment, we'll bring you three NPC allies:
Designed by superman John Deiley who has worked on every Interplay game known to man, Goris is a sixstage NPC ally. His hit points, resistances, and special stats are as follows:
Note: I do not have skill values for these guys as they rise in levels, but they usually have some bonuses to their appropriate skills as they rise in levels (Goris - Unarmed, Sulik - Melee, Lenny - Doctor). If I come across some way of digging up these values, I will post them.
Designed by Fallout 2 lead designer Matt Norton, Sulik is also an amazing six-stage NPC ally. His hit points, resistances, and special stats are as follows:
And the last for this submission, we have Lenny the ghoul, designed by Fallout 2 lead designer Matt Norton. Lenny is a rather old fellow all the way from Necropolis, but because he's sooooo old, he doesn't really have a lot of room for development, so he's only a three-stage NPC ally. His hit points, resistances, and special stats are as follows:
FINAL WORD:: FALLOUT 2 MIINOR SECRET
This isn't a huge, earth-shattering revelation, but if you want a free fusion cell, go to the New Reno stables and look for a brahmin that's mooing differently than the rest of the herd, then examine him - if the brahmin's description lists him as an angry brahmin with a distended stomach, save your game, and then use your Doctor skill on him to try to dislodge what's in his stomach. You get three tries before the brahmin gets angry enough to attack you. If you succeed, you get a free fusion cell and some experience points.
Next time: The secrets of the Magic Eight-ball... for high Luck characters, it's more than just a toy.
Thanks for supporting Fallout,
Chris Avellone @ Black Isle
Fallout Bible 4