Fallout is a legendary title in the gaming community, such terms as Vault 13, the water chip and others being well known to every devoted gamer. The classic games of the Fallout series have had a huge effect on the post-apocalyptic subculture.
The original game was released 11 years ago, on the 30th of October, 1997. As opposed to most other role-playing games, the player of Fallout did not find himself in a fairy land with the purpose of saving yet another fantasy kingdom from an evildoer. Instead, he had to face the hostile and cruel reality of a world that had survived a nuclear war. Strangely enough, it was not an exchange of nuclear strikes between the United States and the Soviet Union. The game was actually set in an alternative reality in which a war for control over the last deposits of petroleum broke out between the United States and the communist China in the year of 2077. Just as you could expect from a global nuclear war, it did not take long and turned to be fatal in its consequences. The larger part of the Earth population was dead in one day, the few survivors having every reason to envy those who had evaporated in the flash of the nuclear explosion.
By the way, technology developed in different ways in the Fallout world than in our own reality. Particularly, they didn’t have the explosive growth of information technologies. As a result, they use computers with black-and-white CRT monitors and 64KB of system memory even in 2077.
The developments in microelectronics were mostly limited to making smaller and ever more sophisticated electrovacuum devices, i.e. vacuum tubes. On the other hand, nuclear and thermonuclear technologies came to be widespread, resulting particularly in powerful, portable and practically unlimited sources of energy. Even cars in this world are the descendants of the Ford Nucleon. This affects the overall aesthetics of the game world which resembles the United States of the 1950s and 60s. That’s one of the unique features of Fallout which is so appreciated by the admirers of the series.
The population of the United States was to be saved by the global project of Vault-Tec Corporation that was to build a huge network of high-tech Vaults that would sustain up to 1000 people autonomously, providing them with all the necessities for a long time.
As is often the case, the reality proved to be far crueler than in the official version presented to the public. No one intended to save all of the population. Instead of the required 400,000, only 112 Vaults were built for the government’s secret project. The point of the project was to study the collective behavior of people under nonstandard conditions. For example, 999 women and only one man entered Vault 69 when the Doomsday came. In Vault 42 there was no lamp more than 40 watts. Some Vaults didn’t have necessary equipment or the existing equipment was programmed to fail at certain moments.
The fate of the inhabitants of Vault 12 was perhaps the scariest. The hermetic door of their Vault did not close when the first bombs fell down. These people had been chosen as laboratory mice for studying the influence of high-dose of radiation on people…