Because, in Vault 101: no one ever enters, and no one ever leaves.”— The narrator
In the Fallout 3 intro, some 1950s style vacuum tube components flicker as the camera pans back from the pre-war radio. This reveals a derelict bus and a ruined city as the radio plays "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" sung by The Ink Spots. Above the bus windows, there are posters encouraging people to enlist with the US Army and to buy a place in a Vault (featuring the Vault Boy). The camera then moves outside the bus, showing a ruined city, some art deco architecture and a Corvega ad, and finally, a Brotherhood of Steel paladin in T-45d power armor with a newer model of the laser rifle, and a Brotherhood of Steel symbol on his breastplate.
When the city intro fades to black, Ron Perlman's narration begins and states:
War. War never changes.
Since the dawn of human kind, when our ancestors first discovered the killing power of rock and bone, blood has been spilled in the name of everything: from God to justice to simple, psychotic rage.
In the year 2077, after millennia of armed conflict, the destructive nature of man could sustain itself no longer. The world was plunged into an abyss of nuclear fire and radiation.
But it was not, as some had predicted, the end of the world. Instead, the apocalypse was simply the prologue to another bloody chapter of human history. For man had succeeded in destroying the world - but war, war never changes.
In the early days, thousands were spared the horrors of the holocaust by taking refuge in enormous underground shelters, known as vaults. But when they emerged, they had only the hell of the wastes to greet them - all except those in Vault 101. For on that fateful day, when fire rained from the sky, the giant steel door of Vault 101 slid closed... and never reopened. It was here you were born. It is here you will die.
Because, in Vault 101: no one ever enters, and no one ever leaves.”
The cinematic teaser trailer for Fallout 3, consisting of the first part of the intro, was released by Bethesda Softworks on June 5, 2007, after a 30 day countdown on the Fallout 3 website. During the countdown, a new piece of concept art by Craig Mullins was revealed on every Tuesday. The teaser fades to black after the end of the cinematic part, and we hear only the first four words of the narration: "War. War never changes". Then the text "Fallout 3" appears and changes into "Fall 2008". The text of the narration was revealed in July 2007 in Australia's Atomic Magazine.
- While it features no gameplay footage, the intro was created in-engine (done with game assets in Bethesda's rendering engine), but isn't done real-time.
- The song I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire was initially going to be used in the Fallout intro, but Interplay was unable to get the license, so it was scrapped and Maybe, another song by The Ink Spots, was used.
- The location used to record the intro is still present in the game files, accessible via the G.E.C.K.. Using the console command coc intro01 will allow you to access the location in-game.
- The Brotherhood of Steel soldier you see in the intro is an actual non-player character named "Brotherhood of Steel", however he only has 5.56mm rounds for his laser rifle and thus cannot equip it.
- The only working car radio "in" the game can be seen in the intro.