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Fallout Bible 9

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Fallout Bible 9
Fallout Bible installment
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authorChris Avellone
publisherInterplay
release dateNovember 7, 2002
medium.doc/.pdf file
pages34
websitehttp://www.blackisle.com (defunct)
download.doc at Duck and Cover
.pdf at Duck and Cover
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Fallout Bible
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Fallout Bible 8
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Fallout Bible 9 is the ninth and last installment of the Fallout Bible, a collection of documents containing background material for the first Fallout games compiled and written by Chris Avellone. This installment was released on November 7, 2002.

All notes in italics come from The Vault editors, not from Chris Avellone himself.

Document start icon The following is the original document or a transcript thereof.

The Fallout Bible update nein

Fallout Bible Nein
Vault Boy
October 15? Nov 6? 2002? Ah, screw it.

Here's the ninth Fallout Bible update - if you missed any of the others, check the Black Isle main page (www.blackisle.com), scroll down, and click on the "Read More News Here" section (and scroll down or do a "Find" for "Fallout"). The first three updates have been collected into a sinister "Update Zero" and the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth updates stand on their own.

For those of you who haven't seen these before, the Fallout Bible is a collection of background material and hi-jinks from Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 compiled into one document so the fans can take a look at it. If you see anything wrong or if you think of anything you'd like to see, email me 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.

This update contains an interview with Fallout designer/programmer Jess Heinig who wrote Zax, helped set up Junktown, and spends his time trying not to body-block Enterprise's Jolene Blalock, some assorted trivia that Jess was happy to pass along (curious how the end cinematic sequences in Junktown were supposed to go?), brahmin and gender identity issues, mutants and sex, info on Patrick the Celt from F1, some questions and answers (but not as much as FOB 8), lots of pies being thrown by Canadians, the truth about the Brotherhood of Steel, honoring the Fallout flag, the winner of the Ink Spots contest, and yet more fallout from our favorite post-holocaust world of the future.

Thanks for supporting Fallout,

Chris Avellone @ Black Isle Studios

Fast forward

Here's another list of stuff to start the update with. It's almost the same thing as last time, so you can fast forward over this if you're a veteran of these updates.

  1. Again, any questions or suggestions for the Fallout Bible, send it on in to Cavellone@blackisle.com.

    Before you do, though, read #2, below.

  2. Suggestions for material to include in the Bible, suggestions for good Fallout fifties tunes, comments on why you like pen and paper RPGs over computer RPGs, questions about Fallout events, and suggestions for good source material are welcome, but there are a number of things I can't/won't answer because I am busy and I hate you. They include:
    • Giving hints or walkthroughs for the game. If you need a hint or a walkthrough, go to the Black Isle message boards at:

      http://feedback.blackisle.com

      And within fifteen seconds, someone will post an answer to your problem. The answer will occasionally be snide and sarcastic and may be followed by the words, "silly rabbit" or "dumbass," but you will get your answer. So make your voice heard.

    • Providing technical support. If you have any troubles with your Fallout disks or other Interplay games, you need to contact Interplay customer support at one of the following addresses:

      For technical problems:

      support@interplay.com

      And for any other questions regarding Interplay products, barring hints and tips:

      orderdesk@interplay.com

    • Answering questions outside of Fallout 1 or 2. Occasionally, if I am lucky, I can answer Fallout Tactics questions. I don't answer Fallout 3 questions.
    • Reading fan fiction or fan-created material for Fallout.
    • Providing any information, walkthroughs, hints, or support on the Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale I or II, Planescape: Torment, or Dark Alliance.
  3. 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, in #1, above. I'm always looking for new music tunes.
  4. There are a lot of questions sitting in my archive. If you don't see your question here (especially if it was recent), I haven't forgotten, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Or at least that's the story I'm sticking to. If you sent in five hundred questions in one email, I can personally guarantee I won't be getting around to it until some time next year, so don't hold your breath, Mr. Question Man.

FEV and vegetation: Specifically, carrots

Through the power of bumping despite the loss of search functions on the BIS board, I am proud to present the arguments of Senior Carrot: Carrot is not to be confused with the Flaming Carrot comic book character.

BTW, "MCA" is an acronym for Mr. Chris Avellone (me), for the uninitiated. I feel so street.

As has been publicly stated work on FO3 has not started, I hope this gives us a good deal of time to fully work out the universe issues that have arisen.

The current FOB thread has grown into a monolith of off topic posting and one thinks any more sensible suggestions would be lost within its dark expanses.

The big hit list goes as follows:
The Enclave (should be sorted now)
The timeline (needs to be sorted)
FEV (the debate should end here)

The problem as perceived by the/some fans:

MCA in writing the FOB lost track of the essence of FO its pulp sci fi element, instead of sticking to the universe where modern day physics don't apply it seems a modern day excuse has to be conjured up to explain everything. Here we have the use of FEV as a tool to explain everything weird and wonderful on the FO wasteland.

Now clearly everything is meant to be the result of 50's radiation, e.g. every monster film in the 50's is due to radioactive material mutating everything, now this is what I believe that Fallout was trying to capture. Why RadScorpions are called RadScorpions etc.

Instead we have the miraculous wonder brush of 90's style genetic mutation in the form of FEV to explain everything! Now ignoring all the disparities between FOB FEV and proper FEV as described in several scientific journals in FO1 let us examine where said Wasteland mutating FEV came from.

There are 2 possible locations of FEV the Mariposa Base where the large scale production/testing and research of FEV was to take place with huge quantities stored in vast underground vats, and the one bunker (obviously part of a chain) at the West Tek facility where initial experiments took place where there would possibly be small stores. Now let us theorise on ways in which said FEV would be released, Mariposa detonation was post FO1 (when most of the mutations had taken place) that said there is an indication of leaking into the surrounding area. The other would be FEV surviving the nuclear strike on West Tek, how would such a virus survive the nuclear fire sweeping the facility, or be able to pass across the great distances it is described as doing in the FOB through a dense cloud of superheated particles and raging fires?

Of course the scenario was preposterous from the start, there is no way FEV could have penetrated the surrounding wasteland in the short period of time in high enough concentrations from the small stocks available to mutate all the creatures.

Also one of the main races in Fallout, the Ghouls who to first time players are clearly zombies created by good ol' radiation have to be explained away be a supposed fog of FEV billowing across the Californian countryside and propelling itself under the vault 12 door? When both the prominent creators of the Fallout universe disagree with this, one has to wonder if a change is in order? But that's why this thread is being written and there's still time to do it!

The game is called Fallout, surely the universe should have a greater emphasis on the effects of its namesake in the guidelines set out clearly in the original then trying to update everything to today's universe (seen also in the guns etc.).

How to rectify the problem:

Have the description of FEV lifted directly from the FO1 logs (where it actually make sense and is something rare and interesting).

Make reference to the fact the universe is not our universe (indicating differing events on the timeline e.g. no Watergate) and as such the radiation laws that apply are those from the 50's not the modern day. And as such weird and wonderful beasties can be created by said radiation and fallout without having to explain it all away with FEV.

For anyone new to this argument, the following answers have been derived from it:

- FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) explains the more grievous mutations in the wasteland (the Master, the Master's pets such as the floaters and centaurs, super mutants, Harold), and radiation caused most of the other giant-style mutations you see (scorpions, rats, ants, etc.) and some of the others (ghouls).

- The Fallout world is much like Torg - physics and natural laws are not the same as in our universe, but are based instead on 50s sensibilities and pulp era comics - the Fallout universe is what people in the 50s believed the future would be (with a lot of nuclear warheads dropped on it). As a result, there are endless stretches of desert, radiation will cause giant mutations, rayguns and brains in jars are realities, you might trip over a few giant evil tentacular blobs with plans of taking over the world, see plenty of clunky robots with glass dome heads and lots of blinking lights, and science in general is not only heavily atomic and optimistic, but it is also much easier in the Fallout universe (or also, "Science!") thus allowing people to create ultrasound guns, death beams, and lasers, usually in little or no time (especially when an invasion from outer space occurs). Most modern day concepts concerning artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and so on aren't part of the Fallout universe, since people in the 50s didn't recognize that many of these concepts existed (well, except the terminology for artificial intelligence, which was officially used at the Dartmouth Summer Conference on Artificial Intelligence in 1956, if I have my facts straight).

- In case this is news to anyone, the Fallout world is a divergent Earth. Really. And the world blew up in 2077, not in 1950.

Thanks to everyone who participated.

BTW, STILL waiting on those two prominent creators you cited as evidence, Carrot. ;)

Ink Spots contest answer

The winner of last month's contest was DJ Slamák, who guessed that the first choice of the Ink Spots song for Fallout 1 was "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." Rock on, DJ, you crazy muthuh, you.

FB9 deco 1

Odin actually got it first, but he refused credit, so...

FB9 deco 2

And moving on to our next contest:

FEV explains all, half, a third of it?

All right, here's the contest for next time - other than FEV I (and II), name two other non-real-world viruses that exist in the Fallout universe. Go!

And NO, despite his appearance, the Master is not a virus. Neither is Feargus. So ha ha ha ha, funny people, now do some research.

Broken footlockers in Broken Hills

Tim Geoghegan (whose last name makes him sound like a sci-fi villain), wanted to extend help to those of you who want to get to those mysterious footlockers in Broken Hills. Interestingly enough, DJ Slamák didn't mention this, so he is now on my shitlist of people that will burn when I get my flamethrower. Of course, if he mentioned it and I forgot, then I will still set him on fire.

I believe you were asked about the footlockers in Broken Hills and how to get to them in FOB 8. Well, DJSlamak, who runs Vault of the Future, a Fallout fansite hosted by Duck and Cover, has a guide togetting to those footlockers with screenshots.

http://www.duckandcover.net/~Slamak/f2/shots/bh_lock.htm

=====

Tim Geoghegan

Thanks, Tim.

That missing PIP Boy button and Vault Zero

Pawel/Ausir, being a gentleman and a scholar, also provided me with the following information regarding that missing PIP Boy button on the interface and Vault Zero:

1. The broken button in PipBoy interface was meant to be "clues" (it was in the FO1 demo, AFAIK).

2. The Vault 0. Here's my theory: i think, that in fact, if BoS elders knew rumors of the Vault 0 from the beginning, while they did not know anything about the Enclave until FO2, it could have been a public secret, which could have had 2 reasons:

i. to get rid of unwanted people - politicians and journalists, who weren't always supporting the government policies, some not-that-important scientists and celebrities, and get rid of them - if they knew about the Enclave, and were not let in, they could have exposed its existence. Since they were let in to Vault 0, they didn't even suspect, that there can be an even more secret base.

ii. to cover up existence of the Enclave - the more people knew that the Cheyenne Mountain Complex was changed into a government vault, the less people would suspect that the government would in fact hide on an oil rig. it could have been part of the experiment - maybe the Calculator was MEANT to go mad?

Cheyenne Mountain is a pretty famous vault-like facility. I believe it's where NORAD is housed. So it's no big secret.

--

Ausir

Thanks, Ausir.

Ripping Tangler's hand

Somebody, probably DJ Slamák asked about an item called the "Tangler's Hand" in the last issue. Turns out (according to the Fallout 1 Editor), it looks like the Tangler's Hand belonged to a fellow named "Tangler" (surprised?) who has an AI packet that identifies him as a leader of the Rippers. Or at least he had Ripper AI in his scripting block, whatever "Ripper AI" means. In case you don't know who the Rippers are, they were part of the (defunct) inbred familial gang of Rippers - presumably, they were a rival gang that lived where the Mother Deathclaw is in the Boneyard, as evidenced by the "Ripper" movie poster outside her house hutch. According to some old dialogues, their building was fortified with traps and landmines, and they fought with the Blades a lot.

Oh, in an old dialogue file, Nicole mentions that Morpheus used to be a part of them - I can't get her to mention it in the game, which probably went the way of the Dodo when the Rippers were "cut." If anyone can get her to say this, let me know the dialogue path, and the wealth of nations shall be yours.

I want figures

Langy asks:

Will there be statistics of how many people lived before the war and how many died, how many turned into ghouls, how many people the Master dipped, how many became Super Mutants, and things like that?

Nope.

But what about Wasteland?

Ausir asks:

Though you will not refer to Wasteland directly, are you at least going not to contradict the game in the Bible or in the next Fallout games (like make an ancient monastery in the place of basecochise and las vegas destroyed in the war etc.)?

Well, although Fallout has Wasteland influences, they are two separate universes, so there's going to be contradictions.

A.I.

bloodbathmaster2 asks:

Will there be an explaination to the Artificial Intelligence|AI? in fallout 2, it was said that AI got bored and started the great war.

I'll try to do future sections dealing with the Machine Intelligences like ACE, Skynet, Zax, and others. What Skynet (not its real name) says most likely isn't true, and I don't like the concept of artificial intelligences in Fallout - they're too 1990s/21st century.

The Holy Hand Grenade?

FB9 Holy Hand Grenade stats

Ausir asks:

will you include info about the holy hand grenade? :))))

Stats for the Holy Hand Grenade on the right...

Range: 15, 2 lbs., 300-500 points of damage. It costs 4 AP to throw. Save it for Horrigan.

Unfortunately, you can't get the holy hand grenade in the actual game because of a bug. The good news is that there's a patch out there which you can find at:

http://www.nma-fallout.com/binaries/fallout2.shtml

Have fun. The patch, I believe, is courtesty of Maxim Sorokin (aka Seawolf).

Brahmin

I think Red1 asked about brahmin once on some chat or another. So here is an entry for brahmin.

Important! What follows is the rough draft layout for the "critters" section for the Fallout PNP game.

If there's anything about the layout that's missing or you think would be helpful to you as a GM, please email me.

Or at least have the courtesy to bitch about it somewhere where I can eavesdrop on it.

Fallout PNP: Brahmin!

FB9 Brahmin 1

Brahmin are mutated brahmin cattle with two heads. If you just said, "hell, I thought brahmin were something from India," well, you'd be right. A bunch of brahmin made their way to the states long ago[1] for crossbreeding purposes. When the bombs fell, brahmin grew two heads. They are quite hardy. They are also a delicious toasty brown, as you'll notice in the picture to the left. They attack by head-butting or trying to gore someone with their horns, so brahmin-tippers beware. For some reason, only the left-most brahmin head has horns, which raises some curious gender identity issues.[2]

Brahmin serve a vital environmental niche in Fallout - they form the foundation of survival for many species in Fallout, most notably, humans. They also form the backbone of the NCR economy. They also form the backbone of the New Reno "NCR brahmin rustling" economy. Brahmin can pull carts, old cars, plows, and dead bodies. Brahmin can be driven into herds then used as stampedes on rival tribal villages which is better than a Delayed Blast Fireball any day of the week. Brahmin can be worshipped. Brahmin hair can be woven into bags and ropes. Brahmin hide can be stretched over wooden or metal rods to make canoes, if you're into that sort of thing. Brahmin sinew can be used for bowstrings or thread for stitching. Brahmin shit is great fertilizer (and fuel for campfires). Brahmin meat is delicious - well, only because no one in Fallout knows what a succulent Pre-War steak used to taste like. Brahmin are a source of milk that is like modern day milk, yet terrifyingly different. Brahmin can be tipped over. Brahmin bones can be used as clubs, knives, arrowheads, eating utensils, hoes, or even dice, and their skulls look really scary dotted all over the desert landscape. Their horns can be turned into drinking horns if you feel like getting medieval. Brahmin can be used to distract a hungry deathclaw. Brahmin fat makes decent soap. Their hide can be used to make tents (or tipis/teepees), clothing, belts, saddle bags, shoes, leather armor, or a bizarre brahmin-looking disguise so you can sneak up on other brahmin and listen to their conversations. You can also use their tails as fly brushes or paint brushes, depending on your level of artistic talent.

There are domesticated brahmin and wild brahmin. PCs are encouraged to approach wild brahmin like they would a domesticated brahmin, because the end result is amusing for the Overseer.

Wild brahmin can forage for themselves, and they can be found across the wastes, gathered into small herds, wandering here and there, munching on the dirty weeds scattered throughout the desert. Fortunately for the ecology of the wasteland (and the survival of their species), brahmin can go for long periods of time without water - they don't need much to survive. They have a strong sense of smell, and they don't hesitate to stomp over any wasteland predator that threatens them or their calves - well, except deathclaws, because no one messes with deathclaws.

Brahmin are a great source of cattle drive and range war adventure seeds, if you feel like getting your Louis L'Amour on for a few sessions.

There are rumors that the smell of brahmin shit is highly addictive.

If you wanted to give brahmin perks, you'd probably want to give them three levels of the Perk: Strong Back, and possibly the Perk: Acute Sense of Smell, but no one really cares.

Brahmin, like giant ants, are believed to be the result of radiation. This is a little worrisome, since they may be radioactive.

DOMESTIC BRAHMIN
ST 7-8
PE 3
EN 7-8
CH 1
IN 2
AG 4
LK 1
Hit Points 35-55
Armor Class 4%
Action Points 7
Attack (Hd Butt/Gore) 3 AP
Melee Dam 7+1-3
Poi Res 40%
Rad Res 16%
Sequence 6
Heal Rate 2
Crit Chance 1%
Unarmed (Butt/Gore) 75-85%
XP 80-100
 
"WILD" BRAHMIN
ST 8-9
PE 4
EN 8-9
CH 1
IN 2
AG 5
LK 3
Hit Points 45-65
Armor Class 5%
Action Points 8
Attack (Hd Butt/Gore) 3 AP
Melee Dam 12+1-3
Poi Res 45%
Rad Res 18%
Sequence 8
Heal Rate 3
Crit Chance 3%
Unarmed (Butt/Gore) 85-105%
XP 100-120

Unlike most other animals, brahmin do have damage resistance, which is why their hides are good for armor:

Domestic Wild
Normal 0/20 2/25
Laser 0/20 0/20
Fire 0/20 0/20
Plasma 0/10 0/10
Electricity 0/30 0/30
EMP 0/500+ 0/500
Explosive 0/10 0/20

Brahmin: Targetting chart

FB9 Brahmin 2

The PNP game will also include the critical hit charts for brahmin, like so:

Brahmin: Head

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 2 - -
21-45 2 - -
46-70 2.5 - EN Roll or Knocked Down.
71-90 2.5 - EN –2 Roll or Knocked Down.
91-100 3 Knocked Out. -
101+ 3 Instant Death. Way to protect all of humanity, wasteland warrior. -

Brahmin: Left foreleg (left arm)

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 - -
46-70 2 - EN Roll or Left Foreleg Crippled.
71-90 2 - EN Roll or Left Foreleg Crippled.
91-100 2 Left Foreleg Crippled. -
101+ 2 Left Foreleg Crippled. -

Brahmin: Right foreleg (right arm)

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 - -
46-70 2 - EN Roll or Right Foreleg Crippled.
71-90 2 - EN Roll or Right Foreleg Crippled.
91-100 2 Right Foreleg Crippled. -
101+ 2 Right Foreleg Crippled. -

Brahmin: Body (torso)

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 - -
46-70 2 - -
71-90 2 Ignores Armor. You know, because that amazing "brahmin armor" can stop bullets. -
91-100 2 Ignores Armor. -
101+ 3 Instant Death, "hero." -

Brahmin: Right hindleg (right leg)

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 - -
46-70 2 - EN Roll or Right Hindleg Crippled.
71-90 2 - EN Roll or Right Hindleg Crippled.
91-100 2 Right Hindleg Crippled. -
101+ 2 Right Hindleg Crippled. -

Brahmin: Left hindleg (left leg)

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 - -
46-70 2 - EN Roll or Left Hindleg Crippled.
71-90 2 - EN Roll or Left Hindleg Crippled.
91-100 2 Left Hindleg Crippled. -
101+ 2 Left Hindleg Crippled. -

Brahmin: Eyes

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 2 - -
21-45 2 Ignore "Armor." LK Roll or Blinded.
46-70 3 Ignore "Armor." LK -3 Roll or Blinded.
71-90 3 Ignore "Armor" and Blinded and Lose your fucking turn, stupid brahmin! -
91-100 4 Ignore "Armor" and Blinded and Knocked Out. -
101+ 4 Instant Death. -

Brahmin: Udder (groin)

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 Ignores "Armor." -
46-70 1.5 Ignores "Armor." -
71-90 2 Ignores "Armor." -
91-100 2 Ignores "Armor." -
101+ 3 Ignores "Armor." -

Brahmin: Uncalled

Roll Damage Multiplier Critical Success Effect Secondary Effect
0-20 1.5 - -
21-45 1.5 - -
46-70 2 - -
71-90 2 Ignores "Armor." -
91-100 2 Ignores "Armor." -
101+ 3 Instant Death. -

Original stories

Suicidal Bob sayz:

I read in the back of the Fallout 2 Strategy guide, the section that talks about the process the design team went through to develop the storyline and such, and it states two storylines that were thought about. One of them being about an intelligent computer making a city of androids, and the main character going into space, the other about the Master's army capturing mutants for slave labor. I was wondering if in the actual storyline of Fallout, did these happen, or were these ideas just scrapped when the storyline that was used for Fallout 2 was selected as the one to be used?

They were scrapped, and they never happened in the Fallout universe. They were ideas by the original team that were being tossed around before the second original team, Tim, Jason, and Leonard, began work on F2. I haven't been able to find an original copy of the original story doc, but if I do, I might print it in all its original glory.

Jet? When? Myron? How old? Huh?

Daniel Horn raises a good point:

This is where I send stuff for the Fallout Bible... Right?

Yes.

Well, I was wondering this: How old is Myron, and how long has Jet been around? Because he looks to be late teens, possibly early 20's.

However, if he is that young, as far as I can figure out Jet wouldn't be around.

Mrs. Bishop got hooked on Jet by Bishop (before they got married) and for that she got kicked out of Vault City. However, Angela Bishop, her daughter, is what, late teens, early 20s? Because presumably she had Angela after she got married to Bishop, and thus after she got addicted to Jet, Jet would have to be at least as old as Angela Bishop, and Myron would have to be older (at least 10-15 years, I figure) than Jet. But he doesn't look it. Did Myron REALLY invent Jet? Or is it just his usual egotism?

You know what, you're right - that was a mistake on my part. Myron is supposed to be 17-20, but that kind of messes things up if you take the Bishops into account. I had always thought he had made Jet pretty recently (within a few years) so that the Mordinos could rise to power.

Myron really did invent Jet. He's really, really smart and really, really annoying.

So ignore the Bishops and their messed-up rendition of events - they're been taking too much Jet anyway.

Timeline stuff

Just a quick update on timeline credits:

BTW, the original timeline (not yet printed, but it shall be coming to a future update near you) that I originally credited to Scott Campbell was done by Brian Freyermuth and approved by Scott. Much of the post-F1 stuff was originally laid out by Rob Hertenstein, who I do not know where he has absconded to, but if he is reading this, I would love to hear from him.

My apologies to the mis-credited parties - and knowing is half the battle.

Leap of faith

Dan Spitzley would like to say:

Neither Fallout handled Leap Years, did they? I was just thinking that that might make for an interesting adventure seed. What if the Fallout universe does have Leap Years, but every February 29th the entire population is put to sleep by the "bad guys" for some nefarious purpose, waking up on March 1st none the wiser. This would explain why nobody ever sees Feb 29th on the PipBoy. As soon as it comes along, everybody's abducted by aliens or something. Alternately, perhaps a bug in the PipBoy calendar that everyone "follows" has made the world forget about Leap Years since the war, meaning that maybe soon it will be dark in the afternoon or they'd have snow in August since they miss that one day every 4 years.

Just a reminder that I do not accept adventure seeds, especially from insane programmers who have been working too hard.

BOS corrections

Well, according to the Fallout 1 editors, it looks as if there are the following internal breakdowns amongst the Brotherhood of Steel ranks for the Scribes and Knights, and Paladins.

Knights and Scribes have the following ranks: Initiate, Senior Initiate, Apprentice, Journeyman, Senior, and Head Knight/Scribe.

And...

Paladins are identified as being Junior Paladin, Paladin, Senior Paladin, and Head Paladin.

Fun? You bet it is!

Holotapez

Sean Meskill would like to say:

I the last installment, you mentioned how you were not sure a laser could read a tape. They can. In 69, I believe, RCA made a prototype system called Holotape for video playback, that read hologram data on plastic tape with a laser. It really worked and that type of tape is completely plausible. You can see pictures of that system here: http://www.cedmagic.com/history/holotape.html All you guys did with fallout was extrapolate a real technology to a viable conclusion without knowing it. So that is holotape, explained at last.

Sean

Thanks, Sean.

Ian and his gun

Several people asked about what kind of gun Ian was to give you in his dialogue in Vault City. The answer is: I haven't been able to find out. Ferg knows, but he won't tell me because he doesn't talk to me anymore except to spit on me.

Ausir is whoring his site

Ausir wanted me to publish the link to his Russian website...

It's actually Polish, but I can't resist.

(www.fallout.scifi.pl)

So there it is.

Things man was not meant to know: Chet and Mr. Cheater

DJ Slamák is messing around with forces he cannot comprehend (and Petruschka had the same question):

I really didn't start this Bible update with the intention of it being a DJ Slamák issue, but the world is a crazy place.

Hello Chris, I've been fiddling around with master.dat and found... something. Can you look into it?

File: master.dat/text/english/dialog/cccheat.msg

{100}{}{You see Mr. Cheater.}
{101}{}{He still looks like a cheater.}
{200}{}{Hello I am Mr. Cheater. How may I help you?}
{201}{}{Will you kidnap my tribe?}
{202}{}{Will you put me on the Shi quest?}
{203}{}{Will you put me on the Elron quest?}
{204}{}{Will you put me on the Brotherhood quest?}
{205}{}{Make it so I've already been to the military base.}
{206}{}{I've kidnapped your tribe.}
{207}{}{I've put you on the Shi quest.}
{208}{}{I've put you on the Elron quest.}
{209}{}{I've put you on the Brotherhood quest.}
{210}{}{Now you have been to the military base.}
{211}{}{Thank you, Mr. Cheater.}

And a similar one; this is yet another Vault City official:

File: master.dat/text/english/dialog/vcchet.msg

{100}{}{You see the Illicit Allocations Chief, Chet.}
{101}{}{You see a shifty-looking man wearing a Vault 13 jumpsuit.}
{102}{}{You see the Illicit Allocations Chief, Chet.}
{103}{}{You see a shifty-looking man wearing a Vault 13 jumpsuit.}
{104}{}{Hey, there. I'm the Illicit Allocations Chief... but you can call me Chet. You need something?}
{105}{}{Need anything else?}
{106}{}{Set the endgame flag, Chet. I'm all done.}
{107}{}{Make me Captain of the Guard. Now.}
{108}{}{Make me a real citizen, if you please.}
{109}{}{Make me a fake citizen and give me the papers.}
{110}{}{Make me a kicked out citizen.}
{111}{}{Change my reputation.}
{112}{}{(Doesn't work) I need a character in my party.}
{113}{}{Nope, nothing.}
{114}{}{To what?}
{115}{}{Make me a slaver.}
{116}{}{Make me a childkiller.}
{117}{}{Nothing...just lower my karma by a 100.}
{118}{}{Nevermind. I wanted something else...}
{119}{}{Nope, nothing.}
{120}{}{Who?}
{121}{}{Marcus.}
{122}{}{Lenny.}
{123}{}{Vic.}
{124}{}{Myron.}
{125}{}{Nobody. I have more needs.}
{126}{}{Nevermind. Bye.}

Those were two cheat characters that were scripted into the game so we could test reactions of people in those locations in the game - they were never intended to be in the final version. I remember writing Chet - and he was very useful, indeed. Notice the skill and imagination woven into each of Chet's lines, lovingly crafted so he blends seamlessly into the game environment while providing much needed services for designers and testers. Truly, he is a work of art.

I do not know if his scripts are still in the game. If they are, I would exercise extreme caution before using them. Much badness could result. Quests could be thrown into turmoil from which Fallout 2 may never recover.

The way things were in the old days

Ausir/Pawel is playing a little safer than DJ:

By the way (again), have you seen these pictures? They are in the FO1 demo files, but were not used in any of the games. According to Tim Cain they were meant to be GURPS advantages/disadvantages, when Fallout was still GURPS. http://fallout.scifi.pl/index.php?id=falloutboy.gal&img=artg

These are fun. Check them out, people. See the Color Blindness, Obesity, and Odious Personal Habit disads in all their glory!

As a prize, can anyone tell me which of the three Disadvantages Tim Cain has above? For bonus points, you can add Josh Sawyer's Disads from the three above, too.

Sex and mutants

Neil has a question about mutant sexes:

How come no female mutants are ever seen? I have never heard of a female ghoul or supermutant. Are they actually all over the place? Have they just been mutated so badly you can't tell?

There are female ghouls and super mutants, but they look almost exactly like their male counterparts. In fact, Vree can't even determine the sex of the super mutant in her autopsy report in F1, although you could argue that might be because the wild dogs bit the super mutant's pecker off.

The Vault Dweller... alive?!

Set/Seth has a question about life and death:

Ok, is the vault dweller still alive? You keep mentioning that he left Arroyo but I never hear *you* say that he died. I mean, FEV can cause a person to live longer (super mutants, ghouls). You can't deny that the vault dweller got exposed to FEV (for that matter this applies to the Choosen One as well at Mariposa) while dealing with the Master's army. So, it may actually be possible that *the* vault dweller still is alive and kicking? Or is this just too silly to consider?

ps. You can refer to me as Set. For some strange reason all my closest friends do. Bastards.

It's doubtful that he/she's still alive, but no one knows what happened to him or her. Just leave the poor Vault Dweller alone, okay?

More B.O.S. questions

Cameron, in his quest to join the Brotherhood of Steel, has some questions:

a) Where does it say that the original warriors of the BoS came from the Military Base?

It's in one of the holodisks that you get in the Brotherhood of Steel or the Military Base[3] ("Captain Maxson's Diary") - it details what happened when Maxson decided to desert from the US Armed Forces at Mariposa.

b) Was the main base for the BoS originally some kind of military vault? I just kind of find it hard to believe that they built it.

It used to be a government/security bunker/base, called Lost Hills.

c) Can you tell me a little about the BoS during Fallout 2? I just always assumed that the main base grew above ground and some outposts were set up in the NCR.

That's pretty much it. Last word from the south is, the BOS is still centralized around the Lost Hills bunker, though they do have listening posts and other bunkers and bases scattered throughout the wastes.

d) Did the BoS capture Navarro after the destruction of the oil rig?

No one knows what happened to Navarro after the Enclave was destroyed. It's unlikely that the BOS seized it after the events in F2 because they didn't have a strong military presence up North at the end of F2. They would have been interested in taking it, however - although they would have suffered serious casualties.

e) Who thought up the idea with the airships at the beginning of FOT, cause it kinda...well...sucks.

Beats me. I don't know too much about FOT, but I'll ask.

f) The system of FOT wouldn't even work. The new recruits come from the villages, but the villages hate the BoS. If a village ever decided to leave the BoS, then it would be attacked and the soldiers would rebel. It wouldn't be long before oher villages would leave the unity and a civil war would occur. I'm not trying to be picky or anything, I just noticed that one day. (That would make an interesting base for a sequel)

You could argue this either way, but I don't think the system wouldn't work. Again, my FOT knowledge is sketchy, so I really couldn't say for sure. I'll pass along your question.

More B.O.S. answers

Greg, in his quest to join the Brotherhood of Steel, had some feedback:

In update #8, you accepted a correction on the BOS that you needn't have. What I'm referring to is when you grant:

"You're right - the limited number of council members would preclude becoming an Elder because of seniority only" (p. 16).

This doesn't follow at all--why can't it simply be the case that the four senior-most members of the BOS are the Elders? (Probably with the High Elder being a hereditary Maxson-family position or elected within the council.)

The way you were thinking about it seems to have been something like an absolute minimum-age standard for Elder status, e.g., all paladins over age 50 are automatically Elders, or something like that. But it needn't work that way--relations of 'elderhood' are relative, after all.

Anyway, it's a minor point, but I thought I would point it out since the title "Elder" does suggest that it's based on seniority rather than some kind of election or appointment.

Thanks, Greg.

More B.O.S. answers, 2

I wanted to elaborate some more on the BOS answers from last time. First off, Maxson's dialogue file in F1 gives the order of succession for the Knights and Paladins:

"The Knights make the weapons. And when he's good enough, a Knight can advance to become a Paladin and then an Elder and so forth. Right now Rhombus is the head of the Knights."

"Paladins are in charge of all security and outside activities. I remember tradin' with the Hub, goin' on scouting missions for the Elders. Ah man, those ware a good times."

Still, Vree's disk contradicts this - apparently a patrol of Knights were the ones that found the super mutant's corpse out in the desert. They may have been on some Knight-ly training exercise.

Kaga-goo-goo

Pawel Dembowski/Ausir wants to know what's up with that "Kaga" guy in the Fallout 2 encounter tables (and Petruschka had the same question again, which is weird - cut it out you guys!):

Here's a series of encounters with a guy from Arroyo called Kaga, which i found in the master.dat files.

Answer - Basically, he was supposed to be a "rival" for the PC, and you were supposed to encounter him throughout the game. According to the encounter description I found:

Kaga

Kaga is an aspiring bandit. The player will encounter Kaga throughout the game in various encounters with thief type groups.

Kaga has more than the average amount of hit points and movement points. The player should not be able to kill Kaga outright. In the first 4 encounter areas Kaga will easily escape from the player.

Kaga is a progressive character and will grow in power and abilities as the player moves to more and more difficult areas of the game.

If the player encounters Kaga in let's say Kaga's third encounter area, then Kaga will no longer be encountered in the first or second encounter area.

Encounter Area 1
Area Name: ARRO
Area Name: ARROK
Encounter Name: Outcasts

Male Primitive Body Type
Inventory: 5 Spears (bag containing 1 Super Stimpak $1000)
HP: 100

Kaga will flee after getting hit one time. Kaga has 12 movement points.
Average skill in throwing – will hit about 70%

Attack
I should have been the Chosen One!
How dare Arroyo cast me out of the tribe.
I will have my revenge on you!
Kaga will send you to the next life.

Flee
We will meet again!
I have never been beaten before!
I will dedicate myself to your destruction.

Set kagamet=yes
If player kills Kaga set Kaga=dead

Encounter Area 2
Area Name: BAND
Area Name: MOD
Encounter Name: Bandits

Male Hero Leather Armor
Inventory: 14mm pistol, ammo, (bag containing Assault Rifle – empty $250)
HP 200

Kaga will run after taking 75 points of damage. Kaga has 12 movement points.
Low skill in Small guns – will miss 90%

Attack
If kagamet=yes This will be the last time we meet.
After I kill you, I will burn Arroyo to the ground!
Feel the wrath of Kaga!
I am the great Kaga!
I am to be feared by all.
Kaga will have your head for a trophy.
Surrender and your death will be quick.

Flee
I'll be back!
You cannot kill the great Kaga!
You're lucky Kaga has business elsewhere.
We shall meet again.

Set kagamet=yes
If player kills Kaga set Kaga=dead

Encounter Area 3
Area Name: RAID
Area Name: RDRC
Encounter Name: Raiders

Male Hero Metal Armor
Inventory: Assault Rifle, Ammo (bag containing mini gun – no ammo $500)
HP 250

Kaga will run after taking 100 points of damage. Kaga has 12 movement points.
Low skill small guns – will miss 80% of time

Attack
If kagamet=yes You again!
If kagamet=yes I grow tired of our constant meetings.
Chosen One hmpf.
Let's end this.
You will regret you ever heard the name Kaga!
My skills have increased since we last met.

Flee
This is getting to be a bad habit.
Kaga needs to train a little more.
Kaga will return.

Set kagamet=yes
If player kills Kaga set Kaga=dead

Encounter Area 4
Area Name: NCR
Encounter Name: Marauders

Male Hero Combat Armor
Inventory: Mini Gun, Ammo (bag containing Laser Rifle – no ammo $1000)
HP 300

Kaga will run after taking 100 points of damage. Kaga has 12 movement points.
Large guns – will miss 65% of time

Attack

If kagamet=yes This time I'm prepared for you.

The Chosen One will never return to Arroyo!
Kaga will crush you!
Kaga fears no one!
Hold still, so Kaga can get a good shot.

Flee
We will meet again!
This is not the last you will see of Kaga.
Kaga definitely needs more training.

Set kagamet=yes
If player kills Kaga set Kaga=dead

Encounter Area 5
Area Name: FRAN
Area Name: FRAN2
Encounter Name: Mercenaries

Male Hero Power Armor MKII
Inventory: Laser Mini Gun, 3 Plasma Gernades, 5 Stimpaks, Large Energy cells (bag containing Pulse Rifle $5000)
HP 350

Kaga will fight to the death. Kaga has 12 movement points.
Energy Weapons – will miss 50% of time

Attack
If kagamet=yes I tire of the chase. Let's finish this.
If kagamet=yes This is the last time you will meet Kaga.
You are no match for Kaga
I look forward to sending you on to your next life.
You have been a worthy enemy.
If Karma good This part of the wastes doesn't need a do-gooder like you.
If Karma bad After I kill you, I will be the most feared person in this part of the wastes.
I am looking forward to going home to Arroyo...to burn it down.
Kaga will be famous for killing you.

Flee
Kaga will not flee in this battle.

Player Floats
These floats only appear once when the player has a random encounter with Kaga

Area 1 – no float

If kagamet=yes Area 2 – It's that Kaga guy again.

If kagamet=yes Area 3 – So we meet again, Kaga.

If kagamet=yes Area 4 – Go away Kaga!

If kagamet=yes Area 5 – Kagaaaaaaaa!

Basically, from what I gather from his dialogue, he was part of the Arroyo tribe, and he bears the PC ill-will for becoming the Chosen One instead of him.

And that's all I know.

From Russia with love

Andrej has some questions:

My name is Andrej, I am working on translation of yours Fallout Bible to russian language. I want not only to translate it, but also to combine all updates in one article. That is why I require your confirmation for the reconstruction of original text.

Also, I have several questions about your Bible:

1. You wrote "In the Fallout Bible, "all psykers were officially wiped from the genre when the Cathedral was vaporized in nuclear fire", but later "Now a question about Brotherhood of Steel. How did they know my hero's name??? :-) They're psychic, can read minds, consume human beings and absorb their thoughts, and neurolink to computers like the Master. No secret is safe from them." Does it means that psykers in Cathedral is not the last of them ?

Hey, Andrej, first of all, thanks for the translation - it can't be easy. To answer your questions:

That was a joke. Basically, I was listing all the powers the Master was capable of (and based on that, if I here another scientific argument based on what's "realistically" possible or not in the Fallout universe, the Master makes that argument irrelevant). No psykers survived the explosion of the Cathedral.

2. You said: "BTW, the talking deathclaws were destroyed at the end of Fallout 2. Xarn and Goris did not go on to create a new species. They are gone. Kaput. Goodbye. In fact, any mutant animal that talks can safely be assumed to have died at the end at the exact minute that Fallout 2 was over." but in previous update John Deiley said:

In any case, there is a chance that two intelligent deathclaws survived to continue on the species. I realize that they are both males, but that is fine. When they were engineered by the Enclave, the intelligence gene was made male specific and dominant. What this means is: Any intelligent male that mated with a non-intelligent female would (most likely) produce intelligent offspring. Who is the true? BTW in FOT was a lot of talking deathclaws.

The more recent update is the correct one. There are no more talking deathclaws after F2.

And few my questions: In one of yours updates you gave link for the site: http://www.iamapsycho.com/fallout/index.htm it is the site of Pen and Paper Game. Is the documentation on this site is correct? If that so, i read their article about Anclave and have one qustion, they said that "Poseidon Oil Platform was only a surface part of the underwater city of Hydropolis. Hydropolis was designed for large number of inhabitans (somesing about 800.000 I suppose). If it is true, that means that oil platform in F2 it NOT Hydropolis, it is only "the upper part of an underwater city built before the war, named Hydropolis, which is the capital of the Enclave. So, it is possible that destroying Oil Platform at the end of F2 is not the entire Enclave's destruction at all, but only sealing it underwater... temporally.

The information on the Fallout pen-and-paper game site is cool, but some of the material in the books has been created by fans and was not in the game. It's pretty cool, though - anyone who hasn't checked it out, should head on over and take a gander.

Second question: 2077 is pretty far to the future, perhaps some space programs were put to life? I mean humans could have base on the moon, or something?

Future and Space Program: Yes, it's possible. Sputnik (and the fear of it) and the space race was very 1950s (and early 60s).

And last question, in FOT i saw that some of Super-Mytants were working for solvation of their sterility problem, do the have any chance for success?

FOT sterility problem for super-mutants: I don't know much about FOT, but I would not want the super mutants to succeed, since the fact they only live one generation makes them cooler to me.

Little Nicky

Nicky has some questions:

1. In Fallout 1, you can talk to Harold in the hub. If you ask for his story, he says that him, Richard grey and a bunch of people went into the military base to kill the mutants. When they got their asses kicked, Harold passed out near the F.E.V vats. Then Harold says that when he was discovered in the wasteland, he had changed and it was because of something in the base. Why didn't he turn into a mutant?

He is a mutant - the FEV mutated him.

2. Just how old is Harold? In F1, he said he was alive when the bombs dropped. I'll guess he was about 35. F2 is in 2241 and I think the bombs were dropped in 2077? So that would make him 164. Correct? If not, how old is he?

No one knows how old Harold is - not even Harold.

3. In F1 you can find a psyker named Moore in the masters vault. He is described as "A scruffy looking fellow." In F2, you find Thomas Moore in vault city, who is also described as "Scruffy." Coincidence or not?

No coincidence. Both were most likely named after famed scruffy Interplay artist, Chad Moore, who constantly aspires to be as cool as me and fails because he is too scruffy.

4. Is that thing next to the elder in the F2 opening movie a huge Bong?

Yes. A big thanks goes out to our artistic Fallout hero, Scott Rodenheizer.

5. In Gecko, you can ask Wooz to tell a story. He tells you about a floating head in hell, and it floats around. He thinks its hilarious. Where did this story come from? Some kind of inside joke by the programmers?

We used to have a game in development that had this floating head running around doing stuff. I think it was called "Severed Head." It did not see the light of day. When Torment came out and featured a floating head, "Wooz" threatened to sue me for a million dollars.

6. I heard somewhere that you can get a sixth toe in the toxic caves. Can you?

You need to step in the toxic goo with no rubber boots on, and then sometime later, you will start to grow a 6th toe, which you can have amputated in Vault City and carry around with you.

7. Where is the cat's paw issue #5?

Cat's Paw Issue #5 is only available when you bring 10 Cat's Paws to Miss Kitty in New Reno. When you give her the ten, she gives you Cat's Paw Issue #5.

8. In the f2 strategy guide there is an "easter egg." Where is it?

It is located in the basement of New Reno Arms, behind one of the piles of junk.

Those damn fire geckos

Alex Lim/Alexsi the 13th wants to know:

I'd like to ask why the fire breathing geckos could not be skinned?

According to one of Fallout 2's lead designer, Matt Norton, that was a bug. There weren't any special hides for them in any case.

Some questions from Redd NMMMO

Redd, who is Canadian, had some comments and questions. First, he takes exception to how he is addressed:

Ok, well, first of all it's red_nnnno - R E D _ N N N N O. Not that it matters, I like to be called "Red!" when using the nick anyway.

PLEASE CREFER TO ME AS RED! and/or SEBASTIEN CAISSE

(You asked to put the names in caps so your eyes were sure not to miss it...)

You got it, "Redd."

Second, please refrain from sending user-sendin tips... It's annoying as at least 95% of the tips are covered in most walkthourghs. And again, reguarding that, along with Per Jorner (someone who send a few questions in), I sure hope you took a look at his walkthrough ( http://user.tninet.se/~jyg699a/fallout2.html ) as it's the most complete out there and answers a lot of obscure questions (and on top of it I contributed a lot to him out :). Any questions about the game itself can have it's answer found there so when people ask hints/whatever you might like to refer to them there - and heck, why not feature a link to it in the bible?

Your "mind-control" has worked. If you guys want to see a walkthrough that has stuff, I think you can go to the link above. I haven't checked. It might actually take you to some Viagra site or something.

Third, about the "party.txt" NPCs.

- Car: The car is in fact used as an NPC that follows you.

Redd is correct, even if he is Canadian.

- Maria: It's Miria. Can't tell if it's just a typo or her previous name though, it's just the way it's spelt in the file...

There you go.

- Doc: I really don't know, however I have a hunch it's the doctor found in V15. There's no proof but once V15 is cleared he seems so alone! I think my woman PC has the hots for him really.

*update* Looking at the PID found above (16777378) removing 16777216 (0x1000000) you get 162. Looking at 162 in the pro_critters.msg you magically get -> Doc Jones. I kick ass (Note: using this technique you can find all other NPCs the same way, so well, it's a tested approach :) I further checked using Mapper2 (by Dims) and the proto items matched on the map.

No dust on this guy.

- Chicken: Well damn, it's the easter egg... I though that referred to the "chicken" in Modoc...

You might be right. I will check with Jason Suinn.

- Karl: Yes, it's Karl at the Den from Modoc... (did the same checks as on Doc). I guess you originally had to actually bring him back to Modoc - something I suspect you actually needed to do with Jonny originally and protect him/them at the same time, since he has an entry in the party table too..

Fourth, I had other stuff but it's late and I forgot about them and it's getting a bit late. And why didn't I get a nice little render for winning the 8ball contest! Oh sure THEY get all the nice stuff!

::Rolls eyes::

FB9 deco 3

Oh yeah. The toe. Well, just to be picky it's not officially posion damage as that would increase your posion level, while using the toe decreases you max HP (and thus also normal HP).

Let it be forever recorded that Fallout fans run neck and neck with Trekkies in the marathon race of insanity.

Additionally - since you designed New Reno - that reference was in fact about those good old Sierra quest games ins't it?

I guess. I think it might have been an Infocom reference, since I played the hell out of those.

"Redd" would also like to humbly point out that the Fallout flag has ELEVEN stars, not THIRTEEN, so yes, I am a complete and utter moron. He even sent me a diagram because he seems to have shitloads of free time, so if Redd's boss is reading this, make a note of that and double his workload.

FB9 Flag stars

For more nitpicking, one of your titles is "from 13 to 31", with "8 questions answered". Last I checked 13 and 8 were 21, not 31... Is there something eluding me here? __________________ Red!

- Sebastien Caisse

Yes, Mr. Smarty Pants. I was referring to the fact that you start from Vault 13 in Fallout 1 and he gave me 31 questions, of which I answered eight. It's new math, but if you squint really hard, you can make sense of it if you feel compelled to do so. Christ, I hope not all Canadians are like you.

Interview: Giving Jess Heinig the "13"

I'm going to try and start interviewing old members of the Fallout 1 and 2 (and if I'm lucky, Wasteland) development team in future updates.

Jess Heinig is a programmer who was brought on board to help with Fallout 1, and is responsible for quite a bit in the game, including Zax and the fact you were able to have NPC companions in Fallout 1.

I put "the 13" (questions) to him, and here are his answers. Buckle up.

1. Introduce yourself. Who the hell are you?

I'm Jess Heinig. That's what it says on the interview section, right? This thing has a header, doesn't it? Or are you some kind of slack bastard?

I lurched into game design with Fallout, then moved on to spend about three and a half years Gothing it up at White Wolf. Most recently I've slouched my way back to California to work for Decipher on the Star Trek roleplaying game. This means that I get to visit the Paramount studio lot, and therefore, that I am inherently an alpha-geek.

2. How did someone like YOU start working on Fallout?

Desperation.

No, not me, Interplay.

In short, Fallout was still GURPS back in the day. I knew GURPS. I was working computer science stuff in college. I wrote a short character generation program in C++ and showed it to Tim Cain (the project developer).

I correctly declared int main(void) instead of void main(void) in my main function. I got a job.

3. Yeah, yeah, but what did you do on Fallout?

Things and... stuff. Mostly things that gave you experience, or henchmen, or information. Things such as the scripting of characters in Vault 13, Junktown, Adytum, the Glow, and the Military Base. Random encounters. If it was in one of those areas and it talked to you, shot at you or wandered around, I probably wrote some or all of the script that made it do what it did. All of the party members -- although we weren't really set up to have party members...

4. What was you most favorite thing, area, or item that you worked on in Fallout?

ZAX, the pseudo-intelligent computer in the Glow, was my favorite little baby. That came from an ancient, yellowed design document for an early draft of Fallout that was found in a chest guarded by an orc, or something. There was a throw-away reference to a computer that held a conversation with the character, so I wrote one up. The name ZAX was, of course, an homage to c:wasteland:VAX, the humanform robot of Wasteland.

A close second in favorites was the party members. The engine didn't really have support for party members, and the dev team didn't have much of an incentive to add them (nor did anyone think that it was feasible). I wrote up a script for Ian, THEN I showed it to Tim Cain. Eight million bugs later, we had "functional" party members who would shoot you in the back.

5. What was your least favorite thing, area, or item that you worked on in Fallout?

The bugs.

Seriously. The worst part about the bugs were the core code bugs.

Sometimes there were function calls that didn't work right and crashed the game. If this happened in your script, then you'd get the blame... even if it was a function that you hadn't written, had no access to, and couldn't fix. No choice then but to put the programmer in a headlock and force code out of him* like squeezing the juice from a rancid turnip.

Oh yeah. There was also this little bit of having one of the characters use the word "Oriental" in reference to another character. Sure, in the modern day and age we enlightened people say "Asian." For some reason though this little bit of PC was forced into the game text as well. Why a character in the game can't be un-PC, or just plain wrong, I don't know. Especially when the game allows you to push drugs on kids until they die, and then blow up their corpses with dynamite. You can't say "Oriental"? WTF?

* For those who presume that I am being sexist by assuming the male pronoun in my English, may I point out that there were no female programmers on Fallout 1's team.

6. Any secrets or background stuff that you've been keeping in your noggin that you want to share?

If you have a character with a 10 Intelligence, there is a vanishingly small chance to best ZAX in chess. This is a doomed experiment for you, though. It will take you so long to finally win that your Rad-X will have worn off. You'll stand up from the chess game and then keel over dead from megadoses of radiation in the Glow. Some days, I am an evil man.

As far as background secrets, I didn't have the chance to put in many easter eggs... except, of course, for the obligatory pop culture references that became so common that one was actually worth experience in Fallout 2. Tycho (the party member) was, as his background implies, a desert ranger -- another throwback to Wasteland. Oh yeah. In an earlier version of the Glow, there were two little nearly-hidden things... not sure if they made the final cut; I haven't played the game in a while. Behind one of the broken goo-filled suspension tanks was a body of a big-headed alien. Near that was a desk with a note on it. The note had about every third letter taken out, but if you puzzled out what it said, you could figure out that it was an evacuation notice, signed by Dana Scully.

7. Was there anything you created that didn't make it in?

See the aforementioned bit about the Glow...

In conjunction with a couple of the folks in QA, I worked out some ideas for maps and quests based on early design documentation. Fallout's design docs were really constantly evolving, and sometimes a given iteration of the documents would just have a big hole and you'd have to go back to earlier copies to find notes and rough ideas for an area. There were originally going to be two other raider tribes in addition to the Khans -- the Vipers and some other group whose name escapes me. We had this idea worked out for the Vipers being in a cleft in a canyon with some beat-up wagons or motor homes, and a sort of snake-worship-cult thing going on. There was gonna be a quest where you could become an honorary Viper and go through their pit of serpents and gain the Snakeater perk for free. Sadly, we just didn't have time to actually build the map.

I also championed long and hard for a different version of the Boneyard, but I was not really a senior staffer, and Leonard Boyarsky had a specific idea in mind that evolved into the final cut. The maps would've been similar but a lot of the story for that area would've been quite different.

8. Any personal stories you want to share from the development process?

Well, there was the whole thing about being at least 18 to blow the Master...

The tentacles, you know...

I remember learning the virtue of TESTING. I had finally figured out how to set up external variables in the scripts, and I'd managed to weasel the other Jesse (the programmer) into coding them in the engine. As a result we suddenly had the ability to make one item affect another. A bunch of the team had been pounding their heads for literally WEEKS over the problem of just figuring out how to make it so that using the Vault computer terminal on the outside of Vault-13 would cause the Vault door to open, since they were two separate objects. I figured out how to make the external variables link, coded a script, and ran to get Leonard Boyarsky. Foolish me, as I had not copied the script to the override file... that is, I wrote all the stuff to make it go, then forgot to put it in the right place. Boy did I look stupid when I said "I've got it!", clicked the button, and the character walked over, fiddled with the door computer, and nothing happened.

"Boy was my face red!" as they say in the biz.

My other memorable moment was deciding to make the bounty hunter group for the child-killers. We had debated heatedly the merits of having child-killing in the game versus not having child-killing, and I was a proponent of consequence-driven gaming -- if you screw up, you suffer the consequences; if you kill children, then people get so incensed that they hire bounty hunters to come after you. Of course, I lovingly named the lead bounty hunter Avellone in honor of Chris Avellone, the most humorous designer at Interplay.

9. If you had one inventory item from Fallout, what would it be?

The POWER FIST! I would smash righteous fury down upon the heads of evildoers and jaywalkers with Minsc-like ferocity!

Or, did you mean, is there any particular inventory item that I feel responsible for? In that case, also the power fist. While playing through the game with an Unarmed Combat/Speech character I concluded that you just couldn't dish out the damage to get past enemies in the endgame, even with Unarmed Combat of 200%, More Criticals, Better Criticals, and a lot of called shots. So, I lobbied for "unarmed combat enhancers," from which we gained the spiked knuckles and the power fist. (Mostly I think it was just because I kept saying "Power Fist" over and over again to Feargus until he finally just caved in and had them put into the game.)

10. What are you doing now? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

These days I reside in Los Angeles and I work for Decipher studios on the Star Trek roleplaying game. We just put out a new core game, thanks to the wacky license changeovers of the last couple years. Current projects include working on some of the backlist sourcebooks like the Star Trek Aliens and Starships books. I nearly smacked into Jolene Blalock (T'Pol on Enterprise) about two weeks ago, which would have been very bad because she is not a large woman by any means and I would have crushed her. I doubt that Paramount would've been happy with me bruising up their resident Vulcan.

I'm hoping to leverage my Star Trek work into writing for the shows and movies. Not only would that be enjoyable, but I could make some REAL money.

(And I couldn't possibly do worse than some of the novels already out there.)

11. What question do you wish you had been asked about Fallout that wasn't in this list of questions?

"What was it like working with the Fallout team?"

(You don't get off that easy, though. If you wanna know the answer, you have to actually ask.)

12. If you had one wish, what would it be?

Right now? Since I'm in a Fallout-y mood from this questionnaire, it would be for the completion of Fallout 3, that all the computer gaming world could share in the joy that is more Fallout.

Or the best sandwich EVER. I have had some really good sandwiches but the best one ever would be really nice right now.

13. Is there anything you've ever wanted to say in an interview that you've never had the chance to say?

FIGHT CENSORSHIP! DOWN WITH THE MAN!

Additional trivia from Jess: Junktown!

And Jess had some additional comments about Junktown.

Junktown was a pretty schizophrenic place because Chris T. had sent over a design doc that had the basic Gizmo/ Killian conflict, but almost everything else was unfinished. I would get some general outlines from him and then fill them in. For instance, "There should be a gang conflict between the bartender and some gang" turned into the whole gang story arc with the bowling trophy and Sherry and whatnot. I scripted in Dogmeat, but it was Chris T. who originally came up with the design idea.

Didja know... in the original write-up of Junktown, the "ending sequence" was reversed from its current incarnation. That is, in the endgame slideshow, if the player had favored Killian, the original write-up was something like "With Gizmo out of the way, Killian enforces his brand of frontier justice on Junktown. The city remains orderly but small, as travelers steer away from his rigid sensibilities," and the picture background behind Killian was a gallows with shadows of dead men hanging from it. If the player favored Gizmo, it was "Under Gizmo's leadership, Junktown becomes a trading center and resort, where people come from miles around to gamble, spend money and enjoy themselves in relative safety. Gizmo keeps the town prosperous but healthy, as he has no desire to injure his own affluence. The inhabitants of the town become wealthy and famous," with the background picture showing Junktown as a Reno-like casino with electricity and clean streets free of any drug dealers or riff-raff who might endanger Gizmo's operations. Marketing decided at the last minute that we had to "reward good and punish bad," though, so the sequence was changed to its current incarnation.

Additional trivia from Jess: Patrick the Celt!

And Jess had even more comments about Patrick the Celt from Fallout 1:

Seems kinda out of place, doesn't he? He's the descendant of an Americanized Celtic family who has a strong vibe to keep his "ethnic heritage" alive. To do so he maintains lineages of Celtic music, food, clothing -- you name it. Never mind that who knows if England still exists at all... among other things, he's a storyteller and a collector of history. While telling tales of the rest of the world was really outside the scope of the game (and it would've been really boring for the player to wade through pages of history-through-a-Celtic-lens), his expertise meant that he could rub off a little on the character in matters of jokes, tale-telling and singing -- the sorts of things that help with Charisma.

Tycho

Jess also talked a bit about Tycho from Fallout 1:

Tycho's a nod to the desert rangers of Wasteland. Obviously that "history" didn't wind up in Fallout, so that makes it more of an homage than anything.

Originally, the idea is that he came from east of California, in the Nevada area. His family comes from people who survived the devastation when WAR happened, likely living among the badlands of Nevada. As I envisaged it, Tycho learned a lot about desert survival and whatnot from his small community, which kept a strong survivalist contingent -- so they still had some small arms and books. They probably had something like the cliff-dwelling Indians going on for their town, though I never fleshed it out.

Anyway, Tycho took off to wandering the desert with traders and explorers for several years, returning from time to time with goods or maps. Most likely he started with small trips and went further abroad as he became more experienced. He went as far as the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and then headed back west. Eventually he wound up on the west coast as a long-range explorer from a loose group of desert rangers whose actual origins, scope and purpose weren't defined.

In some ways Tycho is reminiscent of master Yuta from "Nausicaa and the Valley of the Winds." He carries a gas mask just in case, wears hardened leather armor, has a knife, knuckles, canteen, all the usual survival gear. I'd pictured him as this guy in leather armor (Fallout-style) with a gas mask hanging around his neck, goggles (to keep out sand and glare), a sand-colored cloak usable for camouflage and to keep the sun off, and a double-barreled shotgun.

Pie in the face section

I already covered this in previous posts - thanks to "Redd."

The end

In any event, that's it for update nein. If you have any questions, see anything wrong, see anything you take exception to, feel free to email me at the address at the beginning of this update - or post it on the message boards.

Keep your head down,

Chris Avellone @ BIS

Note that "Keep your head down" does not apply to anyone I despise. Keep your heads UP, you slack bastards.



  1. I don't know exactly when. If you know, let me know, since cattle history isn't my forte.
  2. Yes, yes, the brahmin in the Fallout 2 opening movie doesn't have this problem, but it's sick and dying, so it doesn't count. The very kind Sharon Shellman has since told me that the heads were done differently to distinguish the genders, and some brahmin have either both male heads or both female heads.
  3. I can't remember which one it's in. If you DO remember, let me know, and I'll give you some sort of prize involving your name in a funky font.

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