Forums: Index > Fallout series general discussion > The Old World tightens its grip the longer it has been dead

Does anyone find it a bit odd how it seems like the longer Fallout's history goes on, the more it seems like the latest games are set within a short time of the bombs falling?

Take Fallout 1 for instance. For the most part, it seems like civilization in Fallout 1 is mostly concerned with its own problems without too much concern for the pre-war times. The Hub, for instance, has a storied history of caravan wars that took place decades before the Vault Dweller came -- but still decades after the bombs fell. While some physical remnants of the Old World remain, no one claims to have any allegiance to the United States of America which was obliterated eight decades prior. Myriad new cultures are developing, from isolated agricultural communities to vicious raider tribes to trading hubs to techno-religious monastic orders, but none of them seem to have much concern for the old USA as such.

Fast forward to Fallout 2, eighty years later. It's somewhat similar to Fallout, but we learn that there is the Enclave, a remnant of the former U.S. government. Okay, so they were around all this time, but they kept a very low profile while working on their grand schemes. Fine.

Fallout 3? Not only is the Enclave back, but pre-war robots are used to guard many towns, Chinese ghouls are still fighting for the People's Republic against the Running Dog Lackeys of Capitalism, and the Enclave thinks they can appeal to American patriotism. If the Enclave had tried that in Fallout 1, 116 years before, people would have been baffled. Young people in Shady Sands probably would have had to ask Aradesh what this "president of the United States" thing meant. There are also some pre-war people still alive, but trapped in a perpetual dream state. Historic preservation is an obsession of many in the capital wasteland.

Fallout: New Vegas: had a pre-war businessman central to the plot. To make things even odder, he's had no influence on the outside world until around 2274 or so. From 2077 to 2274, House was either in cryostasis or not doing much but looking for the chip, while various tribes of scavengers and such squatted in the remnants of Las Vegas. From 2274 to 2281, he rebuilds the strip, trains the families to be his minions, and converts The Strip into an oasis of the Old World.

Does this seem strange to anyone else? It seem like the Old World has more influence in 2281 than it did in 2161.

Idhan 03:30, September 30, 2011 (UTC)

Not really. In Fallout 1 the civilization was recovering on its own. By 2281, they've started actively harnessing the Old World legacy, rather than leeching off it like scavengers. Oh yeah, BTW, House lay in wait until 2274 waiting for the opportune moment to emerge. You can't start rebuilding unless you can estabilish a stable source of income and the various tribes inhabiting the Mojave previously make poor patrons. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 07:50, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
Tagaziel is right, it isn't that strange. Look back at history - immediately following the fall of the Roman Empire, there wasn't that much of a focus on restoring the glory of it. Fast forward more than a thousand years, and we have lunatics resurrecting the symbolism and (what they think are) the ideals of the Roman Empire.
The further away from the time of the Great War the series goes, the less it becomes a post-apocalyptic setting and the more it becomes a pre-civilisation setting. And what better model for a new civilisation is there than the very one that destroyed the world? --Johnny Trash (Talk) 13:33, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't call the Holy Roman Empire lunatic. It was a shrewd political move and coupled with the rediscovery of Roman law in the 11th century and the later activity of glosators (11th-13th) and commentators (14th-16th century) opened a new age in the development of law and legal thinking. It was quite awesome, really. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 14:51, September 30, 2011 (UTC)
Immediately following the fall of the Western Empire, probably people did not regard it as having fallen. The fact that Odoacer named himself King of Italy and vicar of the emperor in Constantinople rather than installing some Roman as a puppet Western emperor as Ricimer had done was not a massive change. Immediately following the fall of the Eastern Empire... well, people other than the Eastern Romans themselves didn't care that much, but I'm not sure they ever really did subsequently either. The Greeks themselves, when they finally overthrew the Ottomans in the 19th century, had no fond memories of the Eastern Empire either, other than maybe "at least they weren't the Turks." Idhan 18:44, September 30, 2011 (UTC)

"Lunatics resurrecting the symbolism...of the Roman Empire" -Mussolini's Italy perhaps? --Fezgod 15:09, September 30, 2011 (UTC)

Nicely picked up, Fezgod, but look a little further north. The Nazi Party referred to themselves as the Third Reich for a reason.
The Holy Roman Empire was definitely not awesome. It marked a transition to a theocratic power base in European politics, which had some rather horrific repercussions a little later. --Johnny Trash (Talk) 00:40, October 1, 2011 (UTC)
Way I understand it, the 'first reich' was the Holy Roman Empire, the second reich was Germany under the Kaisers, and the third was Hitler's idiocy. Though I suppose you could look at it either way; still, I don't think Germany was trying particularly hard to emanate Rome. Moussolini seemed more obsessed with the idea, and even created a highly detailed scale model of the ancient city itself. ЙураYuriKaslov - Sig image 18:05, October 5, 2011 (UTC)

Of course, you also have to take the difference of setting into account. A good portion of Fallout 1 and 2 took place out in the desert in the middle of nowhere. The only pre-war elements that many people were exposed to were the ruins of random small towns. Fallout 3, meanwhile, takes place in and around the ruins of Washington D.C. Being the pre-war capital of the USA, it's full of museums, monuments, and other testaments to pre-war times. There are also several old military bases, and the National Guard was in full deployment in the area at the time the bombs fell. It makes sense that there would be a bigger pre-war influence on the people of the Capital Wasteland when compared to the people of the Core Region (and the Midwest Wasteland and Texas Wasteland, for that matter). Now, I've yet to play New Vegas, so I can't say much about that. 17:54, October 5, 2011 (UTC)

If you haven't read a "Canticle for Leibowitz" I can't recommend it enough. Clearly the developers of Fallout did as the first section reads basically like a Fallout universe novel (the main character even looks through an old metal lockbox for schematics.) It's largely about civilization's recovery after atomic war. The first few generations have no idea about the pre-war world (Fallouts are believed to be monstrous creatures that sound very similar to Deathclaws) but the further in time you get from the war the more civilization recovers and is able to reclaim the past in various ways including knowledge.--MikeJTanner 18:47, October 7, 2011 (UTC)

I really think the developers are looking for a way to 'kill' the old world. You can see themes starting to emerge from the series where isolated voices are talking about the dangers of resurrecting the past: Moira Brown, Lord Ashur,Caesar, Ulysses, the themes of dead money and old world blues. The New World has to bury the old world, they have to let it go and find their own way. Move on with history. My theory is that in the cannon version of new vegas ends with an independent new vegas victory and the defeat of the legion and NCR. Part of the reason I feel like this is true is because the last 4 dlcs dealt with letting go of the past. NCR was marching inexorably from west-to-East like the united states only in reverse and Caesar's march of conquest has been much like the real caesar.House believes in the same insane vision that led to the end of the world in the first place. All three seem too easy... We probably will see more of the old world vs new world dichotomy in the next fallout.--Boredintheusa 18:55, November 11, 2011 (UTC)