DanielWordsmith
Posted at May 23, 2020
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5 Facinating Fallout Fan Theories

The Fallout Universe is a big one. With six games and two dubiously canon spinoffs, there’s no shortage of lore to comb through. Do that, however, and you might find yourself walking away with more questions than answers. Below are five fan theories that attempt to answer some of Fallout’s biggest mysteries.

#1 Maxon the Murderer

Arthur Maxon, the leader of the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4, is not always the nicest guy. He’s no fan of synth’s or ghouls, and his opening speech might set off one or two red flags. Still, it’s not like he goes around murdering his political rivals, right?

If Shoddycast is on the money, the answer is yes.

On the Brotherhood’s airship, players can find a computer terminal describing Maxon’s rise to power, beginning with the death of Elder Lions, the Brotherhood’s leader in Fallout 3. The leadership passed to his daughter, who, according to the official Brotherhood history, subsequently died in battle.

That could be true, but isn’t it a little convenient that the daughter of an unpopular and highly controversial leader suddenly dies within a few years of taking power? Sure, the wasteland is dangerous, but I doubt the leader of the Brotherhood of Steel is just going to walk around unescorted. I suppose it’s possible she got cocky and did something reckless, but you’d think such a significant event would warrant more than a one-sentence description. It’s almost like the scribe doesn’t know how she died. Or maybe he’s hiding something.

#2 Maxon the Mass Murderer

I promise the next one will be something different, but let’s talk about Elder Maxon some more.

Do you remember Rivet City? It was a big wrecked aircraft carrier that housed the largest settlement in Fallout 3. In Fallout 4, if you peek at Elder Maxon’s terminal, you can invade your commanding officer’s privacy by going through his emails. Here you can learn about the problems with the airship’s reactor and how they salvaged it “from that aircraft carrier wreckage.”

Now, how many wrecked aircraft carriers have we seen in Fallout?

Does that mean mason attacked Rivet City, killing most or all the inhabitants so he could steal their reactor? As this Reddit thread points out, it’s possible Rivet city had multiple reactors. It’s also possible that the ship became abandoned in the decade between games. With the river purified and mutants under control, a rusty old shipwreck might not seem so appealing.

But since we don’t know for sure, it’ possible the Brotherhood of Steel has a boatload of skeletons in their closet.

#3 Everyone Except the Protagonists Have Radiation Poisoning

Radiation is a major threat in the wasteland. Swimming in most places is an excellent way to lose your hair, and some parts of California and Massachusetts are so contaminated they’re still glowing centuries later.

Mutated wildlife greatly outnumbers anything that can be considered normal. Even if you avoid radiation poisoning, all that long-term exposure isn’t good for your health. But do you know who doesn’t have that problem? Fallout protagonists.

Sure, the average Fallout hero soaks up enough radiation to give them eleven different cancers. Still, four out of six did not grow up drinking milk from two-headed cows. The protagonist of Fallout 1, 3, and 76, grew up in vaults. Meanwhile, the hero of Fallout 4 spent the last two centuries in suspended animation. The four of them will have absorbed much less radiation than the average wasteland resident.

This could explain why so much of Fallout history is written by guys and gals in blue jumpsuits. They are stronger and healthier because their DNA hasn’t been bombarded with beta waves since before they were born.

#4 The Protagonist of Fallout 4 Has Brain Damage

When you are playing through Fallout 4’s Far Harbor DLC, you’ll encounter a group of runaway androids hiding out in an old planetarium. Chase the leader up enough dialogue trees, and the player has the option of saying they don’t remember anything before the game’s prologue. The NPC names several possible causes for the Sole Survivor’s memory loss, but my money is on brain damage.

As this Game Theory video points out, radiation exposure does all kinds of bad things to the human brain. Even if the Sole Survivor somehow managed to avoid significant exposure after leaving the vault, they would have soaked up plenty of radiation from the nuclear explosion at the start of the game.

Then there is the matter of the vault. Sure, it kept the Sole Survivor fresh long past the expiration date, but what did those pods do to their insides?

Cryogenic suspension is a staple of science fiction, but there are reasons we can’t do it in real life. When a body is frozen, ice crystals form inside the cells, destroying them. This is what causes freezer burn on food. The Sole Survivor surviving means that Vault-Tech was able to solve the problem, but who is to say a few crystals didn’t still form? A little bit of ice in the hippocampus would go a long way to explaining the gaps in their memory.

#5 The Mannequins Are Part of an Institute Plot

Play Fallout 4, and you will notice an awful lot of mannequins scattered across the Commonwealth, and not just in abandoned stores. I can understand people setting a few up as decoys, but those things are everywhere.

Quora user Beth O’Neill noticed this too and had a few thoughts about it. In the Warren Theater in Fallout 4, you can find a lone generation 2 synth hiding among a crowd of mannequins. It becomes hostile on sight, but what if it hadn’t? Would you have noticed it was there?

How many of these mannequins are synths in disguise? Most of them? It is possible. As this video points out, the Commonwealth is practically infested with android crows that the Institute uses as spies. The overabundance of mannequins could be just another way for the Institute to keep tabs on the outside world. And of course, no one would ever suspect a mannequin of making troublemakers disappear.

Do you have any theories you would like to add? Is there any truth to these ideas, or do gamers just have too much free time? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

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