Bethesda’s first foray into the nuclear wasteland was with Fallout 3, the role-playing game of 2008. The series had been successful as classic and isometric RPGs, but Bethesda took the franchise to 3D, giving players a hybrid perspective in both first and third person. The series VATS combat system was redesigned to provide players with a bullet time mechanic, in which specific parts of an enemy’s body could be targeted in full 3D rather than just targeting body parts. Although the game itself went through many design changes, Bethesda inherited the universe from Fall, and used Fallout 3 to begin building the tradition of the east coast of the United States in 2277 post-nuclear.

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Fallout 3 takes place 200 years after the bombs of the Great War fell. At the start of the game, the player is a resident of Vault 101. Built by Vault-Tec, it is one of 122 vaults built across the country to ensure the continuity of the human race in the event of a nuclear war. Unknown to those entering the vaults, the vast majority of them were designed as experiments, with residents as test subjects. Vault 101 was never intended to open. The true nature of Vault 101 was to monitor the evolution of the Overseer position while the inhabitants remained isolated.

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Until Fall Vault-Tec experiments go, Vault 101 is pretty smooth. The different eras in the life of the Lone Wanderer that the player witnesses at the beginning of Fallout 3 they show a functional community, albeit manipulated. Following the Lone Wanderer’s exodus, a revolution ensues that challenges the Overseer’s authority with various results depending on the player’s action. Other Vault-Tec experiments in the Capital Wasteland did not result in functional partnerships, and most of the time, the experiments performed were so bleak that the vault suffered catastrophic failure.

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Vault-Tec’s Darkest Capital Wasteland Experiments – Vault 87

Fallout 3 Darkest Experiments Vault 87

The main entrance to Vault 87 is nearly inaccessible due to persistent radiation presumed to come from a direct hit from a nuclear bomb prior to the events of Fallout 3 start. However, the interior of the vault remained intact after the Great War, where an experiment on the Forced Evolutionary Virus was conducted. In an attempt to genetically engineer humans to survive in the nuclear wasteland, test subjects were exposed to the virus with disappointing results. The victims became big and strong, turned green skinned, and lost most of their intelligence.

Vault 87 spawned the super mutant population of the Capital Wasteland, who then terrorized humans by abducting them and taking them to the vault to submerge them in a vat of the virus. Postnuclear Washington DC’s super mutants are sterile and undergo transformation to continue the existence of their species.

Vault-Tec’s Darkest Capital Wasteland Experiments – Vault 92

Fallout 3 Darkest Experiments Vault 92

Vault 92 was announced to its future residents in Fallout 3 as a means of preserving the musical talent of the human race. Renowned musicians were selected to enter the vault with a plethora of equipment available for composing and recording new works while they awaited the vault opening. Unknown to the musicians who lived and worked inside, the Vault-Tec supervisor initiated the White Noise Mind Suggestion Combat Experimentation project to see if the vault dwellers could be subliminally forced into violence.

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With test subjects exposed to an increasing amount of white noise, it was not long before one resident began to feel its effects and violently murdered three other inhabitants of the vault. It took 23 shots to subdue the test subject. The supervisor refused to end the experiment and the violence escalated and the white noise affected several people. Increased violence, combined with water damage to the vault itself, led to the physical and metaphorical collapse of Vault 92. One of the Fallout 3The rare weapons are given to the Lone Wanderer as a reward for retrieving a violin from the abandoned vault.

Vault-Tec’s Darkest Capital Wasteland Experiments – Vault 108

Fallout 3 Darkest Experiments Vault 108

Vault 108 was an ill-conceived amalgamation of Vault-Tec experiments, located not far east of where players can find Dogmeat in Fallout 3. Initially it was thought of studying how the leadership succession would happen, with the Overseer personally selecting all other prominent positions. The scientist deliberately chose a man with cancer to be the supervisor, estimating that he would die about three years after the vault was sealed. In order to aid possible violent attacks by power, Vault 108 had a large amount of weaponry with no sources of entertainment for the inhabitants.

While awaiting the death of the supervisor, Vault-Tec scientists participated in cloning experiments, wanting to see what would happen if a man, Gary, was repeatedly cloned. As it turned out, Gary’s clones had a violent disposition towards n0n-clones, and each new Gary had stronger violent impulses than the last. When the Lone Wanderer enters Vault 108 in Fallout 3, all they find is a herd of Garys, who can only pronounce their own shared name, which attack on sight.

Vault-Tec’s Darkest Capital Wasteland Experiments – Vault 112

Fallout 3 Darkest Experiments Vault 112

Fallout 3 Vault 112 was designed to suspend its inhabitants in a virtual reality simulation for an unspecified period of time. The simulation would keep the inhabitants alive for an extended period, while allowing them to live in an Edenic fantasy world – or at least, that was the idea. Instead, the Overseer was given full control over the simulation, making it a source of sadistic entertainment.

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The Overseer was Dr. Stanislaus Braun, notable for his invention of the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK), which the Lone Wanderer needs for Project Purity. When the Lone Wanderer arrives at Vault 112 in search of his father, who came to the vault to obtain information about the GECK, Braun has trapped the vault’s inhabitants in the system’s third simulation, Tranquility Lane, which has been running for years. Braun has kept the vault dwellers inside the simulations like toys, violently killing and resurrecting them repeatedly. Presumably the victims have been trapped inside virtual reality capsules for two centuries, subjected to Braun’s countless crimes since the bombs of the Great War fell.

If the description of nuclear annihilation were not pessimistic enough, the world of Fall 3 it is plagued by the aftermath of many crimes against humanity committed by Vault-Tec under the guise of scientific investigation. People lucky enough to escape atomic blasts subsequently became mutants, driven crazy by subliminal messages, killed by a gang of human-hating clones, or trapped inside a madman’s playhouse. While the Fallout 3Capital Wasteland is pretty hellish, being trapped in one of Vault-Tec’s experiments is possibly scarier.

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