Fallout 76 released in the middle of November and, frankly, it is a turning out to be a monumental disaster. Bethesda is infamous for launching buggy games, but this new entry into the legendary franchise is on a whole other level. Frame rate drops, crashes, and other oddities aside, the core game leaves much to be desired. The world is bigger than ever, but it feels empty and pointless for many players. Hopefully the developer will fix the bugs and tweak the mechanics to make Fallout 76 an enjoyable romp through Appalachia.
In the meantime, let us try and not lose hope for the series due to one misstep. To remind everyone all of the greatness Fallout has bestowed upon gamers, we are taking a look at the major events that took place after Fallout 76 and before Fallout 4. These two games were chosen because they bookend the series chronologically. There is a lot of ground to cover, but all of it will be reminiscing on countless hours of flawless gaming. For any newcomers to the series, the list should give you an idea of the depth and intricacy of the Wasteland's lore.
Let it be noted that there will also be spoilers for all of the Fallout titles in the following entries.
So take us home, country roads, because here are the 25 Things That Happened Between Fallout 76 And Fallout 4.
25 The Institute Is Founded
The Commonwealth Institute of Technology managed to shield a few of its staff from the nuclear apocalypse in its underground areas. After the dust had settled, the survivors founded The Institute in 2110.
The shadowy organization's main purpose is the advancement of science above all else. In the right hands, this philosophy could be used for the betterment of mankind, but the institute has little regard for human life. Fallout 4's story confirms this notion, as the opening scene sees the Sole Survivor's child abducted from cryostasis right in front of their eyes.
24 The Institute Recedes Into The Shadows
When it was first established, The Institute openly communicated with the Commonwealth. This period of public showing was short lived, though, as trust was slowly eroded by suspicion from both sides. While already operating in secret, a landmark invention allowed them to completely cut ties with the outside world.
In the late twenty second century, the institute's scientists developed the ability to teleport. This, combined with their synth technology, meant humans had no need to travel outside the underground laboratory. It also meant the organization grew more inhumane. Ironically, the lab itself has a fairly welcoming atmosphere.
23 Vault 13 Is Saved By The Water Chip
The premiere Fallout title, set in 2161, starts with the player, known as the Vault Dweller, embarking on a quest to repair their vault's broken water chip. Without the chip, Vault 13 will eventually run out of clean water and become uninhabitable.
The Vault Dweller only has a few months to repair the broken piece of technology, and so does the player. Fail to repair it within one hundred fifty in game days, and all is lost. Succeed, and that is only the start of the journey, as a second threat soon reveals itself.
22 The Master Is Dealt With
After repairing the water chip, the Vault Dweller must stop a growing army of super mutants. Their origins and purpose start out as a mystery, but all becomes clear when progressing through the story. The mutants are being led by by the Master, a doctor transformed into a mutated blob due to an unfortunate accident.
There are several ways to put an end to The Master's plans, all of which involve his departure from mortality. There is also an ending where the Vault Dweller joins forces with the evil blob, but it is non-canonical.
21 The Forced Evolutionary Virus Is Destroyed
The Master's plans in Fallout were all riding on the Forced Evolutionary Virus. This concoction from before the war is responsible for a plethora of mutants one sees in the wasteland. With it, the Master was planning to create an army of his own to mold the world how he saw fit.
Fortunately, the Vault Dweller's heroic actions ended the terrible man made biological weapon. All canonical endings result in the samples being destroyed. Unfortunately, not every trace of its creation was eliminated from existence, as future Fallout games will reveal.
20 The Vault Dweller Is Exiled From Vault 13
In a perfect world, saving the world from a mutant army would award massive fortune and recognition. Fallout is a about as far from a perfect world as one could get. The Vault Dweller's heroics are recognized by Vault 13's overseer, but the leader of the vault has no gifts waiting for the player.
Instead, the overseer exiles the protagonist into the wasteland, explaining that other residents will want to leave if the Vault Dweller is allowed back inside. There is an ending where the player expresses their frustration at this with bullets, but it is not considered canon.
19 Arroyo Is Founded
There are countless settlements of varying sizes riddled throughout the wasteland, so what makes Arroyo so important? Firstly, it is where Fallout 2 begins, making it the Choosen One's hometown. Secondly, it was founded by the Vault Dweller and several other Vault 13 residents.
After hearing of the hero's exile, several people from Vault 13 left to join their savior. They founded the town and built it from scratch. During this time the Fallout protagonist fell in love with a woman named Pat and had a child. One generation after than, Fallout 2's protagonist, the Chosen One, was born.
18 New Arroyo Is Founded
After the Enclave is dealt with and the president of what's left of the United States is sent to the great gig in the sky, the Chosen One and the other surviving members of Arroyo get back to work rebuilding their community. This time, they had the GECK to help improve the process.
The Garden of Eden Creation Kit has the ability to revitalize irradiated soil. With this, New Arroyo was able to quickly surpass the old settlement. The terraforming device was highly prophesied by the town's residents, so this was a dream come true for them to finally get their hands on it.
17 Dick Richardson Becomes leader Of The Enclave
There has never been a name so befitting of a fictional United States leader as Dick Richardson. His ambitions do much to justify the name too, as his dream for a resurrected country involves the elimination of all mutants and irradiated folk.
Dick started out as a congressmen, but was always being groomed for the highest office by his father, who was also leader. By the end of Fallout 2, the leader, and the oil rig he used as a home, are blown to smithereens. The Enclave, unfortunately, are not that easy to put to rest.
16 A New Form Of The Forced Evolutionary Virus Is Created
When the Vault Dweller sent the master to his maker, it was believed that all traces of the Forced Evolutionary Virus were sent with him. The Enclave rummaged through the rubble and eventually found a few last drops of the dangerous substance.
With these samples, they were able to create and mass produce a new form of the virus. With it, they planned to wipe out all irradiated life in the wasteland. While Fallout 2 ends with their plans being foiled, the Forced Evolutionary Virus still exists in the Wasteland with the potential to become a major threat at any moment.
15 The Brotherhood Of Steel Goes East
Veteran fans of the series were taken by surprise with Fallout 3's version of the Brotherhood of Steel. They seemed so kind and genuinely concerned with the wasteland's well being. A little research into the lore will explain the organization's apparent change of ideals.
Owyn Lyons, the founder of the East Coast Brotherhood, ignored his superior's directive to search for new technology and instead made his priority the protection of Capital Wasteland's innocents. Because of this, knight's in Fallout 3 only bear an aesthetic resemblance to their west coast brethren, who are more militant.
14 The Enclave Reemerges In The Capital Wasteland
In Fallout, most seedy organizations don't stay dark for long. Even after having their leadership violently done away with, they usually reemerge decades later. The Enclave, who are the last surviving remnants of the US government, do just this in Fallout 3.
They were thought to be mostly eliminated by the end of Fallout 2, but the Chosen One did not quite destroy all of them. The US is a big country, and the Enclave eventually rooted themselves in the Capital Wasteland, led by leader John Henry Eden. They may be on the other side of the country, but their sinister nature is instantly recognizable.
13 Project Purity Is Started And Abandoned
Water is the source of all life and the seed to civilization. Most ancient societies started at rivers and grew from there. A tool that could clean the Wasteland's irradiated water would go a long way in restoring peace. Project Purity was started with this goal in mind, until it was abandoned.
The Lone Wanderer's father, James, abandoned the project after his wife passed away during childbirth. He managed to gain entrance to Vault 101 by becoming the shelter's head doctor. All the while, he never forgot about his dream of completing the project.
12 Vault 101 Dissolves Into Chaos
Eventually, The Lone Wanderer's Father decides to leave Vault 101, triggering the action packed ending to Fallout 3's introduction. The overseer believes Jame's child had something to do with his disappearance, leaving the main character no choice but to fight their way out of the vault. Whether the overseer lives or doesn't is entirely up to the player.
Following this, the vault becomes a more hostile environment under the overseer's iron-fisted rule. Players can revisit their home later into the campaign to see just how broken the underground shelter has become.
11 John Henry Eden Turns Out To Be A Computer
Throughout Fallout 3, The Lone Wanderer is calmly taunted by a the voice of John Henry Eden on the radio. Eden is the leader of the regrouped Enclave, who have a powerful presence withing the Capital Wasteland. Players do not see him until later in the game, and his reveal is an unforgettable shocker.
Turns out, the Enclave's President is a computer, and an enormous one at that. A twist like this would be expected from something like Twilight Zone or Star Trek, but it feels right at home in the Fallout universe.
10 Clean Water Is Distributed In The Capital Wasteland
Though James unfortunately doesn't live to see it, his dream of delivering clean water to the Capital Wasteland is finally realized in Fallout 3's finale. It does require someone to enter a radiation drenched room in order to activate it, but no sacrifice is too big in order to change the world.
Players who side with the Enclave can spell doom for the project instead if they so choose. Leader Eden provides the Lone Wanderer with a new version of the Forced Evolutionary Virus which taints the water, making it fatal to all irradiated life.
9 The Lone Wanderer Becomes Legend
The Lone Wanderer spent a lot of time in the Capital Wasteland, and their actions had a huge impact on the area's future. Because of this, the former vault resident becomes a figure of legend for the setting's populace. What kind of legacy they leave depends entirely on the player's actions.
Should player's remain virtuous throughout a play through, Ron Pearlman's excellently delivered narration will espouse the Vault Dweller's saintly deeds. Adversely, the famous actor won't hide away from the truth if the player was a devilish barbarian who wreaked malicious havoc.
8 The War Between The Enclave And Brotherhood Of Steel Is Settled
The major conflict that drives Fallout 3's plot is the battle between the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel. The activation of Project Purity is a major turning point in the war, but it all comes to a head a couple of weeks later.
By the end of the Broken Steel DLC, the Lone Wanderer can either deliver a decisive blow against the Enclave, or betray the Brotherhood of Steel and blow up their base. Judging by the Brotherhood's strength and reach in Fallout 4, one can assume that the Brotherhood ultimately won.
7 Mr. House Wakes Up
Mr. House is a mad entrepreneurial genius who foresaw the coming nuclear Armageddon. As a result, he took precautions to unsure his life and success afterwards. Unfortunately, plans fell apart and he ended up in a coma.
The most vital part of his plan, the platinum chip, was ready to be delivered, but the bombs dropped before it reached him. Nearly sixty years later in 2138, Mr. House finally awoke from his slumber. He still kept his existence a secret for several decades afterwards, however, waiting for the right moment to jump back into the scene.
6 The New Vegas Treaty Is Signed
In 2274, Mr. House took back control of the Vegas strip and the Hoover Dam with the help of a small securitron army. It was only appropriate that he do so, considering that its survival from nuclear devastation was due to his hard work and cunning.
Around this time, the New California Republic, or NCR, pushed into the Mojave Wasteland in an annexation effort. Mr House, who appreciated the strip's independence, struck a deal with the NCR in order to retain his rule over the strip. The New Vegas Treaty gives most of the hoover dam's power to the NCR, but still affords enough to Mr. House in order to run New Vegas.
5 Synth Technology Is Perfected
With the use of synths, the Institute was able to gather materials and perform experiments in the Commonwealth without any of its scientists ever having to leave the underground laboratory. These early models were easy to detect as artificial humans, but soon the technology would advance to new heights.
Third generation synths were first used in 2229. These new models were almost completely indistinguishable from humans. With the new strides in synth tech came a newfound distrust of the institute and a growing hatred of synths, who at this point were sentient.
4 The Courier Is Shot In The Head
Most are familiar with the phrase "don't shoot the messenger." Unfortunately for the Courier, Benny from Fallout: New Vegas does not adhere to this philosophy, as evidenced by the game's opening moments.
In an attempt to take the platinum chip out of Mr House's grasp, Benny puts a bullet straight through the main character's head and leaves him to the desert's cruel elements. Fortunately, a kind doctor recovers the body and saves it, thus offering player's the opportunity to customize the Courier's appearance and start their adventure in the Mojave Wasteland.
3 The Battle Over The Hoover Dam
New Vegas starts out as a simple revenge quest, but the plot's scope expands as new secrets and agendas are uncovered. Ultimately, it all comes down to a power struggle over the Hoover Dam. Several factions desire total control over the power source, and the player's allegiance decides who takes it.
Whoever controls the dam takes control over the entire Mojave Wasteland, significantly altering its future. Player's should think carefully and choose wisely as to who they will side with, as this is not a choice to be made lightly.
2 The Prydwen Is Built
As humanity rebuilds itself during the apocalypse, they will start to repurpose pre-war technology in innovative ways. Nothing is better evidence of this than the Prydwen, a massive floating fortress constructed by the Brotherhood of Steel.
The cyclopian airship took six years to build and took flight in 2282, five years before the events of Fallout 4. With the Prydwen, the Brotherhood now has unprecedented reach over the ruined United States. By this time, the group are still militant and out for their own interests, but some of Owyn Lyons' philosophy has rubbed off on the rest of the organization.
1 All Of The Other Fallout Games
Sure, Fallout 76 may not be everything fans hoped it would be, but don't fret for too long. Bethesda has a bad reputation of releasing buggy products, but they tend to fix these over the course of several months. In the mean time, there are four excellent numbered entries to dive into, and one spinoff that is just as good as the mainline entries, if not better.
By the time one is finished replaying all of the old games, 76 should be a more playable product. If not, then Starfield will be closer to completion and more information on Elder Scrolls VI will be available.
What are some of your favorite moments from the iconic Fallout franchise? Let us know in the comments!