Fallout TV show finale answers long-running series mystery

Amazon’s Fallout TV show released in its entirety last week, and answered one of the series’ longest-running mysteries in the process.

Please note, there will be major spoilers for Fallout’s first season below. If you are yet to finish the series, this is your chance to head elsewhere.

Fallout – Official Trailer.Watch on YouTube

The Fallout TV show answers the mystery of who dropped the first bomb, beginning the great war which sets off the series’ alternate history. While the Fallout games never implicitly state who dropped the first bomb, it was always suggested to be either China or the US.

Series creator Tim Cain had previously suggested it was China that started the war. However, he hasn’t been part of the series since Fallout 2, and the topic remained somewhat open to debate within the community despite this comment.

And that brings us to the TV show, which Bethesda’s Todd Howard has confirmed as being canon to the Fallout series. Throughout the first season of Fallout, the series often lets viewers peek into the past, to a time before the bombs were dropped and the start of the war. This is done through the eyes of Walton Goggins’ pre-Ghoul character, Cooper Howard.

Cooper is a Hollywood star turned Vault-Tec poster boy, who promotes the company’s vaults through a variety of campaigns. This is something he does mostly for his wife, Barb Howard (played by Frances Turner), a Vault-Tec executive.

However, Cooper steadily becomes disillusioned with the idea of the vaults (and the revelation that dogs will not be allowed inside), and with a bit of outside coercion begins to spy on his wife and Vault-Tec.

This all comes to a head in the final episode, when Cooper eavesdrops on a meeting between Vault-Tec executives and various other corporation heads and CEOs (including Mr. House – the ruler of New Vegas in Fallout: New Vegas).

During this meeting, one such company head asks the vault makers how they can “guarantee results” on their investment. And, Barb answers: “By dropping the bomb ourselves.” Cue jaws dropping (well, at least mine and Cooper’s).

“A nuclear event would be a tragedy, but also an opportunity,” Barb continues. “Perhaps the greatest opportunity in history, because when we are the only ones left, there will be no one to fight. A true monopoly.

“This is our chance to make war obsolete. Because, in our current societal configuration, which took shape without intentional guidance, we have friction. We have conflict and we have war.

“And war, well… War never changes.”

Now, it isn’t directly revealed if Vault-Tec actually ever goes through with its plan. We don’t see Barb or any Vault-Tec employees pushing a button marked “Apocalypse, go!”.

However, given Barb’s words and the conviction behind them, it is more than heavily implied it was in fact Vault-Tec that dropped the first bomb, not the US government or China, kicking off the Fallout series in the process.

Are you surprised by this revelation? Or, is this something you had suspected all along?

For more, be sure to check out Eurogamer’s best Fallout Easter egg list for the first two episodes here.

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