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New Fallout TV show commemorates the Fallout games

The+Fallout+show+next+to+the+games+that+inspired+it.
Tristan Timones
The Fallout show next to the games that inspired it.

The newest Prime Video show Fallout was released on April 12th, 2024. And after watching every single one-hour episode back-to-back, I can confidently say that this video game adaptation that gets it right.

 

The show follows the events of the game franchise, Fallout. Originally, it started as a small Strategy role-playing game (RPG) developed by Black Isle Studies and Interplay. 

 

Bethesda Softworks, the game company behind Skyrim and their newest release, Starfield, purchased the IP from Black Isle Studios in 2007. The videogame studio’s logo promptly appears in the opening credits of each episode. 

 

A series of Action Role Playing Games (RPG) set in a post-apocalyptic America. This game franchise has been going strong for almost three decades and has had multiple critically acclaimed games; Games like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 have taken gamers to various locations in this post-apocalyptic world. 

 

Boston, Mass.; Washington, DC; and Las Vegas, Nevada are some of the games’ locations. 

 

Fallout 1 and 2 occur in California and Nevada, so it makes sense that the show would follow the roots of the games that started the franchise.

 

Fallout forever changed how people look at RPG games altogether; showing that large amounts of action can be combined with an in-depth dialogue and story system. In other words: big weaponry and a compelling story.

 

Because if you don’t like Fallout’s fantastic settings and its rich storytelling/lore, then you will enjoy its over-the-top themes and blazing action.

 

The people behind the critically acclaimed series Westworld are responsible for making Amazon Video’s newest exclusive, Fallout. Director Johnathan Nolan, brother to the recent Academy Award-winning director Christopher Nolan, is the showrunner for Fallout. Though the show doesn’t follow any of the storylines from the games directly, the passion that these people had for the games is extremely apparent in how it came out. 

 

References to the games are littered throughout every shot. Food brands, company logos, and locations are all either directly or indirectly referenced throughout the show. The titular character’s father lovingly refers to her as his ‘Sugarbomb’, this is a direct reference to a brand of cereal that is prominent throughout the games. 

 

Fallout is a universe that is set in various areas in post-apocalyptic America. Just like the games, the show is the same. It also combines a 1940s era of America with a futuristic aesthetic, which is what the games are famous for.

 

This show is truly a breath of fresh air and from the very first episode, I could tell that I was in for something truly magnificent.

 

There is both a great deal of fan service and something for newcomers whose first appeal to the Fallout series is the show. So not to worry, this show offers something for everyone, not just Fallout fans.

 

The characters in the show are similar to how the player might act in the game, and vice versa.

 

For starters, the way the show structures the characters is through multiple perspectives. We follow three different characters throughout the show, each with their unique backstory and circumstances. They’re all flawed and realistic people instead of just generic, perfect human beings. 

 

The dynamic perspectives add a great contrast to each episode. As you get to experience more of the world through different more than one character. 

 

Without getting into any spoilers:

 

In the games, some different factions/groups roam the wasteland, and part of this is represented by each character we follow.

 

Raiders, Mutants, Ghouls, Vault Dwellers, The Brotherhood of Steel, and the Enclave; all groups are represented in the show. 

 

It’s very fascinating to see these in-game groups come to life in the show, how they tie into the plot, and how they are essential in giving that Fallout feel.

 

Furthermore, the way each person acts in the show is similar to player choices in the games. Sometimes character actions in the show are similar to ways that the player would act when playing the Fallout games. 

 

Want to be a hero who roams the world saving everyone you can? Or do you want to be a rogue element who collects bounties and causes problems everywhere you go? Both options are available to you from the beginning. Fallout gives the player colorful options as opposed to the black-and-white choices of other series. 

 

When looking at the overall aesthetic of the games, the show perfectly replicates it in a way that fits in a film environment. 

 

For example, the props in the show are direct references to items you can see in the game. For example, in the game, there is a very iconic drink called Nuka-Cola. You can find this drink scattered in places all over the wasteland, and you can see this drink in multiple scenes throughout the show.

 

These are the kinds of details that make a good video game adaptation, and a good show in general. 

 

These prop elements give a lot of information about the world, like how we have Coca-Cola they have Sunset Sasparilla and Nuka-Cola.

 

So now whenever you see a bottle of Nuka-Cola, you’ll think Fallout.

 

The show not only does this with smaller items in the games but larger settings and places. There is a medium-sized scrap city in Fallout 3 called Megaton that the show takes inspiration from when designing their main city called Fili (a twist on the actual word Philidelphia, hinting at the fact that people who live in the wasteland 200 years after modern society can’t spell properly).

 

Not only does this give great fan service to fans, but it explains what the feel of Fallout is to people watching the show in general. When you see Fili, you think, “Oh, this place is run-down and unorganized. It looks like a place that would be set in an apocalyptic environment.” Which is exactly what they wanted you to think.

 

Freshman, Max Ciamprone, has this to say about Fallout, “I really liked that when characters in the show got hurt, they used a stimpack to heal themselves, a call back to what they use in the games.”

 

Stimpacks are a main healing item in the Fallout games.

 

Fallout is an incredibly musical game. In every entry of the series, the player can activate a radio on your menu and it will play iconic songs from the 1940s to 1950’s era.

 

Songs like, I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire, by the Ink Spots, Orange Colored Sky, by Nat King Cole, and End of The World by Skeeter Davis.

 

Without Fallout these songs very well could have been lost in time. They are all almost 90-year-old songs from an era that most people’s great-grandparents were from. I would never have known who, Frank Sinatra was without including his song Blue Moon in Fallout: New Vegas; the first song that plays in the intro of the game.

 

And I would have never known who Nat King Cole, an influential musician and lyricist who was most prominent in the 1950s to 60’s. He is most famous for his Jazz style of music with iconic songs like L-O-V-E and Orange Coloured Sky featured in Fallout the Show and the games.

 

The music perfectly compliments the wildness of Fallout’s wasteland. You’ll either, find yourself wandering the desolate land while listening to the best music the 50s could offer or fending off large super mutant beasts while listening to Mighty Might Man by Roy Brown.

 

We entrancingly think of Fallout when we hear these songs because of how iconic the series is. They use music to tell a story from the past.

 

Every song relates to nuclear fallout or the end of the world.

 

Orange Colored Sky, Nat King Cole, “I was walking alone, minding my business, when out of an orange colored sky (Flash! Bang! Alakazam!)…” This relates to the bombs dropping, and how it caught many pre-war people off guard. Everyone was just going along with their day like usual until a cataclysmic event occurred.

 

Crawl Out Through The Fallout, Sheldon Allman, “Crawl out through the Fallout baby, when they drop that bomb…” “…Think about your hero, when you’re at ground zero!” A love song about nuclear devastation and a girl.

 

There is also something ironic about the music choices.

 

Let’s Go Sunning, Jack Shaindlin, “Let’s go sunning, It’s so good for you, Let’s go sunning, Beneath the sky of blue, Greet the sun every morn, Feel as free and happy as the day you were born!” This song plays on the radio in Fallout but it doesn’t fit the tone of the world at all.

 

In addition, the creators of the show use extra care when it comes to the audio design. They utilize the same sound cues that one will hear while playing through the games.

 

For example, there’s a sound for using a stim-pack, opening your Pip-Boy menu, a Geiger counter when exposed to large amounts of radiation, and so many more sounds.

 

The show uses all if not most of the sounds from the games; putting the showrunners on fans’ nice list. They wanted to go above and beyond to pay homage to the games as much as possible.

 

Talking about the show’s comedy generally:

 

Fallout’s comedy is its strong suit.

 

There are numerous instances where they take a messed up or serious situation, and then turn it satirical. They never make jokes directly, the comedy lies within the dialogue and character actions.

 

Some of the funniest scenes are so serious but taken lightly by the characters in the show.

 

To give an example, they might be in the heat of battle, but they make each character act weird while whimsical music plays in the background, or characters will just have funny conversations that don’t relate to the matter at hand.

 

It is comedic how lightly the characters take the wasteland’s brutality.

 

Fallout makes this work so well because of how timely they use comedy. It never shatters a serious moment, but elevates it, and reminds you that, this “is” Fallout. You’ll never feel like the integrity of a scene was slandered because they correctly time their comedic moments.

 

To wrap things up, it’s honestly amazing to see how great of a job the showrunners at Amazon Video did. They should be proud of the show they created.

 

It perfectly represents Fallout as everyone knows it. Honoring the work that was done before their show, they simultaneously made a fantastic watch and an amazing Fallout show.

 

It is evident that they put their heart into every episode; with all the references and paying homage to the games. I am overjoyed to say that this is truly one of the greatest video game shows ever. They did so many things right, that it’s easy to look past any lore discrepancies (minuscule ones).

 

Thus far, it’s blown it out of proportion. In a world where quality videogame adaptations pollute the industry, this one is a breath of fresh air.

 

And rather unfortunately the season one finale did end on a cliffhanger, but it’s great to mention that season two has been green-lit.

 

And with all of the magnificent things that Fallout’s world has to offer us, we should be excited to see what the showrunners do with this next season.

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  • C

    Corie DiPaolaApr 25, 2024 at 3:27 PM

    Fallout is awesome. 👍

    Reply
  • C

    Corie DiPaolaApr 25, 2024 at 3:24 PM

    Fallout is awesome. 👍

    Reply