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Nine Cultural References Found Throughout Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game

Nine Cultural References Found Throughout Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game

References are great, aren't they? Cheerful nods exchanged between creators and their intellectual properties; acknowledgements of inspiration that put little smiles on fans' faces. The following list contains nine instances where Interplay — the original Fallout developer — referenced other media in the dusty wasteland world of Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game

1. They Live

Our first entry on this list is a reference to John Carpenter's 1988 movie, They Live, and can be seen when the Brotherhood of Steel accompanies the Vault Dweller during the game's final battle. The attacking Paladins may utter, "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. I'm all out of gum." a phrase that’s similar to the one spoken by Rowdy Roddy Piper during They Live.

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2. Dr. Who

Next, a clear reference to the science fiction television series, Dr. Who, makes an appearance. One of the game’s random encounters — known as the Unusual Call Box — has the Vault Dweller stumble upon a blue police box. Approaching it will cause a light on the top to flash before the box fades out and disappears; the blue box in question is quite obviously the TARDIS time machine, an integral part of the Dr. Who TV show.

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3. Dune

The name Mentats is present in both Frank Herbert's novel, Dune, and Fallout. In Dune, Mentats are beings engineered to be living computers and are capable of very complex mathematics. However, in Fallout, Mentats are a pre-War drug designed to increase the intelligence (among other things) of the user. Both the name and the theme of intelligence make this a clear reference to Dune.

4. Mad Max

A considerable amount of Fallout's existence is owed to the Mad Max series of films, and it's obviously where the majority of the initial inspiration came from. Interplay borrowed heavily from Max's universe during development in order to give Fallout the majority of its own substance. Plus, more specifically, the Vault Dweller can acquire leather armour which bears a strong resemblance to Max's own wasteland get-up.

5. A Boy And His Dog

While many may think this entry to be another reference to Mad Max, it is actually an acknowledgement of A Boy And His Dog; a 1975 post-apocalypse movie that follows the exploits of the titular boy and his dog, which he calls Dogmeat. Technically, the lovable canine companion is never the same dog throughout Fallout, but rather a recurring in-joke that fans have come to expect. A Boy And His Dog also inspired the Vaults and the Glowing Ones in the franchise too.

6. South Park

The next is a reference you probably didn't expect, as up until now, they've predominantly been science fiction related. The Hub has a character known as Deputy Kenny; if he is killed during a fight, the Vault Dweller will exclaim, "They killed Kenny! Those bastards!". Alternatively, if the Vault Dweller kills Deputy Kenny, then text reading, "You killed Kenny! You bastard!" will instead appear in the message box. This is most definitely alluding to the animated sitcom South Park. Whenever Kenny is killed during the show, the other characters will say a version of the above phrase in retaliation.

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7. Batman

At number seven, we have a nod to Tim Burton's Batman movie. During a side quest, which involves rescuing a Brotherhood of Steel initiate, you will eventually be confronted by his abductors — a group of thugs that attack on sight. As they enter combat, one of them may say, "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"; This is a line said by the Joker during the 1989 movie, on numerous occasions, before he himself attacks.

8. Soylent Green

A reference to the 1973 film, Soylent Green, can be stumbled upon too. During a conversation with Iguana Bob Frazier, the Dweller has the option to say, "Prime Choice Select is made of people! It's made of people!". A line similar to this is featured in Soylent Green as part of Charlton Heston's infamous outburst.

(Side note, Soylent Green is set in the far-flung future year of 2022. I know times are tough now that we've made it here, but I do hope that my food remains people-free!)

9. The Simpsons

Another left-field nod comes in for the final entry on our list, as it's another animated sitcom; it's a subtle one and can be very easily missed by anyone less than keen-eyed. Fallout features a television bearing the name Radiation King, which is a brand that just so happens to appear in The Simpsons.

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There we have it, nine cultural references found throughout Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game. If you know of any others (and I'm certain there are plenty more), let me know down in the comments.

Niall Cawley

Niall Cawley

Staff Writer

Fighting gods, but also sometimes not

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