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Fallout - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. SpaceHamster
 
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Concept art was produced showing that there was a possible third size-class for the Super Mutants, labelled as a "Spinebreaker." In terms of size, the Super Mutant Spinebreaker would have been somewhere between the regular Super Mutant Grunts and Super Mutant Behemoths, effectively being the second size class of Super Mutants.
Contributed by G-Haven
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Concept art and unused models exist for cut weapons referred to as the "Kryolator" and "Kryo-Grenade." While the grenade itself made it into the Mothership Zeta DLC with a new texture and mesh, the "Kryolator" was ultimately cut in the final version of the game, existing as only a mesh with textures. However it did later appear as a usable weapon in Fallout 4.
Contributed by G-Haven
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The Wanamingo from Fallout 2 was at one point planned to be in the game, but was never added into the final version. Concept art shows it as a possible variant of the original, being much bigger and without tentacles.
Contributed by G-Haven
The names of many unique weapons are clear references:
•"Occam's Razor" is a reference to the scientific principle of the same name.
•The "Board of Education" is a reference to the paddles once used for corporal punishment, as well as the government body that oversees schools in a specific area.
•A Ripper called "Jack" is a reference to Jack the Ripper.
•A metal saw called the "Man Opener" is a play on "can opener".
•A pool cue called "The Break" is a reference to the Pool term of the same name.
Contributed by nolanms1
In "The Pitt" DLC the player can collect 100 steel ingots and return them to a man named Everett. After turning in all 100 Everett says "Yup, guess you got every last one out there. You're one hell of a steeler, kid." The name 'steeler' is a common nickname for steel workers, but is also a reference to the NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Contributed by nolanms1
Dogmeat is an Australian cattle dog, and was modelled after the dog from Mad Max 2. He is also named after the dog from "A Boy and His Dog", a 1975 post-apocalyptic movie.
Contributed by Psychospacecow
According to Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer for Fallout 3, Tranquility Lane's Betty was inspired by the character Billy Mumy from the Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life." In the episode, Billy, a "little kid with godlike powers terrorizes the inhabitants of a town, and 'wishes' them into the cornfield when they're bad."
Contributed by ThisGuyInTheSuit
Originally Liberty Prime was planned to be massive and would allow players to ride inside his head during the final mission, but this idea was scrapped before the game's release.
Contributed by ThisGuyInTheSuit
The scenario at the beginning of the game where Butch steals the player's sweetroll is a reference to a running gag in The Elder Scrolls series, where the game asks what the player would do when someone tries to take their sweetroll.
Contributed by Psychospacecow
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The mutant fire-ant centered quest called "Those!" is a reference to the 1954 film titled "Them!", in which ants are mutated by atomic tests in New Mexico, which in turn makes them gigantic and wreck havoc upon civilization.
Contributed by G-Haven
The arts-centered Vault 92 holds a number of musical and sound-related references;
• The Overseer of Vault 92 is named "Richard Rubin", who is likely named after music producer Rick Rubin.
• "Zoe Hammerstein" gets her name from Broadway lyricist and songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II, who helped make the song "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy", which is played in-game on the GNR Radio Station.
• "Gordon Sumner" is actually the real name of the musician known as Sting.
• "Professor John Malleus" is named after the one of the three auditory ossicles, (small bones located in the middle ear) which transmit sounds from the air to the inner ear. The Malleus is the "hammer" in the set of "hammer, anvil, and stirrup," so named after their shapes.
Contributed by G-Haven
Several references to horror stories and movies can be found in the game. In the Point Lookout DLC, a unique knife called the "Toy Knife" can be found alongside a Hockey Mask, referencing Jason Voorhees from the movie series Friday the 13th.

Another reference is found in both the standalone Fallout 3 and in Point Lookout, the first being in a simulation called Tranquility Lane, in which the player can don a clown mask as a kid and begin a killing-spree within the simulation. The second time the mask pops up is in Point Lookout, which is found on top of a skeleton in a bathtub inside a motel room, which itself is adorned with skeletons and blood splattering. This is a reference to Michael Myers from the Halloween movie series, and more specifically his first kill where he wore a clown suit and mask, doing so as a kid.

H.P. Lovecraft references appears in the standalone Fallout 3 too, with the inclusion of the Dunwich Building. The story told through the building via Audio Logs and the apparent obelisk near the end references the Cthulhu Mythos, more specifically the story called The Dunwich Horror, which the very building is named after. The player can also hear the word "Alhazred" from the Obelisk alongside one of the last audio logs, which refers to the fictional author of the Necronomicon, who is named Alhazred. The narrative is extended even further with the inclusion of the Point Lookout DLC, which includes an actual quest line involving a tome named The Krivbeknih and the owner of the book, Obadiah Blackhall. The Krivbeknih is in reference to the number of various books/tomes and artifacts featured predominately in Lovecraftian stories, and the Blackhall family is another reference to The Dunwich Horror, namely that of the Wheatley Family, as well as a possible reference to the central family in The Lurker at the Threshold, which involves an aristocratic man that inherits his family's dark legacies.
Contributed by G-Haven
A modified Mister Gutsy, named "Sawbones", can be found at the Citadel. When first encountered, it greets the player with the phrase "Please state the nature of the medical emergency." This is a reference to the EMH Mk 1 program (aka The Doctor) from Star Trek: Voyager. In addition to the phrase, it also shares a similar personality to The Doctor which includes the bad bedside manners, as well as an interest in arts (in Sawbone's case, writing poetry) which separates it from normal Mister Gutsys, much like how The Doctor stood out among his EMH counterparts.
Contributed by G-Haven
The inhabitants of the Temple of the Union are named after Abraham Lincoln's cabinet;
Hannibal Hamlin was Vice President, Caleb Smith was Secretary of the Interior, William "Bill" Seward was Secretary of State, and Simon(e) Cameron was Secretary of War. On top of this, the dog found there is named "Four Score", which is a reference to Abraham Lincoln's opening of the Gettysburg Address ("Four score and seven years ago...").
Contributed by G-Haven
In Megaton, the undetonated atomic bomb and the Children of Atom are a reference to the film "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", in which a cult worships an intact nuclear ICBM.
Contributed by JoJoE5150
The village of Arefu is an actual real-world place inside of Romania, most well known for its proximity to the former castle of Vlad III, who is also known as "Dracula" and "Vlad the Impaler." It is also the main stage for the questline "Blood Ties", which deals with a group of cannibals who believe themselves to be vampires. One of the NPCs involved with the questline, Lucy West, is likely based off of Lucy Westenra, a character from Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The group of vampires call themselves, "The Family", are likely a reference to the 1971 Charlton Heston film The Omega Man, featuring a nocturnal breed of pale, vampyric mutants that live underground, referring to themselves as "The Family." Lastly, the password to open a locked-door containing one of the quest-line NPCs is "Vespertilio," which is a genus of the bat family.
Contributed by G-Haven
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A cafeteria bulletin board found in Vault 101 shows an advertisement for a Bingo Night, with the first prize being "a week's supply of Water Rations."
The "13" bingo-ball on the advertisement strongly suggests a call-back to the original Fallout, which starts out with Vault 13's Water Chip failing and requiring the Vault Dweller to go out and search for a new one.
Contributed by G-Haven
The Super-Duper Mart and the first Wasteland Survival Guide quest that accompanies it were likely thought up after an electrical storm knocked power out for 8-10+ hours in the Bethesda studio. Todd Howard and several other staff members went to a local Supermarket, using an iPhone to light their way across the pitch-dark aisles and essentially began to brainstorm ideas from that experience.
Contributed by G-Haven
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When talking to Milo, the shipping foreman of the Nuka-Cola Plant, asking for the shipping manifest and will result in him giving the player the terminal pass-code, NC-C1864. This is the registry number for the USS Reliant in the movie "Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn".
Contributed by DeerBoarDude
The 2008 E3 trailer for the game contains a Vault-Tec commercial which advertises a phone number. Calling the 1-888-4VAULT-TEC number will play an automated message saying:

"Thank you for calling Vault-Tec, your first choice in post-nuclear survival! We're sorry, but due to unexpectedly high call volume, all representatives are currently busy. Please, stay on the line and someone will be with you as soon as possible. There are 101 million callers in front of you. Estimated wait time is 78,643 hours. Thank you for calling Vault-Tec! Have a wonderful day!"
Contributed by G-Haven
When creating the gun-system for Fallout 3, one of teams first tests was taking a bow from Oblivion and making a Bow and Arrow "gun." It shot rapid-fire arrows and apparently "didn't work quite right", so the new gun-system for the game was built up from scratch.
Contributed by G-Haven
The voice of the protagonist as a baby is actually Game Director Todd Howard's son, Jake Howard.
Contributed by G-Haven
The drug "Med-X" was originally just called Morphine, but in order to get a MA15+ rating in Australia by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) board, all references to Morphine had to be changed to "Med-X". During the time there was no higher age rating (R18+) for video games, which would have meant the game could not be sold in Australia. The reason the OFLC board didn't pass the game was because of the usage of real-life drugs.
Contributed by G-Haven
While the V.A.T.S. targeting system is an evolution of the targeted shot mechanic in earlier Fallout games, the slow-motion visuals were inspired by the Crash Mode Replays from the Burnout series. Artist Grant Struthers prototyped the V.A.T.S. camera system by filming stop-motion fight scenes with his Incredibles action figures.
Contributed by KidDivinegon
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Sally from the Mothership Zeta DLC makes references to a fictional pre-war show called 'Captain Cosmos', which itself features classic Star Trek references, such as "All systems normal, Captain!" and "Captain on the bridge!"

She also mentions a female 2nd officer, saying "Stella Skyfire reporting for duty! She's Captain Cosmos' second in command, at least for the first few episodes..."
This is in reference to the original, unaired pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, "The Cage", in which Captain Pike has a female lieutenant who is second-in-command, simply referred to as "Number One". NBC rejected this pilot and requested a new pilot episode, ultimately making her role as second officer last for only one episode.

Another notable reference is the time slot 'Captain Cosmos' airs at, which was Thursdays at 8:00PM EST, according to leftover posters in the Hubris Comics building. Star Trek:ToS aired on the same day but at 8:30PM EST.
Contributed by G-Haven
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Just outside of Big Town, there is a utility pole in the exact center of the game map with a unique plate that reads "TES-04."

This is a reference to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, also by Bethesda. The placing of this pole in the map center likely suggests a reference to TES IV's most notable landmark, the White Gold Tower, which is considered to be the central point of the continent of Tamriel as well as the Imperial Empire in The Elder Scrolls games.
Contributed by G-Haven
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In the Hubris Comics building is a letter to an editor on the receptionist's computer which includes a number of comic book references.


"Requiem for an Antagonist"
Grognak the Barbarian is an excellent comic for many reasons, but one of the most widely-respected ones is the depth of its villains. From the cold-blooded manipulations of the Man-Saurian to the love-hate romance with Femme-Ra, the stories of Grognak's enemies are every bit as fascinating as his own tales.

But, for my money, no tale is more tragic and more fascinating than that of the AntAgonizer. While never developed as fully as major villains like Skullpocalypse or Mastadonald, the portrait of the orphaned girl raised by ants and instilled with a bitter hatred of humanity has tremendous potential for reader connection and possible redemption.

However, in "Grognak and the Ants of Agony," Mr. Neptura threw away all of that potential by simply treating the AntAgonizer as a two-dimensional villain with a futile and pointless grudge against mankind. His writing replaced her subtle undertones of lost humanity and tragically lost innocence with the worst sort of mustache-twirling cliched dialogue. It was an offense to a deep and tragic character.

How a hack like that continues to find work in comics is beyond my comprehension. Hubris Comics should fire him and return the series to the capable hands of Mr. Moorellis. Until that time, I REFUSE to buy another comic from what USED to be my favorite publisher!

Obsessed in Oakmont


"Mr. Moorellis" is likely the combined last-names of Alan Moore and Warren Ellis, two well known English comic book writers.
"Mr. Neptura" is a reference to the character "Marto Neptura" in the comic Promethea, which was written by Alan Moore.
Contributed by G-Haven
After Spoiler: blowing up Megaton and encountering Moira after she becomes a ghoul, one of the player's dialogue options is "Honey, you got reeeal ugly!" This is a reference to Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness, where Ash says this to Sheila.
Contributed by DeerBoarDude
Originally, President John Eden was meant to be voiced by former president Bill Clinton, but the team was unable to get him for the role.
Contributed by gamemaster1991
Through the use of cheats, it is possible to talk to Stockholm (the guard on top of the megaton entrance) who is usually inaccessible. When talked to, he will state:

The more time I spend talking to you, the less I'm spending watching for Raiders. How the hell did you get up here, anyway?
Contributed by DeerBoarDude
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In the Slaver Barracks of Paradise Falls, there is a Vault 77 Jumpsuit, with a Holotape right next to it. The Holotape is from a slaver who wants someone else to get rid of the jumpsuit that "a stranger with no name" left behind. The man recording the holotape is obviously scared and says the jumpsuit "freaks the boys out" so they must fear the stranger. The Vault 77 jumpsuit is the only one in the game and gives you a +5 to both unarmed and melee weapons.

All of these are referencing the Penny Arcade web comic "One Man, and a Crate of Puppets," which starred an unnamed Vault Dweller who was the only resident of Vault 77 and ended up hunting and killing Slavers with his bare hands and a Vault Boy puppet.
Contributed by gamemaster1991
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Fallout 3 was originally being developed around the early 2000s by developer Black Isle Studios under the codename Van Buren. The game was an RPG similar to the previous installments played from a top-down view and would've used the engine from the canceled "Baldur's Gate III: The Black Hound". The game would've been set in the southwest of America and the story focused around a prisoner who escapes from prison and trys to discover why he was there in the first place and to stop a scientist named Presper from unleashing a virus to cleanse the world of non-pure blood humans. The project was canceled after Interplay had laid off the development team, however a tech demo was later leaked onto the internet.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
Fat Man was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945. Because of its relation to the real historic event, the weapon was renamed to the Nuka Launcher in the Japanese version of Fallout 3. It is, however, still referred to as the Fat Man in dialogue.
Contributed by Funland47
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The "Experimental MIRV" (a unique Fatman) costs more to fire once than it costs to repair a regular Fat Man twice. At several hundred caps per nuke and firing eight nukes per shot, this is the most expensive weapon in the game, albeit the most powerful. It's also one of most inefficient, unnecessary, and impractical weapons in the game.
Contributed by Funland47
The Brahmin in all the Fallout games is in reference to "Brahmin" in Hindu culture, and the name likely plays on Hindu culture's reverence for cows.

However, this (and the fact that you and other NPCs can kill and eat the mutated cows) was viewed as disrespectful, which led to Fallout 3 being banned in India.
Contributed by G-Haven
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Liberty Prime is loosely modeled after Gort, from the 1951 movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

The "Prime" in Liberty Prime is actually NOT an intentional reference to Optimus Prime from the Transformers, as many people suspected.
Contributed by G-Haven
Sneaking up behind and activating a Brahmin will cause your character to push it over.
Contributed by ThisGuyInTheSuit
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In Vault 87 is a Super Mutant that calls himself "Fawkes" locked in Isolation Room 05.

This is a reference to the comic-book V for Vendetta, where the main character (V) is originally a prisoner from "Room 5" at Larkhill Internment Camp. After escaping, V dons the infamous mask of Guy Fawkes, the real life British revolutionary known for the failed Gunpowder Plot in 1605.

Both V and Fawkes gain super strength and intellect after their experimentation, which is rare as most Super Mutants only gained super strength but suffered mental drawbacks (or even died), and in the case of V, most subjects did not survive the experiments.
Contributed by G-Haven
Near the NN-03d SatCom array, a door can be found built into a rock; Upon opening it there is a wall with "Fuck You" written in green paint.
Contributed by GasMax
In the corner of the map, you can find a building called the Dunwich Building. This building is named after the H. P. Lovecraft story, The Dunwich Horror. The building also takes inspiration from other Lovecraft stories like the Cthulhu mythos.
Contributed by gamemaster1991
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"The Plunger Room of Death" is a small area unmarked on the Pip-Boy world map. It is located South of the Chryslus Building, and East of Farragut West Metro Station. The entrance is a door underneath an intact bridge. Inside are dozens of toilet plungers and bloody hand prints on the walls.
Contributed by FUS RO DAH
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A small, playable text adventure called 'Reign of Grelock' can be accessed from a terminal in Hubris Comics.
Contributed by IkiFoo
Inside the basement of the Capitol Post building located in L'Enfant Plaza, there is a corpse named "Gibson". Gibson's inventory has four items, two of which are "Gibson's Key" and "Gibson's Scrap of Paper". The scrap of paper has the following message, "Search the house!"

This references an early scene in Snatcher where the player finds Jean Jack Gibson's corpse and discovers a key and a scrap of paper with the "Search the house!" message among his belongings.
Contributed by Combat Lobster
In Fallout 3, and New Vegas, a weapon can be found called the Fat Man, a Tactical Nuke Launcher.

When you fire it, it throws a mini nuke ahead of you at the enemy. When you reload you hear a "ding" sound to indicate it has finished reloading.

The bell heard is actually the Bethesda lunch room bell.
Contributed by retrolinkx