Here’s Why the Original Fallout (1997) is a Masterpiece

Many fans know Fallout primarily from the games release by Bethesda, but much of what’s iconic about Fallout originates in the 1997 Interplay Studios originals.

Everything Good About Fallout Came from the First Two Games

What do you know about Fallout? The first images coming to your mind are probably of power armor, Deathclaws, V.A.T.S., and vault suits. Whatever comes to mind when you hear the name Fallout, there’s a good chance it came from Fallout (1997) and Fallout 2 (1998).

The Pip-Boy, a screen of which is pictured here, debuted in the first game of the series.

A list of concepts originating in Fallout (1997), released by Interplay Studios, include but are not limited to the following:

S.P.E.C.I.A.L., V.A.T.S., the Brotherhood of Steel, Deathclaw, Pip Boys, the vault boy, the Gun Runners, Dogmeat, Super Mutants, ghouls, power armor, Chimeras, Nuka Cola, nightkin, bottlecaps as currency, radscorpions, the Garden of Eden Creation Kit, the Bloody Mess perk, perks in general, and much, much more.

Dogmeat and versions of him that pay homage to the first appear in Fallout (1997), Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and Fallout 4.

Your Choices Affect the Game’s Story

In 1997 Fallout, the player’s decisions affect not only the game’s overall outcome but also the gameplay experience.

For example, S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats shape the game. High Luck has the potential to generate profitable random encounters in the wastes. Poor Intelligence restricts dialogue options, even reducing the character to grunts and groans at the lowest totals.

An intelligent super mutant from the original game.

You can roll through the wasteland like Rambo busting down doors and taking whatever loot suits you, or you can sneak your way through the many locked doors and secret passages the game has to offer.

Neither of those sound appealing? Savvy players have the potential to talk their way through the game from start to finish. That is, if they play their cards right—the original games don’t come with a probability percentage for the speech checks like in the Bethesda games, making this mechanic more difficult to successfully use.  

An Early Game Featuring Incredible Talent

Another wonderful aspect of Fallout is its unique characters and talented voice cast that brought them to life.

Killian Darkwater is one of the game’s few—but memorable—voiced characters.

One of the actors who makes up much of the cast is Disney sweetheart Jim Cummings. The name’s not familiar? You’ve heard him speak, at least.

Cummings has been the voice of Darkwing Duck, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, the Tasmanian Devil, Pete from Mickey Mouse (in Kingdom Hearts, even), and many more. He practically raised a generation of kids.

Most importantly, alongside Kathy Soucie, Cummings co-voices the game’s final boss, the Master of the super mutants in one of the most chilling performances in video game history.

As a fun game and a major inspiration, Fallout (1997) stands the test of time as a gaming masterpiece. Read more about the Fallout series to see where Bethesda’s taking the games next.

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Mackenzie enjoys playing League of Legends in her spare time but makes sure she doesn't miss out on big RPGs like Sykrim and Dragon Age too.
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: League of Legends
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Walking Dead, Fallout: New Vegas

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