Fallout’s Ending Terrified Me

Fallout is a classic video game and shares its DNA with the Baldur’s Gate series of games. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it tells stories of the survivors of Mutually Assured Destruction. It spawned a series of games, and now it has spawned a fantastic TV series.

The Fallout TV series was so much better than I could have hoped. I’ve not really played the games, but as someone who’s life and career revolves around video games, it’s been hard to avoid learning a little of the lore of Fallout. I can’t speak as to whether it is true to the games’ lore, but from what others have said, it seems to stick the landing there.

Unlike other video game adaptations, Fallout isn’t set in its own world based on the video games, it’s literally set in the same universe as the games. It doesn’t retell stories the games have already told, rather, it tells a new story set after Fallout 4, the latest game in the series. It acts as both a sequel to Fallout 4 and a standalone series. You don’t need to have played the games to understand it, but you’ll probably get more out of it if you do.

The story focuses around 3 main protagonists, each with their own motivation. They don’t form an ensemble, rather they each have their own story that crosses (or rather, collides) with the others.

We have Lucy, a vault-dweller who leaves in order to rescue her father. Maximus, a member of the Brotherhood of Steel who aspires to be a knight. And The Ghoul, a mysterious character who’s motivations and past might not be clear at first.

The series doesn’t hold back on showing how bleak a post-nuclear world can be. People don’t trust each other, they are violent and messy. Morality is blurred by a need for survival – a hard lesson the naive and innocent Lucy needs to learn as the series progresses.

Each character gets their own arc as the series goes on. The Ghoul does vile and horrible things, but you can see beneath his veneer that he isn’t a bad person, just a man who understands how this new world works. He has no purpose, but through Lucy he finds one by the end.

Maximus questions his own morality and judgement, thanks to the Brotherhood’s doctrine of what makes a hero and what doesn’t. After meeting Lucy, he’s able to start accepting that deep down he is a good person.

Lucy is forced to face the new world and do questionable things to survive, but she never fully loses her positive outlook. At least not until she finally learns the truth about the vaults. The seeds of doubt are planted when Lucy is asked, “What is the experiment of vault 33?

Somehow I still didn’t see it coming. In the final episode the reason the vaults exist as they do is revealed to us. They were sold as an investment to large corporations. But how did they guarantee a return on that investment?

They dropped the bomb themselves.

A mass genocide against anyone that wouldn’t create more profit for them. The ultimate end of late stage capitalism. Profit before the survival of the human race.

This is my greatest fear.

The powers that be don’t actually care. The world is on fire, and they do nothing to prevent climate change. They literally do have the power to wipe out everything at the push of a button. They look at us as toys to be manipulated into voting for this guy or that guy, as animals that can be forced to kill each other over their petty arguments about where the lines on a map should be drawn.

One day they might get bored enough to drop the bombs themselves. And there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

That is my greatest fear.

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