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From New Vegas to ghoul medicine, the Fallout show’s gamechangers are causing a stir

Amazon's Fallout show, with The Ghoul, a rough-skinned humanoid in a hat and cowboy outfit.

Amazon Prime Video’s Fallout show is causing a stir, with some fans worried it’s erased Fallout: New Vegas, the best entry in the 3D series, from canon. And it’s just one of several changes the show makes to the franchise. But, be warned, we’re going to get into serious spoiler territory here.

The good news is that Fallout: New Vegas hasn’t been erased from existence, at least according to Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard, the man most frequently associated with the 3D Fallout games. The confusion stems from a note seen on an in-show blackboard, which puts the ‘Fall of Shady Sands’ as 2277.

Shady Sands is the NCR’s capital city and if the NCR is all but destroyed in 2277, how can they be at full strength in 2281, when Fallout: New Vegas takes place? According to Howard, who has previously confirmed the show is canon, New Vegas fans can rest easy. Speaking to IGN, Howard explained:

“There might be a little bit of confusion in some places. But everything that happened in the previous games, including New Vegas, happened. We’re very careful about that. All I can say is we’re threading it tighter there, but the bombs fall just after the events of New Vegas.”

So, Fallout: New Vegas happened. Shady Sands’ destruction isn’t the show’s only surprise, though. Here’s a spoileriffic selection of the show’s game-changing twists.

  • Ghouls can use medication to stop themselves turning feral. In the Fallout show, The Ghoul takes medication to help stop him turning zombie. It’s not essential, it seems, but it’s a major aid in keeping their minds.
  • The NCR is all but gone. The fall of Shady Sands will likely mean that the NCR is heavily, heavily splintered.
  • Vault-Tec may have caused the apocalypse. The show reveals that Vault-Tec were prepared to nuke the world, though it’s not confirmed whether they did or if the military got their first.
  • Vault-Tec’s messed-up vaults came from the mind of executives. Vault-Tec’s vaults were mostly meant as social experiments and the show suggests that at least some of these were devised not by scientists but by the executives of Vault-Tec and other major companies.
  • The vault suits are blue and yellow because of Walton Goggins. Vault-Tec took the blue and yellow suit colours, used elsewhere too, from Cooper Howard, Walton Goggins’ movie actor. Howard also gave Vault-Boy his distinctive thumbs-up.
  • The Gulpers were created through human experimentation. The Gulpers, seen in both the show and Fallout 4, were created as part of Vault 4’s messed-up experiments.

There are other surprises in the show and we’re fine with most of those. The one that does give us pause for thought is Vault-Tec dropping the bomb. It does highlight how inhuman Vault-Tec’s execs and fellow company heads are. But we prefer the idea that it’s humanity’s own folly that ended things.

Related: Our Fallout 76 review

You can catch Amazon’s Fallout show on Amazon Prime. All eight episodes are available at once, and a second season has already been confirmed.

Weekend Editor // Chris has been gaming since the days of the Acorn Electron, which was allegedly purchased to 'help him with his homework'. You can probably guess how well that went. He’ll tackle most genres – football titles aside – though he has a taste for games that that are post-apocalyptic, horror-oriented or thought provoking in nature.