They attempted to erase us from the internet, but we are still here due to the lasting effects of the Glittering Gem. They told us isometric turn-based RPG's were the way they were due to technological limitations, yet dozens of Kickstarter RPG's keep on disputing this tired old notion. Our numbers have decreased over the years due to many of us growing out of the series once it shifted hands, but we are still manning the walls to this day. Across the web the unenlightened have finally awoken. They see Fallout 76 (and NuFallout) for what it truly is - a pale shadow of it's former self. Fans will argue that it is better for the series to evolve, but we all know the futility in that notion. Once you start stripping away elements of something unique to make it more appealing, you inevitably lose aspects that made it worth paying attention to in the first place. On this most holy of days I thought it would be nice if we reflected on the roots of Fallout, and one key aspect of the mythos that has been corrupted. I am referring of course to Pip-Boy. This article was killed when we upgraded. Give a big thanks to @alec pre-Fallout 3 release for the optimistic tone. ---- Spoiler The original can be found here: http://archive.nma-fallout.com/content.php?page=on-vault-boy-and-pip-boy On Vault Boy and Pip Boy I'm not very good at remembering people's names. Sometimes I'll meet someone whom I went to school with or had sex with, and we'll say hello and have a chat and wish each other the best of luck, but once that person has left, I'll be asking myself the same old question: "What was that person's name again?" The name a person is given at birth is often so arbitrary, that I feel lucky that I manage to remember my own. It's only when a name really suits a person or character, that my brain stores it. The characters that wander around in the novels of Charles Dickens, for instance. Or cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse or Daffy Duck or Tweety. Those are names that make sense to me. They are names that stick. And that's because the creators of fictional characters have a huge advantage over normal parents: they've already figured out what their brainchild is going to look like and how it's going to behave and react. They can plan ahead and pick a name that will fit like a glove. Calling these characters by any other name than the name they were given, seems impossible. Or is it? Vault Boy One day, when Leonard Boyarsky was working on Fallout, he came up with the idea to create a little mascot that would grace the "cards" in the character creation screen. He asked Tramell Ray Isaac to draw something that would evoke the feel of Monopoly cards and this is what the artist came up with: A slicker version of T Ray's design, courtesy of BIS artist Brian Menze All self-respecting Fallout fans know and love this character, but it is amazing how few of them actually know its correct name. Most of them wrongfully refer to him as Pip Boy, so let me make it clear to you for once and for all: the above mascot is called Vault Boy. That's not only the name Leonard Boyarsky gave him, it's also the only name that makes sense. When you watch the intro movie of Fallout closely, you will notice that Boyarsky's mascot is associated with The Vault Of The Future franchise. The Vaults (and some of the Vault equipment like the G.E.C.K.) are Vault Tec "products" - Vault Tec being only one of a number of corporations in the Fallout universe. In the intro movie of Fallout 2, the little fellow in the Vault jumpsuit features yet again in a Vault Tec Production: a promotional movie about leaving the Vault. Seeing that the manuals are Vault Tec publications as well, it should begin to dawn on you that the little blond fella in the Vault jumpsuit is simply the mascot of the whole Vault Tec franchise. Hence the name: Vault Boy. Makes sense, doesn't it? Vault Boy's appearance is based on Rich Uncle Pennybags, the rotund old man in a top hat who serves as the mascot of the game Monopoly. The artist who designed Pennybags has remained a mystery, but it is believed that whilst designing the character, he was partially influenced by the stature and dress of financier and banker J.P. Morgan. Rich Uncle Pennybags (or Milburn Pennybags for the connoisseurs) was rechristened Mr. Monopoly in a Hasbro marketing effort in 1999. Pip Boy Then who is Pip Boy? Pip Boy is another mascot in the Fallout universe, yet a mascot that doesn't play as huge a role as Vault Boy. You can see what he looks like on the game's personal computer: the PIPBOY 2000. The PIPBOY 2000 is not a Vault Tec product. It was made by RobCo Industries. Pip Boy, the little red-haired fella in the yellow outfit, is another one of Leonard Boyarsky's brainchildren and was based on the mascot of Big Boy, a restaurant chain started in 1936 by Bob Wian in Glendale, California. The Big Boy mascot is a chubby boy in red and white with suspenders holding a double decker hamburger: The inspiration for the Big Boy mascot was Richard Woodruff, a 6 year old kid who walked into the diner as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said "Hello Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck. Ben Washam, an American animator who worked at Warner Bros. Cartoons from 1941 until 1962, sketched Woodruff's caricature and this became the restaurant's trademark. If you think that the red-haired Pip Boy bears no resemblance to the black-haired Big Boy, then think again. The Big Boy mascot would eventually also be featured in a comic book, a promotional giveaway for children visiting the restaurant, and this is where things get interesting. Of many of the early issues of the comic, there are what are called Western and Eastern variants. The familiar black-haired Big Boy would appear in comics in the Western chains, whilst for the Eastern chains, every scene with Big Boy was redrawn, depicting him as a blond or even red-haired and somewhat thinner boy. Although I have no confirmation of this, it is quite possible that the artist who drew Pip Boy based his work on the Eastern variant. Referring to Vault Boy as Pip Boy isn't a small mistake. It's about as bad as referring to Calvin as Charlie Brown. You shouldn't use an incorrect name just because two characters look "a lot" like each other. It only creates confusion. And it would be a disservice to Leonard Boyarsky, who created both characters. Nevertheless, it's a mistake that happens all the time. I've often heard that one of the reasons why Vault Boy is mistaken for Pip Boy is probably because of the game Fallout Tactics. In one of the special encounters in that game, you can actually recruit Vault Boy, but the game of course refers to him as Pip Boy: It's easy to blame a game that was developed by a group of designers who didn't quite grasp Fallout's retro-futuristic setting and made tons of unforgivable mistakes, but I doubt they are really responsible for the confusion. Especially when I see that even Chris Avellone uses the name Pip Boy in his Bible and even more so when I see that the very capable Van Buren team made the "same" mistake: The RobCo PIPBOY 2000 wasn't just upgraded in Van Buren, it also used a "new" mascot. My two cents? For a long time, the fans just didn't know any better. The name "Vault Boy" isn't mentioned in the games nor in the manuals. Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain dropped the name in a couple of interviews, but that was it. You had to be a really big fan to put two and two together, so to speak. Let's just hope Bethesda has one of those really big fans within their ranks. -Alec ---- We salute the younger version of you Alec! I remember when I was also so young and full of hope. Of course that was posted before Fallout 3 when some gave the benefit of the doubt...then the radioactive shit began to leak, Roshambo savagely mauled legions of noobs, and the rest is history. Bethesda publicly acknowledges the new Pip-boy is known as Vault Man or Vault Boy. Alec said fans did not known any better, but I know some did because my uncle explained the whole spiel to me back in the 90's. He walked me through the intro of both games in style, explaining who the narrator was (Ron Perlman who was sadly also removed from his iconic role as narrator), who the blonde dude in the blue suit was, and what was up with the red haired spaceman, even going as far to elaborate on the differences between the two. I think people were calling Vault Boy the wrong name even back then. This had to have been 1999 at the latest... Nobody likes the red haired Stepchild of the series, so naturally I have been fascinated with the guy forever. If you search online, you will see he is missing. Vanished. Practically non-existent. Go ahead and try to find some fan art. If you are able to find a dozen or so pics I do not have I will buy you a game. Even Pip-Boy's presence at Bethesda's website is notably absent due to his shirt being SOLD OUT. Spoiler There are always more Fallout 4 candles for sale. You can't buy a shirt with the original Pip-Boy without spending well over the listing price though. We have plenty of figurines of this guy... We even have the template for the REAL Pip-Boy already produced. They just have to release a modified version. "I am sure Fallout 76 will fix this" my brain tells me. Does Zenimax want my money? Fallout 76 has changed the series to the point where we must delve into the past to have a future. In the upcoming days I will be doing just that. Apologies for this not hitting the site earlier gents. I expected others to be on this.