How "retro" was Fallout intended to be?

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by Indianajoneszilla, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. fred2

    fred2 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 2, 2013
    I agree. Also IMO the radio was a great feature for FO3 and FO:NV, because they were continues open world games, with far greater focus on exploration. Those who prefered the silence could just turn it off. But all this talk about what we wanted\liked is not about what FO was intended to be but us projecting our feelings on the subject.
  2. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    It didn't bother me that much at first, but over time it got more and more annoying. The radio itself is a great future, but at the end of the day, as much as I enjoyed the music, it was telling me that something with the gameworld was weird. It's a minor annoyance, really, but an annoyance nonetheless.

    I agree with you on the ambient part.
    Soundtrack of FNV is pretty good in my opinion. The whole approach of making it really ambient - various tunes fit for various parts of the wasteland - was great, but in the end, it lacked variety a bit, and some of the ambient tracks aren't fitting all that well (i.e. Hoover Dam theme).
    FO3's soundtrack was a step in a whole other direction - it did sound post-apocalyptic at times, in a Book of Eli sort of way, but I still believe it would probably fit a fantasy game a lot better, and doesn't compare to the original music to me at all - but it had some great moments.
  3. durstlimpbizkit

    durstlimpbizkit I broke the water chip.

    Mar 24, 2014
    Agreed on the Hoover Dam theme.

    I overlook the music a lot in Fallout and it never really dawned on me. The tracks are a nice change of pace from the monsters/people you fight because it just seems so calm and laid back compared to the wasteland. Just feels like it's done on purpose to have that contrast to remind you of how different not just their world is from ours; but how different their world is now compared to how it used to be.
  4. Buxbaum666

    Buxbaum666 Heterostructured Nanorod oTO Orderite

    Dec 5, 2003
    My main gripe with the radio was that there weren't nearly enough tracks and I got tired of them very fast. But that's always going to be a problem with games that will easily make you to clock in 30+ hours. That's where ambient music really shines. It never gets old for me.

    As already pointed out, I think it actually wouldn't be too out-of-place in art-deco architecture. 1932:
  5. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Fallout was a cross between various "retro" themes as seen from today's point of view. You've got 50s, 80s, retro-futurism of 50s and 80s, pop cultural references spanning decades and decades. I say it was definitely retro, but what kind of retro is a different question. It really had everything in it.
  6. helios1

    helios1 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Mar 10, 2014
    The originals had the 50s futuristic theme representing the old pre war world that was lost, with little remnants of it left behind. In fallout 3 I felt like the wasteland and the people in it are still in the 50s. Fallout 3 kind of took too much of the mystery of the pre war world away by showing too much of it.
  7. Spacerace

    Spacerace First time out of the vault

    Aug 8, 2013
    I really like the atmosphere that Beth' created...but that might just be because I'm a HUGE fan of Diesel Punk and Raygun Gothic. In my opinion I always got the retro vibe...even in the first two (never played Tactics or BoS). Its the small and subtle stuff that really pulled it off. In some senses the gun designs gave off a late 50s vibe.
  8. Neon Child

    Neon Child First time out of the vault

    May 12, 2015
    I had been wondering for the longest why they had chosen to use mostly 50's style of music when the war didn't happen in till 100 years after that. Although some people liked the explanation that the war made it so that pop-culture remained stagnant, but looking at the lore this isn't true. Comic books for instance were being created around 2021 (only 30 year before the war) and even some of the drive in theaters that exist in Fo3 and Fo:NV have cars still sitting in them which indicates that somebody was watching a damn movie with the nukes dropped. Besides that I'm pretty sure New Vegas states on one of their loading screens that many of the people ignored the warning of nukes dropping because they had been hearing if for so long. What makes this worse is that 3Dog makes it clear that he didn't find any records when started up GNR when he says that he doesn't know what a disc is. So the chances that culture didn't change in 100 years doesn't make any sense.

    With all that said I blame bethesda for that because of things like Arefu (where a lady somehow is deluded into thinking that she in the perfect little 50's suburb) and that simulation. Obsidian kinda fixed it by choosing a more suitable theme and references to other things. Even the music made more sense because Mr. House (Who was alive pre-war) enjoyed the old world and quite of a few of the song the songs had that western vibe which fit as well. I feel like Obsidian did a lot of clean up to the system that Bethesda put in place. I really hope they do get to make another west coast game. Maybe Arizona or NCR (so its close enough for us to learn the true fate of New Vegas) or possibly Washington or Alaska so we can reach into Canada (whether DLC ot not doesn't matter to me).
  9. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Fallout 1 and 2 established a retro futuristic world before the war, robots, weapons, technology all based on the 50's idea of what the future would look like, all that idealism contrasted with the values of the real world 50's outside of the americana propaganda extrapolated into the future with a complex timeline of how this retro futuristic world developed, the music from that era used in the intro and outro movies was meant to contrast with the gritty situations, and New Vegas followed uponit very nicely. It was never implied anything except robots and weapons stopped developing after the fifities, but then came Fallout 3 and just exaggerated the "SILLY!" aspects of it, so now everybody has a 50's hairstyle, people didn't have tvs or for some reason still heard radio dramas weel into the 2077s, planes still looked like out of WWII (except the KEWWL Vertibirds), they drank radioactive isotopes well after years of research would've shown that this wasn't healthy, everything was NUCULEAR so cars would explode into a mushroom cloud when shot, they still used Fatman style nukes (despite there being a Silo with more modern looking nuclear missiles) and the Inkspots where the last band to ever produce music forever.
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
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  10. AlphaPromethean

    AlphaPromethean Vault Senior Citizen

    Mar 16, 2013
    Just thought I'd leave this here:

    F1&F2 retrofuturism > Fallout 3&NV retrofuturism

    Fallout 1 and 2 were much more distinct and interesting than Fallout 3 and NV.

    Really, I'm preaching to the choir, but whatever.
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  11. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Fallout New Vegas retrofuturism was just like 1 and 2.
  12. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Fallout 3 definitely nailed the architectural style, something New Vegas sadly lacks, mostly because of its lack of big city settings.
  13. Neon Child

    Neon Child First time out of the vault

    May 12, 2015
    Although I agree with this, I'd say that New Vegas itself was done very well. Most of the other places you see don't live up to it, but that is why it works. New Vegas is supposed to be this magical place out in the wastes where you can either win it all or crawl back home with your pockets empty, if you still have pocket on your way back home.
  14. Vault11

    Vault11 Banned

    May 23, 2015
    If I recall the long and short of it, the reason the 50s style lasted until 2077 is because communist subversion of the US (hippies, beatniks, counterculture) was unsuccessful, unlike real life. What we see as the "50s style" as just a decade long fad of how things were and what the country's values were, was never interupted in the Fallout universe. 50s style was simply American style, a national identity and way of life that passed from generation to generation. The fact that America became more despotic near the end would help solidify the nationalism and thus make the American identity practically mandatory in society. To address the music angle, those songs were probably classic and culturally passed down - instead of our shallow music industry of today, where artists are lifted up and cast out in about half a decade, in the Fallout universe these songs were identified with American culture, like old Irish or Russian drinking songs are forever associated with them. I'm sure there was "newer" stuff made in the Fallout world, but after the war it's likely the old classics were the only ones left around because they simply had many, many more copies than the newer songs that didn't really take off. There was also a lot of basic theme music in New Vegas made by unnamed studio songwriters in the 90s, these unknown songs could be portrayed as the newer, post-50s classics that had also survived.

    And since we are on the theme of pre-war culture and stuff, does anyone know why there were so many faces on buildings? Was it just supposed to be a style or something?
  15. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite

    Jul 26, 2003
    Idealized human iconography was a bit of a thing in Art Deco architecture and similar contemporary styles. You probably noted a fair amount of it in BioShock's Rapture, too. It played into the whole "pinnacle of human achievement" mythos the era had going for it as well as harkening back to the aesthetics of Greco-Roman times, which was en vogue back then. Conversely, to the more socially conscious retro-futurist storytellers of the time it helped evoke the idea of Big Brother and the totalitarian/fascist aim of faceless, flawless perfection.

    As to the wider question of the retro bits of Fallout, I'm going to blaspheme here and say that I've always personally felt that it was, structurally, the least important component of the game, and I think the developers were very cognizant of that. It was all for presentation, for setting the world apart and giving it a distinctive face, and though it made for a hell of a sizzle, it had nothing to do with the steak itself. It was a focusing device, aimed squarely at the player and strictly inconsequencial to the wasteland and its denizens-- "They were living in the World of Tomorrow, and now no one even knows what Instant Spaghetti is."

    Scrub the retro-future and cold war themes from the first two games, and what do they lose? Some visual styling and a bit of narrative poignancy. The wasteland itself hardly changes at all.
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  16. Matt the Czar

    Matt the Czar First time out of the vault

    Feb 19, 2015
    I think the problem was Bethesda was a little too serious about the 50s aesthetic. In 1 and 2 things the Vaults were more a vision of the future seen in the 50s, all clean stainless steel, art deco, and modern appliances. Outside the vaults things look more like an 80s future, where it isn't an 80s apopcalyse, there is lots of neon and laser guns (not rayguns). It seems to shows a world that moved on, unlike the Enclave and the Vault Dwellers (and Bethesda :D).
  17. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Gyro Captain

    Dec 11, 2013
    I agree, there is definitely a strong 80s influence, especially in the aesthetics of the wasteland. This is seen most prominently in the many homages to The Road Warrior (I don't think there's a two sleeved suit of leather of armor to be found anywhere!), but I think even things like the design of the Super Mutants, the many dwarves in FO1 (whatever happened to dwarves in Fallout? I miss them), the look of the Ghouls (Seth looks a lot like Iron Maiden's Eddy!), even the Power Armor, owe more to 80s science fiction than they do to the 50s. And maybe it's just me but I was always more drawn to these elements of the series, rather than the Art Deco past.
  18. Big HooDoo

    Big HooDoo Your Local Witch Doctor

    May 8, 2015
    Not really....
  19. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Damn, it's true. I want dwarves (dwarfs?) as well.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
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  20. fred2

    fred2 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 2, 2013
    I doubt that they worth the effort..
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015