Is F3 a part of the Fallout canon?

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by Miwenskee, May 25, 2010.

  1. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    I agree that sometimes the lines can be blurry, though I don't look at the Fallout universe as something similar to say... a comic book, where you would have such a number of reboots, character cross-overs and alternate universe stories that could be difficult to keep consistent over a period of several decades... but the longer something runs, the more inconsistencies you may find to the original lore. This is inevitable, even with the greatest diligence. Comics would be a great example of this, or Star Trek or maybe books from the Forgotten Realms series.

    Fallout 3 was a reboot and a fresh start from a company that only recently picked up the franchise. Perhaps the best decision they could have made was to take it out east, because this gave them room to add some of their own lore. They were able to do this within the confines of the previous history, while maintaining the freedom to do something new.

    A game labeled "3" as a sequel to it's predecessors and released by the owners of the franchise should be considered canon (which was the discussion here). That's not to say there may not be oversights/inconsistencies, but that is more due to human error or "honest mistake" in trying to connect the dots with the previous games. There is a lot of lore to take care of.

    Examples of mistakes/things I would not accept as canon would be "Vault-Tek" or "Vault-man" which are things you can find in the earlier versions but have been standardized to "Vault-tec" and "Vault-boy".
  2. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    Also, I can't really speak to Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel as I haven't played though it yet. I have been meaning to download it, so I suspect I'll be doing that sometime soon.

    I know BOS is one iteration of the Fallout series that receives an amount of vitriol, especially from some of the F1/F2 fans... but many of them hated Fallout 3 as well, a game I thought was pretty amazing.

    I am suspecting it will be canon, unless everything within the game is completely self-contained, with no history or reference in any of the past, present or future Fallouts... in which case, I guess that falls into a kind of gray area.
  3. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    how can THIS not be bad ?


    Yeah ... the knights of the wasteland.

    F3 might do some things wrong ... but at least its better then Bos.
  4. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    True if we use canon as a shorthand for "what's reflected by the most recent official publication" or something, which is reasonable enough as people very often do, but I don't think that's how everyone in this thread is using the term, and I also think it's fair to say they don't have to, as that would needlessly reduce the concept and its usefulness.

    On the lowest level of abstraction, we have the facts of the actual published products: not really facts of the game world (which does not exist) but facts of how the world is represented. These are simple and immutable as long as George Lucas is kept out of the picture. They can be along the lines of:

    * According to an introductory passage in the manual, Fallout 7 begins in the year 2294.
    * If you enter the Boneheads' hideout from the south, there will be a flare lying in the hallway.
    * If you meet Karen in the desert and select the right dialogue options, she will tell you that she was prevented from exploring Vault 39 by an infestation of scorpiteks.
    * The RGB value of the flag of the Yellow Sultanate averages out to #FCE00A.
    * Every carnivorous plantalope in the game has four feeding-tendrils except the one seen in the cutscene for Vault 37, which seemingly has three.
    * When Old Bob teaches you about hunting geckotrons, he says that they live in the highlands.
    * All geckotron encounters in the game take place in the lowlands.

    Canon is not merely a (pointless) word for the complete enumeration of these facts: it is a meta-construction, a shared abstraction that surrounds and incorporates the facts and others. For instance, professions of authorial intention, which are very often taken to be work-defining:

    Or retroactive changes:

    Or retroactive fixation of variable outcomes:

    Or related but not integrated works:

    Or assumptions and discoveries:

    In the end, no one owns or controls canon because it's not the type of entity that works that way. If ten years after the release of Fallout 11 RichBob buys the license and posts on the internet that he just bought the license and has decided the Master never existed, no one will or should give a damn. Even now, if a Fallout developer drops a line somewhere about some unused backstory for a settlement like the Den, will people jump on it? Maybe, maybe not. Likely not if it involves raccoons. Some concepts like obvious premises in published games will be quickly and easily incorporated because it's a rational thing to do, but this is a matter of convenience, not compulsion. The bottom line is you can't separate the audience from canon because as an abstraction it exists in us as much as in the creators that come and go; we actively partake in its creation as we collectively perceive and sift through and make sense of the facts. There is no official electric canon machine that processes the real facts into imagined canon for us; we do that. And perhaps that's what the discussion is here. We're not being post-modernist enough about these things.
  5. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    You raise some interesting points and it sounds like you've mulled this over before. I guess then, that canon (if it were to be singularly defined) should be the generally accepted "shared abstraction that surrounds and incorporates" Fallout 1, 2 and 3.

    Do you feel that it is canon? And if yes/no, what are your reasons?

    Some thoughts below:

    *Authors may contradict in-game facts with how something was meant to be or interpretted. Unless such occurrences are either fixed in a patch or addressed in a sequel release I don't believe these statements would or should be generally considered canon (depending on the magnitude of the change they had proposed).

    If an author said that a certain NPC's shirt should have been blue, or that someone's dialogue was suppose to be different... these are mundane things. Whether they're considered canon doesn't really alter the universe.

    What some people are proposing is that Fallout is not canon and thus an alternate Fallout universe. It is implied that at some point Fallout 3 changed history to become what it is, which doesn't appear to be the case.

    It should also be considered that an author statement or interview is not going to be viewed by 99% of the people playing the game, so unless it's actually put in, it's difficult to get that correction/clarification out there. The Fallout wikia is extremely helpful in this regard however, as I have noted some lore corrections from the Fallout bible. Mind you, they have been rather minor. I've found it an excellent resource.

    I don't think this is really a grey area though and certainly doesn't apply to Fallout 3 as it stands currently. This would be a complete change of a major historical event, which would be creating an "alternate universe" Fallout.

    It's similar to the new Star Trek movie in which Vulcan was destroyed. They've gone back to pre-kirk times and fundamentally altered a major event in that universe... which has created a new one. This is canon, but only in the way that it is a new and seperate Star Trek timeline all together. It's not canon to the existing history of the original Star Trek and it's subsequent series'.

    As far as I am aware, Fallout 3 has not changed any major historical events.

    I believe these are absolutely canon, because they aren't just proposed as "this is how it should have been" they have actually made the correction. Typically these aren't major corrections.

    Just like the previous point, I'm not aware that Fallout 3 has retroactively changed anything major... now, I would believe that they may have changed something minor, either inadvertently or because they felt it didn't make sense in the first place. I'd be interested in seeing an example of this actually.

    I believe such changes can also be considered canon. If these are considered fixes/patches, they are official changes applied to the game. I'm not aware of any such occurrence that was majorly history changing (were there any?). I can see how this would get confusing if Fallout 2 had been patched and completely changed one of the side quests. This would be confusing to future generations who may or may not install the patch.

    I think such complications are greatly reduced in today's generation, since most patches will prompt you to update when you load up the game (rather than having to seek it out).

    I think we could get into a deep, philosophical discussion about what constitutes canon, but I'm mostly talking about how it relates to Fallout 3 and whether it is inline with Fallout 1/2 or a completely new universe/series.

    When you're dealing with that much lore (from over a decade ago) it can be difficult to have the pieces of the puzzle come together perfectly. Even Fallout 1/2 are riddled with minor inconsistencies between the two of them, so it should be expected that Fallout 3 would have some.

    So, are there minor differences? Yes. Are there major, history breaking/altering inconsistencies? No, I don't feel so... but I am open to discussion.

    This is a stimulating conversation, haha.
  6. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    You're probably right... but there should be. I guess that's the OCD part of me that leans away from canon being an abstract concept and being much more a collection of facts that conform to or were arrived at through a set of standards for determining canon.

    As logical as I believe my standards to be, these are of course subjective... it sounds like we need a Fallout council of Nicaea.

    I do believe that there are facts that we cannot dispute. Such as the year the war started, who the war was with, etc. I guess then, the question as it relates to this thread... is Fallout 3 inline with the Fallout universe, as it was set by Fallout 1/2?
  7. Tihi

    Tihi First time out of the vault

    Jul 4, 2008
    can somebody elaborate on why fallout tactics with it's midwest settings would be considered canon and fallout 3 not? maybe someone can make a list like:

    BOS----------------------FOT ok because...F3 not ok because.....
    Super mutants------------FOT ok because...F3 not ok because.....

    maybe it can be compared with also FO1/2 to emphasize important characteristics? like this:

    BOS----------------------FOT ok because...F3 not ok FO1/2 was.....
    Super mutants------------FOT ok because...F3 not ok FO1/2 was.....

    just an idea
  8. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    We have to remember that, simply because it took place further East, does not immediately make it uncanon. It's a question of whether the events and new information in Fallout 3, can connect and co-exist with the existing history and be a part of it.

    I don't think this was difficult for the game to do, since it taking place in DC left them a lot of leeway. Much of the events in Fallout 3 have nothing to do with the lone wanderers from Fallout 1 and 2. It's not a continuation of that story. But that isn't a pre-requisite for being canon.
  9. Tihi

    Tihi First time out of the vault

    Jul 4, 2008
    I'm wandering because most "older" players consider FOT canon but not F3. That's why I thought direct comparison would be interesting.
  10. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    I'm not sure I see the relevance of the question. I refer to my previous post for what I feel canon is.

    The design of Nuka-Cola bottles?

    This part was mostly a reference to the Fallout 2 manual which gives a brief description of the events of Fallout. Before this point, none of that was fixed. A player might never encounter Ian or Dogmeat. They're there in the world, but their actions if any are completely indeterminate. With the release of Fallout 2, it became a purported fact of the Fallout world that Ian and Dogmeat joined the protagonist and died later on. But you can start up a game of Fallout, go directly to Shady Sands and shoot Ian in the face, and you can encounter Dogmeat in an Easter egg in Fallout 2. Do we assume the creators of Fallout 2 meant that the introduction should be taken as facts of the game world? If so, do we necessarily accept this? All this goes to show that game facts don't translate to world lore in a simple linear fashion.

    Whether the war started over the scarcity of resources or as the result of alien meddling...

    People have many gripes with Tactics. I believe the developers of Van Buren and Bethesda both took the stance that Tactics wouldn't be contradicted, but neither would it be overtly acknowledged. FoBos is just ignored.
  11. DirkGently

    DirkGently Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 2, 2010
    Am the only one who has never really understood this obsession with what's canon and what's not canon?
  12. SkuLL

    SkuLL Chad McRealman Orderite

    Sep 6, 2009
    Thank you! :clap: You're not the only one.

    (good books those Gently ones, by the way)
  13. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    You will find a great many people who don't care if you go to, I don't know, a place that isn't a Fallout fan site.
  14. DirkGently

    DirkGently Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 2, 2010
    Fair enough, but I meant in general. A lot of fandoms have a lot of people who seem to care way to much about canon and what's not.
  15. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    I fail to see how that could surprise anyone.
  16. DirkGently

    DirkGently Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 2, 2010
    Some of us, apparently, have faith in the human race.
  17. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Just an opinion and not really a fact but for me it mattered as its regarding continuity and follow up on the 'fact' and information from the previous games and into the next game.

    I don't see Fallout 3 as canon as it messed up to much with the 'facts' of the previous games (a new place where Super Mutants come from/the Enclave still a large military power that still has its FEV plot), how the Brotherhood was changed for the sake of making them these pseudo knight 'good guys', and a lot of new material that was either weak or very stupid.

    That would be reasons why I for example would never mention Fallout 3 and most likely Bethesda's follow ups if I ever made a Fallout game.
  18. Shadow of the Wastes

    Shadow of the Wastes It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Aug 8, 2010
    Is it ever said they never come from anywhere else? Is that claim substantiated by anything but "Person says so?"

    The enclave have numbers, technology, and are basically psychotic. That the president is a computer doesn't help.

    So a faction of the Brotherhood that cares more about protecting people just can't happen?

    If I made a Fallout game, I would set it in another country, so I would at most have to make passing references to stuff, but otherwise be free to make a game where I'm not expected to run and check whether fanboys will be happy with story wank every 5 minutes.
  19. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    You know what else would let you fart around however you want? Making a post-apocalyptic game that isn't a Fallout game.
  20. Aphyosis

    Aphyosis Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 4, 2009
    FEV was being held close to the chest of the government. The only places which held samples were Mariposa and the Glow/Westtek.

    The enclave is all but destroyed at the end of Fallout 2.

    The Brotherhood indoctrinated it's members into their beliefs very early. Having an entire section go rogue is very difficult to believe. Hypothetically assuming it was to happen it could have been done in a immensely better way.