Ella Purnell as Lucy in 'Fallout'

‘Fallout’ Fans Are Worried the TV Series May Have Just Retconned the Best Game in the Franchise

The Fallout TV series has been—like a nuclear bomb—nothing short of incendiary. However, fans are worried about a new bombshell: The potential retcon of the events of New Vegas—the greatest of all Fallout games. Is the city of New Vegas still a thing? Or was it obliterated in a big red button push by the writer’s room?

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Where are these anxieties coming from?

The fear of communism. Advances in nuclear tech. The disintegration of democracy in the hands of capitalism. There’s a lot to be afraid of in the world of Fallout—that’s why it ended! But why the Vegas drama?

Spoilers for Prime Video’s Fallout ahead!

The culprit is episodes five and six of the first season, where Vault 33 resident Lucy and Brotherhood of Steel soldier Maximus discover the ruins of Shady Sands, one of the franchise’s most important locations. It’s the first settlement that the player finds in the original Fallout game. It’s home. Eventually, that settlement served as the seed of the powerful state of The New California Republic. By the time the show’s protagonists reach it, it’s just another bombed-out city, and it certainly didn’t seem that way in New Vegas.

Confusing the timeline even further, while exploring the ruined Vault 4, Lucy finds a blackboard that features “The Fall of Shady Sands” listed as occurring in 2077. New Vegas took place in 2081. So what’s going on? Does the New California Republic faction no longer exist? Does what happens in New Vegas no longer stay in New Vegas? The finale has an answer.

At the end of the first season, the characters find the desolate city of New Vegas looking far more dead than it ever did in the game. So what happened?

Here’s the thing: The Fallout TV series takes place 15 years after the events of New Vegas. It seems that the city has fallen during that time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there was a retcon at play. New Vegas could have (and probably did) crumble sometime during that 15-year gap. A lot can happen in 15 years. The end of the world happened in less than one.

As for the NCR faction, it’s possible (and likely) that they still exist even if Shady Sands was nuked. New Vegas never mentions a nuke falling on Shady Sands, but it also never says it didn’t happen. While the writers of the Fallout series might be playing a little fast and loose with Shady Sands, that doesn’t delete New Vegas and the events of the game from the canon. After all, one of New Vegas‘ most significant characters Robert House, ruler of the city itself, appears in a flashback during the series. Something tells me he and his New Vegas legacy are likely still around.

My advice? Don’t freak out. It’s not the end of the world, so to speak.

(featured image: Prime Video)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.