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Chris Avellone brings us the first update for his Fallout Apocrypha project that originally went live last month. This addition to the document tells us why there are no horses in Fallout, and why talking Deathclaws make no sense whatsoever. Here's more on the former:
SPEAKING OF WHICH, WHY ARE THERE NO HORSES IN FALLOUT?
There might be, somewhere. But the biggest reasons for no horses are as follows:
- They aren’t part of the game world (I mean this in the game mechanics sense). None of the Fallout teams had time to implement horses in the game, and realized it would cause a lot of game mechanic problems that we didn’t have the time or budget to solve (Bethesda probably has less of an excuse than we did, both at Interplay and Obsidian, we were always out of time and budget).
- The presence of horses would cause a lot of tech changes that we don’t account for in the environment, anywhere.
- People probably got really, really hungry at points in the Fallout timeline, and horses don’t usually survive that. You could also argue that dogs should be in this same category, but well… they’re not. All the dogs survived because they were led by an Eternal Dog Champion, Dogmeat, who would continually arise in a new incarnation every generation to protect lupinekind from extinction at the hands of humans.
- One of the Fallout 3 (Bethesda) level designers once did a presentation about environmental storytelling, and in it, he showcased a Fallout level design sample where it looked like someone had ridden a motorcycle over a ramp and crashed (this is a poor description, it’s been a while). The crashed motorcycle was a cool visual storytelling moment, but then he ended the description of that scene with (paraphrased) “…but what’s wrong with this picture?”
Horses are a similar concern. They may exist somewhere in the Fallout world in a vault or frozen or whatever, but their use as mounts, travel assists, and “tech” applications would have a big impact on the Fallout world that simply isn’t budget for or accounted for.
- After this, he then correctly pointed out why this motorcycle environmental set up, which was very well done and kind of funny for a player to find, was a mistake in the context of the game.
- It implies motorcycles can be fixed and ridden in Fallout, which isn’t shown anywhere else. The player certainly can’t do it, but they certainly would want to do it if they could. Normally, this isn’t a question, but as soon as you see that motorcycle scene, you suddenly do question it.
- Riding motorcycles is cool, so providing a hint that you might be able to ride one and then denying the player of that option is unfair, jarring, and reminds them the game world could have been more.