Fallout history 101 part two: Weapons and Robots
In part one of this series, I briefly outlined the over-arching political influences that eventually lead to the Great War and then the Fallout universe as we know it. While these influences are the forefront of how the Wasteland came to be, other facets also contributed to the pre-war crisis. These facets, therefore, still shape and mold the culture of Fallout’s pre-war era that the Courier, the Wanderer, or the Vault-dweller experience in the Wasteland.
As I stated in part one, The Fallout wiki and the Fallout Bible are thorough resources for all who seek a more comprehensive explanation than what I am about to outline. In preparation for Fallout 4 this November, I present the shortened history of Fallout, Chapter two: weapons and robots.
I chose to outline weapons and robots in the second part because these two elements closely tie in to the global war machine that eventually wrecked the planet. Let’s begin in 1942. The famous Sierra Army Depot is created north of Reno. The Depot originally held weapons for the military (in preparation of the Japanese threat) although its purpose changed several times before the Great War, 135 years later. It was only a year after this when nuclear testing began in the Mojave for the Manhattan Project and three years before the test bomb actually dropped.
Then we have the timeline split from real world to Fallout lore. The military performed lots of covert testing during this time (1940s-1960s). This includes the B-29 crash into Lake Mead and the reclamation of this artifact would later become a main quest for the Boomers. However, weapons don’t really get interesting until the 1990s when the Sierra Army Depot changes its purpose for the first time.
The race for robots
The Depot’s mission did a 180 to actually rid the US of weaponry deemed harmful the country or planet. Military downsizing caused a race for the technological advancement of robots that General Atomics International eventually achieved in 2037 with Mister Handy. The Mister Handy units become fairly popular and are eventually improved upon when Robert House opens RobCo in 2042. RobCo is responsible for Liberty Prime, Pip-Boys, Protectrons, Stealth Boys and the most popular operating system (2075) in circulation until the Great War- and is perhaps why Fallout 4 did not change the look and feel of the computers.
From the makers of Stealth Boy and security robots: The best OS in the land.
Power Armor and AI
The rest of the 2040s and 2050s are in a constant state of global chaos between the Plague, famine, and war. In 2059, the technology race comes to a head when artificial intelligence is born from automated personality. Think the Sink in the Big-MT evolving into Yes Man or Victor. Meanwhile, automobiles become obsolete due to oil depletion and this pressures scientists to hurry the development of fusion energy.
"Did I just say "exploiting"? That's not a very nice word!"
Six years later, Power Armor is introduced. Although the prototypes were cumbersome and inefficient, the precedent set forth a second wave of technological advancement for military purposes. The T-45d Power Armor is perfected by 2067, in time for Operation: Anchorage. Because of Power armor development, the fusion cell is developed the next year.
Although originally meant to provide power to the US during the energy crisis, it was not enough to rebuild the static US. Because of its development, Chryslus Motors invents the fusion-powered car in 2070.
The Great War
By 2077 (The Great War), Robert House goes into stasis and Power Armor is used on rioting US citizens. The Sierra Army Depot is evacuated, the Platinum Chip (a data storage device that contains offensive and defensive information and sought after by Robert House to protect “the strip”) is developed, and virtual reality is tested.
After the Great War, several vaults and bunkers sit empty with the exception of robots and vermin. By 2081, Sierra Army Depot’s AI, Skynet becomes self-aware. The survivors of the war spend the next two hundred years recovering and building upon the pre-war artifacts for defense and education. Among the more organized, The Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave continue developing and testing Power Armor, manufacturing robots, and eventually perfecting Liberty Prime (originally intended for Operation: Anchorage).
"Death is a preferable alternative to Communism."
Next time: Aliens, abductions, and space travel!