There's a pretty great easter egg hidden in Fallout 4, and it has some juicy implications about two of Bethesda's biggest series.
Some of you have probably found this already, especially if you've allied with a certain faction in Fallout 4. For the rest of you, here's something pretty cool that you can see aboard the Prydwen, the airship commanded by the Brotherhood of Steel.
Over at the research station, where senior scribe Neriah is located, you can view a variety of of different animals, vegetables, and plants. Most of these are things you've encountered out in the wasteland, with the notable exception of this:
What the heck is this? Well, if you pick one of these 'experimental plants,' you can take a closer look. Turns out, it can heal you!
The funny thing about this plant is, it looks a hell of a lot like something else in a different Bethesda game. As Elder Scrolls veterans know, those RPG games have something called "Nirnroot," and it looks like this:
Now, on its own, the resemblance doesn't say much. You could rationalize it as Bethesda reusing assets perhaps, or maybe it's just a totally different plant that happens to look a little like an already-known plant. What really solidifies the Skyrim connection for me is what you'll find next to the experimental plant. A computer happens to log the discovery of the experimental plant, and how it came to be used by the Brotherhood.
Not only are the entries labelled under "NRT" (which could be read as a shorthand for "Nirnroot"), the plant is described in a very similar way to Nirnroot in Skyrim. For example: one NRT log says that the experimental plant in Fallout is found "at the mouth of a river," and in The Elder Scrolls, the lore says that Nirnroot "grows only by the water."
There are other similarities too, such as the fact that both plants glow, and both plants have survived a somewhat catastrophic event. Here are the logs, if you'd like to read them. Click to enlarge.
What a cool discovery for this botanist to have uncovered, huh? Unfortunately...
What makes this Easter egg particularly fun isn't just that it suggests that Fallout and Skyrim are a part of the same world. It also implies that, despite being the more technologically advanced society, Fallout is set in the past, whereas The Elder Scrolls is the future. Heh. Well, I guess that explains why The Elder Scrolls has lizard and cat people: it's obviously radiation, guys.
While I doubt that Bethesda is planning an official crossover anytime soon, it's pretty fun to discover easter eggs that fuel ridiculous fan theories. Remember when people found Skyrim connections in Wolfenstein? That was awesome. Just you wait, someone will draft an official timeline that will explain how all Bethesda games are connected. It will be great.