Yes, Fallout: New Vegas Is Still Canon After The TV Show

Yes, Fallout: New Vegas Is Still Canon After The TV Show

Like an atomic bomb, Amazon dropped all eight episodes of the Fallout TV show on April 10. The show is full of easter eggs, lore drops, and big implications for the future of the franchise. But some fans were quick to suggest that the show may change the series’ past as well, even arguing that it retcons out entire games such as the beloved Fallout: New Vegas. But does it? Let’s dig into it. (To do so, we’ll have to discuss events from later episodes, including the season finale, so consider yourselves warned.)

kotaku spoiler warning
Image: Kotaku Australia

The fear that the TV show retcons past Fallout games comes predominantly from episodes five and six. Vault 33 resident Lucy and Brotherhood of Steel member Maximus stumble upon the ruins of Shady Sands. While the settlement was once a thriving city, and Maximus’s home, it was nuked sometime in the past and is now mostly a crater. Shady Sands is one of Fallout’s most iconic locations, as the first settlement most players encounter in the original game. Over time, the settlement grew and became the home of the New California Republic.

The NCR is one of the major factions in Fallout: New Vegas, but that game never mentions the group’s capital getting nuked. While exploring Vault 4, Lucy sees a helpful timeline of events on a blackboard. At the end of the timeline, “The Fall of Shady Sands” is dated as 2277, with another arrow pointing to a mushroom cloud. Fallout New: Vegas takes place in 2281.

Image: Prime TV

This new event on the timeline has many fans worried that Bethesda has used the Fallout TV show to effectively remove Fallout: New Vegas (which was developed by Obsidian Entertainment) from canon. In some fans’ minds, this is confirmed by the ending of the show, which shows the city of New Vegas, though unlike the bustling city of lights that it is in the game, here, Vegas appears to be dead and lifeless. But the show isn’t changing canon so much as it’s building something new off of what already exists.

The Fallout TV show is the furthest in the timeline that any property has gone, taking place in 2296. That’s 15 years after New Vegas. While the game itself has many endings, none of them are established as canon since the location has not been revisited until now. With the implication that the series will be returning to the location in its second season, the showrunners (and Bethesda) will need to choose a canon ending to the game, as well as decide a decade and a half of events that take place after.

There are plenty of reasons New Vegas could have stagnated and been abandoned by the time the Fallout TV show takes place. As for the alleged retconning via the nuking of Shady Sands, well, that doesn’t definitively remove NCR from the world. As a new entry in the franchise, the show needed to add new lore. Just because a nuke wasn’t mentioned in New Vegas, that doesn’t mean it can’t fit into the lore without deleting the game from the timeline. Furthermore, the show features one of New Vegas’s biggest characters in its finale. During a flashback, we see the head of RobCo, Robert House. Those familiar with the game know that Mr. House rules over New Vegas in 2281, and it’s possible he may still be around by 2296.

Of course, if none of this is convincing enough, then don’t take my word for it. Emil Pagliarulo, Bethesda Studio Design Director and the writer of Fallout 3 and 4, took to X (formerly Twitter) to address the question of New Vegas being canon or not. “Of course it is,” he responded, “We’ve never suggested otherwise.” There you have it.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


2 responses to “Yes, Fallout: New Vegas Is Still Canon After The TV Show”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *