[Discussion] Fallout What if: What if Harold never made it to a Vault… Part One: The Initial Change Harold, age 5 at the beginning of the war, is never taken to Vault 29. Most likely, he dies in the blast, making his life incredibly short instead of incredibly long. Harold never leaves his Vault in 2090, and never starts up his own Caravan business. Due to this, he never leads an expedition to the Northwest to find the source of mutants, and Richard Grey (Moreau) never gets dropped into the F.E.V, thus, the Unity does not exist. At first, not much changes: But due to Richard not being mutated, and the Unity not existing, this small change slowly cascades into a large butterfly effect (will get to that later as we go on). The Children of the Cathedral, a Cult led by Morpheus in the Boneyard, is never recruited by the Master and thus they remain just an ordinary band of cultists. Part Two: The Vault Dweller’s Quest December, 2161: The Vault Dweller leaves his Vault in search of a water chip. He encounters Shady Sands, Junktown, and the Hub, I assume, in much a similar way that he did in the original timeline, perhaps with a few minor changes. The big changes start when he reaches Necropolis. In Necropolis, much would change. It would likely be more populated, since there would be no initial slaughter of the Ghouls when the Super Mutants arrived. However, Set would quite likely have slaughtered Kane and his ‘pacifists’ Ghouls in the sewers, since the main reason he kept them alive in the original timeline was due to them being valuable in case Necropolis was ever sieged: A threat that does not exist in this timeline. The Vault Dweller, similarly, would have a much different time in Necropolis then he would’ve in the game we saw. Set would likely have no use for the Vault Dweller in this timeline, and the VD would never have been told about the water pump situation, so he’d either have to fight his way through the Ghouls, or sneak past them. Ian never dies by flamethrower. Dogmeat never dies in Mariposa. If the Vault Dweller retrieves the water chip, then he returns home. I don’t know if in this timeline the Overseer would let the Vault Dweller back in, or exile them like in the original game. It’s quite likely that he could just be let back into the Vault and accepted as a hero, or maybe not. In Adytum, since the Vault Dweller never had any reason to visit it, the Regulators stay in power, and possibly, eventually, slaughter the Blades. The Gun Runners are never stopped from conducting business, as the Deathclaws were never refined by the Master. The Brotherhood likely have little reason in this alt-history to leave their Lost Hills bunker, since there is no threat of Super Mutants to draw them into battle. Broken Hills never exists, as its founder, Marcus, stays a normal human. The settlement of Gecko and Dayglow don’t exist either, since there’s never a Great Migration to send them anywhere. Necropolis remains the singular Ghoul settlement in New California. The NCR is likely founded as it was originally. Tandi as president, with Shady Sands as its capital. Vault City is never threatened by radiation from Gecko, and so continues on as it normally does. If the Vault Dweller was never exiled, then he lives out his days in Vault 13, possibly becoming overseer. If he does get exiled, then he’s likely less traumatized and jaded then in the original timeline, and possibly just settles in Shady Sands. It is much less likely that he ever finds the settlement of Arroyo. Part Three: The Enclave The Enclave begins to resurface like in the original timeline. This time, though, their path to the FEV is much, much less challenging. After realizing that the world is so degraded, they simply fly over to the unruined, mostly intact Mariposa Military Base, and extract FEV from the unruined, mostly intact Vats. In this timeline, they don’t have many test subjects. It is likely they still raid Vault 13 for test subjects, but I don’t know where they’d get their “freshly mutated” stock. Perhaps they’d go to some random tribe, or perhaps it just takes them a few more months to a year at most to perfect their FEV Curling-13 project, but I believe that by 2243 at the latest, they finish their project, and with nobody to stop them… The FEV Curling-13 is released. Everyone not inoculated to its effect dies. From San Francisco, to New Reno, to Vault City, and Klamath, and the Den, and NCR, and eventually across the world, all the Wastelanders (except for the ones inside the Vaults) die. The Oil Rig, with its 1,000 people, and the remaining survivors in Vaults, are the last humans on the Earth. Part Four: Hypothetical Enclave victory The Enclave likely uses Navarro, if they build it in this timeline, as a starting point for their eventual recolonization of the United States. Along with people, equipment and technology for rebuilding the irradiated wasteland is brought here. Navarro essentially goes from Military Base to the Enclave’s first mainland settlement. And from now on, this is the Enclave’s story. They rebuild America however they see fit. But it’s interesting, from a lore perspective, how the death of one 5 year old child in the Great War led to a complete shift of the timeline. Of course, I couldn’t predict everything, and this is just hypothetical. Tell me what you guys think!