references to China in Fallout 1 and 2?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Jabberwok, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. Jabberwok

    Jabberwok Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    397
    Jun 7, 2008
    Lately when I look up lore stuff, I'm trying to separate what came from which part of the franchise, because the wikis mash everything together. Does Fallout 1 ever make any mention of China in the 'Great War'? A lot of the footnotes on the wiki page seem to be referencing Fallout 3, and the most definite thing I see from before that is about San Francisco in Fallout 2. Even then, that doesn't seem to say anything explicit about the war.

    Mostly trying to filter this stuff because I see a lot of references to Fallout that now describe it as the aftermath of a war with China, but I don't ever remember that being an explicit part of the original games? But my memory is imperfect, and I'm curious about what the original intention was.
     
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  2. Eumesmopo

    Eumesmopo Learned to love the bomb

    153
    Dec 6, 2012
    In Fallout 1, China was a superpower and invaded Alaska. It is implicit that it was the main enemy of the United States during Great War. It's all right there in the Intro at 2:30 :

     
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  3. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android A Smooth-Skin

    656
    Jun 7, 2015
    In Fo2 I'm certain that Dick Richardson explicitly mentions the Red Chinese.

    Though I can't recall any specific mentions, I am fairly certain it's referenced in Fo1, though they certainly didn't put as fine a point on it as in Fo3.
     
  4. Jabberwok

    Jabberwok Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    397
    Jun 7, 2008
    Hmm, yeah, forgot about that line. I guess I just remembered it as being a general clusterfuck, since there's so little focus on it elsewhere. Oops.

    I'm curious if there's anything from that game that goes into more detail, but I haven't been through the later parts in years. Aside from a couple mentions, it sounds like Operation: Anchorage or later is where most of the specifics are coming from...
     
  5. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Kali Yuga Jamboree Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    Fallout 3 has retroactively made people forget that China was brought up before due to Operation Anchorage being so halfass.
     
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  6. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Fossil

    Mar 16, 2013
    Fallout 1 mentions the Chinese were at war with the United States, Fallout 2 has the Shi and the Fallout Bible pretty explicitly refers to China. Additionally, as far as I recall Van Buren also makes several references to the Chinese at war with America.

    In terms of Cold War communist blocs you're only going to have the Soviets and the Chinese. Considering that in Fallout 1 the Soviets have an embassy in LA with their diplomats recieving places in Vault 13, and the other references directly to China. The evidence becomes pretty conclusive
     
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  7. Jabberwok

    Jabberwok Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    397
    Jun 7, 2008
    I think what surprises me in retrospect is that the Soviets are so heavily sidelined, especially in a franchise that is (or has become) so obsessed with Cold War imagery.
     
  8. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Fossil

    Mar 16, 2013
    Nah it makes sense to me. Fallout began development in the mid-90s, and the Soviet Union had recently collapsed in 1991. Not only would making the Soviets the "enemy" seem a little bit already dated despite the retro-future setting, but also media in general was experiencing an absolute deluge of "Russians as the bad guys against USA" so it would have been cliche on top of that. Easy to forget when we're well into the future of the post-9/11 terrorism obsession and then the superhero era, but it was excessively overdone.

    China was also considered to be in "rising power" status for a good twenty years following the end of the Cold War (arguably they still are, although I think most would just accept them as "power" now) so making them the massively powerful super-state in your dark retrofuture would also make sense. I actually think it's quite interesting, and in the head-canon thread I thought it would be fun to speculate how in the Fallout world the sino-soviet split might have been way more dramatic and the ultimate result of swinging the power pendulum.

    I think it's also of credit to the setting because it immediately tells you "This world is very different from our own". Hearing "The Soviets invade Alaska" makes you think of Red Dawn or other shit like that, hearing "China invades Alaska" makes you pause and think about the implications of this and the world that the narrator is explaining to us, and how very very differently it has ended up.
     
  9. Jabberwok

    Jabberwok Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    397
    Jun 7, 2008
    Yeah, that all makes sense. And in fact, because I had specifically forgotten the references to China in the old games, all of the new franchise China lore felt like writers jumping on the bandwagon of the more recent waves of China panic here in the States. Good to know that at least some of that was already there.
     
  10. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Fossil

    Mar 16, 2013
    I can't speak for 76 or really 4 (Last time I played was December 2015) in regards to China lore but I don't think Fallout 3 was that egregious with it. Operation Anchorage as far as I recall is in-universe intended to be an ahistorical jingoistic simulation that portrayed how the US General wished the Anchorage campaign had gone compared to how it actually did.
     
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  11. Moseyonhome

    Moseyonhome First time out of the vault

    19
    Jun 29, 2020
    Was this true, I thought Boris Yeltsin was backed by U.S business interests and the IMF etc. The U.S rigged the 1996 election to keep Boris Yeltsin in power, so it seems odd there would be a media deluge of hatred against Russia at the time.
     
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  12. Jabberwok

    Jabberwok Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    397
    Jun 7, 2008
    I think also what sparked this is that I was struck by the sheer amount of detail on Fallout's pre-war China. There are so many specifics there, and Fallout 2's opening narration comes to mind: "The details are trivial and pointless, the reasons purely human ones."

    Part of the point to me is that the motivations behind the war never mattered. The end result was the same. In Fallout, the people still obsessed with pre-war factions or tech are usually either misguided or villains. But after several games of terminal archaeology, we have this inevitable buildup of information detailing exactly what happened in the war. This strikes me as a bit incongruous.

    Half a century of Cold War paranoia doesn't disappear overnight. And entertainment media builds upon itself. Red Alert came out in '96. The Cold War theming was popular at the time because it was familiar, not necessarily because anti-Russia sentiment was high.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  13. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Fossil

    Mar 16, 2013
    Despite popular conspiracy government foreign policy doesn't directly dictate what's popular in media, it can and often does coincide due to cultural zeitgeist but the vast majority of the population had no idea that would go on. In the 80s and the 90s, basically until 9/11: Russians and broadly Eastern Europeans were as cliche bad guy as you could get. That still persisted into the 2000s.
     
  14. Moseyonhome

    Moseyonhome First time out of the vault

    19
    Jun 29, 2020
    Yea good points.