TV Series Retcon Thread

Discussion in 'Fallout TV Series Discussion' started by AgentBJ09, May 19, 2024.

  1. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    There's a lot of them, and if this show is going to be canon with the games, then it only makes sense to catalogue the retcons as evidence why the show is a steaming pile.

    This OP will be updated as needed.


    A few I can recall relatively well.

    #1 - Vault 33, as well as 32 and 31, being in The Boneyard, close to where The Master's Cathedral was in Fallout 1, and yet he never broke the Vaults open and made everyone inside into Super Mutants when that was the case for other Vaults around Cali.

    EDIT: Not quite in The Boneyard, but west of it. Still very close to the Cathedral so The Master would've found them.

    #2 - The Enclave being back again, despite being wiped out in Fallout 2 by The Chosen One.

    #3 - Vault-Tec being implied to have dropped the bombs first, despite Tim Cain saying it was the Chinese who had done so first. As well as Vault-Tec now being a mega corporation instead of a defense contractor, because CaPiTaLiSm BaD gUiZe.

    #4 - Cold Fusion and the Control Vaults. Cold Fusion was in Fallout 1's manual as part of the GECK that the control vaults had. Making Moldaver the creator of the tech? Only done to assist "The Message" of the series.

    #5 - The Ghoul Zombrex. We know Bethesda is trying to retcon that into the IP with the newest Fallout 76 update, so not only were they thinking about it for quite a while, but it affects their games too.

    #6 - The T-45b/T-60 chest area 'weakness' - This is something the military, and by extension the Brotherhood, would've caught in stress testing of the Power Armor, and in the case of the military, used as an excuse to not fund development. If a new pistol is being offered as the sidearm for infantry units, and during testing it jams or doesn't eject right, that's grounds to disqualify it as a candidate for consideration.


    EDIT #1: Retcons noticed by @Bradylama (

    - Vault 4 didn't exist in Fallout 1, despite being within the area where the Vault Dweller could travel.

    - No mention of China for the Sino-American War, just mentions of the United States and its "adversaries".

    - Sinclair being in the conspiracy meetup as a representative of BigMT, even though BigMT is a research center, not a company, and Sinclair was just using their technology.

    - Repconn being in the meetup with a representative, even though they're owned by Rob-Co and thus wouldn't have a representative.

    - Gulpers being Axolotl-Human hybrids instead of mutated salamanders, as well as being creations of Vault 4.

    - No mentions of the NCR, despite the show taking place in their territory, notably around The Boneyard. Few signs of organized life as well, even though the NCR rebuilt the Boneyard over the years.

    EDIT #2: More retcons

    - The PipBoy and the Geiger Counter. Originally, the PipBoy didn't have a Geiger Counter built in. The Vault Dweller, Chosen One, and The Initiate had to use an external Wattz Electronics one to detect their level of RADs and how irradiated an area was. Bethesda built them into the PipBoy from Fallout 3 onwards, and Obsidian had to use it for New Vegas, but when Lucy is using the PipBoy, the counter is not an auto-detection system, but an activated one.

    Useful for getting some cheap 'Oh, shit' scenes at best.

    - 'They Fly Now!' - Power Armor never could fly like the Iron Man suit. The closest we got was the Jetpack in Fallout 4, and even that is pushing it for a suit that weighs at least a ton and wasn't designed for flight.

    - Ghouls Being Bullet Sponges - Cooper eating several bullets in the back and barely flinching doesn't line up with how Ghouls work. They're not Legendary Difficulty, Fully Armored Gunner at Level 50 levels of tough.

    - Haves and Have-Nots - This is a HUGE retcon to Fallout, the Vaults, and more. Outside of the control vaults, of which there were 17 of 112, living in a Vault was pretty much guaranteed to be unusual, rough, dangerous, or potentially lethal. It had nothing to do with having money and influence; those people could build their own Vaults/shelters easily, like how Sinclair did with the Madre's Vault. This is just more of 'The Message' meant to move the themes of the IP away from conflict and its inevitability.

    - Shady Sands' Fall in 2277 - This one is obvious. If Shady Sands fell, even if not to a nuke, it retcons a lot of dialogue from New Vegas where people were saying the city was fine but suffering from several issues born from the NCR's greed and expansionism.

    - "As it turned out, I was 20 hours short." - If Mr. House was in on the plan, however slim or stupid it was, that Vault-Tec was going to launch nukes first, why did he not get the Platinum Chip in time, or have its creation fast-tracked to ensure his defenses were ready?
    Last edited: May 21, 2024
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  2. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    For the T60 PA, I also like how they're just glossing over the T51, which was never said to have that weakness, and instead brought the weakness back in the T60. It does not make much sense.
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  3. Bradylama

    Bradylama So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 22, 2003
    The Triune vaults are in Santa Monica not The Boneyard, but the Master would have found it anyway because it's right along the coastline next to the Santa Monica Pier.

    - Vault 4's existence is practically impossible. It wasn't in the original Fallout despite having an entrance door sticking out of the ground that anybody could have found.

    - the Sino-American War is reduced to a war between the United States and its "adversaries," implying that the United States was at war with a communist world rather than China.

    - Sinclair represents Big Mountain at the conspiracy meetup, but Sinclair was a client of Big Mountain, he didn't work for them.

    - Repconn was acquired as a RobCo subsidiary and shouldn't have a seat at the table.

    - Gulpers aren't mutated salamanders, now they're axolotl-human hybrids that were developed in Vault 4.

    - Vault 4 is a genetics lab, which means the vaults are now evil science labs and not behavioral experiments for studying the conditions of long isolation.

    - Nobody talks about the NCR or seems to care about it at all despite The Boneyard being one of the most important states in the republic. The NCR only exists as a bunch of props to bait the fans.

    - Boneyard is terra nullius and barely anyone lives there. Even if Shady Sands was moved to the Boneyard and nuked, there should still have been other settlements remaining in the area. Yet the only settlement seen in the whole show is Filly, which is roughly east of Santa Monica and west of the Boneyard.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head. The NCR bit may not technically be a retcon it's just bizarre that the show almost never acknowledges it.
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  4. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    Yep, the least they could do was put a big cover over the place or a tunnel.

    I mean, if you don't want to include Fallout 3 and 4, that's fine but that's not a change by the series. The Enclave survived in Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road too because they mention a Chicago depot.

    The Fallout Bible was never canon. Tim Cain also liked the show and supports the retcons as "lore drift." But even third of all, The Fallout movie he was trying to get made had Vault-Tec dropping the bombs.

    Defense contractors very often are megaocorporations. You'll never make as much money making Sugar Bombs as you will guns or bombs.

    I mean, Vault Tec having cold fusion is actually NOT a retcon then. However, I should point out the reason Fallout is awesome is it is a VERY political game with LOTS to say.

    Ghouls having a drug to treat Feraldom isn't a weird retcon. It's the first time someone actually tried to fucking fix anything other than Jet Addiction.

    I showed this to my Marine best friend and he just laughed.
    Last edited: May 19, 2024
  5. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    To be fair, vaults have been evil labs since Fallout 3.
    Hahaha, Gaaaryyyy
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  6. Risewild

    Risewild Antediluvian as Feck
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Who attacked first wasn't in the Fallout Bible. It was Tim saying it on a recent-ish video on his channel. I don't know which video, but I did watch him saying that apparently, it was news for many people that China launched the missiles first in a video before the TV series was released.

    Tim also mentions (in his Fallout TV Show review video that you linked in your thread about that same video) that even though Vault-Tec mentions dropping the nukes first, he doesn't believe that is what happened because he doesn't believe they would be that stupid.

    In another video (released a bit after the TV show), Tim talks about canon and how he treats it, and he gives a few examples like canon in the Conan works (he says he really likes Conan books but didn't like the movie as much because it didn't follow the lore of the books), and what he does is separate Conan canon into two different ones, the books canon and the movie canon. So it seems like he is telling fans of Fallout that don't like the TV series to also separate Fallout canon into games canon and the TV series canon. The problem with this is that Bethesda says it's all the same canon, while in the Conan example from Tim, no one ever said that the Conan movie was the same canon as the books.

    Anyway, I am not trying to bash the TV show, I haven't watched it and it might be a fun watch or not, I wouldn't know until I watch it (if I ever do).
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  7. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    I didn't include Fallout 3 because it was obvious the Enclave was just a memberberry in that. Chicago, likewise, is almost clear across the USA, not on Cali's back door. If they repopulated post-New Vegas, that's a retcon too. Fallout 4's version of The Enclave was RNG Power Armor sets and Creation Club content, so they're not actually there, just DLC at best to bank off the show. And delay Fallout: London so it didn't overshadow the show if we're being honest.

    Rise already corrected you on the Bible part. As for what Cain said, there's a vast difference between 'drift' and 'retcon', and not only does he know that, he's making excuses for the show to ensure he stays on good terms with others in the industry. He's no better than TKMantis, Act Man, or those folks in this.

    Vault-Tec is not like Pentex from Werewolf: The Apocalypse in the earlier games. Pentex had their hands in at least eight branches of tech and entertainment. Vault-Tec were a defense contractor with ties to the US Government, later The Enclave, and their most well-known creations were the Vaults.

    That is a retcon because who exactly made the cold fusion tech for the GECK? No one knows. They were never named because Vault-Tec wasn't elaborated on until Fallout 2, and even then not in full.

    Yes it is, because by putting the stuff into the series, Bethesda not only affects the Black Isle games and New Vegas, but theirs as well, as I said.

    I'm going to assume arguing in bad faith here. The only instance I can think of where this is true is the M-16A1 and how it operated in Vietnam, but Vietnam was in the '60s, outside of when Fallout branched off timeline-wise. The NCR has them with the Service Rifle, along with Randall Clark's rifle, so they did get invented at some point. If your 'Marine best friend' is thinking of a more recent instance, same thing applies. Fallout branched off from our timeline, so you can't use recent cases to counterargue.
    Last edited: May 19, 2024
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  8. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Fossil

    Jun 7, 2015
    Vault-Tec was always supposed to be a dystopian parody of the excesses of capitalism, Tim Cain has said as much and it's just plainly obvious.

    IDK if this is a retcon, they're just a different species to the ones in Far Harbor that happen to have the same name.

    Enclave is not mentioned in 4, and the outpost in CHicago is not established as being active by the time of NV since it's only mentioned in a voice recording from before the Capital Wasteland Enclave got blowed up.
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  9. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    If we were still living in the '90s and early '00s, I'd accept that.

    These days? No. Because these days, when you see Capitalism in a movie or show, like The Lorax or Fallout, it's always put in there to be an antagonist and allow characters to soapbox against the idea.
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  10. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Fossil

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seems like a you problem
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  11. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    That's the response I would expect from someone with no sense of pattern recognition. Moving on.
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  12. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    I mean the Osprey is just one example of incredibly bad money-driven government pork that has killed real life soldiers. I don't know why you'd assume I'm arguing in bad faith when I suggest that the government isn't always good to its soldiers.

    Besides, they presumably did fix most of the issues with moving from T-41 to the objectively superior T-51 and T-60. It's just there's still a weakness for someone who has literally 200 years of shooting experience to exploit.

    Well, it USED to not have been mentioned in 4. Now it's part of 4.

    I don't recall any good corporations in major media franchises since....ever.

    Wayne Industries and StarkTech are the literal only examples I can think of.

    But if you think I'm exaggerating:

    * Weyland Yutani
    * OCP
    * Umbrella Corporation
    * The entire cyberpunk genre
    * Lexcorp
    * Tyrell Corporation
    * DynaTox (Karate Kid)
    * Shin-Ra Power Company
    * Roxxon

    But I think the fact the show is produced by Amazon says that capitalism doesn't feel threatened by the prospect of "bad companies."

    But I don't think anyone has ever worked at a company in the cubicles and gone, "Yeah, I am happy to be here." They make perfect villains for a reason because outside of Japan, no one actually has any loyalty to their employer.

    Because why the fuck would you?
    Last edited: May 19, 2024
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  13. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Fossil

    Jun 7, 2015
    The idea of their being some fundamental flaw that the ghoul's aware of and takes advantage of is perfectly fine, par for the course. But the problem itself is quite silly.

    With the Osprey, it's an extremely complicated machine that works the overwhelming majority of the time, but there's a lot of opportunity in their insides for something to go wrong.

    The issue with the T-60 - namely, that a very large portion of the center of mass (where any enemy combatant would be shooting) straight up doesn't work and is entirely vulnerable to small arms AP rounds. that's something that would have shown up immediately in stress testing and would have to be fixed, you could never send something into combat with a defect that plain.

    They could have thought of some clever and interesting thing for the ghoul to take advantage of, but it's just "The ghoul can actually shoot them"

    CC/Atomic Shop stuff isn't canon
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  14. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    No, they included an actual adventure.

    Also, it's not small arms fire since he uses explosive bullets.
  15. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Fossil

    Jun 7, 2015
    There are a lot of CC quests, that's not novel.

    Did he? I remember him using explosive rounds in other scenes, but in that scene I recall it just being AP. Could be wrong.

    In any case it's still small-arms fire.
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  16. TheKingofVault14

    TheKingofVault14 Fallout Fan For Life!

    Jul 5, 2022
    Great list, keep em coming! I mean at this point, we've barely scratched the surface with how many retcons there are in the show.

    :clap: :ok: :confused:
  17. AgentBJ09

    AgentBJ09 Vault Dweller

    Jul 9, 2015
    Accidents happen, and the Osprey isn't perfect. As for the example I gave...

    This was back in the 1910's, not modern times. Different times, different standards, and it was before the timeline split, again.

    Not only do I think you're exaggerating, but that you're being disingenuous as well.

    I highly doubt you can't tell the difference between what Black Isle and Obsidian intended Vault-Tec to be, and what Amazon and the screenwriter of Captain Marvel portrayed it as. With Todd Howard and Emil's blessings I might add.

    So, I won't waste my time trying to explain. Moving on.
  18. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    I mean, Tim Cain said, "Vault Tec is a parody of every greedy defense contractor ever."


  19. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    There is still a bit of a gap between "parody of a greedy defense contractor" and "nigh omnipotent company that controls the fate of the world and who does shit so evil it isn't even cartoonish anymore".
    Like, a parody of a greedy defense contractor will do everything to get a contract, they will do all sorts of immoral stuff to ensure their bottom line. Like allow the government to do social experiments in the vaults you built, and put in little backdoor systems so the government can spy on the people you pretend you're saving.

    Vault-Tec now is a megacorp that pretty much owns everything and has sway over every other major corporation and is by all means the government. They can and will decide the fate of the world depending on their plans for their bottom lines. They can and will do all sorts of genetic and chemical and biological experiments on the people they pretend to be saving with such a lack of ethics that even Mengele would tell them to calm down.
    That's not a parody of a greedy defense contractor, that's a parody of a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
    Bethesda is one day gonna write a vault that is just literal fire and brimstone and people tortured for eternity, and you will be like "yeah, it's a parody of a greedy defense contractor, I asked my marine friend and he said Lockheed Martin would basically do that".

    Actually, Bethesda already kinda did the whole "torture people for eternity"-vault thing. And it's your favourite bit of Fallout 3, if I remember correctly.
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  20. Bradylama

    Bradylama So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 22, 2003
    The weapon most comparable to power armor is the tank, and tanks are infamous for being practically impossible to make invulnerable under any circumstance. Tanks always have shot traps or some other design flaw that presents a weakness, even from front facing, but they use them anyway because you need to get armor out in front of your soldiers regardless of whatever problems the weapon has.

    The problem with the T-60 trick is that Cooper says the issue was a bad weld on the T-45, which is a straightforward manufacturing flaw that should have been corrected for the T-51. There's all sorts of potential design flaws that Cooper could've exploited, but the writers don't really care to take the material seriously so they came up with the one excuse that breaks credulity. Cooper is already using a large caliber handgun with bespoke ammo so it's believable already that he can pen the weak spots without any stupid explanations.

    If you were going to compare this to anything else it'd be the part in The Boys comic where Vaught pushed assault rifles onto the US military that didn't work at all, unlike the M-16 which just wasn't designed for jungle combat but they used it anyway because military brass was already invested into the firearms industry privately. The assault rifles not working at all breaks credulity. US planners thought that the war in Vietnam was an existential conflict until it cost them too much, they wouldn't have issued weapons that never work.

    In Bethesda lore the introduction of the T-60 is what turns the tide of the Yangtze Campaign and makes victory in the ground war possible. It's one of the triggers for the Great War, since America's refusal to negotiate created the conditions for MAD. It's insane how much the show breaks Bethesda lore in addition to the original games. If the T-60 had a design flaw that straightforward, the Chinese would have exploited it and things would have turned out differently.

    They're literally crowdsourcing ideas for Nazi experiments from the commanding heights of corporate America, when it's completely superfluous to their actual goal which is the management vaults. The whole Vault-Tec plan makes the vaults pointless. Vault-Tec gets nothing out of the experiments.
    Last edited: May 20, 2024
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