Fallout's Weirdest Event References One of Star Trek's Most Iconic Episodes
Jacob Creswell
The Fallout series is known for having some pretty out-there easter eggs that go deep into the world of sci-fi, with many of these references feeling incredibly out-of-place in the world's post-apocalyptic setting. Plenty of fans know about the Wild Wasteland perk in Fallout: New Vegas, though that perk actually serves to be more of a reference towards the crazy secrets and references in the first two Fallout games, but fewer are familiar with the many tongue-in-cheek jokes and references from the first two games. In fact, a pretty clever one in Fallout 2 actually pays homage to Star Trek
The City on the Edge of Forever is easily one of Star Trek: The Original Series' most iconic episodes. In the episode, Chief Medical Officer Leonard McCoy accidentally injects himself with a heavy dose of a lethal drug and beams himself down to an unknown planet, where he accidentally teleports to the 1930s and changes history. Star Trek fans are intimately familiar with this masterpiece episode, and Fallout fans were surprised to find the time portal McCoy used in Fallout 2.
The Guardian of Forever as depicted in Fallout 2
The Guardian of Forever as depicted in Fallout 2
That time portal is known as the Guardian of Forever, and it's a sentient being that informs Kirk and Spock on the effect that McCoy's action in the past had on the future. Kirk and Spock are able to save McCoy and restore the timeline, but the story is an important message about how the life of a single person is the difference between the future they know and a future where Nazi Germany wins World War II and takes over the world.
While traveling across the wasteland in Fallout 2, the player character, The Chosen One, can stumble upon a rock formation that resembles the Guardian of Forever. Interacting with the portal teleports the player to Vault 13 from the original Fallout. They can only explore the Overseer's Command Center and can loot the surrounding area. While here, players are tasked with destroying Vault 13's water chip.
For anyone familiar with the story of the original Fallout, destroying the water chip has some pretty huge ramifications. In Fallout, the failure of Vault 13's water chip is the motivating event behind the Vault Dweller being allowed to leave the vault, searching for a replacement part. Though the Vault Dweller would succeed, they are considered too dangerous to be let back inside the Vault. The Dweller's tales of the world outside the Vault could inspire the others to leave, so they must banish the person who saved their lives.
However, word still gets out. Many of the other Vault 13 residents are angered by the Overseer's decision and follow the Vault Dweller out into the wasteland anyways. This lead to the founding of Arroyo, the settlement where the Chosen One would be born. By traveling back in time, the Chosen One kicks off the events of the original Fallout during this event. However, this ultimately creates a bootstrap paradox, as destroying Vault 13's water chip ensures the Chosen One's own birth many years into the future. This is a far more positive spin than what Star Trek takes, as the episode this event is based on ends Kirk, Spock and McCoy having to let an innocent person die to save millions. Black Isle Studios used the concept from an iconic Star Trek episode to set the events of both original Fallout games into motion in an incredibly fun way, in an unforgettable special event that remains a fan-favorite to this day.