Here is a play-by-play of the different scenes and shots in the trailer and what I think they mean concerning the game. I will be updating as new information surfaces!
Twitter list of Bethesda sources: https://twitter.com/nicolebaldwin29/lists/bethesda
- Pip-Boys can be used as alarm clocks? Who knew?
- a date is shown: October 27, 2102
- the actual setting of the game?
- Fallout 3 was released on October 28 – coincidence?
- would make it the earliest game of all the other canon games
- if it’s that soon after the war (bombs dropped 2077, 25 years), the wastes would still be absolutely awful
- the year that The Master falls into the vat and mutates (canon Fallout 1 ending)
- if The Master is related, then the song clue (mentioned next) doesn’t make much sense
- The Master’s vault was the demo one in Los Angeles
- West Virginia is very far away from that
- would explain the Pip-Boy design though
- the song playing is Country Roads by John Denver
- Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
- the vault is set in West Virginia?
- the computer in the citadel lists it with “DC Area Vault Listings”
- West Virginia is near Washington DC, but it’s not DC Area
- city area usually refers to boroughs and neighbourhoods right in and around the city
- Almost heaven, West Virginia
- different Pip-boy design – more similar to the Fallout 1 and 2 games
- clearly a children’s bedroom
- messy and full of toys
- dirty backpack on the bed implies the character has been travelling out of the vault? (source)
- next shot has a beer bottle in it
- Dak Hou…?
- new brand name?
- also makes the age of the person unclear
- Patriotic Vault-Boy poster
- “The Official Vault of the Tricentennial”
- 1776 – 2076 (the United States becoming a country – when the Vault was debuted)
- Vault 76 was a control vault mentioned in the Citadel in Fallout 3
- no experiment or special equipment
- also mentioned by the Newscaster at the beginning of Fallout 4
- “Since debuting Vault 76 last year, in honour of America’s tercentenary, Vault-Tec continues to expand with plans for well over 100 Vaults around the country.”
- aligns with the earlier theory that the date on the Pip-Boy is the setting of the game because the vault was set to open in 20 years
- means moving the date back 5 years, but it has been done before
- also might have peeked out and seen how bad it still is and thought 5 years would do it
- possible they did leave on Reclamation Day and the vault was abandoned for 5 years, and the game starts with the PC living alone in the vault after something happened with the rest of the dwellers (theory by Twitter user @CarbonicBuckey)
- could he be the only one who made it into the vault? lived there alone for 20 years? (source)
- closer to war = more radiation, fewer rad-creatures (haven’t had time to evolve), less organized factions or politics, more cutthroat survival
- this claims that the vault would open “automatically” and the residents would be “pushed out”
- could be forced out? can’t take shelter there and use as a base?
- no technical experiment but in order to make sure they all left, only put in place enough food for that exact time
- maybe in the interim time they were too afraid to leave and turned on each other?
- perhaps the player character stayed behind to maintain the vault for some reason? or they were abandoned and the vault automatically sealed itself after an evacuation protocol?
- then they will have to leave the vault eventually too…set to open in 5 years? (source)
- they have what looks like a non-rad deer head on the wall
- were people allowed to bring in personal belongings like that?
- TV close-up: For when the fighting is stopped, and the fallout is settled, you must rebuild”
- the clip was taken in front of the vault door
- probably a press interview debuting the vault and explaining how they’ll preserve humanity
- TV stand shows room owner to be a huge nerd
- collects comic books and figurines
- they also travelled to near Boston to visit Nuka-World
General living spaces:
- Award shelf bottom to top:
- Best Looking Hair (scissors and comb)
- Cleanest ????? ?????? (toilet)
- Performance Award: Vault Hall Monitor
- Outstanding Achievement Award
- “In appreciation for your commitment and dedication to our isolation program. Sacrificing many so some can live.”
- this makes creepy sense when you compare it to the next award
- sacrificed for others to eat? to leave?
- Excellence in Bravery
- “In recognition of the canned mystery meat experiment. You volunteered to eat when no one else would. We are proud of you and glad you are not dead.”
- mystery/strange meat usually means human flesh in the Fallout universe
- Annual Vault Halloween Costume Contest 1st Place
- unrecognizable stuffed figure on laundry machine
- perhaps a new or local brand mascot? team mascot?
- Vault-Tec procedures:
- Vault-Tec provides all clothing, bedding, and accommodations for residents. Personal belongings must be reviewed and approved of by an authorized Vault-Tec ????? techni- (rest covered by laundry basket)
- weird they would provide clothing since previously there have been suitcases outside of vaults
- I guess people tried to bring them in and weren’t “approved”
- Spotless bathroom – makes sense they got the toilet trophy even though the rest of the room is a disaster
- Shiney new terminal design
- electronic components on the desk
- You are Invited!
- the kitchen is pretty standard
- I do note the dog bowl…
- the atrium is completed decorated for some sort of celebration
- miniature soccer field – a bit luxury
- sign at the end says “Celebrate RECLAMATION DAY!”
- the image of trees and Vault-Boy bursting forth implies reclaiming the world and leaving the vault
- has this vault actually survived the Fallout period and are going to enter not a wasteland?
- or will it be like all other vaults where they hopefully open their doors and get instantly killed by raiders or Fiends?
- shot of the character
- strapping on previously seen Pip-Boy
- implies that is the new model and not an old one they were using as an alarm clock
- apparently, they can be removed and reattached whenever?
- strapping on previously seen Pip-Boy
- “In Vault 76, our future begins”
- definitely sounds like leaving the vault
- the future BEGINS in the vault, continues outside of it
- but will that go according to plan?
Online game rumor: According to this new article from Kotaku, “three people familiar with the project” are “speaking anonymously” to confirm that it’s an online multiplayer RPG. Take that as you will.
The main character might be a scout that the vault is sending out to make absolutely sure that it’s safe to leave. The close up of putting on the Pip-Boy and the suit looks like a person suiting up for a mission or job. You have to leave the vault, scout the area, find that it’s still a radiated wasteland, and return. The character is clearly well respected in the vault considering all the awards they have. Perhaps you have to do some quests that help get rid of the last of the rads or creatures. The end of the game could be you giving the go-ahead to let everyone out. The good ending could be making sure the wastes are completely safe and starting a beginner community before telling them and the evil ending would be saying its safe and watching everyone getting eaten by deathclaws. It’s a bit similar to Fallout 1 with the water chip and Fallout 3 with the lone wanderer being the only one to leave, but it would be a different narrative.
I also think that most of this game could take place inside the vault. Perhaps you are preparing everyone to leave the vault. The player could be the overseer or someone else high ranking in the vault. The quests would be about organizing the community, dealing with conflicts, and rationing supplies. It’s a little limited to my mind, but I’m sure Bethesda could find a way to fill a whole game with that sort of quests. It could involve aspects of the settlement building from Fallout 4 with more focus on the actual residents. The end of the game would be the vault doors finally opening and meeting either a safe and clean wasteland or a still dangerous one. Your choices could determine how the vault leaves, how many people want to go versus want to stay, and the power structure in the community planned to be built outside the vault.
After the theory that the vault did open when planned (20 years after the war), everyone did leave, and now the vault is empty, I started thinking about how you could be the last of your vault. It’s a bit similar to Fallout 4, but it would be different because it wasn’t Vault-Tec’s vault everyone else died, but just the wasteland. Perhaps the PC left with them, escaped whatever killed them, and didn’t know what else to do but return to the vault and try to rebuild. That makes sense with the line “In Vault 76, our future begins.” Maybe they tried the opening up and it didn’t work, so it’s up to you to rebuild inside the vault itself.
The Dreaded Battle Royale
You enter the vault with other players. You have been forced to fight amongst each other because food supplies are too low and people are getting hungry. Last person alive can eat everyone else. It makes sense that the PC would be the only person left in the vault and no one else there. It makes sense with the theory that “mystery meat” on the trophy is referring to human meat. It makes sense since battle royale games are selling like hot cakes. It’s the weakest theory because it’s a bit weird that a sole survivor of an all-out battle to the death with everyone they knew would then make themselves a custom trophy, but maybe they would be that mentally scarred by it all. It also doesn’t really play into the Reclamation Day and discussion of rebuilding after the fallout. Although you will notice he says “the fighting” and not “the war.”
The Puppetman LIVES!
(Theory belongs to MATN on Youtube)
You’re going to want to read this comic before trying to understand this one because it’s bananas. So not only is Vault 77 an obvious jump to make from Vault 76 and the reference to 76 existed before the comic in Fallout 3, which was co-made by a Fallout 3 producer. Why would he choose to have two numbers so close together when all the other vaults are seemingly random numbers. There is also a vault 77 jumpsuit sitting in Fallout 3’s Paradise Falls, the base of the slavers. The holotape “Burn This Goddamn Jumpsuit” tells that the slavers consider the wearer of it to be a bogie-man type that kills slavers. This aligns with the comics story of the Puppetman leaving the vault and killing some slavers, with the help of his Vault-Boy puppet. The strongest evidence in my mind is the constant appearance of the Vault-Boy puppet in the Twitch stream leading up to the announcement. It seems a bit odd to have in there since there are other merch that is more general, such as the deathclaw stuffie that also made an appearance. It’s generally an unusual type of merch to create. Plus there were tons of other allusions to the game with the party balloons and confetti of Reclamation Day.