Fallout 2 is the sequel to the original Fallout. It takes place 80 years after the end of Fallout, and 164 years after the nuclear war which destroyed the world. Like the original Fallout, Fallout 2 takes place on the West Coast of the United States in what is modern day California.
Much has changed in that 80 years; the New Republic of California has come into authority, The Enclave (the remnants of the U.S. government) have shown themselves and have set up bases on the West Coast, the drug known as Jet has been invented and certain industries have started to flourish, namely the drug and porn industries.
Fallout 2 begins in the tribal village of Arroyo. This village, which was home to the Vault Dweller after he was exiled from Vault 13, has suffered the worst drought in recent memory. In order to prove that he/she is indeed The Chosen One i.e. the direct descendant of the Vault Dweller, the player must complete the Temple of Trials. Once they have completed this tutorial, the player is tasked with finding the G.E.C.K; the Garden of Eden Creation Kit, in order to save their village from starvation.
The player embarks on this journey wearing the Vault Dweller's jumpsuit, the Pip-Boy 2000 and a Vault 13 flask. Along their journey they discover certain cities, towns, characters and establishments; Klamath in South Oregon, Broken Hills which is inhabited by humans, ghouls and mutants, the New California Republic, New Reno, Vault City, San Francisco, Vault 15 and Vault 13.
The player eventually finds Vault 13; the previous home of the Vault Dweller, and the place where they find the G.E.C.K. Much has changed in Vault 13 since the end of Fallout, however. The Vault was opened by The Enclave and most of its inhabitants were captured. The Vault is now occupied by a group of intelligent deathclaws who escaped from The Enclave when tests were being run on them.
When the player returns to Arroyo with the G.E.C.K, they discover that the villagers have been kidnapped by The Enclave. The player must travel to The Enclave base; an oil rig off the coast of San Francisco, by restoring an old oil tanker.
Once the player arrives at the oil rig, most of the revelations regarding the story are told; The Enclave is the continuation of the pre-war U.S. government, with President Dick Richardson at the helm. It is also revealed that the Vaults were used as an experiment; each Vault had certain conditions applied to them, and were used solely as a means to judge how effectively the inhabitants would cope with life after the war. The plan was for the government to wait out the war on the oil rig, then take the inhabitants of the Vaults to another planet.
This plan went awry when their spaceship was destroyed. Their only solution was to populate the continental United States. When they discovered traces of mutants and ghouls, The Enclave was forced into action; they developed a lethal toxin that would purge the wasteland of all those deemed unpure or mutated. Once the Chosen One discovers this plan, (s)he frees the Arroyo villagers and the Vault 13 inhabitants and destroys the base.
At the end of Fallout 2, the survivors of Arroyo and Vault 13 use the G.E.C.K to create New Arroyo. The player is also shown the consequences of their actions i.e. what characters died, which towns flourished and so on.
Gameplay in Fallout 2 generally revolves around traversing the nuclear wasteland and solving quests in a manner which suits the character you're
playing. There are often numerous ways of completing quests ranging from a gung-ho combat approach to an outright pacifistic take on proceedings. Success in these situations is based predominantly on character skill i.e. how proficient they are in a certain area. If you have a low intelligence score, for example, your chances of talking your way out of a situation are slim to none. Likewise, a character with a poor small guns skill won't be able to handle most guns proficiently and will most likely fail in combat.
Much like the original, this game uses uses a turn-based system for all encounters and allows the player to target specific enemies or even specific limbs of those enemies. The combat is also governed by Action Points, which the amount is decided in the game by the Agility statistic. Each quest or kill earns the player experience which accumulates til the eventual level up. Each level up earns the player new abilities increases their strength. The skills/perks system encourages players to specialize and focus on a particular role in order to succeed in the world of Fallout 2. The role, however, is entirely up to the player to decide.
Much like the original Fallout, Fallout 2 features an extremely deep character creation system. This system utilizes S.P.E.C.I.A.L which was developed solely for Fallout, the 18 skills, tagged skills, traits and perks.
The S.P.E.C.I.A.L system governs the 7 attributes of Fallout 2: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. These 7 skills determine the characters success when using the 18 skills. The system also modifies derived statistics and certain requirements for obtaining perks.
- Strength: Strength modifies hit points, melee damage, carry weight and is used to satisfy the minimum requirement for using weapons. If the player's strength isn't high enough they will suffer an accuracy penalty. It's generally a poor idea to raise your strength above 6 when creating your character as it's possible to add 4 or more points throughout the game.
- Perception: Perception modifies first aid, lockpick, doctor, traps, ranged distance modifiers and sequence. As such, it is an important statistic for all characters, especially those who are building a sharpshooter.
- Endurance: As the name implies, endurance modifies hit points, heal rate, additional hit points per level and poison/radiation resistance. Endurance has never been seen as a vital statistic.
- Charisma: Charisma modifies barter prices, NPC reactions and the number of companions that can accompany the player. Charisma is generally regarded as the dump stat, but a high charisma can be useful to open up some additional non-violent quest solutions.
- Intelligence: Intelligence modifies the number of skill points per level, dialogue options and certain skills. A high intelligence score is important for all characters, especially if you want to resolve quests peacefully. It is also possible to play through the game as a character with low intelligence, although dialogue options are restricted to groans.
- Agility: Agility modifies action points, armor class, small guns, big guns, energy weapons, melee weapons, unarmed, throwing, lockpick, steal and traps. It is arguably the most important statistic in the game as most players begin with a maximum of 10.
- Luck: Luck has a small part to play in everything. It slightly alters your outcome with the virtual die roll, your chances within the random encounters, chances of scoring a critical hit and gambling.
There are 18 skills in Fallout 2. What level your skills begin at are determined by your 7 statistics, which 3 have been tagged and certain traits. Skills are increased at level up by using Skill Points, the number of which a player is awarded being determined by their Intelligence stat. Many skills can also be raised by training with certain NPCs in game and by reading books such as Guns and Bullets and The Big Book of Science.
- Small Guns: Small guns modifies a character's success when handling small weapons e.g. pistols, shotguns, sub machine guns. In Fallout 2 small guns is calculated by 5% (4% x Agility). The number of weapons in the game whose damage is determined by this skill makes it easily one of the most important skills in the game.
- Big Guns: Big guns affects the handling of rocket launchers, mini-guns, flamethrowers etc. Big guns is calculated by 2% x Agility.
- Energy Weapons: Energy weapons determines success when using plasma or laser weapons. Calculated by 10% (1% x Agility). While they are the most powerful weapons in the game, they are not encountered until the latter stages. This skill really must be tagged if it is to be effective as there are no books to raise the skill.
- Unarmed: Unarmed is derived by 40% (1% x (Agility Strength) / 2). Alters a character's success with hand-to-hand attacks.
- Melee Weapons: 55% (1% x the average of your Strength and Agility). Modifies success when using sledgehammers, brass knuckles etc.
- Throwing: 40% (1% x Agility). Determines success with throwing knives, grenades, molotov cocktails etc.
- First Aid: 30% (1% x the average of your Perception Intelligence). Used to heal minor wounds.
- Doctor: 15% (1% x the average of your Perception Intelligence). Used to heal major wounds and crippled limbs.
- Sneak: 25% (1% x Agility). Sneak determines how well hidden your character is when the skill is being used. It is generally used in conjunction with the steal skill.
- Lockpick: 20% (1% x the average of your Perception and Agility). As the name suggests, lockpick determines your success when picking locks. This skill can be increased by using the expanded lockpick set or electronic lockpicks.
- Steal: 20% (1% x Agility). Success in stealing is determined by many factors; your skill (obviously), visibility, what you're stealing, the target's perception and the perception of those around you.
- Traps: 20% (1% x the average of your Perception and Agility). Traps alters your success in finding and removing traps.
- Science: 25% (2% x Intelligence). Science mainly affects the use of computers and hi-tech equipment.
- Repair: 20% (1% x Intelligence). Repair determines your success when repairing broken equipment.
- Speech : 25% (2% x Charisma). Speech is the most important skill with regards to dialogue, as it alters dialogue options and how successful you are when convincing others that you are right.
- Barter: 20% (2% x Charisma). Barter affects the prices when buying and selling goods.
- Gambling: 20% (3% x Luck). Determines your success when gambling, be it with dice or cards.
- Outdoorsman: 5% (1% x the average of your Intelligence and Endurance). This skill reduces how often you run into random encounters as well as increasing the chances of special encounters.
At the character creation screen, the player has the option of choosing a maximum of 2 from 16 traits. Every trait, with the exception of Bloody Mess, has a positive and negative attached to it.
- Fast Metabolism: "Your metabolic rate is twice normal. This means that you are much less resistant to Radiation and poison, but your body heals faster." Fast Metabolism sets your initial poison resistance and radiation resistance at 0%, while it grants the player a 2 point bonus to healing rate.
- Bruiser: "A little slower, but a little bigger. You may not hit as often, but they will feel it when you do! Your total action points are lowered, but your ST is increased." Bruiser gives a bonus of 2 to strength while reducing your total action points by 2. Since you can increase your strength by 6 within the game, it is typically not a good sacrifice.
- Small Frame: "You are not quite as big as other people, but that never slowed you down. You can't carry as much, but you are more agile." Small Frame grants a bonus of 1 point to agility, while it alters your carry weight to 25 (15 lbs. x your Strength). This trait makes the early parts of the game relatively difficult as you generally won't have a high enough strength to compensate for the reduced carry weight, though companions can share your burden later on.
- One Hander: "One of your hands is very dominant. You excel with single-handed weapons, but two-handed weapons cause a problem." One hander grants a bonus of 20% chance to hit with one handed weapons, while you suffer a -40% chance to hit with two handed weapons. As most of the more useful weapons in the game are two handed (Combat Shotgun, Gauss Rifle, Red Ryder LE BB Gun), this trait could cause you problems.
- Finesse: "Your attacks show a lot of finesse. You don't do as much damage, but you cause more critical hits." Finesse grants a bonus of 10% to critical chance, while all of your attacks do 30% less damage. On the whole, having a ~15% chance to do a critical hit (with luck taken into account) doesn't compensate for a permanent -30% to damage. This doesn't take critical damage into account, either.
- Kamikaze: "By not paying attention to any threats, you can act a lot faster in a turn. This lowers your armor class to just what you are wearing, but you sequence much faster in a combat turn." Kamikaze grants the player a bonus of 5 to sequence, while it reduces initial armor class to 0. Being able to attack sooner in combat is a nice bonus, but not at the expense of being hit more often.
- Heavy Handed: "You swing harder, not better. Your attacks are very brutal, but lack finesse. You rarely cause a good critical hit, but you always do more melee damage." You gain a 4 to melee damage, but your critical hits do 30% less damage. Heavy handed can help in the beginning (provided you have a high enough skill to hit consistently, that is) and critical hits do enough damage anyway, but this isn't useful once you hit the mid-portion of the game.
- Fast Shot: "You don't have time to aim for a targeted attack, because you attack faster than normal people." All attacks cost 1 less action points, but you cannot use aimed shots. This can only be recommended if you want to be really good late in the game (with a certain combination of perks) and have a high critical chance.
- Bloody Mess: "By some strange twist of fate, people around you die violently. You always see the worst way a person can die." Bloody mess doesn't really affect anything other than the fact that you get the violent death animations more often. It can be a touch annoying to pick up items because they're hard to see in the...bloody mess.
- Jinxed: "The good thing is that everyone around you has more critical failures in combat, the bad thing is - so do you!" When you suffer a failure in combat, it is more likely to be upgraded to a critical failure. The only way to offset this is by having a high luck; however, since luck isn't an important statistic, jinxed does more bad than good.
- Good Natured: "You studied less-combative skills as you were growing up. Your combat skills start at a lower level, but First Aid, Doctor, Speech and Barter are substantially improved." Good natured grants a bonus of 15% to First Aid, Doctor, Speech and Barter while all your combat skills suffer a -10% penalty. This is generally a poor trade-off (unless you're playing a pacifist) since you'll need as high a total as possible in at least small guns, if not energy weapons, while you only need ~80% in the few important non-combat skills.
- Chem Reliant: "You are more easily addicted to chems. Your chance to be addicted by chem use is twice normal, but you recover faster from their ill effects." Chem Reliant increase your addiction rate by 200%, while it sets your withdrawl rate at 50%.
- Chem Resistant: "Chemicals only affect you half as long as normal, but your chance to be addicted is also only 50% of normal." The description is fairly self-explanatory. It's a fairly decent trait since the more common chemicals which are used solely for combat don't need to last that long anyway.
- Sex Appeal: "You've got the "right" stuff. Members of the opposite sex are attracted to you, but those of the same sex tend to become quite jealous." Your charisma score when speaking to members of the opposite sex is increased by 1, while the opposite is true for members of the same sex.
- Skilled: "Since you spent more time improving your skills than a normal person, you start with better skill levels. The tradeoff is that you do not gain as many extra abilities. You will gain a perk every four levels." Skilled increases skill points per level by 5, but your perk rate is one level slower. As mentioned above, you only need to develop a few skills so the bonus isn't that great. The downside to skilled makes this trait hard to recommend as you'll want as many perks as possible.
- Gifted: "You have more inate abilities than most, so you have not spent as much time honing your skills. Your primary statistics are each 1, but you lose -10% on all skills to start, and receive 5 less skill points per level." Since your statistics are more important than your skills, and a small amount of your skills matter, gifted is arguably the best trait.
Within the character creation screen, the player is shown what are know as derived statistics; these statistics are based on how you distributed your points in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. They can be altered during the game by certain things like armor, drugs and perks.
- Armor Class: "Modifies the chance to hit this particular character." The simple approach to finding the chance to hit is by subtracting the armor class from the character's skill in that given weapon. For example, if my character has 97% in small guns and he is attacking a character with 20% armor class, he has a 97% - 20% = 77% chance to hit. This doesn't take other factors into account such as sunlight, range or cover, but it gives a general idea of how armor class functions. Armor class is modified by armor, agility and certain perks.
- Action Points: "The number of actions that the character can take during one combat turn." During a single combat turn the character can do a certain amount of things; attack with his weapon (an aimed shot costs more action points), move, access his inventory or reload his weapon. All of these actions require action points. Moving a single hex requires one action point, for example. Action points are derived by 5 Agility / 2. Certain perks add action points or reduce how costly an action is.
- Carry Weight: "The maximum amount of weight your character can carry, in pounds." Starting carry weight is derived by 25 pounds (Strength x 25). Certain perks and traits alter carry weight. Small frame reduces your overall carry weight, while the strong back perks increases it by 50 pounds per rank.
- Melee Damage: "The amount of bonus damage your character does in combat." As the name suggests, melee damage adds bonus damage to your melee attacks. However, it doesn't work as some might think. If you are wielding a weapon that does 1 - 6 damage, for example, and you have a melee damage statistic of 4, you will do 1 - 10 damage. It does not take the damage that you would have done and add 4 to it. Regardless, melee damage can be modified by strength (starting melee damage is equal to strength), the heavy handed trait and certain perks.
- Damage Resistance: "Any damage taken is reduced by this amount. Damage Resistance can be increased by wearing armor." Damage resistance, not to be confused by damage threshold, reduces damage taken. Damage threshold has the same function, but it reduces damage before damage resistance. For example, if the character is hit for 50 points of normal damage and he is wearing the Advanced Power Armor Mk II (which has 18 damage threshold and 60% damage resistance), they will take 19.2 damage. Damage resistance can be affected by endurance, the toughness perk or one of 4 special perks; dermal impact armor, dermal impact assault enhancement, phoenix armor implants and phoenix assault enhancement.
- Poison Resistance: "Reduces poison damage by this amount." Poison resistance reduces poison damage and reduces the chance of becoming poisoned. Poison resistance can be derived from Endurance x 5 and can be affected by the fast metabolism trait as well as certain perks.
- Radiation Resistance: "The amount of radiation you are exposed to is reduced by this percentage. Radiation Resistance can be modified by the type of armor worn and anti-radiation chems." Starting radiation resistance is found by Endurance x 2. This can be increased by taking the chemical Rad-X, wearing certain armor, or by taking the rad resistance perk. The fast metabolism trait sets radiation resistance at 0.
- Sequence: "Determines how soon in a combat turn your character can react." Sequence basically decides who goes first in combat. After the "surprise turn" (the turn when someone initiates combat), all characters involved in the combat scenario are sequenced; whoever has the highest sequence goes first. Sequence is found by Perception x 2. This statistic can be altered by the kamikaze trait which increases it by 5, or the earlier sequence perk which increases it by 2 per rank.
- Healing Rate: "At the end of each day, your character will heal 1HP for each point of Healing Rate. When you rest, you heal every six hours." The initial healing rate is one third of Endurace. Healing rate can be improved by the fast metabolism trait which increases it by 2 and the faster healing perk which also increases it by 2.
- Critical Chance: "The chance to cause a critical hit in combat is increased by this amount." Initial critical chance is equal to your luck. Critical chance can be improved by the finesse trait which increases it by 10% and the more criticals perk which increases it by 5% per rank.
Every other three levels, a perk is earned. Unlike traits, perks offer a positive effect only. These effects range from significant skill boosts to additional action points. Some perks are not earned by leveling up but rather by completing specific quests. There are 82 perks in total in Fallout 2.
As it's predecessor, Fallout 2 gave the ability to recruit many different NPCs. Once again, special requirements, skills and Charisma were needed to acquire their help.
Party system in Fallout 2 was refined and gave the player much more control over his teammates. Their inventory was fully manageable, and their actions during combat could be set by dialogue options. Some of them also had skills which were used if the protagonist's skill level was too low for the task. They could level with the player's character to further boost their statistics.
Here's the list of all available NPCs to recruit:
- Vic- Traveling salesman, who joins the player if rescued from the hands of Slavers based in The Den. Although he isn't particularly handy in combat, he excels at Repair.
- Sulik- Tribal warrior found in Klamath, skilled with melee weapons. If the player paid his debt or rescued Smiley the Trapper from the Toxic Caves, he could join the team.
- Cassidy- Bartender from outskirts of Vault City, very good in using shotguns. If the player convinced him to lead an adventurous life, he would join. His name is one of many easter eggs in Fallout 2, as he sometimes states, that father named him after "comic book character", an allusion to Cassidy from the Preacher series.
- Lenny- Old Ghoul from Gecko, who met the protagonist's ancestor, the legendary Vault Dweller. He can use pistols, rifles and specializes in the Doctor skill.
- Myron- A young, foul-mouthed genius and the inventor of the drug, Jet. He can be found in the lower level of a drug laboratory just outside of New Reno. Although he is weak in combat, he can help the player by making stimpacks and other medicaments.
- Marcus- An old super mutant and the sheriff of Broken Hills. Marcus can join the party after some racial problems in his city are resolved. He can be a great help in battle with his ability to use big guns and energy weapons.
- Goris- Intelligent Deathclaw scholar living in Vault 13. The best melee fighter in the game. Cannot wear armor or use weapons, however.
- Skynet- An obvious allusion to the Terminator series, Skynet is a supercomputer transferred into robot body. Its skills are dependent on the brain that the player's character installs in its head, but is always Scientifically inclined.
- Miria \ Davin- Daughter and son of Modoc farmer. Join the party, if the player (gender not taken into consideration) slept with one of them and was forced into marriage. Most players sold them to slavers, because their combat skills were nonexistent. It's a cruel world.
- K9- Awarded to the player after he finishes the quest for one of the scientists in New California Republic.
- Cyberdog-- Another robo-canine, Cyberdog joins if repaired in Navarro.
- Pariah Dog- Dog met in random encounter. Follows the player everywhere, bringing very bad luck to everyone around it.
- Dogmeat- A familiar friend from Fallout 1, Dogmeat can be found in random encounter "Cafe of the Broken Dreams". Joins the party after being fed Iguana-on-a-stick or if he sees the player in just the Vault Suit (armor off).
Mark Morgan, who composed the soundtrack for the original Fallout, was brought back in to work on the Fallout 2 score. Some of the tracks found in the first game also make a reprise in this second installment.
|Track No.||Song Title||Running Time|
| 01|| A Trader's Life|| 04.03|
| 02|| Moribund World|| 03.03|
| 03|| Khans of New California|| 03.18|
| 04|| Desert Wind|| 03.20|
| 05|| Vats of Goo|| 03.18|
| 06|| City of Lost Angels|| 03.46|
| 07|| Industrial Junk|| 03.24|
| 08|| Underground Troubles|| 03.53|
| 09|| City of the Dead|| 03.24|
| 10|| Follower's Credo|| 02.59|
| 11|| Beyond the Canyon|| 03.14|
| 12|| Dream Town|| 03.16|
| 13|| The Biggest Little City in the World|| 03.14|
| 14|| My Chrysalis Highwayman|| 01.07|
| 15|| Many Contrasts|| 03.55|
| 16|| All-Clear Signal|| 03.17|
| 17|| California Revisited|| 01.32|
| 18|| Gold Slouch|| 03.25|
Fallout 2 installs and runs out of the box on Windows Vista, without tweaks or hacks, it is also available on Gametap as part of the Premium package. On some systems it can cause some problems though, so it is recommended to tweak the XP-compatibility settings.
Fallout 2 Restoration Project
Fallout 2 was undoubtedly one of the biggest and best games in the RPG genre when it was released, although the game was not free of bugs and glitches. Thanks to some hardcore fans of the game, the Restoration Pack was created. It tweaks the game's stability, repairs some of the bugs and adds couple of extra NPCs, locations and missions that were originally planned by the developer though abandoned and not implemented into the game before the release.
- EPA with some links to another areas,
- Primitive Tribe
- Village outside Vault City and related quest line
- Den Residential Area with Orphanage quest
- Slaver's Camp
- Hubologist Stash
- Enclave Vertibird Landing Pad
- Ranger Safe Houses
Fallout 2 with Restoration Pack is the game as it originally should be, giving the players (even those who finished it before) a good, and fulfilling adventure.
Original System Requirements
- CPU Type: Pentium
- CPU Speed: 90 MHz
- RAM Required: 16 MB
- Hard Disk Space: 30 MB
- Graphics Type: SVGA
- Graphics Resolution: 640x480
- Color Depth: 256 Colors
The game was recently re-released on several digital distribution services including Steam and GOG.com.