The Fallout series certainly has its fair share of kooky encounters, and Fallout 3 is no exception. For instance, players will come across tons of feral ghouls whose skin has been seared from head to toe, cannibalistic Wastelanders with an insatiable hunger for human flesh, and even a roaming Super Mutant philosopher known as Uncle Leo who dispenses pseudo-Zen Buddhist koans to anyone who will listen. Although these attributes are decidedly weird, the strangest aspect of Fallout 3 might lie in the development side of things.
Yesterday, thanks to a rather silly post on 4chan’s /v/ message board, the Internet had its fun with a piece on how the Presidential Metro car in Fallout 3‘s Broken Steel DLC worked. Initially, it was said that the train was actually a hat worn by a non-playable character (NPC) who was buried underneath the level, and ran like greased lightning upon activation, ultimately creating the illusion of a functioning rail system. However, while the reasoning looks plausible on the surface, it’s not completely accurate, as PC Gamer’s Phil Savage delved into the issue using Fallout 3‘s editor, GECK, and uncovered an equally ridiculous explanation.
To the casual observer of the image atop this paragraph, the moving Presidential Metro cab appears to be some hefty headgear worn by Rivet City’s Abraham Washington, the owner and curator of the beached aircraft carrier borough’s Capitol Preservation Society. Surely Bethesda‘s developers used him as an inside joke, since his name represents two of the United States’ most iconic presidents. Regardless, within GECK, the car is labeled as “DLC03MetroCarArmor”, and is not a hat, but rather an arm piece. As one can see above, Washington’s right hand is missing, and taking the phantom limb’s place within the game’s coding is the Metro cab itself.
With all of that in mind, what’s even more interesting is the fact that it’s not the NPC that provides the train with locomotion, but the player. To be specific, after gamers repair the Presidential Metro, they get in and turn it on, which then initiates a coding script that equips the item, and starts up a package known as ‘DLC03MetroCameraPackage’. As fans can see below, ‘DLC03MetroCameraPackage’ plays an animation called ‘LooseDLC03MetroCamera’ which is the perfect image for anyone looking to have an extra message board exit gif in their arsenal.
The oddest thing regarding the clip is that the train car flips sideways for some reason. Obviously, it doesn’t happen in Fallout 3, as the cab remains upright the whole time, but the route in which Washington takes take is clearly the one used in-game. Regardless, fans without access to Fallout 3‘s GECK editor would have had no idea exactly how the mechanics behind the Presidential Metro worked, but now that the information is out there, Bethesda’s design is definitely a neat trick that exploits the title’s engine limitations.
Regardless, any news related to the popular post-apocalyptic franchise is surely to cause fans’ minds to wander over to the upcoming release of Fallout 4. While there probably won’t be NPCs masquerading as train cars in the latest sequel, it has been confirmed that the nuked-out role-playing game will let players customize settlements, weapons, and armor, which most gamers will probably consider to be an even cooler feature.
Fallout 3 is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.