The Fallout Universe, Fallout World, or Fallout Earth is a term used to describe the alternate history or time-line that the Fallout Series takes place in. Before World World II Fallout's earth was exactly like ours, and every event before World War II happened in theirs. However after the war the Fallout universe split from ours in several different ways.
One of the most important events of the Fallout world was the Great War. On this day, October 23, 2077 to be precise, nuclear fire and missiles reigned down from the sky and the world was plunged into an abyss of darkness and radiation in a matter of hours thanks to the destructive nature of mankind. The term the Great War is used by the inhabitants of the Wasteland, or post-apocalyptic America. This single devastating event is still being felt by the residents of the Core Region and Capital Wasteland 200 hundred years later, and the Fallout Series is based on the struggles of a vault dweller or wastelander in post-nuclear America.
 Pre-Great War
Many of the events that happened before the Great War are currently happening now. In the Fallout universe America and other countries have harnessed the energy of nuclear fusion in the late 20th century, which is why Laser Pistols and other weapons were abundant at that time. Although this was a triumph for mankind, nuclear power soon lagged behind and the main power source was still fossil fuels, or oil. When these fuels dried up arguments and war began. The U.N. disbanded sometime afterwords, and the blood began to spill.
In 2053 a plague hit the world and tens of thousands began to die. Paranoia sweeped the globe and many people believes the virus was man-made. Tension began to rise, and countries blamed one another. Whole cities were quarantined.
This is also the time where the Vault program was developed by the United States.
 United States and China
The United States of America and People's Republic of China were bitter enemies in the pre-Great War era. They were constantly competing with one another.
 Annexation of Canada
When the oil fields ran dry in a press conference the United States declared that the remaining oil that they had was to be used by America and America only. This angered several countries, particularly China.
During that time America invaded or "occupied" Canada because of an Alaskan Pipe Line. This led to Canada being fully annexed and becoming part of the US, much to the dismay of the Canadian citizens. In a Fallout video, it shows a Canadian freedom fighter being shot by an American troop.
 Anchorage, Alaska
In 2066 China attacked Alaska for the last drops of oil in the world, under the guidance of General Jingwei. The player in Fallout 3 experiences this first hand in Anchorage, in the DLC pack Operation: Anchorage. The US responded with brute force and sends in Power Armored troops and heavily armored soldiers to reclaim Anchorage. After ten years of war the Americans win and push the Chinese back.
Chinese and American propaganda aimed at one another can still be seen, particularly in the Capital Wasteland. Chinese spies infiltrated the US as well.
 European Commonwealth and other Nations
Although the fates of the other nations of the world do not remain clear, some information is still given. Russia remained friendly to the United States up to the nuclear apocalypse (there was no Cold War in the Fallout Universe) and small countries became bankrupt and collapsed after and before the plague.
A war between the Middle East and the European Commonwealth began before the Chinese-American war, and was again over oil. Many lives were lost and the war ended when the Middle East's oil fields dried up. The fate of the middle east remains unknown but the European Commonwealth splits into squabbling city-states, and become bankrupt.
 Post-Great War
After the Great War of 2077, the earth was reduced to rubble, and mankinds greatest achievements and monuments fell.
The world became highly radioactive and new species were made because of the radiation, and the Forced Evolutionary Virus, a virus created by the Enclave, an evil shadow government. It was going to be used to mutate American soldiers to win the war against China. In our universe radiation kills or causes cancer, it does not mutate, but in Fallout's it does.
 Mutated Humans
Humans mutated after the great war and turned into two species if exposed to enough Radiation or FEV. Even though humans are still the most common race in the Wasteland, there are still a fair amount of mutants.
Main Article: Ghouls
The survivors of America (the fate of the other countries are not shown) lived in terrible conditions, and still do, in the Fallout Series. Living conditions became slightly better 200 years later, but not by much. Many humans died shortly after the great war because of radiation poisoning. Some mutated into Ghouls, regular humans that feel, act, and talk like ordinary humans, but look like rotting corpses or zombies. A few even turned into Feral Ghouls, mindless zombies that rely on instinct.
Ghouls are often ridiculed and judged on their appearance, and are segregated from regular humans. Many are forced to live underground in metro stations. They are sterile.
 Super Mutants
Main Article: Super Mutants
Super Mutants are mutated humans in the Wasteland, but not because of radiation, but because of the virus FEV. They are larger, stronger, and live longer than humans. West coast super mutants are as smart as humans, while east coast ones are generally dumb. These abominations drag humans down to the Mariposa Military Base or Vault 87 to dip them in FEV, and turn them into mutants. They are also sterile.
 Mutated Animals
A lot of 1950's films featuring mutated Giant Ants and humans due to radiation were shown back then in our world. Fallout borrows this idea and uses it. There are many mutated animals and plants, such as the Spore Plant and the Mole Rat. A wide range of them are encountered. Many of them were made overnight. Although many creatures mutated, Dogs and other canines remained unchanged and are still used by humans after the war. Brahmin, two headed cows, are used by caravan merchants, and have replaced cattle.
Several factions are shown in the Fallout Universe such as the Brotherhood of Steel, an organization dedicated to the discovery of technological advancements in the United States. The Enclave is a shadow government, similar to the Illuminati, that first appear in Fallout 2. They both have military roots.
The New California Republic is a faction that was founded by a man named Aradesh and his daughter Tandi, and is the largest faction in the Fallout series. It's goal is to keep order and unite California and the Core Region under one government.
There are also several small factions, such as Raiders and Caesar's Legion. Raiders steal and kill innocent wastelanders on-sight. Caesar's Legion is a Roman like government that owns a lot of territory east of the Colorado river.
 Vault Program
Before the Great War the United States created bunkers or underground shelters that were meant to preserve humanity and save residents from a nuclear-apocalypse, with the help of the fictitious company Vault-Tec. These were called Vaults. Vaults had impenetrable walls that blocked out radiation, mutated creatures and humans, and the abominations of the wasteland. Residents of a vault would live there until the vault Overseer, or leader, decided or found out it was safe to venture outside.
In reality only a small number of Vaults actually saved their residents. The Enclave orchestrated experiments in various vaults around the world to study the subjects under stress or other factors. Vault 87 was used to experiment with FEV, while Vault 101 was never meant to be opened, at all. Vault 13 was meant to provide the Enclave with pure strain humans. Vault 21 was the Gambling vault. The reasons for these monstrosities is unknown, but the Enclave has claimed themselves to be the ideal subjects to re-colonize the earth after a nuclear war, so it is possible they were studying the vault dwellers to help them survive.
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