Interplay/Black Isle’s cancelled ‘Fallout 3’ still providing plot inspiration 15 years later?

fallout 5 - Interplay/Black Isle's cancelled 'Fallout 3' still providing plot inspiration 15 years later?

Spoilers for F76 and also NV, I guess.

It's fairly well known that Black Isle were well into the development process for 'Fallout 3' when interplay pulled the plug in 2003, with as much as 85% of the game complete, including most of the details of the main plot.

The primary antagonist was going to be a rogue NCR scientist called Victor Presper, who had decided that the various factions that had grown up in the new world were doomed to repeat the mistakes of the old, and had decided to wipe the slate clean by triggering a new nuclear apocalypse that only himself and a small group of his followers would survive. In order to do this, however, he needed to fool an old-world AI called ODYSSEUS into believing that there was a good reason to activate the nuclear weapons under it's control.

This is where the player character came in. At the start of the game you would wake up in a prison (ironically a classic Bethesda move) with a gaping hole in the wall and all the prisoners escaping. During your travels around the game world, you would eventually work out that you and your fellow prisoners had been infected with a biological weapon and had been unwittingly spreading the 'new plague' to all the settlements you had visited. Pretty soon people would start dying off everywhere you had visited.

The purpose of all this was to fool the AI into thinking that the only way to stop the spread of the plague into the wider world was to arm the nukes to try to contain the problem. At the end of the game you would confront Presper on board a giant nuclear weapon satellite (that bears an uncanny resemblance to the crashed space station in F76). You would have to make a choice between sacrificing yourself to blow up the weapon or saving your own skin and redirecting the missiles to hit whichever factions you had decided shouldn't be allowed to survive.

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A lot of this was clearly recycled for New Vegas, specifically the 'Lonesome Road' DLC where you face off against Ulysses who has decided that the existing factions need to be cleansed with a new nuclear apocalypse so the world can begin again, and you can even decide which factions you want to save or allow to die.

There also appear to be a fair few similarities, however, in the plot of F76. There is a madman who has decided he wants to launch nuclear weapons but needs to fool a computer system in order to gain access. In order to do so, he deliberately unleashes all manner of horrors upon the populace (including a plague that eventually wipes everyone out) in order to raise the perceived 'threat level' to the point that the computer will allow him access to the nukes in order to 'deal' with the situation. The two main differences are a) he fails as his followers recognise how insane the plan is and b) this all happens 'off screen' before the protagonist even leaves the Vault.

The circumstances are somewhat different but it seems too similar to be entirely coincidental. Just thought it was interesting that they are still utilising this material fifteen years and a completely different studio later.

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