Update: We knew the chances of an elaborate, secret ending hidden away inside Fallout 76 was unlikely, but Easter eggs and secrets have an almost mythical draw; just look at GTA 5's Mount Chiliad mystery (opens in new tab). Unfortunately, some dreams may have been dashed.
After reading about International_XT's theory, Reddit user z3rosun (opens in new tab) attempted to uncover the rumoured true ending. They blow up the fissures and summoned the big mama scorchbeast. They didn't manage to defeat her, but nothing else was different. There was still a sliver of hope, though. With the Queen not slain, the experiment wasn't complete.
Lamentably, z3rosun claims that another group managed to take down the Queen and nothing happened. She died and all they got was some regular loot.
On the original post (opens in new tab), Bethesda community manager Ladydevann left some messages of encouragement, though she also admitted that she'd never heard of a secret ending. Of course she'd say that, but in this case, it looks like she was probably on the level.
Original story: A Fallout 76 (opens in new tab) player believes there's a secret ending to Bethesda's survival romp. They're setting out with some volunteers to see if they can bring it about with a calculated nuclear assault on post-apocalyptic West Virginia, specifically the fissures that spawn scorchbeasts.
"I'm tracking a secret hiding in plain sight, and I need your help," reads the post (opens in new tab) from Reddit user International_XT, like a plea to an old Jedi master. It's full of spoilers, so beware. They reckon they've stumbled onto a hidden final objective and that killing the Queen in the final mission was not actually the end.
International_XT's very detailed post certainly makes it sound almost plausible. See, Fallout 76 ends pretty unceremoniously. You get a bunch of exposition throughout the game about the scorchbeast threat and possible solutions, you fight the Queen, then voila, the day is saved. But what if killing her wasn't enough?
The Brotherhood leader, Paladin Taggerdy, also fought the scorchbeasts, and after that they temporarily disappeared. International_XT reckons that she actually defeated one of the big scorchbeast mamas, but another one matured and that's why more fissures and more scorchbeasts appeared. The solution, they reckon, is to nuke every fissure, destroying all the nests. It's a solution that Taggerdy herself even suggested, though the Brotherhood decided against it.
Fissures can be destroyed, at least temporarily. International_XT took some before (opens in new tab) and after (opens in new tab) shots to show the destruction. They've confirmed that two of the fissure sites close when nuked, but they need help to test the others. They also weren't able to wait to see if the fissures remained closed.
The plan is for the group to split into three strike teams, nuke every fissure and then start the final part of the game, the fight with the Queen, where they'll keep their fingers crossed that something special happens when they defeat her. International_XT is cautiously optimistic.
Sure, this will take at least half a day, there will be disconnects, the Queen might glitch on us, and there is absolutely no guarantee that there actually is anything at the end of all this that we haven't already discovered. And yet... and yet, there's the possibility of adventure.
Players banding together for grand experiments and adventures into the unknown—I wish Fallout 76 was like this all the time. As much as I want to believe there's a secret, better ending out there, I still think it's more likely that the ending we got is the one we're stuck with. Some kind of Easter egg might not be beyond the realms of possibility, though, and maybe Bethesda could even reward the players' efforts with something.