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Fallout 3 metro trains were powered by running NPCs, apparently [Update]

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Fallout3

Update: We've done some digging, and found the truth is even stranger than this story. Head here to see what's really powering Fallout 3's metro train.

Original: You couldn't catch the metro in Fallout 3, but you could watch it from a distance in the Broken Steel DLC pack. It makes you think: if Bethesda implemented moving vehicles, why on earth couldn't you ever ride one? Why code locomotives just for window dressing? Don't say "because the apocalypse" because I don't wanna hear it.

The answer turns out to be simple: the metro trains were hats. As the image above demonstrates (courtesy of a 4Chan user) the metro cars in Fallout 3 were actually hats worn by highspeed running NPCs, embedded in the ground below. That's... kinda gruesome, to be honest, but when you're working with an engine as quirky as Gamebryo, a little bit of improvisation is required.

It could be an internet joke, but I'm inclined to believe it. I remember marvelling at some of the tricks Doom level creators would pull, in order to create effects otherwise believed to be impossible in the game's engine. Where there's a will there's a way.

I don't know whether Fallout 4 will have trains-that-are-actually-enslaved-NPCs, but it will definitely have jetpacks, which is cool.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.