OG Fallout lead Tim Cain defends the show's lore changes in a glowing full review⁠⁠—'Not that it matters, I'm not in charge of this anymore⁠, and neither are you'

Fallout characters
(Image credit: Prime TV)

Original Fallout creator and long time CRPG developer Tim Cain has made a deep dive video about the Fallout TV show, this just one week after he shared his experience at the Hollywood premiere and his disapproval of some of the series' more rude fans. The verdict? Cain still loves the show, and doesn't seem all that bothered by the Fallout timeline inconsistencies some people got worked up over.

More than anything else, Cain praised the series for nailing the feel of Fallout. "It's easy to write post apocalyptic stuff that doesn't fit in the Fallout mold," he observed, and I've definitely seen that play out in the mod scene over the years. Forgetting all the Shadow the Hedgehog/anime stuff on the Nexus, a lot of those mods can feel more Book of Eli than Fallout.

Cain also appreciated how each of the three main characters felt like a different kind of Fallout player: Lucy being a Good Karma diplomat, Maximus a self-interested power armor tank, and the Ghoul a max Small Guns "murderhobo" like I know we all default to on a first playthrough.

Cain seems to have recorded this video before Season 2's confirmation yesterday, but was excited at the prospect of the show's renewal. He also gave his own take on the timeline/lore debate that still seems to rage among fans of the classic games⁠⁠—basically, a timeline glimpsed in the show seems to suggest that a horrible catastrophe befell the New California Republic before the events of Fallout: New Vegas. Senior Bethesda devs have since gone on the record (twice) to assure us that New Vegas actually happened. Well it didn't actually happen—you know what I mean.

Cain took more issue with the show's answer for who shot first in the 2077 nuclear war, seeming to politely disagree with the surprise reveal. Otherwise, though? He didn't seem too bothered by the timeline thing, arguing that it could potentially be a case of unreliable narrators: "Maybe the dates are wrong, either in the games or the show," Cain argued, further noting that "Fallout has a history in a lot of the games of having people tell you something that isn't true."

On the more meta side of the question, Cain said that "lore drift is inevitable in big IPs," comparing Fallout to Star Wars' infamously malleable timeline. Cain also noted the difficulty in choosing a "canon" ending for open-ended games like Fallout: New Vegas, and said that we still don't know which combination of endings to the various games the Fallout TV show has worked into its timeline.

For further viewing, Cain endorsed games writer Alanah Pearce's video about the show's potential lore discrepancies as a review that dovetailed with his own thoughts, but he also finished with a caveat of, "Not that it matters, I'm not in charge of this anymore, and neither are you.

"Basically, anything that Bethesda does from now on, that's canon."

That may be true, but as a lover of crusty-ass old CRPGs where all your attacks miss for the first few hours, Cain's word holds a lot of weight for me, and it likely also does for any of my fellow classic Fallout dead-enders who let valid criticism or analysis verge into something harmful and unhealthy. To them, Cain simply says: "Cut that out, please." 

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.