The original Fallout had so much attention to detail, you could get special dialogue for speedrunning it in a weird order and returning to a completed zone to talk to a zombie who hates you

A man and a woman in vault suits stand over irradiated and hostile ghouls in keyart for Fallout 1.
(Image credit: Interplay)

Like PC Gamer print editor Robert Jones, my big reaction to the Fallout show has been getting classic with it, replaying the 1997 original for the first time in over a decade. It more than holds up in so many ways, including accounting for player choices so deranged, you wonder how anyone came across them organically.

The one that blows me away was showcased recently by Dante Hope on YouTube, the "rarest" dialogue in Fallout 1. Getting it requires bucking the game's usual sequence of events by beating the final boss before the second-to-last boss in under 110 in-game days⁠—a tight time limit with how long overworld travel takes in Fallout⁠—then revisiting Necropolis, a one and done combat-heavy zone, to talk to a zombie who hates your guts.

Ghoulville Necropolis (formerly Bakersfield) is maybe the hardest settlement to get a happy ending for in Fallout 1⁠—it's so bad, Fallout 2 just assumes the berg was destroyed. If you let 110 days pass before your first visit, everyone gets killed by Super Mutants, and coming back again at any time after the 110-day mark nets you a destroyed Necropolis. 

The place's mayor, Set, is a real jerk too. While his freaky antiquated slang is certainly endearing, he's always threatening to give you a "dirt-nap" and will launch into combat mode if you talk to him too many times. The area's also broken up by loading zones and requires sewer-based navigation to get from Set back to the world map⁠—there's just no incentive to come back here after beating Necropolis' leg of the main quest.

Unless: If you destroy the Boneyard Cathedral before Mariposa Military Base (the two endgame requirements for rolling credits), Set has unique dialogue if you pay him another visit. The nasty man stands in awe of your character, offering information and a bounty of weapons and ammo for killing The Master.

Not only is it a big ask to juggle those in-game time limits while still surviving this challenging RPG, the typical order of play would have you going to Mariposa before the Cathedral⁠—there's just something slightly weird about killing off spooky big bad The Master in his Cathedral before the erudite, but far less interesting Lieutenant (affectionately called Lou Tenant) in the base.

This is the kind of reactivity and craft that made Interplay, Black Isle, and Troika RPGs so special, and it's been so thrilling to see that sensibility come roaring back bigger and more popular than ever with the success of Larian and Baldur's Gate 3.

If you're also feeling that classic Fallout itch now, be it for the first time or yet another replay, we've got a refresher on all the compatibility tools, fan patches, and mods that can help you get the most out of the classic Fallout games today. I gotta say though: while you can get these guys looking decent on a modern LCD widescreen monitor, the real Sicko's Choice™ will always be at 640x480 on a big ol' honkin' CRT display.

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.