Todd Howard reveals his favorite moment from the Fallout television show, and in hindsight it's really no surprise at all

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 09: Todd Howard attends the world premiere of Prime Video's "Fallout" at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 09, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Todd Howard recently shared his favorite moment from Amazon's hit Fallout television series, and if you've been keeping up with his work over the years it'll come as absolutely no surprise: It's the transition from the safety of the Vault to the dangers of the wide open world.

"I still love the moment that Lucy comes out of the vault," Howard says in a new Q&A video. "I think that captures so much. It's an earned moment, and visually a really, really beautiful one."

Rolling back the massive vault door and walking out into the sunlight has been an essential part of the Fallout experience going all the way back to the very first game—it's as iconic as Ron Perlman saying "war never changes" (although Walton Goggins got to say it for the show.) But for Howard it's an element of storytelling that goes beyond just the Fallout series: It's a "step out moment" that's become a staple of Bethesda RPGs.

"We always have that 'step out' moment into the world, so to say," Howard said in 2021 while talking about the then-unreleased Starfield. "The technology has changed. We've all changed. So our expectations when loading up a game, like, 'Okay, I'm going to step out and there's going to be this moment.' Us being able to do that and have it feel new every generation, every game, is something that is really special about what we do."

My favorite of Bethesda's step-outs is exiting the sewers at the start of Oblivion: It happened to be nighttime when I first made my escape in that game, and the darkness and quiet made for a genuinely breathtaking moment—I really felt like I was busting out and slipping off into the darkness. Fallout 3 is a close second because it was the first time I'd experienced the Fallout world from that perspective, and my eyes adjusting to the blinding light to slowly take in the devastated landscape made for a hell of a start.

Howard said his priority for the Amazon series is that it was "authentic" and "true to the world of Fallout" without repeating stories that have already been told, because to him it represents "a new entry" in the series—which is another good reason for getting that big moment into the show.

"So just like we approach a game, where we're gonna tell a new story, put in a new location, the show does that. It's exciting for us that people who maybe want a new experience, now they can in a new way, and people that never have, they get the opportunity."

"There's a lot of post-apocalyptic entertainment, but there's nothing like the world of Fallout," Howard said. "It can be very dramatic, it can be suspenseful, it can be scary, it has action. It also has some comedy, it has a certain type of violence. Weaving those things together is really really tricky and I think they've done an incredible job of it."

The Fallout series on Amazon is the latest game-to-television translation that's become a major hit: It ranked among the top three most-watched shows on Prime Video, and almost immediately after it debuted, a second season was confirmed.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.