It's been 80 long years since your ancestor trod across the wastelands.As you search for the Garden of Eden Creation Kit to save your primitive village, your path is strewn with crippling radiation, megalomaniac mutants, and a relentless stream of lies, deceit, and treachery. You begin to wonder if anyone really stands to gain anything in this brave new world...
—Plot summary, back of the box.
The second game in the Fallout series. This installment improves much upon its predecessor, being a game where you can do just about anything within reason. Numerous pop culture references make this game a troper's best friend.
The tribal village Arroyo is an okay place to live. Aside from trading caravans that come by every once in a blue moon, you and your family, the tribe, are completely isolated from the outside world and live a peaceful and simple life. But nothing is ever that simple.
Several failed harvests and the death of the majority of the Brahmin herd have taken quite a toll on the tribe, and its members are now slowly withering away from starvation and diseases. However, ancient holotapes speak of one thing that might be the key to salvation: the legendary Garden of Eden Creation Kit, which is said to be able to bring life to even the driest of deserts. Arroyo needs someone to leave the village and search for the GECK. That someone is you.
You are The Chosen One, the grandchild of the Vault Dweller from Vault 13. Eighty years ago, your ancestor ventured out to save his vault, and later ended up founding the tribe. Dressed in your great ancestor's old Vault jumpsuit and carrying the only lead on your target (a Vault 13 flask), you now must journey out and find a trader named Vic in the nearby settlement of Klamath. He might know where you can find Vault 13, which possibly has a GECK...
Or you could just give in to the temptations of the huge, open world that now lies in front of you, and do whatever you want.
- 100% Heroism Rating: If you choose to play after the end of the game and go to New Reno/Vault City, everyone will congratulate you and treat you like a hero.
- Affably Evil: President Dick Richardson and most of the Enclave Civilian Government are quite polite people who are trying to kill all mutants, which by their definition are basically everybody in the desert.
- After the End: The setting of this game is much more "civilized" than most post-apocalyptic settings out there, probably because it takes place 80 years after Fallout.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Depending on how you built it, Skynet can potentially turn on you as soon as you exit the Sierra base.
- All Women Love Shoes: When you gamble in a casino as a female character, one of the comments she may drop as you place a bet is "C'mon! Baby needs a new pair of shoes!".
- An Aesop: A recurring aesop throughout the game is the importance of peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. Each of the rivaling towns have something the other side wants or needs, and getting them to cooperate with each other will result in a happier ending for both sides.
- Ancient Conspiracy: Revealed by the President that the Vaults were not meant to protect the people from the Nuclear War, their true role was to determine if the population can handle being isolated from the outside world under various conditions, all in the name of constructing the Space Ark.
- And I Must Scream: A minor one for Marcus. He reveals that he's got the worst wedgie in the world. As a super mutant, whose clothes are permanently bonded to him...
- Anything That Moves: The game allows the player to go this route (although it is generally easier with a female character, as Most Writers Are Male, and there is only handful of homosexual men in the game, but not vice versa) and awards the player a reputation based on it (regardless of sex): Gigolo. Oddly, you only have to sleep with one person to do it. However, if you sleep with 10 or more people, you get another one, Sexpert, which effectively gives you the benefit of a sex-related perk (Kama Sutra Master) for free.
Gigolo: Let's be honest: You sleep with anything that walks on two legs. Sometimes, you're not even that discriminating.
- On the flip side there is the Virgin of the Wastes reputation which was cut from the final game. It was put back in the Restoration Project Fan Patch.
- Apocalyptic Log: Found in the Mariposa Military Base.
- Avenging the Villain: Frog Morton in Redding has three older brothers: Toad, Newt and Snake Morton. Killing Frog will trigger random encounters with his stronger siblings across the course of your adventures. Of special note is the Continuity Nod present in the New Khans, who were organized by the only remaining member of the Khans from Fallout. They exist to bring down the New California Republic, who asked the Vault Dweller of the first game to wipe out the Khans.
- Awesome but Impractical:
- The Vindicator Minigun despite being the strongest gun in the game, proven to take down The Dragon in one combat turn using the right build, eats up rare ammo like a starved pig.
- The Flamers are the only way to get the "flailing around on fire" death, yet they just -suck- in combat.
- The Solar Scorcher does plenty of damage and recharges on sunlight, for free. A perfect choice for the miserly... until you're ambushed at night or have to fight underground/indoors. Better hope you packed a backup.
- Awesome Yet Practical: The Bozar and P90c eat up common ammo like starved pigs. Unarmed and Melee Weapons also fit. The Bozar also often achieved the hilarious "bits blown away until the target is a pair of legs and stump of spine" animation
- The Alien Blaster does major damage and only consumes one energy cell per shot. Quite cost-effective.
- Fighting unarmed in Power Armor is especially awesome and quite potent.
- The Gauss Rifle. Super accurate, nigh constant critical hits, and high damage. Usually ended up getting the "entire chest blown out" animation after 1 or 2 shots. It's also single-shot, which makes it the best weapon to give to your small-arms wielding companion, usually Cassidy.
- Badass Army: The Enclave Troopers. They travel in small squads, have high health, amazing accuracy, are almost completely invincible against bullets and lasers due to their power armor, and carry the greatest weapons in the game such as Plasma Rifles and Gauss Rifles. Each and every one of the soldiers is capable of easily curb stomping entire groups of raiders by themselves, and they will utterly destroy you if you try to attack them at any time in the game except at the very end when you have several companions and almost as good weapons and armor as them (or if you did the quests in Navarro, their exact same equipment).
- Beef Gate: Trying to explore along the coast at anything less than near-endgame levels will have you utterly curbstomped by stormtroopers in power armor. Hanging around other parts of the map before about the mid-game is a good way to be splattered by Super Mutants armed with miniguns and rocket launchers.
- BFG: Aside from the guns that are meant to be big, like rocket launchers, miniguns, and flamethrowers, the Bozar stands out for being a giant rifle with immense damage and plentiful ammo, making it the most Awesome Yet Practical weapon in the game.
- The Bozar was originally planned to be more like a sniper rifle, which is hinted at by its inventory graphics and description. The gun used by the Chosen, however, has the graphics, sound and function of a minigun. It also had decent damage per shot and used naturally armor piercing ammo, so it still worked on armored targets, unlike some of the burst fire guns.
- Bittersweet Ending: Some places can get these despite your efforts, or because of them.
- Bland-Name Product: Nuka Cola.
- Brain In a Jar: Skynet, which can be recruited by constructing him a body, brain included. How useful it is depends on which brain was installed.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The game is full of fourth wall jokes, so much that it borders on No Fourth Wall. Most notably when the Playable Epilogue kicks in, at which point you can go see Father Tully in New Reno and pick up the 'Fallout 2 Hintbook', which is the game guide for the game your character is currently in, and using it gives a massive experience boost and maxes out all skills.
Item description: "Well, THIS would have been good to have at the beginning of the goddamn game."
- Cartography Sidequest: Two of them given by Vault City, scouting a route to NCR and the exploration of Gecko's surrounding territory.
- Chaos Architecture: Mostly averted, although Vault 15's entrance changes from game to game.
- Cool Car: The Chryslus Highwayman. Nearly two centuries of neglect, and it only needs one part to get it going, and is capable of holding your entire party, which can potentially include a super mutant, a deathclaw, and a brain-bot containing the personality of a pre-War AI. It gets even cooler as you find and install its upgrades. The trunk was notable in that it could hold several suits of power armor, a half dozen miniguns, and an infinite amount of ammo.
- Cool Plane: Enclave Vertibirds.
- Crap Saccharine World: Vault City. The first time you see it, you'll think you've just stepped into heaven, with its green grass and clean, beautiful buildings. However, it doesn't take much time to see how self-righteous and racist the city's leaders are, and that slavery is openly practiced in it.
- Darker and Edgier/Lighter and Softer: Somehow manages to be both compared to Fallout 1. On one hand, Fallout 2 has a ton of humor, way more than Fallout 1, and the mood is overall much more lighthearted. However, one the other hand, the themes are much darker, rape, prostitution, drug overdoses and slavery are regular occurrences in many towns, and the villains are a bunch of Complete Monsters instead of Anti Villains like The Master and his army.
- Deadpan Snarker: The main character, a lot. Also K-9, the robotic dog.
Chosen One: K-9, I need to know what weapons you can use.
K-9: Teeth, master. Sharp white shiny things in my mouth.
- Who is not a Deadpan Snarker would be easier to list, the world is a world of snark.
- Defector From Decadence: The Talking Deathclaws who settled in Vault 13.
- Deus Est Machina: In San Francisco, the Chosen One discovers that the Shi Emperor is a supercomputer, though the ordinary Shi don't know that.
- Disaster Democracy
- Disc One Nuke:
- The Navarro Run sequence breach doesn't just give a souped-up armor, though that's obviously the best-known part. It also gives one of the highest-end weapons, and allows you to complete a quest that will probably launch you to Level 8 or higher immediately.
- The 10mm SMG. Get enough 10mm ammo and unleash Burst Mode on enemies to likely kill them in one round. You can find one in and around the Den with some luck.
- The .44 Magnum can also be found in the Den. It does good damage, has a lowered AP cost (meaning two attacks per round with 8 AP), and does extra damage to enemies due to the .44 ammo it loads.
- The Bridgekeeper Robes. As soon as you hit Level 10, you can find the Bridgekeeper as a random encounter, and if you know how to kill him via the pop-cultural reference he is, you can get his robes, which are as durable as Combat Armor and weigh only 10 pounds.
- Louisville Slugger is a just a baseball bat... that also happens to be second best melee weapon in the game. It can be accquired as soon as reaching New Reno.
- Downer Ending: The fate of Broken Hills in two of the endings. In one, the mutants are all wiped out, and the humans can't safely mine the uranium without them, while in the second, the mutants and humans wipe each other out. The third ending is more bittersweet: humans and mutants continue to live peacefully until their mine runs dry, and the town disperses with their economical backbone gone. Hey, it's a mining town.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Dornan, the Enclave trooper, exemplifies this trope when spoken to when the Chosen One travels to Navarro.
- Dronejam: Still possible, just like in the first game, but you now have the option to push the NPCs out of the way when it happens, even in the middle of combat.
- Dummied Out: Because Black Isle ran short of development time, quite a few places and quests were only halfway implanted or completely left out of the game, which leaves a couple of plot threads, such as finding Sulik's sister and exposing the cattle rustlers in Klamath, hanging in the wind. Fanmade patches, such as the Fallout 2 Restoration Project (still updates regularly), seeks to restore them to a playable state. Still, there are many things even the Restoration Project has yet to explain, such as the "Brotherhood" area in the Oil Rig.
- Easter Egg: One of the original Wide Open Sandbox games should of course have these in spades, including an actual egg that can be found.
- Eat the Dog: Cousin Nagor's beloved dog Smoke will eventually be turned into a delicious meal by least-favorite aunt Morlis if you take too long getting the GECK.
- Also, a girl in the Den will tell you a story about how her cat Cuddles was cute and adorable and loving, until the day food started to get scarce...
- Elite Mooks: The Enclave soldiers on the Poseidon Oil Rig.
- Empty Room Psych: Such that veteran players will know which rooms not to enter in subsequent playthroughs.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The player can invoke this by doing some mildly evil things throughout the game, but being disgusted at Myron killing a bunch of slaves to get the formula for Jet right.
Chosen One: You killed hundreds of human beings to test a drug?
Myron: Who cares about a bunch of slaves anyway? We didn't want the drugs killing our customers.
Chosen One: Oh well, that makes it so much better. Congratulations Myron, you have officially reached the lowest level of a human being.
- He's not actively trying to kill them. Slaves are expensive, you know.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Raiders, super mutants, giant rats, mutated monsters, killer robots, the remnants of the US governement and NukaCola vending machines.
- Evil Counterpart: Kaga in the Restoration Project.
- Exposition of Immortality: Harold, the ghoul-like mutant first encountered by the Vault Dweller in Fallout 1, can be encountered once again by the Chosen One. Along with much of the ghoul population of Necropolis, he's settled in an abandoned nuclear power plant and formed a small town named Gecko.
- Failure Is the Only Option: The Hubologists. All of their endings involve them doing something wrong with their rocket and dying hideously. In fact, not helping is probably doing them a kindness as it leads to a (relatively) swift death in an exploding rocket rather than slowly asphyxiating inside their ship from a lack of oxygen scrubbers.
- Faking the Dead: Re-added content from the Restoration Project reveals that Ian, fearing that remnants of the Master's army may come after him, had the Vault Dweller pretend that he had died "in a blaze of glory" in the battle with Lenny in Necropolis. He shows up in Vault City under the alias "Old Joe".
- Five-Man Band: Your party can be one with sufficiently high Charisma.
- The Hero: The main character, of course.
- The Lancer: Vic or Cassidy.
- The Smart Guy: Lenny, Myron, even Goris.
- The Big Guy: Sulik or Marcus.
- The Chick: Miria or Davin.
- The Sixth Ranger: Any of the late-game party members (Goris, Skynet).
- Team Pet: K-9, Dogmeat, Pariah Dog (though that one you don't want to get).
- Forced Tutorial: The Temple of Trials.
- Fun with Acronyms: S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck.
- Game Breaking Bug:
- The too many items bug. While the precise reasons are unknown, when you have too many items on a map and/or too many entries in your Pip Boy, the game corrupts saves. This bug may have been present in Fallout, but that game wasn't big enough to trigger it.
- Also infamous "vanishing car bug" rendering either a trunk or the whole car unavailable for the rest of the game. Not necessarily a gamebreaker unless you put some important items in the trunk.
- Less obvious than the previous two, letting the car run out of juice while fast traveling will create a map-marker for the drained car. If you happen to run out of juice on a square that already has a map marker, you can kiss the car and everything in the trunk goodbye.
- Generation Xerox: The Chosen One's bastard child, which he had with one of the Bishop women, inherits his father's badassery. At the age of thirteen, he takes control over the Bishop crime family, and eventually leads them to victory over the other families in New Reno. Another trait he inherits is a eagerness to explore the Wasteland, and he therefore has a intimate knowledge of the whole Core Region's geography.
- Also, the Chosen One himself because he uses the exact same sprites as the Vault Dweller.
- Going Cold Turkey: The only way to heal most addiction (all except jet) is to go cold turkey for a week, although you get heavy stats penalties for it until cured.
- Good Is Not Nice:
- The NCR Rangers' method of restoring law and order to areas outside of the Republic's control is by shooting all slavers and raiders they come across.
- Also, the New California Republic itself might also count as that. They are dedicated to noble values such as democracy and the rule of law. However, they are also willing to engage in shady and sometimes unethical means to get the job done.
- Gun Twirling: Your character will do this when you holster certain guns.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: You can crank call the Enclave while at Gecko's power plant. The communications officer on the other line has a very short temper, launching into a rant and threatening to "kick your fucking ass" the moment you show even a sign of ignorance about who the president is.
- Heroic Mime: Averted. Unlike the first game, your character will talk outside of the dialogue window from time to time, mainly in the form of snarky comments.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Dave. It'd be a Deus Angst Machina if it wasn't so damn funny:
"When I was one, I was dropped on the porch. When I was two, I had pneumonia. When I was three, I got the chicken pox. When I was four, I fell down the stairs and broke six ribs. When I was five, my uncle was decapitated by a watermelon. When I was six, my parents hit me in the head with a shovel. When I was seven, I lost my index finger to my pet rat. When I was eight, my dog Spike got hit by a tractor.
When I was nine, my mother lost her arm to a rabid Brahmin. When I was ten, my sister was torn to bits by a pack of dogs. When I was eleven, my grandfather killed himself because I was ugly. When I was twelve, my grandmother killed herself because I was ugly. When I was thirteen, my father poked out his eyes with a pitchfork in a drunken stupor.
When I was fourteen, my brother lost his hand to a wallaby. When I was fifteen, my aunt choked to death on a chicken bone. When I was sixteen, I lost my cousin to a badger. When I was seventeen, I cut off my left big toe with a hoe. When I was eighteen, my father lost his right leg to the same tractor that killed my dog. When I was nineteen..."
Chosen One: [about a minor gang leader] Why do they call him Frog Morton?
Sheriff Marion: His name's Morton, and they call him Frog 'cause he croaks people. Ready to go get 'im?
Chosen One: Ohhhh. Ouch. That's terrible. The pain, the pain!
Sheriff Marion: Hey, I didn't make that one up - he did. With puns that bad, I'd say that gives you just one more reason to kill 'im.
- Infinity+1 Sword: The Gauss Rifle. Combine it with the sniper perk, a high small guns skill, Enclave Power Armor, and targeted eye shots, and you're invincible. It's one of the only weapons that really does anything against the Final Boss. Unfortunately, you can't get it until the last town (San Fransisco), and even then, only if you are rich or know that there's an easily pick-pocketable black haired vagrant on the ship has one in her inventory.
- Instant AI, Just Add Water: Subverted. The Brotherhood supercomputer ACE reveals that most governments stated that, officially, Artificial Intelligence wasn't possible, but the American and Chinese governments had actually developed them secretly behind closed doors. Most commercial supercomputers had a sort of limited AI, like ACE, but didn't have emotions or true abstract thought. Though if you ask, he says he sometimes thinks he feels lonely, possibly meaning he had evolved to true Artificial Intelligence.
- I Read It for the Articles: In-Universe, when talking about the Cat's Paw magasines to Miss Kitty:
Chosen One: Well, you know, I just read this for the articles.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Tandi, the idealistic and attractive young woman from Fallout 1 is now the president of the New California Republic. The stress of being a politician has clearly not treated her well for the last few decades. Then again, she is over 90 years old by the time of Fallout 2.
- Karma Houdini: Any player who beats the game, no matter how evil he or she may be, will retire in the city created by the GECK, ruling it as the Elder. Even if you sold the GECK.
- Karma Meter: Done in a realistic way there. Arguably, rape, stealing, adultery, drug abuse and a lot of things don't affect your karma. Although karma could represent more how the wasteland as a whole thinks of you, who may just not think those things are that bad. The "karma" meters are a little misleading as they don't measure how good or bad you are, but what your reputation is in the different towns and in the game world in general. So if you did a pretty bad thing in an area where there's supposedly no one around to witness it, your karma won't be affected. Also as to why the stuff the post above don't register, it could be yet another thing left out in the final version of the game, and no one in the development team bothered fixing it.
- Karmic Death:
- Myron gets an entirely deserved death that is infinitely appropriate. It happens after the end of the game. He's drinking in the Den, when an addict kills him for money to buy more Jet. His name is quickly forgotten, and only his invention Jet survives him, causing suffering decades after his death.
- Also Dr. Schreber who can be killed without alarming the entire base because his lab is soundproofed to muffle the screaming subjects of his experiments. Feel free to appreciate the irony while you paint the walls with his favorite organs.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: NCR as a whole is doing some very shady stuff in order to forcefully annex Vault City, including collaborating with a mob boss and using raiders to harass it, and even goes so far as to turns its people into second-class citizens in some of the endings. These would be very serious charges if Vault City wasn't such a bigoted, elitist society that fuels the slave economy.
- Kidnapped Scientist: Darion had a kidnapped doctor to take care of his heart condition.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Lampshaded.
Chosen One: What do I want? I don't really know. Most of the time I ignore my quest and walk into the homes of others, riffling through people's shelves... oooh, like those over there!
- Laser-Guided Karma: One of the endings for Vault City leads to their supplies running out some ten years after the game ends, and running to the NCR, which they have repeatedly insulted and refused to trade with, for aid. NCR, and the rest of the wasteland, does make them citizens. Second-class citizens, who don't have as many rights, and are treated with scorn by almost everyone.
- Lethal Joke Item: A character with the Red Ryder Limited Edition BB Gun, a high Small Guns skill, and decent Luck is effectively unstoppable. Give that character 10 luck, 10 agility, Action Boy(2), and a large stockpile of drugs and cookies, and they are unstoppable.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Up until the Enclave oil rig, the game is generally not too serious. But when you get there, the jokes stop, the music gets eerie, and the plot kicks into overdrive.
- The Load: Your spouse if you go through the Shotgun Wedding.
- The Mafia: Four feuding families fight furiously.
- The Millstone: The dreaded Pariah Dog, who turns your party into a bumbling, error-prone laughingstock.
- Minus World: Try pressing "3" next time you zone into the Den (this does not work with people using the Megamod or Restoration project).
- Multiple Endings: Every town (except the mostly irrelevant Klamath) and some of the factions have several different endings. Which ones you get depends on your actions (or lack of actions) through the course of the game.
- Mythology Gag: In reference to brahmin speaking more often than intended in the first game (possibly due to a bug):
Ed: Swear I heard one of them brahmin speak. "Moo, I say," or somesuch.
- What's funnier is when the Brahmin actually say that, a Shout-Out to a MUD that one of the game developers used to play.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If you choose to optimize the power plant in Gecko, Vault City invades and enslaves all the ghouls. Bastards.
- There's a subquest where you can convince Vault City that it's preferable to ally with Gecko and trade them medical supplies for their excess power. Unfortunately, this option is inaccessible due to a bug that is only fixable with unofficial patches.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Enclave, devoted to killing all mutants, is responsible for the talking Deathclaws. They remedy this while you are out of town.
- Not Rare Over There: Vault City has an entire apartment full of water chips, the object that half the first game is spent trying to obtain.
- Obvious Beta: The numbers of bugs and things left half-finished are quite high, even with the official patches installed. Luckily, there are a lot of unofficial patches as well. Sadly, these patches, due to the larger game world, are more likely to trigger the above Game Breaking Bug.
- One-Man Army: Sort of averted with the Player Character. After maybe the fourth town, you'll almost always be tagged by 2-5 companions. Most fights waged against forces of equal training and armament are very dangerous, due to the fact that a lucky critical can quickly put you down in a single hit, and even if you win against your foes in a Curb Stomp Battle, you'll never find a group of more than 7-8 human(oid) enemies at a time.
- Outlaw Town: The Den.
- Playable Epilogue: Not much changes after the ending, except for some characters congratulating you on defeating the Enclave. And you can get the Fallout 2 Hintbook from Father Tully. It's not that bad, by that point in the game, you have to go to Navarro anyway and Dr. Schreber's a pretty easy to kill and don't have to worry about any of the guards as the room is soundproofed.
- Press X to Die: The nuke in the Enclave base will kill you if you fiddle with it with a low science skill.
Chosen One: Mother of Go-
- Punch Clock Villain: Most Enclave soldiers seem to regard their duties as a job and nothing more. The personnel at Navarro base seem to be pretty ordinary people no different from average soldiers for the most part, complete with idle gossip and romance amongst the personnel. Then again, it doesn't seem to bother them too much if their job sometimes involves gunning down unarmed peasants with miniguns. For example, directly after Frank Horrigan brutally murders a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, he casually asks his soldiers if they are up for lunch.
- Reckless Gun Usage: One of the ways to assassinate Orville Wright is to give one of his kids a loaded gun and tell them "Why don't you wave this in your daddy's face and pull the trigger?".
- Red Herring: In the beginning, you receive two quests from Elder: find Vault 13 and find merchant Vic, who may know where to find Vault 13. When you'll find Vic, he will direct you to his friend Ed, but Ed won't give you anything except revealing most of the cities and this story goes absolutely nowhere.
- The Remnant: 80 years after the original, you can still run into small units from The Master's Mutant Army in random encounters. Also, and the Enclave is a remnant of the pre-war US Government.
- Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun: Follows both of them. At the same time.
- San Francisco: Mostly populated by the descendants of the Chinese submarine crew.
- Scarecrow Solution: The Ghost Farm.
- Science Fiction Kitchen Sink
- Screw Destiny: At one point, a pre-war supercomputer with the ability to predict the future based on available data to the point of being omniscient tells you that the chances of you succeeding in your mission are around 5%.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: So, so much, at least when it comes to combat. Even the simplest guns and armor are much harder to get in this game than in Fallout 1, and your shooting accuracy will be much lower than what you would have in the previous game with exactly the same stats.
- Example: in Fallout 1, you were given a 10mm pistol right when you left the vault. In this game, you can't get one until the third town, unless you got really lucky with a random merchant inventory and a had a lot of money (although you can find one on a corpse during a side quest in the first town).
- Also, economically. Slain enemies almost never drop their armor anymore, which you could sell for thousands back in Fallout 1.
- If the Restoration Project mod is any indication, the beginning was meant to be even harder, with a higher encounter rate and a Recurring Boss that starts attacking you as soon as you leave Arroyo.
- Sex God: Via the "Karma-Sutra Master" perk. Given that there is one occasion where your "score" for sex has an effect, and only if Dump Stated physical attributes and charisma (an extremely unorthodox method of play), which prevent you from qualifying for it anyways, its a Useless Item.
- Shades of Conflict: Has White VS. Black, Grey VS. Grey and Black VS. Black depending on the location.
- Shotgun Wedding: Sleep with one of Grisham's children, and, unless you pass a speech check, you will be forced to go through one of these if you don't want the whole town of Modoc trying to kill you on sight. Thankfully, there is no penalty for causing your spouse harm, so feel free to get her/him killed, whored out, sold to slavery or divorce her/him by paying Father Tully with a alcoholic beverage. For extra cruelty, you can tell your former father-in-law about the death of his child, which will give him a fatal heart attack.
- Shout-Out: Too many to list.
- Stable Time Loop: A random special encounter allows you to time-travel and instigate the events of the first game.
- Stolen Good, Returned Better: Your car may be stolen in Reno, but if you find it in the chop shop, the guys who stole it will helpfully return it to you better than before.
- Suckiness Is Painful: See Incredibly Lame Pun above.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: A variant. In the first town you reach after leaving home, you encounter a mentally stunted man who with great difficulty tells you to help safeguard some livestock. If your character has a very low intelligence score, you will be able to converse with him in very erudite grunting (the translation is given in parentheses), conveying fairly complex information.
- Super Soldier: Frank Horrigan.
- Take That:
- Like Ultima VII, this game features a thinly-veiled parody of Scientologists as villains (though not as the villains).
- There's also a random encounter during which you can see a group known as The Unwashed Villagers murdering a man named Grim Reaper. Grim Reaper was the username of a Troll who kept spamming the Interplay forums while Fallout 2 was being developed, mostly attacking a community known as, you guessed it, The Unwashed Villagers.
- Tin Tyrant: Frank Horrigan, effectively.
- Token Evil Teammate: Myron. Although he's a scrawny, cowardly nerd, he's also a completely amoral sociopath, a megalomaniac and a mass murderer.
- Tragic Monster:
- All the miners in Mariposa qualify, but Melchior the Magician is the biggest example because you can actually follow his story. It's not required or yields any reward, but you can. He was a miner in redding before the Enclave captured him, and he performed many magic tricks to entertain the town. When you finally find him, he's a half-crazed super-mutant who performs a final magic show, where he pulls some rather vicious rabbits out of a bubbling green FEV hat.
- Horrigan is a schizophrenic boy indoctrinated with "The American Way" his entire life to become a super soldier, then being heavily gassed by FEV in a mining accident. He becomes an unthinking monster unable to come out of his suit.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: One minor sidequest in Modoc results in blowing up an outhouse and covering half the town in shit. Nobody ever comments on this!
- Urban Segregation: Vault City.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can be evil in this game, and you can choose between being a Sociopathic Hero who slaughters entire towns For the Evulz, or a Magnificent Bastard who manipulates the politics of the Wasteland and gets away with it.
- Warrior Monk: Sulik fits this trope. He is most known for speaking as if he is a we, referring to all the spirits around him. He often gives the Chosen One advice pertaining to the current location he is, often vague and prophetic. He is also very very good with a Sledgehammer and SMG.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Picking up a single coin from the bottom of the well in Modoc will cause you to lose one karma point. That's about the equivalent of killing a civilian.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Much, much more than Fallout.
- A World Half Full: Since the first game, civilization has really started to get back on its feet, and things are looking up for humanity. Your player character can help further.
- Wretched Hive: The Den (which is actually referred to as such) and New Reno. Depending on your actions, they can become much better places.
- You All Look Familiar: Despite being a step up from the first Fallout in terms of NPC diversity, this is Lampshaded relentlessly.
Mason: You'd think there's only ten kinds of people in the world. Way I figure it, there was some big cloning accident in the past.
[point the cursor at an NCR cop] Yet another guard. Somebody must breed them, since they all look alike.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Every damn one of the Mafia leaders, if you refuse Made Man status. Of course, you can easily turn the tables on them and slaughter their entire family.
- Because they outlived their usefulness (no more quest experience or money). Oh, the irony!