The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Mentioned-only location
Area 51
Icon military.png
Part ofNevada

Area 51 is the official name for a particular detatchment of Edwards Air Force Base in the state of Nevada. It was used as proving grounds for military aircraft, both experimental and development models, as well as captured enemy aircraft. Long rumored as connected to aliens and their technology, the installation does seem to contain some technology of extraterrestrial origin, like a flying saucer.[1]


Area 51 is mentioned in Fallout, as a crashed alien ship in a special encounter carries its label. The base was one of the potential major areas in Fallout 2, early on in development, but the idea was eventually scrapped. Assets were recycled for use in the final version of the game. Lynette's talking head was originally a spokesperson for the Area 51 scientists.[2]


  1. PRO SCEN.MSG (Fallout): "{40000}{}{Dome}"
    "{40001}{}{You find a small label that reads: "Property of Area-51. Return if found."}"
  2. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.334-335: The Doodling in Your Head Stage
    "This first stage is crucial to the later development of the game. Usually, only a small team is on the project at this time—the Producers, the Leads, and maybe a few other team members to help explore new technology. These people put their heads together and come up with the story line as well as the general feel of the game. Usually the artists will come up with some rough sketches, concept art, of different game environments to set the art mood and tone for the game.
    The design team will help to flesh out the story line and create a backstory for the game. The backstory tells what happened before the game and leading up to the events that the game portrays. Usually players don't see the backstory, but it's important because having that background to the game, laid out ahead of time, allows the rest of the story—the part that you'll play through—to make more sense. The design team will also flesh out the majority of the game's systems (things like weapons and damage, NPC reactions, or EPs). We spend a lot of time working on a compelling story that would connect to the story in Fallout 1.
    If we're going to try new things with the engine, the programming team will start working on the programs to do those things. Often these take the form of tests to determine how something that we've thought of can best be programmed into a game. A larger part of the programmers' time was, initially, spent on improving NPC combat AI and NPC party member behavior.
    The story can often vary wildly at this point from what you eventually end up playing. Our first story centered around around an intelligent computer that had created an entire town of androids based upon '50s and '60s television shows. This TV-town was the point of contention for the surrounding areas, who all wanted a piece of the town's technology for themselves. The ending to this first draft even included the PC going into space at the end.
    A second set of drafts hypothesized the army of the Master (from Fallout 1) roaming the Wastes in a huge, armored land fortress, scooping up muties to use as slave labor. As you can see, neither of these stories made their way into the final game. Although some parts of them did—Lynette's head, for example, was once going to be the spokesperson for a group of scientists living in the ruins of a base in Area 51.
    After quite a few different story ideas, we managed to brainstorm the current story, or at least progenitor of the current story. In the next developmental stage, we had to spin our wandering threads into something more cohesive and playable. The overall story doc was written, now we needed to fill in the details."