|This page is about the pre-War company. For the soft drink, see Nuka-Cola.|
The Nuka-Cola Corporation was a pre-War beverage corporation, best known for its flagship product, Nuka-Cola. By the Great War it was the single largest beverage corporation in the United States, recognizable nation-wide. Beyond the family-friendly facade, the corporation was a cutthroat entity that had perfected corporate espionage and was also involved in weapons research with the United States military, through its world-class team of organic chemists, the Beverageers (Doctors Rex Meacham, Kate Leavitt, Edmund Medford, and Kevin Bennell).
The Nuka-Cola Corporation entered the beverage market in 2044, with the invention of the soft drink by John-Caleb Bradberton after two years of experimentation. Though strictly unhealthy (containing 120% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar), it took the United States market by storm and within a year it could be purchased nationwide. Its popularity rapidly increased and within several years it was the most popular beverage across the globe. Inspired by his brand's success, Bradberton decided to open an amusement park dedicated to soft drink. Nuka-World opened on May 1, 2050, less than a year after ground was broken for its construction.
The constant drive to improve and innovate the formula resulted in numerous flavor variations, with the most popular ones like Cherry, Grape, and Orange released just a few years after the corporation was founded. Whenever the company encountered competition, it would attempt to deal with it aggressively. Cherry and Grape variants of the Nuka-Cola were patents acquired by the company after identifying individual competitors. In other cases, the Corporation would attempt to buy out competitors, as was the case with Sunset Sarsaparilla in 2058 and Vim! Pop Incorporated in 2077. Failing that, it would attempt to release a competing drink accompanied by a massive promotional campaign. After attempts to acquire Sunset Sarsaparilla failed, Nuka-Cola attempted to directly compete with it through Nuka-Cola Wild and the opening of Dry Rock Gulch at Nuka-World. Though it gained a respectable popularity in the American Southwest, it failed to match that of the Sarsaparilla.
Despite the setbacks, the popularity of the brand only continued to grow as time went by. For example, when the Nuka-Girl Rocketsuit was released in 2062, the costumes sold out immediately and stores couldn't keep up with the demand. By 2067, Nuka-Cola was omnipresent, available from vending machines on almost every street in the United States. Even the outbreak of the Sino-American War failed to stop Nuka-Cola Corporation's expansion. In fact, it continued apace, with a fourth park opening on schedule in Nuka-World. Safari Adventure was commonly considered at the time to be a crowning achievement of Bradberton's company, having taken seven years to build and housing several hundred exotic animal specimens from around the world, including polar bears, alligators, gorillas, and venomous snakes. The completion of the park also marked the start of covert experimentation at Nuka-World. The underground facilities of Safari Adventure contained a Nuka-Gen genetic replicator unit, capable of creating perfect genetic copies of animals or even growing new creatures based on the genetic sequence provided (faulty genetic sequences will be accepted, but can result in creatures coming out inside out and then exploding).
In 2072, Nuka-World opened its last attraction, Galactic Zone. While ostensibly showcasing the future of the United States and all the technologies that would usher it in, Bradberton used the Zone as a bargaining chip to turn Nuka-World into a refuge in case of the looming nuclear war. Through a sponsorship deal with the military and cooperation with RobCo Industries at the Battlezone, Nuka-World was permitted to use military-grade robotics at the Galactic Zone, ranging from the humble Protectron to the Sentry Bot and Assaultron series, disguised as demilitarized replicas. Every robot was controlled by a cutting-edge STAR mainframe, which would allow Bradberton to maintain a robotic army to defend Nuka-World and himself from outside forces. To bolster his personal security, a private sanctuary was built beneath Nuka-Town USA by Vault-Tec, using the latest in Vault construction technology.
Bradberton went beyond corporate deals and favors when it came to ensuring his own survival. On March 13, 2076, when General Braxton requested the services of Bradberton's Beverageers, a team of world-class organic chemists developing new tastes and additives to the soft drink, Bradberton made a bargain: In exchange for his chemists aiding the military's chemical weapons program, he would be provided with access to the military LEAP-X (Life Extension And Prolongation) Program. He pooled his immense fortune and embezzled funds from Nuka-World's budget to cover the expense of the LEAP-X project, including the salaries of the researches he hired to ensure the prototype device works. Though the park staff complained about the cutbacks and the resulting decrease in park safety, Bradberton prioritized his own safety over that of the visitors or his staff. The military did not complain, as in October, the head of the chemical weapons program reported that his team created an isotope of strontium-90 that could be reliably weaponized, as coating for power armor, a custom munition for the prototypical M42 Fat Man, or even an area effect weapon that could be safely deployed from something as simple as a Thirst Zapper. It could also be used "somewhat safely" in a new kind of Nuka-Cola. Bradberton ordered it to be put into production, as the Nuka-Cola Quantum (named after the isotope designation in the Beverageer's system).
Quantum was fast-tracked through the approval process, presented as the culmination of a three year research program. To create an isotope safe for human consumption, focus groups were used to test various variants of the Quantum isotope. After numerous casualties (at least 62 test subjects died as a result of organ failure, with many more hospitalized with radiation burns; families were provided with Nuka Condolences Fruit and Cheese Packages that contained liability waivers), a safe isotope was created and the first cases of Nuka-Cola Quantum hit the market in select cities on the East Coast, like Boston and Washington, D.C.. As the drink landed on the shelves, Bradberton took the last step in attaining immortality: He was beheaded around early April 2077. The LEAP-X program couldn't preserve more than 15 pounds (roughly 7 kg) of organic mass, corresponding to the weight of a human head. Permanently installed in his personal Vault beneath Nuka-Town, the now immobile Nuka-Cola CEO handed over corporate affairs to Peyton Huxley, his Executive Assistant.
Huxley immediately had to overcome a crisis at Nuka-World, when the dedicated nuclear power plant suffered a critical failure and forced shutdown, caused by damage in the pump system. The incident resulted in the loss of countless cubic meters of coolant and it leaking into the park river. Although classified as a Class 1 Failure, the incident was covered up by the corporation and reclassified as a Class 7 event - a minor one - to continue park operations and ensure that the coming season would not be disrupted.
The Nuka-Cola Corporation ceased to exist six months later, although its legacy would live on: Nuka-Cola would continue to be the most popular soft drink on the North American continent, available in almost limitless quantities. Despite being warm and flat, it holds the allegiance of many and continues to addict wastelanders.
The principal focus of the Nuka-Cola Corporation was, naturally, the sales and promotion of Nuka-Cola. Their flagship soft drink was commonly considered to be the most popular drink in the United States, partly due to its own merits and partly due to the aforementioned policy of aggressive expansion and eliminating the competition. In most cases, this policy relied on acquiring patents and then rebranding and repackaging them as new Nuka-Cola flavors, as was the case with Nuka-Cherry (originally Merle's Very Cherry Soda by Merle Haverston), Nuka-Grape (Grape-Pearl Soda by Joannie Cheng), Nuka-Cola Clear (Sharon's Downhome Country Lemon by Sharon Lawrence), and Nuka-Boost (Packed Full of Joe by William Lee). In cases where acquisition would be resisted, the company would attempt to compete with rival brands with their own drinks (as was the case with Nuka-Cola Wild going toe to toe with Sunset Sarsaparilla in 2058).
However, as time went by, aggressive expansion became downright criminal. By 2077, Nuka-Cola's deep ties with the military-industrial complex allowed it to act with impunity. When Doyle Reed, CEO of Vim! Pop Incorporated, rejected buyout offers from Nuka-Cola and frustrated attempts at a hostile takeover, Vernon Conroy hired mercenaries to start targeting Vim! operations, including sabotaging the production line at Southwest Harbor in Maine, stealing military equipment loaned to the company as part of its partnership with the U.S. military, targeting loyal workers, shooting up company trucks, all in an attempt to acquire Maine's most popular drink.
The company did occasionally suffer setbacks, as was the case in 2077, when it lost the rights to use its traditional curved bottle. A rival corporation successfully sued for patent infringement, but the attempt backfired: The new rocket-shaped bottle proved to be popular with consumers and sales of the drink increased even further.
Nuka-Cola had a policy of conformity: Employees were expected to toe the corporate line and maintain confidentiality of all happenings within corporate facilities, especially regarding any mistakes. The April 2077 meltdown was a prime example: Full reports on the cause of the failure were buried, the incident reclassified, and all employees involved reminded of pages 94 through 107 of their Employee Agreement, mandating confidentiality at the penalty of administrative action. Of course, some were more equal than others: Plant inspectors and executives were untouchable, even if their conduct was putting the lives of clients at risk, as was the case with inspectors at the Nuka-World power plant.
Nuka-Cola Corporation relied on wholly owned bottling plants to handle the production of Nuka-Cola. Known facilities include:
- Nuka-Cola plant (Arlington, VA)
- Nuka-Cola bottling plant (Bradberton, MA)
- Nuka-World (Bradberton, MA)
- Kanawha Nuka-Cola Plant (Kanawha, WV)
The principal product off the Nuka-Cola Corporation was, of course, the eponymous soft drink, available in numerous varieties, including:
|Name||Label||Flavor profile||Created by|
|Nuka-Cola||Classic cola||John-Caleb Bradberton (2044)|
|Nuka-Cola Orange||Orange||Original (~2050)|
|Nuka-Cherry||Cherry||Patent acquired by company, rebranded and remarketed (~2050)|
|Nuka-Grape||Grape||Patent acquired by company, rebranded and remarketed (~2050)|
|Nuka-Cola Wild||Sarsaparilla||Original (2058)|
|Nuka-Cola Victory||Original, regional brand|
|Nuka-Cola Quartz||Original, regional brand|
|Nuka-Cola Dark||Alcoholic (35% alcohol by volume)||Original|
|Nuka-Cola Quantum||Original cola, plus pomegranate||Original, derived from military research (2076)|
|Nuka-Cola Clear||Lemon-lime||Patent acquired by company, rebranded and remarketed, but never released to the public|
|Nuka-Cola Cranberry||Cranberry||Original, concept derived from celery-flavored sparkling waters, to be repackaged and marketed to trick people into thinking it had health benefits.|
The company also offered a very broad catalog of corporate merchandise, including crockery, fridges, stools, banners, clocks, lamps, posters, and of course, the Thirst Zapper.
Behind the scenes
- Nuka-Cola is an obvious reference to Coca-Cola and its global presence. John-Caleb Bradberton's name is a portmanteau, referencing John Pemberton and Caleb Bradham, inventors of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola respectively.
- An actual bottle of Nuka-Cola was distributed to attendees at the 2008 E3 fair, as a promotional item. Its design did not mimic the one available in the game.
- Bottles of Nuka-Cola Quantum were distributed at various Targets in 2015 in preparation for Fallout 4's release. The design did not mimic the ones seen in-game.
- In 2018, Nuka-Cola Dark went on sale in large bottles mimicking the ones seen in Nuka-World, unfortunately, the bottle was merely a prop casing for the actual alcohol, contained in a smaller bottle inside the prop.
A Nuka-Cola billboard in Fallout Tactics.
The products of the Nuka-Cola Corporation appear in all Fallout games except for Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. Its plant in Arlington, Virginia appears in Fallout 3, while its flagship amusement park is the setting of the eponymous Nuka-World. Another plant appears in Kanawha, West Virginia in Fallout 76.