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In the last few quests leading up to the activation of Project Purity, the Lone Wanderer is faced with a number of decisions, but one stands out above the rest:

Contaminating or not contaminating Project Purity with the modified FEV.

Which of these two options represent the canonical timeline of the Fallout games as a whole?

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You might find a better set of answers over on the Sci-Fi and Fantasy SE site as they do focus on game-lore :) –  James Apr 24 '12 at 22:25
    
@James: That seems like an excessively weird division of labor. –  Williham Totland Apr 24 '12 at 22:33
    
Maybe, but it dose seem that it will be the norm in the not to far future that lore based gaming questions that are not specific to game mechanics will be finding that their home. –  James Apr 24 '12 at 22:35
    
@James: Heh. gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2531/… ? –  Williham Totland Apr 24 '12 at 22:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As far as I know, there is no canonical version of events (yet). Only two games take place after the events of Fallout 3:

  • The Broken Steel add-on, which contains eventualities for both cases of the choice.

  • Fallout: New Vegas, which takes place in a very distant location which should not be affected by that choice - in Fallout 3 it's stated pretty explicitly that the effects of the choice will take place in the Capital Wasteland, but no other region is mentioned.

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As the Wasteland Survival Guide exists in Fallout: New Vegas ( fallout.wikia.com/wiki/… ), one can assume that at least some repercussions of the actions of the Lone Wanderer reached the west coast. –  Wilerson Apr 24 '12 at 21:59
    
@Wilerson on the other hand, Pittsburgh is far closer and yet seems unaffected by that choice (The Pitt add-on). –  Oak Apr 24 '12 at 22:06
    
@Oak: It is also far closer in time. Keep in mind that the Potomac is a tributary to the Gulf Stream; so if the Potomac is clean, clean water should reach Northern Europe within a month. Distances over land, however, would take far longer to traverse. –  Williham Totland Apr 24 '12 at 22:38
    
@Oak I don't think anything in The Pitt happened after the ending of the main campaign, even if you only go there after completing the main game (due to Broken Steel). In the timeline ( fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline#2277 ), the events of The Pitt happen before James' sacrifice. Interestingly, the same timeline places Mothership Zeta and Point Lookout after Broken Steel. –  Wilerson Apr 24 '12 at 23:02
    
@Wilerson that is strange :) anyway I think that it's obvious there is no referral to that choice in any content that is chronologically after Fallout 3, so there's no canonical answer yet. –  Oak Apr 25 '12 at 7:39

Fallout 3 is the most recent-game in the series, chronologically, as far as the east coast is concerned, so at this point, it is unknown. While New Vegas takes place after the events of Fallout 3, the finale is not discussed, leaving things ambiguous.

Broken Steel (Fallout 3's DLC add-on which takes place after project purity) allows for either option.

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I could have sworn Fallout: New Vegas was set a few years after the events of Fallout 3? (The timeline confirms; FO3 begins in 2277; FO:NV begins in 2281) –  Williham Totland Apr 24 '12 at 21:35
    
Right, but New Vegas is on the other side of the country, and the events on the East Coast are not discussed. I'll edit to clarify what I meant. –  Raven Dreamer Apr 24 '12 at 21:44

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