There's Still Debate as to Who Dropped the First Bomb in 'Fallout'

"I don't know. Who knows? It was probably some rogue nation," co-creator Tim Cain said, trying to feign ignorance.

Sara Belcher - Author

Apr. 19 2024, Published 6:10 p.m. ET

The nuclear bomb dropping in 'Fallout'
Source: Prime Video

Throughout the 27 years since the first Fallout game was released, there's been a significant debate about which side of the Great War dropped the first bomb. The United States and China long held tensions, with each discreetly building up their own nuclear collections.

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Though it seemed fans of the franchise had an answer as recently as late 2023, the Fallout show that dropped on Prime Video in April 2024 brought in a possible third party who could've been responsible. So who actually dropped the bombs first? Let's unpack this debate.

The ghoul in the 'Fallout' show
Source: Prime Video
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The 'Fallout' creator said China dropped the first bomb — but the show says otherwise.

In an interview with the Fallout-centric channel TKs-Mantis, co-creator and producer of the Fallout games Tim Cain casually mentioned that China was the one to drop the first bomb, starting the nuclear war that was over in hours.

"The reason we got nuked is: bio-weapons were illegal and somehow China found out we were doing FEV [Forced Evolutionary Virus]," Tim explained to the channel's hosts. "And they were like, 'you have to stop it.' And we went, 'OK.' And all we did is move it. All we did was move it over."

When the interviewer pointed out that what the creator just said was "earth-shattering," Tim backtracked a bit, trying to leave the answer open for interpretation.

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"Really? People don't know?" he asked. "Oh, well then I don't know. Who knows? It was probably some rogue nation."

It's this backtrack, though, that left room for the possible answer that was dropped during the final episodes of Season 1 of Fallout. When Lee Moldaver suggested to Cooper Howard that Vault-Tec, the company his wife worked for, was more involved in ongoing nuclear tensions than they appeared, the corporation at the center of the franchise was revealed to be much more sinister.

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This resulted in Cooper listening in on a meeting his wife, Barb, was in — and during that meeting, she was the one who suggested to potential investors that Vault-Tec should be the ones to drop the bombs.

By doing this, it would give the company (and those who had financial stakes in it) more of a guarantee that it would receive a return on its investment. This, of course, resulted in a nuclear war that completely eradicated much of the life on Earth.

That said, the show doesn't actually confirm that Vault-Tec was the one to pull the trigger and drop the first nuclear bomb — though it's heavily implied that the company had a hand in what ultimately went down.

For those looking for more answers, there's still plenty of time for the world's lore to be expanded on. There seem to be some serious plans for a second season of the show, and Fallout 5 is rumored to already be in development at Bethesda.

Though we don't have all of the concrete answers right now, there's enough lore to find supporting evidence for whichever theory you're set on believing.

Season 1 of Fallout is now streaming on Prime Video.

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