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News Cooldown 15 May 2024, 01:05

author: Alexandra Sokol

Fallout 3 From Black Isle Studios May Have Featured Pagan Faction Living in Utopian Asylum, but Chris Avellone Stood in the Way

When such a high-profile developer decides something it will be tough to change his mind.

Source: Bethesda Softworks

Before the third installment of Fallout was released, the reins were handed over from Black Isle Studios to Bethesda. While the version from the devs of The Elder Scrolls is remembered for reviving the franchise, some still ponder how a sequel from the original developers might look.

Such a scenario was indeed in the plans. Just before the transfer of copyright, Black Isle developers were working on a game known as Van Buren - it was intended to bring new elements to the lore... or at least it might have, if not for the objection of one of the top developers.

Pagans from the Wastelands

A few days ago, The Gamer portal conducted an interview with John Deiley, a developer who worked on the Van Buren project. He shared some interesting facts from the world of the unreleased installment of the series. The most interesting one concerned a location called "The Nursery," which is a kind of post-apocalyptic asylum.

Fallout 3 From Black Isle Studios May Have Featured Pagan Faction Living in Utopian Asylum, but Chris Avellone Stood in the Way - picture #1
Source: Fallout Fandom Wiki

In contrast to the known crypts from Fallout, Nursery was intended to be a location within the United States that managed to escape radiation damage, thereby preserving its pre-war environment.

I did some research and chose Black Star Canyon in Arizona as its location because somebody took the time to research data and figure out wind patterns, weather patterns, and everything. [They said,] Hey, if you put everything here, it won't get irradiated and die.

-- John Deiley

According to the developer's original intention, this location was to be inhabited by pagans and followers of the Wiccan religion. In his opinion, this solution would be suitable for the image of a post-apocalyptic Earth, where a radiation-free canyon would be a perfect place to admire nature - or rather, its remnants.

Cunning devs

Regardless of the potential this idea had, it had no chance of being included in the official game. The guilty party here is Chris Avellone, one of the main developers of Fallout 2, who also supervised the Van Buren project.

He said, You are not to bring Paganism or Wiccanism or anything into the game (...). I've made my decision and just turned around and walked off.

-- John Deiley

In the end, none of these ideas had a chance of materializing as the rights to Fallout were acquired by Bethesda. However, it must be admitted that the idea of an asylum reminiscent of ancient times could turn out interesting in the final game.

Alexandra Sokol

Alexandra Sokol

She joined Gamepressure in the summer of 2023. Talks about games and events from their world. A graduate of English philology, who was able to dedicate her entire scientific work to the character of Commander Shepard from the Mass Effect series. She has experience in working on audiovisual translations, and currently combines her job as an English teacher with her passion, which is writing. Privately a bookworm, mother of two cats, and a fervent fan of Dragon Age and Cyberpunk 2077, who has spent half her life on the fandom side of the Internet.


miscellaneous Fallout series