Bethesda recently held a press event at the Greenbrier in West Virginia. There, people were able to play Fallout 76 for the first time, and all manner of gameplay details emerged online earlier this week. One thing which has left a lot of fans confused is a note which directly references the Brotherhood of Steel… despite the fact that the faction was supposedly holed up in a vault on the opposite coast at the time.
The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 76?
The note surfaced in a Reddit post. It appears in the game as part of a quest referencing the Brotherhood of Steel. In fact, a crashed Brotherhood vertibird appeared to show up in the game’s multiplayer trailer, prompting speculation three months ago. This is the first official confirmation. The Redditor points out that the Brotherhood were sealed in the Lost Hills bunker until 2150, whereas Fallout 76 takes place in 2102; nearly fifty years before. They also state that the Brotherhood of Steel; “shouldn’t have vertibirds at this point either, as they acquired them from the Enclave after the events of Fallout 2 in the 2200’s, and even if they did have them at this point, they would require fuel they didn’t have.”
However, what the Redditor misunderstands is that there are some big blank spaces in the Brotherhood’s history. Their statements assume that what we know about their background is the entirety of it, and nothing else could happen. Most of the faction’s early fluff comes from the first couple of Fallout titles, released before Bethesda acquired the franchise. Certainly, we already know that one splinter faction of the Brotherhood left their bunker in 2134; what if another group left even earlier, taking the faction’s only vertibirds with them? Bethesda wouldn’t need to retcon or rewrite anything. They could simply add to the existing canon, as there are so many decades where nothing takes place.
Pete Hines Explains Bethesda’s Approach to Lore
In fact, Pete Hines recently spoke with GameSpot about this very question; “Our developers take things like lore and canon seriously and if they’re going to do something they’re going to make sure that there’s a real and defensible reason for it,” he says; “We have proven with Elder Scrolls games, we’re willing to say, ‘Well lots of people will say things happened one way,’ and the opposite or something else could entirely be true. So there’s no question that we’ve gone back to change things to fit what developers have wanted to do and not be beholden to something that somebody wrote 20 years ago even in franchises that we created like the Elder Scrolls.”
“But having said that,” he adds; “we don’t take it lightly to just go, ‘Ah, we’re just going to do whatever the hell we want.’ … Why would there be super mutants, or the Brotherhood of Steel? How does that all fit and hold together? There’s absolutely reasons and explanations for how all that ties to Fallout 76.”