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Fallout 2

aka: FO2, Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
Windows Specs [ all ]

Description official descriptions

The sequel to Fallout starts eighty years after its predecessor. When the First Vault Dweller was forced from his home, he walked north until he found some new friends and founded a tribe in a suitable place. But some years after his death, the tribe is dying. The Elders decide that one of the tribe members, the "Chosen One", must find salvation, a universal tool called G.E.C.K. (short for "Garden of Eden Creation Kit"). Sadly, the hero's only clue are the ancient disks the Vault Dweller has left, and the only equipment are his clothes and PipBoy. With courage and determination, the proclaimed Chosen One leaves to save his village, unaware of the consequences his actions will carry.

Visually and gameplay-wise, Fallout 2 is very similar to its predecessor. Combat and character growth are handled the same way, using the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute system and relying on skills to customize the protagonist. The sequel's environments are vaster than in the first game, with more non-playable characters populating it. There are more varied dialogue options and ethical choices presented to the player during the course of the game, as well as new weapons, armor, enemies, and a few minor gameplay additions, such as a car the protagonist can drive.

Gameplay-related changes mostly involve the player character's companions. Characters who join the party can now level up, equip armor, and follow specific strategies, as opposed to the almost complete lack of control over party members in the first game. Some characters are also harder to recruit, requiring specific quests to be solved or a certain Karma level. A reputation system is added, which works similarly to Karma (good and bad deeds), but only within the same town or community.

The quests in the game are more numerous and typically involve more complex situations and larger scope. Fallout 2 introduces quests and moral decisions with mature subtext: the player can choose various lifestyles for the main character, including getting married and divorced, becoming a slave seller, a porn star, or joining the mafia.


  • 異塵餘生2 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 辐射2 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

178 People (169 developers, 9 thanks) · View all

Lead Programmer
Additional Programming
Sound Re-Recording Mixer
[ full credits ]



Average score: 88% (based on 49 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 388 ratings with 14 reviews)

A fantastic and detailed adventure through a post-nuke world ripe for tons of role-playing.

The Good
I consider Fallout 2, first of all, a better game than Fallout 1. My biggest reason for this was that the world is a much bigger place - not just in size or number of cities, but most every town or area was built around the idea that a role-playing game SHOULD contain more places where you're able to choose a different path. In many places, these choices can interlock, especially without you knowing or even including implications you didn't think of. This creates much more of an immersive experience, implying things are going on behind the scenes, without you knowing it.

As is my usual opinion, the game uses a skill-based characters, therefore I almost immediately love the game. This allows deeper characters, and more interesting situations that generic classes. Skills are used quite a bit in individual locations throughout the game, i.e., special places where the skill is put to story- or quest- based use, rather than having generic situations where the skill is used (combat skills, speaking skills...) One situation that I liked involved lock-picking a safe, checking your perception to notice the trap, and trap disarm to see if the bomb was disabled. Of course, you could find the combination to the safe by wiping out the raiders who have the combination...

These two points, the skill system for character growth, and original and involving situations, really make for some cool moments when playing Fallout 2. Cool in the role-playing sense and the way it makes you say out loud "That's AWESOME!"

Something else that I really appreciated about Fallout 2 was the "Mature Subject Matter". Black Isle really handled these issues well, constructing situations where characters not only had to deal with grey areas, but required the player to think about their character to proceed - is drug use really that bad if it makes life worth living again in this radiated hell-hole? If no one's hurt from it, is it okay then? If perfecting the effects of the drug required human subjects, but works out in the long run, is it still okay? A lot of areas treat adult themes with taste, depth, and most of all, originality. It's great to see such an attempt to put art into a computer game.

The Bad
One of the biggest criticisms about Fallout 2 was the bug count, which, for me, wasn't that bad. True, a lot of annoyances crept into my games, but the diligent patching by Black Isle fixed tons of reported problems (including all of mine). Due to this, I can't really berate Fallout 2 on the bug count, but your milage may vary.

Unfortunately, some areas in Fallout 2 seem to be the product of inconsistent designer meetings. Some areas are lacking in explanations and necessary details, or require a certain type of character, which your character may not be. One of the better examples of this is the Toxic Caves, a fairly necessary area to resolve the early town you visit. This area is seemingly a dungeon crawl, with tons of tough enemies and very little chance of getting through without being really really good at combat. This simply makes the region frustrating. Another spot that bugs me, to this day, is a ghost - yes, a ghost. This is a wholly unoriginal quest where you have to find the "lost item of great personal value" so the ghost can finally find eternal rest. I would tolerate this in a fantasy game, but come on - this is a futuristic, post-apocalyptic journey across a scarred America - and the designer resorts to tossing a quest like this in? Pardon my ranting. My point here is that there a few, glaring, sores on Fallout 2 that could have easily been fixed with some overall game design philosophy and directing.

The main plot, in my eyes, could have been better. It serves the purpose, quite nicely in some places, but isn't quite as original as it should be. Figuring out what is happening in the world, and what the evil guys' plot exactly IS, is a cool mystery that you discover as you progress through the game. But it could have been better, especially considering the great moments and situations your character and party get through in the game. Also, even though different paths are possible in the game, none seem to be available in the final parts of the plot.

The Bottom Line
Fallout 2, if I may make an analogy, is the girlfriend with an okay body and a really fabulous personality. She's deep (sometimes amazingly so), she's funny (sometimes hilariously so), she's a perfect companion. But, she does have a few sores that sometimes bug you. But come on - if all you're going to look at is the surface, if you want to look at just the bad stuff, you won't see the great stuff underneath, the stuff that really does make Fallout 2 a GREAT game and not a time-passer.

Windows · by George Shannon (113) · 2000

Unlike most sequels, truly better than the original - although with continuity and maturity problems

The Good
Many of the best things from the original were kept and improved upon: Although there was a main plot, you really did feel that you were travelling and exploring a complete world. You had real, meaningful choices in character design and development, both mechanically and in roleplaying - and your actions toward NPCs had realistic lasting effects - without an artificial "alignment" system. Virtually any character development path was entirely playable, even to the extent that a reasonably clever player could complete the whole game with a pure diplomat player, barring bad luck on random encounters. The worst mistake of the original - the hard gametime limit - was avoided cleanly.

The Bad
The larger map and longer gameplay did expose the biggest weakness of the Fallout team - their sophomoric (and arguably misogynistic) mentality. While much was made of the fact that your character could actually get married in the game, in fact the only marriage available was a shotgun marriage to a useless wimp, and all the roleplaying choices related to the spouse after that emphasized a really grotesque parody of the worst and most misogynistic teenage male ideas about it. The clever melding of memes and imagery from the Cold War 50s that characterized the first game was exposed as a happy chance, as the sequel broke continuity in various ways (especially in computer technology) and threw in some trendy antiauthoritarian government-conspiracy themes. The original story seemed to be set in the future as imagined during the Cold War, and worked very well. The sequel's backstory is a pastiche of 1998-era X-files influences, random gaming memes, sophomoric humor, and shreds of the original, that really doesn't hold together unless you forget the original entirely.

The Bottom Line
Purely from a gameplay standpoint, it was an excellent game, better than the original and a lot of fun. From the standpoint of storytelling and worldbuilding, it was clumsy, sophomoric, and terribly disappointing. If you have the chance, play both Fallout and Fallout2 in proper order. They are landmarks in real roleplaying on a computer, and very fun to play. In particular, if the shoddy worldbuilding and sophomoric culture and character portrayals of Fallout2 overshadow the fine gameplay for you, you might find the mix in the original game more to your taste.

Windows · by weregamer (155) · 2004

There's a difference between bigger and better

The Good

First of all, it's still Fallout. Everything that was great about the first one is present in the sequel as well, from the brilliant SPECIAL system to the overall feel of exploring a gritty, dirty and cruel world without any hope of it getting better anytime soon. And it's all just as great as it used to be, even with some minor tweaks of the interface (like the very useful "take all" button when searching containers).

There are already very comprehensive reviews stating why is it so good here on MobyGames (Zovni's, Unicorn Lynx's), so I won't go any further into that. Let me just say that I do love the first Fallout and large parts of Fallout 2. But there are flaws in the sequel, oh yes, and quite a lot of them.

The Bad

It's much larger than Fallout. That sounds like a good thing, given Fallout was one of the best games ever and so on. But there's a problem with that, an unheard of problem with a video game - it is simply TOO large.

So large, actually, that toward the end of the game, whenever anyone mentioned one of the locations I've already visited, it took quite a lot of effort to remember which one it was. Probably because so many locations had to be designed, they no longer have the delicately crafted feel they had in F1 and are, therefore, much less memorable (and, of course, some of the locations of F2 are simply bigger versions of F1 locations). As a consequence, the whole 'what happened next' sequence after the endgame (just like in F1) is very, very long and informs about cities and people I didn't really care about in the first place. Exploring the world toward the end of the game became a very tedious experience, because every location is more or less the same and the ending is nowhere in sight.

Interestingly, even the least interesting parts of Fallout were blown up to much larger scale. Remember the first fight in Fallout, with the rats? Not that much fun, was it? Well in Fallout 2, there's a whole 'Temple of Trials', teeming with such exciting foes as large ants and small scorpions, and when you finally finish it, you reach the lovely town of Klamath where you get to enter the sewer system and fight three times more rats than in the whole of Fallout! Hooray!

Contributing to this is the fact that the SPECIAL system remained virtually unchanged. That also sounds like a good thing, because the system was ingenious, but it was designed for Fallout and Fallout was designed for this system. At the end of F1, your character was typically somewhere around level 21 (this is a rough guess, I can't remember the exact number and it's not important) and he/she was an unstoppable powerhouse. In F2, your character reaches level 21 towards the second third of the game and is a (slightly weaker) unstoppable powerhouse. And the enemies are not much stronger than in F1, can't be, really, if you want the game to be more or less realistic, because there are no more supermutants, just humans in good armor. The result? All the battles in the later parts of the game are extremely easy and the final boss' stats are sky-high (and not realistic at all, I should say).

There is another huge issue with F2 and that is humor. Of course there were moments in the first Fallout that were funny, but it never distracted from the atmosphere. With F2, someone decided to throw in as many jokes and pop-culture references the designers could think of - which went way over their heads in the special encounters -, and what's much worse, the humor became much more stupid, including scatological humor (blow up the toilet and see the whole town covered in feces! how hilarious!) and incredible amounts of sex jokes (including the infamous 'become a pornography actor / actress' scene and the 'shotgun wedding', available in gay, lesbian and heterosexual flavors). One of the nice things about F1 was its maturity and how it presented sex as something that happens now and then between people. Fallout 2 treats sex as a teenage boy desperate to get laid. A major disappointment. And there's also Myron, a character who was apparently supposed to be the source of comic relief and the designers spent quite a lot of time on him, but a) he sucks in combat and b) he is not funny, so there's absolutely no reason to have him in your party. Talk about wasted effort.

Talking of NPC party members - yes, the game engine was vastly improved there (simply because it was by far the weakest point of F1), but they are all still next to useless and it is possible, better, even, to play entirely without them. They are only good to carry items and who needs that many items, anyway?

There are also issues with the story elements - supermutants of F1 were cheesy, but acceptable. In F2, you have, among other things, the 'aliens', who are obviously inspired by the Giger monster and probably came from outer space (what the heck? I know this is sci-fi, but not that kind of sci-fi!). And the whole story arc, revealed only at the very end, is simply idiotic, with a twist explaining the secret purpose of the 'vaults', which I really, really hate, because it is exceedingly stupid, it corrupts even the story of the first Fallout and... let's just pretend we never heard of it, shall we?

There are also some smaller issues, like insane save/load times on the computers of that time (that was also bad in Fallout, but more locations in F2 meant that on my P166, the load times toward the end were somewhere around 90 seconds and no quicksave / quickload) - not a problem anymore thanks to more powerful PCs; bugs galore (I never finished the game in my first try, because at the final location, it kept crashing to desktop every five minutes and with the already mentioned load times... you get the idea) and some balance issues (my character was an unarmed expert, killing even the toughest opponents in one hit, but when fighting the final boss, she could hardly bruise him, so I had to resort to the non-combat way of dealing with him).

The Bottom Line

Many people love Fallout 2, because it is gigantic and allows them to do much more than Fallout did, while still retaining everything that made the original one of the finest games ever crafted. I've had a lot of fun with Fallout 2, but I suppose it pales when compared to the times Fallout 2 annoyed me and bored me with its sheer size. It is not a bad game, but it is just a teenage, less smart brother of a mature genius.

Windows · by plumifrons (95) · 2007

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
SOLVED: Is Fallout 2 a buggy game? MichaelPalin (1414) Dec 10th, 2010
Valve To Be In Serious Financial Problems ... Slug Camargo (583) Aug 27th, 2010
A problem St. Martyne (3644) Aug 25th, 2007
Weird screenshots in the manual Zovni (10504) Aug 3rd, 2007



In Modoc, if you fix Bess the Brahmin's broken leg, she will follow you around the town and even fight on your side in combat. While not immediately beneficial to have a cow as an NPC, it is good for a chuckle. Try using the "Push" icon on her -- yes, even the post-apocalyptic world has cow-tipping. In the end, you can also sell her to the slaughterhouse and get 100 servings of beef jerky in return.


In the game's options, you can adjust the game's violence level: * US Release - 4 violence levels available - no cuts * UK Release - 3 violence levels available - the most brutal setting is blocked * German Release - 2 violence levels available - the two most brutal settings are missing

The German and UK version includes further censoring. For example, there are no children in the game. The absence of children as NPCs makes at least one side quest unsolvable: a boy who has fallen into the well of his father's farm cannot be rescued from it because he simply isn't in it. All other elements of the quest function normally, however. Even the boy's dog who is supposed to lead the player to the boy continues to follow him around.


After you finish the game, you can continue playing. You can even use the tanker and go back to the Enclave, only to find the countdown set on the same time you left the Enclave at!

GOG release

In December 2013, Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics were given away for free on the download distribution platform GOG. This was the last month Interplay had the distribution rights for the games before they went to Bethesda. The games were pulled from GOG on January 01, 2014. They were readded to the catalogue with Bethesda as publisher on August 26, 2015.


In Fallout 2, Interplay's logo of "For Gamers by Gamers" was changed to "For Mutants by Mutants".

Low Intelligence

Playing a character with extremely low intelligence can disable huge amounts of the game's option for the player (because the character is so dumb that he/she can't even talk properly, not to mention skills like "Science"), but there are some unforseen - and humorous - bonuses:

When playing such a character, people will call you a retard and refuse to talk, as you won't understand a thing. Beginning with the Elder in Arroyo, you can find some pretty funny dialogues that way.

Then in Klamath, when talking to Tor, the local idiot, dialogue options suddenly become surprisingly eloquent. This is so funny, that personally I can't find a proper way to describe it - see for yourself. :)

There is at least one quest available only for stupid characters - killing officer Jack for Mira in NCR.

The whole thing with getting the tanker operational is easier for stupids. When you finish the quest of stealing the Vertibird plans for Matthew from Brotherhood of Steel in San Francisco, he fixes the ship, making it ready to go! Your dumb-ass hero only has to push a big button inside the tanker, just skipping the FOB, NavComp and Fuel quests!

If you're interested, search for "The Nearly Ultimate Fallout 2 Guide" by Per Jorner - it's most probably the largest and most precise Fallout 2 guide in existence, it contains much more fun stuff about playing retards. There's even a whole chapter simply called "Stupid".

Mac Release

A Mac version was planed to be released simultaneously with the Windows release, but due to poor sales of the original's Mac port, this idea was eventually scrapped until 2003. So it came out five years after the original Windows release as a full price Mac game!


The original release was the buggiest thing this side of Ultima IX, to the point of having completely non-working sections of the game (like boxing in New Reno) and though the eventual patch that got released solved most of the problems was not too big in size it presented a major problem: it invalidated all your saved games.

Obviously this was met with lots of anger and frustration from people who had gotten nearly halfway through the game and had to start all over because they couldn't, for instance, talk to a party member no more. The commotion caused the development team to promise some sort of utility that allowed you to convert your saved games, but they eventually (as you can read in the Fallout 2 website) ended up just advising to download one of the character generating hacks that circulate the net to speed up your catching-up process.

Despite the official patches to the game, Fallout 2 still had a few bugs which more or less were an annoyance (mistakes in dialogue, typos, quests becoming unable to complete). Unfortunately, Interplay more or less ignored these bugs and concentrated on their other projects (namely Baldur's Gate). In April 2003, almost five years after the original release of the game, Black Isle Studios released an editor, scripts, a script compiler and accompanying usage documentation. Fans have sought to make the proper fixes, and in turn, tweak the game to be more coherent, namely modifying map graphics and item properties/locations.


Following the tradition of the original, Fallout 2's manual comes with another couple of recipes. This time "The Big One" Pancake, and the "Carrion Kabobs".


  • Another tie-in to the original Wasteland game -- in the New California Republic, your character can join the Rangers! This will get you a badge and a map, as well as some experience points. Note that in this game, the main goal of the Rangers is to eliminate slavery -- so if you're playing a Slaver character, you might as well forget it.
  • Fallout 2 pokes fun at collectible trading card games - specifically Magic the Gathering, and even has a bit of fun with one of the then-developers at Interplay. In the city of Gecko, you'll meet a Ghoul named Wooz. He's He's terribly addicted to the trading card game within Fallout 2 - which is called Tragic: the Garnering. For those who know him - Wooz is a dead ringer for one of Interplay's own developers at the time. It's none other than Bill Dugan - otherwise known as "Weez."
  • In Modoc, if you take the board off the well and descend, you will notice many coin pouches, and as you pick the first one your character will say "This is MY dream, MY wish, and I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back." which is exact reference to The Goonies movie from 1985. In the movie, a group of kids are in search of a lost pirate gold. In the process, they run through some well and were about to give up the whole hunt for gold, one of them starts gathering all the wish coins from the well. As another asks him why he is doing that, those coins are someone else's wishes, he replies in same sentence used in this game.

References: Bridge of Death

Before you talk to the robed guy, the player's character mentions that it would be a good idea to save. The robed guy stands at the south side of a bridge, keeping you from crossing it. Being it your choice whether or not to save, if you talk to this guy he'll give you some questions to answer before letting you cross the bridge. First, he'll ask you your name and the purpose of my quest. Then, the next question is which NPC survived from the original Fallout game. If you choose "Dogmeat", he'll go away and say something along the lines of "Why do I always get such stupid jobs!" However, if you choose the bottom response, which is basically asking the guy to elaborate more on the last question, his body will explode, thus allowing you to pass. You can search the body and get his robe. Although it looks like any other robe and sells for the same ordinary-robe price, it is the strongest laser-repelling armor in the game.

If you answer the question wrong, however, a two-headed brahmin will appear. You cannot kill it and it will kill you in one blow. This encounter is reminiscent of a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


If you hold shift while on the main screen and click on the "credits", some designer quotes pop-up. Beware, these are not for kids!


The underlying RP system for this game (developed by Interplay) is called SPECIAL. This is an acronym for the seven primary statistics your character has: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck.

Van Buren

Black Isle studios started working on a sequel, code named Van Buren. The new game was to feature vastly improved isometric rendering of the game tiles and smarter interaction with NPCs.

Unfortunately, Black Isles studios was shut down supposedly after completing 90% of the game. Soon afterwards, Bethesda Softworks announced that they were creating a Fallout 3 game. Little has been revealed after that initial announcement.


  • PC Gamer
  • October 2001 - #4 on the "Top 50 Games of All Time" list

  • Pelit

  • 2007 (15th anniversary issue) - Best Game Ever Reviewed (Reader's Poll)

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Related Sites +

  • Duck and Cover
    One of the most well-known Fallout fan sites.
  • Fallout 2 Mods
    A listing of mods for Fallout 2. Includes a very useful fix by an independent which boosts the random encounters in the game to make them compatible with today's faster CPUs.
  • Fallout 2: Survivor MOD homepage
    MOD for Fallout 2 focusing on weapons in the game plus various general bug fixes.
  • Fallout Wastelands - The Vault Dweller's Survival Guide
    Good source of files, information, Walkthroughs and even news(!) about Fallout series and Fallout 3.
  • No Mutants Allowed
    Another good source of files, information, Walkthroughs and news. Special attention to PipBoy2000 Section (open new window with lots of editors and tweakers) and Humor Section (really funny things about Fallout 1)
  • Post-Nuclear Survival on Mac OS X
    An Apple Games article about the Mac version of <em>Fallout 2</em> (September, 2002).
  • The Vault
    Wiki based encyclopedia about all things Fallout.
  • Wasteland Merc MOD homepage
    A MOD replacing the original Fallout 2 campaign with a mercenary-themed scenario.

Identifiers +


Know about this game? Add your expertise to help preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Droog.

Macintosh added by chirinea. Windows Apps added by Koterminus.

Additional contributors: Vincent Valentine, Rebound Boy, Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, retinadesgastada, chirinea, Kabushi, Zolansilverspear, Carl Ratcliff, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Plok, Evolyzer.

Game added August 21st, 1999. Last modified September 11th, 2023.