Is Fallout: New Vegas non-canon after the show? Here’s the deal

Mr. House and Lucy from the Fallout TV series

The Fallout TV series debuted to rave reviews, but some fans question how the show handles the canon of the beloved Fallout: New Vegas and one of its key characters, Robert House.

Fallout lore is a complicated beast. With every game in the franchise taking place a good decade or so after the previous, there will always be some inconsistencies and weirdness, especially when one considers multiple endings. The Fallout TV series still does its best to capture as many games as possible, including those that predate Bethesda.

New Vegas has always been the fan favorite of the FPS era of Fallout, and the show does make strides to canonize it. However, some details complicate New Vegas’ presence in the Fallout TV show and had fans wondering if Bethesda was actively seeking to undermine its relevance.

Is Fallout: New Vegas canon in the Fallout TV series?

Bethesda writers have confirmed that Fallout: New Vegas is canon.

Emil Pagliarulo, the head writer for Fallout 3, acknowledged that New Vegas is canon in the timeline and that Bethesda has never suggested otherwise. Todd Howard also stated the show is canon with the rest of the Fallout series. Perhaps most importantly, Mr. House shows up on-screen in the show alongside the CEO of Big MT.

This comes after fan speculation, and frustration, over the idea of the Fallout show looking to marginalize the story or canonical status of New Vegas. Bethesda’s handling of Fallout: New Vegas has long been a source of frustration for both fans and those who created and published the game.

New Vegas’ release was followed by a major controversy where developer Obsidian Entertainment lost out on millions in bonuses stemming from the game hitting an 84% review average rather than an 85%. Alongside this were hints from Obsidian higher-ups that Bethesda was internally frustrated that the game was labeled as superior to its own Fallout 3 by many fans and critics.

Some speculated that the events of the Fallout show don’t align with those of New Vegas in a way that potentially pushes the game out of the series canon. However, there are a few wrinkles.

The biggest one is the controversial nuking of Shady Sands, the original capital of the NCR. A chalkboard states that the “Fall of Shady Sands” started in 2277, with a direct arrow to a mushroom cloud. Many fans believe this means Vault-Tec nuked Shady Sands in 2277, four years before New Vegas. This doesn’t align with NPCs still mentioning Shady Sands in Fallout: New Vegas, it would be weird for nobody to acknowledge its destruction.

However, some fans claim that the infographic merely depicted the sequence of events. They claim the graph depicted Shady Sands gradually losing influence before being nuked by enemy factions later. Given the decline of the NCR in Fallout: New Vegas, it’s plausible.  

There’s also the less exciting reason of someone in the writing room making a mistake about the year. Either way, critics of the show used this as an example of Bethesda allegedly retconning New Vegas and removing it from Fallout history, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. 

Will Mr. House appear in Fallout Season 2?

The showrunners have not confirmed Mr. House for Fallout Season 2.

However, Mr. House likely shows up since the show’s ending sets up New Vegas as the location for Season 2. Notably, the credits make it look like New Vegas has also fallen, which could imply Mr. House failed in his ending. Regardless, fans will likely get more concrete lore answers once the show gets greenlit for a second season. 

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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