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Editorial The Origins of Fallout - Part 3


Staff Member
Apr 4, 2009
Tags: Fallout; Interplay

[Part I] [Part II]

Part III of R. Scott Campell's editorial on the origins of Fallout is up over at NMA. This time he sheds some light on different design decisions and cut content.

The Deathclaw. The horror of the wastes.

Was it always a big scaly lizard thing? Nope. My initial design for this terrible creature was a the apex predator of the wasteland, a mix of wolverine and brown bear, mutated by the FEV. It could survive any environment and feared nothing; a legendary force of nature that struck terror into the hearts of men! Unfortunately, the artists took one look at my concept sketch and said, “Dude, that’s way too much hair.” It was true. The Wolverine-bear was very furry, and there was just no way around it.

So here’s what happened: the newly formed Black Isle started work on what would be Planescape: Torment. One of the first art pieces was a monstrous creature called a Terrasque. It was sculpted in clay and was then point-by-painstaking-point digitized into a 3D model. As Planescape moved forward, it turned out that the Terrasque wouldn’t actually be featured in its design – leaving that tasty model in disuse…. Thus, the furry wolverine-bear became a hairless reptilian biped. (Take a look at page 339 of the D&D second edition Monster Manual. Holy cats! It’s a Deathclaw!)​


Mar 28, 2008
Zagreb, Croatia
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Still another silly idea that met the chopping block was the “Dead Viper”. At the time of development, Brian Fargo had just purchased a candy-apple red Dodge Viper sports car. He would beam with pride when his V10 roared into the parking lot each morning. Almost immediately, the sports car began suffering break-down after mechanical failure – it ended up spending more time in the Interplay parking lot and repair shops than on the road.
Being pitiless bastards, we wanted to poke fun at it.

A player could discover a shiny new red Dodge Viper amongst the ruins of the Interplay building. The character could even interact with it, getting a dialog stating: “It’s a high-performance sports car. With just a few repairs, it could be drivable…” This would send the player to the ends of the Wastes looking for “sports car parts”, bringing them back to the car in hopes of repairing it and cruising through the radioactive desert in style. The evil part was, no matter how many parts you find, nothing would fix the car.

We even joked that in the end credits of the game, we’d show a Super Mutant walk up to the car and stare quizzically at it. He’d kick it, and it’d roar to life. We last see the mutant driving the Viper into the sunset… Priceless.

That would have been magnificent.


Jan 21, 2008
Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
Yeah, I knew about a lot of this stuff already, at least superficially, but it's good to get the full story from one of the original developers.

some guy

Jan 11, 2012
A pure joy to read, all the parts. It's always fun to see, and get to know, the people behind some of your favourite hobbies.


Apr 27, 2009
Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Wow that was a good series of articles. I never knew the design for the deathclaws actually came from the tarrasque, but now I can definitely see it. Mind=blown.
In My Safe Space
Dec 11, 2009
Codex 2012
Wonderful stuff.

It's interesting how the other story is that Burrows got axed by Tim Cain because it didn't fit. I wonder which one is true.

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Jul 11, 2004
I would suspect both are true. They needed to axe some art assets, and they picked the Burrows because it didn't fit. They don't really contradict.


You can stop doing that. Wont make any difference.

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