What happened to the world - The Fall: Lore

This article is dedicated to research on the game's world building. I went through old official materials and also game's source code to find the most accurate answer to the question: What happened to the world? Here are my findings...

Things written in [ ] brackets are notes made by me, the rest of it is taken directly from the sources. Hope you'll enjoy it!

I recommend switching website to English and reading this article in English mode if you can. The Russian translation doesn't work very well with this text.

(Also check out my other article: Skills and characteristics - Advanced)



FAQ SNIPPET (old official web)

What is the setting?
The Fall takes place in the Southwest of the United States (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico). After a global catastrophe, the ecosystems of the world have collapsed and reformed, so expect wastelands/deserts.
[Year 2083]
[The area in which the player can operate lies between Arizona and Texas.]

The Fall? Is this in any way related to Fallout?
No. This game is completely different from the Fallout universe. The setting may be somewhat comparable, but overall The Fall is more similar to Mad Max for example, featuring vast deserts/wastelands.


 Picture from official The Fall web


STORY (old official web)

What happened so far...
In the year 2062, humanity is spinning out of control as the lines between the living and breathing are becoming crossed with the technologically powered. Rapid scientific development and major breakthroughs in research are commonplace, no longer reason enough to provoke a critique of mankind's morality and ethos. The first viable human clones have reached adulthood, and genetic modifications have overcome most kinds of cancer. New technological masterstrokes like the impending colonization of Mars are received with equanimity. The human race has grown comfortable in its role as a cue ball of its own urge to revolutionize. Nobody would have thought that this venture into a new world would herald the downfall of the old.


January 21, 2062: NASA lifts the veil on its plans to colonize Mars by announcing the construction of six Terraformers. The purpose of these colossal machines is to make the red planet inhabitable by rapidly pumping CO2 into its atmosphere. What NASA doesn't realize is that the project's fate is doomed at the outset and that the ambition to bring life to Mars is actually a Damocles sword that hangs over the heads of the brightest researchers behind the forward-thinking technology.

October 2, 2062: Eleven days before the planned Launch of Armstrong 1, which is to transport the six Terraformers to Mars, shocking news flashes across the ticker: Members of an extremist cult have seized control of the machines. They effectively thwart the entire NASA security system with threats of cyber terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and the whole world is at their mercy. Diplomats hold their breath as the fanatics threaten to activate the Terraformers here on earth...

Given the chance, they will surely have their political demands fulfilled. But for some inexplicable reason, the Terraformers begin to pump vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere during the negotiations. Maybe it's simply a technical failure; maybe the leaders of the sect have decided that there is too much talking and not enough action. The reason is of little importance since the aftermath is what civilization must now sort out. Shortly after the catastrophe, the terrorists are eliminated and the Terraformers recovered, however, so much CO2 has penetrated the atmosphere that the earth will need centuries to recover. Experts initially estimate that the global temperature will rise by four degrees centigrade. That number eventually comes to be 10.5-degree increase.


 Hurricanes of unimaginable power sweep away major cities, and ice melt from the poles deluges the continents. New strains of diseases shroud the earth like a dark cloak. The survivors find themselves warring with each other for the last pure sources of drinking water.

Today, 21 years later [2083], mankind lives in the age of the dry storms. Mother nature still takes furious revenge and whips burning hot gales across the parched earth with hurricane-force blasts. Ecosystems have been ripped apart and clean food and water are scarce. The only abundant element that remains is sand. People are doomed to a life in a barren land that sees perpetual fear and death. Most would say that it is futile to have hope in a situation where prosperity was buried under mountains of mud decades ago. But reports about the rise of a new government and the presidential nomination of a man in the Southwest of the US seem to be bright spots on the horizon...


What happened to you...
As a child, you witnessed the catastrophe of 2062. Your memories of happier times are faint at best. Your family was among the few survivors who were able to build a new life after the cataclysm, but recently even this fragile good fortune turned to misery. While you were out in the Wastelands, one of the local gangs attacked your village. You returned to find nothing but ash, debris... and death. It took you four long days to bury the dead, including your mother. Your father and your sister Anie disappeared. You don't know if they still live.

Since that day a single purpose has occupied your thoughts: revenge! You don't know how to find the savages who murdered your family, nor how to fight them once you do; but there is no doubt in your mind that your friends and family will be avenged. It won't be easy as you are on your own and the gangs are a dominant force throughout the area.

Lately you have begun to hear stories about a new government taking shape in the Southwest. It is even rumored that some guy is calling himself the President! He is allegedly seeking to build an army of mercenaries to establish and maintain order and stability in the region. Suddenly, destiny seems to be on your side. As a member of the new government's mercenary team, you can fight the local gangs and perhaps find the murderers who killed your family.

The thought of revenge drives you to action, and so it happens that one morning you find yourself at the gates of the new government...


Picture from official The Fall web




[There are stacks of old newspapers laying on the ground next to the place where Reporter sits near New Safford. When you repeatedly click to examine it, hero will read and comment 5 old news headlines.]

#1: An ancient copy of from the year 2063, when the Catastrophe was in its early stages. At the time people didn't realise what was going to happen to them ...

#2: LEADING METEOROLOGISTS: HEAVY STORMS WILL ONLY LAST FOR A FEW DAYS - If only that had been the truth. I can still feel that godamned wind whistling around my ears today.

#3: PRESIDENT CALLS FOR CALM: TROOPS PREVENT PLUNDERING IN NEW YORK - They were able to keep the peace for a weeks - then they started to plunder themselves.

#4: AIR TRAFFIC AT A COMPLETE STANDSTILL - TRAFFIC MINISTER: MEASURES INTENDED TO LAST FOR ONLY 8 WEEKS - after 8 weeks most airports were useless, if I remember correctly.

#5: GENERAL LEWIS ORDERS PLUNDERERS TO BE SHOT ON SIGHT - GOVERNMENT IN HIDING. As far as I recall that was the last anyone heard of them.

#6: NATIONAL PAPER SCARCITY THREATENS FREE PRESS - Hm, looks to me like this is the last edition here on this pile.

Stacks of old newspapers

(Guy called Reporter sitting next to the newspapers)




[Museum of Body Arts at Vesseltown has inside 3 paper documents (Written document) and 3 audio recordings (Ear device). These items tell us interesting information when you examine them. All six of these items are scattered inside the museum.]

Paper document 01Paper document 02Paper document 03Ear device 01Ear device 02Ear device 03

(Links need to be copied)


#1 "Written document" [Probably newspaper] (item id: SET_PAPER_DOCUMENT_01)
Vancouver Sun: February 11, 2061:
Toronto: The community of interests known as "Sons of the Living" was able to register an increase of about 234,000 members last year. This is a plus of 83% in comparison to members' numbers in the previous year. The Protestant consistory looks at this development is alarming. It is feared that religiously fanatical aims with a racist impact may exist in the group. The "Sons of the Living" look upon themselves as the last remaining representatives of humans who were conceived naturally. They regard clones as a waste product of our civilization. During a rally last Friday, there were counter-demonstrations and hostilities.
Schmitz, AFP [Agence France-Presse]

(Written document #1 is next to a bench)


#2 "Written document" [Probably diary or memoirs] (item id: SET_PAPER_DOCUMENT_02)
Patricia Willson, 32, some 10 years after the Catastrophe.
Patricia Willson:
I still remember how it was at the time. Well, at least what one remembers as a child. I was alone at home and had been secretly watching a repeat of "Finished With You" on the TV wall in our residential module. Our module was quite smart, I believe. The movable walls between the single rooms were really chic.
Anyway, it was 2 or 3 days after the bang. I can still recall that the program was interrupted, and a speaker on the TV wall said we would all have to leave New York immediately. A tidal wave was approaching the coast. People shouldn't panic, but quickly get out of their houses and leave the city. Public transport was prepared to transport people who had no other vehicles.
I can remember how it smelled at our home too, because my mother still cooked occasionally. In front of my friends, I always found this a little embarrassing. No one else's mother did this. It was so old-fashioned.
Then my bodyphone rang. It was my Mom, and she was shouting at me to pack a few things fast and get myself ready. She would be with me in 10 minutes and would take me with her. It seemed like an eternity until she arrived. I looked out of the window, down below there was panic and water everywhere. I heard people shouting.
At once, Mom was there. And then this guy came in with her. "This is Max," said Mom, "He'll get us out of here." That's how I met her new boyfriend, the one she'd been trying to conceal from me all the time.
They ran with me on to the roof, and there was a helicopter there. A few people had already got in, a family and three women, I think. As we ran up to the helicopter, my mother beamed at me and shouted: "Max is a pilot! Isn't that great?" When we finally took off, the chopper spun at first quite violently, but then it calmed down.
In the town below, there was indescribable chaos. Max kept shouting "Godammit" and worse things, I still remember that. He landed the thing in Pittsburgh or somewhere in that area and let the others get out. The three of us flew on to Colorado.
Two years later, my mother died of an illness, I don't know what it was anymore. I stayed with Max for another four years and ..., well... we had a relationship. However, this didn't last long. A year later, I was confident to think I could fend for myself.


(Written document #2 is behind an exhibit of Bibsy Beers)


#3 "Written document" [Diary] (item id: SET_PAPER_DOCUMENT_03)
Diary entry from Harold Bane, Colorado. 11 years and eight months after the Catastrophe:
Everyone else is asleep, and I'm on guard duty. Been in a damned bad mood all day, and I have every right to be so. A couple of lousy slobs stole four women from us today. Of course, it had to be the prettiest ones. And my people have got nothing done again as usual. I'm the leader of a bunch of idiots! I've known this for a long time, but it's really getting worse and worse.
Since Frank's been dead, I've had to manage on my own. Frank was a real support. He knew how to get the best out of this useless bunch of jackasses. And how did they thank him? They couldn't even give him cover.
We should really get out of here, that's been clear to me for a long time now. The gangs in this area are too strong and too daring. We're constantly finding fresh corpses.
I'm the only one here who knows what's going on. The others just string along. I think I've just come to a decision. I'm getting out. Let them stew in their own juice. They're all asleep, even Dan's snoring away to himself. I'm going somewhere in the mountains where I can have my peace. I'll find me a woman or two on the way. I'll just take them like that; in time they'll see that I can feed them and then they'll stay of their own free will. I'll build a small farmstead in the mountains, as far away from the gangs as possible. I'll take the motorbike with me. I've earned it. I hope the thing starts.


(Left box contains the Ear device #3, box on the right containts Written document #3)


#1 "Ear Device" [Probably recording of TV news] (item id: SET_EAR_DEVICE_01)
January 22, 2062 CSTV News, 8p.m.:
Linda Counter:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, this is CSTV-News, and I'm Linda Counter:
Washington: Yesterday evening NASA presented its results on the settlement preparations for Mars. Work on the so-called "Terraformers" has been successfully concluded. These 6 machines are set to release vast amounts of CO2 on Mars and cause the ice at the poles to melt by making use of the greenhouse effect. This should make human life possible on Mars within a few years.
The gigantic Terraformers will remain under extreme security in specially constructed hangars at the NASA base until October 13 this year when they will be taken out and launched into the earth's orbit with the help of special, heavy-duty space transporters.
According to a NASA spokesman, sale and rental contracts have already been signed for the settlements on this yet inhospitable heavenly body.
Glasgow: Some 16,000 people died last night in the mass suicide of a Scottish sect called "Baldur's Brothers".
Sect leader, Arthur Wallmington, was also among the victims. In his sermons, he constantly warned of the return of the all-destroying giant Loki. These are featured in old northern Germanic Armageddon myths, which were supposedly passed on to the former receiver of social welfare by his forefathers.
This year the followers of two other sects have already met their deaths. This is CSTV news, and I'm Linda Counter - and now over to Joe Harris for the weather report...

Ear device #1 is on table and #2 on shelf

(Ear device #1 is on table and #2 on shelf behind it)


#2 "Ear device" [Probably recording of TV interview] (item id: SET_EAR_DEVICE_02)
The docutainment soap: "Hell on Earth" Lima-TV 10.12.2062:
TV announcer:
"And see for yourself - feel for yourself - Jack murdered Wilma, his live-in girlfriend of many years, striking her in the back twice with an ax..." Brrzzn -
Linda Counter:
We interrupt this program with a special edition of CSTV News:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We have just learned that members of the sect "Sons of the Living" have taken control of the six NASA Terraformers. The machines were at the NASA base in Houston Texas, and were being made ready for their flight to Mars. Transport was due to begin in two days. At the moment, the government in Washington is trying to enter into negotiations with the leaders of the sect. We now have a link to a White House speaker:
Mr. Blake, what can you report from your control room. What demands is the sect making?
None at the moment. We haven't been able to establish any contact with the leaders of the "Sons of the Living" sect.
Linda Counter:
How great is the threat posed by the Terraformers? What could the consequences be for the earth if they were used for the wrong purposes?
I can put you at ease there. According to all our information, any CO2 emission from the Terraformers would have no consequences at all. Besides, it is more than improbable that the sect has any specialist knowledge whatsoever of the machines' operating systems.
Linda Counter:
I'm afraid I'll have to put you on the spot here: For years, we have been told that the regular emission of CO2 on earth presents a serious danger to the global climate. How is it possible that the additional CO2 from the Terraformers can have no negative effects?
I can only repeat what I have just said: The government department for Science and Research has made it unmistakably clear that any such emission would have no effect whatsoever. I'm sorry, I'm not a scientist. You will have to obtain the details from the appropriate authority.
Linda Counter:
We'll do that. Thank you, Mr. Blake.
Thank you.

#3 "Ear device" [Recorded video confession, found in a metal box - picture is above] (item id: SET_EAR_DEVICE_03)
Video confession by Rich Michols, on 12.14.2062
Before this all began, I was an author. To be more precise, I wrote scripts. Scripts for TV entertainment. Docu-live shows and all that sort of thing. "Finished With You" was my breakthrough and then came "Hell On Earth", everybody knows that. We had fantastic ratings at the time! That was a pretty good time for me. I was at all the big events and parties and so on. One of the hottest people on TV! For two months...
At some time or other, this woman came up to me and told me about the "Sons of the Living". Her name was Sue and she was a great looker. Everything about her was real, you could see that, and feel it, even her soul. Just like me. She came up to me and said: You're like us, you belong to us. That's how it all began.
I went through the initiation ceremony of the "Sons of the Living" and became a different person. Suddenly I was part of a large family. It was wonderful. I stopped writing and started contributing to work on the big Book of the World. We knew what was going on long before the NASA announcement. We had our people everywhere.
The earth, as it is at present, is in a transient phase. The deeper sense is yet to be revealed to all the survivors. The people will recognize it. The Golden Age has already begun. Believe it or let it be. As far as I'm concerned, you can kill me too. The sooner I'll be where I belong.



In-game screenshot of graffiti: the Fall 2081

Picture of graffiti in game saying "the Fall 2081"





This paragraph is written by me. (SPOILERS SECTION) The game's intro shows two "Shadow" people (little girl and her mother) inside the research facility in the center of Biosphere. That means you and the Shadows established long lasting control of the Biosphere and NGO is now under your control, guarding the zone. If you helped Tiberius fix his time machine in New Safford, he will visit you in the end and tell you that you will build more biospheres in the future.

The game The Fall: Mutant City was releasted after the original game and takes place in the same world after the story of the previous game. Mutant City is Shadow city in a biosphere, where you help expose local tyrant. Unforunately the game is only in German so I still need to gather more information about its story, help is welcome.


I may edit this post and add more discoveries to it in the future. If you have any tips, advice, thoughts or ideas about the article, you can write them to me in comment section. Thank you

(Sources: old official The Fall website & v1.10.1 cz)


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Разработка Sergey A.Zhukov 2007-2012