How Fallout Taught Me to Survive the Apocalypse

Science fiction has an uncanny ability to come true, as though we’re pulled with the force of a black hole to see our dreams manifested. Philip K. Dick wrote about miniature robots used for reconnaissance. William Gibson predicted an electronic network of information to connect us all. George Lucas envisioned a future of emotions castrated by chemicals.

Some visions are darker than others though, and whether death comes by a robotic uprising or the more likely nuclear holocaust, you can be prepared, all thanks to Fallout. If the medium is the instigator, it only makes sense that it could also be your greatest survival guide.

Surviving Doomsday

I hate to break it to you kid, but statistically speaking, you’re screwed. You’re not special, and I’m guessing that you don’t have radiation-resistant skin. So, hope you’re lucky and that you don’t get reincarnated for at least a few hundred years.

As for you rich folks and possible lottery winners, a subterranean bunker could be your ticket to the future. Watch yourself though. People can get mighty touchy in confined spaces. Keep your head down and follow the rules and you can live a long, safe, and miserably boring life. You might also want to check your jumpsuit for the number 12, 13, 27, 87, 92, 112…

On second thought, get the hell out now.

Mine is Bigger Than Yours

Assuming that you survived against all odds, the first thing you should do is find a weapon, but sticks are for idiots. Think back to your adventures in SoCal and the Capital Wastelands, and to all the crazed scavengers who came after you with sticks. How many of them actually killed you, as opposed to fertilizing the ground with their intestines?

In the immortal words of Bruce Campbell, “Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun.” But, not just any gun will do. Lasers are for pretty-boys in tights, and missile launchers are far too dangerous for the average joe, and everyone around him. Remember this: the more barrels and the bigger the bullets, the better.

One last thing. If you find a sword, leave it alone. Nobody likes renaissance-wannabe douchebags.

Let’s Get Some Gear

Without authorities around, nor the constraints of ‘civilized’ society, nudity could be an attractive option, but not the most practical. Where will you store your guns, and for the fellas out there, how are you going to defend yourself against mutant squirrels at the latrine? You better get some leathers, and then rip one sleeve off. If anyone questions it, tell him it gives you agility +1 and draw your gun in the confusion.

New world orders and reconstructionist regimes are not to be trusted, nor are drug dealers, religious fanatics, or robots with soothing voices. Everyone has an angle to work and needs a sucker to expoit. If someone asks for a favor, just shoot him. Why risk your life when you can still get the loot and put a poverty-stricken wretch out of his misery?

If murder isn’t your thing, you’ll have to work for a living. Women and children are notoriously bad clients who think tears can fill wallets. You’ll need to risk your life to get the big bucks, and possibly visit all sorts of exotic locations, like sewers that haven’t been cleaned in decades, mutant infested caves, booby-trapped buildings… are you sure you don’t want to at least be a thief?

Food and Enterainment

Be very careful about what you eat, especially if it comes on a stick or has more than four legs. While Pepto Bismol might stop diarrhea, it can’t cure a melted colon. On that note, being a post-apocalyptic survivor is no excuse for letting your manners go. Toilet bowls are for sitting, not for drinking. They do make good places to hide keys though.

Drugs are fun (in make-believe only kiddies. Stay sober and stay in school. Yeah!).

I could be an amateur pharmacist at this point. With Psycho and Buffout combined, even you can be a roid-raging Brock Lesnar and turn heads into piles of soggy ground beef. For those intimate moments, nothing brews passion like Grape Mentats downed with a jug of moonshine. Just be sure daddy and his shotgun aren’t around to find any compromising situations. Dragging a spouse around New Vegas is a serious buzzkill. Some things never change.

Above all, make sure to get yourself a good dog. Why? Well, dogs are man’s best friends after all, and there are sure to be many lonely nights while wandering the wasteland. Even a stone-hearted survivor of the apocalypse needs a ‘friend’ once in a while.

See? Video games can be educational, so the next time your mom accuses them of rotting your brain, tell her that at least you won’t be the one wallowing in a ditch as radiation slowly separates the blistered skin from her body. That’ll make her be quiet.