With the runaway success of Amazon's Fallout season one, we thought we would take a look at some of the expansive lore the game offers, specifically lore that includes North Daktota.

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What is Fallout?

The universe of the Fallout video game series is characterized by a post-nuclear war, post-devastation of Earth. Locations along the East Coast, California, and Nevada are common for these games to happen in the US.

While exploring the wasteland, players will come across different groups, mutant animals, and fellow survivors. Gamers can influence the story's conclusion by making moral decisions inside the series, which is renowned for its retro-futuristic look, dark humor, and interactive storytelling. Survival, discovery, and the fallout from human acts in a post-nuclear world are major themes.

Players can immerse themselves in a fictionalized future as humanity fights for survival amid the ruins of civilization at these legendary locales, which are filled with rich narrative.

North Dakota's Williston, Bismarck, and Fargo, all of which were formerly prosperous cities before the nuclear war, serve as haunting memories of a past before the destruction in the Fallout video game series' expansive wasteland.


Williston holds a prominent place in the Fallout series' lore. Initially an agricultural hub, its fortune changed dramatically in the early 2020s with the discovery of vast oil shale reserves, attracting workers nationwide. By the mid-2040s, Williston had become the region's oil production capital, experiencing a population boom and economic prosperity. However, the onset of the New Plague in the 2050s led to economic decline, exacerbated by harsh working conditions in the oil fields.

In 2055, Williston was selected for Project Insight, receiving experimental ballistic defense stations due to its isolated location. Post-war, mining coal became increasingly difficult, leading to a decline in population. The Great War spared Williston from direct hits, but residents faced challenges from black rain and radiation. Survivors turned into ghouls, occupying small camps across the city.

By 2122, competing settlements had emerged in the ruins, vying for resources. Townly emerged as a powerful force, establishing a caravan lodge and promoting economic development. The Roughriders, formed in the 2170s, protected the region from super mutants and raiders, restoring peace and attracting settlers.

In 2239, Williston faced the Great Raider Wars, enduring raids and battles that halved its population. Despite setbacks, the Roughriders maintained order, eventually signing with the American Northern Army for protection. Prosperity returned, with trade flourishing and the city expanding steadily.

The Roughriders are in charge of Williston's government, which thrives as a caravan stop and light industrial hub. With a resilient spirit and protective forces like the Roughriders, Williston continues to endure and grow in the harsh post-apocalyptic landscape of the Fallout universe.


Prior to the Badlands oilfields' depletion in 2053, Bismarck's population and economy grew in the 2000s. Because Bismarck was an Army staging ground during the Great War, it was bombed and destroyed. The city became much more devastated after the battle ended due to mutants, deserting soldiers, and general anarchy.

Settlers arrived in 2147 and founded Tall Town next to the North Dakota State Capitol after raiders started settling in Bismarck's ruins in 2135. Tall Town became a trading center by 2150 thanks to its resilient militia, despite early attacks by raiders. Up until the New-Merican Society arrived in 2225, there was political upheaval characterized by dictatorships and coups.

While Tall Town flourished under the society's watch, raider attacks continued unabated. By 2236, the society had driven the raiders out of the area after declaring war on them. The southern rise of Custer's American Army, however, put Tall Town's stability in danger. Fearing for its way of life, Tall Town braced itself for battle in 2280 as it faced attacks from both the north and the south.

A diverse economy centered on agriculture, trade, and manufacturing characterizes Tall Town, which is laid out around the North Dakota State Capitol. The New-Merican Society is a capitalist-libertarian political party that promotes individual liberty and national pride through its policies. In the middle of post-apocalyptic North Dakota's chaos, Tall Town's tenacious spirit endures.


The decent citizens of Fargo, North Dakota, saw the Great War as an abstract issue in which they were neither involved nor interested. But on October 23, 2077, the entire community started to evacuate as soon as the air raid sirens started to sound.

In the absence of any surrounding vaults, the citizens of Fargo made do with the high school gymnasium, much as they would in the event of a flood or other natural catastrophe. With the assistance of the local police, a large portion of the city's population was collected and brought within the high school grounds.

A little mushroom cloud started to develop above the city's outskirts as the gym doors were bolted shut and closed in the distance. The majority of the city's residents dove for cover as the nuclear explosion reverberated through the air, but they were surprised when there wasn't a second or third explosion.

Unbeknownst to them, the bombing of their little town had been an error. An American interceptor stopped a Chinese bomber as it was en route to dropping four nuclear bombs on Chicago and Milwaukee. Fortunately, only one of the bombs was able to detonate due to its safety features.

More than half of the population died from radiation poisoning during the weeks that people lived in that gym; fortunately, the survivors were spared a slow and agonizing death because of the efforts of the police and firemen who distributed rad-away and rad-x to the populace.

After much deliberation, the police decided to let people back into the school through the gym. After surveying the vacant classrooms and hallways, they found that the radiation levels were low enough to allow people back into the remainder of the school. Oil lamps and various electric lights quickly illuminated the school halls as people departed from the gym.

As residents of the town sought refuge in the school's classrooms, the police force effectively became the town's de facto security force. The Refuge was born as a result of the rapid population growth that occurred there after word got out about the illuminating structure in Fargo's deserted streets.

Many merchants from the surrounding wasteland came to sell their goods at The Refuge, and many of them felt safe enough to make The Refuge their permanent home. In no time at all, the refuge's cafeteria had become a bustling marketplace where merchants from all over the school and beyond could do business.

As a result, a ruling class of merchants emerged who exercised a semblance of democracy in their rule—even though they occasionally restricted candidacies to members of the current leader's family, ensuring that the same families would remain in power for generations.

The Refuge may have its problems, but it's still the best place to live and trade among the Fargo ruins since the guards keep the tribesmen and raiders out and the merchants keep the town's economy booming. While dealing with the occasional thug and, of course, The Enlightened—a group of people often referred to as "book keepers"—is inevitable.

Actually, they are a band of ex-Brothers Scribes and initiates who have taken it upon themselves to preserve and study pre-war literature for the wisdom it may provide. After gaining the rulers' approval, they dispatched a small group of men to seize control of the school library.

They have begun to memorize and organize the books, guides, reference materials, and magazines that have accumulated dust on the old shelves. Their eventual goal is to transfer all of this information to their main base of operations, the Fargo City Library. Because of their propensity to destroy anyone they see as attempting to damage their priceless books, most people avoid these weird people.

Williston, Bismarck, and Fargo are all interwoven into the Fallout series' complex narrative, and players may come across characters and factions with ties to these cities as they play the games. The North Dakotan cities are bustling with life, but it's a more desperate and dangerous kind, from ragtag groups of scavengers to formidable forces fighting for dominion over the area.

The North Dakota wilderness, along with its cities, plays an important role in the Fallout mythology. Outside of cities, amid the wide plains and rough terrain, there are mutant creatures and hidden perils, giving brave explorers a challenge and an opportunity.

In general, the way Williston, Bismarck, and Fargo are portrayed in the Fallout video game series enhances the immersive world-building with their richness and depth. North Dakota continues to captivate players as they delve into its eerie landscapes and uncover its secrets, thanks to its rich narrative and dramatic storytelling, and it is an essential element of the Fallout world.

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