Your hypothetical guide to post-nuclear war West Virginia in Fallout 76.
On may 30, Bethesda game studios dropped the big one: The latest installment of its popular post-apocalyptic Fallout series will be set in West Virginia. We still don’t know exactly how the game will work—Fallout 76 won’t be released until November and Bethesda is tight-lipped with details—but here are some West Virginia sights we know for sure will be featured.
Cass Gilbert’s Neoclassical masterpiece seems to have survived nuclear holocaust in reasonably good shape. One good thing about it—without any lawmakers, maybe someone can finally get something done under the big gold dome.
There’s a good chance players will get to see the Big Dipper—the legendary wooden roller coaster that has been rattling above Camden Park since 1958—or grab a snack at the park’s famous Pronto Pups corn dog stand. It appears some things have changed at this summertime hangout since the big one dropped, though. Look closely at the screengrab: That’s not the iconic Happy Clown; it’s some kind of anthropomorphic cat thing.
Morgantown can already be such a weird place, it will be interesting to see how a big dose of nuclear radiation changes things. Bethesda, if you’re reading, here’s a free idea: The level should end with players riding the PRT to Milan Puskar Stadium, where a nuclearized Dana Holgorsen throws flaming headsets at you. Defeat him by combing his hair.
NEW RIVER GORGE
This symbol of state pride, once emblazoned on a quarter, clearly has seen better days by the time Vault 76 opens. But the area still appears to be inhabited—no doubt by lawyers who show up on weekends and pretend to be rafting guides. Previous iterations of the Fallout series have included neighborhoods run by gangs. We’re hoping this one is run by a shadowy group called the Secret Sandwich Society.
It was a no-brainer to include this West Virginia landmark, since it actually was once home to a nuclear fallout shelter. With any luck, this futuristic version of America’s Resort will be guarded by a hologram of Governor Jim Justice that requires players to decode cryptic riddles before moving on. Something like: “The net-net is, we’ve got to take a rocketship over the rainbow before we can catch Frankenstein.”
Stay alert if you come across this guy—if you know anything about West Virginia folktales, you should know that the Mothman is a harbinger of doom. Point Pleasant’s most famous resident isn’t the only Mountain State cryptid to appear in the game: The Flatwoods Monster and the lesser-known Grafton Monster will also pop up in your adventures.