The background story of Fallout involves a 'what-if' scenario where the United States tries to devise fusion power resulting in a hegemonic United States that has less reliance on petroleum. However, this is not achieved until 2077, shortly after an oil drilling conflict off the Pacific Coast pits the United States against China. It ends with a nuclear exchange resulting in the post-apocalyptic world the game takes place in.
The protagonist of the first game is a descendant of those that managed to find solace in government contracted fallout shelters known as Vaults. The year the game takes place is 2161, somewhere in Northern California in Vault 13.The second game takes place 80 years after the first.It tells the story of the original hero's descendant and his quest to save his tribe from starvation by finding an ancient environmental restoration machine.
Fallout draws much from 50s Pulp magazine science fiction and superhero comic books. For example, computers have no transistors and use vacuum tubes; energy weapons exist and resemble those used by Flash Gordon. The Vault Dweller's main style of dress is a blue skin tight jumpsuit with a yellow line running down the center of the chest and along the belt area.
Fallout also draws minor influences from other sources. One of the initial armors available in the game is the one sleeved leather jacket, which bears a resemblance to the jacket worn by Max in Road Warrior. Also, the armor featured on the cover of the game is Power Armor, which is mentioned under the Mecha entry.
The song that plays during the Introductory scene is entitled 'Maybe' and is sung by a band called The Inkspots.