Nate talking to Codsworth
Image via Bethesda Game Studios

Fallout 4 Lead Writer Backtracks After Uproar Over Divisive Character Lore

With Fallout Season 1’s success and a next-gen update on the way for Fallout 4, the community of Wasteland adventurers is more alive than ever. Excited about the good vibes from longtime Fallout fans, lead writer Emil Pagliarulo revealed that there’s a hidden connection between Fallout 1 and Fallout 4.

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Have you watched the opening cutscene of the original Fallout? Within the first minute, we see two soldiers equipped with Power Armor executing an unarmed prisoner during the annexation of Canada. One shoots the prisoner and the other watches it happen. Then, after the deed is done, we can see the onlooking soldier’s head moving as if he were laughing. The cruel duo then wave to the camera as if nothing deplorable took place.

What used to be two random Power Armor soldiers has now become one of the community’s most divisive topics. Fallout 4 lead writer Emil Pagliarulo revealed that Nate, the male protagonist players can choose to play as, is the bystander soldier amused by the execution. “Remember the Fallout 1 opening movie?” he said, “Annexation of Canada? SAME. GUY. (No, NOT the shooter!).”

This wasn’t the cool tidbit that Pagliarulo thought it would be. Instead, it shocked and disappointed longtime Fallout fans who took the connection as confirmation that Nate was complicit in war crimes.

Following the community’s uproar over Nate’s lore in the Fallout universe, Pagliarulo clarified on X (formerly Twitter) that Nate isn’t a war criminal. He went on to explain the process of character building, and stated, “You’re always sorting ideas. Early on, we talked about that being Nate, in that video. He had been through hell as a soldier. Every day was another unknown horror. This was one of them.” Pagliarulo also emphasized that Nate’s past is whatever the player thinks it is. “Not every bit of Fallout info I share is automatically canon,” he said.

The conversation about Nate’s past before Fallout 4 persists, though, despite Pagliarulo’s retraction. Some choose to embrace the reveal, while others believe that this information should’ve stayed in the vault.


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Alyssa Payne
Alyssa Payne is the Weekend Editor for The Escapist. Her first-ever video game was Super Mario World back in the '90s, and these days, you'll find her playing World of Warcraft and chipping away at her backlog of indie horror titles and cozy games. Alyssa got her start in the games journalism industry in 2022 and in March 2024, she joined The Escapist. Her previous work can be seen at GameGrin, The Punished Backlog, TheGamer, and GameSkinny.