Fallout 2's Secret Ending

Author: Unknown
Year: Unknown

In Fallout 2, after you beat the game, you can continue playing. Remember the defunct vault near the beginning? The one with the toxic sludge on the ground and the elevator where you can kill golden geckos? It's called "Toxic Caves" on the world map, but it's clearly a very small vault with three levels, including the first cave level where you take a ladder down to the actual vault structure. If you have one of the original pressings of the game and haven't patched it, you can return to the Toxic Caves after the game is over. If you have the item "Heart Pills" from the Westin Murder Case quest, you can kill yourself in the elevator.

After the usual death scene plays, the screen will stay black without the menu opening back up. If you wait several minutes, you will begin to hear a hollow, echoing white noise cave-type sound. The screen will slowly fade back in and your character will be in a pile of that nasty biomass goo that was around the Master in the first game. Your character will stand up and the usual ambient soundtrack will start playing along with the white noise. Explore this new level but DO NOT pick any locks. Those areas are extremely off limits and the developers put some very nasty programming tricks into the code to protect their secrets. As you continue further into the level, the white noise will increase in volume and the ambient soundtrack will begin to glitch out. This may be because the Fallout engine wasn't designed to be able to play two music tracks simultaneously.

Passing locked door after locked door, you will come across many of the characters you met earlier in the game. Oddly, only characters that died or that would reasonably be expected to die after you last saw them can be found here. Like the official endings, the characters vary depending on how you played the game. If you were the good guy and tried to solve problems without violence, you will find only a few bad guys and some unfortunate victims here. If you slaughtered everyone you could, however, you will see several hundred characters. Regardless of what you did earlier, none of the characters will speak or react to you in any way. They can't be pick-pocketed, killed, pushed aside, or headled. If you even try to use First Aid, Doctor, or any healing items on them, a text box pops up that says "It's much too late for that, Chosen."

It would appear this place is Purgatory or, possibly, Hell, based on the fact that it's populated entirely by dead characters. The final character, who stands before the final door, is always the player character from the first game. This is the only character you can interact with and, as you approach, the white noise reaches a crescendo and the ambient soundtrack abruptly cuts out.If you simply bypass him/her and open the final door, the game will play the end credits once again. This time, the background shows pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasake victims. This is in extremely poor taste and many have wondered why the creators would be so insensitive. When asked, they deny the sequence exists and call it a hack that was never in the official game at all. After the end credits are over, you are greeted with a game over screen and get booted to the desktop.

If you talk to the final character, they will explain that they are the Vault Dweller from the first game - your ancestor. They will tell you that they are disappointed in the way you turned out. They turn your back on you and your character collapses in a pile of bones. It's a death animation I've never seen in any other part of the game. Afterward, the game fades to white and locks up, forcing a hard reset of your computer.

There is a third option, however: those locked doors I mentioned earlier. There is one door, chosen at random by the game's code, which can be opened with heavy explosives. Inside, you will find a single foot locker containing a 10mm pistol with no clip in the picture and no ammo. None of your normal 10mm ammo can be used with it. You can "load" the gun with the Easter Egg found in the basement of New Reno Arms, however. Fire this at the final character and the game will cut to an over the shoulder video showing a young man playing an unidentified game similar to Fallout. Some people claim this is an early version of either Fallout Tactics or Van Buren, but nothing on the screen seems to fit the descriptions of either games. In addition, neither game had started development at the time of the original release of Fallout 2. The video itself is poorly lit, with the apparent intention of being a creepy cipher, but nothing spooky actually happens in the video. The man simply plays the unknown game and the video slowly fades back to your desktop. It's a cool trick, and I'm not sure how they managed a gradually fading game screen back then.

Another strange trick, according to many players, is that the final character always matches the character they last beat Fallout 1 with. Both the gender and apparel at the end of the previous game are represented. At first, this would appear to be a save game hack not unlike Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid, but the trick works even if the first game was played on an entirely different computer without any of the data transferred to the new PC.

It's recommended you do not turn on any televisions in your house for several hours after experiencing the third ending, by the way. You will quickly realize the white noise in the game is coming from your television. Cable, satellite, and even antenna (if you still have that) are all somehow incapable of picking up a signal for some time after the third ending. Computers and internet connections, however, still seem to work. That's how I'm writing this to you now. Funny thing, though. I turned my television off nearly an hour ago, as well as my computer speakers...but I still hear the static getting louder.