Fallout 2 is rightly celebrated as a classic of computer role-playing games, but there’s no denying that things got a little weird for the post-apocalyptic sequel. Treasure-hunting dwarves, a chess-playing Radscorpion, and far more weirdness helped to define the game’s manic tone. That’s largely the result of hurried development cycle, and the same rush almost netted us a car trunk that would follow the player character around the world.
Unlike the rest of the ridiculous stuff in Fallout 2, though, this bit was unintentional. More reasonably, Black Isle wanted to give players a car which featured a usable trunk for storage. “The way we implemented that was to basically categorise the trunk as a companion,” programmer Dan Spitzley tells us. “But that meant sometimes the trunk would disconnect from the car and kind of ‘walk around’ behind the player. You’d be on the third floor of a Vault or something, and the trunk would suddenly turn up next to you. It turned out to be a huge issue.”
As wild as Fallout 2 ended up being, justifying a sentient trunk might’ve been a step too far. Yet publisher pressure meant the game suffered all sorts of technical issues in addition to its often silly references, and it’s a testament to the core quality of the game that it’s still considered a classic despite those problems.
These details come courtesy of our interview with the team behind Fallout 2, which is full of all sorts of insight on the game’s rocky development. That feature is just a small part of our week-long celebration of Fallout’s 20th anniversary, and we’ve got similar insight on the original game’s development.