Nolan's 'Fallout' transcends the game!


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"War, war never changes."

This classic line from the video game "Fallout" appeared in the eighth episode of its TV series, instantly taking me back to the days when I played "Fallout 4" in 2014. Christopher Nolan's younger brother Jonathan Nolan's new work "Fallout" can be said to be the series I have been looking forward to the most in April. After watching all eight episodes consecutively in just two days, I am very satisfied with his adaptation and it truly deserves the high score of 8.7 on Peliplat.

Similarities to the game

In terms of visual style, the TV series occasionally has a sense of absurd humor, which is different from the serious style of the game. However, the details and settings of the world in the entire TV series are very similar to those in the game.

Firstly, there are those creatures and objects, I mean, giant cockroaches, a dog named Dogmeat, T-60 power armor, spinning robots, radiation sickness, and the corresponding medications like RadAway. All of these are recreated very well.

(Spinning robot in the game)
(Spinning robot in the game)
(Spinning robot in the TV series)
(Spinning robot in the TV series)
(Dogmeat in the game)
(Dogmeat in the game)
(Dogmeat in the TV series)
(Dogmeat in the TV series)
(T-60 power armor in the game)
(T-60 power armor in the game)
(T-60 power armor in the TV series)
(T-60 power armor in the TV series)

Secondly, it is the layout of the Fallout world. The different factions are also consistent with the game. There's the Brotherhood of Steel - whose goal is to eliminate all mutated humans; then there are the ruthless Fiends - as described in the series, they are "people who eat people"; and after the world is devastated by nuclear bombs, there's the hard-won nation, the New California Republic. Moreover, the wars between these different factions are also depicted in the series, especially the spectacular battle between the Brotherhood of Steel and the New California Republic in the final episode, obviously requiring a significant budget.

In the game, players can choose to join different factions, leading to different endings. The interactivity of the game is its advantage. One noteworthy line in the series is: "Everyone wants to save the world; they just disagree on how." This line summarizes the meaningless wars between these factions and conveys the same values as the game.

Story beyond the game

The entire story of the TV series "Fallout" is completely new and unrelated to the game. I'm talking about Lucy MacLean, Maximus, and Cooper Howard - that Ghoul.

I think the changes in these protagonists are great because, on the one hand, they are not perfect, with obvious strengths and weaknesses, which makes me feel they are real people; on the other hand, their complete transformation makes me understand their changes.

Lucy, a resident of a "democratic society" in a shelter, has to venture into the outside world to find her father. When she first arrives in this world, she is very naive and idealistic. As the story progresses, she gradually learns various cruel means necessary for survival, and gradually adapts to life in this harsh world. In the final episode, she shoots and kills her mother, who is suffering from radiation sickness, completing her transformation.

Maximus, who grew up in the outside world, trusts no one except the Knight in the T-60 power armor who once saved him when he was a child. He longs to become a Knight himself and will not hesitate to harm others to achieve his goals. As the story progresses, he not only discovers the hypocrisy of the armored Knights but also meets Lucy, whose kindness softens his cold heart bit by bit. In the seventh episode, he retrieves the core of the T-60 power armor with great effort but later gives it up to save the residents of the shelter, completing his transformation.

Compared to the first two characters, Cooper's transformation comes from my understanding of him as an audience. At first, he seems like a cold-blooded killer and a typical villain, who is merciless to anyone and very cruel. As the story unfolds, I discover that behind his brutality is the despair caused by the cruel treatment his family receives from the world.

In addition to the stories of the three main characters, the TV series "Fallout" also incorporates many contemporary political metaphors.

For example, when Lucy struggles to survive in the outside world, there is a segment inserted about the shelter residents leisurely spreading propaganda of democratic elections, as they mention sympathy and win over outsiders with their sincerity. This shows that they don't understand the outside world at all, which is quite ironic. Similarly, when Lucy first communicates with Maximus, he also has fantasies about the world within the shelter. He says things like "I had no idea people live in those vaults" and "What did you think was in them?". He also describes people in the outside world as "monsters," clearly showing his lack of understanding of the society beyond the shelter.

You see, the huge misunderstanding between the residents of the shelter and the outside world is somewhat like the increasing gap between developed and impoverished countries in the world today, isn't it? I really like these elements, as they make the game feel less pretentious and allow "Fallout" to keep up with the times.

Overall, I think the TV series has brought me more surprises than the game did. What I like about the game is the various settings in the Fallout world, which are all preserved in the TV series; and to make up for its weakness, the TV series has put in a lot of effort to adapt the protagonists' stories in the original work.

I hope Jonathan Nolan can persist with such a simple narrative style in the second season and not make "Fallout" end up like "Westworld."

Catch you later for more movie musings!

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