Fallout is a series that is chock full of neat little easter eggs and references, mostly of iconic games from other developers or popular films at the time. However, sometimes developers like to leave little hints in their games about projects they have cooking, and one Fallout fan has possibly discovered a reference to Fallout 76 in Fallout 3, two games with a full decade of time between them.
First discovered by MightyPaladin77 on Reddit, players who spend a bit of time investigating the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 3 will come across a terminal that mentions several Vaults that don't turn up in the actual game, one of which is Vault 76. Those of you who have played Fallout 76 will know that Vault 76 was designed as the first Vault to open after the bombs dropped, a little factoid that the terminal explains in Fallout 3.
"Vault 76 is one of our seventeen control Vaults," reads the terminal. "It will operate exactly according to the plan dictated in the marketing material produced by Vault-Tec and precisely to resident expectations. This Vault will open automatically after a period of 20 years and the residents will be pushed back into the open world for study in comparison to the other experiments."
While this probably isn't a deliberate tease for Fallout 76, it could be an indication that Bethesda was workshopping ideas for potential Fallout sequels. It's also a neat piece of trivia that highlights how much lore implanted in previous games could potentially shape the series. Who knows, there could be a terminal out there in either Fallout: New Vegas or Fallout 4 that describes a potential plot for Fallout 5, but we just wouldn't know it if we saw it.
It certainly isn't impossible. There are plenty of examples of game developers hiding hints at future titles in current or past releases, one possible example being the Pokemon Scarlet & Violet hint that was recently found in Pokemon Sword & Shield.
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