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Fallout: The Sinister True Purpose Of The Vaults Has Been Revealed

The "Fallout" series has evolved quite a bit over the years, but one concept that has remained constant in the franchise's story is the presence of vaults. Created by the Vaul-Tec company shortly before America was devastated by nuclear war, these underground bunkers are built to shelter and provide a sustainable atmosphere for the survivors of the apocalypse — or so the denizens were told.


Over the course of several games, it has become terrifyingly clear that not all of the Vaults were built with altruistic intentions in mind. Some of the vaults are home to terrifying experiments on the human body and psyche. One Vault goaded its inhabitants into a paranoid civil war, another mutated normal people into human-plant hybrids, etc. As it turns out, there was a method to this madness.

At long last, "Fallout" co-creator Tim Cain has revealed the out-of-this world true purpose of the Vaults. According to the description in Cain's video, "Vault-Tec wasn't trying to save the inhabitants of the vaults, but instead they were testing technologies they would need to make a multi-generational starship they could use to flee from a ravaged post-nuclear Earth."


Read on to learn just how bleak things have gotten for the Wastelands, and why.

Vault-Tec had its eyes toward the stars

In a fascinating video uploaded to his personal YouTube channel, Tim Cain dug into the backstory of the "Fallout" universe, revealing Vault-Tec secrets that have only been hinted at in the games themselves. Cain conceded that Bethesda's newer games may have a different origin story in mind, but the following is his original conception of why the vaults turned out the way they did.


According to Cain, the bigwigs in charge quickly come to the conclusion that Earth is beyond saving: "So, the head of the Enclave and ... the highest levels of government were like, 'let's build a starship ... and take it to nearby stars.' But that would take forever, so it has to be a multi-generational starship, and the only technology we know how to build is atomic power."

However, aside from the engine that will take them away from the dead planet, Vault-Tec isn't totally sure what else the company will need to make the journey. That's where the guinea pigs living in the vaults come into play. Cain explains, "So of course, Vault-Tec['s] director, not being the nicest person in the world, said 'Why don't we use the vaults to figure out the technology we need on the ship?'" And so, the vaults are built to experiment with food production, cryogenic freezing, and more. 


The goal was never to save the people living in the vaults, but to instead determine the best ways of preserving the ruling class as they searched for a new planet to call home. That's... pretty bleak, but it fits perfectly within the world of "Fallout."