|For the game considered to be the predecessor to Fallout, see Wasteland (game).|
A radioactive desert where humans subsist in a barbaric state? Difficult to glorify convincingly. They are, however, aptly named.”— Robert House
The Wasteland or Wastes refers to the majority of the world's post-nuclear environment in the Fallout universe.
During the Great War, it took no more than two hours for the nuclear warheads that were fired to change the face of the planet and affect life on Earth for many centuries to come. After the atomic fire had cleared, the surface of the Earth was very different.
Millions of buildings and cities were demolished or severely damaged, with only a few exceptions. Most of the plants that had once flourished on the Earth, were now dead and the Earth was changed from a diverse landscape to a barren and hot desert, radiation becoming a serious threat to what little life remained. Countries such as America were turned into scorching wastelands that became filled with new dangers due to mutations in wildlife that altered many of the species, making them dangerous. As the remnants of humanity began to spread once again, new violence was introduced in the form of different factions. They began warring against each other in the new anarchic world which they now resided in, and though more than a century has passed since the Great War, progress in the reclamation of humanity has been slow and the wasteland remains a radioactive and war torn desert, where life is a struggle.
Each region appearing in the different Fallout games all have a specific name:
- New California in Fallout, Fallout 2 and a part near Nipton in Fallout: New Vegas.
- Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3.
- Midwest Wasteland or Midwest Commonwealth in Fallout Tactics.
- Texas Wasteland or Texas Commonwealth in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
- Mojave Wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas.