Beginning a few weeks ago, Fallout fans worldwide have been talking about a mysterious site named "The Survivor 2299." While the site did not directly state that it was connected to Bethesda Softworks (the publisher behind Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas), the imagery used and hints within the source code clearly indicated that it was some sort of viral marketing for a new entry in the Fallout series. And though Bethesda remained tight-lipped throughout, there were countdowns that were seemingly leading to a major announcement. And on December 6th, that announcement came:
The 1st Reveal
Many were flabbergasted by the reveal of the Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up" appearing on the site (along with the title 'That's It Tunnel Snakes'), but we at Dorkly could not be more excited. How exactly is Fallout 4 going to integrate Mr. Astley and/or his hit 1987 song? Given most of the previous entries only had music from the 1950s and earlier, this is a major departure for the series. Here are our current theories:
1. The eponymous "survivor" is Rick Astley.
As of 2299, Mr. Astley would be 333 years old - which is HALF of the number of The Beast in biblical writings (666). Coincidence? Very unlikely. Probably represents the karma system in the game - half-good, half-evil. The real question would be how did the multi-platinum recording artist manage to survive so long? A combination of cybernetic science and radiation poisoning turning him into a ghoul seems like the logical answer. It will be an exciting departure for the series to let you play as a ghoul cyborg instead of a human, and we cannot wait to try it out!
2. The lyrics of "Never Gonna Give You Up" are the real key.
"We're no strangers to love - you know the rules and so do I." = Note the use of the word "strangers" here. Clearly referencing the 2008 horror film, The Strangers, which was filmed in South Carolina - South Carolina likely acting as the setting for Fallout 4.
"We know the game, and we're gonna play it." = Fallout 4 is a game, which the developers know, and they're gonna play it for Quality Assurance testing to make sure it's as bug-free as possible upon release.
"Never gonna run around and desert you." = What's another meaning of the word "desert"? Here it's used as a verb, but it can also be a noun, as in a large, dry, arid area, usually a hot sandy terrain. In the aftermath of nuclear war, it's possible South Carolina has been reduced to nothing but a desert.
The 2nd Reveal
But that was only part 1 of the reveal - soon after, the Rick Astley video was replaced with a music video called "Tunnel Snakes Rule" - taking off of the Vault 101 youth gang from Fallout 3 and their signature catchphrase. Could this mean the Tunnel Snakes (who were largely wiped out early on in Fallout 3) have picked up stakes and moved to South Carolina and have formed a largescale faction (probably around the size of New Vegas' Legion)? That seems entirely possible and extremely likely at this juncture.
The Final Reveal
But even that wasn't the end of this incredible multi-part viral reveal - the video was then replaced with something called "Sad Violin" - a melancholy piece of music (played on violin) over a series of depressing imagery - exactly the kind of imagery totally apropos for the Fallout-verse. Above it was the message "That's All Folks". Clearly, this is a final haunting message of the impending apocalypse (or Bugs Bunny and/or Porky Pig is a possible companion?). Soon the Earth as we know it will be consumed by nuclear fire - and the few who emerge from the supposed end will be...the survivors.
Congrats to Bethesda on this epic multi-stage viral marketing effort. Can't wait to see more information come through The Survivor 2299 (starring Rick Astley in the desert of South Carolina battling with or against the Tunnel Snakes faction).
And as the titular survivor would say: