If you appreciate the work done within the wiki, please consider supporting The Cutting Room Floor on Patreon. Thanks for all your support!

Prerelease:Fallout 3

From The Cutting Room Floor
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page details prerelease information and/or media for Fallout 3.

Development Timeline



  • Unknown - Bethesda Softworks acquires the license to develop and publish a Fallout 3 game, as well as two potential sequels. A small team starts development on Fallout 3 in late 2004.[1]


  • The first concept maps indicating the size, locations, and quest flow of the game world are created.[2]


  • January - Most of Bethesda's staff are by now working on the game.[1]
  • June 5 - The teaser trailer is released.
  • Fall/Winter(?) - Bethesda decides to remove half of the in-development Downtown D.C. maps, leaving the 12 seen in the final game.[3]


  • Spring - About six months prior to release, Bethesda decides to significantly expand the game's Wasteland. Many existing locations are moved.[2][4]
  • October 28 - The game is released in North America.
  • October 30 - The game is released in Europe and Australia.
  • December 4 - The game is released in Japan.

Protectron Demo

Apparently once hosted on Bethesda's website and now consigned to an obscure corner of YouTube is a video clip of a scripted sequence involving a Metro Protectron being activated by the player and attacking a pair of Super Mutants. This exact scene is described in an account of Fallout 3's E3 2007 demo meaning it might just be the earliest publicly available gameplay footage of the game. The regular Super Mutants with Chinese assault rifles and super sledges fit the E3 2007 demo and screenshots. Also note the Metro-livery texture Protectron (with "M" chest and arm laser decals) when retail Metro Protectrons are plain, and the cardboard container for which textures still exist in Fallout 3's retail files.

Fallout 3 Alpha Map

Originally the Capital Wasteland was significantly smaller before being expanded as Fallout 3 entered the Alpha phase of development in early-to-mid 2008. Bethesda's Lead Level Designer for Fallout 3 Joel Burgess explained in a talk given at Game Developer's Conference 2011:

"Fast forward nearly two years. We’re in alpha, and for the first time, we’re meeting Fallout 3. Up until this point, the game has been a collection of assets, tasks, code and lots of teamwork. The game is beginning to feel complete as everything comes together. We realized, however, that wandering the wasteland didn’t feel right. Something was off about that experience. What we realized was that the world felt pushed together. We simply had too much stuff, too close together.

This is because we were using the same POI density that had served us well for Oblivion. There’s no secret playbook at Bethesda that tells us what to do. We simply learn from what we’ve done before. POI density wasn’t something we really had a name for back then.

The trouble was that Oblivion and Fallout 3 are very different games. The sightlines in Fallout 3 are much larger, and you don’t have the major visual blockers of Oblivion’s forests and hilly terrain. Aside from all that, it’s a game where you’re supposed to occasionally feel lonely, and we weren’t achieving the tone we wanted.

So we made a decision. We could have pared back, but we decided to add a significant amount of new area to the North and West ends of the map. Remember that we were in alpha, and a lot of this work was supposed to be done. If you’re a producer, you should be squirming in your seat right now. This took our entire environment art and level design teams offline for the better part of two months. It was a painful decision, but we felt it was the best option to make the game what we wanted it to be."[4]

Aside from the developer maps shared by Joel Burgess there's plenty of evidence in the GECK for this dramatic reshuffling of Fallout 3's world late in development. The cells originally occupied by locations later moved retain their names but with an "x" prefix e.g. "xRavenRockExteriorOLD". Here's a list:

No. Location Alpha Retail
1. Vault 87 Just south of Minefield West edge of map
2. Little Lamplight South corner of what is Scrapyard is in retail West edge of map
3. Oasis A bit north of Fort Bannister North border of map
4. Raven Rock North of retail Canterbury Commons, what was the northeast corner of the Wasteland Northwest corner of map
5. Girdershade Directly north of retail Tenpenny Tower Further west under the same elevated highway
6. Fort Constantine North of Big Town beside Hallowed Moors Cemetery East of Raven Rock
7. AntAgonizer's Lair Where the Regulator HQ is in retail Outside Canterbury Commons
8. Hamilton's Hideaway West, overlooking Evergreen Mills Northwest of Big Town
9. Yao Guai Tunnels In a gulch southwest of Jury Street Metro Station West edge of map, good bit south of Little Lamplight
10. Canterbury Commons East of retail Wheaton Armoury Northeast
11. Shalebridge East of Big Town across the river Southwest of Abandoned Car Fort
12. Alexandria Arms South of the Citadel, closer to IRL Alexandria Southwest of the Citadel
13. Old Olney East of MDPL-13 Power Station Straight north from Alpha Old Olney
14. Tenpenny Tower A bit southeast of retail location
15. Wheaton Armoury A bit south of retail location
16. Vault 92 North of Germantown Police HQ beside unmarked "Warren" West of retail Old Olney
17. Dunwich Building West of Warrington Train Yard Overlooks Warrington Train Yard
18. Vault 112 Northeast of RobCo factory West of Evergreen Mills
19. Republic of Dave WKML Broadcast Station, roughly Extreme northeast corner of retail map
20. Meresti Trainyard Southern edge of Paradise Falls East of Big Town

  • Vault 112 appears to have been moved a bit later; its original cell is still simply named "Vault112Exterior" and the new cell is named "Vault112ExteriorNEW". Follow the road east of the RobCo factory and remnants of the original Smith Casey's Garage are still there; a stump road leading to scrapped cars and piles of tires and junk.
  • Some locations were moved twice before Bethesda settled on a new spot, e.g. the Dunwich Building was temporarily in the southwest corner of the map where Broken Steel added the Rockville Car Tunnel.
  • Canterbury Commons is tricky to untangle. The development map seems to show Canterbury Commons the settlement as a separate location from the pre-war ruins. Cell names appear to support the idea that "Canterbury" was the name of the pre-war ruins and the Wasteland settlement to the west was "Canterbury Commons". At some point Canterbury Commons was moved into the Canterbury Ruins and this distinction was discarded. Interestingly, Canterbury in Bethesda's developer map is represented by a factory symbol rather than urban ruins. There's no unique cell for the Machinist's Forge, old or new, just the AntAgonizer, and the Forge's large factory interior is wayyyy too big for its store exterior. Seems plausible that the Canterbury plant and the Forge are the same thing.
  • There's a cell named "AbandonedSewer" beside both iterations of Oasis, also visible on the developer map and has its own Encounter Zone. The generic gas trap script used by all exploding gas traps is actually a script tied to the Oasis questline that would see the player fix a gas valve in AbandonedSewer. It appears Oasis Caverns and Abandoned Sewer were separate locations before being merged at some point. OasisCave03 is a newer cell and doors don't have sewer references. OasisCave01+02 are older and were created at the same time, door names still refer to them as cells of AbandonedSewer (OasisCave01 = AbandonedSewer02, OasisCave01 = AbandonedSewer03). In OasisCave 01+02 the meshes making up the level (except cell connecting doors) were added a good deal later than the meshes of 03, suggesting the cell's layout was heavily reworked at some point. The door names would suggest there were three Abandoned Sewer cells but AbandonedSewer01 seems to be absent.

Fallout 3 Cut D.C. Neighborhoods

Early in Fallout 3's development Bethesda experimented with having downtown Washington D.C. in the main Wasteland world but in the words of Joel Burgess the prototypes were a "performance nightmare, [and] also prevented us from creating the kinds of gameplay scenarios we were eager to attempt."[5] The downtown D.C. portion of Fallout 3 was over twice the size at one point, intending to have 26 enclosed neighborhoods rather than final game's 12. Game Director Todd Howard decided it was too large and confusing and cut over half the worldspaces. According to Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo "these maps were done and polished, but Todd thought they had to go... you just have to be honest with yourself and admit when something isn't working."[6]

Thankfully Bethesda were kind enough to leave the Encounter Zones for the cut downtown D.C. worldspaces in the released game. Here they are:

Encounter Zone Name

Fallout 3's downtown D.C. worldspaces have numeric prefixes in the GECK. From this it's quite evident that many are missing. For example, DCworld01 - Chevy Chase skips right past DCworld02 to DCworld03 - Dupont Circle. If the Encounter Zones are placed beside the list of DC worlds, and the EZs and the DC worlds that are used are compared then the numeric prefixes of many of the missing worlds can be guessed:

Encounter Zone Name Editor ID Name
DCChevyChase DCworld01 Chevy Chase
DCAdamsMorgan DCworld02 Adams Morgan
DCDupontCircle DCworld03 Dupont Circle
DCRockCreekEstates DCworld04 Rock Creek Estates
DCTakomaPark DCworld05 Takoma Park
DCVernonSquare DCworld06 Vernon Square
DCFreedomStreet DCworld07 Freedom Street
DCPennsylvaniaAvenue DCworld08 Pennsylvania Avenue
DCTheMall DCworld09 The Mall
DCLenfantPlaza DCworld10 L'Enfant Plaza
DCGeorgetown DCworld11 Georgetown
DCSewardPark DCworld12 Seward Square
DCSouthwestWaterfront DCworld13 Southwest Waterfront
DCBuzzardPoint DCworld14 Buzzard Point
DCLangleyOaks DCworld15 Mason District
??? DCworld16 ???
DCFallsChurch DCworld17 Falls Church
DCArlingtonCemetary DCworld18 Arlington Cemetary
DCCrystalCity DCworld19 Crystal City
DCSevenCorners DCworld20 Seven Corners
DCJeffersonDistrict ???
DCHolmesRun ???
DCAnnandale ???
DCMonticelloPark ???
DCAlexandria ???

Note that this does start to become a bit unreliable at DCWorld16, for whatever reason. The worlds intended for the west side of the Potomac River in Arlington County, Virginia seem to have borne the brunt of the cuts, with the majority planned scrapped leaving only three (Arlington Cemetary, Mason District, Falls Church) remaining.

Concept Art

Adam Adamowicz was a concept artist at Bethesda Game Studios who worked on Fallout 3 and the concepts for the design of characters and weapons. Adam passed away from complications with lung cancer on February 9, 2012, at the age of 43. Following his passing Bethesda uploaded a huge album of his work to Flickr. There are a number of screenshots of cut DC neighborhoods in this compilation:

Info and speculation:

  • The first image dated August 23 is confirmed to be an early image of DCWorld 16 (see below).
  • The second image dated August 23 has a curved road leading into a steep slope that doesn't resemble any DC world in retail, but probably was somewhere on the west side of the Potomac river. Maybe Crystal City or Alexandria?
  • The image dated August 31 looks like an earlier interpretation of the same space.
  • The first image dated September 4 is a low-density map with a curved road running through mid-rise residential buildings joining what appears to be a road bordered by retaining walls. There are also cliffs behind the building. The suburban setting and highway overpass would tie this to the west side of the Potomac river, possibly Holme's Run, Annandale or Monticello Park.
  • The second image dated September 4 depicts a broad avenue with a yard full of stacked car wrecks and a metro entrance across the street. The presence of the Washington Monument in the background confirms this location as being on the east side of the river, likely Southwest Waterfront but also maybe Buzzard Point or Freedom Street.


Many metro stations in Fallout 3 have a metro map with stations, placing them on either the Red, Blue or White lines. The problem is this map usually bears little resemblance to reality and often the player hasn't a clue which station they're supposed to be in, let alone how to navigate between them. There are a number of stations on the map that don't seem to have an obvious in-game counterpart (FDR Island, Becton, Platz) and many stations and routes aren't represented at all. There also aren't enough stations on the map to account for all the cut DC worlds. During development it seems Bethesda didn't have a concrete plan of how the different urban zones would connect and by their own admission struggled to link them in a coherent way. There's a picture of developers trying to string together physical printouts of the different spaces and interiors on the floor of their office.

There's two cut YOU ARE HERE type map markers that would have showed the player which station they were at. Somehow Bethesda forgot to delete one example in-game and it be found on a pillar in Metro Central.

Chevy Chase

  • DCworld01
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. neighborhood of Chevy Chase.
  • The rubble blocking the metro in GNR plaza has a much, much later reference ID than the metro entrance, suggesting there was once an accessible station here.

Adams Morgan (Cut)

  • DCworld02
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. neighborhood of Adams Morgan.
  • The encounter with crazed preacher and his explosives-filled alley in Seward Square was originally located here. Associated dialogue, scripting, and AI packages all have the prefix FFDCAdamsMorgan.
  • There's a radroach type with the GECK Editor ID adamsMorganRoach. It's curiously part of the RobcoPests faction.
  • The unique hostile NPC The Roach King, also part of the RobcoPests faction, has an object FormID very close to adamsMorganRoach suggesting the two were paired together in Adams Morgan. Furthermore, his AI package is named FFDCRoachKingSitThrone.
  • Adams Morgan is still mentioned by name in an unused note related to the quest "You Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head".

Dupont Circle

  • DCworld03
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. neighborhood of Dupont Circle.
  • The blocked alleyway across the highway from Galaxy News Radio appears to have been originally accessible with a fully textured path continuing under the rubble.
  • The Sunken Sewer in the north-east corner of Dupont Circle was recycled from the cut DC neighborhood Seven Corners; the exit ladder is named zDCWorld20ToDCWorld20 and it uniquely uses the DCSevenCorners encounter zone.

Rock Creek Estates (Cut)

  • DCworld04
  • A very early version of the full worldspace is still accessible in Fallout 3's files under the name TestQAWorld. The world's Encounter Zone is the otherwise unused RockCreekEstates and the map bears a striking resemblance to the real life Rock Creek Park, a large urban park in Washington D.C.
  • Wilhelm's Wharf and Grandma Sparkle were originally intended to appear here before being moved out into the Wasteland once Rock Creek Estates was cut. Editor ID prefixes place her in Rock Creek, along with several "Rock Creek Hunter" NPCs who are presumably her mirelurk hunter sons she mentions in retail dialogue. In the TestQAWorld there are early versions of these hunters and plenty of mirelurks. There's even a Yao guai cave entrance to the north, fitting some of the hunters' cut dialogue ("there's a 'guai den to the north."). When the player enters the interior of Grandma Sparkle's shack they might notice their compass directions are all wrong; the North Marker in the GECK is still aligned for its original location in Rock Creek Heights and fits perfectly if compared to the early exterior of Wilhelm's Wharf in TestQAWorld.
  • There's an AI package for a Talon Company hit squad that would have appeared here. They're even referenced in Grandma Sparkle's dialogue ("Some fellas came by here a while ago that said they was lookin' for some troublemaker that came from out of one of them Vaults"). She's even referred to as "FFDCRockGreekGrandma".
  • All of Grandma Sparkle's dialogue has the prefix "FFDC" and one question the player can ask her in retail ("What are you doing way out here?") is a bit archaic considering she's now just outside the settlements of Megaton, Grayditch, and the Citadel, rather than deep inside the ruins of Washington DC.
  • There's an unused water type called RockCreekEstatesWater presumably from a much later iteration of Rock Creek Estates.
  • Rock Creek Caverns was likely here rather than out in the Wasteland. There are several cave entrances in TestQAMap. Curiously, the dead-end metro tunnel in the deepest part of the caverns has an acoustic space marker extending well beyond the playable area, suggesting this area was once longer, possibly exiting somewhere.
  • There's an entrance to a yao guai cave in the north, referenced in the Rock Creek Hunter's dialogue. ("there's a 'guai den to the north"). Whether it's the Yao Guai Tunnels location that appears in the Wasteland in retail or an entirely separate cut location is unclear.

Takoma Park

  • DCworld05
  • Vernon East/Takoma Park metro seems to have been created from the merger of two originally separate cells, Abernathy Station and Takoma Station.

Vernon Square

  • DCworld06
  • The dialogue topics used for asking Reilly about the area and how to get to it have the prefix MS18ColumbiaHeights. Columbia Heights is a real life Washington D.C. neighborhood a good distance north of Mount Vernon Square. It's unclear whether this means the area was at one time supposed to be Columbia Heights or the Reilly's Rangers quest was set in a separate, cut, zone.
  • An older street layout that more closely follows the real-life Mount Vernon Square is hidden under terrain and buildings.
  • Raiders made a big appearance in an earlier iteration of MVS. There are none in retail. The cell centred on the entrance to Abernathy metro station is named MVSRaiderTower. The pair of supermutants with a patrol path in the alley nearby are named npcMVSRaiderPatherA. Also, the uninhabited sewer mini dungeon beside the theatre has a marker named xmrkRaiderWander.
  • An older version of Our Lady of Hope Hospital's exterior is hidden out of sight amongst some buildings behind the hospital.
  • An early version of the bombed building overlooking Vernon station can be found west of the playable area in empty terrain.
  • A cell just behind the Statesman Hotel is named TEMPJeffRoof obviously an early version of the Statesman Hotel's roof segment.
  • Despite signs at the Vernon metro station platform saying the next stop is Becton Station, there's no trace of it anywhere and the tunnel instead leads to Metro Junction, an odd jumble of stations. Nearly certainly tied to a cut downtown DC neighborhood, possibly Rock Creek Estates.
  • The Statesman Hotel was at one time named The Federalist Hotel according to the main entrance door's EditorID (FederalistHotelDoor01toExteriorREF).
  • StatesmanRoofWorld appears to be a copy of an earlier version of Vernon Square. The terrain, not visible from the playable roof, is very similar to Vernon Square except the terrain texturing is less intricate. The crater with the crashed rocket is also absent.

Freedom Street (Cut)

  • DCworld07
  • It's unclear which real life Washington D.C. neighborhood it takes inspiration from, but there is a Freedom Plaza adjoining Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • Freedom Street Station is still present still in retail Fallout 3 as a utility tunnel connecting Metro Central and Vernon Square. Its actual metro entrance just exits onto Pennsylvania Avenue; comparing the Reference ID of the interior door (very old) and the exterior (very new) suggests this metro stop originally led somewhere else, presumably Freedom Street.
  • Freedom Street's DCworld number (07) is between Vernon Square (06) and Pennsylvania Avenue (O8), further tying it to these worlds.
  • There's an unused Encounter Zone called yFreedomStreetSewers.
  • There's a set of unused Metro signs for Freedom Street which place it as the next stop east of Metro Central.
  • The tunnels in Metro Central to Freedom Street Station have two signs indicating the next stop is Vernon Square. Examining the signs shows that their Reference ID (B0789 and B079F) is older than the Vernon Square signs' Form ID (C9440 and C943B) i.e. originally these references had different signs. The Form IDs of the unused Freedom Street signs (B07A0, B078C, B078B) are so similar to the Reference IDs of the signs in-game that they were almost certainly there first, before being replaced with Vernon signs when Freedom Street Station was orphaned.
  • There's an ladder to the surface between the Freedom Street/Vernon Tunnel from Metro Central that was later blocked off with rubble. It's unknown where it lead, but Freedom Street is plausible.
  • Freedom Street Station has a large "IntMetroDefault01" acoustic space marker floating in the void beside the exit to Vernon Square.
  • In the Flickr album of concept art drawn by Adam Adamowicz (1968-2012) for Fallout 3, there's a screenshot of an unseen DC neighborhood with concept art layered over it. Visible in the top-right corner and only a short distance away is the Washington Monument. All the known cut D.C. neighborhoods except Adams Morgan and Freedom Street are too far away to be candidates, and IRL Adams Morgan is out beyond Dupont Circle. This and Freedom Street's proximity to Pennsylvania Avenue give credibility to the theory this location is an early iteration of Freedom Street. Judging by the Washington Monument the screenshot has been taken south of it, facing north, meaning the location pictured is unlikely to be Freedom Street. Perhaps this is Southwest Waterfront instead?

Pennsylvania Avenue

  • DCworld08
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. street connecting the White House and the United States Capitol: Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • The underground parking entrance was intended to have an entire parking garage but it was later deleted and blocked off with rubble. There's still ground texture, terrain shadow, some fake fog, and a bit of wall and rubble trim.
  • There's an ladder to the surface between the Freedom Street/Vernon Tunnel from Metro Central that was later blocked off with rubble. It's unknown where it lead.
  • Metro Central was originally named Metro Center according to an in-game poster. This is also the cell's EditorID.

The Mall

  • DCworld09
  • There's an early version of the Washington Monument vista world called MonumentWorld. There are no objects, but the terrain is unlike the retail Mall showing a different layout for the Supermutant trenches. A small bit of Navmesh can also found where the Monument viewing platform would have been.
  • Museum Station was originally named "Smithsonian Station" according to an in-game poster. It can be inferred that the Museum of Technology was originally named the Smithsonian too, and this is further support by the museum occupying the real-world site of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
  • The Museum of Technology evidently underwent some significant revisions during the development of Fallout 3. The museum's two cells EditorIDs both have the suffix NEW. There's also an earlier, unused signage kit which mentions a robotics exhibit and a roof exit.
  • The L'Enfant metro entrance cell is named "TheMallToMason" indicating this station originally lead to Mason District.
  • Underworld was likely originally a separate location from the Museum of History. The EditorID of the exit door for Lincoln exhibit hall is MuseumAmerican01toDCWorld09REF indicating it originally exited out into the Mall; this is corroborated by the Mall exterior door named DCWorld09toMuseumAmerican01REFDUPLICATE000 despite it leading to the entrance hall. Also, the entrance hall cell has a different EditorID syntax, and its meshes have much later FormIDs relative to the Lincoln exhibit cell. Underworld is a themed art exhibit (hosting several pieces of real-world art) and its presence in a history museum is actually a bit odd, plausibly it could have originally been situated in a Fallout-analogue of the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery of Art is located next door to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, rough location of Fallout 3's Museum of American History. Or, maybe Underworld was entered from a separate exterior door?
  • Furthermore, several characters in Underworld describe the settlement as being underground:
Character Dialogue
Winthrop We were driven underground... hrm... almost fifty years ago now. Between the Super Mutants, the beasts, and you crazy humans, it's not safe up there. So we stay down here, out of sight and out of trouble. We get a few smoothskins every so often, but most of us don't trust 'em. So we stay down here, out of sight and out of trouble. We get a few smoothskins every so often, but most of us don't trust 'em.
Winthrop We've got a nice little deal going down here. We'd like to keep it nice.
Underworld Ghoul Are you kidding? I'm a zombie who lives underground. I think you can guess how I am.
Underworld Ghoul Evenin'. Not that you can really tell down here.
Underworld Ghoul There are a lot more of us down here than there are of you, smoothskin. You just behave yourself.

Some residents also say Underworld is entered via tunnels populated with Feral Ghouls:

Character Dialogue
Barrows What was left of her armor had her name stenciled on it. She was in a pretty bad way when they found her outside Underworld. She was just brought in by a few others. They found her bleeding to death at the entrance to the city here. If she'd been out in the tunnels any longer, she'd have been someone's meal by now.
Greta If you don't like what we have, Crowley, you can always go hunt rats in the tunnels with the ferals.

Additionally, residents' generic dialogue references a generator, a common area and a common house, none of which appear in-game. The frequent chatter about lights, ventilation, and water purification would also suggest Underworld was envisioned as an underground space (plus, it would fit the name):

Character Dialogue
Winthrop And wouldn't it be a shame if your ventilation went down and all of your customers went to Carol's? Just think about it, Ahzrukhal.
Underworld Ghoul Winthrop, I was wondering if you could take a look at the generator down in the common area...
Underworld Ghoul The air is off in the common house again. It stinks of sweaty death down there. I swear, every day it's something new.
Underworld Ghoul If I knew how, I'd give Winthrop a hand, but I have no idea how all of this old junk works.
Underworld Ghoul It a miracle that some of this shit works in the first place. I guess it's just a matter of time...
Underworld Ghoul Every day, there's something new: the generators go down, the water has funk in it, the air filters die...

Finally, local adventurer Quinn places Underworld as being west of the Lincoln Memorial, which is very confusing considering the Memorial sits right on the western edge of the Mall and the DC ruins. This could be simple developer error:

Character Dialogue
Quinn Yeah. Just east of here. Some freed slaves just occupied it. We trade with them occasionally.
  • In the Museum of History rotunda are three exhibit entrances blocked by rubble; one of them, 2066-2077 Alaskan liberation from the Red Chinese actually has Navmesh accommodating the doorway hidden under the rubble, suggesting it was accessible at some point in time. Likely it would have tied into the Operation: Anchorage DLC.
  • In real life the Lincoln Memorial looks right out onto the Potomac river (there are no buildings) and indeed in Fallout 3 behind the buildings not normally visible in gameplay is the suggestion of the river, and an incomplete rockface marking the edge.

L'Enfant Plaza

  • DCworld10
  • Named after the real life plaza and complex of commercial buildings in Washington D.C.
  • Despite L'Enfant Plaza station being labelled as being on the Blue Line on the metro map there's nothing tying Hazmat disposal site L5 to L'Enfant or the Blue Line in terms of signage or cell names. The station at the far side in The Mall was originally for a metro line to Mason District.
  • The loot cache in the collapsed tunnel has a ghoul corpse enabled but buried a beneath the bed. Presumably the owner of the hideout.
  • There's a cut scripted sequence that would have involved a squad of Outcasts firing on a group of Supermutants at the highway intersection.
  • Behind the row houses to the southeast is an inaccessible area of detailed textured terrain that evidently had a purpose at some point.
  • The level's origin cell is in empty, inaccessible terrain a good bit west of where the Plaza actually is.


  • DCWorld11
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown.
  • Foggy Bottom station has several cut signs that contradict its linked stations in retail, including signage that says the next stop to the west was the cut Crystal City station, not Arlington Cemetery.

Seward Square

  • DCworld12
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. neighborhood of Seward Square.
  • The world's Encounter Zone is named Seward Park.
  • Anacostia Station was originally named Eastern Market according to an in-game poster. The real-life metro station southeast of Seward Square is named Eastern Market. There's also an Encounter Zone named Eastern Market
  • Scribe Jameson in the Citadel says "We have a single field associate: Scribe Yearling. She operates out of the former Library of Congress to the northeast." Of course in-game she's actually met in Arlington Library, just south of the Citadel. The Library of Congress IRL is just across the road from the Capitol Building on the east side.

Southwest Waterfront (Cut)

  • DCWorld13
  • The small interior with hostile ghouls and their supermutant captive just outside Grayditch named Outpost was originally in this world. The interior exit door is named zSWWaterFrontGhoultoSWWaterfront. Pretty conclusive.
  • There's an unused blank interior cell named Waterfront Sewage.
  • The first cell of the National Guard Depot with the room off blown is an interior cell with a fake sky dome. Originally this "exterior" area had its own actual outdoor worldspace; coordinates place it near L'Enfant in the likely apprximate location of Southwest Waterfront. All meshes have been deleted from National Guard Depot world but the navmesh is still there and shows several differences in layout from the final version; including a doorway to another cell walled off in retail. This is probably explained by the interior cell list skipping straight from 01 to 04.

Buzzard Point (Cut)

  • DCWorld14
  • Named after the real life Washington D.C. urban area on the peninsula between the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers: Buzzard Point.
  • A green, stagnant water type named BuzzardPointWaterPlane is used in a few locations in retail.
  • A light type named BuzzardPointRadiationLightGreen is placed in the Arlington/Falls Church Metro. This light's FormID is only a few records after BuzzardPointWaterPlane, suggesting the two objects were used together somehow.
  • There's an unused AI package named BuzzardPointStayAtPosition01. It's a Guard type AI package, tied to a (long deleted) linked reference, flagged to have an NPC with weapon drawn and to persist during combat.
  • A map marker for this location (DC14d) is still present in the Wasteland northeast of Anacostia Station. The "d" suffix indicates it's map marker No. 4 tied to this worldspace, which suggests it was a fairly large DC neighborhood.

Mason District

  • DCWorld15
  • Named after the real life Mason District in Fairfax County, Virginia.
  • Its Encounter Zone is named after Langley Oaks, a suburb of the real life unincorporated community of Langley in Virginia.
  • Supermutants in Mason District are linked to the DCLangleyOaksRespawn encounter zone.
  • The station blocked by rubble has clutter detailing out of player view and the rubble has a much later ReferenceID confirming it was intended to be accessible at some point. Maybe the station for the Mall-Mason metro?
  • Outside Flooded metro is a test marker for DCworld16. This indicates Mason once was connected to DCworld16. A portion of Farragut West metro recycled from the old Mason-DCWorld16 access tunnel confirms this, and also raises the question of whether Flooded metro was originally intended to connect entirely different downtown neighborhoods.
  • Flooded metro has an inaccessible ladder to the surface complete with fake sky dome, down a tunnel blocked by rubble.
  • Hubris Comics might have originally been planned for the Wasteland before later being moved to Mason District; there's a cell linked to it across the river from Farragut West metro station just north of the sewer grate to Hubris. Spatially this entrance makes no sense; it leads directly from the Wasteland into Hubris' basement, which is supposedly in Mason District in a different part of the map. Alternatively, it could be a legacy of when Arlington Cemetery would have been further south and Mason District at the top of the western walled-off ruins.

DCWorld16 (Cut)

  • DCWorld16
  • Unknown what is was named or which real life neighborhood it was supposed to represent. A cut Wasteland map marker for DCWorld16 can be found near Falls Church's map markers.
  • Outside Flooded metro in Mason District is a marker named ZDCworld16TestMArker. Most likely it was tied to an interior linking Mason and DCWorld16.
  • The utility portion of Farragut West metro and the ghouls/gas trap/laser pistol sequence is recycled directly from a mini dungeon that connected DCWorld16 and Mason District. The terminal, scripts, gas trap activator etc. all have the DC16 prefix; the door between the utility tunnels and the office in Farragut West has a ReferenceID which says it was actually a loading door between DCWorld16 and DCWorld15.
  • According to the main entrance door's ReferenceID L.O.B. Enterprises originally appeared in DCWorld16, not Falls Church.
  • In the Flickr album of concept art drawn by Adam Adamowicz (1968-2012) for Fallout 3, there's a screenshot of an unseen DC neighborhood with concept art layered over it. The building depicted in the concept art is used in retail Fallout 3 in Takoma Park and Seward Square but its original intended location can be found in the model's name; DCWorld16BLDFuture. Other elements depicted in the concept art like the skybridges and covered verandas are also in the GECK either unused or not used in conjunction with the building as intended.
  • A Super Mutant can be seen in concept art.

Falls Church

  • DCWorld17
  • Named after the real life city of Falls Church in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • According to the main entrance door's ReferenceID L.O.B. Enterprises originally appeared in the cut DCWorld16. Also, the cell EditorIDs skip straight from LOBEnterprises01 to LOBEnterprises03 (east wing) indicating there was another area that was cut.
  • Potomac Steamworks is a cut interior which connected Falls Church and the cut DCWorld21. The cell's EditorID is zDCint17to21; "DC" meaning it belonged in the downtown DC ruins, "int" meaning interior, and "17to21" meaning it connected DCWorld17 (Falls Church) and DCWorld21 (unknown).

Arlington Cemetery

  • DCWorld18
  • The tunnel to Foggy Bottom's interior exit door ReferenceID says it led to the cut DCWorld19, not DCWorld18. There are several cut metro signs saying the next stop west of Foggy Bottom was Crystal City; it can be inferred that DCWorld19 was Crystal City.
  • There's a named empty cell for Mama Dolce's courtyard west of where the Falls Church metro entrance is. Implication is that not only was Mama Dolce's courtyard originally in the Arlington worldspace rather than its own separate one, but Mama Dolce's was located where the Falls Church metro is now. The rear of retail Mama Dolce's is visible from the exterior and there's no evidence of a courtyard. Also, the factory's interior is incorrectly oriented with the real world outside. For instance, if one is in the food distribution area and is facing the door to the Arlington Cemetery, the compass will be pointing east. If one walks outside and stays facing the same way, the compass will be pointing north in the cemetery.
  • The Wasteland map marker for Arlington-Wasteland metro calls the station "Flooded Metro". This is the "fake" Flooded Metro. The "real" Flooded Metro doesn't lead to Arlington Cemetery. It is south-southeast of Red Racer factory, and west by southwest of Alexandria Arms.
  • Arlington Cemetery IRL is just west of the Pentagon and this is reflected in the worldspace with the Citadel visible out of bounds on the eastern side of the level. Pre-release material even says "Arlington Cemetery reclines west of the Potomac River, beyond the Key Bridge."[5] However in the Wasteland, Arlington cemetery is much further north. There's still a cell named xFloodedMetroOLD at the west end of Key Bridge (big bridge Liberty Prime crosses).

Crystal City (Cut)

  • DCWorld19
  • Named after the real life urban neighborhood of Crystal City in the southeastern corner of Arlington County, Virginia.
  • The Arlington-Foggy Bottom tunnel's interior exit door ReferenceID says it led to the cut DCWorld19, not DCWorld18. There are several cut metro signs saying the next stop west of Foggy Bottom was Crystal City; it can be inferred that DCWorld19 was Crystal City.
  • Several pieces of cut Crystal City signage are still viewable in the GECK.
  • There's an unused AI package named LDDCWorld19RaiderSniperGuard. It's a Guard type AI package, tied to a (long deleted) linked reference, flagged to have an NPC with weapon drawn and to persist during combat.
  • There are cut DC19 Wasteland map markers south of the Citadel.

Seven Corners (Cut)

  • DCWorld20
  • Named after the real life Seven Corners, a commercial center and census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia.
  • The Sunken Sewer in the north-east corner of Dupont Circle was recycled from Seven Corners; the exit ladder is named zDCWorld20ToDCWorld20 and it uniquely uses the DCSevenCorners encounter zone. It can be inferred that Seven Corners is DCWorld20.
  • There's a cut AI package tied to Seven Corners.
  • There are three disabled DC20 map markers in the Wasteland running roughly linearly north-south, the first (DC20a) near the Citadel's entrance (at the southwest corner of the Pentagon as it appears on the Pip-Boy world map), the second (DC20b) at the rear of the Alexandria Arms building, and the third (DC20c) inside the bombed building with raider traps.

Jefferson District (Cut)

  • DCWorld??
  • Named after the real life Jefferson District, an area within Fairfax County, Virginia.

Holmes Run (Cut)

  • DCWorld??
  • Named after the real life urban river of Holmes Run in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Annandale (Cut)

  • DCWorld??
  • The unmarked Talon Company camp west of Grayditch was at one time in Annandale; its EditorID is zAnnandaleTalonHQ. It uses the DCAnnandale encounter zone.

Monticello Park (Cut)

  • DCWorld??
  • Named after the real park and neighorhood of Monticello Park.
  • There's an unused water type named MonticelloParkWaterPlane.

Alexandria (Cut)

  • DCWorld??
  • Named after the real life city of Alexandria in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • There's a hotel dungeon in retail in the wasteland beside the Citadel named the Alexandria Arms which has several oddities...
  • It's lone cell is named AlexandriaArms01 implying other cells existed, or were intended to exist.
  • In a dead end corridor there's a descending dust particles mesh leading to a floating light with accompanying smoke effects. There's similar orphaned lights and some effects at the end of another blocked corridor. Presumably there was a basement once.
  • The exterior cell AlexandriaArmsExterior is not actually where the hotel is in retail, but instead at a riverfront site, closer to the approximate location of the real life Alexandria, Virginia.
  • A stairs embedded in the sidewalk leads to a door named AlexandriaArmsDoorExteriorto01REF. Inside is a small generic utility dungeon that doesn't seem to have any link to the Alexandria Arms. If this was the original entrance from the Wasteland then the front door was surely somewhere else... maybe in Alexandria.

Chesterbrook (Cut)

  • DCWorld??
  • Named after the real life neighborhood of Chesterbrook, McLean, Virginia.
  • Cut Brotherhood of Steel member Paladin Northup's EditorID is FFDCChesterbrookBoS02. According to cut dialogue Paladin Northup and Paladin Bishop were sent from the Citadel to find a cache of mini nukes, following the lead of a scribe. They were ambushed by super mutants after retrieving the key for the container and came under constant attack from super mutants, forcing them to go without sleep for days. Bishop would have warned the player about the situation and advised them to leave the area while the mutants were still focused on Bishop and his team. If the player offered their help, he would have requested they kill any super mutants they encountered nearby. However, he had nothing to offer the player except him and his team's sincere thanks.
  • It's totally unknown whether Chesterbrook was a unique cut worldspace or an early name for a known cut downtown neighborhood.

DCWorld21 (Cut)

  • DCWorld21
  • Unknown which real life neighborhood it was supposed to represent.
  • Potomac Steamworks is a cut interior which connected Falls Church and the cut DCWorld21. The cell's EditorID is zDCint17to21; "DC" meaning it belonged in the downtown DC ruins, "int" meaning interior, and "17to21" meaning it connected DCWorld17 (Falls Church) and DCWorld21 (unknown).
  • There are a pair of disabled map markers for DC21 in the Wasteland, one just inside the walled off ruins near Red Racer Factory and another to the south-east.

DCWorld23 (Cut)

  • DCWorld23
  • Unknown which real life neighborhood it was supposed to represent. There are two disabled map markers for DCWorld23 in the Wasteland on the highway south of Flooded Metro, one just to the west of the overpass bridge and another slightly northeast of the pedestrian bridge from the raider encampment.

DCWorld25 (Cut)

  • DCWorld25
  • Unknown which real life neighborhood it was supposed to represent. A disabled Wasteland map marker for DCWorld25 can be found southwest of the Citadel, just outside Alexandria Arms.
  • Fallout 3 only has 24 encounter zones specifically for downtown DC neighborhoods.

DCWorld26 (Cut)

  • DCWorld26
  • Unknown which real life neighborhood it was supposed to represent. Assumed it existed based on Bethesda developers saying Fallout 3 originally had a total of 26 downtown DC levels.
  • Fallout 3 only has 24 encounter zones specifically for downtown DC neighborhoods.

Fallout 3 Main Story

There's a cut stage in the escape from Vault 101 where the player would have to reboot the reactor to open the vault's blast door. The reactor level cell is still present in the GECK.

During development, there was a quest in which the Enclave would attack Rivet City, and the player character would be tasked with escorting the inhabitants to the Citadel. However, team lead Todd Howard decided it was just too big.[6] It’s unknown how much development the level actually saw; however, there’s proof of its place in the world in the 2005 concept map. Note the taft tunnel from the Citadel actually connects to Rivet City (which is also in a slightly different spot), not the Jefferson Memorial. According to the Prima Game Guide: Pre-War Edition the Enclave would restore the Rivet City aircraft carrier, activate its weapons and the player would have to take control of Liberty Prime to defeat it. This was sequence never went past the conceptual phase, but the Enclave occupying Rivet City stuck around into early development before being cut too. The entire population of Rivet City would have moved to Citadel permanently. The final game saw a smaller scale sequence where the player escorted scientists from the Jefferson Memorial during an Enclave attack rather than evacuating an entire city.

Originally, during the confrontation with the Enclave during 'The Waters of Life', instead of Colonel Autumn being locked in with Dad as soon as the player returns to the Jefferson Rotunda, they would witness a scene in which Dad tries to get Li out of the Purifier's Main Chamber, and consequently saves her life.

At one point in development, the story of Fallout 3 was different, and James would have become a super mutant. The player was originally never planned to be involved in Project Purity and was to encounter James in Vault 87, who would be in the process of becoming a mutant and would ask the player to kill him.

Main Quest locations in Bethesda’s internal development map are coloured black and white. Notice Oasis is a Main Quest location(!). This makes sense; no other side quest has the sheer volume of unique assets; green trees, clothing, props etc. Most obvious is Harold a creature with a totally unique model and animations. How Oasis would have fit into the Main Quest exactly isn’t known. Interestingly Linden says “Oasis is located near what used to be an old mining town before the bombs fell.” Oasis was originally slated to be located near Evergreen Mills.

In a cut quest called “Infiltration”, the player would have entered Rivet City through an underwater hatch, acquire the energy source of “the prototype” and return it to Scribe Rothchild in the Citadel. The final objective was to meet Elder Lyons in his study. This was nearly certainly the original explanation for how Liberty Prime's power issues were resolved. The quest’s GECK editor ID is “MQ10.” The prefix MQ designates it as the main quest and the number places it between The American Dream (MQ09) and Take it Back! (MQ11). Several Citadel terminal entries in retail refer to an Accelerated Vector Fusion module that Liberty Prime needs to function and one entry says that Doctor Li had been working on the technology in her lab in Rviet City. Likely this is the MacGuffin the player would have been tasked with retrieving in Infiltration. In retail the player can ask Doctor Li about her lab; she responds with "Our work on portable fusion power and hydroponics are coming along quite nicely, if not quite according to schedule. This is despite the fact the laboratory is entirely devoted to hydroponics and there's evidently no sign of any fusion power research. Curiously, concept art for Rivet City does depict what looks like a large spherical reactor. It's plausible the quest was named Infiltration because the player would be sneaking past Enclave forces occupying the city.

The original script for Fallout 3 had Liberty Prime much larger than seen in-game, and the player character was going to ride inside of its head during the final battle.[7] According to the Prima Game Guide: Pre-War Edition the player would actually control Liberty Prime, and do battle with the Rivet City aircraft carrier refloated by the Enclave following their occupation.

When Bethesda originally wrote the main story, there was only one ending which had the player character die at the end. But Bethesda then realized that not having multiple ways to complete the game was "pretty contrary" to the spirit of Fallout. So other endings were added.[8] It seems likely that in this original singular ending that the player didn't have the option to insert modified FEV into the purifier and instead it was the entire Enclave's plan, not just a solo run by President Eden. Early Pip-Boy interface mockups list a quest objective which supports this theory. It would also explain why the Brotherhood were in such a hurry to assault the purifier before the Enclave activated it.

Neutral Karma

According to Project Lead Todd Howard, originally Fallout 3 only had Good and Evil Karma ranks and the Neutral Karma path came about late in development following extensive playtesting, and was still being tweaked in the months leading up to release.[1]


It seems that at one point the Eyebot was considered a generic robot like the Protectron, et. al, as opposed to an Enclave-specific model. There are textures for an Outcast variant (but no model or unused GECK creature) and textureless models for U.S. Army, Brotherhood, and Enclave versions (the model used in-game is the generic version, not Enclave). None of these creatures can be summoned in-game without modding. Furthermore, concept art depicts eyebots perching on radio towers then flying out. No further explanation is offered.