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The True Purpose of Fallout Vaults Revealed

Fallout co-creator Tim Cain unveiled the true reason why Vault-Tec built a series of underground bunkers.

While the Fallout universe has its fair share of various mysteries, riddles, and unanswered questions, one mystery in particular has been haunting Fallout fans ever since Vault Dweller embarked on their journey of finding a new Water Chip – the true purpose of the series' Vaults, large underground bunkers constructed by Vault-Tec and the pre-war American government.

For years, fans have been speculating on why these nuclear war-proof shelters were truly built, quickly discovering that the official reason of "protecting the population of the United States from a nuclear holocaust" and the horrific experiments conducted in most of the Vaults do not work well with one another, writing dozens of fan theories and making tons YouTube videos in the process.

Recently, the answer to the quarter-century-old question has finally been given by none other than the series' co-creator Tim Cain, who published a short video explaining what the true purpose behind Fallout's Vaults is, or at least was during the pre-Bethesda era.

Proving one of the most popular fan theories to be right, and multiple other suggestions to be utterly wrong, Cain stated that the shelters were built to test out the technologies that would make it possible to build an interstellar multi-generation starship, as well as how people would react to such a confined and isolated space.

According to the developer, he came up with the idea after the release of the original Fallout, when the team realized that with most Vaults housing only a thousand people, and some housing even fewer than that, there's no way that they could save the population of the entire United States.

Understanding that after a nuclear war there would be "no Earth to come back to", the Fallout universe's Enclave, a reformed US government that appeared prior to the war, survived it, and was a prominent player in Fallout 2 and 3, decided to build a starship that would be capable of traveling to other stars.

Therefore, a series of Vaults had been built, with the sole purpose of building and testing the tech that would make such a travel possible, solving the problems related to food, water, energy, cryo-sleep, etc., with most of the experiments behind said technology being cruel and sometimes lethal, yet in the mind of the Enclave necessary to ensure the survival of humans as a species.

Cain also noted that each and every shelter added to the universe prior to Bethesda's Fallout 3, even control Vaults such as Vault 8, a.k.a. Vault City, has been designed with the idea of how the experiments they conduct would help the world's best and brightest to build the ship.

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