When Bethesda brought the Fallout franchise to Washington DC in Fallout 3, they created their own corner of the Wasteland, far from the West Coast setting of the first two games. Some players were just discovering the series through this new game, but there was a legion of long-time fans who wanted to know what had happened to the characters and places from the older games. Fallout: New Vegas arrived two years after Fallout 3, and brought the franchise to the Mojave desert. Not quite the same location as the first two games, but close enough to California that players could learn about the aftermath of Fallout 2, while still meeting some new faces. Here are some of ideas that were brought to the series by New Vegas.New Vegas is set in 2281, four years after Fallout 3. A pivotal figure in the story is a man named Robert House. Some people prepared for the apocalypse, but Robert House didn’t just squirrel away a few cans of Cram and a case of sarsaparilla, he prepared the entire city of Las Vegas to survive the end of the world.As a wealthy industrialist, with ties to the military, House had the personal influence and resources to build an army of “Securitron” robots, and to mount sophisticated defenses on the roof of his casino in Vegas. When the Great War came, he used these to shoot down enemy bombs and missiles, thereby protecting Vegas from the worst of the attack, although not escaping entirely untouched.Before the Great War, Robert House attended The Institute, a university that players will discover for themselves in Fallout 4. There he gained much of the technological expertise he needed to prepare his city for the war. House’s legacy is present in all of the Fallout games, because he founded RobCo, the corporation that built many of the robots seen throughout the series, as well as making the Pip-Boy computers.When players entered the Vegas Strip over 200 years after the war, they discovered a thriving city, patrolled by House’s Securitrons. People could not only walk the streets in safety, but also fritter away their caps at opulent pre-war casinos that were run by humans who had been recruited by House from the local tribes. This was a far cry from the lawless casino town of New Reno in Fallout 2, or the mutant-infested ruins of Washington DC in Fallout 3.Deep within his casino headquarters, Robert House had a medical chamber that kept him alive for centuries, which makes him one of the oldest people in the world. He had silently plotted from within his fortress while chaos ruled the outside world, waiting for the right moment to reveal himself and his robot army. Other such far-seeing individuals may be lurking around the wasteland.The villains of Fallout 2, The Enclave, had traveled to the East Coast in Fallout 3. However, there were still a handful of them left in the West, 40 years after their defeat in Fallout 2. These grey-haired remnants had a small base in the Mojave, where they reminisced about the good old days.Although this seemed like an ignoble end for The Enclave, New Vegas had several hints about other Enclave bases throughout the country. There was an Enclave “Eyebot” named ED-E who could join the player’s party. ED-E contained secret Enclave communications that could be unlocked by diligent players, and these pointed to an Enclave outpost in Chicago. All of this implied that Enclave operatives were still plotting new schemes long after their initial defeat.Because New Vegas was set over 200 years after the Great War, civilization had begun to return to parts of the wasteland. With it came the best and worst of old world governments. In the 40 years after Fallout 2, the New California Republic had thrived. They had a democratically elected government, a (Relatively) stable economy, and a large well-organized army. The NCR was so pleased with themselves that they spread their brand of civilization everywhere they could, by any any means possible, all the way to Vegas and the Colorado river. The NCR valued law and order, but they were ruthless when annexing new territory and resources.After the events of Fallout 2, the NCR and the Brotherhood of Steel joined together to clear out the remaining Enclave forces, but that union didn’t last long. Soon enough the hegemonistic attitudes of the NCR clashed with the Brotherhood’s isolationism. A vicious war between them broke out before the events of New Vegas, and it carried over to the Mojave area where the NCR and Brotherhood fought over pre-war technology, resulting in a decisive defeat of the Brotherhood’s Mojave chapter.The first Fallout game presented the Brotherhood of Steel as most powerful group in the Wasteland, but they had grown increasingly less relevant in the West over the years. In New Vegas, the Brotherhood was hidden away from the world, mostly minding their own business. The quest lines with them were often based on the notion of rogue Brotherhood operatives trying to reclaim their lost glory, or rebel against ineffective leadership.The previous Fallout games had focused on the coastal regions, and the only game that looked at the middle of the country was the non-canonical Fallout Tactics. New Vegas gave players some insights into America’s middle by showing a war between the NCR and a rival army from farther inland, Caesar’s Legion. The Legion was originally conceived as part of an aborted Fallout game called Van Buren, but they were brought back as the primary antagonists for New Vegas.The Legion patterned themselves after the ancient Romans, a society of slavers with an autocratic ruler. They assimilated every tribe and town in their path, and had conquered a large chunk of post-apocalyptic America. They ruled the areas East of the Colorado River, while the NCR ruled the territory West of it, with the two armies deadlocked at the Hoover Dam just outside of Vegas.The stalemate at the Hoover Dam was a major plot point in New Vegas. This is one of the reasons why the NCR hadn’t managed to establish a cross-country Republic. However, the game did not explain what was happening on the other side of Legion territory, towards the Mississippi and beyond. The Legion’s Eastern border and the areas North and West of Pittsburg were left open for other games to explore.The super mutants from the first two games were in the Mojave too, but they were relatively rare. A few of the mutants rampaged around the Wasteland causing trouble for humans, but others managed to form communities of their own.Some of the older mutants from the first game were called Nightkin, a breed of super mutant not seen in Fallout 3. These creatures had once been the elite enemy troops in the first Fallout, but they all began to go insane by New Vegas. They used devices called Stealth Boys that turned them invisible, but had unfortunate side effects. In 2281, most of the Nightkin were sequestered in isolated mutant communities, raving to their imaginary friends, running pirate radio stations, and practicing bizarre religions.The second generation mutants from Fallout 2 were simple-minded brutes, and they had not improved with age. Many of the Nightkin and second-gen mutants were under the care of Marcus, a mutant companion character from Fallout 2. He gathered them together in a place called Jacobstown in the hope of curing Nightkin schizophrenia.New Vegas established that most of the factions seen in the early games were tied up with their own problems out West. The Enclave was reduced to a handful of remnants, a humbled Brotherhood of Steel cowered in their bunker, and the super mutants struggled to take care of their own, while the NCR fought the Legion to a standstill.Fallout 4 has its own versions of the Brotherhood and super mutants, along with the return of several organizations introduced in Fallout 3. Geek.com will be back to discuss everything that players need to know before they take their first steps into The Commonwealth’s wasteland on November 10. Until then, catch up on the original Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and be sure to brush up on interesting Fallout trivia. You only have a week to catch up!