the main cast in fallout season one
Image Source: Prime Video

What Happened to Shady Sands in Fallout Season One?

Have a nice Apocalypse!

The long-awaited Fallout TV series hit our screens earlier this week, bringing the franchise’s unique take on the post-apocalypse to a whole new audience. Longtime fans of the series will be familiar with Shady Sands, a settlement that first appeared in the original Fallout all the way back in 1997. But what happened to Shady Sands in Fallout Season One?

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Founded by an unnamed dweller of Vault 15, the settlement eventually proved to be instrumental in the foundation of the New California Republic, serving as its first capital. In fact, the settlement was so important it eventually lent its name to the State of Shady, which encompassed not just the Shady Sands but several nearby settlements, including Vault 15 and Junktown, and vast tracts of surrounding lands.

(This article contains spoilers for Fallout Season 1.)

What happened to Shady Sands in Fallout Season 1?

Fallout reveals that Shady Sands was destroyed in a nuclear explosion at some point in the 2280s, so what led to the downfall of one of the most important settlements in the region?

First, we need to understand the importance of Vaults, a core part of Fallout lore. Built by Vault-Tec, these fallout shelters promised safety and security, but many were instead built to conduct experiments on their inhabitants, from Vault 11’s experimentation with human sacrifice to Vault 101’s dictatorship.

Dogmeat and the main character in Fallout 4
Image Source: Bethesda

Fallout is no different. Series heroine, Lucy, is an inhabitant of Vault 33, one of three interconnected Vaults, the others being Vaults 32 and 31. The inhabitants of the three vaults frequently trade and intermarry, but with a twist: these three Vaults were created by Vault-Tec employee Bud Askins, and intended to create a population of loyal Vault-Tec employees who would monopolize the wasteland. To this end, Vaults 32 and 33 house regular humans with good genetics, while Vault 31 houses cryogenically frozen Vault-Tec executives, directed to indoctrinate other Vaults to Askin’s cause. Among these executives is Hank MacLean, Lucy’s father and overseer of Vault 33.

Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Shady Sands, the village was built in the vicinity of Vault 33, and siphoned its water supply. Hanks’ wife, Rose, noticed this, and after learning that life was thriving on the surface, took her children Lucy and Norm and fled to Shady Sands. In retaliation, and in order to keep Shady Sands a secret from the Vault dwellers and maintain control, Hank nuked the settlement.

Luckily, some inhabitants managed to survive, finding refuge with the Brotherhood of Steel in nearby towns and settlements, including Vault 4, so while Shady Sands itself is gone by the time the series takes place, its people continue to live on.

Check out our review of Fallout’s first season here.

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