A new Fallout mod overhauls Fallout 3 by removing all mention of Vault 101, the Lone Wanderer’s upbringing, and the Liam Neeson dad character, so that you create your own backstory and head canon for the Bethesda RPG, more like Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas.
You Are Not The Father either changes or removes all dialogue and details within Fallout 3 that reference Vault 101 and the fact you are searching for your father, James. According to the mod’s creator AbbaAltmer, this allows you “to build your own background and history, or roleplay Fallout 3 like a giant DLC to Fallout: New Vegas.”
For many Fallout fans, myself included, the way that Fallout 3 prescribes you a backstory, and hinges everything you do in the game on predetermined relationships with other characters, is contrary to the player-driven nature of an RPG. “Regardless of what you do,” AbbaAltmer explains, “you are the twenty-something kid from Vault 101. After years of this annoying me when I would be roleplaying, say, a ghoul, or an old man, or, most importantly, the Courier who’s finished their job in the Mojave and headed east in search of new adventures, this constant dissonant break got to me enough to personally remove every single mention of Vault 101 and James in relation to the player.”
Dad is renamed in the mod to Dr. James Hathaway. The main story remains the same, but rather than begin in the Vault, you simply arrive in the Capital Wasteland with a letter from James explaining that he needs your help with the Purity Project – you are not his son, but simply a mercenary. Or another scientist. Or the Courier from New Vegas. Whatever you like.
The only downside is that references to Dad and Vault 101 are so numerous, removing or altering them all would mean re-recording a lot of Fallout 3’s dialogue. Some spoken lines still contain these mentions, therefore, so if you want the full non-backstory experience, AbbaAltmer recommends disabling the dialogue volume and playing Fallout 3 just using the on-screen text. The quest Trouble on the Homefront, when you return to 101 to help Amata, has also been removed, to help with consistency.
If those two changes don’t bother you, and you like the idea of playing Fallout 3 as one big narrative expansion to New Vegas, you can download You Are Not The Father from NexusMods.
If you’re more a fan of the Commonwealth than the Capital Wasteland, you may also want to try out some of the best Fallout 4 mods. Alternatively, you may be looking ahead to the future and the Starfield release date, or maybe even the Fallout 5 release date, which we’re all hoping will come sooner rather than later.