2161: The Vault Dweller and the Super Mutant Army
The year 2161 is a pivotal one for two reasons. On the grand scale, a Brotherhood of Steel squad on patrol makes a shocking discovery when they find a dead super mutant in the badlands. This event marks humanity's first glimpse of the impending onslaught. Or it would have, had a certain hero not risen to the occasion. Speaking of... elsewhere in the world Vault 13 enters crisis mode when their Water Chip, a microchip responsible for regulating and cleansing the shelter's water supply, breaks down. An individual known only as the Vault Dweller - our aforementioned hero - is sent off into the badlands, tasked with finding a replacement chip. Surprisingly, this seemingly minor quest turns out to have far-reaching consequences when the Vault Dweller is unwittingly swept into the path of the Master's overarching plans. The Vault Dweller's initial foray into the world beyond Vault 13 refers to the early events of the original Fallout.
2162: The Vault Dweller's Exile
The Vault Dweller's quest ends with a greater success than anyone could have suspected. Upon obtaining the sought-after Water Chip in Necropolis, he learns that Richard Grey - now "The Master" - has been using a pre-war bioweapon to breed an army of super mutants. It is shortly after this that Grey's super mutants decimate Necropolis, a city built by the twisted residents of the only Vault that didn't close throughout the Great War or the years that followed. Upon learning of The Master's plans, the Vault Dweller sets off to stop the threat at its source. His efforts are monumentally successful: before the year is even half over, he has killed The Master and reduced the facility where the super mutants are created to a pile of rubble. Though he is declared a hero upon returning to Vault 13, the Vault Dweller is immediately sent into exile as a result of the changes wrought upon him by his travels through the world. The homeless hero travels north, where he finds the village of Arroyo and starts a family. These events mark the close of Fallout.
2241: The Chosen One and the Quest for a GECK
As Earth continues to recover, residents in the Pacific Northwest section of the United States suffer through their worst dry season in post-war memory. The Chosen One, son of Arroyo's Village Elder (and of the Vault Dweller's daughter), is sent out to locate a Garden of Eden Creation Kit, or GECK. These suitcase-sized items are said to contain all of the building blocks necessary for creating a sustainable community in the post-apocalyptic world. These mark the early events of Fallout 2.
2242: The Fall of the Enclave
The Chosen One's journey brings him to his grandfather's former home of Vault 13, which is believed to contain two GECKs. He arrives to find it almost completely deserted. As it turns out, the Enclave - a warrior faction containing the remnants of the United States government - kidnapped Vault 13's inhabitants shortly before the Chosen One's arrival, spiriting them away to their base of operations aboard an offshore oil rig. A similar fate befalls the town of Arroyo, which the Chosen One learns when he returns from his journey. Enraged over the loss of the two communities, the Chosen One makes his way to the Enclave's oil rig. It is there that he learns of the Vaults' true purpose as social experiments. The sealed Vault 13 inhabitants made them ideal subjects for the Enclave's own experiments with the same virus The Master used to create his super mutants. The Chosen One takes definitive action upon learning of this: he destroys the oil rig and Enclave leader President Dick Richardson along with it. In making his escape, the Chosen One also rescues the survivors of the Vault 13 and Arroyo raids. These events mark the close of Fallout 2.
2277: The Unknown Future
Across the country and 25 years after the fall of the Enclave, Vault 101 cracks open its doors for the first time since the bombs fell. Being that the Vault's original purpose as a social experiment was to never open for any reason, this is a noteworthy event. The reason for the change in plans is Vault 101 Dweller, an inhabitant whose father has mysteriously disappeared. No one knows how his father left or why, but the shock of the loss is enough to send Vault 101 Dweller into the wide open world waiting just beyond his sealed front doors.