Fallout 3’s Megaton Decision
Fallout 3’s Megaton decision is one of the hardest choices in gaming. It’s the kind of choice that lingers in your mind long after the game is over. It’s the kind of choice that can make you question yourself as a person.
Located in the heart of Washington, Megaton is a major settlement in Fallout 3 built around an atomic bomb. When newcomers arrive, you must advise them on whether to deactivate the bomb or arm it to detonate. Depending on your choice, you can earn the respect of the town’s inhabitants or become a villain.
Built around the teachings of the Children of the Atom, a makeshift religion worshipping the bomb, Megaton is a prosperous town that defies all logic and reason. Built in the irradiated centre of the nation’s capital, Megaton attracts nefarious forces willing to pay for the bomb’s destruction. The town’s sheriff, Lucas Simms, wants nothing more than for the Children of the Atom to abandon their religion and allow the town to grow and develop.
As with all of Bethesda’s open-world games, there are always two paths you can take in Fallout 3, and saving Megaton earns you no monetary reward. The only reward for disarming the bomb is the respect of the town’s inhabitants. The fate of Megaton rests entirely on your shoulders, and your choice dictates whether or not you set out on an evil path, which Bethesda has said “isn’t just about tallying up kill counts or stealing all the stuff in the world.” Destroying Megaton has consequences, and the irradiated shell that is left behind is a damning reminder of your wrongdoings.
If you destroy Megaton, the town becomes an irradiated husk. Those who managed to survive the initial blast are left to die a slow and painful death. The town and the people you’ve come to know over the hours of gameplay are no longer, and it’s entirely your fault. It’s hard to argue that Bethesda doesn’t achieve its goal of presenting a choice between good and evil, as striking a balance leaves few interesting choices and set pieces, and the consequences of your actions are left to the player’s imagination.
The moral dilemma presented in Megaton leaves a lasting impact on you as a player. You start to feel guilt and remorse for the actions you took. You’ll start to question yourself and wonder if you’ve become the bad guy in the game, despite your intentions. The game’s dark and post-apocalyptic world is captivating, and the harsh lessons you learn along the way make for an unforgettable experience.
Fallout 3’s Megaton decision is a microcosm of the RPG game as a whole, and it’s one that lingers long after you’ve completed the game. It teaches you harsh lessons about the world, and it offers you moral dilemmas that you’ll be grappling with long after the game is over. If you ever find yourself in Megaton, be sure to ask the locals their thoughts on the bomb. It’s sure to make you think twice about what you’d do in the same situation as the game’s protagonist, the Lone Survivor.