In Bethesda’s Fallout games there is only one source of news available to the survivors of the nuclear fallout, and that is Galaxy News Radio. However, that wasn’t the case before the Great War. In addition to GNR, the Capitol Post was a major part of the pre-war landscape. Hubris Comics, although they didn’t deal with news, provided another print medium that entertained many kids and adults alike back before the nuclear fallout.
Galaxy News Radio, run by the always charismatic Three Dog, is the only surviving remnant of the Galaxy News Network. (Although, this may no longer be the case. The Fallout 4 reveal trailer contains a billboard advertising GNN. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to explore more of GNN.) The network was the leading source of news, especially in Washington D.C., the location where the network’s radio division is located. Any attentive listener will realize that a lot of the pre-war advertisements can still be heard playing on the air, most likely due to pre-programmed reasons.
Now, lets get into some of the real life inspirations that provide the foundation for the radio station. We’ll start with the studio Interplay’s logo, which is actually inspired by the Galaxy News logo. In the original Fallout, the logo appeared in the introductory scenes and due to the series’ popularity, Interplay, the publishers of the original Fallout, adopted the logo as inspiration for their own.
Almost everybody that I talk to loves Three Dog, the charming radio DJ that graces the Capitol Wasteland with his wit, humor, and most importantly, a good taste of classic music from the era. The character, voiced by Erik Dellums, shares the name with the character Dog 3, who is actually played by Dellums himself in the
movie She’s Gotta Have It. Dellums had a pretty big say in Three Dog’s character development, including his signature howls. As you would imagine, a lot of the things that Three Dogs rambles on about on the radio sprout from a variety of pop culture. Lets break down the most notable ones:
“You can’t stop the signal.” – This line is muttered after fixing the atenna that needs worked on at the Washington Monument. The line is actually borrowed from the 2005 movie Serenity, directed by Joss Whedon.
“Trouble, oh we got trouble, right here in Rivet City!” – This line is more of a deep cut. Anybody who is familiar with the 1950’s musical The Music Man will recognize this line though. The musical takes place in River City, and one of the characters says the line, “Trouble, oh we got trouble, right here in River City!”
“Your friendly neighborhood disc jockey” – Three Dog sounds a lot like Spider-Man when he howls out this line. The line references the 1960’s cartoon where Spider-Man is referred to as “Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”
Ding, dong, the Presidential asshole is dead!” – This one comes from the film classic Wizard of Oz. In the movie, we hear the cleaner “Ding, dong, the witch is dead!” It is clear that Three Dog has watched his fair share of movies at this point.
“One small step backwards for man, one giant evolutionary rewind for mankind.” – This one will be instantly familiar to any connoisseur of American history. This is a reference to a quote from Neil Armstrong when he took his first step on the moon. The only difference is that he was taking a step forward instead of backward.
Finally, one of the featured radio shows that plays on the GNR is The Adventures of Herbert “Daring” Dashwood. The show tells the wacky stories of Herbert Dashwood and his sidekick Argyle. The show is actually a reference to the 1930’s radio program The Green Hornet, which features vigilante Britt Reid fighting crime with his trusted sidekick Kato. The radio show’s story lines also contain references to the original broadcast as well.
Before the war, most citizens of Washington D.C. received their news from the Capitol Post, which had its offices in L’Enfant Plaza. The company doesn’t take a prominent place in the Fallout games, but in Fallout 3 players can read some of the articles published in the paper at the paper’s HQ. You can read up on the fictional news stories about the disbanding of the United Nations or the Pint-Sized Slasher, a super weapon that was being developed by the US Government.
The newspaper is an obvious reference to Washington D.C.’s actual newspaper, the Washington Post. One of the interesting things about the Capitol Post is the price of the paper, which was set at a whopping fifty six dollars, obviously due to inflation from the war.
Finally, lets talk about Hubris Comics, the Marvel Comics of the pre-war era. Branching from Hubris Publishing, the company has been making comics ever since 2021. The company had a part in war propaganda, similarly to Marvel Comics who produced a number of comics featuring propaganda about World War II and the Cold War.
Probably the most recognizable comic that the company has put out is Grognak the Barbarian. The series, which contained fourteen issues is an obvious reference to the real life comic Conan the Barbarian. The references don’t stop there though. The cover to “In the Lair of the Virgin Eater” bears resemblance to Conan’s “Lair of the Ice Worm.”
Another popular comic and television series from the company was The Adventures of Captain Cosmos. The TV show that accompanies the comic aired on Thursdays at 8:00 prior to the war, which is strikingly similar to Star Trek, which aired during the same time slot during it’s first two seasons.