Anybody who’s seen an ad for Fallout knows about its disturbing combination of bleak post-apocalyptic fiction and nostalgia for the 1950s. It’s also renowned for the type of freedom it offers players in exploration and pursuing—or not pursuing!—quests as well as. It’s also very, very funny. Not necessarily laugh out loud funny as much as an eerie gallows humor that makes you giggle while also sending chills up your spine, but still funny.
From cannibalism to survivor’s guides and roboprostitution, here are Fallout’s strangest (and often funniest) quests.
1. Our Little Secret (Fallout 3)
Andale is a small town in the Capital Wasteland that holds a dark secret: its residents really dig the taste of human flesh. This is a great little quest because of how the ending can play out after you discover the “strange meat” in the basement and are confronted by the townfolk. You can try and pass for a cannibal or if you have that particular trait, you can assure them you’re one of them and they’ll be quite friendly with you. You can go about your business, return to the town every now and then and check in with the merry bunch.
Or you can totally kill all of them if you’re feeling particularly righteous or grossed out but there’s something about removing that strange little community from The Wasteland, cannibals or no.
2. Wang Dang Atomic Tango (Fallout New Vegas)
James Garrett, the co-owner of the Atomic Wrangler, has a problem that he needs your help with. He’s a man in search of a few good escorts to cater to the diverse tastes of his clients, and he needs you to be his scout.
Yep. You gotta comb the Wasteland in search of three special candidates to hire for Garrett, including Fisto, a sexbot. It’s an all around entertaining quest that’s darkly humorous in the way that only Fallout can be.
3. Beat Francis (Fallout 2)
Fallout 2 was a substantial improvement over Fallout, already a great game, in a number of ways. One of them being that the sequel wasn’t so serious as the first game and allowed itself to be a little bit goofier while still embracing its own bleakness.
Case in point: the Big Frigger Power Fist is one of the most powerful unarmed weapons you can get in the second game. There are multiple ways to acquire it but easily the most amusing (and disturbing) one is arm wrestling a supermutant named Francis. You beat Francis, you get the fist.
If you don’t, he uh, he gets to use you for a night and you wake up with a ball gag in your inventory. Yikes.
4. Wasteland Survival Guide (Fallout 3)
Moira Brown is one of the first denizens of the Wasteland you’re likely to come across after leaving Vault 101. She’s the peppiest person out there and inadvertently one of the most dangerous ones to you. She wants to write a guide filled with tips about how to survive The Wasteland. Guess who her guinea pig/errand person is?
Her tasks range from the simple but dangerous (investigating a department store occupied by bandits) to “you want me to do what?” (become ill with radiation). It’s a series of goofy quests that’s payoff is when Moira asks you questions about your experiences, allowing you to answer in a straightforward, honest manner or get some semblance of revenge by being a smart ass or a liar.
5. Mothership Zeta (Fallout 3)
Except for some standout bits near the end, the Mothership Zeta DLC isn’t really that great. You’re abducted into a spaceship by a bunch of gray aliens. You have to break out. That’s the gist of it. There’s no denying it’s an exciting premise but it basically boils down to about two hours of corridor shooting, which is not great since the shooter aspect of Fallout 3 is pretty weak.
It’s plenty weird, though, with you running into figures from all periods of history, and even having a Star Trek bridge sequence at the end where you fight another ship. Still, not one of Fallout’s best quests.
6. Killing The Rat God (Fallout 2)
People have been disappearing in Trapper Town. Folks think there’s something below deep in the caverns that’s killing and eating citizens. Sure enough you descend into the depths to find out it’s the work of a rat god named Keeng Ra’at, who looks more like a naked bear than a giant rat, that’s been sending his followers after Trapper Town.
Put down the big rat, save the town. About as conventional RPG as Fallout gets but still with a hint of wackiness that makes the series special.
7. Come Fly With Me (Fallout New Vegas)
This quest is a pain in the ass, mostly because it’s a list of chores that you have to accomplish in order to help a religious cult of ghouls use a couple of rocket ships to fly away to “a sacred place.”
However, if you want, at the very end you can randomly press buttons on the rockets’ controller panel and send the two rockets flying straight into one another and blowing up all the ghouls inside as a form of cruel, but also kind of delightful and super satisfying, revenge.
8. The Superhuman Gambit (Fallout 3)
Canterbury Commons has a very strange problem. The town has become the fighting grounds for two individuals with overactive imaginations: a super hero named The Mechanist and his nemesis the Antagonizer. This quest is among Fallout 3’s best just because of the sheer number of ways you can complete it.
March into each of their hideouts and kill them both? A valid strategy, but pretty basic and uninteresting. You can also persuade both of them to give up their life of heroism/crime or, my personal favorite, you can join forces with the Mechanist or the Antagonizer and raid the other’s lair alongside them. Or after you kill or persuade one of them to leave, you can put on their costume, go to the other’s hideout, and commence an epic showdown once they see you in their foes’ outfit.
Just a fantastic quest all around.
9. Being a Porn Star (Fallout 2)
The title kind of says it all. In New Reno, if you have the right stats, you can pass an audition for a dingy adult film studio and become a porn star, making your popularity in New Reno rise (as well as the cost of drugs for you in that settlement).
If you’re not cut out to be a porn star, you can be a fluffer instead. So, there’s that.
10. Tranquility Lane (Fallout 3)
Tranquility Lane might be the most well known quest in the whole series. Your father is trapped in a simulation by a cruel inventor, Stanislaus Braun, and it’s up to you to save him by entering the simulation yourself and either squaring off against Braun or using a failsafe to kill Braun’s victims for good.
The simulation apes the aesthetics of ‘50s’ TV sitcoms like Leave it to Beaver but that cheeriness is undercut by Braun’s maliciousness as he, taking on the avatar of a young girl named Betty, asks you to do awful things to Tranquility Lane’s residents for his sadistic entertainment, like breaking up a marriage and eventually murdering the entire neighborhood. After doing so he will release you and your father from the simulation.
Of course, you can also access a failsafe that kills all the residents for good so that Braun can’t torture them anymore in this digital purgatory. Either way you play it, this is easily one of the most impressive (and weirdest) parts of Fallout.
Javy Gwaltney devotes his time to writing about these videogame things when he isn’t teaching or cobbling together a novel. You can follow the trail of pizza crumbs to his Twitter or his website.