We’ve all played Fallout 3. We’ve trekked across the Mojave Wasteland. We’ve saved the Commonwealth from the forces of evil. Nevada is a wasteland. Massachusetts is literally glowing with radiation. Washington DC accurately depicts American politics. There’s also Oregon from Fallout 2 and California from the original Fallout. We’ve had glimpses at a handful of states. But what about Michigan?
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Part of Fallout - What About Michigan? (in text form)
In the Fallout universe, Michigan is part of Great Midwest Commonwealth. In 1969, all 50 states were divided into the various commonwealths, of which there are 13. That’s why the US flag in the fallout games have 13 stars. Commonwealths still retain some powers that the individual states had like the high stakes high reward world of license plate making. Michigan was part of the Great Midwest Commonwealth along side Wisconsin, Minnesota (show fargo clip of “you betcha”), Illinois, and Indiana.
Vault 1 is located somewhere in the Great Midwest Commonwealth. Following the incredible success of a Demonstration Vault in Los Angeles, Vault 1 was the first vault commissioned by Vault Tec’s Project Safehouse.
Fallout Tactics takes place in the Great Midwest Commonwealth, mainly in what used to be Illinois.
John Cassidy, a potential companion in Fallout 2, says that there are miles wide twisters, tornadoes, and that the place is one big radioactive dustbowl.
Basically, we don’t know jack shit about what went down in Michigan. Which means it’s time for me to make a bunch of assumptions.
What likely happened was that the bombs were launched at the most populated cities to wipe out the most densely populated areas. Pennsylvania and New York were among the first to be it, which makes sense. New York City has the largest population of any city in America and Philadelphia is the 5th most populated. According to Wikipedia, Las Vegas is the 29th most populated city in America, with an estimated 614,000 people in 2014.
Back to Vegas for a second, if we assume that the primary targets were based on population, and that it’s fixed amount of bombs based on population, there was 1 bomb launched per 8,771 people. Using that number, it would seem like around 41,000 bombs were launched towards America. Certainly more realistic than the 5,000,000 from earlier.
However, not every city has as many people as Las Vegas. In fact, Nevada is the 35th most populated state in America, with 2.7 million people. Another important factor is that, in the Fallout Universe, REPCONN is located in Las Vegas. REPCONN was a company that specialized in rocket manufacturing. Obviously that would be a major target during a nuclear war.
That number from earlier, 1 bomb per 8,771 people. Let’s go back to that. Michigan has a population of 9,900,000 people. My calculator tells me that, using those two numbers, there’d be approximately 1,000 bombs launched towards Michigan. Is that a lot? Hard to say. Here’s a map of Michigan, showing where those bombs would hit. And here’s where the Mitten Squad is located.
So, here we go. We can finally get into the deep shit. What actually happens to Michigan?
A 250 kilton nuclear weapon hitting the surface of Detroit would have some very bad effects. The fireball would stretch over half a mile. For over a mile, the expected fatality rate due to radiation is 50%-90%. For a bit over 0.85 miles, residential buildings collapse. 3.5 miles out, you would suffer 3rd degree burns over most of your body. The Radioactive Fallout would stretch to Minto, Ontario, Canada, over 150 miles away. There would be almost 87,000 deaths and over 123,000 injuries. But wait, it can get worse, much, much worse. That was a surface impact. What if it was an airburst bomb? Fatalities almost double going to 150,000 and injuries pass 250,000. 4.3 miles away from ground zero, you’d get 3rd degree burns.
As expected, things get worse. Estimated fatalities increase to over 260,000, with almost half a million injuries. The fireball would be nearly a square mile. Almost 7 miles away you’d get 3rd degree burns.