Fallout 4's skeletons have a story to tell

Death is not the end

Obviously, there's a lot of dead people in Fallout 4. Its hard to end the world without killing, oh pretty much everybody. As your Vault dweller solemnly intones, 'is this all that's left?', as he explores for the first time, finding body after body.

But these stiffs aren't just decoration. Many of them tell a story about how they died, or who they were. Some of them, on the other hand, raise a some serious questions about what the hell happened in the moments leading up to their end. Let's explore some of Fallout 4's more interesting remains and see what we can discover. Plus you can check out the video below to see more.

Bonnie and Formaldehyde

If, as you're exploring, you find a bank with a tightly locked walk in safe, have a look around the back before you waste any time trying to pick the lock. You might find these two: a guy waiting at his car for his partner in crime, who's hanging out the back of the vault. They'd blown the safe, put a ladder up to grab the cash and ah crap, end of the world. Best put the tropical escape plan on hold, babe, while we rot.

Still need a bigger boat?

The fact that this guy apparently died fighting one of Fallout 4's mutant dolphin things suggests this poor soul actually expired after the apocalypse which, in terms of timing, is basically a bit embarrassing. The bandana and machete also make it clear this is a homage to Jaws gnarly shark hunter, Quinn.

I'll come back later

Some people, when faced with the end of the world, prepare. Others party. The rest improvise. The fact that guy is surrounded by booze and drugs suggests he really made the best of what he had for one last big night out. No company? No problem. Just drink enough until you can squint a bit at a mannequin and convince yourself youre not dying alone.

I can explain

Actually, no I can't. The bathtub, fine: it's relaxing. Soak away all your troubles as the bomb drops. Maybe some lavender bubbles can take the edge off things. The menacing machete-wielding mannequins and a sink plunger are a little harder to read. There's threat but also the promise of clear drainage. Its a mixed message.

Schools out forever

This is actually the most depressing thing I've found in the wasteland. A tiny little child's skeleton hiding in a barn with a text book. Was she going to school? Coming home? Did she run inside the nearest building hoping it would protect her? Its okay to have a sad.

Together to the end

Professional skeleton finders call this The Bioshock - after the old Rapture couple you find dead in bed together surrounded by photos. The message is clear - they made their peace with what was happening and laid down together to face it. Oh God, this is depressing isnt it?

The locket

This is not a clear image so let me explain: if you find Chestnut Hillock Reservoir, then check the terminal in the house. On it you'll find the story of a settler trying to make a go of it in the wasteland. His diary talks about setting up home, making a go of it and then ends with one final entry about the loss of a beloved family members locket while on the lake. Head to the water and the upturned boat, and, well you can guess the rest.

Union rules

Clearly, if the end of the world brings on anything its lots of fighting as people take the chance to finally air long held grievances. That certainly seems to be the case at the Concord Workhouse. The skeleton bent over the safe has been pulled from a large office desk and clearly appears to be the boss. Obviously not a good one either if one of his employees chose throttling as his last act on God's earth.

Cannibal fridge

Look, people gotta eat. My first thought when I saw this was why would anyone store bones in a fridge? Then I realised it probably wasnt bare bones when it went in. 200 years ago that was probably an innovative and exciting solution to the whole nuclear holocaust food shortage issue.

Follow your orders soldier

I can only assume that this soldiers last command was to protect the bomb. From, er, the other bombs. The fact that this one-man fallout shelter is surround by other skeletons who look like they were trying to get in suggests he followed his orders at the expense of civilian lives. Which is bad for them but good for me, as I now have some extra ammo for the Fat Man.

Its how he would have wanted to go

Did the water rise after he died? Did a bit of the jetty break off and drift away? Or was a dying person's last wish 'put me on a bit of wood and float me out into the lake.' I'm going for the last one as it's so much more interesting.

You're not cut out for the army are you?

You can find this guy hidden away in one of the Vaults. Obviously, being bones it's hard to get an age, but this is a full-sized body as opposed to a child-sized corpse. But, while his stature suggests a grown up, his lunchbox, comics and toys say otherwise. At least he died, wedged into a corner, with the things he loved.

Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.