West Virginia is the rich setting of Fallout 76, and it’s rife with folklore. Urban legends dating back centuries inspire this online RPG’s monster roster, which includes Bethesda’s unique takes on the Mothman, the Snallygaster, and a headless giant seal thing that some journalist in the ‘60s definitely saw, 100%, no doubt about it.
Here’s your introduction to the weird, wonderful, and frequently irate mythical creatures of Fallout 76.
Inverness has Nessie, Nepal has the Yeti, and West Virginia’s Point Pleasant has the Mothman. Its first sighting in 1966 made local news before capturing people’s imagination around the world, culminating in chilling 2002 Richard Gere mystery The Mothman Prophecies (do check that out).
Fallout 76’s dude-sized bulb-botherer has massive glowing eyes, two insectoid wings, and a pair of large antenna sprouting from a furry head. It’s a slightly more fanciful take on an urban legend that many have, in hindsight, attributed to a big heron.
2. The Grafton monster
As its name suggests, The Grafton Monster is a folklore native to the town of Grafton, West Virginia. In 1965, just one year prior to The Mothman sighting (and possibly before glasses were a thing), a young journalist driving home at night claims to have spotted a headless creature in the woods standing nine feet tall, four feet wide, and with rubbery white skin similar to a deoxygenated seal.
And, true to that journalist’s claim, the chunky beast in Fallout 76 does indeed look like a big headless seal. Albeit, one with massive hands.
3. The Snallygaster
The tale of this dragon-like beast originates from Frederick County, Maryland. Dating back further than the Mothman, German immigrants allegedly first locked eyes on it in the 18th century.
Where artistic renderings have likened it to everything from an octopus-enthused vulture to an angry pelican, Fallout 76’s Snallygaster looks more like a naked kangaroo with its mouth blown up by 400%. Save your pity – it wants you dead.
4. Mole Man
Mythical mine-dwelling imps the Tommyknockers are the likely inspiration for Fallout 76’s mole man, a creature glimpsed briefly in the trailer. A story stemming from Western Pennsylvania coal mines in the 1820s casts Tommyknockers as underground pranksters who lied in wait to steal food and tools from miners.
The name ‘knockers’ comes from that cracks that were heard before cave-ins. Get your own back on their harmless pranking ways by ‘knocking’ them into next week.
5. Mega Sloth
A species of ground sloth called Nothrotheriops roamed North America as recently as 11,000 years ago. They were as big as bears, but evidently more delicious, because humans hunted them to extinction. Fallout 76’s ground sloth, the elephant-sized Mega Sloth, is based on Megatherium, a species of ground sloth native to South America.
With its horrible matted hair, back fungus, and leg sores, it looks far less delicious. Oh and there’s no way it’s going extinct anytime soon.
According to ghastly tales emanating from Virginia (honestly, guys, just move), Wendigos are transformed human beings who have committed awful sins such as cannibalism, murder, or immediately standing up when the plane lands even though the doors won’t open for another good ten minutes.
Here in Fallout 76 they hunger for human flesh, and they clearly eat their fill, because they’ve got a healthy potbelly despite being otherwise completely emaciated. The Wendigo is nothing if not a paradox.
7. The Flatwoods Monster
The most noteworthy feature of The Flatwoods Monster, as described by a trio of friends who claim to have encountered an alien after investigating a mysterious light that landed in the woods, is said to be a head which resembles an ‘ace of spades’. And you’ve simply got to trust a trio of friends.
Fallout 76’s version is one of the game’s more extraterrestrial-looking enemies, with its purple space helmet, protective suit, and hover-jets. Target its armored breathing apparatus and send it to space hell.