Is the Shovel Museum the Funniest Place in Nuka-World and Fallout 4? [VIDEO]
My vote is that Wixon’s Shovel Museum to the East of Nuka Town U.S.A is the funniest place in all of Fallout. I won’t spoil too much of it for you. Just go there yourself for a good laugh.
What do you think is the funniest place in Nuka-World, Fallout 4, and in any of the Fallout games?
I recently completed the Nuka-World DLC, which marks the final piece of content I can experience in Fallout 4, which means I’ve poured countless hours into the entire Fallout 4 world, and I can say with confidence that I’ve found the funniest area in the entire game, and perhaps in the entire Fallout series.
The Fallout game developers have built a reputation for being able to weave, pretty seamlessly, inspirations from the real world into the world of Fallout. A great example of this can be found right here in the Nuka World DLC, just outside Nuka World proper. The Grandchester Mystery Mansion seems to have been inspired by the real life Winchester Mystery House.
The story of the Winchester Mystery House begins with Sarah Lockwood Pardee who, in 1862, married into the Winchester family, the very same Winchester of the Winchester Rifle company, the company that supplied soldiers with arms during the civil war.
Sarah’s only daughter died in infancy, and her husband, William Winchester died prematurely as well. These events sent her down a depressive spiral that lead to her seeking the help of a Boston Spiritualist. This spiritualist informed Sarah that the deaths of her daughter and husband were the result of spirits who were angry about all the lives that Winchester rifles had taken.
The medium continued by instructing Sarah to head west, to California, and build a mansion to appease the angry spirits. This became the Winchester Mystery House, and its architecture is every bit as crazy as the inspired Nuka-World building would indicate. Just like the Grandchester Mystery Mansion, the real life Winchester Mystery House includes hidden passages, doors that open to walls, stairways that lead nowhere and even a seance room.
But back to my original point. Fallout weaves the real life story of this mansion into the world of Fallout by leveraging the haunted house atmosphere as just another Nuka-World novelty. Real life becomes Fallout life.
But the shovel museum is different. Located East of Nuka Town USA, the shovel museum doesn’t try very hard to weave itself into the fabric of Fallout. Instead, it stands as probably the only instance where that fourth wall that separates game developer from audience breaks down to reveal a situation where, I assume, the developers just couldn’t take the real-life inspiration seriously.
The Nuka-World shovel museum is blatantly a building with no other purpose than to make fun of the mere existence of a real-life shovel museum. And yes, one does exist. The Shovel Collection at Stonehill College’s Industrial History Center in Easton, MA contains over 755 shovels.
Here’s how I imagine it happened. The Fallout design team were researching Boston for possible locations to include in the game.
Someone said, “what about Walden Pond in Concord, that place poet Henry David Thoreau loved so much.”
“Definitely, let’s include it.”
“What about the Winchester Mystery House. It’s owner was from the Boston area.”
“Is that the creepy mansion with the stairs to nowhere? Of course, it’s got to be in the game.”
“What about the shovel museum?”
“The shovel museum. In Easton.”
“Is it haunted?”
“Is it the site of a brutal shovel-based murder.”
“What’s so special about it?”
“It’s got shovels.”
“Ugh, gary, you suck. But, you’re Todd Howard’s wife’s nephew, so, sure, let’s include it.”
So they did. And they had fun with it.
I highly recommend you visit the shovel museum in Nuka World. Read the plaques. And be sure to check out the terminal on the top floor. Turns out one of the employees left the museum because he was offered a better job. But what could be better than working at a shovel museum, you ask? Only one thing. A mop museum.
And to be clear, I’m not personally making fun of the The Shovel Collection at Stonehill College’s Industrial History Center. I respect a museum that caters to a niche, especially one that a lot of people may find pretty nerdy. I’ve been to the Video Game Museum in Frisco, TX, and sure video game appreciation is probably not as niche as shovel appreciation, but still, to drive 12 hours to be able to touch atari boxes isn’t something most people would do.
Have you ever visited The Shovel Collection or the Winchester Mystery House? Let me know in the comments below. And also let me know what you think the funniest part of the Fallout series is.
Research/Sources/Credits/Inspirations (this is not a comprehensive list, as that would be impossible, especially the “inspirations” items)
- By InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA – Winchester Mystery House, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24269602
- By Spiel – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28356051
- By Kai Schreiber from Jersey City, USA – paranoiaUploaded by PDTillman, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9036947
- By Kai Schreiber from Jersey City, USA – windowsUploaded by PDTillman, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9036971
- By Taber Photographic Co. (I.W. Taber?) – History San Jose Research Library, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11192936
- Rhinoceros Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/