Mothman Festival welcomes Fallout, Bethesda


By Dean Wright - deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com



Bethesda Game Studios representatives interact with Mothman Festival visitors.

Bethesda Game Studios representatives interact with Mothman Festival visitors.


Dean Wright | OVP

One young woman poses with Fallout’s Vault Boy, mascot of the Vault-Tech corporation in the Fallout gaming universe.


Dean Wright | OVP

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Visitors to the Mothman Festival and fans alike were able to snag themselves a photo with the Fallout gaming franchise’s Vault Boy and trade news with representatives from internationally-recognized Bethesda Game Studios over the weekend.

The next title in the video game franchise Fallout, dubbed Fallout 76, will be set in a post-apocalyptic West Virginia and Mason County’s Mothman legend will be reportedly making appearances in the game. The game is slated for release November 14 this year. Fallout is a game series which has garnered world fame after its first inception in 1997.

When the Mothman Museum caught wind that its favorite legend would be featured in the game, it reached out to Bethesda Game Studios and asked them to participate in the Mothman Festival.

“We did a documentary with Noclip (video game documentarians) with Danny O’Dwyer and (the artist in the video) was wearing a Mothman shirt in the documentary which came out in June,” said Bethesda Senior Community Manager Jessica Finster. “So that was when (the Mothman Museum) reached out. Originally, we had gotten their contacting information forwarded to our licensing director because they wanted to see about getting merchandise (for the festival). It was also kind of very serendipitous because I was also looking into (speaking with the Mothman Museum and festival) as an initiative to have outreach at the event.”

Finster described the contact with the Mothman Museum as a nice coincidence.

“We were excited and they were excited and it was just a very harmonious thing,” said Finster. “I know that a lot of the artists, including Nathan Purkeypile (lead artist with Bethesda Game Studios) who was the one in the video wearing the shirt, he and several of the team are fans of cryptids and cryptozoology. It was just a matter of building off of that. They were trying to be true to West Virginia and represent it as accurately as they can in a post-apocalyptic era while also being sensitive to the people.”

Crytozoology is the study of creatures characterized in folklore. Cryptids are the creatures cryptozoology seeks to study and identify. Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are often regarded as cryptids.

Finster said she wasn’t certain if it was because of the 2002 “The Mothman Prophecies” movie, based on the 1975 book by John Keel, or because the Mothman was popular in cryptozoology, but that she couldn’t number the amount of fans that weren’t from West Virginia she had seen who were “super psyched” to hear that Mothman would be in the game. Another confirmed cryptid to be featured in the game includes the Flatwoods Monster.

According to Bethesda Community Manager Abigail Tyson, a “much scarier” version of the Mothman Museum will be featured in the game.

“It’s been great and a very busy morning,” said Finster the Saturday of the festival. “Everybody has been super approachable and pleasant to speak with, whether they know the game, the franchise or were just asking what we were doing here and who we were.”

Finster and Tyson said one of their favorite questions came from a young boy who asked what their favorite ice cream flavors were.

“It’s been fun answering questions about the (game) lore and how (Fallout) 76 fits in,” said Tyson. “It’s going to be a prequel.”

Both Bethesda representatives said the Fallout 76 map would be four times the size of previous title Fallout 4’s map. The game will have both live events and traditional quest lines. Fallout 76 differs from other games in the series as it will be featured online but will still be considered an action role-playing game.

“The live events will be great because it brings everybody together,” said Tyson of Fallout 76 players. “So, if you just happen to be in the right space in the game, you’ll meet all these people and can work together. It’s just really beautiful,” she joked,” because you feel ‘I don’t know any of these people but we are all working for the common goal right now and the world is responding to us.’”

The Fallout game series has traditionally been set as a post-apocalyptic story in various locations throughout the U.S. As an action roleplaying video game, much of Fallout’s story has been based in the post-World War II culture of the 1950s, making multiple thematic references to the potentials and dangers of nuclear technology. Mutated monsters and radioactivity are just among a few of the hazards players encounter as they journey through Fallout’s previous game titles.

Mothman sightings were reported in area newspapers between 1966 and 1967 in Point Pleasant as well as around Cheshire in Gallia County. Much of Mothman folklore is connected with the Silver Bridge collapse of December 1967.

Fallout 76 is anticipated to make appearances on PC, XBox One and PlayStation 4.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

Bethesda Game Studios representatives interact with Mothman Festival visitors.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2018/09/web1_DSC_0108-3.jpgBethesda Game Studios representatives interact with Mothman Festival visitors. Dean Wright | OVP

One young woman poses with Fallout’s Vault Boy, mascot of the Vault-Tech corporation in the Fallout gaming universe.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2018/09/web1_DSC_0104-3.jpgOne young woman poses with Fallout’s Vault Boy, mascot of the Vault-Tech corporation in the Fallout gaming universe. Dean Wright | OVP

By Dean Wright

deanwright@aimmediamidwest.com