Bethesda released a series of monster-themed audio dramas on Wednesday that immerses players into the world of Fallout 76. Creatures that hail from West Virginia lore are included, of course, like the Mothman and Flatwoods Monster.
“Tales from the West Virginia Hills” is presented in the style of a 1950s radio serial. Each of the five episodes tells the story of dangerous encounters with monsters in the area, as told by a dramatic narrator. The stories are even “sponsored” by fictional brands from Fallout lore such as “Sugar Bombs—the breakfast cereal with explosive great taste and 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of sugar!”
Five episodes were released on Halloween, using the game’s monsters as a way to engage players already in the mood for a fright. According to Bethesda, all of these monsters can be found in Fallout 76, but “Tales from the West Virginia Hills” was created as a stand-alone bonus for fans.
“The world of Fallout 76 is steeped in mystery,” said Bethesda, “but when you’re not trying to discover what happened to everyone after the bombs dropped, you might find yourself asking a different question: ‘What’s that figure, lurking in the dark?’ The answer probably isn’t as friendly as you might like. The ‘Tales from the West Virginia Hills’ holotape series is here to give you an idea of what to look out for if you hope to survive.”
For the uninitiated, holotapes aka holodisks are small cartridges found throughout the Fallout video game franchise. These collectible items reveal information about the game world or even interactive games. Tales from the West Virginia Hills is therefore presented as something you might find while exploring the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 76.
Anticipation for Fallout 76 has steadily mounted since its announcement in May. Fans were so excited that one tweet from Bethesda garnered $210,000 in earned media.
Other marketing for the game has included a team-up with the West Virginia Department of Tourism to encourage pre-nuclear war exploration. In addition to seeing locations that were recreated inside Fallout 76, fans can travel around the state in search of Vault Boy—the Fallout mascot—and take a picture with him on social media to win prizes.