If you played Fallout 3, and have ever been to Washington, D.C., you know Bethesda uses some artistic license on geography. The same is true of Fallout 4, but the game also includes a surprising number of real places that you can actually visit, from famous landmarks to more obscure locations.
Diamond City, AKA Fenway Park
Mutants on the outside, snobs on the inside, booze and fighting in and all around it… it’s nice to see that Fenway hasn’t changed after the apocalypse. You can even go on a quest to help paint the Green Monster.
Goodneighbor, AKA The Old State House
Early on in the game, you’ll find the smuggler’s enclave of Goodneighbor, which is supposed to be Boston’s old Scollay Square. The geography is actually wrong, there, as Scollay Square became Government Center, a couple of blocks away. But Hancock, Goodneighbor’s leader, hangs out in The Old State House, and that’s accurate, right down to the fact that yes, there is in fact a subway station underneath the building. They even mostly get the interior right.
The Railroad’s Hideout, AKA The Old North Church
One of the cradles of American liberty, the Old North Church is where Paul Revere saw those two lanterns and began his ride. Well, in the poem, anyway; in reality, thank Samuel Prescott. While the North End is a bit more cramped in the game than it is in reality, which is saying something, the Old North Church is in the correct location… and if you visit the steeple, you can find two lanterns inside it.
Feral Ghoul Central, AKA The Old Granary Burying Ground
No, Bethesda did not throw in a random graveyard full of ghouls just to mess with you: The Old Granary Burying Ground is a very real cemetery and the burial site of several major players in the American Revolution. In a nice touch, it does also happen to be along the Freedom Trail.
The Bunker Hill Monument
No, they didn’t just recycle the Washington Memorial model from Fallout 3! Boston does in fact have a phallic stone monument of its very own, and it is indeed located in Charlestown. It’s also a lot easier to get to in the game than it is in real life. Seriously, it’s in the middle of nowhere: Couldn’t the American Revolution fight its battles in places more accessible to public transit?
The Massachusetts State House
The general location is a little off, but yes, The Departed did not exaggerate, we really do have a statehouse with a gold dome.
Yes, the pond memorialized by Henry David Thoreau in a book loved by high-school students who will dream of being environmentalists until they discover recycling is way easier can be found in the game. There’s not much to do there, though, just like in real life.
The USS Constitution
While in the game, the Constitution has a few, ah, modifications, in reality, the Constitution is available to tour. It also happens to be a fully functional Navy ship, staffed by regular Navy, so why they didn’t join up with the Brotherhood of Steel is beyond us.
The Boston Public Library
While the BPL is decidedly not just down the street from Fenway Park, the building is accurate right down to having Copley Station underneath it. No, we cannot explain why Boston has put so many subway stations under actual landmarks. It’s a cramped city, OK?
Monsignor Plaza AKA The Cambridgeside Galleria
Oddly, the game accurately portrays the location, of all things, of one of Boston’s few malls. When you’re sent here on a mission, the location in relation to Kendall Square is pretty spot on, and the name might even be a play off the Monsignor O’Brien Highway that runs right past the mall in real life.
Prost Bar, aka The Bull & Finch
If you poke around near the Hatchshell, you’ll find “Prost Bar.” Prost, of course, is German for “Cheers!,” and that’s more or less the location of the Bull & Finch, the original bar that inspired Cheers. Missing, however, are the throngs of tourists and residents snorting in contempt at said tourists.
And Even The Little Stuff
For all the stuff that Bethesda changes around, they do get the smaller things right. For example, the subways stops you can explore all more or less correspond to their actual locations. Park Street is indeed on the upper right edge of Boston Common, “College Square” stands in for Kendall in Cambridge, and you can find the Andrew stop in South Boston, although your Pip-Boy doesn’t agree with the signage. That said, don’t expect them to be full of radioactivity and mutants. Just giant roaches.
These are just our favorites; there are plenty of others to stumble over as you explore the Commonwealth. Although there is one major location you won’t find: Settling their rivalry once and for all, it appears the Institute has erased any trace of Harvard. Eh, good riddance. It was getting touristy anyway.