Of country roads and Mothmen

One of my favourite cryptid stories is that of the Mothman, the giant, winged, red-eyed thing that terrorized the skies over Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in the 1960s.

The legend, and the Mothman itself, has proven popular and enduring – I’ve written about it before – and has winged its way into pop culture, even finding a spot on the monster roster of Fallout 76, which released earlier this week.

This newest Fallout is a bit of a spin on the franchise gameplay-wise, being an MMO/survival-type offering. But, as with the other games in the series, it’s still set in an alternate-history United States, after a nuclear war.

In this one, you emerge out of Vault 76, built smack-dab in the middle of West Virginia, an area that includes Point Pleasant. And, of course, the Mothman.

What, exactly, the Mothman’s appearance in Fallout 76 entails, I admit I’m not sure, as I haven’t actually encountered it yet. I assume – and hope – it’s a high-level encounter, a fearsome beast that would chew up a newly-emerged Vault Dweller with little trouble. Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist zipping on over to the game’s version of Point Pleasant as soon as possible.

Finding Point Pleasant in Fallout 76 is easy enough – it’s actually clearly marked on the in-game map, a relatively-short distance west of Vault 76. If/when you go, you’ll have to deal with some run-of-the-mill scorchers who’ve set up in town. They aren’t, however, too much of a problem, particularly if you’re bringing a friend or two.

There, you’ll also find the Mothman Museum, based, of course, on the real-life place in the real-life town, and its accompanying Mothman statue. Here’s a quick look at both, as captured last night on PS4:

That’s not all, though: Fallout 76 digs deeper into the Mothman legend. One of the first sightings took place in what was then known as the TNT area, found outside of Point Pleasant. It was so named because it was, at one time, home to a munitions plant. The explosives themselves were stored in bunkers, earth-covered mounds scattered around the property.

Wander a bit up the road, north of Point Pleasant, and you’ll find the TNT area, as well. Here’s some of what you can expect there:

Unfortunately, most of the bunkers are inaccessible. One, however, requires a key. What’s inside? No idea, not yet.

In any case, you’ve no-doubt noticed that video is alarmingly short of Mothmen. That’s unfortunate, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. We wandered those woods for a while last night, but encountered nothing remotely monster-like, outside of some mole rats; annoying, but not as interesting.

So, no winged, red-eyed monsters. Yet. Rest assured, I’m very much looking forward to heading back along those country roads to Point Pleasant – hopefully armed with a quest marker – to rectify that, and find out more about the Mothman of Fallout 76 (and maybe even get a selfie).

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