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Fallout 4's Far Harbor expansion is based on a real place

Welcome to Bar Harbor, Maine.

Fallout 4: Far Harbor is the meatiest and most interesting Fallout 4 add-on announced yesterday.

It's the only DLC we know of that adds a whole new area - a coastal island and the largest new Fallout landmass ever added as DLC, developer Bethesda has said. Its map will also play host to new faction quests, settlements, creatures and dungeons.

What you may not know is Far Harbor is based on a real-world place, just as the game's main campaign is set in the remnants of a post-apocalyptic Boston.

The island of Far Harbor is located in Maine, and it sounds very much like the real-world location of Bar Harbor, also in Maine (where I lived for a bit, a few years ago).

If your US geography is a little fuzzy, Maine is the northernmost state in New England. You don't hear about it much because it sort of keeps itself to itself. In the US it is known as Vacationland - it's a quiet place you might go on your holidays or travel to if you're into the popular local seafood. And that's about all most people know of it.

Bar Harbor is around five hours drive north from Boston itself, up the New England coastline and then out along the overhanging Eastern seaboard. Drive another couple of hours and you're in Canada. It's pretty remote.

The real-life Bar Harbor.
Fallout 4's Far Harbor.

Like a lot of towns in New England, Bar Harbor is surrounded by dense forests. It's also bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, which surrounds the island - perfect for a video game map.

Bar Harbor's real-world map. How close will Far Harbor's be?

Bar Harbor is a great setting, really - it is surrounded by Arcadia National Park, so there is lots of wilderness for Fallout's irradiated beasties to hide in. Maine has a history of hunting - usually for deer, moose or bears. You can also see whales or porpoise off its coast - and there's a skeleton of some large animal in the Far Harbor beach screenshot above.

Other local landmarks also include Cadillac Mountain, the highest shoreline peak in the US, and the many other smaller islands just off the coast - perfect for side-mission adventures.

Fallout fans on Reddit reckon they've even tracked down the building shown in Far Harbor's cover art above. You can see it in this stock photo the found in the depths of the internet's vaults:

Bar Harbor is mostly known as a tourist stop although it is also the site of two biomedical labs - which may pop up in the Fallout 4 story.

Bethesda has described Far Harbor as the setting for a new new case from Valentine's Detective Agency, involving a lost young woman and a secret colony of synths. You travel to the island and find it suffering from higher levels of radiation - making it home to even more "feral" inhabitants. The synths, the Children of Atom and local townspeople are embroiled in some mysterious conflict, which the player can bring peace to.

After the reproductions of Diamond Park and other Boston landmarks, the more rural wilderness of Bar Harbor - or rather, Far Harbor - will allow Bethesda some more freedom, as well as giving players plenty of room to explore. It'll be interesting to see how close - or how post-apocalyptically different - Far Harbor ends up being to its real-world counterpart.