Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
A pseudonymous modder by the name of “Trainwiz” has released a mod for Bethesda’s Starfield game that replaces ships with Thomas the Tank Engine, rendering all your serious sci-fi adventures... well, a little silly.
“I have replaced all ships in Starfield with Thomas the Tank Engine. Let's all be mature about this now,” the modder wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday, alongside a trailer that offers gamers a glimpse into the strange—and creepy—world.
The Thomas mod, called “Really Useful Starfield,” has only about 100 downloads at time of writing—but offers players a truly staggering description on its NexusMods page.
“For his crimes against God and his invention of murder, Thomas was smote, thusly. Rejected from Hell and obviously never going to get into Heaven, they say that the Tank Engine has been banished to wander the stars forever, unable to satiate his bloodlust and unable to find peace in his heart,” the mod’s description reads.
— Trainwiz (@trainwiz) October 11, 2023
“If you're installing this mod to begin with, we can both agree your life isn't in the best place currently,” the description adds, adding insult to injury.
In an FAQ section added by the mod’s developer, it’s explained that only Thomas was added to the mod, and not other trains for children like Percy—because Percy “is serving seven consecutive life sentences in a federal supermax prison.”
Perhaps this is the Starfield lore we never knew we needed.
Whether you believe this mod is a blessing or a curse matters not, however, because for whatever reason, gamers love Thomas the Tank Engine. Before his starring role in this Starfield mod, modders gave Thomas unofficial lead roles in Bethesda’s fantasy role-playing game Skyrim over a decade ago, and made him a murderous villain in a custom game mode for Blizzard’s shooter game, Overwatch.
Thomas has even become a horror lead in Resident Evil Village, breathed fire in Elden Ring, and has a starring role in this Fallout mod—which turns all missiles, nukes, Deathclaws (carnivorous reptiles), and Vertibirds (helicopters) into the visage of the wide-eyed blue train.
This long-time trend has been deeply investigated, with The Face reporting that Thomas’s appeal lies in how his blocky body and bizarre face elicits humor, fear, and a “deeply unnerving” feeling among those who view his presence.
In 2019, one Thomas the Tank Engine modder reported that Mattel, the IP owners of the wide-eyed train, “pretty much want me dead at this point” because of his train-themed creations. After takedown requests were submitted to YouTube, the platform reportedly rejected a second request, citing that the video about the mod was allowed under “parody law.”
Let’s face it, gamers—Thomas the Tank Engine is everywhere, and he cannot be stopped.