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The Vault DwellerThat's you
- a poor schmuck from Vault 13, chosen by the Vault Overseer to be sent out in the radioactive wasteland. Your mission: to find a new water chip for Vault 13 or else everyone you know and love will die. Simple enough job
- there's another Vault nearby, and they'll surely be able to spare you one. But as you'll travel across the radiated desert, you'll learn that nothing is that simple and everything comes with a price...
The game comes with three pre-made Vault Dwellers, pictured to the right, that you can select instead of creating a character from scratch. They are, from left to right: Albert Cole
, Max Stone
, and Natalia Dubrovhsky
In the original Fallout
the protagonist is a blank slate character whose name, age, gender and personality is fully customizable. In all subsequent games the actions of the first game are attributed to a male character known only as "the Vault Dweller", hence the name.
- Action Survivor
- Badass Normal: Just some kid from a Vault sent out into the world with little more than a handgun, a jumpsuit and some water flasks. Ended up becoming one of the most influential figures in post-apocalyptic history.
- Badass Grandpa: In the backstory of Fallout 2. One day the people of Arroyo awoke to discover the elderly Vault Dweller mysteriously gone, leaving their Vault Suit neatly folded on their bed. It was presumed that they returned to wander the Wastes, but where they went after that - or if they died there - no-one really knows.
- BFG: If his/her memoirs in the Fallout 2 manual are to be believed, s/he stormed the Mariposa Base wielding one.
- Cannon Fodder: Immediately after leaving the Vault, you stumble upon the remains of Ed, a skeleton wearing a Vault jumpsuit. This heavily implies that you weren't the first person sent out by the Overseer in search of a replacement water chip.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Junktown main quest is a good example - stop Gizmo's assassin from killing Killian, then agree to gather evidence against Gizmo. After that, tell Gizmo while wearing a bug that you'll take the job in place of the dead guy, then rat him out to Killian, then when you go to confront Gizmo with Killian you can kill them both.
- Combat Pragmatist: Not above aiming for eyes and groins. Also, in the game's climax it's possible to skip boss fights with both the Master and Lieutenant by making their bases explode under their feet.
- Cutting Off The Branches: Zig-Zagged. Many actions and characteristics of the player character are set in stone in the sequel like rescuing Tandi, wiping out the Khan raiders, and fixing the water pump in Necropolis. Many characters also refer to the Vault Dweller as a man and a fairly heroic character. However, many other things are left vague or skipped over entirely: The fate of almost all other communities you encountered are left ambiguous, and most customizable aspects (like name, age, appearance, and personality) are left out or barely touched upon. A few characters even say no one is quite certain if it was a man or a woman.
- Determinator: Quoth the Vault Dweller themselves from their memoirs;
- The Dreaded: Becomes this posthumously in the sequel to the raiders and all those who would dare prey on the weak, due mostly to being responsible for the defeat of the Khans, a raider group that was threatening Shady Sands.
- Dude, Where's My Reward?: Thanks to your efforts, the West Coast is spared from the Master's plan. Yet by order of the Overseer, you are forever banished from Vault 13 for becoming "too different."
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Retroactively in the sequels, in the original game few people knew you were from a Vault, and most people you could tell this to didn't believe you anyway. But in Fallout 2 especially, you're known in wasteland history as "The Vault Dweller".
- The Exile: After saving his Vault, he's cast out due to the wasteland making him "too different."
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three pre-made characters fill this archetype: Max Stone (fighter), Natalia Dubrovhsky (thief) and Albert Cole (mage). The "mage" being a non-magical variant in the form of a diplomat: a physically weak character that, with some leveling and patience, can eventually defeat the most powerful enemies effortlessly (with words rather than magic here).
- Guile Hero: Fallout was one of the first computer RPGs where it was possible to play as one of these through the entire game.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: You get to name the protagonist at the start of the game, and since most of the dialogue is in text only most other characters will call you by that name.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Out of all his companions he seems to miss Dogmeat the most.
- Idiot Hero: Playing a character whose INT score is lower than 4 provides rather hilarious results. The full effects arguably count as a Deconstruction of the Idiot Hero: your character is functionally retarded and learning new skills becomes extremely difficult. Most of the Wasteland will treat you as a joke, and many quests can't be started because your speech is far too impaired to hold a normal conversation.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Everybody seems to know about the Vault Dweller's exploits. NCR even has a massive statue in their courtyard.
- Shrouded in Myth: By 2281, both the Vault Dweller and the Chosen One are still well-known in the NCR, although according to Ezekiel, one of the Followers of the Apocalypse, some people erroneously believe they were actually the same person.
- One-Man Army: If his memoirs are any indication then he had few allies with him in his journey, most to all of whom died at some point or another. He also indicates that the way he resolved problems, typically with super mutants, involved him going guns blazing.
- Protagonist Without A Past: Averted if you pick one of the three pre-made characters, who each have a short backstory. Otherwise played straight. Justified for the most part since you have never been outside Vault 13 before and were probably just like any other vault dweller.
- Screw Politeness Im A Senior: If his reluctance towards writing his memoirs is believed, he began acting this way in his old age.
Jacoren (Vault 13 Overseer)
Voiced by: Kenneth Mars
The leader of Vault 13. It is his job to see that Vault 13 continues to function peacefully, effectively and unopened. After the Vault's water chip broke down, he was forced to choose one young Vault Dweller to find a new one. He is also well aware of the Vault Experiment and intends to keep it going for the designated 200 years. After the Vault Dweller had saved the day, he prepared a present for his champion - a banishment. He argued that had the hero stayed in the Vault, the other Vault Dwellers would have gotten it into their heads that outside world wasn't completely uninhabitable and left the safety of the Vault to the cold, unforgiving wasteland. This decision came to bite him in the ass when the entire Vault turned against him for exiling their hero and executed him after finding out about the Vault Experiment.
- All There in the Manual: His real name only appears in concept art for the game.
- Karmic Death: He exiled the Vault Dweller to keep the Vault from tearing itself apart. In the end, he was overthrown by the residents of Vault 13 for exiling their savior and executed, while the Vault was divided between those who followed the Vault Dweller outside and those who stayed behind.
- In an Alternate Ending (if you have bad karma or the Bloody Mess trait), the Vault Dweller shoots the Overseer in the back before leaving.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Subverted. While he appears to be both reasonable and well-meaning, he is also willing to keep the insane Vault Experiment going and exile the Vault Dweller after s/he wasn't needed anymore.
- Retcon: In Fallout 2 his motives for exiling the Vault Dweller were changed from "not wanting to disrupt the Vault's order" to "not wanting to disrupt an Ancient Conspiracy started by his predecessors".
- It's more reasonable to assume that he lied to the Vault Dweller so s/he would not know and spread word of the Vault experiment.
- According to the devs, especially Tim Cain, this was the intent all along.
- Ungrateful Bastard
- We Have Reserves: The skeleton of Ed outside the Vault door heavily implies that the Vault Dweller wasn't the first person the Overseer chose to send out to find a replacement water chip.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness He at least showed some remorse for using the Vault Dweller as a tool before exiling him.
A no-nonsense merchant guard and your first recruitable companion. Was canonically burned to death
while fighting super mutants alongside Vault Dweller. Dummied Out
content in Fallout 2
shows that he faked his death and asked the Vault Dweller to help with the cover-up. He is still alive and kicking, living just outside Vault City.
- Artificial Stupidity: He has a bad habit of trying to shoot enemies through friendly targets.
- Can't Catch Up: He's a pretty good fighter in the early-to-mid game, but since you can't upgrade his armor, he's pretty much cannon fodder by the time you start facing Super Mutants and Deathclaws.
- The Lancer: The Vault Dweller's first and closest companion.
- Only in It for the Money: Unless you have good speech skill, he will only join you if you pay him for his services.
- Really 700 Years Old: Ian was probably already older than the Vault Dweller by the time of the first game but he is still doing well 80 years later. His improbable age is Lampshaded during his Dummied Out conversation with the Chosen One.
- Weapon of Choice: Give Ian a SMG and get out of his way.
A gas mask wearing Nevada Ranger with years of experience under his belt. If recruited, he helps the Vault Dweller mop the floor with the local crime boss and save the Core Region from super mutants.
- Bad Ass Longcoat: Implied to wear one, which might be required for his job as a Ranger.
- The Big Guy: Easily the most heavily armed and armoured of all companions.
- Crazy-Prepared: Years of traveling in the wasteland has made him quite a survivalist. He wears a gas mask at all times, just in case.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat: While you can't see his gas mask on his character model, his description text mentions it.
- Genius Bruiser: Both the strongest, and most intellectual and well-spoken of your companions.
- Hidden Depths: Keeps to himself and rarely provides any location-specific commentary, unlike Ian. But use the "tell-me-about" text phraser to ask him about various key words and you will get some very informative, intelligent, and educated opinions from him on many subjects.
- Mythology Gag: Tycho's entire backstory is a shout out to Wasteland, the game which inspired the Fallout series.
- Plot Tumor: His off-hand mention of the Desert Rangers was picked up and expanded upon in New Vegas. The developers have even commented that the iconic attire of the NCR Rangers was lifted direct from Tycho's Gas Mask, Longcoat description.
- Ranger: A Nevada Desert Ranger, to be precise.
- Weapon of Choice: Double-barreled shotgun, but will settle for any rifle he is given. Giving him anything with burst fire function results in A-Team Firing.
A Scavenger who joins the Vault Dweller on his/her journey if asked. She hangs around with Followers of the Apocalypse, although she doesn't share their ideas.
- Action Girl: Underestimating her as a fighter will likely get you a knife to the face. Or groin.
- The Cynic
- Knife Nut: Likes her throwing knives and joins you equipped with some.
- Master of Unlocking
- Nun Too Holy: She is a member of the quasi-religious pacifistic Followers Of The Apocalypse. Doesn't make her any less prone to sticking a knife in someone's eye.
- The Smart Guy: Not book-smart, but very street smart and quick on her feet. She's also good at picking locks.
- Straight Edge: She stays off drugs and alcohol because she once witnessed a good friend die of an overdose.
- Weapon of Choice: Throwing knives.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: Possibly due to Rule of Cool. Or maybe she just found an old bottle of hair dye. Or maybe she's just barely a mutant.
Aradesh's daughter who is kidnapped by the raiders. She accompanies the player for a short time after rescuing her, or permanently if you don't return to Shady Sands. In Fallout 2
, she is the President of the New California Republic.
- Accent Relapse: Sort of. She apparently gained a vaguely Southern accent in the time between the first and second games.
- Action Girl: After being rescued from the Khans, if you fight your way out she'll pull out a knife and help you fight. She's not as effective as any of your other companions, but she can cause some damage with it.
- Ambiguously Brown: Which makes sense, given that Vault 15 was deliberately made as multi-ethnic as possible as part of the Vault Experiment.
- Big Good: In Fallout 2, being largely responsible for building up the NCR into the Wasteland's only known functional post-war democracy.
- Damsel in Distress: Kidnapped by the raiders and in need of rescue.
- Guest Star Party Member: You can actually keep her around until the end of the game, but although she does act as an extra handy gun, she really doesn't offer anything special and has somewhat lower stats than your "real" party members.
- I Was Quite a Looker: The 80 years between games did not do her well.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In Fallout 2.
- 100% Adoration Rating: There is a reason why she's President for life; they keep voting her in.
Voiced by: Tony Shalhoub
The leader of Shady Sands, the village built by the survivors of Vault 15.
Sheriff Killian Darkwater
Voiced by: Richard Dean Anderson
The mayor of Junktown and proprietor of the local general store.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Sure you're expected to help, but he still whips out his shotgun when Gizmo's assassin comes calling, and participates in taking down Gizmo himself later.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Both his first and last name is Badass.
- By-the-Book Cop: Surprising, given the setting. He's perfectly aware that Gizmo and the Skulz gang are up to no good, but he won't move against them unless he gets solid evidence. (If you gun down Gizmo and his cronies without any evidence, his reaction amounts to, "I'm glad he's dead; now get out of here and don't come back, you murderer.")
- Death Glare: Got a particulary nasty one when he gets angry.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He certainly looks like his VA, Richard Dean Anderson.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Shotguns Are Just Better
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: He's mayor, sheriff, and shopkeeper all in one. Justified given the post-apocalyptic setting.
The owner of Junktown's casino, he aims to take out Killian and seize the town for himself.
The leader of the Necropolis mutants.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his appearance, manners and way of talking, he isn't evil.
- Genre Savvy: Unlike most others, he isn't annoyed if you play a low intelligence character. He takes the opportunity in making you defeat the mutants.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's extremely unpleasant and a massive jerk, but as a leader, he's actually quite just and reasonable. He makes sure his people have a steady supply of water, lets the underground ghouls live in peace despite rejecting his rule, properly rewards the Player Character for removing the Mutants and even tolerates outsiders in town during the day. Searching through his desk will reveal that he outright refused to turn in unmutated humans to the Master's Army despite their military presence in the town. Considering the contempt he shows towards "normies", that's saying something.
- Meaningful Name: "Set", as in the Egyptian god of chaos, deserts, and darkness. Head of a city of ghouls in the middle of the wasteland, yup.
- Pardon My Klingon: His dialogue infamously uses many strange euphemisms ("Dirtnap!" "Makes my shadow grow!"), done in an attempt to show that he's attempting to form a new "ghoul culture" distinct from that of humanity.
Voiced by: Pamela Adlon
The leader of the Followers of the Apocalypse, a quasi-religious pacifistic group dedicated to educating the wasteland on the past to avoid repeating it. They're also suspicious of the Children of the Cathedral.
- Dummied Out: She was supposed to play a bigger role in the game, but like much of the content in the Boneyard, it had to be cut down due to the developers running out of time.
- La Résistance
- Saintly Church: She and the Followers are probably the most unambiguously good people you encounter in the game.
Brotherhood of Steel
The High Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel. He is one of the few people in the organization who wants to do something about the imminent Super Mutant threat.
- Cool Old Guy
- Hypocritical Humor: "I'll help you out as long as you don't start flappin' your gums too much. You know, outsiders are like that, always jawin... kinda like me, huh?"
- Only Sane Man: He's pretty much the only Elder (and possibly member) in the Brotherhood aware of the threat the Super Mutants pose.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's willing to speak openly to an outsider like the Vault Dweller, and will offer Brotherhood support if the Military Base is found.
Voiced by: CCH Pounder
Head Scribe of the Brotherhood of Steel.
- Bald Woman: Well, except for her ponytail.
- Meganekko: Which may be the reason she is unbelievably cute despite the above trope.
The Head of the Paladins who would later become Elder after the death of John Maxson. He doesn't like talking to you.
The Master née Richard Grey
The main antagonist of the game and the mind behind the super mutants. The Master is a horribly mutated thing
made up of bits of dead flesh and machinery, hooked up to a vault computer. He was formerly a resident of Vault 8 named Richard Moreau, but an incident at Mariposa Military Base ended in him being horribly mutated by the Forced Evolutionary Virus inside. After this, he found out a way to turn normal humans into super mutants via the same virus. His main plan is to convert all of what remains of humanity into super mutants, because he believes that they will only tear themselves apart with infighting over petty differences and that super mutants are better adapted to survive in the world the nuclear war created.
- A God Am I: He doesn't refer to himself as such, but his mutants view him as a "dark god".
- And I Must Scream: The accident at Mariposa caused him to spend over a month floating in the vats containing the Forced Evolutionary Virus, hence his substantial and unique mutation.
- Anti-Villain: He really does think he's doing the right thing, and considering the state of the wasteland his aggressive agenda make sense.
- Apocalyptic Log: The diary detailing his transformation.
- Assimilation Plot: The Master's ultimate plan, even more literally than his followers think. They think he plans to bring all of humanity under the control of his faction, the Unity. They're right, but they don't realize that he also plans to consume and assimilate everyone. "Unity" indeed.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As the final boss of the game, he's appropriately very tough, being integrated into a Vault Overseer chair and having access to its twin gatling lasers.
- Big Bad
- Body Horror: Oh yeah.◊
- Driven to Suicide: See Heel Realization
- Eldritch Abomination: Okay, he's not alien, but he's nothing short of incredibly weird, with his Psychic Powers, lack of a real true form, and all the Body Horror involved in his creation.
- Enemy Summoner
- Final Boss
- Heel Realization: If you opt to talk him to death, you can reveal to him that his Super Mutants are sterile and that his plan will never work. He's so stricken with grief upon realizing that all his work has been for nothing that he kills himself and blows the vault he uses for a base up with a nuke.
- The Master
- Mix-and-Match Critter
- Noble Bigot: He has genuinely good intentions and sympathetic motives, but he is also quite smug and condescending during your encounter. You can call him out on this.
- Prophetic Name / Sue Donym: Originally Richard Moreau, he picked up the alias Grey after being exiled from Vault City, forcing him to head south.
- Psychic Powers
- Skippable Boss: If you got the Lieutenant's key, it's quite possible to complete the game without ever seeing him.
- Utopia Justifies the Means
- Villainous Breakdown: If you manage to convince him his plans will fail.
- Visionary Villain
- Voice of the Legion: His speech is composed in real time with slightly digitilized samples of the voices of everyone he has absorbed. The voices switch intermittently, even within the same sentence.
- Was Once a Man: Remember the story Harold told you about his friend Richard Grey? That was him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He honestly believes that converting everyone into Super Mutants is the only way to ensure humanity's survival in the post-apocalyptic world. He's even willing to allow people to opt-out of being mutated, provided they allow themselves to be sterilized and live the rest of their lives under Super Mutant control.
- Wetware CPU: Sometime after taking his dunk in the F.E.V. tank, the remains of Richard bonded with the Vault Overseer's chair.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Once you learn about everything he's gone through and witnessed, it's not hard to see why he became so insane.
Lou Tenant (Lieutenant)
The Master's second-in-command. One of the few supermutants gifted with both extraordinary intelligence and
extraordinary strength, he represented the Master's vision of how the supermutants should be perfectly and was chosen as his right hand man. He is in charge of the Master's army and oversees the mutation process at the Mariposa Military Base.
The high priest of the Children of the Cathedral. A former gang member recruited by the Master to lead the fake religion constructed around his persona as a means to win over the hearts and minds of the people in the wasteland. He believes himself to be far more important to the Master than he actually is.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Believes himself to be a vital part of the Master’s plan, but in reality he is just an expendable pawn.
Lieutenant: It's quite amusing. He thinks he's so much more than just a slug the Master recruited to head his Children of the Cathedral nonsense. Ah, well. He, too, will be dipped in the Vats and he'll probably die a horrible death... I hope.
- Deadpan Snarker: If you play a low intelligence character.
Morpheus: "No, I'm Father Death."
- High Priest
- In the Hood
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Lampshaded.
"Father Morpheus. That's a real peaceful sounding name. Who's his assistant, Brother Murder? Brother Death? Sister Kill maybe?"
- Religion of Evil
- Smug Snake: Every single word coming out of his mouth just oozes of smugness.
- Sinister Minister: The Children of the Cathedral is a Scam Religion anyway, but Morpheus doesn't even pretend to be following its teachings.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Many people around the Boneyard see him as a kindly healer and pious cleric.
HarryA shining example of super mutant intelligence
. If the Lieutenant perfectly exemplifies how the super mutants should be, then Harry is the perfect example of how wrong the mutation process can go. Sadly for the Master, Harry represents the vast majority of his subjects.