That'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 you can select instead of creating a character from scratch: Max Stone, Natalia Dubrovhsky and Albert Cole.Note: 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.
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.
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."
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 sameperson.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Head of the Paladins who would later become Elder after the death of John Maxson. He doesn't like talking to you.
Berserk Button: One wrong word said to him and he'll quickly snap. Since he's barely (if at all) relevant to the story, it's better not to even talk to him at all (lest he throws you out of the Brotherhood of Steel).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A God I Am Not: He mentions that the children of the cathedral view him and the Master as gods. If you ask him if he believes himself to be one, he simply replies "Of course not!"
Genius Bruiser: Has high intelligence stats and he keeps an intellectual tone throughout his conversation. There's a reason he's the second in command.
Gorn: The game has plenty of violent deaths, but the Lieutenant's death animation is probably the goriest one in the game: His flesh slowly, painfully melts away until nothing remains but a deformed, bloody skeleton which stumbles around for a second before dissolving into a puddle of goo.
The Heavy: Even though the Master is the leader of the Unity, the Lieutenant is the one doing most of the work, and directing the boots on the ground.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: While he lacks his charisma and vision, the Lieutenant seems far less deluded than the Master about their goal. If you bring up the Super Mutant sterility to him, he acknowledges it to be a problem, but assumes the problem will eventually be corrected.
In Game Nickname: Called "Lou Tenant", "Lou" or "Loo" by his minions. Called "The Right Hand of God" by the Children of the Cathedral.
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.
A 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.