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Character page for the Fallout series.

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Recurring Characters


One day, a shotgun-toting man in a leather jacket walked into Junktown with his dog. The man was killed by thugs and the dog was left all alone. When another traveler walked into town a month later and befriended him, Dogmeat decided to follow the traveler to the ends of the Earth — it so happens this second traveler was the Player Character of the first Fallout game.

According to the manual for Fallout 2 where the Vault Dweller recounts his adventures, Dogmeat died running into a force field in the Mariposa Military Base, but returned in Fallout 2 in an optional random encounter to aid the Chosen One. In Fallout 3 the Lone Wanderer finds Dogmeat in a junkyard, and Word of God is that somehow this is a descendant of the original Dogmeat. Another Dogmeat appears in Fallout 4, but he is (apparently) not related to the original Dogmeat family line and just happens to have the same name.

  • Artificial Stupidity: "Bad dog! You're standing in my line of fire! That's better, now watch out for that forcef— DOGMEAT, NOOO!" In fact, that's canonically how the original Dogmeat died.
  • Badass Family: Given the badassery of his Identical Grandson and his pups, it's safe to say that ass-biting is In the Blood.
  • Canine Companion: A loyal one.
  • Dead Guy Junior: In Fallout 3 there's the Puppies! perk, added in Broken Steel. Should Dogmeat get killed in the line of duty, one of his puppies/reincarnation will appear by the Vault 101 entrance a short time later. The puppy is treated as if he were the original and is thus subject to the perk as well.
  • Everything's Precious with Puppies: Awww, did Dogmeat die heroically in combat in the Capital Wasteland? Well, now your beloved companion is gone forever... or is he? With the Puppies! perk you'll never have to worry about his safety again! Whenever he bites it you'll just have to wait for a new doggie buddy to show up at Vault 101. Truly, puppies make everything better.
  • Fragile Speedster: Dogmeat has tons of action points per turn and a nasty bite. Too bad he can't wear armor. Subverted in 3 thanks to the next trope.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Like Fawkes and RL-3, he levels up with the player with the Broken Steel DLC added for Fallout 3, and can end up with insane health by time you reach level 30. The only thing keeping him from being Plus One is his lack of a long range attack.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Vault Dweller's memoirs state that it's canon that the original Dogmeat died by running into a force field.
  • Legacy Character: There's a Dogmeat in all four main games. The Fallout 4 dog is an entirely different breed from the one seen in 3, so it may be a descendant of Dogmeat after he bred with a female German Shepard, or it may be this trope. Dogmeat isn't around in New Vegas, but the player can find Rex the cyberdog as a replacement.
  • Shout-Out: To the Canine Companion of heroes in both Mad Max and A Boy and His Dog.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: "Dogmeat, don't get too close to that Deathclaw/Super Mutant wielding Minigun/forcefie—" (ZAP) "DOGMEAAAT!"
  • Team Pet: He's often the only animal you can get to follow you. Fallout 2 has other dogs you can acquire, but none of them are as famous (or powerful) as Dogmeat.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: How Dogmeat survived the first game in spite of dying in it. The way you get him in Fallout 2 is a random encounter where cut characters and Dummied Out incarnations of existing characters can be found, and Dogmeat is among them and follows you out. Considering some of the other random encounters in Fallout 2, it's possible that some sort of time or dimensional travel is actually taking place here.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can pet him, treat his injuries, feed him yummy food, tell him he's a good boy, and prevent him from dying horribly while he tries to defend your life. (sniff)

Harold in Fallout
Harold in Fallout 2.Harold and an older Bob in Fallout 3, 
Voiced by: Charlie Adler (1 and 2), Alan Oppenheimer (Brotherhood of Steel), Stephen Russell (3) (English)note 

A person horribly mutated by FEV, he resembles a ghoul pretty strongly, aside from having a plant growing from his head. The plant's name is Bob, but he calls it Herbert... which is pretty sophisticated humor coming from a man with a root system entrenched in his brain. In the first game, he's a beggar in the Hub who provides information to the player for a price. In the second game he becomes mayor of Gecko, a city of ghouls. By the third game he's migrated to the Capital Wasteland, but Bob has grown too much and he literally puts down permanent roots, Bob growing into a massive forest with Harold as the central hub of the network.

  • Action Survivor: He's survived more than a hundred years and has been around some pretty dangerous places and people, but he still endures. In fact, he's a very old friend of Richard Gray — the man who became the Master.
  • A God, I Am Not: In Fallout 3, the Treeminders who care for him think that, as a living tree at the heart of a lush forest in the middle of a wasteland, he's a god. Harold has tried over and over to get them to believe that he's not a god, but they assume he's "testing their faith."
  • And I Must Scream: He's been stuck immobile in one position for decades after the tree in his head spread throughout his body and rooted him in place, with side effects including his heart being removed from his body and left dangling several meters below the rest of him. By the time you find him, he longs for death.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Bob growing through him in Fallout 3 has removed his heart some ten or twelve feet below his head and brain, yet he lives and it beats.
  • Body Horror: Getting worse as the years go by, with the tree spreading through his body turning his flesh to what seems to be wood and removing his heart to several meters below him, although Bob seems to have saved him from the fate of fellow FEV-sufferer Richard Grey...
  • Companion Cube: He talks to and about Bob as if they were the best of friends. Again, Bob is a tree growing from his head.
  • Cool Old Guy: Some NPCs remark that he has a lot of interesting stories to tell. They're not lying. Among other things, he started a successful water caravan when the vaults first opened, got turned into a mutant, became the mayor of the Ghoul city of Gecko, gave it up to become an adventurer, walked for thousands of miles from the California region on the West Coast to the Capital Wasteland on the East Coast, mutated still further into a sapient tree, accidentally propagated the first living forest seen in centuries, and became a god to a small cult of good-natured loonies called the Treeminders.
  • Cursed with Awesome: He may be stuck in an And I Must Scream purgatory, but Harold is bringing genuine green life back to the world. He's also able to use his senses through the trees Bob sprouts, so he's becoming a Genius Loci too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially in 3.
  • Death Seeker: In the third game, he asks the player to kill him.
  • Did You Die?: Inverted. If you ever ask him how he survived whatever calamity he got involved in, he'll say: "Didn't. Got killed." He loves that joke.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Bob has one, Herbert. Harold claims he hates it, and in the third game wonders if his usage of it annoyed Bob to the point he mutated Harold into a living tree.
  • Fate Worse than Death: How he feels about his situation in the third game. The player can make him see otherwise.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A heroic version, he went from just a random explorer to progenitor of a whole species of radiation-resistant tree life.
  • Genius Loci: In a sense. After Bob overwhelmed him and formed a forest around him, Harold developed a further mutation that allowed him to see everything going on in his forest through the trees themselves, effectively turning him into the Mind of Oasis.
  • The Grotesque: Even by comparison with ghouls, Harold is unpleasant to look at.
  • Kill It with Fire: Trees burn, after all.
  • Mr. Exposition: He provides a lot of Backstory for the game, especially about Richard Grey, before he became the Master.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Harold looks like the Ghouls, but he's technically not one.
  • Plant Person: Courtesy of Bob, the tree growing from his head. Downplayed in the first games, where Bob is little more than a twig and then a fruiting branch, but by Fallout 3, he's turned into a tree with a face.
  • Self-Deprecation: Uses this a lot as a coping mechanism.
  • Shadow Archetype: It's not apparent (because of the different rates of their mutations), but Harold has integrated with nature in the same way that the Master integrated with technology. And while both have suffered Sanity Slippage from the experience, Harold has become more benevolent (toward the residents of Gecko, the Treeminders, etc.) while Richard Grey plummeted into monstrous behavior.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: It's implied in Fallout 4 that the Brotherhood may have killed Harold for being a mutant, especially one who was "poisoning the earth" by sowing mutant seeds everywhere.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: The Treeminders venerate him: he wishes they'd stop, especially because they keep twisting what he actually says into supporting their own weird beliefs.
  • Transflormation: Bob slowly overtakes his body between his appearances, turning him from a ghoul to a tree man in a couple hundred years.

    Vault Boy

The mascot of Vault-Tec and of the Fallout franchise. With a Vault Suit on his back and a smile on his face, Vault Boy is plastered all over merchandise, menu icons, and posters in-universe, beckoning civilians to a new life in the safety of a Vault-Tec bunker.

  • Butt-Monkey: In the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. animated shorts, he's usually used to demonstrate the effects of going into the Wasteland poorly statted or unprepared. This invariably takes the form on him being horribly mauled by mutants, raiders and roving animals.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Vault Girl.
  • Expy: Was inspired by Rich Uncle Pennybags, AKA the Monopoly guy.
  • Guest Fighter: He makes an appearance as a DLC Mii outfit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Iconic Outfit: The blue and yellow vault jumpsuit, usually the only thing he's shown wearing.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Most of the time, he's shown smiling.
  • Product Placement: Several instances of this happen in-universe with Vault Boy in pre-war media.
  • Series Mascot: Vault Boy is essentially synonymous with the Fallout franchise, often appearing in publicity material or representing it as a whole in other works.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: He tends to suffer gruesome situations in every S.P.E.C.I.A.L. short.
  • The Worf Effect: In the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. shorts, Vault Boy is portrayed as a badass adventurer who gets brutally murdered by the mutants in order to show how dangerous dump stats and failed skill checks can be.

    The Mysterious Stranger

He is many things: an unexpected ally, a strange gunslinger, a guardian angel. Appearing to those in need, he lets off a quick shot (only one is needed) and disappears just as fast. He is... the Mysterious Stranger.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: invoked In-Universe. Nick Valentine, being presumably unaware of the Stranger's association with the player characters of previous games, considers his killings of apparently random and unconnected targets as evidence that he is a dangerous Serial Killer.
  • Ambiguously Human: Whatever he is, he looks incredibly good for his age. Theories over exactly what he is range from him being a human-looking Ghoul to a renegade synth. note  We'll likely never know for sure.
  • Arc Welding: Fallout 4 has Nick Valentine investigating a case on him, confirming that the Stranger is a real person and has been since the first game. Nick further begins speculating on how the Stranger is able to appear across the continent decades apart, and can strike without being seen and then vanish just as quickly.
  • Badass Longcoat: He uses it to supposedly help hide his identity.
  • Beyond the Impossible: While implied to be somehow a real person, he can show up in some pretty outlandish places. The ultimate example of this has to be Operation: Anchorage, where he can show up in a computer simulation meant only for one person. Lampshaded in Mothership Zeta, where the Lone Wanderer can comment that anytime now his "friend" should show up to help them... in an alien spaceship orbiting the Earth.
  • Disappeared Dad: He's implied to be this to the Lonesome Drifter.
  • Distaff Counterpart: He has one in the form of Miss Fortune in Fallout: New Vegas, however, she does an Area of Effect attack in contrast to his single-target One-Hit Kill.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Nick Valentine begins putting together a case on him in Fallout 4 and proposes how the Mysterious Stranger could operate, and in doing so makes it apparent that there may be mundane methods behind the Stranger's decades-long appearances and ability to appear and disappear at a moment's notice.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The perk worked very differently back in Fallout 1 and 2; the player character would gain a leveled companion whenever they entered a hostile encounter. This figure wore a leather jacket, had a leveled weapon, and could be either a man or a woman.
  • Hand Cannon: He carries a .44 magnum capable of delivering a One-Hit Kill on even the toughest enemies in the games.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: He wears one and can kill literally everything in the game in one shot.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Who is he? Where does he come from, and where does he go? Why does he help you? Well, if we knew, then he wouldn't be a very mysterious stranger, now would he?
  • I See Them, Too: Nick Valentine, who's out to arrest him, will exclaim in frustration when he disappears.
  • Leitmotif: His appearance and exit is associated with a cool Western riff in 3 and New Vegas and with a Film Noir one in 4.
  • Murder by Mistake: A frustrating part of his design at least in Fallout 3 is his lack of proper programming when it came to his spawn location. He would appear in a random spot on the map and fire at your target regardless of whether your shot already killed the target, whether or not something was between him and the target, or whether or not some friendly NPC was in his way. Since his shot is generally a one-hit kill... There were also times he could even sidestep somewhere that made the shot he was attempting impossible wasting the perk activation entirely.
  • Mysterious Protector: He shows up in battle to help out the player if they have the perk associated with him.
  • Mysterious Stranger: Um... yeah. You take a perk and he shows up once in a while to save your bacon.
  • One-Hit Kill: His .44 magnum deals 9000 damage per shot.
  • Race Lift: Maybe. Assuming the incarnation of the character seen in Fallout 4 is meant to represent the same person as in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, his appearance is changed from a clean-shaved Asian man to a white man with a bushy mustache.
  • Real After All: While the first three games in the series treated him solely as a gameplay quirk, New Vegas contained a Mythology Gag that implied he was the father of the Lonesome Drifter, and then Fallout 4 implies he's canon.
  • Stealth Expert: Again, maybe. Nick Valentine theorizes that, due to the fact he only ever uses a conventional .44, his ability to appear and disappear at will is actually just the result of expert infiltration training rather than stealth tech. It's difficult to confirm or deny this in-game due to the fact that he appears and departs exclusively during camera transitions.
  • The Spook: No known name, identity, or indeed any sign that he exists at all outside of his killings (apart from one character heavily implied to be his son in New Vegas). No obvious links between himself and those he assists, nor those he kills. Appearance changes between games. His entrance and exit is not accompanied by any tell or trace other than a unique musical sting, unlike all known forms of stealth and teleportation in the series (which use Visible Invisibility and very loud and visible effects, respectively).


Pre-War Factions

Pre-War Companies

    Nuka-Cola Corporation

A beverage manufacturing company before the Great War, Nuka-Cola was the brand of soft drink for the United States, and really the entire world. Nuka-Cola vending machines could be found on street corners, the company had its own soda-centric theme park called Nuka-World, and their dominance in the soft drink market was without question. So widespread were their beverages that, two hundred years later, Nuka-Cola bottles can still be found in abundance in old vending machines and collapsed ruins — most bottles left of it are warm and flat now, not to mention irradiated like every other food item from before the war, but Nuka-Cola is still the soft drink of choice for the post-apocalyptic United States.

  • Arc Welding:
    • Nuka-Cola Victory and Nuka-Cola Quartz appeared in Fallout: New Vegas without any appearance in previous titles and without explanation of their sudden presence. The Nuka-World DLC for Fallout 4 brings back the variants in the theme park, and mentions that those two varieties were specifically rolled out first in the southwestern United States to compete with the regional dominance of Sunset Sarsaparilla. Their growing popularity and plans to introduce the drink on the East Coast were interrupted when the bombs dropped.
    • Fallout Tactics, which is Broad Strokes canon, had Cherry Nuka-Cola as a variant, but it never appeared elsewhere. Then Fallout 4 introduced Nuka-Cherry as a variant. The two have different, but not incompatible, backstories, meaning they may be intended as the same beverage. Tactics also had a character that could brew "Fusion Cola" by mixing Nuka-Cola variants together; Nuka-World introduced the Nuka-Cola Brewing Station that allows customers (and the player) to mix together different flavors into something new.
  • The Assimilator: A corporate variant — they expanded their drink brand by buying out other companies, tweaking their recipes to taste more like Nuka-Cola, and then marketing it as a new flavor of Nuka-Cola.
  • Benevolent Boss: While he was horrible to the competition, the creator and owner of the company, John-Caleb Bradburton, seemed to treat his employees fairly well. His research staff at Nuka-World worked out of a fairly well-furnished and secure underground bunker, and when an executive saved the companies millions in lawsuits due to some fine print in legal contracts, Bradburton gifted him a new car.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • The company is an obvious spoof of Coca-Cola, right down to the red label with white text, and written in a similar font. Interestingly, it's implied that Coca-Cola may exist in the Fallout universe alongside Nuka-Cola — the shape of Nuka-Cola bottles changed in Fallout 4 to a rocket ship shape, when previously their shape was identical to bottles of Coke. The in-game explanation is that an unnamed competing soft drink company sued Nuka-Cola claiming copyright infringement on the design of their bottles, and won, so Nuka-Cola had to abandon the design.
      • The founder of the company is named John-Caleb Bradburton, a mash-up of the founders of Coca-Cola (John Pemberton) and Pepsi (Caleb Bradham).
    • The Nuka-World DLC for Fallout 4 adds a dash of the Walt Disney Corporation to the mix, with the eponymous theme park being a parody of Walt Disney World, and it's revealed that Bradburton managed to survive as a head floating in a tube, in a nod to a pop cultural rumor about Walt Disney.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: They would undermine competitors through any means necessary to buy them out, and anyone that wouldn't sell, Nuka-Cola would deliberately rip off their brand with an identical drink under their label to compete with them that way. In the case of Vim pop, it's implied just short of outright stating that Nuka-Cola was arranging to have their distribution trucks mugged and their factory equipment sabotaged to try and tank the company's profits and pressure them into selling.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In keeping with Fallout's extensive parody of '50s culture, Nuka-Cola advertisements proudly tout the drink provides "120% recommended daily dose of sugar!" Nuka-Cola Quantum takes it a step further by promising "twice the calories, twice the carbohydrates, twice the caffeine, and twice the taste!"
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Nuka-Cola Quantum is explosive, which is what allows the Nuka-Grenade and Nuka-Nuke to be crafted from it.
  • Milkman Conspiracy: Nuka-Cola's chemical engineers were so good at making soda, they ended up getting contracts with the US military to create chemical weapons. Nuka-World has its Galaxy Zone patrolled by robots thinly disguised as park exhibits, when they were actually a military contract for the park to have its own robot fighting army in the case it needed it in the war.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The company's mascot, Nuka-Girl, is depicted as a pretty young blonde woman in a tight spacesuit that exposes her cleavage and midriff.
  • Mundane Utility: They used radioactive isotopes to... make a delicious soft drink. They then circled it right back to Mundane Made Awesome with the various ways in which that radioactive soft drink can be weaponized to potent effect. In the post-apocalypse world, Wastelanders especially love the unstable part of the drinks, using them to mix up some ridiculously powerful grenades.
  • Secret Ingredient: Nuka-Cola Quantum's blue glow comes from a radioactive isotope. It took the death of many (over 60!) testers, but eventually they managed to make a version that is safe (well, within an acceptable margin of safety) for consumption, though it does make one's urine glow blue for a week after consumption.

    Vault-Tec Corporation
"The Vaults were never meant to save anyone..."

Vault-Tec was a pre-War military contracting company so influential in the United States that it was basically an auxiliary branch of the Pentagon. As part of the government's initiative to ensure the survival of the United States citizens in the event a nuclear holocaust occurred, Vault-Tec constructed a number of massive underground bunkers called "Vaults", that would provide shelter for civilians if, when, the bombs came. At least, that's the story told to the public — the reality is the Vaults were a ploy to get groups of humans into a confined space for various scientific and sociological experiments, with the data to be put towards how the Enclave could and should rebuild civilization after the dust of the bombs settles.

  • Corporate Conspiracy: Vault-Tec was supposedly building the Vaults to save American citizens from the inevitable nuclear war. In reality, the Vault program was a pretense to gather test subjects into a confined space for various scientific and sociological experiments, with the data to be used by the Enclave to rebuild civilization. Unfortunately, Vault-Tec was a Stupid Evil Incompetence, Inc. whose corporate culture actively encouraged their Mad Scientists to conduct needlessly cruel "experiments" for their own amusement.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Vault-Tec sold the public on the Vault program as a way to ensure their safety from the war, as a pretense to gather test subjects for horrific experiments.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zigzagged. Vault-Tec merchandised the hell out of themselves with bobbleheads, lunchboxes, clothing, cross-promotional gimmicks with other companies, and more. So prolific were they that such things can be found all over the country centuries later. Yet it seems that they were only interested in marketing those mundane products — their cutting-edge scientific pursuits like terra-forming modules, advanced computer AI, human cloning, biogenetics research, and powerful hallucinogens, were kept secret for use in the Vaults, and it's implied not even the government or the Enclave knew the full extent of what Vault-Tec could do.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a supreme case of Irony, Vault-Tec seemed certain that the general population held a high-esteem for human life regarding several Vault experiments. For instance, Vault 11's experiment was that the denizens must select one person to be killed each year. It is heavily implied that Vault-Tec believed the denizens of Vault 11 would end the experiment by refusing the yearly human sacrifice after only a few years, if they killed anyone at all. They were very wrong.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: According to the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC, being a cartoonish psychopath is so ingrained into the corporate culture that the single employee who doesn't indulge in this and made functional machines that didn't harm their users was largely hated for being an anomaly.
  • Evil, Inc.: Their corporate culture actively encouraged amoral psychopathy and shuns any employees who prefer to make safe and practical inventions for the masses.
  • For Science!: A lot of Vault-Tec's experiments seem to be to conduct science just for the sake of science. A good example is Vault 118, which was supposed to consist of 10 elite rich citizens and 300 middle-class "workers", and the elites could lord their privilege and influence over the workers. However, then one of the elites who was a robotics engineer suggested they all transfer their minds to Robobrains to survive the war — the Overseer of the Vault warned Vault-Tec of his plan and that it could compromise the experiment, but Vault-Tec found the idea intriguing and let it go ahead as a new experiment.
  • For the Evulz: Their "experiments" were often pointlessly and excessively cruel, and it's a mystery how any useful and practical information could be gleaned from performing them. Examples include filling a Vault with recovering drug addicts, getting them clean, and then revealing a cache of chems and alcohol to see what they do; forcing the Vault residents to choose one of their own to be sacrificed to the main computer or the Vault's systems will shut down and doom them all; and pumping psychotropic drugs into the air filtration system until inevitably all the residents became violent maniacs.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Most of the Vault-Tec Vaults were social experiments that had extremely predictable results. For example, Vault 95 was created to test what would happen if Addled Addicts were all cured of their drug addictions, only for a massive surplus of their old vices to be revealed and left open for their use. Predictably, most of the former addicts relapsed, and even those that didn't were either killed in the chaos and fighting that resulted over the stash or eventually gave in just so that they wouldn't die alone.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Vault-Tec Corporation's atrocities are known far and wide across the North American Wasteland, and their actions are indirectly responsible for some of its greatest dangers (such as the growth of the Master's armies in Fallout 1 through providing un-mutated humans for FEV exposure). There are some implications that Vault-Tec was fully aware of the oncoming nuclear war and even some hints that they may have been partially responsible for starting it.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Likely thanks in part to being a massive Mega-Corp, it's frequently shown that the employees at Vault-Tec really weren't that good at their jobs most of the time, with sterling examples of quality like Vault 118 being so mismanaged that it led to only half of the Vault being finished and its rich residents becoming Robobrains, and Vault 114 having them be hoodwinked by the Boston Mafia so it would be built inside of a subway station and be useless for experimentation.
  • It Amused Me: A couple of their Vaults are just plain silly and seem to have been done as a joke, like Vault 43, populated by twenty women, ten men, and one panther; or Vault 77, populated by one man and a crate full of hand puppets. Vaults 55 and 56 were sister Vaults, 55 had no entertainment tapes while 56 had one tape, that of a terrible stand-up comic — Vault-Tec was curious which Vault would fall apart first, and they predicted it would be 56. Vaults 69, in what is very definitely a joke, had a population of 999 women and a single man; its sister Vault, Vault 68, carried out an inversion.
  • It Was His Sled: invoked Happened in-universe after the war. It used to be a genuine secret to the people living in the post-war US that the Vaults were used for social and science experiments, not bunkers to save people from the war. However, as time has progressed, more Vaults been explored and word has gotten around, and now it's common knowledge what Vault-Tec was really doing behind closed doors.
  • Laughably Evil: Downplayed; As horrible and despicable as many of their experiments are portrayed, the general Comedic Sociopathy portrayed by their corporate culture and general Stupid Evil antics is also mined for a fair share of Black Comedy across the games.
  • Mad Scientist: Vault-Tec's employee application forms must list "lack of morals and ethics" as a requirement, because almost every direct employee of the company is amoral to some degree, and this is especially pronounced with those in charge of the Vault experimentation. This is outright lampshaded by the original Overseer of Vault 81 in Fallout 4, who mentions in her personal log that she's surprised she got picked to be Overseer because she would have thought her sense of morals and ethics would be contrary to what Vault-Tec tends to expect from their employees.
  • Mega-Corp: They built military hardware, underground bunkers, computers, experimented in biogenetics, terraforming modules, various software and hardware to be used in the Vaults, and virtual reality programs. They also merchandised the hell out of themselves with T-shirts, lunchboxes, snowglobes, bobbleheads, action figures, and more.
  • Mundane Utility: In their Nuka-World exhibit, Vault-Tec scientists secretly used white noise and subliminal messaging to... try and brainwash visitors into registering for a spot in a Vault.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Several of their experiments are so patently ridiculous and absurd (i.e., Vault 108's overabundance of murderous Gary clones) that it makes the more genuinely horrifying and hideous experiments (i.e., Vault 11's elected suicide requirements and Vault 75's Logan's Run-esque eugenics program for Super Soldiers) all the more nightmarish by sheer contrast.
  • Research, Inc.: Despite outward claims to the contrary, the Vaults were never intended to save anyone, meaning all of what Vault-Tec was actually doing was blue-sky research and science for its own sake... or, in many cases, For the Evulz. There were a few Vaults designed to safely house their populations, with an excess of supplies and technology to sustain them for centuries, but these Vaults were intended as control groups or to house healthy, untouched human populations who could be kidnapped for future experiments.
  • Secret-Keeper: Often the Overseer of a Vault would be the only person aware of the nature of the experiment being conducted on the inhabitants, but occasionally other ranking Vault personnel would be informed because the nature of the experiment demanded they had to be.
  • Settling the Frontier: In Nuka-World, the "Vault-Tec: Among the Stars" exhibit, open to the public, demonstrates how Vault technology could be used in space exploration and colonization... although even that turns out to be a testbed for their low-frequency mind- and mood-altering subliminal audio tech.
  • Stupid Evil: Vault-Tec's corporate culture is evidently so insane that they cannot recognize the value of an employee who builds practical machines with no harmful side-effects rather than engage in pointlessly cruel experiments.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Several of their lower-level employees had no idea what Vault-Tec was actually doing with the Vaults and thought they really were bunkers for people to survive a nuclear war. The Vault-Tec representative in Fallout 4 who signs you up for Vault 111 claims he had no idea what the Vault was really about, he just knew he had a quota to meet to win a set of steak knives.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Vault-Tec was a semi-private corporation supported by the US Government - specifically, the parts of it that would become the Enclave. The two groups were supposed to work together, and the Enclave even had access to Vault-Tec research data and passcodes for many Vaults. However, the two factions' goals didn't perfectly align, and several Vaults' Overseers (such as 101 and 111) had explicit orders to ignore communications from the US government, which included the Enclave.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: It's a plot point that Vault-Tec's personnel could do math. By the time of the Great War, the United States had a population of 400 million people — even with a capacity of 1000 people, which only the largest Vaults could contain anyway, they would need hundreds of thousands of Vaults to ensure the safety of every single US citizen, and they were only contracted to build a little over a hundred. They also understood the logistics of how difficult it would be to supply a Vault with enough supplies to last decades or centuries of isolation, and thus most Vaults only had enough to last the intended length of the Vault experiment and not much longer. The Vault program was obviously never going to work as they sold it to the public; Vault-Tec covered up their deeds with bribery, threats, and oppressive whistleblower laws, ensuring few were willing to go public with the truth behind the Vault program and anyone who did would be silenced.

Pre-War Nation-States

    People's Republic of China

Also known as the PRC or just "China", the People's Republic of China was a Communist state located in eastern Asia that became opposed to both the Soviet Union and United States during the Cold War. They became the US' primary geopolitical rival, eventually invading Alaska for the last known supply of crude oil on Earth and sparking the Resource Wars (which in turn would eventually cause the Great War).

  • Alternate History: From what background details can be inferred, Communist China in the timeline of the Fallout series stayed Maoist and never "reformed" itself into being more of a state capitalist society under Deng Xiaoping.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's kept deliberately vague if they or the Americans first launched the nukes that sparked the Great War.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Pre-War United States.
  • Defiant to the End: Even when the United States was on the cusp of victory by invading Mainland China, the Chinese still stubbornly fought on and tried to deny the Americans any form of satisfying victory.
  • Dirty Communists: Pre-War China was frequently stereotyped and depicted as an insidious evil and existential threat to the American way of life that had to be completely obliterated so as to assure the triumph of "democracy" (read: capitalist fascism).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In Fallout 2, the Sierra Depot GNN transcript names China's leader as "President Xin". All later games mention a "Chairman Cheng" as the leader of China.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Along with the Pre-War United States, the Resource Wars fought between them ultimately instigated the Great War, causing the nuclear holocaust of mankind.
  • Invincible Boogeyman: In-Universe, Pre-War China constantly evoked paranoia and fear in the American populace through espionage and infiltration specialists. The most obvious success of this can be seen with the Liberators in Appalachia, but Chinese intelligence bunkers can be found in virtually every Fallout game (such as the secret intelligence bunker located almost directly next to the Calvert Mansion in Point Lookout, meaning that it was successfully installed right next door to a family of rich capitalist politicians).
  • Invisibility Cloak: invoked The Pre-War Chinese were the first to create advanced cloaking technology, to the point where they managed to create an entire "Ghost Fleet" of stealth submarines armed with this cloaking tech (allowing them to sneak all the way into the Atlantic Ocean). It's even mentioned that the American "Stealth Boy" and associated invisibility tech are a Poor Man's Substitute to the original Chinese versions.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Chinese infiltrators (most notably the "Mama Dolce's" franchise seen in Appalachia and Washington D.C.) were almost everywhere in Pre-War American society, constantly sowing discord and chaos to hamper the American war effort.
  • Mirroring Factions: To the United States of America. Both were ultimately authoritarian dystopic hellholes that refused to get along, leading to a pointless and bloody conflict in the form of the Resource Wars that only culminated in the near-extinction of all life on Earth.
  • Paranoia Fuel: invoked Invoked In-Universe; To help make up for their technological shortcomings, the Chinese constantly stoked and spread rampant paranoia and panic across the mainland United States, severely hampering the American war effort.
  • Post-Peak Oil: They were hit by it much worse than the Americans due to them failing at a widespread transition of their electrical power over to nuclear fission from fossil fuels.
  • Sadistic Choice: Because the Chinese significantly lagged behind the Americans in advances in nuclear power, the Chinese government eventually realized that they had a completely unwinnable choice left for them: Invade their Arch-Enemy the United States for the oil fields in Alaska (some of the last oil reserves left on the entire planet) to keep their people alive for a few more years while starting a war they couldn’t possibly win, or let their people starve and their country completely dissolve. Their decision to accomplish the former sparked the Resource Wars and ultimately caused the end of the world.
  • Schizo Tech: With the exception of the incredible leaps in stealth technology and the Liberators, virtually all Pre-War Chinese technology is fairly "average" and only looks to be around the same level at best as the generally World War II-esque setting the Resource Wars encapsulated.
  • Soviet Superscience: Surprisingly inverted. Based upon what precious little has been seen of Chinese Pre-War technology, it wasn't the Communists who had the advanced tech. While the Chinese were beginning to close the technological gap by the end of the war, their only real achievements were invisibility fields and simplistic combat drones. The U.S., by comparison, had developed at least three generations of Power Armor and deployed two, created efficient and reliable laser and early generation plasma weaponry, intelligent domestic robots, intelligent combat robots, and cold fusion batteries, the latter of which made all the others possible. The U.S. had outright invaded Mainland China and was even on the verge of an overwhelming victory when the nukes launched.
  • Stealth Expert: What Pre-War China lacked in terms of technology they more than made up for in terms of being masters at espionage warfare.
  • Taking You with Me: While no-one knows for sure who first let the nukes fly, documents in Fallout 4 imply it was China. If this is true, China was likely trying to invoke this trope due to the U.S sending troops into Mainland China after beating them in Alaska. With the war about to be lost, China preferred facing nuclear annihilation.
  • Vestigial Empire: China was on the verge of collapse in the final days of the Resource Wars, being completely defeated in Alaska and being pushed back all the way to Mainland China as the Americans launched a counter-invasion from the Philippines.
  • We Have Reserves: One of their primary advantages over the Americans was a massive pool of manpower they could use to constantly throw at the Americans.
  • Yellow Peril: invoked Intentionally invoked In-Universe by the Pre-War United States government.

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Better known as the "Soviet Union" or abbreviated as the "U.S.S.R.", the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a Communist state located in Eastern Europe and northern Asia that led the Warsaw Pact. Originally the United States' primary foe in the Cold War, they were eventually supplanted by the People's Republic of China.

  • Alternate History: In the Fallout universe, the Soviet Union failed to collapse in the late 1980s-early 1990s, instead existing into the 2070s when the Great War ended civilization.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: The Soviet Union's gradual détente and thawing of diplomatic relations with the United States in the face of Chinese aggression in the Cold War in the Falloutverse is very similar to how in actual history, the United States opened successful diplomatic relations with China during the Cold War to prevent a Sino-Soviet alliance.
  • Arch-Enemy: Not as much as the Chinese were since they were in the middle of a bloody war prior to the end of the world, but the Americans and Soviets still ultimately hated each other and viewed each other as ideological threats.
  • Dirty Communists: Even if the Soviets didn't actually side with the Chinese during the Resource Wars, American propaganda still vilified them and portrayed them as a dangerous threat to American life. Most notably, according to the Pre-War Switchboard entries from P.A.M. in Fallout 4, the United States government were equally worried about the Chinese and Soviets launching a nuclear first strike on the American continent.
  • Enemy Mine: Subverted. Despite the adversarial relationship between the Soviets and both the Americans and Chinese, they took neither side in the Resource Wars.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Only in a sense; Like in our world, Russia was the first successful Communist state, and from them would spread Marxist-Leninism to other countries, eventually including China (the United State's primary Arch-Enemy in the Fallout universe).
  • Irony: They and China basically swapped roles in the Fallout universe's version of the Cold War, with the Soviets being seen as the "bad ally who is at least the devil you know" and China being seen as the "insidious Arch-Enemy".
    • According to R. Scott Campbell, "The nuclear Armageddon in the back-story was between the US and China. After shipping several people asked me why China and not the old standby, the Soviet Union. I made the choice when I remembered experiences with Oleg, a Moscow developer I worked with months before when I was assistant-producing a typing game. Once, in the middle of a phone conversation, I heard some muffled bangs, and the phone went quiet. When I asked him what the noise was, he replied, 'Oh, it was just the Russian mob firing their guns in the street.' I thought he was joking – he wasn't. After that, I had a really hard time believing that the once mighty USSR would be in a position to threaten the world any time soon. So I turned to the next major communist country that typifies 'the East': China."
  • Out of Focus: With China being the Arch-Enemy of the United States in this timeline, very little focus is ever given to the Soviets. It can be safely assumed that they were nuked by both the Chinese and Americans during the Great War (and they returned the favor), but relatively little else can be determined.
  • Vestigial Empire: Background details imply that the USSR was not nearly as powerful or successful as China or the United States were by the time of the Great War.

    United States of America

Also known as the USA or just the "United States", the United States of America was a representative democratic republic with a market capitalism-based economy located in North America (along with holdings in the Pacific Ocean thanks to the presence of Hawai'i). Ostensibly democratic, in reality the United States had long since devolved into a fascist hyper-capitalist hellhole obsessed with stamping out Communism forever and securing the government’s continued existence at the expense of its own citizenry.

  • Abusive Precursors: The whole country became a corrupt, totalitarian police state that put unwilling human subjects through horrific scientific and social experiments. Even two centuries since they all went up in smoke in a nuclear holocaust they helped cause, most of the Wasteland's problems can be tied back to them: Super Mutants, Deathclaws, Robobrains, the Vaults, most of the Big Empty... it all came from them.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's kept deliberately vague if they or the Chinese first launched the nukes that sparked the Great War.
  • Asshole Victim: Gradually deconstructed. The United States of the Fallout universe was ultimately an imperialist, warmongering and selfish fascist dictatorship whose government more than deserved a nuclear war... but its considerably more innocent civilian population was ultimately caught in the crossfire in the process.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Invoked as a heavy undercurrent of the Pre-War government and society, what with workers' rights being basically non-existent and Corrupt Corporate Executives getting off with a slap on the wrist at worst for performing horrific actions like poisoning the entire Atlantic Ocean, ordering a horde of Protectrons in Pittsburgh to brutally massacre the same steel mill workers they've been created to replace after they attempt to perform a strike, or decapitating Mount Blair in the name of short-term profit.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The number of Pre-War American businesses that weren't incredibly shady, corrupt, criminally negligent, or downright murderous can literally be counted on one hand. Vault-Tec is easily the most infamous example, but there’s plenty more examples, such as HalluciGen, Inc. (who drugged their own volunteers to trick them into signing completely unfair waivers along with openly recommended its scientists to leave the volunteers to die if they had to evacuate in case of a fire) and the Nuka-Cola Corporation (which required guests to have a valid park admissions ticket and fill out an incident report prior to being given first aid if they were stung/bitten by a deadly animal in Safari Adventure) just to name a few.
  • Corrupt Politician: Virtually every American politician in Pre-War America was in the pocket of one of its numerous evil corporations, and even those who weren’t are frequently shown to have been jingoistic narcissists with a profound Lack of Empathy for the suffering of their constituents.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The Pre-War United States frequently styled itself as a capitalist utopia a la a Stepford Suburbia, where the worst trouble to befall its citizens was Mom's apple pie being overcooked. In reality, Pre-War America was a terrifying fascist dystopia and police state that regularly executed its own citizenry for the merest hint of independent thought all while brutally subjugating its neighbors and ostensible trading partners for refusing to follow their every whim.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The hyper-capitalism and blatant warmongering/dehumanization seen in Fallout's America is highly deliberate, being used to satirize the values of greater American society during the Cold War.
  • Designated Hero: invoked In-Universe. American propaganda constantly portrayed itself as a heroic and righteous society defending itself from the "Evil Empire" of Communist China, when in reality the United States had long since devolved into a fascist police state and the Resource Wars were an Evil Versus Evil conflict more than anything else.
  • Different States of America: In 1969, the United States reorganized itself into 13 "Commonwealths:” creating another layer of bureaucracy between the federal and state governments.
  • Eagleland: Type 2 - Boorish Flavour, to the point where the Fallout series is one of the few American properties to outright portray the United States as an Evil Empire.
  • Evil States of America: It really says something when Post-War America, an irradiated wasteland filled with vicious mutants, warring tribes, and every example of human evil imaginable can be still argued as a better place to live than Pre-War America.
  • Expanded States of America: The United States invaded Mexico under the pretense of protecting oil interests in 2051 and annexed Canada in 2076, although whether or not the two countries were split into states, made into Commonwealths, or just remained occupied territory is unclear.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Deconstructed; while the Pre-War paranoia of Communist infiltrators was somewhat justified in that the People's Liberation Army does seem to have had eyes and ears virtually everywhere before the bombs fell, this justified paranoia was only used as a paper-thin excuse to brutally persecute, torture, and experiment upon Chinese-Americans and anyone else who spoke out against the government's increasingly fascist policies.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Evidence across all of the games shows that as the United States government became increasingly dictatorial and corrupt, it also became increasingly incompetent. Most notably, they were constantly being hoodwinked (willfully or not) by powerful corporations like the Nuka-Cola Corporation and West-Tek, and their violent reprisals to food riots and the like would only further fan the flames of resistance from organizations like the Free States in Appalachia.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Pre-War United States of America and People's Republic of China are responsible for virtually all of the terrible things in the Fallout series thanks to the Resource Wars waged between the two countries that ultimately culminated in the Great War.
  • In Spite of a Nail: A surprisingly high amount of American pop-culture seems to have progressed relatively unchanged, or at least diverged at a later date. Conversations in Fallout 2 mention the existence of "Rocket Man" by Elton John directly by name, and one NPC comments how he remembered seeing the same movie after you directly quote Silence of the Lambs. There's also the Kings in New Vegas, who wouldn't be who they are if Elvis Presley didn't exist. To say nothing of the music and credited artists that Galaxy Radio, Radio New Vegas, Diamond City Radio, and Appalachia Radio play on your Pip-Boy.
  • Invaded States of America: The Resource Wars between China and the United States were sparked when China invaded Alaska, occupying a decent portion of the state to gain access to the last known oil deposits on Earth.
  • Mad Scientist: A disturbingly high number of them were employed by both the Pre-War government and Pre-War Mega Corps. The most obvious case can be seen with the Think Tank from the Big Mountain Research Facility, but numerous other organizations — such as the Vault-Tec Corporation and HalluciGen Inc. — seems to have staffed their R&D divisions almost exclusively with sadistic sociopaths.
  • Mirroring Factions: To the People's Republic of China. Both were ultimately authoritarian dystopic hellholes that refused to get along, leading to a pointless and bloody conflict in the form of the Resource Wars that only culminated in the near-extinction of all life on Earth.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pre-War America decided, sometime before 1969, divided the states between 13 Commonwealths. They hoped that this new layer of bureaucracy would benefit states with common regional concerns, but wouldn't affect those states with dissimilar interests or political cultures, helping strengthen the country as a whole against the threat of communism. Instead, the Commonwealths began viciously competing against one-another, only weakening the U.S. as a whole. This served to be the first in a long line of decisions that eventually turned America into an Orwellian Police State.
  • Oppressive States of America: The Pre-War United States of America was not pretty. The infrastructure of America had collapsed due to the resource shortages (food, fuel, and material) while unemployment was skyrocketing. The government responded by becoming a police state and by trying to blame their problems on Communists, then brutally cracking down on anyone who spoke out against their regime. Arrests, "re-education," and in some cases outright murder followed as the government tried to keep the population in line. At the same time, the New Plague (suspected to be a bio-weapon unleashed by one of America's enemies) began to spread, leading to nationwide quarantines. Before long the government had given up trying to cure it and decided to use the paranoia created by its spread as a cover in order to break up assemblies and register people. Eventually, civil liberties became virtually non-existent. In one example the commanding Officer of the Hopeville missile base, Commander Devlin, had a protest group arrested and sent off for human experimentation, claiming it would give them "the white-hot rage of capitalist justice." These tactics made things worse, and by the end of 2077 the United States was on the verge of a massive civil uprising.
    • This was done because the éminence grise of the federal government (the Enclave) realized it was likely only a matter of time until total nuclear war occurred, and knowing that the common man would not survive it they believed that they alone were worthy of re-colonizing the planet. Originally their focus was to find another planet to live on, however they could not succeed in this goal and decided to re-colonize the planet they were already on.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: While the series mostly uses Politically Correct History for Pre-War America despite it being intentionally written as an incredibly dark Deconstructive Parody of Fifties Americana, numerous details in Fallout 2, New Vegas, and 4 show that the government was virulently racist towards Asians (particularly Chinese-Americans and those of Chinese descent) due to the current war against China. Numerous Chinese-Americans and Chinese prisoners-of-war were sent to internment camps like "Little Yangtze" at Big Mountain to serve as guinea pigs for the U.S.'s Mad Scientists, and those who weren't were often violently assaulted and attacked by their neighbors (with the police being willingly complicit in their suffering).
    • Additionally, the pamphlets given about the New Plague in Fallout 3: Point Lookout imply that Pre-War America was virulently homophobic, with “sodomy” being described as one of the plague’s symptoms.
  • Post-Peak Oil: Before the Great War, peak oil was the cause of the Resource Wars that devastated both Europe and the Middle East. Gas prices reached up to $1450.99 per gallon for regular. The United States (and possibly China) were only saved by going to an all-nuclear society, while the rest of the world ended up collapsing. It was all made moot however, when everyone started to sling nukes at each other.
  • President Evil: The last U.S. President was a complicit member in The Conspiracy that would eventually become the Enclave, abandoning the American people to live on an oil rig off the coast of California as the Resource Wars worsened and the world slowly came closer and closer to Armageddon.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Most Pre-War American architecture seems to have been built to last remarkably well, burnt or reduced to rubble by the bombs but still standing centuries later, up to paint and even posters remaining largely intact while exposed to the open elements.
  • Red Scare: The United States' government fervently exaggerated an obsessive hunt for Communists in part because they were actually at war with Communist China, but mostly it was done to weed out any potential forms of free thinking or disapproval with the current ruling class.
  • The Remnant: The Enclave is all that remains of the Pre-War American government.
  • Schizo Tech: The Pre-War United States never developed mobile phones, the Internet, or widespread color television, but also had access to Powered Armor, robots with advanced artificial intelligence, portable Energy Weapons, and highly advanced applications of nuclear fission.
  • Soviet Superscience: Inverted. Thanks to their market-based economy, the United States was able to innovate faster than their Communist rivals, resulting in them being the ones to have virtually all of the fancy high-tech toys and gadgets before the Great War.
  • Start of Darkness: The creation of the 13 Commonwealths within the United States was the first step the modern American government took in becoming the fascist dystopia that was eventually destroyed in the Great War.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Because the United States had long since devolved into a fascist dystopia, the information supplied by any government sources — most obviously those regarding foreign countries, particularly China — frequently has an at-best tangential relationship to the truth.
  • Vestigial Empire: Despite their overwhelming technological advantage and seemingly being on the cusp of victory over China in the Resource Wars, the United States was still falling to pieces by the time of the Great War, with massive shortages in every precious resource coupled with violent government reprisals at anti-war and anti-automation protestors causing ceaseless rioting and chaos, to the point that the whole nation was on the brink of a mass civilian uprising.
  • Villainous Legacy: The evils left behind by the Pre-War American government can be found scattered across the Wasteland, and frequently come back to overshadow and threaten the present. In fact, literally every Fallout game has prominently featured a Big Bad faction that is conncected to the Pre-War world, directly or not (Fallout 1 and the Master's supply of FEV from the West-Tek Super Soldier experiments; the Enclave being the Big Bad/Greater-Scope Villain of 2, 3, and 76; Mr. House from New Vegas being a Pre-War industrial capitalist intent on re-starting his business all over again; and the Institute from 4 being directly descended from the Pre-War Commonwealth Institute of Technology).
  • Wretched Hive: Some parts of America had become this by 2077 due to food and automation riots, justifying the existence of pipe guns even in Pre-War times. There's even an issue of the Pre-War magazine "Guns and Bullets" featuring the "Street Guns of Detroit".
  • Yellow Peril: Invoked In-Universe by the Pre-War American government in their demonization of Communist China and Chinese culture in general.
  • Zeerust: The version of America seen in the Fallout universe is basically a Frankenstein's Monster amalgamated from virtually all science fiction created by the United States during the Cold War.

Post-War Factions

Post-War Nation-States

    The Brotherhood of Steel
"Steel be with you."

Before the bombs fell, a group of U.S. Army soldiers under the command of Captain Roger Maxson staged a mutiny at Mariposa Military Base after figuring out about the immoral experiments being performed there. Declaring themselves independent from the U.S. government, their rebellion never got off the ground due to the bombs dropping and wiping out the polity known as the United States soon after. The defectors, safe in the underground confines of the base, survived and came to the surface and reconnected with other survivors, then headed to the Lost Hills bunker to start anew. Thus began the Brotherhood of Steel, a pseudo-religious, pseudo-medieval military society of humans that believe in the power of technology and the fallibility of man.

Over time, the Brotherhood of Steel's chapters have become more independent as they've spread across the Wasteland. Their main branches are the West Coast Brotherhood, currently headquartered in the Lost Hills bunker complex somewhere in New California; the East Coast Brotherhood, headquartered in Washington DC; and the Midwestern Brotherhood headquartered near the ruins of Chicago, Illinois. Each chapter tends to exercise its own internal laws and directives under leadership of their High Elder.

  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: The Brotherhood of Steel are xenophobic, arrogant, and fantastically racist towards mutants. But since they're most often locked in conflict with genocidal or omnicidal factions, such as the Unity, the Enclave, the Calculator, the Institute, the super mutants, and (potentially) the Legion, they usually end up looking like the better option and are the series' most recurring ally for good-aligned player characters.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: An in-universe example, the Brotherhood views the Codex and the teachings meant to be taken from it differently from chapter to chapter. Some stick to it to the letter, even if it violates common sense and practicality; others believe in the spirit of the Codex, that being the continuation of civilization through the preservation and responsible usage of advanced technology.
  • Anti-Hero: With the exception of some of their more zealous members, the Brotherhood universally does what they believe is best for humanity; it varies if they're right or not. They also tend to be xenophobic isolationists who may or may not look down on outsiders.
  • Anti-Villain: Can veer into this at times. While they're generally well-intentioned, their xenophobia, Fantastic Racism, obsession with technology and Knight Templar tendencies often end up doing more harm than good and put them at odds with good-aligned groups such as the NCR, Followers of the Apocalypse, Railroad and the Minutemen. The West Coast chapter in particular have become this by the time of New Vegas having become little more than high-tech raiders in power armor that have gone to war with the only faction in the West that has begun to restore civilization simply because they viewed them as as a threat to their power. They're still better than the more villainous groups like the Enclave, Institute, Legion and Unity though.
  • Badass Family: The Maxson dynasty, who typically end up leading the Brotherhood and usually served as Paladins.
  • Breakout Character: The Brotherhood proved popular enough to recieve two spin-off games of their own.
  • Characterization Marches On: In 1, 2, and Tactics, there is little sign of either the Fantastic Racism that would characterize the East Coast branch or the rabid isolationism that would later characterize the West Coast branch. In 1, for example, while they're reluctant to let outsiders join their organization, they're noted to maintain strong trade ties with the Hub (being the region's chief weapon manufacturer) and to take action against raiders if they become too troublesome for regional stability (hence using the Vipers for target practice). In the ending of 1, they're also noted to protect the wasteland settlements from the remnants of the Master's army, before reintroducing various technology into southern and central California, helping to pave the way for the New California Republic. In 2 they have outposts in every major city as part of an outreach program. In Tactics they're a pseudo-government over the Midwest and openly allow ghouls and mutants into their ranks (though some, such as Barnaky, dislike this policy).
  • Creating Life Is Bad: They believe in this by the time of Fallout 4, with a very justified reason — every known attempt at creating new and better lifeforms has resulted in the creation of things like Super Mutants, Deathclaws, Nightstalkers, Cazadores and other dangerous monsters.
  • Cult: The Brotherhood is very much a borderline religion. They zealously distrust outsiders, believe in the superiority of technology to aid humanity, have a rigid caste system, live isolated from the outside world, and follow the "Codex" and its teachings. They use the phrase "Steel be with you" as a greeting and farewell in the manner of a religious blessing, and some of the passages we hear quoted from the Codex sound like religious scripture. By the time of 4, they've become very prone to religious turns of phrase, with numerous Paladins calling Feral Ghouls "godless abominations" and Elder Maxson at one point even arguing that Synths are "unholy."
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Because long-distance communications is extremely difficult in the Fallout universe, the Brotherhood's individual chapters tend to, if not initially, become isolated and tend to their own business. Interpretations of the laws of the Codex, relations with outsiders, willingness to share technology and aid with them, and involvement with other major government and military power structures, vary greatly between each chapter. Sometimes all it takes is a change of High Elder to trigger a radical shift in Brotherhood ideology and directives.
  • Dramatic Irony: It's retroactively revealed in Fallout 76 that Owyn Lyon's deviation from the Codex is ironically much closer to the original Maxson's plans, which would have involved the Brotherhood using its preserved knowledge to reach out and help Wastelanders rebuild civilization, than his own successors in Lost Hills.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Brotherhood's bases are often underground bunkers or tunnel complexes. Averted in the main Bethesda games, as 3 has them making their base in the ruins of the Pentagon (now renamed "The Citadel") while the Brotherhood's Commonwealth expeditionary forces in 4 is headquartered in the Prydwen.
  • Elite Army: In addition to their advanced equipment, they train rigorously. The result is that Brotherhood members are individually some of the most badass beings in the wastes.
  • Energy Weapon: They're understandably fond of laser and plasma weapons.
  • Fantastic Racism: They take an oath to destroy all Super Mutants and Ghouls, even the ones who are intelligent and benign. Sometimes subverted, however — in New Vegas they left Marcus' Mutants alone out of respect for Marcus' previous actions on their behalf. In Fallout 3, normal Ghouls in Underworld will mention that sometimes the Brotherhood takes potshots at them, but still don't go out of their way to kill normal Ghouls. In Fallout 4, Elder Maxson extends their hatred to the Synths of the Institute.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In Fallout 3, the East Coast Brotherhood under Elder Lyons is heavily evocative of early Prussia. By 4, they've since evolved into essentially being the State of the Teutonic Order under Elder Arthur Maxson with certain aesthetic echoes of the mythical Camelot.
  • Feudal Future: As a whole, they're heavily inspired by the numerous knightly and religious orders of medieval Europe, to the point where they literally have a rank entitled "Paladin." In Fallout 4, they use a system of "sponsorship" vaguely analogous to the relationship between squires and knights to help recruit new members from the Wasteland, and are mentioned on a terminal to even be practicing a form of vassalship in the Capital Wasteland (the Brotherhood helps protect local communities and trading caravans from threats like Raiders and Super Mutants, and in return, the communities provide the Brotherhood with supplies, manpower, and any advanced tech they've found). This is also deconstructed, as several factions with a more "modern" and democratic type of government structure (like the New California Republic and Commonwealth Minutemen) find themselves butting heads with the Brotherhood's more paternalistic tendencies. Fallout 76 reveals that this was deliberately cultivated by Roger Maxson to forge a new identity for the post-apocalyptic world, which he and his nascent Brotherhood could take pride in.
    Words have power, Lizzy. They build identity. They take on a meaning if you keep using them, even if it didn't exist to begin with. It was the Knights and Scribes after the fall of Rome that protected what was left of Western civilization. So we are the new Knights and our role is similar. But we'll need more than names. We'll need new traditions, our own, well, mythology. Something people can believe to their core.
  • The Fundamentalist: Certain factions of the Brotherhood of Steel vary in how rigidly they follow the Codex. While splinter factions like the Mid-Western Brotherhood and the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood under Owyn Lyons became more open to using their superior technology and training to bring order and peace to the Wasteland, as well as becoming more open to accepting outsiders into their ranks, the original Western Brotherhood continued to follow the Codex to the letter, refusing admittance to outsiders and hoarding any advanced technology they could get their hands on. In a karmic twist, the Mid-Western and Eastern Brotherhoods flourished, while the Western Brotherhood is rapidly losing power and shrinking.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Due to the shifting ideologies of the Brotherhood and general Grey-and-Gray Morality of the series, they can go from being an ally in one game to an enemy that needs to be wiped out in another. This is most prevalent in New Vegas and 4.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The West Coast Brotherhood are not seen frequently outside their bases and are very secretive about their operations, and usually do not get involved in matters that do not concern them unless there's technology to be acquired. Getting into their super-secret base to talk to their leaders and get access to their gear is often a late-game quest.
  • Hypocrite: Generally speaking, the Brotherhood views virtually all advanced technology as too dangerous to be used except for the "right hands"... which, by amazing happenstance, just so often turns out to be theirs.
  • Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: They try to keep outsiders from having access to advanced technology because they believe You Are Not Ready to use it in a wise manner. It's rather justified though, as many people in the wasteland — raiders, criminal enterprises, Mad Scientists, slavers, etc. — are proudly amoral, and would indeed use technology like power armor and energy weaponry to make the wasteland hell for civilians.
  • Machine Worship: Though they don't outright worship technology, they do hold it in high regard and operate in a way similar to religious knighthoods of the Middle Ages. Again, their greeting and farewell "Steel be with you" comes to mind.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: invoked As the franchise has gone on, the morality of individual Brotherhood chapters has become increasingly diverse and starkly different from one another.
  • Motive Decay: In-Universe, the West Coast branches went through this. The Brotherhood of Steel's initial purpose was to collect and safeguard particularly advanced or dangerous prewar technology, destroy the worst excesses of it (e.g. Super Mutants), and preserve it for humanity's future. In 1 and 2, this is basically what they did; the ending slides of 1 explained that they protected the fledgling communities against the mutant hordes and progressively and responsibly reintroduced the technology they had hoarded into the wasteland for humanity's benefit. By 2 they even have outposts in the major settlements to act in an advisory and observatory role. Between 2 and New Vegas, however, the Brotherhood reverted to zealotry and became concerned with hoarding technology for its own sake and almost never letting anyone else use it, while also never allowing anyone else to join their group. This led to the war with the NCR. The Midwestern Brotherhood and East Coast Brotherhood both averted this, instead continuing down the path and integrating more with the outside.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Fallout 76 introduces the hitherto unknown Appalachian chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel, who were founded by an old friend of Roger Maxson's inspired by his satellite radio broadcastings and some later correspondence. Their absence in later games is justified, as they and the rest of Appalachia were all seemingly killed to a man by the Scorched Plague.
  • Rising Empire: By the time of 4, the East Coast Brotherhood is seemingly at the peak of their power, having the Capital Wasteland firmly under their control and are slowly expanding through the rest of the East Coast.
  • Technology Marches On: invoked This trope is occurring in-universe, and it's why their organization is fading from power.
    • In the original Fallout the Brotherhood was, bar none, the most powerful faction in the wasteland, with vastly superior technology equipped by a large and well-trained army. But a century later during the time of New Vegas, energy weapons are manufactured and distributed widely to the extent even raiders have them, the NCR has re-established air travel, and they have numerical superiority over the Brotherhood. The one advantage the Brotherhood has left is their power armor, but the NCR been able to salvage old suits and jury-rig them to work unpowered, and they're probably in the process of reverse-engineering them fully, so this advantage won't last long.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood is a bit better off in their technological superiority over most of the wasteland, but the Enclave is more advanced and initially numerically superior, and against the Institute both sides have some advantages the other lacks (the Institute has their Synths and teleportation tech, while the Brotherhood has better weapons and Vertibirds). The Commonwealth in general has an abundance of high-tech weapons, like the Railroad's Gauss rifles and the Minutemen's laser muskets, compared to other regions the Brotherhood has set up shop in.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: In-Universe, the Brotherhood is generally disliked and viewed with suspicion by other groups and wastelanders for their isolationism, tech-hoarding and xenophobia, and the amount of people outside the Brotherhood who hold a positive opinion of them can probably be counted on one hand. Out of universe, the Brotherhood have proved to be the Breakout Faction of the series, getting two Spin-Off games centered around them and being the only group to so far appear in every game in the series.
  • Vestigial Empire: Their West Coast branch has been reduced to a few bunkers with no significant presence in the wasteland by the time of New Vegas, and depending on the player's actions in that game the Mojave Chapter can be completely eradicated. In Fallout 4 their East Coast branch rules the Capital Wasteland around Washington D.C. and they make a significant incursion into the Commonwealth around Boston; depending on the player's actions, they can either take over the region or have their expeditionary force wiped out, and with its loss will also lose their Elder and their Cool Airship, which was a huge investment of resources to build, leaving the state of the East Coast Brotherhood unclear. Any other branches they have across the U.S. are treated as Broad Strokes canon.

    The Enclave
"One Enclave, one America, now and forever."

Before the Great War, the Enclave was a secret cabal of wealthy industrialists, members of the military and influential politicians who operated in the shadows and held a great degree of control over the United States' government. Knowing that a massively destructive nuclear war would inevitably happen at some point, they masterminded the Vault project; on the surface a project to protect the US population from destruction, but in fact was a social experiment on a massive scale, meant to determine how isolated populations would behave under different circumstances. Finally, as the world situation started heating up, they sequestered themselves into secret bunkers and other hidden fortresses months in advance of the nuclear exchange, with their main headquarters being an oil rig dubbed "Control Station ENCLAVE" off the coast of California. Thanks to these preparations, they survived. They emerged to form the Enclave, proudly declaring themselves the last bastion of pure humanity and the heirs to the legacy of America.

For more on the Enclave's East Coast branch specifically, see here.

  • Anti-Villain: Aside from Frank Horrigan and Doctor Schreber in 2, most of the Enclave officers you can talk to are relatively reasonable and rational people who want to restore America to glory.
  • Big Bad: The group is the major threat and driving force of the plot in Fallout 2 and 3, providing both games' masterminds and Final Bosses.
  • Broken Pedestal: The remnants of the United States government see their own people as mutants needing to be wiped out so they can rebuild properly.
  • Defector from Decadence: The more sympathetic Enclave characters are this, like Doctor Henry, Cannibal Johnson and Sergeant Granite and his squad.
  • The Dreaded: To the Wasteland at large. Very few people saw Enclave troops and survived to tell the tale. Even years after the Brotherhood of Steel and the NCR kicked their asses, people on the West Coast still tell horror stories about the Enclave.
    • To drive the point home, the Enclave Remnants in New Vegas can be swayed into nudging the odds of the Second Battle of Hoover Dam in one faction's favor, and the ending slide about them all but states that even the limitless NCR and relentless Legion forces are struck with fear at the sight of a single Enclave squad on the attack.
      (vs. the Legion): After their bold arrival at Hoover Dam, the Remnants disappeared as quickly as they came. Legends of their power spread throughout the southwest, a reminder of why people once feared the sight of vertibirds in the sky.
      (vs. the NCR): Merciless in their assault on the NCR, the Remnants struck fear into the hearts of even the centurions at Hoover Dam. Well aware of the full extent of their power, Caesar commanded his troops to not pursue them.
  • Eagleland: They think they're a Type 1 — proud, stalwart defenders of freedom and liberty who want to restore America's glory. They're actually a Type 2 — violent, fascist war-mongers who want to take over the country no matter how many people they have to kill to do it.
  • Elite Army: invoked To an even greater degree than the Brotherhood of Steel, as all of their soldiers are highly trained and equipped with the absolute best infantry gear in the world, even better than pre-war gear. While their numbers are very small (only a few hundred power-armored soldiers per Word of God), it doesn't matter much when a single Enclave soldier can wipe out a town or a mercenary base with little trouble. In New Vegas, five aging Enclave soldiers with their old equipment and a single Vertibird can slaughter hundreds of soldiers from Caesar's Legion, and Word of God is that during the timeframe of Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, the entire Enclave army could have steamrolled the Brotherhood of Steel and the Master's Unity.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Most West Coast Enclave soldiers consider Frank Horrigan to be a freak and very few of them actually want to accompany him on missions. Similarly, Colonel Augustus Autumn was horrified by President John Henry Eden's plan to poison Project Purity and wipe out the entire non-Vault born population of the Capital Wasteland.
  • Evil Counterpart: Like the Brotherhood of Steel, they're an isolated army with technologically advanced equipment descended from the remnants of the US government and military. Unlike the Brotherhood, they see outsiders as enemies to be eradicated and use their technology to try and conquer the wasteland.
  • Evil Wears Black: Their advanced power armor is black.
  • Face of a Thug: Invoked if the Player Character wears their Powered Armor, namely their helmets. In New Vegas and 3, even if they're a morally righteous character, the helmet negatively hits their Charisma stat by one point due to their genocidal legacy. Meanwhile in 2, some NPCs will have some crude and negative things to say upon seeing the Chosen One strolling around in the Enclave's uniform. It doesn't have any effect in 4 however, even though the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel have just recently waged and won a war on the Enclave not too long ago. At one point in the development of New Vegas, it would have even been programmed for just about every NPC to instantly turn hostile on the Player Character if they wore the Remnant's Power Armor, only for the concept to be scrapped.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Enclave considers all mainland humans mutants due to decades of being raised in the radioactive wasteland, and see them as needing to be exterminated.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: They're more or less Nazi Germany under a thin veneer of pre-War America.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their power armor has glowing yellow-orange visors on the eye holes.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of Fallout 1, Fallout Tactics and Fallout 76. They were the ones who commissioned the experiments that caused the conflicts of both games, with the Super Mutants, the Calculator, and the Scorched all being weapons projects they (or their prewar predecessors) intended to use. They're more direct as the antagonists of Fallout 2 and Fallout 3. To date, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 are the only games in the series whose conflict was not caused by them.
  • Hypocrite: As the existence of Grand Zealot Brian Richter in Fallout 4: Far Harbor can attest to, for all their vaulted claims of superiority over the average Wastelander for not being touched by radiation, many of their members were also just as mutated, as Richter had developed a natural immunity to radiation that later led to him joining the Children of Atom
  • Mad Scientist: A significant chunk of their science personnel is this.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Yes, in theory they could go from village to village, conducting genetic testing to separate the worthy from the doomed, but that would require more resources than they have. "Death to all", on the other hand, is within their budget, so... That said, there are a few Enclave outposts in the D.C area who offer water in exchange for genetic testing... it's just everyone who chooses to get tested gets torched by a flamer because they failed the test.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: They tick nearly every box in the criteria for actual real-world fascism.
  • Obviously Evil: Did the black power armor not tip you off the first time you saw them? Then how about their first appearance in the Fallout 2 intro where they unleash miniguns upon hapless, innocent Vault dwellers.
  • Obliviously Evil: Few if any of the Enclave's members consider what they do to be morally wrong. To them, everyone outside of the most tightly-sealed Vaults is a filthy, sub-human mutant, and slaughtering them en-mass isn't any different from exterminating an invasive species of pest.
  • Outside-Context Problem: While they're a very well-established part of the world lore now, the in-universe characters never saw them coming in 2 or 3. In 2, no one beyond San Francisco had ever heard of the Enclave, and with 3 they were thought a rumor or a hoax: some characters even assumed Enclave Radio was 'old recordings on a loop somewhere' because President Eden sounded so out-of-touch with the post-apocalypse.
  • Powered Armor: The Enclave has a monopoly on Advanced Power Armor and its variants such as the Hellfire and Tesla armor. They're even better than the Brotherhood of Steel's T-51b and T-45d standard power armor, and in most games where the Enclave appears a variant of the armor is usually the Armor of Invincibility.
  • President Evil: Played with; while the faction is evil and is led by a President, the two you meet, Richardson and Eden, are pleasant, personable individuals who will engage you in conversation as if you just dropped by for a friendly chat, and both take no pleasure in their plans, they just believe they are Necessarily Evil in the name of restoring America.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: At best, their members are this.
  • Putting on the Reich: They see themselves as the last pure strain of humanity, and all other "humans" are lesser beings that must be killed so a glorious new America can be built on their ashes. The power armor their grunts wear is notably black-tinted and the design of their officer's uniforms carries some rather obvious connotations.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: For the West Coast branch, the Chosen One destroying the Oil Rig followed soon after by the New California Republic taking Navarro, slaughtering the remaining Enclave forces. This completely erased their presence west of the Mississippi, with the few survivors of the twin defeats hiding their identities and trying to integrate into Californian society.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The Mark II Powered Armor and the X0-1, the Enclave's signature suits of armor, have a big and bulky hump of armor on the back and collar, extending to the shoulders, and they're very far from a peaceful faction. This is averted in 3 however, with the Ravens Rock chapter of the Enclave making use of a different model of Powered Armor that's more angular and spikey in appearance.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: With a speech check, the Chosen One can convince the head scientist on the Oil Rig to release a variant of the FEV in the ventilation system that will kill most of the Enclave.
  • The Remnant: Of the United States government and military. Interestingly, the Courier can meet Enclave Remnants in Fallout: New Vegas, meaning they're The Remnant of The Remnant.
  • Vestigial Empire: They're this to start with and get smaller and smaller each game, since they make the mistake of making the Player Characters their enemy. With the destruction of their East Coast bases it's unknown if they even exist beyond scattered survivors or cells, though it's stated in Lonesome Road they had a base in Chicago, and it's possible it's still operational.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Played around with. On the outside they act as a ruthless and absolutely murderous outfit that's planned to genocide the remnants of humanity on more than one occasion. Speaking to their leaders, however, reveals that they view most post-War humans as post-War humans view feral ghouls or super mutants; monsters that threaten their existence. To achieve a true rebirth of the world and to begin rebuilding the shattered remains of America, the Enclave believes that all remaining life must be eradicated save for their own members and the most clandestine Vaults. Genocidal and brutal for sure, but they're not doing it for fun or For the Evulz, and they don't see their actions as cruel or villainous.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Darkly averted. Even before their planned genocides, they had next to no qualms about killing peaceful Wastelanders, including children, who had virtually no way of fighting back. You can witness their massacres in Fallout 2 and Fallout 3. Though this was subject to some variation between Enclave members — the Navarro contigent only warned the Chosen One off if approached at their base, specifically citing them as a civilian (this even extended to if the Chosen One snuck into Navarro but got caught before getting too deep).

    The New California Republic
"A safe people is a strong people."

Fifty years after the Great War, Vault 15 opened and its people splintered in raider groups and one small town, Shady Sands. Over time under the leadership of their elder Aradesh and his daugther Tandi, Shady Sands became a major economic power in the southwest, and united with other major hubs of civilization in the area to found the New California Republic. Over the decades, the NCR has expanded across much of California and become its push into Nevada, coming into conflict with Caesar's Legion and the city of New Vegas under the leadership of Robert House.

For more on their depiction in New Vegas specifically, see here.

  • Animal Motifs: Their flag has a two-headed bear, representing their power and strength. That it has two heads also respresents their increasing lack of focus among their leadership as they keep growing.
  • Anti-Hero: They're the closest thing anyone in the Fallout universe has come to restarting a stable, civilized national government and military structure. But their history is not without strife and war, and by the time of New Vegas they've become highly corrupt and bogged down by bureaucracy.
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Khans; the Khans were the largest Raider gang to harass Shady Sands back in the town's early days, and now that the NCR is a state-spanning government, the Khans are still on hostile relations with them as a matter of principle at this point.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to factions like the Brotherhood, the Enclave, Caesar's Legion, and the Institute, the NCR doesn't have advanced technology, Training from Hell for its army, or massive underground bases. What they do have is a massive territory and huge population and economic base that lets them supply one of the largest armies in the post-war United States. Notably, they appear to be the only faction that has a large fleet of transport trucks and other conventional ground vehicles, as well as artillery.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Downplayed. By New Vegas, much of New California has largely recovered to something resembling a Western consumer culture. While the average NCR citizen still faces such issues as corruption, crime, and taxes, they're still better off than many other Wastelanders, who often struggle to survive into the next day.
  • Create Your Own Hero: The Khans, one of their biggest enemies, are ironically the indirect reason for their existence. The Khans kidnapped the then 16 year old Tandi that, after being rescued by The Vault Dweller, changed her mind about leaving the farming settlement of Shady Sands and decided to work alongside her father into forming alliances with other communities, thus founding the republic.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In Fallout 2, they're clearly based after the pre-War United States. As of Fallout: New Vegas, they've since evolved to where they're evocative of both the United States during the Wild West and The Roman Republic, of all things.
  • The Federation: They were formed when several separate communities banded together under Aradesh's leadership; their territories became the founding states of the NCR.
  • Foil: To the Enclave. They're both trying to restore a semblance of the old world order to the country, but the NCR is formed by the remnants of a Vault populace, and they're mostly peaceful in their expansion efforts; the Enclave are formed by the remnants of the US government and military, and are violent in their conquest of the wasteland.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: A small farming community struggling against packs of radscorpions and gangs of raiders ended up becoming one of the most powerful forces in the entire post-apocalyptic United States.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The NCR Veteran Rangers always wear gas masks.
  • Good Is Not Nice: The NCR is going to bring peace and stability to the Wasteland, even if some of its inhabitants don't want them to.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Unlike most factions in the series the ideals, morality, goals, and compassion of its individual members tends to vary wildly.
  • Zerg Rush: They make up for their technological inferiority against the Brotherhood and Enclave with numerical superiority.

Post-War Religions

    The Church of the Children of Atom
"Glory to Atom!"

The Church of the Children of Atom are, more than anything else, an exceptionally odd bunch of people that serve as an excellent example of the Fallout franchise's Atompunk themes being taken to their (il)logical conclusion. The earliest known records of them has them starting out as a small cult of harmless weirdoes in the Capital Wasteland town of Megaton, viewing the unexploded nuclear bomb in the town's center as an altar to their god "Atom". In the Children's belief system, each nucleus contains its own entire universe, and nuclear fission (or, as they call it, "Division") is an inherently creative act, with two new universes being created every time an atom splits. As such, they worship the creative and mutative properties of radiation (who they have personified as Atom) and aspire to "embrace Division" so as to create new entire worlds and be with their god in everlasting peace. As the series goes on, they increasingly swell in ranks, spreading as far north as the Commonwealth and Mount Desert Island in Maine, but unfortunately also gain a lot of xenophobia and rabid fanaticism as a result from their new followers.

For more on the sect of the Children of Atom found on The Island, see here.

  • Admiring the Abomination: In 4, the Atom sect controlling Kingsport Lighthouse have locked up a Glowing One in the lighthouse's lantern room, viewing it as a sign from Atom and feed "heretics" (read: unsuspecting passers-by) to the mutated creature.
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: In-Universe; numerous sects and practicioners of Atom worship have different perspectives on how they should worship their god and practice their beliefs.
  • Ascended Extra: They go from being a very minor side faction in Fallout 3 to being a major recurring side antagonist in 4 and eventually becoming one of the primary factions feuding over Mount Desert Island in the Far Harbor DLC.
  • Badass Preacher: In 4 and especially Far Harbor, they can be a vertiable nightmare to fight, in large part thanks to their radiation-based weapons.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: It can be kind of hard to take a bunch of loons in rags praying around an unexploded nuclear bomb that seriously... until they either throw you into the "loving embrace" of a Feral Ghoul to have your intestines torn out or dump you into a pit of radioactive waste so that you can gain "Atom's gifts" that way.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: They view radiation poisoning (which most of the Wasteland understandably views as a terrifying and invisible menace) as a nurturing and sacred path to salvation by their god.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: It can be obscured by them frequently talking in Purple Prose obscured by religious turns of phrase, but on a completely technical level, they've been shown to actually have a pretty decent understanding of nuclear technology and are also damn good engineers and mechanics. It's even mentioned that they were vital in the early days of Megaton's construction, helping forge the town's protective walls on the sole condition that the unexploded bomb in the town's center not be disturbed.
  • Cargo Cult: They worship radiation, radioactive materials, and nuclear weapons/devices. Expect barrels of toxic waste to litter their homes in each game they appear.
  • Church Militant: Justified, as they live in the Wasteland.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: They worship radiation poisoning, for one, and in general most members of the organization come across as pretty... quirky. Possibly justified as a result of the constant background radiation in their homes altering their brain chemistries.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church doesn't have the same kind of strictly organized hierarchy as seen with most modern organized religions in Real Life, instead being set up in a very decentralized series of sects that work individually and typically don't communicate. Unfortunately, this leads to it being relatively easy for individual sects to get taken over by wannabe tyrants, as seen by High Confessor Tektus for the Mount Desert Island chapter.
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness: A fair bit, obviously. For one, they still hoard lots of Rad-X and RadAway despite the vast majority of them being The Immune to radiation, as they believe that taking in lots of rads before "scouring" themselves of radiation poisoning and then continuing that cycle is a form of pentience, with them "embracing the Glow anew."
  • Fantasy Counterpart Religion: As highlighted here, they share a suprisingly high number of similarities to many ancient Egyptian cults, most prominently those based around the worship of the creation god Atum (appropriately enough).
  • Future Imperfect: Their entire faith is largely founded on a misinterpretation of the structure of the nucleus, viewing each atom as its own entire reality.
  • Foreshadowing: Subtle hints are given of them later becoming murderous lunatics in 4 during the Broken Steel DLC for 3, with one side sect (the "Apostles of the Holy Light") tainting local Brotherhood shipments of Aqua Pura into radioactive "holy water" as part of a misguided attempt to spread their faith.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In Fallout 3, they're a bunch of harmless kooks. In Fallout 4, they're a bunch of terrifying Lovecraftian cultists that worship Feral Ghouls and are willing to wipe out entire towns so as to "spread Atom's word."
  • Glass Cannon: In the base game of 4, hostile Children usually fight in their ragged robed and don't have much in the way of defenses, but their Gamma Guns can pack an absurdly deadly punch to most enemies, and especially the Player Character if their armor isn't specifically suited to resist radiation.
  • Good Shepherd: While it's unfortunately downplayed by their more fanatical brethren, some of their leadership (most notably Confessor Cromwell in Megaton and Mother Isolde in the Crater of Atom) are still largely benevolent and friendly.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The vast majority of the Children look just like ordinary humans, but can survive ungodly amounts of radiation. It's possible that they're just going through an exceptionally slow form of ghoulification, but it's never made clear one way or the other.
  • The Immune: Most of their members are completely immune to radiation poisoning even if they can still feel its effects. Notably, however, there are still some members who aren't and so understandably have to take certain measures to keep themselves alive among their mutant brethren.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Many of their fanatics practice this. For instance, they attack people with radiation weapons as part of their recruitment drives by reasoning that those who survive are immune to radiation and thus should join their cult, while those who just die from the radiation poisoning are not among Atom's chosen.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: How their radioactive weapons work in 4, making them among some of the most difficult enemies in the entire game.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Some of their beliefs can't be waved off as just mere coincidence or zealotry. This is lampshaded in the Far Harbor DLC, with even the Children themselves ultimately admitting that it's possible that the "Mother of the Fog" they can see on Vision Quests is just a crazy old hermit playing the role of a Spirit Advisor For the Lulz, but as they don't know for certain either way, they're going to give Atom the benefit of the doubt and just accept the Mother as one of Atom's messengers.
  • Religion of Evil: Ultimately subverted. Unlike with the Children of the Cathedral below, the Far Harbor DLC highlights that the Children of Atom's religious practices are not inherently evil, and it's more that their church's intentionally loose command structure makes it unfortunately easy for overly ambitious Confessors to rise in power and lead them down a dark path.
  • Rising Empire: They've swelled by far in numbers on the East Coast by the time of 4, and have de facto control over most of The Island at the start of the Far Harbor DLC.
  • Secret Test of Character: Most aspiring Children have to drink a lot of radioactive water to see if they're worthy enough to join. If they survive, then they're seen as among Atom's chosen! If not, well, then at least they're with Atom now.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Most of the stuff they use is associated with/has a neon-green color scheme. Justified since they worship radiation and radioactive waste, which is associated with the color green in Fallout.
  • Sigil Spam: Most of which are styilized versions of scientific diagrams representing atoms and valence electron orbitals.
  • Sinister Minister: An unfortunately plurality of their membership in the Commonwealth is made up of this.
  • Straight Edge Evil: "Evil" isn't exactly the right word, but asceticism is a common thread in their religion. Confessor Cromwell claims that the Children strive for sobriety (despite the fact that he can be found hiding some alcohol in his church), and the Far Harbor sect view extended fasting as a clear sign of one's devotion to Atom.
  • Taken A Level In Badass: According to Confessor Cromwell in 3, the Children of Atom are meant to be a faith focused on pacifism and sobriety. In 4, they're a mighty band of ruthless Church Militants striking down almost anyone who crosses their path.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: They're far more radical and ruthless in 4 than they were in 3.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Some members of the Church still stick around despite not having the inborn resistance to radiation shared by their brothers and sisters. Subverted, though, if the Player Character actually asks them why they stick around, as most will note that the Children's large hoarded supplies of Rad-X and RadAway (along with homemade remedies, like Zealot Ware's brew) are usually enough to help them make do, and that living with the Children is typically a lot safer than trying to fend for oneself out in the Wasteland.
  • Vision Quest: Revelations from Atom being imparted by his messengers are an important part of their religion, to the point where the Children require the Sole Survivor to undergo one in order to gain access to the Nucleus.

    The Unity
The Unity, also called the Master's army, is a force of super mutants and human cultists created by the Master, a horrifically mutated individual seeking to transform the human species into a new, "perfect" form adapted to thriving in the Wasteland. The Unity includes a number of subdivisions, including the mutant armies proper and the Children of the Cathedral, a religious branch meant to spread the Master's message and prepare wasteland communities for the eventual takeover.

The Unity largely fell apart after the Master's death, with its surviving members either reintegrating into society or striking out in the wilderness.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Join the Unity and comply with the Master's orders at the end of the game, and the closing cutscene shows the Vault Dweller being dipped into the FEV vat and their vault being raided by super mutants as they beat its resisting denizens to death. With nothing stopping the Unity now and their forces bolstered, this potentially leads to an all-out super mutant conquest afterwards. Thankfully, however, this ending is (rather obviously) non-canon.
  • Collapsing Lair: Their main headquarters fall victim to this if the Master is brought to realize the fatal flaws of his plans. He activates the facility's self destruct in shame, blowing it to smithereens and scattering the surviving and leaderless mutants to the wind.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Children of the Cathedral worship "the holy flame" as a cleansing force that destroyed the evil generation that went before them. They have a gothic-style cathedral, their elders wear robes, and they have a sort of penance system.
  • Scam Religion: The Children of the Cathedral, behind their posing as a legitimate religion and some admittedly genuine charity work, are chiefly a cult intended to indoctrinate new members into following the Master's will and being made into Super Mutants without a fight by promising redemption upon transformation. Its leaders don't even try to follow their own teachings, since they know the whole thing is a sham — they simply use their power to control the masses. As a result, the Unity has no real ideological foundation, and even its true believers tend to quickly devolve into dangerous extremists.
  • Villainous Legacy: Even decades after the Master died and the Unity dispersed, there are still surviving super mutants who fondly remember their time served in its army and still believe in its cause.

Other Post-War Groups


Rather than referring to a single cohesive group, "raider" is the catch-all term for the bandits, renegades and ne'er-do-wells found in the wasteland. Most of the time, these gangs barely have any connection to each other and instead act only in favor of themselves. What they do all share in common, though, is an attraction to murder, torture, mugging, rape, and raiding the more honest people of the wasteland.

Most raider gangs are improvised and short-lived affairs, arising from a handful of thugs banding together and rarely lasting long before being brought down by infighting, retaliation from stronger forces or the dangers of the wastelands. A few, however, manage to endure in the longer term, eventually growing in numbers and developing into primitive tribes in their own right with some cultural nuance beyond being thieves and killers.

  • Always a Bigger Fish: Plenty of times the raiders will be a persistent problem that comes with living in some parts of the wastes, but they're almost always outdone by an even bigger and better equipped threat who make them look more like a pest than anything.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: With a few exceptions, most Raiders in practice are monstrous sadists that kill anyone in their path.
  • The Apunkalypse: They're roaming gangs of bandits who tend to be gleefully evil and sadistic, enjoying the thrills that living lawlessly can bring when they're not struggling for survival.
  • Arc Villain: Quests often put a specific raider, whether a gang leader or their most infamous members, on the forefront as someone who needs to be dealt with for one reason or another.
  • Asshole Victim: The sympathetic ones aside, most Raiders are Always Chaotic Evil Card Carrying Villains of one shade or another, and so one shouldn't have to feel that bad about having to put them down.
  • Bad Boss: It varies, sometimes raider bosses can be utter bastards who torment and kill their fellow raiders for any reason they can think of, sometimes they're nice enough to their crew that it'd almost be a Band of Brothers if they weren't all bandits and sadists. Most of the time though, it's usually a harsh leadership in some form.
  • The Chew Toy: If the game wants to show off how deadly a threat is or how cruel a fate can be in the wasteland, raiders are usually the people who'll be on the receiving end for a demonstration.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Quests and DLCs that put non-hostile raiders in the spotlight delve into this, serving as a a reprive from them usually being just another type of enemy to be blown away. Nuka-World in particular explores the raider lifestyle in detail, explaining why someone would even become a raider in such a dangerous world to begin with, like desperate circumstances forcing them to banditry or the thrill of danger and companionship with your gang. Anecdotal stories and from non-hostile raiders and working with local leaders talk about how loyalty varies between gangs and what objectives can drive them forward.
  • Dead Guy on Display: If you find intact and usually limbless corpses hanging from meat hooks and spikes and they're not chewed up and neatly arranged in bags, then you're probably walking through a raider outpost and not a super mutant's camp. Curiously, Moira Brown can be paid to decorate your Megaton house with the same kind of dead bodies and gore like you'd find in raider territory.
  • Depending on the Writer: Raiders in the West Coast games (1, 2, and New Vegas) are typically written as specific families of people that have their own vaguely "tribal" internal culture that drive their actions (i.e., the Vipers and Khans). In contrast, most Raiders in the East Coast games (3, 4, and 76) are typically written more as glorified criminals and highwaymen held together under the charisma of pseudo-mob bosses than anything else, being motivated primarily by either simple sadism or utter greed (though some East Coast Raider groups, like the Forged, are more ideological in nature).
  • Drugs Are Bad: Plenty of times you'll find evidence of raiders being heavy chem abusers with plenty of unused drugs scattered around their territory or on their person, if not outright stated by themselves that they're pretty high. The Fiends in New Vegas kick it into overdrive, all of them being so drugged out that they have almost no sense of self-preservation and are shells of their former selves. Their base of operations have non-hostile Fiends going through painful withdrawal and dead Fiends who overdosed themselves in their sleep.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Sometimes, you can find the memoirs of or even directly talk to a raider who admits that there are certain lines they aren't willing to cross and complain about how fucked up some their fellow raiders are, although this heavily leans on a person-by-person basis and doesn't always apply for every gang.
    • They also tend to inspire this in other factions, with pretty much everyone agreeing that raiders are absolute scum who need to be exterminated if any positive progress is going to be made. Notably, Caesar's Legion, a faction who practices slavery, Cold-Blooded Torture, genocide against "unworthy" tribes and communities, blatant sexism against women and Fantastic Racism against mutants in general, has a zero-tolerance policy for raiders and show no mercy in driving them out their territory. If they're victorious in the Second Battle of Hoover Dam and begin to expand into the Mojave, they're disgusted by the Fiends despite their contribution in destroying the NCR and swiftly kill them off.
  • Fallen Hero: Some Raiders were originally decent people or even heroes, but fell from grace thanks to the cruel realities of the Wasteland. Probably the most noteworthy example of this is the Libertalia Raiders in Fallout 4 who are primarily made of former Minutemen who turned to extortion in order to survive after the Fall of the Castle.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Raider gangs are just as inclined to rob and kill each other through gang wars just as they are to raid settlements.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Most Raiders would be more accurately referred to as "highwaymen," essentially ambushing people and fleecing them of their wealth/killing them for fun. However, this is averted in Fallout 4, where Raiders can actually be drawn to the Sole Survivor's settlements throughout the Commonwealth and will try to actually raid them for resources.
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Their main aesthetic, seeming to prefer wielded-together armors and hastily built outfits made from things like tires, leather, scrap metal, house appliances and whatever else they scavenge for in the wastes. These outfits are generally pretty poor for actual combat though, having low protection ratings across the board.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Standard raider operating behavior goes about like this, and sometimes not even in that order.
  • Stripperiffic: Some of the female raider armor in 3 and New Vegas veers into this, showing off plenty of skin with hastily applied kitchen-mesh bras and nipple-tape. 4 deviates away from this, instead having more practical armor pieces that can be mixed and matched to better protect the body.
  • Tragic Monster: Many Raiders are Trapped in Villainy by the cruel realities of the Wasteland, and at times, it's hard not to pity them.
    Nameless Raider: Just shut up and die already, I've got kids to feed!
  • Trapped in Villainy: As highlighted by Nuka-World, many Raiders can start out with sympathetic goals motivated by their desperation to survive in the Wasteland, but can slowly find themselves getting trapped in the lifestyle of a Raider until they have essentially no real choice but to continue on.
  • Trash of the Titans: Wherever they start to squat in, it's almost never going to be clean, not even bothering clean up all the pre-war debris and plenty of food, alcohol, drugs and weapons just left sitting around in piles. Not to mention all of the gore, bones and dead bodies left to rot around rooms.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Raiders and their named equivalents seem to escalate in threat levels as the games go on.
    • In 3, raiders are generally a non-threat once you reach a certain point and can blown away rather easily, mostly due to their poor weapons and armor they can't upgrade. The Pitt DLC, however, shows that they can be rallied to control an entire industrial complex in a unified effort for a single goal (and plenty of pay), kidnapping and brutalizing plenty of wastelanders to do their bidding as slave labor.
    • In New Vegas, the Fiends prove to be all-around better raiders than their predecessors, coming to battle with powerful energy weapons with the sheer force and drugged-out viciousness of hundreds to take over a chunk of the Mojave for themselves and push the NCR back to a defensive role, acting as a serious thorn for NCR forces already occupied fighting the Legion on other fronts. Even the Vipers and Jackal gangs, who have really fallen out of grace by the time of New Vegas, can threaten players with explosives and especially grenade launchers, making crossing their paths unprepared lead to a potentially explosive death.
    • In 4, raiders come with the hastily built yet versatile pipe weapons, making them come with anything from pistols, revolvers, machine guns and bolt-action rifles and generally prepared for most battles, even if their armor leaves a lot to be desired. More importantly though, they can now wear Powered Armor and wield weapons like the fat man and missile launcher to blow the player away. Their ranks have also improved, with a clear distinction from the pathetically weak standard raider who stand out in the open to the tougher raider survivalists and veterans, who come with the much more dangerous combat shotguns and rifles and the tactical sense to stick to cover. Similar to The Pitt, the Nuka-World DLC shows that raiders can be rallied as a domineering force comprised of multiple gangs, able to take over entire communities for themselves. If you so wish, you can even lead the Nuka-World raiders to take over the entire Commonwealth.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Bandits and raiders have been terrorizing the wasteland for centuries for their own selfish gain or sadistic tendencies. The Brotherhood, The Enclave, super mutant armies, The NCR and the Legion come and go, but raiders will always be a persistent problem for both the player and civilized parts of the wasteland.
  • Villain by Default: Their primary purpose in the series is to serve as Always Chaotic Evil Mooks that everyone gets to beat up on (most notably the Player Characters).
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: As crazy and merciless as they can be, raiders still have enough sense in them to realize when they've picked on the wrong wanderer. Injure them to the brink of death and they might put their weapons away and flee for their lives, try to hide or beg for mercy. In 4, they'll become distraught and shout things like "No!" or "Don't you die on me!" if you kill their friends while fighting.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: A raider gang in particular can become the focus of quests as a distraction from the main story, usually with something that distinguishes them from the more generic gangs. The Fiends in New Vegas aren't necessarily required to be dealt with for the main story, but the NCR will be very pleased to see their chain of command decapitated, and Camp Mc Carran can suffer heavy casualties or be outright overwhelmed if their leaders are left alive. Meanwhile in 4, gangs like The Forged, Rust Devils, Disciples, The Pack, Operators, and plenty of unnamed gangs with named leaders terrorizing the Commonwealth are encountered outside the main storyline.
  • You Have Failed Me: Raider leaders tend to have nasty tempers and low tolerance for failure, executing their underlings for not living up to their standards or just because they're annoying them. Slag in 4 takes it up to ridiculous extremes, frequently feeding his men and sometimes their whole families into molten metal forges as an execution for coming back alive after unsuccessful raids or for questioning him, or in one case because one of his men refused to give himself a cooler name upon joining his gang.


Archetypical little green men with ray guns and flying saucers, they've apparently been monitoring the Earth for centuries, abducting us and studying us for unknown reasons. Aliens and/or their technology feature repeatedly in the series as Easter Eggs.

  • A Day in the Limelight: They're the focus of the Fallout 3 DLC Mothership Zeta.
  • Alien Abduction: They've been doing it since the 1600s, and it happens to you in Mothership Zeta, leading to Alien Abductees Fight Back.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The recordings one can find of them interrogating their captives in Mothership Zeta has them beating the captives with shock batons to prompt them to do what they want, but even when a subject is cooperating peacefully, they still tend to get hit. They also experimented on human test subjects in unspeakably horrific ways, and are implied to have set off the Great War.
  • Area 51: The ship in the first Fallout game has text on it implying it came from the infamous military base. There's been various plans to include Area 51 in the series, but it hasn't actually happened yet.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Zetans are usually Lethal Joke Characters on their own, but The Flatwoods Monster in 76 is played almost completely seriously as a terrifying and dangerous cryptid.
  • Easter Egg: Finding a downed craft of theirs, possibly with a survivor or a weapon, is a recurring feature in the series.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: It's implied the Enclave has studied their technology to develop some of their breakthroughs, possibly even going back before the Great War.
  • The Flatwoods Monster: In 76, Flatwoods Monsters show up as Zetans tasked with abducting test subjects for experimentation, which is made all the more easy by their ability to teleport, even though it's pretty Flashy Teleportation. Controlling humans telepathically probably helps mitigate that. Colton Pickins is ostensibly one of their victims. They glow purple like the Frametown Monster and as per the Frametown interpretation of the Flatwoods Monster are aliens in suits.
  • Flying Saucer: Their typical craft designs are the classic flying disc with a thickened core.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: A recording in Fallout 3 has them mind-probing a US military officer for the launch codes for ICBMs, implying it might have been the aliens who started the Great War.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Alien Blaster tends to be one of the most powerful weapons in any Fallout game where it appears.
  • Inscrutable Aliens: They speak in unintelligent alien babbling and either can't or don't have any interest in making us understand them. A recording in Mothership Zeta includes a linguist who was attempting to try and figure out a way to communicate, and they just kept whacking her with their batons.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: Their ships crash all the time, the aliens are pretty fragile beings on their own, and their technology, while daunting at first, is not so beyond human comprehension that it can't be operated and even modified with a little ingenuity. A handful of humans in Mothership Zeta, one of which is a child, are able to take over an entire ship and gun down dozens of aliens in the process.
  • Klingons Love Shakespeare: They seem to have a fascination with Giddyup Buttercup. A room aboard the Zeta craft is full of replicas of the toy, and they get excited when Sally recognizes one in her recording.
  • Little Green Men: A shining example in modern media — they're shorter than humans, have green skin, and fly around in saucer-shaped spacecraft abducting humans.
  • Took a Level in Badass: They're typically Glass Cannons in all of their appearances, but The Flatwoods Monster in 76 is a surprisingly deadly combatant along with being treated in a far more serious light than prior Zetans.

Side Games

    Fallout Tactics 

The Warrior
The Fallout Tactics player character, a Tribal recruited into the Brotherhood of Steel and chosen to be a squad leader over several other Wasteland recruits.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: While how fast you promote may be determined by your Charisma stat, your promotions still only happen when you level up.
  • Badass Driver: The Warrior is the only Fallout protagonist who can drive a vehicle in missions. He's also the only one with a "Pilot" skill.
  • Badass Normal: They start as nothing more than a tribal with no particular training. And unlike other Fallout protagonists, he can never become an Empowered Badass Normal.
  • Brain in a Jar: A potential fate.
  • Colonel Badass: Doesn't matter what your rank is. You'll still be out there in the field kicking ass even when you become a Brotherhood General.
  • Covered with Scars: According to one character, you look like you "Lit your face on fire and tried to put it out with an ice pick." He then says he read that in a joke book, but considering how often you get shot at...
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": You can give him a name. But everyone will just refer to him as Warrior.
  • Worthy Opponent: By the end even the Calculator has come to admire your tenacity.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: If the Warrior merges with the Calculator with bad karma, then s/he murders the Brotherhood Elders, dissidents, and prepares for a potential war with the rest of the Brotherhood back west all in the name of creating a safe wasteland.

General Barnaky
The Warrior's initial commanding officer, General Barnaky gives the player his missions and objectives. He's a gruff Drill Sergeant Nasty and will be quite harsh on the Warrior until they earn his respect with several successful mission completions.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: After being defeated by the Calculator's robots, his brain is extracted from his body and placed in a unique humanoid brain-bot to serve as the Calculator's Dragon. He retains his original personality and memories, but has been indoctrinated into believing in the Calculator's goals.
  • Brain in a Jar: What the Calculator does to him. You can potentially do it to him again, uploading his brain into the Calculator itself.
  • Cyborg: His fate at the hands of the Calculator is cyborgization.
  • The Dragon: The Calculator turns him into its Cyborg General, due to his extensive knowledge of the B.O.S.'s capabilities and tactics.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: He's full of this in the earlier missions, although he does drop it quite a bit once you earn his respect by completing several missions successfully. Helps that he's voiced by the Patron Saint of this Trope.
  • Fantastic Racism: He's shown to have a very strong disdain for Super Mutants and Ghouls, and if he's allowed to merge with the Calculator, he ends up enslaving those populations to serve humanity. He's not a huge fan of Tribals, either, as he makes perfectly clear to you (a Tribal) in the first few missions.
  • Morality Pet: His wife, Maria, is this to him. To the point that even when robotized and working for the Calculator, if he detects his locket or letter to his wife on you when you fight him, he realizes what he's doing is wrong and gives up.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Allowing Barnacky to merge with the Calculator, instead of doing the Heroic Sacrifice yourself or simply destroying it and letting its technology and power go to waste, seems like a very clever way to Take a Third Option. This quickly turns out to not be the case, as the racist Barnacky ends up enslaving the native population of the Wasteland, as well as the Super Mutants and Ghouls, to serve the Brotherhood.


The leader of the Super Mutant army and the initial major foe the Brotherhood of Steel faces.

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: On the one hand, Gammorin has fairly high stats and is a pretty good fighter. On the other hand, he's fought almost alone with only a couple Super Mutants helping him, while you have your entire 6 person squad.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Defeating him is the main objective of the first 1/3rd of the game, before the Calculator's forces reveal themselves.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His main goal is to strengthen the Super Mutant army in order for them to fight the Calculator's forces and stop it from exterminating all organic life in the Wasteland. Unfortunately, the way he goes about doing this is fairly destructive for the surrounding population, which is not helped by the fact he's at least partially insane.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Gammorin turns out to be Paladin Latham, a high-ranking Brotherhood of Steel commander, who was lost during the original crash of the expedition's ships, and ended up being captured by the Super Mutant army. He killed the real General Gammorin in combat, an act which earned him the Super Mutants' respect and caused him to end up becoming their leader, taking Gammorin's name in the process. Due to a head injury he sustained during the fight, though, he's slowly going insane and now partially believes himself to be the original Gammorin.

The Calculator
A computer overseer of Vault 0 and the leader of the robot army.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: An AI Overseer who eventually went rogue and created a robot army.
  • Big Bad: Serves as the primary villain for Tactics.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It's actually doing what it was programmed to do. Problem is a few cut corners in safety protocol, a century without maintenance, and being plugged into a bunch of brains of questionable quality has corrupted its programming.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Its opinion of you.
  • Mind Hive: While the Calculator itself is an AI, it requires the minds of humans to help it perform its functions.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Evidently, the Calculator knew of your exploits and could have killed you anytime, but it didn't think it needed to devote too many resources to stopping you.
    Calculator: You have proven a statistical anomaly that crashed my logistics programs time and time again.

    Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 


  • Mighty Glacier: He has high health and is good with heavy weapons, but he's slower than the others and can't use dual guns.



  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Cain's in the middle for stats, and can use both heavy weapons and dual guns, but he isn't as skilled with either.


  • Evil Matriarch: Variant. The Raiders based near Carbon have a matriarchal system, with females ranking higher than males. Jane, the Raider Matron and leader, is especially evil.

General Attis

Mayor Richard