Character page for the Fallout series.
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 DC 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.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: In the original Fallout, keeping Dogmeat alive can be a bit frustrating, especially in the last few levels where he's constantly in harm's way. To make matters worse, you can't give him any kind of instructions or tell him to stay put, meaning that he'll be the first to run into a fight. It is possible to make him survive the entire game, but it's tricky. Then again, by that point he is more trouble than he's worth and there isn't any other tangible reward other than a warm fluffy feeling.
- 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)
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.
- 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.
The Brotherhood of Steel
When the bombs fell, a faction of US army soldiers survived in the Mariposa Military Base. Under the command of Captain Roger Maxson, they 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 society of humans that believe in the power of technology and the fallibility of man.
- 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. See Divergent Character Evolution further down.
- 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.
- Badass Family: The Maxson dynasty, who typically end up leading the Brotherhood and usually served as Paladins.
- Breakout Faction: The Brotherhood proved popular enough to recieve two spin-off games of their own.
- 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.
- Divergent Character Evolution: As of New Vegas, there are four branches of the Brotherhood in the main series, and all of them have turned out quite different from the Brotherhood of the first game.
- The West Coast Mojave chapter follows the Codex so rigidly they will not deviate from it, even though their Elder knows that doing so is leading to their destruction. Their membership is not given lightly and is near impossible to get for a normal wastelander, and they violently seize technology they deem the rest of the world not worthy of using.
- The East Coast DC chapter follows what they see as the spirit of the Codex, which was meant to protect humanity. Instead of just collecting and hoarding technology, they use it to make a difference protecting civilization from raiders and mutants, and open their ranks to outsiders. While this makes them more sympathetic than other factions, they have suffered for those decisions. However, as of Fallout 4 they have become a mix of their old ideals and the West Coast mentality of xenophobia and tech hoarding under the leadership of Arthur Maxson. They still allow outsiders to join though, in order to maintain their numbers, but restrict recruitment by requiring an existing member to vouch for them.
- The East Coast "Outcasts" that left the DC Chapter follow the Codex, but not as strictly as the West Coast. They hoard technology but do not confiscate it, refuse to let outsiders join but will accept aid from them, and fight raiders and mutants but only in self-defense. After the death of the Lyons, they rejoined the DC chapter under Maxson.
- The Mid-West Chapter believes that technology should be shared with the rest of the wasteland, but believe themselves to be superior to those not in their ranks. They are the most open about recruitment as they allow anyone of any race, background, or species to join them. They also try to function as a quasi-army/government, offering towns protection in exchange for recruits and taxes.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Brotherhood's bases are often underground bunkers or tunnel complexes. Averted in Fallout 3 where they make their base in the ruins of the Pentagon as well as Fallout 4 where their base is an airship dubbed 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.
- 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 4, Elder Maxson extends their hatred to the Synths of the Institute.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: They're fond of laser and plasma weapons.
- 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 Brotherhood and the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood flourished, while the Western Brotherhood is rapidly losing power and shrinking.
- Hidden Elf Village: The 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.
- 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.
- Powered Armor: It's their trademark equipment.
- Society Marches On: See Technology Marches On below. Their current approach worked well when the biggest piece of civilization in the immediate area was an isolated town. Against the Legion? Still works, probably. Against the NCR, or as firearms and energy weapons are finally being re-engineered and rebuilt? While being charged by said NCR and horribly outnumbered? Nope.
- Technology Marches On: This trope is occurring in-universe, and it's why their organization is fading from power.
- In the first game the Brotherhood had the best equipment, bar none, in the entire wasteland.
- Eighty years later in the sequel, the arrival of the Enclave and advance of civilization has reduced their power, but they remain strong.
- Forty years after that, in New Vegas, the wasteland has advanced so far that even raiders have access to laser weapons, and air travel has been re-established by NCR. The Brotherhood's only remaining technological advantage is their power armor, but NCR has salvaged suits from them and is likely in the process of reverse-engineering them, so even that probably won't last much longer.
- Meanwhile, on the East Coast six years after New Vegas, the East Coast Brotherhood is competing for the title of "most advanced faction" with the Institute, who lack power armor and produce slightly inferior laser weapons, but have teleportation technology, synths, and a crop genetic engineering program.
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 be 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 and survived. They emerged to form the Enclave, proudly declaring themselves the last bastion of pure humanity and the heirs to the legacy of America.
- Anti-Villain: Aside from Frank Horrigan 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: In 2 and 3.
- Blue and Orange Morality: They want to restore America and humanity, but due to the latent radiation of the wasteland thanks to the nuclear war, they see all mainland humans as mutants, save for those safe in the vaults. So their plans to rebuild the country demand that you and most of the other wasteland inhabitants be killed. To them, shooting a human Wastelander is no more "immoral" than it is to shoot a Super Mutant or ghoul.
- 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.
- 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 war-mongers who kill anyone who stands in their way to take over the country.
- 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.
- 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.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their power armor has glowing yellow-orange visors on the eye holes.
- 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...
- Obviously Evil: Did the black power armor not tip you off the first time you saw them?
- 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.
- 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.
- The Remnant: Of the United States government and military.
- Vestigial Empire: They're this to start with and get smaller and smaller each game, since they make the mistake of making the Player Character their enemy. With the destruction of their East Coast bases it's unknown if they even exist beyond scattered survivors or cells.
- 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.
- Achilles' Heel:
- In the Bethesda-era games, they are very vulnerable to crippled legs, which not only stops them from using their leaping attacks, but drastically slows their walking speed. With one of their legs crippled even the mightiest of deathclaws can only hobble towards you slowly while you wheel back and take potshots at it from a safe distance.
- Beginning with Fallout 4, Deathclaws have a softer underbelly where they take more damage.
- The classic Black Isle-era Deathclaws, on the other hand, are vulnerable to eye shots. That is if you can manage the shot.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Actually averted; deathclaws are very aggressive naturally, but some are willing to be friendly to humans if said human helps it, such as when the Sole Survivor returns an unhatched Deathclaw egg to its mother in 4; the mother will refuse to attack unless you take the egg back or attack her.
- Art Evolution: The depiction of Deathclaws has evolved a fair bit over the course of the games. In the original two, they were long-armed, apelike knuckle-walkers, further shown in the first game’s manual with backward-facing horns and pointed muzzles. The 3D games introduced their more familiar look, making them bipeds with a human-like (if still long-armed) stance, a row of spines down their back, and a very slender build, with long wiry limbs and thin, pointy horns and claws. In 4, they were made much bulkier, with more heavily muscled limbs and torsos, thicker and blunter horns, and a more hunched over posture.
- Attack Its Weak Point: In 4, they have a soft, unarmored spot on their belly. It's hard to hit them there, though, considering that they can actually move around and dodge bullets with ease.
- The Dreaded: Everyone in the Fallout universe is afraid of deathclaws. It's right there in the name even.
- Elite Mooks: Deathclaws are universally among the toughest enemies you'll face in any given Fallout game. Even more dangerous variants sometimes appear: there are Deathclaw Mothers in some games, New Vegas introduces the Deathclaw Alpha Male, and Fallout 4 has the Glowing, Chameleon and Albino Deathclaws
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Would you believe that these walking, ten-foot tall cuisinarts that can tank an Anti-Material Rifle slug or a nuke to the face like its a light breeze started their existence as the Jackson's Chameleon?
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In Fallout 4, during the quest "When Freedom Calls", the player is tasked to eliminate Raiders from Concord. After beating them and their leader, a huge Deathclaw appears from nowhere and attacks the player, serving as the "boss" of the area. There's very little and vague foreshadowing about it (with Mama Murphy saying that "There's something comin'. And it is... angry" and Preston saying that there's "something else outside").
- Hollywood Chameleons: The Chameleon Deathclaw in Fallout 4 can use stealth like a Stealth Boy, harkening back to their evolution from Jackson's Chameleons.
- The Juggernaut: They used to be chameleons, but now they're just hulking masses of muscle and claws that can rip apart damn near anything in their path.
- Lightning Bruiser: They move fast, hit hard, and take a lot of punishment.
- Natural Weapon: Their claws are long and sharp enough to slice you apart.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Does the name "Deathclaw" sound tame to you?
- Roar Before Beating: In 4, they do a Mighty Roar when engaging combat. This can actually work against them, as they expose their soft belly when doing so.
- Super Soldier: They were originally created by the U.S. government to replace human troops in battle, and were later refined by the Master for similar purposes, resulting in ten-foot beasts capable of tearing a human apart and shrugging off small arms fire, traits that, since they weren't sterile like Super Mutants, allowed them to spread across North America like wildfire and become one of the most dangerous things in the wastelands. Later on, the Enclave repeatedly tried to tame them to use as shock troops.
- Underground Monkey: Several varieties of Deathclaws have showed up in the games, mostly the later ones.
- Fallout: New Vegas introduced Mothers, who have blue skin and swept-back horns, and Alpha Males, who have dark skin and elongated horns. Both are notably taller, faster, and stronger than the vanilla Deathclaws.
- Fallout 4 added Glowing Deathclaws, which glow green and deal radiation damage, Albino Deathclaws with very high health, and Chameleon Deathclaws which can change color.
- 4's Nuka-World add-on added Quantum Deathclaws, which were apparently mutated by the park's river of Nuka-Cola Quantum and glow blue-purple, and Gatorclaws, essentially Deathclaw-shaped alligators created from splicing gator and Deathclaw DNA.
- The Worf Effect: Deathclaws are one of the most dangerous things you'll encounter in the Wasteland, so the series occasionally demonstrates just how badass something is by having them kill a deathclaw. Frank Horrigan punches one into pieces in Fallout 2, and the New Vegas expansion Lonesome Road has a tunneler tear a deathclaw's head off. In Fallout 4, one of the first things you do is get into a suit of Power Armor, grab a minigun and fight a Deathclaw (though it's still a challenging fight).
Before the Great War, the United States feared chemical or biological attacks from the Chinese, and began engineering a universal antivirus to protect their troops. When it was discovered this antivirus altered subjects on a genetic level and drastically increased their muscle mass, it was renamed the Forced Evolutionary Virus. In the post-apocalyptic world, the humans exposed to it become super mutants, hulking brutes with incredibly physical strength, but generally low intelligence. They and their leader are the villains of the first game: since then they've become just another faction in the massive Fallout universe.
There are three types of Super Mutants, because three (known) sources of FEV were used and the virus expressed itself a little differently. 'Mariposa Super Mutants' range from southern Oregon through California and Nevada, and are so named because the vats of FEV culture that they're dipped in for transformation exist(ed) at Mariposa Military Base. The Mariposa mutants also have a variant, the Nightkin, elite members of the Master's army that have mutated further due to stealth boy usage. "Vault 87 Super Mutants" range from Virginia through Maryland and Washington DC, and get their name from the particular Vault where they are exposed to FEV in some sort of aerosol exposure chamber. "Commonwealth Super Mutants" were created by the Institute, who were conducting experiments with the FEV.
- The Ageless: They claim that they are immortal. While there's no hard evidence, there is little reason to deny it when some super mutants show no signs of ageing even after a few centuries. Senility does appear in some Western mutants in Fallout 2, but does not seem to reduce their physical prowess.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The East Coast mutants grow in size as they age. The oldest ones have grown 20 feet tall.
- BFG: Due to their massive size, super mutants have no problem using and prefer the likes of plasma rifles, miniguns, rocket launchers, etc.
- Body Horror: Not counting the fact that the transformation process causes the subject to nearly double in size, and lose most or all of their features and their reproductive systems (depending on which type of super mutant), the failures tend to look... unpleasant.
- The Dreaded: Opinions on super mutants tend to vary depending on when, where, and who you ask (though very few places welcome them with open arms). Everyone agrees, however, that an angry super mutant is a nightmare.
- Dumb Muscle: While not all super mutant subjects become mumbling idiots, most do. Even other mutant commanders are pretty unintelligent, just not as much as their underlings, and only a handful could be considered intelligent by normal human standards. In the original Fallout, it's possible to talk your way past most fights with them by claiming you're on their side and look like a normal human because you're a special breed of mutant; with a Speech check, they buy it and just let you go.
- Elite Mook: Often among the toughest enemies of the series. They also have their own Elite Mooks among them. The West Coast mutants have the Nightkin, the East Coast have the Overlords and Behemoths.
- Genius Bruiser: Smarter Super Mutants such as the Lieutenant, Marcus or Fawkes are uncommon, but not unheard of. They're just as intimidatingly huge and strong as their brethren — they just also happen to capable of holding a perfectly rational conversation.
- Giant Mook: They tower over normal humans.
- Gone Horribly Right: Super mutants are sterile because FEV interprets reproductive cells having only half of the chromosomes from normal cells as chromosomal damage, and it "fixes" the cells to have a full set of chromosomes.
- Hulk Speak: A common trait for them; even if they're intelligent, super mutants are rarely articulate.
- Loss of Identity: The process of becoming a super mutant sometimes causes them to forget their past lives. Most don't seem troubled by this.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Friendly Super Mutants are uncommon, but not all that rare, particularly in the West Coast where certain mutants have either integrated into human society (to the point that the NCR even has Super Mutant Rangers) or have formed their own isolated societies. Friendly East Coast Super Mutants are much rarer, with the main ones being Fawkes, Uncle Leo and (just barely) Strong.
- One-Gender Race: Sort of. The mutation causes them to lose sexual characteristics as they change. In addition to sterility, they lose Secondary Sexual Characteristics and all of them pretty much look male. Lily and Tabitha thus adopt Tertiary Sexual Characteristics and cling to accessories identifying them as female.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Super Mutants are effectively post-apocalyptic sci-fi orcs as far as appearance and personality goes.
- Painful Transformation: The transformation into a super mutant apparently hurts. A lot. Fawkes hints in 3 that this is the reason, at least with the Vault 87 strain, for why super mutants lose their minds.
- Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: There's not really anything mass-produced that will fit them. As such, they tend to improvise with random junk.
- Stealthy Mook: Nightkin use Stealth Boys, which make them invisible.
- Sterility Plague: During the transformation process, the FEV sees haploid gamete cells as damaged and so turns them into diploid versions, which leaves the Super Mutants unable to reproduce.
- Stronger with Age: East Coast Super Mutants, created from a different strand of FEV than their West Coast counterparts, get bigger and stronger as they get older, with some reaching heights of twenty feet and strength capable of ripping apart a Vertibird single-handedly.
- Super Soldier: Once the effects of FEV were made apparent, they were chosen to be elite soldiers to fight the Chinese. And later, they form the lynchpin of The Master's army.
- The Virus: They increase their ranks by dipping other humans in FEV.
- Was Once a Man: Every one of them used to be human. As noted above, most take it in stride.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Their lowered intelligence aside, the mutation process can also drive super mutants a bit nuts. Ax-Crazy seems to be a near universal trait, and even some of the peaceful ones are a bit odd.
Sometimes, being exposed to massive amounts of radiation doesn't kill you, it just mutates you heavily. Ghouls were all once human, but mutated into zombie-like masses of rotting flesh. On the upside, this makes them immortal by stopping their aging, and most ghouls retain their mental faculties. For a time, anyway; ghouls can devolve into feral ghouls, losing all their humanity and intelligence and becoming ferocious monsters.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Ghouls in general got a serious bump up in appearance in Fallout 4; their design changed from looking like more standard western zombies to the actual acute radiation poisoning and burn victims that they are. As a result, there are several Ghoul NPCs that look pretty good aside from a rather taut and burned look to their skin, as well as them near-universally missing their noses and having black eyes, with recruit able companion Hancock being a good example of this. Even the Ferals look better as their skin is much more uniform in appearance and the fear of them is now driven by their Zerg Rush tactics.
- The Ageless: It's been over two centuries since the first ghouls were made and we've yet to hear of one dying of old age. Everyone in-universe (and many out-of) assumes that ghoulification makes you immortal, and so far little contradicts that.
- Age Without Youth: While they're normally considered The Ageless, at least one ghoul, Raul, states that his physical abilities and eyesight have deteriorated over the years and attributes this to getting older, possibly making it this trope instead. How correct Raul might be is never resolved in New Vegas. When you meet Hancock in Fallout 4, he calls himself immortal, but corrects himself and states that this is an over-generalization and that ghouls just age very slowly.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Ghouls tend to be eccentric and quirky. Probably it's a side effect of them being very old.
- Deceased and Diseased: Ghouls love radiation, which is fatal to humans. But to a ghoul, radiation can range from harmless to pleasant, and in the Bethesda-era games, ghoul-type enemies are healed by it.
- Depending on the Writer:
- How ghouls become feral ghouls. Sometimes it's part of the process, sometimes prolonged exposure to radiation does it, sometimes there's some sort of catalyst, and sometimes all ghouls go feral after enough time has passed. This can be justified as bigots spreading misinformation about them.
- Also, what actually makes you into a ghoul varies depending on who you asked; even the original game's creators argued on if the cause was purely radiation or if it required a combination of irradiation and exposure to the FEV strains released into the air when Mariposa was hit, which were originally called out as being partly to blame for all the mutant wildlife before, ultimately, it was downplayed and left out.
- Elite Mooks: The Glowing Ones, ghouls which have a bright luminous glow as a result of radiation exposure.
- Exotic Eye Designs: In Fallout 4, ghouls all have completely black eyes.
- Fantastic Slurs: They're often referred to as "Zombies" by humans. In return, they came up with the term "Smoothskins".
- Feed It with Fire: In Fallout 3, New Vegas and 4, they're healed by radiation. The Feral Ghouls in the highly irradiated Glowing Sea even regenerate health over time thanks to this.
- Fragile Speedster: Ghouls tend to be pretty speedy, but having a lot of their flesh and muscle decay away doesn't do much to increase their durability in combat.
- Guttural Growler: Most ghouls acquire a deep rasp to their voice as a result of ghoulification. Feral ghouls just let out raspy shrieks and groans. In 4, some ghouls are capable of speaking with regular-sounding voices and Dean Domino in New Vegas completely lacks the raspiness (though he is a trained singer, which probably helps).
- Like Goes with Like: Played With. According to Harland (a ghoul mercenary in New Vegas), ghouls can find other ghouls attractive. However, this might might not be true. The majority of ghouls encountered consider ghoulish appearance to be horrendously ugly, having once been humans and retained a human aesthetic sense. That said, at least one paying human customer at the Atomic Wrangler likes ghoul prostitutes and there are also ghoul dancers at Gomorrah, but whether for ghoul or human patrons is never made clear.
- No-Sell: Due to their modified biology, ghouls are usually immune to chems, alcohol, and other intoxicants. It's not an absolute, however, as in Fallout 3, a ghoul chemist is refining a more potent version of the drug Jet that ghouls can use.
- Our Zombies Are Different: In-universe, people treat ghouls like zombies, but they aren't, since they were never dead in the first place, they usually maintain their intelligence and personalities, and some even form towns and live peaceful lives. But thanks to the ferals, which basically are zombies in practicality, the stereotype endures. This is the focus of a Fallout 3 quest, where the quest giver expresses disgust over ghoul-hating humans who believe the only way to kill a ghoul is to shoot them in the head like a traditional zombie.
- Really 700 Years Old: Since they no longer age, ghouls can live for decades or centuries. Some of the ones you meet were even alive before the Great War, making them almost 300 years old. How much of that they remember, though, varies — since ghouls, again, may lose some of their mental faculties, and they can still go senile.
- Technically Living Zombie: The Feral Ghouls. While they're still alive, they act almost like zombies thanks to mental deterioration from the radiation.
- Was Once a Man: Every ghoul you meet was human at one point, before being hideously scarred by tradition and — in the case of feral ghouls — being turned into a mindless, predatory beast.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're cockroaches the size of a cat.
- The Goomba: The weakest enemies in the entire series. They almost always takes a single hit from most weapons — or even a single physical blow — to die, and deal pathetic damage to the player.
- Maximum HP Reduction: In 4, their attacks deal radiation damage to the player.
- No-Sell: They're immune to radiation attacks.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Not really 1 HP, but even the weakest attack from a melee weapon usually offs them quickly.
- Zerg Rush: Expect to find more of them when you see one. Either way, they're a minor nuisance.
- Action Bomb: One variety in 4 comes with bombs strapped to its back. Its main means of attack consists of simply running at you and detonating.
- Dig Attack: In 4, they gain the ability to rapidly tunnel underground and pop up where they please, making them difficult to keep track of.
- The Goomba: They're some of the weakest and most common enemies in the games. They may be a threat early on, but it won't take too long until a blow or two from any common weapon will be enough to do even their strongest variants in.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: According to some sources, the U.S. government created the mole rats as the ultimate invasive pests to be planted in enemy territory. They escaped into the wild after the War, and the traits bred into them for this purpose — high adaptability, rapid breeding rates, chiefly subterranean living habits and increased aggression — allowed them to survive and thrive in the wasteland.
- Maximum HP Reduction: The Vault 81 mole rats in 4 will, on attacking, infect you with their disease, permanently shaving 10 HP off your total unless you use the cure.
- Nested Mouths: It's not very visible, but the mole rat model in Fallout 4 has a second set of disturbingly human-looking teeth◊ hidden behind its rodent-like incisors. This is Truth in Television: naked mole rats use their teeth to burrow, so they evolved incisors outside their lips so that digging dosen't completely suck.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Depending on the variety, they can be anywhere from the size of a cat to the size of a dog. Fallout 3 was also planned to include mole rats the size of buses that were used as transport animals, but they were cut from the game in the concept stage.
- Wormsign: When they’re tunneling around in a fight, their movement is marked by a faint outline of their tunnel.
- Zerg Rush: They’re not terribly impressive enemies on their own, but a group can be an issue, especially since their burrowing abilities make them hard to keep track of — and they almost always come in groups.
- Alien Lunch: You can harvest meat from these things like you can from any other animal, which is modeled in-game as being a segment of either their legs or tails and which you can use to cook delicious radscorpion steak. In addition, Fallout 4 lets you make omelettes out of radscorpion eggs, and New Vegas lets you make casserole out of their poison glands.Ruby Nash: It's perfectly safe, long as you don't have sores in your mouth for the venom to find your blood. 'Cause that'll kill you dead.
- Animal Jingoism: There are two variants of giant scorpions living in the Mojave Wasteland: true radscorpions and the smaller bark scorpions, mutated versions of the common North American striped bark scorpion. The two species do not get along, and radscorpions often prey on their smaller cousins.
- Ascended Glitch: In 3 and New Vegas, Radscorpions would sometimes glitch underneath the ground, and would fall through when you got close to them. In 4, Radscorpions are one of only two enemies (the other being Mole Rats) that gain this ability as an attack, being coded to burrow and move underground as a standard action.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Their ancestors, while big as scorpions went, were nothing too unreasonably large by real life standards. Radiation-induced mutation, however, has turned them even bigger than the other giant arthropods in the wastes: the smallest are easily as big as a large person, and the largest are bigger than a car.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: 3's Broken Steel DLC introduced Albino Radscorpions, every bit as big and fast as regular giant radscorpions, but harder to see from a distance, with much higher damage potential, and durable enough to take a nuke on the chin and keep on going as if nothing happened (and this is not an exaggeration), regenerating all the while.
- Dig Attack: In 4, they gain the ability to tunnel underground and move extremely quickly while doing so, making fleeing from them extremely difficult.
- Poisonous Person: Their chief offensive weapons are their highly poisonous stingers. You can harvest their poison glands to create a variety of poisons for your own use, as well as antivenin medicines.
- Underground Monkey: Like most other Fallout enemies, they have their share of variants, including giant and albino radscorpions with higher health and attack, bark scorpions with more potent venom, and, in 4, glowing radscorpions that deal radiation damage and rare and powerful deathskull radscorpions.
- Butt-Monkey: In the S.P.E.C.I.A.L animated shorts.
- Distaff Counterpart: Vault Girl.
- Iconic Outfit: The blue and yellow vault jumpsuit.
- Product Placement: Several instances of this happen in-universe with Vault Boy in pre-war media.
- Series Mascot: Vault Boy is synonymous with the franchise.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Suffers 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
They are 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.
- Badass Longcoat: He uses it to help hide his identity supposedly.
- 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.
- 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 boy or a girl.
- 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: Easy has the most powerful attacking the game.
- 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 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.
- Real After All: There is some evidence that he does actually exist; aside from the hints dropped by the Lonesome Drifter, Nick Valentine is investigating a case on him.
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: Is the only Fallout protagonist who can drive a vehicle in missions. He's also the only one with a "Pilot" skill.
- Badass Normal: Starts 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...
- 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.
- Four-Star Badass: ...Brotherhood General.
- Worthy Opponent: By the end even the Calculator has come to admire your tenacity.
- Submissive Badass: Before long no-one really doubts that you are the best the Mid-Western Brotherhood's got. You still have to obey your superiors.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Fragile Speedster: She has lower health than the other two characters, but she's quick and proficient with 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.
- An Arm and a Leg: Cuts off the player's arm, but you get a replacement.