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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.
  • 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)

Harold in Fallout 2.Harold and an older Bob in Fallout 3, 
Voiced by: Charlie Adler (1 and 2), Stephen Russell (3)

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.

    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.

    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.

  • 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. 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 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, however, she does an AoE 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 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 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.
  • 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.



    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 Mojave; the East Coast Brotherhood, headquartered in Washington DC; and the Midwestern Brotherhood headquartered near the ruins of Chicago, Illinois. Each chapter tends to excercise 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 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, nightstaklers, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In Fallout 3, the East Coast Brotherhood under Elder Lyons is heavily evocative of early Prussia. By Fallout 4, they've since evolved into essentially being the State of the Teutonic Order under Elder Arthur Maxson.
  • 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.
  • 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 prevelant in New Vegas and 4.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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? Well, no.
  • 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, with the Institute's strength being their androids and teleportation technology.
  • 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.

    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 principal 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 multiple towns that pay taxes to them and supply them with food, troops, and munitions.
  • 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.
  • 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 ideas, 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.

    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 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.
  • 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 still tell horror stories about the Enclave.
  • 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: To an even greater degree than the Brotherhood of Steel even, 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 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 Steal 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Overarching Villain: Sort of. They only serve as the direct antagonists for two games and by the time of 4 and New Vegas have pretty much been almost completely wiped out. However, as the successors of the Pre-War US government, their influence can be felt throughout the entire series from the Vaults and their experiments to other antagonists like Dr. Braun, the Calculator, and the Think Tank.
  • 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.
  • 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 Character 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: 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.

    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.

  • 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 actually marketing these mundane products. Their cutting-edge scientific pursuits, like terra-forming modules, advanced computer AI, new strains of diseases and cures for them, and human cloning, were retained for their own exclusive use inside the Vault experiments.
  • Evil, Inc.: Their corporate culture actively encourages 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.
  • For the Evulz: That said, many of them are also just unnecessarily and pointlessly cruel, and it's a mystery how some of their "experiments" could yield data that would be useful for any practical purposes. For example, Vault 95 was populated exclusively by recovering drug addicts with the pretense the Vault personnel would help them overcome their addictions; when they were deemed to have made sufficient progress to that, an undercover Vault-tec operative opened a secret supply room stocked with chems, left it to be found by the residents, and then sat back to see what would happen.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Several of the Vaults "failed" in terms of their experiment, but this is for the best since that often meant its citizens could use the Vault for its intended purpose, surviving. The best example is Vault 81, whose Overseer pulled the plug on its experiment before it even began, and the people of the Vault have lived in it comfortably for two hundred years since.
  • Incompetence, Inc.: Despite being a massive Mega-Corp, it's frequently shown that they 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 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 Was His Sled: 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Their lower-level employees often had no idea of what Vault-Tec was really doing. The Vault-Tec representative in Fallout 4 who signs you up for Vault 111 claims he had no idea what was actually going to happen inside the Vault; all he knew was that he had a sales quota to meet in a contest to win a set of steak knives.
  • 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 one hundred and twenty-two. The Vault program was obviously never going to work as they sold it to the public; fortunately no one asked too many questions and those that did were ignored or silenced.

    Nuka-Cola Corporation
A beverage manufacturing company before the 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, including building an underground bunker for his scientists to live in while they research for him, and gifting an executive a new car for saving the company from lawsuits via contract fine print.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Secret Ingredient: Nuka-Cola Quantum's blue glow comes from a radioactive isotope. Studies show there are no serious adverse side effects to drinking it, though it does make one's urine glow blue for a week after consumption.

    The Aliens 
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, or just because they feel like doing it — even with the subject if cooperating peacefully, they tend to get hit.
  • 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 actually include Area 51 in the series, but it hasn't actually happened yet.
  • 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.
  • Flying Saucer: Their typical craft designs.
  • 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.

Creatures and Robots

Oh, Crap! personified

Once, these creatures were Jackson's chameleons, but secret experimentation and genetic engineering by the US goverment to create biological weapons mutated them into monsters. The Master later experimented on deathclaws to refine their powers further, and they escaped captivity and spread across the continent. Towering over humans with claws as long as your arm and jaws large enough to bite that arm off, deathclaws are some of the most powerful creatures you'll ever have the misfortune to come across. The Enclave occasionally tries to make use of deathclaws as shock troopers.

  • 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.
  • Badass Pacifist: The intelligent Deathclaws from Fallout 2 have very strong morals and only kill to hunt animals or protect themselves and the humans they shelter in Vault 13.
  • Bioweapon Beast: Originally created from a mix of various organism (one of which is a chameleon) by the pre-War government to serve as super soldiers.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone in the Fallout universe is afraid of deathclaws. It's right there in the name even.
  • Defector from Decadence: The intelligent Deathclaws created by the Enclave are thoroughly disgusted by their actions and go rogue.
  • 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.
  • Mama Bear: A Deathclaw pack will have a "matriarch", or alpha female, who lays the eggs and cares for the baby Deathclaws. They are extremely protective of their packs. Fallout 1, 2, New Vegas and 4 feature at least one with her eggs and offspring in a quest.
  • 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?
  • Non-Malicious Monster: They're extremely dangerous, and feared for a reason, but they're just apex predators who hunt and kill to survive.
  • 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.
  • Super Strength: Can tear through power armor like tin cans.
  • Super Toughness: Their skin by default has a damage threshold on par with standard Combat Armor (in Fallout 1, Fallout 2, and Fallout: New Vegas; 3, 4, and 76 don't have the DT mechanic). This means everything at 5.56x45mm ball level or below just bounces off their skin, bar shots to weak spots like the eyes. Better break out the anti-materiel rifle or some AP rounds.
  • 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 and blend into their background.
    • 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.
  • Talking Animal: The Enclave experimented with intelligent Deathclaws in Fallout 2. While most of them weren't more intelligent than a 5-year old kid, some were able to develop above-average intelligence compared to a human and were capable of speech. They were tragically wiped out by the Enclave, and the option to save them was Dummied Out.
  • 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 very challenging fight).


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 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 feral behavior.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Ghouls tend to be eccentric and quirky. Probably it's a side effect of them being old and not being bound to typical societal norms on account of Fantastic Racism and the fact there are no societal norms anymore. Raul for instance mentions he regularly changes his name just to keep things fresh when he tires of the current one,
  • 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: In general, the developers widely disagree on how to depict ghouls consistently. Some of this can be Hand Waved as bigots and racists spreading misinformation in-universe.
    • It's not clear how ghouls become feral. Sometimes it's part of the process, and you either go feral when you become a ghoul or you keep your senses; other times its continued and prolonged exposure to radiation that mutates a sane ghoul further; sometimes it's presented as a fact of their nature that all ghouls go feral eventually depending on unknown factors that vary between individuals. But then again, mutation induced by nuclear irradiation isn't an exact science, so it probably wouldn't be consistent anyway.
    • What actually makes you into a ghoul is unclear. It's universally agreed that exposure to radiation is part of it, but exposure to FEV may or may not also be at play. Additionally, some ghouls describe being mutated all at once by exposure to a blast of radiation, others imply it was a gradual process over prolonged exposure.
    • How ghouls experience aging, if at all. It's been two hundred years since the first ghouls were created and we've never heard of one dying of old age, and Billy in Fallout 4 is a child that was mutated as a boy when the bomb fell and is still physically a child. However, Raul in New Vegas implies he's experiencing degredation of his physical and mental faculties, and attributes it to his age; it's unclear if he's correct in this assumption. Hancock in Fallout 4 says it's a misconception that ghouls don't age and it's just that they age very slowly.
    • Finally, it's not clear if feral ghouls are hostile to sapient ghouls or not, thanks to some Gameplay and Story Segregation. Some NPCs imply they're friendly, recognizing their own kind, but in gameplay ferals tend to have no problem attacking other ghouls.
  • 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.

A basic mirelurk.A mirelurk king 

Rather than being a single type of creatures, the Mirelurks are a complex of multiple mutated animal species — chiefly horseshoe crabs, lobsters and snapping turtles — living in a complex symbiotic lifestyle. They are usually found near bodies of water, such as swamps, rivers, sewage systems and the sea.

  • Art Evolution:
    • The basic 'lurks are one of the most extreme cases in the franchise: early, Fallout 3 and New Vegas Mirelurks are humanoid, upright and four-limbed bipeds with arms tipped with large claws and bulky, triangular Cephalothoraxes and very human-like legs. Fallout 4 and later Mirelurk designs look like straight-up crustaceans that happen to stand more erect than usual, with a greater number of limbs and nothing like a human body structure.
    • The Mirelurk Kings started out as fairly humanoid Fish People, but Fallout 4 reimagined them as much more bestial creatures with a more hunched-over posture, large and showy fins, more pronounced muzzles and larger and more visible tails.
  • Fish People: Mirelurk Kings, despite being technically mutant turtles, have always looked more like humanoid fish than anything else. They have gills and rayed fins, among other things.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The bulk of the Mirelurk variants are based on either horseshoe crabs or spiny lobsters that grow to be anywhere from the size of a dog to the size of a semi.
  • Hive Queen: The enormous Mirelurk Queens appear to be where most horseshoe crab-type 'lurks come from, and are easily the largest and toughest members of the Mirelurk species complex.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Bloodrage Mirelurks, the strongest of the base Mirelurk types, have a unique black coloration with red eyes and accents. The powerful Mirelurk Kings also fit this aesthetic in 4.
  • Underground Monkey: Like most other enemies, Mirelurks come in a lot of types with their own tricks and quirks.
    • The horseshoe crab variants include the standard Mirelurk, weaker Softshell Mirelurks, the highly irradiated Glowing Mirelurks and Nukalurks that deal radiation damage, and the powerful Bloodrage Mirelurks.
    • The lobster variants include the basic Mirelurk Hunters, Glowing Mirelurk Hunters and Nukalurk Hunters and powerful albino Hunters.
    • The Kings include their own nuka- and glowing versions, in addition to stronger Lakelurks from New Vegas.

    Mole Rats
Large rodents engineered by the U.S. government before the Great War to be a disrupting agent in enemy territory and further mutated by fallout, mole rats are a common sight in the Wasteland. In the 2D games, they were very mole-like in appearance, but those in the later games are clearly naked mole rats.
  • 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.
  • Bioweapon Beast: A subtle example, as they were engineered by the U.S government to serve as invasive pests.
  • 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.

Cockroaches that mutated to huge sizes thanks to the radiation from the bombs. They're generally very weak and are usually the first enemy that the player fights, but tend to appear in groups.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're cockroaches the size of a cat.
  • Cockroaches Will Rule the Earth: Averted, despite how much the games draw on classic post-apocalyptic tropes; they survived and grew larger alright, but they're at the bottom of the food chain.
  • Creepy Cockroach: They're not a threat, even to level 1 players, but they're associated with decay and several characters in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 react to them with disgust and horror.
  • 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.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People: An abandoned sniper shack in the Capital Wasteland has two caged Radroaches named "Fluffy" and "Jitters" kept as pets.
  • Zerg Rush: Expect to find more of them when you see one. Either way, they're a minor nuisance.


Enormous scorpions descended from mutated emperor scorpions kept as pets before the Great War, radscorpions have been grown to massive sizes by exposure to nuclear fallout, and have thrived and spread throughout the wastelands of North America in the centuries since the war.

  • 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.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Justified. While Emperor Scorpions are endemic to West Africa, they were popular pets in America before the Great War. When the bombs dropped, they spread across the continent.
  • Poisonous Person: Their chief offensive weapons are their highly venomous stingers. You can harvest their poison glands to create a variety of poisons for your own use, as well as antivenin medicines.
  • Scary Scorpions: When they're the size of a large person, highly venomous and horribly aggressive, they're very scary indeed.
  • Skeleton Motif: Deathskull radscorpions, the most dangerous and powerful variant of radscorpions in Fallout 4, are distinguished by a white, skull-shaped mark around their eyes.
  • 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.

    Super Mutants
"We are the future!"

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.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Their skin ranges from bright yellowish to a deep green.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The East Coast mutants grow in size as they age. The oldest ones have grown 20 feet tall.
  • Bald of Awesome: Or Bald of Evil, depending on their allegiance, as Super Mutants in general lose their hair during their transformation.
  • 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. However, everyone agrees you do not want to be on a super mutant's bad side, and games that depict them in an antagonistic light have character talk about them as a serious threat.
  • 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.
  • Flanderization: The Mariposa Super Mutants encountered in the original two games could be dumb, but also had a good deal of cunning and downright brilliant mutants in the upper echelons. Come Fallout 3 and 4 and they've been mostly reduced to big green generic Raiders with only a few stand out subversions.
  • 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.
  • In Name Only: There's actually three distinct varieties of "Super Mutant" encountered throughout the franchise, with two only being called "Super Mutants" due to their resemblance to the original Mariposa Super Mutants created by the Master. These two doppelganger offshoots are the Vault 87 Super Mutants and the Institute Super Mutants. Both are more skewed towards being Always Chaotic Evil Dumb Muscle and are less refined than their Master-created "cousins".
  • 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.
  • Master Race: The Master believed they were this. Some Super Mutants think this too. It's not really the case considering they're all sterile and the majority of them are dumb as bricks.
  • 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 general appearance and personality goes. What flavor of Orc depends on the type of Super Mutant.
  • 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 formed the lynchpin of The Master's army.
  • The Virus: They increase their ranks by dipping other humans in FEV.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Quite literally in some cases. As in, their brains are too small to even run their bodies properly. The Master theorized that humans with DNA damaged by radiation are more prone to producing non-functional Super Mutants.
  • 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.


First introduced in Fallout 3, synthetic humanoids (or "Synths," as they are informally known) are a race of Artificial Humans created by the Institute, a cabal of Mad Scientists made up of the former staff and students of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. Envisioned as a way to help the Institute "redefine mankind," Synths are primarily used as slave labor by the Institute along with forming the bulk of The Conspiracy that they use to control the Commonwealth. Since the Institute's method of infiltration on the surface involves Kill and Replace, the Synths are widely feared and hated by the surface Wastelanders, which has fueled an environment of fear and paranoia across Post-War New England. However, many of the later Synths have started to realize that they're actually slaves to the Institute, and try to work together with the Railroad so as to escape and earn their freedom. The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel also despises them, seeing them as an unholy mix of humanity and technology that must be eradicated so as to preserve the world.

There are three official types of Synths, with each successive "generation" of Synth being an evolution and improvement upon the previous variant.

  • The first type are the "Generation 1" Synths, the earliest version created by the Institute. They resemble mechanical skeletons more than anything else, not being very bright but are still useful in that they can perfectly mimic human locomotion and help assist in the Institute's upkeep.
  • The second type are the "Generation 2" Synths, strongly resembling the Gen 1 Synths except that they also have an artificial skin layer made out of a thick plastic. They're stronger, smarter, and more durable than Gen 1s, and serve as the Institute's primary surface agents.
  • Finally, the third and most recently created type of Synths are the "Generation 3" Synths, who are also the most common and the ones typically referred to as actual "Synths" by most characters. Unlike the previous generations of Synth, they're mostly organic creations, being virtually identical to humanity and may even be self-aware to a certain degree.
    • There is also an unofficial "fourth" type of Synths in the form of Coursers, combat-specialized Gen 3 Synths built to serve as unstoppable and relentless Super Soldiers for the Institute. Coursers are primarily tasked by the Synth Retention Bureau in returning escaped Synths to the Institute, but also serve as assassins and saboteurs concerning the Institute's enemies on the surface.

  • The Ageless: It's all but stated that Synths either don't age at all or do, but just at a very decelerated rate in comparison to ordinary humans.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • How self-aware they really are.
    • Some of the details surrounding their nature are also kept ambiguous to the point of nearly being self-contradictory. For example, Max Loken claims that Gen 3 Synths don't need to sleep, but Curie after being downloaded into a Synth claims that she finds the need for sleep, eating, drinking, and breathing. Admittedly, this might be justified in that both Loken and other related statements (i.e., the claims that Synths are The Needless) are described more like long-term project goals than current realities.
  • And I Must Scream: While the Institute is quite the Gilded Cage on the surface, it's absolutely hellish for self-aware Gen 3 Synths, since they're constantly being monitored for any possible signs of awareness that is swiftly punished in the form of Death of Personality. Furthermore, if Liam Binet is to be believed, it eventually gets to the point that many previously self-aware Synths Become The Mask and revert to being Empty Shells.
  • Androids Are People, Too: A recurrent theme surrounding them in Fallout 4. The Railroad certainly agrees so, while the Institute and East Coast Brotherhood both disagree (albeit for different reasons), and the Commonwealth at large is too scared of them to form a concrete opinion.
  • Artificial Human: Gen 3 Synths are virtually identical to ordinary humans, but have the following known differences: they're Made of Iron in comparison to ordinary Wastelanders, require no food or water to survive (and, by consequence, can neither gain nor loose weight), are either The Ageless or just age incredibly slowly in comparison to ordinary humans, cannot interbreed with each other or have children with humanity, are immune to radiation poisoning, heal from injuries at a slightly accelerated rate than ordinary humans do (along with generally having enhanced senses and strength), and can have their minds completely overwritten/reprogrammed. The division between how organic and mechanical they are is also kept pretty blurry.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In-Universe, a recurrent issue with the earlier generations of Synths and why the Institute wants to use more Gen 3 Synths is that both the Gen 1s and 2s just aren't very smart.
  • Ascended Extra: They were previously just part of a side-quest in 3, but are arguably the primary focus of 4.
  • Badass Longcoat: All Coursers are outfitted with long leather jackets that are identical to the one worn by Roy Batty.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: They form the bulk of the Institute's spies, saboteurs, and assassins on the surface.
  • Creepy Monotone: Institute Coursers all sport this, which helps emphasize how they're actually the most soulless out of the Institute's creations.
  • Cyborg: Gen 3 Synths seem to be this to an unknown degree, containing an inorganic "Synth Component" upon death.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Among other small differences, Synths are primarily referred to as "androids" in Fallout 3 during the "The Replicated Man" side quest, while Fallout 4 almost exclusively refers to them as just "synths."
  • Expy:
  • Deadly Euphemism: "Reprogramming" a Synth really means forcing them into an agonizing form of Cold-Blooded Torture that culminates in Death of Personality.
  • Fantastic Racism: They really suffer from this. The Institute treats them as soulless machines with no free will while the East Brotherhood of Steel are planning to implement a Final Solution against them due to seeing them as a perverse mockery of humanity. Meanwhile, the general populace of the Commonwealth and greater Wasteland fears and hates them due to Synths being utilized as Institute spies and assassins.
  • Fantastic Slur: The Commonwealth Super Mutants refer to Gen 3 Synths as "fake men," while the Commonwealth as a whole calls the Gen 1 and 2 Synths "toasters" and "chrome-domes."
  • Just a Machine: The Institute's official party line is that Synths can only "mimic" human intelligence and aren't self-aware in the same way humans are.
  • Kill and Replace: This is how the Institute's used them to infiltrate the surface and wipe out any threats to their power.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Gen 1 and Gen 2 Synths serve as this for the Institute, coming in large numbers, are fully robotic, and (on average) are roughly on par with Protectrons in terms of intelligence and armament.
  • Mechanical Lifeform: Synths aren't just limited to humans. While the Institute is still in the early stages of the process, they've managed to created Synth gorillas, and also are thinking of creating aquatic Synth life in the future. Synth Brahmin have also been found helping infiltrate Commonwealth settlements, and the Institute has a massive spy network in the form of the "Watcher Initiative" (which consists of all the crows found throughout the Commonwealth).
  • Murderous Mannequin: The Gen 2 Synths invoke this, being at an uncomfortable middle ground between the first and third generations. Furthermore, they appear as porcelain-white, expressionless, genderless mannequins (until they take battle damage), and can often be found hiding with actual mannequins to catch their foes off guard.
  • The Needless: An Institute terminal claims they can't gain nor lose weight, implying this trope.
  • Not So Different: To the Super Mutants, strangely enough. Both are seemingly ageless creations of Mad Scientists that suffer from Fantastic Racism, have been utilized as Super Soldiers, and would serve as a Superior Species to humanity if not for their sterility. What certainly helps is that they're both derived from applications of the Forced Evolutionary Virus.
  • One-Man Army: The rightfully feared Institute Coursers, with the first Courser in 4's main story being introduced casually eradicating an entire building of Gunners.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Gen 3 Synths arguably take this Up to Eleven, with the Railroad utilizing both cosmetic surgery and memory wipes along with fabricating new identities as part of their attempts to help the Synth escapees flee from the Institute.
  • Robot Names: Almost all Institute Synths are given a four-character designation consisting of a letter followed by three numbers. Each of these designations also fits their duties. The only known details are that all Coursers seem to have their designation begin with either an "X" or a "Z."
  • Skele Bot: The Gen 1 Synths, which look like frail and twisted parodies of the human skeleton.
  • Stone Wall: The Institute's Synth armies don't deal that much damage with their unique laser weapons, but more than make up for it with their frequent numerical advantage and their special Synth armor (which is the best body armor in the base game for Fallout 4), meaning that they can take a hell of a lot of punishment before finally going down.
  • Super Soldier: The rightfully feared Coursers definitely count as this.
  • Sweet Tooth: Amusingly, all Gen 3 Synths have a taste for Fancy Lad Snack Cakes, and even the Institute scientists find this puzzling.
  • Terminator Impersonator: Synths created by the Institute fall into several types of this:
    • Generation 1 and 2 Synths are mechanical robots that look eerily humanoid and are often sent as canon-fodder for executing simple tasks for the Institute. Their abilities and intelligence relatively limited, however, which means they must rely on sheer numbers to defeat seasoned Wastelanders.
    • Generation 3 Synths are convincing imposters created to replace some unfortunate human, and are usually indistinguishable unless they fail some sort of Impostor Exposing Test or otherwise give themselves away. While most are not that much more capable than humans, there are cases where they have "malfunctioned" and killed several innocent people before being taken down.
    • Coursers are a variant of Gen 3 Synths created specifically for combat. They are far stronger, faster, tougher and more intelligent than ordinary people, which make them terrifying opponents to deal with. When ordered to locate or eliminate a target, they will pursue that target relentlessly and with little-to-no sympathy. To top it off, they're also outfitted with Cool Shades and wear imposing black leather outfits.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The main fear the East Coast Brotherhood has surrounding them, which is why they want to preemptively destroy them all.
  • We Have Reserves: Their main advantage in battle when serving the Institute.
  • Wetware Body/Wetware CPU: The Generation 3 Synths are seem to be mostly, but not entirely, organic. Paladin Danse is outed by DNA records, implying that they have actual flesh and blood; Father confirms this inside the Institute, stating that Gen 3s were based on Shaun's Pre-War, and thus un-mutated, DNA. Those with the Cannibal perk can eat them just as they would normal humans, and they are shown to be constructed with cloned blood, muscle, bones and tissue in the Institute's Robotics Division. However, when killed, Synths will have an inorganic "Synth Component" on their corpses, and they differ enough from humanity (such as not needing food or water to survive) that they're clearly not perfectly organic creations. Nick Valentine also references that they have mechanical components to them when mentioning the Broken Mask Incident.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: A recurrent theme surrounding them in Fallout 4 is how self-aware they are, and if they deserve to be treated like humans.

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





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