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That's you — a poor schmuck from Vault 13, chosen by the Vault Overseer to be sent out in the radioactive wasteland. Your mission: to find a new water chip for Vault 13 or else everyone you know and love will die. Simple enough job - there's another Vault nearby, and they'll surely be able to spare you one. But as you'll travel across the irradiated desert, you'll learn that nothing is that simple and everything comes with a price.
In the original Fallout the protagonist is a Featureless Protagonist fully customizable in age, name, gender, skillset, and through dialogue, personality. Three pre-made Vault Dwellers — Albert Cole, Max Stone, or Natalia Dubrovhsky — were available for selection, or you could make your own character. In all subsequent games the actions of the first game are attributed to a male character known only as "the Vault Dweller", who is not explicitly based on any of the pre-made characters.
- Action Survivor: Through a combination of guile and badassery, they survive impossible odds and change the world.
- All There in the Manual: The full names of the three pre-made characters are revealed in the official BradyGames strategy guide.
- Badass Normal: Just some feller from a Vault sent out into the world with little more than a handgun, a jumpsuit and some water flasks... who ends up becoming one of the most influential figures in post-apocalyptic history.
- BFG: If their memoirs in the Fallout 2 manual are to be believed, they stormed the Mariposa Base wielding one.
- Canon Name: There are a few default versions of the Vault Dweller you can choose, assuming you don't feel like crafting your own character.
- Cannon Fodder: Immediately after leaving the Vault, you stumble upon the remains of Ed, a skeleton wearing a Vault jumpsuit. This heavily implies that you weren't the first person sent out by the Overseer in search of a replacement water chip.
- Casanova Wannabe: Certain dialogue options are in the form of cheesy pick-up lines that result in the Vault Dweller either getting rejected, mocked, or even attacked.
- Childhood Brain Damage: Max Stone's backstory involves him being dropped on his head by the labor bot.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: You are fully allowed to accept a job for someone (usually a crime boss of some sort) and then go tell a rival or rat them out to the authorities. The Junktown main quest is a good example — stop Gizmo's assassin from killing Killian, then agree to gather evidence against Gizmo. After that, tell Gizmo while wearing a bug that you'll take the job in place of the dead guy, turn the evidence of Gizmo's crime to Killian, then when you go to confront Gizmo with Killian you can kill them both.
- Combat Pragmatist: Not above aiming for eyes and groins. Also, in the game's climax it's possible to skip boss fights with both the Master and Lieutenant by making their bases explode under their feet.
- Cutting Off the Branches: Zig-Zagged. Many actions and characteristics of the player character are set in stone in the sequel like rescuing Tandi, wiping out the Khan raiders, helping the Followers of the Apocalypse in the Boneyard, and fixing the water pump in Necropolis, though the ghoul inhabitants are wiped out by the Super Mutants. Many characters also refer to the Vault Dweller as a man and a fairly heroic character. However, many other things are left vague or skipped over entirely: the fate of almost all other communities you encountered are left ambiguous (other than that they weren't wiped out by the mutants and eventually joined the NCR), and most customizable aspects (like name, age, appearance, and personality) are left out or barely touched upon. A few NPCs wonder alound whether the Vault Dweller was a man or a woman, though the statue in Shady Sands (and the Canon Discontinuity Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel) depict the canonical Vault Dweller as male.
- Determinator: Quote the Vault Dweller themselves from their memoirs in Fallout 2:
- The Dreaded: Becomes this posthumously in the sequel to the raiders and all those who would dare prey on the weak, due in no small part to massacring the Khans.
- Dude, Where's My Reward?: Thanks to your efforts, the West Coast is spared from the Master's plan. Yet by order of the Overseer, you are forever banished from Vault 13 for becoming "too different."
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Retroactively in the sequels, in the original game few people knew you were from a Vault, and most people you could tell this to didn't believe you anyway. But in Fallout 2 especially, you're known in wasteland history as "The Vault Dweller".
- The Exile: After saving their Vault, the Vault Dweller is cast out due to the wasteland making them "too different," the Overseer fearing that they could inspire a mass exodus of younger vault dwellers wanting to see the outside world for themselves. Canonically the Vault Dweller leaves and goes on to found the tribal village of Arroyo — and then many others end up following him out anyway.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The three pre-made characters fill this archetype: Max Stone (fighter), Natalia Dubrovhsky (thief) and Albert Cole (mage). The "mage" being a non-magical variant in the form of a diplomat: a physically weak character that, with some leveling and patience, can eventually defeat the most powerful enemies effortlessly (with words rather than magic here).
- Guile Hero: Fallout was one of the first computer RPGs where it was possible to play as one of these through the entire game. The player is rarely obligated to engage in combat, and usually it's just with wild animals for self-defense. Otherwise it's perfectly possible to talk your way past most enemies and/or complete quests through nonviolent means.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: You get to name the protagonist at the start of the game, and since most of the dialogue is in text only most other characters will call you by that name.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Out of all the companions mentioned in his memoirs, he seems to miss Dogmeat the most.
- Humble Hero: His memoirs are barebones and hardly mention his One-Man Army moments. For example, he refers to his massacre of the Khans as simply "a small problem with some raiders"; meanwhile, the people of Shady Sands built statues in his honor for it.
- Idiot Hero: Playing a character whose INT score is lower than 4 provides rather hilarious results. The full effects could arguably count as a Deconstruction of the Idiot Hero: your character is severely mentally-handicapped and learning new skills becomes extremely difficult. Most of the Wasteland will treat you as a joke, and many quests can't be started because your speech is far too impaired to hold a normal conversation.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Everybody seems to know about the Vault Dweller's exploits — the NCR even has a statue of him in front of their capital. By 2281, both the Vault Dweller and the Chosen One are still well-known in the NCR, although according to Ezekiel, one of the Followers of the Apocalypse, some people erroneously believe they were actually the same person. In Fallout 3, one of the terminals in the Vault Dweller outright refers to the Vault Dweller as "a legendary figure."
- Magnetic Hero: If the Vault Dweller's memoirs in 2 are any indication then he had few allies with him on his journey — most of whom died at some point or another.
- One-Man Army: The Vault Dweller's memoirs indicate that the way they resolved problems, typically with super mutants, was by going in guns blazing.
- Player Character: The player's avatar, whether pre-made or customized from the ground up, sent out to save Vault 13 — first from the water chip crisis, then from the supermutant threat.
- Precursor Heroes: Their deeds guaranteed the survival of humanity for the following games, and the Vault Dweller is still remembered (though Shrouded in Myth) nearly 200 years later.
- Protagonist Without a Past: Averted if you pick one of the three pre-made characters, who each have a short backstory. Otherwise played straight. Justified for the most part since you have never been outside Vault 13 before and were probably just like any other vault dweller.
- Rogue Protagonist: In the non-canon Brotherhood of Steel Action RPG, the elderly Vault Dweller can be fought as a boss during a sidequest, even though he was helping the PC earlier.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: If his reluctance towards writing his memoirs is believed, he began acting this way in his old age.
The leader of Vault 13. It is his job to see that Vault 13 continues to function peacefully, effectively and unopened. After the Vault's water chip broke down, he was forced to choose one young Vault Dweller to find a new one. He later tasks you to destroy the mutant army.
- According To My Calculations: Pretty much says this word for word and is somehow able to deduce that an army of super mutants is being formed just on the (possibly) scant numbers the Vault Dweller reports encountering. Being in direct contact with the Enclave probably had something to do with it.
- All There in the Manual: His real name only appears in concept art for the game.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's kind to the Vault Dweller throughout the game, acts apologetic for sending them out, and seems concerned for their well-being. Then he exiles them once his mission is complete. And it turns out he was in on the vault experiment the whole time and wanted to ensure it went off without a hitch.
- Defiant to the End: In the cutscene that follows if you surrender to the Master, a good chunk of the vault shown on screen will either be running away or dead. The Overseer, on the other hand, is making a Last Stand on his minigun-mounted turrets.
- Karmic Death: He exiled the Vault Dweller to keep the Vault from tearing itself apart. In the end, he was overthrown by the residents of Vault 13 for exiling their savior and executed, while the Vault was divided between those who followed the Vault Dweller outside and those who stayed behind.
- In an alternate ending (if you have bad Karma or related Karma titles, the Bloody Mess trait, or quickly initiate combat), the Vault Dweller shoots the Overseer in the back before leaving.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: By exiling the Vault Dweller, he ends up ensuring the Enclave's downfall, as his descendant the Chosen One was able to escape the same fate as the other Vault Dwellers in Vault 13, being either killed or captured by the Enclave.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's willing to hear you out and appreciates the efforts you make to save the vault, and acts for the greater good of its citizens. Subverted when the sequel reveals he knew about the Vault Experiment and exiled you to preserve its integrity, and his reasons for not letting others leave the vault were for the same.
- Retcon: In Fallout 2 his motives for exiling the Vault Dweller were changed from "not wanting to disrupt the Vault's order" to "not wanting to disrupt an Ancient Conspiracy started by his predecessors".
- Ungrateful Bastard: After you risk your life repeatedly to save the Vault, he exiles you into the Wasteland.
- We Have Reserves: The skeleton of Ed outside the Vault door heavily implies that the Vault Dweller wasn't the first person the Overseer chose to send out to find a replacement water chip. This is confirmed much later in the game when you meet Talius, the very first Vault 13 dweller sent to find a water chip who has since been turned into a ghoul thanks to him being dipped in the FEV vats.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He at least showed some remorse for using the Vault Dweller as a tool before exiling him.
- Artificial Stupidity: He has a bad habit of trying to shoot enemies through friendly targets, especially with submachine guns.
- Can't Catch Up: He's a pretty good fighter in the early-to-mid game, but since you can't upgrade his armor, he's pretty much cannon fodder by the time you start facing Super Mutants and Deathclaws.
- The Lancer: The Vault Dweller's first and closest companion.
- Mr. Exposition: If you take him around the Hub, he'll comment on the various establishments.
- My Girl Back Home: Sort of. If you ask Ian about Tandi, he'll mention that she's nice and all, but he has someone waiting for him back home. Given the general small scope of the game, who exactly is waiting for him (and where exactly 'home' is, for that matter) are never followed up on.
- Only in It for the Money: Unless you have good Speech skill, he will only join you if you pay him for his services.
- Really 700 Years Old: Downplayed with his cameo in Fallout 2, during which he is at least a hundred years old. While not physically impossible, it is rather uncommon, especially if one lived in a post-nuclear wasteland. His improbable age is Lampshaded during his Dummied Out conversation with the Chosen One.
- Weapon of Choice: Give Ian a SMG and get out of his way.
- Ascended Extra: His off-hand mention of the Desert Rangers was picked up and expanded upon in New Vegas. The developers have even commented that the iconic attire of the NCR Rangers was lifted directly from Tycho's Gas Mask, Longcoat description.
- Bad Ass Longcoat: He wears one, as do all Desert Rangers.
- The Big Guy: Easily the most heavily armed and armoured of all companions.
- Crazy-Prepared: Years of traveling in the wasteland has made him quite a survivalist. He wears a gas mask at all times, just in case.
- Gas Mask, Longcoat: While you can't see his gas mask on his sprite, his description text mentions it.
- Genius Bruiser: He is the strongest, and most intellectual and well-spoken of your companions.
- Hidden Depths: He keeps to himself and rarely provides any location-specific commentary, unlike Ian. But use the "tell-me-about" text phraser to ask him about various key words and you will get some very informative, intelligent, and educated opinions from him on many subjects.
- Mythology Gag: Tycho's entire backstory is a shout out to Wasteland, the game which inspired the Fallout series.
- Oh, Crap!: If you roll the Giant Footprint special encounter with Tycho in your party, he's quite alarmed by the whole situation. You can ask him for his thoughts on the matter, which basically amount to "I have no idea what could have caused this, but we shouldn't stick around to find out; let's get the hell away from here".
- Ranger: A Nevada Desert Ranger, to be precise.
- Weapon of Choice: Rifles. He starts with a double-barreled shotgun, but he will settle for any rifle-grip weapon he is given. Giving him anything with burst fire function results in A-Team Firing.
A scavenger living in the LA Boneyard who joins the Vault Dweller on his journey if asked. She hangs around with Followers of the Apocalypse, although she doesn't share their ideas.
- Action Girl: While friendly with the quasi-religious pacifistic Followers of the Apocalypse, she's not a member and underestimating her as a fighter will likely get you a knife to the face. Or groin.
- Disaster Scavengers: A scavenger from Adytum, encountered by the Vault Dweller in the Followers' library.
- Extremity Extremist: Her Unarmed skill makes her deadly with a Power Fist.
- Impromptu Campfire Cookout: Upon arriving in the Glow, Katja might comment that she wishes she had "a hot dog and a really long stick".
- Knife Nut: Likes her throwing knives and joins you equipped with some. Subverted in that her actual stats, not visible to the player, make her more of an Extremity Extremist.
- Master of Unlocking: The only companion who can be ordered to unlock locked doors and containers.
- The Smart Girl: Not book-smart, but very street smart and quick on her feet. She's also good at picking locks.
- Weapon of Choice: Knives by default, but also skilled with Unarmed weapons.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Green, possibly due to Rule of Cool. Or maybe she just found an old bottle of hair dye. Or maybe she's just barely a mutant.
The leader of Shady Sands, the village built by the survivors of Vault 15. He asks the player to aid them with their troubles, starting with the nearby radscorpion nest and eventually dealing with the local raider gang, the Khans.
- Ambiguously Brown: Like his daughter Tandi, he gives a multi-ethnic kind of impression. This is due to his origins in Vault 15, which purposely housed people of extremely diverse cultural backgrounds as part of the vault experiment. It is likely though, that he's meant to be Indian.
- As the Good Book Says...: Aradesh follows Dharma (a concept found in several religions), and frequently quotes whichever specific religious text he was taught from.
- Founder of the Kingdom: A non-fantasy, non-monarchy example - his political prowess was what allowed for the formation of the New California Republic, and he wound up as an unintentional President for Life due to his people continuously voting him into office until his death from old age.
- Hereditary Republic: As pointed out in later games, the NCR was essentially this for him and his daughter, as both were continuously elected by their adoring populace until they died of old age.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: In a legacy fashion. In the first game, his small peaceful town is under periodic harassement by three large raider clans. The nation that he ended up founding, The New California Republic, eventually persecuted said raider clans to near-extinction.
- Irony: Aradesh was a deeply spiritual man who believed in a small, closely-knit, self-sufficient, largely isolationist agricultural society. The nation that he eventually founded, the New California Republic, ended up becoming a huge, expansionist, largely-secular market-based industrialized nation state.
- Legendary in the Sequel: By the time of Fallout: New Vegas, he is known as the legendary founding father of the New California Republic and his face is immortalized on their five-dollar bill.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He cares deeply for his people, and they care for him in return.
Aradesh's daughter who is kidnapped by the raiders. She accompanies the Vault Dweller for a short time after rescuing her, or permanently if she isn't returned to Shady Sands. In Fallout 2, she is the President of the New California Republic.
- 100% Adoration Rating: Kept getting voted into office because her people loved her that much. By the time of New Vegas, she is still regarded as the best NCR president.
- Accent Relapse: Sort of. She apparently gained a vaguely Southern accent in the time between the first and second games.
- Action Girl: After being rescued from the Khans, if you fight your way out she'll pull out a knife and help you fight (or even a pistol if you put one in her inventory before combat startsnote ). She's not as effective as any of your other companions, but she can cause some damage with it.
- Ambiguously Brown: Which makes sense, given that Vault 15 was deliberately made as multi-ethnic as possible as part of the Vault Experiment.
- Big Good: In Fallout 2, being largely responsible for building up the NCR into the Wasteland's only known functional post-war democracy.
- Cool Old Lady: By the time of Fallout 2.
- Damsel in Distress: Kidnapped by the raiders and in need of rescue.
- Guest-Star Party Member: You can actually keep her around until the end of the game, but although she does act as an extra handy gun, she really doesn't offer anything special and has somewhat lower stats than your "real" party members, and she's clearly not meant to be used as such.
- Hereditary Republic: As pointed out in later games, the NCR was essentially this for her and her father, as both were continuously elected by their adoring populace until they died of old age.
- Incompatible Orientation: A female Vault Dweller can ask her out, Tandi will get freaked out and mention she doesn't swing that way.
- Iron Lady: Female? Check. President of the only known functional post-nuclear federation in the USA? Check. Stayed in office for over 50 years? Check.
- I Was Quite a Looker: The 80 years between games did not do her well.
- Legendary in the Sequel: By the time of Fallout: New Vegas, she still remains the most popular and beloved NCR president. Her face is also immortalized on the NCR hundred-dollar bill.
- Also a dark example, as her President for Life status ended up inspiring Caesar, who regards her as essentially more of a monarch/dictator than a democratic president, and believes that to be why she was such an effective leader.
- Long-Lived: Passes away at the age of 103, which is fairly impressive in an irradiated post-apocalyptic world. Remarkably, she does so completely naturally, whereas others in the Fallout universe who live longer are either mutated ghouls or used cryogenics or life-support systems.
- Near-Rape Experience: It's implied she was a victim of this when she was captured by the Khans. Luckily, the Player Character saves her before anything can happen.
- President for Life: A heroic example - the NCR lacks a limit on the number of terms a single person can serve, and her people adored her, so...
- She passes away at the age of 103 while in office, meaning she held office for 52 years.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Implied in Fallout 2 by her 52-year reign as the beloved president-for-life of the NCR. She can be a close ally to the Chosen One, albeit still somewhat irascible, providing a wealth of information on her past experiences with the Vault Dweller.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: As popular as she was, she's gotten somewhat crabby in her old age.
- Statuesque Stunner: Described as being around six feet tall.
- Tough Act to Follow: In-universe, her presidency is this. She was such a legend that when she died no NCR president could quite live to her example, indirectly leading to the rise of Caesar's Legion and the events of Fallout: New Vegas.
- Took a Level in Badass: Between games, her already high Intelligence, Charisma and Luck go up, making this a minor version.
- Wasteland Elder: Played With, by the time of Fallout 2 she's extremely old, but then again she lives in the civilized New California Republic and not in the harshest part of the Wastelands.
The sheriff and mayor of Junktown, and proprietor of the local general store. He knows that Gizmo is up to no good, but his strict adherence to the laws set by his predecessors means he won't make a move without evidence.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Sure you're expected to help, but he still whips out his shotgun when Gizmo's assassin comes calling, and participates in taking down Gizmo himself later.
- Awesome McCoolname: Both his first and last name are badass.
- By-the-Book Cop: Surprising, given the setting. He's perfectly aware that Gizmo and the Skulz gang are up to no good, but he won't move against them unless he gets solid evidence. (If you gun down Gizmo and his cronies without any evidence, his reaction amounts to, "I'm glad he's dead; but get out of here and don't come back, you murderer.")
- Death Glare: Got a particularly nasty one when he gets angry.
- Hero Antagonist: If the Vault Dweller takes Gizmo's assassination job and goes through with it.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He certainly looks like his VA, Richard Dean Anderson.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's one of the only very few leaders in the wasteland who is actively devoted to justice and principles.
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: He's mayor, sheriff, and shopkeeper all in one. Justified given the post-apocalyptic setting.
The owner of Junktown's casino, he aims to take out Killian and seize the town for himself. Should the player be so inclined, they can offer their services to the man... or set him up.
- Arc Villain: Gizmo is the top dog of Junktown's criminal element, and needs to be taken down to stabilize the community.
- Arch-Enemy: To Killian, who's the only one who keeps him from taking over Junktown.
- Bald of Evil: Not a hair on Gizmo's head, and his heart is just as empty.
- Fat Bastard: Somehow managed to become morbidly obese to the point he can't move by himself in a scarce post-apocalyptic world. The Vault Dweller can agree to take part in the raid on Gizmo in hopes of seeing him try to get up.
- Fat Slob: Gizmo is hideously obese, to the point that his girth has rendered him immobile without outside assistance, and his speech is spiced with a strained, nasally voice, snorting, and laugh-induced coughing, all of which stem from his weight.
- I Own This Town: With his successful casino business and control over the criminal element in Junktown, he certainly believes this.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: A scrapped ending for the Junktown questline involved this - Gizmo is a crime boss, but he doesn't do things For the Evulz, he does things because they make him money. Therefore, when he's given control of Junktown, though it becomes a lot more decadent, it also becomes fairly safe, given that he has no interest in his casino customers being scared for their lives.
- Orcus on His Throne: Literally, as he never gets up from his desk even if you attack him (he simply pulls out a pistol and fights from the desk). Justified to a degree, in that it seems he couldn't get up if he tried. The town's inhabitants note that the only time he got out of his office, his men had to drag him around on a tricycle.
The leader of the Necropolis mutants.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Despite his appearance, manners and way of talking, he isn't completely evil. While he's extremely unpleasant and a massive jerk, as a leader, he's actually quite just and reasonable. He makes sure his people have a steady supply of water, lets the underground ghouls live in peace despite rejecting his rule, properly rewards the Player Character for removing the Mutants and even tolerates outsiders in town during the day. Searching through his desk will reveal that he outright refused to turn in unmutated humans to the Master's Army despite their military presence in the town. Considering the contempt he shows towards "normies", that's saying something.
- Control Freak: He tries to force the player under his control and use them for whatever purpose he wants the moment he's aware of them. He will immediately try to kill them if they so much as suggest any resistance to the idea.
- I am a Humanitarian: Piss him off and he'll jovially try to kill you and make you into his dinner."Ohh, I'm gonna be singing that happy tummy song. I got that happy tummy..."
- Jerkass: He eats humans who mildly annoy him, forces passers by to do his dirty work at the point of a gun, is openly racist against "norms" (humans), and is generally quite repugnant.
- Meaningful Name: "Set", as in the Egyptian god of chaos, deserts, and darkness. Head of a city of ghouls in the middle of the wasteland, yup.
- Pardon My Klingon: His dialogue infamously uses many strange euphemisms ("Dirtnap" means death, "Makes my shadow grow!" means increases his power). He's attempting to form a new "ghoul culture" distinct from that of humanity.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he's pissed, it becomes Hidden Eyes.
The leader of the Followers of the Apocalypse, a quasi-religious pacifistic group dedicated to educating the wasteland on the past to avoid repeating it. They're also suspicious of the Children of the Cathedral.
- Dummied Out: She was supposed to play a bigger role in the game, but like much of the content in the Boneyard, it had to be cut down due to the developers running out of time.
- La Résistance: Despite leading a highly pacifist group and teachning equality and nonviolence, she's determined to fight the Children of the Cathedral.
- Saintly Church: She and the Followers are probably the most unambiguously good people you encounter in the game.
Brotherhood of Steel
The High Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel. He is the only ranking member of the organization who has no illusions about he seriousness of the imminent Super Mutant threat.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: His experience with war allows him to recognize the existence and general location of the Master's Army on very little direct evidence - the unusually systematic disappearance of the Hub's trade caravans is what tips him off.
- Cool Old Guy: He's an old soldier with a good sense of humor and great perception for identifying threats.
- A Father to His Men: He knows all of his immediate subordinates by name and is fully aware of their differing personalities. He also treats the Vault Dweller no differently than anyone else in his unit.
- Four-Star Badass: His title of "High Elder" is essentially equivalent to General of the Brotherhood.
- Hypocritical Humor: "I'll help you out as long as you don't start flappin' your gums too much. You know, outsiders are like that, always jawin... *heh* kinda like me, huh?"
- Old Soldier: He's clearly a veteran of many battles.
- Only Sane Man: He's the only one of the Brotherhood's Elders who is aware of the Mutant Army and the threat it poses well before the Vault Dweller gets involved. The other Elders want direct proof of Maxon's claims, and won't dispatch any scouts to the area in question until they have it.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's willing to speak openly to an outsider like the Vault Dweller, and will offer Brotherhood support if the Military Base is found.
Head Scribe of the Brotherhood of Steel.
The Head of the Paladins. Rhombus is next in line to become Elder. He doesn't like talking. At all.
- Famed in Story: The rest of the Brotherhood reveres him as a great warrior.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: One wrong word said to him and he'll quickly snap. Since he's barely (if at all) relevant to the story, it's usually better not to even talk to him at all, lest he kicks you out of the Brotherhood bunker.
- Hidden Depths: Despite his incredibly stern and acerbic behavior, it is due to him that the Brotherhood doesn't abuse its power in the wasteland, deciding instead to focus on research. He is also willing to converse about several important topics, as long as the discussion remains completely rational and you don't force him to repeat himself.
- Knight Templar: He's an extreme stickler for regulations, and has a totally unwavering personality, all because he's totally devoted to the cause.
- Minor Major Character: Despite given a voice and talking head, he seems to be a pretty minor character. He has little dialogue and contributes to no quests in the game, yet his status (i.e. whether he is dead or alive by the end of the game) is crucial for determining the direction of the Brotherhood's leadership: if the player kills him, the Brotherhood retaliates by conquering the wasteland and ruling it for 1000 years. But if he lives, he takes over as the next High Elder, causing the Brotherhood to stay out of local politics to become a research and development house.
- The Spock: He is ruthlessly logical, and totally unwilling to tolerate any degree of pointless talk.
- You Don't Look Like You: In Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel thanks to a Race Lift.
- Missing Secret: It was intended for the player to beat him at chess with an Intelligence of 10, allowing for a critical success, but the game engine couldn't do this and thus it is impossible to beat ZAX. The player is also able to request access to the facility mainframe, but ZAX always shuts them down and there is no way to access the data.
- Mr. Exposition: He provides tons of backstory, including the sterility of FEV subjects, critical to talking the Master out of his plan.
The main antagonist of the game and the mind behind the super mutants. The Master is a horribly mutated thing made up of bits of dead flesh and machinery, hooked up to a vault computer. He was formerly a resident of Vault 8 named Richard Grey, but an incident at Mariposa Military Base ended in him being horribly mutated by the Forced Evolutionary Virus inside. After this, he found out a way to turn normal humans into super mutants via the same virus. His plan is to convert all of what remains of humanity into super mutants, because he believes that they will only tear themselves apart with infighting over petty differences and that super mutants are better adapted to survive in the world the nuclear war created.
- Alas, Poor Villain: If the diplomatic method of defeating him is taken, then his death is a somber affair as he drives himself to suicide out of sheer despair.The Master: I don't think I can continue. Continue? To have done the things that I have done in the name of progress and healing. It was madness. I can see that now. Madness. MADNESS? There is no hope. Leave now, leave while you still have hope.
- All for Nothing: His plans would ultimately fail, since the mutants he would have created with the Forced Evolutionary Virus would be sterile. A player who has found this out and has high enough Intelligence and Charisma can let the Master know this as a way of Talking the Monster to Death.
- And I Must Scream: The accident at Mariposa caused him to spend over a month floating in the vats containing the FEV, hence his substantial and unique mutation.
- Anti-Villain: He really does think he's doing the right thing, and considering the state of the wasteland his aggressive agenda makes sense.
- Apocalyptic Log: He left a diary detailing his transformation.
- Assimilation Plot: The Master's ultimate plan is to upgrade the human race, which he believes is absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of the species. To that end, he started the Unity to draw people in and gradually get them used to the idea of being dipped in a vat of virus culture. It's too bad his plan would never work since the Super Mutants are all infertile as they were created to be disposable Super Soldiers, not the next stage in human evolution.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As the (possible) final boss of the game, he's appropriately very tough, being integrated into a Vault Overseer's chair and having access to its twin gatling lasers.
- Big Bad: His machinations and crusade are the driving force behind the plot of Fallout, and most dangerous threat to the recovering human civilization.
- Body Horror: Just look at him. Very little of his original body remains, with what's left of it being a mangled and chaotic jumble of flesh and appendage strewn around the Overseer's chair and office.
- Cyborg: He's merged with his vault's computers... and the Overseer's platform's miniguns.
- Driven to Suicide: You can reveal to him that his super mutants are sterile as an inescapable side effect of the process used to create them, meaning his plan to forge them into a new species to rule the wastelands can never work. Thus, everything he's done, his decades of devoted planning and every atrocity he ordered to further his cause, has been utterly pointless. The despair breaks him, and he destroys himself and his Vault by detonating a nuke.
- Enemy Summoner: He summons his followers during the battle against him.
- Final Boss: You can either fight your way through him or talk your way through him, but the Master is your ultimate opponent.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Originally, Richard Grey was a genius survivalist who just so happened to be working with a mercenary team that was searching for the source of all the mutated creatures that were eating the people of the wasteland. The source turned out to be an old military base at Mariposa.note When Grey and company went inside the base to investigate, most of the team got killed by the still active security systems. One of the robots knocked Grey into a vat of FEV, which eventually turned him into a horribly mutated blob of super-intelligent flesh. Now seeing the virus as the future of human evolution, Grey took the research and perfected it, resulting in FEV-2: a new version of the virus which could turn humans into behemoth mutants that are superior to humans in nearly every way. The mutants boasted greater strength, tougher bodies, faster reflexes, enhanced perception, and much higher intelligence... and a total inability to procreate. Ignorant of the sterility of his creations, he immediately set out to forcibly change every living human into a mutant, for their own good.
- Heel Realization: If you opt to talk him to death, you can reveal to him that his Super Mutants are sterile and that his plan will never work. He's so stricken with grief upon realizing that all his work has been for nothing that he kills himself and blows the vault he uses for a base up with a nuke.
- Like a God to Me: He doesn't refer to himself as such, but the Children of the Cathedral view him as a "dark god".
- Maker of Monsters: He's responsible for several of the Wasteland's more dangerous monsters, which he created as soldiers for his armies. The most notable examples are the Super Mutants, created by forcefully turning captured humans into dim-witted, violent Super Soldiers, but he also made the centaurs by fusing multiple humans and animals into monstrous wholes, created the floaters from flatworms and further experimented on and perfected the deathclaws.
- The Master: He's one of the examples shown on the page image. In any case, he's the leader of the main group of antagonists, and the room in which you encounter him is a computerized monitoring system.
- Mix-and-Match Critter: His mutation allows him to consume any living biomatter and incorporate it into himself - including their mind and memories. He can also interface with technology by literally integrating himself into it's systems. Overall, he exists somewhere between Blob Monster and Grey Goo, and is a mix of everything he's consumed.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Should the sterility of the Super Mutants be revealed and proven to him, the Master will be horrified to learn that all the death, all the destruction, all the lives he took and ruined in the name of his goals were all for nothing. The despair is enough to drive him to suicide.
- Noble Bigot: He has genuinely good intentions and sympathetic motives, but he is also quite smug and condescending during your encounter. You can call him out on this.
- Prophetic Name: Originally Richard Moreau, he picked up the alias Grey after being exiled from Vault City, forcing him to head south.
- Psychic Powers: He's an incredibly powerful psychic, to the point that without a psychic nullifier or a special perk that protects against psychic assault, the Vault Dweller will be mentally crippled upon going down the corridor leading to his chamber.
- Skippable Boss: If you got the Lieutenant's key, it's quite possible to complete the game without ever even seeing him.
- Smug Snake: The Master is incredibly condescending and confident in his superiority, but he is nowhere close to being the visionary genius be believes himself to be thanks to be being blind to a flaw in his plan that has doomed it from the start.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He just wants to unite the world. It's too bad he doesn't know that the FEV wasn't created to be the next step in human evolution, but a way to produce expendable Super Soldiers.
- Villainous Breakdown: If you manage to convince him his plans will fail, he gives in to despair and kills himself with a nuke.
- Visionary Villain: The Master actually intended to save the future by creating a race of super mutants well-equipped to trek the barren wastelands. It was a cunning plan, but tunnel vision and desperation made him overlook an obvious flaw.
- Villainous BSoD: The non-violent ending is actually the saddest ending because the Master wasn't bad so much as misguided. Once he finds out his mutants are sterile he realizes that he failed to make a better future, instead spawning a race that will just die out in the next generation.
- Villain Has a Point: The sequels prove that humanity does indeed continue to split into factions and wage war over resources, ideology and other petty differences, although contrary to his bleak expectations they continue to survive on regardless. His Super Mutants also end up living for centuries and might well be immortal, so their infertility might merely have been a problem to be solved at a later date rather than the Fatal Flaw it first appeared to be.
- Voice of the Legion: His speech is composed in real time with slightly digitilized samples of the voices of everyone he has absorbed. The voices switch intermittently, even within the same sentence.
- Was Once a Man: Remember the story Harold told you about his friend Richard Grey? That was him.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He honestly believes that converting everyone into Super Mutants is the only way to ensure humanity's survival in the post-apocalyptic world. He's even willing to allow people to opt-out of being mutated, provided they allow themselves to be sterilized and live the rest of their lives under Super Mutant control. That last part actually ironic, considering his Super Mutants are all infertile in the first place.
- Wetware CPU: Sometime after taking his dunk in the FEV tank, Richard bonded his severely mutated body with the Vault Overseer's chair.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Once you learn about everything he's gone through and witnessed, it's not hard to see why he became so insane.
The Master's second-in-command. One of the few Super Mutants gifted with both extraordinary intelligence and extraordinary strength, he is a perfect representation of the Master's vision of humanity's future, and was chosen as his right hand man. He is in charge of the Master's army and oversees the mutation process at the Mariposa Military Base.
- A God I Am Not: He mentions that the Children of the Cathedral view him and the Master as gods. If you ask him if he believes himself to be one, he simply replies "Of course not! We are simply the future."
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the second-toughest enemy in the game, next to the Master himself. His combat skills (Big Guns and Energy Weapons) are only moderately higher than the Elite Mooks, but he's got a Gatling Laser, heavy armor, and over three times as much health as his guards.
- Badass Baritone: He's voiced by Tony Jay, so this was inevitable.
- Beam Spam: He wields a Gatling Laser.
- The Brute: He has a ridiculous amount of health, hits like a truck, and is subordinate to the Big Bad.
- The Cameo: He briefly appears in the opening movie of Fallout 2, and Dog will often talk about him in Dead Money.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: He takes a little too much delight in torturing the Vault Dweller.
- Cyborg: Has a red cybernetic eye and several other implants.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a sharp wit, especially when the player character is Too Dumb to Live.Lou: "The mind simply boggles at your intellect. Why the legions haven't bowed down at your feet by now, I'll never understand. Guards, take this idiot away!"
- The Dragon: Second-in-command to Big Bad The Master.
- Dragon Their Feet: You can confront and kill the Master before meeting him. In fact, the memoirs in the Fallout 2 manual state this is exactly what the Vault Dweller did.
- Evil Brit: He is voiced by Tony Jay.
- Faux Affably Evil: Keeps a polite, but mocking tone through all of his conversations.
- Final Boss: He can become this if you kill the Master first. In the canon timeline, as revealed by Fallout 2, that's indeed what happened.
- Genius Bruiser: Has high intelligence stats and he keeps an intellectual tone throughout his conversation. There's a reason he's the second in command.
- Gorn: The game has plenty of violent deaths, but the Lieutenant's death animation is the goriest one in the game◊: His body effectively tears itself apart bit by bit, almost as if some manner of internal cybernetics were hit by a lucky shot and started undergoing catastrophic failure, taking their user with them. Notice also his guts spewing copiously out of his stomach in the process, even as he shakes himself to pieces. Lovely.
- The Heavy: Even though the Master is the leader of the Unity, the Lieutenant is the one doing most of the work, and directing the boots on the ground.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: While he lacks his charisma and vision, the Lieutenant is far less deluded than the Master about their goal. If you bring up the Super Mutant sterility to him, he acknowledges it to be a problem, but assumes the problem will eventually be corrected.
- In-Game Nickname: Called "Lou Tenant", "Lou" or "Loo" by his minions. Called "The Right Hand of God" by the Children of the Cathedral.
- Knight Templar: He fully believes in the cause of the Unity.
- Mysterious Past: Unlike the Master, we don't know who the Lieutenant is, where he came from, how he became devoted to this cause, or even what his name is.
- No Name Given: Unless Lou is actually his name, his name is never given.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has a bionic red eye.
- Sadist: He enjoys causing pain.Lou: "You can tell me what I want to know, or we can do things my way."
Vault Dweller: "Fuck you!"
Lou: "I hoped you'd say that." (beats the Vault Dweller)
- Skippable Boss: Even more so than the Master, since he's not actually adjacent to anywhere you need to go; the vat controls are on the other end of the map from where you find him. The only reason you'd actually fight him is if you wanted to.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Since many of his underlings are of less-than-optimal intelligence, this is inevitable.
The high priest of the Children of the Cathedral. A former gang member recruited by the Master to lead the fake religion constructed around his persona as a means to win over the hearts and minds of the people in the wasteland. He believes himself to be far more important to the Master than he actually is.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Believes himself to be a vital part of the Masters plan, but in reality he is just an expendable pawn.Lieutenant: It's quite amusing. He thinks he's so much more than just a slug the Master recruited to head his Children of the Cathedral nonsense. Ah, well. He, too, will be dipped in the Vats and he'll probably die a horrible death... I hope.
- Deadpan Snarker: If you play a low intelligence character.PC: "Mom?"
Morpheus: "No, I'm Father Death."note
- Dirty Coward: If he escorts you down to see the Master, and you talk the Master into killing himself, he makes a run for it, not even bothering to let his "followers" know they're all about to be blown sky high.
- High Priest: Of the Children of the Cathedral.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lampshaded."Father Morpheus. That's a real peaceful sounding name. Who's his assistant, Brother Murder? Brother Death? Sister Kill maybe?"
- Smug Snake: Every single word coming out of his mouth just oozes smugness.
- Sinister Minister: The Children of the Cathedral is a Scam Religion anyway, but Morpheus doesn't even pretend to be following its teachings.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Many people around the Boneyard see him as a kindly healer and pious cleric.
A shining example of super mutant intelligence. If the Lieutenant perfectly exemplifies how the super mutants should be, then Harry is the perfect example of how wrong the mutation process can go.
- Anti-Villain: He's quite dumb, and follows Lou's orders unflinchingly (including, potentially, the order to slaughter the ghouls), but is polite and not particularly malicious. If your character is female, or of low intelligence, you can easily convince him to let you go despite the Lieutenant ordering him to capture any normals he finds. If you talk to him after destroying the military base, he can also be convinced to leave peacefully. If you choose to kill him, he also is clearly upset by the deaths of his troops if you killed them beforehand.You kill Larry!
You kill Gary!
You kill Terry!
You kill my brother, Barry!
You kill Sally! He did have lousy name. But not reason to kill him!
- Distracted by the Sexy: If your character is a woman, Harry will comment on your beauty and won't attempt to escort you to Lou, even though you are a "normal".
- Dumb Muscle: Strong and dumb as they get.
- Fantastic Racism: If you ask him to to tell you about humans or normies, Harry's reponse won't be very respectful:Weak. Not know why the Lou want normals. They suck!
- Guttural Growler: Courtesy of Brad Garrett.
- Hulk Speak: Thanks to his reduced intellect, he speaks like this.
- Mook Lieutenant: He's the leader of the Super Mutant squad in Necropolis. That should tell you something about the level the others are on.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He has little plot relevance, but he serves an important purpose: he'll very likely be the first Super Mutant the player encounters, and they are the big bads of the game.