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The mysterious inhabitants of the Sierra Madre. Dressed in gas masks and hazmat suits, they guard the resort along with the security holograms.
- Alien Blood: Fluorescent green, similar to a glowing one ghoul.
- Apocalyptic Log: Search in the right places, and you see how the hazmat suits they wore were useless against the cloud.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The base of their necks, according to Dog. He gives you the Ghost Hunter perk by telling you this.
- Body Horror: According to official sources, the Ghost People are intensely grotesque under their suits. Our only clue is that Dog says that when he bites them, he feels gas pockets going "Fssst!" in their bodies.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: A Ghost Person will keep coming back at you until you tear off a limb, remove their head, or disintegrate them outright. Dog can teach you how to kill them without this condition if you let him kill one in front of you.
- Critical Existence Failure: If a Ghost Person's limb is crippled, it immediately tears off or explodes and kills them, regardless of how much health it has. Critical-hit oriented characters wielding the numerous limb-damage boosting weapons found in the Villa can often one-shot Ghost People with hits that do very little overall damage simply because they take out an arm.
- Fate Worse than Death:
- They were the Sierra Madre's guests and residents. The hazmat suits saved them, but it also turned them into something... different.
- Dean warns you that they prefer to take their victims alive and drag them underground. It's implied that they force the victim into another suit as a means to reproduce.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Justified. They became the Ghost People because of the hazmat suits.
- Glass Cannon: The Seekers. The weakest in terms of health, but their gas bombs can be deadly and they're much better with their spears than the Harvesters.
- Gone Horribly Right:
- The hazmat suits they wear were supposed to protect the workers from toxins. It only protected them enough to keep them from dying and instead become the things they are now.
- Old World Blues reveals that Big MT were using the Sierra Madre as testing grounds for the Auto-Doc technology, the cloud (as part of their toxin research), and the hazmat suits. Like everything else from Big MT, the results are horrifying and quite possibly intentional.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their goggles glow a noticeable green.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Cosmic Knife Spears that most of them have? One of the best tools at your disposal to make sure they don't get back up.
- Humanoid Abomination: See Body Horror. It's a literal example too, since the game classifies them as abominations.
- Improvised Weapon: They use Cosmic Knives tied to sticks, propane tanks with C4 attached, and bear trap gauntlets.
- It Can Think: Despite being a horde of feral, zombie-like Humanoid Abominations, theyre actually reasonably smart when it comes to hunting, showing impressive tool use as well as being constantly on the move to make themselves harder targets to shoot at. According to Dean, they also leave "supplies" as traps.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Encouraged and enforced if you want to take them down, especially if you're using a melee centric fighting style. After being KO'd by an attacker, they'll lay dead for a while but soon rise back up, meaning it'd be wise to stand over their body and beat a limb off to finish them. For firearms, it's more like a Double Tap.
- Made of Iron: Even without taking into account their regenerating ability, they have abnormally high health. Crippling any limb does the job, though.
- Mighty Glacier: The Trappers. They're the biggest, slowest variation and have no ranged attack, but they're also the toughest to kill.
- The Needless: They're never shown eating or sleeping.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: The Ghost People certainly shamble like zombies, and Dean speculates that they might not be alive anymore. Averted in the developers notes in Dead Money's dialogue files, which openly refer to the Ghost People as zombies.
- Resurrective Immortality: Unless you disintegrate, dismember, behead, or have Dog eat them, any Ghost Person simply will not stay dead.
- Silent Antagonist: Unable to talk because of the heavy hoods they wear. They probably don't have much to say, anyway.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: The very first Ghost Person you'll see walks between a pair of columns in front of your view and vanishes. Minor, subtle little scare.
- Vader Breath: After a half-hour in the Villa, you'll quickly learn their loud gasps for air are the best way to track them.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: They don't have much plot significance outside of them trying to kill you, with only a few logs hinting how they degenerated into what they are now.
- Was Once a Man: All of them used to be residents of the Villa, or unlucky travelers that found the place. They're something else, now.
- Zerg Rush: When you activate the bell tower, over 40 of them rush in and make your return trip much less pleasant.
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. Particularly extreme cases can degenerate into glowing ones, ghouls so heavily irradiated that they literally glow green.
While "ghoul", by itself, typically refers to humans, it's entirely possible for animals to undergo this process, and ghoulified animals — such as the "ghoulrillas" of Nuka-World, the immense ghoul whales rumored to roam the irradiated oceans, and arguably the ursine yao guais — are seen from time to time.
- The Ageless: One of the few perks of becoming a ghoul is that the transformation either halts or greatly slows the aging process for not entirely clear reasons. Scarred and decrepit as ghouls are, they do not naturally experience decrepitude or physical degeneration beyond the point they're already at, and it's believed in-universe that they can live potentially forever.
- An Arm and a Leg: Ghouls are more than usually vulnerable to limb damage, the better to imply that their ancient bodies are actually rotting apart. Feral ghouls in particular will keep coming even after losing arms and legs, even crawling along the ground trying to bite you until you put them down.
- Art Evolution: In Fallout 1 and 2, they resemble hideous rotting corpses. In 3 and New Vegas, they look more like pseudo-fantastical resurrected zombies. In 4 and 76, they more closely resemble actual victims of radiation poisoning, complete with visible burn scars and deformities.
- Body Horror: The horror of slowly rotting/withering from the outside in, a Slow Transformation into for all appearances a Technically Living Zombie and remaining fully conscious and aware, and remaining that way for hundreds of years. Many NPCs' stories and various terminal entries are about early ghouls having no idea what was happening to them or why, or how they could possibly have survived in their new state shortly after the bombs fell.
- Cloudcuckoolander: 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,
- Depending on the Writer: In general, the developers widely disagree on how to depict ghouls consistently. This can be Hand Waved as both bigots spreading misinformation in-universe and that ghoulification affects each person differently on at least some level due to unique environmental and genetic factors.
- 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.
- Exotic Eye Designs: Throughout all of the 3D games, most ghouls have visibly bloodshot and obscured eyes. Starting in Fallout 4, many ghouls exhibit completely black eyes with no visible sclera or pupils.
- FaceMonster Turn: Ghouls that go feral completely lose their mental faculties and become violent and homicidal, attacking anything that isnt another instance of itself in an animalistic rage and becoming dangerous to everyone around them, other than other ghouls. Ghouls on the verge of going feral often undergo a kind of belated Zombie Infectee decline as they try to Resist the Beast, which is the subject of many an Apocalyptic Log in the various ghoul-infested ruins of the later games.
- 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 the 3D games, they're healed by radiation. The feral ghouls in the highly irradiated Glowing Sea will even regenerate their health over time thanks to this.
- Fragile Speedster: Feral 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.
- Friendly Zombie: Downplayed. A non-feral ghoul has a human personality and is able to co-exist with others, though they're just as likely to be a Nice Guy or a Jerkass as regular humans are. Once a ghoul goes feral, however, they lose their personality and attack humans on sight.
- 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 and Raul in New Vegas completely lack the raspiness (though Dean 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.
- No Zombie Cannibals: It's generally the case that ferals won't attack other ghouls — unless they're traveling with unchanged humans. Over the course of the games you occasionally run into ghouls running who attempt to pen in their friends and family or work to find a cure for ferals so they can avoid Staking the Loved One.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: They're mutated humans created by excessive radiation poisoning basically turning them into Technically Living Revenant Zombies.
- Our Zombies Are Different: In-universe, people treat ghouls like zombies, but they technically 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.
- Progressively Prettier: 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 more by their feral behavior and deformed body designs.
- Radiation-Immune Mutants: 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.
- 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: While they're still alive, prior to Fallout 4, they looked like classic, rotting zombies. Ferals, meanwhile, act almost like Zombie Apocalypse-style hordes 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 radiation and — in the case of feral ghouls — being turned into a mindless, predatory beast.
- Zerg Rush: Feral ghouls are usually found in groups, either traveling or sleeping together. Carelessly alerting one ghoul can easily spiral to three or ten more revealing themselves to charge you.
Glowing ones are the most heavily irradiated of all ghouls, to the point that they literally glow green. They're much stronger than regular ghouls, and can emit waves of radiation at will. Their degree of sapience is not wholly consistent — individual glowing ones have appeared in both civilized and feral versions — but they're much more likely to be seen in a feral, mindless state than other ghouls are.
As with other ghouls, glowing one versions of other creatures are known to exist; meta-wise, these were introduced in Fallout 4 as elite versions of other enemies.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Somewhat. Unlike the rest of ghoulkind, nearly every glowing one is feral with only two exceptions seen in the entire franchise. Presumably this is due to the higher levels of radiation required for their creation.
- Body Horror: Glowing ones themselves are already fairly disturbing to look at, their bodies having become living radioactive furnaces, but their elite versions, the putrid and bloated glowing ones, are so heavily mutated that their bodies have become grotesquely swollen and deformed by gigantic pustules filled with radioactive waste.
- Elite Mooks:
- In general, glowing ones are this to common feral ghouls, being far stronger and deadlier than their less-irradiated kin.
- In and post-Fallout 4, putrid and bloated glowing ones are elite versions of the regular glowing ones, possessing much higher attack and health — bloated glowing ones have the highest base health of any feral ghoul.
- Exploited Immunity: They can store radiation energy in their bodies and release it in concentrated bursts, healing nearby ghouls while inducing radiation poisoning in humans.
- Mainlining the Monster: In Fallout 3, the Chop Shop infirmary keeps a pair of caged glowing ones around as a source of radiation with which to heal ghoul patients.
- Power Glows: The most powerful ghoul variants, an distinguished from other ones by their bright green glow.
- Sickly Green Glow: The most obvious outward sign of their physical degradation is that every part of their bodies glows vivd green from the radiation they absorbed.
Originally the result of a cannibal raider hiding out in a radioactive cave for far too long, wendigos are severely mutated feral ghouls (it's implied that the FEV from Huntersville might've played a part) that endlessly hunger for human flesh. Named after the famous monster of Algonquin legend, wendigos are found all throughout Appalachia, with the especially deadly "wendigo colossi" found wandering in nuclear blast zones.
- Body Horror: Even for feral ghouls they look hideous, with ashy gray skin, long bony arms tipped with razor-thin claws, and a large bulging stomach. Their skull-like faces also have short strands of long, stringy hair and feature mouths filled with long, jagged teeth. Wendigo colossi are even worse, being well over twelve feet tall with thin stilt-like legs, tiny arms, and two extra heads.
- Elite Mooks: To "normal" feral ghouls. Wendigo colossi are this to normal wendigos.
- Enemy Summoner: Wendigos can let out bone-chilling screams in combat that summon any nearby ferals to their aid.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The original wendigos were cannibal raiders mutated by radiation (and possibly FEV)
- Inexplicably Awesome: It's never made entirely clear why wendigos are so especially dangerous and look so different compared to normal feral ghouls, with it ultimately being Rule of Scary. Tropes Are Tools, of course, as the wendigos are easily one of the most terrifying creatures out of the entire Fallout franchise.
- Lightning Bruiser: Wendigos are incredibly fast in combat and dish out tons of damage with their razor-sharp claws, to the point where V.A.T.S. is practically required for any ranged character to take them down.
- Monster Progenitor: The first known wendigo in Appalachia was Morris Stevens, the former leader of the Gourmands raider gang.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: They're so rail-thin that their skin looks like it's practically glued to their bones, but they still have enough strength to literally crush the Player Character into a pulp.
- Shown Their Work: They're a remarkably faithful adaptation of the original Algonquian legend, with the obvious difference here being that the cannibal is turned into a monster by radiation rather than a demonic spirit.
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: The scream of a wendigo colossi will automatically induce the "frightened" status effect for any Vault 76 Dweller in earshot.
- Super Strength: They can toss a player through the air with little effort and hit with the force of a tank.
- Vader Breath: Their gasping breaths sound like the rustling of dry leaves.
- Was Once a Man: All wendigos seem to be feral ghouls that got exceptionally mutated by radiation (and possibly FEV).
- Wendigo: Well, duh. They are named after the mythological creature and behave accordingly.
Former miners from Appalachia, who hid in the Ash Heap's numerous coal mines when the bombs fell. Unfortunately, thanks to a mix of radioactive fallout and the region's toxic chemicals, they've since been twisted into murderous mutants that prey on anyone who treads too close to their new homes within Appalachia's caves and mine shafts.
- Gas Mask Mooks: They're trapped within their slowly deteriorating suits, with the large tubes for their gas masks being one of their few visible features. Additionally, their masks are essential to their survival now, and they will quickly die if their mask is ever removed.
- Humanoid Abomination: They look generally human, but have stout bodies with short, thick limbs and eyes visibly bulging out from under their masks.
- It Can Think: While they're clearly not as bright as their former human selves, they're still not stupid. Most notably, they've domesticated the local mole rats into serving as their Attack Animals, and are seen using (relatively) advanced weapons like shotguns, assault rifles, and missile launchers in combat.
- Lightning Bruiser: They're disarmingly fast despite their stocky build and can give a lot of damage thanks to their love of heavy weapons.
- Mole Men: It's right in the name — they're short, hostile humanoids descended from degenerated humans and who now live in tunnels, caves and mines. They're also a noticeably darker take on this trope than what is typically seen elsewhere.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Most of them are more extremely territorial than outright murder-happy, and just want to be left alone.
- Super Strength: They're strong enough to regularly carry and utilize heavy weapons like missile launchers into combat one-handed with no visible effort.
- Tragic Keepsake: Some mole miners can be found clutching little remnants of their former lives, such as keys to their old mining lockers.
- Tragic Monster: None of them wanted to be turned into nightmarish monsters, after all — they were simply victims of extreme radiation and chemical poisoning.
- Was Once a Man: They're what happened to the pre-War miners of Appalachia.
- Weakened by the Light: They hate bright light and so are usually found only in their caves and former mining facilities.
Feral, ghoul-like humans mutated by the plague spread by the Scorchbeasts of Appalachia. United under a Hive Mind, they seek nothing else but spreading the Scorched Plague beyond West Virginia and causing the extinction of all life.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Scorched are part of a Hive Mind dedicated to the death of all that isn't part of their shared consciousness.
- Body Horror: Their bodies are covered in what look like crystallized rock formations, and they slowly grow until they inevitably overtake the original person completely.
- Hive Mind: The Scorched operate with one of these, which among other things explains why they don't mindlessly attack each other.
- Mooks: They serve in this role for the Scorchbeasts.
- The Plague: They're the result of a fungal plague spread by the Scorchbeasts.
- Our Zombies Are Different: They're Technically Living Plague Zombies that are still smart enough to use weapons and tactics, but are basically feral cannibals otherwise.
- Taken for Granite: Over time, the crystalline growths that grow within their flesh overtake them completely and turn them into lifeless, stony statues.
- The Usual Adversaries: They make up the majority of humanoid enemies in 76.
Humans who fell victim to a mutated fungus, which then took root in their corpses and reanimated them as mobile spore dispersers.
- Action Bomb: After being engaged in melee for a while, they will explode with considerable force in a cloud of irradiated spores.
- Elite Mook: Spore carrier brutes, savages and beasts, progressively stronger and higher-statted versions of the basic spore carriers.
- Festering Fungus: Spore carriers are created when a specific fungal infection overtakes a human being, kills them, and infests and reanimates their body to serve as an ambulatory carrier of its spores.
- Fungi are Plants: The infection that turns humans into spore carriers is fungal in nature — it's specifically identified as an engineered strain of Beauveria, a real-life fungus that does this very thing to insects. Spore carriers, however, are depicted as green-skinned plant people, their infection is spread from leafy, flytrap-like "spore plants", and they're consistently associated with botanical experiments and lush plant life.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: For a wonder, the fungus wasn't actually designed as a weapon of mass destruction like most pre-War genetic research was — it was chiefly intended to be agricultural pest control and a way to destroy harmful insects. It spreading to humans was just a disastrous side effect of its creation. For all the tragedy it brought though, it certainly did allow plant life to flourish.
- Man-Eating Plant: The spore plants their infection stems from, and which they are often found guarding, resemble giant-sized and highly mobile Venus flytraps that will snap and bite at approaching players.
- Patient Zero: The original carrier of the infection — itself named Patient Zero in-universe — is still around in the games' time, stalking the ruins of the facility where it was made.
- Plant Person: Despite their infection being fungal in nature, the spore carriers visually invoke this trope through their green skin and close association with plant life.
- Primal Stance: They crawl around on all fours, hunched over like animals, to show how they haved regressed to a bestial, inhuman state.
- Stealthy Mook: They usually hide in thick vegetation, becoming undetectable by the compass or V.A.T.S. until engaged, and typically wait for players to literally stumble into them before attacking.
- Undead Child: In Vault 22, one spore carrier runt is encountered inside a child's room in the living quarters, giving this impression.
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 and an incapability of breeding. 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 four types of Super Mutants, as four (known) sources of FEV were used and the virus expressed itself a little differently in each case. All East Coast mutants share the tendency to grow progressively larger, stronger and more bestial as they age, eventually becoming the immense, brutish Behemoths.
- "Mariposa Super Mutants" range from southern Oregon through California and Nevada, and are so named because the vats of FEV culture that they were dipped in for transformation exist(ed) at Mariposa Military Base.
- The Mariposa mutants also have a sub-variant, the "Nightkin," consisting of elite members of the Master's Army that had mutated further due to excessive Stealth Boy usage. Most Nightkin are Stealth Experts, but also suffer from severe mental issues such as schizophrenia.
- "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" range throughout New England and were created by the Institute through injection, who were conducting experiments with the FEV to improve upon their research into synthetic organic tissue.
- "Huntersville Super Mutants" are chiefly found in West Virginia and Appalachia, and were created shortly before the Great War when West Tek contaminated Huntersville's water supply with FEV as part of an experiment.
- 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 aging even after a few centuries. Senility does appear in some Western mutants in Fallout 2, but does not seem to reduce their physical prowess.
- Always Chaotic Evil: The Vault 87, Huntersville, and Commonwealth strains of Super Mutants both appear to be this, though the latter are shown to be significantly smarter than the former and the example of Strong shows that while they're still cannibalistic barbarians, they're not necessarily as thoroughly evil as they may first seem.
- 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.
- Dying Race: Like with Ghouls, all Super Mutants are sterile and "new" mutants can only created through FEV exposure. Notably, the Vault 87 Super Mutants are implied to have been completely wiped out by the time of Fallout 4 thanks to the efforts of the Lone Wanderer and Brotherhood of Steel.
- Elite Mook: They're often among the toughest enemies of the series. They also have their own Elite Mooks among them: the West Coast Mutants have the Nightkin, while the East Coast have the Overlords and Behemoths.
- Flanderization: The Mariposa Super Mutants encountered in the original two games could be super-dumb, but also had a good deal of cunning and downright brilliant mutants in the upper echelons. Come Fallout 3 and beyond, and they've been primarily reduced to serving as big green generic Raiders with only a few standout subversions. Although this could be chalked up to the mutants of the east coast being made with a different batch of FEV as the mutants in the mojave are shown to be generally more intelligent.
- 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. Their stronger variants, in turn, are progressively larger than each other and regular super mutants.
- 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 MASH!-Up: They're huge hulking brutes who generally have enhanced strength, low intelligence, massive anger management issues, and a disdain for puny, baseline humans. They also tend to be green in color. However, they are created via a Forced Evolutionary Virus rather than radioactive material.
- Hulk Speak: A common trait for unintelligent Super Mutants, particularly on the East Coast. Smarter ones, including most Mariposa Super Mutants in 2 and New Vegas, usually speak normally.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Commonwealth and Huntersville Super Mutants are mentioned as hunting humans for sport just as much as for food.
- In Name Only: There are actually several distinct varieties of "Super Mutant" encountered throughout the franchise, with most only being called "super mutants" due to their resemblance to the original Mariposa super mutants created by the Master and being the result of the FEV. These doppelganger offshoots are the Vault 87 Super Mutants, the Commonwealth Super Mutants and the Huntersville Super Mutants. These are more skewed towards being Always Chaotic Evil Dumb Muscle and are less refined than their Master-created "cousins", which tend to be more intelligent and civilized.
- I'm a Humanitarian: A common thread across East Coast Super Mutants is that they like to eat humans. Amusingly, idle chatter from Commonwealth Super Mutants in Fallout 4 implies that they only do this because humans taste better than the vast majority of Wasteland wildlife.
- Lightning Bruiser: Behemoths in 4 and 76 can be very fast when running.
- 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, though.
- Made of Iron: All Super Mutants are this in comparison to ordinary humans, with it even being mentioned that Mariposa Super Mutants can No-Sell small enough calibers thanks to their thickened skin.
- Master Race: Super Mutants in general believe they're superior to humanity in every way, and in the first game they led a conquest against the wasteland to establish their rule. While their superiority may be true for the intelligent members, the vast majority are too dumb to prove it, and they're sterile to boot.
- Multicultural Alien Race: Being made in entirely separate parts of the United States, super mutants vary greatly in qualities in the game and region they appear in.
- Most notably, West Coast mutants were created with potentially higher capacities for intelligence, reasoning and nuanced ideas thanks to being created as the Master's ideal army and to become the wasteland's Master Race. After the collapse of the Master's plans, even the dumb and brutish super mutants found some success in joining modern civilization or set off to form their own communities.
- In contrast, East Coast mutants, particularly the ones in the Capital Wasteland are shown to be generally dumb across the board, ravenous and raving whirlwinds of violence whose current goals are to swell their numbers with newly created super mutants, or to feast on whatever they can hunt for. Institute super mutants in the Commonwealth are even more aimless in their goals, being failed experiments who were dumped into the wild and subsequently formed something close to tribes who ambush and raid settlers for food. Though if Strong is to be believed, Commonwealth super mutants apparently believe that all resources they gather, food they kill and territory they gain should be shared between their kind for the benefit of the collective — and presses the Sole Survivor to do the same for the benefit of humanity.
- 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 far rarer, with the main ones being Fawkes, Uncle Leo, Erickson, Grahm, Gail, and (just barely) Strong.
- Not So Extinct: If the Fallout 4 Creation Club can be taken as Broad Strokes canon, the Huntersville super mutants are surprisingly still alive in Appalachia as of 2287, with one even leaving to the Capital Wasteland to help "fight the good fight."
- 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.
- 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.
- Primitive Clubs: Super Mutant Behemoths are extremely large, extremely strong and extremely stupid mutants who lack the intelligence to either manufacture tools or use ranged weaponry, and typically use entire uprooted fire hydrants as crude melee weapons.
- Space Orcs: Super Mutants are effectively post-apocalyptic sci-fi orcs or ogres as far as general appearance and personality goes. What flavor of orc/ogre depends on the type of Super Mutant.
- 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.
- Super Strength: Practically every Super Mutant has this, with them frequently being able to wield heavy weapons one-handed or crush their enemies into pulp with their bare hands.
- Tragic Monster: All of them to some extent, but the East Coast Mutants in particular, as none of them wanted to be twisted into nightmarish cannibalistic monsters.
- 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, which can be seen on how the vast majority of East Coast Super Mutants (who were primarily created using Wastelander stock) are murderous morons.
- 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.
Mariposa Super Mutants
Created with the Forced Evolutionary Virus by the US government as the perfect Super Soldier during the resource wars against China, these super mutants, when created properly, are stronger, faster and potentially more intelligent than their unmutated human counterparts. After the nuclear exchange, the vats and facilities were abandoned and left sitting in the wasteland, only to be rediscovered by two wastelanders named Richard Grey and Harold, the former of whom would become the Master following exposure to the FEV and vowed to revive the long-lost project to create the wasteland's Master Race as the appointed leader of the Unity.
As a result of the research and care put into the project by both the US government, the Master and his Lieutenant, Mariposa super mutants can have higher capacities for intelligence and tend to be sturdier compared to their East Coast counterparts, though losing ones mental faculties after mutation is still a common issue in their ranks.
- Balls of Steel: In 1 and 2, attacking a Super Mutant's groin causes them to laugh it off and brag that they have no such weakness.
- Dumb Muscle: They've got their fair share of dumb mutants, as a result of impure wastelanders being captured and mutated. The Master is very interested in finding unopened vaults to gain access to pure, unmutated humans still preserved inside for this very reason.
- Genius Bruiser: More pronounced compared to the 3D games, with Unity mutants with enough mental stability to find themselves in leadership positions. Besides The Master himself, two standout examples include the Lieutenant, a brilliant, calculating and ambitious super mutant helping The Master lead the charge forward. Marcus, another mutant who retained his intelligence and, once the The Master died and the Unity disbanded, founded a successful town (twice) using his charisma, leadership skills and relative benevolence. In fact, it's suggested that super mutants who don't lose their intelligence actually have it increased by the transformation.
- Gentle Giant: Downplayed, but after the fall of the Master most of the mariposa mutants either integrated into human society or formed their own communities despite their size and strength giving them an advantage over ordinary humans. It's even more prominent with the unintelligent mutants as unlike the more universally hostile east coast mutants, they typically don't attack humans unless provoked or under orders.
- HeelFace Turn: After the defeat of The Master, a fair amount of the mutants moved on and were able to integrate into the NCR to the point of serving as Rangers. Even then, there were those such as Lily Bowen who openly hated The Master and are glad to be rid of him.
- Master Race: They pride themselves as the pinnacle of wasteland beings, sporting immunity to disease, supposedly lacking human personality flaws and have a greater resilience to the harshness of the wasteland. Of all the super mutant variants, Mariposas super mutants have most of the bragging rights to actually prove their superiority in every way except intelligence between certain members and reproduction systems.
A specialized division of Mariposa super mutants, the Nightkin prefer a more stealthy approach to combat using stealth boys to conceal themselves and ambush their enemies. After the fall of the Unity, the Nightkin scattered into different groups across the wasteland, suffering from the mental degradation and conditions brought by excessive stealth boy usage. As a result, they tend to be even more aggressive if not outright hostile compared to other post-Unity super mutants.
- Don't Look at Me!: Thanks to their mental conditions and their reliance on stealth boys, Nightkin don't usually like being visible for long and get very uncomfortable when people look at them. Naturally, when Keene reveals this to the Courier, they can respond by starring right at him to annoy the Mutant.
- Funny Schizophrenia: Averted half the time, with their schizophrenia and mental instability being played as tragic as the situation would imply. Other times, though, it's set up to help provide jokes or offer some dark humor when they appear.
- Davison, a Nightkin leading a gang of others, answers to a brahmin skull named Antler. He relies on the inanimate skull for basically everything he says, and goes berserk if you so much as poke the thing. He's also fortified himself and his Nightkin in the REPCONN test site's basement and massacre almost anyone who tries to get them out, so he's also far from too silly to not be harmless.
- Another Nightkin can be encountered near a run down ranch, who emerges from invisibility, startles the Courier who was just minding their own business and offers to sell a wind-brahmin (a tumbleweed) for all their money.
- Tabitha from Black Mountain is a two-prong case. The radio broadcasts she and Rhonda put out are so absurd and hilariously hammy that she begins as a case of her mental condition leading to something funny. Head over to Black Mountain to investigate however, and you'll eventually find out that Rhonda as heard on the radio never existed, and she's a split personality Tabitha developed when her beloved Mister Handy best friend named Rhonda died, which also led to her organizing a violent and hostile super mutant encampment, and it dips to not being quite as funny anymore.
- In the quest The Screams of Brahmin, a Nightkin is responsible for showing up at night near Novac and start unloading his gun into the helpless bovine for no good reason before escaping.
- Keene and his Nightkin in Jacobstown, however, are an averted case in that their mental instability and schizophrenia is played seriously, with the irritable Mutant being the only thing standing between Doc Henry's medical research to cure the Nightkin schizophrenia or all of them leaving into the wild without treatment to worsen their insanity and terrorize the Mojave.
- Invisible Monsters: In the Interplay games, they're transparent as a way to indicate their stealthy nature in battle, but are far from undetectable. In New Vegas, their invisibility is far more deceptive with only a super mutant-shaped silhouette of distortion indicating they're lying in wait. Oftentimes, the only reliable indication that a Nightkin is near you is hearing the crackle of their stealth boys and a giant angry mutant emerging from stealth to split you in half with their sword.
- Jump Scare: Their main strategy in New Vegas, often standing around dark interiors or behind cover while invisible only to emerge charging shouting murder as soon as the Courier gets close.
- Stealthy Mook: Nightkin use Stealth Boys, which make them invisible.
Vault 87 Super Mutants
As a joint project across the country as Mariposa worked to perfect their strain of FEV, the scientists at Washington D.C worked on their own strain. While similar in effects to the Mariposa strain with the added "benefit" of the super mutant growing in size through aging, this strain of FEV doesn't offer as much room for retaining intelligence after mutation. The super mutants who emerged in the Capital Wasteland after the apocalypse are rage filled, bloodthirsty and generally dumb counterparts to their Mariposa cousins, whose current goals are to bolster their numbers with more super mutants. With their supply of FEV dwindling, these super mutants are desperate to locate more "green stuff" before their time runs out.
- Body Horror: Even for Super Mutants they look hideous, what with their discolored yellow skin, deformed musculature, and faces trapped in a permanent grimace.
- Boss Battle: The Super Mutant Behemoths are gigantic brutes that tower over the size of a house, but there's a finite amount of them and they're usually hidden away in special locations waiting to be fought. Minus one mandatory encounter in the main quest line, you'd have to go out of your way to try and find them all.
- Dumb Muscle: Compared to other super mutant strains, Vault 87 super mutants are generally dumb across the board and struggle to solve anything without force and violence. Only two characters from this strain are shown to retain their mental stability, the friendly and honorable Fawkes imprisoned in Vault 87 and the wandering and philosophical Uncle Leo.
- Dying Race: They used up their supply of FEV by the time the Lone Wanderer encounters them, and trying hard to capture and convert new super mutants, plus find more sources of FEV. It's implied in 4 that they're on the verge of extinction if not already wiped out by the Brotherhood's efforts to destroy them.
- Giant Mook: They introduced the Super Mutant Behemoths to the series, which can grow up to 20 feet tall.
- Mêlée à Trois: Along with hunting down regular humans and fending off Brotherhood squads, the super mutants in the DC ruins are apparently waging a long and vicious war against the Talon Company mercenaries. By the time the Lone Wanderer wanders into their battlefield, both mutants and mercs dug themselves into trenches and vantage points in the center of the city.
Commonwealth Super Mutants
Situated in the Commonwealth, the Institute got a hold of their own strain of FEV for experimentation from an unknown source (it's intentionally left vague if they acquired it before the Great War, or they gained a sample from Vault 87 after the War). Using kidnapped Wastelanders as unwitting test subjects, they secretly ran fruitless experiments on the populace as part of their research into creating organic tissue for the early Synths. The Institute had been creating them since before 2180 and only stopped with the sabotaging of their FEV labs some time before 2287. Unsatisfied with the results, they abandoned their super mutants on the surface, eventually releasing enough for them to become a threatening and semi-organized force in the Commonwealth.
- Action Bomb: They introduced the Super Mutant Suicider to the series, a Super Mutant with an armed Mini-Nuke that they will attempt to run up to their opponents and high-five them with in a Taking You with Me attack.
- Angry Guard Dog: They're the first type of mutants to have Mutant Hounds at their side instead of Centaurs.
- Badass BoastYou see me human? This is death!
- Blood Knight: They essentially live for the thrill of combat. It's telling that one of the few reliable ways to improve your relationship with Strong, your token Super Mutant companion, is to bring him along for an adventure and kill as many things you can bump into.
- Body Horror:
- Their Behemoths have strange body proportions, with one arm noticeably longer than the other.
- This is more downplayed with the "normal" mutants, but they still have what looks like tumors adorning their bodies along with their heads be noticeably smaller in relation to their body size.
- Call-Back: Some of their combat quotes are directly taken on their Vault 87 predecessors.Hurry up and die! I'm hungry!
No more games, time to die!
Now you went and got me mad!
- Dumb Muscle: Like the Vault 87 strain, Commonwealth super mutants tend to be pretty dumb across the board, especially when compared to the Mariposa strain. However, it isn't nearly as pronounced as it was with the Vault 87 strain, as they've found enough coordination to form raiding tribes and their own little sub-culture with bloodthirsty yet cognitive members leading their warbands. They've also got a better grasp at speaking and language compared to the Vault 87 strain, though they're still prone to speaking rather simply. Any Super Mutant Suiciders will also use their suicide attack on any enemy, including radroaches and bloatflies.
- Dying Race: Brian Virgil sabotaged the Institute's FEV lab before he fled the coop, dooming them to a slow extinction.
- Fantastic Racism: They refer to Synths as "fake men," and obviously don't hold any more respect for regular humans, viewing them as only good for either potential food, slaves, or game for hunting. It's also less pronounced, but they don't seem to like robots either, as they call the Brotherhood metal-heads/men and despise them for their suits of Powered Armor.
- Giant Mook: Behemoths are back and just as destructive as their Vault 87 counterparts. Unlike them however, there's a limitless amount of them and they can be found wandering the most dangerous parts of the Commonwealth as rare encounters, like the Glowing Sea and the towns surrounding its border.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The Institute succeeded in creating super mutants alright, but they're not very bright and are whirlwinds of violence to boot. Whether they hoped they'd die in the wastes or become a non-issue after they were abandoned isn't clear, but they've established themselves as yet another threat to everyday survival in the Commonwealth.
- Hidden Depths: Talking with Strong will show that they have a remarkably collectivist outlook on the world, equally sharing their resources among each other for a common goal and almost never fighting each other. Strong in particular will chastise the Sole Survivor for being selfish, arguing that by doing so, they're indirectly screwing over the rest of humanity.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Suiciders are armed with a live mini-nuke and will rush their enemies to blow up in a giant mushroom cloud. However, if you're undetected and the mutants are grouped together mingling with one another, you can aim for their hand/nuke and blast half the group into bits when the bomb goes off. This can also be used to prematurely detonate a suicider who's already seen you, but it's less likely to kill many other mutants and doing so cuts you out of a free mini-nuke if killed this way.
- It Can Think: In comparison to the Vault 87 strain. Several Super Mutant bases show them having reprogrammed the locations' Pre-War turrets and spotlights to assist them in battle. They are also capable of following a chain of command, can erect fortifications, and even set up traps and ambushes such as at Trinity Tower, where Fist deliberately used Rex Goodman's radio broadcast as bait to both lure in humans and weed out the weaker Super Mutants among his host.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Some of their combat banter embrace this mindset.Commonwealth Super Mutant: You humans made us — now suffer for your arrogance!
Commonwealth Super Mutant: Human time is done! This is the age of the Super Mutant!
- Unwitting Pawn: To the Institute. By raiding and terrorizing the surface, they redirect a lot of the attention from the wastelanders on the surface into juggling the everyday threats of the wasteland on top of fending off super mutant raiding parties, distracting them from joining together against the Institute.
- Violation of Common Sense: Subverted. On the surface, it really doesn't seem to make any logical sense for the Institute's brilliant scientists to not just euthanize their failed experiments instead of teleporting them away to be the Commonwealth's problem. However, secretly abandoning them to the Commonwealth makes sense in that they help keep the surface world weak and divided, making the Wastelanders ultimately be less of a unified threat to the Institute's salvage operations. Furthermore, their presence on the surface helps reinforce to the Institute's own citizens that the surface world is a lost cause impossible to save, meaning that it's perfectly okay for them to keep screwing the surviving Wastelanders over as they're all "dead men walking" anyway.
Trogs are humans affected by a dangerous degenerative condition caused by the heavy radiation and chemical pollution of the Pitt, as the post-apocalyptic ruins of Pittsburgh are known. This has caused them to mutate into a breed of creatures similar to feral ghouls, although less zombie-like and more bestial in nature.
- And I Must Scream: Trogs will sometimes say "thank you" or "peace" when you kill them, implying their existence is this to some degree.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Their models notably lack nipples or genitals, despite their being essentially just naked, feral humans.
- Fragile Speedster: Trogs are very fast, but generally have low health.
- Glass Cannon: They have extremely low health, but can hit fast and hard in combat.
- It Can Think: One of the things that makes trogs dangerous is that they have retained enough of their mental faculties to be genuinely cunning predators. They hunt in packs, can navigate the confusing maze of the steelyard better than feral ghouls could, and can even talk, though it tends to be one or two-word sentences and in Hulk Speak.
- Primal Stance: They crawl around on all fours, hunched over like animals, to show how they haved regressed to a bestial, inhuman state.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their eyes are bright red.
- Small Role, Big Impact: They mostly exist so you have something to shoot in the steelyard, but the disease that creates them is why the Pitt is reliant on slave labor from other areas; TDC affects newborns with an almost 100% infection rate, so the Pitt's populace can't reproduce.
- Tragic Monster: Slaves brought to the Pitt against their will (or raiders who join the Pitt's army) have a 20% chance of turning into trogs, slowly losing virtually all of their humanity and turning into degenerate monsters, while still aware of it all to some degree but unable to not act like vicious cannibalistic creatures.
- Was Once a Man: All trogs were once regular humans who mutated into their current state.
- Weakened by the Light: Trogs are hypersensitive to light and will generally avoid well-lit areas.
Scaled, bioluminescent mutants of unknown origin (theorized by Ulysses to be descended from civilians who fled underground during the Great War), the Tunnelers live in extensive tunnel systems deep beneath an irradiated wasteland known as the Divide, on the former California/Nevada border. They remained isolated from the surface world for centuries, but began to emerge when the Divide's dormant ICBMs were accidentally trigged and exploded.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Well, mutant biology. They look reptilian, with their hide and eyes and growths from their skin. They have biolumniscence, and some of them have venom. But they also seem to have navels, which only placental mammals have. Mammals with venom are rare, and no known mammal or reptile has naturally-occurring bioluminescence. The existence of Tunneler "queens" imply an eusocial order, and only two species of mammals (burrowing mole rats) have mating queens and non-reproductive members. All in all, they have traits from species all over the place.
- Body Horror: If they are indeed mutated humans, then radiation and 200 years of living under the earth has done a number on their physiology.
- Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: They're adapted for the very dark, quiet environments of their deep tunnel networks, and as a result have extremely sensitive eyes and ears. This makes them deadly in the dark, but they're highly vulnerable to sensory overload — they never venture out by day, and can be forced to flee from combat by using flashbangs or flare guns.
- Fast Tunnelling: They can move underground at a surprisingly fast clip, emerging without warning to attack prey.
- Formerly Sapient Species: It's heavily implied they're descended from humans who took shelter underground during the Great War and were mutated by the radiation, eventually turning into feral, mindless predators.
- Fragile Speedster: Their hide provides them with zero damage threshold, meaning that hollow-point rounds and buckshot will just tear through them like butter.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Ulysses presents them as powerful enemies capable of taking down Deathclaws in packs, an unstoppable threat that will overrun the Mojave within a few years no matter which faction ultimately takes control of it. In gameplay, they go down to a couple headshots as easily as anything else, and even in packs are nowhere near as threatening as a single Deathclaw.
- Glass Cannon: See Fragile Speedster above. They can deal high amounts of damage, but have no natural defenses.
- Glowing Eyes: Their eyes glow white in the dark.
- Hive Queen: When traversing the Cave of the Abaddon the player will come across one Tunneler called the Tunneler queen, suggested that they have a eusocial lifestyle.
- Humanoid Abomination: The game classifies them as "Abomination" and they have a humanoid shape. Interestingly, it's not 100% clear if they're really degenerate humans, or something that has existed hidden underground, beneath the notice of humanity, (though the narration heavily implies the former).
- Informed Ability: According to Ulysses, an attack by the tunnelers would be the end of the Mojave. In gameplay, they're certainly powerful, but they're not that powerful; unless there are a lot more of them than what is shown, House's Securitrons and the Brotherhood of Steel or NCR's gunners would likely just blast them into charcoal (Caesar's Legion might have trouble, though). Same goes for their superiority over Deathclawsnote . Their killing one occurs in a scripted event with a Deathclaw who has abnormally low HP, but if they fight at Junction 7 rest stop, one Deathclaw can wipe out a pack of them. Mechanically, the adult Deathclaws in the Divide can kill any tunneler in one strike, while the strongest Tunneler besides a queen needs five hits to kill even the weakest deathclaw.
- Jump Scare: They like to hide beneath the ground and jump you when you're least expecting them. You can sometimes catch them out of the corner of your eye, but they will disappear below ground before you can get a bead on them. Take a few more steps and suddenly six or ten will pop out of the ground surrounding you, and they especially like to pop up in tight, dark areas with little room to operate.
- Lightning Bruiser: They move very fast and hit very hard.
- Mole Men: Tunneling creatures who live deep below the surface world and are implied to be descended from people who mutated and degenerated after hiding underground for too long. Word of God is that they were inspired by the film The Mole People.
- Poisonous Person: Some Tunnelers possess venomous bites.
- Primal Stance: They crawl around on all fours, hunched over like animals, to show how they have regressed to a bestial, inhuman state.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: They remain safely isolated from the surface world, and ignorant of its existence, for about two centuries after their creation, though Ulysses mentions there were hints of their existence before. This changed after the Courier accidentally set off ancient ballistic missiles, whose explosions caused earthquakes that cracked open the Tunnelers' deep homes and brought them to the surface.
- Spikes of Villainy: They have crests of spikes along their heads and shoulders.
- The Worf Effect: They're introduced as the new terror of the wasteland, and the game sets this mood by establishing that they're capable of handily killing off the series' previous bogeymen, the Deathclaws, with frightening ease. However, the Deathclaw they tear apart has abnormally low HP and is scripted to be killed by the Tunnelers. Mechanically, Deathclaws can perfectly tear apart Tunnelers unless they face off a spectacular case of Zerg Rush.Ulysses: Once they draw blood... seen them tear apart deathclaws... deathclaw might get some, but the rest will swarm it, tear it apart, like Denver hounds.
- Tunnel King: They are not named Tunnelers for nothing. They thrive in ambushing prey by burrowing underground in large numbers.
- Zerg Rush: Tunnelers aren't all that strong individually, but typically come in large groups that rush opponents all at once, allowing them to overwhelm and drag down much stronger foes. Fittingly, Lonesome Road also gives the player the Red Glare, an automatic rocket launcher perfect for taking packs of them out.
Degenerate swamp dwellers from Point Lookout, they don't take kindly to outsiders in their swamp. Point Lookout was never nuked directly, but radiation and toxins seeped through there, and mixed with inbreeding and the pre-war New Plague created these mutants. They are insanely territorial and will eat anything and anyone they catch. Like the tribals of Point Lookout, they carry more primitive weapons and guns.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Whereas the Point Lookout tribals are primitive but cautiously reasonable, Swampfolk are murderous towards anyone who isn't part of the family, though they make an exception for the non-mutated Marguerite and Halley.
- An Axe to Grind: Sometimes carry axes.
- Back-Alley Doctor: The Tracker has suture points on his belly, indicating they perform some kind of surgery.
- Batter Up!: Occasionally spawn with baseball bats as weapons.
- Body Horror: Though not as bad compared to certain other mutants, they still have a spectacular case of this going on, with various deformities, tumors and pus-filled abscesses. Particularly notable are the Trackers' swollen, boil-covered left arms.
- Cannibal Larder: You can find one of them, though there's also meat from other animals.
- Cult: They appear to have a primitive religion involving human sacrifices, marking their territory with fetishes made of children dolls, and praying to dark Lovecraftian entities. One of the DLC quests involves going into one of their horrifying lairs to retrieve a Tome of Eldritch Lore that's apparently important to their religion.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Point Lookout Tribals and Swampfolks have a hidden perk that cause them to do an extra 35 points of damage per bullet that completely ignores armor, when using "redneck" guns (Hunting Rifles, Double-Barrel Shotguns and Lever-Action Rifles). In the case of shotguns, this applies to every pellet, all 9 of them!
- Creepy Doll: A bunch of rag dolls all tied up together to a tree is a sign that you're entering Swampfolk territory.
- Fake Difficulty: For no reason at all, they get an unblockable +35 damage boost.
- Gonk: Just look at them!
- Hidden Depths: Downplayed, but they're capable of some trading, and tolerate Marguerite and Halley as "their own" despite neither of them having deformities.
- Hillbilly Horrors: They're basically based on the stereotypical "killer hillbilly/swamprat" archetype; inbred, deformed, insane, murderous, cannibalistic and depraved.
- Human Sacrifice: A part of their religion.
- Inbred and Evil: 200+ years of inbreeding, plus radiation, have done a number on them.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Sometimes found carrying human flesh.
- When fighting the player they'll sometimes say "We eatin' good tonight!".
- Improbable Power Discrepancy: Strangely, many of these unarmored inbred savages are significantly tougher than the Power Armor-wearing soldiers of the Enclave.
- Made of Iron: They have hundreds of HP at higher levels, almost as much as deathclaws.
- One-Gender Race: Only male Swampfolks are seen, but game files reveal female Swampfolks were planned very early on but cut.
- Religion of Evil: Their religion is Lovecraftian and involves human sacrifice.
- Shovel Strike: Sometimes use shovels as weapons.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: They have no plot significance, unlike the Point Lookout Tribals. They're just there to accentuate the "swamp horror" theme and provide some tough enemies.
- Artistic License Biology: In Fallout, radiation is basically magic half the time, often twisting animals into bizarre mutants with very little basis in reality. Justified as Fallout is set in a Retro Universe primarily inspired by pulpy 1950s-era understandings of science.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Most insects adapted to the harsh conditions by growing to huge sizes with an even bigger predatory instinct. They can be as small as a cat like the Radroach, sport wingspans as large as humans like the Cazador, or develop to the size of a car like Honey Beasts.
- Bioweapon Beast: Outside of the regular Nuclear Nasties, a significant portion of the wastelands' creatures were originally engineered by the pre-War government and corporations as some kind of bioweapon that escaped and went feral after the nuclear apocalypse. Some, like deathclaws, cazadores and nightstalkers, were created to be frontline soldiers or ultimate security animals; others, like mole rats, were intended to be released behind enemy lines to be damaging, obstinate super-vermin.
- Boring, but Practical: The mutant animals from the early days of wasteland tended to have fairly grotesque appearances and abilities, but they were outcompeted by other mutants due to their less functional bodies. Most of the modern mutants, by contrast, are simply enlarged or partially altered versions of their unmutated ancestors.
- Depending on the Writer: The exact reason for the various mutations vary from game to game. Some simply say it's a result of the radiation from the bombs and leave it at that, but other games imply that the mutations are actually the result of tainted FEV that was released into the atmosphere during the war.
- Dying Race: According to Word of God, many of the earlier mutants in the series (and in particular, mostly those found in Appalachia) are eventually driven to extinction due to being out-competed by other animals. Natural selection didn't just end with the Great War, after all.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: By default, thanks to the current state of the United States. Taking the Animal Friend perk can take a lot of the pressure off of this though, even taming the relentless yao guai into letting you be, or even coming to your aid if you get in a fight.
- Finishing Move: In 4, many animals now have special animations where they'll execute a critically injured human to deal the finishing blow in a dramatic way.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A few of the more exceptionally terrifying and dangerous Wasteland critters were originally very innocuous and downright harmless animals before radiation and/or pre-War biochemical engineering changed them into the monsters that plague the Wasteland today. Probably the most stark examples are the deathclaws (originally Jackson's chameleons), fog crawlers (originally mantis shrimp and/or crayfish), and scorchbeasts (originally bats).
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Post-4, the strongest ranks of enemies are marked by color — albino variants are invariably deadlier and tougher than regular types, while the green-glowing radioactive ones are stronger still.
- More Predators Than Prey: A side glance at this page can give this implication, especially when the vast majority of North America was turned into a radioactive desert by the Great War. As with the majority of science in Fallout, it's an Acceptable Break from Reality to allow for a more interesting setting along with playing along with the series' theme of taking place in an After the End Death World.
- Nature Is Not Nice: Most plant life as we know it has been devastated, which doesn't leave much room for passive herbivores in some parts of the Wasteland. As a result, a trek out into the wilderness can lead to someone inevitably having to fight off opportunistic wildlife, almost all of whom definitely see humans as viable prey worth hunting for.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Rarely can you call these creatures evil, as they're just animals trying to survive in the new ecosystem.
- Nuclear Nasty: Whether due to the fallout from nuclear bombs irradiating species to terrible new evolutions, the U.S government and scientists meddling with wildlife to create ideal attack animals, or one factor exacerbating the effects of the other, the wildlife has grown and mutated to better suit the Death World that is the Fallout universe. It doesn't get much better for humans; the man-made FEV mutations created the super mutants who are dangerously huge and aggressive (and usually dumb) hulks of former humans. Meanwhile, ghoulification can be the fate of any human who gets lethally irradiated yet doesn't die, becoming a walking and immortal corpse of a human-being who may be doomed to eventually lose their minds and go feral.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Due to gameplay mechanics, hostile animals seen in this series will chase after prey, even humans, with all they've got once they've spotted them. Then again, it's a nuclear wasteland and food is hard to come around. It's possible the animals are just that desperate.
- To Serve Man: With how dire the circumstances can get in the Wasteland, animals and even former humans like super mutants will gladly put humans on the menu. Walking through an animal's den or a building reclaimed by nature will inevitably reveal stashed away human corpses for later feasting, or just the gored and skeletal remains of past human prey left behind by whatever ate them.
Found in the shallow marshes of Far Harbor, Anglers are creatures who submerge and camouflage themselves in the water, using their lures to blend in with the local lure weed fauna. When prey walks near, they'll jump from their hiding spot and rush to attack with sharp claws and teeth.
- Alluring Anglerfish: Their glowing and dangling lure gives them their name, though instead of attracting prey they've adapted to sit and lie in wait with the similarly glowing fauna instead.
- Fish People: They have developed humanoid bodies in addition to their much larger sizes, with long arms and bowed legs, but otherwise retain the scales, fins and heads of their fully piscine ancestors.
- Informed Species: They're said to be anglerfish, but they're a far cry from we know an anglerfish to look like in real life. They at least share the head and face design, but look more like they've evolved from or into a reptile than a fish.
- Spotting the Thread: Their lure camouflage is effective and Far Harbor is usually a dark and murky environment, but they lack the leaves at the base of their lure unlike actual lure weeds, letting you pick them out if you're out picking plants. Or you can just use VATS to scan the waters for any anglers waiting below like pseudo-X-Ray Vision.
Giant ants, sometimes referred to as radants instead, are mutated descendants of the common carpenter ant. They have grown considerably in size, but otherwise remain much the same as their forebears, living in large colonies and responding aggressively to intrusions. A variant known as fire ants exists in some area of the former States, which can spit fire.
- Achilles' Heel: Their antennae are highly sensitive, and striking them will send them into uncontrollable frenzies.
- Action Bomb: The ants in the Nellis Air Force Base outside Vegas have eaten the supplies of gunpowder, meaning that shooting them can cause them to explode violently like a bomb. This isn't a good thing for the player either, because there's also plenty of armed artillery shells that'll blow them to ribbons if the ants explode in a bad spot.
- Ant Assault: Giant, aggressive ants capable of posing a serious threat to people. They're mostly just animals in the wilderness, but in at least one case serve as a villain's minions.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: While on the small side for Fallout arthropods, they're still in the same size range as dogs. Queens can get to be a lot bigger than that, usually taking up a significant portion, if not half of, the cavern they live in.
- Color-Coded Elements: Fire ants are distinguished from the regular kind by being red instead of brown.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: While giant ants are "only" a regular side-effect of all the radition, the fire ants were created as a result of a direct attempt to breed giant ants to be smaller and less dangerous that went completely pear-shaped.
- The Goomba: They're generally fairly weak enemies, and alone only pose a threat to the lowest-levelled players.
- Hive Caste System: In addition to the queens, the player will usually run into two different types of ant, the workers and the larger, stronger soldiers.
- Hive Queen: As with real-life ants, their colonies are centered around immense ant queens that produce their eggs. Unlike real ant queens, these are also fairly powerful — if immobile — creatures capable of tanking out a good deal of damage and dealing back their own.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The Lone Wanderer can encounter a colony of small (relatively speaking, as they're the size of dogs) peaceful ants who are being menaced by a colony of large aggressive ants.
- Super Spit: Giant ant queens can usually spit acid. Fire ants have developed a flammable secretion from their former acid glands that they ignite by clicking their mandibles, essentially spitting fire.
- Zerg Rush: To make up for their individual weakness, giant ants usually swarm larger enemies in groups to disorient and overwhelm them.
Originally once the small yet aggressive horsefly, the Great War caused these pests to mutate to gigantic sizes and grew their aggression out twicefold. When spotting prey, they'll bob and weave around them while firing their weaponized larvae to stab into the target.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're big fat and ugly horse flies who're after you.
- Boss Battle: In the Old World Blues DLC for New Vegas, you can fight the Legendary Bloatfly. Unlike regular Bloatflies which you'd usually blow away instantly, the Legendary Bloatfly is one of the toughest animals in the game and can easily massacre the player if they get cocky. To put it into perspective how deadly it is, if you were to spawn it in and have fight other enemies, like the Legendary Deathclaw, it'll usually curbstomp them quickly.
- Defeat Equals Explosion:
- In Fallout 4, they'll sometimes pop into little bits of insect gore and goo when killed.
- The Legendary Bloatfly will explode like a plasma bomb when killed.
- The Goomba: Most Bloatflies go down easily to just about anything you can dish out. Unlike Radroaches though, another pathetically weak mutant insect, they got the speed, small size and attack range to give a fresh player a bit more of a fight.
- Weaponized Offspring: Those projectiles they fire? That's their larvae.
Mutated from native bighorn sheep populations, Bighorners are a fair sight larger than their smaller relatives and are incredibly territorial out in the wild, but humans have managed to domesticate plenty of their numbers much like Brahmin. Outside of farms in humble settlements, Bighorners can be found in large herds with adults guarding their young while hanging around banana yucca fruit.
- Gentle Giant: Domesticated Bighorners are absurdly huge next to a human, but are perfectly docile so as long as you don't hit them. Less pronounced for wild Bighorners who're likely to run you down for getting too close to the herd, but they're certainly more fair with their aggression than most other wasteland predators.
- Glass Cannon: For all their aggression and imposing size, their big bulky heads make for easy headshots, a sufficiently leveled Courier with good aim and firearm can spray a herd of them down.
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Played with, they probably won't attack you on sight like a mole rat, yao guai or gecko would, but that doesn't mean you should approach a wild animal with their family in tow.
- Mama Bear / Papa Wolf: The main reason why they'll attack you for getting close in the wild, they really care about their offspring and will charge to protect them.
- Piñata Enemy: For the size of their herds, big heads to target, fair amount of experience per adult slain and meat with a good amount of healing potential that can be dropped in large amounts, a herd of Bighorners is a productive target to hunt for.
- Zerg Rush: Anger a herd of Bighorners unprepared and you'll be backpedaling far away from them.
Before the Great War, mosquitoes were some of the most common and reviled bloodsucking pests dealt with on the planet. Their mutations after the War made them more than capable of draining a person of more than just a drop of blood.
- Achilles' Heel: While not a weapon per se, wearing Powered Armor makes some of their most dangerous attacks harmless and cripples their offensiveness.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're huge mosquitoes a little larger than a human adult's torso.
- Blood Sucking: Naturally, being mosquitos, they're fond of doing this. You might see a couple of Bloodbugs sitting over the corpse of a slain Brahmin who's obviously been sucked dry by the bugs. And to your detriment, they can do this to you by entering an animation in which they clamp themselves onto your body and jab their proboscis into your chest for a big gulp of blood.
- Elite Mooks: The Red Widow and Infected variants, which can deal dismayingly large amounts of poison damage along with being faster and having more health than normal bloodbugs.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: They can drive their sturdy and needle-like proboscis right through a person's chest.
- Mosquito Miscreants: Take a mosquito, mutate it to the size of a man and irradiate it enough that a bite from one can induce radiation poisoning and you'll get the Bloodbugs.
- Super Spit: After drinking your blood, they may decide to return it back to you by spraying it at your face to deal damage.
Originally a species of tiny and aquatic parasitic worms, radiation has mutated the humble bloodworm to the size of a man. Furthermore, they now dig through soil with ease and devour anything in their path, most notably infesting the Dry Rock Gulch theme park at Nuka-World in western Massachusetts.
- Dig Attack: Their main ability is to rapidly tunnel underground and pop up where they please, making them especially difficult to keep track of.
- Expy: Of the Graboids from the Tremors franchise. Both are large subterranean and carnivorous worms that devour anything in their path, and the bloodworms being encountered in a pseudo-Western old ghost town mirrors Tremors taking place in an out-of-the way town in the American southwest.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: In the lore, the bloodworms were deadly enough to wipe out all settlers who tried to hide in Dry Rock Gulch after the Raiders moved in, and were also seen as dangerous enough to make the Raiders hesitate on just taking the Gulch for themselves. In gameplay, bloodworms are remarkably fragile and go down in a few hits, and are only really threatening if encountered in a group.
- Fragile Speedster: They're incredibly fast and like to leap right out of the ground directly at you, but they can be killed with most weapons in three or so hits.
- Lamprey Mouth: Have four interlocking jaws laden with sharp teeth that they use to help tunnel through earth and soil.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Practically turned Up to Eleven, as real-world bloodworms are aquatic creatures found in shallow seas while these bloodworms have mutated into being terrestrial organisms that live in the desert.
- Sand Worm: Human-sized mutated worms that burrow underground at a frightening clip, bursting onto the surface to attack and devour prey passing above.
- Wormsign: When they're tunneling around in a fight, their movement is marked by a faint outline of their tunnel. Furthermore, when they're tunneling, the surface ground is obscured by clouds of dirt that makes it harder to spot them unless V.A.T.S. is equipped.
Brahmin are mutated cows who, since the Great War, have developed an assortment of strange and dramatic mutations across their bodies, most obviously their second living head. Despite this, they're still prized and used as livestock across the Wasteland.
- Cattle Baron: Brahmin barons hold huge influence in the civilized parts of the wasteland, with their job to raise brahmin for food being vital for the economic security of the NCR in particular. Mess with their brahmin, and you'll likely hear the NCR come knocking to investigate.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: In 4, you may find that in addition to humanoid synth spies infiltrating your settlements, synth brahmin can arrive incognito.
- Mutants: Almost everything's a mutant in the Fallout universe at this point, but Brahmin deserve special mention: they sport two heads, multiple horns, and huge and mutated udders bristling with teats, are totally hairless, are said to have eight stomachs and brahmin bulls are said to have four testicles. Humorously, mutant brahmin are occasionally born to regular herds... with only one head.
- Multiple Head Case: Their two heads are both fully functioning and alive, and seemingly in perfect sync with each other given how fluidly they move, unlike real-world conjoined animals who can struggle to move in sync with their attached partner. Blowing one of the heads off of a brahmin in 4 won't phase the other head very much, strangely enough, meaning they still have full control over the body despite the death of their second half.
- Mundane Utility: Brahmin are this incarnate compared to most other mutant animals. They're easy to domesticate, provide vital resources when raised in groups, and traveling caravans frequently use them to hold their wares while they travel, strapping containers all around their body full of gear.
Mutated descendants of common insects native to caves, mines, basements and assorted dark and enclosed spaces throughout America. The ones seen in Nuka World seem to have shed their troglodytic habits, being mostly found on the plains around the park; the Appalachian ones can also be found roaming in the open, but are still common sights in the mountains' caves and abandoned mines.
- Alien Lunch: According to some characters, their legs make good eating. Others find the idea rather distasteful.
- Ascended to Carnivorism: Real-life cave crickets are detritovores who mostly feed on scraps of plant and fungal material and skin flakes from bigger creatures. The Fallout kind are aggressive predators.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Common cave crickets — normally no larger than a fingernail — grown to around the same mass as a human man.
- Horn Attack: Besides size, the main thing distinguishing them from their pre-War ancestors is the sharply pointed chitinous growth on their foreheads, which they use to impale potential prey.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Their basic kinds are arranged in increasing strength and marked outwardly by color — basic tan crickets, black hunters and brightly colored piercers.
- Monstrous Cannibalism: They're reported to be cannibalistic, or at least to consume each other's eggs.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Their elite variants can take a decent beating for an insect and give a deadly stab with their horns, evolving to be supersized aside. This is especially apparently in Fallout 76 where it's entirely possible to run into a cave cricket a significantly higher level than you in the early levels, who'll shrug off most of the bullets you're spewing at it while it's hopping mad.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Cave crickets — North American ceuthophilinid ones, in this case — are very much real animals, but almost never appear in media.
As a result of careless animal experimentation and even worse attention to security, swarms of Cazadores have established themselves as deadly predators in the Mojave Wasteland. Tough, fast and fond of dealing a fatal dose of venom, they're bound to make even seasoned Wastelanders wary of passing their nests.
- Achilles' Heel: Like deathclaws, their biggest advantage is their speed. Cripple their wings to make fighting them way easier and slow them down to a crawl.
- Beef Gate: They serve as one alongside the deathclaws in Quarry Junction in New Vegas. After coming fresh out of the Goodsprings clinic, you can either go straight ahead into town like you're expected to, or veer to the left towards the canyons. Going left can eventually introduce you to a swarm of Cazadors who'll obliterate the freshly revived Courier, assuming you can't sneak past them. Otherwise, you're better off going through the better balanced Goodsprings instead.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: These bugs have wingspans that exceed the size of a human adult.
- Bioweapon Beast: They were artificially created by Dr. Borous, one of the researchers at the Big MT scientific facility, largely for the hell of it; supposedly, their purpose was to serve as security animals. They were also supposed to be sterile, but naturally enough they weren't and spread like wildfire after the nuclear war.
- Gradual Grinder: Played with, since the bulk of Cazador damage comes from their venom after the sting. On the other hand, it acts so quickly and drains so much HP that it can easily overwhelm unprepared players in less than a minute. Add to the fact that Cazadors love to gang up on prey and sting from multiple angles and you might not even escape them in time to actually die from the venom. Bring plenty of antivenom if you want to nullify this instantly.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: They're high up on the list of dangerous Wasteland creatures and got the red eyes to prove it.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Tarantula hawks aren't an especially common insect in most media, though plenty of New Vegas players got introduced to them following some bad encounters with their Fallout counterparts.
- Wicked Wasps: They are giant Tarantula Hawks who are almost as deadly as Deathclaws.
Centaurs are the FEV mutated abominations raised to help support their super mutant handlers. Their biology tends to be unpredictable due to the process of creating them, since they're generally spliced between multiple species, most notably humans and dogs. They typically serve as watch and guard dogs for their mutant masters, lashing at intruders and alerting the others of the incoming threat.
- Admiring the Abomination: Super mutants seem to think of centaurs like how we'd think of a loyal dog, caring for them like pets. Tabitha of Black Mountain is positively in love with centaurs, gushing over how adorable pets they make.
- Art Evolution: In the Black Isle games, centaurs sport two heads, one of a dog and another with a human torso and head and plenty of hand-feet dragging them along. In the Bethesda-made 3 and New Vegas, they've lost the dog head and only slither around with a thick and diseased human torso, now sporting some horns and a long tongue. In the unused concept for ''4'', they've degenerated into a multi-eyed and limbed quadrupedal creature who resembles no single creature directly, with blood-red skin on top of it all.
- Body Horror: Centaurs are grotesque products of mutation, the result of multiple bodies — often those of entirely different creatures — fused together into shambling, hideous things of malformed flesh and exposed bone.
- Fluffy the Terrible: Near the base of Black Mountain in New Vegas, there's a huge and irradiated centaur that's even further mutated that others of its kind, and is seemingly responsible for killing a Brotherhood patrol as he's guarding the bodies. And his name is Moe.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Literally. Centaurs are what you get when multiple creatures are thrown into a pit of FEV and left to fuse together as they mutate. In early games, human and canine traits are both clearly visible in the resulting centaurs.
- Multiple Head Case: In 1 and 2 only, with one dog head and a human head sharing the same body. The heads don't seem to get along, with the dog head trying to nip the human half.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: In this case, "centaur" refers to a mutated amalgam of creatures, including humans, with a roughly centaurine stance.
- Overly Long Tongue: In 3 and New Vegas, they sport a really long and conjoined tongue that they'll whip enemies with.
Once, these creatures were Jackson's chameleons, but secret experimentation and genetic engineering by the US government 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 games 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.
- Beef Gate: They serve as one in New Vegas. Your main quest has you trying reach the titular New Vegas city, and it seems like the straightest and shortest road to it is through Quarry Junction. Unfortunately, a huge pack of Deathclaws are nested across the whole area and walking through as a freshly made character will probably get you killed. You can either try your luck in sneaking across undetected, or go the route the main story intends you to follow through all the little towns along the way.
- 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.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Not that they were any more peaceful before, but in Fallout 3, the Enclave could be found having installed a mind control device on a Deathclaw's head to use them as attack animals on anything that isn't them. Disable this device to free them from their control, and the Deathclaw'll promptly turn on their controllers if they're nearby, likely killing most of them for you.
- 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.
- Finishing Move: In 4, they have several attacks used to finish off human foes.
- One has them grab the Sole Survivor and lift them up in the air. If they have high health or is wearing Powered Armor, the deathclaw just roar in their face and throw them. If the Sole Survivor would die from the next attack, it'll brandish its other claw menacingly for a moment before gutting them with a claw swipe.
- Another one takes place where the deathclaw uses its claw to skewer the unfortunate victim and chuck them very high in the air behind them, like throwing away a wad of paper.
- Their last one has them grabbing a human by the legs, whip them around in the air and slam their body right against the ground torso-first to splatter them.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Would you believe that these walking, ten-foot tall cuisinarts that can tank an Anti-Material Rifle slug or a mini-nuke to the face like it's 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.
- Homage: According to Scott Campbell (formerly of Interplay and who worked on both 1 and 2), their design was modelled to some extent after the Tarasque from Dungeons & Dragons.
- 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 into ribbons.
- 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: They can tear through power armor like tin cans.
- Super Toughness: Their skin by default has a damage threshold on par with standard Combat Armor (at least in 1, 2, and 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).
These genetically modified alligators were created by the late Dr. Darren McDermot centuries after the nuclear exchange, who cloned the gatorclaws as a means to protect himself, the Safari Adventure attraction in Nuka World, and most importantly the Nuka-Gen Replicator, a machine capable of cloning tissue samples and entire creatures. Killed by his own creations, gatorclaws now wander near Safari Adventure with the replicator still active and pumping out more over time.
- Bioweapon Beast: Like the deathclaws, they're created as vicious attack animals descended from an unmutated species. Where deathclaws came from the Jacksons chameleon, gatorclaws come from alligators.
- Gone Horribly Right: Dr. McDermot cloned creatures capable of defending the replicator from getting into the wrong hands alright, but not only did he die before he could shut it off, the machine is also replicating a constant supply of the beasts. His last words before he died of his injuries was a plea for anyone to stop the machine, but the gatorclaw presence has made that practically impossible.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Or a genetically modified alligator that dwarfs most living things it comes across. In any case, they're just as vicious and nimble as their deathclaw counterparts.
- Palette Swap: Minus their flatter, longer and hornless heads and their shorter claws, gatorclaws are functionally the same as deathclaws encountered normally. They share most of the same animations, fighting styles, they're about the same size and they've got the same weaknesses. The main difference is that gatorclaws can't grab and throw people.
- Respawning Enemies: Notably averted, unlike other enemies. Gatorclaws will not respawn once the replicator is dealt with, so killing them down to the last specimen will rid Nuka World of their presence.
- Unique Enemy: There's only one albino gatorclaw encountered, the rest are of the normal variety.
Flatworms mutated by exposure to intense radiation and FEV, floaters have become bizarre, grotesque creatures that drift through the air on sacs filled with biologically produced gas.
Two distinct types of floaters exist: the ones seen in California and associated with the Master's forces and the ones found in Appalachia, which look very different from one another.
- Acid Attack: Floater gnashers secrete acidic pus; they cannot launch like other variants due, instead coating their bites with it.
- Color-Coded Elements: In 76, the three floater variants are distinguished chiefly by the color of their eyes and saces — gnashers, which secrete acid, are green; flamers, which throw burning pus, are dark orange; and freezers, which can spray freezing liquid, are light blue.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: In 76, defeated floaters explode in a burst of acidic, burning or freezing-cold pus.
- Exotic Eye Designs: In Fallout 76, each floater variant has its own peculiar pupil shape — gnashers have cross-shaped pupils, flamers vertically rectangular ones, and freezers thin, horizontally rectangular pupils.
- An Ice Person: Floater freezers can spray volleys of freezing-cold fluids, which can severely damage machinery it lands on.
- Lamprey Mouth: The Californian floaters have a large circular mouth on their upper sides, which opens and closes radially and is lined with sharp teeth.
- Living Gasbag: They get their name from the large sacs growing from their bodies, which are filled with noxious, flammable gases that allow them to float in the air. Californian floaters have multiple egglike sacs spouting from their undersides, while Appalachian ones have a single large balloon growing from their heads.
- Multipurpose Tongue: Their tongues are long and very powerful, and serve as their primary weapons.
- Playing with Fire: Floater flamers secrete a highly flammable pus, which they can throw
- Stealthy Mook: Appalachian floaters hunt by burrowing beneath the ground and jumping out to ambush prey passing above.
- You Don't Look Like You: Fallout 76's floaters look almost nothing like the ones from the Black Isle games they were inspired by. They lack the earlier kind's radially-symmetrical mouths, horizontally flattened bodies, eyelessness and multiple small flotation sacs hanging from their undersides, instead having vertically-arranged bodies, roughly humanoid mouths and arm-like tentacles, multiple eyes and a single giant gas sac growing from their heads.
The giant mutated shrimp who lurk the foggy shores of Far Harbor, fog crawlers are irritable and highly territorial predators who respond to anything in their path with an unrelenting charge and claw swipes that can rip men apart, using their tough shells to shrug off gunfire and barrel right over their targets.
- Alien Lunch: Fog crawler meat is a pretty good reward for killing one, which can be cooked into fried fog crawler meat. When eaten, it grants a hefty health boost and gives damage resistance that raises even further if the weather is foggy or raining.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Mutated crustaceans as tall as a small tree.
- Boss Battle: Shipbreaker is a boss-leveled fog crawler who's established herself as an absurdly deadly and aggressive specimen even by her species' reputation. Old Longfellow tasks the Sole Survivor with tracking her down to end her terror on the island.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: The Enraged Fog Crawlers are the toughest variant, and they can take tons of effort to kill and run over any player who isn't decked out in their best gear.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Shrimp and crayfish are generally the bottom of the food chain, are usually smaller than your hand and tend to be at the mercy of their predators. This is clearly not the case anymore.
- Lightning Bruiser: Catch their attention and you'll find yourself backpedaling away as the thing gallops towards you, requiring multiple ammo magazines and/or several explosive weapons to put down.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: What exactly the fog crawler evolved from is somewhat of a mystery, with the best two contenders being the crayfish or the mantis shrimp (particularly the "spearers", the ones with long claws for arms and not fists). They arguably share the crayfish's head and upper body and mantis shrimp arms/weapons.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Due to a programming glitch, Enraged Fog Crawlers have a Damage Resistance of over 4000. To put that into perspective, that mean that they can walk off multiple Fat Man blasts like they're strolling through a summer rain. That damage resistance is more than twice what a fully upgraded set of X-01 power armor has.
- Seldom-Seen Species: If they are directly descended from the mantis shrimp anyways, since mantis shrimp, despite their reputation, aren't seen in media especially often.
Geckos descend from an unknown species of lizard native to the Oregon-California border that was mutated by exposure to environmental FEV contamination. They began to breed extremely quickly once their mutations stabilized and soon spread south into California proper; by the time of New Vegas, they've expanded into the Mojave Wasteland as well.
- Breath Weapon: Fire geckos can breathe fire.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Most geckos types are named after and distinguished by their scale color, including silver, golden and green geckos.
- Crafted From Animals: Gecko hides are valuable and strong, and are often used to create clothing and armor.
- Elite Mook: Fallout 2 has golden geckos, which have higher health and stats than the other kinds and deal radiation damage. In Fallout: New Vegas, they're superseded by green geckos with even higher stats and poisonous spit.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: In Fallout 2, silver geckos are the weakest and most common kind, while golden geckos are rarer and stronger.
- Shout-Out: Cut content for New Vegas includes a gigantic fire gecko with a super-strong fire breath and with stats high enough to allow it to kill even the strongest creatures in the final game. The game files call it as Gojira.
- Super Spit: Green geckos can spit poisonous saliva.
- Tastes Like Chicken: According to NPCs, properly cooked gecko meat tastes just like canned chicken.
The mutated, giant, and ravenous salamanders found in Far Harbor, Gulpers lurk around marshes and in trees waiting for potential prey. Using their giant maws, they'll swallow almost anything whole without regard for what's edible and what's not. Gulpers grow larger and stronger with age, with the eldest ones being far more deadly than the much more common young gulpers.
- Alien Lunch: Cooking gulper innards makes a gulper slurry, which can apparently grant the consumer invisibility, like a cheaper and shorter duration alternative to a stealth boy.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Their hides are strong enough to take a good amount of punishment, but their soft underbellies are especially vulnerable to damage.
- Car Fu: The largest gulpers are strong enough to punt wrecked cars, running the player over and likely killing them instantly.
- Death from Above: Along with waiting around in marshes, gulpers also like to find a tall tree, hang onto a branch with their tails and wait for prey to walk under them for a surprise attack. In gulper habitats, it pays to look up often to shoot them down before they land on you.
- Extreme Omnivore: Gulpers tend to eat first and worry about indigestion later, leaving plenty of inedible objects in their guts that was no doubt left from past meals.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: They went from the tiny, cute and relatively passive salamanders to a deadly and gluttonous predator capable of swallowing smaller (human) prey whole.
- Horror Hunger: Gulpers are noted to have an absolutely huge appetite, and examining their bodies after killing them can yield plenty of miscellaneous items they swallowed whole from past prey, more than likely humans, up to and including deathclaw hands.
- Stronger with Age: They'll get progressively bigger and even meaner than before the older they get, with adult gulpers dwarfing their smaller relatives easily.
- Vendor Trash: They tend to drop a bunch of junk items alongside their meat when killed, most of the time it's not worth much other than for crafting purposes.
Gigantic hermit crabs who nest inside vehicles, generally found in swampy and highly irradiated areas.
- Foreshadowing: Sometimes, you'll find tire tracks or grounded up pavement leading to a wrecked vehicle. Given that no one in Far Harbor, let alone the east coast, has a functioning car or know how to salvage one, that means something must've dragged it around. Sure enough, investigating the wreck can introduce you to a giant hungry crab inside.
- Giant Enemy Crab: Giant hermit crabs grown to the size of trucks.
- Jump Scare: They like to wait until you get really close before popping out of their 'shell' to attack, which is particularly nerve wracking because Far Harbor has tons of other trucks that look like the ones hermit crabs will settle into, but will be empty, meaning it's hard to know which ones have a giant crab in it and which ones are hollowed out.
- Mighty Glacier: They very strong and have excellent defenses, but are slow, clumsy and poorly suited to chasing enemies. This is emphasized in elite variants, which become stronger and tougher but even slower.
- Stealthy Mook: They hide inside wrecked trucks indistinguishable from regular scenery, until you get close and the crab pops out to attack.
- Unique Enemy: Downplayed in Far Harbor. There are several hanging around the Isle, but there's a set number of them and they do not respawn when killed — consequently, there's only a finite number you can encounter, after which there won't be any more.
- Visual Pun: They nest inside wrecked "Lobster Grill Family Restaurant" trucks.
- Weaponized Offspring: They can attack distant players by spitting their own offspring at them.
Giant, mutated and flightless queen bees found in post-War Appalachia, honey beasts carry their nests on their abdomen and wander in search of food. If threatened, the queen can easily attack back with their deadly mandibles and rush prey down while receiving support for their worker bees emerging from the nest to attack.
- Bee Afraid: Be very afraid of giant queen bees with mandibles large enough to split a person in half.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Honey beasts are roughly the size of a car, and they've got the temper to run people over just as well as one.
- Body Horror: Likely owing to being merely 25 years after the nuclear exchange, honey beasts have their giant nests jutting out of their bodies like a cancer tumor with plenty of exits for the worker drones. With how heavy and vulnerable the queen is, it might not out of the question to believe that they've gone extinct through natural selection as the new post-war ecosystem settled in, or are only able to thrive in the Appalachia's environment.
- Odd Friendship: Curiously, bloatflies and honey beasts get along well and will help each other in a fight.
- Zerg Rush: Anger the queen, and her swarm of bees will join the fight as well.
Giant praying mantis found in the Mojave Wasteland, giant mantis are the result of experimentation in Vault 22, which also happened to have been testing new pesticides. On top of its inhabitants being wiped out by their own pest control, these insects also escaped out of the Vault and established themselves as another predator to be encountered in the wastes.
- Ass Kicking Pose: Actually their idle animation, where a mantis will pose their forelimbs in the air and spread their vibrant wings if they're not hunting.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Like most Fallout insects, they're pretty huge and can easily prey on humans given the chance.
- Everyone Has Standards: Strangely for a Wasteland predator, Mojave mantis aren't too fond of trying to eat Ghouls and left Dr. Kelly alone despite having her at their mercy inside their cave. Could be a case of Shown Their Work, as real life mantis prefer their prey fresh and usually alive.
- Glass Cannon: Their damaging claws and love for lunging at their prey is offset by their fragile frame, a good attack from most weapons can bring them down.
- Slaying Mantis: Their hunting instinct's as good as their Pre-War's relative, only now basically any living thing's on the menu for them.
Massive sloths that are basically the Megatherium brought back from extinction thanks to radiation, and are now found throughout post-War Appalachia.
- Fog of Doom: Poisonous mushrooms grow in the algae on their back fur and become a deadly fog of spores in combat.
- Gentle Giant: Downplayed; they're still very dangerous animals and are far more aggressive than real-world sloths, but they mostly like to be left alone and won't go out of their way to attack people.
- Giant Mook: They stand well over nine feet tall.
- Historical In-Joke: Their presence in 76 is likely an allusion to how the Megatherium is the state fossil of West Virgina, the game's primary setting.
- Lightning Bruiser: They're surprisingly quick at dodging attacks in combat.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Justified, as they were originally exotic pets of a local rich kid and escaped into the wild after the Great War.
Rather than being a single type of creatures, the Mirelurks are a complex of multiple mutated animal species — chiefly horseshoe crabs, Atlantic blue crabs, lobsters and snapping turtles — living in a complex symbiotic lifestyle. They are native to the East Coast, rarely appearing further west than the Appalachians, and are usually found near bodies of water, such as swamps, rivers, sewage systems and the sea.
The mirelurks have the dubious honor of being one of the earliest strains of mutant animals to emerge, likely tracing their origins to abnormally large crabs and lobsters that emerged in the western Atlantic as a result of careless pollution by megacorporations and the apathetic US government.
- Acid Attack: In 4, the Mirelurk Hunters gain the ability to spew this from their mouths, which they do liberally. Mirelurk Queens have an even bigger, stronger version that can melt most humanoid enemies into piles of goo in only a few hits.
- Alien Lunch: Mirelurk meat is prized among wastelanders as a delicious and reasonably accessible source of food, making the mirelurk trade a lucrative and competitive career for hunters.
- 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.
- Mirelurk hunters started out in 3 as simply spiky, dark brown, more intimidating versions of the standard mirelurk. In 4, theyve turned into giant mutant lobsters, an entirely different species from their horseshoe crab kin. They do have a spiritual successor in the form of the killclaw though, an upgraded version of the standard mirelurk who looks a lot like the former hunter variant.
- 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.
- Attack Its Weak Point: For the crab variants, you need to attack them from the front and especially their face to deal damage. Hit them in the shell from behind, and you might as well have just thrown a rock at them.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mirelurk queens are utterly massive, about the size of a two-story building.
- Dig Attack: They're not as adept at it like radscorpions and mole rats in 4, but oftentimes you'll encounter mirelurks lying in wait beneath the sand or huge piles of trash. Get too close to where they're hiding and they'll pop right out to give chase.
- 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.
- Insect Queen: Despite being crustaceans, the enormous mirelurk queens fit most points of this trope. They appear to be where most horseshoe crab-type 'lurks come from, even being able to quickly eject barrages of hatchlings as a weapon and distraction, and are easily the largest and toughest members of the mirelurk species complex.
- Lightning Bruiser:
- Mirelurk hunters in 4 are faster than the regular mirelurks, can hit even harder, and their shell protect their entire body unlike the regular mirelurks who are heavily armored from the back but weak from the front. Also unlike the other mirelurks, they don't have any obvious weak spots to exploit other than crippling their legs to slow them down.
- Mirelurk kings are the fastest variant, and while they don't have shells of any kind, they rely instead on pure muscle and endurance to fight past gunfire to maul their prey.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Mirelurk kings can shout a mesmetron-like attack at their prey to hit them from a distance.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The crab-based mirelurks appear to be this at a genetic level — an Enclave terminal in 3 contains research data which notes that their genome contains distinctive markers of both horseshoe and Atlantic blue crabs, suggesting that these distinct species were somehow hybridized or converged into one another to produce modern mirelurks.
- Mixed Animal Species Team: "Mirelurks" refers to an entire caste system of aquatic animal species who live in a symbiotic relationship. Horseshoe crabs (genetically mixed with blue crabs for good measure), lobsters, and mutant turtles make up the relationship, though how or why exactly these animals got together isn't really clear. The crab variants make the bulk of the system, serving as the main defenders of their territory with a gigantic queen responsible for breeding more numbers, the hunters/lobsters are implied to be tasked with hunting for food, and the king/turtle variants are implied to be in some kind of controlling position, using their greater intelligence to direct the other mirelurks in defending their territory and gathering food.
- Power Pincers: Their claws can easily cripple limbs, a danger that becomes apparent if youre playing in survival mode.
- 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 mirelurks, weaker softshell mirelurks, the highly irradiated glowing mirelurks and nukalurks that deal radiation damage, and the powerful bloodrage Mir mirelurks lurks.
- 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 and deep kings in 4 and 76.
- Weaponized Offspring: Mirelurk queens can shoot barrages of their own hatchlings at foes.
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 both 4 and 76 comes with bombs strapped to its back. Their main means of attack consists of simply running at you and detonating. Even on a high-level character with good armor, this typically results in a One-Hit Kill.
- Art Evolution: They're significantly skinnier and smaller in 4 and 76 compared to their appearances in the previous two games.
- Attack Animal: In Appalachia, many of the local mole rats have been domesticated by the mole miners and assist them in combat.
- 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 doesn't completely suck.
- Progressively Prettier: Inverted; They're downright adorable in 3 and New Vegas, but look like the hideous radioactive mutants they actually are in 4 and 76.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: They're far more dangerous in Fallout 4 and 76 than they were in previous games since they now attack in packs and can tunnel under the earth to catch the player unawares.
- 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.
The result of dogs being exposed/experimented on by FEV. First appearing in Appalachia and the Commonwealth, and can be always found accompanying their Super Mutant masters into battle.
- Admiring the Abomination: Like with centaurs, most super mutants think of mutant hounds like how we'd think of a loyal dog, caring for them like pets. Erickson in Far Harbor can even potentially sell tamed mutant hounds to the Sole Survivor to help with defending local settlements.
- Attack Animal: They work alongside super mutants in battle, often howling to warn of intruders before charging forward and biting at the enemy.
- Beware of Vicious Dog: They're vicious, ill-tempered beasts that have been trained by their masters to maul anything in their path.
- Body Horror: Their bodies are heavily over-muscled and hairless, their skin is a discolored yellowish-green, their heads are severely oversized, and their teeth are so big that their mouths can't fully close.
- Bully Bulldog: According to Word of God, the vast majority of mutant hounds were formerly pitbulls.
- Canis Major: They're roughly three feet tall at the shoulder and about five feet along from snout to tail.
- Hell Is That Noise: Likely due to Rule of Scary, but for whatever reason, the howl of a mutant hound sounds more like a war horn than anything even remotely resembling a normal dog's howl.
- Sickly Green Glow: Some mutant hounds have been ghoulified by radiation poisoning and pulse with an ugly green light.
- Maximum HP Reduction: Their bites inflict radiation damage, lowering the Player Character's maximum health.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To centaurs from earlier games. They fulfill a similar role as mutant creatures kept by super mutants as Attack Animals and pets, along with also being the result of FEV experimentation.
A genetic splicing of rattlesnake and coyote DNA, Nightstalkers are found in packs across the Mojave Wasteland. They're a deadly force for wandering Wastelanders thanks to their pack hunting nature and dangerous venom, overwhelming prey from multiple angles to bring them down.
- Bioweapon Beast: They were artificially created by Dr. Borous, one of the researchers at the Big MT scientific facility, largely for the hell of it. They were supposed to be sterile, but naturally enough they weren't and spread like wildfire after the nuclear war.
- Boss Battle: The Legendary Nightstalker, found in the Bloodborne Cave. Like all Legendary animals it's overwhelmingly strong, but this nightstalker is also the most fragile of the roster.
- Gradual Grinder: Like the cazadores, they favor killing their prey with venom overtime, although theirs isn't as fatal as cazador venom. Also like the cazadores, fighting a pack of nightstalkers unprepared will probably get you killed long before the venom can take you out.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Dr. Borous of Big MT couldn't remember whether he created these things to save rattlesnake DNA, or because someone dared him to, but either way he ended up breeding these strange creatures to have the bodies of coyotes and the heads and tails of rattlesnakes. Vocally, they will also bark and whimper like coyotes and let out warning rattles and hiss like rattlesnakes.
- The Rival: To the cazador population in Big MT, as they were both made in the same research facility. Long after breaking containment, these animals are competing for territory in the labs. Out in the Mojave, though, it's not as pronounced.
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.
- Square-Cube Law: They cannot fly, and an Enclave research log in 3 notes that this is likely due to how, because of them simply being upscaled roaches, their wing musculature simply isn't able to lift their increased body mass.
- 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.
- Finishing Move: On low health players, they can use their stinger to impale them right in the chest and raise the corpse up in the air before shaking them loose.
- Jump Scare: In 4 where they have the ability to burrow. Unlike the small radroaches and mole rats, and the mirelurks who have a reasonably far distance to get alerted from, radscorpions love to wait until you're right on top of them before they jump from their hiding spot. Often times, you'll find a valuable looking dead body or container to loot from only to approach it and have an angry radscorpion spawn right in your face.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: They get elevated from being Goddamned Bats in Fallout: New Vegas to outright Demonic Spiders in Fallout 4 thanks to their significant increase in size, larger health pools, stronger armor, deadlier poison damage, and ability to tunnel below the ground to avoid attacks and catch others unawares.
- 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.
Radstags are mutated deer who, after the Great War, have developed an assortment of strange and dramatic mutations across their bodies, the most obviously being their second living head. They're found mostly on the East Coast and Appalachia, and are prized as valuable prey animals by post-War hunters.
- Ascended to Carnivorism: "Devolved" radstags can be found on Mount Desert Island in the Far Harbor DLC for Fallout 4. Unlike their mainland counterparts, these carnivorous radstags have sharp fangs and will actively search out for prey (read: you).
- Body Horror: The radstags' mutations, unfortunately for them, match the debilitating effects of real-life mutagens a lot more closely than usual for Fallout animals. They have two useless, malformed vestigial legs dangling from the front of their chests, along with areas of hairless, inflamed flesh and numerous cysts leaking pus found in their patchy fur. The devolved radstags have it even worse, with what looks like gaping holes in their flanks, cracked leathery skin, and heavily twisted horns.
- Dirty Coward: The loading screen hints for Fallout 4 outright describes a radstag as "a pathetic creature that will likely run at the first sign of contact".
- Finishing Move: If forced to fight back, radstags with antlers will charge the player to the ground, grind them up with their antlers and headbutt them a couple feet ahead.
- Fragile Speedster: They don't have that much health and don't deal that much damage either, but are incredibly fast and so actually hitting one will likely be the toughest challenge one will face if they ever want/need to kill a Radstag.
- The Goomba: They're among the weakest of the series' Wasteland mutants, though they can prove to be actually dangerous to underleveled players if they're backed into a corner.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: If sufficiently threatened, they can kill the Player Character by skewering them on their horns.
- The Marvelous Deer: In a quest in Far Harbor, you confront Brother Devin, a member of the Children of Atom who is killing himself in an extreme religious fast. He claims to have found his faith when, while indulging his drug habit in the woods one day, a "verdant stag, wreathed in holy Glow" (i.e. a glowing radstag) strode out of the sky and commanded him to give up his iniquities and devote himself to Atom.
- Multiple Head Case: Like brahmin, their two heads are both fully functioning and alive, and seemingly in perfect sync with each other given how fluidly they move, unlike real-world conjoined animals who can struggle to move in sync with their attached partner. Notably, their "inner" eyes are shown to be blind and their matching horns are noticeably malformed.
- Non-Indicative Name: "Radstag" is used a generic term for the entire species, despite it strictly referring to male deer in real life — females are called "radstag does".
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Like the deer that they're descended from, their primary strategy whenever spotted by any threat is to run like Hell in the opposite direction.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Mutation gave them another pair of legs between and in front of their old front pair, although they're small, malformed and hang uselessly a good couple feet above the ground.
Referred to alternatively as giant rats, radrats or simply rats, multiple strains of mutated murines can be found throughout the wastes of North America.
- Body Horror: Certain varieties in 4 and 76 have large patches on their bodies where their skin is simply missing, covering them in ugly, bleeding lesions.
- Cowardly Mooks: Giant rat pups in New Vegas will flee from players on sight, and will only attack if stronger specimens are around. Justified as, in-universe, they're still juveniles.
- The Goomba: While the largest ones can provide a decent threat even in the late game, the vast majority of these guys are small, weak and pretty pathetic, and only menace even novice players when in groups. The ones in 76 are even among the particularly weak enemies intended to serve as a source of food more than as actual threats.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Depending on the specific breed and individual, they can reach anywhere from the size of a cat to the size of a grown human being.
- You Dirty Rat!: Viciously aggressive mutant rats found swarming through the ruins of civilization.
- Zerg Rush: The smaller varieties are usually fairly weak, but are often found in large groups and can overwhelm players through numbers, attrition and multidirectional attacks.
The result of the Appalachian Enclave's biochemical experiments on irradiated bats after the Great War, scorchbeasts are terrifyingly massive and dangerous beasts who are responsible for the spread of the "Scorched Plague", a devastating virus that converts all life it comes into contact with into a Hive Mind of feral and cannibalistic monsters.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Scorchbeasts have the wingspan of small planes.
- Bat Out of Hell: Scorchbeasts are an extreme version of this, being truck-sized, monstrously aggressive, plague-spreading bats that drove all surviving civilization in Appalachia to extinction.
- Beneath the Earth: They live primarily below ground, sometimes clawing to the surface in devastating "fissure events" that require the resultant rifts to be nuked in order to prevent the spread of the Scorched Plague.
- Big Bad: The Scorchbeasts as a whole are this for Fallout: 76, with the game's main plot being dedicated to driving them to extinction so as to prevent them from spreading to the outside world.
- Civilization Destroyer: They — and specifically the plague they spread — are the reason why there is no surviving civilization in Appalachia at the start of 76.
- The Dreaded: All surviving records across Appalachia describe these creatures with utter terror and awe, and it's for a damn good reason.
- Fog of Doom: Scorchbeasts can summon clouds of radioactive fog around themselves when in combat.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: The scorchbeasts descend from mundane bats turned into monsters by the Enclave's experiments.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: The scorchbeasts' primary attack is to unleash an ear-splitting sonic scream from their mouths.
- Mook Maker: By virtue of spreading the Scorched Plague, scorchbeasts can convert other forms of life to their aid and use them in battle.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: The scorchbeasts are so ridiculously tough that it takes point-blank nuclear strikes to destroy their nests and leave them open to being killed.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're the closest thing that a retro-futurisitic Speculative Fiction setting like Fallout can get to actual Western dragons without diving outright into Science Fantasy, what with them being huge, four-legged flying monsters with a devastating Breath Weapon that desire nothing more than to destroy everything in their path.
- Plaguemaster: Their main threat (as if being giant mutated Nigh-Invulnerable bats wasn't enough) is that they're the primary vector for the Scorched Plague, which mutates any lifeform it comes into contact with into a monstrous, crystal-covered pseudo-zombie that attacks all life that isn't infected by the plague.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of the Appalachian Enclave, who were trying to use them so as to artificially raise the DEFCON level to justify another nuclear strike against China on the orders of the profoundly delusional Secretary Eckhart.
Some of the fastest most aggressive insects found in the Commonwealth, Stingwings make their nests across the Wasteland and emerge to defend them in small swarms, delivering venomous stings while making sure their prey can't flee.
- Animal Gender-Bender: In scorpionflies, only the males have the long tail that looks like a stinger, as it's actually a set of claspers used for mating. Stingwings in Fallout have apparently evolved to make these tails universal within the species.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Stingwings are a fair sight larger than real scorpionflies, reaching the dimensions of a good-sized bird of prey.
- Fragile Speedster: Stingwings are fast and can hit hard, but their small size means that you can blow them away reliably once they're in your crosshairs.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Scorpionflies aren't an especially popular species of insect, yet they've been featured in 4 as some of the more dangerous creatures the game has to offer.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: They're fast, flying, venomous, swarm-attacking and highly dangerous predators among insects. In other words, they're the East Coast equivalent of cazadores.
- Appearances: Fallout 2
Weird... creatures that infest the Great Wanamingo Mine in Redding. Some can also be found roaming around Northern California and in the lower decks of the PMV Valdez in San Francisco. They're also called "aliens" by the Wasteland at large, but are actually a pre-war creation of the USA to serve as shock troopers, similar to Deathclaws.
- Bioweapon Beast: They were created in a lab by American scientists, but in the aftermath of the Great War they got loose in New California.
- Cowardly Mooks: While vicious in battle, should one of their limbs be crippled, they become utterly harmless and only flee, never attacking again.
- Demonic Spiders: They're not the worst thing you can fight in the game, but clearing their mine is no picnic.
- Development Gag: The Fallout 76 update "One Wasteland For All" adds a Wanamingo plushie based on the concept art of the mutant Wanamingos that were cut from Fallout 3.
- Dying Race: It's mentioned in the Fallout Bibles that they go extinct five years after the events of Fallout 2 due to some kind of built-in "genetic clock", which isn't elaborated much upon, but was likely built into them by the pre-war USA as a means of population control. Plus, they can only reproduce through a queen, and the Chosen One shoots the only (known) one.
- Hive Queen: She lays eggs and acts as the boss of the Great Wanamingo Mine.
- Kill It with Fire: Low DT against fire, yay!
- Made of Iron: They have fairly high resistances to most damage types, except fire.
- Shout-Out: Their head and mouths make them look like xenomorphs. Plus they're lead by a queen that lays eggs. They're also weak to fire, encouraging you to dispatch them with a flamethrower. Plus their lair is covered in biological goo, probably secreted by them, just like the alien hives. It may or may not be a coincidence, but there's also an utility elevator leading right into their queen's nest, complete with eggs, just like in the climax of Aliens.
- Super Toughness: The regular Wanamingos are no joke, but the "tough" variants and the queen have a DT of 12 for normal damage, the equivalent of regular T-51b Power Armor.
- Starfish Aliens: They're not really aliens, but they're certainly incredibly weird, and don't look like any natural animal. Even the game interface is confused. When you take aimed shots at them their body parts like are labelled with question marks. If they're shot in the "eyes", the dialogue box will say their "air intake (?) was damaged".
- What Could Have Been: It was planned at some point to include them in Fallout 3, but only concept art of them remains. They were also supposed to appear in the lower levels of the EPA],] which was cut from ''VideoGame/Fallout2'' (and which the [[GameMod Restoration Patch brings back).
Native to Far Harbor, the core design of wolves hasn't changed very much in post-war America, bearing only a larger set of teeth and claws with a leaner build. What has changed however is their boldness and ferocity, wasting no time in surrounding their prey from multiple angles to bring down the force of the pack on them.
- Angry Guard Dog: You can buy tamed wolves from Erickson to act as guard dogs for your settlements.
- Fragile Speedster: Compared to the fast and sturdy fog crawlers and gulpers, and the slower but deadly anglers and yao guai, wolves stand out as these on the island. Even their toughest variants won't need as much effort to kill as the other mutant animals.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Black wolves are the weakest of the packs, while the pale white variants tend to be tougher, only outdone by rabid wolves who have brown coats.
- Savage Wolves: While real-life wolves attacks are generally rare, Far Harbor wolves will charge and surround humans on sight.
Mutated from the black bears that populated America before the Great War, yao guai live up to their species' legacy as some of the most powerful land predators to walk the Earth, just short of being apex predators thanks to being outdone by the deathclaws. Due to their decayed and undead-like physique, it's possible that yao guai are the bear equivalent of ghouls.
- Bears Are Bad News: They're oversized, ravenous and eager to attack and kill anything for a meal. They're about some of the worst things you can bump into in the wild. Notably, their species of origin, black bears, is by far the smallest and least aggressive of the two bear species in North America.
- Beary Friendly. Not by default, but take the Animal Friend perk in 3 and they'll be pacified by your presence and leave you be, or even come to help protect you if you're in trouble near them with the second rank of the perk. It doesn't work at all in ''New Vegas'' though, and in 4 it's a coin flip if you try to pacify them.
- Boss Battle: The Ghost of She, a giant flaming yao guai ghost that the Courier is sent to kill as part of a trial. Well, it might be a flaming ghost and might not be, given that the Courier was high and hallucinating off of tribal herbal tea at the time.
- The Bus Came Back: After being absent in the base version of New Vegas, the yao guai came back with a vengeance in the Honest Hearts DLC. They're absurdly powerful and sturdy, and they can easily grow to sizes that eclipse the player. Bumping into one without preparation can lead to a swift death.
- Depending on the Artist: Yao guais go through a rather significant shift in appearance between New Vegas and 4. In the earlier games, they're much more deformed, with scabrous, greenish skin, narrow muzzles and arms much longer than their legs. In and after 4 they're much more ursine, retaining the body and facial proportions of bears and more subdued skin colors.
- Establishing Character Moment: A brief one in Honest Hearts, where shortly into your trek into the canyons you can spy a giant yao guai maul a giant gecko and take off, warning the player that the yao guai are back and bigger than ever.
- Finishing Move: When killing injured humans in 4, they can throw their entire weight on their prey and pin them down while they take a huge bite from the victim's throat.
- Lightning Bruiser: They're not the fastest in the Wastes, but they're fast enough to keep up with a human and maul them to death if they aren't gunned down in time.
- Mini Mook: Stunted yao guai in 4, which are smaller and weaker versions of the standard yao guai. Whether they're juveniles or are suffering from a growth defect isn't clear, but they're typically encountered in the lower levels of the player's playthrough as an introduction to yao guai before the real deal shows up.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: In Mandarin Chinese, "yaoguai" translates to "demon" or "monster". Given their reputation, they've earned that title.
- Wreathed in Flames: In the Honest Hearts DLC for New Vegas, you can fight a possibly hallucinatory yao guai wreathed in fire called the "Ghost of She".
Robots and Artificial Intelligences
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker: Many of the dumber robots in the series can be found still continuing on (or at least trying to) with the work they previously accomplished before the Great War.
- Ace Custom: The Sole Survivor in Fallout 4 is capable of building as many custom robots as they can manage with the Automatron DLC, mixing and matching parts and weapons to create faithful recreations to the base models or strange-looking Frankenbots sourced from multiple robot models.
- Achilles' Heel: Pulse bombs and ammo deals a significant amount of damage to robotic enemies, bypassing their heavy armors and leaving them close to destruction, if not outright zapped to death.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: A running theme is just how horribly most robots adapted to the Wasteland, with degradation, isolation and limited and very situational programming making most of them turn into rampaging and mindless threats who are usually found trying to kill everything in sight, and if not that then clinging onto a twisted aspect of their duties. Taking the Robotics Expert perk will allow the player character to sneak up on a robot no matter its allegiance and hack into it to either go on a rampage or support you like you're its master.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: In 4, Legendary robots will explode upon defeat, erupting into a massive mushroom-cloud explosion after a delay. Even the lowly Protectron can posthumously blast the player to bits if they don't see this coming, so it goes without saying that you should start running for cover if you're not out the blast zone.
- Electronic Speech Impediment: Starting in 4, a robot's voice will start to stutter, cut off mid sentence and glitch out heavily if they've taken severe damage and are close to death.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: It's not unheard of for robots to achieve a higher sense of self, form their opinions on certain subjects and grow bonds with people or things they know. Whether it's from the help of some humans reprogramming them, or something they do on their own will vary. Part of this is likely because many pre-War robots were actually downloaded with "personality subroutines" to emulate human behavior and make them be less frightening to their human owners; naturally, the dividing line between these artificial personalities and an actual developed personality is intentionally vague and contradictory.
- KL-E-0 in Fallout 4 is an Assaultron, AKA an incredibly lethal and merciless military machine. She's perfectly happy to have opened up a gun store in Goodneighbor and run her business, obvious bloodlust aside.
- Captain Ironsides, also from Fallout 4, was originally a tourist guide on the USS Constitution, a pre-War tourist attraction. Since his masters died, he's apparently taken control of the ship and its crew, who have also gained varying levels of sentience, to embark on a vague mission of continuing the war against China. This leads to some delicious Irony, with the hulking, jolly and endearingly friendly Sentry Bot captain having to talk down his First Mate, a frail, bloodthirsty and outwardly hostile Protectron, from killing visitors.
- No-Sell: With the understandable exception of Gen 3 Synths, all robots are naturally immune to venom, poison, and radiation.
- Robot Buddy: Frequently, the more intelligent robots are found adventuring or living with their owners as loyal partners with varying degrees of sentience.
- Murderous Malfunctioning Machine: They were probably in a stable condition before the bombs, but centuries of being left to rust and malfunction out in the Wasteland has left a huge chunk of them to be wandering threats who gun down hapless Wastelanders just for crossing their paths.
- Robot Soldier: Nearly every one of them were used by the US military as infantry or support units, these models can be distinguished with green US army paint and white stars.
- Super Powered Robot Meter Maid: Most of the domestic robots often feature dangerous armaments (such as the Mister Handy's buzz saw) for no clearly defined reason.
- Killer Robot: Any robot can be programmed to be one of these, and any military manufactured robot is going to be one by default to varying degrees of effectiveness.
- Mecha-Mooks: Most robots were utilized by the United States military before the Great War in the Resource Wars against China. After the Great War, many surviving robots have taken up this role again for more advanced factions, such as the Brotherhood of Steel, Enclave, and Gunners (among others).
- Taking You with Me: In Fallout 4 and beyond, most robots will activate their self-destruct and try to bum-rush the Player Character as a last-ditch effort to kill them if all of their arms have been crippled.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Many robots have had their self-awareness increasingly questioned as the series goes on. Most are essentially Dumb Muscle, but a surprisingly high amount (mostly, but not limited to, the various robotic companions that the Player Characters have assembled over the franchise's course) show self-awareness on par with a human, to the point where this is made one of the Central Themes in Fallout 4 regarding the humanity of the Institute's Synths.
Sophisticated and humanoid war machines, Assaultrons are close-quarters military fighters who can beat and slice through targets at close range with ease. From a distance, they can charge and fire a devastatingly powerful laser attack from their heads to vaporize anything caught in its sight. Assaultrons can come armed with stealth fields to hide themselves, and their arms can be outfitted with standard clamps or serrated blades.
- Achilles' Heel: Like Deathclaws, their relentlessly aggressive melee combat A.I. makes crippling their legs a major weakness, reducing them to a desperate crawl. Heck, Assaultrons actually have it worse than Deathclaws, as a Deathclaw can still hobble around on crippled legs while an Assaultron's crippled legs are physically blown off of their bodies. That being said, they're still dangerous in this "reduced" state thanks to their head lasers and surprisingly fast crawling speed.
- Animals Hate Him: Inverted, if a hostile Assaultron sees Dogmeat, they might make it a point to give this comment:Dogs. I hate dogs.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: The higher-level Assaultrons have their drill-clamps replaced with long sword-like blades.
- Cold Ham: Compared to the menacing Sentry Bot and the bombastic Mister Gutsy, Assaultrons stand out as eerily calm and sadistic military machines who'll hardly raise their voice to anything but Tranquil Fury when hunting their enemies.
- Contralto of Danger: All Assaultrons speak with a husky, sultry, and rough feminine voice, making them sound similar to a robotic Femme Fatale.
- Cyber Cyclops: It may seem like this, but the big red and glowing center of their face is not their actual eye. A closer look will show that they've got two little optics sitting above their face plate.
- Determinator: Sustaining severe damage that tears their armor off, down to having their legs blown off and being forced to crawl, will do nothing to dissuade a hostile Assaultron from trying to kill their target.I have not been programmed to fail.
- The Dreaded: It's quite telling how dangerous and terrifying Assaultrons are that every single one of the Sole Survivor's companions in 4 has their own worried remarks to make upon seeing a hostile Assaultron.
- Elite Mooks: The Gunners seem to favor using Assaultrons more than other robot models, with squads of Gunners often having a Assaultron traveling with them or their strongholds being supported by plenty of the machines.
- FemBot: In a sense, as they appear to have Non-Mammalian Mammaries due to their robotic bust and also speak with a vaguely feminine tone of voice.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Utterly defied. Assaultrons sport feminine programming and are the melee-combat and infiltration specialists, while the more masculine programmed robots prefer to shoot lasers, bullets and explosives.
- Homage: According to The Art of Fallout 4, Assaultrons as a whole were heavily inspired by the design of bombers and similar aircraft developed by the United States during World War II.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: A rare case that also overlaps with Improbable Aiming Skills. In terms of their head lasers, Assaultrons can display terrifying levels of accuracy, being able to hit opponents from across the battlefield with the effectiveness of a professional sniper. However, if the Sole Survivor installs ranged weapons on an Assaultron's limbs with the Automatron DLC, they will quickly learn that an Assaultron can't hit the broad side of a barn with their new armaments.
- Invisibility: One of the main advantages seen with the higher-leveled Assaultrons in combat is a stealth field (think like a Stealth Boy), which they can use to sneak up on enemies and catch them unawares.
- Invisibility Flicker: Their stealth fields aren't perfect, though, and a perceptive player can recognize the smoky "flicker" over the background environment that the field creates.
- Lightning Bruiser: They're by far the quickest hostile robots in the whole franchise excluding floating Eyebots, sprinting right at their enemies faster than most can move to start pummeling them in a melee fight, and their durability is only out-done by the Sentry Bot. Putting on Assaultron legs on your robot follower you can build will make them just as fast as them.
- One-Hit Kill: Even when wearing a suit of fully upgraded X-01 Power Armor, the Sole Survivor will be turned into a smouldering pile of ash if an Assaultron head laser so much as grazes them.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: A metaphorical case since their head laser isn't actually their eye, but the point still stands that one should run for the hills when they see an Assaultron's central "eye" start glowing scarlet.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Not to the point of Institute Synths, but Assaultrons sport a very human-like build, possess a feminine figure (up to their chest batteries resembling a bosom) and got some sarcastic and sadistic remarks to make when hunting their targets. Their human-like form was likely meant to aid in performing stealthy infiltration and assassination missions, along with making them more able to comfortably fit into the trenches used throughout the Resource Wars. Notably, their physique is apparently convincing enough that Hancock can see one and mistake it for a real woman from a distance, start to flirt with it and only then realize it's an angry robot before attacking. And on a side note, a Random Encounter in 4 can have a trio of insane Assaultrons assault the male Sole Survivor while rambling how he is "a pretty boy!"
- Robo Romance: If Nick Valentine sees an Assaultron charging him with intent to kill, he may sarcastically state the following:Nick Valentine: Guess asking for a date's out of the question at this point?
- Sadist: Implied through just how aggressive Assaultrons sound when hunting humans and how brutal their executions are.
- Shock and Awe: Some of the higher-level Assaultrons have "shock claws," which manifests in their claws visibly crackling with electricity and allowing them to inflict energy damage along with physical/ballistic damage on their opponents in melee combat.
- There's No Kill Like Overkill: A human, including the player, getting killed by an Assaultron can lead to four possible executions.
- The human is pinned to the floor as the Assaultron stabs/punches into their chest repeatedly to finish them off.
- The human is held up into the air with one arm and has their guts crushed/stabbed into by the other arm several times, before the Assaultron drops them.
- The human is held up in the air like before, but the Assaultron instead fires a point-blank laser cannon blast, completely vaporizing them.
- The human has their shoulders grabbed by the Assaultron and is forced to their knees while it charges and fires a point-blank laser blast to their face.
Dogs have always been useful animals to humanity, but the limits of their biology also limit their uses in an increasingly technological world. Cyberdogs are the pre-War government's way to address this issue, fitting dogs with a large number of technological modifications to make man's best friend smarter, stronger, tougher and deadlier than it's ever been.
- Artificial Limbs: Their augmentations include robotic left forelegs and hindquarters.
- Brain in a Jar: Their brains are contained within transparent cases on their skulls. They can be swapped out for fresh ones when brain decay sets in; the cybernetics in their brain cases allow for a personality backup, letting them keep their original memories while the ones from the new brain meld with them.
- Cyborg: Cyborg dogs with a healthy helping of Zeerust, with a visible Brain in a Jar, mechanical legs and jaws, artificial internal organs, and gratuitous visible fans in their mechanical components.
- Living Weapon: The K9000 cyberdog guns take their enhancements to the extreme, paring the organic dog down to nothing but a preserved brain and sensory organs mounted on a heavy firearm, using the dog's senses and intelligence to create a gun that can track targets and fire on its own.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: The Mk III military-service cyberdogs have vocal enhancements that turn their barking into bursts of sonic force.
- Robot Dog: Mechanically upgraded canines with both organic and cybernetic components, created to be ultimate police and security animals.
A product of RobCo Industries, the Eyebot was created with providing instant and mobile access to radio broadcasts in mind. Thanks to their facial and audio recognition software however, they're also frequently used as security, scouts and spies by their owners. After the bombs fell, they can still be found wandering around the Wasteland seemingly aimlessly, whether playing propaganda from their new owners or as scouts for various factions.
- Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Downplayed in 3 when the Enclave is still hidden and Eden uses them to play amicable American propaganda, but embraced once the Enclave fully reveals themselves and march out on the offensive. Eyebots and the Enclave radio will play Eden's now militaristic vows to reclaim America through warfare (if he's still alive). Notably, one found lazily wandering the Commonwealth in 4 can alert the Sole Survivor to the existence of Cambridge Polymer Labs far before they need to go to that location for the Railroad's main questline.
- Cute Machines: Despite their normally villainous usage, they're round and cute drones a little bigger than a your head. Probably because of this, an Eyebot named ED-E ("Eddie") has played as the Courier's potential Robot Buddy in the main story and has a starring role in Lonesome Road, and as the Mechanist's sidekick in justice (Sparks).
- The Goomba: A more justified example, as Eyebots were never meant for combat in the first place, something even a Protectron can be outfitted to do at their owners discretion. They're rarely ever hostile by design, but if one is trying to kill you then a good hit or two from a good weapon you have is all you'd need to blow it up. Their laser blaster is also pitifully weak, so an unarmored player doesn't have much to worry about.
- Super Prototype: The mostly unseen Duraframe Eyebots was meant to be an overall superior upgrade to the standard Eyebot with more combat potential in mind to better fit the Enclave. The project was eventually scrapped in favor of Hellfire Armor, leaving only ED-E as the seen example of the line.
- Surveillance Drone: Their secondary purpose after radio broadcasting is to spy on threats for their owners, which got way more popular in the constant warfare happening in the Wasteland.
- Took a Level in Badass: Not only does a fully upgraded ED-E showcase how truly effective Eyebots can be in combat if they were ever properly modified to do so in the Lonesome Road DLC for NV, but the swarms of Eyebots used by the Mechanist in the Automatron DLC for 4 are far tougher and more persistent than the Enclave's Eyebots were in 3.
- The Voice: For President Eden in 3, who uses Eyebots to play patriotic music and 'friendly' propaganda from the then unseen Enclave. The Mechanist in Automatron uses them to also play their messages, but not nearly to the extent of Eden.
- The Voiceless: As a result of the above trope however, Eyebots pretty much have no means to communicate by themselves and more than likely aren't even sentient, unlike other robots who at least get pre-recorded voice messages. The sole exception is ED-E, a Duraframe Eyebot capable of holding their own conversation and personal objectives despite only communicating through unintelligible beepings (not that the Courier has any trouble understanding it).
These drones were invented by the People's Liberation Army as propaganda deliverers and infiltrators to boost the morale of their soldiers while harassing the Americans behind their front lines. While not exactly deadly even in groups, American soldiers frequently noted how much of a pest they can be when deployed over their territory. Liberators come with laser blasters and small blades they can deploy to rush their foes with.
- Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: Outside of harassing/encouraging desertion among enemy soldiers and sowing civilian discontent, they were also built to motivate Chinese soldiers with inspirational battle cries.
- Evil Counterpart: To the American-built Eyebots, even though pre-War America ultimately wasn't any better than pre-War China. Liberators are crawling Chinese propaganda delivery robots who are built to attack their enemies, while Eyebots are flying American propaganda machines who are more geared towards spying on its own people.
- Goddamned Bats: In-Universe, they're generally seen as more annoying than actually threatening, with their primary threat (aside from being a vehicle for propaganda) being their obnoxious persistence and numerical advantage.
- The Goomba: In-universe and out, they're regarded as meddlesome pests who are usually a waste of ammo to clear out.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: It's mentioned that while they weren't really that dangerous in combat, they were still seen as very dangerous and a major threat to the pre-War government thanks to them inspiring mass panic, paranoia, and discontent among the civilian populace, hurting the Americans' supply lines and severely hampering the war effort. Even if the Liberators couldn't fight directly, they sure as hell could fight covertly.
- Misplaced Wildlife: The robotic equivalent. Being based primarily in Mainland China and Alaska (a.k.a. where Chinese and American forces were actually fighting each other), they were spread across the Appalachian region of the continental United States before the Great War by Chinese infiltrators so as to sap civilian morale and encourage desertion/internal discontent.
- Paranoia Fuel: In-Universe, they evoked this in the American populace as part of Communist China's goal of presenting themselves as terrifying and invisible Invincible Boogeymen.
- Spider Tank: A very small and portable version meant to work in groups, usually deployed via dropping them from a plane over enemy airspace.
- We Have Reserves: One of their advantages for the Chinese was just how easy it was to mass-produce them.
- Mister Handy appearances: Fallout | Fallout 2 | Fallout 3 | Fallout: New Vegas | Fallout 4 | Fallout 76
Originally invented as a collaborative project between General Atomics and RobCo, Mister Handy begun as house butlers and were sold in the consumer market. Met with great success, they continued to refine the design of the robot to provide it with a sleeker frame and greater capacity for intelligence. Later down its product line more specialized variants would be programmed, most notably the militaristic and combative Mister Gutsy and the feminine counterpart to Mister Handy, Miss Nanny. Their armament and tools vary depending on the model and purpose, but the domestic models are commonly seen with a buzzsaw and flamethrower on their arms, and Gutsy with a laser or plasma weapon and sometimes machine guns.
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker: Even centuries after their owners have died, these robots can still be found managing their stations or cleaning their buildings long after their masters have died.
- In 3, going to the homes in George Town can let you find a blown out house and a deactivated Mister Handy, who can be reactivated to rise and go to the children's bedroom and read them There Will Come Soft Rains, not recognizing that he's talking to the skeletized remains of children and not his family.
- By far the best example is the Sole Survivor's very own Codsworth, a Mister Handy who survived the nuclear exchange and waited centuries for the player to return and did his best to keep their house intact, even willing to follow them on dangerous adventures as a body guard despite being 'no Mister Gutsy', in his own words.
- An encounter in 4 can let you meet a Mister Gutsy who's determined to enforce a civilian curfew despite the Sole Survivor's angry insistence that the war is over. It doesn't work, and it leaves them to either humor it, destroy it or confuse it into blowing itself up.
- Art Evolution: In Fallout 1, Mister Handies looked like floating squids with their six limbs and they sported plenty of tools and mechanical parts attached to their bodies. Come Fallout 3 and they were redesigned to sport only three arms and they gained glowing optics. These eyes were replaced in Fallout 4 in favor of optics that resemble an actual iris with the way they constantly widen and focus on their surroundings.
- Blood Knight: Mister Gutsy. They're by far the loudest and most enthusiastic killer robots you'd ever meet while wandering the Wasteland.(Combat banter) Ready to die for your country you COMMIE SON OF A BITCH?!
(Detecting an enemy) IS THAT SOMEONE WHO NEEDS ME TO KICK THEIR ASS?
(Beginning combat) KILL 'EM ALL! God will understand!
- Cute Machines: Thanks to the Art Evolution allowing their eyes to show emotion, the Mister Handies and Miss Nannies in 4 can be like this, especially potential companions Codsworth and Curie.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mister Handies have a very dry and dismissive wit when they're hostile or just grumpy.Wadsworth: How may I serve you, sir? (under his breath) Not that I really want to...
Hostile Mister Handy: Oh sure, let's all beat up on the robot!Combat banter: And who do you think is going to have to clean up all this blood?! Me! That's who!
- Eagle Land: Mister Gutsy manage to harness both Beautiful and Boorish. Beautiful in that their battle cries and patriotic attitudes would have motivated American troops by inspiring them with America's greatness, but Boorish in that after the nuclear exchange and America as we knew it was destroyed, surviving Gutsy's are either in the hands of unsavory factions or are rampaging killer robots, turning their nationalism into an ironic reminder of old-America's utter ruthlessness and militancy.
- Exact Words: Tied to Loophole Abuse. A random encounter in 4 has a Mister Gutsy confront the Sole Survivor about a military curfew in effect despite the war ending centuries ago. If they question the command, the Gutsy will warn that failure to comply will result in lethal force and it asks "Repeat — will you comply?" From there, the Sole Survivor can keep repeating Will you comply? to it as it responds back with the exact same command. Do it enough times and the Gutsy will either get so confused over the error loop and activate its self destruct, or get fed up and try to kill them.
- Extra Eyes: All models comes with three eyes to better survey their surroundings, and they can still function well even if one or two get removed. This leads to a bit of a quirk in Fallout 4 where talking to them from any direction will just have them turn their eyes to face you rather than turn their whole body and the camera will focus on the closest one, even if you're standing directly behind them.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Implied with hostile Mister Handies, who may have been left neglected and decaying in their work areas or former masters' home after the Great War and had their programming go haywire to the point of being hostile enemies.
- In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: Only they've gotten much bigger, tentacled and can outright raise your family for you if you want.
- The Jeeves: Mister Handies are designed after these to their core, the few who aren't are either modified or are likely insane.
- Morality Pet: In New Vegas, Tabitha's best friend was a Mister Handy she named Rhonda. When Rhonda was wrecked and entered hibernation mode, Tabitha's mental state deteriorated from a reasonable leader figure for her super mutant to a raving lunatic who made a split personality also named Rhonda to cope with her loss on Black Mountain Radio. To achieve the Golden Ending for Tabitha, you'll need to find and repair the real Rhonda, who'll wake up, bring Tabitha back to her senses and leave the Mojave together peacefully.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Thanks to their sophisticated AI, these robots can easily develop their own personalities, fears, opinions and loyalties. On the other hand, their owners are just as inclined to limit just how personable they can get, even down to stripping them to their most basic of duties and intelligences.
- Robot Maid: Mister Handies and especially Miss Nannies, the latter of whom have got the cute and exaggerated French accent to fit this role. Definitely not the case for Gutsies though.
- Large Ham: "TIME TO KICK SOME ASS!", among other lines like that, is what you'll usually hear from a hostile Mister Gutsy. Even when non-hostile and even friendly, Mister Gutsy have a fondness for being absurdly and dramatically loud and nationalistic.
- National Stereotypes: The three core robots represent one stereotype down to their programming.
- Mister Handy are based off of English butlers with prominent and classy English accents.
- Mister Gutsy sound like some of the most patriotic American soldiers you'd ever hear.
- Miss Nanny have heavy French accents and are painted bright white, invoking French maids.
- Stone Wall: Mister Gutsy have more armor than their Protectron and Robobrain brothers-in-arms, but aren't much faster when they have to aim their guns. They'll hover slowly towards their target while firing off their weapons, which is enough to put lethal pressure on low leveled players if they don't have the weapons needed to take him out.
- Vocal Evolution: In 3, Mister Handies had their English accents and Gutsies their aggressive Drill Sergeant Nasty tones. Come New Vegas, and both models lose their voices in favor of having higher-pitched, more robotic-sounding and not as stereotypical voices. When 4 came out, both voices came back to something closer to their 3 incarnation, especially Mister Gutsy whose anger and aggression came back with a vengeance, more furious than ever.
- Violation of Common Sense: In 4, you can meet an armed and dangerous Gutsy who's trying to weed Communist spies centuries after the war concluded. Telling him you're not a spy or that the war is over will just make him try to kill you. Telling him to go fuck himself to his face will convince him only an American would say that, and he'll happily let you pass without trouble.
A product of RobCo Industries, the Protection is a domestic robot built to serve a variety of tasks in the workplace. Whether programmed for security, clerical duties, public relations, fire fighting, paramedic, policing, military, sex work, or construction duties, the Protectron proves its worth as some of the most versatile robots to hit the market. Just don't expect them to be very fast or good in a heated fight.
- Art Evolution: Starting from Fallout 3, Protections have a slender, round and armored frame with a yellow glowing optic at the top of their heads which lights up whenever they speak. In Fallout 4, they were redesigned to now have a huge and transparent visor covering their delicate components inside their now wider frames, and also have their bodies redesigned to resemble the specific tasks they're assigned (i.e., unique colorations for Protectron firefighters, medics, police officers, and construction workers).
- Disproportionate Retribution: In both Fallout 3 and 4, the Protections who'll ask for your ticket in the Metro tunnels will instantly turn hostile and try to kill you if you don't provide them a metro ticket in time. Whether it's paranoid American programming trying to weed out Communist spies or their programming degrading after a few centuries is anyone's guess.
- Additionally, construction Protectrons will immediately try to kill anyone who isn't wearing any form of head protection, hard hat, or helmet around them for violating on-site safety protocols.
- However, the firefighter Protectrons take the cake in this regard as they will attack anything that has either a weapon or something that they construe as a "fire hazard" (i.e., a Molotov Cocktail)... even if it's in their inventory.
- The Goomba: As far as robots go, the Protectrons tend to rank pretty low on the threat level scale. They're painfully slow and their laser attacks are far from deadly, and most weapons can easily topple them. This is subverted with the Construction Protection though, they're not all that much tougher than the average Protection but their railguns pack some serious damage to unarmored targets.
- Menacing Stroll: They don't move beyond a slow and steady march to their enemies, firing off their weapons while slowly closing in on them. How menacing they actually are to an experienced fighter is debatable though.
- Mundane Utility: Their selling point is their nice and wide range of jobs they can be assigned, so this is a given. In 4, they make for excellent field workers and provisioners thanks to their cheap costs to build, lowering the amount of humans you'd need to attract if you need work done in your settlement. Give them weapons worth a damn, and you'll have a pretty slow but absurdly deadly workforce of farmers and supply runners loyal to you. Just don't go overboard with building them, as the emotionless automatrons will bring the average happiness rating of a settlement down if there's too many of them.
- Killer Cop: The police variants encountered in 4 can be hostile when they see you, likely owing to their degraded programming. One good example would be the First Mate found in Captain Ironsides crew, a police Protectron who tries very hard to gain permission from his Sentry Bot captain to kill the Sole Survivor for simply coming aboard. That being said, the police Protectrons generally leave them alone unless they actually draw their weapon and fire it near them (which, as the Wasteland is a Crapsack World, will likely happen very soon), and they can also be reprogrammed to be allied to the Sole Survivor with the corresponding Total Hack holotape.
- Kill It with Ice: In 4, firefighter Protectrons are installed with internal cryo guns that lets them turn enemies into delightful ice statues. As a bonus, these Protectrons are one of the only ways to find ammunition for the Cryolator outside of merchants.
- Mascot Mook: Being broadly human-shaped, but still a clunky Robo Speaking machine makes them inherently amusing in human roles, so they turn up in silly places. Such as:
FISTO: I am programmed for your pleasure. Please assume the position.
- In the RobCo factory in Fallout 3, there is a inactive Protectron sitting on the toilet (with scrap metal in the bowl.)
- The Lone Wanderer's search for the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives is opposed by robots rallied by the voice of Button Gwinnett, second governor of Georgia and signatory of the Declaration. When you reach him, he is a Protectron in a powdered wig. Formerly part of a reenactment show, the robot's programming has corrupted over time and believes he believe he is Gwinnett.
- Primm's Vicki And Vance Casino has a Protectron tour guide named "Primm Slimm" wearing a cowboy hat and talking in a yeehaw-howdy-partner fashion.
- FISTO, reprogrammed to service people who like their prostitutes mechanical
- Robo Speak: Their default way of speaking, minus special models given more comfortable voices.
- Shock and Awe: In 4, hostile medical Protectrons will try to electrocute their enemies with their defibrillators.
- Shout-Out: They were originally designed after Robby the Robot. This was made even more apparent in their Fallout 4 redesign.
- Spike Shooter: Contruction/Utility Protectrons in Fallout 4 and beyond are armed with nail guns that fire railway spikes.
As the need for flexible and intelligent robotic units grew, General Atomics and RobCo collaborated to introduce the latest in robotics through revolutionary biotechnology, creating the Robobrain. Robobrains are prized for their high intelligence and flexibility thanks to their central processor being a still living human brain "donated" for transplant to the machine, and were made and distributed for both civilian and military usage. As one would expect though, the human mind is prone to breaking down under these conditions, especially after over 200 years of isolation.
Robobrains typically come with laser blasters in their arms and a Mesmetron (which causes Interface Screw and stat damage) they can fire from their heads. Robobrains can also use regular human weapons thanks to their flexible claws.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The inventors of the Robobrain probably didn't account for human brains going mad after being given their new robotic shells, or left alone for too long. In the Automatron DLC for 4, we learn that among many of the donors, dangerous criminals were a frequent source of brains, contributing to the line's tendency to go violently insane at some point or another.
- Apologetic Attacker: Their combat banter has them make half-hearted and definitely sarcastic apologies when blasting their foes, warning that they've triggered their attack modes.
- Brain in a Jar: Played straight if they didn't undergo the standard memory wipes, like the Vault 118 Dwellers.
- Chain Lightning: The Robobrains in 4 have this ability with their lightning guns.
- Cyber Cyclops: In 4, their core design remains mostly unchanged, but they were given a new and blue mechanical eye attached to their brains to see with.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: In the lore, Robobrains are often described as terrifyingly dangerous and ferocious robotic soldiers. In practice, they're often far weaker and less of a hassle to fight than one would think. For instance, in 3, encountering a hostile Robobrain out in the wild is only a little more dangerous than bumping into a wild Protectron. They deal pretty low damage, have a big and slow center of mass and their Mesmetrons aren't hard to avoid. In 4, they're a lot tougher, but are still no Assaultron in terms of danger.
- Fate Worse than Death: The years have not been kind to any Robobrain left with a conscience and stranded in their facilities or the Wasteland after the bombs dropped.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: The vast majority of Robobrains go violently and murderously insane since they can't comprehend their new robotic forms.
- Insane Troll Logic: The Mechanist in 4 had genuinely good plans for their robot army to bring peace to the wasteland and help its people. Unfortunately, the Robobrain commanders they tasked with managing the army on the frontlines calculated a disproportionately high chance that any humans they rescue is going to die afterwards anyways, so a Mercy Kill would save them from their future suffering.Assisting a human to the best of my abilities only affords a 25% survival rate. That means there's a 75% chance that despite my efforts, the human I'm assisting will die from something beyond my control. Therefore, it's better to hasten the human's death and put them out of their likely chance of misery than to deplete my limited time.
- Mook Lieutenant: Some serve this role in the Mechanists army in 4, organizing the robot rabble on the frontlines on behalf of their master. The quest chain involves finding and scrapping these leading Robobrains to find the Mechanist's hideout.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: In this case, they were humans before their brains were transplanted. Their personalities can range from blatantly robotic due to their minds being wiped, or sport their own personality if they weren't or were allowed to develop it on their own.
- Robotic Psychopath: In part because most were created from the brains of unrepentant murderers and political prisoners, the vast majority of Robobrains are shown to be kill-happy monsters who are downright gleeful when given the opportunity to slaughter innocent people.
- Shock and Awe: Most Robobrains in 4 are armed with "lightning guns", which can have their electrical attacks be chained to attack multiple enemies at once.
- Weapon of Choice: Most of the Robobrains in Fallout 4: Automatron are armed with both lightning guns and poisonous smoke grenade rifles.
- Wetware CPU: What sets them apart from other robots in the franchise. It also didn't turn out very well, as most Robobrains instead went completely insane and were worse than useless in terms of being useful to their new masters.
Scorpion-shaped robots originally designed as a military project that never reached completion before the Great War happened. They were later revived by Doctor Mobius to serve as security against the other members of the Think Tank and as something of a private army. Consequently, they're only found in the ruins of the Big MT research facility.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The X-42 giant robo-scorpion is a hell of a force to be reckoned with, armed with devastating weapons that can obliterate anything before it. It's also absurdly huge, trapped in its hangar with no way out and requires so much power that it'd struggle anywhere else but its hangar. It can also be overloaded with power rather than shot to death, meaning a quick and lucky enemy can swiftly blow it to smithereens without having to fight it head on.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Defeated robo-scorpions self-destruct in an electrically-charged explosion.
- Giant Mook: The X-42 giant robo-scorpion, a unique supersized model created by Doctor Mobius as a guardian.
- Lightning Bruiser: Robo-scorpions are fast, deal a lot of damage with their attacks, and are resistant to the EMP weapons normally crippling to robotic enemies.
- Lightning Gun: Robo-scorpion blasters can fire electric beams from their tails instead of lasers.
- Mecha-Mooks: For Mobius, who sends tons of these robots after the Courier around Big MT as they do the Think Tank's bidding.
- No-Sell: The giant robo-scorpion can be deactivated with the Robotics Expert perk, but after a little while it'll turn itself back on again.
- Ray Gun: They have laser emitters mounted on their tails.
- Robot Me: Apparently, Mobius got the idea to create robo-scorpions after seeing a giant radscorpion wander into the mountain, making them these for radscorpions.
- Stealthy Mook: Robo-scorpion bombers have Stealth Boys integrated into their systems, allowing them to turn invisible.
- Tempting Fate: Dr. 0 says that the odds of Mobius having a giant, building sized model of the robo-scorpion is laughably low. Step into Mobius' laboratory and see for yourself how wrong he was.
- The Voice: For Mobius, who is apparently watching through the robo-scorpions and taunting the Courier through their speakers.(Spotting the enemy) I seeee you! Now, I end you!
(Taking damage) Stop that! You'll damage the hull!
(Searching for the enemy) (Speaking to his scorpions) Alright everyone, calm down! Might have been a blip.
A product of the H&H Tools Factory after being bought out by RobCo, Securitrons are security robots programmed to protect property as a well-armed police force. In their base Mark I configuration, they're armed with a 9mm machine gun and gatling lasers and sport a cartoon policeman's face on their screens. If upgraded to their Mark II configuration, however, they're permitted to use the much deadlier grenade and missile launcher armaments meant for heavy combat engagements, now sporting a cartoonish US army soldier on their screens.
In the present day, Robert House controls a small army of these Securitrons to police New Vegas, and has knowledge of an even larger reserve of them somewhere in the Mojave wastes along with the means to upgrade them to their long-lost Mark II versions, evidently planning something massive. In Big MT, House's self-declared nemesis Dr. 0 has attempted to create custom variations of Securitrons that while arguably stronger are highly unstable and hostile to everyone.
- Accidental Innuendo: Invoked. You can find a Securitron confronting some scantily-clad NCR ladies who're dancing in the Strip's decorative fountain, when trying to peacefully get them out the water they may say this:Please remove your bras (...) from the bottom of the fountain.
- Body Backup Drive: The AI personalities Victor and Yes Man can be uploaded to any active Securitron in Vegas, effectively making them immortal if their current body is smashed.
- Collapsing Lair: They can fall victim to this if a faction decides to sabotage House by blowing up the facility holding the reserve Securitron supply. Even the Courier, if they're working for an independent New Vegas, can decide to blow the facility up and sabotage their own effort for a robot army for no good reason.
- Gate Guardian: Securitrons guard the main entrance into the Strip at the end of Freeside, preventing anyone who doesn't have enough money to be deemed worth letting in from getting past them. If your science skill is high enough, you can glitch them out to recognize you as someone who can be allowed in, otherwise you'll just have to raise enough caps or forge a counterfeit passport.
- Killer Cop: Averted when they're by themselves and when programmed correctly, at which point they're content to stand idle and only move to attack if provoked. If you do provoke them into attacking, then whoever did it's usually going to be dodging bullets for days instead of being arrested, or be outright splattered by explosives if you trigger their lethal force after upgrading them.
- Killer Robot: Dr. 0's versions of Securitrons are far more hostile than usual due to 0's incompetence.
- Large Ham: They've been programmed with lines that involve this. If you report a supposed struggle in New Vegas sidequest "Beyond the Beef," they'll deliver a long speech about evildoers and how important it is to report violence.
- Macross Missile Massacre: If given their missile launchers, they're fond of unloading a volley of them at their enemies to obliterate them in the blasts.
- Mecha-Mooks: For Mr. House, and possibly for the Courier should they ally themselves with him or gain control of the army for their own purposes.
- Must Be Invited: A non-mythical and non-anomalous variant. As part of Mr. Houses contractual agreement with the tribes running the Strip's casinos, his Securitrons can't come in their casinos unless it's an absolutely dire emergency, like a crazed gunman in the lobby. Because of this, no Securitrons are found patrolling inside the buildings and are largely useless for stopping the criminal affairs that happen inside (not that Mr. House cares about most of it, anyways).
- One-Wheeled Wonder: All of their movement is done with one wheel.
- Robot Soldier: They'll ascend to this if upgraded with the Platinum Chip, now being fully fit to serve as New Vegas' attack army to drive out the NCR, the Legion, and whoever else stands in its way.
- Walking Armory: Securitrons live and breathe pure firepower, beating out the Sentry Bots by sheer versatility in their weapons. It goes a long way, since the comparatively small Securitron army has enough firepower to wipe out the numerically superior NCR and the suicidaly fearless Legion armies once they're upgraded and their numbers are reinforced.
One of the toughest and deadliest armored infantry units ever invented, Sentry Bots fought in the Great War as hulking and destructive miniature tanks, typically armed with miniguns, mortar launchers, missile launchers and gatling lasers. After the bombs fell, they continue to prove that they're both built to withstand apocalyptic levels of damage, and that they're a force to be reckoned with.
- Achilles' Heel:
- Like all robotic enemies, pulse weapons can deal huge amounts of damage to them. This is especially apparent in this case as a Sentry Bot's tough armor is going to be hard to break otherwise.
- For your own Sentry Bots that you can build as companions in 4, the sheer size of the robot is going to make close quarters really tough for them to comfortably fight in. Good luck getting past door frames or hallways with one following you.
- Affably Evil: Wild Sentry Bots are usually found trying to kill everything around them, but they're still bound to warning non-combatants and civilians who aren't present to vacate the warzone.Threat neutralization in progress. Non-combatants are advised to stand clear of weapons discharge.
- Art Evolution: Sentry Bots begun with a pretty retro/sci-fi design that embraced its Tin-Can Robot inspirations, and weren't all that much bigger than humans. Come Fallout 4, and they look far more imposing and militaristic with plenty of running machinery, exposed parts behind armor and standard U.S army green paint. They also got a serious upgrade in size, now regularly dwarfing humans.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Starting in Fallout 4, a Sentry Bot will need to pause and cool itself down after overheating from unloading their whole arsenal. They'll shut down for a moment and expose their fusion core behind them, giving the player a chance to shoot right into it and blow the robot up.
- Boss Battle: In Fallout 4, doing the Minutemen quests will bring you over to the Castle. After fighting through all the nested Mirelurks, you encounter Sarge, a former Minutemen Sentry Bot whose programming has gone haywire and violent since being abandoned and neglected, forcing you to put him down.
- Death from Above: Equipping mortars on your sentry bot companions in 4 gives them the choice of cluster bombs, hallucination gas bombs and mini-nuke launchers to rain explosive and toxic death on your enemies.
- Elite Mooks: If a faction is going to have some robotic backup, like the Brotherhood or the Enclave, these guys are usually their top of the line security.
- Evil Sounds Deep: They've got a deep and booming voice, and most of the models you'll encounter are wild and malfunctioning, ready to attack indiscriminately.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: In 3 and New Vegas, Sentry Bots have a glowing visor where their head is, giving this impression. This was dropped in 4 for a clean and reflective glass-like visor sitting behind some armor.
- Lightning Bruiser: They may seem slow when fighting, but that's only because they need to pause, take aim and sustain fire. Escape their grasps or get too far away and they'll start rolling right on your tail to keep up. This was later amplified in 4, where Sentry Bots can decide to close the distance by dashing forward to smack the enemy with their arm.
- Logical Weakness: Their massive set of three-legged treads makes it nearly impossible for them to get in enclosed locations, making them only usable in an outdoors support role akin to a tank.
- More Dakka: The main appeal of the Sentry Bot was their insane amount of firepower, alternating between raining down a hail of bullets and bombarding the enemy with missiles.
- Mundane Utility: In the Fallout 4: Automatron DLC, the Sentry Bot parts you can trick your robot buddy out with have the bonus of offering the best carry weight. Going all-out with Sentry Bot components can create a tough and multi-pocketed pack mule to hold all your stuff, with extra firepower being optional at this point.
- Took a Level in Badass: Sentry Bots were far from wimps in their debut appearance, being the top of the line combat robots in the enemy lineup. But come Fallout 4, they've been elevated to outright boss battles found hidden away in highly secured zones, with the rare ones found wandering the Wasteland being capable of soloing anything short of overwhelming numbers against them.
- Tripod Terror: They roll around on three tripodal legs. Notably, even if their treads are crippled/damaged, they'll continue to fight by simply using their legs to manually walk around the battlefield.
- Walking Armory: Their main appeal, both before and after the Great War.
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 iteration.
- 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.
- 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 can 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 that the Institute is obviously an Unreliable Narrator that has a vested interest in promoting the idea of humans being fundamentally different from Synths.
- 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 along with being constantly gaslit regarding their own personhood. 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. Suffice to say, it's pretty understandable why so many Synths rescued by the Railroad elect to a memory wipe.
- 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, can neither gain nor lose weight, age at a slower rate in comparison to ordinary humans, cannot reproduce, 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. How organic or mechanical they physically are is also kept pretty blurry.
- 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.
- Brain Uploading: Higher-profile infiltration targets seem to have a copy of the "original person's" memories downloaded into their minds to help them better sell the illusion.
- Creepy Monotone: Institute Coursers all sport this, which helps emphasize how they're actually the most soulless out of all 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."
- A terminal entry in the Institute Robotics Division reveals that between games, the Directer made "synth" the official designation.
- Gen 3 Synths as a whole are this for the Replicants from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, being Artificial Humans who perfectly mimic organically born people and attempt to infiltrate societies.
- The Coursers are clear expies of the Terminator, though their general personalities are actually closer to the Agents from The Matrix.
- 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 to be used and disposed of as necessary while the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel is 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".
- Geas: A heavily downplayed sci-fi variation; All Gen 3 Synths (escaped or otherwise) are given a special "block" in their programming that prevents them from describing how the Institute uses teleportation.
- Impostor Exposing Test: Defied for the most part, as Synths seem to be completely identical on even a psychological level to ordinary humans (though the Institute obviously disputes this), and there is no known way to prove who is and isn't a Synth without an autopsy, proven DNA records (as seen in "Blind Betrayal"), or invasive enough surgery that it kills the suspect. Notably, the "Human Error" sidequest is focused around the town of Covenant trying to create a psychological one with the S.A.F.E. test... but they still get around four to five false positives for every Synth they catch.
- 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.
- Made of Iron: Normal Gen 3 Synths are alluded to being this in comparison to ordinary humans, while Coursers are outright described as relentless hunters.
- 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).
- 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.
- Paranoia Fuel: As they're the main method with which the Institute perpetuates their control over post-War New England, they're a hefty source of this In-Universe for the denizens of the Commonwealth.
- Proportional Aging: It's not made exact, but Synths are all but stated to age at a slower rate than "normal" humans.
- 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".
- 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.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Most Synths rescued by the Railroad subject themselves to a memory wipe to forget their hellish pasts in the Institute. Some eventually discover the truth, and it's universally shown to be an immensely traumatizing experience.
- Trigger Phrase: Gen 3 Synths are programmed with a wide variety of these, most notably deactivation codes that put them into sleep mode. Worringly, it's unknown to what extent these are eradicated (if at all) by the Railroad's memory wipes.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The main fear that the East Coast Brotherhood has surrounding them, which is why they want to preemptively destroy them all.
- Wetware Body: The Generation 3 Synths 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 possibly not needing food or water to survive) that they're clearly not perfectly organic creations. Nick Valentine also references that they used to have mechanical components to them when mentioning the Broken Mask Incident, while Curie's mind being possible to upload into a (braindead) Gen 3 Synth body is based on the Synth brain being described as somewhere in-between a robotic, programmed mind and a normal, organic brain.
- 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.
Generation 1 and 2 Synths
The precursors to the perfected, flesh and blood generation 3 Synths, the previous generations were necessary stepping stones for the Institute to work with before fully realizing their technology. These robots are very far from human-looking, only sharing the silhouette and nothing more. With the generation 3 synths completed, the previous generations were reformed into serving as Institute guards, foot soldiers and scouts so as not to make them completely obsolete.
- 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.
- Body Horror: Older Gen 2 Synths can suffer a rare mechanical case of this trope when they take damage. The more and more they're injured, the more and more their plastic "skin" breaks off, revealing their circuitry-based innards.
- Boss Battle: Surprisingly, yes. Waging war against the Institute, infiltrating their headquarters and reaching their reactor room will have the player fight against Z4K-97B, XPN-20A and A-2018, three black-armored Synths much tougher than any model previously fought, are classified as Legendary enemies and are one of the last things to be dealt with before the reactor can be sabotaged.
- Creepy Monotone: Their voices are obviously not human, but aren't so mechanical-sounding like Protectrons either, leaving them with an eerie blend of a synthetic and monotonous voice. Better yet, they're not incapable of nuanced thinking and some emotion either, but they appear to struggle with expressing it properly.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Institute-made laser weapons generally have lower base damage than their older counterparts and are only ever found on their Synths, but they make up for it with their sheer numbers in locations they're guarding.
- Determinator: Even if their legs have been crippled and they're left lying on the floor, they'll still try and shoot at their enemies.
- Dumb Muscle: Due to their A.I. being pretty limited in independent thinking and even worse in self-preservation in combat, they're mostly used as the Institute's frontline Cannon Fodder, or to scout areas of interest. For the much more important tasks of espionage, spying, assassination and kidnapping/replacing, they rely on the generation 3 Synths and especially their Coursers.
- Everything Is an iPod in the Future: Institute Gen 1 and 2 Synths have a very sleek, white, and plasticky design, looking considerably more "modern" than the Raygun Gothic tech seen elsewhere in the franchise.
- Homage: According to The Art of Fallout 4, the early Synth models were heavily inspired by the design of vintage artificial prosthetic limbs.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Gen 1 and Gen 2 Synths serve as this for the Institute, coming in large numbers, being fully robotic, and (on average) being roughly on par with Protectrons in terms of intelligence and armament.
- Murderous Mannequin: The Gen 2 Synths invoke this trope, being at an uncomfortable middle ground between the first and third generations that 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.
- Shows Damage: Gen 2 Synths gradually lose their artificial skin as they take damage, even completely losing it if they're sufficiently injured.
- Simple, yet Awesome: They're far from the flashiest and most impressive advance in robotics in the world of Fallout. However, unlike literally every other robot in the whole franchise, they can perfectly mimic human locomotion, making them incredibly versatile and easily capable of using human tools. Suffice to say, it quickly becomes clear why the Institute uses them for damn near everything, as they can be easily and efficiently tasked with any necessary job that would otherwise be too dangerous for an ordinary human to accomplish.
- Skele Bot: The Gen 1 Synths, which look like frail and twisted parodies of the human skeleton. Gen 2 Synths are improved a bit with their layer of plastic skin, but they still looked dirty, a little decayed and are obviously robotic under their skin.
- 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.
- Uncanny Valley: It's frequently lampshaded In-Universe how unsettling and freaky they look to the average Wastelander.Brotherhood Scribe: You know those Synths with the plastic faces? They creep me the hell out.
- We Have Reserves: Their primary advantage for the Institute is that they can be mass-produced very quickly. Sure, they can be mowed down in short order... but there's always more from where they came from, and they can eventually wipe out their foes through sheer attrition.
- Zerg Rush: Where you see one mechanical Synth, there's bound to be several more nearby.