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Fallout 4 / Tropes D to I

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Fallout 4 provides examples of the following tropes:

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    D 
  • Damage Typing: There's four different sources of damage — ballistic, energy, poison and radiation. All four can be resisted via different types of armor. However, unlike the other three, Radiation damage causes Maximum HP Reduction.
  • Darker and Edgier: The game outright ends its prologue chapter by killing the protagonist's spouse and kidnapping their son, something that didn't happen in any of the previous games' prologues. Fallout 4 also downplays the Black Comedy in comparison to its immediate predecessor, and the Art Shift gives way for a much moodier and bleaker atmosphere (despite the brighter lighting). Furthermore, many of the enemies in the game are shown in a much darker light than in previous games, with Super Mutants now being motivated by bloody vengeance upon humanity instead of just bloodlust and cannibalism as they were in Fallout 3, and many Raiders come across as horrified criminals strung out on too many chems to reason what's right and wrong anymore.
    • This is perhaps best demonstrated with the depiction of the Children of Atom - In Fallout 3, they were largely Played for Laughs as a kooky but ultimately harmless and well-meaning religion (Broken Steel notwithstanding). In Fallout 4, however, the Children of Atom are largely presented as a legitimately terrifying apocalyptic cult straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft story that worship Feral Ghouls and want to "spread Atom's word" at any cost. This subplot later carried on to Fallout Shelter where in one of the newly-featured quests you will encounter them as the enemies.
    • Another good example is with the filled-out backstory of the Robobrains in the Automatron expansion. In previous games, they were just another robot, kind of ridiculous and silly, but nothing particularly special compared to a Sentry Bot or Mr. Gutsy. Now they've been given an entire backstory to their creation (all of which is actually based on history given out by Fallout 1 lead designer Chris Taylor in an old interview, plus the info given in J.E. Sawyer's tabletop RPG), and it's extremely disturbing. The notes left being in their production facility reveal how truly immoral the military was in creating them. The full horror of extracting live brains from unwilling subjects and experimenting on them while they were still conscious is revealed to the player. On top of that, there are numerous accounts of extreme human rights violations and downright sociopathic behavior by the scientists working on the project. The Robobrains themselves are sadistic and cruel as a result of this, and they are top contenders for the position of most horrifying enemy in the entire game.
  • David vs. Goliath: The Institute are the most powerful faction in Post-War New England, with armies of Synths, vast resources, and ties to the Pre-War USA. The Eastern Brotherhood of Steel are arguably the most powerful faction in the whole of the US (save possibly the NCR), with mighty Knights in Powered Armor, a virtual monopoly on advanced weaponry and other technology and access to a Humongous Mecha. It's possible for the Railroad – a loose collection of runaway Synths, scientists, idealists and other wastelanders operating out of a few safehouses – and the Minutemen – a volunteer Wastelander militia army kitted out with MacGyvered Schizo Tech laser muskets – to annihilate both factions.
  • Dead Drop: Members of the Railroad utilize dead drops in order to escape detection and location by the Institute.
  • The Dead Have Names: Inside the recently-destroyed Switchboard base for the Railroad, you find quite a few Railroad agent corpses. Every one of them has a different and colorful code name.
  • Deadly Lunge: One of the Feral Ghouls' new forms of attack; they rush at you then do a lunge that inflicts both physical and radiation damage if it hits. On the plus side, they also take time to recover, so it's the perfect time to cave their skulls in. However Feral Ghouls love to charge in packs of 3-5 and love to attack in unison. Having several zombies lunge at you means you're going to be stunned after the first hit, giving the rest a chance to follow up and start pelting you or at the least put a little less distance between you and them. While you can blow their arms off you can't run without a leg... or a head.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In almost every encounter, there is a player dialogue choice simply labeled "Sarcastic". A compilation.
    • Most of your teammates also have a wealth of amusing comments ready for almost any given situation.
    [upon finding a bombed house crumbling into the river]
    Valentine: I think they're going to have to forfeit their deposit.
    [entering a school that's been overrun by Super Mutants]
    Valentine: Say what you will about the ambiance, but you can bet the Mutants improved the freshness of the meals in here.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The Institute has created a network of spies throughout the Commonwealth by killing people and replacing them with Synths. They do this to prime targets and not average joes but the end results are the same: a Synth is outed and killed/destroyed, people become paranoid, they tear each other apart in fear, and the town is destroyed.
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: The Far Harbor DLC has the Red Death, who's hyped up as a terrifyingly powerful sea monster, only to actually be an incredibly tiny and weak Mirelurk with inexplicable glowing eyes.
  • Death Course:
    • One of the game's more famous unmarked locations is the parking garage located next to the Fallon's Department Store in Roxbury that some sadist has converted into a deadly obstacle course filled with traps, explosives, turrets, ghouls, and all sorts of imaginative traps. Completing the course nets a decent reward in the form of two cages full of very good loot; however, if one cage is opened, the contents of the other are automatically destroyed, so the player must pick carefully.
    • Nuka World starts the player off in the Gauntlet, a Death Course set up by the Raiders who control the theme park in the service tunnels beneath it as a way of amusing themselves. There's creatures, mines, deadly gas, and all the usual fun to be expected, along with a final Boss Battle with Overboss Colter.
  • Death World:
    • As usual, almost everything living in this world wants to kill you, but with the addition of monsters that can spawn out of the ground (including Deathclaws!), radiation storms, and just how plain toxic nearly every food and water source is, survival will be a task. Various Endurance perks ease the pain by increasing your health and toughness, and giving you a lot of ways to mitigate radiation poisoning, but even then, there's no permanent way to be immune to all sources of radiation.
      • There is a perk that allows you to naturally heal radiation damage, but it requires maxed out Endurance and reasonably high level to do so. Even then, it only works outside during the day, and so is no help in the numerous underground ruins that dot Boston.
    • Special mention goes to the Glowing Sea, the crater and surrounding area of a nuclear blast that takes up the entire bottom-left corner of the map. Radiation there is so bad that a hazmat suit or Powered Armor are a must if you're to survive for long. It's home to packs of Feral Ghouls, Radscorpions, all manners of buzzing insects that can kill you with their stingers, and (of course) Deathclaws. It's telling that even Super Mutants, who are immune to radiation, are completely absent from there. Well, all but one, anyway.
    • There is a small town to the far west in the Commonwealth called Natick Banks which lies very close to the northern edge of the Glowing Sea. You will find bodies of dead Raiders and Super Mutants there. What killed them will become obvious when you encounter the only living creatures in the area, namely the multiple Deathclaws that have traveled north from the Glowing Sea.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Far Harbor takes the axe to the "Reasonable Authority Figure Wasteland Elder" archetype that the entire Fallout series has used since the beginning with both DiMA and Captain Avery. Captain Avery may seem like the friendly, hard-working, and responsible leader of Far Harbor, but the only reason she's like this is because the real Avery has been dead for roughly the last few decades, and this Avery is actually a Synth, one of DiMA's earliest followers, who had their memory wiped and face altered so as to replace Avery and provide both a voice of reason in Far Harbor and a friendly human face for any Synth arriving there and heading to Acadia. Everything about her is deliberately pre-programmed by DiMA so as to preserve the peace between Far Harbor and Acadia. Likewise, DiMA comes across as an incredibly friendly and kind person who just wants peace on the Island. And he is. It's just that he's willing to kill the human Captain Avery in cold blood and have her replaced with a Synth copy to do so, proving himself to be a Hypocrite that's Not So Different from the very Institute that he had originally ran away from - something that even he realizes. He also has brutal measures in place to wipe out the other factions on the Island if they turn against Acadia, like returning the nuclear launch key to the Children of Atom so as to let them go through Division and kill themselves, or selectively shut down the Fog Condensers for Far Harbor, leaving them to the "mercy" of the Fog and its creatures. Simply coming up with all of these measures made him feel so guilty that he actually removed them from his own memory so that he couldn't use them...but they all can still be enacted, just in case they ever were needed.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The male protagonist, if you choose to play a female character. The opening is narrated by him, giving a monologue on his grandfather's service in World War II and how "War never changes". Then he dies in the first 15 minutes, and the story turns out to be about his wife instead.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: When you take down a Courser, Desdemona refers to the report as "something out of a comic book," and when she realizes that you were the one who did it, she's rather awestruck, saying that that's usually not how one responds to a Courser.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • The Sole Survivor's Super Mutant companion, Strong, is an interesting and downplayed take on this. Despite being one of the very few Commonwealth Super Mutants to actually broaden their own sense of awareness beyond pure savagery, Strong still loves to engage in random murder, cannibalism, and wanton destruction & bloodshed. However, he's been able to temper himself with a rudimentary code of honor and appreciation for altruism, in part borrowed from his own "brothers'" collectivist mindset.
    • MacReady ran with the Gunners for a stretch, but quit because their ruthlessness was too much for his consicence to take.
    • The Dunmores added by the DLC Nuka World. They're a couple of ex-Gunners who deserted to raise their daughter away from that life.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The Deathclaw fought near the start of the game appears later on as a regular enemy.
    • The Synth Courser fought as a storyline boss becomes a regular albeit very tough enemy in the "Defend the Castle" mission.
      • Tracking and killing a surviving Courser will even become a radiant quest after finishing the Railroad ending.
    • The Mirelurk Queens you can encounter while exploring (such as at Murkwater) are noticeably smaller than the huge Father Dagon-sized one fought as a boss battle in "Taking Independence", though they're still extremely tough enemies. In a weird backwards case, you may very well run into these first, if you like exploring.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Item crafting allows you to build your own weapons, power armor, and even settlements. There are 700 modifications to customize the barrel, stock, ammo, grip, scope and so on of the 50 basic melee weapons and guns alone. So you can mod a laser pistol into multiple varieties of the laser rifle from Fallout 3, such as an assault rifle, a shotgun, or a sniper rifle. Or upgrade a baseball bat with nails, or give it an aluminum body with a mahogany grip and screw sawblades to the end, among many other possibilities. This is taken almost to ridiculousness with pipe weapons. It's very possible to pick up a pipe pistol at the start of the game, and mod it into a Super Mutant killing assault rifle over the course of the game.
  • Developers' Foresight: See here.
  • Diegetic Interface:
    • You still interact with your Pip-Boy directly in the world to view stats, inventory, and lore.
    • The collector's edition takes this Up to Eleven by including a physical Pip-Boy armband which you can socket a smartphone into and run a special dual-screen app on to make a fully functional, game-affecting interface.
    • If you're wearing a power armor helmet, the HUD changes to reflect that, with the minimalistic bars and meters of the normal display replaced with intricate fuel gauges.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Artillery. You need several quests and a lot of settlements unlocked to even begin the quest, have to fight two extremely powerful boss monsters, and need a shitload of resources to be able to build the cannons, but when you do, you have the equivalent of multiple Fat Man bombardments anywhere you can safely throw a grenade. And the more manned cannons you have nearby, the more bombardment. It takes a lot of investment but you can eventually get Minuteman coverage almost everywhere you care to explore in the Wasteland, and can easily shell Raider compounds to dust. Sufficient artillery coverage is also what evens the odds in a clash with the Minutemen against the Brotherhood of Steel, by bombarding the Prydwen and removing it from the equation.
    • Robot Settlers as of Automatron. They require a fair amount of relatively rare resources just to build the base frame of a no-frills Protectron, but once it's done you have a worker that never needs a bed or food and whose happiness never goes below 50. Arming them as you see fit into a horrible death machine (for example, a provisioner Sentry Bot that can easily defend itself) is just a bonus.
    • Beast Cages in Wasteland Workshop require a variety of animal resources to create and you need two seldom-used perks in the Charisma tree, Wasteland Whisperer and Animal Friend, to make use of the Beta Wave Emitter structure, but put 'em together and you have the ability to generate tamed monsters that provide a free defense bonus to your settlement. Just make sure you don't have different types of monsters in the same open area or they'll attack each other...
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: Percentage of damage taken through armor is half of approximately the cubic root attack power divided by Damage Resistance (unless this is greater than 100%, then DR doesn't do anything). Reducing a 100 damage attack to 75 damage will take about 33 DR. Reducing that same attack's damage to 50 requires 100 DR. Reducing it to 25 damage takes about 670 DR.
  • Disc-One Nuke: See the Fallout Disc One Nuke page for more details.
  • Disinherited Child: The leaders of the Operators gang, Mags and William Black, were disinherited by their family and exiled from their home in Diamond City for unspecified crimes that were making it almost impossible for their family to conduct business.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A Downplayed Trope, during your physical from the Brotherhood of Steel your asked about your physical health, psychological stability, and morals. They ask if you've been exposed to large amounts of radiation, have ever had sex with anything nonhuman (inferring carnal contact with animals), have ever been seriously sick, or would hesitate to kill any enemy of the Brotherhood.
    • This trope becomes downplayed due to the medical examiner stating that only killing the Brotherhood's enemies if it was in self defense is an acceptable and most frequently stated answer.
    • In a more subtle example, the game takes place in Massachusetts, where most people are simple farmers and settlers constantly struggling against nature to survive in a brutal Death World, and organized society is recently starting to form. Everyone is terrified about their loved ones being replaced with evil copies, even turning on their family and friends, with many innocent people getting killed in the crossfire. Taking out the surprising lack of religious symbolism (relatively speaking), and the Commonwealth's struggle over the identities of Institute Synths can be seen as an analogue to the Salem Witch Trials.
    • The excuses used by some of the Institute's members on why they shouldn't help Wastelanders are reminiscent of how residents of developed Western countries waive off supplying foreign aid to developing nations, right down to a few Institute scientists outright stating "We shouldn't try to think about it, as it's much too depressing to discuss right now."
  • Doomed Hometown: Sanctuary Hills, the housing development that you start the game in. It doesn't look nearly as nice after a major war and two hundred years of looting and neglect. Unlike just about any example of the trope in RPGs, however, you can rebuild it from scratch yourself.
  • Door to Before: A ubiquitous anti-frustration feature of just about every old building you can explore that figures in a main quest or side quest. This is due to internal damage inconveniently blocking doorways and corridors, turning the interior into The Maze. The quest objective will always be found at the end, accompanied by a direct exit to the outside world that is either extremely well hidden or difficult to access from the outside until the quest is completed. For those with high lockpicking skills, finding such doors can sometimes offer alternative routes that allow the player to bypass entire sections of enemies. Other times, the doors will be chained or security-locked from the other side, and impossible to open until you've gone through the rest of the area.
  • Do Wrong, Right: In Nuka-World, the three Raider gangs have an "alliance" of sorts and can't openly attack one another. However, due to being Raiders stuck next to each other for a year, their members constantly attack each other in secret. The absolute worst thing they can do is get caught doing this and risk full open warfare. The leaders personally and horrifically punish anyone who gets caught to preserve the "peace".
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: Stingwings are humongous, mutant scorpionflies. They have an erratic flight pattern, poisonous scorpion-like stingers and fly in swarms, making them formidable opponents.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The Institute is only spoken of in hushed whispers in Diamond City, and is largely suspected of producing synthetic replicants of people to spy on others.
    • Nobody goes into the Boston Common because of Swan, a Behemoth that sleeps in the lake and wears a swan boat as armour. The area is littered with warning signs, from notes on dead NPCs, signs saying "Danger", chains across the entrances and even a Railroad sign that they usually reserve for areas infested with Institute synths. Several companions also make nervous comments if you get too close.
    • Coursers are elite Synths, whose main job is to assassinate specific persons, or retrieve captured synths. The first one you run into during the quest "Hunter/Hunted" manages to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle to an entire building of Gunners, and can be a surprisingly tough fight even with decent gear .. but the fight literally doesn't happen if you have his deactivation code, courtesy of Mama Murphy's Sight.
    • Deathclaws likewise have a similar reputation, as they are very tough to kill until you have decent gear and perks. There's a reason everyone and everything else tries to stay as far away from their nests as possible.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • The Overseer in Vault 111 left all the staff trapped until they died because he was convinced the radiation levels would still be immediately fatal 180 days after the Great War. In Fallout canon, radiation levels effectively normalized within two days of the Great War.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel has become more like the Western Brotherhood after the policies of such got it destroyed in a war with NCR. However, under Maxson, it's become more an amalgam between the traditional Western chapters and Owyn Lyons' humanitarian version of the East Coast chapter.
    • The Sole Survivor searches for their infant son, only to find out he's an old man grown up to become Father, the leader of the Institute.
    • One of the Brotherhood of Steel's major field outposts is the Cambridge Police Station. The Institute's main base is under the ruins of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology just a few blocks away; the Brotherhood unknowingly set up shop almost literally across the street from them.
    • Kellogg's memories show that his mother didn't put that much stock in the New California Republic, and thought they would never amount to anything. By Fallout: New Vegas, (and presumably Fallout 4, as well), the New California Republic is the most powerful extant society in Post-War America.
  • Driven to Suicide: You can find skeletons lying in positions that imply they did this. To point out a specific example, there's a trailer southeast of Country Crossing, where a skeleton is sitting in a chair and a snubnosed .44 revolver lies on the floor below its hand.
    • A more direct example occurs with Liam Benet, a.k.a. "Patriot" in the Railroad ending. Desdemona keeps the nature of his death secret between her and the player, giving him a hero's funeral for the sake of morale.
    • In Nuka-World there's a Wastelander who survived the Gauntlet only to take her own life out of spite, denying the Raiders the chance to see her killed in the arena. There's also a Ghoul who chose suicide over degenerating into a Feral.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Adhesive is used in all forms of weapon modification and is somewhat uncommon compared to steel and wood as far as crafting materials go. It's most commonly found in, naturally, rolls of duct tape you see lying around. When that's insufficient, you can cook up a bunch of vegetables to make vegetable starch, which then becomes adhesive.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Both played straight and subverted. Mostly, the people of the Commonwealth pay respect where it's due, and your more shining track records are acknowledged properly. In fact, some characters like Paladin Danse seems to give you a disproportionately high amount of respect, giving you plenty of respect and referrals even if your record is greener than a Super Mutant, potentially having only had a couple missions under your belt.
    • Played completely straight, however, with the Minutemen. Despite being the head of the organization, almost no one in the Minutemen treats you with the slightest deference or vaguest acknowledgement that you are their boss. This can be all Hand Waveded by the Minutemen having a remarkably loose command structure (much like the real-world colonial militias they were based on) by default and them being built up from the point of near-extinction over the course of the story.
  • Dug Too Deep: Dunwich Borers LLC returns in the Commonwealth with more mining-based misfortune. This time, however, someone dug up something on purpose, and it still rests down there.
  • Dying as Yourself: Rachel Watkins opted to take her own life rather than degenerate from a lucid Ghoul to a feral one. If you find her holotape before confronting Oswald the Outrageous in the Nuka World Kiddie Kingdom, you can use the tape to convince Oswald to leave peacefully.
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    E 
  • Early-Bird Boss: The Deathclaw in Concord is just a Deathclaw. That is, it's "just" a ten-foot-tall razor-clawed murder machine with iron-scaled skin. The issue is, however, that Concord is the location of the second mission of the main quest after leaving the vault. This means that you are likely going to be at a very low level without many perks and rather lacking in equipment. You do get a damaged, low-end suit of power armor and a mini-gun to help, but neither is really up to the task of combating a Deathclaw. (The mini-gun alone requires an entire drum of ammo through over a full minute of sustained fire Scratch Damage to actually kill the beast.) Most of the other Deathclaws in the game are in the southern half of the map, and by the time you challenge their territory, you should have the perks and the gear to take them on properly.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: During the Railroad mission to infiltrate their former headquarters, you find this poster that depicts some of the buildable robot combinations from the Automatron DLC.
    • Deacon can be seen spying on you in various locations such as Goodneighbor before you officially meet him.
  • Early Game Hell:
    • Before you've built up your level and scavenged a good amount of armor and weapons, it can be a real pain to wander through the wasteland. Once you have decent armor, weapons that can one-shot common mooks, and enough Stimpaks and RadAway to keep yourself healthy, only the boss enemies will be a problem. Don't be surprised that the "Jewel of the Commonwealth" quest hangs around for a long time.
    • Until you have a steady supply of adhesive, modding is a nightmare. Armor isn't quite as bad, since you can strip mods from the pieces you find at no cost, but weapons don't have that option. Once you have a town that can grow the items needed for vegetable starch, however, it becomes a lot easier to get your guns up to spec.
    • Until you either reach Diamond City or get to a high enough level that you can build and man your own medical clinic, you have no easy way to deal with radiation - which can be found in the Commonwealth in abundance, particularly on the feral ghouls that infest the place. You can use RadAway, but RadAway is scarce and expensive in this game; it's not something you find in every first aid kit. And since Adam Smith Hates Your Guts, you're not going to have enough caps to buy it from the few shops that can be found in the northwest corner of the map. The Decontamination Arch can seriously help with the small supply of rad away in the early game but there are several drawbacks: it requires a lot of rare scrap to makewhat and how much , takes 2 units of power to run, and requires Wasteland Workshop to be bought and installed.
    • It isn't until at least level 10 does the perks for damage start beefing up (at level 10, Demolition Expert does 50% more damage) and it's only past level 40 does your main damage perks deal the most amount of damage. Until then you're forced to use weaker weapons on stronger foes until you're strong enough to take them out with far less ammo.
  • Easily Forgiven: When first entering Diamond City, Piper will say that you manage a caravan and will be coming with supplies tomorrow if the city lets both of you in now. You can then talk to the guard and continue Piper's lie, which, if a charisma roll is successful, will prompt him to give you some bottlecaps in advance. You can then say you were lying about the whole thing, and the guard will brush this off with some "that's Piper for you" sentiment, allowing you to keep the bottlecaps with no penalty or admonishment.
    • Most of your actions will be easily forgiven by your followers, even if you get the message: "X hated that." Cannibalism, selling children into slavery, these actions won't drive them away individually. However, accumulate enough disapproval and they'll leave permanently. Preston, Deacon, and X6-88 will also turn hostile if you harm their respective factions. Danse will do so, too, depending on how the BoS questline is played.
    • It's surprisingly difficult to accidentally upset the Institute enough to turn them hostile by dialogue choices alone. No matter how openly the Sole Survivor voices their disgust/mistrust/hatred/whatever about them or what they're doing, they'll almost never act upon it aside from uttering one or two slightly peeved lines before returning to send the Survivor on the Institute's most sensitive tasks - again. This is especially noticeable during the Survivor's first talk with Father, where only two out of about a dozen nasty answers (several of which include Precision F-Strikes) can result in getting banished from the Institute, and these two options are even part of the same dialogue wheel. The same is true for the Brotherhood of Steel (call Maxson fascist as much as you want, it won't stop you from progressing through their questline and their ranks) and the Minutemen (except for one instance, see below). The only faction where some verbal caution is advised is the Railroad.
    • Thoroughly averted for Preston, who will never forgive the Sole Survivor if the latter invites the Nuka-World Raiders into the Commonwealth.
      • Played straight if the Sole Survivor avoids meeting Preston until after inviting those aforementioned Raiders into the Commonwealth.
      • Zig-Zagged if the Sole Survivor rescues Preston and his band of refugees, but decides to keep helping the Raiders anyway.
  • Easy Level Trick: Companion affinity and related perks can at times, be rather difficult to get ahold of. Of course, there's various ways to cheat the system.
    • Strong, arguably the hardest companion to raise affinity with, considering he hates being nice (except when to Minutemen settlements) and picking locks, as well as using Power Armor, also has some of the easiest ways to raise his affinity. For one, he gets bonus affinity simply for killing things, enjoys building and aiding settlements, and likes it when you cannibalize things, two things that you can do easily, and a third that just by farming, gives you a major boost.
    • Cait on the other hand, has the easiest level trick: get naked. That's it. Just be naked, walk in and out of a door, and sit on a chair for 2 hour increments.
    • For Danse, he likes it when you get in Power Armor. the specific act of getting into it in particular. Just repeat that infront of him every 2 in-game hours, waiting to speed time up and boom, new best buddy.
    • Lockpicking tends to be liked by many characters, so simply playing the game will result in Piper idolizing you in short order. Cait is even easier, as she likes both lockpicking and you drinking.
    • There are also quick ways to advance character levels. For example: exploit the item duplication glitch to get huge quantities of the required items, and then craft Molotov Cocktails (15XP each) until your fingers bleed. This can get you up to Level 100 in a few hours.
  • Edible Ammunition: The Thirst Zapper from the Nuka-World DLC is a water pistol that, with the proper modifications, can weaponize Nuka Cola. Classic Nuka Cola becomes radioactive and makes the weapon function like an off-brand Gamma Gun, Nuka Cherry creates tiny explosions on impact, and Nuka Quantum turns the weapon into a small, hand-held Fat Man.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The game uses Boston city landmarks, like the USS Constitution, Fenway Park, the Paul Revere Statue, North Church, the Massachusetts State House, Faneuil Hall, and the Bunker Hill Monument, to establish you are playing in Boston, while not being a one-to-one recreation of the city.
  • Elite Mook: Legendary enemies. Denoted by having "Legendary" in their name and a star at the end, these enemies have the ability to regenerate to full health once if reduced to half health or less. When this happens, they get a stat boost which makes them much more dangerous. In addition, all legendary enemies carry a legendary armor piece or weapon with an effect that cannot be obtained with ordinary mods, which they will use against you if they're capable of it. The current difficultly level determines how often they spawn (read: the higher the difficulty, the more likely Legendaries will spawn).
  • Epic Fail: Just north of Gunners' Plaza, there's a shack that'll explode in a massive fireball the first time you approach, as the inhabitant botched a batch of moonshine that blew up in his face. What makes it a truly epic fail is the sheer size of the explosion, which dwarfs even a mini nuke.
  • Escort Mission:
    • Some of the Minutemen missions require that the player rescue a kidnapped settler and escort them out of the building they were held in. That's a rather downplayed example however, given that the settler in question won't be actively targetted by the remaining enemies in the building, so there's little risk of failing the mission due to the settler dying. Care should still be taken if the enemy deploys explosive ordnance as the settler can be caught in a blast that was meant for the player, and of course they are susceptible to friendly fire from the player themselves.
    • Similarily, a radiant Brotherhood mission requires you to escort a scribe to a certain terminal in a certain building and back so he can download data.
    • "The Big Dig" is one, with you escorting Bobbi, Mel and Sonya (an Eyebot modified by Mel who uses sonic waves to dig walls). The good news is that they can put up a fight, and can't die; the bad news is that Sonya's pathfinding is very buggy and tends to get her stuck, and you need her to reach the fragile walls in order to advance through the level.
    • "Trouble Brewin" ends with you escorting a brewery on legs through the city to Goodneighbor, protecting it from Raiders, Super Mutants, and hostile wildlife. This isn't really that bad, since 'Buddy' is A) armed with lasers, and B) Nigh Invulnerable. However, it is also C) very, very slow, so that part of the mission winds up being more tedious than anything else. This can be avoided by telling the machine to head there on its own however but it will still take a while for it to get there.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As part of the general effort to humanize Raiders, they can be seen caring for each other as a close team, and one terminal indicates that one of the Raider bosses, Red Tourette, genuinely loves her sister, Lily...too bad she was accidentally killed by her kidnapper, Tower Tom. Oh, and then, in a sense, there's your son Shaun/Father, the leader of the Institute.
    • At one point, you can find a Raider mourning over a grave site (they'll still go after you if they notice your presence though).
    • Tessa, one of the Gunners responsible for the Quincy Massacre, has feelings for Baker (another high ranking Gunner in Quincy). Her last terminal log ends with her pointing out how she Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: A nuclear Pinto! It's very possible to inadvertently set off a chain reaction of exploding fusion-powered cars if you or your enemies are careless around them.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Several of your comparatively malevolent/Jerkass companions (most obviously Cait, MacCready, Strong, and X6-88) will still have lines they don't like/approve of the Sole Survivor crossing.
    • All of your companions (with the sole exception of Danse and X6-88, and that's because they can't be at the Railroad HQ at this point for story reasons) will be furious at the Sole Survivor for being sarcastic when trying to comfort Glory as she dies after helping halt the Brotherhood's raid on the Railroad HQ.
    • Virtually all of your companions are disturbed by the Sole Survivor killing random Settlers for no good reason.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The protagonist can choose to be in romantic relationships with all of his/her human companions, regardless of their gender.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The protagonist awakens from a 210 year long cryogenic hibernation to find the world a blasted ruin, with everybody they knew either dead (from natural causes or otherwise) or horribly mutated.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Played straight with the minigun and machine-gun turrets. It's especially noticeable in VATS.
  • Everything Is An Ipod In The Future: In contrast to the Brotherhood of Steel, which has been mostly just salvaging old tech, the Institute has been busily researching new tech ever since the bombs fell. Their Synths and Institute Laser Guns look sleek, white and plasticky compared to the boxy chrome and steel of Pre-War laser weapons and robots.
    • The In-Universe reason for averting Everything Is An Ipod In The Future in the Fallout series is because the worldwide petrol shortage has made the manufacturing of commercial plastics incredibly expensive, hence why nearly every weapon has a wood or metal stock (as opposed to a carbon one), every home device is made of metal, and everything generally looks like the pre-plastic world. There are only a handful of junk items (inexplicably a bread box and salt and pepper shakers) that are plastic, but this was for gameplay balancing reasons, since energy weapons require plastic to modify, so it must be found in at least some scrappable objects. Meanwhile, you can visit Cambridge Polymer Labs, where attempts were being made to synthesize alternative plastics out of some kind of radioactive material. It's likely that the Institute learned how to reverse-engineer those methods to create their new underground society.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: One of the traps you can build with the Wasteland Workshop DLC is a gorilla trap. Said gorillas provide 10 defense for your settlement (that's as much as a Deathclaw!) and improve the settlement's morale.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: All wildlife and most thinking beings in the Commonwealth will try to murder you on sight.
    • Roaming downtown Boston? Expect Raiders and Super Mutants in every building to come out and shoot at you.
    • South Boston is owned and run by the Gunners and they're as friendly as the average raider.
    • Out in the wilderness? You'll run into mutated feral dogs, Feral Ghouls, Big Creepy-Crawlies, mutated bears, and Deathclaws. They are all of course, hostile.
    • Want to take a stroll along the beach? Have fun playing with the Mirelurks. Hell, a goddamn puddle of water is as likely to contain a horde of buried Mirelurks as an entire swamp, lake or shoreline.
  • Evil Albino: Most creatures in the Wasteland have albino variants that for some reason are considerably deadlier. Though, in a land where Everything Trying to Kill You is in full effect, anything as easily noticed and difficult to hide as an albino would have to be tougher just to survive.
  • Evil Is Easy: With Survival Mode, Fast Travel is disabled, except for two particular instances: The Brotherhood's vertibirds and The Institute's teleportation. This can discourage one from taking the main Railroad questline, considering that you have to destroy both factions in this case. Or so it would seem; if the Railroad questline is completed and the Brotherhood is slaughtered, the Railroad takes over the role of providing airlifts for you.
  • Evil Pays Better: The Raiders who inhabit Libertalia have a computer terminal containing logs from their leader. It turns out they're what remains of a band of ex-Minutemen who tried to create a peaceful settlement there by trading and hiring out their services to local caravans and Bunker Hill. One log entry tells of how the leader hung two of his men for raiding a caravan for food when they were desperately running low. The penultimate log reveals that the caravans no longer trust the ex-Minutemen and keep stiffing them on deals for food. The final log triumphantly tells of how the group is now getting all the food they need by attacking the caravans, or being paid to leave them alone. The leader says in his log that the caravans refer to his group (who were once defenders of the Commonwealth) as "Raiders" now. Since he decided principles are worthless to a starving man, he doesn't even care anymore, but still feels guilty when thinking about the shame this would have brought to his General.
    • In the Nuka-World DLC, you have the opportunity to become a Raider yourself. This involves turning some settlements into raider Outposts and pressuring other settlements into sending you supplies and money. While a good, Minuteman-aligned player can liberate every settlement in the game and link them all up via caravans using the Local Leader perk, Raider players only have to worry about maintaining the Outposts (they can't build anything in subjugated farms). Money starts piling up fast in your Overboss trunk once you have a lot of vassal farms, far quicker than money usually generated by stores in settlements you normally create.
  • Exact Words: Occasionally the Synths in the Institute will remark "If it weren't for Father, we wouldn't be here", simultaneously paying homage to him as their creator but also underlining the involuntary nature of their relationship.
    • This is how the Two-Shot Legendary effect works. How it initially seems to work is that it doubles your projectile count per shot. However, getting this effect on a Shotgun shows that this is not the case. The description for the legendary effect reads, "Adds an additional projectile." So instead of making it rain pellets on your opponents, you're just adding an extra pellet to the shells— that adds on the gun's base damage and splits the difference with every other pellet. And with the fact that it increases spread by 150% it breaks shotguns... in the worst way.
  • Expy:
    • The Eastern Brotherhood of Steel has adopted Elder Arthur Maxson as their absolute leader despite the fact he was selected to be so at age 16 (the same age the original protagonist of Fallout 1 could be). They are now a power-armored collection of Super Soldiers on a mission to eradicate all violent non-humans, like Ferals and Super Mutants, and all violent groups that threaten civilians, like Raiders and Gunners. Yes, this means they're effectively Space Marines now. And as pointed out in his character section, Maxson also seems to be an Expy of King Arthur from the Arthurian mythos.
    • The "Silver Shroud" hero of comic books and radio serials is an obvious Expy of The Shadow, a popular hero of 1930s pulp novels and radio serials, as well as The Punisher.
    • On the Silver Shroud quest, the player has to kill a Raider named "Smiling Kate" who sports a Glasgow Grin along with the appropriate makeup and attitude of a popular comic book villain.
    • The Commonwealth Minutemen are Expies of the Desert Rangers from both the Fallout and Wasteland universes. Their status as more or less Cowboy Cops, being a shining example of Good Is Not Soft, and being made up of entirely ordinary Wastelanders that just want to make a positive difference in the world is also reminiscent of 3's Regulators.
    • Stingwings are Expies of Fallout: New Vegas' Cazadores, being flying bugs with a venomous sting. This is justified as Cazadores are confined to the Mojave Wasteland.
    • Synth Coursers appear to be Expies of Terminator robots. Their emotionless personalities and being part of the main antagonistic faction's Secret Police is also evocative of the Agents from The Matrix.
    • The Gunners are essentially 4's equivalent of the Talon Company Mercenaries, given their reputation as unsavory soldiers-for-hire who are willing to do any job for the right price. Unlike their Talon counterparts, they appear to be fiercely territorial of whatever settlements they can get their hands on.
    F 
  • Face Death with Dignity:
  • Face–Heel Turn: The player themselves can pull one by allying with the Nuka-World Raiders and taking over the Commonwealth to Rape, Pillage, and Burn. Is made especially drastic if the Sole Survivor has previously been an ardent Minutemen supporter, so it's very likely they've personally established all those thriving settlements they're now sacking, and most of the settlers that have to suffer under the new raider gang were probably attracted to these "safe" outposts by the radio beacons the Survivor set up before becoming Raider Overboss.
  • Faction Calculus: A rare non-strategy game example. The Minutemen are Cannons, the Brotherhood of Steel are the Powerhouse, the Institute are Subversive, and the Railroad are Balanced.
  • Failed a Spot Check: To the player, it's pretty obvious what Vault 111's experiment is, as the vault makes no effort to even try to conceal the cryogenic equipment and the frost coating everything. To the inhabitants inside, they're lead to believe that the stasis pods are decontamination chambers. If their lives being spared from a nuclear blast weren't still fresh in their heads, they might have questioned it.
  • Fake in the Hole: Occasionally, Raiders will talk about a Wastelander who bluffed a group of Raiders by lobbing rocks and making explosive sounds to run off. Allegedly he also did it to Super Mutants as well, who were so confused by his behavior that they couldn't move fast enough to catch him.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Synths are loathed throughout the Commonwealth, resulting in such paranoia that brothers and friends turn on their loved ones to kill them. This is more Justified than most examples as the Synths are very often used as assassins for the Institute. However, if Synths are freed from their masters, they prove to be more or less like anyone else.
    • Ghouls were forcibly exiled from Diamond City years ago despite the fact they're great sources of history and technological expertise. You eventually find out that the guy who threw them out is a Synth plant from the Institute, working to get rid of anyone with knowledge of the Pre-War world. However, he was elected Mayor of Diamond City by running on an anti-Ghoul platform.
    • Interestingly, it's shown through Enemy Chatter that the Commonwealth breed of Super Mutants don't just attack non-Mutants out of hunger, but also because they see them as lesser races. Some Super Mutants are shown hunting humans not just for food, but for sport, and also attack people out of vengeance for humanity having created them in the first place.
    Commonwealth Super Mutant: You humans made us - Now suffer for your arrogance!
  • The Federation/The Republic:
    • The Commonwealth Provisional Government was getting close to becoming this in the backstory before it was possibly purged by the Institute.
    • While the Minutemen are The Alliance, they can partner up with much of the Commonwealth and may possibly help lay down the foundations of something like the NCR.
  • Fascists Bedtime: A random encounter features a Mr. Gutsy robot roving about, bloviating about a "mandatory curfew" that is from an official military decree from before the Great War. Depending on the response, it may let you carry on, or will become hostile.
  • Femme Fatale: Illustrated on the cover of one of the "Live & Love" perk magazines. "Beware The Man-Handler" pictures a coy dame who looks like she's about to seduce a rougish man, while a bounty poster featuring him lays near her feet on the bed and she conceals the suppressed pistol she's drawing.
  • Fetch Quest: The Nuka-World DLC is madly in love with this trope. Star Cores, Nuka-Cola recipe books, park medallions, invisible paintings - you name it. Prepare to spend a significant portion of the DLC's net play time scouring every corner of the theme park for those little bastards, at least if you're a completionist when it comes to achievements. Fortunately there's a lot of guides floating around the internet already, but even with one (or several) of those handy it can be a real chore to track down that last missing Star Core to finally gain access to that nifty blue Quantum X-01 Mk V Power Armor, or to discover all ten Cappy paintings in order to get your hands on the incredibly devastating Nuka- Nuke Launcher.
  • Filk Song: Going Nuclear and Some Things Never Change, both courtesy of Miracle of Sound. The first is an upbeat swing piece about the singer "going nuclear" out in the wasteland and having fun, while the second is a much more somber piece about the state that the world has fallen into and how the Sole Survivor is perceiving it through the filter of their Pre-War life. Some Things Never Change also carries several stylistic choices and a lyrical callback to his earlier piece for Fallout 3, Beauty Bleak.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Kellogg's age is spoiled early but subtly in the quest "Dangerous Minds." The first memory the Sole Survivor explores is Kellogg as a boy of about ten years old talking to his mother after a radio announces that the New California Republic has officially formed. This happened in 2189, nearly a hundred years before the events of the main game, spoiling the fact that he lived much longer than initially obvious because of Institute tinkering. However, this is the only mention given to the NCR, and their official founding hasn't been mentioned since Fallout 2.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The player character was born before the Great War, but ended up 210 years in the post-apocalyptic future due to their Vault having an experimental cryogenics program.
  • Fish People:
    • In the base game, the Mirelurk Kings. They aren't a straight example as they may as well be mutant turtles or frogs. They are more fishy than the mutant snapping turtle mirelurk kings down south in the D.C. Wasteland, at least.
    • Far Harbor has the Anglers, mutated angler fish. Their illicium gave rise to the term "Lure Weed", a glowing plant that resembles the angler's lure.
  • Flaming Sword: The Shishkebab is back, and unlike the previous games' Shishkebab, Fallout 4's version is more well made. Rather than being crudely made from a lawnmower blade and motorcycle fuel tank in the previous games, this time it's made from a Wakizashi and a modified blowtorch.
  • Flash Step: The Blitz perk increases your VATS melee range... Up to Eleven. When maxed out, you'll be able to teleport all around a room using melee weapons, slashing/bludgeoning enemies. Using this ability you can even reach areas like balconies that normally would need a circumvent dungeon crawl to get to later.
  • Flat "What": The Sole Survivor can answer with one when the Cambridge Polymer Labs secretary robot asks them whether they want to begin their application interview now.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    • If you invite the Ghoulified Vault-Tec salesman to Sanctuary and have Deacon as a companion, Deacon will jokingly complain about how you'll take in a "stray", but won't let him keep a pet Deathclaw named "Fluffy".
    • There's a Super Mutant Behemoth hiding in a park in Boston. His name is Swan. Everyone is terrified of him.
  • Fluffy Tamer: You, with the Wild Wasteland and Animal Friend perks. Better still, with the Wasteland Workshop DLC, you can build cages that generate monsters and build a pacifying emitter next to them that cause the monsters to be friendly to the settlement, providing a free defense bonus. Yes, you can have giant mutant bears and Deathclaws guarding your homesteads.
  • Flunky Boss: Oswald the Outrageous, the guy that's spamming the Sole Survivor with feral ghouls and irradiated mist the whole way through Nuka-World's Kiddie Kingdom, continues this tactic during his Boss Fight by summoning wave after wave of ferals. While that doesn't sound terribly troublesome, it actually is due to Oswald being semi-essential for a while. Once brought down to near-zero health, he'll teleport away and almost immediately reappear with full health somewhere else in the room before charging back into the fray. Every time he does that, at least three more ferals join the party, which can end very quickly in getting zerg-rushed by many very powerful enemies. It's never touched upon how Oswald manages to survive dozens of headshots, missiles or even nukes at point-blank range, but he needs to be put down somewhere around ten times before finally staying down.
  • Foil:
    • The Sole Survivor is one to the Lone Wanderer. The Lone Wanderer is an individual leaving their comfy, pleasant, and secure Vault in search of their father. The Sole Survivor is leaving their decaying, frozen tomb of a Vault in order to find their missing son and avenge their dead spouse. They also serve as one to James, who left his family to build a New World while the Sole Survivor manages to juggle looking for their child with constructing new settlements as well as inspiring the people around them.
    • The Mojave Wasteland was at the time of the game's setting in the midst of being tamed and developed, to the point that highways, major cities, and even railroads were popping up. This is due to an organized central society being set up by Mr. House's New Vegas, and the recent coming of both the NCR and Caesar's Legion. Conversely, the Commonwealth is a feral landscape around and in a ruined city, occasionally blasted by radiation storms and containing few bastions of safety and even fewer attempts at widespread logistics. This is due to the Institute's near-constant meddling with the surface, presence of the Glowing Sea, and recent fall of the Minutemen causing a second regional societal collapse.
    • The Commonwealth Minutemen are in a sense this to the Enclave, much like the New California Republic also is. In doing a service to the people of the Commonwealth and upholding honorable values, they hearken back to what Pre-War America wished it was, whereas the Enclave represented the worst aspects of Pre-War America in reality. In fact, the recruitment radio tower, which presumably uses Minuteman tracks, plays the same patriotic music as Enclave Radio did in between broadcasts of the Sole Survivor's recorded urgings for people to come to a given settlement. They also serve as this to the Brotherhood of Steel by being, essentially, everything Elder Lyons wished he could turn the Brotherhood into but ultimately failed to do. They also do it with far less technology, resources, and influence. And also like the Brotherhood, they can be seen as a Foil to the Institute.
    • The Institute serves as another Foil to both the Enclave and the Brotherhood of Steel. As a Pre-War institution of higher learning and intelligence, it has dedicated itself to making the Wasteland a better place. It also does so with ruthlessness, pragmatism, and behind-the-scenes manipulation which makes the Enclave's brute force approach look laughably trite. The Institute replaces racism against Wastelanders with racism against Synths, and is willing to incorporate the best into their ranks. To this end, they also bear some similarity and antithesis to Mr. House, the Think Tank, and even Caesar's Legion.
    • The Railroad is one to the Followers of the Apocalypse, being more focused on the anarchism and "fight the power" elements of the group over science and knowledge. Whereas the Followers are frequently co-opted by the NCR, the Great Khans, and other groups to build their empires, the Railroad actively tears them down but has a far less positive effect on society as a whole (while still helping individuals). The Railroad also are perfectly fine with their sometimes ruthless measures they have for helping liberate & protect Synths (most of which will likely cause the Commonwealth to stay chaotic), while the Followers of the Apocalypse are intentionally trying to distance themselves from that stereotype. The Railroad are also Foils to the Brotherhood of Steel, Institute, and Minutemen, although they can potentially team up with the latter in some endings.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel now act almost exactly like the Midwest chapter, who functioned with a feudal model. They're also Foils to the West Coast Brotherhood, Institute, and Minutemen.
    • Vault 81 turns this Up to Eleven, with it being the Foil to four different Vaults across the entire series.
    • There's also a few cases of this among the Sole Survivor's companions.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: In a departure from previous games in the series, the main questline is not only mandatory, but doesn't let you skip steps until the branching point (with the exception of the Minutemen's opening quest, which gives you a lead that you could technically get just by going south). There are still plenty of sidequests, but the main quest isn't optional this time.
  • For Science!: Many of the Institute's more demented projects veer towards this, such as their attempts to improve the FEV (AKA the virus that creates Super Mutants). The members of the Institute, including Father, never seem to recognize that their relations with the Commonwealth were irrevocably poisoned by 1) the Institute kidnapping Commonwealth citizens to be used as lab rats for their invariably fatal experiments, and 2) the Institute dumping their failed experiments in the Commonwealth for the natives to deal with.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the Dangerous Minds quest, while observing Kellogg's first memory there's a radio playing in the background, with a host talking about the formation of the New California Republic and Aradesh being elected its first president. Fallout history buffs will note this event takes place in 2189, 98 years before the events of Fallout 4, hinting that there might be something more to Kellogg's age than first meets the eye. The last memory echoes the first, with Shaun reading while Kellogg sits. Notice what Shaun's reading?
    • Earlier, when looting Kellogg's body, the Sole Survivor will note that Kellogg is so heavily augmented he's "more machine than man." Implying one should not trust his otherwise normal human appearance too much - in particular his age.
    • During the main story quest "Shadow of Steel," pretty much the first larger building the Sole Survivor's Vertibird passes by en route to the Prydwen is the C.I.T. Ruins, directly under which the elusive Institute happens to be located.
    • The very first terminal shows that your spouse's pod was opened with a manual override (meaning someone on-site opened it), but your pod was opened with a remote override(meaning someone off-site opened it). It shows that your pod wasn't unlocked by the people that unlocked your spouse's.
    • In the very first quest in the Brotherhood of Steel questline, there is an optional objective to activate rocket engine fire to incinerate the horde of hostile Synths dogpiling Paladin Danse, with him getting inevitably caught by it in the process. Surprisingly, Danse actually lives, and he attributes his survival to his Power Armor. While it seems to make sense at the time, after it's revealed that he's actually a Synth, it makes more sense for him being able to survive that heat, since it's often mentioned that Synths are Made of Iron in comparison to ordinary humans.
    • During the tour of Vault 81, Horatio the hairdresser remarks that Austin Engill's hair is a "Mole Rat's nest". Sometime later, a nest filled with Mole Rats infected by a virus is discovered in the abandoned section of the same vault. Austin himself is bitten by one and requires special medicine or he will die.
    • The Commonwealth is the first region since visited in the series without any Centaurs seen alongside Super Mutants, with them instead being replaced by Mutant Hounds. This is actually a pretty subtle case of Foreshadowing for the Commonwealth Super Mutants being the result of Institute experimentation. After all, isn't animal testing usually used before human trials begin for biological experiments? And unlike the half-mad Master and idiotic Vault 87 Super Mutants, the Institute's scientists are likely smart enough to not just throw random animals into a vat of FEV and see what happens.
    • If you listen carefully, The Mechanist's voice cracks a bit during their hammiest moments. The voice underneath the filter is rather high-pitched.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The Strength 10 perk Pain Train (which requires Power Armor to use), in the style of charging at your enemies and ramming them. At rank 3 you can knock even Deathclaws out of your way and can nearly kill low level Raiders by ramming them.
  • Fog of Doom:
    • The entire Island in the Far Harbor DLC is blanketed in a thick irradiated Fog that slowly yet steadily raises your rad count just by standing in it. Pretty much everyone on the Island respects and fears the Fog, and the Children Of Atom even worship it as a holy extension of their god. What makes it truly deadly, however, is the wide array of mutated and deformed creatures that infest it like a plague. If not for the Fog Condenser technology, it's highly likely that humanity would have been forced to leave the Island a long time ago. Fortunately, the Fog also has a few positive aspects to it as well, such as providing new and potent recipes for the player to craft. They will certainly be needed.
    • In the Commonwealth proper, overcast fog is not dangerous per se... but the things in the deep fog are. Radiation storms from the Glowing Sea (ground zero of the bomb that ruined Massachusetts) blanket the Commonwealth in a sick, green fog while green lighting strikes and irradiates whatever it touches.
  • Four-Star Badass: The leader of the Minutemen was always selected from the most respected and powerful of their warriors. And this includes you when Preston points out he doesn't have the chops to rebuild the order.
  • Friendly Fireproof: The Inspirational perk at its lowest level makes companions unable to hurt you. At second level, your companions become immune to your attacks.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Due to having spent the last two centuries as a Human Popsicle, the Sole Survivor is such a nobody when they leave Vault 111 that the simple fact they exist wreaks havoc on P.A.M.'s calculations. Needless to say that after a couple of weeks spent as a Crusading Widow(er) and Mama Bear/Papa Wolf turned One-Man Army, they've become the waking nightmare of at least one very powerful faction, not to mention the legions of other (usually bad) people all over the Commonwealth. Can be cranked Up to Eleven by finishing the main story for the Railroad and the Minutemen, destroying the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel in the process, and then leading the Nuka-World Raiders in their conquest of the entire Commonwealth, thus turning the Sole Survivor into a walking nightmare for virtually everyone else as well.
    • The Institute thinks that the Railroad are a nuisance but ultimately only able to help escaped Synths, and doesn't even spare a thought for the Minutemen. You can help either faction blow the Institute to hell.
    • Ten years ago, the Children of the Atom were a weird religion from Megaton and were mostly harmless (the incident in Broken Steel aside), but now they're an absolute terror, wandering the Commonwealth with their Gamma Guns and murdering anyone they find in order to "spread Atom's word."
    • Arthur Maxson - the timid child from Fallout 3 who liked writing stories and had a crush on Sarah Lyons - grew up into a charismatic yet fanatical demagogue, leading the Brotherhood of Steel on a crusade to cleanse the Wasteland of "abominations", including Synths, Ferals, and Super Mutants.
  • Future Imperfect: Moe Cronin, the owner of the bat store in Diamond City believes that baseball was a Blood Sport in which players beat each other to death with "Swatters." Nobody else seems to believe him and if you tell him the actual rules, he decides that he likes his version better.
    G 
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Not the very deadly variant, but Dogmeat and Rex Goodman are very easy to glitch out of the elevator during the mission to recruit Strong.
    • It's also possible that the Brotherhood Elder will get stuck in an inaccessible room if you choose to side with them, effectively making you unable to proceed in the main storyline and consequently unable to beat the game. At least on the PC you can use the console to drag him back.
    • You can get stuck in an unbreakable animation loop that requires you to load an earlier save note  in order to be able to play again. This can happen with anything from using flavor objects like water pumps to the incredibly important workshop tables.
    • One of the side quests from the Railroad is to clear out various buildings that used to be Railroad safehouses of hostiles. If you've already been to any of the buildings and cleared them out before, it won't properly flag the building and the quest can't be completed. With the other factions, the building is refilled.
    • An rare example of a bug breaking the game by making it too easy was MacCready's companion perk Killshot before it was patched. It is supposed to increase headshot accuracy in VATS by 20%. Instead, it increased it by 2000%. Every headshot you attempted to make had a displayed 95% (the max), but effectively 100% chance of hitting. The only thing that could prevent a headshot with this bug was if the enemy's head went behind cover after you had already targeted it.
    • If you decide to be extra ambitious before getting the first settlement quest from Preston in Sanctuary Hills, and decide to simply take over every settlement in the Commonwealth, it will break Preston. Instead of giving you the quest when you next talk to him, he won't say anything. Essentially "locking" you in an empty conversation, forcing you to move away to end it.
  • Game Mod: It wouldn't be a Bethesda game without having a Creation Kit... or in this case, the Garden of Eden Creation Kit. In a first for the series, the console version can use mods as well. For the NSFW modding community, Bethesda has already given their full support on letting them do their thing. However, there are three drawbacks to the console ports getting mods: 1) downloading and installing mods disables achievements/trophies until they are uninstalled; 2) the mod storage size is capped note ; and 3)PS4 mods are limited to everything already in the game files, while Xbox One mods can utilize custom content just like the PC version.
    • However, with Fallout 4, the modding application now shares its name with the Elder Scrolls version - simply "Creation Kit".
  • Game Within a Game: Your Pip-Boy and computer terminals throughout the Commonwealth (and the mobile version too) can accept game cartridges to play Captain Ersatz versions of real-life video games. These include Red Menace, Atomic Command, PipFall, Zeta Invaders, Grognak and the Ruby Ruins, and Automatron note .
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality:
    • All of your companions are nearly invincible while travelling with you. If their health hits 0, then they collapse to the ground and will only get up if either you inject them with a Stimpak or once combat is over. This is altered with Survival difficulty, though - While the companions will still not be killed, they will automatically start to slowly walk back to their home base if the Sole Survivor doesn't give them a Stimpak quickly enough after they heal from their "knocked-out" state.
    • Similarly, Settlers are nigh invincible unless you kill them personally, though they can die if the town is being attacked and you don't help or if they are hit with a massive amount of damage (Such as an explosion if they are already in a "knocked-out" state or are hit by an insta-kill move, like the one a Deathclaw can administer).
    • Averted by any Automatron companions you construct from scratch (As in, aside from Ada, Codsworth and Curie). They generally have pretty good defense and you find Stimpack-like repair kits to heal them, but have the same in-game status as settlers or provisioners, and if their HP is brought to zero they'll stay dead.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • The Institute's Synth Coursers are ruthless Terminator expies who are designed to not only look exactly like humans, but be superior in every way, shape and form. That being said, X6-88's stats total to a whopping 98 SPECIAL points, almost twice that of all your other companions' individual stat sums.
    • While we're on the subject of X6-88, let's talk about The Railroad HQ. The leadership there makes it explicitly clear that the Institute wants them gone. They also make it clear that Coursers are searching for their HQ. As that follows, bringing X6 to their hideout will instantly turn them against you forever. If you like Deacon (or want to go with the Railroad ending), never take X6-88 to the Railroad.
    • Fast-Travelling to and from the Institute will not only play a teleportation animation, but in-game time will only pass by 1 minute.
    • There's a reason Institute Synths are feared like boogeymen: it's entirely possible for any of your settlers (barring companions) to be replaced with a Synth. If other settlers realize that a Synth is among them and find out who it is, they will kill them, and their corpse with have Synth components on them.
    • Justice, a unique variant of the Combat Shotgun that causes staggering, can be purchased in Covenant, which requires only a short side-trip to reach after Concord. Normally, legendary items available for purchase are too cost prohibitive for low level players, but for quest related reasons, the merchants in Covenant are selling at an incredible lossnote , meaning you only need to scrape up about 1000-1500 caps to purchase it (depending on Charisma and perks.) As a bonus, it comes with several mods already in place that a low-level character will be unable to craft for some time, adding to its usefulness.
    • The Commonwealth Super Mutants are depicted as being a Proud Warrior Race that will often run straight into battle shouting at the top of their lungs. Strong, the only Super Mutant companion in the game, shares this bloodlust to the point where it's literally impossible for him to enter sneak mode like the Sole Survivor's other companions can.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • When talking to Codsworth, the protagonist is surprised that two centuries have passed, although the player is able to look at the date and time at the moment they activate the Pip-Boy. A Downplayed Trope example since the situation is disorientating and nightmarish to say the least.
    • In the fluff, Power Armor was powered via a back-mounted micro-fusion reactor that was filled with 100 years worth of fuel and Van Buren was supposed to reveal that the earliest versions were grossly energy inefficient due to running on small energy cells, rather than fusion cores. The Power Armor in Fallout 4 is a mix of the two versions: keeping the integrated reactor, while "adding" a backup power source for when the primary one fails. While it may seem like a huge technological step backwards, it gives a reason as to why you can't go around in Power Armor all the time now like you could in the previous games.
    • One of the most blatant examples is during the quest "Diamond City Blues," Trish tells you that there are even more chems found in Marowski's chem lab than in the crates at the ambush you createnote . In reality, the best you're getting out of that chem lab in comparison is 4 hazmat suits. Of course, it should be noted that Trish only says this after you've ruthlessly killed three or four of her associates in front of her (and probably shot her a few times), so it's probably a case of bluffing for her life.
    • The lore for the Laser Musket explicitly states the weapon is powered by the crank. In gameplay, cranking simply loads the weapon with Fusion Cells.
    • Paladin Danse claims that air superiority will give the Brotherhood the edge they need to fight the Institute. Vertibirds are primarily flying deathtraps that can get shot down frequently by small-arms fire.
    • On the topic of Danse, if you bring him along when discovering the Slog, and say that founding it as an example of what ghouls can do peacefully is a good idea, he'll disapprove. Immediately after this dialogue, Wiseman asks you to clear the trade route of Raiders/Super Mutants/Gunners. Saying you'll help will immediately recover any lost approval from the conversation.note 
    • And speaking of the Slog, giving Arlen Glass the holotape of his daughter and wife will prompt him to give you every last cap he has (or so he says.) If you have any Giddyup Buttercup parts left in your inventory prior to leaving him after this, he'll still pay you as if nothing happened.
  • Gang of Hats: Most of the game's factions fall into this to help make each faction unique and easily identifiable. This also crosses over with Fantasy Counterpart Culture to a certain extent for a few.
  • Gargle Blaster: The game has a few:
    • The base game has the Dirty Wastelander which is a concoction of Whiskey, Nuka Cola and Mutfruit mixed inside an empty beer bottle.
    • The Far Harbor DLC takes a page out of Dead Money's book and introduces Sludge Cocktails made from the island's RADIOACTIVE FOG.
    • The Nuka World DLC adds Nuka-Cola Dark to the Nuka-Cola family. This alcoholic soda isn't terribly potent by itself (being "only" 35% alcohol by volume) but can be used at a mixing station to make some of the most insane beverages to ever grace any Fallout game ever. They include:
      • Nuka-Power, a blend of normal Nuka-Cola and two Nuka-Cola Darks. It's potent enough to give the player a whopping +60 to Carry Weight. (Most other boosters cap out at around +25.)
      • Nuka-Void, a mix of Nuka-Cola Dark and the rare and powerful Nuka-Cola Quantum. It doesn't boost Carry Weight quite as much as Nuka-Power, but it comes with many smaller bonuses as well.
      • Nuka-Cide, an insane cocktail made of Nuka-Cola Dark and almost every other type of Nuka-Cola in existence. It provides too many buffs to list and honestly, it's probably a minor miracle your heart doesn't explode when you drink it. You can even make Ice Cold Nuka-Cide, which buffs the buffs
      • Lastly, we have Nuka-Bombdrop which may just be the most powerful alcoholic cocktail seen in the series to date. It's made from Nuka-Cola, Nuka-Cola Dark, Bourbon, Rum and Vodka! Stats-wise it doesn't seem very impressive (+1 to Strength, Endurance and Agility) but makes up for it by having no negative side effects whatsoever. The only plausible explanation for the lack of stat penalties is that all of the different types of alcohol have somehow CANCELED EACH OTHER OUT...or maybe the player is just so drunk that they simply don't NOTICE any ill effects.
  • Gatling Good:
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe example. While Cherry Nuka-Cola proved to be wildly unpopular in America before and after the War, apparently it has garnered a cult following in the Commonwealth and has seen some marketing success there under the label "Nuka-Cherry."
  • Gendered Outfit: Mostly averted this time, unlike the previous games. A female dress will still look like a female dress when worn by a male character. Likewise, the Harness outfit will look just as revealing female characters as it is on male and will inevitably reveals the character's bra. The reward for the mission Curtain Call is a suit or dress depending on the Sole Survivor's gender.
    • Though certain outfits will change their fit to suit whoever is wearing it. Road leathers on a male has a full jacket, while on a female it shows a peeking midriff.
    • Also played straight with Grognak's Costume. In an inversion of the usual case, the female version features a leather bra while the male version covers even less.
  • Genre Blind: Paladin Danse ignores virtually any negative side to the Brotherhood because of his Undying Loyalty. This bites him in the ass after it's revealed that he's a Synth, which causes him to suffer an identity crisis.
  • Ghost Town: University Point looks like a player built settlement, including stuff the player can build like generators, water purifiers, and shops, but it's uninhabited. It used to be a thriving settlement, until a girl found the secret Army lab under the Credit Union. The Institute demanded the lab's contents be given to them. When the town didn't immediately agree (note that they had not categorically refused either), the Institute returned three days later and killed everyone in University Point.
  • Giant Enemy Crab:
    • The Mirelurks are back. The normal huge horseshoe crab morphology returns, now a lot more crablike instead of looking like a guy in a crab suit. Additionally, the "Mirelurk Hunters" are now giant enemy lobsters, the Kings look like hyper-agile modern takes on the Swamp Thing, and the new Mirelurk Queen takes this trope up to eleven. For the opposite end, you can now encounter Mirelurk larvae if you disturb an egg clutch.
    • Far Harbor adds hermit crabs, which are massive crabs that use buses as shells.
    • Nuka-World reintroduces the Nukalurk variant from Fallout 3, Mirelurks that have been mutated from the river of Nuka-Cola Quantum in the World of Refreshment.
  • Giant Mook: The Super Mutant Behemoths from Fallout 3 are back, and just as large, angry, and powerful as before. Mirelurk Queens are also worryingly big.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: 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 only 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"). Codsworth will also note that something "big" seems to be sleeping in the Concord maintenance tunnels, should you bring him down there before the actual encounter. Likely justified by the Deathclaw being attracted to the place by the sound of the battle between Preston and the Raiders and is looking for food.
  • Glowing Flora:
    • There are clusters of tall-stalked mushrooms scattered throughout the game world that glow with a steady green light.
    • Far Harbor introduces the lure weeds, aquatic plants found floating on standing water throughout the Island and — like almost all organisms in the game — heavily mutated by the fallout and other mutagens released during the Great War. Each plant sports one or two tall stalks tipped with flowers or flower-like structures that emit a bright yellow glow, strong enough to be visible during the day. Unfortunately, the structures look a great deal like the lures of the anglers, highly mutated, humanoid anglerfish the size of a person, which have developed the habit of lurking amongst patches of lure weeds, disguising their own lure as another plant as they wait for prey to walk close.
  • Golden Ending: Many consider the Minutemen ending to be this, as it involves the least loss of life. The only faction you have to wipe out is the Institute, who are the darkest of the game's factions anyway. The Railroad will remain peaceful so long as you remember to sound the evacuation order in the finale, and the Brotherhood will tolerate you so long as you don't directly antagonize them. All other factions require you to at least kill one of the others, without exception.
  • The Goomba:
    • Radroaches fill this role like in most Fallout series games, being the very first mooks that the player fights in the game. The Sole Survivor will occasionally even deliver a Finishing Stomp to kill them if the player uses a melee attack on them in V.A.T.S.
  • Goomba Stomp: Entirely plausible with Powered Armor if you have a steep drop on a foe, or have a jetpack. Since directly landing on someone is tricky, a Shockwave Stomp also occurs. Equipping the Explosive Vent mod on the legs increases the range of the shockwave.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: Unlike Fallout 3 and more like Fallout: New Vegas, there isn't a clear-cut "good" or "evil" faction, with both the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute, as well as the Railroad and Minutemen, each making a compelling argument why their path is the best one for the future of the Commonwealth and humanity. In turn, the conflict between the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute falls into the lines of Romanticism (The Brotherhood of Steel) versus Enlightenment (The Institute)note .
    • The Brotherhood of Steel, like every major faction in-game, has members who are openly bigoted against Ghouls. The Minutemen are comprised of the everyday folks of the Commonwealth, many of whom are at least some shade of bigoted, and a terminal in the Railroad even references how uncomfortable people were when Deacon changed his appearance to look like a Ghoul for a month.
    • The "Human Error" quest will force you to side with either Honest Dan or the denizens of Covenant. Dan is simply trying to rescue Amelia Stockton per his contract, but the Covenant citizens are survivors of Synth assassins, who infiltrated their families and friends and killed them. As a result, they're attempting to develop a psychological exam to help spot Synths, but are unfortunately torturing a lot of innocent people in the process too, and their test doesn't discriminate between innocent Synths rescued by the Railroad and the Institute's infiltrators.
    • Even Raiders are significantly humanized via conversations the player can overhear between them when they haven't been detected, and terminals in various Raider-controlled settings show countless shades of villainy among them.
    • The Far Harbor DLC has three factions: the inhabitants of the titular Far Harbor, the Church of the Children of Atom, and even DiMA's Acadia. Far Harbor's inhabitants are generally distrustful of outsiders (particularly the Children of Atom), but the main reason for their hatred is due to having driven to the docks by the radioactive Fog. The Children of Atom, despite their Church Militant nature and wish to blanket the entire island with the Fog at the expense of Far Harbor's citizens, are not responsible for the Fog and only become more hostile due to an extremist leader like Tektus. While DiMA and the Synths lived in peace and even provided Fog Condensers for Far Harbor to hold back the Fog, DiMA himself killed Captain Avery and replaced her with a mind wiped Synth in the same manner of the very Institute he ran away from. Despite his reason being done for the sake of peace between him and Far Harbor, he can get called out for being Not So Different from the Institute. While the story itself does have a Golden Ending, it involves either convincing or killing Tektus to be replaced by a Synth to cease hostility between the Children of Atom and Far Harbor..
  • Greaser Delinquents: The Atom Cats are the post-apocalyptic version of a 1950s hot rod greaser gang. Only instead of customizing hot rods, they customize Power Srmor suits. They also happen to help repair the machinery at a local farm and hold poetry nights.
  • Gunship Rescue: If you're allied with the Brotherhood, you can deploy a flare to signal a Vertibird gunship to pick you up, then hop in with your dog and grab a hold of the side mounted minigun. You can then have the Vertibird go to a settlement or other location that needs help, including if a settler has been kidnapped.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The settlement system only has one extremely bare-bones tutorial, which introduces you to the three basic things a settlement needs (food, water, defense), as well as the basics of assigning settlers to a task. What the game will not tell you about is how surplus resources are handled, what affects settlement happiness and what that rating means, how to build and run power and mechanical systems, what the Defense mechanic means in terms of the settlement being attacked, and perhaps most importantly, you're never told how to set up a caravan network to share supplies between settlements. Your only hints on how to piece these things together are the descriptions for Perks and buildings, but it's not really enough to figure out all the nuances of how settlements work.
    • In order to get into the Institute, you have to build a relay platform using the settlement interface. This seems simple on its surface, but several of the specifics can be confusing. The platform itself consists of a large, three-pronged cover and a smaller platform, the latter snapping onto the former, which the game doesn't make clear. The operating console has to be within earshot of the platform so the operator's dialog will register and move the quest along. Finally, all three parts have to be on the same power grid.
    • Though the story missions do tell you outright when you're going to make a faction hostile permanently, the intertwined nature of the missions mean a lot of them can conflict with each other even before you've reached a turning point. For example, one Brotherhood mission causes the Railroad Assaultron P.A.M. to enter a "security lockdown" mode in which she will not respond to any attempts at conversation, even if you have quests to turn in. Furthermore, this will happen even if you haven't fulfilled the first objective of speaking to the quest giver. The conversation priority system, which determines how characters respond if there's multiple options, will also prioritize secondary objectives of other quests over that character's personal quests. For example, when Institute quests give you the option to warn the Brotherhood, this warning will be prioritized over any quests you may have active with Maxson.
    • Keeping all of the non-Institute factions and their related companions in play through the ending is possible, but requires a very specific order in doing quests for all three factions with very specific cutoffs that can make the A-Ending requirements from Valkyrie Profile seem sane. And even then, doing the wrong things during the final mission can permanently anger certain factions companions into leaving you. Doing so will also make you miss out on endgame rewards from the Brotherhood and Railroad. This is how it's done.
    • The Prydwen doesn't spawn until you complete both "Semper Invicta" and "Reunions", and then when you leave Fort Hagen via the elevator to the command center, a cutscene of the Prydwen arriving will player and the next quest in the Brotherhood questline will begin. A player could very easily play through the main quest before making contact with the Brotherhood, resulting in the Prydwen not spawning since the event flag to make it appear wasn't trigger, and the player probably having no idea why. The solution is to go all the way back to Fort Hagen after completing "Semper Invicta" and exit the command center via the elevator, which will trigger the cutscene properly.
    • The game doesn't tell you that Critical Hits always hit, and there is a non-trivial difference between "more powerful attack" and "more powerful attack that never misses."
    • The Nuka-World DLC was already notorious for its many annoying collection quests (one of which is actually necessary to advance the story) pretty much the day it was released. While physical collectibles like Nuka-Cola recipe books or Star Cores are reasonably noticeable if one knows what to look out for, many of them are still very easy to overlook or hidden in out-of-the-way spots, and finding the ten hidden Cappy paintings for the Cappy In A Haystack quest is a chore. These paintings measure no more than half a meter across and are very inconspicuous, their respective map markers disappear the moment the player enters a fifty-meters-radius around their rough location, and the hints provided by the quest giver aren't exactly helpful either. To add insult to injury, the damn things are invisible unless the Sole Survivor is wearing a ridiculously ugly pair of sunglasses with no stats bonus whatsoever, and equipping them prevents the simultaneous use of a power armor helmet with all the latter's associated benefits.
  • Gun Fu: The Agility 10 perk, which makes it easier to pull off shots against multiple targets in V.A.T.S.
  • The Gunslinger: A good pistol build, especially one that uses V.A.T.S., can feel very much like an Old Western gunfighter or a similarly badass gun-user.
    H 
  • Hand Cannon: The game's Design-It-Yourself Equipment system classifies a weapon as a pistol so long as it has a pistol grip instead of a full-sized stock. Thus you can get "pistols" with things like enormous magazines, barrels meant for sniper rifles, large scopes, and attachments like a muzzle brake or bayonet. The .44 pistol is also quite large if you give it a bull barrel.
    • The Broadsider is a literal example, being a Naval Cannon that's been modified into a heavy infantry weapon that fires explosive cannonballs.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • A Downplayed Trope example regarding the Lone Wanderer with their friendship to the Brotherhood of Steel. Given the Cutting Off the Branches and No Canon for the Wicked, it's now clear that the Lone Wanderer helped the Brotherhood of Steel conquer and assimilate the resources of the Enclave as well as establish themselves as the prominent power in the Capital Wasteland. While certainly better than the hell it was before, the Brotherhood of Steel is now implied to rule over the territory it conquers absolutely and is actively expanding its influence.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Higher difficulties feature more legendary enemies, which means more legendary weapons and items.
    • Survival Mode has an abundance of difficulties, but to make things fair, enemies also grant twice the experience points and the longer you keep yourself going, the more damage you do (until the next time you rest).
  • Harder Than Hard: Survival difficulty disables Fast Travel (except teleporting to the Insistute, and even then you can only teleport back out to the C.I.T. Ruins), only allows permanent saves when you sleep (saving at game exit changes to a Suspend Save), reduces carry weight by 125, and makes enemies do far more damage to the player. Much like Hardcore Mode in Fallout: New Vegas, you also need to regularly eat food, drink water, and sleep. Failure to do so will result in increasingly weaker SPECIAL stats due to hunger, thirst, and fatigue. You can now catch various illnesses that debilitate your character until you visit a doctor, use Antibiotics, or get several days of heavy sleep. Healing from Stimpaks and other consumables is much slower, while many consumable now have side-effects like increasing hunger/thirst/fatigue, weakened resistance to illness, or a chance to directly cause illness.
  • Have a Nice Death: Just as there are many ways to explodinate and gib your enemies, the many different ways apply to you as well. For example, when a Deathclaw (nearly) kills its prey, it can show the Deathclaw lifting it up into the air, take a moment to savor the kill, extend its claws, and slash the victim dead.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: An arguable case with the Brotherhood of Steel. In previous Fallout games, the BoS fought against the Enclave, who wanted to kill anyone that wasn't a "pure" human. In Fallout 4, the BoS have arrived in the Commonwealth to wipe out every synth. Due to the history of Institute synths replacing people, kidnapping people, and wiping out entire settlements, they believe this unrestricted artificial intelligence is a threat to the existence of humanity. To the Railroad, the Brotherhood is the enemy.
  • Healing Shiv:
    • An interesting first for the series comes in the form of the Gamma Gun. Deals insane amounts of radiation damage that is most certainly not healthy, well not for humans. Ghouls are healed by radiation and the damage from the Gamma Gun is no exception. You can use this to quickly heal Ghoul companion John Hancock. There is a legendary weapon type called "Ghoul Slayer's" which can randomly give you a Gamma Gun that heals ghouls by 50% more.
    • There's a legendary weapon mod called "Medic's" which will cause the weapon to heal a target instead of doing damage. It's disabled by default, but can be enabled with mods or console commands. This means the player can potentially find a Fat Man with the mod which would make it a healing nuke. (Someone found a Medic's Fat Man and tested it. It only heals someone it directly hits, only for a tiny amount, and does no splash damage or healing otherwise.)
      • This is due to legendary effects applying only to the weapon's actual projectile. Since the actual Mini Nuke projectile itself, does very little damage, the legendary also heals for very little.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Any character in Power Armor, which generally are limited to either Brotherhood of Steel soldiers or certain particularly tough Raiders. Railroad Heavies are also this to a lesser degree, as they're geared with heavy armor and weaponry and are the only Railroad members really equipped for a straight stand-up fight.
  • Hellish Copter: Chances are that you'll see Vertibirds spiraling out of control just as often as you see them actually flying.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The beeping Mini-Nuke of a Super Mutant Suicider. Pray you have a powerful ranged weapon handy or enough AP to hit the hand carrying the bomb from afar.
    • The sound of multiple Feral Ghouls rising from their "dead" state before their inevitable Zerg Rush. Atom help you if you're in the middle of the horde when you hear it...
    • The whistling of a incoming Mini-Nuke from an Raider or Gunner armed with a Fat Man. Get ready to die to this sound over and over as you try to find where the shot came from.
    • The Cymbal-Banging Monkey toys scattered throughout the land. Though they don't harm your character, they're very creepy looking, and a first time player will probably be freaked out by it. Additionally, if there are any nearby enemies, the monkey will alert them to your presence.
    • In Bedlam's terminal in the Dunwich Borers location, her initial logs complain that the Raiders in the area are just yellow-bellied cowards who can't do their job and deliver the shipment of scrap needed by the Forged at the Saugus Ironworks factory. She then decides to go deeper into the mine herself, to see what's going on down there. Then her third entry is nothing but "I'm safe in the light" repeatedly, indicating that whatever was down there spooked her as well. As you travel deeper, you can also hear rumbles and footsteps of whatever's down there.
    • The howl of a Mutant Hound, which, for whatever reason, sounds more like a war horn than anything even remotely resembling an actual dog's howl.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The game has a dynamic dialogue system with a database of 924 popular male/female names. If the PC's name is a match, then Codsworth will use the appropriate dialogue snippet.
    • Also Protectrons: "I will be your personal escort during your visit to NAME OF OPERATIONAL AREA."
  • Hidden Depths: Upon first meeting and saving her, Emogene Cabot comes across as incredibly naive and careless, and seems like quite the Ungrateful Bastard. However, hacking her Master-level terminal in Cabot House reveals that this perceived carelessness is due to her simply not caring all that much about her life. Like her other family members, she has lived for hundreds of years, and occasionally goes thrill-seeking to stave off her boredom. Her entries also reveal that she is a very capable hacker and fighter, documenting how she protected her mother and home from a security guard who betrayed their family, killing the man in the process. Considering Emogene's history and that this was far from her first trip into the wasteland, her Ungrateful Bastard behavior makes sense since she never needed saving to begin with. Indeed, neither Jack nor Edward seem all that worried about Emogene, only their fussy mother.
    • A few of the Sole Survivor's companions also fall into this.
      • While the revelation that he's a Synth is just as big a revelation to him as it is to the Sole Survivor, atmospheric comments with Paladin Danse show that he's a fan of country music. Also, dialogue with him implies and terminals aboard the Prydwen directly state that he's suffering from PTSD.
      • Dialogue with Piper implies that part of the reason that she's so determined to find the truth is because she suffers from a severe lack of self-esteem and thinks incredibly lowly of herself.
      • Despite being a brutal cage fighting Wastelander that was practically raised by Raiders, Cait is surprisingly knowledgeable of the Vault-Tec experiments, which even many Vault scientists and Vault Dwellers were unaware of.
      • Several comments from Nick Valentine show that he's a big fan of classic literature. If he's with the Sole Survivor when the Prydwen arrives, he quotes The Raven. Also, when he opens up to the Survivor with the story of his first few days outside the Institute, he paraphrases The Tempest. If you kill "Skinny" Malone, he'll quote Hamlet. Finally, he quotes Percy Shelley's Ozymandias when seeing the giant Mr. Handy statue at the "General Atomics Galleria". He quotes Robert Oppenheimer (who in turn was quoting the Bhagavad Gita) if you destroy The Nucleus in the Far Harbor DLC.
      • Despite being a Noble Demon at best, Strong approves of the Sole Survivor helping Minutemen Settlements because it reminds him of how the Commonwealth Super Mutants interact with each other. More specifically, the Super Mutants share all resources evenly with each other and almost never fight amongst themselves, as they believe by working as one unit they can kill off the remnants of humanity and conquer the Commonwealth. This means that the Commonwealth Super Mutants (and Strong by extension) have a surprisingly collectivist perspective on the world and aren't fans of capitalism.
    • A retroactive example, but Little Lamplight falls into this, with them apparently being into historical theater. MacCready at one point mentions that they attempted to do a performance of Pyramus and Thisbe, a play dating back to ancient Greece. It didn't turn out very well, likely because they're kids, but it's the thought that counts.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The Institute uses the Classical Radio station to encode the data they use to teleport Synths in and out of their home base.
  • Historical In-Joke: The only thing played on the Silver Shroud radio station are broadcasts of the eponymous pulp hero's serial show (think The Shadow), and one of the episodes deals with a plot by the corrupt mayor to tear down Scollay Square, where the settlement of Goodneighbor is located. In real life, Scollay Square was torn down by the city of Boston to put up new developments.
    • Piper Wright's newspaper, Publick Occurences, shares its name with the first multi-page newspaper ever published in the Americas, which was also printed in Boston. The newspaper only existed for a month before it was censored by the British government because it was seen as containing content "too controversial" to print and distribute.note  Likewise, Piper's newspaper is constantly under attack by Mayor McDonough for its "lies and scandalous assumptions."
    • One of the Goodneighbor sidequests ("The Big Dig")involves excavating a tunnel network underneath Boston. The sidequest shares its name with a massive public works infrastructure project in Boston that involved building various highway tunnels underneath Boston's downtown area. The project was relatively infamous for its record breaking cost overruns and the death of a commuter shortly after one of the tunnels fully opened to traffic.
    • The mass paranoia and fear currently gripping the Commonwealth concerning the Institute and its Synth infiltrators bears more than a little similarity to the fears of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Hint System: Mama Murphy can tell you where to go and what to do in the story missions, and sometimes even tell you easier ways to get through (like by giving a code phrase that Skinny Malone will remember, so he backs off without a fight). The downside is this takes a toll on her and she requests her own chair to sleep in constantly, so she won't work as a Settler anymore. Plus, most of your companions don't like it and too many drugs will kill her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • A case that can happen to an unwitting player; don't leave a Power Suit in the open with a fusion core still plugged in. There's literally nothing stopping a Raider from hopping in and using it against you.
    • Power Armored Raiders are a real nuisance and thanks to the AI's new brilliance, their weaker friends will fan out around them to try and flank or pin you down. Thanks to the new Power Armor mechanic of Fusion Cores, you can target the core, which not only does huge damage to the raider, but also turns the core into a high powered grenade. Alternately, if you get the drop on the tin can, you might try and covertly deprive that suit of its fusion core through pickpocketing. The operator will egress from the dead suit, giving you an opportunity to apply a high-power weapon to their head at short range outside the suit helmet's protection. Reinstall the core, and then turn the Raiders' power armor against them.
    • Enemies can now use the Fat Man, which was up until now a player-only toy. Amusingly, however, they still suffer from many of the same issues that the players have had with the Fat Man in the series. Most notably, they can accidentally blow up themselves and many of their allies. An errant piece of overhanging cover can potentially cause the raider armed with the Fat Man to wipe out his entire camp. They also don't seem to understand that a mini-nuke launcher is not a close combat weapon.
    • The Super Mutant Suicider holds a primed Mini Nuke and attempts to charge the player to blow both up in a huge explosion. If the player manages to shoot the mini nuke, he blows up with his own Super Mutant friends instead.
    • The Luck 10 perk Ricochet gives a chance for an enemy's ranged attack that hits the player to deflect back to them and instantly kill them instead.
    • The Institute ending has the player infect Liberty Prime with a virus, causing him to identify the Prydwen as a hostile and knock it out of the sky, blowing up the entire airport.
    • The "Explosive" Legendary Perk makes ballistic weapons ridiculously powerful, but the effect also causes significant splash damage that makes it just as highly damaging to you in close-range fights. It can also bite you hard in the ass during any situation requiring you to kill a target that's too close to someone you need alive.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Returning from Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, but in addition the heavy sniper rifles that you could suppress in New Vegas, you can now add suppressors to revolvers of any type or even to shotguns. That said, they are more realistic than previous incarnations, as even on the quietest guns they don't completely silence the sound of the bullet and enemies will still become alerted by a near miss or you firing near them. Suppressors also notably reduce the gun's recoil, a trait of suppressors that most works of fiction ignore. The silencer that the Deliverer comes as-is with even has the classic *POOT* sound instead of the more modern muffled click.
  • Hospital Hottie: The nurse shown on the "Happy Sedation Special" edition of Massachusetts Surgical Journal is quite buxom and rather good-looking in addition to her nice figure.
  • Hostile Weather: The radstorms are just off enough from regular thunderstorms that they can make your neck hair stand on end. Their thunder sounds unnatural, the sky is a sickly green, the wind has a barren-sounding low howl, and there's no actual rain, just intra-cloud lightning that irradiates you.
  • Hub City: There are two major settlements in the Commonwealth.
    • The first is Diamond City, the highly-vaunted "great green jewel of the Commonwealth", built out of an abandoned baseball stadium. It offers relative safety from the outside world thanks to its high walls and well-armed security, has a dedicated house that the player can own, and has various shops and amenities that you can take advantage of...if you can get past the racism that excludes ghouls, the rampant paranoia over synths, and government corruption no thanks to an Institute synth posing as the mayor.
    • The second is Goodneighbor. Compared to Diamond City, Goodneighbor is a Wretched Hive populated by mercenaries, gangsters, drug peddlers and addicts alike. At the same time, however, it is the one settlement where ghouls are welcomed with open arms, thanks to the magnanimous and easygoing ghoul mayor Hancock. While it doesn't have housing available, Goodneighbor still has stores that players can stock up at, in addition to a nightclub.
  • Human Popsicle: Vault 111's "experiment" was placing its denizens into cryogenic stasis and studying the effects of long term stasis. You're the only survivor due to a number of factors. Most of the Vault staff died in a mutiny about six months after the bombs fell. About 150 years later, the Institute popped in, killed your spouse to take Shaun away from you, and only reactivated the life support system for your cryo pod, leaving the rest of the "test subjects" to suffocate to death.
  • Humans Are Bastards: This is most exemplified by the the Robobrain research and production facility in the new Automatron expansion. The facility was run by human scientists who thought it was ethically and morally acceptable to extract the brains of human criminals and put them into robots.
    • The subjects for brain extraction were all maximum security criminals, but a few had committed crimes that weren't even deserving of a full life sentence. One log entry refers to an ideal subject who only committed manslaughter. Computer logs show the absolute terror of the people who were awake after their brains were removed and preserved in jars until their minds were wiped by the callous scientists.
    • Only the most callous and sociopathic of experimental victims proved able to handle the experience, and they alone went on to be turned into Robobrains, resulting in callous killing machines that preferred to interpret orders in the most evil, sadistic way possible. And the facility is huge — hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women, many of them minor or accidental crooks, mental patients with IQ ratings below 80, some likely innocent outright, were subjected to monstrous experiments and butchered by order of their own government.
    • The army officer in charge of the prison wing housing the test subjects was determined to put a stop to the madness until he was reassigned to a post cleaning toilets in Anchorage and replaced by someone more "patriotic".
    • One scientist pulled a prank on another by making a brain-shaped birthday cake by covering an actual extracted brain in frosting. He laughed his ass off when his colleague took a bite and reacted accordingly.
    • And then the Mechanist found the defunct facility and decided that the project which spawned Robobrains which were defective to the point of violent insanity is precisely what the people of the Commonwealth need for their protection.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Like other Fallout games, eating food heals you... unlike other Fallout games, however, cooking food at a cooking station can heal you more than a Stimpak does, especially in the early-game, due to Stimpaks now healing based on a percentage rather than a set amount of health, and start out at 30% without any perks. Cooked food also has (unlike most raw foods) no radiation and typically provides some nifty buffs. This is taken to absurd extremes in some cases, as a Nuka-Cola Quantum heals 400 HP right off the bat. Also, drinking from water pumps very quickly restores your health, much more than in previous games.
  • Hypocrite: The Institute's main slogan is "Mankind - Redefined." They've succeeded to do so with the Synths, but refuse to recognize their sapience and treat them like soulless tools for their own ends.
    • During Elder Maxson's vicious rant to Paladin Danse, he argues that his status as a Synth means that he has pre-programmed ethics that "aren't even his own," and by consequence of those has no real sense of morality. He also states that "flesh and machine were never meant to intertwine." Maxson seems to be ignoring that not only his very own organization is rather fanatical to the point of reaching Cult-like levels in how it encourages their ethics in new members, but that the Brotherhood's usage of advanced technology like Powered Armor makes them all effectively Cyborgs.
      • However, due to the fact that it's literally powered armor, and especially the way it's depicted in this game, it functions entirely like a personal, bipedal vehicle, rather than cybernetics.
    I 
  • I Am A Humanitarian: It's an "acquired taste". It's a good way to turn most enemies into free healing, but the downside is most companions dislike it.
  • I Call It "Vera": Players can now give custom names to weapons and (most) armor pieces in their possession. Sadly, there is no way to name Power Armor.
  • I Have No Son!: The Survivor can be sufficiently pissed and disappointed in Shaun/Father enough to tell him that they're deeply offended by what he's been doing and that he isn't the son they cared for way back when.
  • Iconic Outfit: Every game gets one. The T-60 Power Armor is featured heavily in the Fallout 4 promotional material, just like the T-51b in Fallout, Enclave Advanced Power Armor in Fallout 2, the T-45d in Fallout 3, and NCR Veteran Ranger Armor in New Vegas.
    • An in-universe example stems from a sidequest where you have to find the outfit of the Silver Shroud, a pre-war detective superhero in the vein of The Shadow.
  • Idiot Savant: The Luck 5 perk. It gives you a random chance of getting hugely multiplied experience points from any action, said chance being higher the lower your Intelligence is.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The "Glowing Sea" is so named because, as a result of being ground zero for the atom bomb that leveled Boston, it is positively "glowing" in radiation so intense that, without proper protection or a veritable medicine chest of Rad-X and Radaway, you will die in minutes.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: This is the first game where the player can use radiological weaponry (Gamma Guns in the base game and Radium-infused carbines in Far Harbour). There are also gamma-ray laser upgrades for energy weapons. Also, some Legendary items feed off the radiation in the Sole Survivor's body, becoming more powerful.
  • Impossible Item Drop: While most loot is set to match the species (Deathclaws will drop Deathclaw meat and maybe a Deathclaw hand - making it an even more annoying enemy, since you only get comparatively little loot out of a comparatively difficult fight - Bloodbugs will only drop Bloodbug parts and blood, while humanoid characters may carry some random junk items), legendary enemies are an exception, since legendary enemies always have a legendary item in the loot, which will be either a weapon or a piece of armor. So it's possible for a mole rat to drop a rocket launcher bigger than it is. Also, opening a Vault-Tec lunchbox may pop a Nuka-Cola, which is bigger than the lunchbox's interior. Further, actual lunch pails, apparently left sitting around since before the war (they're often found near dead workers or on destroyed buses) will contain such delicious treats as radstag meat and mutfruit, which literally didn't exist when the lunch was conceivably packed.
    • While they will drop their respective meat, dogs and Mole Rats have the rather odd habit of dropping random junk items as well, such as toothbrushes. If comments from Strong are to be believed, they're random items eaten by the animals that the Sole Survivor is taking out of their corpses.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: You can come across Port-A-Diners, which contain a slice of somehow perfectly preserved pie. The chance of actually getting it out of the machine is infinitesimal, though it increases slightly with a high Luck stat. For the punchline, a sufficiently lucky and/or stubborn player who does get a slice will find that the HP gain from one is disappointingly small.
  • Infant Immortality:
    • While children still aren't killable like in the first two games, this can potentially be averted for Austin, who will die if he's not given a cure. Otherwise played straight such as if you kill the child's parents at a settlement. They still can't be attacked, but will run away so as to free up the slot space at the settlement.
    • In most of the non-Brotherhood endings, you end up blowing up the Prydwen near the endgame. There are multiple children on deck.
    • During the Brotherhood of Steel quest "Leading by Example", a young squire follows and watches you fight while you clear out an area of enemies. Said squire is completely invulnerable to any damage, or even kill commands on the PC. Enemies will also ignore them, giving you free reign to fight them however you wish without worrying about collateral damage.
  • Infinite Flashlight: There's no concern about running out of juice for the Pip-Boy's "lantern" mode or the mining helmet headlamp.
    • Oddly averted for Power Armor headlamps, which drain the armor's fusion core and are on the list of abilities that switch off an unpowered suit.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Several mundane weapons can be very damaging if you fully upgrade them at workbenches and take a few levels in the relevant perks. For example, the Laser Rifle, Combat Shotgun and .44 Pistol can all do over 150 damage at maximum power. For context, 150 is the base damage of the Missile Launcher. Level locking of skills and perks prevents a Disc-One Nuke scenario.
    • Grognak's Axe can't be modded and it's damage is decent until mid-game, but it inflicts bleeding damage, heavy stagger and costs a pittance in VATS (a swing of the axe costs as much AP as a combat knife). All it takes to get it is the level 1 Locksmith perk and knowing where it is.
    • The Pole Hook in the Far Harbor DLC. With a high base damage and the correct mods and perks, a sneak critical can make short work of almost anything. It is also cheap and is available as soon as one can survive the opening combat to the DLC.
    • What doesn't fall short of a Disc-One Nuke is the Laser Musket, one of which is given to you in the very first quest of the game. All you need to make this a beast of a sniper is the mods, starting off at 90 damage a shot without any need for perks, and once you do it will carry you through every level you need to make it a monster of a sniper, topping out at 360 damage. The only downside is every additional crank uses up extra of the pretty-rare-early-on ammunition, but you can choose to only load just enough shots to kill, you often wont need many when factoring in sneak attack bonuses, and once you get into fighting the laser heavy Institute or Brotherhood and every rank-and-file Gunner starts carrying a laser pistol sidearm, you wont have much else to spend it on. The hardest part of using this gun is just figuring out how many health points the enemy has.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Gauss Rifle is the most damaging ballistic weapon, capable of doing over 400 damage, depending on mods and perks. But both it and the required ammo are rare and expensive.
    • The Alien Blaster is a very powerful energy pistol with a low VATS cost, but can't be obtained before level 20 and has limited ammunition (alien cells). The Science 4 perk circumvents the latter part by allowing it to accept fusion cells (uncommon but obtainable everywhere) at the cost of slightly reduced damage.
    • The Western Revolver is even more perk-expensive than the .44 Revolver and can't be found outside of Nuka-World (save a lucky Legendary drop) but can reach 200 damage per shot once fully upgraded.
    • The basic Sledgehammer, and to a lesser extent the Baseball Bat, become this thanks to Nuka-World. A fully upgraded bat or sledgehammer weighs almost as much as two Miniguns, consume a ton of rare components and require high perk investments, but the result is a rocket-powered spiky electrified warhammer/club that cause stagger, bleeding, potential stun, extra limb damage, chances to cripple and a ton of damage.
    • From an armor point of view, Far Harbor's Marine Armor and Nuka-World's Quantum X-01 Power Armor. The first require to go through all of DiMA's memories to spawn a full set, or fight the Zealots of Atom to get random pieces, but in terms of pure stats, the Marine Armor is the best non-power armor (only topped by a few points in Energy Resistance by the Disciple's armor) at the cost of being very heavy. The second is an example of the games' very best power armor model that comes pre-upgraded to the second-highest tier, which in itself is nothing to sneeze at due to the enormous amounts of perk points and materials necessary to upgrade another X-01 to that level. What truly sets it apart however is the armor's considerable boost to the Sole Survivor's action point regeneration speed. Particularly players who specialize in VATS combat or melee power attacks will get a lot of mileage out of this trait, on top of enjoying the suit's ridiculously high resistances.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence:
    • You may have superhuman strength or be packing enough explosive firepower to personally re-enact the Great War, but you aren't getting through an intact chain link fence. Nor will maxed out Strength and Agility enable you to climb it. Boarded-up doors are equally unpassable.
    • Averted with sandbag walls while in Power Armor. You might get startled when you unknowingly plow through a sandbag wall, as the sound is identical to a burrowing creature popping out of the ground.
  • Instant Expert: Assigning any Settler to a Clinic in your town will have allow that NPC to instantly have medical training, including curing radiation poisoning and setting broken bones. Also applies to other jobs, such as barbers.
    • Lampshaded if you assign someone to be a surgeon. If you actually ask them to readjust your face, they'll mutter a few words of encouragement to themselves, and are obviously nervous of what's about to happen.
  • Insistent Terminology: Due to a case of Future Imperfect, Mount Desert Island (the main location of the Far Harbor DLC) is only referred to as "the Island" by its inhabitants.
    • The same goes for "Far Harbor" itself - due to worn and broken signage, the current inhabitants took to calling it as such, despite the actual town being named "Bar Harbor".
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Unexpectedly, Lorenzo Cabot appears in the backstory to have stumbled upon the actual titular Nameless City of H. P. Lovecraft's short story.
  • Internal Homage: The Minutemen's potential resurgence under the Sole Survivor's leadership, in conjunction to them all but uniting the Commonwealth under one flag, bears more than a passing semblance to how the New California Republic ultimately came to be, paralleling how the Vault Dweller and Shady Sands under Aradesh helped lay down the foundations for a stable regional identity to arise.
    • Arthur Maxson was selected to be his chapter's Elder at the age of 16 - the same age that the Vault Dweller of Fallout could be.
    • While the Sole Survivor is called such in all of the game's promotional material and even on This Very Wiki, they're actually described as "the Vault Dweller" by Diamond City Radio's Travis Miles in another reference to Fallout 1.
    • The default appearance of the Male Sole Survivor (Nate) looks more than a little like Albert Cole, one of the pre-made player characters for Fallout 1.
    • One of the possible fates of Nuka-World's Hubologists is almost identical to their fate in Fallout 2.
    • Speaking of Nuka-World, the positive ending to the story is the quest "Open Season." This quest has the Sole Survivor metaphorically Storming the Castle and massacring the entire Nuka-World Raider army. Considering how both Nuka-World and Paradise Falls are both utter Wretched Hives ruled over by enslaving scumbags who're actively spreading their power & influence throughout the region, "Open Season" is pretty much "Rescue From Paradise" turned Up to Eleven.
  • Invulnerable Civilians: Lots of characters are considered "essential" in this game to ensure that you can always complete the main questline and other faction questlines. In particular, the original Sanctuary Hills settlers are invulnerable, preventing you from killing off the last of the Minutemen (since the Minutemen provide the opportunity for a Wild Card ending). Most of these characters do lose their essential status after their related questlines are accomplished, though, such as Overseer McNamara and many other residents of Vault 81 after "Hole in the Wall" is completed.
    • Downplayed with the Settlers at player settlements. They can't be normally killed by the various threats of the Wasteland (like companions, they just lie down in a "knocked-out" state until they're sufficiently healed). However, they can be killed by the player, certain lingering affects (like radiation or poison), and splash damage from explosives while in their "knocked-out" state.
  • Item Crafting: You can scrap junk and materials in the world to build and customize thousands of weapons, Power Armor, houses, generator, defenses, and even settlements all over the game.
  • I Own This Town: You can build entire settlements from scratch, organize defensive militias, and set up trade routes, making your own pocket kingdom in the Commonwealth.
  • Irony:
    • Before the Great War (and in our world), Fenway Park's left wall was the "Green Monster", known for stopping home runs when fly balls slammed into it. Now, it's Diamond City's "Green Guardian", and the people there give it a near-religious veneration as it keeps out the monsters and Raiders.
    • A double case of irony - Game 4 of the World Series was supposed to play the day the bombs fell. Unlike in real life, the Curse of the Bambino was never broken, even as of 2077. The Red Sox had a win-loss streak of 3-0, and if the bombs hadn't fallen, they'd have potentially won and finally broken the curse.
    • There is a bug in place where Strong will have almost no interval in his passive commentary. This occurs when left at base. What is one of his statements? "Humans talk too much."
    • According to Strong, Commonwealth Super Mutants operate in a roughly collectivist structure with each other, replacing capitalism with the equal sharing of resources towards a common goal (the conquest of the Commonwealth). Vaguely Communist/socialist sub-human mutants are one of the most powerful groups extant in the corpse of a hyper-capitalist nation that tore itself apart over an extended Red Scare.
    • Lampshaded by Nick when rescued by a female Sole Survivor:
    Nick: Gotta love the irony of the reverse Damsel in Distress situation. But the question is, what's a doll like you doing rescuing this old private eye?
    • The Enclave Radio patriotic tunes, played by a seemingly benevolent but ultimately malignant President John Henry Eden to lull the populace into accepting the Enclave, are now tunes that play over the settlement radio beacons in-between the call-out messages, calling wanderers to settle down at the Minutemen-supported settlements. Music that was being employed by a Big Bad faction is now being employed by a Big Good faction.
    • Henry David Thoreau was a historic American philosopher who lived near Boston and espoused a romantic philosophy called Transcendentalism, which called to eschew material possessions. In Fallout 4, the site of his famous cabin, Walden Pond, is a (ruin of a) tourist trap that educates on Thoreau and his philosophy and then immediately switches over to hawking typical tourist trappy fare and ending with an advertisement from the site's sponsor.
  • Ironic Name: One unique legendary weapon is a laser rifle named "Good Intentions". Said weapon is carried by Clint, the guy who betrayed the Minutemen and defected to the Gunners during the Quincy Massacre. It's also a likely reference to the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
  • I Work Alone: The "Lone Wanderer" perk increases your armor and carrying capacity as long as you have no companions. Well, except for Dogmeat.
    • The perk not being affected by Dogmeat's presence is a remnant of late-stage-removed code that allowed him to accompany you alongside another companion... but could also be seen as a nod to the dog's consistent presence alongside the player-character in past games - you don't see the dog the same way you do your other adventuring partners.
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