The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Icon disambig.svg
For an overview of the interactions with the faction, see Nellis Air Force Base.
LeadershipMother Pearl
FoundedVault 34 escapees
Notable MembersArgyll (Elder, doctor)
Loyal (Elder, chief mechanic)
Jack (Elder)
Raquel (Master-at-Arms)
Pete (Keeper of the Story)
Injured Boomer
HeadquartersNellis Air Force Base

A bunch of shut-ins who scorn outsiders and hold technology over them. Gee, where have I heard that one before?

Veronica Santangelo

The Boomers are an isolationist tribe of people living in the restored Nellis Air Force Base in 2281.


The Boomers are a tribe formed out of a group of vault dwellers who originally inhabited Vault 34. The overstocked, unprotected armory led to the emergence of a particularly gun-centric culture among the dwellers.[1] The Boomers were a group particularly obsessed with weapons and the right to keep and bear them freely. When the population of the Vault ballooned in the early 23rd century, the Vault's Overseer attempted to salvage the situation by introducing population control measures and sealing the armory. The efforts backfired, as rioting began, quickly turning into full-out rebellion. The future Boomers attacked the armory, taking most of the heavy weapons and equipment, then fought their way out of the vault. The reactor was damaged in the attack, dooming it.[2]

The Boomers emerged from the Vault around 2231.[3] Their superior weapons and tactics allowed them to easily defeat the disorganized, poorly equipped raiders on the surface, but the ratio of losses (43.6 hostiles killed per 1 dead Boomer) were unacceptable.[4][5]

The Boomers located Nellis Air Force Base. This pre-War military installation was hit by several nuclear weapons that avoided Robert House's missile defense network, rendering it uninhabitable due to high radiation levels.[4] Wastelanders and animals learned to avoid it by habit, leaving it in relatively good condition.[6] However, that did not deter the Boomers. Equipped with Geiger counters, they assessed Nellis and learned that much of the radioactivity has decayed to safe levels.[7] The Boomers moved in and restored the base to working order.[8][4]

The Nellis mural, showing their history.

Although Nellis was well fortified, the Boomers identified several security issues. In keeping with their social customs, they decided to patch them with extreme firepower. A large expedition was formed, which retrieved howitzers and the appropriate ammunition stockpiles from Area 2. The expedition lasted weeks, but was ultimately successful and marked the last time that Boomers set foot outside Nellis.[9] Anyone coming within a mile of the base is fired upon and destroyed with extreme prejudice.[10]

The Boomers lived and prospered in Nellis. However, indefinite isolation wasn't their goal. When Loyal, one of the tribe's Elders, found a file on the crashed B-29 bomber in Lake Mead, the Boomers' efforts became focused.[11] Recovering and repairing the bomber became their destiny.[12] To that end, the Boomers reactivated the virtual reality simulators used for pilot training before the war, using them to develop and refine their flying skills to "fly the open skies in armored safety, raining high-explosive ordnance upon ignorant savages", as the Keeper of the Story puts it.[4][13][4]

Of course, their life isn't always smooth sailing. A few days before the Courier arrived at the gates of Nellis, a hive of giant ants occupied the Nellis generator and ammunition bunker. The insects feasted upon the gunpowder reserves, which caused them to become explosive. Raquel, Master-at-Arms of the homeland, led a strike group into the bunker. The aggressive, explosive ants proved more than they could handle, leading to the loss of two Boomers and injuries to three more.[14][15] The Courier came just in time to decide the fate of the tribe, just as Mother Pearl predicted.[16]


A Boomer sentry, wearing patched Vault clothing combined with salvage military uniform elements and toting the signature explosive weapon of the tribe.

The Boomers represent an interesting merger combination of tribal customs and beliefs with technological prowess and scientific refinement. Their philosophy stems from the basic belief that personal armament is the foundation of social trust and responsibility.[17] Over the years of confinement in the vault and subsequent self-imposed isolation at Nellis, it has evolved and took the belief to its natural conclusion: personal armament also includes high explosives and their delivery systems, up to and including high explosive bombs dropped from a strategic bomber.[18] Some of the younger generation take it a step further and define the point of being a Boomer is the freedom to make explosions of any kind, the bigger, the better.[19] This has also led to the emergence of a quasi-religion centered around recovering the bomber.[4]

As part of their emphasis on personal liberty, the Boomers exhibit little social stratification. Positions of power are held by Elders, who are appointed either due to age and wisdom (Mother Pearl is the oldest Boomer in 2281, who remembers the foundation of Nellis)[16] or personal skill (Argyll is a talented doctor, while Loyal is the tribe's most capable mechanic).[20][21] The Elders aren't vested with unlimited power, but have authority in areas relevant to their skill. For example, the Master-at-Arms is responsible for the security of the Nellis homeland, from the coordination of its defenses to the training and fitness of its population.[22]

In general, this type of meritocracy and emphasis on serving the common good is present throughout the tribe. Children are trained from birth to defend themselves and serve the tribe.[23] Training in combat and farming begins from a very early age and once the Boomers come of age, they serve in whatever capacity they are best suite. As a result, every Boomer is a highly trained combatant and a competent survivalist.[21]

Outside relations

As part of their self-imposed isolation, the Boomers have no outside relations. They respond to anyone coming within their security perimeter with extreme firepower, regardless of who they are.[24][4] Individual Boomers are forbidden from leaving Nellis, leading to a situation where anyone wishing to contact the outside world can't, and anyone from the outside world wishing to contact the Boomers cannot either.[25]

It's just how Boomers like it, though that's not to say that they don't maintain certain relations with the outside. Once, the New California Republic shut off the base's water supply. The Boomers' response was to shell sections of the NCR's water pipeline in eastern New Vegas. The NCR promptly restored the flow.[26]


A howitzer salvaged from Area 2

Despite their tribal customs, the Boomers are one of the most well equipped societies in the wastelands. Nellis is an almost completely self-sufficient community, drawing water from Lake Mead to grow crops and provide for its inhabitants.[27][28] In order to prevent malnutrition, the standard diet of grains and vegetables is supplemented with soy and legumes for protein.[29] Power is supplied by the base's solar power station and diesel generators located in the bunker.[28] Fuel for the generators is provided by a biodiesel refinery located inside the base that uses surplus crops, like maize, to make biodiesel.[30]

The Boomers have an impressive industrial capacity and are capable of manufacturing a high volume of ammunition, primarily of the full metal jacket variety.[31] For repair and manufacture, they use advanced tools such as welding torches and plasma cutters.[32] This allowed them to amass a sizable stockpile of ammunition. For example, they have enough missiles to last five years without replenishing their stock.[33] The same isn't always true for their reserves of spare parts, particularly for the more delicate and rare technologies like solar arrays.[34]

Their military technology is equally impressive. Apart from the salvaged howitzers,[9] the Boomers have plenty of military grade weapons, including missile launchers, grenade launchers, and even Fat Man class tactical nuclear launchers. They also possess a fleet of military robots supplementing their combat power and allowing them to project their power outside the base, should the situation call for it.[35][36]

What's more, access to the base's communications also provides them the ability to monitor radio communications.[37] As mentioned above, the Boomers also have access to virtual reality flight simulators, used for flight training of various military aircraft like the B-29 and the fighter jet.[13] However, these are only allowed for Boomer use.[38]

Behind the scenes

Spare Us the Cutter
  • An unused Message (FactionReminderBoomer) shows that at one stage the player could disguise as a Boomer by wearing their clothes like other factions.
  • There are cut player only dialogue topics to ask the Crimson Caravan guards about the redhead girl from Jack's quest (e.g. VDialogueCrimsonCaravan1ECrimsonCaravanGuardAAM2Topic000 - "Do you know any redheads in these parts?").
  • There is also a cut message box called NellisCCJanet. It is blank but has the title of "Janet". This might not seem significant, but this is part of how you can change the name of an existing NPC - for example to hide their real name until the player has discovered some information about them. Coupled with the above it suggests there maybe have originally been some kind of actual detective work needed by the player to find Janet for Jack?
  • Jack also has cut dialogue if the player gets Janet blown up on her way past the artillery range.


The Boomers appear only in Fallout: New Vegas.


  1. Fallout Bible 0 Vault system:
    "Vault 34 The armory was overstocked with weapons and ammo and not provided with a lock."
  2. Vault 34 terminal entries: "dsfjn4KJ98fskj ncresseay for the srvaiuvl of this vault that we set limits on the growth of our population. jdsaf94ndsk kndfh49lks salead the door and posted guards since the riots began. kd94hnkjsf trg9843 fight like dogs. kdsf94Dndakf nb48itohgeHafj bl rebels attacked the armory dsajfkX84nslkfd 4ih9ot unsuccessful. dfihn 0984tlafbclaf 9j320rfieagb 489tgf 8vd tcnehanicis ifronm me that the reactor was damaged during the assault on the armory. dslkgJ0945n dfkds control center dkflmn94nrsglkSs kl95. the fgthinig dsfnk498an 0fd most toshe who remain dfju984jskf repair the damage di94nbaf j849hfdskl unsuccessful."
  3. The Courier: "Tell me about the Boomers."
    Robert House: "They occupied Nellis Air Force Base a little over 50 years ago. One of my Securitrons got some video of their arrival - and then... exploded. Odds are they were Vault dwellers. That's everything I know about them, really."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Pete: "Ages ago, long before I was born, we lived underground. Everyone had guns but the overseer wouldn't let us explode anything, not even a hand grenade. We left and wandered the wastes. There were savages with knives. We blew them up with frag mines and grenades, burned them with flamethrowers. It was neat, but there was a downside. For every 43.6 savages we killed, we lost one of our own. We needed a new home. We needed Nellis. Nellis, glittering like shrapnel in the desert sun. Nellis, bursting with missiles, warheads, and bombs. Nellis had waited. Just for us. Here, we have prospered and multiplied. Here, our mighty guns destroy any savages who might try to harm us before they can even reach our gates! Well, until... but... not saying you want to harm us or you're a savage, but... anyways. Nellis has revealed many secrets. It has taught us how to fly the bombers once based here. And it has taught us where to find one! And that is our story so far, for this last image is our future. To restore the bomber, to fly the open skies in armored safety, raining high-explosive ordnance upon ignorant savages - this is our destiny! I'm pleased that you listened to the entire story! Perhaps there are details you'd like to know more about? Let me know."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  5. The Courier: "Why did your ancestors leave the safety of a vault?"
    Pete: "So you know about the vaults! Yes, we lived in one of those. Ours was numbered 34. In our vault, everyone had guns - but the overseer wouldn't let you fire off any of the really fun ones. I guess all the little pops and bangs at the firing ranges just got boring after a while!"
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  6. The Courier: "I'm surprised Nellis was empty when your people found it."
    Pete: "Several atomic warheads detonated here hundreds of years ago, leaving the base highly radioactive. The savages of the wastes, ignoramuses, all avoided Nellis by habit."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  7. The Courier: "But a little radiation didn't keep your people away!"
    Pete: "That's right! Our Geiger counter indicated that the base was radioactive, but not dangerously so. Enough time has passed."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  8. The Courier: "Kind of stupid, making a radioactive scrapheap your home."
    Pete: "For your information, our people had brought Geiger counters with them from the vault. The radiation levels here were within safe limits. Also for your information, Nellis is not a scrapheap! We repaired most of the damage here long ago. Nellis is comfy!"
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Courier: "What are howitzers doing at an Air Force Base?"
    Pete: "You're right, they weren't here when we discovered Nellis! We found the guns at a huge weapon depot called Area 2, many miles from here! It took many weeks to drag the guns and their ammunition back to Nellis - and it was the last time any of us set foot beyond our homeland!"
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  10. The Courier: "The Boomers sound dangerous."
    Robert House: "Only if you come within a mile or so of them. Given their history of extreme isolationism, it's tempting to leave them be. But those howitzers of theirs... You can't let indeterminate variables rattle around in your equations like that. They have to be accounted for, one way or another."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  11. The Courier: "How did you learn where to find an old bomber?"
    Pete: "Loyal found a file somewhere on the base, with magazine articles, photographs, a map, even. It seems that a bomber, apparently the 29th of its kind, crashed in Lake Mead on July 21st, 1948. Just imagine - that's over 300 years ago! The photographs showed that it was basically intact, and the map tells us exactly where to find it. Except we haven't left Nellis in decades."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  12. The Courier: "Keep dreaming. That plane's never going to fly."
    Pete: "As I said, repairing and flying the bomber is our destiny. It's that simple."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Courier: "How has Nellis taught your people to fly?"
    Pete: "Once we restored power, we learned that some elaborate chairs we'd been sleeping in were actually virtual reality simulators. We believe they were used to train combat pilots. We use them extensively. I alone have shot down over 500 Chinese Xian-85 fighters! Before you ask, I'm afraid there's no way you can be allowed to use the simulators. They are for our use only. Sorry."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  14. The Courier: "Mother Pearl said you have a "bug problem?""
    Raquel: "Long story short, the power failed a few days ago because giant ants have tunneled into the generator room and set up a nest. I led a team down to exterminate them, but there were... so many of them. We lost two killed, three wounded. Personally, I think it's more than a savage can handle, but if you want to kill those ants and switch the power back on, feel free."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  15. The Courier: "I can handle a few ants."
    Raquel: "Sure, anyone can. But there's more than a few down there. See for yourself. One other thing. The ants must be eating gunpowder from the munitions down there, or something. They exploded when hit by a flamethrower. One of us was using a laser pistol - same thing. Bullets seem okay, just don't hit the artillery shells. Loyal's been working on some kind of weapon to use against them. Maybe you should check with him."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Courier: "Who is Mother Pearl?"
    Raquel: "As I said, she is our Eldest. Mother Pearl has lived at Nellis from the start, and has the wisdom of her age. She said this day would come, and that any savage to reach our gates should be brought to her."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  17. The Courier: "Are you going to confiscate my weapons?"
    Raquel: "Confiscate your weapons? Certainly not! Personal armament is the foundation of social trust and responsibility."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  18. The Courier: "Your people are a determined bunch."
    Pete: "Yes, there's just about nothing we won't do to get our hands on some explosive ordnance!"
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  19. The Courier: "Yeah, any detonation with a yield of less than a half-ton of TNT is boring."
    Pete: "[SUCCEEDED] Exactly! We haven't detonated any atomic warheads since before I was born, but besides that, to heck with nitpicky restrictions!"
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  20. Raquel: "I'll take this from here! I'm Raquel, Master-At-Arms for the Nellis homeland. Mother Pearl, our Eldest, wishes to speak to you."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  21. 21.0 21.1 The Courier: "What happens when they come of age?"
    Boomer teacher: "All of us are trained in combat and farming from a very early age. When we reach adulthood, we serve in whatever capacity we are best suited."
    (Boomer teacher's dialogue)
  22. The Courier: "What's a Master-At-Arms?"
    Raquel: "I oversee the security of the Nellis homeland, from the coordination of its defenses to the training and fitness of its population."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  23. The Courier: "Good to hear. The wasteland is no place for children."
    Boomer teacher: "I agree. That is why we do everything we can to teach the children from birth to defend themselves and serve the tribe."
    (Boomer teacher's dialogue)
  24. The Courier: "Tell me about the Boomers."
    Caesar: "The Boomers settled at the old air base northeast of Vegas many years ago. No one knows exactly how long it's been. It may be that no one's traded with them or even spoken to them that entire time. If so, they're sitting on one hell of a stockpile of ammunition..."
    The Courier: "Don't you know anything about their society?"
    Caesar: "My scouts have seen people moving around the base. The perimeter is guarded, with spotters in towers directing the artillery fire. They must have extraordinary vision. Some of my scouts were targeted at extreme distances. So no, I can't tell you what to expect inside the base. No one's been inside it, except them."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  25. The Courier: "She works for the Crimson Caravan."
    Pearl: "She's with those traders? They've tried to contact us before, but I'm not interested in trading with greedy savages. This presents a bit of a problem. Jack isn't allowed to leave Nellis, and I doubt she would make it through the artillery alive."
    (Pearl's dialogue)
  26. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.43: "Boomers
    At the beginning of the war, Nellis Air Force Base scrambled an enormous number of fighters and bombers to respond to the missile launch. None of those planes ever returned. Additionally, despite the best efforts of a man named Mr. House, some of the missiles that struck the greater Las Vegas area impacted Nellis. As a result, Nellis was not an attractive site for scavengers for over a hundred years after the war.
    Fifty years ago, a group of Vault 34's dissidents struck out on their own and started using Nellis as a base. Over a long period of time, they eventually decided to call Nellis their home. They learned a great deal of information from the records at Nellis and used that information to open the weapons storehouses at (currently unknown locations called) Area 2 and the Hawthorne Army Depot. The result of their efforts was an enormous stockpile of heavy ordnance, artillery, and small nuclear weapons.
    Due to the tribes paranoia, hostility, and excessive reverence for explosives, the New Vegas locals started calling them "Boomers." The Boomers didn't mind the name as long as it meant people kept their distance. No matter who approaches them (Mr. House, the Vegas families, NCR, or Caesar), the Boomers have the same response: artillery. While the Boomers' attitude has kept away trouble, all of the major players around New Vegas want to get on the tribe's good side. People simply have no idea how to accomplish that. As far as all intelligence indicates, the Boomers have a clean water supply from Lake Mead, power from solar panels inside the base, and thriving farms that they've learned to develop "the hard way" over the decades they've been in the base. Once, the NCR attempted to shut off the Boomers' water supply. The Boomers' response was to shell sections of the NCR's water pipeline in eastern New Vegas. The NCR promptly restored the flow.
    In the months that followed that experiment, no one has tried to approach the Boomers, which is just how they like it."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
  27. The Courier: "The ingenuity of your people is remarkable."
    Pete: "Thank you. Our self-sufficiency is a point of pride."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  28. 28.0 28.1 The Courier: "How do you survive, totally cut off from the world?"
    Pete: "Nellis is a completely self-sufficient community! We draw water from Lake Mead, solar arrays provide power, and we grow our own crops!"
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  29. The Courier: "I guess poor nutrition could explain a lot of your behavior."
    Pete: "Our nutrition is not deficient! We supplement our diet of grains and vegetables with soy and legumes for protein."
    (Pete's dialogue (Fallout: New Vegas))
  30. Biodiesel refinery
  31. The Courier: "I can teach how to make jacketed hollow points and other specialized ammo."
    Boomer teacher: "[SUCCEEDED] Wow, our stockpiles mostly included full metal jacket. I should start a reloading class for the children to learn how to make ammunition!"
    (Boomer teacher's dialogue)
  32. The Courier: "Oh the stories I could tell you about fixing stuff with duct tape and bubble gum!"
    Boomer teacher: "[FAILED] Right... when we repair stuff, we tend to use welding torches and plasma cutters. I think I still with Loyal and Jack for repair knowledge."
    (Boomer teacher's dialogue)
  33. The Courier: "Anything else I can help out with?"
    Raquel: "The next time you leave Nellis, keep an eye out for missiles. We're down to a five-year supply for our launchers."
    (Raquel's dialogue)
  34. The Courier: "Where should I look for spare parts?"
    Loyal: "Ha! If we had spare parts, do you think I'd be asking you to fix the damn things? That's rich. No, we ran out of spares a while back, and Jack and I have been doing our best to patch the arrays up as best we can. Sadly, we're at our wit's end. There have to be spare parts somewhere around the wasteland, but I just don't know where to direct you. You may have noticed we don't get out much."
    (Loyal's dialogue)
  35. The Courier: "Tell me again what I need to do."
    Loyal: "I wish you'd paid attention the first time! All you need to do is attach the deployable ballast to the plane. Some of my robots will carry a remote activation station out to the shore. Attach the ballast, hit a button, and they'll handle the rest."
    (Loyal's dialogue)
  36. The Courier: "Your plan worked. The plane floated up. Seemed to be intact."
    Loyal: "That's tremendous! I'll transmit instructions to the robots to start packing up the plane to bring it back to Nellis!"
    (Loyal's dialogue)
  37. The Courier: "Are you and your people still ready to help in the upcoming battle at Hoover Dam?"
    Pearl: "We have our ears on the radio waves. When the fighting starts you can count on our air support."
    (Pearl's dialogue)
  38. The Courier: "Can I get a code to use the VR pods in the mess hall?"
    Loyal: "No. Those aren't for outsiders to use. Leave them alone."
    (Loyal's dialogue)