Intelligent deathclaw

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For general information about deathclaws, see deathclaw.
Intelligent deathclaw
Deathclaw fo1.gif
LocationVault 13

Intelligent deathclaws are a variety of the dangerous reptilian species that was experimented on by the Enclave, which gave them higher intelligence and the ability to speak.


By eliminating the deathclaws of Vault 13 the Chosen One banished yet another species to the realms of extinction, proving, once again, that genocide is a viable solution to any problem...

In 2235,[1] the Enclave captured many deathclaws and after the discovery of the Mariposa Military Base exposed them to FEV.[2] This boosted their intelligence, giving them the ability to talk with varying degrees of erudition and articulation.[3][4][5][6]

While the Enclave hoped that the deathclaws would be intelligent enough to obey orders without being so intelligent as to question them,[7][8] the Enclave's deathclaws began to doubt the morality of their masters. While they helped the Enclave in storming Vault 13 in 2241 and kidnapping the population, they later abandoned the Enclave, adopting the now-empty vault as their new home under the leadership of Gruthar.

Several humans from the surrounding area moved into the vault to live under the protection of the deathclaws, but not all were pleased with these new neighbors. One human, Matt, struck against the deathclaws by bombing the mother and hatchlings (the deathclaw mother survived, but security was tightened from then on). The deathclaws faced other problems adapting to life in the vault, as well: after the overthrow of the paranoid Overseer, the dwellers of Vault 13 had turned day-to-day operations of the vault over to a Brotherhood-technology based computer. The only way the deathclaws could interact with it was by voice commands; this became a severe problem when the computer's voice module was sabotaged by Matt.[9] Fortunately, a traveling tribal known as the Chosen One had a replacement voice module, and was willing to install his in exchange for Gruthar's help in finding a GECK, one of which Gruthar had within the vault's storage area.[10]

The deathclaws paid a high price for their rebellion, however: an Enclave team, lead by Frank Horrigan, attacked Vault 13 and massacred the deathclaws (and presumably those humans under their protection). Of Vault 13's inhabitants, only Xarn[11] and Goris survived thanks to the Chosen One's actions. Canonically, Xarn and Goris were the only intelligent deathclaws to survive the events of Fallout 2. According to some reports, they did not, however, reproduce, and were the last of their kind.[12] Whether this will hold true in the future remains to be seen.


This subspecies was highly intelligent, about the equivalent of an eight-year-old, with some individuals on par with average adult humans. Their learning capacity was very high and they were capable of abstract thought and reasoning. Although they did not have vocal cords, the deathclaws seemed to mimic human speech the same as a parrot does. Socially, they had rigidly hierarchical, peaceful, pack-based ethical code. They were extremely loyal to the pack as a whole, treating it as a family unit rather than having individual families. Fights within a pack are unheard of, and the pack's leader controls many aspects of life, such as choosing and matching female and male deathclaws for reproduction. Oddly enough, deathclaws are not subject to sterility from FEV exposure; this trait is not explained.

Known intelligent deathclaws


Intelligent deathclaws appear only in Fallout 2.

Behind the scenes

  • The intelligent deathclaws were meant to have more extensive dialogue, but sometime late in development their dialogues were "unattached." It is unknown if they were fully deleted or backed up somewhere.[13]
  • One of the deathclaws was meant to be unarmed combat trainer that could give the player a new fighting skill(s).
  • Another was meant to be an engineer, focused on designing a sort of powered armor for their people to wear.
  • Finally, one was meant to be a mining engineer, who would give you a quest to to scope out ruins and such for resources for the power armor project mentioned above.


  1. Fallout Bible 0: "2235 The Enclave experiments on deathclaws, attempting to create special fighting units for waging war in hostile environments."
  2. Goris' dialogue: "{217}{}{So, the Enclave started messing with a virus, or some such thing, and injected the deathclaws with it. This virus was known to mutate humans into some sort of super beings, so the Enclave wanted to see what it would do to deathclaws. Well, the result was a breed of deathclaws so smart that they could see they were destined for slavery. So, they played dumb until they could gain their freedom. And here they are!}"
  3. Schreber's dialogue: "{146}{}{Well we succeeded! We actually managed to increase their intelligence. However, I began to suspect that we went too far. That maybe they were a lot smarter than they were letting on. So when I was transferred here I brought one of them with me so I could put my theory to the test.}"
  4. Schreber's dialogue: "{148}{}{I was right! The deathclaws have apparently been playing dumb, biding their time, and trying to learn as much as they can from us. They can even mimic human speech! I've actually had a conversation with that fellow in the next room.}"
  5. Schreber's dialogue: "{149}{}{Anyway. The fact that they were capable of conceiving this plan and pulling off the deception shows just how dangerous they are.}"
  6. Schreber's dialogue: "{152}{}{I'm going to write a report on my findings and have it transmitted to the Enclave. Of course I'll have to recommend the extermination of the deathclaw breed. They are much too dangerous a threat.}"
  7. Schreber's dialogue: "{143}{}{The Enclave has been looking for cheap, expendable soldiers. We are interested in deathclaws because they have built in armor and weapons, and they're mean as hell. They just need to be smarter so they can understand commands but not too smart or they could develop a will of their own. With me so far?}"
  8. Goris' dialogue: "{147}{}{These aren't your average deathclaws, as I'm sure you noticed. They've had their intelligence enhanced by some means not understood by them. It was done by a group of humans known as 'The Enclave.' It seems this Enclave needed an army and they chose deathclaws because of their ferocity, physical prowess, and... well, you get the picture. Anyway, the only thing lacking in deathclaws was their intelligence. They needed to be smart enough to understand complex commands, but not so smart that they'd be a threat to 'those in charge.'}"
  9. Matt (Vault 13)'s dialogue: "{144}{}{Yeah. I destroyed the voice module and then I disabled all keyboard input.}"
  10. Fix the Vault 13 computer.
  11. Fallout Bible 6
  12. The Fallout Bible is mixed as to whether Xarn and Goris could reproduce and save the intelligent deathclaw breed. In a March 11, 2002 update, John Deiley (the creator and designer of much of the talking Deathclaw content) wrote:
    In any case, there is a chance that two intelligent deathclaws survived to continue on the species. I realize that they are both males, but that is fine. When they were engineered by the Enclave, the intelligence gene was made male specific and dominant. What this means is: Any intelligent male that mated with a non-intelligent female would (most likely) produce intelligent offspring.
    However, in a later, July 10, 2002 update of the Fallout Bible, Chris Avellone denied that the intelligent deathclaws lived, writing:
    BTW, the talking deathclaws were destroyed at the end of Fallout 2. Xarn and Goris did not go on to create a new species. They are gone. Kaput. Goodbye. In fact, any mutant animal that talks can safely be assumed to have died at the end at the exact minute that Fallout 2 was over.
    Any last words, talking animals?
    I thought not.