|For other characters in the Fallout universe named James, see James (disambiguation).|
James in Fallout Shelter
I am Alpha and Omega. The beginning... and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life, freely.”— James reciting Revelation 21:6
- 1 Background
- 2 Interactions with the player character
- 3 Inventory
- 4 Notes
- 5 Notable quotes
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 Bugs
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Appearances
- 10 References
Early life and Project Purity
Born in 2226, James was always an inquisitive, meticulous and determined man; this personality led him to form or join a group of like-minded scientists, who were set on changing the wasteland for the better. On these grounds, they pioneered Project Purity, a mass water purification effort designed to purify the water of the tidal basin of Washington, D.C. in addition to what was left of the Potomac River. The project began with a dream of James' wife, Catherine, who envisioned a world with clean water for everyone. His wife was his world and he would do anything to advance her aspirations. However, the project was less that idealistic: the Brotherhood of Steel aided as they could, but super mutant attacks were so prevalent that their relationship with the scientists began to strain. Despite the Brotherhood's waning interest to protect the project, James continued dedicating his life to the betterment of others, especially with the news of his pregnant wife; he had a personal mission to improve the wasteland for his child, if nothing else. However, his inspiration for continuing his work became his downfall: when his child was born, Catherine went into cardiac arrest and did not recover. With Catherine gone, James lacked any motivation to continue the project and abandoned it; his focus shifted to his child, a living reminder to the love of his life. The wasteland was much to dangerous for an infant.
James deduced that the most secure location in the Capital Wasteland was a vault – more specifically, Vault 101. Escorted by Star Paladin Cross, James made his way to Megaton, newborn in tow, and bargained with Overseer Alphonse Almodovar for a spot in Vault 101 soon after. James became the chief physician of the Vault and remained there for nearly two decades; he had ensured that his child was safe and research on Project Purity could take priority once more.
For years, James would sneak into restricted areas of the Vault during the night and search for anything of potential use to him. The Vault was constructed with some of the most advanced technology of the era; it stood to reason that there was something that could aid him with Project Purity. Alas, he always came up empty handed. That is, until the night in 2277 when he was encouraged by half a bottle of scotch to break into the Overseer's office and hack into his private network. After sifting through propaganda, spy reports and mad ravings, he found the information he had sought after for so long: mention of Stanislaus Braun and the Garden of Eden Creation Kit. Further digging uncovered that Braun had secured a place in Vault 112: if James could find any of Braun's journals or records there, "Project Purity would become a reality."
Return to the world above
With this opportunity right in front of him, James made up his mind and left Vault 101 in the early morning hours of August 17, 2277. His child, now 19 years old, was an adult who could fend for themselves and, more importantly, would be safe and could make a life for themselves within the vault. James did not see the situation as abandoning his child, but rather as moving on after knowing his child would be safe.
From Vault 101, James briefly stayed in Megaton before trekking into the D.C. Ruins to make contact with Three Dog to get some information. A lot changes in two decades of isolation, but lucky for James, he and Three Dog had a long talk about the movers and shakers of the Capital Wasteland; James subsequently left for Rivet City, a settlement where his "scientific mumbo-jumbo" would make sense. On his way to Rivet City, James returned to the Jefferson Memorial where Project Purity operated all those years ago; he was able to get a portable fusion generator to function, but it only provided so much power. He needed the help of a Project Purity colleague: Doctor Madison Li.
Upon gaining entrance to Rivet City, he attempted to convince Li to aid him in reviving the project, but it was too far gone and she had heard these false promises before. However, Li's dismissal did not deter James from pressing on; he returned to the Jefferson Memorial to muse about Stanislaus Braun and the GECK before committing to a journey across the Capital Wasteland to Vault 112. Unfortunately for James, he was tricked by Braun and became trapped within the Tranquility Lane simulation; if not for his child, who had been looking for him since he left Vault 101, James would have been kept in the simulation for the rest of his life, kept alive only for Braun to play with and taunt. Fortunately, he was rescued and obtained the information he was after. Certain that this information would tip the scales in his favor, he left Vault 112 to journey back to Rivet City.
Sacrifices must be made...
The reunion between James and the Lone Wanderer was short-lived: as much as James loved his child, Project Purity had been his responsibly long before they were born and it took precedent. In his words, "Too many people have made sacrifices to give up on [the project] now." Once they got to Rivet City, James' intuition proved to be correct: once Doctor Li was told of the Garden of Eden Creation Kit, she was reluctantly convinced to revive the project. James led Li and the rest of her team to the Jefferson Memorial and, with the most experience in the wasteland, he convinced his child to clear the facility of super mutants. Once the main floor and the rotunda were free of super mutants, James and the scientists got back to work after nearly 20 years. Naturally, the facility had been neglected and the Lone Wanderer was sent into the basement of the facility to clear up pipe blockages, install fuses and bring the mainframe back online.
While the Lone Wanderer was away, Enclave Vertibirds arrived at the memorial. Guarded by several Enclave soldiers, Colonel Augustus Autumn locked James and Janice Kaplinski in the project's activation room to strongarm the facility into Enclave control. James explained that the facility not operational and never had been, attempting to stall Colonel Autumn, but the Colonel's patience wore thin and he executed Kaplinski to further intimidate James into submission. This was the breaking point for James; he caved but had nothing to lose now. He deliberately overloaded Project Purity's system, causing a massive leak of radiation into the control room. As everyone inside the chamber (except Colonel Autumn) perished, James staggered to the blast door and used his last word to his child to order them to run. James collapsed to the ground and died within the nexus of Project Purity.
With nothing more they could do, the Lone Wanderer and Doctor Li escaped the Jefferson Memorial. With the help of Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel, preparations were made to recapture Project Purity and bring it online. As the Battle of Project Purity raged, the Lone Wanderer entered the Jefferson Memorial and activated Project Purity. It took over twenty years of effort and sacrifice, but Catherine's dream became a reality. James' death was not in vain.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Baby Steps: While James runs to his office for a moment, he puts the infant Lone Wanderer in a playpen. He returns and recites Catherine's favorite Bible verse to his child before taking his child to play with Amata.
- Growing Up Fast: James has a small conversation with the Lone Wanderer during their tenth birthday party, and later gifts then with a BB gun, tasking them to killing a radroach that got into the ractor.
- Future Imperfect: James has a brief conversation with his now 16 year-old son/daughter before their G.O.A.T.
- Escape!: James' escape from Vault 101 prompts a security crisis and forces the Lone Wanderer to seek him out in the wasteland
- Following in His Footsteps: The Lone Wanderer searches for James all over the Capital Wasteland.
- Tranquility Lane: James became trapped in a virtual reality created and controlled by the insane Dr. Braun.
- The Waters of Life: James and his child return to Rivet City and later the Jefferson Memorial to bring Project Purity back to standards. The Enclave storm the facility and claim ownership of it; James overloads the facility with radiation to keep it out of the hands of the Enclave.
Effects of player actions
- As the Lone Wanderer fixes up Project Purity in the basement, James will remark on some stories he has heard about them. His reaction will change depending on how Power of the Atom was resolved: if the bomb was disarmed, he will express his disbelief and pride for child, but if the bomb was rigged and activated, James express his disappointment. He can be lied to about detonating the bomb, but he will not believe it unless the Lone Wanderer had Very Good karma.
- If The Power of the Atom quest has not been resolved at all, or if he is talked to commenting on the aforementioned quest, he will instead comment on the Lone Wanderer's current karma level. If it is good karma, he will say "You're a good person, and it shows". If it is bad karma, he will instead comment on how you "seem troubled, like there is a cloud hanging over you." If the karma is neutral, he simply greets his child in the default manner.
|Dad's wasteland outfit|
Vault lab uniform†
Drops on death
- † Only while in Vault 101
- ‡ On his way back to Rivet City
- James' skin tone and facial features will change depending on how the players make their appearance during character creation.
- James counts as a companion, and will use up ammunition on any non-companion weapon (unlike most non-player characters, who have infinite ammunition).
- James seems to have a preference for Scotch whiskey. According to Project Purity personal journal #5, he mentions having downed "half a bottle of Scotch" the night he broke into the Overseer's computer. When visiting his living quarters at Project Purity, the player can find a number of empty Scotch bottles around James' living area.
- "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
- "For almost twenty years now, I've done everything I can to see that you have a good life. The Vault wasn't perfect, to be sure, but it was the safest place in the Wasteland. That's why I took you there in the first place. I didn't see it as abandoning you. I saw it as moving on, knowing you were safe."
- "That's where you belonged. You were an adult, capable of fending for yourself, and you had a good life ahead of you. What's out here is my task, my responsibility. I never wanted you to have any part of this insanity."
- "You must understand. As much as I love you, this project has been my responsibility since long before you were even born. Too many people have made sacrifices to give up on it now. Your mother... If you'll let me, I'd like to show you what we've accomplished. I want you to be there when we change the world. After so many years, I can finally see it through to the end. I can't stop now."
- "James? He was very driven. Determined to change the world. Well, we all were back then, I suppose. He was focused on two things, really. Making Project Purity work, and your mother. When she died, I think... I think he gave up. I know he wanted to keep you safe, but I think part of what he did was run away. But it seems that he never really was able to get over the idea. I'm frankly shocked that he waited all this time, and wants to try again." (Madison Li)
- "As far as I can tell, you're a perfectly healthy 16-year-old boy/girl. So yes, you have to go to class to take your G.O.A.T. exam!"
- "Son/Honey, I brought you into this world. I think you know the rest." (when James is assaulted by his child.)
Behind the scenes
- James' voice is provided by actor Liam Neeson, after whom the character is also physically modeled. "This role was written with Liam in mind, and provides the dramatic tone for the entire game. "Liam is absolutely amazing to work with," said Todd Howard, Executive Producer of Fallout 3. "It's been a pleasure bringing the father to life and working with the wonderfully talented people at Bethesda on Fallout 3," said Neeson. "I hope the fans of the franchise and the game will be excited by the results."
- According to released concept art, the story of Fallout 3 was different at one point, and James would be encountered by the player in the middle of Vault 87 FEV transformation.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier can find a picture of James and Catherine in Vault 21, near The Strip snow globe, although this has since been outed to be a developer error.
- On the way back to Rivet City from Vault 112, he will sometimes get stuck while traveling with him. If this occurs, fast travel to Rivet City and wait 24 hours in the Science Lab. He will appear and start talking to Doctor Li.
Dad as he looks during Baby Steps.
Dad as he looks during Growing Up Fast.
Appearance in Tranquility Lane as "Doc."
This photo appears only in the game files of Fallout 3 but appears in-game in Fallout: New Vegas in Vault 21 in Sarah Weintraub's room.
Concept art for an unused mutated father from an earlier version of Fallout 3 by Adam Adamowicz.
- James appears in Fallout 3 and in Fallout Shelter as a legendary vault dweller. A photograph of him appears in Fallout: New Vegas.