The Vault - Fallout Wiki

We've Moved! Just as Gamepedia has joined forces with Fandom, this wiki had joined forces with our Fandom equivalent. The wiki has been archived and we ask that readers and editors move to the now combined wiki on Fandom. Click to go to the new wiki.


The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Madison Li
Fo3 Madison Li.pngFo4 Madison Li.png
2277 and 2287
Biography and appearance
RaceHuman, Asian
AffiliationProject Purity Fallout 3Gametitle-FO3.png
The Institute Fallout 4Gametitle-FO4.png
LocationFallout 3:
Rivet City science lab
Jefferson Memorial
The Citadel
Fallout 4:
The Institute, Advanced Systems
Boston Airport
Dialogue FileMadison Li's dialogue Fallout 3Gametitle-FO3.png
Madison Li's dialogue Fallout 4Gametitle-FO4.png
QuestsFallout 3:
Scientific Pursuits
The Waters of Life
Fallout 4:
From Within
SPECIALStrength: 3
Perception: 6
Endurance: 3
Charisma: 4
Intelligence: 8
Agility: 6
Luck: 5
Derived StatsHit Points: 510
Poison Resistance: 10%
Radiation Resistance: 4%
Tag SkillsExplosives: 32
Medicine: 36
Science: 36
Editor ID(Fallout 3)
MadisonLi Fallout 4Gametitle-FO4.png
Base ID000290a3 (labor ward)
Ref ID000290a5 (labor ward)
ActorJennifer Massey
Gametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO4.pngGame tile Fallouit Shelter.png
Gametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO4.pngGame tile Fallouit Shelter.png

Look, I don't want to be harsh, but I have problems of my own. I don't have the resources to support James' foolish endeavors, or your chasing after him. I'm sorry.

Madison Li, Fallout 3

Doctor Madison Li (born 2229, Institute username Li.M) is the chief scientist of Rivet City and serves on its council in Fallout 3. In Fallout 4, she is a member of The Institute.


Project Purity

Born in 2229, Li chose to dedicate her life to science in hopes that she could help bring change to the wasteland. This is best exemplified by her devotion to Project Purity, a mass water purification effort started around 2257. Despite her romantic feelings for the chief scientist, James, she respected his marriage to another project scientist, Catherine, and continued to work tireless on the project, never doting on these feelings. When Catherine died in childbirth, James chose to abandon Project Purity to keep his child safe, dooming all of their efforts to purify the wasteland's water. Although initially distraught, Li quickly felt betrayed by James and grew bitter of the whole experience.[1][2]

Rivet City

After Project Purity fell through, Li settled in Rivet City where she would have the opportunity to continue work with the limited scientific community of the Capital Wasteland. Much to Horace Pinkerton's frustration, his entire staff of scientists began working for Li; she even gained enough of a reputation that she succeeded Pinkerton as the scientific representative on the Rivet City Council.[3]

By this point, she had recognized that Project Purity was a lost cause, and finally abandoned her efforts on the project to which she had dedicated so many years. Project Purity was a failure and it was time to move on.[2] To this end, she began to devote her time to other humanitarian endeavors; most recently, she and her team have been working on hydroponic technology and portable fusion power.[4] Her team has had limited success with their hydroponics, purifying just enough water grow a limited amount of crops, but they still lack the infrastructure to replicate these results on a large scale.[5]

James' Return

When James emerged from Vault 101 in 2277, twenty years after abandoning his team, he approached Li claiming to have finally discovered how to make Project Purity functional, but Li's cynicism caused her to dismiss him, not even entertaining the thought and telling him that the project was too far gone to be revived.[6][7] In spite of this, when James shared information about the Garden of Eden Creation Kit he confirmed at Vault 112 with her, Li was convinced to help him and revive the project.[8]

After the Lone Wanderer cleared the Jefferson Memorial of super mutants, Li transferred her team to Project Purity's original site and they began renovating the neglected facility. The renewed activity for Project Purity was brought to a standstill shortly after when the Enclave seized the facility and Li was forced to escape with part of her team through the Taft Tunnels to the Citadel.[9] Despite her aversion to the Brotherhood of Steel,[10] she had no choice but to be seek shelter with them. While the Lone Wanderer was securing a G.E.C.K. from Vault 87, Li remained in the Citadel's laboratory and proved to be instrumental to the Brotherhood, using her prior research on portable fusion power to aid them in mitigating Liberty Prime's energy management issues by designing a power system that was powerful enough to power Prime's systems while fitting inside its frame.[11][12] This ultimately allowed the Brotherhood to deploy Liberty Prime to take back Project Purity, destroy Raven Rock and access Enclave relay 0X9-B.[13]

The Commonwealth

Following the Battle of Project Purity and the activation of the project, Li left for the Commonwealth in the north, to pursue "more interesting projects". Others believe it was because she couldn't stand Brotherhood scribes improving up on her work.[14][15] Her real reason was that she was tired of being stepped on and used by the Brotherhood. First there was the water purification project, designed to freely benefit the entire Capital Wasteland. Even though the Brotherhood allowed it to be activated, they wanted to control it. Then there were other, more classified projects. Always using her work as weapons of war. She simply had enough.[16]

Why go all the way to the Commonwealth? She has fled the Capital Wasteland in fear for her life. While Owyn Lyons permitted her to leave with no strings attached, there were people concerned about her as a potential security risk. The Institute was the only safe harbor she could think of.[17] For ten years she has labored among cutting edge laboratory equipment and some of the greatest minds the world's ever known, becoming the head of the Advanced Systems division. Yet something irks her - the lack of transparency most of all.[18][19] Even worse is the fact that the Institute actively buries facts it finds inconvenient. Li was friends with Brian Virgil. When several months earlier he escaped from the Institute, he was declared dead and his lab sealed off against Madison's insistence on a thorough investigation.[20]

However, the key problem is that she feels the Institute is selfish - the technology that could improve countless lives is hidden inside the Institute, buried deep beneath the ground, yet the Institute continues to hide and insulate itself from everyone.[21]

Interactions with the player character

Fallout 3

Interactions overview

Perk nociception regulator.png
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.
Icon severed ear.png
This character drops an ear when killed (Contract Killer).
This character is a temporary party member.
This character starts quests.
Perk empathy synthesizer.png
This character is involved in quests.


  • Scientific Pursuits: Dr. Li reports that James went to the Jefferson Memorial and suggests searching it for further clues on his whereabouts.
  • The Waters of Life: After James is killed in the Jefferson Memorial rotunda, Dr. Li and the remaining scientists must be escorted to the Citadel.
  • Picking Up The Trail: Li suggests asking the Brotherhood for help finding a G.E.C.K.
  • Take It Back!: Over an intercom, she tells the Lone Wanderer that the project needs to be activated or the facility would explode.

Effects of player actions

  • If the Lone Wanderer has killed Three Dog before completing the Galaxy News Radio quest, the Lone Wanderer will need to talk to Dr. Li to progress the plot.

Other interactions

  • Dr. Li was the first distinct face that the Lone Wanderer sees, during the birthing scene, as she carries the newborn Lone Wanderer away while Catherine is going into cardiac arrest.
  • If the Lone Wanderer passes a Speech check before going to Project Purity, Dr. Li rewards them with five stimpaks.

Fallout 4

Interactions overview

Perk nociception regulator.png
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.
Perk empathy synthesizer.png
This character is involved in quests.


  • From Within : Li is a crucial element of the plan to restore Liberty Prime to his former glory. The player can either fetch Brian Virgil's holotape from his laboratory or persuade Li to rejoin the Brotherhood.
  • Institutionalized: Li is one of the department heads the player meets. She also installs a courser chip inside the player's PIP-Boy, allowing travel to and from the Institute at will.


Fallout 3

Icon armored vault suit.png
Doctor Li's outfit
Assault carbine icon.png
Icon briefcase.png
Carried items
Doctor Li's key
Icon male severed head.png
Drops on death

Fallout 4

Icon armored vault suit.png
Blue Institute division head coat
Assault carbine icon.png
Icon briefcase.png
Carried items
Icon male severed head.png
Drops on death


  • Doctor Li has a unique hairstyle that is unused by any other non-player character and unavailable to the Lone Wanderer, similarly to Cherry.
  • If the Lone Wanderer picks the lock to Doctor Li's room, he/she can sleep in her bed, unlike most owned beds.

Notable quotes

Fallout 3

  • "Look, this is a restricted area. I'm tired of telling you people... I... It's you. My heavens, you look so much like him... You're James' son/daughter, aren't you? What are you doing here?"
  • "Project Purity was everything to us. It was the first thing we thought about when we woke up, the last thing we talked about before sleep. Some of us changed over the years, but apparently James hasn't."
  • "What are you doing here? James said you were still in the Vault. Look, this is all terribly irrational. Your father just shows up here as if nothing happened... He walked out on us. I know he had his reasons, I know it was to protect you, but still. Project Purity was our life. It was the only thing that mattered, and then he just gave up. He abandoned us, and we were forced to move on. I've already told him that it's over. There's no going back. Project Purity was a failure, and he needs to move on."
  • "I don't have to justify myself to you, you know. Look, I appreciate that your father still wants to see Project Purity running. For the rest of us, though... It's just been too long. Too much has happened, and going back now would be a waste. It's just not worth it."
  • "No, I don't. I'm sorry. Is this something to do with Dr. Braun? He kept talking about it while he was here. I told him it was a lost cause. The whole project is a lost cause. I wish he could see that. It's been too long. It's too late to go back." (when questioned about the location to Vault 112.)

Fallout 4

Behind the scenes

Fallout 3

  • According to a dialogue script for Li called MQ05DadLiDeathScene, Li was originally going to interact with James more than she does when he is sabotaging the Project Purity control room, urging him to not do it, but this dialogue was left out of the final game.[22]



Madison Li appears in Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Fallout Shelter as a legendary vault dweller.


  1. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.69-70: "Doctor Madison Li
    Doctor Madison Li, 48, was a young, idealistic scientist who fully bought into the notion of Project Purity. She worked tirelessly with your father, and hid her growing romantic feelings while respecting his marriage to another scientist. When your mother was killed, Doctor Li was filled with remorse, but when the player's father decided to abandon Project Purity to keep his child safe, her sadness was replaced with a powerful sense of betrayal. Eighteen years later, she is older, wiser, and much more cynical."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Lone Wanderer: "Where's my father? Tell me now!"
    Madison Li: "Calm down, calm down! What are you doing here? James said you were still in the Vault. Look, this is all terribly irrational. Your father just shows up here as if nothing happened... He walked out on us. I know he had his reasons, I know it was to protect you, but still. Project Purity was our life. It was the only thing that mattered, and then he just gave up. He abandoned us, and we were forced to move on. I've already told him that it's over. There's no going back. Project Purity was a failure, and he needs to move on."
    (Madison Li's dialogue)
  3. The Lone Wanderer: "So, you used to be in charge? How did you end up here?"
    Horace Pinkerton: "That lasted until 'bout 18 years ago, when those ambitious backbiters like Li and her little team showed up. She came in with her big "Purity Project" pipe dream, and my whole staff started working with her, those traitors! She even took my seat on the council. By then, I was glad to leave it behind. But hell if I'm leaving the city I made great!"
    (Horace Pinkerton's dialogue)
  4. The Lone Wanderer: "What is this lab? What are you doing here?"
    Madison Li: "This is the Rivet City Science lab. It's taken many long years to put together, but we've done well for ourselves. Our work on portable fusion power and hydroponics are coming along quite nicely, if not quite according to schedule."
    (Madison Li's dialogue)
  5. Doctor Li's Terminal, Hydroponic Progress
  6. The Lone Wanderer: "If he was here, then do you know where he went?"
    Madison Li: "Yes, I do. I told him repeatedly that it's too late, that the project is too far gone to be revived. He insisted he can just pick up where we left off 20 years ago, and said he could prove it to me. So he headed off to the old lab. I advised against it, but he went anyway."
    (Madison Li's dialogue)
  7. Project Purity Personal Journal: Entry 3
  8. James: "I told you it would work, Madison, and now I can prove it."
    Madison Li: "James! You're back!"
    James: "And with good news. I was right about Braun and the G.E.C.K. If we can find one, we can adapt it to work with the purifiers."
    Madison Li: "I'd like to believe you, James. Really I would. This is all just so... So sudden."
    James: "Madison, I'm telling you this is real. I talked to Braun himself. He confirmed it. Don't you see? This is what we've been waiting for!"
    Madison Li: "I... I don't know, James. So many years have passed. Is it really still worth trying?"
    James: "How could it not be worth improving the lives of everyone in the Wasteland? What could be a more worthy endeavor?"
    Madison Li: "You haven't lost any of your passion, have you James."
    James: "It's as important to me as ever, Madison. I know it's important to you too. Let's finish this together."
    Madison Li: "James, I... We don't have a G.E.C.K. I can get a small team together, but we'll need proof that it works before people believe us."
    James: "I know, I was thinking about that. The lab at the facility had some old pre-war computers that we scavenged. One of them might be useful."
    Madison Li: "From the last reports, there's no power at the facility. Even if one of those computers had a database, we couldn't access it."
    James: "That's why we're going to head over there right now and get things up and running as best we can."
    Madison Li: "You know if it were anyone else asking me to do this, I'd have them run right out of Rivet City."
    James: "And you know I wouldn't be here if I didn't think this would really work. It's time, Madison."
    Madison Li: "Damn you, James. When this is all over, you owe me a drink. I'll get the team together."
    James: "Thank you, Madison. It's good to be working with you again."
    (Madison Li's and James' dialogue)
  9. The Waters of Life
  10. Project Purity Journal: Entry 8
  11. The Lone Wanderer: "What are you doing now?"
    Madison Li: "I'm assisting Rothchild with some of his research. I've worked with portable generators more extensively than he has. I don't really care for the idea that this is supporting some gigantic military robot, but given the state of things, I recognize the need for it."
    (Madison Li's dialogue)
  12. The Lone Wanderer: "How is Liberty Prime holding up?"
    Reginald Rothchild: "Performance is exceeding all our expectations. He's been especially effective against the Enclave's Vertibirds, for which we previously had no counter. We're fine-tuning his programming as we go, but on the whole I'm pleasantly surprised. It's as I always suspected. Prime's real issue was energy management, and when Doctor Li helped us solve that problem, well, the rest was easy."
    (Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)
  13. Take it Back! and Death from Above
  14. The Lone Wanderer: "Where's Doctor Li?"
    Bigsley: "Tch. She apparently decided to pursue "more interesting projects" up north in the Commonwealth. The real reason is that she couldn't handle us Scribes "improving" upon her work. She's the kind of woman who needs to be in charge of EVERYTHING. Good luck to her out there in the Wasteland; it's a long walk to the Commonwealth. Can't say she'll be missed."
    (Bigsley's dialogue)
  15. The Lone Wanderer: "Where's Doctor Li?"
    Alex Dargon: "Oh. Well, she... After what happened to you when the purifier started, I think she just kind of had enough. It was really hard on her, you know? First losing your dad, and then the Enclave, and then the Brotherhood taking over here. It was really just too much for her. So I guess she packed up a few things and headed off north, towards the Commonwealth. Rumor has it there's a scientific community up there. I sure hope she finds what she's looking for."
    (Alex Dargon's dialogue)
  16. The Sole Survivor: "Why won't you help us with Liberty Prime?"
    Madison Li: "I originally left the Brotherhood because I was tired of being stepped on and used. First there was the water purification project, designed to freely benefit the entire Capital Wasteland. Even though the Brotherhood allowed it to be activated, they wanted to control it. But that wasn't enough. They forced me to help design Liberty Prime. Turned my work into a weapon of war. I had enough, so I left. It's as simple as that."
  17. The Sole Survivor: "Why would we want you dead?"
    Madison Li: "I did some pretty sensitive work for the Brotherhood of Steel. Even though Lyons let me go, there were a few others in the ranks that thought I knew too much. That's why I came to the Institute. It was only place that I thought I'd be out of the Brotherhood's reach and still be able to do my research. Since Father trusts you, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I might not agree with everything he says, but I know he'd never allow harm to come my way. Say what you came here to say, and then leave me alone."
  18. The Sole Survivor: "Are you happy here?"
    Madison Li: "You'd think being surrounded by cutting edge laboratory equipment and some of the greatest minds the world's ever known would be enough. Only problem is the lack of transparency. I don't think we get the full story on everything that occurs down here. What does that have to do with why we're talking?"
  19. The Sole Survivor: "Father trusts me, and so should you."
    Madison Li: "I am getting a bit tired of all the secrets here. Sometimes I feel like Father isn't being straight with me... like there are things I'm not supposed to know about. I don't like that. But still, how can I turn my back on all of this?"
  20. The Sole Survivor: "The Institute is decieving you."
    Madison Li: "That's the smartest thing I've heard you say yet. I had a colleague down here... a Doctor Virgil. Several months ago, there was an accident in his lab, and he was killed. I wanted to help with the investigation, but Father had the laboratory sealed saying that it was contaminated. The incident never sat right with me. The more I asked about it, the more I felt like Father was deflecting my questions. If you bring me solid information on what killed him, I'll take it as a favor from the Brotherhood, and consider your offer. Do we have a deal?"
  21. The Sole Survivor: "Your work could be instrumental in freeing the Commonwealth."
    Madison Li: "*Sigh* You really know how to push my buttons, don't you. You know, I never understood why the Institute was so damn selfish. All those innocent people up there... dying. And here I am surrounded by technology that could make their lives better. Yet we hide down here and insulate ourselves from everything and everyone. It's not right... it's not right. I'll make my way back to the Brotherhood, but I'm going to have to do it on my own. I can't take any chances being seen with you. Tell whoever sent you that they've just regained the services of Doctor Madison Li."
  22. James: "Madison, please. Now's not the time. I'll get the information the Colonel needs, but I need you to..."
    Madison Li: "James, this is wrong. You can't do this."
    James: "I need you to monitor the output levels on pumps three and four. Please step over to the panel and keep an eye on them, will you?"
    Madison Li: "I won't help you do this James. Not after everything it took to get here."
    James: "Madison, please. It's very important that you do this right now. Just step over to the panel while I access the computer in the control booth."
    Madison Li: "What? What are you talking about? That doesn't even make any sense..."
    James: "Please. Just monitor the pumps."
    Madison Li: "James, I..."
    (James' and Madison Li's dialogue)