The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki

With the release of Fallout 4, the fellow wastelander might stumble across some wasteland facts, that they believed were canon, only to learn that things in the Fallout universe may change.

Ever since the series' inception, such changes have been implemented with every new game in the series, as either additions or revisions. At times, they appear as complete contradictions of established lore. Some wastelanders might call these changes artistic license, some might consider them "retconning" the lore.

We, The Vault, as an encyclopedia for the Fallout universe, view these changes from an academic stance, and as such, records new knowledge and changes on to our articles, in an attempt to preserve history in the making.

Though speculation is not accepted on this encyclopedia, there will be questions about certain contradictions and changes to previously established facts. From a lore point of view, these can be explained by multiple circumstances.

Each game is set several years after its predecessor; knowledge, tradition, technology, and nature, are not static.

The wasteland consists of many, often isolated regions, and overall covers whole landmasses. Flora and fauna vary from region to region, as well as the impacts of the Great War. The grade of civilization depends on this, and cultural differences between north and south, east and west, existed already in the pre-War era. Communication nowadays often relies on folk memories, with all of their inaccuracies, personal interpretations, and recordings from the past, which have been affected by radiation and decay.

This article serves as a catalog for these changes to the lore, established with Fallout 4.

For more detailed information, please refer to each topic's gameplay article.


Retcon Type
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Since Fallout 1 there have been numerous encounters with aliens, dead or alive, and their technology. The Zetan aliens, named as such after their mothership Zeta, marked the first live appearance of extra-terrestrials in the series, in which they became an antagonistic force towards the Lone Wanderer in the Fallout 3 add-on, Mothership Zeta. They are always shown wearing full suits of clothing, apparently a space suit, complete with helmet. The next sighting of aliens happens in the Mojave Wasteland, north of the Horowitz farmstead; a recon craft had crashed into the ground, in which its crew can be seen wandering around the crash site without helmets. However, this is a Wild Wasteland encounter, and as such, is not canonical.

In Fallout 4, during a random encounter near Oberland station, a Zetan recon craft is seen crashed into the earth, with its sole pilot injured, and hiding within a nearby cave. Upon discovering the still alive Zetan, it is seen without a helmet on, and is strong enough to defend itself against the Sole Survivor. While earlier appearances may have lead to the assumption that Zetan aliens would need some kind of breathing equipment, whenever exposed to Earth's atmosphere, it is now clear that they, at least for a short time, are capable of surviving without such technology.

In Nuka-World, Dara Hubbell establishes that the Hubologists may have originated from Dick Hubbell's genuine interactions with the Zetans, as evidenced by Hub's alien blaster.[1]


Retcon Type
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While earlier games created the impression that cats were extinct[2][3] in the post-War wastes of the United States of America, there was at least one mention[4] of cats inhabiting a town and not being wiped out for their meat.

Cats made their first live appearance in Fallout 4, being frequently seen in the Commonwealth, as common pets kept by both wastelander and vault dweller alike.

Gauss rifle

Retcon Type
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Gauss rifles, found earlier in New California, the Capital Wasteland, and the the Mojave Wasteland, are all remnants of the pre-War model(s) that were used by the United States Armed Forces and the Chinese People's Liberation Army. After the Great War, they have been consistently obtained by only the most technologically advanced factions, such as the Enclave, the Brotherhood of Steel, and the New California Republic. Outside of these advanced organizations, they are sold by only a very few specialized merchants[5][6].

The eastern division of the Brotherhood of Steel, based within the Prydwen, as well as the Institute, utilize another model of the Gauss rifle, never before seen across the post-War wasteland. The origins are not clear, but it appears to be a distinctly separate weapon model from either of the pre-existing weapon models. Though it has become a more common weapon, not only sold by merchants[7], but also regularly seen in the hands of non-military organizations[8] as well.


Retcon Type
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In Nuka-World, Dick Hubbel is established as having had direct contact with aliens, which influenced the formation of Hubology.[1]

Ghoul biology

Retcon Type
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See the main article for more details about ghoul biology.

While details about the exact physio- and psychological functionality of ghoulified humans, their origin, and the impact of radiation on their bodies have been mostly unclear, much knowledge about ghouls has been gained with each new game released.

One of these now established facts, is a largely expanded life span to a yet unknown extent. Mature ghouls, as they have been encountered in earlier games, age, but they age slowly. Like with non-mutated humans, the age rate may differ from individual to individual. The same applies to their mental capabilities, which may or may not grow with age, or decrease. Despite their regenerative abilities, mature ghouls need food and water to survive, though it is not known in what amounts. The only ghoul stated to have grown up ghoulified was Typhon, but his exact age and whether or not he had entered adolescence, are unknown due to the limitations of Fallout 2's engine that do not permit sprite scaling and have only three unisex sprites for ghouls.

In Fallout 4, for the first time, a pre-War ghoulified child can be encountered. Billy Peabody, a child that was alive during the Great War, became trapped in a fridge; while the fridge ultimately saved his life, he was still exposed to extreme levels of radiation, and as such, was turned into a ghoul. Over 200 years later, Billy is still trapped in the fridge unless the Sole Survivor intervenes, showing that not only has Billy not aged, either physically or mentally, but that he has also survived without a source of food or water in an isolated chamber for that period. Billy is not the first time such an extraordinary feat was achieved: Coffin Willie was sealed and buried in a coffin without food, water, or air, and emerged out of it no worse for the wear.


Retcon Type
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In Fallout 2, Myron is a gifted, but morally challenged teenager who claims to have invented Jet through a completely nonsensical process, supposedly resulting from brahmin being fed contaminated protein by pre-War meat companies, which turned brahmin dung over 150 years later into a potent methamphetamine.[9] Jet has become a commonplace drug in subsequent games, found all over the Capital and Mojave Wasteland, and now the Commonwealth, including sealed pre-War locations like Vaults. Additionally, multiple variants of Jet were added, combined with pre-War drugs (Bufftats), tailored versions similar to Myron's (Dixon's Jet), and even ones designed specifically for the ghoul physiology (Ultrajet).

In Fallout 4, a terminal can be found in the Vault-Tec regional HQ, containing a log entry by Dr. Reid, dated September 29, 2077. A shipment for 15 cases of Psycho and Jet mentioned[10], delivered to Vault 95, a location specifically designed to house individuals who were addicted to drugs. This revises the lore insofar Jet's origins are concerned, establishing the existence of a pre-War variant. The Sole Survivor can also manufacture Jet at a chemistry station from fertilizer, without any need to interact with wastelanders.


Retcon Type
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First mentioned in Fallout 2, yet never making an actual appearance in-game[11], fresh potatoes finally made their first appearance in Rivet City's science lab, with one additional potato that can be found in Pinkerton's kitchen in the broken bow. They became a much more common consumable throughout the Mojave Wasteland, being sold by several merchants, and found in many locations.

In Fallout 4, though mentioned by some inhabitants of the Commonwealth as extant,[12] the Senior Scribe in charge of the Prydwen's biological development section of the ship, Neriah, notes in the botany terminal, that the potato plant has been extinct and sure enough, none are actually found in the Commonwealth. As with cats, this appears to have been a localized extinction.[13]

Power fist and super sledge

Retcon Type
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Since their introduction throughout the Fallout series, these weapons have been exclusively military.

With the introduction of Fallout 4, however, the power fist and super sledge have been introduced to the canon as having civilian construction models.

Super mutants and FEV

Retcon Type
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The super mutant condition was believed to be incurable, due to the fact that FEV does not retain a copy of the original DNA for a hypothetical counter-virus to use and there was no known way to remove FEV itself from the host.[14]

In Fallout 4, one of the Institute's lead scientists, Virgil, managed to create an experimental serum that can permanently reverse the effects of FEV exposure by recreating his DNA. However, the serum is tailored for a single, specific FEV strain, and generalizing it would take years or decades to accomplish.[14]


Retcon Type
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Mentioned together with potatoes by Vice President Daniel Bird in Fallout 2[11], tomatoes must be available in the Mojave Wasteland, for Dr. Ada Straus recommending[15] a bath in tomatoes to remove radiation. They are also an ingredient for desert salad in its original recipe, but don't appear as a crafting component in Fallout: New Vegas.

In Fallout 4 – as with the potato – Senior Scribe Neriah notes in the Prydwen botany terminal, that the tomato is extinct in 2287; the tato as a descendant combines characteristics of both, the tomato and the potato. It appears the Brotherhood is unaware of its survival in the Mojave.[13]


Retcon Type
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Vertibirds were introduced in Fallout 2 with no lore to establish them as either an Enclave invention or a pre-War model. The Museum of History provided background for the gunships appearing in Fallout 3, establishing them as the XVB-02 Vertibird, a pre-War aircraft entering limited service.[16]

In Fallout 4, a new model is introduced in the introduction sequence, flying over Sanctuary Hills, and in the very first town, Concord, it's seen crashed on top of the Museum of Freedom, with other crashed pre-War vertibirds seen across the Commonwealth wastes, and within the Glowing Sea. This adds a widely-used pre-War model of the Vertibird. On the Vault, it's been called the VB-01 Vertibird, based on the Museum of History designation.

X-01 power armor

Retcon Type
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In the Fallout Bible, the Enclave was supposed to have conceived a new model of power armor, superior in every way to the power armor created from before the Great War between 2215 and 2220. This armor was exclusive to Enclave soldiers, as there were no similar pre-War models for wastelanders to obtain. However, no actual lore was presented in the game, with a single sentence in the Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets stating it's a post-War creation.[17]

In Fallout 4, various pre-War sets of earlier prototype models can be found scattered across the Commonwealth, with a fixed set being found underneath the Fort Hagen satellite array. Factions such as the Atom Cats have a consistent supply of these specific power armor components. Furthermore this prototype of advanced power armor has been given a designation, X-01 power armor. Placement of the armor at Starport Nuka, in a sealed exposition and with a Quantum armor coating, establishes it as a pre-War model distinct, but related to the Enclave advanced power armor.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hub's alien blaster
  2. The Chosen One: "{120}{}{Why the glum flace?}"
    Stacy: "{134}{}{Oh, nothing really. Just sometimes I get thinking about my mom and cat. I miss them so very much.}"
    The Chosen One: "{135}{}{Cat?}"
    Stacy: "{137}{}{Yeah, Cuddles. She was such a sweet cat. I really don't feel like talking about it... Well, unless you'd like to buy me a drink. That might help.}"
    The Chosen One: "{139}{}{Of course I will. I'd love to hear about it.}"
    Stacy: "{146}{}{I hear there used to be ones that were as big as you and me. They used to eat animals as big as a brahmin. Now that's scary stuff.}"
    The Chosen One: "{148}{}{Yeah, it is.}"
    Stacy: "{149}{}{The kind I'm talking about is a small cute animal, bigger than a rat but smaller than a dog. Some are fluffy, like my Cuddles, but others have short hair.}"
    The Chosen One: "{150}{}{Really?}"
    Stacy: "{151}{}{They like to be pet like a dog does, but cats make this wonderful relaxing sound when you pet them.}"
    The Chosen One: "{152}{}{Strange.}"
    Stacy: "{153}{}{Cuddles always used to help me go to sleep at night. I think of her every night when I try to go to sleep.}"
    The Chosen One: "{155}{}{Go on.}"
    Stacy: "{156}{}{I had her when I was a kid, but she disappeared. I didn't know then what happened to her, I was too young.}"
    The Chosen One: "{157}{}{Why?}"
    Stacy: "{158}{}{Well, food was awfully scarce back then and people had to eat. It's quite sad really...}"
    The Chosen One: "{159}{}{What?}"
    Stacy: "{160}{}{People would hunt them because they were such easy prey. None of them are around anymore because of it.}"
    The Chosen One: "{162}{}{I can understand that.}"
    Stacy: "{163}{}{Those were the wild ones, but I'm sure that's what happened to mine. Now I know why Mom always kept a close eye on her.}"
  3. The Courier: "I had to wipe out their leadership."
    Robert House: "There's more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes. Or Went, that is - cats being extinct. I don't promote political assassination as a first option, but it has a long and storied history. I'll consider the Boomers neutralized."
    (Robert House dialogue)
  4. NPC: "{261}{}{My cat's breath smells like cat food.}"
  5. Red 888 Guns
  6. Silver Rush
  7. Ronnie Shaw
  8. The Railroad
  9. Myron: "{790}{myn118}{Well, wasn't too hard to come up with a good upper. A sample of that pre-war protein extract, corrupt it and bam -- decent amphetamine.}"
    The Chosen One: "{792}{}{Uh, "protein extract?"}"
    Myron: "{820}{myn121}{Before the Big One some meat companies were experimenting with a cheap protein extract for growing food, but they had to ditch it. One little skin bacteria contaminates it, and it's all screwed.}"
    The Chosen One: "{821}{}{Screwed? How?}"
    Myron: "{830}{myn122}{The contaminated version acted like an amphetamine when ingested. Little side effect. Don't ask. It's, uh, technical.}"
    The Chosen One: "{831}{}{So…did you somehow get a hold of this protein extract?}"
    Myron: "{840}{myn123}{I didn't have to. When they first screwed up, they contaminated tons of that shit. And rather than ditch it, they fed it to their brahmin herds to try and recoup their losses.}"
    The Chosen One: "{843}{}{So you used brahmin shit as fertilizer for the shrooms, except the pre-war protein contamination gives whatever shrooms grown in brahmin shit…certain extra ingredients?}"
    Myron: "{850}{myn124a}{Close...}"
    The Chosen One: "{5851}{}{Yes...?}"
    Myron: "{851}{myn124b}{See, we start experimenting with the brahmin shit as fertilizer for the shrooms, except get this; then, we noticed the slaves working fertilizer vats were getting high from the fumes…}"
    The Chosen One: "{853}{}{So the fumes were enough to produce the effect?}"
    Myron: "{860}{myn125a}{Riiiight...}"
    The Chosen One: "{5861}{}{I thought so.}"
    Myron: "{861}{myn125b}{By putting tons of brahmin shit in the vats, we found out that the fumes give more than enough of a kick. Eureka. Literally. 'Course, we had to test to get the mix right…}"
  10. Vault-Tec regional HQ terminals; Dr. Reid's Terminal, 09/29
  11. 11.0 11.1 Daniel Bird: "{114}{}{Hmm, tell me, how do you spell potato? With an 'E,' or without?}"
    "{117}{}{Hmm, tell me, how do you spell tomato? With an 'E,' or without?}"
  12. Talk page
  13. 13.0 13.1 Prydwen terminals; Botany terminal, Tato
  14. 14.0 14.1 See Forced Evolutionary Virus and Experimental serum for specific references.
  15. The Courier: "Here's your 100 caps. Do it."
    Ada Straus: "Okay. And remember, if this doesn't help, try taking a bath in tomato juice."
    (Ada Straus' dialogue)
  16. Museum of Technology Vertibird placard: "This is a scaled model of a prototype military transport vehicle being developed by the U.S. Military. The XVB02 "Vertibird" is a VTOL ("Vertical Take Off and Landing") craft with an extremely durable armored fuselage and can be armored with a variety of offensive weapons and defensive countermeasures. This is the most advanced aircraft of its kind ever developed, and the military hopes to press them into service by 2085."
  17. See this article for details