The Glow

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The Glow
Fo1 Glow Townmap.png
Map MarkerThe Glow
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3 (Weapons Research)
  • Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)
  • Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)
  • Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)
FactionsWest Tek (pre-War)
United States Army (pre-War)
LeadersColonel Robert Spindel (pre-War)
ZAX 1.2
QuestsBecome an Initiate.
Turn on power for the Glow.
Cut contentIcon cut.png Disarm Traps for the Facility.
TerminalsRobot control terminal
Cut contentIcon cut.png "Tylier" Special Forces Operations terminal
Cut contentIcon cut.png GLOCOMP.MSG
Power management and mainframe terminal
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3 OA.pngGametitle-FB.pngGametitle-TAR.jpg
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3 OA.pngGametitle-FB.pngGametitle-TAR.jpg

Watch out for radioactive hot spots. This place obviously sustained a direct nuclear strike, and secondary cascade radiation may be bad. I'd recommend avoiding this place completely if we can.

Tycho, Fallout

The West Tek Research Facility, colloquially known as The Glow or Great Glow after the Great War, was founded in 2055[1] as the primary biological research installation for West Tek, later expanded to accommodate advanced weapons labs. The Glow can be found eight squares east and twenty-four squares south of Vault 13.


Initially divided into two sections, "Advanced Weapons" and "Biomedical Sciences Research",[2] it was the single biggest private contractor of the American federal government by 2069,[3] with its biggest project being the T-51 power armor for use by infantry soldiers on the frontlines. Its second-largest was the Pan-Immunity Virion Project (PVP), later known as the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). In 2076, the research facility was secured by a military contingent for fear of international espionage, shortly afterwards, the PVP research was moved to the Mariposa Military Base where experimentation on human subjects would continue.[4] Several other projects were also being pursued, including energy weapons and upgrading existing armor.

The Glow

The West Tek Research Facility was destroyed in the nuclear holocaust of 2077. During the Great War the surface of the installation took a direct hit from a nuclear warhead which left a gaping hole exposing the subterranean installation, shattering the F.E.V. containment tanks and releasing the irradiated virus into the atmosphere.[5] Mutated by radiation, the airborne F.E.V. strain did not have the same mutagenic abilities as its counterpart at Mariposa, but still complicated things for the Master later on. Due to its high radiation, the facility came to be known as the Glow, surrounded by legends among the people of New California. Shortly after the Great War, in late 2077,[6][7][8] a faction led by Sergeant Dennis Allen gained strength during the Brotherhood of Steel Exodus from Mariposa, and urged the Elders and Captain Roger Maxson to let them explore the ruins of the West Tek Research Facility for artifacts. No permission was given. Allen and his group split away, taking some technology and weapons with them. Allen, together with Soto, Jensen and Camarillo arrived at the Glow after several weeks of travel. Upon arrival, they started exploring the ruins, but were promptly chewed apart by security robots and radiation when they breached the lower levels and weren't recognized as authorized personnel.[9]

The Brotherhood of Steel used to send unwanted applicants to the Glow on a "fool's quest", referring to it by the moniker the "Ancient Order", just to laugh about it later when they ended up dead because of the high amount of radiation in the area. They were quite surprised when one known as the Vault Dweller actually made it back, bringing with him a holodisk that recorded the fate of Allen's expedition, and earning him a place in the Brotherhood.[10]

It is important to note that the Glow, true to its name, is one of the most highly irradiated locations in the Fallout universe. Rumor has it that "all sorts of mutant freaks" guard the technology from before the war,[11] but the radiation is even better at guarding the technology; a few moments' exposure is enough to give a human a lethal dose of rads. Use of Rad-X to boost radiation resistance to 100% is widely considered absolutely necessary to survive a trip to the Glow.


Main article: Dayglow

Some time after 2162, some ghoul survivors from Necropolis settled north and west of the Glow, and founded the town of Dayglow, whose inhabitants formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts.[12]


The color of an arrow indicates which pass key is needed to access which parts of the facility.
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)
Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)
Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)


You need to prepare a rope before venturing forward.

The surface of the facility has been wiped clean by the nuclear strike, with just a gaping crater where the entrance elevator would be. Hardened armor plating used to provide an additional level of protection for the facility below are visible where the wind has stripped away the sand and rock. Bodies that surround the crater are all that remains of would-be explorers and are empty.

Players should take two doses of Rad-X as soon as they enter the map, as the character starts soaking up radiation the moment they arrive. Party members are not affected by radiation mechanics at all.

To enter the facility, players need to use rope on the protruding beam. It's also recommended to watch the clock, as the two doses of Rad-X and the 100% radiation resistance they grant will last 24 hours. Hacking and reading books consumes time off that clock and it's possible to suddenly run out of radiation resistance and promptly absorb enough radiation to keel over and die.

Level 1

The blast penetrated the surface and destroyed much of the level.

The administrative and office level. Players enter it where the entrance elevator would have been. If seeking Sergeant Dennis Allen for the Brotherhood, his body is located in the room just next to the entrance, but to reach it, the player has to circumnavigate the level. Most bodies and nearly all lockers contain loot and it's worthwhile to recover them. The room in the northeastern corner has a stuck door which can be opened if the character's ST is 8 or if the sum of their ST, AG and LK is at least 18.

Sergeant Allen is the sole body in power armor. On him is a yellow pass key and the Ancient Brotherhood disk required to become an Initiate. The sole functioning terminal can be used to turn on emergency power for the facility, which activates the elevator in the southwestern corner that grants access to the lower level. The card disables the electric trap and opens the door, but the player can use Traps and Lockpick to gain access regardless.

Loot in West Tek Level 1

Level 2

First encounter with security robots.

The second floor includes numerous computer laboratories and tables, as well as the first encounter with a security checkpoint. The robots are deactivated as long as the main power generator for the facility is not turned on and can be destroyed at leisure. The lockers in the security section contain a variety of loot, as do the bodies.

The most important item here is the red pass key, on a body in the northeastern chamber, required to access the higher security elevator.

Loot in West Tek Level 2

Level 3

Connecting floor. The shelves are empty and do not provide any loot.

A weapons research and development level that doubles as a connection between the upper floors of the facility and the higher security levels below. There's another robot checkpoint here, together with a large stash of weapons in the lockers to the northwest. The red elevator is in the northeast, granting access to two more levels of the facility.

Loot in West Tek Level 3

Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)

The western elevator cannot be accessed without the power being turned on.

The heart of the facility, housing an intact artificial intelligence, ZAX 1.2. Although effectively an amputee, with his robotic servants inactive, labs destroyed, and sensors mostly burned out, ZAX continued his silent vigil. Players can chat with him if they have Intelligence 5 and can download numerous files, including power armor specs, West Tek records, and play chess (this option was supposed to grant 700 experience on a critical success while performing an Intelligence check; attributes do not generate critical successes, so players can only lose). Playing chess advances the clock by two hours and doesn't affect ZAX's attitude at all.

ZAX may unlock access to the weapons locker by the high security elevator in the west. If power is turned on and the player has at least 40% Science skill, they can use ZAX to shut down the security bots across the facility (they reactivate when the generator is activated). Failing to do so advances the clock by 5 hours; success only advances it by 10 minutes.

The blue pass key is on Charles Ringhold in the southwestern laboratory. There's also a stash of weapons and armor in the storage area to the southeast, beyond the eastern laboratory.

Loot in West Tek Level 4


Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)

A treasure hoard and a major piece of New California's history.

The most secure part of the facility and one that cannot be accessed without turning on the power using the generator on the lower floor. There are two security checkpoints here with active robots (unless they were deactivated through ZAX) and a plethora of loot in the lockers in the southeastern laboratory, together with a full set of combat armor, energy weapons, and a lot of ammunition. There are also several lore holodisks to collect from the lockers. Merely entering the level grants 1000 experience points for cracking the mystery of the Glow.

Loot in West Tek Level 5

Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)

Awakening the dragon

The deepest floor for military and research personnel, together with the primary power generator. Reactivating the generator requires using Repair on it (or a Tool). Players can attempt repairs once, any subsequent attempts require Repair 36% at a minimum. Reactivating the generator completes the second quest of two associated with the facility (the first one, deactivating the traps, cannot be completed) and grants 1000 experience points on top of unlocking access to level 5 and reactivating all dormant robots. Destroying them beforehand is recommended.

Notably, one of Dennis Allen's followers lies dead in one of the rooms.

Loot in West Tek Level 6

Behind the scenes

  • The facility belonged to West-Tek, but the name is occasionally misspelled as West-Tech in the game.
  • There is a fair number of cut content in the Glow, including:
    • Unique script and dialogue for a Weapon Depot door on level 1 (GLO1WEAP.MSG).
    • An unique script and dialogue for a Supply Depot door on level 3 (GLO3SUPL.MSG).
    • An unique script and dialogue for the level 4 security check lockbox (GLWBOX.MSG).
    • An unique ZR32 computer (GLOCOMP.MSG).
    • A heavy duty military freezer belonging to the FBI Special Projects unit (FREEZER.MSG), part of a reference to X-Files. Another would have been an evacuation note signed by Dana Scully (GRAFFITI.MSG).
    • The remains of a genetic experiment (GLWALIEN.MSG).
    • A damaged cage that was used for storing lab animals (GLOWCAGE.MSG).
    • Tylier, a Special Forces Operations control terminal (TYLIER.MSG).
    • A water pump that the player could attempt to salvage for the Vault (GLOWPUMP.MSG).
    • Several containers were supposed to have unique dialogue files and scripts (GLOWDESK.MSG, GLOWTABL.MSG).
  • The original name for the location was FSEF, according to Scott Campbell old design documentation.


The West Tek Research Facility appeared only in Fallout and is mentioned in Fallout 2. It is also mentioned in The Armageddon Rag, Vol. 3.


  1. The Vault Dweller: "{112}{}{Tell me about this installation.}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{117}{}{This installation was established in 2055 as a biological research facility for experimental cures of the New Plague. However, in 2071, this facility was placed under United States military command.}"
  2. West Tek records mentions Research Head of Laser Development and Research Head of FEV in West Tek records
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{207}{}{Base Information}"
    : "{211}{}{West Tech Research Facility: Founded in 2002 as a private contractor for the United States government, the company initially consisted of two divisions--the Advanced Weapons Research and the Biomedical Sciences divisions.}"
    "{241}{}{ In 2069, West Tech was the single largest contractor for the United States government; its largest contract being Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51b. }"
    "{242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}"
    "{243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  4. FEV experiment disk, January 7, 2077 entry
  5. Fallout Official Survival Guide p.209: "The Glow
    Description: On the surface, nothing is present but a large hole in the ground, plus enough radiation to make you quite sick in a short period of time. At first glance, there is no way to enter the crater. Below the crater, however, are six underground levels of a military base or research center destroyed by a direct hit during the war. The upper levels were penetrated by the warhead, but the lower levels are all intact ... though still highly radioactive.
    Once a military base, there is nothing left on the surface but a radioactive crater. If the player can reach the underground levels, he will find a holographic disk which is the artifact Cabbot at the Brotherhood of Steel told him to find. If the player retrieves that disk, he will be admitted to the Brotherhood. Also present is a research laboratory with a large, broken flask or glass container. The deadly FEV virus was contained here until the nuclear strike, when it was accidentally released. The virus is responsible for the mutation that creates the super-mutants. Also available on these levels are some of the most powerful weapons and armor available in the game. In addition, information gathered here will tell the player what caused the Apocalypse and let him learn the truth about of the mutations."
  6. Fallout Bible 0:
    "2134 A faction within the Brotherhood of Steel led by Sergeant Dennis Allen gains strength, and they urge the Elders to let them explore the southeast Glow for artifacts. The Elders refuse, so Allen and his divisionist group splits away from the Brotherhood of Steel, taking some technology and weapons with them."
    "2134 Led by Sergeant Dennis Allen, a small team of the Brotherhood of Steel head to the West Tek research facility in search of technological artifacts. They arrive there twenty days later, and are promptly chewed apart by the West Tek's unforgiving automated defense systems. Wounded, Allen begins to suffer radiation poisoning from a leak in his suit. Before he dies, he logs what happened to the expedition into a holodisk then goes to join the Brotherhood in the sky."
    Note: While the date 2134 is given in the timeline, Cabbot explicitly names the date as 2077
  7. Cabbot: "{226}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and they went south. Then about ten years ago we sent out knights to look for them and all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
  8. The Vault Dweller: "{1011}{}{Ancient}"
    Cabbot: "{1111}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and went southwest. About ten years ago, we sent out knights to look for them, but all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{1012}{}{Exodus}"
    Cabbot: "{1112}{Cab_65}{The ancient Brotherhood came from some place far up north a long, long time ago. We call this the great Exodus. You can read about it more if you ask Vree in the library. }"
    The Vault Dweller: "{1014}{}{Order}"
    Cabbot: "{1114}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and went southwest. About ten years ago, we sent out knights to look for them, but all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
  9. Ancient Brotherhood disk
  10. Darrel: "{154}{}{So you took the Famous Glow Quest. (Laughs)}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{156}{}{The Glow, what's that?}"
    Darrel: "{159}{}{Glow, Ancient Order it's the same thing. It's still not a good place to visit.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{163}{}{What's so special about this place.}"
    Darrel: "{164}{}{The Glow, as it is known to topsiders, was supposedly a place where some of the most advanced weapons of that time were developed. At least that's what it says in the ancient writings. Now as fasr as any of us can tell it's a big crater filled with Rads. I think the Elders send Brotherhood wanabes down there just to get rid of them.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{165}{}{Others? There was others before me.}"
    Darrel: "{174}{}{Others have tried. We never heard from them again.}"
  11. The Vault Dweller: "{154}{}{What do you know about this legendary place, the Glow?}"
    Saul: "{185}{}{From what I've heard, the Glow is a great crater that glows at night. It's supposed to be far, far to the south, but I don't know where. Stories say that it's inhabited by all sorts of mutant freaks who guard the technology from before the War.}"
  12. Fallout Bible 5 Questions: "14. One thing - what's happened to Junktown? Was it just too little to be it's own state? Or maybe it has managed to survive as an independent enclave inside NCR, a hive of scum and villainy, so to speak. And what kind of folks would live in Glow? After all, that place must still, well, glow, at least somewhat. Ghouls?"
    "Junktown became part of NCR as part of the state of Shady, and it was one of the first provisional states, considering it was one of the first (and most trustworthy) of the Shady Sands trading partners during its early formation. Its alliance with Shady Sands did cause some alarm from the caravans in the Hub, but it didn't hurt the Hub communities any... and the Hub eventually became part of NCR as well."
    "As for the Glow (or the state of Dayglow), most of the state is actually north and west of the glow, but they are still able to see the Glow from their borders. A number of ghouls are rumored to live there now, as part of the Great Migration from Necropolis - once the ghouls learned of West Tek, they were eager to see if they could scavenge technology from the abandoned center. Some ghouls formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts. At least one super mutant, a refugee from the Cathedral, was also rumored to be working with the ghouls and humans in Dayglow."