The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
The Institute
Fo4 Institute Seal.pngInstitute flag.png
Institute insignia and flag


  • Dr. Zimmer (Synth Retention, MIA)
Founded2110, by descendants of the C.I.T. survivors[1]
Notable Members
  • A3-21 (formerly)
  • Territory
    HeadquartersThe Institute
    Notable LocationsThe Institute (Commonwealth)

    The Institute... It's important. It really is humanity's best hope for the future, no matter what those above ground might think of us.

    Father, Fallout 4

    The Institute is a legendary nation of scientists housed in an advanced subterranean metropolis under the ruins of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. The culmination of over 200 years of unchecked research and development, the Institute is a technological marvel unlike anything seen on the surface of the Commonwealth[2] and has been covertly exerting its influence and shaping it to its whims for over 100 years.


    The Institute formed out of the ashes of what was once known as the Commonwealth Institute of Technology (CIT). While the college itself was completely destroyed in the flames of the Great War in 2077,[3][4] the science staff took refuge in the underground of the Institute and carved out a subterranean habitat for themselves. The Institute was formally founded in 2110, as the children of the original survivors dug into the earth and built increasingly sophisticated habitats and laboratories, starting an ongoing process of expanding the Institute's facilities and infrastructure.[5]

    Isolated from the outside world, the scientists continued their work, disregarding the mayhem and destruction occurring outside of its grounds. As they worked on creating synths, they attempted to work peacefully with the people of the Commonwealth using first generation synths, but mutual mistrust ended that relationship quickly and they returned to isolation.[6] Eventually, the scientists have utterly put ubiquitous pre-War technology to shame,[7] to the point where they believed that wastelanders would be unlikely to understand the sheer scope of the Institute's achievement,[8] most notably the creation of the molecular relay (teleporter) in the 2180s,[9] which resulted in the Institute sealing itself off from the surface permanently,[10] and the development of synths. For decades, the first and second generation synths were the most visible part of the Institute's operations, scavenging for materials and performing experiments on the wasteland. The scientists, sealed away in their utopian society, did not concern themselves with the plight of the surface or the effect their actions had on the surface.[11][12]

    However, the Institute eventually reached the limits of the synth technology that underpinned their society. Although powerful, the second generation synth was an inherently limited, mechanical platform. To overcome the limitations of metal synthetic materials, the Institute endeavored to create synthetic flesh, with the first research initiative beginning in in 2178. Under the auspices of Doctor Frederick, FEV samples served as the starting point for the new, organic synthetic program despite the objections of some members of BioScience.[13] Both women and men were abducted from the Commonwealth and submerged in The Institute's modified FEV, their mutations carefully tracked and extensively investigated. Successful mutations would be monitored to ensure survivability, then tagged and discarded.[14] Research ground to a halt in March 2224, as the research team concluded that the organic synth project could not proceed despite perfecting two FEV strains for the project. Radiation-induced hereditary damage proved too much of an obstacle.[15]

    The solution came in 2227, with to the acquisition of Shaun by Kellogg and his undamaged pre-War genetic code. The organic synth project was spun off from the FEV research initiative,[16][17] and his DNA became the basis of the third generation synths. The infant Shaun became Father to a whole family of engineered super-beings. Of course, tests were not without setbacks - in 2229, a defective 3rd generation infiltrator caused the Broken Mask Incident, vilifying the Institute in the eyes of the Commonwealth,[18] and causing no small amount of internal problems for the Institute, as he was sent out without proper testing or approval.[19]

    The FEV research effort continued for several more decades, despite producing no useful data - except for manufacturing more super mutants for the surface to contend with.[20][21] When Brian Virgil succeeded Dr Syverson as head of the project in April 2286, it became evident that FEV experimentation ran its course and served no useful purpose, not with the availability of third generation synths.[22] The Institute's experiments with the Forced Evolutionary Virus, or FEV, ended when Doctor Virgil went rogue and fled into the Commonwealth.[23]

    But even with the organic synth project complete, the Institute did not rest on its laurels. Work continues in other fields, its sophistication increasing with every day. Of course, with this increase comes an increased appetite for energy - the Institute is constantly facing shortages in its power budget, in no small part due to the fact that the molecular de-materializer - the only way in and out of the facility - requires immense amounts of power for each use.[24] Moreover, despite the luster of the Institute's facilities, a lot of the crucial facilities - particularly the reactor - are pre-War technology and despite continued maintenance requires increasing amounts of resources to keep running after two centuries of expansion.[25] Fortunately, the technology still holds up, as it was built to last.[26]

    To overcome at least one problem, the ultimate goal of the Institute is energy independence, which they believe can be achieved by restarting the ancient nuclear reactor once used by the CIT to perform experiments and providing the Institute with near limitless power.[27] The design has been revised and the reactor itself extensively upgraded and improved, turning it from a testing reactor into a proper source of electricity.[28] Activating it would free the Institute from the need to compromise and sacrifice,[29] and especially drawing power from above-ground installations.[30]


    A Directorate meeting in progress.

    The Institute allows humans to live in a clean, safe, comfortable environment, free from the strife and environmental hazards present on the surface.[31] Over the decades of isolation and development, the Institute has developed a very effective system that maximizes efficiency and promotes individual development and research. The leadership over the Institute is in the hands of the Directorate, made up of the individual heads of each division, and one specially-appointed Director.[32] The divisions of the Institute are fairly autonomous, perfectly capable of functioning without intervention. Where those divisions interact, however, problems can arise. As such, the Director is appointed to set policy, resolve disputes, and otherwise act as an intermediary.[33]

    Each Director heads a division that is instrumental to the Institute's continued existence. Yet despite the pressing need to cooperate, knowledge is heavily compartmentalized and the divisions kept in the dark.[34][35] Inconvenient facts are routinely buried under false pretenses, especially when it comes to high-profile members fleeing the organization, like Dr Brian Virgil.[36]

    Due to the fact that the Institute exists in isolation from sunlight, there is an artificial time cycle implemented to simulate a day-night cycle. "Quiet time" for resting runs from 2200 to 0600 hours.[37]

    Advanced Systems

    Fo4 Institute Advanced.png

    Headed by Madison Li, the Advanced Systems division works on applied physics (plasma weaponry and teleportation), as well as special projects currently classified.[38] They are also responsible for the advanced weapons and armor that the Synths and Institute members wear on their trips to the surface world. They run the robotics lab, which produces new Synths. Their primary focus is the implementation of Phase Three - a massive fusion reactor that would completely solve the Institute's power needs for the foreseeable future.[39]


    Fo4 Institute Bioscience.png

    Headed by Clayton Holdren, the BioScience division specializes in fields of study such as botany, genetics and medicine. They are also responsible for all biotech advancements, including crop production, pharmaceuticals, and genetic engineering. They also hold samples of the Forced Evolutionary Virus, which was responsible for creating Super Mutants. Rumor has it that they are working on a way to reverse engineer the virus to create a cure. Their most important directive is to ensure the health and well-being of everyone in the Institute. To that end, they cultivate highly specialized breeds of flora for use in food and medicine, providing the majority of the Institute's food.[40] They've even started to explore the idea of synthetic animal life. Currently experimenting with replicated gorillas, the synthanimal initiative is just a pet project, but the potential is considered exciting.[41]


    A thoroughly under-appreciated branch of The Institute, Facilities under Allie Filmore is responsible for keeping the Institute in operation on a day-to-day basis, making sure the Institute stays operational. It performs daily tasks like servicing the life support systems, ventilation, and the power network. All the old technology that forms the foundation of the Institute's efforts requires constant maintenance to prevent blackouts, which can have lethal consequences for the sequestered society.[25] In a nutshell, they keep the Institute's mechanical and electrical systems running smoothly. They maintain and upgrade all of the systems that make it possible to live and work in a place like the Institute's underground habitat: Crucial apparatus that recycles the air and water and provides power to the laboratories and quarters. The work they do might not be as exciting as some of the other departments, but it's at least as important.[42] They have a large number of first generation synths used for maintenance duties. They are simple, but effective tools for keeping the Institute in operation.[43]

    Members of the division include the aforementioned Allie Filmore, division head (or Chief Engineer, as some would call her), Doctor Lawrence Higgs, a mechanical engineer overseeing the major life support and security systems, Doctor Evan Watson in power distribution, and Doctor Newton Oberly, responsible for food and housing. He liaisons with BioScience to ensure that meals are balanced for optimal nutrition.[44]


    Fo4 Instiitute Robotics.png

    Robotics is a branch of the Institute responsible for the manufacture of synths. Currently focused on mass production and induction of third generation synths,[45] it is also responsible for processing upgrades that ensure synths remain functional at optimal capacity. Currently, the division is preparing to replace all first generation synths with third generation ones[46] and implementing existing upgrades.[47]

    Synth Retention Bureau

    Fo4 Institute SRB.png

    Headed by Justin Ayo, the SRB was designed to perform one task: it tracks down and returns rogue Synths to the Institute. To do this, the Institute created a specific Synth model called the Courser. Coursers have their personality levels tweaked to ensure they won’t rebel, while their combat abilities have been vastly improved over other models. Other divisions within the Institute fear the SRB, as they have a hit squad of Coursers under their command and they are very effective in their role. The SRB also works to hunt down Railroad members so they can shut down the rebel organization once and for all. The SRB also employs a murder, or flock, of “Watchers”, synthetic crows with built in monitoring devices. Synths are the primarily labor force of the Institute,[48] but the more advanced their processing becomes, the more inevitable that the synth will attain consciousness and attempt escape.[49] As third generation synths are indistinguishable from normal biological humans,[50] the Synth Retention Bureau specializes in the capture of runaways.[51][52]

    The primary instrument of the SRB is the Courser, a third-generation synth assigned to operate on the surface. Coursers hunt down and reclaim synths that have escaped the Institute. They are highly self-sufficient, trained in combat, infiltration and tracking. In a word, our Coursers are relentless.[53] Coursers are selected from the general third generation synth population. Due to the variability of the manufacturing process, the SRB constantly monitors the third generation population looking for tenacity, fearlessness, and independence. Synths selected undergo a rigorous training regimen. They are taught armed and unarmed combat, investigative techniques, psychology and mechanical skills. Those who pass a final evaluation become Coursers, re-registered as X synths (eg. X6-88). The rest have their memories wiped and return to their former duties.[54]

    Synths are usually recovered by using a recall code to wipe their memories and render it inert. Once returned to the Institute, he delicate process of restoring the neural pathways to their original configuration begins. In those cases where the procedure is successful, the synth returns to duty with no memory of its time on the surface. All too often, the SRB staff is unable to repair the damage and is forced to dispose of the unit entirely.[55]

    Another priority of the SRB is surveillance, achieved by using Watchers to monitor the surface remotely and covertly.[56][57]

    Ideology and society


    Mankind Redefined

    The end goal of the Institute is loosely defined as ensuring mankind's survival, at least since 2180s, when the Institute sealed off all access to the surface save for the teleporter. The citizens of the Instittue have dedicated decades of research, experimentation, and trial, focusing on using science to shape the future[58] and redefine Mankind in a new era.[59]

    The Institute believes that through its discoveries, humanity can thrive again. However, each Director defines what constitutes humanity's survival and thriving individually. Past Directors attempted to find a way to coexist with the people on the surface, either overtly[6] or covertly.[60] On the other hand, the latest Director, Shaun, arrived at the conclusion that the only way forward for humanity lies beneath the blasted wasteland. He is convinced that the surface of the Commonwealth is doomed, and the true future of the human race lies within vast subterranean habitats like the Institute.[61][62] The Sole Survivor, should they accept the position when Shaun announces he has cancer in terminal stages, is free to redefine the mission of the Institute as they see fit in the very first address they make.[63]


    When it comes to practice, the ideology of the Institute can be best summed up as the saying ends justify the means taken to its logical conclusion. The experiments carried out with the laboratories of the Institute are not enough to bring about a restoration of human civilization on their own, so the Institute conducts tests on the inhabitants of the surface, in order to perfect their solutions to the wasteland's problems. Every sacrifice is considered an acceptable loss, as long as it puts them closer to their goal.[64][65] And if people stand in the way of their goals, they are disposed of. Institute synthetic troopers and coursers are not known for mercy or discrimination when pursuing runaway synths or executing other missions. They will happily tear through entire companies of mercenaries or raiders[66] or fight in dense, populated settlements if it means accomplishing their goal.[67]

    Finally, since the Institute relies on synth labor, its ideology emphasizes their subservience. The Institute acknowledges that synths are essential to its continued existence, but cannot be granted free will, as it would lead to chaos.[59] The disastrous actions of some synths "liberated" by the Railroad are cited as evidence of that tendency.[68]

    On a personal level, all members of the society are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of efficiency, diligence, attention to detail, and thoroughness. A job must be done well, instead of simply done.[69]

    Outside relations

    The Institute is very secretive of the projects occurring within its organization and seeks to keep as much information inside as possible. This leads to it limiting outside contact as much as possible without compromising the security of the facility.[70] Of course, security is an exception and The Institute's SRB operates a network of informants in the entire Commonwealth, monitoring developments to ensure they cannot threaten the Institute.[71]

    Another exception are its scientific experiments. While it seeks to minimize direct contact, the Institute has no reservations about using the surface for its experiments and as a source of readily available raw materials. All research initiatives are meticulously documented with academic precision, from hypothesis to the conclusions. For example: Warwick Homestead was targeted to test genetically-modified seeds in the unique climate of the Commonwealth, in order to ascertain whether ambient radiation, soil acidity, and its fertility found there could provide an accelerated growth rate and a two-fold increase in size and thus yield.[72] Though ostensibly harmless, the research initiative involved abducting Roger Warwick and processing him to gain intelligence, then using Roger's replica to oversee the experiment, collect research data, and eventually eliminate all evidence of the research initiative on the surface.[73] The Institute's activities on the surface go beyond agricultural research. Past projects also involved other bioengineered experiments, including diseases and FEV-induced mutations. Abductions remain a routine element of these research activities.[74]

    Finally, anyone who holds anything of value to the Institute, especially technology and research data, are vulnerable. University Point was an example of this: When Jacqueline Spencer uncovered pre-War research on reactor efficiency and tried to find a buyer via a caravan, the University picked up the trail and a synth representative demanded that the town hand it over. When the Point failed to comply, due to the chaos that broke out and Spencer being separated from the drive by her well-intentioned father, the SRB wiped the town out.[75] The Institute also attempts to procure data from rival polities, like the Brotherhood, whenever it can, in order to maintain its technological advantage.[76]


    The principal foe of the Institute in 2287 is the Brotherhood of Steel, which is ideologically opposed to the activities of the Institute. The Institute seeks ways to counter the Brotherhood without forcing a decisive confrontation, which it is bound to lose. The Railroad is a threat of secondary importance, targeted mostly to minimize the disruption of Institute operations and preserve the secrecy of its activities. While Railroad sympathizers are suspected to operate within the Institute, internal security doesn't devote much resources to rooting them out, as while they are ideologically opposed to each other, they are considered a minor nuisance in general.[77]

    Threats such as super mutants or raider gangs are of a tertiary nature, usually given a wide berth by Institute operatives, rather than confronted directly. In certain cases, such as with Goodneighbor's gangs, these are actually employed to further the Institute's operations - through the appropriate intermediaries.[78]


    The Institute is the most technologically advanced extant faction in the wasteland. Their primary and most notable achievement is the ability to field an army of synthetic entities and eliminate the need for menial labor, with the latest third generation models being not only indistiguishable from humans, but also immune to disease, able to subsist on minimal energy intake without loss of performance, and do not require sleep.[79] Moreover, the Institute can assemble them at a rapid pace within its Robotics laboratory, from scratch.[80] As impressive as the synths are, even more impressive is the Institute's industry: It has constructed an entire subterranean habitat after the Great War, when most humans struggle and get by with shacks and tent. Not only that, it can also manufacture energy weapons and advanced armor in numbers large enough to outfit all of its security forces.[81] Furthermore, it uses genetically modified crops to provide sustenance for its researchers.[82] As a result, safe, pure water and food is also commonly available to all members of the Institute. Food synthesizers help provide a balanced diet, with additional luxury goods scavenged by synths from the topside, such as Nuka-Cola, Gwinett beer, and coffee among others.[83][84]

    Of course, it bears noting that it had a major advantage: The Institute emerged out of the ashes of one of the most advanced centers of research and development in the world. Most of its achievements are still deeply rooted in the CIT of old. For example, its security system architecture is derived from the CIT Code Defender, a revolutionary intrusion countermeasure system developed before the Great War. Terminals running the original version of the system still remain in the Institute's inventory, despite advances made by the SRB.[85]

    In the past, the Institute has also dabbled in cybernetics and artificial prolongation of the human lifespan. Its only test subject was Conrad Kellogg, as the program was abandoned and forgotten - save for the jealousy the grizzled mercenary inspired in Institute scientists due to his life span.[86] The Father terminated the project as he believed that The Institute was about preserving humanity, not some bizarre amalgamation of biology and technology.[87]

    Interactions with the player character

    Fallout 3

    Fallout 4

    • The Institute is the main antagonist of the game for the bulk of the main quest, and a joinable faction for the player once they complete Hunter/Hunted and arrive at The Institute.



    See also


    The Institute is mentioned in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It is a fully featured, joinable faction in Fallout 4.


    1. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute was officially founded in the year 2110 by a group a of former Commonwealth Institute of Technology students who took refuge in the college's underground level at the time of the Great War."
    2. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute is actually an advanced subterranean metropolis, a technological marvel unlike anything seen on the surface of the Commonwealth."
    3. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "According to local history, the Institute formed from the remains of C.I.T., the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. But the college itself has lain in ruins for more than two centuries."
    4. A tragedy has befallen all mankind
    5. The Sole Survivor: "Who built this place, originally? Has it been here long?"
      Allie Filmore: "The construction of the Institute is the work of generations of scientists. The original survivors of the war, our progenitors, took refuge in the basement of the old Commonwealth Institute of Technology. Over time, their sons and daughters dug deeper into the earth and built increasingly sophisticated habitats and laboratories. It's a process that's still going on today. Even now, we're digging out tunnels for new facilities and infrastructure. Just think what this place will look like a hundred years from now. I hope I'm there to see it."
      (Allie Filmore's dialogue)
    6. 6.0 6.1 Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Long ago, when the Institute created their first synths, they attempted to work peacefully with the people of the Commonwealth. Mutual mistrust ended that relationship quickly."
    7. The Lone Wanderer: "What do you know about the Commonwealth?"
      Horace Pinkerton: "Most of it's a blasted nothing, just like here. But there's talk. Rumors, mostly. About a place called the Institute. That's where Zimmer and that android came from. God knows what else they got goin' on in there, but it puts our tech to shame, that's for damn sure."
      (Horace Pinkerton's dialogue)
    8. The Lone Wanderer: "So tell me about the Commonwealth."
      Zimmer: "The Commonwealth itself is nothing but a war-ravaged quagmire of violence and despair. Inside the sealed environment of the Institute, however... But... the Institute's affairs are none of your concern. Your undeveloped mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend what we’ve accomplished."
      (Zimmer's dialogue)
    9. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Advanced Systems division is responsible for developing the original Molecular Relay, nearly one hundred years ago."
    10. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "After developing the Molecular Relay, an advanced teleportation device, the Institute sealed off access to the surface and began their campaign of underground expansion."
    11. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute often sends its synths to the surface to scavenge for usable materials. The affect this has on the Commonwealth, or its people, is not a priority..."
    12. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Institute scientists rarely leave the safety and comfort of their underground utopia. If there are experiments to be conducted on the surface, they are generally carried out by synths."
    13. FEV Research Notes: "Uhh... This is Doctor Elliott, with the official report for the Directorate from BioScience. The date is, umm, August 2178. I'm pleased to report that, as has been the case during my tenure, crop yields exceed expectations. In point of fact, everything down here is fine... with... one notable exception. Doctor Frederick has informed me that the Directorate has pre-approved research on samples of the FEV virus, which he already has in his possession. Now, I'm not one to question the Directorate... you all know that. I don't even want to know where this came from. But... well, this is troubling. Dangerous, possibly. I will do my best to make sure risks are minimized, but I really do hope that the consequences are understood."
    14. The Institute terminals#Subject CM-153|The Institute terminals; Terminal, Subject CM-153: "Baseline: Male, early 30s. Moderate overall health.

      Post-submersion results: Physical condition consistent with standard results. Mental acuity charting slightly higher than average.

      Subject Status: TAGGED, DISCARDED"
    15. FEV Research Notes: "We just received another batch of... subjects... but as my previous report stated, we're at an impasse here. More of the same won't help. The two most promising strains of FEV have been adapted to an ideal state, but... we're still missing something. I am officially echoing the team's position: the most likely progress for our research on synthetic organics requires new avenues of exploration. Additional Commonwealth subjects will not help. It's the same problem across the board: exposure to too much radiation. We need something... someone new. There's a proposal we'll be putting forward... I am not entirely comfortable with it, but it seems the best course."
    16. The Sole Survivor: "Human synths? Really?"
      Shaun: "Human-like synths. A great distinction. The Institute endeavored to create synthetic organics. The most logical starting point, of course, was human DNA. Plenty of that was available, of course, but it had all become corrupted. In this... wasteland... radiation affected everyone. Even in their attempts to shield themselves from the world above, members of the Institute had been exposed. Another source was necessary. But then the Institute found me, after discovering records from Vault 111. An infant, frozen in time, protected from the radiation-induced mutations that had crept into every other human cell in the Commonwealth. I was exactly what they needed. And so it was my DNA that became the basis of the synthetic organics used to create every human-like synth you see today. I am their Father. Through Science, we are family. The synths, me... and you."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    17. Out Of Time
    18. Fear the Future?
    19. Director's recordings
    20. The Institute terminals; Terminal, 2087.2.10: "Entered By: Virgil.B

      Nothing new. Always the same. Have entered formal complaint with Directorate; these tests are not bringing in any valuable information. The organics project was spun off decades ago. Why do we insist on continuing this?"
    21. The Institute terminals; Terminal, 2277.7.10: "Entered By: Syverson.C

      Latest round of testing complete. Results are all within expected parameters. Informed Dr. Zimmer directly, as he had ordered the tests personally. He seemed annoyed with the results; unsure what he was looking for. He declined to specify why he wanted the tests run to begin with."
    22. The Institute terminals; Terminal, 2286.4.10: "Entered by: Virgil.B

      I have officially assumed the lead role on the project after Dr. Syverson's passing.
      Latest round of subjects show results similar to previous test runs over last 5 years. No statistical deviation noted.

      Synthetic organics continue to perform well; the necessity of further tests is unexplained."
    23. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute's experiments with the Forced Evolutionary Virus, or FEV, ended when Doctor Virgil went rogue and fled into the Commonwealth."
    24. Fallout 4 dialogue: "We scratch and scrape for every precious ounce of voltage that we can. Over the years, we've learned a few tricks that help supplement our power budget. When necessary, we can tap into select sources on the surface. We take only what we need, of course. Fortunately, Advanced Systems is always working on new solutions to generate more energy. It's a good thing, too, because the demand is always increasing. You don't even want to know what a single use of the molecular de-materializer consumes."
    25. 25.0 25.1 Enrico Thompson: "It's a real juggling act, trying to keep all the systems down here operating in the green. This place might look shiny and new, but there's a lot of old technology in these walls. I lose sleep worrying about when the next blackout's going to hit."
      The Sole Survivor: "How old are we talking about?"
      Enrico Thompson: "Well, the reactor and a lot of the related systems - you know, cooling, monitoring, power distribution - that's all pre-war tech. Most of the superstructure down here was built later, by the people who survived the war. I guess each generation's been tinkering with the place, adding labs, making upgrades and so on. There's some stuff I need to check on. See you around, yeah?"
      (Enrico Thompson's dialogue)
    26. The Sole Survivor: "So basically, this place is a sham. Great."
      Enrico Thompson: "I wouldn't say that. I mean, even the older tech has held up for decades, some even for centuries. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Our ancestors built things to last. Of course, that was before they blew everything up in the war. There's some stuff I need to check on. See you around, yeah?"
      (Enrico Thompson's dialogue)
    27. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Before the war, C.I.T. conducted experiments in its underground nuclear reactor. Today, it has been repurposed, and once activated will provide the Institute with nearly limitless power."
    28. The Sole Survivor: "Can you tell me more about this reactor?"
      Shaun: "Certainly. It was originally built for the Commonwealth Institute of Technology before the war, but was only for testing. Over the years we've advanced the technology, made a great many improvements, and are finally nearly ready to activate it. The reactor is close to ready, but recent tests have determined we have a few tasks ahead of us. Thus, we come to Phase Three. And to how you will help."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    29. The Sole Survivor: "What's Phase Three?"
      Shaun: "It's very important to us. Power is, as I'm sure you've seen above ground, a very valuable commodity. I'm not talking about some abstract concept of control, I mean real tangible power. The kind that keeps the lights on. With every advance the Institute makes, our need for raw power increases. Many compromises and sacrifices have been made over the years to allow progress to continue."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    30. The Sole Survivor: "What kind of compromises?"
      Shaun: "We have, at times, had to rely on drawing power from above-ground installations. It risks personnel and equipment. But no longer. Phase Three is, simply, the activation of a nuclear reactor that can provide enough power to the Institute now and forever. It will ensure not just our survival, but our prosperity."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    31. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute allows humans to live in a clean, safe, comfortable environment, free from the strife and environmental hazards that have rendered the surface nearly uninhabitable."
    32. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute is ruled by a Directorate, made up of the individual heads of each division, and one specially-appointed Director."
    33. The Sole Survivor: "What would it mean to be in charge?"
      Shaun: "Most divisions of the Institute are fairly autonomous, perfectly capable of functioning without intervention. Where those divisions interact, however, problems can arise. You'd lead the Directorate in setting policy, resolving disputes, and the like. There's no question that some of the Directorate, and the Institute at large, will need reassurances about your appointment. That's why I'd like you to take charge of this latest operation. Doctor Filmore can fill you in on the details. There are hard decisions ahead. For all of us, but for you especially. I know that you'll do the right thing."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    34. 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?"
      (Madison Li's dialogue)
    35. 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?"
      (Madison Li's dialogue)
    36. 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?"
      (Madison Li's dialogue)
    37. Evan Watson: "In case anyone didn't mention it, quiet time runs from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m."
    38. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide
    39. The Institute terminals; Terminal, Phase Three: "Status: Behind Schedule

      Latest Developments:

      - Housing upgraded per specifications of Li.M
      - Exhaust couplings replaced
      - magnetic confinement field calculations refined"
    40. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The BioScience division produces the majority of the Institute's food, but also carries out a number of other, sometimes secret, projects."
    41. Clayton Holdren: "Welcome! So good to have you here. Good to see you again. Did you need something? Something I can do for you? Anything I can help you with?"
      The Sole Survivor: "I look forward to learning more about it."
      Clayton Holdren: "In that case, let me give you a brief overview of what we do here. As the name implies, the BioScience division specializes in fields of study such as botany, genetics and medicine. Our most important directive is to ensure the health and well-being of everyone in the Institute. To that end, we cultivate highly specialized breeds of flora for use in food and medicine. We've even started to explore the idea of synthetic animal life. You probably saw the gorillas... they're really just a pet project at this point, but the potential is exciting nonetheless."
      (Clayton Holdren's dialogue)
    42. Allie Filmore: "They weren't kidding. You really are here. Well, all right. I'm Allie... Allie Filmore. You can think of me as the Institute's Chief Engineer. When Father told us about you, I could hardly believe it. You've been through so much, I think most people would have just given up. If you don't mind my asking, what was it that kept you going all that time?"
      The Sole Survivor: "I just wanted to find my son and keep him safe."
      Allie Filmore: "Now that you've found him, I hope you're proud of the great man he grew up to be. Now, I'll give you a quick run-down of the Facilities division, and then I'll answer any questions you might have afterward. As you might guess, we keep the Institute's mechanical and electrical systems running smoothly. We maintain and upgrade all of the systems that make it possible to live and work in a place like this. There's a lot of machinery behind these walls that recycles the air and water and provides power to the laboratories and quarters. The work we do might not be as exciting as some of the other departments, but it's at least as important. So, now that you're here and you've spoken to Father, does that mean you're on board?"
      (Allie Filmore's dialogue)
    43. Enrico Thompson: "Remember to keep unnecessary power consumption to a minimum. Don't recharge unless your primary levels are below two percent. Also, if you haven't patched your navigation software, do so after this meeting. The last thing we need is more synths bumping into walls. Alright, that's all for now. You can resume your duties."
      (Enrico Thompson's dialogue) Note: Enrico Thompson is seen briefing three first gens on operations they need to perform during the player's first visit there.
    44. The Sole Survivor: "I'd like to know about the people in your division."
      Allie Filmore: "Of course. Doctor Lawrence Higgs is our mechanical engineer. He oversees the major life support and security systems. Power distribution is Doctor Evan Watson's area of expertise, and Doctor Newton Oberly is in charge of food and housing. He coordinates with BioScience to ensure that our meals are balanced for optimal nutrition. We also make use of a number of synth units for low-priority maintenance and labor."
      (Allie Filmore's dialogue)
    45. The Institute terminals; Terminal, Status Reports: "BioScience:
      - Hydroponics Programs functional
      - FEV Lab OFFLINE

      - Synth output nominal
      - Production materials fully stocked

      Advanced Systems:
      - Child synth project under quarterly review
      - Weapons Diagnostics ongoing
      - Phase Three behind schedule

      - Director Zimmer still offline
      - Aboveground operative terminated
      - Retention programs functional
      - Pattern recognition algorithms ineffective

      - Power output maxed
      - Air/water recycling systems functioning normally"
    46. Cut contentIcon cut.png The Institute terminals; ,Gen 1 phase-out Cut contentIcon cut.png
    47. The Institute terminals; Robotics Terminal, Planned System Upgrades
    48. The Lone Wanderer: "Sounds like slavery to me. You sure they don't "wander off" on purpose?"
      Zimmer: "Nonsense! This is a machine we're talking about. Can you enslave a generator, or a water purifier? Of course not. The same principle applies. But let's get back to your mission. You are to find this missing android. I've tracked him to somewhere here in the Capital Wasteland. He must have done something drastic, like facial surgery and a mind wipe, or else I would have found him by now. It will be no easy task. He may not even realize he's an android. Don't upset him by talking with him. Just come get me immediately. I'll handle it."
      (Zimmer's dialogue)
    49. The Lone Wanderer: "Why would an android feel guilt? Come on, Zimmer, what aren't you telling me?"
      Zimmer: "By God, you're as annoying as you are clever. Very well. I'll tell you what you want to know, if it helps you locate my property. The duty of this particular unit was the hunting and capturing of other escaped androids. Yes, others have escaped. It's one of the side effects of having such an advanced A.I. Machines start to think for themselves. Fool themselves into believing they have rights. And so... this particular android may have believed he'd done something... wrong. Immoral. And wanted to forget those deeds. Satisfied now?"
      (Zimmer's dialogue)
    50. The Lone Wanderer: "I need to know more about what I'm dealing with. What is an android exactly?"
      Zimmer: "Forget everything you know about robots. Those buckets are mere children's toys compared to the real thing. Androids have fake skin, and blood, and are programmed to simulate human behavior, like breathing. They can even eat and digest food realistically."
      (Zimmer's dialogue)
    51. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Synth Retention Bureau is tasked with the retrieval of "escaped" Gen 3 synths - malfunctioning units whose self-aware AI has convinced them that they are, in fact, alive."
    52. The Lone Wanderer: "I've found your android. It's Harkness, Rivet City's security chief!"
      Zimmer: "Harkness, you say? Yes... Yes, that makes sense. He used to work for a special branch of the Commonwealth Police, after all... And he's right here in Rivet City! Excellent! I must wait... find an opportune moment to confront him... Thank you for your discreet assistance, and continued discretion regarding this matter. And now for your payment. This combat module will directly affect your central nervous system. I think you will find it quite beneficial."
      (Zimmer's dialogue)
    53. Justin Ayo: "So, here you are. Justin Ayo, acting director of the Synth Retention Bureau. I'll be up front with you. We're going to be keeping a close eye on you for the near future. Despite your relation to Father, you're a bit of an unknown quantity. I'm sure you understand. There won't be any... issues, will there?"
      The Sole Survivor: "Why don't you trust me?"
      Justin Ayo: "I'll be honest, you're an outsider. The first outsider to be allowed access to the Institute in quite a long time, in fact. There's little precedent for this situation, so it's only natural to take extra precautions. It's nothing personal, I assure you. Now, Father has asked that I provide you with a brief overview of the Synth Retention Bureau. Our primary responsibility is the recovery of escaped synths that are hiding among the human population on the surface."
      (Justin Ayo's dialogue)
    54. The Sole Survivor: "You mentioned that Coursers undergo special training. Tell me more about it."
      Justin Ayo: "The SRB constantly monitors our gen-3 synth population, looking for specific traits. Those who show tenacity, fearlessness and independence undergo a rigorous training regimen. We teach them armed and unarmed combat, investigative techniques, psychology and mechanical skills. Those who pass a final evaluation become Coursers. The rest have their memories wiped and return to their former duties."
      (Justin Ayo's dialogue)
    55. The Sole Survivor: "I'd like to know more about the synth reclamation process."
      Justin Ayo: "Fine. Once a Courser has located a rogue synth, it uses that synth's recall code to wipe its memories and render it inert. We then begin the delicate process of restoring the neural pathways to their original configuration. In those cases where the procedure is successful, the synth returns to duty with no memory of its time on the surface. All too often, we're unable to repair the damage and are forced to dispose of the unit entirely."
      (Justin Ayo's dialogue)
    56. Watcher Initiative testing log
    57. Alana Secord: "Oh, yes. Uhh... Watchers have not shown any additional threats at this time."
      Spoken during the Directorate meeting
    58. Shaun: "I assure you, no harm will come to you. Please, let's just talk. All I want is for us to have a conversation. I can only imagine what you've heard, what you think of us. I'd like to show you that you may have... the wrong impression. Welcome to the Institute. For over a hundred years, we've dedicated ourselves to humanity's survival. Decades of research, countless experiments and trials... A shared vision of how science can help shape the future. It has never been easy, and our actions are often misinterpreted by those above ground. Someday, perhaps, we can show them what we've accomplished. But for now, we must remain underground. There's too much at stake here to risk it all. As you've seen, things above are... unstable. I'd like to talk to you about what we can do... for everyone. This is the reality of the Institute. This place, these people, the work we do. But that can wait. You are here for a specific, very personal reason. You are here for your son."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    59. 59.0 59.1 Shaun: "Now that you've had a chance to see the Institute first-hand, what do you think?"
      The Sole Survivor: "You've got technology here that I never dreamed possible. It's amazing."
      Shaun: "I'm glad you can appreciate what we've accomplished. None of it has been easy. Ultimately, all of our knowledge and resources are focused on a single goal. That goal is best summarized by our motto: Mankind - redefined. Unfortunately, no advancement comes without occasional setbacks. As remarkable as our synths are, they can be... dangerous without proper supervision. The superior synth mind and body attempting to wrestle with something approaching free will can be a recipe for chaos."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    60. Director's recordings
    61. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "The Institute is convinced that the surface of the Commonwealth is doomed, and the true future of the human race lies underground."
    62. Shaun: "You know, in all my years, I've never set foot outside the Institute. Not once, since the day they brought me here. I've never had a reason. But now... this just confirms the truth I've always known. The Commonwealth is... dead. There's no future here. The only hope for humanity lies below."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    63. Player-made announcement at the conclusion of the meeting.
    64. Mama Murphy's ending vision: "You're wearing a lab coat. You're standing with... men of science. Visionaries. Brilliant but misunderstood. I see a land marked up, like a great experiment. Each test a new beginning. Each sacrifice an acceptable loss. You will not be loved, but you will save humanity. However you choose to define it."
    65. The Institute terminals
    66. Hunter/Hunted
    67. The Battle of Bunker Hill
    68. The Sole Survivor: "What do you mean by proper supervision?"
      Shaun: "I mean that while they are here in the Institute, fulfilling the purpose for which they were designed, our synths perform admirably. As you're about to see, however, they can become... unpredictable when set loose. A rogue synth has taken over the raider gang at Libertalia. His memories have been erased and his identity altered. He believes he's a man named Gabriel. Under his leadership, the raiders have taken many innocent lives. I've dispatched a Courser to Libertalia. I'd like you to join him and reclaim that synth."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    69. The Sole Survivor: "Does it really matter how smoothly it went?"
      Isaac Karlin: "Being a member of the Institute means holding yourself to a higher standard. It means efficiency and diligence, attention to detail and an exacting thoroughness. It's not enough just to do a job. It must be done well. At any rate, I'm sure you did the best you could."
      (Isaac Karlin's dialogue)
    70. The Lone Wanderer: "There are rumors... about a secret Commonwealth artificial intelligence project?"
      Zimmer: "Yes well, there are reasons we don't want our technology leaking into the Wasteland. Which is why I've asked you to retrieve it. Which is what you should be doing right now! The longer you wait, the colder the trail becomes."
      (Zimmer's dialogue)
    71. The Institute Terminals; SRB Terminal, List of Informants
    72. The Institute terminals; BioScience Terminal, Warwick Homestead Initiative, Mission Statement: "The Warwick Homestead Initiative was conceived to facilitate field testing of various genetically-modified specimens in the unique climate of the Commonwealth. It is hoped that we gain insight into the effects of trace radiation on the growth and developments of said specimens.
      We of the BioScience division are in full agreement on the following hypothesis: subjected to the proper levels of ambient radiation and soil ph such as those found in the exceptionally fertile soil at Warwick Homestead, our modified seed specimens are likely to exhibit accelerated growth rate and a two-fold increase in size."
    73. The Institute terminals; BioScience Terminal, Warwick Homestead Initiative, Project Implementation: "Stage 1:
      Using genetic manipulation, we will develop a unique breed of Cucurbitaceae with similar characteristics to those commonly farmed in the Commonwealth.
      Stage 2:
      Acquire Roger Warwick, patriarch of Warwick Homestead, and conduct a series of intensive interrogation sessions to learn all we can about his life and family.
      Stage 3:
      With the intelligence gathered in Stage 2, create a synth replica of Roger Warwick and embed the unit on-site at Warwick Homestead to oversee the operation directly. SRB will handle logistics of this aspect of the initiative.
      Stage 4:
      Begin covert deliveries of prototype seed batches for planting.
      Stage 5:
      Collect observational data from embedded unit.
      Stage 6:
      When sufficient data has been collected, retrieve synth unit and specimens for lab study. Purge all surface evidence of the initiative."
    74. Sole Survivor: "What harm has the Institute actually done to people?"
      Desdemona: "Starting with ancient history, they tried to take over the Commonwealth. Came a hair away from succeeding with their synth army. So there's that. But in the "what have you done for me lately" category - kidnappings, wiped out a settlement or two, and nasty bioengineering experiments. Diseases, FEV, the usual. So you willing to fight them?"
    75. See University Point for details.
    76. Appropriation
    77. Shaun: "Ah, hello father/mother. Tell me, then. Under what righteous pretense have you justified this atrocity?"
      The Sole Survivor: "That's a loaded question. What's been stolen from you?"
      Shaun: "Institute property is not often taken from us. We cannot react lightly when it happens. The group that calls themselves "The Railroad" has acquired several synths from the Institute, synths that had gone missing in recent months. They no doubt mean to "free" these synths, in their delusion that synths are somehow sentient beings. You've been in contact with the Railroad, so you're aware of their misguided beliefs."
      The Sole Survivor: "They mean well; they're only doing what they think is right."
      Shaun: "You dealt with Libertalia. That's the result of their selfish, short-sighted plan. Usually they are a minor nuisance, but lately they have become more emboldened. I'm afraid we've reached a point where a response is necessary. We have learned the current location of these synths, and need to re-acquire them before the Railroad can hide them."
      (Shaun's dialogue)
    78. Cut contentIcon cut.png The Insitute terminals; , Threat Assessment Cut contentIcon cut.png
    79. Max Loken: "The list of improvements is exhaustive. I can talk for an hour and still not cover all of it. Imagine what you could accomplish if you could live without fear of hunger or disease. Imagine what you could create if you could use every waking moment of your life as you saw fit, with no need of sleep?"
    80. Assembly process at Robotics.
    81. Institute pistol, rifle, and synth armor.
    82. Institute random dialogue: "Doctor Karlin's doing some amazing things with our genetically-engineered crops."
    83. Institute bottled water and Institute food packets are the basic food items issued.
    84. The commissary in the concourse features a pair of synthesizers, Nuka-Cola, Gwinnett ales, and coffee tins.
    85. Liam Binet: "Just a few high security doors, right? Controlled by cutting-edge SRB security tech. Yeah. A head on hack is the sucker play. So we go at them sideways. You're willing to help, right? I can't do this alone. Player Default: Of course I'll help you."
      The Sole Survivor: "What do you need help with?"
      Liam Binet: "Our core security architecture hasn't fundamentally changed from the old CIT days. The original security program was called Code Defender. Revolutionary stuff. We still have terminals running version 1 mothballed in storage. With some persuasion, I can get an old terminal to interface with the new security terminals. Enough to open doors, at least. Problem is I can't even crack version 1. So I need a good old fashion username and password, and that's nowhere to be found in the Institute. But if you could get me a pre-war admin password from the surface, I could log right in."
      The Sole Survivor: "Where would I find that?"
      Liam Binet: "Unfortunately, I don't know. The obvious place won't work. The CIT Ruins were picked clean years ago. But some of the admins had to live off campus. Ask your friends in the Railroad. I need those login credentials."
      (Liam Binet's dialogue)
    86. The Institute terminals; Terminal, Kellogg, Conrad - Enhanced Life Expectancy: "July 16, 2285

      Kellogg's occasional presence continues to unnerve the others. At first, I thought they were merely intimidated by his confidence and arrogance. Or perhaps even afraid of his general being. Kellogg is, after all, a killer. But as I've continued to witness their reactions, gauge their sidelong glances, I've detected something else, something I probably should have anticipated - jealousy.

      Kellogg is a living memorial to a forgotten program. He is an augmented human being, a cyborg really, and the benefits he has received cannot be denied. But really, the scientists here could not care less about enhanced reflexes or greater combat efficiency. No, the cause of their envy is something more practical, more primal - his enhanced life expectancy.

      Just how long will Kellogg live if he passes naturally (however unlikely that may be)? It's hard to say. He's already more than one hundred years old. Older, certainly, than any other human in the Commonwealth. His complete physiology has been altered. Perhaps he'll make it to 150. Maybe even 200.

      Let the petty have their petty jealousies. Kellogg is a living testament to the ingenuity and superiority of the Institute. And I take no small pleasure in knowing that must irritate him to no end."
    87. The Institute terminals; Terminal, Personal Notes: "The wait continues.

      Ayo can only confirm sightings outside Vault 111, and again in Diamond City sometime later. What that means, I'm not sure. Will we actually meet? Was this all for nothing?

      No, not nothing. I will have learned valuable things about myself, my past, either way. I cannot afford to let emotion get in the way. I must simply observe and record.

      I'm told Kellogg has gone offline. Strangely, I find myself thinking of Dr. Walker. He had such high hopes for Kellogg. Such faith in the implants, and what they could mean. I still regret eliminating that project, but I know where it would have led us. Walker was never shy about his goals, and too many others were starting to listen. In the end, I believe I was justified. The Institute is about preserving humanity, not some bizarre amalgamation of biology and technology."
    The Institute
    Institute flag.png
    Fo4 Institute Seal.png