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Brahmin

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This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.
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Swear I heard one of them brahmin speak. "Moo, I say," or somesuch.

Ed, Fallout 2

Brahmin or brahma are mutated cattle with two heads found all over the post-War United States of America.

Background[edit | edit source]

A brahmin from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas

Brahmin are one of the most important mutated species that emerged in post-nuclear America. Descended from the Indian Brahman cattle variant imported to the U.S. for crossbreeding purposes, they developed two heads as a result of irradiation. These toasty brown critters were quickly adopted by survivors as the most versatile and capable livestock animal in the wastes.[1][2] Their major advantage is the fact that while ornery, they are actually easy to manage with as little as a pointy stick.[3]

The reason is simple. Brahmin are universally useful. Living ones can be used to pull carts, cars, plows, provide milk (that's terrifyingly different, yet similar to modern milk), provide efficient fertilizer and fuel for fires (crap,[4] in other words), hair for weaving, and so on and so forth. When slaughtered, they become even more useful as source of meat, leather (tough and durable, fit for everything including tents, clothes, armor, belts, saddle bags, shoes, you name it), bones (which can be fashioned into clubs, tools, dice, hoes, arrowheads), tails (perfect as brushes), and even fat for soap making. They also don't need much to survive, as they can go without water for extended periods of time and can subsist on whatever weeds they find in the arid wasteland,[1] digesting them in eight-compartment stomachs (double the number compared to pre-War cows).[5]

These advantages made them the cornerstone of many a post-nuclear economy, most notably the New California Republic, whose vast brahmin herds are the driving force of its industry and the influence of the powerful brahmin barons. By extension, they also fuel the economy of parasites, such as New Reno during the 2240s, when cattle rustling brought much needed income to the crime families of the city.[1]

Biology[edit | edit source]

Brahmin are mutated cattle with two heads. The cows that survived gave birth to mutated offspring. They also have eight stomach compartments, twice as many as normal cows. They are of a toasted brown/orange color, and attack by head-butting or trying to gore someone with their horns.

Brahmin meat is delicious - if only when compared to other sources of food. Brahmin are a source of milk that is like modern day milk, yet strangely different, it has been said to help heal radiation poisoning. Brahmin bulls have four testicles, and the udders of female brahmin have increased in size as a result of their mutation.

Wild brahmin can forage for themselves, and they can be found across the wastes, gathered into small herds, wandering here and there, munching on the dirty weeds scattered throughout the desert. Fortunately for the ecology of the wasteland (and the survival of their species), brahmin can go for long periods of time without water - they don't need much to survive. They have a strong sense of smell, and they don't hesitate to stomp over any wasteland predator that threatens them or their calves - well, except deathclaws, because no one messes with deathclaws.[1]

Occasionally, a brahmin is born with a single head - essentially, a regular cow. Ironically, these single-headed brahmin are referred to as "mutated" brahmin.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Brahmin[edit | edit source]

Brahmin.png

Just your regular, garden-variety brahmin.

Mad brahmin[edit | edit source]

Brahmin.png
Gameplay articles:

Mad brahmin are brahmin that have gone insane. It is not known whether the brain degeneration is from radiation or from a disease, but one thing is for sure: they will be hostile to nearly anyone they encounter.

Wild brahmin[edit | edit source]

Brahmin.gif
Gameplay articles:

Your typical undomesticated brahmin.

Notes[edit | edit source]

The Fallout Bibles are incorrect in regards to the origins of Brahmin, stating that it has something to to with the Forced Evolutionary Virus, which it does not.[6]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Originally, the brahmin, as designed by Scott Campbell, were supposed to be lumbering, mutated gophers with long hair. Their appearance was changed, however, because the early brahmin were too similar to the banthas of Star Wars movies. Therefore, they were replaced by two-headed cows.[7]
  • One brahmin appears as an easter egg in Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, shown in a freak show and described as coming from "a far away wasteland".
  • Fallout 3 was banned in India because of the use of the name brahmin, due to its also having a religious meaning in Hinduism.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Cattle; the non-mutated mammal that was to appear in Van Buren.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fallout Bible 9 Brahmin: "Brahmin are mutated brahmin cattle with two heads. If you just said, "hell, I thought brahmin were something from India," well, you'd be right. A bunch of brahmin made their way to the states long ago[1] for crossbreeding purposes. When the bombs fell, brahmin grew two heads. They are quite hardy. They are also a delicious toasty brown, as you'll notice in the picture to the left. They attack by head-butting or trying to gore someone with their horns, so brahmin-tippers beware. For some reason, only the left-most brahmin head has horns, which raises some curious gender identity issues.[2]"
    "Brahmin serve a vital environmental niche in Fallout - they form the foundation of survival for many species in Fallout, most notably, humans. They also form the backbone of the NCR economy. They also form the backbone of the New Reno "NCR brahmin rustling" economy. Brahmin can pull carts, old cars, plows, and dead bodies. Brahmin can be driven into herds then used as stampedes on rival tribal villages which is better than a Delayed Blast Fireball any day of the week. Brahmin can be worshipped. Brahmin hair can be woven into bags and ropes. Brahmin hide can be stretched over wooden or metal rods to make canoes, if you're into that sort of thing. Brahmin sinew can be used for bowstrings or thread for stitching. Brahmin shit is great fertilizer (and fuel for campfires). Brahmin meat is delicious - well, only because no one in Fallout knows what a succulent Pre-War steak used to taste like. Brahmin are a source of milk that is like modern day milk, yet terrifyingly different. Brahmin can be tipped over. Brahmin bones can be used as clubs, knives, arrowheads, eating utensils, hoes, or even dice, and their skulls look really scary dotted all over the desert landscape. Their horns can be turned into drinking horns if you feel like getting medieval. Brahmin can be used to distract a hungry deathclaw. Brahmin fat makes decent soap. Their hide can be used to make tents (or tipis/teepees), clothing, belts, saddle bags, shoes, leather armor, or a bizarre brahmin-looking disguise so you can sneak up on other brahmin and listen to their conversations. You can also use their tails as fly brushes or paint brushes, depending on your level of artistic talent."
    "There are domesticated brahmin and wild brahmin. PCs are encouraged to approach wild brahmin like they would a domesticated brahmin, because the end result is amusing for the Overseer."
    "Wild brahmin can forage for themselves, and they can be found across the wastes, gathered into small herds, wandering here and there, munching on the dirty weeds scattered throughout the desert. Fortunately for the ecology of the wasteland (and the survival of their species), brahmin can go for long periods of time without water - they don't need much to survive. They have a strong sense of smell, and they don't hesitate to stomp over any wasteland predator that threatens them or their calves - well, except deathclaws, because no one messes with deathclaws."
    "Brahmin are a great source of cattle drive and range war adventure seeds, if you feel like getting your Louis L'Amour on for a few sessions."
    "There are rumors that the smell of brahmin shit is highly addictive."
  2. The Vault Dweller: "{114}{}{What's a brahmin?}"
    Billy: "{115}{}{What's a brahmin? You must be joking. Why they're one of the major food sources and forms of transportation around here. They haul the caravans. Dan says this is a really important job, but it's the Bone.}"
    (BILLY.MSG)
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{113}{}{What's the spear for? Are they dangerous?}"
    Billy: "{132}{}{Dangerous? No, not really. They can give you a really nasty bite, but they're pretty cool. They fart and burp a lot. I don't know why.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{133}{}{So what's the spear for?}"
    Billy: "{135}{}{Oh, they can be awfully stubborn when I want them to do something. I just gently stick them to get them to move around . . . plus I don't want to get too close; they sometimes kick. }"
    (BILLY.MSG)
  4. Billy: "{176}{}{Brahmin sure do shi . . . uh, poop a lot.}"
    (BILLY.MSG)
  5. Enclave Field Research Terminal (silo outpost), Field Entry: Brahmin
  6. Fallout Bible 1
    Fallout Bible 0: "3. Are the radscorpions a product of the FEV virus? When you talk to the doctor, Razlo, in Shady Sands, he tells you that they were once American Emperor Scorpions but that he has no idea how they mutated because radiation alone couldn't have done it. For that matter, what about all of the other creatures of the wasteland? Which ones have been mutated by FEV and which ones haven't? Maybe in the bestiary each creature could have a stat that shows it's level of FEV infection."
    "Answer:
    • The radscorpions are a result of a combination of radiation and the FEV virus, and Razlo in Shady Sands is correct - they were originally Emperor Scorpions that have grown... big.
    • FEV-Infected Critters in the wasteland include almost all the ones you've seen in F1 and F2:
      Mantises.
      Most species of rats.
      Gecko lizards.
      Brahmin
      Scorpions
      Ants
      Various varieties of plants, including the Venus Flytrap.
      Rumor has it some dogs were affected, but no one's seen any, so for now that's just rumor. Of course, the centaurs are a mash of human, dog, and various other parts... but hey, who knows how that mutation came about. Grey was probably messing around in one of his labs.
    • Creatures not mutated by FEV probably did not survive the aftermath of the Great War, with the possible exception of cockroaches... and perhaps normal ants, though there are FEV-infected versions of these species.
    • No one knows where those bird noises in Vault City came from.
    • I'll try to include a chart of FEV-infected creatures in future additions as well as other critters that you may not have seen in F1 and F2. Most likely a great majority of insects were affected (they tend to breed much faster, and their mutations tend to become evident pretty quickly as the generations advance), possibly beetles, some spiders, cockroaches, and other creatures."
  7. "The Origins of Fallout", part 3 by Scott Campbell