|This page is about a place mentioned in Fallout 3. For the 13 pre-War U.S. commonwealths, see United States. For European organization of states, see European Commonwealth.|
Mentioned-only unmarked location
The Commonwealth is what is left of the pre-War American state of Massachusetts in New England. While traditionally called a Commonwealth in itself, before the Great War, Massachusetts was also part of the New England Commonwealth of the United States in the alternate history of the Fallout universe. Most of it is a war-ravaged quagmire of violence and despair like much of the rest of the former United States, but it is also where the mysterious Institute is located.
The Institute is likely the descendant of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Little is known about the Institute other than that the scientists working in the sealed environment possess highly advanced technology and technological skills. The Institute has created true artificial intelligence (A.I.) and is capable of manufacturing androids, also referred to as "synths" - short for "synthetic human".
Another organization active in the Commonwealth, the Railroad, functions in direct opposition to the Institute. Named in honor of the Underground Railroad, the Railroad's mission is the rescue and salvation of synthetic humanoids.
There is a special branch of the Commonwealth Police called the Synth Retention Bureau. It is tasked with recovering synths that attempt to escape from the Institute.
- Harkness, Dr. Zimmer and Armitage are from the Commonwealth.
- During the events of Broken Steel, Dr. Madison Li leaves the Capital Wasteland on a trip to the Commonwealth, apparently to clear her head after the final activation of Project Purity.
- Tobar, captain of the Duchess Gambit, made frequent trips to the Commonwealth when his ferry was in better condition.
- Ishmael Ashur, ruler of The Pitt, mentions the Commonwealth, stating that it has reason to envy the Pitt.
 Behind the Scenes
The use of the term "Commonwealth" to refer specifically to Massachusetts presumably derives from the real-world fact that the state's official name is the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts." Four American states refer to themselves as commonwealths, of which Massachusetts is one. Interestingly enough, although Fallout 3 and its add-ons take place partly in two of the remaining three commonwealths (Virginia and Pennsylvania), only Massachusetts is actually associated with this term.