Deathclaw (Fallout 3)

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For an overview of deathclaw variants in the Fallout series of games, see deathclaw.
Deathclaw
Deathclaw.png
VariantsDeathclaw
Enclave deathclaw
LocationCapital Wasteland
See locations
 
Gametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 BS.png
Gametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 BS.png

Deathclaws are creatures living in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. They are a large, agile, and strong species of mutant Jackson's Chameleon[1] and are far more common in the Capital Wasteland than the west coast despite the more desolate, barren and desert-like characteristics of the wasteland.

Background[edit | edit source]

The following section is transcluded from deathclaw. To modify, please edit the source page.

Deathclaws were engineered before the Great War, for use as cheap replacements for humans during close-combat search-and-destroy missions.[2] The project was successful in creating a ferocious predator capable of surviving on its own in the wild, though no references exist to them ever being used in combat against the Chinese.

After the Great War, deathclaws escaped into the wild through unknown means and gradually spread throughout the continent. Initial spread was limited to isolated nests, leading some to believe that it was just a rumor, a tale to scare children with,[3] though the population of Boneyard was keenly aware of their existence, as a single pack mother and her offspring claimed the area between Downey and Norwalk around 2161, keeping the Gun Runners in a checkmate and terrorizing other communities in the region.[4] A lone deathclaw was also living near the Hub,[5] with an unknown number of deathclaws experimented on and refined by the Master.[2]

Their gradual spread throughout the wasteland raised awareness of their existence, until they entered common consciousness as a lethal predator – but a myth no longer. As stated above, the Enclave eventually continued the research project started before the war, developing intelligent deathclaws for use in hostile environments around 2235.[6] On May 17, 2242, the first successful pack was dropped into Vault 13 to cloak the presence of the Enclave and their abduction of the dwellers within. Following their first combat test, the deathclaws broke free of their Enclave masters, far more intelligent than anyone could foresee.[7] They began developing an unique culture, as the first non-human sentient beings in history.[8] Unfortunately, their intelligence was discovered by Doctor Schreber of Navarro, whose report led to the extermination of intelligent deathclaws with extreme prejudice.[9] Subsequent experimentation involved the aforementioned domestication units, although by the end of the 23rd century.[10]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Biology[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws have a hunchbacked, humanoid build and stand roughly nine to ten feet tall, with a thick and resilient hide, powerful muscles, and twelve-inch-long, razor-sharp claws that can kill most any other creature with only a few swipes; hence their name. They have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, though their eyesight is poor. Their build gives them incredible speed, resilience and strength in close combat, making them an extreme threat at all times. Though they were originally mutated chameleons, they have lost the ability to camouflage themselves.

Deathclaws are very aggressive, territorial, carnivorous, and highly intelligent. They typically live in small packs of around eight to twenty members led by an alpha male, who is the only one allowed to mate with the females. However, deathclaws in the Capital Wasteland are for the most part solitary, sometimes encountered in pairs.

Deathclaws are oviparous, with the eggs typically laid in dark, sheltered locations and fiercely guarded by their mother. Young deathclaws reach maturity under the care of their parents, following them closely until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Although they do not have vocal cords, they can growl and shout, and seem to be able to mimic human speech much the same as a parrot does. However, normal deathclaws aren't intelligent enough to be capable of real speech.

Gameplay attributes[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws are arguably the most powerful and frightening creatures in the game. Unless the player is at a high level, they will have a hard time fighting one. Fortunately, deathclaws are not found in many areas around the Capital Wasteland, so their influence on where and when you travel is limited. Despite having tough armor according to game lore, the deathclaws in the game are simply given a lot of hit points rather than damage resistance.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Deathclaw[edit | edit source]

Deathclaw.png

A regular deathclaw, with all characteristics and attributes described above.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Deathclaw
0000cf9a
000c3280
00031e29
LevelIcon level.png
12
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
120
DetectionIcon eye.png
8
Health pointsIcon heart.png
500
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (100 DamageIcon damage.png)

Enclave deathclaw[edit | edit source]

Enclave deathclaw.png

Enclave deathclaws only make appearances as Enclave camps begin to appear. Many of these camps are likely to house mind-controlled deathclaws in cages, which are just the same as regular ones with the exception that they will not attack Enclave forces. The Domestication Units on their heads can be targeted and shot, which can frenzy them. Enclave deathclaws may also be dropped off from Enclave Vertibirds along with Enclave soldiers and sentry bots.

During the quest The American Dream, a deathclaw can be seen in a cage in Raven Rock. This deathclaw has not yet undergone mind-control and can be released from captivity with a Lockpick skill of 50. When released, it will attempt to kill anything in sight, excluding you, until it runs out of other enemies to fight. It will then proceed to attack you.

During add-on Broken Steel quest Shock Value, if you receive Scribe Vallincourt's device, the Enclave deathclaws will act as temporary followers, but if you go too far from the Enclave base where they are stationed, their heads will explode.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Deathclaw
000bcc4d
0001cf72
000aa836
xx00946b
LevelIcon level.png
12
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
120
DetectionIcon eye.png
8
Health pointsIcon heart.png
500
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (100 DamageIcon damage.png)
Deathclaw Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS.png
xx00223c
LevelIcon level.png
12
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
120
DetectionIcon eye.png
8
Health pointsIcon heart.png
500
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps nobody: Will not help anyone.Icon optional.pngIcon optional.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (100 DamageIcon damage.png)

Locations[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Deathclaw corpses contain a deathclaw hand, a component which can be used in creating a deathclaw gauntlet. However, when the hand is taken, the deathclaw still has both hands.
  • Deathclaws are classified as abominations, and are therefore not affected by the Animal Friend perk.
  • With Broken Steel installed, random encounters with deathclaws occur far more often. At higher levels, deathclaws can be commonly seen traveling in pairs.
  • Crippling a deathclaw's leg slows it down and also prevents it from using its high damage leaping attack, thus decreasing its combat effectiveness. Crippling a leg also slows a deathclaw down more than it does most other Wasteland creatures, because they are bipeds rather than quadrupeds.
  • A dart gun can greatly reduce a deathclaw's ability to fight by crippling its legs with a single shot.
  • This may be a former bug however, if you use something to make yourself invisible (i.e. Stealth Boy or Chinese stealth armor) at the Enclave outpost near Dukov's Place, the Enclave deathclaw will usually go berserk and attack the Enclave soldiers, even without the jammer.
  • A caged deathclaw can be found inside Raven Rock. When leaving after speaking with President Eden, the player will probably come across the cage containing the deathclaw. When it is opened the deathclaw will not immediately attack the player, but rather any other enemies. If President Eden commands the robots to become hostile to the other Enclave, setting the deathclaw free will have only a minor effect as it will easily be killed by the sentry bots.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws appear in Fallout 3 and its add-on Broken Steel.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The following section is transcluded from deathclaw. To modify, please edit the source page.

Was it always a big scaly lizard thing? Nope. My initial design for this terrible creature was a the apex predator of the wasteland, a mix of wolverine and brown bear, mutated by the FEV. It could survive any environment and feared nothing; a legendary force of nature that struck terror into the hearts of men! Unfortunately, the artists took one look at my concept sketch and said, 'Dude, that's way too much hair.' It was true. The Wolverine-bear was very furry, and there was just no way around it.

So here's what happened: the newly formed Black Isle started work on what would be Planescape: Torment. One of the first art pieces was a monstrous creature called a Terrasque. It was sculpted in clay and was then point-by-painstaking-point digitized into a 3D model. As Planescape moved forward, it turned out that the Terrasque wouldn't actually be featured in its design, leaving that tasty model in disuse. Thus, the furry wolverine-bear became a hairless reptilian biped. (Take a look at page 339 of the D&D second edition Monster Manual. Holy cats! It's a Deathclaw!)

Scott Campbell, Origins of Fallout No Mutants Allowed
  • The deathclaw name is derived from Shadowclaws in Wasteland.
  • In Scott Campbell's original concept art, deathclaws were mammals covered with fur and were meant to be a mix of wolverine and brown bear, created by FEV.[11] The reason it lost the hair from concept to production was a technical limitation of the rendering software, which couldn't get all the hair to move properly. The hairy deathclaw in Fallout Tactics was inspired by the original concept.[11][12]
  • According to the Fallout Bible[13] and Scott Campbell,[11] deathclaws were modelled visually on the Tarrasque of Dungeons & Dragons after a D&D computer game made by Interplay was cancelled (according to Fallout Bible) or after the creature was cut from Planescape: Torment (according to Scott Campbell), as a Tarrasque clay model was already made and this way the work would not go to waste. However, according to Chris Taylor, while they do look Tarrasque-like, it was not intentional and the clay model was supposed to be a deathclaw from the start.[12]

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Deathclaws occasionally fly off into the sky in a physics engine glitch. They can still be targeted and killed in V.A.T.S. which will result in their dead body flying across a large amount of land.
  • PCIcon pc.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png A deathclaw may spawn inside Regulator HQ and attack everyone. It will continue to spawn in this manner after the first time this happens.
  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Sometimes when using V.A.T.S. on a deathclaw (especially with Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG) the game may freeze after the first burst of shots. It will either unfreeze after a few minutes or it will stay frozen.
  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png When using the deathclaw control device its possible for them to not follow the player, but die automatically.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Joseph (Ocjoseph.msg) in Fallout 2 says:
    "Well, let's see... Deathclaws appear to be mutated Jackson's IguanasQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png, the horned variety. There are a lot of similarities still present, but an even greater number of differences. The mutation factor is quite high. This species is highly intelligent, about the equivalent of an eight-year-old, with some individuals reaching human normal level. Their learning capacity is very high and they are capable of abstract thought and reasoning."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Norton
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{347}{}{Do you know anything about the Deathclaw?}"
    John Maxson: "{262}{Gen_78}{Oh. Just another stupid rumor. Some people say it's a huge fanged monster and others say it's a vampire.}"
    (MAXSON.MSG)
  4. Gabriel
  5. Find the missing caravans.
  6. Fallout Bible 0: "2235 The Enclave experiments on deathclaws, attempting to create special fighting units for waging war in hostile environments."
  7. Fallout Bible 0: "2242 May 17 Enclave animal handlers drop a Deathclaw unit into Vault 13 from a safe distance to kill anyone investigating the Vault and cloak the Enclave's presence. Other Deathclaws are sent into the desert surrounding Vault 13 to check for any escapees or witnesses."
  8. The Chosen One: "{123}{}{What are you doing here?}"
    Goris: {135}{}{I'm a student of sorts. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the world and the different cultures that have developed. Right now I'm studying the culture the deathclaws are forming and comparing it to human development along similar lines. I've acquired just about all the information I need here. It would help my research a great deal if I could do some traveling. However, I don't want to go it alone, if you know what I mean.}"
    (Ocgoris.msg)
  9. The deathclaw massacre within Fallout 2.
  10. Raven Rock terminals; Delivery Terminal, Note Regarding Recent Delivery
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "The Origins of Fallout", part 3 by Scott Campbell
  12. 12.0 12.1 Chris Taylor at No Mutants Allowed forum
  13. Fallout Bible 8, As always, firm chests just out of reach
    Fallout Bible 8, Deathclaws...