|For other characters in the Fallout universe named James, see James (disambiguation).|
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I am Alpha and Omega. The beginning... and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life, freely.”— James reciting Revelation 21:6
James was the Lone Wanderer's father and also Vault 101's resident doctor in 2277.
 Early life and Project Purity
James was born in 2226. Later in his life, he formed or met a group of scientists. One of these scientists was Dr. Madison Li, one of the most intelligent humans in the Capital Wasteland. Another was Catherine, who quickly became the love of his life. Catherine had a dream, a dream of purifying water and then giving it away, to any and all. This became the group's main project and was soon dubbed Project Purity. James was the chief scientist and project leader of the ambitious project. It intended to cleanse all of the radioactivity from the water of the Potomac River that fed into the entire Capital Wasteland. However, when his wife died shortly after giving birth to his only child, he gave up on the project over the grief of losing her. He then asked for entry for himself and his child into Vault 101 in return for becoming the Vault's new physician, and the overseer granted his request.
 Life underground
James became the Vault's new physician, a job he could easily handle. He didn't really like the vault, but stayed to raise his child in a safe environment. James never forgot about Project Purity or his deceased wife. He even had the biblical revelation that inspired the project framed, he hung it on the wall in his office and placed one in his apartment. He tried to do the best he could for his child, holding birthday parties for the Lone Wanderer, giving the Wanderer a BB gun and setting up a place that the Lone Wanderer could use the BB gun, something which the Overseer wouldn't agree with if he found out about it.
 Return to the world above
In 2277, James planned to return to the surface, leaving his child in the Vault to be safe and happy. His assistant Jonas had planned to have gone with him but was tortured and then killed by Officer Stevie Mack. Even though James had planned to leave his child in the Vault, the Lone Wanderer escaped and followed the trail of his father. James first went to the small town of Megaton to visit Colin Moriarty.
James met Colin several years ago on his way to the Vault. He asked Colin what had been happening in the wasteland since he entered the vault. Colin told him about Galaxy News Radio. James left in a hurry and managed to make his way through the ruins of Washington, D.C. and reached the GNR Building Plaza, where he then talked to Three Dog. Three Dog told James what had been happening recently in the wasteland and then James left to find Dr. Li.
Arriving at Rivet City; he asked for Madison's help to restore the project, but she declined. James then traveled to the old lab at the Jefferson Memorial. James soon found out he needed a Garden of Eden Creation Kit. He marked his way to Vault 112 to find Dr. Stanislaus Braun, the creator of the G.E.C.K and to gain knowledge about it. James arrived at Vault 112 and entered the Tranquility Lane simulation. He talked with Braun, but didn't want to play any of Braun's games, so Braun trapped him in the body of a dog named "Doc". The Lone Wanderer arrived in Tranquility Lane and soon rescued their Father. After a talk, the two returned to Rivet City. At Rivet City, James successfully recruited Madison Li and her team and they to went to the Jefferson Memorial. After arriving at the memorial, the scientists soon got things back on track, and James asked his child to help him with some errands in the underworks of the monument, but as the Lone Wanderer was working on these tasks, a detachment of Enclave forces arrived at the monument.
 The ultimate sacrifice
Colonel Augustus Autumn entered the facility under guard of Enclave soldiers. The Lone Wanderer made it back to the control room, to find that Autumn had locked the door to the activation room and was in the process of threatening James at gunpoint, demanding that he handed over the activated Project Purity to the Enclave forces. James attempted to explain that the project was not yet functional, prompting Autumn to shoot and kill Janice Kaplinski to brow beat James into cooperating. For a moment James appeared to submit to the Colonel's demands, and turned towards the control panel. However; it turned out to be deceit on his part as he deliberately programmed the console to cause a disruption within the activation room. This resulted in a massive radiation leak that killed everyone inside other than Autumn. James then fell to his knees, his final word: "Run" aimed toward his child. James collapsed and died in the project control room.
 Interactions with the player character
 Interactions overview
- Baby Steps: James puts the one-year old Lone Wanderer in a playpen in their room which contains the You're S.P.E.C.I.A.L.! book. After a brief absence, James returns and shows the child Catherine's favorite Bible quotation, and takes his child to Amata.
- Growing Up Fast: James has a small conversation with the Lone Wanderer at the beginning of their tenth birthday party, and later in the party gives his child a BB gun as a birthday gift, and tasks them in killing a radroach.
- Future Imperfect: James has a brief conversation with his now 16 year-old son/daughter before their G.O.A.T.
- Escape!: James' unexpected absence from Vault 101 prompts a security crisis and propels the Lone Wanderer out into the wastes.
- Following in His Footsteps: The Lone Wanderer searches for their dad. The Lone Wanderer can either go straight to Vault 112 (where he is being held); or he/she can follow the quest line, by going to Megaton, which directs him/her to GNR Building Plaza, which directs him/her to Rivet City, which directs him/her to the Jefferson Memorial which then leads him to Vault 112.
- Tranquility Lane: James finds himself in Vault 112, held prisoner in the form of a dog in a virtual neighborhood created and controlled by Dr. Braun.
- The Waters of Life: Father and child make their way first to Rivet City, then to the Jefferson Memorial, the site of Project Purity. As the Enclave storms the Memorial, James refuses to cooperate with Colonel Augustus Autumn. In the end, James floods the room with radiation, attempting to kill Autumn but killing himself in the process, with no success in his objective. The last time the Lone Wanderer sees him is when James presses himself against the glass door of the activation room, and telling his child to "Run!" as he falls to the floor, sacrificing himself so his child could live.
 Effects of player actions
- When the player is doing tasks to make Project Purity work, James will say that he heard of the player's actions. His reaction will change depending on how you resolved the quest Power of the Atom. If you disarmed the bomb, he will ask you if you truly did it, and will be proud of you if you say that you did. If you caused Megaton's destruction and admit it to James he will be disappointed (you can lie to him, but he won't really believe you unless you have very high karma).
- If you did not resolve the Power of the Atom quest at all, or if you talk to him again after he comments on the aforementioned quest, he will instead comment on your current karma level. If you have good karma, he will say "You're a good person, and it shows". If you have bad karma, he will instead comment on how you "seem troubled, like there is a cloud hanging over you." If the player has neutral karma he just greets you in the default manner.
 Other interactions
- James delights over the birth of his child, presenting the child to his wife, who expresses pride and happiness before going into cardiac arrest. James then attempts, unsuccessfully, to save her life.
|Apparel||Weapon||Other item||On death|
|Dad's wasteland outfit
Vault lab uniform†
- † Only while in Vault 101.
- ‡ On his way back to Rivet City.
- James will change skin tone and facial features depending on how the players make their appearance during the birth scene.
- James counts as a "companion", and as such will use up ammunition on any non-companion weapon (unlike most non-player characters, who have infinite ammunition).
- It seems that James has a preference for Scotch. According to Project Purity personal journal #5, he mentions having downed "half a bottle of Scotch" the night he broke into the Overseer's computer. When visiting his living quarters at Project Purity, the player can find a number of empty Scotch bottles around James' living area.
- The unused skin of Doc seems to be a German Shepherd, considering Stanislaus Braun is German. Also, it seems that the dog has different eye color - similar to Dogmeat.
- James may not follow to the Jefferson memorial, if you fast travel.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier can find a picture of James and Catherine in Vault 21, near The Strip snow globe.
 Notable quotes
- "I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
- "As far as I can tell, you're a perfectly healthy 16 year old boy/girl, so yes you have to go to class to take your G.O.A.T. exam."
- "Son/Honey, I brought you into this world, I think you know the rest..."
- "Agghh! What in God's name is wrong with you?"
- "Stop screwing around!"
 Behind the scenes
- James' voice is provided by actor Liam Neeson, after whom the character is also physically modeled. "This role was written with Liam in mind, and provides the dramatic tone for the entire game. "Liam is absolutely amazing to work with," said Todd Howard, Executive Producer of Fallout 3. "It’s been a pleasure bringing the father to life and working with the wonderfully talented people at Bethesda on Fallout 3," said Neeson. "I hope the fans of the franchise and the game will be excited by the results."
- According to released concept art, the story of Fallout 3 was different at one point, and James would be encountered by the player in the middle of Vault 87 FEV transformation.
- On the way back to Rivet City from Vault 112, he will sometimes get stuck while traveling with him. If this occurs, fast travel to Rivet City and wait 24 hours in the Science Lab. He will appear and start talking to Doctor Li.needs verification
Dad as he looks during Baby Steps.
Dad as he looks during Growing Up Fast.
Appearance in Tranquility Lane as "Doc."
This photo appears only in the game files of Fallout 3 but appears in-game in Fallout: New Vegas in Vault 21 in Sarah Weintraub's room.
Concept art for an unused mutated father from an earlier version of Fallout 3 by Adam Adamowicz.
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.67: "Before your birth, your father was the leader of an impossibly ambitious scientific endeavor—Project Purity. Leading a group of scientists, he planned to turn the ruins of the Jefferson Memorial into the most technologically advanced water purifier ever imagined. But when you were born (your mother dying in childbirth), your father had little choice but to abandon Project Purity and get you to the only safe place he knew—the underground fallout shelter known as Vault 101."
- Fallout 3