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The Master
(Richard Moreau / Richard Grey)
FO01 NPC Master B.png
Biography and appearance
RaceFEV mutant
GenderMale (formerly)
AffiliationVault City (formerly)
Children of the Cathedral
RoleVault 8 Dweller (formerly)
Mutant leader
Primary Fallout Antagonist
LocationCathedral, Los Angeles Vault
Dialogue FileMASTER.MSG
Mentioned inFallout 2
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout Tactics
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Fallout Online
QuestsDestroy the Mutant leader.
Destroy the source of the Mutants.
SPECIALStrength: 10
Perception: 10
Endurance: 10
Charisma: 2
Intelligence: 10
Agility: 10
Luck: 7
Derived StatsHit points: 500
Armor class: 30
Action points: 10
Carry weight: 275
Unarmed damage: 5
Melee damage: 5
Sequence: 20
Healing rate: 3
Experience points: 2500
Normal DT/DR: 5/40%
Laser DT/DR: 8/50%
Fire DT/DR: 4/30%
Plasma DT/DR: 4/40%
Electrical DT/DR: 4/40%
EMP DT/DR: 0/50%
Explode DT/DR: 3/30%
Tag SkillsBig Guns: 110%
Energy Weapons: 110%
Proto id00000050 (Master)
ActorJames Jonah Cummings (male)
Katherine Soucie (female)

The Unity will bring about the master race. Master! Master! One able to survive, or even thrive, in the wasteland. As long as there are differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other. We need one race. Race! Race! One goal. Goal! Goal! One people . . . to move forward to our destiny. Destiny.

— Master

The Master, born Richard Moreau, is the horribly mutated brain behind the Mutant Army that roamed California in 2161, and during a large portion of the 22nd century. He was worshiped by the Children of the Cathedral; however, he was eventually defeated by the Vault Dweller.

At times, the Master was referred to as the "Dark God", especially by those opposed to the Children of the Cathedral. By his Children, he was referred to as the "New god". He was a hideous mutated creature composed of several other creatures and electronic parts, all apparently melded together. Apart from his appearance, one of his most notable features was his unique way of speaking. His voice was computer-generated and sentences are composed, apparently in real-time, from samples of several people's speech.[1]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Richard Moreau was a resident of Vault 8, later known as Vault City, where he worked as a doctor. In 2092 he was exiled from the city for murder, although the circumstances surrounding the murder are unknown. He changed his name to Richard Grey and headed south, eventually settling in the Hub, where he met Harold, a prominent trader. Following ever increasing attacks on Harold's caravans by mutated creatures, the pair teamed up on May 22, 2102, and led a team of scientists who mounted an expedition to the north-west to investigate the source of the mutated animals, which were attacking the survivors of the nuclear war. On June 23, 2102, Grey and his party stumbled upon the Mariposa Military Base, in which the U.S. government had been mass producing and experimenting with the Forced Evolutionary Virus (F.E.V.).

With the exception of Grey and Harold, the party was cut down by the mutated creatures and the base's internal defense systems. Harold barely escaped, but Grey was plunged into a vat of F.E.V. by a robotic arm. Floating in the vats for almost a month, the F.E.V. transformed Grey into the amorphous, blob-like being that would eventually become known as the Master. This entity expanded its biological mass by absorbing other creatures and people that came near the base, and bionically merging itself with computer equipment from the base. The ones he consumed also became part of his multiple personalities. It also began capturing humans that stumbled upon its lair, and intentionally exposing them to the F.E.V. These initial mutated humans were incredibly flawed, and the newly named Master consumed them rather than letting them live.

As he began to feel stronger and more capable than ever before, he came up with the idea to "unify" the wasteland, to make it as perfect as he believed himself to be. In January of 2103, the Master perfected his method of infecting, or "dipping", humans, and began creating the super mutants, who followed the Master's every command. Unfortunately for him, as he began to dip others in the vats he found the resulting creatures were not like himself: most often, they mutated into brutish soldiers, losing much of their brain function. It became apparent that only those with low total radiation count would not suffer this fate.

In 2130, the Great Winter occurs causing a scarcity of human subjects for dipping making it difficult to expand his army further. From 2131 to 2135, the Master starts to abduct caravans for human subjects. Most of the caravan disappearances are blamed on desert monsters steering away suspicion. Starting in 2137, the Master begins to mass produce super mutants with 1 in 6 being successful super mutants, and of the successful half make it to join the unity.

The Cathedral[edit | edit source]

In 2152, as the influence of Unity began to spread throughout the wastes, the Master came into contact with a group of human Doomsday cultists, led by a man named Morpheus. Realizing the benefits of retaining unaltered humans in his service to act as spies throughout the region, the Master recruited Morpheus's cult into his service, thereby expanding his power.

In 2155, the Master discovered the location of an unnumbered experimental Vault-Tec Industries vault prototype, located just south of the center of the ruins of Los Angeles, California, now called the Boneyard. Seeing great opportunity there, the Master relocated to the vault with his human cult followers and a portion of his ever-growing super mutant army, and oversaw the building of a large cathedral on the surface above the vault the following year. The cult became known as the Children of the Cathedral, and continued to be led by Morpheus, who reported directly to the Master. The cathedral was guarded by the nightkin, which were super mutant elite troops equipped with Stealth Boy technology.

While the Children appeared to be a fervent religious order - and, in fact, some of the low ranking members may not even have been privy to the more sinister reason behind the cult's existence - in reality, the Children and Morpheus were simply a front that the Master uses to advance his plan for the future of mankind: "The Unity".

In 2162, a human from Vault 13 known as the Vault Dweller destroyed the mutant army by causing an explosion in the F.E.V. vats at Mariposa, which collapsed the entire base, and then later defeating the Master.

The Unity[edit | edit source]

The Master is creator and leader of the super mutants. He is also the mastermind behind a movement called "The Unity," the aim of which is to turn every human possible into a super mutant by means of the F.E.V. He claims that those who cannot be mutated by the virus as well as those that choose not to will be allowed to live, provided they submit themselves to sterilization. Those that resist the Unity outright will be executed for trying to stand in the way of the Master's "progress." In theory, the Unity is for humanity's own good, as Super-mutants are better adapted to live in a post-nuclear wasteland. Also, according to the Master, turning all living beings into one single race would finally eliminate the differences and the human fallacies that ultimately brought about nuclear war.

However, the Master's plan is odd as all female Super-mutants are sterile. The Vault Dweller can help Vree, a scientist of the Brotherhood of Steel, come to this conclusion, and later use this information to convince the Master that his endeavor has no chance of success. Or if you decide you want to join the Unity, the ending will show the Vault Dweller being turned into a super mutant, then show the Vault 13 residents being killed by the super mutants. This ending is non-canon however, as this would stop the events of Fallout 2 from happening.

The Master's Destruction[edit | edit source]

One of the main objectives in Fallout is to destroy the Master. The Vault Dweller has three options to choose from. He or she can either kill the Master through combat (an extremely difficult task), convince him to abandon his plan (in which case the Master commits suicide), or bypass the Master entirely by manually setting off a nuclear device, located on the fourth floor of the vault in which the Master lives. If the player encounters the Master, he or she also has the option of joining forces with the Master instead, which results in a non-canonical ending.

Unless the Vault Dweller joins the Master, the end result remains the same. The Master's death would trigger the nuclear device anyway, resulting in the destruction of the Cathedral.

Returning to the Cathedral after the Nuclear Device is detonated, the Vault Dweller simply sees a gaping black crater.

Several mutants led the armies after the fall of the Master, including Attis, who became the most like the Master of all the mutant generals, Melchior, who inherited the Master's psychic powers, and many Nightkins, who inherited the Master's split-personality disorder.

The Master's Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Master has extremely powerful psionic abilities, able to project extremely vivid hallucinations that easily break the mind of any enemy without some form of mental protection. Besides his psionic abilities, the Master also has a genius-level intellect and incredible natural charisma, having rallied an army of sycophantically devoted human and super-mutant followers around him. He has mastered genetic engineering through his experiments with the Forced Evolutionary Virus.

The Master is also hard to kill in combat if you don't specialize in such, due to the Master's bio-electrical integration with the Cathedral Vault's Overseer Chair, giving him access to its twin Gatling lasers, providing the Master with considerable firepower, though the real danger in the fight comes from the repeatedly spawning super mutants.

If, on the other hand, you have the proper equipment, such as a turbo plasma rifle, hardened power armor or Tesla armor, and a few stims, and high stats in Energy Weapons, Endurance, etc. then the Master is fairly easy to defeat. Aim for the eye and the chances of success are great.

Because the Master is integrated into the Vault Overseer's chair, he counts as a robotic enemy and is highly vulnerable to pulse grenades (which are a viable way for non-combat oriented characters to still defeat the Master in a straight fight).

Interactions with the player character[edit | edit source]

Interactions overview[edit | edit source]

Perk empathy synthesizer.png
This character is involved in quests.

Quests[edit | edit source]

Tell me about[edit | edit source]

The Master's Tell-me-abouts
Query Response
Master I am not here to answer your questions. You are here to answer mine.
Anything else I am the Master. I don't have to answer to you.

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Icon armored vault suit.png
Assault carbine icon.png
Gatling laser
Icon briefcase.png
Carried items
Icon male severed head.png
Drops on death
No additional items

Statistics[edit | edit source]

The Master is a tough one. He has 500 hit points, can attack twice per round, and is protected by an almost constantly respawning supply of super mutant bodyguards.

Notable quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "So what shall it be? Do you join the Unity, or do you die here? Join! Die! Join! Die!"
  • "You must be joking."
  • "You think you can destroy me? Destroy! Me?"

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • It is nearly impossible to use "Tell me about" function because he mostly answers "I am The Master, I don't have to answer to you".
  • If the Vault Dweller leaves the base after attacking The Master, the super mutants won't spawn anymore, making the fight a lot easier.
  • If the Vault Dweller saves the game during the fight, then reloads that save, the super mutants that have respawned disappear.
  • One of the Master's most prominent weaknesses is his vulnerability to pulse grenades. His hit points will drop dramatically with each successful throw.
    • But an even greater vulnerability is the limited range of his Gatling lasers, which means that there is a window further away in the long hallway from where you can fire him with sniper rifle without him being able to retaliate. It is also very easy to defeat any approaching nightkin one by one.
  • He has 4 voices - 3 male and 1 female (possibly because of the effect of the FEV and merging himself with computers).

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Master appears only in Fallout as a talking head.

Although he only appears in the first game of the series, the Master is mentioned in all Fallout games.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • In Fallout 2, the Master's true name is revealed to be Richard Moreau. This could be a nod to the 1896 novel "The Island of Doctor Moreau"; a science fiction novel about a scientist who conducts bizarre and cruel experiments on animals he has imported in an attempt to create sentient beings out of them.
  • The Master was going to be the main antagonist in the canceled Fallout movie. He would have taken the place of the Lieutenant, torturing the Vault Dweller, leading the attack on Vault 13, and killing the Overseer personally. In the end he was killed by the Vault Dweller, as he attempts to infect Max with the Forced Evolutionary Virus.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]


  1. Fallout Official Survival Guide p.106-107: "The Master: The Supreme Boss Behind It All"
    "The Master is not a nice person."
    "Once a normal human, long ago, he was mutated by exposure to the FEV virus. Along the way since then, he has somehow hybridized with other human mutants and with computers, turning him into a rather strange and schizoid monster who speaks in multiple voices. As "the Holy Flame" and "Father Hope," he rules the Children of the Cathedral, who figure in his plot to infect all humans with FEV and take over the entire world."
  2. The Chosen One: "{175}{}{Tell me about this place.}"
    Fung: "{178}{}{You have come to the right person. Would you like long history or short?}"
    The Chosen One: "{180}{}{Short.}"
    Fung: "{182}{}{Our people landed here on the submarine Shih-huang-ti, when the missiles exploded over the world. With the aid of a cult, we, the Shi, rebuilt San Francisco. That is the short version.}"
    The Chosen One: "{183}{}{How about the long version?}"
    Fung: "{186}{}{The long version is this: We are here because our people are the descendants of the crew of a nuclear submarine, called the Shih-huang-ti. When the missiles fell in the Great Deluge, the systems aboard the submarine failed and we drifted in the dark for many days.}"
    Fung: "{188}{}{At last, we drifted ashore. We found ourselves near the ruins of San Francisco. Most of the city was devastated in the war. We had to recreate society based on the few survivors who had crept back to the city.}"
    Fung: "{190}{}{We rebuilt with what we could find, and we have scientists and technology the world must envy. We are rebuilding civilization, but not as that horrid Master creature did.}"
  3. Harold's dialogue: "...."