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Vault-Tec advert and in-game town map of Vault 13
Inside Vault 101
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FOT.pngGametitle-FOBOS.pngGametitle-VB.pngGametitle-FB.pngPenny Arcade.gif

A Vault is a type of subterranean installation designed by Vault-Tec Industries. Officially, they were designed for the sole purpose of sheltering up to one thousand dwellers from a nuclear holocaust, but in reality, they were used in secret experiments conducted by the federal government.


Commissioned by the United States government as part of "Project Safehouse",[1] Vault-Tec built 122 vaults across the country.[2] However, when the storm of nuclear war came in 2077, the vaults were sealed without many of their dwellers due to the "Cry Wolf" effect training drills had on the populace.[3]

The first vault was built in Los Angeles, intended to demonstrate the viability of such a facility. The demonstration vault was built beneath the city, within its limits. Unlike other vaults, it wasn't part of the experiment. Most vaults were completed by 2063, except for Vault 13 and Vault 112.[3]The latter was the last Vault to be completed, in June 2074.[4]

The vaults were one of the most expensive shelters in the pre-War world. According to the Vault Dweller's Survival Guide for Vault 13, the intended budget for that particular installation was $400 billion dollars, and by the end of its construction reached $645 billion.[5] The vaults were located in various locations, and little information is available as to why those particular sites were chosen.

Construction and technology

The Vaults were constructed by Vault-Tec based on their patented Triple-S Technology (Safety, Survivability and Sanitation),[6] designed to hold anywhere between several hundred to as much as one thousand occupants at any given time, although hot-bunking was required at maximum capacity.[5][7]

To supply electricity necessary to sustain the inhabitants, different types of power sources were utilized. For example, Vault 13 relied primarily on geothermal energy, with backup power available from a General Atomics nuclear power generator, enough to sustain the vault for two hundred years.[5] Vault 8 on the other hand, relied on an inefficient nuclear reactor,[8] which, while enough for Vault City to emerge, could only support a relatively small, highly advanced settlement, and in 2241 was nearing its capacity, after which further growth would be impossible.

Each Vault came with communication systems and surface monitors,[5] defensive weaponry to equip 10 men[5] and a complete internal surveillance system through a network of Eye-On-You cameras.[9] For resettlement of the surface, Vault held complete construction equipment[5] and preselected installations vaults received one or two G.E.C.K.s, intended to help the inhabitants create a viable civilization in the post-nuclear world after the All Clear signal is sent.[10]

Quality of life

Inhabitants would be provided with facilities and supplies necessary to live in isolation for the designated time. For instance, the life support system was designed to work up to 900 years without failure in favorable conditions,[11] and included hydro-agricultural farms and a water purification system.[5] To prevent the development of psychological problems, the entire Vault was lit using a SimuSun Lighting simulating natural sunlight[12] and offered complete libraries of social and entertainment files[5] together with the public Entertainotron Room.[13] Auto-Docs that acted as doctors were standard vault equipment.[14] Other amenities provided in each Vault included the Floorsuck Autocleaner System,[15] Culinator 3000 Kitchen Systems,[16] and incinerator receptacles for burning waste and corpse disposal.[17]

All vault dwellers were issued standardized blue-and-yellow jumpsuits and a unique 11 digit Vault Identification (or VID). The typical vault dweller living in a properly maintained vault could expect to live an average of 92.3 years.[18] Interestingly, those who exited successful vaults seem to have a heightened chance of suffering from xenophobia (fear of strangers) and/or agoraphobia (fear of open places).[19]

Due to the closed nature of Vault societies, the pre-War free market and currency had to be abolished. All Vault residents were provided with amenities necessary for their life within the Vault, with luxury available for purchase in exchange for work credits, a form of currency earned through working.[20]



A Vault computer

The entrance houses the Vault's primary connection to the outside world – the airlock. It is closed from the inside by a reinforced high-security door and from the outside by a massive, gear-shaped, four-foot thick vault door. For most vaults, this is the only apparent means of entering or leaving (only Vault 87 and Vault 19 are confirmed to have alternate entrances.) Most vaults have control pods located on both the inside and outside, either of which requires a security code to open the outer door. These codes are usually only known to a handful of people within the facility so as to prevent unauthorized exits.

The vault doors had a projected 2% failure rate in case of a direct hit by a nuclear missile.[21] The only known vault to have been hit by a nuclear weapon is Vault 87 and the blast damaged the door beyond repair.[22]

Most vaults use a Seal-N-Safe Vault door Model No. 343[23] to secure the airlock. Some older vaults (such as Vault 101) use a different, cruder blast door model. Vault 8, the control vault, had also a second, much larger, blast door built, securing the entry hallway leading to the entrance to the vault.

The entrance level also houses the Emergency Medical Lab complete with an Auto-Doc. A vault medic was required to be present at the EML 24 hours a day.[24] The lab had the equipment to treat nearly all injuries and illnesses, ranging from simple bruises to irradiation.

Living quarters

Standard pre-War design of the living quarters was that of a single room with a sanitary annex. Vault 13 had one hundred living quarters, and at maximum capacity, ten people would be assigned to a single living quarter, in a hot-bunking system. A standard level had 20,000 square feet of usable area.[25][26]

Command Center

Vault 13 Overseer Command Post

Heart of the vault, the command center was where the overseer's seat was located. The operations center, apart from the seat of power, included the computer lab, where the water purification system was located, and an armory, where the vault's weapons, ammunitions and armor were stockpiled. A security guard was posted in the command center at all times, to ensure that the armaments were properly secured and handed out only to people possessing the proper clearance from the overseer.

Apart from that, the level also contained the computer core (with the vault's central computer monitoring the installation 24/7), housing data processing units, a library playing an important role in educating vault dwellers, a common meeting room, and the primary store room, where the most important supplies would be stored. The overseer is also able to see anyone inside the vault with the Eye-on-You cameras.

Equipped with dual 5mm miniguns in some vaults, the overseer's command post can be considered the last line of defense in case vault security is breached.

In the Secret Vault, there are several command posts for the various sections. The command posts mainly contain buttons to control things like locking of doors and laser protection.


  • East Coast vaults and Mojave vaults (3, 11, 19, 21, 22, 34, 87, 92, 101, 106, 108, 112) use a different, older door mechanism (as evidenced by extensive rusting and meager safety precautions). These vaults employ an opening mechanism that is contained entirely within the vault itself, pulling the door inwards and simply rolling it to one side. The doors seen on West Coast vaults, however, pull the seal outwards and use an external clamp to slide it aside.
  • East Coast and Mojave vaults lack storage rooms in the overseer's office; they are instead located near the Atrium.
  • Vault 12 had its Overseer's room sealed due to the fact that the main door of the vault was doomed never to close.
  • Gray paragraphs are based on Fallout Tactics and were not confirmed by primary sources Vault 0 had an entirely different layout than other vaults.
  • Gray paragraphs are based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and were not confirmed by primary sources The Secret Vault also had an entirely different layout than other vaults.
  • Gray paragraphs are based on Van Buren and were not confirmed by primary sources Vault 29 (Van Buren) was outfitted with a ZAX AI, which replaced the Overseer.

True purpose

Officially, the vaults were nuclear shelters designed to protect the American population from nuclear holocaust. However, with a population of almost 400 million by 2077, the U.S. would need nearly 400,000 vaults the size of Vault 13, while Vault-Tec was commissioned to build only 122 such vaults. The government, and Vault-Tec, never really believed an actual nuclear war would occur; the real reason for the existence of these vaults was to run social experiments on pre-selected segments of the population to see how they react to the stresses of experimentation in isolation and how successfully they recolonize Earth after the vault opens.[27] Another detrimental factor was that Project Safehouse was rife with mismanagement, corruption, bureaucratic waste, and the scientists involved had absolutely no idea on how the post-nuclear world will be, much less prepare for it.[28]

The Enclave, responsible for the experiment (officially known as the "Societal Preservation Program"), considered themselves prime candidates for recolonizing the world after a nuclear holocaust and to this end commissioned the construction of their own shelters, isolated from the vault network. The purpose of the vault experiments was to help prepare the Enclave for colonizing another planet.[29][30][31]

The total number of vaults is a government secret and has been lost; there were the aforementioned "public" vaults, which numbered 122 and an undisclosed number of "private" vaults. Information on whether Vault-Tec was an international corporation and were there vaults made by them in other parts of the world, or were they strictly U.S. based, cannot be released due to Vault-Tec and US Government regulations[32] That said, Vault-Tec seem to have constructed some vaults in Canada.[33]

Of the 122 known public vaults, only 17 were control, meaning that only 17 were made to public expectations.[34] All others were designed to include a social experiment, sometimes with a select few of the inhabitants observing the occupants. The Secret Vault, the Vault-Tec private vault, was kept secret from the Enclave by Vault-Tec and so was not part of the experiment project.[35]

The few vaults that survived intact for more than 80 years came to serve another, unanticipated purpose: they were an excellent source of pure human stock, uncontaminated by the mutated airborne strain of FEV and prime candidates for conversion into super mutants.[36]


In terms of providing safety and security for their inhabitants, most of the vaults were complete failures. However, the vaults were never really intended to save anyone.[27] There was simply not enough time, money or resources to build enough shelters to house more than a fraction of the population. While the "control vaults" did function as advertised and open on schedule, most were actually intended to explore and observe how societies adapt (or fail to adapt) to various challenges and restrictions. These social experiments were performed on live and mostly unaware subjects, monitored by Vault-Tec researchers in separate facilities, and undertaken at the behest of what would become the Enclave as part of a massive feasibility study of how to best re-colonize a barren Earth or, if necessary, other planets.

Most of the vaults seen in the games were non-viable 200 or even a mere 80 years after the War. While Vault 13 might have lasted until its scheduled opening date of 2277, the unplanned failure of the water chip forced the Overseer's hand and set subsequent events in motion. If Vault 101 was truly intended to stay closed "forever", its failure was inevitable; the only question was how long, and what form the change or disaster would take. Many other vaults were abandoned because of unlivable conditions, or saw the residents driven violently insane by the procedures inflicted on them. Some of these continue to pose a hazard to the unwary who wander in from outside, looking for loot or a place of safety.

Despite all of this, the experiment may be considered a success in terms of the data collected – data that was much more important to the Vault-Tec and Enclave scientists than a few hundred thousand lives, most of whom would have died anyway if not for the vaults.

List of known Vaults

Designation Description/Fate Location Appearances
Los Angeles Vault The Vault-Tec demonstration vault. It was not part of the experiment, and was the Master's vault under the Cathedral in Fallout.[37] Southern California, near Los Angeles (Cathedral) Fallout
Fallout TacticsGametitle-FOT.png Vault 0 A special vault designed to "monitor and control" other vaults, maintain the geniuses of the pre-War United States in cryogenic stasis, and release them once the outside parameters return to normal.[38] Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado) Fallout Tactics
Vault 3 A control vault designed to open after 20 years, but kept closed longer due to the wishes of the vault inhabitants. However, an unplanned water leak forced the occupants to open in hopes of trading with the outside. Unfortunately, all of the vault's residents were massacred by a group of raiders known as the Fiends shortly after they opened the vault door.[39] Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 8 A control vault, intended to open and recolonize the surface after 10 years with its GECK. Vault City is the result.[40][41] Northern Nevada
(Vault City)
Fallout 2
Vault 11 This vault was a social experiment designed to test obedience to authority and the ethics of a large group of people subjected to extraordinary circumstances. The dwellers were informed that a single person must sacrifice their life for the Vault, otherwise the master computer would shut down all life support. In reality, should the dwellers refuse, the Vault would open.[39] Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 12 In order to study the effects of radiation on the selected population, the Vault door was designed not to close properly. This is the Necropolis vault and a large population of ghouls was the result.[37][41] Bakersfield
Vault 13 Intended to stay closed for 200 years as a control group for the Vault experiment and simultaneously a study of prolonged isolation.[41] Southern California Fallout
Fallout 2
Vault 15 Intended to stay closed for 50 years and include people of radically diverse ideologies. Vault 15 is also the birthplace of three raider groups, the Khans, Jackals, and Vipers, and Shady Sands, which would become the New California Republic.[41] Southern California Fallout
Fallout 2
Vault 17 The Vault was raided in 2154 and its inhabitants taken prisoner by the Master's Army. The dwellers were subsequently turned into super mutants.[39] Unknown Fallout: New Vegas (mentioned-only)
Vault 19 The vault was segregated into two groups, 'Red' and 'Blue'. The groups lived in separate sections of the vault and was governed by 2 Overseers. Subliminal messages were routinely sent over to each other side causing mistrust among and the inhabitants and civil war between the 2 groups ending in complete collapse of the Vault. Candidates may have been chosen due to pre-existing paranoia or other psychological impairments.[39] Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 21 Designed to study the evolution of a society where all conflict was resolved through pure chance, i.e. gambling. The Vault was taken over by Robert House after winning a game of blackjack where the wager was the entire Vault. It was subsequently filled with concrete and converted into a novelty hotel by Sarah Weintraub.[39] Las Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 22 Vault 22 was equipped with the latest in biological and agricultural technologies, with the objective of developing plants that could be readily cultivated in the absence of natural light. However, an experiment with a parasitic fungus has turned on the scientists, leading to the destruction of the Vault. Survivors of the outbreak abandoned the Vault and headed to Zion], spreading the spore across the wastes.[39] Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 27 Vault 27 was deliberately overcrowded with a total of 2000 people assigned to enter, double the total sustainable amount making hot bunking mandatory.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 29 No one in this vault was over the age of 15 when they entered. Parents were intentionally redirected to other vaults. Harold is believed to have come from this vault.[41] Colorado Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
Van Buren
Vault 34 The armory was deliberately provided with an overabundance of weapons and ammunition, in addition to not being provided with a proper locking mechanism. The presence of weapons as well as lack of population control measures led to failure in the 23rd centuries. Social unrest would do Vault 34 in with several groups demanding access to weapons. The Boomers came from this Vault, but not all vault dwellers would leave the vault as a riot damaged the power reactor and most had succumbed to radiation poisoning or ghoulification with only a handful of survivors still in the vault.[41][39] Mojave Wasteland Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 36 Food extruders were designed to produce only a thin, watery gruel.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 42 No light bulbs of more than 40 watts were provided.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 43 Populated by twenty men, ten women, and one panther. Unknown One Man, and a Crate of Puppets


Vault 53 Most of the equipment was designed to break down every few months. While repairable, the breakdowns were intended to stress the inhabitants unduly.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible and possibly on Vault-Tec east coast computers
Vault 55 All entertainment tapes were removed.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 56 All entertainment tapes were removed except those of one particularly bad comic actor. Sociologists predicted failure before Vault 55.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible
Vault 68 Of the one thousand people who entered, there was only one woman.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible
Vault 69 Of the one thousand people who entered, there was only one man.[41] Unknown Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
One Man, and a Crate of Puppets
Van Buren concept art
Vault 70 All jumpsuit extruders fail after six months. Most of the inhabitants were Mormons. The city of New Canaan was founded by the vault dwellers after they left the vault.[41] Salt Lake City, Utah Fallout Bible 0

Van Buren

Vault 76 This vault was designed as a control group for the vault experiment. Like Vault 8, it was intended to open and re-colonize the surface after 20 years.[43] Unknown
(Capital Wasteland?)
Mentioned in Fallout 3
Vault 77 Populated by one man and a crate full of puppets. In Fallout 3 a Vault 77 jumpsuit is acquirable at Paradise Falls. Unknown One Man and a Crate of Puppets
Vault 87 A Forced Evolutionary Virus research facility that was also provided with a Garden of Eden Creation Kit.[43][44] Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 92 Populated largely by renowned musicians, Vault 92 was a test bed for a white noise-based system for implanting combat-oriented posthypnotic suggestions.[43][44] Capital Wasteland, Old Olney Fallout 3
Vault 101 Test the role of an omnipotent Overseer in a community remaining in indefinite isolation from the outside world, and study the reactions of the dwellers, should the isolation be broken.[45] Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 106 Psychoactive drugs were released into the air filtration system 10 days after the door was sealed.[41][44][43] Capital Wasteland Fallout Bible (first mention)
Fallout 3
Vault 108 All initial positions were left unfilled, allowing the terminally ill Overseer (estimated to expire within 40 months of the Vault's sealing) to fill them in according to Vault protocols, creating an unique experimental situation.[43]

The Vault failed as a result of cloning experiments designed to replicate whole humans, but instead created Garies.[44]

Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 112 Vault 112 was set up as the personal Vault of Stanislaus Braun, utilizing virtual reality stasis pods.[44] Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Unfinished Vault A fenced construction area in a small cave north of Vaults 13 and 15. It may have been the first location of Vault 13 before its relocation.[40] Northern California Fallout 2

Other installations using Vault-Tec technology

Vaults outside the main continuity

The Vaults in the following list were created for games that were cancelled or eliminated from the main continuity or the series. It also includes Vaults that were released in official materials, but were not confirmed to form a part thereof.

Designation Description/Fate Location Appearances
Vault 6 The vault's original purpose in the Vault Experiment is unknown. Mount St. Helens, Washington Fallout Extreme[46]
Vault 24 Unknown, any information in existence is based on cut content for a vault suit. Unknown
(Mojave Wasteland?)
Fallout: New Vegas cut content
Vault 39 Unknown. Abilene, Texas Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2[46]
Vault 74 Experiment unknown. In the tutorial, it's a very small vault consisting only of the overseer's office, atrium, clinic, and quarters (blocked). Unknown
(Capital Wasteland?)
Fallout 3 modding tutorial[47]
Vault 100 Unknown Mentioned in Fallout 3 game files with a unused Vault 100 jumpsuit icon. Fallout 3 cut content
Secret Vault A secret vault dedicated to protect high-members of Vault-Tec Industries and used to research the latest technologies (like electrical laser weapons and instant regeneration) and the Forced Evolutionary Virus. Los Ybanez, Texas Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Vault Prototype A small Vault-Tec facility used as the base of operations by the Brotherhood of Steel Texas Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Burkittsville Vault An unnamed vault near Burkittsville mentioned in the Hamilton's Hideaway terminal entries. Outside of the vault, cannibals wait to ambush those seeking refuge in the vault. Burkittsville, Maryland Fallout 3 cut content


  • In the Vault-Tec Headquarters, a vault door can be seen hanging from the ceiling to the right of the lobby. It is a copy of the Vault 101 door, right down to the number on the center.
  • There is another vault exhibit in Washington D.C. inside the Museum of Technology. The number on the door is 106. This one however, though containing the same materials for walls and lighting is only one corridor with vault doors at either side always kept open for the museum visitors to take the tour. Just like Vaults 87, 92, 106, and 108 the metal walls have rusted over time. It's safe to say this "vault" did not work as halfway through the corridor, a burnt skeleton of a janitor can be seen on the floor showing that they were killed by the bombs.
  • Vaults could not communicate with each other.[48]


Behind the scenes

The vault experiment was an idea created by Tim Cain during the initial stages of Fallout 2 development.[35]

Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 2 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Vault control room

The developers intended for the player to first encounter information about the Vault Experiment as they read the Vault 8 records in Fallout 2. They could discover a classified file (opened with a successful Science skill roll) explaining the purpose of Vault 8 was to be a "control Vault," designed to hold 1000 people and open at a designated time. This file was intended to foreshadow the discovery of the true and sinister purpose of the Vaults.

The player was also intended[2] to apply his Science skill to the central computer in Vault 13 to obtain a history of Vault 13, the Overseer's involvement in the Vault Dweller's expulsion, and even worse, the true purposes of the Vaults. The Overseer was conscious of the true purpose of the Vaults as social experiments on a grand scale, and consequently drove out the Vault Dweller because of fear he would ruin the experiment... or uncover it.

Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 2 cut content.


Concept art


Fallout 3


  1. Fallout bible 0 Timeline repair: 2054: "In light of the Euro-Middle-Eastern conflict and the plague scare, the United States sets Project Safehouse in motion. The project, financed by junk bonds, is designed to create shelters, called Vaults, for the populace in the event of a nuclear war or deadly plague. Construction begins late in 2054 and proceeds rapidly due to advances in construction technology."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fallout Bible 0, Vault system
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fallout Bible 0 Timeline repair: 2063 August: "The construction of most Vaults completed, except for Vault 13, whose construction finally gets off the ground... heralding a development cycle that seems plagued with problems. Drills begin in the other cities with completed Vaults, but the increasing frequency of the drills has a "cry wolf" effect, and the turnouts for drills trickle off as the years go on."
  4. Citadel terminal entries
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.1: "Important Vault statistics
    Vault Number ............................13
    Starting construction date .........August 2063
    Ending construction date ..........March 2069
    Starting Budget .........................$400,000,000,000
    Final Budget, with interest ........$645,000,000,000
    Total number of occupants .......1,000 (at capacity)
    Total duration ...........................10 years (at capacity)
    Number of living quarters .........100 (hot bunking required if at maximum capacity)
    Door thickness ..........................4 yards, steel
    Earth coverage .........................3,200,000 tons of soil, at 200 feet
    Computer control system .........Think machine
    Primary power supply ...............Geo-thermal
    Secondary power supply ..........General Atomics Nuclear Power backup systems
    Power requirements .................3.98mkw/day
    Stores .......................................Complete construction equipment, hydro-agricultural farms, water purification from underground river, defensive weaponry to equip 10 men, communication, social and entertainment files (for total duration)"
  6. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "Triple-S Technology is Vault-Tec's convergence of the three most important parts of apocalyptic endurance: Safety, Survivability and Sanitation!"
  7. It should be noted that due to scaling, the size of vaults in games shouldn't be taken at face value. None of the explorable vaults in the games have enough space or facilities to actually house 1000 people (or rather 500, as hot-bunking is used at maximum capacity).
  8. The Chosen One: "{221}{}{Broken Hills? Where are those?}"
    John: "{230}{}{Broken Hills is where we get all the uranium that we need for the atomic reactor from. From what I understand, the uranium is mined by mutants down there. But they have humans trade the stuff for them.}"
    The Chosen One: "{231}{}{Why do they have humans trade the stuff for them?}"
    John: "{250}{}{Well, because they trade uranium to Vault City, too. Vault City treats anyone that’s not a pure strain human just like lepers. So, Broken Hills uses human traders. Some guy named Chad, I think.}"
  9. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "Concerns about security? Our Eye-On-You Cameras enable the Vault's leader to watch your every move. You'll never be alone again!"
  10. Vault City central computer's information: "{238}{}{According to the archives, there is no GECK currently in stock at Vault City's Amenities Office. The people of Vault City seem to have used the only one they had to help establish the place when they came to the surface.}"
    "{239}{}{Scroll through the remaining information.}"
    "{240}{}{From what you can make out in the archives, two GECKs were part of every Vault's standard inventory package. Only one was shipped to Vault 8, however.}"
    "{241}{}{Cross-reference the GECK shipment information.}"
    "{244}{}{Due to a shipping error, it appears Vault 8 received a box of surplus water chips intended for another Vault. The other Vault most likely received Vault 8's second GECK.}"
  11. Vault 101 PA system: "Did you know - Vault-Tec water and life support systems can sustain a vault for over 900 years, without failure?"
  12. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "Being underground got you down? Smile! Our SimuSun Lighting mimics the feeling of being outside with only a fraction of the sunburn potential."
  13. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "Bored? Don't be! Step into our Entertainotron Room and watch the latest holotapes or perhaps listen to a symphony. Another Vault-Tec innovation!"
  14. Caesar's dialogue: "Where would I find a diagnostic scanning module?" (The Courier)
    "It's been said that Auto-Docs were standard equipment in the underground Vaults where mankind survived when the bombs fell centuries ago. You can search the Vaults, but every Auto-Doc my Legion has run across has been stripped for parts long before we found it. {remembering, feeling hope}Some of my scouts did report an abandoned Vault near Nellis Air Force Base. Overrun by ghouls, they said. Maybe the infestation has been there long enough to keep scavengers out. Why don't you go and see?"
  15. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "The living sections make use of our revolutionary Floorsuck Autocleaner System for those darned messy kids. Never sweep again!"
  16. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "Moms will love how our Culinator 3000 Kitchen System makes cooking a breeze. Mmmmm, I can smell the muffins baking now!"
  17. Vault 101 PA system: "Remember - A clean vault is a healthy vault. Please place all trash into the appropriate incineration receptacle on your scheduled burning day."
  18. Vault 101 PA system: "Did you know - the average life expectancy of a resident in a properly maintained vault is 92.3 years?"
  19. Examples include Michael Angelo, who doesn't dare leave his workshop even for inspiration, the Boomers who shoot artillery at anything that comes close to them, and the Vault 101 citizens, who still don't exit the vault even after the Lone Wanderer opens its door.
  20. Vault 92 terminal entries: "Intra-Vault Mail 000482
    To: All Vault Residents
    From: Gordie Sumner
    I am pleased to announce that we now have strawberry pudding available at the Vault Store for 10 work credits. The supply is very limited of course, so hurry down and get some before it's all gone!"
  21. Museum of Technology vault system tour: "Sleep in quiet comfort knowing that our impenetrable vault doors can withstand a direct hit by an atomic bomb with only a projected 2% failure rate."
  22. Vault 87 Overseer's terminal: "The main door to Vault 87 is damaged beyond repair and we are detecting extremely high levels of lethal radiation outside and in the entry tunnel.."
  23. Fallout, Vault 15 townmap
  24. Fallout, upon entering the Vault 13 EML for the first time
  25. Fallout manual
  26. Vault 15 worldmap
  27. 27.0 27.1 One Man, and a Crate of Puppets, panel 1: "The Vault Experiments were never designed to rescue the people that lived inside them. They were a vast social experiment designed to study pre-selected segments of the population."
  28. Fallout Bible 6 Life with the GECK:
    1b. What may be suitable for planting in the present may not be suitable in 20 yrs. This is esp true I would think in the FO universe with its rather unstable ecosystem. I mean if one really wanted to be certain that what one was panting would grow the best thing to do would be to collect the seeds, spores etc from already growing food sources - these have a guaranteed fertilization rate. After all those corn seeds that were put in the GECK 50 yrs ago now have not sufficiently mutated to endure the new Wasteland (even in a "normal" ecosystem, the only strains of plant that survive are those that mutate).
    "You're absolutely right. The GECK builders had no idea what the post-nuclear world would be like, and they had no real way to anticipate it, despite their "thorough tests" (it's doubtful they gave it much thought, to be honest, considering how badly organized the Safehouse project alone was, not to mention the experimental nature of the Vaults) - still, it seems as if the seeds present in the GECK were viable for Vault 8."
  29. Fallout 2 design documents
  30. Bloomfield Space Center design document: "In November, 2076, the Enclave seized control of Bloomfield Space Center. They knew nuclear war was just around the corner, so they tried to refit the Hermes-13 and convert it into a vehicle that would take selected personnel (mainly themselves) off-planet, destination yet to be determined."
  31. GSTERM.MSG: "{360}{}{Active PoseidoNet Stations: Atomic Powerplant #5, Navarro Refinery, Control Station ENCLAVE, ENCLAVE Vault-Research Control... AccessDenied}"
  32. Interview with Chris Taylor at Vault
  33. Rejected letter from Vault-Tec: "For a full list of Vault-Tec facilities with available accommodations, in exciting locales such as Oklahoma and newly-annexed Canada, contact your local Vault-Tec representative!"
  34. Citadel terminal entries#Personnel Assignments
  35. 35.0 35.1 Fallout Bible 0 More questions, questions:
    I read the start thing of the bible thats on the net. One thing I don't agree with in the fallout universe is that the vaults were just a bunch of "social experiments". I mean why. Even though the enclave were a bunch of assholes, why would they want to purposely see their own country men die when the vaults were societys last chance at a good survivial. I like to think that lots of people died because the vaults just didn't work. Like in FOT there is a terminal that says that money had been diverted from much needed common sense things to an underground game hunting facility or whatever it was. experiments was a bit over the top, but corruption is far more believable. thats what i think anyhow. and Fallout 3, is it a possibility or not?
    "Answer: The vault experiments were an idea created by Tim Cain, and I don't really know the reason behind them, but I can offer some speculation."
    "First off, thematically, it's pretty creepy, and we all know that developers will pull all sorts of crazy shit to try and mess with players' heads. It's possible that Tim had just finished watching an X-Files episode and had conspiracy theories swimming around in his subconscious. As to your comment about the experiments being a bit over the top, well, yeah. We're guilty as charged."
    "Secondly, as proven time and again in Fallout 2, the Enclave isn't a particularly rational bunch of fellows. Thematically, they embrace a paranoid view of the world and a heightened sense of superiority over everyone else in Fallout."
    "Third, the federal government (or whatever branch of federal government was responsible - it was not necessarily the Enclave) may not have ever considered the Vaults as society's best chance for survival - the government may have considered themselves the best candidates for rebuilding the world and already had their asses covered in the event of a nuclear or biological war by relocating to other remote installations across the nation (and elsewhere) that weren't necessarily vaults. The Enclave certainly didn't seem to be devoting much effort to digging up any other vaults and trying to use the human stock there to rebuild civilization."
    "Fourth, a lot of people did die because the vaults didn't work. Some suffered worse fates."
    "Nonetheless, even members of the Enclave probably could not answer the question of who created the Vault experiments and their reasons, as many of the people responsible for the creation of the Vaults died long ago, and many records were lost in the great static of 2077. President Richardson was familiar with the purpose of the Vaults, but he never saw them as more than little test tubes of preserved humans he could mess with."
  36. Dick Richardson: "{220}{prs34}{Well, no. No... not quite. You see, we had planned ahead. We were ready. }"
    The Chosen One: "{221}{}{What do you mean?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{222}{prs35}{We had a number of sanctuaries that would enable the glorious American civilization to endure. These facilities - the vaults - were part of the great plan.}"
    The Chosen One: "{223}{}{Those damn vaults didn't work the way they were supposed to. A lot of people in them died.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{224}{prs36}{Actually, they worked almost exactly the way they were supposed to. You might call it a social experiment on a grand scale. }"
    The Chosen One: "{225}{}{An experiment?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{226}{prs36a}{The vaults were set up to test humanity. Some had not enough food synthesizers, others had only men in them, yet others were designed to open after only 6 months. They each had a unique set of circumstances designed to test the occupants.}"
    The Chosen One: "{227}{}{What about Vault 13? What was it's purpose?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{228}{prs37}{Ahh. Vault 13 was a special case. It was supposed to remain closed until the subjects were needed. Vault 13 was, in scientific parlance, a control group.}"
    The Chosen One: "{229}{}{But they would all have died if my ancestor didn't get them a replacement water chip. That doesn't seem to fit in with your plan.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{230}{prs38}{An unfortunate, and unforeseen, accident. However, as it turns out, a rather fortuitous one.}"
    The Chosen One: "{231}{}{What do you mean?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{232}{prs39}{As it turns out we needed test subjects from untainted, pre-war, human stock - your ancestors in Vault 13 - and some freshly mutated stock - the villagers from Arroyo.}"
    The Chosen One: "{233}{}{Why?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{234}{prs39a}{For the Project. It's almost ready. Humanity's salvation is almost at hand and the United States of America will be the progenitor of that rebirth.}"
    The Chosen One: "{235}{}{Rebirth? What do you mean?}"
  37. 37.0 37.1 Fallout events
  38. Fallout Tactics events.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 39.6 Fallout: New Vegas events.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Fallout 2 events.
  41. 41.00 41.01 41.02 41.03 41.04 41.05 41.06 41.07 41.08 41.09 41.10 41.11 41.12 41.13 41.14 41.15 Fallout Bible 0 Vault list.
  42. Note that this comic, while official and created in cooperation with Emil Pagliarulo, has not been stated to be canon (nor non-canon).
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 Citadel Vault-Tec terminal
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 Fallout 3 events.
  45. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide, Game of the Year Edition p. 42: "The true experiment was even more devious and cunning. Although Vault 101 was about testing the human condition when a Vault never opened, this was only the first part of the plan. The “actual” experiment went far beyond that, and a select few knew the true nature; that this was to test the role of the Overseer. While the Overseer was able to interact (and even visit) the outside world via radio transmissions, and a secret tunnel from his sealed office, the rest of the inhabitants faced a much more dismal future: As far as they knew, Vault 101 was never sent an “all clear” signal, and faked radio transmissions described a nuclear-ravaged world gone mad, with absolutely no hope of existence outside of a Vault. The radio transmissions were actually recorded before the bombs even fell, and in many cases described a world even more horrible than the reality of the nuclear wasteland. The Vault 101 Overseer, like his counterparts in the other Vaults, was actually a planted Vault-Tec operative whose job it was to control the experiment from the inside.
    The final piece of this grand experiment only truly began when the Vault Dwellers living in blissful ignorance finally realized the world outside could be accessed, and there was a possibility of life above ground. The experiment only really commenced when the Vault 101 door first opened, and a young dweller fled into the light."
  46. 46.0 46.1 Canceled game
  47. Vault 74 tutorial in the GECK wiki. The location of this Vault and its layout is likely not canon.
  48. Fallout Bible 4 Questions, questions: 7. When the bombs dropped, all communication between the vaults where severed, so if their was no way to communicate with the vaults how did the Enclave send a massage to Vault 13 telling the people its time to go?
    "Communication between Vaults was never in place (it might ruin the experiments), but communication with the government/Enclave/Vault-Tec was a different story... they needed some way of monitoring the vaults."
    "The Enclave, having access to the Vault-Tec construction plans (not too surprising, considering the fact that the Vaults were funded by the government) had a way of monitoring events taking place within the Vaults... not only could they access their computers and systems remotely, (including PIPBoys and the personal logs of the Vault Dwellers), but the early Overseers of most of the Vaults knew of the ties to the government, and it was part of their duties to download information on the citizens and the Vault into an computer archive that the government could easily access."
    "Their tie to the Vault computers also gave the Enclave the ability to override any Vault locking mechanism and send an "all-clear" signal to sealed Vaults, coaxing the inhabitants to come outside."
    "Again, almost no Vault Dwellers were ever aware of this. For some Fallout 2 relevant information on the matter, here's what the player says in Fallout 2, and here's what Lynette says in response:"

    Note: As evidenced below, keep in mind that Lynette's archives are suspect, and they should not be treated as truth.
    Player: "How did you know *when* to leave the vault? I heard the vaults were isolated from the outside world."
    Lynette: "What you heard was incorrect. Our archives are quite clear: our vault received the all-clear signal two years after being sealed."
    Player: "The "all-clear" signal? From where?"
    Lynette: (Confused) "Why... from surface monitors, I suppose. I am certain there were sensors monitoring the environment. How else would the Overseer have known when it was safe to leave?"
    Player: "So... the order to leave the vault came from the Overseer?"
    Lynette: "Yes..." (Thinking, uncertain) " least, that is what I remember from the archives. (Confidence returns) However, I am certain many Citizens were responsible for monitoring the surface sensors."
    Player: "Really? Do these monitors still exist? Can I see them?"
    Lynette: (Angry, not certain where the player is going with this, but doesn’t like it.) "Quite likely they were disassembled and used as upgrades for other systems."

    "And that's all she wrote - it is a dark foreshadowing to what was really going on in these cauldrons of evil."
    "In any event, I remember having a conversation with the designers about the Overseers roles in the Vaults, and the early Overseers were the ones tasked with supplying information to the government... although when the world blew up, there wasn't really anyone to supply it to anymore, since the Enclave took some time to get back up and running."
    "In any event, enough blather. Hope that helps."

Vault-Tec Vaults