Commonwealth

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This page is about the primary setting of Fallout 4. For the 13 pre-War U.S. commonwealths, see United States of America. For European organization of states, see European Commonwealth.
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Commonwealth
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The roof and dome of the Massachusetts State House in Boston
Site
Part ofNew England Commonwealth, United States of America (formerly)
People
FactionsMassachusetts Department of Natural Resources (defunct)
The Institute (Synth Retention Bureau)
The Railroad
Brotherhood of Steel
Commonwealth Minutemen
LeadersLieutenant Governor Graham (formerly)
Maps
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Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem

— The official motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth is a geographic region largely encompassing the former state of Massachusetts in the New England Commonwealth. Among other locales, the Commonwealth includes the former state capital of Boston.

Background[edit | edit source]

The years have not been kind to the area. The collapse of the United States destroyed society and stoked the fires of conflict, which continue to blaze as late as 2277.[1] Among the violence and despair lies the Commonwealth Institute of Technology, or the Institute, for short. It is an isolated oasis of peace and scientific advancement and one of the few remaining place of note in the desolate marshlands of the Commonwealth.[2] For two centuries since the end of the war, the Institute's scientists have created technologies far beyond anything the wastelanders have ever seen... not that they are likely to witness the technology, as the Institute zealously guards its secrets.[3]

One notable development the Institute achieved is the creation of synthetic humans, colloquially called synths, who are outwardly indistinguishable from normal human beings. The refinement of their artificial intelligence (a result of a particularly secretive Commonwealth project)[4] occasionally has the unintended and undesirable effect of these androids developing a conscience and a strong independent streak. These runaways are ruthlessly apprehended by the Synth Retention Bureau,[5] which is well known for its brutality (particularly in dealing with the Commonwealth abolitionists, the Railroad)[6] and single-minded pursuit. One notable example is the hunt for A3-21: Zimmer, an Institute representative, assisted by his synth bodyguard, Armitage, crossed over 400 miles between the Commonwealth and the Capital Wasteland in 2277 to retrieve the runaway android.[7] Their tenacity has led the Railroad to suspend their operations indefinitely.[8]

That is not to say other people do not travel to and from the Commonwealth. Tobar has once included it in his trading circuit,[9] while more recently, Madison Li departed Rivet City for the Commonwealth.[10] Ishmael Ashur, the Lord of the Pitt, also states with confidence that the Commonwealth lacks the industrial capacity of his domain, though the boast needs to be taken with a quantum of skepticism, as the veracity of that statement cannot be readily ascertained.[11]

[12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

Regions[edit | edit source]

Zone 1: Lexington and Northwest Commonwealth[edit | edit source]

[[File:|right|thumb|300px]] This section of the Commonwealth is within the confines of Middlesex County. It boarders are roughly from the rolling hills of Sanctuary in the north, to the west among the foothills of the Sudbury River, to the east and south this region ends at the elevated freeways – or at least what is left of them. In the southeast corner, at the congruity of the two freeways is Lexington; gateway to the Greater Boston Area.[18]

Once a burgeoning landscape this region still has the remains of suburbs and cities alike. Amongst the ruins are several settlements,[18] among them are Abernathy farm, Drumlin Diner, and Tenpines Bluff. Due to the high traffic and relative safety – this region having relatively low background radiation compared to the rest of the Commonwealth – this region is also home to several raider gangs whom needless to say pray on the caravan traffic.

See also the locations of this region.

Zone 2: North Central Commonwealth[edit | edit source]

[[File:|right|thumb|300px]] This section of the Commonwealth is also within the confines of Middlesex County. It boarders are roughly from the rolling foothills in the north, the south to the Mystic River, and the east and west by elevated freeways. This region is – or was – more developed the farther south traveled, at its center is the remains of city of Malden.[19]

Although scarred by the war this region – such as the case with the entire rest of the known Commonwealth – was also environmentally scarred by the greed and casual disregard of its inhabitants. One of the worst disasters was the case with Lake Quannapowitt. Once a popular fishing and swimming hole this locale was used as a dumping ground by Mass Fusion. Its local containment shed dumping untold waste via pipeline directly into its waters. This was by no means an exception, as the lake bottom is strewn with detritus and safety barrels.

Despite the Lake and its tributary, the Saugus River, becoming dangerously contaminated, it remains one of the more hospitable regions surrounding Boston. With the settlements of The Slog and Greentop Nursery having become stops on the caravan routes. Settlers however are not this region's only inhabitants. Super mutants and raiders have made their homes in several landmarks, overrunning – such as the case with Breakheart Banks – and threatening nearby settlements – such as the Forged at Saugus Ironworks. Another, and far more infamous locale exists here: Parsons State Insane Asylum.

See also the locations of this region.

Zone 3: Western Commonwealth[edit | edit source]

[[File:|right|thumb|300px]] This region consists of foothills to the west descending into the suburban neighborhoods of the Greater Boston Area to the east. Mostly wilderness, even before the war, it is dominated by the remains of Fort Hagen township to the west. Once flowing directly northeast is the Charles River. A long deep natural navigational channel this waterway has been devastated by the cataclysmic destruction of the southern Commonwealth.[20]

Along its riverfront lies the ruins of several townships and developments that have since been flooded by the change in water flow. Such as the case with the Forest Grove Marsh: once a burgeoning town on the waterway its locke stuck in the closed possition. Not unlike the Weston water treatment plant, which as only flooded due to a failure in its machinery, despite it being constructed below the waterline.verification overdue, remove Another instance of environmental destruction is the site of Jalbert Brothers Disposal.

Despite this the region is not without successful settlements.Graygarden which was founded mere days before the war and Oberland Station. A recent farmstead built on the remains of a rail station, on the crest of the hillside east of the river. Among the ruins of the Mass Pike interchange the Gunners have made constructed a major encampment. To the west is the ruins of the Federal ration stockpile, once a place where the federal government stockpiled supplies, now its a raider encampment. To the east is Vault 81, constructed near Chestnut Hillock Reservoir

See also the locations of this region.

Zone 4: Coastal Commonwealth[edit | edit source]

[[File:|right|thumb|300px]] [21]

See also the locations of this region.
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Zone 5: Natick and the Glowing Sea[edit | edit source]

[[File:|right|thumb|300px]] [22]

See also the locations of this region.
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Zone 6: Quincy and Southern Commonwealth[edit | edit source]

[[File:|right|thumb|300px]] [23]

See also the locations of this region.
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Boston (Zones 7–18)[edit | edit source]

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Main article: Boston
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Nuka-World[edit | edit source]

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Main article: Nuka-World
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Environment[edit | edit source]

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Flora[edit | edit source]

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Fauna[edit | edit source]

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Politics and economy[edit | edit source]

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Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The name Commonwealth is essentially a shortened version of the official name of the state of Massachusetts: Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is one of four states that use this term, the other being Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Commonwealth appears in Fallout 4 and is mentioned in Fallout 3, and its add-ons The Pitt, Broken Steel, and Point Lookout.

See also[edit | edit source]

References

  1. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "The Commonwealth lacks any sort of institutional justice system. Criminal wrongdoing is dealt with harshly, and usually ends when the perpetrator or victim lies dead."
  2. The Lone Wanderer: "So tell me about the Commonwealth."
    Zimmer: "The Commonwealth itself is nothing but a war-ravaged quagmire of violence and despair. Inside the sealed environment of the Institute, however... But... the Institute's affairs are none of your concern. Your undeveloped mind couldn't even begin to comprehend what we’ve accomplished."
    (Zimmer's dialogue)
  3. The Lone Wanderer: "What do you know about the Commonwealth?"
    Horace Pinkerton: "Most of it's a blasted nothing, just like here. But there's talk. Rumors, mostly. About a place called the Institute. That's where Zimmer and that android came from. God knows what else they got goin' on in there, but it puts our tech to shame, that's for damn sure."
    (Horace Pinkerton's dialogue)
  4. The Lone Wanderer: "There are rumors... about a secret Commonwealth artificial intelligence project?"
    Zimmer: "Yes well, there are reasons we don't want our technology leaking into the Wasteland. Which is why I've asked you to retrieve it. Which is what you should be doing right now! The longer you wait, the colder the trail becomes."
    (Zimmer's dialogue)
  5. The Lone Wanderer: "Missing property? What kind of property?"
    Zimmer: "Hmmm... how do I put this in a way you'll understand? All you know of robots are those buckets of bolts those Mr. Handshakers and whatnot. Well... that's not ALL a robot can be. You see, in the Commonwealth, we've made artificial persons. Synthetic humanoids! Programmed to think and feel and do whatever we need. And... occasionally they get confused and wander off."
    The Lone Wanderer: "Sounds like slavery to me. You sure they don't "wander off" on purpose?"
    Zimmer: "Nonsense! This is a machine we're talking about. Can you enslave a generator, or a water purifier? Of course not. The same principle applies. But let's get back to your mission. You are to find this missing android. I've tracked him to somewhere here in the Capital Wasteland. He must have done something drastic, like facial surgery and a mind wipe, or else I would have found him by now. It will be no easy task. He may not even realize he's an android. Don't upset him by talking with him. Just come get me immediately. I'll handle it."
    (Zimmer's dialogue)
  6. The Lone Wanderer: "I'm interested in this android from the Commonwealth."
    Tulip: "Ooh. We had to shut down the Railroad. Got too hot. You're endangering people by talking about it. Those Commonwealth hunters are deadly serious."
    (Tulip's dialogue)
  7. The Replicated Man
  8. The Lone Wanderer: "I know you're part of the Railroad. What do you know about the android?"
    Tulip: "They were looking for a tech wizard a while back. Someone who could fiddle with the android's memories. But you better stop poking around. Those Commonwealth hunters are still out there, tracking him down. We shut down the Railroad for safety."
    (Tulip's dialogue)
  9. The Lone Wanderer: "Nice boat. You must have seen a lot of places with it."
    Tobar: "You should have seen her back in her heyday! Why, we traveled up and down the coast, from the Commonwealth to the Broken Banks. Good times, but these days she's not fit to take out to the coast. Too many spouts ready to drown her, and too many critters looking for lunch. But the Point Lookout run is good enough for now. We've got a sweet deal ferrying cargo and the occasional traveler."
    (Tobar's dialogue)
  10. The Lone Wanderer: "Where's Doctor Li?"
    Bigsley: "Tch. She apparently decided to pursue "more interesting projects" up north in the Commonwealth. The real reason is that she couldn't handle us Scribes "improving" upon her work. She's the kind of woman who needs to be in charge of EVERYTHING. Good luck to her out there in the Wasteland; it's a long walk to the Commonwealth. Can't say she'll be missed."
    (Bigsley's dialogue)
  11. The Pitt
  12. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "The Commonwealth is occasionally plagued by radiation storms that blow in from the Glowing Sea, far to the southwest."
  13. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "Originally "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts," the state became known only as the "The Commonwealth" after the Great War of 2077."
  14. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "Many people in the Commonwealth view the Institute as the "boogeyman," living in the shadows, striking out anywhere, at any time."
  15. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "For the people of the Commonwealth, the idea of someone they know being replaced by an Institute synth is a very real threat."
  16. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "According to local history, the Institute formed from the remains of C.I.T., the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. But the college itself has lain in ruins for more than two centuries."
  17. Fallout 4 loading screen tips: "Long ago, when the Institute created their first synths, they attempted to work peacefully with the people of the Commonwealth. Mutual mistrust ended that relationship quickly."
  18. 18.0 18.1 Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.256: "ZONE 1: LEXINGTON AND NORTHWEST COMMONWEALTH
    This section of the Commonwealth is comprised of your old stomping grounds of Sanctuary Hills and has reasonable road access southeast into the townships of Concord and Lexington. There are several settlements to visit and inhabitants to befriend, if you’re planning on building a new cooperative of farms and strongholds. For those without combat readiness, it is advisable to stay within the confines of this zone while you practice, as enemy threats are the lowest. The border of this zone is easy to see; the east and south edges follow the path of the elevated freeway. Or at least, what’s left of it. Both freeways converge at Lexington, your gateway to Boston."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  19. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.274: "ZONE 2: NORTH CENTRAL COMMONWEALTH
    Bordered by the elevated freeway to the east and west and the Mystic River to the south, this part of the Commonwealth consists of the main township of Malden in its center, with various interesting and dangerous smaller locations surrounding it. The farther south you go, the more industrial the landscape becomes. The farther east you go, the more dangerous the inhabitants become. However, you are encouraged to chance a meeting at the more esoteric establishments in this zone, allowing you to befriend both robots and ghouls alike. And even Deathclaws! But not Super Mutants."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  20. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.300: "ZONE 3: WESTERN COMMONWEALTH
    Dominated by Fort Hagen to the west and the Greater Boston Neighborhoods to the east, this zone is mostly wilderness, with its inhabitants getting increasingly tough and unpleasant the farther south you venture. As you reach Fort Hagen relatively early in your Main Quest adventuring, it is worth exploring the locations north and east of the fort, venturing to the more soggy southern Charles River and back into Boston when you’re ready for a breather at Diamond City. Follow the roads and the rail tracks to avoid getting lost. For the settlement wrangler, there’s only two possible alliances to make, and one of those is with some gardening robots."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  21. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.324-325: "ZONE 4: COASTAL COMMONWEALTH
    Those hoping to vacation on the eastern shores of the Commonwealth would do well to pack a copious supply of ammunition and have trained long and hard for this outing, as the threat level of the roaming miscreants in this zone is deemed “most dangerous.” The township of Revere has been razed by Raiders. Nahant offers quiet walks interspersed with carnage, courtesy of ferals. Up north, Salem long continues its reputation for horror. Farther inland, toward East Boston and the airport, the ferociousness of your foes lessens just a little. The Brotherhood of Steel’s imminent arrival at the airport should provide a brief respite should you agree to ally with them. Finally, those brave to dip their toes in the ocean may find one or two surprises under the waves."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  22. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.352-353: "ZONE 5: NATICK AND THE GLOWING SEA
    Complete and utter desolation as far as your blistered, irradiated eyes can see. A perpetual cloud of radiation haze. Fierce and toxic storms. If the Deathclaws and Radscorpions don’t get you, the radiation sickness might. This is the epicenter of a massive (and highly successful) nuclear strike centered on what is known colloquially as the Crater of Atom. While the northern and riverside fringes of this zone are relatively free of radiation, be sure to stock up on chems and wear proper protective attire once you’re south of Natick. Welcome to the Glowing Sea."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  23. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.368-369: "ZONE 6: QUINCY AND SOUTHERN COMMONWEALTH
    Anywhere south of the Greater Boston Neighborhoods that isn't glowing with radiation can be considered the Southern Commonwealth. Head southwest to follow the river to the treacherous marshlands and across to the Glowing Sea. It's a straight shot south to both West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain—two townships with their fair share of secrets. Journey southeast into Quincy, which, like much of this zone, is under Gunner control. Only those impressively grizzled enough to have eked out an existence for months should venture to the most dangerous places of all—the coastal area past Quincy and the strange ruins of Spectacle Island, perhaps the most idyllic place for a settlement...if the locals can be convinced."
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)