Cryptids

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This is a lore summary, presenting intradiegetic or in-universe information about the subject. For game characteristics and similar data, consult the table on the right.
Game-specific articles
FalloutBone Aliens
Fallout 2Ghosts
Fallout 3Zetan
Fallout 3: MZZetan
FO: New VegasZetan
Fallout 76Flatwoods Monster
Grafton Monster
Mothman
Sheepsquatch
Snallygaster
Wendigo
 
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Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 MZ.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-F76.png

Cryptids (from the Greek κρύπτω, krypto, meaning "hide" or "hidden") are a subset of animals and other creatures that are mentioned in local folklore and, but whose actual existence is thoroughly questionable. This does not apply to anything that is widely acknowledged as existing. For example, the Deathclaw was presumed to be a rumor or hoax in New California around 2161[1], but other regions of post-war America would have many confirmed sightings beforehand.

Background[edit | edit source]

Cryptids were largely assumed to be superstition by the majority of the populace, with cryptozoologists, like Shelby O'Rourke, being taken as seriously as a child in a lab coat. But many cryptids actually existed before the Great War, and both the United States Armed Forces[2] and United States Intelligence (like the Sugar Grove Sigint)[3] kept records on any cryptid encounters up until the Great War. While considered to be hoaxes and superstition, Cryptids still played a large part of culture before the war as well, with notable examples of this cryptid craze coming from Point Pleasant erecting a Mothman statue, Vault-Tec University's football team called the Fighting Wendigos,[4] and Tales from the West Virginia Hills focusing on a different cryptid for each of its stories.

After the Great War, cryptids began to appear far more often than they ever had before. This was noted by Shelby O'Rourke from her shack in The Mire where she theorized that the near extinction of the human race made room for cryptids to come out of hiding.[5]

Known Cryptids[edit | edit source]

Aliens[edit | edit source]

FlyingSaucer.png
Main article: Aliens

Multiple species of aliens appear throughout the Fallout series. The most notable of them are the Zetans from Fallout 3 that have appeared in each subsiquent game.

Flatwoods Monster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Flatwoods monsters

In pre-war West Virginia, near the town of Flatwoods, many claimed to see a dark, mysterious figure with glowing eyes. Was this Flatwoods Monster some kind of demon? Or something far worse?[6]

Ghost[edit | edit source]

Main article: Anna Winslow
FO2 Den Anna.png

The spirits of the dead that have been trapped in our earthly plane that had unfinished business or failed to attain something valuable to them. Not much is known about the function of ghosts, but the only example is of Anna Winslow whose spirit became trapped in the Den after dying; her only wish is to retrieve her stolen locket. After attaining the item they need most, the ghosts disappear with the item; leaving only a pile of bones.

Grafton Monster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Grafton monsters

The Grafton monster, once a cryptid associated with West Virginia was made flesh by West Tek's experiments at their Huntersville facility. Using the FEVS-006458 strain on October 23, 2077, scientists created a stable - if horrifying mutation. Based off the snallygaster strain, researchers tweaked the genome, producing a giant that shattered the containment unit, but was otherwise stable (excepting the absence of a discernible head). The mutant was sedated and transported off-site, with the Great War sidetracking the convoy and allowing the monster to escape into the wild.[7]

The resulting monster is headless, hairless and has a greyish colour skin with a leathery skin texture. It stands around 2.3 meters tall and has an oversized chest. The mutations that turned it into a powerhouse have also turned its skin and led to the development of glands that can eject globs of corrosive, oily substance in a wide area around it.[8]

Mothman[edit | edit source]

Main article: Mothmen

According to local folklore - as well as a statue and museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia - the Mothman is a terrifying half-man, half-moth hybrid. Pray you never encounter it and learn the truth.[9] The Mothman was dismissed as a conspiracy theory at best and complete insanity at worst. People who devoted their careers to pursuing it and fining out the truth, like Angus Dykstra in Appalachia, were routinely denied admission or a platform. Of course, the devoted, especially the Point Pleasant cult believing it could commune with the Mothman,[10] took it for state persecution and attempts to suppress the truth.[11]

The cult continued to believe in the mothman, their faith strengthened by the perceived persecution. As the nuclear holocaust loomed on the horizon, the cult attempted to summon the creature to benefit from its cosmic wisdom and earn protection from the nuclear fire soon to rain from the skies.[12] The summoning was complete on October 22, 2077, and visible to just one of their number, brother Charles, who immediately shared the wisdom he received, speaking of floods to come on the following day. The faithful took it as a signal to gather on the rooftops to avoid the destruction and give praise to the Mothman.[13]

The flood came, though not in the way the faithful expected it. Remnants of their cult activities would litter Appalachia for decades to come. As for the mothmen? These giant mutated moths would continue to remain in the region for years to come.

Sheepsquatch[edit | edit source]

Main article: Sheepsquatches

A mythical creature stalking Appalachian hills and mountains, the sheepsquatch was allegedly a bipedal, highly aggressive ram interested in sheep (mileage may vary depending on the cryptid hunter). Whether existing or not, the sheepsquatch myth was an obsession for a cryptid hunter named Calvin Van Lowe, who devoted his life to hunting it down. Eventually, after seeking treatment for his condition, this highly intelligent Appalachian found employment within the black projects division of Bysshe Energy, focusing on the creation of a deniable asset: A custom Assaultron outfitted with weapons, armor, and even fur to resemble the mythical sheepsquatch. Utilizing some of the finest technology available on the market, the sheepsquatch project developed rapidly... Until Van Lowe made the mistake of mispronouncing a command, leading to the custom sheepsquatch software overwriting the Assaultron's regular programming and unleashing the monstrosity on Appalachia, as Bysshe's fixer, Mr Wolf, scrambled to clean up the situation.[14] Unfortunately, the sheepsquatch was a very real thing, even before the Great War, how it came to be is unknown, though a sheepsquatch was responsible for the deaths of two teenagers near Toxic Larry's Meat 'n Go before presumably being hunted down by Toxic Larry himself.[15][16]

Snallygaster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Snallygasters

Experiments with recombinant strains of FEV at the West Tek Research Center in Appalachia produced numerous failed mutations, with two exceptions. The first of these was FEVS-006443 from October 14, 2077, a Phase 2 combination strain that combined traits that resembled a number of different species. The results were considered disturbing by the scientists, but provided valuable insights as to the capability of recombinant FEV. Notable changes included a number of ocular organs along the enlarged upper torso, a second set of arms ending in clawed digits, and a large sickle-shaped claw on each inner toe. The living, stable, and functioning subject was sustaining itself normally (a major accomplishment for the program) and was planned for release in Huntersville after the subsequent experiment matured.[17] The mutant was never returned to the area until January 3, 2078, when it escaped containment and the facility. The mutant procreated, leading to the emergence of snallygaster mutants across Appalachia.[18] The horrifying result of experiments with the experimental Forced Evolutionary Virus, has six legs, numerous eyes along its back, and an extended tongue covered in acidic goo that can rapidly take down any survivors.[19]

Wendigo[edit | edit source]

Main article: Wendigos

Wendigo is a mythical cannibal monster native to the northern forests between the Atlantic Coast and the Great Lakes region of North America. In post-apocalyptic West Virginia, the term is used to refer to a particularly terrifying humanoid monster lurking in the backwoods of the region. Few creatures, real or imagined, terrify West Virginians quite like the Wendigo. Possessing alarming speed, razor-sharp claws and an insatiable hunger for raw flesh, it is truly the stuff of nightmares.[20]

Unfortunately, this monster is far from myth. Wendigos are slender, tall creatures while they are usually slouching down or crouching. Their hands are exceptionally large with very long, skinny fingers and they are among the most vicious mutants in Appalachia, capable of closing distance and tearing enemies apart with frightening speed. Despite alleged pre-War sightings,[21] it appears the population of wendigos in the region is descended from the banished heads of the Gourmans, a cannibal raider tribe, that took shelter in the Wendigo Cave and was... Twisted by the radiation within into a mutant possessed by the darkest cravings.[22]

References

  1. 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)
  2. Citadel terminals; Pentagon Library Terminal, Report on U.F.O. codenamed "Palandine"
  3. Cryptid Sightings: Grafton Monster 9/27, Snallygaster 10/4, and Wendigo 10/25
  4. Fallout 76 loading screen hints: In 2031, Vault-Tec re-branded Morgantown's local college as Vault-Tec University, and some of their top executives and scientists either taught or graduated from there. Go Fighting Wendigos!
  5. Hunter's Shack terminals; , Entry 8: Motion Detected!
  6. Fallout 76 loading screen hints
  7. West Tek Research Center terminals: "Report: Test Subject AM53"
  8. Grafton Monster characteristics.
  9. Fallout 76 loading screen hints: "According to local folklore - as well as a statue and museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia - the Mothman is a terrifying half-man, half-moth hybrid. Pray you never encounter it and learn the truth."
  10. Event: Path to Enlightenment
  11. KMAX Transmission terminals
  12. Sermon: Summoning the Mothman
  13. Sermon: Impending Doom
  14. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminals
  15. New Meat
  16. Date night
  17. West Tek Research Center terminals: "Report: Test Subject AM52"
  18. West Tek Research Center terminals: "SPECIAL REPORT: CONTAINMENT BREACH"
  19. Fallout 76 loading screen hints
  20. Fallout 76 loading screen hints
  21. Cryptid Sighting: Wendigo 10/25
  22. Key to the Past has the player hunt down a wendigo stated to be the progenitor wendigo, indicating the source of the mutants.