Deathclaw (Van Buren)

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For an overview of deathclaw variants in the Fallout series of games, see deathclaw.
Deathclaw
VB deathclaw.jpg
LocationAmerican southwest
 
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Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Deathclaws are creatures found in the American Southwest.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Main article: Deathclaw biology

Deathclaws have a hunchbacked, humanoid build and stand roughly nine to ten feet tall, with a thick and resilient hide, powerful muscles, and twelve-inch-long, razor-sharp claws that can kill most any other creature in only a few swipes; hence their name. They have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, though their eyesight is poor. Their build gives them incredible speed, resilience and Strength in close combat, making them an extreme threat at all times. Though they were originally mutated chameleons, they have lost the ability to camouflage themselves.

Deathclaws are very aggressive, territorial, and carnivorous. They typically live in small packs of around eight to twenty members led by an alpha male, who is the only one allowed to mate with the females. Deathclaws are oviparous, with the eggs typically laid in dark, sheltered locations and fiercely guarded by their mother. Young deathclaws reach maturity under the care of their parents, following them closely until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Locations[edit | edit source]

Although confirmed as present in the game, none of the design documents mention them as appearing.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws were to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The following section is transcluded from deathclaw. To modify, please edit the source page.

Was it always a big scaly lizard thing? Nope. My initial design for this terrible creature was a the apex predator of the wasteland, a mix of wolverine and brown bear, mutated by the FEV. It could survive any environment and feared nothing; a legendary force of nature that struck terror into the hearts of men! Unfortunately, the artists took one look at my concept sketch and said, 'Dude, that's way too much hair.' It was true. The Wolverine-bear was very furry, and there was just no way around it.

So here's what happened: the newly formed Black Isle started work on what would be Planescape: Torment. One of the first art pieces was a monstrous creature called a Terrasque. It was sculpted in clay and was then point-by-painstaking-point digitized into a 3D model. As Planescape moved forward, it turned out that the Terrasque wouldn't actually be featured in its design, leaving that tasty model in disuse. Thus, the furry wolverine-bear became a hairless reptilian biped. (Take a look at page 339 of the D&D second edition Monster Manual. Holy cats! It's a Deathclaw!)

Scott Campbell, Origins of Fallout No Mutants Allowed
  • The deathclaw name is derived from Shadowclaws in Wasteland.
  • In Scott Campbell's original concept art, deathclaws were mammals covered with fur and were meant to be a mix of wolverine and brown bear, created by FEV.[1] The reason it lost the hair from concept to production was a technical limitation of the rendering software, which couldn't get all the hair to move properly. The hairy deathclaw in Fallout Tactics was inspired by the original concept.[1][2]
  • According to the Fallout Bible[3] and Scott Campbell,[1] deathclaws were modelled visually on the Tarrasque of Dungeons & Dragons after a D&D computer game made by Interplay was cancelled (according to Fallout Bible) or after the creature was cut from Planescape: Torment (according to Scott Campbell), as a Tarrasque clay model was already made and this way the work would not go to waste. However, according to Chris Taylor, while they do look Tarrasque-like, it was not intentional and the clay model was supposed to be a deathclaw from the start.[2]

I met my first Deathclaw in middle school, playing Fallout on a friend's machine, and I fell instantly in love with these "Dragons of the Waste." It was an honor to tackle them for Fallout 3 - sourcing from both the originals and the concept art of Adam Adamowicz - but I'm proudest of my Fallout 4 redesign.

To improve upon their F3 counterparts, I gave the newer ones thicker, more armored skin; shorter, strong-looking claws and hands; a bull-like redesign to the horns (to suggest the ability to ram); and a thicker tail - heavy enough to act as a counter-weight when it ran. It's important to note, too, that the Deathclaw is not a mutant, but a hybrid bioweapon created by the US military. To that end, I incorporated chameleons, alligators, bulls, panthers, serpents & lizards into their design.

I love him.

Jonah Lobe

References[edit | edit source]