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Feral ghoul

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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
FalloutMindless ghoul
Glowing one
Mad glowing one
Fallout 2Ghoul crazies
Glowing one
Reactor glowing one
Fallout 3Feral ghoul
Feral ghoul reaver
Feral ghoul roamer
Glowing one
Swamp ghoul
FO: New VegasFeral ghoul
Feral ghoul jumpsuit Cut contentIcon cut.png
Feral ghoul reaver
Feral ghoul roamer
Feral trooper ghoul
Glowing one
Glowing trooper ghoul
Glowing ghoul jumpsuit Cut contentIcon cut.png
Overseer
Vault dweller
Vault security guard
Vault security officer
Vault technician
Fallout 4Bloated glowing one
Charred feral ghoul
Feral ghoul
Feral ghoul reaver
Feral ghoul roamer
Feral ghoul stalker
Gangrenous feral ghoul
Glowing one
Putrid glowing one
Rotting feral ghoul
Withered feral ghoul
Fallout 4: FHFog ghoul
Fallout 76Feral ghoul officer
Fallout ShelterFeral ghoul
Fallout: BoSGlowing one
Van BurenEndless walker
 ... 
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Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-fo4fh.pngGame tile Fallouit Shelter.pngGametitle-FOT.pngGametitle-FOBOS.pngGametitle-VB.png

Feral ghouls (also known as mindless ghoul,[1] ghoul crazies,[2] feral necrotic post-humans,[3] zombies or simply ferals) are ghouls that have lost their ability to reason and have become aggressive. This has caused much discrimination toward other ghouls which have retained their mental faculties by human wastelanders.

Background[edit | edit source]

Biology[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ghoul biology

The degeneration into a feral state (referred to as ferocious post-necrotic dystrophy) is not fully understood. It is known that it is a result of a degeneration of the brain (which is not affected by the regenerative mutation of the spinal cord) and emerges following the atrophy of higher brain functions, accompanied by an increased level of aggression and appetite. When the loss of capacity for thought is complete, a ghoul is considered feral.[4][5] The factors that may cause a ghoul to enter this state are unclear, but anti-social or isolated ghouls are more susceptible to it.[6] Exposure to intense radiation may also be a factor – feral ghouls have no body heat and emit lethal levels of radiation, indicating that feral ghouls are for all intents and purposes dead, their functions sustained only by their high irradiation. This allows them to survive for centuries, relying only on the energy provided by radiation – at the expense of a horrifying, emaciated appearance. Understandably, the process is irreversible.[7][8]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Feral ghouls have lost all capacity to reason and are essentially wild animals. They are driven purely by what remains of their survival instincts, clustering in groups and attacking whatever disturbs them with relentless fury. When provoked, they all rush the source of the disturbance - usually a living creature from the wasteland - and try to attack using their limbs. The degeneration of the central nervous system means they cannot use tools (unless recently ghoulified)[9] though it also means they will attack with full force, without the natural human limiters on muscle use. Interestingly, ghouls will call out to other ferals with a screech, typically causing the entire pack to swarm the target. Interestingly, while they are clinically dead, they might consume flesh reflexively.[10]

Ghoul mask[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ghoul mask

Roy Phillips is known to have fashioned a mask from scraps of feral ghoul skin that allows a human to pass through feral ghoul flocks as if the wearer was one of them. The exact mechanism behind this is unknown.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Feral ghoul[edit | edit source]

Feral ghoul.png

Feral ghouls (also known as mindless ghouls or ghoul crazies) are the basic feral ghoul variant, wearing only a pair of tattered clothes and noticeably weaker than standard human opponents, they are easily dispatched with one or two headshots from any decent weapon or a solid hit from a decent melee or unarmed weapon. Despite their shrill noise and remarkable speed, they are only truly a threat when they have the advantage of numbers, or when the player character is at a low level. Some feral ghouls come in different colors as well as different types. The colors are different depending on how the human looked before turning into a feral ghoul.

Feral ghoul roamer[edit | edit source]

Ghoul Roamer.png

Some feral ghoul roamers in the Capital Wasteland wear what appears to be the remains of old combat armor, and are somewhat tougher than standard feral ghouls, requiring more damage to be dealt to put them down. It is possible that roamers are ghoulified U.S. soldiers since tattered remains of combat armor are strapped to their bodies. However, in the Mojave Wasteland, ghoul roamers appear no different than the standard feral ghoul. They are not very common but can be found in groups of 2-5 in places containing lots of ghouls (Museum Of History etc.)

Glowing one[edit | edit source]

Glowing one.png

Glowing ones or luminous necrotic post-humans[3] are ghouls who absorbed so much radiation that they glow in the dark, being living conduits of radiation. In daylight they simply appear to be incredibly pale feral ghouls, but in darkness they glow with a vivid yellow-green hue, their opaque skeletons clearly visible as in an X-ray. Approaching a fallen glowing one can cause minor exposure to radiation, so they can still be dangerous to normal humans even after their death.

They are often considered outsiders even by other (non-feral) ghouls, they are also one of the rarest of the feral ghouls. While there are many glowing ones that kept their normal human intellectual abilities in New California, it seems that nearly all of them in the Capital Wasteland and the Mojave Wasteland have become feral.

The Capital Wasteland and some Mojave Wasteland glowing ones can also emit an incandescent wave of radiation at will from their bodies, which they use to heal themselves and any surrounding ghouls while damaging their enemies. Even though being considered outcasts, other feral ghouls seem to follow them, as they are attracted to the lethal doses of radiation the glowing ones emit from their bodies.

All glowing ones in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are feral with the exception of Jason Bright.

FOBoSLogo.pngThe following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

In Los, the glowing ghouls are among the members of the Church of the Lost, a ghoul cult dedicated to protection of the Secret Vault. Interestingly, they are less affected by radiation than their comrades from the Capital Wasteland and the West Coast's Core Region.

FOBoSLogo.pngEnd of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

Feral ghoul reaver[edit | edit source]

Feral ghoul reaver.png

Feral ghoul reavers appear are much more combat-worthy than other ghouls and wear what appears to be the remnant of metal armor. They also have the ability to rip radioactive gore off themselves and hurl it like a grenade. Aside from the damage they can inflict, they also have great endurance and boast one of the highest HPs in the game, being able to survive even attacks from the Fat Man. Their lunge attacks (much like a deathclaws') can send the player a good distance back, and can even have a high level player crippled and dead in a short amount of time.

Fog ghouls[edit | edit source]

Gameplay article:

Largely the same as other feral ghouls, fog ghouls are feral ghouls that have been changed by the fog of Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, in addition to the effects of standard radiation.

Swamp ghoul[edit | edit source]

Swamp ghoul.png
Gameplay article:

Swamp ghouls are feral ghouls which exclusively inhabit the swamps of Point Lookout. Swamp ghouls wear a tattered pair of shorts commonly worn by tribals, hinting that they were once tribals who didn't eat their punga fruit. They are found in massive numbers in and around Turtledove Detention Camp. They still exhibit the same characteristics of the feral ghoul, but are more grey in their skins general appearance and are also considerably weaker, but also tend to be in greater numbers.

Endless walkers[edit | edit source]

Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
VB DD14 creat Endless Walker.jpg
Gameplay article:

The Endless Walk is the punishment in which a ghoul from the Reservation is stripped of every worldly possession, including clothing, and sent marching into the wasteland. No ghoul has ever come back from the Endless Walk (note that after being exiled from the Reservation, Otto Stead was saved by Governor Dodge at Hoover Dam). Another source of Endless Walkers in the Boulder area is the Crater, the remains of what was once NORAD.

Not all endless walkers end up scorpion food, at least not at first. On those rare occasions when one survives more than one year in the wasteland, they turn into wandering, voracious creatures on an endless quest for flesh. Due to their prolonged, open exposure to the desert sun, high radiation, and other hardships of the wasteland, these unfortunate ghouls, who were banished naked from the Reservation, look like walking, sun bleached chunks of beef jerky. Their constant exposure to the hot sun and high levels of radiation has caused their skin to toughen into natural, hardened leather, but at the same time, their ability to reason has been completely lost.

Gametitle-VB.pngEnd of information based on Van Buren.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Feral ghouls appear in Fallout (in random encounters, as "mindless ghouls"), Fallout 2 (as "ghoul crazies"), Fallout 3 (where they are actually named "feral ghouls" for the first time), Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and were due to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios (as "endless walker").

Gallery[edit | edit source]

==References==

  1. Fallout character name: "{30500}{}{Mindless Ghoul}"
    (PRO CRIT.MSG (Fallout))
  2. Fallout 2 character name: "{22600}{}{Crazies}"
    "{22800}{}{Glow Crazies}"
    (PRO CRIT.MSG (Fallout 2))
  3. 3.0 3.1 Underworld terminals; Research Terminal
  4. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "While they can easily be mistaken for zombies, Feral Ghouls are actually horribly irradiated humans whose brains have rotted away, causing madness."
  5. Tenpenny Tower terminals; Exploration Database, Feral Ghouls
  6. Underworld terminals; Research Terminal, Study Of Ferocious Post-Necrotic Dystrophy
  7. The Lone Wanderer: "I need more details... What's the breach all about?"
    M.A.R.Go.T.: "Internal visual sensing equipment is detecting numerous unidentified persons in the southeast tunnels area. The individuals have damaged metro equipment and refused dialogue with our security units. In accordance with U.S. Security Statute A567/B, the use of deadly force has been authorized."
    The Lone Wanderer: "Can you tell me more about these unidentified persons?"
    M.A.R.Go.T.: "My apologies. My sensing equipment in that area must be damaged. My equipment indicates the persons possess no internal body heat and are emitting lethal levels of radiation."
    (M.A.R.Go.T.'s dialogue)
  8. Little Yangtze terminals; Little Yangtze Log Terminal, Elijah's Journal - Day 2
  9. Camp Searchlight ghouls
  10. Feral ghoul behavior in the games.

References