Mirelurk (Fallout 3)

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Mirelurk
Mirelurk.png
LocationCapital Wasteland
Point Lookout
VariantsMirelurk
Mirelurk hunter
Mirelurk king
Nukalurk
Swamplurk Point LookoutGametitle-FO3 PL.png
Swamplurk queen Point LookoutGametitle-FO3 PL.png
Catfish mirelurk Cut contentIcon cut.png
 
Gametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 PL.png
Gametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FO3 PL.png

My boys are huntin' 'Lurks. Finest meat you can get, and it don't move around in your stomach like Mole Rat does. Right dangerous, those things. Just as soon take your head off as look at'cha. Watch yourself out here. They're all over.

Sparkle, Fallout 3

Mirelurks are mutated crustaceans living in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. They can be commonly found together with the reptilian mirelurk kings.

Background[edit | edit source]

Main article: Mirelurks

Mirelurks have the dubious distinction of being one of the first radioactive mutants to emerge into the world, as a result of widespread radioactive pollution of the environment by United States megacorporations such as Poseidon Energy or General Atomics. Environmental organizations such as Nahant Oceanological Society, dedicated to saving the oceans, attempted a variety of last ditch efforts to raise awareness of the problem and encourage radical action to curtail environmental destruction at the hands of reckless corporations.[1] However, their efforts were in vain. Ignored by authorities, to the point where they refused to even take their phone calls (as was the case with the Boston Port Authority), they attempted to garner attention by reporting the situation to the Galaxy News Network. The media ignored their reports as well, except for running a story about the upcoming shellfish season and how great it was going to be. Of course, it neglected to mention that the average increase in mass on the order of 14% in crabs and 12% in lobsters meant that the available food supply would run out quickly, leading to colony collapse and localized extinction.[2]

Although the Great War put an end to corporate pollution, it was replaced by overwhelming amounts of nuclear fallout instead. In the ensuing melting pot of mutations the modern mirelurks emerged. Attempts to classify the resulting creatures have proven difficult. The crab mirelurk, for example, contains multiple phylum markers from two distinct and unrelated species: The Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) and the Atlantic blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). As such, it would be necessary to catalogue it simultaneously as belonging to the Crustacea and the Chelicerate phylums, with simultaneous classification a two distinct classes (Merostomata and Malacostrata). As such, wasteland scholars generally assign it its own classification: Scylla serrata horrendus.[3][4]

Although mirelurks tend to inhabit polluted rivers, coastal waters, and sewers, their meat is considered a delicacy among wastelanders. Mirelurk hunters and herders can count on a steady demand for their meat and make a high profit selling it to wasteland traders.[5] However, the size of the meat market means competition is stiff and suppliers can be targeted by rivals attempting to knock them out of the market (sometimes literally).[6]

Mirelurks can also be a blight on permanent settlements, as is the case with Rivet City. Mirelurks nesting below inhabited decks are a continued nuisance for denizens of the city, despite regular extermination operations by the city's security team.[7] Infestations are made even worse by the fact that mirelurks have adapted to lay their eggs in multiple small nests throughout shallow water (unlike pre-War crustaceans that adhered their eggs to their body), likely because they grow larger relative to the parent and have developed a hard calcified shell; if disturbed, the larval mirelurks within exhibit incredible precocious behavior and are ready to attack if need be.[8] One of the most common variants of the mirelurk, the crab is the result of mixing between Chesapeake Bay horseshoe and blue crabs. Regional variations exist: for example, crab mirelurks in the Capital Wasteland tend to be bipedal and slimmer, while those in the Commonwealth are quadrupedal and rounder.[9]

Their most noticeable feature is the large, chitinous shell that provides excellent resistance to firearms, melee weapons, and even ray guns. Soft body parts, such as their faces and sections of their abdomen, are much less resistant.[3][10][11] Of course, that only applies to adult mirelurks. The shell's chitin takes time to harden and young mirelurks are quite vulnerable at that stage of their life.[12]

An interesting feature of crab mirelurks is that they instinctively know how to protect themselves with their shell. When faced with prey that can attack them at range, a crab mirelurk will lower its head to cover its body with the chitinous shell, greatly increasing its ability to survive.[13]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

All mirelurks, except for mirelurk kings, are surrounded by a thick shell which is difficult to penetrate, even with powerful ballistic weapons such as the Gauss rifle. Their only weak spot is the face, but the area is small and difficult to hit. When charging, mirelurks will lower their head to protect this area. However, they will thrust their heads up in a headbutt and exposing their faces. The utilization of V.A.T.S. and an accurate weapon, such as a rifle, can be helpful. Low level players will find mirelurks to be among their deadliest enemies.

Mirelurk meat, especially the soft shell variety, is highly nutritious and grants some of the highest HP replenishment of any food in the game. This is reinforced by Grandma Sparkle, as she will tell the player that mirelurk meat is "the best meat in the wastes". Both are slightly radioactive, but no more than typical food. Chefs throughout the wasteland have developed many culinary uses for mirelurk; the most prominent being the creation of mirelurk cakes. In fact, a recipe for them can be found in a fridge in the Anchorage War Memorial.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Mirelurk[edit | edit source]

Mirelurk.png

The basic type of the mirelurk.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk
0001cf83
LevelIcon level.png
6
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
60
DetectionIcon eye.png
4
Health pointsIcon heart.png
120‡
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (28 DamageIcon damage.png)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

"Swamplurk"
Swamplurk.png

Swamplurks (designated "mirelurk" in-game) are a variation of mirelurk which inhabit the swamps of Point Lookout. They are visually identical to mirelurk hunters except for their size, their green, mossy shells from the swampy environment and the lack of vestigial limbs on their abdomen.

The swamplurk is a name used to refer to mirelurk hunters found in Point Lookout, subordinate to swamplurk queens. Long-term exposure to swamps resulted in a thick coating of algae on their shell, giving them an unique, earthen coloration.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk
xx00b001
LevelIcon level.png
6
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
60
DetectionIcon eye.png
4
Health pointsIcon heart.png
120‡
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (28 DamageIcon damage.png)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

Mirelurk hunter[edit | edit source]

Mirelurk hunter.png

A mature crab mirelurk found in the Capital Wasteland. The hunter has a reddish-brown shell and body, combining the usual mirelurk aggression with increased resilience, strength, and speed.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk Hunter
0001cf84
LevelIcon level.png
9
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
90
DetectionIcon eye.png
6
Health pointsIcon heart.png
250‡
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (50 DamageIcon damage.png)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

Mirelurk king[edit | edit source]

Mirelurk king.png
Main article: Mirelurks
Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk King
0007c6ef
LevelIcon level.png
12
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
120
DetectionIcon eye.png
7
Health pointsIcon heart.png
375†
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Brave: Will avoid/flee from threats only if severely outmatched.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (35 DamageIcon damage.png)
AttackIcon attack.png
10 (sonic attack)‡

† Torso shots only do 2/3 of the normal damage.
‡ Instantly cripples target's head. Cannot be used if their head is crippled.

Nukalurk[edit | edit source]

NukaLurk.png

A mirelurk hunter variation that can be found exclusively in the Nuka-Cola plant. They are oddly colored, having a dark blue exoskeleton stippled with glowing blue features along certain regions of their bodies. This coloration is due to prolonged exposure and/or consumption of the radioactive strontium-90 isotope that was used in the Nuka-Cola Quantum before the Great War. Interestingly, Nukalurks appear in both "regular" and "hunter" versions like their mirelurk cousins, yet there is no difference between the two versions besides their size and appearance.

Their meat is notable for a small boost in AP as well as radiation and health; 4 rads, +10 AP, and +20 HP. However, only ten nukalurks appear in-game, limiting the amount of meat available to no more than ten.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Nukalurk
00037b41
000854d7
LevelIcon level.png
6
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
60
DetectionIcon eye.png
4
Health pointsIcon heart.png
120‡
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (28 DamageIcon damage.png)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

Swamplurk queen[edit | edit source]

Swamplurk queen.png

Swamplurk queens (simply called swamplurk in-gameverification overdue, remove) are a variation of the Capital Wasteland's mirelurk kings that inhabit the swamps of Point Lookout. They look extremely similar to kings, but share the mossy coloration or swamplurks and have shimmery glowing yellow eyes.

Unlike mirelurk kings, the swamplurk queen spits acid from its mouth, similar to a centaur. Although not radioactive, this acid is highly damaging.

Strangely, even with its lack of clothing, the swamplurk queen can be pickpocketed, allowing for the player to reverse pickpocket explosives for an easy kill, if they can get close enough with a sneak. However, this results in a negative karma.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Swamplurk Queen
xx00a56c
LevelIcon level.png
20
Experience pointsIcon XP.png
200
DetectionIcon eye.png
9
Health pointsIcon heart.png
600†
Damage resistanceIcon shield silver.png
0%
FistIcon fist.png
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
ConfidenceIcon confidence.png
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
GroupIcon group.png
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon required.pngIcon required.png
AttackIcon attack.png
Melee (60 DamageIcon damage.png)
AttackIcon attack.png
100 (spit)‡

† Torso shots only do 2/3 of the normal damage.
‡ Cannot be used if their head is crippled.

Catfish mirelurk[edit | edit source]

Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
GiantCatfish.png

A humanoid, mutated catfish known as a "catfish mirelurk" also appears in The Art of Fallout 3,[14] the art book available with the collector's edition of Fallout 3.

Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 3 cut content.

Related quests[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Mirelurks are unable to attack while swimming, rendering them as helpless as other swimming land creatures, despite their aquatic origins. The mirelurk king's sonic attack can injure the player while underwater when shot at from land. This can effectively make the player a sitting duck while in the water, since the player has no means of fighting back.
  • As seen in Vault 92, white noise seems to kill them, a rather easy solution to an otherwise difficult enemy.
  • Although Nukalurks are filled with the isotope for Nuka-Cola Quantum, they can't inflict radiation on the player, despite the fact that the isotope itself is radioactive.
  • The mirelurk king makes a pseudo-return in Fallout: New Vegas, where it looks the same with a different coloration, and are referred to as lakelurks.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Mirelurks appear in Fallout 3 and its add-on, Point Lookout.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • Scylla serrata is the binomial for the common mud crab, not the horseshoe and blue crabs from which mirelurks mutated.
  • A mire is a tract or area of wet, swampy ground, bog or marsh, so the mirelurks' name is fitting, as they tend to lurk in mires.
  • The mirelurk kings and lakelurks are similar in appearance to the creature from Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Early in the development of Fallout 3, when undetected, mirelurks would crouch down and fold their limbs under their shell to avoid view, making predators merely view them as a rock. When anything came closer, they would slowly stand up.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Mirelurks killed in water will often flip over on their fronts and twitch. This is purely a graphical glitch related to their wireframe. Sometimes they will twitch so much they fall right through the floor, or become trapped in walls and doors while constantly playing a collision noise that can alert other enemies.
  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Sometimes when mirelurks are killed on land, body parts will sink into the textures on the floor, as much as half their body, and the remaining parts will flail and bounce.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If you have a follower in the water as a mirelurk swims by he/she will get stuck on the mirelurk.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Nahant Oceanological Society terminals: Research Terminal, Goals: "Here at the Nahant Oceanological Society we strive to save our oceans by researching the longterm effects of radioactive exposure on aquatic life and working with the community to raise public awareness. We believe that companies such as Poseiden and General Atomics have gone unchecked too long and that radical action is neccessary to protect our world from a horrific future."
  2. Nahant Oceanological Society terminals: Research Terminal, Lobster growth: "This is insane. An increase in average mass by 14% in crabs and 12% in lobsters is not something to be celebrated! If this trend continues, the additional food necessary to sustain the shellfish population could lead to colony collapse! I've tried again to bring our findings about the growth and mutations to the press and those assholes at GNN just took our findings and spun them into a story about how great shellfish season is going to be."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Enclave Field Research Terminal, Field Entry: "Mirelurk": "Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Arthropoda
    Subphylum: Crustacea/Chelicerata???
    Class: Merostomata / Malacostraca / ???
    Order: ???
    Family: ???
    Genus: ???
    After going to enormous lengths to procure DNA samples of hypothesized forebears, we cannot explain why ancestry evidence is present from two vastly different creatures; the Limulus polyphemus (horseshoe crab) and the Callinectes sapidus (blue crab). It's obvious that a mutation occurred, giving this creature bipedal movement and massive growth, but I cannot explain the presence of multiple subphylum markers in DNA/RNA. Given their mystifying origins, I have decided the species deserves its own classification, and have thus dubbed them "Scylla Serrata Horrendus." They can often be found in sewers and caves and should be considered hostile and very dangerous, as their chitnous shell provides excellent resistance to both firearms and hand-held weapons. They are disgusting creatures, and I cannot fathom their popularity as a food source among the citizens of the Wasteland."
  4. The Lone Wanderer: "They descended from local crabs. I'd call them "Scylla Serrata Horrendus.""
    Moira Brown: "That's very scientific of you! Personally, I wasn't sure if they were crabs or if they came from some sort of brine shrimp, perhaps. Some of these observations about their armor and camouflage gave me an idea for reinforced, neutral-colored headgear. Here, consider it thanks for not interfering with them. Oh, speaking of which, take these. So you can continue to avoid them in the future."
    (Moira Brown's dialogue)
  5. Note for Ted: "Ted,
    The Mirelurks busted out of the storage area and have been raisin' hell through the whole facility. Price says the bastards get smarter every day. He says I'm paranoid, but I think somebody might be sabotaging things around here. We've taken on so much extra help, I don't know who I can trust around here anymore. Things don't look too good.
    I don't think I'll be walking out of here, and I figure you should be the one to get our stash. I managed to get it hidden pretty well in case something like this happened.
    I don't want any of these damn fools tripping over it, so I threw a couple of curves in, but it's nothing you can't handle. Start with my terminal -- just log in and follow the instructions. And if for some reason you've forgotten the password, you might want to sit down and have a think with a Nuka-Cola, if you catch my drift.
    If this damn meat weren't in such high demand, I'd have pulled out of this racket before the word go. I got too greedy, Ted."
  6. Merc's orders: "By now, your handler's given you the location of the job and your basic orders. Here are the details.
    Traders have been making a killing with Mirelurk meat, and we've been losing business because of it. One of our people got involved with a caravan supplier, and we finally know where it's all been coming from.
    The meat's mostly coming from one group holed up along the river smack in the middle of the ruins. There's a huge old facility under some war memorial where they've herded up a nest of Mirelurks and have been breeding and butchering them. They've been in business for months and are sure to be sitting on a pile of caps. Take what you can carry -- we just want them out of the meat market. The rest is up to you.
    This isn't the biggest job, but pull it off clean and there's plenty more work for a man with your skills. Get back to your handler as soon as the job is done and we'll be in touch."
  7. Rivet City terminals. Council Meeting Minutes: "In attendance:
    Science Rep. - Dr. Madison Li
    Civilian Rep. - Bannon
    Security Rep. - Harkness
    * Bridge repair continues to be a drain on funds. Permanent bridge considered, but dismissed as too risky, in case of attack.
    * "Bridge Tax" for non-residents proposed by Bannon. Vote fails.
    * Hydroponics and city health continues well, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Li and her scientific team. However, system breakdowns are commonplace, requiring much maintenance.
    * Li proposed recruiting other scientific minds from Tenpenny Tower or Underworld. Vote fails.
    * Attempts to clear out the Mirelurk infestation in down-below continue as usual. Harkness and team is able to contain them and occasionally wipe them out, but they continue to nest in the area, posing a theoretical risk if they ever turn aggressive towards higher decks.
    * Bannon suggests closing off lower deck fore. Vote fails.
    * Funds and ammunition allocation for a Mirelurk cleaning operation proposed by Harkness. Vote passes.
    * Dr. Li leaves early to oversee hydroponics testing.
    * Meeting adjourned."
  8. Behavior in Fallout 4.
  9. Morphological differences between the two crab mirelurks.
  10. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Most Mirelurks are heavily armored and resistant to most forms of damage, but their faces are vulnerable."
  11. Tenpenny Tower terminals; Exploration Database, Mirelurks
  12. Softshell mirelurks
  13. Behavior of mirelurks in Fallout 4.
  14. The Art of Fallout 3, page 37