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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

Main article: Mirelurks

One of the most common variants of the mirelurk, Scylla serrata horrendus 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 and Appalachia - migrating from Chesapeake Bay[1] - are quadrupedal and rounder.[2]

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][4][5] 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.[6]

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.[7] Other animals tend to avoid mirelurks, perhaps instinctively realizing the danger posed by the shell.[8]

When hunting, mirelurks rely on their extraordinary sense of smell, with their poor eyesight a secondary aid. They catch their prey with their primary large claws. Once immobilized, the prey is then stripped down and consumed with the claws on their abdomen, capable of stripping animals down to the bone within minutes.[8]

Characteristics

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

Mirelurk

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

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

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

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

Swamplurk queen.png

Swamplurk queens 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

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,[9] 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

Notes

  • 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

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

Behind the scenes

  • 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

  • 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

References

  1. Quercus: " Oh, lovely! The classic mirelurk, migrated all the way from the Chesapeake Bay. Your friends have taken up quite a residence here, haven't they?"
  2. Morphological differences between the two crab mirelurks.
  3. 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. Fallout 4 loading screen hints: "Most Mirelurks are heavily armored and resistant to most forms of damage, but their faces are vulnerable."
  5. Tenpenny Tower terminals; Exploration Database, Mirelurks
  6. Softshell mirelurks
  7. Behavior of mirelurks in Fallout 4.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mirelurk Research
  9. The Art of Fallout 3, page 37