Rotting feral ghoul (Fallout 76)
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. The factors that may cause a ghoul to enter this state are unclear, but anti-social or isolated ghouls are more susceptible to it. 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.
These long gone, decaying sacks of flesh run the gamut, from being little more than a nuisance to a hardy and stalwart opponent. Once disturbed, they growl and scream to alert other ghouls in the vicinity, causing them to attack in packs, viciously rushing and pursuing whomever or whatever disturbs them.
The most important feature is that feral ghouls will reflexively duck and dodge incoming fire while closing distance, making automatic weapons or explosives a preferred method of dealing with them. Furthermore, ferals will not be stopped if they lose a limb or two. If they lose their arms, they just keep on coming to slam their bodies into and bash their skulls against the attacker. The only way to kill them is to deplete their hit points, but they can be neutralized by blowing off both their legs. Well-placed explosives and especially mines are very good at quickly shaving off surplus limbs.
Feral ghouls have the ability to climb low fences and drop down from height if it means they can get to their prey.
Of note is the fact that most lower-level ghouls (everything below withered) have been equipped with a new spawning system that gives them varying appearance (different clothes and headgear) to match the variety of environments they're encountered in.
- Bottle caps
- Assortment of various junk
- High level ghouls
- Various amounts of high-end ammunition on top the above.
- 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."
- Tenpenny Tower terminals; Exploration Database, Feral Ghouls
- Underworld terminals; Research Terminal, Study Of Ferocious Post-Necrotic Dystrophy
- 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."
- Little Yangtze terminals; Little Yangtze Log Terminal, Elijah's Journal - Day 2