|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.|
Not quite. If you fit it just right, their body never gets used to the feeling of wearing it. It cuts in just enough when they swallow or turn their head to remind them who they belong to. And it's that constant reminder that keeps them docile.”— Silus, Fallout: New Vegas
The total pacification collar (commonly referred to as a slave collar) is a pre-War prisoner control device developed at Big MT Research and Development Center, and adapted by slavers after the War for the purpose of capturing and forcing slaves into submission.
Slave collars have a simple, but deadly design. Encased in five pounds of durable steel is a small explosive charge, a microphone/speaker and a radio wave receiver and transmitter. When remotely triggered, the receiver signals the detonation of the charge, obliterating everything above the neck of the wearer without damaging the surrounding area. The collar's transmitter constantly broadcasts its position and environmental input to the controller, meaning wearers can be constantly monitored and eavesdropped upon. In addition, the collars are designed to detonate if they are removed without a disarming signal; it takes quite the expert in explosive circuits to get one off without such a signal. The collars can even be adjusted to detonate if the outgoing signal of another nearby collar goes silent. However, their simple design can be their downfall: the collars do not have selective radio wave jammers, meaning that rogue background electromagnetic waves can interfere with the receiver and set off the collar.
After the war, they have found widespread use among the survivors, usually slavers. However, some also use it for simply ensuring cooperation, such as the Brotherhood of Steel and Father Elijah, without the risk of hostilities.
The standard run-of-the-mill slave collar used to subjugate slaves to the will of their master.
Explosive collars are used by the Mojave Brotherhood of Steel to make sure detained prisoners comply.
A slave collar that has already been detonated.
Dead Money collar
Deactivated bomb collar
A slave collar that Elijah tinkered with in order to understand its internal workings. This allowed him to alter other bomb collars, namely the Dead Money collar above.
A slave collar modified to administer electrical shocks to their wearers if they don't comply with the Nuka-World Raider gang's orders.
Behind the scenes
- Exploding collars are frequently used as plot devices in fiction entertainment. The earliest known use of an exploding collar was in the Starchild Trilogy, a trio of novels published between 1964 and 1969.
- Little Yangtze terminals; Little Yangtze Log Terminal, Log Entry 03
- The Courier: "Where did you get the collars?"
Elijah: "The collars. They're Pre-War tech, I suspect this great land had... compliance issues before the war. It's one of a series of models. The one on your neck? Special, easier to make adjustments. Unreliable in other ways, notably radio interference."
The Courier: "If they're Pre-War tech, where did you get them?"
Elijah: "A place far from here, called the Big Empty. Almost didn't make it out. Were two others there... a woman. And a man, a courier. The woman was familiar... the other... I don't know what happened to him."
- The Lone Wanderer: "How does the collar work?"
Grouse Jurley: "It's got a radio signal we monitor here at Paradise Falls. If a slave's going the wrong direction, we push a button, and boom. His head pops. Once you get a collar on, you can't take it off in the field. They're wired to blow if anyone tinkers with it. So don't."
(Grouse Jurley's dialogue)
- The Courier: "I convinced him that staying here was more dangerous than moving on."
Nolan McNamara: "Yes, you exploited his fear of Powder Gangers very effectively. The collar includes a microphone, you see. Part of the test. He'll keep his distance, setting ambushes, never suspecting that these bunkers house something far more dangerous to him than criminals. Well-played."
(Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
- Elijah: "Are you listening? Good. From now on, when I talk, listen - and follow my instructions. Play stupid, play clever, make the mistake of saying "no?" That collar on your neck'll go off and take your head with it."
The Courier: "Collar? What are you talking about?"
Elijah: "It's like that Pip-Boy on your wrist, except filled with explosives. A little radio of the Old World, just needed some tuning. Do what I say, and the collar won't go off... refuse, try and run, disobey me? I'll kill you and find someone else. There's no escape from here until I let you go. The sooner you accept your situation, the better."
The Courier: "As long as you can find me, you mean."
Elijah: "[FAILED] As long as you're wearing that collar, you're not far from me. A press of a button, and I'll find you - I'll just listen for the explosion."
- The Courier: "RF detonator? Give me a second.<Deactivate the charge and remove his collar>"
Kenny Weathers: "[SUCCEEDED] Hey, you did it! Nice work!"
(Kenny Weathers' dialogue)
- Elijah: "If only the others would've obeyed orders half as well as this one... should have thought of linking the collars together the first few times."
- The Courier: "Radios and speakers?"
Elijah: "Yes, music was intended to be broadcast all over the Villa... over time, however, the radio signal has decayed and emits a different frequency. Speakers and radios interfere with the bomb collar frequency, and can trigger the detonators... prematurely. It is an unfortunate side effect, one I did not anticipate. I was unable to calibrate the collars to block the signals - so you'll have to make do."
The Courier: "Radios and speakers can set off my collar?"
Elijah: "Yes. But not immediately. You'll hear a beep from your collar's detonator - when you do, step back, scan the area, and find the signal source. There are damaged speakers, and shielded ones... the damaged ones you can destroy at range - don't get close, you can't switch them off like a radio. The damaged speakers are sparking, ha... hard to miss. The casings are resistant to vandalism - punching or hitting them will not destroy them."
- Slave collar instructions
- The Courier: "I can take care of the Ranger."
Nolan McNamara: "Very well. I'll be interested to see how thoroughly and efficiently you carry out your mission. Paladin Ramos will escort you back to the bunker's entrance and set you loose. Notice that I said "loose," not "free." You are not free to carry the secret of this bunker's location beyond Hidden Valley - until I'm convinced that you're capable and dependable. To underscore this point, you'll be fitted with an explosive collar. Wander off, and it will detonate. Focus on your mission, and you'll be fine."
(Nolan McNamara's dialogue)
- The Courier: "I've never heard of the place you're talking about."
Elijah: "Big Empty's a treasure box, a scientific graveyard of Old World misery. Like the Sierra Madre... there's treasures there, sleeping. Some, awake. The Holorifle, the Saturnite alloy... the hologram technology, hibernation chambers, Securitrons, the collars... ...even the suits attached to those things stalking the Villa... that's only the surface of what's there. Right now, the Sierra Madre is what I want."