West Tek Research Facility

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West Tek Research Facility
Fo1 Glow Townmap.png
Map MarkerThe Glow
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3 (Weapons Research)
  • Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)
  • Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)
  • Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)
FactionsWest Tek (pre-War)
United States Army (pre-War)
LeadersColonel Robert Spindel (pre-War)
ZAX 1.2
QuestsBecome an Initiate.
Turn on power for the Glow.
Cut contentIcon cut.png Disarm Traps for the Facility.
TerminalsRobot control terminal
Cut contentIcon cut.png "Tylier" Special Forces Operations terminal
Cut contentIcon cut.png GLOCOMP.MSG
Power management and mainframe terminal
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3 OA.pngGametitle-FB.pngGametitle-TAR.jpg
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3 OA.pngGametitle-FB.pngGametitle-TAR.jpg

Watch out for radioactive hot spots. This place obviously sustained a direct nuclear strike, and secondary cascade radiation may be bad. I'd recommend avoiding this place completely if we can.

Tycho, Fallout

The West Tek Research Facility, colloquially known as The Glow or Great Glow after the Great War, was founded in 2055[1] as the primary biological research installation for West Tek, later expanded to accommodate advanced weapons labs. The Glow can be found eight squares east and twenty-four squares south of Vault 13.

Background[edit | edit source]

Initially divided into two sections, "Advanced Weapons" and "Biomedical Sciences Research",[2] it was the single biggest private contractor of the American federal government by 2069,[3] with its biggest project being the T-51 power armor for use by infantry soldiers on the frontlines. Its second-largest was the Pan-Immunity Virion Project (PVP), later known as the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). In 2076, the research facility was secured by a military contingent for fear of international espionage, shortly afterwards, the PVP research was moved to the Mariposa Military Base where experimentation on human subjects would continue.[4] Several other projects were also being pursued, including energy weapons and upgrading existing armor.

The Glow[edit | edit source]

The West Tek Research Facility was destroyed in the nuclear holocaust of 2077. During the Great War the surface of the installation took a direct hit from a nuclear warhead which left a gaping hole exposing the subterranean installation, shattering the F.E.V. containment tanks and releasing the irradiated virus into the atmosphere.[5] Mutated by radiation, the airborne F.E.V. strain did not have the same mutagenic abilities as its counterpart at Mariposa, but still complicated things for the Master later on. Due to its high radiation, the facility came to be known as the Glow, surrounded by legends among the people of New California. Shortly after the Great War, in late 2077,[6][7][8] a faction led by Sergeant Dennis Allen gained strength during the Brotherhood of Steel Exodus from Mariposa, and urged the Elders and Captain Roger Maxson to let them explore the ruins of the West Tek Research Facility for artifacts. No permission was given. Allen and his group split away, taking some technology and weapons with them. Allen, together with Soto, Jensen and Camarillo arrived at the Glow after several weeks of travel. Upon arrival, they started exploring the ruins, but were promptly chewed apart by security robots and radiation when they breached the lower levels and weren't recognized as authorized personnel.[9]

The Brotherhood of Steel used to send unwanted applicants to the Glow on a "fool's quest", referring to it by the moniker the "Ancient Order", just to laugh about it later when they ended up dead because of the high amount of radiation in the area. They were quite surprised when one known as the Vault Dweller actually made it back, bringing with him a holodisk that recorded the fate of Allen's expedition, and earning him a place in the Brotherhood.[10]

It is important to note that the Glow, true to its name, is one of the most highly irradiated locations in the Fallout universe. Rumor has it that "all sorts of mutant freaks" guard the technology from before the war,[11] but the radiation is even better at guarding the technology; a few moments' exposure is enough to give a human a lethal dose of rads. Use of Rad-X to boost radiation resistance to 100% is widely considered absolutely necessary to survive a trip to the Glow.

Dayglow[edit | edit source]

Main article: Dayglow

Some time after 2162, some ghoul survivors from Necropolis settled north and west of the Glow, and founded the town of Dayglow, whose inhabitants formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts.[12]

Layout[edit | edit source]

The color of an arrow indicates which pass key is needed to access which parts of the facility.
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)
Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)
Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)

Exterior[edit | edit source]

Rad-X is essential to survive

Little remains on the surface of the Glow - just a gaping crater where once the heart of the American research effort laid. Three charred corpses lie around the crater. The location is extremely irradiated - radiation levels shoot up when one is able to see the giant crater, and it only gets worse afterwards.

Level 1[edit | edit source]

Where Paladins dare

This is where the offices and other administrative sections of the facility laid, before its destruction. The atomic bombing obliterated much of the level and scorched what survived. The body of Sergeant Dennis Allen lays in the conference room, encased in a defunct suit of T-51b Power Armor. On this person was a holodisk which the Vault Dweller used to become an Initiate of the Brotherhood of Steel.

Loot in West Tek Level 1

Level 2[edit | edit source]

Into the maelstrom of radiation

The second level of the facility has been affected by the nuclear blast also, yet more survived, most notably, the security bots of the facility. The exact purpose is unknown (ZAX does not provide a description), but it was likely a section devoted to blueprints and design, as a lot of computers and tables are present.

Loot in West Tek Level 2

Level 3[edit | edit source]

For a bagful of weapons

This level connects two different lifts providing transportation between the levels of the facility. Apart from that, it housed the facility's weapons research and development laboratories, indicated by the twin robot security checkpoints, secure labs and a stash of lockers with weapons and ammunition, likely held for research purposes.

Loot in West Tek Level 3

Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)[edit | edit source]

The future of humanity gone horribly wrong

Every base needs a brain, and this level houses the mind of The Glow - ZAX. This supercomputer oversaw all research and development that took place in the base, in addition to performing the routine checks etc. Ever since the nuclear holocaust, he idled, biding his time, frustrated at his inability to perform even the most basic of routines.

In addition, the most advanced research labs in the country were located here, most notably physics and biology laboratories, allowing for breakthroughs to happen in science.

The body of Charles Ringhold lies in one of the laser labs, carrying a blue keycard.

Loot in West Tek Level 4

Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)[edit | edit source]

The dragon's treasure

The core of the facility, by far the most secure and least accessible, are the testing labs. Sealed, protected by three robot checkpoints, these laboratories witnessed the development of FEV and advanced weaponry, including the Winchester P94 plasma rifle. Here, surviving records of the FEV development can also be gleaned.

Loot in West Tek Level 5

Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)[edit | edit source]

Awakening the dragon

The deepest level housed the living quarters of the essential research personnel, along with the primary power generator for the base and the operations center. After the Great War, the power generator's fuses got stuck in the locked position, powering down the entire base.

The body of one of Dennis Allen's comrades lies, horribly burned, in one of the rooms.

Loot in West Tek Level 6

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The facility belonged to West-Tek, but the name is occasionally misspelled as West-Tech in the game.
  • There is a fair number of cut content in the Glow, including:
    • Unique script and dialogue for a Weapon Depot door on level 1 (GLO1WEAP.MSG).
    • An unique script and dialogue for a Supply Depot door on level 3 (GLO3SUPL.MSG).
    • An unique script and dialogue for the level 4 security check lockbox (GLWBOX.MSG).
    • An unique ZR32 computer (GLOCOMP.MSG).
    • A heavy duty military freezer belonging to the FBI Special Projects unit (FREEZER.MSG), part of a reference to X-Files. Another would have been an evacuation note signed by Dana Scully (GRAFFITI.MSG).
    • The remains of a genetic experiment (GLWALIEN.MSG).
    • A damaged cage that was used for storing lab animals (GLOWCAGE.MSG).
    • Tylier, a Special Forces Operations control terminal (TYLIER.MSG).
    • A water pump that the player could attempt to salvage for the Vault (GLOWPUMP.MSG).
    • Several containers were supposed to have unique dialogue files and scripts (GLOWDESK.MSG, GLOWTABL.MSG).
  • The original name for the location was FSEF, according to Scott Campbell old design documentation.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The West Tek Research Facility appeared only in Fallout and is mentioned in Fallout 2. It is also mentioned in The Armageddon Rag, Vol. 3.


  1. The Vault Dweller: "{112}{}{Tell me about this installation.}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{117}{}{This installation was established in 2055 as a biological research facility for experimental cures of the New Plague. However, in 2071, this facility was placed under United States military command.}"
  2. West Tek records mentions Research Head of Laser Development and Research Head of FEV in West Tek records
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{207}{}{Base Information}"
    : "{211}{}{West Tech Research Facility: Founded in 2002 as a private contractor for the United States government, the company initially consisted of two divisions--the Advanced Weapons Research and the Biomedical Sciences divisions.}"
    "{241}{}{ In 2069, West Tech was the single largest contractor for the United States government; its largest contract being Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51b. }"
    "{242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}"
    "{243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  4. FEV experiment disk, January 7, 2077 entry
  5. Fallout Official Survival Guide p.209: "The Glow
    Description: On the surface, nothing is present but a large hole in the ground, plus enough radiation to make you quite sick in a short period of time. At first glance, there is no way to enter the crater. Below the crater, however, are six underground levels of a military base or research center destroyed by a direct hit during the war. The upper levels were penetrated by the warhead, but the lower levels are all intact ... though still highly radioactive.
    Once a military base, there is nothing left on the surface but a radioactive crater. If the player can reach the underground levels, he will find a holographic disk which is the artifact Cabbot at the Brotherhood of Steel told him to find. If the player retrieves that disk, he will be admitted to the Brotherhood. Also present is a research laboratory with a large, broken flask or glass container. The deadly FEV virus was contained here until the nuclear strike, when it was accidentally released. The virus is responsible for the mutation that creates the super-mutants. Also available on these levels are some of the most powerful weapons and armor available in the game. In addition, information gathered here will tell the player what caused the Apocalypse and let him learn the truth about of the mutations."
  6. Fallout Bible 0:
    "2134 A faction within the Brotherhood of Steel led by Sergeant Dennis Allen gains strength, and they urge the Elders to let them explore the southeast Glow for artifacts. The Elders refuse, so Allen and his divisionist group splits away from the Brotherhood of Steel, taking some technology and weapons with them."
    "2134 Led by Sergeant Dennis Allen, a small team of the Brotherhood of Steel head to the West Tek research facility in search of technological artifacts. They arrive there twenty days later, and are promptly chewed apart by the West Tek's unforgiving automated defense systems. Wounded, Allen begins to suffer radiation poisoning from a leak in his suit. Before he dies, he logs what happened to the expedition into a holodisk then goes to join the Brotherhood in the sky."
    Note: While the date 2134 is given in the timeline, Cabbot explicitly names the date as 2077
  7. Cabbot: "{226}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and they went south. Then about ten years ago we sent out knights to look for them and all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
  8. The Vault Dweller: "{1011}{}{Ancient}"
    Cabbot: "{1111}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and went southwest. About ten years ago, we sent out knights to look for them, but all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{1012}{}{Exodus}"
    Cabbot: "{1112}{Cab_65}{The ancient Brotherhood came from some place far up north a long, long time ago. We call this the great Exodus. You can read about it more if you ask Vree in the library. }"
    The Vault Dweller: "{1014}{}{Order}"
    Cabbot: "{1114}{Cab_64}{Oh, well, in the Exodus, the Brotherhood split into two groups. The group that broke away robbed the others of some of the weapons an-and went southwest. About ten years ago, we sent out knights to look for them, but all they found was ruins. No one knows what happened.}"
  9. Ancient Brotherhood disk
  10. Darrel: "{154}{}{So you took the Famous Glow Quest. (Laughs)}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{156}{}{The Glow, what's that?}"
    Darrel: "{159}{}{Glow, Ancient Order it's the same thing. It's still not a good place to visit.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{163}{}{What's so special about this place.}"
    Darrel: "{164}{}{The Glow, as it is known to topsiders, was supposedly a place where some of the most advanced weapons of that time were developed. At least that's what it says in the ancient writings. Now as fasr as any of us can tell it's a big crater filled with Rads. I think the Elders send Brotherhood wanabes down there just to get rid of them.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{165}{}{Others? There was others before me.}"
    Darrel: "{174}{}{Others have tried. We never heard from them again.}"
  11. The Vault Dweller: "{154}{}{What do you know about this legendary place, the Glow?}"
    Saul: "{185}{}{From what I've heard, the Glow is a great crater that glows at night. It's supposed to be far, far to the south, but I don't know where. Stories say that it's inhabited by all sorts of mutant freaks who guard the technology from before the War.}"
  12. Fallout Bible 5 Questions: "14. One thing - what's happened to Junktown? Was it just too little to be it's own state? Or maybe it has managed to survive as an independent enclave inside NCR, a hive of scum and villainy, so to speak. And what kind of folks would live in Glow? After all, that place must still, well, glow, at least somewhat. Ghouls?"
    "Junktown became part of NCR as part of the state of Shady, and it was one of the first provisional states, considering it was one of the first (and most trustworthy) of the Shady Sands trading partners during its early formation. Its alliance with Shady Sands did cause some alarm from the caravans in the Hub, but it didn't hurt the Hub communities any... and the Hub eventually became part of NCR as well."
    "As for the Glow (or the state of Dayglow), most of the state is actually north and west of the glow, but they are still able to see the Glow from their borders. A number of ghouls are rumored to live there now, as part of the Great Migration from Necropolis - once the ghouls learned of West Tek, they were eager to see if they could scavenge technology from the abandoned center. Some ghouls formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts. At least one super mutant, a refugee from the Cathedral, was also rumored to be working with the ghouls and humans in Dayglow."