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Deathclaw (Fallout 3)

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For an overview page of deathclaw variants in the Fallout series of games, see deathclaw.
Deathclaw
Deathclaw
variantsDeathclaw
Enclave deathclaw
locationCapital Wasteland
See: Locations
 
Gametitle-FO3Gametitle-FO3 BS
Gametitle-FO3Gametitle-FO3 BS

Deathclaws are some of the most frightening creatures ever encountered by settlers in the Capital Wasteland. Their speed and ferocity are matched only by the size of their claws...

Fallout 3 loading screen

Deathclaws are creatures living in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. They are a large, agile, and strong species of mutant Jackson's Chameleon[1] and are far more common in the Capital Wasteland than the west coast despite the more desolate, barren and desert-like characteristics of the wasteland.

Background

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The deathclaws were originally created before the Great War by the government to replace humans during close-combat search-and-destroy missions. They were derived from mixed animal stock and then refined by the Master, using genetic manipulation. The resulting creature is almost unbelievably fast and powerful.[2]

Around 2161, deathclaws were still mysterious and legendary creatures to many inhabitants of southern California. They could only be found in the Boneyard at the warehouse, with a mother living there, one in a former deathclaw's nest and around the Hub, sometimes attacking caravans or travelers. Later, as the deathclaw population grew and really spread across the continent, the deathclaws stopped being perceived as legendary beasts, and started to be seen just as another dangerous creature.

Characteristics

Biology

Deathclaws have a hunchback, humanoid build and stand roughly nine to ten feet tall, with a thick and resilient hide, powerful muscles, and twelve-inch-long, razor-sharp claws that can kill almost any other creature with only a few swipes; hence their name. They have excellent hearing and sense of smell, though their eyesight is poor. Their build gives them incredible speed and strength in close combat, making them an extreme threat at all times. Though they were originally mutated chameleons, they have lost the ability to camouflage themselves.

Deathclaws are very aggressive, territorial, carnivorous, and highly intelligent. They typically live in small packs of around eight to twenty members led by an alpha male, who is the only one allowed to mate with the females. However, deathclaws in the Capital Wasteland are for the most part solitary, though sometimes they are encountered in pairs.

Deathclaws are oviparous, with the eggs typically laid in dark, sheltered locations and fiercely guarded by their mother. Young deathclaws reach maturity under the care of their parents, following them closely until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Although they do not have vocal cords, they can growl and shout, and seem to be able to mimic human speech much the same as a parrot does. However, normal deathclaws aren't intelligent enough to be capable of real speech.

Gameplay attributes

Deathclaws are arguably one the fastest, most powerful and frightening creatures in the game. Fortunately, deathclaws are not found in many areas around the Capital Wasteland, so their influence on where and when you travel is limited. Despite having tough hides according to game lore, the deathclaws in the game are simply given a lot of Hit Points rather than Damage Resistance.

Variants

Deathclaw

Deathclaw

This is a regular deathclaw, with all of the characteristics and attributes described above.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Deathclaw
0000cf9a
000c3280
00031e29
LevelIcon level
12
Experience pointsIcon XP
120
PerceptionIcon eye
8
Hit pointsIcon heart
500
Damage ResistanceIcon shield silver
0%
AggressionIcon fist
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon optional
ConfidenceIcon confidence
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon requiredIcon required
Gamebryo AI attributes#AssistanceIcon group
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon requiredIcon required
attackIcon attack
Melee (100 DamageIcon damage)

Enclave deathclaw

Enclave deathclaw

Enclave deathclaws only make appearances as Enclave camps begin to appear. Many of these camps are likely to house mind-controlled deathclaws in cages, which are just the same as regular ones with the exception that they will not attack Enclave forces. The mind-control devices on their heads can be targeted and shot, which can frenzy them. Enclave deathclaws may also be dropped off from Enclave Vertibirds along with Enclave soldiers and sentry bots.

During the quest The American Dream, a deathclaw can be seen in a cage in Raven Rock. This deathclaw has not yet undergone mind-control and can be released from captivity with a Lockpick skill of 50. When released, it will attempt to kill anything in sight, excluding you, until it runs out of other enemies to fight. It will then proceed to attack you.

During add-on Broken Steel quest Shock Value, if you receive Scribe Vallincourt's device, the Enclave deathclaws will act as temporary followers, but if you go too far from the Enclave base where they are stationed, their heads will explode.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Deathclaw
000bcc4d
0001cf72
000aa836
xx00946b
LevelIcon level
12
Experience pointsIcon XP
120
PerceptionIcon eye
8
Hit pointsIcon heart
500
Damage ResistanceIcon shield silver
0%
AggressionIcon fist
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon optional
ConfidenceIcon confidence
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon requiredIcon required
Gamebryo AI attributes#AssistanceIcon group
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon requiredIcon required
attackIcon attack
Melee (100 DamageIcon damage)
Deathclaw Broken SteelGametitle-FO3 BS
xx00223c
LevelIcon level
12
Experience pointsIcon XP
120
PerceptionIcon eye
8
Hit pointsIcon heart
500
Damage ResistanceIcon shield silver
0%
AggressionIcon fist
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon optional
ConfidenceIcon confidence
Foolhardy: Will never flee or avoid anyone.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon requiredIcon required
Gamebryo AI attributes#AssistanceIcon group
Helps nobody: Will not help anyone.Icon optionalIcon optional
attackIcon attack
Melee (100 DamageIcon damage)

Locations

Notes

  • Deathclaw corpses contain a deathclaw hand, a component which can be used in creating a deathclaw gauntlet. However, when the hand is taken, the deathclaw still has both hands.
  • Deathclaws are classified as abominations, and are therefore not affected by the Animal Friend perk.
  • With Broken Steel installed, random encounters with deathclaws occur far more often. At higher levels, deathclaws can be commonly seen traveling in pairs.
  • Crippling a deathclaw's leg slows it down and also prevents it from using its high damage leaping attack, thus decreasing its combat effectiveness. Crippling a leg also slows a deathclaw down more than it does most other Wasteland creatures, because they are bipeds rather than quadrupeds.
  • A dart gun can greatly reduce a deathclaw's ability to fight by crippling its legs with a single shot.
  • This may be a former bug however, if you use something to make yourself invisible (i.e. Stealth Boy or Chinese stealth armor) at the Enclave outpost near Dukov's Place, the Enclave deathclaw will usually go berserk and attack the Enclave soldiers, even without the jammer.
  • A caged deathclaw can be found inside Raven Rock. When leaving after speaking with President Eden, the player will probably come across the cage containing the deathclaw. When it is opened the deathclaw will not immediately attack the player, but rather any other enemies. If President Eden commands the robots to become hostile to the other Enclave, setting the deathclaw free will have only a minor effect as it will easily be killed by the sentry bots.
  • Out of all the creatures in Fallout 3, Deathclaws are one of the three creatures that don't give an edible piece of their meat upon death.

Appearances

Deathclaws appear in Fallout 3 and its add-on Broken Steel.

Bugs

  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 Deathclaws occasionally fly off into the sky in a physics engine glitch. They can still be targeted and killed in V.A.T.S. which will result in their dead body flying across a large amount of land.
  • pcIcon pc xbox360Icon xbox360 ps3Icon ps3 A deathclaw may spawn inside Regulator HQ and attack everyone. It will continue to spawn in this manner after the first time this happens.
  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 When using the deathclaw control device its possible for them to not follow the player, but die automatically.
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 A deathclaw may spawn inside Tenpenny Tower and attack everyone. It will continue to spawn in this manner after the first time this happens.
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 A deathclaw may spawn inside Megaton and will kill everyone. Oddly the deathclaw will be immune to damage and will not be hostile to the player.

Sounds

  • Forward attack deathclaw

Gallery

References

  1. Joseph (Ocjoseph.msg) in Fallout 2 says:
    "Well, let's see... Deathclaws appear to be mutated Jackson's IguanasIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammarIcon sic, the horned variety. There are a lot of similarities still present, but an even greater number of differences. The mutation factor is quite high. This species is highly intelligent, about the equivalent of an eight-year-old, with some individuals reaching human normal level. Their learning capacity is very high and they are capable of abstract thought and reasoning."
  2. Deathclaws being genetically engineered before the Great War and later refined by the Master is mentioned in the Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets strategy guide, written by Fallout 2 lead designer, Matt Norton, as well as in Fallout Tactics. It is unknown why the Master would genetically manipulate the deathclaws and then not use them at all for his purposes.

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