(Richard Moreau / Richard Grey)
The Master in the control center
The Unity will bring about the master race. Master! Master! One able to survive, or even thrive, in the wasteland. As long as there are differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other. We need one race. Race! Race! One goal. Goal! Goal! One people . . . to move forward to our destiny. Destiny.”
The Master (born Richard Moreau and was also known as Richard Grey) is the horribly mutated brain behind the Mutant Army that roamed California in 2161, and during a large portion of the 22nd century. He was worshiped by the Children of the Cathedral; however, he was eventually defeated by the Vault Dweller.
At times, the Master was referred to as the "Dark God", especially by those opposed to the Children of the Cathedral. By his Children, he was referred to as the "New god", "the Holy Flame", and "Father Hope". He was a hideous FEV-mutated creature that had somehow hybridized with other human mutants and computers, turning him into a rather strange and schizoid monster who speaks in multiple voices. Apart from his appearance, one of his most notable features was his unique way of speaking. His voice was computer-generated and sentences are composed, apparently in real-time, from samples of several people's speech.
Richard Moreau was a resident of Vault 8, later known as Vault City, where he worked as a doctor. In 2092 he was exiled from the city for murder, although the circumstances surrounding the murder are unknown. He changed his name to "Richard Grey" and headed south, eventually settling in the Hub, where he met Harold, a prominent trader. Following ever increasing attacks on Harold's caravans by mutated creatures, the pair teamed up on May 22, 2102, and led a team of scientists who mounted an expedition to the north-west to investigate the source of the mutated animals, which were attacking the survivors of the nuclear war. On June 23, 2102, Grey and his party stumbled upon the Mariposa Military Base, in which the U.S. government had been mass producing and experimenting with the Forced Evolutionary Virus (F.E.V.).
With the exception of Grey and Harold, the party was cut down by the mutated creatures and the base's internal defense systems. Harold barely escaped, but Grey was plunged into a vat of F.E.V. by a robotic arm. Floating in the vats for almost a month, the F.E.V. transformed Grey into the amorphous, blob-like being that would eventually become known as the Master. This entity expanded its biological mass by absorbing other creatures and people that came near the base, and bionically merging itself with computer equipment from the base. The ones he consumed also became part of his multiple personalities. It also began capturing humans that stumbled upon its lair, and intentionally exposing them to the F.E.V. These initial mutated humans were incredibly flawed, and the newly named Master consumed them rather than letting them live.
As he began to feel stronger and more capable than ever before, he came up with the idea to "unify" the wasteland, to make it as perfect as he believed himself to be. In January of 2103, the Master perfected his method of infecting, or "dipping", humans, and began creating the super mutants, who followed the Master's every command. Unfortunately for him, as he began to dip others in the vats he found the resulting creatures were not like himself: most often, they mutated into brutish soldiers, losing much of their brain function. It became apparent that only those with low total radiation count would not suffer this fate.
In 2130, the Great Winter occurs causing a scarcity of human subjects for dipping making it difficult to expand his army further. From 2131 to 2135, the Master starts to abduct caravans for human subjects. Most of the caravan disappearances are blamed on desert monsters, steering away suspicion. Starting in 2137, the Master begins to mass produce super mutants with 1 in 6 being successful super mutants, and of the successful half make it to join the unity.
In 2152, as the influence of the Master's army began to spread throughout the wastes, the Master came into contact with a group of human Doomsday cultists, led by a man named Morpheus. Realizing the benefits of retaining unaltered humans in his service to act as spies throughout the region, the Master recruited Morpheus's cult into his service, thereby expanding his power.
In 2155, the Master discovered the location of an unnumbered experimental Vault-Tec vault prototype, located just south of the center of the ruins of Los Angeles, California, now called the Boneyard. Seeing great opportunity there, the Master relocated to the vault with his human cult followers and a portion of his ever-growing super mutant army, and oversaw the building of a large cathedral on the surface above the vault the following year. The cult became known as the Children of the Cathedral, and continued to be led by Morpheus, who reported directly to the Master. The cathedral was guarded by the nightkin, which were super mutant elite troops equipped with Stealth Boy technology.
While the Children appeared to be a fervent religious order - and, in fact, some of the low ranking members may not even have been privy to the more sinister reason behind the cult's existence - in reality, the Children and Morpheus were simply a front that the Master uses to advance his plan for the future of mankind: "The Unity".
In 2162, a human from Vault 13 known as the Vault Dweller destroyed the mutant army by causing an explosion in the F.E.V. vats at Mariposa, which collapsed the entire base, and then later defeating the Master.
The Master is creator and leader of the super mutants. He is also the mastermind behind a movement called "The Unity," the aim of which is to turn every human possible into a super mutant by means of the F.E.V. He claims that those who cannot be mutated by the virus as well as those that choose not to will be allowed to live, provided they submit themselves to sterilization. Those that resist the Unity outright will be executed for trying to stand in the way of the Master's "progress." In theory, the Unity is for humanity's own good, as Super-mutants are better adapted to live in a post-nuclear wasteland. Also, according to the Master, turning all living beings into one single race would finally eliminate the differences and the human fallacies that ultimately brought about nuclear war.
However, the Master's plan is odd as all female Super-mutants are sterile. The Vault Dweller can help Vree, a scientist of the Brotherhood of Steel, come to this conclusion, and later use this information to convince the Master that his endeavor has no chance of success. Or if you decide you want to join the Unity, the ending will show the Vault Dweller being turned into a super mutant, then show the Vault 13 residents being killed by the super mutants. This ending is non-canon however, as this would stop the events of Fallout 2 from happening.
The Master's Destruction
One of the main objectives in Fallout is to destroy the Master. The Vault Dweller has three options to choose from. He or she can either kill the Master through combat (an extremely difficult task), convince him to abandon his plan (in which case the Master commits suicide), or bypass the Master entirely by manually setting off a nuclear device, located on the fourth floor of the vault in which the Master lives. If the player encounters the Master, he or she also has the option of joining forces with the Master instead, which results in a non-canonical ending.
Unless the Vault Dweller joins the Master, the end result remains the same. The Master's death would trigger the nuclear device anyway, resulting in the destruction of the Cathedral.
Returning to the Cathedral after the Nuclear Device is detonated, the Vault Dweller simply sees a gaping black crater.
Several mutants led the armies after the fall of the Master such as Melchior, who inherited the Master's psychic powers.
In his attempt to become master of all humanity, the Master tried to create guardians through gene splicing, but was stopped by the Vault Dweller because he could complete his plans. However, some of his creations have outlived him and continue to roam the wasteland. These abominations include centaurs and floaters, which are often found together as though they feel some sort of kinship for another.
The Master's Powers and Abilities
The Master has extremely powerful psionic abilities, able to project extremely vivid hallucinations that easily break the mind of any enemy without some form of mental protection. Besides his psionic abilities, the Master also has a genius-level intellect and incredible natural charisma, having rallied an army of sycophantically devoted human and super-mutant followers around him. He has mastered genetic engineering through his experiments with the Forced Evolutionary Virus.
The Master is also hard to kill in combat if you don't specialize in such, due to the Master's bio-electrical integration with the Cathedral Vault's Overseer Chair, giving him access to its twin Gatling lasers, providing the Master with considerable firepower, though the real danger in the fight comes from the repeatedly spawning super mutants.
If, on the other hand, you have the proper equipment, such as a turbo plasma rifle, hardened power armor or Tesla armor, and a few stims, and high stats in Energy Weapons, Endurance, etc. then the Master is fairly easy to defeat. Aim for the eye and the chances of success are great.
Because the Master is integrated into the Vault Overseer's chair, he counts as a robotic enemy and is highly vulnerable to pulse grenades (which are a viable way for non-combat oriented characters to still defeat the Master in a straight fight).
Interactions with the player character
- Destroy the Mutant leader: The Master is the mutant leader; as such, you have to destroy him.
Tell me about
|The Master's Tell-me-abouts|
|Master||I am not here to answer your questions. You are here to answer mine.|
|Anything else||I am the Master. I don't have to answer to you.|
The Master is a tough one. He has 500 Hit Points, can attack twice per round, and is protected by an almost constantly respawning supply of super mutant bodyguards.
- "You must be joking."
- "You think you can destroy me? Me!"
- "I don't have to answer to you!"
- It is nearly impossible to use "Tell me about" function because he mostly answers "I am The Master, I don't have to answer to you".
- In Project V13's trailer, one can read a crude carving on the table: "The Master Lives!"
- If the player leaves the base after attacking The Master, the super mutants won't spawn anymore, making the fight a lot easier.
- If the player saves during the fight, then reloads that save, the super mutants that have respawned disappear.
- One of the Master's most prominent weaknesses is his vulnerability to pulse grenades. His hit points will drop dramatically with each successful throw.
- But an even greater vulnerability is the limited range of his Gatling lasers, which means that there is a window further away in the long hallway from where you can fire him with sniper rifle without him being able to retaliate. It is also very easy to defeat any approaching nightkin one by one.
- He has 4 voices - 3 male and 1 female (possibly because of the effect of the FEV and merging himself with computers).
However, although he only appears in the first game of the series, the Master is mentioned in all Fallout games.
- In Fallout 2, it was revealed that he was previously called Richard Moreau and was exiled from Vault City. He is also mentioned by several characters like Marcus or Lenny.
- In Fallout 3, Harold states that he remembers a friend who fell into the FEV vats at Mariposa, but does not explicitly state any names.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the Master is frequently mentioned by several characters:
- Tabitha and Rhonda, the two hosts of Black Mountain Radio.
- Lily Bowen, Marcus, along with some of his fellow super mutants and nightkin in Jacobstown.
- Davison, leader of a small band of nightkin in the Mojave Wasteland.
- Dog and God, Dean Domino and Elijah reference him in the Sierra Madre fnvdm
- Klamath Bob also mentions that Mean Sonofabitch is from the Master's army.
- The Lonesome Drifter mentions the Master and the Unity in his song Home on the Wastes
- In Fallout Tactics, Toccamatta mentions his name before dying in Osceolla and Latham references him in one of his holodisks also in Osceolla.
- In Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, Attis references him during one of his dialogues in the Secret Vault.
- In the Project V13 web-page introduction, the phrase "The Master Lives" is scratched into the desk.
Behind the scenes
- In Fallout 2, the Master's true name is revealed to be Richard Moreau. This could be a nod to the 1896 novel "The Island of Doctor Moreau"; a science fiction novel about a scientist who conducts bizarre and cruel experiments on animals he has imported in an attempt to create sentient beings out of them.
- The Master was going to be the main antagonist in the canceled Fallout movie. He would have taken the place of the Lieutenant, torturing the Vault Dweller, leading the attack on Vault 13, and killing the Overseer personally. In the end he was killed by the Vault Dweller, as he attempts to infect Max with the Forced Evolutionary Virus.