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Mirelurk

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For similar creatures in Fallout: New Vegas, see Lakelurk.
Mirelurk
Mirelurk
variantsMirelurk
Mirelurk hunter
Mirelurk king
Nukalurk
Swamplurk Point Lookout (add-on)Gametitle-FO3 PL
Swamplurk queen Point Lookout (add-on)Gametitle-FO3 PL
cutIcon cutCatfish mirelurk
locationCapital Wasteland
 
Gametitle-FO3Gametitle-FO3 PL
Gametitle-FO3Gametitle-FO3 PL

Mirelurks are giant mutated horseshoe crabs living in the Capital Wasteland in 2277.

CharacteristicsEdit

BiologyEdit

Mirelurks descended from Chesapeake Bay horseshoe crabs. The full scientific classification of the mirelurks is kingdom: Animalia, phylum: Arthropoda, subphylum: Crustacean/Chelicerata, class: Merostomata/Malacostraca, while order, family, and genus are left undetermined due to their mutation. The subphylum and class are disputed in an Enclave officer's field research terminal, as he believes horseshoe crabs and blue crabs both evolved into mirelurks, due to their DNA/RNA samples having markers from two different subphyla and classes. Furthermore, he and the player both fill in the missing order, family, and genus with the same answers (on the terminal, and in a Science dialogue check after completing the mirelurk portion of the Wasteland Survival Guide quest): Scylla serrata horrendus.

Mirelurks are found in damp and aquatic areas, such as the mouth of the Potomac river, in the river itself and around the dried up section of the Potomac river up north. If not in an aquatic habitat, mirelurks have been seen in dark, damp, and cool areas like caves, metro tunnels, and derelict facilities like the Anchorage Memorial. However, mirelurks are not repulsed by light; they can be seen during the day, swimming in rivers and walking along the banks. This is especially true around Arefu, the Potomac and the Anchorage War Memorial.

Gameplay attributesEdit

Mirelurks are naturally armored throughout their body... with the exception of the face. Try using V.A.T.S. to target this area, and kill them before they get close enough to attack.

Fallout 3 loading screen

All mirelurks, except for mirelurk kings, are protected by a thick shell which is difficult to penetrate, even with powerful ballistic weapons such as the Gauss rifle. However, their face is unarmored and vulnerable, but the area is small and difficult to hit. When charging, mirelurks will lower their head to protect this area. However, they will swing their heads up during the attack animation, exposing their faces. The utilization of V.A.T.S. and an accurate weapon, such as a rifle, can be helpful. Their extremities are also more vulnerable than the rest of their carapace. Low level players will find mirelurks to be among their deadliest enemies.

Mirelurks are extremely territorial, and they will attack any trespasser on sight until it is dead. Even if the trespasser makes a run for it, the mirelurk will pursue them relentlessly until the trespasser is run down. Mirelurks will often leave combat to solicit support from other mirelurks that may be in the area.

Mirelurk meat, especially the soft shell variety, is highly nutritious and grants some of the highest HP replenishment of any food in the game. This is reinforced by Grandma Sparkle, as she will tell the player that mirelurk meat is "the best meat you can get out here". Both are slightly radioactive, but no more than typical food. Chefs throughout the wasteland have developed many culinary uses for mirelurk; the most prominent being the creation of mirelurk cakes. A recipe for these cakes can be found in a fridge in the Anchorage War Memorial, however it cannot be made by the player character.

VariantsEdit

Mirelurk

The most common type of mirelurk has a whitish-gray shell, are about a head shorter than a normal human, and walk slightly slower than a human. Mirelurks fight with their claws and lack ranged attacks.

Additionally, at close range they can charge forward in a brief burst of speed for a headbutt, which also makes it impossible to target their face. However, their face is most vulnerable in the seconds after a headbutt, when their 'head' is raised.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk
0001cf83
LevelIcon level
6
Experience PointsIcon XP
60
PerceptionIcon eye
4
Hit pointsIcon heart
120‡
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 (28 damageIcon damage)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

Mirelurk hunterEdit

Mirelurk hunter

A much larger, reddish-brown colored version of mirelurk. In addition to their two main arms, hunters also have two pairs of small, segmented appendages growing out of their chest which they may attack with, but very rarely. Mirelurk hunters inhabit the Potomac River in the northern wastes and several sewers and caves near the metropolitan area of the Capital, along with a good number in the Anchorage War Memorial. Hunters are very aggressive and are more difficult to kill, due to their increased Strength, speed, and health. They appear more frequently at higher levels. Their powerful pincers inflict heavy damage, and can knock back low level characters easily.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk hunter
0001cf84
LevelIcon level
9
Experience PointsIcon XP
90
PerceptionIcon eye
6
Hit pointsIcon heart
250‡
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 (50 damageIcon damage)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

Mirelurk kingEdit

Mirelurk king

Mirelurk Kings use a devastating sonic attack to debilitate their foes from afar.

Fallout 3 loading screen

Mirelurk kings differ from other mirelurks, as they do not resemble their crab-like "subjects". They are not like crabs, but more akin to mutated snapping turtles. They appear more humanoid. They are possibly a separate species, sharing a symbiotic relationship with the crab-like mirelurks.

Mirelurk kings appear more frequently as the player reaches higher levels.

Mirelurk king sonic blast

Mirelurk king's sonic blast

Mirelurk kings have a sonic projectile attack that disregards Damage Resistance, and causes lots of limb damage to the subject's head, often crippling it.

Mirelurk Kings have less damage resistance, which means they are easier to kill than ordinary Mirelurks

Mirelurk kings can be pickpocketed, though they don't have anything in their inventory, and planting a grenade or mine grants bad Karma.

Unlike mirelurks and mirelurk hunters, they cannot float in water.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mirelurk king
0007c6ef
LevelIcon level
12
Experience PointsIcon XP
120
PerceptionIcon eye
7
Hit pointsIcon heart
375†
Damage ResistanceIcon shield silver
0%
AggressionIcon fist
Very aggressive: Will attack enemies and neutrals on sight.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon optional
ConfidenceIcon confidence
Brave: Will avoid/flee from threats only if severely outmatched.Icon requiredIcon requiredIcon requiredIcon optional
Gamebryo AI attributes#AssistanceIcon group
Helps friends: Will help friends and allies.Icon requiredIcon required
attackIcon attack
Melee (35 damageIcon damage)
attackIcon attack
10 (sonic attack)‡

† Torso shots only do 2/3 of the normal damage.
‡ Instantly cripples target's head. Cannot be used if their head is crippled.

NukalurkEdit

NukaLurk

A mirelurk hunter variation indigenous to the Nuka-Cola plant. They are oddly colored, having a dark blue exoskeleton stippled with glowing blue features along certain regions of their bodies. This coloration is probably due to prolonged exposure and/or consumption of the radioactive strontium isotope that was used to color Nuka-Cola Quantum before the Great War. Interestingly, Nukalurks appear in both "regular" and "hunter" versions like their mirelurk cousins, yet the difference is purely cosmetic.

Their meat is notable for a small boost in AP (a reflection of the effects of Nuka-Cola Quantum), in addition to Radiation and Hit Points. However, only 10 nukalurks appear in the game, limiting the amount of meat available to no more than 10, since they do not respawn.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Nukalurk
00037b41
000854d7
LevelIcon level
6
Experience PointsIcon XP
60
PerceptionIcon eye
4
Hit pointsIcon heart
120‡
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 (28 damageIcon damage)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

SwamplurkEdit

Swamplurk

Swamplurks (designated "mirelurk" in-game) are a variation of mirelurk which inhabit the swamps of Point Lookout. They are visually identical to mirelurk hunters except for their size, their green-tinged shells due to the swampy environment and the lack of vestigial limbs on their abdomen.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Swamplurk
xx00b001
LevelIcon level
6
Experience PointsIcon XP
60
PerceptionIcon eye
4
Hit pointsIcon heart
120‡
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 (28 damageIcon damage)

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

Swamplurk queenEdit

Swamplurk queen

Swamplurk queens (simply called swamplurk in-game) are a variation of the Capital Wasteland's mirelurk kings that inhabit the swamps of Point Lookout. Like the mirelurk kings, they are mutated from snapping turtles native to local rivers. They look extremely similar to kings, distinguishing traits being a mossy coloration and strangely shimmering, glowing, yellow eyes.

Unlike mirelurk kings, the swamplurk queen spits acid from its mouth, similar to a centaur. Although not radioactive, this acid is highly damaging.

Even with its lack of clothing, the swamplurk queen can be reverse pick pocketed with explosives. However, this results in some negative Karma.

Name (Base ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Swamplurk queen
xx00a56c
LevelIcon level
20
Experience PointsIcon XP
200
PerceptionIcon eye
9
Hit pointsIcon heart
600†
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 (60 damageIcon damage)
attackIcon attack
100 (spit)‡

† Torso shots only do 2/3 of the normal damage.
‡ Cannot be used if their head is crippled.

Catfish mirelurkEdit

GiantCatfish
Icon cut contentThe following is based on Fallout 3 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

A humanoid, mutated catfish known as a "catfish mirelurk" also appears in The Art of Fallout 3,[1] the art book available with the collector's edition of Fallout 3.

Icon cut contentEnd of information based on Fallout 3 cut content.

Related questsEdit

NotesEdit

  • Mirelurks are unable to attack while swimming, rendering them as helpless as other swimming land creatures, despite their aquatic origins. The mirelurk king's sonic attack can injure the player character while underwater when shot at from land. This can effectively make the player character a sitting duck while in the water, since the player character has no means of fighting back.
  • Mirelurks seem to ignore any and every weapon's "stopping power". Even a missile or Gauss rifle bolt to the face will not faze them or slow them down while they charge towards the player. Power fists and deathclaw gauntlets appear to repel them to some extent, but this is more likely due to their attack animations which tend to "push" things away.
  • A Brotherhood of Steel initiate can be found burning a dead mirelurk with a flamer outside of Project Purity after it becomes operational. He notes that the mirelurks are dying in the new pure water and appear to survive solely in radioactive water. He also notes that they smell rather bad. There is also a Brotherhood of Steel Knight patrolling the catwalks, who comments on how they are encouraged to take potshots at the dying mirelurks.
    • Despite this, the mirelurks that re-spawn in the tidal basin do not actually die by swimming in the water, though they spawn with greatly diminished health, allowing the Brotherhood or the player to easily kill them. Over time, however, they wear down the Brotherhood members who fight them and kill them or cause crippling injuries.
  • Mirelurks make a loud, distinctive clicking noise, which will easily give away their presence.
  • At lower levels, mirelurks can be rather dangerous when first entering DC or any of the caves/lairs they inhabit.
  • As seen in Vault 92, white noise instantly kills them.
  • Although nukalurks are filled with the isotope for Nuka-Cola Quantum, they don't inflict radiation on the player, despite the fact that the isotope itself is radioactive.
  • It appears that a re-skinned mirelurk king is later used in Fallout: New Vegas, where it is given the name lakelurk. It is unknown whether or not they are the same species.
  • Given that Mirelurks and Mirelurk Kings originate from different species, yet share nest sites and aren't hostile towards each other, it can be assumed that they live in a kind of symbiosis.

AppearancesEdit

Mirelurks appear only in Fallout 3 and its add-on, Point Lookout.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • A mire is a tract or area of wet, swampy ground, bog or marsh. So the mirelurks' name is fitting, as they tend to lurk in mires.
  • The mirelurk kings are similar in appearance to the creature from Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Early in the development of Fallout 3, when undetected, Mirelurks would crouch down and fold their limbs under their shell to avoid view, making predators merely view them as a rock. When anything came closer, they would slowly stand up.

BugsEdit

  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 Mirelurks killed in water will often flip over on their fronts and twitch. This is purely a graphical glitch related to their wireframe. Sometimes they will twitch so much they fall right through the floor, or become trapped in walls and doors while constantly playing a collision noise that can alert other enemies. [verified]
  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 Sometimes when mirelurks are killed on land, body parts will sink into the textures on the floor, as much as half their body, and the remaining parts will flail and bounce. [verified]

SoundsEdit

  • Idle mirelurk
  • Mirelurk king sonic attack

GalleryEdit

Concept art by Adam AdamowiczEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Art of Fallout 3, page 37

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