For on that fateful day, when fire rained from the sky, the giant steel door of Vault 101 slid closed... and never reopened. It is here you were born. It is here you will die. Because in Vault 101: no one ever enters, and no one... ever leaves...”— Narrator, Fallout 3 intro
Vault 101 is one of the vault series of fallout shelters developed by Vault-Tec in the north-west area of Washington, D.C., near Tysons Corner. This vault is located northwest of Megaton and west of Springvale. It was the home of the Lone Wanderer until they left to search for their father.
Construction and purposeEdit
It's not exactly known when the construction of Vault 101 began, but it was probably constructed in the 2060s like the other vaults in Washington, D.C.
Vault 101 had been opened more than once and became infested by radroaches, making it susceptible to occasional large infestations. They could possibly have come from surface excursions or defects in the vault's construction. One of the main objectives of Vault 101 security has been containing and killing these radroaches.
The original purpose of the Vault 101 Vault experiment was to stay closed indefinitely, as a study of the human condition, the genetic impact of a small group of individuals breeding through several generations, and the role of the Overseer when a vault never opened, though the limited genetic material would probably result in inbreeding. Vault 101 was supplied with all the equipment it would need to keep functioning indefinitely like spare parts for the water processor, but the vault didn't receive a GECK, a piece of technology that can only be used on the surface.
In their free time, the inhabitants of Vault 101 engage in various activities.
The "Cake Bake-Off" is a competitive event. In this event, contestants bake cakes which are judged according to a select criteria. The winner is given a worthy prize. In some communities, this is an annual event. One such community is Vault 101.
The "Founder's Day" is a holiday on the Vault 101 calendar celebrated on the 23rd October. This holiday commemorates the Overseer who founded and governed the Vault in the late 21st century. Two centuries later, Beatrice Armstrong, a Vault resident, honors the Founder by dedicating one of her older poems to him. Beatrice can't write a new poem as she had trouble finding a rhyming word with 'Overseer'.
Hunt the MutantEdit
"Hunt the Mutant" is a child's game played in Vault 101, a post-apocalyptic variation of hide-and-seek. A player is selected as the mutant and hides while other players hunt for them. When the player is found, the game restarts with another player as the Mutant.
At one of Wally Mack's birthday parties in the 2260s, this game is played in the Atrium. Wally later mentions this game at the Lone Wanderer's tenth birthday party on July 13, 2268. By mentioning this game, Wally is unfavorably comparing his party to the Lone Wanderer's party.
Just after the Great War on October 23, 2077, the first Vault 101 Overseer, in order to prevent anyone from leaving the vault, created the illusion that the outside world was an uninhabitable nuclear-ravaged wasteland with absolutely no hope of existence outside of the vault with regular fake radio transmissions (recorded before the Great War), increasing the idea among Vault 101 dwellers that the only hope of survival was in the vault. The first Vault 101 Overseer died of natural causes in 2127 and beforehand, prepared a subordinate to continue the vault experiments.
The second Vault 101 Overseer led Vault 101 dwellers according to the same isolationist doctrine preached by his predecessor, but also attempted to garner as many senior vault dwellers as possible to become complicit in the vault experiments. In addition, the second Vault 101 Overseer was the first Overseer able to communicate with, and even visit, the outside world by using the secret tunnel in the Overseer's office. However, for all other intents and purposes, the vault dwellers were sealed in with the motto "we are born in the vault, we live in the vault, and we die in the vault".
Sometime before 2241, the preceding Overseer of Alphonse Almodovar was strongly in favor of outside contact. In that context, he assembled a survey team led by Anne Palmer, and together they began planning for their journey and theorizing types of mutations they might encounter. After that, they finally went to the outside world around Vault 101, going up to Megaton before February 10, 2241. The survey team returned to Vault 101 on February 10, 2241, analyzing their samples to see if the outside world was dangerously irradiated and if it was really able to sustain life. They studied the giant ant they killed and decided to revise their survey plans in light of what they have learned. Lewis and Agnes Taylor, two members of the survey team remained in Megaton to serve as contacts between the two settlements and to further survey the surrounding environments. Agnes Taylor returned to Vault 101 sometime before in 2258, the preceding Overseer of Alphonse Almodovar vanished when another expedition to the Capital Wasteland failed.
His successor, Alphonse Almodovar, became the new Overseer of Vault 101 sometime before 2258. Under his rule, the vault changed into a police state with a strict policy of isolationism. Early in Alphonse's tenure as Overseer around 2258-2259, James and his infant, later known as the Lone Wanderer, came to the vault seeking shelter and arrived in front of Vault 101. James proposed to become Vault 101's new physician in return for entry into Vault 101, and Alphonse granted his request. After James and his child entered into the vault, he kept his child ignorant of their origins because of his agreement with Alphonse, convincing the Lone Wanderer that they were born in the Vault. In the late 2260s, Jonas Palmer was appointed to be James' assistant by Alphonse Almodovar, who hoped he would be a voice of reason. Between 2265-2267, a girl escaped Vault 101, and made her way to Megaton. She entered in the Craterside Supply and asked Moira Brown to reinforce her vault jumpsuit. But the girl never returned to pick it up, leaving her armored Vault 101 jumpsuit in the Craterside Supply in Megaton. On 12 July 2268, the water purifier begins to malfunction but it was repaired by Stanley Armstrong. On 13 July 2268, Butch DeLoria, Wally Mack and Paul Hannon Jr. began looking for a name for their future gang, which later became known as the Tunnel Snakes. In 2272, another Vault 101 dweller escaped from Vault 101 and also made his way to Megaton. He made his way to Moriarty's Saloon, telling Colin Moriarty that members of Vault 101 were brainwashed into believing the Overseer was the only voice of reason.
Gradually, Alphonse Almodovar came to having an entire generation of Vault 101 dwellers who were playing along with the vault experiments, keeping the secrets from their children. He and his cronies continued to receive periodic information from the outside world, while those not in the know were told that things had gotten so bad that whoever was sending transmissions was no longer able to do so, reinforcing the thought that leaving the vault was sheer suicide.
On August 17, 2277, a radroach infestation had started, and James took this moment to his advantage, quickly escaping the Vault once and for all. In the ensuing conflict between radroaches and the security team, Agnes Taylor dies of a heart attack, Floyd Lewis and Vikki Hannon are both killed and Paul Hannon Jr. is critically wounded by radroaches. Jonas Palmer is immediately questioned about why James has left, but in the procedure is brutally killed by Stevie Mack. Every member of the Vault 101 security force is then ordered to both contain the radroach infestation and capture the Lone Wanderer for questioning about James' departure. A few moments later, Amata Almodovar, daughter of Overseer Alphonse Almodovar, wakes the Lone Wanderer, her best friend, and explains the situation.
During the Lone Wanderer's escape in seeking the outside world for answers, Tom Holden and Mary Holden or officers O'Brian and Richards die or the Lone Wanderer distracted the guards so the Holdens could escape and flee before more blood was spilled. Amata is interrogated by her father and Officer Mack, before the Lone Wanderer either rescues her, kills her father, or sneaks by. In front of the vault door, Amata Almodovar bids farewell to the Wanderer just before Officers Park and Wolfe come and try to halt the escape but are killed by the Lone Wanderer. The vault door opens and the Lone Wanderer leaves Vault 101 for the Capital Wasteland.
Sometime after James' departure, Paul Hannon Jr. dies from a radroach bite after refusing treatment, and the Vault 101 Overseer becomes more oppressive with the Vault 101 dwellers than before. But all the vault dwellers living in blissful ignorance finally discover that the world outside could be accessed, life above ground is possible, some expedition was already done in the past and they have been living a lie. This discovery created a new crisis in Vault 101 and the vault became divided into two groups.
Vault experiments crisisEdit
The group of rebels was led by Amata Almodovar, and included all of the young vault dwellers, who were holed up in the vault clinic. They wanted to open Vault 101, interact with the outside world, open up limited trade with nearby settlements and make excursions into the wasteland when necessary. The other group was led by the Vault 101 Overseer and he wanted to keep the vault closed permanently, in accordance with the vault experiments. Butch DeLoria himself wished to abandon the vault entirely and live on the surface.
Some time later, the vault received radio contact from the Enclave seeking to gain entry into Vault 101 because their passwords to the vault door no longer matched their records (it was changed to "Amata" by Amata Almodovar to bring the Lone Wanderer later into Vault 101), but after brief negotiation, the Vault 101 Overseer refused to let them in, thinking he can't expose his vault and its dwellers to an unknown factor, much less one that would so gallantly suggest abandoning the vault experiments, also thinking it was an additional reason to prevent the rebels from opening Vault 101 to the likes of them. After that, Amata Almodovar began to send out the Vault 101 emergency frequency around Vault 101 in the Capital Wasteland, hoping that the Lone Wanderer would come to aid them in their current crisis.
Vault 101's fate afterwards is not fully confirmed; if Amata Almodovar became the new Overseer or was killed, if Alphonse Almodovar was still the Overseer or Allen Mack was the Overseer, if the group of rebels were deterred or if Vault 101 was open, kept closed, destroyed or thrown into chaos, and if the Lone Wanderer helped them for one of its possibilities. But at this time, the number of Vault 101 dwellers has fallen significantly in the two centuries since it was sealed (despite messages encouraging procreation), and that without external input, the Vault 101's population will not remain genetically viable for more than a generation or so, and collapse inevitably due to genetic stagnation and inbreeding in some years if Vault 101 remains closed.
Vault 101's residents remain protected from the outside world, with the exception of the occasional Radroach attack.”— Fallout 3 loading screen
Vault 101 is divided into four sections by the game. These sections are the Main Entrance, Overseer's Tunnel, Atrium/Upper Level, and the Lower Level. The sections are separated by doors, and stairways connect floors and levels within two of the sections. Levels and rooms are identified by signs. There are two paths to the Capital Wasteland: a direct path from the Atrium and a hidden tunnel named the Overseer's Tunnel.
It is important to note that the sections are not directly stacked upon each other. They are staggered with each section moving progressively more westward as the Vault burrows deeper into the earth.
This section connects the Capital Wasteland to the Vault. The rooms in this section are:
- Natural rock tunnel connecting the Wasteland door to the Vault door
- Entrance room
- Control booth
- Concealed room connecting the Overseer's Tunnel to the main entrance
- Large generator room
- Small generator room
- Storage room
This section connects the Overseer's Office (in Atrium/Upper Level) with the Main Entrance.
This Atrium connects the main entrance to the lower level. This section is divided into two sub-sections: Admin and Atrium. The Atrium is located in the upper level of Vault 101. Access to this room is by a stairway connecting the cafeteria to the Atrium. The Atrium is the main room of the Vault and is used by Vault residents for large social gatherings and ball sports.
When returning to Vault 101 in the Trouble on the Homefront quest, someone has amusingly vandalized the "Thank You Overseer!" Sign in the middle of the room by replacing Thank with "Fuck" So in total the sign now reads "Fuck You Overseer!" This is an obvious note to the disagreements to the overseer when you and your father left the vault.
Several years later, on July 13, 2268, a notice in the Cafeteria announces an upcoming baseball game on Saturday.
If the player character studies the local map carefully, they will note that the rooms with closed doors, ex. cafeteria, don't exist. It is, also, not evident how the Mack Family apartment is connected to the rest of the complex as the apartment door leads to a non-existent hallway. Regardless, the location of the apartment itself suggests how far up the ladder Allen Mack is in the command structure of the Vault as his family has one of the best apartments.
Rooms in Admin are:
- Overseer's office - Overseer's terminal
- Reception room - Jonas Palmer is found dead here ("Escape!")
- Overseer's apartment - 3 rooms - dining/living room, Amata's bedroom, Alphonse's bedroom
- Computer (inaccessible) - Location of Vault's mainframe
- Security - Amata is interrogated ("Escape!"), holding cell - Mr. Brotch is detained ("Trouble on the Homefront")
- Systems - Floyd Lewis dies here ("Escape!")
Systems connects Admin to Atrium. Rooms in the Atrium are located on two floors - an upper and a lower floor. Rooms on the upper floor are inaccessible. They are:
- Dining/Living room of Mack Apartment - Allan Mack is yelling at the Lone Wanderer ("Escape!")
- Utility (inaccessible)
- Equipment (inaccessible)
This is the final section of the Vault. Though named Lower Level, this section actually covers two levels: the Lower and the Reactor.
Rooms in the lower level are:
- Physician's office
- Vault 101 Medical Access Database terminal
- Beatrice is dead ("Trouble on the Homefront")
- GOAT ("Future Imperfect")
- Cafeteria (aka Diner)
- Lone Wanderer's tenth birthday ("Growing Up Fast")
- Grandma Taylor dies ("Escape!")
- DeLoria apartment
- 2 rooms - Dining/Living room, bedroom
- Ellen DeLoria is attacked by radroaches ("Escape!")
- Common room (inaccessible)
- Cigar lounge (inaccessible)
- Ladies restroom
- Gentlemen's restroom
- Lone Wanderer's apartment
- Amata talks to the Lone Wanderer after James escapes ("Escape!")
- Storage room
- Note: The map for the DeLoria and Lone Wanderer's apartments in the official game guide have two beds in the bedroom; whereas, in the game, there is only one bed.
Rooms in the Reactor level are:
- Generator room
- James gives a BB gun to the Lone Wanderer ("Growing Up Fast")
- You get your first kill by killing a radroach with your BB gun.
- Filter room
- Location of the Water Purifier and Water chip
- Reactor room
- Location of the Vault's geothermal reactor
- Storage room
- Lone Wanderer kills a radroach ("Growing Up Fast")
- Note: The Official Game Guide identifies this level as the Vault 101 Atrium.
This department, and the technicians who work for the department, are viewed and treated with contempt by other vault residents. This department is the destination of individuals who displease the Overseer as the troublemakers will be overwhelmed with work and they will have little time for any other activities.
- Allen Mack
- Alphonse Almodovar
- Amata Almodovar
- Beatrice Armstrong
- Butch DeLoria
- Christine Kendall
- Edwin Brotch
- Ellen DeLoria
- Floyd Lewis
- Freddie Gomez
- Herman Gomez
- John Kendall
- Jonas Palmer
- Lucy Palmer
- Paul Hannon Jr.
- Paul Hannon Sr.
- Pepper Gomez
- Stevie Mack
- Wally Mack
- Susie Mack
- Stanley Armstrong
- Lone Wanderer
- Officer Armstrong
- Officer O'Brian
- Officer Park
- Officer Richards
- Officer Taylor
- Officer Wilkins
- Officer Wolfe
- Bobblehead - Medicine: In James' clinic, on the lower level.
- Schematics - Rock-It Launcher and 300 caps: In James' clinic, behind an average locked wall plaque featuring your mother's favorite Bible verse.
- Grognak the Barbarian: In the diner, from Amata. If you do not use it during your tenth birthday party, it will be in the dresser to the right when you escape the vault.
- Vault 101 is one of two fully functional vaults (the other being Vault 112) in the Capital Wasteland. All the other vaults have failed as results of the experiments within and have been left derelict.
- It is suggested in the poem that the Lone Wanderer receives upon their tenth birthday that the dead of Vault 101 are incinerated in some sort of area built for this but this is never demonstrated in-game.
- At the Vault-Tec headquarters in the D.C. Ruins, a replica of the Vault 101 door is hanging over the lobby area with spotlights illuminating it.
- In the opening cinematic, two security cameras are shown on each side of the vault door, and when you leave the vault in Escape!, only one security camera can be seen above the vault door, however in Trouble on the Homefront, the camera is gone.
- It should be noted that the Vault 101 location doesn't add to your "Locations Discovered" stat in your Pip-Boy 3000 when exiting the vault at the beginning of your game, even though the marker is active on the map.
- Just outside the inner door of Vault 101, there are some skeletons and several small, handwritten picket signs begging the original vault dwellers to let their authors in, possibly just after the Great War occurred.
- Radscorpions and deathclaws can sometimes spawn when fast-traveling to the vault, even at low levels, and can kill an inexperienced player almost instantly.
- A holotape, Springvale raider mining log near the vault inside Springvale School, suggests that the raiders have been trying to get into this vault for years.
- Looking at the door to the Capital Wasteland always makes it appear to be daytime outside, even if it is actually nighttime outside.
- Andy says he had to amputate Beatrice's left leg due to a sprained big toe. However by looking at her corpse Andy removed the right leg, certainly Beatrice's cause of death.
- It's possible to enter the vault after completing Trouble on the Homefront. The player just needs to finish the quest, and then kill one of the residents, this will make the door open for the rest of the game.
- Outside the vault entrance on the road is a 'Type B' random encounter location site. It can be activated by following the road south slightly past the elevated highway.
- In addition to the random encounter that can spawn just outside the vault, a Brotherhood outcast patrol can spawn on the road in front of the entrance.
- The overlook outside the entrance above the road is the home location for the animal companion Dogmeat after being recruited.
- The overlook outside the entrance is also the final destination of any slaves freed from the slave pen located at train tunnel to the Pitt. Assuming of course that they survive the journey across the wasteland.
- The Lone Wanderer's apartment only has one bed despite having two residents inside it.
- Vaults 101, 112, 21, 13, 0 and 8 (known as Vault City) are the only known remaining vaults that are in working order.
Vault 101 appears only in Fallout 3.
Behind the scenesEdit
- In the cafeteria, there is a reference to the first Fallout game. On the bulletin board above the jukebox it advertises a bingo night in the diner, with the ball chosen being 13 and "First prize being a weeks supply of water rations!". Another reference to the first Fallout is in here, where Butch asks his friend why anyone would want to be called a "Vault Dweller" when asked about names for his gang.
- pc Closing the Vault door manually using the outer console will work normally during Escape!. However, approaching the tunnel exit will result in the Vault door reopening behind you exactly when it is supposed to close if you don't tamper with the console. [verified]
- pc xbox360 On the rocky overlook outside the entrance to the vault where Dogmeat is sent if he is fired as your companion, there is chance that he will fall though the map and can no longer accompany you. This happens only when he is fired, not when traveling to the vault with him.[verified]