Vault Boy is the mascot character of the Vault-Tec corporation within the Fallout universe, appearing in their adverts, manuals, products and training films. He was also to appear in some issues of the Hell's Chain Gang comic of Hubris Comics, but because of the Great War, the series was never produced.
In the Fallout games, Vault Boy is used to provide an iconic representation of almost all stats (perks, traits, skills etc.) and items in later games available to the player character, being a generic representation of one's actions and survival, and also appearing in achievements and trophies for Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4, as well as the mascot of the Fallout series itself. In appearance, he is a young male cartoon character with wavy blond hair wearing a vault jumpsuit. He most commonly expresses a wide grin, but has been shown to make other facial expressions as well.
His female counterpart is Vault Girl.
Vault Boy, not Pip-Boy
Vault Boy should not be confused with Pip-Boy which is the name of the personal information processor used as the game interface in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout Tactics and Fallout 4.
Made by RobCo, this device has its own mascot shown on the plate of the Pip-Boy 2000 in Fallout and Fallout 2 (with pointy ears, red and yellow jumpsuit, red hair). The 3000 model, created under a Vault-Tec/RobCo joint-venture, does not feature RobCo's own mascot.
While the name of the Vault-Tec mascot (round ears, blond hair, blue and yellow vault jumpsuit) is not present in the original games themselves, he was called Vault Man in the Fallout instruction manual. However, for some reason this name was forgotten - it was never used in any of the following Fallout content including games nor by any developers, only Vault Boy was used and became his real name.
According to Fallout developers Leonard Boyarsky (creator of the character) and Tim Cain, he was always referred to as Vault Boy or Fallout Boy, not Pip-Boy. The misconception stems from the fact that the developers of Fallout Tactics (Micro Forté) confused the two and called the Vault Boy - "Pip-Boy" (which even ended up being used also by Chris Avellone when he wrote the Fallout Bible).
The makers of Fallout 3 returned to the real name "Vault Boy" in the game itself, although confusingly enough he is still called "Pip-Boy" in the trademark legal documents.
The Vault Boy appears as a representation of almost all stats in all games and equipment in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It also represented in Vault Boy bobbleheads appearing in Fallout 3, snow globes containing a Vault Boy appearing in Fallout: New Vegas, and a Vault Boy puppet appears in One Man, and a Crate of Puppets.
He also appears in a Vault-Tec commercial on TV in the Fallout intro, in the "Leaving The Vault" Vault-Tec's video in Fallout 2, as an actual person in a special encounter in Fallout Tactics, and in Shop-Tec interface in brown hair version in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
Vault Boy is, on some images, accompanied by another Vault Boy who looks exactly the same but with black or brown hair, or with alternative vault boyish things like creatures or items. On others he is accompanied by Vault Girl. A black version of Vault Boy appears briefly in the "Leaving The Vault" video in Fallout 2, with his hair fashioned in a crew cut.
Behind the scenes
- He is a registered trademark of the Vault-Tec Corporation under the name of Vault-Man, but this official name was never used.
- The character was originally designed by Leonard Boyarsky, based partly on Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly board game, and then drawn for Fallout by George Almond for the first few cards and then by Tramell Ray Isaac, who finalized the look of the character as we know him today. Brian Menze is responsible for all new Vault Boy images in Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. The Fallout 3 images of Vault Boy were drawn by Natalia Smirnova and the Fallout Tactics ones by Ed Orman.
- Leonard Boyarsky (about the first Vault Boy concept art): this is the first ever drawing of the "skill guy" as I originally called him. I did it to show everyone what I was going on about. It was then given to George Almond, who did the first few initial cards (and began the progression from what you see in this pic to the final version). Tramell Isaac (T.Ray) then took over the cards and did the rest of them, finalizing his "look".
- He also appeared in the 2002 action-adventure third-person shooter video game Run Like Hell: Hunt or Be Hunted (a game that was also made by Interplay), on candy bars called "PIP Boy Protein Bars™", with the Vault Boy Buffout addiction image on them.
- A Vault Boy bobblehead appears in id's RAGE, whose story is set in a post-apocalyptic world similar to Fallout.
- On Vault Boy and Pip Boy at No Mutants Allowed
- ↑ Interview with Leonard Boyarsky: I also came up with the idea/design for the “Vault Boy” and the “cards” (as I called them) showing him doing all the different things in humorous ways. By the way, he’s not the Pip Boy, the Pip Boy is the little guy on your Pip Boy interface. The Vault Boy was supposed to evoke the feel of Monopoly cards, and the Pip Boy was based on the Bob’s Big Boy mascot.
- ↑ Tim Cain in the Duck and Cover forum: p.s. Many people seem to think this is the PipBoy, but this is the FalloutBoy character. The PipBoy is the yellow and red caped character who appears on the pipboy device.
- ↑ Fallout 1 Manual, p. 58 (4-19)
- ↑ Tim Cain interview on the Duck and Cover
- ↑ Fallout Tactics interview