| ||For an overview of Minigun models in various games, see Minigun.|
The German Rheinmetall AG company created the ultimate minigun. The Vindicator throws over 90,000 caseless shells per minute down its six carbon-polymer barrels. As the pinnacle of Teutonic engineering skill, it is the ultimate hand-held weapon.”— In-game description, Fallout 2
The Vindicator minigun's exorbitant price, its late availability, as well as the use of superlatives and references to German engineering skill in its in-game description, suggest that the weapon was intended to be to Big Guns what the Gauss weapons -- described in similar terms -- were to Small guns, i.e. high-tech weapons with unrivaled performance stats in their category. However, it appears that the developers brought the Vindicator's stats down at some point in its development, presumably to avoid creating a super weapon that would make the end game too easy.
This would explain the discrepancies between the gun's description and actual stats -- why it has a slower rate of fire than the standard minigun even though these weapons' respective descriptions expressly claim the opposite to be the case -- why its ammo capacity is only 100 rounds as opposed to the 5mm miniguns' 120, even though the high-tech ammo used by the Vindicator supposedly brings dramatic improvements to magazine capacity -- and why its range is shorter than those of the other miniguns despite being touted as the "ultimate minigun".
Thus, the Vindicator was not made into an all-powerful super weapon. Not all the hype in the description is groundless, however.
The Vindicator has the slowest fire rate of all the miniguns in the game, capable of firing four 25-round bursts before the magazine is empty. This relative slowness is counterbalanced by a higher damage per round and better armor penetration. The Vindicator averages 24.5 hitpoints per round on unarmored targets, and the fairly scarce and expensive 4.7mm caseless cartridge it uses has an armor-piercing effect. This allows the weapon to retain a relatively high percentage of its lethality against armor.
It has the second-highest damage output in the game after the Avenger minigun, but fares much better against armor, delivering devastating damage against any protective gear from leather jackets to hardened power armor. The Vindicator is particularly deadly with critical hits due to its combination of a high damage output with armor-piercing ammunition. However, the Bozar outperforms it in non-critical damage against the two very heaviest types of armor found in the game.
This weapon's disadvantages are that, firstly, it has the shortest range of all the machine guns in the game -- 30 hexes as opposed to 35 to 40. Secondly, the 4.7mm caseless is quite a rare caliber to be firing away at 25 rounds per attack.
Due to its relatively high rate of fire and the fact that its damage output consists of the combined effect of Base Damage + ammo's Damage Modifier, the Vindicator benefits more than do most weapons from the Bonus Ranged Damage perk, which can be taken twice. Each level of this perk adds two points to the weapon's base damage of 14-19, which is then multiplied by the ammunition's Damage Modifier of 1.5, jacking the gun's average damage per round from 24.5 to 30.5. Multiplied by the number of rounds per burst, the increase is significant. With two levels of Bonus Ranged Damage, the Vindicator becomes the most powerful burst weapon in the game against all armor, though the Avenger still holds the edge in maximum damage on unarmored opponents.
A high-level, ranged-combat optimized character with 10 Agility, 2x Action Boy, 2x Bonus Ranged Damage, Bonus Rate of Fire, and Fast Shot, armed with this weapon, can dish out 3 extremely high-damage bursts in a single combat turn. If the character has 10 Luck and Sniper, each of those bursts will be critical, meaning all but certain death, often by four-digit doses of damage, to three enemies in a turn. This is one of the few character-weapon combinations that enables the player to kill the End Boss single-handedly in one turn.
This variety of minigun itself can be acquired on-board the Enclave Oil Rig, or sometimes bought in San Francisco.
- Though not a bug peculiar to this weapon, all the burst weapons in Fallout 2 suffer from a bug whereby dead creatures obstruct burst fire as if they were standing up. Thus if a dead entity is located between the player and the intended target of his/her burst fire, that dead entity will block the majority of the rounds fired.