War Never Changes is the prologue, a main story quest and an achievement/trophy in Fallout 4. The quest takes place on October 23, 2077, in the player character's pre-War home in suburban Sanctuary Hills, and begins immediately after the player starts the game.
|Main Quest: War Never Changes|
|Complete Character Creation.|
|Speak to the Vault-Tec rep.|
|Check on Shaun.|
|Watch the TV announcement.|
|Get to Vault 111.|
|Step into the pod.|
|Reward: Vault 111 jumpsuit|
|Leads to: Out of Time|
The player character begins in front of the bathroom mirror, preparing to go out for a Veterans Hall meeting alongside their spouse, Nate/Nora. Upon finishing character aesthetic customization at the mirror, the player character goes out of the bathroom to answer the door. Within the house, the player character can interact with a variety of objects and goods, such as bottles of Nuka-Cola, boxes of Salisbury Steak, their infant son Shaun and the house's resident Mister Handy named Codsworth. Opening the door, the player character encounters a Vault-Tec rep, who states that the player character has been selected to enter the area's nearby Vault, Vault 111. During this speech sequence, the player character can choose and customize their name and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points.
Once this customization is done, the player character returns to find that Shaun is still crying, despite Codsworth's attempts to clean him up. The player character then enters Shaun's room and tries to calm him down by spinning the mobile. Upon activation of the mobile, Codsworth rushes in and urges the player character to the television. The reporter on the television, in a distressed manner, proclaims that nuclear detonations have hit New York and Philadelphia and that one warhead is inbound for Boston, before abruptly signing off. The player character, with their spouse and son, then rushes toward the vault alongside other Sanctuary Hills residents as U.S. army vehicles block the streets. Upon reaching the Vault gate, they find the Vault-Tec rep, who is refused entry and threatened by the U.S. Army officer on duty. The player character then approaches the officer, who checks their credentials--one male, one female, and one infant son. The player character is then granted clearance to enter Vault 111 and is instructed to step on a platform that would take them into the vault.
Just moments before the platform begins to lower, a bright flash is seen, followed by a loud noise and a blast of smoke. A nuclear detonation has occurred within the Boston area and the platform rapidly lowers just in time as the blast hits Sanctuary Hills. The platform further lowers into Vault 111's entrance, where the player character and a few other Sanctuary Hills residents pass through.
Once inside the vault, the player character and the rest of the Sanctuary Hills survivors are screened by the Vault overseer and Vault-Tec staff. The player character is given a Vault 111 jumpsuit and is directed through a passageway. Within the vault, other residents seem anxious and afraid of their new home, as Vault-Tec staff try to reassure them with the features of Vault 111's amenities. The player character continues along the passageway to a room filled with several chambers, where a Vault-Tec doctor is standing. The doctor claims that the chambers are for decontamination purposes and the player character is instructed to enter one of the cryo pods, with the spouse and Shaun taking another. Inside the cryo pods the doors seal shut and an automated voice begins a countdown as they activate, with the player character's vision going white.
The player character is then jostled awake by the automated voice. The room outside is dark, with the other Sanctuary Hills residents still inside their chambers. It is revealed that these are cryochambers, another part of Vault-Tec's myriad societal experiments as part of "Project Safehouse". Two mysterious figures, one being Conrad Kellogg and an Institute scientist, enter the room. They open the chamber holding the player character's spouse and Shaun and the spouse suddenly wakes from cryosleep. Confused, the spouse asks what the two individuals are doing there, and they demand to have Shaun. The spouse refuses and holds onto Shaun but in an instant, Kellogg shoots the spouse with his pistol and takes Shaun from their lifeless arms. The player character suddenly re-enters cryosleep as everything fades to white once more.
Waking again as the automated PA system announces a malfunction, the player character falls out of the chamber and stands up, shivering, beginning act one of the story with the quest Out of Time.
- The player character can take as long as they like to reach Vault 111, but if they stray too far from the game's intended path, the nuclear bomb will detonate in the distance, resulting in instant death.
- Shaun's crib mobile plays the Baby Steps theme from Fallout 3.
- The commercial that plays on the television is the live-action promotional video for the Fat Man, used as part of Fallout 3's viral marketing campaign.
- During the TV broadcast, the newscaster mentions mechanized US Armed Forces units on the "island of Mambajao", and naval fleets in the Bohol Sea. Mambajao is a town on the island of Camiguin in the Philippines, indicating that the United States was fighting on a Pacific/Southeast Asia frontline.
- Also during the broadcast, while discussing the upcoming World Series, the newscaster quotes John Henry Eden's speech on baseball almost verbatim.
- The name of the quest is a reference to the famous Fallout line: "War, war never changes". The player character can speak this line at Fraternal Post 115 later in the game.
- Oddly, even though the mysterious man uses a revolver to shoot the player's spouse, a spent casing can be heard hitting the floor.
- The two powered armor soldiers in the level are equipped with T-60 power armor with military paint. In the gameplay trailer, their armor is not equipped with the paint.
- When awakening for the first time, the player can make their character fruitlessly punch the cryogenic pod's glass by pressing the interact button. This can be done for the entire duration of the event.
- pc ps4 xboxone Once you step out of your cryochamber for the first time, you may not be able to move at all, nor be able to save your game. [verified]
- This can only be resolved by restarting the game and reloading your last save.
- pc The achievement may not unlock after leaving the vault and entering the wasteland. [verified]
- xboxone If a change to your character's skin color is made and you decide to change it again just before starting the game, Shaun will keep the previous skin color, not appearing to look like his parent(s) at all. [verification overdue]