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For the sculpture in Fallout: New Vegas, see Yangtze Memorial.
For the location in the Old World Blues add-on for Fallout: New Vegas, see Little Yangtze.

The Yangtze-31 (Chinese: 扬子-31;), is a Chinese nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine commanded by Zao. When first discovered by the Sole Survivor in 2287, it is lodged in the shallow waters off the coast of the Commonwealth south of Boston Airport and northeast of the Four Leaf fishpacking plant. The submarine is not marked on the map until the Sole Survivor swims out to it. Upon discovery, the quest Here There Be Monsters will automatically be started if it hasn't been received already from Donny Kowalski near the Shamrock Taphouse.


Sometime before the Great War, the Yangtze was sent on patrol along the U.S. Atlantic coast with a payload of six strategic nuclear SLBMs and an uncertain number of tactical nuclear missiles and torpedoes. It is unknown if the vessel experienced any combat prior to the Great War. When the Great War began, the Yangtze's captain obeyed his orders to fire the submarine's strategic nuclear weapons at their targets. All but one of the missiles were successfully launched.

Shortly after firing its strategic missiles, the Yangtze struck a mine that severely damaged its reactor and forced it to seek shelter in a nearby harbor, which just so happened to be the port of Boston. The damage caused a reactor leak that immobilized the sub and ultimately killed or ghoulified the crew of around 23 men, of which only Zao retained his sanity.


Yangtzes Shape

Yangtze's side profile

The Yangtze is a unique design for a ballistic missile submarine. It has three large propellers located on either side and under the reactor control room, as well as a smaller propeller at the rear of the sub with the rudder. The sub's design is unique as all of the facilities and machinery are located fore of the conning tower, which sits halfway on the sub, with only a small propeller and the rudder being behind the conning tower.

The first room the Sole Survivor comes to when entering the submarine is the control room/bridge where Zao is located.

Down the stairs is the reactor control room with a radio room on the port side (left when facing forward). There are two doors on either side of this room that go to a small room with a cage wall and a large machine behind which is presumably the propeller drive shaft.

Behind the reactor room and under the bridge is a room with the machinery and instrument panels. On the port side of the room is Captain Zao's quarters and on the starboard side is the officers mess.

Forward of the reactor control room is the upper reactor level and contains the reactor access hatch and a stairway, on the port side, leading to the lower level. The lower level contains reactor machinery and two doorways, at the rear, leading to the engine room for the lowest of the large propellers.

Past the reactor room on the upper floor is a small room that contains two decontamination showers and a locked door with a stairway to the lower deck. There is also a science lab on the port side of the room.

Forward of that room (still on the upper level) is the sub's mess room, galley, and food storage (the room opposite the galley). Forward of the mess is the crew quarters, containing 80 beds (configured in 8 stacks of three and 14 stacks of four), the sub's lavatories and a laundry room (port side), as well as the ships med-bay/infirmary (starboard side).

At the front of the quarters are two doorways that lead into each other at the front of the sub, then lead into a room on the lower deck that contains machinery with a workshop on the starboard side and a storage room on the port side. The next room contains a doorway on the starboard side leading to the sub's armory, and a hallway at the end leading to the silo room.

The silo room contains the 6 missile silos with 3 along each side. Each silo has an access hatch that allows the crew to access the SLBM inside. All are closed except the one with the missile that failed to launch. The next room is a small room before the reactor room which contains a locked door to the upper level.

Unlike the only other Chinese submarine the player character can personally encounter in the series, SSN-37-1A, the Yangtze is in fact a full-scale combat vessel with extensive crew amenities and visible missile and torpedo tubes. It is shaped very differently to any real-world submarine, unlike the SSN-37-1A, which bears a very conventional (albeit small) design.

Notable lootEdit

  • Submariner uniform and submariner hat - Worn by Captain Zao.
  • Fusion core - Inside an open footlocker in the crew quarters.
  • Nuka-Cola Quantum - Next to the bunk of dead crew member holding a Nuka-Cola truck, in the crew quarters.
  • Chinese officer sword - Lying on a desk in the captain's quarters, a room underneath the bridge.
  • Submariner hat - Worn by the first mate, now a glowing one (room has higher radiation levels).
  • Warhead - Found in the same room as the first mate, by looting the capsule on a nearby wall.
  • Stealth Boy - In a locked supply closet controlled by a terminal (Master).
  • Vault-Tec lunchbox - In the galley on the table in the southeast corner.
  • First mate's password - Found on the first mate.
  • Hazmat suit - In the missile warhead room in an openable locker by the south door.
  • Zao's sword - Only obtainable by passing all speech checks when asking for a larger reward (high charisma needed).
  • Fusion core - Found in a box underwater near the generator on the lowest level when going down the steep stairs past a skeleton lying on a barrel.

Related questsEdit


  • After using console command tmm 1 to reveal all locations on the map, Yangtze's location is not revealed.
  • While Yangtze is a Chinese submarine and manned by a Chinese crew, its interior bears no Chinese characters (汉字) (Hanzi). Warning signs and terminals are also written in English. Furthermore, all other items present aboard seem to be of American origin.
  • Oddly enough, there are various bottles of Nuka-Cola on the ship, including a bottle of Nuka-Cola Quantum. This is strange considering the hostilities between the USA and China, which would make it unlikely that the Chinese would drink Nuka-Cola. It is likely, however, that the American items were brought on board by raiders, which the Captain mentions have attacked since the bombs fell. This may also explain the presence of a Stealth Boy, an explicitly American invention based on reverse-engineered Chinese Hei Gui stealth armor.
  • In the infirmary, a skeleton of an American serviceman can be seen on the bed with handcuffs and a bone cutter and surgical scalpel on a table next to his bunk. It can be assumed that he was possibly captured and brought on board when the sub arrived in Boston.
  • It is difficult to get to the Yangtze while wearing power armor unless one uses the jetpack modification. To reach the submarine, one must swim without power armor from the shore or spawn at the fast travel point, which is on a nearby scrap barge. As it is impossible to swim in power armor, one must either sprint jump to get onto the Yangtze from the scrap barge that the fast travel marker spawns on or use the jetpack to reach the submarine.
  • There are 4 torpedo tubes on the front of the submarine but there doesn't appear to be a torpedo room onboard the sub.
  • After completing the quest Here There Be Monsters, Travis reports that people have seen a Chinese submarine going out to sea, however the Yangtze doesn't leave or move.
  • The periscope/sensor mast of the Yangtze (confused for the eye of a monster by Donny Kowalski) is raised at times by Zao so he can observe what's happening near by.
  • Settlers of the Commonwealth can be heard talking about a "ghoul whale" in the harbor. It's possible that they are referring to the Yangtze due to its shape being similar to that of the sperm whale.
  • Doors of the vessel are mislabeled as "bulkheads." Bulkhead is terminology for a wall.
  • When visiting with Curie, she will note that humans are capable of wonderful things when they aren't trying to kill each other.
  • It is very unclear on how Zao will be able to pilot the Yangtze out of the Commonwealth on his own.
  • Items can be saved in the ship after the quest involving the ship is completed, meaning the ship can be used as a player base.
  • The Yangtze can be destroyed during Here There Be Monsters when the Sole Survivor is tasked to replace the dampening coils and put a warhead in the reactor. However, the explosion will kill the Sole Survivor and Zao, even if the Sole Survivor manages to get out of the submarine before the explosion.
  • When comparing the Yangtze's side profile to that of classical submarines, it misses a large section of the lower stern. The absence of this section significantly reduces its weight, adding to its speed. Combined with the angled hull in the front and the added propellers in the mid-section, the Yangtze would have had superior speed and maneuverability over classical tube-shaped submarines.


The Yangtze only appears in Fallout 4.


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