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Let's hope no one is going to any graves today... Other than our enemies, as we cast their forsaken souls to hell itself. Their screams echoing back as our merciless assault rips them from this mortal coil. Darkly we stride, tall and powerful, through this tunnel of death.

Aries, formerly known as Calvin "Cal" van Lowe, is an employee of the Blue Ridge Caravan Company at Big Bend Tunnel. Before changing his identity to Aries and finding Blue Ridge, Calvin was a cryptid hunter, inventor, and engineer working for the Bysshe Company prior to the Great War.

Background

Life as Calvin van Lowe

He grew up in Lewisburg, West Virginia and his parents owned Van Lowe Taxidermy. After his parents' death, Calvin's older sister, Shelley, inherited the family business, though Calvin still maintained a residence and office in the building.[1] Calvin was described by Shelley as always being "the odd sort," but highly intelligent.[1] A psychological evaluation described van Lowe as having extremely high mental acuity and cognitive skills.[2] However, he was also described as having a dissociative view of the social world and an inability to associate context with stimuli.[2]

Alongside his high school friends Scott "Scoot" Conroy and Ray Gary, Calvin was a member of the Truth Seekers, a group devoted to hunting cryptids spotted in West Virginia.[3] The group disbanded after Calvin began attending Vault-Tec University in August 2072.[4] Calvin continued his search for and interest in the Sheepsquatch.[5]

Following his graduation from Vault-Tec University, Calvin was hired by the Bysshe Company, an out-of-state energy corporation[1] that gave him the code name "Blacksheep."[6] Bysshe organized for Calvin to move back home to Lewisburg so that he could develop products for the company through various unique projects.[7][8] Living with his sister Shelley in the family home was intended to be a temporary arrangement, but Bysshe invested in building Calvin a secret basement lab while they were meant to be finding a property of his own.[9] Although Shelley technically owned the business, Calvin as the "signing owner" sold Van Lowe Taxidermy to the Bysshe Company without Shelley's consent.[10]

One of Calvin's projects involved fabricating sightings of the Sheepsquatch to stir up public attention using two assaultron units provided by Bysshe.[11][12] Calvin began to fail in his initiatives, requesting more time from corporate via his handler Bo-Peep.[13][14] Calvin attempted to reprogram one of the assaultron units with "Sheepsquatch mating ritual" protocols in an attempt to hasten finding the actual creature but the reprogramming went awry when the unit misinterpreted the word "overwrite" for "override."[15] The assaultron unit escaped the lab, maiming Calvin in the process, and he was subsequently declared missing.[15][16][17]

Shelley, who had no knowledge of the underground lab or Calvin's involvement with Bysshe, contacted the police to investigate his disappearance. The Great War discontinued all search efforts save that of Shelley, who began circulating posters around Appalachia, hoping that someone would be able to bring her some closure with regards to what happened to her brother.[18] When she decided to move on to work for the Timmerman's in Kentucky, she left Calvin a note in case he ever returned.[19][20]

Life as Aries

Calvin survived the Imposter Sheepsquatch attack with extensive damage to his face.[21] He elected to assume the new identity "Aries" and infrequently comments on his past.[22] His interest in "cryptids, aliens, and killer robots" persists, despite his agitation at the mention of violent robots, enough so that Herschel Klein comments on his "encyclopedic knowledge of everything strange."[23][24]

Aries must now wear a mask to stabilize his injuries and to facilitate breathing.[25] He now serves as a caravan guard for the Blue Ridge Caravan Company.[26] Aries is familiar with the Big Bend Tunnel's engineering, providing knowledge of a gas pipeline tunnel underneath, potentially serving as a safer route for the caravan.[27][28][29] He expresses his support of the incremental differences the caravan company can make on rebuilding the world.[30]

Assisting the Brotherhood of Steel

When a group of caravanners went missing in the Harpers Ferry train tunnel, both Aries and Joanna Mayfield were hesitant to continue traveling along the route.[31] Paladin Leila Rahmani and the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force suspected that Aries and the Blue Ridge group may have been directly involved with the disappearances.[32][33] Joanna orders Aries to show Rahmani and her companion the route, to his displeasure. Rahmani immediately becomes distrustful of Aries. During their investigation, Rahmani's suspicion only grows and she thinks he is trying to lure her into a trap. However, after Rahmani finds evidence that Edgar Blackburn is the real culprit, she issues Aries an apology for jumping to poor conclusions about him. Aries suggests she could spare some rocket launchers, which she declines.

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Interactions
Icon interactions essential.webp
This character cannot be killed.
25 Strictly Business.png
This character is a temporary companion.
FO76 ui icon quest.png
This character is involved in quests.
FO76 icon map event.png
This character is involved in events.

Quests

Inventory

Notes

  • Calvin was a fan of the K.D. Inkwell series before the Great War.[34]
  • Before the War, Calvin was a frequent buyer at Priblos' Curios, a small store dedicated to selling cryptid merchandise, and was a friend of the owner Raymond Priblo.[35] He is said to have nearly bought the store's stock.[36]
  • At some point, Calvin received a "Vigilant Citizen's note" asking him to distribute a series of discoveries and findings related to the "Treasure of Appalachia."[37]

Notable quotes

  • "Searching. There were several things that I had just lost before the War. I needed to find them and in some cases, kill them. Even back then, there's all sorts of shit you could get mixed up in. Mistakes you made weren't just wiped clean when the bombs fell. For years, I could barely breathe through the blood caked up in my throat. But little by little I found my footing again. So, I searched, and searched, until I didn't. That life ended with this caravan route. Found something here that gave me a reason to stay."
  • "Protect the Brahmin at all costs. Even at the sake of your own, or Rudy's, life. If we lose the Brahmin, we lose our pay. If you get lucky, you may spot some cargo that was lost on previous runs. We'll pay for that too. Let's head out."
  • "Eh, water under the bridge. All of my best friendships start with misplaced suspicion of mass kidnapping." – To Paladin Leila Rahmani
  • "Er... In a past life I used to work with these pencil pushing sociopaths in suits. Well, not at this facility, but I was in-the-know about their various nefarious dealings in the region."
  • "Being back here again even gives me the creeps... And trust me, that's saying something."
  • "This world resists the positive changes we try to bring to it, but ever so slowly, our efforts make a difference."

Appearances

Aries appears only in Fallout 76. Calvin van Lowe was first mentioned in the Wild Appalachia update, while Aries was introduced in the Wastelanders update. The Steel Reign update expanded upon Aries' character and revealed that he was Calvin van Lowe.

Behind the scenes

  • Developer Carl McKevitt contributed to the design and writing of Aries' character. The reappearance of Calvin as Aries had been planned since the Lying Lowe questline was first introduced.[Non-canon 1] He confirmed that Aries is a human in his 50s and not a ghoul.[Non-canon 2][Non-canon 3]
  • Aries intentionally says "viola" instead of "voila" during the events of Out of the Blue. McKevitt and his team agreed that it would be a good addition and in-character for Aries to say the wrong word. McKevitt stated that he received many community reports from players who assumed it was a typo that made its way into the voice line.[Non-canon 4]
  • McKevitt stated that any glitches that reveal his face are not intended to be his "true" appearance and that he does not have a confirmed in-game appearance. It is modeled after what Kieran Kennedy looked like in initial designs before he was aged up to match the voice actor. As Kieran was the first guard implemented, his actor template was duplicated to Aries, who kept the old face model, obscured by the mask.[Non-canon 5]
  • Colin was going to be Calvin's original name during an early point in his development, but McKevitt opted for Calvin as it was the name of his childhood pet hamster as well as the name of his Fallout 3 player character.[Non-canon 6]
  • The Lying Lowe questline was specifically designed to have a different kind of resolution than other content in the game, insofar as the player does not actually find Calvin van Lowe dead, or find any concrete proof of his supposed death. This opened the possibility for him to make a return. McKevitt stated that he never anticipated that Calvin would return as a caravan guard, but while writing characters for Riding Shotgun, he saw a "now-or-never" opportunity to subtly reintroduce Calvin. With Steel Reign, Aries' identity was openly revealed as he began to interact with other characters and his story could be concluded.[Non-canon 7]
  • Cut content There is a cut NPC intended to be Calvin's corpse in the game files (Editor ID zzz_P01B_Lying_CalvinVanLoweCorpse and Form ID 00478D3E) named "Colin Van Lowe." There is also a cut key named Colin van Lowe's password.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Life with Calvin
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blacksheep dossier
  3. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; terminal, Truth Seekers Meeting Archive
  4. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; terminal, 07/29/2072
  5. Note to self
  6. Calvin's security code
  7. Wolf's letter to Bo-Peep
  8. Bo-Peep's note on Calvin
  9. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, Check-in #1
  10. Property deed
  11. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, Check-in #2
  12. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, Check-in #3
  13. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, Check-in #4
  14. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, Check-in #5
  15. 15.0 15.1 Behavioral reprogramming
  16. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, !!! - EMERGENCY CHECK-IN - !!!
  17. Pylon ambush site terminal entries; Bysshe remote robotics terminal, Note: Capture Procedure
  18. Wanted: Sheepsquatch
  19. Discarded letter
  20. Libby Wen: "Is there no one else from your family that can run shipments for you, Carver?"
    Carver Timmerman: "Well my mom used to do this before she got sick. And I guess Shelley could, but then we'd be down a trapper. Why do you ask? I'm not very good at this, am I?"
    (Carver Timmerman and Libby Wen's dialogue)
  21. Vault Dweller: "What's with the mask?"
    Aries: "Oh just a little something to help me breathe... and to keep my jaw attached. You know what they say: play with fire, get burned. Play with killer robots, get your face ripped off."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  22. Aries: "Well, looks like the Truthseeker's Club of Lewisburg took on some new members. The real question isn't what it was, it's how many more are out there?"
    (Aries' dialogue)
  23. Herschel Klein: "You know that guard we got, Aries? He's got an encyclopedic knowledge of everything strange: cryptids, aliens, killer robots. I've been working on a theory: he IS an alien. His spaceship was destroyed when the bombs fell, and now he's stuck working for us just to get by. Poor guy. Must miss his home planet something awful."
    (Herschel Klein's dialogue)
  24. Vault Dweller: "Wait, a killer robot?"
    Aries: "What!? Where!?"
    (Aries' dialogue)
  25. Vault Dweller: "If you don't mind me asking, what happened to you?"
    Aries: "You mean the voice? The mask? It's not so much what, but who. And, uh, I think you've already been acquainted. It's my special reward for standing between a robot and love... Love that, uh, some one may have programmed it to seek out. I do not recall that programming requiring ripping the face off of any human in its path. Or hunting down Bysshe employees for that matter... But... Isn't mother nature amazing? It never hurts to ask. But the reason I'm wearing the mask did. A lot. Can't breathe without this thing now. If you ever think 'hey, I'm going to try and play God today.' Don't. Trust me."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  26. Big Bend Tunnel terminal entries; terminal, Staff and Clients for Appalachia
  27. Vault Dweller: "What can you tell me about this train tunnel?"
    Aries: "The train tunnel itself isn't so important, but underneath is a top-secret gas pipeline running all the way out of the region. It's a pretty discrete route. Safe too, comparatively. Cept, uh, the most recent trip."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  28. Vault Dweller: "How do you know so much about this place?"
    Aries: "Er... In a past life I used to work with these pencil pushing sociopaths in suits. Well, not at this facility, but I was in-the-know about their various nefarious dealings in the region."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  29. Aries: "There's a trick to getting in. Gimme one shake of a Lambsquatch's tail to get it open. Let's see... Thirty days past September... Carry the two..."
    Paladin Rahmani: "Is this for real?"
    Aries: "And viola! It's just a little further ahead. Please, after you."
    (Aries and Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  30. Aries: "This world resists the positive changes we try to bring to it, but ever so slowly, our efforts make a difference."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  31. Joanna Mayfield: "Harpers Ferry. The train tunnel. Mind showing our guests the route?"
    Aries: "Oh crap. You really want to go back there?"
    (Aries and Joanna Mayfield's dialogue)
  32. Command parameters
  33. Aries: "Your boss looks like she's about to strangle me with one of those vines. Something happen in there?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "Aries, between the Feral Ghouls, the strangler vines and that insane sheep robot, I've about reached my limit with this place... and your antics. I don't know if this is some kind of trap, or elaborate cover-up, but we need to get through that door and get answers. Now."
    Aries: "Whoa, whoa, trap? Where's this coming from? Hold on, did you say "sheep robot"? Like the baa-baa kind, or the killer robot kind?"
    Paladin Rahmani: "Aries. The door. Now. Please."
    Aries: "Okay, just give me a second. Yeesh."
    (Aries and Leila Rahmani's dialogue)
  34. Aries: "I'm still thinking about other ways we might get this door open... Definitely not replaying old episodes of K.D. Inkwell in my head."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  35. Letter to Calvin requested
  36. Raymond's pep talk
  37. Vigilant Citizen's note to Van Lowe

Non-canon

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