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Gametitle-FO76 WA.pngGametitle-FO76 WL.pngGametitle-FO76 Steel Reign.png
Gametitle-FO76 WA.pngGametitle-FO76 WL.pngGametitle-FO76 Steel Reign.png
Eh, water under the bridge. All of my best friendships start with misplaced suspicion of mass kidnapping.— Aries, to Paladin Leila Rahmani

Aries, formerly known as Calvin 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

Calvin van Lowe grew up in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and his parents owned Van Lowe Taxidermy in town. 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] An eccentric young man, 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. 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] However, the group was disbanded after Calvin began attending Vault-Tec University in August 2072.[4]

Despite the Truth Seekers splitting up, Calvin never shook his obsession with hunting cryptids, namely 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 aimed to exploit his obsession for their own gain and 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 under Shelley's nose.[10]

The Bysshe Company also provided Calvin with two Assaultron units to undertake his work.[11] One of Calvin's projects saw him faking sightings of the Sheepsquatch and stirring up public attention using these Assaultron units,[12] dubbed the Imposter Sheepsquatch. However, his first few attempts failed, leading the company to threaten Calvin with ominous warnings.[13] Although he pleaded with his handler, Bo-Peep, asking corporate to have patience,[13] he continued to fail, which angered the company even further.[14]

Just before the Great War,[15] Calvin attempted to reprogram one Assaultron unit with "Sheepsquatch Mating Rituals," a less than elegant attempt at possibly finding a real sheepsquatch (and even he was embarrassed by),[Non-game 2] but the reprogramming went awry when the unit misinterpreted the word "overwrite" for "override." The Assaultron unit escaped the lab, maiming him in the process.[16] Calvin was declared missing, though fixer Big Bad Wolf (who had been assigned to Calvin) presumed that he had been killed by the Assaultron.[17] The Imposter Sheepsquatch later killed Bo-Peep[18] and Big Bad Wolf, the latter of who tried, but failed, to capture it using a pylon ambush site.[19]

FO76 vanlowe mephistonowl 02.png

Shelley, who had no knowledge of the secret underground lab, contacted the police to investigate Calvin's disappearance. However, as the War discontinued all search efforts for Calvin, Shelley resorted to posting posters around Appalachia, hoping that someone would be able to bring her some closure with regards to what happened to her brother.[15] Before long, though, she gave up the search for Calvin and went to work for family friends (the Timmermans) in Kentucky.[20][21]

Life as Aries

Calvin managed to survive the Imposter Sheepsquatch attack, albeit with his face horribly disfigured. He erased his past and assumed the identity of "Aries." He also began using a mask to cover his face, as it keeps his jaw attached[22] and he cannot breathe without it.[23][24] He keeps his cards close to his chest, with his history being a mystery to virtually everyone in post-War Appalachia, even his current employers, the Blue Ridge Caravan Company, for who he works as a caravan guard.[25] However, Aries does mention being a local, and occasionally slips an obscure reference to his past life;[26] killer robots possibly being nearby is a particular trigger of sorts for Aries.[27] Bartender Herschel Klein knows that Aries has an encyclopedic knowledge of "everything strange," including cryptids, aliens and the aforementioned killer robots.[28]

Due to his prior employment with the Bysshe Company, Aries recommended usage of the Harpers Ferry tunnel to the Blue Ridge Caravan Company.[citation needed] Although he did not work at the tunnel himself, he was aware of Bysshe's work on an underground pipeline there.[29][30] As the tunnel is secure and discrete, it made for a good spot for caravans.[31] However, he is unaware that a Sheepsquatch Imposterling, created from a corruption of his own Sheepsquatch Mating Ritual program, is loose in the tunnel, though far away from the caravans' resting spot.[32][33]

In 2104, a group of around fifteen caravanners went missing in the tunnel, perturbing both Aries and Joanna Mayfield.[34] Although Paladin Leila Rahmani of the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force initially suspects Blue Ridge and Aries of being directly involved with the disappearances, the events of the quest Out of the Blue eventually establish Aries' and his employers' innocence, and that the Hellcat Company committed the kidnappings, using Blue Ridge as a source of human test subjects for Dr. Edgar Blackburn.[35][36][37]

Aries expresses a dark and eccentric personality, often getting on the nerves of people like Rudy Fernandez and Paladin Rahmani with his cryptic references to violence and overall odd behavior.[33] He acknowledges the Blue Ridge Caravan Company for playing an essential role in rebuilding Appalachia.[38]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Interactions
Icon interactions essential.webp
This character is essential. Essential characters 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, something that Aries references during Out of the Blue.[39]
  • At some point, Calvin received one of the "Vigilant Citizen's notes" asking people to distribute a series of discoveries and findings related to the "Treasure of Appalachia." The anonymous sender, in reality Flavia Stabo, recognized Calvin's "less than stellar" reputation, but admired his commitment to finding the truth, no matter what society said.[40]

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

  • Carl McKevitt made significant contributions to the design and writing of Aries and Calvin van Lowe as well as the Blue Ridge Caravan overall. He had planned for Calvin to make a reappearance since the Lying Lowe questline was first introduced.[Non-game 3] He also confirmed that Aries is still human, and not a ghoul.[Non-game 1]
  • Aries intentionally says "viola" instead of "voila" during Out of the Blue. Despite the insistence of autocorrect, Carl McKevitt and another dialogue editor agreed that it would be funny and in-character for Aries to say the wrong word. Carl stated that he received many community reports from players who assumed it was a typo that made its way into the voice line.[Non-game 4]
  • Aries' face underneath the mask can be seen if a bug occurs in which NPCs load in without their clothes.[Non-game 5] Carl stated that this is not Aries/Calvin's "true" appearance, and he does not have a canonical in-game face. It is actually 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, just obscured by the mask.[Non-game 6]
  • Colin was going to be Calvin's original name during an early point in his development, however, Carl McKevitt decided on Calvin as it was the name of his hamster as a kid, as well as the name of his Fallout 3 player character.[Non-game 7]
  • Aries in zodiac astrology is the ram. More specifically, a ram is a male bighorn sheep, a reference to Calvin's obsession with the Sheepsquatch.
Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 76 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.
Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 76 cut content

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Life with Calvin
  2. 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. 13.0 13.1 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 Wanted: Sheepsquatch
  16. Behavioral reprogramming
  17. Van Lowe Taxidermy terminal entries; assembly platform, !!! - EMERGENCY CHECK-IN - !!!
  18. Crime scene notes
  19. Pylon ambush site terminal entries; Bysshe remote robotics terminal, Note: Capture Procedure
  20. Discarded letter
  21. 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)
  22. 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)
  23. Vault Dweller: "If you don't mind me asking, what happened to you?"
    Aries: "It was long ago, and not a memory that comes without effort to conjure."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  24. 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)
  25. Big Bend Tunnel terminal entries; terminal, Staff and Clients for Appalachia
  26. 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)
  27. Vault Dweller: "Wait, a killer robot?"
    Aries: "What!? Where!?"
    (Aries' dialogue)
  28. 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)
  29. 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)
  30. 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) Note: During this scene, Aries uses a calendar to access a hidden area, in the exact same way the calendar at Van Lowe Taxidermy is interacted with.
  31. 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)
  32. Command parameters
  33. 33.0 33.1 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. 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)
  35. Blue Ridge delivers again
  36. Caravan manifest
  37. Events of Out of the Blue.
  38. Aries: "This world resists the positive changes we try to bring to it, but ever so slowly, our efforts make a difference."
    (Aries' dialogue)
  39. 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)
  40. Vigilant Citizen's note to Van Lowe

Non-game

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