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The Broken Mask incident was a sudden outburst of violence perpetrated by Diamond City visitor Mr. Carter against individuals around the market bar in May 2229.[1]


According to eye-witness Eustace Hawthorne, one evening a man named Mr. Carter joined a group of patrons at the town's central bar. Claiming to be from out west, he struck up conversation, sharing stories about the state of the Commonwealth with the rest of the individuals that had gathered at the establishment.[1]

The group enjoyed several drinks together over the course of the evening, until Eustace noticed Mr. Carter's smile suddenly faded, and his cheek began to twitch.[1] As his cheek began to twitch, Mr. Carter unexpectedly pulled out his revolver and, without emotion or hesitation, shot the bartender Henry in the head. With his cheek still twitching, Carter continued to execute several other individuals.[2] As the city guards arrived and opened fire, Carter continued his frenzy, "tossing people left and right." He was eventually "put down" by security.

Inspection of his corpse revealed an undisclosed amount of plastic and metal, revealing Carter was not human but instead an advanced synth created by the Institute.[1] When the Director of the Institute learned of the situation, they were furious. Carter had not been approved for field testing and was sent to the surface without authorization. As the incident threatened decades of work to keep the organization "out of the spotlight" in the Commonwealth, the Director sought to identify those responsible.[3]


The reverberations of the incident are still felt nearly sixty years later in both Diamond City and the greater Boston Commonwealth.[4] By 2287, the fear of neighbors and family members being replaced by synths is significant, having grown into far-reaching and widespread paranoia.[5][6][7] The sentiment has recently escalated due to unexplained disappearances of citizens such as Charlie Fallon.[8][9] A facility known as Compound was founded by Roslyn Chambers, who lost her parents in the incident, dedicated to the identification and complete eradication of synths.[10]


The Broken Mask incident is mentioned only in Fallout 4.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Synthetic Truth
  2. Sole Survivor: "What happened to you?"
    Roslyn Chambers: "In Diamond City, a lifetime ago, my parents and eight others were massacred by someone. At first we thought the maniac was human. But that was the day we learned of the Institute's latest creations. The synths. As long as the Institute walks invisibly amongst us, they strike without warning and control us from the shadows."
    (Roslyn Chambers' dialogue)
  3. Director's recording #108
  4. Fallout 4 loading screens: "In the year 2229, a mysterious visitor to Diamond City killed several people. It was only after he was shot dead by city security that the stranger was revealed to be a synth. The people of the Commonwealth have feared the Institute ever since."
  5. Nick Valentine: "Hey. Let me ask you something. It's just, with everything that's happened with you, your family. It's a whole hell of a lot to process. I wanted to make sure you're holding up alright."
    Sole Survivor: "I don't know, Nick. My family's in tatters. I've been dropped into this place where everything's trying to kill me. You tell me."
    Nick Valentine: "I'd expect you feel lost, scared, and mad as hell. I sure did. Took me a long damn time to get a feel for this place. Thank goodness I found Diamond City. It's got its flaws, sure, but it beats the hell out of anywhere else in the Commonwealth. Course, when I took up there back when, people were just as scared of the Institute as they are now, maybe more. The massacre of the CPG was still pretty fresh in people's minds at that point, and folks were still losing sleep over the Broken Mask. Plenty of people assumed I was just a saboteur, moving in to melt down the reactor or poison the drinking water. But, at the time, they couldn't exactly turn me away."
    (Nick Valentine's dialogue)
  6. The Boogeyman banished?
  7. Diamond City security officer: "Broke up with my girl. She kept the cap off the toothpaste. Know who does that? A synth."
    (Diamond City security officers' dialogue)
  8. Sole Survivor: "Your husband was taken by the Institute?"
    Becky Fallon: "Well he ain't here anymore, that's for sure. Not like the Institute leaves a trail besides those damn synths."
    Sole Survivor: "What do you know about synths?"
    Becky Fallon: "Just what I read in the papers. That the Institute builds 'em, and some even look human. So much you can't tell the real difference. Lucky me, huh? Institute takes my Charlie, and doesn't even bother replacing him."
    (Becky Fallon's dialogue)
  9. Sole Survivor: "A war, really? Is it that bad?"
    Roslyn Chambers: "Hundreds of kidnappings over the years. Ask the survivors if it's really 'that bad'."
    (Roslyn Chambers' dialogue)
  10. Sole Survivor: "You can't seriously want to kill all the synths..."
    Roslyn Chambers: "As long as the Institute walks invisibly amongst us, they strike without warning and control us from the shadows. I've dedicated my life to devising a test to detect these hidden synths. To root them out, so they can be extinguished."
    (Roslyn Chambers' dialogue)
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Fo4 Institute Seal.png