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Cave fungus is a consumable item in Fallout 3. It can restore some of the player character's Hit Points while slightly reducing their radiation.

Characteristics

It can be acquired from Little Lamplight by striking a deal with Eclair or Lucy for either strange meat or Buffout respectively. Alternatively, it can be acquired directly through Mayor MacCready after a successful speech challenge, but this will result in negative Karma. The price can be lowered with a higher Barter skill or with the Child at Heart perk.

According to the residents of Little Lamplight and its history, the fungus appears to "like" strange meat. This is connected to the fact that the original fungus grew "from the water where the first Little Lamplighters dumped the bodies of the mungos".

The fungus' radiation scrubbing ability makes it an effective and nutritious health booster out in the wasteland.

Notes

  • Cave fungus is one of three food items that decrease radiation, the others being the Wild punga fruit and Refined punga fruit.
  • With a value of 50 caps, it is the most valuable food item in the game.
  • Some cave fungus can also be located in the cafeteria area of Little Lamplight and taken with no negative Karma.
  • If one decides to kill all of the cannibals in Andale, one will be able to loot a lot of strange meat from there, which would allow them to save Buffout.

Unused Vault 106 note

The following is from a cut Vault 106 note in Fallout 3. It describes fungus growing in caves.

Mycological Characteristics:
Kingdom=Fungi
Phylum=Basidiomycota
Genus=Ustilago
Species=U. Noslen
Hymenium Type=None
Cap Shape=Convex
Spore Color=Hyper Blue
Ecological Type=Mycorrhizal
Description:
The U. Noslen seems to produce a compound that when exposed to the conditions of the cave are able to shield it from harmful radiation. The rate at which the fungus degrades the stone appears to be slowed. Study shows that the U. Noslen reproduces by dispersing small amounts of diaspores. Due to the lack of wind sources, the fungus is usually clusters but occasionally is able to fan out to other surfaces.

Behind the scenes

  • Cave fungus may be based on the real life "radiotrophic fungus", a fungus which can absorb gamma radiation, and which was discovered in 2007 around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant ruins, in Ukraine.
  • In another Bethesda game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, there was a mushroom called "Cairn Bolete" that was said to only grow in caves where people had died, which is similar in concept to the cave fungus.

See also

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