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Formerly the ATLAS Observatory, Fort Atlas now serves as the headquarters of the new Brotherhood of Steel in Appalachia.Fallout 76 loading screens

Fort Atlas is a location in the Savage Divide region of Appalachia, formerly known known as ATLAS Observatory.[1] Once the site of an advanced military science project, the observatory lay dormant for years following the Great War, inhabited by hostile robots. In 2103, Russell Dorsey collaborated with the Vault Dwellers of Vault 76 to construct a base for the incoming Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force, using the observatory as their construction site. Upon arrival, the Brotherhood renamed the facility to Fort Atlas, converting it into its current appearance.

Background[edit | edit source]

Pre-War[edit | edit source]

While appearing to simply be an astronomical research laboratory, ATLAS was, in actuality, a military project on weather modification. The ATLAS Program, or Atmospheric Terraforming Laser Accelerator System, had limited success in its early months, mostly due to the apparent incompetence of Major Kirk Bentley. On January 24, 2076, Bentley was replaced by Lt. Col. James Oberlin, with the project set to have its funding cut unless scalable results were able to be produced by April.[2]

Under Oberlin's oversight, the project progressed rapidly. By March 12, the prototype had succeeded in initiating light rainfall across a significant localized area. Funding for the ATLAS Program was extended under the condition that Dr. Hammond, the facility's chief research scientist, invested more research into higher-energy weather conditions.[3] By August 20, the doctor was able to produce a wide variety of weather conditions based on data his team delivered to the lab. The latest prototype was capable of producing near-whiteout blizzard conditions, uncharacteristic weather for mid-August.[4]

By August 2077, the project had been fully approved and funded for military use. Oberlin theorized that the system could diminish the threat of nuclear war by subtly sabotaging the enemy by manipulating the weather.[5] On October 16, the ATLAS program and facility was suddenly ordered to be shut down, despite the project's success and utility.[6] By October 22, Oberlin was instructed to falsify all of the facility's data to make it appear as a failure.[7]

In spite of the facility's cancellation and the ensuing Great War, Dr. Hammond continued to work on the project for another five months, replacing the main lens, completing particle analyzes, and stabilizing the accelerator while attempting to use security robots as assistants. ATLAS eventually neared completion, but the project's functionality after the Great War remains unknown.[8]

Post-War[edit | edit source]

In 2103, Lucky Lou scavenged several automated turrets from the observatory for use in attempting to commit suicide and avoid turning feral.[9]

Later that year, Russell Dorsey established a campsite near the facility's entrance and, with the assistance of his utility Protectrons, began constructing a framework around the structure. This included various elevated platforms, a medical tent, a landing pad, and deliberately sealing the observatory's interior.[10] By late 2103, he had garnered the assistance of the Vault Dwellers in helping him fortify and establishing the new headquarters for the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force.[11]

Fort Atlas[edit | edit source]

Upon arrival, the Brotherhood fully occupied the base and renamed it to Fort Atlas.

Layout[edit | edit source]

Exterior[edit | edit source]

The observatory caps the crest of a hill along Route 63 east of Monongah. There are three entrances to the building. The exterior of the building was previously guarded by various robots and automated wall turrets, but has since been re-inhabited by Russell Dorsey and his utility protections.

Various platforms now provide easy access to higher parts of the structure. Near the eastern entrance, an armor workbench, weapons workbench, and power armor station can be found alongside a stash box. A small medical tent lies above the southern entrance, and a small residential tent has been assembled to the south.

Interior[edit | edit source]

The interior of the facility was sealed with The Legendary Run update, and did not reopen until Steel Dawn, when the observatory was occupied converted into Fort Atlas. At release, the building was a multi-level structure with border rooms encircling a vaulted central room that houses the telescope. It was filled with Protectrons, Mister Gutsies, and a high-level Assaultron. The building was full of loot and junk, including a Vault-Tec bobblehead in the main telescope room.

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

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Notes[edit | edit source]

The location of ATLAS Observatory was renamed to Fort Atlas in patch 24, the initial release of Steel Dawn.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Fort Atlas appears only in Fallout 76. Formerly known as ATLAS Observatory, it was expanded upon in The Legendary Run update, before being fully converted to Fort Atlas with Steel Dawn.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

50 Vault-Tec C.E.O..pngThe following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
  • The observatory shares its namesake with the Greek titan Atlas, who is credited with teaching humans astrology and is tasked with holding up the sky.
  • The ATLAS Observatory may be based on the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), an ionospheric research facility jointly funded by the US Air Force, Navy, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Although it finds a home in Alaska instead of Appalachia, HAARP is a magnet for conspiracy theories that its true research goals center around controlling the weather.
  • The ATLAS project may be based on Operation Popeye, a United States military project carried out during the Vietnam War, which involved seeding clouds in areas of North Vietnam in an attempt to extend the monsoon season.
50 Vault-Tec C.E.O..pngEnd of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Fort Atlas[edit | edit source]

Fortifying ATLAS[edit | edit source]

ATLAS Observatory[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.409 "22. OBSERVATORYIn-game spelling
    The AtlasIn-game spelling Observatory, an atmospheric and astronomic facility, is one of the largest domed telescopes still left standing. It offers loot as well as information on what scientific research was going on before the bombs dropped. Outside, the rocky mountain outcrop upon which the observatory is built offers exceptional views to the west, toward Monongah. There's a small exterior door (2) on the structure's western edge, but the main entrance is on the south side, after navigating an enemy-filled parking lot (or sneaking in via the lower loading dock entrance to the southeast). Inside, the circular structure is somewhat confusing unless you methodically search each chamber, culminating with a check of the giant telescope itself."

    (Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Atlas of Appalachia)
  2. ATLAS Observatory terminal entries; Army data analysis terminal, Report [1-24-76]
  3. ATLAS Observatory terminal entries; Army data analysis terminal, Report [3-12-76]
  4. ATLAS Observatory terminal entries; Army data analysis terminal, Report [08-20-76]
  5. ATLAS Observatory terminal entries; Army data analysis terminal, Report [8-17-77]
  6. ATLAS Observatory terminal entries; Army data analysis terminal, Report [10-18-77]
  7. ATLAS Observatory terminal entries; Army data analysis terminal, Report [10-22-77]
  8. ATLAS research log 293
  9. Carleton Mine terminal entries; Lou's engineering log, Turrets
  10. Back in a bit
  11. Events of Fortifying ATLAS
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