Enclave logo

The Enclave were the remnants of the pre-War United States government.


The Star-Spangled Banner

One of the few old world organizations to survive the Great War, the Enclave finds its roots in various branches of the pre-War American government. Its founding members embraced the inevitability of nuclear war. They believed that the common man of the nation could not survive it. With most believing that as long as the 'important people' of the United States survived, they could regroup quickly when worse came to worst and wipe out communism once and for all.

Though not technically a part of the Enclave, many powerful corporations lobbied for the benefits that they hoped would result from government-sanctioned war contracts. Based in many of the Enclave's research facilities, most were protected or grazed during the nuclear firestorm of 2077.[1]

In 2073, as the global race to exploit the handful of remaining natural resources reached its most fevered peak, the United States managed to stake a claim on the entire world's last known supply of crude oil, buried thousands of feet beneath the Pacific Ocean. Poseidon Oil, which in the years leading to the war became the world's leading monopoly on remaining oil reserves, was contracted to build an oil rig and extract the precious oil.

Finally, early in the fateful year of 2077, with the planet ultimately headed directly for nuclear devastation, the President of the United States and various other members of the continuity of government fell back to multiple fortified areas around the world. The Poseidon Oil Rig in the Pacific Ocean was chosen as their main hidden fortress with which the United States could continue to exist and wage war on China, with the eventual goal of retaking the continental United States and wiping out communism forever. Other members of the Enclave retreated to remote locations in other parts of the world, but when the bombs began to fly, they lost communications with the main group.[1]

As the world burnt in nuclear hellfire and the United States with it, its President, and the Enclave, remnants of the pre-War American government,[2] assumed positions and established themselves as its continuation...

The Vault Experiment

A poster advertising the Vault program.

Vault promotion poster from Fallout 3

The Vaults were funded by the U.S. government and, accordingly, the government had control over them. Ostensibly, they were intended to allow a selection of privileged United States citizens to survive the Great War. Secretly, however, a large part of the Vault Project had a far more sinister goal.

Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and is not canon.

The U.S. government's real plan to survive a nuclear war was simply to find another planet to live on after blowing up Earth. A spacecraft designed to ferry the human race to another planet was either under construction or ready to go before the War. The plan was for the government to flee to the oil rig, and then leave in a spaceship for another planet.[3]

Any voyage to space or recolonization of Earth would have been very difficult and fraught with unforeseeable complications. Thus, many of the Vaults were designed to have some sort of critical flaw in order to test how an average American would be able to deal with various circumstances. Vault 12 in Bakersfield had a faulty Vault door that wouldn't close all the way, allowing dangerous radiation to leak in, leading to the creation of California's ghoul population. Vault 15 was built normally (the rock slide that buried its control center was accidental), but was populated with a diverse mix of races and people to see what sort of tensions arise when varied backgrounds are packed into a small environment. Vault 13 was intended to stay shut for a full 200 years to test the effects of long term isolation. Vault 101 was to be sealed permanently to study the evolution of small communities in complete isolation from the rest of the world. The types and purposes of the experiments go on.

Eventually, due to either a change of plans by the Enclave's leadership or the spacecraft being destroyed, the Enclave abandoned their initial goal of settling on another planet, and decided to resettle the one they already had, although the Vault monitoring and research continued as the Societal Preservation Program. In order to monitor the populations being experimented upon, the Enclave's oil rig possessed a great deal of equipment that allowed them to observe and control the Vaults. For example, the Enclave sent the all clear signal to Vault 8 shortly after the War, prompting them to leave their Vault and build their city. These monitoring tools also let the Enclave see that the population of Vault 13 was largely intact, although this wouldn't become important until much later.

Gametitle-VB.pngEnd of information based on Van Buren.

Rise to power

Flag of the Enclave.

Dick Richardson, President of the United States in 2242.

The seal on the Poseidon Oil Rig's entry level floor.

For a long time after the Great War, the Enclave sat quietly in its oil rig, consolidating its forces and working on gaining a technological edge over anyone on the mainland. Eventually, when they felt it would be safe, they decided it was time to move out and start working towards the rebirth of America. Using their vertibirds, the Enclave sent out scouting parties all over California, the closest state to the oil rig.

The Enclave scouting parties arrived in California after the Master's defeat, and so saw super mutants and ghouls inhabiting the land. When this was reported to the higher ups at the Enclave, it was decided that all the mutants would have to go. It occurred to the Enclave that those who had lived out in the open on the mainland for over a hundred years since the end of the war must have been contaminated or compromised somehow by radiation...or worse. These mutants too, then, would have to be destroyed before "true" humanity (as defined by the Enclave's leadership), could once again lay claim to the mainland.

Reconnaissance and exploration of California continued, looking for a way of carrying out their genocidal ambitions without destroying the world all over again with nuclear weapons. Eventually, Enclave troops stumbled across the old abandoned Military Base, where research on the Forced Evolutionary Virus had been done before the Great War. The FEV was what had created the super mutants, the biggest threat of all to the Enclave.

The Enclave excavated the military base, largely using slave labor gathered from the nearby mining town of Redding, eventually finding the vats deep inside the lower levels of the base. Though they had been buried in rock and forgotten for decades, the vats still contained that old familiar green bubbling gunk, the Forced Evolutionary Virus. The Enclave gathered samples to be sent back to the oil rig for further analysis. Before long, though, the slave miners, some being fully exposed to raw FEV, others likely falling into the vats accidentally, began to mutate into a second generation of super mutants. The mutant slaves soon overthrew their guards. Seizing their weapons, hardware left behind by the first mutant army or anything lying around, the super mutants stormed the upper levels and quickly overran the troops in the base. Panicked and retreating, the Enclave troopers on the upper levels fled the base and used explosives to seal the entrance, trapping the second generation mutants inside the base.[4]

The project

Even though things went badly at Mariposa, the Enclave still had the samples of FEV they needed. Back at the oil rig, the United States Chemical Corps began work on the serum immediately. They found that it would be possible to make from FEV an incredibly potent and lethal toxin that only affected mutants. But, in order for research to progress, they would need test subjects. They needed two test groups: one of clean, pure humans and another composed of the "mutants" that lived all over the mainland, suffering radiation and FEV exposure for decades that, to the Enclave, made them unclean.[5] This unclean sample was easily obtained by kidnapping the entire tribal population of Arroyo.

The clean group would be more difficult to obtain, though. The Enclave wouldn't allow the Chemical Corps to use people living on the oil rig so they had to look elsewhere. Thus, they traveled in force to Vault 13 and sent a command to the Vault's computers to open the Vault door. After taking care of some mild resistance, the Enclave troops rounded up the residents of Vault 13 and shipped them off to the oil rig in Vertibirds to take part in the Chemical Corps' FEV experiments.[6]

Fall and aftermath


Just as the Enclave was preparing to launch the poison into the jet stream to kill off the entire known population of the mainland, a tribal known as the Chosen One arrived at the oil rig on the Poseidon oil tanker that had sat in the San Francisco bay for many years. The Chosen One freed the survivors of both the Vault 13 population as well as the Arroyo tribals and started a self-destruct sequence in the oil rig that destroyed the entirety of the Enclave's headquarters, saving the world from a horrible death at the hands of the modified FEV.[7][8]

Although the Enclave survived the destruction of their oil rig, all traces of President Richardson were erased from history. Weakened and cut off from much of their leadership, eventually, the remainder of Enclave personnel stationed in New California that did not retreat prior were finally shattered by the combined might of the Brotherhood of Steel and the New California Republic. But beforehand, Autumn Senior led the majority of surviving Enclave personnel east, such as to the ruins of Washington, D.C. at Raven Rock, to re-establish the Enclave as the dominant power in their nation's former capital.[9]

Those who remained (why Autumn Senior and his subordinates left so few of the remnant personnel behind in New California to begin with remains an unsolved mystery) were hunted by the Brotherhood and the NCR, while some tried to integrate themselves into the NCR and met temporarily minimal success,[10] from time to time stories will crop up of an elderly Enclave veteran that was caught integrating being executed or arrested.


John Henry Eden, President of the Enclave in 2277.

In D.C, the ZAX mainframe installed in Raven Rock to ensure continuity of government continued to function until the destruction of the oil rig. When President Richardson was vaporized, ZAX created a persona, John Henry Eden to claim the post and assume authority over the remaining California Enclave forces, in addition to resuming construction of military ordnance [11] to provide for the resource-stricken subordinates. Augustus Autumn was chosen as the commanding officer of the armed forces (eventually succeeding his father). A series of eyebots were sent to roam the Wasteland, spreading hope and patriotism. Eden could spout his pro-government rhetoric, and promise a return of the pre-War America of legend: a land of white picket fences, baseball, apple pie, and good, old-fashioned American global supremacy.[12]

President Eden’s secretive plan all along had been to rule over an America of the "pure", free from any mutation, just as his predecessor had planned before him. He has learned of a ridiculously ambitious scientific experiment known as Project Purity, and knew the time to strike had come: the Enclave's armed forces would "reclaim" the Jefferson Memorial. By controlling the purified water supply, Eden would control the Capital Wasteland, and the rest of the country eventually. What better way than to administer a Modified FEV virus, which kills anyone infected or irradiated with any form of mutation—than through a deceptively clean water supply?[13]

Enclave propaganda found in the Capital Wasteland.

Old tricks

East Coast Enclave troopers.

When Project Purity was restarted in 2277, the Enclave acted at once. Troops under Autumn occupied the purifier and established a presence in the wastes, which was resisted by the Brotherhood of Steel. After retrieving a Garden of Eden Creation Kit from Vault 87, Eden attempted to recruit the individual known as the Lone Wanderer to work as a double agent, participating in the Brotherhood's attempted reclamation of Project Purity but infecting the water supply with the modified FEV at the last moment. Eden was opposed by Colonel Autumn, who wanted to make a bid to lead the populace by completing and activating the purifier, thus providing the Enclave with a strong bargaining chip in unifying the wastes under their flag. When the Brotherhood took the Jefferson Memorial, Autumn was defeated by the Lone Wanderer, but it is not known whether he survived. The Lone Wanderer stood poised to finally realize the Enclave's goal, but he purified the water instead of poisoning it.

After these events, most of the Enclave has been in hiding.

Enclave Sigma

After the destruction of Raven Rock, the Enclave performed a combination of tactical retreat and all-out flight, and their grip on the Capital Wasteland loosened significantly. Now contending with overwhelmed soldiers, ragged Enclave camps dot the Wasteland with little communication to and from the others. With the conventional Enclave military experiencing a lack of new recruits and the high command remaining silent, the Enclave would seem to be a doomed force.

However, a small influx of specially trained fighters is seeking to fill the manpower losses caused by the Brotherhood of Steel advances. Previously posted to remote and classified locations outside of the Capital Wasteland, only the most elite of Enclave personnel having training in multiple forms of combat can earn the right to belong to Sigma. Squad sigma operates in six-soldier units, which utilize heavy incinerators and are led by a soldier clad in Hellfire Armor. Furthermore, Squad Sigma members are experienced fighters, each member being a hardened veteran of numerous successful combat operations. Sigma Squads are posted around locations deemed by Enclave high command as imperative to the salvation of the cause.

Western remnants

Main article: Enclave remnants
Though they were a powerful force in the west decades ago, the Enclave has not been seen or heard from in the Mojave Wasteland for years. Members who were not hunted down are believed to have traveled east - or successfully integrated into the NCR.Loading screen

In the year 2281 on the west coast, a few elderly Enclave survivors make an existence on the fringes of, or near the borders of NCR territories, keeping their heads down for fear of persecution. Many left for the Mojave Wasteland, where the NCR's grip was significantly weaker due to the presence of Caesar's Legion. Enclave remnants may have supported the Courier at the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, either desperate for a final shot at glory and to exact revenge on the NCR or assist them against the Legion. Whether they joined the Courier, and/or the outcome of the battle, remains unknown.[14]

Enclave scientists and engineers stationed at Adams Air Force Base sent a reinforced combat-model eyebot, ED-E, to Navarro to be serviced and repaired there, seemingly uninformed of the assault on the outpost. ED-E's programming contained a message saying that any repairs needed on the way were to be made by Chicago Enclave personnel, indicating that there are Enclave outposts there. The Illinois license plate bolted to ED-E's side is just one more fact that supports the idea that other Enclave outposts or holdings still exist elsewhere within North American Wastelands.[15][16][17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout Bible 0: "the federal government (or whatever branch of federal government was responsible - it was not necessarily the Enclave) may not have ever considered the Vaults as society's best chance for survival - the government may have considered themselves the best candidates for rebuilding the world and already had their asses covered in the event of a nuclear or biological war by relocating to other remote installations across the nation (and elsewhere) that weren't necessarily vaults. The Enclave certainly didn't seem to be devoting much effort to digging up any other vaults and trying to use the human stock there to rebuild civilization."
  2. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition page 41: "In the recent past, the Enclave—the remains of the United States government—were evacuated to an oil rig off the coast of California. Little is known about what happened to these forces, although the country has a new commander-in-chief: President John Henry Eden. However, recent reports and chatter have pinpointed the resurgence of the Enclave, with their base centered on a secure underground facility known as Raven Rock. Initial contact was made there 35 years ago."
    "During this time, the new President Eden has been slowly rebuilding his resources, thanks in part to the technology already available at the Raven Rock military base. Vertibirds, weapons, and robots were easy to construct, but human followers were more difficult to find. The answer was to rely on Colonel Autumn, who controls the Enclave soldier forces, as well as creating a propaganda-spewing series of Eyebots sent to roam the Wasteland, spreading hope. Eden could spout his pro-government rhetoric, and promise a return of the pre-war America of legend: a land of white picket fences, baseball, apple pie, and good, old-fashioned American global supremacy."
  3. Information acquired from Tim Cain by Paweł "Ausir" Dembowski as being the original purpose of the Vault experiment in Fallout 2 design documents. Also mentioned in the Bloomfield Space Center design document for Van Buren: In November, 2076, the Enclave seized control of Bloomfield Space Center. They knew nuclear war was just around the corner, so they tried to refit the Hermes-13 and convert it into a vehicle that would take selected personnel (mainly themselves) off-planet, destination yet to be determined.
  4. Mariposa Military Base excavation
  5. {280}{prs57}{Very moving. But the radical changes your villagers and other mutants show is a far cry from the gradual changes of natural evolution. } {258}{prs48}{Test subjects. Your villagers are all descended from vault stock and we had to make sure that the F.E.V. toxin was still effective. The subjects from Vault 13 test that and an inoculation against the FEV.}
  6. The Project
  7. For Auld Lang Syne
  8. Judah Kreger
  9. Fallout 3 Enclave outposts and camps
  10. Arcade Gannon
  11. Enclave power armor (Fallout 3)
  12. Enclave Radio
  13. Project Impurity
  14. Fallout: New Vegas For Auld Lang Syne
  15. ED-E My Love
  16. ED-E 2
  17. Fallout Bible 6.
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