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They'll want to leave. What happens to the Vault if we lose the best of a generation? What if we are the only safe place in the world? You just gave us back all these lives... I can't take the chance of losing them.

Overseer Jacoren[Non-game 1] is the overseer of Vault 13 in 2161.

Background

Despite his strict nature and commitment to the 200-year isolation experiment for the Societal Preservation Program,[1][Non-canon 1][Non-canon 2] the overseer of Vault 13 is genuinely fond of his community.[Non-game 2][2]

Many years prior to 2161,[3] the controller chip for Vault 13's water purification system began to show signs of deterioration[4] and had an insufficient supply of replacement water chips due to a shipping error.[5] This component, vital for the control vault's inhabitants to survive, was unable to maintained any longer with work-arounds being impossible due to its complexity and could not be fabricated due to a lack of necessary parts.[6][7]

The overseer sought members of the community to journey into the wasteland in an attempt to find a replacement or solution.[4][7] Previous excursions had been unsuccessful, such as the attempts of both Talius and Ed.[7][3][Non-canon 3] This led to the selection of an individual that became known as the Vault Dweller to serve as the next water chip scout on December 10, 2161.[4][8]

Following the successful retrieval of a replacement water chip from Vault 12, the Vault Dweller returned and was immediately asked to file a report on what they saw and experienced in the outside world.[9] Upon reading the Vault Dweller's submission, the overseer shared his concern with the existence of creatures known as super mutants appearing at an alarming rate.[10]Considering these mutants a potential threat to the vault, the overseer tasked them with a second mission which involved locating and destroying the source of the super mutants.[10]

The Vault Dweller returned once more to Vault 13 after successfully completing the second mission, finding the source of the mutants, killing their leader the Master, and destroying the vats used to create new super mutants at the Mariposa Military Base.[11] The overseer greeted them at the door, and informed them of his decision not to allow them to return.[12] The overseer cited worries surrounding their influence on the other inhabitants, as inspiring others to leave may render the vault inoperable.[12]

The exile of the Vault Dweller did not prevent other inhabitants from discovering their fate and choosing to follow them into the wasteland.[13] The remaining members of Vault 13's community put the overseer on trial for this decision, ultimately sentencing him to death and retiring the title of overseer for their community's leader.[13]

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Interactions
Icon talkinghead.png
This character has a talking head.
Icon quest starter.png
This character starts quests.
33 Protector.png
This character is allied with the following faction(s).

Quests

Effects of player's actions

  • If the player character decides to side with the Master and be turned into a super mutant, during the end cutscene showing the destruction of Vault 13, the overseer can be seen attempting to hold off the invaders with his minigun-equipped overseer's chair, before being overrun and brutally beaten to death by two of the mutants.
  • With the Bloody Mess trait, the Berserker or Childkiller titles, or a low reputation, right after the overseer's goodbye speech at the end of the game, the Vault Dweller will automatically put away any held weapon, draw a pistol and shoot the overseer in the back. It is also possible to kill Jacoren by initiating combat just after his speech, and putting him down with one or more shots. If the overseer is killed, a unique death animation will be played..

Death animation

Jacoren death animation.gif

Other interactions

  • If the player has an Intelligence below four, the overseer will explain things in a slow and simple manner. At times getting frustrated over doing so.
  • If the player speaks to the overseer repeatedly and tells him they have not found a water chip, he will ask if the player needs more help. The player can request additional supplies to receive two stimpaks and 48 10mm JHP.
  • After the goodbye speech, the player may murder the overseer.

Tell me about

Inventory

Apparel Weapon Other items
Vault 13 jumpsuit Minigun*

* In the overseer chair.

Notes

  • When the Master is killed and the Mariposa Base blown up, the Vault Dweller (along with their companions) will be near Vault 13. However, the cave is much brighter in appearance.
  • When the overseer is attacked with ranged weapons (the Vault Dweller cannot attack him with melee weapons) on his pedestal, two miniguns will come out, similar to the Master's Gatling lasers.
  • He is one of the few non-player characters in the Fallout games to not be killable.
    • After turning Vault 13 hostile and going near the overseer, he will say that the Vault Dweller turned against the vault and that he cannot allow that.

Notable quotes

Low intelligence

Final speech

You've done it! It's... wonderful. Amazing! I'm so proud of what you've accomplished, what you've endured. There's no way the people of the Vault can ever thank you enough for what you've done. You've saved all our lives. Who knows, maybe even saved the human race. [The Overseer sighs.] That makes the rest of this even harder. Everyone will want to talk to you. Every youngster will look up to you, and want to emulate you. And then what? They'll want to leave. What happens to the Vault if we lose the best of a generation? What if we are the only safe place in the world? You just gave us back all these lives... I can't take the chance of losing them. I've made a lot of tough decisions since I took this position. But none of them harder than this one. You saved us, but you'll kill us. I'm sorry. You're a hero... and you have to leave.

Appearances

The overseer appears only in Fallout, as a talking head.

He was also to appear in the canceled Fallout movie, where he was to be revealed as the founder of Vault-Tec and the man who started the Great War.

Behind the scenes

Developer quotes

  • In response to a question about the overseer's selection process for a water chip scout, Tim Cain said:
I always thought of Fallout's story of drawing straws was something the Overseer thought of. "Look, someone has to go outside, and they may die out there, so let's draw straws". Someone, probably not the Overseer since he wouldn't have gone outside no matter what, demanded that EVERYONE draw a straw in order to be truly fair. But to be honest, the vault dwellers were simpy terrified of going outside, and terrified people do not always make the wisest decisions.

Anyway, when big dumb Larry drew the straw, maybe the Overseer saw a way to rid their limited gene pool of some really bad alleles.
— Tim Cain, Duck and Cover Forum[Non-game 3]
  • At the end of the quest Trouble on the Homefront in Fallout 3, Amata has the same quote as Jacoren saying, "I'm sorry. You're a hero... and you have to leave," right after she exiles the Lone Wanderer from Vault 101. However this is only if the Lone Wanderer kills the overseer, if they convince the overseer to allow the vault to open, she will be thankful for their help but will reluctantly exile them due to the other vault residents blaming them for the problems in the vault.

Gallery

References

  1. The Chosen One: "What about Vault 13? What was it's purpose?"
    Dick Richardson: "Ahh. Vault 13 was a special case. It was supposed to remain closed until the subjects were needed. Vault 13 was, in scientific parlance, a control group."
    (Dick Richardson's dialogue)
  2. The overseer: "Well, do you have the chip?"
    The Vault Dweller: "Not yet. Sorry."
    The overseer: "[The Overseer sighs.] Don't be sorry. I know you're trying your best and that means a lot. But you can't give up now."
    (The overseer's dialogue)
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Vault Dweller: "So you volunteered."
    Talius: "Yes. The overseer of the community gave me a shotgun and some shells. However, those were lost many years passed. Since I have never found anything, I could not return."
    (Talius' dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The overseer: "{Ahh, you're here. Good. Well, only good that you're here. We've got a problem. A big one. The controller chip for our water purification system has given up the ghost. We can't make another one and the process is too complicated for a work-around system. Simply put, we're running out of drinking water. No water, no Vault. Now we both know we've had our differences as you've grown up. You've got the wanderlust in you - desires for things the Vault just can't satisfy. And you know I think this just might be the last safe place anywhere so I'm always worried about those who want to take off on adventures. Hey, if everyone left, I'd be out of a job! Seriously, this is crucial to our survival. And frankly, I think you're the only hope we have. You need to go find us another controller chip."
    (The overseer's dialogue)
  5. "Due to a shipping error, it appears Vault 8 received a box of surplus water chips intended for another Vault. The other Vault most likely received Vault 8's second GECK."
    (Vault 8 central computer's information)
  6. The Vault Dweller: "I haven't found the chip yet. Can't we just make a replacement?"
    The overseer: "Ahh, you never did listen to me. We don't have the necessary parts anymore. We've used up all the supplies required."
    (The overseer's dialogue)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 The Vault Dweller: "Where were you from originally?"
    Talius: "Some time ago, I lived in a place far to the north of here. They were having a problem with the water supply and sought out people to find a way to repair or replace the component."
    (Talius' dialogue)
  8. FalloutPipboy2000Date.pngPIP-Boy 2000 date at the beginning of Fallout.
  9. The overseer: "You saved the Vault. You should be proud. But now, we need your report. We'll get it from you in the library. Please go there now."
    (The overseer' dialogue)
  10. 10.0 10.1 The overseer: "I' I don't like your reports. What was in the reports, that is. Heh. In fact, they scared the heck out of me. It's those mutants. I've done some calculations and, well, I've come to an unpleasant conclusion."
    The Vault Dweller: "What's that?"
    The overseer: "[Sigh] The mutant population is far greater than could be expected by natural growth or mutations. This leads me to believe in -- I don't really understand it. But it looks like someone's generating new mutants. And at a startling rate."
    The Vault Dweller: "Must be a lab somewhere then."
    The overseer: "Exactly! And as you've probably guessed, none of these mutations could have occurred naturally, even with the radiation from the war."
    The Vault Dweller: "What do you want me to do about it?"
    The overseer: "As long as someone is creating hostile mutants at this rate, the Vault's safety is at stake! Find and destroy this lab as soon as you can."
    (The overseer's dialogue)
  11. The Chosen One: "I’m descended from the original Vault Dweller, you know."
    Marcus: "The "original Vault Dweller"? You mean the one who killed the Master and destroyed the vats?"
    (Marcus's dialogue)
  12. 12.0 12.1 The overseer: "You've done it! That's . . . wonderful. Amazing! I'm so proud of what you've accomplished, what you've endured. There's no way the people of the Vault can ever thank you enough for what you've done. You've saved all our lives. Who knows, maybe even saved the human race. [The Overseer sighs.] That makes the rest of this even harder. Everyone will want to talk to you. Every youngster will look up to you. And want to emulate you. And then what? They'll want to leave. What happens to the Vault if we lose the best of a generation? What if we are the only safe place in the world? You just gave us back all these lives . . . I can't take the chance of losing them. I've made a lot of tough decisions since I took this position. But none of them harder than this one. You saved us, but you'll kill us. I'm sorry. You're a hero . . . and you have to leave."
    (The overseer's dialogue)
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Chosen One: "Are you the Overseer?"
    Martin Frobisher: "We don't use that term anymore. There used to be an overseer, many years ago, but he did a bad thing and many of our people left the vault - only to die in the wastes, I'm sure. He was tried and sentenced to death for his crime. We haven't used the title since."
    (Martin Frobisher's dialogue)
Non-game
  1. Fallout concept art; "Overseer Jacoren"
  2. Fallout Official Survival Guide p.88: "The Overseer: Leader of Your Community"
    "This distinguished looking gentleman is the ruler of Vault 13, the man who is sending you out into the world of Fallout to find a replacement for the Vault's water purifier chip. He genuinely cares about you and everyone in the community, though he can be a bit paternalistic, even condescending, at times."
  3. TimCain: "I always thought of Fallout's story of drawing straws was something the Overseer thought of. "Look, someone has to go outside, and they may die out there, so let's draw straws". Someone, probably not the Overseer since he wouldn't have gone outside no matter what, demanded that EVERYONE draw a straw in order to be truly fair. But to be honest, the vault dwellers were simpy terrified of going outside, and terrified people do not always make the wisest decisions.

    Anyway, when big dumb Larry drew the straw, maybe the Overseer saw a way to rid their limited gene pool of some really bad alleles."

    (Duck and Cover Forum October 01, 2002)
Non-canon
  1. Fallout Bible p.11: "VAULT SYSTEM"
    The player was also intended to apply his Science skill to the central computer in Vault 13 to obtain a history of Vault 13, the Overseer's involvement in the Vault Dweller's expulsion, and even worse, the true purposes of the Vaults. The Overseer was conscious of the true purpose of the Vaults as social experiments on a grand scale, and he drove out the Vault Dweller because he was afraid that he would ruin the experiment... or uncover it. Of course, the Overseer himself caused problems not long after this, according to Martin Frobisher, the leader of Vault 13 in Fallout 2:"
  2. Fallout Bible p.11: "VAULT SYSTEM"
    "Vault 13: Intended to stay closed for 200 years as a study of prolonged isolation, the broken water chip forced the Overseer to improvise and use the Vault Dweller as a pawn. Later study of the Vault 13 records by the Enclave led them to their current plan to end the war."
  3. ''Fallout Bible p.75: "QUESTIONS GALORE"
    "What's the deal with Ed? Zed's Dead, baby, Zed's dead. From Pulp Fiction. That's part of the reference. Ed was twofold: to immediately show the player that the outside world was dangerous, and to tell the player that he wasn't the first choice of someone to send out. Ed was sent out before the waterchip malfunction, however, since he's just bones."
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