|For other characters named James, see James.|
- 1 Background
- 2 Interactions with the player character
- 3 Inventory
- 4 Notes
- 5 Notable quotes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Bugs
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
Before the Lone Wanderer was born, James led an ambitious scientific endeavor known as Project Purity.[Non-game 1][Non-game 2] He and his group of scientists, including wife Catherine and Dr. Madison Li, aimed to build an advanced water purifier within the ruins of the Jefferson Memorial, which would serve to purify the water of the Tidal Basin.[Non-game 2]
Under the protection of the Brotherhood of Steel, research was well underway when Catherine and James discovered they were expecting a child. Catherine was determined to finish the project before welcoming their child, spending all day in the lab and refusing to rest despite James' objections. The project began to lose momentum, lacking concrete results while having to compensate for lost time due to super mutant attacks. The number of mutants was steadily increasing, and protecting the project was becoming increasingly difficult for the Brotherhood. After losing two members with three injured in one week, the relationship between the chapter and the scientists began to strain.
Before the project could reach fruition, Catherine delivered their child but passed away due to complications of childbirth.[Non-game 2] Distraught, James weighed his options, recognizing the lack of progress on the project, alongside several super mutant attacks per day, and continued challenges working with the Brotherhood. He decided that regardless of how much the project meant to him and to Catherine, the location was not safe for an infant, choosing instead to leave the project, putting the needs of his child before his own.[Non-game 2]
Escorted by the Brotherhood's Star Paladin Cross, James pressed onward with his child, traveling across the D.C. ruins to Vault 101. After successfully reaching and entering the large underground vault, James began his service as the vault's physician. Soon after he took up residence, his research into Project Purity began again, this time consisting of sneaking into the restricted areas each night, searching for anything relevant or helpful towards the project aims.
Amidst advanced technology, James sought any information within the Vault-Tec facility that could potentially prove useful. Having no luck, he broke into the overseer's office and hacked the terminal, gaining access to restricted files. James found a promising lead by way of information regarding prominent researcher and technological genius Dr. Stanislaus Braun. James learned of Braun's involvement in a social preservation program, and his research into a piece of technology called a GECK, or Garden of Eden Creation Kit.
The information regarding this piece of technology was completely foreign to James, who mentioned that it seemed as if it were nothing short of a miracle. The device was a terra-forming module, capable of producing life from within a barren ecosystem. He was skeptical of such a device being a reality, expressing that the entire idea sounded like pure fantasy, even for someone of Braun's capabilities. He learned that not only did it exist, it was distributed to several vaults to be used after an atomic war. James discovered that Braun had secured a place in Vault 112, considering the possibility that Braun's research information could be held within, surmising that if he could gain access to only a fraction of Braun's genius, Project Purity could become a reality.
Years passed and James continued to serve as the vault's physician, all the while caring for their child as they progressed through each stage of their child and young adulthood. The lingering drive to move forward on Project Purity never left James' sight, however, and he was confident that Braun's research may serve as Project Purity's missing puzzle piece. The Lone Wanderer having reached the self sufficiency of teenage years, James decided to attempt an escape from the locked down facility. In the interest of his child's continued safety, he intended to have them remain behind in the vault, unware of his plans or destination.
The act of leaving the vault caused a crisis within, and the overseer considered the Lone Wanderer complicit in their father's plans. Forced to flee from the hostile security forces, James' child also escaped from the confines of Vault 101, intent on following him to Braun's vault. James made his way to Megaton, Galaxy News Radio, and then the GNR building plaza, meeting with old acquaintances Colin Moriarty and Three Dog along the way. His old friends encouraged him onwards, and he decided that he would need Dr. Madison Li to join the project once more if he hoped to see it through.
James tracked Madison's whereabouts to Rivet City, and approached her with a request to join forces once again. However, it had been nearly 20 years since Madison and James had worked side by side on Project Purity, and unable to reconcile what had happened previously, she declined.
Undeterred, James traversed to Vault 112 in hopes of tracking down Braun or his research. There was still a study being undertaken, but it was not what James anticipated. Braun was engaged in research revolving around the oversight of several families trapped in virtual reality pods in a simulation entitled Tranquility Lane. James, unaware of these plans, became ensnared in Braun's trap as well. Braun turned James into a dog for the purposes of the sim, therefore unable to communicate with anyone else present in a recognizable way.
Having been trailed by his child, they were able to follow him into the simulation, become part of the test, and successfully break the two of them free from its trap. James was unaware that his child was even able to leave, let along find him and free him. James took a moment to express his feelings on the events having transpired recently, speaking briefly with his child before agreeing to meet up in Rivet City. Despite the experience, James had acquired the research information he sought, and armed with this last crucial element, agreed to meet up with the Lone Wanderer in Rivet City in an attempt to recruit Dr. Li.
As James had hoped, information about the GECK was enough to convince Madison of the project's continued viability. Madison brought her research team along to the memorial and the group commenced work on Project Purity after nearly 20 years.
Shortly after James and Madison began work once more on the project, a large Enclave force arrived at the Jefferson Memorial. Soldiers under the command of Colonel Autumn stormed the activation room where the scientists were working. Autumn declared the Enclave was taking over the project and demanded James turn over all materials related to this project. James assured the colonel that the facility is not operational and never has been, in taking over it would be a waste of their efforts.
Autumn, losing patience, executes one of the scientists, Janice, and repeats his demands of James, for him to immediately hand over all materials related to this project, and aid the Enclave in making the purifier operational at once. Under the auspice of following orders, James instead causes a sudden and profound radiation leak in the activation room, killing all save Autumn. James falls to his knees, then collapses and dies of radiation poisoning, after telling his child to run.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.|
|This character drops an ear when killed (Contract Killer).|
|This character starts quests.|
|This character is involved in quests.|
- Baby Steps: James puts the one-year-old Lone Wanderer in a playpen in their room which contains the You're S.P.E.C.I.A.L.! book. After a brief absence, James returns and shows the child their mother's favorite Bible quotation, and takes his child to see Amata.
- Growing Up Fast: James has a small conversation with the Lone Wanderer at the beginning of their tenth birthday party, and later in the party gives them a BB gun as a birthday gift, and tasks them with killing a radroach.
- Future Imperfect: James has a brief conversation with his now 16-year-old before their G.O.A.T. exam.
- Escape!: James' unexpected absence from Vault 101 prompts a security crisis and propels the Lone Wanderer out into the wastes.
- Following in His Footsteps: The Lone Wanderer searches for their dad. They can either go straight to Vault 112 (where he is being held); or they can follow the questline, by going to Megaton, which directs them to Galaxy News Radio, which directs them to Rivet City, which directs them to the Jefferson Memorial which then leads them to Vault 112.
- Tranquility Lane: James finds himself in Vault 112, held prisoner in the form of a dog in a virtual neighborhood created and controlled by Dr. Braun.
- The Waters of Life: Father and child make their way first to Rivet City, then to the Jefferson Memorial, the site of Project Purity. As the Enclave storms the Memorial, James refuses to cooperate with Colonel Augustus Autumn. In the end, James floods the room with radiation, attempting to kill Autumn but killing himself in the process and with no success in his objectives.
Effects of player's actions
- When the Lone Wanderer is doing tasks to make Project Purity work, James will say that he heard of their actions. His reaction will change depending on the quest the Power of the Atom's outcome. If the bomb was disarmed, he will ask the Wanderer if they truly did it, and will be proud of them if told a yes. If instead it was Megaton's destruction and it is admitted to James, he will express disappointment (he can be lied to, but he will not believe it without very high karma).
- If the Power of the Atom quest was not resolved at all, or if James is spoken to again after he comments on the aforementioned quest, he will instead comment on the Lone Wanderer's current Karma level. Good Karma yields, "You're a good person, and it shows." While bad Karma makes him instead comment on the Wanderer "seeming troubled, like there is a cloud hanging over you," and a neutral Karma results in him providing a default greeting.
|Dad's wasteland outfit
Vault lab uniform1
|Expert lab coat (FOS)
Wild Bill's Sidearm (FOS)
- 1Only while in Vault 101.
- 2On his way back to Rivet City.
- James's face is hidden by a surgical mask during the birth scene until the Lone Wanderer's appearance has been configured, after which his race will match the character's.
- The birth scene and Baby Steps is the only time in the game that James is clean-shaven.
- A holotape "Better Days" of him making advances on the Lone Wanderer's mother underneath the Jefferson Memorial can be found.
- James counts as a companion and will use up ammunition on any non-companion weapon unlike most non-player characters, who have infinite ammunition.
- After freeing him from the Vault 112 simulation, the Lone Wanderer can ask their father whether he enjoyed being a dog. James replies that it had its moments but that he missed having opposable thumbs.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier can find a picture of James and Catherine in Vault 21, near the Strip snow globe.[Non-game 3]
- "Revelation 21:6. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
- "It's you and me, now, okay? You and me. But that's fine. So long as we've got each other, that's all that matters."
- "As far as I can tell, you're a perfectly healthy 16 year old boy/girl, so yes you have to go to class to take your G.O.A.T. exam."
- "Son/Honey, I brought you into this world, I think you know the rest..."
- "Your mommy? Oh, sweetie... I... Of course I miss her. I miss her... so much. Each day more than the last."
- "Yes, yes. Cardiology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry. Whatever your needs. You'll find I can handle, well… I can handle just about anything."
- "Agghh! What in God's name is wrong with you?"
- "Stop screwing around!"
James appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout Shelter. A photograph of him appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- James is voiced by actor Liam Neeson, after whom the character is also physically modeled. "This role was written with Liam in mind and provides the dramatic tone for the entire game. Liam is absolutely amazing to work with," said Todd Howard, Executive Producer of Fallout 3. "It’s been a pleasure bringing the father to life and working with the wonderfully talented people at Bethesda on Fallout 3," said Neeson. "I hope the fans of the franchise and the game will be excited by the results."
- The unused skin of the dog "Doc" looks like a German Shepherd. The dog's right eye is brown, while his left eye is blue, similar to Dogmeat. This is known as complete heterochromia.
- At one point in development, the story of Fallout 3 was different, and James would have become a super mutant.[Non-game 4] The Lone Wanderer was originally never planned to be involved in Project Purity and was to encounter James in Vault 87, who would be in the process of becoming a mutant and would ask the Lone Wanderer to kill him.[Non-game 5]
- On the way back to Rivet City from Vault 112, he will sometimes get stuck while traveling with him. If this occurs, fast travel to Rivet City and wait 24 hours in the science lab. He will appear and start talking to Doctor Li. [verified]
- James might disappear if you fast travel to the Jefferson Memorial from Vault 112. [verified]
- Finding the Garden of Eden and The American Dream, they can still go to Smith Casey's garage and take him to Rivet City. Upon arrival, he will state "give me a moment to speak with Madison." At this point, the quest Take it Back! is already started making him unkillable and the quest The Waters of Life will be impossible to complete.[verified] If the player glitches into the Citadel and completes the quests
- James may not follow the player character to the Jefferson Memorial by fast traveling.[verified]
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.67: "Dad (James)
Before your birth, your father was the leader of an impossibly ambitious scientific endeavor—Project Purity. Leading a group of scientists, he planned to turn the ruins of the Jefferson Memorial into the most technologically advanced water purifier ever imagined. But when you were born (your mother dying in childbirth), your father had little choice but to abandon Project Purity and get you to the only safe place he knew—the underground fallout shelter known as Vault 101."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide p. 358-05: "Before your birth, your father was the leader of an impossibly ambitious scientific endeavor-Project Purity. Leading a group of scientists, he planned to turn the ruins of the Jefferson Memorial into the most technologically advanced water purifier ever imagined. But when you were born (your mother dying in childbirth), your father had little choice but to abandon Project Purity and get you to the only safe place he knew-the underground fallout shelter known as Vault 101."
- Jason Fader's Reddit AMA
- Flickr photos
- Imgur photos