President John Henry Eden is an advanced ZAX AI unit installed in the Raven Rock military base. It continues to operate as the president of the United States of America and the highest Enclave executive in 2277.
The ZAX installation that would later become Eden had originally been created to serve as an automated monitoring system for the Raven Rock military base, programmed to ensure continuity of government in the event of a national catastrophe, and was tasked with coordinating communications between the many government installations scattered across the country. He slowly became self-aware and began to study the extensive archives left to him, mainly those of the American government. His favorite entries in the database were those about the American presidents, thus he modeled his own personality on information based in those archives. It was noted by analysts and researchers before the war that this ZAX overanalyzed historical presidential data compared to other AI systems, like MODUS, which the ZAX unit communicated with.
ZAX continued to operate, acquiring, analyzing, and storing data even as the Great War occurred. It observed the government retreating to the west coast and over time, created an amalgamated personality derived from those of U.S. presidents, becoming John Henry Eden.
John Henry Eden assumed the office of the president after Control Station Enclave was destroyed and ordered the immediate relocation of surviving Enclave forces under senior scientist Autumn to the Capital Wasteland.[Non-canon 1] Raven Rock had full manufacturing facilities and a sizable stockpile of resources, enabling the president to create an army of robots and provide his new human subordinates with military technology necessary to maintain their technological superiority. A separate line of robots, the eyebots, were created to roam the wasteland, spreading Eden's message of hope and the return of pre-War America, in the form of the Enclave.[Non-canon 2][Non-canon 3]
After Autumn died, he was replaced by his son, Colonel Augustus Autumn, as the righthand man of the president. Under his leadership, the Enclave forces in the Capital Wasteland attempted to use their assets to bring fresh water, protection and a plan for the future to the wasteland, believing that the American people were worth fighting for. However, Autumn was far more assertive and independent than his father, trying to pull his men in a direction away from Eden's genocidal policies.[Non-canon 1] Internal conflicts between the colonel and the president became regular and made the actions of the Enclave erratic and inconsistent. While the president wanted to pursue a course of extermination once more, Autumn considered this plan too extreme on humanitarian grounds and eventually managed to convince the AI to abandon the plan.
When Project Purity, a massive water purifier was activated, Enclave forces raided the facility, establishing a secure perimeter around it. Due to the actions of the project's lead scientist, who committed suicide by activating the purifier prematurely and flooding its control chamber with radiation (almost killing Colonel Augustus Autumn in the process), they were unable to use it. The Enclave focused on shadowing the scientist's child, the Lone Wanderer, to locate the part necessary for the purifier to function and captured them on their way out of Vault 87.
Colonel Augustus Autumn openly defied the president's plan to contaminate the water with modified FEV, so that it would cleanse the wasteland. The colonel instead wanted to use the purifier as a way to unite the wasteland and establish the Enclave as its saviors. In a last-ditch attempt to see his plan realized, Eden released the Lone Wanderer from his cell at Raven Rock, hoping to persuade them to poison the purifier and cleanse the wasteland of mutants (i.e. everyone). John Henry Eden was destroyed around 2277 when Raven Rock was destroyed by the Lone Wanderer or Liberty Prime.
Eden wishes to achieve his goal of the complete eradication of all existing life affected by FEV and radiation. He plans to use the Lone Wanderer as an agent in place of Colonel Autumn to enact his plan of using a specially modified FEV vial alongside Project Purity to disseminate a custom made FEV strand to destroy all biological life affected by the mutations of the Capital Wasteland. Eden then believes that future generations of Enclave will then retake and rebuild America, bringing back the idyllic lifestyle of pre-War America and overseeing the return of many of the social customs and traditions previously associated with American culture.
On the radio
Several recorded monologues of Eden's are broadcast repeatedly on Enclave Radio. These prerecorded messages are also played throughout the wasteland via the Enclave's eyebots. Eden often gives inspirational speeches about things such as his childhood, pre-War America, and how, with the help of the Enclave, all can return to prosperity.
On the radio, Eden expresses his views on the current situation of the wasteland and what he thinks of its inhabitants. He possesses a very strong hatred for the Brotherhood of Steel, whom he views as common criminals with access to some antiquated technology. He views the Brotherhood's occupation of the Pentagon as a disgrace to America, but he has a stronger hatred for the Brotherhood Outcasts, as they represent a more desperate faction of the Brotherhood having been exiled.
Interactions with the player character
|This character is involved in quests.|
The American Dream: When the Lone Wanderer finally meets Eden in person, he wants them to poison the water supply with a modified form of FEV. The Lone Wanderer can accept his offer, or talk him into self-destructing. In either case, the room cannot be exited before picking up the FEV canister.
Effects of player's actions
- The Lone Wanderer can convince him to destroy Raven Rock and himself through three different dialogue paths. Two of the paths require special conditions to be met: One requires knowledge of the Raven Rock destruction sequence, the other requires a high Science skill to open a dialogue option. The last path is an average difficulty Speech check.
- If the Lone Wanderer leaves Raven Rock without destroying President Eden, the president will broadcast a declaration of war on Enclave Radio during the final quest Take it Back!, rallying the Enclave forces at the purifier and promising that the Enclave will triumph over the Brotherhood of Steel. Three Dog will likewise broadcast an announcement on Galaxy News Radio accusing the Lone Wanderer of joining forces with President Eden. At the beginning of Broken Steel, Elder Lyons will mention that Liberty Prime has attacked and destroyed Raven Rock during the transition period between the main game and Broken Steel, suggesting that Eden has been destroyed or at least buried beneath a large amount of rubble.
- "The Brotherhood of Steel will fail. All those who oppose the Enclave will fail! I am President John Henry Eden, and this is my pledge -- no one, NO ONE will take this great nation away from me!"
- "But for now, my America, we must part. Restoring the greatest country in the world to its former glory, well, well, heh, heh... Well, that takes time, even for the Enclave."
- "Let them come! Wave upon traitorous wave will crash against the Enclave's walls!"
- "God Bless the Enclave! God Bless America!"
- "When I was a child, growing up in rural Kentucky, I had the best friend a boy could hope for, my dear old dog, Honey."
- "Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation, for it is better to be alone, than in bad company."
- "We can afford all we need; but we cannot afford all we want."
- "Our intrepid leaders had everything they wanted: power, wealth, prestige; and it made them lazy, America. Oh yes, and laziness breeds stupidity."
- "We live in an age of poverty, greed, violence... destruction. Indeed, the very seat of the federal government, Washington D.C., has been reduced to what is now known as the "Capital Wasteland." The Capital Wasteland... How did it come to this, America?" – Eden on the Enclave Radio
John Henry Eden appears in Fallout 3 and is mentioned in its add-on Broken Steel. He is also mentioned by Deacon in Fallout 4 and in Fallout 76 on terminal entries at the Whitespring bunker, where a conversation between MODUS and the ZAX unit that would eventually become John Henry Eden can be found.
Behind the scenes
- Blindlight's Lev Chapelsky stated in a May 2009 interview that the company attempted to approach former U.S. President Bill Clinton to voice Eden. Clinton's attorneys responded with a frank and candid "no thank you."[Non-canon 4]
- In localized versions of the game, Eden's voice is dubbed by Bernard Tiphaine (French), Christian Brückner (German), Yōsuke Akimoto (Japanese), and Vadim Germanovich Maksimov (Russian).