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That crazy kid from Vault 101...Three Dog

The Lone Wanderer is the player character and protagonist of Fallout 3.



The Lone Wanderer was born on July 13, 2258 to James and Catherine at the Jefferson Memorial, where they worked on Project Purity, a project to remove radiation from water and make it drinkable on a massive scale. Catherine died shortly after giving birth, due to cardiac arrest.[Non-canon 1] James suspended the project and traveled to Vault 101 via Megaton with the help of Star Paladin Cross who defended James and the baby from monster attacks along the way. James and Cross also stayed at the saloon in Megaton owned by Colin Moriarty briefly; Colin mentions baby Lone Wanderer would not stop crying.

The Lone Wanderer's childhood was kept a secret in order to shelter the child from the outside world, and to keep up the pretense of the social experiment for which the vault was constructed. James would often tell his child about their mother's favorite passage from the Bible, Revelation 21:6, which mentioned the waters of life.

The Lone Wanderer lived comfortably in the Vault, eventually becoming friends with Amata Almodovar, daughter of the overseer. When the Lone Wanderer was ten years old, they had a birthday party organized by Amata and their father. During the party, they were gifted a Pip-Boy 3000 by the overseer, along with a BB gun from their father and Jonas Palmer. Between the ages of ten and sixteen, the Lone Wanderer pitched four strikeouts in the Vault 101 baseball games.[2] When the Lone Wanderer was sixteen, they took their Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test exam to help them determine their role in the vault.[3]

Escape and Project Purity

For 19 years, the Lone Wanderer lived in Vault 101 without incident, but in 2277, James disappeared without any explanation. The young Lone Wanderer, with Amata's help, leaves the safety of the vault to look for James in the ruins of Washington, D.C..[4] In order to find him, the Lone Wanderer must travel across the wasteland following James' trail. The Lone Wanderer visits all of the locations that James had visited and gathered a number of clues to locate James' whereabouts.[5] Along the way, they disarmed Megaton's atomic bomb and helped collect data for Moira Brown's Wasteland Survival Guide,[6][Non-canon 2] among many other activities or rumors thereof.

After finding him in a virtual simulation called Tranquility Lane, Project Purity is put back on track, but the reunion is cut short when the Enclave commander, Colonel Autumn, arrives demanding ownership of the project. James, unwilling to allow the project to fall into the hands of the Enclave, sacrifices himself by filling the control chamber of Project Purity with deadly amounts of radiation, hoping to kill Colonel Autumn and the other soldiers. Colonel Autumn, however, survives. The Enclave takes control of the project, but are unable to operate it.[7]

After fleeing from the Jefferson Memorial building with the remainder of the Project Purity staff, including Dr. Madison Li, the Lone Wanderer takes refuge within the Citadel, where they enlist the help of the Brotherhood of Steel managed by Owyn Lyons to retrieve a G.E.C.K. from Vault 87 for use in a soon-to-be-recaptured Project Purity. Because the G.E.C.K. is in a highly irradiated chamber, the Lone Wanderer must choose whether to enlist the help of Fawkes, a friendly super mutant, or face the deadly amounts of radiation themselves.

Once the G.E.C.K. is retrieved, the Lone Wanderer is captured by Colonel Autumn and imprisoned at Raven Rock.[8] There, President Eden presents the Wanderer with a canister of modified FEV for insertion into Project Purity, which would poison any mutated creature drinking the purified water.[9] It is unknown whether the Lone Wanderer obeyed this instruction, but it is known that Raven Rock was destroyed and Project Purity was recaptured with the aid of Liberty Prime, a giant robot weapon. There, after finally stopping Colonel Autumn, the Wanderer and Sentinel Sarah Lyons are faced with the dilemma of who would enter the radiation-flooded chamber and activate the project. Once the purifier is activated, an explosion of ambient radiation rendered both the Wanderer and Lyons unconscious, but the wasteland was finally given the greatest gift of all: clean drinking water to help revitalize humanity.[10]


With Broken Steel, the Lone Wanderer awoke two weeks later to face the consequences of their decisions and was enlisted into the Brotherhood as a knight in their mission to distribute the newly-purified water and to hunt the Enclave remnants. This hunt put the Wanderer in control of an orbital missile strike, which they used to destroy the Enclave's mobile base crawler.[11]

The Lone Wanderer also participated in a simulation of the Anchorage Reclamation to aid the Brotherhood Outcasts, changed the fate of the industrial city of the Pitt, intervened in a centuries-old feud in the swamps of Point Lookout, and even ventured among the stars aboard an alien spacecraft named Zeta.[12]


  • The Lone Wanderer is named "Albert" in Fallout 3 previews.
  • A legendary Fallout Shelter weapon is named the Lone Wanderer.
  • In Fallout 4, the Lone Wanderer is referenced by a beard selection during character creation, as well as by a perk.
  • In Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, there is a motorcycle brand called Lone Wanderer.


The Lone Wanderer appears in Fallout 3 and all of its add-ons.

Behind the scenes



  1. The Lone Wanderer: "Is there any way I can help?"
    Owyn Lyons: "Indeed, we can use every able body available to us. To that end, I am going to circumvent our standard recruitment procedures and declare you a Knight of the Brotherhood of Steel. Before you do anything else, please speak with Scribe Rothchild. I'm sure he'll be pleased to see you again. He can brief you on the details of the last few weeks, as well as where our efforts are focused now. I understand that you've been through quite an ordeal, but the sooner you can talk to him, the sooner we can put an end to all this."
    (Owyn Lyons' dialogue)
  2. Jonas Palmer: "That was amazing, sport! Four strike outs in a row! I'll tell ya, doc, I think we're looking at the new Vault 101 MVP!"
    (Jonas' dialogue)
  3. Events of Future Imperfect.
  4. Events of Escape!
  5. Events of Following in His Footsteps.
  6. The Wasteland Survival Guide appears in Fallout: New Vegas as a skill book.
  7. Events of The Waters of Life.
  8. Events of Finding the Garden of Eden.
  9. Events of The American Dream.
  10. Events of Take it Back!
  11. Events of Who Dares Wins.
  12. Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta


  1. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.82: "Lone Wanderer
    Born to mother (Catherine) and father (James) inside the Jefferson Memorial, and moved to Vault 101 shortly afterward with the help of acting nurse Madison Li, this mysterious roamer has been spotted at numerous locations throughout the Capital Wasteland, and as far away as Point Lookout. Great tales of the Wanderer's combat prowess, interesting methods of problem-solving, and great cunning in the purchase of strategy guides to help navigate this great wilderness have been whispered both far and wide. The Wanderer's exploits can be heard by turning in to Galaxy News Radio."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The afterword from the Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Collector's Edition.