Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FNV DM.pngGametitle-FOT.png
Gametitle-FO1.pngGametitle-FO2.pngGametitle-FO3.pngGametitle-FNV.pngGametitle-FNV DM.pngGametitle-FOT.pngGametitle-FOBOS.pngGametitle-FB.png
I don't have to prove anything to you! Prove.

The Master of the Super Mutants[1] was the founder and leader of the Unity, a mutant-led organization dedicated to the transhumanist transformation of mankind in post-nuclear New California. By the time he was encountered by the Vault Dweller, the Master was a hybridized amalgam of several dozens of humans and other mutants, as well as the Cathedral's computer network, speaking in multiple voices and switching between them on the fly.

The Master's end goal was to create a new race from humanity using FEV, one that could thrive in the post-apocalyptic conditions of the world and to rid humanity of its differences and reasons for waging war. The Master's race of mutants would be dubbed super mutants colloquially by most and would become a permanent presence throughout California and neighboring areas and a long-lasting reminder of the Master's attempt to reform humanity.

Alternative names include the Master's birth name, Richard Moreau, the pseudonym adopted after his exile from Vault 8, Richard Grey, and a variety of names used to refer to him by his followers, including Holy Flame, Dark God, Father Hope and others.[2] The Master is the antagonist of Fallout, encountered at the Cathedral. Destroying him is required to eliminate the mutant threat, although meeting the Master in person is entirely optional.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Richard Moreau was born before the Great War. Little is known about his past, except for the fact that he was one of the lucky few who found shelter in Vault 8 when the bombs fell. One year after the vault opened, in 2092, Moreau had the dubious distinction of being one of the first dwellers to be exiled. The accusation was murder, although the circumstances are unknown. Moreau changed his last name to Grey and headed south, towards the coast. He eventually reached the newly-founded Hub, more than four hundred miles to the south, and established himself as a doctor there.[Non-game 2] He became popular, especially with one of the caravan masters by the name of Harold, who considered him a brilliant doctor and philosopher.[3]

His story could end here, if it was not for his ill-fated expedition to Mariposa Military Base, undertaken by himself, Harold, Francine, Mark, and a handful of others in 2102. On June 23, the party was attacked by mutants inhabiting the base and suffered further casualties while breaking in. In the base's center, Harold and Grey were suddenly struck by a mechanical crane. Harold was only injured and managed to escape, but Grey was knocked into one of the Vats. His wounded state combined with extreme long-term exposure to the FEV precipitated his transformation into the horribly mutated mass known as "The Master."[Non-game 3] After he regained consciousness and dragged himself from the Vats, he continued to mutate after the week-long immersion.[Non-game 4][4] The mutation eventually stabilized enough for him to notice his greatly increased mental capacity, capable of resolving the most complex of philosophical questions. He began experimenting on animals infesting the military base by exposing them to the Virus. When he dipped a rat and a dog into the virus at the same time, the resulting fusion inspired him to begin formulating a philosophy of unification, laying the groundwork for the Unity.[Non-game 5][4] However, experiments were frustrated by a lack of subjects or understanding of the virus.[Non-game 6][4]

In December 2102, following a series of directed mutations by injecting doses of the virus into various areas of his mutated body, Grey gained the ability to neuro link with computers, allowing him to access the base's databanks. Aided by the data, he began experiments on humans who strayed into the facilities, without much luck.[Non-game 7][4] Finally, in January 2103, he finally isolated radiation exposure as the crucial factor affecting transformation success. The first successful super mutant was assimilated by Grey as a fellow mind, creating the Master hive mind. The Unity began in earnest,[4][Non-game 8] as the Master began to gather test subjects from local human communities. The process was slow, hampered by their scarcity, but over the next thirty years he built up a small force of super mutants, until the Great Winter of 2130 convinced the Master that it is no longer feasible.[4]

In 2131, the Master decided to focus on acquiring subjects from caravans that crossed the wasteland in ever-increasing numbers. The human settlements were oblivious to the true nature of the raids, blaming them on wasteland "monsters". Their ignorance allowed the army to grow tremendously.[Non-game 9] By 2137, there were enough super mutants to sustain mass production. While the success rate was between 15-20%, with half going on to join the Master's army, it grew rapidly into a potent military force. The resulting army was named Unity by the Master, becoming the foundation of his vision for humanity and the world.[Non-game 10] For the next fifteen years, the Unity would expand over New California, striking from the shadows.

The Cathedral[edit | edit source]

In 2152, the Master enlisted the aid of Morpheus and his doomsday cultists. Realizing the benefits of retaining unaltered humans in his service to act as spies throughout the region, the Master recruited Morpheus's cult into his service, thereby expanding his power and thus creating The Children to act as the Unity's public face as well as maintain secrecy.[Non-game 11] Just three years later, in 2155, the Unity experienced a breakthrough in its operations. After apprehending a caravan of vault dwellers from the Los Angeles Vault (a Vault prototype), the Master transferred his command, along with his immense and pervasive body, to the vault and ordered Morpheus' cultists to renovate the building above the Vault, establishing the Cathedral and its Children. The cult became known as the Children of the Cathedral and continued to be led by Morpheus, who reported directly to the Master. The cathedral was guarded by the nightkin, which were super mutant elite troops equipped with Stealth Boy technology.

The Vault itself provided a wealth of information to the Master and the Unity, most importantly the locations of other vaults. Super mutants began searching their suspected locations, gathering prime subjects for super mutant conversion.[Non-game 12][Non-game 13] Not all operations were successful: The detachment sent to investigate Bakersfield and Vault 12 wound up engaging the ghouls living among the ruins, with fighting only ceasing when Set brokered a ceasefire, explaining that the ghouls were what remained of Vault 12's dwellers. A garrison was left behind to ensure Set's cooperation and apprehend the occasional human passing through.[Non-game 14]

The Master's Destruction[edit | edit source]

The steady expansion of Unity operations and preparation for the attack on New California, spearheaded by the Children of the Cathedral seemed impossible to prevent. However, the Master did not account for the Vault Dweller's interference, who managed to uncover the plan while retrieving a water chip for Vault 13. Spurred into action by Overseer Jacoren, on March 3, 2162, he infiltrated the Cathedral and destroyed it with a nuclear weapon, killing the Master.[Non-game 15] The Unity retaliated by attacking Necropolis, trying to locate the Vault Dweller, but it was too late.[Non-game 16] On April 20, less than two months after the death of the Master, the Dweller delivered the killing blow to the Unity by destroying the Mariposa Military Base.[Non-game 17] Although he disappeared into the wasteland, the Brotherhood of Steel picked up where he left off, driving the super mutants away with minimal loss of life, on both sides of the conflict, establishing itself as a major power in the wasteland, but wisely remaining out of the power structure.[5] Surviving super mutants would attempt to integrate into society or find a new life for themselves, with one of the most notable attempts being Broken Hills, founded by Marcus and Paladin Jacob in 2185, as a place where regular and mutated humans could live side by side.[Non-game 18] Yet other groups migrated away from New California, north and east, looking for new places to settle.[6]

The Unity[edit | edit source]

The Master is the creator and leader of the super mutants. He is also the mastermind behind a movement called "The Unity," the aim of which is to turn every human into a super mutant by means of the FEV, by force if necessary. He claims that those who cannot be mutated by the virus, as well as those that choose not to, will be allowed to live—provided they submit themselves to sterilization. Those that resist the Unity outright will be executed for trying to stand in the way of the Master's "progress." In theory, the Unity is for humanity's own good, as super mutants are better adapted to live in a post-nuclear wasteland. Also, according to the Master, turning all living beings into one single race would finally eliminate the differences and the human fallacies that ultimately brought about nuclear war.

However, the Master is unaware of a fatal flaw in his plan: all super mutants are sterile. The Vault Dweller can help Vree, a scientist of the Brotherhood of Steel, come to this conclusion, and later use this information to convince the Master that his endeavor has no chance of success. Or if they decide to join the Unity, the ending will show the Vault Dweller being turned into a super mutant, then show the Vault 13 residents being killed by the super mutants. This ending is non-canon however, as it would undo and prevent the events of Fallout 2.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Several mutants led the armies after the fall of the Master. Remnants of the Master's army, such as those led by Tabitha, were found to relocate to inhospitable regions such as Black Mountain. However, despite their lacking numbers and remote locale, they were still found to pose a threat to the populace of the Mojave Wasteland due to frequent and brutal attacks carried out against travelers.

In his attempt to become master of all humanity, the Master tried to create guardians through gene splicing but was stopped by the Vault Dweller before he could complete his plans. However, some of his creations have outlived him and continue to roam the wasteland. These abominations include centaurs and floaters, which are often found together as though they feel some sort of kinship for one another.[7]

The Master's Traits, Powers, and Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Master began his life as an intelligent, but otherwise ordinary human. It wasn't until the expedition into Mariposa that he began to evolve - randomly at first and then by modifying himself with additional doses of the FEV. The Virus increased his naturally high intelligence many times over, allowing him to understand complex philosophical questions with ease, while slowly warping and twisting his body. Not all the changes were for the worse, however: As his body changed, the Master gained the ability to neurolink with computers and robotics.[4] His increased intelligence was unarguable but his own experiments still left his practice of the scientific method lacking when he would pursue the creation of super mutants without control groups or predictions to locate his new race's fatal flaw.

Although humans found his appearance repulsive, the evolution provided a countermeasure: It increased the Master's natural charisma and unlocked his latent psionic talent. Already gifted with a silver tongue, Moreau became able to persuade others with impeccable reason, logic, and in-depth understanding of psychology. Utilizing both, the Master rallied an army of sycophantically devoted human and super-mutant followers around him. The few capable of withstanding the strength of his argument would have to concede in the face of the argument of strength: His growing army of super mutants, made possible by resolving the problems of the pre-War FEV.[8]

However, it was the psychic powers that were the most powerful asset the Master had. Long-term exposure to FEV gave him the ability to penetrate the mental defenses of others, preying on their greatest fears and breaking them. His control over them was limited and those members of the Unity or the Children who were granted an audience with him were required to wear psychic nullifiers to pass through the Corridor of Revulsion (a psychic projection and extremely vivid hallucination) and the passive psychic field he generated - otherwise they risked physical damage.[9][10]

Finally, the Master was integrated into the Los Angeles Vault ever since the move there from Mariposa. As the biomass and the number of humans and mutants he assimilated increased, the Master integrated himself into the Vault, with tendrils spreading throughout the facilities and burrowing themselves into the underlying technology. By the time the Vault Dweller arrived, the interior of the vault was dotted with human appendages, extensions of the Master's growing body. The most stunning display was, of course, in the Overseer's chamber, where he grew in and into the command chair. However, the Master neglected to distribute his nervous system in a similar way and the primary brain was still located within the body that assimilated the post and the Vault's main computer.[11]

Interactions with the player character[edit | edit source]

Interactions overview[edit | edit source]

10 Rescue from Paradise.png
This character is involved in quests.
This character has a talking head.

Quests[edit | edit source]

  • Destroy the Mutant leader: The Master is the mutant leader and needs to be destroyed. The Vault Dweller has three options to choose from:
    • Combat includes facing the Master directly. He has 500 HP, a Gatling laser, high AC, and can attack twice per round. Furthermore, he will spawn a super mutant in the corridor every two turns (four at the lowest combat difficulty), up to a maximum of twelve. Hardened power armor and high damaging weapons are a necessity to withstand the damage output, however, the Master will not attack companions or his Floating Eyes. In fact, the robots are not aggressive towards the player and if splash damage hits them, they will turn on the Master.
      • A psychic nullifier is recommended for dampening the Master's psychic attacks.
      • Because the Master is integrated into the Vault overseer's chair, he counts as a robotic enemy and is highly vulnerable to pulse grenades.
      • But an even greater vulnerability is the limited range of his Gatling lasers, which means that there is a window further away in the long hallway from where one can shoot him with a sniper rifle without him being able to retaliate.
      • Saving and reloading will also cause the spawned mutants to disappear but still count towards the maximum of twelve.
    • Diplomacy requires the player character to have read Vree's autopsy report and have at least 7 Intelligence and good Speech. Then it's a matter of asking him about the plan, pointing out a problem with it, and either giving the disk or telling him to ask his female mutants.
    • Stealth involves no confrontation and infiltrating the lowest level via the barracks in the command center. The doors are locked and require a good Lockpick. One can activate the bomb after killing the guards by using Science (70% required), Lockpick (70% required; the test was intended to be for Repair, but the game checks for Lockpick) or the bomb key looted from Mariposa.
    • Finally, it is possible to join his cause simply by talking to him and agreeing to his demands or persuasion. Doing so triggers the dipping ending and the raid on Vault 13, but grants no end slides.

Death animation[edit | edit source]

  • Killing the Master will trigger a unique death animation:
The Master's death animation
Master death animation.gif

Tell me about[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Apparel Weapon Other items
Gatling laser

Notes[edit | edit source]

Notable quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "So what shall it be? Do you join the Unity, or do you die here? Join! Die! Join! Die!"
  • "The Unity will bring about the master race. Master! Master! One able to survive, or even thrive, in the wasteland. As long as there are differences, we will tear ourselves apart fighting each other. We need one race. Race! Race! One goal. Goal! Goal! One people... to move forward to our destiny. Destiny."
  • "Of course, mutants are best equipped to deal with the world today. Who else? The Ghouls? Please. Normals? They brought nuclear death to us all. This will be the age of mutants! Mutants."
  • "But it cannot be. This would mean that all my work has been for nothing. Everything that I have tried to... a failure! It can't be. Be. Be. Be."
  • "You must be joking."
  • "I am the Master. I do not have to answer to you!"
  • "I don't have to prove anything to you! Prove."
  • "I... don't think that I can continue. Continue? To have done the things I have done in the name of progress and healing. It was madness. I can see that now. Madness. Madness? There is no hope. Leave now, leave while you still have hope..."
    Icon sound trigger.png
    Icon sound.png
    Play sound
  • "We won't change. Not unless we are of one people. One. One. One. One race. One. One. One. The Unity will allow us to move beyond these petty concerns and deal with the major problems at hand. You do want to be a part of that, don't you? Part. Don't."
  • "I'm not after the world, yet. When I turn your fellow vault-dwellers into mutants, my forces will be too strong for any to stand against! But don't worry, you won't care. Care! Care!"
  • "All that resist, yes. All those that are required for the Unity as well. The remainder will be allowed to live out their days, but under Unity control and protection. But none shall breed, for they will be the last of their race."
  • "I must digest this information. One moment... I understand now. You made a clever forgery. You made this up to fool me. Fool! Me!"
  • "Of course not. Most will be offered a chance to become a mutant. Those who deny this opportunity will be sterilized and let go. Those that resist will be executed."
  • "We are all biased, are we not? We each care more about our individual communities than other people. We haven't changed, and I'll tell you something else..."
  • "I will conquer it and turn all those pure strain humans into mutants. They will give me the army I need to bring peace to the entire wasteland."
  • "Oh, I think you are wrong. But just to be sure, I will order this matter researched. After I have taken care of you. Care. Care!"

Appearances[edit | edit source]

The Master appears only in Fallout as a talking head. He is mentioned only in Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and its add-on Dead Money, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

FB8 deco 301 color.pngThe following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and is speculative and may not be accurate.
  • The Master was going to be the main antagonist in the canceled Fallout movie. He would have taken the place of the Lieutenant, torturing the Vault Dweller, leading the attack on Vault 13, and killing the Overseer personally. In the end, he was killed by the Vault Dweller, as he attempts to infect Max with the Forced Evolutionary Virus.[Non-game 19]
  • In Fallout 2, the Master's true name is revealed to be Richard Moreau. This may be a nod to the 1896 science fiction novel The Island of Doctor Moreau about a scientist who conducts bizarre and cruel experiments on animals he has imported in an attempt to create sapient beings out of them.
FB8 deco 301 color.pngEnd of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Master character description: "{100}{}{You see the Master of the Super Mutants.}"
    (Master's dialogue)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fallout Official Survival Guide pp. 106-107: "The Master: The Supreme Boss Behind It All"
    "The Master is not a nice person."
    "Once a normal human, long ago, he was mutated by exposure to the FEV virus. Along the way since then, he has somehow hybridized with other human mutants and with computers, turning him into a rather strange and schizoid monster who speaks in multiple voices. As "the Holy Flame" and "Father Hope," he rules the Children of the Cathedral, who figure in his plot to infect all humans with FEV and take over the entire world."
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{1000}{}{Richard}"
    Harold: "{1100}{hrold300}{Brilliant guy. A doctor and philosopher. Long ago he lead the expedition where I got changed into a mutant.}"
    (Harold's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Richard Grey's audio diary
  5. Canon Fallout ending for the Brotherhood of Steel
  6. The Chosen One: "{119}{}{So, tell me what you know about the Master.}"
    Leanne: "{144}{}{Well this might take a bit. Be a gentleman and buy me a drink, wouldn't you please? Not whiskey though, Nuka-Cola please.}"
    The Chosen One: "{147}{}{Sure.}"
    Leanne: "{149}{}{Thanks. Now let's see... I remember my mom telling me about this huge migration that happened 70... or was it 80 years ago...}"
    The Chosen One: "{150}{}{Please, go on.}"
    Leanne: "{151}{}{Really big mutants with weapons as tall as you and me came from the south. Mom said it looked like a big migration of some sort.}"
    The Chosen One: "{152}{}{How many?}"
    Leanne: "{153}{}{Don't know, but there were multiple groups of them. Some would continue north, others headed east. No one knew where they were going.}"
    The Chosen One: "{154}{}{Go on.}"
    Leanne: "{155}{}{They were quite upset and seemed to be fleeing from something.}"
    The Chosen One: "{156}{}{Really?}"
    Leanne: "{157}{}{Yeah, there were also others in dirty, tattered purple robes... they kept babbling about how the Master was dead...}"
    The Chosen One: "{158}{}{Interesting.}"
    Leanne: "{159}{}{Some of them even committed suicide right here in town!}"
    The Chosen One: "{160}{}{So?}"
    Leanne: "{161}{}{Well don't you see. They were talking about the Master, the one your ancestor killed.}"
    The Chosen One: "{162}{}{Thanks for the story.}"
  7. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets
  8. Master's appearance in Fallout.
  9. Viscious: "{202}{}{The will of the Master prevails. What news do you have for me?}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{205}{}{I have a message for the Master from his Lieutenant. I must see the Master now.}"
    Viscious: "{209}{}{You cannot be serious. In fact, you must be lying.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{211}{}{I'm not. The Lieutenant could not trust this message to the usual method. I have to see the Master right now! There is no time to waste!}"
    Viscious: "{212}{}{Then use the door, and beware the Corridor. I assume that you have your protection in place?}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{214}{}{No, not really. Should I?}"
    Viscious: "{215}{}{Of course! You cannot hope to pass the Corridor without it. What did you do with your nullifier!}"
  10. The aforementioned Corridor of Revulsion before the Master's control room.
  11. Appearance in Fallout
  1. Fallout Bible 0: "2162 March 3 Vault Dweller kicks the Master's ass."
  2. Fallout Bible 0: "2092 Dr. Richard Moreau is exiled from Vault City for murder. The circumstances surrounding the murder are unknown, but he changes his last name to Grey and heads south."
  3. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 June 23 Richard Grey's Expedition [including Harold] finds the Mariposa Military Base and the Expedition is scattered and defeated by mutants at the base. Grey is knocked into one of the vats of FEV by a robotic arm, and Harold is knocked unconscious, only to awaken later out in the wasteland."
  4. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 July Richard Grey, now horribly mutated by the virus, crawls from the Vats covered with FEV and in terrible pain. Barely able to think or perceive his surroundings, he crawls into the Vat control room and begins his audio log. He fades in and out of consciousness, sometimes for days or weeks at a time."
  5. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 July-Nov Richard Grey begins to acclimate to his condition, and begins his first tests of animals by exposing them to FEV. These experiments and his growing awareness lay the foundation for his plans for the Unity and the master race. He takes the name, "the Master.""
  6. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 Nov The first human victim wanders into Mariposa, and Grey consumes him."
  7. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 Dec Grey continues his experiments on wanderers that enter Mariposa... with no success. The creations are flawed (due to the radiation counts in their bodies), making them big but incredibly stupid, and Grey consumes them rather than letting them live."
  8. Fallout Bible 0: "2103 January The Master discovers the problem with the influence of radiation on his mutations, and he begins to choose his subjects more carefully. The first classic super mutants are born, butt-scratching animations and all. He begins his plans to build an army."
  9. Fallout Bible 0: "2131-2135 The Master begins ordering his super mutants to gather human stock from caravans. For many years, the caravan disappearances are blamed on monsters in the desert, and even when the abductions begin to occur on Hub caravans, the deathclaws are blamed. The super mutant army grows."
  10. Fallout Bible 0: "2137 Master's begins to mass-produce super mutants. Only about one in six or one in five attempts are successful, and of these successes, only half seem to last to go on to be part of his growing army, called the Unity."
  11. Fallout Bible 0: "2152 As their influence slowly spreads throughout the wastes, the Master finds humans, doomsday cultists, and rather than dip them in the vats, he demands their obedience as spies - their leader is a man named Morpheus, and he pledges his followers to the Master. Morpheus and his cultists form the future core of the Children of the Cathedral."
  12. Fallout Bible 0: "2155-2156 After capturing a caravan of strange-garbed travelers (vault dwellers), Master learns the location of the Boneyard Vault, the future site of the Cathedral. He conquers the inhabitants and sets up operations there, and the human cultists begin to use the Vault as their powerbase. Within the Vault, the Master learns of other Vaults, and realizing their human occupants are ripe for transformation, begins to send out patrols to Vault locations in search of these other Vaults."
  13. Fallout Bible 5: "2155-2156 After capturing a caravan of vault dwellers, Master learns the location of the Boneyard Vault, the future site of the Cathedral. He conquers the inhabitants and sets up operations there, and the human cultists begin to use the Vault as their powerbase. Within the Vault, the Master begins to send out patrols to Vault locations in search of these other Vaults."
  14. Fallout Bible 0: "2157 The Master learns the location of the Bakersfield Vault, Vault 12, and sends a detachment of super mutants there to seize the vault. Many ghouls are snapped like twigs in the attack, and Set finally parleys with the super mutants, telling them that the ghouls are the Vault survivors the super mutants are looking for. The super mutants, angered at failing to find an intact Vault, set up a small garrison at the watershed to watch the inhabitants and insure Set's... cooperation in the war to come."
  15. Fallout Bible 0: "2162 March 3 Vault Dweller kicks the Master's ass."
  16. Fallout Bible 0
  17. Fallout Bible 0: "2162 April 20 Vault Dweller destroys the Military Base. Dogmeat dies defending his master."
  18. Fallout Bible 0: "2185 Summer At high noon, Marcus and Brotherhood of Steel Paladin Jacob cross paths many, many miles southwest of Broken Hills and punch and shoot each other for a few days. Eventually, they give up, unable to get an advantage over the other. The two start traveling together, arguing over Master and BOS doctrine and whether or not the Master could truly neurolink his biology into the Cathedral computer network."
  19. Fallout film treatment #43
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.