The nightkin were an elite warrior caste in the Master's super mutant army and the apex of his creation of super mutants. When the Master's super mutant army was defeated in 2162, many began wandering the Wasteland or banded together into groups of varying sizes and with varying ends. In 2281, many are now either with Tabitha, Marcus, or Davison, with the last group desperately searching for more Stealth Boys.
They are superior to their fellow super mutants in terms of both intellect and skill, as the FEV-II dipping has not damaged their intelligence. While in the Master's Army, they had access to superior weapons and armor, including the use of Stealth Boys. Prolonged use of these devices led to a permanent alteration of the pigment in their skin. Instead of the usual dull green, their skin is pale blue in color.
The nightkin often use their equipped Stealth Boys to sneak-attack those who cross their path, remaining invisible until they come out and fight, sometimes even remaining invisible then. However, prolonged use of Stealth Boys has damaged their sanity, with them becoming incredibly aggressive, paranoid, and in some cases severely delusional. As Marcus explains, they "hate to be seen". The cause of their paranoia is schizophrenia developed from constant use of the Stealth Boys, because of this they can become angered when stared at for a long period of time.
Nightkin can be found in the upper levels of the Cathedral, as well as inside the Mariposa Military Base, and in random patrol encounters in the cells around the base. After the Master's fall, many surviving Unity super mutants had become a chaotic wasteland wandering force, set on to destroy everything it encountered. They are superior to other super mutants in skill, equipment, and weaponry. Many of the nightkin are equipped with cloaking devices, such as Stealth Boys. The only gaming effect of this is to give them a slight ethereal look, as it does not affect the player's chance of hitting them.
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
|The following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
After the death of the Master, parts of the super mutant army gathered and formed a new faction, led by Attis. Many years after their regrouping, these mutants captured the Secret Vault in order to use the FEV reserves stored inside. Attis' goal was to continue the Master's plan. His army had an elite unit of nightkin, much improved in skill, and equipped with high-tech stealth suits to enhance their abilities. These suits served the same function as Stealth Boys. These suits probably originated from, or were made in the Secret Vault.
|End of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.|
Fallout: New Vegas
Some of the nightkin appear in the Mojave Wasteland, very often suffering from severe psychological damage, caused by prolonged Stealth Boy use. They wear the same clothes as regular super mutants, but many of them also wear hoods, and stop signs strapped to their forearms as makeshift shields. They are often found wielding rebar clubs, miniguns, incinerators, super sledges or, in the case of nightkin masters, bumper swords. They are slightly more articulate in their speech, and are believed to be a stronger and more intelligent version of first generation super mutants, according to Black Mountain Radio. They are weaker than standard super mutants, however, as a result of their use of Stealth Boys.
There are some scattered in the wasteland, in places such as Black Rock cave.
Those nightkin under the banner of Tabitha harbor an "isolationist" ideology, openly warning humans to stay away from Black Mountain, and even commenting on the dangers of "the dreaded battle cattle" and "two-headed bear people", a reference to the animal mascots on the flags of Caesar's Legion and the New California Republic, respectively. A nightkin camping on the outskirts of Novac kills one of Dusty McBride's brahmin every night around midnight, mistaking the message entirely. He can be found during the day, cloaked behind a boulder across the road and to the west of town. Here, he can be heard complaining about his constant insomnia and trying to silence noises in his head that he believes come from the brahmin. Despite their phobia, some nightkin have become Antlerists, and take orders from their god, Antler, an inanimate brahmin skull located in the basement of the REPCONN test site.
Nightkin play an important part in the quest Come Fly With Me. The Courier is sent by Jason Bright, the founder of the Bright Brotherhood, to take care of "demons" that are infesting the basement level of the REPCONN rocket testing facility.
At Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch a nightkin will appear next to the Courier and start a chat. He will offer to sell them wind-brahmin for all their caps. If the offer is declined, he will turn hostile and proceed to attack. Originally, if the Courier accepts the offer without asking about the price, no caps will be removed, and the nightkin will give a free Stealth Boy instead. Another Stealth Boy will be in his inventory available for pick-pocketing. However, with the game patch as of July 7–8, 2011, the nightkin will no longer give a Stealth Boy upon agreeing without question, and will take all caps. The nightkin will only have one Stealth Boy that can be pickpocketed or looted from his body.
- The mutant commando advanced character class from the canceled Fallout d20 was based on the nightkin.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the nightkin are suffering from schizophrenia, partially due to the fact that overuse of Stealth Boys over a prolonged amount of time has been proven to cause mental problems in nightkin. This theory was tested and proven by Doctor Henry. Also, because they are so used to being invisible, they hate being looked at.
- Nightkin seem to have a strange fascination with brahmin; Davison worships a brahmin skull, a nightkin kills Dusty McBride's brahmin under the impression that the brahmin are keeping him awake, the heads of a brahmin are mounted on the wall in Black Mountain Radio station and another nightkin attempts to sell travelers wind-brahmin.
- Boone's Spotter perk does not work with cloaked nightkin.
- ED-E's Enhanced Sensors perk can detect cloaked nightkin.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, nightkin have the perks Toughness and Ninja.
- V.A.T.S. can target nightkin even while they are cloaked but this is not a bug. It may be because of V.A.T.S.'s ability to detect lifeforms no matter if its cloaked or not, or it may be due to the engine's limitations. Regardless, there will be no chance to hit the Nightkin and so it will not permit queuing of attacks.
The nightkin appear in Fallout in the Cathedral and the Mariposa Military Base, in Fallout 2 as a hostile encounter on the world map, in the Secret Vault in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, and make a comeback in Fallout: New Vegas and the add-on Dead Money.
Behind the scenes
- In Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, the nightkin are voiced by Michael Bell.
- In Fallout 3, the word "nightkin" occasionally appears in the password list when hacking a terminal.
- PC In the original Fallout, some nightkin that fight unarmed disappear (become "invisible") during the player's turn in combat and can not be targeted. The only way to end a battle with them is to either flee the area, or have them be killed by accidental fire, e.g. by other enemies that miss and hit them or using a burst mode of a weapon targeting any other available target with the intent to hit the supposed "invisible" nightkin. [verified]
- PC In Fallout: New Vegas, the shaders that make nightkin invisible are sometimes bugged, causing them to remain invisible after deactivating their Stealth Boys (although they will be treated as visible for the purpose of calculating V.A.T.S. percentages). This has been observed in the REPCONN test site basement and during the encounter near McBride house in Novac, and appears to be linked to reloading a previous save during, or immediately after, an encounter with a nightkin (possibly after being killed). [verified]
- PC After the nightkin that has been attacking Dusty McBride's cattle is killed, a nightkin master can appear near the tent in the middle of Novac, (can be encountered as far away as the Highway 95 Viper's encampment). This nightkin master will be neutral unless attacked by the player, but may be encountered fighting Vipers. If killed, this nightkin will have a minigun in very poor condition and possess The Screams of Brahmin note [verified]