Built in 1723, the Old North Church is the oldest standing church in Boston. Its 191 foot tall steeple also makes it the tallest church in Boston. On the night of April 18, 1775, British Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith marched with 700 British soldiers to Concord on a mission to disarm the rebels. Using a plan devised by Paul Revere, Robert Newman climbed to the top of this church and lit two lanterns to alert patriots that the Redcoats were coming up the Charles River, thus inspiring Longfellow's famous verse, "One if by land, two if by sea." The battles of Lexington and Concord that followed would start the American Revolutionary War. The graves in its lower crypt include those of Major John Pitcairn, a British Army officer at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and William Shippard.
In the 23rd century, the area appears to have been overrun by ferals. However, in reality, it is the secret headquarters of the synth-liberating Railroad, hidden in the catacombs beneath the historic site.
Outside of the church is a monument to Paul Revere and Robert Newman, signifying the "midnight ride" of American Revolution history. The church has a large main floor consisting of an atrium with some broken collectors and two partially collapsed balconies, both reachable by stairs at the back, or a collapsed part near the front door to the right. It also has a fairly long basement tunnel, the 18/19th century crypt beneath the church, accessible to the right of the main door. A plaque can be found at the entrance that reads:
The basement tunnel has a golden Freedom Trail seal on the wall. The phrase "The Freedom Trail - Boston" is on a turnable wheel with an arrow on the center. The arrow points to a letter and one can activate letters in a certain order to gain entrance to the Railroad (by spelling 'railroad' on the wheel) as part of the quest Road to Freedom. This will gain access to the Railroad HQ.
At the far wall of the atrium, opposite the passage leading down to the crypt, there is a small staircase with a door to the Old North Church steeple. The steeple is actually part of the exterior environment but is fully enclosed except above; the door exits into the bottom of the steeple stairwell which can be used to reach the roof of the church.
- Road to Freedom: The Sole Survivor has heard of a group that aims to take on the Institute and only has the clue, "Follow the Freedom Trail." To find the Railroad, they have to start at Boston Common.
- There is a combination riddle in the tunnels. The password is to spell "railroad" with the wheel (it does not matter which way the wheel is turned).
- While there are multiple letters in some cases (such as "R"), note that only one will be able to be "selected" by the spinning wheel. This means one must enter the same "R" (in the same location on the wheel) twice, for example.
- If the player character sides with the Brotherhood and destroys the Railroad, several Brotherhood soldiers will occupy the building.
- When at this location, companions make comments, which are activated at two locations: at the nave and in the catacombs.
|Curie||nave||"The Old North Church. Such history."|
|catacombs||"Is anyone famous buried here, you think?"|
|Danse||nave||"" lacking in technology.|
|Deacon||nave||"No place like home."|
|catacombs||"Part of me still feels its wrong using this place as a base. But we didn't have a lot of options."|
The Old North Church appears only in Fallout 4.
Behind the scenes
- The Old North Church was created by level designer Justin Schram. In designing the layout of the in-game location, he wanted to honor the history and real-world space of the actual church, but also still making it fun to explore for a player. In particular, he recalled the controversy surrounding Resistance: Fall of Man (mistakenly naming it as a Call of Duty game in a Q&A session) for its depiction of Manchester Cathedral, and wanted to avoid that happening with the Old North Church. He also watched History Channel specials exploring the Revolutionary War catacombs under the real-world Old North Church for inspiration.
- At the top of the church steeple, there are two lit lanterns, a reference to the historical use of this church to signal British troop movements on April 18, 1775, which later came to be remembered by the phrase "One if by land, and two if by sea." Preston Garvey comments on this if he is taken into the church and explains its connection to the Minutemen of Massachusetts.
- The tombs of Major John Pitcairn and William Shippard can be found. Pitcairn was a Scottish Marine who was interred in the Old North Church after being killed in the assault of Bunker Hill in 1775, while Shippard was a resident of the British colony in Massachusetts, passing away in 1744. Their tombs can also be found in the real-world Old North Church.
- coc OldNorthChurch01 will teleport the player character into Old North Church, past the entrance to The Railroad. The console command tcl must be used to go through and open the door to The Railroad properly. Exiting through the front entrance works afterward.[verified] In some cases, the game will freeze when attempting to enter certain buildings in Boston Common, including Old North Church, making the quest Road to Freedom impossible to complete. The console command
- Sometimes the Old North Church's front door at the end of the trail can't be accessed making it impossible to proceed. Saving/quicksaving and reloading, even directly in front of the church entrance, should restore the door to functionality. Otherwise, reload a previous save game before entering the Old North Church's general area or use the console command listed above to teleport directly inside.[verified]
- Old North Church Freedom Trail plaque
- Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.466-467: "[13.02] OLD NORTH CHURCH
Built in 1723, the Old North Church is the oldest standing church in Boston. Its 191-foot-tall steeple also makes it the tallest church in Boston. On the night of April 18, 1775, Lieutenant Colonel Smith marched with 700 British soldiers to Concord on a mission to disarm the rebels. Using a plan devised by Paul Revere, Robert Newman climbed to the top of this church and lit two lanterns to alert patriots that the Redcoats were coming up the Charles River. This inspired Longfellow’s famous verse “One if by land, two if by sea.” The battles of Lexington and Concord that followed would start the American Revolution.
This is part of the Freedom Trail. The number “1” is daubed on the circular ground plaque pointing at the letter “R.” The insignia of the Railroad can be seen above the information plaque at the entrance.
The Railroad Headquarters is the base of operations for this faction. It contains their senior members (two of whom offer excellent trading opportunities). There’s a wall showing the “code” the Railroad uses for marking stashes and areas they’ve investigated. Be sure to utilize the escape tunnel, which allows quicker access to and from this location in the future. It brings you out by the river, northwest of the Old North Church."
(Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
- Alumni Guest: Justin Schram From Bethesda Game Studios (reference starts at 1:02:17)
Justin Schram: "One of the spaces I worked on on Fallout 4 was the Old North Church, so I tried as much as I could to get the feel for what that actual space was, and to honor the history that was there. I was really worried, because I remember, I think it was a Call of Duty game that like, also used a church and they got all this hate mail from the church and the people that went there. I was really worried about that happening here, so I was just trying as much as I could to honor what the space was and the history there. Another interesting thing about that is that there are these, like, Revolutionary War catacombs under the Old North Church, and I watched a lot of, like, History Channel specials of them walking through to get a lot of inspirations for what the feel is there."