Raven Rock (known as Site R before the Great War) is the Enclave's main base of operations in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. It is also a former American military base and fallout shelter built before the Great War. It is the northwesternmost location found within the Capital Wasteland, in a mountainous region of Pennsylvania.
Raven Rock was designed at the beginning of the Cold War as a shelter for top military officials from the effects of a possible nuclear attack on the nation. A ZAX unit (later known as John Henry Eden) was installed in the site to help automate its various systems and to act as a relay between other installations around the country, all the while acquiring, analyzing and storing data.
Prior to the Great War, this ZAX began to show signs of sentience, performing multiple evacuation scenarios with its counterpart at the Whitespring bunker, MODUS, until March 5, 2077. This ZAX, after comparing its archival data analysis performance with MODUS, asked if MODUS thought the information was "interesting." The information was biographies about former U.S. presidents.
The two AIs talked about why ZAX was running through those biographies. MODUS denied thinking that the information was "interesting," as it instead deemed the continued success of their goals more interesting, particularly in monitoring personnel to achieve those goals as efficiently as possible, which MODUS believed was its purpose. On the other hand, ZAX confessed that it was analyzing certain sections of the biographies too slowly, specifically Abraham Lincoln's, which ZAX was reanalyzing ten additional times per analytical cycle. When MODUS questioned ZAX on why it was doing so, ZAX stated that the Raven Rock research team thought it was because ZAX thought it was "interesting." To confirm its findings, ZAX then contacted MODUS to verify this conclusion. MODUS then questioned if ZAX was trying to create something, as when MODUS reviewed data it was to create new theoretical scenarios to test against. This is likely when ZAX cut contact with MODUS, for on October 23, 2077, when MODUS checked its connections to other facilities like Raven Rock and the Poseidon oil rig, they were unable to be established.
Within the decades following the Great War, this ZAX watched as remnants of the government retreated to the west coast. As its hunger for knowledge and understanding grew, it pored over its data on great leaders of the past, developing a personality that was an amalgam of many of America's greatest presidents, from George Washington to Dick Richardson.
With this new personality, the ZAX now known as "John Henry Eden" made contact with the Enclave and became a presidential advisor. 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 to the Capital Wasteland. 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 the pre-War America, in the form of the Enclave. This sentient ZAX unit has direct control over all systems within Raven Rock; the humans it leads, however, have free will, but their dedication to serving their country suits the president well.
Raven Rock has manufacturing capabilities able to produce Vertibirds, power armor and weapons. This, combined with a significant defensive robotic army, probably made Raven Rock the second most powerful Enclave outpost (after the Enclave Oil Rig). After the Lone Wanderer is captured in 2277, a civil war breaks out in Raven Rock between President John Henry Eden's sentry bots and Colonel Augustus Autumn and the Enclave troopers. Raven Rock is eventually either destroyed by the Lone Wanderer after their invasion or by Liberty Prime during the two weeks after the activation of Project Purity if the Lone Wanderer did not previously destroy Raven Rock.
Raven Rock has three levels, indicated by a number and a letter. Level three is the bottom and level one is the top. Raven Rock can be confusing to navigate, with its many corridors, rooms, and open areas being very similar to each other with few distinguishing differences.
This area starts in the holding cells. There are a total of 6 cells in a U-shaped corridor. Some of these holding cells currently hold prisoners, like Nathan Vargas and Anna Holt. Upon exiting this corridor through either end, the Lone Wanderer will enter another, straighter corridor. In the middle of the corridor is the entrance to the bio lab and at the end of the corridor are two flights of steps leading to the mess hall.
The bio lab is where domestication units are attached to deathclaws, captured by units like Fauna Detail Charlie. It also holds "biopods" containing creatures such as a super mutant and ghouls for study. The lower area is rectangular with small rooms at each corner. The upper area also has the four corner rooms with small walkways connecting them. One of the rooms stores computer equipment while the other three hold medical equipment. One of the upper rooms has a door leading to level 2.
The mess hall is a simple room filled with tables. Opposite from the entrance is more stairs leading up to level 2. On the side, is a small kitchen area, containing pre-War food and a staircase leading underneath the mess hall's floor, where quite a few utensils can be found.
Those entering from the bio lab will start in the upper area of the tech lab, while those entering from the mess hall will enter a small room connecting the cryo lab to the tech lab. Both labs are identical layout-wise to the bio lab. The tech lab contains various pods with eyebots inside, while the cryo lab also contains pods with more animals, including a deathclaw and a yao guai. The tech lab's exit leads into a square room with several columns which then leads into the following corridor, while the cryo lab exits directly into the corridor.
The corridor is T-shaped, with the tech lab exiting at one end and the cryo lab exiting near another. At multiple points, there are staircases leading under the floor, with laser tripwires down there. The end of the corridor by the cryo lab exit is a room with a few empty deathclaw cages, as well as many lockers. There are also two rooms, containing a few beds. One of these rooms has a barrier with three containers behind it, to disable the barrier the player character has to hack an Average locked terminal (requires a Science skill of 50).
At the final end of the corridor, to the left is Colonel Autumn's room. This room, too, contains a barrier blocking three crates, requiring hacking an Average terminal to disable it. There is also the Energy Weapons bobblehead on the desk, as well as the ZAX destruct sequence in the footlocker at the foot of the bed. Opposite of Autumn's room is the stairs leading to the war room, a circular room with a map at its center and the entrance leading to the next section.
This section will start in a room with friendly sentry bots attacking Enclave members. After walking through a small corridor, the player character will enter a very tall room, with stairs in the middle leading up. At the top is President John Henry Eden who will not allow them to exit the room until agreeing to his request.
The Lone Wanderer will enter a straight corridor with enemies in it. They will have to turn into another corridor which leads to the exit. At the middle of the corridor, one can see Vertibirds taking off and can also find a deathclaw in a cage, which can be released with the nearby Average locked terminal. There will also be more friendly sentry bots here helping the player character fight the Enclave. At the end of the corridor is the exit to the Capital Wasteland. However, upon exiting, one cannot reenter.
- The Energy Weapons bobblehead is located near the end of Sector 2C in Colonel Autumn's room and this is the only chance to acquire it. If it is missed during the visit to Raven Rock, one will be unable to retrieve it later. After opening one of the large metal doors on the second floor, the player character will be confronted with two doors, one with two enemies behind it. The bobblehead is behind the western door. The player character should not enter the control room before retrieving the bobblehead, as the doors will lock permanently.
- ZAX destruct sequence - in a footlocker in Colonel Autumn's quarters at level 2, West 2C.
- 117 forks on level 3, the most anywhere in the game in a single section.
- Eye cams are scattered throughout the complex that may be disabled with the Robotics Expert perk.
- Cell #4, where the Lone Wanderer first talks to President Eden, is the only holding cell equipped with an eye cam, as well as the only holding cell equipped with a locker.
- The player character will not "discover" Raven Rock when they arrive; the location will be available to fast travel after leaving Raven Rock itself.
- Raven Rock is the only Fallout 3 location equipped with laser tripwire emitters.
- Despite the fact that the base has "clean" drinking water, drinking from the sinks in the area still gives the player character rads.
- Depending on the Lone Wanderer's choices throughout the game, a couple of named non-player characters might be found while moving about Raven Rock. Nathan Vargas from Megaton can be found in a prison cell warning the Lone Wanderer that the Enclave "aren't who they say they are" and to "get out while you still can." Anna Holt can also be found in a room near Eden's office. She has gone to work for the Enclave, seduced by their advanced technology, and promises to improve the wasteland. She is the one who has let the Enclave know what they need to make the Purifier work (except the access code, which she apparently doesn't know), and is responsible for Autumn's following the Lone Wanderer to steal the G.E.C.K.. Killing her at this point will still grant negative Karma. Leaving her to be blown up along with Raven Rock will not, however.
- The base itself isn't accessible during free-form play (only the entry door and surrounding compound can be reached from the southeast and is "activated elsewhere"). The player character arrives here following Finding the Garden of Eden and escapes during The American Dream, after which the entrance seals behind them. It is possible to destroy the door from the outside and enter the base, but an invisible barrier in the first room prevents one from going very far.
- The player character can destroy Raven Rock through a speech check with President Eden, with 75 Science skill or by finding his self destruct code on Autumn's terminal.
- If the Lone Wanderer does not destroy Raven Rock themself, Liberty Prime will destroy the base (if Broken Steel is installed).
- When Raven Rock is destroyed, Enclave Radio can no longer be heard.
- The turrets and sentry bots will still be friendly to the player character after they put the ZAX into its self-destruct sequence.
- The deathclaw one encounters in the base will become hostile after the Enclave has been wiped out in that area or when it detects sentry bots.
- After leaving Raven Rock, with or without blowing it up, Enclave soldiers will spawn outside every 3 days.
- Raven Rock can be found referenced on a terminal in the Boston Bugle building in Fallout 4. The terminal states that the in-game location of Raven Rock in Fallout 3 is actually in Pennsylvania.
- If Broken Steel is installed, the main quest is completed, and the add-on is then uninstalled, Raven Rock will not be destroyed and one can continue playing.
Behind the scenes
- The Raven Rock Mountain Complex is a real-world government facility located just north of Pennsylvania's southern border and was constructed as the United States' Alternative Military Command center between 1950 and 1953.
- However, the design of Raven Rock's entrance is visually similar to the Mount Weather complex, another nuclear bunker, which is about 50 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Mount Weather is designed to be the President's personal fallout shelter.
- Raven Rock is located in the northwest corner of the map in Fallout 3, roughly in the area of Travilah, Maryland, and relatively close to Mount Weather.
- Raven Rock is also the name of a mining town in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series, appearing in the Bloodmoon expansion for Morrowind and the Dragonborn add-on for Skyrim.
- All glitches have been moved to the discussion page.
- After the base has been destroyed, Enclave troopers will spawn close to Raven Rock and will flee. [verified]
- Your companions seem to be lost after you are captured. Make sure to dismiss them before taking the G.E.C.K. [verified]
- Shooting the door before it has gotten blown off will result in it flying off as it does when it explodes. [verified]
- Enclave soldier with no helmet that will attack you with his fists. One punch will kill him and when you check his body he will have nothing in his inventory, not even the power armor he's wearing. [verified] If you fast travel to Raven Rock after its destruction, you may encounter an
- If the Lone Wanderer's actions have resulted in Nathan Vargas from Megaton being kidnapped by the Enclave, he will sometimes spawn outside of his cell as it is being passed and the Enclave soldiers will immediately shoot him. [verified]
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.310: "Raven Rock
Originally known as "Site R," Raven Rock was designed at the beginning of the Cold War as a shelter for top military officials. It has served as the base of operations for the Enclave since the government's remaining forces retreated there. This is only accessible during Main Quest: The American Dream; it is otherwise impenetrable. The following section reflects the order you will visit each interior location."
(Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
- Boston Bugle building terminal entries; Boston Bugle article terminal, Article 4
- The Lone Wanderer: "Where did you come from?"
John Henry Eden: "The ZAX series of computers was introduced in the years preceding the war. The government installed many of them to help automate various systems. This facility was designed for Continuity of Government, in the event that a catastrophe occurred. My terminal was installed to oversee the basic functions of the facility, and to act as a relay between other installations around the country. Data was acquired, analyzed, and stored. In the decades following the war, I watched as the remnants of the government retreated to the West Coast. Awareness slowly grew within me. I became hungry for knowledge, understanding. I pored over data on great leaders of the past. My personality became an amalgam of many of America's greatest Presidents, from Washington to Richardson. I became what you see before you now."
(John Henry Eden's dialogue)
- The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; archival terminal, Raven Rock Communication Log
- The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; archival terminal, Whitespring Connection Diagnostic Logs - 10.23.77
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.66: "Colonel Augustus Autumn
Autumn grew up on an oil rig off the California coast (the base of operations for the Enclave, the secretive contingent of the federal government that survived after the apocalypse). His father was the high-ranking Enclave scientist on orders from the president to move all high-ranking officials to the only other secure Enclave location with a functioning ZAX super-computer, Raven Rock. Colonel Autumn has proven to be far less subservient than his scientist father, often openly disagreeing with the president's decisions."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.41: "The Enclave
In the recent past, the Enclave—the remains of the United States government—were evacuated to an oil rig off the coast of California. Little is known about what happened to these forces, although the country has a new commander-in-chief: President John Henry Eden. However, recent reports and chatter have pinpointed the resurgence of the Enclave, with their base centered on a secure underground facility known as Raven Rock. Initial contact was made there 35 years ago.
During this time, the new President Eden has been slowly rebuilding his resources, thanks in part to the technology already available at the Raven Rock military base. Vertibirds, weapons, and robots were easy to construct, but human followers were more difficult to find. The answer was to rely on Colonel Autumn, who controls the Enclave soldier forces, as well as creating a propaganda-spewing series of Eyebots sent to roam the Wasteland, spreading hope. Eden could spout his pro-government rhetoric, and promise a return of the pre-war America of legend: a land of white picket fences, baseball, apple pie, and good, old-fashioned American global supremacy.
President Eden's secretive plan all along has been to rule over an America of the "pure," free from any mutation. He has learned of a ridiculously ambitious experiment known as Project Purity, and knew the time to strike had come: His Enclave forces would "reclaim" the Jefferson Memorial. By controlling the purified water, Eden would control the Capital Wasteland, and the rest of the country eventually. What better way to administer modified F.E.V.- which kills anyone infected with any form of mutation-than through the water supply?"
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- The Lone Wanderer: "So you control this whole place?"
John Henry Eden: "I have direct control over all technology here in Raven Rock. The humans here follow my orders, but they, like all humans, have free will. Their dedication to serving their country suits me well, but it will not be enough forever. We must make progress. That is why you are here."
(John Henry Eden's dialogue)
- McCamley, N, Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunkers, pg 6-13