|This is an overview article, focusing on background information and cross-game comparisons.|
Super mutant is a general term referring to humanoid mutants created by exposing a regular and relatively unmutated human to a variant of the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). The resulting hulking mutants typically possess exceptional strength, endurance, resistance or immunity to disease and radiation, as well as modified intelligence. Originally introduced in Fallout as an unique mutant menace led by the Master, super mutants have appeared in every game since, in several varieties and playing a variety of roles.
Fallout features super mutants derived from FEV-II at Mariposa Military Base, who appear as friends, foes, and companions. They are predominantly intelligent, social, and their position in traditional human society is a major question in each of these titles. In Fallout, they are the creations of the Master, who believes that the differences that led to the Great War could be overcome through the forced evolution of humanity. The Master's army of super mutants (Unity) plans to conquer the wasteland and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity by mutating those worthy of joining and sterilizing those who refuse (unaware of their own sterility). Although ultimately defeated by the Vault Dweller, who destroys Mariposa Military Base and eliminates the Master, the super mutants aren't all hostile and represent a variety of attitudes, especially towards the Master and his grand plan.
In Fallout 2, the remnants of the Unity react in different ways to the Master's defeat; some refuse to lay down arms and become raiders, others join the NCR Rangers or found new communities where humans and mutants coexist, such as Broken Hills. The super mutant companion, Marcus, is the sheriff of this town. Also introduced is a new, second generation of super mutants, originating once again in Mariposa: The Enclave excavated the base between 2236 and 2237, using captured Redding miners as slaves. Without protective equipment, exposure to the FEV still sealed within the base resulted in uncontrolled mutation. These second generation mutants tend to be, on average, far less intelligent than their peers.
In Fallout Tactics, super mutants are the primary opponents in the third chapter, where the Eastern Brotherhood of Steel wars with them across Missouri and Kansas. Organized into Gammorin's Army and led by a rogue paladin, they are remnants of the Unity who fled over the Rockies, and inadvertently woke up the Calculator. They become allies and recruits after Gammorin's defeat.
Fallout 3 features super mutants derived from the Evolutionary Experimentation Program (EEP), an FEV derivative used at Vault 87. These mutants are almost invariably hostile, borderline feral, and completely asexual. They act as hostile creatures barely capable of speech or coherent social organization, but are considered a major threat by the Lyons' Brotherhood of Steel, which has engaged them in a war of attrition for nearly two decades by the time the game starts.
Only two non-hostile super mutants appear in the game, Fawkes, a late game companion who also prefers to be called a meta-human rather a super mutant, and Uncle Leo, a randomly encountered traveler. These represent the only non-hostile interactions with them in the entire game. Uniquely, these super mutants never seem to stop growing and ancient, gigantic mutants called behemoths can be encountered. Centaurs are common companions of the super mutants, another hideous effect of EEP mutation.
Fallout: New Vegas
In Fallout: New Vegas, super mutants are rare, but represent another attempt to normalize relations with humans, efforts made possible by the actions of the returning Marcus. The nightkin are greatly expanded upon in the game, representing the long term legacy of the Master's work: Near-perfect super mutants twisted by years of exposure to stealth radiation, suffering from various psychological ailments. Dealing with the nightkin and finding a cure for them is a major element of the super mutant story in the game, at Black Mountain, REPCONN test site, and Jacobstown.
Fallout 4 features super mutants created by the Institute using an FEV sample acquired through clandestine means. These mutants are the byproduct of its research into generation 3 synths, dumped into the Commonwealth. They are somewhat intelligent, forming unique tribes and representing a variety of mostly hostile attitudes.
A super mutant companion, Strong, appears, alongside a handful of peaceful super mutants, providing insight into the communal society of the mutants. Interestingly, the Institute's creations consider themselves both to be superior to humans and their victims, seeing violence as a form of retribution. They are commonly accompanied by other FEV creations, such as mutant hounds and unstable early experiments, the behemoths.
While a cure for the effects of FEV was speculated by ZAX 1.2, this is the only strain that can be cured. The Institute scientist, Brian Virgil, is the first to successfully create a serum that recreated his original human DNA while overwriting the FEV present in his system.
Fallout 76 features super mutants derived from FEV experiments at the West Tek research center in Appalachia, including mass exposure of the denizens of Huntersville and infection of survivors by the Enclave under orders from President Thomas Eckhart, in a desperate bid to increase the DEFCON rating and gain access to the region's missile weapons. Widespread, violent, and hostile, these super mutants have a major presence in the region and are a common enemy for factions that inhabited Appalachia in the past (Responders and Taggerdy's Brotherhood) and those who have returned to it after the Scorched Plague - most importantly the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force under Paladin Leila Rahmani. Like before, they are accompanied by similarly mutated hounds and floaters. Behemoths also make a return.
Named super mutants
|Super mutant characters|
|Fallout: New Vegas|
|Davison||Dog and God||Keene|
|Lily Bowen||Marcus||Mean Sonofabitch|
|Big Mack||Dr. Brian Virgil||Dead Eye|
Behind the scenes
|Behind the scenes|
Super mutants appear in all Fallout games to date.
Fallout and Fallout 2
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
- Possible Wasteland quotes, Fallout Shelter: "Explorer's journal. New entry. Super Mutants are asexual. Before transformation, some were women."