This is an overview article, focusing on background information and cross-game comparisons. See articles on the right game-specific information.
Gameplay articles
FalloutSuper mutant
Nightkin
Fallout 2Super mutant
Fallout 3Super mutant
Super mutant brute
Super mutant master
Super mutant overlord Broken Steel
Super mutant behemoth
Fallout: New VegasSuper mutant
Super mutant brute
Super mutant master
Nightkin
Nightkin master
Super mutant
Nightkin jailer
Nightkin sniper
Fallout 4Super mutant
Super mutant suicider
Super mutant skirmisher
Super mutant brute
Super mutant enforcer
Super mutant butcher
Super mutant master
Super mutant overlord
Super mutant primus
Super mutant warlord
Super mutant behemoth
Fallout 76Super mutant
Super mutant brute
Super mutant suicider
Super mutant skirmisher
Super mutant fighter
Super mutant enforcer
Super mutant butcher
Super mutant master
Super mutant overlord
Super mutant primus
Super mutant warlord
Super mutant behemoth
Super mutant pillager Nuclear Winter
Super mutant demolisher Nuclear Winter
Super mutant gladiator Nuclear Winter
Super mutant champion Nuclear Winter
Prime behemoth Nuclear Winter
 ... 
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Super mutant is a general term referring to humanoid mutants created by exposing a regular human to a variety 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. A common trait of all super mutants is that they are completely sterile and cannot reproduce (one variety is even explicitly asexual, i.e. devoid of primary sexual characteristics). The mutation generally cannot be reversed, as once introduced to the subject, FEV automatically corrects any changes to DNA. A theoretical cure would have to both reintroduce the original DNA and prevent the FEV from overwriting it.

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.

Strains

Mariposa Military Base

Neil, a super mutant in Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout: New Vegas 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 majorly human society is a major question in all of these games.

In Fallout, they are the creations of the Master, who believes that forced evolution of humanity into these mutants would uplift it and eliminate conflict by the removal of petty differences that set people apart. This Unity plans to conquer the wasteland and usher in a new era of peace of prosperity by mutating those worthy of joining the Unity and sterilizing those who refuse to partake in the grand project - 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 invariably hostile and represent a variety of attitudes, especially towards the Master and his grand plans.

In Fallout 2, the remnants of the Unity have reacted in different ways to the Master's defeat. Some refused to lay down arms and turned into roving, die hard raiders. Others have found ways to integrate into human society, such as by joining the NCR Rangers or founding new communities where humans and mutants can coexist, such as Broken Hills. The game's super mutant companion, Marcus, is the sheriff of this town. A new, second generation of super mutants is introduced, 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: New Vegas, super mutants are rare, but represent another attempt to normalize relations with regular humans, closely tied to Marcus' attempts to normalize relations with regular humans. 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.

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.

Vault 87 super mutant

An EEP super mutant
Gameplay articles: Fallout 3, Fallout Shelter

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 traveller. 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.

These mutants also appear in Fallout Shelter.[1]

Institute super mutant

An Institute super mutant
Gameplay article: Fallout 4

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.

This is also the only strain that can be cured. A cure was speculated as possible, if unlikely, by ZAX 1.2, but it took an Institute scientist, Brian Virgil, to create a serum that recreated his original human DNA and overwrote the FEV. present in his system.[2][3]

Huntersville super mutant

A Huntersville super mutant, Grahm
Gameplay article: Fallout 76

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, the super mutants are a major presence in the region and 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. Unstable mutants, the behemoths, also make a return.

Notable super mutants

Behind the scenes

  • The name of the super mutants is spelled differently at different points. Despite the fact that "super mutant" is the most characteristic and the most widely used, other variations exist including super mutants, super-mutant, supermutant and mutants. Some mutants in Mariposa in Fallout 2 are called "super duper mutants."
  • While Marcus, the super mutant in Fallout 2, jokes about making prostitutes pregnant if he takes a trip to the Cat's Paw brothel, and remarks that "it only takes a few years to get the juices flowing again" when asked about sterility. Chris Avellone, the author of his dialogue, confirmed it was merely a joke.
FOBoSLogo.pngThe following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and is not canon.
Mutants While Ghouls are the product of evolutionary transformation, mutants are man-made. Big, massively muscled, and savage, they are far stronger than any human and are able to handle heavy weapons with ease. Originally created by some “brilliant” scientists, who thought it would be a neat idea to dip ordinary folks into a toxic goo swimming with a “Forced Evolutionary Virus”, the mutant menace has since caused the wasteland more than its fair share of problems. The process of creating mutants also seems to have some kind of random factor - as some mutants are highly intelligent, while others are as dumb as a post.

Appearances

Super mutants appear in all Fallout games to date.

Gallery

Fallout and Fallout 2
Fallout 3
Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout 4
Fallout 76
Fallout Tactics
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Van Buren
Fallout d20
Project V13

References

  1. Possible wasteland monologue: "Explorer's journal. New entry. Super Mutants are asexual. Before transformation, some were women."
  2. The Sole Survivor: "How are you going to test it?"
    Brian Virgil: "On myself, of course. That was the plan. This serum will only counteract the specific strain of FEV that I infected myself with. There's no telling what it might do to anyone else. All right. Here we go. ...Ah. And now... we wait."
    (Brian Virgil's dialogue)
  3. Brian Virgil: "Welcome back. It needs some refinement, but I think we can consider my serum a qualified success."
    The Sole Survivor: "This is a "qualified success"?"
    Brian Virgil: "There were some side effects to the process. I seem to have hair again. And I've retained some muscle mass. The genetic resequencer needs more work. Still, I take your point. This is a significant advance. But only for one strain of FEV. It will take years, perhaps decades, to generalize my formula."
    (Brian Virgil's dialogue)
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