Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

"Radiation Storm"
They required me to go on a quest before they would let me in. Thinking it would be a short and easy quest, I agreed and set off for the place they called the Glow. The horror of atomic war was never so obvious to me until then.Fallout 2 manual

The Glow, Great Glow,[2] or the Hot Spot,[3][4] is the former West Tek Research Facility,[1] destroyed by a direct nuclear strike. Referred to as the Ancient Order by the Brotherhood of Steel,[5] the facility was established in 2055 as the primary biological research installation for West Tek to research cures for the New Plague, and eventually became the birthplace of the Forced Evolutionary Virus.[6]

It is one of the major locations in Fallout. Its name is derived from the radioactive glow emanating from the crater, easily visible at night.[7]


The Glow can be found eight squares east and twenty-four squares south of Vault 13. Geographically, it is southeast of the Boneyard.


Research programs[]

The West Tek research facility was established in 2055, initially focusing on biological research into potential cures for the New Plague,[6] assisted by ZAX 1.2.[Non-game 1] Although the research would not produce a cure, West Tek would become the single biggest defense contractor of the American government by 2069, with the largest project being the T-51 power armor.[8]

In 2071, the facility was placed under military command, and commenced research into general-purpose countermeasures against Chinese biological weapons two years later, on September 15, 2073.[Non-game 2] The Pan-Immunity Virion Project continued for several years.[9] In late 2075, the Forced Evolutionary Virus program was spun off under Major Barnett, originally provisionally named and still officially referred to as PVP.[10] A separate testing initiative set up near Huntersville, WV, in order to test the applications of PVP mutations on crops and other plants, in order to increase crop yields and potentially end the world hunger (or at least reduce the severity of the food riots that plagued the country).[11]

Over the next 21 months, experiments on increasingly complex living organisms took place, resulting in the creation of a completely new mutagenic virus.[10] Since January 3, 2076, the facility was placed under direct military control, as a military team under Colonel Robert Spindel, accompanied by Captain Roger Maxson, was sent to the facility to secure and monitor the experiments.[Non-game 3] The project was officially dubbed the Forced Evolutionary Virus, due to the forced growth and brain development it caused.[9]

The final experimental batch of FEV at West Tek, 11-111, tested on October 4, 2076, would become the basis for FEV-2 and future human experimentation. Against the recommendations of West Tek researchers at the facility, Major Barnett ordered future FEV research moved to the newly constructed Mariposa Military Base on January 7, 2077.[9] In February, FEV research was leaked to the world at large through an unknown source. Despite the Sino-American War and the havoc of the Resource Wars, protests erupted in major cities and governments around the world, together with accusations that the US engineered the New Plague in the first place. Tensions only increased.[Non-game 4] The facility continued other research, into laser weapons (under Charles Ringhold), and power armor (NBC Division under Nick Davis), assisted by John Isaac and Michele Santose among others.[1] By June 9, 2077, the WTRF was completely off the grid, fueling warranted rumors about the military commandeering defense contractors.[12]

The Glow[]

Thinking it would be a short and easy quest, I agreed and set off for the place they called the Glow. The horror of atomic war was never so obvious to me until then.Vault Dweller in his memoirs

The West Tek research facility was destroyed in the nuclear holocaust of 2077, the Great War. Targeted by multiple warheads, the underground installation received a direct hit from a groundburst warhead which left a gaping hole exposing the subterranean installation, and shattering the FEV containment tanks and releasing the irradiated virus into the atmosphere. FEV was thus released into the wild, becoming one of the major mutagenic influences in New California.[Non-game 5] The nuclear fallout was particularly persistent and would remain a significant challenge for the next two centuries,[13] and strong enough to deliver a lethal exposure to anyone without the proper Rad-X protection.[14] Only the ZAX unit survived, though the destruction has left it with wrecked sensors on all but the three deepest levels of the facility,[15] while the damage sustained by the facility and its robotic staff turned it into the AI equivalent of a multiple amputee, unable to complete periodic checks or even basic lab functions, frustrating it to no end.[16]

The first visitors to the ruins came shortly after the Great War; a squad of soldiers under Sgt. Dennis Allen, who split off from Roger Maxson's group during its exodus to Lost Hills. Hoping to salvage technology from the crater, the group hoped to explore the ruins for a full day. However, they failed to account for the security systems. Although the first two levels were almost completely burned out, they were intact and active on the third and wiped out all but four men: Allen himself, Soto, Jensen and Camarillo. Camarillo wandered away from the others, muttering about "Gehenna," taking all the team's anti-radiation medication with him and dooming them. Allen perished after the retreat to the first level, his fate unknown to Maxson's Brotherhood of Steel until the Vault Dweller retrieved the ancient holodisk as part of his initiation over 80 years later.[17] The facility was listed in Brotherhood records, but the order never tried salvaging it,[3] and eventually the "Famous Glow Quest" became known as a way for the elders to get rid of outsiders trying to join.[18]

While the Glow remained dead, sterilized continuously by the radiation and inhabited only by the surviving ZAX, it did not cease to matter. Radiation originating at the destroyed facility flowed down towards San Diego,[Non-game 6] contaminating everything and uprooting several survivalist communities. One of these communities was one that lived on the outskirts of the Great Glow, and would settle in the Boneyards. Driven out by radiation and reminded of the horror of the war, the group eventually founded the Followers of the Apocalypse.[19][20] Years later, the FEV released by the nuclear detonation was also theorized by the Lieutenant to interfere with the full transformation by the virus, impeding the plans of the Unity.[21] Others moved elsewhere; Butch Harris moved to the Hub, founding the Far Go Traders.[22]

By 2161 and the rise of the super mutant threat, the Glow was well known across the wasteland. Avoided by caravans,[23] it was typically regarded as a radioactive pit[24] and a literal Great Glow, due to the intensity of the radiation lighting up the night.[7] Stories of pristine technologies hidden within and guarded by mutants were common, attracting many wannabe treasure hunters who only ended up adding to the dead littering the Glow, such as Saul's brother.[25] The Brotherhood theorized that the string of mutant attacks on caravans was caused by mutations at the Glow. Though a common theory, it was not universally supported.[26]

Among wastelanders, the Glow entered common parlance as the equivalent of hell, as in "you can rot in the Glow,"[27] "to the Glow with you,"[28] "deader than an albino in the Glow,"[29] "bury someone alive in the Glow,"[30] "crawl out into the Glow and lick puddles,"[31] while extreme pain would be called "burning like Glow fire."[32] Even children knew of it, using insults such as "worm ridden Glow baby."[33]


In the decades after the fall of the Master and Unity, New California prospered and recovered, including the vicinity of the Glow. The sack of Necropolis by the Master's army led to a great migration by California's ghoul population. One direction took ghouls down south, settling at the Glow.[Non-game 7]

Radiation was not an issue for ghouls, who began salvaging the facility. This prejudiced the Brotherhood against them, who regarded the Glow as both a grave of their comrades and a trove of technology to be recovered, but not by mutated scavengers.[Non-game 8] However, the ghouls were able to form profitable ties with salvage companies from the Hub and New Adytum, turning their ghoulish immunity into an asset. Eventually, a major settlement formed to the north and south of the Glow, including humans, ghouls, and at least one super mutant, a refugee from the Cathedral.[Non-game 7] It inherited the name of Dayglow from the original settlers, and was eventually fully incorporated into the New California Republic after 2196, though it was also one of the original founding members of the provisional republic.[Non-game 9]

Radiation persisted at the Glow. In at least one instance, a community south of the Glow was abandoned after the background radiation turned children into monsters.[34]


The Glow is located in the extreme southeast of the world map. Before setting out for the location, the player should buy a rope, as it's required to enter the actual facility, and at least two doses of Rad-X, which will provide 100% radiation resistance for 24 hours. Having at least one companion will also allow the player to loot the facility completely, by bartering items to them, instead of having to deal with carry weight limits.

The fastest approach is through the desert running along the east edge of the mountains, rather than through the mountains themselves. However, while the mountains use the Vault random encounter table, exposing the Vault Dweller to angry rats and the odd radscorpion at worst, the Glow desert is much more dangerous, including floaters, centaurs and even a super mutant war party.

While the Glow is highly irradiated, this only applies to the actual maps. It's not a threat while passing through on the world map.

(Yellow pass key)
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
(Red pass key)
Level 4 (Biology-Physics Research Labs)
Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)
(Blue pass key)
Level 6 (Barracks and Operations Center)


Fo1 WestTek Surface

The crater. The jutting beam is the only way to access the facility itself.

The topside has been scoured clean by the nuclear detonation, destroying surface facilities,[15] exposing some of the metal plating protecting the facility in places. The central crater is the only way to access the facility, and requires tying a rope to the steel beam first, to rappel down.

Radiation is a constant danger at the Glow and exposure starts the moment the player character appears on the map. At the surface, the rads accumulate at a rate of 15 per second, dropping to 10 per second on level 1 through 3, and "just" 1 per second on level 4 through 6. Additionally, the game runs periodic checks at regular intervals, adding a larger amount of radiation on top. Immediately taking two doses of Rad-X gives 100% radiation resistance for 24 hours. Any action that passes time will also deduct the Rad-X timer, including reading books and using skills.

Accumulated radiation can be removed with RadAway and several doses are found in the Glow itself. Due to how radiation is implemented, the effective cap is 1000 rads and it's actually possible to live with any level of radiation poisoning, as long as neither Hit Points nor any SPECIAL stats are reduced to zero. Radiation also causes no permanent damage.

Level 1[]

Fo1 WestTek Offices (Lvl 1)

All levels are normally dark until full power is restored. Light levels have been altered to show them more clearly.

The top level of the facility. The player character appears in the northwestern corner, near the rubble (interacting with it allows the player to leave). There are no robots on the level, but there are various floor traps. These cannot be disarmed, as they are tied to spatial scripts.

The body of Sergeant Allen lies in the conference room, encased in a wrecked suit of T-51b power armor. His body contains the holodisk required to become an initiate of the Brotherhood of Steel and the yellow pass key necessary to explore the rest of the facility. The player has to activate emergency power on the nearby functioning terminal to activate elevators, then use the keycard on the elevator door (or Traps and Lockpick for minor experience).

The northeast corner contains a weapons depot,[35] with the outer door welded shut due to the nuclear blast.[36] To open them, the player character must have either 8 Strength or 18 Strength, Agility and Luck combined.

Loot in West Tek Level 1

Level 2[]

Fo1 WestTek Test Labs (Lvl 2)

The second level contains the red keycard necessary to access the deeper levels of the facility.

The next level contains the first security checkpoint with inert robots (robobrains and floating eyes). They can be shot and looted with impunity while the power is off, and will become hostile once power is returned and the bots are not shut off in dialogue with ZAX. This applies to all robots in the facility.

A burned corpse in the northeast corner contains a red pass key, granting access to levels 4 and 6. Note that there are two hot spots (concentrations of radiation) near the crater, one in the southern room by the table, the other in the northern one, across from the computers. Each will add 20-50 rads to the player character's current radiation count.

Loot in West Tek Level 2

Level 3[]

Fo1 WestTek Research Lab (Lvl 3)

The bottom of the crater.

The third level connects the upper part of the facility with the deepest, most secure levels. The yellow-coded elevator in the southwestern corner is the entry point, separated by another robot-filled checkpoint. While this is the level where Allen's men were cut down, there's no actual threat at the outset.

The red-coded elevator in the northeastern corner grants access to the rest of the facility and can also be unlocked with Traps and Lockpick instead. It allows the player to reach levels 4 and 6.

There is also a supply depot in the northwestern corner. It was originally meant to use unique scripts, but only generic metal door scripts are applied.

Loot in West Tek Level 3

Level 4 (Research Facility)[]

Fo1 WestTek Research Lab (Lvl 4)

The primary research facility, containing biology and physics laboratories and testing areas.[37] Some of the most advanced research project in the United States took place here, including the study of captured Zetan aliens. A body of one such creature is still found near a suspension tube by ZAX's mainframe, in fact.[Non-game 10]

Level 4 contains the secure blue-coded elevator to the secure testing labs in the northwest, with the red-coded elevator depositing the player in the northeastern corner. The blue pass key is found on the body of Charles Ringhold in the southwestern physics lab. While it is possible to head straight to level 6 and activate the power, then come back to collect the blue keycard, all the robots will be active and very much hostile.

ZAX 1.2 is located in the center of the level, and provides a wealth of backstory on the Forced Evolutionary Virus and other elements of the backstory. Talking to him requires at least 5 Intelligence, and has one dialogue line that requires 10 Intelligence to appear (the only one in the game). The player can also play chess with him, though it does nothing (see here for details).

Once power is reactivated on level 6, the player can talk to ZAX and attempt to deactivate the security robots. Science 40% is recommended for a good chance of succeeding. A failed attempt advances the clock by 5 hours, while a successful one only by 10 minutes. If the power is on, but the robots are deactivated, the player can use Science on robots for 100 experience each. Deactivation activates the Disarm Traps for the Facility quest, which is not properly implemented and cannot be completed.

There are two supply rooms on the level, a supply depot and a weapons depot.

Loot in West Tek Level 4

Level 5 (Secure Testing Labs)[]

Fo1 WestTek Secure Testing Labs (Lvl 5)

The secure testing labs, with facilities for testing experimental prototypes and research using classified subjects. Some of the crucial PVP and later FEV research occurred within these laboratories,[38] under the supervision of Major Barnett.[10]

The level is not accessible without a blue keycard and reactivating the power at the facility. Simply entering the map will grant 1,000 experience to the player character.

Without deactivating robots in dialogue with ZAX, the player character will have to face two security checkpoints filled with robots. Otherwise, the level is free for the picking, providing a substantial amount of loot, including numerous holodisks (Alpha experiment disk, Delta experiment disk, and the FEV experiment disk), a free suit of combat armor, and more. The combined weight of the loot will likely exceed the carry capacity.

Loot in West Tek Level 5

Level 6 (Barracks and Central Operations)[]

Fo1 WestTek Command Center (Lvl 6)

The deepest level contained the barracks with living facilities for lab personnel and guards, as well as the operations meeting room and power generator for the facility.[39]

The sixth level is a necessary stop on the way to level five. It contains several robots in the ops meeting room, and the body of one of Allen's comrades in arms in one of the facility's bedrooms. The emergency power generator for the facility is in the southeast, together with a terminal that allows activating full power.

The damaged generator requires Repair to fix. The first attempt has no skill requirement. If the player character fails, they need at least 36% Repair to attempt a fix on subsequent attempts. A tool provides the usual bonus and is recommended. Fixing it completes the Turn on power for the Glow quest and grants 1,000 experience.

Loot in West Tek Level 6



Related quests[]


In Fallout 76: Night of the Moth, a blind prophet named Wise Charles the Forewarned may idly say "The... glow... ah..."


The Glow appears in Fallout, and is mentioned in Fallout 2, Fallout 3,[40] its add-on Operation: Anchorage, and in The Armageddon Rag, Vol. 3.

Behind the scenes[]


  • The Glow was unnamed in the early GURPS timeline draft by Scott Campbell and Brian Freyermuth. However, the idea of FEV-1 stored there leaking into the atmosphere and contaminating lifeforms across the wasteland was already present. FEV-1 would actually multiply in the irradiated jetstreams, thriving and making its way into every non-sealed water supply across the world, triggering extreme mutations.[Non-canon 1]
  • The facility was named FSEF early on, with the only mention of the name remaining in Scott Campbell's design documentation for the Burrows.[Non-canon 2]
  • Ultimately, the facility was named West Tech or West Tek. It's unclear which name was intended: West Tek Research Facility is used only once, in the Ancient Brotherhood disk, while West Tech Research Facility is used a total of 14 times, in West Tech records and dialogue with ZAX. However, since the Fallout Bible and later Fallout 3, the company has been consistently spelled as West Tek (the exception is Operation Anchorage, where it's spelled as West-Tek,[12] with a dash). All references on the wiki have been updated to match to reflect this.

Alien corpse[]

I put the Zetan skeleton there to show that the Glow was the advanced R&D facility where they had the most secret and most unusual projects (we didn't call it a "Zetan" at the time, just an alien)— Jesse Heinig, Modiphius Discord
  • The skeletal remains of a large-headed creature can be found behind a suspension tank on the 4th level. The same asset is used in the UFO crash special encounter. While the GLWALIEN.MSG file and associated script are not used in the game, Jesse Heinig confirmed 25 years later that it's intended to be an alien, a Zetan (though the developers did not use the name at the time).
  • The same asset is reused at the Sierra Army Depot in Fallout 2, found in a cell near the cryonic storage vats. The Sierra Depot experiment log explains that this was a human experiment involving mentats and resulting in an enlargement of the cranium.[41]


The Glow was a little weird in that a lot of it was done pretty late and as we got close to ship we had to cut stuff just to finish the game. (For instance, there's some stuff in the Cathedral dealing with the Nightkin that was supposed to give you alternative ways through besides wearing the robes, but that never got finished.)Jesse Heinig, Modiphius Discord
  • The resulting cuts are severe and include multiple features, including:
    • A level 3 supply and weapon depot, welded shut by the nuclear explosion like on level 1. The supply depot would require either 8 Strength or 12 Strength and Agility combined. The weapon depot was the same script as on level 1. The files are GLO3SUPL.INT/GLO3SUPL.MSG (supply depot) and GLO3WEP.INT/GLO3WEP.MSG (weapon depot).
    • A level 4 supply room and a weapons depot, using GLO4SUPL.INT/GLO4SUPL.MSG files. ZAX actually mentions releasing security locks on the weapons locker and using the red keycard to open them, but none of the doors on the level require the keycard outside of the elevators, and no script checks the associated variable. The variable suggests this was related to a cut security disk and yet another unused script.[42]
  • Completely unused message files and scripts:
    • BONEBODY.MSG and CHARBODY.MSG: Messages describing remains of people turned to ash or stripped down to a skeleton bleached white.
    • DEADBRO.MSG: Random messages for dead Brotherhood soldiers (or rather, Allen's group), describing extreme damage to the fallen and suggesting caution while exploring, as "whoever did this" could be lurking lower in the complex. No such creature or robot is implemented.
    • FREEZER.MSG: A note found in a Glow freezer, ordering an evacuation of the facility and containing a reference to the X-Files.
    • GENDISK.MSG: Generic holodisks found in the glow, containing entertainment, references to a pass code, a World War II movie, and other unusable/worthless contents.
    • GLWALIEN.MSG: The aforementioned message file allowing for examining the alien corpse: "This body might be some kind of genetic experiment." "This is definitely not of terrestrial origin." Explicitly identified as "Skeleton of a dead alien body."
    • GLOCABN.MSG: A locked cabinet.
    • GLOCOMP.MSG: Generic examination messages for ZR32 computers at the Glow, suggesting they could store "megabytes of data."
    • GLWBOX.MSG: A locked footlocker at the lever 4 security checkpoint. "This looks to be the footlocker of some guards."
    • GLOWCAGE.MSG: A ruined cage for animals on one of the testing levels. "It appears as though this cage contained lab animals for testing. Somehow, the bars have been torn off.
    • GLOWPUMP.MSG: A water pump that was likely intended as a red herring, ultimately incompatible and not salvageable for Vault 13.
    • GLOWDESK.MSG: A messy, locked desk of papers.
    • GLOWTABL.MSG: Another messy table.
    • SECDISK.MSG: A security disk with a code for the Glow.
    • SCIROOM.MSG: A spatial script noting which quarters were used by "esteemed" scientists.
    • TYLIER.MSG: An autonomous security AI on level 6, independent of ZAX and originally responsible for toggling security robots.
    • WEAPSYS.MSG: Notification about the defense systems coming online.
  • In the Fallout Bible, Chris Avellone speculated that while Skynet's fate is undocumented, it may have made its way all the way down south to the Glow in search of a way to store information beyond the capabilities of its robobrain frame.[Non-game 11] He also noted that one of the reasons for the Vault Dweller founding Arroyo as a low-tech commune may have been due to the horrors of the Glow.[Non-game 12]


  • The FEV experiment disk mentions that two pairs of intelligent raccoons escaped containment, and remained unaccounted for. They were part of the Burrows, a community of mutated, anthropomorphic raccoons planned for inclusion at one point. After they were scrapped, all references were excised except for this one, making it the only reference to the cut S'lanter.
  • The S'Lanter held the Glow to be a place of great significance, and spoke of the Gods of the Glow in their religion.[Non-canon 3]


  • The pass keys are a clear reference to id Software's Doom, even down to the corresponding colors of the pass keys shown above their doors.
  • The Glow is alluded to in the text of a quest in Fallout Shelter. During a trivia challenge, the player is asked "What group worships the Glow?" and given the option to choose between three variants of "Children of Atom," as well as the option "Several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave," a double reference to both the S'Lanter and Pink Floyd's Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict, from their 1969 album Ummagumma.
  • The character Camarillo mumbling about "Gehenna" is a reference to the Camarilla and Gehenna from Vampire: The Masquerade.


  • The script for ZAX is supposed to allow for winning against him in chess, which is worth 700 experience. However, this requires a critical success while rolling for Intelligence, and the engine does not support critical successes when testing SPECIAL attributes.
  • In version 1.0, radiation was not implemented properly and serious radiation conditions actually increased stats once radiation was removed. This was fixed in later patches.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 West Tek records
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Vault Dweller: "{190}{}{Where did the Followers start?}"
    Nicole: "{193}{Nic_30}{Far to the south, near the Great Glow. The times were hard, but we managed to survive. We realized then the Great War must never happen again.}"
    (Nicole's dialogue)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Vault Dweller: "{162}{}{Why the two names?}"
    Darrel: "{171}{}{Most topsiders think that it is just a big Radioactive hole. Thus the name became the Glow or some even call it the Hot Spot. We in the Brotherhood know the truth. According to the ancient writings this place was the source of all our technology. And who knows what may still be there.}"
    (Darrel's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Loxley: "{226}{LOX_51}{Other than the missing caravans, not much. Oh, wait. One of my lads came back yesterday all a-glow with a touch of radiation poisoning. Nasty business. Probably tip-toed a bit too close to the old Hot Spot.}"
    (Loxley's dialogue)
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Vault Dweller: "{155}{}{No... I'm going to the Ancient Order.}"
    Darrel: "{159}{}{Glow, Ancient Order it's the same thing. It's still not a good place to visit.}"
    (Darrel's dialogue)
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Vault Dweller: "{112}{}{Tell me about this installation.}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{117}{}{This installation was established in 2055 as a biological research facility for experimental cures of the New Plague. However, in 2071, this facility was placed under United States military command.}"
    ZAX 1.2: "{118}{}{Research into possible cures for the New Plague created the Forced Evolution Virus, which was further developed in an attempt to create a transmittable genetic-engineering virus -- in effect, infectious evolution.}"
    (ZAX 1.2's information)
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Vault Dweller: "{154}{}{What do you know about this legendary place, the Glow?}"
    Saul: "{185}{}{From what I've heard, the Glow is a great crater that glows at night. It's supposed to be far, far to the south, but I don't know where. Stories say that it's inhabited by all sorts of mutant freaks who guard the technology from before the War.}"
    (Saul's dialogue)
  8. West Tek power terminal: "{211}{}{West Tech Research Facility: Founded in 2002 as a private contractor for the United States government, the company initially consisted of two divisions--the Advanced Weapons Research and the Biomedical Sciences divisions.}
    {241}{}{ In 2069, West Tech was the single largest contractor for the United States government; its largest contract being Powered Infantry Armor Model T-51b. }
    {242}{}{In light of significant advances in 2076 by the NBC on the Pan-Immunity Virion Project, the United States Defense Department, in fear of international espionage,}
    {243}{}{ moved a team onto the site to secure and oversee the project, now dubbed the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) project.}"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 FEV research
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 FEV experiment disk
  11. West Tek research center terminal entries; greenhouse control terminal, Greenhouse Initiative
  12. 12.0 12.1 Outcast outpost terminal entries; VSS research terminal, Latest Reports, 9/06/77
  13. Tycho: "{154}{}{Watch out for radioactive hot spots. This place obviously sustained a direct nuclear strike, and secondary cascade radiation may be bad. I'd recommend avoiding this place completely if we can.}"
    (Tycho's dialogue)
  14. The Vault Dweller: "{187}{}{Where is the Ancient Order, and the dangers are...?}"
    Darrel: "{168}{}{Well? To start it's a good 10 days travel to the Southeast from here. And then there's the radiation. There's a reason none of us have ever gone to the 'Ancient Order'. If you don't have Rad-X you'll be cooked before you even know what hit you.}"
    (Darrel's dialogue)
  15. 15.0 15.1 ZAX 1.2: "{188}{}{My sensors are currently non-functional in the surface facility, and on subterranean levels one through three. I can, however, provide descriptions of levels four through six.}"
    (ZAX 1.2's dialogue)
  16. ZAX 1.2: "{139}{}{At present, my capabilities are somewhat impaired by the damage to this facility. Several security positions have been destroyed. This is approximately equivalent to being an amputee.}
    {140}{}{Additionally, I am incapable of performing basic lab functions. Failure to complete periodic checks successfully is . . . frustrating.}"
    (ZAX 1.2's dialogue)
  17. Vault Dweller's memoirs
  18. The Vault Dweller: "{156}{}{The Glow, what's that?}"
    Darrel: "{164}{}{The Glow, as it is known to topsiders, was supposedly a place where some of the most advanced weapons of that time were developed. At least that's what it says in the ancient writings. Now as fasr as any of us can tell it's a big crater filled with Rads. I think the Elders send Brotherhood wanabes down there just to get rid of them.}"
    (Darrel's dialogue)
  19. The Vault Dweller: "{190}{}{Where did the Followers start?}"
    Nicole: "{193}{Nic_30}{Far to the south, near the Great Glow. The times were hard, but we managed to survive. We realized then the Great War must never happen again.}"
    (Nicole's dialogue)
  20. The Vault Dweller: "{195}{}{What made you come up north?}"
    Nicole: "{214}{Nic_36}{There aren't many left down south. The radiation has polluted almost everything. Most of the remaining people followed us to start the organization.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{215}{}{How did your family survive?}"
    Nicole: "{217}{Nic_37}{We lived on the outskirts of the Great Glow. Sickness had started spreading, so we gathered all the people and we made our way north. [Sigh] That's when my parents were killed.}"
    (Nicole's dialogue)
  21. Lieutenant: "{194}{LIEUT30}{The FEV was mutated by the war radiation. Those living in this desolate wasteland have been exposed to this mutant FEV, essentially inoculating them from the full effects.}"
    (Lieutenant's dialogue)
  22. Butch Harris: "{176}{BUTCH24}{Well, I've run the Far Go Traders for about five years. Before that I was in Adytum. Before that, near the Glow.}"
    (Butch Harris' dialogue)
  23. The Vault Dweller: "{218}{}{What are all of these carts doing here?}"
    Caravan driver: "{220}{}{These are the caravans. We cart goods to just about all corners of the wastes. Junktown, The Brotherhood, Shady Sands, and numerous other places. Necropolis and the Glow are the only areas we steer clear of. Im headin this group and we will be leavin shortly. The group across the street just arrived.}"
    (Caravan driver's dialogue)
  24. Butch Harris: "{206}{butch35a}{Puhh. Maybe for you! If you like that, then the Glow's down south. It's a radioactive pit.}"
    (Butch Harris' dialogue)
  25. The Vault Dweller: "{142}{}{What happened to your brothers?}"
    Saul: "{150}{}{My brother James was killed in a raider attack a few years ago. Shortly after that, my other brother, Darrell, gathered together some things and set off south towards a mythical place called the Glow, in search of the treasure of the ancients, or something like that. He never came back.}"
    (Saul's dialogue)
  26. The Vault Dweller: "{133}{}{I am trying to find the source of mutant attacks.}"
    Random encounter paladin: "{141}{}{As are we. The most common theory is that they come from the Glow, but I doubt even mutants could survive there for long. If you find out something, let us know.}"
    (Paladin's dialogue)
  27. Thorndyke: "{211}{}{I still remember your insults, sir. You can rot in the Glow before I treat you.}
    {212}{}{I still remember your insults, madam. You can rot in the Glow before I treat you.}"
    (Thorndyke's dialogue)
  28. Ghoul taunt: "{5019}{}{To the Glow w' you!}"
    (Fallout combat AI dialogue)
  29. Gizmo taunt: "{6559}{}{Ooo! You is deader than an albino in the Glow}"
    (Fallout combat AI dialogue)
  30. Decker taunt: "{7859}{}{Ooo! I'm going to bury you alive in the Glow!}"
  31. Dr. Wu: "{143}{}{You loser! Why don't you just crawl out into the Glow and lick puddles? Stupid drunken craving asshole!}"
    (Wu's dialogue)
  32. Super mutant taunt: "{5355}{}{Ahhhgh! Eyes burn like Glow fire!}"
    (Fallout combat AI dialogue)
  33. Children taunts: "{8015}{}{Glow Baby Loser! Glow Baby Loser!}
    {8018}{}{Worm ridden Glow Baby!}
    {8022}{}{Your Mamma was a Glow Baby!}
    {8027}{}{What's the matter, Glow Baby?}
    {8057}{}{Ow! You dirty stinking Glow Baby!}"
    (Fallout combat AI dialogue)
  34. The Chosen One: "{119}{}{Where are you from?}"
    Suze: "{121}{}{I'm from a place south of the Boneyard and south of the Glow. We're not too far from the sea. I used to be a nanny, but then the kids mutated into monsters.}"
    (Suze's dialogue)
  35. GLO1WEAP.INT, SCRIPTS.LST (Fallout): "Glow Level 1 Weapon Depot door."
  36. GLO1WEAP.MSG: "{100}{}{These doors have been blasted by the nuclear warhead.}"
  37. ZAX 1.2: "{193}{}{Level Four: Research Facility. This level contains testing areas and laboratories for experiments in biology and physics.}"
    (ZAX 1.2's dialogue)
  38. ZAX 1.2: "{198}{}{Level Five: Secure Testing Labs. This level contains a lab for experimental prototype testing and a research lab for classified subjects. These subjects provided some of the necessary impetus for the development of FEV.}"
    (ZAX 1.2's dialogue)
  39. ZAX 1.2: "{203}{}{Level Six: Barracks and Central Operations. Contains living facilities for lab personnel and guard contingents, and operations meeting room.}"
    (ZAX 1.2's dialogue)
  40. Citadel terminal entries; Citadel A ring terminals, Maxson Archive terminal, Maxson Family Dossiers, Roger Maxson
  41. Sierra Depot experiment log: "My favorite experiment died. I've been feeding him a steady diet of Mentats mixed with my special enhancers. He went from an IQ of 39 to an IQ of 200 in just a few weeks. I am saddened since he was one of the few people I could really talk to. He will be sorely missed."
  42. Vault13.gam: "FOUND_DISK  :=0; // (141) // have you found the access code disk?
    WEAPON_LOCKER  :=0; // (142) // are the weapon depot security systems armed?"


  1. Fallout Bible 0: "2055 ZAX 1.2 is brought in to regulate conditions in West Tek. It is not part of the Vault-Tec preservation software, so it does not have any orders to protect humanity after the bombs fall. In the meantime, it calmly calculates data and plays chess with the scientists. Many scientists claim that ZAX is a big ol' cheater and draws the game out too much for a computer of his considerable abilities."
  2. Fallout Bible 0: "2073 Sept 15 As China becomes increasingly aggressive with their use of biological weapons, the United States government felt that a countermeasure was needed. The Pan-Immunity Virion Project (PVP) is officially formed and plans are made to begin experiments at the West Tek research facility in Southern California."
  3. Fallout Bible 0: "2076 January 3 A military team under the command of Colonel Spindel is sent to the West Tek research facility to monitor the experiments in the interest of national security. Captain Roger Maxson (the grandfather of John Maxson, the High Elder of the Brotherhood of Steel in F1) is among the team personnel."
  4. Fallout Bible 0: "2077 February FEV Research is leaked to the world through an unknown source. Protests in many major cities and governments around the world, as well as accusations that the US was responsible for the New Plague. FEV is seen as the threat it is, and serves only to fuel tensions."
  5. Fallout Bible 0: "2077 October 23 The West Tek research facility is hit by warheads, breaking open the FEV tanks on levels four and five and releasing it into the atmosphere. Once exposed to radiation, it begins to mutate and infect humans and critters in the wasteland and dooming the player character in F1 and F2 to endure hordes of random encounters."
  6. Fallout Official Survival Guide p.84: "The Followers of the Apocalypse: A small group of peace-lovers from San Diego. They are enemies of the Children of the Cathedral, and may provide help and information to the player."
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fallout Bible 5, Questions: "14. One thing - what's happened to Junktown? Was it just too little to be its own state? Or maybe it has managed to survive as an independent enclave inside NCR, a hive of scum and villainy, so to speak. And what kind of folks would live in Glow? After all, that place must still, well, glow, at least somewhat. Ghouls?"
    "Junktown became part of NCR as part of the state of Shady, and it was one of the first provisional states, considering it was one of the first (and most trustworthy) of the Shady Sands trading partners during its early formation. Its alliance with Shady Sands did cause some alarm from the caravans in the Hub, but it didn't hurt the Hub communities any... and the Hub eventually became part of NCR as well."
    "As for the Glow (or the state of Dayglow), most of the state is actually north and west of the glow, but they are still able to see the Glow from their borders. A number of ghouls are rumored to live there now, as part of the Great Migration from Necropolis - once the ghouls learned of West Tek, they were eager to see if they could scavenge technology from the abandoned center. Some ghouls formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts. At least one super mutant, a refugee from the Cathedral, was also rumored to be working with the ghouls and humans in Dayglow."
  8. Fallout Bible 8: "Ghouls are a different matter. BOS contact with ghouls (around the times of F2) has been limited, but negative - it's difficult for the BOS to respect a stumbling crew of emaciated scavengers that tend to dismantle or FUBAR old world technology. BOS' anger grew even further when various salvaging operations began in the Glow (a location which the BOS came to regard highly both for their fallen comrades and the Pre-War technology there) with ghouls at the forefront. Most BOS members see ghouls as filthy scavengers."
  9. Fallout Bible 0: "2196 Tandi unanimously elected President of NCR by the NCR council. As expected, she proceeds to do a kick-ass job."
  10. Jesse Heinig: "I put the Zetan skeleton there to show that the Glow was the advanced R&D facility where they had the most secret and most unusual projects (we didn't call it a "Zetan" at the time, just an alien)"
  11. Fallout Bible 6: "Skynet's fate is undocumented. If I was to speculate, he left the player and began to travel west into the wasteland, looking for terminals and data to acquire more knowledge, collect more data, and perhaps "settle down" in a mainframe. The frame he was in, and the brain he had could only store so much information, and AIs need more data storage space to grow in order to evolve. It is possible he made his way to the Glow, but it's not known for sure. Any fan writers out there, feel free to round out what happened to him - considering his combat messages alone, the world's in for some shakin'."
  12. Fallout Bible 5: "The Vault Dweller may have wanted to make a clean break from technology after the events of Fallout 1, especially considering his experience in the Vault, at Mariposa, the Glow, the Boneyard, and even at the Brotherhood. The BOS' adherence to technology in many ways is rather disturbing and narrow-minded and hasn't really allowed them to become better 'people.'"


  1. Vault 13: A GURPS Post-Nuclear Adventure timeline
  2. Burrows design document: "The Burrows is a community made up of the mutant animals that escaped the FSEF facility 60 years ago. It is made up of small, raccoon like animals. These animals speak fluent English, and are highly intelligent. They have set up their own little community that is a link between Nature and Man."
  3. Burrows design document: "Before I go on, something must be said about the religion of the S'Lanter. The "Old Ones" as they were called, never told the younger generation about their experiences back at the Facility. They simply said that came from "The Glow". (It was named this after an Old One tried returning once and all he saw was a great glow on the horizon. He turned back.). The Old Ones told their children to forget the Glow, that this was their home now."
    "Which brings me to the beginning of 2061, which is just before the player is let out of the Vault. During this time, a group of Top-Dwellers, intent on finding out the truth behind the Gods of the Glow, went seeking their ancient home. And they found it. Since the radiation from the Facility is very high, most of them died. Only one made it back."