Buried beneath the Cliff's Edge Hotel, Vault 118 was designed to function as an ultra-elite hotel to attract test subjects of appropriate wealth and status. It was a clandestine area of the hotel to ensure that individuals drawn to privilege and exclusivity would be present. The original plan called for making the Vault open to the public when the activation notice was sent out (in the event of the Great War) and selected from the local working-class population. These subjects would be taken through the exclusive areas of the Vault on entry, but thereafter confined to the cramped second wing. The Vault would remain sealed until test results could be determined.
The test group would include 10 ultra-rich people from the local area, with every desire tended to by a robotic staff and placed above all legal restrictions in their interactions with the second group, numbering up to 300 people sequestered in uncomfortable, cramped conditions in the second wing. Any breach of ethics would be judged by the rich and any judgment enacted by the robotic staff. This classic bourgeois-worker set up was turned on its head when progress on construction of the second wing of the Vault completely stalled. Once the premiere area of the Vault was completed, funding was cut off. Ezra Parker, the key financier, simply pulled the plug, covering up with a story about troubles extracting payments from invited guests. It was he who secured funding from the ultra-rich, with him securing the first investor, Keith McKinney. McKinney then convinced Gilda Broscoe to fund, who in turn convinced Santiago Avida, although the majority investors were Dr. and Mrs. Riggs. Dr. Riggs was a researcher for General Atomics on an advanced robotics program, namely the robobrain project. He and his wife convinced the other members of Group A that, with the international situation becoming tense, their best chance to outlast the war was to have their brains inserted into robobrains. When the Great War came around, the Vault was sealed. No outside persons were admitted, and the overseer became the sole remaining human inside - the sole test subject in a Vault full of mad robobrains.
Upon entering the lower level of the hotel, the Vault entrance will be found with the door sealed. Activating the door controls will trigger a conversation with Maxwell, who asks the Sole Survivor if they are the detective he requested. Answering yes will open the door. Maxwell will be waiting for the player character at the front entrance. If Pearl is present due to recruiting the player character as the detective and escorting them, she will interject an answer instead.
Going right leads to an extremely lavish hallway with a large fountain. Straight from the fountain leads to the ballroom, where the murder took place. Right from the fountain goes to either Pearl's shop on the right or residences ahead. This residence hall contains a room full of display cases containing various items attributed to Ezra Parker's pre-War exploits, which leads to Ezra Parker's bedroom; Keith and Gilda's stage, with their adjoining bedrooms; and the classroom, which functions as Bert Riggs' lab and contains several tools and a chemistry station. A staircase at the back of the hall leads to the upper level.
Going left from the fountain, the player character can either go left into the security office housing four protectron charging stations, a desk, and a staircase to the upper level, or right leading to another hall of residences. This hall houses Santiago Avida's art gallery, next to it is a decrepit bedroom that appears to belong to Santiago, though it appears he never uses it. Across the hall is Julianna and Bert's room (filled to the brim with assorted junk) and at the end of the hall is the showers. Beyond the showers is the beach, with sand and an artificial lake.
Going left from the main entrance is a short hallway filled with trash that leads to a sort of parking garage. A Corvega is suspended from a crane surrounded by nine garage doors on either side, three doors to a level. The large Vault elevator, similar to that of Vault 111 and seen on the surface outside the hotel, can be found here. A hole in the wall on the center garage, second level right side, leads to a small cave with a bulldozer and crates. Beyond that is another small room with a door blocked by crates.
The upper level of the Vault is in complete disrepair as opposed to the lower level. The overseer's office is found upstairs in the right corner of the ballroom. Inside, a desk takes up most of the main room and contains the skeleton of the overseer, which is wearing a Vault 118 jumpsuit, and the overseer's terminal next to him. Behind the desk is an entrance to the overseer's personal quarters, with a lavatory. The only other location upstairs is the hydroponics lab, across the ballroom from the overseer's office. A variety of plants can be found here, as well as at least one concierge attending them.
- Fencebuster, a unique blue baseball bat that can be found in the middle hall.
- The Dapper Gent, a unique formal hat that can be purchased from Pearl.
- Vault 118 jumpsuit, inside the Vault, to the left on the counter, close to the entrance, where the residents would get their own.
- Vault 118 overseer's log - On the overseer's terminal in their office.
- Vault 118 overseer's key - In Ezra Parker's room. Opens the door to the overseer's office.
- Request for detective - Carried by Pearl.
- Road goggles inside a locked display case in the room flanked by lion statues.
- Clean salt shaker, pre-War variant only found here, behind Pearl.
- Cat remains, uniquely named vases in Julianna Riggs' room.
- Red paint - In a corner of the ballroom.
- A pirate hat can be found on a bust in the "museum" room with the two lion statues at the entrance.
- Four plastic skulls in a locked display case in the same room as the pirate hat; these are the only known plastic skulls in the game.
- Letter to Ezra inside a wooden console in the recording studio; unlocks a moderate persuasion check with Gilda Broscoe and Keith McKinney.
- Brain Dead: The Sole Survivor is contracted by Pearl or Maxwell to help investigate a recent murder.
- Except where required for the Brain Dead quest, the NPCs in this Vault cannot be killed. Causing any of the robots to become hostile will cause all of the robots to become hostile, but they will always replenish their health instead of dying. However, once the mission is completed, the NPCs can then be killed.
- The vast majority of items in the Vault count as owned and need to be stolen.
- Vault 118 is the first Vault to make an appearance in an add-on expansion.
- The water of the artificial beach is radiation-free to stand in, but bottling it in survival mode still gives dirty water.
- The player character may use any bed to sleep.
- If the player character kills Pearl, none of its inventory is available to loot.
- Despite usually being opposed to stealing, Piper may quip that the hotel's wealthy inhabitants arguably would not miss some of their "nifty tech" while exploring the Vault. However, she will still lose approval if the Sole Survivor steals owned items.
- The resident robobrains with the exception of Ezra Parker are the only non-homicidal robobrains in the game, and the only ones aside from Jezebel that can be talked to. While still comparatively sane, they are either in denial or unaware of the fact that the war they wanted to wait-out lasted only a few hours and ended two centuries ago. There is no option to tell them.
Upon leaving Vault 118 via the elevator, the player character may get stuck within the elevator. Reloading a previous save might help, some report that attempting fast travel plus a few minutes wait time in the elevator fix it. Hearing elevator music upon loading may be an indication that you are no longer trapped.[verified]
- An alternate fix is to press the 'Activate/Call' button for the elevator even if the elevator is at the basement level with the door open. Close doors, press the call button and then proceed to take the elevator as usual.[verified]
- Vault 118 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, resident admittance
- Vault 118 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, Preferential treatment
- Vault 118 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, Staff Duties and Security
- Vault 118 overseer's log
- The Sole Survivor: " "
Keith McKinney: "I- I would never harm Ezra, Detective. I was... in love with him."
The Sole Survivor: "Tell me about you and Ezra."
Keith McKinney: "Oh god, I don't know. When we first met him he was just so mysterious and exciting. It seemed like he had been everywhere and done everything. I convinced Gilda that we should invest in the hotel so I could stay close to him, but he never seemed to realize how I felt. I mean we spent time together. Going hunting, having drinks, talking about his plans for the hotel. He must have known, but he never said anything. Do you have any idea what it's like to pine for someone for 200 years, Detective?"
(Keith McKinney's dialogue)
- The Sole Survivor: "What can you tell me about your residents?"
Maxwell: "Well, Gilda Broscoe and Keith McKinney were our first investors. They are both movie stars with very storied careers. Santiago Avida is a world renowned painter, he joined us shortly after Gilda invested as he was working on a series of paintings of her at the time. Bert and Julianna Riggs are our largest investors in the hotel, holding as large a portion as the other combined. Mrs. Riggs comes from old money, lots of investments in natural resources. Mr. Riggs was a researcher for General Atomics on the Robobrain project."
- Vault 118 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, Change of testing parameters
- The Sole Survivor: "Your residents are robots?"
Maxwell: "Not robots, Detective. Well not exactly anyway. I believe the term they use is Robobrain. Back before the war, the residents decided the best way to wait it out was to put their brains inside robotic chassis."
- Vault 118 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, the door wouldn't open
- Vault 118 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, I can't take this
- Brain Dead