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Vault 96 is a Vault-Tec vault in the Savage Divide region of Appalachia in 2103. It is located to the south of Spruce Knob and R&G Station, at the end of Route 103.

The vault will be expanded upon at a later date, as part of the Daily Ops feature in a future update. It was previously slated to be a vault raid similar to Vault 94, though this plan was scrapped in favor of Daily Ops.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

As with the other vaults, Vault 96 was sealed shut during the Great War in 2077. The vault remains sealed in 2103, having been sealed for 26 years.

Constructed around 2074,[2] and completed in August 2077, Vault 96 advertised itself as "An Ark for the Atomic Age." Vault 96 was one of the world's largest cryogenic storage facilities, with approximately ten thousand animals preserved within it. Vault 96's public mission was to monitor post-War surface conditions, the damage caused genetically to local fauna, and reintroduce species to restore ecological balance.[3] Once the vault was sealed, the mission received an addendum to the residents, revealing that their true mission was far more complex, requiring the conducting of genetic experiments to explore mutated fauna and to develop countermeasures for them. The results of these studies were then to be transmitted to external facilities.[4] The quotas were weekly, made up by the mainframe, and assigned to the Overseer to distribute to the residents. The Overseer would track progress and ensure results in addition to assigning quotas. The total duration of the vault was supposed to be 250 weeks at least, after which all the residents were to be exterminated, and only the Overseer permitted to leave.[5] As one final part of the Vault's construction, a secret cryogenics bay, Cryogenics Bay 86, was installed. Containing a mysterious entity known only as "X-001," the bay was only to ever be accessed by the automated research systems.[6]

The Vault was made up of only five human residents: Erik DeMarcos, Jeanette Higgins, Hans Memling, Nina Valaya, and Molly Cooper. Each were highly gifted individuals, and incredibly specialized for their role in the Vault, most coming from high-ranking executive positions and prestigious teaching careers. Upon closure of the Vault, during their first weekly meeting session, the other residents expressed extreme discomfort and resentment towards Erik, due to the unethical research and apparent threat of elimination should any of the residents not comply with Erik's demands and quotas.[7] Although the residents eventually settled into their new positions, it became clear quite quickly that the only necessary individuals were the biologists, with the other positions simply acting as a glorified support team.[8]

Beginning with a mere 4 credits per week, the biology staff maintained credit gain by forcing various experiments and experimental mutations upon creatures and having them fight one another, documenting which mutations were stronger.[9] Over the course of the next 3 years, the staff maintained their assigned duties, with the biology team documenting various mutations induced on the creatures housed within the Vault, beginning with simple natural processes such as electrogenesis, venom, regeneration. By week 100, these mutations had gone into evolving chameleonization, pyrokinesis, and cryokinesis.[10] During week 142, a mysterious new mutation was stumbled upon when the biologists inserted Specimen X-001's DNA into a petri dish, which spread to every other dish, mimicking the ability perfectly. Nina attempted to study the mutation with the subject it originated from but did not have access to the mysterious and undocumented Bay 86.[11] Shifting allowed creatures to teleport when stressed, but could lead to disastrous results, such as the subject phasing into another subject, fusing them together.[12]

By week 148, due to the lack of access to Specimen X-001, and the lack of ability to improve or stabilize the mutation, Nina was unable to meet the quota of 568 credits.[13] After disabling the mainframe's monitoring system in the Overseer's office, Erik made a revelation: for more than two years, he had quietly been working on an escape plan. Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, Erik had been just as much a prisoner of the mainframe as everyone else. He had finalized development of SERAPH, a prototype computer virus originally meant for the DIA. SERAPH was capable of taking over and defeating even the powerful mainframe intelligence. The plan was to use the virus on the mainframe, shutting it down, and escaping the day before quotas were due.[14] However, while most events went well on the day of escape, the mainframe activated Superceding Protocol Omega, which killed all the residents of the Vault, and sealed it once more. However, the virus was uploaded and began infecting the mainframe and its systems. In addition, the animals began to escape, prompting the vault to begin activating the Emergency Management System to call for assistance.

Layout[edit | edit source]

The vault's exterior consists of a raised platform featuring a helipad, which is accessible from the ground using a staircase. A blue freight elevator adjacent to the staircase is inoperable, and the carriage has stalled between ground level and the platform. Four derelict vehicles are scattered around the area beneath the platform. Atop the platform lie various construction materials and pieces of machinery, along with a small booth containing only a pair of black-rim glasses and some junk items. There is no means of communicating with the vault's residents or opening it from the outside.

Residents[edit | edit source]

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • It is not currently possible to open the Vault 96 door or officially access its interior without using glitches. It was slated to be opened alongside Vault 94 and Vault 63 in the summer of 2019 as part of the vault raids feature of Nuclear Winter.[15] However, only Vault 94 was made available and closed with the release of Wastelanders, making the release schedule of Vaults 96 and 63 uncertain.
  • The vault's interior is unfinished and has two desks along with a door making a barricade blocking off the next room. The vault is infested with mirelurks, and a mirelurk queen is at the end of the vault in a giant chamber. These rooms can only be accessed by clipping bugs.
  • Vault 96 has been datamined as a new location for Daily Ops in November, 2020. This new addition has no release data yet.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Vault 96 appears only in Fallout 76.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Cut content[edit | edit source]

Originally, the mission and story of Vault 96 was quite different, as noted in the below summary. However, with The Legendary Run update, Vault 96's story changed significantly in behind-the-scenes changes on currently inaccessible terminal entries. What follows is a summary of Vault 96 content as it was before The Legendary Run.

Vault 63, 94 and 96 were originally intended to be associated with vault raids, a team quest where there would be an emergency in the Vault that must be fixed. Player characters would have notified through an emergency radio beacon. These were instanced dungeons, where groups of up to four could enter and attempt to complete the raid for a chance at unique rewards.

Judging by the localization files, there were two types of events planned for inclusion:

  • One where the player characters must save the frozen embryos by repairing the failing generator responsible for maintaining the power to the cryonic sections.
  • Another where the player characters must wipe out the mutants that invaded the vault and were threatening to thaw core fauna, as the vault would have sterilized the interior if active mutations were present.
Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 76 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Background[edit | edit source]

Constructed by Vault-Tec as a genetic ark intended for ecosystem restoration, Vault 96 was supposed to attempt to force nature back into equilibrium after a catastrophic event. This was based around two key components: An almost inexhaustible number of frozen embryos ready to be artificially gestated to full maturity and automated keeper robots to protect them when they leave the vault. Embryos constituted a carefully chosen, fully complete ecosystem referred to as "core fauna." The vault had enough material for 112 releases until the system stabilized itself or the outside world turned out to be simply uninhabitable. Releases were timed to coincide with vault exoduses. In ideal conditions, the corporation planned for 5 full ecosystem releases before a human vault opened, to provide a more habitable region to re-develop.[16] Vault 96 was designed to run on a skeleton crew of just six highly trained people: Randall Evola (overseer), Ryan Harvey (cryogenics), Nina Valaya (biology), Jeanette Higgins (robotics), and Orrin Cantwell with Jasper Fry (maintenance).[17]

Although established with good intentions in mind, robotic surveys performed outside the vault quickly demonstrated that the world outside was a lot more hostile than expected. Rampant mutations were quickly turning the new world into a place where the old systems stored in Vault 96 were no longer viable. However, the team continued on schedule, attempting to release the wildlife as per their mission. Strong genetic and physical differences made their chances for success tenuous - but it was still better than just abandoning the vault.[18]

The pattern continued until the underlying flaws in the vault's design and infrastructure revealed themselves: Generator 1 started experiencing intermittent failures, leading to the vault door failing and letting in mutated creatures from the outside (as they were a relatively near match for the animals contained within). Although robotic security managed to fend the mutated creatures off, the situation steadily deteriorated due to a limited supply of spare parts and equipment. The team ultimately had nothing to repair Generator 1 with.[19][20]

The staff of the vault managed to perform five manual releases before the automated ecosystem release system took over.[21] All of the systems switched to automatic mode when the skeleton crew became real skeletons, together with the failing Generator 1.[22]

Residents[edit | edit source]

Notable loot[edit | edit source]

Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 76 cut content.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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