Vault City is a high-tech settlement in Northern Nevada, established by the inhabitants of Vault 8 after the Great War, which is best known for their medical technology, most advanced within New California. Vault City can be found twenty-one squares east and four squares south of Arroyo.
- 1 History
- 2 Layout
- 3 Buildings
- 4 Inhabitants
- 5 Relations with the outside
- 6 Military Forces
- 7 Citizenship
- 8 Related quests
- 9 Notes
- 10 Vault City travel log
- 11 Appearances
- 12 Gallery
- 13 References
Vault 8 was one of the few control Vaults[Non-canon 1] that had no specific experiment designed for it thus it functioned almost exactly to the residents' expectations. The Vault was designed to house a hundred or so people. Vault-Tec, to ensure a bright future for the Vault inhabitants, planned to have two G.E.C.K.'s located in Vault 8. Due to logistical errors by the government, Vault 8 received a shipment with hundreds of water chips meant for Vault 13, which as a result received an additional GECK. In 2091, 14 years after the Great War, the Vault received the all-clear signal and the Overseer ordered the opening of the Vault doors.[Non-canon 2] While many citizens were responsible for monitoring the surface sensors, the "all-clear" signal was sent by the Enclave,[Non-canon 3] as well as detection from radiation sensors on the surface.[Non-canon 4]
In the following years, Vault City was built through the hard work and suffering of many people. By using their only GECK, combined with power from Vault 8's fusion generator, they created fertile grounds and buildings.[Non-canon 2] In 2092, Richard Moreau was exiled for murder. The details of the murder are unknown and judging from the hypocrisy filling Vault City, the entire incident is questionable.[Non-canon 5][Non-canon 6] In 2101 the overseer retired and a Council of Citizens was established. The Council appointed the initial First Citizen.
Years after residents of Vault 8 emerged, the shelter was used primarily as a medical center, the best available in post-war America. From the beginning Vault City is one of the most advanced factions in the wasteland, possessing cutting edge medical technology, allowing it to mass-produce medical supplies and chems (such as super stimpaks) as well as perform radiation removal and sophisticated surgical procedures, including replacement of lost limbs and organs via cloning and grafting armor plating to one's skeleton. It is the only place that has information about the combat implant schematics. Vault City quickly became an important part of Big Circle caravan trail.
In 2232 Leonard Boyarsky was exiled for murder and unauthorized research. The research allegations revolved around some tampering with the pregnancy cycles in the Auto-Doc that apparently put all of Vault 8 in danger, but the details were deleted from the Vault 8 computer.[Non-canon 7]
NCR expansion and trouble with Gecko
In 2235 the town of Gecko was founded. Later that year, the community of Gecko managed to reactivate the nuclear power plant that the town was built around. This didn't go unnoticed by Vault City, who started to look upon their new neighbors with growing concern.[Non-canon 8] As it turned out, the plant was in a serious state of disrepair, as of 2239 it began leaking waste into the local groundwater, which eventually made the entire reservoir, from which Vault City drew water for their wells, poisonous. Any person who drank water from the wells would contract radiation sickness, in some cases fatally so, and Vault City's medical experts were concerned if the problem wasn't addressed, it could lead to sterility and/or chromosomal damage in the population. As a result, the citizens' attitude towards the ghouls turned from suspicion into open animosity and even outright antipathy, as they accused Gecko of committing terror against Vault City, and although the ghouls repeatedly attempted to contact Vault City for technical help, their emissaries were always shot on sight.
Meanwhile, the expanding NCR considered Vault City a fantastic candidate for inclusion into its growing organism, however, offers of joining were repeatedly declined, with Vault City preferring to stay independent. With no progress being made on the diplomatic side, the NCR Congress approved a secret initiative intended to force Vault City to join. The person selected to carry out this campaign of terror against Vault City was John Bishop of New Reno, who later employed mercenaries to act as raiders and regularly attack Vault City to eventually force it into NCR's hands. In 2239 Thomas Moore, an NCR agent comes to Vault City and becomes one of its citizens. After one year he changed politically, actively seeking to convince the Citizens of Vault City to turn to democracy. As a result of his actions he is treated like an idiot, rather than a citizen. Not one citizen takes his words seriously about democracy. Although his demagogy was not effective, he did manage to steal some Vault City technology.[Non-canon 9]
In February 2241 Vault City rejects offers of an alliance with both the Bishop family of New Reno and the NCR.[Non-canon 10] In March, raider attacks on caravans to Vault City begin.[Non-canon 11] The NCR has been getting more aggressive in their attempts to get Vault City to join the Republic, telling Vault City Councillors, if they were to join, the NCR would be able to defend Vault City from the raider attacks. Due to refusals to NCR, with the passage of time raider attacks have become more brutal. Finally, during their last attack, they disabled a laser turret on the western perimeter. Despite having a clear shot into the city, they were ordered to fall back by one of their "captains." This made no sense to Sergeant Stark, who witnessed it. John Bishop under pressure from the NCR, tried to get a current roster of all Vault City's guards. So he could see if he could "get" to one of them with drugs or other "convincing," which he ultimately failed.[Non-canon 9]
Joining the Republic
One of the key limiting factors of Vault City was the fact that its nuclear reactor, housed in Vault 8, was not designed for the strain of powering an entire settlement. By 2241, it was operating at peak capacity, making further growth impossible. The only way to prevent that would be to source power from another location, such as Gecko. Without additional power, Vault City's reactor would burn out within 15 years, dooming the settlement.
Its power issues were eventually resolved, but despite its attempts to control Northern California, Vault City ultimately ended up joining the New California Republic, as it steadily spread northwards since establishing a foothold in Vault 15. By 2281, the NCR firmly controlled the entire north, including Redding, once contested by Vault City.
Vault City is a very small, but high-tech settlement. The citizen population (in all departments) was 103 in 2241, with an unspecified number of outsiders residing in the courtyard area. It was small compared to the hundreds of residents that lived in Redding or Broken Hills.
Despite its small size, the city boasts sophisticated technology, they're one of the most advanced factions in the wasteland, possessing cutting edge medical technology, allowing it to mass-produce medical supplies and chems (such as stimpaks) as well as perform radiation removal and sophisticated surgical procedures, including replacement of lost limbs and organs via cloning and grafting armor plating to one's skeleton. Aside from medical technology, it's also an advanced military force, with all guards and patrolmen rigorously trained and equipped with advanced weapons and armor.
The city is ruled by a Council, led by the First Citizen, established in 2101 after the Vault overseer retired. The council rules in a completely authoritarian way, controlling every aspect of life within the city. Their regulations are strict and enforced to the full extent of the law. For instance, no drugs, real alcohol (artificial imitations are legal), prostitution, gambling, or any other vices are allowed within the inner city. All citizens found breaching any regulations, be it even badmouthing the First Citizen, are usually swiftly incarcerated and reeducated. Non-Citizens, who are servants, are forbidden to even look at the city and must stare upon the ground or be punished for setting their impure eyes upon their city. Those possessing day passes are allowed a daylight tourist proceeding.
The citizens are no better, as most are extremely bigoted, hypocritical, and arrogant, treating outsiders questionably while leading mostly conformist lives, content with their state of affairs. Although healthy and very well educated, they are uncaring of the outside world. Many don't even venture beyond the protective walls of the city proper.
|Vault City Downtown||→||Vault 8|
|Vault City courtyard|
The courtyard is the place where outsiders (wastelanders) are settled. It isn't much, as people are disorganized, some even are locked in jail.
Downtown is the area where Vault citizens trade for supplies. Wasteland merchants can trade here if they have a day pass, but even then they are not to be trusted, according to the citizens.
Vault 8 was designed as the control group for the Vault experiments. It remained in pristine condition by 2241. Every element of the Vault is still intact, from the overseer's chair to the entry door. It is thanks to the Vault's nuclear energy production that Vault City's power is supplied, though its capacity has severely limited the expansion prospects of Vault City. The majority of the Vault is now unoccupied and used for storage. Interestingly, the Vault had two sets of doors - massive external blast doors and a regular, round Vault-entry door.
|Amenities office||Corrections Center||Council building|
|Happy Harry's||Information office||Parlor Room|
|Servant Allocation Center||Spittoon||Tap House|
Relations with the outside
The city is very apathetic towards outsiders, generally considering them thieves and blackguards. However, if an outsider is able to pay the rent, they can live in the "courtyard" of the Vault City, protected by its walls and heavy laser turrets, but with no access to other city services, like the amenities office or the Vault medical lab, as those are reserved for full citizens. The courtyard is kept peaceful and protected from the raiders of the wastes by Vault City, but its denizens are subjected to harsh rules or regulations and taxed heavily. Denizens of the courtyard feel squeezed between the desolate horror of the wastes outside and the suffocating repression of Vault City: they hold both new arrivals from the wasteland and the citizens of Vault City in contempt.
Outsiders can enjoy the benefits of the city if they become servants, which unofficially means becoming slaves. Vault City residents claim that it's just because they give the servants shelter, food, and protection, but people like Thomas Moore object to this heavily, and call it hypocrisy since they frown at those who openly call it slavery (the Den, for instance).
Despite their antipathy to the outside, the city maintains regular caravan routes with other cities, trading its superior medical technology for raw materials, fuel, mechanical equipment, and other items.
Day passes are issued to non-citizens able to provide a bona fide reason for entering Vault City. (Examples: slaves, uranium, gold, or gecko pelt traders, diplomats, and non-citizen agents of Vault City.) Day passes allow non-citizen access to Vault City proper during daylight hours (8:00 am until 6:00 pm) but not the original Vault 8 itself. While the customs office is nominally strict in its rules regarding the issuance of day passes, there are some corrupt elements willing to sell false citizenship papers. Perhaps the easiest approach to gain one is to remove one's armor to reveal their jumpsuit before talking to Wallace, who will grant immediate access and advise going to see First Citizen Lynette immediately.
Gecko, the settlement of ghouls in the north-east has been more trouble for Vault City. Apparently, they wanted some medicine and supplies for their health, but considering their appearance, Vault City objected, so Gecko ghouls do not trust them, calling them foul and poisoning the water supplies, so Vault City needs to shut down their power plant.
Although Redding may appear unassuming, it has great economic clout. Redding is Northern California's primary producer and distributor of gold. Being the center of gold mining several larger political factions have volleyed for control of Redding to gain dominance in the gold trade. Vault City advocates claim it's the only city that can fully utilize Redding's potential and dismiss any worries that they might turn it into a slave labor camp. Doc Johnson is a staunch supporter of Vault City, turning a blind eye to the obvious mistreatment of non-citizens within its walls. He is one of the potential candidates for the office of mayor, and wants to put an end to the miners' dependence on jet.
There is an active trade route between Redding and Vault City trading gold for medical supplies
New California Republic
The expanding Republic considered Vault City an ideal candidate for inclusion into its growing nation, however, offers of joining were repeatedly declined, with Vault City preferring to stay independent. With no progress being made on the diplomatic side, the NCR Congress approved a secret initiative intended to force Vault City to join.
Despite Vault City inhabitants being generally non-violent, they still possess a sizable security force.
The Vault City guard is the direct descendant of the Vault security team - a Vault police force. Vault City guards act as a universal military force, enforcing the law within the town, defending it, and securing Vault City's perimeter. While small, it is extremely well trained and equipped, able to deal with any threats when supported by laser turrets of the city, save for an all-out siege.
Captain of the Guard is a title granted by the First Citizen of Vault City to exemplary citizens that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect the city's interest and independence. In essence, it is the highest military rank one can hold, giving them full authority over the military might of Vault City.
Generally, the only normal way to become a Citizen of Vault City is to be born into it. Personal intervention by the Senior Councilor (in 2241 McClure) or the First Citizen (in 2241 Lynette) can grant non-citizen citizenship (though this is never done lightly). In addition, non-citizens can take a citizenship test (administered by the Proconsul; Gregory in 2241), which is intentionally designed to be so difficult as to be virtually impossible by someone not of extraordinary intelligence, perception, and luck. The test is so difficult that the majority of born citizens would fail it were they to take it. Some of the subjects covered by it include advanced mathematics, spatial relations, deductive reasoning, and language comprehension. A thorough physical exam is also included.
Full Citizens have access to all of Vault City, including the original Vault 8 itself, although few people still use it much, except for its medical bay, and it is mostly used for storage (including a huge number of water chips, which were accidentally shipped to Vault 8 instead of Vault 13, while Vault 8's second G.E.C.K was shipped to Vault 13 instead of Vault 8).
- Vault City is the only location to set a starting reputation to Antipathy, this is because the residents see the Chosen One (and any companion they might be bringing) as just another wastelander.
- With a little engine abuse, the Vault can be entered prior to becoming a citizen. Get close to the Vault without initiating dialogue with the guards, then walk inside in combat mode. The guards and citizens won't turn hostile as long as nobody is attacked while doing this.
Vault City travel log
- Vault City: This utopia is free from crimes and other sociological ills that inflict the other communities in California. It has existed independent since its emergence from Vault 8, and maintains a thriving economy based on exporting medical technology to Outsider communities in Northern California. All Citizens are encouraged to remain in Vault City whenever possible.
- Population: Current Census 103 Citizens.
- Government: First Citizen and Council.
- Background radiation count: Files have been deleted, missing the following strings: [-$Gecko-/-$GroundwaterContamination-]
- Mutation rate: Files have been deleted, missing the following strings: [-$Birthrate %-]”— Vault City travel log
Vault City appears only in Fallout 2. It is also mentioned by Rose of Sharon Cassidy in Fallout: New Vegas, Ulysses in Lonesome Road, and Sarah Grey in the Fallout Pen and Paper d20 intro.
- Fallout Bible p.11: "VAULT SYSTEM"
Vault 8: A control Vault, intended to open and re-colonize the surface after 10 years. Vault City is the result. Unfortunately."
- Fallout Bible p.23: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
2091: Vault 8 opens, and they use their GECK to create fertile ground for their city. This eventually becomes Vault City."
- Fallout Bible p.34-35: "QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS"
7. When the bombs dropped, all communication between the vaults where severed, so if their was no way to communicate with the vaults how did the Enclave send a massage to Vault 13 telling the people its time to go?
Communication between Vaults was never in place (it might ruin the experiments), but communication with the government/Enclave/Vault-Tec was a different story... they needed some way of monitoring the vaults.
The Enclave, having access to the Vault-Tec construction plans (not too surprising, considering the fact that the Vaults were funded by the government) had a way of monitoring events taking place within the Vaults... not only could they access their computers and systems remotely, (including PIPBoys and the personal logs of the Vault Dwellers), but the early Overseers of most of the Vaults knew of the ties to the government, and it was part of their duties to download information on the citizens and the Vault into an computer archive that the government could easily access.
Their tie to the Vault computers also gave the Enclave the ability to override any Vault locking mechanism and send an "all-clear" signal to sealed Vaults, coaxing the inhabitants to come outside.
Again, almost no Vault Dwellers were ever aware of this. For some Fallout 2 relevant information on the matter, here's what the player says in Fallout 2, and here's what Lynette says in response:
Note: As evidenced below, keep in mind that Lynette's archives are suspect, and they should not be treated as truth.
How did you know *when* to leave the vault? I heard the vaults were isolated from the outside world.
What you heard was incorrect. Our archives are quite clear: our vault received the all-clear signal two years after being sealed.
The all-clear signal? From where?
(Confused) Why... from surface monitors, I suppose. I am certain there were sensors monitoring the environment. How else would the Overseer have known when it was safe to leave?
So... the order to leave the vault came from the Overseer?
Yes... (Thinking, uncertain) ...at least, that is what I remember from the archives. (Confidence returns) However, I am certain many Citizens were responsible for monitoring the surface sensors.
Really? Do these monitors still exist? Can I see them?
(Angry, not certain where the player is going with this, but doesn’t like it.) Quite likely they were disassembled and used as upgrades for other systems.
And that's all she wrote - it is a dark foreshadowing to what was really going on in these cauldrons of evil.
In any event, I remember having a conversation with the designers about the Overseers roles in the Vaults, and the early Overseers were the ones tasked with supplying information to the government... although when the world blew up, there wasn't really anyone to supply it to anymore, since the Enclave took some time to get back up and running.
In any event, enough blather. Hope that helps.
- Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Rulebook p.251: "In 2091, the all-clear signal rang through Vault-Tec’s communication network, in response to reports from radiation sensors on the surface. The first vaults to reopen were Vault 8, and the original Los Angeles demo vault. They formed the cores of Vault City and Adytum, respectively, and life in the Wasteland began in earnest."
- Fallout Bible p.23: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
2092: Dr. Richard Moreau is exiled from Vault City for murder. The circumstances surrounding the murder are unknown, but he changes his last name to Grey and heads south."
- Fallout Bible p.13: "QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS"
4. So richard grey was the first vault dweller not the main character in FO1, and why did he left his vault??? - Deadlus
According to Lynette in Fallout 2, Richard was exiled from Vault 8 for murder. The details of the murder are unknown and judging from the hypocrisy filling Vault City, the entire incident is questionable.
- Fallout Bible p.47: "QUESTIONS"
8. Hi, In the last "Fallout Bible" update there was a question about Richard Grey and why he was exiled from Vault City. I remember that there was another person exiled from the VC - Leonard Boyarski. He also was exiled for a murder but I'm curious how did he die? I've found his grave on the Golgotha and it's quite surprising. ps. If there are any mistakes, sorry for my English. :-)
Boyarsky was an in-joke to Leonard Boyarsky who originally worked on F1 and parts of F2 (one of the five billion developer references in Fallout 1 and 2). I think the name was originally Jason Anderson in the text, but I don't remember. Boyarsky was exiled for murder and unauthorized research (the research allegations revolved around some tampering with the pregnancy cycles in the Auto-Doc that apparently put all of Vault 8 in danger, but the details were deleted from the Vault 8 computer). His crime occurred many years after Grey's alleged crime, but Boyarsky only got as far as Reno with a traveling caravan before he was robbed and killed by Reno toughs who saw him as an easy mark (which pretty much is true for everyone traveling from Vault City). His reasons for traveling south were unknown, but it is rumored his original destination was east of Reno - even though explorers report there is nothing out there except desert and deathclaws."
- Fallout Bible p.27: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
2235: While there had already been a small number of ghouls in Gecko at this time, more come to the area, and the town of Gecko is formed. The new influx of ghouls bring scavenged technology and know-how, and the power plant in Gecko becomes operational later that year. Vault City looks upon their new neighbors with growing concern."
- Fallout Bible p.163-164: "AVALANCHE!"
8. And, finally, which part of VC was in Moore's briefcase?
8. It was two separate things: (1) two super stimpaks should appear in Bishop's inventory after you deliver the right case (super stimpaks are valuable, no matter where you are, and Bishop's always in danger of suffering head trauma from snipers - or his family), and (2) some downloads from the VC main database - which Bishop requested from Moore, although Moore didn't realize that Bishop wanted the current roster of all VC guards so he could see if he could "get" to one of them with drugs or other "convincing."
- Fallout Bible p.28: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
2241 February: Vault City rejects offers of an alliance with both the Bishop family of New Reno and NCR."
- Fallout Bible p.28: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
2241 March: Raider attacks on caravans to Vault City begin."