War Never Changes is the prologue, a main story quest and an achievement/trophy in Fallout 4. The quest takes place on October 23, 2077, in the Sole Survivor's pre-War home in suburban Sanctuary Hills. It begins immediately after the game is started.
|Main Quest: War Never Changes|
|Complete Character Creation.|
|Speak to the Vault-Tec rep.|
|Check on Shaun.|
|Watch the TV announcement.|
|Get to Vault 111.|
|Step into the pod.|
|Reward: Vault 111 jumpsuit|
|Leads to: Out of Time|
The Sole Survivor begins in front of the bathroom mirror, preparing to go out for a Veterans Hall meeting alongside their spouse. Upon finishing character aesthetic customization at the mirror, the player character leaves the bathroom to answer the door. Within the house, one can interact with a variety of objects and goods, such as bottles of Nuka-Cola, boxes of Salisbury Steak, their infant son Shaun and the house's resident Mister Handy named Codsworth. Opening the door, the player character encounters a Vault-Tec rep, who states that they have been selected to enter the nearby Vault 111. During this speech sequence, the character's name and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points can be customized.
Once this customization is done, the Sole Survivor returns to find that Shaun is still crying, despite Codsworth's attempts to clean him up. Enter Shaun's room and tries to calm him down by spinning the mobile. Upon activation of the mobile, the Survivor's spouse will enter Shaun's room and engage in conversation. Once this discussion ends, Codsworth rushes in and urges both Nate and Nora to the television. The reporter on the television, in a distressed manner, proclaims that nuclear detonations have hit New York and Pennsylvania and that one warhead is inbound for Boston, before abruptly signing off. The player character, with their spouse and son, then rush toward Vault 111, alongside other Sanctuary Hills residents as U.S. Army vehicles block the streets. Upon reaching the vault gate, they find the Vault-Tec rep, who is refused entry and threatened by the U.S. Army officer on duty. The Survivor then approaches the officer, who checks their credentials --"infant, adult male, adult female" -- and is then granted clearance to enter Vault 111 and is instructed to step on a platform that will take them into the vault.
Just moments before the platform begins to lower, a bright flash is seen, followed by a loud noise and a blast of smoke. A nuclear detonation has occurred within the Boston area and the platform rapidly lowers just in time as the blast hits Sanctuary Hills. The platform further lowers into Vault 111's entrance, where the player character and a few other Sanctuary Hills residents pass through.
Once inside the vault, the player character and the rest of the Sanctuary Hills survivors are screened by the vault overseer and Vault-Tec staff. The player character is given a Vault 111 jumpsuit and is directed through a passageway. Within the vault, other residents seem anxious and afraid of their new home, as Vault-Tec staff try to reassure them with the features of Vault 111's amenities. The player character continues along the passageway to a room filled with several chambers, where a Vault-Tec doctor is standing. The doctor claims that the chambers are for decontamination purposes and the player character is instructed to enter one of the cryo pods, with the spouse and Shaun taking another. Inside the cryo pods the doors seal shut and an automated voice begins a countdown as they activate, with the player character's vision going white.
The player character is then jostled awake by the automated voice. The room outside is dark, with the other Sanctuary Hills residents still inside their chambers. It is revealed that these are cryochambers, another part of Vault-Tec's myriad societal experiments as part of "Project Safehouse." Three unknown figures, a mercenary and two scientists, enter the room. They open the chamber holding the player character's spouse and Shaun and the spouse suddenly wakes from cryosleep. Confused, the spouse asks what the two individuals are doing there, and they demand to have Shaun. The spouse refuses and holds onto Shaun but in an instant, then the mysterious man shoots the spouse with his pistol and takes Shaun from their lifeless arms. The player character suddenly re-enters cryosleep as everything fades to white once more.
Waking again as the automated PA system announces a malfunction, the player character falls out of the chamber and stands up, shivering, beginning act one of the story with the quest Out of Time.
- The player character can take as long as they like to reach Vault 111, but if they stray too far from the game's intended path, the nuclear bomb will detonate in the distance, resulting in instant death.
- During the TV broadcast, the newscaster mentions mechanized US Armed Forces units on the "island of Mambajao," and naval fleets in the Bohol Sea. Mambajao is a town on the island of Camiguin in the Philippines, indicating that the United States was fighting on a Pacific/Southeast Asia frontline.
- If the player character keeps refusing the Vault-Tec rep, eventually their spouse will override their choice and force the player character to fill out the forms.
- Even though the mysterious man uses a revolver to shoot the player character’s spouse, a spent casing can be heard hitting the floor.
- The two power armored soldiers in the level are equipped with T-60 power armor with military paint. In the gameplay trailer, their armor is not equipped with the paint.
- When awakening for the first time, the player character can make their character fruitlessly punch the cryogenic pod's glass by pressing the interact button. This can be done for the entire duration of the event.
- The location of the mushroom cloud that appears southeast on the horizon just before the Sole Survivor is lowered into the vault is inconsistent with the position of the Crater of Atom throughout the rest of the game. The Crater of Atom, which is ground zero of the nuclear bomb, is located south-southwest from Sanctuary Hills and Vault 111.
Behind the scenesEdit
- This quest has a number of references to older Fallout games and the Fallout series in general:
- Shaun's crib mobile plays the Baby Steps theme from Fallout 3.
- On the floor to the right of Shaun's crib is the You're SPECIAL! book used in the Lone Wanderer's childhood sequence to assign Stat Points.
- The commercial that plays on the television is the live-action promotional video for the Fat Man, used as part of Fallout 3's viral marketing campaign.
- During the broadcast, while discussing the upcoming World Series, the newscaster quotes John Henry Eden's speech on baseball almost verbatim.
- The name of the quest is a reference to the famous Fallout line: "War, war never changes." The player character can speak this line at Fraternal Post 115 later in the game.
- While entering Vault 111 and witnessing the bomb go off, the Sole Survivor enters the vault with little to no life threatening injuries. If one were to actually witness this in real life, they would be covered in third-degree burns and be temporarily or permanently blinded from the flash.
- Ron Perlman, who narrated the opening scene in all past Fallout games except Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, voices the newscaster on the television.
- PC Playstation 4 Xbox One Once you step out of your cryochamber for the first time, you may not be able to move at all, nor be able to save your game.[verified]
- This can only be resolved by restarting the game and reloading your last save.
- PC The achievement may not unlock after leaving the vault and entering the wasteland.[verified]
- PC Playstation 4 Xbox One Jumping on the platform at the right angle will make the player character stumble off the elevator, sending it down without them, and as the screen fades to black the game will freeze.