Captives are imprisoned humans captured by Super Mutants. They are found at Super Mutant encampments throughout the Capital Wasteland. Why Super Mutants choose not to kill and eat their captives like everyone else is not known. A friendly Super Mutant, Uncle Leo, suggests that captives are used to create new Super Mutants.
Releasing captives results in a karma boost. Care should be taken that you do not accidentally kill the captive while killing their captors. A stray missile will kill them easily, or even a Frag Grenade poorly thrown by a mutant.
While escaping captives may end up being killed by any surviving mutants or other hazards in the wasteland, you can escort captives until they are out of Capital Wasteland. There's no bonus of doing so, except that you may get to discover many new places in the map if they have not been discovered already, since captives tend to walk past a lot of those places.
Captive sites can be spotted from a distance by looking for gore bags. These bags often contain ammo and caps. Captives can also be heard sobbing or calling for help if they detect you.
Be careful around captive locations, there are often mines, rigged shotguns, or grenade bouquets around. These grenades might just accidentally kill the captive for you.
If you execute the captive you will lose karma, although it seems to balance out if you release the captive and then kill it.
If you ignore a captive or choose to leave them to their fate, a new captive will eventually respawn along with new Super Mutant guards if you revisit the location. However, if you free the captive, or if the captive is killed, then no new captives will appear in that location.
- One is halfway between the Jefferson Memorial and Rivet City. It is difficult to walk between the two places without noticing a pocket of 8 or so super mutants. The mutant at the top holding a minigun stands next to the captive.
- One at Hallowed Moors Cemetary. Watch out for traps, and about 6 super mutants. Why not grab the second Keller tape while you are there?
- A captive is at Mason Dixon Salvage surrounded by about 8 mutants.
- Between Mason district south and Hubris Comics. There are six mutants, beware of the cars which might accidentally kill the captive.
- Between Georgetown south and the Mall. The captive is in the middle of the square.
- There are two captives at Clifftop Shacks which is almost due north of Minefield and west of Vault 92. The Super Mutants see you coming and therefore come to meet you, so it's easy to dispose of them without hurting the captives. However, this area may become a battle site between Raiders, the Brotherhood of Steel Outcasts and the Super Mutants.
- There are two captives in the Roosevelt Academy escape tunnels and maintenance section.
- There is a Captive where the fifth Keller Tape is. One captive guarded by a Super Mutant armed with a Super Sledge. Two centaurs are nearby, do not shoot the trucks or you will blow up the captive accidentally.
If you free the captive, they will thank you and offer some supplies, such as dirty water, rad-x or ammo. If you accept these supplies, you will receive 50 karma points and the supplies. If you tell them to keep it, you will receive 75 karma. There is no karma penalty for leaving the captive to their fate.
Resourceful players will enslave captives.