Captain Zao is a ghoulifed submarine captain living in the Chinese submarine Yangtze in 2287.


Captain Zao is a former captain of the Chinese Navy. He is the captain of a Yangtze class Submarine; the Yangtze-31. He has been observing Boston for centuries, ever since the Yangtze hit a mine and became stranded. The rest of his crew are feral, but he cannot bring himself to kill them. He mentions that he has to fend off raiders at times. Though he is a ghoul, he has a more of a pale skin than most ghouls in the Commonwealth.

Zao recalls firing his ship's nuclear salvo as ordered, and it is clear that he is responsible for the nuclear detonations specifically in the Commonwealth. He reflects on his actions with guilt, regretting the destruction he caused. It is possible that one of the nuclear warheads fired from his submarine was the one that created the Glowing Sea. He claims that the city was already ruined, when he arrived at the port.

He seems to consider the liberation of Anchorage "a joke." He is clearly aware of the war being over, but he still holds traditional values of the old world. He refers to the Sole Survivor as "capitalist" and "American", especially if they attempt to negotiate a higher reward for providing assistance.

Interactions with the player characterEdit

Interactions overviewEdit

General Services Quests
Essential: Icon cross
Companion: Icon cross
Perk: Icon cross
Merchant: Icon cross
Doctor: Icon cross
Rents bed/room: Icon cross
Starts quests: Icon cross
Involved in quests: Icon check
Here There Be Monsters


Here There Be Monsters: The Sole Survivor can help Zao repair the Yangtze submarine.

Effects of player's actionsEdit

  • Should the Sole Survivor call Zao "commie," they will demand that he dies for destroying their country, and Captain Zao will immediately turn hostile and try to kill the Sole Survivor.
  • Should one help him repair the Yangtze's reactor, he rewards three homing beacons for small tactical nukes, fired from the Yangtze, saying "I do not want to bring the fire home." Zao will also give the player character the unique weapon Zao's sword, if all three Charisma checks asking for money are passed.



Zao appears only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Zao is the first human character from pre-War China with whom it is possible to converse in the Fallout series.
  • 'Zao' may be a misspelling of the common Chinese surname 'Zhao'(赵), since the surname 'Zao' indeed exists, but is very uncommon in China. According to, his surname may be 造, 棗, 皂, 隞, 遭, 灶 or 早 in Chinese.
  • 'Zao' may also be referring to the Chinese character for "rotten" or "horrible"(糟)since he is now a ghoul.
  • He often mixes Chinese with English in his speech, including:
    • Yangtze=扬子[1]
    • He ping=和平, Peace.
    • Jiang Shi=僵尸, Zombie/Ghoul.
    • Qian ting=潜艇, Submarine.
    • Wei xian=危险, Danger.
    • Gu shi=故事, Story.
    • Bao Wu=宝物, Treasure.
    • Shi de=是的, Yes.
    • Tong ku=痛苦, Pain and suffering.
    • Xing yun=幸运, Luck/Fortune.
    • Bu xing=不幸, Misfortune.
    • Xie xie=谢谢, Thanks.
    • Zhongguo=中国, China.
    • Jia=家, Home.
    • Zu guo=祖国, Motherland.
    • Xian jin=现金, Cash.
    • Yi han=遗憾, Regret.
    • Jian=剑, Sword.
    • Gong zuo=工作, Work.
    • You xiu=优秀, Excellent/Outstanding.
    • Bei=悲, Sadness. (however, Bei is usually associated with other adjectives instead of on its own, for example, 'Bei Ai - 悲哀', lit. sorrowful)
    • Jia ren=家人, Family member.
    • Jue wang=绝望, Despair.
    • Zha dan=炸弹, Bomb.
    • Xiao xin=小心, Be careful.
    • Si wang=死亡, Death.
    • Bao zha=爆炸, Explosion.
  • That said, however, Zao is clearly not voiced by a native Chinese voice actor, as his Chinese is weirdly accented and poorly pronounced. His Chinese lines also include some fairly awkward grammar and syntax, and the way he mixes Chinese and English is entirely arbitrary and unlike how real life Chinese-English bilingual people mix them.
  • If turned hostile, he will say "Zhu, zi ben jia, qu si ba!" (猪,资本家,去死吧!), which means: "pig, capitalist, go to hell!"


  1. (After "扬子江", Yangtze River,commonly known in China as "长江" (Changjiang, "the long river")
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