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Harkness, you say? Yes... Yes, that makes sense. He used to work for a special branch of the Commonwealth Police, after all... And he's right here in Rivet City! Excellent! I must wait... find an opportune moment to confront him... Thank you for your discreet assistance, and continued discretion regarding this matter. And now for your payment. This combat module will directly affect your central nervous system. I think you will find it quite beneficial.

Dr. Zimmer is the director of the Institute's Synth Retention Bureau, who is temporarily staying at Rivet City in 2277.


The 58-year-old[Non-game 1] Dr. Zimmer is the head of the Synth Retention Bureau circa 2277. That year, Zimmer personally ordered for testing on the Forced Evolutionary Virus from the Institute's FEV lab lead scientist C. Syverson.[1] Syverson was unsure of why Zimmer had ordered the tests to begin with, and noted he was annoyed with the results.[1] Later that same year, Zimmer left the Commonwealth and journeyed south to the Capital Wasteland in search of a missing android. Accompanied by his android bodyguard, Armitage, he made his way to Rivet City in the hopes that fellow scientist Dr. Madison Li could assist him in his search for his missing property.

Upon arrival to Rivet City and its science lab, Li personally refused him the right to speak with her,[2] a conversation that had to be reiterated by her assistant, Anna Holt, citing that his constant interruptions were interfering with Li's hydroponic developments. Despite being refused assistance he remains within the lab, refusing to leave until Li "stops playing with her chemistry set and starts talking real science."[3] He later asks for help from the Lone Wanderer to help him find his missing android.[4]

As of 2287, Zimmer remains missing in action, with Justin Ayo filling his position at the SRB. According to Ayo, Zimmer is reclaiming "high profile" units in an unspecified location.[5]

Interactions with the player character[]

Interactions overview[]

Perk nociception regulator color
This character is essential. Essential characters cannot be killed.
Icon quest starter
This character starts quests.
This character drops a finger upon death (Lawbringer).


The Replicated Man: Zimmer wants the Lone Wanderer to hunt down a rogue android.

Other interactions[]

If Zimmer is convinced the android is dead, he will leave Rivet City and disappear from the game.


Notable quotes[]


Zimmer appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout Shelter Online, and is mentioned in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenes[]

A voice type exists for Zimmer in the game files of Fallout 4, though it is not used anywhere and no voice lines are found in the files.[6]



  1. 1.0 1.1 FEV lab terminal entries; terminal, 2277.7.10
  2. The Lone Wanderer: "What do you know about Zimmer?"
    Madison Li: "Sigh. That man doesn't have you looking for his pet android, does he? I've already told him to lay off it. He's distracting my entire team."
    (Madison Li's dialogue)
  3. Dr. Zimmer: "But surely one of you glorified test tube jockeys can assist me? For the most advanced scientific center in the Capital Wasteland, I find your..."
    Anna Holt: "Look, Doctor Zimmer, we’ve been over this. We don’t know about your runaway robot, and we don’t care. This lab is dedicated to solving real problems."
    Dr. Zimmer: "Yes, yes, yes... But Doctor Li..."
    Anna Holt: "Doctor Li is trying to save lives, and your constant interruptions are interfering with those efforts. Now please, stand aside!"
    Dr. Zimmer: "I’m sure the good doctor’s work with water purification is fascinating, but if you only knew what was at stake. The technology in that android..."
    Anna Holt: "What’s at stake? You won’t TELL me what’s at stake! Vagaries and secrecy! A robot’s a robot, Zimmer, no matter how shiny the paint job. Now please..."
    Dr. Zimmer: "Ignorance and facetiousness! That’s all you people are good for. Shiny paint job, indeed. You can’t even imagine the Commonwealth's accomplishments."
    Anna Holt: "You know, if you’re so smart, maybe you could help US? Hmm? But no, that never even crossed your mind. Go peddle your selfishness somewhere else."
    Dr. Zimmer: "Fine. But I’m not leaving. Not until I’ve spoken to Doctor Li. I’ll be here when she’s ready to abandon her chemistry set and talk real science."
    Anna Holt: "Suit yourself."
    (Zimmer's and Anna Holt's dialogue)
  4. Zimmer: "You there! What are you, some kind of lab assistant? No, you look a bit more... weathered. Are you by any chance... for hire?"
    The Lone Wanderer: "That depends. What exactly are we talking about, here?"
    Dr. Zimmer: "To the point. I like that. Well, as it turns out, I've misplaced some very sensitive "property.""
    The Lone Wanderer: "Missing property? What kind of property?"
    Dr. Zimmer: "Hmmm... how do I put this in a way you'll understand? All you know of robots are those buckets of bolts -- those Mr. Handshakers and whatnot. Well... that's not ALL a robot can be. You see, in the Commonwealth, we've made artificial persons. Synthetic humanoids! Programmed to think and feel and do whatever we need. And... occasionally they get confused and wander off."
    The Lone Wanderer: "Interesting... But what's this got to do with me, exactly?"
    Dr. Zimmer: "You're helping me retrieve this android! Aren't you? I've tracked him this far. He's out there, somewhere. In the Capital Wasteland. He must have done something drastic, like facial surgery and a mind wipe, or else I would have found him by now. It will be no easy task. He may not even realize he's an android. Don't upset him by talking with him. Just come get me immediately. I'll handle it."
    (Zimmer's dialogue)
  5. Justin Ayo: "Doctor Zimmer holds that position. He's supervising the retrieval of some of the more... 'high profile' units. In his absence, I keep things running smoothly."
    (Justin Ayo's dialogue)
  6. Editor ID: NPCMZimmer, form ID: 00069359. Other Institute NPCs' voice types' form IDs begin with "0693."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.70: "Doctor Zimmer
    Zimmer, 58, is a very serious, very straight-forward scientist who has traveled to Rivet City from the Commonwealth (Massachusetts) and is in town on business for "the Institute." Zimmer is looking for an escaped robot, an experiment that, in Zimmer's words, is "unstable, and a danger to himself and others." He is, without exception, always in the company of his bodyguard, Armitage."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)