Some time after the defeat of the Master in 2162, the Brotherhood of Steel constructed airships and dispatched some of its soldiers East, to track down and assess the extent of the remaining super mutant threat. However, a great storm broke the main airship and flung it far from its course. The other airships were torn apart and lost.
The mighty airship was badly damaged. The meteorological disturbances were so intense that sections of the craft were wrenched free of the ship and lost, leading to casualties among those onboard. Even the leaders of the expedition were not spared, with many of them being lost, including Paladin Latham. The survivors managed to keep their battered ship aloft, but eventually they came down on the ruined city's outskirts. Those who made it clear of the wreck eventually formed an organization called the Midwestern Brotherhood of Steel, which diverged greatly from the ideals of the original Brotherhood of Steel. In time, they established a harsh rule over the towns and villages near Chicago, controlled from Bunker Alpha. The sky over the city is always dark and stormy, and the city seems to be completely deserted.
However, there are suggestions that the Enclave maintains outposts within the ruins. There is also a West Coast mutant population, that the Brotherhood fought (or assimilated). It is also where Tommy recovered ED-E, and after pleading with his father, brought it back to his mother's garage for repairs.
- The remains of Chicago appear only in the Fallout Tactics intro, but not directly in-game. It is the most likely location of Bunker Alpha and the beginning of the main campaign, or if not, it is definitely in close proximity.
- Chicago is mentioned in conversations with Fallout 3 by Scribe Jameson or Scribe Rothchild about fighting super mutants or by asking about where the rest of the Brotherhood of Steel is.
- The city is also mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas on a recording found on ED-E during the quest ED-E My Love, hinting at Enclave outposts located there.
- It is furthermore mentioned in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Lonesome Road, when the copy of ED-E is telling the Courier about Whitley and his journey to Navarro, to which the Courier will reply, "What's a Chicago?" and "Illin-what? You're making that name up." if they haven't met the Mojave ED-E.
- In Fallout 4 it is mentioned on the holotape Welcome home!, as well as the source of the Skylanes 1981 flight in Skylanes smuggling manifest.
- The city is mentioned in notes found at Aaronholt homestead in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
Chicago is based on the real world location of Chicago, Illinois, in the Midwest United States.
- Whitley: "Subject E: Diagnosis complete. Begin Recording.
My name is Whitley. I'm a researcher at Adams Air Force base. Until recently I was in charge of the Duraframe reinforcement project for the combat model Eyebots.
Eyebot Duraframe Subject E is both the prototype, and the last functional model in this test group.
I was prepared to make several significant upgrades to the machines.
However, as the project was canceled and all Duraframe assets are being diverted to Hellfire Armor, I am sending this model to the Navarro outpost.
If you are listening to this log from one of our Enclave Outposts in Chicago, give this unit whatever repairs it needs so it can continue to Navarro."
Notes: ED-E's recording
- The Lone Wanderer: "Care to share anything about the Super Mutants?"
Elizabeth Jameson: "The Brotherhood has been battling Super Mutants for decades. First out West, then in Chicago. Now here. But this group of Super Mutants is different, somehow. Physically, yes, but mentally as well. If we knew where they came from, we'd know why."
(Elizabeth Jameson's dialogue)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.71: "Elder Owyn Lyons
Lyons, 75, was already highly decorated when he set out from the order's West Coast headquarters, leading a party of soldiers on a mission to reestablish contact with the "Eastern Brotherhood." He discovered this abandoned Pentagon military complex. The presence of Super Mutants sent a chill up the collective spine of the Brotherhood; these weren't the children of the dreaded Master, nor were they the remnants of the band that fled east and were ultimately destroyed (or assimilated into the Brotherhood of Steel) in the Chicago area. No, this was a new breed of Super Mutant, one with a local origin. But where did they come from? What did they want? How were they reproducing? Elder Lyons was ordered to discover the source of this new Super Mutant infestation and wipe it from the face of the earth. Recent weeks have seen him galvanize his "Pride" to thwart the remnants of the Enclave forces, and to provide drinking water to all."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
- The Courier: "Sounds like that kid was pretty fond of you. Why did you leave?"
The Courier: "Where did this happen?"
The Courier: "Illinois? So that's where you got that plate. The other you, I mean."
The Courier: "What's a Chicago?"