Constructed by Vault-Tec as a genetic ark intended for ecosystem restoration, Vault 96 was supposed to attempt to force nature back into equilibrium after a catastrophic event. This was based around two key components: An almost inexhaustible number of frozen embryos ready to be artificially gestated to full maturity and automated keeper robots to protect them when they leave the Vault. Embryos constituted a carefully chosen, fully complete ecosystem referred to as "core fauna". The Vault had enough material for 112 releases, until the system stabilized itself or the outside world turned out to be simply uninhabitable. Releases were timed to coincide with Vault Exoduses. In ideal conditions, the corporation planned for 5 full ecosystem releases before a human Vault opened, to provide a more habitable region to re-develop. Vault 96 was designed to run on a skeleton crew of just six highly trained people: Randall Evola (overseer), Ryan Harvey (cryogenics), Nina Valaya (biology), Jeanette Higgins (robotics), and Orrin Cantwell with Jasper Fry (maintenance).
Although established with good intentions in mind, robotic surveys performed outside the Vault quickly demonstrated that the world outside was a lot more hostile than expected. Rampant mutations were quickly turning the new world into a place where the old systems stored in Vault 96 were no longer viable. However, the team continued on schedule, attempting to release the wildlife as per their mission. Strong genetic and physical differences made their chances for success tenuous - but it was still better than just abandoning the Vault.
The pattern continued until the underlying flaws in the Vault's design and infrastructure revealed themselves: Generator 1 started experiencing intermittent failures, leading to the Vault door failing and letting mutated creatures from the outside (as they were a relatively near match for the animals contained within). Although robotic security managed to fend the mutated creatures off, the situation steadily deteriorated due to a limited supply of spare parts and equipment - with nothing to repair Generator 1 with.
The staff of the Vault managed to perform five manual releases before the automated ecosystem release system took over. All of the systems switched to automatic mode when the skeleton crew became real skeletons, together with the failing Generator I.
Vault 63, 94 and 96 are associated with Vault raids, a team quest where there is an emergency in the Vault that must be fixed. Player characters are notified through an emergency radio beacon. These are instanced dungeons, where groups of 1-4 can enter and attempt to complete the raid for the chance at unique rewards.
The Vault's exterior consists of a raised platform featuring a helipad, which is accessible from the ground using a staircase. A blue freight elevator adjacent to the staircase is inoperable, and the carriage has stalled between ground level and the platform. Four derelict vehicles are scattered around the area beneath the platform. Atop the platform lie various construction materials and pieces of machinery, along with a small booth containing only a pair of black-rim glasses and some junk items. There are no apparent means of communicating with the vault's residents or opening it from the outside.
Judging by the localization files, there are two types of events planned for inclusion:
- One where the player has to save the frozen embryos by repairing the failing generator responsible for maintaining the power to the cryonic sections.
- Another one where the player has to wipe out the mutants that invaded the Vault and are threatening the de-iced core fauna, since the Vault will sterilize the interior should active mutations persist.
- It is not currently possible to open the Vault 96 door or officially access its interior without using glitches. It is slated to be opened alongside Vault 94 and Vault 63 in summer 2019 as part of an update that includes high-level group Vault raids.
- The vault's interior is unfinished and has two desks along with a door making a barricade blocking off the next room. The vault is infested with mirelurks, and a mirelurk queen is at the end of the vault in a giant chamber. These rooms can only be accessed by clipping bugs.
Vault 96 appears only in Fallout 76.
- Vault 96 terminals
- Vault 96 terminals
- Vault 96 terminals: "Aberrant Forms
I've observed a number of abberant forms in the vault. We've had accidental de-icings; Cryogenics and Maintenance are usually on top of it and we can track down the escaped fauna - but this is different. I'm noticing strong physical and genetic differences from the samples in the vault itself. This implies external contamination - but the genetics are close enough that they are getting in somehow.
I'm going to fine-tune and re-calibrate identification systems, but recent survey runs by robots outside the vault indicate that mutation could be rampant and create a hostile environment to pre-war fauna. The old ecosystems that this vault was intended to restore may no longer be viable."
- Vault 96 terminals: "Generator 1
I think the problem is Generator 1. It's failing intermittently, which leads to the automated systems prioritizing system power. I think that the "Abberant Forms" that Nina described get in during these downtime windows, because the system assumes that a giant metal door will be a good enough security measure, so it allows mutated forms in. There may come a time when robotic security can't handle this and we have to fight them off. This may continue until we repair Generator 1, but I don't have the equipment in the vault to perform the neccesary repairs. Please Advise.
- Vault 96 terminals: "Contaminant Report
While most systems seem to be operating normally, the vault release door apparently is having issues distinguishing between the hostile mutations that Nina identified and our stock. If it's a software issue, I can't help but I can work on preparing us for the worst - a full on breach.
- Vault 96 terminals: "CURRENT STATUS: Systems under fully automated control
LAST MANUAL LOGIN: 19 August 2020
NUMBER OF MANUAL ECOSYSTEM RELEASES: 5
NUMBER OF AUTOMATED ECOSYSTEM RELEASES: 21
CURRENT EXTERIOR CLIMATE: Extremely Hostile"
- Vault 96 terminals: "CRYOGENIC SYSTEMS: Operational; automated due to lack of manual response
LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS: Operational; automated due to lack of manual response
ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS: Partially Operational. Generator 1 appears to be experiencing intermittent failure"
- Fallout 76 - 100 Days, Roadmap for 2019