The Fallout series is frequently praised for its numerous quest lines and spectacular focus on environmental atmosphere. Every major location can hide some unnerving (or comedic) details of what occurred there in the past. Fallout 4 is certainly no exception.
In this list, we examine some of the most meticulously-crafted environmental stories, told through battle carnage, terminal worklogs, holotapes, grisly displays, and other scenic details.
SPOILER ALERT: While none of these areas are predominately featured in main questlines, they reveal some very spooky and unique tales that you may not want to spoil for yourself. Read on at your own risk.
Constructed underneath Malden Middle School, Vault 75 was touted as a safe haven for children in the event of catastrophic war. When the bombs fell in 2077, the children with their designated families and teachers took refuge within the vault. Not long after, all adults were separated from the children and killed by Vault security.
Like many of Vault-Tec‘s vaults, Vault 75 had it’s own secret agenda, in this case, it was to enhance the gene pool of its housed children to create stronger and more intelligent subjects. The surviving children were tested mentally and physically as part of the experiment.
Inside the vault, the children were lectured about “Uptopland”, which was portrayed as a catastrophic, deadly place that could only be remedied by the children themselves. The futures of the children were decided by their potential. If they were intelligent and physically well built, they were either “harvested” for their good genes when they turned eighteen or were recruited to the vault’s science team after graduation. If they were deemed insufficient to the vault’s standards, they were killed upon “completing” the program.
At some point, the vault was emptied of it’s inhabitants. Terminal logs allude to a rebellion orchestrated by some of the children, who were aided by a graduate scientist. It’s unknown just how successful it was, or just how many children actually left the vault to explore the wasteland above.
Interestingly enough, the Chief Scientist’s terminal references Stanislaus Braun (from the infamous Tranquility Lane quest line in Fallout 3). Braun was listed as organizing the research schedule for the vault.
This small-time science and weapons upstart seems to have taken a page out of Vault-Tec’s morally bankrupt practices. You can find the HalluciGen building northeast of Diamond City. When entering for the first time, you’ll be greeted by a warning announcement, bright green gas, and the sounds of combat echoing through the building.
It’s easy to assume two factions are battling for more territory, but as you venture further in, you’ll notice it’s only occupied by The Gunners fighting amongst themselves! The toxic gas filling the building is actually an experimental hallucinogenic compound developed by HalluciGen’s engineers. The gas, along with several other HalluciGen products, were developed to act as a suppressant against hostile combatants. Though you can see quite clearly it doesn’t work as intended.
By examining the front desk terminal, you can read a document outlining the protocol of gathering test subjects for these experimental products. Visitors to the business were drugged and taken into various test chambers. Other terminals within the building reveal debrief documents for various experiments on subjects, along with a ‘revised’ financial document that blatantly lies about the economic success of the company. The most damning of all is the CEO’s schedule, who had a meeting with the leader of the Ethics Review Board and decided to personally drug him, too.
The second floor of the building houses an observation deck that offers a vantage point for all of HalluciGen’s products, including flamethrowers, explosives, and Tesla coils. The live demonstrations of these products were used on living test subjects by the company’s potential clients. The demonstrations are still functional, and can be activated on any unsuspecting Gunners still in the area.
Be sure to check the crafting station near the bottom of the building. If you’re carrying a HalluciGen gas canister, you’ll be able to craft special Hallucigen gas grenades that’ll allow you bring the chaos with you!
Hospitals aren’t ever a fun place to explore, and the Milton General Hospital is no different. However, a little unmarked parking garage adjacent to the hospital carries some horrific surprises. The outside doors are painted with arrows, hoping to invite any confident scavengers to its potential riches. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious mastermind with a taste for the macabre created his own deadly maze inside.
Nuzzled within each floor of the parking garage, players will find hordes of fresh bodies and deadly traps. Behind every corner, you will see just how unlucky the previous explorers were. There are severed heads on spikes and bodies tangled in barbed wire. The maze includes the most grotesque Christmas tree in existence – adorned with a severed human head on top.
Trespassers must observe every detail with a keen eye, or they might spring a fatal trap. Tripwire contraptions fitted with shotguns, missile launchers, and laser pistols are scattered across every floor. Be sure to watch out for any rigged bathroom scales; they’ll explode if you aren’t careful. To further complicate the trek through the maze, a horde of ghouls have made themselves comfortable near the top of the garage.
The madman responsible has created several choices for explorers, and multiple routes throughout the building are marked with a mysterious “?” for warning. Near the end of the garage there is a choice between three doors. Two of them contain rigged weapons on the other side.
Perhaps the most diabolical contraption can be found at the end of the maze, where you’ll find two jail cells filled with great loot, and a choice to be made. If you open a door to one cell, the stash in the opposite cell explodes, destroying everything inside. The Commonwealth is full of tragedy, but the destruction of quality items might be the worst loss of all.
Thankfully, to make the nightmare worthwhile, the creator left behind a Hot Rod magazine that allows players to customize their Power Armor in a distinct shade of hot pink.
The Downtown portion of the Commonwealth is teeming with danger at every turn, whether it’s groups of raiders or trigger-happy mutants. It’s easy to miss this small red door to a humble art gallery in the northeast corner of the city. Be warned though, it takes a strong stomach to explore the Pickman Gallery.
The gallery is filled with some disturbing examples of fine art, including a severed, bloody hand locked in a case. One display features a fresh corpse propped inside of a coffin, holding a cluster of white flowers. The paintings hanging on the walls are unsettling portraits of all of Pickman’s victims, painted in shades of black and blood red. The center of the room features a prominent display of gore and severed heads spread out across a makeshift altar. Not even the bathroom is safe from the artist, who felt to make a creative statement with plungers and bloody bones.
By traveling to the second floor, you can find Pickman’s primary work space, filled with in-progress creations. His bedroom on the third floor is relatively tame…with the exception of several coffins. Behind Pickman’s gallery is a small graveyard, it’s speculated the artist frequently visited the graveyard to replenish his art supplies.
The basement is filled with mounds of dirt, hiding clusters of individual bones. Venturing further, you can find the artist’s most recent painting, which displays long shadowy hands reaching out to a single great eye above them. There is a used paintbrush beside the painting, along with the paint itself. On closer inspection, it appears it’s not paint at all, but blood from the artist’s victims. Behind the painting, you’ll find a mound of corpses.
Pickman himself can be found in the sewers underneath his gallery, surrounded by a group of revenge-starved raiders. Feel free to save him if you wish, he’ll reward you handsomely with a key to a special safe behind one of his grotesque paintings. Inside, you can find a unique knife, and this creepy thank-you note.
The name Dunwich can strike fear into the hearts of seasoned Fallout players. In the northeast corner of the Commonwealth, an immense quarry named the Dunwich Borers can be found. The quarry itself seems innocent enough, most likely used to harvest granite from the earth. But exploring deep into its recesses reveals something much more sinister.
The first point of interest is a large metal cage near the bottom of the quarry. A fire is lit underneath, and it appears that several people were chained inside and burned alive. From the bottom of the quarry, you can enter an underground section into a sprawling mine, where the real mysteries begin to reveal themselves.
Initial digging through workplace terminals reveals that the site was extremely hazardous and it’s management cut countless corners with employee safety. In one log, it’s revealed that management actually collected dislodged eyes from workplace accidents as props to scare employees into wearing protective eyewear.
A curious detail in all of the workplace terminals calls for managers of various stations to come to Station 4, located deep within the mine. An entry also ominously mentions “The Pit”, a large hole that can be discovered at the mine’s deepest point.
By retrieving various holotapes, and experiencing some vivid flashback sequences, the player discovers a station manager named Tim Shoots was ordered by upper management to lure groups of employees deep into the mine to be sacrificed in a bizarre ritual. It’s speculated that those present were immediately turned to ghouls, despite being several hundred feet underground.
More answers can be found by jumping in a deep hole near the end of the mine. There, you will spot an unearthed face of a looming titan. It appears Dunwich was using the quarry as a means to reveal a giant Lovecraftian-horror entity. The various tremors felt while exploring the mine could allude to this giant titan trying to unearth itself. The entity also appears to have the ability to control people’s minds, and uses their efforts to further excavate itself. By visiting Hugo’s Hole near the quarry, you can discover what happens when someone tries to interfere with that process.
Players who clear this supernatural hotspot will be rewarded with a powerful machete known as Kremvh’s Tooth, which can be found on an altar deep in the hole. The blade was used in various sacrificial rituals to the Lovecraftian titan.
The Commonwealth hides even more mysteries within it’s barren buildings. Be sure to leave no stone untuned in your journey across the Wasteland. There’s bound to be even more strange stories to be discovered.