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Mankind - Redefined: The Vault Conspiracy

  • Mr.
    June 10, 2016

     We all know that most Vaults were never intended to save humanity, and were actually social and scientific experiments. That’s the answer we always get. But for them to be monitored experiments, the ones monitoring would have to know that an event was going to happen that would force all the population able to survive said event into the Vault. That event turned out to be the Great War, but, by all accounts… No one knew the bombs were going to hit in the morning of October 23rd, and the entire protocol was rushed to the point that in some locations, not the entire staff team made it to their Vaults. Was this staff somehow detained by unforeseen events? Perhaps, but again, if the intention of Project Safehouse was merely to conduct experiments, you would think Vault-Tec would have made sure everything was right before “triggering” the event (Fallout 4: Vault 111 Overseer terminal entries).

     Another indication that the entire containment protocol was rushed is the fact that the U.S government (or at least part of it, in the form of the Enclave) took some time until they could get back up and running, and seeing that “Project Safehouse” was actually ordered from Vault-Tec by the government, you would think the contractors would be one of the first to know when the planned event was going to happen. (Fallout Bible, Fallout 1/Fallout 2 timeline sequence)

     Could the Enclave have been deceived by Vault-Tec? Perhaps, especially seeing that what finally made the government order Project Safehouse was a convenient disease, one like had  never seen before in the U.S and the entire world, the New Plague, that was coupled with intensifying animosities in the war over the Atlantic, in Europe. Also conveniently, the origins of the New Plague could never be traced, so one could assume that all these events, the Plague, Project Safehouse, and even both the Resource Wars and the Great War were all tied by a secret mastermind behind Vault-Tec, a company that did send a message to the Vaults telling the overseers to ignore all orders, including those coming from the government and the military, and to only consider the ones that came directly from the the company. (Fallout Bible, Vault 111 Overseer Terminal)

     This New Plague also ended up being the excuse West Tek needed to start tinkering with genetics in an attempt to counter the biological menace that the New Plague posed, an initiative that would later be embraced by the government and even the military, evolving into the Pan Immunity Virion Project to finally reach its final stage: the Forced Evolutionary Virus.

     The theory that everything bad happening on the world was actually planned is a haunting one, and as evidenced by the emergence of civilian protests and official statements made by foreign governments across the world expressing discontent with the White House following the leaks that revealed the Pan Immunity Virion Project, all these variables coming together were not part of a hippy underground conspiracy theory. At least not exclusively, and the hippies certainly didn’t know the whole picture.

     The question is: do you support that? Personally, I think that the entirety of the theory is not completely garbage, but I feel like there is something missing, and that something could end up changing our perception and invalidate some or most of the thoughts and evidences that have been presented to you a few sentences ago. Read on to some crazy shit:

                 Mankind - Redefined

    If Vault-Tec did actually deceive the Enclave, they failed miserably, for the Enclave had access to the Vault-Tec construction plans, a way to monitor events taking place within the Vaults and even a way to access and control terminals and systems remotely. (Fallout Bible, Fallout 2 events).

     That is what I consider to be one of the missing elements of the aforementioned theory that it was only a corporation, Vault-Tec, who architected the end of civilized world. But don’t take Vault-Tec out of the equation just yet, they still have a part to play in my theory.

     The lore of Fallout 4, particularly the one surrounding the Institute, brought back an interesting concept to my attention: it was in the Institute’s interests to start civilization from the ground, and although I don’t recall them ever saying that to reach their ends they’d have to exterminate the Wastelanders, that is the only logical way in which they could “redefine” humanity without replacing everyone with synths.

     So holding onto the Institute’s concept of redefining humanity, let’s look at the state of the world before the Great War: the planet’s natural resources were ending, and as a consequence to that the world saw the Resource Wars burst between the European Commonwealth and the Middle-Eastern nations in April 2052. A lot of safety measures were already being taken by the U.S even before the Resource Wars began, like the destabilization of Mexican economy and occupation of that country’s oil refineries so they could ensure that a constant oil supply was being sent North and the expanded military presence in Alaska, the last of the greatest oil reserves around the world that would later serve as the stage of a conflict between the U.S and communist China.

     Now let’s take a look at the events of Fallout 2 and Fallout 3: in Fallout 2, the Enclave’s ultimate goal was to use a modified F.E.V gas stein to purge the earth of the mutated creatures, including humans, while in Fallout 3 the Enclave tries to do the same thing in the Capital Wasteland through the sabotage of Project Purity.

     Now, a final look on the Vaults themselves: we know that most of them were social and scientific experiments, but there were a few selected ones that actually were underground shelters intended to preserve life, “control” Vaults as was the case with Vault 8, that gave birth to Vault-City, and Vault 13, home to the player’s character in Fallout 1. In fact, there is some interesting information found in Fallout Bible 0 and Fallout 2:

     Vault 13 intended to stay closed for 200 years as a study of prolonged isolation, but the broken water chip forced the Overseer to improvise and use the Vault Dweller as a pawn. Later study of the Vault 13 records by the Enclave led them to their current plan to end the war.

     The point in common with both versions is that Vault 13 was supposed to remain closed almost indefinitely, and when its inhabitants were forced to unseal the Vault, something happened that wasn’t planned by either Vault-Tec (Fallout Bible excerpt) or… the Enclave.

     In Fallout 2, during a conversation the player has with the president of the Enclave Dick Richardson about the Vaults, after Richardson reveals that the Vaults were intended to test humanity, the player can ask him about Vault 13:

     Vault Dweller: What about Vault 13? What was it’s purpose?

     Richardson: Ahh. Vault 13 was a special case. It was supposed to remain closed until the subjects were needed. Vault 13 was, in scientific parlance, a control group.

     From Richardson’s commentary and the Fallout bible excerpt, you can reason that the original plan for Vault 13 was invalidated the moment the Overseer was forced to send people out in the wasteland to find a spare water chip in case the one they had broke – the Vault Dweller, Fallout’s player character, was not the first one and was only sent after the chip had actually broken.

     But the most interesting part of Richardson’s answer  for us is this: “… until the subjects were needed”. Now, during Fallout 2 the Enclave captures the residents of Vault 13 to test their new F.E.V stein, but notice how the Vault Dweller asks a question about the purpose of the Vault, and the president answers it in the past, as logic dictates it.

     Can it be an oversight? Sure. But what if the Great War was indeed planned by the government and Vault-Tec, the old world had run its course, what then? Then, the U.S government, who hired Vault-Tec to build underground shelters so they could...

    •       Preserve a selected few humans. Most of the shelters intended to do that were equipped with the G.E.C.K (Garden of Eden Creation Kit)
    •       Submit the remaining Vault dwellers to experiments conducted in their shelters, which we know were being monitored by either Vault-Tec or the Enclave or both. What was the nature of those experiments?

                         a.        There were scientific ones, designed to see human biology’s reaction to extreme conditions of radiation exposure, scientific hubs to try to preserve previous scientific and technological advancements and shelters intended to preserve, study and develop at least something that resembled Old World vegetation and natural life, coupled with the G.E.C.K

                         b.      There were social ones, which encompassed the majority of the experiments, designed to see humanity submitted to extreme social and physical conditions: authoritarian governments, anarchism, isolationism, uniting people from radically different cultural, social and political backgrounds and so on.


     ...So they could do what? Why did they go through all that trouble? What was the point of those experiments? They had to have something they wanted to accomplish with all that.

     They did.

     The Enclave and Vault-Tec intended to preserve humanity’s achievements while at the same time they tried to not let humanity dive into a scientific dark age following the end of the world, hence the existence of research facilities amongst the “Science Vaults”.

     In the “Social Vaults” they were running possible scenarios for the future, trying to find out what would be the best way of reconstructing earth from the ground, what type of government and conditions humans would most easily accommodate to and what would be their breaking point.

     And in the “Preservation Vaults” they selected people who would be fitting to repopulate and reconstruct the earth, together with the official shelters for the higher ups of the government - The Enclave - and Vault-Tec themselves.

     Reset the world. Redefine mankind.

     But something went wrong. Only half of their plan worked (the destruction of the world). Why? China. I’ll leave you now with the last foundation of my theory, the excerpt of an exchange you can have with Dick Richardson in Fallout 2, and I hope to see your thoughts on my thoughts and theories of your own. Thank you for enduring through all this post!


    Richardson: We were winning, too. And then those damn Reds launched everything they had. We barely got our birds up.

    Vault Dweller: Doesn’t seem as though it helped us much

    Richardson: Well, no it didn't. But at least it knocked the damn Red menace back into the stone age.

    Vault Dweller: And us with it.

    Richardson: Well, no. No... not quite. You see, we had planned ahead. We were ready.

    Vault Dweller: What do you mean?

    Richardson: We had a number of sanctuaries that would enable the glorious American civilization to endure. These facilities - the vaults - were part of the great plan.

    Vault Dweller: Those damn vaults didn't work the way they were supposed to. A lot of people in them died.

    Richardson: Actually, they worked almost exactly the way they were supposed to. You might call it a social experiment on a grand scale.

    Vault Dweller: An experiment?

    Richardson: The vaults were set up to test humanity. Some had not enough food synthesizers, others had only men in them, yet others were designed to open after only 6 months. They each had a unique set of circumstances designed to test the occupants.

    Fallout Bible 0. Dick Richardson dialogue files.

  • June 10, 2016
    The second you said: "read on to some crazy shit." I knew it would be good. On my phone but I'll comment more in-depth later. Amazing article Edd!
  • June 10, 2016

    And here I thought that Fallout Lore has nothing to surprise...how wrong I was. I really do need some time to absorb this. Very good, Edd, very good. 

    I don´t have anything to counter-argument with here, so I just say that you convinced me. But I´ll try to dig up some dirt on this. 

  • Mr.
    June 10, 2016

     Hah, yeah, I thought about editing that out but forgot about it. I'll leave it there now.  

     Thanks Probs.

  • Mr.
    June 10, 2016

     Thanks Karver.

     The problem with Fallout lore is that everything is so much fragmented, not only between the games and the many Fallout Bible editions, but also in the games themselves, so it hasn't got enough attention yet to be as diluted and talked about as TES lore.

     Thankfully "The Vault" gampedia exists, it truly is a savior allowing us to dig through the original Fallout dialogue, terminal entries and all that.