Here's the lore behind the vaults in the Fallout TV show

Here's the lore behind the vaults in the Fallout TV show
Images via Amazon

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


16th Apr 2024 15:42

The Fallout TV show introduced a few new vaults to the universe it shares with the games, and while it uncovers the mystery of these places, it may be worth learning exactly what the purpose of each one is.

Vaults in Fallout are generally quite deceptive. While pegged as shelters that the people of 2077 could use to escape from the ensuing nuclear holocaust, they were actually far more sinister. 

The majority of them house experiments by Vault Tec and the Enclave, which are done with the ultimate purpose of gathering enough information to construct a starship for colonising another world, and selecting humanity's "brightest and best" to be a part of the expedition.

As of 2296, when the show takes place, this goal has essentially failed. Both Fallout 2 and 3 result in the near-complete destruction of the Enclave remnants, and many of the vaults we explore in the games have fallen apart from experiments going awry or some other external forces.

What's the deal with the vaults in the Fallout TV show though?

SPOILER WARNING: The following article will contain heavy spoilers for the events of Episodes 6, 7, and 8 of the Fallout TV show.

Fallout TV show vaults explained

In the show, we learn about four new vaults located within California: Vault 4, 31, 32, and 33.

Vault 31, 32 & 33

Vault 31 in the Fallout show
Click to enlarge

We begin in Vault 33 as we're introduced to one of the protagonists Lucy, and over the course of the show, her brother Norm uncovers the experiment behind 33 and its connected Vaults 31 and 32.

Essentially, these are three connected vaults, secretly run by Vault 31 and its Overseer, a Brain-on-a-Roomba called Bud Askins who was a Vault Tec executive before the war. As part of his project called Bud's Buds, many trusted higher-ups in the company are frozen in the vault to then be introduced to future generations as the Overseers for 32 and 33.

The goal here is to then create Vault Tec loyalists who could then dominate the wasteland once the day comes that those giant doors open.

The citizens of Vault 32 find out about this before the show, resulting in the death of everyone in the vault as they turn on each other, give up, or go crazy from the realisation that they're just guinea pigs.

Vault 4

Vault 4 in the Fallout show
Click to enlarge

Vault 4 has a much different experiment, and one that's arguably way more messed up. It was staffed by scientists with the goal of creating hybrids from humans and various radioactive-resistant species.

Eventually, these subjects all rebelled and killed the scientists, and when Lucy and Maximus come across the vault in the show, many of the descendants of these hybrids now live in the vault with refugees from Shady Sands.

Vault 4 has one of the happier endings as far as Vaults go in the Fallout universe, with the oppressed rising against their oppressors and then using their safety to help others.

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Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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