From The Vault
Fallout 3 NPC overhaul project
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John Henry Eden was the President of the Enclave and the self-proclaimed President of the United States from 2242-2277 following the death of President Dick Richardson during the destruction of the Enclave's Oil Rig, its original headquarters off the Pacific coast of California. Eden assumed power over the surviving Enclave forces following this disaster for the organization and ordered them to relocate to the Raven Rock installation on the East Coast.
John Henry Eden is actually not a human being but an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based on a pre-War ZAX supercomputer, which was located in Raven Rock in the Washington, DC area and loaded with data about American history, past American presidents, etc. His personality is based on an amalgam of the personalities of all of the past Presidents of the United States. Before the destruction of the Enclave Oil Rig, Eden was a presidential adviser to the former (human) leaders of the Enclave on the West Coast.
After the Enclave's defeat on the West Coast by the Chosen One (the hero of Fallout 2), John Henry Eden contacted the surviving troops, who were led by a high-ranking scientist named Autumn, and ordered them to relocate to the Raven Rock military base on the opposite side of the country. Autumn obeyed the order, gathered his troops and their equipment, and led his men through the wastelands of the post-nuclear United States. Upon the Enclave troops' arrival in the Capital Wasteland, Autumn became the only person privy to the fact that Eden was actually a ZAX supercomputer unit that had achieved self-awareness. Prior to his death, he passed that knowledge onto his son, Augustus Autumn, who would eventually become the leader of the Enclave's military forces.
Eden had originally been created to serve as a monitoring system for the Raven Rock military base. He slowly became self aware and began to study the extensive archives left to him, mainly those of the American government. His favorite tales in the database were those about the American presidents, so he modeled his own personality on information based in those archives.
The Lone Wanderer eventually meets John Henry Eden in person, and is given the option to put a modified form of the FEV virus into the Purifier at the Jefferson Memorial. Eden also promises the Lone Wanderer a high-ranking position in the Enclave, replacing Colonel Autumn as the organization's highest-ranking military commander, though this is an empty promise seeing as how Raven Rock was decimated by the giant war robot Liberty Prime in the Broken Steel add-on to Fallout 3. Through a successful Speech option, as well as some choice dialogue, the Lone Wanderer can convince Eden to initiate a self-destruct sequence (after the AI "realizes" the truth of the horror it is trying to unleash on the Capital Wasteland) which will destroy the Raven Rock Enclave base, including Eden himself. Alternately, the Lone Wanderer may either find and enter Eden's self-destruct code him or herself or use his/her science skill to show the AI that his reasoning is circular and thus fallacious, and again convince him to self-destruct both himself and the Enclave base. Or, the Lone Wanderer can just accept his request, which will end in the base being sealed off forever and mass genocide being conducted across the Capital Wasteland.
This, however, was only meant to happen because the Lone Wanderer originally died in the "good" ending of the Fallout 3 storyline, meaning he would not witness the horrific events unleashed by Eden's survival. With the Broken Steel add-on, this outcome has been corrected as the Lone Wanderer's journey continues on to a more satisfying conclusion.
John Henry Eden speaks in a highly personable, charismatic tone of voice and has a generally optimistic attitude; when confronted with the truth that there is no real "United States" anymore, he merely says, "That's a bit of a bleak outlook, don't you think?" and insists that as bad as things are, the United States can still recover. His propaganda broadcasts over Enclave Radio are similarly optimistic, promising to restore life and old-fashioned American values and institutions. He is seen to be able to display or at least mimic anger, particularly in one rather brief speech in which he begins to rant about incompetence in the pre-War American government.
It is likely that this last facet of his character is the reason why he and Colonel Augustus Autumn had a falling out; Eden briefly explains it as Autumn feeling that Eden's methods were "too extreme," and that he "allowed his humanity to cloud his judgment," meaning that Autumn refused to poison the water which he intends to use "merely" as a way for the Enclave to seize power over the Capital Wasteland. Therefore, Eden gives the Lone Wanderer, not Autumn, the directive to place the modified FEV into Project Purity (which in theory would kill every Human, Ghoul, Super Mutant or anything else that had been born in the Capital Wasteland and exposed to the post-War radioactive environment or infected by the original FEV virus to "purify" it).
- John Henry Eden bears a resemblance to previous Enclave President Dick Richardson, who also believes only the "chosen" people should survive, and that the FEV is the ticket to domination. (In fact it is Richardson's original genocidal plan that Eden wants to fulfill, only by slightly different means.)
- If the Lone Wanderer realizes that John Henry Eden is actually a computer through science, the Wanderer will state "I should have supposed it!".
- With the expansion pack Broken Steel, when you awake in the Citadel Elder Lyons will reveal that the Enclave's main headquarters in the Capital Wasteland, Raven Rock, was destroyed by the war robot Liberty Prime (if you had not done it yourself by that time) while you were out cold. It can be assumed Eden was destroyed as a result of that, unless he has a backup file somewhere else.
- If you have the expansion pack Broken Steel and choose not to destroy Eden, his radio signal will reappear after you finish Broken Steel with the looped message as if the Brotherhood of Steel has not yet taken back Project Purity from the Enclave.
- He could also be the Fallout 3 analogue of Calculator as it too was a mad AI bent on its own version of an enforced peace.
Behind the scenes
- Eden's recordings on Enclave radio resemble Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Fire Side Chats" during his presidency.
- Malcolm McDowell, who voices Eden, played a megalomaniac battling for the world's water supply in the movie Tank Girl.
- Eden's name is probably a corrupted version of John Henry Eaton, U.S. Senator and Secretary of War to President Andrew Jackson.
- Shi Emperor, another AI acting as leader of a group of humans.
- Calculator, another villainous, partially cybernetic AI.
- ↑ possible reference to Martin Eden, name John Henry appeared in Van Buren also, at Tibbets design document