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From The Vault

For the player character of Fallout 3, see Lone Wanderer.
Fallout/Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel character
Vault Dweller

Exiled from the Vault
race: Human
affiliation: Vault 13 & Brotherhood of Steel ally
role: Hero of the Wastes / Savior of Mankind
location: Southern California
appearances: Fallout and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
mentioned in: Fallout 2
quests: all quests in Fallout

In a general sense, a vault dweller is any person who lives in one of the Vault-Tec Vaults.

When capitalized, the Vault Dweller is the main character of Fallout, born in Vault 13, famous for defeating the Master and his super mutant army, being exiled from Vault 13, founding the small village of Arroyo and fathering the Village Elder who would bear a child; the Chosen One.




The quest

The Vault Dweller was sent out by the Vault 13 Overseer on a mission to find a replacement for the Vault's broken water chip. In the course of his adventure, he ended up defeating the mutant threat (by blowing up an abandoned military base overrun by the super mutants and housing massive FEV stockpiles) and assassinating the Master and the leader of his cult - the Children of the Cathedral - Morpheus.

Face of the Vault Dweller during the period of Fallout

The exile

In May 2162, the Vault Dweller returned to Vault 13 after defeating the Master and his army and was exiled from the Vault by the Overseer (as it was thought that his contact with the outside world would cause disruption within the vault). He wandered the desert, but never moved far from the mountains that shielded the Vault from the rest of the world. Some other members of the Vault, upon hearing of what happened to him, decided to leave the Vault and join his side, following him soon afterwards. The Vault Dweller eventually found and rejoined this small group of former vault-dwellers. They knew little of the outside world, and would almost certainly have died, had he not been there to assist them. At this time, the Vault Dweller removed his vault suit and never wore it again.

The tribe

Two months later, Vault Dweller headed North, to the great canyons, with a small group of Vault-dwellers and wastelanders and founded the small village of Arroyo. Slowly, he taught them what he had learned in the wastes, and together they learned to thrive. Over time, their ragtag group turned into a tribe. The Vault Dweller fell in love with one of them, named Pat, and they raised a family, like all of their tribespeople. The construction of Arroyo was completed on August 18, 2167.

Initially, they would send scouts back towards the Vault, to help others who thought like themselves, but that slowly came to an end. The Vault Dweller taught the others the skills they would need to survive and grow strong. Hunting, farming and other skills to feed them. Engineering and science to build their homes. Fighting to protect what was theirs.

The Vault Dweller and Pat led the Tribe which grew larger and stronger. In 2188, their daughter, who later became the Elder, was born. Eventually, she and the other children became the leaders of the community.

The departure and end

On January 16, 2208, several years after Pat's death, the Vault Dweller wrote his memoirs. Soon after that, he vanished from Arroyo and was presumed dead. The Vault Dweller left the Vault Suit behind, folded on the bed. Some say the Vault Dweller was taken by the sky spirits, others say that the Vault Dweller felt it was time to move on and leave the Elders to guide Arroyo to its destiny. After the One-Moon (Month) Cycle of mourning for the Vault Dweller ended, activity in Arroyo began to return to normal. Years later, Vault Dweller's grandchild, later called the Chosen One, was born.

Face of the Vault Dweller during the period of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
The following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

There are rumors that after the Vault Dweller left Arroyo, despite his age, he returned to adventuring and becomes a traveler. The only place he was spotted so far is the town of Carbon. Here, he helped some of the people to hide from raiders. He also helped the Initiate who was tracing the remnants of the Master's army and some Texas Brotherhood of Steel paladins, to locate them, directing him to Los. The Initiate traded him something from his past: a rusty Vault 13 flask, who was at the far end of a mill in Carbon Mill. We don't know what became of him afterwards, but it is certain he left Carbon and continued his travel in the Wasteland.


Besides Arroyo and the Chosen One, the Vault Dweller's deeds lived on to the extent that he was revered by a fair portion of the people in the Wasteland. His statue is prominently displayed in the NCR.

Most notably, he was remembered under two names, the Vault Dweller (used by those who believed or outright knew he came from Vault 13) and The Stranger (used by those who while believing in his greatness, doubt he ever came from a Vault.) However he refers to himself as The Wanderer at the end of his memoirs. Children who heard of the story would often play at finding Vault 13, some of these children even growing into adults obsessed with proving the Vault Dweller's former home existed. For a time, President Tandi would sponsor such adventurers. However, after many years of failure, stopped sponsering such people.

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel statistics

He is also one of the playable characters unlocked after you finish Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. He is very similar to Cyrus and Rhombus, though he does have some extra advantages. He's definitely the most powerful playable character in the game.


  • While in Fallout the player could choose to be either male or female, the canon Vault Dweller, as established by Fallout 2, was male.
  • The player could also choose the age of the Vault Dweller at the start of Fallout, but the player is only allowed to make him/her from the age of 16 to 35.


  • I always thought of Fallout's story of drawing straws was something the Overseer thought of. "Look, someone has to go outside, and they may die out there, so let's draw straws". Someone, probably not the Overseer since he wouldn't have gone outside no matter what, demanded that EVERYONE draw a straw in order to be truly fair. But to be honest, the vault dwellers were simply terrified of going outside, and terrified people do not always make the wisest decisions.
    Anyway, when big dumb Larry drew the straw, maybe the Overseer saw a way to rid their limited gene pool of some really bad alleles. - Tim Cain at DAC forum


The Vault Dweller is the player character in the first Fallout. He is mentioned in every Fallout game to date, including Fallout 3 where he is mentioned in the Citadel of the Brotherhood of Steel, on the Maxson family history terminal located in the Archives as an ally of John Maxson. An elder Vault Dweller also makes a cameo in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel as an unlockable player character and the strongest character in the game.


Playable characters in the Fallout games
Major characters of Fallout
Major characters of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Vault 13

This article uses material from the "Vault Dweller" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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