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From The Vault

Vault 0

map marker: Vault 0
leaders: Calculator
The following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

Vault 0 (Vault Zero) is a location in Fallout Tactics.



Unlike most Vaults involved in the Vault Experiment, Vault 0 was not an experiment in human behavior. It was constructed by expanding and reinforcing the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado and was by far the largest of the underground Vaults (by volume). If the interiors were so designed, Vault 0 could easily support a population of well over 100,000 people. Many of the areas that comprise the massive interior layout of Vault 0 were originally designed to be the size of (and were often compared to) aircraft hangars, warehouses and factories; these zones were for the construction of various machines that were ostensibly designed to serve the Vault Dwellers and the Enclave.

Vault 0 was a place where the geniuses of the pre-War United States could be kept in cryogenic stasis - their brains were extracted and frozen for the duration of their "residence" in this Vault. They were hooked up together to one big supercomputer called the Calculator, which was supposed to function in collaboration with the brains of these pre-War geniuses to design and nurture an ideal human society in a post-War U.S. by educating the survivors and residents. One should particularly note that this project goal differs from that of the Enclave in methodology. All the Vault's inhabitants were also using cryogenic stasis rooms to survive through many years of nuclear fallout.

Due to budget cutbacks by the Department of Defense (because of a false sense of safety as a result of the repeated drills), several important backup systems were not included to the neuro-link systems. This made the Calculator corrupted and instead of releasing the robots to make the Wasteland safe for humanity, the robots manufactured from Vault 0 used its arsenal and anywhere else that sufficient armament could be found, to exterminate all life, completing the so called "pacification protocol". As for the unfortunate geniuses plugged in, most of them suffered severe brain damage, dementia, and mental retardation from a combination of age and prolonged radiation exposure (not mutation). Technology, it seemed, has not been affected by the ravages of nuclear radiation.

Vault 0 thus becomes the end-setting of Fallout Tactics, as the player character, the Warrior, and his team of Midwestern Brotherhood of Steel Paladins have to stop the machine. The Warrior's squad come to the Vault 0 after the nuclear explosion that opened the Vault door. There, they finally met the infamous Dagger Squad of the Brotherhood, which consisted of squad leader Paladin Lord Maximus, Tais, Maelyra, Khronis, and Phoenix. Dagger Squad aided the Warrior in defeating the first wave of Vault protectors, and then secured the lift which later could be used to enter the Calculator's chamber. However, the Vault power nodes were rendered offline after explosion, so the Warrior had to activate them. Going through security, living and cryogenics facilities of the Vault, the Warrior battles many robots and encounters remnants of Vault 0's citizens, who were revealed to be severely brain-damaged due to malfunctions in the cryogenic chambers. Ultimately, the Warrior activates the power nodes and proceeds to the lift, entering the Calculator's main lair.

Mission Walkthrough

Vault 0
chapter: 6
location: Vault 0
given by: General Dekker
main objectives: Activate three power nodes to reach the Calculator
optional objectives: none
previous: Cheyenne Mountain
next: Calculator' Lair

This is the second major part of the final mission. The final area is shorter.

Once you arrive, you will be greeted by another BoS squad. The leader can be bartered with, though he doesn't have much more than 2mm ammunition. The area is broken down into four major parts: the entrance ("NW"), security ("SW"), cryogenics("SE"), and the power plant("NE"). All of them are heavily guarded by standard humanoid and security robots.

If you are using the Browning M2 on any of your characters, feel free to waste ammunition, there is a massive supply of it on this level.

Entrance ("NW"):

  • Array your squad so that they have a clear shot down the hallway and make other major preparations before you open the door (use science skill).
  • While there aren't any containers, it may be helpful to drop off some of your heavier equipment at the entrance area since you'll be coming back this way.

Security ("SW"):

  • This is the only door that will open.
  • Behind the door (and the guards) there are two paths through this area. The south path has a terminal which will open the door to cryogenics.
  • The north path has some random equipment and a lot of enemies. There is a terminal in the southwest portion of this area that will open the locks to the armory. Some of the locks in this area require actual skill to pick, and cannot be bypassed using two sets of lockpicks. None of the equipment here is unusual, though the armory does have some additional 2mm ammunition.
  • There is a tank bot with a flail driving around the northern path.

Cryogenics ("SE"):

  • There are a lot of side rooms in this area, all of which are guarded. Most contain nothing of interest.
  • Your objective is a large room on the path which includes several vault zero citizens. You need a citizen head to open the door to the power plant.

Power Plant ("NE"):

  • To enter, use the head of the citizen on the dental scanner.
  • In the first room there are two turrets in addition to the usual guards. Each one has several thousand .50 caliber ammunition,
  • The second room contains a large pool of radioactive goo. If your Rad-X has worn off, you may want to use more in this area (or just Rad-Away anyone who gets radiated).
  • There is a room with two terminals. Use the science skill on both to open the doors to the power plant proper.
  • There is a tank bot with flails in the hallway.
  • The three nodes are on the far NE of the map. Use the science skill on the terminals to activate them. The nodes are guarded by the usual humanoids and a Pacification robot.
  • There is a side room on the SW side of the area with the nodes that includes around 10 Scurry Robots. There are two locked lockers in the room, and you have to crawl to get in.

Once the power plant is active, go back to the first room and activate the console by the elevator to move to the final area.


Vault 0 appears only in Fallout Tactics.


  • The concept of Vault 0 is often considered inconsistent with the Vault Experiment from Fallout 1, 2, and 3.
  • The technology, aesthetic, and design of Vault 0 has nothing in common with other Vaults.
  • The Vault door is significantly weaker than any other Vault, having been blown open by a nuke, as opposed to Vault 87, which survived a direct hit.

Possible Explanations for Inconsistency

  • Due to the nature of Vault 0's interior design and infrastructure, it could very well have been at least one of the means that either Vault-Tec or the Enclave used to scientifically observe the Vault Experiment in progress with minimal interference with each of the Vaults.
  • Vault 0 was said to be the "Nucleus of the Vault Network" - but when the bombs dropped, communication between Vaults ceased. This suggests that each of the Vaults may have been given rudimentary positioning and communication equipment for this purpose and that Vault 0 blocked out other Vaults from accessing each other to keep the Vaults isolated. Vault 0 alone, in theory, would be able to access each of the the other Vaults' systems and databases for observation and review.
  • One can consider that Vault 0 could have been a "Control Vault" by design as well, if not by intent by the minds of Vault-Tec. In order to effectively study and monitor the other Vaults, a Vault in which nothing is done to manipulate the outcome (or circumstances) must be used as a standard of comparison. In Fallout 3, the existence of several other "control" Vaults has been confirmed.
  • Another explanation that would make Vault 0 consistent with the Vault Experiment would be if the Enclave designed Vault 0 to fail as uniquely as it did so that they (the Enclave) could get rid of intellectual opponents and/or would have a large source of military hardware and manufacturing capacity on the mainland if they ever needed it. However, there is nothing to suggest this possibility in-game, except perhaps for the nearly-inexplicable comic ineptness of the people chosen to be the Vault 0 Budget Committee.
  • More likely, Vault 0 was not part of the Vault Experiment by intent, and merely used the name to be more publicly identifiable. Logs found in FO:T suggest that Vault 0 was built by lowest-bid government contractors and not specifically Vault-Tec itself, and the integrity of the project quickly took a backseat to political grandstanding and pork-barrel waste.
  • If the President, his Cabinet, and various unnamed power brokers formed the Enclave to withstand the Great War, then Vault 0 was the project formed by the legislators and officials who weren't important, powerful, or intelligent enough to be included in the Enclave.
  • The utter and catastrophic failure of Vault 0 to do anything it was designed to do can be viewed as a satire of governmental waste and incompetence to be contrasted with the plotting, sinister Enclave - who clearly were right in thinking they wanted nothing to do with this bloated, doomed project or the political twonks in charge of it.
  • Vault 0 could also not be a Vault, but a military base in the mountains, converted into a Vault. This explains the presence of Enclave.
  • Vault 0 was possibly the only Vault not to be part of the experiment, and was intended for what it was advertised for, safety in case of a nuclear attack, and merely wasn't finished or the would be inhabitants weren't given enough time to evacuate their homes and enter the Vault.

Behind the scenes

  • The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is also the location of the fictional Military Strategic Defense Initiative, like the Sentient Computer System called "SkyNET" from the Terminator series of films. Many further Terminator references are made throughout the Fallout: Tactics. It is also a real military site; there is also a ( zoo on the other side of the mountain) in real life.
  • The Complex was also used in the television series Stargate SG-1 as the base of operations for the fictional "Stargate" program.
  • Cheyenne Mountain remains a military base today and is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is the location of most of the United State's missile targeting systems and missile defense systems.
  • This is also the housing for the W.O.P.R. super computer in the movie War Games.
Fallout Tactics missions
Vault-Tec Vaults

This article uses material from the "Vault 0" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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