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Fallout

Up to date as of February 01, 2010
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From The Vault

Water Chip
weight: 2
value: 10000 (FO1)
10 (FO2)

The Water Chip is a device which regulates the filtering system of a water purifier and monitors the output for any contamination. Standard for all Vaults. The original Fallout game began when Vault 13's water chip apparently broke and there were no replacements. The original Vault Dweller is sent to find a new one, and finds one in Vault 12, the vault underneath Necropolis and returns it to Vault 13. Due to a mix up in shipping, Vault 8 received Vault 13's additional water chips in place of their allotted Garden of Eden Creation Kit (which went to Vault 13). On the second level of Vault 8 in Fallout 2, hundreds of these can be seen and taken, but aren't valuable, being worth $1 each.

The game's referral to the device as a "chip" is remarkable given that, in the Fallout universe, integrated circuits (the origin of the word, as in "silicon chip") were apparently never invented, all technology relying on masses of discrete components and hence being huge and cumbersome. Indeed, the in-game visuals of the device, both the 3D rendering and the background circuit diagram, indicate that it is built entirely using thermionic valves, not even discrete transistors, in the traditional style of such 50's technology, as a metal box chassis with protruding glass vacuum tubes - the "chip" may not actually contain any silicon at all. The name is also slightly misleading in that the chip itself does not produce or process water, but controls other equipment that does.

Through another strange twist in fate, primarily due to the Guardian of Forever, the Chosen One in Fallout 2 actually broke the original Vault 13 water chip by traveling back in time to the Fallout era, setting that story in motion. (Whether or not this is canon is debatable.)

Apparently, many vaults are in short supply of water chips, or run low on them over time. In Fallout 3, the Lone Wanderer can opt to force the residents of Vault 101 to leave their sealed vault by destroying what is apparently their only remaining water chip.

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

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