The Nuka-World DLC of Fallout 4 adds plenty of interesting set pieces to the game — from jungle-themed attractions to kids-friendly rides. However, there’s one that stands out from the rest, and it just happens to be an attraction set up by Vault-Tec. In classic Vault-Tec fashion, it involves questionable practices and even human experimentation.
Vault-Tec: Among the Stars can be found in the Galactic Zone of Nuka-World in Fallout 4. The player will have to explore the area as it’s part of multiple quests, such as “Precious Medals,” “Star Control,” and “Trip to the Stars.”
Vault-Tec: Among the Stars in Fallout 4: Nuka-World
Among the Stars was an attraction built by Fallout’s Vault-Tec to showcase their vaults. One interesting thing to note here is that the vaults were advertised as living facilities that would be built on distant planets. As the player walks past the set pieces, a narrator explains Vault-Tec’s intentions. At one point, the voiceover mentions a place known as Arcturus Prime, a desolate land scorched by sunlight. It then goes on to say that Vault-Tec’s technology can help create a home even in Arcturus Prime’s harsh conditions. Enter, vaults.
The next few sections of the attraction feature what a vault might look like. It has the classic vault door and the entrance hall, followed by an atrium, living quarters, and even a hydroponics room. When the player finds their way to the exit, the narrator will speak of “a thrilling new adventure,” where Vault-Tec has built hundreds of vault colonies across the galaxy. It’s certainly an ambitious plan, but it doesn’t seem like Vault-Tec was able to live up to it. Though at least they had multiple vaults built on Earth, including Fallout 4’s Commonwealth.
Vault-Tec Trying to Drive Up Sales
Once the presentation is over, the player can step out of the attraction and into an open area where Vault-Tec sales representatives would have been stationed. The terminals there detail specifically how the representatives were supposed to sell the vaults and “convert” park-goers into applicants. According to the terminal entries in Fallout 4, it’s all doable in three easy steps: “Introduction, Initiation and Information,” which sounds suspiciously like a cult recruitment method.
To start, introductions should make the potential applicants “feel like they’re already home and a part of the Vault-Tec family.” Sales reps could make small talk or offer them a drink to get them comfortable. Once this was accomplished, they could then move on to initiation. Here, the sales reps were to explain the benefits of vault life. And if the potential applicant appeared skeptical, they were to give them “History Of Radiation Burns” or the “Mutations: It Could Happen To You” brochures — just to sell how safe Vault-Tec’s facilities were against such dangers.
Should the park-goer decide to apply as a future vault resident, the sales rep was then required to present them with eight different documents. This included suspicious forms on organ donation and rights revocation that they would need to fill up. Even worse, the new applicant would have to fill all eight forms in quintuplicate — no doubt a lovely thing for an adult to spend time on during their day out in Fallout 4’s Nuka-World.
Though aside from the blatant propaganda to make Vault-Tec seem like a shining corporation, there were other questionable practices occurring under the radar. Vault-Tec just couldn’t resist setting up an experiment in Fallout 4. Luis Bateman, one of the project’s scientists, arranged for five different experiments to be tested on both the park-goers and the staff who went through the Among the Stars attraction.
The first experiment involved emitting an electromagnetic field that interfered with a person’s brainwave patterns. The second involved subliminal suggestion through audio queues overlaid with a specific frequency, similar to Fallout 3’s Vault 92. A scientist named Langston was in charge of this second experiment, and he reported considerable success. He managed to get some park-goers to remove their hats or scratch their noses. Other suggestions, however, were more intense as Langston got someone to shove the person in front of them, resulting in a fistfight. Suffice to say, he stayed away from the potentially violent suggestions after that.
The third experiment involved releasing hypnotic pheromones made from a genetically modified plant into the air, while the fourth exposed park-goers to small doses of theta-band radiation. Another scientist was in charge of this station — a man named Grunner. Grunner reported that people were reacting to the radiation with dizziness and fatigue, which was to be expected. Though he was getting bored recording the same effects on different park-goers all day. Still, he didn’t have a choice as Bateman was keeping a close eye on him.
In later reports, however, Grunner would start complaining about falling asleep on the job, and the operations engineer, Hodgson, would start experiencing headaches, loss of memory, and nosebleeds. This is where the fifth experiment comes in. Bateman had made it so the first four experiments were administered to all the staff so he could see their long-term effects on human subjects. Clearly, they had the desired consequences.
Soon, Grunner would catch on to what Bateman was doing and lock himself in his station within the exhibit. Around this time, the bombs were about to fall, so Langston ran into the exhibit, yelling and panicking. Grunner, his anger having been exacerbated by the effects of the experiments, couldn’t tolerate Langston’s screaming anymore, so he shot him. Not knowing what to do after, he then took his own life.
By the time Fallout 4’s Sole Survivor arrives in Vault-Tec: Among the Stars, the place is deserted. However, the experiments are still active. Walking through the exhibits triggers quiet audio tracks, electromagnetic impulses, and built-in sprays. These result in visual distortions in the player’s view as well as temporary debuffs in the character’s S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes in Fallout.
It’s hard to believe that Vault-Tec got away with these experiments for so long, but on the other hand, the amount of power and influence they have warranted it to some degree. It only goes to show how malevolent Vault-Tec is, willing to put its staff and clients in danger for the company’s gain. That said, their legacy is sure to be felt even in Fallout 5.
Fallout 4 is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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