Best (and Worst) Vault Experiments

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Iprovidelittlepianos, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos A Smooth-Skin

    May 12, 2020
    Recently there’s been some discussion about Vault Experiments around here and it’s got me thinking. The most hardcore of us seem to think that the experiments were a mistake and should never have made it into the games, while it seems most of us tend to think the experiments were a halfway decent concept with questionable execution (and that’s not even getting into the Bethesda experiments…) I tend to fall in the latter group but, like everyone else, I probably have my own unique opinions as to what constitutes a “good” vault experiment.

    To my knowledge there aren’t any recent posts discussing which experiments are worth it and which experiments should’ve been left in the fallout bible where they belong, so I thought I’d make this thread for anyone who wishes to share their opinions on the matter.

    So without further ado, here’s my own abbreviated list:

    Vault 15: as a general rule, I don’t like the fact that Fallout 1 vaults got retconned into this whole experiment. I prefer to take Fallout 1’s word that their failures were a result of shoddy workmanship as opposed to mustache-twirling mad scientists. That being said, I’ve never had a problem with Vault 15’s “multicultural” experiment. It’s a nice way to explain how the cultures of the Vault 15 exodus developed into Hindu and Mongol and Donner party spin-off groups. Also, the actual experiment seems like something that could actually provide some useful data.

    Vault 12: I fucking hate the Necropolis experiment. “Let’s see what happens when people are exposed to lethal amounts of radiation!” Let me save you scientists some trouble: THEY’LL FUCKING DIE! Seriously, it’s not like the pre-war world didn’t have plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that radiation will kill you. Hiroshima and Nagasaki should’ve been proof enough. The fact that they all turned into ghouls was something that no one could’ve seen coming. In my opinion this Vault ranks up with the worst of the Bethesda experiments.

    Vault 13: it’s been said that this Vault’s experimented was studying the effects of “long term isolation” or something like that. It’s not the worst idea, but I always felt that it cheapens the motivations of the Overseer in the first game. They retconned him into desperately clinging to some Vault-Tec orders issued long before he was born, instead of simply being a man acting on his own volition and desperately trying to cling to his position of power. A position that would be rendered useless once the Vault opens. He even admits this himself in Fallout 1 with his “I’m management” line.

    And that’s all I’ve got time for right now. I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface but I’ll allow others to chime in on this thread if they feel like it
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  2. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    I think pretty much all of the Vault Experiments in New Vegas were winners. Vault 11 and 19 felt like legitimate social experiments. Vault 34 felt characteristically jingoistic and Vault 22 was classic pulp sci-fi.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  3. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    No idea what Vaults FO76 has. I can't remember 4's Vaults aside from popsicle factory in 111, virus vault and unfinished vault in metro.

    Fallout 3 definitely has the worst ones.

    Vault 106: What if we expose people to gas that makes them mad?
    Vault 92: What if we expose people to noise that makes them mad?
    Vault 87: What if we expose people to gas that turns them into retarded cannibals?

    Vault 101's experiment is just 13's experiment, but badly executed.
    What was 108's experiment? What happens if we clone Gary?
    112 has an interesting premise, but bad execution. You could do so much with people being stuck in a similation for centuries and all you can come up with is a German scientist torturing people for fun.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  4. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Frankly, almost every game's Vault experiments save New Vegas are largely bad.

    Obviously the vaults in Fallout 1/2 suffer from the fact that the concept of Vault experiments was an afterthought that was retrtoactively tacked on to pre-existing Vaults.

    Vault 12 being an experiment is obviously insanely retarded, honestly more retarded than even the majority of Bethesda Vaults. The only way it is not outright retarded is if you cope and say "Uhhhh uhhhh they picked Dwellers who had the 'ghoul' gene," but that suffers from the fact that the whole "ghoul gene" fan theory is extremely stupid. Even if we grant it, why use a Vault to ghoulify people? Feel like that could be done pretty easily in a lab pre-War

    Vault 13 is as OP says a dumb retcon that takes some thematic weight away from the first game. It's not a bad idea in and of itself, but not really that interesting in practice here.

    Vault 15 is obviously the best, though largely at the conceptual level, the outcomes aren't really that interesting.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  5. Norzan

    Norzan Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 7, 2017
    I would have been fine with some vaults being experiments and not literally all of them. Then you wouldn't need to retcon existing ones that were clearly made when the concept of vaults as experiments wasn't a thing and you could still make vaults with cool premises.

    The way it actually turned out, i liked the ones from New Vegas and that's about it.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  6. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    I think it needs to be one or the other - from an experimental standpoint, it would be weird and a waste of time on Vault-Tec's part to just have a handful of experiments. It needs to be the overwhelming majority to not come across as silly, IMO.

    It could have been retconned well if the concepts involved had actually been developed well and engaged with.
  7. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Yeah, it's rather obvious they didn't really know what to do with the concept in the older Fallouts; not to mention Tim Cain and co abandoned the ship midway through the development of Fallout 2 (which obviously caused a lot of problems with the final product). And Bethesda is, let's not put too much hope in them, shall we?
  8. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos A Smooth-Skin

    May 12, 2020
    Agreed on Vault 11 and 19.

    Vault 34 I’m not so wild about. It seems like an incredibly stupid idea to stuff a Vault full of military grade weaponry, sounds like a recipe for creating a heavily armed post-war faction that would potentially cause a lot of problems for any post-war American government attempting to reclaim the country. But I like the Boomer faction, and I like how the Overseer of 34 actually said “fuck this experiment”. Realistically I think more Overseers would’ve abandoned their designated experiments in the wake of the end of the world.

    I like Vault 22 as much as the next guy but it probably would’ve worked better as the EPA in Fallout 2.
    I personally don’t agree with this sentiment. It could’ve worked that Vault-Tec was just a bunker building company and wasn’t involved with the experiments at all, but the proto-Enclave commandeered some of their Vaults for their own nefarious purposes. Humorously, this would reflect how the Vault Experiments actually weren’t a part of the original dev’s vision but got retconned into the lore anyway.
  9. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    I agree. It has a lot of interesting aspects, but "lol what if we gave them too many guns" feels like a Bethesda-tier experiment, granted played straighter than it probably would have been in a Beth game.

    Commandeering for their own nefarious purposes without Vault-Tec's explicit/total involvement, absolutely. But not specifically the "setting up social experiments" aspect
  10. Lucas9

    Lucas9 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jan 16, 2016
    I don't like "Vault experiments", as in "the Vault is the experiment".
    But Obsidian showed that you can have a cool disaster happen in a Vault without it being a machination by Vault-Tec and shit, e.g. Vault 22 and its flora experiment going out of control.

    I also liked how Fallout depicted Vault-Tec as this totally unscrupulous company, who logically only cared about having their money now (before the Great War, which for all it's worth was still not a certainty but a possibility), and hence shoddily constructed Vaults as they didn't expect them to see actual use.

    It's why I like the Sierra Madre so much.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  11. Millim

    Millim Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Oct 13, 2010
    New Vegas has some of the best experiments hands down with Fallout 1 having some of the worst.
    But that’s not really a knock against F1 seeing as it was a retroactive idea.

    I’ll be the one to say that Fallout 3 has some decent experiements. The Gary one sucks, as we all know, but the White Noise and sim vaults… pretty good idea. (Also, the noise vault was mentioned all the way back in Fallout 2, so someone at Bethesda was certainly keep tabs of continuity, shame they missed the rest of the game).

    I’ll also say that Vault 111 from F4 was pretty, certainly one of the better vaults in a Bethesda game.

    However, I feel the experiements were a good idea in theory, but it causes too much mess. Like why would they care about the data hundreds of years into the future?
    How are you going to rebuild society if the People you kept locked up are all insane?

    It just comes across as one of those ideas which sound cool, but can ultimately break the World
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  12. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign The Douchelord Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    It only works if there is a faction hidden somewhere like The Enclave that is untouched by all the bullshit. I liked the idea in theory but in practice it just makes every Vault really gimmicky.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  13. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    You meant Fallout 2, right? Because as far as I could remember, Vaults experiments aren't really a thing known in-game of Fallout 1.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  14. xxdemonxspawnnxx

    xxdemonxspawnnxx First time out of the vault

    Apr 13, 2021
    I like the Vault 13 experiment(prolonged isolation). It explains what the overseer is trying to hide in fo1.

    I liked vault 0 experiment and it is very similar to bethesda's vaults, but it had a big impact.

    Fallout 3 has Cool ideas for vault, but they always seem to end the same way without making an impact.
    Even then, only vault 106 and vault 92 were interesting.
    I didn't like Vault 112, but I think without considering lore, it fits fallout 3 in a good way.

    I like vault 11 and 34 in NV, the rest seem unfinished.
    Vault 19 is interesting in that there are two overseers, but the experiment feels pointless.
    Vault 22 doesn't even feel like a vault, more of a laboratory and I don't like to explore how others get diseased.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
  15. Millim

    Millim Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Oct 13, 2010
    I meant Fallout 1, but rather tge experiments they gave it retroactively.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  16. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign The Douchelord Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    I think all the people that got butthurt about Vault 0 should be forced to play nothing but Gary vaults until the world ends.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1