FEV & radiation in Fo1

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Muttie, May 26, 2019.

  1. Muttie

    Muttie Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 9, 2017
    This is a continuation of contemplating FEV/radiation in Fo1 sparked by the idea of Fixt to “not only dip the vault-dweller” but to “continue play after that” and the consequential questions: what does this mean, how will it play out, what is possible, what is impossible, how would SPECIAL look like etc.).
    The start of the conversation (more focused on fixt) starts here: www.nma-fallout.com/threads/fallout-fixt-v0-90beta-is-being-worked-on-jan-2019.194562/page-201
    Anyway, it moved more and more away from Fixt, so I moved here. (Anyway, you may have to read those posts to catch up. Or don't ;).)

    Funny enough I just changed my mind about it :)
    I was trying to look at it from new angles and realized that I probably made a mistake.
    I think I have problems to accept that FEV is a potential “wonder drug”. And while thinking about it, I realized that the pre-war society was probably capable of creating a super-serum that would have eventually created an army of Captain Americas (super-soldiers). Rather than that being impossible or unfitting for the FO world. I mean they had advanced technologies in many fields, without anything being sinister about it (power armour, robots etc.). It's just how they got there (Vault experiments) that is sinister, and I projected those sinister methods onto the result (i.e. FEV should turn people into monsters like Horrigan). Which may still happen, but they also may have created actual “super-heroes”, like captain america.
    That said it is more likely that Maxson and his men rebelled when they saw the methods and (possibly) before the scientist had gotten to that point of creating a super-soldier. So the “results” Maxson and his men saw probably rather reflected the “methods”, i.e. inconsiderate experimenting on human beings, than a final product. The pre-war scientist may never have gotten to that point of creating an actual super-soldier/mutant.
    Which means FEV can potentially turn a human being into Captain America (if all factors allow (rad (aka DNA) and FEV having been developed to that stage). Or not. (i.e. neither is proven).
    However there may be still side-effects like sterility or aggression (as seen in apes etc.). As both has been discovered by those scientists pre-war.

    Regarding the scientist embellishing/lying about the project:
    The way I read the pipboy files from the Glow, I would say the tests on animals promised potential and then the military got interested (and they moved to Mariposa to continue researching on people). And I think they didn't had much time there (about a year). Still, nothing is proven, except for the “mutiny of Maxson”. But that probably can't be stressed as much as I hoped.
    P.S. I read it again and in the bible it says “they experimented on military volunteers (prisoners of war)” and it triggered the uprising. (…?) While in-game nothing eludes to why they got upset other than the mentioned “We finally found out what those bastard scientists are up to”.
    And despite them being a product of irradiation (and heavy mutation) it has no effect on the FEV treatment ;)
    Either the Enclave scientist fixed it (which means they also may have fixed it for Horrigan), or the pre-programmed FEV did it. Another option is that they got injected (not dipped) which may make a difference. Plus, intelligent deathclaws are not sterile (in opposite to super-mutants). Another difference.
    Still, according to ZAX using FEV on something as heavily mutated as deathclaws should most likely be deadly (i.e. it messes up the DNA completely).
    “Originally FEV was a defence weapon, then it got discovered that it may be used offensively. And the military stepped in (after the experiments on apes).” I'm so focused on post-war super-mutants I completely forgot that (lol). However this makes it even weirder considering the angle that “damaged DNA” causes complications. Does FEV fix DNA, or is it thrown off by damaged DNA? Or is the idea, that it must be used on a healthy specimen and then it can fix any damage of the DNA (the apes got infected with stuff (cancer etc.) and the FEV would heal them (like the “immortality” ZAX talks about). Perhaps it doesn't work the other way round, i.e. when already sick/damaged?)

    Btw, I did look up Chernobyl some time ago and there was not much long term damage (like birth defects). The worst was the immediate radiation sickness (like after visiting the Glow) and although there is long term risk (cancer etc.) an accident like Chernobyl was apparently not devastating in that regard (i.e. massive amounts of defects). So realistically there should be little to no DNA damage among the people of the waste.
    I guess story wise it needs to be assumed there is. Or that there is just enough DNA damage to throw off the FEV. But still that's another weird one.
    This is what needs to be assumed for the game to make sense. But another weird thing is that there should be hundreds if not thousands of “pure-strain” people. First, anyone not in a shelter would have died during the Fallout (only those protected, and those who turned into ghouls did survive). And after the fallout we see little to no radiation in the waste (there is the Glow and eating fruit), but people show no signs of radiation damage. But even when assuming all those got their DNA damaged (from eating fruit which can't be worse than the radiation we suffer pre-war (sun-burns)), what about the Vault 15 inhabitants (Shady Sands, Jackals, Khans and Vipers)? All those left the vault fairly recent (about 20 years before the start of Fo1) and should be all “pure-strain”. Even Harold was considered free of radiation and he came from a vault (like basically everyone; including the master who came from Vault City. The Enclave. Or the Brotherhood (i.e. Mariposa was a fallout shelter). Why is the vault-dweller “pure-strain” but everyone else isn't? I guess, one has to assume that 20 years in the waste (people from Vault 15) causes DNA damage. It won't show, but possibly derail FEV.)
    Still, my thought process is that this “somewhat” adds up with so many super-mutants being intelligent (i.e. they were Vault 15 pure-strains). But there are still not enough to create an army, and as such, we have this weird mixture of super-mutants being dumb, them dying when dipped, many being fairly intelligent, but no-one turning into a super-intelligent super-soldier (at least on record).
    I think it can all add up, but it requires some mental acrobatic.

    And regarding “wild-FEV” that is borderline considered as never have happened (unfortunately). The bible and articles on wikis will say it's not true. Which is a shame, as it would explain why ghouls and animals could survive the fallout and mutate instead dying (i.e. the “wild-FEV” made them strong enough to survive radiation sickness). Plus, it would explain why the player visiting the Glow dies, instead of turning into a ghoul (i.e. radiation itself doesn't cause mutation in FO), unless the player steps into goo and grows a sixth toe (which is also inconsistent in how radiation/mutation is handled, i.e. sometimes it mutates, sometimes it doesn't). (Unless that toxic goo is FEV... That would be another wild one ;).)
    Anyway, “wild-FEV allowing creatures to mutate” would have assigned the whole process some structure and law. And explained why so many animals died. Only those exposed to wild-FEV (mutated) and those sheltered (pets (like Dogmeat) and lab animals) should have survived the fallout.
    Zax says FEV increases brain mass, which appears to make animals more intelligent (except dogs) but I'm not even sure size matters (i.e. simply increasing brain mass may not cause intelligence). But it may be that the human brain can't cope with the effects as animals can (for whatever reason). Then again FEV is not consistent either way. It neither makes people always dumb, nor always intelligent, but it various. As such the cause for this behaviour should be similar “flexible” and vary from person to person. Like differences in DNA (aka radiation damage).
    Still, it may totally be possible that this is the reason why FEV won't have an improving effect under perfect conditions (i.e. specific human being problem). Still, this is really the answer I would like to find (FEV treatment in perfect conditions) but there is just not enough information. Although it seems likely that the less the DNA is damaged the more intelligent/better the result is. Still it may not create a genius. Even the master (who was brilliant according to Harold) may actually not have improved intelligence wise. I mean there is no case of a dummy turned smart by FEV (except animals).
  2. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Marcus think he became a better person, but we need to check about the smarter part.
  3. Muttie

    Muttie Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 9, 2017
    I have to read through the Marcus msg.
    But as pointed out, especially Broken Hill consists almost throughout of fairly intelligent super-mutants (including Marcus).
    And this is not really an exception, but a theme which borderline contradicts the „dumb stereotype“ and the master's comment that radiation makes dumb.
    Then again ZAX said radiation causes death.
    So it kind of should be more accurate to assume that most super-mutants are fairly intelligent (like normal people) (i.e. like Marcus), as most that would have turned real dumb would have died when dipped.

    Another matter is if they become more intelligent, though. And the problem here is that it „should be possible“ (technically) but I have the feeling that the design decision is that „it doesn't“ (i.e. no „super-soldiers“ in the post-war world, but only „Horrigan“ types and super-mutants as we know them).

    It's almost like Taylor said (some smart, some dumb, most stay the same). This kind of adds up with all the odd factors (ZAX saying being radiated causes death, most super-mutants being fairly smart, and the fact that most people in the waste at least were “pure-strain” at one point which means they can't all fail the dipping. (i.e. the FO1 angle that adjusts from “dipping a person successfully” to finding enough subjects to “create an army”.) Last the oddity that something must contaminate all those “pure-strains” (Shady Sands etc.) while there is hardly any radiation in-game.

    There are only things like:
    Fishrson.msg, line 119: “...sucked up too much rad.” Which hints that fruit & water are radioactive and that becoming irradiated is unavoidable. I think this “element of background radiation” needs to be assumed as an intended design element of the world, even if it doesn't show that much in-game.

    Still, I start to like Taylor's “wild-FEV” more and more as an alternative (or addition) (see the Lt who blames “wild-FEV” for the dipping not working on most wastelanders). It's a much better “contamination” explanation than radiation. As ZAX said “FEV is not transmitted via air but only by touch”. Which means wild-FEV should spread like the common cold (touch and sneezing). This would explain rather well why most are “immune to FEV” why “pure-strain (aka unopened vault)” are so important and why not necessarily everyone is contaminated (just like the cold, it needs a host to be carried around, so larger settlements probably have contracted it all, while smaller villages may have avoided it completely).

    Radiation (aka DNA) would still be a factor as pointed out by the Master & ZAX, i.e. it increases failure. (may also explain Talius and other anomalies). And there is the aspect of FEV being pre-programmed to fit a species (also ZAX), which may explain the differences we see between animals and human beings (kind of).

    The downside may be that if wild-FEV is so wild spread among people of the waste it would mean that people getting radiated, wouldn't die, but mutate (ghoul). Which is not really a thing. I see the first “fallout” a bit as a genesis that created the world and everything in it (ghouls and radscorpions etc.) and it doesn't really get repeated (i.e. no mutations after that first “world creation”).

    Another funny aspect of wild-FEV could be that everyone brought to the Mariposa base would have gotten in contact with it. The exposure to that FEV around Mariposa may have been minimal, but it was enough to change Harold. Unless Harold touched the stuff somehow inside the base (?). In any case this exposure around the base may have been enough to fully or partly inoculate every person brought there to be dipped. Which would be rather ironic.

    Another thought I like is that that “toxic goo” as in the toxic caves is actually FEV puddles (i.e. goo that is mildly contaminated by FEV, which again is only contracted by touch (or gobbling it up as the geckos did)). Perhaps the toxic caves were a dump for old FEV batches, and they just chucked it in there. Sounds a bit crazy (perhaps too crazy for such a top secret high priority project). But I like the idea. May be another option of how “wild-FEV” could have spread.

    Also an interesting note on Talius/Harold. It has been noted that both look like ghouls. And it is also likely that they are not the only “failed dippings” who turned out as “mutants/ghouls”. Plus we know that FEV treatment can drive people crazy or aggressive. If the super-mutants had the habit of letting these people go (just like Talius) there is an angle that many “ghouls” are actually “failed FEV dippings” who just joined the ghouls at Bakersfield and started to live with them.
    Plus, the crazy, scavenger ghouls, may also be products of FEV (i.e. failed dippings that went crazy and became animalistic). I think there is an actual option that “failed dippings” filled the ranks of ghouls. Especially considering the high failure-rate the master had at Mariposa.
  4. Muttie

    Muttie Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 9, 2017
    If interested:
    I checked Marcus (the whole thing is at the bottom) but the most interesting lines are:

    {230}{mcs36}{Right. Well, never really HATED humans. We just had a better way. These new governments, they think they've got all the answers. Blah, blah. Been there, seen that, got the scars.}

    {232}{mcs37}{The Master wanted to elevate everyone to his level, so we wouldn't fight each other anymore. He was convinced we wouldn't do it by ourselves – couldn't. We had to be forced to evolve.}

    {246}{mcs41}{Don't forget, I knew the folks involved. They were the best humanity had to offer. Your people are going to tell the story a different way, right?}

    {262}{mcs46}{My memories of being a human aren't as clear as they once were, but I remember pettiness, hatred, jealousy... I prefer being a mutant.}

    {266}{mcs47}{It was flawed. We should have only taken the best. Look around. Most mutants didn't have the mind or will to withstand the strain. (sighs) If only we had chosen better…}

    That's all of relevance in the msg.
    I think Marcus' struggle is more one of ideology, not of being physically better (262). He also eludes again to the fact that mutants are dumb (266), but that too may also be meant more in terms of ideology (Francis and the drunk in the cells, i.e. mutants being as fallible as humans). I think Marcus just wants a better world. And has the views that come with it (despair and borderline elitism ({266}{mcs47}{...We should have only taken the best...}).
  5. Oppen

    Oppen FIXT n°1 fan

    Dec 26, 2011
    Not going to participate fully because I should use my time on other things I'm procrastinating furiously, but I want to mention that while Marcus is no proof that super mutants actually are supposed to become geniuses (we have no evidence to believe even him in particular is above average anyway), he's certainly not stupid, so it doesn't always lead to dumb ones. He may have even been negatively affected with regards to intellect, it may be the case that he was rather smart before and became closer to average afterwards.
  6. Muttie

    Muttie Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 9, 2017
    :D I fully understand though. ;)
    It's a lot of text anyway. And a huge topic. Anyway, I would rather say that Marcus just like most super-mutants isn't dumb. And that the dipping doesn't have a massive effect on intelligence at least for those who survive it. Basically as you said just a small drop/loss of memory (i.e. like -2 IN).
    The “dumb super-mutant” is more an oddity (like Harry), that is too often played up in the game. At least that's how I understand it at the moment.

    Anyway, I wrote a little bit on how FEV, radiation and wild-FEV may function on a technical level (for those who are interested).

    This would explain how people in the wasteland can transform from a “pure-strain” to a standard wastelander who becomes immune to FEV (a process like catching a cold).

    References are ZAX.msg and pipboy.msg (FEV experiments). Both say that, first, FEV functions by adjusting DNA and, second, that it was originally a vaccine-virus (that functions by repairing DNA) which then later became a virus to improve the subject's DNA. The Lt. blames this wild-FEV for failed dippings and/or FEV not reaching its full potential.

    Based on this a possible explanation of how FEV, wild-FEV and radiation interact could be:
    -FEV does repair and regenerate cells (aka DNA).
    -When the DNA is already mutated by radiation (or otherwise, incl. half-cells (“sterility”)), this “FVE repair process” makes a mess of it (that's basically the ZAX explanation [damaged DNA] and why radiation causes issues).
    -A person contracting wild-FEV (assuming it to be a mild version and/or small doses) gains a very limited cell-repair ability.
    -When such a person is radiated (or injected with FEV) then the wild-FEV's repair ability will “fight back” and try to repair the changes to the DNA caused by radiation or FEV, thus enabling the subject to mutate (radiation) or hinder the full effect of FEV (i.e. it literally tries to revert it). So wild-FEV works as the project initially intended by being an inoculation against DNA damage. And that's the inoculating effect the LT is talking about. Plus it explains how critters survive massive radiation damage and mutate rather than dying (i.e. wild-FEV keeps them somewhat stable during the process and it becomes a “controlled mutation”).

    This could be a basic explanation on how it works.

    Fallout Bible p.54:
    2077 October 23 The West Tek research facility is hit by warheads, breaking open the FEV tanks
    on levels four and five and releasing it into the atmosphere. Once exposed to
    radiation, it begins to mutate and infect humans and critters in the wasteland
    and dooming the player character in F1 and F2 to endure hordes of random
    2080 The first effects of the virus are seen in the survivors. Widespread mutations
    occur with animals and humans alike. Those that survive the effects of the
    mutations are permanently changed by the virus. New species are created
    almost overnight.

    EDIT: the last factor is this "animal/human difference" oddity and that FEV may need to be pre-programmed. (according to ZAX).
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  7. Oppen

    Oppen FIXT n°1 fan

    Dec 26, 2011
    Maybe it's not immunity to FEV caused by wild strains, but Mariposa's and the wild one competing, trying to 'fix' the host's DNA in conflicting ways, since they're 'programmed' in different ways. I think maybe I'm paraphrasing some of the things you said, tho.
    The minor protection against radiation may explain why while it's implied there's a background radiation almost nobody presents radiation poisoning in towns and normal places.
  8. Muttie

    Muttie Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 9, 2017
    Yes, that's basically the idea. I just used immunity as the Lt talked about "essentially inoculating". (interestingly, the Lt skips from "you're a pure-strain because you have not been exposed to mutated FEV" (in dialogue) to "because you have not been radiated." (in TMA) :)
    Anyway, I'm not even sure if my idea makes sense, but it may be a start to get all info that is currently in-game combined into one system (radiation, DNA, wild-FEV, pre-programmed).

    Actually, the Alpha Experiments Log kind of confirms that. It says:
    Perhaps it should be understood that “wild-FEV” is not similar to FEV (as found at Mariposa) but actually more identical to that initial experiment: the Panimmunity Virion Project (as described in the Alpha experiment disk).

    Perhaps that's why PVP (aka wild-FEV) doesn't cause mutations on it's own. Something it should do as FEV.
    On the other hand, however, wild-FEV must somehow allow mutations, as all the wildlife-mutations (scorpions and ghouls etc.) are supposedly a combination of PVP (aka wild-FEV) and radiation-exposure.
    And last it is curious that neither wild-FEV nor radiation seem to cause mutations, but only in the rare occurrence of both coming together.
    It almost seems as if PVP (wild-FEV) is getting stimulated by radiation and can create mutation effects (like radscorpions). And in the special case of PVP and “massive” radiation damage coming together it may be that it results in a “stable mutation”, like a 6th toe or a stable new race like radscorpions (i.e. rather than preventing it, it's more like two forces controlling each other resulting in a stable mutation)?
    And PVP and FEV being combined may have a similar effect, just that it prevents FEV from reaching its full potential. (e.g. PVP+FEV+Radiation may result in Talius, a “stable mutant”?)

    However, radiation must be a factor too, and can't be fully healed by PVP. Perhaps, wild-FEV can cope with only so much and at a certain amount of DNA damage the immune system/virus is simply getting overwhelmed and it creates damage or stable mutations. Which then run havoc when mixed with FEV from Mariposa.

    Still, PVP may heal/prevent mutations caused by radiation. Which may explain the absence of such (unless there is not that much radiation in the wasteland to begin with, which is also possible (Harold was considered to not be radiated), except of course that the Master blamed radiation as the issue). And as such, there must be enough radiation going around to foil the Master's plans.
    There is also a note that the released FEV got irradiated (similar to what the Lt. said).
    Which may also explain some weird and unexpected behavior (except that, again, wild-FEV does not mutate anyone or anything on its own apparently. Only the vats at Mariposa do that. And the goo at the toxic caves. (plus, ZAX suggests that FEV is immune to radiation...although it doesn't mean it can't mutate, I think.)
    Although it's weird anyway, because the “genesis of the Fallout world” was a one-time event (it seems). All the factors (wild-FEV, radiation) are supposedly still around, but despite that, the genesis doesn't repeat itself. The only mutating factor left in the wasteland is FEV.

    And last even if wild-FEV is actually PVP it can't be the real deal as I don't think the entire wasteland has become immune to diseases, cancer, radiation and such. It's probably just a rather minor effect, that shows little signs, but comes into play when combined with a doses of radiation or FEV.
  9. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Those might just be the ones that would go there and stay.

    As for why radiation disrupts FEV, that could just be a result of evolution. IE enough time passed, and the haplotypes or haplogroups that FEV was designed for no longer exist outside of inbred, radiation free vaults. Whereas, in the wasteland, radiation has increased the baseline rate of mutation or simply introduced enough additional changes during the high radiation period to diverge wastelander populations from the pre-war stock.

    Could also just be a chemistry thing, where radiation interferes with a specific protein that is a part of the FEV's process (in humans, but not necessarily all species).

    With respect to deathclaws, I believe they are noted to be pre-war experiments. It could just be that they were FEV creatures from the get go. Then they would be immune to radiation, and the FEV would act as it does to anything not influenced by radiation.
  10. Muttie

    Muttie Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 9, 2017
    I don't really have time anymore to fully look into this, but I did some research (probably the last for some time). Anyway...
    This is actually quite possible, the more dumb/primitive ones may wander the waste aimlessly.

    I did some research and in Fo2 it really seems to be the case:
    Intelligent: Lenny (NCR, ScLenny), Marcus, Zaius, Francis, Elmo, Miners, Prison Guard (HcBnkgrd) (all broken Hill (Hc...), Melchior (EcMelchr) (although it's kind of fifty-fifty with him).
    Dumb-Dumb: Grundel (EcGrunde), Recipe Mutants (EcTlkMut), Random Encounter (ECMstAmy).
    Which means all 2nd generation mutants (Military Base miners, but Melchior) and all random encounter mutants have slightly impaired language and are not particularly bright while mutants in settlements (Lenny at the NCR and those at Broken Hill) are fairly intelligent.

    I did the same for FO1 and it seems more of a mixed bag. In Fo1 are three types of mutants: intelligent (normal), dumb-dumb (slightly impaired language and not particularly bright) and moronic (can barely form a sentence).
    Intelligent: Lt, Flip, Kyle (airgrd), Vincent (MadSci), Viscious (MlOps), Rae, Troy, Barry, Gary, Larry, Sally, Terry (all Necropolis, their TMA's are a bit dumb though), Dying mutant (Deathclaw Cave, DcMutant), Mutant2 (necropolis), Super, GenSarg (incl. NukeGrd), ThSupMut (Thinker), ScSupMut (Nightkin Scout), Cathedral Guards (GenMutant), SmOne (two injured mutants), SmPray (praying mutant).
    Dumb-Dumb: Krupper, Abel, Invader.
    Moronic: Harry, Door guard at the Military Base lvl 2 (PowerMut), Military Base guards (GenSupr) (although the guards are kind of in between dumb & moronic).
    And it seems to be mostly a difference between Cathedral and Militray Base. Which may be a separation of Nightkin and Super-mutants.
    Still there seems to be a fair amount of smart super-mutants. Either the Master finds pure-strain humans or wastelanders with low radiation.

    Anyway, I don't know how this fits into the developing angle from „radiation=stupidity“ (Master, first experiments) to „radiation=death“ (ZAX/Lt/VanHagan, Master struggles to build an army), i.e. it's not just a matter of mutants being dumb, but the problem they eventually face is more the struggle to turn enough people into super-mutants to create an army. Which in turn means they need an unopened vault, i.e. pure-strains in quantity. This means that radiation has at least two consequences: stupidity and death. Which is further underlined by the fact that they can't even build an army of dumb super-mutants (i.e. they need pure-strains who survive the dipping to build an army).
    Consequently, I don't know where to put the intelligence level of super mutants between “radiation=stupidity” and “radiation=death”. As it should be exclusive of each other.
    I think that's why I rather look at it as “radiation=complications” or even better “contamination = complications”. And be flexible on what either is. It seems a mixed bag.
    However, if a mutant survives the dipping, it's probably of normal intelligence (and a super-mutant). If the dipped person is contaminated (damaged DNA (radiation) or wild-FEV) a lot of results are possible, including stupidity.
    The why is known:
    According to ZAX the problem is „damaged DNA“. And radiation is one cause for that. Anything that changes or damages the DNA should cause errors with the FEV process (including evolution possibly, but also genetic diseases or other difference, like inbred ;)).
    It seems (to me) the issue with FEV is that a combination of “genetic damage/change” and FEV's ability to “rewrite portions of the DNA” creates a mess. Which would explain why wild-FEV (just as any form of DNA change) can't be combined with FEV.

    Otherwise, I don't think anyone was outside during the „high radiation period“ and those who did either died, or turned into ghouls.
    Almost the entire wasteland are descendants from the Vaults (including Harold, the Boneyard and the Master (Vault City), they all left their vaults about 15 years after the war and that's about the time when cities got founded c.2100). They should all be pure-strain. And Harold was considered to not having been radiated, too. (i.e. there must be other factors).
    I don't think an “evolved by radiation” concept is much different to just say “radiation” (i.e. outside of vault: radiated/evolved, inside of vault: not radiated/evolved). And it has the same issues. Mainly by assuming that people from a vault are forever “pure-strain” (i.e. a different breed) and that would not explain Talius, the Master or Harold (all from a vault). I think it's better to have a factor like radiation or wild-FEV that can “contaminate” people than make it “inside/outside of vaults” only. After all the master must find people he can turn and if that is only a matter of coming from a vault there should be thousands of adequate specimens. Vault 15 alone had a (1000?) people and they only left the vault 20 years before Fo1. They (Shady Sands, Khans, Jackals, Vipers) would all be pure-strain. Which may explain the smart super mutants like the Lt. (i.e. pure-strains from Vault 15 caught shortly after it opened), but also question why the Master struggles to build an army.
    Consequently, it must be as the Lt. said, there is something in the wasteland that people leaving a vault come in contact with and get contaminated by. Or not. As it not happening should also be possible.
    Seems like it. All I found is:
    Although this seems a bit muddled. First of all “Master” probably means “Enclave” (who used FEV to create smart deathclaws) and Fo2 claims (in OcJoseph.msg which is in the stuff I've added) that they are mutated chameleons (not a mixed animal stock), although it doesn't have to be exclusive of each other. But it's noteworthy.
    However according to the strategy guide it sounds like a breeding project. Not FEV (I think).
    If created by FEV it would raise questions like: if they are created by pure FEV why aren't they intelligent? And why does only a second FEV treatment make them intelligent?
    Besides I don't think anything can be changed by FEV and get treated by FEV again (based on all we know (i.e. DNA sensibility) that should end horribly as it would mutate an already mutated DNA, and by all sources FEV shouldn't be able to cope with that. In fact, having been changed by FEV should be similar to having been damaged by radiation. Plus, the Lt. said it should have an inoculating effect (at least wild-FEV does).
    EDIT: Not sure how that works with the Master. Also the dipping itself is a 24 hour process.

    Although, it may actually not matter. As the Enclave only experimented with one pack. And if deathclaws were originally a military experiment, the Enclave may not have hunted a pack down, but actually found it within their facilities. As such the intelligent deathclaws would have been free of radiation as they spend the fallout in a shelter, together with the Enclave scientists and soldiers. So either way, intelligent deathclaws could be considered radiation free before the FEV treatment.

    However, I have not found anything else. Only that deathclaws existed in the wasteland (Fo1, 2161) and that the Enclave made some of them smart using FEV (c.2235, i.e. 2236 when the Enclave discovered FEV).

    Anyway, while reading through the material again, it seems possible that the improvement of intelligence may not even be that consistent, but rather be decided by the species general make-up. For example, pre-war experiments showed differences among animals, too. Dogs treated with FEV at West Tek (pre-war) hadn't their intelligence improved, while others showed different forms of intelligence (from mice to raccoons). Not even chimpanzees (pre-war) showed improved intelligence (debatable though), but some had seizures (suggesting brain damage, which is remarkable). Also Wanamingos appear not to be intelligent, which may be by design, though. Still, that may be another difference: the brain of each species simply develops differently.
    All intelligence-effects FEV did show on human beings so far were not so much IQ but super-natural powers (the Master's telepathic abilities and the Psykers (who had various powers according to the bible)). Perhaps it needs to be considered that with a human being it's always either super-natural powers or brain damage (similar to the seizure the chimps suffered). And most of the times it's damage. Even the Psykers are not in very good condition. And neither is the Master arguably.

    (From pipboy.msg (FEV Experiments Disk) & Bible (search for batch, but note that the time-line table seems to have a date error for dogs & raccoons, i.e. wrong dates & order of events): Batch 10-011: single-cell organism (viral & rad immunity), plants (chloroplasts seem unaffected). Batch 10-011: flatworms (growth in size, virus immunity), insects (failure). Batch 10-011: mice (size, intelligence), rabbits (intelligence, size, aggression). 11-011: Raccoons (size, intelligence, manual dexterity). Batch 11-101a (supplied by Maj. Barnetts advisory team): Dogs (size, aggressiveness). 11-111: Chimpanzee (size, immunity, aggressiveness). The bible suggests (p.200) that Chimpanzees may have hidden their intelligence. Which may be true (similar to intelligent deathclaws). Same may or may not apply to dogs). Still it should be noted that there is variation in results and batch used. Also note that the “intelligence level” for mice, rabbits and raccoons were different, too. Only raccoons developed an intelligent similar to that of deathclaws or the Brain. Mice and rabbits did not.
    I also checked the Brain and Keeng Ra'at (rat god). The two intelligent mole rats.
    Apparently they were sheltered in a lab (possibly Mariposa), then got in contact with FEV (fluid from a vat), and last subject to radiation too (possibly). But I guess they are mostly created by FEV. Which could mean that FEV creates “intelligent mole-rats” and wild-FEV+radiation only “molerats”.

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  11. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    Damaged DNA would mean broken strands, actual destruction of the molecule and chains thereof. I was describing genetic drift.

    Um..no it doesn't. Radiation increases the rate of mutation. Vaults create limited breeding pools where there is literally no gene flow. We would expect the genetics of just a few generations to vary significantly for wastelanders, but not for vault dwellers. There would be far more differences found outside of vaults, than inside them. Especially in a world where radiation is powered by retrofuturistic "SCIENCE!" that creates freakish mutants.