By now most players have had the chance to complete Fallout 4 several times. Yet everyone who has completed the main quest will surely confirm that there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of secrets in the game. Whether it be mysterious locations for you to explore or some details that mess with the player, there is always something to discover. Some of these mysteries are so well hidden that very few people can claim to have known them beforehand.
So whether it's because you're taking a break from Fallout 76, or because it's been too long since your treck through Boston, it's time to revisit some of those details. Today, we'll be looking at 30 details you may have missed during your last playthrough and their implications on the lore of the game. Some of these are merely referential, and fun to look at; others may change how you see the game and its characters. Without further delay, let's dive right in.
Another clever scene was constructed near Walden's Pond. What can only be described as "Car-Henge".
Modeled after the great construction of Stonehenge, the location is just south of Walden Pond under the overpass. Cars are carefully laid out to recreate the mystic stone circle, and ominously do appear quite convincing from afar. Players who want to discover the location for themselves should be careful, however. While real-life Stonehenge is shrouded in a certain mystique, this car re-creation was the work of a very real, very angry, artist.
You'll have to get past the scene's creator to explore it for loot. But it does beg the question: why the impulse to re-create Stonehenge? We may never know.
If you've ever wandered the wasteland and heard an explosion behind you, you've experienced fear in Fallout.
So it comes as no wonder that some little folk would get a kick out of spooking wanderers with a devilish contraption. If players head north-east of relay tower 0BB-915, they can wander upon a small shack constructed atop a cliff. It's easy to miss, being as there is no map marker for it...but it's home to a heck of a lot of fun. One side of the shack, facing the wasteland below, is left open and mounted with individual silos which house propane canisters. By the chairs and beers nearby, it's clear someone's had some fun shooting the canisters off into the sunset. If the player is so inclined, you can even partake in the fun and send a few off yourself.
Go ahead, it'll be our secret.
This next detail may be a huge surprise for all Fallout fans.
So by now, most players have encountered Cricket the merchant in her travels of Boston. But did you know she actually has ties to the institute? More than that. What if I told you, Cricket is actually a spy working for the organization? The next time you're in the Institute, visit the Synth Retention Bureau and peruse their terminals. You're bound to find her name in the list of informants which the Institute uses to track down and return rogue synths.
Keep that in mind next time you cross her in your travels and don't do anything a synth would do.
The institute might just come after you.
The last of the Harrison Ford reference's, this one is included in a small (very disturbing) detail.
While you're exploring the raider bases in Nuka-World, head for Fizztop Mountain, the Disciple Gang's lair. At the top of the Mountain itself, you'll find a tiny human frozen in what appears to be...carbonite? While some players may have dismissed the sight as a simple reference to Star Wars, given the bizarre small size of the figure, some players chose to poke around some more.
Hitting the statue with a weapon or letting loose a few bullets in its direction will verify that there really is a human body in there! Creepy.
How was the body shrunk to such a size? By what process were they frozen? It's bound to remain a Disciple mystery.
Wandering the Wasteland of Boston, it's a common occurrence to feel...watched. After all, much of the plot in Fallout 4 revolves around the mysterious institute, their dodgy representatives and an ever-increasing dread. But did you know that even the Railroad, the organization intent on freeing synths, is watching you? If you were completing the Railroad questline for the first time, you may have run into a character called Deacon. Now Deacon, claims to have been following you around since your exit from Vault 111. At that comment, it's excusable for players to scoff and dismiss the man as just another eccentric.
But Deacon isn't lying, he HAS been watching the player. Once you know, you can't unlearn it. Playing through the game again, look for signs of his presence. He's not very good at hiding one you know he's there, but he IS there. Confront him if you can, and be ready for another surprise.
Who is the mysterious stranger? Players have been trying to figure it out since his first appearance in Fallout. After all, he's always there in a time of need.
Fallout 4 expands on the mystery in an interesting way. Curious players have noticed that everyone's favorite private detective, Nick Valentine, is on the case. A folder can be found in his office which details an ongoing investigation into the mysterious stranger. Apart from detailing his MO, "appearing suddenly" and dispatching foes swiftly, the file also lists his appearances in previous Fallout games. The file only adds to the cryptic nature of "reliable" pal some players with high luck have had the chance to meet.
Many players have reported an extra-terrestrial appearance in Fallout 4. A close encounter, if you will.
While it's not anything like Mothership Zeta, which was featured in Fallout 3, the encounter is no less mysterious. While walking around the wasteland, you might spot a ship flying past your head and directed at Oberland Station. Heading south of Oberland, you may just find a crashed UFO. A trail will lead you to a nearby cave where you'll meet the ship's occupier. After the alien attacks you on sight, you'll be rewarded with an alien blaster.
Does this confirm theories that the world of Fallout is actively monitored by aliens? Do they have a link to the nuclear armageddon?
There are many great references to authors and artists from the Boston area in Fallout 4. One of the most famous is H.P. Lovecraft, his Cthulhu Mythos and the short story The Dunwich Horror.
Players who have explored a mine known as the Dunwich Borers, east of the Slog. While there is one bobblehead and magazine for completionists to collect, the reality of the location is much darker.
Exploring the mine will reveal a host of memories frozen in time, outlining the waning sanity of the mine's occupiers.
Deep within the mine, you'll be confronted with a scene pulled right out of Lovecraft's work.
In a run-down part of Boston, players may have encountered a mysterious, and troubling encounter.
Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft's short-story, Pickman’s model, Pickman's gallery is a dark dive into the mind of an artist. While the painter in Lovecraft's work drew ghoulish horrors inspired by real creature's he has witnessed, Pickman's gallery in Fallout 4 is a display of violence against the local raiders. It is significant to notice that both galleries, in the text and game, end with a provocative final piece that troubles the narrator and player alike.
In keeping with the references to famous texts and the author's link to Boston, we now turn to Fort Independence.
When players aren't busy taking up the castle in the name of the Minutemen, they may have spotted a cheeky easter-egg which references the Cask of Amontillado, a short story by Poe in which narrator gets a rival a little too tipsy and entombs him in a brick wall. As one does, I guess. Digital Trends, who has a knack for investigating these mysterious details, even reminds their readers that Poe was stationed at Fort Independence during his time in the army.
Though it may be obscure to most, it's a clever (maybe a little freaky) detail to include.
In keeping with the creepy references, here is one detail that's truly out of this world.
As Fallout players will know by now, the Brotherhood of Steel is rather thorough when it comes to documenting the technology which is available in an post-apocalyptic era. In Fallout 4, the Brotherhood will task players who have chosen to align themselves with their interests to scout out various technological pulses and report on their importance to Maxwell. During one such quest, you will collect a "flux sensor" which has an ominous detail inscribed on it. The serial number written on it is actually taken from the Nostromo, from the film Alien.
It's a small detail but think of the lore implications.
In Fallout 4, players will have encountered many a teddy bear acting out a scene from everyday life.
In the Far Harbor expansion, the same can be said for Gnomes.
These garden decorations get into all sorts of trouble, whether it be on fishing trips or in stock rooms. Who put them there? Do they move on their own? There are very few answers provided to those questions. For that reason, these gnomes have become fan favorites and are a stable addition to any completionists collection. But you've got to wonder.
Are we collecting them out of a free will? Or is everything going according to their plan?
This isn't as much a detail as it is a mysterious quest. If you have yet to complete it, I'd suggest doing so on your next playthrough.
Traveling on the eastern coast of Boston, you may just run into a young Donny Kowalski on the docks behind the Shamrock Taphouse. As it turns out, little Donny has spotted something quite frightening in the waters nearby. If you're feeling adventurous, take a dive and go hunting for the monster. I won't spoil the surprise, but there's something in the waters near the taphouse. Something worth seeking out.
Take the time to speak with young Donny after finding out what the monster really is, and give him a good scare.
Within Fallout lore, the X-01 suits of power armor carry a lot of baggage.
They were initially developed through a joint effort between the U.S. military and the Nuka-Cola corporation before the bombs fell, and was eventually picked up by the remnants of the U.S. military in the time that followed. For that reason, X-01 power armor remains the strongest form of power armor available to players.
But did you know that the initial model, developed in conjunction with Nuka-Cola, is available in-game?
Within Nuka-World, in Starport Nuka, the player can find a themed X-01 set of power armor in a locked display that can only be accessed through a lengthy quest. The set is the strongest which can be acquired in Fallout 4. An ominous nod to the original creators of the suit itself.
It's no secret that a wasteland is a dangerous place, fraught as it is with beasties and traps alike.
But not all such dangers are clearly mapped out for the player, in fact, some are hidden quite well...just waiting to be discovered. If you travel east of Milton General Hospital to the parking garage, you might just happen upon such a location. Unmarked on the map, and fraught with terrible traps. Dubbed the "maze," players who explore the location will be confronted with all sorts of terrible vistas which culminate in a terrible SAW-like scene.
Someone wanted this location to remain hidden, it's a shame it never did. Enter the garage at your own risk.
Wildwood cemetery, though the name is ominous, is rather empty.
At least, that's the impression you might get looking at it from afar. Upon further examination, players who explore the location south-east of Tenpines Bluff will find it filled to the brim with ghouls. But did you know there was a real mystery to the graveyard? Find an altar in one of the crypts, and discover the homage which was created in the name of a deceased friend. Disturbing the shrine will awaken its defender, which is sure to cause a fright.
Who is the shrine for? Is it somehow linked to the mourning raider? Some mysteries are not meant to be solved.
The Charge Card is an item granted to you by the shifty looking Parker Quinn near the South Boston police precinct.
When it's first offered to you, a little credit card on which you can seamlessly transfer caps, the player would be right to smell a ruse. It initially charges you 110 caps, and most players eventually make their peace with the fact that they'll never see the money again. However, Bethesda worked in a strange connection between Quinn and the Far Harbour DLC. It turns out Brooks will buy the charge card for 100 caps. It may have been a scam, but you're only out 10 caps!
The question is, why does Brooks buy the card? Does he share a link to Quinn, or just feel bad for the sole survivor?
A solitary military base, and the diaries of a soldier who seems to have gone mad.
The base itself, listening post bravo, is south of Breakheart Banks, and once you do find it, players will be confronted by the diary entries of a man who seems to have lost his marbles to the wasteland. Like Mason, the victim heard random letters on the radio, it spoke to him. D, E, K, and someone called Renske kept calling out to him. This is actually a clever reference to Swedish metal band and their lead singer: Jonas Renkse.
The band also has an album whose acronyms are the letters the poor soldier heard: Dead End Kings.
It's easy to miss, but it's a great (and very spooky) addition for fans of the band to pick up on.
Careful adventurers will have found a few references to movies in Fallout 4. But amongst them, those related to Harrison Ford got a lot of love!
One such reference fits right in with the world of Fallout, and particularly with the storyline surrounding the institute. Those exploring the Mass Fusion Containment Shed may discover a ventilation pipe at the back of the location, one which you can climb into. The pipe will lead you to the roof behind the shed where two bodies will visually call back the ending of Blade Runner. Deckard and the synth, reunited once again. The scene takes on a whole new meaning in the Fallout universe.
The next detail is rather obscure but no less important to the Fallout lore.
Indeed, careful players have spotted an interesting homage to Fallout 3 within the Boston landscape. The next time you play the game, pay attention to the destroyed motorcycles which you can encounter on the roads. While they're of no use to the player, they are branded with the name "Lone Wanderer," seemingly in reference to the player character in Fallout 3.
Is this a simple easter egg, or perhaps some indication of the weight the name carries in the wasteland?
Seeing as the motorcycles are pre-war, we'll assume the former.
Here comes another of the beloved Harrison Ford details.
Without sarcasm, this next detail is part of a quest called "Kid in a fridge." Now you may think that an exaggeration, but it's not! You do find the "kid," appropriately name Billy, in a fridge. In the junkyard south of University Point, you can find a fridge from which Billy is heard screaming. As it turns out, poor Billy survived the apocalypse by hiding in a fridge when the bombs went off! What a way to "not" go. The whole scene is a cheeky reference to Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, in which Indie uses just such a technique.
I guess great minds think alike!
Get ready for some spooky details folks, because this next one reaches out of the game itself!
From the very start of the Fallout 4, players can find in their home posters which are put up as an advertisement for Vault-Tec's services. On them, is a phone number: 1-888-4-VAULT-TEC. While punching those keys into a phone seems like a bad idea, some players thought they should try it for science! It turns out that dialing the number will loop a 40-second audio file about a sudden volume in callers, and that Vault-Tec can't answer you right now. Not only does the gag hit close to home for customer support, but it's also a great way to engage players outside the game itself.
Well played Bethesda, well played.
Walden Pond is a really interesting place. Named by philosopher and essayist William Henry Thoreau, the pond really does exist in Concord.
In the Fallout universe, however, it's home to an amalgamation of strange details which often make reference to the real place.
Take the following example. South-East of the Pond, you can find a shack which has seemingly been abandoned. Inside is a slew of feline paraphernalia! From posters to paintings, the last occupant of the cabin was clearly feline-obsessed. While this may just be a funny nod to the attitude of "cat people," it may also be a great reference to Thoreau's work on natural history, and birds generally.
Speaking of the Institute and synths. Did you know even your settlements have been infiltrated?
That's what scary about Synths in Fallout 4. You can't tell the difference between them and a real human. Some players have resorted to finding out the truth about the settlers the hard way, putting aside their morality. Take your first settlement and its inhabitants. It's hard to find someone who doesn't love Sturges, your friendly mechanic. That's especially true given the fact that you have to live with Mama Murphy. Well, as it turns out, STURGES IS A SYNTH! Those who have resorted to violent means of interrogation have discovered a synth component when looting him. The proof is conclusive, but do you want to believe it?
But wait, the institute, the synths...IT GOES DEEPER.
I'm not losing it, I'm telling you: the institute is EVERYWHERE. You may just think them a plot point, a boogeyman that can be ignored. But their association with the Sole survivor goes way deeper than your son. The institute is watching your every move, and the movements of all citizens in the Boston area. It's the birds, the birds! Next time you come across a group of them, let fly a couple bullets and you might just see. Some of these birds are filled with mechanical components, they're the true eyes of the institute! It's a small addition to the world, but the lore implications are immense.
They know where you are, they've always known.
It's rare to see a raider cry, and when you do...well it's quite confusing.
It's easy for players in Fallout 4 to indiscriminately take the wasteland back from the raiders without pause for their aspirations, their day-to-day life. That's why Bethesda put in a few details which force the player to consider the mystery that is their interactions, their relationships (apart from generally causing a ruckus). Head for the railway line close to Sanctuary and you may just happen upon a crying raider. They'll attack you on sight, as is the MO of most raiders, but once you've dealt with them you'll find the cause of their grief.
As it turns out, the poor fellow was kneeling at the freshly dug grave of a friend.
Raiders, as it turns out, do have a heart. It's a small detail, but a good one. Does this imply a greater nearby Raider graveyard?
The Miller's family story is a small one in the sea of desolation that is the Boston wasteland.
Indeed, it's easy for players to become desensitized to the destruction which came when the bombs fell, and how it affected the families in the wasteland. Nonetheless, Bethesda has included several great details to paint a picture of the years after the bomb, and how families coped with the loss of loved ones. The Miller family story can be found next to Big John's Salvage, and it's a sad one. Players exploring the house can find two skeletons, huddled together in a final embrace. Further, they'll even spot two small graves marked by a baseball glove and a teddy bear.
I'm not crying, you're crying! Curse you Bethesda.
This next detail was particularly hard to come by, but someone (somehow) did!
So everyone's favorite mayor, Hancock, has a few surprises for the player up his sleeve. Apart from his past and uncertain future, it also turns out that Hancock may have a daughter hidden amongst his guards! Indeed, examined game files reveal that Hancock's personal bodyguard, Fahrenheit, is actually his daughter! The question is whether this was meant to be a part of his storyline before being scrapped, or if it's meant to be a secret from everyone...perhaps even from Fahrenheit herself?
We'll never know, but it does add to Hancock's mysterious nature.
Adding to the long list of movie references in Fallout 4 is a sad scene spotted in the Far Harbor DLC.
Deep in the swamps of the island, and totally unmarked on the map, it's possible for players to find an ominous reference to two lovers. Head north from the Nucleus to find the spot itself. There, in the swamp, you'll find a door that can be found floating on the swamp on which one skeleton is sprawled while another clutches to the door. Unlike the movie it references, both lovers don't make it in the end. I guess we can't be surprised given that this scene takes place in the Fallout universe. But, it does confirm one thing.
There was enough room on that piece of wood for both of them.
I'm a sucker for anything that references Dark Souls, so this next detail had me screaming in excitement.
Players who have yet to explore the Nuka-World DLC to its full extent may not have found this small, relatively well-hidden detail. Next time you travel to the raider paradise, head outside the theme park to the town of Bradberton. Within a demolished house you can encounter a conspicuous looking Bonfire, or rather, a Chinese officer's sword sticking out of an extinguished fire. You may think it just a visual call-back, but Bethesda took it one step further. Light it with bullets and pull out the sword to be rewarded with a total of 6 much-needed stimpacks.
Not only does it look like a bonfire, but it will also charge up your Estus flask and allow you to go face the many creatures of the wasteland.