Super mutants are an invention of the original Fallout, but they are also featured in the Bethesda games, which take place across the country.
By Kyle Gratton
Published Jun 02, 2021
When Bethesda?took the reigns of the?Fallout?series starting with?Fallout 3, there was plenty of room for the series’ new developer to build unique but inspired lore. The first two isometric?Fallout titles featured locations primarily on the west coast of the United States, taking place in nuclear wastelands formerly comprised of?California and Oregon. When Bethesda took over the Fallout?series, changing it to a primarily first person perspective, it also moved across the country to?Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland.
Bethesda’s subsequent entries to the post-apocalyptic series would also take place near?the east coast -?Fallout 4 in the Boston Commonwealth, and?Fallout 76 in the Appalachian region of West Virginia. Moving the series such a great distance offered Bethesda a chance to write?new narratives, free from the constraints of most canonized events established in?Fallout 1 and?2, but separate origins for some factions and enemies, such as the super mutants, would have to be created. The super mutants of the original?Fallouts – and those in?Obsidian’s?New Vegas – share a similar origin: the results of an experiment at the Mariposa Military Base.
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The recognizable, usually green mutants of the?Fallout?universe are man-made, unlike radiation-created creatures like Ghouls. When?Bethesda created factions of super mutants for the east coast locales, they were each given a different origin, though they are all still consistent with the established?Fallout?lore.
Super mutants in?Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland hail from the Evolutionary Experiment Program?conducted in Vault 87. There, some?vault dwellers were subjected to the Forced Evolutionary Virus, the same that was used on the west coast to create super mutants. This strain of the virus, however, resulted in super mutants much less intelligent than their west coast counterparts. Thus, super mutants in?Fallout 3 are almost entirely dim-witted and violent, kidnapping humans to expose them to the virus in order to create more mutants.
The Boston area?super mutants, including Fallout 4 companion Strong, are products of the Institute, who conducted research on the Forced Evolutionary Virus while trying to create their synthetic servants. The super mutants wandering the Commonwealth?are generally more intelligent than those in the Capital Wasteland, and are infected with a virus strain that can be cured, as shown by the Sole Survivor helping Virgil turn himself back into a human.
Fallout?Super mutants came to 76’s?Appalachia by way of the town of Huntersville, where West Tek – the company that created the Forced Evolutionary Virus – tainted the town’s water supply with its creation. The super mutants of West Virginia have varying dispositions, with some being hostile?and others?being willing to trade with humans. What started out as the main antagonistic faction under control of the Master in the first?game?has turned into a varied character type across multiple titles, especially in?the?Bethesda Fallout games?set on the other side of post-nuclear America.
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About The Author
(317 Articles Published)
A passion for video games was instilled at a young age when Kyle Gratton and his older brother were gifted a Nintendo 64 and Ocarina of Time. Graduating from the University of Kansas as an English and History major, with a minor in Film, Kyle enjoys discussing literature, movies, television, and especially video games. He currently writes features and reviews for Screen Rant’s games section, and dabbles in short fiction occasionally.
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