The misunderstanding that is the "Enclave"

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by RetroAmerica, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. RetroAmerica

    RetroAmerica It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 18, 2014
    Now first off, let me state that for all intents and purposes the reasoning behind this thread is to discuss some of the strange plot holes that relate to the former United States Government faction, and hopefully not to get overrun by the fanatical fan base who salivate at the mere mention of "The Enclave".

    1) First off, let's start with the naming convention. We know that Bethesda for the most part did not do their research and basically made a slap-dash product, which they were exceedingly proud of, but which is not representative of a Fallout game, and during their rushed and rather poor implementation of the Fallout story, they came across the former United States Government faction, which due to the Poseidon Oil Rig, being called the "ENCLAVE" rather than looking further into the topic, they went with the "Cool Factor" and adopted the name for the organization, which because of the Fanboyism of most Fallout 3 players, basically through retroactive content, turned the United States Government based on the "ENCLAVE" (Oil Rig), into a faction so named, even if that naming convention was completely wrong.

    When approaching the sentry at Camp Navarro, upon challenging the Chosen One, he informs him that he's trespassing on Federal Property, not "Enclave property" or anything else for that matter.

    When using the terminal at the reactor in in Geckko, you find references to different installations which are listed as offline, due to no doubt being taken out by nuclear strikes, however the only site active is "ENCLAVE", which even when you receive contact from the Oil Rig, the talking head on the other end uses proper radio procedure by responding as the receiving site....after all it would be downright stupid, or at the very least highly unreasonable to call your man installation the exact same name as your organization.

    Also, other than the patrols sent from the Oil Rig, found on the far left hand side of the map, and the Enclave Control Company, there's no mention of "the Enclave" being an organized force, after all Frank Horrigan when introducing himself says he's an Agent of the United States Secret Service(not the Enclave Secret Service), and even Doctor Curling (the creator of the modified FEV weapon) he himself is a commissioned officer in the Army Chemical Corps, not "the Enclave Chemical Corps".

    Most of these strange inconsistencies such as the Enclave flag, the Enclave Emblem and the "Enclave Armed Forces" are a creation/misunderstanding by Bethesda and Fallout 3.

    2) The United States Government faction is not fascist:
    Now for some it may be hard to swallow, but at the end of the day and though Bethesda did everything in their power, up to and including the inclusion of trench coats and black SS style uniforms, the organization itself is not actually a fascist group and those who call it fascistic, don't seem to have a good grasp of the term.

    The organization itself could be described as xenophobic against mutants and other non-genetically pure humans, however these sorts of attitudes allude to an earlier America of the 20's and 30's when ideas about race, eugenics and psychology were when judged by the standards of the 21st century to be primitive and discriminatory. The idea of killing off or sterilizing those who did not fit the mold of what it was to be an American is not an attribute of fascism but rather a throwback to an earlier nativist sentiment that had been a power driving force in the United States since around the 1850's and would die out with almost forced egalitarianism of the Second World War.

    Therefore the idea that they would condone gassing a majority of the world's mutant population, doesn't strike me as an allegory to Hitler or Nazism, or even as a form of hatred towards the Chosen One, but rather as a rationalization based on eugenics and nationalistic principals. For example when discussing the plan with President Richardson, he doesn't engage in a foaming at the mouth rant about exterminating mutants and mutations, but instead rather matter of factly lays out his case for why they've come to such a harsh solution, and if I remember correctly he makes some statement in which he apologizes to the Chosen One, but in the same breath also tells him, that it's for the survival of the United States.

    3) The United States Government Faction were not a shadow government or conspiracy:

    I never really understood where the convention that the above were some form of conspiracy. In fact, and rather matter of factly it's stated in the GNN transcripts and if I remember correctly some other materials as well, that the President of the United States along with the Pacific Fleet retreated to the Poseidon Oil Rig, just prior to the nuclear engagement and since it was broadcast on GNN, it would be safe to assume that this was for the most part public knowledge and therefore pretty much kills any notion of conspiracy.

    4) Installations:

    The organization itself was a continuity of government scheme for the United States Government and due to what we can assume is the massive amount of damage caused by the Great War as NORAD itself was taken out (Fallout 2, Fallout 3: Van Buren) confirmed that it was now nothing more than a rather big crater, it's safe to assume that a majority of the continuity of government sites were destroyed and therefore makes it highly unlikely that "Raven Rock" (Site R) survived the nuclear attack.

    It's very much plausible however to assume that the organization only operated for the most part in Northern California with possibly one other facility, which if I remember correctly was claimed to be south of Camp Navarro (if someone could locate the dialogue that would be great), after all the Vertibird was not an effectively long range transport platform, as it seemed by all accounts to be heavy on fuel consumption and basically was used as a transport resource between the Oil Rig and the Mainland with a few instances of "Verti-Assault" (comparable to modern Air Assault training no doubt) being used against targets, however the only cases of this tend to occur off screen: ex: The Assault on Vault 13, the Assault on Arroyo, and the attack on Geckko(brought to life in one of the restoration patches).

    To end this, I do hope that this thread generates healthy and well thought out discussion on the subject and does not degenerate into fanboyism and pro-Fallout 3 remarks!
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  2. No Man

    No Man Gore Bag > Meat Bag

    Feb 20, 2014
    I have issues with points 1 and 3.

    The naming convention was there long before FO3.

    J.E. Sawyer about the Enclave being a shadow government.
    The 'conspiracy' is about a bunch of rich, powerful people forming a cabal to control the US government from the shadows. It was a secret organisation that was really in power in the USA and had retreated to the Poseidon Oil Rig before the war. The example of such secret, conspiracy stuff was the Vault Experiment.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  3. BuffHamster

    BuffHamster mod the crap out of it

    Sep 4, 2014
    A very well thought out dissertation of one of the many inconsistencies within the Fallout-verse. Keep in mind that while there are quite a few, I will just stick to the ENCLAVE here.

    First, I should mention that there is an "Official Canon", a "Van Buren Canon" and the "Fallout Bible" written by Chris Avellone. So, according to which Canon should we use? I will also like to point out that each game in the Fallout Series was developed by different teams, with different writers and are not quite consistent with each other. As a preface, read

    Now, I will try to answer each point.

    1) Originally, the ENCLAVE was more of a location than a faction. It is used to describe the remnants of the US Government that retreated to the Poseidon Oil Rig and other locations scattered around the world. Originally, it was "Control Station ENCLAVE" which was based on the Poseidon Oil Rig, later, the name ENCLAVE was used to describe the old remnants of the US Government that had survived the Great War.

    2) Although today's US Government is not fascist, the US Government in 2077 after it had "annexed" Canada, had evolved into a more totalitarian form of government due to the effects of the pandemic "Limit 115", or "New Plague" in 2052.
    In 2055, the West Tek Research Facility began working on a cure, but they were unsuccessful and instead began using their viral research facility to create the "Pan-Immunity Virion Project" in 2073, which later became the "Forced Evolutionary Virus", or FEV.

    3) I understand, but according to what is considered "Official Canon", the ENCLAVE was actually conceived as a "shadow government" within the US Government, it just wasn't called "the ENCLAVE" then.

    And, ...

    What you are referring to is a series of holotapes found in the Sierra Depot:
    While the fact is stated over GNN that the President ordered the Pacific Fleet to the Poseidon Deep Sea Oil Rig located in a "secret location in the Pacific", it is ludicrous to think that the Chinese Government would not know this location, ... yet the oil rig survived the war. Additionally, the news report does not state that the President and the top leaders of the US Government are also moving to the oil rig, which, if you think about it, is probably the safest location, given that the Chinese would not destroy the world's last supply of oil.

    4) ENCLAVE Installations, as stated above, were scattered all over the continent. But for Fallout 2 and later Fallout 3, they were:

    West Coast

    Control Station ENCLAVE (Poseidon Oil Rig)
    Navarro (an old oil refinery that served mainly as a refueling stop for Enclave Vertibirds)
    Mariposa Military Base (a pre-War U.S. military base where the vast majority of the Forced Evolutionary Virus research was being done)

    East Coast

    Raven Rock (Site R, a former American military base and fallout shelter built before the Great War, the ZAX unit was installed prior to the war. More can be found here: )
    Satellite Relay Station (ENCLAVE HQ after the loss of Raven Rock, it can be reached through the Rockland car tunnel.)
    Adams Air Force Base (former headquarters of Strategic Air Command.)

    As for NORAD being "taken out", in Fallout 2:
    Even in the unreleased Van Buren project, something survived at Cheyenne Mountain, whether it be the "Calculator" and his army of robots, or a bunch of glowing ghouls attacking nearby Denver and Boulder.

    Wait. Why? isn't that speculation? What is that based on? Just because one location, or a few locations get hammered during the Great War, therefore all were equally obliterated?

    I hope you understand that my rebuttal is not merely for "fanboyism" or "pro-Fallout 3" reasons. It is meant as clarification based on "Official Canon", "Van Buren Canon", and the fact that Chris Avellone does explain the ENCLAVE in his Fallout Bible*. But how does one not sound "pro-Fallout 3" without including it as a source of "Official Canon"?

    Chris Avellone's Fallout Bible (0-9) can be found here:

    * "In 2011 Chris Avellone recommended against using the Bible to determine canonicity. Any content using the Bible without separate verification from a canon source should include a non canon warning." -from
  4. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    Hey Hamster, I appreciate your reply, but I'm surprised you're using a site that pays little attention to citations or quality thereof. For any things related to the Enclave, I recommend the Vault and its article on the Enclave, with 112 citations (and increasing as they become available). Of particular note is the ridiculous assertion that the Bible is non-canon, despite statements from Howard and Emil that the Bible factored into their work on Fallout 3 and the fact that Chris Avellone is in no position to decide what's canon and what's not in the Fallout series. I'm not sure who is pushing the anti-Bible agenda, but they're pretty much off their rocker if they think they know better than Bethesda what's canon and what's not.

    You are wrong. Here's a rough, non-exclusive list of the Enclave being referred to as the Enclave by multiple NPCs in the game. This clearly shows that the intention of the writers and developers was to have the Enclave be named the Enclave. How the organization styles itself is completely irrelevant as to how it's named. And the name is the Enclave.

    Uh, no. J.E. Sawyer was the first to clarify how the insignia of the Enclave look and Bethesda went with it.

    Your misapprehension is that genocidal maniacs have to be foaming at the mouth and ranting. They aren't. The Enclave is a fascist organization with a Nazi-esque plan to murder millions worldwide based on a pseudo-scientific racial policy. They're effectively Nazis with prettier flags and better guns. The fact that Richardson doesn't foam at the mouth is irrelevant, because Alfred Rosenberg, one of the key architects of the Nazi racial ideology, wasn't foaming at the mouth either.

    The GNN transcript has been disregarded as non-canon.

    The Enclave, as cited here, was always intended to be formed out of the conspiring remnants of the U.S. government. There's quite literally no other opinion among the developers.

    The organization itself was not a COG protocol. If it was, then the corporate bigwigs and high level political leaders wouldn't hide on an oil rig in the middle of nowhere and then try to gas their own citizens, but they would immediately begin coordinating the actions of surviving government forces (the military, police, hospitals, first responders, and so on and so forth) to ensure the continuity of governance and the nation. You see, the basic idea for COG protocols is to ensure the continued existence of the state and protection of the citizenry. Anyone who uses COG to protect their own ass and abandon the nation, as the Enclave's founders have done, is no longer a legitimate authority. Funny thing called "accountability" and "democracy", as feeble as they were in the imperialist, totalitarian pre-War United States, are the reason why they are.

    Dissenting opinions =/= Fanboyism or pro-Fallout 3 remarks.
    • [Like] [Like] x 5
  5. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I am sure there is much inconsistency ingame.

    The Enclave isn't their identity. There are (in their mind) the rightfull heir of the US government.
    Most of the northern american landmass isn't currently under the control of the US government.
    These people have lands they control, but those are splittered on that landmass, not directly linked on foot. Those lands are US territory Enclaves separated by barbarian territories. Instead of calling themselves the Enclaves, they took the sum of their land and called it a single Enclave.
    Considering their goal is to reclaim the northern american Landmass, the future for them is not be called the Enclave, but the US, as they would retake the whole of it.
    But considering they spent decades/centuries as Enclave, it is more convenient to call themselves like that. Beside that, they have to pick something that would dissociate them from other faction that would call themselves the new US, like the NCR.

    Anyway, it never confused me, even when i first played it at my early ages.

    I am more concerned by the fact the (pre-war) country is still called USA sometimes. There aren't United States, they are United Commonwealths. They shouldn't have a name involving states.
  6. BuffHamster

    BuffHamster mod the crap out of it

    Sep 4, 2014
    Thank You! My bad for not searching the Vault and using it as a source. I used the Fallout Wikia only because I have read it from cover to cover, so to speak*, again, my bad. Now I have more reading to catch up on. Hopefully, I didn't bring up too many inaccuracies.

    My point was to show that there are a few sources of canon (Official-Van Buren-Fallout Bible), and of course some inconsistencies between them, but what is consistent is that the ENCLAVE is not just a tiny little faction that the "Chosen One" defeats in Fallout 2, and that it was perhaps just the tip of an iceberg.

    In truth, from reading what Canon Lore I have found (I will continue pawing through the Vault for more), a great deal more "stuff" survived the Great War than what many think.

    I was not aware of an "anti-Bible agenda," until you brought it to my attention, I thought they were saying that things had to correlate to be considered "Official Canon," although they do include the Fallout Bible as a source.

    * mostly searching for base ID, reference IDs, and cut-content as I continue my GECK tutorials, then I couldn't stop.
    [edit] awesome Vault! I found the "bug" sections very helpful, and most stuff is contained on one page rather than spreading it across several, and of course the citations.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
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  7. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    In their mind, yes, but they consciously refer to themselves as the Enclave.

    The U.S. government doesn't exist. The Enclave claims continuity, but they have no right, legal or moral, to be the government. Conspiring to murder your own citizens on a continental scale is a pretty big no-no.

    Uh, any territory the Enclave controls is the Enclave's territory. Not the United States'.


    The NCR doesn't call itself the New United States. They're the New California Republic, and while they recognize the legacy of the U.S., they are their own state.

    Uh, no. The country is still the United States, called that way in every game. I'm not sure why you say they should be called the United Commonwealths, when historically, the entire nation was referred to as the United States, even when it was composed of a mix of states and territories. The name of a nation is not dependent on its internal organization.
  8. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Maybe i should have put "in their mind" in bold red with capslock ? (i wouldn't have anyway. I trust people to read before answering)

    I am not here to say that they are right in thinking that. I believe i mentioned it quite clearly.
    I describe those thing from the Enclave perspective. For them, it makes sense. For someone trying to get himself into their shoes, it makes sense.

    I don't care if they are trying to murder their own citizens. I am not here to punish them or to say what i would do if i faced them. I am just explaining their logic. No matter what you think about that logic, it is still their logic. The moral judgement is off-topic. (at least if you quote my message)

    If i were saying that they were right, you would have every reason to complain and talk about those murders.
    But, once again, this isn't what i said. (and you won't make me use capslock)

    About the USA, i know they are almost/always called USA. But IMO, it doesn't make much sense. Not only there aren't much states, but i would also have made people understand better that this wasn't the country americans currently live in, and would avoid some RL patriots complaining about the way their country is handled in Fallout. That country was a crapsack world to live in, way before the great war. I hope they remain consistent with that.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
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  9. BuffHamster

    BuffHamster mod the crap out of it

    Sep 4, 2014
    You are right about it not being the same USA that we know in our timeline, but in the Fallout-verse, things continued from a branch period just after WWII where it was just the same USA, the people in that timeline wouldn't know anything about our timeline, ... ah man, this timeline stuff gives me a headache.

    From what I have read though, the ENCLAVE is on the ropes, uh, on the way out as a viable faction on the east and west coasts. They can still cause problems, but not on the scale of the NCR or Legion could/would/will have, ... well maybe.

    There does seem to be a "backdoor" for the ENCLAVE in that there are other locations alluded to in the various canons.
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  10. Byzantine

    Byzantine Sink me in the ocean.

    Sep 4, 2014
    They've always been the storm looming on the horizon. Bastards.
  11. BuffHamster

    BuffHamster mod the crap out of it

    Sep 4, 2014
    Slightly on, slightly off topic is the Fo3 mod series in my signature. It elaborates on who the "shadow government" is and it's ties to the ENCLAVE, it's not quite canon, but draws on it heavily.

    Parts 1 and 2 are by Firelady and her mods (outdated) can be found on the Nexus. Part 3 used to be on the Nexus, but the mod author AndromedaCrescent was booted after unknowingly using some mod resources that contained "illegal" content. TOXA1's mod resource assets were shown to be ripped illegally from another game. AC was somewhat new to the world of mod authorship and instead of updating his mod with a "cleaned" version, AC mistakenly uploaded a "patch" meant to overwrite the original mod and was subsequently banned from Nexus.

    Firelady passed away in 2010 and AndromedaCrescent was her significant other, read: fiance. The updated parts 1 and 2, along with a "cleaned" version of part 3 are available on moddb. Work continues on the final part 4 by AndromedaCrescent based on her files and notes.

    Anyway, the mod series postulates that the "shadow government" may have purposely triggered the Great War and that there actually was a starship built just before the bombs fell. The character is forced into an alliance with a ENCLAVE military intelligence officer and therefor gets to use advanced ENCLAVE technology in part 3. The story is linear but quite epic in scope.
  12. Nas92

    Nas92 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 8, 2012
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that the name "Enclave" was in Fallout 2 as well. Wasn't the quest called "Stop the Enclave"? That's what it was listed as in one of wikis.
    I'm not sure if the Enclave flag was in F2, but I seem to remember that it was. Not sure though.
    Of course in my opinion the Enclave and the Vault Experiments should not really be taken seriously. The Enclave is one of the many goofy retardations of Fallout 2, basically the evul NWO. In Fallout 1 the US government was established as ruthless and tyrannical because of the growing crises in the world. Fallout 2 reduced it to conspiratard bullshit.
  13. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    You should take time to talk with them, read their holodisk, explore their locations.

    They are meant to appear goofy at first time, but when you learn to know them, they appear very believable, both human/mundane and frightening, and not so far from how that gov is perceived in real-life by other countries.

    On a semi-related note, I was quite impressed to see an american video-game depicting them that way, especially playing the first time during the french-US crisis, when we didn't want to attack Irak and the US/brittish created/resurrected the Cheese eater surrounding monkey, and boycott of wine/cheese/french products. (Turn out there wasn't any mass destruction weapon there, and nobody bothered to sanction Bush for his lies, or did he appologized the sanctions he applied to others after he was proven wrong.)
  14. Nas92

    Nas92 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Sep 8, 2012
    That human part of the Enclave is basically 10% of the entire thing. Other than that it's talking deathclaws, moralizing cyborg dogs, evil president, mad scientists, etc.
    What is especially frustrating about the Enclave is that it turns the hints of what the pre-war world was like in F1 and makes it cold hard stated fact, which is retarded cliche on top of it. In my opinion the very concept of the Enclave is as if someone took the movie "Unbreakable" and made a cliche comic superhero movie out of it as a sequel.
  15. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    They appear goofy upon closer inspection as well. They're a thinly veiled parody of the Republican party, Dan Quayle should be enough of a clue.
  16. RetroAmerica

    RetroAmerica It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 18, 2014
    The irony of relying upon the "Fallout Bibles", J.E. Sawyer and the like to establish Fallout Canon is a little foolish as Leonard Boyarsky is credited as being the man behind the Fallout Universe(inspired as it was by Wasteland), and having only worked on the initial design for Fallout 2, like the rest of his compatriots who published the initial Fallout title.

    Fallout, because of its strange development and loss of initial creative staff, leading to the sequel being produced by separate authors, many spin off products (such as Tactics and FNV), a cancelled trilogy (FO3) and then appropriation by yet another entirely different studio and team which gave us Bethesda's Fallout-Doom, over time the product suffers from some of the same issues in which long running television series tend to be cursed with, however Fallout's inconsistencies are due to a large turnover in developers/writing staff and not longevity.

    Inherently, after looking up the vast dearth of information, some of it commonly contradictory and varied interpretations between authors and publishers of what the Fallout Universe is, I find it rather sketchy and leads to a lack of credulity when the source materials don't often match up with later writings or publications.

    Even the Fallout 2 manual, is somewhat contradictory from Fallout 2 itself as Ian is noted to have claimed to have died in Necropolis, he's found at Vault City(cut content), trying to convince the Chosen One to help a small settlement outside of Vault City from being annexed and their citizenry sold into slavery.

    Therefore we must put very little stock in all the pedias, "Bibles" etc. and rely based on the content we see presented in the titles themselves and perhaps design documents, but even those are up for grabs as some of the information in them never made it into the finished product (ie: TV-Town)
  17. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    I am not sure the Ian stuff is a total inconsistency. Even if they had kept Ian in Fo2, the manual was written by the vault dweller. The vault dweller might have believed in Ian death, while unaware of his survival.

    About the Enclave itself, it might be usefull to create another thread (like if there wasn't enough) only about their depth. There would be many things to say to defend them. (even if they are far from being the best faction, they are still higly relevant as a faction, at least in Fo2-FoNV)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  18. Big No

    Big No Watch as I open and close this door

    Oct 28, 2014
    I fail to see how "cut content" is proof that the game contradicts itself. I'm sure there are other parts of the game that contradicts itself more clearly, but relying on a piece of cut content to help prove your side of the discussion doesn't really sound right. I mean, that's why Ian was cut right? Because he would contradict himself by existing when the manual clearly stated he died.
  19. RetroAmerica

    RetroAmerica It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Feb 18, 2014
    It just speaks to the fact about lack of consistency in the series between Fallout 1, 2 etc.

    Also, considering that cut-content, Van Buren and the "Bibles" are all used as source information for events in Fallout further indicates the lack of any actual consistency in the game.
  20. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    No, he isn't. Fallout was a collaborative effort and large chunks of it were created not by Leo (his responsibility was graphic design), but by Chris Taylor and R. Scott Campbell.

    The series is seventeen years old now. It's longevity that's the issue and bickering that it's evolved over that time span makes little sense. As a fanbase, we can shriek and withdraw to the safety of darkness, bickering about the later titles, or take them as-is and make the best of it, while voicing our concerns.

    It really isn't. Old Joe doesn't exist as far as the series is concerned and Ian died at Necropolis, incinerated by a flamethrower.

    Does not follow. The Fallout Bible is based on credible sources (developers, design documents, etc.) with speculation clearly marked. There is nothing to suggest that the Bible doesn't apply, given that it gives information used as basis for developing the games. To argue otherwise is ridiculous.

    He didn't survive. Getting set on fire with a flamethrower is painful and generally fatal. Even if Ian was immediately wheeled into a cutting edge ICU and treated for burns, there's no guarantee he'd survive.