Why the experiment in Vault 112 is so easy to hijack

112″ vault Fallout 3 is one of the few Vault-Tec facilities still active in the game’s post-apocalyptic wasteland. That said, its inhabitants don’t “live” exactly as they normally would. This is because of Vault-Tec’s planned experiments on the residents of Vault 112.

Vault 112 is accessible via a Fallout 3 location labeled Smith Casey’s Garage. It is southeast of Little Lamplight and west of Evergreen Mills. Although the garage may look normal at first, flipping a switch will reveal a staircase descending into the ground.

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Vault 112 Virtual Reality Program

According to information from Fall 3, Vault-Tec began construction of Vault 112 in 2068 and ended in 2074. It was built to house 85 occupants for an indefinite period. Interestingly enough, only one administrator was assigned to the entire vault – Overseer Stanislaus Braun. A trained scientist, Braun was known to have single-handedly developed the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK). After which, he started getting into virtual reality programs.

Braun was also director of Vault-Tec’s societal preservation program. Thus, he had carte blanche to design experiments for individual vaults, probably including the vaults known in Fallout 3. It was his interest in virtual reality that ultimately spurred the creation of Vault 112. The Vault was equipped with geothermal energy sources, guardian robots, and special stasis modules. The pods would be able to support the residents of Vault 112 while tracking their stress levels and vital signs.

During this time, Braun worked on several simulations – virtual utopias where the residents of the Vault could live forever in tranquility. At the start of the Great War, he had a lot to test. When selected residents of Fallout 3‘s Vault 112 was heading to their new home, they probably had no idea they would be suspended in virtual reality for over 200 years.

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Dr. Stanislaus Braun’s God Complex in Fallout 3

At first, Braun followed what the experiment had predicted. He set up simulated worlds that gave residents their perfect lives – lives far removed from what players experienced in Fallout 3. The modules and the whole system were built in such a way that Braun had full control over everything, so he could modify the simulation and make it the best possible world for the inhabitants of Vault 112.

However, that also meant they couldn’t leave even if they wanted to, which players see in Fallout 3. When Braun grew tired of mock utopias, he began killing each of the Vault’s residents. Of course, they weren’t actually “dead” in real life as Braun could simply resurrect them, while erasing their memories to ensure neither of them remembered Braun’s dastardly actions.

Because of this, many locals had no idea that they were living in one simulation after another. Braun took advantage of their ignorance, murdering the residents of the Vault again and again. In his personal terminal entries in Fallout 3, he writes about simulations like “Toucan Lagoon”, where he sees vault residents being devoured by sharks. There is also “Slalom Chalet”, an icy land similar to the Swiss Alps. In the entryway, Braun impatiently recounts how a resident of the vault slipped from an icy staircase and impaled himself on a wrought-iron fence.

In the end, Braun opted for the “Tranquility Lane” simulation, in which the player finds himself during the events of Fallout 3. Although American-style, Braun thought the place reminded him of Kronach, his hometown. Additionally, the residents of the Vault naturally settled into the simulation, which made ruin for them all the more satisfying for him. Although at this point someone figured out what Braun was doing.

Old Lady Dithers is one of the vault residents trapped in Braun’s simulation. During the extended simulation, she somehow became aware of what Braun was doing. She may have tried to alert the other residents, but they probably just fired her as they still act like they’re living a normal life in Fallout 3. It should also be noted that the terminal tracking his current state indicates that there is an abnormality in his vital signs and that his stress level is extremely high.

Activate Failsafe and escape from Tranquility Lane

When the player arrives in Vault 112 and enters the Matrix-esque simulation to find his father, he must first deal with Braun. The man has taken the form of a little girl named Betty and demands that the player do heinous acts for him in order to get his questions answered. Doing what Braun says will result in multiple penalties to the player’s karma, though it will also result in him revealing where the Fallout 3 the protagonist’s father is as well as an issue. He and the rest of the Vault residents will remain in the simulation.

Alternatively, refusing to do what Braun asks and talking to Old Lady Dithers instead will open up another option for the player. She will talk about a fail-safe in the abandoned house but express that no one is brave enough to venture there. If the player goes there, they will have to solve a puzzle, which will then reveal the hidden terminal containing the security protocol. The puzzle is simply to repeat a melody that Brain whistles from time to time. Suffice to say, it’s a ridiculously easy way to access the secret terminal.

That’s why it’s so easy to hijack the entire experience of Vault 112. Anyone could have entered the simulation, found the failsafe, and initiated it. This effectively deprives Braun of its test subjects and lets the intruder do whatever they want with the simulation – perhaps rewiring the entire system from the outside. Braun couldn’t do anything as he himself is trapped in the simulated world.

Even then, the intruder would not need to enter the simulation to foil Braun’s plans. They would just have to find a way to shut off the geothermal energy sources from the facility. The only reason why Fallout 3‘s Lone Wanderer doesn’t do this because they want to save their father. So the premise of Vault 112 may be interesting, but it’s ridiculously easy to interfere, even in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Fallout 3 is available now on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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