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Fallout: New Vegas - How Vault 11 Systematized Human Sacrifice

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 17:40 PM

Fallout: New Vegas’ Vault 11 is arguably the vault with the most demented experiment in the series, as it effectively shows the depravity of man.

p>Vault 11 is an empty vault that can be encountered in Fallout: New Vegas. It’s been abandoned for many years by the time The Courier arrives, but the reason for its abandonment is especially chilling.

Vault 11 is located west of Boulder City on the map of Fallout: New Vegas. The entrance leading to the vault is nestled in a large stone structure. When the player enters, they’ll find the vault door open and the inner chambers in disarray.

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Vault 11’s Twisted Social Experiment

Of all of Vault-Tec’s twisted experiments in the Fallout franchise, this one is arguably the worst. Vault 11 was designed to test how far its residents were willing to go to ensure the safety of the majority. The inhabitants of the vault were required to hold an election for overseer every year, and by the end of their term, they were to be sacrificed. If the vault residents failed to choose an overseer, the vault would cut off their support systems, leading to the death of everyone in the facility.

Of course, those who were assigned to live in Vault 11 after the Great War in Fallout had no idea of this plan. Thus, by the time they moved in, they had seemingly no other option but to comply. The residents formed the Coalition of Vault 11 Voting Blocs, a group made up of the vault’s six voting blocs. This coalition created the voting guidelines and served as a supposedly impartial set of representatives that would help the rest of the inhabitants make educated votes. However, this wasn’t the case for the most part.

A Shining Example of Humanity

With the rules set, the voting blocs began discussing whom they would endorse to become vault overseer and, eventually, sacrifice. This is when the power play began. In particular, Roy Gottlieb — president of the Justice Bloc and chairman of the coalition — went to Katherine Stone and told her that the Justice Bloc was thinking of nominating her husband, Nathan. Though he didn’t elaborate why, Katherine believed it was because Nathan had had a lucky streak in the poker games he’d play with some of the members of the Justice Bloc.

Regardless, the Justice Bloc was the most powerful voting bloc in Vault 11, so Katherine knew that if they endorsed her husband, he would most likely win the elections as overseer. Roy knew this too, so he offered to help “sway the bloc” away from endorsing Nathan, provided that Katherine performed sexual favors for him and his friends in the Justice Bloc. Katherine agreed to his terms. However, when the official endorsements came out, she found that the Justice Bloc had chosen her husband anyway. Enraged, Katherine decided to take matters into her own hands and murdered some of the members of the Justice Bloc in an attempt to override their majority.

Katherine also knew that she would eventually be found out as the murderer and hoped to be elected as overseer. Unsurprisingly, she won the elections. Her first act as the new leader of Vault 11 was to create Overseer Order 745. This act dissolved the coalition’s original voting rules and, instead, made it so the next overseer in the Fallout vault would be chosen randomly using the vault’s computer systems. This, Katherine believed, ensured “complete impartiality and fairness” in the selection process.

Roy and the rest of the Justice Bloc weren’t happy with this turn of events, however. In response, they started collecting firearms in Fallout, which they used to gain control of the vault’s food, water, and power supply. This resulted in violence all across the vault, with its inhabitants fighting over resources. In the end, only five unnamed vault residents remained. These five residents talked among themselves and finally decided that they wouldn’t go along with the sacrifices anymore. They were prepared to die to end the needless bloodshed.

Surprisingly, instead of the vault shutting down its life support systems, an automated message played, congratulating the remaining residents of Vault 11. By going against Vault-Tec’s initial instructions in Fallout, they’ve proven that their “commitment to human life is a shining example to us all.” The system then unlocked the vault door, allowing the last five inhabitants to leave. However, they couldn’t bear to live with what they’ve done, so four of the five survivors took their own lives. The last left the vault to explore the Mojave Wasteland.

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Vault 11 in Fallout: New Vegas

In Fallout: New Vegas, the player can find what remains of Vault 11. Like any abandoned vault in Fallout, its inner sections are soiled and cluttered. The most notable items in the vault are the propaganda posters, urging the former vault residents to vote (or not vote) for certain candidates. Some posters appealed to emotions, asking that people don’t vote for a candidate because he has a family he needs to care for. On the flip side, some posters accused a candidate of being an adulterer and communist sympathizer.

The Courier of Fallout: New Vegas can even simulate what the vault’s past overseers went through by gaining access to the sacrificial chamber. It’s simply a room at the end of a long hallway with nothing but a chair, a coffee table, and a projector. The Happy Trails slideshow plays on the screen when the player sits down, and a voiceover congratulates the “martyr” for their sacrifice. When the slideshow ends, the walls of the room open up, releasing hostile robots on the player. After defeating them, The Courier can simply leave the vault.

In the atrium terminal, however, The Courier can also find an interesting message written by the ombudsman for the Annual Overseer Elections. In it, he expresses his confusion at what Vault 11 required of them. He also wonders whether there’s a reason for all of it or if the vault residents were simply going along with the sacrifices because they didn’t see any alternatives. The message then ends with a chilling reminder that before the bombs fell, people were ruled by civility and dignity.

Fallout: New Vegas is out now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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