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Deathclaw (Fallout)

FO76 publicteam xpd.pngFor an overview of deathclaw variants, see deathclaw.

The Deathclaw is the most evil thing to rise out of the ashes after the war. Some say it's a powerful ghost from the war that haunts the land. It's no ghost, it's as real as you and me.Beth

Deathclaws are creatures in Fallout.

Background

The creatures are mutated Jackson's Chameleons, who group together with a pack mentality.[1] Some wastelanders consider deathclaws to be mythical creatures, vampires, or ghosts.[2][3][4] Those who have seen them describe the creatures as extremely dangerous, fast, with tough hides and sharp claws.[5][6][7][Pub 1] Deathclaws can throw objects, slam the player character into the ground or stagger them.[8] Behemoths are the only creatures mentioned as being more of a threat than deathclaws.[Pub 2]

The creatures lay eggs, pairings decided by the pack leader.[9][10][11][12] Hunters are unable to prevent deathclaws from establishing nests, which disrupts trade routes.[13][14] The only way to disrupt the nests is to kill the pack mother.[15][16]

The Appalachian Enclave's research division noted that the genetic manipulation looks similar to their own projects.[17] The Enclave also used deathclaws in their experiments at Raven Rock, pacifying them with Domestication units.[18][Pub 3]

The deathclaws created by the Enclave in Vault 13 are known as Intelligent Deathclaws, modified in an effort to create expendable soldiers.[19] The creatures were injected with FEV by the Enclave, resulting in their increased intelligence.[20] They realized they were destined for slavery, utilized by the Enclave for soldiers, and "played dumb" until they could gain their freedom.[20][21][22] The Enclave realized the deathclaws had gained more intelligence than intended, and plan to exterminate the group.[19][23] Goris, the son of the Vault 13 pack leader Gruthar, is a recruitable companion.[23][Pub 4]

Variants

Deathclaw

Name (Proto ID)StatisticsDT/DRAbilities
Deathclaw
00000051
Experience Points
1000
Hit Point
225
Healing Rate
3
Armor Class
10
Sequence
26
Action Points
10
Melee Damage
19
Critical Chance
5%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Normal
6-25%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Laser
4-10%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Fire
4-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Plasma
4-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Electrical
4-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Explosive
6-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: EMP
0-500%

Deathclaw spawn

Name (Proto ID)StatisticsDT/DRAbilities
Deathclaw spawn
00000165
Experience Points
300
Hit Point
60
Healing Rate
2
Armor Class
28
Sequence
17
Action Points
11
Melee Damage
13
Critical Chance
3%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Normal
0-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Laser
0-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Fire
0-20%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Plasma
0-10%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Electrical
0-30%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Explosive
0-10%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: EMP
0-500%

Mother deathclaw

Name (Proto ID)StatisticsDT/DRAbilities
Mother deathclaw
00000309
Experience Points
1500
Hit Point
320
Healing Rate
3
Armor Class
30
Sequence
27
Action Points
13
Melee Damage
27
Critical Chance
30%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Normal
8-40%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Laser
8-60%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Fire
2-30%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Plasma
10-50%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Electrical
8-50%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: Explosive
8-40%
Damage Threshold/Damage Resistance: EMP
10-500%

Notes

Appearances

Deathclaws appear in Fallout.

Behind the scenes

  • Scott Campbell shared that the initial design for the deathclaw in Fallout was that of a very furry FEV-hybrid of wolverine and brown bear, which was later replaced by the model of a Tarrasque which was produced for Planescape: Torment, but ended up being unused.[Dev 1][Dev 2] Chris Taylor also stated that the hairy version was canceled due to technical limitations at that time, with the original concept being later revived for Fallout Tactics.[Dev 3]
  • John Deiley designed Intelligent Deathclaws.[Dev 4][Dev 5]
  • The Fallout Bible contains background information regarding the development of Deathclaws.[Dev 6]
  • The canceled Fallout Pen and Paper d20 included concept art for Deathclaws.[Dev 7]
  • The Fallout 3 Deathclaw texture was created using "a lot of rhino skin and things like that."[Dev 8]
  • The Fallout 4 Deathclaw model was made by Jonah Lobe.[Dev 9][Dev 10] Lobe started working on a model in ZBrush from home, referencing his Deathclaw models from Fallout 3, while also taking inspiration from lions for their eyes. Lobe showed the model to Todd Howard when it was about 70% done, and Howard gave him the go-ahead to finish it. Two days later, Howard returned to Lobe's office cube and informed him that they were restructuring the demo to include a final power armor versus deathclaw battle, which became part of When Freedom Calls in the final game.[Dev 11] The model was also textured without the use of photo reference, instead being hand painted.[Dev 8]
  • A Fallout 4 deathclaw appeared in an advertisement for the PlayStation Now service, where it appeared alongside a cast of characters from various video games, including Liberty Prime.[Ext 1]

Gallery

References

  1. Chosen One: "What can you tell me about the deathclaws?"
    Joseph: "Well, let's see... Deathclaws appear to be mutated Jackson's Chameleons, the horned variety. There are a lot of similarities still present, but an even greater number of differences. The mutation factor is quite high. This species is highly intelligent, about the equivalent of an eight-year-old, with some individuals reaching human normal level. Their learning capacity is very high and they are capable of abstract thought and reasoning. Although they do not have vocal chords, the deathclaws seem to mimic human speech much the same as a parrot does. I have yet to discover the exact mechanism behind this, so I am unable to say more at this time. Socially, they are pack animals with a very rigid code of ethics. They are led by an 'alpha male' who rules with the mutual consent of the pack. They appear to be extremely loyal to the pack as a whole, treating it as a family unit rather than having individual families as humans do. Their sense of right and wrong is very well defined. They do follow a code of ethics that is enforced by the pack as a whole. Violence is never used as a solution to a problem among the pack as far as I can see. There have been no 'capital crimes' committed here, so I can't say how those are handled. Hmmm. That's about all I can think of for now. I hope this helps you.}"
    (Joseph's dialogue)
  2. Vault Dweller:"{347}{}{Do you know anything about the Deathclaw?}"
    John Maxson:"{262}{Gen_78}{Oh. Just another stupid rumor. Some people say it's a huge fanged monster and others say it's a vampire.}"
    (John Maxson's dialogue)
  3. Vault Dweller: "{110}{}{What do you know about the Deathclaw?}"
    Beth: "{240}{}{The Deathclaw is the most evil thing to rise out of the ashes after the War. Some say it's a powerful ghost from the war that haunts the land. It's no ghost, it's as real as you and me. It's 20 feet tall with teeth as big as your arm. It's some kind of demon that found it's way here when the world was engulfed in fire.}"
    (Beth's dialogue)
  4. Vault Dweller:"{347}{}{Do you know anything about the Deathclaw?}"
    John Maxson:"{262}{Gen_78}{Oh. Just another stupid rumor. Some people say it's a huge fanged monster and others say it's a vampire.}"
    (John Maxson's dialogue)
  5. Fallout 3 loading screen: "Deathclaws are some of the most frightening creatures ever encountered by settlers in the Capital Wasteland. Their speed and ferocity are matched only by the size of their claws..."
  6. Gruthar: "You see a large deathclaw. The creature is composed of rippling muscle, sharp teeth, and claws."
    (Gruthar's dialogue)
  7. Lone Wanderer: "Dying? How awful! What happened to you?"
    Branchtender Linden: "I was a Brotherhood of Steel Outcast. We had a deep patrol out here, looking for some tech and then got jumped by some Deathclaws. They shredded everyone else and left me bleeding to death. If it wasn't for Oasis and Bloomseer Poplar, I'd be dead right now. Honestly, I've never seen anything like this place... it's beautiful. It's a shame only a few people will ever get to see it."
    (Branchtender Linden's dialogue)
  8. Fallout 4 loading screens: "No creature represents the danger of the Wasteland as much as the Deathclaw, which uses razor-sharp claws to rip apart its prey... in seconds."
  9. Courier: "Where can I find a Deathclaw egg?"
    Jas Wilkins: "The quarry just north of here is full of Deathclaws, so there's bound to be an egg or two in there somewhere. Of course, a Deathclaw egg from anywhere will do. According to my Aunt Rose, those things have a ridiculously long shelf life."
    (Jas Wilkins' dialogue)
  10. Chosen One: "Who is the deathclaw father?"
    Kerith: "These eggs were sired by Gruthar, the pack leader. It is Gruthar who decides who will mate and who will not. The pack will be made strong by Gruthar."
    (Kerith's dialogue)
  11. Courier: "Have you had problems with Deathclaws before?"
    Chomps Lewis: "We'd see them occasionally, but they didn't seem too keen on getting too close to the quarry. Not sure if it was the noise or all the workers. I can't believe that an entire pack moved into the quarry. I thought that kind of bad luck only happened in New Vegas."
    (Chomps Lewis/Dialogue)
  12. Chosen One: "There are other mothers?"
    Kerith: "Yes, there are more mothers. Should anything happen to me, one will be chosen to take my place. The pack must survive."
    (Kerith's dialogue)
  13. Vault Dweller: "{141}{}{Where can I find the Gun Runners located?}"
    Razor: "{158}{}{The Gun Runners are over to the east and then north of here. But be careful - Death Claws are not to be taken lightly. I've seen a Death Claw tear a man in half with one swipe.}"
    (Razor's dialogue)
  14. Fallout: New Vegas loading screens: "Despite the best efforts of well-equipped hunters, deathclaws continue to establish nests across the Mojave Wasteland."
  15. Courier: "I killed the Mother Deathclaw."
    Chomps Lewis: "You... you did? That's pretty amazing - I figured you'd need artillery to take her out. I hate to say it, but as long as the Alpha Male is still alive, that pack isn't going anywhere, even with the Deathclaw Mother out of the picture."
    (Chomps Lewis/Dialogue)
  16. Courier: "I killed the Deathclaw Alpha Male."
    Chomps Lewis: "You... you did? That's pretty amazing - I figured you'd need artillery to take him out. I hate to say it, but as long as the Deathclaw Mother is still alive, that pack isn't going anywhere. She'll take another mate and keep laying eggs."
    (Chomps Lewis/Dialogue)
  17. Enclave research facility terminal entires; Cell block C console, Subject C-01
  18. Raven Rock terminal entries; delivery terminal, Note Regarding Recent Delivery
  19. 19.0 19.1 Schreber: "The Enclave has been looking for cheap, expendable soldiers. We are interested in deathclaws because they have built in armor and weapons, and they're mean as hell. They just need to be smarter so they can understand commands but not too smart or they could develop a will of their own. With me so far?"
    Chosen One: "Yes, I follow you."
    Schreber: "Well we succeeded! We actually managed to increase their intelligence. However, I began to suspect that we went too far. That maybe they were a lot smarter than they were letting on. So when I was transferred here I brought one of them with me so I could put my theory to the test."
    Chosen One: "And?"
    Schreber: "I was right! The deathclaws have apparently been playing dumb, biding their time, and trying to learn as much as they can from us. They can even mimic human speech! I've actually had a conversation with that fellow in the next room. Anyway. The fact that they were capable of conceiving this plan and pulling off the deception shows just how dangerous they are."
    Chosen One: "So what do you plan to do now?"
    Schreber: "I'm going to write a report on my findings and have it transmitted to the Enclave. Of course I'll have to recommend the extermination of the deathclaw breed. They are much too dangerous a threat."
    (Schreber's dialogue)
  20. 20.0 20.1 Chosen One: "What do you know about this virus?"
    Goris: "So, the Enclave started messing with a virus, or some such thing, and injected the deathclaws with it. This virus was known to mutate humans into some sort of super beings, so the Enclave wanted to see what it would do to deathclaws. Well, the result was a breed of deathclaws so smart that they could see they were destined for slavery. So, they played dumb until they could gain their freedom. And here they are!"
    (Goris' dialogue)
  21. Chosen One: "What can you tell me about the deathclaws here?"
    Goris: "These aren't your average deathclaws, as I'm sure you noticed. They've had their intelligence enhanced by some means not understood by them. It was done by a group of humans known as 'The Enclave.' It seems this Enclave needed an army and they chose deathclaws because of their ferocity, physical prowess, and... well, you get the picture. Anyway, the only thing lacking in deathclaws was their intelligence. They needed to be smart enough to understand complex commands, but not so smart that they'd be a threat to 'those in charge.'"
    (Goris' dialogue)
  22. Xarn: "(Xarn stares at you intently for a moment) Very well. The Enclave created my people as a slave warrior race. They enhanced our intellect hoping we could better understand their commands, and yet not recognize our status as slaves. They failed; we are much more intelligent than they suspect. We decided to play the fool until we could gain our freedom. Our chance arrived when the Enclave decided to test us outside their control, here on the mainland. Doctor Schreber opposed their decision, but he was overruled. Not accepting the Enclave decision, he chose exile to this base, captured me, and has been performing experiments to determine my true nature. He has been successful. When he reports his findings to the Enclave my people will be hunted down and slain. I must escape and warn my people."
    (Xarn's dialogue)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Chosen One: "What are you doing here?"
    Goris: "I'm a student of sorts. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the world and the different cultures that have developed. Right now I'm studying the culture the deathclaws are forming and comparing it to human development along similar lines. I've acquired just about all the information I need here. It would help my research a great deal if I could do some traveling. However, I don't want to go it alone, if you know what I mean."
    (Goris' dialogue)
Publications
  1. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Manual p.35: "Deathclaws are just about the nastiest creature that you might have the misfortune to run across in the wasteland. They’re fast, they have tough hides, stand nearly triple the height of an average human and brandish claws than can punch through most armor like a power drill going through wet cardboard."
  2. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide/Faction profiles: "Deathclaws are arguably the fiercest creatures in the game aside from a Behemoth, with a tough hide, a quickness that overwhelms, and massive damage from their swiping claws."
  3. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.27: "Deathclaws were originally created to replace humans during close-combat search-and- destroy missions. They were derived from mixed animal stock and then refined by the Master, using genetic manipulation. The resulting creature is almost unbelievably fast and powerful. Deathclaws are well named they are the toughest animals that you will encounter in the Wastes. Unless you have combat Armor, extremely heavy weaponry, and a lot of Stimpacks, running for the exit hexes at the first sign of a Deathclaw is your best chance of survival. If you're well equipped and want to stick it out, though, get in at least one shot at long range, because Deathclaws move so fast that you're unlikely to get another long-range attack as they charge you. They'll always close rapidly so they can use their powerful claws to tear and rend you. For maximum damage, use a Called Shot to the eyes when you shoot them. However, even with Called Shots, you'll need several good hits to put a Deathclaw down - use extreme caution (and save often) when fighting them."
  4. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.28: "Intelligent Deathclaws come in both adult and baby sizes. They don't look different from other Deathclaws, but they do act differently at least when they're not angry. If a Deathclaw doesn't charge you on sight, it may be intelligent - it's possible to talk to Intelligent Deathclaws. However, Intelligent Deathclaws have the same ferocious abandon in combat as their dimmer brethren, so a policy of détente is definitely not recommended."
Developer Statements
  1. Fallout Bible 8
  2. The Origins of Fallout p. 7 (archived)
  3. Chris Taylor on NMA forum (archived)
  4. John Deiley statement
  5. Fallout Bible p.45: "QUESTIONS: Question: Goris says he is relatively new to Vault 13 when the Chosen one speaks to him (rolled in about two months ago). This, I suppose, means he is not from Grutnar's pack. Is so, why is he intelligent, like other Enclave-modified deathclaws?"
    Answer: "According to John Deiley (designer of Goris; worked on design for Vault 13, 15, NCR, and helped with numerous maps): Goris was Gruthar’s son, and he was one of the intelligent deathclaws. He was also very curious about the rest of the world. He did a lot of traveling to try and learn as much as he could about humans and their culture. To do this he disguised himself by wearing a rather large hooded robe. If questioned by anyone, he would claim that he was disfigured and needed to wear the robe. Anyway, when Goris meets the Chosen One, he says that he has only been at the vault for a couple months. This is because he just returned from one of his scholarly trips. He does not come right out and say this, but it is implied in the conversation through some dialog nodes."
  6. Fallout Bible 5
  7. Deathclaw d20 concept
  8. 8.0 8.1 Question: "I was always curious. What sort of texture set did you use for building the original Fallout 3, and then the Fallout 4 Deathclaw? I know there must be a lot of photo reference for the former, especially considering the FO3 Feral Ghoul being textured with packaged meat. :P"
    Jonah Lobe: "For photo reference for the F3 Deathclaws, I used a lot of rhino skin and things like that. For F4, I didn't use photo ref at all, I sculpted and textured everything by hand!"
    (Fallout 4 developer statements; Jonah Lobe: Deathclaw Texture, 2023 November 30)
  9. Jonah Lobe on Twitter: "Aww, my baby got a close-up! (also I made the Super-mutants, Molerats, Blood-Bugs & Mirelurks!) #Fallout4 #BE3"
  10. Jonah Lobe on ArtStation.com
  11. JonahLobe on Reddit
External