Ghouls are humans mutated by radiation and going through the process of Ghoulification, causing changes to their appearance, giving them radiation resistance, and increasing their lifespan.
Ghouls are humans that have been exposed to radiation, causing several changes to their appearance and extending their lifespans. Further radiation exposure heals ghouls, and does not impact them negatively.
|Ghoul||Exposed to radiation, ghouls have changed physically and have extended lifespans. Ghouls require water to survive, asking the Vault Dweller not to steal their water chip. They are described as being organized by the Children of the Cathedral.
Ghouls have established the community of Necropolis, named after the "City of Death." The settlement may be attacked by super mutants, and a ghoul refugee shares with the Vault Dweller that they were butchered with guns and bombs.
|Ghoul||Ghouls are humans that have been exposed to radiation, causing several changes to their appearance and extending their lifespans. Caught outside of a vault during the Great War, their physical characteristics have changed since before the bombs fell.[Pub 1] Characteristics include "splotchy skin" that is "ready to slough off," and appears burned by radiation.
Coffin Willie tells the Chosen One that he doesn't have a nose, otherwise he would have "choked on my own stink" while buried alive by the humans in Reno. Ghouls such as Gordon and Wooz still have hair. Eric's body exudes fly nutrients, made worse when he sweats, and Festus is described as smelling "like an infected wound."
|Ghoul||Ghouls are immune to radiation, with extended lifespans. There are numerous ghouls in the Midwest, including a nuclear weapon-worshiping cult in Kansas City. Both Quincy and Springfield also have at least some ghoul occupants.
Ghouls in Fallout Tactics are usually found in random encounters and are mostly hostile. Due to their physical weakness, they are only able to use a number of light weapons such as axe handles, broken bottles, hunting rifles, shotguns and grenades. They get a bonus to Poison Resistance.
|Ghoul||Ghouls are the result of humans being exposed to radiation. They have longer lifespans and are healed when close to radioactive materials.[Pub 2][Pub 3] The player can choose to play as a ghoul named Cain. If playing as Cain, some characters will comment on his status as a ghoul.||FOBOS|
|Ghoul||Ghouls are humans that have been exposed to radiation, causing several changes to their appearance and extending their lifespans. Further radiation exposure heals ghouls, and does not impact them negatively.
Ghouls in the Capital Wasteland are willing to describe the process, beginning with skin drying and flaking off. Carol explained that it "took months, maybe a year" for the process to occur, and that some went crazy, and others accepted it. Individuals such as Desmond Lockheart wished to extend their lifespan, intentionally exposing themselves to radiation in an attempt to become a ghoul.[Pub 4]
|Ghoul||Under construction, check back soon!||FNV|
|Ghoul||Under construction, check back soon!||FO4|
|Ghoul||Under construction, check back soon!||FO76|
Behind the scenes
- Developers shared their inspirations for creating ghouls, including those mutated by FEV and radiation, and radiation alone.[Dev 1][Dev 2]
- According to Kal-El Bogdanove, ghouls who have recently mutated have less raspy voices.[Dev 3]
- Born ghouls were planned for inclusion in Van Buren.
- Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets: "Ghouls were once humans, but they were caught outside of a protective Vault when the bombs dropped. The same radiation that turned their flesh into parched leather has given them an incredibly long life-span. Those closest to the blast zones are still so radioactive that they continue to glow. These Glowing Ones, as they're called, have had some of their intellect burned away as well. Shunned by the people of the Wastes, most Ghouls have little to live for."
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Manual p.13: "CAIN: As a mercenary, Cain is a ghoul through and through. Stooped, skeletal and bony, Cain is a real badass, the kind of guy that upon finding your burning body would roast desert rat over you rather than put you out. When his home was razed to the ground by the mutants, Cain took it personally. In an attempt to seek vengeance upon the mutants, he sought out the Brotherhood of Steel and demanded entry. As a somewhat isolationist and anti-mutant order, the Brotherhood was reluctant to grant him admission, but Cain’s perseverance was fueled with a grim determination. He was finally given a test of Initiation, a suicide mission that should he survive would allow him to become one of the first ghouls ever to join the ranks of the Brotherhood. With less strength than Cyrus and less speed than Nadia, Cain's ability to withstand the effects of radiation is what truly sets him apart. Once he has gained the Rad-Child skill, He will actually heal himself when coming in contact with Radioactive Substances."
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Official Strategy Guide p.4: "CAIN: Cain is a Ghoul. He was once a man, but was severely disfigured by radiation poisoning. He became sickly thin, skeletal in appearance. And the changes were more than skin deep. Cain became a merciless, tough-as-nails mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. But when an army of mutants destroyed his home, the only payment Cain would seek was vengeance. He approached the Brotherhood, but they were reticent to open their ranks to a Ghoul. Behind closed doors, the Brotherhood decided to send Cain on a suicide mission for the order. They figured he would never succeed. But within Cain beats the heart of a killer, and that's just the kind of man this mission calls for."
"Strengths: With less strength than Cyrus and less speed than Nadia, Cain's ability to withstand the effects of radiation is what truly sets him apart. Whereas the other two must avoid the toxic effects of radioactive substances,Cain will actually heal himself by coming into contact with it."
"Weaknesses: Cain is not as strong as Cyrus, nor is he as fast as Nadia."
Rad Child:Coming into contact with radioactive substances heals Cain when he learns this skill.
Sadist:When Cain learns this skill, he receives a few health points every time he kills an enemy.
Pyromaniac:This skill increases Cain's chances of dealing a critical hit when using fire weapons, like a flamethrower.
Butcher:Increases Cain's chances of dealing a critical hit when using knives."
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide/Wasteland Census p.69: "Desmond the Ghoul: Facing the nuclear holocaust, global leaders and members of the intelligence community made their personal bids for survival in the new world. F.E.V., cryogenic stasis, AI consciousness, even—in Desmond's case—controlled exposure to normally lethal doses of radiation were among the wildly risky and experimental techniques pursued in the name of survival in a world without modern infrastructure."
- Fallout Bible 5
- Fallout developer statements; Chris Taylor on Fallout's Background
- Kal-El Bogdanove on Reddit:
BillyH666: "One nitpick I have is of the Unknown Ghoul holotape in Harper's Ferry (Safe Haven I think?). Supposed to be a ghoul but the voice is silky smooth. Doesn't seem to match up :P"
TheYoungGriffin: "Havent gotten there yet, but maybe it's because it's still a relatively fresh ghoul. All the ones we meet in later Fallout games are hundreds of years old."
KalElBogdanove: "Hi! Voice director for the game here. You are correct! Light texture is the result of a fresh ghoul. Thanks for playing!"