Good morning! Vault-Tec calling.
The world of the post-apocalyptic Fallout is filled to the brim with lore and stories of how mankind survived nuclear annihilation. The main way that humanity survived the radiation and devastation caused by the war in-universe was by hiding away in Vault-Tec Vaults.
Some of these Vaults were used as ways for Vault-Tec to experiment on the general public to see how they could cope with the changing conditions of their world, leading to some rather peculiar tales.
Consider yourself on the shoulder of a mad scientist plucking the legs off a spider as we run you through some of the weirdest and wackiest Vaults in the Fallout series.
Vault 11 - This is democracy manifest
Good news! We're having a democratic election to decide who's in charge of Vault 11 and put in the position of Overseer.
Bad news! The Vault requires a human sacrifice each year. If not, the life-support systems would be shut down, and you've got the responsibility to be that person as the Overseer.
The real kicker is that this was all a test. The goal was to see how long it would take for Vault 11 to refuse to sacrifice someone. The community went all the way down to five people before they found out that they could have just decided not to sacrifice anyone.
This Vault is in Fallout 3. Inside you will find some really obscure election propaganda, all trying to doom someone to their horrific fate.
Vault 68 and Vault 69 - One man, one woman
One person's heaven is another one's hell. Vault 68 and Vault 69 essentially had the same experiment, put exactly 1,000 people inside. Everything else was well stocked. Provisions were fruitful. There was just one issue, one small caveat.
That issue is that in Vault 68, just one of those 1,000 people was a woman, and in Vault 69, there was just one man. These Vaults were explicit references to the Karma Sutra. They were only in the Fallout Bible.
The Fallout Bible is a document that former Interplay Entertainment writer Christ Avellone released. It was Interplay's gift to the world after Bethesda took over the series.
Vault 77 - What's in the box?
Whilst it may not be as sinister as the box at the end of Seven, this box of goodies that awaited the one man locked inside Vault 77 was just as thought-provoking.
Vault 77 has its own comic strip detailing exactly what happened inside. The unnamed Vault dweller was locked in Vault 77 completely alone. A year, three months and 12 days pass before he pops open the "Puppet Ration" box.
These puppets end up helping the Vault dweller go crazy, with one puppet of Vault Boy being especially encouraging of some homicidal and intrusive thoughts. Eventually, prompted by the insidious voice of his puppet friend, Vault 77's dweller leaves the vault.
In Fallout 3, you can find a Vault 77 jumpsuit and a holotape titled: "Burn this goddamn jumpsuit". That might just be a good suggestion, in all honesty.
Vault 108 - Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaary
This is an example of the people of the Fallout universe causing their own downfall within a Vault. In Vault 108, the objective was to see how people would deal with a power vacuum in a crisis after 20 years. Vault-Tec installed an Overseer that was suffering from cancer and had timed the life-support systems to crash 20 years after the Vault closed.
But the Vault didn't even last long enough for that to happen. Instead, the people of Vault 108 decided to spend their time cloning one of the members of their community - Gary.
As more and more "Garys" were cloned, they became less articulate and more violent. They, naturally, went on a murderous rampage, killing everyone else in the Vault. Leading to it all boiling down to a point where only clones remain.
You can find and enter Vault 108 in Fallout 3. These so-called "Garys" roam Vault 108 shouting nothing but their own name: "Gary".
Vault 21 - Take a chance on me
Down the New Vegas strip, Vault-Tec managed to be right on brand with Vault 21. The Vault, that managed to successfully sustain itself for 197 years before opening, was fully based around Casinos.
Every decision in the Vault was based on games of chance. If people disagreed, they settled their differences with various Vegas-style games like BlackJack and Craps.
The Vault becomes a working hotel before the start of the story in Fallout: New Vegas, with Mr. House convincing half of the Vault to open up its doors to the strip. The two sides of the Vault played a game of BlackJack to settle the score and the rest is history.
Vault 94 - A pacifist run?
Pacifism isn't really viable in the Fallout world, with pretty much everything and everyone trying to kill you at some point. So putting a community of agrarian pacifists in Vault 94 and making their pastor the Overseer seemed like a wonderful idea to the people at Vault-Tec.
These pacifists had a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK). They wanted to reinvigorate the wasteland with vegetation after they open the Vault. They had everything they needed and they thought that's what they were there for.
The real plan from Vault-Tec was to see if these non-violent folk would change their ways when the doors were opened and the horrors of the Appalachian wasteland were thrust upon them.
Short story: they didn't. Vault 94 is in Fallout 76 and it is desolate and devoid of humanity. Assume what you will.