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There are enough hidden nods and Easter eggs in the Fallout universe to keep fans searching for years. In fact, in the nearly four years since Fallout 4 was released, players have dedicated endless hours to hunting down the Fallout 4 secrets.
The best Fallout 4 secrets
With such a massive world to traverse and explore, it’s no wonder so many Fallout 4 secrets remain a mystery. The minute details scattered throughout the Commonwealth are often difficult to find—concealed on top of buildings, buried beneath sink holes, or subtly tossed into a crowded city.
Though not an exhaustive list of Fallout 4 secrets, here are some of the best references and hidden loot.
Fallout 4 secrets: Movie, TV and book references
The massive team that created Fallout 4‘s sprawling world poured their hearts and souls into it. Tiny details scattered throughout the Commonwealth reveal the passion and personality behind these developers, artists, and creators. Hard-to-catch references concealed around the map immortalize countless nods to media, from classic films to beloved literature.
Bethesda went meta with this one.
Chances are, if you’re a Fallout 4 fan, you’ve also enjoyed its fantasy counterpart Skyrim. The sprawling fantasy world is home to plenty of interesting creatures, races, and plants. One such plant, Nirnroot, makes a brief appearance in Fallout 4, as well.
If you venture into the Brotherhood of Steel’s flagship, the Prydwen, you might catch a glimpse of this funky plant. Nestled in Senior Scribe Neriah’s lab, there is a variety of flora identified only as “experimental plant.” While it is not directly characterized as Nirnroot, fans of Bethesda releases quickly recognized the subtle reference.
2) The Cask of Amontillado
Fallout 4‘s nod to Edgar Allan Poe is easy to miss. There are plenty of references to famous authors in Fallout 4, from H.P. Lovecraft to Henry David Thoreau, but players often overlook this one.
After assisting the Minutemen in retaking their old base, the Castle, you’ll get the opportunity to clear out the bowels of this impressive fortress. Deep in its basement, you’ll find the long-deceased General McGann along with his impressive wine collection. Hidden in a wall of the room, however, is a clever reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. In the 1846 short story, the narrator—seeking revenge for an imagined slight—tricks a friend into enjoying a drink and entombs him behind a brick wall, still alive. In General McGann’s broken wall, you’ll find a still-chained skeleton surrounded by bottles of Amontillado.
3) Prost bar
Fallout 4 is chock-full of references to movies and series that were popular in the ’80s. One such show was Cheers, a slice-of-life comedy taking place in a bar. Episodes of this classic comedy often featured the bartender and owner, Sam Malone, chatting away with bar regulars Norm and Cliff.
Southwest of the Massachusetts State House and directly west of Swan’s Pond, you’ll find an unmarked location called Prost Bar. Inside this cozy space is a charming recreation of the central bar in the 1980s sitcom, complete with baseball memorabilia and two familiar skeletons. The people at Bethesda went all-in with this one: Prost even means “cheers” in German.
4) The Nostromo
One of the most subtle references on this list nods to another ’80s classic. This time, sci-fi horror favorite Alien, released in 1979, gets a shoutout. This beloved film follows the crew of the Nostromo on their journey into deep space. Ripley’s story is familiar to almost anyone breathing, but that doesn’t mean everyone caught this minute detail.
After agreeing to assist the Brotherhood of Steel, you’ll need to help several members with mundane tasks. Scribe Haylen only wants you to gather a few techy items from around the Commonwealth. Several of these items—we see you, “reflex capacitor”—are clear nods to 1985’s Back to the Future. The “flux sensor,” however, is a double reference. Not only does it pair with the reflex capacitor to make Doc’s flux capacitor, but it also has a very specific serial number. If you look closely, you’ll see “CM-88B 180924609,” which matches the registry number for the Nostromo. Damn, that’s subtle.
5) Blade Runner
There are two references to 1982’s Blade Runner in the wide world of Fallout 4 secrets. The first can be found in Diamond City, if you take the time to wander its shops and stalls. In the center of the main courtyard, Power Noodles is run by a Japanese robot named Takahashi. Upon greeting him, Takahashi will ask “Nan-ni shimasu-ka.” This is a nod to an early Blade Runner scene, in which Harrison Ford’s Deckard dines at a noodle joint run by a robot asking the same question.
The other nod to this sci-fi favorite is much more difficult to find. To locate it, head to the Mass Fusion Containment Shed, between Breakheart Banks and General Atomics Galleria. Around the back, you’ll find a pipe that can give you access to the roof. There, you’ll find a scene straight out of Blade Runner. A synth sits, deceased, still upon its knees in front of the corpse of a man in very familiar clothing. The bodies are perfectly placed to replicate the ending of the 1980s classic.
It often blows me away how much care the people at Bethesda take when creating games like Fallout 4. It is a subtle nod, but their reference to 1997’s Titanic is a favorite among fans. The film, based on real events, concludes with the Titantic sinking. The iconic door scene, in which Jack and Rose share their final moments together, is one of the most memorable scenes from the film.
It is this scene that the team behind Fallout 4 chose to recreate. In order to track this particular Easter egg down, you’ll need to have the Far Harbor DLC installed. Once in Far Harbor, you can find a lake just north of the Nucleus. There you will find two skeletons clutching a door, one laying atop it while the other, partially submerged, grips the side. There was definitely room for two on this door.
7) Die Hard and Lethal Weapon
Turns out the people at Bethesda are big fans of ’80s action movies. There are countless references throughout the Fallout 4 world, and an inordinate amount of them are from classic action films. Players can find a reference to two iconic films in the BADTFL regional office northwest of Bunker Hill.
A diary entry on the police chief’s terminal contains the reference. The chief complains about two officers in their employ, Willison and Gibbs. Apparently, Willison has a tendency to destroy property, and Gibbs just can’t help but put his life on the line. The entry is a hard-to-catch nod to the actors from ’80s classics Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Bruce Willis portrays the constantly destructive alcoholic John McClane in Die Hard, and Mel Gibson is in-your-face rebel Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon. Rearranging the letters in the police chief’s entry, we get the last names of these two iconic action stars.
8) Kid in a fridge
Not only is this a reference to one of the more unbelievable moments from the Indiana Jones franchise, but it is also the beginning to a particularly entertaining Fallout 4 side quest. In 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indie takes refuge in a refrigerator after ending up at a nuclear test site. Miraculously, a fridge was the perfect choice, and he survives the blast unscathed.
An unassuming fridge, located south of University Point and east of Jamaica Plain houses a kid who was apparently inspired by this scene. You can free Billy from his confinement and choose to assist him in finding his parents. Miraculously, Billy’s parents are alive and well—as well as ghouls can be, I suppose—and are endlessly grateful for the safe return of their little boy.
9) Dunwich Borers
There are so many literary references throughout Fallout 4 they deserve a list all their own. One of the more interesting of these, however, is actually a marked location on the map. Players can find Dunwich Borers, a relatively overt nod to H.P. Lovecraft’s novel The Dunwich Horror, in the northeast portion of the Commonwealth.
Located to the west of Hugo’s Hole and east of the Slog, this quarry houses both a bobblehead and a magazine. Beneath the quarry, players can find a maze-like mine that recalls the eerie tones of the Lovecraft horror story. Hidden in the caverns is a strange adventure that should remain a mystery, but it is well worth a trip to the location.
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Fallout 4 secrets: Hidden locations
On top of all the coy nods and careful references littered throughout the Commonwealth, there are a number of hidden locations. Most are unmarked on the map, though a few are merely difficult to find. Regardless, these are some of the least-visited spots of the Fallout 4 secrets.
1) Old Gullet sinkhole
Thanks to actually being a marked location on the map, Old Gullet sinkhole is one of the easiest locations on this list to find. From the outside, it appears to be nothing more than a debris-filled hole. Venture a little deeper, however, and you will discover the cavern beneath the sinkhole. Don’t forget about the nearby lurking Deathclaw as you make your way down.
Directly to the west of Greentop Nursery, this unassuming area is nestled in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Inside the sinkhole, you’ll find some bodies and a pack of ghouls. Near a cooking station, you can find a magazine. Once you’ve made your way through the cavern, you can exit through the interior of a nearby house.
2) Cat Cabin
It’s not all doom and gloom in the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4. Players looking for a break from fighting for their lives or looting for goods will enjoy this charming little home. Filled to the brim with fuzzy felines, the Cat Cabin is a strange but welcome addition to the Commonwealth.
This innocuous cabin is located to the southeast of Walden Pond. You might have walked right by it without noticing, but if only for its general strangeness, this cabin deserves a visit. A haven for cats, dozens of tiny furballs occupy the house, along with multiple pictures of—you guessed it—cats.
3) Plumber’s Secret
Considering how large the Commonwealth is, it is mind-blowing how many hidden spots there are in this world. Another unmarked location on the map, Plumber’s Secret is south of Mass Gravel and Sand in Cambridge. Most players would wander right past this apparently uninteresting building, but a simple secret is hidden inside.
Once you’ve taken down the Radroaches and deactivated the scattered mines, you’re home free. A line of plungers, only visible to players taking a hard look at the building, lead to wood additions that can be shot on the ceiling. Once dislodged, players can gather the fallen syringe rifle and cap stash.
4) Death Maze
Who doesn’t love a good death maze? Like something straight out of Saw, the Commonwealth has its own terror house just waiting to be found. Located between Milton General Hospital and Fallon’s department store, a series of arrows point players toward its dizzying corridors.
Filled with deadly traps and ghouls, the Death Maze recalls the climax of a horror film. Traverse its deadly, labyrinthine halls to reach the loot waiting at the end. Choose the crate you wish to open wisely, however, because the other is rigged to blow the moment its twin is accessed.
5) Rocket Shed
This location has no purpose beyond being clever and fun. Northeast of Relay tower OBB-915 you can find a simple shed perched at the edge of a cliff. There is no spectacular loot inside, nor is it concealing enemies, but it is great for an amusing break from building settlements and shooting raiders.
Inside the cabin, players will find dozens of propane tanks and wooden ramps aimed high over the Commonwealth. A shot to the valve at the end of one of these tanks will send it soaring into the sky, where it will gloriously explode. There is absolutely no purpose to doing so, but since when did we need a reason to blow some shit up?
6) UFO crash site
Southeast of Oberland Station and south of Beantown Brewery, curious travelers will stumble across a strange sight indeed. If you are paying attention, you might notice a cutscene that triggers when your character reaches level 20. A strange object goes hurtling through the sky, leaving a temporary smoke trail and crashing somewhere in the distance. If players can track the object down, they will discover a crashed UFO.
In a nearby cave, the pilot of the ship lies wounded and dying. It is possible to pacify them, but more often players will need to finish the little green guy off before claiming one of the more interesting weapons in the game. An alien blaster can be found in their inventory, a powerful weapon that is very much worth killing the only known alien life in the Commonwealth.
Fallout 4 secrets: Hidden loot
Collectibles, weapons and magazines are plentiful in the dangerous world of Fallout 4. While many of these items are connected to quests or missions in the story, several areas hide loot from all but the most keen-eyed players.
1) X-01 Power Armor
Power Armor can change your life as you wander the dangerous streets of the Commonwealth. T-60 models, an iconic part of Fallout games, are scattered throughout the world with relative frequency. For an upgrade on the typical model, however, you’ll need to do some searching.
It is possible to find pieces of the X-01 Power Armor on your adventures through the Commonwealth, but this method is unreliable and takes some serious time. A full set of the vastly superior X-01 Power Armor can be found, but only under the right circumstances. You need to be at least a level 26 before attempting to gather the X-01, as lower levels will likely spawn a more common model. East of Goodneighbor, near Faneuil Hall, there is a building called “35 Court.” Here, after conquering the dangerous building and its robotic wardens, you will find two red buttons. Upon hitting them both, a fully equipped suit of X-01 Power Armor should appear.
2) Freefall Legs
There are a lot of high places in the Commonwealth. Between the many accessible rooftops, bridges riddled with holes, and awkwardly narrow catwalks, every Fallout 4 player has taken a deadly tumble or five. For some of us, these high places are particularly deadly, as we are far too impatient to return to the ground in the same boring way the game intends.
Thankfully, there is a mod for that. The Freefall Legs armor mod allows players to fall from any height without taking damage. In order to find these hard-to-reach armor pieces, you’ll need to find the Mass Fusion building, north of Goodneighbor and west of Faneuil Hall. In order to even attempt obtaining this particular armor set, you’ll need a set of Power Armor with a jetpack, so low-level characters are out of luck. Once you’ve zoomed your way to the top of the building, however, you’ll find these handy armor pieces in a locked safe.
3) Grognak the Barbarian armor
Nestled in the busiest area of the Fallout 4 map is a little comic book shop called Hubris Comics. Near Swan’s Pond and directly west of Boylston Club, a bright red door set slightly down from the street will usher you into this charming shop. It’s filled to the brim with ghouls, however, so make sure you’re ready before you head inside.
On the topmost floor in the crumbling comic shop, a few special goodies are hidden. Near the back of the room, where the deadliest of the ghouls is hiding, you’ll find the full Silver Shroud costume—weapon included. Even if you haven’t yet obtained the Silver Shroud quest line, these items count as quest items and cannot be removed from your inventory once added. If you are looking to wander the Commonwealth in style, however, you can choose to don these classy garments. On the other side of the room, in the open lockers near the windows, you can find a much more… medieval costume option. Grognak the Barbarian’s armor gives a boost to your melee damage, not to mention to your fashion sense. The matching ax, in a locked display case on the first floor, will stagger enemies and cause bleed damage, so swing away.
4) Vault Tec phone number
Its not really loot, but it sure is fun.
Several times throughout the game, players will find themselves in the home of the playable character. Several pieces of furniture and decorations remain even after the bombs fall, though they’ve certainly lost some of that glossy shine. On one of the walls in the house, keen-eyed players noticed a Vault-Tec calendar with a phone number on it. Obviously, they attempted to call it.
The phone number, 1-888-4-VAULTTEC, is longer than your traditional American phone number. If you give it a dial, however, an actual voicemail themed after the game greets you. A short message plays, explaining that an unexpected rush of phone calls has lines busied. It’s a small touch, but it reveals the care that went into crafting a world for Fallout 4 that feels truly real.
5) Undiscovered secret
Of the Fallout 4 secrets, one is so well-hidden that many players don’t believe it really exists. Despite thousands of players dedicating countless hours to tracking down each and every Fallout 4 secret and hidden gem, this one still hasn’t been found. That’s according to Fallout 4‘s game director Todd Howard, who noted at the 2016 DICE Summit that a final secret was still out there.
This secret has been haunting die-hard fans ever since. They’ve combed through every terminal, hidden map location, and underground tunnel the Commonwealth has to offer. Still, this final secret is reportedly undiscovered. Once you’ve tracked down all the gems on this list, perhaps you’ll be the one to uncover Fallout 4‘s final secret.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.