Uncanny Accounts: The Terrible Tale of Vault 22

Alright, Halloween was yesterday so Uncanny Accounts should technically be over now, but it’s still the weekend and thus I’ve one final bit of creepy lore to touch on! I think no series about uncanny gaming stories and/or lore is complete without an entry from good ol’ Fallout. As fans well know, the Fallout games aren’t really horror games, but one can be certain that their in for some chills whenever they stumble upon an old Vault-Tec vault. Of these, I think the worst has to be Vault 22.

I’m not going to go too far into the details of Vault 22. For that, I recommend checking out the video below; they’ve done an excellent job wrangling and presenting all the details. The basic version is this: Vault 22 was one of many experimental vaults set-up by Vault-Tec before the outbreak of the Great War. As one of the few Vaults that wasn’t actively using its inhabitants as test subjects, Vault 22 was supposed to be a true safe haven from the fallout on the surface. In fact, it was meant to perform research deemed vital for restoring the world it became habitable again.

Unfortunately, this was not to be. At least one team of scientists decided to experiment on a type of fungus meant for pest control. It was promising in theory; the fungus would infect, infest and eventually host insects that came into contact with its spores. Unfortunately, scientists failed to take proper precautions against its most curious side-effect: reanimation of the host body. See, the fungal colony would take control of the body after death and use it to infect more hosts.

This proved to be the scientists’ undoing and eventually led to the utter ruin of the vault. The fungus made quick work of the human scientists living in Vault 22, killing them and fusing with their bodies to treat extremely aggressive monsters capable of infecting victims with ease. All it took was a scratch from their “hands” or a whiff of their “breath.” Many residents managed to flee the vault without overt infection, but it was still too late for them. They hadn’t become infested spore carriers like their dead fellows, but they’d still somehow been changed nonetheless.

A group numbering around 100 made their way out into the Mojave Desertt, eventually happening across a small band of Mexican survivors. They overwhelmed the camp, killed the men and put down any women and children who resisted. A man by the name of Randall Clark sought to save the survivors, but could only watch on in horror as the Vault 22 remnants killed and ate their captives. After that, Clark spent the next 10 months slowly and methodically destroying the group, killing 80 before they finally fled the area (but not before they ate their own dead). Nothing is know about the group after this, but their broken Pip-Boys and uniforms still turn up from time to time. Whatever happened to them, hopefully they weren’t able to spread the infection any further.

As for Vault 22 itself, it’s still there waiting to ensnare any would-be trespassers or hapless adventurers. The fungal spore carriers are biologically immortal, so they can wait as long as it takes. The best possible solution: burn the entire place out. It’s the only way.

And that’s Vault 22 for you! Aside from major threats like Cazadors and Death Claws, these enemies and this location were easily the scariest thing in Fallout: New Vegas for me. I hated everything about them. From the silence of the vault to the scratching, shuffling, and gravelly moaning sound the carriers made. I hated that they were hard to see too! I got surprised so many times! Again, check out this guy’s video. It’s really quite good!

Video by YouTube user: Oxhorn

Well, that just about does it for Uncanny Accounts! Perhaps we’ll have more for you next year! For now, got any final stories you’d like to talk about?

Lede image edited by Hatmonster

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