The Master is the main antagonist and end boss in the original Fallout computer game. It is a mutated entity composed of several people, creatures and electronic/computer parts, all bionically melded together. Apart from his appearance, one of his most notable features is his unique way of speaking. His voice is computer-generated and sentences are composed, apparently in real-time, from samples of other people's speech. The Master's "main" voice was provided by voice actor Jim Cummings.
The Master was born as Richard Moreau, and was a resident of Vault 8, later known as Vault City, where he worked as a doctor. In 2092 he was exiled from the city for murder, although the circumstances surrounding the murder are unknown. He changed his name to Richard Grey and headed south, ending up at The Hub, where he met Harold, a prominent trader. Following ever increasing attacks on Harold's caravans by mutated creatures, the pair teamed up on May 22, 2102, and led a team of scientists who mounted an expedition to the north-west to investigate the source of the mutated animals, which were attacking the survivors of the nuclear war. On June 23, 2102, Grey and his party stumbled upon the Mariposa Military Base, in which the U.S. government had been mass producing, and experimenting with, the Forced Evolutionary Virus (or F.E.V.).
With the exception of Grey and Harold, the party was cut down by the mutated creatures and the base's internal defense systems. Harold barely escaped, and Grey was plunged into a vat of F.E.V. by a robotic arm. Floating in the vats for almost a month, the F.E.V. transformed Grey into the amorphous, blob-like being that would eventually become known as the Master. This entity expanded its biological mass by absorbing other creatures that came near the base, and bionically merging itself with computer equipment from the vault, including weapons and the Vault Overseer's Chair. It also began capturing humans that stumbled upon its lair, and intentionally exposing them to the F.E.V. These initial mutated humans were incredibly flawed, and the Master consumed them rather than letting them live. In January of 2103, the Master perfected his method of infecting, or "dipping", humans, and began creating the super mutants, who follow the Master's every command.
In 2152, as his army's influence began to spread throughout the wastes, the Master came into contact with a group of human doomsday cultists, led by a man named Morpheus. Realizing the benefits of retaining undipped humans in his service to act as spies throughout the region, the Master recruited Morpheus's cult into his service.
In 2155, the Master discovered the location of an unnumbered experimental Vault-Tec vault prototype, located just south of the center of the ruins of Los Angeles, California, now called the Boneyard. Seeing great opportunity there, the Master relocated to the vault with his human cult followers and a portion of his ever-growing super mutant army, and oversaw the building of a large cathedral on the surface above the vault the following year. The cult become known as the Children of the Cathedral, and continued to be led by Morpheus, who reported directly to the Master. The cathedral is guarded by ghost-like creatures called Nightkin, which are actually super mutant elite troops equipped with StealthBoy technology.
While the Children appear to be a fervent religious order - and, in fact, some of the low ranking members may not even be privy to the more sinister reason behind the cult's existence - in reality, the Children and Morpheus are simply a front that the Master uses to advance his plan for the future of mankind: "The Unity".
The Master is creator and leader of the super mutants. He is also the mastermind behind a movement called "The Unity", the aim of which is to turn every human into a super mutant by means of the F.E.V. and exterminate those who either oppose the cause, or who cannot be mutated (such as the ghouls - a race of mutants which the super mutants regard as inferior). Arguably, The Unity is for humanity's own good, as super mutants are supposedly better adapted to live in a post-nuclear wasteland. Also, according to the Master, turning all living beings into one single race would finally eliminate the differences and the human fallacies that ultimately brought about the nuclear war.
However, the Master's scenario is not realistic, as all super mutants are sterile. The protagonist of Fallout, later dubbed the Vault Dweller, can help Vree, a scientist with the Brotherhood of Steel, come to this conclusion, and later use this information to convince the Master that his endeavour has no chance of success.
The Master's Powers
The Master has extremely powerful psionic abilities, able to project extremely vivid hallucinations that can easily break the mind of most enemies without some form of mental protection. Besides his psionic abilities, the Master also has incredible natural charisma, having rallied an army of cultishly devoted human and super mutant followers around him.
The Master is also very hard to kill through combat, predominantly due to the Master's bio-electrical integration with the Cathedral Vault's Overseer's Chair, giving him access to its twin laser gatlings, providing the Master with devastating fire power. The Master is also quite tough: he has 500 hit points, can attack twice per round, and is protected by an almost limitless supply of super mutant bodyguards.
The Master's Destruction
One of the main objectives in Fallout is to destroy the Master. The Vault Dweller has three options to choose from. He or she can either kill the Master in combat, convince him to abandon his plan (which results in the Master committing suicide), or bypass the Master entirely by manually setting off a nuclear device, located in one of the floors of the vault in which the Master resides.
No matter which route the player chooses, the end result remains the same, since the Master's death, whether by homicide or suicide, triggers the countdown of the nuclear device, resulting in the total destruction of the cathedral and the vault.