The Followers of the Apocalypse are a band of good-natured individuals hell-bent on providing a better life for those struggling in the wasteland of the post-Great War United States. They wish to provide this better life via education, healthcare, and goodwill towards their fellow man.
Within the beautiful world of Fallout, there are several exciting and complex factions that the player can either ally with or hope to destroy. Others are simply placeholders, in-game explanations for why things are as they are.
In the middle of these factions, we can find the Followers of the Apocalypse, a group of hard scrabbled individuals working towards one goal that the player can never actually join. Due to their continued inclusion in the game series, there is a growing interest amongst casual fans of the series regarding their purpose and backstory, especially for those fans who have only recently joined the series, post Fallout New Vegas for example.
With this in mind, this followers of the apocalypse guide will take you by the hand through the post-apocalyptic world that the Followers inhabit and work, explaining as we move through their backstory just how they hope to affect the world around them, therefore, the citizens of the wasteland. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get going!
In the Beginning
The Followers are first met by the player in 2161, during the events of Fallout 1. In this game, the player will come across the group during their exploration of the Boneyard settlement.
This settlement holds many essential and valuable NPCs which will help the player character advance their main mission of providing their vault with the precious water chip; however, for our needs right now, the only important soul here is one named Nicole.
This NPC, found in the middle of the Boneyard Library, now turned Follower’s basecamp, is the organization’s first leader. Due to her position within the Followers, the developers of the first Fallout game saw it fitting that this is one of the few characters within the game to have a ‘talking head.’
This, combined with her open and kind nature, will allow the player to ask her many questions to ascertain just where these Followers of the Apocalypse came from and what their ultimate goals are.
Like many people out there in the American wasteland, Nicole’s life has been one of struggle, earning her the right to continue breathing day by day. She will tell the player that her early and most formative years took place beside a location known only as the ‘Glow.’
As one might imagine, this Glow she speaks of was not due to some kind of night light, but rather an incredible concentration of radioactive activity that would turn even the strongest wastelanders into a mutated husk of their former self in mere seconds should they get close enough.
With this in mind, one can see how it was probably not the best idea for Nicole’s parents to raise a child so close to such a hub of sickness-inducing radiation. These thoughts would have been in the minds of everyone living so close to the Glow. However, no action was taken.
No movement was made until the rate of sickness within the community began to grow exponentially, forcing the deniers among them to accept their fate and move on. I am definitely not saying there is a link here between the early member of the Followers and climate deniers, but I also am.
Anyway, these former vault dwellers had now decided enough was enough, and they had to move somewhere else. Lacking any real knowledge of their surroundings, the group decided to move north for one reason or another, eventually making it to the Boneyard settlement.
The sorrows of this group and Nicole, in particular, did not end with the Glow; however, as on this journey north, she would lose both of her parents. The cause of their death is not clear; however, one could speculate that it was most likely due to ill health caused by living by the Glow for so long, combined with the hardships of moving through such an unforgiving environment.
Perhaps this loss, combined with the general horribleness of her overall life, forced Nicole to see the world differently, without hate or revenge. Instead, she and the others decided to found an organization completely devoid of such harmful world views, instead of striving for one that sought to bring an end to suffering and ensuring that those left behind by the great war did not repeat the mistakes of their ancestors. Thus, the Followers of the Apocalypse was founded.
The Key Beliefs and Goals of the Followers
Thankfully, for those of us who wish to understand the goals and motivations of this faction, the group is seemingly unchanging in regard to their ultimate goal. In the words of the New Vegas head honcho, Julie Farkas, the faction’s mission is “to rebuild the wasteland and reeducate its inhabitants.
We hope to forge a brave new world free of war and poverty by sharing knowledge and resources. Our primary goal is the free exchange of ideas.” She will then go on to say when prompted by the New Vegas Courier, that “The Followers of the Apocalypse aren’t just interested in research. We care for our fellow man and do everything we can to help humanity.”
The same viewpoint is seen to be shared by Nicole in Fallout 1, who tells the player pretty much the same thing.
- The Followers have ultimately great goals but cannot seemingly achieve them on a grand scale throughout the Fallout games, always acting on the micro-level, never the macro.
- Nicole is a ‘talking head’ in Fallout 1; therefore, she has animated facial movement and a digitized voice that most other NPCs in the game do not have.
- The Glow is where the West Tek research facility used to stand and is now a major hot spot for nuclear activity after the Great War.
The Followers and Their Outposts
The location called The Boneyard that the player comes across in Fallout 1 is simply a pejorative term given to the area that used to be known as Los Angeles before the Great War and is also known as Angels Boneyard.
As mentioned, this was the first location that Nicole and her followers decided to set down some roots after leaving the Glow. After settling here, the genus of an idea began to form in Nicole’s mind, that she and her friends could, through the free acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, help the people of the wasteland and bring the world back into some sense of normalcy.
Therefore, where better to set up shop than a former library. This is where the player will meet the entire Followers family in Fallout 1 and Nicole, receiving any information or quests from her as needed.
Therefore, within this first location, the Followers and particularly Nicole, began to set out their mission statement, inspiring people to preach their message across the wasteland, thus hopefully allowing for the knock-on effect of kindness to take effect.
This library was also the location from which the Followers decided that knowledge on the world pre-war was needed and had to be studied should they be able to make full use of the old-world technologies which littered the world around them. They were also keen to find out just what led to the Great War and why the bombs fell in the first place, hoping to synthesize a way to ensure such a calamity would never occur again.
After we leave the world of Fallout 1 and the Boneyard territories, not much is known about how Nicole and her merry band got on in day-to-day life. However, we do know that the ideals preached here must have had some effect with more and more members popping up throughout the wasteland.
Also, if one heads to the New Vegas Medical Clinic in Fallout New Vegas and speaks to the doctor there, Dr. Usanagi, in that case, you will find out that she is a member of the Followers and trained to be a doctor somewhere called the Angels Boneyard Medical University.
From this, one can assume that the former library and the Followers who ran it have not only succeeded but also skyrocketed in value and potential, now even offering doctorate-level education as a university. A stunning amount of progress, if you ask me.
Compared to their footprint in The Boneyard, the Followers have certainly increased their dealings and operations within the Mojave. The most noteworthy location they occupy within this game is The Old Mormon Fort, located in Freeside.
Within this fort, the Followers, led by Julie Farkas, work on helping the sick and wounded inhabitants of Freeside. Once the player digs a little further into this location, one finds that this branch of the Followers has little time for educating or anything else for that matter except saving the lives of the countless infirmed scattered around their base.
You see, in Freeside, the issue of chem addiction is rampant, with many of the businesses in the area, such as the Atomic Wrangler, feeding and creating this issue in the first place in order to keep their bar afloat and the Garret family pockets lined.
The Followers based out of this fort also concern themselves with giving medical aid to any and all who need it surrounding Freeside. As the player begins to get a feel for the area in New Vegas, they will soon realize that such a service is not only much needed but vital to the continued relative peace in the area.
Not only are there constant skirmishes between the Kings gang and the Freeside locals, but the presence of the NCR and, therefore, their citizens have begun rubbing up the residents of Freeside the wrong way, causing a commotion on both sides. The Followers are thus caught in the middle of these conflicts and are the only calming force in the area, preventing all-out war between Freeside and the NCR at times.
As mentioned previously, there is also a New Vegas Medical Clinic set up and partially funded by the Followers of the Apocalypse. The overall goal is to provide healthcare to those just outside of Freeside for a reasonable and diluted fee. The doctor in charge of this clinic is also a faction member.
Also, the Followers in the Mojave have become increasingly concerned with research regarding the local flora in the area in the hopes that plants such as the barrel cacti could possibly be used in medical treatments.
Lastly, there is a way in which the player can join the Followers outfit in the Mojave that is rather sneakily hidden. Even after the player reaches a maximum affinity with this faction, the offer to join does not come.
Instead, the player has to donate enough chems to Julie that she actually tells you they have an overstock of said chems. After she tells you this and travels to and from another instance, the player will be extended the offer to join the Followers.
- The New Vegas Medical Clinic can also provide the player with implants that boost the Couriers stats at a cost.
- Dr. Usanagi will also help the player in the quest Et Tumor Brute, should you need surgery supplies. These supplies will not be in the clinic before or after this quest is in motion.
- The Boneyard falls within NCR territory post the events of Fallout 1.
Quests Associated With the Followers
Friend of the Followers
When the player first meets with Julie Farkas, the conversation will soon turn to the issue of medical supplies and how the Freeside fort is burning through and requiring more chems by the day, far more than they can ever have on hand in their current predicament. You see, they cannot find a steady supply of these chems no matter where they look.
Apparently, Farkas has already tried the Crimson Caravan company but has been refused due to their inability to pay their ludicrous fees. Therefore, she will ask the Courier to go and find a steady supple for her patients, suggesting Mick & Ralph’s and the Garret siblings over at the Atomic Wrangler.
To save you some time, forget about everywhere else but the Wrangler, as they will just turn you down instantly. Instead, head on over to James Garret and make a deal with him. In the end, he will agree to supply the chems needed in return for the Followers setting up and maintaining his alcohol-making equipment. This, therefore, solves Julie’s issue and allows the player to buy chems from her at a discounted rate. Also, it accesses the next Followers quest.
After completing the first Followers quest, Julie will tell the player about two addicts living in Freeside who can help the area if they get clean. These two people, Jacob and Bill, are both seemingly patrons of the dealer Dixon and therefore need the player’s help.
After speaking to the two addicts, you will learn Dixon has been selling them something particularly addictive, which they simply cannot kick without help; thus, the player must confront the dealer himself. After speaking to Dixon, the player can pay Dixon 300 caps to stop supplying them or pass a speech check of 35. Alternatively, the player can just kill the dealer and solve all these issues.
At this point, the player can help the pair get clean by either passing him to the followers via speech checks or by giving them particular chems as needed. Once this is done, the player will be able to find both of these former addicts in key positions for the Followers in Freeside, helping them out in their own ways.
Wild Card Finishing Touches and For the Republic, Part 2
Should the player either side with Yes Man or the NCR, there will come the point wherein the player can ask Julie and the Followers whether or not they can do something to help the Courier and their side out during the final battle for Hoover Dam. Should the player’s affinity be high enough with this faction, she will provide medical aid to your faction.
- You can only ask for aid from the followers should you be trying to finish the game with one of these listed factions.
- The player cannot even ask the Crimson Caravan to help the Followers; the dialogue option will never appear with any member of this faction.
- To stop Dixon feeding Freeside residents chems, you can pass a speech check wherein you threaten to lie that he is working for the NCR in order to keep the citizens of the area ‘down.’
Key Members of the Followers
This founding member of the faction traveled from the Glow as a young woman. She lost her parents on the journey north to the Boneyard and therefore had to rely on herself from a young age.
Once she made it to her final location, however, she took this self-reliance to the next level and set up the Followers of the Apocalypse with her friends, offering to support others around them with no special quest for riches or power in mind. Simply a decision made out of the kindness of her own heart. She can be seen to rock a mohawk and a leather jacket in the game.
As mentioned, she can be found in the Boneyard Library within Fallout 1 and also plays a role in the Destroy the Mutant Leader quest within this game.
As a probable homage to their developer ancestors over at Interplay, the developers of New Vegas decided to give their local leader of the Followers a mohawk also, keeping the hairstyle as a sort of uniform needed to lead this band of do-gooders. Julie is technically classified as the Administrator of the Followers in the Mojave, but one can safely assume she is their leader.
This character, which can be found in the Old Mormon Fort in Freeside, is solely concerned with the safety and health of the residents surrounding her place of work and therefore will involve the Courier in a couple of quests to ensure they get the best shake possible in their already brutal life.
Lastly, she is also the only character in either Fallout 1 or Fallout New Vegas, which will grant the player entry into the Followers once certain conditions are met.
A fan favorite for definite, Arcade Gannon is first found in the Old Mormon Fort alongside his boss Julie, working as a doctor, helping the sick and addicted around him. However, the player will soon learn that the good doctor is hiding something, a secret that just gets better and better.
Arcade is also a possible companion for the Courier and, therefore, might help out in the wasteland. Should the player wish to recruit the doctor, however, they will need to do one of several things such as completing Followers quests, gaining a high reputation with them, or passing several speech checks. Possessing the Confirmed Bachelor perk will also do the trick.
However, the most interesting thing about Arcade is definitely his past and, in particular, the story of his origin. You see, if the player managed to build enough affinity with the doctor, they would learn that whilst he developed his skills and trained with the Followers, he started his life with his father as a member of the Enclave Remnants.
A scattered band of former Enclave soldiers in the west was left with no commanders or support structure once the player character destroyed the Oil Rig in Fallout 2. Arcade will reveal this truth to the player at the end of For Auld Lang Syne.
Yes, you thought I forgot about him, didn’t you? Well, rest assured; old Sallow is included in this guide.
If you did not know, our good friend Caesar was formerly known as Edward Sallow. He grew up as a member of the Followers, his mother serving as one of their librarians after her husband, Sallow’s father, was murdered by raiders in the Boneyard area.
I would argue that Caesar and his story perfectly outlines just how knowledge in the wrong hands can be used for evil, completely twisting the views and morals of the Followers. This is because Caesar only becomes the horrid warlord he is after being sent into the Grand Canyon to contact and form connections with tribes in the Canyon.
On this journey, he finds and reads many books about Julius Caesar and the decline of the Roman Empire. Sallow then utilizes this knowledge to lead the Blackfoot tribe and, later, the Legion to horrid acts of violence. Therefore, Caesar perfectly serves as the antithesis of everything Nicole strove to bring to pass; the understanding of old world knowledge but the repetition of their mistakes.
- Nicole set up the Followers once she reached the Boneyard; their first base of operations was the Boneyard Library.
- Julie Farkas can expand her inventory into selling to the player once enough chems have been donated to her and the Followers.
- Arcade Gannon can be given over to Caesar as a physician slave to cure his brain tumor in the quest Et Tumor Brute.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Are the Followers of the Apocalypse good?
Answer: While we must remember that there is never a simple answer to good versus evil questions in Fallout, one could argue that the Followers are as close to good as we are even going to get in this universe.
Question: Can you join the Followers of the Apocalypse?
Answer: In Fallout New Vegas, the player can join the faction once they have completed all their quests, reached max affinity with the group, and provided more chems than the group needs. After this, Julie will ask you to join.
Question: Where are the Followers of the Apocalypse in New Vegas?
Answer: To find the Followers, head on over to the Old Mormon Fort in Freeside.
So, there you have it, a complete and comprehensive guide to one of the lesser-known factions in the Fallout universe, a faction that many would argue has one of the strongest and most compelling backstories in the entire game.
In my view, for example, I can see the developers of the Fallout franchise one day turning to the Followers as a place to insert their next player character in the series, giving them a more major role going forward.
This is because of their continued inclusion across iterations of the franchise and because of the wealth of opportunity and vagueness that surrounds the years in between Fallout 1, New Vegas, and beyond. However, should you have just come here for some more information regarding a silly little faction you found dossing about Freeside.
Hopefully, this guide will have helped you understand them a bit better and possibly made you more open to donating some of your chems to the next time you’re around. Either way, good luck out there!