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One of the best things about the Fallout series is its incredibly detailed lore and wealth of interesting characters.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve read reams of extra content and watched dozens of hours of YouTube videos covering the rich histories of the games landscape, factions, and major events; by far one of the most interesting groups in the game is the Brotherhood of Steel: the heavily armed self-professed protectors of the wasteland, working to both preserve and harness old and modern technology.
While much of Fallout’s inhabitants live fugally underground or in make-shift settlements, the Brotherhood live a life of technological and militaristic superiority, and that sentiment is no clearer when you first lay eyes on their towering forty-foot metal soldier: Liberty Prime.
Liberty Prime was one of the first characters I was fascinated enough to read up on, and in this Liberty Prime guide, I’ll be presenting you with everything I know about him, from his history, abilities, and ultimate fate.
Bottom Line Up Front
I’ve covered a lot in this article, but I’ve split it up into modular sections that you can refer back to individually. If you’re just after the basics, though, here’s a refresher on this character:
- Liberty Prime is a pre-war robot designed through a collaboration between General Atomics International, RobCo, and the Pentagon. Due to complex power consumption issues, he was never deployed in battle.
- During the events of Fallout 3, having been resurrected by The Brotherhood, he was utilized in the seminal battles against the Enclave but was destroyed during the Battle of Rockland.
- In Fallout 4, Liberty Prime is rebuilt and upgraded once again upon his delivery to Boston, where he would aid The Brotherhood in their fight against The Institute. He remains at the Boston Airfield location patrolling its perimeter.
Who is Liberty Prime?
Liberty Prime is a powerful military robot, and that much is clear to anyone who lays eyes on him. He was restored and operated by The Brotherhood of Steel during the periods of Fallout 3 and 4 and was deployed on several key battles in the franchise including The Battle of Project Purity in 2278 and The Battle of Rockland in the same year.
He also played a major part in the story surrounding the Institute in Fallout 4, where he was again deployed on the front line to fight alongside the Brotherhood.
While you wouldn’t want to be in the way of Prime’s devastating melee attacks, his main method of attack comes in the form of a huge head-mounted laser appropriately dubbed the Liberty Laser. He can also throw Mark 28 nuclear bombs, which are used to clear large groups of enemies.
Aside from his offensive abilities, Prime uses a wide spectrum scanner to locate targets and can speak English for relaying important statuses back to command. Notable is his intermittent spouting of Capitalist propaganda, which was programmed at the time of his creation when he was set to be utilized by the American Government during Operation Anchorage on the Alaskan Front.
During both Fallout 3 and 4, the player has a direct role in helping the Brotherhood resurrect Liberty Prime, whether it be scavenging for key parts or negotiating with the key scientists involved.
Prime is the only character of his type within the franchise, presenting as by far the largest automated robot in the Fallout Universe. Given his appearance in the last two games, it’s likely he will play a role in future mainline titles to come.
History of Liberty Prime
While Liberty Prime indeed looks to be futuristic, from the context of the series timeline he is a relic.
Prime is said to have been created around 2072 following a US Government contract for creating an unprecedented new automated weapon. The plan was that Liberty Prime would enable the military to dominate Chinese Forces and liberate Alaska: a major geopolitical area.
Despite U.S. success on the Alaskan front, Liberty Prime never ended up being deployed. While he was built and almost fully finished, the military had a huge problem appropriately powering the robot; his physical movement could be powered, but his high-powered laser weapons could not be.
At a loss, Project Lead Stanley Bloomfield wrote to General Constantine Chase to explain that the robot would most certainly not be ready in time, and with that, Liberty Prime was stored underground at the Pentagon for the time being. It would not be until 200 years later that he would be discovered there.
Liberty Prime in Fallout 3
Liberty Prime’s first in-game appearance was in Fallout 3. In 2255, Star Paladin Owyn Lyons (leader of the Brotherhood of Steel in the east) sent men and women out to Washington to search the scene and recover any useful technology. Having found the wreckage of the Pentagon and its mostly intact lower levels, Liberty Prime was a major find in more ways than one.
On account of the Liberty Prime project being a central hub for technological development during the war, the ruins of The Pentagon turned out to be a gold mine for the Brotherhood. They developed their main base of operation there, renaming it The Citadel, and got to work restoring the Liberty Prime project.
If they could manage to get the robot up and running, they would surely assume the ultimate dominance over the wasteland and, most notably, the Enclave. Of course, in a barren nuclear wasteland, they faced the same pre-war problems of powering the robot but on an even larger scale.
The Brotherhood worked tirelessly for twenty years on the project: a period that encompassed multiple small victories but also several setbacks. The team made strides in the early years, bringing nearly half of Prime’s power back online, but faced several issues with the onboard AI which refused the redistribution of power.
Even when this issue was resolved, power management remained a complex and potentially unsolvable issue.
Thankfully, with the arrival of Dr. Maddison Li, a scientist renowned for her experience in fusion technology, huge progress was made. With her help and the assistance of the Lone Wanderer in locating parts, Liberty Prime was finally brought online.
It was in the battle for Project Purity that he first saw active deployment against the Enclave. Being an essential asset so far as eliminating the Enclave’s Vertiberds, he pressed on over the Francis Scott Key Bridge towards the Memorial, destroying the electromagnetic barriers to enable the Lone Wanderer and Sarah Lyons inside to infiltrate.
Following the success of the project, The Brotherhood would continue to use Liberty Prime against the Enclave in a similar fashion. This reign of military superiority wasn’t to last, however.
During the Battle of Rockland, The Brotherhood would cause the end of the Enclave’s reign by capturing their main base of operations. Despite this victory, their enemy was able to lure Prime into a trap.
Once the robot was standing in the firing line, the Enclave activated the Bradley-Hurcules Satalite to deliver a devastating missile barrage on Prime’s positions, which almost completely destroyed him.
Having successfully raided the Rockford facility but lost the greatest military asset in the process, the victory was bitter-sweet for the Brotherhood. Liberty Prime’s parts were brought back and salvaged, but the project to rebuild him was later abandoned.
Liberty Prime in Fallout 4
Ten years after the events of Fallout 3, The Brotherhood of Steel shipped Liberty Prime’s partly restored frame to the Commonwealth.
During the story, the Sole Survivor meets with Proctor Ingram — head scribe of The Prydwen, the Brotherhood’s floating fortress. She explains the situation of the weapon’s disrepair.
Prime’s appearance and activation depend on whether or not the player sides with The Brotherhood. If they agree to help them destroy The Institute, Prime plays a very similar role in spearheading the group’s forces against their adversaries.
His ultimate activation is not without great difficulty and, once again, requires the assistance of Dr. Li. Despite their best efforts, Ingram’s team couldn’t solve the power shortage problem with Liberty Prime’s complex CPU architecture, so Dr. Li is brought on board to problem solve.
At the same time, the Sole Survivor gets to work helping to restore the actuators – the components that enable Prime to move. The Brotherhood was also able to arm him with a large supply of nuclear bombs having secured a stockpile at a facility in The Glowing Sea.
With Liberty Prime living to fight another day, his course is plotted for The Institute. This version is a greatly upgraded variant referred to as Liberty Prime Mark ll: it features enhanced mobility thanks to new electromagnetic motivators, as well as improvements to its scanning abilities and navigation systems.
Having reached the Commonwealth Institute of Technology ruins where The Institute is situated below, destroying any and all synths as he went, Prime bores a huge hole to reveal a substitute entrance using his head-mounted laser and mini-nukes.
This enables the Sole Survivor and The Brotherhood direct access to mount a ground attack on the facility, which culminates in the entire operation being shut down and the base being nuked.
Liberty Prime is then sent back to the Boston Airport to patrol the area until a further directive is given. This is his last known position in the timeline.
Key Characters in Liberty Prime’s story
With Liberty Prime’s story spanning two games and several different conflicts, the different characters instrumental in his tale can get a little mixed up. Use this short list to refer back to if you get confused during Prime’s associated quests.
As the leader of the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel, Owyn Lyons is a pivotal character in Fallout 3. His establishment within the Capital Wasteland, as well as how his story connects with Liberty Prime, came about during a mission he led to investigate the ruins of Washington D.C.
The group had been tasked with searching for and recovering any lost technology that could be useful to The Brotherhood.
In 2255, Lyons and his group discovered the Pentagon. Naturally, the majority of the building on the surface was destroyed, but as the group ventured below, they found that the sub-levels remained intact.
Better still, a stockpile of advanced pre-war technology and weaponry was there for the taking, and in the abandoned bays, Liberty Prime stood undisturbed for the last 200 years.
Lyons would establish the Pentagon as Brotherhood’s main base in the east and dedicated the next several decades to bringing Liberty Prime back online.
Although a secondary character, Dr. Li has a large influence on the story of Fallout 3, 4, and Liberty Prime. Originally, she was devoted to Project Purity, working alongside James and Catherine (the Lone Wanderer’s parents): she even delivered their baby.
After establishing herself as leader of the Rivet City labs, Li reconnected with James to help restart Project Purity. During their work, the project was sabotaged by The Enclave under Colonel Autumn, and James was killed in the process.
Li and the Lone Wanderer escaped to the Citidal, where she reluctantly agreed to help the Brotherhood restore power to Liberty Prime. Her knowledge of portable fusion power was crucial in bringing the robot back online, and without her, the battle to realize Project Purity would have been lost.
Dr. Li was also highly instrumental in Liberty Prime’s revival in Fallout 4. She left the Capital Wasteland for the Commonwealth shortly after Project Purity went online, securing a role within The Institute.
Although still distrustful of The Brotherhood and the utilization of her research for war, she is convinced by the Soul Survivor of The Institute’s evil and once again helps to restore Liberty Prime to bring the organization to its end.
Chase was a U.S. Army general responsible for leading the military during Operation Anchorage: the plan to push back Chinese forces out of Alaska during the war. As part of his commanding role, he was also the key proponent for using Liberty Prime during the battle.
His commentary on the project’s infeasibility can be found through in-game terminals, but Prime’s lack of deployment didn’t stop his ultimate success.
Through the aid of T-51b Power Armour, General Chase would still lead the U.S. to victory in Alaska.
Bloomfield was the project lead for Liberty Prime. Surprisingly, he is barely referenced and is only mentioned in Fallout 3. His most prominent statement comes in a letter to Constantine Chase, which is the main piece of information we have so far as the reason for Prime’s lack of deployment.
His letter explains that it had been impossible to find a small enough power source to bring all of Liberty Prime’s mechanisms online simultaneously. We do not yet know Bloomfield’s fate in terms of what happened to him after the bombs fell.
Rothchild is the Head Scribe for The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 3. He was part of the original Brotherhood expedition to the Capital Wasteland and being part of the team that discovered Liberty Prime, he was given the task of leading the project of Liberty Prime’s restoration.
Despite his best efforts, twenty years would pass with little progress on the robot’s activation. It was only after the arrival of Dr. Maddison Li and her specific skill set, that the two would be able to successfully bring him online to destroy The Enclave’s Raven Rock base and enact Project Purity.
When Liberty Prime was destroyed during one of the battles, Rothchild was understandably in despair. Nevertheless, he tirelessly worked on repairing the weapon for another fifteen years.
Proctor Ingram is head of engineering for the Order of the Shield – one of the scribe-led orders in the East division of The Brotherhood of Steel. She is in the unusual state of being bound to a power armor exoskeleton, which was the only option to save her after she was gravely injured during a fight. Her legs needed to be amputated, necessitating mechanical enhancement.
Her team impressively managed to get the Prydwen up and running again having salvaged parts from an old aircraft carrier, and during the events of Fallout 4, she turned her attention to the restoration of Liberty Prime.
Taking over from Reginald Rothchild, she headed the team to restore his full combat abilities with the help of Dr. Li, and deploy him to facilitate the destruction of The Institute.
Did You Know?
Here are some cool bits of trivia I’ve learned over the years about Liberty Prime.
- The Chinese were reportedly developing a counter: In the games, posters can be found depicting a similarly sized Chinese robot, though it remains unclear whether or not this new war machine was fact or fiction. The consensus amongst the community seems to be that this was simply propaganda by the U.S. government; with the U.S. military’s abilities being more capable than the Chinese, it’s unlikely the “Red Menace” would have had the capabilities for the fusion power required if the west didn’t.
- Power armor skin: In Fallout 76, Liberty Prime’s aesthetic is available as a power armor skin. It is located in The Atomic Shop microtransaction store.
- The Iron Giant: Based on his appearance, it seems clear that Liberty Prime’s designers at Bethesda took big inspiration from The Iron Giant: the 1999 Warner Brothers animated film. Prime’s chassis is virtually identical in all but the headgear of the robot from the film, with Fallout 4’s upgraded version bearing a closer resemblance to the Iron Giant’s final combat form.
- Liberty Prime’s voice: The same voice actor is used for Liberty Prime in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, but to this day, no one knows who he is as he was not credited. It is speculated that the voice-over work was performed by someone on the development team.
- A larger, ridable Liberty Prime: According to a 1UP interview with Fallout 3 and 4 Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo, Liberty Prime was originally set to be much larger than his final version. There was also a plan to have the player ride inside his head “Anime-style”. The interview didn’t explain why this was changed, but Pagliarulo did disclose that there was no conscious inspiration from Optimus Prime of The Transformers series.
- Amphibious Prime: Contrary to anything we’d seen before, Fallout 4 confirmed that Liberty Prime is amphibious. When he realizes a bridge has been destroyed that he is required to cross to reach The Institute labs, he replots the route to walk through the river. This is likely an important feature for protecting his metal parts against the elements of the cold, wet, and frozen planes of Alaska.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do we Know if Liberty Prime will Appear in Fallout 5?
Answer: Given that we know very little about the next Fallout game, this information has not been disclosed. However, Liberty Prime is very much alive and active following the events of Fallout 4, so I’d assume this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him yet.
Question: Why does Liberty Prime Still Spout American Capitalist Propaganda During Battle?
Answer: While Prime has been reprogrammed to target new targets such as Enclave and Institute personnel (as well as Super Mutants), he still believes these enemies are the Chinese. According to the robot, he’s still fighting The Great War he was built for 200 years ago, hence the strange dialogue.
Question: Why does Liberty Prime Look Different from Fallout 3 to Fallout 4?
Answer: Fallout 4’s liberty prime looks a lot more heavily armored than he did in Fallout 3, and this is because he had to be entirely rebuilt. The Brother Hood of Steel in Boston made necessary upgrades to his maneuverability and his chassis has been significantly enhanced to be more durable.
I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into Fallout’s favorite iron giant. If you want to learn more about Fallout’s incredible world, check out our other articles such as the write-ups on settlements and Diamond City here on Wasteland Gamers.
If you’re looking to learn more about the franchise’s lore in general, I highly recommended joining the Fallout lore board on Reddit. Many members have deep knowledge and understanding about every detail, so post a question there if you’re curious about something. Have fun!