Fallout — Deathclaws Through the Ages

Posted by | November 7, 2008

The Fallout series has given us many interesting characters and monsters, but few are spoken of in the same tones and hushed whispers as one critter that earns its name. The deathclaw. These monsters are leathery, reptilian horrors who run in packs and spend their time growling, lurking, and pulling Vault Dwellers’ spleens out through their noses. Deathclaws are tough little kitties.

Fallout 3 Deathclaw

With the release of Fallout 3, it has come time to take a look at the deathclaw and all the wonderful moments we’ve shared with it through the years.

In Fallout, you might hear mention of deathclaws from time to time, but your first real encounter with the monster will come around the LA Boneyard. You’ll have to deal with a few of these cheerful puppies for a quest, and then, you can take another quest to go in and clear them all out. What’s a little more violence, right? And hey, they’re worth good XP. So you head out, pop a few more deathclaws, stumble down into this dark, cramped basement, and then promptly get thrown out again with a nosebleed and missing your spleen. The reason for this sudden impromptu organ donation is the Mother Deathclaw lurking under the stairs. Not only is she bigger, tougher, meaner, and more dangerous than her cuddly little children, but you’ll also discover her about five steps from your face. Once you’ve dealt with her, you can wipe out the her eggs, and that’ll do it for the deathclaw menace in Fallout.

Fallout 2 gets a little more interesting with our spleenivore friends. You first come across one in the farming town of Modoc, where it’s locked up in a pen. This is good, because otherwise it’ll kill everyone, and bad, because the Laws of Drama ensure that cage will break open somehow, and it’ll kill everyone.

The real fun comes when you get to Vault 13. You’ll hear voices out of the shadows…growling voices. These deathclaws are intelligent, and they have a story to tell and a quest or two for you. One of them, a fine fellow by the name of Goris, can even join your party as an NPC.

Then, there’s a military base. You’ll find deathclaws here, too, and not the friendly type. Instead, they are the angry type, sent by a super mutant trainer to carve your head into a canoe.

Fallout Tactics also includes deathclaws, mostly as enemies. You can recruit a few deathclaws to your side by helping their Matriarch, but since this is Fallout Tactics, no one really cares either way.

Fallout 3 deathclaws are mean bastards, full of spite, venom, and hit points. You might encounter one or two wandering around, maybe outside the Super Duper Mart. But come around to the town of Old Olney, and you’ll be swimming in a vast sea of murderous reptilian death.

The best way to deal with deathclaws in Fallout 3 is to cripple their legs and blow them up. Attacking something named for killing people in close combat with your own melee weapons is a bad idea that will usually end in loading a save. Keep your distance, keep something between you and the deathclaw, and don’t skimp on the Bottlecap Mines.

Although the deathclaw has taken on different looks through the various Fallout games, it remains at its core the most fearsome beast a vault dweller can encounter. Humans, you can bargain with. Super mutants can be tricked. But there’s no dealing with a deathclaw, save with blood and high-velocity lead. Stay to bright deserts of the wasteland, wanderer, else you may face the deadly claws that know no mercy. Your spleen will thank you.

6 Comments so far
  1. The Chosen One
    November 14, 2008 3:29 pm

    Good story, but you guys forgot about Fallout:Brother hood of Steel on the xbox and PS2. In this game, the deathclaws are really explored, and you fight a large variety of the scary beasts, ranging from Human sized babies, to the giant camoflaging deathclaws three to four times your size, to the Matriarchs easily ten to fifteen times your size.

  2. miguel
    February 28, 2009 4:25 pm

    ive pretty much mastered every thing in fallout 3 but the one damn thing that scares the shit out of me is those god damned deathclaws. i honestly dont understand how they where even made……they must have come scenced something from hell so they came to the surface or something.

  3. Sinn
    November 15, 2010 8:13 pm

    @The Chosen One
    Brotherhood Tactics is not canon, therefore shouldn’t be mentioned.

  4. tytanmt
    December 20, 2012 6:23 pm

    i know the plance where the detahclaw is its in raven rock

  5. tytanmt
    December 20, 2012 6:25 pm

    and i killed anna holt she betrayed my dad and docter li madason

  6. tytanmt
    December 20, 2012 6:25 pm

    and MY MOTHER!!!!!!

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