Understanding the Vault 33 lore in Prime Video's Fallout

Fallout on Prime Video opted not to take any of the game storylines that we already know. Instead, it brought us more backstory and intrigue. Here's a breakdown of the Vault 33 lore and how it connects to Vaults 31 and 32.
Moisés Arias (Norm) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC
Moisés Arias (Norm) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

Norm MacLean decided to figure out the conspiracy behind Vaults 31, 32, and 33. It’s time to break down the Vault 33 lore in Prime Video’s Fallout.

The Amazon series is based on the games in terms of Vault-Tec creating Vaults so that people would survive the nuclear apocalypse. However, the series is set years after the events of the games. It brings up different Vaults than the ones that we’d come to know.

Vault 33 is a sister vault with Vault 32. The two would often trade partners and crops. We also learned that Vault 31 also followed suit, with Hank MacLean coming from Vault 31 to marry Vault Dweller, Rose. However, it turned out that there was a lot more going on between the vaults.

Vault 33 lore: Vault 31 doesn’t have any people

Vault 33 believes that there are people just like them in both Vault 31 and Vault 32. That was likely the case with Vault 32, expect that it turned out that the main door had been opened and the people in there were killed by raiders. Those raiders then made a pact with Vault 33.

Lucy unknowingly married one of the raiders. Moldaver was the head of the party, and she ended up taking Hank to the outside world.

While Lucy went in search for her father, Norm did his own investigations into the three Vaults. He found out way more than he bargained for.

It turns out that most of the overseers in Vault 33 have come from Vault 31. Betty, who ends up becoming the Overseer after Hank is taken, is able to get Vault 32 cleaned up between Norm seeing the place with dead bodies and Betty showing everyone what is actually in there. She shares that the Vault can’t stay empty and that some from 33 will now live in 32. This separates Norm from his cousin, and should end the threat.

Norm ends up conning his way into 31, though. That’s where he learns that this place is unmanned. A robot that is the brain of Bud from Vault-Tec runs the show. People from Vault-Tec are in cryosleep, and Hank and Betty were two of those people.

What’s going on with the Vaults in Fallout?

There is something much bigger going on. It’s clear that Vault-Tec is playing a long game. They want to make sure the people in the Vaults are the way they want the people to be. This is their way to create a future that fits their image. They probably didn’t expect anyone in the world to actually live after the apocalypse.

Vaults 32 and 33 have no idea that they are part of this situation. Nor do they realize that they are part of Vault-Tec’s attempts to get the perfect genetic pool of people. They may not have a way to find out if Norm can’t get back to his home. Will Betty really want him back with everything he knows? Bud is sure to get a message to Betty.

We also know that Vault 4 was originally run by scientists. They were able to perform all the experiments they wanted, which seemed to be something one of the other tech companies wanted. There was a mention of experiments on illegal immigrants. However, these experiments in Vault 4 got out of hand, but they do still continue. There are also a lot of people from the Earth now in the vault, so it’s not longer purely scientist-run. There has to be more to this story, right?

Where is Vault 33 located in Fallout?

Vault 33, along with 32 and 31, are located in Los Angeles. More specifically, it’s located in Santa Monica, with Vault 33 close to the Santa Monica Pier.

The series was filmed in New York, though. Some of it was filmed in Namibia, but Kyle MacLachlan’s scenes (so anything with Hank MacLean) were filmed in New York.

However, the series has landed a $25 million tax credit to relocate to California. So, should there be a second season—and we’re expecting that—then we’re sure to see more of the California backdrop instead of New York.

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Fallout is now available to stream on Prime Video.