Content of the article: "Mole Miners: Fallout 76s Biggest Mystery"
Fallout 76 is a game of many mysteries (like what SCORE stands for,) but among these mysteries is one that’s hidden mostly in plain sight.
What exactly are Mole Miners?
The game is light on information regarding them. We have a load-screen tip that tells us this, “Trapped within their deteriorating mining suits, the Mole Miners are frenzied combatants who attack anything they perceive as a threat.”, which tells us very little and seems more or less inaccurate given Treasure Hunters wear relatively clean clothes as well as new masks, and actively run from danger.
From other sources we have a date on their initial appearance to Appalachia: 2095. The note, “Lt. Thomas' Action Report” details an encounter with them at Brim Quarry, where Fire Breathers and Mole Miners fought. We know the Fire Breathers initiated this encounter, the Mole Miners being seen as “hostiles” they needed to fight off for being too close. This wasn’t their first appearance in Appalachia, given this line “I expected the fire to draw the rest of them at the top of the quarry, but nothing came. Like other reports indicate, they don't seem to feel or care about anything. They can't be human, at least not anymore.”
The report indicates two other things, “they appear to be bipeds wearing those old heavy miner suits. They grunt and shriek like monsters, but we find wallets, keys, watches…I don't know if I'll ever understand all the horrors of this new world.” It’s here we see some indication that the Mole Miners wear older gear, and while this is a post-war encounter, the lack of similar gear on any miner corpses we find, or ghouls we see, would indicate in this case Thomas means the gear was old pre-war. Additionally, the Fire Breathers searched the bodies, and chose to say wear instead of fused to.
There’s a few other things found elsewhere, namely Raider/Settler vs Mole Miner encounters that state Mole Miners keep Mole Rats as pets, and that they do try to rob Settler/Raider groups in dialogue.
This is more or less all we have explicitly stated about Mole Miners in the game that tells us anything about what they might be. What remains is still in-game but less so stated.
Firstly, looking at Mole Miner script notes, we know they’re very upset. Their combat bark script notes include "You'll die screaming you shit!", "Tear you apart! Spread your guts on the floor!", and "Dig straight into your eyes!". If you listen to the corresponding lines, they are actually talking, so these can be assumed to be accurate.
Second,we know the Mole Miners have a tunnel network of some type located in the Savage Divide, primarily by the Palace of the Winding Path. They’re set up as locations, and potentially as part of the BoS update this November one will be gaining an interior, with the respective exterior now controlled by Raiders. The associated notes in the interior (currently inaccessible) that they had to barricade off the interior, and that it looks like a small part of a bigger network.
Also notable, all three of these tunnel entrances have large bonfires set up next to them, seen in my pictures. Their purpose is unclear, but I suspect it’s linked to Mole Miners needing a certain quality of air to breathe.
Regarding their mole rat domestication, we know that they use them as suicide bombers when attacking players at the Breach and Clear event, and the Rockbreaker Mole Miners wear gear that looks suspiciously stitched together out of mole-rat hides. It’s also a possible source of the glowing meat glowing Mole Miners carry, assuming the meat isn’t just theirs.
On a final note we have the mysterious Purveyor, who has a large stock of air filters and masks in her basement, as well as numerous traps and methods to deter any theft from other Mole Miners, one of which can be found dead in a wall. The game’s second friendly Mole Miner hangs around in her basement, and a tunnel can be seen that goes somewhere. My hope is we one day have answers to some of these questions, like what exactly is going on with the Mole Miners, and possibly see how they live.
Until then, I hope I’ve made you curious.
(bethesda pls give more mole miner lore i need it)
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