• Fallout 4 is filled with subtle pop culture references, from Dunwich Borers to Mentats linked to Dune’s human computers.
  • Mentats in Fallout 4 boost intelligence and perception, similar to Dune’s Mentats who excel at solving complex problems and tactics.
  • While these drugs can enhance mental abilities, excessive use can lead to addiction in both the game and the Dune universe.

The Fallout series is rife with pop culture references, from the Cheers-themed interiors in Probst bar to the Fallout 4 Courser uniform that looks like it could be worn by Blade Runner’s Roy Batty. The games usually keep these callbacks subtle, often changing up the look of the items or places and giving them different names. However, one item type in Fallout 4 is an outright reference to a group of specialists in the science fiction novel and movie franchise Dune.

While Fallout 4 leans more on sci-fi, its references aren’t limited to the genre. It refers to movies and shows in different genres, like:

  • Lord of the Rings
  • Titanic
  • The Blues Brothers
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Lethal Weapon

There’s even a Fallout 4 location called the Dunwich Borers, which is a mine riddled with occult activity, ghouls, and weird statues. This is a callback to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” Finding these references is always a delight, and somehow doesn’t take away from the game’s immersion.


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Fallout 4’s Mentats are an Overt Callback to Dune’s Human Computers

According to Fallout 4’s official lore, Mentats are recreational drugs that affect a person’s creativity. These contain nootropics, which are also known as “smart drugs” or ”cognitive enhancers.” Users of Mentat and similar chems in Fallout report significantly improved memory and faster mental functions. They’re also believed to curb the mind’s degeneration, which could help in managing Alzheimer’s disease. However, ingesting too much of this drug could worsen pre-existing neurological issues. With such brilliant effects on the mind’s mental ability, it’s not a surprise that these drugs are named after Dune’s Mentats, who were essentially human computers.

The Mentats in the Dune universe are trained to solve complex equations almost instantly. Mentats also serve as master combat tacticians and political strategists for the leaders of the Dune universe. This is because they can gather, analyze, and interpret data quickly and accurately. One of the most popular Mentats in this franchise is Dune‘s Thufir Hawat, who served House Atreides. This profession, along with the Spacing Guild and Bene Gesserit, exists because of a war that led to the banning of computers and other machines that are created to mimic the human mind.

How Mentats Work in Fallout 4

Players can easily get Mentats from chem dealers and buildings across Fallout 4‘s Boston. These usually come in tins or cardboard packs. These are pre-war items, but some people in the wasteland have come up with ways to mass-produce them. Regular Mentats offer a +2 Intelligence and Perception boost for five minutes. They can also be mixed with other chemicals and ingredients for different effects. There are five Mentat variants:

  • Berry Mentat: This boosts Intelligence by 5 points and highlights living characters for 8 minutes
  • Grape Mentat: This improves Charisma by 5 points and lets players get 10% better prices when trading
  • Orange Mentat: This provides +5 Perception and boosts V.A.T.S. accuracy by 10% for 8 minutes
  • Bufftat: This improves Strength, Endurance, and Perception by 3 points and adds 65 HP for 8 minutes
  • Smooth Operator: This boosts Charisma by 3 and lets players buy 10% lower and sell for 10% higher during trading

Dune’s Mentats can also augment their abilities further by consuming sapho juice. This substance, like Fallout 4’s Mentat tablets can cause addiction. The effects of sapho juice dependency aren’t clearly stated in the books. In Fallout 4, however, Mentat addiction withdrawal reduces Charisma by 1. Bufftat addiction has a -1 penalty for Strength and Endurance. These fictional drugs let the player experience the power of their namesake, with massively improved intelligence and perception. However, using too much of it can lead to a debilitating addiction. As such, it might just be best to leave the big brain activities to the handful of talented members of Dune’s Mentats and Bene Gesserits.

fallout 4 box art

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is an RPG in the Fallout series, being the fourth major installment. This time around, players are in The Commonwealth, formerly Massachusetts, in the year 2287.

November 10, 2015



How Long To Beat
27 Hours

X|S Enhanced

File Size Xbox Series
51 GB (December 2023)


PS Plus Availability
Extra & Premium


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