Galaxy News Radio is a main quest in Fallout 3. It is also an achievement on the Xbox 360 and PC, and a bronze trophy on the PlayStation 3. The quest involves retrieving the communication relay dish from the Virgo II Spacecraft in the Museum of Technology and installing it at the top of the Washington Monument.
|Main/Side Quest: Galaxy News Radio|
|Find the Museum of Technology|
|Retrieve the Communications Relay Dish|
|Find the Washington Monument and repair the relay|
|Speak to Three Dog about Dad|
|Reward: 400 XP|
|Leads to: Scientific Pursuits|
The quest may be given immediately after meeting Three Dog.
Completing the Megaton portion of the main storyline quest Following in His Footsteps, Three Dog will offer the Lone Wanderer information about their father in exchange for restoring the satellite relay dish for Galaxy News Radio. Accepting his offer to start the quest immediately, or failing the speech check, begins the quest on those terms.
Succeeding at the speech check makes this an optional quest, with the reward being the location of a weapons cache. The cache still exists if Three Dog does not give the information, and its location is near that of the Blood Ties quest, which can be started in Megaton.
Find the Museum of Technology
Three Dog will give directions to (place map markers for) the Museum of Technology and the Washington Monument. A door leading north in the Galaxy News Radio building leads downstairs, with a one-way door to the northern section of Dupont Circle and the Metro Junction entrance; the Metro is the only access to the museum and the monument. There is a quicker southern route to the objective as well (see notes).
Retrieve the Communication Relay Dish
Inside the Museum of Technology, one will need to find the Virgo II lunar lander, which is located in the west wing of the building. The player character can obtain this information from a terminal in the atrium to the right of the entrance when one comes in. Note, however, that the museum is occupied by super mutants. The goal is to reach the west wing going through the Vault-Tec demonstration vault, upstairs. One can also attempt to retrieve Jiggs' loot, using the museum information terminal in the atrium.
In the west wing, locate the Virgo II lunar lander. The west wing is divided into 3 areas: the Planetarium, the Delta IX Exhibition, and the Virgo II Exhibition. Be ready for a fight as all these areas are patrolled by super mutants. Either a Science skill of 25 or Lockpick skill of 50 is required to get through the Planetarium. If one does not have those stats, one must go through the Delta IX rocket exhibit.
Upon finding the lander and clearing out all hostiles, grab the dish by interacting with the lander and return to the exit; note that one must aim the crosshairs at the dish, not just any part of the lander, for this to work.
There is also a safer route to get to the Museum of Technology. Opposite the GNR plaza is a building (which, if Sarah Lyons has been followed, one would have already been through). Travel through this area, killing the feral ghouls along the way. Upon exiting there will be a feral ghoul and a feral ghoul roamer which carries a blue pass card. Down the road one will also see a raider camp.
Head into Dupont Circle station and engage in battle with two super mutants. Run straight across and go through some doors, the pass through the small raider camp. After passing through the railroads, there is a small enclosure with a raider as well as some first aid supplies. Next the player character will come to a dungeon with a large number of raiders. With a Science skill of 50, it is possible to hack the terminal to change the nearby turret's trajectory, killing a few of the raiders. After this, the player character will come to a utility gate with an injured raider who can easily be taken out. Head on into Metro Central.
The player character will come upon two raiders against two ghouls. Run straight past them into the station. Turn right immediately and run straight down the tunnels, encountering several ghouls. The player character may run into a pack of vicious dogs, but one can usually just run straight past them to the museum station.
There is a feral ghoul roamer on the stairs leading to the entrance, after it is dealt with, activate the electrical switch to open the floor. Make sure to grab the Grognak the Barbarian on the table before heading into the tunnels. There is a raider with a 10mm submachine gun slightly further into the tunnel. One can usually avoid the last few enemies by running up the escalator and exiting the station.
The museum is directly to the right after exiting the station. There are several super mutants in the area, so it is best to cut directly into the museum.
Find the Washington Monument
Exit the museum and head west for the Washington Monument. It is also in The Mall area and can be seen from the entrance of the Museum of Technology as a giant obelisk. There are Brotherhood guards stationed there and one will need to use the terminal to open the security doors. The password is given to the player character at the beginning of the quest. Take the elevator to the top and interact with the radio equipment to install the dish. Finally, return to Three Dog at Galaxy News Radio to finish the quest.
- 400 XP
- Information about James' whereabouts.
- The player character can receive an additional reward if they finish this quest after discovering their father's whereabouts from someone other than Three Dog, or by using a successful Speech check to have him tell the player character where James is. In addition to good Karma, Three Dog gives the player character a note titled "the weapons cache", the key to the weapons cache and the map marker for Hamilton's hideaway where the cache is located. The cache is behind a cell door in the northwesternmost area of the hideaway, behind some rubble. It contains a Guns and Bullets, a mini nuke, a Stealth Boy, a leveled helmet and armor as well as other random loot.
- Upon installing the relay dish, the player character will be given +200 karma.
- Even though one is led to this quest through the main storyline, it is one of the quests that can be skipped. It is possible to retrieve the Project Purity Personal Journals from the Jefferson Memorial, go directly to Doctor Li at Rivet City or even straight to Vault 112 in the basement of Smith Casey's garage, where James is imprisoned in a pre-War simulation, thus bringing about the quest Tranquility Lane. If one does elect to skip this quest, they can always return to Three Dog and ask to help with the "good fight," and he will offer the quest.
- After replacing the satellite dish, the Galaxy News Radio signal increases in quality and can be heard all over the map. Tune into GNR and, shortly after fixing the dish, one will hear Three Dog talk about the improved signal.
- It is possible to take an alternate route to the Museum of Technology and avoid the long metro trip. Exit the GNR building through the front entrance and head towards Rivet City from the closest location that has been already discovered by following the Potomac in the southeast direction. Across from Rivet City is the Anacostia Crossing Station, which connects directly to Museum station.
- If the speech check is failed, or not selected, it is impossible get into the weapons cache in Hamilton's hideaway. Even after killing him, the key will not be found when searching Three Dog; however, if James' location is discovered before completely finishing the GNR quest (fixing the dish at the Washington Monument), Three Dog will give the player character the key as a reward, as he does not want them to walk away empty-handed for their effort. This is done by talking to Doctor Li in Rivet City about Dad or by going straight to Vault 112.
Behind the scenes
After the relay has been repaired, Three Dog makes a one-off broadcast which includes the phrase "you can't stop the signal." This is a tagline of Mr. Universe from the 2005 sci-fi movie Serenity. Mr. Universe broadcasts the truth, whether pleasant or not. This is similar to Three Dog fighting the "good fight".
- Brotherhood of Steel might not show up, and one will be forced to fight all the super mutants, even the behemoth, alone, a difficult task at low levels. This will occur if the whereabouts of the Lone Wanderer's father is revealed by someone other than Three Dog. [verified] When first discovering Galaxy News Radio, the
- Upon successfully passing the speech check, which allows the player character to circumvent taking the Galaxy News Radio quest as a requirement for getting information on James, whenever one talks to Three Dog in the future, he will always respond with "Ready to make a deal?" and is under the misunderstanding that one still needs information on their father. Even if the player character successfully completes all quests related to James and their story is completed, Three Dog will still only talk about taking on his "deal" and that without it, there will be "no dad." [verified]
- Sometimes, after installing the dish, the front door to the Galaxy News Radio Station will be locked, and will need a "key." There is no way to get the key for the door. Upon talking to the intercom, it will only repeat "Door's open. Quit buzzin me, willya?" This happens if the player character exits out of the front door instead of the back door when Three Dog tells them to, or if the player character exits out the back door before or after talking to Three Dog. [verified]