HELIOS One is a Poseidon Energy solar plant that generates and provides power to the New Vegas Strip, Freeside, and other settlements in the Mojave Wasteland. It also contains the control system for two space-based weapon platforms, Archimedes I and Archimedes II.
Constructed before the war by Poseidon Energy, HELIOS One is a concentrated solar energy plant consisting of an enormous array of reflectors and the power plant itself (housing steam turbines and all of the machines required to transform the energy into usable electricity). The plant has been damaged extensively since the Great War (including recent incursions between the New California Republic and the remaining Brotherhood of Steel forces in the Mojave). Now, only a third of its reflectors are still fully intact and able to fully rotate. To make matters worse, various issues in the plant itself make the energy transfer inefficient, meaning the plant is operating far under potential. The NCR doesn't possess the scientific knowledge to get the plant in ideal shape, and both the Followers of the Apocalypse and the Brotherhood of Steel are reticent to help for political reasons. Due to its fragility, Caesar has no serious interest in HELIOS One, but his troops perform occasional raids on it to keep the NCR's forces spread out.
A pre-War installation, HELIOS One was hailed as the "Dawn of a Golden Age" by Poseidon Energy. The Brotherhood of Steel discovered the facility and were trying to determine how the plant worked, until the NCR initiated Operation: Sunburst to wrest it from their control. Before the Brotherhood abandoned the facility, they put it in a nearly inactive state and armed the pre-War security system. Despite the NCR's best efforts, they have had no luck in getting the plant to work to its potential or in deactivating the security system.
HELIOS One power plant
At the beginning of the events of Fallout: New Vegas the facility is controlled by the NCR, who have a detachment guarding the facility. At the front entrance is Lt. Haggerty, who must be convinced to allow the Courier in, or the player can lockpick a side door to gain entrance.
Downstairs, the building's hallways circle in on themselves, leading to a pool room, where a unique toolbox that spawns either a sawed-off shotgun or a 10mm pistol can be found on a nearby shelf, as well as an open workshop leading upstairs, to the opposite side of the downstairs area, as well as a door leading further back into the building.
Traveling further back into the building is a "technician," Fantastic, who is working on getting the power plant functioning; the room adjacent to Fantastic's contains a scientist, Ignacio Rivas. A nearby door leads to the mirror yard.
Behind the main building is the solar collection tower and an array of computer-controlled mirrors. There are also two mirror control terminals in small shacks, and several tents set up by the NCR troopers guarding the facility. The western terminal is guarded by mines, bear traps, and a rigged shotgun, while the eastern terminal is guarded by NCR attack dogs. There are also a number of broken solar panels scattered around, that you can optionally repair/salvage for the Sunshine Boogie quest: you'll find the first near the tents behind the western terminal; walking along the outer row and the fence towards the eastern terminal will produce the next three; the final one is by the tents near the eastern terminal.
Solar collection tower
Inside the solar collection tower, past a small straight path there are three hostile automated turrets and several (level-dependent) security robots, a mix of protectrons, robobrains, Mister Gutsies, and/or sentry bots. Going straight ahead leads to an unlocked door to a small room containing several frag mines (both active and inactive) and an easy locked terminal. The terminal can be hacked to shut off the turrets or get them to fire indiscriminately at all targets (including the security robots). Near the entrance is a water fountain with no radiation. Downstairs is a small room with two pulse grenades on a shelf, and an average safe containing more pulse grenades and pulse mines plus miscellaneous loot.
The level continues through a double-wide door and down a sloping corridor guarded by a leveled security bot. The door at the bottom leads into another narrow corridor, leading to another multi-level room with stairways and catwalks, guarded by a Mister Gutsy.
At the bottom of the catwalks past the Mister Gutsy is a door leading to a corridor that branches left and a shorter one to the right ending at a door. The corridor to the left contains a single protectron in a shielded charging station, past which is a laser tripwired door (disarm with an 85 Repair or 67 Science skill). The room beyond contains four more protectrons also in shielded charging stations. The tripwire releases the shields and activates all five robots. The door to the right in the initial corridor opens into a room contains some desks, skeletons and two Poseidon Energy employee ID cards. Both paths have doors that adjoin the final room; which has an elevator that leads to the observation level of the tower.
HELIOS One observation level
The observation level contains the mainframe computer used to activate the plant and direct its power, plus a broken generator that can provide power to the mainframe and a repair robot called PYTHON. See That Lucky Old Sun for more about repairing and using the mainframe. There is a door at the top level that leads to the observation deck. A desk by the generator has a wooden box with embossed red symbols([!]-[X]-[H]-[A]-[H]-[X]-[@]) on it. It cannot be picked up but may be interacted with.
This is a circular deck all around the top of the solar collection tower. A spiral catwalk leads down from the entrance door. There is a reflector control panel that must be activated to complete the retargeting of the mirrors during That Lucky Old Sun. This location is outside, so the player can fast travel from here, though it is not recommended to do so during the HELIOS One/Archimedes I startup sequence, as this can cause quest glitches.
- D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine upstairs in the main building, lying on a bed in the same room with the Eastern reflector control terminal password (head to the right from main entrance, through the pool room, and right up the stairs).
- Big Book of Science can be acquired from Ignacio Rivas during the That Lucky Old Sun quest if the Courier chooses to distribute the energy to the full region along with a large amount of Followers of the Apocalypse reputation.
- Poseidon Energy employee ID card - in the solar collection tower, on the bottom floor, in the room just prior to the elevator. It is on the floor next to a skeleton in the corner.
- If the Archimedes I plant defense system is activated, killing all the NCR troops at the plant, it will cause Caesar's Legion to occupy HELIOS One two days later, and will hold it until the end of the game. One of the Legion recruits will mention that in his opinion they don't even need the plant, they are just holding it to scare the NCR. They still keep Fantastic on hand though, suggesting they want to keep the station operational.
- Even if the Legion takes over the plant, it will still report the player's reputation with the NCR.
- Although the Legion occupies HELIOS One after Archimedes I is activated, no Legion fame is awarded. Nevertheless, Caesar will mention this upon the Courier's first trip to the Fort.
- The ending slides reveal that under certain circumstances the Brotherhood of Steel or NCR will retake it after the events of the main game.
- If the Courier sides with Father Elijah during Dead Money, a special cutscene is shown at the end explaining that Elijah makes wide spread use of holograms along with the lethal effects of the Cloud to kill all living things in the Mojave Wasteland before turning on the NCR, while also mentioning that HELIOS One is returned back to full operational capacity (and presumably Archimedes II as well).
- Above the solar collection tower, a Mark II/IV/VI/VIII turret with a Stealth Boy cloak can be found. It won't attack the Courier and cannot be killed. This is what causes the red tick mark around the tower.
- Being seen attempting to enter the facility without clearance will turn the guards hostile.
- After killing the dogs surrounding the eastern terminal, the soldiers in the area may become hostile, the soldiers outside will not however.
- The hologram map in the Archimedes room is a map of the Capital Wasteland from Fallout 3, with some of the pyramid shapes on the map representing Raven Rock, Vault 101, Megaton, Rivet City, The Mall, and the Citadel.
- Any protectrons deactivated prior to setting off the laser tripwire will reactivate and become immediately hostile. However, this does not prevent them from being deactivated a second time.
- There are two smaller than average lockers located in a hallway near the room where Fantastic can be found.
- God (from Dead Money) is aware of HELIOS One and expresses disbelief that Elijah wanted to harness the power of the sun to use it as a weapon.
- Even if the Courier diverts power to Archimedes II, there is no option to dissuade God.
Behind the scenes
- In Greek mythology, Helios was the Titan personification for the sun and in Greek (Ἥλιος) the word still translates to "sun."
- This structure appears to be modeled after Solar Two located in the Mojave Desert in California, but the location is more similar to the unrelated Nevada Solar One southwest of Boulder City, Nevada (though Helios One is a bit further north; Nevada Solar One is just southwest of where Novac would be if it existed in our world).
- Playstation 3 Xbox 360 The NCR will be hostile towards the Courier, even if he/she is idolized by them. [verified]
- Xbox 360 Protectrons within the room with the laser tripwire seem to be immune to explosive damage. [verified]
- PC Xbox 360 Disarming the laser trip wire within the room with protectrons with Science skill does not however prevent it from opening the forcefields and letting protectrons out to attack Courier. [verified]
- PC The hostile protectrons in the blue glowing holding containers can be disabled with Robotics Expert while inside the container. Somewhere between the waist and the feet, the cursor will typically change to red and you can "activate" the protectron and receive the option to disable it, as usual with the Robotics Expert perk. [verified]
- Playstation 3 The southwest room with the Mister Gutsy has two filing cabinets occupying the same place next to the sink. [verified]
- Xbox 360 When entering the area with the solar panel, the Courier may be attacked by a few of Old Lady Gibson's dogs (Including Rey, Colmillo, Basura, and Audaz.) and a couple of mole rats. It is also possible to witness Old Lady Gibson appear along with her dogs. Reverting to previous auto save will prevent this, but reverting to a save (not auto) will make this occur. It is also possible to be attacked by just mole rats. It is also possible to obtain the Big Boomer Shotgun, from killing Old Lady Gibson [verified]
- Xbox 360 At HELIOS One, Old Lady Gibson's dogs may spawn at the back door (facing the tower) and become hostile. [verified]
- Xbox 360 Also seen once where dogs were not hostile, but Gibson was sitting in mid-air. Also, upon exiting Helios One there were sounds of metal objects colliding with one another. Upon looking to the ground the cursor displayed info on multiple junk items (such as paint guns and tin cans). However, these items were invisible. [verified]