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An ancient, pre-War mobile satellite array/space shuttle launch platform carried by a crawler-transporter is the Enclave's backup command center on the East Coast. The massive vehicle was upgraded by the Enclave with newly developed technology, crafting it into a battle-station where the elite Enclave Squad Sigma trains, deathclaw experimentation continues, and access to Earth's remaining orbital payloads (like the Bradley-Hercules) are attempted.[Non-canon 1][Non-canon 2] The amount of technology is so staggering that it would take even a technologically capable organization many years to sift through all of it.
The crawler can only be entered after the terminal to lower the ramp has been activated; the terminal becomes accessible during Who Dares Wins. The interior consists of four parts:
The first area is the base floor and is called the mobile base crawler. Stiggs, an Enclave engineer who will help the Lone Wanderer if he is allowed to live, can be found here. If the alarm sounds Enclave Squad Sigma will appear. There is also a small room behind a pulse field which contains various materials and a workbench. Behind another repulsion field lies an armory that contains several weapons, ammunition, and armor.
The repulsion fields around the base can be turned off via nearby control panels. When these panels are activated there will be four options:
- Do nothing: nothing will happen.
- Turn off the repulsion field: requires a Science skill of 80, and will completely turn the field off. It is possible to turn the field on again later.
- Set a timed charge: requires an Explosives skill of 50, this will blow the panel up and partially disable the field allowing it to be walked through at the cost of minor damage.
- Smash the control panel: this will destroy the panel, causing damage to the Lone Wanderer and partially disabling the field with the same effect as setting a charge.
Launch platform base
The second part is the launch platform base. This consists of a deathclaw research facility, where two deathclaws can be found, and the slo-burn flamer is on a small platform where two more repulsion fields can be activated. At the deathclaw research facility there is a security terminal that unlocks all doors and a robot control terminal with four options:
- Perform safety shutdown: This will shut down all Enclave robots in the mobile base crawler.
- Scramble robot targeting parameters: This will cause the robots to attack everybody, including the Lone Wanderer and any Enclave personnel and soldiers.
- Run robotics diagnostic: This will display the status of the robots.
- Target Enclave: Requires Robotics Expert. This will cause the robots in the mobile base crawler to attack the Enclave forces.
There is also a medical bay on the launch platform base, in here several rooms with medical facilities, several toilets, the sleeping quarters, dining room, and a kitchen can be found. There is also a storage room directly below (down the stairs) from the door to the launch pad. Inside to the right are five missiles hidden in a bucket in the corner on top of a container. There is also an armory, requiring 75 Lockpick skill to enter, where several weapons with ammunition, including the precision Gatling laser and an alien blaster with alien power cells (some in Average locked weapon crates), can be found.
Between the launch platform base and the satellite control tower is the roof. On the roof, there are three landing pads for vertibirds, on which a vertibird will set down several Enclave soldiers. There are also two small huts with some ammunition. There are five sentry bots here that can be hacked using an available terminal.
Satellite control tower
The satellite control tower consists of 3 floors, which can be reached through a staircase or by walking up three different sets of stairs. Some ammunition boxes can be found here. On the third floor, there is a terminal which contains information about an Enclave scientist who hates it there; this terminal will also have a note saying that they have locked all the storage doors to keep in the malfunctioning robots (if they have been set against their masters). There is also a terminal that unlocks all doors. The satellite uplink terminal is also here, which allows control over the orbital satellites. The terminal gives the choice to fire on one of the following targets:
- The Citadel: This destroys the Brotherhood of Steel's Capital Wasteland headquarters. This option causes -1000 Karma, equivalent to blowing up Megaton or infecting Project Purity with the FEV virus.
- Project Purity (The Jefferson Memorial): This option will fail and gives a message: Satellite not in proper orbit path.
- Megaton: This option also fails and gives the message: Satellite not in proper orbit path.
- Rivet City Carrier: This option also fails and gives the message: Satellite not in proper orbit path.
- Adams Air Force Base Platform: This option blows up the mobile base crawler, giving +1000 Karma, equivalent to sacrificing yourself to activate Project Purity.
After a target has been chosen the Lone Wanderer can go outside where Sentinel Lyons will come to the rescue with a stolen Vertibird.
- Alien blaster - Launch platform base, in a Hard locked gun case in the armory which is guarded by the armory master. Along with it are a few alien power cells and three more Average locked boxes containing cells below the gun case.
- Precision Gatling laser - Carried by the armory master.
- Composite recon helmet - Worn by the armory master.
- Slo-burn flamer - Launch platform base, in the southeast end inside a stasis field behind the sign labeled "Sensitive Electronics".
- 13 combat knives in perfect condition can be found in the storage room, behind a large white crate.
- 17 lead pipes, all in perfect condition, can be found in the storage room, close to one of the middle deck access hatches to the entrance bay.
- 17 knives in perfect condition can be found in the kitchen, on the oven.
- Who Dares Wins - It is necessary to go inside the mobile base crawler and launch an orbital strike to complete Broken Steel, as part of the last main quest of the add-on.
- After the end of Broken Steel (If the crawler has been destroyed), Scribe Rothchild will inform the Lone Wanderer that the Brotherhood is reclaiming massive amounts of weapons and technology from the remains of the crawler and surrounding base.
- After completing Who Dares Wins, the mobile base crawler will not be accessible without using console commands.
- There is a drum of Aqua Pura in the satellite control tower as well as a stack of drums beneath the stairs in the southwest corner of the launch platform base.
- In two of the toilets in the base, there's a length of human intestine.
- Drinking from any of the toilets or sinks in any restroom has no rad penalty.
- A bloody garden gnome with glowing eyes and a deathclaw hand can be found in one of the stalls.
- In between a counter with junk on top, there is a small gap where a garden gnome stands, in front of the gnome is a ball and farther in the gap, is a triangular pattern of milk bottles, which is an obvious reference to bowling.
Behind the scenes
The mobile base crawler is based on the Missile Crawler Transporter Facilities used by NASA in Cape Canaveral. These are used to transport rockets between the Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Complex 39. Two of these exist.
- If you exit and re-enter the satellite tower from the door on the top floor (leading to the landing pad) all the items on the bodies inside will respawn, you can repeat this over and over for infinite ammunition, Enclave armor, weapons, etc. Exiting the tower from the bottom floor and re-entering sometimes causes the bodies to disappear; exiting and re-entering from the top again will restore the bodies. [verified]
- Disabling the forcefield that blocks the player from reaching the slo-burn flamer by bashing it, and walking through while over-encumbered may cause the player to take continuous damage, regardless of whether they are actually in contact with the field. This leads to a guaranteed death (and the player's body twitching after death as if still taking damage). Being normally encumbered while going through the field appears to solve this. [verified]
- The Lone Wanderer: "So, what happens to the Brotherhood now?"
Reginald Rothchild: "I've been amazingly busy ever since we began clashing with the Enclave. All their technology is amazing. It's going to take me years to sift through the wreckage of their mobile platform alone. I suppose we have you to thank for that."
(Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.601: "BS 15.02.3 Adams Air Force Base
A massive and sprawling base outside the D.C. Metro area, this is the Enclave’s new base of operations. They have co-opted a massive Space Shuttle Orbiter mobile platform and are using a huge satellite transmitter on top of it to send the signals to the orbital missile platform! After battling across a maze of hangars and forecourts, you reach the Crawler itself. Inside, the you encounter new elite Enclave units (the toughest ones yet) and battle to the nerve center of the place. You have two options to end this thrilling but dangerous romp."
(Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.604: "AAFB 04: Mobile Base Crawler
An ancient mobile satellite array that the Enclave have appropriated with newly developed technology, this is a battle-station where the elite Squad Sigma trains for battle, Deathclaw experimentations continue, and access to the earth's remaining orbital payloads are attempted."
(Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Tour of the Capital Wasteland)