Located along the northern edge of Downtown D.C., the National Guard depot appears to be a common National Guard compound that used to be the headquarters of the Washington regiments of the National Guard.
This was a base intended to serve as a fall-back point for state troops and their leadership to regroup.
Avoiding the metro system, it can be reached from the Wasteland. It is located directly south of Vault 108 and the robot repair center (which is directly north of Vault 108). One can also head east from Friendship Heights along the buildings past the Rock Creek caverns.
The depot itself has been severely damaged over the years. Many of the floors and ceilings have collapsed, making navigation difficult. However, despite the damage to the above-ground structure, the bunker (along with its incomplete extension), has managed to survive without much damage.
National Guard depot
Once entering the building, there will be a stairway to the left that is accessible. Going up these steps, jump over the pipe and continue on into the office with the flag on the cubicle wall. Proceed past the cubicles and through the door at the north end of the room. Making a left, head down the stairs to the southwest. At this point, one should be able to see the utility door through the hole in the floor to the left. Continue east to the room with the Nuka-Cola vending machines. Next to the second vending machine and an Eat'o'tronic 3000 is the door to the depot training wing.
Heading east, go through one of the two holes in the wall. There is a hallway at the north end of the room. (The door to the east end of the hallway leads upstairs to the room with a Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor, a pre-War book, and a safe.) Follow the hallway west. Beyond the room with the low condition pre-war weapons and ammunition is the locker room. From there, go east to the training grounds. The door in the far southeast corner leads to a supply room with three ammunition boxes and four first aid boxes; past those is the door to the offices.
At the west end of the cubicle-filled area down the first staircase is a room with a turret control terminal. Go up either of the two staircases flanking the turret control room and enter the room to the south. Go beyond the desk and up the stairs. At the top of the stairs head west. On the counter is a Duck and Cover! In the far northwest corner of the room, there is some rubble that can be climbed to reach the next area.
The door at the top of the rubble has a sentry bot behind it and leads to the depot's upper floors. Once back in the depot, there is a room with a toppled vending machine and the switch to the utility door, which is in the southwest corner of the room.
National Guard armory
The armory is only accessible after going through the National Guard training wing, the National Guard depot offices, and then exiting from the offices back to the first area of the National Guard depot. Exiting back into the depot, there is an electrical switch about 15 feet to the left. This will unlock the utility door two stories below, which in turn allows one entry into the armory. The utility door cannot be lockpicked, even though it is shown to have a Very Hard lock. There is a sentry bot inside the room just behind the door. Activating the second switch inside the utility room will open a trap door that leads into the armory itself.
National Guard bunker
The National Guard bunker, accessed through the National Guard armory, can be opened by completing the unmarked quest Keller Family Refuge or via a relatively easy glitch (see relevant section). Inside the bunker is the experimental MIRV (and a plasma grenade hidden in a cooking pot, on the first set of shelves left-hand side). Also, five mini nukes and a U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes book can be found next to the MIRV, and a Nuka-Cola Quantum lies in a bin near the back.
Mr. Keller, a glowing one and last "surviving" member of the original Keller family, can be found here. Also, there are two first aid boxes and a .32 pistol with some ammunition next to the first aid boxes; it will be the first set of shelves you see in the middle of the room. There is also an ammunition box on the opposite shelves, and a safe with another .32 pistol, ammunition, caps and other random items, built into the desk where the workbench is.
The National Guard depot is mainly inhabited by sentry bots, Mister Gutsies, Protectrons, and robobrains. Mr. Keller (now a glowing one), can be found in the bunker containing the experimental MIRV (see above).
- Nikola Tesla and You: located in the National Guard depot, in a storeroom on the lowest level, on the right shelf (if standing in front of the locked bunker doors). GOTY Edition: From the wasteland front entrance > turn left > turn right at wall > go past workbench > downstairs > straight to file cabinets > left > left into "Authorized Personnel Only" storeroom > 3 shelving units on the left > center set, second shelf up from floor. The storeroom is just across from the locked utility door.
- Pre-War books: two located in the National Guard depot on the third floor, up the staircase to the left after entering from the Capital Wasteland, reachable by jumping over the shelves and pipe at the top of the stairs. The books are on the top shelf of the shelves against the left (eastern) wall. There is another set of stairs leading to them against the south wall, in the south-eastern corner of the room.
- Bottlecap mine: basement level on a workbench on the east side.
- Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor: go up the eastern staircase and follow the hallway to the only room up there. After entering, there is a standard metal/gray desk directly ahead with the book on it.
- Pre-War book: on the shelf above a safe in the same room as the Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor.
- Sugar Bombs: on a desk with the Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor and pre-war book.
- Duck and Cover!: on a long counter in an irradiated section. This particular copy is oversized.
- Three pre-War books: on the shelves in the center of an open collapsed two floor room, one level above the long counter in an irradiated section as mentioned above. During combat with the robots, they may fall to the lower level.
- The Small Guns bobblehead: on a shelf in the sealed storage room in the basement of the armory. The shelf is mounted on the wall on the right when facing the locked door to the armory bunker.
- A notably large amount of various assorted weapons and military-type gear; they are in mid to low condition, though.
- Bottlecap mine: on a workbench, south area.
- Five mini nukes and the unique Fat Man, the experimental MIRV, the single most powerful weapon in Fallout 3.
- Nuka-Cola Quantum: underneath the table that holds the experimental MIRV.
- U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes: on the same table as the experimental MIRV.
- An Outcast patrol spawn point is located directly in front of the depot just outside the gate.
- The National Guard bunker has a number of "free beds", two workbenches, and lots of storage. Once the glowing one is dispatched it can be used as player housing.
- After completing The Waters of Life quest, a Vertibird can be seen flying overhead when in the depot part of the building, the player can see it if they are on the upper floors.
- Once the electrical switch has been used to open the armory, it cannot be closed back.
- After Broken Steel is installed there will be an unmarked Enclave outpost to the northeast of this site.
The National Guard depot appears only in Fallout 3.
- You can get inside the bunker without getting the transcripts. To do so, walk into the corner made by the door and bunker access terminal. Then crouch, go into third person view, and twirl the camera around until it says "activate electrical switch". The trigger is very small, but should appear on the door or the door frame, a little higher than the player's head. Activate it, and the bunker door will open. This is a time saving method and can be used if one doesn't wish to hunt down the transcripts. (No longer patched) Although, directly on the other side of that corner of the access terminal wall and bunker (the side with the radiation suits), the same method can be applied and gain you access into the bunker. [verified]
A character with high Agility can enter the armory without going through the training wing and depot offices. Locate the staircase in the middle of the eastern wall of the National Guard depot, and climb to the top. From there, head due west past the fallen steel truss, around or over the gap in the floor, and go through the open doorway. Straight ahead is a pile of fallen floors or walls blocking another staircase. By jumping up the left side of this rubble (place a barrel to jump on) and then crouching, it's possible to climb the rubble and stairs to gain access the highest level of the building. From there, head to the far southeast corner where you can jump down to the electrical switch to the armory. [verified]
- There is another way to get up using only one barrel at the northwestern end of the second floor down, push a barrel to the top of the ramp, and jump to the top. [verified]
There is a way to get to the top of the National Guard depot building by only having to use two barrels. The player has to go to the middle of the fourth floor then go to the fallen radio tower and the caved in ceiling. From there the player has to put a barrel on the radio tower and jump on it from the collapsed ceiling, putting the player on the fifth floor. The player then has to go to the inaccessible staircase with the emergency lights. Put a barrel on the patch of rubble by the collapsed cubicle. Jump on the tallest corner of the collapsed cubicle, then jump on the barrel and then to the top floor. [verified]
- Yet another method (old versions of the game only) to get to the top floor in the depot is simply to go to the collapsed staircase which looks impossible to get through, but with just a little jerking you can sneak through the small gap in the "ruined" staircase. Go to the left side of the staircase, crouch, back up a little and jump onto the rubble. Crouching before jumping will keep you crouched when you land. Simply walk forward and jump over the remaining rubble blocking the doorway. When you get through and topside, simply walk over to the place where the switch is, at the far end of the depot. This glitch has been patched. [verified]