The Nuka-Cola plant is a large, three-story factory building located at the southern edge of the Capital Wasteland.
The building is divided into four sections: Research and development, Storage and mixing vats, Offices, and Factory floor.
Research and development
The first section of the factory contains the R&D department (the cell's name "Factory Floor" refers to the part beyond the locked door). Look up at the ceiling immediately after entering the lobby to see a hole and part of a filing cabinet with a Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual in it. The terminals here contain some info on development of the Nuka-Cola Quantum and the difficulties (or rather casualties) that occurred in the process. There is an R&D safe here, that can be unlocked only with a key that is in possession of Milo, shipping foreman. The safe contains the Nuka-Cola Clear formula plus some random minor loot. The actual factory floor on the other side of the locked door can be reached by a detour through the rest of the building, starting with the door to the storage and mixing vats in the northwest.
Storage and mixing vats
The storage and mixing vats section of the factory is partially flooded with glowing blue liquid. Presumably it is water polluted with the strontium isotope used in Quantum. It gave rise to nukalurks, a special mutation of mirelurk, which can only be encountered in the Nuka-Cola plant (see below for more info). In the room with two nukalurks and the suspended protectron there is a note, "Welcome to the Nuka-Cola family!", on the desk beside a working automated maintenance terminal. The note is addressed to a new worker named Larry and contains his employee ID number that will be useful in the conversation with Milo later. It is dark and difficult to see against the green background of the desk.
To continue on, look for a descending passage. It leads to the flooded radioactive area of the plant. The exit to the offices you are looking for is located in the north east part of the main open area. Pass the first set of catwalk stairs you come to (or climb them for some radioactive respite and to check for any enemies), and look for a second set of stairs off to your left as you head north. Beware the nukalurks and the radiation. It is advised you take a dose of Rad-X and bring some RadAway. Follow the second stairwell around to the north east area where you need to drop down to ground level to access the exit (that is blocked by rubble at ground level). The other catwalks are all dead ends with no loot.
In the offices section of the facility there are two skill books that are found on the second floor: Lying, Congressional Style on top of a safe in the east part of the map in a small office, and a Big Book of Science in the room just north of Winger Mercier's corpse in the SW corner of the map. A note can be found on the corpse regarding a contract to recover the Nuka-Cola Clear formula which was never completed. A Stealth Boy and an assault rifle can be found beside the corpse.
There is a locked room here (lock difficulty depends on level). The room contains four skeletal corpses and a note entitled "Help me". The note is a short diary of a factory worker locked in the closet by Milo as a punishment for taking a prolonged break time. After a few days another worker had joined the prisoner in his misery, apparently for bathroom "misbehavior". Body count shows that more were punished later. It is in the same room as the one with a massive hole in the ceiling.
This is the area behind the locked door in the first cell. If you don't have sufficient Lockpick skill it can be accessed through the offices (follow the signs that say "shipping"). In the bottom level of the factory floor a friendly Mister Handy, named Milo, shipping foreman, can be found. He is in possession of the R&D safe key and the shipping computer password. The key and the password can be obtained either by introducing oneself as the new worker Larry and giving Milo his ID number (see "Welcome to the Nuka-Cola Family!" note above), persuading Milo with high enough Speech skill, resetting him with the Robotics Expert perk or simply by killing him (password is recorded on the holodisk, which causes a "PipOS Error - 26: File Not found for the image).
The packing computer (very easy) is located on the factory floor level two rooms before the entrance to the offices. It can be used to manufacture 3 Nuka-Cola Quantums before the bottling line jams permanently.
Factory floor (before passing locked door)
- Dean's Electronics - Factory floor level, in the cafeteria, as you enter the building, take a right. It is on the corner of the large L-shaped counter in the cafeteria.
- Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual - In the main entrance, after walking in the door look up and you will see a hole in the roof where a filing cabinet is lying face down. The book is inside the cabinet.
Factory floor (behind locked door)
- Tumblers Today - Factory floor section, north section near entrance to the Office section. Same room as Milo, behind a door in the room you'll find a safe and the book is on a shelf under the safe.
- 3 Nuka-Cola Quantum - In the factory floor level, use the Packing Line terminal, located near the NE corner of the map on the ground floor, to select Quantums, then turn on the bottling line. It jams instantly, but 3 Nuka-Cola Quantums appear on the line.
Storage and Mixing Vats
- Nukalurk meat - This is the only location in the Capital Wasteland in which the player can obtain the unique nukalurk meat. Some Nukalurks may also be encountered in the Offices.
- Welcome to the Nuka-Cola family! - a note found in the first part area, to the left of the computer that activates the nearby factory protectron.
- Big Book of Science - On the middle floor, western edge of the map, due north of Winger Mercier's corpse, on a table.
- Finding the formula, a note found on Winder Mercier's corpse.
- Lying, Congressional Style - Also on the middle floor, east/northeast part of the map, on top of a safe, right next to a Marketing terminal.
- Stealth Boy - Beside Winger Mercier's corpse in the Office section.
- Help me note - Found on one of a number of skeletons in a closet telling about the draconian punishments enforced by Milo. The closet can be found on the first floor of the office on the north side, behind an Average locked door.
- Nuka-Cola Quantum - On the south side of the plant at the loading docks inside a truck, along with 10 bottles of regular Nuka-Cola.
- The exit door at the end of the factory floor needs a Lockpick skill of 100 (Very Hard). The door can be opened with a switch (which is a little difficult to see) located on the left side of the door. The switch is only on the factory side of the door, not on the entrance side.
- If Milo is confronted before finding Winger Mercier's corpse, he cannot be asked for the R&D safe key, unless earlier you succeeded in convincing him you owned the plant. If you return to Milo after finding Winger's corpse you can then ask him for the key. However, killing Milo will automatically result in him dropping the key.
- The offices is the section with the highest number of radroaches in the game, 18.
- Outside the factory, there is an Enclave encampment where an Officer trains three soldiers doing push ups.
- If the Enclave Officer has already been killed when you get there, the three soldiers will be standing around doing nothing and will repeat "I've got nothing to say to wastelaner scum like you". All three can be killed without a loss or gain of Karma and each will drop a finger.
- If timed correctly upon arriving near the Nuka Cola Plant, a team of Brotherhood Outcasts and a Sentry bot will appear over the hill and attack the Enclave, in which the Lone Wonderer can watch the fight between them or join in.
- Even though there are two separate types of empty bottle, both "Empty Nuka Cola Bottle" and "Empty Soda Bottle", the empty bottles found on the assembly lines are oddly "Empty Soda Bottles", instead of "Empty Nuka Cola Bottles" like you'd expect.
A number of terminals can be found throughout the plant which provide a variety of background information about the company and its products, with details on the development, marketing and (perhaps most importantly) shipment manifests for Nuka-Cola Quantum.
The Nuka-Cola Plant appears only in Fallout 3.
Behind the scenes
- In the "Stage Three" log of the Marketing terminal, there are hints suggesting that Pepsi's "Pepsi Challenge" was carried out by hired actors rather than normal store patrons.
- The password for the factory's shipping manifest "NC-C1864" is a nod to a Star Trek ship registry. While the NCC-1701 is the registry for the U.S.S. Enterprise, the NCC-1864 is for the U.S.S. Reliant. It is the ship that Khan steals in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- In the factory floor area, a research terminal has an entry "New Flavor Coming!", and mentions a new product, Nuka-Cola Clear, with the "same great taste" as regular Nuka-Cola. This could be an homage to Crystal Pepsi, from the early 1990s, which was a clear soda but had largely the same taste as original Pepsi.