In order to figure out the next step after the inoculation is complete and the threat of the Scorched Plague resurfacing reduced, the overseer wants to figure out what's inside Vault 79. To that end, she plans to access the secret wing of the Vault-Tec University, where executives met with delegates of the military and the government to plot. She believes that materials inside the wing can shed light on the vault and verify rumors of a treasure within.
Knowing that Vault-Tec University has the restricted information about Vault 79 they are looking for, the Vault 76 overseer and residents travel to Morgantown to visit the university. Found in the offices in the northern wing, the overseer is encountered in the middle of negotiations with Professor-bot, a Protectron who "runs" the university in the absence of the human faculty. While it will not permit the overseer to enter the restricted wing, Professor-bot will eventually relent and offer a deal: The Vault Dweller must graduate VTU so that the university technically continues to produce graduates.
Rather than require the player character to attend the university for four years, Professor-bot fast-tracks the player character to the final exam, which is an overseer test in the Vault Simulation. The test is to solve the conflict between Mr. Handys acting as the engineers and medics of the vault staff.
The player character is sent down to the simulation vault. Security Chief Robinson stands in for chief of security. Robinson will explain that the conflict started when Kelemen, a member of the engineering team, went to stop the vault's reactor from melting down. Doctor Loris sealed the reactor area off to prevent the radiation from contaminating the vault and Kelemen from getting back. Head Engineer Brass accused Loris of effectively killing Kelemen. When the medical staff discovered Loris' assistant, Estella, missing, they assumed it was a revenge killing, which degenerated into a feud threatening the integrity of the vault.
The player character's task is to resolve the conflict while maintaining authority as overseer. There are multiple methods of approaching this problem:
- The player character can side with either Brass or Loris to remove that Mr. Handy's opponent. Loris will suggest putting Brass under medical supervision, treating his paranoia with drugs and therapy. Brass will want to expose Loris as a murderer. With Charisma 8+, the player character can suggest persuading them.
- An alternative is to figure out what happened to Estella. Brass will explain (with Perception 4+) that they scoured the whole vault except for the quarantined area. Loris will provide the key with Charisma 4+. The reactor area is actually the VTU's reactor chamber and the only locked door is when entering from the vault itself. Both Estella and Kelemen are on the floor (white and brown inactive Mr. Handys), with Estella's holotape on the former explaining what happened: She followed Kelemen and dosed him with Rad-X and RadAway in order to allow him to complete the necessary repairs.
- The recording can be delivered to Robinson at this point, who will gather Loris and Brass in the atrium and explain the situation. The two will immediately reconcile their differences. The player character can also bring the holotape to either of them and have it edited, thus forging evidence that their opponent is responsible for the deaths.
Either way, the test is satisfactorily completed (with Professor-bot unimpressed with the general performance). The Vault 76 overseer will be proud of the resident if the resident manages to reconcile Brass and Loris, saying that the resident has demonstrated what the true meaning of running a vault is.
Once the player character reports to the dean, the laser grid behind the shutter leading to the maintenance wing of the simulation vault becomes accessible. Once inside, the player character has to deal with several security robots, including an assaultron as the area boss, before finally reaching the restricted wing next to the maintenance area.
A projector film is played, revealing that Vault 79 was built to secure the United States' Fort Knox gold reserve in the event of nuclear war and that the vault was reinforced with several security features similar to the security at Fort Knox.
After the film finishes, the overseer will present her plan on how to rebuild civilization according to her mandate: Seize the gold reserves found at Vault 79 and use them to issue a gold-backed currency in Appalachia and recommission trade (the player character can figure that out before she explains it with Intelligence 8+). A common currency would eliminate barter and wild, unregulated proxies, giving residents the leverage to create a new economy and eventually taxes, laws, and a proper government.
The player character can challenge the overseer's grand ambitions, designs for currency, and her loyalty to the American government. However, she will argue that even if the residents are skeptical of the idea of government (due to its role in the nuclear war), then they should still help secure the gold, to prevent people from dying in attempts to secure it or fighting over the gold stockpile, or, at the very least, to loot the riches inside.
She suggests enlisting the help of the freshly inoculated: Paige and his settlers and Meg and her raiders. Informing them both would also help kickstart the process of establishing a currency by getting them to buy-in. Meg will disbelieve at first and demand that the player character prove their claims (since the last person who tried to sell her The Trove information was strung up on a wire for lying). Providing her with the schematics will prove it (there's also a chance to earn free raider reputation by being shifty and roundabout; there's also a Perception 4+ check to point out she isn't exactly swimming in supplies. She will eventually buy-in and tell the player character to talk to Lucky Lou about breaking into the vault. Cheating Death begins.
Paige will be a little more skeptical. While Meg immediately figured out that she could use the gold to buy what she wants, the head of the labor union will treat the plans to rebuild the "basis of capital" with skepticism, since it reminds him of lobbyists from the Hill before the War. However, he will figure out that Foundation can use the gold to barter for goods. He will switch to his foreman mindset and start figuring out a way to bypass the security entirely. If the player character completed The Motherlode, they can suggest using her immediately. Otherwise, Paige will suggest Hornwright. Trade Secrets is next.
Talking to either leader completes this quest, but one can inform the other faction head of the discovy of Vault 79 just the same.
Behind the scenes
The Vault-Tec spokesman in the presentation seen during this quest is voiced by Bill Lobley.