|Side Quest: Still in the Dark|
|Locate the Brotherhood of Steel in Hidden Valley bunker.|
|Speak with Paladin Ramos.|
|Speak with Elder McNamara.|
|Retrieve 3 holotapes from fallen Brotherhood paladins.||IF entrance was not given by Veronica: Deal with the NCR Ranger.|
|Return to Elder McNamara, and give him the 3 holodisks.||Speak with Elder McNamara.|
|Meet with 3 Brotherhood scouts and obtain their reports.|
|Give Elder McNamara the 3 scout field reports.|
|Retrieve the parts for the air filtration system.|
|Return to Hidden Valley and give the parts to Lorenzo.|
|Reward: 1000 XP, BoS fame, 1400 caps and Brotherhood safehouse key|
|Leads to: Eyesight to the Blind|
Still in the Dark is a quest obtained inside the Brotherhood of Steel's western compound, the Hidden Valley bunker. To gain access to the interior of this bunker, the Courier needs to either have a Lockpick skill of 100 (Very Hard) or perform certain other actions to be able to interact with the intercom, such as:
- Finding any one of the three holotapes on dead Brotherhood of Steel paladins.
- Getting far enough in any faction's storyline to be asked to find the Brotherhood of Steel.
- Having Veronica as a companion.
- Getting two playbacks from ED-E will eventually let Senior Knight Lorenzo manage to hack into ED-E's communication systems and ask the Courier to find a Brotherhood patrol so they can have a look at ED-E's databanks.
Using the BOS password or picking the lock will cause a Brotherhood of Steel squad to appear and confiscate the Courier's entire inventory. A short scene follows in which the Courier is questioned by Senior Paladin Ramos about the password itself. A meeting with Elder McNamara follows and the first quest is assigned.
- Note: If entry is gained with Veronica as a companion, certain parts of the quest line are omitted. The Courier's gear is not confiscated, there is no explosive collar, and the first quest is skipped.
The elder will explain the secretive nature of the location. The Courier is fitted with an explosive collar, which will detonate after passing beyond a certain range of the area.
- The first task is to remove Ranger Dobson who has set up shop in a nearby bunker. Success is rewarded with a removal of the collar, free movement about the bunker and the next quest.
- Dobson can be convinced to leave by passing a Speech check (50), and a good reputation with the NCR.
- The Courier can also ask about his radio, wait until daylight when he leaves the bunker, select his radio and choose the option to smash it. Smashing the radio with Dobson in the room will make him turn hostile.
- The radio can also be rigged to explode. When he returns, he will go fiddle with the radio and meet a quick death. If the ranger is in the room while the radio is being rigged, he will notice what was done and will confront the Courier. Passing a Speech check (40) will lead to the ranger blowing himself up the next time he uses the radio.
- Reveal the location of the Brotherhood of Steel to the NCR ranger, and he will then remove the collar from the Courier, but will be ambushed by Brotherhood of Steel paladins. If the ranger is saved, NCR fame is awarded, but the quest will fail.
- The final option is to kill him.
- The second task is to locate several patrols that have gone missing. The paladins (Raseleanne, Hughes and Fairbanks) must be brought back, or if found dead, their mission holotapes returned.
After exiting the elder's chamber, the Courier is confronted by Head Paladin Hardin who believes the elder's policy of keeping them isolated from the outside world will be their doom and wants help in ousting Elder McNamara. He asks the Courier to find out more about what leads to an elder being replaced and requests an update on all the quests given by the elder. These are all marked as optional parts of the same quest.
Obtaining the holotapes
Once finished with the tour, enter the door to the left in the planetarium and up the stairs to get the keycard. Go back to the first room and through the locked door using the card. Find the door to the second floor and take the first door on the left. Hack the terminal (Very Easy), beside a Nikola Tesla and You, and select the first option which gives unlimited access to the second floor. Find the door heading to the third floor and enter. If a Luck (7) or Intelligence (<3) check by a security robot is not passed, it will tell the Courier that they must leave in 30 seconds. Search the paladins near the rubble for the mission statement (Matiz) and leave (there is also a 3rd Level security pass located in Piers Isley's briefcase, next to his skeleton).
The location of the paladin can change from game to game because of the artillery the Boomers fire when the Courier first approaches Nellis. Here is one probable location: After the Boomers stop bombing, stand at the entrance to Nellis. Head south-southwest up the hill and pass between the car and road barricade. There is a bombed house directly ahead. Continue south-southwest down the road to the house next door. There is a backyard behind that house bordered by a wall with ornamental decorations. In the backyard, there is a crater with a car in it. The paladin (Raseleanne) should be in or nearby that crater. Take the mission statement from her.
To pass the bombing, do not do as the note says. Just run left toward the fence staying as close as possible to the rocks and go along the fence to reach the gate.
After exiting the Hidden Valley bunker, aim directly in between northeast and east on the Pip-Boy compass. Follow this to a hole in the fence and follow the trail left to Black Mountain. It is possible to access the cage from Black Mountain with a Lockpick skill of at least 75. The gate is just behind the radio station. This is where Moe and possibly 5-6 additional centaurs are located, in and around an irradiated crater (+1-11 Rad/sec). The paladin (Fairbanks) holding the mission statement is at the bottom of the crater.
Return to the bunker and hand over the tapes to McNamara, or talk to Head Paladin Hardin who will accept the holotapes and use them as evidence to oust McNamara.
If the Courier chooses to help Head Paladin Hardin, start by researching previous elders' dismissals in the scribe archive data store. Doing this requires the problem with the Hidden Valley computer virus to be resolved. Speak with Scribe Ibsen about fixing the virus. After the virus is isolated, consult the datastore, then talk to Paladin Ramos about 'The Chain that Binds.' He will authorize access to this information in the data store. Return to the archives and read about 'The Chain That Binds.' Finding the holotapes for Hardin will be required to move forward with the plan. Once the tapes are found, talk to Hardin. He states that the tapes reveal McNamara gave his men new orders without his knowledge, thus breaking 'The Chain That Binds', and is sufficient reason to have McNamara removed. He says the process will take a few days. The screen will go black, and when the scene resumes, he is now Elder Hardin. This will effectively conclude the quest, eliminating the need for further steps. Hardin will give the Courier a key to the Brotherhood of Steel safehouse.
- It is still possible to become a paladin without completing this optional quest: Wait a few days after finishing this quest then speak to McNamara again to be given the quest Eyesight to the Blind.
- If McNamara is ousted, it is not possible to peacefully resolve the conflict between the Brotherhood and the NCR during the main NCR quest For the Republic, Part 2.
- There is a way to oust McNamara and have a peaceful outcome: after talking to Hardin and beginning the process of overthrowing McNamara, simply don't go back to the bunker until after speaking to Moore about the Brotherhood. Hardin doesn't "officially" become elder until the Courier returns to the bunker.
- Favoring Hardin will result in lower reputation than favoring McNamara, but all the benefits are still received (safe house, recycling ammunition box, etc.).
- The completion of this quest does not reward the Courier with power armor training. The follow-up quest, Tend to Your Business must also be completed.
Head to each scout and start a conversation; the first option should mention "Are the bears still hunting?" Choose this to receive the scouts' reports. Collect all three and give them to McNamara.
The first scout is located on the northeast end of the NCR Correctional Facility, relatively close to the facility, and relatively low to the ground. He is just outside the fence bordering the facility. After asking him if the bears are still hunting, he will report that he's been watching the NCRCF for a while now, and is confused as to how the NCR has let the Powder Gangers remain loose and in control of the jail for this extended length of time without any attempt at retaking the prison. Or, if the NCR has retaken the prison, will express his surprise that it took them so long.
The second scout is on the far northeast side of Nipton, quite far off and very high up. The water tower in Nipton is visible far off ahead on the right side of the town of Nipton. Head north-northeast from the water tower and scale the mountain (between and a little north of the coyote den and the Hidden Supply Cave), and remember that it is not close to the town. When inquired about the hunting bears, he will give his report on the brutal attack on the town of Nipton by Caesar's Legion, and the fact that it happened so deep in NCR territory. With a low reputation with Caesar's Legion, Legionary assassins may spawn around this area.
The third scout is easier to find than the second; he is located to the southwest end of the NCR Camp Forlorn Hope. He is on a rock overlooking the valley on the southern side of the camp, in plain view of the Ranger tower on the far south side of the camp. The rock which the scout is on is not adjacent to the rocks surrounding the camp; there is a large gap in between the rock that the scout is on, and the Ranger tower on the southern side of the camp. The rock is approximately the same elevation as the ranger tower, although slightly higher in elevation. He cannot be seen from the Ranger tower; go up the rock to find him. His report is on the town of Nelson and the NCR defeat there.
Return to the bunker and give the reports to the elder. He will ask the Courier to speak to Senior Knight Lorenzo about repairing the air filtration system.
Fixing the Air Filtration System
- Note: Using the elevator in this vault will make traveling much quicker (requires 50 Repair to fix).
The 6 HEPA 20 cartridge filters are in a locker on the 2nd Level - Oxygen Recycling, in the same level where one can find Keely after rescuing her in the side quest There Stands the Grass. The filters are only accessible via the caves because debris blocks the doorway to the room they are located in (through the door that says "key required," with a terminal next to it, one must first acquire the keycard located below).
Firstly, navigate towards the 4th Level - Common Areas. Head into the upper atrium and drop down to the level below. From here, go through the door labeled "Quarters." An Average lock is on this door but can be bypassed by using the terminal in the overseer's office on the 4th floor. Be wary of the corridor, as there are several spore carrier savages. A Vault 22 cave door keycard is in the first room on the left (the one with a baby carriage and crib) with a couple of spore carrier savages. Look on the shelves to the right of the room. The keycard is on the second shelf from the bottom.
When the keycard has been obtained, head back up to 3rd Level - Food Production and enter the room with a terminal and the cave door (the door cannot be lockpicked and requires the keycard). Use the terminal on the left to unlock the door.
Upon entering the cave, take the first right and head up that path. There will eventually be a wooden door labeled Oxygen Recycling; enter this door. The 6 HEPA 20 cartridge filters can be located in a locker here.
Finally, go back into the cave and retrace the Courier's steps to go back to the first level "Entrance Hall," and proceed to the vault exit.
Alternatively, take the elevator down to Pest Control, turn left up to the stairs to a door to Food Production. The Courier will find themself in some caves. Go up the slope taking the first right, following this until the door to Oxygen Recycling.
Upon entering the vault via the control panel next to the door labeled "Vault 3 recreation center," in the South Vegas ruins, the Courier will encounter a Fiend who asks their business inside the vault:
- Note: The Vault 3 maintenance key can be obtained from Daniel in the Living Quarters. The maintenance key may also be obtained from Ranger Bryce Anders inside the vault if the Bounty Killer quest has been already activated.
- If the player character hasn't yet started Aba Daba Honeymoon (and wants to at some point) it is recommended to refrain from entering the maintenance wing with Motor-Runner due to a bug with Motor-Runner that causes him to initiate his dialogue options only once. Rather, it is recommended that the Courier initiates the quest Aba Daba Honeymoon first and progress to the point of delivering the package to Motor-Runner, otherwise that quest may fail.
- If one has already been given a package to deliver to Motor-Runner by Diane as part of the Aba Daba Honeymoon quest and are wearing a Great Khan outfit the Fiend will assume you are there to deliver the next shipment of drugs from the Khans. After a brief exchange, the vault's inhabitants will become friendly and the Courier will be allowed to pass.
- If the Courier can pass the Speech check (64), she will be persuaded that they are a Great Khan selling the Fiends chems. Just follow the main halls and the Courier will end up in Motor-Runner's room. The reverse pulse cleaner will be in a locker in the same room as Motor-Runner and will not be considered "stolen" if taken.
- If the Courier cannot pass the Speech check, then the Fiends in the vault will turn hostile. Head to the southern part of the map and look for the door to the Living Quarters. Head left and (after dodging some traps) enter the door titled Recreation Area. After speaking with the ranger either convince him to go help kill the fiend leader or just kill him for the maintenance room key. If the Courier chooses to free the prisoners, one of them will give them the password to the overseer's quarters.
Upon entering the Vault, proceed forward and past the door next to the terminal. Turn east in the next room, and then right and down the stairs. Walk past the closed doors and head down another set of stairs. Once at the bottom, head straight north and down some more stairs to reach the door to the living quarters section.
Continue down two flights of stairs until reaching the central room with the giant rats and mantises. Take the western door with the "Admin" sign above it. Follow the hallway to the end and turn right at the sign reading "overseer's office." Head down the stairs and enter the door to transition to the lower level section.
Follow down the stairs and the hallway. Immediately before the overseer's office, take a right turn into a long hallway. Upon reaching the "utility sign", turn right and straigh ahead until reached the stairs leading underwater. Submerge and turn left, then enter the first room on the right side. The wanted item can be found in the locker to the right side.
Once all three items have been obtained, return to Hidden Valley and tell Lorenzo. He will tell the Courier to return to Elder McNamara. They will receive 1000 XP and a Brotherhood safehouse key in return. Upon re-entering the Hidden Valley bunker the Courier will have access to a special footlocker by the entrance that re-stocks energy weapon ammunition every time one re-enters the room (A Brotherhood scribe will speak to the Courier and tell them, causing a box to appear there).
Quest stages (for use with the setstage console command)
- If ED-E has been given to Lorenzo during the quest ED-E My Love, he will disappear, leaving you unable to complete Still in the Dark. One must wait a few days until ED-E returns to Primm.
- Elder McNamara holds the key to the explosive collar and can be pickpocketed to remove it. If one decides to set the self-destruct sequence while the explosive collar is still on and leave, it will be automatically removed regardless of whether the key was taken or not.
- The reports from the scouts at Camp Forlorn Hope and the NCR Correctional Facility will be different depending on how one completed the quests Restoring Hope or We Are Legion and I Fought the Law.
- The NCR Ranger may spawn a short distance outside of Hidden Valley, past the main gate watching the NCR correctional facility. The game acts like he was in the bunker, however. The explosive collar will not kill the Courier if they go to him, should he spawn outside the bunker.
- One must first complete this quest before the player character can join the Brotherhood, as well as side with McNamara to recruit their help at Hoover Dam. If one has not yet completed this quest and then explains to the elder that the NCR is looking to destroy them. McNamara will show no concern and states that it would be difficult for the NCR to locate the bunker.
- If any of the Brotherhood scouts are killed by the player character or by other enemies nearby, the player character can still complete the quest by taking their holotape from their body.
- Whether one decides to help Hardin or McNamara, the lockdown will be lifted.
- Completing this quest will not get the Courier Idolized with the Brotherhood of Steel, one has to play Lonesome Road and prevent the missiles from launching to get Idolized.
Behind the scenes
"Still in the Dark" is a 1950 blues song by Big Joe Turner.
There is a game-breaking bug where, after talking to Elder McNamara to complete the quest, your HUD disappears and you are unable to do anything but go switch third-person or first-person, sneaking and turn around.[verified]
- This can be fixed by completing another quest before speaking to the Elder, and returning to finish the quest.
- enableplayercontrols. PC users can use the console command
- Dobson will spawn away from the bunker, in the middle of the desert to the North, the marker will still have lead to his position though, so this has no effect on the quest. [verified] Sometimes Ranger
If you give the holotapes to the Elder and continue his quest line, then give the tapes to Hardin, you may effectively lock both quest lines. The effect will be that Hardin will say he'll be busy a few days (taking down the elder), and the Elder will say he must prepare his defense. Neither will ever change from this state, no matter how long you wait.[verified]
- resetquest 0015d79d, setstage 0015d79d 3, setstage 0015d79d 20.
Or if you didn't enter with Veronica's help: resetquest 0015d79d, setstage 0015d79d 2, setstage 0015d79d 10, setstage 0015d79d 15, setstage 0015d79d 20 Then either immediately give the tapes to Hardin and tell him about the second part of the chain, at which point the quest should complete, or never give him the tapes and finish the Elder McNamara's quest line. To fix this on PC, enter the command prompt (`), then enter the commands:
- resetquest 0015d79d, setstage 0015d79d 3, setstage 0015d79d 20.
- Siding with Hardin and repairing the filtration system will break the quest, since they will both only tell the player to come back later for the rest of the game. [verified]
After bringing the holotapes to Elder McNamara, somehow you cannot continue this quest, the next phase will not start. [verified]
- setstage 0015d79d 30 Use command
- After being sent to deal with the NCR ranger you may not be able to move. [verified]
- Vault 22 and take the elevator to level 2 or 3 and they should appear in front of you. Make sure to tell them to follow you because they are in waiting mode. [verified] After the cutscene when you encounter the brotherhood finishes, if you have any followers, they might disappear. If you look at your local map, it will show the followers in the top right corner, but you can't get to them. To fix this, simply go into
- Upon completion of Still in the Dark, if started with Veronica, whomever you choose to be Elder may be stuck and you will not be able to start the other quests. Also, Veronica will randomly stop following you, appearing only when you are in combat, and randomly talk to you. Afterward she will stay wherever she last spoke to you until you are in combat again. [verified]
- ED-E My Love, Lorenzo has asked to look at ED-E, he will not accept the filtration system parts when you have ED-E with you. Simply fire ED-E, talk to Lorenzo, and rehire ED-E. [verified] If, in the course of completing the quest
- The scout near the NCR Correctional Facility might say his second line, after you tell him the pass phrase and that the Elder had sent you, when the subtitles show the first line. From there on he will repeat the second line again when it shows up in the subtitles, then finish the rest of the conversation completely normal. [verified]
After dealing with the NCR ranger and returning to McNamara, he could possibly wander into the wall with the first array of turrets, and freeze there.[verified]
- prid 000e2f87, then kill, then resurrect. Exit the console and he will proceed to his chair in the command room. If you exit the console after entering kill but before entering resurrect Elder McNamara will die and you will fail the quest. Enter the console, select Elder McNamara or type
- Sometimes the quest will become impossible to complete due to a glitch that causes all brotherhood NPCs to become hostile to you. Most likely due to closing the initial bunker door the brotherhood opens for you when first meeting them. The action for closing the bunker door is highlighted in red, denoting that it is an immoral action. [verified]
- When at the part of the quest to collect the reports once you have all 3 and return to the bunker the game will freeze (black screen) when trying to enter, to get around this if you have companions with you ask them to wait while you are outside the bunker, then enter and you will be able to continue, get you next mission then on leaving the bunker just ask your companions to follow you. [verified]
- I Could Make You Care certain dialogue with Veronica will put you in an endless cycle of talking without any way getting out of it other than loading a save. [verified] After ousting McNamara while still in the quest
- Even if you partition all three viruses when you talk to Scribe Ibsen he will still tell you to isolate the virus. [verified]
- On completion of the quest, the door back to the Hidden Valley Bunker may become locked, leaving you trapped in the bunker. The door cannot be opened without a key, but a key can be pickpocketed from various members of the Brotherhood within the bunker. [verified]
- When taking the side quest for finding the laser pistol you won't be able to find the person who's lost it. Even if you know where the gun is you won't be able to discover it nor pick it up for that matter. The person who's lost it won't even be in the bunker, he's nowhere to be located. [verified]
- Sometimes, after fixing the air filtration system, the autosaves after completion will not load. When continuing straight from menu it will freeze in the loading screen, or if loading in-game, it will load then a pop up will come up saying that save relies on downloadable content and it will crash back to the main menu. You will have to start again from a previous save. [verified]
- If the player sides with Hardin, when completing the quest, a standing wireframe of McNamara in scribe robes will appear beside the seated McNamara in recon armor. The wireframe McNamara is named Hardin, and when spoken to, the camera pans into the floor and Hardin speaks. [verified]
- When McNamara is walking toward his chair, if the player character reaches it first and sits down, McNamara may stop and refuse to move, repeating "What I wished to discuss with you can wait for once I get settled in the command room, outsider" whenever talked to. [verified]
- [Platforms needed] If the player arrives before the Elder sits in his chair and waits the elder will be permanently stuck in a medical room outside the command center.
- [verification overdue] The player can skip collecting the holotapes by speaking with McNamara just after he gives you the objectives. This will cause them to still have the objectives, but can advance in the quest.