The Lone Wanderer enters the Hole after starting the second half of the quest Unsafe Working Conditions. The fights are organized into three rounds where the Wanderer must battle against three slaves, then two gladiators and finally defeat the Hole's champion, Gruber. As soon as a fight begins, radioactive barrels are dropped into the arena. They act as obstacles, but more importantly, give off high amounts of radiation. The entrant must defeat his or her opponents and exit the arena before dying of radiation poisoning.
The rules are simple: the contestant is allowed to bring any weapons and items they have for the fight, and may not leave until defeating the opposing combatants or dying of radiation poisoning. Faydra tells them that they may take whatever they want from a nearby locker. The items are very low-end: a low-caliber pistol and some common Melee Weapons.
At the end of each fight, Faydra will cleanse the entrant of all of his or her radiation. Note that she will not heal them; the entrant must find another way to mend their injuries. However, there is a convenient water fountain next to Faydra that can be used to restore vitality. Although the fountain is irradiated, the radiation from the water is insignificant compared to the high radiation levels received from fighting in The Hole itself. Also, this fountain only gives one rad after fights. Once the entrant is done fighting in the arena, the fountain will give 3 rads.
These are not honorable fights: the entrant may loot bodies as he or she pleases. After completing the fights, they are freed from their "slavery" and can grab their equipment from a footlocker outside The Hole.
The challenger faces two to three unnamed slaves armed with a variety of weapons. Generally, one slave will have a combat shotgun, which can be deadly to a character who has not got much in the way of armor. The other slave or slaves normally have Chinese assault rifles.
- Grudd wields a flamer and wears raider iconoclast armor.
- John wields a deathclaw gauntlet and frag grenades and wears Gamma shield armor.
The Bear Brothers' armor is in exceptionally good condition (more than 90%), giving them significantly better than normal protection.
The final round has the challenger fight against Gruber. He has Gamma shield armor and a metal helmet, as well as an Infiltrator. He has a large amount of HP; combined with his heavy armor, this allows him to take quite a lot of punishment before dying.
Like the Bear Brothers, Gruber's armor is in exceptionally good condition (more than 90%), giving him significantly better than normal protection. The armor-piercing deathclaw gauntlet recently acquired from the Bear Brothers can be extremely helpful against him for high Unarmed skilled fighters, especially if they have the Paralyzing Palm perk.
- Gruber had actually fought through The Hole before, but was so bloodthirsty he continued to fight.
- Raiders say if fights in The Hole are dull or the slaves refuse to fight they shoot into the cage to "liven things up".
- Taking Rad-X will make the fights significantly easier. The entrant can dispatch the enemies while taking little radiation. There are two bottles of Rad-X on the medical table in the room with Faydra. Faydra will also cure radiation between rounds.
- The raiders will comment on the entrant's Karma and SPECIAL stats in float dialogue upon becoming champion of the Hole.
- It is advised the entrant retrieves all of their previous belongings from the footlocker after finishing all arena matches. The footlocker is located on the ground immediately behind Faydra upon exiting the Hole.
- The crowd cheers louder when upon hitting arena combatants, even after they are dead.
- It is not possible to start fighting until the barrels drop and the gate opens. The gate remains locked until the barrels drop.
- The footlocker with all the entrant's confiscated gear only appears after the battle with Gruber.
- Sometimes during the fight on Round One, a falling barrel may kill one of the slaves before the fight even begins.
The Hole appears only in the Fallout 3 add-on The Pitt.
Behind the scenes
The Hole bears a striking resemblance to Thunderdome from the film Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome. similarities include the voice of the announcer as well as the structure of both arenas with the audience watching through the domes.