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How eager the Americans are to believe that a great mind of the People would defect!Contact tape

The Velvet Curtain is a side quest in the Fallout 3 add-on Point Lookout.

The quest leads the Lone Wanderer to find the whereabouts of missing Chinese agent Wan Yang, and use the Submarine self-destruct codes in her possession to blow up the stranded Chinese submarine SSN-37-1A.

Quick walkthrough

Side Quest: The Velvet Curtain
Find Homestead Motel room 1D.
Read the spy alert using a terminal in the Administration building of the Turtledove Detention Camp.
Read the wanted poster for Wan Yang in the People's Bank of Point Lookout, on the boardwalk or at Point Lookout Lighthouse.
Access the DIA officer's terminal at the Naval recruiting center.
Investigate the dead spy and terminal in Homestead Motel room 1D. Take the locker key from the suitcase on the bed.
Locate the locker on the Pilgrim's Landing boardwalk and take the box 1207 password.
Locate the People's Bank of Point Lookout and activate the bank's security system with the password. Listen to the espionage debriefing.
Access the file "Field Report - Yang Capture/Transfer" at the Naval recruiting center.
Search Agent Yang's corpse at the Turtledove Detention Camp morgue and take the submarine self-destruct codes.
Locate the SSN-37-1A and access the submarine's operations terminal to activate the self-destruct protocol.
Locate and actuate the failsafe lever to initiate the sub's destruction.
Move to a safe distance from the sub as it self-destructs, and return to the motel safehouse terminal for further instructions. Take the cryptochromatic spectacles from the toilet tank in the bath room.
Locate the Chinese Intelligence bunker entrance at the Calvert Mansion aviary, and use the spectacles to solve the pedestal puzzle (1,3,2,3,4,4,2).
Enter the bunker and encounter the protectron.
Ignore the protectron
Kill the protectron
Give the protectron the passphrase "Saraphim Descending".
Enter the sealed bunker area and access the terminal.
Override the door controls at the circuit box (Science 71).
Disable the radiation at the floor vent (Repair 30).
Climb up to the hatch to the runoff pipe.
Do nothing.
Exit via the secret entrance in the aviary
Exit via the hatch to the runoff pipe.
Die a slow toxic death.
Reward: 350 XP, backwater rifle, cryptochromatic spectacles, various weapons and ammunition.

Detailed walkthrough

There are several ways to start this quest:

Obtain the orders from the locked locker

Once at the locker (located on the right side of the boardwalk coming from the ferry), open it and take the holotape Box 1207 - Spy's audio password. If the terminal in the motel room or the one in the Detention Camp was not read, this will activate the quest. The holotape instructs the Lone Wanderer to go to the bank and use the password on the tape. It also informs them that the safety deposit boxes can only be accessed by the owners' voices.

Access safety deposit box 1207

PB of PL voice activated security system.jpg

At the People's Bank of Point Lookout, go to the safety deposit box room and stand in front of the speaker. Activate the holotape received from the locker. The speaker will say "Processing... processing... Safety deposit access granted" upon which box 1207 will open. Pick up the holotape Espionage debriefing. This tape informs you of Agent Jiang's mission to destroy a captured Chinese submarine and his search for another agent, Agent Yang.

Find Agent Yang

Agent Yang has the codes to destroy the sub within a false molar. The molar is found among her remains. Exit the bank, turn right and a few steps eastward will have the Lone Wanderer at the Naval Recruiting Center, which is just beyond the walled bumper car arena. Go through the door behind the counter on the left and activate the DIA Officer's terminal. Access the file "Field Report - Yang Capture/Transfer". Read it to learn the fate of Yang being captured by U.S. officials and detained at Turtledove Detention Camp.

Turtledove is directly north of the recruitment center. The camp is devoid of swampfolk, but swarming with defense robots and ghouls. Enter the morgue through the cellar door, open Yang's remains locker and take the submarine self-destruct codes. Escape the morgue the way it was entered (through the cellar door), or use the hatch located near the cremation chamber, which leads to the septic tunnel. In the tunnel, exit to the east of the Turtledove Detention Camp, in the swamps.

Also, the septic tunnel can be used to enter the morgue circumventing ghouls and sentry bots - investigate the area to the southwest of Turtledove Detention Camp, two or three squares away, while periodically checking the Pip-Boy's local map (as the entrance is not displayed at the world map) near the trash heap. At the entrance to the septic tunnel are two first aid boxes, two ammunition boxes with some shotgun shells, and a yellow maintenance barrier.

Blow up the Chinese submarine

The Chinese spy sub is beached underwater, located south of the Calvert Mansion and near a pair of sunken vessels just west of the lighthouse. Enter the sub through a hatch on the conning tower. Use the terminal in the bow to activate the self-destruct, and flip the failsafe switch in the stern. Before flipping the switch, use Lockpick on a footlocker, which contains several valuable items, including a power fist. The Lone Wanderer will have about 10 seconds to escape after leaving the sub, but until they do leave, nothing will happen.

Not too far from the sub site is a ship far enough away from the blast radius that it can be used as a position to observe the explosion in safety, although it may still be somewhat difficult to see the underwater explosion due to the murky water.

Return to the motel

Head back to the motel, and receive some new orders from the safehouse terminal. The next objective is to meet the head Chinese agent at his bunker, located beside Calvert Mansion, underneath the atrium. The terminal directs the Lone Wanderer to a pair of cryptochromatic spectacles hidden within the toilet tank in the motel.

Head to the bunker

Travel to the Calvert Mansion and enter the remnants of an aviary to the west. Equip the cryptographic spectacles now. The number of rings on each vase represents its number. Activate the vases using the cryptochromatic sequence. The sequence is: 1, 3, 2, 3, 4, 4, 2. A hatch will appear on the floor next to the #2 vase. If entered correctly an audible "5-ping" noise instead of the normal "click" can be heard. If the hatch does not open, enter the code a second time immediately after, ignoring the "wrong" sound effect. After entering the code a second time, the Chinese Intelligence bunker should open.

Escape the Chinese bunker

Inside the bunker is a large number of weapons and ammunition and a workbench. The Lone Wanderer will be approached by a protectron who asks them to leave the hazardous area. Choose to give the robot the pass phrase or tell the "tin man" to get out of the way. There are no benefits or drawbacks to either option save personal preference on where the robot should stand once the quest is complete (assuming it isn't destroyed).

  • If it is chosen to give it the pass phrase, it will escort the Lone Wanderer to a room downstairs for the extraction orders and stand next to that door.
  • Otherwise, simply go downstairs. If left alive without using the pass phrase, the robot will continually guard the door nearest its recharge station and occasionally approach the Lone Wanderer with the option to give it the pass phrase again or use the "tin man" option.

Regardless of the decision, don't go right away. There are numerous crates with various types of ammunition, and a Stealth Boy next to the door that was used to come in. There is also a Stealth Boy and mini nuke on the shelf next to the doorway the protectron either leads the player character through (pass phrase given), or it guards (tin man option given).

Enter the room, and pick up the Backwater rifle on the shelf next to the door, then activate the terminal. The terminal tells the Lone Wanderer the funds for completing the mission have been wired to their next of kin and advises them to take their death honorably. The terminal will then seal the chamber, and fill it with radiation. There are two methods of escape, and one option to buy some time.

  • Scale the nearby lockers and crates to a run-off tunnel visible on the local map.
  • Science (71) - Interact with a fuse box beside the door. It's hidden, poorly, behind some boards leaning against the wall.
  • Repair (30) - Shut off the radiation by closing the floor vent, giving the Lone Wanderer time to think or use the room for storage if they decide to live in the bunker.

Entering the run-off tunnel or escaping through the door will complete the quest.


Quest stages

5 Investigate the spy at Motel Room 1D.
9 Recover the dead Chinese spy's locker key from motel room 1D.
10 Recover the dead Chinese spy's mission debriefing from the locker in Point Lookout.
30 Use the password holotape to access safety deposit box 1207 at the Point Lookout Bank.
31 Listen to the Espionage Debriefing Holotape.
40 Search for clues about the fate of Agent Yang.
45 Investigate Agent Yang's fate at the Turtledove Detention Camp.
60 Activate the Chinese submarine self-destruct protocol.
61 Confirm Submarine Self-Destruct by activating the Failsafe Lever.
62 Get clear of the Submarine before it self-destructs!
70 Return to the Motel Safehouse Terminal for further instruction.
71 Recover the Cryptochromatic Spectacles from the Toilet Tank in Motel room 1D.
80 Use the Cryptochromatic Spectacles and Sequence Note to access the Spy Bunker.
81 Seek the Spy's extraction details and payment in the spy bunker.
90Quest finishedEscape the double-cross!


  • It is possible to complete this quest without following the spy's mission. Swim directly to the runoff pipe exit, which is to the south-west of the mansion (just west of the small wooden pier), and enter it from beneath the water. With a lot of creative jumping using quick forward and backward motion, it is possible to scale the escape pipe and make it to the hatch leading to the bunker. Then, activate the terminal which normally springs the trap. This will complete the final objective and it is only needed to escape the room (opening the door allows access to the weapon cache). Oddly, when the protectron questions the Lone Wanderer about the password they already know it. If the Lone Wanderer leaves by the ladder near Calvert Mansion the tile hasn't moved.
  • It is also possible to re-enter the bunker after completing the quest to pick up anything that may have been missed before by just returning.
  • Another way to complete this quest without following the spy's mission is going to the area outside Calvert Mansion, and carefully looking between the cracks of the tile hiding the hatch. There is a spot where the Lone Wanderer can target the hatch through the slit in the tile, and enter the bunker without moving the tile. This method is considerably easier than the tactic mentioned above.
  • Staying within the relatively small blast radius around the sub after triggering self-destruct, the resulting damage is fatal.

Behind the scenes

  • This quest was inspired by Point Lookout lead designer Joel Burgess thinking about ways to create quests without NPCs talking to the player, which led into quest design revolving around Cold War-style dead drops. References to spycraft from Desmond Lockheart also inspired the creation of the quest.[1]
  • The initial orders found in the hotel room conclude with the line "Zhù ni háoyùn" (in Mandarin Chinese"祝你好運"), which is intended to be Mandarin Chinese for "wish you good luck". However, the correct tones for the phrase are "Zhù nǐ hǎoyùn".
  • One of the terminals quotes the Chinese proverb "世上無難事,只怕有心人" (Shìshàng wú nánshì, zhǐ pà yǒuxīnrén), which generally means "when there is a will, there is a way".
  • Agent Wan Yang's codename is "Five Claw Dragon." The five claw dragon symbol traditionally appeared on the Chinese Imperial Seal.
  • The title of the quest, The Velvet Curtain, is a reference to "The Iron Curtain", a phrase that represented the secrecy and tight borders that surrounded the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War. The East Asian equivalent was known as the "Bamboo Curtain".


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 You may not be able to activate the self destruct even if you have the codes in your inventory. Remember that you must enable the self-destruct sequence ON THE TERMINAL before enabling it on the little switch above the goo pile. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 If you select the first terminal option (the one regarding the mission assignment being in a locker) after self-destructing the submarine, the quest marker for the locker will return despite already having visited the locker. The locker will be empty this time, preventing you from progressing further in the quest.[verified]
  • PCPC The door leading to the final terminal cannot be opened, pressing the electric switch results in nothing. To fix this, activate the switch using the console. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Upon entering room 1D you cannot leave it. The game freezes at the loading screen. To fix this, load an earlier save from outside the room, and then re-enter the room. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Attempting to leave the bank may result in the loading screen playing an infinite loop. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 When getting the password tape, the quest objectives still mark you to get the password from the lockers. You have to first play the "Contact Tape" while still being on the Homestead and then when you finish playing it, get the password. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 If you are in the Capital Wasteland and you reactivate the quest it will show the quest marker in the Capital Wasteland and not in Point Lookout. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Once the quest is complete, going back to the bunker and trying to re-wire the circuit breaker while the door is open results in an instant game freeze. (Fixed in a later patch.) [verified]