|This page is about the quest. For the simulated location, see Tranquility Lane simulation.|
Tranquility Lane is the seventh main quest in Fallout 3, an Xbox 360/PC achievement and a PlayStation 3 trophy. The quest begins immediately after the completion of Scientific Pursuits as the Lone Wanderer sits in a Tranquility Lounger in Vault 112. The quest can also be accessed immediately after the completion of Escape! by entering Vault 112 after the Lone Wanderer leaves Vault 101.
|Main Quest: Tranquility Lane|
|Speak to Betty.|
|Activate the fail safe.||Make Timmy cry.|
|Break up the Rockwells' marriage.|
|Kill Mrs. Henderson.|
|Kill all of the residents.|
|Exit Tranquility Lane.|
|Speak to Dad.|
|Reward: 600 XP|
|Leads to: The Waters of Life|
Tranquility Lane is a virtual reality simulation housed in Vault 112, created by Dr. Stanislaus Braun. The Lone Wanderer is tasked by Betty with an escalating series of violent tasks ranging from making a child cry to killing residents for Betty's entertainment in order to free the Wanderer's father, James, from the simulation. As an alternative to completing the violent tasks, the player may activate the "failsafe". Unlike the murders ordered by Betty (who can revive the residents at will), the failsafe will irrevocably kill everyone. This act will grant good Karma instead of bad, due to the fact that it frees Braun's victims from a hellish existence. Both solutions result in the release of the Lone Wanderer and their father from the simulation.
The following are the residents that "live" in Tranquility Lane:
Betty will task the Lone Wanderer to do the following things for her entertainment:
- Make Timmy cry:
- By attacking him physically.
- By convincing him that his parents are divorcing each other because of him, which he will believe after a Speech check.
- By giving him the military school brochure to fool him into believing his parents are sending him away.
- By killing one (or both) of his parents.
- Break up the Rockwells' marriage:
- By telling Mrs. Rockwell that her husband is cheating on her, which she will believe after a Speech check.
- By finding the lacy underwear in the Simpson household (upstairs on their bed), placing it on Roger's desk in the Rockwells' basement, then telling Mrs. Rockwell that her husband is either cheating or he is a cross-dresser.
- By reading Mrs. Rockwell's diary upstairs, which indicates that she'd like to kill Mrs. Simpson. Take the rolling pin from the kitchen in the Rockwell house and beat Mrs. Simpson to death with it, then tell Mr. Rockwell about it. Note that reading the diary is optional; skipping that part will not prevent the player from successfully completing the task in this manner.
- Kill Mrs. Henderson: Note that Betty is adamant that Mrs. Henderson cannot be simply beaten to death, as that's boring; the Lone Wanderer must be creative about it. (Betty will just revive Mrs. Henderson if you try.)
- The chandelier above the hallway to the kitchen can be rigged to drop when someone walks under it.
- A roller skate can be moved to the stairs, resulting in Mrs. Henderson falling to her death when she tries to go upstairs.
- Martha Simpson states that Mrs. Henderson loves cooking. Her oven can be sabotaged to leak natural gas. Upon being asked to make a pie, when she lights the stove, the explosion will kill her instantly.
- The security console in the kitchen can be accessed, allowing one to enable the security lockdown, locking Mrs. Henderson in the house. Set her robot to "Begin Security Program" mode, and, as it wanders around, disable the "security parameters" data, rendering it unable to determine friend from foe. The robot will also be hostile to anyone it detects. If the robot is destroyed after it kills Mabel but before deactivating its security mode, the Wanderer will not be locked in the house, deactivating the security on the terminal and will allow them to leave.
- Kill everyone: As Betty says, the Pint-Sized Slasher mask and Slasher knife can be found in the doghouse to the right of the abandoned house. At this point, everyone will become hostile and attempt to flee from the Lone Wanderer (with the exceptions of Betty, the dog Doc, and the Mister Handy). Hunt down and kill everyone.
After everyone is murdered, Braun expresses gratitude for the entertainment and tells the Lone Wanderer what they wanted to know most: Doc is actually their father, and has been watching them in horror the entire time. He then opens the exit door, allowing the Wanderer to leave the simulation.
Alternative "fail safe" solution
Fail safe summary
Betty's negative Karma inducing tasks can be skipped by finding the abandoned house at the beginning of the simulation. Step inside and activate the fail safe using the tones. One can also look at all the other notes written by Braun in here. After activating the fail safe, the residents will be permanently killed by Chinese commandos (project "communists on US soil"). The Lone Wanderer will receive positive Karma, though, because the residents have been freed from their otherwise eternal suffering at Braun's hands. Braun, as Betty, will be kept alive and forced to reside alone, forever. However, all of the tasks for Betty can be completed before activating the fail-safe. The Lone Wanderer will gain good Karma and the citizens of Tranquility Lane will be revived and killed by the Chinese soldiers.
Fail safe details
- Old Lady Dithers will tell the Lone Wanderer that she knows that Tranquility Lane is a simulation, that Betty is really "Braun", and that he uses a "fail safe terminal". She mentions that the Lone Wanderer should go and search the abandoned house.
- Within the abandoned house, the Lone Wanderer will find a set of objects that make specific musical pitches when activated. If they enter the proper sequence, the failsafe terminal will reveal itself. In the terminal, selecting "Chinese invasion" will summon a squad of Chinese commandos who proceed to murder the residents of Tranquility Lane, with the exception of James (stuck inside Doc the dog), Betty, and the Lone Wanderer. According to the notes on the invasion program, this program disables the failsafes on the pods, meaning that dying in the simulation will kill the real-world person as well.
- The tone sequence is Radio (F)
- If one cannot remember the sequence to activate the terminal, note that each object has a specific tone, and Betty whistles the correct tonal sequence while playing in the center of the lane.
- The solution melody is a cheeky reference to Tranquility Lane's soundtrack. The jolly theme is played multiple times by the xylophone and once by the flute: F C D C B D A.
- If Braun is spoken to, he will angrily scold the Lone Wanderer on what they have done and lament that he is now alone and trapped forever within the simulation, something confirmed by his own notes on the Chinese invasion plan on the failsafe terminal: the systems in place for his own safety will not allow him to be killed, even if the invasion program is launched. He will further point out that Doc the dog is actually James, and he will be waiting for the Lone Wanderer once they leave the simulation.
- Using the exit door on the playground will end the simulation.
Outside Tranquility Lane
As soon as the Tranquility Lounger pod opens, James will walk to the Lone Wanderer and begin a conversation. He had intended to find some holotapes, memos, or even experiments from Braun related to the G.E.C.K., but what he found was Braun who trapped him in Tranquility Lane as a dog. After some dialogue, he says he'll be returning to Rivet City to meet with Dr. Li and resume Project Purity; the Lone Wanderer can either immediately go with him or indicate that they have other tasks to attend to. This has no real influence on the plot, and James will leave for Rivet City regardless.
- Making Timmy cry will result in a -50 Karma penalty.
- Breaking up the Rockwells' marriage will result in a -50 Karma penalty, except by killing Mrs. Simpson and blaming it on Mrs. Rockwell, which will be a -100 Karma penalty.
- Killing Mrs. Henderson results in a -100 Karma penalty except by using the roller skate, which is a -50 Karma penalty.
- Killing people as the Pint-Sized Slasher causes -50 Karma penalty per person or -400 Karma total for killing everyone.
- Activating the fail-safe rewards +300 Karma.
- The player character once again takes the form of a child for this mission, and will be treated as such by most of the residents.
- Betty will kill the Lone Wanderer with an electricity/pulse blast upon being attacked, or if one shoots at her surroundings. This happens even when the fail safe has been activated and despite Betty says that she has no control over them.
- It is possible to bypass having to speak with Dr. Li in Rivet City by simply entering Vault 112 and entering Tranquility Lane.
- The Lone Wanderer's Pip-Boy is removed while in the simulation, replaced by the Pip-Boy style watch; however V.A.T.S. still works as intended and the wait function progresses time as normal.
- The background music of Tranquility Lane will become slightly lower in pitch and more depressing after activating each individual thing to access the fail-safe.
- The main musical theme heard in the simulation can be heard as a nursery music box tune during the tutorial quest Baby Steps.
- The layout of Tranquility Lane is slightly similar to the layout of the lounger room in Vault 112. A central hub (the power supply and monitors/the circular park where Betty stays) connected to several smaller nodes in a radiating circular pattern (the tranquility loungers/the houses of the lane).
- The layout is also similar to a group of ruined houses that can be found north of the National Guard depot in Washington DC.
- Drinking water inside the simulation will restore real-world health, also the water is rad-free.
- After making Timmy Neusbaum cry, he will turn into a garden gnome and appear by the front door of the Neusbaum residence. The gnome can be activated, but does nothing.
- There are a few items which can be taken and placed in one's inventory. In the basement of the Rockwells' house there are two large cooking pots that can be looted. Taken items can't be used in the simulation, and upon exiting, they are removed from one's inventory.
- Early in development, the Lone Wanderer would instead place a frag mine in the oven, however the copy of the pristine frag mine mesh that it uses, is deleted.
- The Chinese commandos spawned by the fail safe are marked essential, and cannot be killed (only knocked unconscious). Any crippled limbs will return to full condition when they stand once more. If attacked with one's fists, they will not retaliate but if a weapon is used, they will become hostile.
- The Chinese commandos spawned by the fail safe can be attacked with your fists without retaliation. If they are attacked with a weapon such as a rolling pin however, they will all attack and kill the player character quickly.
- When leaving Tranquility Lane after activating the fail-safe and then reading the resident status terminals, they all display:
DISPLAY RESIDENT STATUS
Pulse: 0 bpm
BP: 000/00 mmHg
Temp: 85 F
Respiratory Rate 0/min
***RESIDENT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION***
DISPLAY RESIDENT STRESS LEVEL
Stress Level: No Reading
***RESIDENT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION***
- Screenshots taken in the Tranquility Lane loading screen will show up in full color.
- It is possible to re-enter Tranquility Lane after the quest is completed. By going outside the room of Vault 112 using the tcl command, one can find a door that goes to Tranquility Lane. One will be able to access gear normally.
- When exiting the simulation, James is wearing his Vault 101 jumpsuit even though the Lone Wanderer is not allowed to enter the simulation without wearing a Vault 112 jumpsuit.
- If one tries to loot a dead resident in Tranquility Lane, they will get a message saying that they cannot tamper with bodies in the simulation.
Behind the scenes
In an August 2020 interview, Emil Pagliarulo, who worked on Tranquility Lane, and Jeff Gardiner, the lead producer at Bethesda Game Studios, both stated that they consider Tranquility Lane to be one of their favorite quests throughout the Fallout series. Gardiner cited Tranquility Lane as a good example of the dark humor in Fallout, as well as how even the most outlandish of concepts can work within the Fallout universe. Pagliarulo went on to talk about how the ratings system in the United States, specifically the limitations on killing children, influenced what could and could not occur in the Tranquility Lane simulation.
- Mrs. Rockwell can skip the argument with her husband if you decide to use the lacy underwear. She will just run away when she's within speaking distance of her former husband. One way to avoid this is to exit the basement before she does and make sure Mr. Rockwell is not too close to the basement door.[verified]
- Your follower may not return to their original location upon entering the simulation, and instead disappear. Sometimes they can be found in the pod area later on.[verified]
- If Mabel Henderson is not in her house, or leaves during the time you are arranging her creative death, she may not return. You may need to disable the security lockdown and find her, you may kill her and Betty will restore her to her house, otherwise you may have to load another save.[verified]
- If you become hostile with one of the residents and get a fair distance away from him/her you will hear your character say "I guess it was nothing" in a child's voice.[verified]
- When you check your watch in Tranquility Lane, the game may freeze.[verified]
- If you start the Chinese invasion while trying to break up the Rockwells' marriage, they will survive because they can't die during that quest. [verified]
- In very strange cases the fail-safe will not appear in the abandoned house. [verified]
- The game may crash upon starting the fail-safe. [verified]
- Bethesda_DE: Interview with Jeff Gardiner and Emil Pagliarulo at Gamescom 2020 (reference starts at 00:55:18):
Alina Ullrich: "So, there's a question about your favorite quest ever made in the Fallout universe."
Jeff Gardiner: "It's gotta be... COVID has affected my brain, sitting home all day... the black and white one -"
Emil Pagliarulo: "Oh! Tranquility Lane. In Fallout 3."
Jeff Gardiner: "Yes, that's it. Tranquility Lane. Yes. I'm sorry, I just..."
Emil Pagliarulo: "That actually might be my favorite too, that was... that was really fun."
Jeff Gardiner: "Fallout 3, when you go into the, yes, in Tranquility Lane. And the kid - the Pint-Sized Slasher. I just - that is the perfect example to me of the dark humor. And you can do anything in the Fallout universe, pretty much, and make it work. And they, Emil and they did. And it's still to this day, where you go 'wow.'"
Emil Pagliarulo: "Yeah. Blowing up Megaton, that whole quest, probably... you wanna know, here's some trivia about Tranquility Lane. So, in the ratings system in the United States - you can't kill children, right? There was a big limitation with killing children. In Fallout 3, there's only one place that a kid can die. And that's in the Tranquility Lane simulation. And it wasn't okay to kill a kid in a video game, but it was a simulation within the video game. It was okay for a kid to die in the simulation in the video game, because he wasn't a real kid."